Wednesday, February 28, 2018

How would Alvin Purple go down in the age of #MeToo?

So it seems that Paul Hogan reckons a dinkum reboot of Crocodile Dundee would be a good idea. Perhaps this is because of the widespread disappointment over the fact that the recent trailer for such a movie turned out to be nothing more than a Superbowl advertising gimmick to promote Australia as a tourist destination. 

Then there was the positive reaction to the #BringBackDundee campaign by the NT News, along with lots of other tweets and updates from fans across the world about why it would be worth making.


As I wrote before, I'm all for it. But it would only work if it was true to the spirit of the original. If, say, Chris Hemsworth reprised the iconic character (or played his son?) in a defiantly politically incorrect way it would trigger social justice warriors across the globe. Bonus!

And the idea of reviving this comedy classic has got me thinking about what it would be like to remake other great Aussie movies from the past. As well as The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, Alvin Purple comes to mind.

Now, on the surface it was just a naughty comedy about a plain lookin' dude who was utterly irresistible to women. But it was also a sly satire about feminism, censorship, and the sexual revolution in general.


Given that we are currently in an era easily as psycho-sexually tumultuous as the early seventies I reckon it could be a good time to, er, res-erect that ol' Purple fella in a balls to the wall reroot! If it were as unapologetically Rabellaisian as the original, I think the public would love it.

Still, gotta wonder how such a fillum would go down with the Aussie sisterhood. And these chicks are extremely influential in the local movie "industry", let's face it.

Given that the plot "subverts the dominant paradigm" by making the female characters sexual aggressors, I think some of these sheilas would see it as a real goer. But then there are the more puritanical frightbats who think that all sex is rape, etc., and would therefore be extremely unlikely to come across on the issue. They'd likely see any filmic flippancy about such a serious subject as yet another example of "toxic masculinity", and demand the project be shut down.

And even if such a production were to receive funding, you've gotta wonder if any well known male actors would be game to take part in it. The #MeToo movement sprang from Hollywood, remember. And it has had big time ramifications for big name Aussie actors such as Geoffrey Rush and Craig McLachlan.

While many of the claims of sexual assault and harassment are harrowing and certainly have the ring of truth, there are some that seem somewhat over-egged, to say the least.

Alvin Purple is a sex comedy, so the casting itself would necessarily include a couch -- or rather, waterbed. While the cavorting would of course be scripted, there's a very real possibility that an ambitious young actress might subsequently decide that some of the touching she received in the audition was "inappropriate" -- particularly if she didn't get the role. Which is why I think many red blooded young Aussie actors might perceive the project to be as "problematic" as the frightbats themselves and steer well clear of it.

So, all things considered the odds of a new Alvin on our screens are remote ... Still, rude for thought, eh?

Wait on! Alvina Purple, with an all female cast, could be the go. Would have a much easier path to production, that's for sure.

What do you reckon? Any more thoughts on this subject? 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Yes, let's #BringBackDundee. We should also #BringBackBazza!

The reaction to this recent Superbowl marketing stunt utilizing the classic Aussie comedy Crocodile Dundee has been fascinating. Seems that squillions of people are genuinely keen to see a fair dinkum reboot of the movie series!

The NT News has even been running a campaign to make it happen.


When I first heard about the idea of a sequel centred on Mick Dundee's son I thought it wasn't a very good one. But given the interest it's provoked in recent days I've actually warmed to it.

As far as I know the hoax trailer had Yank comic Danny McBride as the lead. But of course you'd need a real Aussie bloke playing the main character -- not some bloody seppo! I think Chris Hemsworth would do a great job.

Clearly the massive support for such a movie being made is driven in part by widespread frustration with political correctness. Without a doubt many Aussies believe that their country does have a distinctive national character, best exemplified by the laconic, blokey Dundee. Obviously this idea upsets the cultural Marxist crowd, which makes it still more appealing to local normies.

With that in mind there's another comical Aussie icon that I'm sure many people would love to see brought back to life on the silver screen: Barry McKenzie.

