Op-Ed: I’m A Fanfiction Elitist

And so my descent (ahem, ASCENT) into Geekdom continues: am addicted to fan fiction. I mean seriously, where else can one revel in the fantastical construction of your favourite characters and other people’s rather deplorable imaginations of said characters?

This is something I submitted to issue 2.2 of the zine Nerds Gone Wild! (founded by the inaugural Mia Timpano). I still haven’t heard a response from her or her associate editor, but my byline stalking still ensues – she’s published in this bi-month’s Russh and of course, Frankie.

One day I will have a proper WordPress blog/journal thingo site where I properly and coherently dump all my writings. Until I find someone who is actually WordPress-literate, I will continue to flounder here on Blogger – not that it’s all bad, it’s just that updating it takes about the same amount of time for a sloth to decide whether or not it needs to sneeze.



I’m a FanFiction Elitist

I blame the combination of Buffy’s vampiric duties with Irvine Kinneas’ wily pixellated ways for my habit. Seven years later and I’m a potential addict, devoting at least three hours a day sitting on FFN (Fanfiction.Net for you fan fiction n00bs) and apparently brimming with elitist wankerism. Just because I believe Mary Sues should die a slower death than the soap opera plotline of an Orphen fic I read recently, doth not maketh an elitist. And what is elitist wankerism when you’re a writer and appreciator of writing in equal parts?

My perchance for fan fiction wasn’t always like this. I exhausted my catalogue of Buffy and Angel videos around the same time I discovered the internet. So in between painstakingly taping episodes off the TV without commercials over approximately 17 tapes, I satisfied my obsession online at FFN inhaling the stories on offer with the fervency of a junkie on crack. Dial-up connections and 56mb RAM were no obstacle compared to Joss Whedon’s lag between seasons. It was around this time that Final Fantasy VII came out, and after sobbing out my eyeballs in a dark corner over Aeris’ demise, it was back to FFN to see what the equally emotional masses had drummed up in their fantastical imagined worlds – most of which consisted of melodramatic plotlines of Aeris’ and Cloud’s wedding, their subsequent children, catfights between Aeris and Tifa, and enough slash to make my 12-year-old self become a mild frigid for a few years.

It was during one particular late night binge that I realised my R&R’s were approaching the lengths of a progressively horrible franchise starting with “power” and ending with “rangers”. A perusal of my recent reviews to a writer, who utilised my new favourite vampires in her stories, found numerous mentions of “you’re getting completely OOC with him to the point where it’s unrealistic” and “there is no way he would attack Bella with the hormonal implosions of a 14-year-old”, as well as, “how the hell can you go from this scene to the next without giving proper explanation to your villains’ actions from previous chapters?!! READ THE BOOK FOR FUCK’S SAKE!”. And let’s not start with my increasingly apparent anal retentivity regarding Mary Sues, grammar, punctuation, and that fact that the main character is a bloody vampire (no pun intended), and therefore not human, for a reason.

One thing I’d like to get straight: I am not a troll or flamer, though I may attract similar examples of such. I am persnickety with characterisation and fluidity of voice because I want these stories to get better – to make these storylines believable, it’s all in the mannerisms. I don’t do it because I have an inferiority complex or because my only friends are online, and therefore that is where I gain my self-esteem – for fuck’s sake, not all nerds are socially inept in the ‘real world’.

The whole point of fan-fiction is to take these characters that you love so purely and allow them to help you become better writers and creative magicians, and in doing so, help you and others fill the void. You do not add a disclaimer at the beginning of your chapters only to violate the characters you’ve come to adore more than your limited edition Spike Season Two action figure. OOC characterisations and side stories with minor characters are doable, so long as they’re believable. OOC for major characters should be outlawed and punishable by repeated viewings of Batman and Robin via the Ludovico technique.

So if you ever decide to write fan fiction, do keep in mind that characters are not there to be exploited into dialogue that fails to breach the realms of conversation between two Pokémon. Nor are they there to cavort in a highly sexualised fashion with a randomly inserted character of your own imagination. FFN will tell you to ‘unleash your imagination’, but I urge you to think twice about what my imagination is capable of should you decide to write lemon between two male pilots from NERV just because you saw Shinji Ikari speak to them before an Angel mission in episode 15. Yes, caps lock does not fully express your otaku joy, but my keyboard will express my own kind of ‘joy’ over your nauseating attempt at yaoi.

