28 October, 2005

from the cynical to the strange

The Herald Sun's obsession with gold cups continues. However, over the last couple of days it has taken a distinct turn for the bizarre:

First it was a kid with cancer and an aboriginal boy. Not really news, but at least we could see where they were coming from. But Pavarotti? What the fuck does he have to do with the Melbourne Cup? And just when you thought it couldn't get any stranger: a pony. A BABY PONY! A very cute baby pony, but a pony nonetheless. I don't think we'll be seeing either Pavarotti or a baby pony running in the Melbourne Cup, any time soon. Yet it seems Rupert Murdoch's Conservative-Capitalism Newsletter will grasp at any excuse to photograph this shiny gold symbol of triumph, in the presence of ANY person or animal with vaguley positive PR that will hold still long enough.

What's next? The Melbourne Cup cluthced proudly in Kylie's hand as she trudges off for chemo? Teetering precariously on the back of a beached whale, as weeping locals struggle to return it to the sea? Oh, I know! Princess Mary's proud return to Tassie: baby in one hand, MELBOURNE CUP in the other!

For the love of God, where does the madness end?!



mess with your mind... and your foot

Ok this is of no consequence whatsoever, but it's rather intriguing... Follow these simple steps (if you're in an office, make sure no-one is watching lest you look like a dork) and see what happens:

1. sitting down on a chair (as you probably are already) lift your right foot off the floor

2. rotate your foot at the ankle, in a CLOCKWISE direction

3. keep rotating your foot. with your right hand, draw the number 6 in the air

Which way is your foot moving now?

You can try this 100 times over, it will happen every time.



27 October, 2005

oh, the folly!

Thanks to my dear friend Mr Kenny for this amusing slice of cyberculture:


People spend a lot of time thinking up their children's names. It's just a pity they don't always think as hard about their domain names.

Firstly there is Who Represents? a database for agencies to the rich and famous:

Second is the Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views:

Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island:

Need a therapist? Try:

And there is an Italian Power company:

Finally we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:



26 October, 2005

turn that hate to pride

On an oddly related, but far more respectable note, I would like to pay brief homage to Ms Rosa Parks, known as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, who passed away yesterday at the age of 92.

Parks became a symbol of the fight for African-American equality on December 1st, 1955. Then a 42-year-old seamstress in Montgomery Alabama, she refused to move to the "Negro" section at the back of a public bus, but steadfastly sat among the white people at the front. She was arrested and convicted of Disorderly Conduct.

The next day, around fifty leaders of the Black community, lead by one Rev Martin Luther King Jr, came together and discussed the case, which resulted in a complete boycott of the Montgomery Bus system by African-Americans. For over a year, black people refused to board public buses, throwing the public transport system into disarray until the segregation laws were eventuially overturned 381 days later. In 1956, the US Supreme Court finally ruled that public transport segregation laws were unconstitutional.

For many of us, it is impossible to really imagine a life of legalised segregation and vilification based on race ~ at least not on the scale of early-20th-Century USA, or South African Apartheid. Mercifully, much has changed in the intervening years. American "Jim Crow" laws are an injustice confined to the history books, while we watch South Africa progressively becoming accepted back into the global community.

But it would be naïve in the extreme to believe that such segregations have vanished entirely. It may no longer be written in the law, but inequality and injustice are still rife within the US (as became tragically apparent in the aftermath of Hurricaine Katrina), and indeed all over the world. Here in Australia, with
mandatory detention for assylum seekers and the apalling state of Aboriginal welfare, true equality is still a distant hope. As the diverse people of the human race become increasingly intertwined, there will always be prejudice and oppression in infinite guises, whether on the basis of race, religion, gender or lifestyle. That, unfortunately seems to be a reality of the world.

However, as Rosa Parks' story shows, to make a difference does not require aggressive action or the blind hatred of violent vengeance. A simple act of quiet defiance can make all the difference. Sometimes all it takes is one person to stand up - or, indeed, to keep her seat - and demand to be recognised as a human being, worthy of rights and respect.


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turn that fear to hate

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the face of evil:

"Prussian Blue", consisting of thirteen-year-old identical twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede, "make beautiful, soaring, harmonious music together". They are adorable cuties in matching clothes who sing "pro-White" ditties, accompanying themselves on guitar and violin. Their favourite topics include the dangers of mixed-race families, the inherent greatness of having blonde hair and blue eyes, and the lionising of historical figures such as Rudolph Hess.

Here is a sample of their lyrics. This little gem is called "Aryan Man Awake":

When the man who plows the fields is driven from his lands.
When the carpenter must give away what he's built with his own hands.
When a mother's only children belong to her no more.
And black masked men with guns come bashing down the doors.
Where freedom exists for only those with darker skin.
Where lies and propaganda will never let you win.
... What will you give up to help this worthy Cause,
and strike with force and fury, without a single pause?
... Who will face the end and watch a Valkyrie ride forth
To join the gods and fallen stormtroopers of the North?
Aryan man awake, How much more will you take,
Turn that fear to hate, Aryan man awake.

And here's a snippet from an interview with these two gorgeous girls:

What do you think is the most important social issue facing the white race right now? Do you have any songs that address this issue?
Not having enough white babies born to replace ourselves and generally not having good-quality white people being born. It seems like smart white girls who have good eugenics are more interested in making money in a career or partying than getting married and having a family. And yes, we are working on some new songs about this issue.

