Wednesday, March 30, 2005

We're not starving

Now I suspect the Football Federation of Australia believe that a starving man shouldn't be choosey. And when they discover that the man isn't willing to eat the poor-quality shit dished up to them they blame the man instead of concerning themselves with improving the fair. This is what happened last night at Subiaco Oval.

Just under fourteen-thousand people watched Australia's second-string side beat Indonesia's second-string side. The FFA are allegedly complaining about the size of the crowd, but they have no reason to complain. The match was at best a poorly conceived and organised B-grade friendly between two out-of-form sides. It was allegedly all about raising money for the Tsunami Relief Fund. But I ask you, if the FFA really wanted to entice the crowd to spend their cash why choose to stage it on Easter Tuesday night? Who wants to go to work after a four-day break and then head out that night to watch two B-sides play a meaningless game of football? Under fourteen-thousand Perthites, that's who.

It's been 10 years since the last International was played in Perth and that was a 1-0 loss to Ghana. Last night's poor crowd showing will likely mean that it will be a long time before Perth gets another International. This will be a further blow to the already ailing sport. Anyone who has been to a Glory game knows what an intimidating place the crowd can make Perth for visiting teams. We love our football. There is no reason why we can't create a similar home game advantage for the Australian Football Team. If you give us a fair go.

A few years ago Cricket Australia was threatening to remove the Perth Test from the schedule because of poor ticket sales. What they failed to take into consideration was that the poor ticket sales reflected the poor quality opposition teams. We don't get a lot of international cricket here in Perth, but what we do get we expect to be of the best quality. Where two visiting teams would be playing Australia over the summer series the Perth Test would always feature the weaker of the those two teams. So it was no wonder that they received a poor turnout when the best cricket team in the world is up against Zimbabwe, or depleted New Zealand or English teams. Only the NZ game lasted more than three days and that was drawn. Cricket Australia seem to have realised their mistake and have taken measures to rectify it. The Perth Test featured Pakistan last season and will feature South Africa, for the first time, next season. We're not expecting to receive top-grade all the time, but we do expect it sometimes. Thankfully in the cricket world that is now happening.

Unfortunately, Australian football has a long way to go. The top opposition sides have always been reserved for the East Coast grounds. If the move into AFC pays off then, the FFA has an opportunity follow in Cricket Australia's footsteps and spread the good teams around. With quality International football the people of Perth will swarm the tables of the FFA, even on Easter Tuesday. All the FFA needs to do is provide a better spread. But until they do, there will be lacklauster support at best, because frankly, while we may be hungry, we're certainly not starving.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ask A Glass of Water

I'm determined to get into this pub thing: hanging out with friends over a drink or two - you know, socialising. Being normal people.

Having spent my teens and twenties as a miserably shy geek girl, however, I've never really grokked all those mysterious things other girls did like wear make-up and gossip and fuck boys and coordinate handbags with shoes. And not having grown up in Australia, I knew even less about drinking.

Last time I went pubbing (also the first time) I stupidly said I'd have a beer, too, along with everyone else. Four sips. And a bag of chips to get rid of the after-taste. Ee-yeuch. People enjoy this?

So this time I wouldn't have beer. I asked the bartender what I could have that wasn't beer (and that wasn't just a fizzy drink - pointless going to a pub for a lemon squash, right?), and she recommended a Bacardi Breezer with lime. Nice pick. I can really do this, I thought as I drank the stuff, I can drink at a pub and just chill and have a pleasant afternoon.

Now, alcohol is a poison. However attractively flavoured with lime juice. And since most people I know have been drinking the stuff since they were old enough to lie about their age, that means they've built up a certain amount of immunity to it. They can handle moderate amounts of alcohol, say one standard drink, over lunch and not fall over.

Me, I get drunk on half a glass of red wine. So.

Halfway through my Breezer, I felt the cotton wool start padding my grey cells. It didn't feel so bad. Five minutes after finishing the bottle (remember, one standard drink) I was flushed. I could feel the warmth in my cheeks. It still didn't feel too bad.

