January 29, 2008
In a yearly tradition, Kristen Condon and I headed out to the Big Day Out to cause some trouble. Here’s a first hand account.
The venue this year was Flemington. I was considering Top Hat and tails and pictured myself sitting in the member’s section sipping champagne and talking about how George W Bush ain’t all that bad just to shit people… while watching Rage Against the Machine. But I decided to go more casual in Ralph Lauren top and shorts. Which turned out to be a good idea as the venue was actually the car park at Flemington… not the official grounds. But this car park served the purposes fine for the BDO maelstrom.
Upon arrival two feral junkies asked if we intended to stay all day and wanted our ticket. No doubt some scam was in play. I advised Kristen too keep walking but she was way ahead of me hating these feral scumbags.
We arrived during the Regurgitator set around 3pm. Their star must have fallen if they are on this early. To our dismay checking the guide we have missed Midnight Juggernauts and British India’s gigs all over by 3pm.
But the BDO is about getting drunk and silly and seeing a few bands and friends, so we thought fuck it.
We had VIP tickets that get us into the VIP area. Now called Guest area so as to not sound too elitist. We began the search for the Guest Services tent. Like a quest for the Grail we asked every dumb ass security person in the joint who didn’t have a clue where the guest services tent was. We found a staff person who knew and pointed generically toward the Flemington stand. We looked around, saw a bit of Spoon and eventually found the tent. After securing the all-important VIP pass. Yes, I will call it that, as I have no problem with elitism. We hunted out the VIP area that provides a modicum of civilization and good company in the sea of stinking teenage shitheads.
Once inside the hallowed halls of the guest area we saw the drink cue was a fucking mile long. I started down the cue to see whom I knew. Luckily good ole Andrew Mast from Inpress was near the front and we struck up a conversation and soon were in line. Buying up all the Vodka Ice things we could… we quickly started to get drunk.
Greeting Hank from 161 is a yearly tradition at the BDO. Hank is old friends with promoter Vivian Lees and is a staple of the event for me. He was in fine spirits and looking good as usual with his posse of pals including the inscrutable Phil. We then tried to sit down and rest after our quest.
A rude cunt wouldn’t let us have two empty chairs. So we went and smoked (I smoke when drunk, probably a bad idea) up the back fence of the VIP area. Now a little merry I began to muse on the detention centre look of the Big Day Out with its fenced off areas and high security.
I then told all who would listen about my new theory. How funny it is that all these lefty anti whatever types all paid over a hundred bucks to spend the day in a venue that resembles a detention centre or concentration camp. Security guards, police, dogs, high fences, areas of the camp securely squared off for; VIP’s, drinking areas, food zones, etc. I mean these demarcation DMZ areas must be forced on the BDO organizers and you see this absurdity at all big rave events and major outdoor festivals. Can’t they light ‘en the fuck up with all these laws from council or State gov?
I quickly broke down this shit as a Transcendental Fascist and started smuggling booze out of the VIP area so Kristen and pals can go watch bands bevy in hand the way you should be able to.
We saw the excellent Billy Bragg, who I dig and he was tres good…then saw Pnau, which was a bit crap. The water mist fountains where an excellent addition that I indulged in frequently but Kristen avoided them not wanting to get her hair wet. Chicks!
Soon back to the VIP tent and more accosting of friends and acquittances. Jeff from the BDO had fixed the drink cue and the VIP area was now rocking. James Young was in fine form in Red suit and spoke with the usual acumen of a later day Cicero about bands and music. Michael Lynch, the manager of TISM and Midnight Juggernauts agreed with me about his band being on too early and we discussed the merits, subversive or not of Arcade Fire. Someone then held me up who I studied with at La Trobe University (whose name eludes me)…whom I scared off with my most misanthropic bullshit. Then more and more hello’s and chit chat from the people Kristen and I knew. Craig Mathieson from The Bulletin saw me and walked the other way. Always a good sign from an old pal – Not!
