Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Online Petition: Bring Back Lee's Comedy College!!

Many months ago in a land not so different from ours, a young boy named Dr Lee Robert Sullivan Ph.D decided to share his wonderful wealth of comedic knowledge with his fellow moon dwellers. It was a wonderful idea, a comedic cousin to Album of the Week, Lee's Comedy College came out with a bang. Doug Stanhope's Something To Take The Edge Off is one of the best comedy albums I have heard. Such a passionate speaker with a unique old school view on life, this album has received considerable listening time in my music heavy iPod, and Lee says it isn't even Doug's best! Sure, the comments section didn't get the classroom discussion that the professor would have liked, but this freshman selection suggested that people like me were finally going to get a simple, easy to use and frequently updated page of comedy gold.

But alas, tragedy struck. In only his second lesson Dr Lee took a risk and gave his pupils Dana Gould's Let Me Put My Thoughts In You. More like homework than a fun filled listening extravaganza, this album became 30mins+ of half chuckles and unclimaxed joke set ups. On reflection it seemed as though his style didn't click with me or perhaps (and this has happened on a Patton Oswalt album I have) I was bothered that the audience laughed at everything with undeserved vigour. Comedy albums work better in front of small audiences.

Anyways, after the ill received sophomore effort, the professor abandoned the school and left us comedy tragics who are too lazy to find albums ourselves (me) in the scrapheap of Lee's Comedy College Dropouts. Well I'm here to request, nay, demand that Lee, self proclaimed funniest man in the world, returns to his illustrious career as an acomedemic. I hope to get 10 signatures and then send them to Lee in his secret hideaway in the windy hills of Ireland. In respect to what Lee's Comedy College was founded on I will post a Comedy album of the Week in his honour with an album Lee has repeatedly told me to get:

David Cross - Bigger and Blackerer
  1. Opening Song (The Sultan's Revenge)
  2. If You Care
  3. That One Show About Drugs and Stuff
  4. Me and Drugs
  5. Black Stuff
  6. ...Or Worse
  7. Where We Are Now Back in Sept. '09
  8. Silly Religious Crazies
  9. REALLY Silly Religious Crazies. I Mean, Double, Triple Crazy!!
  10. Random Goofabouts
  11. I Can't Get Beer in Me...
  12. Lesson Learned
So let's all get the album, give it a listen and write some comments discussing it underneath along with your signatures and hopefully we can get the College back and running and serving the comoonity again.

- Eden

And while we're at it I think we should get Hamish's Cock College back again

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Perception/Really Not A Very Good Blog, It Probably Means More To Me Even Though It's Still Not That Amazing, All's I'm Saying Is That It's Just Another Example Of Perception Being Played Around With.

I was reading "The Winter of Frankie Machine' and in the first 30 pages, a character by named Abe is mentioned a few times, without an explanation of who he is and what he looks like. So I had my version of Abe, but when it was explained what he looked like, it was different. I thought it was another cool example of perception in that in one fell swoop, my image of Abe was changed. And that includes my memory of him.

 - Lee

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Helly's Film Take- Toy Story 3

It had been eleven long years since we saw our old friends Woody and Buzz and it was sure nice seeing them again in this glorious send  off! Or possible send off anyway...

I'm going to go on the record as saying that the friendship between Woody and Buzz is one of the greatest on screen friendships of all time. They overcame their initial differences and now have a friendship that has lasted the test of time, here we are over ten years later and they are still life long pals, just as we left them. Some friendships dissolve over time for whatever natural reason, but there are a handful of friendships which we keep for a lifetime. Woody and Buzz is one such friendship.

The film brings back all our old favourite characters and adds a few new ones to the mix, to keep it interesting. As always the film is uproariously funny but this time it also seems to find new depth. One scene in particular is essentially asking us to question our own mortality and how would we react if we were in the same position as the toys in that scene? I doubt many of us would be as composed and mature as the toys in that scene, so I think there's a life lesson in there for all of us. That's pretty deep for a 'kid's movie!' In the case with Andy we are also faced with the concept of growing up. I would say a large chunk of this movie's demographic saw the first two films when they were kids and are now Andy's age or older. It would be great to stay a kid forever, but eventually you have to face up to some responsibility and that can be hard to accept. (Spoiler alert) Andy putting Woody in the college box was his way of still retaining part of his childhood and having to let him go at the end was showing that he was ready to enter adulthood. You can always be a kid at heart though of course as we see when Andy continues to play with the little girl and retreat back into his childhood imagination.

