Ms .45's mp3/bureaucratic/gaming blog.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fair and Balanced Reporting

In the interest of countering some of the more creative editing on the part of Melbourne's high quality TV news services (this would be why I don't watch television), I'm posting this PDF of photos of the recent G20 protests from indymedia. This is not to justify the violence that did take place or claim that the protestors were poor little innocent victims (although I'm sure some were), but simply that these photos are an accurate reflection of what I saw on the day.

In the interests of balancing the balance, I should point out that police were walking around the State Library lawns handing out flyers on what constitutes breach of the peace or somesuch, so that protestors would know what would get them into trouble. At least, I think that's what they said - I'm guessing from what I heard of a conversation between an ossifer and a group of kids in front of me - because obviously my friends and I look far too respectable to be the kind of people who go around throwing rubbish bins, and as a result I don't have the flyer.

I have a complaint of my own. When I attended what I now think of as "the original S11", in September of 2000, there was a genuine carnival atmosphere, a huge crowd of genuinely diverse people, and a real sense of possibility. This time around, there was the prospect of such things - I attended on the strength of this flyer, promising a "Really Really Free Market". Great idea! I stocked up on books to take in, looking forward to sharing resources in an open source, creative commons, free science for the benefit of humanity spirit.

What I got was to a large extent the usual gang of idiots standing up and regaling us with their bullshit grandstanding, then a bit of padding around the streets, then the predictable protest stuff - bit of effigy (to be fair, I don't think they burnt the effigy or it would've been on the news), bit of doof, lot of boredom. Although I enjoyed the costumes and the signs, I didn't see much of practical actions for moving forwards on world issues.

Which invites the question, "well, what are you doing about it, smartarse?" A very good question, and a question to which the answer is most definitely "fuck-all".

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm supposed to be writing an essay

What do you do when you're supposed to be researching and writing a 5000 word essay on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood? Why, read comics of course!

I found Thingpart through the Daytrotter website and have been stuck here for two hours. Highlights include:

Number 47

Number 42

Number 57

(They have titles, I just don't wanna blow the punchline.)

Daytrotter is surprisingly good. I've never thought of myself as one of those indie square glass and cardigan wearing hipsters, but I've found a lot of music I quite like on the Daytrotter site, although it usually takes a few listens to grow on me.

Go here for a mindless orgy of downloading, but you should probably check out the artist pages (and the illustrations). People I've liked recently have included Langhorne Slim, The High Strung and Thao Nguyen.

Missed Easily - The High Strung

should totally be released as a single.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Anti yatakallamina aarabii?

I've been taking Arabic* classes for the last few months, with limited success - I can read tolerably well, especially once I already know a word, but I can't pronounce worth shit and I need more vocabulary. I occasionally check out news at Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt Daily), not because I can actually read it, but because it's kinda exciting to realise that I can now easily read English words like "Condoleezza Rice" and "Washington" as well as common Arabic words (from, in, and - hotel, long, old).

If you scroll down on this blog, there's an interesting post on the use of words like "alhamdulillah" and "insha'allah". Suffice to say, the author likens them to the invocation of God in everyday English.

*Modern Standard - my teacher is Egyptian (the New Zealanders of the Middle East), which I assume will have interesting effects on my accent.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Master Higgins, not to be confused with Missy Higgins

Master Higgins at

It's so rare for me to like music instantly that I thought I should bring this to your attention. (And yes, I'm aware that things I like instantly may fade in my appreciation, much as the hottie who tutored Politics and the Media 101 becomes less hot over time and distance, but I instantly liked the Hoodoo Guru's "Miss Freelove '69" and that hasn't faded at all. I also couldn't find it online to link to it, but when I first heard it back in 1991 - which I just had to look up, and I can't believe it was in the 90s, I could have sworn it was late 80s - I ran out and bought it immediately, and I regret it not. It's utterly worth paying for. Oh yeah, I'm really drunk in case it's not obvious.)

The description says "Electronic music that's sample-based, silly, and with no deeper intentions than to make people dance", and, more to the point, he's a 21-year old Swedish student. I'm getting a girly-fat just thinking about it. (A cholesterol?) Unfortunately I can't understand Swedish (Ana atakallam Aarabyy, qaliilan), but if you do, his website is at The recommended track was "That's Right You Heard Me. Have Him Drop His Pants.", and I also downloaded "Queen of New Orleans". Go ape! (Or go vespa, I don't care.)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Seen at today's rally in support of Lebanon

*A0 sized posters of the images of the little girls signing Israeli bombs – with the words "Olmert! Leave the kids out of it!"
*Hizballah supporters carrying a picture of Nasrallah, signs saying things like "Only evil is dumb, deaf and blind to the truth. Bush there is no running the truth will prevail. It's coming!". "Killing our people and feeding the media with your lies won't damage our hope! Isreal leave us alone!".
*the words below, with a picture of a victim of the bombing and the website

Later, during the march, people wearing Lebanon baseball caps (as in this photo) were vigourously chanting "Hiz-bal-lah! Hiz-bal-lah!". This includes unveiled women in heaps of makeup and groovy clothes – draw your own conclusions. There was chanting in Arabic, which obviously I didn't understand.

*Representatives of
*Women for Palestine
- "You are the chosen people choosing to be assholes!"
- "Zionists prefer genocide to justice"
- "What about Lebanon's right to exist?"
- "You don't just look like a devil you are one" (Bush with huge red devil horns)
- "Condi – we don't want your new Middle East!"
- "For just 3 abducted soldiers the IDF will give you 400+ dead civilians" (obviously an old sign)

*Queers Against State Terror – t-shirts saying "I'd rather fuck who I want to than kill who I'm told to". A Kefaya moment!

