Monday, July 31, 2006
Mate, I love you, I hope you're gonna be ok, and for gods sake please come home soon, ok?
"In Russia, when we talk about 'liberal' attitudes towards gays, it means they don't want us imprisoned or hanged."
- Slava Bortnik, Russian gay activist.
This comments were made by a delegate at the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal last week, prior to the opening of the World Outgames on Friday. One of the results of the conference was The Declaration of Montreal, a new declaration for human and civil rights devised by delegates that will be presented to the UN.
Slowly, despite setbacks, the world is changing for the better.
There's a full story about it here, in The Age.
Apart from the fact that Jack is one of my literary heroes, this news excites me because of the elements in the original novel that were censored by the publisher when it was first published. The sexual relationship between the thinly-disguised versions of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady who appear in the book, for example, was largely edited out.
Viking publisher Paul Slovak says that the upcoming version will be in hardcover, and will feature the real names of the characters, "rougher language", and a more "sexually frantic tone."
Should be good! Oh, and if you want to brush up on your knowledge of Kerouac and the Beat Generation, this site over here is a good place to start.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
For reuniting David and his boyfriend Sherif.
Throughout the whole series we've regularly seen David gazing yearningly at the photo of the bloke he'd met three weeks before he went into the house. He's spent the last three months hoping that the guy would be waiting for him when he came out. I can't imagine what that must have felt like.
Tonight, when David was evicted, I was gutted. I so wanted him to win. I actually voted to save him forfuckssake. In short, I was pissed off.
And then, Big Brother, you made up for it all by reuniting David and Sherif. You showed them running towards each other from opposite ends of the catwalk and meeting in the middle, in a long, passionate embrace.
My hands were clasped to my mouth, I was sobbing, and tears were dripping onto the backs of my hands. It was pure and perfect and beautiful.
There's romance and drama aplenty on television, but how often do you get to see real love, authentic love, blossoming before your eyes? We just saw one man reunited on national television with the man of his dreams. Instead of scripted emotion we had one of the single most beautiful moments I think I've ever seen.
If that's not a powerful message about the acceptance of homosexuality in the wider community; a slap in the face to homophobes who think that being gay is all about sex, not love; and a moment of pure, uncomplicated joy, I don't know what is.
I love Big Brother.*
And the coolest thing? I get to interview farmer Dave on Tuesday for MCV. Hurrah!
*Yes, I am deliberately evoking 1984 in case you were wondering.
The latest meme that I've received originates from the lovely Fluffy - at least as far as I can tell.
Here follow Four Things About Me which regular readers (to say nothing of regular lurkers) may not know. Or maybe you do. Assuming you've done your research.
1. Chestnut harvester
2. Printer's assistant
3. Mail room flunkey
4. Medical receptionist
2. The Lord of the Rings (all three parts)
3. The Call of Cthulhu
4. The Celluloid Closet
C) Four places I have lived:
1. Big Hill, where I spent the first few years of my life (VIC)
2. Poowong East, where my shoulder was accidentally dislocated twice as a child (VIC)
3. Tanjil South, where my teacher had a stuffed barn owl on his/her desk (VIC)
4. Newborough East, where one of my best friends was Peter, the oldest brother of alleged abductee and child killer Greg Domaszewicz (VIC)
1. Enough Rope
2. At The Movies with Margaret and David
3. Media Watch
4. Big Brother
2. New Zealand
3. Wilson's Prom
G ) Four of my favourite foods:
1. Mum's roasts
3. Good Mexican
**Hive (blog-noun): a collective, webring or similar gathering of blogs who validate each other by regular posts through the comments feature of www.blogger.com or similar programs.
Friday, July 28, 2006
(Dir. Anders Morgenthaler, Denmark, 2006)
MIFF says: "Anders Morgenthaler’s debut animated feature came careening into audiences on the opening night of Director’s Fortnight at Cannes just months ago... Adopting a distinctive animation style heavily influenced by harder edged Japanese anime, Princess also features moments of grainy live action for flashbacks and video footage. Acerbic and deeply troubling, this is a caustic, blood-spattered attack on the porn industry."
I say: Although neither as caustic, violent or dark as I'd expected, Princess is definitely a fascinating film to watch. Its blend of animation and live action and its morally flawed hero (who thinks nothing of exposing his 5 year old niece, who he is trying to save from the world of porn and its seedy influences, to brutal violence in order to do so), ensure that it's great to watch for multiple reasons. Defintely one to talk about with your friends afterwards as well.
Just don't take it as a call for censorship.
"Oh no, I don't believe in censorship," Morgenthaler told The Age. "If there were censorship in Denmark, this movie would not have been made and then we couldn't have the discussion. I'm very fond of sex and I'm very fond of the liberal values we have in Denmark, but we have to distinguish the wonderful liberal attitude from the porn industry, which is only a business. Because they couldn't care less about how liberal the thinking is. They just want to sell stuff."
What he would like to see, he says, is schoolchildren being taught to analyse all media, including pornography, more critically, diligently and often. "From the fifth grade! From very, very low, they should see a porn scene and learn to relate to what they are looking at. Maybe that way they'll see people as they are" - people like them, as he says, caught at the lowest ebb of their lives and callously exploited - "and why they are taking these decisions."
See it if: You want to see a film that presses multiple buttons - with a sledgehammer.
Midnight Movies: From the Margins to the Mainstream
(Dir Stewart Samuels, USA, 2005)
MIFF says: "Between 1970 and 1977, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo, John Waters’ Pink Flamingos, Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and David Lynch’s Eraserhead became synonymous with a new movement in filmmaking. Through interviews with these filmmakers, Samuels elucidates the hidden history behind films that pushed social boundaries and gave credence to poor taste."
