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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kirby Is Our Homeboy

In less than a week, the High Court of Australia will say goodbye to the Honourable Justice Michael Kirby, when he leaves just prior to his constitutionally stipulated retirement date of his 70th birthday.

To many, his Honour will be remembered for his liberal views, high rate of dissenting judgments (and being damn proud of it) and advocacy of gay rights.

For me, I'll remember him for doing some ripper cameos in the Revue for us. He was a great sport about doing this one in 2006...



He also did a quick direct to camera spot to open the 2004 show (which I don't have access to unfortunately), where he said something like
"Hello, I'm Michael Kirby and welcome to the Law Revue. Sit up, pay attention and no messing about in the stalls. That's a unanimous decision of the High Court. No dissents.
And while that was cute, I felt it was a comedic opportunity wasted.

So luckily, he happened to be coming back to UQ in early 2006 to give a speech about his ten years on the High Court, and we snagged him for about ten minutes before he had to give the speech. He nailed it in one take, even ad libbed the banging of the table and "think original" (which happened to be the theme of his speech).

He talked to us about his fondness for the recently deceased Harry Gibbs (the former Chief Justice after whom the moot court at T.C. Beirne was named) and we had a photo snapped of us in front of Sir Harry's portrait. I never did see that photo, but it was very cool thing of Justice Kirby to do for us.

Happy retirement, Your Honour.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The "Me" In Melbourne

I'm writing this entry from an internet place on Elizabeth Street in Melbourne, where two seats away from me, some weird overweight guy is watching porn. Decorum, dude. Seriously. There are dozens of peep shows and private booths on this street you could be at - I think I even saw a sign for a place for internet porn viewing called "The RAM Lounge".
Nice porn pun.
A pornpun.
A porun.
Stop James.

Hehehe... RAM...

Anyways.

I'm in Melbourne for a few days. And just thought I'd share a bit of my trip.

Wednesday - woke up at 2:15AM for Barack Obama's inauguration. Loved the Dr. Strangelove references about Cheney in his wheelchair. Aretha Franklin was great but not the powerhouse performer she usually is. Maybe it was the cold. The stumble was akin to the Olympic torch stuffup at the Sydney Olympics. The world held its breath, but in the end was okay. I thought it was a beautiful moment. Obama knew something was wrong. He's smart. It felt like a beautiful metaphor for the overall picture - after years of president who's terrible at speaking in public and made some pretty bad calls, this is a guy who's smart and on the ball. It was a relieving moment.

So I didn't go back to bed after that - I stayed up and watched the sun rise. We left the house at 5 to get on a 7AM flight, landed in Melbourne about 10AM. Our apartment was in South Yarra - excellent location for public transport because it was very close to Toorak Road and the South Yarra train station (which has a tram stop right in front of it).

We all split up for the next few days because I'd done the tourist thing of Melbourne already - I just did my own thing.

During the day, I checked out the Australian Centre for Moving Images' exhibition called "Setting The Scene" - a German-originated exhibition that was added to by the Centre about art direction in movies. Some cool exhibits that give a bit of insight into the choices made by the production designers of loads of movies including Metropolis, The Shining, The Matrix, Dogville, Dark City, The Terminal... the centrepiece of which was Baz Luhrmann's Australia. They had the living room of Faraway Downs recreated, a whole load of diaramas, schematics, blueprints, productino photographs, and a theatre where the movie itself was playing.

Wednesday night, we went to the Regent to see Wicked. Great production values - you could see why it costs $110 a ticket. We got a performance with understudies for Elphaba, Fiyero and Boq (no Millsy or Anthony Callea! :( ) and Lucy Durack (who plays Galinda/Glinda) had to pull out at interval. So we ended up with FOUR understudies. Oh well. It was still very good. Patrice (who played Elphaba) was excellent.

There was some promotion where you could get some Wicked stuff sent to your phone but I couldn't get the goshdamn bluetooth on my phone to work. So I missed out.

Thursday morning - we all slept in till 10:30. We were all awoken by a guy with a chainsaw next door hacking down a tree. Thanks man.

Spent the day looking around the shops again. Met Daniel (Pizzato) for dinner - a Chinese restaurant which serves its food in quite sizeable portions but for very cheaply. Very good.

On a whim, I took my brother to see Shane Warne The Musical at the Athenium (directly opposite The Regent where Wicked was playing). It was pretty damn good - a lot of the same crew as Keating! The Musical, and some very good songs and performances. It's not as controversial or defamatory as it could have been - there's nothing in it that isn't already public knowledge about Shane Warne. If anything, it still paints him as a loveable hero. A flawed loveable hero. Eddie Perfect is fantastic - he wrote and composed the whole show, and there's some very good songs - and Rosemarie Harris is excellent as Simone Warne.

