Entries Tagged as 'The Media'

Stateline Clip

For those of you still searching for the Stateline piece on the Backyard Backanalia, Guerrilla Gig and Bootleg Sessions, here’s the youtube clip, thoughtfully recorded and uploaded by Johnboy at The RiotACT.

The Sheik and Dave

Tonight’s edition of Cutting Edge (SBS, 8.30pm), Embedded with Sheik Hilaly, made for interesting watching. The defining nature of Aussie attitudes to Islam is profound ignorance and Dave Zwolenski, the unassuming Aussie bloke sharing the Sheik’s house for two weeks, makes a reasonable fist of remaining open-minded in his quest to understand the workings of Islamic society in Australia.

I was surprised and pleased to learn that Muslim men, at least the Lakemba mob, sit down to do a pee, a practice I have long advocated. They also wash their bums with water as well as wiping after a poo, which strikes one as much more hygienic and aesthetic than the Aussie norm of smearing with paper alone. Then again, they also apparently shave their armpits and pubes, a practice I have long railed against for both man and woman, if for no other reason than who has the time? Wiping with the left hand is a dictum shared by many cultures, and makes sense if proper hand washing is difficult to obtain. I would have liked to ask the Sheik which hand Muslim men use to pleasure their wives (I’ve always wanted to know) but that’s probably why Dave was in the show and not I.

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Culturazi: Tom Piotrowski ‘Cult Figure’

It’s nice to see Tom Piotrowski, Channel Ten’s late news finance reporter, expanding his repertoire beyond his trademark funny hair, mad staring eyes and disjointed delivery. In his recent appearances on Rove, Piotrowski appears to be branching out into comedy. Is this the first instance of finance news stand-up in the world?

Tom first came to Culturazi’s attention a few years back because of his appearance, mainly his hair which, despite a bizarre combed-back wiggishness, betrayed all the signs of an eighties-style ponytail. Tom has confirmed that his hair is actually real and he really does have a ponytail, unless of course this is a hoax myspace in which case the enigma of Tom’s hair remains. Tres fashionable and hip the ponytail may (or may not) be but, combined with his nervy, uncomfortable disposition, it conspires miraculously to make for some very watchable television. This guy will become a cult figure thought I.

I was watching avidly one evening when Piotrowski gave a live report and something went a little astray in the neurons, as captured below by the magic of uTube (watch for stray neurons at 0:45 in the clip).

Now that is good television.

This is not good news

Heath Ledger’s death has been officially confirmed as an accidental overdose resulting from the abuse of prescription drugs. The morning newsreaders are now describing Ledger’s demise as a ‘tragic accident’.

Last week’s revelations of Ledger’s attendance at a ‘drug party’ incited one newsreader to use the phrase ‘damning video’? Was Ledger damned for being in the presence of cocaine users or for failing to live up to our fantasies of superstar excess? Had Ledger suicided or taken illegal drugs, would his death have been less tragic? Has tv news been over-run by necromancers intent on inspecting the entrails of every ratings-worthy corpse? Am I glad I’m not famous?

When did newsreaders become so free with the adjectives? And yet not without discrimination. ‘Notorious party pest’ Corey Worthington was not being harassed by ‘infamous gunslingers’, the Victorian police. ‘Disgraced footballer’ Ben Cousins didn’t harm the reputation of ‘brutal and ruthlessly commercial’ sport Aussie Rules.

There’s a form of puritanism unfolding here, a linguistic inquisition in which our modern-day sinners are denunciated by a media lynching party whose public pronouncements of moral probity are unlikely to match their own private behaviour. What sort of role models are they, when they show complete disregard for the standards of their profession?

iPrime

Local television station, Prime, has launched a web site which, with stunning originality, they have named iPrime. It is one of the clunkiest beasts I’ve ever had the displeasure of visiting. By clunky I mean slow to load and hard to navigate. A lumbering megapod of a site on my ‘broadband’ connection, it would be a zone of slow death for dial-ups I would think.

It’s a ‘media enriched’ site, which means you can watch lots of ad-enriched videos, mostly Prime weather and news. There are also gig guides, tv guides and horoscopes and shit. And there’s polls, like this one.

iPrime poll

I wonder if the people who never vote on internet polls amounts to zero?

One good thing on iPrime is VigilanTV, a weekly two minute segment looking at the local music scene, and I say it’s good not just because I have appeared in it a couple of times (including this most recent segment focusing on the Backyard Backanalia). The presenters are spunky, the camera work suitably ‘hand-held’, the editing choppy, it won’t be long before these guys are on real tv.

Adopt a Club

Peter Holmes a Court is to be applauded for his anti-pokie stance for the Rabbitohs Leagues Club. I think many in clubland are probably sick to the stomach at the enormous gaping maw that sucks in profits and spews out human wrecks, such have the once fairly innocuous clubs become. Has Holmes a Court merely had the guts to go where others would follow if it didn’t mean tearing up their bottom line and flushing it?

I don’t know if any of you go to clubs at all, but I’ve been to a few recently and the impression one gets is of a new age church, devoid of spiritual value, but rich in ritual (and bleeping noises), a soothing cocoon of mediocrity with a tithing system that is designed to relieve you of not ten but ninety percent of your income. It’s a good place to get fat too apparently. Food is definitely cheap and plentiful.

