Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brains to Shit

It's been a while since I bitched about the music industry and the state of music today. Since I last sounded like an embittered baby boomer unable to comprehend more than 4 tracks in the composition of the song, and yes like them I find punk highly overrated and can't understand it's popularity or appeal, particularly in more recent incarnations.

Anyway a song I gauruntee you haven't listened to for ages and forgot how cool it was is 'Pretty Little Ditty' by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. In fact though I can't say Mother's Milk is my favorite RHCP album, it's the one I hope is not forgotten. Californication onwards deserves to be, even though arguably they make up at least 40% of the groups fame.

I believe though that if your like me, Mother's Milk is the album where you go 'okay I see how there could be some contention to the Flea vs. Claypool debate' over who's the best bass player. Even by Blood Sugar Sex Magik Flea had pulled way back on his playing.

But your probably not like me, but if you are one of many people on earth go listen to Mother's Milk if you want to hear music that as Tenacious D puts it 'will turn your Brain to shit' albeit they were talking about their own musical offerings.

There are albums harking back to late 80's early 90's when bands played the shit of their instruments and really pushed musical frontiers. And what was more amazing was that they were pushing the playing frontiers not the technological ones.
They were revolutionising instruments that had essentially not changed since Hendrix and Clapton were the biggest selling artists in '69.

Nowadays the focus is on song writing. But man 'Good Time Boys' or 'Nobody Weird Like Me' are noisy explosions of sound that send the synapsis firing. Just like I've mentioned before if there was one album I could hear for the first time for the rest of my life it would be Primus' Frizzle Fry. Possibly Suck On This.

I mean I remember seeing Primus playing Woodstock '94 on a video about a year after Brown Album was released, and was so blown away my brother procured a bunch of Primus Albums off his mate.

The first time my brother threw on 'Suck On This' my brain literally turned to shit.

Let me put it in context, one day driving in a car my dad put on Crossroads by Cream, and remarked 'I remember the first time I heard Cream I couldn't believe how different it sounded'

That I couldn't comprehend, by the time I heard Cream they had the 'classic sound' 12 bar blues driven rock. But when you compare Cream to the Beatles early albums which had been setting the musical agenda at the time, it was probably much the same as taking acid, the drug of choice at the time.

But 'Suck On This' I didn't even know how to comprehend. I got an ear for it but the basic description of 'eclecticly complicated Bass lines by Claypool combined with rolling drums from Herb all garnished with psychadelic fire by Ler.' which doesn't do it justice but is essentially true.

I understand, the music industry, and entertainment industry are dominated by a desire for more of the same. More of the same makes money. Wolf Mother are nothing but a tribute band to Led Zeppelin and they made money. Ben Harper is a pop idealisation of Hendrix and he made a lot of money.

Nirvana were unprecedented and made money, and thus opened a window briefly for unprecedented bands to make my radio waves, Primus, Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Then not now), Tool, Stone Temple Pilots etc.

Then it was either 'Mechanical Animals' which kicked off the 80's throwback or Californication which kicked off the 'write songs to get pussies wet, not to turn brains to shit' business mentality in the industry which has lead to little innovation and little talent since.

The late 90's spawned more one hit wonders than the early 90's managed to. And I believe it's because the bands offered nothing new. They hadn't hardened up serving on the frontiers, relied on gimmicks and emerging technology and as such were easily replaced or superseded. I imagine when I'm 50 I'll be paying $400 for platinum seating for a Primus reunion tour (if they ever split) and not many will be paying $20 to go see Blink 182 and their army of clones.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Facebook is not a time machine

For the past couple of days I have found myself strangely overwhelmed by a desire to sleep with a girl I knew years ago, yet not well enough to remember her name.
Why now though? Such a temporal distortian.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Triple J / JTV

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't call us, We'll call you

I submitted a story to 'Red Leaves' and it was good to just write something achievable within 4000 words. I would also like to support any entreprenurial venture. So please check out the sight.

I find myself nervously awaiting any news either way on my story.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Waste is a requirement for Choice

I picked up 'The Pin Stripe Prison' a book I plan to buy and read in detail. Anyway it had a short section that was a very efficient summary of something I thought about for years. It was in relation to ENTER scores -

Medicine and Law are for winners. Dentistry, Actuarial Studies, Psychiatry etc. are consolation prizes to Law and Medicine. These are students who played the blood sport of exams and won. If you have the marks you shouldn't waste them on a lesser subject.
This is the hockey logic of wasting ENTER scores it is akin to saying 'Why fly economy to Tahiti when you have enough frequent flyer points to fly first class to Kazykstan?' never minding whether you find Tahiti a preferable destination.

It's true, I wasted about 7 ENTER marks getting into my course of study. I can't claim it was a conscious decision, I didn't know what my ENTER would be when i decided it and failed to change my preferences later. Fortunately this resulted in me studying something I wanted to study.
It cost me living where I wanted to live too, but as it turns out I wouldn't have wanted to live there. Convenient how when your forced to behave some way your attitude shifts.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Liberating Tragedies

In perusing stuff yesterday I picked up PostSecret.

I firmly believe that 'the ideal family' does not exist in reality. Nor should it. Diversity and choice is a virtue, not uniformity and stability.

Bad shit happens, often under circumstances we have no control over, whether it be genes, family or mere circumstance. Often bad shit happens for no reason at all.