Some FF terminology:

Beta: a fanfic writer’s editor, often arranged through a shared appreciation for a particular series, show etc.
OOC: out-of-character a.k.a the fine line between fanfic escapism and downright debauchery of the original text.
R&R: read and review
WIP: work-in-progress
B/A: Buffy/Angel-centric fic, or any other two characters depending on the series. Forward slash may also be substituted with an ‘x’.
R&R: Read and review; often used by those on FFN
Slash: male/male relationships in fanfiction. Common examples include Kirk and Spock, Harry and Snape. Recently, the term ‘slash’ has been used to describe any type of erotic fanfiction, regardless of sexuality.
Lemon: fanfiction containing sexually explicit content – ‘lime’ refers to mildly sexual content
Yaoi: publishing genre which focuses on male/male relationships and is marketed at females, originally from Japan, stemming from manga.
Yuri: as above but focusing on female/female relationships

University Observations (Rant)

This particular submission was for the first issue of UTS’ student zine Vertigo for 2008. Unfortunately it didn’t get past the editors, but whatevs – I like it anyway. The basic premise was an introduction to UTS for new students into the quirks and nuances of tertiary education. Obviously there is a fairly strong Frankie-vibe to it, but I am trying to find my ‘unique writing voice’.

I hate how speaking in abbreviations has permeated into my everyday vernacular. CBF throwing abuse at brain fart that is The Hills. Bastards.


Things You May Discover Once You Begin University

Aloha. Welcome. Now take it easy, and calm the fuck down. Please refrain from hyperventilating into a sad puddle of Ksubi jeans and cardigan cool, because more people will be laughing at you than sympathise the death of your arty pose. Chances are, these would’ve been some of the few intriguing things you’ll have discovered when you stepped foot into this architectural phallus known as UTS (it’s really not that bad). Such it is that some of these observations have been especially compiled for you complete with sub-headings and bullet points (because everyone loves a numbered article):

1. The girl-to-guy ratio is 5 to 1, at least if you’re studying Humanities. A dire situation for those in search of the requisite uni significant other (an epidemic likely to sprout amongst your school friends because look! Fresh meat!). A fair proportion of these guys will either be really, really, ridiculously good-looking, ridiculously intelligent and thus, unavailable, or good-looking, intelligent, and gay. Insert sob here. Mating choices for the straight boys will be considerably wider, in which case I’d suggest you learn to differentiate between the visually pleasing and the intellectually pleasing. In actual fact however, there isn’t really that much of a human smorgasbord to feast upon. But before this sub-heading descends into more disturbing depths, consider the possibility that you may be cavorting with the same sorts of people you’d find at your high school, just meshed together differently and at times, sartorially better. That said, should you truly find a significant other more significant than you originally thought, then kudos to you!

2. Last-minute essays are the way of the future. Most likely you will begin the semester with an overzealous approach to completing assignments weeks before they are due and earn the most votes for “Most Punctual” on Facebook – I did (am such a rebel). However, come end of semester you will be likely to descend into the pits of procrastination limbo, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming one with one of the many computers at the library and twiddling your thumbs approximately 27 minutes before the assignment is due. That, and you’ll have noticed the fact that Market City is just across the road! Resistance is futile.

3. Lemons solve everything. A fruit, a core vitamin, and more multi-purpose than your average multi-purpose cleaner (including the pink grapefruit kind). This will be all you need if you’ve just moved out of home for the first time because chances are you’ll be witness to both you and your housemates’ free dump policy of the food, drink, and bodily variety. Sometimes at the same, but in different rooms or out different windows. Regardless, cleaning will be the norm. Lemons are the Swiss Army Knife of fruit because they can do everything – imported beer garnish, salad dressing extraordinaire, trusty cleaning agent. Dilution will ruin its impact, so apply to sticky, stainy surfaces raw and sliced in quarters. Add baking soda to toughen up the old geezer. Marvel. Or sue Vertigo for giving you shitty cleaning tips.

4. The Clare is your second home. Friday night drinks are normal from about week one. Most likely you’ll start off at The Loft for their excellent Happy Hours, but for a more rounded (albeit mild) overview of the university nightlife, leg it across Parramatta Road to The Clare where its vintage charm envelopes you with dumpy, comfy couches and endearingly sticky tiled walls. Home to many a drunken Engineering (and Humanities) student, this pub will hold a special place in your heart once you’ve left and graduated from your 10-year degree. It will be the place to go when you’ve finished classes on Friday (or Monday, whatever), and also the place to go when you’ve failed classes. Pat your liver as it gives a woozy smile when your alcohol tolerance rises considerably. Or not, if you balk at the mere scent of Vodka and all you drink is a fizzy concoction commonly known as lemonade. Hello designated driver.

