Friday, October 31, 2008



Did I scare you? Did I? Hmm?


Well crap.

I got an excuse. I come from a land Down Under. Where Halloween never caught on (and men plunder?). Oh, they tried it a few times. But people just weren't ready with the candy and the kids didn't come prepared with any tricks. So trick or treating was a bust from the get go.

Due to this glaring hole in the litany of holidays we observe here in Oz, we're just not up to speed with being scary. And there you have it. But I will endeavor to get with the program, seeing as how I love ghosts.

Did you just think of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore? Dude, you should see a doctor about that.

I'm talking about ghost stories in general. The entirety of ghost lore. The idea of restless spirits, unable to leave this plane. Earthbound souls trapped due to some incomplete task. Like, say, employing Whoopie Goldberg to help you get back at the guy who murdered you.

Shit! I knew this would happen once you mentioned Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. What? I did not bring it up. You did!

Moving on. Because I'm tired of your bullshit and I wants me to go to bed. I got a video for you. Relax. It's not what you're thinking. It does not feature Unchained Melody or clay pot sex. It contains no Rick Astley as far as I'm aware. And its not a screamer. I wouldn't do that to you. I rely too much on your continued patronage.

What we got here is a spooky little ghost video. It's subtle. There's no shrieking violin strings, no dischordant piano stabs. No running from a vague humanoid figure whilst shaking the camera and yelping like a kicked dog. It's just someone's footage they took at night, in a field, at some civil war site. That's all you really need to prime your imagination. Because that's what you'll be using when you see what goes down.

The question is: What is it you are really seeing? Civil war ghosts? A well choreographed hoax?

Matters little to me. I don't actually believe in ghosts. But I love them just the same. So this footage is a fave simply because of its vague subject and unexplained spookfulness. It isn't set up to be a cheesy shock. It's believable. And that's why I think it's so damn effective.

Happy Halloween, my Halloween celebrating friends!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"F" This and "F" That!

Viewer discretion advised: This post strictly not for the easily offended.

As the story goes, when director Ridley Scott was preparing to make his Mogadishu masterpiece Black Hawk Down he decided to cast a then unheard of Australian in the role of Hoot, the tough-as-nails Delta Force commando. Scott saw Eric Bana's breakout performance as the self-aggrandizing underworld crusader Mark 'Chopper' Read in the film Chopper and immediately cast him without the need for a screen test, thinking 'this Chopper guy is just the kind of hard bastard I want to play Hoot.' But the Eric Bana who turned up on set wasn't what the director had been expecting. Regardless, Bana did the role proud and has been enjoying internation success ever since. On ya mate!

Who Ridley thought he'd cast:
(Chopper trailer)

The character Bana brought to the screen was too good to leave be, so comedy troupe The 3rd Degree kidnapped him for one of their more popular recurring sketches on The Ronnie Johns Good Times Campfire Jamboree Half Hour Show, Now on Television.

(*gasp* out of... *wheeze* ...breath...)

Heath Franklin's charicature of Bana's characterisation turned out to be just as riveting to watch. Like a shock-jock you can't bare to tune out because you're compelled to hear what inflammatory remark is up next.

The Ronnie Johns Half Hour (as it was often shortened to for ease of reference) was a half hour sketch comedy show that knew where the line of bad taste was drawn and didn't give a rat's arse about stepping over it. From sketches Dealing With Alcoholism to Giving The Sex Talk all the way to the infamous Jihad Joe Toy Commercial, nothing was off the table.

But what drew audiences was foul-mouthed Chopper. Each week Chopper would lecture us on a variety of subjects he was unfit to teach. Come to think of it, I doubt there's a single subject he is fit to teach. Oh, wait. Maybe: How To Breach Broadcasting Standards. . .

Since the title of this post is "F" This and "F" That I'm going to give you two doses. A warning to the uninitiated -- there will be "F" words aplenty.

First, Chopper teaches us the rules of the road:

And of course, the now immortal - Harden The F*ck Up!

Monday, October 20, 2008

If I May Get Literal For A Moment...

First it was mashups that messed around with film trailers for a laugh. Now the next big thing looks like it's going to be re-interpreting music videos. In today's example, by stripping out the old music and replacing it with a fresh coat. Same old tune, with new-and-improved "Literal" lyrics.

