Friday, September 30, 2005

They Think He's a Righteous Dude

Sometimes I wonder if there are any creationists living up in Darwin.

Creationism used to be a really easy target (Bill Hicks: “Ever notice how Creationists look really un-evolved?!”) but the focus these days has mostly switched to Intelligent Design. ID claims that because the universe is really, really, really, ridiculously complex, it can’t just be a bunch of dumb molecules and energy &c. SOMEONE MUST HAVE MADE IT SO.

The good thing about IDers is that they allow room for dinosaurs. This is an important point that many modern religions fail to consider. Creationists and Scientologists alike kind of lose a lot of props from the GP when they argue that God or Xenu or whatever put dem bones in the ground just to test our faith in God or Xenu or whatever. These people often test our faith more than a bunch of carbon dated fossils ever will.


Intelligent Design has been Big News in the US, where lobbyists have successfully demanded that ID be taught in schools alongside evolutionary theory. They argue that since evolution is just a belief, ID has as much of a claim to what I call "rightness" or "trueosity" as evolution. SMACKDOWN!

I don't really care what's taught in schools, since most of it isn't retained for long afterwards, and even less is applicable to what scientists call "The Real World". And it's odd that those in favour of evolutionary theory (the one based on evidence, logic and shit) are so whiney about how it can't be questioned. A working knowledge of evolution isn't going to help me in my ongoing battle against a corrupt local council that can't understand why I just want to be left in peace with my twelve cats and my vegie patch and my flaming backyard effigy of Richard Grieco.


But can you dig it every week of the year?

Brendan Nelson, Federal Minister for Edumacation, has endorsed the teaching of ID in high schools, probably justifying it with something about freedom of choice and all that. He justified the destruction of University Unions along these lines, too. And obviously teaching a science specifically based on a particular religious conviction isn't nearly as bad as, say, wearing a headscarf or anything.

Inventing your own explanation for the Universe and stuff has always been a good pastime for lonely people who are too shy to go to bars and too stupid to work out how to get onto the internet. The general lack of imagination is a drawback, with Intelligent Design pretty much applying current scientific principles to established beliefs.

About the only new Reason For Everything I want to hear about these days is one involving a giant underwater dancing frog who mediates an interstellar war between two dudes in bear suits. The brown bear is a good guy who gives out hugs like they're going out of style (which they totally aren't) and the pink one is loveable but always getting into trouble. There's this cop who catches the pink bear speeding and what do you think happens? You got it: in the clink with pink bear!

I'm here to blow your mind!

Carn Nanna, give your Lord a cuddle.

I'm not even a bear! I'm a pig!

Tell that to the County judge, motorhead.

You might laugh at my creed and think us foolish, while you're running around looking at monkeys and thinking "he looks oddly like grandpa". Well I guess me and my fuzzy brown Lord will have go have icecreams while you at the zoo. By yourself. Without super excellent hug-giving and fast-driving gods as buddies.

Sounds like a reasonable basis for a religion to me. At our last mass I took some snaps (not strictly encouraged at church meetings, admittedly).

Anyway, if you're looking at faith and thinking "Wella wella wella, I could get into that but what's missing is some kind of mime-based gospel preaching" look no further! Finally, K&K Mime has arrived to spread the good word without, you know, using words and stuff. But it's still good hand-clapping foot-stomping fun.


Don't skip the intro.

Friday, September 23, 2005

A Perfect Storm

When I found my calendar featured last night’s opening to Bad Boy of Cabaret® Eddie Perfect’s new show DRINK PEPSI, Bitch! I was a mite confused. Was Mr Perfect taking a turn towards Shakespeare or something? What was with the anachronistic lingo? I checked out a dictionary for some hints towards this ‘bitch’ thing, and discovered that it’s actually an archaic version of what we now call ‘byotch’ and so I was understandably worried that the show would contain lots of other old-fashioned terms like ‘troth’ and ‘prithee’ and ‘gnarly’. But then I remembered that Clueless was based on an old-fashioned book called Emma, and that was pretty gnarly, so I decided to give the show a chance.

Before my incisive reviews kicks off proper, I’d like to make note of an important point: I never use the word “byotch” or any of its earlier variants in my normal, fleshy-tongue-created conversation. This is because I don’t like to discriminate against actual byotches, who have all the rights of non-byotches like you and me, and I’m pretty sure that by now our society has been enlightened enough to know that our byotch brothers and sisters are perfectly capable of holding down jobs and contributing to society, and I fully support the move for byotches to be granted the child-bearing rights we hold for granted. Sorry to get all equal opportunity freak on your asses, but it’s something I feel strongly about. Anyway.


