the “huh?” list

Some things are simply inexplicable. Including:

Friday November 22nd 2019

  • “Mina Chang, the senior State Department official whose inflated résumé and faked Time magazine cover raised further questions about the Trump administration’s vetting process, has resigned. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Chang defended herself and criticised the “toxic environment” at the agency, where she had served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (my bolding) since April.” MSN.

Friday 22nd March 2019

  • “The worst hang over” commercial / community service announcement, currently screening on television, warns (in a “working class” English accent, for what reason I don’t know) should you be convicted of drink driving there could be longer term consequences (for employment, international travel, volunteer / community work* etc) resulting from having a criminal record “which could last for at least ten years”. “Could last for at least ten years”? That doesn’t make sense: “could” and “at least” are mutually exclusive, in this context. Should that be “could last for up to ten years” / “will last for at least…”? I’d have thought the script for a commercial goes through a pretty extensive and, more importantly rigorous, editing process but it seems not. “So, its kind of, like, whatever! And  she said and then I said, y’know?”

   *For example: the commercial suggests that if you are convicted of drink driving, at some later date you may get kicked in the shins by a little girl whilst you are dressed as a penguin resulting in you being looked at quite scornfully by another little girl (who is possibly your daughter), a circumstance we would all want to avoid, obviously.

Friday 15th March 2019

  • An “info-mercial” for the kids helpline (“You’re Not Alone, Support Is Available. Phone, Email Or WebChat With Us Today. Tips & Information. Any Time For Any Reason. Donate Today. Volunteer With Us. Highlights: 24/7 Phone & Online Counselling Service Available, Professional And Specialized Counselors Available”) informs the audience it’s for those “aged between 5 and 25”. 25? Kids?

Friday 22nd February 2019

  • If the drivers of the “Resource Recycling” trucks (formerly, affectionately, known as “garbos”) can pick up the bins from the footpath how come they can’t put them back down on the footpath?

Friday 25th January 2019

  • “going” extinct.

When did “becoming” “go” extinct?

Friday 13 April 2018

  • play dates

What happened to playing?

Friday 16th March 2018

  • “You know! A really famous book, you know the one, it’s about a young girl.”

Walking to the library I passed a young mum carefully explaining to four year old son that he is “the big brother” and he has to take care of and protect his “little sister”! Name of? “Lolita”. Damn right he will, and he’s going to have his work cut out for him too, just a small tip: beware of older men name of Humbert. Didn’t catch the four year old brother’s name. “Adolf”, perhaps?

Friday 23rd February 2018

  • reach out to

What ever happened to “tried to contact / approached / appealed to / got in contact with”?

Friday 2nd February 2018

  • Where did the term “in the / that space” (eg: “Edith is a high tech specialist working ‘in the space of’ improbable utility.”) come from? It feels decidedly Kevin Rudd era to me and about as useful.

Friday 26th January 2017

  • It seems like movie director Guillermo Del Toro is often written of as a “master story-teller”, I’m not so sure myself.  I liked “Hellboy”, but that was mainly Ron Perlman just chewing up the scenery, I couldn’t watch “Pan’s labyrinth” because I have a very low threshold for pictures involving rape and / or child abuse and I thought “The orphanage” was pretty good, but I think I could direct a horror movie about an orphanage. I think we all know what has to happen in that one.  He’s done lots of other movies, but he’s not the director that when I hear he’s has a new movie out I get excited, or really even interested. But “The shape of water” was getting such good, even great, reviews; which, when I come to think about it, should have been my first early indication that something was wrong. But: it had a great by- line: “Love! Desire! Monsters!”, it featured a favourite actor, Michael Shannon. Still I had more than a suspicion that is was going to be a giant let down. So I went to a cheap session (Mondays before 4:00PM = $7) at the Palace to find out. There was something slightly suspicious about the audience? Indefinably, they were people I didn’t usually see at movies I went to, somehow. I thought I might be in for something corny. Doesn’t half way describe the sentimental, meaningless, improbability of the movie that followed. From beginning to end it was plain stupid. I won’t go to the trouble of dissecting the stupidity, but there is an artist in the movie and he does some sketches of “her and it” in “love’s embrace” and even the sketches are hopeless. That’s how bad it is. It was drivel and it went on for more than two hours. It was almost spell-bindingly bad, and at each “turn” (which in fact weren’t “turns” because blind Freddy could see them coming) it got more laughable. How many other movies didn’t get made to  find the budget for this dross? Why did Michael Shannon agree to do the picture? And why did Octavia Spencer think this was a career move? (By the way if either / both of those actors need an agent I’m pretty sure I could do a better job of not actually wrecking their respective careers.) I’ve got a feeling that we might have “La La Land” to blame for the fact that “Shape of water” has received thirteen Oscar nominations.

