Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tuesday is recycling night!

It's fine to become a parent. It's fine to spend Saturday nights watching ABC and trawling through the used cars on looking for a little action (what all the tragically boring parents are doing this generation).

It's not fine to be hassled and haunted by this stupid song for a terrible, sanity-bleeding month some 15 or so years ago ...

... only to have the same Nightly Ghoul of Catchiness haunt me again in the following guise:

It turns out (from my two pieces of research) that all Flo Rida* does is raid the more excruciatingly tragic corners of my music collection for sugar-trash Euro-Disco - Exhibit A:

And rap over the top of it. Exhibit B:

Regardless of whether Kanye West had already dropped by a few years previously ...

... to purloin one of my top ten songs of all time:

All I have to do now is wait for Snoop to drop by with an ounce to trade for this little ditty:

Yes. I have this song.
Yes. I actually (used to) listen to it.

*But seriously, how pleased with himself must Flo Rida have been when he first thought up that name? I would love to have been there, just to watch that glimmer of realisation spread across his face. He'd be there, driving in a lowered cruiser, I imagine. Rolling around the streets of Miami and thinking about his desire to be a rapper and tossing up a few names.
"Big Banga? Nah ... T Dollaz? ... Hmm ... nah ..."
He'd pull up at the lights, along side a bus with a tourist bureau ad on it. "Florida is great!" reads the ad. Soon-to-be-Flo stares at the ad.
"Hey ... 'rida' ... like my ride here - "lo rida" ... heh ... thas' good ... hey ... Flo ... I flow ... my flow is the shit ... Flo ... rida ... Florida ... Flo ... rida ... Flo-rida ... Flo Rida."
He'd be like some Sesame Street Muppet slowly pushing two parts of a word together to make ... one meaning!
"FLO RIDA!" he would yell out. "FLO RIDA! YES!" He'd be beeping his horn, muppets would be waving their arms on little wires and bashing their furry heads up and down and singing songs about how words can be made up of other words.

It would be that awesome.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tony Smith - Chapter 6

And he just keeps getting bolder, more audacious ...

Robbery and shooting link to escapee.

By John Merriman
Published in The Advertiser
28 April 1999

ESCAPEE Anthony John Smith is believed to have been involved in a bank robbery and the shooting
of a woman since he escaped two months ago. Police believe Smith, 19, is commuting regularly between Adelaide and Melbourne possibly with his girlfriend who vanished last week.
On March 1 Smith escaped from two Correctional Services officers who were escorting him from the
Adelaide Remand Centre to the Royal Adelaide Hospital so he could visit his sick father.
It is believed he left the city in a taxi.

Police said yesterday they were convinced Smith was one of three men involved in the attempted murder and robbery of a 27-year-old Glengowrie woman in the car park of the Plympton branch of BankSA on Monday, March 8. A witness claims to have seen Smith in the getaway vehicle.
Intelligence sources also have indicated he was one of three men who robbed the ANZ bank at
Torrensville just after 5pm on Friday, March 12.
An investigating officer, Detective Senior Constable Harry Worth, said the last confirmed sighting of him
was a week ago when he met his girlfriend in Adelaide.
Smith's 16-year-old girlfriend has now disappeared and police assume she is travelling with him. Smith is one of three escapees on the run. The others are Brett McFarlane, 32, and Adam Zoanetti, 28, who escaped with Jason Moyle, 27, and Kane Dyer, 23, from the Yatala Labour Prison on Monday, April 9. Moyle and Dyer have since been detained. The four men escaped from Yatala by using bolt-cutters to cut through three fences.
Later that night they walked into the Cavan Hotel on Port Wakefield Rd. McFarlane told the three to wait for him while he made a telephone call, but he has not been seen since.
His three companions waited 40 minutes before they realised McFarlane had left by the back
door. The trio spent the night at a flat in Norwood, where Zoanetti was last seen.
Moyle was found unconscious in parklands near the Adelaide Zoo on Monday, April 12, after overdosing on drugs. Dyer surrendered to police at the Port Adelaide Police Station on Tuesday, April 13.
Detective Senior Constable Worth said the three criminals still on the run had eluded police because of
an "extensive network of close friends and associates". "These people are willing to risk imprisonment themselves to protect these men," he said. "One person has already been charged with harboring an escaped criminal."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Maybe in the sub-cockle area

I would like to talk to you about the American Dream. Afterwards, there will be a short film. The American Dream is one that has those who hold its fine tenets in their brave hearts believe that they can succeed against all odds. It is the belief in freedom. Freedom to live. Freedom to succeed. Freedom from oppression.

