Sunday, October 22, 2017
I have previously from time to time quoted Joan Rivers. She died in 2014 aged 81 and was known for her cutting wit, which sometimes bordered on cruel. Never one to follow convention, she was an early supporter of HIV and AIDS victims and forthright about her cosmetic surgeries. Here is a reprint from the SMH of 26 of her quotes, printed at the time of her death . . .
"I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I'd look like without plastic surgery."
"I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again."
At the Logies in 2006: "I don't know why the f--- I'm here. I know you're all famous, and I hope you all win, [but] I don't know who you are."
"I don't exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor."
"I was born in 1962 … and the room next to me was 1963."
"I have no sex appeal. If my husband didn't toss and turn, we'd never have had the kid."
"I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die, they will donate my body to Tupperware."
"I am definitely going to watch the Emmys this year! My makeup team is nominated for Best Special Effects."
"A study says owning a dog makes you 10 years younger. My first thought was to rescue two more, but I don't want to go through menopause again."
"My love life is like a piece of Swiss cheese; most of it's missing, and what's there stinks."
"I was so ugly that they sent my picture to Ripley's Believe It or Not and he sent it back and said, 'I don't believe it.'"
"You know why I feel older? I went to buy sexy underwear and they automatically gift wrapped it."
"I must admit I am nervous about getting Alzheimer's. Once it hits, I might tell my best joke and never know it."
"Half of all marriages end in divorce - and then there are the really unhappy ones."
"My breasts are so low, now I can have a mammogram and a pedicure at the same time."
"Did you hear Tom Cruise just had a baby? He was there when it was born … he should have been there when it was conceived."
"Don't tell your kids you had an easy birth or they won't respect you. For years I used to wake up my daughter and say, 'Melissa, you ripped me to shreds. Now go back to sleep.'"
"I was dating a transvestite, and my mother said, "Marry him, you'll double your wardrobe.'"
"My sex life is so bad, my G-spot has been declared a historical landmark."
"The funniest [writer] in person but rather boring on the page is, hands down, Leo Tolstoy. If I hear one more time: 'How many czars does it take to change a light bulb? None; they didn't have them in those days,' I think I'll scream!"
"The fashion magazines are suggesting that women wear clothes that are 'age appropriate.' For me that would be a shroud."
"Grandchildren can be so f---ing annoying. How many times can you go, 'And the cow goes moo and the pig goes oink'? It's like talking to a supermodel."
"Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century."
"The only way I can get a man to touch me at this age is plastic surgery."
"At my funeral, I want Meryl Streep crying in five different accents."
"I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present."
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Additional comments by moi.
The WWII propaganda poster too terrifying for Australia:
At the height of World War II, two-thirds of Australians believed rival Japanese forces were primed to invade, and wartime Prime Minister John Curtin grimly predicted "it is beyond our capacity to meet an attack of the weight the Japanese could launch". The notorious poster He's Coming South fanned these fears, and was deemed so damaging to national morale it was banned in Queensland and Melbourne. But though Sydney Harbour was raided by Japanese submarines in May 1942, the belief we narrowly escaped invasion is "one of the more persistent furphies" of the war. Curtin knew as much, but played on the scare campaign's propaganda value.
Norman Lindsay (1879 – 1969) is one of Australia’s most famous artists. He was also an, etcher, sculptor, writer, editorial cartoonist and scale modeler. His home at Faulconbridge, now a museum, in the Blue Mountains is open to the public, has many of his art works and sculptures and is well worth a drive and a visit. The grounds, with his concrete sculptures, are wonderful.
Lesser known these days is that during World War 1, Lindsay was recruited as an artist to create recruitment and propaganda posters. I have previously written about that aspect in Bytes, at:
The posters are emotional and it is said that the heroic ANZAC portrayed in many of his recruitment posters bears a marked resemblance to photographs of his brother Reg, who was killed in 1916 whilst fighting in France.
Camels devolve from desert explorers to desert scourge:
In the 19th century, Australian explorers raced discover the outback's potential riches. Horses were no good for the job — but camels were perfect. They were first introduced to Australia from the Canary Islands in 1840, and a beast named Harry is believed to have been the first to accompany an expedition, in 1846. (Midway through the journey Harry lurched, causing his rider and expedition leader John Ainsworth Horrocks to shoot himself in the hand and face.) Their numbers exploded in the late 1800s, but died off in the 1900s as they were replaced by motor vehicles. (These camels are pictured in Birdsville, Queensland, in 1926.) Huge numbers of feral camels — an estimated 750,000 in 2013 — still roam across Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland, causing terrible damage to infrastructure and the environment.