Next more booze smuggling out of Stalag 28 got us out to the main act of the day in my opinion Arcade Fire. They were excellent and Kristen and I went bug fuck dancing and getting into the apocalyptic folk dance troupe. Our fav song Antichrist TV Blues about the planes hitting tall buildings came on and we went crazy for it. Arcade Fire is a great band that can broadcast well into the great empty space of the two main stages. The lead singer said that Australia is fucked because we have a reality TV show on border security and he was right. He also said that Obama had won a new State and could be gaining momentum. There he was wrong, unfortunately, as he forgets the pessimism of his own records for a second. I said to Kristen that Arcade Fire are a bit Emo really and she said I was full of shit. And a heated debate ensued with Kristen’s victory. Kristen also naturally found a place a to shop for clothes at the BDO and for lack of a changing room saved us all money there.
During Silverchair we went back to VIP area and got drunker still.
Sunburnt, tired and over it Kristen and I pulled the ripcord and got out before Bjork and Rage, not being over fond of either. All in all a good (half) day of mayhem and madness at the BDO for us. It is still the number 1 all day festival. Just maybe chill out on all the fences and security area bullshit a bit… an event like this should be more like Woodstock and less like Guantanamo Bay. I guess the government probably forces a lot of shit on them, so changes need to be made there -macht schnell.
January 27, 2008
Suharto is dead. Just in time to make January’s bumper issue of (what we hope will be an ongoing series of special articles, here on Idea Fix) Dictator of the Month.
Yes, former Indonesian strong man Suharto has passed onto that great big Presidential Palace in the sky. Here’s a little profile helped along by The Associated Press with our own wee jokey shenanigans (in brackets and elsewhere):
Suharto was born in 1921 in obscure circumstances (possibly a little bastard). He rose up the ranks of the Indonesian military and survived accusations of corruption that put him in the dog house for a while in the 50’s. Those magic words “Absolute Power” came to him in September 1965 when the army’s six top generals were murdered under mysterious circumstances, and their bodies dumped in an abandoned well in an apparent coup attempt (Wasn’t me!). Our main man in da hood Suharto, next in line for command, quickly asserted authority over the armed forces and promoted himself to four-star general (naturally, as you do).
Suharto then oversaw a nationwide purge of suspected communists (good on him!) and trade unionists, a campaign that stood as the region’s bloodiest event (he went a little too far perhaps?) since World War II until the Khmer Rouge and that naughty Pol Pot established its gruesome regime in Cambodia a decade later (Damn, pipped at the finish). Experts put the number of deaths during the purge in Indonesia at between 500,000 and 1 million (chickenfeed, really… by mad 20th century dictator standards).
During the Cold War, Suharto was considered a reliable friend of Washington (‘Our Man’ in Jakarta), which didn’t oppose his violent occupation of Papua in 1969 and the bloody 1974 invasion of East Timor. The latter, a former Portuguese colony, became Asia’s youngest country with a U.N.-sponsored plebiscite in 1999 (lucky Timor hey, kids?)
Even Suharto’s critics agree his hard-line policies kept a lid on Indonesia’s extremists (double good on him!). He locked up hundreds of suspected Islamic militants without trial (boo hoo), some of whom later carried out deadly suicide bombings (yikes!) with the al-Qaida-linked terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (I ate that Saturday night and it made me feel ill) after the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. (spooky)
Meanwhile, the ruling clique that formed around Suharto — nicknamed the “Berkeley mafia” after their American university, the University of California, Berkeley — transformed Indonesia’s economy and attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment (Greed is good)
By the late 1980s, Suharto was describing himself as Indonesia’s “father of development,” taking credit for slowly reducing the number of abjectly poor and modernizing parts of the nation (see, not all bad…)
Finally toppled by mass street protests in 1998 (boo) , Suharto’s departure opened the way for democracy in this predominantly Muslim nation of 235 million people (Double boo, surely, nothing but a boon for world peace there!)
So that brings us up to date with today, the Bali bombings and other mischief. Suharto…we hardly knew ya. Idea Fix salutes you…have a nice time in Hell.
Link to wiki Profile of Suharto:
January 27, 2008
A co-ordinated suicide pact in Wales amongst young Brits. There is such much hope for the youth of today in our beautiful Western capitalist utopia. What could have possibly got into them? Isn’t Xbox, Nike shoes and the doll cue enough for youngsters anymore?