Please tell me the significance of the name Prussian Blue.
Part of our heritage is Prussian German. Also our eyes are blue, and Prussian Blue is just a really pretty color. There is also the discussion of the lack of "Prussian Blue" coloring (Zyklon B residue) in the so-called gas chambers in the concentration camps. We think it might make people question some of the inaccuracies of the "Holocaust" myth.

Am I the only one who genuinely feels sick to his stomach? Am I the only one who finds this genuinely frightening? This is not one of those light-hearted munkey rants about something relatively inconsequential. This makes me genuinely angry. Genuinely afraid. I am tempted to take Prussian Blue's own advice, and turn my fear to hate. But I don't think I want to sink to their level of manipulated, ignorant and insecure malice.

I think, what I feel is pity. Pity for these two, apparently talented, lives being wasted in the spreading of hatred and bigotry. Pity for all those mindless enough to hear their music and believe its message. And pity for the future generations who will have to endure this kind of stupidity and evil, I fear, for generations to come, if not for the rest of human history.


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24 October, 2005

o my love, o it was a funny little thing

Well, there's a bright golden haze on the meadow, there's a song (or three) in my heart, and the day is looking shiny and warm. What could be better? I guess we can only wait and see...

First up, let me issue a huge congratulations to Cousin Prue and her hubby Mr Stu on the birth of their first child: a healthy 8 pound baby boy named Cameron William. Hurrah for the mega-fertile munkey-clan! I think that's actually the last of the current crop of munkey-babies. Mind you, three in less than six months is pretty good going, so I think it's only fair that all the ladies in my family rest their wombs for a bit.

On Friday night, I trundled over to Elwood to visit the new abode of
Mr Daniel J. I also met his pet snake Trouza for the first time. And no, that's not a dirty euphemism. Mr Dan actually owns a pet baby python. And he has named it Trouza. Despite my recent nightmares regarding snakes, Trouza is an extremely friendly, lovable creature, who seemed quite content to slither and slink around my arms and be ticked under its chin. Later we wandered up to Dan's local - The Elsternwick - where we enjoyed a few beers and some fine food. Dan had fun flirting with the Irish bar manager, partly to aid him in getting a part-time job behind the bar, and partly because the guy was very cute and had a hot accent. Nuff sed.

Saturday eve was the celebration of The 25th Birthday of
Mistress Corrie! Three cheers for that. The whole gang all headed off to a lovely little Japanese place on Gertrude Street (which I have completely forgotten the name of, but oh well). There Lady Lilikens and I indulged in quite a lot of sake and, by the grace of Corrie's mum Jenny, we all feasted on sushi and other Japanese finger foods. As the night turned to the early morning, we mosied down to Yeltzer, which I've never been to before but is a great bar. Ahh Melbourne, my beloved home city, it's those hidden gems that make you what you are. Huge birthday hugs to the Mistress, and here's cheers to many fun-and-fabulousness-filled years to come.

The last day of Munkey's Busy Weekend saw me and Oli driving out to my old stomping-ground for the welcoming home of Aunty Sheila and Mr Ian. Yes, lovers and dreamers, after 10 weeks gallavanting about in the UK and Europe, they are home sweet home. Grandma Ashton was there, as were patermunker, Ms Cait and ElectroBoy. Cousin Mark and Ms Annie with their rapidly-growing and absolutely gorgeous bundle of joy Mr Jett also dropped in. It's lovely to have Sheila and Ian home... they are kind of the hub in the wheel of my extended family, so without them here, people tend to drift apart a bit.

After a too-short catch up with my kinfolk, I headed off to watch/listen to
Mr Adrian perform as part of the Melbourne Rainbow Band, along with the Melbourne Gay & Lesbian Chorus. It was a great concert, entitled "Movie Magic" and (as the name would suggest) featured an assortment of music from the movies. A few of the selections left me a bit cold (anyone who knows me will testify that Grease and Abba don't exactly rate among my favourites). But my minor anti-gay-cliché pickiness aside, it was a very entertaining night. I also had an unexpected treat, as I ran into Mr Eduardo and Mr Marcus in the crowd... two friends I haven't seen in ages.

So that was my very full weekend. But wait... what is that glorious light just beyond the horizon? Perhaps that is the glow of the future. The dark tangle of the past is far behind me. The things that matter have made the journey with me. And there is much to look forward to. Onwaaaard!



20 October, 2005

how about them transparent dangling carrots?

I realise I haven't done a proper newsy blog for quite a while now. And guess what: I'm still not going to.

However I would like to take a moment to express my vast gratitude to a great number of people who have been there for me in varying, important ways over the last week or so.
Disclaimer: this is off the top of my head. It's in no real order, and I will forget people. Try to understand the state of my brain right now, and don't be offended.

Ms Snazzles
For understanding so well, it's almost frightening. For always being there with empathy and affection. For everything.

For always loving, worrying and supporting, without ever prying or interfering.

My Gals (Mme Mu, Lady Lili, Mistres Corrie)
For being a never-ending font of understanding, friendship and all-round cheery-uppy-ness.

