Watching: Wingnuts

This clip largely speaks for itself - it's the audience debate section of last nights big controversial ABC documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle" and followup discussion.

Evidently a bunch of Lyndon LaRouche acolytes (fascinating and odd man incidentally) were able to salt themselves through the crowd and claims that environmentalism is a science with a secret agenda of eugenics and that Carbon 14 (an underpinning principle of Creationism) disproves all the Climate Change Science make this a spectacular video.

I wonder how long it will be before the BAAAs (Bolt, Albrechtsen and Ackerman) jump up and down claiming that the crowd was deliberately made up of fruitloops.


Watching: Guy Pearse talking about Howard lies on Climate Change

I heard something about the explosive new book High and Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the selling of Australia's future a while ago but seeing the author on Lateline Business last night really brought home how wrong the present government are being on this vital issue.

According to his website:

Guy Pearse joined the Liberal party in 1989 and spent the past eighteen years studying environment policy and working in the political ‘dark arts’. He’s been an industry lobbyist, political minder, consultant and spin doctor. He wrote the speeches of Australia’s former environment minister, Robert Hill.

More recently, his PhD research exposed the self-dubbed 'greenhouse mafia' - a cabal of lobbyists working for our worst polluting industries. What Guy discovered about the pervasive control these industries have over Australia's response to climate change persuaded him to leave the dark arts behind to write High & Dry - his first book.

There's no footage up yet on the ABC website (though I'll keep an eye out and update when I find something) but this guy absolutely wiped the floor with the Howard government last night - detailing particularly the way that big business have been writing submissions to Cabinet about policy (something that is always otherwise done by the appropriate neutral government department).

The fact that the guy really looks like a Liberal as well (and for our O/S readers, don't forget that Liberal here is evil neo-con pretty well everywhere else) - slightly puffy and born in a suit means that he will be much harder to discredit.

Though apparently plans for this are already in the works - the usual whispering campaigns trying to cast Pearse as someone who wasn't really working there and so forth, when it is clear that he has the government nailed.

Just wait until Howard's trained attack sheep, the BAAA squad (Bolt, Albrechtsen and Ackerman) wade into the fray.

Here's a promo clip for the book for now

Update: The Lateline Business interview with Guy Pearse is now up on the ABC website.

Click here for the video


Playing music: Songs for Lost Highway

Here are today's tracks - once again a little all over the place but quite a few nuggets in there, particularly Nina Gordon's take on NWA's classic, Straight out of Compton.

Straight Out Of Compton Nina Gordon Internets 1:50
Jesus Ranch Tenacious D Tribute Single 2:14
Jessica Adam Green Friends of mine 2:37
Empty Shell Cat Power The Greatest 3:03
Woody Guthrie Alabama 3 Last train to Mashville 3:52
What If Lucinda Williams West 5:41
Lonely Streets The Fuelers Hot Dang 4:34
The Biggest Mess Sunglass Sunglass 4:18
Stormclouds Ashley Davies Ned Kelly 2:11
Asleep in perfection Augie March Waltz 3:58
River Girl Amanda Brown Incognita 3:56
Love Is A Sweet Thing Randall Blair And The Wedded Bliss Tattoos And Taillights 4:14
Son of Sam Elliott Smith Figure 8 3:04
My drug buddy Evan Dando Live at the Brattle Theatre 2:55
I know y'know I know Tex Perkins Dark Horses 4:30
Walkin' after midnight Patsy Cline The Great Patsy Cline Disk 1 2:35
Jackson The Pleasure Barons Live in Las Vegas 3:03
You Took My Thing And Put It In My Place C.W. Stoneking King Hokum 2:50
Puttin' On The Dog Tom Waits Orphans: Brawlers 3:39
Coat Of Many Colors Dolly Parton The Very Best Of 3:05
The Killing Moon Grant-Lee Phillips Nineteeneighties 4:14
Pink bullets The Shins Chutes too narrow 3:53
If I Had A Ticket Ed Kuepper Character Assassination 2:54

Listening: Airbourne - Runnin' Wild - Track by track

I've already had one rave about the new album from old style Oz rock band Airbourne in a previous post here so I'll spare you that again - here's my track by track take on their album. (as promised earlier)

Stand Up For Rock'n'roll 4:01

Opening the album with a classic ACDC meedly-meedly-mee slow burning riff, this track launches into a powerful pub rock track that screeches the praises of rock from the high heavens to the fiery depths. Bon would be proud.

