June 27, 2008
Don’t you just fucking hate those email scams offering you millions for your bank details from Nigeria (or just about any country)?
Well, so does this guy Ebola Monkey Man…and he’s gone to a lot of trouble to do something about it.
I came across this site Ebola Monkey Man recently, see here. Here Mr EBM answers all the emails he gets from email scammers, and gets them to do all kinds of silly, funny and humiliating things in the process.
He gets them to hold up funny signs and take photos of themselves. See below. He tells them to meet him at far away airports. He promises them big money and bullshits the scammers, by fooling them. While a little cruel perhaps, and some say racist, we think its all too fucking funny to care about such concerns… take a look yourself. Its what we’ve all longed to do in response to these emails…well, at least once, anyway.
Richard Metzger’s Disinformation Co. also has a good book out, all about this subject called Scamarama, that I highly recommend. A great read. Beam Me Up, Scotty!…
June 23, 2008
I was emailing an old pal from my club days and he shared/suggested a classic political idea, I really must release here to you all, my humble Idea Fix readers.
Sell Australia. Simple, really.
Its a political idea. Simply sell the great land down under. Submit it to the general public for referendam, the 22 to 25 million people who inhabit little Oz, and suggest that we sell Australia and everything in it (in US dollars or British pounds) to whoever will buy it, and divide the resulting lolly up amongst the 20 million or so residents.
I don’t know what Australia, as such, is worth, but its got to be trillions, has it not? That means every Australian citizens gets millions of dollars each. Literally. It could be 1 million or ten? I haven’t done the figures. But it could even be more, lots more, theres not that many people here. We could only sell Government Assets, chattels, mining rights, land, etc. But it would still be worth trillions. We all get million dollar wind falls, and either leave the country, if its bought by scumbags, or stay if its bought by civilised people.
We could even be picky who well sell it to…?
That’s the idea.
Pretty funny. Some of my own augmentations are added to it. While I can’t say I support it, being somtheing of a Transcendental Patriot, in my own way… but the cold, hard logic of the concept is undeniable.
I open this up to the floor of Idea Fix brethren. Should we sell Australia and become rich, all of us, overnight?
Speak up, damn your eyes…
June 16, 2008
HBO’s excellent TV series The Wire, has finished up its fifth season, which I caught up with recently off the net. What a truly excellent televisual masterpiece it is. Here is a show about big ideas, more than just a drama, its about superstructures spiraling out of control in the broken US of today’s Baltimore. What Scorsese achieved in Casino, and what he has been reaching to achieve again in many works since, The Wire has has fully realized… over its mammoth 50 hour time span.
To potential viewers of The Wire, I advise the following to get its full effect. You must watch it on DVD or off the net in blocks, like a long film. Not in weekly installments, or whatever. You will get its true power and breadth of vision best this way.
The show has many standout performances the best being some of the following; Adre Royo as Bubbles, Dominic West as McNulty, Michael K Williams as Omar, Idris Elba as Stringer Bell, Jamie Hector as Marlo Stanfield, Felicia Pearson as Snoop, Aidan Gillen as Councilman Carcetti, Wendell Pierce as Bunk, Frankie Faison as Burrell, Gbenga Akinnagbe as Chris Partlow, Dom Lombardozzi as Hauk.
Created by David Simon the show is the most honest and realistic portrayal of the utterly ineffectual American war on drugs. More than that it is a daring portrayal of the life, depression and misery of urban African American’s in the US, as they negotiate ‘the game’ or try to stay away from it, and its murderous wake. Many do not succeed…
The Wire reaches for social critique and achieves it brilliantly as the various bureaucracies fail, and fail again, to protect its citizens and even its own members from the jaws of doom. Each season is set against various new superstructures, that come in with each new season, then hang around, deepening the work. The 1st season starts on the dock, the second looks at the street, then politics, then education and finally The Media. These different structures have their own rules and law, especially that of the street, and the brutal reality of its stories, well documented in The Wire.
The issue of surveillance, the wire of the title, is also a sub plot and also references our own voyeuristic viewing of the shows various tragedies. We are wired into its world.