I love the genuinely sweet moments between Andy and the toys. They don't feel manipulative as can be the case with other films. Yes the music swells underneath, but these characters have such a rich back story that it feels like they really have earned those moments. I have to admit tearing up once or twice in this movie and being totally invested in those sincere, heartfelt moments.

If I had to pick a flaw in this movie (and its only tiny) is that Lotso is essentially the same character as the Old Prospector from the first movie, just re-imagined slightly. But even with that I can say that I think they went even further with the character of Lotso in exploring his dark under belly.

Toy Story 3, you got a friend in me...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The World Game

I love sport in general and one of my favourites is Soccer/Football. I think the greatest thing about Soccer is that it is a the World Game, played in pretty much every country and followed like a religion by people of all race and nationality. It’s not hard to see why either. It is the simplest of ideas – Kick the ball into the goal, goalkeeper can use his hands to stop the ball.

The tactics of Soccer is where the simplicity of the game becomes so much more. Possession over Position, Long Ball, Counter attack, Set Pieces, 4-4-2, 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2. Watching an expert analyse the specific tactics opens a whole new perspective to the game and it certainly helped me develop my own tactical approach to the FIFA video game franchise (I am the top of the FIFA rankings as well).

The World Cup is so epic. Most people see it as a one month competition but in reality it is a four year journey to unearth the world’s greatest footballing nation, culminating in the finals that feature the 32 best nations from all corners of the earth. Every match is important and every nation that features in the World Cup is brought to a standstill when they play. If aliens came down to attack earth during World Cup time they would probably postpone the day of attack for a month to watch the tournament play out.

Despite the terrible jersey's I still want Australia to go well in the Cup...Last chance tonight to qualify for the final 16.

It’s history is rich and captivating. Every World Cup is a contest not just between countries, but also between continents. There have only been 7 winners in 18 World Cups: Brazil (5), Italy (4), Germany (3), Argentina, Uruguay (2), England, France (1). Continents? South America - 9, Europe - 9.

So who will go ahead in this years tournament? Can the flair of Brazil outdo the strongest midfield ever seen as Spain looks to claim it’s first title? Can Maradona’s heir apparent - Lionel Messi - lead Argentina to overcome the might of the superstars of the English Premier League? Will the relentless attack-orientated Chile breakdown the overdefensive, boring ‘let’s just dive and get a penalty’ mentality of Italy? Or will Africa, Asia, Central/North America or even Oceania become the third region to claim futbol’s ultimate prize? No they won’t, Brazil will probably win…

The chance to see Lionel Messi in full flight is enough to get me wet for this World cup
- Eden (while listening to Vienna Circus Live @ The Beach Road Hotel)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Helly's Film Take- Animal Kingdom and Helly's Film Rant

Going in to the cinema, I knew nothing about Animal Kingdom (apart from the fact that everyone was raving about it.) I’m glad that we saw it in a cinema because I have a feeling that if we watched it on dvd, I may have been tempted to turn it off 20 mins in. But this movie turned out to be a subtle, slow burning, sensation (don’t you love alliteration?!)

The acting is flawless across the board and I will definitely be watching out for whatever Ben Mendelson does next. It really is difficult to expand further on this movie without giving anything away, so I will just have to urge you all to watch it. I really hope that this is a sign of things to come for Australian cinema.

Helly’s film rant

At work it recently occurred to me when I was returning the movie how to lose a guy in 10 days that it has become my go-to bad movie. It made me ponder the multiple reasons why this has become my most loathed movie and I thought I would share these reasons with you.

In case you are unfamiliar with the movie here is the basic plot outlined on imdb-

‘Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive competing with two female co-workers for a major campaign for a diamond merchant. He cuts a deal with his competitors that the account is his if he can make a woman of their choice fall in love with him in 10 days. In comes Andie Anderson who, in turn, is writing a story on how to lose a guy in 10 days as a bet with her boss to be allowed to write more substantial stories. With a hidden agenda in each camp, will either party be able to complete their mission?’

First of all the whole ’10 days’ concept is completely ridiculous from the outset. The fact that they are both given ten days to complete their missions is utterly insane. What are the chances of that happening? They’re both either about to win the lottery or be struck by lightning, if that’s the kind of luck they have!

