A new category - World Affairs.
Don't you think that less people would run away from Sierra Leone if it changed it's name to Sergio Leone?
Well, the new year starts today, not on March 25th as it used to:
In Great Britain and the North American colonies, March 25th was the beginning of the new year up until 1751, when the adoption of the Gregorian calendar changed the beginning of the year to
January 1the start of the football season.
which means it's tip time:
1 - 4:
Melbourne (You're right, I have no idea.)
5 - 8:
9 - 12:
13 - 16:
Western Footscray Bulldogs
Each group of four is in no particular order. Adelaide's a monty for the flag, though, as is Chris Judd for the Brownlow, and Matthew Lloyd for the Coleman. Misc: Umpire Gareth Parker to move from reporting the news, to making it when he punches a player in the WAFL. (Oooo, that hurts.)
Did anyone see last night's all new, bells and whistles, garnished with a dead dog Footy Show? No? In a nutshell, then. All new: the hosts - they were a little nervous, but they should work out OK. Bells & whistles: the set & format - the set was fine but the format needs tweaking. Dead dog: the Ben Cousins/Michael Jackson skit. Live & Kicking, anyone. I went to bed when that rancid soap skit started.
Recently bumped into an old acquaintance, someone I used to share the odd beaker with, but who got boring - unlike me. Naturally we fell into chatting about the old days and I asked him if he'd seen any good fillums. Nothing new, he told me, but he'd recently rewatched (revisited - cunt of a phrase, phrase for ... you know) a few oldies.
"Scorsese's Taxi Driver, Hitchcock's Psycho, Harvey's Carnival of Souls, Penn's Bonnie and Clyde, Ashby's Last Detail, Spielberg's Duel, Wilder's Foreign ... "
"Stop that," I broke in. "You never used to talk shit about films, football yeah, but not films. What's with all this director business? Next you'll tell me you've just come from McLaglen's Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission."
It fully shits me when filmgoers namecheck a movie AND it's director. People need to realise when they do it they are not revealing how clever they are, they are instead saying "I am a pinhead AND a tosser. Ridicule me."
Yeah, yeah, BUT! you say. How do you know if he's talking about Psycho by Hitchcock or Van Sant? Well, that's pretty slutching obvious, I would have thought. He can't have been talking about Van Sant's Psycho because he would've been too embarrassed to admit to wasting those two hours watching twaddle.
Mind you, there are obvious exceptions. If it happens you're talking about Polanski's McBeth, for instance, or Loncraine's Richard III or Olivier's Hamlet, that's fine, qualification is needed for the zillions of versions of Shakespeare's plays. And often the film is a genuine exercise in theatrical interpretation, not outright copycattery or kerching, kerching cash-in.
Anyway, you'll be happy to know my old china stopped talking like an idiot.
Which brings me to Jim Schembri's pet peeves. Schembri makes some good points, not the least of which is the modern fraud's tendency to rabbit on about films even though they haven't seen them, just googled up reviews. Their opinions are really other people's opinions. Also, that people seem to find it impossible to talk about anything these days without somehow referencing a pop-culture touchstone. So, to quote Michael Caine from The Italian Job, "I've got a great idea." People under the age of, say, 30 shouldn't be allowed near film reviews. They must instead watch movies without with any idea of what they are about, other than their genre.
Here's most of Schembri's article. [My occasional comments are in the brackets.] Click on the link to see what Jim says about each of the films.
It was in an episode from the second season of The O.C. that an illuminating exchange took place. Reed was telling Summer how special she was. "Seth and Zach have talent. They could have been career comics. But you are the Nico of the group."
"I'm sorry," replied Summer. "I don't get references before 1990."
Like a knife through the heart, this was. Yes, it was an emblematic gag of Generation I - I for Irony - where ignorance is the new attitude and refernecing is the new wisecrack and anything worth knowing about pop culture will be on The Simpsons or The Gilmore Girls or The Family Guy or South Park.
What is disturbing, though, was not that a member of Generation G - G for Google - didn't know of the legendary Warhol protege whose 1967 album with The Velvet Underground launched a thousand bands. It's that she didn't care to know.
[Legendary, yes, but Nico? Pah! Zee Cherman Shipmonk.]
This raised in my tiny mind the spectre of something director Kevin Smith once said. It was OK that he hadn't seen the films of the great European masters, he blieved, because the directors he admired had, and that was close enough.
As a film reviewer I've often come across this insousiance from Generation W - W for Whatever - when discussing the cinema. You say how the original version of Gone in 60 Seconds was far superior because back then they didn't have CGI to substitute for stunt drivers and students look at you funny. "There was an original," they mutter.
Then you talk to people you hoped would know better and drop a reference to Shelley Winters and Lolita, but it's not until you metion The Poseidon Adventure or the Adrian Lyne remake that they twig. That's when your heart falls through the floor.
What excuse can there be for this? The digital era has turned every DVD outlet into a veritable film archive, the breadth of which cineastes dared not dream 20 years ago. Then it hits you. Of course. That great paradox of the information age. The more accessible you make something, the less likely are people to access it.
