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March 31, 2005
With un-intentional inspiration from Jess...
The Last 15 Songs I DIDN'T Listen to on my iPod... Really

1. Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus
2. Madness - House of Fun
3. Hanson - MMM... Bop
4. Good Charlotte - Girls and Boys
5. Darude - Sandstorm
6. Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal
7. Alicia Keys - Fallin'
8. Angels Brought Me Here - Guy Sebastian
9. Jet - Look What You've Done
10. The Cat Empire - Hello
11. Bomba - Copshow
12. Tina Turner - Nutbush City Limits
13. Freestylers - Push Up
14. LMC vs. U2 - Take Me To The Clouds Above
15. Olivia Newton John - Let's Get Physical

I can't think of 15 songs I hate more than these.

*

I'd like to apologise for the lacklustre blogging of late. School is getting a bit hectic at the moment, so I'm sort of trying to maintain some semblance of blogging activity, without it requiring any thought/time [as seen above]. I've created a freak show of cheap posts. Marvel at their cheapness. Marvel!

Now I think I'm going to study, or something...

March 30, 2005
Testimonials!


Ian "Dicko" Dickinson

"Honestly, this blog is shithouse. Absolute rubbish. It makes me want to leave my lucrative and popular position as a judge on Australian Idol, and go work for bloody Channel 7, judging restaraunts that are almost as shit-house as you!"

"
Mark Holden

"This blog is goony-goo-goo to the max. Poo-pee-poo-poo-blah-blah baddabim-baddaboom Y-FACTOR bum-wee-piss-vahina. It's a no from me too, Dicko."



Marcia Hines

"I feel for you sister, I really feel for you. You were very brave to start a blog, and I admire your courage, I really do, girlfriend. Mmm... sugah. Man, I have to stop milking this African-American stereotype before it gets old. Anyway, it's a no from me. I'm sorry."


Simon Cowell

"In all honesty, reading Le Driver is like being poked with little needles all over and rolled in salt, then killed and brought back to life only to be killed again. I know you won't believe me when I say this, but it made me hate my life more."


David Stratton

"At best, Le Driver is mediocre, at worst...



"... Oh, wait, is that Cate Blanchett I spy with my bespectacled eye? Rather than one star, I'm now going to give it four-and-a-half. She gets me between the legs."



Margaret Pomerantz

"Le Driver... my, that sounds French! I give it five stars!"

March 27, 2005
I don't understand why there are two broken images here all of a sudden! My friend who hosts them is, I think, away somewhere, so you may have to put up with them for a few days, unless anyone has a bright idea?

Sorry... I assure you this is a respectful establishment. Honest.

March 26, 2005
Merry Easter!

good things
- Everybody is allowed and encouraged to eat chocolate.
- Four days sleeping in.
- At least a few days off work.
- Cute little rabbits... made of chocolate.
- Chocolate Hot Cross buns.
- Lots of people are happy that Jesus came back alive.

bad things
- Chocolate makes your feel sort of gross.
- You count down how long you have until work/school resumes.
- The sadistic murder of a certain prophet on Friday, several thousand years ago.

I'd give you all easter eggs if I could see you and touch you. However, this is the freaking internet. I can only touch you with my words. In this spirit, I present:

Lame Celebrities With Lame Blogs
Alyssa Milano
Barbra Streisand

David Duchovny
Fred Durst

Rosie O'Donnell
Moby

March 25, 2005
Greatest Hits
This works just like an iPod 15 Last Played list except rather than sneakily listing your 15 absolute favourite songs instead, here, you are supposed to do just that.

Without A Face - Rage Against The Machine
Pyramid Song - Radiohead
Bring 'Em Back Alive - Audioslave
Snakecharmer - Rage Against The Machine
The Best Things - Filter
City Girl - Kevin Shields
Amsterdam - Coldplay
Deathblow - Deftones
Sil Lum Tao - Detroit Escalator Company
Sunday Afternoon - G&M Project
Sabilulungan - Samba Sunda
Say Sumthin' - Ed.OG
Zero Chance - Soundgarden
Judith - A Perfect Circle
Swamped - Lacuna Coil

And you?

