Monday, 20 April 2009

A detailed analysis of the song Down Under by Men At Work (with mild racism towards Australian people)

It's one of the finest songs of its generation, but one that has been sadly ignored by music historians and scholars. Until now...

Traveling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast


The opening to this strange tale. Our narrator it seems is backpacking around Europe in a camper van whilst listening to White Zombie. I would encourage any Australian backpackers not to hang out in red light districts, let alone have breakfast with European prostitutes, particularly if feeling uneasy and unsafe. It's certainly not a good way to spend a gap year and it won't impress on your CV when applying for jobs in the future.

And she said,

Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Cant you hear, cant you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.


Clearly this makes no sense whatsoever. I can perhaps understand why European prostitutes think Australian men plunder, but why would they think Australian women glow? I'm mystified.

The next verse requires a more detailed line by line analysis...

Buying bread from a man in Brussels

OK - Our hero is now in Belgium. He's in a bread shop. A man works there. Although it's not clear a shop is involved, he may have just offered some money to a man on the street for bread. Typical Australian behaviour. So far so good though.

He was six foot four and full of muscles

This is where this particular tale from our Antipodean songsmith hits problems for me.

How about if he was in Ghent, would he have met a man carrying a tent?

If he'd been in Liege, would there been a siege?

I really have no idea what would have occurred if he'd been on a day trip twenty miles from Brussels in the town of Geraardsbergen.

I said, do you speak-a my language?

I assume he means English, despite the fact that the word speak-a is not in the dictionary as far as I can see. Although presumably if he'd already placed his order he would have already spoken. Unless he did the pointing thing.

He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

Now I'm really starting to not believe this story. An Australian is in Belgium buying a snack from a tall well-toned gentleman. What are the chances of him receiving a sandwich containing some kind of bizarre Australian sandwich paste without even asking for it? Slim I'd say. Unless he was in some kind of Australian themed sandwich bar, which seems possible when the following information below is revealed.

And he said,

I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Cant you hear, cant you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.


What are the chances of that? The other guy is also Australian. The fact that he chose to wait for a verse and half a chorus to reveal this information to a fellow countryman is kinda rude in my book.

Now the second line clinches it. He's essentially saying. "Yes I'm from your beloved country, Australia, the motherland, famous for men drinking beer and puking up."

Then is starts raining. Of course neither Australian is adequately protected from the weather with a raincoat or wellingtons, so they need to seek shelter.

To conclude, let me say that I don't think this open air Australian themed sandwich bar in Brussels will stay in business much longer. It's a very niche market they are aiming for. In my view, this narrow focus combined with the lack of undercover seating could spell trouble for the future of the cafe. I suggest the owners branch out into more international food, perhaps soups and desserts from around the world. They could also employ more communicative staff who don't sing about sick whilst serving customers.

Lying in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I said to the man, are you trying to tempt me
Because I come from the land of plenty?


This trip has taken a turn for the worst. He's in India in a crack den. Again, it's not going to look good on the CV mate, why not go and see the Taj Mahal? Someone is trying to make him take more drugs, but then he brags that there are already lot of drugs in Australia.


And he said,

Oh! do you come from a land down under? (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Cant you hear, cant you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.


This is getting ridiculous. Our humble narrator is clearly backpacking but surely he can find room in his rucksack for a small waterproof coat or perhaps foldable travel umbrella. Especially if he keeps ending up in thunderstorms. Unless he sold it to buy crack.

And what of the surprised Oh! Perhaps he offered the other guy a vegemite sandwich.

Conclusion

The subject matter of the song Down Under by Men At Work is a clear fabrication and this band have been misleading the public for years.

Quite frankly I'm shocked and outraged by what I have discovered. (oh yeah yeah)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Putting the sex into snooker

I notice snooker authorities recently announced plans to make the sport more exciting and try to replicate the success of Twenty20 cricket. It's an ambitious plan and it involves...

*drumroll*

Having less balls on the table


As far as I can see - That's it.

Is having less balls on the table going to make someone who has never watched snooker before suddenly decide to watch?

"Oh wow I love snooker now, there's far less of those confusing red balls. What do you call them?"

"Reds"

"Yes far less reds, I like it much better now without those reds"

It's just not going to happen.

So therefore, I announce my five ways to make snooker sexier and more appealing to the general public.

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1.Make drugs compulsory
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I've had enough of this campaign to get drugs out of sport. What we need is more players playing whilst high as a kite.