[You think so, Jim? Or is it just that most people are fatheads who need some hip fuckstick, or a shill, to tell them what's "good" before they watch it?]
So, how to avoid the Summer Syndrome? Behold, our instant, user-friendly register of 25 must-see, easy-to-find films designed to cure any case of pop culture poverty. It is, of course, far from comprehensive but it should provide enough great material to inspire further exploration - or, at least, to bluff your way through a dinner party. Beware, though, some of the films are old - made before 1990.
- All About Eve
- Adam's Rib
- The Virgin Spring
- Easy Rider
- City Lights
- Gone with the Wind
- Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
- King Kong
- North by Northwest
- The Towering Inferno
- Rosemary's Baby
- The Godfather
- Taxi Driver
- Picnic at Hanging Rock
- Annie Hall
- Animal House
- A Night at the Opera
- Dr Strangelove
- The Sound of Music
- Planet of the Apes
- Love Story
I like that he included Rollerball and Animal House, a couple of dead set rippers. But Easy Rider and Sound of Music can ... err ... eat my shorts. Nevertheless, I take his point that the list is just a sampler.
Chewy on ya boot, anyone? Unsavoury scenes at the cricket last night. As the players were coming off the ground at tea, Graeme Smith threw his chewing gum at Ricky Ponting's feet. Then, tit for tat, Shane Warne threw his own gum at Smith's feet. I know, I didn't believe it either, but it happened. Oink! Surely chucking chewy at each other is worse than calling each other names. As Tony Greig said just the previous night "spitting is disgusting and chewing gum's not much better." Here Smith and Warne combined both. Yet despite what seems to me like the rank act of a couple of nasty brats, I haven't heard any more about it. I went to bed straight after it happened and nothing googles up from today's papers.
Brats? I'm sorry, I meant brat, singular. Graeme Smith is a juvenile, dobbing nob. Warne, on the other hand ... well, highly rated sports pundit Daffy Duck puts it best "He's one of OUR boys!"
Fixing a hole where the Shane gets in.
Simple documentaries work best.
Picture these: Nigel Spivey stands outside Hampton Court talking about Henry VIII. David Starkey in full head-nodding flight delivers a colourful anecdote about how King Edward II might have been Queen Edwina I. David Attenborough plays whist with an emperor penguin. Ronald Hutton in his study, all long hair, glasses and gunpowder plot. Simon Schama on a ghastly windswept mound in Scotland explains the origin of Rangers/Celtic rivalry. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill in the middle of the Campus Martius demonstrates Nero's favourite ronds de jambe, or whatever the Romans called leggy ballet circles.
Now picture these: Clunky CGI Hittites and Egyptians charge at each other in their chariots as a dramatic voiceover snorks the history of the long bow. A bunch of actors ponce around an unpronouncable Welsh castle, courtiers to a local nob. Naturally, a lute (or whatever toneless stringed contraption was flavour of the day back then) plinks in the background. A goose in full armour swats a straw dummy with a mace. "Phwoah! Take that, M'Lud!" Give us a break, you child. Not forgetting the Americans. Christ! 99% of their docos are presented as though the audience are simpletons, or at the very least, the kids on Sesame Street. Those Burns things cause diabetes they're so full of sugar. Mind you, the reason the The Civil War worked so well was because David McCullough has such a mellifluous voice.
Get the picture? Recreations and CGI bite. Give me an eloquent bloke yakking in front of ruins anyday.
The Vauxhall and Vespa Fantasy Football League draft was held today and Bialystock, my team of super, mega and supermegastars is picked and ready to rumble. Cop an eyeful of the sheer blinding talent on display here. What a machine!
Our motto says it all, really: There is no i in Bialystock.
The only cricket score I heard last night was Australia 1 for 15, so this morning when I jumped in my car, I flicked on the radio for an update. Happily there was no ad break like there usually is when I turn on a radio, instead Liam Pickering was talking to Crash Craddock about a match that had Australia five down with the nightwatchman out. Pretty good, I thought, that's really four down, with Shameless, Sideshow and Gilly still in the frame. Then Pickers said something that nearly had me driving off the road. "Clark didn't move it around much last night." Huh? Had both sides been routed? Were they playing on a beach? Had South Africa completely wussed it and decided to turn the match into a lottery, watering the pitch into a soggy mud-puddle? Or had the rules suddenly been changed? Was it tippety run? Six and out? One hand, one bounce? What? The? Fuck? Then, as always seems to be the bastard way with these matters, the interview ended without the score being given and I had to wait until I got home.
There I was relieved to hear the real score - Australia 5 for 230 odd, with Ponting notching yet another ton. Semi-relieved, anyway. 5 for is good, but 5 for 230 is only fair, despite the pitch playing up. With the chance it may flatten out South Efrica could be looking at a tidy lead unless Australia's recently fragile middle order can put a few runs together tonight.
Evenly poised, as they say.
Going all big-picture on yo ass, while ignoring the current state of play, 5 for 230 represents something else in the overall scheme of things - proper Test cricket. Many would say we'd be better off were every test a tight, tense tussle. I would not be one of them. You know why? Well, because too often we manage to lose the tight ones. Squeakers are infinitely more enjoyable when there's an expectation you might win the odd one. But we don't - we lose them, which makes watching them a nightmare. Evenly poised can get fucked!