Runnin' Wild 3:38

More of a chugga-chugga opening this time but some great powerchords underneath. Love the chorus - "You can cry me a river, cry me a river of tears" which launches into a true singalong "runniiiiiiiin wild and free". It's simple and it rawwwks.

Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast 3:42

Now we move into Rose Tattoo territory - it sounds like the song of a late 70's suburban street gang, complete with Winnie Blues tucked under the arm of the tight tshirt. It's all about the rebellion and self-destruction and features another great, simple power chorus.

Diamond In The Rough 2:53

This is possibly as close as this album gets to a love song - it's the classic tale of how rich girls can't get enough of working class blokes (territory covered slightly differently in Pulp's Common People). Once more, it rocks out.

The chorus gets a little confusing though - with singer Joel O'Keefe pronouncing that "I can't get enough, of that diamond in the rough" - is he quoting the rich girl or are secret longings being revealed? (And no, I probably wouldn't say that to his face :)

Fat City 3:26

I don't know why but there is something about this track that says Motley Crue to me - it's a little more droning that some of the others even though it tries hard.

Blackjack 2:42

That's more like it - quick start into a hard rockin' boogie and more energy in a bar than the whole previous song - it's something about playing cards but I get the feeling that it's actually something else, I'm just not sure what.

What's Eatin' You 3:36

It's probably more a matter of my attention span but I'm starting to feel my attention drifting by this point - there's nothing wrong with this song in itself but the regularity of the tunes is starting to make them kind of blur into each other now.

It's still got a good dose of energy and you have to love J O'Ks screeching vocals and the power of the guitars, I'm just a bit meh about it I guess.

Girls In Black 3:15

Ahh that's better, I think the secret here is that when the songs drop below a certain bpm they just don't do it. Fortunately, this has cranked it up a notch.
Beyond that, there's nothing ultra-special here but it's still good rock

Cheap Wine 3:10

This one also reminds me a little of Rose Tattoo - something to do with the vocals - and there's nothing wrong with that. Great dirty gutter rock and/or roll music. This redeems the last 3 or 4 tracks.

Heartbreaker 3:56

This could be any one of a dozen ACDC songs - I don't mind acca dacca but I wouldn't call myself a fan or buy a tshirt - it's a nice raucous track that seems to have all the right ingredients but there's something extra that it's missing. Scratch that, it was a strong solo and that's there too. But still...

Let's Ride 3:28

Good finishing track - kicks the pace up a notch just when it needs it - once more, nothing outstanding but for what it is and in the context of the album, this is a good rocker. (There's something about this that reminds me of Car Chase City by Tenacious D on the Pick of Destiny soundtrack, which can't be a bad thing)

All in all - some pretty good rockin' that offers the promise of more - if they can introduce a little more variety and originality into the mix. 72%


Updating: stuff (hair + FAT awards)

I have a few things to update today so please excuse the higgledy piggledy nature of this post.

First up, the No Shampoo challenge - Day 33.

As you can see (I know it's not an awesome video but I haven't figured out how to properly use the HD camera and Dean Semler has stopped taking my calls), the hair is getting a little greasier but overall it still seems ok.

It still doesn't smell, it is a little flat and my scalp rarely itches at all these days. I'm a little curious about the white patch at the crown of my head - never seen that there before.

Next - the CIT FAT (Film and Television) awards.

This is another one I've been a little lax in reporting on - essentially the Communications Media and Music students at work here have an annual awards night / screening of the ten best first year student films.

This was a couple of weeks ago now and having had a bit to do with student films (both as a student and a teacher), I made some predictions on this blog about what I was expecting.

Some will be dark and showcase the extraordinary inner angst through a series of moody images of people gazing sadly into the distance and walking slowly.

This was a bit of a gimme and I was rewarded within the first 10 seconds of the screening with pretty much exactly this in the film "I hate" (which was still pretty well made)

Some will be great stories well told.

I was impressed that there was a fair bit of this - everything from simple documentaries about the experience of Asian students and migrants in Australia ("I want to be an Aussie") to the tale of an inventive old man ("The Shed") and a quirky 50's b-movie flick about the zombie menace which started off looking for all the world like a Douglas Sirk melodrama. ("Down by the lake")

Some will completely abuse the digital tools available in the editing software and apply filters and transitions all over the shop.

