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Still Here...

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May I just say that despite lack of evidence of regular posts here, please be reassured I am alive and well and doing a Melbourne International Comedy Festival show called Stand-Up Sit-Down, where I get up close and personal with a bunch of awesome comedians. Here's the list, where you can also buy tickets. What? You couldn't possibly leave this page and check it out? Okay. Here's the list:

You missed Fiona O'Loughlin last night.

Don't miss:

Tom Gleeson, March 30;
Fear of a Brown Planet, March 31;
DeAnne Smith, April 1;
Sammy J, April 3;
Tim Ferguson, April 4;
Greg Fleet, April 5;
Hannah Gadsby, April 6;
Celia Pacquola, April 7;
Andrew Denton, April 8.

Seriously. Come hang out with Dom ’n’ Tom tonight!

Tom Gleeson photo

I will keep blogging, but mostly as a kind of festival diary for the show. And only when not flyering, seeing shows…

Meanwhile, come see the show.

And failing that, support it through my Pozible campaign. Pledge a small amount, it all helps to contribute to what, in Fiona O'Loughlin's words, is "a fine tradition that has begun!!!!!"


How Fiona O'Loughlin gave me a festival show…

 

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The idea for Stand-Up Sit-Down, my Melbourne International Comedy Festival show this year, belongs to Fiona O’Loughlin.

She was headlining at Happy Endings Comedy Club one weird Saturday when she spotted me in the second row and asked the audience how they’d feel about my interviewing her…

READ MORE


Smells Like Holy Spirit

I don't know how you feel about the current pontif, Pope Benedict XVI. I know it annoys my Catholic mum a little when I refer to him as the Nazi Pope - which sounds like a cheap shot, him being German and all. Especially when I voice my admiration for his predecessor, John Paul II, the 'Jewish Pope'. An equally cheap shot, because John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) was Polish and lived in Krakow during Nazi occupation. (It also annoys my mum when I refer to my aunt-who's-a-nun as 'The Aunty Christ'.)

But I found it interesting that the Nazi Pope now has his own cologne. Don't know if it's based on frankinsence or myrrh, or if it comes in its own miniature thurible (the incense burner-on-a-chain that the priest gets to swing around). But I'm sure it'll be perfect for ridding you of that loaves-and-fishes smell after a hard day feeding multitudes. And hopefully the Vatican City gift stores will do a nice Holy Father's Day giftpack with the similarly scented Pope-on-a-Rope.

 

HOLY SPIRIT



 


More Kony Baloney

Having jumped on the bandwagon the night the Kony 2012 video went viral, I somehow had the good sense to back-pedal pretty quickly, amending my original post with the 'arguments against' that sprang up almost immediately.

It didn't take long for all the negative aspects of Invisible Children to be brought forward, but about a week and a half later, Charlie Brooker's excellent explanation of the Kony 2012 clip also started to go viral:

And then, according to rt.com, the guy behind the Kony 2012 campaign - Jason Russell - was arrested for lewd behaviour and vandalising vehicles after getting all tired and emotional.

So far we don't know how the cute 5-year-old toddler in the Kony 2012 clip feels about that - perhaps, eventually, that he was invisible - but for now, maybe it's time to stop the Kony 2012 Phenomenon as well as Kony.


Kony 2012. Is it phony? Delve!

There's a bastard in Africa called Joseph Kony, one of the world's 'ten most wanted', who leads the Lord's Resistance Army.

Of course he's a religious crackpot, seeking to establish a government based on the Ten Commandments. But to help do so, he's abducted some 60,000-odd children over the last 30 years that he has turned into sex slaves and murderers. (Yeah, for Commandment 6, 'Thou Shall Not Kill', read, 'Thou Shall Not Kill When I've Got These Boy Kids To Do It'; and for Commandment 7, 'Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery', there's the addendum 'But Childery's Fine, That's Why I Also Abducted These Girl Kids'.) Kony's been at it for years. Kony 2012 is the campaign to rid the world of him once and for all. This is the year.

There's a short film about it doing the rounds:

As one of my favourite political comics, Scott Abbot, suggested: "Bob Carr, this is your first mission as Foreign Minister…". Heck, it's the one that'll get him UN Secretary General, if not PM. If he handles it the right way and gets to the bottom of it.

If you feel you should do more, you can donate and buy stuff but don't do so blindly: be informed.

Even efore you attach this clip to all your social media stuff, be informed: a lot of the groundswell that has sprung up literally overnight targets Uganda as the centre of Kony's operations; he hasn't been there for some 6 years, and there is a peace process underway there. Furthermore, the LRA much smaller than it once was.

So this campaign, seeking to send US 'Military Advisers' into Africa, has the right inentions. But I can think of past conflicts in other parts of the world to which the United States provided soldiers 'Military Advisers'. Heaps of them. It didn't end so good, for those parts of the world, the locals, or a heap of the soldiers 'Military Advisers' (Psst: it was in Vietnam.) It's worth having a bit more information when contributing to viral memes, is all I'm saying. Cos there's always another side to the story, as the 'Visible Children' Tumblr points out.

I'll get back to the entertainment stories and interviews shortly.


Benny Davis Ears

 

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Portrait of Benny Davis by Alex E. Clark

 

 

"This Guy Blows"

When not making with the funny business and sweet, sweet music with Axis of Awesome, or otherwise being a musical genius, Benny Davis is a Human Jukebox. Benny the Jukebox, in fact. Send him a request; if he's heard the song, he can play it. With harmonies, chords etc.

Barry Humphries once declared the guitar 'that most loathesome of instruments'; a session musician banjo player with a pager is said to be the very definition of optimistic; being able to hurl a piano accordion into a skip without hitting the sides is the true meaning of 'perfect pitch'; and the melodica isn't the most ridiculous instrument, only because the keytar and the stylophone both still exist. But for most, it's still an ill wind that blows no good. Benny doesn't just make you not want to snap the melodica over the head of the guy playing it for a change - he actually gives it respectability.

And he has his own YouTube channel for his clips. Because the age of the TV advertised J&B album is over.

Enjoy a recent YouTube clip of his. Dig Dick Dale's 'Misirlou' at 5:50!