5. All your newly discovered friends will disappear after the first week or two. So make an effort and get their contact details now to avoid despair. Or you could always stalk them on Facebook.
You play nice now, kiddies!

Explosions In The Sky (15.02.08)

explosions in the sky gig review margaret tran
I’ve always been a fan of Explosions In The Sky ever since my Last.FM player pulled them up during my early aural experiments. Being a fan of Mogwai and Sigur Rós, Explosions was right up my alley. That said, seeing them live is a whole new experience.. Intense only barely begins to describe the atmosphere of the place.

And it seems that University of Sydney’s Manning Bar is fast becoming a formidable venue in the Sydney live scene. February was without a doubt chockers with indie’s finest: Stars, Broken Social Scene, Beirut, Okkervil River, but to name a few.

explosions in the sky gig review margaret tranBroken Social Scene
Freakin’ glorious

Anyhoo, below is the gig review I did for FasterLouder. I personally think I come off as a pretentious wanker, but it’s still fairly readable. Those prog-rock/soundscapes stuff that extreme artsy types listen to can be a hit-and-miss for me sometimes..


Explosions In The Sky
Manning Bar, Sydney
15 February 2008

By expertly balancing the tender tones of Sigur Rós with My Bloody Valentine ’s sadistic brutalities, Explosions In The Sky set an obscenely high bar of expectation for the night. Their late starting time of 10.45PM and requisite support acts only served to heightened the buzz surrounding their maiden performance on our shores.

Wollongong band Ohana meandered onto the stage and unleashed a disjointed mesh of guitars and jagged wails. Indeed they seemed to aim for the punk end of this dizzying prog-rock spectrum, but lacked the energy or presence to really pull it off. The crowd threw appreciative applause, but the band struck an, at times, clichéd chord that did little to stir the senses for this reviewer.

Eluvium on the other hand, was a welcome entrée to the main event as Matthew Cooper shuffled into position. It was a varied and breathtaking experience of soundscapes punctured with conjured images of warfare and its proceeding funeral procession, the sombre piano a testimony to his years of childhood lessons. Being a one-man-band, there was the immediate difficulty in translating the lush layers of sound into a live experience. He alternated between crouching over his DAT players and crouching over his piano, a feat only forgivable by his superb compositions.

Another half hour wait preceded the main event as the crowd ambled closer to the stage. Plastic cups began to litter the carpeted floor of the university hangout, and there was a distinct buzz in the air, heavy with anticipation for the Texan aural artists. Then at last, they arrived, grins apparent on their faces above the roar of applause as they settled into position. After the announcement of the very recent birth of a friend’s baby by guitarist Munaf Rayani, a harrowing explosion (for lack of a better word) of distorted guitar by Michael James opened the set, assaulting the eardrums of those who happened to be nearest to the speakers.

Then came the soft, lilting notes that define the light and shade masterpiece that is Explosions In The Sky. Being so used to seeing microphones follow musicians like an organ extension, one becomes acutely aware that here is a band who let the music do the talking for them. Taking most of the setlist from the records The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place and the popular All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, the band have the outrageously exacting skill of taking you on an almost cathartic journey. Never mind that you might know the songs all by heart, they somehow meld the tracks into one so that it’s impossible to tell which way you’re going to be thrown next. Many punters were standing completely still, their eyes closed in an act of utter submission, allowing their bodies to flow from the proverbial quiet stream into the violent and suffocating ocean.

There are few words that can describe the intensity of experiencing the music live. You get the impression that something terrible is going to happen, and sure enough, it does, its coming obliterating everything in its path. Indeed, some people had to leave the space for a moment or move further away from the stage in a bid to regulate the music. The textured synthesised sounds and the weeping guitars were not done justice by the sound at Manning Bar, the walls of the place threatening to peel away to accommodate. Amazingly, there were a few people talking during the James’ quietly nuanced guitar, but they too were silenced into obedience by the white noise of Mark Smith’s pounding bassline and Rayani’s satanic tones, as he swayed around like a man possessed.