Everyone knows of my fairly unreasonable dislike of Eddie’s particular brand of comedy stylings, which are admittedly on the ‘knee jerk’ end of the critical spectrum (a point which lies somewhere between ‘gut instinct’ and ‘head butt’). I could never put my finger on exactly what it is that irks me about his shows, but I think it comes down to these two points: firstly, he goes for obvious targets too much of the time. Starbucks is bad. Pop music is dumb. Oprah won’t save the world. Can you handle it? Sorry to rattle your cage! And second-like, some of his stuff is just plain mean-spirited. If you hate call centres, don’t pick on the poor people who have to work in them as fat, slimy losers. Even if they are. There are plenty of the same in the cabaret business.

Also, the anti-consumerism stuff is undermined by wearing wraparound Thai fisherman-style pants. But they were very fetching.

But I’m all for openness, and I thought I’d give the show the benefit of the doubt and all that, and in that same spirit I’m now going to hand over the microphone to Eddie himself so that he can self-review (this is an ironic pomo self-reflexive thing taught in some alternative schools):

CHEAP SHOTS [music & lyrics by Eddie Perfect]

[single spot on a lone figure]

[softly] I’m just an honest booooy….
Open like sesame…
So here’s a little secret something I…
Have to confess to ye….


CHEAP! SHOTS! don’t stir pots
but give what you pinheads
Think’s daring,
uncaring that it’s fairy floss!

See though I hate lefties and festies depress-a me
I still like to look like I bitch cos I cares
I’ve a bleeding art too, so don’t think no lessa me
And for G-d’s sake don’t ask who I get in to dressa me
Cos I’m just an honest lad, open like sesame
Out here on stage just faux-hawking my wares,

So who – could – fault – me?
Dare to – insult…..

[soft] me…..for:


That and a mic and three mauve follow-spots!


Give us a run and I’ll give you the
(chord change up a fifth!)

I rant about contemp-ry perils,
Like fat kids!
And junkies!
And oh! Fucking ferals!

I’m a 40-watt meeeega-staaaaar!
But I’m much more plugged in
And switched on
And lit up
And I’m far more clued in
And decked out
And tipped off
And I’ll always be more
Respected and loved
Than you aaaaare!

My rhymes sometimes seem quite laborious, it’s true,
My ethics are contradictorious too
I’ll skewer you yuppies in pithy quick grabs!
Then after: come round and I’ll make shish kebabs!

[spoken] And now for some comedy:
I say I say I say!
What’s do you say?
I say: a woman walks into a bar and I burn her to death with petrol!
That’s a wee bit harsh!
But she was a HIPPY!
[riotous laughter, hooting and slapping of knees/re-stitching off split sides]
Oh enough, you kill me!
I will if you’re different!
[serious nodding and ‘hmmm’ing from audience]

And noooooow, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we come to that part in the show that I, personally, love the most,
Yes, we’ve spent the last hour gleefully roasting the worst aspects of modern society (and didn’t you love that bit about corporations being bad – I totally came up with it myself!), but it’s time to get a little more serious. I don’t want to get too heavy, so feel free to take as much of this away with you as you want, to talk about over expensive wines. Alternatively, you can just sit back and enjoy the music as I now…

Eat this live human baby.

[Eats baby.]

Thank you Eddie.

Now, I should really say that this show caused me to revise my opinion a bit. There was enough in here (especially during the second half) that I enjoyed, sometimes laughed at a bit, and the like. Also, there were some songs in the later part which went some way to apologising for the cheap shots – his closing number included something to the effect that he’s just a noisy kid who’ll keep at it until things change, and don’t be too annoyed by the ranting. Which is fair enough. It showed a certain level of self-awareness which kind of took him out of the smug and self-satisfied category. So that’s good. And I left thinking, well, if he kept on down that path, and let some of the older stuff go (like the “Stop Being so Damned September 10” and that godawful anti-hippy song) then I might give him more of a chance.


I think that now that I’ve extended that gracious offer, things will change, being as how my acceptance is pretty much what about 70% of Melburnians crave, according to independent studies.

After party: chicken sandwiches (didn’t touch ‘em) and some blueberry muffins, which I tried, and felt sort of weird. Not weird as in rushing to the bathroom, just weird as in eating a muffin at an after party. Not sure why that felt strange, but it did. Really good wine, too. That’s about it, folks. Nothing really notable happened.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Fully Licensed.