Ms Leanne
For being a friendly face at the Daily Grind.

Mr Ray
For being wonderful company when I really needed it (and for getting me hooked on 2 animé series which I will NEVER be able to see the rest of. GRRR!)

Mr Dave
My oft-taken-for-granted but much-loved unpaid lunch-hour shrink.

Mr David
A constant voice of wisdom and wit.

Mr Davey
Never fails to bring a smile to my face. We've known each other through so much, yet never met. Strange.

Mr Gareth P
Another put-upon listener (reader?) with unerring compassion and good advice.

Mr Drew
A bitching-partner with a dry cynical twist, and perception beyond his years. Happy Anniversary!

Mr A-Man
After all this time, and so much water under the bridge... simply a great soul.

Mr Chris
Another endlessly supportive online venting-point.

Mr Kyle
And yet another. A problem shared is a problem halved. or so they say.

magnolia is still the best film ever made.

Devendra Banhart
Just the right blend of absurdity and melancholy. So me right now.

All the folk at The West Wing
A beacon in a world of tired, dumbed-down pop culture.

and finally, to be shamelessly tacky:

YOU, lovers and dreamers
Yes, dear readers, you. I've never kept a journal of any kind before, and writing in this blog (quite frankly, regardless of whether anyone reads it or not) has been incredibly fun and often remarkably theraputic. Thanks to everyone who wanders by, leaves their mark on my guestbook, writes a kind comment, etc.

So, in the immortal words of Alanis:
yeah yeah, ahh ohhh, ahhh ho oh, ahhh ho ohhhhhh, yeaahhhh yeahh



18 October, 2005

a distant ship's smoke on the horizon

I think I should be flailing on the ground, wailing at the sky. I think should be beating my chest and tearing at my hair. I feel like I need to let something out. Something big. And it's not that I don't want to, or am ashamed, or am afraid of being seen as weak or overly-emotional or whatever. I would quite happily be a weak and watery mess, for a little bit. It's just that I CAN'T. Like I'm emotionally constipated.

To bring those of you who I haven't already ranted at, up to speed. Saturday was Ryan's birthday. We had sent out invitations to about 12 of his friends. We were going to spend the whole weekend up at my family holiday place at Jamieson, drinking and celebrating. Instead, he spent his 20th birthday in a prison in Queensland, awaiting court appearances regarding various quite serious (in my book anyway) crimes.

The latest of these alleged crimes, I only found out about on Friday. Apparently I was the last to know. It's a head-fuck. It basically means Ryan was (allegedly) doing seriously bad things while we were still together ~ practically living together and - so I thought - sharing everything. I don't know what the timeframes are; I don't know when he stopped living on the straight and narrow and building a future with me, in exchange for this irrational and self-destructive tangle of dishonesty and stealing. I am simply left - with no answers - to wonder just how much of our relationship was a lie.

So all of this combines to form the black monster - dark fur matted with fetid slime, gnashing jaws dripping toxic mucous - that is living inside me just now. This is the twisted knot of filth I can't expell from my brain and my heart. Don't fear, dear readers. I'm not going to do anything stupid. I understand this is the kind of feeling that leads people to become 'cutters': to feel and control the release of real definable sensation. But fuck that - I don't do physical pain.

This is the kind of feeling that would usually be released by getting drunk and watching magnolia by myself ~ crying for a solid three hours would usually do the trick. But alcohol - my always-reliable emotional laxative - seems to fail me this time. All the tried-and-true methods of emotional outlet are leaving me cold, numb.

I think what it comes down to is that this is just going to take time. Dammit. As much as I'm a dweller and an over-analyser, I'm also impatient! I just want to be able to move on, already! *sigh* Ahh well. Sorry if this blog entry has been totally self-indulgent, not to mention a bit of a downer. Here's hoping (for all of our sakes) that this cloud in my head finally lets go its rains sooner rather than later ...after which I can step back into the sunshine and enjoy all the light the future holds.

(p.s. It's true what they say about you-know-what.)



kids with cups

Speaking of children and propagantist print-media, what's been with the Herald Sun the last two days? Here are their front pages from yesterday and today:

Did you spot the similarity? (It's not too hard, even for your average Herald Sun reader.) Two completely unrelated stories. Two completely unrelated headlines. And two completely unrelated, arbitrarily inserted pictures of Kids With Cups! I guess they're just thinking: Everybody loves kids. Everybody loves winning. Let's put the two together in a giant non-news photo EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY! (And - to be even more cynical - lets make sure one of them has cancer and the other is an Aboriginal, just to make everyone go: Awwww. Aborigines and kids with cancer can be WINNERS! Now I won't ask difficult questions about the Conservatives systematically flushing our world down the toilet!)

Rock on.



careful the tale you tell - that is the spell

Everybody's favourite expert in youth literature, Lady Lilikens has alerted us to the existence of a particularly frightening piece of propaganda. It really defies description or fanfare. Suffice to say:

Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!

..In which the attempt by two all-american (read: white middle-class) boys to run a Lemonade Stand, is thwarted by pesky Left Wingers. Curse them!

But fear not, lovers and dreamers. There is kiddie-oriented mind-warping from the other side of the bar as well:

No, George, No!

