Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Idol Banter

In news that will warm the teeny-bopping, Idol-loving, reality tv show-fanatic hearts across Australia, the judges of our "GREATEST" source of contemporary music are AT WAR! The Age online is reporting that:

...new Australian Idol judge Kyle Sandilands has been warned not to upset fellow celebrity panellist Marcia Hines when the third series of the talent search show returns tonight. "Marcia Hines could crack a walnut between her biceps," said co-host James Mathison. "They're huge. They're massive, big strong arms."

But it gets better and infinitely more juicy...

He's already admitted conflict with both Hines and Holden over contestants he has put through at auditions. "Marcia's walked off the set," Sandilands said last month. "Him (Holden) and I have argued and argued and argued until the producers told us to shut up and get the next person to come in."

Hoorah! Finally a reason to watch this show! As if threatening to punch the lights out of Frenzal Rhomb's guitarist Jay Whalley wasn't enough...

NB: The full audio of this hilarious non-punching incident is available at http://www.frenzalrhomb.com.au/ under the downloads section.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 3:35 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Simone Warne is apparently devastated. Her leg-spinning legend of a (now ex) husband has cheated once too often, been caught once too many times with his thumb hovering over the send button of an explicit text message to a student nurse or other smouldering temptstress. Its sad, really it is.

But all is not lost!

Victoria's broadsheet daily, The Age published this humerous image.


You work it out...

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 3:23 PM :: 1 Comments:

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It's Official. I'm Loaded.

I'm the 846,675,292 richest person on earth!

Discover how rich you are! >>

...which puts me in the top 14%! Woot! You can't argue with maths now can you?

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 3:19 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I Feel Like Sinning...

So, Dave let me off the head for a short while to allow my Hatterness Goodness a chance to wax lyrical about the film of the year: Sin City. Sin City is good. Real good. Robert Rodriguez knew how good it was even BEFORE he had made it...so much so, he quit the Directors Guild just so as he could have the original writer and master that is Frank Miller, help him co-direct. The result is worthy of me taking off My Hat to. Shot almost completely in black and white, the effect is a visual feast for the eyes. There is the occasional splash of colour; flashing police lights, pools of blood or the golden hair of a prostitue. The reproduction from the comic is quite faithful, down to the words and the frame by frame unfolding of the action. The story is tight, the action great, the performances stunning. Oh...and it has scantily clad ladies with guns in it. Yes, I thought you'd like that bit.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 2:44 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Do Moles Take The Piss?

We have a problem with language. "Shock, horror!" I hear you cry. But I was so moved by a number of recent incidents on commercial Australian television that myself and The Hat felt strong enough to have a rant here.

Case Study One: The use of the word "piss." Now, while watching a promo for the upcoming series of a popular Australian reality music show, one of the judges was moved to tell a particularly bad auditioner that he was "taking the piss" out of him. Now, taking the piss is a very Australian slang term. Indeed, it has rapidly become one of the great Australian terms (along with "Gday!", "Strewth!" and "Whack another shrimp on the barby, mate!") that are in everyday use. Adults use them. Teenagers use them. Even primary school kids use them. So my question is thus: WHY WAS IT BLEEPED OUT? Please don't tell me that 6.15pm on a weeknight is such a family orientated time that our little spawns cannot cope? They hear worse at school! They will watch the unedited version when the show kicks off in a few weeks! Geez, even the Big Brother housemates use more colourful language, yet the money says you won't be stopping them from watching!

Case Study Two: This follows on from number one, not some 15 minutes later. The setting is a popular Australian soap opera involving kids and teenagers at their local schools, and an assorted number of adults as they continue a daily struggle to bring meaningful existence to their lives. Tensions ensue. They always do. And in the heat of the moment, one such young female character was so moved emotionally that she called another female character a "mole". Now, cast aside the usual connotations involving small, furry and blind mammals for a short moment here. The word 'mole' in our localised communities here in this big brown land was, and for the most part still is, considered an extremly derogatory word. Something along the lines of 'wanker', 'dickhead' and 'bloody idiot' though perhaps a little more biting (or less, depending on your view). But THIS WASNT BEEPED OUT. And neither it should be, perhaps. People here worse at school, on the bus or - if you or your parents listen to shock jocks - on the radio on a daily basis.