*

My brief but definite opinion on how Terry Schiavo should be treated: when Terry was alive, she expressed to her husband that she did not want to live if she was ever in a situation like this one. A human life is more than a body functioning autonomously - the body lives, but Terry Schiavo does not. Therefore, in accordance with her wishes, her body should be allowed to die. The individual ownership of her own body cannot be overridden by the evangelical moral agenda of the Bush administration.

March 24, 2005
I've been following the Terry Schiavo case in the media since it began. I have strong opinions on this, but I'll let other, more articulate bloggers do the talking for the moment:

Fulmination Dave has included a bit of commentary on the issue in a post largely concerning the film Three Dollars - however, it's worth a look for the Herald cartoon included, if you don't have access to the paper. It depicts a bald eagle holding a 'right to life' flag in its beak, while simultaneously dropping bombs.

The Road to Surfdom contains quite a detailed post discussing various aspects of the issue.

Weezil's coverage consists of a comprehensive summary of what has transpired so far, and is extensively linked to articles that'll get you up to speed on what is going on. This one is a must.

Also, see Million Dollar Baby, if you haven't. It's a great film - and relevant too.

*

On a more superficial note, I've been considering what are my 20 songs I couldn't live without. Well, songs I could live with, but would miss freaking heaps if I lost them. Somehow.

OK, let's just call it a list of the 20 Best Songs Evar. Coming tomorrow to a cinema near you.

March 23, 2005

"Um... Actually Daniel, I'm, ah... not your father."

Jedi Lesson #5: Use your light-saber safely.

March 19, 2005
Become a nightmare billionare from the future with...


http://www.timetravelfund.com

1. You give them $10 dollars.
2. They put the money in a fund with compound interest for like, 500 years.
3. That money becomes billions of dollars due to the interest acquired over all that time.
4. The Time Travel Fund [tm] pays people to bring you into the future.
5. It could happen before or after you die, they don't know.
6. They may be able to bring back family members who have died into the future.

I wish I'd thought of this. Nobody can think about time-travel without getting a headache: when you try to think of how it doesn't work, or its possible flaws, your brain opens the pink squiggly bit with 'time-travel' written on it, peeks inside, screams, and then shuts it again with a slam.

For example, the argument against point 6, that they could bring back deceased loved ones, doesn't work. Because if they had record of your request in the future, they may as well travel back to the point before the deceased family member died. But this means you wouldn't have made the request in the first place, doesn't it? But, if you ended up making the request, this would mean that the Time Travel Fund [tm] had failed already, because nobody had come to take the loved one to the future. Are you seeing how much this hurts the brain yet?

Why not just get people to bring you all the money you've earnt from the fund when you're 18, so you can be infinitely rich without going into the future? But this would mean you'd have to apply for the Time Travel Fund after you actually got the money from it. What if you got the money, then decided not to apply?

Is this an appropriate time to use the word paradox in some context?

End note: I call for more scams involving time-travel on Today Tonight and A Current Affair.

Cheap post #11: Announce one day that you are confused, un-inspired, pessimistic and busy - therefore, you probably won't be able to blog any more. At least for a while.

If you have at least a moderate number of readers, most of them will make reassuring comments and implore you to return, such is our nature.

Then, one or two days later, post as normal.*

*This is very popular at the moment.

In this spirit I'd like to announce a hiatus from blogging. It will last until tomorrow or monday...

Or until later today, if I find a funny website.

March 17, 2005
I have 50 invitations for Gmail accounts to give out. It's a powerful, user-friendly system and I reccomend it over Hotmail. Before Nu-Ju - who has started blogging again, by the way - leaves a comment stating something to the effect of 'Gmail is evil', I'd like to point out that I am aware of the fact and it makes me like it more.

If anyone would like an account, leave a comment with your e-mail address or send a message to ledriver@gmail.com.

P.S - I'd never used the words 'heart' or 'hearting' before Bloggington Love Day. On that day, I used it a few times too many. I think I'll go back to not using it at all. Apparently 'group-pash' is the Aussie equivalent now - i.e. I group-pash you.

Just doesn't have the same ring to it.

