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Gertrude #83 – Identify the Greek Myth for your chance to Win!

Down the road from me lives this bloke.  Not a bad sort of fella: hard working, clever, shows initiative.  Maybe a little reckless sometimes, but perhaps you should judge that for yourself.

This bloke loves tinkering.  Always working away in his shed on some new project.  So the other day, he comes up to see me all excited because he’s assembled this new creature called man.  But he’s a little put out because his brother, who keeps a jar full of fantastic physical attributes, has already given all the best qualities away to the various beasts; claws, fangs, poison spines, gills: all gone.

But like I said, he’s an inventive sort, so he decides to give this man something none of the beasts have: fire.  Nips up to the heavens for the sacred flame and gets man a terrific little barbeque to play with.  Man is thrilled, and my mate feels rather pleased with himself and goes away happy.  He really should have known how that would piss off Zeus who is notoriously jealous of all barbequeing duties. He just can’t stand anyone else standing at the grill with a stupid apron and a pair of tongs. 

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Mojo Juju @ the Phoenix

Mojo Juju @ the Phoenix

Vietnam Letters #2

Postmark 26th Dec, 1969

25 Blacket St
ACT 2602


My dearest Jock,

Well here it is Christmas night, and what a lonely Christmas it has been without you, even though there have been lots of people here. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until about 4 o’clock, I went to bed at about 11.30 but then I just lay there thinking about you and wishing that we could be together for Christmas. Then about 3 o’clock I had a good cry and cried for ages, and then eventually went off to sleep.

It’s a funny thing but last night was the first time I have really cried since you left. I cried as you were leaving but after the train was gone I just felt numb and empty. I have often wanted to cry, but that’s all, and it was a great relief to have been able to cry last night.

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The Feldons: Down on Time

James Montgomery, singer, guitarist and, if they follow the usual pattern, manager, promoter, roadie, graphic designer and fluffer of local band, The Feldons, felt compelled to send me this item, which I presume is their latest video. If you like good electric guitar pop, random band performance shots in black and… dark grey interspersed with purloined vintage footage of a drunken circus freak party, and who doesn’t, you may well find this worth three minutes and ten seconds of your time.

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Chris Harland Blues Band @ The Pot Belly

Chris Harland Blues Band @ The Pot Belly

Fade to Pink @ The Front

Fade to Pink @ The Front

Olympics Sexfest? My Arse

Did you notice the Olympics? Aussie Aussie Aussie! Yawn yawn yawn!

Sport Make you Health via

An anachronism? A farce? How many of this year’s heroes will be next year’s drug cheats? How many Beijingers had their houses demolished? Can we quantify the dividend in world peace and understanding? Would we be better off diverting sports funding to public health like Canada? Was it the protests over Tibet? The sickeningly jingoistic television coverage? Whatever the reason(s) I just didn’t get the Olympics this time around, as if it had become an irrelevancy in a world with far more pressing concerns than who is the fastest/strongest/most agile man/woman this year. And I missed SBS.

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Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens: Looking in from the Outside

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Arts Grants Fiasco

Actually there was no fiasco. Our usual, sober, headline writer is on vacation and her replacement has advised us our headlines lack ‘juice’. But now that you’re here, it is with all the joy of a hungry person watching a feast to which they weren’t invited that I observe the announcement of the 2009 ArtsACT funding round. Once again our glorious government has doled out around a million bucks to around 70 out of more than 180 applicants (I was not one of them).

Grants for music related projects, totalling roughly $230,000 split 19 ways, took the lion’s share, with an approximate 60/40 split between traditional and contemporary music. Visual arts grants (16) totaled $172,000, literature (17) received $131,700, film projects (9) $120,000, theatre (7) took $114,000, dance (3) got $101,000, multimedia (3) $54,000 and craft (2) a measly $29,000.

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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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Gertrude’s Diary #82 – Frankly Feminine

I was delighted recently to receive an edition of Frankly Feminine, published in 1965 by The Grolier Society of London. This is a book which tells the modern woman everything she needs to know about modern life in the modern world. From tips on how to care for your fur coat, to how to explore Venice and Versailles, Frankly Feminine is 550 pages of advice that will astound and amaze.

I especially liked the chapter on beauty – this picture accompanied the section on hair styling.

As soon as this is over I'm going to see my dealer.

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Chiffon #84. Bling Ka Ching



Well wouldn’t you know it? Just when things looked like they could go haywire, Captain America came along to save the whole world?

Well! Gee whiz, Flash! That’s just not cricket.

I am of course referring generally to the way one super power sees itself and more specifically the American trillion-zillion-dollar bailout with mustard and fries (fuck me until I am fatter than a coyote spending his life living it up on top of Hugh Hefner’s dining table).

These could be the words of Dr Phil: What are we teaching our kids?

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Present: Jim Boots, John Griffiths, Jess, Sharkie


Our guests are Paroxyst and Handsome Luke of Cool Weapon.

Click Play Audio to play podcast. Click here to download

If you’d like to download the podcast, tap this URL: http://the-riotact.com/~john/insban/pod93.mp3 into iTunes or your media player or whatever.

This link is for people who have podcasting software which you can find here.

Recorded on Monday 15th Sep, 2008

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Vietnam Letters #1

Way back here I wrote about meeting a bunch of guys from the 8th Battalion; Vietnam Vets who were celebrating a 40th Reunion. What I neglected to say was that one of the Vets, Jock Jamieson, made me an interesting proposition. If I would come to his place in Boggabri, NSW, he would give me a box full of letters from his days in Vietnam, from him to his wife, and hers in return.

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Garden of Good and Evil @ CCAS Manuka

Garden of Good and Evil @ CCAS Manuka

CCAS Members’ Show. Opens 6pm, 25th Sep