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March 22, 2005


how goes it?
oh, same old.

the thesis is sort of plodding along. i'm involved in this project on lord of the rings and i hate tolkein and the films so goddamn much it's impeding the fulfillment of research assistant responsibilities. i hate thinking about the stupid goddamn film, the dull as dogshit books. and i've got tonnes of raw media to enter into endnote. urk. but we have a meeting tomorrow, so i have to get at it.
observations on lotr data so far:
1) it's a goddamn dull film.
2) tolkein was a goddamn dull man.
3) the films were insufferably goddamn dull.
4) it's a good thing i'm getting paid for this.
5) i am the only one who finds tolkein utterly goddamn dull. am i also the only one who doesn't feel Moved by an interminable bloody Quest narrative peopled only by hopelessly repressed, straggle-haired male characters? why aren't there any interesting female characters in this mess (don't comment - i'm not interested. i'm Set In My Ways on this one)? who the FUKK would want to shag a goddamn elf? they are so goddamn boring! and WHAT is with that Matrix accent/diction that's getting about? should we blame hugo for this? why can't anyone open their mouth properly when they speak any more?


but i struggle on. hopefully i'll find something critical in one of these articles. beyond the tax thing (which i probably made up in desperation. i forget...).

but the thesis is good. i love it. it loves me. thing is, this chapter is really big, and i really can't make it smaller. i keep making it bigger. i can't help it. i've just got a lot to say.
oh well.
will edit more tomorrow.

sorry about this uncomfortably personal entry. i know it's a bit of a trend. i'll try to be more urban gothic for you broos.
especially since The Mother sent me an email this week (#3), where she at once stated that she wasn't sure she "wanted everyone reading about me" and also that Dad was a bit niggeldy because he wasn't in it more.
The Squeeze suggested i write an entry in praise of dad, but i'm not so sure.
would that be compromising?

i keep meaning to write a serious entry where i outline my thesis, or some of the clever thoughts i've had lately, or discuss the Really Important stuff i've read lately.
but i just haven't done it.
seems the only time i really feel like writing entries is on the bus. not surprising, really - it's over an hour with nothing but reading, trying not to fall out of my seat (what is it with the 251 drivers?) and trying not to vomit to do.
seems my belly has rediscovered its travel sickness. thought i'd ditched that with adolescence. nope. i don't know what the deal is, but i'm pretty shitty about not being able to read on the bus anymore.
probably comes of not riding on buses or in cars much anymore. you don't get much motion sickness on a bike.

"work?" was posted by dogpossum on March 22, 2005 6:41 PM in the category

March 19, 2005

holy styles batman!

p>why yes, that is a broken template you see before you.

seems i'm not happy with a blog unless it's goddamn BROKEN.

i am fiddling with dogpossum. it may or may not ever get fixed.
fukked if i know what happened.

"holy styles batman!" was posted by dogpossum on March 19, 2005 2:16 PM in the category

March 18, 2005

djing excitement

and the comments on the recent entry have made me think perhaps i should respond in greater detail.

and then i got to making pumpkin bread and putting up dj profiles on FSP - check them out there on the right hand column.
this interests me for a number of reasons. i think it's important to promote live swinging jazz to swing dancers in melbourne as part of an effort to Keep It Real, to keep us connected to the musicians. but i also think it's important to hang on to the vast wealth of music produced in the 30s and 40s and beyond and before these decades. i mean, you could dj every night for a year and never ever play all the amazing swing danceable music recorded. this stuff was KILLER good (i almost typed killer-diller, but held myself back).
despite this cornucopia of goodness available, there's an awfully big load of shit being djed in melbourne these days.
i am a purist when it comes to my lindy hopping music. if i'm going out to dance 'swing' dances - to lindy hop or whatever - i like the music to swing. sure, it's fun to dance to other stuff, but i can hear that shit anywhere. there are so few places available for me to go hear some good swinging jazz and dance some good swinging dance on a decent floor with a crowd of fellow devotees.
i do also believe that the music you dance to informs the way you dance. so if you're dancing to un-swing, your dancing won't swing. etc etc.

i think that we need not only to teach new dancers 'moves' and body stuff and the history of the dance (i think we need to remember the afro-american history of this dance. it's the scariest type of appropriation otherwise), but also about the music. swinging jazz isn't popular music any more. young people especially don't hear it much any more. they don't know artists or styles or song names. they don't know the difference between 'cool' and 'hot' jazz, they don't know who count basie was and how important he was not only to jazz but also to jazz dancers.
so i think teachers should play swinging jazz in dance classes.
this helps dancers develop not only a knowledge about swinging jazz and 'dance' music, but also their own particular tastes.
this is important because one of the defences i've heard for playing bullshit unswing carp music at dance nights, is that the 'new' dancers want to hear stuff they 'know'.

man. and these people call themselves a business? do they know nothing about creating markets for products?

so, i think - as well as playing decent music in classes - we also need to publicly discuss and demonstrate the importance of music and musical discourse through our attention to djs and djing practice. we should ask questions about how djs work, the music they play, their working conditions and levels of 'professionalism'. we should value our djs and the work they do, encourage them to explore music and how to play it, value their own contribution and take their role in the community seriously.
and we should do this by talking about djing.

i also think it's important for dancers to get critical about the music they listen to. they should start asking for djs to research music and seek out new material, to get historical relevency up them, as well as exploring contemporary works.

so i'm doing my bit through promoting local melbourne djs on my website. maybe providing a list of djs in melbourne as i do bands and venues.

i also have lots of ideas about fostering new djing talent in the community. about how to encourage women into djing, and how to make djing accessible for people without the funds to buy big on cds.
just ask me.

