Jan. 30th, 2017

izmeina: A cute cartoon critter with a bag and a teapot on his head (jolly swagman)
It has been a very strange start to the year so far. Not least due to a certain serpent’s sad addiction to stalking on Twitter but because a whole bunch of goal posts have been moved in such a very short time.

Radio National have not only nuked most of their music programs but have played around with the schedule so much that it is extremely disorientating. Some programs have had the same slot for centuries and now they are either gone or moved to another time or day.
Looks like the goblins have been out slashing stuff with the razor blades
One listener commented that it’s now
Mornings with Murdoch
PM With Pauline
Dinner with Donald
And Bedtime with Bolt.

Not quite that bad but still a bit disturbing. Andrew Bolt has managed to snaffle several op ed pieces per week in the local rag and he is just a petty vindictive whining tyrant like most of the mob at the Murdoch rag. Janet Albrechtson is another card carrying carper. Which reminds me that the sinister “Dial M For Murdoch” is sitting on the table in the spare bedroom begging to be read as is Andrew Jack’s “Inside Putin’s Russia”. So many books and so little time.
P J O’Rourke seems to be the only right wing commentator who is genuinely humorous and not tainted by the petty resentments of his fellows.
But very unhappy to find that First Dog on the Moon has been sent to the kennel and the jolly Jonathan Greene’s Sunday morning slot has been given to Tom Switzer. Switzer is quite mild and moderate compared to most of the other right of centre Dogs of War but he has a swagger in his voice which is annoying.
I did not realise just how central the radio schedule was to the structure of the serpent day until they moved the goal posts. It’s actually one of the reasons for avoiding mall shopping centres like the plague because they are radio reception Dead Zones.

The bus time tables have also been tweeked and that will also take some getting used to but the big one of the moment is the annual Culture Vulture ritual that is the Fringe Festival where for a full four weeks the whole city is turned into a fabulous freak show.
Almost every day of the week except Sunday (due to lousy bus service) I would slink into the city. Lunch time on days off and around 5pm on working days. I would make a bee line for the box office and the list of Rush Tix on offer for the day and plan the serpent’s invasion of Poland.
The Rush Tix are usually between 30% to 50% off the full price so they presented a good opportunity to try something new and adventurous. So in previous years of the Fringe Festival I would go through the big fat program guide and pick 5 “must see” shows that seemed the most likely to sell out. I’d get those tickets in advance and then just resort to the Rushtix for everything else. So it was a cheap way to be adventurous and try out new things without breaking the bank. There is always the odd bad egg but most shows I picked ranged from good to brilliant.

So Friday 20th was the opening day of the festival and I turned up all excited with the prospect of a cheap and cheerful show or two but needing to be mindful of an early bed time due to another entertaining spectacle scheduled to start at 1am.
But this time was different. Not only was the Cheap list nowhere to be seen at the box office but there was a sign saying that they are now only available between 11am and 3pm each day. I guess they don’t want cheapskates like me lining up for tickets during rush hour which is between 5-7pm.
In fact the list is no longer shown at the box office even between 11-3. They are trying to get people to go online to buy tickets which would be OK if they didn’t have the $2 credit card surcharge.

So it looks like the war chest so strategically saved up for a big fat Fringe Binge is going to remain pretty much untouched this year. So far I’ve got 3 full price shows lined up. One is a play about a drone operator in the US Army which got rave reviews when it debuted last year. There’s a spooky men’s choir and a crazy American theatre troupe big into Fakespeare but they occasionally do the odd Alfred Hitchcock or Sherlock Holmes show. Two of those performers have been there in previous years. Got cheap tix and was so impressed with their shows that I keep coming back for more at recommended retail price.The rest will be random cheap tix. There are quite a few shows channelling the Donald and Pauline Hansen also gets her 15 minutes of fame in The Ginger Wave.

At this rate there doesn’t look like much chance of getting anywhere near the usual 16 to 20 shows. The Golden Age is over but it’s still fun just lurking around all the gorgeous venues soaking up the festive fun.

PS Made this post an almost Trump Free zone. Figured that it makes sense to keep the Snark over at Twitter but there are some gems out there to be saved for another day.
Especially after spending a good 3 hours glued to the inauguration.

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