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.



Anonymous said...

Hi there,
This is Eddie Perfect. Just came across your blog quite by accident and had a bit of a read. I hope you don't mind, that's what the internet is for, after all... and this is probably why you posted it. I love the accountability of it all, don't you?
Firstly, I'm not sure why I'm responding to your blog, I'm not offended, I'm fine... I'm all for free speech and I totally respect your opinions... I'm just relaxing before I have to get up and do the show again tonight, so I thought I'd say "hi".
Anyway, I had a good laugh at your bit of creative writing... I may even try and incorporate it into the show... though I'm not sure how the meter works, and it'd be pretty tough to set to music... but full points for going there. I'm glad you managed an opening night ticket... unfortunately, we didn't really get to decide who came or not and as a consequence, you got tickets and people like my family didn't... not your problem... but a bit of a shame seeings as you were kinda dead set against it before you got there.
I'm not going to defend myself or anything like that... we live in the deconstructed world and your responses are valid (if a little strange)...
I will say this... full apologies for the chicken sandwhiches... I, and a couple of the members of the band a vegos, so we didn't eat them either...
The thai pants are pretty cheap, so I'm not sure how that is a contradiction when it comes to globalisation... I'm not sure what you'd rather I wear, but I'm open to suggestions... maybe I could borrow some of your clothes cos I certainly can't afford to buy any with the money the Malthouse is paying me... and I'm sorry you think having a laugh at the earnest nature of hippies is cheap (oh, and in the song, I don't burn my girlfriend with petrol, she dies is an horrific fire-twirling accident which essentially sends me into a homocidal rage... I burn all the other hippies... semantics, for sure, but necessary, I think) but a few of my friends, who are hippies, have a sense of humour about it... what can I say, not everyone's cup of chai tea, yeah?
Again, no idea why I'm responding to you, it goes against my self-imposed policy of not responding to criticism... but you went to so much trouble, I though I'd make an exception.
Suffice to say, I'm not going to follow your "DO AS I SAY AND I'LL GIVE YOU A CHANCE" instructions... cos frankly, I'm not sure you even meant for me to read your post... and, judging by your attempt at a script, it's not really award winning material, but you got some great rhymes... and the "open sesame" idea is quite left-field, but could actually work...
Anyway, if you'd payed, maybe you'd have more grounds for being disgruntled... but really you come off sounding ungrateful, bitter and mean-spirited... I am trying to do what I do, I have opinions and values like yourself, and I work my ass off to put on the show you saw for very little recompense... I appreciate you not enjoying it, that's life... perhaps you should channel your creative energies into something positive of your own as you seem to have a tight grasp on what you'd like to see and what values you'd like to see represented and in which context.
If you'd genuinely like to contact me, you can via this email address, but I suspect you won't, as you probably wrote this little piece full of the free wine you drank at my opening night.
So, to return the favour, I have taken the liberty, like yourself, to write a the "Song Of A Blogger" which you may freely set to music and perform at your local community centre... don't worry about copywrite... this one's just for you...
"The Song Of The Blogger"
To understand the meter, just make sure you read these lyrics imagining the tune is in 3/4 time, OK?
(a lamp lights up on a desk to reveal a slightly overweight, balding man... we can tell from the mess accumulated on the desk that the lone figure is most probably single)

I've returned to my sole-friend, the laptop, with grace,
Half-eaten donut crumbs stuck to my face,
all bitter and twisted,
my ten fingers blistered,
I'm sending half-cocked missives through cyber-space
The internet whispers "your views have been noted,
The masses are reading the shit that you've quoted"
I choose to be sated,
Though months I have waited,
And no one's responding, Australia's voted

I'm just a blogger/ a flogger of private ideas
Ideas that are shouted, which probably nobody hears
A froggy-like
ideas-light loner/
I dance in my underwear to "My Sharona"

I've hitched myself to the world wide web wagons
I take some time off to play dungeons and dragons
My girlfriend's "Veronica"
At least, that's her moniker
I drink diet coke from my stainless steal flaggons

I'm just so delighted that I have a forum
To vent my frustrations with zero decorum
My hard-drive hums lightly
I unplug it nightly
And take it to bed cos it's just so damn war(u)m
(sorry, false rhyme, but you did set the precedent)

Nightly I cuddle my little computer
And wake an anonymous, lonely commuter
The world is against me
but I get to vent see
My LCD future is bright...
(music slows and we hear the following, whistful tag...)
I'll be fucking the system
Cos THIS TIME they'll listen
As I, the much maligned blogger
will be back
(excrutiatingly high falsetto)

Take care,
Eddie Perfect

Born Dancin' said...

Hi Eddie,
Thanks for writing such a lucid and considered response to my post - it honestly gave me reason to go back and re-read what I'd originally wrote, and I realise now that it does come across as pretty smarmy and holier-than-thou. That wasn't my intention at all, and I should have highlighted the fact that my initial apprehensions about the show were certainly unreasonable, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. It really is a great piece to be proud of and I'm being neither sarcastic nor sucky when I write that.

The not-so-serious point of this blog is to review the aspects of opening nights which I can't write about elsewhere - mostly the catering, but also things which I find interesting but don't fit into the official mold of criticism (and also aren't really of interest to anyone but myself). It's written for a small group of people I know who sometimes come along to shows, and often hold opinions very different to my own. It's never intended to be a personal slight against anyone, and I've been told I'm a lot less sarcastic in real life. I don't hold any illusions about the petty, inconsequential nature of blog writing, and in fact kind of rely on it. I'd certainly never write this kind of ill-considered and probably ill-advised mush anywhere else.

And briefly: I'm veg too and I try to make a point of letting venues know when they're not catering to us ; the pants comment I made was just plain stupid; and the "DO AS I SAY" thing was written as a joke, since I certainly don't think anyone would or should change what they do to seek my (or any bloggers) approval.

Again, no slight intended and you seem like a good guy (and clearly a better lyricist than me). Your song made me laugh, and let's face it, I don't think mine produced any chuckles from anyone, which pretty much says it all.