Tuesday, May 31, 2005

From Hack to Alchemist

The past week I've been at AWARD Copy School learning writing stuff from some of Australia's best copywriters. My tutors included the guy who wrote the Hard Yakka jingle (no ANTHEM), rival writers for Jetstar and Virgin Blue; the wunderkind behind the Carlton Draught Made From Beer ads; the funny bastard behind the office party soup ads; and one of my idol real-crime writers who confirmed every thing I said in this post.

Because these fellas were dauntingly talented writers, their classes were full of piss-funny one liners. Indeed, more one liners than a pre-fringe benefits tax luncheon.

Here's an unattributed bunch.
"While you and your mates are fucking saying how fucking good you are and giving each other fucking awards, your mum and dad are at home singing my fucking ads."
"Aussies don't like a smart-arse. They just want to like you."
"It's easy to be different but it's hard to be the same but better."
"It's only a fuck. We've all had one."
"I don't make any comments about xxxx's advertising other than it's shit."
"That's been done but has it been done again?"
"Remember, most of what we do is taking the piss."
I'm keen as a kid in a battery shop to work my new craziness learnt at AWARD Copy School so (here's the hard sell, the call to action if you will), it's time to hire me to write up your merde. I can’t promise to turn dust into gold but if you pay me enough, I might be able to squeeze some of your shit into porcelain.

When your marketing department, no bugger that, when your entire office comes back from lunch, all-staff email my details.
Glenn Peters

Telephone 03 9561 4438
I'm also really good at translating office/industry jargon into understandable English. So ner!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Thank You Mr Gobetween!

The Gobetweens' Robert Forster is one hell of a writer. His first bit of music journalism, a review of Antony and the Johnsons latest, which appeared in new mag, The Monthly is sublime, starting exactly like,
"I first heard this record coming in from the airport in Milan. A taxi ride, ancient four-storey buildings, thrusting billboards, the beautiful people gorgeously dressed; and then a motorbike accident on a corner, a body beside an ambulance stiff on the ground. Life and death. I was listening to the right record."
Forster's review does what it should. It lets you in on the album's secret.

Soon after reading the review I bought the album and I haven't switched it off since.

Here's what the new Antony and the Johnsons record looks like so you can too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bugger It, It's The Budget

Nice summary of Costello's budget from the daily Crikey email bulletin.
"The plasma TV has become a symbol of our current prosperity. They look good. Sleek, elegant, functional and modern. In truth, they’re heavy, hard to hang, chew up power and the pictures get burnt in. That makes it a perfect symbol of this Budget, too. You feel modern and well off with a plasma, and that’s how the Government would like us to feel. It’s how the Prime Minister and the Treasurer want the great mass of middle Australia to be."
Now you can get Crikey's daily bulletins as a free trial. After a couple of weeks you pay them or they send you an abridged version. After two days, I've been very impressed with these bulletins, so much I might even fork out the cash for the full service. Yes, this is how free trials should work.

The Nightwatchman's Dissapointing Scrabble Tournament Comeback

I made my much awaited comeback to competition Scrabble at the Noturno tournament at the Prince Patrick last night. Didn't do too well with one win and four losses. Some say I may have been rusty after the long break but I put my losses down to laziness and good competition.

Game 1 vs Gillian Kinder
I was thrashed 260-472. Just like Collingwood against Freo last weekend, I was killed as soon as the ball was bounced. The 112 ranked in Australia, Kinder (I'm ranked 814!), started with MEDIATE for 74. I returned serve with PITS for 8 probably to show where the game was already heading. Late in the game she made her own comment on the game, playing SWINDLE for 110 bloody points. This loss put me at the very bottom of the tournament ladder.

Game 2 vs Cheryl Jearam
Another schmozzle, 278-395. At 99 all, I picked up this beautiful rack. RRLUIII. Exchanged 4 tiles and Jearam (ranked 107) NEVER (27 points) looked back. Oh, except when she SLAPPED me for 65 points. I BEAT her for 31 but then her game became NICE (20) and SAUCY (26). Not even a NICER (7) JAB (20) could save me in this game.

Game 3 vs Mohammed Hegazi
My only win, 447-271. Heading into this game Mohammed (ranked 612) was in worse shape than I was. His head was in his hands because he had just been beaten by over 300 points. The guy who beat him got something like 630 points, a schlacking which may go down as one of the year's record scores. Ouch. If there's one thing I've learnt from my Scrabs mentors, Geoff Wright and Andrew Fisher is its okay to kick a bloke when he's down in Scrabble. One night I won an internet game 621-280. One word I played that game was DEGLAZES for 271 points. I came into Scrabble club the following night glowing. Then I played Andrew. He beat me 670-260. Against Mohammed I felt like I could do no wrong. There's nothing WIMPIER (I played for 82 points) than going easy on a bloke.

Game 4 vs Dorothy Barraclough
Dorothy's ranked 403 so I thought this could be a close one. It was for most of the game but she ended up beating me 359-296. Her win came when she played TESTING for 76 points.

Game 5 vs Carol Masciti
I lost 323-342. I should have won this against the 689 ranked lovely lady. In my last go I needed 12 to win the game. I played a speculative EDE for 16. Carol challenged and went out with LION to win the game. As soon as she put her final tiles on the board I saw what I missed. The nearest word to my eyes was ROPE. If I put the D on ROPE instead of playing the phony, EDE, I would have won the game. For the rest of the night I felt like two of the words I played in this game- a GIT (25) and a GOOF (12).

The winner of the tournament was indeed, Andrew Fisher who is later this year representing Australia and of course our great Melbourne Scrabble Club in the 2005 World Championships. Andrew's one of the world's top professional players and for last night's win he earned himself a whopping $20! See, there's money in this game.

For Victorian Scrabble news, competitions, ratings and membership, visit Scrabble Victoria's website.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

What's He Building In There?

Melbourne sculptor, Nick Jones makes pretty thingies out of old books. Nick's been doing this for the ten years I've known him. An exhibition of his latest work can be seen at Spacement: Watson Place, Melbourne, Australia from May 10 to June 4th.

The blurb on the gallery site reckons:
Using a compendia of old books and pamphlets found in the bins of the University of Melbourne library, he creates an archaeology of texts that presents a nostalgic view of 1950s and 60s literature regarding Australia and the world. Combining elements of chance and modern design, the works resemble a sculptural form of concrete poetry that create a new perspective on the past.
And I reckons:
Engrossing. I couldn't put them down.
Exhibition link.