Bazza was one of Barry Humphries' best known creations from early in his career. (Here's the satirist's autobiography BTW. A fascinating read.) It was made into a commercially successful film by Bruce Beresford.


Not surprisingly this variation on the yobbo stereotype is distasteful to today's "culturally senstive" smart set. Guardian reviewer Luke Buckmaster's opinion of the McKenzie movie was a bit kinder than it was for Crocodile Dundee. But he still found the humour in it deeply offensive

The jokes in The Adventures of Barry McKenzie are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and guilty of virtually any other derogatory stereotyping you care to name. Bazza’s zingers include “When it comes to fleecing you, the Poms have got the edge on the Gypos”; “hungry Arab, would have dropped the bastard if he wasn’t qualified for the pension,” and “I’m that thirsty I could drink out of a Japanese wrestler’s jockstrap.”

Ha! The lefteous indignation that such jokes provoke (even if they themselves aren't that funny) is actually amusing in itself.  All the more reason this character should also be brought back to life, IMO. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Musos' PC posturing ultimately unwise. But Colin Hay probably benefited short term

Some more thoughts on the unedifying mass tanty thrown by Australia's rock royalty: What they did was perfectly understandable. Rebellion is a common thread through all rock music, after all. And the establishment has long been seen as Christian and conservative.

I don't think that has actually been true since the fifties. But it's certainly long been a widespread belief ... So, for decades now if you wanted to be seen to be rebellious, you would set out to mock and offend those uptight Christian squares. And it was ultimately a good business decision.

Sure, you might have lost some sales as a result. But if you didn't obey the PC narrative there was no way you'd get access to that massive MSM megaphone, so crucial to commercial success. 

But that's all changed in the last coupla years. A helluva lot of people have really woken up to how dominant cultural Marxism actually is in so many institutions and industries. They're spooked about it -- energized as well. They are the rebels now. And unlike in the past, they now have a means to join forces and build a movement -- namely social media.

The cultural dynamic is very different now. Yet Darren Hayes, Jimmy Barnes et al were still playing by the old rules. That's why I think that in the long term they may be shocked by the public reaction to their dummy spit over Cory Bernardi's playlist.

It won't kill any of their careers, sure. But I suspect it (and other PC virtue signalling they subsequently engage in) will slowly erode their fan base and ultimately their income.
 
That said, I can see that in some cases it was prolly a good decision, at least short term. Take Colin Hay for example. 



Shuffling down Enmore Rd recently, I saw that the ol' trooper from Men At Work had a concert slated at the iconic Enmore Theatre.

As anyone in Sydney knows only too well this suburb, along with those surrounding it, is absolutely chockas with PC types. 

Now, I know that established musos tend to have diehard fans who will travel to see them. Still, I suspect that the combination of Hay being in the news sledging hate figure Cory along with all the local offline advertising would have resulted in quite a buzz about this one-off concert, which was actually held last night.

Not sure if he packed it out. But even if he didn't I suspect there were many more bums on seats than he would've had if he hadn't joined that attempted bolshie boycott of Bernardi's AC100 countdown on Australia Day. Fact that Hay's song "Down Under" came up as number one on it, therefore garnering some more media reports, wouldn't have hurt him either.

IMO he should actually thank the conservative pollie for the extra publicity! Something tells me he probably won't, though ... 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Guardian's Luke Buckmaster frets about Crocodile Dundee's dangers

There has been talk about a Crocodile Dundee reboot with American comic Danny McBride playing Mick Dundee's son. But it looks like it's some sort of viral marketing stunt to boost tourism.

My own reaction to the possibility of this sequel: It would've been very unwise since Hogan himself was the perfect Dundee. Now that he's old and wrinkly it just wouldn't work. And attempting to get a younger Yank to carry off something so definitively Australian would just be cynical as -- a real case of flogging a dead croc. 

But that's not the main grievance from the sneering hipster set. Trapped in the thought prison of political correctness, they find the very idea of the larrikin Aussie bloke so memorably epitomised by the iconic Hogan character as appalling -- even socially dangerous -- in itself.  

