- High Distinction: 85 - 100
- Distinction: 75 - 84
- Credit: 65 - 74
- Pass: 50 - 64
- Fail: 30 - 49
- Unlistenable: 0 - 29
Amanda of Flop Eared Mule has a top-shelf blog about both country AND western music -- and would probably resent me categorising it as such -- and has elevated Bob Dylan's Seven Curses to the top of her list of favourite Dylan covers.
This is how good Tom Russell is: his version of Seven Curses on his new album made me momentarily forget it was written by Bob Dylan. I thought, what a great song, Tom Russell is a genius. A few seconds later I came to my senses but my judgement remains, he's a genius and this has shot to the top of my list of best Dylan covers ever.
This selection caused much debate here at Rebecca Mansions. Well, I did most of the debating, all of it actually. Both the TV and the stereo flatly refused to offer up ANYTHING in the way of opinion. And as for the toaster, well, I may as well have been talking to the stove. Imbeciles.
Anyhoo, there's another Dylan track on the album. Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts which, as it happens, was the first Dylan song (sung by Dylan) I ever liked, and on Russell's album with Joe Ely along for the ride, I prefer to Seven Curses.
Here are three other Dylan covers that I love.
The First: Haven't heard it in ages, but Brian Ferry's version of Hard Rain which came out in about 1974 or '75, was the first time I'd ever heard about Bob Dylan.
The Longest: While Jimi Hendrix's version of All Along The Watchtower deserves all the plaudits it gets, I prefer his live version of Like A Rolling Stone from the Monterey Festival.
The Latest: A fantastic version of Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues by former Commander Cody front man, Bill Kirchen.
Now, what do you like? You might pick something like, say, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight by The Chantoozies, or you might not. I would not.
A while back, I arrived home from work to find a message on my phone asking if I'd like to write an article for the Melbourne Football Club annual magazine about Club Best & Fairest winner Jeff White.
Now, The Demon magazine is hardly the New Yorker, Spectator or even Knitting Monthly, but it's still a proper magazine and what's more, has it's own gang of writers, so I deemed the offer as something of an honour. An honour which occasioned a deep and reflective one-point-two seconds of consideration that consisted primarily of "They've gotta have the wrong person!"
Seeking confirmation, I rang back to be told that, yes, they did mean me, so I said I'd love to do it.
Those complex overtures done with, I followed up all gung-ho with an enquiry as to when the piece was required. I'd seen journos do that in movies. Casually, as if I'd been granted an ABSOLUTE EON to bang out a rough draft of War and Peace, came the blithe reply; "Ohh, not until tomorrow afternoon."
Choking back a reflex WTF, I replied cool as the underside of a pillow; "Tomorrow? No problem."
They said they'd send out a set of quotes from relevant people at the club around which I could build the article. Sounds great, I said and hung up.
At this point I suddenly realised here was ONE not insignificant dilemma. I'd never actually written anything. Well, apart from this blog, but that doesn't count. I can put any old rubbish in here, and frequently do, but a proper printed type article for a proper printed type magazine, however moderate the circulation, was another kettle of kippers entirely. Dammit. It's a SHINY magazine.
The upshot was that not a million miles from the thrust of "never written anything before", it dawned on me that I didn't have a blind clue what I was supposed to do. I certainly didn't think I'd be able to serve up my usual ... ahem ... vibrant and multi-layered pun-fest.
Nope. This project called for a "just get it and kick it" approach. Straight down the guts.
So drawing on years of experience as a reader of some of Uncle Rupert's finer publications and sticking roughly to a policy of "taking it one word at a time", I managed to cobble together the quotes with enough platitudes to serve up the article.
Now, I was under no illusions the article would be submitted for Walkley consideration and, in fact, would probably just form the basis of a shiny fluff piece polished up by someone else. Hell, I was only being paid with a lunch. However, I was generally surprised when the article appeared largely as submitted, but with the following salient differences.
1) It was missing the zest I'd included just to see if I could sneak sly jibes past the censors.
2) I don't know from "heartwarming tales".
3) Even though they loved mine, headlines are my long-suit; their's is lame.
Compare the two articles and see what you think. I invite you to be hyper critical of the tarted version, and highly copmlimentary of my original effort. Should you think otherwise, well, I'm a big boy; fire away.
WHERE STRENGTH OVERCOMES ADVERSITY
In his role as Melbourne's unofficial barometer, ruckman Jeff White spearheaded Melbournes rise from a disappointing fourteenth in 2003 up to finals contention in 2004. In the process, he also achieved Melbourne's most brownlow votes, won All-Australian honours and took out the Club's prestigious Keith "Bluey" Truscott Memorial Trophy by one vote from self-proclaimed battler Nathan Brown as Melbourne’s Best and Fairest player for the season.
It is a heartwarming tale of strength overcoming adversity, and one which should inspire young players for years to come.
After a spate of injuries contributed to a season White would probably "put down to experience", the Melbourne faithful were in no mood for excuses after the Demons endured the disappointment of 2003.
However, few fans knew the depth of White's problems throughout last season. He first had to deal with a debilitating shin injury, then suffered a telling knock to the knee against West Coast at the MCG. Combine the two injuries and Jeff was rendered virtually lame for the season.
A year later, all have been vividly reminded that there few things more gladdening to all who love the game than watching a fully fit and firing White leap majestically at the centre-bounce and propel the ball into attack, followed by a rampant swarm of Melbourne onballers.
No one could have been more pleased that Jeff's father Gary. "We were very, very proud. There was actually a tear in my eye. We just felt it was so richly deserved after everything he’s been through. To be told by a doctor that you may lose a leg … and then to continually push through."
"He didn't give up although the shin injury kept happening," [The discovery of] the shin shield stopped it though, and with the shin shield came confidence and then he had a great, injury-free preseason. The coach really gave him support as well."
"We knew how much it meant to him, the Best and Fairest award, and so it meant so much to us. He really deserved it."
White played many fine games this year, and assistant coach Chris Fagan nominates his game against Fremantle Subiaco as the highpoint for the year. "Whitey had rucked against three Fremantle ruckmen in Simmonds, Longmuir and Sandilands and he was the lone ruckman that day on a massive ground, with the rain pelting down. They put up three against him, thinking that would give them an advantage, but it didn't. That was the sort of Herculean effort that he was able to put in during the year."
But it wasn't just White's eye-catching work at the center bounces that had the Melbourne faithful in raptures. Fagan continues. "Where Jeff's such a good player is that after he's finished with a ruck contest, he's almost like another midfielder because he runs so well and uses the ball so well. So he stands out not only as a ruckman but also as a ruck rover. And he was really consistent – that was the main thing."
As well as the consistency expected from an All Australian Best and Fairest, White had many outstanding games, including the Fremantle match and standouts against the Bulldogs (twice), Kangaroos (including a match saving grab), Essendon and St Kilda.
With the Demons comprised of a very even spread of talent, signified by the tight Best and Fairest count results, it was White who motored along all season and richly deserved having his name added to the roll of Club legends whose names adorn the famous Keith "Bluey" Truscott Memorial Trophy.
That's the finished product done with, here's the original article.
WHITE MAN CAN JUMP
This time last year, one topic guaranteed to generate debate among Melbourne fans was Jeff White.
