The fireworks factory blew up on Wednesday.

I’m not kidding.

I was surprised though. I didn’t even know there was a fireworks factory in the city. I don’t think anyone else knew either, until it suddenly went up in a catastrophic explosion at about 9:00 in the morning. Sadly I was in a bus on the way to work a good 25km away at the time, so didn’t get to hear it, but the folks (about 15km away) did, which just goes to show what a large quantity of explosive all going up at the same time can accomplish sound-wise.

I did get to see the smoke though, it billowed in and surrounded the office at about 10:00, apparently having formed a long plume across the city that decided to touch down in Nedlands. This isn’t too surprising, on a cross section from Nedlands to the factory (in Carmel) the city is somewhat bowl shaped, with the factory up on the Darling Escarpment, and the office on the plateau to the west of the CBD. So given the prevalent easterlies at this time of year the smoke from anything burning in the hills will probably end up floating around the carpark. But it was still unexpected at the time.

Rather remarkably no-one was killed, or even injured by the explosion. There were only two employees at the factory at the time, and once it became clear that that little fire they accidently started was getting out of hand they did the sensible thing and ran like hell. The Carmel area is fairly sparsely populated and the authorities took control and evacuated everyone pretty quickly, so although there were fireworks shooting off in all directions, and numerous bushfires, no one was hurt. There’s been a lot of property damage though, not least smashed windows from the force of the initial blast. So we can resonably expect the fireworks company to have their arses sued off.

I’m watching Rage while writing this, and cannot help but notice how unbelievably awful both the song and video clip My Sacrifice by Creed are. The song is a drawn out, wailing bit of wuss rock with the lead singer moaning on and on in vaugue metaphors about how hard it is to be him (mind you with a haircut like that maybe he has a right to). The music is reminiscent of Live’s better work, but with all the stuff that makes Live’s better work actually better removed, leaving just a banal and pedestrian plodding soft-rock dirge. And it goes on forever.

The video clip is just the worst mishmash of pretentious and ponderous imagery I’ve ever seen. Blind old men, innocent young children, flooded cities with rowboats, wild animals, mermen, schoolbuses full of candles, and topping it all off a hurricane that throws cars and garbage around the street in some kind of symbol of the anguish and heartache of being a rich and succesful wuss rock band. And all of it in slow motion! The lead singer even reaches down and pulls himself out of the water, could you come up with a bigger cliche? It’s enough to make you puke.

On the other hand I quite like Alanis’s new song. I considered myself seriously over her music, but this new one, Hands Clean isn’t bad. And the video is OK too. Mind you, Under Rug Swept is one of the stupidest album, titles I’ve heard in quite some time.

Finally I cannot let it pass that the last Goon, the great Spike Milligan passed away earlier this week. Rather than try to write some kind of lengthy and boring obituary harping on about his undoubted genius, I figured I’d just quote one of my favourite of his poems…

Things that go ‘bump!’ in the night,
Should not really give one a fright,
It’s the hole in each ear,
That lets in the fear,
That and the absence of light,

(And I say we’re lost!)

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