Monday 26 November 2007

Thoughts on the Election

I wouldn't have voted this election if I didn't have to.

Really don't see that much of a difference between the two parties, and Rudd won't undo too much and won't go far enough to put Australia on a decent path again.

Oh sure, he'll sign Kyoto, give us broadband, make tampons GST free, but I'm talking about the "little" things Howard did that Rudd won't undo.

The spending on Government Advertising should be capped - but Rudd will spend more than Howard.

Certain privacy laws were brought in by Howard - laws which effectively silence the press and prevent whistleblowing. These won't be undone by Rudd.

Certain media laws which allow cross media ownership won't be undone by Rudd, meaning we're stuck with a media duopoly.

Certain "anti-terrorism" laws which the Liberal government has shown are totally worthless anyway, won't be undone.

And not to mention the total lack of accountability by government ministers to their constituents... pioneered by the Liberals, but no doubt furthered by Labor.

These things are (apparently) fundamental to a proper working democratic society and have been taken away under a Liberal government, but because they work so well for a government in terms of keeping the government running unabetted by 'people power', none of this will be undone by Labor.

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Thoughts on "Up & Out"

Last night I went to see "Up & Out" by Christian Marclay at ACMI after winning free tickets from

Christian Marclay interests me because he's a turntablist in the artistic sense - using records and the experience of listening to and playing with vinyl to recontextualise sound, beyond what a normal DJ - even DJs like DJ Kentaro.

He also plays around with sound and vision in mashup style.

His film "Up & Out" is a mashup of the vision from Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni and the sound from Blow Out by Brian de Palma.

It was interesting, but I thought it could be done better... it was simply the sound of "Up" over the vision of "Out" and whilst there was some good congruency at times, it got old pretty quickly.

The start was the best, with the score of "Out" creating a sense of apprehension with the tape loop clicking over the strings of the opening track, whilst the vision shows a bunch of face painted freaks cavort over the screen. Gives the already odd on screen action a really spooky, malevolent edge.

I only watched it for about half and hour though - the film nerd in me enjoyed it, but the rest of me thought two things - a) I could do this and b) I could be doing something better.

I understand the thought behind it, especially as both films deal with voyeurism and things not being as they seem and politicising technology, but personally thought it was a bit weak.

I would have liked to see a little more thought put into it - splicing the sound of one into the other at opportune times, a proper mashup with a bit more thought to it.

The best mashups, musically at any rate, are the ones that not only mash incongruent pieces of music but make them enjoyable as stand alone pieces. The Grey Album works because not only is it mashing two incongruent artists like the Beatles with Jay-Z, but each individual song can be played and enjoyed on it's own. You don't need to know anything about Jay-Z's '99 Problems' or the Beatles 'Helter Skelter' to enjoy 99 Problems on the Grey Album.

"Up & Out" needs knowledge of both original films, and maybe even knowledge of both Antonioni and de Palma, to work. In this sense I feel it suffers. To make it work as a film it needed dialog from Blow Up to come in at opportune times.

Monday 19 November 2007

Change For Change's Sake

"Change for change’s sake is not a good enough reason"

Why am I not surprised this opinion is held by the editors of the Adelaide Advertiser?

It's exactly this kind of attitude that drives so many people out of the State, and will help keep Adelaide the backwater it is.

It's just so conservative. In everything.

I was chatting to Cut Le Roc on Saturday night and he said he was there the night before and it was "disturbingly quiet in Adelaide". And he's right.

Adelaide is quiet. There's never any people about. In Melbourne and Sydney and even Brisbane there's always people about. There's a vitality that's felt in the city.

Adelaide only experiences this occasionally, at times of the Festival/Fringe and Womad. Not even on New Years Eve is that sense of excitement present anymore.

And it's more than merely a "lack of population" thing.

The future is so exciting and opportunities abound, but when you're living in Adelaide it's like there's a fog and you can't see anything.

When Ratbag closed down I was at loss as what to do. Totally and utterly. I was rejected from both Team Bondi and Pandemic, and if Krome hadn't started I would still probably be on the dole.

I've been in Melbourne two weeks and have seen opportunities in case this job somehow goes sour - opportunities that would work for me in Adelaide but stuff I just didn't see or consider because of Adelaide is so conservative that it suppresses that kind of thinking.

I admit it was also me and my thinking that held me back, but it's more than just that... I've only been living out of the state two weeks, and even though I love the people back there, I honestly can't see myself returning for a while...

Thursday 15 November 2007

Differences in Opinion

Andrew Bolt has done it again.

