The Null Device


Last night I went to the Fringe Festival performance of Anorak of Fire, a one-actor play about a Northern English chap named Gus Gascoigne, and his lifelong passion for spotting trains. The actor playing Gascoigne was Richie Akers, who had played him two years earlier; he went on attired in an anorak and a woolen hat and talked about how he got the passion for trainspotting and about the particularly English subculture of trainspotters and their traditions, capturing the tone of wild-eyed enthusiasm quite well. It was very funny. The play was performed at the North Melbourne Town Hall; not a bad space, except for the lack of real trains passing (as they had two years ago at the Yarraville café). Highly recommended. (Tomorrow (Sunday) is the last night, though, so you'll have to be quick.)

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Rock over London, rock on Chicago: Frank Chu has become famous for wandering around San Francisco with a sign accusing the President of treason against "12 GALAXIES GUILTIED TO a ZEGNATRONIC ROCKET SOCIETY". But now, in this monetised age, he has succumbed to the lure of capitalism and started selling advertising space on his sign. The back of the sign now advertises a sandwich shop as selling "the galaxy's best sandwich", for which the shop pays him US$25 per week. Perhaps this is the sign of a new trend: commercial psychoceramic marketing. (Via Portal of Evil)

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Welcome to the new world order: A history professor in New Mexico has been charged with treason after saying in a class that anybody who can blow up the Pentagon has his vote. It's doubtful whether they can convict him (the first amendment is, I believe, still valid), but he is likely to be dismissed from his position, which could start a new purge of tenured leftists and peaceniks from US academe, replacing them with God-fearing patriots.

Meanwhile, a newspaper columnist has been fired for accusing Bush of cowardice.