And then there's the abundance of bad shit people do, a surprising amount about getting married for the wrong reasons, fear, envy etc.

I think there's two messages in the book. There's an unbelievable number of people that never seek help or even disclose their problems such as the 'I'm homeless and nobody not even my family knows' but also that if it has happened to you, its also probably happened to a lot of people.

You're not alone.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Business of Business is Business

So the Big Three car manufacturers flew their private jets to Washington to ask for a handout. It may seem like delicious irony, highlighting the excesses of these corporate fat cats and condemning the notions of capitalism to a long overdue death.

But it isn't. These companies, car manufacturers in the US, Malaysia, Australia etc. have not been businesses for a long time. They are work for the dole schemes in massive scale, they are completely protectionist in their business model.

Basically capatalism works thus -

1. You identify a need of society - transport.
2. You refine the need into your nieche market - automobile.
3. You determine a competitive advantage - price, product, promotion or placement.
4. You obtain suppliers and negotiate price - cost of goods sold (cogs)
5. You rent or purchase or construct a premisis - factory overheads
6. You hire the labour necessary to get the job done - workers
7. You create a good or service - the car
8. You sell it at a price that reflects the value your product provides to society - gross profit.
9. The government comes and takes a share of your efforts - net profit.

That's business. When you have a business where you sell your goods to society at a price that does not generate a gross profit, you aren't a business you are a financial black hole.
Now some of the shit, like building a factory is a fixed cost that will diminish in significance to the profits over time but may result upfront in large losses.
But to have that ongoing means that society on the whole just doesn't value your product that much.
You aren't fulfilling a need that is sufficient to to get your customers to cough up the dough that you need to make a living.
Society may value the good you produce, they may just not value the fact that you are producing it.
Much like people may really need and value heart surgery. But they aren't going to pay ME to do it for them. Infact they might insist that someone like ME is thrown in jail if I try to perform heart surgery.

The repurcussions of manufacturing job losses will hurt, for awhile. It's a bigger problem because of structural unemployment, which incidentally is why it's so hard for someone from a poor country to migrate here with no real qualifications. It is hypocritical of our government in fact to 'support' manufacturing jobs domestically but not want more manufacturing workers.
Maybe I could accept an answer that was like 'We will bail you out, on the condition that you don't hire any new people.' that way they can avert job losses, and in ten years there may be no people left to lose their jobs.
The problem of saying a company has 12 years to get financially viable is because it encourages the notion that it is acceptable for our citizens to seek these unsustainable and currently unviable jobs.

If the Australian tax payer really valued Australian manufacturing jobs, they would happily pay the premium for Australian manufactured cars. So instead of asking for government hand outs, put your fucking prices up and let consumers vote with their feet.

Some quotes on the issue:

Henry Ford - 'every time I ask for a pair of hands it comes with a brain attached'
Alfred P. Sloan Jr. - 'The business of business is business.'
Lee Iacocca - 'Boys, there ain't no free lunches in this country. And don't go spending your whole life commiserating that you got the raw deals. You've got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it bad enough I can have it. It's called perseverance.'

I Remember Barcelona

I was relieved when I lay down at night. Goodbye Royale with Cheese.

Then the snoring. I only got an hours sleep. Woke up to watch sunrise over spain.

It looked a lot less like Mexico than I expected, a lot more like Melbourne. But everywhere looks like Melbourne. Melbourne is Melbourne.

The mother fucker is still snoring but my back hurts. I lie there for as long as I am able. The air feels like it's been in and out of the same lungs all morning.

I get to the bathroom, my back feels all cramped. I try stretching it out. Stretching it out doesn't help. I drink some more water. I go sit in my room on my seat and think about the 100 euro's a blew on that fucking bike bag.

Back still hurts, I go to the toilet again, this time just for more comfortable seating. I think I'm sick from the damn air. Like the train doesn't have any ventilation for the outside world. I stand and do more stretches, but my back just feels worse.

I go sit down, look through my bags for whatever gelatinous fucking snacks I have left from cycling. They are kind of sweaty but I down them because they are the only food I have. I suspect I should have just dumped my bike in France and would have come out the same. I just couldn't bare to leave Rosante in an alleyway in creepy creepy Paris.

Finally after maybe like 10 years the train pulls up. I don't do my aching back any favors getting my luggage on the platform. I'm in Barcelona. So close to my sisters place. My ordeal is almost over.

Except my back hurts. My back is fucking killing me. I decide I need water. Can't find any fucking vending machines that are actually stocked.

I try sitting.

I try standing.

I try lying down on the platform.

It hurts every which way.

I abandon my bags and go looking for help.

Get redirected twice, the pain is overwhelming, blinding and I just want to vomit. Like my insides are petrifying and collapsing in on each other.

I ask the lady for the hospital, she get's out the metro map.

I interrupt her claiming I need the toilet in order to puke. The point in the general direction, I try to say I think I will pass out on the way. They don't understand so I just try to make it.

I think I'm going to puke on the floor. I don't and by the time I reach the bathroom the feeling has passed.

I stick around just in case the treacherous sensation comes back.

I go back and tell them I need the hospital to pick me up.

After assuring them I really do want the hospital to pick me up, the call the hospital.

A security guard tells me not to lie on the couch and to sit up straight. I try waving him off but eventually relent. It's not like it makes a difference.