Main character McNulty is a brilliant TV anti hero, drunken morally corrupt, and yet, a dedicated do gooder cop. He is clearly worn down by ‘the system’ the series documents, a fallen hero, and goes through many different story arcs to the beautiful finale. The show is clever with McNulty too, for example, in one season he is a mere beat cop and is hardly in it! Like Sopranos with little to no Tony… very clever. Street Junkie Bubbles is another stand out character, as homeless smack head at the bottom of The Wire’s structural heap. Bubbles story is traumatic, humbling and rather moving, over the five seasons. The three main gangsters of the piece Avon Barksdale, (my favourite) Stringer Bell and Marlo Stanfield all reveal different aspects of the harsh reality of this ‘life’. Bell’s clever real estate hustling, University attending gangster is classic and its a shame he gets bumped off by toe cutter Omar in Season 3. Omar is another fucking classic, he steals from these “hard ass niggers” and gives back to himself. But Omar is a nuanced bad ass a counter foil to McNulty, he has his own moral system and is not afraid to enforce. When his blind best pal is tortured in season 5, you know some serious shit is going to go down. Omar is sort of like black Baltimore Chopper Read. His penultimate moments in season 5 are well done.
Compared to HBO’s other masterpiece The Soprano’s, The Wire really measures up. The Wire gets better with each season, where as The Soprano’s started well and wound down until it just stopped, literally. The Wire builds a incredible televisual spiral mind fuck, that in my opinion could be the best thing HBO has ever done…
Any Wire fans out there? Thoughts?
June 14, 2008
The US host of Meet the Press,Tim Russert has died in NYC at NBC. Often a staple of Sunday Morning TV in Australia, I watched him many, many times in the 90’s after a big Saturday Night out as he grilled and questioned his interviewees and guests. A true beacon of respectability is the slimy world of US politics, he will be sorely missed as we enter the most important US election in recent history. See here for news. I’ll miss his wit, acumen and biting political sense of humor.
June 13, 2008
Idea Fix and Richard Wolstencroft recommend the following books:
In Praise of Prejudice by Theodore Dalrymple. An astutely observed book that examines how useful and true most prejudices are, and that to live one’s life without them is almost impossible. or at least a great folly. A fun read, a tad neo con at times, but you can take and leave his examples and apply his rules to your favorite prejudice. Hours of fun for the whole family.
Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson. An excellent book about the many quack theories being esposed on the net and in mainstream culture. I’m guilty of propagating counterknowledge with my own doubts over the official 911 story. Book attempts to debunk all conspiracy theories and pseudo histories. Some deserve debunking and the book is good in some cases. Others Thompson relies too heavily on the official record and fails to recognise that at one time ideas like gravity and the world being round were counterknowledge. Sometmes you have to allow bullshit… to get at the kernels of truth. Still, a good read.
The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo. Why good people turn evil. From the guy who did those Stanford experiments on prisoners and guards known as the Stanford Prison Experiment and defended the Abu Ghraib torturers. Fascinating Psychological book on what makes people turn to the dark side of the force. Zimbardo’s emphasis is on environment and situations. Half way in to it. Good so far, but a little long.
June 12, 2008
With the birth of any new cinematic form there is bound to be pain. And Speed Racer is that pain. A confused hyper real corny technicolour vomit of a movie, that still one cannot help but admire on some level for inventing what I have dubbed ‘crack cinema’.
‘Crack Cinema’ being its ‘mise en scene’. Like Sin City before it, Speed Racer gives us a world and vision only possible through CGI. And like Sin City, Speed Racer’s world is a completely new vision, albeit one on a permanent crack binge with flying lights, gaudy colours ala David La Chapelle, neon Vegas glitz, chiselled bodies, impossible action, etc. For all this Speed Racer should be proud.
That said its a damn shame the film is such a piece of shit. The script resembles every cliché you can fit into two hours about competing, family and ‘going for it’. The look of the film is amazing and an art in itself… But, and it’s a big Butt, the CGI car chases are so boring as they are utterly unbelievable, unrealistic and impossible in this world or the next. The car manoeuvres defy logic, sense and even a sense of what is actaully going on, as this ‘crack cinema’ excursion seems to have found its way into the pipe of the directors, who make a confusing mish mash of this mess. Quentin Tarrantino called it right when he bagged the Wachowski brothers for creating dull action sequences in the later Matrix films, with way too much CGI. This couldn’t be more true here. The CGI is needed for the innovative look of the film granted, but the decision to make these car chases cartoon CGI set pieces is a dire error. Compare Tarrantino’s Death Proof’s car brilliance with these clowns staging…and you’ll know of what I speak.
Amiel Hirsch, a new young Jewish star who couldn’t look more Aryan, is miscast as Speed. These epics need a name to carry them. Robert Downey held together the absurd Iron Man and made it into a half decent super hero flick. But Hirsh just doesn’t cut it here. The rest of the car driving cast resemble members of Hitler’s Wehrmacht, except for Rain (Korean pop star) who would make a good kamikaze pilot. Ricci is superfluous. The Racer X stuff is bullshit. Goodman as Pops has a good scene as wrestler that works. The fat kid and Monkey are incredibly annoying. Sarandon is looking at her paycheck, etc.