It remains to be seen what the fuck Liam Pickering was talking about.
A recent school memo was news to me: "Our students are Generations X and Y and expect a lot more from our printed material." Really? Well, I'm Gen X and I made do with the printed material I made do with. Enormous text books, Vana exercise books and reems of "purples" eagerly sniffed for their luscious, calming meths. Did it do me any harm? It did not! My students get well looked after in the print department yet can't even spell X or Y. But me done it the hard way and look how I turned out!
Ron Walker wants to call in the shrinks. Big Bluey reckons our post Commonwealth Games funk will send us spiralling into a depression we have to have. I agree. Since the start of the games traffic congestion has been virtually non-existent. Seriously. Despite the Games' various vehicular inconveniences, getting about town has been a doddle. You see, it's the school holidays here and every man and his dog, not to mention the wife and snivelling punks, seems to have left town. So yes, it will be a reasonably disappointing set of affairs when the circus scarpers. Traffic aside, I'm fairly confident of my ability to work through any other issues unassissted - the loss of the 132 page liftouts in the papers, for instance. But if suddenly I do find myself pressed for guidance, I'll give those Scientologists a yell, they seem to know what's what.
Melbourne Commonwealth Games organizers are looking to advice from psychologists on how to prevent the city of Melbourne descending into post-Games depression once the event is over.
Melbourne 2006 chairperson Ron Walker said the excitement generated in the city during the Games would give way to an empty feeling once the Games are over. He said a similar impact had been noted following the Sydney 2000 Games and Atlanta in 1996.
Walker said, "I noted particularly when Atlanta had finished there was a depressive mood amongst many of the people who lived in or around the city because it was quite a hype to have the Olympics. The same thing happened in Sydney".
He added that the syndrome could be particularly acute in Melbourne because the city is hosting three international sporting events in rapid succession – January's Australian Open Grand Slam Tennis, the Commonwealth Games, and next month's Australian Formula One Grand Prix. "No other city to my knowledge has ever done that before".
Meanwhile British Prime Minister Tony Blair will attend the closing ceremony Sunday. Victoria State Premier Steve Bracks said Blair would arrive in Melbourne late Saturday and attend the closing ceremony the following day.
But New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark won't be at the Games at all. On Monday Games chairman Ronald Walker, who sent Clark an invitation, attacked Clark for snubbing the Games saying "she obviously doesn't like sport".
Clark's spokesman said she was "a bit upset" at the suggestion she did not support New Zealand's athletes. She reportedly has been unable to go to Melbourne because she had recently travelled to Australia and could not fit another visit in to her schedule, said the spokesman.
Cheesecake or sleazecake? What's your derision?
And then there's the fact that for the past five years, America has been ripped apart by a maelstrom of cheerleader sex, substance abuse and violence.
In Iowa, a 15-year-old cheerleader was arrested for allegedly writing "Columbine-style" threats to blow up her school.
In Boston, members of a high school cheerleading squad produced "a homemade lesbian porno video".
In Minnesota, a cheerleader paid $50 to have a rival beaten up.
In Brooklyn, kids at a school "pep rally" heckled, punched, kicked and then battered a cheerleader they considered "mediocre" with a garbage can.
In Pennsylvania, a mob of drunken cheerleaders, doped up with malt liquor by their coach, went on a car-trashing rampage.
In Texas, teen cheerleaders were accused of sending a "shit pizza" to their local rivals.
In Colorado, two cheerleaders were arrested for dealing morphine.
And - most famously - last year in Florida, two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders were arrested after one of them hit a woman who objected to the "Top Cats" having sex with each other in a bar toilet stall.
1) Glenn McWho?
2) Boucher: If there's been a plumber LBW given not out in the history of Tests, I ain't seen it. Excluding Pakistan, that is.
3) Yarpie commentators just don't understand the finer points of mozzing.
4) "SHOT! ... but out." ~~ Robin Jackman's been listening to you know who.
5) All Test cricket should be played on difficult pitches.
6) It's a dilemma, I tell ya! Rolling the Yarps in three days short-circuits the pressure. I get more sleep and don't tool through the day worrying about what might happen that night. But at the same time, I'm deprived of two day's worth of test cricket.
7) If you think six is pathetic, try being a cricket fan. It's an ordeal every bit as painful as fretting over whether Liberal or Labor are fucking up the country. Moreso. At least cricket matters.
Yep, it sure is a fine thing to flog Sorth Efrica, especially when they take it so poorly. Is Edward Craig South African? At CricInfo he turned himself inside-out grumbling that South Africa's loss had virtually nothing to do with Australia, and everything to do with luck and/or circumstances.
Not grumbling is News' Ben Dorries (Where's Crash?) who seems to have enjoyed the win. Mysteriously, though, you need to read both The Addy and The Hun to appreciate the full array of Dorries' jibes, adjectivally speaking.
AUSTRALIAN captain Ricky Ponting believes foolhardy South Africa has shot itself in the foot by ordering local curators to prepare seaming wickets.