Despite the absence of the beautiful Your Hand In Mine and First Breath After Coma, the band delivered a set worthy if not better than their overused Mogwai comparisons, and leaves this reviewer needing a few days to recover from it all.

i’m intellectual whore

A currently structured personal essay on a particular plague in my mind. And I say structured, because I had to submit it as a feature article for uni, and I’d run out of ideas for anything else to write about. That, and I was neck-deep in procrastination.

Am thinking of tinkering with this and making it more personalised for submission to Frankie. That said, I have been shunted before despite one initial interest in my pieces of work. ONE! Email me back again please!

I wonder if Benjamin Law considers himself an intellectual whore at times? I wouldn’t be surprised considering the profound number of readers gleaning themselves with his wisdom every time Frankie comes out. Oh Benjamin, if only your sexuality did not pervade me. We could be happy, you and I..


I’m An Intellectual Whore

The ability to lace words and ideas into an art form is steeped in seduction, for there is no denying the sexuality infused in the mere exchange of conversation. It is a universal concept to be sure, where participants are entranced by the quixotic allure of another’s philosophic thought. There is a shared interest between the two and the journey to an intellectual commonality is pursued, a process and an exploration towards a truth. But the other night, I listened to his voice at the other end of my mobile phone connection, and whose ideas I had come to worship and handle with as much fragility as my own vulnerable nature, and I quietly asked myself, at what cost?

When Woody Allen published the book Getting Even, the intellectual whore was born. Termed to describe the woman hired to philosophise and talk politics with a man married to an unintelligent specimen, the Whore of Mensa brought an intriguing antithesis to the notion of the streetwalker. According to Allen, this woman would be highly educated, often found pencilling ‘Yes that’s so true!’ in the margins of a Kantian textbook, quoting the psychosexualities of Freudian proportions, and spectacles pushed back on by the carefully extended forefinger. She would always be in a spot of financial trouble, hence the whoring implication for quick financial relief. A woman would possess such knowledge as to lure her pursuers into a world of mythology and futurist thinking, garnering such intelligence so as to be respected on a psychological level, if not a dismissively sexual one. Men were entranced by their bought moments of philosophical thought, yet were happy to return home to their doting, often less-educated and less-articulate wives. And so it is asked: what balance is this?

There appears to be a femininity in the pursuit of thought, despite the dominance of males in the sociological field. It is supposed that women were considered second-class citizens, to be seen but never heard, but it seems that this mild form of oppression is laced in an intriguing form of seduction. Indeed, Woody states this very plainly with his Whore of Mensa, where the denouncement of knowledge in a woman is on par to the social taboo of being a prostitute. An intellectual woman is commoditised, to be used and thrown away until the next desire for thought.

The extent to this engagement is dependent on money. “For three bills, you got the works: a thin Jewish brunette would pretend to pick you up at the Museum of Modern Art, let you read her master’s, and get you involved in a screaming quarrel at Elaine’s over Freud’s conception of women” chirps the Kaiser in Allen’s story. This woman of thought is a tool, cheapened by money, even though the man is submissive throughout the experience.

Such a person still exists in modern times. While financial transactions may at times continue to support the intellectual exchange between two often lonely individuals, the relationship has evolved into one that is free from financial stress. There is a contrast of commonality and disparity between two friends, for example, where one is the wide-eyed underling to the Flaubert quoting superior. In some ways, this has played out in teenage culture, and starkly so in the TV series Dawson’s Creek, which followed the lives of four small town teenagers. Joey is her best friend Dawson’s intellectual whore, called upon when required and dismissed in the presence of physical urges offered by his girlfriend Jen. He is the underling, she the superior, and yet her working class background underscores her intellect and relegates her to a similar social standing as Mensa’s whore. What is interesting, however, is how teenagers as a whole are a growing secular society, where their exchange of ideas is as stable as their hormonal sexual patterns. Such parallels inevitably lead to the notion of promiscuity, and again, we find that knowledge is an alluring, sexualised commodity where someone’s ideas and philosophies are borrowed to benefit the intellectual thirst.

In many ways, the underling revels in the joys offered by their intellectual prostitutes’ ideologies and theologies, and yet find it difficult to define their own way of thinking. They choose to steal etches of individuality, bought and harvested from their encounters with the highly intelligent and highly unaware. Such ideas are hybridised to fit their own mentalities and emotions of the day, absorbed like a drug to a feverish addict until they are replete for the day. They buy and take from multiple partners without any qualms.

