Monday, October 31, 2005

Sack The Ad Agency, These Workplace Law Reform Ads Will Work

If you wanna see what these posters looked like before I applied my dodgy photoshopping skills to them, check out the US Manufacturers Association Blog.

By the way, in a recent Crikey story on the government department behind the Work Choices ads, "The IR ads flop – we name the guilty men," I was surprised Christian Kerr didn't mention Dewey & Horton, the advertising agency who made the ads. This is an agency with longtime links to the Liberal Party and is especially known for its 'no bullshit' approach to advertising.

With riddling phrases like "Protected By Law" and "Max.Ordinary Hours" the IR ads can hardly be described as 'no bullshit'. Plagued with poor punctuation, perhaps but hardly 'no bullshit'.

Friday, October 28, 2005

One Of The Best Jobs In The World, Ever

The Starlight Children's Foundation is looking for a Wishgranting Coordinator to "Brighten the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children."

Yes, you can be THAT person.

Based in Melbourne, you will look after all all aspects of the Wishgranting program, talking to children, families, doctors, volunteers, donors, sponsors... the whole special shebang.

Find out more at my Interesting Jobs website.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Phillip Adams Interviews Kurt Vonnegut

On today's Late Night Live.

You can download an mp3 from the program's website or here when the ABC link expires.

I'll tell you more about the interview when I've finished listening to it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Boars of Berlin

The city of Berlin has a wild pig problem. Each year the 30 hunters employed by the Berlin city council are called upon to kill more than 900 pigs in the streets of the city.

Here's an audio link to a folkloric and sometimes ghastly Radio National documentary where the reporter went on a pig hunt, met a meat obsessed chef and a local church minister who's struggling to keep the boars from digging up his cemetary's graves.

Who said Radio National was boaring?

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Reader Sends In His Latest Catch

I bought a copy of Fish Victoria's new Land Based Fishing Guide to Port Philip and Corio Bays at the fishing show yesterday. If you don't own a boat, it's hard to find honest and current advice to fishing the bay. This does just that, mapping and describing almost all of the bay's many piers, beaches and breakwaters.

Later in the day I fished at Port Melbourne and may or may not have caught a 71cm Barracouta. Met a bloke there who...and I really can't believe this.... goes fishing because its "a great way to pick up chicks."

"See that chick over there? She's one of the hottest chicks in Port Melbourne. Bitch. I was talking to another chick who I had already rooted and she comes right up to me and kissed me on the cheek. Next time I see her I'm with my Dad fishing and she pretends not to know me.

I know her. I remember all of them by their dogs. I know their dogs better than they do. Now the bitch is walking over there with a guy.

Should I go over to her?

Maybe she won't recognise me because I don't have my sunglasses on. She's never seen my eyes. Yeah, I'm going over there. The schmuck she's with won't have a clue what's going on."
At least he was impressed with my fish.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

When Bets Are Off, The Game's Off

Trinquet is a cross between squash and tennis. Gambling is central to the obscure Valencian sport, so much so that if a bet isn't made, the game is cancelled.

The bloke in black is this game's official bookmaker.

Photo by Pablo Argente, the Bunol based photographer who took the messy photo of in my previous story about 2005's De La Tomatina Massacre. He recently emailed to tell me that he now has a blog thingy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Nightwatchman, Big In Japan

I'm chuffed.

With visitors from not only Australia, Britain and the United States, but from Canada, Spain, Singapore, India, Denmark, Uruguay, Egypt, Japan, Portugal, Indonesia and freakin' Nepal, this little website/blog/thingy has had its best month yet.

Way over twice as many people have visited The Nightwatchman in October than ever before.

This keeps up and I'll top the readership of The Age's business gossip column, Value Added.

Oh, that many? Looks like I already have.

Big thanks to all of you wise people who keep coming back.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Was J.R Ewing A Romanian Freedom Fighter?

You've read of how Dallas was beamed into the New Guinea Highlands, now for the story of how the screening of Dalllas into Romania could have helped overthrow their dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu.

The nice guy who played J.R Ewing, Larry Hagman once told People Magazine:
“Ceausescu had put three hours on TV—two were of political speeches, and one hour was an episode of Dallas—to show the corruptness of America. The people saw that and said, hey, why don’t we have that? So they took him out and shot him.”
Reason Magazine's Matt Welch went to Romania, stayed at a Dallas themed hotel and spoke to the some of the country's top film directors to find out how much of Hagman's story is true.

Unfortunately, not much. In fact, for most of Ceausescu's rule the public Romanian television was reknowned for its local and imported content. It was only in the last throws of the dictator's rule when TV was reduced to three hours a day to save money on electricity when imported shows were considered too expensive to run.

Romania's head programmer at the time, Ion Ionel told Welch that he saved the screening of Dallas with the cunning plan to sign Dallas on an "absurdly long term contract," with the show's distributors. Eventually Dallas was axed 71 episodes later, when the contract ended in 1981.

Almost ten years later in 1989 and days after Ceausescu was shot, Dallas was one of the first shows to get back on air.

Link to Matt Welch's full article.

Band Wanted: Screamers, Not Dreamers Need Only Apply

Boing Boing reader, Lawgeek found this flyer.

Pity my 'death metal screams' aren't quite up to a standard to go for this. I'm more of a power metal wail type of guy.

Used to work with a bloke called Nick who does a very good gore metal growl. He was really useful to have around at the footy.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Roy & HG's John Doyle Is Far Too Smart And Funny For Anyone's Boots

"I remember reading some years ago about the series Dallas being beamed in to the New Guinea highlands. It was being viewed by mountain tribal people who were just a generation removed from First Contact, people who’d had little or no connection with European society at all apart from the odd Christian missionary."

