Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Life in Melbourne is pretty cool. Apart from the absence of immediate family and close friends, this city has a lot going for it. The suburb in which I'm based is relaxed and very quiet. I'm also a short distance from farms and the bush, as well as the hustle and bustle of the city and the life on Brunswick Street. In all, the transition has been quite a pleasant surprise.

Another plesant aspect I've been exploring of late is my rekindled interest in gardening. It's an area that I am quite proficient, yet have devoted very little time to. This is changing with our small, but enjoyable garden.

Before I arrived here, we had no vegetables growing in the small dirt border that makes up the garden in our unit's courtyard. However, Lucy had been burying a large amount of kitchen scraps, and had managed to turn the once water repellant dust into quite a reasonable strata of topsoil. A good start. I've planted broad beans, peppermint, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, rocket, marjoram, oregano and a few others, and so far everything is moving along at a strong pace. In addition, the food scraps are pulling their own weight, with pumpkins in the tens of dozens sprouting everywhere, along with potatoes, regular sized tomatoes and whatever else I've yet to identify at the seedling stages. With all these positives I've decided to set a goal:

I would like to be able to produce one fifth of the food consumed in tihis house, in our courtyard. It's a big target, especially given the lack of space we have, but foam crates and plenty of potting mix and blood and bone should help bring that back to a workable line.

Here's hoping!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Ch ch changes

A lot of time has passed, and many things have changed since my last blog update. Last time I wrote, about a month ago, I was living in the Blue Mountains and considering a move south to live with my girlfriend Lucy and her son. Since then I’ve taken the plunge, moved to Melbourne and we’ve also become engaged, tentatively setting a date for a late February wedding in the Mountains. Huzzah!!

I’m comfortable, happy, my fitness is continuing on its ever upward spiral thanks to my switch to an almost completely vegetarian diet, and I’m also enjoying what this city has to offer. I’m embracing Melbourne. It’s a laid back, culturally diverse, welcoming artistically enriching city and it fits with my own approach to life.

Life is very good.

I do miss my folks, brother and his family, regular karaoke and trivia nights and times with my mates in the ‘gow, but the rewards I’m reaping from my move and the satisfaction of being here with my fiancĂ©e are making the losses easier to deal with. This move has been a lot easier than I could have imagined.

I’ve lived all over NSW but never interstate. Being in a very close family has always made such a move one that I’d have been very unlikely to consider. It would take someone very special to convince me that it would be a smart move. Thankfully, it came quite easily, and Lucy didn’t have to work to convince me at all.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Big Launch

Just prior to this most recent trip to Melbourne Lucy and I attended the premiere of the upcoming SBS documentary series, First Australians, held at the Opera House in Sydney.

Six years in the making, this multi platform project is the most ambitious to be undertaken on Indigenous Australia. The project encompasses seven episodes of landmark television, a substantial online experience, educational and retail DVD, a hard cover pictorial book and a community outreach program. The series First Australians chronicles the birth of contemporary Australia as never told before, from the perspective of its first people. It begins in 1788 in Sydney, with the friendship between an Englishmen (Governor Phillip) and a warrior (Bennelong) and ends in 1993 with Koiki Mabo’s legal challenge to the foundation of Australia. First Australians chronicles the collision of two worlds and the genesis of a new nation. -

An enjoyable evening, the event kicked off with an opportunity to catch up with some friends and family, along with meeting new people (particularly those whose literary and academic works I am familiar with and admire). Some media personalities amongst the crowd or upon the stage that I was familiar with were Debra Mailman (Radiance), Karla Grant (Living Black - SBS), Peter O'Brien (Water Rats, Flying Doctors etc.. he was dressed like a train robber from the ol' West) and unless Lucy and I were both mistaken and most curiously we also saw Kevin McLoud (Grand Designs - UK), and not to forget that guitarist fellow who played a few years with Mental as Anything and engaged us in conversation for a fair whack of the evening. Nice bloke.. whoever you are!

The presentations made by the directors and producers of First Australians, along with the head of SBS and Jenny Macklin made for a thoroughly enlightening evening, and one that built my anticipation and axcitement for the first episode of First Australians to new highs.

The episode I appear in doesn't screen until I think October 22 or 24, but Episode One starts 12 October, 8.30pm on SBS.

Can't wait.

Monday, 6 October 2008


Achtung! I have seen Peter Cundall in person. Live. In reality. All is now well.