My point is this: 'piss' is considered bad, yet 'mole' in this context is considered good. Piss, bad. Mole, good.




What the?

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Dance Of The Song Title Fairies

Following on from MoaMahH Episode 1 ("Every Good Beginning"), I have furthered my quest to find more creative and unique song titles out there, and came up with another band - and one of the few current ones - that deserves entry into the song title hall of fame. That band is Washington based indie-pop group Death Cab For Cutie. Yes they were making music BEFORE that OC gig. And with album titles like "We Have The Facts And We're Voting Yes" and "You Can Play These Songs With Chords", I think we have found ourselves another bastion of hope against dull song titles!

And while my memory is jogged, I think we should put Cake in there too. "Sheep Go To Heaven" is a classic, and they had many more interestingly titled songs. I can recommend a trip to www.gracenote.com and doing a search for them to further your education.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 10:24 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Bro!

To Gregor Scott: many happy (belated) birthday wishes! Hope the day was awesome, and you celebrated in style.

Take Care.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 11:49 AM :: 1 Comments:

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Ninja Dwarfs!

It had to happen. Im just surprised it took them this long (yes, the arbitary 'them'). A short little bite in the paper yesterday has made it known that the Disney children's classic Snow White is about to be transformed into...A MARTIAL ARTS EPIC WITH SHAOLIN TEMPLE NINJA MONKS REPLACING THE SEVEN DWARFS! Now of course, such a movie would live and die by the title, so they came up with the eerily appropriate "Snow And The Seven". Oooo errrr! I really hope they get Tarantino and Rodriquez to help out. Wouldn't it be cool if Uma Thurman was Snow, the poor girl living in the forest with only her katana for company, occasionally helped out by Harvey Kitel and his gang of ninja-to wielding uber-assassins? Yes, yes it would be very cool. Apparently this kung-fu remake is supposed to appeal to the developing Chinese cinema market...but isnt this just taking stereotypes too far? Maybe. But I guess they had the same thought I did..."Ooooo, ninja dwarfs. Hehehehe." Though it can't be all bad and tacky: they have the genius that is Yuen Woo-ping to do the fight choreography. For those not in the know, he also did the Matrix Trilogy and Kill Bill. And they also have a Pluitzer prize winning author to do the script in Michael Chabon. Oh, please bring this out soon.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 10:58 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Procrastination and Poker: Both Start With P...

...but, alas, both end the same way: in a thoroughly enjoyable usage of time that may or may not be better served elsewhere.

So the boys (henceforth known as Bekky "The Shuffler" McKnuckles and Somo "The Man") and I got together this Saturday night past (along with The T, KT and El Steveos) to ATTEMPT to join the rapidly overflowing bandwagon that is Texas Hold'em Poker. Much like everything else, it looks so easy on TV. (Think cooking shows, but without thousands of dollars. Or even make over shows, without the fresh faced presenters that are battery farm bred out in the Channel 10 House of Wax. But I digress...)

Needless to say that many a paddlepop stick was broken in jest, thrown across the table in disgust or placed up interesting hide-e-holes in the bid for a cheap laugh (which were, due to an overconsumption of sugary beverages, successful). The night can be summed up thus: not alot of winning, though The T took it upon herself to kick my ass (and succeded), KT succeded in folding nearly every good hand she had (which was undoubtedly the fault of the decks we were using...they just wont give us beginners a real break!), I lost all my paddlepop sticks due to my ineptitude in calculating the winning hand required, and The Shuffler, well, shuffled. All in all, we had a ball. Kinda glad it wasn't for cash.

