Sunday, November 26, 2006


Edited: 5th December 2006

OMG, when I published this post, my post count was 666!!!!!

Ahh...hahahahahaha! See what I did there? I've put a picture of Damien from The Omen instead of this Damien (the actual subject of this post):

That's called an intertextual reference, kids, and I hope you write that down. It is oh so clever of me to do. You see, by making this intertextual reference I'm drawing attention to the double meaning inherent in the name "Damien." Apart from being a common boy's name it was also used to name the son of the devil in The Omen and has since been associated, in pop culture at least, with all things evil. And therefore by drawing attention to this particular reading of the name "Damien" I am making a connection between Australian Idol and Satan.

Pictorially it would look like this:


Except, as you would have hopefully gathered by now, I don't culturally or symbolically equate Idol with Satan. In fact, I really like Australian Idol and I don't really like Satan (well, you know, except at certain times, like Christmas). So what's with little evil Damien? Nothing. I just like that image, wanted you all to know that I know who won Idol, and wanted to seem all pop-cultural and intertextual. There, you got me.

OK, on with the wrap-up.

Very interesting year. Let me begin by saying THANK GOD IT WASN'T AS BAD AS LAST YEAR. I think that the four seasons of Idol have taught me one thing: Australian Idol voters generally vote on voice. Pretty much every year they've voted for vocal uniqueness and ability over "packageness" (Kate deRough kinda counts, it was an all-round dud year). I mean, really, they say its a singing contest, but because a) being a pop star isn't about singing, some of the biggest pop and rock stars can't sing, and b) being a reality show that shows more than just the stage performances, we are asked to judge them as 'people:' its not really just a singing contest. But it seems that that's what 'the public' want. They've voted the blandest, most unmarketable people as Idols pretty much every year, people that would NEVER GET A RECORD DEAL:

Christian, 'ethnic,' Fro, weird, No Personality = FULL MONG*

Socially stunted, 'ethnic,' overweight, didn't even want to be there really = FULL MONG

Overweight, bland, just...nothing = FULL MONG

Moves like a epileptic, foreign, bad teeth, bland = FULL MONG

Why? Because they can sing. And that's why I like Idol.

You see, Idol didn't wreck the music industry. It doesn't herald the pathetic consumer-driven post-capitalist state of modern culture that permeates into the decadent doomed nation of losers we all are. No, that's been happening for ages. The 'culture industry,' yes Adorno, has been operating for quite some time, and culture has been commodified for, I dunno, only MILLENNIA. Audiences have always been voting for their idols: by buying albums. With Idol, however, instead of getting to choose from a preset of choices determined by record executives, audiences get, to an extent, to pick people at grass-roots levels. And it seems they like the underdog with talent over pre-packageness. Predictable to an extent, but also kinda sweet.

Now, before you all start with the "But Stef, like, its a TV show, with its own agenda and how much control do we really have and its all still part of the system and, like, what about true artist who do it outside the system and make real music, blah blah blah..." Well, to that I say, each to his own. I don't believe that mass-produced music is overly damaging to other sorts of artists. Youth culture latches to all sorts of trends, mainstream and/or counter-cultural, and I don't see any of these practices dying-out. The only form of music I worry about is classical, which youth do seem to be rejecting. It's sad, because its my favorite, really.

Anyway, it was a funny night because all the past Idols and not-quite Idols sang (except, you know, the fat one) and they were lame and then Klancie rode a horse and there were medleys and stuff. It was ace:

Yo Yo Yo we's the Young Divas and we REAL girls with REAL curves. Bootylicious y'all!

Is it still a secret that he's gay? I can't keep up.


Shannon loves his fans. Wouldn't you?

His guitar fretboard says "Lynyrd Skynyrd" for you kids playing at home.

Oh Bobby. Ahem. Excuse me for a moment...

You were robbed, Ricky. ROBBED I TELLS YA!

"Damo, has anyone ever told you you look like Pippin the mischevious hobbit from Lord of the Rings?"

"Yes, yes they have."

"You're even Scottish too!"

"Kill me."