"Tim Flannery recalls seeing a burial service in the highlands whereby the deceased was picked up and swung over the grave with the family and onlookers solemnly chanting the incantation ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and in the hole he goes’."

"What were they to make of Dallas? A highly camp styled vacuous rich oil family living the life of Reilly in a bed-hopping fun-filled soap operatic adventure, laced with stylized irony. Probably the highlanders saw it differently - a lifestyle that was heaven on Earth. Irresistible. Vast houses, huge cars, heated pools, money, booze, guns and loose women. And no morality to speak of. Ancient and modern cultural universes brushing against each other. Again a cataclysmic event."
From John Doyle's magnificent speech at this year's Andrew Olle Media Lecture. You can download it as a mp3 or read the transcript at the ABC website.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Why I'm Still The (Unemployed) Beaver

I have no job, interesting or otherwise.

The economists reckon I should have a job by now 'cos it's a 'jobseekers market'.
The government reckon it's because I'm failing to meet my mutual obligations.
The pundits at Crikey reckon it's because I was once a unionist.
The people at the gym say it's because I'm not doing enough reps.
John Lennon reckons it's because I'm a dreamer but luckily I'm not the only one.
The mystics believe it's because I'm cursed.
Mark Latham reckons it's because my parents never read to me and that I'm a suckhole.
Nobody cares what the federal opposition have to say of the matter.
Germaine Greer reckons it's because employers are scared of boys who refuse to 'grow up'.
The horoscopes reckon it's because my moon's got crabs.
Brian Wilson just guesses I wasn't made for these times.
Australian Idol's Mark Holden reckons he's seen me perform well but hasn't yet seen me take my performance to the next level.
The guy who fixes my tires reckons my career is only flat on the bottom.

I'm with the mystics.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stubbsy Asks The Big Questions

Just heard this on Richard Stubbs' ABC 774 radio show.

STUBBSY: So, what sort of people come to your obesity clinic?

DOCTOR: Big people.

Smurf And Awe At New Smurfs Episode

In a stunning statement on the tragedy of children in war, Unicef have produced an episode of The Smurfs to show in their home, Belgium, where Smurfland cops a horrific bombing from above.

According to The Telegraph, the episode starts with the Smurfs singing and dancing their lovely little theme, birds fly by, rabbits hop around illy nilly and "without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky."

The poor Smurfs are smurfed by the terror of the explosions. Many die. The final scene shows a badly burnt Baby Smurf sobbing, surrounded by dead Smurfs.

Then the message: "Don't let war affect the lives of children."

Hendrik Coysman, managing director of The Smurfs' production company, IMPS, told The Telegraph, "That crying baby really goes to your bones."

Oh yeah, I've researched and written quite a lot of stuff about how children are affected by war and what we can do about it on World Vision's Stir website.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Who Cut The Cheese?

It wasn't me.

It was my sister, you know, the one who used to work at Advanced Hair Yeah Yeah and now works as a rubber ducky tester. She sent me the photo.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Children, I Mean Rock Stars, Say The Darndest Things

"I'd like to dedicate this song to you. It was actually written about me by my ex-girlfriend over there. Wanna dance?"
Nick Dalton at last night's Nick Dalton & The Gloomchasers CD launch

"The Ipod? It's like a mini fridge. With no fucking beers in it!"
Paul Weller in a recent Word Magazine cover story

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Those Dang Warhursts!

Don't know why it's taken so long to talk up top mate, Myf Warhurst's brillo work on ABC TV's Spicks & Specks.

Last night's show was especially nifty. Her confession to Darryl Braithwaite that as a five year old she would kiss his image on the television screen was oh... innnat nice.

Later on, other old mates (of Myf too) Merrick & Rosso's new show made its debut on Channel Ten. And who's listed on the credits as assistant producer and possibly (if my eyes were seein' right) made a cameo?

Myf's brother, Kit.

Those dang Warhursts!

All too talented and way too good lookin' I tells ya.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dog Catcher, Full Training Provided (To You, That Is)

A stray dog, yesterday., originally uploaded by glennpeters.

From my obscure jobs site, But I Want An Interesting Job.

The Lost Dogs Home needs an Animal Control Officer to work the Darebin beat.

Duties include collection and impoundment of stray domestic animals (picking up felons), especially dogs and cats, permit inspections and animal business audits (hassling Mr Bigs), dog attack investigations (investigations, alright!), education (visiting schoolkids), park patrols and the general enforcement of the provisions of the Domestic Animals Act.

Forget The Bill, this is crime fightin'.

Monday, October 03, 2005

My Driving Horror

I've had bad luck in the car lately.


I felt something tickle the back of my neck. That's okay, it's gotta be a hair from my recent haircut. When I realised the 'recent haircut' took place a fortnight ago I looked into the rearvision mirror.

Big black spider crawls across my face, from right ear to under my lip.

All this happened while driving at 90k's.


Again driving at 90 but this time on my way home from a rock show. There's a few people standing on the side of the road ahead.

Two small dogs were thrown out of the dodgy Commodore I'm driving behind.

I swerve to miss the dogs and the people cheer. It happened too fast to take down number plates.

One of the dogs looked already dead when it hit the road.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I’m On My Way #2

What you'll be talking about in months to come.

New Melbourne band, Plug In City. Saw them play last night. Gobsmacked. Think Modern Lovers with a better lookin' front man than Mr Malkmus.

Last night was their 4th ever show. If they were in England, they'd be on the cover of NME next week.

After the show the drummer slipped into a Noiseworks t-shirt.

I'm not sure what to make of that.

I’m On My Way #1