Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Late Christmas Stocking Post of sorts

I think I may have some filing problems when I look at my Wordpad recently added files, and see that I saved the lyrics to the song 'The Candyman Can' in my 'Blakes 7' folder. Ah, well, it can stay there for now...

*

I haven't posted for some time, I'm not sure why. The blog muse is a fickle creature, and it isn't as if there hasn't been stuff for me to post about. I did a quick search the other day to confirm I never mentioned the trifling matter of Monty, our prized boxer dog (former pup, now deadly behemoth) being found with his little mate Chester throwing an Eastern Brown snake between them up the hill. And then, when being called, failing to catch the EB, getting bitten by it and very nearly dying. As the EB is the second deadliest snake in the world.

Nor did I chronicle that same EB coming back to terrorise our house like the dude Ed Harris played in A History of Violence by appearing in the rose garden, the retaining hall, the chook house and near the water tank until we forcefully evicted it. FROM THIS MORTAL COIL!

It has been Christmas, though, which is generally a notable time of year. I was thinking about it again when my brother casually mentioned that Tony Martin has two books out and my dad expressed amazement at this revelation, causing me to irritably point out that not only do we have one of them, I bought it as a Christmas gift last year that he never even looked at. He was disbelieving until I rooted the book of the most unreachable area of the coffee table, behind the National Geographics and buried under cheap, musty paperbacks liberated from the second-hand shop in town. He's since been reading it through and pissing himself laughing at the incredibly nerdy childhood antics of everyone's favourite ex-pat Kiwi comedian not named Cal Wilson, and I've been the getting the latest ever satisfaction from a present that has been enjoyed.

The haul for myself this year was quite good, as my brother and his semi-defacto-possibly-fiance girlfriend went on a bit of a present shopping spree. No extra gig of memory, but that's cool I let it slide y'all. I have *drum roll*

A mobile phone, as the course of this year revealed it could actually be useful for me and there are circumstances where more than one of us are out of the house and so the family one doesn't quite cut it.

Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Siege and Battleflag - two books so well chosen you'd have thought that I was actually there with mum in Borders pointing out the two that she'd need to get me at her request.

A copy of Rome: Total War as an early present, from a close friend now working at EB (Electronics Boutique, not the Eastern Brown snake shop) looking for any games marked well below $20 that would cost him about 10 dollars with his staff discount which I also picked out, given that Ricky Ponting's International Cricket 2005 was slightly too expensive (WHY does it always cost more than 2007???) Having played the game briefly I need to say it is fun and engenders feelings of megalomania in those who play it, as all strategy games should.

Two seasons of Scrubs on DVD which is kind of interesting as I borrowed all the discs from fellow student Nadia this year and watched through them, but the show is of so high a quality this could in no way danger the enjoyement that can be reaped from them. In fact, it's slightly embarassing that I came to the show so late (in it's sixth year!) because my viewing habits were so dependant on what my parents wanted to watch throughout high school. God bless Torrents.

Nothing Doctor Who related which was a minor surprise, but cool with me.

A watch, one of those presents that made me stunned by the keen abilities of others to pick up what a good gift would be. When cleaning up the 'other' house on our property - the temporary shack we lived in for, ooh, 16 years while the 'real' house was being built (for about 12 of those years only in theory) I found my old watch which I really liked. It had buckets of sentimental value as it was a present from my now-deceased grandfather, beautifully engraved and has a lovely leather band that fits perfectly. Unfortunately, it's quite cheap and basically stopped completely, needing to be fixed, every fucking time it rained. When I found it, I casually remarked how much I liked having a watch to check up on and before you know it I've got a genuinely classy one. Boss.

A box of Junior Mints, though one was given to everyone in the household by my brother because he has a source and we're all a bunch of hopeless Seinfeld fanboys essnetially. There are episodes I can probably quote in their entirety if I was to try.

A box of Lynx deodorant and shower gel and this one seems to be an annual gift from the pseudo sister-in-law, the obvious implication being that I have truly offensive BO and need to get something done about it. I feel half like taking offence at it, but if I did then I wouldn't get any more free cosmetics and as is, thanks to my Scottish-inherited Hyper Frugality I can make one of those deodorant cans last more than a year. Before long I'll be set for life. (Seriously, there's more in a can of deodorant than most people realise)

A USB flash drive which is completely unexciting, but handy because I lost my old one and I'm not even sure how I did it or if it had any precious porn on it at the time.