...In which President George takes a nap on the Oval Office couch, and dreams of a childhood encounter with a moral fairy who does her best to teach George what it means to be a decent human being.

Okay, so I kind of agree with the sentiments of the second example. But still I must utter a more-than-slightly-alarmed: What the bejesus is the world coming to?

Are even our children's minds up for grabs, in this brave new world we have wrought?



14 October, 2005

mindlessmunkey's spunk o'the munth

Yes, lovers and dreamers, it's that time again when munkey abandons his high-falutin' rants about art and anthropology, in order to delve into the world of CUTE BOYS! So here is October's spunk o'the munth, and indeed one of my all-time favourites: Nick Stahl.

Nick was born in 1979 and has made a not-particularly-well-known but quite respected name for himself as a young actor with an impressive list of credits under his belt. First coming to attention as a child in Mel Gibson's light-hearted romp The Man Without A Face, he has popped up in all kinds of strange projects, from the inevitable low-brow teen fare (e.g. Disturbing Behaviour) to some of the most respected ensemble films of all time (e.g. The Thin Red Line). One of his most contraversial and disturbing roles was in Larry Clark's Bully, of which I'm including pictures - I will openly admit - purely because you can almost see his rude bits:

Yet for my money, this strapping stripling really came into his own in the hotness stakes when he grew up, grubbied up and took on the shoes of Ben Hawkins, the lead character in HBO's wonderful series, Carnivàle:

Ahhh yes. Many a fine evening Snazzles, Maria and I spent discussing, dissecting and drooling as we watched this tantalisingly strange show. And then, as if purely to please Ms Snaz further, he went and grew a nice shaggy beard:

At any rate, what makes Nick a munkey-worthy spunk is not just the eyes, the smile and the body. Although, of course, none of that hurts. It's also that he brings an understated charisma to every role he intriguingly (and recently, very selectively) chooses to grace. Whether he's the heroin-addled Dodge in modern-day Oliver Twist tale Twist, or the hideous Yellow Bastard raping and murdering young women in Sin City, it's impossible to take your eyes off him. And frankly, who would want to?



13 October, 2005

yes, but is it art?

Now, I'm a liberal sort of person (that's SMALL "L" liberal, thank you), both idealogically and aesthetically. But I must admit when it comes to most contemporary art - while I don't have any objection to it per se, I do usually find myself thinking: "What the fuck?!" Or, to be more accurate: "Why the fuck?!"

However, despite my personal reaction (usually bemusement and/or apathy), I do feel a quiver of excitement every time the Conservative Right gets its knickers in a twist over some pretentious, innocuous piece of contemporary twaddle. Who can forget the 1997 furore in Melbourne over Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ"?

Dr. George Pell (bless his pedarist-protecting poofter-bashing heart) kicked up a big fat stink over the not-particularly-interesting photograph, and when the courts found no reason to ban the piece, a couple of brainwashed teenagers took matters into their own hands, and attacked it with a hammer. Way to exponentially raise the profile of something you supposedly don't want people to see, dudes!

In a recent example, the Tate Modern in London has come into
controversy, when it decided against the exhibition of a piece by British artist John Latham. Consisting of chunks of the Bible, Koran and Talmud embedded in a large pane of glass, the work is entitled "God Is Great".

The world-renowned Tate removed it, fearing it might offend Muslims in the wake of the London bombings in July. May I add my voice to that of the artist, with a big fat "Huh?!". Latham has explained that the piece (which was created ten years ago) is intended as a message of unity between religions, showing that all faiths spring from the same source. Apparently the issue at hand is not the message or intention, but the physical fact that the Koran has been cut up. The strangest thing is, Muslims themselves seem to have no complaint about the work. "We have not received any complaints about this piece of artwork," The Muslim Council of Britain said in a statement to the BBC, "Sometimes presumptions are incorrectly made about what is unacceptable to Muslims and this can be counter-productive."

Personally, I would rather see everyone Chill The Fuck Out about who's offended by what, and allow each other to harmlessly express their opinions on religion or whatever else, in an artistic format of their choosing, without being subject to censorship or controversy. But I'm well aware that I'm living in a dreamland of magic pixies where diamond tiaras grow on trees and fairy-floss rains from the sky (hehe that tickles!).

If it was up to me, censorship would fall not on potentially-offensive or controversial material. Rather I would take my metaphorical hammer to the drivel spouted by so many "artists" in the guise of expresion, which is in fact: pure, unadulterated
WANK. Now, like I said, I'm open-minded about art. I'm a graduate of the School of Studies in Creative ARTS at the Victorian College of the ARTS for fuck's sake...

But when Martin Creed stages an "installation" piece called
The Lights Off - which consists of charging people good money to walk into an EMPTY gallery with its LIGHTS TURNED OFF - I get mad. That is not art. That is laziness and WANK. When interviewed by 3RRR radio, Creed was asked if it was important to understand the concept behind his work, before going to see it. His response was (I'm paraphrasing) "Oh, there is no concept. I just want to evoke an emotional response in the viewer". Like I mentioned, I went to Art School. And let me tell you from experience, the old "no concept - emotional response" chestnut is the standard response from talentless pseudo-intellectuals who go into Arts because they can't apply themselves to anything else. It roughly translates as "I have fuck-all to say about anything, but I like seeing my name in the paper!"

