Saturday, February 15, 2014

People v Showbusiness


Your Honour, the prosecution will demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that show-business, cinema, theatre and television, has been treating its paying audience as fools. The prosecution recognises and upholds the concept and tradition of  audience being required to suspend disbelief –  it is the only reason DC Comics and Warner Bros. Pictures can get away with the only disguise Clarke Kent wears to prevent him being recognised as Superman is a pair of spectacles.

Exhibit A, Your Honour.
Dancing as a form of gang warfare. It was attempted in Westside Story – the clicking finger start to the battle is now one of the most parodied scenes.  In the 80s there were a range of breakdance movies that continued to prove that it never looks like a real battle. Diavolo Theatre, currently touring Australia provided further evidence that classically trained dancers are not street-toughs. Not matter how low you wear your oversized cargo pants if you and wear a dance support and sliding repeatedly down a slippery dip you are never going to be threatening.

The Prosecution would like to enter into evidence Exhibit B.
Condoms in real life are not magical! There I have said it. Yet in porn  (so I have been told) when the foreplay is finished the male performer suddenly appears with his erect appendage fully sheathed. Not only is there no removal from the package – lets face it this is often difficult and rarely sexy  - and no awkward moment when the actors realise they were trying to roll it on inside out, but it was never on set in the first place. The scene could be set on a secluded nude beach, the actors having walked for a couple of hundred meters from where they undressed before frolicking in the shallows where there is nothing around but perfect white sand, yet when it comes time abracadabra, the prophylactic is there. Ta da! Unless they had it secreted in an orifice  there was no condom to be had.

Exhibit C.
Calling Nicole Kidman an actress. It may have been true early in her career, BMX Bandits, Dead Calm maybe even Days of Thunder. But in recent years she has so much work on her face that she is no longer able to make an expression, she cant raise an eyebrow, let alone show enough emotion to make cinema goers raise theirs. It would be cheaper just to use a cardboard cut out of Nicole Kidman in future movies and it could show more character – you can at least fold or crease the cardboard.

Exhibit C
Show business through the perennial favourite Sesame Street has taught generations to count. Yet in movies like The Hunger Games franchise the laws of mathematics and not merely bent they are destroyed. Katniss Everdeen chooses as her weapon of choice the bow and arrow. This is seemingly a rookie mistake as a quiver only holds fletched shafts. Or so it should. The other tributes choose weapons such as axes and swords – weapons that can be used repeatedly. Oh wait the story is told from Katniss Everdeen’s perspective and there are three books in the series…she can not die. To help her in the cinematic releases her quiver never runs out, no matter how many arrows she releases. In some scenes in the second movie Catching Fire fires off arrow after arrow after arrow and yet ends the confrontation with more arrows that when the scene started. Even Leonado Fibonacci would have difficulty calculating the numbers here.

The Prosecution Rests

Thursday, February 6, 2014

First Time


Life is full of firsts; first steps, first day of school, first kiss, first car, first job…each marking some kind of rite of passage. I remember buying my first washing machine not so much because of the purchase itself but rather how excited I was, and then it turn how embarrassed I was about my excitement. For me it was a sign of being an independent adult.

I also remember the first job I had that required me to have a business card. Not including the part time jobs I had at school and university it was my fifth job that afforded me a small piece of cardboard bearing my name. The pride, despite earlier jobs having greater responsibility and demanding greater commitment and work hours the supply of business cards made this position feel like my first real job.

Most recently I finished my first cake of soap. No, not the first cake of soap I ever used. That would imply I bathe so infrequently and use so little soap when I do that one bar of cleansing product would last over 30 years. What I mean is, it is the first bar I have used until it completely disappeared during application. In my family it was practice to join the last slither of soap to the top of the next, new bar. This meant it was never obvious when any single bar was completely used. I have continued this practice into my adulthood.

Imagine all the money I am saving.

Well this week out of sheer laziness – I could not be bothered to get a new cake of soap out of the cupboard adjacent the shower – my soap completely disappeared. I did not drop the last little piece, it did not go down the drain, I just used it all up. Of course I am not sure exactly when in my cleaning routine the soap ran out so it is questionable how clean I actually was. But I did it.

It is like driving to see how far you can go once the needle on fuel gauge hits empty, without the risk of having to walk for an hour to buy fuel.

I also remember buying my first television.  A T.V. all of my own, in my own room! This was before houses had my television sets than people and people monitors were carried in every pocket disguised as a telephone and built into the front of refrigerators so you no longer had to wait for an advert to grab a drink.

My mum was upset for days; she cried and wouldn’t speak to me. She thought this was the first step to me moving out of home. She was right, I got my own place 3 years later! In reality all I wanted to do was control the remote.