I say: This enjoyable if somewhat pedestrian film is a basic primer to the world of midnight movies, those late night screenings of cult classics that were synonymous with Melbourne's Valhalla Cinema when it was still based in Richmond. Although its focus is on the primary examples of the genre, the film still manages to encompass a range of social and economic issues related to the changing tides in 1970's culture. Its US-centricity may grate, but the nostalgic clips of the likes of Rocky Horror and Eraserhead, coupled with interviews with the primary figures responsible for the rise of midnight screenings, ensure that it entertains.
See it if: You want a nostalgia trip, or are a film-culture fan wanting a narrow-focus view on the primary films of the genre.
MIFF said: "Six of Central and Eastern Europe’s brightest young directors come together in this omnibus feature, each giving their idiosyncratic take on the theme of ‘generation’."
I say: Like any anthology, not every segment in this film will work for you. The framing animation that holds the elements together was charming, but unnecessary - title cards would have worked just as well, and would have reduced the running time, too. Highlights included The Ritual (dir. Nadejda Koseva, Bulgaria) a wedding story with a twist; the utterly charming Turkey Girl (Cristian Mungiu, Romania), which made me want to go find a pet turkey immediately - who knew foul could be so cute?; and my favourite, Fabulous Vera (Stefan Arsenijevic, Serbia-Montenegro) a delightful comedic drama involving embroidery, Cuba, true love and a tram.
See it: if you want insight into Central and Eastern European life, if you like short story collections, or if you have a fondness for fowl.
MIFF say: "A major domestic box office and critical success, Manslaughter bears the hallmarks that have made recent Danish cinema substantial and constantly challenging... In portraying the disruption of Carsten’s middle-class comfort and safety, Christensen’s performance, the anchor for the film, goes beyond drama and heads towards the realm of great screen tragedy. Manslaughter confirms Per Fly as a major Scandinavian director."
I say: Strong performances and superlative cinematography do not a good film make. Manslaughter isn't bad, but it engaged me neither emotionally nor intellectually. Besides, how many more films about middle class, middle aged white men having a midlife crisis and boning a woman more than half their age do we really need to see?
See it: If you're a middle aged, middle class man having a mid-life crisis, or if you're dating one.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I say: A straight film that deals with queer issues, this gentle exploration of the burgeoning relationship between a straight woman and her pre-op M2F neighbour was a definite treat. Although more focussed on Charlotte (Trine Dyrholme) and her fear, confusion and emotional frigidity than her sometimes self-hating neighbour Veronica (David Dencik) , the film's balance of drama and comedy was successfully navigated, with the different aspects of the story harmonising rather than conflicting with one another. The inclusion of episodic elements featuring an all-knowing narrator heightened the mood of the film, and playfully alluded to the TV melodrama that was Veronica's staple diet. In a cameo role, Elsebeth Steentoft as Veronica's loving but confused mother was superb.
In summary: A touching, entertaining, softly-paced trans love story. See it.
The debut feature from 19 year old Adelaide director Murali K Thalluri, 2:37 is a derivative ensemble teen drama that's three parts Gus Van Sant's Elephant to one part Gregg Araki's Totally F***ed Up. It replaces Van Sant's central high school massacre with an Araki-esque teenage suicide, complete with numerous black-and-white interviews with the key protaganists interspersed among the key scenes.
Elements such as tracking shots, temporal displacement, soundtrack and cinematography were copied almost verbatim from Van Sant's film.
Awkward, earnest dialogue, coupled with inconsistent performances from the amateur cast, ensured that the majority of the film's plot 'twists' were telegraphed far too soon. Its more intense moments - including a confronting rape scene that some audience members clearly wished they had been warned about, so that they could make up their minds whether or not this was the sort of film they would have chosen to see - were overplayed.
While the inexperienced young director deserves kudos for financing his debut feature totally independently, the only merit in this unoriginal film - which was so derivative that it bordered on plagiarism - lies in the fact that it was made at all.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
After another exciting day at MCV yesterday, where my afternoon was spent trying to track down a cop who seems to have been flagrantly disregarding Victoria Police policy regarding beats and beat users (ah the thrill of being on top of a story as it unfolds) I went for a long, brisk walk from Fitzroy to Richmond through possum territory. There's a lot of the furry little buggers!
My destination was the Corner Hotel, and a gig by Scottish post-rock quintet Mogwai.
Drinks were held on the Corner rooftop before the show in the excellent company of tobytoby, mskp, davethescot and toby's bandmate Tom. Being broke (again) I skipped dinner - probably a foolish thing - in favour of a couple of glasses of wine. Yes, it was one of those 'choose between booze or food' nights, so being the lush that I am (and also because I'd had a huge lunch) I went with sweet, sweet alcohol.
Once we'd been joined by my mate Josh, our party headed downstairs just in time to catch the opening song from second support act My Disco. What splendidly rocking, thin-legged, tight-trousered, serious young men they are! Such intense, discordant, angular, Albini-esque tunes. Excellent stuff.
Then it was time for Mogwai. Aahhhhh.
I love a band who not only entertain me with slowly building, thunderous guitar crescendos and fragile keyboards and vocoder-ed voices, but whose deepest, loudest bass notes massage my internal organs. They bathed us in noise, in surging waves of sound that were by turns haunting, devestating, soulful and cataclysmic.
After the show, back in the front bar, one of our crew said it felt like we were talking underwater. It was like that. We'd been submersed in sound for an hour and a half. It was fantastic.
And thanks for the lift home, Dave!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Over at Path of Most Resistance, mskp has waxed lyrical about some of the excellent human beings she's met since she became a part of the blogsphere. Hell, she's even fallen in love as a direct result of blogging (with a helping hand from trivia). It's all just too cute for words!
At Downunderpants, DUP has commented similarly on how things have bounded along since he started blogging and came out.
