Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Slap

I've just finished The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. I know it's a bit 2009 to be talking about this book now. It really was the book of last year. I've been wanting to read it for some time but reading time is always a bit of a rarity for me.

Christos Tsiolkas wrote Loaded, which became the wonderful, in your face Australian film Head On. I loved the book and I loved the film even more. It started with a very memorable opening sequence featuring Alex Dimitriades' cock. Thank you very much! The book and film, featuring a great deal of homosexual sex, were certainly not everyone's cup of tea. Personally I don't mind a bit of homosexual sex.

Speaking of which I am about 2/3 of the way through Edmund White's autobiography My Lives. He is one of my three favourite Gay American Writers. The Not Funny One. I am not sure what exactly attracts me to his work. Looking back I think I accidentally ordered his first three books when I belonged to a book club about a gazillion years ago and he sort of got under my skin. I went to see him speak at the Sydney Writers' Festival a few years ago. Any old how, Edmund, like Christos (like many gay authors I suppose) has a liking for blow jobs. Nothing wrong with that, I'm quite partial to them myself. However, some people don't seem to like reading descriptions of sex acts, BJs, or any other type.

This is one of the criticisms of The Slap which I heard a few times when it was discussed on radio. For me it wasn't the descriptions of sex which were problematic, it was the amount of sex the characters were having. Possibly Christos inhabits a parallel universe where people such as this exist. If people in my universe are having that much sex then they sure as hell aren't telling me about it. [Speak up people, I want to know.]

Apart from the sex The Slap touches on many issues which are the cornerstones of middle class Australian society: the complex relationships within marriage, parenthood, non-parenthood, immigrant families, getting older, being old, moving from childhood into young adulthood, sexuality and identity. The epicentre of the drama is the moment in time when a man hits a child who is not his own at a bbq. This one action leads the narrative which touches the lives of some of the people present.

I enjoyed the style of the writing, I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed the story and it's presentation. It certainly made me think. Even the parts which didn't sit well with me were valuable because I had to question why they irked me. It may not be a book to change the world but I think it's a very worthwhile book.

Possible spoilers... read on at your own risk...

The question of THE SLAP itself had me swinging. A man smacks a very naughty, undisciplined child who is possibly going to hurt his child at a bbq in front of a group of his family and friends. The family of the smacked child call in the police and press charges of assault, there is a court case. Who is in the right/wrong?

I am 90% on the side of the slap-er, as oppossed to the slap-ee. I don't think anyone should be smacking anyone else's child, generally speaking. But this child is presented in a way which makes me loathe him and his useless mum and dad. He is four and a half, almost at school, and he is still being breastfed. That's a red rag to a bull for me. That speaks of a mother with deep psychological problems, not a child who is in need of nutrition. The child is badly behaved and uncontrollable because the mother won't discipine him, treats him like a deity. He is a little shit.

Would I smack a child like that? Probably not. But I would want to. Really badly. And I would applaud anyone who did in the circumstance which is described in The Slap. Overall it seems like such a trivial issue but these days it is not. I am sure twenty years ago such things were commonplace. No-one would bat an eyelid should some other parent discipline their child. These days it is an issue requiring police action and court intervention.

I know every generation thinks the same thing, but it's a funny old time we live in.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Inconvenient Pile of Total and Utter Bollocks

Last night I went to hear Lord Christopher Monckton talk about the farce which is the man made climate change scenario being forced down our throats. You know the one. The one where our children are frightened of a horrible future by being made to watch The Horror Movie Which I Cannot Mention in schools. Where we are sold all sorts of overpriced, unnecessary crappola (e.g. solar panels) in the name of saving the planet. Where consultants are making a killing by providing advice on how to overcome the effects of climate change in your business, your home, your school (I'm fairly sure these were the same consultants who "saved" us from the terror which was the Y2K - and we all remember how badly that ended! Ha ha ha and fucking ha! Does the term "fleeced" mean anything to you?). Where we are all going to pay pay pay until we can't possibly pay any more for an Emissions Trading Scheme which will be about as useful and beneficial to the planet as a copy of The Female Eunuch to your average Saudi Arabian sheik.

