kidattypewriter

Friday, April 30, 2010

Deadlines? I spit on deadlines!

Today, I spent 30 seconds composing a status update that should have only taken 10 seconds. On the other hand, I did leave work one minute earlier than I was supposed to. Who needs deadlines?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sentence

He used his Twitter page to say less with less.

Mraow!

Yesterday night I got home after having a dinner out, and found a fine white snow on the floor underneath the table. The cats, it turned out, had been making merry while I was out, and happily tearing up my latest copy of the New Yorker.

This morning I found a forlorn fragment of literature (from the same magazine) on the bathroom floor. Here is what it says:

structure by
flung compo
see their lo
with Al Q
and Zaw
and di
Che
M
O
a
t
O
n
I

(and on the other side)

ed
Bush
k in one c
broadly. If the
were meant in
e that would
opular in the
succeeded.
at a set of
errorist
good
alcu
he
d
e
.
t
e
s

It seems to me to be at least arguable that this is a marked improvement on the literary quality of the article in question.

Meanwhile, this morning the cats are sleeping on the chair, and in the box, respectively. They look positively mesmerising.

I have become convinced that cats, and possibly babies as well, are able to mesmerise one through the use of mind control beams and/or Soviet-style hypnotic suggestion. This theory seems to fit all the available evidence.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ignoring the behemothian beam in my own ocular cavity to cast out the sub-molecular mote in mine enemies' ocular cavity

Dear preposterous Antipodean popinjays of the popular press,

If I may be so bold as to ask: why has your attention been drawn by the brief use of a four-letter expletive in the film Kick Ass, where a character in passing says:

Okay you cunts... Let's see what you can do now!

I put it to you that there is a more pertinent problem than this dialogue: to wit, the blatant and shameful use of an American spelling in the film's title, that is, 'Kick Ass'. The word I am referring too, of course, is 'ass'. What is this 'ass' it is speaking of? Surely they mean 'arse'?

Accordingly, I would like to propose an alternative title for the film: you may find it somewhat unwieldy at first, but you will find it will be more in harmony with our own Australian dialect. The title is as follows:

Vigorously Placing Foot In Other Person's Posterior In Order to Induce Feelings of Satisfaction in Oneself and Feelings of Pain and Humiliation In Other.

As you can see, it summarises the theme of the original title in a precise yet thorough manner, and all in a perfectly acceptable vernacular idiom which the ordinary, everyday Australian would find to be quite comprehensible. Quite soon, conversations such as the following may be heard across the land:
A: Oh, what are you doing today?

B: Generally whaffling about in a nugatory fashion this morning, is my supposition... and this afternoon, I plan to see that film, Vigorously Placing Foot In Other Person's Posterior In Order to Induce Feelings of Satisfaction in Oneself and Feelings of Pain and Humiliation In Other. You know, the Hollywood new release?

A: How perfectly delightful!
Nevertheless, it does occur to me now that when giving the film the particular epithet 'Kick Ass', the filmmakers were referring to the practice of vigorously and violently kicking donkeys. While not endorsing this practice, I put it to you that, in order to dispel any ambiguity, the film be given the following title:

A physical, metaphysical, and moral examination of the most lamentable practice of vigorously and violently placing the foot in the front, back, sides, tops, or bottoms of donkeys, mules, or related animals, in the form of cinematic arts.

This title will quickly find its way into the local and national idiom and can thus be put to good use, as in the conversation provided above.

Yours,
as ever,
Tim of the Ts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Working-class interlude

My father, he worked in t'bog.
My mother, she worked in t'pit.
My son, he's an apprenticed plumber -
He works in t'shit.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Prepare to enter the temple of poorly-thought-out plot devices doom!

You know, all my life, I'd been longing to see a film where a guy is pursued by an army of sword-waving Thuggees up the side of a sheer mountain cliff on a rickety old bridge that has been cut in half right over the top of a thundering torrent full of ravenous crocodiles, and also with the forces of the British Raj thundering up the other side of the mountain to rescue him by shooting down the sword-waving Thuggees and not to mention as well the arrow-shooting Thuggees on the opposite cliff, but only if that guy is being attacked from right above him by a powerful priest of Kali who is attempting to rip his heart out by means of an eldritch magical spell uttered in an ancient Indian dialect. Just for the novelty value.