A recent column by Luke Buckmaster of The Guardian is a case in point. Dude is so humorless, it's like a mini-comedy in itself -- a self parody to be exact.

Like so many on the cultural Left, he seems to believe art is not a mirror held up to (human) nature, but a tool to manipulate viewers into some kind of behavioral ideal. He seems not to understand that when people see a comedy they don't actually look for directions on how to live their lives. They just want to escape from reality for a while and have a laugh!


Of the rumoured project Buckmaster writes:

So if we assume the unthinkable: that this project is actually going ahead (though Screen Australia has not confirmed it), what would Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home need to do to capture the spirit of the original three Crocodile Dundee movies, released in 1986, 1988 and 2001?

For starters, in addition to being vulgar and witless, the new film would need to be sexist, racist, homophobic and transphobic. It would need to have awkward jokes unfunny at the time of release and even less amusing when revisited years later.

"Sexist, racist, homophobic, and transphobic." Gawd. For today's serious young insects, they're like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!

And "unfunny" to whom? Surely not the millions of people across the globe who lined up outside theatres to watch the movie and laughed out loud at regular intervals as it was projected before them. Being one of them I remember this well.

Anyhoo, if Buckmaster's profile photo is any guide, it looks like he himself hasn't yet hit forty. Did he even see it in the cinema back then? If so, he must have been a mere whippersnapper -- and a sullen one at that. 

He then describes a scene he found particularly offensive

Take, for example, a scene from the original film, based in a pub in New York. Mick Dundee (Hogan) chats up a trans woman, before a friend pulls him aside: “I’ve been trying to tell you all night, that girl, she’s a guy!” Dundee responds by sexual assaulting her. He grabs the woman in the groin area, then points and yells: “A guy dressed up like a sheila! Look at that!”

The pub erupts into laughter and applause. There are high fives and back slaps.

Yeah, because it's like, a movie. It's not real. It wasn't actual sexual assault, and the scene wasn't somehow exhorting people to go out and commit violence against the transgender community. It was just a joke about the rural Aussie bloke Dundee's complete lack of urban sophistication (for want of a better word). 

Dundee sexually assaults another woman later on, in the same way, at an art gallery. His love interest Sue (Linda Kozlowski) consoles the distraught woman by saying: “It’s OK, he’s Australian.”

Again, not meant to be taken seriously. Also, a self mocking gag about our country's international reputation as a land of horny hicks.

Buckmaster doesn't just find the character of Dundee deeply threatening to today's social fabric. In his view the American woman who takes him to the Big Apple is also guilty of "wrongthink" (although this is ameliorated by the fact that she's a pawn of the patriarchy who lacks "agency").

Sue, a journalist, initially appears to have a reasonable amount of agency, before we learn she is dating her editor and her father is the publisher. During a quiet scene in the original movie (directed by Peter Faiman and written by Hogan, Ken Shadie and John Cornell), Sue complains to Dundee about a previous lover. She says this guy is a lefty type, “probably marching right now, for the gay Nazis or something”.


If poor Luke found that line upsetting, imagine how triggered he must have been by the late Bill Leak's brilliant toon!
 
Rather than make me look back in anger (or rather, sneering disdain) at the original Crocodile Dundee, elements like this increase my affection for it. Clearly, the film was lightheartedly reflecting some significant and enduring issues.

It wasn't trying to change the world. It was just having a laugh it what it was like! And isn't it interesting how much has remained the same? 

It's not just the rainbow fascism in particular, by the way. Think about that tranny scene mentioned above. Dundee's description of the "woman" as a "guy dressed up as a sheila" is now called "misgendering". It was a faux pas back then and now it's actually illegal in some parts of the Western world.

Dundee's blunt description basically captures the argument against transgender totalitarianism: A man dressed as a woman (with or without his genitalia surgically removed) is still not a real woman.

Hate to break it to ya, hipsters! The truth remains the truth, no matter how much you tell yourself otherwise.

