Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Supermarket chain Coles has lately been putting up barriers in their self-check areas, I guess to stop customers running off with unpaid goods. Personally, I don’t care as I have no intention of ripping then off (even if they’re happy to rip me off). But for other people, like my older brother, this is a high offence. He says he won’t go there anymore. He calls that area in the store ‘a prison’, and he’s kind of right. He also reckons he won’t buy any perishable goods (especially food) if they’re from China, therefore he doesn’t frequent Aldi either. I actually have lost track of where our food and goods come from, but I assume much of it’s from China (Australia’s number one trading partner). I’m not much of a label reader. If it’s something I want, and the price is right, I buy it. The only bit of ‘mindful’ consumption I do these days is I never frequent Harvey Norman stores, and avoid Coke products and Starbucks. I do this for political reasons I won’t go into here. But I think we should keep this ‘mindful consumption’ idea in mind when we’re shopping. It’s a good habit to have.

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On this incredibly sunny Easter Sunday out of the box I caught a bit of the film Almost Famous on the free-to-air. It was only a couple of minutes, but it was classic scene after classic scene. ‘I am a golden god!’ Tiny Dancer on the bus. ‘Tell Ben Fong Torres it’s a think piece.’ ‘Let’s deflower the kid!’ (this from a pre Sookie Stackhouse Anna Pacquin). ‘Rock stars have kidnapped my son.’ ‘It’s a think piece.’ Ben Fong Torres: ‘I like what I’m hearing.’ Cameron Crowe is a genius. And he was married to Nancy Wilson of Heart.

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Still surfing the fta I encounter The Movie Show with Margaret and David. SBS have been screening old episodes all month. I’m surprised to see Margaret’s reviewing the classic anime film by Satoshi Kon, Perfect Blue. She’s impressed by the animation, but not the script and gives it a mere 3 out of 5 stars. Sacrilege! I can’t go into all the ways that is a mind-blowing and influential film. Shame on you, Margaret. It was a good show for its time, but streaming and social media have pretty much superseded the format.

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I had another listen to Brian Wilson’s Smile. So good. I think I’m ready for the Beach Boys’ version. I have a good Uncut Ultimate Music Guide magazine dedicated to the Beach Boys, and in it there’s a section on Brian’s solo work, including this album. It gives the album 5 stars and describes how Brian set about ‘rummaging through the Capitol archives in search of the master tapes and then set about creatively recreating them, with Van Dyke Parks filling in the gaps and completing the lyrics.’ In this second go-round I focused a bit on the connective tissue between each of the songs and the overall concept. There’s a lot to unpack, and although there seems to be a tension between Parks’ heavy literate, almost baroque words and Wilson’s lighter, at times whimsical intentions, the whole thing does gel. I especially like how the song Vege-tables is such a silly song (‘I’ll jump and down till you toss me a carrot’ is so Brian) but it’s about literally the earthiest food group. The only song that sits slightly uncomfortably for me here is actually Good Vibrations. Although it feels like a good ending song, ‘the vibe’ as such takes me out of what has preceded it, probably because the lyrics are largely those of Mike Love. No doubt a thesis could be written about all this (and probably has), but I won’t go into one here. Maybe later.

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I did some Youtubin’, as usual. I should say here, finally, I have a Premium account, because I can’t stand the ads. Of course, that doesn’t stop Youtubers from slipping ads into their content. But when I encounter them, I just hit the fast-forward. I went back to that channel I subscribed to yesterday, Pop Rocks Radio, for some more Power Pop content. I particularly focused on the band Eric Carmen was in, The Raspberries. Got some good recommendations for what songs to check out, but obviously I need to get all four of their albums (I only have Go All The Way, shame on me). I put their songs Overnight Sensation and I Wanna Be With You onto a Spotify playlist I made called Power Pop. Then I saw a bunch of powerpop video compilations that had me filling the damn thing up. I stayed up late adding more and more bands. Then I moved onto another viewing of that Aespa song from Fraggle Rock, and I’m already warming to it. By the end of the week I’ll think it’s awesome. That’s just the way these things go. Next, it was a video for ‘Most Iconic Album Released Every Month of the 70s’ by The Man In Me. It began with Simon and Garfunkel‘s Bridge Over Troubled Waters, then it was a parade of classic albums, many of which I own. When it got to 1974, a particular favourite year of music for me, I hoped ‘The Man’ would include my all-time favourite album, Lamb Lies Down On Broadway by Genesis, but it was not to be. So I stopped, but not before pondering the thought and planning that must have gone into that video (and so many other Youtubes). Then it was a video titled ‘My top 5 best and worst fantasy book-to-movie adaptations‘ by Bookborn, a cute girl wearing a Darth Vader sweater. Subjects like this are irresistible to me, so I settled in knowing full well that Peter Jackson’s LOTR and Hobbit would get a mention in the expected categories (and they were). Check it out for Bookborn’s other suggestions; and while you’re at it, take note of what absolute girlfriend material she is. At least for someone (she has a ring). Certainly not me, you understand! I’m just sayin’.

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NMixx

And the hits keep coming – this time with Twitter/X. I tend to be a lurker, but I like to repost items that interest me for ready reference. There were a lot today! Check out my Twitter for what I reposted, but here’s a brief rundown. Twice Mina striking the most insanely adorable pose ever – in slomo. Liam O’Neill‘s angry post eviscerating the ABC for its protection of news presenter Fauziah Ibrahim‘s right wing activities while it sacked another presenter for comments made about Gaza. A wonderful clip of Twice fans making their own video for the song One Spark. A funny post from Jokien reminding us that Jesus, Gandalf, Palpatine and the Terminator all share the ‘I’ll be back’ concept. And lastly, a terrific thread on how Kpop group NMixx have so many already iconic songs. Social media, and especially Twitter/X, get a bad rap (especially from the MSM, I wonder why?), but damn, I reckon it’s indispensable.

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