After a spate of injuries contributed to a season Jeff would probably "put down to experience", the Melbourne faithful were in no mood for excuses after the Demons endured yet another disappointing outbreak of Oddseasonitis.
However, few fans knew of Jeff's problems throughout last season, as he first had to deal with a debilitating shin injury, then against West Coast at the MCG, suffered a telling knock to the knee. Combine the two injuries and Jeff was rendered virtually lame for the season.
It's a testament to Jeff that throughout his ordeal he never complained or used it as an excuse for his disappointing form.
Fortunately it's a year later and we've been vividly reminded that there few things more gladdening to ALL Demon fans hearts than watching a fully fit and firing White leap majestically at the centre-bounce and propel the ball into attack followed by a rampant swarm of Melbourne onballers.
Yep. Jeff White had "one of those seasons".
Melbourne's unofficial barometer spearheaded The Dee's rise from a disappointing fourteenth in 2003 up to finals contendership in 2004 and in the process racked up Melbourne's most Brownlow votes, won All-Australian honours and took out the club's prestigious Bluey Truscott award by one vote from self-proclaimed battler Nathan "Doggy" Brown as Melbourne's Fairest & Best player for the season.
No one could have been more pleased that Jeff's father Gary; "We were very, very proud. There was actually a tear in my eye. We just felt it was so richly deserved after everything he's been through. To be told by a doctor that you may lose a leg … and then to continually push through.
He didn't give up although the shin injury kept happening. [The discovery of] the shin shield stopped it though, and with the shin shield came confidence and then he had a great, injury-free preseason. The coach really gave him support as well.
We knew how much it meant to him, the Best and Fairest award, and so it meant so much to us. He really deserved it."
Jeff played many fine games this year, and assistant coach Chris Fagan nominates his game against Fremantle at Subiaco's House of Rain as Jeff's high point for the year. "Whitey had rucked against three Fremantle ruckmen in Simmonds, Longmuir and Sandilands and he was the lone ruckman that day on a massive ground, with the rain pelting down. They put up three against him, thinking that would give them an advantage, but it didn't. That was the sort of Herculean effort that he was able to put in during the year."
But it wasn't just Jeff's eye-catching work at the center bounces that had the Melbourne faithful in raptures. Fagan again; "Where Jeff's such a good player is that after he's finished with a ruck contest, he's almost like another midfielder because he runs so well and uses the ball so well. So he stands out not only as a ruckman but also as a ruck rover. And he was really consistent - that was the main thing."
As well as the consistency you'd expect from an All-Australian B&F he had many standout games; the blinder against Freo and pearlers against the Bulldogs (twice), Kangaroos (including a match saving grab), Essendon and St Kilda.
With the Demons fielding an even spread of talent, signified by the tight B&F count, it was White who motored along all season and richly deserved having his name added to those club legends whose names adorn the famous Bluey Truscott Trophy.
My brother says; "Um, this is downright sick!"
On the other hand, I have a stronger stomach. So doing my best impersonation of the redoubtable Inspector Japp**, I put one and three together and came up with a prime suspect.
A WOMAN who was eight months pregnant had the baby snatched from her womb after kidnappers drugged her and performed a rudimentary caesarean section, she told Colombian television yesterday.
Sol Angela Cartagena told RCN television she was drugged at a hospital in Girardot and carried by a woman to a remote place on a hillside where the caesarean was performed and her infant abducted.
Ms Cartagena went to the hospital with her two-year-old daughter for a check-up and drank a glass of water she had left unattended for a few minutes.
"I felt I was falling asleep, and when I woke up I was on the hill with my two-year-old daughter by my side," she said.
"I felt as if they had thrown hot water on me, and then I saw a stream of boiling blood," she said.
"My little girl said the woman had wrapped the baby in a sheet and had left quite calmly."
Doctors said the baby and placenta had been removed and that she was lucky to be alive.
* Now, come on, don't look at me like that. It is LATIN America.
** Google it yourselves, you lazy dogs.
My brother Artee came across this top-notch list of TV side-kicks. Fourteen of the fifteen are brilliant, I can't say I'm all that familiar with The Andy Griffith Show, but the rest, GOLD!
However, if you include George & Kramer from Seinfeld, you probably need to include Cliff & Norm from Cheers.
Newhart in Vermont is one of my all-time favourite shows and had high class side-kicks coming out the wazoo. Tom Poston as George. Pete Scholari as Michael -- "Ahoy there, Dicksters!". And the man known to the good folks of Deadwood as EB and also to the tormented androids who kill him as JF, William Sanderson as Larry -- "Hi there, I'm Larry and thi ..." well, you know how THAT goes.
Actually, with long running sit-coms, Friends, Sux in The City and Frazier closing down, or about to, now would be a good time to be reminded that Newhart in Vermont had THE BEST EVER ENDING to a sit-com. No disputes. I wouldn't want to spoil it for you, so I won't reveal what it was, and if you've seen it, well, you'll know what I mean. And agree. You will agree. If you don't, you are a clown!
The Simmo, like Newhart, has way too many side-kicks just to include Moe.
I love cable telly, it's my friend. I first came across cable when I lived in It's Pronounced TRONNO, and got to see The Dick Van Dyke Show every day. Allen Brady, was, indeed a terrific side-kick.
So too Jimmy James in News Radio. Much funnier than uber-irritant Andy Dick. Pity the show tanked so soon. Not because of John Lovitz, who replaced Lionel Hutz, but just because it ran out of steam.
And in the spirit of full, honest and candid disclosure, I love Will and Grace. And Jack is excellent. With that startling fact reververating around inside your brain-pan, you might also care to mount a case for Karen. And guess what? It's on my Foxtel all the time.
And Hank? Well, Hank's a gem. Nope, THE gem.
Who are the funniest supporting characters in TV history? Here’s the top 15 in descending order.
15) Arthur Dietrich - Barney Miller: Steve Landesburg, brought in to replace Abe Vigoda, was the original deadpanning smart-ass. He drove Detective Ron Harris nuts, and drove me into fits of giggles.
14) Elliot Carlin - The Bob Newhart Show: Mr. Carlin, played by Jack Riley, was an annoying patient in Dr. Bob Hartley’s ‘group therapy’ who was both full of himself and suffering from low self-esteem. He made a classic appearance on Newhart, complaining to Dick Loudon about Bob Hartley, although that speaks to Bob Newhart’s genius more than Riley’s.
13) Burt Campbell - Soap: Richard Mulligan was a laugh riot in one of the best comedies of all time. He was one of the bigger characters in the show, but Soap had a cast of like 85 people, so he counts. Soap was so good, I could have also included Benson, The Major, and Chester on this list, but I had to draw the line somewhere.
12) Jimmy James - News Radio: Overlooked by the short run of the show due to the death of Phil Hartman, Stephen Root gave us one of the great caricatures of a billionaire in TV history. Root can go from serious to silly in the blink of an eye, and narrowly edged out Matthew, played by Andy Dick, as the shows best supporting character.
11) Manuel - Fawlty Towers: Andrew Sachs took physical comedy, and physical abuse to new heights. While rarely doing anything wrong, he was always there for Basil Fawlty to smack around when the need arose. Oddly, Manuel didn’t die with the series. Sachs released several records as Manuel, appeared on stage as Manuel in ‘Fawlty Years On’, and even appeared at an IMB conference where guests paid 600 pounds to be served by Manuel.
