Friday, December 31, 2010

A cooling PSF.

"Is Frosty playing in the fifth Test?"

Given it's stinking hot here in St Petersburg-on-the-Yarra, I thought I'd post a very cold Poetry Slam Friday.

You might want to skip over this one, EMS.

Next year, comrades!

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A very special, non Christmas, PSF.

"I've been dead for 46 years and I still have more teeth than Shane MacGowan"

Last night as I slept
I dreamt I met with Behan
I shook him by the hand and we passed the time of day
When questioned on his views
On the crux of life's philosophies
He had but these few clear and simple words to say

I am going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I am going, I am going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing

I have cursed, bled and sworn
Jumped bail and landed up in jail
Life has often tried to stretch me
But the rope always went slack
And now that I've a pile
I'll go down to the Chelsea
I'll walk in on my feet
But I'll leave there on my back

Because I'm going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I'm going, I'm going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing

Oh the words that he spoke
Seemed the wisest of philosophies
There was nothing ever gained
By a wet thing called a tear
When the world is too dark
And I need the light inside of me
I'll walk into a bar
And drink fifteen pints of beer

Because I'm going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I am going, I am going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing
I am going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I am going, I am going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing
Where streams of whiskey are flowing
Where streams of whiskey are flowing

Well, what a long, strange trip it’s been.

See you on the other side comrades and a very Merry Christmas*. Especially to EMS who, at this very moment, is crouched over a heater somewhere in London muttering “cold…so very cold”.

*Or is it “Happy Christmas”? I can never remember.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some thoughts on Sydney.

Sydney Carlton. Not Sydney, Australia.

Just back from the Harbour City with some ill-observed, intemperate observations.

• Honestly Sydney people, would it kill you to dress with a bit more style! Wandering around over the three days, it looked like everybody shopped out of a Ken Done catalogue. Sheesh!*

• I never stopped sneezing. I must be allergic to Sydney.

• Your customer service sucks, ranging as it does from cheerful but incompetent to surly and incompetent. Surly I don’t mind, but incompetent really gets my goat.

• Here’s a hint to Sydney taxi drivers. If I book your cab and say “take me to X please, I’m from Melbourne and I’m a bit vague about directions”, thrusting the street directory at me and saying “I don’t know where that is, can you look it up?” will result in me saying “I. Don’t. Know. I’m. From. Melbourne.” Only crosser.

• On the plus side, The Boy reckoned your double-decker trains were ace!

Other than that, I had an swell time!

* To counter this, I wore my “slap me, I’m from Melbourne**” outfit which consisted of black jeans, white Triple R tee-shirt and black leather-jacket.

** Nobody slapped me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top Ten

Prahran Coles, Friday around 10.

My top 10 albums of the year are:

1. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
2. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
3. Woods - At Echo Lake
4. Beach House - Teen Dream
5. The Walkmen - Lisbon
6. Black Mountain - Wilderness heart
7. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
8. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
9. The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt
10. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

Honorable mentions go to Charlotte Gainsbourg, LCD Soundsystem, Local Natives and Of Montreal.

Biggest disappointments and/or the most boring records go to Interpol, The National, Spoon, New Pornographers, Grinderman, Band of Horses, Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire.

The following is Helicopter by Deerhunter. It's not the best song on the album but it is a terrific album. Lead singer, Bradford Cox, has Marfan Sydrome, which gives him an awkward, gangly appearance. Joey Ramone had it to.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday rant instead of PSF

There will be no Poetry Slam Friday tomorrow as I will be in Sydney with the family*.

In lieu of this, I present a passage from Paradise Updated by Mic Looby.

All of it is a pretty good read but this passage just struck me as a wonderful piece of writing for some reason.

The anti-hero, Richard Rind, is in some hellish, third-world airport reflecting sourly on the “independent travellers” streaming past him.

And all the while, barging past, mocking him with their exuberance, fresh-faced travellers revelled in the tedium and red tape. The fools. This was the nonsense of travel. This was the great lie. Travelling for pleasure was a contradiction in terms. Not that he expected those braying backpackers to understand. They finished school yesterday, and now, brimming with credit-card-fuelled bravado and decked out in the latest, skimpiest wash-and-wear wonder-garments, they were off to somewhere foreign to get drunk and have orgies, because that was what all their friends did. Well they could rut all they liked. They’d learn.

I do like some invective.

*Hey Kettle, it looks like the Sydney public transport ticketing system kind of sucks. Can you confirm?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You Want What?

You don't need a rice cooker. Dude, use the saucepan.