Consequently I'm feeling this tangible sense of connection with people - a reminder that no matter how fucked up the world gets sometimes, that there are excellent human beings around. People who inspire me, excite me and make me think about the world beyond my loungeroom.
I'm actually feeling ridiculously happy:-
And I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing Mogwai play tonight!
Should people be trying to catch up with me in the next few weeks, look for me here:
Wed 26th July
The mystery which is OPENING NIGHT (I'll be thrusting a RRR microphone into the faces of 'celebrities' on the red carpet, then hastily editing it together the following morning following the opening party, god help me).
Thur 27 July
5pm: A SOAP - Forum (F)
7pm: SUMMER '04 - F
Fri 28 July
3pm: LOST AND FOUND - F
5pm: MANSLAUGHTER - Regent (R)
7pm: BUBBLE - F
9pm: PRINCESS - Capitol (C)
11.15pm: MIDNIGHT MOVIES - F
Sat 29 July
11am: 9 SQUARE METRES FOR TWO - Greater Union (GU)
1pm: TOKYO EXPRESS - GU
3pm: ACCELERATOR 1 - ACMI
Sun 30 July
11am: LOOKING FOR CHEYENNE - F
1pm: ACCELERATOR 2 - ACMI
5pm: METAL: A HEADBANGER'S JOURNEY - R
7pm: HEADING SOUTH - C
9pm: THE AURA - F
Mon 31 July
3pm: A LITTLE TRIP TO HEAVEN - F
5pm: TOUGH ENOUGH - R
7pm: BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES - GU
9pm: A PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA - GU
Tues 1 Aug
3pm: DARKON - ACMI
5pm: STICKY CARPET - GU
9pm: RAMPO NOIR - ACMI
Wed 2 Aug
5pm: PRISONER 345 - ACMI
7pm: UNITED 93 - R
9.15pm: THE WILD BLUE YONDER - R
Thur 3 Aug
5pm: LA PERRERA - F
Fri 4 Aug
5pm: FOCUS ON OZ SHORTS - ACMI
7pm: FROZEN CITY - C
9pm: A WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY - ACMI
Sat 5 Aug
11am: LOST AND FOUND R
1pm: LA SAGRADA FAMILIA - F
2.55pm: FOLLOW MY VOICE - GU
5pm: HUNT ANGELS - C
9pm: EM 4 JAY - F
Sun 6 Aug
11am: KZ - GU
7pm: LUNACY - R
9.15pm: WORKINGMAN'S DEATH - GU
Mon 7 Aug
7pm: FOCUS ON NORDIC SHORTS - GU
9pm: EDMOND - R
Tues 8 Aug
3pm: NORTHERN LIGHT - F
5pm: IF YOU WERE ME - ANIMA VISION - GU
7pm: HUNT ANGELS - GU
9pm: THE HOST - R
Wed 9 Aug
3pm: THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN - F
5pm: KILOMETRE ZERO - R
7pm: JONESTOWN - GU
9pm: PAPER DOLLS - F
Thur 10 Aug
5pm: OPAL DREAMS - F
Fri 11 Aug
5pm: A CRUDE AWAKENING - ACMI
7pm: THE DESCENT - F
9pm: SUMMER PALACE - ACMI
11.30pm: BIG BANG LOVE, JUVENILE A - C
Sat 12 Aug
3pm: THE BLOSSOMING OF MAXIMO OLIVEROS - ACMI
5pm: BROTHERS OF THE HEAD - F
7pm: OCTOBER 17, 1961 - ACMI
9pm: QUINCERANERA - F
Sun 13 Aug
1pm: 1:1 - R
3pm: THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED - ACMI
5pm: FLANDERS - R
7.30pm: CLOSING NIGHT - R
God help me, that's about 60 sessions all up. I must be mad.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Octopus 6: We Know Who We Are is the sixth annual exhibition in a series exploring current trends in arts practice locally and nationally.
This year’s exhibition presents the work of six artists from around the country, including Ash Keating (VIC), Merran Sierakowski (NT) and Matthew Hunt (WA).
“Their art draws from living in the environment of Australian society; which recently has experienced increasingly restrictive positions from national government on the constitution of our citizenry and writing of our histories, applying pressure to prescribe who we are,” says curator Zara Stanhope.
While I thought too many of the artworks included in this year's exhibition were overly simplistic and lacking in subtlety and complexity, I do think this image (taken from the cover of the exhibition catalogue) is extremely striking. Plus I thought it was time I included a little visual art on this bloody blog of mine!
Where: Octopus 6, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces,
Oh well, I need the shelfspace anyway...
Saturday night started with a performance of Balletlab's latest production Origami (hurrah for complimentary tickets!) at the VCA in Southbank. I'm not fluent in the language of dance, so such performances sometimes leave me cold, but this was a great show: intricate, breathtaking, whimsical, moving and clever, with a great score by David Chisolm, and wonderful interaction between the dancers and the stage design. You can read a review of the show here in The Australian, or here in The Age.
Next up I headed onto The Order of Melbourne, a relatively new bar in the city (apparently it's been open for about three months, but I can't wait to imbibe on its rooftop bar come more clement weather), where Gideon, one of the staff from Melbourne Fringe, was having his birthday drinks. I only stayed for about an hour, which was long enough to have a couple of champagnes bought for me - thanks Damien! - and partake in conversations in which who was seeing what at MIFF seemed to be the dominant concerns.
Finally it was on to Witness Protection Program Social Club's 7th birthday at the Public Office in West Melbourne. Now I've been going to Witness for a while, but tend not to like the Public Office parties as much; they attract more a club crowd (shirtless drugfucked muscleboys) when compared to the parties at Yeltza, which attract more your avant-guarde Fitzroyalty. Saturday night's party, however, was great fun. Not too crowded - perhaps because another gay party, Beyond, was on the same night; perhaps because of the weather. Who knows?