After Australia nailed a crushing first Test win within three days, Ponting claimed South Africa had outfoxed itself before a ball was bowled and was now trapped in a private hell.
The Proteas spent the lead-up to the Test complaining that the Cape Town wicket would favour spin, saying they feared the dual spin threats of Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.
Privately they were putting pressure on local curator Christo Erasmus to prepare a lively pitch which they hoped would suit their own seamers and negate Australia's legspinners. The plan, which may have included some 11th-hour pitch watering, backfired when Australia discovered the ruse and omitted MacGill in favour of a three-man pace attack. The pitch had the devil in it and rookie Australian seamer Stuart Clark outgunned South Africa's attack by taking match figures of 9/89, the third-best bowling by an Australian on debut.
"Reading between the lines now, some of the things that they had to say leading into the game were real rubbish, about it looking like it was going to be a spinning wicket," Ponting said.
"I think when we got down here on the morning of the game it was pretty apparent it was going to be a seamers wicket, hence the makeup of our side.
"I don't know why they would have requested that anyway. We've got a pretty good seam attack and they probably had an allrounder as their first-change bowler.
"I'm not sure what was going on, but . . . we certainly handled the conditions a lot better than they did."
Not what it seams
Australian captain Ricky Ponting believes South Africa has shot itself in the foot by ordering curators to prepare seaming wickets for the home test series.
After Australia sealed a crushing win withing three days, Ponting claimed that South Africa had out-foxed itself before a ball was bowled and was now trapped in a private hell.
The Proteas spent the lead-up to the Test complaining that the Cape Town wicket would favour spin, saying they feared the threat of Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.
Privately, they were putting pressure on local curator Christo Erasmus to prepare a lively pitch that they hoped would suit their seamers and negate Australia's leg-spinners.
The plan, which may have included some 11th-hour pitch watering, backfired hopelessly when Australia discovered the ruse and omitted MacGill in favour of a three-man pace attack.
The pitch had the devil in it and rookie Australian seamer Stuart Clark outgunned South Africa's attack with match figures of 9-89, the third-best by an Australian on debut.
"Reading between the lines now, some of the things they had to say leading into the game were real rubbish ... about it looking like it was going to be a spinning wicket," Ponting said.
"I think when we got down here on the morning of the game it was pretty apparent it was going to be a seamers' wicket, hence the makeup of our side."
"I don't know why they would have requested that anyway, I mean we've got a pretty good seam attack and the probably had an all-rounder as their first change bowler."
"I'm not sure what was going on, but all I can say is that we certainly handled the conditions a lot better than they have."
In another article, this time online, Dorries further sticks the boots in.
WORLD order has been restored. Since Australia arrived at Johannesburg International Airport a month ago, it encouraged the doomsayers with some dicey performances in the one-day circus.
But all the talk of Australia going down the gurgler now counts for absolutely nothing.
In the one game that truly mattered, Ricky Ponting and his men stood up to be counted.
South Africa folded without so much as a whimper.
If anything, the Proteas have gone backwards in the Test format since arriving in Australia last December.
Dorries sure is confident. Not me. You can't read too much into the result. Although we won comfortably it doesn't look as if our middle order problems have been solved and it remains to be seen whether Stuart Clark can take a bag in either of the next two tests.
Also in the Hun is a short piece about Hayden's refusal to walk when "caught" by Andrew Hall. Is Dorries playing fast and loose?
Replays confirmed Hall had taken a clean catch in an incident that riled the South Africans.
I never saw this confirming replay. I'm not saying it wasn't shown, mind, I didn't see every minute of the game. But the footage I did see had the catch obscured by Hall's foot. Anyone see the catch cleanly taken?
The Australian's Andrew Ramsey takes a swipe at bloggers. "Bereft of a Life Or Girlfriend, Garden and Entertainment Regime"? Hardly the slickest acronym. To come up with such ham-handed wordplay he must have been typing with his thumbs. He should read a better style of blog, take a few pointers. Has he even seen my blogroll? A sharper group of amateur pundits you're unlikely to find. Not one nerd among them except for ... well, you know who you are.
Mind you, it WAS Sorth Efrican bloggers he was having a go at. Bunch of savages.
Sport is a very serious issue among the folk of the Rainbow Nation. To tell South Africans to lighten up when their international sporting reputation is on the line is tantamount to accusing them of practising vegetarianism.
Just how seriously can be gauged from the wildly fluctuating wave of public opinion that surrounded last Sunday's belief-defying one-day international at Wanderers.
A full house of around 32,000 let loose a round of jeers at Smith when he took it upon himself to stem Australia's early run glut, only to see his second over yield 23 runs. As events showed, that should have been viewed as reasonably tidy.
As he led his team from the field after 50 overs of ruthless Australian batting, Smith copped all manner of abuse from his country folk who accused him of overseeing a hapless herd of warthog (or words to that effect, give or take a local dialect).
Then, as one of those over-wrought ground announcers under the influence of a double-shot hyperbole, broke the news that after a change of innings South Africa would begin its chase for 435 and glory, the entire stadium contracted a fit of the derisive sniggers.
