Friday, November 27, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Australia, we dodged a bullet

Remembering the time when 'somebody' was nearly our next Prime Minister.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Where There Was Fire....Another Melbourne Society Crime Scene Goes Under The Hammer

Yes, we have just returned from the auction across the road.  We are writing this so we don't have to answer calls or text back.  Our impressions are as follows.

About forty people gathered, most of them in black emerging from shiny black vehicles and only three needed to be there.  The building was once a Society Decorator's business, home and eventually his funeral pyre.  Today his showroom was a shrine for real estate agents who'd hung profile features of the Decorator on every spare piece of wall.  The frames weren't what you'd expect, much more subtle and utilitarian.  A chill ran through the tour group as the sound of a disembodied voice called for help from behind a closed door.  Keen to start on time the agents had closed off the upstairs residence and some people remained trapped inside.  We were really annoyed about that because we had wanted access to see (or hypothesize) where the candle might have been lit.

The auctioneer's flu-affected voice sounded like he himself had just emerged from a tinderbox.  He stresses that everything inside is included, except for the chandelier and the doorknob.   He assures the crowd that yes, the coffee machine is included, it's wired in.  He doesn't clarify who gets all the framed memorabilia.

The Toorak kooks were there, decked out in their crazy person clobber.  A dude in vintage Toyota overalls with bowling shoes, ladies with sequined caps, cheese-cutter style and scattered Pug-Bichon mixes. The bidding started at 1.3 million and three dudes fought it out to 2.05.  A tall, perhaps nondescript, man won.  Gesturing his way one of the kooks says to us, "A blue polo shirt, Stuart would have been appalled".

Artist's impression of new owner

Doorknob not included

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ban Ray

Man Ray Contemplating The Bust Of Man Ray

William Wegman 1978

Panda B. (bandit) Contemplating The Image Of Panda B. (bandit)

Melbourne 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Punk and Blanket and The Mummy Blogger; Chapter 3; Exodus

As you guys all know we have a history of confrontation in the face of dumbness.  We don't often start a fight but we normally finish it.  So it was with some surprise that we found ourselves in mediation with our office-mate, Mia the mummy blogger.

It started as most modern spats do, with a tweet.  We were researching images of Prince Andrew sweating and grinding for our cartoons when we saw a headline about The Australian of The Year 2015 recipient.  Shocked, confused we shot out a quick tweet.

We were trying to render Andrew's teeth when two uniformed police officers appeared in tow with Mia.  She was a weird mix of scared and smug.  The officers asked if we were punk and blanket and we said yes.  We reach for pens assuming they want an autograph but they say they have reason to believe that our conduct has been of a threatening nature to our office mate and that she no longer feels safe to be near us in the workplace.  We know it's not a joke as Mia doesn't have a sense of humour.  For sometime we remained silent, as silent as Gerard Baden-Clay taking the 5th.  

Eventually they asked us if we had any understanding of why Mia might be afraid. We kept staring blankly. Constable Bethany Brown in a tough little girl voice goes "Mia reckons you guys published a hateful and provocative attack on survivors of family violence, accompanied by menacing visual imagery. Have you guys been on Twitter this afternoon?"

It was impossible to lie. Twitter was open on the desktop of our very large screen Apple MacIntosh computer. We hand the mouse to Constable Beth and her offsider, Constable Dean Marsh. We let them scroll away and got back to the royal teeth. Mia becomes agitated, probably because it's the first time she realises our ambivalence to authority is real. Screeching between the Constables and pointing at the Emojis, she looks like she is on the verge of a panic attack and demands an intervention order.  We know we are living in the era of the sook but that seemed pretty extreme.  The police threw water on her request and suggested it was an issue more suited to mediation.

Brian, our mediator told us that Mia said she needed a support person to 'balance up the room'.  That was fine by us, even though she brought Fi (her grief counsellor who tried to make us rat on Sir Elton) with her.  She had also requested that we not be in the waiting area when she arrived.  That was also fine by us.

The mediation kicked off with Mia telling Brian (reading straight from her copious notes) her reasons as to why her safety was threatened by us. The tweet was just the final straw and confirmed in her mind that we were "probably sociopathic".  She provided an extensive list of transgressions.