It was sheer joy to hear someone in the public arena talk about what a hoax man made climate change is. When you are a climate change sceptic like me it's a little difficult not to feel like a bit of a social leper. It's not a subject you can easily bring up without being regarded as an idiot or some sort of right wing nut bag, at least that's the feeling I have. For the most part I don't think my close circle of friends really give a shit, they are all busy living their lives without give this stuff much deep thought.

I would be happy to just have a laugh about it and get on with my life but I just can't. It sticks in craw and I can't let it go. Because Al Gore's poisonous bucket of bile gets shown at my children's school on constant rotation during a school fete. Because the media squawks about it constantly. Because it is apparently giving our government (and many others) carte blanche to pass legislation which is utter madness without any sort of proper public debate on the subject.

I apologise for repeating myself ad nauseam but I can't rest knowing that we are being told a blatant pack of lies day in, day out. The bottom line is climate is changing, it always has and it always will. Greenland used to be GREEN. Ancient Greeks and Romans wore togas because it was HOT. The Australian land mass used to be joined to the Indonesian land mass, water rose, now they are not joined any more. I'm fairly sure this all happened before we started producing the carbon which is allegedly to blame for our all non-existant problems. We are actually at the end of an ice age and therefore temperatures are rising. We are putting the wrong facts together and coming up with illogical equations. 2 + 2 = 427. I'm no scientist (surprise!) but I know bullshit when I see it and we are all being buried under a giant pile of stinking cow manure.

Remember how the hole in the ozone layer was going to kill us all? We were all going to die of horrible skin cancers because the sun would be so strong it would burn us all to a crisp. Strangely enough that hole is never mentioned any more.

The other speaker last night was Professor Ian Plimer, author of Heaven and Earth. He is an Australian geologist who writes about the geological history of Earth and how we need to look at the past to understand what is happening now and what may happen in the future. He is saying that the computer models which produce the armagedon scenarios are wrong. Of course they are fucking wrong. The computer models can't even tell us what the weather is going to be tomorrow, how can they predict the next 20 or 100 or 1000 years. They can't. Full stop.

Then there are the people who say, well even if it isn't totally right we should err on the side of caution. No. What's happening now is not erring on the side of caution. It's like saying we may have a small chance of getting a cold next winter so we'll just take 5 kgs of antibiotics every day for the rest of our lives just in case. You can't be too careful you know. Never mind the damage those antibiotics will do to our bodies in the meantime. Never mind that the antibiotics are expensive and we can barely afford them. Never mind....

Oh, never mind. I'm over it. Enough ranting for tonight.

If you are vaguely interested in a different truth, not the inconvenient kind but the REAL kind, you may want to take a look at this website and it's blog .

Well, I'm off to drag my poor old aching head to bed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I want to suck your blood

I am loving loving loving Season 2 of True Blood. I iQ'd the series a while ago and I have two episodes left to watch. Last night I watched Episode 10 and it took all my self control to switch off and go to bed because every atom of being wanted to stay up late and watch the last two.

I sort of enjoyed Season 1 but found it too slow, with too much focus on the romance between Sookie and Bill. But I loved all the little fun details of what a world where humans and vampires living side by side would be like. [The newspaper with the headline "Angelina adopts vampire baby". Too funny!]

But Season 2 is just a fantastic roller coaster ride. I can't take my eyes away for a second, there is so much happening. Maryanne and her evil influence; the orgies and violence and her need to sacrifice poor shape-shifting Sam. How will it all end?

Then there was whole Light of Day Institute scenario with those damned vampire hating Christian nutters. Which introduced us to poor, doomed Godric, the cherubic, ancient vampire, on whom I developed an instant crush. So fucking wrong! Or so very right! Then I even start liking Eric, the bad bad vampire. What does it all mean?

What it means is that I wish I was a vampire. Is that bad? They are just so cool. It's not the idea of drinking blood that would be appealing to me. I would be happy to drink True Blood, like any good modern day vamp. But they are powerful and sexy (all the things I'm not, if you want to indulge in a little psychoanalysis, peeps) and I crave to be one. Now where do I sign up for the American Vampire League (or should I start the Australian chapter?)?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I love you, I need you, I want you...

