Friday, 24 April 2009

Trains don't respect the veterans!

I bring to you this shocking story.

The Daily Telegraph recently polled several ordinary Australians and asked them whether people should be allowed to trade on ANZAC Day.

"Of course not," was the response of one codger. "People died to save shops on that day! They died so that people would be able to work for our country on that day. We should show our respect for their deaths, show we understand why they made those sacrifices and learnt from history, and sit on our bums on that day!"

"We're celebrating Australian-ness on ANZAC Day, and it's plain un-Australian to go to work and make an honest buck," added another. "We shouldn't forget where we came from."

However, in alarming news, the train and bus services decided to rebel against the butt-sitting rules and will not only be out there pre-dawn ferrying people around, but will revel in - gasp - collecting money for tickets.

Show some respect, will ya, public transport? Taking money tomorrow is just plain wrong. All trains should be sitting around drinking beer and playing two-up in RSLs while people wander around in lots of one-minute sessions of silence, wondering what the heck they're going to do now that everyone shares their attitude. Which they're always whingeing they want, but now that it's happened, somehow it's all wrong.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

What footy mascot would you be?

Recently Mr Coffee and I indulged in one Cronulla Sharks NRL tote bag from Coles, because they were selling them off at 20c a pop. Thing is, we didn't know it was a Cronulla bag until we bought it, we just picked it over the raiders one because we liked the Shark pick, and because the pricing scheme was mega-cool.

However the experience sparked off a conversation - how do Football teams pick their names anyhow, and how do they figure out what animal or whatever they are? Why is it Sydney Roosters and Balmain Tigers and Illawarra Dragons and Adelaide Crows. I haven't quite figured it out.

Given their reputation, I figured out Melbourne Storm fairly easily and I have to say - well-chosen, guys.

Why aren't their any Pigs or Ants or Axolotls or Cockroaches or Hamsters? or maybe there are , I don't know that much about football.

I don't know enough much about Football but I started tossing around names for teams that I thought would be appropriate. Something more interesting than the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

How about a bit of alliteration - Wollongong Wombats?

Or some nice word association games:

Darwin Crocodiles?
Darwin's Theories?
Darwin's Beards?

Tasmanian Tigers
Tasmanian Devils
Tasmanian Oysters?

The Sunshine Coast Schoolies?

The Melbourne Trams?

What would you call the footy team in your area?

Friday, 17 April 2009

Psycho cards

I usually hate psychological testing. I've hated it for job interviews. But just as I was reading this article about how our credit card debt has grown to over $45bn, I was thinking ...

Maybe we should have psychological testing for holding credit cards?

There are too many psychos out there with a walletful of cards mainly because they got duped by the pretty plastic.

(personally I am pissed off that Westpac's Ignite Card is not receiving applications at the moment because the bright red is so darn catchy!)

And then there are those great rewards schemes that you get suckered in to, where you have to save up about ten thousand points to get the tacky plastic cuckoo clock that they've got on their website.

I was standing inline to find out about a card recently and I heard a lady applying for her card. She wasn't earning a whole lot of money - OK, more than me but that is well below the average wage. (Darn I hate to admit that). She was also spending most of that on mortgage repayments each week.

Then she was also paying off a car.

She also had two other cards.

She was also paying off an appliance.

She admitted she didn't have much saved up.

She had middleish expenditures each week (I did some maths and figured that those expenditures would probably have to be on credit if she really did pay off the car and the house properly.)

How the heck does someone like this actually ever pay off a credit card?

What's more, there are certainly other people who are a lot worse - people who have lots more to pay off and then buy smokes and gamble on credit and then think it's kinda amusing that they go into the red. Hahaha.

Maybe that should be a psychological test - here's a mock bank account. It's yours. You have just gone below 0 balance. Are you laughing?

Anyhow, it all frustrates me how we've got so many whackos out there. Makes you ashamed to be a

person thinking about someday holding a credit card.

Little Sayings

The Daily Telegraph has been running a campaign for "Women's Justice" and has proudly written about some of its accomplishments. I for one am happy to hear of some of them. their campaign has mainly been focused on getting justice for rape victims and how they are treated in court.

This article talks about how they have managed to get a law passed so that rape victims are advised of certain documents before they are subpoenaed so they are able to stop them being subpoenaed if they may contain certain information such as medical orpsychiatric information.

Now, I have nothing against the campaign.

