Monday, March 28, 2011

Dinosaur Snr

J Mascis wins a shoe for getting a new high score on Street Fighter while simultaneously eating cheezels and reading the latest Batman comic

For those of you who loved Dinosaur Jr in the 90s (and for those of you who attended one of their gigs and has consequently been reduced to 15% hearing capacity), well frontman J Mascis has released an acoustic album. He sounds like J Mascis and the music sounds like, well Dinosaur Jr gone acoustic. It works. Least I think it does. Die-hard fans will no doubt cry foul.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A super long PSF today. You lucky people!

"Bless you Ramon, for all your wonderful PSFs"*

I was walking far from home
Where the names were not burned along the wall
Saw a building high as heaven
But the door was so small, door was so small

I saw rainclouds, little babies
And a bridge that had tumbled to the ground
I saw sinners making music
I've dreamt of that sound, dreamt of that sound

I was walking far from home
But I carried your letters all the while
I saw lovers in a window
Whisper, "Want me like time, want me like time"

I saw sickness, blooming fruit trees
I saw blood and a bit of it was mine
I saw children in a river
But their lips were still dry, lips were still dry

I was walking far from home
And I found your face mingled in the crowd
Saw a boatful of believers sail off
Talking too loud, talking too loud

I saw sunlight on the water
Saw a bird fall like a hammer from the sky
Saw an old woman on the speed train
She was closing her eyes, closing her eyes

I saw flowers on the hillside
And a millionaire pissing on the lawn
Saw a prisoner take a pistol
And say, "Join me in song, join me in song"

Saw a car crash in the country
Where the prayers run like weeds along the road
I saw strangers stealing kisses
Giving only their clothes, only their clothes

Saw a white dog chase its tail
And a pair of hearts carved into a stone
I saw kindness and an angel
Crying, "Take me back home, take me back home"

Saw a highway, saw an ocean
I saw widows in the temple to the law
Naked dancers in the city
How they spoke for us all, spoke for us all

Saw loaded linen tables
And a motherless colt, then it was gone
I saw hungry brothers waiting
With a radio on, radio on

I was walking far from home
Where the names were not burned along the wall
Saw a wet road form a circle
And it came like a call, came like a call
From the Lord

*Well, somebody had to say it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Dfat List

Somalian locals out duck shooting

The Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against travel to the following countries:

due to the unpredictable security situation and threat of terrorist attack

due to the unpredictable security situation and threat of terrorist attack

due to high levels of serious crime, possible civil unrest and risk of terrorist attack...risk of armed violence, banditry, kidnapping and cross-border attacks by rebels

Central African Republic
due to the activities of rebel groups, poachers, rogue security and military forces, and high levels of serious crime and lawlessness

due to the volatile security situation, ongoing civil unrest and the threat of terrorism

Ivory Coast
due to the extremely volatile security environment and the escalating violence as a result of the disputed Presidential election

due to the volatile security situation

due to the extremely dangerous security situation and very high threat of terrorist attack

due to ongoing military operations and very dangerous security situation

due to the very high threat of kidnapping, the unpredictable political and security situation, the risk of armed banditry and clashes between Niger’s security forces and armed groups

due to the intensification of armed conflict, the ongoing very high threat of terrorist attack against Western interests and dangerous levels of violent crime, including kidnapping

due to the extremely dangerous security situation, the risk of armed conflict, high level of violent crime and the high threat of terrorist attack

due to the ongoing deterioration in the security situation and continuing violent clashes

It's a dangerous world we live in. My advice to all people living in all countries everywhere is to just do what the government says. Don't argue, don't contradict, do smile when you see a government official, especially if he carries a gun, don't be a different colour, religion or football team to the president, don't be gay and, as a general rule, don't ask for too much (meagre portions of rice are full of nutrients and dirty water still contains water).


I would like to add to the list:

due to the very high risk of getting the runs

due to the impossibility of finding good bread

due to the high number of people refusing to speak English

due to the high likely development of lung cancer

New Zealand
due to the highly unlikely outcome of finding quality beer

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Films of PT Anderson

PT Anderson? Where have I heard that name?

Paul Thomas Anderson is known for his 'quirky' films featuring ensemble casts and lots of camera movement. His style is reminiscent of Robert Altman (especially the ensemble cast and interweaving storylines of Magnolia), the Coen Brothers (the use of 'regular' actors, idiosyncratic characters and sometimes bizarre narratives) and even the great Stanley Kubrick.

I highly recommend seeing them all, several times, if you haven't already.

Hard Eight or Sydney (1996)

Underrated and little seen it stars, among others, Samuel L Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C Reilly. An interesting plot featuring gambling, betrayal, murder and other good stuff.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights launched him into the mainstream consciousness to some extent. Starring Burt Reynolds and big-dicked Mark Walhberg (in a Quentin Tarantino-like casting move) it's a behind the scenes look at the porn industry of the 1970s. It also stars Luis Guzman, William H Macy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and John C Reilly.

Magnolia (1999)

Starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore and, um, oh William H Macy, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C Reilly, this is the classic Altman-esque interweaving storylines film. Great stuff. Cruise is fantastic playing a misogynistic motivational speaker.

Punch Drunk Love (2002)

Another superb casting choice where Adam Sandler proves he can act in something other than a LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) comedy. This is a terrific film with some fine set pieces, again underrated and often, disappointingly, maligned. Probably because Adam Sandler fans tuned in for some crazy fart-joke hijinks.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's in this one, incidentally. So is Luis Guzman. So is Emily Watson.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

You won't find Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C Reilly, Luis Guzman or Philip Baker Hall in this one. But you will find, in every single fucking riveting scene, a fucking mesmerising Daniel Day fucking Lewis.

