Saturday, September 25, 2010

212: Father To Son

I can’t remember who won the SANFL grand final in 1977, being that I was barely ten at the time, let alone the now famous VFL tied grand final. Frankly I was more interested in Star Wars, Mego and cars at the time to worry about any football game that either meant I had to walk further than the Ponderosa or involved teams that I couldn’t care about. I think Sturt won in ’77 here, but over the border it was down to Collingwood and North Melbourne, the former coached by Tom Hafey and the latter by the man for whom the term ‘Super Coach’ was invented – Ronald Dale Barassi. I never thought much of Hafey, but I have nothing but admiration for Barassi.

Despite boasting players of quality in Kink, Thompson, Wearmouth, Shaw (Ray) and Moore, North were just too strong, with their own champions in the form of the mercurial Malcolm Blight along with Cable, Crackers Keenan, Alves, Schimmelbusch and more. What it came down to, and I’m going to use another time honoured cliché here, was that one was a team of champions and the other was a champion team.

The same thing happened today, only in reverse. Collingwood played like a champion team and St Kilda, the perennial runners up, are a team of champions. That might well change next week, but it remains to be seen.

Watching a tied grand final is both exhilarating and highly frustrating at the same time. It’s like going to a club and having a drop dead gorgeous girl come up to you (or a guy, depending on your gender), whisper dirty nothings in the ear, take the clothes off and bring you to your highest enjoyment only to stop as you hit the vinegar strokes and thus preventing the ultimate prize. No wonder the players all milled around like stunned mullets, talking to each other, team-mate or otherwise, and no wonder the AFL boss, Andy Demi, was over the moon. 100,000+ filed into the MCG today and there’s the promise of another 100,000 to come back next week. That’s pure profit.

Don’t expect a rule change anytime soon. There’s just far too much money involved to change things now. And frankly it’s only happened twice before in the history of AFL/VFL, so what the hell. This is only the second tied grand final since I was 10 years old and frankly I felt it was one of the most exciting final quarters of football I’ve seen in many a year.

Hopefully there’ll be another draw sooner than 33 years. Every generation should have their own tied grand final, if only to celebrate the historical importance of it all. Get over it kiddies, look at the positives of it all – in the coming years you’ll able to say, “I actually watched that game live, so piss off junior.” Still, I fear that next week at least one team will be coming up with more guns blazing than they did today and that someone will be holding the cup aloft. But if they keep dragging that bastard Mike Fucking ‘Up There Cazaly’ Brady out to sing his song then I’m gonna find me a nice vantage point, get a high powered rifle and get that prick between the crosshairs. Me, yeah, I like football, but I can’t stand you Brady, so take your fucking song and piss off already.

In the meantime, bring on next Saturday.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

#211: Cool World

You want to know something? I don’t want your frigging ketchup. I don’t want your bloody catsup either – sounds like cat spew to me. I want chips, not fries. And by chips I mean proper chips, big chunks of spud, not poe-tay-toe, but bloody spuds, peeled by some fat old bird, chucked into a bucket of water, left there for a few hours, then deep fried into greasy goodness and wrapped in butchers paper from a proper woggo chip shop. Limp, warm fries in a little cardboard container? I think not. I want chips that scald the mouth when you think of them drowning in vinegar and dancing with more salt than the Atlantic. Chips that withstand a good soaking from a bottle of sauce, not a plastic squeeze thing, but a glass bottle that you have to stick a knife into to clear the dried residue from the previous times and that you have pound on the bottom of like it owes you $20 and has turned up drunk at a party.

I’m sick and tired of the gradual taking over of my condiments by rampant seppos, aided by utter morons like Dick Wilkins who now insists on calling mothers ‘moms’. Yep, to Dick, and let’s be blunt here, he is a New Zealander so we can forgive him nothing, his mum isn’t his mum anymore, his mum is his mom. The bloody wanker. Whoops, sorry Dick, this you might understand, you’re a freaking jerk off. And no Dick, you’re not an asshole, you’re an arsehole. Look that word up.

