It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I’m watching Rage. How is this possible? I taped it (well duh). Why did I tape it? Because my favourite band of all time They Might be Giants were the guest programmers last night. Yeah! So I dug out a three hour tape, put it on long play and pretty much got the entire show, apart from the bit at the end where they play the top 50 (no great loss there).

So far there’s been some pretty freaky stuff, but nothing beats O Superman by Laurie Anderson, which is so surreal I’m struggling to even try and describe it. The ‘song’ is a looped sample of someone going “ha” with Laurie sort of moan-chanting a bunch of strange non-sequiturs over the top in an electronic voice to rival that of Cher’s “Believe”.

As for the clip, well, don’t give someone in the music industry a video camera and primitive digital editing suite in 1980 (or thereabouts) and expect anything that makes any kind of sense. I’m watching it as I type and I’m having trouble describing what I’m seeing in front of my own eyes. There’s a big glowing disc, and a silhouetted arm. Then it goes all dark, and the inside of Laurie’s mouth glows, not unlike the terror dog in Dana Barret’s fridge. Then there’s someone doing sign language, and it’s snowing. And the disk turns into a globe…

This makes no sense at all!!

Oh cool! Kraftwerk!

Anyway once they get through all of the Giants’ selections they’re going to play a whole load of their clips, so overall I’m pretty chuffed.

What I’m not chuffed about on the other hand is the current top 40 chart. Yesterday I discovered (much to my horror) that the current Australian number one is Hey Baby by DJ Otzi. OK, it’s a catchy tune and all, harking back to the hits of the 50’s and early 60’s in its essential simplicity, but number one!? What is this? Gah!!

All right! Plastic Bertrand! Ca plane pour mia! Ca plane pour mia! Ca plane pour mia! Mia! Mia! Mia! Mia! Ca plane pour mia!

Worst miming in the known universe. Not to mention the clothes. Or the dancing. Or the ersatz-psychedelic background. OK, let’s just consign the whole clip to the trash heap and save the bother then.

Apart from Rage it’s been a pretty boring week, hence the lack of updates. About the only interesting thing to occur was on Tuesday, when we had the wettest April day since records began. Not too shoddy, particularly with the current drought. Too bad it didn’t continue, although it’s looking pretty threatening out there at the moment.

We can only hope.

On a sad note I have to mention the passing of the great Thor Heyerdahl. For those not in the know Mr Heyerdahl was an anthropologist/archeologist who theorised that ancient cultures were able to undertake sea voyages far longer than archeologists gave them credit for. In particular he was keen on the idea that Polynesia was colonised from South America, rather than Asia as orthodoxy insists. Rather than abandon this theory when the establishment informed him that an Inca-style balsa raft wouldn’t survive more than a few weeks at sea, he proceeded to build one (the Kon Tiki) and with a team of international volunteers sail it across the Pacific. He followed up with two voyages across the Atlantic in papyrus reed boats (the Ra and Ra II) to test the theory that Egyptians influenced the cultures of Central America, and a voyage from Iraq to India to the Red Sea in another reed ship (the Tigris) to test the validity of sea trade between the Tigris/Euphrates and Indus Valley civilisations.

Heyerdahl was one of the pioneers of re-enactment archeology and while his theories remain unproven his work has inspired dozens of similar voyages and reminded everyone in the archeological establishment that ancient humans were just as intelligent, resourceful and adventurous as their modern descendants are. I encourage everyone to get hold of one of his highly entertaining accounts of his expeditions (The Kon Tiki Voyage, The Ra Expeditions and The Tigris Expedition) and read it in honour of this great 20th century original thinker.

Over and out.

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