No, I'm not talking about RW or AK or any of my other objects of fantasy.

I'm talking about a kitchen gadget I was introduced to at Tetsuya's masterclass last week.

The Thermomix.

This gadget looks something like an oversized ice bucket sitting in the middle of a large plastic base. Nothing special really. But it's what it can do that makes it amazing.

This thing cooks and cools, so it can make risotto and ice cream. It whisks, blends, mixes, kneads, weighs. There is basically nothing it can't do (excuse the double negative).

Tetsuya used it to grind tea leaves to a powder so fine you could easily have snorted it, if that's the sort of thing you're into... snorting tea leaves.

Anyway, if anyone has a spare TWO GRAND sitting around which they would like to contribute to support my kitchen appliance habit please send all donations to ...

Yuck, Yuck and triple Yuck

I've been making smoothies lately. There's something about a warm summer morning that makes me crave an icy cold, creamy, banana and mango smoothie, made with a squirt of honey and an ice cube for extra icy-ness.

Anyway, on Wednesday morning (after our return from another wonderful short holiday break with our wonderful friends the G family in Port Macquarie) I went about making myself one of these delicious concoctions. In goes the milk, the chopped up banana, half a chopped up mango, the honey and ice. Bbbbbjjjjjjjjj goes my trusty Sunbeam magic wand thingy (what are they called?? and no, not that magic wand thingy - RIP BOB the first BTW).

Imagine my surprise, bewilderment, horror when the mixture turns a lovely shade of pale khaki instead of the usual tropical shade of pale orange. I stare at it, my morning brain trying to make sense of it all.

Hesitently I lift out the magic wand and look at the blade area (had a mouse impaled itself on it while I was away?). No, it was worse, much worse, than that. There was mould, thick, crusy, gray mould growing underneath the blades. Now before you start wondering about the hygiene standards at Chez Deep Kick Girl let me assure you all is well in that department. I always wash the blades thoroughly after use and dry in the appropriate manner.

After closer examination it appears that the mould has grown in the rubber seal area underneath the blades; a rubber seal which does not seem to actually serve any purpose, except to harbour germs and grow mould.

I have scrubbed it all again and soaked briefly in a bleach solution but I'm not sure I can ever bring myself to use this gadget again. Which may be a good excuse to purchase my new kitchen love interest...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I don't always agree with the views expressed on but when they get it right, they get it so bloody right it is fucking scary.

When I read this I ran around like an idiot shouting "hurray" and "amen to that, brothers and sisters" ... well at least in my head. This is the sort of stuff I think about but am too lazy to actually put down in written form. Luckily Spiked! have done it for me. Good on you, you clever little English folk.

Hands off the human footprint! spiked's alternative Copenhagen deal

Everyone, it seems, is disappointed with the Copenhagen Deal drawn up by world leaders, with its promise of more money to tackle climate change and its commitment to stop the planet from warming by more than two degrees. But never mind all that. As spiked kicks off a major online debate about the future of the planet and humanity post-Copenhagen, here is our Alternative Copenhagen Deal.

#1: Hands off the human footprint

From Genesis to the Enlightenment, mankind was seen as the master of the planet. We have ‘dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and every other living thing that moves on the Earth’, said the Bible. Let’s put ‘nature on the rack’ and ‘extract her secrets’, said Enlightenment thinkers. Now we’re described as a malignant tumour, a ‘serious planetary malady’, in the words of one leading green, and our achievements – industry, cities, skyscrapers – are disparaged as the ‘human footprint’. The goal of environmentalism is to shrink this ‘footprint’, speaking to a view of humans as ultimately destructive and of our breakthroughs as gigantic follies that must be decommissioned. No way. We have not poisoned the planet; we have humanised it. And far from being shrunk, our ‘footprint’ – our 5,000-year project of taming and transforming this wild ball of gas and water – must be expanded further.