The two main protagonist’s are named Andie Anderson and Ben Barry. Don’t get me wrong I love alliteration as much as the next person (I even used it earlier…) but it really feels like when the screenwriter was writing the characters he/she thought ‘fuck it let’s just go alphabetical!’ They just don’t sound like the names of real people ( and yes I know they aren’t but isn’t the point to suspend your disbelief?)

I also hate the fact that this movie has ruined Carol King’s classic song ‘You’re so vain’ for me. I can’t hear this great song anymore without thinking of this shitty movie. There are also now an entire generation of girls who love this song purely because it was used in this movie and now request it at Karaoke, just to further expand on the cringe factor.

My final bone of contention is- Do Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey actually believe that these crappy movies that they keep making are any good? Especially from Kate Hudson’s stand point. I know that not all actors are in the position to choose roles and just have to rely on what comes their way. But after Almost Famous, Kate Hudson could have done literally whatever she wanted and she chose to go into predictable rom/com land.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed my rant!

Friday, June 18, 2010


I’ve read and heard a lot of trash talk about iPhones and iPads not supporting Flash. At first I agreed that it was silly to not include it, then I thought, what if there is a really good reason? Turns out there are plenty.

I'd like to first start by saying that the iPhone is the first phone I ever saw that delivered a true internets experience. All other phones I'd used the internets on looked like total shit and are slow. The iPhone managed to make the internets on a mobile phone amazing. All without Flash, the current standard for multimedia.

But why is Flash a defacto standard for multimedia on the internets? In '91 Apple released Quicktime, a revolution in desktop multimedia – Windows machines at the time could barely play audio files (in '92 Microsoft released Windows Video, with thousands of lines of code stolen from Quicktime). About 5 years later (during the browser wars Internets Explorer V Netscape), Microsoft made Internets Explorer incompatible with Quicktime and bundled in Flash. We had a situation where Adobe’s closed/proprietary Flash became a standard for web content because Microsoft pushed it. Apple’s Quicktime, which eventually became integral for the open MPEG4* standard, was pushed back.

Aside from the politics, there is a sound technical reason for Flash to not be included on Apple’s touch devices. Have you ever noticed those ads were you move the mouse over them and the cursor interacts with the ad? Most video sites hide the progress bar, play/pause button until the mouse cursor hovers over it. So even if Flash was installed on an iPad/iPhone none of this will work. Flash websites are built with the assumption that a mouse equipped computer is going to be looking at them. This reason alone should be enough to convince anyone.

The replacement for Flash is HTML5. Videos on HTML5 sites are encoded in a higher quality (using MPEG4), you don’t get that stupid loading thing and you can click anywhere in the video at anytime and it should just start playing. HTML5 in an open standard, meaning there is a consortium of companies who define how HTML5 will progress through the years, not one company (Adobe…). Plus no one has to pay a fee to anyone for its use (Adobe gets money for Flash).

All the big video sites are now changing over to HTML5. I’m seeing it happening now. I accidentally went to youpr0n the other day, at the top of the page it said “we’re currently recoding our entire library”. It’s the same with other similar sites. YouTube has done it, Vimeo has done it, all the big porn sites are doing it… these constitute the most popular video sites on the internets. If these sites have made the change then I can only see Flash becoming obsolete very quickly.

- Dogman

*This is what you’re watching when you look at a high quality video on YouTube (or any quality video site for that matter). Flash format is .flv, MPEG4 format is .mp4.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


When I was staying at a hostel in Argentina I met this interesting guy called Abdullah. Abdullah, a heroin addict of 7 years from Dubai who had spent time living in London and Melbourne and India and eventually moved to Salvador in Brazil where he learnt to kick his heroin addiction by substituting it for crack and subsequently kicked his crack habit by substituting it for pussy, was on a holiday in Buenos Aires for a month or so. The guy was full of interesting stories from his night with a transvestite to his business of helping out struggling drug addict artists for a heavy percentage of their profits.

Anyways we got along swell but there was always one difference in our life philosophy. I was always a believer in human spirit and that love and compassion will help us grow together, while he believed that a person had to take what he could get, whenever he could to help himself. He would ask me the same question a few times during our stay together –

“If you and me were locked in a room together and there was only one sandwich that only one of us could eat, what would you do?”

