Zond let’s me discover the secret of Boho chic

I think if I had my time again I’d a Brunswick boho. It’s a sub-culture I relate to despite the bad facial hair and op shop clothes. And the chicks are dead cute.

It was a world I delved into at the Edinburgh Castle on Sydney Road, where I saw a couple of bands play on a night headlined by an interesting musical outfit called Zond.

I like Zond, they made me laugh.

The band room out the back had about 50 people including a wonderful amount of gorgeous women, which was enough to keep me in there even when Zond started playing.

OK, before I go on I should qualify this review-of-sorts by acknowledging that I am getting old and uncool, and that while I wasn’t the oldest person in the room I was probably the most grown up.

Zond’s sound check had a seemless transition into the start of the performance. I only knew it was the start of their performance because the drummer was playing. The bass guitarist was kneeling down near his amp twiddling with dials, another guitarist had her back to the audience and there was another chick kneeling next to stage playing what looked like a little Casio keyboard with sound effects set to tortured cat. The highlight though was the  lead guitarist (for want of a better status) who simply put his guitar down next to his amp so it started feeding back and then made all different noises using his footpedals.

Oh, did I say that they were also really fucking loud? So much so that half the crowd (and I shit you not here) had earplugs!

Incrediby the lead man spent the second song (which was marginally better despite not technically being a song) changing a string on his guitar despite the fact he didn’t even play the thing in the intro. How do you snap a guitar string by leaning your guitar against an amp? Perhaps the poor string committed suicide.

The guitar stringing and bass guitarist’s pedantic ways with his amp settings meant a delay between songs to which my mate Mark, who was on his 10th Coopers stout, yelled out “you’re fucking shit” loud enough over the din to even turn the heads of those wearing ear plugs.

By the time Zond hit their straps I surveyed the room partly as an excuse to get a second, third and subsequent looks at the cute blonde chick in the red checquered shirt. I noticed how the crowd were reacting to Zond and through my observations worked out the secret of appearing to be an uber cool bohohemian.

Firstly, no one was dancing. Which really was just as well – though by this stage Mark was playing drums on the table and was only saved from ejection when a mate passed him a pair of maraccas, which he shook along in way that marginally improved Zond’s sound.

I noticed a couple of nerdy guys, perhaps friends of Zond, who were enthusiastically head banging to the songs – one looked like an eight-year-old’s impression of Jesus, the other was a full on Mac user albeit the kind you’ll never see on Apple’s promotional material.

Every one else sat there looking stunned. It was here that I discovered the boho-chic myth. Sitting still during a musical performance loud enough to destroy kidney stones with a deadpan look on your face is not an expression of uber boho cool. No, it’s an expression of boredom and despair, where you’re fighting instinct in an effort to be cool. You see, I reckon everyone in that room, apart from badly drawn Jesus and Mac nerd, absolutely fucking hated what they were hearing, but did not want to appear uncool by admitting they did not get it.

Not me though. I got up, shook my head,  jokingy yelled to Mark if he thought Zond would play Khe Sahn and then went out to the main bar to watch the Williams sisters do battle at Wimbledon. Here I was, Mr Suburban Divorced Dad of Two, and I was the most individual person there.

To be fair Zond had a couple of songs that were good. The drummer did a good job at keeping the audience engaged, however they suffered from the usual disease of ill-prepared, self-indulgent guitarists (the bass player and foot pedal guy) who take themselves way too seriously and seemed to think we’d all just payed $8 to watch them rehearse. They have an interesting sound which would have been much more bearable if they simply just stood up and bloody well played.

Originally published at Clubwah on on July 5, 2009


Unattractive parent syndrome – I has it

Not me - but I bet he had to endure a trog bitch umpire too.

Ugly parent isn’t the word for my behaviour. And I wasn’t kicked out of the netball centre, I volunteered to go behind the glass wall after my abilities as a role model were questioned by a netball association official.

OK, a bit of background first. My eldest daughter plays netball in a team that kicked arse all year. Last year they replicated my beloved Geelong Football Club’s 2008 season by losing just one game before blowing an unlosable Grand Final. This year their form was impeccable again so they shat a grand final berth in, only to play the same team that beat them last year.

The girls were nervous. The other team, showed that even 12 year olds can exhibit the same nasty tendencies as their bitch trog mothers. One of the umpires, who officiated last year’s grand final is the personification of evil itself and reminded me a lot of the meany gym instructor in Glee.

The game was level, goal for goal for four quarters and the score was 9-9 with four seconds to go. The umpire actually stopped play and the clock to berate our team’s coach for yelling out instructions – something he has been allowed for the past two seasons. A bullshit free was awarded to the other team who found themselves shooting for the game. In four seconds they had two shots at goal.

