Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Four kilos in three weeks - gone!

Michele once told Romy that she was 'so lucky getting mono - that was like the best diet ever'.

But I'm thinking the Paris Diet might just earn this mantle. No dieting, no exercise, no carb-conciousness - just princess tanties combined with obsessive paranoia. Easy breezy.

Which has-been 90s actress will they use to spruik the Paris Diet here in Oz? Kymmy Wilson? Sophie Lee? Alyce Platt?

The mind wobbles.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

P - R! We - PR...Things! Concepts! Happenings! Horny Corny!

Having a PR partner has its advantages - for example, scoring tickets to Saturday's Make-a-Wish Ball at Luna Park. Ironically, I haven't had an occasion to don the penguin suit for years, so playing dress-ups was fun.

The best bit for me though - and the reason why I'm blogging about it - was the chance to experience a magical moment in Aussie soap B-list history. You see, my table was next to the 'celeb' table, featuring Homo & Gay's 'superstars' the dude who plays Lucas, Lucas' dad, umm, Peter...and the chick who was on Blue Heelers, just finished a stint as Dr Evil on Gaybores and is now playing the guy with the hot body's mum - presumably she gave birth to him when she was 4. (I'm genuinely ignorant of H&G actor names - proud Gaybores tragic only).

And...the great Cornelia Frances.

No hyperbole, Cornelia has been in possibly every single Oz drama ever made. The Box, The Restless Years, Prisoner, Sons & Daughters, H&G, and probably her most memorable role, as Matron Dorothy Conniving Bitch Scott in The Young Doctors.

And it is the latter role that is the subject of today's sermon. For you see, the Ball's MC for the evening, Mark Holden, also used to be in Young Doctors, harking back to the days when he was significantly younger and actually not completely unfortunate-looking as he is now. Anyway, Mark thought it would be the height of hilarity to ask Cornelia to stand up before the seated audience of, oh, say, 500 people, and point out that in the days of 'Doctors', he used to refer to la Frances as 'Horny Corny'.

HC, as mortified as the stunned-silent crowd, managed a rather meek retort of 'nobody has called me that for a VERY long time'. BUT - later, my schmoozing PR boyf took to having a fag with HC outside, and reported back to me the ciggie conversation he'd had in which she essentially posed the question - and using this language - 'what the fuck did that fucking idiot Mark Holden think he was doing?' (*drag*) 'Fucking horny Corny my arse, stupid little fuck' (*drag*)

And so on.

We later saw HC and Mark 'kiss and make-up' - although I think it required all of Corny's acting skills to go along with this grotesque facade. As always, the truth of any social event can always be found at the smokos.

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Horny Corny gives her best bedroom eyes.

A night of much fa-faing, rhubarbing and air kisses otherwise made tremendously more enjoyable by this particular cherry. Oh, and Judy Nunn should see Paula Duncan's botoxer, as the latter still looks pretty serviceable while the former now looks more haggard and masculine than her widower Alf Stewart (I think I heard somewhere she's not a well woman, however, so apologies in advance if it's nothing she can help).

I didn't mind doin' it for the kids.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Round 12: FIGHT!

UPDATE: The HREOC report is unleashed.


(Title comes from me recently playing Mortal Kombat 2 on PS3 and rediscovering my inner 12yo. Not in that way. Eww.)

Anticipation of responses to this latest finding on gay marriage - 57% in support, but even more encouraging, 71% in favour of full de facto equality:

1. The survey was commissioned by GetUp!, a Labor front organisation designed for the sole purpose of undermining the Howard government. Insert additional cliches of 'David Hicks fan club', 'climate change fundamentalists', 'friends of Middle Eastern terrorists' etc here.

GetUp! certainly did commission the poll - nevertheless, Galaxy did all the work. 1100 people across all States and Territories. And the Murdoch rags - particularly the Gazette - had no trouble believing the 100% accuracy and integrity of Galaxy when it recently highlighted a resurgence in voter support for Howard.

2. Stupid poll, polling 16 and 17yos who don't even vote.

Again, true - but the 16-24yo group were the strongest supporters of same-sex couple equality - 82%, no less. Sure, Howard doesn't need to worry about them now, but assuming he wins this election, he may have to come the 2010 election when they're voting age.

