Sunday, December 20, 2009

An open letter to the devil himself.

Dear Vagina full of sand,

I would hastily cast my reservations and religious beliefs aside for the opportunity to falcon punch you in the face with both of my fists and one of my legs. You don't just rub me the wrong way, you are a novelty sized cheese grater to the entire system of human relations, furiously tearing strips from it like a cat on heat does the shins of it's owners.

Perez Hilton. I mourn your existence.

The problem is, you're everywhere. You are a dyslexic troll, the spam sperm that somehow survived it's journey from a 2bit gossip email to a fully fledged wasteland of sparkles and sin. You reside in a demountable sector of the internet founded on lies, tasteless quips relating to death and crude abbreviations, yet for reasons unfathomable and at the same time, completely understandable, you are fucking everywhere and people can't live without you. Teenage girls form their opinions on trivial matters by scanning your coarse brand of celebrity critique while grown men and women preach your reverse gospel around office water-coolers on an international scale. They take this information on board as important and relevant and spread it throughout the real world like a modern day plague that feasts on it's hosts brain cells. The pink colour scheme of your stronghold is not dissimilar to that of a freshly ripped, reoccurring scab.

Unfortunately you're launchpad is the least of your concerns at this point in time. Sure, there are millions of publications, online and print, that do what you do, albeit with more tact, and the general public's fascination with celebrity is a guaranteed constant because the grass is always greener, especially when the grass on the other side is dead or struggling. However, the difference between you and the majority is that you possess a rare quality allowing the capitalization from and humiliation of the deceased whilst somehow retaining clout as a source of information. All the cute captions and witty commentaries in the world can't save you from the fact that you promote death for web traffic disguised as condolences. You're the grim reaper in a turquoise jumpsuit and an Apple laptop is your chariot.

Look how this sack of shit gets down:

These were all posted within hours of Brittany Murphy's unfortunate passing this morning. The word 'dies' in capital letters, the accusations against her husband and the unnecessary comparisons to other celebrities whose drug addictions have actually been proven are all the signs of a man with no soul. The same man who was more than happy to throw child molestation and Britney Spears' name in amongst the announcement of Michael Jackson's death and then had the audacity to turn around months later and accuse others of capitalizing from his demise.
You are not only a piece of shit, but moreso an entire industrial district full of infected colons manufacturing the most potent fecal matter known to man at least 10 times a day.

In celebration of your official loss of all ties to the human race, i've constructed my own Perez Hilton style post that i hope you see before your own demise, which i will approach in a similar fashion.


WTF!? We're not sure what's going on here, but it looks like Perez had a little run in with a big trouser snake! He was spotted leaving this grey curtain yesterday having just been blasted by a supposed 3 litres of pure semen! Whether or not his cheeky smile is a front to hide the disappointment of having to walk around as a baby batter canvas is yet to be found, but what we do know is that this isn't the best look for the aspiring actor/musician/celebrity blogger.

By the way P-rez, loving the blue hair! You look like a pregnancy test!

I hope you get punched in the face again, significantly harder and with more surface area covered than last time.


R.I.P Brittany Murphy, there is no Perez Hilton where you are now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Delicate china vase atop rich oak bookshelf.

As the unforgiving sun was lullabied by Mikhail overture to Russlan and Ludmilla and the remaining luminaries shared their last dance along the River Swan, the reality of my location began to set in. I was on the Esplanade as the West Australian Symphony Orchestra began dipping into it's bag of classic Russian overtures, surrounded by cultured families and music students. The Monopoly Man could have driven past and nobody would've blinked an eye. For me, it was an experience completely out of the ordinary, highlighted prominently by my freshly ironed button up and a quartet of styrofoam cups that had set up camp around a bottle of 2008 pinot noir. I was now 60 years old and loving every minute of it.

Myself, Joe, Kieran and Jack set up shop towards the back of the crowd in a selfless act of smoke-free adherence and central crowd avoidance. This was beneficial to us as much as it was to the majority of free ticket holders, should we have felt the need to smoke copious amounts of cigarettes and crack immature jokes about the people walking past us, which we most certainly did. As our commentary heated up, so did the symphonies as the WASO broke into Mussorgsky’s 'Night on Bald Mountain'. It was as if the conductor sensed what we were up to as our jabs were only equaled by the ferocity of the flames displayed on the tent above the musicians and the multiple climaxes of Fantasia's magnum opus.

We were sat in the middle of the farthest exit and as a result, had first class seats to everyone that decided to move around during the performance. We put up with it for the most part, but as a certain 'Stripe Shirt' made it his business to casually stroll through the catwalk we'd reached the end, and the beginning, of our wits. 'Stripe Shirt' was for the most part, a normal guy in a striped shirt. However, due to the effects of Alcohol and the strong nature of the stripes on this particular shirt, he may as well have jumped around the isles, waving glow sticks around whilst proclaiming his love for pissing people off. Being the respectful and worldly symphony connoisseurs that we are, we collectively came to the conclusion that 'Stripe Shirt' was trying to ruin Christmas for all of us. We could have jumped him, but we were watching Russian overtures on the esplanade and it wouldn't have gone down to well with the pregnant teachers and bearded scientists. The beauty of this situation was that he remained completely unaware of our accusations, but still caught our childish laughter at the end of it and learned a valuable lesson about correct symphony attire.

The interludes of Symphony in the City were handled by conductor Guy Noble, who could have made an equally successful career out of stand-up comedy. His jokes about Russian politics and drunk Russians appealed to the more mature patrons, whilst constant quips relating to Twitter and the iPhone kept the younger critics at bay. Even during the more sombre moments of the performance, this jack of all trades managed to remind the crowd of how unappealing Perth is, with sarcastic remarks about blowing the bell tower up and opening hours. The entire crowd embraced in a roar of laughter and cheers as it was once again re-affirmed that everyone in Perth hates Perth.

During Shostakovich's Dmitri Tahiti Trot (Tea for Two), i thought i'd sneak off for a quick toilet break and the purchasing of chips. As i entered the makeshift men's room i was overwhelmed by the nature of the conversations taking place within it's walls of moulded plastic. Where i expected either pure silence or educated opinions on Rachmaninoff's, Sergei Vocalise, Opus 34, No. 14, i was instead treated to complaints of 12 hour shifts, lazy apprentices and faulty cement mixers. I realized that not everyone at the show was willingly in attendance and these guys would have been quite content comparing drill bit sizes in the porta potty for the duration of the event.

Katja Webb's powerful depiction of Tatiana's letter served as the background music to another significant part of the evening, the no holds barred rape of my wallet by the food vendor.

"One regular chips and a coke please" i politely requested.

"That'll be one thousand dollars thankyou" the vendor announced.

I've heard of inflation before but $1,000 for some chips and a coke? That's an evening spoiler for sure. I mean, i know the kind of people that go to symphonies in the city are of the deep-pocket persuasion, but this was a free concert and this stall may as well have displayed deep fried extortion on the menu. I agreed to give her $12 on the terms that i don't complain loudly and make a scene and/or blog post about it. She freaked out and accepted my negotiation and i still felt completely ripped off. Regardless though, Katja tore the roof of it and bellowed out my personal favourite performance of the night. You could say she actually blew the ozone layer off it because of the outdoors location, but i'll save that for my next symphony review.

