We’re off

Tomorrow morning we’re off for a short Christmassy holiday down the coast somewhere to somewhere sandy, beachy, and hopefully very very relaxing.

Music

What’s going on in the music industry? No, I’m not talking about Michael Jackson’s skin or Prince/Victor/Love Symbol/TAFKAP’s latest record deal. I’m talking about image.

Watching Rage of a Saturday morning (as you do), one could be forgiven for thinking the music industry has turned upside down. Look, if you will, at the evidence:

  • Sheryl Crow has gone nasty. Her whole new look reeks of capital S Slag. Her new song features the lyrics "not the kind of girl you take home"… quite a change there, since she used to be exactly
    the kind of girl you’d take home.
  • Metallica, they of the tight jeans, black T-shirts and hair everywhere brigade… have got nice! We’re talking acoustic… we’re talking tidy facial hair… we’re talking IN THE CHARTS!

Maybe it’s role reversal. Maybe every few years they take the roles off every musician and pick them out of a hat. Sheryl and Bryan Adams get scruffydom, Metallica gets unplugged, TAFKAP gets cabaret, and a succession of what I call Young Men’s Harmony Groups get… well… Young Men’s Harmony, and yet more video clips of them singing in alleyways surrounded by high fences.

Jackpot!

I think I’ve hit the jackpot. Just about every morning I walk to work from South Yarra Station, a location frequented in the peak hours by the Yuppies who live there and catch trains to the city, hordes of kids heading for a multitude of schools, and people who work nearby, like me.

In the past five days, on no less than three occasions, free samples of various products have been handed out at South Yarra Station. In fact, I didn’t go through there three times last week, so the hit rate was three out of seven; there may have been more that I missed out on.

Let’s hope the advertisers have got together with The Met and decided South Yarra has their perfect demographic. If various companies want to throw their free samples of So Good, various phone company propaganda (but the free pen will be handy) and shower gel in my direction, then so be it. I’ll put up with that.

(PS. Nothing on Monday. I’m disappointed, but hopeful.)

Russian Space Probe

I see the Russian space program has reached new depths. For a while it looked like their rocket was going to crash in Australia. Thanks very bloody much guys, well done! Apparently now the Cold War is over we’re no longer under threat of nuclear annihilation, now it’s rockets falling out of the sky instead. Oh yeah, it only had a little bit of plutonium (a.k.a. the most toxic substance in the universe) in it. Great.

But they told us not to worry about the plutonium. It probably wouldn’t burst out of its battery packs. Oh come on, who are they kidding? Everybody knows on any piece of equipment, be it Walkman, toy car or Mars probe, the first thing that breaks or gets lost is always the cover holding the batteries in.

And even if we didn’t need to worry about the plutonium, how about the fact that twenty tonnes of rocket was about to come crashing out of the sky?

In the end, due entirely to the luck of so much of the Earth’s surface being covered in water, the rocket plunged into the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly the big Web-based news services (such as CNN and MSNBC) started reporting it as having "landed", like it glided down calmly, put out the parachutes and the landing wheels and gracefully touched down on the surface of the water. Landed?! How about "arrived" or "sploshed", or "kerplunked"? I’m sure it would have been "crashed" if it had hit something important.

Horses

Watching my horse running fourth in The Cup last Tuesday I suddenly wondered… have we always known that putting small people on horses would help them win? Or did someone suddenly realise one day a few centuries ago? And did his competitors work it out? Maybe it was like Australia II’s winged keel?

"Gee, Fred’s doing well with his horse racing. I can’t work out how he does it."

"Yeah, what could be his advantage? What’s he changed in his strategy?"

"Maybe if we send in a spy to look at the underside of the horse?"