Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bogus Norwegian Creates Brilliant Politi-Art

I bumped into these eloquent artworks while researching an article for MCV a couple of months back. They were attached to the end of the Y.E.A.H. HIV information page with the explanation:
Last month the Norwegian diplomat Charung Gollar was asked to present the UN with a graphic showing the main problems in the world in 2004, He presented a set of eight pictures entitled "The Power of Stars" and was applauded for the simplicity of his idea. In spite of having no pretension at all, his work was presented to participate on the Nobel Prize of Politic Marketing.
Unfortunately, this turns out to be a load of bollocks.

The actual title of the works is Meet The World and the artist, Icaro Doria had this to say via
The magazine Revista Grande Reportagem is a Hard Journalism magazine, on the same line as the Times. The idea was to bring across the concept that the magazine offers profound journalism about topics of real importance to the world of today.
This is how we thought of the concept Meet the World.

We started to research relevant, global, and current facts and, thus, came up with the idea to put new meanings to the colours of the flags. We used real data taken from the websites of Amnesty International and the UNO.

The campaign has been running in Portugal since January 2005. There are eight flags that portray very current topics like the division of opinions about the war in Iraq in the United States, the violence against women in Africa, the social inequality in Brazil, the drug trafficking in Columbia, Aids and malaria in Angola, etc.

With regards to the email presenting the campaign as being done by a Norwegian diplomat, this information is completely wrong. There is no Norwegian diplomat called Charung Gollar, there was no presentation in the UNO, and the campaign is not called ‘The Power of the Stars’. This was all invented and is going round the world via email.

That’s it, basically.


Click through to see larger versions where you can read the captions.

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At 4:55 pm, Anonymous so young, so pretty said...

The campaign may not warrant a Nobel Prize, but it's still pretty cool. Are you a staff writer for MCV?

At 2:28 pm, Blogger RC said...

those are pretty cool and powerful art pieces.


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Friday, May 25, 2007

Oh, I forgot to mention...

A couple of months ago I had the second operation on my hand. Tendon is all free now, cast is off and now it is all down to building the strength up again.

Excrutiatingly painful operation and recovery but everything is in fine working order.

That is all.

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At 9:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! Glad your hand is doing so well. The other one missed it.

At 11:38 am, Anonymous shamil said...

your other hand is now acting independently ? ooh dear.

Good to hear things are on the improve by the way.

At 12:22 am, Anonymous so young, so pretty said...

Because I'm too lazy to read your back catalogue, what happened to your hand? I think I remember it had something to do with an ex? Glad to read you're on the mend.


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The History Boys (or, The History Boys: The Movie)

We finally managed to catch The History Boys last night. I'd been hanging out to see it since Richard and I saw the play about a month back. Rick and Donald had been in my ear about it like little angels and devils, one saying it was great and one saying it was decidedly mediocre. I thought it was solid, if not a little stagey.

Then, stagey is to be expected given that the film stars the NT/Broadway cast of Bennet's original play as well as its director, the inomporable Nicholas Hytner, who is making a name for himself filming his stage productions. Seeing as everyone had obviously said their lines a hundred thousand times before, it was a little "rehearsed" but not nearly as much as I had been warned of. Besides, I found the acting far superior to the stage production and thereby much more poinant. Except for the principal, who is obviously yet to realise that screen caricature is a little more subtle than its theatre counterpart.

I still have issues with the whole "you are a gay and a teacher so you must want to fiddle with your students" theme. I find it a little insulting and rather unbalanced in the film. The acceptance of the characters of Hector's proclivities seems highly unrealistic, even for the time. Not that it was meant to be realistic, it is all down to symbolic representation and on that score I think the movie fleshed out Bennet's attack on Thatherism quite effectively.

Brilliantly acted, well written though a little wooden in performance, The History Boys was an enjoyable night out. See it if you can't invent a time machine to see the original production. That is all.

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At 2:24 am, Blogger Donald said...

I agree (for the most part), I just felt it was all very 'rehearsed'.

Also, I thought the scenes relating the future of the kids, including the one who became a teacher was rather creepy in a "gay-teacher=pedarast" way. Ick!


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Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Send A Message...

I went off instant messaging a while back because I had so many different friends lists in so many different programs and they would never marry up.

Until now.

This morning, after being compelled to download the new MSN Messenger (hoick, spit) I stumbled upon this little gem:

Yes that's right, all my instant messaging systems in one friendly duck. And with a bit of fiddling, it is a very handsome looking interface.

It is always nice to remove another piece of MSN from your life.


Get it yourself, duckie.

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At 8:05 pm, Blogger YarravillePaul said...

Brilliant!! Thanks for the heads up, I am downloading now...


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Flights of Fantasy

It looks like the aftershocks of Lord of the Rings are starting to quiver underfoot.