As the sea of Nintendo DS's lit up and the crowd became antsy, Guy Noble announced the moment we'd all been waiting for. Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture is arguably one of the most recognisable pieces of music in the history of music, but those of you that don't go and see live orchestra very often may recognise it from the conclusion of 'V for Vendetta' and various other montages of destruction. Due to time restraints and Perth's famous 9 o'clock curfew, the piece was limited to it's finale, but was not without it's charm. Whilst a full blown riot and the systematic levelling of Perth's skyline would have been an ideal end to the evening and a fitting tribute to the melody in question, it was just as nice to sit there in awe as the cannons were set off at just the right time and the bell tower proved it's worth by ringing in the background. $1.2 million dollars well spent.

As the performance came to a close we scoped a rather extravagant Christmas party closer to the river and decided to check it out. Where there are Christmas parties, there is free alcohol and Cocaine right? We were denied entry on the grounds that it was a work Christmas party and we all immediately regretted not working for the company in question. We found a break in the fence around the corner and all previous regret was washed away when we were informed that you had to pay for the alcohol at this particular Christmas throwdown. Great idea, host an outlandish gathering on the foreshore with flowers and fancy lighting and then charge your employees for drinks with their Christmas bonuses. We all decided we were glad we didn't work for said company and ended the evening with the communal smoking of a special cigarette on the foreshore.

As the water gently lapped against the limestone wall and we sat there in reflection of the evening's events, a single disgruntled heroin addict walked past us and started staunching the river as if it owed him some money. We waited until he was gone, laughed hysterically and decided it was home time.

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra's 2010 performance schedule is available here. Even if you aren't an avid follower of all things Russian and classical, their organisation promotes a large variety of music and I strongly suggest you go and check them out with empty expectations and a full bottle of red.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to really surprise your friends and family this Christmas.

Every weekend I like to head down to my local Gametraders to see if any ingrates have traded in some vintage gold. I've been known to stumble across deadstock, European exclusive copies of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (the one that came in the black box) on a good day and even the odd dust-covered copy of Axelay for the Super Nintendo on any other day. It's a little routine i've had in check for the last year or so and i find it both soothing and resourceful, even though Galleria Morley is comparable to an all ages leper colony mental asylum for the overweight and elderly.

Something was different last weekend though. It's generally pretty quiet at the Gametraders end of the mall, but this time around everything seemed a little more overweight and elderly. Children's tantrums were assaulting my ears from angles i didn't previously think were possible, trails of discarded hair followed panicky fathers and their disobedient trolleys, stressed mothers beat the shit out of each-other in the aisles over Twilight paraphernalia and the old people just sat on the seats provided for them, letting out the occasional hiss at any youths that tried to rest their weary legs. Old people only hiss at Christmas, it must be Christmas.

Suddenly, a wave of uncertainty and festivity came over me. Aside from my Birthday, Easter, Winter, Labour Day, Sick days and Boxing Day, Christmas is my favourite time of year. Everyone pretends to be all civilised and cheerful, traditionally dangerous streets are lined with fairy lights for your safety and commercial television goes into overdrive with Christmas themed repeats of all my favourite programs. Christmas is reliable as well, it comes around at the same time every year and it never calls up to cancel the day before because it's girlfriend is being a bitch or it's too hungover. However, a slightly darker side of Christmas has begun to make it's presence felt over the last few years. As i grow older and my arsenal of responsibilities grows larger, the obligation to supply thoughtful presents to friends and family has become a very real situation. A situation that no amount of "oops!" and "they didn't have your size" can save you from.

I am of course talking about presents. I'm not sure where this exchange of materials originated, nor am i yet to learn of it's long term effects, but it's what separates us from the animals and it's recently overtaken the birth of Christ as the main reason to celebrate Christmas. The problem is, i'm not good at it. I've been good at receiving presents for as long as i can remember and people always thank me afterwards for making them feel just right after presenting me with a gift. Sometimes when someone receives a gift they do this little freak out thing and make a way bigger deal out of it then is necessary. Don't do that. It's an obvious over-compensation that leaves the giver of the gift with a sense of failure and the impression that their offering is lacking in the imagination/quality department which is only amplified by the receiver's blatant act. I've seen it go down and it's awkward. When i receive a gift, i snatch it and continue the conversation as if nothing ever happened. Me taking the gift is enough to let the giver know that i am satisfied with it and avoids any possible awkwardness or excess thank-yous.

When it comes to giving gifts, i am way out of my element. I haven't thought about it too much, but it may have stemmed from my 8th or 9th birthday. Ninja Turtles had just become uncool and Streetfighter and Basketball were the new black. One of my friends, who was obviously living in the past, had the audacity to bring me a Donatello (who wasn't even cool when the Ninja Turtles were) figurine with three point movement and bow strike action. He also came with a little slice of plastic pizza which i found to be quite ironic considering Donatello was clearly a pussy and probably only ate organic granola and vegetable burritos. Regardless of Donatello's diet though, the friend in question was sent home for his betrayal with a slice of cake but no lolly bag. We threw sticks at him the next day at school. He may or may not work in parliament now.

Since that day, i've forever been afraid of giving the wrong gift and sometimes just avoid it all together. This isn't as much an indicator of how i feel about that person as it is a sign of respect and how bad i'd feel if i gave them a Donatello instead of basketball cards. The act of un-giving is a great money saver as well. People always seem to stress before Christmas because of all the money they're going to have to blow on trinkets for people that are only going to get intoxicated the same night and forget who gave it to them. Hmm, how should i spend my Christmas bonus? A new book for old Joan down the road or a wireless router for my xbox? Exactly. If i buy myself a big present instead of lots of little things for other people, i'll never forget it. It's a special bond between me and myself and a selfless example of the Christmas spirit. It's not for everyone, but if you're tired of being broke the same time every year, surprise your friends with no presents at all. They'll have become so accustomed to your kind-natured past that they'll just stand there in complete awe, giving you just enough time to creep into the shadows and towards the eski full of free beer and moderately priced champagne.

Your presence is your gift to this world. Be sure to share it with the people you love most this festive season.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Second Skin

I realized i had a problem around 1997. Having reigned supreme since late 1992, my Super Nintendo was starting to grow digital white hair and it's initial charm and seemingly infinite capabilities were being made redundant by the soon to be released Sony Playstation and it's inescapable hype. For me, it was both sad and exciting. I'd shared so many unforgettable gaming milestones with my Super Nintendo, but the appeal of the Sony Playstation and it's impressive launch roster and developer support was hard to avoid. I mean, i did actual school work in year 6 just on the strength of a proposed Sony Playstation for Christmas if my end of year report didn't contain the words 'Fail', 'other students' and 'assaulting a teacher'. My year 6 grades were worse than ever at the end of the year but i got the Sony Playstation anyway because i was diagnosed with ADD towards the end of the year, which we all know is basically a set of keys for a house on fuck around street in sympathy town.

Resident Evil came out a few months later and i was instantly attached to it. Every weekend i'd ride to my local video store to hire a game so i didn't have to worry about getting bored in between basketball and being hyperactive. I'd always spend way longer than necessary in there, forever fascinated by the spiels on the back covers of movies and games whose front covers caught my attention, particularly those of the horror genre. I had a wild imagination as a kid and would always try and push my own limits in terms of scary films which, fortunately for me, only ever went as far as looking at the gory pictures on the back covers and never actually renting them. Resident Evil would be the first time i'd willingly expose myself to the horror genre.

Without deviating too much, Resident Evil was a third person shooting/adventure game that placed you and a squad of special forces inside a spooky old mansion in the middle of nowhere to find your buddies who were also sent on a similar mission. All sorts of nasty experiments had been conducted in secret labs inside the mansion and as a result, it's inhabitants are now all zombies in lab coats and civilian clothing. The mansion was huge and within it's dimly lit hallways and extravagant decoration, numerous secret passages and hidden rooms awaited your exploration should you have felt it necessary to traumatise yourself/find secret items. The constant feeling of isolation combined with the (for it's time) photorealistic graphics and it's famous symphonic soundtrack made for a particularly haunting experience and a game that i probably should have left until i was older.