He followed this question by declaring that he would kill for that sandwich and I would say that I would let the other person have it. But there is part of me that has doubts over this approach now. When you look at the history of evolution it is always survival of the fittest and natural selection, so if I’m not willing to fight for my survival isn’t that me being naturally selected to die? I guess my life philosophy isn’t compatible with living…at least not in that scenario. I mean if I’m so sure that my ideals are right and his aren’t should I let mine die off with me for the sake of his living on?

“If it came down to your life or mine I would do the stupid thing and let you keep on living” - Built To Spill

- Eden (while listening to Vienna Circus Live @ The Beach Road Hotel)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Onions, Fools and Entourage


I had a thai noodle dish from the place at my work today, and they must have had a different chef working because the bloody onion wasn't cooked enough or cut fine enough. A few good bits were in there but most of them were pretty crap. So I had a really bitter (is that what it is?) taste in my mouth throughout the meal which ruined the whole thing. But it was in this discomfort that I observed a pretty cool feeling. The thought of onions in any capacity was now turning me off. And I fucking love onions. So I imagined having onions cooked on a barbeque, or in a thai dish properly bloody served. And I couldn't imagine ever wanting onions again. In my turned off state, I not only took out all the shitty pieces, I even took out all the good ones. I'd been burned by onions, and I was temporarily, psychologically damaged. One bad experience turned me off the whole deal. Okay, I'm gonna be straight with you people. I realised right now how much I don't like this article. I don't blame you if you're bored. Hopefully it doesn't turn you off my blogs for good.

A Fool

Today at work a guy was telling me about how something went a little haywire on his shift. 

He said, "The print came off the platter, I was like WTF, but I sorted it out in time."

He actually said 'WTF'. And he wasn't being ironic. What a stupid fool.


Imagine coming across a building painted in the brightest, most awesome colours and patterns. You assume that inside there must be something awesome going on, something great and fun. You open the front door and walk inside only to find the whole building is empty. That's what it's like for me to watch Entourage now. The premise is simple. How could you possibly have a boring show with that premise. THAT premise.

Season 5 ended with Vince being told by Martin Scorsese that he will play the Great Gatsby in Marty's new movie. It ended with that scene. Awesome stuff. Season 6 is gonna be sweet, we'll see the gang on set getting up to cool movie star shit, perhaps Vince clicks really well with Scorsese and a costar gets jealous followed by hilarity and fun ensuing. Or Eric gets too close to the project, trying to make changes to the film and it causes a rift in their relationship, the same rift that has been brought up in the season prior (see what I did there, that's called building character arcs). Or maybe Turtle will get a coke problem and die (the dream lives on). So obviously, this being the shittiest, most fucking underwhelming show of all time, season 6 starts with Vince at the premiere of The Great Gatsby. Because apparently what we imagine happened on set is better than what they could have given us. The writers are essentially admitting that they wouldn't be able to entertain us. Well it's hard to imagine what went on during the filming when they don't even discuss it at all during season 6. So the Scorsese angle had no payoff. It didn't even have a build up. It was of no consequence whatsoever. Actually it was worse than that, because they got us excited for nothing, which is worse than just, well, not doing the Great Gatsby/Scorsese angle at all, because at least then we wouldn't have even imagined him on set in the first place, only to be disappointed when we don't see it. Do the writers realise that the show is fake?? They're allowed to do ANYTHING, so why are we treated to him hanging at home doing nothing, waiting in between gigs. And if their answer is that it's just like that for actors sometimes, well fuck that. He's a made up FAKE character, he can do whatever they want him to do. And it's insulting to give an audience (a bloody loyal one to still be watching), a cliffhanger with no payoff, just to ensure that they watch the first episode of the next season. Basically, the writers are saying to us, "wait wait, please don't go..... how about this!!" And then they probably said to each other, "oh shit, Scorsese says he can't do the story arc. His agent told me he's got an actual career and is busy with real projects or some shit and that he was just doing us a favor for an episode because he was in town or some shit. Maybe we should have thought of this before. Oh well, who cares. Our audience surely won't. They'll keep watching forever whatever we do."

Entourage should be the best show on TV. It could be a deep, darkly comic satire on how the movie industry affects people, both the highs and lows. Well, Season 6 ended with Vince going off to film a fucking Ferrari biopic. Bullfuck. If the next episode is him at the premiere then I'm done. 