In the interval, I walked over to the Regent to try and get that Wicked stuff on my phone again. I failed again.

Today we did the Australian Open. Mum and Harry (my brother) already went on Wednesday to Rod Laver to see my mum's celebrity crush Roger Federer. Since he did not come with us to dinner on Wednesday, I will assume he was just too far away from her to hear the invite.

I spent about two sets in Rod Laver Arena watching Delic v Djokovich. We had pretty good seats considering the seats across the aisle were corporate seats paid for by Australia Post. Since nobody was there at the start of the match, Dad pinched one of the thick tournament programs worth $15 sitting there.

The feisty Serbian contingent in the crowd had a chant for Novak (Djokovich) that sounded eerily like 'Nicorette! Nicorette! You can beat the cigarette!" Lazy. I just saw an episode of Malcolm In The Middle where Malcolm spends two days writing a beautiful love song only to realize he's ripped off the Meow Mix jingle (I love chicken, I love liver, Meow Mix, Meow Mix please deliver.) This is what I thought of immediately.

I noticed there were five ball boys - well, ball people, I suppose.
Including one ball lady.
I'm sure I saw a thong poking out the top of the back of her pants as she leaned forward in anticipation of chasing a stray fuzzy yellow tennis sphere.

Five ball people at one end seemed excessive. Three is a good number. Not five.

I casually asked Mum who ended up winning the Brisbane International. She mumbled something with food in her mouth.
"furdutchshto..."
"The Dutch Star?" I asked.
"furdatchko..."
"The Death Star?" "Wha?" she garbled, swallowing her last bite.
"The Death Star won the Brisbane International? That's what you said."
"No."
"I didn't think so."
"Fernando Verdasco won."
"Right... don't know him anyway."

When I gave my seat over to Emily (my sister), I went over to Show Court 3 where the Williams sisters were playing, but the crowd of people, the heat and the hostility that is the result of the combination of these two elements made want to seek shadier places. I went back to the city to have another look around the shops and write all this in a blog before I forgot.

And that's pretty much my life up to this moment.

Flying home tomorrow evening into a storm and backed up videos to make.

The saga continues.

Love from South Yarra,

James

P.S. With the Oscar nominations announced last night, the Houston Press linked to my Crash/Avenue Q mashup in a blog post about undeserving Best Picture winners. Cheers. :D

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Google Owns It

A quite random song about Google I wrote in ten minutes then spent several hours recording and editing a video for.

Spontaneous and fun to do. :D

But I really should have spent the day doing other things. :p

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Med Student Videos

I was just casually browsing the interwebs and discovered what became of some videos I did editing work on for AMSA, the Australian Medical Students Association, last year...

A*M*S*A*



Get A GP (parody of The Prodigy's controversial Smack My Bitch Up video)


Early Streaming


Student Training Capacity (a spoof of the climax of The Thomas Crown Affair)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 In Fireworks

Happy New Year everyone!

On the 6PM news bulletin last night, the fireworks organizers in Brisbane (or "pyrotechnists" as they called themselves) said that the midnight fireworks display over Southbank would be a display titled "2008: The Year That Was".

Most unoriginal title ever.

But I thought to myself how on earth they would represent the events of a year in firework form and in such a way that people could actually identify the events they were depicting.


3... 2... 1... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

[sing Auld Lang Syne]

[play Coldplay's Vida La Vida now]

Oooooooh... pretty.

There's Heath Ledger's death...

... and that's Kevin Rudd apologizing to the Aboriginal people...

Look out!! The Corey Delaney firework is going to destroy some property.

WOAH!! 250,000 fireworks just appeared at once in the shape of a crucifix? Must be World Youth Day. They're probably going to make the other fireworks sick with the flu.

Kevin Rudd: "Is this Bill Henson's part of the fireworks display? Disgusting..."

Here's the ABC Learning Centre fireworks segment - now Eddy Groves has insisted that, despite rumours, these fireworks are fine and solvent and parents don't have to worry. ... oh ... oh no, they've stopped them.

OOooooooh, that Barack Obama firework is MUCH bigger than the John McCain one. The McCain firework is probably nearing its use by date.

That brown firework... that must be the poo flavoured ice cream from that hotel...

Oooh, that pretty red one must be the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. But I think they're using the sound of a less attractive but actually talented firework.

Look out!! The Corey Delaney firework is coming back! It won't go away! It just keeps coming back.

Okay... big finale ... wait... wait... here comes the Baz Luhrmann's Australia firework... it's going to be huge... wait for it ... WAAAAAAIT FOR IT.... ...
... ...

... huh ...

.... well, that was disappointing.