Of course, once the home team created history and launched an amazing run chase, the equal of which is unlikely to be seen for many years, Smith was immediately feted as an unmatched leader of men and his team hailed as celebrities.
And with their jingoism glands swollen and their passion levels bubbling, the exultant nation's fans chose to take the obvious celebratory path ... and heap scorn and vitriol upon the losers.
Ricky Ponting performed admirably through a post-match media conference at which his disappointment was exacerbated by the moronic few who peered through a window of the press room, making offensive gestures and shouting insults.
But the most instructive response came from that mysterious sub-culture of cyber dwellers, the blogger (an acronym for Bereft of a Life Or Girlfriend, Garden and Entertainment Regime) who post anonymous critiques from darkened rooms.
These nocturnal nerds worked themselves into a key-stroking lather aimed largely at members of the Australian media, and accused them of all manner of crimes ranging from arrogance to incompetence to pathological parochialism (ebony kettle anyone?).
Among other things, Australian journalists were told to stop "pissing in their pants", advised to "never embarress (sic) Australia again" and -- in the case of one disturbing missive from a certain 'Rob Mugabe' -- taunted by a maniacal cyber laughter.
At least "haaaaa haa" is easier to spell correctly.
The scribblers' crime apparently was to totally ignore South Africa's record-breaking run chase in the reports filed for last Monday's papers, even though that pursuit did not even begin until after midnight, Australian time (when final deadlines had passed).
André Nel drops Ponting a sitter - again! Hand's up anyone who didn't think Sorth Efrica would rue the day. Straya's 1/150 chasing 200 and Ponting get's a gimme life. It was about then you could be forgiven for thinking Straya might notch up 500 and a huge lead.
Closer analysis, though, revealed a different picture - batting was difficult. Ponting had edged, nudged and mistimed his way to 50, never looking comfortable. Hayden had become unsettled, overdoing the tonk on Boje. It was, indeed, surprising Straya were ONLY 1/150. With the pitch skittish and taking turn, they coulda/shoulda conceivably been 3 or 4 down. So when Ponting got out on the stroke of lunch, you just knew there'd be no big score. As things turned out we ended up a mere 100 odd ahead, thanks largely to Sideshow Roy's quick 50.
Which is where every Strayan cricket fan's greatest fear sets in - The Chase. Only a small lead on the first innings and set to bat last. Currently Sorth Efrica are trailing by 40 odd and they've lost three wickets, but Jacques Kallis looks set, he won't be Jacques Careless like on Day 1, and they bat deep. A quick 50 from Boucher could see us out of the game.
We simply must rip through the rest of the Yarpie line-up before they post a tidy lead. Otherwise, in the words of famed cricket expert Private James Frazer, We're doomed!
Sick Note: Tony Grieg sounds terrible - well, more terrible. Why won't the big fuckin' carbuncle take a day off. Living in Straya, surely he understands the concept of a sicky.
A challenge then. Something with which to amuse yourself for several seconds. Ready? How many "F"s in the following text?
FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS.
I got it wrong. Answer in the comments.
Jumped in my car at lunch (9:45pm here in Poohtown, 3000) to hear England was 120 for one, McGrath was out again and yet another English batsman had been "dismissed" with a no-ball. It's astounding how quickly the wheels can come off. Clown catching, no-balls, impotent bowling, slack batting - what a fiasco.
This time around it's 4/66 at lunch, currently 6/112. We're even catching the ones we drop. Still, we've had trouble going right through sides recently, so touch wood the Sorth Efrican tail doesn't rally.
Good for Crash. Winning an Oscar for Best Picture is quite the honour, we are told. Repeatedly. From where I'm sitting Crash thoroughly deserved the chockies, it was indeed the best film at the Oscars. (Even though it was released in 2004.) The best? Well, between you, me and the internet it's the ONLY movie I've seen from last week's contenders. But let's not kill the rapture.
Looking Crash fair and square in the eye, though, it wasn't THAT good, was it. I mean - it was OK. Neatly made, the cameras in the right place, no microphones visible, and the actors seemed to do what actors do - talk, move about and make faces. But that goes for %99 of fillums, right. So what, exactly, lifts Crash above Brokeback, Capote, Munich and Good Night and Good Luck in the eyes of the Academy? Personally, I lean towards Munich. I know, I know, I haven't seen it, and it got shitcanned, but I've a sneaking suspicion it would be a pretty good flick.
The same could be asked of any year. 1995, for instance. What elevates fighty rubbish like Braveheart above heartwarming rubbish like Babe? What about Casino? It's a fuck sight better than both. Or 1985? Out of Africa won over the equally tedious Kiss of the Spiderwoman and the over-rated Prizzi's Honour. Runaway Train is infinitely better than all three.
If we look at Danny Peary's list of Alternate Oscars, and put them up against their Unalternate Oscar, we can see this trend is not limited to just a few oddball years. It's not exactly the scoop of the century to say the great majority of flicks to win best Oscar were utter crap. Even so-called worthy films like Unforgiven or Schindler's List bordered on the boring.