The ambulance guys come, I tell them I'm in pain, that the primary concern is pain, and that I would like something for the pain.

I have heard that doctors and ambo's have to treat the primary complaint first.

They give me nothing, they take me to emergency. At emergency a guy checks that I have insurance. They take me to sit in a room.

Then someone comes to ask me if I'm alright. Then they get me to give a urine sample. Then they give me a needle of some kind.

Then I'm told to wait. So I wait.

I waited, periodically going to the toilet. Going to the toilet get's harder and harder, except for throwing up which becomes more frequent. Throwing up because of pain is unhelpful and unpleasant. It is the kind of throwing up where you feel completely not better afterwards, no "well that was awful but my stomach seems to be real happy and my head seems clearer" you just vomit, and then maybe you vomit again.

Anyway, I end up waiting in a waiting room, I am told repeatedly to wait. My pain does not go away. At some point I am taken for an x-ray.

Then more waiting 3 hours maybe 4. I keep going to the english speaking staff asking for something for the pain. I am told to wait. I tell them I am happy to fucking wait if someone will give me something for the pain, then I will wait forever.

I get told I have kidney stones, about 6 of them, this seems like a lot to me. They write me a prescription for pain killers to take then discharge me.

I am still not sure to this day whether anyone at that hospital actually gave me any pain killers.

I found the station again eventually, then accomodation somehow. It was probably 5 by the time I got all settled, having arrived at 5 am. I get my drugs and buy about 4 litres of water which seems like a good start.

One of the painkillers I am just not sure how to take, so I only follow half the course. The tablets take about 30 minutes to kick in.

I drift off to sleep in my windowless room after giving up on spanish television - it seems far too catholic.

I didn't igure out until it was all over that the confrontingly musty smell of wet paint was actually a hangover of wet clothes from Netherlands.

I went to sleep in the dark and woke up in the dark and went to the toilet 6 times a day, hoping yet dreading that I would pass my kidney stones.

Eventually I drink from the glass ampolas of pain killers, snapping them open. They only take 10 minutes to kick in and taste like satan's ballsack.

But then I feel fine, I can walk around town like a normal person. After two days I actually feel like eating again.

There is no sensation, no moment so moving as being able to eat again after days of health related starvation. In India and Barcelona I new this sensation and both times it almost brought tears to my eyes.

I never passed the stones, I just eventually stopped feeling pain about 10 days after it began. I still have the painkillers in my backpack.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Confession In Two Parts

Usher re-defined the popular saying "I fucked up because you're not important to me" as the succinct yet somewhat blunted "confession" and I must admit, for musical purposes having a chorus that ends with "my confession" is much easier to sing than a chorus ending with "my story of how I fucked up because you're not important to me".

The tragedy though of this achievement was that it became perhaps THE most insidious pop-hit of Chris Rock's "He ain't singing about me!" category.

And here's a sample of specifically what I'm talking about:

Got me talkin' to myself askin' how I'm gon' tell you
'bout that chick on part 1 I told ya'll I was creepin' with, creepin' with
Said she's 3 months pregnant and she's keepin' it
The first thing that came to mind was you
Second thing was how do I know if it's mine and is it true
Third thing was me wishin' that I never did what I did
How I ain't ready for no kid and bye bye to our relationship

I coloured it pink because what a pussy. What a fucked up thought process, the time to think of your 'girlfriend' is before you slap your dick in some other slappers slap-box.
When you find out the slapper is pregnant then it is time to think of your roles and obligations as the father, because your behavior will reveal the lie: you are in that situation because your girlfriend is just plain not as important as instant gratification.

And so what? There's times where the foolish endeavor may be having the relationship in the first place. Particularly if you are a touring artist that just can't provide the foundations of a sustainable relationship.

As such Usher needs to confess to himself, that if his lifestyle came first his job was always more important than the relationship. Then he should confess that he took on a risk (he perhaps miscalculated) of knocking up a girl because he considered the gratification worth the risk.

That said, I need to confess to myself that Usher will still get more ladies than I ever will.

Anyway, It's been ages since I've pushed my own comfort zone for a blog, and maybe it would be cathartic for me to confess some terrible loser things myself...? Okay so easiest place to start is the most concerning, I honestly don't believe I'll meet a girl I'll like as much as Misaki.
Fortunately this belief is much like the 'God lies in the gaps' arguement for religion.
Just because I can't imagine a girl I will like as much as Misaki, doesn't mean they don't exist. In the same way as just because there are some natural phenomena that science can't explain, doesn't mean the explanations don't exist.
It is a threshold of discovery.
The second confession is that I want to be a writer, but I don't want to do the work to get there. Even like the 'day job' because I'm afraid it will distract me from writing. I want stimulation now! I'm actually quite terrible at finishing things so 'the sharehouse' program and to a lesser extent fowp have become my White Whales. I must make something of them, finish them, realize them in some way otherwise the obsession will crush my mind from within.
Lastly, I never feel guilty when I masturbate, it's not harming anyone at all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why I left Public School

I was for some reason thinking about this as I fell asleep the other night. I may have lost it, and should in future ignore the social stigma of multiple posts in a day and just post shit when I think of it. Unless of course I'm going to sleep.

But enough of that fucking shit.