Well tonight, I realised that I'd already seen that film. And loved it; it had long been one of my favourite films as a kid: it was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Only tonight I couldn't really see the point of all that sword-waving-arrow-firing-spell-chanting-hungry-crocodilian activity. It really did seem like a lot of superfluous detail at once. Get a camera, shoot an action movie, and confront a hero with a sword-waving enemy: there you've got danger, thrills, terror, and adventure, in one handy shot. Then confront that hero with a hundred sword-waving enemies, and you don't have more danger, thrills, terror, and adventure: you compound the ridiculousness without increasing the enjoyment.

And the whole last quarter of Temple of Doom is like that, concluding with a chase scene that is not only incredible, but interminable. What was Spielberg thinking?

It's not all bad though. I still love the lurid, fabulous, and gorgeous scene-setting that leads up to the proto-comic-book chase scene. There is a great set piece right at the start of the film, with a Cole Porter song being sung in a combination of Chinese, French, and English, and Chinese dancers. The central idea - of a kind of descent into, and escape from, hell - is strong. The banquet scene (with live snakes being devoured by gigantic turbaned guards, and grotesque, grilled, gargantuan beetles, and chilled monkey brains) still works (I think it's that scene that really stuck in my memory from my childhood, a kind of Babette's feast for little-boys-who-like-eating.)

Yes, but were my snorts ripped? Were my buckles swashed? Were my spills chilled and thrilled? Oh, all right then, yes. I just wish the film had been shorter. Only half an hour or so.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Issue two!

My house, 10.00 PM - 11.00 PM, Tuesday night:

staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple
staple staple staple

DONE!






So... who wants a copy?

PS! Here is a picture of Beatrice and the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. The essay is 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' by Mary Wollstonecraft. If you buy a copy of my zine you will not get Beatrice or the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. These pictures are just added as extras.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

They'll be big twits, too

Contemplating getting a Twitter account and then only posting two twits, and then getting compliments from everyone on what a nice pair of twits I have.

No, it's still not worth it.

Wonders of Australian geography!

The Not-so-great Artesian Basin

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Let's have a little torque

You must be of some distinction,
Have a certain savoir faire,
Be quite fine in your refinement
With a knowledgeable air -
To argue heatedly
On types of anti-freeze,
To have RPM and RPH
Roll off like ABC's,
And most especially,
To talk of torque with ease -
And to know the difference twixt
A VB and V6,
Carbohydrates, carburettor -
And Grand Prix and grand pricks.


Monday, April 19, 2010

In memory of the unremembered

I had an idea for a blog post, but I forgot it. It would have been a really good blog post, too. I don't think I'm exaggerating too much to say that it would have been the single most hilarious blog post you ever read. But it would have been sad, also, and you would have looked at it, and nodded to yourself, and thought how poignant and transient everything in life is. It would have been a thoughtful blog post, whatever it was going to be about, but it would also have been a wonderfully light-hearted, whimsical and quirky take on life. Even though you may not have noticed it at the time*. All in all, I think it's safe to say that you would have been impressed by that blog post, perhaps not while you were reading the blog post, but later. If I remember what the idea was, I'll be sure to let you know.

Instead, you're stuck with this blog post, which is nothing much really. I mean, this is the sort of blog post that, if you wrote it, you wouldn't let other people know about it. It's a up-to-not-much blog post. It's a nothing-impressive-as-such blog post. I mean, it's a bit of a blip, really, as blog posts go. It is pretty dull, though not, unfortunately, so dull as to be one of the dullest blog posts in the world featuring on the dullest blog in the world, which are all really, excessively dull to such a superlative extent that it they are, in their own way, little art forms of dullness, and therefore, ironically, quite entertaining and perfect in their own way. No, this blog post is more your ordinary, mediocre form of dullness, which is just dully dull, in a dulling way. Sorry.

So this is just a post about the post that I didn't write, written to distract your attention from the post that I did write, but didn't write about, which was this post.

