Livet är en schlager comes back to Sydney: Screw you SBS!

Livet är en Schlager / Once in a Lifetime

Livet är en Schlager / Once in a Lifetime

I am as happy as a pig in shit! I’m so happy I could just shit!

I just found out that there’s a Nordic Film Festival coming up in Sydney next month. And they will be showing ‘Livet är en schlager’ also known as ‘Once in a Lifetime’ in English.

This is a fabulous movie that blew me away at the Sydney Gay Film Festival a few years ago. It’s Swedish and all about Melodifestivalen – the Swedish competition to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Melodifestivalen is unbelievably huge in Sweden – it’s a television competition that has multiple heats and a huge finale.

Ever since I saw the movie I prayed that SBS TV – Australia’s Multi-Cultural Television channel would show it on Australian TV. After all, it wouldn’t cost them much – the subtitles have already been done and that’s usually a big part of their costs. But did they show it? No, of course not. SBS are shit. They now have TV commercials as well, despite being Government funded. I’ve been hoping the Government cuts them off completely, makes them go fully commercial and they go bankrupt. And I’ll be having a party that day.

47 hours a day of soccer broadcasts mixed with the Russian newscast and 1/2 hour documentaries about peasant life in Kreplochia, that small fishing nation wedged between Estonia and Latvia. Endless French and Chinese movies where everyone ends up either depressed or dead or both. But expecting one life-affirming Swedish comedy to be played? Forget it. And now they’ve cancelled South Park on Monday nights. I hate SBS. It’s like flames on the side of my face….

Anyway, in Livet är en schlager, the lead character Mona is obsessed with Melodifestivalen and schlager music in general. She is a care-worker who looks after a guy with cerebral palsy. He writes the perfect Melodifestivalen tune, she writes the words and enters the song in the competition. And then all hell breaks loose!

This woman is so Melodifestivalen-obsessed, she even named her 4 children after famous Swedish schlager artists: Lena Ph, Carola, Kikki and Anna Book. Yoda and I pissed ourselves laughing at this when we saw the movie – most of the audience had no idea what was going on at this point.

The movie has fabulous cameos from real Swedish stars like Jean-Pierre from Army of Lovers and the real Carola of course. As a confirmed Swedophile and Melodifestivalen tragic I just ached for this movie. I came out of the cinema on another planet. I immediately began a search for the video/DVD and the CD soundtrack.

I got the CD soundtrack from Sweden but all searches for the DVD led to the same result: it was released with sub-titles in four languages…but none of them English. I gave up searching after realising it just wasn’t going to happen. Earlier this year, on holiday in Stockholm, I finally broke down and bought the DVD…without subtitles. I watched it when I got back to Oz but it just isn’t the same without subtitles…my Swedish is very, very basic.

For a long time I scoured the SBS program guides hoping to see it listed. And Yoda also checked Foxtel’s international movies channel. Nothing, nada, nil. So SBS can burn in hell – wish my taxpayer dollars weren’t funding it.

Anyway, today Yoda calls me and tells me there is to be a Nordic Film Festival at Dendy Opera Quays and Livet är en schlager / Once in a Lifetime is to be shown. I screamed! I can’t wait.

Here’s a bit of the opening of the movie which has some  gratuitous shots of Stockholm – that’s like porn for James, Yoda and me!


Adelaide, September 2009 – a bit of self indulgence

I recently went back home to Adelaide for Father’s Day. For some reason I walked around town randomly snapping off shots with my digital camera. Shots of places I remember from when I used to live there, places that meant something to me and places/things that have changed since I moved away.

There’s also a few shots of pictures inside Dad’s house and even more strangely, shots of drag performers at ‘The Garage’ – a rather drab Sunday ‘Gay’ night in Adelaide.

None of this is meant to be arty or clever. Some of the shots are pretty crap. I’ve thrown this together using Windows Movie Maker as a piece of self indulgence. If Andrew is reading this: I thought of you when I was taking some of these pictures and, for a second worried, ‘oh Andrew would take these photographs much more professionally, I’m such a hack!’ Andrew is an amazing photographer. I’m just a total ‘point and shoot’ boy myself. And digital cameras allow you to take hundreds of shots and not worry about self-editing!

The songs in the background are ‘Still Amazed’ by Same Difference and ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ by Mama Cass.

CD Singles are NOT dead!

…at least not to me.

I bought 3 tonight. It was a challenge – they’re so bloody hard to find thesedays. They might be disdained by today’s vacuous Generation-Nothings, but I will always love them.