Anyway at the moment I'm a drifter, not sure what to do with my life. This is compounded by a lot of people who are working that when I talk to them don't feel as if they are actually doing anything with their lives.
There is one time when i feel like I'm doing something, and that is when I'm working on 'the show' particularly collaborating with Tommy periodically has proved really rewarding.
Aside from that though, I really don't know what I'm doing. It's actually kind of tough, having finished now my first contract and drifting out into my lonesome business trying to rustle up some more work.
I have been here before though, in these exact circumstances. When I went to public school.

In a nutshell I could have gone to Ballarat Grammer but didn't want to. I didn't think Sam enjoyed it, and largely because their uniform was the ultra-gay brown.
So I did what most of my friends were doing and went to Ballarat High.
I discovered early that High school was a pretty brutal place, my friend got beat up and was in the coordinator's office on the first day. This was only unusual because as it turned out one of the most problematic kids happened to be in our form.
Fortunately he took a dislike to people other than me and I was able to say pretty clear of him.
I had teachers I liked, and interesting stuff to do.
But I couldn't shy away from the fact that I was deliberately disadvantaged compared to my older brother who had private tuition in one of those fancy private schools.
The kids around me had ambitions of reaching the age of 16 when they could legally drop out of school and get the same job as their father had - one in manufacturing. Or work full time for a supermarket in order to save for the very shortterm goal of a European holiday.
My other friend from high school also pointed out the 3rd potential, I could go to private school but just a different one from my brother.

I left because I couldn't cut it, not raw competition. I just pussed out of the 'stand alone' system that is public secondary where you have to drag yourself to your goals, not get pushed towards them.
At the time I needed pushing, I needed spoon feeding, I needed the training wheels because I was too fucking lazy and would have just given up.

I like to think that through BCC my eventual school of choice I learned self discipline through running, although in academia self discipline was not a risk BCC was prepared to take.
I've always been lazy, a last minute improvisor and so fourth. In VCE that's handy for exams and in a way I was just plain fortunate that CATS was scrapped. Anything involving disciplined dedication and organisation to get ahead I was bound to fail in. I just was not prepared to work as hard.

So now the question becomes - have I changed?

Fundamentally I want to be in the do-or-die pool, like public school. I don't want training wheels and uneccessary advantages. I want to sink or swim on my own merits.
I can see the benefits of my decision to jump ship to private schooling, but can I depend on them?
No, maybe I haven't changed enough to succeed in the big pond, but I do know that's where I should be. So I will persist in failing at what I'm doing until I learn how to swim.

Otherwise I'll be a sinker all my life, just a sinker wearing floaties - and that's undignified.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Something Beautiful for a Change

Melbourne has a new busking act. No it's not that horrible 'opera'-esque singing lady that stands on a box with a microphone and frankly talks too much. And no I can't be sure that there isn't a new fucking pan pipe band clogging up the otherwise beautiful public spaces of Melbourne.
No it's some guy, who's kind of fat on guitar and his friend/brother don't know in a wheelchair on lead vocals.
And they just sing gold fm friendly pop songs. But it's simple, friendly, effective and beautiful. Sure they aren't paying royalties for singing works by the Beatles, but they are really beautiful.
Makes for a change, the CBD I'm beginning to suspect is in fact a horrible place to work.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why Activists Suck to Me

I mean there are great activists, that go commission a scientific study to conclude something obvious like "If a carbon emissions trading scheme is introduced to the effect that we had to pay for our pollution we produce, then we would have to stop polluting." They essentially are concluding that an emissions trading scheme would work.
Of course they reword it as "We would be forced to cut jobs and move offshore" and it sounds much more convincing, but these activists operate in small numbers, professionally, construct their arguments carefully, use the proper channels and can effectively stop the 'War against climate change' in its tracks.
These activists are good at what they do.

The book I'm reading now has a catchy marketing title 'how to win every arguement' but should actually be called 'alphabetised logical fallacies' and it has given me the method by which to most readily diagnose shitty activists that fuck me off.

argumentum ad hominem

It's basically where you evaluate an argument not on it's merits but its affiliation. Here's an example, I believe that climate change on a cost/risk analysis is one of the most worthwhile pursuits of mankind in combating.

You are talking about the loss of thousands of blue collar jobs and billions of dollars in fossil fuel revenue over the ability of the earth to sustain human life and perhaps hundreds of trillions of dollars in future repair work.
The risk of climate change going wrong is catastrophic, whereas the cost will largely be forgotten in a mear 40 years or so.
As such I'm a supporter of combating climate change.

I also believe that western medicine particularly is suffering from undue influence from pharmacuetical companies. Prescriptions are over diagnosed based heavy targeting by pharmaceutical company sales and marketing efforts.

So people might take these two associations and assume therefore that I would be a supporter of alternative medicine.

And that's just fucking ridiculous. What has happened is that because I have left leaning tendancies, my membership to the left brings with it a whole basket of beliefs that can be made up.
I have reasons for believing in climate change and pharmaceutical graft based on my education in both physics and marketing, and evidence submitted by various research institutes.
I am not convinced that any medical profession with ending in ....pathy is actually anything more than a scam. I am not going to get all misty eyed and assume Chinese Medicine has any real merit at all, dominated by superstitious tradition as it is.

