Saturday, November 20, 2010

TSA Stupidity/A little bit of irony

Hey kids! Ever been molested while boarding a plane? I thankfully haven't. But then again I don't a) live in America b) fly in planes (I fly through super powers...) Well that's not actually what I wanted to talk to you about (though is it quite disgraceful to treat a three year old like a terrorist) as awful as that is.

Let's talk about somebody else who ran into trouble with the TSA: Soldiers returning from Afghanistan. (Here is a story about it which you must read before reading the rest of this!)

For those too lazy to read that amusing and factual article I will sum it up for you: A bunch of US soldiers returning from war (WHILE HOLDING THEIR WEAPONS) are asked to be screened again after all the trouble of having to get back into the country again and one of them empties their pockets only to reveal that this man, this US Soldier holding an assault rifle and a pistol, is in the possession of a nail clipper. Then he gets it taken off him because "it could be used as a weapon".

Let's just break this down.

These soldiers are returning from war, they're the kind of guys who fight against the nasty people who take over planes (and the very reason why TSA is now so strict you can't have a nail clippers hence the irony of the situation) and do bad things. They've just risked their lives for their country... and they're worried that (while holding a gun - even though it has no bullets in it it is still somewhat heavy/intimidating/capable of being used as a blunt weapon to beat people up) this US Soldier is going to try and take over a plane taking them home while over 200 other US Soldiers are on board... with a pair of nail clippers...

OK. Now ignoring the fact that there are plenty of other soldiers capable of defusing the situation and saving the day, let's say there is one bad guy who decides "Yeah! I'M GOING TO CLIP SOME S*** YEAH! PILOT GIVE ME THE PLANE OR I CLIP YOU! I CLIP YOU GOOD!"

But then! THEN! The pilot gets an adrenaline rush, he envisions his wife and kids (I'm not sexist, it's just that in this story the pilot just so happens to be a man.) back home and that gives him the courage to stand up against this evil nail clipper wielding maniac of doom and prevent the next 9/11 from ever happening! The pilot with almost superhuman reflexes slaps the soldiers hands, knocking the nail clippers to the floor. With rapier wit and a proud smugness to this brave pilot's face, he says "No. Bad soldier. No."

...Then get's pummelled repeatedly by the soldier who has biceps the size of his head because quite frankly...


Surely part of his training involves hand to hand combat. Even if the pilot had a gun I don't think that it would really stop the soldier with or without a pair of nail clippers. It's not like he'd announce it "Hey Pilot, I'm about to sneak up behind you and break your neck. Please don't shoot me?"

So remember people, next time you're returning from war after bravely risking your life... don't let them take away your nail clippers. They are yours. They are yours and screw TSA if they want to take them away from you!

(Though it's best not to mention to them that you could kill the pilot with your bare hands if you wanted to because the scared TSA guy will call security on you)

This just in! (I'm not making a whole new post) Someone was forced to stand soaked in their own urine without an apology because of TSA completely ignoring them tell them about their medical condition. Link. It's just ridiculous. Don't they get told to like... use ears? Or even eyes? ARE TSA HEARTLESS ROBOTS!? The answer: probably. The robot uprising starts with TSA.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Steve Roggenbuck's Chap Book

Have you heard of I am like October when I am dead? Well if you haven't, kindly click on the link provided so you may read the cool works of one Steve Roggenbuck.

He writes short poems (well most of them are quite short) that aren't incredibly verbose in conceits and elaborate metaphors and images but instead are simple and very fun to read. I love them. They are shiny.

What's that? You don't like poems? Well I have one thing to say to you!

i dont care about reading a poem

who do you think i am, robert frost?

i have never been in the woods and i hate walking

- Steve Roggenbuck

Here is another one of his poems:

god help me im throwing my neighbor off a building

That's it. I find them amusing, which is why I'm helping with his distribution! He wants them to be distributed freely wherever, and I decided well I'll help. Now he can say that his poems can be found in physical form on the continent of Australia! As demonstrated by this photographic evidence I took at Murdoch University (where I am a student at):

Yeah, I believe that's near an assignment drop box so all those MCC students (especially Screen Production 1 whose final assignments are yet to be handed in) will be like ".................................what?"

Indeed they do.

Bloody hell my handwriting is messy.

Well, I had two other little cards that I didn't get to hand out as I was afraid that people would see me. The poems I failed to put up were:

i have two sunflowers wilting on my bookshelf

thats it

thats all

the poem is done, get out


i asked my dad if the corn harvest is over

it is way over, my dad said

Perhaps some other time? I also wanted to put up one of my favourites:

to my nephew on his birthday

i will choke your dad

i dont care

im not afraid

But something told me that if I got caught putting up a piece of paper that says "I will choke your dad" I would get in trouble so I didn't.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the mind of Steve Roggenbuck and you can check out his website here: LINK!