This is brilliant and was released in a year that also saw the release of No Country for Old Men, making that year, 2007, fucking great. Fuck.

The conclusion? Luis Guzman needs a middle name.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A PSF to cheer you up in these dark times


She's my only true love
she's all that I think of
look here in my wallet
that's her
She grew up on a farm there
there's a place on my arm
where I've written her name
next to mine
you see I just can't
live without her
and I'm her only boy
and she grew up outside McHenry
in Johnsburg, Illinois

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Erin go Bragh!

Possibly not an historically accurate representation.

Well comrades, it seems to be an unending cavalcade of horribleness this week; Japan, Libya, the cat next door.

I’ve been trying to make sense of it all but every time I’ve sat down to write something I just get too depressed and end up staring moodily out of the window, which doesn’t do anybody any good.

In the meantime, The Boy is very excited about the Saint Patrick Day celebrations at his primary school*.

Not many people know that Saint Patrick was probably originally from Wales but in what was a piece of very successful sixth century spin, the tourism authorities back then realised the Welsh do not have a reputation of roistering, good-natured drunks and thus the decision was made to focus on the Irish portion of his CV.

Hope you all have fun tomorrow.

*And no, the school won’t be serving green coloured beer.

It will, of course, be serving ordinary beer**.

** Possibly not true.

National Days - 195 is Barely Enough

It's What Tomorrow?

St Patrick's Day is, I suppose, again coming up on 17 March. It's an excuse for everyone to get out and drink heavily at their local Irish-themed pub. These pubs are usually pretty shit. But they do serve fine beer, who could deny it?

Now I do love the Irish, their accents and their little drink Guinness (the greatest ingestible product known to man), but I'm wondering why we don't celebrate other national and/or saints' days. The most logical one, given this country's English ethnic majority, would be St George's Day on 23 April. Maybe everyone could drink gallons of warm brown ale. Or perhaps Scotland's St Andrew's day on 30 November could be an excuse for imbibing whiskey by the pint. What about St David's Day on 1 March for the Welsh? I propose drinking Gwin a Bragawd.

Then there's the Ukrainians, the Bolivians and the Kenyans. The Guatemalans, the Danes and the Mongolians. The Turks.

Depending on who you ask, there are somewhere between 192 and 195 countries in the world. I propose celebrating each of them with equal enthusiasm, which means we have a reason to drink heavily on up to 53% of all days across a single year. And if two of them coincide, one should be reallocated to a day that isn't currently celebrated. I like the idea of an even spread. This could be decided by a game of 'paper, rock, scissors' by the competing countries' presidents. Best out of 5.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A nice cuppa PSF


In my own hands I hold a bowl of tea; I see all
of nature represented in its green color.
Closing my eyes I find green
mountains and pure water within my own heart.
Silently sitting alone
and drinking tea, I feel these become part of me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The carbon tax for you at home.

"Tony Abbott is proposing what now!?"

I’ve been waiting patiently for the mainstream media, with their depth of experience and resources, to provide a detailed piece examining the proposed “carbon tax” but they’re obviously too busy tweeting or re-tweeting somebody else’s tweets* to oblige, so in the great “DIY” tradition of the Internet**, I thought I’d give it a crack myself.

At the moment companies can release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere with no more consequence than pursed lips and some “tut-tutting”***. The purpose of a carbon tax (or levy, however you want to put it) is that polluting companies will be charged a fee (yet to be set) for every ton of carbon they release.

This means that not only will there be an economic incentive for companies to switch from high-polluting to low-polluting technologies; it will also provide an incentive for consumers to move from goods and services involving large carbon emissions (costly) to goods and services involving lower carbon emissions (less costly).

It also means, as PM Jules has repeatedly said, that the costs of some things will rise, which is why some of the money raised by the carbon tax will be used to compensate lower-income earners as well as being invested in newer, greener technologies.

As to whether the PM “lied” or not, well really, who gives a fat fuck.

She said before the election that there needed to be a price on carbon. Whether you call it a “tax” or a “levy”, it’s completely irrelevant as to whether it’s good policy or not.

Based on everything I’ve read, it’s a good start.

* I don’t know what that means.

** I don’t know what that means, either.

*** I may exaggerate slightly.

Friday, March 4, 2011

An even shorter PSF!

Ohhh, classy!

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

10 Things Most People Like But Are Actually Shit

You think I give a fuck?

1. Soccer. (Yes, there really aren't enough goals scored.)
2. Google Maps. (Oh boy are those directions and timings SHIT or what?)
3. Grinderman. ("You can't criticise Nick Cave!" "Yes I fucking well can. Grinderman are shit.")
4. Meryl Streep. (You're shit!)
5. PCs/Windows/Microsoft. (Would you be happy if your car broke down EVERY day? Microsoft are SHIT!)
6. Facebook. (The MOST user-unfriendly major website around. And I DON'T CARE what you're doing/where you're going/what you're thinking - cos it's usually so fucking vacuous it hurts to read it!)
7. Twitter. (Even shitter than Facebook!)
8. Vietnam. (It's the worst place I've ever been!)
9. BMWs. (there is no real difference between a BMW X5 and a Ford Territory - other than the $80,000 discrepancy.)
10. Natural Therapies. (They might be natural but they don't fucken work!)
11. Stephen Kernahan.