#2: Ditch the carbon calculators

Every human activity is now judged according to how much carbon it emits. Flying, working, eating, development and even reproducing – people’s decision to create new human life – are measured in ‘tonnes of CO2 emitted’. A baby is another 10 tonnes of carbon a year, we’re told; more fridges in China will add too much CO2 to the atmosphere, it is claimed. But human activity is not reducible to the number of toxins it allegedly creates. The carbon judgment on our daily activities has replaced God’s judgement – except where the God squad at least distinguished between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ activities, under the morality-lite, toxins-obsessed tyranny of original carbon sin, everything is potentially harmful. Stop carbon-calculating our lives, and let us celebrate people’s activities in human terms, recognising them as good, creative, explorative, industrious, or simply as making people happy.

#3: Demand more economic growth

Creating plenty – plenty of food, homes and things – was the overarching aim of most human societies. From the toiling Israelites’ vision of a ‘land of milk and honey’ to Socialists such as Sylvia Pankhurst’s dream of ‘a great production that will supply more than all the people can consume’, we recognised that plenty would make us more comfortable and more free, allowing us to spend less time toiling and more time talking, thinking, experimenting, living. Yet in the eco-era, thinkers demonise ‘plenty’ and celebrate ‘enoughism’, to use one green writer’s word: but whose idea of ‘enough’? Economic growth is denounced as polluting, and people’s desire for wealth is redefined as a mental illness: ‘affluenza’. The sin of gluttony has been rehabilitated in pseudo-scientific terms. We should insist that ‘growth is good’ – in fact, it’s essential if we are to satisfy people’s needs, and liberate their time and their minds so that they can realise their desires.

#4: Don't sustain sustainable development

The only kind of development bigged up today is ‘sustainable development’. It sounds nice: development is a good thing, and who wants to do things in an unsustainable fashion? Yet the cult of sustainability, of pursuing only small-scale projects that can be sustained into the distant future without too much eco-stress, speaks to a lack of human daring. The idea is that we should only build and create things that can be held together or remade without much effort, and that we should never, ever think of overhauling society, of making industrious leaps forward, of discarding the homes, towns and vehicles we have now in favour of better versions. The demand to do only That Which Can Be Sustained is really a warning against rethinking, reimagining and remaking our world. It’s an intellectual straitjacket for progress. We should wriggle free from it.

#5: No limits on population growth

Progressives once argued that unemployment, poverty and hunger were social problems susceptible to social solutions. Today the orthodoxy is that they are natural or demographic problems springing from humanity’s failure to respect Mother Nature’s limits. Nowhere is this clearer than in the rise of eco-Malthusianism and the notion that the planet is overpopulated by ‘too many mouths to feed’. Society’s failure to create a world fit for people, a world of plenty, is redefined as individuals’ failure to control their reckless fecundity and limit the number of new ‘resource-users’ (formerly known as ‘bundles of joy’). When problems were understood in social terms, the solution was seen as more debate and more progress; when problems are understood in natural terms, the solution is seen as curbs on people’s nature-transgressing behaviour and the use of eco-blackmail to curtail fecundity. Population growth is not the problem – the lack of social imagination is.

#6: Stop demonising 'deniers'

Serious debate about humanity and its future is continually curtailed. Anyone who questions the science or politics of global warming is written off as a ‘Flat Earther’, a phrase used by Gordon Brown on the eve of Copenhagen. Some label ‘climate change denial’ as a psychological disorder and claim these ‘evil words’ will literally bring about death and destruction. From Torquemada on, censors have always painted their enemies not only as wrong but as morally warped, and their utterances as a threat to the social fabric. The idea of ‘denial’, meanwhile, suggests there is an already established Truth that we must either Accept or Deny – no challenge to it can be tolerated. We should defend scepticism, not because climate sceptics always have something interesting to say, but because every breakthrough in history has sprung from at least a willingness to ask awkward, agitating questions about accepted truths.