I live a full and original life filled with its requisite share of excitement and scandal, and I am quick to have this pointed out to new acquaintances. I am not a member of any country clubs, though I insist this is the result of design rather than circumstance. I am possessed of all the organs and body parts with which I was born, obvious exceptions such as teeth and hair aside, and like to believe that should a suffer something such as a kidney failing, there would be many friends and perhaps even several strangers who would rush to donate one of their own.

When it comes to my past, I do not confabulate. Yes, there was a time when I was most frequently seen in the company of squint-eyed gentleman carrying numerous timepieces; sure-footed women who travelled in trios; and flocks of ragged children who would pass me cryptic notes scrawled on restaurant napkins. These times are past, and I have emerged into the light of a future which still awaits many of you, and will forever be a mere shimmering mirage to even more.

All of this is simply a preamble, a belated introduction, to explain how it is that I regularly come to attend the opening of various ballets. And admittedly, this preamble explains nothing. This is its way, for which it must be forgiven.

Wednesday night saw the opening of the Australian Ballet's latest (and 2005's last) production, Sleeping Beauty. I wasn't really sold on the show before attending it, but it was only about ten minutes into the show that I had to turn to my plus one and exclaim: "I have no idea what the hell is going on. And I LOVE IT!"

Without having read the synopsis, I was pretty sure I knew the story of Sleeping Beauty. Girl falls asleep under some curse or something, Prince Charming or whoever wakes her up with an unrequested bit of smoochy smoochy. Happiness ensues, &c.

It wasn't long before I realised that this wasn't enough to fill a 3-hour-plus ballet, and so the padding we got went pretty off-track. And by padding, I mean the most expensive show the AB has done, mostly spent on awesome sets and costumes and such guff. There was plenty of gold, masses of dancers just doing their thing all over the stage at once, seemingly random characters (two dancers dressed as cats, some mechanical robot dudes, dancing kids carrying completely inexplicable wooden boxes, rat-headed monsters and so on) who were often as entertaining as the dancers who were supposed to be the focus at any one point. In fact, the whole lack of focus was what I liked: most of the time, there was so much happening that you didn't have any idea what you were meant to be paying attention to.

And the set: most of the time it was a kind of vaguely middle-Eastern/West Asian-inspired mix of stuff, with a castle coming across more like a Thai temple or Taj Mahal kind of thing. Loves it.

Of course, we're all here for the afterparty and I'm pleased as spiked punch to say that the AB finally outdid itself on this one. The Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria. Great food: soft-as-tissue vegie rice paper rolls, melting cheese crumbed and fried, caramelised onion and capsicum mini-pizza. There was also some kind of beef or lamb sandwiches, but I wasn't going near them suckers.

Drinks included pink champagne with passionfruit, vodka and slices of star fruit! Very nice.

And the only incongruous things were...models in ballerina outfits standing on podiums under spotlights - but clearly not dancers. You could tell by their stance. Not a big problem, but a bit odd. Probably well paid. I realised after a while that they were there to promote one of the sponsors, a diamond or pearl company or something.

Also, the other major sponsor of the show was Aust. Women's Weekly, so there were copies lying around everywhere. At the ballet! I know, I know, I was like, no way!

But when the curtain closes, I'm glad to see that my independently-produced theory of openings, developed by a rigorous thinktank of carefully selected local and international brains, and heavily tested in a series of hypothetical dry-runs held in controlled environments, finally proved correct. And the thesis is this: if you attend enough openings in a year, one of them is statistically guaranteed to be the best opening ever held in the universe.

Probably overstating it a bit, actually. Which is my prerogative. It's easier, and more interesting to read.

For truly, one writer's laziness is another's creative license.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Pat and Joel emote. Pt.2

Pat and Joel have strong feelings on a variety of topics, feel they are worth sharing. Today, they edge towards forbidden subjects, share a wavelength and find God (or a close family relative).

JOEL: It was New Year's Eve, 1998. I climbed onto the roof and looked out across the night, hearing the faint sounds of backyard parties and resolutions soon to be broken and the dumb roar of a billion stars overhead. I could barely feel my legs below me, so I sat down on the clay tiled roof and thought about things. I thought about what had happened during the year, about the accident, but mostly about the people I'd lost afterwards, the calls that had become more seldom, shorter and more prone to silences at the both ends of the line. I'd never cried as much as I did that year. And I wondered if I'd ever talk about it. And sure, I was still angry, angry at the justice system that couldn't explain the whole deal, at the doctors who said they'd never seen anything like this, and the people who stared at me on the street. Like I was the freak. And that night, as the staggered wave of NYE countdowns began to rise up like doves around me, each a few beats off from one another, I made a solemn vow, a vow which I hold to this day, and which-

PAT: J-Bo! Check it!

