Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tropfest 2006

Firstly, let me just say EAT SHIT SYDNEY!!! Sucks to your pooey wet weather.

Went down to Tropfest at the Myer Music Bowl in BALMY Melbourne on Sunday evening. Great night, great turn out, glorious weahter.

And the right film wun it I tells you. Rob Carlton was fabulous in Carmichael & Shane, a beautifully funny film about 'picking a favorite'. It really made me chuckle about the whole, education is wasted on stupid people rationalist IPA agenda. You stuck it right up them Mr Carlton, with a touch of humour and a touch of heart.

It was disappointing to read yesterday that the Snakepit had already been submitted to another festival about a year ago, because that was a great movie also. Fishy was simply WRONG, whilst the most aesthetically pleasing movie for me was Carnivore Reflux. Wonderful monty-python-esque animation, with little cocks, spewing and vegan vegetable farting. JOY.

The most blatant we love muslims, don't judge a book by it's cover, politics in the age of terrorism award goes to the movie Last Stop. A boring film, with a deserving message. Films like these make the left look like a bunch of whinging fucking sooks. I wholeheartedly agree with the message (in fact it would be difficult to find people who didn't agree), but the film was just insipid and weak.

The Sister was also a great movie, up yours sis. (Although I wouldn't mind it if my sister tried to hook me up with her hot friends). Bubbleboy was equally heartwarming, where a boy's near death experience frees him from fear, and reveals new opportunities for love. DOUBLE JOY.

Some hits, some misses, but altogether a good night out! Would have liked to see the other 600 films.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Dana Vale is a Dill

For conclusive evidence see this rambling opinion piece. Has there ever been a more vociferous effort on behalf of a member of parliament to prove themselves incompetant? Er, sorry, I'm not racist, I'm just stupid. Not only has she sought to make personal explanations twice, but now this op ed piece in the Age. And why hasn't Dana's personal crusade to raise public awareness of her own stupidity rung PR alarm bells in Liberal headquarters. The powers that be obviously feel that a little bit of Muslim bashing is good for business.

We all remember the notorious RU486 doorstop where she referred to the comment of Abu Bakir Bashir made in 2002 that Australia would become a Muslim country in 50 years, and against this context that "Australians are almost aborting ourselves out of existence".

Dana your comments were racist and offensive towards Muslim Australians because:

a) You represented Abu Bakir Bashir, an Indonesian and a convicted terrorist sympathiser, as in some way representing the opinions of Australian Muslim clerics and by inference Asutralian Muslims; and
b) your idea of 'Australians' implicitly excluded Muslim Australians.

Get it?

I know that some of your best friends are Lebs, and all those close to you know you aren't a racist, but next time you reach for the dog whistle, try not to choke on it!

Candle Records 100th Release Gig

Ventured out last night to the Candle Records gig essentially to see the Small Knives who I'd been meaning to catch up with for a long time. I was a bit hesitant about the $18 cover charge, however for five or so hours of flat out entertainment it turned out to be great value.

Now some of my highlights.

Firstly the Small Knives, I particularly loved the first song, despite a few sound glitches. And it was good to see what Leo from Missing Link does with his spare time. Sublime, touching, beautiful.

Darren Hanlon paying the shit out of Ben Lee, and reminding all in attendence that 'happiness is just a chemical.' Clever and catchy.

And last, but not least, the Lucksmiths. Upbeat and chirpy as hell as per usual. Finishing on 'Ask' by The Smiths with Darren Hanlon was a great moment, and 'T-shirt weather' couldn't have been more appropriate ever- because it was stinking fucking hot.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Boot Changes Foot?

Well, it's good to see the boot on the other foot for a change. David Cameron looks like a reverse Steve Bracks, in his move to shift the Tories to the wet middle of politics in the UK! Well selling out party principle, and being a minature John Howard has worked well for Bracksy over the past two state terms. Good luck to him. But the tut tutting elder death beasts of the party are getting restless.

'Lord Tebbit, former party chairman, compared Mr Cameron's "purge" of Thatcherism to the actions of Pol Pot. Then came an uncomfortable meeting with the No Turning Back group of Thatcherite MPs and a warning from Derek Conway, a senior aide to Mr Davis, that Mr Cameron could lose the traditional Tory vote if he moved too far, too fast.'

too far, too fast. We are talking about the tory party here!

Watching David Cameron and the UK Conservatives crawl up to young, progressive voters through an attempted hi-jacking of the third way bandwagon is puke making. Talk about complete inability to create a new policy agenda for themselves. Your about 10/15 years behind the times fellas.