It is somewhat alarming that on the social networking juggernaut that is Facebook, a group is devoted to this class of intellectually unassured citizens. Catergorised under ‘self-help’, the group description asks, “if a person is smart and is articulate, do you forget that they might not be the prime physical specimen and think they are the reason for the sun and moon?”, before launching into the ever-enlightening backhand of “have you ever been turned on by deep and engaging conversation and yet had no physical interest in the person?”. Just like prostitute is frowned upon, ‘intellectual whores’ are considered on par with their physical counterparts. Of course, it is all laughs and satirical joy, but there is the undeniable notion of sympathy dueling with disapproval. It comes with being intellectually promiscuous, at least as far as so defined by the group.

There is a social difficulty in balancing the physical features of a person with their intelligence, a notion manifested in the stereotype of the Nerd. It seems that while a person may be perfectly capable of developing a philosophy, this does not necessarily translate them to aesthetically pleasing citizens. Is it questionable then, that this particular mode of intimacy is by no means a substitute for that other tryst?

There is an overwhelming desire that underscores this ‘use and abuse’, or ‘treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen’ mentality. In many ways, the desire for knowledge and new ways of thinking is embedded in human DNA, for without thought, how is there progress? The near animalistic nature of desire is what drives this person, a purchaser of thoughts, onwards in a journey to satisfy their perpetual crave for new philosophies, as a necessity of modern existentialism. It is this thirst for knowledge and thought that far exceeds the capacities of fulfillment by any offerings of physical sexual rapture, regardless of how such a thirst may be laced in sexual qualities. The very idea behind intellectual promiscuity is philosophy, which in its most basic form is ‘philo’ – lover – and ‘sophia’ – of knowledge, and it is this ongoing process that sits, perpetually unsatisfied so long as there are ideas in existence and philosophies to pursue and discover.

But here comes the crux – explained with the ease of example with Dawson’s Creek. The tension between Dawson and Joey became a romantic relationship of such enamour and purity in the pursuit of thought, that it eventually imploded, lashings of distrust and personal taboo seeped beneath their perfect white sheets. Their love of knowledge could not exceed their conflicting admiration for each other. Behind their carefully disguised philosophies lay Love’s Puppet, driving them apart instead of closer together. It is this conflict of interest that complicates the barter, and both parties are ultimately losers. They trade each other for other partners after being found out, and leave the past where it began: in the past to be hastily forgotten however deeply the experience may have left on their perceptions of similar with other partners.

To consider myself an ‘intellectual whore’ is often a discomforting thought. Despite such misgivings, and considering my current situation with a man of four and twenty and his relationship with a girl six years his junior, I have come to accept my role as a provider and entertainer of thoughts. It is at the expense of my own romantic worth, but I happily take my momentary hours of conversation, connected by the extent and capability of coverage afforded by our telephone service providers. For the moment, I am quite content with the ideas and thoughts that leave me satiated in the twilight hours of night.

And now the question begs: what becomes of the intellectual whore? They seek out innumerable ideas, sleeping with them, trying out different positions to see which ones work most effectively in reaching their intellectual climax, only to leave them in the morning, gathering the fragments of these memories, freshly used and abused, and perhaps guilt on behalf of both parties, more so on the soul of the whore. This is the realisation that one has screwed over not just their partner in crime, but themselves. It sinks like the flurried haze that laces the initial encounter – minus the wide-eyed enthusiasm and the naivety possessed by the wide-eyed school girl, and heavy with a growing dissatisfaction and the indescribable desire for something deeper than a satisfying thought. From here, they move on into the morning, hunting the next intellectual fix so that they may amend, if not justify the one before.

Live Earth gig review + existential crisis #87

I banged out a gig review of Live Earth and sent all 1104 words (they’d definitely have to edit it down to about 700 words – it’s impossible editing your own work) to street press mag the Drum Media with the request and thanks that if deemed worthy, the review would be published in the upcoming issue. Now I read a fairly mediocre review in my copy of said issue of the Drum, critiquing an event that, despite its commercial nature, did not really cover the critiques that came with reviewing.

I feel a profound sense of inadequacy, possibly due to my ability to be over-anxious when it comes to not achieving what I’ve set out to do. That coupled with my present anxiety over not hearing any response from USYD about my Masters application, which will eventuate into an overwhelming (and unnecessary) sense of worthlessness means that I am one very tightly wounded individual right now.