CD Single: Heavy Cross by GOSSIP

CD Single: Heavy Cross by GOSSIP

First up is the fabulous ‘Heavy Cross’ by GOSSIP. Saw this on Video Hits ages ago and could never remember the name of it whenever I went to a record shop. Not that many shops would have even have had the physical single anyway…but I *did* remember it tonight. And was very excited to be able to buy it. It even has remixes! I may even break down and buy GOSSIP’s album. Just love their sound. And the lead singer…what a ball breaker…amazing woman!

CD Single: Like It Like That

CD Single: Like It Like That

And who would have thought that right-wing religious freakazoid Guy Sebastian would actually release a good song after all these years. He’s been addicted to ‘N’ rock for years – and that’s gone down like a bowl of cancer with the general public. Then he did the predictable ‘Memphis’ abum – because it was either an album of covers or being thrown off the record label and into oblivion. But now he’s actually put out a real pop song. Incredible! There must be a Jesus!

CD Single: The Last Day On Earth

CD Single: The Last Day On Earth

And this one, The Last Day On Earth by Late Miller-Heidke who would have to be one of the most underrated, overlooked performers in Australia. She had a stunning single a year or so ago called ‘Words’ that I absolutely fell in love with. It tanked, as did just about everything else she has released. But finally, she has a fully certified 100% genuine hit. And it is quite stunning, startling and emotional…here it is from Youtube.

The long and winding hangover

Mother's not a well woman!

Mother's not a well woman!

It’s Sunday night and I think I’m finally finished with a hangover that began in the early hours of Saturday morning.

James had texted me on Friday afternoon to see f I wanted to catch up for a bevvie after work. Well, it had been another week from hell at work so I quickly agreed.

We met around 6pm at what is quickly becoming the Elephant’s Graveyard, the Midnight Shift in Oxford Street. We had a few beers there before trying out luck at Stonewall up the road. Really boring and unusually quiet. We followed up with a bevvie across the road at the Oxford Hotel and I suggested to James that we try the Flinders Hotel.

A guy I know was doing the DJing on Friday night and it was a British Pop themed night. However, it was also the ‘Bears’ night. Click on this link for more information about what ‘Bears’ are. I’m certainly not a ‘bear’ and not into the bear sub-culture but we’d run out of venues to visit on Oxford Street. Poor old Oxford Street ain’t the thriving strip it once was.

We popped along to the Flinders and it was pretty much dead – the big night didn’t start ’til 10pm. However, a new doyen of the local ‘bear scene’, our good friend Andrew was there. So James and I immediately got into a chat, chat, chat with Andy. More beers were consumed – especially by me.

Later, I was introduced to a couple of Andrew’s fellow ‘bear buddies’ including a guy from America. I was so sozzled at this point, I was up for anything so I proceeded to make a move on this guy. Shamefully, very shamefully (as in no, it isn’t an amusing anecdote), I can’t remember his name. But anyway, along the way, James and Andrew both went home leaving me rather tanked but determined.

Somehow I ended up on a bus to Bondi Beach at 1am or 2am in the morning – can’t remember the time – and ended up back at this guy’s flat. Well, it was more like a room actually. Being so close to Bondi Beach, it’s about all a normal working person could afford.

Throughout the night I didn’t even think to drink any water. Something I was to regret rather forcefully the next morning. Saturday morning, when it did arrive, also brough the realisation that I had the hangover from hell. After staying a bit longer, I decided it was time to drag myself home – I would need a long shower and more sleep if I was to survive.

Walking out of this guy’s place I completely ignored the two coffee shop-type places out the front. I could have bought water, Diet Coke, anything. I just wasn’t thinking. About anything else except how appalling I was feeling and that I needed to be home NOW!

It wasn’t to be. The bus was late. It was a blazing Sydney morning with the sun shining on me at the bus stop like a 10,000 watt spotlight. Oh god, can it get any worse…yes, in fact it could. Not only was the bus late but it stopped and nearly every goddamn stop between Bondi Beach and Sydney city. It was interminable. I had my work bag with me but I was too sick to read or to listen to my mp3 player. I just kind of sat there and felt ill.

I desperately needed to go the loo when we got to town. I managed to pick up a Diet Coke at a 7-11 but not much else was open. It was before 9am and the city wasn’t that busy. Just hot and bright and stinky. Or maybe it was me that was stinky?

Anyway, you know how it is when you’re desperate to find a loo. Of course the train station toilets were closed down for refurbishing. I wandered and wandered and finally ended up in a not-quite-open-yet food court where there was a toilet. Thank god for that. I won’t go into further details 😉

Next thing I found myself in George Street opposite Town Hall waiting for a bus….any bus, I didn’t care. Just something to get me closer to home. Along came a 412 and while it isn’t ideal, it kind of intersects another bus route that can get me home. And it was air conditioned.