In conclusion:
The wonderful thing about art is that everyone has the right NOT to go and see it. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't ban or censor Martin Creed. If some gallery is dumb enough to put their name to The Lights Off, then so be it. We are lucky to live in a free society where no matter what you want to express, and no matter how you wish to express it, you are allowed to do so. And the people who want to listen, have the right to. And the people who find it offensive (or downright pretentious) have the right to sit at home and drink an extra-strong strawberry daquiri. Let us relish those rights, and never let anyone restrict our tastes in the expressing of ideas.


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12 October, 2005

mathach vi geven? nostach vi 'wilith?

Excitement followed by scepticism arose last year, when scientists discovered what they suspected of being a new type of hominid, which had lived less than 20,000 years ago on islands in Indonesia. Standing just a metre tall and with a brain the size of a grapefruit, the remains were proclaimed by the paleontogists who discovered them as a new species within the Homo genus (of which, of course, modern-humans are the only surviving example). The media and the mindlessmunkey alike were thrilled with the notion of real scientific evidence that Halflings (hobbits, even!) had actually walked the earth just a few millenia ago.

However doubt was cast by scientists such as Teuku Jacob (everybody: BOO! HISS!) who suggested it was not in fact a new species, but merely the skeleton of a deformed pygmy (the insult!). Jacob then "borrowed" the bones in order to conduct his own (unauthorised) "research". As time passed, he proved extremely reluctant to return the remains to the scientists who had discovered them... and when they finally were returned, the bones had been horrendously damaged. Paleontologist Tim White said of the damage caused by Jacob and his team: "The equivalent in the world of art would be somebody slashing the Mona Lisa and then trying to fix it with chewing gum."

But the story has a happy ending (or, at least, continuation...). An Australian-led research team has
just announced the unearthing of at least nine more specimens of the creature - now widely accepted as a new species: Homo floresiensis - on the island of Flores, between Java and Timor in Indonesia. The discovery of so many examples of this small statured, small brained creature - and from a time period spanning up to 80,000 years - renders the "deformed pygmy" theory extremely doubtful.

So rejoice, lovers and dreamers ~ it seems Halflings were real indeed. Let us put flowers in our hair, comb our hairy feet and merrily dance the night away... Hurrah!

A reconstruction of what H.floresiensis may have looked like. (I guess rhinoplasty wasn't around 18,000 years ago).



10 October, 2005

la la la, oh i'm in love with a small beige dog...

Thank you, thank you... please form an orderly queue ..NO PUSHING, PLEASE... you will all be granted your assigned quota of quasi-entertaining blog-fodder in due course. Okay then. Friday night saw mindlessmunkey receiving a lovely surprise in the form of a phone call from Mother Jude and Mr Mikey in Japan. They were ringing to offer their emotional support after I sent them a very long woe-is-me email. It was wonderful, as always, to get their eternally-wise advice, and just to hear their voices again. Munkey and friends are all hanging out for the (now not-too-distant) day when they're home and we can have aftenoon tea with them in the Hills once more.

On Saturday night, it was time to officially celebrate the Birthday of Ms Moodles & Ms Jane!!! There were many many people at the Snazzles-Moodles-Plantman-(& future Jellyfish) residence, and much grog was imbibed. Many of the attendees were folk I hadn't seen in quite a while, such as Snazzle's RMIT gang, Mr Tim's beau Mr Ant, etc etc. A merry night seemed to be had by all, and I wasn't tooo hungover on Sunday morn, so all in all a very good occasion.

I joined with patermunkey and Ms Cait on Sunday arvo to see Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. What a marvellous film! I am SO OVER the formulaic crap churned out time and time again by the big animation houses. With every one, the humour seems to become more laboured, the stories more generic and predictable, and the characters more soulless. So how nice it is to see a film made in an old-school animation form, with genuinely loveable characters, consistently chortle-worthy humour and a genuine, warm soul. SOUL, people. Something Shrek, Nemo and those fucking Madagascar penguins wouldn't know if it mounted and rogered them in the middle of Times Square.

Anyway, special mention must go to faithful pooch Gromit - truly one of the most wonderful creations in animation history. He has no mouth. He doesn't speak, squeak or make any noise whatsoever. The only part of his face that moves are his ears and his brow. Yet he is emotive, empathetic, and - yes I'll say it - goddamn HOT! Don't try and deny it, lovers and dreamers. Gromit the clay-mation canine is a dead-set spunk.

In other news: I AM OFF TO QUEENSLAND! Yay! I will be spending five-ish days around New Years in a place called Wonga Beach, in a house titled with seductive tackiness: Hasta Mañana. I will be accompanying a veritable harem of stunning broads *hag-fag munkey* who have almost all promised to get their tits out in the pool. Ahhh how many straight guys would love to swap bodies (or even just eyes) with me for this holiday? But they don't get to! Haha! Munkey the loveable token-girlie-girl will have these wonderful lasses all for his own sun-kissed, beer-splashed purely-platonic enjoyment. Huzzah! Well that seems to be all folks. Feel free to come by again next time. But for now please clear the area. Move along. Nothing more to see.