1.  They are self-absorbed.  Example, they only blog about themselves and things that only interest them.
2. They are nasty.
3. Uncharitable.  Example, they refuse to support social justice movements like, #jesuischarlie #Istandformercy #Iswear #he4she #everydaysexism #paythewriters #paythedancers #IbreastfeedthereforeIam 
4. Small-Minded
5. Apolitical.
6. So juvenile for educated people.  Example, their bad cartoons.
7. Think they are special because they believe they can channel dead surrealists.
8. They laugh at fat people.  Example, they go deep water running and make jokes about getting caught in the whirlpool of a fat person's slipstream. They say they feel like corks.
9.  They openly tell her small children that their drawings don't look like what they are supposed to be.
10. They never like the pictures of her friends children on Facebook.
11. She has heard that they have invented a parlour game for their parties called Mia Translations where guests have to translate her sayings. "He's been here before", about her middle son, would translate as, "My child is Jesus". 

Addressing us, Brian asked if we would like to put our issues on the table.  We said we are simply here to move forward. Before proceeding to the negotiation phase, Brian called private sessions with each of us. Mia went first, which was great as it gave us some time to smash through a couple of levels of Candy Crush. Brian came back and informed us he was not in a position to relay what Mia had said but that we could now talk freely. We really did feel comfortable with Brian as there was a non-judgemental openness to his bearded face. He looked like a friendly bunyip that would be receptive to our truth. We say Mia has an over-inflated idea about the importance of her blog and we think she has an unhealthy attachment to her followers and her opinions. She doesn't understand what we do and what we stand for, she doesn't know the difference between mischief and contempt. She's always at us to get 'sponsors' for our blog and won't accept that we will never be monetised or appear on The Project. Brian nods and says Mia does appear to be quite opinionated. We raise the hashtag activism scene that Mia is mixed up in, where people wear compassion like they would band t-shirts. Brian indicated he was familiar with these sort of pretenders. He thinks Ben Quilty and his mob of supporters are making it worse for Andrew and Myu. We agree and tell him we call it 'compassion porn' and think it's a really dark practice. Normally in lore, people smudge with sage bundles to dispel bad energy fields. We tell him we believe being in the room during a punk and blanket session is the surrealist equivalent of being smudged and Mia is not changing despite our daily presence. Brian terminated the mediation at that point. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Reasons Sir Mick Jagger Is No Longer Our Friend And Why We Believe He May Be Sociopathic (in the style of Marcel Duchamp and the Daily Mail)

1.  At 70, spotted with ballerina, 27.

2.  For never, ever shouting a round of drinks, even when we've had a bad day.

3.  As to his failure to act as a proper rock n roll elder, we cite the Bittersweet Symphony grab.

4.  We've had enough of him trying to crack on to our friends kids at all our events.

5.  Upon reflection, we overlooked some unpleasant things. Like that time in Bali. We were all hungry after climbing the volcano. Mick was the only one to decline the villagers' offerings of fried fish. He ate from a picnic basket especially delivered to him from his five-star hotel. 

6.  We're sick of him using us to gain proximity to influential and important artists, especially those favoured by the aristocracy (he thinks he knows about art, but he doesn't; he just looks at the price tags and his reflection in the glass of the paintings).

7.  For ridiculing Ned Kelly.

8.  Against all our advice, he made the documentary called Being Mick in 2001. We told him he'd look like a middle-aged bubble boy, and he does.

9.  He rings us up, emails, doesn't ask how we are, doesn't ask about Claire, just bangs on and on about what some blogger has said about him that week.

10.  For not giving a shit about no-one. We've realised every time we've spoken with Mick about people's vulnerabilities, he just goes ahead and ruins their lives.

Deb is getting married!

We are patiently waiting for our invitation. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Real Actors Real Life - The 86th Police Academy Award Nominees Are.......>

Best Actor In A Leading Role -   Queensland Undercover Officer known as Joe Emery for outstanding performance in the capture of child killer Brett Peter Cowan.  The Officer spent months building a rapport with his target after "befriending" him by sitting next to him on a flight to Perth.
Best Screenplay -  Queensland Undercover Operatives (no names) for writing "scenarios" of illegal gang activity, including collecting debts, bribing court officials and buying illegal firearms, drugs and even "blood diamonds" from Africa in order to trap their target into making admissions.
Best Supporting Actors - Queensland Undercover Operatives known as Fitzy and Ian for posing as members of a large and powerful criminal gang.
Best Director - High Ranking Officer (no name) Queensland Police.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Accused in 1999

Photo by Polly Borland
Courtesy Google

Monday, December 23, 2013

punk & blanket tick roger settle

we say
this space

Images Courtesy of the Artist and Wild Kingdom

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Where There Is Smoke There Is Fire

Across the Road, Another Melbourne Society Murder

This latest true crime story has left us spent. We are tired, very tired, exhausted by processing information about a decorator’s suspicious death. It’s another society murder and this time it’s across the road.

