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Sunday
Dec282008

Order Your Congratulations Here

I think I deserve some kind of award for making Blogged.com's top blogs on Australian Golf.

And why should I be blogging anyway; it's almost become a substitute for talking to actual people. I was hanging out with some friends over the holidays and they all know the ends of my stories before I even fucking tell them. Not that its a bad thing; people seem to read the ol' Crushtor.net and I'm rather chuffed about that.

I still need to figure out what I'm doing for New Year's - My New Year's Eve resolution is to do something actually fun. Please leave your suggestions in the comments.

Sunday
Dec212008

The Top 10 Shit of 2008


The Top 10 of 2008
I'm not sure about you, but this year for me has been languid; mostly a learning experience and a major write off in terms of love, life and happiness. A realignment of priorities and expectations. I've gone through three jobs; all of them dispiriting that also left me no closer to my goal of reaching the United States for the Presidential election. It just crawled by with no great stories to tell - I'm literally having trouble trying to remember any bright points that occurred. I really gave up paying attention about half-way through, but kept a spark alive for my journalism career, which saw me interview Trivium, Parkway Drive, Flogging Molly, Daysend, In Flames, Soilwork and Alice in Chains. I'm sure 2009 will fare better!

10. The slow death of Australian Journalism

I don't know about you, but if you refused to watch A Current Affair or Today Tonight you'd be relatively safe from the "stories" about grandmothers cheated out of $2,000 worth of Scratchie prizes, why Australia is such an amazing film and competitions that pit bogan against bogan as they stare agog at the multitude of savings they can make by ordering Devon ham from the deli instead of the cooling fridge. But instead the actual News services engaged in a loathsome race to the bottom, elucidating the public on how to wash one's car properly, that a detained journalist is fodder in comparison to a former footballer's indiscretions or game show hosts out on the piss. Lead stories; all worthy, according to Australian commercial television! Thanks for nothing, Fox News.

9. The resurgence of good Television
Name a great Australian TV show. Can you think of any other show apart from Underbelly? I bet you can't - this was a renaissance of Australian drama, doing what Aussies do best; real life crime. We love our crims; we loved Ned Kelly, we revere Chopper Read and now the Carlton Crew and their freewheeling whack-a-mobster spree in the 90s. Of course, the U.S. also had some enticing offerings (more crime, believe it or not) in Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Wire. (Which I am yet to see, but can pick up for $16 a season at a local DVD shop.)

8. Raising the "We're All Going to Die" Alarm
Luckily, being surrounded by men and women of science, I forwent the doomsaying and irrational nonsense that surrounded the activation of the Large Hadron Collider; besides, if we all ended up as dust, we wouldn't even know about it. How do we know it didn't happen already? A great step forward for the human races' industrious quest to master its place in the universe.

7. Chinese Democracy Drops, no one cares
Seriously Axl, no one cares. Sales were "dissapointing" because most albums don't require a childhood and half an adolescence to produce. I spose if you live in America and like Dr. Pepper its sort of good, but little else.

6. Stealing the Libs thunder
The embattled Liberal (that's Conservatives, for my American friends) can't cut a break. Even missteps that should infuriate (well, me at least) such as raising taxes on Alcopops (while discouraging drinking and tax receipts) and a hare-brained economic stimulus, the Rudd Government had a quiet, if not uninspiring year. Labor buggered up WA, but that was to be expected. Let's see what 2009 holds.

5. World Financial Crisis hits, cheap CDs ain't cheap no more
Gordon Brown infamously proclaimed that UK growth would increase by 3.5% faces hit a multitude of palms as banks were nationalized and entire sectors of the US economy were bailed out by a magnificent and magical sum of $700 billion which seemed to validate bad business sense. Seriously, why would anyone buy loans that no one could possibly re-pay? Have you never heard of the Great Depression, you Stanford MBA types? Sometimes thrift is a virtue.

4. The Heavy Metal fossils rock out Down Under
Well, it was great if you were a metalhead; Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Judas Priest all lobbed down to our shores to delight legions of fans who hitherto never had witnessed their metal gods in full metal regalia before their very eyes. Satisfying down to the very last note.

3. Michael Phelps wins the entire Olympics
Yes. Australians are fucking cocky when it comes to the Olympics. We punch above our weight and we know it. We take on superpowers and win (per capita.) But when this arsehole fucks up our entire pissweak men's team and gives a good one to our debutante darling Stephanie Rice, your simmering hatred gives way to a good natured rivalry and desire to reclaim one's crown; if kids keep buying $20 Bacardi Breezers, then we might have enough money to fund the Aussie Institute of Sport well enough to field a decent team in London.

2. Lesbianism is the new black
I've always advocated an alliance between manly-men blokes and lesbians, but this time it's gone a bit awry. It seems that Lindsay Lohan has made lesbianism a fashion accessory - the feel-good hit of the summer so it seems. Even Katy Perry cashed in on the "lipstick lesbianism" craze by singing light-hearted pop about the taste on the lips of the opposite sex, while "real" lesbians such as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi have to settle for gaining equal rights for LGBT people to give people a buzz.

1. Liberalism is the new black...President
It seemed inevitable that America had drifted to the left as they realised they've been had; had by right-wing cronyism, had by warhawks in ivory towers; had by media outlets on the Republican payroll. It was time for a change, and the charisma of Barack Hussein Obama cannot be denied. I hope that his talk is as good as his walk; but for now we can have faith that - yes, he can - restore America to its former glory and standing in the world.