On Saturday Lucy and I ventured out into the Melbourne sun, walking toward the light, braving a mild breeze and unruly throngs of black thumbed middle-aged Victorians, hippies and jam sales-women all eager to bathe in the shadow of the awesomeness that is Peter Cundall.

I'd never been to a garden expo before. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, other than greenery, lots of grey haired people (greyer than I) and the occasional tool. It turned out to be quite a fun few hours, where Lucy and I looked into and midly researched our longterm big dream; a sustainable home, environmentally friendly and off the grid (or lightly tethered to).

Plenty to see. There were plants of a myriad different type and more water tanks and cow poo than you could shake a garden wand at. Perhaps my favourite elements of the afternoon (aside from the Cundall) were the lounge chairs designed for outdoor use, suspended from a rope, complete with a foot stool that is suspended from its own rope. Mmmm lazy. I also quite liked the various solar, wind and water related stalls/products, of which I now have a handy bag full of literature to digest. Beyond those, and the brilliant recycled wood photo frames that I bought - there was Peter Cundall.

Peter Cundall is special. A recently retired octogenerian (b. 1927) star of ABC TV's "Gardening Australia", Peter is an icon of Australian backyard culture, but to me he will always be known as the guy who loves shit. Oh yes, I have never seen, heard or known of any soul who could get as excited about compost, cow turds and a bag of blood and bone than this guy. The way he caresses and enthuses about mulch is truly a thing of.. well, interest. Whilst a tad funny, the bloke is a champion. The highlight of seeing him and being the people in the line to get him to sign Lucy's DVD (we missed out as we hit the front) was to see Peter give two little would-be gardeners and fans the biggest hug you've ever seen (plus minor unintentional headbutt). How can ya not love the dude?

Well worth having gone, but jeez - $17 is a bit steep. For that I'd at least expect a packet of seeds (for me) and a doughnut (for Lucy).

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Concepts and philosophies regarding art and development – In Brief

There are few things that interest me more than art. I love art in the broadest of applicable terms, far beyond the narrow, established criteria. I consider art to be an interchangeable term used to denote the driving force behind any and all forms of creativity and endeavour, with sloth and disinterest through self doubt being the primary forces that act as a counter-weight to creativity.

Whilst I am principally a visual artist, I don’t believe that any artist worth their salt should restrict their self entirely to the limited scope of one or only a few areas of study. Everyone is an artist in more than one way, only that some are more focused and thus proficient in their chosen areas of focus and endeavour. To some extent, I consider the way in which some people are set apart as artists to be both naive and unnecessary, and that some are elevated to the lofty title of polymath for excelling in a diverse manner, even more absurd.

I’ve always felt that if a person is proficient in one medium then they realistically should be well on their way to unlocking their talents in other areas as well. To be less confusing, the manner in which I view the flow of an artist from one field to the next is illustrated in the following example:

If you were to take a person who is considered to be artistically barren and with care and quality instruction showed that person how to draw a variety of subjects using a pencil, enabling them to understand the creative processes involved, it would be only a small step to then teach that person how to adequately colour their sketches via the use of coloured pencil or a tool emulating flat colour in Photoshop. From understanding flat colour to then applying shading and understanding how light is utilised in 2D is another manageable step. From there a person who is able to master the techniques behind the pencil should not find the paint brush to be a great task and painting in many ways is no different to colouring in a pencil drawing. The skills inherited in learning how to draw and paint are quite readily transferable to sculpture, industrial design and flower arranging which in turn may lead to a greater appreciation and awareness in areas as diverse as architecture, engineering and building. For further examples that may be seen as extreme, I also see relatively little as a realistic barrier between the art of a musician and that of an author, actor and visual artist in turn. Yes they are all considered art forms already, but generally they are not viewed as interlinked aspects of the same skill set as is being suggested here. Each takes specific skills, but each skill is no more than a matter of concentration, perseverance and rhythm (or timing if you prefer) and differ only in that they are the alternate faces of the same universal tools that are used in every action that we take.

In some situations it can be found that a deficiency in a focus area such as painting for example, can be made up for by strengths in a another quarter, such as being proficient in the art of storytelling and self promotion. Never let it be said that being a bullshit artist is not a true skill. Many of the best known artists of times both modern and ancient are or were imbued with strong oratory promotional skills whilst lacking sufficient development in their visual pursuits. Those who define art by aesthetics and emotion within will argue against that. Whilst controversial, these are views that I am quite happy defend in the face of intelligent criticism, particularly from capable art critics and so-called experts, whom I believe should have been the first of the “useless middlemen” onto Adams’ “B. Ark.”