Will bring down green house emissions, I suppose. Humans and their needs are the main cause of Global Warming…let’s not forget that. By that logic certain people should be encouraged to suicide, perhaps? Even helped along a little bit if the idea doesn’t appeal to them…
Only joshin’ ya!
Terrible news. Sad news.
January 25, 2008
January 24, 2008
If he had pneumonia and was using recreational drugs, with downers like Valium/Xanax; and other meds… it all adds up to trouble. See link below.
The Australian papers today were full of tales and innuendo, both factual and hearsay, about Heath’s drug habits. A recent stint in rehab for heroin addiction and confidential comments from anonymous associates of his fight with drugs, being two main items.
Other reports in US media only talk about prescription drugs like the dangerous Ambien, that can cause psychotic reactions, etc. Other rumors persist that Mary Kate Olsen’s (a nearby neighbor and party pal) minders cleaned the room of drugs before the paramedics arrived. All in all in doesn’t matter and it is in bad taste to harp on these issues.
This idea of doomed youth ties into major themes of my new film The Beautiful and Damned, based on the classic novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald. Why does youth so often doom itself on the shores of dissipation?. Was a question Fitzgerald asked in 1922. I have observed that nothing has changed, essentially, from the days of the swinging 20’s hedonism in the world of youthful nihilism. I find the tale of doomed youthful beauty completely timely, contemporary and prescient. Hence my desire to make the project factical.
Link to the Ledger news. The death ‘is’. Tragic…
I have also added The Dark Knight trailer. Ledger’s Joker looks excellent, possibly his finest performance.
January 24, 2008
Go into promoting nightclubs. Maybe finish school part time. Do not go on Big Brother and became just another famous for 15 minutes idiot. Big Brother is a guarantee of sell out loserdom. You have already done the 15 minutes thing too, technically, but you were a rebel and troublemaker, so, that was cool. Chill your parents out with thoughts of all the money you can make from your new found celebrity. Donate some money too from your first parties to some Police charity to smooth over the cops and their damage bill. See a lawyer and start your own website, clothing label and sunglass designs (yellow, naturally). Do it quick, though, as your fame is already fading. Either that or go back to being a 16 year old Narre kid and forget all this shit!
January 23, 2008
Looking around at our culture, the McLuhanean media environment of the 21st century, I can’t help but find it monstrous. I am jaded and normally don’t give a fuck “bring it on… the horror, the horror” but sometimes late at night it hits me, it gets me, it terrifies me.
Like the ad below for The Joker and Heath Ledger…”Not all jokes are funny”. It seems to carry an awful prophetic air. I hate mainstream advertising and it gets more insidious and more intrusive as life goes on. We all accept it as part of our mental environment but I fucking hate it. I hate with the kind of passion one hated things two thousand years ago.
I read somewhere they are inventing a technology that will enable advertisers to use our skulls as speakers for ads that only the owner of the skull will hear. Mad voices advertising products exclusively in our skulls…we are isolated in some Ad mans Dantean ring of hell. The story about this technology was presented as the latest hippest marketing tool. It is a monstrosity. When DID OUR HEADS BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THESE VAMPIRES?
But really, don’t our heads already belong to these vampires? …As long as I have lived some fucker has tried to sell me something. George Lucas colonized my childhood unconscious with dreams for his toys. I would dream and long for the latest action figures or space ship. What kind of vile pornographer does such a thing. And I like Star Wars…still do. Could I do otherwise?
I have been sold feces. You know what? I have bought it too. I have become monstrous. Our society is now so deracinated we don’t even know where to begin to look for answers. Sometimes in these billboards and ads the monstrosity is laid bare like augury.
Ads flogging some piece of shit camera present us with mutant one eyed beings plastered all over the city like some warning of some yet implemented eugenic experiment. Ads that threaten us with every form of roadside death, cancer or work place accident from activities we are fully aware are dangerous already. Hollywood for the 77th time giving us endless images of Apocalypse or a destroyed New York… a blueprint for some future terrorist attack planned jointly by Al Qaida, the CIA and Hollywood pitched first to us as an audience marketing exercise. Ads for rappers that turn everything that was once good about rap into a vast mockery of itself through vistas of overt endless expenditure and bling… belying an overcompensation for fear of poverty. Ads that present impossibly achievable physiques with air brushed faces like images of some future race of clones. That’s only the ones I can remember while writing this… the rest are monstrously buried inside.