The Chaser Annual, which I'd forgotten about until I just saw it - I should check that out. On the subject of the Chaser, and though this is something I have been advised about saying by absolutely everyone I have said it to, I think the Cancer Kids sketch was just plain funny. I maintain that. No, not the 'Why go to all that effort, when they're just going to die anyway' line, but before that when we see a very eager Andrew saying "So, I understand you wanted to meet Zac Efron, is that right? Well.. how about this stick instead?" That fucking killed me. Even typing it just then I had a big smile on my face.

Come to think of it, I don't even know if I posted anything about that. I thought the media beat-up was completely ludicrous, and vindicating wack-job women who are apparently capable of getting so outraged by TV shows that they say they lose their breath and claim to suffer the symptoms of a heart attack isn't giving them any credibility in my book. As has been said, if you concern yourself with the most sensitive people that's where censorship starts. If you were to just ask people on the street, then you'd get a more logical answer.

Those people did answer, and so ultimately the skit crossed the line (whilst still being HILARIOUS) and they didn't cross the line again. Whilst still being HILARIOUS. I didn't think the nutjobs needed such a thorough airing, including whichever AM shockjock it was offering a prize for anyone who could get him the Chaser's home addresses, a 'brainsnap' somewhere in the vicinity of Alan Jones' "Let's Break Australia's Record for Race Riots This Sunday!" promotion.

So that's Christmas covered somewhere in that rant.

*

I've recently gotten the image of a racist-cum-neo Nazi, ironically on purely racist grounds as a fellow library student, I might just name Ashley Kasturnen who I got on fairly well with enjoyed starting arguments with me on entirely baseless terms. Because he's half-Turkish or round-a-bouts, so visibly either foreign-ish OR a guy with a bit of a tan he infrequently decided to identify as black, and claim that I was racist for any comment about any culture, because I'm pale and have blond hair.

To play with the idea I often made some genuinely insensitive comments, albeit facetiously. This backfired a little when I put a swag of amusing errata from my harddrive onto a disc for another classmate, and happened to choose a little video some people online operating under the name 'The Whitest Kids' entitled 'The Hitler Rap'. No, it is exactly what it sounds like. When she watched this one in the middle of class some people interpreted this in certain ways..

Now I'm feeling especially awkward as I'm using all the multi-billion dollar power of Google to try and find out whether cricketer Nathan Hauritz is Jewish. I know, there is no savoury reason to want to know this! Well.. except one, kind of, as I read somewhere before that he was and I've casually described him to other people as "the world's greatest Jewish off-spinner" because it is a sport decidedly seen as non-Jewish if only explicitly. But then I tried to remember where the hell I'd read this because I've seen it nowhere else since.

The answer - possibly my own mind. The most helpful match (and that is VERY relative) I came up with is a thread called 'Jewish Current XI' at site named "Sport Taco'.


Herscelle Gibbs
Jimmy Maher
Mark Butcher
Jaques Rudolph
Darren Lehmann (c)
Chris Harris
Andy Flintoff
Andy Bichel
Chris Nevin (wk)
Jacob Oram
Nathan Hauritz

They could beat many of the Test teams.


This response, incidentally, wins the award for Jared's Christmas Spirit Post of the Year:

Presumably by occupying the pitch, and then shooting the opposition players on suspicion of wanting to come on the pitch and attack them. Now go away, you nasty little bigot.

I doubt Lehmann, Oram or Hauritz would endorse such behaviour, being fine upstanding players but I can imagine Flintoff endorsing it. At any rate, no proof was offered and the general consensus was that the thread was a rather racist presumption that everybody with, erm, Jewishesque names was the real Dradl, when they might just be a bunch of Alan Aldas. Hmm, how could I put that in as tactful a way as possible?

have you been looking in the players showers after the game, I wonder

Thank you, person from that thread. Some more fine work. If nothing else the 'research' made me feel less racist.

Now, turned to Wikipedia and NM Hauritz is not listed in their section of "Jewish cricketers" a very helpful category. As Wikipedia is the repository of all knowledge I'm taking this as wrote that I was completely wrong about our beloved offie and hope no offense is to be caused (HAHAHAHA!) by this little piece.

How did this even spring to my mind? Because Hauritz kicked arse by taking FIVE MOTHERFUCKING WICKETS against Pakistan awww yeah!


*

Yes, there's a new Doctor Who story out there. Of course I haven't seen it yet - I don't have any bloody broadband. I have no options here! I just need to sit here, unquiet and slowly going mad in the gloom while the 'net just EXPLODES. I already know too much - the Master's in it, Donna's in it... the mother from Ab Fab is in it! I think.

Yes, that is too much for me, I am not a Doctor Who Mag guy.