Either way, I stayed much longer than intended, drank more than I could afford (scored a couple of free drinks too, from friends who hadn't made it to my birthday a few weeks previously) and had an excellent time. I didn't dance that much, amittedly, but then I rarely go out to dance any more; these days I just tend to socialise.
Eventually I walked home to Fitzroy and fell into bed at about 5am, after resisting the temptation to drop into Control HQ for a nightcap on the way home...
Apart from lunch with a friend Andrew, who's just home from a holiday in Iceland, England and Spain, Sunday was understandably rather quiet as a consequence of the previous evening!
The protests marked the first anniversary of the hanging of two gay lovers in in
Teenagers Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were executed on July 19 2005 in the Iranian city of
Originally it was claimed that the two youths had committed one rape and were child molesters. By late 2005 it was claimed that they were serial child killers.
“A year-long investigation into this case has revealed that the regime’s allegations against the two hanged youths are riddled with contradictions, implausibilities and outright lies,” said Peter Tatchell of
“Local sources in
In a statement released to the media last week, Outrage! claim that the pair’s execution conforms to a pattern of state torture and murder of LGBT people by the Iranian clerical regime.
This claim is supported by the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organisation (PGLO).
“We feel great pain when we see human rights advocates ignoring the evidence and failing to speak out against the torture and execution of gay people in our country,” said Arsham Parsi, a PGLO spokesperson.
“We know first-hand, from the violent abuse of our members and supporters, that the jailing, flogging and hanging of gay people is official state law and policy,” said Mr Parsi.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Anyway, here's what I covered on the show on Thursday....
My first guest was Editor and Managing Director Danielle Paruit, from the new free monthly magazine Arts in the City, which describes itself as "a free monthly colour magazine about Melbourne's Arts and Entertainment industry."
Its first issue hit the streets on Monday July 10, and is available from inner city cafes, arts venues and selected outlets.
To be honest, I can't say I was that impressed with the first issue - but that's partially because I didn't feel like I was included in the magazine's demographic. It seems very squarely aimed at a conservative older audience, judging by the majority of the content.
To be honest, I can't say I was that impressed with the first issue - but that's partially because I didn't feel like I was included in the magazine's demographic. It seems very squarely aimed at a conservative older audience, judging by the majority of the content.
10.30am Anyway, I wish the magazine well - and hope that they can start to pay contributors soon! For details, check out www.artsinthecity.com.au
Anyway, I wish the magazine well - and hope that they can start to pay contributors soon! For details, check out www.artsinthecity.com.au
What: Heide Museum of Modern Art N
Next up was a phone interview with Lesley Alway – the director of the Heide Museum of Modern Art.
Where: 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen Victoria 3105 Australia
T: 03 9850 1500
Hours: Tue–Fri 10.00am–5.00pm,
Sat/Sun/Public Holidays 12.00noon - 5.00pm
"Following Heide Museum of Modern Art’s 2005-06 Redevelopment Program, Heide will reopen to the public in its entirety, Tuesday 18 July 2006.
To celebrate, Heide will reopen with four major exhibitions:
It ain’t necessarily so… Mike Brown and the Imitation Realists, 18 July – 1 October 2006, celebrates the early work of artist Mike Brown and the Imitation Realists.
Mike Brown was an important figure in Australian art. The work in his 1962 exhibition The Annandale Imitation Realists, with Ross Crothall and Colin Lanceley, at the Museum of Modern Art and Design, Melbourne, was unprecedented in Australian art. The Imitation Realists’ playful and often provocative constructions reflected the group’s interest in American Pop-inspired assemblage, collage, junk art, objets trouvés and the art of non-Western cultures.
Meeting a Dream: Albert Tucker in Paris 1948 – 1952 is the inaugural exhibition in the new Albert & Barbara Tucker Gallery at Heide Museum of Modern Art, 18 July – 5 November 2006.
This is an important exhibition that for the first time thoroughly documents Australian artist Albert Tucker's period in Paris. The exhibition displays over 50 artworks, including many of the paintings he exhibited in his 1952 solo show at Galerie Huit in Paris, as well as works on paper and photographs not previously shown in Australia.
Living in landscape: Heide and houses by McGlashan and Everist is the first exhibition to examine the inspiration for Heide's internationally significant modernist house, Heide II.
Living in landscape is guest curated by Professor Philip Goad, Acting Dean and Head of the School of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, with assistance of Heide curators. The exhibition is showing 18 July – 5 November 2006 in
Can you imagine the future of Australian art? What will it be like? What current concerns will shape our culture to come?
Imagine… the creativity shaping our culture: 18 July – 29 October 2006 at Heide Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition presents a range of contemporary art practices in Australia today and the possibilities artists are creating in their work for Australian culture. Exciting new work by ten artists from across Australia provides insights into a cross-section of today’s art practices. The featured artists are: Chris Barry, Vera Möller, Arlo Mountford, Garry Namponan, Lizzy Newman, Michelle Nikou, David Palliser, Stelarc, Lucia Usmiani and Roderick Yunkaporta.
Then I spoke to the ridiculously tall Ben Sansbury whose new exhibition The Gigablaster is now showing at Melbourne's Someday Gallery."Sansbury’s work is anarchic, it’s garish, it’s bizarre and it’s quite inimitable.
When: 20th July - 20th August
Where: Someday Gallery,
Level 3 Curtin House
252 Swanston St
Lastly I was joined by Tai Snaith and Alex Martinas Rowe for our fortnightly visual arts review segment, Art Attack. They discussed the new exhibition, The Readymade in the Age of Google Economy, now showing at Victoria Park Gallery, which is, apparently, for audiences over the age of 18 only.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Just finished watching a preview of this smart, sexy queer film that's showing at MIFF this year, as I'm interviewing the director next week.
