Friday, October 26, 2007

More Dunnies!

I'm now the proud owner of 3 more Dunnies from Series 4...

Here's a tasty 3" beast from Twelve Car Pileup.

Everybody needs a Dunny with open wounds, especially if it was painted by one of my faves, Gary Baseman.

Finally, who could say no to a skeleton bedecked with bling? Not I, especially this little gem from Mad.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Latest tiny vinyl masterpieces

I carefully unwrapped a few "blind assortment" gems from my chums at Kid Robot recently.
The first little piggy is this golden beauty, "Have a nice day" Smorkin Labbit (Series 3) hewn from the genius that is Frank Kozik. These labbits are multiplying like, well..., labbits, and I intend to get into the action! (the buying of labbits, not the breeding)

The next toy is the soaringly good, and avian-inspired, Dunny (Series 4) from Joe Ledbetter. These dunnies should not be mistaken for the Australian slang for toilet; they are actually a collection of vinyl masterpieces designed by some of the best artists sloshing about at the moment.

I liked it so much, I ordered another 3 Dunnies straight away (knowing my luck, the blindly chosen morsels will all be exactly the same ... ebay, here I come.)
Finally there was a beautifully moulded creation from the Scary Girl - City Folk series by Australia’s own Nathan Jurevicius. I got "The Poet", a regular ath the Yellow Onion Bar, shes' a ponderer of life's numerous unanswered questions.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Musings on Japan #5 : Gaijin desu

This next installment of my musings on Japan was inspired by a recent incident in my sleepy hometown of Adelaide.

I was happily walking down one of our main drags, when a pair of Neanderthalian louts made some unsavoury remarks to two young Asian girls just in front of me. I’m a fairly large sort, who is easily angered by xenophobic rantings, and decided to bellow a few words that you wouldn’t hear on Sesame Street.

These brave blokes buggered off, with a few mutterings back at me, delivered from a distance.

The girls were obviously shaken up by the boys’ babblings, but they didn’t seem too surprised by it. They shrugged it off and said, in lovely Adelaidean accents, “it happens all the time.”

It got me thinking about what I would do if I had to face constant racial vilification from those who think they are better than me because of colour/creed/nationality.

Then I realised that, to a very, very small degree, I experienced something similar in Japan...

Non- Japanese people hear the word “Gaijin” a lot. An indirect translation is "foreigner". This is what is meant by the majority who say it, and what is printed on the registered alien cards that all working non-nationals must carry. It is considered a benign word, a word with no hidden agenda, a statement of fact.

However, the direct translation means "outside person". It is this connotation, the reference to otherness and not belonging, that I occasionally endured.

Usually it was late at night, when some disgruntled salary-man, fuelled on sake, would feel compelled to direct their chagrin at me or any other foreigner that happened to be in sight.

It never amounted to anything more than a murmured "gaijin" or, what I have phrased, the "lip smack of hate". This was an unusual tut sound they made to express the horror of my existence.

As an example, there was a train line that I had to catch at least 4 days a week called the Mita line, or "the tuttin' train", as I liked to call it. The line seemed to cater to very old and very bitter men. They never failed to greet me with a lip smackin' symphony.

These small incidents never fazed me, afterall, Japan is an amazing place. I miss it every day that I’m away from it. I love its mixture of the new and old.

However, it is because of this mixture that one senses Japan as a nation still very much in search of its identity, with a dialectical battle between homogeneity and diversity being waged to determine just what it means to be Japanese in a global age.

There is a pervasive perception of Japan as a monocultural, ethnically pure society; an idea still widely circulated within Japanese society. Within this framework, comes the quagmire of the gaijin question. As Japan's foreign population increases, so, in equal measure, do proud assertions of its ethnic purity.

I believe it was understandable for me to think of myself as a perpetual outsider, who will only be accepted as "gaijin-san". I was only there for a relatively short time, but even if I was born and raised and married and had children there, my eyes are green and my skin is white, so I felt that I would forever be considered as foreign.

Despite this, my personal experience of Japan was generally an incredibly positive one. The vast majority of the Japanese I met were generous and genuinely interested in the World around them. They were also incredibly patient with my mangling of their language and frequent etiquette faux pas. Quite frankly, I'm addicted to the place!

Moral of this story is – let’s all just get along people!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Singing and dancing talent in one scrummy package ...

Mexican Wrestling Mania

October is Mexican Wrestling month here at the 'bot!

May all your Christmases be full of tequila-fueled Mexican wrestlers and guitar playing cactus angels … mmm tequila fuel.

Feliz Navidad is Spanish for Merry Christmas.

Everybody needs a tequila-fueled Mexican wrestler and guitar playing cactus angels to make their special day just that little more special … mmm tequila fuel.

Feliz CumpleaƱos is Spanish for Happy Birthday

Lucha Libre (which translates literally as Free Wrestling or Free Fighting) is a term used in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking areas to refer to all forms of professional wrestling.

This little guy is based on The Blue Demon, a late master of the genre.

... mmm, tequilla fuel!

Goodies available here...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bubble Rock - Squeezebox Hero available on tee

Here's the finished Piano Accordion-wielding robot, ready for fashionistas ...

Get your very own tee from here ...

More prints by Brian Taylor and Kathie Olivias

Just a couple more little limited edition prints (in card form) to adorn my future walls...
From Letter Pressed's Artist Series #7, Candykiller was designed by Brian Taylor, and are limited to 500. Brian Taylor is an artist and graphic designer best known for his short film "Rustboy" and now Candykiller series. For more info on Brian check out

This is the second collab between Kathie Olivias and Letterpressed, and are also limited to 500. Kathie Olivas is a multi-media artist who resides in Tampa, FL. For more info on Kathy check out

Thankyou to my friends at Robio in Melbourne, who always send me their goodness safe, sound and in perfect condition!