But really, Texas Hold'em was just the warmup for the nights festivities. It was onto the brutal, hardcore, blood sport that is...SPOONS! Yes, it was on for young and old, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to think that the humble spoon was the real winner of the day, but I would be lying. Again it was The T and El Steveos that reigned supreme. But we were not done yet. We moved onto blackjack which got a smile from everyone...how easy is it to play (and succeed) at this game?!

I think the lasting memory of the night that hung with everyone was "I'm not drunk enough for this game yet...". (Well there was that other one about Billie Piper and her 'hands on' approach, but we won't go there...!) Yes, much like the 21st Centuries other popular vices (namely, watching bogans and rednecks attempt procreation on 24 hour tv stations or, alternately, doing lines of substances off the bodies of hot, young things)poker is a game best served chilled, with maybe a little ice and nay, plenty of fun loving folk.

For those interested in whiling away some fake money and a few hours: www.pokerstars.com but remember: gambling is addictive and could cause you to lose your house, family, friends and hair! (And maybe even your friends hair too) Journalinity takes no responsibility for any of these losses, and on top of that, did not cause El Nino and did not cause the French to lose the 2012 Olympics.

And now, a short word from a person much funnier than I:

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 7:13 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

We Interrupt Our Usual Broadcast (5)...

New numbers are in. At least 45 people have been confirmed dead, and the number of casualties is still in the many hundred. At least 7 people are said to have died on the tour bus explosion alone.

And the European based Al-Qaeda linked group that is claiming responsibility is being named on the ABC website as the Organisation of Al Qaeda Jihad in Europe, and has threatened further attacks (supposedly) in Italy, Denmark and other Coalition of The Willing countries.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 11:35 PM :: 3 Comments:

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We Interrupt Our Usual Broadcast (4)...

Seems that its not just the human cost people are counting. Apparently the FOOTSIE has lost 2.32% of its value (down 200+ points) since the start of the day and the beginning of the explosions. Given that the explosions were seemingly targeted at the financial district of Liverpool Station, thats hardly surprising really...

DFAT have now put out two numbers for concerned family and friends here in Australia: 1300 555 135 and now also 1800 00 22 14.

George Bush spoke on TV/Radio just minutes ago from the G8.

Tony Blair had an opportunity to express our hearfelt condolences to the people of London. I applaud Prime Minister Blair's steadfast determination and faith...This morning I made contact with our Homeland Security folks, and I instructed them to be in contact with local and state officials about the facts with what took place here in london, and be extra vigilant as our folks are heading to work. The contrast between what we see here on the TV, and what you see first hand is quite vivid to me. On the one hand we have people here working to bring an end to world poverty, to help rid the world of the pandemic of aids, and of ways to have a clean environement. And on the other hand we have people killing innocent people. ...those who have such evil in their heart, that they will take the lives of innocent folks. The war on terror goes on. I was most impressed with the resolve in the room. It is like my resolve. And I yield to these people. But we will not yield to these terrorists...And we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion, that will overcome their ideology of hate.

The London Ambulance Service now puts the the figure of serious injuries at 150.

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We Interrupt Our Usual Broadcast (3)...

CNN journalist William Chamberlin is reporting that the death toll is now in the double digits just at Kings Cross, and that the previously mentioned rescue mission for survivors has become recovery for bodies. But there is still no confirmation if any of the dead are Australian.

Australian PM John Howard in a recent ABC interview.
I express my horror and disgust by this cowardly attack...these sorts of attacks will not alter the determination of these countries to do the right thing. And it is important that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our British allies at this time...The information I have is that it is a terrorist attack...Australins will feel very deeply about this as London is still the place they have great affinity with...

But the cricket continues! Australia 5 wickets down for 137. Clarke the last to go for just 2 runs. Martyn still there on 30, and Hussey on 7.

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke on a recent voice grab.
The situation is developing...I can say there have been four explosions. One at Oldgate East. The second on a bus in Woven (?)Place. Third on a tube train between Russel Square and Kings Cross...Of course our first responsibility is to protect and support the public at this time...On transport, the underground is closed, certainly for today, and probably for some time...Airports are operating normally.