Well, it's almost Christmas. I don't believe in God and, by extension, I don't believe some guy called Jesus was his son (or brother, nephew or any other relation). Nevertheless I celebrate Christmas and give in to the commercialism of gift giving. Of course, we could all decide to stop giving presents and just buy ourselves something that we actually want. But the mere suggestion would probably make me a Scrooge.

There's something noble about the ever revolving wheels of commerce, at least when it relates to the supply of and demand for stuff we actually need, but the concept of buying shit that nobody needs kind of reeks of ignobility. Yet we all do it, for ourselves and for others.

Perhaps we should return to a pure, subsistence lifestyle. Just grow the food we need, build our houses out of sticks and occasionally milk a goat. Live off the land.

Yes, let's do that. Who's in?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Emily Dickinson really should have gone out more

"Couple of jars? Tonight? That would be grand!"

I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro' endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –

When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove's door –
When Butterflies – renounce their "drams" –
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the Tippler
Leaning against the – Sun!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Julian Assange piece I really didn't want to write.

I haven’t written anything about the current who-harr about Julian Assange because, I suspect like most of the English-speaking world, I’m thoroughly sick of hearing about the pompous twerp.

What I do find disturbing is how large sections of the so-called “left” are currently rampaging up and down this country about how the allegations about Mr Assange are a sinister CIA plot and how the Australian Government has failed “to protect him”.

Given Mr Assange is currently living in the UK I find it difficult to work out how exactly we’re supposed to “protect him”*, other than offering consular assistance at the court proceedings – which we have done.

Still, this hasn’t stopped some insisting that requiring Mr Assange answer questions from Swedish police about sexual assault allegations is somehow a sinister CIA/Swedish Government**/feminist/Social Democrat plot to something, something.

Given the complete absence of said CIA plot, the next step by some now appears to smear the women making the allegation – as this article in Salon magazine notes.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I rather thought several decades of left and feminist thinking was to encourage women to make complaints to the police about sexual assault – unless of course it involves a high profile “anti-imperialist”.

As Salon notes;

Wow. Admittedly, I don't have as much experience being a feminist as Wolf has, but when I see a swarm of people with exactly zero direct access to the facts of a rape case loudly insisting that the accusation has no merit, I usually start to wonder about their credibility. And their sources.


*Given Mr Assange has been remanded in custody in the UK and currently has the assistance of 70 billion lawyers, you could make an argument that he’s pretty damn-well protected now.

**And isn’t it remarkable how Sweden has morphed from “social-democrat paradise” to “hellish hell-hole run by the CIA. And feminists. And probably Julia Gillard".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Tribute to Johannes Kepler - Not a Cunt

"I'm going to tell Galileo about soon as I finish my special fried rice."

A day is the time it takes the Earth to complete one revolution on its axis. A year is the time it takes the Earth to complete one circuit of the sun. There are approximately 365 days in each year. More accurately there are 365 and a quarter days. That's why we have a leap year every four years, to catch up to the antics of the cosmos. However that's a slight over-compensation so every hundred years, despite it being a 'fourth' year, there is no leap year. This, however, is a slight under-compensation, so every four hundredth year, despite it being a 'hundredth' year, is a leap year.

So 1900 was not a leap year, but 2000 was.

I dunno who made the definitive decision that the Earth year is exactly 365.2425 days long, but I'm certain that figure would not have been arrived at if not for my favourite mathematician/astronomer Johannes Kepler, who described elliptical orbits and was not a cunt.

And it's a proven fact* that anybody, including Jonathan Coleman, born on 29 February is a cunt.

What, me worry?

Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal is also not a cunt, but he most certainly is bizarre. This video is rated PNFK (Probably Not For Kids):

* Possibly not a fact.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cats! And cricket! Something for everybody!!


If at some time over the next few weeks, you find yourself making the following statement;

Of course, we should keep in mind England’s catastrophic collapse in the second innings of the Adelaide test four years ago,

and your friends nod sagely and say “yes indeed, good point”, then it’s perfectly possible you’ve been watching far too much cricket.

Or you have weird friends.

Probably both.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A very special "my back feels much better, thank you for asking" PSF.

"Damn, I think I've dropped my keys in the water!"

Last night I lay trembling
The moon it was low
It was the end of love
Of misery and woe

Then suddenly above me
Her face buried in light
Came a vision of beauty
All covered in white

Now the bell-tower is ringing
And the night has stole past
O Lucy, can you hear me?
Wherever you rest

I'll love her forever
I'll love her for all time
I'll love her till the stars
Fall down from the sky
Now the bell-tower is ringing
And I shake on the floor
O Lucy, can you hear me?
When I call and call

Now the bell-tower is ringing
And the moon it is high
O Lucy, can you hear me
When I cry and cry and cry