Friday  19th January 2017

  • Why is it that people about to interviewed on TV, notably politicians, are filmed walking before they are asked questions?  I’m aware that it was said of former US President Gerald Ford that he couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but this current stylistic device whereby a politician (interviewee) is filmed walking and then asked questions doesn’t disprove the idea. And what about if the interviewee is disabled? Say in a wheelchair. Do we need to see them perambulating prior to interview? It makes no sense. Any of it. Who thought this one up and why is it being adhered to?

Friday 15th December 2017

  • News readers and panels of commentators “standing up”, the dumbest looking example being the post match discussion / commentary that occurs after the game on SBS’s “The world game” hosted by Lucy Zelic and featuring Craig Foster. Where did this idea come from? And why?  They even have Rebecca Morse doing it on 10 News at 6pm, briefly. It can’t just be a token nod to the “It’s healthier to stand than sit”  brigade, the “new black” in “whats good for you”. The best panel “set-up” on TV might be “The Offsiders”, which approximates the panellist sitting around in your lounge room, or “The Mix”, where the panel actually meets in a pub and sit at a table with their drinks and talk. The panellists on “The world game” appear incredibly uncomfortable (and unnatural). They stand about looking rather like they are about to be “beamed up” from the bridge of “The Enterprise” in some early episode of “Star Trek”. But as George would say to Jerry on “Seinfeld”, “I’ve seen people do it. It’s a thing Jerry, it’s a thing.”

Friday 17th November 2017

  • Passports: I’m currently organising a visa for a trip to Vietnam. (It’s a bit of a palaver but, in my experience, far preferable to the endurance test you have to go through if you take the option of arranging it upon entry.) Which led me to the enduring question (to which no-one seems able to provide a suitable, that is “intelligent”, answer): “Why are passports not accepted as a legitimate document anywhere between six and three months from their expiry date?”

Friday 24th March 2017

  • I’ve avoided referring to artist’s statements because, well to be honest, it’s too easy. What you have with artist’s statements is your basic “fish in a barrel” situation. But then I came across the following for Madison Bycroft’s up-coming exhibition, “Catdog”, at gag projects and I could no longer resist: “The exhibition title is borrowed from the American animated TV series… which featured a creaturely entity that embodied…”. “..a creaturely entity”?

Friday 17th March 2017

  • “Saving places” in the queue for friends at general admission events. Otherwise known as “pushing in”.

Friday 3rd March 2017

  • I recently took out a membership in the RAA. When I received my membership card I also received a form letter which said “Dear, Welcome to RAA (note: not “the” RAA) Congratulations! Your new RAA product automatically entitles you to free RAA Membership!” In buying a membership of RAA, I’m entitled to free membership of (the) RAA? How does that work? Can I transfer it to my partner?

Friday 24th February 2017

  • Messina Salted Caramel and Vanilla, Messina Black Forest, Messina Choc Mint, Messina Coconut and Lychee, Messina Gelato, Original Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, Chewy Caramel, Double Coat Chocolate, Gooey Caramel Tim Tams

Friday 10th February 2017

  • Jeremy Clarkson

Friday 13th January

  • Salim Mehajer

Friday 30th December

  • Donald Trump

 23rd December 2016

  • Scientology

Friday 16th December 2016

  • That multi-story building on the south- western corner of Gawler Pace and North Terrace, “The Desert Sands” in Hindley St, not to mention The “Le Cornu’s site” in North Adelaide.

Friday 9th December 2016

  • Sofia Levin has denied reports that Karl Stefanovic is secretly in love with her, after being linked to the Today Show host. “It’s not true at all, we’re just friends,” says 27-year-old Sofia, who first met Karl, 42, around eight weeks ago when she starred on a segment on the Today Show alongside celebrity chef Luke Mangan, who she works for as a culinary experience officer. “Culinary experience officer.”?

An on-going list.