I mean who needs a fucking Speed Racer movie anyway?! The original show sucked I worked out at about the age of seven. What’s next The Groovy Ghoulies movies! That might be fun, actually…
The Wachowski brothers are very talented and Racer can be viewed as video art from start to finish and from this perspective it totally succeeds. But it’s their worst film from a narrative and directorial perspective. They pour real drama, childish stupidity, cutting edge visual FX, hyper real car action scenes and TV show homage all into one gigantic cinematic blender. The result a ‘crack cinema’ shake. There were 7 people at Village Jam Factory on Opening Night in Melbourne, people have stayed away in droves in the States, and you can see why…
But, the birth of a new cinematic genre is not always a masterpiece, so hats off to Speed Racer, all the same for giving us ‘crack cinema’. And possible the worlds most expensive video art project.
June 8, 2008
Attention, attendees of the Revelation Film Festival 2008, and WA readers of Idea Fix. Your host here will be there, ‘in the flesh’ to discuss the horror genre, as Jack Sargeant curates a excellent Rev 2008. See here for all festival films and details. Along with MUFF, the Revelation Film Festival in Perth, is one of the most cutting edge and exciting film festivals down under. Founded by Richard Sowada, who now curates ACMI’s cinema program, REV is a good yearly reason for cineastes to Go West!
Details of the event below, see you there!
A DAY OF HORROR
Proudly presented by Edith Cowan University
A panel on the horror film genre will be held to discuss the Australian Horror / Genre Film
and its current state, how to fund a horror film, making a horror film and film distribution on
the indie / horror festival circuit plus screen a few shorts. Special guests include Dr Dean
Bertram (ANOH festival director), Dalibor Bakovic (NSW horror filmmaker) and Richard Wolstoncroft
(Melbourne Underground Film Festival director and anti-censorship campaigner)
A must for horror movie fans and enthusiasts.
Sat July 5th 12pm – 2:00pm
Location : The Velvet Lounge in Mt Lawley
Entry $15 / $10 concession
In the on going freedom of speech debate about Bill Henson, photography, art and youth; local Melbourne artist Victoria Larielle has held a successful exhibition at Loop, of naked pictures of eleven year old boys. Attended and cleared by Police, the exhibition has been given the green light and will not be ‘banned’. Congratulations to Victoria Larielle for standing up, taking action and making this protest happen. As a female artist with an underage male subject matter, the accusations of her salaciousness have not been anywhere near as vocal. Actually, there has been none at all. One gaze is motherly and benign, the other corrupt and perverted…hypocrisy, per chance? See here.
Witchfinder General in this whole affair is Hetty Johnston, from Bravehearts. She is accused online of misandry and being a hysteric out for blood, headlines and sensationalism. Johnston believes she has found rich pickings in the artistic work of Bill Henson. Its absurd really.
Of course, its ironic for us at MUFF as our our screening/s of films at Loop in 07 (with everyone over the age of 18 in the audience and in the works) all got banned! For example the films of excellent New York sex filmmaker Tony Comstock, and even a documentary on Graffiti, all got diced. Where was Cate Blanchett, the 2020 team and Alison Croggon then, we say? The same can be said of our many other censorship problems at MUFF over the years. Its a selective defending of freedom of speech in this country, that shits me personally…
Mathew Clayfield has a post on his excellent Esoteric Rabbit blog on the topic, where he quotes Germaine Greer actually making sense for once! And provocatively posting five images and getting readers to pick the odd one out. See here. Matt’s off to live in Sydney and write for The Australian, so we’ll miss him here in sMelbourne, but wish him well as he journeys North…
Lucy Tartan, also, has an interesting blog on the subject of Henson, art and pornography… that should get Tony Comstock commenting. See here.
Thats all for now. Still no word from Bill Henson on all this hubbub.
June 2, 2008
I’m no attendee of public protests; you couldn’t get me to protest the war in Iraq, the treatment of refugees, etc. But, if you want to close nightclubs at 2am in Melbourne, there’s an issue I’ll take to the streets to defend!
I have hardly ever been to street protests, as I believe them utterly ineffectual and stupid in their current form. If you aren’t really going to challenge authority through tactics and even strategic force. i.e. by entertaining the strategic use of surprise, the taking of buildings and sit ins, and even violence, if the gravity of the issue warrants it. Then what is the point? And this was completely true of this event.