What interests me is how the campaign is run and the article is written - the term "rape victim" is pretty much interchangeable with "female rape victim" - in fact, the whole air of the campaign is outrage at how women are treated, women have a terible time in court, women are raped and brutalised by men and are demeaned by them and they must fight for justice.

I am wondering whetehr the people who fought for this law even paused to consider that men exist out there who have been raped - of course, far fewer male rape victims than female rape victims - and that these people suffer trauma also and also deserve to be treated respectfully, have the same rights, and that people ought to be oputraged by any humiliation suffered by them also?

Instead they are sidelined and treated by the article as if they don't exist.

For someone to say "Oh yes ... they exist but since there are so few of them we decided to write the article only mentioning females but the men will able to access the legal rights too" is pretty insulting - it's demeaning because it says we might give you the legal rights but we really just don't care enough about you to even use inclusive language in our article to recognise you or even imply we recognise you.

I've received extremely over-the-top politically correct pamphlets about discriminatory language before - "don't say 'handicapped', say 'person diagnosed with a disability'! Don't say 'disabled toilet', toilets are not disabled!" (this was a govt pamphlet. I work in a govt building and the toilets are labelled "disabled toilet, female toilet, male toilet" I don't think the toilets have eiither disability or gender, but I think the govt is too tightass to spend money on changing the labels to follow its own strict PC requirements. I'm going to say 'disabled toilet' until they roll out the cash and follow their own rules, not "toilets accommodating people diagnosed with a disability")

however I think that the whole rape victim = female rape victim is much more demeaning and sidelining than saying "disabled toilet". That's a personal assessment, though I really do not know 'objectively'.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

"He Grinned" - or, a Review of Blaze of Glory: Laws of Magic series

I've just read a book called Blaze of Glory, first in a series called "Laws of Magic". It wasn't hyped by anyone to me except ther publishers but I'm afraid I had higher hopes for it than those met - perhaps because it was shortlisted for an award and also because the cover looked halfway cool. OK I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.

It's a fantasy book and apparently it involves political intrigue but I'm sorry if the 'intrigue' thing I have to report is not that intriguing, at least not to me. It's written for teens but hey, I constantly read books for much younger age groups and enjoy them wholeheartedly, this one failed to grab me the way those others did. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't fantastic and I wouldn't exactly go round tooting its horn for fantasy awards.

What I really like in a fantasy book is that the situation, the place, the plot, the characters, preferably the whole lot, are captivating. They don't have to be likable - I read the Engineer Trilogy by K. J. Parker recently and the characters are really dislikable but at least you keep reading, even if only to find out how some of them will meet nasty ends.

In this one, I thought that Aubrey Fitzwilliam, the main character was someone I plain just didn't care for. His sidekick, George, is much more likable and I thought it'd be great if george gave Aubrey the boot for once and all, but apparently that wouldn't be a great idea since it's Aubrey who is the powerful magical one.

Aubrey seemed to me fairly bland, a know-it-all and pretty humourless.

But what really got to me was the fact that Aubrey grins.

What, you say?

I kept reading this book and it seemed that in answer to everything or everytime he was looked at or wanted to express something, the author wrote "Aubrey grinned" or "He grinned". For one thing, Aubrey didn't seem like a character whom you'd be particularly happy to be grinning the whole time - he's self-satisfied and ego-filled as it is. Two, the mood of the book didn't exactly lend itself to grinning all the time. And three, constantly writing this phrase started to grate on me as just an annoying stylistic feature - didn't the writer have anything else to write, did the character have no depth or did the writer just get lazy?

I was waiting for the writer to have a jab at Aubrey and write something about a magical spell that had gone wrong where Aubrey had cast a spell which had left him with a constant fatuous smirk on his face that he couldn't wipe off, a pity since he had such an interest in politics, it would really let him down to be the guy with the smirk, maybe he'd only be Treasurer for ten years and never be Prime Minister.

But, never.

A joke like that might've made me at least smile a bit.

I wish ...

Apparently the average Australian's wealth slumped by 12% in the last year. That's $25,000 according to this article.

Yikes! I didn't know I had $25,000 to lose. I don't think I do.

I get cross if I drop 10c actually.

Life before Birth

I need to take the original copy of my birth certificate to work next week when I start my new job (hooray guys! I, in this economic climate of all times, have found a NEW JOB!).

I got my mother to dig it up and she told me she usually didn't allow it out of her filing cabinet.

"Guard it with your life!" she said.