Frankly I reject automatically anything that does not submit itself to scientific scrutiny. If something works in the good old fashioned 'cause and effect' sense I will take it.

Just because I lean left doesn't mean I reject sense and evidence.

A large body of activists does themselves no favors and is arguably counter-productive to many of the causes they support by suspending reason and subscribing to conspiracy theories.

Something that is an easy target for lampooning, like the FAG in Team America.

For example in Lex Wotten's unfortunate case

Indigenous man Lex Wotton has been sentenced to six years in prison, with a non-parole period of two years, for being a ringleader in the riots on Palm Island that followed the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee in 2004.
the police involved in the incident were non-indeginous and rewarded with bravery medals.

This was put to me as 'An aboriginal man is getting sentanced to life in prison while the white cop he was rioting against recieved a promotion and a medal for bravery.' and it was assumed, not just me specifically but everyone the email was sent to, it was assumed that this was sufficient to spark my outrage.

I believe strongly that Australia is one of the more brutal examples of British Collonialism in history, that in many ways Australia has been allowed to behave in manners worse than apartheid by the very fact that apartheid is unnecessary when indigenous communities are a clear democratic minority (unlike South Africa) and that more needs to be done to elevate indinous living standards up to an equal footing with Australian well being on the whole. I abhor racism in general (although enjoy wrong humour which can be along racist, sexist or other criminal lines and still be funny to me).

All that said I also believe in a legal system that bends over backwards to protect the innocent and I would rather protect that legal system than any individual that is done wrong by it.

To break down the information provided to me more, you have a premise sufficiently lacking in details as to effectively say 'a black man is on trial, a white man isn't' which is not remarkable. I could point immediately to countless examples whereby two people had divergent fortunes from the same event, I discard the race in this case because principally it is irrelevant.
'Two people sit same test, one passes, one fails.' in other words is how this appears to me. Both men endured legal proceedings, one was found innocent through inquiry. The other was found guilty by a jury.
Both are legal processes.
Granted the inquiry may have been corrupted. Questionable and wrong outcomes may have been pushed by interested parties that didn't want to deal with the fallout of a 'guilty' verdict.
It may have happened but that is not something that is substantiated by a riot. If it did happen one should sue authorities to come up with an inquiry process that is actually independant enough that a 'not-guilty' verdict would be accepted. More concerning though than an inquiry being corrupted to find someone 'not guilty' unfairly would be one that finds someone 'guilty' unfairly. Infact given the allegation involved - that the death in custody was not accidental but infact a brutal murder, I would want 100% certainty that it was deliberate before a proclimation of guilt was issued.
To me 99% wouldn't cut it. (okay it probably would) but if it was 80% probable that a guy did it, but they couldn't prove with a certainty that he actually did, the law as always should err on the side of the defendant, not the plaintiffs.

Which is case number one. I'm frankly not interested enough to get active on the proposed miscarriage of justice beyond not moving to Queensland, something I was never going to do anyway.
Lex Wotten then got in trouble, he was found to be involved in Palm Island riots, arrested as a leader of it. Riots are illegal, because if you have a grievance with any process you are supposed to pursue it through the general legal channels.

I am opposed to rioting in general, but I also understand that under a totalitarian regime one might reject the allocated 'proper' channels, and rather than just going crazy on the streets might coordinate attacks against the regime.
Maybe the Palm Island riot's were such an attack on the regime, however I believe it was a little premature in establishing that the established legal order would not be sympathetic. Get lawyers first, they are expensive, but not as expensive as rioting.

So Lex supposedly according to the activist bent was trying to save the police and negotiated there safe release.
The injustice of him then being arrested for insighting a riot, or leading, or participating or whatever is then pretty clear apparently, and I should go and protest.

Well no, he just got charged, then the legal process follows. If it gets past the magistrate to a jury, it is because the police think they have enough evidence to convict him.
They got a conviction with a sentance of 6 years. Apparantly they rejected many of defences witnesses as insubmissable evidence.

This rejection of evidence was submitted to me as evidence that the man must be innocent and that there was a cover up.

I can unfortunately concieve of various legal justifications that a person's testimony might be refused.

For example, sheer irrelevance. If a person believes the defendant to be 'a really great guy' and would have no hesitation in testifying that 'someone would never do this.' I would imagine a judge should deem them as insubmissible.

The same goes for people whose interest in the outcome one way or another might influence their testimony.

I can understand how a judge might be loathe for a jury to hear certain testimonies that they may believe to be real evidence when it isn't.

So I can understand someone clamping down on circumstancial evidence.

Without being provided an account of the evidence refused and on what basis, I can't possibly infer anything.

The law is still on Lex Wotten's side. He must be convicted based on 'beyond reasonable doubt.'

Is our legal system perfect? No. Can you trust a jury to adhere to the strict discipline of 'beyond reasonable doubt.' No. Does Lex have legal recourse to appeal his sentance? Yes.

I can't believe activists would actually want their protesting to influence legal proceedings, to overturn a legal system designed to not be emotional and sentimental based on emotion and sentiment.

That if judge turned around and asked the bailiff to take Insp. Evil White Dude into custody, people would think this subversion of the legal process was a moral victory?

Now on Lex Wotten, I don't know if he's guilty or innocent, and frankly that's a matter for the courts to decide. For the moment they are deciding he is guilty. I am not going to personally presume upon his guilt or innocence. I would prefer trial by jury over trial by mob sentiment any day.

