Mechanically Separated Chicken.

Saturday, March 30, 2002

The centre of the disc collapsed under Bellow's thumb, leaving behind a ragged metal edge, like a circle of tiny gold teeth.

He grunted in satisfaction and flicked it over to Gunn. "Told you, it's a fake," he said, "The real ones don't get fried by UV like that."

Gunn, incredulous, held the disc up to the light and inspected it. "Chinese?" he asked.

"Maybe," replied Bellow, "or Argentinian. Irish even, who knows? It's the new Get-Rich"

"I just hope this one's traceable," said Gunn, dropping it into the evidence bag and clicking the Here-Boy for the 'mover. "No leads means another month in Licensing for me. And I need the Cold-Hard."

"Quit your grousing," said Bellow, sliding heavily into the 'mover beside him, "The lab work'll come through on that thing and we'll be singing pineapple songs all through August. You just gotta be patient."

He stretched lazily in his seat and adjusted the line-goggles, taking his time to set up the Station co-ords while Gunn stared at the blinks in silence.

"Remember when this used to be fun? Like dancing?" asked Bellow softly, and pressed 'Go'.

After a click, the air started up like hot ozone and those lines, out in the distance like tiny yellow strips, elasticked slowly towards them. Bellow felt himself hooked by their warm spaghetti and, reaching forward to catch a couple in his fists, pulled himself ahead into a somersault that seemed to last a decade. He closed his eyes beneath the goggles, a smile stretched across his face.

Truth was, it was still fun, and for him -- as it always had been -- a hundred million times better than dancing.

Thursday, March 28, 2002


There are 106 people listed in my local telephone book with the surname of 'Bacon'.

I just counted 'em.

Oh, how I envy those people. I've wished my surname was 'Bacon' since the age of about twelve, when I realised that there were not one but two famous people in history called "Francis Bacon." At the time, I fantasised about changing my name legally, by deed-poll.

Kevin Bacon was never a factor in this childhood desire, since I saw Footloose for the first time only two years ago. (And incidentally, I would never change my name to become closer to Kevin Bacon. He is a dessiccated husk, comprised of cartilage, sawdust and chicken skin. Actual bacon, on the other hand, is crispy and delicious. That's what's known as a 'paradox'.)

At one stage, later in my teens, I also considered changing my surname to "Surname." Or, my entire name to "Firstname Lastname." Or, my middle name to "Xag Xag Xag." Or, more recently, my middle name to "Harmonica Egg-soda."

This is because I am a buffoon.

I do have a friend who changed his name from something very mundane and suburban to "Pugsley Buzzard Wateringcan." His signature is now legally an Alister-Crowley-style pictogram of a cross-eyed boy, a vulture and, yes, a watering can.

He is a jazz musician. He has a big, black, waxed moustache like Salvador Dali. He can get away with these things.

I, sadly, cannot. Still, one day I hope at least to give myself some extra middle names: something like "Meat Helicopter" or "Hat Jam Elevator." Or, "Britney Britney Britney Britney Britney." An absurd middle-name would be, I imagine, like getting a tattoo in a place you know will be discretely concealed by your clothes.

Only, much stupider.

Friday, March 22, 2002

The bourgeoisie and the rebel.

Holy cats. I can barely believe this. This blog has a freaking THEME SONG.

Davey Dreamnation currently sports an MP3 entitled "Hot Soup Girl," an epic rock odyssey concocted by my co-conspirator, Doctor P. It features the phrase "mechanically separated chicken."

Click here to download it.

I am stunned, to say the least. And humbled. But I suppose it should come as no surprise that a man who loves Hats of Meat would be partial to other innovative meat products.

Apparently, the MP3 will only be available on his site for a limited time. Go now!

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Six Metres of Separation.

People I've been six metres (or less) away from recently:

1. Will Smith. Proximity: two metres.

I was walking along Bourke Street a couple of weeks ago, looking for a bank, when I suddenly found myself into the midst of a throng. The tram tracks in front of the Village Cinema were cordoned off and the sidewalk was brimming with a crowd of people all standing on their tip-toes. Remembering that Will Smith was in the country to promote Ali, I decided to hang around on the off-chance; he's never been a real favourite of mine, but on the plus side he does wear good suits, has a certain grandiose, self-lauding charm, and has worked with Donald Sutherland. More than anything else, though, the idea of unexpectedly running into a Movie Star while on my way to the bank was pleasantly surreal.

The crowd was four deep, and when he finally arrived I couldn't see a thing; instead I contented myself with shouting "Six degrees of separation!" and "Jiggy! Gettin' jiggy wit it!". He ran around (or at least I assume he did, since I couldn't see him) yelling "Woo!" and "Aaaaali!" and other Will-isms.