Clockwise: the intelligent, resourceful, loyal, lovely man of my dreams ; if only he wasn't a dog. and four inches tall. and made of plasticine ; Wonga Beach, where I and my bevy of beauties will be spending NYE ; our summer abode, Hasta Mañana.


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07 October, 2005

now for something completely irrelevant...

More madness form the WWW:


An experiment in surrealist sculpture? A profound statement about the self-destructive cycle of gun violence? Whatever its intention, I'm liking it:


We've all been consistently horrified and apalled by the TomKat situation...

Well, now rumours are circulating that Katie is up-the-duff with the couple's first child. (A little odd if you ask this munkey, since Tommy-boy is a suspected blank-shooter from way back.) Nonetheless, proving once again that the Irish will gamble on anything, BETTING IS UNDERWAY on this Emerald Isle website, as to what will be the alleged-baby's name. My favourite suggestions are "Science" (currently at 50-1), and "Maverick" & "Iceman" (100-1 & 500-1 respectively).


They've entertained stoned University students for years, they've survived the "Tinky-Winky is gay" rumours and shaken off the claims that their nonsense language (Eh-oh!) hampers linguistic development in toddlers... but will this be the scandal that brings Teletubby Land to its knees?

Yes, the US recently completed a huge cocaine bust, only to discover that every packet of happy-powder was inexplicably decorated with a picture of the always dancing, regularly hallucinating Teletubbies. It seems that anthropomorphic appliance Noo-Loo has been hoovering up more than just discarded Tubby-Tustard.


Finally, when all the world seems a labyrinth of chaos, there are no answers to your questions, and you don't know where to turn...

From the wonderful world of engrish.com, this is a real picture of a teeshirt on sale in Tokyo.



neighbours, dragons and night-flowering lotuses

Howdy doody.

First up, this is VERY IMPORTANT: All Ramsay Street watchers out there must go to the
Neighbours website and follow the link to the SURVEY at the bottom of the screen. This is an official survey by the makers of the show, which will help point the residents of Erinsborough in the right direction for the future. While it is technically YOUR opinion you're supposed to be expressing, let me give you some well-intentioned guidance... When it asks what character type is missing from the show, be sure to please mindlessmunkey by typing in "OPENLY HOMOSEXUAL YOUNG MALE". You could even go the extra mile and add the word "HOT". Also, be sure to let the good people at Grundy know how fucking annoying David Bishop is.

so now then...

Yesterday was the birthday of Madame Moodles! Hurrah!

Coincidentally, it was also the Book Launch of Carole Wilkinson's new book for young readers: Garden Of The Purple Dragon. If you haven't read/heard of Dragonkeeper, go out and find yourself a copy RIGHT NOW. It has won a veritable swag of awards, and is very very good. Garden of the Purple Dragon is its brand new sequel, which I've not read yet, but have no doubt it will be similarly terrific. So anyway, the Alliance of Munkey-Friends all headed to Readings in Carlton for free wine and to celebrate the launch. I finally bought my own copy of both books (I had only borrowed Mu's previously *moocher munkey*) and got them signed by Carole. Hopefully Ms Cait will like them, as she's developing into such a great reader.

Afterwards, we trundled a couple of doors down to Tiamo 2 for dinner to celebrate Mu's birthday. It was a fine evening of good food and merriment, to help our dear friend edge inevitably closer to 30. (Sorry luvvie, but I'm so insecure about my own ageing, I have to take advantage of the opportunity to rub it in for anyone unfortunate enough to be Even Older. Hope you understand.)

Well, have a good weekend one and all! You shall hear from me soon.


L to R: Carole Wilkinson's multi award winning Dragonkeeper ; and its no-doubt brilliant sequel Garden of the Purple Dragon.


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mindlessmunkey vs the poison phallus - a continuing saga

~dream diary~

Here we all are, sitting on the back porch of Ms Penny and Ms Virginia's place at Jamieson, like we used to all through my childhood. We are having a cuppa and chatting as usual. Suddenly, a huge brown snake shoots out from between a gap in the floor, throwing our casual party into panic. Everybody leaps up and tries to get away from the angry, writhing serpent. It hurls itself at ElectroBoy, who somehow manages tro catch and hold it right behind its head, the way professional snake-handlers do. "Hold it like that! Don't let go or move!" I cry to him. But the snake gets away from him. Penny cries out for Virginia to get her shotgun (this echoes a real-life occurrence many years ago, when Penny tried to shoot a snake. Kind of ridiculous, since Penny - bless her heart - could barely shoot a stationary fox, let alone a moving snake. She ended up coming much closer to shooting my Dad. True story).

Meanwhile back in the dream, patermunkey has got hold of a shovel and a strange two-pronged pitchfork. Now out on the grass, he manages to pin the beastie with the fork and begins to try and chop off its head with the shovel. This all happens terribly fast, and there is a lot of confusion as the snake lashes out at him. I vividly remember seeing the inside of its fanged, fleshy mouth stretching out and gaping in its attempt to bite. After a few blows from Dad's trusty spade, the snake's head is separate from its body and the ground is caked with dark blood. But patermunkey has been bitten on the foot and the hand. Penny & Virginia (both nurses) quickly apply first aid and get Dad laying down in an old mini-bus, to rush him to Hospital. Everyone piles into cars to accompany them, but by the time I rush to get my socks and boots on, almost everyone has already left. The only car with room for me is a four-wheel-drive driven by Kevin Harrington / David Bishop from Neighbours. I don't know when he turned up, but I hate him.