The following short film shows exactly that. A man is facing some tough times, but he's still trying to make his way, against the odds. Being captured by the Las Vegas police isn't exactly an orthodox struggle, but going to toe with the declared authority is what founded the United States in the first damn place. In this piece you can watch as he takes an inner journey from despair to hope to belief and finally, to knowledge.
His despair arrives with realisation. The epiphany strikes, even as he cries out to an uncaring world.
"There's always someone trying to stop me from making my money." The tremored strain in his voice speaks of a life spent under the boot of oppression.
But watch. Watch on as this man, reduced to nothing but the being he is, reaches deep, deep inside himself and finds that spark. The spark from which wars are won and upon which nations are built.
This is it, he says to himself. I must fight and win, or vanish.
This is not some motivational mumbo jumbo. This is the very ideal, indeed the very idiom which spawned the United States of America as we know it today. "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" cried Patrick Henry to the Virginia Convention in 1775. Thus began the Revolution and the war for independence.
"Success is my only motherfucking option, failure's not," said Eminem, more than 200 years later, echoing an identical sentiment. Glory or nothing.
Our man in Las Vegas carries the same fight in his chest.
This is America. He takes a deep breath. I must be free. I will be free.
He speaks out loud. He voices his singular manifesto of freedom:
"I can break these ... cuffs"
The oppressor speaks: "You can't break those cuffs."
This is America, cries the spirit of every soul who ever fought for the dream.
What does this man do? In the face of all the odds?
Watch and be uplifted.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Anyone who missed out on a copy of my one and only book (so far) because you didn't think to have primary school age children at the correct time, now is the chance to correct your mistake.

Bid! Buy! Get!

If you're the lucky purchaser, bring it around, offer me a beer, make the sign of the burning wagon at midnight and I'll sign it for you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tony Smith - Chapter 5

Armed police hunt for 5-star escapee.
Published in The Advertiser
2 April 1999

HEAVILY armed police surrounded a southern suburbs house yesterday, believing dangerous escapee Anthony John Smith was inside.
The drama began about 9.10am when police were called to a domestic dispute in Florian St, Christie Downs.
When they arrived, they were warned 19-year-old Smith might be in the house.
Within minutes, police wearing bullet-proof vests cordoned off the area and STAR Division officers and a police negotiator were called in.
Two hours later, two men and two women emerged from the house and were searched and questioned.
No one was arrested or charged.
City police were also called in to search for Smith after an unrelated report that he had been seen leaving the Adelaide Railway Station about 12.15pm. Smith has been on the run since March 1, when he escaped from two prison guards as he was being taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital to visit his ill father. At the time, Smith was facing charges over the armed robbery of the Buckingham Arms Hotel on February 7. At least one shot was fired during the robbery.

On Wednesday, The Advertiser revealed Smith had spent 10 days and more than $2000 staying at the five-star Radisson Playford Hotel in North Terrace while on the run.

I'm still stealing snatches of time here and there, so I hope that finding out a little about one of my old school-mates keeps you going for a little while longer. While today's episode might seem a little anti-climactic, I'd like you to imagine the nature of the conversations and imaginings the cops were having with one another about Tony as they drove back down Main South Road with no one in the back of the wagon. I'd like you to put yourselves in the shoes of the two officers who had to put 40 cents into a Teltra pay-phone to make the call after watching Tony streak down a hospital corridor into the front page of The Advertiser.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tony Smith - Chapter 4

You thought I'd forgotten? That the story dwindled away?
No no no no no no.

I realise that pasting old news articles in as blog entries is particularly lazy, but I've been particularly busy of late and will blog about that separately. In the mean time, we travel about a month further down Tony Smith's path ... read on ...