If there was one bit of advice for activists though, it is that when someone asks you 'what can I do?' don't go all misty eyed and say 'stand up, speak up, be heard!' because this is what the good activists maintain a very tight discipline on. They don't just let anyone speak for them. They have spokespeople, who speak to the right people.
Tell any aspiring activist instead to 'learn to speak.'

Next time you are listening to an emotive diatribe of 'corporations exploiting the poor and political conspiracies that allow oil and pharmacuetical companies to dominate the political agenda and that's why I eat my babies placenta after birth.'
Think of what activism is like at its best:

Basketball Returns

The past year spent travelling had numerous advantages in terms of television viewing. Did you know that whilst Australia completely lost interest in basketball on a surging soccer league and the never successful Foxtel rights in almost every other country of the world one can actually watch Basketball on TV.
So it was in Japan I was able to watch Kobe's Lakers trump Denver's AI, in China yes you are pretty much forced to watch Yao and Yi Jian Lan's crappy teams face off against such greats as 'The LA Clippers' but you know you take what you can get.
South East asia had it's coverage too but did I admit have more time dedicated to ugly british commentators talking about indoor soccer World Cup's in Malaysia.
India is an anomoly where the public is actually interested in cricket and its considered pretty cool to have a british accent? And cool is dressing up like you are going to church. India is pretty much upside down land and I spent most of my time there either dying or recovering in hospital. Turkey, Italy, Germany, Spain all of them have their own NBA stars and decent access on TV.
But Australia is perfectly zoned for watching NBA during work hours. Imagine the advantages to business if people actually took their sick leave in order to watch the championship rematch at 1pm between the Lakers and Boston? Or to watch the rookie shootout between Mayo's Memphis and Beasley's Miami Heat?
I mean it may sound counterintuitive but sick leave left to acrue while flu bearing coworkers drag themselves in to work actually costs company money. Particularly with a succession of pay rises and promotions escalating the cost of that sick leave.

Anyway yesterday I picked Kobe for MVP and OJ Mayo for ROY only to find when I went from facebook to my pick was no longer controversial he had jumped 5 places from no.6 rookie to no.1.

On the race to MVP side though Kobe is whilst a frontrunner, not tipped to win it. Lebron is? I fervently hope that Mayo having avoided the similarly overhyped fate Lebron doesn't realise has ruined his career I don't understand the commentators logic.
For one thing Kobe edged out Chris Paul's phenomenal stats last year only because he had a 1 win better record in the West. Kobe's while being the single best thing on his team got pushed over the end by his strong supporting cast. Chris Paul instead carried his own team with him into MVP contention.
And now early in the piece they are ignoring Chris Paul in all the previews, demoting Kobe and picking Lebron because Lebron is similar to Kobe a few years ago, the best player in the worst team.
So whilst many said Kobe was clearly the greatest player in the entire league he lacked that one statistic of champions - winning.
Garnett was also front runner for the first half of the year until Boston hit the doldrums and the media clued in that the Western Conference was in a whole different league to the dismal east.
Just like the Brownlow now tends to go to the best player on the best teams more often than not, it used to go to the star player of the worst team because they racked up all the disposals.
NBA has rarely rewarded the scoring leader with championships and MVP titles because it usually reflects predictable offense going through the one go to guy.
Now Rookie of the Year sensibly goes usually to the one dude who got drafted into a team with no stars and is actually dependant on their rookie to carry the team.
MVP on the other hand on pure terms could be decided through simple fiscal calculations, how much the player earns on how much that player contributes to wins. So Kobe and Lebron would probably have a substantial disadvantage next to someone paid much less with successful team records like Chris Paul last year.
Or it can just be pure skill resulting in wins.
I guess it really highlights why Jordan was so special - he won MVP 5 times and championships 6 times.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This is NOT my artwork #86. It is merely a notice referring to it. Artwork #86 can not be found because it does not exist and cannot be experienced. It has been designed as a piece that defies human experience, as such it has no physical characteristics and no location. Alas I cannot even place my signature upon it to announce to the world that I created it. It is fitting because I didn't create artwork #86 nor did anybody else. Creation of artwork #86 will result in its cessation of existence whereby it will return to it's previous status as artwork #86.



Monday, November 10, 2008

Japanese Girls Rock

I thought I'd do a post I never thought I'd do. I walked past MYER today and they had an installation for cosmetics or fashion or some shite labelled 'Harajuku'. Have I mentioned this before, I must have, anyway I always wanted to personally destroy fashion with a coffee table photo book called 'It's not working' where I take photo's of unattractive people dressed in current fashion.

Horrible as the sentiment is, this Harajuku installation at MYER is practically the same thing, they have hired a bunch of young girls that appear to be a mix of white and asian but not Japanese. And the overall effect is awful. They look like people who are far too old to be playing dressups.
I mean the very notion of a brand called 'harajuku' is ridiculous. Yes it's a fashion centre of Japan but it's actually made up by a whole bunch of independant brands. To just missapropriate a cultural region's name and use it to endorse your own line is like expecting your daughter to grow up classy and avant garde because you call them Paris.
Albeit if you went by my experience of Paris you would probably expect your daughter to grow up as a dirty hobo who intrudes in your personal space all the time.