Finally, he seemed to go inside, and the crowd, bored, dispersed.

But. A few minutes later, he came out again, and this time I happened to be standing in front of the velvet rope. He was running around in the middle of Bourke Street flanked by two impassive bodyguards, flinging around a few more "Woo!'s and yelling Ali quotes, and then he started to run towards me along the barricade, slapping hands and dishing out high-fives. I stuck my hand out for some Will-lovin' but he stopped about two metres away from it and swooped back into the cinema foyer.

So I never got me no Will-slappety-high-fivey-love.

I turned around and went to the bank. Later that night, at a friend's birthday party, I responded to the question "So, what did you do today?" with the answer "Nothing, really." The whole incident made a big impact on me, evidently.

2. Mark 'Chopper' Read. Proximity: less than six metres.

Since Chopper moved back to his old stomping ground in Collingwood, he has taken to shopping at the fruit and veggie shop right door to the one I work in. He was there today. I didn't actually see him, but a friend of mine who works at the paint shop around the corner was buying grapes in there and found herself bumping botchily tattooed elbows with him. So, if you measured the distance between the two of us at that moment (ie. through the wall separating us), you'd come to the conclusion that today I was less than six metres away from an (alleged) superstar murderer. Good for me.

3. Anonymous Peeping Tom. Proximity: One and a half metres.

This one's arguably the creepiest.

Some back-story. My previous house (which I moved out of two days ago) had an alleyway running alongside it, which my bedroom window opened up onto. My bed, meanwhile, was positioned right next to said window. Sometimes, on hot days, I even opened the aforementioned window. Not the safest arrangement, I'll grant you, but there you have it.

Anyhow, a couple of nights ago at around two in the morning, I'm sitting on my bed talking to a friend on the phone. With the window open. We're talking, and my eyes are kind of unfocussed, and I'm not really looking at anything in particular. We're talking about my friend's boyfriend, more specifically about his bad sportsmanship: a few days previously, they had indulged in a round of the Chinese board game 'Go,' which she had won. He, apparently, had not taken it well.

Meanwhile, the part of my brain that processes visual information is obviously clicking slowly over in the background, because as I'm talking to my friend, I gradually become aware of some movement in the darkness outside my window. I see a shape, like a large black bowling pin bobbing back and forth in front of the street light.

And then I think, No. That's not a bowling pin.

That's a head.

The head of a man.

Standing outside my window.

Of course, I'm thinking aloud this whole time, so I'm saying to my friend on the phone "Well, y'know, games can bring out some really primal reactions in people, because they put us back in that old childhood mindset about failure and the... hey... what's the... hey hang on a... sec there's a... there's a... I think it's a... MOTHERFUCKINGGUY OUTSIDEMYWINDOW!"

At which point I stick my head out my window and yell "HEY!" at the guy who is now running very quickly towards the street.

Now, you know all those horror films, in which the lone woman goes down into the basement - where the Ominous Scratching and the Putrid Stench of Death are emanating from - calling "Hello? Anyone down there?"

Well, I am that woman, because the first thing I do is say to my friend "Hang on a second," put down the phone, open my front door, walk out of my front door, and go into the alleyway. Luckily for me, he wasn't there; I'm not sure what I would have done if he had been, but I was mightily pissed off, and that may have given me the edge in any mano a mano action that may have resulted. Maybe.

Just to clarify, this guy was standing right outside my window, and I was sitting right inside it, so I'd estimate this one at a metre and a half.


Perhaps even less.


For the past few days, I've been thinking about that guy out there, and speculating about his motivation. My first assumption was that it was purely opportunistic voyeurism; in other words, he just happened to be using the alleyway as a shortcut late at night, suddenly found himself outside the window of a woman engaged in conversation, and stopped to listen, fascinated by the overlap of public and private.

Then I thought, was he casing the joint? To steal stuff?

To do something?

And then I thought, well, was he wanking?

I prefer the first and last options, since they involve him wanting to be out there - and the wanking thing doesn't faze me in itself since I've been exposed to a number of times in my life and (with one notable exception) have never found it to be threatening. At worst, it's sad; at best, entertaining. One day I might even tell you about my numerous 'stranger-spontaneously-decides-to-show-me-his-penis' experiences. The simple fact is, however, that I'll never know what this particular guy was doing out there - and since I couldn't see his face properly, it's even possible that I might run into him at the local milkbar, engage in light banter about the lovely autumn weather we're having, and never realise that it's him.

That would be nice.

Friday, March 15, 2002

You don't stop here.