Nope, admirable restraint was shown here - although in general most of the films could have worked a little more on their sound.

At least one character will die for every two films (and possibly more).

This prediction was looking a bit wrong as well for a while but if you include references to deaths as part of stories, a couple of films (including a stylish but slightly thin Film Noir one that I don't remember the name of) pulled through gave me my minimum five deaths.

There will be at least two fairly funny Tropfest style one joke films.

Nope, totally wrong there.

Some of the films will appear to have been much more fun to make than to watch.

Some did look like they would have been quite fun to make but managed to stay enjoyable. Wrong again. (However, if it had been a screening of all the films made, I might have been closer to the truth)

Some will be far more fun to watch than they were to make.

Obviously hard to say but given the multitude of things that can go wrong on a film shoot, this is a bit obvious really.

Small pockets of the audience will cheer, laugh and applaud disproportionately when certain films begin (and at key points within the film)

Well of course you would, it's a huge buzz seeing your work on screen.

All in all, I was pretty impressed with a lot of the works here - particularly with the ones that I've named already and also with the bravery of the attempt at stop motion animation in "Blob the loser", which while rough, had heart and a funny bone.


Checking: the ANU film group programme

The ANU Film Group (ANUFG) run regular cinema quality 35mm film screenings several times a week at the Australian National University here in Canberra.

I worked for them for a few years as a projectionist before deciding that having more of a social life in the evenings would be nice and it's a pretty smooth operation and a sweet deal.

For a semester membership fee of $35 you get free access to all screenings - which for next semester is around 84 films. As I say, films are screened in Dolby digital sound from a 35mm projector on a screen larger than most of the ones I've seen in Canberra.

Some of the highlights I can see coming up:

  • Friday 20/7 : The Host

  • Saturday 21/7 : Reno 911: Miami

  • Wednesday 1/8 : A Clockwork Orange

  • Thursday 9/8 : Bobby

  • Friday 10/8 : Death of a President

  • Thursday 16/8 : Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

  • Wednesday 22/8 : TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

  • Saturday 25/8 : Passport to Pimlico

  • Wednesday 29/8 : Noise

  • Thursday 30/8 : Ocean's Thirteen

  • Saturday 1/9 : Priceless

  • Saturday 15/9 : Whisky Galore!

  • Wednesday 19/9 : Paris, je t'aime

  • Thursday 20/9 : Transformers

  • Saturday 22/9 : Blades of Glory

  • Friday 28/9 : 28 Weeks Later

  • Thursday 4/10 : The lives of others

  • Friday 5/10 : Curse of the Golden Flower

  • Friday 12/10 : Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  • Saturday 13/10 : Gremlins + Westworld

  • Wednesday 17/10 : As it is in Heaven

  • Friday 19/10 : Clubland + Half Nelson

  • Saturday 20/10 : The Simpsons Movie

  • Thursday 8/11 : Sicko

There are double features on Friday and Saturday nights and occasional Sunday arvo screenings of kids films. The seats could do with some work but if you plan ahead and bring a cushion you should be fine.

Films always start at 8pm - doors open around 7 and the hardcore sad film group geeks tend to lob up around ten minutes later to secure prime seats but generally you'll get an ok spot if you get there 10-15 mins before the film starts. There are no trailers so when it says 8pm, that's what it is.

(If you're interested, Spiderman 3 is on this coming Saturday)


Asking: for your vote

Voting has now opened in the GetUp! Oz in 30 seconds competition and I'd really appreciate your help to make the finals. (Winning it I'm less fussed about as there are some great other ads but I'd love to make the top 10 at least.)

For those who came in late, this is a competition for average folk out here to make a 30 second political ad (which doesn't endorse any particular party) which GetUp! will put to air around the time of the upcoming federal election.

Here are my two entries - the animation is a tad shaky but overall I think they came out pretty well.

Good or just lucky?


The process for voting is an interesting one - essentially you go to the Vote Now tab on the Watch the videos page and a random selection of 10 videos are displayed.

Voting is determined partially by which videos have the most viewings as well as how many votes are given. (This is the ten exclamation marks under the video - just click on however many votes/points you wish to give the video).

If the video you want to see doesn't appear first time (i.e. Good or Just Lucky OR Liagra) just refresh your browser until it's there.