I think what is most interesting though is that Harajuku style doesn't translate well across cultures even to Vietnamese and Chinese born Australian teenage models.

I don't want to be no nihonjinron/chrysathenum club writing social darwanist Japanophile motherfucker, nor do I wish to be one of those slavering connoissuer/philistines over at because this isn't a safeway/woolworths meat specials catalogue.

So firstly some disclaimers:

1. I've been to Japan 3 times now and had a relationship with the nations history, present, language and culture for over ten years now - my views come from the perspective put forth in 'The Little Prince' "that his rose is unique and special, because she is the one that he loves." I'm sure had I the experience and the knowledge I could write about say why Chinese women rocked, German Women rocked or why Quaker women rocked (I'm confident Quaker women would).
2. My definition of 'Japanese' is twofold and may upset some of my friends who consider themselves Japanese and others that merely want to be Japanese. The most important criterion is that you were predominantly educated in Japanese secondary school, and secondly that you are ethnically Japanese, Korean, Chinese or any mix of the the three. You are most definitely not white.

That said - why Japanese women rock. Well first and foremost because they are funny.
Japnese girls have great expressions like 'IiiiiYAda!' or the more condescending 'Iyadesu' or the equally expressive 'CHIgaO!' 'uSO!!!' or 'SAIyaKU...' the true extent of which requires emoticons that I can't be fagged doing.
At any rate if you know a Japanese girl take every opportunity to annoy them, insinuate lies and rumours about them and make sure you do it all to their face for full effect.
Miki could real off a very expressive little tantrum at times.
This is also often coupled with very antiquated fist shaking and foot stomping. Despite the reserved reputation of Japan in general girls particularly in the homosocial society often break from this stereotype.

That would be enough to tide me over happily, the expressions are just that entertaining. But there's also the grace and style that I guess needs mentioning. Largely a product of old fashioned social conditioning and peer pressure the likes of which dissappeared during the women's movement in western society and provides a dissapointing lack of non-lezbian tomboy's in Japanese society many Japanese women still attend thinly veiled 'finishing schools' so this is a brutal characteristic I can't really endorse and comes with plenty of baggage too.
But Japanese women have grace and style, they fold everything like you wouldn't believe in swift uncomplicated movements impossible to reproduce. They don't ravenously tear open presents in an attempt to preserve the most important part - gift wrapping.
And sure they all dress the same, so much so one can barely tell them apart but like a field full of daisies you just have to pick one and pay attention to it to appreciate its beauty. Or so I assume I've never actually done this.

Then there's the encyclopedic knowledge of fashion and hair and makeup and shit, Japan has phone book sized glossy magazines with painfully detailed step by step illustrations on how to style your hair and other shit that they must actually study by rote much like the education system because they know what they are doing.

Then there is the diet, healthy amounts of fish rice seaweed and of course cigarettes. It's not like being stick thin is a virtue, but the high soy content means no menopause and Japanese girls just seem to fail to age, until some point where they get real old real fast somewhere in the 90's.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

True Genius

Andy Kaufman is I think my epitome of 'True Genius' I mean there is genius, as in regular arse genius. People I'm sure are genius's in there own right, like Einstein - theory of relativity, the entropic effect in brownian motion all that jazz takes some fucking highly geared physics mind to come up with those trippy explanations.
Richard Dawkins - genius, reducing natural selection to the unit of genes, takes keen insight not just to realise that in the first place but to then be able to explain it so easily for all.

But true genius is inexplicable. People whose ability in a given field I am in awe of despite not really getting it.
And so Andy Kaufman - a comic genius I'm fairly certian. His work, increadibly funny. Or is it? What the fuck was going on. Read the comments on any of his youtube clip and you will find he is still loaded up with 'haters' people who think he just totally sucks. And yet...

I'm not sure if he doesn't suck, or if he does. I don't know, I find him hilarious I just don't know why.


This is true genius, the man just defies reason. He is somewhere beyond both comic and performance artist.

Other inexplicable true genius I have identified over the years are Mike Patton:

and John K of Ren & Stimpy fame:

John K is possibly the only true genius I would be kind of scared to meet. But a genius none the less.

I shall keep searching, but isn't it amazing that this world can let these guys make something.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


It's Movember and this is the third year I am participating. Curiously though I never made it through even though I spent the better part of a year sporting a moustache at Honda (I think I wanted to emulate my father's office persona) and had a cavalier moustache in 2nd year uni.

I've also never done Movember for charity. I just think it's a good exercise to grow a moustache at least once a year and change up the appearance.

Subconsciously I must lay blame at the foot of Gillette advertising for the state of the world as I realise I've never ever had one of their razors. But basically their highly effective ads have always consisted of phase 1. guy shaves, phase 2. attractive woman cuddles up to him.

Whilst I can say playing the law of averages shaving and getting a girl follow a if A then B type logic. But it seems to have reduced the common accepted attitude to be "guys you should shave if you want women" which evolved in the worst cases into "as a woman I have the right to demand you shave"

Perhaps the most profound and impressive thing Bryce has ever said was in the following exchange in Year 11/Year 12 I don't remember I bet he does though.

Person: Doesn't your girlfriend hate your goatee?

Bryce: I don't give a shit if she hates it.