Everything I've heard though suggests to me that I'm not going to like this episode at all. Everytime RTD has planned a story with a raft of elements from the past, often not actually from the past at all but really self-indulgent and recursive obsessing over his own small patch of the canon, the result has ranged from underwhelming to complete shite - with The New Doctor at the underwhelming end of the scale and Journey to Stolen Earth of Donna gets Fucked Over on the obvious end.

Similarly, everytime RTD does a big "This plot has ended. It's ended!" moment and then goes back on it, I've been similarly unimpressed. I didn't even like Rose's exit in Doomsday to begin with, but at least it had finality. The comeback in TSE was limp and shallow, and not even terriby interesting, if anything forcing the Doctor to go backwards a bit in terms of character development.

Likewise the Daleks have gone through a series of fairly impressive diminishing returns to the point I think they are hands-down the most boring enemy in the show, taking the role of Batman in internet nerd talk. (That's a good question, though - who wins a fight between Batman and the Daleks? Kleenex sales?) And I guess similarly if it was possible for the Cyberman to be less Cyberman-ly than in AOG they managed it when they appointed some random feminzai as their God and found she kicked their arses.

Did I rant about that, by the way? Okay, I can understand Daleks beating Cybermen. I don't like it but it's definitely understandable. But random chicks in the 19th Century played by an actress so hammy she'd give a Rabbi a heart attack smacking them down and making them her bitch? Come the fuck on. To come back from this The Cybermen need to win. They need to royally kick arse on the Doctor. Earthshock II. Followed by Earthshock III and IV before the Doctor can finally get one over them in the season finale. Then they might have some credibility again after this fucking debacle. God, as if Silver Nemesis wasn't bad enough!

Ahem, what I was getting at is that RTD bringing back stuff that he has killed and buried and napalmed the grave off has not gone well and I'm expecting it to be worse when Donna comes back. Even if it's just dream sequence, there'll still be the baggage and I'm hearing everyone else is coming back too... god damn.

The closest template I have is The Stolen Earth, the other time that RTD's combined "modern Five Doctors" with "event bigness special!" and dear God was that one of the many contenders for 'worst story ever' we've had served up in a short period. Bad Wolf and Last of the Time Lords showed that he can write good finales, without even being ludicrously mind-bendingly massive, but when he feels the need to start a whirlpool of recurring figures joining the Doctor left-right-and-centre everything goes to pot. This is Tennant's story, and even though all we've had as a sign of what's to come is a solitary Ood, I doubt it will be terribly low key.

The irony is that I'm writing speculation for it at a time when everybody else has stopped because they've seen the bloody thing. Interestingly somebody I know seemingly deleted their review after I changed my status on Facebook threatening death to anyone who gave me spoilers. It's okay, Ewen, I saw the massive spoiler warning in red font you made.

Now... when the hell am I going to be able to get a copy? Been waiting for contact with my source for a couple of days now...

*

Phew, nearly forgot to delete all those "Is Hauritz Jewish" searches from Internet Explorer's history..

It may also be possible that I've grown out of Ben Chatham. Or the stories are becoming increasingly more childish.

7 comments:

Youth of Australia said...

Well, it's ironic as I've started half a dozen blog posts and not finished one of them. Odd, really.

What I got for Christmas:
* The Doug Anthony Allstars DVD I have yet to watch
* A box of NSAs, mainly for the cool-as-hell Wilfred Mott Takes On The Mandragora Helix novel
* The Widow's Curse graphic novel
* a heap of Smith and Jones episodes
* the first episode of k9 (if I'm objective I'd say it's probably the best pilot ep of the NuWhu franchise, maybe because it is in no way rips off "Rose")

I also found the Make A Realistic Wish Foundation sketch hilarious, and was disappointed the outrage against the Chaser eclipsed Kyle "Mankind Has No Future" Sandilands. Which is just unfair. It also lead to the brilliant sketch where Chris got beat up just for being the in the skit.

As for The End of Time, well...

To be brief, I get the "RTD is knackered" vibe. Except it's not the ideas, it's the "turning them into a script" bit. There are some really cool bits that are skipped over or dwelt upon wrongly. It's NOT the epic bigness (though part two definitely is) and there's no attempt to undo Donna's predicament. It's just another obstacle the Doctor's got to work his way around. The revelation of who picked up the ring was a nifty twist, the Master was kind of cool yet scary, the cliffhanger brain-blowing, but the OAPs were a total waste of time. Unless they are somehow relevent next week. Oh, and there's a whacking great plothole as the Doctor is apparently shot dead but appears a scene later, in perfect health.