10) Alan Brady - The Dick Van Dyke Show: OK, OK, so maybe Brady wasn’t the most regular of characters on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but when he appeared he was hilarious. Throw in that Reiner created the show, and he makes the list. Reiner, as Alan Brady, also appeared on an episode of Mad About You, and if it was possible, Brady’s ego had gotten larger over time.
9) Moe Szyslak - The Simpsons: How can a bartender who trades a free beer for Barney’s AA chip not make the list? Szyslak was a former member of The Little Rascals, sang with Aerosmith, and reportedly told Bart Simpson ‘Listen, you little scum-sucking pus-bucket! When I get my hands on you, I'm gonna put out your eyeballs with a corkscrew!’ Come on, don’t you feel like a Flaming Moe right about now?
8) Niles Crane - Frazier: David Hyde Pierce plays Frazier’s brother on the long running series. Was a crack up trying to control himself around his future wife Daphne before his feelings became known. Rearranging the letters of doctor Niles Crane gives 'Sardonic Electron'. Might have been higher on the list but for the humiliating beating he took from Doogie Howser on WWWF Grudge Match.
7) Ted Baxter - The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Ted Knight played the loudmouthed, egotistical broadcaster so well that he got typecast. He played a similar character on Too Close For Comfort. Did you know that after MTM Knight starred in The Ted Knight Show, which starred Knight as an escort service owner? It lasted 6 weeks.
6) Jack McFarland - Will And Grace: Star of the one man show ‘Just Jack!’ and all suitable spin-offs, Jack is the flamingly gay best friend of Will. Sean Hayes seems to have been born to play the role, and the only complaint I occasionally have with Will And Grace is that Jack doesn’t get enough to do. His highjynx with Karen almost always induce deep belly laughs. Could still go higher on the list depending on the run of the series.
5) Cosmo Kramer - Seinfeld: He’s out there and he’s loving every minute of it. Michael Richards is the all-time best at physical humor, but he also has a sense of timing that few can match. Some people will argue that Kramer should be higher on the list, but he’s still in awfully good company.
4) Jim Ignatowsky - Taxi: Christopher Lloyd’s rendition of the flaky yet lovable Reverend Jim is only ahead of Kramer because he did it first. Lloyd was the master of the hesitation. The joke would be sitting there, waiting for him to knock it out of the park, and the longer he waited the more you laughed and finally when he swung, it was hysterical.
3) George Costanza - Seinfeld: Jason Alexander played Costanza perfectly. Costanza is every man, but he’s honest about it. He admits things that we all do, but would never tell anybody. "The sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli".
2) Barney Fife - The Andy Griffith Show: Don Knotts was acting in a different time, and a different type of comedy. Rather than the quick one-liners that are prevalent today, The Andy Griffith Show made it’s way with longer, subtler conversations. Although: “A dog can't get struck by lightning. you know why? 'Cause he's too close to the ground. See, lightning strikes tall things. Now if they were giraffes out there in the field, now then we'd have trouble”.
1) Hank Kingsley - The Larry Sanders Show: Hey now, as the sidekick for Larry Sanders, nobody and nothing could ever embarrass Kingsley. Hank took himself very seriously, yet nobody else did. "When life gives you lemons, you make things out of lemons." Played perfectly by Jeffrey Tambor, Hank had the advantage of being on HBO, meaning he could swear. ‘These guys say they can get me the Labor Day telethon. Ed is stepping down. Jerry, is sixty-nine. I mean, someday it could be Hank's, Kids. They're gonna change my life! I've got a fucking future!"
As a captain Ian Chappell had a reputation as a brilliant tactitian and as a player in general, a straight talking, aggressive and abrasive competitor who was famed for his maxim "nice guys finish last".
My question is; why has he never displayed these traits as a commentator?
He rarely says anything controversial. Interviews with him are generally, excercises in fence sitting on the party line. He rarely says anything enlightening. Bar ONE accidental exception -- Oops, make that two -- he rarely says anything funny. Jesus! I barely remember him saying anything at all. Did he even commentate in Brisbane?
Former captain [Ian] Chappell has been dropped from Nine's commentary team for Friday's Adelaide Test with New Zealand.
Chappell - one of the game's most influential captains - is understood to have temporarily lost his place on the commentary team to accommodate Englishman Mark Nicholas.
Cricket experts say the move is strong evidence the former England A captain is being groomed to take over the network's lead commentary role from Richie Benaud.
Nine's upheaval comes as the 74-year-old Benaud, the network's face and voice of cricket since 1977, is rumoured to be retiring in the next 12 months.
Chappell, 61, who played 75 Tests for Australia and who captained the side prior to the Kerry Packer-funded World Series Cricket revolution in the mid-1970s, has been a key member of Nine's team since he quit first-class cricket in 1978.
Asked how he felt about being sidelined for his home state Test yesterday, Chappell snapped, "You'd better check with the producer" - before abruptly ending the call.
Nine's spokesman Jamie Campbell later said Chappell had not been replaced and had, in fact, requested to be omitted from the Adelaide Test coverage.
"Basically the commentators get together and decide who will commentate where," Mr Campbell said. "Ian Chappell requested not to be sent to Adelaide."
But a furious Chappell has told friends he is angered at being left off the eight-man commentary roster for the Test at his old home ground.
So, not before time, that's Chappelli got rid of; what about the rest?
Bill Lawry: For some time now, Bill has had a reduced role during the tests, but in One Day Internationals he's still Nine's main colour guy. Ask yourself when was the last time he didn't commentate the opening of an ODI. This summer, as a bowler trundles in for the first ball of yet another significance-deficient 50-Over snore, expect more "it's all happening here". Don't expect him to be pastured just yet.
Tony Greig: Greig continues to defy gravity. Does anyone know ANYONE who likes listening to him? That grating voice? That patronising listeners-are-simpletons commentary? The pitch reports? The special events? Who will ever forget that embarrassing Adelaide Oval demonstration of how Moorally-Doorun can't bend his arm?
Often given as a reason for his life-long tenure is his free pass from Big Kerry as pay-back for organising WSC, and although it conveniently explains his excruciatingly extended tenure, it's really just hearsay.
Tony will continue to shill Boon, Brian and Bradman Bats, Beautiful Bellerives and Bangalore 151's. This summer, Nine have even found him another annoying, if inevitable, gig. Telling us of Nine's upcoming delights. Training Day, Backyard Blitz, ALL NEW CSI, Cold Case and This is Your Life. He'll keep his position at Nine.
NB: It shouldn't be ignored that both Greig and Lawry are the two oldest commentators, so they'll probably be the next to get the chop. Especially with Shane Warne and Steve Waugh lurking in the wings.
Mark Taylor: On the upside, Tubby understands his onions. On the downside, he pronounces them 'nyuns. As every man and his deaf dog knows, Tubs needs to improve his speech. Does anyone know what he's saying in that air-conditioner ad? As a recently retired captain though, who does, in fact, understand the game, don't expect him to be replaced soon.
Simon O'Donnell: Whatever you might think about Simon, and I'm tipping bumpkin, lunkhead and doofus come to mind, he's a good-natured chump who has a lot of fans, and does a good job with the Cricket Show and his link work.