 - Lee

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Helly's Video View- Nowhere Boy and Manhattan

After being bumped two weeks in a row, I thought I would do a double edition of Helly's Video View this week. Starting with Nowhere Boy, a film inspired by John Lennon's life as a teenager and finishing with the Woody Allen classic Manhattan.

Nowhere Boy

As you might remember from my earlier review of Kick Ass, I was really looking forward to seeing this film. To watch the formation of The Beatles on the big screen and gain a little more insight into the life of John Lennon is such an exciting premise for any Beatles fan but unfortunately I was pretty disappointed with this film.

It would undoubtedly be very hard for a film maker to tackle this subject matter and walk away with entirely positive reviews. Having said that, I really feel like they should have stayed in the development stage longer and really honed the script as they had the makings of a great film but the end result feels not fully realised. The film feels more like a kitchen sink drama about a young boy (who could be any boy) rather than the insightful biopic I was hoping for. The actual early incarnation of the beatles only accounts for about fifteen minutes of the entire film, and while John Lennon certainly had an unusual childhood, I was just dying to see more scenes of him playing music and his relationship with Paul.

Another crucial element that was lacking was the casting. While I think Aaron Johnson is a very talented actor (and can definitely do a Liverpool accent) I just think he was entirely wrong for the part. Maybe I'm just going my own pre-conceived notions of how I think John Lennon should be from his adult life, (after all sometimes people grow up to be entirely different people) but I just felt like we were watching a coming of age tale about an anonymous, troubled teen, there was no essence of John Lennon in there. Aaron Johnson is just simply too good looking and buff to be believable as one of the most creative, unique people that ever lived. His incarnation of Lennon is rebellious but in more of a jock/bully way.  John Lennon was rebellious politically and also in his individualism. An actor who is a little more eccentric and unconventionally good looking would have been better for the part (like a younger James Mcavoy.)

Maybe there might be a Beatles biopic down the track. My suggestion would be for the director of Control Anton Corbijn to tackle the project as he would be able to make an interesting,provoking film which is much more than your standard biopic.


I have previously accused Woody Allen of making the same film over and over (pre year 2000 anyway) and while I enjoyed them, I found that they all repeated a lot of the same elements and characters. It is only now that I have seen so many of his films and with the power of hindsight that I can distinguish the subtle differences between them that make them all independently great. Yes, Woody Allen always plays  himself, but he's a writer/director/comedian before an actor and I realise now that it would be very strange to see him playing a 'character' as his films are written so much in his own voice that no one else could deliver the lines that he does. It's also about how he reacts when he is surrounded by the many different characters that are present in his films.

This would have to be my favourite of all the Woody Allen films that I've seen (and Match Point but this one is more quintessentially Woody.)The film's portrayal of love reminds me of the Joni Mitchell song Both Sides Now-

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It's loves illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all

One would think that as you mature, you'd be able to have more of a handle on your love life. But in this film you have mostly middle aged characters still behaving like teenagers, they're insecure and erratic, conveying that when it comes  to love, they still haven't got it even remotely worked out.

I also love the many conversations people have during this film about what constitutes as art and it reminded me of many conversations I'd had at acting school with other pseudo intellectuals, like Diane Keaton's character. I found it hilarious when her character was talking about 'the academy of over rated' as I've blogged before about how I hate it when people use the term 'over rated' in regards to art. It's as if some people just love to play devil's advocate and criticise brilliant authors and artists just for the sake of being controversial.

It's interesting to see how Woody has clearly influenced many modern comics of today with his neurotic, self-deprecating style. The first one that comes to mind is Marc Maron. I liked how he kept remarking that everything was going to give him cancer and later admitting that this rationality wasn't based on anything he had read or seen, he was just making illogical assumptions.