But of course, this is just me feeling wounded at not being published so really, don’t listen to me. Such is the self-indulgence and narcissism that comes with blogging YAY.

My review is below for you to make up your own mind.


LIVE EARTH – 07.07.07

With climate change warm in the air, the day was not without a sense of trepidation as the cream of the Australian music crop came together to raise awareness on this most pressing issue in our modern world. I mean, with Al Gore’s stamp of approval, any excuse for a concert right?

An Aboriginal performance paid homage to the nation’s indigenous roots before Blue King Brown opened the bill with an energetic set to wake the early Saturday morning punters trickling into the Oval A and B sections. There was a little more action in the stadium when Toni Collette and The Finish took the stage. Now I haven’t always been a fan of Ms Collette, save for her performance in Muriel’s Wedding, but her band wasn’t half bad. Despite the highlight being her cover of T. Rex’s Children of the Revolution, she carried a firm stage presence. Her songs failed to stir any particular interest in me however – blandness reigned.

The epic food lines at the stalls scattered around the innards of the stadium had me clutching my poor excuse for a pizza as I ran to catch the remnants of Sneaky Sound System. Bridging the gap between indie and mainstream, they made the most of their measly twenty-five minute set, momentarily transforming the stadium into a club house, albeit a very open spaced one. Soon after, The Ghostwriters performed a solid set as Rob Hirst took the stage, unleashing original songs and a classic Midnight Oil number, When The Generals Talk.

Paul Kelly got the crowd going with a gorgeous rendition of From Little Things, Big Things Grow as Missy Higgins and John Butler took the stage earlier than scheduled to support the man himself – a definite highlight. Soon after, Eskimo Joe donned their pretentious mainstream coats and took the stage with yet another lack-lustre and tightly rehearsed set, opening with crowd-pleaser From The Sea and ending with the commercial earworm that is Black Fingernails, Red Wine. In a set riddled with new tracks (hate to break it to you boys, but a little Sweater every now and then won’t tarnish those skinny jeans of yours), frontman Kav Temperley renounced London Bombs as a political song. But the political nature of the event itself was already tangible in the air. Regardless, the punters soaked it in and onward we swayed.

The darling of the Australian music scene Missy Higgins bounded on the stage for the second time that day, shooting off tracks from her new record, intercepting The Wrong Girl and Where I Stood with sing-a-long renditions of The Special Two and Scar as her gentle though formidable stage presence was felt. John Butler Trio took the stage, sending the crowd into a dancing frenzy as he punched out a solid performance of Zebra before riffling off Funky Tonight and an undeniably joyous Better Than. He spoke to the audience of looking after Mother Earth (as if we needed reminding) before launching into Treat Yo Mama with lute in tow and a mind-blowing drum solo by percussionist Michael Barker.

The inexorable juggernaut that is Wolfmother unleashed a solid and tight set to a somewhat unworthy crowd. One punter suggested the lack of enthusiasm to the way in which moshing generated heat, and that such refrain would serve as an example to the cause. Indeed, it seemed that green was definitely the taste of the day as Andrew Stockdale held up his double-necked guitar proclaiming, ‘We used just one tree to make two guitars!’ much to the puzzled punters.

In what may very well have been his only gig of the year, tourist Jack Johnson strolled onto the stage with a certain humility and laid-back attitude before strumming an almost crowd-led rendition of Times Like These. Visibly amused by such antics, Mr Johnson teased the audience with ‘I bet you know the words to this next one’ as the opening chords of The Horizon Has Been Defeated guaranteed instant transportation to a tropical island of punter choice. Interspersing older tracks with his newer ones, the crowd was giddy with excitement as they sang along to Gone, a track unfortunately made famous by the ubiquitous Black Eyed Peas.

The screens on either side of the stage occupied the time between sets, interlacing short films that pushed the climate change and water/energy/oil/methane-saving message via Cate Blanchett, Will Ferrell and videos of the eternally annoying Rihanna. Signs brought by the audience, ranging from the hilarious ‘Jack Johnson, have my GREEN babies’ to the downright clever ‘I HEART energy efficient LAMP’, were projected onto said screens for amusement. Then Peter Garrett took the stage to introduce recently reformed headliners Crowded House. Punters cheered for the former Midnight Oil frontman as he put his own green two cents into the bill, telling the crowd that climate change was the biggest issue affecting modern society before dropping the Rudd factor as the crowd shuffled in discomfort. It was almost sad to see a man once revered as rock royalty seemingly weighed down by the political agendas of his party.