It could perhaps be retconned into a stronger exchange. But this in Balifornian sexual politics was unheard of, the suggestion that a person's body image was not to be dedicated to the sole pursuit of attracting the opposite sex.

My own attachment to old shabby clothes was sexual suicide sure, but that was just my naive disinterested stupidity. Bryce was getting laid and controlling his own image.

That's mantastic.

And I think if Movember were to stand for anything, it should stand for this. Being a man isn't just the devotion of ones efforts to attracting a mate.

Being a man is self referential. Grow a mustache for yourself. Sure there's got to be other ways to be a man, and for many men a Mustache is undesirable in a wholesomely self referential way.

And this isn't just about the emasculation of men in times of plenty, it also applies to the idealogical victory of marketing over cool!

Advertising has us believe that cool is changing yourself so people like. Cool has never been such, cool is being liked for refusing to change yourself. It is hard won validation derived from self validation.

Hence I suspect movember has had something to do with Josh Brolin's mantastic mantasy rise to fame. He is a man's man in American Gangster and No Country for Old Men.

Surely Man is entering a new era:
Man up Denzal!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Journal Entry of the former Master Race Day 1

I've been looking forward to this day. But I find having arrived in this Obama as President Elect (and I guess now he has to live until inauguration day)world I am filled with questions.

First and foremost I am reserved as to whether Obama will represent any change for the better beyond what has already been realised. Will he just be another useless ringpiece like Rudd? Will all his lofty emotive and eloquent talk be mere rhetoric or will it be followed through with genuine compassionate reform?

Which leads to an if question. If like Rudd his election is more the result of voting the right out than voting the left in does the electorate even know what it wants him to do? This is dangerous because I'm now pretty sure that Rudd's one piece of legitimate policy was to follow through on things that didn't cost anything at all namely signing Kyoto and apologising for the stolen generation.

After that it seems Rudd turned around and asked for advice from his sponsors. Will Obama do the same? The record amounts of money that poured in after it became clear he was going to win being more significant than the torrents of small donations from voters to his campaign in the primary. Will he ask the big cheque writing Johnny come lately what they want from him or will he ask 'the people' who sent him $50 over the internet what they want?

Lastly I recall my most anti-american phase of life was my angsty teenage years. This was when Bill Clinton ran the show and I fucking HATED US foreign policy. Bush coming to power actually made me dislike America less, because the circle of priveledge retracted from a country that styled itself king of the world to a small circle of elites in the Cheney circle that fucked over the US and the world.

But I do believe now that change is possible, I am inspired by Obama's parochial success in his small corner of the world that my dreams of world conquest are indeed possible.

Now I just need to assemble my ninja army.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I haven't touched FOWP or the scripts in weeks, meaning I haven't actually pushed forward towards what I want to do in life for a while.

Nor have I really put much thought into my next job though I figure I'll have a couple of weeks between drinks to arrange that.

This is a note to myself that you have let your life stall.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Two men two votes

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand.........GO!" the gun fires.

It's Election Time, Hooray!

The two contestants get off to a good clean start crossing the line. In the blue trunks the first contestant heads for a big stack of books, not taking anything lightly they start with Adam Smith's: the wealth of nations.

After comprehensively flicking through this they move onto Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money tossing it aside as they reconsider laissez faire angle in Milton Friedman's Capatalism and Freedom.

With a firm grasp of Economic fundamentals and core issues with government economic policy he begins building an ethical basis, the logical starting point of course is consequentialism John Stuart Mill provides the utilitarian approach, while Machiavelli the pure consequence driven dogma. The next battle front is Deontology and Kant comes through to explain the intrinsic values.
Wanting a biological perspective the contender picks up 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkin's and then some Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' and 'Pale Blue Dot' to give some much needed perspective on the anthropocentrism.

With this background in ethical conduct as it relates to the physical laws the contestant pulls out the policy documents of the candidates and begins projecting the likely impacts of each upon the life and listing them preferentially.

When it comes to foreign policy the contestant turns to Noam Chomsky's 'Deterring Democracy' and then leafs through back issues of 'National Review' for some perspective on the conservative movement and then various publications of the socialist perspective such as Adbusters, Das Kapital and watches some documentaries on various civil rights movements.

Now looking at the major issues of Climate change, the Economic Meltdown and the War on Terrorism the candidate goes through a back log of press coverage. Observes the evidence for both sides of the argument then looks at the policies promoted as to which side to vote for.

The contestant in the Red Trunks watches some morning news shows. And between such journalistic pieces as 'The Ultimate BBQ' and a preview of forthcoming 'Watchmen' movie (the reviewer said the plot was confusing and not as good as Batman or Ironman because of the lack of action) there is some superficial coverage of some soundbites.

One sickday the red contestant even sees the political campaign discussed by the panel of 'The View' but the point of it is quickly forgotten.

AT LAST! The end of the vote is insight. Both voters red & blue finish at the same time, because it's an election, not a foot race. Their votes have around the same impact as eachother. The red trunks voter vote's for someone based on their vague impression that feeds their strong conviction they are voting for the right candidate but without actually checking to see if the rhetoric is backed up by policy.

The blue trunks voter haven taken on the duty of all voters to inform themselves instead donkey votes, knowing neither candidate is actually fit for the challenges presented as their policies pander to the vast majority of irresponsible voters that don't even bother to inform themselves.

Democracy works!

Saturday, November 01, 2008