*Collection for This site has photos of a demonstration from last week with many of the same attendees.
*S11 conspiracy theorists - an Asian woman and her kid who held photos of the plane hitting the Pentagon. They were hippies, not Mohammed Omran's group - they carried rainbow peace signs, pics of doves etc.


UNITED (pictures of snakes – letters and snakes filled in with US, UK and Israel flags)

lone wingnut painting a large sign -
[heart] FOR PM
WAR (heart) IS BIG
(Later, the "portable gas ovens" line had hearts drawn over the top of it.)

Your music post: TISM (who else?) Australia, The World's Suburb. A song apparently inspired by the following information:

"...before the birth of Israel in 1948, Australia, along with Canada and Argentina, was one of the leading sites proposed for a Jewish homeland, as a refuge for thousands of Jews escaping pogroms and persecution in the 1920s and Nazism in the 1930s. The most ambitious scheme in Australia proposed the purchase of seven million acres in the remote East Kimberley to accommodate up to 75,000 refugees from Nazism in the 1930s. The Kimberley Jewish Settlement scheme won the support of Western Australia’s state government but was rejected by PM John Curtin in 1944."

[EDIT: that download now works.]

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

You Must Have This - Leather Donut, etc

Cousin Creep has heroically started cataloguing the Leather Donut and Waste Sausage compilations, as well as other related Black & Red Eye artistes. You particularly must have:

The Cunt – Me & A Great Big Leather Man

Thug – Fuck Your Dad

The Furry Men of the North – I Like Looking At Naked Men

(Click on the link and scroll down.)

Plus, how can you not like a band called Purple Vulture Shit? Get over there and get downloading!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

White Stripes BDO sideshow, Festering Hall, Jan 28

Next time I say to a person I'm driving to a gig "Don't worry, they won't be on for ages, no-one turns up when the doors open anyway" the night before a Big Day Out, could one of you guys please jump out of a convenient nearby closet and beat the living shit out of me? Thanking you in advance.

We turned up at about ten past nine, so I don't think we missed a lot of the show, but I have a horrible suspicion that we missed my favourite songs. Even if we didn't – and my memory of the setlist is a bit poor, despite being unwilling to spend a lot of time in the queue for the bar and therefore only having one beer – I didn't necessarily love what was played. There was nothing wrong with the set – the sound was fantastic, the rendition was dramatic and passionate, the lighting and set was striking and distinctive.

But for some reason, this show didn't leave me with the exhausted excitement I remember from, say, The Dictators, The Buzzcocks or even Michael Franti (all of these gigs being several years ago, and in Franti's case ten years ago). Instead of passionate love, all I felt was cold respect. And yet, now that I've come home and I'm listening to Get Behind Me Satan, I'm enjoying it as much as ever, and my favourite Stripes songs are an inspiration.

I am painfully aware that I am very old and haven't been to (or cared about) a rock gig in quite some time. Even so, surely well-executed music, interestingly presented (they had a bit of a leitmotif going with Meg's "Passive Manipulation", as well as some bitchin' blues stylings from Jack) should, if not give me a raging hard-on, at least raise my heart-rate a little?

There are mitigating factors – as Jack pointed out in a very rare bit of between song banter, "it's so hot I can't even breathe" – but I'm afraid I just can't regard the White Stripes as a "live" band. I'm just gonna sit here and bop away to "Take, Take, Take".

"It's almost as if she did not appreciate how cool I was bein'..."

In other news, my 7-year-old niece is getting into the blues and Acca Dacca, so my evil plan is coming along nicely MWAH-HAH-HAAAHHH!!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dodge Veg-o-Matic

I'm a Lamborghini Murcielago!

You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Roman Polanski Is Really Quite A Jovial Fellow

Read this, then flip a coin: do you want to fuck him or beat the shit out of him?

[EDIT: Why is it that when I post a fantastic set of songs like the Pash tracks below, no fucker comments, but when I profess a totally inappropriate interest in adolescent boys with pretensions to alternativia, people pour out of the fucking woodwork? PS jimh: go you good thing.]

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A slight change of subject - Pash, Spacehoppin'

I’ve been busy at my new job, and no-one reads this anyway, so I’m changing horses mid-race (“you were in a race?”) to attempt to rectify an injustice.

As we all know, “the worst bands are most popular/arseholes make the most money”, genius may be utterly unidentified and songs that should by rights be in consideration for the national anthem (that aren’t ‘Khe Sanh’) are not even a hit in a tiny indie community, let alone hogging the #1 spot for six weeks before finally being knocked off by Santa’s Super Sleigh or somesuch crap.

Pash’s bass player Ben Life (who sent me the CD) was the editor of Skills of Defensive Driving zine, a Sydney zine which I don’t own any copies of (a bit before my time, and my time was fucking aeons ago), as well as a particularly hilarious screed called “I Hate Myself and Want to Dye (My Hair)”.

Ben sent Spacehoppin’ to me in the mail back when I was doing my zine, oddly enough entitled “Ms .45”. It contains some of the greatest power-pop songs ever written – romantic but not soppy, anthemic but not by-the-numbers, with olde-style organ and sax (and, according to the liner notes, skateboards). They’re not all gems, but I never get sick of these now fifteen year old songs (gee, you don’t sound it) and I think everyone should have them. In reverse order of greatness, here they are.

Pash – Tang

Pash – Instant Date

Pash – The Force