Edit: Totally got a thank you email from Steve Roggenbuck himself for my guerilla distribution tactics! He also mentioned me on Twitter and a link to this blog so comment or vote in the poll if he sent you here!

Also, for those who enjoyed his poems: click on this link about distribution on his website!

Afro Samurai Summary

Warning: The following blog post contains things that some people make consider spoilers. That and you'd get it better if you've seen the show Afro Samurai. If you haven't, stop reading, watch all 5 episodes, then come back.

Afro Samurai is a 5-part Anime miniseries about a black guy who kills hundreds of Asians in a constant blood bath so he can kill a three armed cowboy with a headband.
Before he can achieve his goal, his best friend from his past gets turned into Darth Vader by a cross between Man-at-arms/Duncan of He-Man and Dr Eggman of Sonic and then attempts to kill him while wearing a teddy bear head on his face on the top of a snowy mountain.
Samuel L Jackson stars as an imaginary ninja.

Also, there is a robot with an afro in it.*

(look at how awesome he looks. Image source.)

Now, does that not sound like the best thing ever? OK not the best thing ever, but it's actually very very cool and you should definitely watch it if you enjoy copious amounts of violence, blood, and Samuel L Jackson's voice.

The end.

*It took millions of man hours just to make it's head.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Still Unemployed

Time for... A MINI-BLOG!!! (mini blog!)

(Note: mini blog may actually become not so mini and go for more than just a few paragraphs)

Well, quick update. I did NOT get the job at Video Ezy... why? Because there were other applicants. That's in effect of the reason given to me... one job position + multiple (she said "many" which could mean anything) applicants = hahaha like hell we'd pick you.

Which I COULD take it as "Well although you're a friendly film student who it getting a university level education about the only thing we sell and you have absolute availability every hour of every hour we're open thus pretty much perfect* for this job seeing as you can WALK here from your house if you wanted to... we knew from the very beginning that you had no experience so we wasted your time interviewing you because what separates you from any other applicant (besides your film student status, probably the only reason why we even bothered to acknowledge your existence) is the lack of retail experience thus it was predetermined from the beginning that you were really just backup in case everyone else fell through..."


I could take it as.... wait a moment when I think of a better spin to put on this....

"Your film student status means nothing, you simply lacked the assertiveness to really go outside the set conversational boundaries of the interview thus failed to woo us as an exceptional person who stood out from the rest." (Yes that's positive)

WHICH MEANS.... that to what I need to do to get a job NEXT time I get an interview (which happens on average a year or year and a half right?) is simply just talk more... get to know my interviewer and show them I am more than just the answers to the questions on their sheets. OK that won't guarantee anything, but I have to find some way to stand out and my resume obviously isn't it.

I don't take it personally, that's just silly. Of course it's not personal, there just are people who do better. I am actually quite glad that they took their time to actually acknowledge my existence by phoning me up originally. Very few people do that... in fact... they're actually the only people who have done that. Out of all the job interviews (all 2 and a half in my life) this one was the first one where they actually called me beforehand to arrange it. The last one on the other hand involved them emailing me on the incorrect email address and then me finding out not long beforehand because my brother also got the same interview and they called him instead. Needless to say those people maintained that level of professionalism all the way through my interaction with them.

Each failure is another thing to learn from, every few months I rewrite parts of my resume, improve, learn to shake hands and introduce myself instead of just handing things silently to people, learn how to respond to pointless questions, do lots of volunteer work to make me look like a saint (a saint that gets retail and customer service experience when working the till at St Vinny's), learn sign language so I can handle the deaf.

I just need to improve beyond adequate... I need to be more than sufficient. I shall become superb in my application and interviewing process.

I am awesome. And I will bloody prove this.

Bring it world. BRING IT ON.

...he says for the 300th time...

*(Why is the job I'm most suited for also very highly sought after? Why can't I just get that damn job?)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Problem with the Music Industry

I'm going to show you two videos and we will see which one involves talent and which one involves something manufactured for the sake of making money. Don't worry, neither will be Bieber (because I am not so evil as to subject you to that horror)

OK here's the first one, it's of Emily Bear:

(If the embed doesn't work or you would like to comment on her sheer awesomeness click on this link)

(Wow, that was made way more impressive by the fact that her hands are freaking TINY! Did you see how frantic her hands were when playing? I doubt she can even reach an octave with one hand she's so small... in fact I'm certain of it! I can only stretch to 9 or 10 tones and I'm an adult.)

OK here's the next one, it's of the daughter of Will Smith, Willow Smith (The official music video had embedding disabled so if you insist on seeing the actually well directed and edited music video click here):

(If the embed doesn't work or you would like to comment... click on this link)

Emily is 6, Willow is 10.

Let's discuss.