As soon as i got Resident Evil home and popped the disc in my playstation i was hooked. I spent that entire Saturday inside the mansion, stopping only for toilet breaks and the occasional sandwich that was consumed whilst playing the game. I maximised my progress by taking half of the sandwich in my mouth at a time, thus allowing both of my hands to remain on the controller whilst simultaneously receiving the essential fibre and nutrients that you can only gain from a mouthful of bread and vegemite. Ten hours had passed and i soon realized that i'd played the game from 10 o'clock that morning to 8 o'clock the same night with about ten minutes break in total. This was unprecedented for me at the time as my gaming sessions were normally limited to 2-3 hour bursts. It became a case of not wanting want to play the game because i liked it, but because i just wanted it to be over. I woke up at 3am that morning, sweating profusely with a high temperature, shaking violently and feeling like my head was going to explode. I'd been having flu nightmares about a zombie apocalypse resulting from prolonged exposure to scary mansions and an extremely concentrated dose of Capcom. It was the first time i'd been scared of death, which was insane because due to my childish ignorance, i'd narrowly escaped it a few times prior. I had to go to hospital straight away and theories of epilepsy were thrown around but instantly cast aside when the doctors were made aware of my exploits that day. It was recommended that i stay away from the Playstation for at least 48 hours, drink as much water as possible and to take 15 minute breaks for every hour that i spent in front of the television.

The next morning i woke up and started playing Resident Evil again. My eyes weren't even fully open yet, which didn't really matter because i'd become so comfortable with my console that if i wanted to, i could operate it using only my mind. I escaped the mansion and it's unimaginable horrors after a four hour revolt against health and safety and the feeling was indescribable, even if i was starting to look like the very zombies i was mowing down in the game. I assured myself that i'd built up an immunity to video game fatigue and that the night prior was merely a hurdle that all gamers must cross before their addiction becomes fully fledged. Since then i've played more epic games for longer periods of time with nothing more than a slight headache or the odd exile from my friends.

As we reach the tail end of 2009 gaming has become 'cool', nerds are the new black and Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are all manipulating pop culture to the same extent as MTV, Asian people and Stephanie Meyer. Extreme cases of video game addiction are becoming commonplace on an international scale and mainstream media are all too happy to cover it's negative effects in the form of 60 minute specials on World of Warcraft and unfounded articles discussing how violent and accessible video games have become. That's life though, we're yet to find a cure for 'douchebag'.

Luckily for me, a little documentary called 'Second Skin' exists. It was actually released a while ago and follows seven gamers, all from different walks of life and the ridiculous lives they lead as a result of their dependence. Couples finding love over Everquest, grown men lining up for expansion packs and even the odd suicide are the nature of this presentation and i urge anyone that has ever held a controller in their hands or woken up at 3 o'clock in the morning with possible brain damage after a 10 hour zombie marathon to watch it.

That's what i was trying to say this whole time.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Getting mugged, for my time.

I was in the city bright and early this morning and hadn't yet fulfilled my coffee quota so i decided to go and visit my favourite caffeine hole, Tiger Tiger. Pretty fucking exciting huh? Tiger Tiger was awesome when it first opened because instead of trying to bring some new and obvious gimmicks (gay or extremely camp baristas unaware of the concept of shutting the hell up) and design elements (art deco rape couches) to Perth's thriving coffee industry, they made good coffee and served you when you walked to the counter. Who would have thought such a crazy concept would work? Customer walks in, you greet customer with no bullshit and you make me a coffee that tastes good and is worth the ridiculously inflated price i pay for it. Take note Claremont.
It had been a while since my last visit to Tiger Tiger and i was immediately taken back by how much the little alleyway cafe had changed. Big brown picnic tables had infiltrated the once spacious passage and pushed out the little chairs and tables of yonder, businessmen and art fanatics alike appeared to be co-existing under the same shade and there was a line to the counter as long as my patience, which was surprisingly long on this particular morning. Way to grow Perth. Where was I? Melbourne?

"That'll be $4.00 thanks".

Nope, not Melbourne. But "Not Perth" either, as the funky chalk board proclaimed at the entrance to the alleyway. Shame too, declaring that an establishment in Perth is 'Not Perth' in an act of rebellion against Perth is probably the most Perth thing you can do, aside from inciting intercourse with a swan atop Kings Park. I was actually meant to start this post off with "I got a coffee at Tiger Tiger this morning and it was great" but then all this stuff started pissing me off. Something important did actually happen to me today, it's importance owed to the fact that the exact thing happened to me a couple of months ago.

I was getting Lunch in Mt. Lawley and making my way back up Beaufort Street, which by the way, is the most tedious task you could ever imagine. If it was acceptable, i'd eat my Antonio's roll inside Antonio's. Maybe they should put some fuck off picnic tables all through their walkway and see what happens. As i made the crucial cross from the scotsman side to the planet side, this dude meets me halfway at the island. He was kind of scraggly looking, but not scraggly enough to be homeless. As cars speed past us and i try and find a gap as soon as possible to avoid any possible interaction with this guy who is obviously going to ask me for some money or a job, the following exchange takes place.

Sketchy dude: Hey, scuse' me brother! You wouldn't be able to help me would you?

Me: (fuck).

Sketchy dude: Me and me missus are on our way back to Geraldton and the car's broken down just around the corner. I've been walking up and down this street for an hour an a half, me daughter's got a broken leg and me wife's looking after our two kids in the car. All i wanna do is get back to Geraldton with me family and i was wondering if you could help us out with ten or fifteen bucks for some petrol?

Me: Sorry man, i just spent my last (not even) few dollars on this (amazing, tasty, expensive) roll from the deli down the road.

*I reach into my pocket, my fingers expertly dodging the copious amounts of $50 notes and gold coins and going straight for the silver coins, a skill i've mastered since i started working on Beaufort Street. It's actually gotten to the point where my fingers can sense the colour, value and international exchange rate of a coin*.

Me: Here mate, it's only small change but i'm sure it'll help.

He then took the money and didn't say one fucking word to me. No thankyou, no grunts, no sequel sob story to try and convince me to donate more, just a surly look and a turn around. I'd just given this guy free money for nothing. Aside from his audacity to ask for such a ludicrous donation and despite the various plot-holes in his story (is your car broken down or out of petrol? Do you have a daughter with a broken leg or two kids?) i dug deep and donated to what i knew was an illegitimate cause. I was mugged for my time and i had to wash my expensive roll down with a now warm Dr. Pepper. Whatever though, i'm a nice guy and i've since forgiven homie for his lack of manners and ignorance of road rules.

Forgiven, until yesterday that is. I'd just been to Coles and had once again wisely invested my money in an olive encrusted ciabatta roll featuring prosciutto, jarlsberg and fresh salad executive produced by me. I was making my way back to work when in the distance i notice someone that doesn't quite fit in to the evolution of fashion currently occurring in Claremont's central hub. This guy had just finished talking to one person when he immediately started talking to a young couple behind them. The couple then hand him what looks to be Australian currency. This guy is either extremely popular or homeless. He then continues his journey, which happens to detour past my exact line of sight and the direction in which i'm walking. "please don't see me, please don't see me, in the name of the father, son and the holy spirit jesus christ mighty lord above please don't let him see me".

Sketchy dude: Hey, scuse' me brother! You wouldn't be able to help me would you?

Me: (FUCK! It's him!)

