Saturday, March 29, 2003

Everytime I see the Daily Telegraph front page headlines these days I get annoyed.

If the story is about the Americans, they use words like "Compassion" (on the story where they showed an american soldier giving water to a captured Iraqi soldier. I don't see that being especially compassionate. It would be rather extraordinary if the americans refused to give captured Iraqi soldiers water!).

If the story is about the Iraqis they use words like "Evil" (on today's story about the Iraqi army having protective clothing against chemical weapons - their army would be stupid not to have them as far as I can see).

The Daily Telegraph is an evil little thing.

Media coverage like this is probably part of the reason why opinion polls are showing a slight increase in the number of Australians who are ok with our army being over there.

Good Guys vs Bad Guys is the only story the Daily Telegraph seems to be capable of covering.


Thursday, March 27, 2003

The Hours

Who's seen The Hours?

I saw it last night, and have been thinking about it all day.
I think I was very impressed.

Was annoyed by the make-up on Nicole Kidman and Ed Harris (and his cliched role).
Also a bit annoyed by the Philip Glass music (every time it comes on the soundtrack you just know that some famous actress is about to start getting emotional again).

But I liked all the actors ('specially Julianne Moore - and the kid who plays her kid with the big sad eyes).
And I hadn't realised that it was all going to be so much about the characters being lesbians and what satisfaction they could get from their lives.
The writer obviously read Mrs Dalloway and saw it's central character (a woman with a perfectly nice life who feels that it could have been something more if she had not married her husband but gone along with another fella) as being Virginia Woolf's way of writing about herself - married to a man but wondering how much better it would have been to go with the woman she wanted instead.

I'm not sure if Viriginia would approve of herself being psycho-analysed in an american movie this way?

Sydney 2003

---Who's seen The Hours?

Not me. But I have read a good deal of Virginia Woolf, so I felt compelled to say something.

---The writer obviously read Mrs Dalloway and saw its central character (a woman with a perfectly nice life who feels that it could have been something more if she had not married her husband but gone along with another fella) as being Virginia Woolf's way of writing about herself... I'm not sure if Viriginia would approve of herself being psycho-analysed in an american movie this way?

As I've said, I've neither read nor seen The Hours so I don't know what I'm talking about. It's cool, though, how different my impression of reading Virginia Woolf's stuff was. I always had it not that the characters would rather be with someone else, but that they would rather be ultimately with nobody at all. I don't mean that they all wanted to become hermits, but all of her characters--to me, anyway--really prized their internal lives, and saw some of the relationships they had as hampering their ability to grow personally. Now I'm making Virginia Woolf sound like a self-help book, which makes me ill, but I do think that her characters treasured their isolation somewhat. Woolf's nonfiction, I think, makes the point even more clearly: the title isn't "A Room of Her Own," it's "A Room of One's Own." The singularity--and the androgyny--in the pronoun is totally intentional.

But given how much she seemed to treasure her privacy, I think Woolf would be insulted at anyone insinuating anything about her, whether they were Americans or not. And I agree with her: I'm a member of that old-fashioned camp who thinks that fiction is fiction, and it's unfair to assume anything about the author by what they write. I also understand, though, that that's not how lots of folks seem to read fiction anymore. Jesus, I sound like an old man.


Monday, March 24, 2003

good plan

Tonight is oscar night.
My tv night of the year.

But this year we're meant to boycott it, to show that we think it's rude of George B to go blowing up people just to show how big his guns are.

I'm weak. I can't bring myself to miss out on it.

So I've decided on a compromise.

I'll watch it (all snug on my couch, with some chips and fizzy drinks handy). But every time an american wins a prize, I'll stand up and shout at the tv "you filthy american capitalist pig-dog b*stard!".
That way I'll be able to show my disapproval of the USA's war-mongering ways, while at the same time releasing my frustration if Renee Zellweger steals the oscar from dear Nicole.

I think my plan is a good one.

If Renee wins it I think Nicole should do what Sophie Lee did to Toni Collette in Muriel's Wedding and storm over and throw a cocktail in her face. I'd pay good money to see that!
It's time the Aussie's put some spark into those dull butt-kissing awards shows! At least Russ had a go and decided to spice it up by
assaulting that guy who wouldn't let him read his little poem.
I do wonder what the poem was like:
"Roses are red/violets are blue/start the music during my speech/and
I'll kick the crap out of you" ???


Friday, March 21, 2003

Thursday night shopping

Must tell you of my lovely string of events earlier this evening.
A string of stories to bring a smile to my face.

Had to go shopping after work, to buy birthday presents for Eliza (4) and Jack (5).
Note: Eliza is getting a feather boa & some rose-coloured sunglasses. Jack is getting Han Solo and some bubbles that you blow that don't pop.