I can't pretend that I wasn't a little disturbed at the taboo relationship presented in the film of a 42 year old man dating a 17 year old girl (especially knowing Woody Allen's personal life.) But what I drew from it relates to what I mentioned earlier about the notion of love in this film. The young girl seems to be the most mature, level headed character and is the only one who is unwavering in her wants and desires the entire film. Woody's character tells her repeatedly that she couldn't possibly have it all worked out as she's far too young but the film's resolution clearly proves him wrong.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tekken Tag Tournament Rankings

As of 9th June, 2010

1.    Eden ‘The Master’ Clarke: Consistency over the years has led to a Federer-like dominance of the Tekken arena by this outstanding combatant. He combines a solid foundation of standard striking, unique side stepping and well ingrained timing with an ability to adapt to the playing style of his opponents to achieve the majority of his victories. Many matches are decided before a single strike is thrown as he holds a firm self belief which is usually matched by his opponents own self disbelief. Like Federer though, it is becoming harder and harder to hold onto number 1.
Weaknesses: Few and far between, however, the standard of the opponents has risen and many people are staking their claim to the number 1
Best characters: Julia, Jun, Hwoarang, Lei

2.    Russell ‘The Heel’ Gill: Infamous for his low combos, Devil lightning and extravagant victory celebrations, Russell is an unrelenting competitor who lets the results do the talking. He is an adaptive and disciplined fighter and has a vast array of characters, meaning he is unafraid to go into a battle selecting random. One could argue a case for Russell being number 1, but the only One to do that would be Russell. Russell as Baek is extremely frustrating as he has almost mastered a 10 hit combo. There is nothing worse than losing to Russell.
Weaknesses: Motivates his opponents to beat him with his ultra-heel persona
Best characters: Baek, Hwoarrang, Brian, Yoshimitsu

3.    Luke ‘The Magician’ Bovino: Luke is an undeniable talent in the Tekken arena and very entertaining to watch as no match is ever over when Luke is playing. Luke has an array of extravagant moves with a number of players. He is willing to risk taking a hit to get out a more difficult move that will cause more damage and stun the fans. Luke can make shitty characters awesome with his unorthodox approach. Many classic Tekken battles feature Luke.
Weaknesses: Known to self capitulate from unlosable positions and usually does so verbally. “I got nothing”
Best characters: Lei, Ganryu, Panda, Kunimitsu

4.    Dean ‘The Natural’ Burr: The most unique Tekken player of his generation, Dean possesses an abstract style of fighting that could be compared to a southpaw boxer, or a left handed tennis player. His unparalleled style leads to never before seen combos and is best expressed in the form of Paul - a character who is unusable to most due to his apparent shitness is suddenly near unstoppable when used by Dean. Believed to be low on the rankings only due to a lack of appearances in competition, this gaming master is the only player who Eden does not have 100% self belief in defeating.
Weaknesses: Inexperience means he has not adapted fully to all playing styles, limited character base
Best characters: Paul, Jin, Yoshimitsu, Heihachi

5.    Lee ‘The Drifter’ Sullivan: Flip a coin when you are playing Lee. Heads, he plays awesome; Tails, he is almost non existent. Now flip that coin five times during the match and that is Lee. Basing his fight on continuous backing away, Lee will wait until you strike first before offering his counters. One round he will crumble like someone playing Tekken for the first time, the next he will destroy the opponent with effortless ease, all while recounting an embarrassing tale of his childhood.
Weaknesses: One good round, one close round, one shit round.
Best characters: Law, Hwoarang, Brian

6.    Jason ‘The Kid’ Bovino: Not a gamer by nature, Jason is instead a Tekken player by occasion, and occasionally he will surprise the much more experienced veterans. Often he uses the forbidden Eddy, but fuck it, someone’s gotta use him. Although over three rounds Jason will usually lose, he always puts up an entertaining battle and for at least one round he can match it with anyone.
Weaknesses: Lack of ambition in the Tekken realm, wastes time with pointless endeavours like writing music and screenplays
Best characters: Eddy, Law

7.    Dogman: Never really had a consistent string of Tekken competition to develop his skills and style, Hamish struggles to keep up the pace with the Tekken nerds mentioned above. He can still hold his own, and is a valuable and sometimes surprisingly awesome teammate in 4 player contests. A natural gamer, Hamish has shown potential for greatness in his limited Tekken exposure
Weaknesses: Inexperience
Best characters: Law, Julia

8.    Helly ‘The Masher’ Vienne: A player from the days of mashing the two punch and two kick buttons in unpredictable excitement. Helly grew up on Tekken with her sisters and is a master of not knowing what buttons she is pressing but managing to do a 10 move combo in the process. Helly rarely plays and when she does, like Jason, it is never for keeps. She is happy win, lose or draw but misses the whole point of playing video games - winning.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t really care
Best characters: Xiaoyu?

