I want to follow Justin Bieber around the world

16/03/2014 § Leave a comment

Just how efficient is Justin Bieber’s self destruct mechanism? Will he be following in the footsteps of Lindsay, Brittany, Amanda et al anytime soon? Or will fame and fortune usher* him through his current difficulties leaving this present phase a mere blip of notoriety on the spray-painted Bieber landscape?biebspray
And it is a phase. He may sometimes be a pratt, a misogynist, a wigger and a tool but he’s young. He’s still in the process of consolidating these aspects into a whole which will eventually define his character.
If he implodes first, however, we may never get the chance to care.

Cue transcript from last week’s deposition:biebdep
Lawyer: Do you know Usher Raymond IV?
Bieber: No
Lawyer: Do you know an individual entertainer by the name of Usher?
Bieber: Yeah. Usher. That sounds familiar.
Lawyer: Isn’t it true that Usher was instrumental in starting your career?
Bieber: I was found on YouTube. I think that I was detrimental to my own career.

Look, I’m more than happy for Biebs to have a long and happy life as an entertainer. All the best, mate. What I object to is this fancy he has for being recognised as a street artist.
It’s not right that, on a mere whim, he should use his fan base and a hungry media to don the artist mantle. Visual artists should have a talent for it. And they should also have something to say. Bieber’s street art shows evidence of neither.

Exhibit A:biebqt
These were done by Biebs and his entourage at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast last November. I’m sure he thinks they are every bit as good as anything Banksy has done.
The hotel said at first that he did it without permission but, after thinking about it for a day or so, they put on their Facebook page that he asked and they agreed. Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tait, said it was in public view and should go. He offered to send a council graffiti clean-up kit to the hotel for Biebs to pick up. Long after Bieber had left, the battle between Tait and the hotel raged on.

So here is what I want to do. I want to be a Biefitier. I want to take some cans of spray paint and travel the world in the footsteps of the Bieb.
Wherever he has worked his street art magic I would deface and instantly devalue it. I would go to the Gold Coast, to Rio de Janeiro and beyond. And the world would be a better place.

*see what I did there?


Let me spoil you

06/02/2014 § 4 Comments

Last night ITV drama Broadchurch won Best Drama at the Broadcast Awards. On the back of that story I read that the US is doing a remake, currently filming in Canada.
The series was critically acclaimed and widely popular and there will be a second season. If you haven’t seen it you might be tempted to binge watch and get up to speed. Hold that thought. Allow me to caution you with a spoiler filled summary of the crazy, wacky world that is Broadchurch.

Don't make me watch it! Don't make me watch it!

Don’t make me watch it! Don’t make me watch it!

A young boy is murdered and a new detective inspector comes to the sleepy seaside town of Broadchurch to find the killer. He’s a crotchety misanthrope with a bum ticker living under the shadow of past failures. It’s a part written for an overweight man in his sixties played by a skinny 42-year-old. His assistant is a workaholic who doesn’t spend enough time with her family who, whenever someone tells her she’s a workaholic and should spend more time with her family, takes time off and spends it with her family.

Let me just pause for a moment to say that the cast is magnificent. Brilliant performances all round. They are so good that you start watching and the promise that it will be good television is strong.
Maybe we mistake the promise as actual good television. Trust me it’s not. I suspect they blew the budget on actors and compromised on writers.

So who do we meet in the village?
The grieving mother takes a lot of screen time doing sad and not much else. Two characters are having the obligatory affair. A woman finds her long lost son who when told that she is his mum tells her to go away so she does. A nervous priest stays up late at night and we learn that his secret is a pretty good understanding of computers although he doesn’t get to demonstrate it. A man claims to be psychic and have important information but no one believes him which is fine because he isn’t and doesn’t. The townsfolk decide the shop man is a pedophile but he isn’t really.

Now, on to the major plot points.
Cocaine and a large some of money are found in the boy’s bedroom (I kid you not). Could this be much bigger than a simple murder? It’s not. He just happens to have cocaine and a huge some of money in his bedroom.
It is very important that the boy’s skateboard be found but one of the characters keeps it hidden in a cupboard for no reason. When she eventually hands it in, it offers no clues whatsoever.
Shop man says he saw the boy arguing with the postman. The postman denies it. Who is lying? We never find out because it has nothing to do with anything.
The newspaper journalists with the irrelevant romance do all the detective work and by the end of the series you will find the police have done absolutely nothing to solve the crime.
Eventually the murderer – who could totally have got away with it – calls the police and tells them where he is. They go to get him but he changes his mind and runs away. After a chase (no more than fifty metres worth) our detective inspector has a heart attack and is admitted to hospital. He discharges himself and everyone says he’s crazy but he is determined to crack the case. He doesn’t. The murderer calls again and they go to his house where he confesses and is arrested.

I am hoping season two does away with crime altogether and the characters just sit around eating chips. As for the US version, I expect it to be identical except for two differences. It will be twice as long and all female characters will be played by leggy blondes.

The little things

11/01/2013 § Leave a comment

This morning I was on the train in a semiconscious state. I was facing the stairs but not looking. Then a five dollar note fluttered down the stairway like a diver doing a pre-bellyflop lateral twist. It was followed by a man who picked it up and crilley runned away.
It made me smile.flyfive
crilley = quickly. The phrase “crilley runned away” has been adopted by my family since we read it an early piece of creative writing from one of my daughters. More.