We have been here before but never have we had such proximity. We were heavily entrenched in the Matthew Wales-King matter in 2002: we knew Paul King’s barber, shopped at Maritza’s boutique, and like her, preferred Agostino’s daiquiri mix.  One of our friends even sat in his Porsche outside the Glen Iris crime scene with the media, feeding us eyewitness accounts.  We’d often try to coerce our friends at Malvern CIB in to letting us see the room where they interviewed Matthew for the very first time. 

We also cannot wait for the Gerard Baden-Clay trial in August as we have followed it forensically.  We have contacts in Brisbane but no one connected to affluent Brookfield society, so we have formed our own view:  anyone who has time to gel and style his hair before his wife’s funeral is a person of interest.  Debate rages in our circles as to whether Joe Korp and Tania Hermann fall into ‘aspirational society murder’ or just straight ‘society murder’. There are also problems with the categorisation of Herman Rockefeller - dinner parties have turned bad discussing that one.

However, this time we live across the road. And it begins as most fires do, with the smell of smoke.  It was Saturday night and we were relaxing after a hard days work selling art and drinking shandies at the Toorak Bowls Club.  One of us was playing Candy Crush and the other was staring at the wall when we smelt smoke.  We knew immediately what it was, familiar as we are with the smell of a burning house. We briefly discussed calling the fire brigade but we thought it would be wise to check Incident Alert Vic SA on Twitter first. They reported a Malvern Rd structure fire not yet under control. We knew this was big because Incident Alert Vic SA has ‘Large Incidents’ on its profile pic. We heard sirens, finished our activities and went to bed.

Next morning we woke up and went straight to the computer. A leading Melbourne decorator had been found dead in the charred remains of his apartment behind his shop on Malvern Road. When we first moved to Melbourne that shop confused us. It’s one of those shops that are not really shops, sort of more like poshed up self-storage. After a comprehensive online search, including galleries of his work, we realised it was true: people paid him to decorate their mansions. We took our Staffordshire Terrier for what would be his last walk for seven days, because when we passed Minimax, we stepped right into another Melbourne Society Murder vortex. We tied up the dog and went inside.

Howls were bouncing off the hard shiny surfaces, a full-on lamentation was spilling out onto the ‘village’. Women with bobs and Husk bags were united in grief. Some of them knew the decorator, had heard of the decorator, had him as Godfather to their children. Some had friends who knew his friends.  We felt the familiar rush of ‘wanting to know more’, so we joined in the wailing, hugging, inching in closer to women who appeared to really know the deceased. Overhearing talk about a pilgrimage to the decorator’s shop we purchase some ‘cheap’ stocking fillers and follow the line of Jeeps a block and a half down the road. A couple of days later the boyfriend is arrested. Those of the pilgrimage who had embraced the numb and silent widower were now wondering if they might have been hugging a murderer.

Our newsroom was fully operational since before the arrest and now we’re pulling overtime. Everyone is in a frenzy – the intel is pouring in at such a rate we’ve had to prioritise our information sharing on a range of criteria: highest priority goes to those who return our texts. And people like our musician friend, who sends daily pics of the evolving floral display in the shop window gets classified information. There was talk about a candle starting the fire. Some sources were particularly interested in this information given the deceased was known to be scared of candles. He only used them for decoration (privately, we have always wondered why people would pay so much money for something they were going to burn). Misinformation regarding the brand of the candle drove us mental. People told us it was a Diptyque candle the couple had purchased from a famous local perfumery shortly before the crime. But we looked that up and discovered Diptyque candles were only $60 and didn’t look like the kind of candles the decorator would use for style over function. A very reliable source intervened and said no, it was a $100 Cire Trudon candle. That seemed much more credible.