Sketchy dude: Me and me missus are on our way back to Geraldton and the car's broken down just around the corner. I've been walking up and down this street for an hour an a half, me daughter's got a broken leg and me wife's looking after our two kids in the car. All i wanna do is get back to Geraldton with me family and i was wondering if you could help us out with ten or fifteen bucks for some petrol?

It was the same guy, telling the same story, in Claremont. I couldn't believe what i was seeing. It had been a good few months since i last saw this guy and he was still stuck in the exact same situation with the exact same amount of daughters and the same problem with his car. Only he'd somehow managed to make it all the way into Claremont to plead his case. I wanted to tell him to keep walking because at this pace he'd be in Geraldton by Christmas but i've heard these characters aren't big on the whole concept of hygiene and one punch could land me five minutes in germ town county prison, scrubbing my hands as punishment.

I awkwardly fumbled around my pocket, gave him a New Zealand dollar and fled the scene so quickly that i didn't even realize how much i'd technically given him and how much i hated myself for not taking the opportunity to expose him. I shook it off and continued forth to my destination, knowing that i'd been rolled for my money and time once again by this enigmatic, petrol-huffing genius. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, i fucking hate your guts and the guts of anyone you care about.

My lunch tasted all the more luxurious when i remembered how that New Zealand dollar will be the only thing between him and his next cask of wine and maybe, just maybe when he tries to assault the Liqourland attendant for not accepting it, the resulting police intervention will see him back in East Perth lock up and significantly closer to his wife, one or two daughters and that imaginary broken down Commodore on Walcott Street.

I'm a great guy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where'd you get that shirt? An Elia Kazan set wardrobe?

Oh my god i was in Planet Video last night and i encountered what shall forever remain as the most arrogant, self-obsessed, nerdy, pseudo-discerning, slightly-alternative-but-before-alternative-was-cool group of arts & film major cinema buffs i have ever eavesdropped on. There was four of them and if you were ever to make an independent film where a group of people stand in the new release section loudly stating their opinions on the state of movie direction and how David Lynch is overrated, these four people would not only star in it, but also direct it and then rip it to shreds after it's preview out the front of the Boston Independent film festival whilst smoking an entire pack of Camel brand cigarettes.

First, you had the leader of the pack, who was a tall, lanky male with a huge adam's apple and scruffy hair. He was wearing one of those retro t-shirts with an old hi-8 logo to display his affection for a time when movies were made in French with passion and didn't come with subtitles. Oh yeah, his shirt wasn't retro, it was actually from 1989.
Standing next to the leader was his sidekick, a Ferris Bueller rip off in a striped shirt, neat quiff and shitloads of acne. He probably had pants on as well, i was just too angry to look at the time. The sidekick didn't say much, possibly due to the fact that in between nodding his head and dropping the occasional Virginie Despentes quote, he had the leader's dick and balls firmly clamped inside his mouth.
If i'd kindly look to the right, i might just notice a girl. Conventionally, a girl wouldn't normally be accepted into such an esteemed and potentially homosexual group of art-house movie critics, but this particular female specimen had obviously become a member as part of an initiative by the group to avoid the tacky 'bromance' tag that had plagued them on their daily outings between the time a post Clueless Paul Rudd became popular and the present. This girl wore glasses, a red knit jumper, faded jeans and bootleg Doc Martens. She had no problem deflecting the obvious testosterone flying around during their debate over which modern actress would have made a suitable replacement for Lilian Gish in D.D.W Griffith's controversial Birth of a Nation. She also did this whilst simultaneously not wanting to have sex with a single member of her group.

There was another guy there as well, he had orange hair and if it's even possible, was the loser of the group. Everything he said was instantly dispelled by the leader of the group and then reinforced by the sidekick and the girl with glasses. The only reason he hangs out with them is because the false sense of belonging takes his mind off his numerous failed suicide attempts due to him not actually wanting to die until Avatar comes out. Wanting to see the obscenely over-hyped and mainstream Avatar is another reason he is shunned by his peers.

These four had no intention of actually renting anything out and were content just standing in the middle of the New Release section, loudly discussing shit foreign movies that nobody had ever heard of or cared about. I can tell they've done this before. They know they're more suited to the festival section of the video store but the New Release section gets a-lot more traffic and they're more likely to be heard by the general public and therfore, less understood than before. It was this kind of anti-attention seeking backwards logic that forced me to pick up the nearest copy of Watchmen and pretend to read the back whilst i listened in on their stimulating rhetoric.

Adam's Apple - Oh my god Silas, could you stand any closer to that Transformers cover? I don't think Frank Weller has completely revolved in his grave yet.

Sidekick - Yeah Silas, what are you trying to do? Be one of the people?

Red Jumper - *flicks hair* *rolls eyes* That's so cute Silas, of all the fine cinema featured in the New Release section, you choose Megan Fox and Michael Bay. *rolls eyes*

Orange hair - Sorry guys, i was actually standing here as a protest. Like standing in front of it symbolizes my rebel against it and will hopefully drive people away from supporting Steven Spielberg.

*Young man brushes past the group, grabs Transformers and says "Awesome"*

Adam's Apple - Yeah, nice protest Silas. Who are you? Nicholas Ray?

Sidekick - More like Nicholas Gay! *looks around*

Adam's Apple - *rolls eyes* Christian, that low brow humor reminds me of the ironic Will Ferrell craze of 2006-2007. Don't be a miscreant.

Sidekick - I know, i had a total moment of mainstream just then.

Orange Hair - So, what do you guys want to get out? I haven't seen Sophie's Choice for a while?

Red Jumper - *rolls eyes* *flicks hair* "Between the innocent, the romantic, the sensual, and the unthinkable. There are still some things we have yet to imagine". *rolls eyes*

Adam's Apple - Thank you Melody. *rolls eyes* Silas for god's sake, If you open your mouth to only display complete ignorance and a lack of film knowledge one more time, i'm going to start an online petition to have you banned from every film network on the world wide web. *looks around*

Sidekick - Forget it Donny! You're out of your element!

Adam's Apple - *Looks around* Really Christian? A Big Lebowski quote? Where are we? Video Ezy?

Red Jumper - *rolls eyes* *adjusts glasses* *rolls eyes* *looks around* *flicks hair* *has a seizure* *looks around*

I know Planet Video/Planet Books is a great place for the university students and hessian bag carrying population of the greater Mt. Lawley area to showcase their intellects and allergy to anything mainstream, but if i have to wilfuly go through anything slightly reminiscent of the above verbal exchange during a trip to the video store again, i'm going to decapitate everyone in sight with Leslie Nielsen's entire catalogue.

I came to get a movie out, not be kept up to date on how fucking lame you are.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Was Charles Wooley flirting with Robert Pattinson?

I was making this amazing pasta the other night and was totally in a groove similar to that of a certain Emperor whilst he figured out how to get it back. I had the sauce on simmer, the fettucine on smash and the vibe in the kitchen was that of a somewhat chilled out entertainer. As i applied the finishing touches to my pièce de résistance, i was stopped dead in my tracks by what sounded like shrieking teenage girls coming from the living room. Not the kind of shrieks that you ignore because it's probably just stupid girls being scared of stupid spiders, but moreso the kind of shrieks that cause a man to abandon whatever it is he is doing to fight for justice and potential bravery accolades in the form of medals and/or trophies. I immediately dropped the prosciutto, ran into the living room and was ready to eradicate whatever it was that was threatening my girlfriend and my housemate's girlfriend when, to my embarassment, i'm greeted by a much less threatening scene. The girls weren't screaming because some pedophile, rapist, kitten-torturing madman had jumped through the window to wave his willy at them, they were screaming because a preview of Robert Pattinson's interview with 60 minutes had just aired and i only had about five minutes to get as far away from the television as possible. I slowly turned around and headed back to the kitchen, red with embarassment and the realization that i may in fact, not be receiving any bravery accolades any time soon.

