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The Sydney Morning Herald

Spike

Author: Edited by Tony Davis and Peter Gotting
Date: 27/04/2001
Words: 1200
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News And Features
Page: 24
Cheeky gay bar shock for Hoges

Well, sort of. The scene in Crocodile Dundee in LA in which our reptile-wrestling, knife-throwing cultural ambassador mistakenly walks into a bar for those who are very happy has been deemed too risque for sensitive American viewers.

Australians get a view of four out-there-and-proud bumcheeks when a couple of cowboys with fashionably aerated jeans walk into the establishment, but Paramount brought in the computer whizkids to tamper with Hogan's art by adding digital underpants for the US version. Without these, they feared, they'd lose the all-important PG rating.

Such is the devotion to duty of the Herald's roving journalist, Malcolm Knox, that he bolted into an LA cinema to watch the movie and confirm our tip-off. His report? Yes, one cowboy has purple underwear, the other gold and red. Having learnt that, Malcolm immediately left the cinema, presumably because he was having too much fun.

Meanwhile, Hoges seems to be suffering just a little hubris, having told interviewers in the States: ``I paved the way. Now there's a rash of Australian actors: Russell Crowe, Heath Ledger, Geoffrey Rush."

It seems Errol Flynn, Chips Rafferty and even Mel Gibson owe a great debt to the way-paving bloke in the shark-tooth hat.

Photo? Say freeze

Martin Place gets all the spectacular lunchtime gigs. On Monday it was bikini babes promoting Queensland holidays. Yesterday city workers saw a display of simulated violence, with pedestrians shot down on a screen. Well, almost. Innocent passers-by were caught on camera and projected onto a 10-metre screen, with gunsight crosshair graphics superimposed on their faces.

Developed by the ever charitable Saatchi and Saatchi advertising group, it looked much like a slick commercial with its caption: ``Last year 24,000 Americans didn't expect to be shot dead either."

The National Coalition for Gun Control campaign, calling for a ban on semi-automatic handguns, was launched in passionate fashion by Andrew Denton and rebutted in equally passionate fashion by Adrian Piccoli, NSW National Party spokesman on firearms. He said the ``anti-gun propaganda" disgusted him because it sent out a message that all gun owners are criminals.

Invisible man

If Ansett's current head, Gary Toomey, has become something of a daily presence in our newspapers, a former Ansett head, Rod Eddington, is having trouble getting arrested.

Eddington is now head of British Airways and, according to the British press, nearly invisible. At a recent series of interviews for jobs in travel, The Independent reports, candidates were asked: ``If you could ask Rod Eddington one question, what would it be?" Nearly all answered: ``Who are you?"

A Theory

``Climbing Everest from the inside is less perilous than scaling the outer slopes."

From Doug Roberts (by fax), in honour of the late, lamented Neddy Seagoon.

Abstract mart

Glen Walls was a very happy winner of $40,000 of the Roche Contemporary Art Prize on Tuesday night. So were runners-up Julie Fragar and Julie Rrap, who earned $5,000 each.

Not so happy was installation artist Sangeeta Sandrasegar, 23, who claims she was informed a few months ago she'd won $10,000 in the inaugural prize. She even planned a working trip to London, only to get a second phone call via her gallery representative, Stephen Mori, saying, sorry, they've made a mistake.

Mori is taking the matter to the Small Claims Tribunal, alleging the judges initially chose seven winners to share the prize but lawyers subsequently advised them the arrangement was against the rules. Mori says he learnt these details from one of the judges, Annette Larkin of Christie's auctioneers. But when Spike called she hung up on us.

Another judge, Mojo Partners regional creative director David Alberts, acted as official spokesman, saying he had no knowledge of any such turn of events. The exhibition of finalists (at PCL Exhibitionists, Strawberry Hills) is called ``sometimes bed is not an option", perhaps a reference to the prescription drugs Roche manufactures.

Best prize award

``Australian" film Gladiator has picked up the most nods in the MTV Movie Awards with five nominations.

MTV Movie Awards? Is there any organisation in the US not involved in the glad-handing and back-patting industry?

Apparently not. Last year in the US alone there were 4,025 trophies given out by showbiz-related organisations in 565 ceremonies. That amounts to about 1.5 ceremonies and 11 trophies a day.

The Washington Post estimates that the Weren't You Good business is now worth $US4 billion ($7.9 billion) a year. No wonder there really is an awards ceremony for awards ceremonies. Each year Chicago's Awards and Recognition Association bestows a selection of honours including best new trophy and the best new plaque.

That's it

Have a good weekend and remember: watch your speedo, not the road.

Yowie update

Our drawing of a yowie was not by ``Timothy, aged 6", as we so wrongly suggested earlier in the week. It was by 59-year-old Rex Gilroy of the Blue Mountains.

Today's the day the Queensland yowie hunt starts (Spike, Monday) but Mr Gilroy, who has been searching for the elusive big Australian since he was a teenager, is not happy about it.

``Those fellows in those big convoys are just publicity seekers," says the man who calls himself the father of yowie research. ``They don't go anywhere without the media and they just scare any creatures away.

``I'm after sensible, open-minded research. Those people are a discredit to the whole field of cryptozoology."

Rex believes yowies are surviving examples of Homo erectus and says he's found recently made primitive tools consistent with this. Read the whole story in Rex's book Giants from the Dreamtime: The Yowie in Myth and Reality or, indeed, see this month's edition of Australian Ufologist magazine.

 
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