Another thing about the Melbourne Society Murder vortex that can be annoying (apart from the fact that one of us is eating and one is not) is interference from other newsrooms.  People have been ringing us with their creative ideas, trying to impress us with their knowledge of the case. Some even tried to influence this piece, texting at all hours with title suggestions.  Hence we have turned off all of our devices whilst we write this.

There are those who have been ridiculously competitive.  One friend questioned our ability to detect the smoke, asking us exactly where we live. He was in South Yarra and we were Prahran so the wind must have been blowing the wrong way, he surmised. We have also had moral competition, like last night at a cocktail party.  About eight of us were sitting around making polite conversation.  One of us thought enough subjects had been covered and finally said, ‘Hey, are we going to talk about the fire now?’  Someone said “Yes”, someone else let out a single clap and we all leaned in.  All except Steph who exclaimed, “There will be no talk about the decorator tonight, this is a human being’s life we are talking about, and it’s not gossip”.  Everyone’s faces dropped.  Vibe ruined.  Steph is an older woman who speaks like a headmaster so we found ourselves obeying her embargo.  Even, the host.  We apologised and went into mediation mode asking Steph if she knew the couple.  She said she didn’t.

Today we spotted two prominent society trend forecasters heading towards the now brimming shop front.  We had a little laugh at the spring in their step because we have seen them at parties and they have made jokes about the decorator and his friends as being ‘A-List of bad taste’.

With our studies of true crime we have noticed a golden thread throughout Melbourne’s society murders – it appears that in each case someone says ‘ENOUGH.’ We’ve noticed that in this matter there are now mutterings on the airwaves suggesting power imbalances. We await the committal in June. That’s a good amount of time to recover before we find out the facts.  


Friday, July 26, 2013

The Stiffy Pic In Paparazzi History

Of the millions of pictures shot by photographers in the bushes there is only one known Stiffie Pic.
September 1996, Daniel Ducruet (husband of Princess Stephanie of Monaco) with Muriel "Fili" Mol-Houteman, Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium 1995.  Ducruet was later banished from the Kingdom by Prince Rainier III.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Jason's List (double click for a better view)

We found this list in Mia "The Mummy Blogger" and Jason's bin. We've seen these venting lists before, written in a stream of consciousness at Dad's in Distress groups. Jason is clearly experiencing early onset self-actualisation.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Debbie Rowe (Blanket's Lament)

*in the style of Billie Jean*

Debbie Rowe
is not 
my mother
but what a girl 
she's proved 
that she 
is the one
except to 
the youngest

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Brad Pitt In Hair & Makeup For His 50th

Jaw Dropping

Last night we went to see Claire Voyant, our healer, life coach and friend.  Lately the world has become a scary place, it's a jungle out there and the kids are having a shit childhood. We need clarity from a Crystal Ball.

Claire never reads her Ball publicly because she isn't a sideshow spook.  We have never seen the Ball but we know it's message to be the clearest.  If there was ever a time where we needed to see the Ball it was now.  We took offerings of some retired Pandoras Claire had on her wishlist.  She was thrilled to receive them and said, 'do you wanna see the Ball?'.

Claire's Ball was just your standard carnival issue.  No wonder she'd been self conscious.  Concentrating on our 'topic of focus' we gazed into the Ball balancing on Claire's stretching arms.  A vision appears. It is Wendi Deng and Cherie Blair curled in a mating ball, slithering and flickering in deep space.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

punk & blanket tick martin grant

martin grant
from another

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In Celebration of the List: Letters to 2012 (in the style of Marcel Duchamp)


1. All those with bourgeois faces (esp. Ted Baillieu)

2. Paul David Hewson (aka Bono) **Not coming if Paul's gonna be there**

3. Hamish and/or Andy

4. Any members of Coldplay (esp. Chris Martin) - Coldplay is the sort of music you can listen to when your parents are home and your mum would love to take you to their concert. And as for you, Chris, even if she was pretty awesome wouldn't there be a point where you'd put your hand up and go "But wait, it's Gwyneth Paltrow"?

5. Elle McPherson - the cameras have snapped her soul away. We cannot be anywhere near her.

6. Bob Brown - some people have been horrified when we say we have never liked Bob Brown. He has been a bad face for the Greens. 

7. Anyone who has ever worked for or voluntarily listened to Austereo.

8. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - it would be catastrophic if we were in a social environment with these two because our strong ethical beliefs would drive us to tell them the truth: that they are perpetuating a dangerous mix of feudalism and celebrity.