I've always been a fan of Charles' gentle yet firm brand of journalism. He always seems to ask the most important questions and constantly has me sitting there in awe, screaming "THAT'S WHAT I WOULD HAVE ASKED HIM!". If someone is awesome, he interviews them awesome, if someone is a bag of shit, he'll throw bags of shit at them and make them look as uneducated and stinky as possible, almost to the point where that person will never return to Australia, or if they're already an Australian citizen, to leave Australia as soon as possible. He is basically the foreign affairs minister specializing in rich celebrity douchebags.

As a result of this admiration i was a little intrigued as to how he'd go about interviewing the biggest celebrity in the world and the one man responsible for tarnishing the vampire's otherwise deadly and irreproachable image. Will he publicly sandbag him because he feels the same way i do about vampires? Or will he suckle at his nuts like a fanboy in overdrive?
Truth is, he didn't really do either. I was personally a little surprised at Charles' approach this time round and maybe it's just me, but it looked like he was only asking those questions to make conversation with Robert, get him nice and comfortable and eventually ask him out on a date.

See the transcript for yourselves, I've highlighted the parts i found to be most suspect.

CHARLES WOOLEY: You had been, at one stage, a teenage model?

CHARLES WOOLEY: So you were trying to trade on your good looks?

CHARLES WOOLEY: You could see this as a metaphor for something else, getting serious here.

CHARLES WOOLEY: Even Tom Cruise has had a bite at it, turning Brad Pitt into a member of the dark fellowship.

CHARLES WOOLEY: I kept saying, "Go for this guy,".

CHARLES WOOLEY: You're nicely diffident, though. It's an English thing, isn't it?

CHARLES WOOLEY: Please Robert, bite me on the neck?

CHARLES WOOLEY: A nice young man.

C'mon Charles! As i watched on i kept expecting Robert to suddenly be in a skirt with no panties, seductively crossing and re-crossing his legs to gain Charles' favour and more admiration from his fans. Then i realized that happened in Basic Instinct and thank god i didn't just whip that scenario up out of nowhere.

Here are some pictures.

After being confronted with this imagery for a few minutes i had to leave the room. I'm not saying i don't respect Charles Wooley anymore, i'm just saying he lost his shit for this particular interview. A man of such esteem should never let himself be charmed by some english runabout movie star/teen model, no matter how much his skin shimmers in the sunlight. The only way i see Charles redeeming himself after this particular incident is by interviewing the more important members of the 'Twilight' cast, namely this girl.

Get em' Wooley!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Nice shirt bro..........glassed anyone tonight?"

Whenever i check facebook in the morning i always follow a regimental process known as the 'douche-filter'. It's a pretty basic technique that enables me to scan my live feed at a faster than usual pace, taking in all the important information and simultaneously dispelling the warm garbage juice that takes up 80% of my feed at any given time. All the relevant information is stored in a pile to the back of my brain should i need to discuss it with others at a later time or if need something to talk about, and the rest is completely discarded to the same area where i store all my important engagements and bill reminders and thus, completely forgotten. It's not fancy in any sense of the word but it is the most reliable process of elimination in my life at the moment.

Successful live feed information includes:

- Hilarious youtube videos involving cats, old people scrapping, cats scrapping and Lil Wayne documentary previews.

- People failing at life. "Oh man i just runned over a bird, i suck", "i'm on facebook in a public toilet, i just did shits lol" or the always entertaining "anyone got anywhere to live?".

- Epic chain comments on status updates. Anything above 3o comments on a status update requires my immediate attention as the contributors are clearly up to something comical and/or clever.

Unsuccessful live feed information includes:

- Band/live gig/promotional information. I hate this stuff more than anything else on Facebook. I don't go to gigs very often, and if i ever do they tend to be the type of gigs you hear about on advertising venues besides Facebook before eventually seeing them on Facebook. God knows why i accept requests from these companies, i get 20 emails a day and at least 21 of them are invites to gigs i'd never set foot in. I get it, you have to promote your gig and Facebook is the easiest way to reach the net-savvy youth of today but even your supporters can only tolerate so much spam rape in one day.

- Farmville. I'm juvenile as shit, i play video games, take very little seriously and gain great pleasure from new release confectionery, but i'll be damned if i ever stoop to Farmville's level of immaturity. This is like the World of Warcraft of Facebook but instead of never hearing about it and it's primary user base being violent loner asexual nerds, my live feed is getting pounded by people i thought i knew and how well their computer generated carrot crops are going. Oh no! A black cat wandered onto your farm and i subsequently blocked all Facebook contact with you! Unlucky!

- Fuck i hate Farmville.

- Shitty Youtube videos that i've seen a million times. If you post a Youtube video that 6,958,954,394 people have viewed, chances are i've seen it.

So with my filter in full effect this morning i stumbled across the following news article.

"Metrosexuals banned to curb violence."

I had a read through it and instantly recognised the name of the venue and the people that were running it. The venue is known as Dorcia and is run by one Scott Mellor. I've spoken to Scott on numerous occasions and he is a polite, well-mannered individual with a good business mind and an awareness of what the 'alternative' youth want when they let their collective hairs down. Dorcia originally started as a bi-monthly party at the otherwise uninhabitable Leederville hotel and was aimed at a pretty diverse crowd whom all shared the same distaste for the rest of Perth's excessively lame nightclubs. You had your hardcore crowd, skateboarders, bmx'ers, your streetwear afficiandos and more than enough young lasses to cater to the aforementioned groups. Nowadays, it has become a national weekly event, is celebrated in both Melbourne and Perth and has given exposure to and promoted the careers of local DJ's armed only with a strong word of mouth campaign and a few carefully placed wheat paste posters. Elsewhere, these people would have no choice but to adhere to the old world dress standards and mentalities of bouncers and club owners perth-wide, or be forced to stay at home through fear of being denied entry to a club they're only attending for the sake of going out, not because they actually want to be there. Their slogan?

'No metrosexual attire, no aggression, no problems.

Essentially, this advertises an evident animosity towards the general public and what is deemed acceptable by most night clubs. And why the fuck not. You only need to spend one night out in any of Perth's club districts to bare witness to the extremely stale, almost uniform, dress standards enforced by club owners who appear to cater only to football players, football supporters and a general public scared of individuality or patrons of differing taste, backgrounds, religious beliefs or whatever else they can discriminate against for the sake of achieving a nightclub full of the same person. Watch the news on any given Sunday and you're bound to see footage of a bunch snakeskin boot-wearing, faded jean endorsing, stitch pattern button-up sporting apes beating each-other senseless out the front of the Red Sea because that's what you do at the end of a big night, wrestle with men while females run scared. I mean, what else are you going to brag about to your cronies throughout the week in anticipation of going out and doing it all again next weekend?

Stereotype? Yes. Unfair? Doubt it. The club owners and the audience they appeal to have done this to themselves and now that it's happening they're saying it's unfair to exclude someone from a venue based on their appearance. A hypocrisy this extreme should attract infringements and jail time. You know why people like Scott Mellor and anyone else making an effort to avoid these characters are excluding YOU and YOUR customers now? Because when you're all lurking the streets of Subiaco, Northbridge or the City at 2am in the morning being recorded on cctv acting like a bunch of fucking morons, you are all dressed EXACTLY the same. It then gets played on Today Tonight, A Current Affair and every other local news station and you all lose another point of credibility, only to be let into the exact same venue again and again while nothing is done about it. Who else do they associate this behavior with?

