Tuesday, February 26, 2008

ANYONE not wearing two MILLION sunblock is going to have a really FUCKING BAD DAY!!!

I present: T1.

I know Terminator is on TV now. I've watched it and it rubbed my brain up the right way a couple of times, but I just don't have the patience for the non-Cameronesque filming and the Ahnold-less dialogue. Lena Heady does a good job, the cutie chick robot needs more jokes and the thing that made all the Terminators from the movies good was their personalities. Please don't bother hitting the comments page to make ironic little quips about the lack of engaging renaissance-style wit possessed by action heroes in general because it ain't what they say, it's how they say it, when, where and with how many weapons. The Terminators I've seen in the TV show are just big tough guys who got chosen because that's what they looked like. They needed to be chosen for their resemblance to what an artificially intelligent computer defence system has gleaned to be appropriately human-like in both looks and behaviour. See how complicated and dorky TV shows need to be nowadays to actually be worth anything? I'm re-reading Chris Turner's excellent book Planet Simpson (which I have discussed before) and taking note of the interesting things he has to say about the effect that The Simpsons has had on television comedy and comedy in general. He talks about the Freeze Frame Fun gags, wherein the writers would decorate the backgrounds of each scene with hilarious jokes, ads, graffiti and other writings that actually move past too fast for the casual viewer to take in. Due to the (now not) endlessly repeated nature of The Simpsons in syndication, we now all take care to read all the signs in the background of Simpsons shows precisely because they are funny. Family Guy has inherited (stolen) this trait and any other comedy movie or TV show worth watching makes the entire world it depicts funny, not just the dialogue going on between two actors (Naked Gun, The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, 40 Year Old Virgin, Drawn Together). This has resulted in a decline in the effect that previously hilarious shows have upon me, the obsessively observant viewer. Last night I watch Bedazzled, the original 1970s version. It was still funny, but only a bit funny. Something funny would happen and the laughter would stop almost as it began because it was only funny on one level. Pigeon shits on toff's hat. Funny. Dudley Moore fooled into being a nun. Funny. But that was all, because since comedy began to become a real art, the question is no longer 'Why is that funny?', but 'Why else is that funny?'

Sorry to come off all snooty and boring, but recently my church has been dismantled. It is no longer possible to watch The Simpsons on free-to-air television. Every day now at 6pm when I've finish working I ... nothing. I sit forlornly in my bean bag and stare at the wall.

GTH - Points go to River for her public conversion and to a personal hero of mine, Adam Y, for the best suggestion I've heard in years.


  1. I'm still hoping the sarah connor chronicles will find its feet. I think they haven't assigned john's terminator a personality yet because they want to show her slowly - very slowly - developing one. This will allow the writers to explore all the interesting issues like what really makes us human, do robots have rights etc. As soon as they get back from thier strike that is.

  2. John's a little goody two shoes. Needs more punk.

  3. You mean more G'n'R, right?

  4. The picture reminds me of "number five" from the movie Short Circuit.
    I've been watching the Sarah Connor chronicles because I thought Arnie would make an occasional appearance and because I was curious to see how Summer Glau would handle her role. But so far none of it has really gripped my attention enough to stop me reading blogs while watching.
    GTH: Bloody big sun-blocker.

  5. Bloody Hell - You go away from home for two weeks and so much happens:

    There is a Terminator TV show!??! WOW!

    Fidel Quit?! WTF

    My head appeared in a GTH and I wasn't there to spot it!?! (That's it Moifey - you'll never see your boardshorts AGAIN!!! bwahahaha)

    But seriously, there is a Terminator TV series? I hope to see that on one of my numerous Singapore cable channels soon!

    PS: I have striken the word "crazy" from my vocabulary and from now on I will be substituting "Dubai" in its place in sentences.
    Seriously, that place has to be seen to be believed...

  6. GTH: or is it a "terminator"?
    Beware falling concrete.

  7. Agree with you re Sarah Connor Chronicles - as with decent chips and Star Wars trilogies, the originals will *always* be the best.

    GTH - some kind of shocker art 'installation' on north terrace? Within Adelaide uni or UniSA?

  8. Who the hell is Summer Glau and why has everybody heard of her? Let me guess ... celebrity first, actor second?

    O.o.S. - Yeah, sorry, you blink and you miss your dodgy cowboy hat ...
    Speaking of Dubai, my favourite Youtube search these days is "Dubai, supercar". POOOOOOORN!
    Specifically: "dubai pur sang"

    Kath - I sort of agree with you, I would rate some of the new Star Wars above the old ones.

    GTH - You're all MILES off. Has anyone actually SEEN The Terminator movies?

  9. Summer Glau was in the short-lived Firefly series, also in the Serenity movie which followed it.

    I have seen the Terminator movies, but not for many years. I'll have to borrow them from my son, if he hasn't lost them somewhere in the tip that is his living room.

  10. I hate to question your commitment, but watching an entire movie just to add another point to your already considerable GTH score is ... well ... OUT THERE!

  11. You've never heard of summer glau (aka river tam) before? Read your xkcd friend.

  12. I wasn't doing it to add to the score, just to see if I could pay attention enough to spot the pictured scene. Usually I'm doing several things while watching stuff and miss bits so when I see the movie again there's always something"new" for me.

  13. 327 - I HAVE read my xkcd. All of them. Religiously (is that cool?). I just usually let the ones I don't get sliiiiide right on by. Was Firefly really all that? I thought you hated Serenity anyway?

    River - Hint: This scene isn't from any of the Terminator movies, but it does relate to them in a metaphorically historical way that you will think is a tossy load of bullshit.

  14. Still going to watch the movie anyway........I don't mind a little mayhem and destruction..

  15. GTH: A block of stone from the Cologne Cathedral. Fallen or taken down while restorations were/are going on.

  16. Okay, no more random speculation from me. Someone else have a go.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32