Directed by Q. Allan Brocka (Eating Out), Boy Culture is a film about love, lust, and the fear of love.
A strong cast led by the brooding Derek Magyar (pictured) as the cynical narrator X, coupled with a clever script and an eye for subverting the stereotypical, memorably enhance what could have been a dull story about a hooker's need to be loved in someone else's hands.
It's definitely not your stereotypical gay movie.
For starters, it's a gay film that's not about coming out (5 points). Nor is it sacharine and sentimental (5 points). It's not a fluffy rom-com about vaccuous pretty boys (5 points). It features a male prostitute who's neither drug-fucked nor who dies/gets raped/gets AIDS over the course of the movie (10 points) and it features characters over the age of 30 (15 points).
Boy Culture has humour, a warm heart, and a hefty dose of the sort of unresolved sexual tension that will be familiar to anyone who's ever lived in share households.
It's showing at MIFF on Sat 29th of July, 7:20 PM; and Fri 4th of August, 7:00 PM.
I heartily recommend it.
I had to re-format my hard drive yesterday, then reinstall Windows, because my computer had slowed to a crawl. Then I had to go out and buy a copy of Microsoft Word, because I didn't actually have a copy, which means I'm now $200 poorer than expected and can't afford to buy my MIFF tickets until next week, let alone go to Witness Protection Program's 7th birthday party tonight and indulge anywhere near as much as I'd like to. *sigh*
I spent all yesterday working on my computer, trying to make it work again, with the invaluable help of my mate Glen. Most of that time seemed to be spent on downloading and installing various software programs, and I'm not even halfway to reinstalling everything I had or need, such as a good audio program, which I didn't even know I needed. I thought having a sound card installed on this machine was all I needed to make tuneful noises come out of the speakers, but no!
Speaking of fucking, though...
I was interviewed this week by one of MCV's freelancers, for an article about gay blogs. While it's flattering to be included in the same league as Salam Pax and Towleroad, I don't really think of what it is that you're currently reading as a 'gay blog'.
Yes I'm gay, and yes, sometimes I'll write about my sexual/emotional life on here, but in the end, this isn't a gay blog in the same way that, say, Downunderpants is a gay blog, or Dudetube, or Dan in okcity are gay blogs. They're all great blogs, with some excellent eye candy and a hearty dose of queer sensibility, but I definitely don't consider this blog in their league.
I could post some pics of naked blokes for example, but you can find that sort of thing elsewhere. I could also write long and detailed posts about my sex life, but as I say in the current issue of MCV, "I don’t write about sex that much though. Generally you need to be getting laid to be able to write about it.”
Guess I'll just have to keep shambling along, doing whatever it is that I do here, hey?
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Currently I'm an intruder - let's see how long I last, hey? More importantly - will I get more action in the Big Blogger house than Farmer David?
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I don't like his music, but I applaud his decision.
Here's the full text of what he said:-
Monday, 17 July 2006
I very rarely make comments about my private life.
But today, as I'm about to begin 6 months in the studio to record what I hope to be the best record of my career, I feel an overwhelming gratitude for the past 10 years of being a performer. Most recently, I've been moving toward a career that is more closely aligned with 'art' than it is 'commerce'. And in keeping on this trajectory - I have become increasingly more emotionally authentic in my music, writing and my relationship to my audience. As so many of you have given me your heart and soul over the past 10 years I thought it only fitting that I too return the respect and inform you of the most significant event in my life.
On June 19th 2006 I married my boyfriend of two years, Richard, in a Civil Partnership ceremony in
I can honestly say it was the happiest day of my life.
I feel lucky to live in an era where my relationship can be considered legally legitimate and I commend the UK Government for embracing this very basic Civil Liberty.
I'm proud of who I am, and after what felt like an eternity, I'm finally in a place where my heart is secure and content. And I can finally make sense of all of the searching.
I still maintain the belief that families and relationships are not commodities to be sold off for public consumption. In this regard, I am and will continue to be a public person with a private life.
I have always written songs about human relationships and our journey in life. I've never felt the need to differentiate or speak to a specific part of society. This hasn't changed. I will continue to write songs for everybody and hope that the feelings and thoughts I sing about are universal. Today, as I get on a plane to return to
To the people who buy my records, come to my shows and demonstrate on a daily basis their love and support for me and what I do: thank you.
Your overwhelming message to me lately seems to be that you are just glad that I am happy. For this, I am eternally grateful.
With love and respect always
Monday, July 17, 2006
I've recovered from the flu enough that I went out on Saturday night and didn't stagger home again until 7am Sunday morning. It was a fun night, what I remember of it: birthday drinks for my cartoonist friend David 'Herman the Legal Labrador' Blumenstein in the front bar at The Spanish Club, followed by a dash of burlesque out the back (although the stage was too low and the crowd to crowded for me to really see very much, save for a glimpse of Gabi from The Town Bikes with what looked like flyswats on her head as antennae, and a cheerfully drunk Glenny G as MC whipping up the crowd into a frenzy).
Then it was on to Control for a few drinks, which turned into lots of drinks, and substances, and very animated conversations, and I'm not quite sure what else but I think it was fun...
Earlier in the day I went to see Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest which was too long, and rather disappointing, although not entirely without merit (it's a 2.5 out of 5 sort of film, if you'll allow me a Margaret and David-kind-of-moment). Nonetheless it inspired me to go and pick up The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pirates, a thick tome detailing real pirate history and culture, which I'll probably use as inspiration for a new piratical Stormbringer RPG campaign* I'm thinking of running soon for some friends.
Sunday I slept in til 12.30pm before strolling off to Mario's for lunch with the inimitable Clem Bastow, and a broad-ranging conversation that took in parents, boys, stalkers and arts journalism: it was a lovely couple of hours.