March 16, 2005
If it weren't for blogs, or in this case, The Road to Surfdom, how would we know that the Bush administration has been making hundreds of fake news stories and broadcasting them as real news for several years?

It seems as if the ability to get angry about what the Whitehouse is doing has been dulled. Nothing is surprising any more. Since the disastrous election result, there seems to be little to do but dig in and wait for it all to be over.

But it's wednesday, and who wants to be depressed about politics on a wednesday? That's more a tuesday kind of thing. So, without further ado, I intend to take part in the Ausculture.com initiated Bloggington Love Day, in order to 'spread the hearting forever'.

You see, yesterday, I got 11 hits. This is an indicator that I'm something of a new-born in, uh, Bloggington - or perhaps what I write doesn't have wide-spread appeal. I don't know, you'd have to tell me. But there are some people who read, some who comment, a few who have linked to me, and others who have given me encouragement and kind words when I felt overwhelmingly rubbish about my prospects as a blogger.

These people make blogging a lot of fun to do. If you are reading this, you're one of them, and I want you to know that I heart you.

March 13, 2005
25% of my life is spent admiring the genius things other people think of. The other 75% of my life is taken up wishing that I'd thought of them myself. Some examples?

Anonymous Lefty is suitably outraged over the sacking of a lesbian school-teacher. This anger is channelled into both wit and information. I would like to master this two-for-one technique.
Lesson to be learned: If you're going to be angry, be funny about it.

Jellyfish is hilarious and not even crass. She is also honest and self-deprecating.
Lesson to be learned: All the best blogs are funny. Even if you are serious, you have to be serious on an amusing way. Clearly, this is a contradiction - only the best understand how to do it.*

Rob Corr's blog is what The Age would be like if it was written entirely by him. And each page looked sort of like his blog on the computer screen. Whatever. He is exceptional because he mixes up serious political commentary with sweet asides about him and his girlfriend, Manas.
Lesson to be learned: Straight guys who get up in arms about homophobia are endlessly endearing.

Krankiboy is inventive. He's American, yet he knows things about Australia. Remarkable. I don't know if the 'Ring Ring' idea was first thought of by him, but I'm too lazy to do research.
Lesson to be learned: Any series of innovative posts that causes a whole new blog to be devoted to the idea is genius.

Martin Pike is mainly concerned with politics, music and being nice. The strange thing is that I know a guy called Martin Pike who lives in the inner-north but he is 17 or 18 years old and a pratt. The real Martin Pike is not this. He is controversial.
Lesson to be learned: Bloggers should criticise and scrutinise one another. This forces us to examine our own views. It's good to have guts.

Adam of Supermercado Project fame (I include this because Adam is the most common man-name in blog-world) occasionally breaks into forays of investigative journalism. I cannot help but admire posts that require travel, photos, and some degree of physical exertion. This tribute to Wobbie's World is such an example.
Lesson to be learned: Everyone loves to remember.

- - -

And that is all. There is much more genius to be found around the place, but only so much Le Driver.

*Absolutely like the late Bruce Lee's ability to punch 8 times in one second.

March 11, 2005
Arguments Against the Existence of the Soul
Vol. 2 in the pseudo-precocious* metaphysical post series.

There is no physical thing that could be identified as a soul. Some interpret an expiring body's loss of 21 grams as the escape of the soul, yet how could a phenomenon that is not constructed of matter weigh something?

In addition, it's not disputed that our thoughts, feelings, memories, identity and faculty for action are stored in the brain. These characteristics are often attributed to the soul. However, if these things, and how they are to us, can be modified by damage and chemical imbalances within the brain, how could it be argued that they are dependent upon the soul? If the contents of the soul are wholly expressed and altered by the physical reality of the brain, the soul is rendered redundant.

A soul would only become relevant or effectual at the time of death. What happens then? Is the contents of the brain downloaded to the soul like two Hard Drives swapping data? Does the soul fly through the air to another place? If it is not a physical or determinable thing, and if it has no relevance to human life, why should it exist? What is its function? How could it exist? What evidence is there?

I find it difficult to see the notion as anything more than tradition carried over from the days when humans did not understand the function or importance of the brain, and attributed its characteristics to something mystic and external.