Note on ranking system: This is not a points based system. Simply a perceived aggregate of wins and percentages that exists in my own head. Feel free to comment and dispute any of said rankings.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lee: The Original Prankster

The year would have been around 2003, when I was in year 11 at high school. Lee and I were walking home as we did most days, and out of nowhere Lee challenged me to challenge him to do something stupid. There was no gain in it for him if the self-proposed challenge was not carried through; it was for my pure enjoyment only.

I can't remember exactly the foreplay to the dare (and I'm sure I'm telling this story leaving out some details), however the scheme that Lee proposed to me was so absurd it was beautiful. The plan that Lee put forward was this: Every time that I coughed in a suggestive manner Lee had to stop what he was doing and proceed to strut around in small circles clucking like a chicken.

We both had a good laugh at the very thought of being amongst our friends and Lee placing himself at the centre of sure-fire ridicule (his plight of high school?). So the next day, we were standing at lunch next to the main oval (not in Koala Park but the wooden seats next to the portables), and Lee looked at me almost as if to say - "DO IT, DO IT", and so I coughed. Sure enough, Lee turned into a chicken for a good 8-10 seconds and it was hilarious.

But this was not enough; we had to go further...

Cut to later that day or the next day, and we were in drama class. It was the period after recess/lunch, and Miss Fielen had the class lying on our backs performing a breathing exercise to loosen our muscles and clear our minds (what an awesome teacher...). My close proximity to Lee was perfect in setting up one of my funniest moments in high school. The room was silent, not a mouse stirred, the moment was perfect - "*cough*, *cough*" - "brrrrreek brek brek brek brek brrrrrreekk", Lee bellowed as he pranced around the dazed and confused class. "Lee!!, outside now!!", screamed the teach.

One of the funniest things about that moment was that no-one knew what the hell was going on, especially not the bewildered teacher. Lee is the original prankster, no-one else I know would dare themselves to do something so embarrassing, and then when I performed the pre-agreed trigger to actually go through with it - to display such self-deprecation is inspiring; and a great quality to have.

- Russell

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chicken or the Egg?

When a player in sport is in form it is a funny thing. An in form batter will consistently score a lot of runs, a footballer will score lots of goals, a basketballer lots of points, etc. Once in form, he or she maintains an undeniable confidence within themselves; a belief that the next shot will go in, no matter what sort of pressure the opposition applies. And to reaffirm their confidence, the shot goes in. So it’s easy to see how form stays once it is there. But what starts it? How does a sportsman hit a rich vein of form?  Was it a string of good wins that filled the team with confidence or was there a newfound belief or positive attitude reached before the first win? Which came first?

As they say 'form is temporary; class is permanent' and going out of form is a similar process: just replace belief with doubt, and success with failure. Some months ago I felt like I was on a hot streak of writing good blogs. The whole time I was trying to write an epic trilogy of a story to post. However, by the time I finished it, after weeks and eventually months of stalling and slacking off, I lost confidence in its quality. This caused me to lose faith in my blogs and in turn the quality of my blogs dropped.

But should I be surprised? The quality could be directly related to my lack of belief...but I think there is another step that I’m ignoring. Back then I had blogs lined up for posting and I put in a lot more work into them, so it’s no surprise they were better than this one, which is lucky to get one edit. So after losing a bit of confidence due to one failure I stopped putting so much effort into my work and feel sad about how I’m not writing like I was back in the good old days.

So form may be temporary, but the point of that saying is the second half - Class is permanent. I think Tiger Woods sums it up best with this quote:

“He works so hard off the court to be prepared, to go the distance to win. It's just frightening how hard this guy works.”

He is talking about Roger Federer.

- Eden (while listening to Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Easy Rider

 Things I love about Dennis Hopper's film, Easy Rider.

 - Captain America, Billy and George smoking pot around the fire and talking about aliens. Basically watching George open up and see both sides.

- George on the bike. Too funny.

 - The music.

 - The acid trip.

 - The idea that we can always move forward and go somewhere new.

 - The restaurant scene.

 - Trying to work out the line, "We blew it."

 - Learning that society doesn't rule us, but it's something to overcome.

 - How cool Billy the Kid and Captain America look, and the fact that if they want to call themselves that, then they can.

 - Lee