#7: No to eco-protectionism

In the past even Marxists sang the praises of capitalism’s tendency to internationalise production and trade. The ‘rapid improvement of all instruments of production, [and] the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation’, wrote Marx and Engels in 1848. Today we have ‘locavores’ – people who only eat food produced within 100 miles of where they live – and green lobby groups deploying the pseudo-science of ‘food miles’ to argue against the CO2-emitting import of foreign foodstuffs. Eco-miserabilists have even invented the category of ‘love miles’ to measure the pollution caused by importing Valentine’s Day flowers from Kenya. This is the resurrection of protectionism in green language, and is causing people in the Third World to lose their jobs and homes. We need more, and more meaningful, links between the North and the South, not fewer.

#8: Make energy the solution, not the problem

Whether we’re digging for coal or extracting uranium, man’s use of the Earth’s resources to create energy is frowned upon. We’re ‘destroying the planet’, apparently, by draining its fuels. Such panic over allegedly dwindling resources is not based on hard evidence that this stuff is running out, but on a conviction that we shouldn’t really be using it in the first place. Even our use of water is now problematised: green charities talk about our ‘water footprint’ and tell us to live ‘water-neutral lives’. This speaks to a new view of people as merely consumers rather than producers, destroyers rather than creators. The Earth has been relabelled a ‘warehouse of resources’ and our role is apparently to tiptoe through it and borrow only what we really, really need. We should see the creation of energy not as the problem but as the solution, allowing us to power industry, light up whole cities, and improve human existence. All kinds of energy can be explored – even wind and waves – just so long as the principle of expanding energy to meet our needs is accepted first.

#9: Address the democratic deficit

Our leaders went to Copenhagen hoping to find the sense of historic momentum that is sorely lacking in everyday politics. Unable to inspire voters with anything like a grand vision of a future Good Life, they instead play at ‘making history’, depicting themselves as the defenders of basic existence from the coming eco-Armageddon. Yet rather than resolving the crisis of political vision, Copenhagen exposed it: on one side our leaders expressed disappointment with we the public’s lack of ‘urgency and drive and animation’ about climate change (in David Miliband’s words), and on the other side everyday people sensibly switched off, seeing Copenhagen as a waste of time and telling pollsters that they don’t think climate change is the biggest problem facing the world. Today’s democratic deficit, the gulf between the rulers and the ruled, will not be fixed by the displacement activity of pseudo-historic international conferences – we need openness, honesty and debate.

#10: Humans before polar bears

In the past many thought there was a white, hairy being in the clouds who was judging our behaviour. Today many believe that another white, hairy being – the polar bear – is a barometer of human hubris. Everything we do is measured according to its alleged impact on the ice floes, polar-bear habitats, and other natural phenomena. This represents the creation of a new, backward morality, one which seeks to control human behaviour and lower humanity’s horizons through mythical tales of our eco-destructiveness; the idea of limits, harm and polar-bear vulnerability are used to hector and cow the public. We need to rediscover a sense of human morality, of judging our behaviour in its own terms rather than the terms set by miserabilist misanthropes and cynically externalised as Concern For Polar Bears. When it comes to political decision-making, progress and development, only one question should ever be asked: will it or will it not benefit humankind?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Let's talk about Dex, baby

I've been meaning to write about Dexter Season 4 for some time now but watching the final episodes last night has prompted me into action. [Don't ask me how we happen to be watching the end of this season, which is only half way through on Foxtel at the moment. Suffice to say we have the technology.]

I think I've been drawn to Dexter so much because I can relate to him. No, I'm not a serial killer in my spare time (though keeping an eye on Australian politics could nudge me in that direction). But I do think I'm emotionally stunted in some way, like Dex. I don't "feel" things in the same way as other people. At least I don't think so. I used to feel but somewhere along the way I stopped feeling so much. Not sure how or why that happened but it is something I am acutely aware of, especially when something sad happens; my emotional reaction is not right, not the same as those around me, not what is required.

Anyway and as always, I digress.

After the heady heights and utter brilliance of Season 1 it has been a steady decline of Dexter for me. Of course I love love love the character and I love Michael C. Hall (who plays Dexter) but I have to say that the writing has become crappier with each passing season.