The Invasion Of The Brand Names has come with a subtle take over. No Hun blitzkrieg here with a pack of beret wearing surrender monkeys rolling over like a cat wanting as belly rub, this is more like a nation slowly buying everything up and re-branding everything so that they don’t have to pay to over-dub shitty television commercials. Slowly but surely conquering the nation by stealth. I used to love Lemon Spread, now it’s called Lemon Butter. Peanut Paste? No longer. It’s Peanut Butter. I overheard some idiot the other day telling another equally as brain dead moron talking about how they love jelly with their peanut butter.

Jelly? JELLY?? It’s fucking JAM you tool! Jelly is what comes out of a little rectangle Cottee’s box, lovely to eat even in its raw, granulated form. Jelly goes well with cream, diced fruit, kinky sex and ice cream, not peanut paste. I can’t think of anything more horrid than mixing an orange jelly with peanut paste. What’s next? Vegemite and custard? Jam is what the little old lady next door used to make with the apricots that she’d steal from our tree back in the 1800s.

I’m now waiting for delis to be re-branded ‘drug stores’. Still, back where I grew up, in the bowels of Mordor, the local deli was something of a drug store as you could score anything this side of speed, and even that only had a three hour waiting time and a meeting that was usually arranged behind the bald headed barber’s store. And he had no bloody cigar holding wooden Indian out the front either. Jaysus.

I had a discussion the other day, via email, with an American pal of mine who asked why Huey Lewis had to cancel his tour here. I mentioned that there was a definite lack of ticket sales, but, interestingly enough, Tears For Fears and Spandau Ballet had sold out and Duran Duran were always a good seller. He wondered why we never took to the American side of things in the early ‘80s and instead went with the English New Romantic movement. I didn’t have the heart to say the simple thing – which is take a listen to something like Girls On Film or Gold or Pale Shelter and then listen to anything by Huey Lewis. If you need me to tell you the difference then you’ve already got cloth ears. And I like ole Huey, after all his band Clover played on the first Elvis Costello album. If only they’d remained in the UK.

Fuck me, even Bucks Fizz were better than most of the American stuff of the same time. Can you compare The Land Of Make Believe with Tired of Toeing The Line by Rocky Burnette? Well you can, but you’re a clown if you do. Here are five words for those who think that the best early ‘80s music came from America: Blue Rondo A La Turk. Americans had Bon Jovi, Winger, Warrant, Ratt, utter shit bands that played pop through amplifiers with meaningful lyrics like “You give love a band name”. We had Cold Chisel, Rose Tattoo and The Angels. They had pretenders, we had the real deal. They had Offspring and Green Day. We had Nick Cave and Tex Perkins. You’d not see Rob Younger or even Johnny Kannis singing something as vapid as that shithouse Green Day song – what is it? The Time Of Our Lives? Rob would have slashed his own throat two seconds before Klondike Masuak and Pip Hoyle beat him to death just for suggesting it. And those arseholes are considered to be punk? I know a poodle named George that’s more punk than any of Green Day or Offspring combined. Chrissie Amphlet could have easily beaten the shit out of anyone in the band Cinderella. If you want to compare differences then listen to We Are The World and Do They Know It’s Christmas. Even worse, try sitting through the utterly horrid Stars by Hear ‘N’ Aid and see how long it takes you to either scream in agony, realise that you’ve just wasted seven minutes of your life or discover that your ears are bleeding – what has been heard cannot be unheard. You got nothing I want, you got nothing I need.