*I mean, it may have involved a pun like 'If you make a Swiss roll by pushing it off the hill, do you do the same thing with sausages'? But it would have stated this pun in such an exquisitely delicate way, with such perfect comic timing, that you would have been rolling** in the aisles, which in this case would probably have been your chair, with laughter. You really should regret my not writing that post.

**I'm not sure if you would have been 'rolling in the aisles' like sausages or Swiss people. But that's hardly the point, is it?

Word word word word word word picture

We were putting the finishing touches to another zine last night, the Baron and I. Or rather, the Baron was putting the finishing touches to the zine, while I looked on. The zine was the second issue of Badger's Dozen, and here's how the proceedings, er, proceeded:

- We put a number of Badger pictures in the opening editorial, which was called 'Badgertorial', just to make the point that this was written by a Badger.

- We illustrated a nice poem by nice Michael Reynolds. The poem contains a passing reference to nuns. So we put a picture of a nun in it.

- A short story by Eddy Burger called Light Is Evil was illustrated with a picture of an evil light-globe. I mean, it had fangs and everything (the light globe, not the story). And because there was space left over at the end of the second page, I drew a picture of a leaf, and gave it the title Portrait of the leaf as a slightly younger leaf, and stuck it in.

- A series of mock-DVD reviews by Tim about a television detective were illustrated by a duck. We gave the duck sunglasses and a pipe, which made it a detective duck. Oh, and the article concluded with a picture of Badger watching the television.

This illustrating thing is quite a lark, isn't it? So much so, that next issue of Badger's Dozen I'm toying with the idea of including a picture-that-caption competition - just like a caption-that-picture competition, but in reverse, so I'll include a caption, and you have to think of a witty picture to go with it. Something like:

"Yes!"
"Oh, tea again?"
"Rudolph, sitzen!"
"Ding!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Train trip haiku

No. No. No. No. No.
No. No. No. No. No. No. N... wait.
Yes! This one's our stop!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Never underestimate misunderestimation

I was late for the bus, but the bus I was late for was even later.

Never underestimate misunderestimation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

If people were like cats

SCENE:
Marguerite is sitting in the chair reading the paper. The door on the opposite side of the room opens and Geoffrey enters.

GEOFFREY: (Walks to the middle of the room and throws his hands up into the air.) Ooooohhhhhahhhhahhhoooh! Ahhhhhhoooohhhhhahhhhh! (Walks out of the room again)

(Marguerite continues reading her paper.)

SCENE:
Rodney, Rufus, and Sydney are sitting around a swish board room deep in a heated discussion about productivity, efficiency dividends, and so on. The door to the board room opens and Murgatroyd enters, with a large, dead rat in her hands.

MURGATROYD: (Carrying the rat up to Rufus and laying it down on the table in front of him.) Morning, Ruf. (Leaves.)

(Rufus bats at the rat with his hand. It spins across the desk to Rodney. Rodney begins to throw it up with one hand and attempts to catch the rat with his mouth. He and Rufus bat it back and forth between one another. Suddenly Sydney springs on the rat, etc etc)

Coming up: if cats were like dogs! If dogs were like anaerobic bacteria! And if mildew was like mould! The possibilities are endless, really!

Thoughts after attending the book launch of Miscellaneous Voices

1. Finally I got to meet Miscellaneous!

2. Disappointingly, book launches don't seem to involve any rockets. I had a mental picture of a book launch being like a rocket launch.

3. A vegan status is apparently not like a facebook status. Who knew?

4. Live reading of blog posts is a strange idea, but I did toss up the idea with Solid Gold Creativity and her friends of ad-libbing a new blog post on stage.

5. Free wine!

(That last one is not actually a coherent thought, which is rather appropriate, really.)

Link.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On the relephance of elephants

For some reason I keep on writing nonsense verse and nonsense stories that include elephants. I have no idea why. One could hardly imagine a creature that is less nonsensical than the elephant. The elephant is hugely significant. Or, at least, hugely huge, which is much the same thing.

A significant elephant.

Here is an elephant, and you can just see for yourself how significant it is. You wouldn't even think of doing ridiculous things with it, like swinging on that conveniently dangly trunk, or batting at those nicely floppy ears. You'd get pulverised beneath the elephantine feet of this elephantine elephant. That would be a pretty significant event in your life, all right.