Then you could take a very good year, like 1961. Both the Academy and Peary picked West Side Story at which I would have scoffed for being a load of dancing, prancing nancy nonsense. But I saw WSS on New Year's Eve and had no hesitation plonking it into my All-Time Top 10. A brilliant fillum with surely one of the best openings in movie history.
Note: This post contains traces of Best/Favourite confusion.
|Year||The Oscar Winner||Peary's Choice|
|1928-29||Broadway Melody||The Wind|
|1929-30||All Quiet on the Western Front||All Quiet on the Western Front|
|1934||It Happened One Night||The Scarlet Empress|
|1935||Mutiny on the Bounty||The 39 Steps|
|1936||The Great Ziegfeld||Modern Times|
|1937||The Life of Emile Zola||Stage Door|
|1938||You Can't Take It With you||The Adventures of Robin Hood|
|1939||Gone With the Wind||The Wizard of Oz|
|1940||Rebecca||The Grapes of Wrath|
|1941||How Green Was My Valley||Citizen Kane|
|1942||Mrs. Miniver||Sullivan's Travels|
|1944||Going My Way||Double Indemnity|
|1945||The Lost Weekend||They Were Expendable|
|1946||The Best Years of Our Lives||It's a Wonderful Life|
|1947||Gentleman's Agreement||Monsieur Verdoux|
|1948||Hamlet||The Treasure of the Sierra Madre|
|1949||All the King's Men||Gun Crazy|
|1950||All About Eve||Sunset Boulevard|
|1951||An American in Paris||Strangers on a Train|
|1952||The Greatest Show on Earth||Singin' in the Rain|
|1953||From Here to Eternity||Shane|
|1954||On the Waterfront||Salt of the Earth|
|1955||Marty||The Night of the Hunter|
|1956||Around the World in 80 Days||The Searchers|
|1957||The Bridge on the River Kwai||Paths of Glory|
|1958||Gigi||Touch of Evil|
|1959||Ben-Hur||Some Like It Hot|
|1961||West Side Story||West Side Story|
|1962||Lawrence of Arabia||Ride the High Country|
|1964||My Fair Lady||Dr. Strangelove|
|1965||The Sound of Music||Repulsion|
|1966||A Man For All Seasons||Cul-de-Sac|
|1967||In the Heat of the Night||Bonnie and Clyde|
|1968||Oliver!||2001: A Space Odyssey|
|1969||Midnight Cowboy||Once Upon a Time in the West|
|1970||Patton||Five Easy Pieces|
|1971||The French Connection||McCabe and Mrs. Miller|
|1972||The Godfather||The Godfather|
|1973||The Sting||American Graffiti|
|1974||The Godfather, Part II||Chinatown|
|1975||One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest||The Man Who Would Be King|
|1977||Annie Hall||Annie Hall|
|1978||The Deer Hunter||Coming Home|
|1979||Kramer vs. Kramer||Manhattan|
|1980||Ordinary People||Raging Bull|
|1981||Chariots of Fire||Reds|
|1983||Terms of Endearment||The Right Stuff|
|1984||Amadeus||The Killing Fields|
|1985||Out of Africa||Brazil|
|1987||The Last Emperor||Empire of the Sun|
|1988||Rain Man||A World Apart|
|1989||Driving Miss Daisy||Henry V|
|1990||Dances With Wolves||Miller's Crossing|
|1991||The Silence of the Lambs||An Angel at My Table|
Stroll over to the excellent Football Invective. Can't say I agree with everything there. I mean - Rex Hunt? Sure, he used to be funny. Then he started to wallow in all that sucking up from Clunt Grabarse, Madame Healy and Bleedin' Obvious Walls. No matter, FI is still a cack. Here's a taster:
Channel 7's idea of how to present football is the like some kind of Griswald Family Football Special - you know, the sort of boring, uncreative "family" type genre of show that is so lame and inoffensive that it appeals to no one.
It’s time for the people to rise up and overthrow the regime of Comrade Demetriou, who might be more gainfully employed as a Greens campaign manager instead. Just like Nicolai Caucescu being put up against the wall in 1989, its time for this rich socialist despot to be swept from office by the winds of freedom.
Last year's Grand Final:
Poultry in motion: more tension than an ALP caucus meeting in the Latham era, more drama than a Cheryl Kernot book launch, more controversy than umpire Steve Randall at a kindergarten fete.
Anyone see the nuffy on Miwyonaire last night? Jesus! What sort of person knows more about Fatty Vautin than Fatty Vautin? "Eddie! You missed the bit where Fatty gave me a hug!" Heartwarming, no? No. But it was top-shelf the way he locked in "US Open" and "Baroque" without waiting for Eddie to start gabbing. When contestants fuck around the show become a tedious nightmare. What's more, it was a chuckle when he ran around the studio at the end. Good on him, hope he wins. But imagine working with the excitable fucker! You wouldn't know whether to thump him, hug him, or smear your beetroot sandwich on his shirt.
Thank Christ for that! I didn't see even one ball bowled. Nevertheless, some in-depth analysis:
Further incisive thought when it comes to mind.