This struck me as somewhat strange. No, I thought, my life is going to come before my birth certificate!

In fact, doesn't most people's?

Monday, 13 April 2009

Review: The Ellie Chronicles

Just wanted to note: Some time ago I finished all 7 of the "Tomorrow, When the War Began" series.

I recently completed the three of "The Ellie Chronicles", a follow up series.

These three books chronicle how Ellie Linton copes with the aftermath of the war.

She's looking after deaf kid Gavin, trying to look after her farm, there's still bits of war stuff going on and trying to get on with whatever semblance of normal life she can gather.

I read it to find out if it was possible for Marsden to keep up the pace after the 7 of the "Tomorrow" series - and I have to say, he delivers for all 3 books. They are excellent, whether you like them better or not will depend on what you prefer, hard, fast-paced war action or a bit more gritty individual character reflection with action interspersed, which is more of what the Chronicles delivers. More than delivers. I wish I could write like that!

I won't reveal the plot except to say I noted ONE blooper. There's a scene where Ellie says she's watching Grease and she first listens to "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (which reminds her of something) and then "Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee" comes along and she and her friend start dancing around the room like crazy.

For the record, "Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee" is sung before "Hopelessly Devoted to You" in the movie. Rizzo makes fun of Sandy in the first book, then runs off and leaves the gang, then Sandy goes off into the garden and sings "Hopelessly Devoted to You".

It's embarrassing to say I've watched Grease so many times I picked this up without really thinking about it too hard.

I think it's too late to contact Marsden and to get him to correct it ... but just thought I'd point it out ... I guess I'm just an annoying pedant!

How To Cure Your Xenophobia

I read this article on a blog on the Sydney Morning Herald recently called How To Cure Your Xenophobia.

Apparently the cure for xenophobia is to travel. It doesn't say how far or how wide but the blog implies a bit more than catching the bus to work.

It relieves me to know that the miracle cure for treating a racist is to pop them on an aeroplane or a boat and whiz them around a bit, and perhaps we could instead of sentencing racist rioters and name-callers to community service or gaol time, we could give them luxury cruises or Contiki tour tickets instead. I'm sure that'd be heavily endorsed by the public.

I cannot say statistically whether people who travel more are less racist than those who travel less, and if so whether there there is a causal link between the two. And if one does travel there is a chance to educate oneself through travelling, in a different way from educating oneself through not travelling, though of course one can travel and not be enlightened by travel experiences and one can stay at home and be enlightened by experiences at home that those who travelled didn't get to experience.

However I find it a little 'offensive' - or perhaps the more accurate word would be 'presumptuous' - that some travel-happy types regularly come up to me and seem to think that they are more open-minded, cultured, educated, nicer, compassionate, understanding, open-minded, less-racist people simply because they have travelled and then find out that I haven't travelled much so urge me to do so because then I'll be 'fixed'. Many try to pressure you to go on about taking trips in public, it'll be so good for you, you should go on this one, pressure pressure, pressure, if you haven't done it you aren't complete and embarrass you. Of course I've yet to find one of these people offering to cough up the cash for one. But of course they're getting you to do it so you're a better member of society.

Often without knowing anything much else about me.

To me this displays a great ignorance and arrogance on their own part - it does not even display that

a) they have shown a causal link between travelling and their sublime benefits and if so, whether or not such effects would flow onto myself should I take the same course of action

b) they have investigated whether I show lacking in a particular area

c) and whether I care about that lacking

d) they have investigated why I haven't travelled previously and shown any understanding for my preferences in that regard or my own personal values.

It's all about "I like travelling, it works for me, I think it makes me better - whatever the hell better is, I don't care whether you think it's better, it's better by MY TERMS - and I want you to be like me because I think I'm so bloody marvellous so do what I do - get going - not that I've figured out if this process actually works or not and by the way it's on your money!!!"

Does anyone else find this attitude just a bit obnoxious ... ?

Sunday, 12 April 2009


Some time ago someone told me I had a weird sense of humour because I watched the movie 'Crash' just before my Learner's Driver Licence Test. 'Crash' is a movie about people who purposely crash cars and get themselves injured for erotic thrills. Whoohoo!

Well, I've just crashed a car, on Good Friday, and I can say it's no erotic thrill. Not for me. I didn't jump the person next to me and want to make passionate love to her. A possible off-putting factor was that she was my sister. But I don't think I would have been that way inclined if she'd been a gorgeous heterosexual male in no way related to myself either.