Oh, but Tuck is completely wasted. I can't defend that. It's a pity since all the behind the scenes stuff shows he's bloody hilarious and takes the piss out of anything not nailed down.

Mad Larry liked it, though he considers Waters of Mars "lacking balls" and "insulting the intelligence of a three year old".

You want a copy, I can post it off tomorrow if you want.

Youth of Australia said...

Oh, and I found a fan film called Phase 4 which features Cybermen you so dearly want - the "prepare dying screaming" kind. The ones that only get defeated by such a human cost they might as well have bloody won in the first place type. And they are brilliant recreations of the Tomb version, even down to the Controller (seriously, I think they might have looted the MOMI exhibition to steal these outfits).

Even the fecking Cybermats have TEETH! Hardcore, man, HARDCORE!

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

* A box of NSAs, mainly for the cool-as-hell Wilfred Mott Takes On The Mandragora Helix novel

So fandom is entirely in agreement that Wilf is a badass, then?

The Widow's Curse graphic novel

This has something to do with DW, I gather?

* the first episode of k9 (if I'm objective I'd say it's probably the best pilot ep of the NuWhu franchise, maybe because it is in no way rips off "Rose")

Is this something you just happened to download at Christmas time?

I also found the Make A Realistic Wish Foundation sketch hilarious, and was disappointed the outrage against the Chaser eclipsed Kyle "Mankind Has No Future" Sandilands. Which is just unfair.

I know, at least The Chaser have talent! You also blogged about this at the time, though, I'm sure..

It also lead to the brilliant sketch where Chris got beat up just for being the in the skit.

I know - I actually thought the Make a Realistic Wish sketch was the highlight of a couple of fairly mediocre episodes - but when they came back from it, boy were they in strong form.

Mad Larry liked it, though he considers Waters of Mars "lacking balls" and "insulting the intelligence of a three year old".

Hmm. I thought it was a little lacking as an episode but I can't agree with or even empathise with those 'points'.

You want a copy, I can post it off tomorrow if you want.

Thanks for the offer, but I'll probably be getting it tomorrow as it tunrs out. Just heard from him at last.

Oh, and I found a fan film called Phase 4 which features Cybermen you so dearly want - the "prepare dying screaming" kind.

If you will forgive me for a thoroughly predictable response... EXCELLENT.

Youth of Australia said...

So fandom is entirely in agreement that Wilf is a badass, then?
It's like the antimatter opposite of UNIT dating. Everyone agrees, even Mad Larry, Sparacus and Noel Feilding.

This has something to do with DW, I gather?
Oh yeah, comic strips with the Tenth Doctor and Donna (with the last page brilliantly having the Doctor find Donna taped over his "emergency program one" hologram with a message for him in case she ever got eaten by swamp monster and never got to say goodbye).

Is this something you just happened to download at Christmas time?
Well, kind of. The forum gave it to me as a present along with some ratio points. It counts.

I know, at least The Chaser have talent! You also blogged about this at the time, though, I'm sure..
I did. Still pissed off about it. I cannot think of a single thing the Chaser have EVER done that compares. Not even "Don Bradman was an asshole".

I know - I actually thought the Make a Realistic Wish sketch was the highlight of a couple of fairly mediocre episodes - but when they came back from it, boy were they in strong form.
It was very much 'do not poke the sleeping tiger'. I'm pretty certain that no matter what happens, Kevin Rudd is going to list "challenging the Chaser to make fun out of me" as a BIG mistake in his career.

Coz they did.

Hmm. I thought it was a little lacking as an episode but I can't agree with or even empathise with those 'points'.
I mean, having the companion blow their brains out in a last ditch attempt to prevent the main character from complete corruption is - and I think we can agree - more "ballsy" than Eccleston blowing up a deserted shopping centre to stop some Autons.

But no. Not to Mad Larry.

Thanks for the offer, but I'll probably be getting it tomorrow as it tunrs out. Just heard from him at last.
Well, I hope you enjoy it. Or at least don't hate it too much. The Ood, Lucy Saxon, Donna and Sylvia really only get a scene each, the rest is split between the Doctor, the Master and Wilf (all of whom get their names in the titles).

And not a Dalek. Not a single one.

If you will forgive me for a thoroughly predictable response... EXCELLENT.
I think you will deeply enjoy the final scene, which made me punch the air. A real "we never lose, meatbag" moment.

The perfect cure for the Cybusmen.

Cameron Mason said...

Ah...

The Make a Realistic Wish sketch.

I laughed, a lot.