JOEL: WOOOAAAAHHH!!! And a golly old HUUUH???

PAT: Who were you talking to?

JOEL: I - what a minute! What happened to you?

PAT: Cool it, gringo! What are you talking about?

JOEL: It's ok, I'm cool now.

PAT: Are you emoting about my new tan?

JOEL: I think I am, I think I am.

PAT: Gotcha. New do to go with it, dig?

JOEL: Gnarly.

PAT: So I heard you talking there, and though I wasn't eavesdropping, I couldn't help but wish you were saying that stuff to me. We go way back, right?

JOEL: Yeah, you hit the nail on the head right there. But frankly, I was talking about the accident and I can't talk about that with you.

PAT: Why ever not?

JOEL: It is forbidden.

POPPYCOCK: Did I hear someone calling me?

PAT: Hell no, Poppycock.

JOEL: PAT! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

PAT: Sorry Joel. I'll go wash it out with soap.



POPPYCOCK: Haaaaaaaaa...

JOEL: Pop, I think you have to leave now.

PAT: Thanks. Is he gone?

JOEL: I think so.

PAT: Right. Well, I just wanted to say that I was thinking this, right: when someone tells you that they find something annoying, that's not a cue to do that thing more in an attempt to be 'funny', you with me?

JOEL: I am so on your wavelength that it hurts me.

PAT: I'm hurting too, Joel. We all are.

JOEL: And what say you to this: the immense variety of things we overlook in our day-to-day life are the things which define us to others. Do you agree?

PAT: I don't know that I understand. All I know is that I miss you when you disappear the way you do.

JOEL: There are things you can never understand.

PAT: Word. You seem so full of sadness, sometimes.

POPPYCOCK: Now I know I heard someone calling me!

JOEL: You, Poppycock, you too will die one day.



Monday, September 05, 2005

Pat and Joel emote

Pat and Joel like stuff, and want you to know about it. Today, Pat and Joel discuss nodding, bumping into stuff and related things that they feel real, plasticky emotions about.

PAT: Joel!

JOEL: Jenny! I mean Pat. What's up?

PAT: Oh, I've just been thinking about stuff.

JOEL: Stuff? What kind of stuff have you been thinking about?

PAT: Oh, nothing you'd want to hear about...

JOEL: Are you kidding? Are you pulling my freaky plastic leg? Of course I want to hear about it!

PAT: I know! I was just joking. It's what I do.

JOEL: Sure as heck is!

PAT: OK - what I was thinking about is this: you know how some people nod their heads with such gusto that it becomes like a half-body nod, their entire upper body getting in on the action?

JOEL: I think I do.

PAT: You do. It's like a head nod turned up a few notches. These crazy characters who do this amped-up nod can be annoyingly overenthusiastic, or endearingly unselfconscious. It's up to you how you interpret it.

JOEL: WOAH! Don't leave it up to me! You know I can't handle being put in that position! Especially since the accident!!!

PAT: I thought you told me it wasn't an accident?

JOEL: Yeah..but the damn cops told me to drop my investigations. It's been "officially" ruled an accident.

PAT: Righto. And if it helps, we'll say that the half-body nod is a good thing.

JOEL: Ta. Hey, why don't we work on developing a full-body nod? Sort of a long body roll that starts at the head and travels all the way down to your feet.

PAT: Right on - now I know why you're known around these parts as "the brains of the operation". Also why people forgive your freakish appearance.

JOEL: You know what else I like? People who are always walking into things. That's cute. Unless they're walking into other people, which is creepy.

POPPYCOCK: Did I hear my name?

PAT: SHIVERS, POPPYCOCK! You gave me quite the scare.

JOEL: Not me. I'm cool as.

PAT: You sure are. That's why you're unofficially known around these parts as "Charles Bronson".

JOEL: Really? I never knew that.

PAT: What about people who unknowingly wear items of clothing inside-out?

JOEL: Love it. At least if it's a t-shirt or jumper or something. Pants is a bit wrong. And socks don't really rate either way.

POPPYCOCK: I can wear things inside out.

PAT: That's ok Poppy. Listen, this is kind of a private conversation.

POPPYCOCK: Can I just listen?

PAT: No.


PAT: Why is he always hanging around?

JOEL: Well, since the...accident, he's just been around to help out. You know, when I have my episodes. I don't know where he came from.

PAT: He creeps me out.

JOEL: Not me.

PAT: Yeah, that's probably why you're unofficially known around these parts as "the dude with the creepy clown always hanging around him".

POPPYCOCK: Did I hear my name again?

PAT: Listen, I'm off to the solarium.