Going full tilt towards a brick wall is not that much fun. For some reason What I can remember thinking is:

"Hey there's a brick wall"

"Someone's yelling stop"

"How do you stop again?"

"You press something don't you?"

"What do you press?"



"Umm there's a brick wall!"

Kinda all jumbled up in my head at once. I kinda remembered where the brake was after the brick wall stopped me.

I would like to note that neither my sister nor myself nor any other people were damaged in the process. The brick wall wasn't that damaged but a plant in front of the brick wall noted some definite leaf squashings.

I've been told never to drive again by certain people, and to 'think long and hard about it before I give it a go' by others.

In the meantime ....

I have been nervous, hysterical and shaken and upset and everything else in turns. I experienced a terrible dream on Friday night where I got out of bed and left my bedroom and entered a world where everyone was doing driving tests and exams, theoretical ones. I was told to be quiet for the test. I tried to leave this world but every door I went through, I went into a room where people were doing driving tests. I couldn't escape it. It was downright scary.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009


This article on corporal punishment caught my attention today. A man belted his 5 year old daughter several times with a ... well ... belt because she wouldn't tell him where she got a suspicious $2.10 from.

He was fined $1000 and had his daughter taken away from him.

What interests me is the range of opinions on this one.

Some side with the judge, saying that what the father did was barbaric or at least absolutely unacceptable. Some do say that an open-handed smack might have been ok but using a belt was unacceptable. And some reason that if you can't smack an adult then you can't smack a kid.

And people have been hopping mad that Muslim clerics have been recommending that husbands smack wives.

Others have said this is a stupid argument as this is adult-adult, where as an adult smacking a kid is different.

But wherein lies the difference and does it make it more right - or is it just more acceptable because certain societies, like upper class English Boarding schools have been whacking kids for ages, and we want to justify it?

Some people would say the difference is because adults have the responsibility of bringing up the child and therefore should be able to whack the kid and teach them "respect", whereas a husband and wife are equals. On the other hand, an adult and child are also unequals in that an adult is generally stronger and that a child is more vulnerable and more likely to be susceptible to emotional and physical damage and the adult is not only given the responsibility of instilling respect but other moral values and behaviour patterns, and also to protect the child, and this could be an argument to not use violence of any sort against a child.

Of course, the most obvious debate was well perhaps the man did wrong and overreacted or maybe it wasn't that bad ... but on the other hand was the punishment meted out the right one, or more importantly, was it right for the daughter? The guy didn't, from the sounds of the story, seem like he was just bashing the daughter generally, and was separating her from her father the best course of action? It could be more psychologically damaging.

Perhaps it might be better if he were fined more or had to attend some counselling/training classes for effective parenting and put on probation ..... maybe a combination.

But it didn't seem to be the biggest debate.

Some of the most amusing arguments and attitudes to me are these:


This attitude is generally but not always purported by people who purport to be 'older' talking of 'younger people today'. Someone usually talking about how they got the strap or lots of homework or had to walk ten miles just to go to the toilet but now you've got all these young nancy-pantsies kids who've got en suites and patterned toilet paper and mobile phones and parents who put them in the naughty corner as their final resort and then they all grow up to be dope pushers and terrorist bombers or worse still, vote Greens. that would never have happened in MY DAY, they grumble. Heck, we didn't HAVE GREENS. Show some RESPECT.

The funny thing about this is I wonder how they have all this stuff worked out, that they are all so great. Did their oldies ever tell them they were dysfunctional or were they always shining stars? And did they ever figure that their grumpiness and all just makes them rude and generally antisocial people who ain't that great? I'm guessing that the crime stats and unemployment records were just as dysfunctional in their generation as in ours. They're just dyspunctional because they can't own up to it. And they didn't notice it so much because they didn't have the Net. They invented port-a-loos instead.


I always wonder at the natural arrogance of some people who write such things, maybe they don't realise how it comes across. I wonder who told them how wonderful they were, anyhow, and whether, while they are writing "There are so many idiots running around who have been spoilt by lazy discipline ... but my mum and dad belted me and I have grown up as a well-adjusted citizen with a good job and respectful ..." that it ever occurs to them whether some people or many people who meet them might think of them as a person whose personality, attitude, manners and behaviour could be greatly improved upon 'had they been brought up differently'.

It's also amusing that these people will go on about how they are so law-abiding and have great respect for the law and authorities while they go on about how they would bash their kids - in flagrant disrespect, it seems, for the authority on law in THIS case - the Judge!