And the Melbourne ABC are now reporting that it is a previously unknown group, linked to Al-Qaeda, that has claimed responsibility for the blast.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 10:18 PM :: 0 Comments:

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We Interrupt Our Usual Broadcast (2)...

DFAT Hotline is still clogged here in Australia, and it sounds as if mobile coverage and most landline coverage is down in the London metro area, though emails are getting through apparently so for those looking to make contact, persist with that. Also, most major news sites seem to be clogged as well, so try some creative google searching.

Im going to post some more updates so will give them bold colouring.

ABC Lateline are just leading with a story saying that there are still people trapped in a train at the Kings Cross Station Subway.

Freddie Mercury and Brian May will be so happy. The humble bicycle is proving the best form of transport for anyone in the metro area. Though the police presence is such that to get anywhere you would have to be lucky. Also, most report that the bomb on the double decker bus was actually a tour group, and a recent caller to ABC Radio said that London has the highest population of New Zealanders outside of the country itself. The impact could be far greater than just London.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 9:53 PM :: 0 Comments:

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We Interrupt Our Usual Broadcast...

The London metro system is in chaos after at least 6 explosions ripped through the underground during morning peak hour. Surprisingly, the only figure of casualties stands at 90 injuries and still only a handful of confirmed deaths at this stage.

Tony Blair's first appearance on TV live from the G8 summit in Scotland, confirmed that they believe it is certainly a terrorist attack, and the BBC monitoring service reports that a European website has a statement from a known terrorist (Al-Qaeda) group that they are trying to translate to see whether it is related or not.

Paul Woodrow, Ambulance Incident Officer at Russel Square. (apologies now for the spelling)
I can confirm explosions Kings Cross, Russel Square, Edgeware Road,and Leicester Square Undergound Stations. Also an explosion on a bus in Taberstock Place. We believe we are dealing with a large number of casualties.

A visibly distressed Tony Blair from G8.
It is reasonably clear that there has been a series of terrorist attacks in London. There are obviously casualties, both people who have died and those who are seriously injured...It is my intention to leave the G8 and go down to London and get a face to face report...It is the will of all of the leaders of the G8 however, that the meeting continue...that we continue to disscuss the issues we were going to discuss...each of those countries around the table have had some experience in terrorism...Its particularly barbaric that this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try and help poverty africa, and climate change worldwide...it is also recently clear that it is designed and aimed to conincide with the G8. There will be time to talk later about this. Its important however, that those engaged in terorrism realise that our determiantion to defend our values and way of life, is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction and extremism on the world. Whatver they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country, and in other civilised nations around the world.

A hopsital near one of the blast sites is apparently dealing with a range of injuries, from loss of limbs, exstensive burns and hearing loss.

Australian relatives who are concerned for family in London should contact the DFAT line on 1300 555 135, but communications is proving a major issue. Landline and mobile networks appear to be done throughout all of the metro region, and the DFAT line is clogged.

And apparently some dude tried to light a fire at the PMs office here in Canberra while armed with a knife. Some people will never learn.

And now to the cricket. Australia 2 for 84. Ponting on 5. Martyn on 10. So the world continues to turn. And if you are watching this live, you will doubt be warmed in your heart and lungs to know that Channel 10 is continuing regular programming. May the rednecks in Big Brother and the latest Law & Order NEVER BE STOPPED!

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 9:11 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Tennis. A game for those who like grass.

So in true Wimbledon spirit, myself and the boys decided to kit up in our best sporting whites and make an effort to relive Aussie Lleyton's more famous moments of baseball cap wearing, hand talking bliss. (And in true Wimlbedon spirit, it almost didnt happen, as our court was occupied by a group of individuals pursuing a game of soccer over the net. Kind of like volleyball but not. Kind of like tennis, but not. Not really sport then, more just a waste of time.)