Ian Smith: There will always be a foriegn commentator from the country Australia are playing. Michael Holding, Sunny Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, the South African guy (A little help please?), Ian Chappell's best mate, Golden Bollocks Botham. This time round it's Smuthy wearing his Kiwi heart on his sleeve and comforatably filling the guest role.
Ian Healy: Clearly, and by a long way, Heals is NOW the best commentator in the box. Fluent, witty, mischievous and knowledgable about the game. The best thing to happen to the Nine team in years. He's there for the long haul.
Off topic for a moment, Heal's articles are must read items on the rare occasions he writes for a newspaper.
Richie Benaud: Without doubt Richie WAS the best commentator in the team. One of the best world-wide, in fact. Everything Healy is, but with lashings of debonair. And the suit. There's always the suit.
It's not for nothing he's referred to as The Doyen. A true legend of the caper.
Now though, NOW! I don't know about you, but I was shocked when I saw him last Friday morning. For the first time he actually looked old. I mean old, as in old like an old bloke, a codger. He even sounded old. As he introduced procedings he lacked his usual panache, fumbled his delivery and stuggled to get across his point. If, as is reported in today's press, he's to retire soon, that soon can't come soon enough. Nine obviously realise Richie can't go on forever which brings me to Mark Nicholas.
From what little I've seen so far, Nicholas knows his onions, can pronounce his onions and chances are, can spell his onions.
However, to name but a couple, Tubbs and Heals know their bulbous layered vegetables also, but you wouldn't imagine them hosting the coverage in Richie's cream jacket. Well, maybe Healy.
What Nine needs is a replacement for their front man. Someone to take over from The Doyen. That person doesn't necessarily have to be a great caller, because as a host he has a differently defined role, but what he needs above all else is that indefinable quality, CLASS.
And at the moment, out of the Nine team, Richie is the only one with the requisite class to carry off the role. None of the other Nine commentators could pull it off, so Nine have been forced to look elsewhere.
Personally, I think Nine should poach David Gower from where-ever he's working. He has the class, and what's more, he was the English skipper so as well as his undoubted polish, he has the cricket background. And let's face it, Nine DO love a captain.
It's unlikely they'll get Gower though, although I'd be very, very surprised if they hadn't already approached him, so who else is out there?
Nicholas, of course. He wasn't England skipper, but he does bring that intangible polish and authority to the Nine team.
Sadly I've been hearing on the radio today whinges along the line of "Why can't we pick an Aussie?" But I ask you, just WHO, if anyone, out of the Aussie commentating community could replace Richie? Brendon Julian does it on Foxtel, but he doesn't have enough tooth on him. Simon O'Donnell? Too daggy. Dean Jones? Naa, just kidding.
Top Aussie pick for me would be Dennis Commeti. Yes, THAT Dennis Commeti. He used to do cricket in Perth and did a fine job. He has the nice balance of polish and knowledge needed to carry the role. Chances are you wouldn't get him away from footy though.
Like I say, though, were Nicholas to fill the role, from what I've seen so far, he'd do a bang-up job.
Take a good hard look at the following word.
Of itself, not an exceptional word. Not at all coelenterate, allegorical, Byelorussian, or even fish. Yes, fish. Say it slowly; fiiisssssshhhhhh.
However, a healthy body of evidence would appear to contradict my assertion. Byelorussian, for instance, would merely descibe a resident of Minsk -- that or Minskys. And given the number of American cop show John Does that turn out to be Slavs with bad fillings, possibly imply a poor standard of dentistry. Not so cock.
Cock 1: Obscene term for penis. 2: Faucet consisting of a rotating device for regulating flow of a liquid. 3: The part of a gunlock that strikes the percussion cap when the trigger is pulled. 4: Adult male bird. 5: Tilt or slant to one side. 6: Set the trigger of a firearm back for firing. 7: To walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others.
That's not all, click on the link for even more cock. Swift and cock. Shakespeare and cock. Hoop and cock. Snoot cocking. Hat cocking. Arrow cocking. Doodle-doo and cock. That's a lot of cock.
But. Why am I raising cock?
Well, last night I watched Australian Cricket in the 80's, an OK doco, which, confirming a pragmatic approach to titling, was about Australian cricket in the 80's. It wasn't a bad show, I'd give it a pass, but there WAS one problem. Even though the 80's may seem an absolute eon ago, what with the big hair and the pet rocks and the apple shampoo and Elton John being married, they weren't that long ago. The upshot was it told me nothing new. Except, that is, for Bob Willis calling Ian Botham "Golden Bollocks".
Oy! While you're on bollocks, what about your COCK?!?
Oh. Right. Sorry. After I'd watched the cricket show, I flipped channels and lobbed on The Montreal Comedy Festival (10) just as Tim "Tool Time" Allen was riffing about cocks.
You needn't be bored with excessive details, you've probably been bored enough already, but it wasn't funny. In fact, it was decidedly unfunny.
I suspect the audience found it lacking in funny also. Oh, they laughed all right, at least some of them did, but you got the feeling they did so out of pity. Or obligation. They were, afterall, at a comedy festival and having been denied the requisite laugh per dollar quotient were probably intent on extracting some value for money. But you could nevertheless detect an note of embarrassment.
Anyway, it was rubbish. Will Anderson came on after, so I changed the channel.
Against India, Spanky Roebuck was critical of Adam Gilchrist after Gilly had chipped Mohammed Kaif for not walking. Now today, other pundits are again critical of Gilchrist for potting Craig McMillan after the Kiwi didn't walk.
They TOTALLY miss the point, of course.
It's all very well for the soft-headed luvvies and addled experts in the commentary and press boxes to start squealing about the rights and wrongs of walking, but out in the middle it's not an issue for debate. Excluding racist taunts and abuse, out in the middle Gilchrist wouldn't have given one tiny toss about debating decorum. Out in the middle Gilchrist was trying to get inside McMillan's head. Put. Him. Off.
In Kaif's case it didn't work.
However, in McMillan's case, it did. The Kiwi scrapper was sucked in big time, bit on Gilchrist's comments and was out LBW next ball. Top work, Gilly.
Tell it walking, Macca. Hit the bricks.
NEW ZEALAND have urged Adam Gilchrist to stop forcing his moral crusades upon them after a magnificent Australia victory was followed by a dispute over the spirit of cricket yesterday.
Australia reinforced their status as the super force of world cricket by storming to a brilliant innings and 156-run win at the Gabba to retain the Trans-Tasman trophy as emotions ran high under the strain of a stream of poor decisions by umpires Aleem Dar and Steve Bucknor.
The tourists fell for 76, their lowest total against Australia apart from the 42 and 54 they managed in the first Test between the two nations in 1945-46.
But bad blood simmered when Gilchrist, a renowned walker, and Craig McMillan when the New Zealand batsman, who was playing for his career yesterday, stood his ground after clearly inside-edging a ball to the wicketkeeper off Jason Gillespie.
AKA: The Way of the Pun
Just what will be the big issue of the next week? I'm tipping ponchos. Indeed, just how many news items, clip footage, cartoons and blogs will contain puns, jibes and pisstakes on what John Howard will wear at APEC?
Seven's Mark Riley and the PM get the ball rolling.
John Howard: There are other more important things, that is the issue - that is the point I make.
