Friday, December 4, 2009

I first heard this driving down Riversdale Road, Hawthorn...actually I wasn't doing much driving as there was a bit of gridlock happening (or would that be not happening?) I can't remember where I was going or what I was doing but it was hot, hot! I had the windows down and enjoying the weather for what it was.

I think it was around 2003? Anyway my timeline is quite crap so I may have to google to find out when the USA invaded Iraq and then when Australia got involved...actually timeline shmineline, doesn't really matter.

Now I'm not a very political person and I rarely put my money where my mouth is (and often beat myself up about it) but this war in Iraq really, really got to me. I am extremely antiwar. I cannot quite believe that we still do it, that we - or the powers that be - haven't evolved enough emotionally, even intellectually and strategically, to see it's not the answer. Well, I've kind of answered my own conundrum up there without realising it..POWERs that be. It's all about power. Ridiculous.

Anyway, so there I was listening to Tough Culture - a now defunct program on RRR, hosted by (I have to say, the very sexy sounding) Jonathan Alley. He was* also obviously very passionate, very left, intelligent and articulate. Jonathan read out a piece by a photojournalist** which described the carnage left by a US bomb in a small cafe and shop lined street in Iraq. Just the images of the everyday juxtiposed with the horror of bombed out buildings, cars, a civilian bus and strewn body parts - Like the hand of a small child found in the green grocers (no sign of the rest of the child, just the hand)  - gave me goosebumps on this sweltering day.

Then he played this piece.***

"Touchingly it was mainly women who did this work"...powerful stuff. Lest we forget.

*Is! Jonathan is still alive and well and on RRR on Saturday evenings (I think)
**I remember the photojournalist's name was Paul so it makes me think it was written by Paul Watson but not 100% sure
***An excerpt from Slaughterhouse 5. An amazing, amazing book which I've read over and over.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Back into it...

I picked up one of my numerous notebooks to take with me on my little shopping jaunt with Sweeney. He's at the age where I can actually have a coffee in reasonable peace so I'm taking full advantage of it.

The idea was to jot down some Genie ideas, get my head in that space again. So I sit down at a quite cafe. Actually, I'll just add at this point, I'm usually a sucker for a trashy mag but I was lucky that they only had a couple of old New Ideas from July. See, I still really try and procrastinate. Always up for a distraction.

After flicking through the old news (and some sad but funny pictures of poor Mischa Barton) I open up my notebook. Oh, what do we have here? Some Genie notes already....from 3 YEARS AGO!

There wasn't much, only a few pages, but I it's actually amazing to see that whole Twilight teenage sexy romance (male from another world (Genie) seducing misfit girl from our world) idea actually existed all those years ago. Here I was, future me in 2009 worried that I was kind of stealing ideas from Twilight but I have proof, PROOF I say! That I'm not a complete rip off queen.*

Not only that, but flicking through the 2006 pages (all five of them) I found the root of the inspiration - A dream I had.  Here t' is:

...was in an apartment block - very old fashioned, maybe from early 20th Century. Filled with feral looking hippies. Young, friendly, good looking but a bit aloof. Invited us to see 'the park'. We went. It was just a normal park, kind of like a nature reserve, then they started circling threateningly.

I can remember this dream quite well actually, I think because I attributed it a song. Which is this:

The above song features on my Genie's 'Soundtrack' (also circa 2006). Some of the other songs are:

Cross Bones Style - Cat Power
Young Bride - Midlake
Voices Carry - Til Tuesday
California Soul - Marlena Shaw
False Flags - Massive Attack
Hours - TV on the Radio

oh, and we mustn't forget the obligatory classical piece:

The Lark Ascending - Vaughn Williams

Ahhh, is most definitely powerfully inspiring to me. I appreciate all types and most genres (oh, except for metal and most hip hop) but I have to say I can be a bit of a snob. As in I cannot handle most of the commercial vacuous crap out there. Yeah, like I said, I sound a bit snobby don't I? I can't help it!

Anyway, back to what I was saying, as soon as I hear certain songs I immediately envision a scene or story that goes with it. I can remember the first time I did this. It was to this song in 1986!**

Angel Dust - New Order

Oh my God, I'm listening to it right now and just have to tell you the movie I had for it. It's just so bloody hilarious! Basically this unsuspecting western guy picks up an asian girl in Hong Kong. She steals his kidney (!) as you do when you're mixed up with the Triads. Anyway, she falls in love with him and they end up...I don't know...running around the streets of Hong Kong at night time. I seriously used to put the record on (yes, on the turntable) and fantasise this scenario at least once a day for maybe a week or two.

I sound like I was a pretty cool 15 year old hey? You know, liking New Order and stuff but I have to tell you, around the same time, this song would have also made Mandy's top 5!

Suffice to say I think very visually and aurally so, of course, my book will become a film..

With one pretty excellent, moody soundtrack. I guess it would cost a pretty penny for all those rights but I'll let those Weinstein brothers worry about that. Ha!

*A quick fact check tells me Twilight debuted at 2005 but I'm almost 100% sure I only became aware of the whole Twilight thing with the movies.
**Oh, how I'm enjoying this trip down memory lane
***showin' me age!