I realise that it might seem as though I'm trying to sway the results and I guess I am - but I'm sure that every other filmmaker and their dog (or cat) are also going to be trying to round up votes the exact same way - so your support would be greatly valued.

Apparently measurement of voting is taken from the I.P address of the computer so you can only vote once for a video from any given machine. Voting runs from now until the 23rd of July.

Thanks (in advance) for your help :)


Playing: tunes

Here are the tracks for the show tomorrow (such organisation)

Jolene Dolly Parton The Very Best Of 2:41

A classic Dolly track

Runnin' Wild Airbourne Runnin' Wild 3:38

More OZ rock from Airbourne - nothing sophisticated, just balls out rawwwk in an AC/DC style.

Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast Airbourne Runnin' Wild 3:42

Rose Tattoo can take some credit for this one, turn it up.

Ace Of Spades Motorhead The Best Of Motorhead D1 2:51

While we're rockin', can't forget Lemmy

Idea of Fun The Stooges The Weirdness 3:17

I really want to use this song as the soundtrack to a First Person shooter video game

Velvety Frank Black 93-03 2:29

Changing the pace a little (but maintaining the rock)

Last nite (The Strokes) The Detroit Cobras Stop me if you think you've heard this one before 2:35

Great cover in a classic girl rock band style

Spring Rain David McCormack Write Your Adventures Down: A Tribute To The Go-Betweens 4:02

Former Custard/Titanics frontman brings his unique voice to an otherwise faithful Gobee's tribute.

Off The Grid The Beastie Boys The Mix-Up 4:36

Like the soundtrack to a great blaxploitation flick, I'll be coming back to this album regularly in coming weeks (and perhaps months)

Evidence Single Gun Theory The Monkey's Mask O.S.T 3:02

Beautiful acoustica from an underrated soundtrack.

The Underpants Song Los Capitanes No Butts! 3:41

Quirky track from one time local outfit

Nature Springs The Good, The Bad And The Queen The Good, The Bad And The Queen 3:10

Gentler and more hopeful in sound but still low-key - nice acoustic guitar work (including the squeaks and squeals from changing chords), some blips and bleeps, again with the fragmentary echoes of OK Computer (a compliment, don't get me wrong). Oh and whistling - who doesn't love a bit of whistling in a tune.

Brain Damage Dr. Israel Dub Side Of The Moon 4:06

Modern reggae take on a classic tune from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

Big Decision Elliott Smith New Moon 2:00

Zippy track for Elliot and another golden one.

300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues The White Stripes Icky Thump 5:28

Cruel Sea vibe/riffs - very nice.

Pick Me Up Dinosaur Jr Beyond 6:32

Returns to more conventional DJr ground but brings in some outthere whistly synth at points (I think) to keep the freshness up. Loving the guitar in this one, it's gold and has put the song up into my top 2 for this album.

Weeds The Negotiators Apples and Oranges 3:59

Great raspy rock track from occasional commenter Shane

If Jesus Drove A Motor Home Jim White Drill A Hole In That Substrate And Tell Me What You See 4:36

Courtesy of Jerry "Lost Highway" Schwab, this is a very cool alt.country/lounge track.

Love Is A Sweet Thing Randall Blair And The Wedded Bliss Tattoos And Taillights 4:14

More local treasure - nice melodic country pop complete with near oompah brass.

Human Fly Nouvelle Vague Bande À Part 2:49

Eminently listenable 80s alternapop hits jazzed up and given the French bossa nova/lounge treatment

Come Back Margaret Camera Obscura Let's Get Out Of This Country 3:47

Beautiful girl driven pop from Scotland.

Beating: Barry Jones - or not

Barry Jones is an official Australian living treasure - a highly intelligent quiz show champion in the early days of Australian television and an elder statesman of the Labor Party and more now.

He is also one of the brainstrust on ABC tv's The Einstein Factor.

Cutting the point here, I got a question right that he got wrong. There is something I knew that Barry Jones didn't - that William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe were born on the same day in 1564.

(I'm entirely aware that asked another 999 questions, the score could well sit at Jones 999 Couch 1 but that's another matter :)

I guess, as a bit of quiz show nerd, this has a certain unexpected joy to it.

Update - which is tinged of course with the ever present twinge of sadness as a quick search of the web seems to tell me that they weren't actually born on the same day at all. So Barry was right and I was wrong. Well root my boot and thank you Channel 2.