Mark Riley: Have you been sized up for your APEC poncho?
JH: Well, I have provided my measurements.
MR: You did?
JH: I think they are called something else here but I'm not sure what it is. We all call them generically ponchos.
MR: Well, they make me think of the Cisco Kid. What do you do with these gaudy APEC shirts?
JH: I have a special sort of cupboard.
MR: A very special cupboard down in the ... Yeah. Prime Minister, thank you very much for your time this morning.
JH: Thank you.
Naturally, there will be no puns here. Pun whatsoever.
Does anyone think this poll result is just a leeeetle beet suspicious? Rolling Stone magazine's list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" is topped by Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone. Then, coming in second was a song by the ... well, you guessed it ... The Rolling Stones. It's really quite surprising they didn't manage to squeeze in Dr Hook. Perhaps they didn't count ... ahem ... cover versions.
BOB Dylan's soulful Like a Rolling Stone has been voted the greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
The song, penned in 1965, topped the magazine's list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time", which will appear in a special edition today.
The hit was voted the best ever by 172 writers and artists, including Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello and k.d. lang.
Sixties music dominated the rankings, producing more than 200 of the 500 songs, with the Beatles responsible for 23 of the top 500 songs, while the Rolling Stones scored 14 and Dylan 12.
Following Like a Rolling Stone on the list was the Stones' (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (1965).
Naturally Dylan, The Beatles and The Stones all HAD to be there, although respectively I would have picked Visions of Johanna, (today) Happiness is a Warm Gun and Let It Loose.
Can I just note that I loathe Imagine, which apart from being a turgid bore, I've always maintained gains extra notoriety because of the footage that shows John Chapman in the audience.
Although What's Going On is a fine song and the critics seem to love it to bits, it's continued prominence in the upper echelons of these polls eludes me. Were I to replace it with like-for-like, in other words, hip black dudes, I'd plump for something by either Sly Stone, Al Green or Funkadelic before the Dead Son of a Preacherman.
Smells Like Teen Spirit has attracted far more caché than it deserves. For that matter, so too do Nirvana.
God Only Knows IS the Beach Boys best song. I will not argue this point. I'm tipping Good Vibration's gets this nod because of the recent release of Smile.
Ray Charles probably gets in because he just kicked the bucket.
Before I nominated Johnny B Goode, I would include at least one track from one of the greatest rock 'n' roll albums of all time, St Louis To Liverpool. A song set that includes the likes of Little Maree, Brenda Lee, You Two, You Never Can Tell and in particular, No Particular Place To Go. All of which are better than JBG.
That leaves Respect. A very fine song, that on balance, really does deserve to be there, but would lose points for being a favourite of drunken accountants doing karaoke.
The Top 10.|
1) Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
2) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
3) Imagine - John Lennon
4) What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
5) Respect - Aretha Franklin
6) Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
7) Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
8) Hey Jude - The Beatles
9) Smell Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
10) What'd I Say - Ray Charles
PS: Like A Rolling Stone is a great song, but since when was it "soulful"?
You've seen the rest, now here's the last. The final thirty fillums that for no particular reason, I like more than others that I don't like.
A Fistful of Dollars
An Awfully Big Adventure
Cool Hand Luke
Enter The Dragon
Green for Danger
Life of Brian
Pee-wee's Big Adventure
Seven Days in May
Strangers on a Train
The Big Red One
The Chess Game
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Italian Job
Three Days of the Condor
That's the good gone. Pretty damn good, no? Now to the last five baddies. I was going to include Fight Club, but it's already in the comments somewhere below, so I won't bother. Don't you bother, either. Watching it, that is.
Maul That Jazz|
Whore's the Boss
Nil By South
And that's it. 120 fabulous films as voted by The Academy of Me. And twenty duds.
I just realised I never bagged any Australian films. Oh well, I suppose there's no need.
Today in The Age, Spanky Roebuck harks back to 2001 to preview the test series against New Z'Lund; see if you can spot what's missing.
Stephen Fleming's hopes of catching Australia on the hop seem slim. Last time around, the Kiwis arrived with a plan founded upon resolute batting and tactics that exposed dark corners of an ageing home side.
Fleming set the tone with astute field placements, a rousing innings and a declaration in Brisbane that obliged the hosts to respond. Chris Cairns led the charge towards victory on a gripping fifth afternoon. Australia was saved by an over from Glenn McGrath directed wide of the stumps.
Sustaining its challenge, NZ secured a draw in Hobart and almost won a topsy-turvy contest in Perth, only to be denied by poor umpiring and a withering innings from Adam Gilchrist.
Fleming and company left Australia with reputations enhanced and everyone realising that their high position in the rankings was not an aberration but a reward for consistent performances over several years.
NZ's achievement was founded upon the underdog's delight in tweaking the beard of a vast neighbour occasionally suspected of self-aggrandisement, upon the inclusion of many underestimated players and upon an understanding of the Australian psyche and strategy. Kiwis are inclined to think that Australians make a lot of noise.
NZ was at the peak of its powers and the host was taken aback. Fleming and colleagues forced the local pace bowlers to abandon their customary and conservative line of attack by the simple device of refusing to play anything not directed at the stumps.
Compromising fields were set for the Waugh twins and Damien Martyn and none of them had a happy time. Unable to recover its equanimity and sustained largely by its opening pair, Australia was lucky to escape with a drawn series.
If you said "rain" you win the prize.
Sure the last series was close, the Kiwis played some excellent cricket, but were it not for significant rain in Brisbane and Hobart, Australia would have been comfortably 2-0 up going into Perth's third test. There, after Enzed had TWICE gotten out of jail, Australia were ripe to be ambushed.
In Brisbane, the only reason New Zealand and Cairns, in particular, were able to mount an aggressive fifth day chase was that they were playing on a third day wicket (always the best at the Gabba) and within what amounted to a One-Day backdrop after (in my opinion) an overgenerous declaration from Steve Waugh.
Hobart was a bust, but Australia made over 500 and had NZ almost skittled for under 300 when rain washed out the game.
Then in Perth, where New Zealand played out of their collective skins, Australia counter-attacked and were heading for an unlikely win when Steve Waugh was dismissed courtesy of a unlucky run-out via a smack from Gilchrist that would have been four, but instead bounced of Vettori's hand and onto the non-striker's wicket.
I accept the series turned out close, but to suggest "Australia was lucky to escape with a drawn series", is OK if set within Roebuck's TYPICALLY selective context, but absolutely farcical in the wider picture.
For all the excellent articles Roebuck pen, he sure does write a whole heap of disingenuous nonsense.
Time for another thirty scorchers from the greatest-EVER list of Greatest Films. Since the last one.
A Place in the World
Back to the Future
Duel at Diablo
From Russia with Love
I'm All Right Jack
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Planet of the Apes
The Big Carnival
The Chocolate War
The French Connection
The Great Waldo Pepper
The Jericho Mile
The Long Good Friday
The Maltese Falcon
The Outlaw Josey Wales
The Red Circle
That's thirty goodies, here are five baddies. Despite the fact I've only ever seen the first twenty minutes, today's list would have included the Red Windmill, but Harry got in first. Is that cheating? I suppose that makes it six. Well, five and a bit, anyway.