Plus, they simply reflect what is already known: The strongest anti-queer prejudices lie with the older generations, and are dying a slow but inevitable death.

3. John Howard isn't driven by polls - he's driven by what's right.




Still, as the poll-driven back-pedaller he is he won't resile from this issue. A poll commissioned tomorrow could reveal a million Australians supporting gay marriage, but unless a/ they're all in marginal seats, and b/ it's an issue not only do they support, but they support strongly enough that it could potentially change their vote, he'll stick to his homophobia, which to his credit, he believes in personally as well as exploits for political mileage.

It's lovely that so many people support same-sex couple equality, it really is. But very few decide to vote/not vote for Howard based solely on this issue. He knows this and knows he can get away mobilising the religious right vote instead of doing his proper duty as an elected representative and reforming existing discriminatory law - after all, 4 election wins can't be wrong.

This poll also won't change anything with Labor, at least not before this election. Kevin Rudd's pitch since winning the leadership has always been poaching the dreaded 'aspirationals' - i.e. shifting to the right just enough to steal back capricious, interest rate-sensitive voters in outer suburban seats. He doesn't need to do anything for GLBTI voters other than the barest minimum so that there is at least some point of difference between Labor and Liberal - but otherwise, he can take most of our votes for granted. Sure, we might vote Green or independent above Labor but those of us concerned with equality will eventually preference Labor above Liberal - i.e. vote Labor.

It would be nice to think this poll, combined with tomorrow's launch of HREOC's Same-Sex: Same Entitlements report, will trigger a new groundswell of support and desire to act. But we've made that mistake with this government so many times before (Warren Entsch, anyone?), and with less than 6 months before an election, the only imperative the Liberals will have to act on this will be to save Malcolm Turnbull in Wentworth.

Encouraging poll results for sure - and cheers to GetUp! for getting the poll...umm...up - but not enough for anything to change. Not this year, anyway.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I just don't understand...

...What Dan 'Lobotomy for Jesus' O'Connor is still doing on Gaybores.

His sole purpose - SOLE purpose - on the show for the last couple of years has been bod candy - the faggolicious Gaybores writers contriving painfully obvious situations in which he can be gratuitously unclothed.

But between the dudes who play Frazer, Oliver and Ringo - not to mention the all-growed-up (but soon-to-depart) Boyd - that function really is more than covered. And on a good day, Frazer and Oliver can act a bit, too!

Dan's redundancy is particularly pronounced now with the arrival of Dannii Minogue's gay husband, Benjamin Hart:

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Presumably, Dan has a big fan base of target market girlies - his Christian City Cult Church sorority, no doubt - but are they really enough for the producers to warrant dragging him out this long? I thought happy clappers considered Carefree Barely There Liners blasphemous, anyway.

Perhaps it's the same people who watch(ed) Everybody Loves Raymond, NCIS, Numbers, and all those other piss-poor Ten shows that you never seem to know anyone personally who watches, but somehow they keep rating.

Irregardless, I'm confused. Nearly two years on the show and he's actually, somehow, gotten worse. You never expect the Royal Shakespeare Company on Gaybores, but Jan Russ has usually managed over the years to turn the young'ns from painful to barely competent - watchable, at least.

But man, she's REALLY dropped the ball with Dan.

PS -

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Opposition vows to halt Hawke's ascension...Oh, and so do the Labor Party

Current and former political figures have criticised the preselection of extreme right former National Young Liberal President Alex Hawke to the blue-ribbon seat of Mitchell, in Sydney's north-west bible belt. But Labor has expressed disappointment that nobody appears to be paying much attention to their criticisms, as the focus remains instead on the large and growing army of disgruntled Liberals Hawke has screwed over in his rise to the top.

'We had press releases, bad puns about hawks, even a song written by that wonderfully talented chap who wrote our national conference song all ready to go - and not a single bite from any of the major outlets,' sulked Federal Labor MP Anthony Albanese. 'I guess it's nice to see the Libs doing our job for us. At least now I can get back to my hectic schedule clinging onto the seat I hold with only a 21% margin.'

