Sunday, December 29, 2013

City Adventures

Yesterday I went on an adventure in the city with a bunch of fellow nerdfighters. Perth nerdfighters aren't well known for their gatherings (I've never been to one) so we decided that this counted as one, just a small one. I didn't know them and I'm not sure if they all knew each other either but we were all summoned there by Mia, a visitor from Canberra, who we all decided to say hello to and lead around Perth.

We started our adventure by congregating around the giant cactus. Every Perthian knows of the giant cactus. Thing is I only knew Mia, and when I got there she wasn't there, so I saw a large group of people and headed towards them... but wasn't sure if they were The Group so I stopped short and awkwardly chilled off to the side. They saw me and went "you're probably with us." They were right. I'm glad we got that sorted out.

Mia arrived. The adventure begun... after we had stood around talking for a bit and deciding that even though the shade was nice we did want to see something in the city even if we weren't quite sure what that was. It ended up being nerd stores (for nerds... like... us). Then we encountered a Dalek:

Don't worry we survived. It was a placid Dalek that did not mind photos.

Adventures continued through various nerd stores - one of which I had never been in before. I felt somewhat inadequate as a nerd having no idea about it but then again doesn't it add to my stereotypical nerd cred if I don't go out to the city enough to know about it? Nerd-paradox! No one bought anything which was probably unfortunate for the shop owners because you'd probably be expecting good business if nearly a dozen people walk into your store. By this point we had collectively agreed that when we accidentally split up the code word to yell out was "group!" and hope it is answered so we could reunite and continue onwards like the oncoming storm of "just endlessly browsing" that we were.


Then we got food. Food was good but Jake (pictured above) bought a pizza that they did not want to finish. The problem was that none of us wanted the last slice either... so he started offering it to random strangers who walked past. They didn't take it.

Who wouldn't take an innocent slice of pizza off this guy?

It became a competition. We would grab it and offer to someone, get rejected, and pass it off to the next person who would similarly have no luck. Note: if you are to repeat this try not to offer it to small children. It makes you look creepy and probably will get you kicked out of the food court by security... after we were kicked out by security the next thing we did was try and give Jake's number on a piece of paper out to people in the street. Because passing out things to random strangers is not at all suspicious and has worked really well for us thus far? Screw logic this is an adventure. We went into another comic book store where people were browsing (with real intention to buy) and Mia whispered "offer it to that guy over there..."

"That guy" heard us and went "hmm? Sorry were you talking about me?" What remarkable ears. She explained how we were trying to get people to accept Jake's number. He accepted as a joke but on our way out someone pointed out that Jake's handwriting made it difficult to understand that his 7 was a 7 and not a 2 so he called out "I wouldn't call someone who can't write a 7!"

Will this burgeoning romance flourish or crash and burn due to Jake's substandard handwriting skills? I fear this ship will never become canon...

In the background firetrucks were driving around. There were a lot of police present. Someone was getting arrested. The police/firetruck presence was on for a while so as we walked in and out of stores we would occasionally see them.

The natural response is to take a group selfie with the firetruck in the background right?

Next was Myer where we discovered the comfiest couch in existence. I could've slept on that couch. It costed 6 grand. No one agreed on the best way to steal it or who would get ownership (I voted me, Jake voted himself, Mia wanted it for herself etc).
The natural response to any situation for out generation is to take a group selfie.

We chilled there for quite some time and no one kicked us out. No staff even bothered to ask us if we would move on instead of sitting on all the furniture. It was disappointing. The worst thing the staff did was when they asked if we needed assistance and we said we were looking for the toys section (for nerf guns). They looked at us and asked "aren't you a bit old for that?" but helped and then we found LEGO DARTH VADER:

Awwww yeah.

Can we stop for a moment to talk about store mannequins? I know they're infamous for not being good representations of the female form but those discussions rarely ever centre around things like necks. This is totally not how necks work:

That's not quite right. It's too long.

Something's wrong...

Kill it with fire!

Things were pretty chill from then on. Some point during this adventure we were all sitting around and someone was looking at photos on their phone that the person next to me had taken. I leaned over and saw their name (Matthew Cabrera) and recognised it. I had somehow spent a few hours with this person without learning their name (that's not that unusual) only to discover that I knew who they were. We had a bunch of mutual friends (oh Perth), I'd watched a music video the other day he'd worked on, and he even follows me on tumblr! Now why he didn't mention that earlier I don't know. Isn't the appropriate thing to say when you first meet someone "I read your blog"? Seriously, if you bump into me and you follow my blog or youtube channel please tell me. Someone else in the group did. They got a sweet high-five. It was great. After a while I realised that basically everyone there knew who I was in some way or another (mainly Facebook. We're in a giant group of 2700+ people together and I contribute regularly) even though I had only heard of a few of them.