To me, the idea of the soul is a mere combination of religious tradition and an old ignorance of human anatomy.

* Case in point.

March 08, 2005
Atheism
For me, god is irrelevant. This doesn't disprove the existence of a god, but is often the foundation of atheism. Every day occurrances, good or bad, can be explained by the laws of nature. For me, the argument that a god can affect these things would, if this were true, merely indicate a futile, random force. If I devote myself to a god, but lead a life full of tragedy, what does it matter? If the individual must suffer as part of "God's Plan", said plan is worthless. If a person with a religion leads a better life than one without, this is far more likely to be caused by the tenets of said religion - and a moral code is equally available to an atheist, should they seek it. Such things can exist irrespective of a God. But if the fact of God, in and of itself, does not improve my life, or manifest itself in it, of what worth is that belief?

So, point one, I don't see a need for religion. Secondly, I see the existence of a god, at least in any conventional form, as an impossibility. There is a strong rational, scientific argument against it. The idea in itself does not conform to the laws of physics and matter. Further, if there is a god with an interest in human affairs, why evolution? Why take billions of years to get to this point, and why allow humans to develop so quickly into a force capable of destroying itself? If such a god had the power to design every aspect of the human being, why not remove its capacity for brutality, or bestow it with inherent knowledge? Why take billions of years to create something so flawed?

No current religion could be proved more right than the other, yet they are all in contradiction. How can a person pick one, and believe that the other thousands of religions that have existed over time are mere fantasies, but this one, this particular one, is right? Others argue that, through all the different religions, we are really worshipping one, universal, conscious force, through different manifestations. Yet consciousness inherently implies humanity, and some degree of rationality, and ordered thinking. The nature of the universe would imply that whoever created it (if there was some kind of designer), did not possess any of the characterics we associate with a god. It is random, amoral. It operates based on laws and rules, all of which we are not familiar with. I truly believe that science and philosophy, not religion, are the practices that bring us closer to the nature of the universe.

In my eyes, there is little point in belief in a god, because it bears no more rewards than the firm absence of belief. The moral tenants of a religion, maybe, the sense of security provided by a feeling of being 'watched over', yes, but these things can be found elsewhere. Maybe it is better for well-being to believe in the divine - more conducive to happiness, or success in other areas of life. Though, I think, atheism can offer some of these benefits. I've taken my views and values from considered thought about the contemporary world - surely similar to a religious moral code. And as for that sense of security, there is a certain reassuring feeling you get when you believe something that is truly 'right' in your mind. With religion, this is attained by believing wholly in god. I gain this by believing wholly that our notion of god does not exist.

I couldn't say if this makes my life better, or if it is better for a person to be religious, or not to be. It's simply the conclusion I've arrived at, after lots of contemplation. I don't think anything, short of a miracle*, could convince me otherwise.

* And even if that miracle did occurr, I'd probably find a scientific explanation for it involving magnetic fields. Or something. Not that I'm good at science. Mmm... I guess that's kind of ironic.

March 07, 2005
If you are one of those people who have come here from a 'mindless sex slave' google search, you are going to have to suffer in your jocks because, though you may have got the mindless part right, there are no sex slaves in sight. I'm saving that for version 4.0.

Unfortunately, I can't acces the internet on sundays, mondays and tuesdays, so whatever post I make on saturday is going to remain craptacular for three days. I've somehow managed to get on, but not long enough for me to post anything semi-decent. Ahem.

[ 1 ] I've been learning to drive in a car-park, but our car is manual and I don't understand how to start without much jerking and shuddering. I've been several times now. Clearly there's no hope for me.

[ 2 ] Skittles aren't so good after you eat more than a hand-full.

[ 3 ] Albums that grow on you are often better than ones you immediately like.

[ 4 ] I still reckon everyone bullshits on those iPod lists.

[ 5 ] I went to two parties on the weekend, both dress-ups. One was Tyrants & Terrorists. I came as an undead mafia member. Don't ask me how this relates to the theme. I was accompanied by El Vira/Vampira and a Pirate. Again, don't ask. Second party was 'Opulence' themed. You heard right. I was a Celebrity Kabbalist, but I didn't even wear red thread. How half-assed.