We left the pub, and the headache began. Then the nausea. And for some damned reason, the flatulence. I was not happy.

Skribe thought it was funny, but then he always finds my misery hilarious.

I was, of course, hungover, and it being the middle of a hot and humid afternoon didn't help. The hot chippies, jam tart, and bottled water didn't help much either. Being dehydrated, and adding a diuretic into my system essentially meant I would have to put a whole lot more liquid back into the system to wash out the alcohol.

Largely all I've done since coming home is drink water and sleep. At one point, I could feel my eyeballs throbbing. Weird. I still have a headache whenever I'm upright, and I'm getting really tired of all those little side trips to expel all that water I've been ingesting. And I still have a headache.

Skribe informs me that we're going pubbing again next Friday. He reckons I need more practice drinking. That I'll get used to it soon enough.

And I find myself thinking, as must have every other novice drinker out there since the first alcoholic beverage was fermented, that it's not drinking that's the problem - it's being drunk. Why, what's wrong with being drunk? Douglas Adams said it best: Ask a glass of water.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mysteries of the Universe #1701

Skribe and I both dreamed Star Trek last night. In full glorious 60s technicolour. We do not know why.

We've both been busy, it's true. Real life and deadlines have been chewing up processing time in our heads such that when we do unwind it's by distracting ourselves with DVD serials - he's been compulsively working his way through 24 and I've been absorbed by The Last Exile. In fact, I can't get that damned opening theme out of my head. It's like Nine In Nails gone philosophical, with bagpipes. And a seriously rocking video clip.

So where did the freaky Star Trek dreams come from? Why on earth did we both dream Star Trek (and old Star Trek at that) on the same freaking night? Mind you, they would have both made fairly decent, if very 60s, old ST episodes, but that's completely beside the point.

The point is that it was a bloody odd coincidence, the sort of odd coincidence that starts you questioning the unlikeliness of it being a coincidence at all, and wondering if there really is a pattern to all events - however difficult to discern. And if there is, what the hell two people dreaming about stories set in a (sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes hokey 60s) SF TV show could possibly mean.

If there is any meaning to this universe, it's a damnably stupid one.

PS: And when in doubt, blame the cat.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Harmony Week: the Aftermath

Officially, it's over. But for some of us, it's still ongoing.

"Hey, I saw you on TV the other day!"

"Thanks. Could I have a wholemeal loaf, please?"

Pre-production was a challenge. Why did the doctor absolutely have to be an African Muslim? Don't know, although we found one in the end. Well, she was Muslim, she was from South Africa, she was happy to play doctor for the cameras, and she had a great collection of headscarves.

All in all, we were a great cast, and we all had enormous fun, particularly in Northbridge, since we could dress up for that and just giggle ourselves stupid. Apparently, the director wanted Sex In The City. We felt more like Golden Girls. By half-past eleven, we all just wanted to go home to our families and sleep. The crew scoffed down the olives and the minestrone.

Funnily, on paper, our multi-ethnic cast appeared homogenously European. We should have made a game of it - match the name to the face: Bergmann, Boltman, Drysdale, and me. Who was which?

"Hey, your ad was on at 4am, man."


Post-production was an utter nightmare. Sometimes it seemed like we would never finish the damned thing to the satisfaction of the assorted sub-committees involved. Other days, it felt like every technical thing that could glitch did.

"Whoever heard of a woman construction worker?"

"She's supposed to be an engineer, or a safety officer. Something. There's a fire behind her, for goodness' sake."

"Oh, right."

Did the ad achieve whatever it was meant to? No idea. Harmony Week was duly advertised. Some of us got television experience and credit, and some of us got freebies, and some of us learned never ever to do this again.

And I still haven't been reimbursed my cab fare home from Northbridge, damnit.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Maybe I was brave, I don't know. At the time I was just doing the job, I didn't have time for other thoughts.

--Private Johnson Beharry VC

Friday, March 18, 2005

Lost in translation

The whole kafuffle over the AFL televising rights might be a little confusing to some so I thought I'd offer some clarification by translating some of Eddie McGuire's comments into English.