Here are some pretty looking epic fantasy films bulging with stars, ready to burst onto your cinema screens. They all come from reputable source material apparently and they look reasonably well crafted.


The Golden Compass

Also, shots are leaking out of The Dark Is Rising set. Looking forward to this but terribly weary of Walden and their cookie cutter adaptations. They'd better not fuck with my childhood

And in other adaptation news. Filmstalker reports that Christopher Lee is off of Sweeney Todd because Tim Burton's extra characters had been removed. Burton tinkering with Sondheim, hmmm, as long as he isn't getting Elfman to rescore it, I'm happy.

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At 2:02 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

Given that the screenplay for The Dark is Rising is by John Hodge, who adapted Trainspotting I live in hope. That said, if the film is as bland an adaptation as The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe it may well be a yawn-fest...


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who Loves Gays?

We love gays, and so does everyone in Britain apparently.

A new survey out in England says the love is spreading.

From Pink News:
The Stonewall survey published today is one of the most wide-ranging examinations of attitudes in the Britain towards the gay community.

The results are heartening - even 49% of Daily Telegraph readers think that prejudice against gay and lesbian people should be tackled.

There is a bit of analysis over at the site along with some pretty graphs, which look like this:

As they say, it is quite a heartening read. Enjoy.

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Gig: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ HiFi Bar 22/05/06

Richard managaged to score a pair of last minute tickets to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's second ever Australian gig at Melbourne's HiFi Bar this afternoon.

I said yes, yes, yes immediately but two things kept me from jumping for joy.

i) I was dead tired, having stayed up until 1am that morning to try and figure out how to use Adobe Flash.

ii) Ange and James had told me just a month ago that their outing to see CYHSY was quite possibly their worst gig ever.

I rushed home to get some sleep before the show (which of course didn't happen) and then met Richard at the door at quarter to 10.

Richard was a little late so I amused myself by psychopathically calling his mobile and playing spot the CYHSY fans. Given that the HiFi Bar is on Swanston Street, the latter was quite easy: tight fitting striped knit = CYHSY fan, polo shirt tucked into pants ≠ CYHSY fan.

Inside was pretty much as expected. Crammed to the brim with people, smokey and by and large not somewhere you'd want to be when you are tired. The band had already hit the stage and were blaring out one of their new tracks.

When I say blaring, I mean BLARING!!! The mix was awful and only exacerbated by the volume. At times the keyboards were so piercing that I thought someone was stabbing me in the ear with their cutting edge hairstyle. We are talking ringing in the ears that could turn anyone into a post impressionist master. That said, the sound did seem to be geared towards the new material. As soon as they piped up with their dance rock single "Satan Said Dance" the band shone.

Unfortunately, it sputtered out again after that track.

It was the band's first time in Oz so they had resolved to play some of their older stuff (which was a bit of a blessing because their newer material is a little plodding, which possibly explains Ange and James' reaction).

Ounsworth's vocals, which are charmingly esoteric on their recordings, came across a little try-hard in performance, mainly because they had nowhere to go. Bands understandably want to give a little more when they go live but Ounsworth's braying was already a little testing on their albums, live, in trying to up the ante, he pushed it over the edge. The result was a lot of meaningless whooping, cracked notes and megaphones.

Once again, I sound like I am being picky. A lot of the show was fantastic, especially their old stuff. But it was hit and miss.

One of the highlights was a new (newer than than the new album I believe... strike that, I believe it no longer) track which started with Icelandic tinks and ended in a post rock homage to Mogwai, or as Richard suggested, the soundtrack to 28 Weeks Later.

A strange night that would have passed immeasurably more pleasantly were I not falling asleep on my feet.

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At 2:29 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

Much more in-depth than my brief rant!

Hmm, word verification for this comment is: rwuajb = equal richard watts you are jb. What the fuck does jb mean?


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Monday, May 21, 2007

Prom Country

Prom PathAndrew and I hit the open road (or as open as it gets in Melbourne) this weekend and headed for Prom country.

It was scenic though a little brooding, which I think is pleasantly euphemistic for bitterly cold and violently windy. Thankfully the rain held out while we were in the park chasing the kangaroos, emus and wombats.

Saturday afternoon we bumped into this funny fellow by the trail on the way back from Squeaky Beach.

Saturday night we stayed in Foster, in a little country house that had been turned into a 10-sleeper backpackers. We took the double room and nobody else was there (or almost nobody) so we got the entire place to ourselves, lounge, heating, kitchen. It was a bit of a bargain at only $60.

The next morning we hit Mount Oberon to catch the view. It was worth it (click through to have a gander).


The plan is to return in summer to have a crack at the overnight hikes, backpacks and all. Can't wait. Who's in?

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At 8:00 am, Anonymous steff said...

