I made this comedy short twenty years ago at film school in Sydney, Australia. My fascination with the great American weirdness has only grown. I have family there now, and I have tasted real pumpkin pie. What happens over in America now is more important to me than ever before.
This clip is from my one man show “Happy and Clean”, recorded at the Old 505 Theatre following my tour of New South Wales with Flacco.
The talking egg and I did a double bill for a few years, starting at the Studio at the Sydney Opera House in 2005, The Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2006, Downstairs Belvoir St. Theatre in 2010 and a finally a tour of regional New South Wales in 2011 as Double Exposure. Much wine and fine condiments were sampled, as we made a point of trying the local produce wherever we played. We were attacked on stage by crickets in Griffith, but the hospitality was outstanding apart from that.
This is my first published peer-reviewed paper and I am pumped, as they say in the academy. Global Media Journal is an online only, open access, global resource for communications and media studies scholarship with independent editions around the world. You can read The Comic Robotic: Tomkins’s Flawed Automaton and the Comic Character by clicking on the link above.
Comedy narratives present us with flawed characters who make disastrous choices with enjoyable and mechanical regularity. The comic character is an exaggeration of the human personality and Silvan Tomkins’s Affect theory provides a useful model to describe the workings of the comic form. Of particular interest is his model of the hypothetical robot, the flawed automata that lends itself to Henri Bergson’s sense of the mechanical or rigidity in comic behaviour. Affect is the overlooked dimension of comic effect and this paper uses Affect theory to examine the comic personality and how its construction limits affective responses to protect characters from suffering and engender positive affective responses, the comic effect, in the viewer and reader of literary and screen comedy narrative.
Tomorrow is Jeans for Genes day and I don’t have a three-piece denim suit to wear to work so I came up with a sartorial solution in this simple DIY video. It’s all about raising money for the children’s medical research institute, so thank you Con for being such a good sport about it all.
Last week was National Lamington Day, July 21st, Australia’s national day of celebration for a cubular yellow sponge cake covered in sticky chocolate and dessicated coconut. I needed a break from Brainastics so I headed to Toowoomba, Queensland, where this delicious treat was invented. My interest in food phenomena goes back to my days reporting for Gourmet Playboy Traveller, before it split into two magazines, after which I covered paranormal issues for the National Times in Canberra. I can tell you I was not expecting my skill set to conflate as it did those cold couple of nights in old Woombie…
My work in Brainology has led to some exciting discoveries and in this short clip I demonstrate techniques to boost your alpha waves and colouring-in skills.
My second interview with Will on the last day of the ISHS conference outside a local landmark. Will talks about his second paper presented:”A kingdom of hearty laughing subjects”: (Self)-fashioning humour in eighteenth century English metafiction.’
My first interview with the irrepressible Dr. Will Noonan (Universite de Bourgogne) at the ISHS conference outside a very windy Dublin Castle. Will talks about his paper ‘Un voyage excentrique: Creative writing and humour in cycling publications in France and Britain, 1890-1940’.
So I did some research on the alumni of the greatest university in Dublin…
I had been up since 3am and my paper was the last session of the day. I hope this piece goes some way to starting a dialogue between tea factions so we may realise peaceful beverage coexistence in our time.
My short uninformed tour of the grounds of Trinity College, Dublin
The Humanities and Communication Arts Newsletter at Western Sydney University interviewed me for the October Edition. Here is the Interview:
How long have you worked at WSU?
I enrolled in a PhD with the Western Sydney University Writing and Society Research Centre in January this year. I lecture in the Degree and Specialist Programs at AFTRS.
How would you define your ‘field of research’?
I’m using Affect Theory to investigate the mechanics of literary and screen comedy.
What was your favourite television programme (or book) as a child?
My father used to let me stay up late and watch Kojak and The Streets of San Franscisco. They presented each section as ‘Act 1, 2 and 3.’ The cop shows of the early seventies gave me clarity, structure and a respect for the law at an early age.
Do you remember your first day as an undergraduate?
It was 1988: I had too much hair and not enough of a clue.
What sports do you particularly like or dislike? Or do you hate all sports?
Hate is a strong word. I’ve never felt comfortable with physical exertion within a set time-frame. As a spectator I am keen on surfing competitions in shark-infested waters and I enjoy the reporting of scandalous behaviour by high-performance athletes. That said, until I dislocated my knee at age fifteen I was a keen member of the Queanbeyan Judo Club and could probably still break my own arm in a fight.
If the next person in a university fleet car after you turned on the radio, they would most likely hear what?
If it was digital radio then the Hairband Eighties channel: Motley Crue, Iron Maiden or Van Halen. I have discovered that Light Heavy Metal is excellent motivational music when using cardio machines at the gym. It’s also good for navigating Sydney traffic, though you have to watch your speedometer. Otherwise something earnest but fascinating on Radio National.
What is your favourite conspiracy theory?
Donald Trump’s hair got its break in the first Star Wars movie. That’s just Disney propaganda – it was Neverending Story (A German co-production with Warner Bros.)
Have you had any notable celebrity ‘brushes with fame’?
I met George Lucas at the Australian launch of Prince of Egypt, an animation voiced by Val Kilmer. Kilmer walked through the party wearing cool glasses although it was night. Lucas, who was not wearing sunglasses, had no interest in talking to me so I found Jeffery Katzenberg and told him how much I was looking forward to Saving Private Ryan. He agreed and I followed him out of the room, pretending we were friends.
What is the scariest movie you have ever seen?
The Grudge (Japanese version) still keeps me awake at night sometimes.
What is your favourite food?
Roast Turkey. Isn’t everyone’s? Then roast chook, and roast lamb sandwiches the day after cooking comes a close third. With bread and butter pickles. Come on! Recently I have discovered tamari-flavoured almonds (good with beer).
What is the weirdest thing someone has asked you to do?
What is your favourite work of art?
Anything by Rothko–big deep colours hanging heavily in space, with anything by Paul Klee a close second – bendy little figures with spindly bits and circle shapes – both beautiful.
What would be at the very top of your bucket list?
Punching Jar Jar Binks in the face on George Lucas’s front lawn, then doing a burn-out in the Millenium Falcon.