Emily is obviously an incredibly brilliant musician and composer who has been composing pieces since she was 3 years old, most of are probably harder than I can play. Willow Smith is a little girl with a song that goes "I whip my hair back and forth" again and again and again.

Now I think Will Smith is a pretty cool guy, and he actually gets his own children to star in his films which is a pretty awesome way to be a father in my opinion. Just think about it, he's a big movie star who is often incredibly busy and is away from home for long periods of time on set of a film he's making... must suck not seeing his family especially his kids... oh wait. He brings them with him! See? BRILLIANT! And they get paid in the process. Best father ever?

But I can't help but feel that his hollywood stature had a role to play in Willow's musical 'career'. She's 10, how else did she really convince a bunch of music producers that "I whip my hair back and forth I whip my hair back and forth I whip my hair back and forth" was a good idea? Perhaps he personally didn't play a part in it any other way than simply being her father. Think about it, Willow doesn't need to get "discovered" like other children, we already know she's there and producers realise that she is connected to one of the most famous and profitable movie stars of the past 20 years, she instantly becomes marketable to a mass audience simply because she has a famous father.

I find this song incredibly (lyrically) simplistic and childishly pretentious which isn't help by it's obviously grandiose music video with a big budget. Sure, it's meant to be about self-love and assurance, to be motivational and uplifting but...

...I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth...

That really doesn't have any really deep sounding meaning to it and it comes off as self centred. It's almost constant repetition detracts from the song, it fails to be an inspiring anthem as it's just quickly spouting a nonsensical phrase. I get that she's a kid and thus can't really write very elegant or deep lyrics but then again... why should I care? (Wait a second... she DIDN'T actually write this song, an adult did. That just makes all my points about her lack of creative ability moot... but makes the person who wrote this really sad as a writer. At least it musically is interesting.)

Gifted children either are prodigies that are unbelievably brilliant or have potential that needs to be nurtured so they can grow into something better and more refined. Emily Brown is a prodigy and I am glad that she has produced 4 albums in 3 years by the age of 8 (and has won huge amounts of awards) but I am not glad that Willow has been put into the musical spotlight.

Let me explain.

Willow is a kid, who is being signed up with these record companies and pushing out some random track to make money. (SHE DIDN'T EVEN WRITE IT). I'm sure she enjoys it and that's good, but I fear that she is getting more attention than she deserves because of her relations and that this will lead to her getting screwed over. She's so young she doesn't really get how the industry works (hell, a lot of bands with adults don't get it either and they probably don't know how much THEY get screwed over until they're halfway through their contracts). She is going to become/is already a product like Bieber. A promotional tool, a play thing for producers. She's 10, she should go out and play with her friends... Michael Jackson never got a childhood and look how he ended up.

I just really don't like children in the music industry.

BUT! Oh I don't hate Willow, oh no! Like I said, she should be nurtured into something better and refined and so I hope that if she truly enjoys writing music then when she is a lot older can think of better lyrics with more substance (and actually write them herself) and she's mature enough to make sure she knows what she is doing, then she will start producing whatever hits she likes. I'm sure when she's older her music will have far more depth, be far more interesting, creative, catchy and have more emotion behind it (and perhaps she'll ACTUALLY write it... Instead of Ronald M Jackson).

Emily Bear on the other hand, although incredibly young, does not appear to be signed with a major record label. She seems cute and humble in her TV appearances, and not arrogant like she feels like she can just barge into the music world. If you also look at her appearances for performances you'll see that her schedule does not involve large touring. It's here and there, it's pretty simple. She's not heavily promoted and marketed to a bunch of children. She gets news coverage for her talent, not because she's wearing something silly on the red carpet. She isn't a media sensation with pointless Dolly and MSN articles with speculation about her private life, but still gets recognition for her talent through awards. She just writes her own music and plays it, sometimes recording it to share with people. She has great talent and I hope that when she is older she can choose to show off more and sign a label or just do whatever.

So my point: The music industry today is starting to find children to become products to sell to newer markets... this is wrong. Children should prove their worth, not be advertised as something worthy of idolisation. This blog would've worked better with Bieber as an example but I refuse to listen to his music and I was just momentarily offended by how much I disliked Willow Smith's music.

Edit: I just realised that I tried to rationalise not liking Willow while liking Emily with having to do with record labels when I didn't need to... because I also have a problem with artists not writing their own songs. So even if Emily were to be signed to a record label, she'd still be the talented and creative young miss that she is (thus her career being admirable and worthwhile) and Willow would still be the random daughter of Will Smith who sings a song she didn't write. BAM! I just ignored my own argument to come up with a better one!