Good Golly Miss Holly|
Tracks of My Tears
Carry Out Serjeant
Where There's Smoke, There's Ire
One more to go. Thrilling, what?
As promised yesterday, here's the next rivetting installment of films I like. Remember, I'm not suggesting they're better or worse than any others, as I said, what would I know? I just like them. The ones at the bottom, I don't like.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Escape from New York
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Once Upon a Time in America
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
Singin' in the Rain
The Big Lebowski
The French Connection II
The Hired Hand
The Man Who Would Be King
The Parallax View
The Right Stuff
The Wild Bunch
Touch of Evil
That's the thirty beauties, here's the five beasties.
Posh Twats Swearing|
R R R Rach Off!
More tomorrow. I know, I know, you can wait, the suspenders are killing me.
Saturday night me and Another Blogger were sitting around discussing fillums when we started in on Sophie Masson's list over at Troppo.
No matter mine or AB's likes or dislikes, we both largely agreed on one thing, at the bottom of the rankings, American Beauty and Amelie were pretentious nonsense. After that we drew roughly parallel opinions through to the excellence of Casablanca and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
Now, I like cowboys, soldiers, gangsters, robots, monsters, aliens, etc. Westerns would be a particular favourite, but if I had to nail it down, I'd say I've always liked films where people don't work.
On the other hand, I'm not about to tell you what AB likes, but it's a fair bet she's not a rusted-on fan of my favourite genres. And we do have ONE singular point of difference, she loves musicals.
AB asked me what I thought constituted a good movie. I told her that as long as I enjoyed it, that was good enough for me.
Thinking on it further, I realised I had no idea about the making of films, the intricacies of plotting, scripting, camerawork, matte, montage or whatever, so I couldn't judge a film from an expert's perspective.
I'll avoid any film that's described as a "rewarding experience"
Bugger and fuck any film that ever earns the descriptor "gruelling".
And especially steer clear of anything that's supposed to "make me think", that's precisely why I DON'T want to watch a film.
As far as I'm concerned, a piccy could have been about pretty much anything but did I enjoy it? Would I tell my mates to see it?
With that in mind I sat down with a notepad and over the course of Saturday night listed any film that when I first saw it, I just enjoyed it.
For a Few Dollars More
His Girl Friday
Master and Commander
Night of the Hunter
Once Upon a Time in the West
Paths of Glory
Phantom of the Paradise
Ride The High Country
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
The Black Cat
The Court Jester
The Missouri Breaks
The Wages of Fear
This is Spinal Tap
Withnail and I
That's thirty I liked, here are five I think are rubbish.
Being John Malkovich|
Lost in Translation
The Crying Game
I'll do the same for the next three days.
There are two things which stand out from Andrew Ramsay's article in yesterday's Australian. One is the obvious, the ICC are running scared from umpires.
THE controversial proposed changes to cricket's throwing laws have been forced on the game's hierarchy because of the threat of legal action which could lead to the banning of virtually every international bowler.
The other is something I hadn't previously noticed.
This year, Muralitharan was banned from bowling his doosra after match referee Chris Broad claimed it was delivered with an illegal action. But subsequent testing, which did not conform to the strict protocols outlined in the planned reforms, showed his degree of straightening was on average 14 degrees, which means it would be allowed under the new guidelines.
Yep. That's an AVERAGE of 14 degrees. I'd always assumed the ICC spin doctors had managed to reduce Murali's bend to 14 degrees flat, but it turns out many of his "balls", by definition, must actually be WORSE.
Anyhoo, Tim Lane's article in yesterday's Age ties in neatly with the main thrust of Ramsey's.
If, as Peter Roebuck suggested in The Age yesterday, the International Cricket Council is motivated by the possibility of legal redress in its mooted change to the chucking law, perhaps it should give a moment's thought to three broader aspects of law before acting.
First, an unenforceable law is a bad law. The mooted 15-degree flexion law can't possibly be applied within a game in progress, so it's a bad law. Also, the scrutiny that would be given to problem bowlers could be applied only at cricket's elite level. This would be a law totally deficient in catering for the majority.
Second, if the purpose of law is to strengthen, not divide and weaken the community over which it applies, the ICC is making a grave error. Not only does the proposed change divide the contemporary playing community into tiers, it also has inflamed the broader cricket world. From Boycott, Botham, Bedi, Lillee, Thomson and Warne, legends of the game, to the voices of park cricketers and average cricket watchers that are being heard on talkback radio, this is a source of considerable anger and frustration.
And third, if a good law is one that fits smoothly into the body of law as a whole (cricket law in this case), the proposed change to the law on illegal bowling actions is completely misguided. This change seeks to treat bowling actions quite separately from everything else that happens on the field of play. They aren't and they shouldn't be.
At it's heart, sport is interpretive, judgement calls are regularly made. As a result umpires are, in fact, often going to make mistakes. The upshot is that sport revolves around precisely the opposite; the notion that the umpire is always right. It's the key maxim that provides a common framework which underpins ALL sport otherwise none can function satisfactorily.
Yet the ICC, the guardian's of a sport synonymous with sportsmanship -- Remember: "It's just not cricket." -- have chosen instead to ignore this key principle by giving in to the demands of those who seek to bend the rules and in turn, undermine the umpire's position.
As far as the ICC are concerned, when it comes to judging an LBW, even if they get it wrong, the umpires are always right, yet when it comes to judging a bowler's action, the umpire is NOT always right.
I say, like Lane, if someone wants to challenge over just ONE RUN, bring it on.
By the way, I couldn't log onto the Australian on Friday, things kept locking up, but was anyone else surprised by their chucking headline?
IN attempting to clarify cricket's future in regards to the murky issue of throwing, officials have instead cast a pall over the game's glorious past by claiming all champion bowlers have at times relied on an illegal action.
Your order is being held for backordered items. Backordered items can take from 1 to 3 weeks to arrive from the label. Once we receive the items, you will be sent an email informing you that is has been shipped.
The following items are on backorder, they will be shipped to you when they arrive back in stock:
1 - Wilco - A ghost is born PRE-ORDER (2xLP)
The following items are in stock and will be shipped when the backordered items arrive:
1 - Jesse Malin - The Heat (LP)
1 - Junior Boys - Last Exit (2xLP)
1 - Les Savy Fav - Go Forth (LP)
1 - The Von Bondies - Lack of Communication (LP)
1 - TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2xLP)
Your complete order will ship automatically when backordered items arrive.
OK, I can handle that. Items are often set to back-order. Usually takes about a month for the goodies to come through. Not so this time. It's now November 13 and I still haven't received the package o' platter, although I just got billed, so hopefully, things are on the move. Then yesterday came the latest Insound Promo.
TAKE BACK THE MUSIC
Fact. We were all seriously bummed last Wednesday after the election. Fact. You were apparently really bummed, too. And your wallets didn't seem so happy, either. Fact. We tried to cheer you up with a 15% off sale but you weren't biting. And we understand. Really. But did you ever consider how our Wednesday went? Fact. Every Wednesday we get into work at the butt-crack of dawn and get this newsletter ready and line up the new releases, press 'send email' button and wait like giddy little kids for your orders to start rolling in. Fact. When your orders don't roll in, we get really depressed. Like really depressed. Like, moping around all day and answering 'I don't know' and 'I guess so' to everything. That sort of depressed.