Back at home, I freshened up, powdered my nose, fopped up (akin to frocking up, but sans the dress, as Jess will testify - I ran into her just as I was hailing a cab) and caught a taxi out to Bulleen, for a garden party to celebrate the official reopening of the Heide Museum of Modern Art.
Beautiful food. Endless and excellent wines, champagnes, and other alcoholic treats. Stimulating conversations. A superb new exhibition of Albert Tucker's Paris paintings. A great flock of black cockatoos flapping screeching overhead at sunset. INTERMINABLE FUCKING SPEECHES. When will arts bureacrats remember that we don't want a meandering 15 minute lecture, just a few quick, witty, wrly observed words?
Then home, an aromatic curry for dinner, and bed.
So, how was your weekend?
*Yes, I am a dag who plays role playing games, and have done since I was 15. Get over it.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Perhaps not quite the downpour that was the cause of this dramatic picture of a flooded Elizabeth Street in the city, taken by an Age photographer in 1972, but a downpour all the same. Our reservoirs are drying up, and the Wimmera is almost completely dry, which is going to fuck wheat crops for the next few years at least.
If we don't get some decent rain soon the whole country's going to look like this:
The only downside to today's soft rain is that my local laundromat will be crowded, which will probably bugger my plans for quickly nipping in and out of it this afternoon. Did I mention that it's called 'My Beautiful Laundrette'? Sadly, no signs of Daniel Day Lewis to be seen...
Ah well. I can dream...
Friday, July 14, 2006
As Lucinda Strahan has new, study-determined obligations which have forced her to hang up her hat, John Born Dancin' Bailey joined us for his inaugural edition of SHOOT THE MESSENGER, our fortnightly arts news and gossip segment, this week. John scribes Beat's Art of the City column (although not for much longer) and was recently appointed the chief arts writer for The Sunday Age. He'll be joining us in this timeslot fortnightly from now on.
Artists Dave Last and David Porter came in to talk about painting en plein air and their group exhibition THE BOAT SHOW, now showing at Brightspace Gallery.
"Group shows are two bob a dozen but a group that paints together and shows together … that’s a rare thing.
BRIGHTSPACE is showing the work of a group of St Kilda based artists who paint together en plein air around the docks every second Sunday. The group includes a few very well known painters. There is some wonderfully fresh and lively work amongst the 40 pieces in the show and the range of different talents is amazing…"
When: 13 – 30 July 2006
Where: Brightspace Gallery, 8 Martin St, St Kilda
Hours: 12 – 6 Wed - Sat, 1 – 5 Sundays
Artist Jo Darvall (and small child) joined us next, to talk about her latest, untitled exhibition, currently showing at the Jackman Gallery.
"Jo Darvall has long been a stable in the Melbourne art scene. Best known for her position as director for ‘Artists for Kids Culture’, Darvall’s most recent body of work captures the fluidity of the female form. Subtle tones are washed onto the canvas to create a dreamlike backdrop for what are visually strong and empowered women. "
Where: Jackman Gallery, 60 Iinkerman St, St Kilda
When: 5 July – 23 July 2006
Hours: Tues-Sun 12pm-5pm
My next guest was the urbane and charming Kristy Edmunds, Artistic Director of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. This year marks Kristy's second year at the helm of MIAF, and once again she's programmed a diverse, contemporary and fascinating mix of works which are guaranteed to annoy those people in the arts community who miss the bad old days of a festival devoted almost exclusively to 'high Art' - ballet, opera and dead composers.
"The 2006 Melbourne International Arts Festival Program is one that centres on contemporary artists who have turned their formidable insight and accomplished aesthetics into an investigation of place in their current work. If 2005’s Festival examined the journeys and odysseys human beings are taking to “somewhere else”, an altogether unfamiliar place, then 2006 is about the journey to come to terms with home and country and self in times of tremendous dynamic change. It's about the place that is nearest to us and yet one that can become unfamiliar at any given moment.
For some artists the celebration of home, place or cultural identity is at the core of their work. For others a lament for what was or could have been is central. Other projects address the issues that provoke unfamiliarity or uncertainty within a given place. However differently this idea of "place" features, each of this year's productions, with diverse artistic approach, asks each of us to look deeply into what gives us a sense of belonging (and what makes us hold onto whatever that is, either gently or with a vice-like grip).Putting together this program, with this seemingly general subject matter, has involved the finding of cohesion in projects whose makers hail from over 21 countries, and many of whom are engaged in projects that are cross-cultural in make-up, or whose casts/ensembles are from more than one country. I wonder what “home” means for these creative teams who work across continents often and who balance the nuances of their work with living both in and away from their country of origin?"
When: 12-28 October
Where: A range of venues throughout Melbourne.
What: Check the online program for event details and booking information.
Choreographer Phillip Adams, the Artistic Director of Balletlab, and set designer Matt Gardiner were the morning's next guests, coming in to discuss ORIGAMI, the latest Balletlab production.
"Origami is a new dance work from BalletLab, which collides Japanese ancient paper art, industrial modernist architecture and the living body in space. As the title of the works suggests, the starting point for Origami is the ancient Japanese paper art. The work interprets the central principle of this art form, that of folding, in both a literal and a metaphoric sense. On a thematic level, Origami plays with Western perceptions of Japanese culture drawn from both traditional Art and pop culture – from Astro Boy to Ikebana, Samurai and Kimba the White Lion, to Manga and Mount Fuji...
In Origami, the set is blended meticulously into permutable architectural crevices and abstract panels and partitions. Modular panels form and fold together to create myriad sculptural states onstage. Bodies have the ability to slide through cavities and over platforms, folding themselves through the set while interacting with other dancers, so that the choreography becomes a landscape of origami."