That's the front page of today's Age sport section. The back page of the Herald Sun reads "Aussies smash one-day record ... and South Africa's hearts". Both were printed after Straya's innings.
I dunno how much I can bang on about these matters, but it is inconceivable the so-called experts would not consult the AGB on matters Mozz. Swine. THEY lost us the game last night, every bit as much as our toothless trundlers.
You know I'm right.
You know how I said one-day cricket sucks and the footy season can't come too soon? A lie. Footy is fucked, and I'm back on the ODI bandwagon. (As of last night.)
He's an easy target, is Tony Greig, and not without good reason. He has a singular ability to give ALL Strayans the shits. Yet who'd have thought that since he's been OUR? representative on the commentary team back in Sorth Efrica, he'd manage to give us the shits even more.
1) Every second ball hit in the air is out, until it isn't. Every other ball hit in the air is going to the boundary, until it's not, and several ended up out.
2) "Australians don't like talking about the 1970 tour of SA." Well, here's a tip, Tone, since that happened 36 years ago and we haven't lost to SA since, why bother.
3) Sean Pollock (Polly to the fans - how gay) hit Brett Lee for four fours: "Ever since I was hit for 5 in a row, I revel in Australians copping stick." Revel? How about living somewhere else then.
4) With Straya 1/80 "This will go down as one of the most exciting ODI Standard Bank Series ever!" Ridiculous understatement! It is obviously THE BEST ODI Standard Bank Series ever. By the way, how many ODI Standard Bank Series have there been?
5) He spent the last half hour of the game saying Sorth Efrica had it won, and then at the end of the 49th over: "Andrew Hall is going to win it for Sorth Efrica in the last over." With mozzing like that the Yarpies will want to lynch him, too.
Chuck in Paddy Symcox. Kemp was given out LBW to which Symcox said "That's going down leg." Sure, it may well have missed, but the replay clearly showed Kemp in front for what was well worth a shout, and you could barely see middle peg. Symcox again - "You can see leg stump - not out." Shit-stirring, blind, stupid or lying? Take your pick.
To be fair the commentary team is ok. Barry Richards, good. Mike Haysman, steady. Darryl Cullinan, surprisingly good. Pat Symcox, generally ok. Tony Grieg.
Just received a text:
Calm their butterflies with a HeroMessage. Text the full name of your sporting hero with your message to ****MYHERO. 2 optout of Telstra Mkting Call (1800 *** ***).
As Noreen would say - the fucking neck of it! What makes them think I want to join in their tinny scheme? Fuckers! Mind you, still sent 'em a message, didn't I:
Go, Allan Robert Border! You're the beast!
So what if AB isn't competing.
Fluorescent lights, ok, you've all seen them. Chances are you've even turned the odd one on, or off. Or both. Could be you've even had one flickering at home and done nothing about it, just never turned it on again. But you know what the best thing is about fluoros? No? Well, they're gold for explaining inductive spikes. Transistor outputs, clamping diodes, interposing relays, hydraulic solenoids. V = L di/dt, is what I'm saying. Keep it in mind.
And, yes, they work without the capacitor.
A little cricket then, shall we, it's been a while.
The test squad was picked for Sorth Efrica yesterday and there was one semi-surprise. Brad Hodge has been dropped and aren't the Victorian crickerati pissed orf. Darren Berry had a fit. Greg Shipperd was "astounded". Anthony Hudson and David Schwarz, a dweeb and a fathead, were ranting and raving on the wireless yesterday, their phoner-innerers calling Trevor Hohns a cretin, a liar or both. Partisan rubbish, of course. (Personally, I'd much rather Australia win than Victoria. It quite fucks me off when people go on about state biases in test selections.) It's not hard to see where the selectors are coming from. If it wasn't for Hodge's 200 in Perth on a feather-bed, he'd have had a very ordinary summer indeed. Something not mentioned on the front of The Age's sport section which highlights Hodge's 409 at 58.4. His debut fifty against a pox Windies at Bellerive was tidy, but the way he got out there, feeling outside off peg, was a portent of things to come. Nor should it be forgotten that he was dropped in the same way when he made that 200. And there was his awful last ball dismissal in S'Syddey. Sure, he will be feeling shithouse (nearly wrote gutted - cunt of a term, term for cunts), but that salient flaw in Hodge's technique is a major worry.
Selecting most of the rest wouldn't have wasted the selector's time.
Pretty much pick themselves, don't they, with maybe only Magilla as questionable considering how many people dislike him. A lack of firepower in the speed department would have worked in his favour, they were always going to leave themselves the dual leggie option.
The almost certainties?
Then there's the can-consider-themselves-lucky-to-be-picked players.
No Pidge, though - it's a worry. If Straya lose the series it won't be a surprise, but like the Ashes, everything would have to go wrong. Conversely, should they win the series they will have done very well indeed, or South Africa will have choked. Take your pick.