So all in all, a good Idol year. We got Bobby Flynn, after all. And my deepest apologies (God, as if ANYONE gives two hoots) for only covering half the Idol year and also the lateness of this post. Its been a stressful few months, what with thesis and essays and boys and friends and Thailand. I promise soon I will be back to normal.

* Courtesy Kyle Sandilands

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Robert Altman

I was going to write a post about Altman, who was one of my very favorite filmmakers. He was consistently great; Gosford Park was a masterpiece made so late in his career. Instead, I'm going to just show this clip, which I think speaks for itself. Popeye was not a critical success, like many of Altman's films, but I grew up watching it over and over again. RIP Robert Altman.

I really am liking embedding YouTube vids now that I know how.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You annoy me to no end!

To all the commuters who press the buttons on button-controlled train doors before the beep sound and flashing light with that stupid bloody perplexed look on your face like "ugh, there's something wrong with this door, stupid door, I'll just keep pressing this button and look angry:"

See post title.



Anyway, on Saturday night I saw an independent theatre group, Actually Theatre, perform The Eggman Cometh. It was written by my friend Jesse and starred some peeps from my High School. It was staged in an allyway behind the Troika Bar. It was about these two characters, Mummy and Daddy, who lived in a 50's suburban cage. They were visited by The Eggman, a showman who rewarded them when they produced eggs and punished them when they rebelled. Mummy and Daddy were battery hens, but they were also 'the worker,' and the Eggman was the 'capitalist industry' who exploited them. It was all very postmodern. In fact, when it was over, I said to my friends "well, that was all very postmodern, wasn't it?"

Today, Trumpet played me a song by The Bedroom Philosopher.

This song:

Sigh. I think he's trying to tell me something.

It's all very postmodern, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Last Wednesday, I went for my annual physical (well, I had to get my shots for Thailand, so I got a "once over" while I was at it). I had my blood and urine test (cholesterol still going down, take THAT genetic disposition), a smear test, and a breast check.

The breast check was by far the most awkward part of the appointment. Lying on my back topless while my doctor got to second base with me was kind of weird. She didn't even stroke my hair first or cuddle me. The closest I got to dirty talk was "any breast disease in the family?" It was the least physically intrusive of all the tests, and yet it seemed the most intimate. What is it about tits?

Then three things happened at the weekend:

1. Belinda Emmett died

Awe man. This really upset me. And I'm not a huge fan of Rove or anything. I mean, I was like everyone else of the belief that, you know, he got shit pretty quickly. But, you know, he married her when he knew she was going to die. That's so beautiful, really. And as sick as she had been looking over the past three years, it was still a bit shock to me when she passed away. It was hard to concentrate on my Doctor Who essay, despite David Tennant's dishiness.

2. Kylie Made Her Comeback

Get it?! She's a fighter! Get it??! Get it??!!!! "Meow!" Get it!!!???

Kylie - botox, waist, bum and all - made her triumphant return to Australia's mid-size stadiums, complete with perfume and ugly Vogue cover. Now, far be it for me to bag Australia's Very Own Pop Princess, I mean, I sure don't look that good in an old Cats outfit. But I generally like my Pop Princesses to be able to at least lip sync properly if they can't sing in tune. That goes for my Rock Kings as well, actually:

3. Move over, Skeletor

Hi, I'm Sarah Murdoch. I'm rich, beautiful and in a happy relationship with Rupert Murdoch's son. And I care about things. I'm very involved in the world around me.

Eddie made some calls. He's replaced Jessica Rowe with the Patron of The McDonald Foundation, a Director of The Australian Ballet, an ambassador for The Murdoch Children's Reseach Institute, and the patron of The National Breast Cancer Foundation. She's also a mother of two (Kalan and Aidan - FFS), and a devoted wife. She obviously wants to 'give back.' She's also a Wonderbra model and Bonds Girl. Just to make Jessica feel ever so secure and not threatened at all. *NOW* I FEEL SORRY FOR SKELETOR. The depression, the laugh, the husband - nup. Sarah Murdoch? LEAVE JESSICA ALONE EDDIE! FFS! HAS SHE NOT SUFFERED ENOUGH??

Why am I blogging like a little bitch? I dunno. It seems breast cancer and high-profile Australian girls-next-door (Livvie, Jane McGrath, Janelle Kidman, Raelene Boyle, and of course, Janette Howard) are inexplicably linked...