What I suggest is this.

One hour before the match in the dressing room, each player is required to take a mandatory ecstasy tablet Then hard house, trance and happy hardcore is pumped into the playing area during the match at full volume. If frames are even then instead of a respotted black, a dance off takes place.

An alternative is each player is provided with a spliff roller and then smokes cannabis during the frame whilst the other player is taking a shot. I mean, those chairs look mighty comfortable. Munchies will also be provided.

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2.Strippers
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A strippers pole to be installed in the centre of the table. A stripper dances during each frame and the players play around her and the pole. Double points on offer for a shot that goes through the arch of one of her 6 inch clear wedge heels. Winner of each frame gets a private dance in the 'VIP lounge'.

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3.Convicted criminals to referee matches
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As part of a rehabilitation process for dangerous criminals, prisons should teach particularly violent or angry criminals the skills of snooker refereeing so they can do this on a day release basis. Not only will it give them an inner calm, it also helps them with numeracy and diplomacy. It will save the snooker authorities money and they will also be doing a valuable service to the community.

3a. An alternative is to get Mr T to referee snooker matches. Or even other celebrities. You could even turn this into a prime time TV show featuring a host of minor celebrities competing to be the top snooker referee.

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4.Make snooker more Goth
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This one is a guaranteed winner. How can we tempt more young people into the game of snooker? Goth it up! Hey, it's surely no coincidence that the black ball is worth the most points...

Black nail varnish and eyeliner are mandatory and players much dress in full Goth attire and pass strict Goth club bouncers to get into the playing area. Any player refused entry for 'streetwear' will be forced to forfeit the match.

Smoke machines in operation throughout the match and cider and black on tap for players and the crowd.

Andrew Eldritch from the Sisters of Mercy to become the official Goth ambassador for snooker (Well he's available and looking for work)

Bauhaus to reform and record a cover version of Chas and Dave's Snooker Loopy

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5.Combine snooker with Gladiators
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What better way to sure up two fading British institutions than to combine them together. The options are endless:

Following Charlie Brooker's observations, players are to be given gladiator style nicknames that sound like gay nightclubs. Thus we get Peter 'Eros' Ebdon, Stephen 'Rawhide' Hendry and Ding 'Cock Ring' Junhui.

Foam added to the bottom of cues so they can be turned around and used to joust against gladiators.

A moving platform (or travelator if you will) to be installed around the table for players to run up before taking a shot.

Players required to shout "AWOOGA" as loud as possible before breaking.

Gladiators swing giant foam balls at players as they are attempting to take shots whilst standing on small unstable platforms above water.

Crowd given large foam hands and taught the full lyrics to Queen's 'Another one bites the dust'

Referee John Anderson to oversee proceedings in his inimitable grumpy and humourless Scottish style.

After winning a frame a player must complete an obstacle course around the arena - Not as easy as it sounds - Have you ever tried climbing up a cargo net whilst carrying a snooker cue?

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I mean - surely some of these things must be worth a try, right?

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Next week - Putting the glamour back into lawn bowls

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Preaching to the introverted

Oakland, California - 10:30AM

*Knock at the door*

I peer through the net curtain. It is an elderly black man. I do not know this man, so I am about to make the decision not to answer, when I notice his most excellent hat.

I curse my love of hats.

I notice I am wearing my pajamas inside out.

I open the door.

I smell religion.

ME "Hey..."

Elderly Black Man "Good morning sir, how are you today?"

Me "Err yeah, alright thanks" (looks quizzically)

EBM "I'm here to tell you about the lord"

Me (actually groans) "OK, well what about him?"

EBM "Would you be willing to let the lord into your life?"

Me "Sir, you've knocked on the wrong door here, I don't want to waste your time. I'm a nihilist. I don't believe in anything"

EBM (Visibly taken aback) "You believe in nothing at all?"

Me "That's correct"

EBM "Do you believe I'm real?"

Me (narrowing eyes, tilting head and smiling) "I'll give you the benefit of the doubt"

EBM "Do believe in government?"

Me (very very confused) "What?"

EBM (holds out leaflet towards my hand)

Me "To be honest with you, organised religion actually physically disgusts me"

EBM (physically takes a step backwards)

FIVE SECOND PAUSE

EBM "Can I provide you with some information to try and change your mind?"

Me "I like your hat"

FIVE SECONDS OF SILENCE

EBM (shakes head and sighs before walking away) "Have a nice day"