I'm not endorsing exclusion or discrimination at nightclubs. There are of course other factors that contribute to violence and general fuckery at nighclubs, alcohol and drugs obviously spring to mind. These two variables however, are not up for debate as a result of Scott's decision. It's the fact that his rules are being disputed by people who wouldn't set foot in Dorcia anyway, other club owners and even Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Helen Szoke, who states "it is against the law to refuse a person service on the basis of age, sex, physical features, race and a range of other characteristics". Nice one Doc, now go and tell that to every other club that isn't Dorcia.

I was even a little apprehensive of Scott's slogan at first. I've been to Dorcia a few times myself you see. The music was too loud, the girls were too scantily clad and someone spilt beer on me. Regardless, I did have a great time and was extremely comfortable walking around in a pair of sneakers, baggy denim and a crew neck jumper, without having to worry about getting bottled or beaten for staring at some guys chick. Of course it was going to be up for debate when a new venue appears in Northbridge and doesn't accept 99% of the population, but now that i've heard Scott's side of the story and read comments published by the general public on the matter, i couldn't agree more with his stance.

I'll leave you with the kind of gold i was coming across and a prime example of the people that fall under the scrutiny of Scott's slogan.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

*Completely boycotts Fur and it's related products*

How come i suddenly love Twilight and hate people that wear fur?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The X Factor.

I want to die

This flu is being a faggot
A reward for my assailant

Ladies and Gentlemen, above is a the first haiku i have ever written. It was composed on Tuesday around lunchtime, during the peak of the gnarliest flu i have ever endured. This flu was so badass that it wore a leather jacket with a patch on the back displaying five rebellious germs circling a perfectly healthy one. It rode into my immune system on a motorbike constructed of pure hatred for human health and proceeded to do bog laps around my entire person for a good 72 hours, stopping only to refuel and give me just enough time to convince myself that life is worth living and suicide isn't the most realistic cure for my illness.

I know you're sitting there thinking "what a pussy, he thinks he's a hard nut because he had the flu". It wasn't just the flu you fucking bitch. If what i had to endure was the flu, then realistically everyone that has ever had the flu wouldn't even know they had the flu, because they'd be dead already. Walls were moving with no assistance, ceilings were spinning in a similar fashion to that of a hypnotist's charm (except the charm works in reverse and takes you to hell), my nose was running faster and for longer periods than Steve Monoghetti on steroids and my fever was so severe that i learnt pyrokinesis but i didn't even want to use it because i was too sick. You know you've ventured beyond the realms of a common flu when you've learnt pyrokinesis and you don't even want to use it. So take your measly little colds and stick it where the sun shines, aka your ass, because you clearly think that is where the sun shines from if you also believe you've had this kind of flu before.

How did i deal with it though? Many would suggest prescription medicines, lemon teas and all sorts of other homo-erotic short term solutions but i think the most effective deterrent for any kind of sickness is to not get it in the first place. Don't share drinks, don't walk behind sick people or people who don't look like they shower daily and don't let your friends sneeze in your mouth. Quite simple for most (me in particular), but for those of us who are prone to catch other people's filth every now and then or are just plain jerks with weak immune systems, i bring forth two activities that will have you saying "Vomit? What vomit?"

1. A limitless supply of the X Files back catalogue.
The only television series filmed entirely during overcast weather and the owner of some serious real estate close to my heart. I don't care what anyone says, aside from Seinfeld and the earlier seasons of Samurai Pizza Cats, the X Files is the greatest of all time television series. Sewer monsters, non-twilight vampires, telekinetic dolls, killer ATM machines, mind-controlling soil, Aliens, the Internet, murderous mist, government cover-ups and Fox Mulder. It effortlessly ticks all the boxes on the curriculum vitae of awesomeness and is one of those rare franchises that you can come back to every ten years and still be blown away by it's delivery and excessively ghoulish theme song. Plus, Dana Scully is one of few female protagonists that holds the ability to get better looking with every season. I can't even imagine how good she'd look if the series ran through to this day.

2. Borderlands
Borderlands is a new game that i bought for my X-box. If i had to describe it, it would be've got this train line right? And this train line runs from 'pretty cool' station all the way to the last stop at 'completely fucking radical'. Borderlands would be the drunken limousine driver that picks you up and tells you that there is a station beyond completely fucking radical that no-one knows about and he takes you there and makes the most hilarious jokes you've ever heard along the way and you feel like you're accomplishing something throughout the entire journey.

If you like your video games to include insignificant elements like 'story line' and 'cohesion' then it's probably best that you don't ever play this game. The lack of story is by far the most impressive aspect of Borderlands and i can only aspire to achieve a similar worldwide acclaim for doing absolutely fuck all.

Game Developer 1: "So, we're probably gonna have to whip a story together before we release this already finished alpha version of the game to the testers".

Game Developer 2: "Really? Damn. Umm, there's a planet called Pandora and there's, umm, this vault right? And it has treasure in it".

Game Developer 1: "Yeah! Yeah! And you're there to find it or something".

Game Developer 2: "Perfect".

Game Developer 1: "Now onto the more important matter. Did we decide on 250,000 different guns or 1,000,000"?

Game Developer 2: "Shit. Better boil the kettle".

It's true, some players have counted over a billion different guns and not even one ounce of storyline at any given point of the game. You basically just run around gathering loot, killing bandits and levelling up so you can kill more bandits later on with less effort and more body parts per square meter. Some might call it the perfect game, i would call it Jesus Christ in the flesh.

I went to a party on the weekend as well. I know it's where i caught my sickness from and I'll put some photos up soon so you can help me find the asshole. Meanwhile, go check the shredtavern for evidence of said party.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Give a fuk wat a hetter gat to say.

While you said he was nothing but a gimmick, a one trick pony and the worst rapper alive, we said he was a rising star, an artist of immense capabilities and the voice of a generation. Where you questioned our intentions, we preached the gospel and while you were at home last night hetting behind your computers, BANGS was rocking a full capacity crowd to the sweet sounds of victory and of course, his recent chart-topping venture, 'Take U To Da Movies'.

I wasn't there myself personally, but a certain Dommy Hammond was there to witness history in the making as an impressively collected BANGS tore the roof off as if he were a seasoned veteran on the live music circuit.

Seriously. Who the fuck can come out of nowhere and influence a crowd like that? He even brought popcorn! Dinner and a show! And keep your "yeh but peepl r jus lauging at him!!" mentalities to yourselves. BANGS set out to do one thing, entertain the shit out of you. If a single person at that venue last night didn't leave absolutely beaming may i suggest a booking with your nearest proctologist for immediate removal of the forrest of sticks and tree trunks clearly residing deep inside your colon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Take U To Da Movies

Every few years a new piece of music will emerge that is so raw in concept and honest in it's delivery that it makes you wonder how you ever lived without it. I'm talking about the kind of music that pushes away big budget recording studios and professional marketing mentalities whist simultaneously welcoming new concepts and aural experimentation with a transition comparable to that of a 2002 v12 Cadillac Cien. I am of course talking about BANGS groundbreaking new single "Take U To Da Movies".

"Bangs is a 19 year old rap artist born in North Khartoum, Sudan. At the age of 11, he moved to Egypt with his family after his Father married another wife. He spent two years there before coming to Australia in 2003.

He has been writing rap, hip hop and pop since settling in Melbourne in 2004.

“Music is my wife”, Bangs sang in a live jam recently. He writes about life, love and hope and his music grows with him till the end of life.