Published 31 March 1999
The Advertiser

ESCAPEE and alleged armed robber Anthony John Smith lived it up for 10 days in Adelaide's newest
five-star hotel while police scoured the countryside for him.
Detectives tracking the 19-year-old fugitive have discovered Smith spent 10 days at the Radisson
Playford Hotel from March 7 to 17.
Smith ran up a bill of more than $2000, which he paid in cash.
It is understood that Smith disguised himself by dyeing his hair blond and possibly wearing glasses.
During his stay at the boutique hotel, Smith moved frequently in and out of the North Terrace premises
and stayed in a room with entertainment facilities and even fax modem access.
The cheapest rooms available at the Radisson Playford are advertised at $220 a night.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Campbell, the officer-in-charge of the Adelaide Investigations Section,
yesterday described Smith's actions as "brazen".
"As far as we are concerned, there is no question, he definitely stayed there," he said.
"It is unusual but who knows what he was thinking. I think you could say it was brazen."

Monday, August 3, 2009

In case you missed it

I'd like to take a break from my prose-less journey through the life of Tony Smith to express my jaw-swinging flabergastedness at The Age's insistence on skin. I've probably said it before, but it is impossible to look at, without seeing what the medical profession refers to as 'a bit of tit'.

Go ahead, zip over there right now, I'll wait. You are going to see cleveage, side-boob, bikini-stretch or just plain old chestage. Failing that, you'll definitely get a crotch, some thigh or, if the puritans are webmastering, the full-face model pout. But not often. For a news outlet, they certainly don't trust their readers to hang around for news. They have to insert some kind of female skin into the picture, just to be sure you come back.

Take this morning's Lifestyle section image and bear in mind that I haven't doctored it any way.
"What's this?"
"It's this morning's front page image for the Lifestyle section online."
"Hmm. Too subtle."
"People are going to miss the point. They will drain away from The Age and go and read The Onion or Crikey or something."
"Should I put a title on the picture or something? Let people know it's a fashion show?"
"No. No no no. See this section here?"
"Yeah ..."
"Drag across. Yep. Now enhance. Bigger. That's it. Now closer. Closer. Perfect. Now whack it right here, alongside the original."
"But isn't that a bit ... much? I mean why zoom in on the, uh, 'most important part' if you're going to leave the original there?"
"Are you kidding? We're not smut-merchants! Our readers just want a closer look."
"At this woman's cans."
"You'll go far."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tony Smith - Chapter 3

No, it's not quite over yet.

The artful dodger
Published 2 March 1999
The Advertiser

A PRISONER was on the run last night after escaping from guards as he was led into the Royal
Adelaide Hospital to visit his critically ill father.
Handcuffed and wearing an Adelaide Remand Centre uniform, Anthony John Smith, 19, broke away
from two Correctional Services officers as they escorted him towards a hospital entrance just after 2pm.
The guards chased him along North Terrace and Frome Rd before losing him in Botanic Park. They were not carrying radios or mobile phones so one had to use a public phone to alert police. A search of the area by police patrols, detectives and a police dog failed to find any trace of the escapee.
Two hours later a man fitting Smith's description and possibly wearing handcuffs caught a taxi from the city to Devon Park, the suburb where Smith lived.
He was being held at the Adelaide Remand Centre after being charged with the armed robbery of the
Buckingham Arms Hotel on Sunday, February 7. A Correctional Services spokesman said Smith had been given special permission to visit his father in hospital for "compassionate reasons".
He was being accompanied by an Aboriginal liaison officer and the usual two prison officers.
"We will naturally be looking into all aspects (of the escape) to see if all procedures were followed," the spokesman said.
Late yesterday, Smith was being sought by detectives from the Adelaide Investigations Section and
Operation Counteract, which targets armed robbers. Detective Chief Inspector Peter Campbell, officer-in-charge of Adelaide Investigations, said anyone seeing the escapee should quickly contact police.
"However, he should not be approached by any members of the public," he said.
About 4.45pm yesterday detectives searched a house in Plymouth Ave, Devon Park, after a report from a taxi company that a man fitting Smith's description had travelled there from the city about 4pm. The passenger was wearing shorts and a singlet.
"We called the police because the driver thought the man was wearing handcuffs he had his hands
under a jumper and he kept them together the whole time," said a spokesman from the cab company.
"He did pay. He had some cash in his pocket."
Smith is described as about 183cm tall, of athletic build with short, dark hair and with noticeable acne scars on his face.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32