Fact. When we get depressed we listen to Kate Bush. Even the Insound guys do (please let's keep that amongst friends). So we didn't have our original cassette version of Kate Bush's 'The Sensual World,' but we did have a copy of the new 'Left Of The Dial' Box with a Kate Bush track on it. So, we pressed play and fell into this glorious pre-teen memory of a perfect 80s democratic, utopian indie rock underground. And we heard Minor Threat. And R.E.M. And Sonic Youth and Black Flag and weird stuff like Aztec Camera and Prefab Sprout and The Rain Parade. And we fell in love with music all over again. Fact. Indie rock is good for democracy. Fact. It's also good for your soul. Seriously. We defy you to listen to the new Postal Service LP with bonus tracks or the new Coctails box set or the new Neko Case or that Left of The Dial box set or the new Mates of State or Tussle album or Jason Molina 7" and not feel better about this land of ours. So take ac! tion. Take back the music. Take back the fighting spirit. Isn't that how they did it in the 80s? With their D.I.Y. and vocals mixed way back and stapled zines and college radio stations that lit a spark that started a fire that exploded into Sub Pop? Isn't that exactly what we need to do? Fact. 3 of 4 members of Sonic Youth (sorry, Jim O'Rourke doesn't count yet) say that shopping at Insound will help turn red states blue. Fact. 2008 starts today.
Fact. The reason I was bummed wasn't because I was, like, you know, down on the election result. It was, like, one, because your 15% off was off music I didn't want, and two, because, like, I haven't received an order I, like made, nearly three months ago. Fact.
Fact. Indy mooks. Like. Duuuuude!
Earlier this year, Spanky Roebuck declared Murali's Doosra to be a disgrace. In other words, a rank chuck.
Now the doosra is to be confronted by scientists and experts on the appropriate committee. Murali cannot ignore their conclusions because then further reports will be made. Undoubtedly the delivery is to be declared illegal, and rightly so, because it is ugly and the elbow does straighten. Spectators can see the straightening with the naked eye. It was more obvious in Colombo because Murali was tired and then a man's action always deteriorates.
Now, today, in light of the ludicrously unenforceable ICC proposal, Roebuck's written the WORST, most disingenuous, smug and patronising cricket article written in Australia this year. He's suddenly declared Murali's no longer a chucker and that magically, he "has been made legitimate", when, in fact, it's quite the opposite; Murali is still illegitimate, but to excuse it, EVERYONE ELSE has been made illegitimate too.
Everyone throws. No one throws. Take your pick. Cricket has never dealt satisfactorily with the issue of illegal actions. An inordinate amount of time has been wasted upon the subject. An arriving alien could be forgiven for assuming it is the hottest topic in the game and that batsmen around the world were being battered by baseball pitchers in the guise of leather-flingers. In fact, willow-wielders are dictating terms and precious few have been taken to hospital this decade.
There's only one conclusion; Roebuck's taking the piss.
Adam reveals the stupidest online poll result ever.
Sure, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da isn't the Beatles best song, in fact it might even be their worst, but Jesus, the adventures of Desmond and his marvellous barrow, Molly's 20 carrots and likeable face, and their cheerfully helpful offspring still comprise the trace elements of a significantly better song than at least, oh, I dunno, just throwing around random numbers, ninety-nine percent of the utter nonsense that's passed for pop music ever since.
The Beatles' 1968 song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da has been voted the worst song ever in an online poll. The track was on the band's White Album - which is often regarded as one of the best albums ever made. It was rated as being worse than former footballer Paul Gascoigne's Fog On The Tyne in a Mars survey of 1,000 people.
What do you expect if you poll aliens?
Surely though, it's merely just testament to the fact more people have heard of the Beatles than most other bands and that not anywhere enough people have been painfully subjected to the likes of Lobo's Me & You & a Dog Named Boo, Phil Collins' Susudio or Jimmy Barnes & John Farnham squeezing out When Something Is Wrong With My Baby.
Check down the BBC page for the other, more sensible, suggestions.
Puns, palindromes, Pittsville and Pommy plonkers.
Tomorrow I'm going to Panama City. I'm leaving my laptop in Bogota, but I'll update this weblog if they have internets in that land of Panama.
Killer Fact!- until 1903 Panama was part of Colombia.
What's that you say? "This post is pungent." Puh-Leazze.
According to the ICC, Ninety-nine per cent of all test bowlers chuck! That means ninety-nine per cent of all test bowlers are as dodgy as Murali!
To quote Jeff Thompson; dick heads!
Sporadic hyperextension IS NOT the same as Murali's deliberate, methodical and flagrant atrocities.
Typically the ICC have proposed an accomodating solution. Murali chucks by 14 degrees -- out of the action and in a laboratory, mind you -- so whaddaya know, the ICC have set the limit at 15 degrees.
Really though, this "arbitrary" limit, accompanied as it is, by dubious off-field review panels is totally unsatisfactory. The only solution is for the ICC to set a level of zero degrees and put the call back in the hands of the umpires. Then if the umpires think a bowler throws, they call him, and the ICC has the guts to back their man. Simple as that.
Ian McShane takes issue with johnny-come-latelys swarming into Deadwood.
"Cock ... suckers! Where were they when Dan and me were chopping trees in this gulch? Hands all blistered ... buck-toothed fucking beavers rolling around in the creek, slappin' their tails in the water like we was hired entertainment."
Must see TV. Any show that includes Hog For the Forsaken must be.
With all the teeth gnashing about the Ashes going to pay TV, is Keith Stackpole the only sane voice? Doesn't anyone remember the delayed telecasts in 2001? The missing sessions? Other play missing for, say, Wimpledon?
In a nutshell, Free-To-Air Ashes coverage has been deplorable and Seven, Nine, etc don't deserve it. Unless FTA stations can guarantee blanket coverage, legislation should force ALL sports to Foxtel.
Keith Stackpole said it was sad that most viewers would be denied vision of the next series. "It's a pity, but the way Nine and Seven treated it, it's not surprising," Stackpole said. "They treated people like fools."
Naturally The Hun sought out Neil Harvey for a quote. Why bother?
English speakers worldwide know the term "guts".
For instance, General George "Blood & Guts" Patton" knew that if you've "got no guts" you've "got no glory". "Greedy guts" enjoy a good "pig out" and are often seen "filling their faces". Doity rats "spill their guts". Though they've also been known to "spill their beans".
We're no different here in Straya and have many variations on the theme.
When you "come a gutsa" you've taken a pratfall. You've tumbled "arse over tit". That's arse, not ass. Courageous sportsmen "guts it out" because they're "gutsy" and selflessly go "where angels fear to tread". Conversely, "gutto" players hang out with the angels, or more correctly, the seagulls. They've "got no guts".
When you're sick of hearing about Paris Hilton, you've had a "gutfull of Paris". Not a million miles from Paris, if you're "up to your nuts in guts" you're "chock a block".
Now, somewhere near the general vicinity of my point, is, on one hand, the magnificent game of Australian Rules Football. In Aussie Rules we have two particular gut related phrases, "bang it down the guts" and "go straight up the guts". Both refer to the tactic of taking the football straight down the center of the ground towards goal and not via the seagulls. Incidentally, "straight UP the ground" is exactly the same as "straight DOWN the ground". Don't dwell.