But the stinger was this – being early, the bus driver kept on going ahead of the timetable so he kept stopping at bus stops. Just sitting there, waiting. There were about 10 of us on the bus feeling like we wanted to strangle the bloody bus driver. ‘Hurry up and get this f***ing thing moving!.’ I wanted to scream.

We sat and waited outside RPA hospital for god knows how long. And then the bus driver proceeded to try and catch every red light on the route to slow himself down further. I’d managed to find two old and dusty no-name paracetamol tablets at the bottom of my bag so I wasn’t feeling so much like I was going to throw up, just that I needed to be horizontal…in bed…asleep….NOW!

In the end we finally got to a point where I could cross over to another bus. Of course I’d just miss buses from both available routes by a couple of minutes. And I had a long walk to the bus stop I needed to be at. In the increasingly blazing heat of a Sydney spring day that thought it was a summer’s day.

The bus stop I waited at had no protection from the sun at all, just a bench to sit on and roast whilst waiting. Eventually a bus came along and I got on. Sitting opposite a young guy all decked out from the night before who was obviously also just going home. He looked worse than I did if that’s possible. Kept nodding off and waking up with a start whenever the bus jerked forward. He would have looked smashing the night before but, like me, he was just faded glory at this stage.

When we reached my bus stop I could barely walk down the street and up the stairs to my flat. I didn’t want to have a shower, I just wanted sleep! But I was stinky, my mouth felt like I’d been gargling with raw garbage and my hair was all lank and oily. So a shower it had to be. I’d like to say I came out of it refreshed but I didn’t. Yes, I was clean and yes my mouth was clean and my breath was fresh again but I still felt like shit.

I rang Yoda and delayed his arrival. He was coming over to do some business clean up things – we’d set aside the whole weekend for it. I’d imagined both of us beavering away for the whole weekend. But all I could imagine now was being asleep.

He was quite understanding and I hung up and promptly fell asleep until about 2pm. The rest of the weekend has been very quiet and a little blurrish. And also quite unproductive. I haven’t written my job application, I have barely been outside the flat except for a bit of grocery shopping late this afternoon. I did manage to do a bit of washing but mostly it’s been sitting on the couch watching Dr. Who episodes on DVD or being back in bed asleep.

I’ve had lots and lots of water this weekend and even more Diet Coke. But it is only now I’m beginning to feel as if the fog has lifted and I’m on the road to full recovery. Of course, it is now 7pm Sunday night and it’s back to work tomorrow.

The lost weekend? It certainly was.

Next time James suggests we go for a bevvie after work, I”m going to suggest we go and play lawn bowls instead!

There’s just too much niceness in the world

…or at least seems that way. You can’t say “boo to a lesbian” these days. Or is that “boo to a goose”? Well anyway, I was forcefully reminded of this T-Shirt sent to me by a rather sick (minded) friend in America. Someone who knows me and my sense of humour well. Too well actually 😉

Sometimes I just want to wear this T-Shirt everywhere

Sometimes I just want to wear this T-Shirt everywhere

I don’t know if I’m just in a cantankerous mood tonight but I just feel like putting on this T-Shirt and walking around town.One more ‘free hug’ and I’m going to overdose on sugar.

Can’t we just tell it like it is sometimes?

Can’t we just say ‘pass the fucking pheasant,’ occasionally?

Earlier tonight I read on another web site that I was ‘patronising and wankerish’. I jumped for joy! ‘You like me, you really like me,’ I screamed (ala Sally Field at the Oscars).

What I meant of course was ‘you read what I wrote and you got pissed off. Hooray!’ People can’t agree with what you say and think ALL of the time. Sometimes they’re going to think I’m a patronising wanker and that’s okay. In fact, often I actually am a patronising wanker. I was born this way!

I love my friends, really love them and appreciate them so much….but if, from time to time, they hate me and scream at me and we have an all-out slagfest…that’s great. It proves I’m alive. It proves they’re alive.

It’s just that these days everyone has to be soooo tewwwibly, tewwwibly NICE – all the time, 24/7. Couldn’t we do 70%/30%…or even 80%/20%? Hell, at this point I’m ready to settle for 90%/10%.

I’m all for land rights for Gay whales and stuff like that. But I’m also for a bit of Alexis/Krystal biff sometimes!

"You evil bitch!"

"You evil bitch!"