I am in!!! That wombat is sooooo cute! So are you guys of course ;). Sounds like you're making the most of your weekends now you have a vehicle...I'm having a bit of a holiday too at the moment (yes, again ;))), before starting a new job in June. Lauren is here to visit for a week and I'm being a tourist in my own city. It's so good to have her here with me!Already planning to go and catch up with her in Spain in July. Europe has got some advantages I have to use while I'm here.

Missing you heaps!


At 8:04 am, Anonymous steff said...

But what's that with the beard, is it that cold down under? Spent the whole day in 31 degrees weather drinking beer on the beach (in Berlin, yes we do have a beach here ;))

P.S.: Lauren says hi!

At 2:45 pm, Blogger Mike Scott said...

Go on, you can gloat, but you know the tables are going to turn quickly.

Anyway, I've had this beard since I've known you. How quickly you forget...

At 4:39 pm, Anonymous steff said...

Well, if you would send me a picture now and then I would not forget.I still believe it is at least a centimeter longer ;).


At 8:50 pm, Anonymous shamil said...

Love the windswept look baby. very america's next top model. What is a prom ?

At 11:39 am, Blogger richardwatts said...

I'll join on a summer hike southwards at the Prom, please; that would be grand. Shamil, 'prom' is short for Promentory. Go look it up, you heathen, you. In this case it refers to Wilsons Prom, which is the southernmost point of the Australian mainland - well, at least it is if you hike all the way down to the bottom bit...

At 11:43 am, Blogger Mike Scott said...

What's a Nubian?

At 6:05 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

A Nubian is someone from an ethnic group based in the south of Egypt and the northern regions of the Sudan. In ancient times it was an independent kingdom, Nubia, first referenced in ancient Egyptian trade records. Modern Nubians form a distinct, socially disadvantaged group in modern Egyptian culture.

Any other questions?

At 12:28 am, Anonymous so young, so pretty said...

Great photos.


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Friday, May 18, 2007

28 Weeks Later (or, BRAINSSSSS!!!)

Sequels, sequels, sequels...

Let's wheel out that old chestnut. Was this one Empire or Re-loaded.

I didn't hold out much hope but the good reports started coming in. Seeing as we'd just rewatched the original (after watching Boyle's latest, Sunshine) we went along. And it was pretty strong.

More money, more guns, more gore, more, more, more... This is the Aliens school of sequel production, and they pull it off.

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, whose excellent feature Intacto creeped the fuck out of me, shoulders the director's load this time and the transition is smooth (though the continuity is helped by the rumour that Boyle directed the first scene). Fresnadillo's eye for framing adds an eerie quality to the quieter scenes yet he tends to get a little bogged down when it gets to dealing with masses of the infected.

Carlyle was fantastic as always but he had an annoying ability to pop up in the most unlikely places. The kids, who are the core of the film are decent. The girl especially has the most amazing eyes. If she keeps in the game I reckon she's going to be a big name. Oh, and Boyle favourite, Rose Byrne, whom, after seeing her live, I am completely annoyed by. She's not actually acting, that is what she is like in real life. Urgh.

More money means more shots of empty London. More infected means more gore. I seriously had to close my eyes for about 20 seconds at one stage. Not a pretty sight.

There is also some wonderful geographic anomalies. Though not anywhere near as bad as last year's Children of Men.

All in all, a worthy sequel. Maybe not as creepy as the original but at the same time it doesn't have all that guff about repopulating the world at the end of it.

Check it.

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At 11:21 pm, Blogger Angela said...

As I'm sure you expect, James and I saw this at the cinemas as well. We were a wee bit disappointed (mainly because of Carlyle's random poppings-uppings), but it was entertaining enough. Not as powerful or intriguing as '28 Days Later', but that's to be expected. Nice to see 'our Rose' doing so well, too.

And yes, we did spend half an hour afterwards complaining that they managed to get from Canary Wharf to Wembley (with one character nursing a bullet in her leg). Sigh. Will they never learn? OH! And our house features in the film! You can see it during one of the sweeping views of London. Woo!


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Thursday, May 17, 2007


JP has just returned from Ireland and he may be feeling a little homesick cos he showed me this last night.

I love the way grown men still use the words Mummy and Daddy on the Emerald Isle.

It's more of the excellent Catherine Tate Show.

She has a way with accents, as you can clearly hear here. Éist!

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At 1:08 am, Blogger YarravillePaul said...


These cracked me up big time :D



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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Science of Sleep (or, Take me at your word)

So, it was a couple of weeks back now but Andrew and I did catch Michel Gondry's latest, Gael Garcia Bernal vehicle The Science of Sleep. I quite enjoyed it for the most part but Andrew decided to use the luxrious surroundings of the Westgarth to catch some extra Zzzs. To quote: "I purposefully made myself comfortable."