That's why that scene, along many others in the original movie, will continue to get laughs -- even though Buckmaster and his sour-faced ilk are so appalled by them. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cory Bernardi triggers PC Left with Australia Day Spotify playlist

Gawd, but we live in strange times … In days of yore po-faced moralists decided what music people could and could not listen to. Puritanical preachers warned against “satanic” rock 'n' roll, remember? To them "Elvis the Pelvis” was the devil himself!

Now it's the musos wagging their fingers, making censorious demands. Darren Hayes, Colin Hay, Jimmy Barnes and other superannuated ol' rockers are imperiously deciding who can and cannot listen to their songs!

But to be fair, it's actually not their fault. They're just being used and aren't aware of it … Basically, the farcical mass tanty over Cory Bernardi's Australia Day playlist is primarily the result of cultural Marxism. These malevolent crybullies, who totally control the ABC, Fairfax, most unis and many other institutions besides, are totalitarians who turn everything upside down. In their insanely arse-about worldview right is wrong, division is unity, bigotry is tolerance, and censorship is freedom. 


So completely have these ol' musical dudes been duped, they reckon it's Bernardi who's the only one politicizing their music. WRONG! If anything, he's trying to de-politicize it. The people who most aggressively associated their hits with a specific agenda were the sneering hipsters at Triple J. These virtue signalling twats moved their Hottest 100 countdown to Jan 27th, purportedly so as not to offend Indigenous people.

Yeah, right! Zif the smug whitey-tighties at the national broadcaster genuinely give a rat's clacker about the issue ... This “change the date” bollocks has been primarily driven by the Greens, remember. (Think of all their local council shenanigans in recent months.) And that party is so dang pallid, it should be called "The Whites".

After lowlife cultural Marxists pulled this swifty, no iconic Aussie muso dared utter a peep of protest -- even though I'm sure many were not happy about the shift. They knew that if they had, they'd be falsely slimed as raaacist! by the usual suspects.

So along comes Cory Bernardi and says let's do what we always did: retain a kind of "Hottest 100" on Australia Day to celebrate great Aussie musical talent! Without a radio station of his own he did the next best thing: create a Spotify playlist.

And this is what so many Oz musos are losing their shit over! By opting into Triple J's nasty divisive narrative, they're basically saying that having their hits counted down on Jan 26 (still the official date for Australia Day) is somehow eeevil and raaacist.

So if it's eeevil and raaacist to be part of a national musical countdown on Australia Day now, surely it was in the past, too? So, why didn't Darren Hayes, Colin Hay, Barnesy, and all the others presently poncing about indignantly ever express any disquiet back then?

If the PC narrative is valid, think of the countless Aboriginal hearts those rockers broke by having hits played on Jan 26 year after year! The artists who sledge Bernardi's AC100 playlist must renounce all previous Triple J Hottest 100 inclusions. If they don't, surely it means that they actually take pride in genocide; that they are okay with “Invasion Day”. Shame on them!

In any case, it's been amazing to watch how it escalated ... Started with serial offense taker Darren Hayes being triggered by Bernardi's playlist.


He rustled up some outrage from his peers via Twitter.


This prompted a response from Cory Bernardi, which I think summed up the situation well. He's right, music is for everyone -- it's apolitical. Clearly, he's been trying to keep it that way with his "campaign".


Before long it had become a snowflake tsunami. Pretty much the next day it was front page news! (I think the Daily Telegraph hit the right note, BTW. In their cover, it's Bernardi who's the rebel. Conservatism is the new counterculture, remember!)


Some of the rockers' reactions have been so pompous and silly it's incredible. Take Colin Hay, who actually advised the South Australian Senator to go and get stoned. As Stefan Molyneux would say: "Not an argument!"


Barnesy's outburst was a doozy. He received an Australia Day award just last year. If he thinks inclusion in a playlist on Australia Day this year is beyond the pale, then surely he should hand it back, shouldn't he? That would be the very least he could do. 


FFS ... Why would anyone listen to anything Jimmy Barnes says, especially about politics?