We sat on a bench outside of a place that did piercings for $15. Jake dared someone to get one but no one did... and by then it was reasonably far into the afternoon so we parted. The group had thinned by then and there only a few of us left. I said goodbye to all the new people I had met, Mia had discovered the wonders of wandering around Hay Street (rock candy!... and comics), and I had gotten my exercise for the day.

All in all it was a fun day out and remarkably I didn't get sunburned. Huzzah! Really that's the true measurement of success for a day outside.

DFBTA fellow Perth Nerdfighters.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Post-University Blues

I hate the question "have you got a job yet?"

"No," I say for the umpteenth time. The question isn't so bad by itself because it is just someone being curious about your life. It's good to know they care. The problem comes with the inevitable follow up.

"Have you tried X?" or "you should get a job" or "why haven't you got a job yet?" and "don't worry, just keep trying you'll get one eventually."

These don't really add anything to the discussion it's more of just words thrown at me in the form of cliche sentences. X is often something very simple and basic like "putting resumes out all over the place" or "looked online for available jobs" and the answer is always (always) "yes... of course." I should get a job? Oh thank you. I was not aware of this. The fact that I cannot afford anything I want was not an indication. The endless months of complaining that I cannot afford anything were really just to annoy you. Why don't I have a job? Because no one has employed me. There isn't any other reasons. It's not like there are secretly massive proboscis sticking out of my forehead that only you can't see and the satanic tattoo that covers it is putting employers off. Simply put: people just don't want to employ me. Why? I don't know. Some kind of mental deficiency, probably. Why wouldn't you employ this kawaii individual?

(I don't get it either.)

Then there's the ever cheery optimistic "just keep trying." It's like telling someone hanging off a cliff to "just hang on!" It's technically very good advice and advice I'm sure to follow, but it's not really necessary to say. Oh sorry, here I was thinking that maybe I should let go. I don't know about you but those jagged rocks of permanent joblessness and poverty sure look enticing compared to this belittling conversation we seem to be having.

I don't need job advice I need a job. It is almost guaranteed that a dozen other people have contributed the same thing as you to this discussion previously. I do not exist in a vacuum of information that relies on you to come in and direct me like a clueless individual who has been meandering aimlessly bumping into things thinking "why aren't I getting paid for this yet?"

I would super love to get paid to aimlessly bump into things by the way so if anyone knows where there's an opening going for that kind of position please tell me...

It is disheartening being unemployed day in and day out. I have two degrees... in infamously low-employment rate fields. The answer is simple: freelancer. I do that already. Know how profitable that is when you're starting out? Hint: freelancers have jobs on the side to support themselves while they pursue the job they love so much they've employed themselves to do. I don't have that... or much to prove just how great I am at my freelancing.

So there's a problem that needs to be fixed and it will be. Gradually. The problem is what do I do about money in the meantime? Answer: find someone who will pay me to weep and moan about having no job while I lie on their floor maybe?

Job hunting stresses me out. It gives me a headache. I do it daily anyway. I've been doing it for a very very long time... before I finished my degrees. The constant denial, the extreme disinterest, the 1 interview per every 100 job applications (this may be an exaggeration... the ratio is probably more like 1:80 but that's still pretty terrible) and rarity of even the courtesy of a rejection email wears on the place where my soul be if I weren't ginger. It feels as if the world is filled with jobs that require exactly all the skills I don't have, or do, but don't have 1-2 years experience being employed in to be qualified for a job. It feels hopeless. How could it not be pointless if thus far it hasn't worked? Is this not just a monotonous rehash of last month's job applications? My resume and cover letter only ever improves and yet my results don't. It has been reviewed, rewritten, revised, and revitalised over and over in case there was some flaw in it that prevented me from getting a call back. I swear I've handed in my resume to the same places so many times and yet they still keep putting up staff wanted signs. Excuse me? You don't need more staff... you have me.

You all have me...

*Shakes fist menacingly*

*Sighs* Well... this has been a moments reprieve from the endless drudge of going through every single Job listing on Seek (the only search criteria is "Perth"... I'm not letting one slip away from me just because it's 40 minutes drive from me) and I should get back to my daily routine of smashing my head against a wall while yelling in every direction "EMPLOY ME! EMPLOY ME! I'M AVAILABLE!"

When not blogging or job hunting David Cox can be found making music videos, taking photos, promotional material, and updating his Youtube channel. If you would like to get him to make any of these types of media for you then he can be contacted via email at DavidPCox (at) (absence of @ to prevent spam). If you ask nicely he will also send you a selfie. You want a selfie don't you?