On the other hand is American Football, which I watched the other night when Pittsburg played Philadelphia.
During the game I noticed something I hadn't previously picked up; commentators Joe Buck, Chris Collinsworth and Troy Aikman kept using the phrase "take it up the guts" and I wondered if they'd just discovered a strange new phrase and were just having fun saying it.
To exacerbate the situation, Aikman kept saying Pittsburg had "gone straight up the GUT". Singular. It just didn't sound right, in fact, it made my guts queasy in exactly the same way "up chuck" and not "chuck up" makes me "nor-shuss".
PS: This is not a knock on Buck, Collinsworth and Aikman, who are as good a commentary team as there is in world sports.
PSS: Gusty players should be avoided.
Should you possess Van Gogh's ear for music, it could, I stress could, be possible to confuse Pot, Kettle, Black as sung by Wilco, with the theme from TV's Pot Black as performed by Winifred Atwell on her OTHER piano. Not likely though.
The theme for Pot Black was actually called Black And White Rag and was written by American ragtime composer George Botsford. Not sure if George had ever been north to Alaska, or read Jack London, but his other works included Chatterbox Rag, Eskimo Rag and Klondike Rag. Looking at those titles I've just a slight suspicion Ragtime was appropriately titled, just a tinkling inkling, you understand, as to why it wasn't called Pianopoundingtime.
Now, while the Huttontots are busily ... this pun's for you Emily ... ragging on Australians, it may interest you to know that Winifred Atwell, while she was born in Trinidad and lived in England, actually migrated to Australia in about 1970. She lived here until 1983 when suddenly, she didn't live here anymore.
Which, with one of my smoother segues, subtly brings me to famed Australian snooker player and three time Pot Black champion, Eddie Charlton who, just as suddenly, doesn't live here anymore either.
Vale Eddie Charlton
Australia's greatest snooker player Eddie Charlton died in New Zealand on Monday, eight days after his 75th birthday.
Charlton became ill shortly after arriving across the Tasman on a promotional and exhibition visit last Friday. He was admitted to Palmerston North Hospital on Sunday and died in intensive care on Monday, a hospital spokesman said.
Suddenly I'm thinking Phar Lap and Les Darcy. And Millers Crossing. Have you seen Millers Crossing? You have? Well, do you remember Rug Daniels? The dead guy in the alley? There's a reason he was called Rug.
Leo: "You hear about Rug?"
Tommy: "Yeah, RIP."
Leo: "They took his hair, Tommy. Jesus, that's strange, why would they do that?"
Tommy: "Maybe it was injuns."
Maybe it was May-Ories. Yeah, yeah, I know. That's black. Pot Black.
|1969||Ray Reardon||John Spencer||88 - 29|
|1970||John Spencer||Ray Reardon||88 - 27|
|1971||John Spencer||Fred Davis||61 - 40|
|1972||Eddie Charlton||Ray Reardon||75 - 43|
|1973||Eddie Charlton||Rex Williams||93 - 33|
|1974||Graham Miles||John Spencer||147 - 86|
|1975||Graham Miles||Dennis Taylor||81 - 27|
|1976||John Spencer||Dennis Taylor||69 - 42|
|1977||Perrie Mans||Doug Mountjoy||90 - 21|
|1978||Doug Mountjoy||Graham Miles||2 - 1|
|1979||Ray Reardon||Doug Mountjoy||2 - 1|
|1980||Eddie Charlton||Ray Reardon||2 - 1|
|1981||Cliff Thorburn||Jim Wych||2 - 0|
|1982||Steve Davis||Eddie Charlton||2 - 0|
|1983||Steve Davis||Ray Reardon||2 - 0|
|1984||Terry Griffiths||John Spencer||2 - 1|
|1985||Doug Mountjoy||Jimmy White||2 - 0|
|1986||Jimmy White||Kirk Stevens||2 - 0|
|1991||Steve Davis||Steven Hendry||2 - 1|
Lieutenant Columbo's first name is Phillip. Or is it?
Columbo's First Name and The Supreme Court Columbo's first name was the subject of a $300 million lawsuit, in the 1980s, that was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
This I didn't know, but it fits. Columbo's character was based on Petrovich in Crime and Punishment
My brother swears the one with John Cassavetes as Raskolnikoff ... err ... a classical impressario is one of the great TV episodes.
Richard Levinson & William Link, who created the Columbo character, modeled him after Petrovitch, the detective who appeared in the 1866 Russian novel Crime and Punishment written by Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky.
You know something? I consider Peter Cook the funniest person of ... like ever.
And you know something else? It's really quite possible you've licked the back of his head. And not just Peter Cook. You may have also drooled over the various comedic bonces of Tommy Cooper, Eric Morecambe, Nora Langhorne, and Les Dawson.
As it happens, I've never heard of old Nora, not sure she's any kind of gelastic witmistress either, but apparently she was Joyce Grenfell's mum. Operating within a similar selection framework, perhaps other British chuckle mums could be commemorated. Presumably Alfie Bass had a mother. Not to mention Jim Davidson, Bob Monkhouse and Charlie Drake. Or Warren from Porridge. And Lawrence Harvey always made me laugh. Not intentionally, mind you.
Anyhoo, back at the point, I HAVE heard of the other four. What with the Fezes and the mothers-in-law gags and the ger-orf-it-Ernie. Do what? Gold!
The reason they're bracketed together? Well, in 1998 they were all commemorated on British postage stamps as legends of comedy. Bet you didn't know that, unless you did, in which case, all bets are off.
Apropos the farcical bracketting, Lawrie Zion was at it in Saturday's Australian.
Were Pete and Dud television's greatest comic duo?
THOSE drizzly isles to the northwest of Europe have spawned more than their share of illustrious comic teams. But who is the greatest British double-act? Morecambe and Wise? The Two Ronnies? Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley?
Or was it Peter Cook and Dudley Moore? Their partnership was certainly one of the most formidable pairings seen anywhere, right from their initial forays into sketch comedy in Beyond the Fringe in the early 1960s to their wildly obscene outpourings as the noxious pair of expat lavatory attendants Derek and Clive more than a decade later.
That got me wondering. Should Pete & Dud REALLY be bracketed with the other three pairs?
Well, for me, Cook towers above his four stamp-mates, so that could perhaps exclude Morecambe and by association, Ernie Wise. I always found Ronnie Corbett altogether too cute and his sit-coms were pox, so that's the Ronnie times Two out. Love Ronnie Barker though. And I'd consider Saunders / Lumley a sitcom pairing not a comedy duo. That pair should perhaps be Saunders / French who are OK, but for me not in the Cook / Moore league. Not even in the same sport.
However, I don't particularly like solo Dudley Moore, so by my twisted logic that means Pete & Dud weren't funny either when, in fact, any sensible comedy maven knows they were. They just were. Brilliantly, without-even-trying, "Are-you-enjoying-that-sandwich?", side splittingly so.
So I'll shut up now, it's a stupid argument anyway, the greatest English comedy team is Benny Hill and Reg Varney.
Oh, by the way, Zion's article was all about a new book's been released; Goodbye Again: The Definitive Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, but I find it hard to take Zion seriously. The way he gushes about Rachel Griffiths. Christ, you'd think he was a teenager.