People also make fun of penguins. This is outrageous and wrong. Here is a penguin:

An important penguin

Penguins are important. Penguins are so important that they are actually born with dinner jackets on. In the case of this important penguin (a very important penguin indeed, with the name of 'The Jackass Penguin'), he happens to have been born with his dinner jacket on, and his dinner spilled down his dinner jacket. That displays excellent foresight.

And then of course there is the frog:

The frog

On this point, I think Hillaire Belloc puts it best:

Be kind and tender to the Frog,
And do not call him names,
As "Slimy skin," or "Polly-wog,"
Or likewise "Ugly James,"
Or "Gap-a-grin," or "Toad-gone-wrong,"
Or "Bill Bandy-knees":
The Frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these.
No animal will more repay
A treatment kind and fair;
At least so lonely people say
Who keep a frog (and, by the way,
They are extremely rare).


Precisely.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The day the day off took the day off

Well this afternoon I walked into work and found that not only was K sick, but R was unwell, F was poorly, E was fine, but taking the day off anyway, RB had already finished, and RF was in the process of finishing, for the day.

In short, the entire alphabet except for T seemed to be either sick, unwell, taking the day off, or just about to leave for the day. Leaving a grand total of, er, me, to do all the work as it came in, in my typically unproductive fashion.

Thankfully, the work seemed to be taking the day off too, and as a consequence I have spent a good deal of the past six hours doing nothing, in an unproductive and inefficient fashion.

Exciting. Yes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Abjectification

Dearest reader, I have been remiss, but, even worse, I have been sadly neglectful of my duties to you. I have failed to tell you about an upcoming event, upcoming in a few days, that is. Even worse, I forgot to tell you about an upcoming event that is so upcoming that it has already happened. That's two things I haven't told you about, so I'll do it now, taking the second first, and the first second. (I hope that didn't make sense.)

1) On Tuesday, I went to a poetry slam with the theme '7'. It was hosted by Ben Pobjie, in the absence of regular host the Crazy Elf. I won it, too - though that victory of mine was more based around the fact that -

a) There were only three performers.
b) One of the judges was my brother.

So yeah, it was a fun event anyway. Ben did a great job of compering an event with an audience of only ten people (three of who were poets). The audience of ten people did a great job of staying an audience of ten people. And my bro Lachlan did a great job at complete and unmitigated bias (I knew it would come in handy eventually). And, um, you're all invited... *

2) On Wednesday upcoming, I'll be attending a book launch. What sort of a book launch, you ask? Oh, only the launching of this book, which I totally happen to be in. (Forgot to tell you about that, too. (And I got my copy in the mail a few weeks ago, and forgot to mention that, in addition. (Thanks Karen!))) You can come too!

So yeah. Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

Not that I'm going to make a big deal out of it, though.

*Though if you can't come for some reason come to a slam that has already happened, come along to next month's one! First Tuesday of next month, at the Alchemist Bar in Fitzroy!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Octapus!

Sticky Institute have a very good monthly newsletter. You can judge for yourself just how good it is from its title - 'Sporadic Correspondence from the Institute' - the regular updates 'From our Santiago correspondent', 'from our Perth correspondent', and the formatting (lots of '>' and '<' symbols, and frequent use of courier font). The other day I received my sporadic correspondence and scrolled down to the reviews, because I'd given them a copy of my zine to review recently. Sure enough, there was a review, but it wasn't exactly the sort that I'd been hoping for.
OLLIE THE OCTAPUS
Tim Train
(timhtrain@yahoo.com.au)
$2

This was kinda stupid. It's a comic about an octopus trying to become a porn
star written in an attempted kinda Dr Seuss style. It's pretty harmless, but there's a lot of jarring repetition and poorly worded blabber that make for a fairly tedious read. And the jokes along the way, nor the overall story make up for it. The author needs to tighten up the writing and get more succinct.