Kristen and I, got a park nearby Parliament house and we waltzed into Catani Gardens ready to invade Poland. But we were immediately disillusioned to find a rave atmosphere in the park, like a free Earthcore event. Saw some good pals from my nightclub days, who too are equal strangers to attending street protests; like Rob Furst from Beat, Hank from onesixone and Dean Sunshine. Not many people there overall, about 3 or 4 thousand, but not too bad.
Bored, I suggested to Kristen she go and get interviewed by channel 10. And she did. But she gave long, intelligent answers to the journo’s questions and I thought, “The moronic news media will never use those”. They interviewed me next and, so, I spoke in sounds bites, one of which was “They are bringing back Prohibition, which is totally absurd”. That channel 10 used after the footy on Saturday evening, hehe.
Socialists were handing out leaflets, but lacked any ‘esprit d’core’. The protest started moving and Kristen and I moved with the dreaded mob, to the Parliament house steps. There, some Green tit, said a few fairly inoffensive things about why the 2am lock out is a bad idea. Applause. Then a lawyer announced some legal victories. Applause. Then some screaming and shouting from the mob. Then all dispersed calmly, under the eyes of about 40 cops. I yelled “Attack” a few times, but those words could not have fallen on more foreign sets of ears. Is this the same people who once spawned the heroism and outright bravery of Gallipoli? I think not.
Pathetic really. I mean what is the point. The Herald Sun is beating up this whole issue, like in recent issues of the rag, shooting shots of the odd fight or two that happens in the CBD every Saturday, and has done since the 60’s. Brumby, an unelected bumble headed booby, is bringing in stupid laws that will wreck the Melbourne club scene, yet grant yobbo land Crown, all the exemptions its piggy bank afford. So, it’s all very programmed in advance.
How about a little Transcendental Fascist anarchy!
Put me in charge of that demonstration. I would have trained two thousand protestors in marching techniques, with the aid and morale building leadership of old RSL diggers and ex military men. I would then get one of Melbourne’s top fashion designers to whip up a suitably Fascistic style Uniform of; boots, military dress style wear with a new edge with leather ecoutrements, and a new exciting symbology. We would then march in procession to the steps of Parliament house, and while the police slept at their posts, during the speeches, a crack squad of fifty shock troops, would sneak up on the mounted police, peacefully dismount and disarm them. We would then attack Parliament house and break our way in, as peacefully as possible. The protestors would then, fired up by our true revolutionary zeal, all rush inside the top of Spring st., in a matter of minutes. Then, I fucking guarantee you; the protests would get worldwide media attention.
Simple, really. A little will, discipline, fashion and training and ‘Voila!’ – the 2am curfew would be stopped forthwith. Democarcies like ours can’t handle this kind of thinking. That’s why you’ve all been brain washed since birth to hate anything vaguely fascist i.e. anything that may make you actualise real power in your lifetime, you know the way people have done throughout history. Your supposed to sleep on like children, while the adults make money destroying the planet. Forget the past errors of the Right! They are there on the Left too, do not forget, comrades… and do they make you burn your Marx? Of course not. We must all rethink ‘the great game’ of politics and break down this Left/Right oppositional rubbish. Its the future thats at stake, our future and that of our planet. And its worth fighting for, no?
The issue of licensing law issue is probably not serious enough a cause, for such tactics just canvassed, but the model stands. These tactics can be used for any form of public protests, and would get results. Socialists, Anarchist and other political Volk, listen up! You have to think outside the polite restraints, that are the code of this democratic Western beige land. Capitalist Democracy is shit, and is a crime against the human spirit itself. This eternal sleep festival of Dasein’s potential can and must end…
Until we realise that Capitalism is itself, a soft form of ‘fascist light’ politics. And then confront it with a disciplined, palingenetic and idealistic new version of the real thing, Australia, and what’s more, the West itself, will remain politically dead and in the post modern nowhere land of Derrida, Lyotard, Baudrillard and fiends.
Post Modernism is the discourse of Western Capitalism and must be rejected as the main canon of our intellectual society, a better finer, weighter canon awaits in history and ahead of us. With a few acknowledgements granted, of course, to the more radical and innovative ideas of the post modernists.
Fascistic style tactics work, history is testimony to this… and can be applied to even the most Socialist ideologies or causes of today.
Socialist groups out there… want worldwide media attention? Invite me to organise your next rally. I’m down with Green causes and anything to do with saving the planet from us and protecting indigenous cultures. I’m happy to advise, just give up or at least reconsider, some of own absurd ideas of equality, fraternity and justice. Power and its achievement is all that matters in politics. Zizek, through Stalin, will tell you that. I mean what planet are you living on, the same one as the rest of us and human history or some other fantasy ‘utopia’ of your own idealising?