But wait!

I'm a high-profile (stay with me) girl-next-door! I'm the quintessential girl-next-door! I'm fucking Joey Potter!

Lucky I had a breast check.

What the fuck is with this cancer man? Its its nature's way of keeping populations in check? Whats with the breasts? Is it because breasts are so... evocative? So integral to the common concept of the beautiful female form? So prevalent? Whatever it is, breast cancer is in vogue and its not going away. I'm going to continue feeling sorry for little Rove, hanging shit on The Kylie, and hating Sarah Murdoch. And I predict Bec Hewitt, Melissa Doyle or Johanna Griggs gets it next.

OK, don't ask me what this post was about. I guess its just a collection of thoughts on loosely connected stories. I'm finished Uni! OH MY GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE?!

Haircut tomorrow. Yaya's Birthday today. I slept for about 15 hours straight on Monday night.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Glass House Shattered*

Oh yeah.

Well, it's finally happened. The ABC's most once-kinda-funny show, The Glass House, has been axed. Sorry, not axed, just not renewed...yeah.

The Age links this axing to the current bruhaha surrounding the ABC's political bias content issue. Apparently The Glass House was "at the centre of a storm over allegations of anti-Howard Government bias."

And yet Courtney Gibson, head of ABC Arts and Entertainment, has maintained there is no link:

She went on to say that comedy and satire is exempt from the new editorial
policies and assured listeners that satirical program The Chaser will
return and that Wednesday night timeslot will be reserved for Australian-made comedy. the age

I'm in two minds about this. There are a few issues here.

The first is that I wasn't sure about comedy being exempt from the bias issue:

Insiders complain that the reach of the strict guidelines is too wide. They
include programs on the arts, education, history, Aboriginal affairs, lifestyle,
science, health and even comedy chat shows. the age 16/10/06

These "strict guidelines" and the so called bias watching going on with The Glass House could be different things, but I smell a panic-station response from Gibson there.

On the other hand, I tend to go with Gibson on this because, lets face it, Corinne, The Glass House lost it two years ago and you're beating a dead horse. The ABC knows that and that's why they're not renewing. And don't tell me about the ratings being good this year. Its the ABC, you think they care?

Maybe its a combination of the two issues: content and quality. Maybe the ABC will tolerate biased stuff if its of good quality . Take this excerpt from an interview with the Chaser guys from year ago when they were promoting The Chaser Decides:

Reucassel believes Denton’s absence will be felt in their dealings with the
"Denton has the status of a god around here and that helped, and I hope
that they trust us in the same way."
The answer to that question may be found
in fact that the ABC has appointed Rehame to monitor all of the ABC’s election
The national broadcaster says that net covers everything, including
The Chaser Decides.
"I think that’s quite ridiculous," Reucassel says. Firth
agrees, describing the move as absurd.
"It’s all in the voice," he says,
before declaring loudly: "John Howard is the greatest," in a tone that probably
impressed a Canberra staffer reading a Rehame transcript, but doesn’t exactly
leave the listener convinced.
"We are claiming we have the most unbiased
coverage in the history of the universe," Firth adds.
"We’re going to ignore
all that, because you have to. The ABC has its own little layers of management
to deal with that."
That said, Reucassel points out the ABC has historically
been "very sensible" about understanding the difference between satire and
straight reportage.
"They recognised there were different standards for
satire than news. As there must be when you’re dealing with comedy. It’s very
different to news. It’s very different to reporting." The Age. 16/9/04

The Chaser, Andrew Denton, Kerry O'Brian, Media Watch etc... all get away with it (and always have, content watching is clearly not new) because they've earned a reputation for having a certain quality. I'm afraid eluding to a sexual relationship between Bush and Howard in between double entendres about Dave Hughes buying sex is just not worth renewing.

The Glass House never really cut it. I watched it because it was on after whatever BBC comedy program they had on and before At The Movies. Sometimes they have funny guests on.

Put The Chaser's War on Everything in that timeslot PLEASE ABC! That way I wont miss it on Friday nights!

* Forgive me. Come on, I had to.