On the one hand he claims that the bombing of Hiroshima was necessary to save further bloodshed, but then he condemns Penti Linkola a Finnish green thinker for believing the world needs less people in order to save the planet.

I'm really confused by this, because I see these as the exact same kind of thinking.

I'm not sure if my comment is too long, but Bolt has said he's writing a larger article tomorrow, so I might re-post it in those comments. I really hope I get a response, because I'm legitimately worried that I'm the stupid one for not seeing a difference, and hoping he can clear it up for me...

Here's what I wrote:
Andrew, didn't you just today say that the bombing of Hiroshima was required to stop a greater catastrophe?

I'm pretty sure you did:

"In making such judgements, the utilitarian is driven above all by the moral imperative to preserve as many people as possible from harm. Given that, the utilitarian would also seek in war to avoid any needless deaths, especially of civilians."

Unlike many of your blog posts, these are completely your own words. [LINK]

So you agree that those Japanese killed in the dropping of the bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima needed to be sacrificed to save the planet from the greater threat of Nazi and Japanese Imperialism.

Is that correct?

So how can you condemn these people - you were saying the EXACT SAME THING in that people need to be sacrificed for the greater good??

I really can't see what the difference is here.

One the one hand you had the annihilation of everything we hold dear by the Nazis and Japanese, and on the other hand we have the annihilation of everything we hold dear by environmental breakdown.

Either way it's still total Annihilation.

BUT WAIT - I know what you're going to say "Environmental Annihilation isn't certain."

Well mate, neither was cultural annihilation by the Nazis.

If you look at history, you'll see that the Romans tried to do the exact same thing as the Nazis, and they succeeded, and then the Saxons, and then the Christians, and so on and so on, but traditions thousands of years old that we hold dear still exist.

The world took a different course, but many traditions people held dear and fought for were preserved despite them losing to another culture.

So, can you please explain what the difference between Linkola's position and your position is, because I can't see one.

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Tennents of FunkyJism Part 1

For a long time I've wanted to get some of my political views out. For a long time the way we frame political discussion has simply not looked right to me, and the political process has become corrupted.

I think we need to move away from traditional notions and adopt new ones so we can move on and more importantly, move better.

These notions are not always fully formulated and often not fully thought through. They are unreferenced and unresearched.

Here is my first post on this:

Personally I think the whole left/right political scale is a load of bullshit and people who use it are just too thick to understand the real workings of modern capitalist society.

If you look at all modern democracies you will see the same thing - even in places 'the left' hold up as leftist paradises like Sweden. The policies are centralist. And you want to know why?

Capitalism, as a system, needed to conquer the conflict between rich and poor or risk falling in on itself and it did by making the middle classes. It needed a group that was easy to keep happy, and we're pretty fucking happy with our lot, all over the fucking world.

And by happy, I mean are you prepared to risk your life or the life of your family to fight against what you think are the injustices of the Political Party you aren't going to vote for if they get into power?

Of course not! If they get in you'll just whinge for another 4 years. Same with me, same with every single person you know. Because either way, you'll be pretty happy with your lot in life.

Sure, it could be better, it can always be better, but it can also be a lot worse. And as long as it doesn't get too much better or too much worse, you'll remain happy.

And by worse I don't mean having to pay 25% extra on your mortgage, I mean forced into slave camps because your hair kind of worse.

Because unless you're prepared to die for your convictions, which for centuries working class and upper class people were prepared to do, nothing will change.

Change can only come from violent revolution, and violent revolution will never happen on the scale it needs to happen because not only is the logistical possibilities of that occurring again so small because of the huge population, we've been fooled into thinking violence is a bad thing.

Violence isn't bad, it's natural. When the Earth changes it's violent - earthquakes, volcanoes, tidal waves. When an ecosystem changes it's always violent - fire, flood, famine.

Monday 12 November 2007

A fool for music

So I've been in Melbourne a week, and listening to the local community radio.

It's fucking awesome. The music they play in the morning is great, a cross of hiphop, funk, jazz, rock and soul. It actually wakes me up and has made me interested in

Although I think the presenters talk a little too much, at least they're not the obnoxious pricks that you find on commercial radio. And they're not Jay and the Doctor on Triple J - two unfunny wankers who should have stuck to making music.

Today they had a competition open to subscribers to win tickets to Up & Out, a cinegraphic mash up of Blow Up and Blow Out, two films I studied at Flinders Uni for Screen Studies.

I had to become a subscriber to win, but I thought fuck it, I pay $20 for so why not pay to support Australian music and radio?

Sunday 11 November 2007

Day at the beach

Today I went to Geelong to see Kristy and Paul and Zoe.