He drives interminably slowly, and takes a ridiculously long way through town. There is a young lady with us also (I can't remember who) who insists we stop for a drink and a meal on the outskirts of Jamieson. She and David/Kevin assure me Dad will be fine, and there's nothing I can do to help anyway (which is true) so I grudgingly agree. There at the café, all the townsfolk are celebrating, because a local has just won the Brownlow Medal. The particularly odd part is that this Brownlow winner is a lively, rather pudgy teenage girl, who laughs and admits she only started playing football this season, and still doesn't know all the rules.

We spend so long at the café that the others all return, with Patermunkey bandaged-up, pumped full of anti-venom and out of danger. Relieved, we all begin to head home.


I'm sure Freud could go to town on these snake dreams, and what they may seem to suggest about my ambivalent relationship with certain serpentine imagery (after all, when you're Freud, what is a snake but a big, biting, blood-sucking COCK?).

It's also no-doubt quite interesting to all the armchair psychoanalatheralogatrists out there that, when I was being hurt by Ryan, I had a dream about being bitten by a snake, and protected by my family... and now that Ryan has ripped-off patermunkey, I have a dream about him being bitten. But I think the important thing to focus on is that in both dreams, the bite-victim gets help in time and ends up safe and well. And in this latest one, the nasssty ssserpent got itsss HEAD HACKED OFF. Too phucken right.

Stand back! The abject is attacking!



05 October, 2005

matters of importance

Okay, I was meant to do this last week, but unfortunately got distracted by other matters.

Last week was BANNED BOOKS WEEK! In her glorious capacity as Something To Do With Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria (sorry, hun, I can never remember your job title) Lady Lilikens featured banned books on
her blog "Read Alert" all last week. Make sure you check it out to see just how absurd people can get in the fascist censorship of youth literature.

Among the most ridiculous are Where's Wally (or Waldo in the US)... and the DICTIONARY! Yes, some crazy Americans banned the Dictionary, because there are rude words in it! Maybe that's why none of them can spell "favourite" or "aluminium".


Also, Mr Timothy has reminded me that the ABC is currently running a
My Favourite Film survey to find Australia's most loved movie. So make your voice heard, lovers and dreamers: VOTE NOW!

Everyone can vote ten times. I have dutifully registered multiple votes for magnolia, Dancer In The Dark and Cabaret. Please please please don't let something crapola like Titanic find its way to the top of the list. Vote for the goodstuff! You know what I'm talkin bout.


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04 October, 2005

it's a fine, fine line...

Salaam and good evening! Goodness, life is interesting.

My gmail inbox was rather nasty to me on Friday morning. It attacked me with a brutal email form Mr Ryan Mac, wherein he accused me of some incredibly hurtful things (which, needless to say, I didn't do) and essentially blamed me for the collapse of our relationship. Because the fact that he ran away to Qld then USA without telling me, after taking money from my family, had nothing to do with it. SHEESH! May I here heartily echo Lady Lili's sentiments: BOYS ARE RETARDED!!! *ready-for-a-good-bout-of-single-life munkey*

On Friday night, after drinks with Mme Mu, Snazzles and munkey trundled off to the Nova Cinema - avec one Mr Pete - to see the Melbourne premiere of The Proposition. The film was great (see review, below) but once again The Nova proved itself to be one of Melbourne's worst cinematic venues, as a ridiculously bad technical fuck-up resulted in the entire film having to be started again. The Q & A afterwards was good largely for entertainment value, as the nuff-nuffs of Melbourne all seemed to step forward spouting inane drivel in hope of validation by their favourite celebrites.

The following day, Snazzles and I headed to the home of Ms Cait and patermunkey for my little sister's birthday celebration! I put my fairy-bread-making skills to fine use, and Snazzie and I prepared the games, while my auntie Ms Wendy played chef and patermunkey enjoyed not having to do very much. The guests arrived, and we were all quite startled at how quiet and subdued ten-year-old girls are. We were expecting squealing and chaos, but it was tough to even get them to show much interest in the games. Oh well, they all seemed to have fun, despite the odd tantrum and huff.

After the party, and some recovery time, we headed off to Snazzles' former abode to visit Mr Tim and much belatedly celebrate his birthday. I hadn't seen Tim in months, MONTHS I tellsya... and it was fantastic to catch up. I don't think I have laughed so much in such a short space of time, well... rarely if ever. Tim cooked us a fantastic meal, we listened to "Yodelling the Classics" (don't ask) and generally had a wonderful time.

I caught up with Mr Adrian on Sunday afternoon to celebrate his birthday (okay, I think it's official: there are TOO MANY BIRTHDAYS around this time of year). So we mosied up to Grandma Funks *regular-haunt munkey* for a good old chinwag, a fine lunch, a couple of wines and far too much cake. I think Adrian seemed to like the DVD of Gosford Park that I got him... it should sate his Clive Owen fetsih anyway. Happy Birthday, Mr Adrian!