Latho offered some pithy observations on Twitter regarding Darren Hayes, prompting so-called comedian Lehmo to come to Dazza's defence. (Actually, it must be one of the first cases of a bloke white knighting for another bloke. I suspect we might see much more of it from now on, given that the traditional kind almost certainly qualifies as sexual harassment these days.)

In any case, check out Lehmo's last line in this interchange. Does that seem like a reasonable response to Latham's previous tweet? Looks like a classic case of projection to me.


As well as being overtly sexist according to today's PC rules, Troy Cassar-Daley's contribution was ironic as. "Music brings people together and doesn't divide." That's exactly what Bernardi was saying! People from across the political spectrum enjoy it -- including conservatives -- which is why demanding to be taken off the playlist was the truly divisive choice!


Then there was Mick Thomas, of Weddings, Parties, Anything. ("Anything"? Anything the loony Left says is acceptable, it seems. And screw everything else ...)


Actually, I think Thomas's contribution was the most revealing of all. He flat out states that fear of being banned by a commie venue is a major motivation for his dummy spit. Then he adds that being included in the playlist wouldn't be worth his while financially anyway.

Ha! Typical "commie"! All over the shop, as usual ...

I'd say these two factors were key in all the other cases of outrage. The superannuated rockers were terrified of being smeared as bad, evil and wrong by association with one of the PC Left's prime hate figures. This would result in a net loss of earnings for them, at least according to their calculations. And that's why they kicked up a stink.

So, in the end, really nothing to do with a sincere concern for the feelings of Aborigines. Just faux outrage as usual ... Gawd, what a sad ol' bunch of fools they are. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

No rush to judge Geoffrey from the luvvie Left. Different standard applies!

Will be really interesting to see how the Geoffrey Rush vs Daily Telegraph grudge match plays out, of course. Some thoughts about the context:

Firstly, the fact that a massive cultural icon has fallen foul of PC codes of behaviour says heaps. And it brings back memories of when I was a denizen of Artsville myself ...

See, I was a sometime actor and standup comic in Melbourne over two decades ago now. Joint was ultra right-on even back then. Lotsa bolshie babes arcing up about feeling "violated by the patriarchy" ... And there was heaps of haughty huffing about Helen Garner's excellent tome The First Stone.

Garner took issue with the punitive nature of academic feminism and how it was poisoning the waters between the sexes. I recall discussions I had about it with my arty frightbat pals. Their prevailing view was that shafting some fusty ol' dude was a small price to pay for women's empowerment. They also seemed to think it was perfectly acceptable that the accusers not be identified while their so-called abuser was left to twist in the wind.

Even back then this desire for retribution struck me as sinister and toxic. Fast forward to 2017 and sadly things are clearly a whole lot worse. This man hating feminism is absolutely everywhere!

It's all so hysterically OTT that one of the nation's most famous figures has fallen foul of it. 


I do have sympathy for the guy. The accuser's identity is being withheld. And the nature of the allegation is just so vague. (Whenever I hear that word "inappropriate" alarm bells go off. So subjective. Could be anything.)

From what I can glean from reports it seems that Rush has been accused of transgressing personal boundaries in a performance, or something. Now, being (thankfully) well out of the luvvie loop I don't know any other details of this particular incident, or any related goss about the A-list actor and his alleged behaviour.

Maybe the guy's a big time lech who has abused co-workers, I don't know. If he is, of course that's wrong. He shouldn't be doing it and should be held to account and made to stop. It goes without saying that men -- particularly those in positions of power and influence -- should treat women with respect and keep their hands to themselves.

But so often the way that these issues are dealt with in the workplace is utterly absurd. Thanks to the toxic influence of victim feminism, many young women believe that almost anything a bloke does or says in their presence can constitute sexual harassment. And rather than learning to stand up for themselves against treatment they find demeaning or offensive, they are encouraged to tell their employers, who are then duty bound to punish the alleged perp (without telling him who complained!).

Not just Orwellian; fricken Kafkaesque as well!

So, obviously the politically correct culture that dominates the arts world (and many other workplaces, for that matter) has had much to do with precipitating this very scandal, along with many others.