So shove your fucking ketchup and catsup where the sun doesn’t shine. I want to smother my burnt chops and snags at a bbq with pure tomato sauce. Thicker than soup sauce. And possibly some Wostershire sauce, or hot sauce as we called it because I couldn’t pronounce Wostershire, let alone spell it. I want football, not gridiron. I want cricket, not baseball. And bash your basketball clean up your chute. Stick your rap music and the bullshit expressions that come with it. No, ‘Yo, mah nigga,’ for me, it’s more ‘Are we believing, black man Ray?’ Cram your cow tipping, junior college, Glee clubs, freshman and sophomore years, I want the Bureau and Only For Sheep. Put your Checker Cabs up your chocolate starfish, I want Taxi Mary. And the next person that walks up to me and says, “Yo, ‘sup dude?” is going to get a size 11 boot smack dab in the nuts. Not in the ‘cup’, but fair square in the ‘carrot and onions’. You understand that? Good.

Yes, yes, I could be wrong, why, why should I pretend? God only knows in the end.

Was there ever a better band?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

#210: Shaddap You Face

Some books just make you chuckle at how crazy they are - and this is no exception.  Written by our good mate Norm Barber, he of the non-flushing turds, ads written on toilets walls and Professional Bum, this tome is as hard to find as anything that he ever wrote, and with good cause.  It's not that Norm couldn't write, it's just that he had absolutely no idea of writing an impartial book.  Actually Norm couldn't write anything impartial really, I think he'd probably disagree with his own name.

Norm hated, and possibly still does, anything to do with the Government and any form of social services.  Actually, I'll alter that, Norm doesn't hate the services, he loves them, after all he's lived his entire life on the dole and is a self confessed leach, but what really boils Norm's piss are the people who have to deliver those services to the likes of, well Norm Barber.  You know the kind, the world owes them everything, argumentative, arrogant, know it all - arseholes really.  But that's our Norm.  Norm is a bum.  Pure and simple.

This book has listings on several faith healers, and Norm promotes the value and benefits of engaging faith healers (even after telling people that they're crap, such are the depths of Norm's paranoia), all the time slagging off any form of religion (you see Norm once bought a dud motorbike with a 'Living Hope' sticker on it - it was God's fault the bike was a dud, not Norm's fault for not checking it out) as evil.  Norm also hates Yuppies - and I presume that the word 'Yuppie', in Norm's eyes, means anyone who actually has a job and isn't sponging off Government handouts and writing inaccurate shit for the likes of the Green Left and he really can't stand any sceptic who might have an alternate view on faith healing.

Having said that, if you live in Adelaide then try and find this book, and if you have a collection of Barber's musings, then let me know - I want to check out his 'How To Be A Derelict In Adelaide'.  And post it.  In the meantime, enjoy the words of Norm's preface to this fine, long out of print (and deservedly so) and incredibly paranoid tome.

Ahhhh Norm, if only you'd not taken all of those drugs back in the day.  I hope he's learnt to flush though.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

#209: Solid Rock

It’s that time of the year when a young man’s fancy turns to the finals season and a young woman’s fancy turns to crap like Ikea or shoe shopping. I don’t know which one is the bigger waste of time really, but there is something quite manic about going to the local football ground and screaming your tits off for a pack of guys kicking and chasing a ball around.

Personally I love it. In my time you could go to a game and see some absolute champions.  Players like Malcolm Blight, Russell Ebert, Greg Williams, Peter Motley, Paul Bagshaw, Barrie Robran - I could sit here for hours naming names, but the reality was that I used to wander down to Elizabeth Oval to watch Wilbur Wilson – a footballing God really. Wilbur was brilliant. He could take a stunning mark and kick a bag full of goals, but, much like any Aboriginal player of the era was subject to some of the vilest racial vilification that I’ve ever heard. This might come as no surprise, but it seemed to be worse whenever Centrals played Port. Each game would see a few punch-ups start up as the Wharfies always thought that they were superior to the Northern Swine, but the truth was that, although they beat us on the ground, off the ground was a totally different story.