They missed both.

Time on!

Last time I was this nervous was 2007 Preliminary Final when Geelong narrowly beat Collingwood – a night my youngest daughter will forever call “The Night Daddy Scared Me”.

Time-on involves two three-minute halves. I was standing on the sideline, by knees actually trembling. The play started. The yellow centre threw a good pass to my daughter at Wing Attack, who threw a pin-point accurate pass to the Goal Attack only to be pinged for stepping.

That’s when I yelled out “SHE DID NOT!”; fortunately without any ribald seasoning.

I don’t know what came over me – actually I do, that umpire is a bitch who so favoured the other team.

That is when I recieved the lecture from the official about calming down and being a responsible role model for the children. I should add here that even my ex-wife thought I wasn’t out of line. It was at this stage I decided to leave courtside and go behind the giant glass wall to view the game where I’d only shame myself to anyone who could lip read.

When I got there, there were a couple of other mums in self-imposed exile. One of them, a very decent unassuming woman came up to me and said “that bloody umpire, I have good mind to go out there and bitch slap her!”

Not me either - though I have hairy arms like him.

Meanwhile both sides went goal for for goal until my kid’s team finally got two in a row. They were two goals up with a minute to spare when the other team bagged one. With 30 seconds to go the ball flew down to the red goal when one of our girls caught the ball, Leo Barry-2005-Grand-Final-style, on the last line of defence.  We all waited for devil bitch to blow the whistle to award a free to the red team – no reason for it, it’s just what she fucking does. The clock continued to count down until YES! Our girls won!

OK, so I didn’t swear. I never verbally abused any children. I did not encourage my kid to hurt another. I never ran onto the court and smacked  the umpire – the queue would have been too long. I wasn’t exactly an ugly parent, just a little unattractive in a Sarah Jessica Parker kind of way where it’s debatable.

But that does not excuse my behaviour. It’s only a game and in the end it was good to see our girls go over to the losers runner’s up to thank them for a good game – though I noticed they never came up to congratulate our girls.

I have learned from this experience and will know how to behave next time my kid makes a grand final. I’ll just have to do it behind the glass.

First published at Clubwah, June 24, 2009

Are these jokes racist?

How do you know Indian students were on the train before you?
They cleaned the carriage instead of vandalising it.

How do you know a Vietnamese kid has broken into your house?
He fixed your computer and finished your homework.

These jokes play on racial generalisations, though they are not necessarily negative stereotypes. So are they actually racist?

Show some initiative

Alexander Downer has written a good article, based on his experience as foreign minister, imploring Australians to take responsibility for their own actions while travelling overseas.

Downer wasn’t just talking about travellers who get into trouble with the law, but those who find themselves in dangerous situations and expect the government to wave a magic wand their way.

One example he gives concerns an Aussie caught up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The mother of the Australian:

“Who arrived in New Orleans the day the hurricane hit came to see me in Stirling and demanded I get her son out. Americans couldn’t get out but I had to get her son out. I asked if he’d heard the warnings from the U.S. Government that week to avoid New Orleans.

“She started shouting. He doesn’t follow the news, he doesn’t watch TV or read the newspapers. I see, I said. It was my fault he was in New Orleans, was it? What were we to do? Fly helicopters from Australia to America and pick up Australians and leave the Americans behind?”

Such anecdotes are part of a widening culture of dependency and blame directed at government by people who don’t have the ability or incling to think for themselves. I heard an example of this on 3AW this morning when Neil Mitchell interviewed a woman who just got home from a cruise which had swine flu scare.

The woman said her septuagenarian mother, who was on the cruise with her, was feeling unwell. Like everyone else on that ship they were told to isolate themselves in their homes for a couple of days when they returned home. A bit scary, however the tone in her voice was one of  anger rather than concern, as though this was somehow someone’s fault.

She said that when her sister called a medical centre to express concerns that her mum may have contracted swine flu, she was told by the doctor to come to the car park where she would be assessed away from other patients – fair enough.

When Michell asked “what is the Department of Human Services doing about it?” the woman replied “WE HAVEN’T BEEN TOLD ANYTHING”.

So what? Were you going to just sit there and wait for your mum to die before you got off your fat arse and found out what to do? Do you have to have your hand held through the whole process?

The Victorian Department of Human Services has a whole section about the Swine Flue, which links to all the advice you need. I found this by typing “Department of huiman services swine flu” in Google and then was one click from the information. Not really hard is it?

You don’t have the internet? Fine, get the White Pages out and use the fucking phone.

Centrelink doesn’t exactly go out of its way to inform people how to claim welfare benefits, but that wouldn’t stop people like this from finding out how to claim them.

