Saturday, November 27, 2010

#234: (Untitled)

Ok, here's one for all you theatre type people out there.  I bought these photos in a job lot today, mainly because they're old and have inscriptions on the back of two.  However I can't locate any details about them whatsoever - and I don't believe that they come from South Australia (hence the Tivoli mentioned might well be anywhere).  All I do know is that both of these people appeared in a production of 'Carmen' in 1948, and their names were 'Nancy' and 'Headley'.

Any ideas as to who they were and anything I should know about them?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

#233: Blondes Have More Fun

This might be about the only time that you'll ever see the phrase, "Blondes Love Black" and be able to enter it into a Google search engine and not see even a hint of interracial porn.  Seriously.  There's not a sight of anyone named Ty Lattimore or Tiger Tyson, let alone Long Dong Silver or even Tiger Woods.  And you're in for a very rude shock if you pick this up hoping to see photos of Jenna Jamison, Sylvia Saint or even Paris 'Man Hands' Hilton.  Indeed you can forget all about it if you're hoping to get anywhere near a stiffy with this volume.

Published in 1968, this book, Blondes Love Black, is a heartwarming story about a Norwegian (the blonde) whose family came to Australia in search of oil (the black).  No rooting, no porn, no sex, just oil and Aboriginals with names like King Billy and other borderline racist names.  And that's it. 

As simple as that really.

This volume was, as far as I can tell, the only thing G.D. Lindholm ever wrote, and clearly at some stage he settled in Victor Harbor, as the inscription to the book, by Lindholm's wife Cynthia, was written in 1979 and states where she was living at the time.

Still, aesthetics aside it's a good book to have on the shelf, if only to see people do massive double takes and say, "What the fu*k?" when they see it.  And isn't that what book collecting is all about?

It is for me!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

#232: Put Out The Fire

I love conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists. You can’t help but love them, they’re usually nuttier than a squirrel’s sack and Joe Vialls clearly is no exception to that rule. Joe has done what must surely be considered impossible; he has written a book, titled Deadly Deception at Port Arthur, totally exonerating Martin Bryant. You remember Bryant, he’s the guy who’s currently doing time down in Tasmania for knocking off 35 people down at Port Arthur. He was caught, faced trial and was found guilty and is now doing 20 years to eternity in isolation, a fact that Joe is angry about. Bryant is innocent, you hear him? Innocent! And he wants everyone to believe him and disregard anything and everything that they might have seen, heard or read about the case and blindly accept his own words.

And why shouldn’t we? Well, simply because Vialls weaves such a tangled web that to believe it would take more drugs than even I’ve ingested over the years. In fact it’d take more drugs than Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr have taken put together, excluding the hookers. At no point does Vialls ever offer any serious proof for his theories, other than he believes it to be so, thus it must be so. And there lies the best laid plans of a true conspiracy theorist.

There’s usually two types of conspiracy theorist, the casual type one, they usually believe that someone else shot Kennedy and that there’s a bit more to the World Trade Centre than meets the eye. They also think that Harold Holt isn’t dead and that Kim Hughes was stitched up but they can't really prove it so they don't really worry about it. Then there are the True Believers. True Believers are notoriously hard to debate with because they’ll sit there and fire off their theories and then insist that other people prove them wrong. For example – the moon is made of Swiss cheese. Prove me wrong. Have you ever been there? No. So how do you know it’s not made of Swiss cheese? You’ve seen footage? How do you know it wasn’t faked by the CIA? You get the drift. Vialls is a definite True Believer. He knows that Bryant didn’t kill anyone at Port Arthur. Bryant, to use Vialls words, is a patsy. How does he know this? One reason is because Bryant didn’t speak to the media at the time and is considered to be inarticulate, in Vialls expert opinion (and he has a lot of expert opinions, from psychology to military to medical to penal). Vialls claims that Lee Harvey Oswald was also shy and inarticulate and Oswald also never spoke to the media.  However existing footage of Lee Harvey Oswald actually talking to the media (seriously - while in custody Oswald actually gave a press conference) reveals a man who had full capacity, knew exactly what he was saying and was highly intelligent. No stuttering, no hesitancy, nothing. Just a well spoken man who appeared to be confused. There goes Vialls first argument and his fact that Oswald never spoke to the media is also a lie.  Trust me, all of his arguments go down the chute when you analyse them.