That afternoon, the Mr Ryan Mac saga continued. Now I don't want to get myself slapped with a big fat suit for slander (or is that libel?) but let's just say new information has come to light which casts Ryan's actions over the past week in a new and vaguely scary light. "I have the envelope. And the award for Most Frightening Personality Reversal of 2005 goes to..." You guessed it. It's really quite bizarre. To think that a month ago, we were practically a married couple. He had lived in my house while I was on holiday. He spent most of his days at my place, while I was at work, coz he worked nights. He had every opportunity to rip me off and treat me badly, and he never did. But now he is officially a Very Bad Man. It makes one wonder. But at any rate, it is out of my hands now. *moving-on munkey*

Finally, in Pop Culture news, I'm afraid I must shock you all and side with Mark Holden on the topic of Sunday Night's Australian Idol. Lee "Tropical Fish Head" Whatsisname is a dead-set fucking disgrace. He and the thousands of shallow, try-hard teens who support him should learn that Punk is a socio-political stance... it means more than just having some piercings and a bad dye-job. To stand up and sing a politically-motivated song simply for its catchiness and teen-pleasing appeal, exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Pop music industry. Shame, shame, shame.

Adios, lovers and dreamers. Snuggles to all (except you. you know who you are. no more munkey-snuggles for you)!

Clockwise: Nick Cave and Guy Pearce at the premiere of The Proposition ; cashola - the root of all evil? ; my ex - the alleged dirty stinking thief ; Lee - Oz Idol 's shallowest strumpet:


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munkey's-eye view: THE PROPOSITION

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD ~ This review may imply elements of The Proposition's ending.

An Australian Western that goes beyond Us and Them.

The idea of using Australia's colonial history as the setting for a Western-style film is not a new one. The first ever feature-length film is believed to be 1906's The Story of the Kelly Gang, so in fact the bushranger epic of the Australian wilderness pre-dates the cowboy epic of the American frontier.

Director John Hillcoat has fulfilled a decades-old dream by bringing The Proposition to the screen. For much of his career, he has been in search of the right story, longing to capture this country's often brutal landscape and evoke its equally brutal history. After being dissatisfied with the first comissioned screenplay - which followed too closely the standard American Western formula - Hillcoat turned to his old friend Nick Cave, who had thus far agreed only to write the score for the film.

Cave created a screenplay which abandonned the good-guys vs bad-guys, white-hats vs black-hats simplicity of the traditional Western, instead weaving a lyrical, morally ambiguous tale. The script follows structural patterns more akin to a symphony than a traditional film, and is laced with minimal, poetic dialogue.

The essential story of The Proposition is necessarily quite simple in its machanations, yet limitlessly profound in its implications. The Burns family are outlaws. Local trooper Captain Stanley manages to capture the younger two Burns brothers, and offers middle-sibling Charlie a propostion: he will grant them their freedom from certain execution, in exchange for Charlie hunting down and killing Arthur - the eldest brother and ring-leader.

Thus begins a tense journey of violent acts and moral dillemas. The Proposition is punctuated by brief bursts of brutal violence. However the real meat of the film is in the lead-up to, and aftermath of these occurences. In exploring these periods of seething unquiet and intensity, Cave and Hillcoat's film paints a grim picture of Australian history. As "civilised" society desperately tries to take hold in a barren, unforgiving place, the reality of human injustice and violence takes its inevitable toll. Meanwhile the film also has much to say about the importance of family ties, the invalidation of women in such precarious societies, and the extremely varied role of indigenous Australians, fighting both with and against the flailing but unstoppable British Empire.

The look of the film matches its gritty subject matter. Shot in the blinding light and sweltering heat of outback Queensland, the actors are consatntly drenched with real sweat, covered with real dirt, swarming with real flies. Yet despite the unmasked squalor of life as it must genuinely have been in such communites, The Proposition is a truly beautiful film. Cinematographer Benoît Delhomme - on his first ever trip to Australia - captures the other-worldly overwhelmingness of the sunlight in his vast, harsh exteriors, and also lends a palpable intimacy to the smaller character moments.

The Proposition also boasts a brilliant ensemble cast including Guy Pearce, whose tightly-wound restraint perfectly suggests the internal struggle Charlie goes through in pursuing his deal with Stanley. Meanwhile Ray Winstone as the Captain displays an exquisite emotional range, while always remaining understated. Supporting turns from Emily Watson, John Hurt, David Wenham and Richard Wilson are all flawless.

While essentially a portrait of a communtiy in ruin and barely-contained despair, there is also warmth in The Proposition. The relationship between Captain Stanley and his wife Martha (Watson) displays genuine tenderness despite the utter hopelessness of its circumstances. The love between Charlie and his simpleton younger brother Mikey (Wilson) is also very real, and the unexpressed emotion when Charlie ultimately proves unable to save Mikey is deeply moving. In the film's conclusion, there can be little redemption for the terrible acts we have seen carried out - any such redemption would serve only to undermine the gravity of what has gone before. However there is character resolution in Charlie's final actions. Stanley's proposition has predictably ended in tragedy for all. Charlie's actions eventually arise not from any deal or bargain, but from what he knows is the right thing to do, hopefully bringing an end to the cycle of needless carnage that has wracked his family and its community.

(out of 5)

Guy Pearce as Charlie Burns in The Proposition.