"djing excitement" was posted by dogpossum on March 18, 2005 1:14 PM in the category

March 16, 2005

man, i shouldn't read anyone else's blog

Thanks so much for making me read this, zot. sure, it's a good looking site, but...

“I’m glad,” I told him, “that people like you and Bob Santamaria were around to fight against communism.”
Now, i wouldn't mock this young man's love for his grandfather, and i empathise with his loss, but this comment is laughable for so many reasons.

And it's followed by:

A few months earlier weÂ’d had another conversation, where I told him how IÂ’d changed my mind about socialism, that IÂ’d realised how its proponents didnÂ’t tolerate dissent. He was so weakened by illness that our conversation couldnÂ’t last long enough for me to tell him that it was also because I finally realised that government interference in economic matters was inconsistent with my uncompromising insistence on maximum personal freedom (provided that oneÂ’s actions do not infringe anotherÂ’s right to self-determination). I didnÂ’t get to tell him how a colleagueÂ’s argument that to achieve socialism (a thing this colleague desires) we would have to abolish individual subjectivity, fills me with horror.

Again, not to mock his obvious grief for his grandfather, or his love for this man. But hell, i am mocking his politics. And i'm certainly mocking his turn of phrase, his knowledge of cultural studies and 'knowledge' of film. In the stupidest blog entry ever he writes in a review of the film japanese story (which i didn't much care for either, but that's not really the point):

The rest of the film, which is about an encounter between an East Asian man and an Australian woman, has little to recommend it. My first grievance, which I commonly hold against Australian films, is that it indulges in a view of Australia that is dominated by the outback. Since the majority of our population lives in state capital cities and their suburbs, this prevents such films from accurately representing Australian life even as they use farms or ‘the red centre’ to visually signify their Australian-ness.

This imbecile is teaching at unimelb?
Check his IQ: top zillion percentile. Says so right there, under 'skills' in his resume. I want to marry this guy.

No wonder unimelb shat me. I have only this to say:

Australian films which do not feature the outback (that i can remember):
'Death in Brunswick'
'strictly ballroom'
'dark city'
'ghosts of the civil dead'
'children of the revolution'

i could go on and on and on... and i'd like to say to this misinformed fool: you need to get some australian cinema up you, cultural studies boy.

"man, i shouldn't read anyone else's blog" was posted by dogpossum on March 16, 2005 1:53 PM in the category

March 15, 2005

i procastinate

things that have happened lately:
- we buy a breadmaker. i know, i know, it's almost like we want to be mocked, but hell. i had some cash, the squeeze eats more bread than a dutchie and the p's were in town and we all know what the p's are good at. yes. shopping. so we did. we could have done with a larder to put all kitchen shit in, but it was not to be.
- i make lovely multigrain bread.
- i burn my left forefinger on the breadmaker badly. enough to make me take pain killers and sit up to watch an extra hour or two of battlestar galactica until it was waaay past my bedtime. it makes typing hurt.
- the p's visit, we go see cirque de soleil, we go out to eat a lot.
- we go (with the ladies) to eat roti at the amazing roti joint on sydney rd (east side, south of melville rd but north of albion). we eat muuuucho. food = excellent. joint specialises in malaysian, indonesian, indian and singaporean food. clientele reflect this. except for squeeze, crin and i: 100% skip. will return. especially as it was chhhheeeeaaaap and 'just like home'*.
- i work on freeswingpress but really amn't very good at it. the more i learn, the higher my ambitions. the less done it gets. i get cranky.
- i ignore
- i go nuts for yoga at the rathdowne yoga room. i love it. the gym is abandoned. utterly.
- i learn to do the waggling swivelly foot thingy in 20s charleston. despite having 'learnt' the dance about 4 years ago, i haven't learnt the proper feet before. i have no excuse but laziness. but now i can.
- i teach a couple of chicks the 'swivels in 60 seconds' technique (a la bill borghida, current teaching idol) at a dance night and see one do the most amazing swivel i've ever seen, ever. truly amazingly amazing. the other huzzahs and adds it to her lesson plans for next week. thank you bill borghida: bringing de lindy hop in all it's technical goodness to dancers everywhere.
- we barbeque a lot. the xmas bbq is thoroughly worked. cancer seems ineveitable.
- i make amazing salad. virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil = A1.
- the squeeze gets into tango in a big way.
- i lose interest in tango owing to extreme tedium of following at total beginner level and lead-heavy numbers making leading in classes frustrating. i don't go to tango classes and the squeeze, guilt-ridden begs me to come so teacher will have students. i fob him off with ready-made excuse about yoga obsession.
- i miss out on seeing the lovely grace at tango (back from europe).
- i plan a hair cut.
- i put photo of self on front page of freeswingpress and wonder if it's wrong. but secretly admire self dancing with lovely zee-from-singapore.
- redefine meaning of secretly
- i admire self with short hair and long for hairdresser appointment.
- i write two chapters in a fortnight and gloat.
- i do no uni work for a week and find it difficult to get back into work.
- i procrastinate. to the degree of writing on blog after extended hiatus.

*D says

"i procastinate" was posted by dogpossum on March 15, 2005 2:29 PM in the category