Then Crowded House took the stage as the crowd threw their adoration in screams and applause, and let’s face it, tonight was all about them. Neil Finn has become a man one year short of fifty and definitely not one short of rocking out, as he greeted the crowd with a genuine happiness spreading through the lines on his face. And with that familiar opening riff of Locked Out, we were overwhelmingly assured of Crowded House as they once were, at least as much as they are without the late Paul Hester. There was definitely no denying the absence of the drummer that was, but this did not deter the crowd’s raw enthusiasm for the band that formed a big part of the ‘soundtrack to our lives’. Shooting off tracks with a grandiose sing-a-long of Fall At Your Feet and Don’t Dream It’s Over, as well new record offering Silent House, the audience was brimming with nostalgic euphoria, grins and cheers inescapable. The gimmick-free power outage of the tyred backdrop of lights during an ironic Four Seasons In One Day provided a poetic touch to the night; ‘I guess they’re trying to save energy’ replied a surprised Mr Finn. The entire bill took to the stage, including a child-rearing John Butler, to bow out the night with Weather With You, before a Neil Finn-led Better Be Home Soon during the encore.

And so it was, a day (and night) of environmentally friendly and positive green energy as weary punters trudged toward the bus queues and toward Central Station by foot, their heads filled with Orwellian energy saving tactics.

i refuse to procrastinate…

…by writing a blog for the first time in over 45 days. Perhaps more, perhaps less. My calculations are off.

I’ve logged into Facebook for the umpteenth time and nothing has changed and I seriously cannot be screwed wall-whoring anyone at this point in time.

I am functioning on about two and half hours of sleep. I went to bed at 5AM this morning finishing a 3000 word draft for my Crime Fiction class where my tutor has a decidedly stupid vendetta against me.

Right now I am working on my 1500 word travel piece for Creative Non Fiction. It is due Wednesday afternoon which is in about 36 hours. I am also meant to be working on my International Communication essay which aspires to be 3000 words in length and of a Credit variety. Obviously this will not happen. I am completely fucked.

Which is why I’ve begun YouTubing Teeny Little Super Guy and Rove’s interview with Elmo, along with Gumby. I have spent countless hours on Wikipedia researching the British Monarchy via Elizabeth I, the French Monarchy via Marie Antoinette, and tomorrow night I may move onto the Russian Monarchy via Tsar Nicholas II before it fell to revolution in 1917. Not to mention countless games of online Monopoly with the only other insomniac I know…

Some updates (apologies for being a self-indulgent turd whose prose has completely died in the arse):

– I’ve discovered the brilliance of Dappled Cities Fly
– I’m applying for Masters in Media Practice at the University of Sydney for their semester two intake because I’ve suddenly realised that I do not want to leave university just yet, and the idea of being 21 with a Masters degree pleases me very much
– I did a four week internship at Rolling Stone Australia and made rad friends with my deputy editor. God damn, it looks splendourific on my CV
– Am still yet to kick the habit of leaving things til the absolute last minute, right now being a prime example. I have to get up for work in about 4 hours and here I am typing out a conglomerate of thoughts
– I became addicted to Scrubs
– I fell in love with Ethan Hawke (via Reality Bites) and Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson is soooo astoundingly good!)
– I realised that my friend has a damn good band called Ghosts of Television
– I’ve also realised that no matter how hard I try to resist, I have slowly become the pretentious artsy fartsy wank that I’ve tried so hard not to become… but then again, I fluctuate between moments of absolute idiocy (artsy wank) and normalcy (typical Maggie-ness) depending on what the situation is
– I window show with a gusto, that is, looking and not buying into every single shop
– I don’t volunteer at 2SER as much as I’d like to mostly due to my increased levels of apathy
– Being twenteen is potentially overrated; I woke up the morning of my twentieth and thought, ‘Oh it’s my birthday today’ and then ‘Dammit, I’m late for my 9AM lecture…’
– I’m going to Melbourne with my workmate Ausseela at the end of June which is smackbang in the middle of Melburnian winter which is notoriously cold Yarghh..
– I’m still yet to rid myself of this tendency to write long, pointless entries regardless of the occasion..
– Getting over the death of someone close to you is easy in some ways and harder in many more.

My eyeballs are killing me, and I still have 1000 words to go for this travel piece. Ironically enough, I reckon I just banged out over 1000 words to write this blog entry! AARGHHHH…