Last night, I went to see Mulholland Drive with my friend Peter, and it was everything I could have asked for. Naturally, two hours of discussion were required afterwards to tease out the story threads to our satisfaction, and today, after hunting around on the net, I found an article over at Salon that pretty much jibes with our interpretation, give or take a few blue keys.

Once again I find myself ensnared in the Lynch Trap, ie. trying to solve the film as though it were a puzzle with a list of answers at the back of the book. Of course Lynch's dream-logic means that although there are threads that can be teased out, and certain subplots jigsawed into one another, not everything is supposed to make sense - some things are there just for texture, to add a layer of experience rather than direct meaning. I love this about his work, and there's a real painterly aspect to this film. But unlike, say, Lost Highway, where you're meant to just absorb the film as a gestalt, approaching it more as one would a painting or art installation than a piece of narrative fiction, Mulholland Drive actually can be solved. Kinda. In fact, I'm amazed by the degree to which it fits together - at least once you take into consideration the fact that it started out as a pilot for a TV series, and therefore may contain a couple of loose ends originally intended to be carried through into further episodes.

See, I like to think I'm all 'with it' and open to uncertainty, parallel truths and ambiguity; indeed last night as the credits were rolling, the theorising of the people sitting in the seats directly behind us had me muttering "It's not an episode of 'Murder, She Wrote,' for chrissakes." But then fifteen minutes later I was all over that baby like ants on a ham sandwich.

'Cause dream logic is still a kind of logic.

One more thing. Here are the first two episodes of Dumbland, Lynch's stupid little flash animation series. They won't blow your mind, but the idea of him drawing these with his i-mac mouse, doing all the voices and making explosive farting noises into a microphone on his desk has to be worth something.


Tuesday, March 12, 2002

It's possible I've sneezed over thirty times today.

Does that sound like a lot? Packing for next week's house move has made the air grimy with the kind of dust normally only encountered in cave exploration or crematoriums, and I've been forced to face up to a few home truths about my inadequate housekeeping, ie. that some parts of the floor - like underneath my bed, for example - haven't been vacuumed even once in the whole year that I've lived here. Nasty.

This is one of the side-effects of moving house - that the scales of denial fall from your eyes regarding how you actually live as compared to how you like to think you live. Those four bags of clothes I've been carting from house to house for the past three years and jamming beneath my bed frame? Never going to wear them. Never. The pants that need mending? Unlikely to get fixed. The enormous cardboard box stuffed with scraps of writing (poems, press-clippings, half-finished performance pieces, love letters, diaries and notes for a play I was once co-writing and which ingloriously never panned out) that I paid to have shipped to Melbourne when I moved here and haven't even opened in the three years I've lived here? An albatross, so to speak, slung around my neck. Better, surely, to set fire to the lot, write new poems and buy new pants? Of course. And indeed there will be new poems and new pants.

Yet you can also bet your shiny glass eye that all those crap, broken, redundant vestiges of a former life will be coming with me to the new house.

Hell yeah.

On another note:

Every now and again, I come across someone so achingly articulate it makes me curse my own lumpen brain. Bad, bad brain. This man, whose website I discovered this afternoon, is one of those people.

His name is Michael Barrish. He is a writer, living in Brooklyn. His website, Oblivio, features stories/journal entries describing such things as a recipe for burnt soup ("1. Begin with soup..."), the contents of his 'insanely sexy' bag, and an account of how he once got caught reading the diary of someone he had a crush on.

But my favourite so far is his heartbreaking story about a man writing a letter to an ex-girlfriend.

At this stage, having just discovered his writing, I can't yet determine how much of it is autobiographical. Though I don't think it really matters. Either way it is extraordinary.

Hello, my future girlfriend.

Here are a few things to listen to today:

Turn your speakers on and bask in the dulcet tones of Eugene Mirman, the marvellous crooning child. As with punk rock, Eugene sometimes gets the words wrong, but his emo is always spot on. Thanks to Kieran for this one.

Or, indulge in a little Dictionaraoke. Listen to your favourite hits from the seventies, eighties and today, sung robotically - but enunciated beautifully - by audio clips from online dictionaries. I've just been listening to the reworked 'Bohemian Rhapsody', and it's eerily reminiscent of William Fucking Shatner's version of 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.' Made my teeth itch.

Do what I do, and surf the net with this on in the background. Enigmatic, and disturbing in a way I can't quite put my finger on.

And This is just plain scary. On second thoughts, forget I mentioned it.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Panties? No. Manties.

Everyone needs to treat themselves once in a while. And that's why these are so great. Manties. They're panties for men. Big silky panties with bows and little roses and lace. And satin ribbons. For men.

Did you hear what I just said? For men!