To execute a plan whereby you're going to kill 35 random people and injure over 20 more you first need motive or cause. Vialls idea of a motive is that the ‘Government’, and it’s not clear if this means state, federal or local, wanted control over weaponry so that they could emasculate the country and leave us ripe for a foreign country to overthrow us. The fact that it hasn’t happened yet means nothing, it will happen, eventually. At no point does Vialls name who in the ‘Government’ he believes responsible. In fact he goes further, although the ‘Government’ wanted this done; the whole scheme was planned as a ‘psyop’ by American and Israeli Special Forces, aided by Libyans, who have done this before in other countries and who were doing the ‘Government’ a massive favour (and no, I didn’t just make that up – it’s all here folks!). The Lockerbie bombing was a ‘psyop’, and there’s no proof to prove otherwise. They planned it, set it up, and chose Bryant as the fall guy. They hired several special forces assassins to carry out the shootings and all were whisked away out of Tasmania, and Australia, shortly after the shootings. Still Vialls doesn’t explain who they were, or who they were whisked out, but they were. With that in mind Vialls then explains everything else away. The fact that Bryant was buying up weaponry before? He was put up to it; such is the levels of his intellectual disability. Bryant is able to fake a gun licence, but he’s not smart enough to know not to buy high powered rifles and buckets of ammo. Bryant was on the scene? No he wasn’t, the footage was faked by an American media outlet (also not named, in fact, Vialls never really names anyone) and released at the last second. Eyewitnesses? All lying. Vialls makes it quite clear up front that you cannot trust any eyewitness accounts of any event as people generally make it up as they go along. All you can trust is forensics, and they prove that Bryant didn’t do it.

This is a killer book by a True Believer. Seriously, I know people who read this blog really dig this stuff, so here’s another book to track down. In possibly the best chapter Vialls goes on to explain how he’s been flagged as a ‘security risk’ for speaking the truth about these and other matters. The AFP, ASIO and another shadow organisation up high are watching him and trying to prove him insane. Too late Joe, your tract has already done their job for them. In one of the best parts of the book Vialls, blissfully ignorant of the fact that prisoners such as Bryant are never placed in general population, asks that all ‘good natured prisoners’ (now there’s an oxymoron if you ever met one) ‘keep an eye’ on Bryant and to do anything they have to ensure that he doesn’t ‘slip on the soap or commit suicide’. He wants them to give Bryant a ‘friendly wave and a cheerful smile’ to let him know he’s not alone and that everyone believes that he’s innocent.

You can’t make insanity like that up, you have to believe it first and then write it down second. Such documents are brilliant to read because, no matter how many holes you can pick in them, the author will still firmly believe what they have written. Vialls believes that Bryant is innocent and he can prove it. You only have to listen to him; you need no other proof than that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

#231: Why Don'tcha All Get F*cked

One of the main regrets of my life (not that there are many) is that I never got to see Skyhooks live. The Bear saw them, but she caught them on one of their many reunion tours of the 1980s, me? I was far too blasé to be bothered, idiot that I can be. Still, I loved the band in the ‘70s, I mean, if you didn’t love them then you were well and truly screwed because it seemed like most radio stations only had four songs to play at any given time and two of them were Living In The ‘70s and the other one was Horror Movie. The fact that I can listen to both songs without wanting to scream, puke or fly into a maniacal rage speaks volumes for the quality of the band and the music.

Americans never got Skyhooks, but then they did embrace Air Supply with a passion, so work that out. (As an aside, here’s one of my favourite bits of trivia – those haunting harmony vocals on Dragon’s Are You Old Enough were done by none other than the two guys from Air Supply. Don’t believe me? Have a listen next time it comes on and you’ll find yourself saying, “Jesus!!!”) They hated Cold Chisel too, but Zee Germans loved them – Mak Schau! Mak Schau! I could never work it out.

Skyhooks became a band of their time, indeed they rapidly became icons and they still occupy that rarest of air, even if there’s no money to be made in being such an icon in Australia. I mean, Michael Gudinski built his empire on the back of the ‘Hooks, but they certainly didn’t walk away millionaires. The classic line up of the band was built around the soaring vocals of Shirley, a guy who took his talent for granted, but could easily match Robert Plant if he wanted to (take a listen to Shirl the Curl doing Zeppelin with the Party Boys for proof). Women In Uniform should have been the song that took them to the top of the tree worldwide, but, for some bizarre reason, it didn’t catch. Iron Maiden had a minor hit with an anaemic version of it in the late ‘70s. Yes, Iron Maiden sounded like Bon Jovi next to the ‘Hooks when they were in full flight. You have to wonder though, Tony Williams, the last singer alive for the band, must be shitting himself about a reunion. Each time it’s happened the singers have died, sad, sad, sad!

Skyhooks were possibly the most important band to emerge in Australia in the early ‘70s. You can keep your Sherbet, those guys were puffs, the ‘Hooks ruled supreme!!