The hierarchy of how art is taught in the modern world (or the semi-modern Australia) is a bit of a cruel joke, starting with how children are introduced to art in their formative years. More often than not a child’s first experience with painting in a class room is an abysmal failure, regardless of their potential. This is owing to the almost outrageous ignorance exhibited by most teachers who give their students paint brushes that relate to a child’s hand and paper in the same way that a large brush used for house painting would apply to an adult and their canvas. Many kids even at such an early age can be frustrated by such a thoughtless approach to their education, but more often than not will lack the skills to adequately convey their frustration or requirements. I’ve taught children at such ages to paint and draw with relative ease, and much of my successes have been due to having removed the roadblocks placed in their way, rather than any major instruction.

Art instruction within the Australian school system is no more advanced at year 6 than in Kindergarten. Rather than frustration, many children by this point in time have already thrown in the towel. Sometimes their interest can be rekindled via a new and enthusiastic teacher or upon entry to High School and a new environment, but that too relies upon the makeup of the teacher.

Art teachers in High School come in three flavours; there’s the capable artist who is interested in developing the skills of their charges, the incompetent artist who maybe offers the student an outdated textbook introduction to art history, whilst completely neglecting their skill development, and then there is the bullshit artist who although caring for the student’s development as an artist can offer only regurgitated philosophies and sub-par instruction. If the student lacks the drive to facilitate their own development during the high school years, or is unable to access private tuition then more than their chances of progress and continued engagement within the arts are slim.

High School is a critical time, because it makes and breaks and sometimes mutates budding artists in terrible ways. The mutations of which I speak are the larval stages of the bullshit artist and potential “fine art” critics, whose theories and polluting views are to art what creationism and biblical literalism are to the sciences. I despair at times, but then I come back from the edge for one reason – art is a joy, and not a matter for critics to overcomplicate for their own slick fingered requirements.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Book book book

I'm behind in my reading. I've a pile of books that I've purchased or have been blessed with temporarily that I am due to read but simply haven't had the time as yet to look through. This of course hasn't stopped me going on another book buying spree or two recently.

My nature is that of a compulsive collector. I don't gamble, drink heavily and I don't smoke. My vice has always been the need to go on a spree in search of... something. Giving it some thought, there has always been one thing or another that I've been in search of. With that particular something ranging as my tastes and interests have developed over the years. When I was 5 it was lollies. In 6th grade it was footy cards. At the age of 13 it was comic books. 15 and it was tattoo magazines. Right now it's books.

Not only am I collector, but I'm a hoarder. I have every football and basketball card, comic book, tattoo magazine, CD, DVD, film and gig poster, records, computer magazine, beer bottles, book and genealogical scrap of data I've ever collected - save for those I sold in my late teens in an effort to buy even more collectables. Oh, and the wardrobe worth of material that I palmed off onto my brother safe in the knowledge that he's just as bad in this pursuit as I am.

My collectable obsessions are broken up into sub sections quite easily. All of my collections relate to some of my major interests: art, team sports, technology and history. As such, the above can be seen in the last couple of hauls I've picked up when exploring Melbourne by foot and via Amazon and Ebay, only some of which I've read so far:

True Blue - The History of the NSW Rugby League
HOW Magazine - October 2008
British History - 1815-1906
Earthship - Volume I
Earthship Volume II
Moving the Goal Posts (Souths book)
Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology
The History Today Companion to British History
The Emigrant's Friend (A facsimile of an 1848 guide to the British colonies of Australia)
Whitlam on Australia's Constitution
Wired - The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi
Nowhere People (Koori history)
The Other Side of the Frontier (Koori history)
Mapping History - World Religions
The Master (Rugby League)
Krakatoa - The Day the World Exploded
Rum Rebellion (History)
For God's Sake, send the Trackers (Koori history)
Rough Guide - The Universe
Darwin Awards II

..and whatever other crap I can't remember!

Monday, 15 September 2008


Two weeks in Melbourne and they flew by in the blink of an eye. In-between chasing Ethan around slippery dips, hanging clothes, cooking, washing dishes, spending quality time with my partner Lucy, and venturing into the city, I also had some time to check out a few genealogical details at the Library and VIC archives.