What: Australian Premiere Season
When: Thursday July 13 – Sunday 23 July 2006
Where: Space 28 Drama Theatre VCA, 28 Dobbs Street Southbank
Dates: Wed – Sat 8pm, Tues – Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm
Bookings: 9685 9255
The morning ended with the studio's graced by the lovely Cerise Howard, presenting our fortnightly screen culture segment, A FISTFULL OF CELLULOID. This week Cerise reviewed the new film Hard Candy, and gave it two thumbs up, but also warned that it was perhaps too intense for some tastes.
She also pointed cinephiles towards Ubu Web, a “distribution center for hard-to-find, out-of-print and obscure materials, transferred digitally to the web.”
The site features the likes of:
- The Cut-Up films of William S. Burroughs (1963-1972)
- Maya Deren's Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti
- Jean Genet's Un Chant D'Amour (1950)
- And much more, including Guy Debord, Vienna Actionist films (not work friendly!), Marcel Duchamp, Jack Smith and Man Ray.
As always, you can find this week's playlist over here, on the SmartArts page of the RRR website. Think about subscribing while you're over there... ;-)
Monday, July 10, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
After a frenzy of cleaning on Friday (I strongly recommend impromtu parties as a means of spurring the less-than-houseproud, such as myself, to doing housework) Friday night's party was excellent, especially given the short notice: there was a point I looked around and realised that my often fragmented life had miraculously combined, with representatives from various times and places all gathered together in the one venue. Miraculously, all of them seemed to be getting on together, too.
Saturday I slept in til late afternoon, and recovered, and watched the first episode of the new Doctor Who series, which made me feel like a delighted child again - the sort of delighted child who wrote fan letters to numerous actors from earlier seasons of the series, and still have the autographed photos I received in reply from various Doctors, companions and other cast members to this day.
Today I went to see The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada with Josh, and then had dinner with Glen, and then came home to watch the new David Attenborough series, Planet Earth.
Now I'm having a glass of wine and listening to Sigur Ros.
Good friends, good entertainment, intelligent discourse, drunken nipple-licking, deeply moving stories, amazing cinemtography, good music, and nervous baboons wading through a flood.
What more could you ask for?
Friday, July 07, 2006
What do you mean you don't want to spend too much on me? It's only $70,000,000 US - don't be stingy!
Sayraphim Lothian – 21 DEAD BUGS AS A GIFT - a unique project encompassing an album, zine and exhibition at THE ARTERY, Moore St, Fitzroy, from 11th - 23rd July. Opening night is Tuesday the 11th of July, 6-10pm.
Artist Hazel Dooney – ‘Venus in Hell’ exhibition @ MARS GALLERY
[MARS] Melbourne Art Rooms
418 Bay St Port Melbourne
03 9681 8425
Melbourne Art Rooms is proud to announce VENUS IN HELL, an exhibition of new works on paper by the well-known young Australian painter, Hazel Dooney, along with photography and video by Hazel Dooney and Creed O’Hanlon.
Stephen Banham from Letterbox – CHARACTER 3 - ACCIDENTS NOT SO GROTESQUE -
an exhibition and forum for anyone interested in design, visual culture and the unpredictability of life presented by RMIT Communication Design and Letterbox, as part of the Melbourne Design Festival.
Where: BMW Edge at Federation Square
When: 4pm-7pm, this Saturday 8th July
Convenor: Stephen Banham
Stephen Banham is founder of Letterbox. Throughout his 15 years of practice, Stephen has written and produced 12 publications on the cultural aspects of typography as well as lecturing on the subject at RMIT since 1991. He has spoken at design events from New York to Barcelona, New Zealand to Beirut.
Director Sam Strong & writer/director/performer Olivia Crang - DEVELOPMENT DOWNSTAIRS @ 45 Downstairs.
A cultural smorgasbord of short works, and works in development erupts to warm the winter nights at fortyfivedownstairs. Directors David Symons and Robert Reid, writers Terry Jaensch and Lachlan Philpot, experimental musician Tom Fitzgerald are among some of Melbourne’s brightest talents showing new work at this intimate venue.
From global online writing projects, cross cultural poetry, inner city characters, a crime thriller cabaret and award winning musical composition, Development Downstairs will thrill, amuse and entertain.
July 6th – August 24th
Weekly at fortyfivedownstairs
45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
“Let’s Drive Tonight”
An Exhibition on Zine culture. curated by Rudin Rashid
Exhibition runs July 7th - 28th
(best viewing times are 12- 6pm weekdays)
Let’s Drive Tonight is based on the wonderful world of Zines and features artists from Australia and abroad.
Ultra Magnetic TC
Order De Chico
Asleep On The Bus
Opening Night Party
Friday July 7th
Free Entry 7-9pm
features giveaways, zines, art, drinks and thai food
all for your arty indulgence.
Afterparty continues in Revolver’s frontroom from 9pm – 2am with extra special guest bands EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING, WITCH HATS & MOTEL A-GO GO + DJ RANSOM
Revolver Upstairs, 229 Chapel St Prahran
Revolver Art Schmart is framed by Red Stripe
Laurie Benson - curator, international art - PICASSO: LOVE AND WAR 1935-1945
30 June – 8 October 2006
St Kilda Rd Melbourne
Peter Rose – editor of Australian Book Review (ABR) – joined us for a new monthly segment that will feature book reviews as well as the latest news from the Australian literary world.
Jeff Khan and Tai Snaith joined us for our fortnightly review of visual art, ART ATTACK.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
My friend George, the international criminal (he had a minor run-in-with the law while visiting the Shetlands, ok?) sent me these photographs of puffins that happily hopped right up to him yesterday.
Apparently they "make a lowing like cows but with a little quacking in the mix."
Cool. Remind me to visit the Shetlands next year, will you?