Hooeee. Hoo! You see how that's funny? For men! 'Cause men aren't supposed to wear panties. Ladies wear panties.

You see that? That's some real comedy, right there, baby. It's gold.


Pure gold.

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

Hot Magma.

Okay, so I swallowed some magma. About half a cup, I think. And it actually was an accident, though try explaining that to the hospital staff.

Personally, I need someone to explain this to me: a mosaic of pictures of Sean Connery pointing angrily, accompanied by a loop of him saying 'you're the man now, dog.'

On second thoughts, its charm lies in its inscrutibility; I suspect that if you stare at this website non-stop for four hours, you'll recieve some kind of spiritual epiphany.

Some kind.

Sunday, March 03, 2002

His part in my downfall.

I'll miss Spike Milligan.

Three 'Spike' moments:

a) In the summer holidays when I was a kid, my dad and I would drive down to the beach and sit in the car listening to the Goon Show on the radio. Hello Min. Hello Henry. Consequently, my favourite pastries in the whole world were Eccles cakes, solely on account of their name.

b) During a summer holiday fling a few years back, the boy I was 'getting the smooch on with' and I were browsing in a second-hand bookshop when we came across Spike's Small Dreams of a Scorpion. I didn't have any cash on me at the time so I put it on hold, planning to return the next day. Unbeknownst to me, however, the boy went back to the shop, bought it, inscribed it and inserted a poem of his own about how much he enjoyed kissing me. I still have that book somewhere.

c) During a more recent summer holiday fling with an entirely different boy, I lay in his arms while he told me, in his charming English accent, about the time he met Spike. After waiting for hours in line to meet him at a book signing, he managed to stammer 'Permit me to thank you for the many years of pleasure you've given me,' to which Spike chuckled and said 'well well. thank you, dear,' in a voice tremulous but avuncular.

On another note, today's triumphs included discovering that the excellent Rocklopedia Fakebandica has finally (after a couple of pesky emails from myself and others) added the Zit Remedy from Degrassi High to their listings. I'm amazed by how satisfying that is.

And boy oh boy, I still wish I had a hat like Joey Jeremiah's.

Friday, March 01, 2002

Death to the Spit Take.

What is it with the 'Spit Take'? Everywhere I go on the internet at the moment, people claim to be expressing their amusement at each other's jokes by spitting liquid at their computer screens.

"Man, you made me spray milk through my nose! No, really! Really! Milk jettisoned out of my nose at membrane-rupturing speed, coating my keyboard and monitor with a goopy white film which now serves only as a reminder of your breathtaking wit. You owe me! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You are AWESOME etc. etc..."

Now, let's get one thing out of the way for starters: I certainly hope that these people are actually drinking milk when this happens, and not just manufacturing it via a gland in their head. Because that, frankly, would be gross. People who have milk-glands in their heads can keep that particular genetic anomaly to themselves, thank-you-very-much, since my tolerance circuits are already at smoking point just trying to keep up with furries and Elijah Wood fanfic erotica. So while I'm sure that the ability to squirt milk into your breakfast cereal by massaging a sac in the roof of your mouth would come in handy (particularly while camping), I have no desire to know about it. Talk to the hand.

Anyhow, the Spit Take has become the new cream-pie-slapstick cliche. Perhaps it was once actually funny or original to say that laughing whilst drinking made you aerosolize your apple juice; perhaps occasionally it was even true. The fact of the matter is, however, that when someone claims to have "spit coffee all over my desk," I conclude that they are either:

a) Lying,

b) Prone to regurgitating soft-brained schoolyard funnies long milked dry of comedic potential. Doh! Don't have a cow, man - oh, and by the way, do I make you horny, baby?


c) Incapable of properly ingesting fluid. Which actually is kind of funny, in a mean-spirited sort of way.

However, when I am Emperor, all this will be quite different. They will cower beneath me in the City Square as I issue my edict.

"NO MORE SPIT TAKES," I will roar, my orange hyper-colour robes incandescent with righteousness, and my bald, freshly-oiled pate gleaming in the royal afternoon sun.

Then I will sweep my sceptre through the air in my gnarled fist, for special emphasis. "NO MORE 'AWESOME'. AN END TO THE USE OF THE WORD 'AWESOME.' NOW PUNISHABLE BY DEATH!"

The crowd's ecstatic cheers will ring out like exploding shells, peals of black thunder, before falling silent beneath the intense gaze of my pale, beady, slightly watery eye.

I will fix them with this eye. Until they are affixed. With my eye.

"And NO MORE..." I will whisper into the hush.

"GODDAMNED..." I will hiss.

And then that will be the end of the matter.