(so dramatic)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bamboozled Was Terrible and is a Shameful Entry to Tropfest.

Bamboozled sucked and I could have done better. Lots of people could have done better. I've seen many student films better. It was also horribly deeply offensive.

Now if you haven't seen the offending film you should, or don't if you want to avoid it, but it helps you understand why I am annoyed better if you do:

It won Tropfest. The prestigious and massive short film festival Tropfest that requires your film be specific to it's yearly changing keyword. No really... that... thing.

This year's was: change. And Matt Hardie cleverly took this theme and made a film about a female to male sex change who meets an ex-boyfriend whom they spend a night bonding and catching up with... and getting wasted. Then they wake up next to each other. See that has great potential as an idea. It could have gone this great progressive way where Pete goes through a change of his own... one of acceptance and realising that hey, he might be bisexual (not gay because he has a history of dating women and getting with a guy does not erase his previous heterosexual behaviour so this film gets "biphobic" tacked onto it's already long list of -phobic's - but no one seems to have mentioned that) and so we see the theme of change going even deeper into both a social message and actual character development (of which there is basically none in this film. The development is: surprise! I'm actually a giant dick!).

To redeem itself Pete could've rebutted their snide jeers with "so what?" and then it would've been so much better. That would have fixed it right up and made the point clear! It could have been actually good! It would have defended being gay instead of laughing at it and so the joke is entirely on the cruel and vicious camera crew but instead they end with horrible taunts and humiliating footage of his exposed body, zooming into his butt as if to say "hahah you had a DICK up there! Isn't that gross?" They might as well have kicked down his door and yelled "HA YOU'RE A FAGGOT!" at him for 30 seconds before cutting to black. The lack of slur does not remove the offensiveness.

It treats transgender issues as a punchline. "Ha, they're different so let's turn it into a joke. This highly sensitive issue about important life changes isn't actually important, it's all just split decisions, jokes, and exploited for the sake of petty revenge." There are no good characters. Pete is... just a random dude... Harry is a manipulative cunt, and Helen is a massive spiteful bitch who held a grudge for 11 years just to intoxicate her ex to the point where, yes, Harry just raped Pete (he was too inebriated to legally give consent)... then they humiliate him on camera and laugh at him.

"Hahahaha you're a faggot who just got date raped what a funny thing!"

That's it. That's the joke...

Apply palm to face and groan slowly and softly until pain and anger subsides.

Now the director has defended the film (of course he has) by saying this:

“I’m copping it hard from some people. I guess that just going to happen with such a controversial subject matter. But I’m not homophobic and I don’t think the movie is homophobic or transphobic. People are completely missing the point... The main character decides to sleep with the transgender person because he loves that person for who they are. But it’s not even a transgender character… it’s someone playing a trick on him. It’s more a comment on media and the extremes to which reality TV could go… It’s satirising.”

But... it's bad satire. You didn't do your job properly.

How many times have we heard the words "I'm not homophobic" in defense of something clearly homophobic? It gets mentioned so often. I don't want to hear it. If anything it makes you look like a worse person.


Apologise and learn from your behaviour so you don't do it again.

That's it. That's how you be a good person. You cannot say "this isn't actually offensive" as you are dismissing the people you are offending, and in this case it's the already oppressed and silenced queer community. The queer communities voices are far more valid on a piece of media that poorly represents them than a bunch of annoying straight people going "why can't we just laugh at you? Why are you getting so offended?" The film is all about change... negative change... backwards. As in the fact that it won is a sign of a society regressing backwards. In the times of the massive step forward of Gay Marriage being legalised in the ACT we still have incredibly offensive media being awarded for being offensive.

See, intention doesn't really matter when judging a film. I think Matt Hardie would love it to count as it is his only defense "I didn't mean that! I meant the opposite of that!" but it doesn't. If you cannot get your point across then you simply have failed to do it effectively which means you are a bad storyteller. If you didn't have that bit of defensive explanation to guide you through the film it would've been harder to see the meaning behind it and thus the film doesn't stand alone as a firm piece of work. There's no clear indication of what he is trying to say present in the film itself. "The main character decides to sleep with the transgender person because he loves that person for who they are." 1) No they were raped 2) They were clearly uncomfortable about this situation when they woke up, moving away when touched, looking confused and distraught like "did that really just happen?" 3) Then he gets accosted for this supposed "true love." The film never defends Pete, only the offended audience defends him, which leaves plenty of room for someone to see it and have it reaffirm their homophobic attitudes. The film technically doesn't say anything to the contrary that it is anything but funny to laugh at gay people so it suits whatever opinion you want to put on it. If you choose to see it as an attack on the homophobic media then you can read it like that (if you ignore all the points I'm trying to make) but the unfortunate reality is people think this sort of poor treatment of gay people is funny so being presented with a situation where they can laugh at that only reinforces their homophobia. Whatever progressive intent it supposedly has fails to actually come through as it is offensive to progressive people and reinforces negativity in non-progressive people.