I have watched at least one game of tennis on the TV so I feel more than qualified to discuss its finer points and establish a few ground rules. Firstly, the size (or indeed the cost) of ones racquet is not necessarily reflective of the tennis ability inherent in the wielder. Truth be told, the aforementioned group of soccer-tennis people were much more succesful in getting their ball of choice over the net. Sure, the ball was bigger, but are you picking up the theme here? Bigger does not mean better. Size does not matter! Anyone who is telling you otherwise can be safely relegated to the domain of table tennis.

Table Tennis! Now there is a sport that ninja's play. All shadowy movements and hooded competitors dueling to the death. Blink, and your wondering how the score went from 10 love to 12 - 7 when you swear the players didnt move. But this is no game. We're talking projectile launchers swinging faster than the rotary blades on your lawn mower; projectiles themselves that look all cute, cuddly and white (read: white = purity) up close, but end up weighing like a brick, hurtling toward you at a speed that would make an exorcet missile blush. Yes folks, the humble game of table tennis is second only to ice hockey for sheer brutality in sports. Where they have blokes, blades and beer (oh, and apparently ice is important), table tennis has NINJAS! NINJAS PEOPLE! Dont believe me? I can recommend video of the World Championships of 2003 - http://videoping.online.fr/en/index.php?page=videos&event=wch03. And if you want to see something that will make you incontinent with delusions of sporting grandeur, try watching the doubles match. It will make your eyes water.

But, back to tennis. I think the other factor that many of you would be able to relate to is that of spectating. More than any other sport (except perhaps golf but really, Virtual Garden Walks On The World Wide Web has rendered such a past time sensibly redundent), when the major tournaments roll around, EVERYONE feels like a qualified coach/trainer/ref/anecdotal evidence collector. The first seed is down match point and you know that within seconds, the person with the stubbie in his hand next to you is going to loosen his vocal chords with some ludicrous statement, for example:

"You know what his problem is? His serve. That's his problem."
"He's just not covering enough of the ground."

First off. The only thing you know about serving is when that bottle of beer was spilt on you at the bar last Australia Day. Secondly, this isnt a contest about laying carpet, and you can be damn sure he/she/they are more athletic than you and me and our remote button push fest. Yes I admit it, I have been one of these couch hooligans too. But I have seen the light! After pacing around a poured concete court in fading light with no possible prospects of ever winning anything resembling expensive glassware, I see now that it is wrong for us to criticise these poor elite athletes. Whacking a ball with an overhyped snow show across an emaculately groomed surface is difficult. If anything, they are taking one for the team by embracing their calling to an obviously so painful and torturous game in the bid to entertain us! Oh let us build a homage, with candles and incense, to the wonders that is professional sport!

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 1:29 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

War of the...hey look its Tom Cruise!

Little green men! Little green men!!!! Run for your lives!!!!

Went and saw Spielberg's incarnation of HG Wells classic sci fi, the War of the Worlds. I was pleasantly surprised that it didnt dissapoint me, and ended up being quite an eerie romp through the American countryside with all the good things that hide glaring plot deficiencies; freaky blood weeds, merciless mechanised alien invaders and big f-off explosions. Never matter how Robbie survived the maelstrom that was the Tripod Of Death. Fact of the matter is he managed to wing his way to Boston with nary a scratch on him, beating Tom and the Portable Scream Machine (aka Dakota Fanning) who, lets face it, weren't exactly dawdling. And why was Boston the sanctuary of choice from little green men? Is it because that we humans realised that even aliens from outerspace wouldnt be able to stand another David E. Kelly legal drama? Maybe even aliens are scared of the neigh on mythical Denny Crane? Maybe just luck of the Irish? But I digress.