At Grace Bros the lady was giving me back too much change. At first I thought 'excellent! I love tips!". But then I saw she was giving me $30 too much! This was too much for my conscience, so I said something along the lines of 'are you sure this is right?'. She said 'you gave me this much, and they cost that much, and so I have to give you this much'. I told my conscience to not think of minor matters and instead think about the war in Iraq or something serious like that. I didn't fight it and took the money (am I bad? don't answer). Afterwards, I also talked myself into justifying my actions by thinking that maybe she just liked my legs.

With an extra bounce in my step I marched over to David Jones.
I bought 3 toys to the toy section cashier. She started to charge them up and picked up a fourth toy that was lying on the table. I told her it wasn't mine. So she correctly charged me for the three toys, and as I was getting my money out, she put all four toys in the bag!
What is happening with these people, I thought to myself! Is it Thursday Night Apathy (known within medical circles as TNA)? Do they have the flu? Are they simply depressed about the state of the world? Could it be all three?
I really felt no need for more generosity from these stores, so I pointed out to her that she had given me more than I'd paid for. Unlike the Grace Bros lady, she didn't dispute it and took the toy out. Three toys were quite enough. (The toys I bought were nicer anyway).

3rd (and best of all)
Walking home I went through Hyde Park.
I stopped at one point as I was using my mobile to listen to messages on my home answering machine.
Nearby there was a wonderfully cute brush-tailed possum running around. It ran hither and thither. I stood still. To my wonderment it then ran straight towards me. I was waiting for it to dart around me or something, but instead it came right up and sniffed the tip of the umbrella I was holding (long black umbrella recently purchased from Gowings - you can't buy better). Such a brave little tike! A man came down the path and the critter moved away. It then ran up to me again, only to be scared off by a second man walking past. I then looked around and saw nobody else was coming past. Possum looked like he was about to start up a tree, so I crouched down, held out my hand, and went 'tch, tch' - like you would talk to Skippy, I guess. Felt very sorry I had no food with me.
Anyway, the darn cutie went for it. Ran straight towards me. Have never seen such a friendly soul. Such big beautiful eyes too. S/he sniffed my finger. Once. Twice. Then bit me! Totally clamped that little jaw on my index finger! You wouldn't think someone could be so happy getting bitten, but that's how it was. It was just one bite, followed by a light tug (I presume to see if my finger would fall off & he could take it back up the tree for dinner). Disappointed, he turned his back on me and went back up his tree.
He probably saw the whole experience as an annoying waste of his precious time, but oh was I happy.
Lesson: Always take bread or fruit with you when walking through Hyde Park at night. Having these provisions will also be useful if you happen to fall down a well.

After that highlight I was filled with joy.
Had to do something for the world in return.
Crossing at the zebra crossing outside my house, a car with a very nice driver very politely pulled up to let me past. All very nice. But then right behind it was a zippy black sports car, with a middle aged man driving it. He put his foot to the peddle to go around the other car. How rude! Taking advantage of the first car's politeness! Just not on, I say! But I got him. I timed it perfectly to get there just fast enough so that he would have to stop for me. And I slowed down just enough (almost imperceptibly) so that he would have to wait for long enough for the other car to get away first. Poor mister mid-life crisis in his black sports car had to eat humble pie and continue on back behind the other cars. Hooray for justice!

That's my story.

Must remember to go Thursday night shopping again next week. You'd be a fool to miss it, really.
Sydney 2003
The Philadelphia Story

Just had to let you know about my latest DVD purchase.

The Philadelphia Story!

They finally released it on dvd, and I seem to remember you mentioning you liked it.

Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart!

In the running for best cast ever.

When I got it home I had to play that scene where the reporters first turn up, and Katharine and her little sister amuse themselves by putting on an act of being rich idiots, just to poke fun at the attitudes they think the reporters will have about wealthy people. I love the way the girl speaks french and sings Lydia The Tattooed Lady on the piano and walks around on her toes. And Katharine's toffy-nosed voice. Very funny, especially since Katharine always did have a bit of an aristocratic air about her.
Great stuff.

What's your favourite bit?

Cary's dimple?

I don't know how Cary kept his career going. If I was that charming I'd never leave my mirror.

Hey, you should put this on that website. Not because I've said anything brilliant, but because there can never be too much about The Philadelphia Story on the web. Every Philadelphia Story piece can make up for one neo-nazi website I reckon.

Sydney 2003

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

sweet skink

I had an amusing little incident this morning.

We've talked a bit lately about little creatures in my apartment.

This morning I'm sitting on the toilet when I find a skink in the sink! He was peering over the edge, looking at me.
Skinks are so sweet.
He was obviously trying to figure out if he should run for it, or if he should sit still and try to pretend to be a inanimate object (that just happens to look like a skink).
I couldn't decide whether it was best to leave him, or to try to get him outside.
A few minutes later he was running around the apartment.
I didn't want to accidentally tread on him at some stage, so I got him and escorted him downstairs to the garden.
I hope he finds happiness there.