Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Lerv Story And A Review.

When I was a child, I fell in love.

I would lay in bed listening to my radio, hoping to hear his smooth voice singing of love and tenderness, and it moved me.

At around 9 or 10, I didn't have a clue about Love, or much else, really, but I loved Justin.

Hang on, wrong era!

I meant Justin!

While I am happy to admit that I'm a big Moody Blues fan, what most people didn't realise and obviously everyone is about to learn, is that I'm also a seriously tragic fan of the musical version of The War of the Worlds, based upon the HG Wells tale of the same name.

In 1978, when I was in Grade 6, my teacher brought in a record to play for the class. Actually, it was a two-disc set, and she played them both straight through.

I was transfixed, and I was in love.

With a stellar cast of vocal talent - Richard Burton, Justin Hayward, Phil Lynnot, David Essex, Julie Covington and Chris Thompson, it was a remarkable musical odyssey through Victorian England under invasion from outer space.

That year for Christmas, I got my own copy of the recording. It only took 6 months of begging, pleading and cajoling to convince my parents that nothing else would do for me, and my ploy worked.

The two-cassette set I got was set on eternal play on the tape deck, and everyone (else) got sick and tired of it.

I never did

Well, last weekend, the stage version of this record came to Melbourne.

I wanted to go, but decided that it would be too expensive and reconciled myself to not going.

Then at work, the social club had tickets for half price, and I mentioned to my boss in passing that I'd love to see it. Then got back to work and forgot about it.

My boss didn't.

He came up to me a few weeks ago with an envelope containing two tickets to the show for last friday, and I went.

So how did I find the show?

Omigourd! Oh. My. Gourd!!

I was beside myself.

I was eleven all over again.

I even cried I was so blown away by it all.

I still knew all the words to all the song and dialogue. (Not that I suspected otherwise).

And I still swooned over Justin.

Guys, I don't care if he's pushing a hundred. He's still tall, and blond and has wonderfully distinguished looks and that wondrously magical voice.


Of course, I'm not eleven any more, and I tend to have a small, rational voice in the back of my mind keeping me on an even keel.

Even at events like this one.

So a quick, dry review.

Music? Beautifully done - orchestra, band, Jeff Wayne conducting and the singers in fine voice. Even Shannon Noll (he's obviously done a lot of hard work and it's paid off well).

Lighting? Fantastic.

Sound? Likewise.

Basically, I couldn't fault any of it. (Did I say Shannon Noll did great, too?)

The show consists of a stage with the musicians in full view, and the singers out of sight. The singers step onto stage for their songs, then they remove themselves from view again.

The narration is again using the Richard Burton recording from the original back in the 70s, and his wonderful velvety voice fills the stadium. (Cue more swooning)

And filling out the stage is a huge screen across the back with a series of montages that tie in with the story.

Again, the standard is incredibly high, and even a purist like myself can't find fault.

The martians are depicted as huge, with tentacles around their heads and a lot of teeth. I mean a lot of teeth.

My favourite picture, however, is one I snapped off below. With the image of a martian superimposed over a hellish depiction of the world in a fiery destruction, the first thought that popped into my mind was:

My goodness, a lot of lefties will think that looks just like George Bush!

Ticket to see the show? $80
T-shirt to sleep in every night for the rest of my life? $45
Seeing George Bush in a musical? Priceless!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More Stuck Mojo: I'm American.

Even comes with lyrics, yay!

I Need A Bigger Filing Cabinet.

Aguayo told IPS he joined the military in November 2002 while he was working the night shift at a bank to support his wife and daughters, while he attended community college during the day.

So far, so good. A few lines later comes this classic:

Aguayo's excitement started to wane, however, once he entered basic training. He said he was disturbed by boot camp chants like "left, right, left, right, KILL" and, although he had enlisted as an Army medic, he realised that he would still have to carry a weapon and fire it at other human beings when necessary.

That feeling of unease intensified after his unit received orders to deploy to Iraq. Before leaving for Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, they ran training exercises in Germany.

"We would drive around in convoys in the woods in Germany in a training area and constantly targets would pop up and we would fire out the window," he said. "We did this day after day [and] at nighttime. I was part of an infantry battalion. At that point it became clear to me that in today's army a medic isn't just someone who helps people. In all fairness, it's an infrantryman, a rifleman, that has some medical skills."