March 05, 2005
You want to buy a witty and clever Anti-War or Free The Refugees badge. You approach a cloth covered table strewn with propaganda. There are some badges in the corner. Those manning the table talk at you while you peruse the badges. "Torture camps...", "Lock up the Howard government...", "Oppose the decision..." - and god forbid anyone ask a question. "We also have a newspaper you can buy for $2.00...".

Why would I do that, when I can get all the rhetoric I want for free, right here?

March 03, 2005
At the beginning of 2004 I was still using a discman, nor did I have a burner, making compilations a rare thing.

At that time, the album reigned supreme. I couldn't be bothered changing CDs every few songs, meaning I skipped around my favorites on each album, or patiently endured songs I didn't like as much.

Since mid-2004, the iPod has made me a fickle, whimsical creature. One of its greatest strengths is the ability to navigate from artist to artist, song to song, in split seconds. There's just no reason to be patient anymore. Now, I rarely sit through a whole album, warts and all, when I can easily make play-lists that are virtual 'Greatest Hits', or arrange songs to segue nicely into each-other in a way that suits me.

When I buy an album, its contents are relinquished to iTunes and it is put safely on my CD rack to gather dust. Once its on the computer, I'll generally give it a full listen while I'm doing something (like, um, blogging, or looking at blogs), and decide what I want to do with it. Depending on its quality, or genre, I'll mash up the order of songs, add the best tracks to a play-list, or mix it up with other songs by the same artist.

For me, my iPod has abolished the structure of the album as it is held on CD. The way I see it, soon we will be walking into CD stores with a plastic card, we'll pay for a certain amount of credit to be put in that card, swipe it, and then we'll connect our mp3 players to a computer and download songs and albums in store.

At parties, we'll plug our mp3 players into the sound system, and have thousands of songs at our beck and call - though, admittedly, iPods are a bit more vulnerable to spilt-beer damage than CDs are.

Just how long does the CD album have to live? Is it already on its last legs?*



* All this talk of albums and CDs might have made you want to buy one. I don't know. Maybe that kind of thing happens. Anyway, if you're going to buy one record this week, make sure it's Frances the Mute, the second album from The Mars Volta (pictured above). It's going to be amazing.

March 02, 2005
Re: iPod 'Last 15 Listened to' Lists

"Do people really write what the last songs they listened to were? Or do they write things that they think will make them sound cool, impressive, eclectic, mysterious, urbane and very 'now?' Do they spend time scrolling through their song lists going, 'Write that one, and that one and - God, Robbie Williams, hide that - and that one and Kings of Leon and...?'"

-- Jellyfish

I've thought the very same thing (though in a rather less amusing way) when browsing through blog posts titled 'Last # Songs Listed to'. I refuse to believe these are accurate - not everybody just happens to have listened to the 15 highlights of their iPod; not all Recently Played songs are an ecclectic mix of artists and genres! You know, in my experience, people listen to albums. Sometimes they listen to two songs by one artist in a row. Often it is not the best and freshest music all the time.

I think a more accurate name for an iPod 'Last 15 Listened to' list would be '15 Songs I have Painstakingly Selected To Make Me Look Cutting Edge'. I had a look at my 'Recently Played' playlist. The most recent additions were about 13 songs from Kanye West's 'College Dropout' - I listened to the album on the bus. The other two were trance. Not impressive. Not interesting.

Compare that... with this!

01 Gaspard de la Nuit (Le Gibet) - Ravel
02 City Girl - Kevin Shields
03 Sil Lum Tao - Detroic Escalator Company
04 Pyramid Song - Radiohead
05 Amsterdam - Coldplay
06 Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt - The Mars Volta
07 It's A Sight to Behold - Devendra Banhart
08 I'm Blue - The 5.6.7.8.'s
09 Fe - Julieta Venegas
10 Stockholme Syndrome - Muse
11 Jesus Walks - Kanye West
12 Opening From Glassworks - Phillip Glass Ensemble
13 Der Golem - Fantomas
14 I'm Gonna Leave This Town - Jimi Hendrix
15 White Pepper Ice Cream - Cibbo Matto

Now, that's better.