He recorded his first demo “Girlfriend” in 2005 with DJ Wasabi in Collingwood, then started to lay down tracks in his home studio.

In July 2008, he recorded his first professional album at Gateway Living Music Studios, titled “Hard to be Up”. Produced by John Favaro and Paul Last name, it features the new hit single “Take U to Da Movies”

- Excerpt from BANGS biography.

His first single 'Take U To Da Movies' is the result of years of dedication as much as it is a dedication to all the girls who like to go to the movies. The track opens up with a shot of BANGS in the flesh and he immediately jumps into the first verse. Business as usual.

"Let me take you to the movies shorty,
i'm sure later on you'll be my baby,
lets sit down and just be by my side,

i got the popcorn, i know what size you like"

To most, this would seem like a typical r&b track about a guy that's trying to soften up his new lady friend but BANGS somehow manages to take it deeper than rap. To research this verse with an open mind is to realize that BANGS is in fact playing on the female's insatiable desire to be taken out for a good film and the idea that a hip-hop star should be able to do just that. It's a classic play on a timeless mentality and a protest to the ever recurring and somewhat stale theme in hip-hop that females are of little use in modern society and merely a tool for the male's satisfaction. The only satisfaction that BANGS is getting out of a female is that which comes from showing her a good time.

And if you thought this song was a one dimensional view on a chivalrous act, you'd be incorrect and i'd feel sorry for you. Again, if you watch the clip closely, BANGS uses the imagery as a chance to express his view on some more important issues.

Money - BANGS is by no means a political rapper, but the constant shots of money (sometimes of varying currency) is a constant reminder that the global economic crisis is still in full effect and if you play your cards right you too can be financially stable amongst tumultuous times.

Heritage - Throughout the video, background shots of BANGS' birthplace Sudan bring a certain element of pride to the track. BANGS wants you to know where he's come from, where he's at and where he's going. Namely, to the movies with a girl.

Technology - Remember the v12 Cadillac Cien i was talking about in the first paragraph? That's a concept car, as in it's not even out yet and probably never will be, yet BANGS is all too happy to show you what it could look like if it came to fruition. BANGS' is also seen to be using an iPhone in the clip, most probably to call his shorty. This a very fair look into the processes of technology and how one idea can lead to an accessory capable of changing the way we live, or can just as easily be lost in the stages of conception.

Gambling/Multiple Personality Disorder - Two more prevalent problems in modern society are discussed closer to the end. Again, BANGS is by no means a political rapper or even a conscious rapper, but he somehow manages to touch on some serious issues whilst displaying his love for the female form. Two birds, one stone.

Seeing BANGS at his final destination and the location in which he'll display his deepest affection for his shorty is by far the most climatic part of the song and the reason we all listen to BANGS in the first place. We don't catch a glimpse of the lady in question which could be taken as a subliminal message to all the women out there, hinting that it could be any of you that ends up under BANGS' spell at the cinema.

The song has been a youtube hit for a while now but only in the last few weeks has BANGS been receiving the recognition he deserves. Boasting over 120,000 views at any given time, BANGS' presence is now being felt on an international level and his popularity has skyrocketed to heights seldom seen by an independent Australian artist (see every winner of Australian Idol).

If there was ever a time for BANGS to capitalize on the currently stagnant Australian r&b/hip-hop market, now is that time. BANGS has the look, the lyrics and the catchy hooks to become a permanent fixture on the otherwise bile-inducing Australian pop charts and he has my full support on his journey.

BANGS sophomore album 'Hard To Be Up' is due for release on the 4th of December this year through a yet to be named distributor.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Silly Windows XP

I checked the time on my computer this morning and it was an hour after what time i thought it was at that time!! I was so excited when i realized that my day was going to go an hour faster than days in recent history and decided to celebrate by synchronizing my watch to the same time because that's what you do in daylight savings, you set your watch forward like everyone else in Western Civilization.

I went down to my local deli to get some breakfast supplies and much to the surprise of my tolerance processor, it wasn't open! I was pretty pissed off, but still happy from when i checked the time earlier so i patiently sat and waited for a little while. An exact hour passed and the little Asian guy that runs the deli rocked up all nonchalant and acting like he didn't know why i was sitting there. We talk sometimes, we're not complete anons, but not complete bff's either. He looks at me and says "hello what the fuck are you doing here", not like that, but i could tell he wanted to hurl expletives at me. I mean, I'd do the same if i saw some punk sitting outside my work before i got there and he wasn't getting paid for it. I replied "err, you're late" like his manager or something and he was all "fuck outta here, i'm right on time as always". It's true, Asian people are the most punctual and efficient people in W.A. but I could tell it was going to get heated regardless.

I jammed my watch in his face so hard that he almost went back in time and said "LOOK! YOU'RE LATE". He karate chopped me hard enough to knock me back, but also soft enough to only just get my attention. I tried to throw a fireball at him but at this point he was unlocking the door and not even looking at me. He made it in just in time for me to not throw a fireball at him and i went inside, grabbed my overpriced groceries and smashed them on his counter, still upset about his lack of sympathy for me while i waited for him. As he overcharged me, my half-asleep gaze was directed towards the massive digital clock above the cigar stand and it displayed the time an exact hour prior to what i had set my watch to. Then, all the karate chops and fireballs in the world couldn't stop me from one particularly rude awakening.

Oh hai! I'm Perth. I'm run by old people, farmers, crybabies, whingers, whiners, pussies and people that don't vote. I enjoy procrastination, darkness, early finish times, simple food and a good night's rest. I prefer the quiet life, opinions tend to rub me the wrong way and you can keep your small bars, convenience, late nights, good coffee and culture to yourself! I've got a beach!

I apologized to Joe (that's what all the english people that shop there call him, even though i'm 100% sure that's not his name which is kind of racist if you think about it, joe's just to polite to say anything) grabbed my expensive groceries and stomped back home, not without starting a fight with a swan and spitting on a freshly planted kangaroo paw.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nova 100

I know what you did yesterday.....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Late night buttered popcorn ceasar salad of arms.

If i had to pick two things in this world that i was most powerless when faced with, it would be promo and chips. Promo is great because everybody wins. I get free shit, you get to advertise and i get free shit. Chips are great because they are always tasty, come in a wide variety of flavours and cuts and they hold that irresistible quality that blurs the line between a full blown snack or an extremely cheap meal. In separate forms both of these entities are more than capable of holding my attention and when combined there's little i wouldn't do, or few people i wouldn't kill to get to them.

Therefore, you could imagine my delight when i stumbled into IGA this morning and my half awake gaze was directed to yet another Smith's collaborative project. Ahh, good old Smith's. We've been together a long time and as insane as it sounds you're one of the only things in my life that has been both constant and completely awesome, aside from myself. Free Tazo's, the Full Monty, the unsuccesful yet always exciting 'Gourmet Projects', Vegemite flavour, packaging updates and movie promos. There's little else Smith's could do to claim complete monopoly over the potato chip industry and no company before or after them will ever do it with so much flair.

Which brings me to the 'Do us a flavour' promotion. I heard about this a while ago and was tempted to enter had i not been held back by laziness and memory loss. The concept is far from fresh and is basically another 'design your own flavour' competition, allowing those of us that don't work in the potato chip industry to essentially design our own flavours. The winner of the flavour fight will not only come out with a cool $30,000 but also a 1% stake in the sales of their flavour. 1%? You're too kind Smith's. The only difference between Smith's version and past attempts by other large snack food conglomerates is that Smith's actually followed through with it. So many times i've heard about these types of competitions and then months will pass and nobody will ever see a resulting new flavour designed by a member of the general public. It's like these companies think that nobody will notice a few months after the inital advertisement and the people that did enter will just assume that someone else won the competition. Way to play on our ignorance, successful snack food board of advertising.