Goddamn breeders and their evil sprogs. Arghh!

Little Johnny can't do anything wrong according to Mum & Dad

Little Johnny can't do anything wrong according to Mum & Dad

Bloody breeders. Popping out their spawn and then treating them like dolls in an artificial world where they get anything and everything they want. On demand. Right bloody now.

I’ve had enough of ’em.

Today I traversed buses, trains, shopping centres, the city and a cinema. And I came to the conclusion that, not only should their be a licence and a test that you need to pass before you’re allowed to have children, but that some dumbf***s need to be bloody well sterilised for the good of the world. The universe even.

We have a Government policy that encourages breeding and pays the breeders $5,000 smackers when they pop out a sprog. Now, initially I thought that was a good idea. Maybe it appealed to my secret fear that the country is about to be taken over by terrorists and people with dark black teatowels. Anyway, I thought it was a good idea to give parents a kick start to say ‘don’t wait until you’re 50 and rich – do it now, do it often!’

Well I think I was wrong.

Who knew that all these Debbie-Sues and Jason-Marks would go out and have one child each and treat them like dolls. Like Princes and Princesses who get no sense of discipline or boundaries but who grow up thinking they are the entire centre of the whole f***ing universe.

And then they take these evil sprogs out and parade around shops and cinemas and expect everyone else in the whole world is going to bend over backwards to get out of their way. ‘Baby on Board’ seems to have morphed into ‘I have a child so I can do whatever I want and so can the kid.’ They have this unbelievable sense of entitlement. Some of these breeders need to be transported to another planet.

There’s over 6 billion people on this little globe we call ‘Earth’ and we’re all doing our own little dance. If we don’t realise that it actually isn’t all about us, we’re doomed.

At the supermarket, walking along the street, everywhere – you see them. Mrs & Mrs Breeder walking and parading around with little Tayla-Mahalia or little Mitchell-Jack as if they own the whole goddamn world. They walk over you – not just in front of you. They have no concept that they’re part of a heaving metropolis of people who have just as much right as they have to live their life. They don’t stop their kids from being obnoxious little shits, they just let them do whatever they want. And if something goes wrong – if little Tayla-Mahalia actually gets hurt – well, it’s everyone else’s fault except for the parents. It’s the Government’s fault, it’s the shopping mall’s fault, it’s society’s fault – they never look at where they blame really lies: with their awful, awful parenting.

They’re bringing up a generation of spoilt rotten designer-shoe wearing evil sprogs. And the rest of us are suffering the price.

Once upon a time there were well behaved children. Maybe it was because their parents had commonsense? Or maybe it was because they had brothers and sisters and couldn’t possibly make the mistake of thinking they were they were the centre of the whole world. Mum & Dad had to spread their love, attention and limited funds between 3 or more kids.

But now Tayla-Mahalia or Mitchell-Jack is the only sprog in the family. And Mummy & Daddy have replaced commonsense parenting with credit cards and material possessions.

Bring back a good smack on the arse and a stint on the ‘naughty step’. Or some down-time in the ‘naughty cupboard.’

Makes me think there need to be designated areas around the city that are marked: ‘NO BREEDERS! NO SPROGS!’ So the rest of us can just go about our business and our lives in peace.

How old are you?

I might have been a toddler and then a primary schooler back in the 1960s but there are still early memories I remember vividly. Songs that have stuck with me for around 40 years. And certainly a few that were special to my Mum and also resonated with me. Although we didn’t have the word ‘resonate’ back then!

Mum had a good pop sensibility. She knew what was good pop music and what was going to be a hit. Maybe that’s why I turned into such a popslut? Neither of us had any musical talent but we both loved music.

There’s a couple of real oldies I found on youtube that have never left me.

Tar and Cement. I found myself thinking about this song as my brother, my Dad and I drove around the suburbs of Adelaide last weekend.

I Don’t Wanna Play House. Mum use to tear up over this one.

Rose Garden. What a classic!

I’ll always associate these songs with my mother and my early childhood. Makes me feel incredibly old at this point 😉 It also reminds me of some of the prices back then. A bread roll was 3 cents, a pasty was 11 cents, an iceblock was 3 cents and a ‘medium bottle of coke’ was 5 cents. You could get 4 aniseed balls for a cent and also 4 tarzan jubes for a cent. You could also get 5 cents hot chips from the local fish & chip shop. I think the train ride into town was also 5 cents.

Last week in Adelaide I paid $1 for a bread roll and $3.20 for a Balfours Pasty! Yep, my childhood years certainly were a loooooooong time ago 😉