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20 NOVEMBER 2012

Dumb Ways to Die ad becomes surprise hit

"'Set fire to your hair, poke a stick at a grizzly bear ... Dumb ways to die ... dumb ways to die–ie–ie.' If the chorus isn't stuck in your head, it will be soon. Melbourne Metro Trains' darkly cute – and irksomely catchy – new ad for transport safety has gone viral, notching up a whopping 4.2 million YouTube views in less than a week. And nobody is more stunned by its success than the man behind the music, Sydneysider Ollie McGill. The Cat Empire keyboards player was commissioned to write the score to accompany lyrics to the McCann Group's new ad and has watched Facebook likes, Twitter shares and YouTube hits skyrocket as word of the animated video has spread like wildfire. ... In the ad, cartoon characters meet their ends in a number of colourful, sardonic ways, including a couple of nasty mishaps on train tracks, while the sweet chorus, 'dumb ways to die ... ' is instant earworm material."

(Daisy Dumas, 19 November 2012, Fairfax New Zealand Ltd.)

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TAGS

20122D animationadadvertisementanimated videoanimationAustraliabearblack humourcartooncartoon characters • catchy • character animationcomedydark comedy • darkly cute • deathdie • dumb • dumb ways to die • earworm • episodic structuregone viral • Horrible Histories • humouriTunesMcCann Groupmeet their endsMelbourne • Melbourne Metro Trains • mistakes to avoidmusic videonasty mishaps • Ollie McGill • parablepublic service announcementsafety • sardonic • songwriter • stupid deaths • The Cat Empire • traintrain station • train tracks • transport safety • Wahroonga

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 AUGUST 2011

The Republic: justice is a necessity and a requirement for civil society (in spite of the selfish potential of individual gain)

"Now that those who practise justice do so involuntarily and because they have not the power to be unjust will best appear if we imagine something of this kind: having given both to the just and the unjust power to do what they will, let us watch and see whither desire will lead them; then we shall discover in the very act the just and unjust man to be proceeding along the same road, following their interest, which all natures deem to be their good, and are only diverted into the path of justice by the force of law. The liberty which we are supposing may be most completely given to them in the form of such a power as is said to have been possessed by Gyges the ancestor of Croesus the Lydian. According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result–when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other;,no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust. For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right. If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another's, he would be thought by the lookers–on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another's faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer injustice."

(The Republic, Plato, Internet Classics Archive)

[Plato describes a situation which I think is best understood in terms of the choice between individual and collective benefit. Where it serves our individual interests (as members and custodians of our society) to strive towards a collective ambition. In this way the recent mugging in London shows what happens when this ambition is inverted.]

TAGS

2011becoming invisiblechaoschoicecivil disobediencecivil societycivilisation • collet • fearforce of lawfree will • gold ring • Gyges • human actionhuman naturehuman willindividual gainindividualityinjusticeinvisibilityinvisible • involuntary acts • justice • keeping up appearances • lawlegallibertymagic • magic ring • moral dilemmamoralityopportunityownershipparablephilosophypiracyPlatopowerpower corrupts • ring • self-controlselfishness • shepherd • social responsibilitysuffering injusticeThe Republictheftunjustunjust power • virtue

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 JUNE 2007

Ten Canoes: an allegory about respect and community

"Bout time to tell you a story, eh? Then I'll tell you one of ours...

It is longtime ago. It is our time, before you other mob came from cross the ocean...longtime before then. The rains been good and ten of the men go on the swamp, to hunt the eggs of gumang, the magpie goose. One of the men, the young fella, has a wrong love, so the old man tell him a story...a story of the ancient ones, them wild and crazy ancestors who come after the spirit time, after the flood that covered the whole land...

It's a good story, this story I'm gonna be tellin' you 'bout the ancient ones. There's more wrong love in this story, and plenty spears too, and plenty wives...too many wives if you ask me...a beautiful young one and a bit of a jealous one and the older wise one and even more wives than that.

And there's plenty happens in this story...there's a stranger comes and one of them wives goes missin' and there's a man with a belly big as a mountain. There's sorcery and magic too, and a wrong spear in the wrong body, and more spears and bad spirits. And even that's not everything that's happening in this story.

Ahh, you gotta see this story of mine cause it'll make you laugh, even if you're not a blackfella. Might cry a bit too eh? But then you laugh some more...cause this story is a big true story of my people. True thing.

The film Ten Canoes employs a cyclical structure to represent its Indigenous Australian world view. This is done through using a story within a story that works an allegory about respect and community."
Rolf De Heer (Director) & Peter Djigirr (Co–Director)

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TAGS

AboriginalallegoryAustraliaAustralian Aboriginecanoecommunitycycliccyclic narrativecyclical narrative • De Heer • Djigirr • dramafilmIndigenousIndigenous Australiansmobnarrativeparablerespect • Ten Canoes
31 JANUARY 2005

The Simpsons: telling stories without endings

"We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m'shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where was I... oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."

(The Internet Movie Database)

Fig.1 'The Simpsons – Last Exit to Springfield' (1993), season 4, episode 17.

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TAGS

1993 • Abe Simpson • banality • bumblebee • chase • Dan Castellaneta • endless • frustration • Grampa Simpson • Last Exit to Springfield • memorable quotes • Morganville • narrative • nickel • onion belt • open-endedparable • Shelbyville • stories without endings • story structure • television series • The Simpsons • The Simpsons (television)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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