With Smith's keeping their word and actually delivering on the outcome of their competition, four new flavours have emerged from four different contestants. With four different contestants from four different walks of life comes a chance for Smith's to be as politically correct as a large company can be and for the most part, they've done a pretty spot on job with that. Here's a quick run down of those contestants.


Weapon of Choice: Buttered Popcorn.
Mood Colour: Hearty casual yellow.

Steve is your typical middle-aged aussie bloke, not afraid to rock a beard but also not afraid to keep it in check. Steve enjoys hanging out with his two daughters with a movie and some popcorn, hence his obvious decision to combine chips and popcorn. I foresee Steve having a pretty big advantage with the hard-working, movie watching percentage of Aussie blokes.


Weapon of Choice: BBQ coat of arms.
Mood Colour: Zany soft red.

Vinnie is your typical young aussie bloke. Judging by his picture, he's a little crazy, but happy at the same time. Vinnie's girlfriend is a vegan, so he thought he'd stick it to her with a smokey, traditional and carnivorous defiance of her lifestyle choices. Vinnie is a bit of a wild card entry, his concoction seems to be more of a play on Australian iconography than a new flavour. However, Aussie Blokes love barbecues so it could really go either way!



Weapon of Choice: Ceasar Salad.
Mood Colour: Empowerment Forrest green.

Being a 'yummy mummy' is a full time job, so everyone at Smith's was delighted when Aline found the time to create her zesty little number for the judges. Combining something i hate (salad) with something i love (chips) is definitely a bold move, but Aline could definitely pull in some votes from the men and the women for being a bit of a stunner and the only woman in the competition.


Weapon of Choice: Late night kebab.
Mood colour: Comfortable cool purple.

Lucas is your typical young Aussie bloke. As you can see, he's a bit of a party animal and appreciates a solid kebab at the end of the night as much as he does the touch of a typical young Aussie woman. Late night kebabs tend to taste better than kebabs of any other time frame and we can only hope that Lucas' creation doesn't suffer the same fate as most late night kebabs (vomit)!

So you've got your four contestants and as a collective they're looking pretty diverse yet essentially all the same at the same time. Where you'd probably be mislead though, is in thinking that any of these four people (or the manufacturers of the chips for that matter) are capable of designing an edible Smith's potato chip. I was so excited about this competition when i first saw the promotional Smith's stall, standing there like it didn't mind being away from all the other chips because it knew it was more than capable of holding it down in front of the frozen party pies section, or anywhere in the market for that matter. I did a little Michael Jackson crotch grab to thriller pose routine inside the supermarket and everyone started clapping, then i snatched all four flavours and skipped to the counter whistling the theme song from the Sound of Music. I was whistling so hard that you could actually see the notes as they left my mouth. The notes then floated up to the heavens and burst like little musical bubbles. A trail of magic anticipation dust followed me all the way home. The dust and the notes instantly faded when i tasted Steve's buttered popcorn. Which brings me to the most important part of this post. The important part.

Steve's Buttered Popcorn.

Smells like: Buttered popcorn with a hint of being left out in the sun.

Tastes like: Gag reflex. I'm not even joking. I have no idea how they managed to mess up the most promising flavour but it's like the butter they used had been saturated in butter and then injected with more butter prior to being cooked. I can only imagine how hard it is to imitate the taste of corn. It tasted like disappointment.

How they could have made it better: Less butter. I wouldn't have minded if it tasted more like salt than butter because salt is an essential part of the Smith's regime and is therefore capable of saving any flavour, no matter how unnatural it tastes.

Would i eat it again? Most certainly not. One glance at the off yellow packaging the morning after had me running to the bathroom like i was in the early stages of pregnancy.

Vinnies BBQ Coat of Arms.

Smells Like: Lay's Texas BBQ but not as overwhelmingly awesome.

Tastes Like: A lack of effort. I think Smith's forgot that the packaging isn't edible and that the time allocated to the design of the logo for this idea would have been much better spent on creating an authentic tasting Australian barbecue chip. I tried to eat the logo and it tasted worse than Vinnie's BBQ but better than Steve's popcorn.

How they could have made it better: Three words. Tomato Fucking Sauce. It's so simple. Atomic Tomato or Heinz Tomato sauce flavoured chips will forever be remembered as two golden eras in snack food history. It might not be original, but all you had to do was sneak some of Australia's favourite condiment in amongst whatever else you guys jammed in there and the chip would have been more than edible and a formidable entrant in this competition.

Would i eat it again? Possibly. Like, if it was on the table at a friend's house and they had ignored my requests for different flavours or if nobody else had brought Salt 'n' Vinegar then yeah, i'd have a couple and complain about it.

Aline's Caesar Salad

Smells like: Herbs. But not real ones.

Tastes Like: Herbs. Something you'd offer a vegetarian at a movie night. Having said that though, the flavour did contain traces of another famous chip and a personal favourite of mine, Thins 'Light n Tangy'. It is this similarity that convinced me not to immediately hate Aline's flavour. A good summer chip should your local supermarket run out of Thins 'Light n Tangy'.

How they could have made it better: I can't help but wonder if this flavour was born to be on a thin sliced crisp as opposed to a crinkle cut. This is the kind of flavour you want to jump out at you but unfortunately the deep crevasses of the crinkle cut chip acted as bunkers for the spicy ingredients to hide in. My taste-buds were the rescue squad, but the herbs were too content to just perish in anonymity amongst the shade of their salty barriers.

Would i eat it again?
Yes. But only on a thin sliced crisp. Maybe again on a crinkle cut for the same reason i'd eat one of Vinnies BBQ chips.

Lucas's Late Night Kebab.

Smells like: Body odour, onions, uncertainty.

Tastes like: Actually pretty good. Despite it's shortcomings in the initial scent department, Lucas has come up with a pretty accessible flavour. I'm going to put this down to the ridiculous amount of different ingredients that have gone into the production of this chip and not the quest for an authentic tasting late night kebab. I call it the 'Full Monty' syndrome. Jam as many flavours into one thing as possible and you're bound to get it right eventually or simply confuse your customers to the point of admitting defeat. Had this chip actually tasted like a late night kebab i wouldn't have reviewed it, kebab stands repulse me. They're like a central hub for all the worst characteristics of mankind to gather together and eat something that, much like themselves, is going to fall apart within a matter of minutes. Of course, i'm basing this on kebab stands at night, i've never felt the need for a kebab during the day.

How they could have made it better: Name change. Lucas should have swapped names with Steve and called it Steve's Souvlaki or something. As previously mentioned, late night kebabs don't really conjure up images of great taste and family fun.

Would i eat it again? Probably. Not sure really. Maybe.

And the winner? Well, it's like picking your favourite mental illness isn't it. No matter which one you pick, it's still not cool. Unfortunately for Smith's the idea of letting a bunch of anons create their dream chip has ended in four mediocre flavours that are probably going to get pulled within a matter of weeks, not unlike the Mother energy drinks before it or Vegemite's edgy new name proposition, i personally see this particular marketing campaign as a strike on Smith's otherwise impeccable reputation. I'm going to let Aline have this one, but only because her chip reminded me of another product of much better quality and somehow confused my taste-buds into thinking it was better than it was.

Overall though, the real winner is me. This post marks the first time i was ever able to go into a supermarket and cop every flavour of a single product at the same time and not feel bad about it. I can only imagine how great i looked to the checkout operators.