Saturday, June 18, 2005

Brush with fame

I met somebody kind of famous tonight. Sort of. I mean, I met him, but then I had to google him when I got home to make sure.

So, if you're Australian and if you're a Triple J listener and if you were paying attention about a year or so ago, you may remember a song called 77% by The Herd. Some sample lyrics:

So I'm left sitting here, staring into a beer
Shaking my head at the same ol' loathing and fear
Stranger in my own land, can't understand
How the very word Australian has been damned
I denounce my ancestors, wounds still fester
If you say it ain't so I suggest ya wake up
This country needs a fucking shake up
Captain Cook was the very first queue jumper
And it was immigrant labour that made Australia plumper
Enough is enough - whiteys pack your stuff

And more along those lines. The title is a line in the song which says "77 percent of Aussies are racist" - which, according to the opinion polls, is the percentage that supported Howard's (warning: do not click on that link unless you are prepared for the nauseating image. Don't say I didn't warn you) actions on the Tampa boat people scandal. As you can imagine it caused quite the controversy. The song I mean. The boat people thing did too.

So the guy I met is a member of The Herd (Alejandro on the artists page on the link). The clue I needed was that he says on that page that he's taking a sabbatical and heading to San Francisco. And indeed, I just met him at a UCSF postdoc wine and cheese evening.

And to think I told his (also Australian) girlfriend that joke about the Australian asking the genie to build an impermiable wall around Australia to keep the boat people out and keep Australia white and English speaking, and the New Zealander asking the genie to then fill it with water.