Hawke, Chief Flying Monkey of Bible-bashing white supremacist David Clarke MLC, has achieved the remarkable feat of earning contempt not just from Liberal moderates, but also people more closely aligned to Hawke's 'special' brand of politics, such as David Flint.

The about-face of Prime Minister John Howard, via proxy of Bill Heffernan, to support Hawke allegedly occurred during a series of 'friendly' questions in which Hawke made clear he would not publicly call for the death penalty of all homosexual men and women who have abortions - he would instead personally hunt them down under cover of darkness and bring about the 'purification' himself. Heffernan was reported to have salivated so much upon hearing this policy position that he requested a towel.

Howard is said to be happy to have a candidate in Hawke who will support his 'broad church' approach to the federal Liberal Party - by reinforcing his stated beliefs that any members of the Liberal Party who support an equal age of consent, supervised drug-injecting rooms, sympathetic approach to refugees or legalised abortion should instead join Labor, the Greens or Democrats.

Meanwhile, ousted ex-Liberal MLC Patricia Forsythe has applied to the Australian Electoral Commission to register a new political party, 'White Hawke Down'. The application process has been temporarily suspended while Forsythe seeks a bigger office and more office staff to accommodate the 2,782,392 people who expressed interest in joining the party via the WHD website. Former Opposition leader John Brogden has already been named party secretary.

Clarke, while feeding a hungry Hawke bananas, defended him against claims David Elliott, the defeated candidate, was a much more sensible option for Mitchell. 'Look, we shafted Broggie and put in our man Peter Debnam just in time for the election and look what a resounding success that was for the New South Wales Liberal party. Our way is the party's way of the future.'

69-year-old Cadman, who has held Mitchell since 1974, was reported to be grumpy when awoken to be told he no longer had a job, allegedly muttering something about 'whipper-snappers' and accusing a local branch member he'd never met before of stealing his stuff while the nurses weren't looking, before pulling a knitted blanket back over his knees and returning to sleep. It is unsure what Cadman will do in his post-political life, as nobody has any idea what he did when he was (allegedly) a politician.

This blog post was violently interrupted when Hawke's goons-for-hire were dispatched to deal with the stupid faggot writer who -

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Shit about Doctor Who

Bigtime spoilers below for 3rd series - look away now if you wish to avoid. And general nerd alert too.

Anybody else finding the third series of DW a little...erm...deja vu-ish?

First, let me say I'm still finding the show very entertaining. The Dalek two-parter was weak but Human Nature - written by Paul Cornell - was astonishingly good. And I'm muchly looking forward to John Simms' end-of-season appearance as 'Mister Saxon' - 'Master No Six' in anagrammatical terms (oooooh).

I think it's fair to say David Tennant has earned the mantle of best non-Tom Baker doctor. He really owns the role now. Hope he sticks around for at least a couple more seasons to cement his place in DW history. Being the sexiest Doctor ever doesn't hurt either (plus, unlike his Serious Actor Pants predecessor, Tennant knows how to market himself in the broader BBC light entertainment world to build his and the show's profile, so snaps for that).

The deja vu arises from the Doctor's relationship with Martha Jones. It's great they've finally casted a black actor as a companion - an upper-class character undertaking a medical degree, no less - and Freema Agyeman is almost as spunky as Tennant.


I think the ghost of Rose Tyler haunts the new series way too much.

Despite the repositioning of the companion's class and race status, she's still basically Rose. Or even Lauren 'I ain't buvvered' Cooper. A distinct Chav factor remains. Perhaps this is more reflective of Agyeman's acting limitations than anything else (I've heard her interviewed in real life and she's charming, but only in a totally chav way).

And the doctor-companion relationship dynamic this season appears to be unrequited love, whereby Martha is infatuated with the Doctor but the latter refuses to reciprocate, still smarting from having lost Rose 'forever' (subject no doubt to a reappearance in some cheesy Chistmas special ep).