Let's not forget that this game of AFL football is still in a precarious economic condition

We won't be able to afford to have 11 clubs based in Melbourne unless the AFL royally screws its televising partner.

The competitive balance fund still keeps three clubs alive in Melbourne

Collingwood needs to have someone to beat.

Let there be no mistake, yesterday's announcement by channels Seven and Ten to join forces was a bold bid for the television rights and it is obviously also a deliberate effort to knock Channel Nine out cold, out of the auction for the next round of television rights

Let there be no mistake, we don't like our own dirty tricks being used against us.

This is also a major push to get the rights at bargain-basement prices, which will happen if Channel Nine is out of the game and out of the auction.

We abhore a free market unless we're the ones getting the bargain-basement prices..

The AFL has to do what is right for the short- and long-term survival of the 16 clubs in the competition, for the good of the players, so that young athletes want to play AFL football and most importantly, for the good of the supporters and the members.

The AFL should continue to throw good money after bad.

We are not done at Nine. Not by a long shot. We have a bloke called Kerry Packer who has forgotten more about this caper than the blokes we are up against will ever know. For the sake of footy, Kerry Packer, big Kerry, had better come up with something, because I tell you what, we are headed straight back to the old days if the money is not there, if there is no auction.

My job is on the line unless Big Kerry is willing to fork over at least half-a-billion.

It is not who throws the first punch in a fight, it is who throws the last.

I'm screwed.

There will be lucky to be eight clubs left in the competition if the competitive balance fund goes

We prefer to prop up eight financially unviable clubs at the cost of millions of dollars per season so as not to upset the few remaining supporters.

I hope that helps.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


The book is everywhere. There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true.
-- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop of Genoa

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

No Cannes Do

After the disappointment of being rejected by Eat Carpet yesterday, today we discovered that we had missed out on selection for Cannes. Not that we were expecting to be picked, but it would have been nice. It seems it is going to be one of those weeks. Oh well. Look ever forward.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

No Eating

The wait is over and it's all bad news, I'm afraid.

In January we submitted our film, The Audition, to Eat Carpet. I finally heard from them today. Unfortunately, they didn't accept it claiming budgetary concerns. I'm not sure whether that's just stock-standard bullshit that they tell everyone or whether it's true owing to the fact that they would have been forced to write a big fat cheque as a result of The Audition being 13 minutes long. They pay by the minute.

So, The Audition will not be doing the Eat Carpet thing.

Equal Rights

Do you feel that others should have more rights than you? Should geographical location be the sole reason for granting said increased rights? The Western Australian Farmers' Federation seems to believe that those that live in the country deserve more rights than those that live in the city.

In WA we currently have a gerrymander for voting in our state parliament. This means that it takes less votes to win a country seat than it does to win a city seat because the electorates are made up of fewer people. Effectively, this means that those living in the city have less voting power than those living in the country. For instance, the seat of Albany had roughly 14,500 voters in the recent election, whereas Wanneroo had a little over 31,000. That's over twice as many people. So what, you might say. Country people need all the help they can get. Yeah but it gets really silly when you consider that Mandurah is considered to be a country seat, whereas both Rockingham and Peel are city seats. Basically, it's a stupid system and badly outdated.

The Labor Party have been pushing for years to have it changed, mainly because the gerrymander favours the conservatives - in particular the Nationals. However, the legislation has constantly been blocked by the Legislative Council, which has an even more ridiculous gerrymander. There are just over 68,000 votes in the Mining and Pastoral Region, as opposed to just shy of 400,000 in North Metropolitan. The last time the legislation lost by one vote.

The result of the latest election could change all that. Unlike the Legislative Assembly, which changes immediately after the election, the make-up of the Legislative Council doesn't change until May. As a result Labor may have two opportunities to push the legislation through the upper house. Either through a majority in the own right in the new Council or with the help of the independents in the old Council. We can only hope so.

We need an end to the gerrymander. We need this legislation to pass. If Geoff Gallop manages nothing more in his tenure as Premier he will have done a great deal for this state. We need one vote, one value. Only then will all the voters in this state have equal rights.