Cameron's attempt to portray himself as a 'compassionate conservative' has a familiar ring to it. I don't think voters in the US, UK or Australia are going to vote for anyone trying to occupy the 'Bush position' any time soon.

Oh well. Good luck to him trying to insert a bit of 'caring, with evident moral values' into a visionless, sterile and morally bankrupt death beast of a party.

Three posts and I haven't defamed anyone grievously yet. Joy

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mean Streets

Reading this article in todays Sun Herald was concerning, I think probably to all cyclists who spend a lot of time training out on the roads. But as concerning as it was, it is nothing out of the ordinary. This is the sort of terrorism cyclists face frequently out on the roads. Drivers are prepared to drive within centimetres of riders in order to save 10 seconds on there trip time, or let off their own frustrations on others.

It made me reflect on the article from radio national's resident reactionary Michael Duffy that encouraged me start up this blog. Duffy wants to ban the bike, because, he argues cycling as an activity and form of transport has proved itself to be the equivalent of communism. SHOCK HORROR. Try telling the 50 year old fatties at cafe racer with their colnagos that they're communists!

According to Duffy bikes are dangerous to ride and slow- well my commute time in Melboure takes 40 minutes less by bike than by car. And as for dangerous, 346 Victorians were killed on the roads in 2005 driving cars, and around 6000 were seriously injured. How many cyclists were killed Duffbot? How many car accidents were caused by cyclists more to the point.

He also blames cyclists for traffic congestion in Sydney- what we need is more highways, more tollways, more urban sprawl- that will improve traffic flows no doubt. Don't worry about the heavy reliance on cars, and the lack of public transport.

Nobody rides bicylces in Western Sydney he says. On what basis does he make this assertion?The Westlink people don't keep any statistics on the use of the bikepath. But according to Duffy, nobody rides on this new bike path. OK we believe you Duffbot.

Altogether, the Duff generates a lot of heat with his inflamatory arguments, but not a lot of light.

I think George Monbiot hit the spot with his article linking the rise of anti-social ideology with driving culture.

'I believe that while there are many reasons for the growth of individualism in the UK, the extreme libertarianism now beginning to take hold here begins on the road. When you drive, society becomes an obstacle. Pedestrians, bicycles, traffic calming, speed limits, the law: all become a nuisance to be wished away. The more you drive, the more bloody-minded and individualistic you become. The car is slowly turning us, like the Americans and the Australians, into a nation which recognises only the freedom to act, and not the freedom from the consequences of other people’s actions. We drive on the left in Britain, but we are being driven to the right.'

Duffy can count himself as one of the anti-social bastards, and we can do without his brand of individualism, which ignores the impact of individual behhaviour on the other. He is the intellectual apologist for road-raging hoons and yobbos everywhere. SHAME on you duffbot.

Tyler Hamilton 'Wired to Win'

Wired to win is an IMAX movie that explores the constant development, wiring and rewiring of the human brain using the 2003 tour de france as a backdrop. The movie was originally to be based on Tyler Hamilton, however after having been found guilty of illegal blood doping, the producers of the movie decided to drop all reference to him from the film.

This is an absolute disgrace. Yes Hamilton is a cheat, and worse a liar, for he has yet to admit to his offence despite somewhat overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

(see http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=features/2006/hamilton_appeal.)

However what Hamilton did in the 2003 Tour is worthy of a movie whether or not he is a cheat (In fact there is no evidence or suggestion that he cheated in the 2003 tour). In one of the early stages he crashed and broke his collarbone. He was forced to ride twenty stages in a sling, through pain that cannot possibly be imagined. He could barely climb out of the saddle, and on every climb you could see the anguish on his face as he pulled against the handlebars. Then after two weeks of riding in constant pain, he made a solo 180km breakaway on the stage into Pau, winning the stage.

Hamilton showed true will power and determination in the 2003 Tour. What's more, he showed the world what is beautiful about professional cycling- courage, suffering, incredible strength and endurance. Now we cannot see the IMAX footage of his struggle because he has subsequently been found to be a cheat. I'm not in favour of cheating, but neither am I in favour of the zero tolerance culture surrounding drugs in sport. It lacks consideration for the frailty of human nature, and ignores the fact that everybody makes mistakes, especially when faced with highly stressful circumstances.

Censorship has ruined a potentially great movie.

Ground Zero

Bicipolitics is go.

Now all I need is some interesting material- watch this space!