/End Scene.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Radio and Sound

University is coming to an end for the year. My goodness, scary is it not? I'm going to have SO MANY MONTHS OFF! Even longer between semesters than mid-semester break! How will I survive unless I find employment? Oh please Video Ezy choose the super-uber-awesome-film student to fill that position of yours, I really have nothing to do between semesters...

Let's not go on about that.

Radio and sound! Nice 1st year unit for those who want to get into radio later in life. Because of it's MCC### unit code that means it does not involve an exam (that's a lie, I have an MCC### unit that HAS AN EXAM! WHAT!? WHAT BETRAYAL IS THIS!?) but instead a test during the final week. Pretty simple, for Journalism it was worth pretty much as much as an exam would be only you didn't get time off to study for it. Also, it was pretty easy.

Speaking of pretty easy, the test for Radio and Sound was INCREDIBLY easy (and actually worth a surprisingly small amount). Yeah, you're probably thinking "Yeah, I get it you read the book once through and then understood it all so it was easy..."

No that's not it at all. Let me tell you how easy this test was... this test was not for University students, it was for highschool students. The comprehension was so simple the questions might as well have been "restate the 2nd paragraph" and "restate the final paragraph word for word." That is not how you write a test for the end of the year!

Just to stress my point... the test was so easy that anyone could sit down and take the test and still feel like they could've passed it even if they did not study the unit or take it at all.

Which is good seeing as I don't take that unit.

Yeah! Seeing as the days of silly test and exam answers are over because my exams ACTUALLY MATTER ALL OF THEM what with going towards my degree (that I desperately need to prove I actually DID something for 3 years) I have to find a new outlet for being an idiot.

So I sat in a lecture theatre and did a test I didn't have to for a unit I don't do. Fun right? I thought it was fun.

I stood around outside as people gathered to talk just before they did their test. I would go up to some of them and go "Man, I have NOT studied at all! I bet I'm going to fail... I haven't even listened to half the lectures." And it was quite amusing when you get genuine responses about your completely false concern... Then Sam-ham (the ma'am from Man......... durah) had to always interject with "YOU DON'T DO THIS UNIT!" (Thanks for telling them the TRUTH) That too was amusing because quite a few people thought I did... even the lecturer thinks I do. You see back when I was dumb enough to go to my Journalism lectures in the morning -which I could skip - on Monday's only to hang around for 4 and a half hours doing very little before my next class, I'd walk around and some of my friends do Radio and Sound so I would follow them into their tiny lecture theatre and draw while the lecturer talked about the British influence on the Australian broadcast media etc. I even stayed back to talk with the lecturer about things, giving him the illusion that I was a student eager to learn/a student who cared.

So I sit down, ready to take this test and I'm like "I'm just going to write nonsense on it for a joke... maybe some pictures." It starts and I put my real first name down out of habit... wait... DAMNIT! OK, better think of a fake last name... Knox........ no that's stupid... Knoxville! OK, pretty stupid but then again, I don't take this unit it'll be ok. But I couldn't just write random gibberish! It was multiple choice the first two answers! So I was like "hell, I can totally get this right... I'm going to tick the correct answer. This is so easy..."

Halfway through: "Man this is so easy I bet I could pass this.... wait... wait a second... I came in here to FAIL this test! Now here I am taking this seriously? But... it's just so easy!"

And that was about the time I wrote a swear word...

Well OK I put asterixes to censor it but you know you get the point. "When is it appropriate to use the dump button?" COME ON! Now that's just begging for me to not take it seriously. Seeing as at that point in time in the test I didn't know what it was (it was mentioned later on, thus explaining it. Don't you just love it when tests answer their own questions in the wording of other questions?) and I wasn't taking it seriously I decided this was the perfect time to say "When the b*** cheats on you with your brother and three other men! She's a whore! Dump her!"

You know, as you do halfway during the last test of the unit for the YEAR.

My list of silly answers was unfortunately very limited, I did really have very little room to work with. I was tempted to write "Chuck Norris" once but then figured out the answer. Yeah, I only answered like an idiot if I didn't know the answer...

Though in one it asked you a simple question of ethics where you had the phone number of the mother of a boy who has gone missing and your options are a) don't call the number b) call and REQUEST an interview c) Call and ask her questions, secretly record it and then later broadcast it on your show. Well the answer is obviously B (SEE HOW DAMN EASY THIS IS!?) then it asked you to justify your answer so I went "Because not even trying is not doing your job but if you're going to do something illegal you shouldn't broadcast evidence that you did it on the radio, sure do illegal things but be discrete if you're going to do it." Good advice.

Then I handed it in and left feeling that I could actually pass it despite not actually doing the unit... Though looking back I should've really done more. Like for example I came up with writing "...this isn't the biology test..." at the end of it. But alas, too late! Oh well, perhaps next year there'll be some test I can gate crash?

Well, we'll find out next year...

"This isn't veterinary science... this isn't veterinary science at all..."