By 2008, it was feared that Central Australia's feral camel population had grown to about one million and was projected to double every 8 to 10 years. Camels are known to cause serious degradation of local environmental and cultural sites particularly during dry conditions. A AU$19 million management program was funded in 2009 and upon completion in 2013, the feral population was estimated to have been reduced to around 300,000.
A prospector riding a camel which held a world record for distance travelled without water (600 miles), 1895
Afghan cameleer escorts Mrs Walter Lawrence Silver on the wallaby track, ca. 1904
Horse and camel team, Cloncurry, ca. 1904
Live camels are occasionally exported to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Brunei, and Malaysia, where disease-free wild camels are prized as . . . a delicacy. Australia's camels are also exported as breeding stock for Arab camel racing stables, and for use in tourist venues in places such as the United States. Exports to Saudi Arabia where camel meat is consumed began in 2002.
Sydney sisters among the first women permitted to cut men's hair:
Film distribution and production company Australasian Films was pivotal in establishing the local film industry, and Sydney's Pitt Street as its precinct. There, in 1927, underneath the company's Simpson House offices, two of the first female men's barbers worked in a barbershop run by their father, Jack House. This was something of a big deal: men's barbershops were (and still are) viewed as places only men should work at and attend. ("Women barbers are unreliable and erratic, as most women are in work," opined a male hairdressing bigwig in 1922.) One of the sisters, Dolly, went on to marry a young movie cameraman named Bill Tresis. Australasian Films and Union Theatres endured to become the foundation for Greater Union and Event Cinemas.
Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrated with artists' vivid collaboration:
The idea of a bridge spanning from Dawes Point to the northern shore of Port Jackson was first floated by convict and noted architect Francis Greenway in 1815. After countless years of planning and proposals, and eight years of construction, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened on Saturday, March 19, 1932. This poster advertising the celebration, one of the most enduring Australian images of the early 20th century, was actually a compromise. Joint winners of a competition to design the artwork, commercial artist Arthur Whitmore and graphic designer Douglas Annand, were invited to collaborate on the final design, incorporating elements of their competition entries. Whitmore is credited with the illustration of the people in the foreground.
Some more Sydney Harbour Bridge artworks . .
Sensational Sydney by Lisa Lorenz
Grace Cossington Smith, inset, in the garden of her Turramurra home, and one of her most celebrated works, The Bridge in-curve, which was rejected from an exhibition the year she completed it but it is now considered one of the finest works of Australian modern art.
Builidng of the Sydney harbor Bridge, 1930, watercolour, D’Auvergne Boxal
Sydney Harbour Bridge, by Seurat. Nahh, kidding, it’s by Alan Hogan
. . . but this a genuine van Gogh.
Friday, October 20, 2017
I was pondering the matter of books: paper v electronic, online v bookshops. I like books and do not read e books, just as I keep a paper diary rather than an electronic one. That contemplation provides the theme for today’s Funny Friday: Books, Libraries and Reading.
The rewrite of a classic Divinyls song . . .
“I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”
- Woody Allen
A man went into a library and asked for a book on how to commit suicide.
The librarian said: "Fuck off, you won't bring it back."
After she woke up, a woman told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for our anniversary. What do you think it means?"
"You'll know tonight," he said.
That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife.
Delighted, she opened it to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams."
Remember this oldie? . . .
A librarian was working late one night at a small-town library. She had the door open for a breeze, and a chicken walked in, hopped up on the desk, and said, "Book, book, book!"
The librarian was a bit startled, but she quickly handed the chicken three books. The chicken put one under each wing, one in its beak, and walked out.
A few minutes later, the chicken returned, dropped those three books on the floor, hopped up on the counter, and said, "Book, book, book!"
Once again, the librarian gave the chicken three books, the chicken tucked one under each wing, took the third in its beak, and walked out.
It must be a full moon tonight, thought the librarian, getting back to her work. Of course, since everything in jokes comes in threes, the chicken came back. It dropped the books on the floor, hopped up, and said, "Book, book, book!"
This time, the librarian decided to get to the bottom of this. She gave three books to the chicken, and when it walked away, she followed it. They went across the parking lot, down into a ditch, and through a damp culvert. Good thing I wore my sensible shoes, she thought. They emerged into a little moonlit pool. There, the chicken stopped in front of the largest bullfrog the librarian had ever seen. He took one look at the books the chicken was carrying and croaked, "Read it, read it, read it!"
A patron asked the librarian why Tales of Robin Hood had been withdrawn from the collection. The librarian replied, "Too much Saxon violence."
The following couple of Sean Connery phonetic jokes are too good to pass up, even if not related to books . . .
More book humour . . .
My father gave me a really cheap dictionary for my birthday.
I couldn't find the words to thank him.
Why did the Rumanian stop reading for the night?
To give his Bucharest.
What book is about a rodent pioneer?
“Little Mouse on the Prairie.”