Playing the hand you’re dealt

13/11/2012 § 9 Comments

I asked the girl at Parramasala if is ok for men to have their hands tattooed. She said it is so I described what I wanted. I didn’t get what I wanted but I got a henna tattoo and that’s fine.
It was supposed to have gone from my ring finger and down into my palm.
Quite a few years ago I lost my wedding ring in the surf. I thought the henna tattoo would be a good way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. And it would have been appropriate this year because this year we had a Parra-parramasala anniversary.

My wife has just begun working for a hotel chain. As part of her gruelling training regime the company keeps taking her to dine at hotel restaurants. Last Thursday it was the one at Parramatta. When the boss told her and her colleagues where they were going she piped up and said that her husband (that’s me) works in Parramatta. He said he would see if he could get us a room for the night. When she told him it was a couple of nights after our anniversary he decided to make sure it happened.
So after work I strolled up to the hotel, checked in and dumped our stuff in the room. I met her and her work mates in the lobby when they arrived and then, while they did the hotel tour, went to the gym and pool.
Then off I went to the Bollywood block party. It was going off. Great atmosphere and a general feeling of fun. I had a curry and a wander around and watched the singing and dancing and stuff. I could have stayed longer but my wife called to say they were having coffee and I could join them.
When I got there they told me we had been upgraded to the mega suit (not it’s real name). So when her mates had left we got our stuff from the small room and relocated. Awww, and there was a bucket of wine waiting for us.
Next morning we had a big breakfast and my wife left for a train to the city. I went back to the room and climbed back into bed to watch cartoons. Nice.

The best camera is the one that’s with you

27/09/2012 § 2 Comments

Fortunately, the camera I had with me was a DSLR.
Lunchtime, the traffic lights near Parramatta station. Here’s the pic. Click on it for a larger view.

See the saxophone player on the left? He’s there at least one day a week. He has pre-recorded backing music of (mostly eighties) well-known songs. He plays the vocal melody. And he’s pretty good. Not so good that I would buy one of his $10 CDs but they are there if you want.
Now turn your attention to the trumpet player on the right. He sits there all dum-dee-dum-don’t-mind-me and when Mr Saxman’s music starts, he listens to the intro, figures out what song it is, raises the trumpet to his lips and blurts and gurgles like a flatulent sailor. If you listen hard you can catch the odd correct note but without his borrowed backing band you would probably think he was raising some alarm.
With all this puffing and blowing he gets tired quickly. So he often has a ciggie and lies down – optimistically leaving his trumpet case open.

Doin’ the racoon

11/07/2012 § 2 Comments

On the weekend we were together for another birthday. Next thing we knew we were playing Pictionary. It’s been a while but it’s still good fun.
When we pull out this game someone always says: “But I’m no good at drawing.”
I tell them it’s not about drawing, it’s about communication. Still, being able to draw can help.
Let’s have a look at my 22-year-old son’s efforts.

I rescued this masterpiece from the recycling bin the next day. The animal at the top is obviously a camel. Too easy – roll the die.
But next he needed to draw a racoon. Body. Head. Then he says: “This is important. It’s a big bushy tail.” The rules state you are not permitted to talk but our household tries not to be too draconian. Besides, it’s a useless clue. Is he thinking of a fox? Stripes on the tail – now we’re getting somewhere. Then he’s stuck. Stripes on the body? He’s not convinced but knows he needs to keep drawing.
The last grain of sand falls and we all ask why he didn’t draw a mask on it’s face. He confesses he doesn’t really know what a racoon looks like.

Board games made in the US always assume we know their history, geography and the names of all their presidents. But everyone knows what a racoon looks like, don’t they?
Have I failed as a parent?

Run the World (Girls)

19/04/2012 § 4 Comments

So I’m listening to Azealia Banks and I think “Did she just say what I think she said?” and she did. It shouldn’t be surprising – she’s a rapper and they are not famous for curbing their behaviour for the sake of being sensitive to others. For example, when Kanye’s grandmother tried to suggest he might be using the ‘a’ word a bit too much in his latest song, he I’m-a-let-you-finished her and she did’t get to finish.
But back to Azealia. Here she is and she is just so cute.

How does someone so cute get to have such a potty mouth? Somehow she manages to balance the two.
It’s a skill that girls, in particular, seem to need. We live in strange times. We can be who we want to be and do what we want to do. But ours is a very conservative society. It’s not the 1970s anymore – there are some things that society says you just can’t be and things you just can’t do.
I know lots of girls who admire outrageousness but want a fairly normal lifestyle. Does this clash? No – they manage.
But TV and film seem to have a problem with it and have decided to create this weird new stereotype. The promiscuous non-slut. People like Robin from How I Met Your Mother and Penny from The Big Bang Theory. Characters for loving and not judging. Are they real? I recently saw a trailer in which Kate Hudson’s character says: “You look familiar. Have we had sex?” Who says that?

Silver lining: People in general have strict standards but one of those standards is that we must not judge others. So you go girls.

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