Literal the what now?

It's like what MST3K were up to when they made fun of what was going on in a movie by talking over it, except here it involves recording an entire new song that is a musical counterfeit of the original - but with altered lyrics. In this case, the lyrics describe literally what is going on in its own video clip.

Lets face it. Most video clips are pretty weird to begin with. Now you can have that weirdness pointed out to you as you listen to the song. Pointed out to you, that is, by the song!

Who's responsible for this madness/genius?

Some dude, calls himself Dustball.

Thus far he's literalized A-ha's classic Take On Me video and now he's cranked out another pearler with Tears For Fears' Head Over Heels (featured below).

Can life get any sweeter?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


It may surprise you to know that as a big, burly, masculine hunk of a man who isn't afraid to beat people up when the need arises, I like to spend my spare time voting on which animal is the cutest.

The hell? you say!

Chris Leavins runs an internet show named Cute With Chris. Sounds like something that'd make a grown man puke, don't it? Excepting one memorable occasion, the show manages to steer clear of triggering any up-chuck reflexes, by charting a course for dry humor.

Each week Chris has the thankless task of catering to the needs of crazy cat ladies, gay bears, and teenagers the world over who make up the vast majority of his 4.39 million viewers. And what does he get for his troubles? A small plastic horse, an inner child and a robot cat who continually plot to kill him; a deviant stud horse that keeps trying to steer the show in the direction of smut; and a whole hoarde of opinionated viewers who feel compelled to spread negativity at every turn - managing in the process to earn for themselves a well deserved public smackdown as only Chris knows how to deliver.

When not voting on the cuteness of viewer pets, Chris likes to recite lyrics to current pop songs. One of the must see episodes is where one viewer, Ralph, criticises Chris for his hysterical rendition of T-Pain's "Buy U a Drank". Chris's response, which consumes an entire episode, should be studied by all who would like to know how best to deal with one's detractors. Result? Ralph + negative comment - Chris's response = Ralph's ass handed.

The following linked episode is one of my all-time favorites. They're all so good its darned hard to pick just one. So if you enjoy it be sure to check out the rest on YouTube, or iTunes and once you're up to date with the current episode get cracking on voting in this week's Cute Down.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What's Made Of Wood And Weighs The Same As A Duck?

It may surprise you to know that the smartest person on the Earth at this very moment is neither you nor I. It is a classy Brit who likes to call himself Derren Brown.

At some point in the past Mr. Brown must have had a lot of time on his hands. Wisely he chose to invest that time into learning "magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship" - his words. It was these skills that served to make him a very clever and equally smug individual indeed. The kind of guy who might play Russian Roulette with himself on live television (honest, he did!).

His shennanigans have entertained me for hours on end and I must say how glad I am that he wasn't identified as having a flair for the cello at an early age, because he probably would have spent time practicing that instead and consequently deprived the world of his rare talents.

But Derren's talents are not always what they appear to be. Most of the time, whilst he's leading you to believe he's using one skill to perform a trick, he's really using another. That's the misdirection part. It's the best part of any magician's repertoire. It's the real make or break talent because, honestly, most magic tricks are insultingly simple once you learn how they're done.

With that in mind, have a gander at the psychology tricks on display in today's supplied video. Is it all about reading a person's body language? Or are other conjuror's techniques being employed? It could be either or perhaps a combination of the two. Who knows?

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Derren does. The boy has a truly amazing repertoire. If it entertains you, you can find plenty more of his stuff on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

In The Beginning. . .

It couldn't be easy being God. First you gotta create the entire universe top to bottom, which you can't tell me wouldn't be the biggest logistical nightmare of all time. Then you gotta run the danged thing.


Plenty of kinks are gonna need ironing out, ten or so hard rules will have to be thought up, and don't even get me started about the prayers that need answering - it's a lot of hard work.

Thankfully, help is close at hand. It comes in the form of Larry the trusty assistant, Jesse the new full partner and Lucy - the on again off again flame.

What? Don't believe me? Oh ye of little faith.

Fine then. Check it out for yourself: