Friday, December 30, 2005

The title passes too......

Now that Kerry Packer has died, there is just one question on everyones lips.

Who is now Australia's ugliest man? I'm scratching my head but I can't come up with any names.
Surely there must have been contenders. Where could they be? I know, I'll try radio. You know the old saying.

How about Dan Lonergan?
I'm stuck.... Are there any ideas????

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Paranoia, amped and wired

Wandering through Barkly Square the other day, I witnessed the following incident. As it is Christmas, there were some girls dressed as elves handing out advertising flyers. As with most flyers, people who were given the piece of advertising material with the carefully thought out wording and picture placement took great care of it by carefully folding it and dropping the pamphlet in the nearest bin.
Sitting on a bench was a man in his late fifties probably of mediteranian background observing all these people thanking the elves for the pamphlet, walking a few metres and then disposing of it. One particular guy who was handed the flyer was of anglo-saxon background, aged in his mid to late 20's and dressed smartly in a white wife-beater and tan stubby shorts. His arms had that layer of puppy fat that should have disappeared when he was 20 and his legs had obviously decided to join in on the puppy fat action. His facial expression matched that of a Collingwood supporter who couldn't understand why Eddie McGuire hadn't been awarded the "Nobble Prize for Football". Let's call him Kevin Oz.
As Kevin repeated the actions of everyone else who had passed by this particular bin, the old man had a chuckle, obviously thinking about the ridiculous nature of the pamphlet situation. Kevin turns around and starts accusing the man of "having a go of me". The old man says no, yet Kevin still persists "Are you having a go of me?" and does this in a threatening nature. I decided to intervene and went up to Kevin to explain that the man was laughing at the situation, not at him. All that Kevin could say was, "I fought he was havin' a go at me." and he repeated this quite a few times. He had no comprehension that the incident could be viewed in any other way then in the way he saw it.
Is this another sign of the level of paranoia amoungst "little Johnny's battlers"? Kevin just could not comprehend the situation and he must be under the impression that everyone is looking at him and only him. Is he so insecure and frightened about the people around (especially in Barkly Square which is visited by a diverse range of people) that he must be "alert and alarmed"? What can be done to change this attitude? It saddens me to think that there are many who behave this way.
One final thought: Kevin made no attempt to apologise to the old man for accusing him without foundation. Another indication of what sort of culture is being developed in this country.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Yes Minister

On the 7.30 report last night Kerry interviewed Senator Robert Hill. Now Sen. Hill is a South Australian, as is the now resigned board member of the Reserve Bank Robert Gerard. Kerry asked him if he intimately knew Gerard. Sen. Hill said he knew Gerard and his family very well. Kerry then asked if he knew of Gerard's tax problems since there were court proceedings, newspaper reports about it and, more importantly, since Sen. Hill knew him intimately. Sen. Hill replied he didn't know about it. This reminded me of an episode of 'Yes Prime Minister' in which a certain group of bankers lent money to some crooks who couldn't repay the loans. The bankers didn't make inquires because "The crooks seemed like decent chaps, so the Decent Chap Rule applies: decent chaps don't check up on decent chaps to see if they are behaving decently. Nor do they really mind people being crooks. What they do mind is people finding out that people are crooks. Worse still, people finding out that people knew that people were crooks." I think that Sen. Hill must have watched this show and taken copious notes.

The same episode also describes the logical process known as the Politicians' Syllogism.
Step one: Something must be done.
Step two: This is something.
Step three: Therfore we must do this.

Sound familiar???? I think this logic forms the basis of the policies put forward by the Howard government over the last few years.

Step one: The country needs to be more productive/safer/alert.
Step two: We can pass legislation.
Step three: So we must pass legislation.

This is logically akin to:
Step one: All dogs have four legs.
Step two: My cat has four legs.
Step three: Therefore my cat is a dog.

This is what happen when you study economics. Logic gets thrown out the window. Rational thought. What's that? Didn't the Dark Ages and religious dogma put an end to that?

Monday, December 05, 2005

My turn to be Margaret or David

I watched My Favourite Film last night. Lord of the Rings (the whole trilogy) was voted the favourite film. To me that film was booooring. I saw the first one and didn't bother to see any of the others. Anyway, I got to thinking about my favourite film and I can say that I don't really have one. But there are some films which I can watch over and over again. They may not be the greatest films ever, but they have something about them which demands a re-viewing. So here are some of my favourites in no particular order and it could change tomorrow:

Animal House
Some great quotes in this film.
Dean Wormer: "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son. "

Hoover: "They confiscated everything, even the stuff we didn't steal!"

Otter: "Flounder, you can't spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up -- you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it!"

Bluto: "My advice to you is to start drinking heavily."

The Great Escape
Not historically accurate, but a great adventure flick. Who hasn't thought about tunneling out of their place of imprisonment.

This is Spinal Tap
The greatest logical argument ever is in this film. There are so many who use this form of logic without realising it.
Nigel Tufnel: "The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and -"
Marty DiBergi: "Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?"
Nigel Tufnel: "Exactly."
Marty DiBergi: "Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?"
Nigel Tufnel: "Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?"
Marty DiBergi: "I don't know."
Nigel Tufnel: "Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?"
Marty DiBergi: "Put it up to eleven."
Nigel Tufnel: "Eleven. Exactly. One louder."
Marty DiBergi: "Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?"
Nigel Tufnel: [Pause] "These go to eleven."

Flying High
Again, gags at 100 miles per hour.
Lady: "Nervous?"
Striker: "Yes."
Lady: "First time?"
Striker: "No, I've been nervous lots of times."

Mrs Geline: "I haven't felt this awful since I saw that Ronald Reagan film."

I cannot forget Howard Beale (Peter Finch) screaming "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!". A film about television that can't possibly be true. Could Australian networks take this attitude? Do you think they look at programming the same way?

Diana: "I watched your 6 o'clock news today; it's straight tabloid. You had a minute and a half of that lady riding a bike naked in Central Park; on the other hand, you had less than a minute of hard national and international news. It was all sex, scandal, brutal crime, sports, children with incurable diseases, and lost puppies. So, I don't think I'll listen to any protestations of high standards of journalism when you're right down on the streets soliciting audiences like the rest of us. Look, all I'm saying is if you're going to hustle, at least do it right."

How could you go past a bath scene in which Antonius (Tony Curtis) and Marcus Licinius Crassus (Laurence Olivier) discuss whether eating snails or oysters is moral. Crassus, of course, has a taste for both. Cut to the next scene where Antonius has run away and joined Spartacus. Antonius only likes oysters.....

Some Like it Hot
A very funny film. Great direction. Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marylin Monroe. Comedy gold.

Lawrence of Arabia
Over three hours but it glued me to the screen. The film captures the essence of the desert.