I'm probably a bit of a purist at heart and prefer my doctors to be more uncle-like around their companions than loveresque. Nevertheless, Russell T Davies and friends went for something new with a romantic doctor-companion relationship, and in the case of the Doctor (Tennant, not Eccleston) and Rose, it worked. I guess it's a dynamic that cannot be avoided so long as relatively younger, spunkier actors (say, relative to Bill Hartnell or Sylvester McCoy) are cast in the lead role, opposite the companions who are inevitably young, female and cute/hot.

I just would've preferred something different this season. Initially I heard that Martha was going to be lesbian which I think would've been fantastic (and teaming with Davies' powerfully gay agenda) - no sexual tension, just a quality platonic friendship enhanced by remarkable adventures across the universe.

Instead, we have a companion once again completely besotted by the enigmatic Doctor. It worked better with Rose because the Doctor gave her otherwise unremarkable existence meaning - but it feels contrived with Martha, who by contrast has started on a solid, successful career path and has not whittled away her pre-Doctor life the way Rose was seen to have done.

I'll keep watching, of course - this show's renaissance has been nothing short of miraculous and demands respect even with its shortcomings - but I'm hoping this deja vu will be shaken off soon.


Friday, June 01, 2007

People think that I must really be a lot like my character, but I'm not, it's called acting. Hermione's certainly not like me

For a moment, I thought all hope was gone when I read that Dr Karl Kennedy was spruiking TLFKAWC, The Legislation Formerly Known As WorkChoices. No, not My Dr Karl, I wailed. Not My Dr Karl who broke My Susan's heart twice but we still knew they had to end up back together eventually because, well, they're Karl and Susan. Surely My Dr Karl is not a Howard stooge.

(Come to think of it - I know the US has plenty of right/Republican-leaning actors but do we have any in Australia? Hmm.)

And of course, he's not really. Alan Fletcher is in fact Vice President of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, a powerfully anti-Howard union, and according to the Alliance's Victorian branch secretary,
If there was a medal for being an unpaid union official then Alan should get the biggest medal there is possible...

He plays a very positive role in our union and he has for a very long period of time and in particular I really admire the way Alan looks after young performers.
But Fletcher is lending his voice to the latest ads promoting the Howard government's workplace infoline. And his justification for voicing ads that would appear to be in contradiction to his own personal politics:
The Workplace Relations ad appeared to me to be a non-political commercial that advertised changes to the law and how to get information about those changes...The ad offered no endorsement of government policy on Workplace Relations and, as such, did not conflict with my personal principles.

I notice that for the current bunch in the ongoing, taxpayer-funded orgy of televisual Howard propaganda, they're using Lisa 'haven't really been in much of note since Brides of Christ and that Channel 9 thing I did about country law courts' Hensley. And I must admit, initally I wondered if that automatically means Hensley is sympathetic to that side of politics, or whether she just really needs the work?

Actors by nature are whores, and in Australia this is especially the case if they expect to get work. It's all very well to laugh at Sigrid Thornton and her Very Shiny Face now, or Kerry Armstrong - formerly Australian acting royalty, reduced to What's Good For You and Dancing With the Stars respectively - but really, what other work is there for them in Australia? 25 years ago when they were young and upcoming, you couldn't move for prime-time, Australian-made serials; now, Big Brother. Neighbours at War. 'Nuff said.

So is an actor a hypocrite if they do voice work for an organisation or company to which they're morally/ethically opposed? Should actors who smoke be prohibited from providing voiceover work for anti-smoking ads? Is Fletcher's defence qualified or is it just - ha - smoke? (After all, he really doesn't have the 'I need the work' plea to fall back on.)

Any actor will tell you that's what acting is all about - convincing people you're one thing as a character when as a person you're something completely different - but I'd still like to think there's a line in the sand, where Bill Hunter and/or Jack Thompson won't suddenly start telling us how wonderful John Howard is. But I'm also sympathetic to the plight of those actors in Australia unfortunate not to have broken into the US/UK markets, still stuck here thinking maybe they're destined for bigger things that Neighbours, H&A, McLeods Daughters or All Saints.

And if Fletcher honestly believes he's acting in the objective public interest and sees no conflict with his personal beliefs and union affiliation then good luck to him. After all, he's My Dr Karl.

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