9. "Spooky" Hugh Jackman **For those who dare to click**

10. Arnold Schwartzenegger

11.  Lance Armstrong - Badcore

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Punk & Blanket & The Mummy Blogger: Chapter 2

We're at a BBQ at Mia's place in Brighton. All of the women have brought earthen bowls of ancient grain salads, some with quenelles of home-made labne. Jason is out the back tea-smoking farmed trout, beaming with smooth pride. A former athlete, Jason unashamedly favours a low-carb beer while Mia churns out carb-less white-spirit cocktails for 'the girls'.

We were a late addition to the evening which had been planned for months. A babysitter was looking after all of their children - except for Flynn, who was asleep in her room - so the parents could have their me time together. They shared stories of birthing, parenting, post-natal depression, teething and growing up too fast. Mia juggled advice, ancient grains, pouring glasses of Tasmanian Rain, all the while cooing into the mouthpiece of her state-of-the-art B&O baby monitor. It was like a Madonna mic with an ear and mouth piece so she can sooth Flynn remotely.

Tania, a mother of twins and mature aged student who'd returned to school to study Natropathy, is sitting next to us and keeps saying 'Isn't Mia great?', but it's not really a question.  She says to us, 'You guys work online too, don't you? Mia's told me your site is really fascinating. It sounds like a terrific idea.' Before we know it, Tania is trying to sniff Sir Elton's private life out of us like a truffle pig. Throwing her off the scent, we tell Tania we make it all up and back-off towards the blokes smoking trout. We often find sanctuary in the comfortable silence of men.

Fiona ('Fi'), a grief counsellor, comes out the back and asks for a puff, she's normally not a smoker but after a few drinks... She used to smoke a lot before she had children and even when they were little babies because 'they didn't know the smell'. The talk of pregnancy segued to a direct line of questioning from Fi about Sir Elton and David's second child. Luckily Mia walked passed and we grabbed her tanned arm, asking to see the baby as we knew our wish would be granted immediately.

All the way up to Flynn's cot, Mia, who is a little bit tipsy now and unsteady on her feet, regales us with Flynn's sleep history and visits to Sleep School. 'I could never leave her with a baby sitter,' she explains, 'The separation anxiety would be too bad.' As we stand by the cot, what Mia calls the 'Love Mobile' hangs above the cradle. It is fashioned from coconut shells with photographs of Mia pulling various faces attached to them, each one a different version of 'the mother'. She lists them for us:

Reassuring mummy
Loving mummy
Happy mummy
Caring mummy
Funny mummy
Unconditional mummy
Concerned mummy
Smiley Face mummy
Silly mummy
Beautiful mummy
Peaceful mummy

...and suggested we try and guess which 'mummy' was which Mia.

Punk & Blanket & The Mummy Blogger: Chapter 1

We have had to sublet part of our workspace due to the Global Financial Crisis which is really hitting Australia hard.  Mia, an online editor and publisher of issues to do with parenting has moved in.  In her application she demonstrated a vast knowledge of our site as she had noted the various ups and downs with our tenuous, volatile relationship with Sir Elton.

Mia has three children with partner Jason: Baxter 6, Atlas 4 and a little girl called Flynn who is 15 months.  She's very busy.  Kerryn, her personal assistant helped her set up her workstation. They've been friends for a really long time and finish each other's sentences. Kerryn is also a mother but only has her children fifty per cent shared care as part of the court order with her ex. As we watched, Mia art directed her 'Wonder Wall', a collection of keepsake images of her family. Kerryn suggested using the proof sheets of Flynn's professional shoot and Mia went with it, deciding on 'eye level, and to the right'.

On her application, Mia had ticked the box for coffee machine. We were slightly deflated when Kerryn unpacked the Nespresso, and with that we discreetly retrieved our Gloria Jean's loyalty cards from the bin. Kerryn was coming at us with Decaffeinato Lungo, we diverted the situation by popping the bottle of Bollinger we'd bought especially for the occasion. As always happens with French, one bottle is never enough. Mia gave Kerryn money to go to the shops and buy three more bottles. Before too long, we were all shouting to each other about ourselves. No one was listening. The last memory is Kerryn shouting down her mobile to her new partner Brendan saying she's maggoted.