The most significant problem has been Dexter's wife Rita. She started off in season one as a wounded single mum, dealing with a dangerous, violent, druggie ex-husband; looking for comfort with gentle and non-demanding Dexter (the beautiful irony!). Over the past three seasons though she has morphed into Super Wife, some horrific graduate of Stepford; an awful, overgroomed, overdressed, whining, demanding leech. A leech who annoys the bejesus out of me to the point of me hufuffing [I may have just made that word up] about through each episode, complaining to Big Jay about how much I hate her. (It is significant that I have just read on imdb that Julie Benz who plays Rita has just signed up for Desperate Housewives, for which she is much more suited.)

Not only is Rita being written poorly but there is a lot of soap opera style drivel going on throughout the show. The stupid pointless romance between Batista and Laguerta being Exhibit A.

Apart from Dexter (who is himself being screwed over royaly by the writers if you ask me) my two favourite characters would be Debra (Dex's sister - the unluckiest girl in the world?) and the guy with the best lines Vince Masuka. I live for Masuka's quips, cracks me up every time. If the writers can get him so very right why do they fuck up with Dex and Rita so very badly?

Season 4 was giving me the shits quite badly until the last four episodes when things moved up a few gears. The end was very much unexpected but very satisfying for me. Maybe there is hope for Season 5.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Food, glorious food

As my boss Bob always says "I love food, I wouldn't eat anything else".

Part 1

One of my Chrissie pressies, from my gorgeous sister Jules, is a cooking class with Tetsuya Wakuda [obviously] of Testuyas Restaurant fame. Mum, Jules and I are going for a two hour masterclass next Wednesday.

What a fabulous and exciting prospect. Luckily it's not a hands-on class because stage fright is a major problem for me in these instances. (I once went to a David Thompson [of Sailors Thai] cooking class at the Sydney Seafood School and was asked to come up and assist him. I'm sure I did all the right things, though the details are a blur, but I certianly felt like a rabbit in the headlights.)

I'm really looking forward to sitting back and watching the master in action. What a cool present!

Part 2

While watching the Come Dine With Me marathon on New Year's Day I came to the conclusion that I would put in an application should an Australian version be created. I love the idea of the show and I'm sure I could do a reasonable job of putting on a dinner party (if I could ship the family away for the day and clear my foggy brain). It was the camera/being on television side of things which made me clammy and anxious; as you well know I turn into a dithering idiot (more so than usual) when in front of a camera.

However, from the safety of my sofa, I decided I would take on the personal challenge should the opportunity arise. I couldn't do much worse than some of the clowns who have appeared on the episodes I've watched over the years.

Imagine my surprise/excitement/relief/disappointment when I saw the ads for the upcoming Australian season, starting on 18 January! Somehow it had snuck up on me when I wasn't looking. I have checked the website and they are not advertising for new applicants. So I guess my chance to make a disgrace of myself of national television has come and gone. For the best really.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


I went to bed early last night hoping for some much needed sleep. Instead I stayed up much later than necessary because I got hooked watching an Australian film called West.

I believe it would be called "gritty, Australian drama" in reviews and it was both gritty and very Australian.

The "west" refers to Western Sydney, where this story is set. An area which is on my doorstep but which I don't really know at all.

I really enjoyed this well written, well directed, well acted little film. It was a great big smack in the face with a slice of social realism.

It was what I like in a film: a good, simple story, nicely told, with a final scene which makes you go "aahhaa". This story went a full circle and it was elegantly done. A small gesture in the last moment making everything click into place. I so admire that in a script.

Daniel Krige, the South African born writer and director, doesn't seem to have done anything else after this 2007 production which seems a shame as he seems to have some real talent.

End of an era

I have been going to yum cha at East Ocean in Sydney's Chinatown for over 20 years. I can't remember when I started going but I can't remember not going. The place is part of our family's history. Both of my children had their first yum cha experience there, only months after joining our family.

We go to other yum cha restaurants as well. The Rhodes Phoenix, near our current home, being a new and surprising favourite. But East Ocean has always been the special place.

Yesterday was the last time I will ever eat at East Ocean. It was a sad day and an end of era.

When mum, Jules and I arrived there yesterday something wasn't right. It took longer than necessary to realise what the problem was.