Speaking of which: If Rush deserves the benefit of the doubt, then so does everyone else who's been similarly accused. And that has definitely not been the case.

What's fascinating is how selectively punitive PC standards are applied -- particularly by the most zealous feminist crusaders. 

They say all women's accusations should be believed. But they'll happily reverse that view if the accused is on their side -- regardless of the evidence. Amazing to see so many of Twitter's frightbats, who regularly assume the worst about sexual assault and harassment accusations levelled at their enemies, are either just not tweeting about Rush, or even actively defending him. (Of course he may well be innocent of all charges. It's the inconsistency that's so notable.)

Clearly, they don't wanna be seen as attacking this fellow travelling cultural icon. Cushy gigs, along with invites to glamorous film star-filled events and soirees might dry up. No way will they risk that happening!

The fact that Rush is now suing the Daily Telegraph makes the issue far easier to deal with for these selectively outraged socialist sisters (blushing violents, I call 'em). They can arc up about eeevil Rupert's right-wing henchpeople and their brutal, defamatory culture.

But really, that's just shooting the messenger. IMHO the culture that's more deserving of condemnation is the one that dominates Artsville generally, and Sydney Theatre Company in particular.

Questions that really need to be answered, among others: Did this guy really do something wrong? If so, exactly what was it and who was the victim? If the claims actually turn out to be bogus, why were they made in the first place? And in that case, shouldn't the original accuser be named, and punished for her lies?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Peter Waples-Crowe exhibition illustrates power of PC as well as dingo's

If you say to leftie arty types that the arts are dominated by political correctness and that merit hardly gets a look-in they'll deny it, then usually change the subject. If you keep pressing the point they often roll their eyes and sneer at you. Push it further and they might even get a bit upset and claim that meritocracy is a "white male concept" (no kidding).

The reason the claim makes them so uncomfortable is because they know it's true. They've totally buckled under this creepy, toxic and divisive ideology. The more ambitious among them have decided to go hard with it, using it to further their own careers.

But it clearly bugs a lot of them deep down, because it's so ... dispiriting. Why even try to be good at something when you know it doesn't matter? These days, as a criteria for "success", merit is nothing next to the identity of the artist.

But success still implies merit, right. How could it not? So to "succeed" in the arts you've got to pretend that your main aim is excellence (i.e. great skill), and avoid admitting that being politically correct is what you're mainly focused on. 

To give you an idea of just how significant identity politics is in the arts (and coverage of it), have a look at this article about Indigenous artist Peter Waples-Crowe. The whole piece is about his sense of marginalisation as a queer Aboriginal man, which is clearly the main theme of his exhibition. I suspect it's also why it was chosen for funding. (That's not to say that I think he's insincere about it -- just that identity politics is a huge factor in decision making in arts bureaucracies.)

The article, which is like so many on exhibitions and performances, includes next to nothing about whether it's any good, or even tries to be. It's all about identity politics. And it has this vivid illustration of intersectionality:

"I'm an Aboriginal man, but I'm a gay man. That puts me on the outside," he says.

"I'm inside the culture because I'm Aboriginal; I'm outside because I'm gay.”

I'm inside gay culture because I'm gay, I'm outside because I'm Aboriginal.”


Alienation of this kind and intensity is nectar to a cultural Marxist with nice big pot of your money to throw around …

He adds:

"In some of the Aboriginal stories across the country the dingo is seen as a shapeshifter. In the day, we see it as a dingo, but at night it can become whatever it wants to be. I've often seen myself as a shapeshifter."

I don't think he's the only one. I suspect that many of his fellow artists are “shapeshifters”, too. Deep down they know the PC way of doing things is a load of bollocks, but they pretend otherwise so they can get grant money, win awards and gain kudos. They do not express what they truly think and feel through their art because they know doing so would be a bad career move at the very least.

And they don't focus on honing their skills because they know this won't help them either. That's a sad state of affairs and one of the reasons why there's so much garbage held up as greatness these days.

Call me old fashioned, but I thought art was about transcending differences and speaking to deep human experiences with skill and courage -- not reconfirming them by obeying politically correct dogmas.