An hour train ride there around Port Phillip Bay, and then about 20 minutes to K's house where we had some lunch, then they took me for a drive around the area.

Very lovely, all beachy and sunny. The area reminds me of Victor Harbor in a lot of ways - seaside industrial town in the olden days, but now more of a tourist resort getaway place.

Went to Portarlington and had a dip in the ocean, and then headed to Queenscliff where the Queenscliff music festival is being held in a few weeks - I really want to go to see CW Stoneking.

He's playing Sunday and it's $70 for the day (plus $20 to travel there) but I really can't afford it and don't have the contacts to be able to scam a freebee in Melbourne.

Unfortunately Kristy and Paul are moving back to Adelaide in a few weeks, so I doubt I'll be heading to Geelong much more... at least until I get a car ;)

Friday 9 November 2007

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Melbourne media makes me want to stab!

The news in Melbourne is absolutely pathetic.

Oversensationalised bullshit everywhere you turn.

I thought it was just Andrew Bolt, but it appears to be the all over the Herald Sun.

Sunday's Herald Sun had a story about knifes. One sentence read "Critics say Melbourne's "stab city" reputation has been festering for years, but is only now being taken seriously." but then makes absolutely no mention of who these critics are or where they have been saying it 'for years', at all.

A google search for "stab city" brings up many hits, but bugger all related to Melbourne. You would think that these critics would at least have a blog hit or two!

I realise it's imaginary critics making imaginary comments that is trying to pass for news, but unfortunately the suburban Melbournite dumb fucks believe this tripe day in, day out.

I'm yet to pick up the Age, but I don't hold Fairfax in the highest regard either.

But even the ABC suffers from it! I used to watch ABC news because in Adelaide the presenter was really good, one of the reporters really hot, and the stories were the least sensationalised out of the lot.

Yes, they're biased to some degree, but I don't mind bias. The Herald Sun is biased too. So is the Age. I can see that bias and accept it as part of modern media.

However, the ABC's story about the Beadeez toys that made children sick was so over the top I ended up turning the news off. "Toys banned in all states except Victoria"... "no comment from the manufacturer"... Maybe because it was a PUBLIC HOLIDAY and even I was hard to reach?!

The ABC host is also terrible at reading the news. Where did they dig that fool up from?

It's sad, sad times when the Weekly World News looks like something that rivals the New York Times.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

DJ Kentaro, Ca$h Money, Belleruche, Dexter, Bamboos @ the Espy

Well, I had my first night out in Melbourne at the Espy to see DJ Kentaro.

One of the greatest nights of music I’ve been to in a long time. Mu-Gen was mixing up some nice breaks and hiphop, and then One Sixth jumped on stage and got the proceedings underway with a great acapella. Some nice local hiphop followed, but I wandered in to the other room to see Belleruche.

Glad I did, because Belleruche was awesome. A nice bluesy number kicked off their set, and I couldn’t but help think of Portishead. Very similar style and the lead singer had one of those lovely, soulful voices like whats-her-name from Portishead, or even Amy Winehouse. Not too bad looking either! I really enjoyed listening to something different as well, and will have to track down their album.

Kentaro was after them, and after a little delay he stepped up and delivered one of the best scratch routines I’ve seen in a long time. He’s a freaking machine! Metronomic timing and hands faster than superman! He played around with hiphop and drum and bass, and although the Adelaide crowd would probably scoff at the dnb as “cheesy” – there was a bit of Pendulum and the like – the Melbourne crowd lapped it up.

After Kentaro I managed to catch a bit of Dexter’s Gorillastep. Crazy breakdancers jumping around as four drummers banged out glorious rhythms over Dexter’s records and scratching. It was pretty cool, albeit a little hippyish, but it was really great to see something different. Dexter mentioned he’s starting some underground hiphop club so I gotta check that out.

The Bamboos took a long time to set up, and although I love their acid-jazz sound, I was pretty over it by that stage. I caught a bit of Cash Money on the way out, and he was great. He played hiphop and a little other stuff, like Damien Marley’s Jamrock, MCed over the top of it, and was scratching over the top of it. He reminds me of Grand Master Flash, but with far less ego. Would have stayed longer but was tired as.

Thursday 1 November 2007

Nearly done...


Pretty much everything is packed.

Just got my PC left, plus a few odds and sods.

Really worried about my decks, speakers, and amp. Bit worried about my PC monitor too. They're not boxed and won't fit into any boxes nicely anyway so I'm worried they might get damaged in transit.

A bit sad I'm going, sad I missed out on seeing people I wanted to see, and I know despite all my bitching about this place I'm going to miss it.