-MATT FORD

Do you remember when you were a kid and you’d read books like Spot and Cat in the Hat and they’d all use that rhyming way of talking which when you were a kid made the books really fun to listen to but now that you’ve gone through puberty you just find annoying and patronising? And they’d use made up words like “doctorpus’ and ‘schloop’ so everything would rhyme? Now that you’ve been taken back to childhood and you realise how irritating that way of writing is, you’ll understand why I do not like this zine. The story of the octopus with a disability who dreams of being in a porno is, frankly, lame. This zine is trying to achieve that whole kids story in an adult form, much like what I imagine Madonna’s first foray into children’s story writing would have been like and, to a futher extent, how I feel about Alice In Wonderland being made into a fashion trend, namely regarding it’s influence on women’s lingerie.

Either way, we all have bad zine moments. I can’t say whether this zine could have been good if it was formatted differently, but all I know is that I don’t really like it. I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam I Am.
I'm not sure whether the entire review was written by Matt Ford and some strange mistake happened in the editing, or whether there was a second anonymous reviewer. Strangely enough they had almost nothing to say about the element that I thought might attract the most criticism - my crappy, faux-naive illustrations.

One of my old music lecturers, a fairly well-known Aussie composer, used to say that he collected bad reviews, and would fondly quote a review of one of his colleague's piano concertos: 'This is the sort of piece that gives A major a bad name.' I think that's a good idea, and so I'll be duly adding this to my growing list of questionable reviews, quoted on facebook:
"I'm not sure if I'm old enough to read this, or you're old enough to be writing this" - Baron Alexis of Prestonvillia

"It has a split infinitive." - Prestigious Editor

"Also, aren't octopuses molluscs, not crustaceans?" - The Same Prestigious Editor

"Um, thanks. It may not get reviewed." - Person at Sticky on receiving free zine copy

"... TWO dollars?" - work person
Well, I kind-of-sort-of-may-have asked the Baron if I could put that first one in, but the rest are genuine.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I do like a good fnargle

A post about zines. If you have the time, you should read the whole thing, but I have summarised it here:

fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle ‘complete disregard for what a zine actually is’, fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle What I call a zine – the photocopied, cut ‘n’ pasted thing with typed and handwritten stories that are generally about everyday life – is fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle. As Anna Poletti rightly points out in her thesis-cum-book Intimate Ephemera fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle idea of ‘the creative’ is a symptom of a wider cultural malaise fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle fnargle.

Over 3000 words, and so many of those 3000 words being devoted to what a zine is! Why do people spend so much time fretting over the definition for a zine, citing thesis and doctoral research and deep cultural roots, wondering whether a publication is really underground, talking about what it means politicially, and so on? (Sometimes bloggers do this, too.)

I just want to make my zines and write my blog. All those other questions seem secondary.

Art criticism

A visit to the Bright regional art gallery the other day yielded the following observations:

1. Paintings of a number of disembodied heads of horses and dogs, making everyone wonder what happened to the disem-headed horses' and dogs' bodies;

2. Sightings of a number of paintings involving flower fairies, magical forest creatures living in mushrooms, and the like;

3. An observation that virtually all of the paintings at the exhibition could be improved by the simple addition of an extra element, say, an elephant;

4. A decision that the single painting of an elephant could be improved by the addition of a gigantic floating carrot;

5. A meditation on what the dear little puppies who featured in several paintings got up to in their spare time (sniffing other dear little puppy's bums, perhaps, or devouring gigantic slabs of flesh from slaughtered animals) and wondering why the dear little puppies were never pictured doing any of these things;

6. A decision that virtually all of the paintings present could also be improved by the addition of a gigantic flying robot dinosaur.

Well, no, I was the only one who decided that last one. Still, as a great man once said, 'I don't know about art, but I do know about gigantic flying robot dinosaurs, and they're bloody terrifying!'

Friday, April 02, 2010

Water way to run a station

ABC Coffs, Wednesday Breakfast program: Fiona Poole speaks to Ray Seaward about the difference between a storm and a flood. Seriously!

Sorry to be such a drip, but they just sound like a big bunch of wets.
Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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Me person. Live in world. Like stuff. Need job. Need BRAINS! (DROOLS IN THE MANNER OF ZOMBIES) Ergggggh ...