What I found out was quite interesting. Whilst my mother's family ties are limited in Victoria, my dad's are more extensive and showed up some fascinating details. Perhaps the most interesting being that I now know where my height comes from. My folks are both beneath the 6ft mark, whilst I'm 6ft 3. According to a cousin I spoke to, my great grandfather was 6ft 11. Quite a surprise, and a revelation that has me now revisiting the theory that he may have had African origins in addition to his well documented Aboriginal side.

I learnt that my great great grandfather owned 98 acres of land near Moama, 10% of which was sewn with wheat, that my great uncle was training to be a lawyer in the 1930's (unheard of for Aboriginal people in that era) and I unearthed a few more baffling genealogical mysteries.

Beyond my trips to the archives and library, looking through acres of fiche of the Sydney Morning Herald obituaries, some shipping records and electoral rolls, I also managed to dig out enough free time to check out Hellboy II. A fun flick, I quite enjoyed it.

Perhaps the highlight of my stay was pulling Lucy out of her choppy weekend routine and checking out both the Souths v Melbourne Storm game, and then a jaunt to Mount Donna Buang to show Ethan his first glimpse of snow.

Mount Donna Bunag is a bit under an hour north west from Melbourne, in the Yarra ranges past Healesville and close to Warburton. A warm day, we arrived with the expectation that we had probably arrived too late in the season to see any snow, so we took our time enjoying a rainforest walk on a lower slope of the mountain. The rainforest walk was a highlight, although I'm not sure if I was more disturbed by the 20 metre high canopy walkway that seemed less stable than a temporary rock show stage, or the strange photo that Lucy took of a tree that appears to have a few faces in it, peering back at the observer.

Beyond the oddity of the rainforest walk, it was highly enjoyable, and helped Ethan in learning how to count with each of the many steps he climbed. One.. two.. six.. zero.. he's getting there!

At the peak of ole' Donna was a sight we had expected. No snow.. until we looked beyond a shrub in the car park and Ethan found this pitiful excuse for powder...

Looks excited, no?

Anyway, after climbing the observation/suicide platform, we saw that there was still quite a bit of snow down the side of the plateau and we climbed down to explore it. Much better, a nice covering which was more than enough for Ethan and Lucy to make a snowman. Well, kind of...

In all, a great day out and a wonderful two weeks. I can't wait to go back.


Back to Lithgow after two highly enjoyable weeks in Melbourne and I already miss the place. Well, I don't miss Melbourne much, but I am looking forward to seeing my partner and her lad Ethan again soon.

The two week trip helped me experience a solid taste of what sort of life will await me when I move to Melbourne permanently in November, and I'm very excited for what the future holds after experiencing that taste.

Life in Melbourne and with Lucy is a lot faster paced than what I'm accustomed to, but it is not an uncomfortable difference. I'm not an early morning person, but waking sometimes at 3 or 4am to let a 2 year old into the room to sleep with his mum, and then waking again at 6am and earlier for the start to the day are efforts easily adapted to, at least once I let go of my usual late night routine of reading and writing. Up at 6am, to bed no later than 10.30pm.. it's very different, but my body has appreciated the change.

I'm also liking the overall healthier lifestyle I've slipped into. I now eat very little meat, have had a chance to walk more than an hour each day, spend the weekends out and about, even if it is only to walk to the State Library and locking myself away there reading microfiche, or at VIC Archives giving the staff there a workout.

Perhaps one point that I need to work on however is that especially with my new responsibilities of looking after an extremely energetic 2 year old I also have a lot less time to look after my own hobbies, pursuits and indeed keep up with people outside of the 3 person unit I've happily welded myself into.

Less reading, less emailing and less conversation. It's a good thing that I don't watch TV because I wouldn't have the time for it now even if I wanted.

On the other hand - there's more emotional fulfilment, happiness and I also have a renewed sense of purpose and vigour in regard to the future. I don't believe that I've ever been as happy.

A serious blog post? Yeah whatever next! Later I'll write about what I've actually been filling my time with in Melbourne over the past two weeks.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Hoops Predictions

On Monday 24 September 2007 I made my predictions for the 07-08 basketball season and now the season in well and truly gone and we're into the pre-season for 08-09. So, how did I do?

Prediction 1: Perth and Cairns to fight out the NBL title.
Well, I bombed with this one. Sydney knocked out Perth in the semis on their way to a 2-3 loss to Melbourne in the finals. Cairns didn't get past the quarter finals. Close, but no cigar.

Prediction 2: Nathan Jawai to be Rookie of the Year.
Yep, well this one was an easier one to work with. Jawai not only went on to win rookie of the year, but was also drafted into the NBA, signing a 2-year contract with Toronto.