Wilbur would take it all in his stride. He’d hear the abuse, shut it out and kick straight and true. To me it seemed that the more someone abused Wilbur the better he played and when he was on song, he was stunning, no questions abut it. He might not be recognised as being a superstar like a James Hird or a Wayne Carey, but Wilbur Wilson taught me more about sportsmanship than anyone else ever did. Unlike Wilbur I’m a fairly bad sport at the best of time, but much like Wilbur the more you abuse me, the better, and harder, I play and like Wilbur I only play to win. Plus Wilbur was good enough to be selected in the All Time Great Central team, and that's nothing to sneeze at.

Wherever you are Wilbur, know that you were a massive influence, not only Aboriginal kids, but also a skinny white boy growing up in the Downs.

Then I'd go home and know it was time to enter the land of nod because this guy would tell me, by virtue of pulling the sheets over his eyes. 

Where have you gone Wilbur Wilson?
A lonely nations turns it eyes to you.
What's that you say, Wilbur Wilson?
Fat Cat has left and gone away...
Say it ain't so, Joe....a generation cries out for both of you...

Monday, September 06, 2010

#208: Get A Job

Ya know, there's really not a lot I can add to this, other than the caption, which is authentic, has made my bloody may need to click on the image to appreciate the full impact of the humour, but Jaysus, I mean...can you imagine the sledging that ole John would have got back in the day?

Almost too good for words really.  It's one thing to be considered to be a handbag carrier in football, but to admit that your job was to make frilly little knickers and bras?  Get in there!!!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

#207: Shang A-Lang

Dental health was optional
There’s a pack of fifty year old bags out there who probably still swoon at the sight of these heads, and I’m stuffed if I can ever understand why. Frankly I never saw the appeal of the Bay City Rollers – heads like bags of busted arseholes really – but the little girls knew something and would scream like fucking idiots and leave snail trails all over the seats wherever they played. And they played, a lot. Well, at least they looked the part on stage, I doubt that they could play the instruments that they were often shown holding, indeed the bass player looked about at ease with the bass as W.C. Fields did holding kids. But the girls would squeal.

I could understand bands like Skyhooks, after all Shirl and Bongo Bob were fairly attractive, but these guys, I mean, they look like they’d happily leap over the fence at night and knock your washing off. Plus that tartan gimmick? Please! Gimme a break. So I was fairly intrigued when I discovered this book, titled Bye Bye Baby. The book was written by a girl who spent the bulk of her teeny bopper years chasing these wankers across America, culminating in her actually having sex with one of these morons. I had to ask why, but the book does kind of explain things, even if Sullivan missed the point when it came to the mighty Skyhooks (she was introduced to the band by an Aussie boyfriend and spends a few paragraphs telling the reader how shit they were – and this from someone who claims to have seen majesty in the lyrics of Bay City Rollers? It’s like dismissing Led Zeppelin while exhorting the wonderment of crap like Great White). I can’t help but wonder which Roller was the gay one, as Sullivan claims.

Sullivan does tell an entertaining story though, and it is worth a read, even if the subject matter is fairly twee. But still, I just can’t see the appeal behind such a lightweight pack of fools. At least now the Beibers of the world have their teeth fixed and have enough fashion sense not to look like they should have numbers below their faces, or allow people to take photos of them looking like stunned mullets.

God help us, they may be coming back with a reunion tour. I hope it ends up like David Cassidy’s Adelaide concert, at which I think I counted about two dozen people. Still, that had a highlight; David stopped mid song to tell two females at the front to shut up while he was singing. Brilliant! Some things I’ll go to my grave never understanding, and this is one of them, so girls, educate me, what is it about these skinny bastards that makes you get all wet?

C’mon…in the meantime I've had a guess and I'm hoping that I'm right - Sullivan got it on with Woody...yes, Woody by name, Woody by nature.

Yes girls, they're probably still single...
Bullshit Alan
Sadly Alan's claim was a tad premature. He not only didn't have songs, he didn't have a career. Poor Al, he didn't have shit.