Bloody hell

Where the bloody hell are you? If someone you barely know wanted to invite you over to their place for R & R and posed this question to you, how would you react?

Well, Tourism Australia seems to think that you might be enticed to visit the country by posing this cheeky tagline. As someone who grew up somewhere else, my initial reaction was of shock. Why would you want to curse at possible visitors? Won’t that drive them away instead? But then on second thought, I remembered my dad telling me that Australians like to say “bloody” all the time. Also, Australians don’t really regard the phrase “bloody hell” as a curse anymore. Think of it as a favourite interjection a friend would utter casually.

Unfortunately (or is fortunately?), some countries where it was being shown don’t always agree. UK initially banned the ad, finding the word “bloody” offensive. A little over a week later, the ban was lifted and the ad is shown in its entirety. Now, it’s Canada’s turn to restrict showing the ad, this time finding the word “hell” objectionable (I was told that Canadians prefer the word “heck”).

On the other hand, not all Australians say “bloody hell” and it’s not as prevalent as the tourism commission would like you to believe. But then again, as they say, any publicity is good publicity and it seems like the ad is certainly stirring up some interest. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the video here.

Maybe they should have used another phrase instead, perhaps something like “bloody beautiful, mate!”

Published in: on March 22, 2006 at 7:49 pm  Comments (4)  

Hello, I’m Into Johnny Cash

The first time I’ve encountered the name “Johnny Cash” was in an old 1970’s Christian comic book that belonged to my born-again aunt titled, Hello, I’m Johnny Cash. Incidentally, Johnny Cash is known to start public performances with this simple introduction. Anyway, all I knew about Johnny Cash for a long time was what I have learned from that comic book: he was a popular rock/country singer in the old days, got into drugs, gave up on drugs and later found God again.

The old music I know, I know from listening to the music my parents are into. I don’t think they were ever into Johnny Cash so I never knew his music. And I hadn’t bothered looking up his music growing up.

The next time I encountered the name “Johnny Cash” was a few years ago when I was still working in Canberra. Peter, our boss at the computer lab, noticed that everybody at the lab had headphones on and was listening to music while programming. We had ripped our CDs as MP3s on our PCs and that’s what we listened to all day. He looked at our collection and asked us for “some Johnny Cash”. He kept going on about Johnny Cash but that still didn’t convince me to look up the guy’s music.

Then just recently, the movie Walk the Line starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon about the life of Johnny Cash came out in movie theatres in Australia. Ever since I took up playing the guitar, I’m now always on the look-out for guitar influences, so when the movie came out I was slightly interested in watching it. In the end, we did.

It was great to see how Johnny Cash started his career and how it progressed. I also got a sampling of his songs by watching the movie. I kept waiting for the part of the story that I’ve read from my aunt’s old Johnny Cash comic book but it never got to it.

Although I found some parts of it rather boring (my apologies to the hard core fans), I still found it very entertaining. Not only that, I went out the movie theatre wanting to get a CD of his songs.

At first I was considering getting the movie soundtrack. Frankly though, I wasn’t too impressed by Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the songs. So, I looked for samples of the songs in the movie but sung by Johnny Cash himself instead. And yes, as expected, the Johnny Cash sung songs were definitely a lot better. I got myself The Legend of Johnny Cash CD and liked the tunes in it. In fact, I’m listening to it right now as I’m typing this.

I’m only saddened to discover that Johnny Cash had already died on September 12, 2003. I wish I knew about him before he passed away. Thankfully though, his music will stay with us for much much longer.

The Man in Black

Published in: on March 22, 2006 at 8:19 am  Comments (4)