First published at Clubwah, May 26 2009

Three things that really shit me today

I can be an impatient person. I don’t mind if something beyond anyone’s control holds me up, but I get really pissed off when people are in their own little world and have no idea who they’re holding up.

First thing that shit me I went to my local 7-11 store to use the ATM. This woman in front of me finished her transaction and when she got the receipt proceeded to study it while still standing in front of the ATM . Fuck knows how much information a piece of paper half the size of your palm can contain, but she just kept reading, reading and fucking reading.

Why? Did she have one of those miniature Holy Bibles painstakingly written by a monk with a big magnifying glass, steady hand and way too much time on his hands? How could it take so long to read an ATM receipt? The time it took her to read what ever caught her interest wasn’t really the issue. Hell, she could have curled up on the sofa with the thing with a nice cup of cocoa for all I care, just don’t do it standing at the ATM while I’m waiting to take money out! Stupid selfish ranga.

Second thing that shit me After withdrawing my cash I went to the car with a plan to wash it at the automatic carwash adjacent the 7-11. I got there just behind another vehicle, which pulled up to the little keypad where you pay for the automatic car wash. As I drove up to wait behind this car I noticed that the driver had tiny arms. “Oh great!” I thought sarcastically. “A fucking freak in front of me.”

As it turned out the driver of the car was letting his child press the buttons of the keypad. When the little bastard couldn’t reach the dad opened the door so the kid could get out and reach the keypad and press every fucking button except the right ones. The hue of my knuckles faded rapidly as I gripped the steering wheel with fantasies of flooring it and driving into the stupid fuckers.

The driver, instructing his progeny on how to make the transaction, looked back at me with a “kids, what can you do?” look.  I’ll tell you what you can do you stupid Mazda driving fuck! Put the little bugger in his car seat and press the buttons yourself and get your stupid fat arse into the car wash so I can follow poste haste. This isn’t a toy fuck wad. I’ve used this car wash a dozen times and I’m yet to see the Fischer Price logo on the keypad. Regrettably I didn’t actually say that, but I did the guy dirty look. So, did he pull the kid back into the car and proceed? Did he fuck!

I reversed the car and cursing off, cursing the fucker, and his dad.

Third thing that shit me I’m on the Metropolitan Ring Road sitting on 102 with cruise control and wondering why some of the cars I passed back at Sydney Road are now passing me, despite the fact my speed has been constant. Dumb fucks. Anyway I wanted to take the Plenty Road exit so I passed one more car and then got behind a four wheel drive, I think it was Ford Escape – not that I really give a shit. They are all the devil’s chariot.

The rock ape driving this overpriced station wagon is sitting on 80km/h on the freeway, which should be an offence punishable with traumatic anal intrusion. So I’m stuck behind this arse hat who slows down even more on the exit ramp only to then run red light at the intersection with Plenty Road. Why, in God’s name that is all fucking holy on this swine flu ravaged fucked up earth in which we live in, is some cunt who is happy driving at 80km/h on a freeway then in so much of a hurry he has to run a red light. Twat!

First published at Club Wah, May 3, 2009

How to rattle fools; make a story from nothing

I’m sick of supposed news stories that are born out of speculation and what-ifs and have no substance whatsoever.

A perfect example could be found today on the News Ltd websites, which reported that hot BBC motoring programme Top Gear “might” have to recruit female presenters as part of a “British Government push to make the show more gender and ethnically balanced”.

If you read further down this has not been suggested at all. The “pressure” comes from Dr Louise Livesey, tutor in sociology and women’s studies at Oxford, who apparently accused Top Gear of “entrenched, institutional sexism”.

So, we have one person saying that Top Gear diversify it’s presenters based new government policy and a quote by someone with a vested interest and nothing to do with the show.

Of course the fact this story, accompanied by a poll asking “is this political correctness gone too far?” had no substance whatsoever was lost on the dozens of fucktards who clamoured to get their say on the Herald Sun web site with  comments like:

“Oh so the femos want some bimbo on the show just for equality and nothing about credibility or even intelligence.”

“do I have to now share the Gent’s loo with a woman????… Or do I need to squat?”

“Why can’t I go to Fernwood? I like the look of the all-female gym and would like to join please. “

“Whats next? The Stig being accused of racism for wearing a white outfit? The presenters being racist for not testing Asian cars on a European show? This is plain ridiculous. I dont see how a woman would make this show better. PC gone mad!”

“It seems now that you don’t have a choice with what you want to watch. Political Correctness only comes into play when there are alternative agendas anyway.”

Read the story and lose some testosterone instead of brain cells for a change you stupid sexist idiots. It ain’t gonna happen!

First published at Club Wah, April 30, 2009