How about I highlight my favourite line?

"...in today's army a medic isn't just someone who helps people. In all fairness, it's an infrantryman, a rifleman, that has some medical skills."

Somebody give the man a skippy badge for observation skills.

What on earth do people think the armed forces are for? They are for learning how to defend your self, your brothers and sisters in arms and your country. That involves killing people who may be trying to kill you.

Now I know the title of the piece is Latino Soldiers Who Refused Iraq Speak Out, but it could just as easily be titled: Whiny Peaceniks Realise That Yes, You Do Have To Fire Your Guns In The Army.

Or maybe, Conscientous Objectors Never Realised That They Could Go To War.

Why on earth would someone join the armed forces when they have a moral objection to guns and war and killing people?

This attitude gets my back right up, particularly when discussing it with people like my brother-in-law. I'll call him Bill.

Bill doesn't like my stance on the War, or islam or a lot of things, although we do both belive in God. (My sis is an atheist, just to make life interesting).

Anyway, we were all yakking around the table not too long back and the subject of guns and self-defence came up.

I'm all for them. Magilla will be taking up martial arts in the next couple of years, and I'd love for her to learn how to handle a gun. I see no sense in waiting for the police to come and hold your hand after you've already been burgled, and I likewise see no sense in letting someone wander into my home and my life and take what they will.

I'm not interested in dialogue. If you enter my home without my permission, then your intent is harmful.

Anyway, before I start ranting I'll get back on track.

Bill's attitude is that violence is never the answer, and guns especially are Not On.

So sis and I asked him when it was acceptable to take aggressive action in your own defence.

He said never. He would never fight back, nor would he condone it.

So sis and I asked him about someone breaking into the family home and threatening to kill their young daughter. Was that a time when violence was acceptable, or would he prefer to see his child assaulted or murdered?

That was something he really hadn't considered, from his reaction. He sort of fudged around in his answer.

I can't remember his exact words, but the impression I received from his demeanour was that he really just didn't want to even consider the possibility of being in that situation.

I think the fellow in the article is a bit like Bill and a lot of other people: they just don't consider all possible scenarios, and when they find themselves confronted by the (to them) inconceivable, the fight or flight reflex kicks in and they run away.

It would be nice if they could take the time to realise that when you join the Army, or Airforce, or Navy or Marines or the Police, there is a reason for the gun you learn how to use.

It's not just for decoration.

(article found via Fire Witch)

ps. The filing cab I'm referring to is for the No Shit, Sherlock Files.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Today's Comparison

Okay, since I do enjoy playing "Let's Compare," I thought my readers would enjoy these photos of our potential leaders.

Who would you choose?

A fearful leader (who sucks up to the Chinese president Hu Jintao recently?

Or a fearless leader who stands his ground on decisions made irrespective of their popularity in the polls?

And, yes, this includes is stance on gun control, with which I heartily disagree.

I know who I will be voting for.

(Photos via Bolta.)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Houw To Spell Prouperly.

I have a few mates ouverseas that I try to chat and email with regularly.

Houwever, I've slacked ouff ouver the past couple ouf mounths, and am in the proucess ouf getting back into the swing ouf things.

Oune ouf my mates gives me a lout ouf grief ouver my spelling. As he's in the US, that's no surprise - there are a few differences between US and AUS/UK spelling.

Four thouse nout in the knouw, here in Ouz, we foullouw the british way, and the wourds "colour", "favour", "humour" and so oun are spelt with the letter "u" after the "o".

This is nout the case in Nourth America, so hilarity can ouften ensue in the course ouf our counversatiouns.

After many debates ouver the practicality ouf this spelling coumpared with the American way (ie. without the silent "u"), my mate has prouvided me with a new fourmula four spelling that should clear things up between us and our US cousins.

Froum nouw oun, any wourd with the letter "o" foullouwed by a counsounant shall have a "u" added next to the "o" and befoure the counsounant.

If we all foullouw this new grammatical rule, we should be able to eliminate the counfusioun between our countries and all spell the same way.

Ouf course, it doues take a bit ouf practice, but I have no doubt that I will get the hang ouf this sououn.