Volkswagen

A SCANNER DARKLYscanner

Dick, Philip K.  (Doubleday, 1977, ISBN 0385016131)

My grandfather bought the Volkswagen in 1968. He imported it direct from Germany and shifted the steering column over to the right-hand side.

A year later man set foot on the moon. Continue reading

Special jellies

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILLdayearth

Dir. Robert Wise Perf. Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. Twentieth Century Fox 1951 Film

Dir. Scott Derrickson Perf. Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly. Twentieth Century Fox 2008 Film

Out of everything they might’ve given us, the aliens from The Day the Earth Stood Still decide to bestow the revelation that we’ve put ourselves on the way to destruction.

We know that!

Continue reading

Melbourne to Los Angeles

THE ZEN GUNzengun

Barrington J. Bayley (DAW Books, 1983, ISBN 9780879978518)

When I flew into Los Angeles in 2002, the airport strip-searched me. I look about as menacing as a pug dog, but as I walked through the x-ray machine, a woman pointed to me and they pulled me off to the side.

Behind a translucent curtain marked, ‘privacy screen’, they had me strip down to my underpants. A man in latex gloves felt me up. Meanwhile, another man pulled the innersoles out of my shoes and probed around inside them with a plastic wand. Continue reading

Arrakis [pt.3]

DUNEDune

Herbert, Frank (New English Library, ISBN 9780450011849)

Hilary shared an apartment, and thus rent, bills and housekeeping, with Sophie. Like Hilary and me, Sophie supported herself through a mixture of Austudy and various atrocious part-time jobs. After a brief stint working for a telephone sex line, she found her niche as a telephone psychic.

An ineradicable optimism endeared Sophie to you as a friend, but it made her an appalling housemate. It amounted to the faith that when you found yourself without the time or money to do something, you could do it anyway. Continue reading

Gallo

buffalo_66
BUFFALO ’66 
Dir. Vincent Gallo. Perf. Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci. Cinépix Film Properties, 1998. Film.

 

I revere Vincent Gallo’s film Buffalo 66 as a work of genius. From the outset, the film seizes our attention through its humour and stunning photography. Buffalo looks like Orwell’s bright cold day in April when the clocks struck thirteen. Gallo’s flurrying delivery leaves us in hysterics.

At first, we despise his protagonist. After heckling her away from the
payphone, Billy mooches phone change from the tap dancer and then sneers at her in return.

Continue reading

Clearwater Primeval

A Clockwork Orange
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
Burgess, Anthony (William Heinemann: UK, ISBN 0434098000)

 

The Monash Transfer and Recycling Station on Ferntree Gully Road gives you the best chance you’ll ever get to tolchock your property without bothering your conscience.

After paying their veck on the way in, you back your automobile up to the edge of a concrete pit three-feet deep. For as long as you want, they let you throw your stuff down there, watching it fly apart as it hits the ground. Boxes tear apart and CDs fly out through the holes. Electric kettles bounce like skipping stones, trailing their electrical cords. You pitch your microwave up into the air as hard as you can, grunting. For one crystalline moment it hangs in the air, rotating with the door open, before it explodes against the concrete. Continue reading

Arrakis [pt.2]

dune

DUNE

Herbert, Frank (New English Library, ISBN 978-0450011849)

For Sophie, physical necessity, by itself, didn’t fix the moment when the future must arrive. Time marched rubato, stretching and bending to the individual rhythms of the players. As long as you stuck to the spirit of the arrangement, Time would turn a blind eye to a few extra minutes here or there.

To those with a pragmatic turn of mind, the view must’ve seemed an unmitigated failure. You found Sophie forever running late, out of petrol and waiting on her next paycheque to make the phone work again. Repossession agents chivvied her in flocks while friends she’d failed to meet crammed her answering machine with irate messages. Continue reading

Arrakis [pt.1]

dune

DUNE

Herbert, Frank (New English Library, ISBN 978-0450011849)

Sophie kept a boyfriend named Alan – the same way that one might keep a housecat or a gerbil. Alan belonged to that shadowy class of persons who somehow leave no discernable impression in your thoughts. You would’ve found him listed in the credits as ‘fireman #3’ or ‘guest at party’.

 

 

He had a genial temperament; he’d amble out to see you when you arrived and make small talk. He just appeared underwritten. When you looked up from a conversation, you’d find him standing in the background fiddling with something, as if his actor didn’t have any lines and needed to full up the time pretending to do something. His presence left so scant an impression that to this day I can remember only two facts about him: he owned a video camera and slept heavily. Continue reading

  • You might also like

    • Amongst Ordinary Things

      STRAVINSKY’S LUNCH Drusilla Modjeska ISBN 0 330 36186 4 Amongst ordinary things, among cups and saucers, couples chatting in a courtyard, trees, the expression on a face, there may also be questions about what one sees, and what it means. For the artist, these questions might be about Life, they might … Continue reading