See you in 2009!

Saturday
Dec202008

The Top 10 Metal Albums of 2008

The tentative list for Harm.us - the full write up will be posted after Christmas.

Honorable Mentions:
Mercenary – Architect of Lies (Gold Award)
Cynic – Traced In Air (Silver Award)
Amon Amarth – Twilight of the Thunder God (Bronze Award)
Evergrey – Torn
Enslaved - Vertebrae
Neaera – Armamentarium
Cult of Luna – Eternal Kingdom
Opeth – Watershed
Motorhead – Motorizer
Ayreon - 01011001

The Top 10
1. Gojira – The Way of All Flesh
2. Machinae Supremacy - Overworld
3. Eluveitie - Slania
4. Scar Symmetry – Holographic Universe
5. Daylight Dies – Lost to the Living
6. Martriden – The Unsettling Dark
7. Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus
8. Arsis – We Are the Nightmare
9. Seventh Wonder – Mercy Falls
10. In Flames – A Sense of Purpose

Disappointments:
Children of Bodom – Blooddrunk
Into Eternity – The Incurable Tragedy
Satyricon - The Age of Nero

Independent Release of 2008:
Zero Degrees Freedom – The Calm… Before the Silence
Runner Up: Storm the Castle! – The History of Doomed Expeditions, Vol. 1

And, as is customary for me, I have ordered The Way of All Flesh on Vinyl for taking out #1!

Wednesday
Dec172008

Not Entirely Accurate

Well, constant loathing will be sniffed out by even the most oblivious corporate bloodhounds eventually. Yesterday, I was "terminated" from my job via the most non-confrontational process conceivable. What is it with this time of year?

After my birthday until about mid-February, my mind seems to find a comfortable groove and inexplicably turns to mush. At around this time last year, my girlfriend at the time broke up with me. I'm trying to think of the points of difference between this event and that, but unfortunately, they resembled something all too similar - they both told me I was a "great guy"; that I'll find somewhere else; that my services were no longer required; that my performance was lacking in comparison to others and to take all my personal effects on the way out. It was a relief at any rate; it really was a rather depressing job - I always said that it was something that the opposite of me would thoroughly enjoy. Anyhow, I'll allow myself a brief holiday before I start my job hunting in earnest; oh - and I'll also be writing, writing, writing.

I bought (with my prior financial security) Eternal Kingdom by Cult of Luna, Lost to the Living by Daylight Dies and Hagnesta Hill (English Version) by Kent. The Kent record has yet to leave the CD player.

Tuesday
Dec092008

Crushtor's Guide to Children's TV: Press Gang

Crushtor.net's Guide to crap Awesome Children's Television
Sponsored by the Delightful DeeDee and Clever Kyle


Episode the First: Press Gang

The Brief:
A post-Thatcherite London in the cold grip of a recession, probably - children stare towards a bleak future with their hopes fading, their dreams shattering like so many beer bottles over Everton supporters' heads during a match at Old Trafford. A youngish entrepreneur extolling the virtue of pre-Blair Third Way economics sets up a growing journalistic concern for adolescents for some reason in conjunction with a local high school. Hot hot journalistic action ensues.

The All-Star Cast, I guess:
The only obvious star you recognize is Ab Fab's Saffy (Julia Sahwala) as the hard-boiled Editor that does mad cusses in her head and maintains a rigid honor-system swear jar. Co-starring is the cult classical Dexter Fletcher playing Spike, the mischievous seppo with "nothing to lose." There are other cast members, but most of them are boring, stereotypical and shithouse.

The Meat Inside:
Featuring a cast of nobodies, the fledgling Junior Gazette has merely five days until their first edition hits the presses sans front page story. In the pre-YouTube/MySpace/Twitter Blog/OMG RUPERT MURDOCH PWNS J00 age of media oversaturation, this means the kids have to actually use their wits and find one. A delinquent American exchange student or some shit reluctantly joins the fold after displaying a MacGuffin at the school dance and fates himself to expulsion or a burdgeoning Bob Woodward style journalism career. He opts for the latter and attempts to bludge his way out of working by making witty quips about induction forms. The power of the poon (The "pretty" pint-sized J. Jonah Jameson style Editor) compels him to fly right and walk straight, eventually, despite his often madcap and/or tryhard antics.

The Cheese:
Of course, with every children's TV show, the acting resides in a nightmarish Aristotelian world of either melodramatic Stanislavskian methodical perfection or absolute ratshit. "Spike", the American bastard, can't act for shit while Saffron aims and shoots for the 1951 Best Actress Oscar. The resident Del Boy who sells homework for a quid a pop dazzles while Spike's hapless partner in crime seems like the producer's kid who had to fill in at the last minute.

The Awesome Theme Song:
Naturally, with everything produced in the early 90s, crude samples and cheaply synthesized everything were de rigeur. Think Pink Floyd's "Money" covered by Wham! with the cash registers replaced by typewriters and you've pretty much got it down pat.

Should I Watch It:
Absolutely. This knockabout slice-of-life dramady (barely) can be overwrought, underacted and cringeworthy at times, but it sure beats the shit out of T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma, the microbudget pantomime wankery now looking painfully obvious in hindsight. Or first-sight, for that matter. You can also "lol" at the typewriters via Facebook. That'll learn those cheapskates for not forking out for a 286 with Windows 2.0 on it.

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In actual news, I spied a woman at work that looks exactly like Tweety from Merrie Melodies. No shit, she actually looks like Tweety. Its fucking bizzare.