We can not ignore that Homes a Court has the hefty assistance of a heavyweight Aussie Hollywood star behind his enterprise and it is here that reality intrudes a little into an otherwise hopeful development. Holmes a Court advises that pokie income will be replaced by sponsorship money, which has no doubt been rolling in once the star power garnered all that free press for the ailing Rodents. Attributing it all to the squeaky clean family friendly image of the team and club is like John Howard attributing the economic boom to workplace reforms.

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Security a Sham

During Loadedog’s brief absence from the airwaves, one of the events that we sorely missed commenting upon was the Chaser guys’ visit to APEC. The subject of much mirth and the cause of much embarrassment for the police, as well as garnering enormous ratings for the ABC, it seems the deeper ramifications of the stunt have been somewhat ignored.

The Liberals have traded on their supposed strength in ‘security’ as the party willing to take the measures required to keep us safe, from terrorists and any other threats they can intelligence up. In doing so they have followed the US model of greatly expanding the powers of the cops and spooks, ignoring long standing conventions of war and imprisonment, and making prolonged war on countries presenting no tangible threat to our safety.

It’d be nice to think that, however bad international relations become, our country could protect itself from real terrorists by such measures, but the fact is we can’t and the Chaser stunt makes this stunningly clear.

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Sammy the Singing Scrotum Returns

Last week I posted this ramble on the madness that is the morning news, and included a video I made a while back called ‘Sammy the Singing Scrotum’. I hosted the clip on Utube and, while I’m sure about 50 people saw it on my site, 6193 people watched it on Utube in the first three days. Then it was pulled, ‘rejected (content inappropriate)’!?

Sammy the Singing Scrotum

What could be inappropriate about an educational video on the amublations of the cullions thought I. But somewhere out there in this twisted world, somebody saw fit to complain about little Sammy and the censor’s sword was swung.

Fortunately we were able to find another, shall we say, less discerning video host and Sammy returns, along with the original story about his creation. Both await after the jump. [Read more →]

Morning News: 080807

Updated in real time.

GMA. Top story: miners trapped in mine in Utah. As in Beaconsfield, risky mining procedures gone wrong. A couple of days digging to find out if six miners are still alive.

Headlines: Market Madness! Will the Fed react to concerns about sub-prime mortgages etc? Blood found in house, little girl Maddy may have been murdered. Islamic dudes caught with fireworks. Tenders open to rebuild collapsed bridge. Volcano erupting somewhere. Study finds stuff in McDonalds wrapper more appealing to pre-schoolers than plain packaging, even carrots. Weather – hot. Slow down, take it easy. Particularly in the afternoon which, we are told, is warmer than the morning.

Chinese toy recall. Toy Industry Association spokesperson advises that she hasn’t changed her shopping habits. Issues threat – if a toy company deliberately sells toys with lead paint, they will be out of business. Part of the blowback from globalisation?

Is Giuliani’s daughter an Obama fan club member? Can bad fathers make good presidents? Is this a worthy news story?

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Skills Shortage Worsens: Shock Jocks Required

The Department of Evil Worker Repression Employment and Workplace Relations issued a press release today advising that Australia’s skills shortage is hurting the broadcast radio industry and that, if nothing is done soon, we may face a chronic shortage of shock jocks.

Perhaps timed for greatest effect, the announcement coincides with the memorial service for renowned bigot, Stan ‘I’m not really a cunt, it’s just an act’ Zemanek, and follows closely the announced retirement of John ‘somebody stole my golden microphone‘ Laws and the sacking from tv of Alan ‘I have a strong affinity with young male athletes’ Jones.

‘Without a strong supply of ill-informed radio commentary,’ stated the press release, ‘Australia’s international competitiveness will be harmed,’ noting the strong connection between the National Shock Jock Index, currently at a ten year nadir, and the repeated re-election of ‘stable governments’.

‘Proper, informed and balanced media commentary is the stuff of the ABC latte chardonnay set,’ said Minister, Kevin Andrews, arguing that ‘the country’s security relies on keeping the majority of the people in the dark the majority of the time.’

DEWR is looking at a number of options, including importing foreign jocks and training them in the niceties of Australian radio, producing a ‘Shock Jock School’ reality television program starring Rush Limbaugh, as well as some experimental medical procedures that have successfully rewired the brains of journalists in foreign countries, the so-called ‘Ray Martin Effect’.

As Dumb as a Dodo Customer

Competition in the Australian telecommunications industry has arguably resulted in cheaper prices for consumers and, also arguably, delayed investment in infrastructure while simultaneously resulting in much inefficient duplication. There can be little argument, however, that it has resulted in some of the most aggressive and deceptive marketing this country has seen.

Dodo

Tactics largely revolve around creating a bewildering array of minutely differing deals that resist easy consumer comparisons, and offering things up-front for free while locking customers into expensive plans for a year or two. Then there’s the industry-wide insistence on describing broadband (ha!) download speeds in ‘bits’ which are but one eighth of a ‘byte’ which is what everyone thinks they’re talking about.