The trolleys were gone.

A colourful printed menu and order sheets lay on our table. I couldn't believe it. It was horrible. Mum argued that the food was the same, better. But no it wasn't and the atmosphere was different, wrong, broken.

To me yum cha isn't just the food. Sure I love the variety of dumplings, the deep fried wonders, the crispy green steamed Chinese brocolli, the just warm egg tarts. But for me yum cha is a feeling and the trolleys are part of that feeling. The anticipation as each trolley nears: what will this one hold, an old favourite or a new surprise? The hum and buzz of the restaurant, the rattle of the trolley wheels. It's a package, an experience.

Without the trolleys the restaurant is unnaturally quiet. Flustered waiters rush from table to table, dealing with confused customers, carrying cooling bamboo baskets and plates.

I walked down the steep stairs, back onto Sussex Street, with a heavy heart. It would be the last time I visited this place which had been such a big part of my story for so many years.

Good bye East Ocean.

Friday, January 01, 2010


Who knew it was so fucking hard to see a movie these days? Avatar was sold out at Imax and all the Gold Class sessions on the day we wanted to go. So we had to settle for a VMax session (i.e. bigger seats and a huge screen). It was still good.

The movie needs to be discussed in two parts. A) The Visual and B) The Story.

A) The visual is fucking amazing. Really. Stunning. Especially in 3D it is a beautifully imagined and drawn world. A feast for the senses. I enjoyed every minute of watching Avatar, even the last, unnecessary half hour or so when my frozen Coke filled bladder was screaming in agony.

B) The story is dull dull dull. The cookie cutter, regulation, miss-matched lovers, love story. Nothing new here. It always baffles me when people spend a gazillion dollars producing a huge movie that they can't spare a few thousand for a decent script writer, someone with - let's go out on a limb here - a bit of imagination, a bit of talent, some balls.

The thing that is most telling about how I think is that I was on the side of the "bad guys". I'm not a big fan of nature. It's OK but from a safe distance. Nature is full of things that bite you, sting you, give you a rash and/or spread disease. I prefer mine in a zoo or a postcard. If I was king I would probably just concrete everything and paint it green. Nice, neat, controllable.

So from this point of view I did not find Pandora such a great place. Sure the flowers were pretty but fuck, they were sitting on all that wonderful energy and I will take energy (to fire up my tv, my air conditioner, my hair straightener and all my other cool electric stuff) over pretty flowers and giant noisy flying lizards every single time. I knew I wasn't on the side of the angels when I was hoping for the cool nasty military robots to win the battle at the end. Also when I was day dreaming about how badly those damned Pandorians would be smashed when Earth sent up the next contingent - let's send up Rambo and Bruce Willis and see how well those tree huggers get on...

As you well know, there IS something wrong with me!

Three hours in

At 3:00 am on the first day of the new year I was awoken, after a brief sleep following the hoo haa that goes on at midnight when the new year is born and people choose to celebrate by screaming hysterically, laughing like hyenas and blowing those annoying fucking mouth blower thingies, by loud noises.

I staggered onto the deck to see what was going on. Below me, on the public path which runs between our building and the lapping waters of Duck River, I beheld an unwelcome sight. A group of young men who would be described in media reports and police press releases as "of Middle Eastern appearance" were letting off small "flying saucer" type fireworks and the occassional one which flew up high in the air made a horrific whizzing sound.

I glared at them from the dark safety of my deck, radiating hate and hoping the intensity of my feelings would zap them like a laser. I stood for a while watching as they laughed and babbled as each firework went off. I know it was evil but I badly badly badly wanted one of the fireworks to backfire and set them alight. It does not say much about the state of my sleep-deprived mental health that I was annoyed and terribly let down when they ran out of their stupid fucking fireworks and staggered off, with hardly a singed hair. How I would have laughed at the bonfire their stupid little terrorist in the making heads would have made.

What does this event signify for the start of the new year? Bugger all really. I suppose it will just be what it will be. I just hope that the state of my sleep improves because the last few days have been totally shithouse, sleep-wise. I blame Avatar...