National Treasure. Sean Bean and Nick Cage set off into Canada to find the Charlotte, a treasure ship lost in the Greet White Nrrrth, where they discover a meerschaum pipe hidden in a barrel of gunpowder. Pronouncing the pipe's ornate carvings to be a code, Cage slices into his thumb, smears the stem of the pipe in blood, rolls the stem onto a piece of paper, and prints off a bloody message. The message? That there is an invisible treasure map hidden on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Sean, not at all surprised, nods sagely and decrees he must therefore steal the DOI. Nick demurs - "We can't steal the DOI!" So Sean shoots at him, locks him in the ship, blows everything up, and sets off in a snow-buggy, leaving Cage and his pal Riley for dead. But they aren't dead, are they? Noo. They managed to hide under some rotten planks, and next thing you know, without transport, they've made it back from the icy wilds of Comedia to the public service wilds of Washington DC where they attempt to warn the Library of Congress that someone is planning to steal the DOI because there is an invisible map on the back. That seems a little dubious to the head of archives at the LOC, a shapely blonde fox. Having failed to convince anyone in DC that they aren't a couple of lunatics, they instead decide to nick the esteemed document for themselves. Why? Well, because if they do, Sean can't. Quick stix, the pair of them are kitted up - think Mission Impossible meets Ocean's 11 - and have the DOI. Simple, really - too simple. While they are inflagrante thefto Sean bursts in and pumps a few rounds at Nick who shields himself with the DOI (high-cheese symbolism, that) as he jumps into a lift. Before he can scarper, though, the blonde fox becomes suspicious and tracks Nick & Riley outside the LOC where she delays them just long enough for Sean to catch up and start a car chase. Phew! That's just the first half hour. I won't spoil it for you by revealing the map is drawn with lemon juice, or anything, but it's about now things get a little far-fetched. But not for me! Bruckheimer + Action + Dumb = I like it.
Cashier: "That'll be $35."
Nick: "But I only have 32."
Have I stumbled onto something? At one point it's said that there are 55 signitures on the Declaration of Independence. That seemed like a lot, so I had a look and guess what? By my count there are 56 John Hancocks, 57 if you count John Hancock twice. (Were there two John Hancocks?)
During the Commonwealth Games you are bound to hear the bold claim that Aussie athletes are receiving record numbers of HeroMessages. Don't be gulled - this is no spontaneous outburst of adulation for our Gold Aussie Gold Atherletes. No. Children at Victorian primary schools have been instructed to write two HeroMessages each to designated heroes, idols and assorted superstars. So when you hear fluff along the lines of "The depth of support continues to amaze Commonwealth Games officials in Melbourne. Telstra reports that the number of HeroMessages sent to athletes has passed the three bazillion mark." be sceptical. If you divide that three bazillion by the number of primary school students in Victoria, the number of pictures of Tamsyn Lewis in the Herald Sun, the short odds Matt Shirvington will bomb and the total number of road closures around Melbourne during the games (166), you'll be much closer to a realistic figure.
"Go Matt Welsh! Your the beast!"
~~ One HeroMessaging moppet embraces our "Get out there are kill 'em!" spirit. Or makes a spelling misstake.
Yesterday was assignment day, the day I hand out next month's work. The usual wailing ensued: "Tooooneeee, you give us too much work, and it's hard," they grizzled, before getting all misscheeveeous. "C'mon, really, how much would it cost for you to pass us?" And they tossed up some pathetic numbers - $100, $1000, a slab of beer. Fuck all, basically. The responsible teacher in me tells them that if they do the work, they won't have any trouble passing. Afterall, the questions in the workbook and on the assignments are virtually the same as in the exams. The smartarse teacher in me then jokes, yes jokes, if they offer to pay my full salary for the next twenty years until I retire, CPI linked of course, with benefits, we'll talk. "Jeeeeez, Tooooneeee, you're expensive," they cavil. "No, I'm not expensive," I explain, "I'm just not cheap." They look at me blankly so I expand on the difference between expensive and not cheap, something everyone ought to know. Cretins! Sisyphus has nothing on me. At least rolling a rock up a hill is character building, AND you're outdoors, not so banging your head on a whiteboard.
Last week on the woirless Jon Faine, Les Murray and Frank McCourt were talking about reading and comprehension when McCourt raised an interesting point regarding Humpty Dumpty:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
There's no mention of eggs - so why does everyone assume Dumpty is one? They didn't thrash out the point entirely, moving on to other topics, but they certainly left listeners with the impression the egg was a later addition. One of them, I can't remember who, also suggested Dumpty may be based on one of Henry the Eighth's advisors.
So I looked it up.
Wiki's apochrypha asserts Dumpty may be based on either a cannon, Richard III or a Roman war implement. But it also suggests that although eggs aren't eggsactly mentioned in the rhyme, they probably did have a connection to the original. Everyone back then assumed Dumpty was an egg in the same way we now assume the Logies are for crap TV. It goes without saying.
That's something to think about, isn't it?
Should your interest be further peaked, and I fail to see why it wouldn't, you might look for hidden agenda in other nursery rhymes. Jack and Jill may have gone up a hill for water, but who goes UP a hill for water? And what if Jill was a Gill? Hmmm. Old King Cole may have been merry, but merry may mean many things. Sure shines a new light on those fiddlers three. And what about those three men rub-a-dub dubbing? Say. No. More.