It’d be cruel to pick on one operator in particular, and we love being cruel so let’s pick on Dodo. They’re currently running blanket ads with the stunning claim of a free broadband service. As with most of these types of ads, there’s a lot of unreadable fine print down the bottom of the screen, so what’s the catch?

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Nightclubs, Dance Parties: Paying Their Dues

Some of you may have heard the news that the Copyright Tribunal has substantially increased the rate of royalties that must be paid by nightclub owners and dance party organisers for the use of recorded music. It’s a big win for the recording companies and recording artists, but what will it mean for the nightclub and dance industry?

‘Who gives a rats,’ I might say because, frankly, I can’t stand nightclubs and I haven’t ever been to a dance party and don’t intend to start now. As a registered, card-carrying old fogey, I maintain an appropriate level of disdain for such things, prefering the traditional manner of consuming music, ie. by watching real live people play actual instruments and sing live in front of me.

That being said, I live in a burg big enough to sustain a few good venues and a brace of good original bands and need not get my musical fix from recordings filtered by some tool with a CD mixer, as would those in some culturally deprived rural enclaves. Still, the nightclubs here are full of young, inappropriately dressed (for the weather) people paying ridiculous prices for entry, coat check (maybe that’s why they don’t wear coats?), drinks and pills, shivering in long lines and (later) saving pubic lice from extinction.

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Carbon Cops

The ABC’s Carbon Cops, an environmentally friendly version of the expert make-over genre, shows us that, not only is using less energy in the household fairly easy and inexpensive to achieve, it also has unexpected rewards.

For people that have always had an awareness of their own energy consumption, it is quite amazing to peer into the lives of ‘ordinary Australians’ and witness the thoughtlessness with which they squander energy. And even us self-righteous ‘aware’ types have learned a thing or two.

The remedies are many and varied, ranging from riding a pushbike to the shops, to installing an energy monitor to remind folks to turn off lights, to simple retrofit double glazing. Small to medium capital investment is sometimes required, making many changes more applicable to owners than renters, but every household can do something and, as last nights program illustrated, even a household of student renters could more than halve their carbon output while spending hardly a cent.

On the contrary, they will save money, as will those who invest in solar hot water, for example, once the device has paid for itself. If the ‘Plasma Bonus’ had become instead a ‘Solar Hot Water Bonus’, each Aussie birth would represent a slightly brighter future for all.

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Pity the Sports Fans

Unusually, I have the Aussie Rules on in the background and commentator and Collingwood nut, Eddie Maguire, is discussing a Magpie player who has ‘come off the rails’ and needs to ‘reassess his behaviour’ and not ruin his career by ‘bringing the game into disrepute’.

Aussie sportsmen run amuck about as often as a John Howard pre-election stunt these days. And the hypocrisy runs as strong in Australian sport as it does in federal politics.

How does a footy/cricket player steer clear of alcohol when it is practically obligatory to souse themselves in a (sponsor provided) beverage at the end of a game. Sport and alcohol are inextricably linked, both in our culture which vicariously enjoys champions getting (metaphorically) slaughtered after a win, and through business arrangements that turn sport into the lure to deliver an audience to an advertiser. In the case of Eddie Maguire’s beloved Collingwood, that’d be one of their major sponsors, Carlton United. Young sports fans must be getting pretty confused these days, what with all the mixed drinks messages.

Take racing fans (please Lord, take them). They watch guys career recklessly around a track and celebrate in the arms of a skinny model with a dousing of champagne, then they’re supposed to buy a car made by the winner’s manufacturer but drive it stone-cold sober at 50? Vroom vroom vroom!

It’s like buying a little girl a pony that she can’t pet, feed, groom or ride. It’s like agreeing to have sex with someone as long as they don’t touch you, talk to you or see you naked. It’s like promising security and sound economic management for the future while ignoring the single greatest threat to future sustainability and engaging in inflammatory foreign conquests. And, I tell you, it’s just not cricket.

VB Drops in Strength: The Veebees to Blame?

Localish band, The Veebees, who we plucked from obscurity into relatively less obscurity in Podcast #47, may soon find themselves joining Boony, Botham and other similarly rotund sportsbastards selling Australia’s iconic booner sportsbeer, Victoria Bitter (v.4.8%).

Hot off the news wires comes the not-so-surprising news that the boys are to have their recently produced music video for the song ‘Drive-Thru Bottlo’ aired on the forthcoming series of Blokes World, which insiders kindly describe as ‘a 30 minute VB ad with its tits out’. Other songs from their two albums will also apparently play throughout the series (scroll down to view video).

As exciting as that may be, it’s not really a surprise because: I’m pretty sure we discussed the idea during the podcast (15th minute), they are named after the major sponsor, they play a ‘lager’ phone (though I believe they are considering upgrading to a bitterphone) and they are genuinely funny bastards with no intellectual pretentions whatsoever. In short, they are the perfect booner boofhead band for a booner boofhead beer advertorial.

Norro, the band’s energetic singer and lagerphone maestro (lagophonist to be correct) said of the recently concluded negotiations:

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