Who will save us from this mental violence? What cleansing fire shall sweep away this thicket of the waste land? What bird will be able to soar above this omnipresent crepulence? For what is to come… how can anyone expect different?
January 23, 2008
Cool young actor Brad Renfro from the excellent Apt Pupil, Larry Clark’s Bully and the upcoming Gregor Jordan adaptation of the brilliant short story collection by Bret Easton Ellis “The Informers” died last week also. The cause of death is as yet unknown but he had a history of drug abuse and arrests for smack. “The Informers” will be his final film…I believe he plays one of the vampires from the book.
January 23, 2008
Heath Ledger, the Australian actor who got his start a little over ten years ago with Aussie indy movies like Black Rock and Two Hands (and who plays the Joker in the up coming Batman film) has died in NYC. A bottle of pills was found near his body but it may not mean anything as he had prescription drugs for sleeping disorders and pneumonia…
I met Heath once at a party he threw a few years back. It was at his rented Russell street three-story penthouse he used while filming Ned Kelly. He seemed a nice young chap who was a good host, gregarious and low on asserting his ego and was partying hard with other celeb’s and hangers on that were there…
RIP, man. This is sad news. You had only just begun your cinematic journey….
His performance in the later half of I’m Not There began to show a maturity that had alluded him in other Hollywood fodder that he had allowed himself to be pulled into. The film Candy will also resonate in a new way…
What with Owen Wilson’s recent attempted suicide..it seems all is not well (as usual) in Lalaland. People do forget the dark side of fame… much documented by Underground Filmmaker and genius Kenneth Anger in his book series Hollywood Babylon.
See this story for details of his passing (join the links):
January 22, 2008
If your a fan of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 6, does not disappoint.
In Ep 1. Larry’s smoke detector is on the blink. Cheryl talks Larry into adopting a family from a Hurricane Katrina type situation. So along comes an African American family called the Blacks, who Larry jests “That’s like if my last name was Larry Jew”…they don’t get the joke and are offended. They are loud and obnoxious and Larry wants to ask Loretta Black if she can stop smoking in the house to her rancor… which causes Loretta to put it out in a bin which (due to the malfunctioning smoke detector) causes the house to burn down. It’s the classical circular disaster story of misanthropy one has grown to love about the series and is near perfect.
Pretty soon Larry bonds with the Black’s. Particularly Loretta’s uninvited brother Leon, who turns up on his doorstep to move in, and starts teaching Larry some street moves. When confronted by a skin head anti-semite, Leon says to LD, he’s got to “get in that ass”…i.e. stand up for himself and pick a fight. Back at the same location where the skin head accosted him, Larry yells at another bald chap, trying to “get in his ass”, but is told he is not a skin… but a chemo patient.
In another classic ep., Cheryl calls Larry from an airplane phone during a storm worrying the plane will go down. Larry can’t really hear her over the TiVo guy talking to him and her talking to him at once, and he says he is too busy with the TiVo guy to talk to her. Cheryl then splits up with Larry over the issue leading to LD then dating other gals to much amusement and ending up falling for Loretta Black.
Other classic episodes include Larry’s rage at a sample abuser (someone who abuses the free samples at ice cream shops), Larry also overhears someone having a racist conversation using the word Nigger and when he (loudly) retells the story… a black Doctor walks past and hears Nigger and proceeds to tear Larry D a new one. Of course Larry can’t explain he was only retelling a conversation he heard because of the MD’s fury, etc..
These are only some of the interwoven comic tales of manners, class, race, identity, money and misery that are so funny when set amongst the LA upper class world LD inhabits. The people hating pettiness, stinginess and insensitivity of LD. Add also the failure for people to understand the many honest faux pas and bad calls LD makes. It all adds up to another classic HBO season that is funny as fuck and wrong in so many right ways. If you haven’t got into this show start at Season 1. I expect a comment of thanks after you have watched it or I’ll “get in your ass”. Why locale TV don’t put this on in prime time is beyond me. Its like Seinfeld but meaner, nastier, funnier and more crude.