A conundrum.

I suppose one could say they respect its existence or argument but then go out and disobey it or advocate disobeying it anyhow - but then what makes them any different from the other lawbreakers out there - what, because they believe they've given some reasoned thought to it and other people are commoners who don't even think the existence of law is something to respect? That's sorta ... weird.

I think it's more a case of people who say this sort of thing who believe there are certain laws and regulations that matter and those are the ones that they don't break; if you did point out some laws or regulations they did break or believed in breaking they might get all huffy and say those laws weren't important or you were being petty - whether for them it was the fact that you had accidentally gone 1 or 2 km above the speed limit (I've done that, I haven't quite got the knack of that accelerator yet) or jaywalked, or arranged their front yard against council regulations or travelled further on a train than you ought to even if it was just because you fell asleep and you quickly corrected it by getting off at the next station and going back. But strictly speaking it's WRONG.

Anyone who hasn't done anything wrong like that, and has even made it to adulthood ... they're probably lying or living in a cage. Which is probably much worse than a belt.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Review: House of Wax

I saw House of Wax just the other night.

It wasn't terrible - as far as very C-grade slasher-horrors go, and me not liking those very much. Which is to say it rates pretty lowly on my list but I can confidently say that probably just being in that genre already sticks it in that category.

Some people say that they have a problem with the fact that Paris Hilton was bad at acting in this film. In her defence - well, there wasn't much good acting from anyone else in this film. So she didn't really stand out. She wasn't even the most annoying character (I thought).

One thing I want to know about such films - you are the "goodie" character. There is a big bad villain after you and has already showed it wants to kill you and will stop at nothing. Then there is a scene where the goodies get to kill the villain by doing something like punching him out or putting a bullet through his tummy or an arrow or sword through his stomach or chest. Big bad guy goes down from single blow.

Goodies hug each other, put aside their weapons, spend a whole lot of time chatting or crying with relief and walking slowly away or whatever. In this time you usually see or find that big bad guy isn't really dead just badly wounded, gets up, and manages to become big bad threat all over again.

The end game occurs when the goodies after a big chase end up bashing the lights out of the baddie and making sure he is dead or throwing him in a vat of chemicals or whatever.

What I want to know is:

WHY instead of spending that time hugging each other in relief don't the goodies give the baddie a couple of good extra thwacks to ensure he's really out? They usually have something handy - a chair, the end of a rifle, whatever.

It'd save a heck of a lot of trouble, usually a few houses and lives and a few limbs.

I can understand that sometimes the goodie is too weak or is in a hurry and can't do it but so often you have this dumb storyline where they are too busy standing around checking that their dress is ok and a big bad guy is getting up ready to stab them from behind. REALLY??!!


I have to note I loved this phrase summarising the plot of "House of Wax", found on

"An ethically-diverse group of college-aged kids ..."

I'm not sure that it was a typo, you know. "ethically diverse, deprived, challenged"? I don't know what the politically correct term is nowadays.

Friday, 3 April 2009

ABC Driving School: They can jerk you around, but woe betide if you jerk them around!

I'm learning to drive so I've got lessons to do and I also have some driving lesson vouchers to use up. I had 3 vouchers from ABC driving school to use up before they expired so I booked a lesson for yesterday.

I was to meet the instructor outside Chatswood RTA, not outside my home, as clearly pointed out to the person whom I booked with this wasn't even my home area. So I travelled out there to have a lesson.

11am was lesson time. I waited out there from 10.50am to 11.15am - I was cutting this guy a LOT of slack considering the lesson timeslot was only an hour. Nobody showed or contacted me. Finally I decided to call the school and pointed out he hadn't turned up - my mobile phone call cost, I might add.

They contacted the instructor who called me and apologised - he made a mistake with his timetable and 'forgot me'.

Whoops, but that didn't really help me and wasn't my fault in the least. Furthermore he couldn't make it up that day so he had to make it up the next day.

So I travelled out to Chatswood today and got my lesson. And paid up with one of them vouchers.

I rang the school today to express my disapproval.

(The reason I didn't do so yesterday was because I figured it would cost me a very long mobile call and I didn't get home to a landline til late, and why should I be footing the bill for a mobile call because of their big mistake?)

Instead of totally apologising and admitting that it was plain unprofessional of them to a) get things so mixed up that they forget a customer and b) not to call that customer but instead leave it to that customer to have to call and say 'hello, noone's turned up' before they realise that their instructor is chilling out doing nothing - you'd think they'd do better checks than that

they just went and tried to explain how they crapped up again - as if that made it ok.