Then there's the comment "it's not even a transgender character... it's someone playing a trick on him." YES. THAT'S THE POINT. You turned transgender identities into a PUNCHLINE! An idea that can be easily manipulated for the sake of petty revenge! At no point do I see any shred of respect towards transgender individuals. The fact that they weren't one to begin doesn't mean that everything up until the point that was revealed wasn't a bad representation of them.

As for satire it is indistinguishable from the negative media it aims to satirise. The issue is it does not come off as parody, it does not come off as witty or intelligent, it just comes off as offensive and hurtful. It just adds to the already cemented idea that it's OK to laugh at people for being gay. There are no negative consequences to the camera crews actions, we're encouraged to laugh along with them because see get it? That's the joke. It's funny. Laugh. I said laugh damn it! *Waves award in your face mockingly* It's not a piece of genius to take playground taunts and put it in a film. Satire is about making fun of the majority and it hasn't managed to do that at all. Parody requires more than just the imitation of the thing it is parodying (I admit it does really mimic those hidden camera prank shows) it needs more self-reflexivity and irony put into it. It's poorly done and even if it really is satire it's ill advised and mean spirited satire. The thing is the audience gets it... just Matt Hardie doesn't.

It may attack the media but it does it at the expense of the queer community and it doesn't even get it's point across effectively.

The only way this really has helped empower the marginalised queer community is to give them something specific to be vocal about... and then shut down by a wall of apathy and disinterest. Take a look at the youtube comments and you will find a bunch of dismissive comments telling people to calm down and stop caring. It's funny after all:

"Hahaha minorities being laughed at is funny! Gosh, representation sure means jack shit huh?" Admittedly there are quite a few people agreeing with me that it is offensive trash but there is this unfortunate mix of "this is horrible" and "it's just a film!" as if somehow that means anything? Yes. It is an offensive film. We know this.

No matter what your intention is it still comes across as trying to laugh at queer identities. To argue it is satire once again reinforces the fact that you are bad at satire because you shouldn't have to explain the joke to people for them to get it.

Even if it were a well intentioned film with an actually non-offensive plot it's execution has utterly destroyed that and makes it a bad film.

...but it was a bad film to begin with so why did it win? Seriously though let's ignore the fact that it is incredibly offensive. It's not particularly interesting. Two old friends randomly encounter each other and have a night out to catch up. Not that original. If student films weren't so obsessed with suicide and drug overdoses after opening shots of an alarm clock and a montage of the main character getting dressed then they'd be making those types of films by the bucket load. The two wake up next to each other the next morning. Not even remotely anything but a cliche. The classic punchline of a night out drinking montage. There's no depth to the cliche story that is only distinguished from others like it by the (offensive) transgender revenge plotline. There's no character development, or even characters worthwhile paying attention to. Even the non-offensive jokes weren't that funny. It was shot moderately OK. There is literally nothing particularly special about this film... it's just... a short film... 

It was at best an OK film that flips off it's audience and tells them to laugh. Laugh, you terrible human beings, laugh at the giant homo.

The judges apparently thought it was the best damn transphobic/homophobic rape joke they've ever seen! $10,000 to you, Matt Hardie!

So considering this is the competition I can expect I guess next year I will enter Tropfest... because hey, how hard could it be right? I don't even need to treat my characters like people who have dignity and sure as hell don't need depth to get in either!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Terrible Cover Letter

Hey you, employer.

Hire me because I am awesome. How am I awesome? Well I’m a Ravenclaw so I’m naturally quite smart and dumb employees suck. I know you shouldn’t discriminate but wouldn’t it be great to just have someone intelligent working for you? Damn right.

I have many skills. I don’t know which ones are helpful to you so I’m just going to through some at you and hope they apply to the job. I am good at drawing, I have the ability to smile in 5 different ways, can eat a whole apple (core included), am surprisingly good at staring competitions, have a basic understanding of this thing humans called “currency” and have been known to interact with people on a monthly basis.

I wish to get all up in your business and be the best gosh darn employee I’ve ever been for you. This will be easy as you’ve never employed me before and won’t have any previous standards to judge me on. Win-win right?



I am so poor please give me money in exchange for servitude to your capitalist ventures. Down with communism!

David Cox.