And rightly so. The film did meander, and if that's not your thing it isn't the most enjoyable cinematic experience. Gondry has an eye for innovation but he obviously works better with a focused screenwriter at his side. The visual flair of The Science of Sleep wears thin after about half an hour and no substance steps in to bolster it. It would have made a pleasant short film.

Go, but don't expect a masterpiece.

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2 Out Of 3 Is Bad...

So, first my computer died, and I mean REALLY died. I mean over $500 in data recovery centre if I want my stuff back died. Not that bothered now though because I have a spanking new Dual-core MacBook Pro to play with.

Then, last night, when I checked to see if Andrew's bike was okay, I found mine wasn't. Some fuck-knuckle took to my chain with some bolt cutters and made off with it.

I'll get a new one soon so I'll get over the loss reasonably quickly.

On the upside, it reminded me of this delightful Decemberists track:
I'm really sorry Steven
But your bicycle's been stolen
I was watchin' it for you
'Til you came back in the fall
Guess I didn't do such a good job after all

I was feeling really sorry Steven
And I spent all morning grieving
And everybody's saying
That you'll take the news gracefully
Somehow I don't think I'll be getting off that easily

I meant her no harm
When I left her unlocked
Outside the Orange Street Food Farm
I was just running in
Didn't think I'd be that long
I came out, she was gone
And all that was there was some bored old dog
Leashed up to the place where your bicycle had been
Guess we'll never see poor Madeleine again

Let this be consolation, Steven
That all the while you were in England
I treated her with care and respect
And gave her lots of love
And I was usually pretty good 'bout locking her up

Where has she gone?
Well, I bet she's on the bottom of a Frenchtown pond
Rudely abused on some hescher's joyride
So I wrote you this song
In the hopes that you'd forgive me
Even though it was wrong
Being so careless with a thing so great
And taking your poor Madeleine away, away
They say things come in threes. I wonder what is next.

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At 3:11 pm, Blogger richardwatts said...

"I wonder what is next"

Hopefully not John Howard being re-elected.

At 5:37 pm, Anonymous shamil said...

sorry to hear about your bike my friend. I doubt very much JWH will get reelected on current trends though.


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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Spiderman 3 (or, Spiderman just fuck off)

Last night I was unlucky enough to catch a media screening of the year's first big budget disappointment. Who organises a media screening the night before the movie opens nationally? A distribution company who wants to minimise bad press, that's who.

I loved the other instalments of Spiderman but this one drops the ball so completely that it is laughable. Raimi's latest offering is so threadbare, it makes other comic book films look like Citizen Kane. You know the story, Peter is in love but self-obsessed, MJ is in love but-self pitying and Harry is in love but Peter-obsessed. Add two new villans and a new love interest but don't bother stirring.

There is so much crammed into Spiderman 3 that no time has been left to develop the characters motivations beyond the perfunctory stereotypical response to stimuli. The film pretty much runs itself. It is the tried and true superhero defeats villain, but not really, back he comes - three times over set against a turgid love story. Yawn.

Sorry if this sounds venomous (bad choice of words) but Spiderman 3 just does not deliver. Unfortunately the have greenlit another sequel. Please, please, please don't see this one, it only encourages them.

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At 11:17 am, Blogger cloudcontrol said...

I was worried about this. Any sequel which places Venom (arguably the greatest villain in the Spider-man pantheon) in with Hobgoblin and the sand-guy is a recipe for disaster. They should have just held off on Venom for ep 4, and done the ridiculously cool Venom vs. Carnage story... although that's probably what they're going to do anyway.

At 12:12 pm, Blogger D.U.P said...

I saw it on thursday night and was hoping that the only thing that was going to be a downer was the screaming kids. How wrong I was!

At 7:37 pm, Blogger Steven said...

I enjoyed the Bill Campbell cameo.

The press screenings over here were two weeks before opening day.

At 6:34 pm, Blogger Kamikaze Camel said...

Oh boy, that WAS terrible. Ugh. Most people in my cinema, it seemed, were restless and fidgetty and didn't like it either. Bah-bow.

At 4:56 pm, Blogger Alex said...

It was a good movie, it would be better if the whole Mary Jane character had a small part.



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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Round The Bay

Boat Sitters
It is so nice when friends organise their own going away events. Sue organised a sprightly trip around Port Phillip Bay, which was made decidedly less sprightly after the first night drinking in Portarlington.

The ferry trip across to Sorento did little to quell the stomachs of some of the crew but that was soon remedied with some coffee and Tatos chips.

JT, lying on the beach, chatting to serial killers in Portsea and dancing under the bright lights of the Conti made for a memorable weekend.

Cheers Sue.

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Lest We Get There Late

Even after a heavy night of sleeping, Andrew and I managed to get to the dawn service just as everyone was leaving. Big crowd, all walking the other direction.

Still we stayed for the march, which I had never seen before.

Long but enjoyable.

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