Wednesday 21 April 1999 9.30AM
Saw Billy Bragg play at the Forum last night. He was good. Preachy tho. To be expected I guess. He dances now, not something you expect from a socialist. I went with Jen, Sophia and Marcus. Sophia and Marcus had bought two tickets to see him and then discovered that a friend of theirs was on the door and could get them free tickets. It seemed sorta rude to knock them back, so Jen and I used the other tickets, paying half price. We met in “Spleen” beforehand, Marcus coughing deeply in his new goatee, recovering from a mild bout of pneumonia, but still smoking. Marcus and Sophia are the ones heading to Japan in 3 months to teach English for a year. We waited for Sophia to arrive, buying rounds of longnecks, me feeling like I should be paying for all of them coz of the cheapie tickets.
Sophia arrived around 5.30, Marcus and I kept drinking. Sophia only ever drinks diet cokes, one after the other after the other. I was getting just a little bit pissed by the time Jen arrived at 6.45, but not really. We had maybe three more rounds then tramped off through wet streets looking for food. “It’s gotta be cheap, and it’s gotta be fast,” was the Jen imperative. We settled on “The Happy Paradise” in Bourke Street, just down from Smack Central (Hungry Jacks, also known as Hungry Smacks, only by you and me, seeing as how I just made it up.) If I’d gone to the toilet before ordering, I wouldn’t have ordered at all. By the time food arrived we had pinched three sets of chopsticks and had bought more beer from the “Carlton Club” over the road, next to the TAB. The “Carlton Club” is consistently one of the worst pubs in Melbourne. I went in there with Leah and co one night, waiting for a film to start, only to be entertained by a beanie-clad gentleman who informed me that he hadn’t washed for ten years. “Ya don’t need to mate. Yer body acclimatizes, y’know? It’s all bloody propaganda from the soap companies to make ya wash ev’ry day, eh?” I nodded kindly, looking nervously at his toothless muscle-bound friend sitting next to him. But I digress. The Happy Paradise’s food was actually quite alright, if a little meagre. By the time we finished off the beer it was around 9 and we figured the opening act (Rebecca’s Empire) would be through.
We entered the Forum, looking up at the black-lit ceiling as always, marvelling at the ornateness of the place. Do you remember it? How many times did we see ET there? Anyway, it’s crowded with Greco-Roman statues in black-lit naves and little star-lights on the black-lit ceiling. It looks great, kinda like Jocelyn Wildenstein (the “cat lady” with all the plastic surgery) – an old beauty done over in an odd but appealing fashion.
Billy Bragg was good. His dancing was bad but he can get away with it because everybody watching feels like they know him, so it’s cute. If you saw a stranger doing that in a club you’d snigger quietly to your mates (or if you were in England you’d point right at him and laugh your guts out) but stars can get away with murder. (OJ Simpson, please rise for the court.) He went on about his kid for a bit. (You always know a rock star is on the way out when he starts singing about his kids. You know a rock star is completely finished when he starts singing about his dad.) He played the classics – There is Power in a Union, Waiting for The Great Leap Forward, New England – plus a fair bit of that Woody Guthrie stuff he and Wilco did. Woody Guthrie was this “seminal” folk hero who died and left piles of manuscripts full of lyrics without music. Someone or other decided that Billy Bragg and this band Wilco would write the music and sing the songs. I’ll bet they’re donating the profits from the album to something worthy. I hate people who actually abide with their sound political ideals. I like people with holes in their souls, little black spots so I know where to start pecking. (When chicks are born, they’re all yellow. If one of them has a spot, the others start pecking at that spot until the chick is deader than Betamax. Nothing like a metaphor.)
I brought my new brown suit into work today to get the legs let down. When I pulled it out of the suit bag everyone said “What? What’s wrong with that? That’s quite alright, that suit.” Mongrels. They were meant to ooh and aah at my daring in wearing such homely garments. Fuckers. Is even my bad taste impeccable? Sigh, my truckload of woes.
Had lunch with Dick today for his birthday. Got him a John Wayne trilogy on video. Um, what were they? Rio Grande, The Quiet Man and The Fighting Kentuckian. Not a bad memory for a guy who was dropped on his head as a baby. Dad seemed pleased with the vids, or at least he faked it well if he wasn’t. Which is the main thing. I think he’s starting a campaign to get me up to Pomona. He was talking about some of the blokes wanting to sell their shares in it, but he didn’t want to buy theirs, there being no practical point in it really. Then he remarked on how I hadn’t been up there for a while and what was I doing for Christmas? I think he’s pleased with the few little victories I’ve afforded him in the last twelve months and he’s making a creeping assault. (Or maybe he’s just sooo pleased about a certain someone blabbing about another certain someone else’s non-homosexuality? Eh? 0, you owe me woman.) Well, I simply won’t have it! Harrumph!
Thursday, 22 April 1999 4.50pm
Dylan has convinced me we’re gonna write scripts for those dial-up sex lines . Here’s a sample;
GENERAL Yeah, give it to me! You know I want it! My heart, can you feel it beating through my diaphanous teddy? Can you feel the heat of my skin? I'm simply burning up! My nipples, they're hard as diamonds! I'm a slack-fannied floozie and don't you forget it! You're so big and hard, like a desk!
SUBMISSIVE Your manliness compels me to obey! I just can't say no! I just can't think straight when you press your manliness against me like this! You don't know what you do to me! The sheer force of your sex calls me to you... Spank me, hard!
DOMINANT You're dirty, aren't you? Get down on your knees, give my shoes they tongue bath they deserve! I'll beat you like the dog you are! I'll break you! You don't deserve me! You'll go down like the cheap hooker you are! Do as you're told! I'll spank you, hard!
Whaddya think? I gave them to Boy-Alex. He’s gonna turn them into a song for his band “Dynamo and The Homosexuals” (they have a brass section). I’ve always wanted to be the behind-the-scenes talent.
J in his beloved ET t-shirt. We loved that film so much, we went to see it three times, we had a well discussed and thought out plan for how we would hide any alien that came to earth, absolutely convinced that they would choose us and no one else to help them.