Tom Cruise must have one of the most annoying faces in showbiz. Its like "Oh My God Im Marrying Katie Holmes." Which is an improvement on "Oh My God Im A Human Deer Caught In The Headlights". Only a true student of film would be able to pick the subtle improvements. I think it has something to do with the hair. I really do try to like Tom. Really, I do. But that smile. That jumping on furniture. And the point of all this? It is impossible to immerse yourself into a film, suspend your pathetic little reality for a second and go "Hey, that guy is a loser of a dock worker. I can relate to that. Wow. This film is special." No, with Tom's pearly whites flashing at you and stunned mullet expression, we are instead treated to Tom overload. Fact is, Jerry McGuire is the closest to being 'in character' that we have seen Tom. Its just impossible to sit there without thinking "Oh that poor girl. She misses her mum. Lets hope they are reunited...but why is she with Tom Cruise? Wasnt he married to that Aussie actress?"

I can hear the naysayers already. "If you are so good Dave, who would you have had instead?" Michael Caine? Ed Norton? Johnny Depp? Will Smith? Ernie and Bert in a man suit? Dont make me laugh myself to death. I really dont care. Such arguments are juvenile and nigh on par with "he started it/no she did". Lets deal with facts: Tom is too big. Hollywood has an obsession with the pulling power of stars. Spielberg is a genius, perhaps only overshadowed by Tim Burton, but the fact is, movies dont need such obvious, teenage-esque, scarily wooden, unsexy, monobrow clad actors to succeed. It took a relative unknown to take Batman back to the top of the box office without going straight to video (Christian Bale). Ditto for Spiderman. At least that dude has powers.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 9:52 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Every good beginning...

So I decided to pop my journal cherry today. And while this will no doubt come as a relief to many, to some it will be met with pure dread.

And todays topic is song titles. It has come to my attention that today's generation of artists - irrespective of genre - have no creative qualities at all when it comes to labeling the tracks on their albums. A simple look at the iTunes top 10 for the end of June provides interesting reading. We have the simple, one word titles for those who cant handle multiple syllables ("Switch", Will Smith). Oooo, your so fresh Will.

Then we have those with supposedly creative spelling...("Dont PHUNK with My Heart", Black Eyed Peas). When did adding a PH make everything so much better? A certain dairy product company tried to link in with contemporary notions of 'coolness' with the seasoned version of their popular PHilly cheese, and if a rapper is to be legit this year, he needs to be PHat. (This is perhaps the exact reason as why Fat Joe has failed to have a successful solo career. There is not enough PH in his Fat.) Perhaps I am overlooking the basic aspect of such spelling...that it all links back to chemistry. Yes, the humble pH rating has finally crossed over, no longer neglected in the bargain bins of yesteryears labratories.

And finally then, we have the just plain banal ("We Belong Together", Mariah Carey). She married Tommy Mottola. Need I say more.

Now, as a child of a generation that favours thumbs for joypad play, I am supposed to sympathise with such tearful attempts at artistic license. Thank the god that you worship that there are older siblings to set those of us willing to expand our minds straight. It is only then we can truly appreciate some of the greats of song labeling. Here are some of my favourites from a weekend raid on my brothers collection:

Ed Kuepper - "Also Sprach The King Of Euro Disco"
The The (not strictly a song name, but a band whose creativity was obviously infinitely more superior than Kelly Clarkson)
Sucidal Tendencies - "I Saw Your Mommy"
Buzzcocks - "Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldnt Have?"
The Clash - "Julie's Been Working For The Drug Squad"

...and of course, The Ramones, who managed to find new and interesting ways to label songs by affixing the prefix "I Dont Wanna"...eg:
I Dont Wanna: "...Walk Around With You", "...Be Tamed", "...Be Learned", "...Go Down To The Basement".

And the contemporaries? Seminal Oz punk group Frenzal Rhomb come up with some classics ("Mum Changed The Locks" and "Genitals Are Funny" rate mentions), but because they failed to graduate top of their class on the latest reality pop idol show wiht blingin' music and PHat judges, they barely rate a mention.

So there you have it. We are missing out. And the world is worse for it.

And the picture? The Buzzcocks. Ha. I just said cock. Get over it.

Posted by Dave The Hat :: 11:11 PM :: 2 Comments:

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