If I were to rewrite to make it 'acceptable', I would have tied it into the Economic Financial Crisis - "Feeling the pinch of the EFC, yet still want to donate to charity? Then help us at the Make a Realistic Wish Foundation" and cue rest of sketch.

Very interesting watching the Andrew Olle Media Lecture which Julian Morrow gave this year. He points out that the Eulogy Song got 8 complaints the night of screening, but after the shock jocks said "Ring up the ABC and tell you how much you were disgusted by this song, even though we haven't played it so you can judge it for yourself." and ACA and TT played the sketch THREEE times while expressing their 'outrage', the ABC got another 2000 complaints.

Cameron

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

It's like the antimatter opposite of UNIT dating. Everyone agrees, even Mad Larry, Sparacus and Noel Feilding.

Well put. Hmm... Noel Fielding... damn I can't quite place the name. Harry 'Aitch' Fielding's lesser-known brother? No, hang on, he's 50% of the Mighty Boosh! When did he have oppurtunity to diss Wilf Mott?

My mum was a little bit neutral towards Wilf, but it was probably because she's completely disinterested in companion's family and ha-ha-HATED Sylvia, who was in nearly every scene that featured Wilf of course.

the last page brilliantly having the Doctor find Donna taped over his "emergency program one" hologram with a message for him in case she ever got eaten by swamp monster and never got to say goodbye

Hmm, how resourceful. How many of those Holograms does he have, anyway?

Well, kind of. The forum gave it to me as a present along with some ratio points. It counts.

Ah, okay. Sorry for casting dispersions... a few days ago now. We all know the forum likes you more than me.

It was very much 'do not poke the sleeping tiger'. I'm pretty certain that no matter what happens, Kevin Rudd is going to list "challenging the Chaser to make fun out of me" as a BIG mistake in his career.

Lol. I definitely have to agree with that.

Though he is still our most popular PM in a long time. Which I find fairly interesting, because though I think on balance he's doing a good job, he's becoming less likeable very, very quickly.

I mean, having the companion blow their brains out in a last ditch attempt to prevent the main character from complete corruption is - and I think we can agree - more "ballsy" than Eccleston blowing up a deserted shopping centre to stop some Autons.

Yes... come to think of it, is there any chance at all that there was any anti-capitalist message in Rose? Very wishful thinking there from LM, I am sure. I thought it was just "Let's introduce the fact that shit gets blown up when the Doctor's involved"...


@ Cam

I laughed, a lot.

Glad to hear it!

If I were to rewrite to make it 'acceptable', I would have tied it into the Economic Financial Crisis - "Feeling the pinch of the EFC, yet still want to donate to charity? Then help us at the Make a Realistic Wish Foundation" and cue rest of sketch.

Hmm, yeah probably could have pulled it off a lot better that way. A bit of a bait 'n switch ploy..

He points out that the Eulogy Song got 8 complaints the night of screening, but after the shock jocks said "Ring up the ABC and tell you how much you were disgusted by this song, even though we haven't played it so you can judge it for yourself." and ACA and TT played the sketch THREEE times while expressing their 'outrage', the ABC got another 2000 complaints.

Yeah, I was considerably more annoyed by the media response than the sketch. They were all just trading off the sketch. The thing was I wasn't sure if it was a genuine 'controversy' before they made it such, and now it's impossible to know..

Youth of Australia said...

No, hang on, he's 50% of the Mighty Boosh! When did he have oppurtunity to diss Wilf Mott?
On the English Spics and Specs type show Never Mind The Buzzcocks, where DT, CT and BC were guests for a Who-themed special.

Feilding was so impressed by the Mighty Cribbens he asked him to "write for the Boosh".

My mum was a little bit neutral towards Wilf, but it was probably because she's completely disinterested in companion's family and ha-ha-HATED Sylvia, who was in nearly every scene that featured Wilf of course.
Ah yes. I assume that's why Kate was so difficult to get on with in Robin Hood. Her vile mother is in The End of Time, but dies mercifully quickly.

Hmm, how resourceful. How many of those Holograms does he have, anyway?
Just one AFAIK, which he keeps taping over.

Ah, okay. Sorry for casting dispersions... a few days ago now. We all know the forum likes you more than me.
It's a download forum, nout to do with GB. (Indeed, if GB was in any way involved, I'd be in very deep crapola).

Yes... come to think of it, is there any chance at all that there was any anti-capitalist message in Rose?
Maybe the infamous "burning sofa" sequence would have had Eccleston dancing and screaming, "THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS WILL KNOCK FOUR TIMES!!!"?

I thought it was just "Let's introduce the fact that shit gets blown up when the Doctor's involved"...
I'm fairly certain that was the main reason.