The real point, as I said, was this:

They have a late cancellation fee: If you cancel on them within 24 hours before your lesson, you incur a cancellation fee which is 50% of that lesson.

I would think that a company with such a policy should at least consider compensating me or giving me some assurance for what happened last time. I said I was considering booking another lesson (I have two more vouchers to use up). I said I wanted some assurance that this wouldn't happen again - for instance, would there be some sort of compensation should the same thing happen twice?

The woman got nasty on the phone and snapped, "What are you looking for, a free lesson?"

I said I wanted assurance that this would not happen twice.

After all, I was left stranded and no one contacted me. If this happens to customers at all, let's consider that customers could be left confused, they could have rearranged their day to have come to these lessons, could have paid travelling expenses to have got to them and could have given up activities which could have foreseeably have increased their wealth in order to take driving lessons. And what for - to wait for a driving instructor who doesn't show? And what's more - the customer has to take the initiative of calling the driving school to find that the instructor is not merely caught in traffic but is actually not going to turn up at all?

The woman went off to speak to the manager and came back saying I would get no compensation, and she didn't see why I was making a fuss over it because it was all fixed up so nicely for me and so quickly afterwards.

After I notified them and moved their butts on the matter, that is.

I wouldn't have been quite so upset had I got there and ten minutes to the lesson or even ten minutes after 11am the driving school had called me and said they were terribly sorry but some unforeseeable incident had occurred resulting in my not being able to have the lesson. Athough generally I would expect to get a bit more notice unless it were a really big disaster.

The woman said to me that she assured me that it would not happen again, but no compensation.

"So I have your word on it, right? Just your word?" I said. Note she didn't even reveal her name.

"But what if it happens again, any compensation?" I asked.

"No compensation," she replied.

Great, I have her word on it.

I'm not saying these people want to jerk you around, but when they are able to and they don't even put in something that says they assure you they won't (how hard are they really trying then to keep the appointment? How sure is their assurance if they won't bet the price of a lesson on it?) - well that puts a big RED LIGHT that it's a ONE WAY STREET and you should STOP and LOOK VERY HARD at this one.

I'll use up my vouchers with them but I may go driving school shopping later and see if any offer any better deals in this respect. Or maybe they all have this cover-my-butt but don't-care-about-yours attitude.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Review: The Last temptation of Christ

This (at the moment) rates 7.5 on IMDB which is pretty high for a film and I can only say I'm very glad someone enjoyed the film because I didn't.

Snorefest is what I would rate this one.

I'm not a very religious or Christian person, but that that wasn't what made it boring. I have no problem watching something like Jesus Christ Superstar or even the nativity stories kids put on at school.

My main problem was, this was 164 mins long, it felt longer. It should have been shorter and felt shorter.

Also, I want to know why so often you see a Jesus story and Judas seems just so much more likable than Jesus? Is this just me or is it the actors or directors or what? This was especially so in The Last Temptation of Christ which I felt was more like the Least Tempting of Christ.

Christ wasn't that tempting at all. We start off with Jesus portrayed as a carpenter who seems indecisive, mixed up, weak, whiny and not that inspired. There isn't that much really convincing given why people would really feel inspired and awestruck by this guy. Judas at least looked like a guy who wanted to lead, who inspired direction in others.

The scene with John the Baptist just wasn't that convincing to me - and for that matter, call me a romantic but I always pictured John the baptist as, well, a bit more appealing. Not like a gorgeous young thing or anything but not having that scratchy voice and all.

I guess I also didn't really like the Sermon on the Mount scene. What happened there?

But if anything really disappointed it was Mary Magdalene.

Yes, Mary was a whore or so many people say, but I think most people are supposed to like her. And history and art are strewn with likable or relatable to prostitutes from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman to Belle Watling in Gone With the Wind. But there wasn't anything really to like or care about Mary here - she didn't look nice or act nice.

Maybe there will be cries of "but that's just how it was, probably" but I think there is more to art than giving you a CCTV image of what things were like - it's about creating something that tells a story, creates emotion, develops character, brings out themes, blah blah. Couldn't really care for Mary that much and I guess I was wanting to and expected to.

I didn't feel that there was a lot to this story, just a string of events but no sense of real drama, story, revelation - ok, that could be because I did drop to sleep during part of it.