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The media's silence about the bland approach taken by the show's producers towards explaining the affair (especially the so-called TV special that featured the two men involved and which was a classic example of turning perpetrators into victims - "They're good boys really, it was just a joke gone wrong") has been stunning, given that their so-called joke involved pinning a woman down and cock-slapping her.
One of the most thoughful comments about the whole affair I've seen to date has been made by Mel at A Wild Young Under-Whimsy, and I quote:
"Camilla is by far my favourite housemate and I totally want her to win, but after seeing the video, I am trying to avoid taking a stand on who is to "blame" for the "incident". Rather, I'm wondering what I'd do if caught in that scenario. I'd probably be caught between feeling pleased that I was being invited to interact with two people who'd previously indicated that they particularly didn't like me, and being suspicious that they were deliberately humiliating me.
I mean, if I'd spent the last week being sexually humiliated -- by my own drunken admission that I wanted to "pash Ash", by Ash's subsequent play for Claire, and by Big Brother's challenge to kiss the entire household in an hour -- I would welcome any vague gesture that I belonged. And if the gesture did turn out to be an unwelcome turkey slap, I'd feel so acutely humiliated that I would just want the whole thing to go away."
I've also very much enjoyed Ms Fit's revelations about the hypocrisy of Little Johnny condeming the affair as immoral despite his own immoral policies.
And among the jostling of smug political rats to blame Big Brother for the moral rot of society, it was refreshing to see Democrat senator Andrew Bartlett's analysis of the situation over at his own blog:
"Until I see politicians or other public figures take on the alcohol industry in a similarly strong and unequivocal way for advertising which encourages sexually predatory behaviour, and against the music and TV industry for screening - in prime children’s viewing time on a Saturday morning - innumerable music video clips which objectify, commodify and sexualise women in a one-dimensional way, then I can only assume those who are currently jumping on the ‘axe Big Brother’ bandwagon are just a pack of hypocrites trying to pick on an easy target to build up their ‘moral’ credentials."
Depressingly, the major outcome of the whole event has reinforced the show's credentials as an anthropological exploration of the Australian psyche: it's proved that too many people think a woman who's upfront about discussing sex is 'asking for it', judging by so many of the comments posted over at Ausculture.
Instead of condemning the show, Howard should be proud: it's shown that far too many Australians still hold dear the outdated social values he so obviously cherishes.
I could ask how this happened, but then I'm sure someone would leave a comment for me explaining about the earth's annual rotation around the sun, etc, so let's just assume I've asked such a rhetorical question and move on, shall we?
I've also just noticed that my 200th blogging post was about 17 posts ago, so so such much for celebrating that.
I'd also made plans to throw a spectacularly boozy and debauched party to celebrate my last gasp of being 30-something, to which all my favourite bloggers were going to be invited, as well as my real-world friends: a grand union of the virtual and the physical, but what with one thing and another, the weeks got away from me in the same way that the last 39 years have, and I haven't organised a thing.
That said, if anyone feels like dropping into Wally's bar on Saturday morning around 2am, I reckon there's a good chance I'll be propping up the bar and yacking with the staff. If I am, buy me a drink, will you? ;-)
So, 39 hey? By this age my parents already had two teenaged children. I just have expensive proclivities. Weird. I know there's no point in comparing myself to my parents, but sometime I can't stop using them as a yardstick for my own growth and development.
There's always my sister too, I suppose, who's a bit more conservative than me. When she was 39, which wasn't long ago at all, given that she's only two years older than me, she also had two children, as well as a newly established teaching career (having previously worked as a chef, a public servant, and several other careers). Oh yeah, plus a husband and a dog. In comparison, I have a large list of local restaurants who home deliver.
Family similarities and differences apart, let me think about being 39 for just a moment.
Most of my old friends, the ones I've known since I moved to Melbourne from Moe, have become extremely settled by now. They either have kids or mortgages, and for most of them, their idea of a big night out is one glass of wine too many at a dinner party and getting to bed at 1am. I still love them, though, but my idea of a big night out involves not getting to bed at all until sometime the following day or night.
I don't know if I ever made a concious decision to grow old disgracefully, but that's the way things seem to have played out.
I'm on the threshold of turning 39, but I don't feel it (except occasionally after afore-mentioned big nights out, when I feel every heavy second of my many days on this planet weighing me down and moving off the couch seems an absolute impossibility).
My mental picture of myself, if there is such a thing, seems to be stuck resolutely around 27 (albeit with a little less hair, which is now its natural colour, mostly silver, rather than a lurid blue, green or pink that changes every couple of weeks, as it used to be at that age).
Maybe it's because I'm gay, and don't have the responsibilities of raising kids of my own, that has helped keep me feeling (and hopefully acting) younger than I am? Actually I don't think that's it at all, as I have several gay friends my age or older who have settled down (mostly settled, anyway, with the occasional mad night of fun).
What the point of this post is I don't know, but hell, writing it down beats muttering madly to myself on the tram, that's for sure.
I might save that sort of thing for when I'm 80.
The previous post about ridiculous laws, in particular those regarding bestiality, inspired me to look for jpegs of angry sheep to include with the blog entry. No such luck - but I did stumble across...
BLOOD LUST OF KILLER SHEEP - an article from that always reliable British tabloid The Sun.
Over here you can find actual pictures of real life killer sheep. Tremble in fear!
And just when you thought you could run and hide in your local googleplex cinema from the marauding flocks of woolly killers....THE KILLER SHEEP ARE THERE TOO!!!! (Probably hiding behind the popcorn.)
But do not despair, oh faithful readers!
You can participate in killing these vile beasts, flash-style, over here - and you get to choose how the wooly little bastards die: by harvester, foot and mouth or, oh who can resist, Tarantino style! Have fun!
(Killer sheep pictures (c) Weta, from the forthcoming film Black Sheep.)