for those who might have missed, previously, just what the mu meson archives is, it's a loft just off parramatta road, filled with bizarre videos, sixteen and eight mil films, and some of the most uncomfortable seats you can find in sydney. it's one of those rare places, located squarely in this period of time, part of this culture, because it can't list. one day it'll slip beneath the radar that it hovers ever so slightly over, and those of us who know of it will say, 'hey, you ever wonder what happened to the fellow who ran that?' and the majority of us simply won't.
but that's okay. it adds an extra flavour to this thing, to showing up on a Sunday night, strolling in, paying your ten bucks, and watching a disinformation short clip about transsexuals and how mainstream porn is embracing it (because, as it is said in the clip, regular porn has become boring, and the insatiable sexual appetite of men want something new, anything to help their jaded, addicted gaze, and what's more new than chicks with dicks?). it was a strange little clip, somewhat sad by one transsexual who admitted to being in a relationship with a guy, and who was turned off when her boyfriend wanted to go down on her.
but the main attraction of the night was bill hicks.
bill hicks, for those who haven't heard of him, was a comedian who died in 1994 from cancer. he was thirty three, i think. his comedian was the rare beast of social satire that was actually funny, and has a repeat play value that you wouldn't believe. yes, some of it now is dated: george michael, debbie gibson, and pop acts from the end of the eighties are going to be vague and lost upon some, while the reagon administration is, for my overseas place mind, vaguer still. but i understand bush, and the first iraq war, which is so appropriate these days. ('It wasn't much of a war, really, because a war is when two armies meet.") but there's a whole heap of content, such as jesus, jfk, drugs, and social freedom that is still as good today as it was then. there is even a biography, called american scream, and written by cynthia true out there for the curious--but i have to be honest and admit that it's not a very good biography, and you're probably better off skipping it, or waiting for someone with more depth and insight into hicks to come along.
the film played for hicks, first off, was sane man, the taping of a live show in 1989. hicks is relaxed on the stage, working the crowd, having a good time, and impersonating elvis at various parts. i believe you can buy it from the bill hicks website, but i could be wrong about that. certainly i've never seen it before, and it's a well put together piece, including two bookends, one of hicks talking about travel, and the other of him critiquing his own show in an old ladies voice.
(and in fact, in the middle of the bill hicks film, these two old people showed up, sat around for it, and then left once it was over. odd. very odd.)
they played, after that, hicks' small film ninja bachelor party, which is a spoof on bad ninja films of the eighties. it watches like a home video that hicks and his friends made for their friends, and not public consumption, but it has some funny moments, and really, you can't tell it's been filmed over a ten year period. worth a look if you're a big hicks fan, like i am, but probably nothing special if you're not.
j and i left the mu-meson archives shortly after that. they were planning to play a long string of andy kaufman clips, and i've never enjoyed kaufman. for some reason, he irritates me--i can't pick why, other than it's that character he played on the tv show he was on for a while. (the title of which i've forgotten.)
i'm going to find out if the mu-meson archives has a mailing list to sign up to so you can get the program for future months, and if you're in sydney, and you're curious, drop a note and i'll pass it onto you.