Prediction 3: Patrick Mills to be the first Aboriginal/T.I to draw NBA interest.
Relatively unheard of when I made the prediction, I was on the right track but didn't quite guess right. After scoring 15 and then 20 points against the US senior team in the Olympics, Patty is most definitely on the NBA radar, but he was beaten to the punch of being drafted by his cousin, Nathan Jawai. So prediction 2 knocked out 3.

Not a bad effort, but I could do better.

For the 08-09 season my predictions are thus:

1. The grand final to be won by Adelaide and played against either Sydney or Melbourne.
2. Aaron Bruce to be NBL Rookie of the Year (Luke Schenscher being runner-up).
3. Andrew Ogilvy to be drafted to the NBA in the first round.
4. Only one out of Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes or Luke Nevill to be drafted in the second round, with the other two going undrafted.
5. Patrick Mills to stay in college for another year.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Pfft Souths

Season is over I suppose. Time to plan for next year and get some sleep. At least I have the game v Melbourne @ Melbourne to look forward to.

Stop the Olympics, I want to get off!

The Olympics are broken, and assuredly - I can fix them. Take swimming for a first up example. An interesting enough sport, but medals are handed out left, right and centre, simply because there are a huge number of events. Let's fix that and reduce the number to something a little less, well.. fucked! Let's keep the 100m to prove the fastest person in a sprint and a 5km race to prove the person with the best endurance over a long distance. After all, events like the butterfly are ridiculous novelty events, which in reality are no less ludicrous than a track race by people only running on the tips of their toes or perhaps walking around on their hands. And how about the Medley event? What in the wide world of sports is that all about? Perhaps the event should be re-titled something a little more appropriate such as schizophrenia in water. If a race were to be held where all of the competitors were to race whilst wearing heavy gorilla costumes I'll retract my comments and give swimming my full endorsement.

Equestrian events are another random slice of dull crap sorely in need of revitalization. The answer is simple - If a horse breaks its leg and has to be put down, then so should its owner. Turn the shooting of riders into a major segment of the event, regardless of what they have or haven't done. Anyone game enough to wear one of those outfits probably deserves as much lead passing through their body as is scientifically possible. I would also advocate the idea of horses having to leap over giant piles of dung, or to perhaps trot across rickety rope bridges that have crocodiles in the water far below. All of the above is all the more necessary when either of these travesties again interrupt my viewing of a Boomers basketball game.

Sunday, 10 August 2008


Well fucking done, Channel 7!! The Olympics are here and I've spent the last hour and a half sitting around waiting for Australia v Croatia in the basketball and instead I've had to watch swimming HEATS and Gymnastics, neither of which features Australians?!?!! Fark me dead!! 5 digital channels, all owned by 7, and all showing the same fucking thing!


Thursday, 7 August 2008

Ebay Challenge

This is me accepting Sim's challenge to find the weirdest ebay auctions. Today's theme: Why imagination is sometimes a bad thing.

1. Genital shaped Tangelo, grown in S.E Queensland. Bidding starts @ $50. Does one bite such a thing? All sorts of horrific images come to mind when imagining someone eating this junk-tastic piece of nasty.

Penis Gourd from Papua New Guinea, bidding starts @ $40. Be the life of the party, especially during winter, when you show up for cocktails or dinner wearing only this conversation piece. Ladies love a man in a penis gourd covering.

Lolita Costumes! Bidding starts @ $49.95. Dress your captives up in one of a variety of lolita costumes available. Styles range from Japanese Sailor/School girl and Card Captor Sakura to Little Red Riding Whore. Don't let your pre-teen dungeon prisoners spend their last days wearing anything less vile!!

Monday, 21 July 2008

True meanings

Yes, the true key to success with women has been charted in vague and teasing fashion, and I am happy to peel back the layers of fog and expose the sordid truth. Enjoy yourself!

Step by Step - New Kids On The Block
and what they really meant...

Step one
We can have lots of fun (Getting high on stolen horse tranquillizers)
Step two
There's so much we can do (Screwdriver + lack of intelligent ideas + pee hole)
Step three
Its just you and me (And peanut butter, the family dog and an audience of thousands. Wave to the camera baby!)
Step four
I can give you more (I've soiled myself and it is now your life-long duty to change me)
Step five
Don't you know that the time has arrived (To sheepishly admit giving you Hepatitis C!)

It's so obvious.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


In the year 2050 we will all be exactly like this.

How would your funeral go down?

Seriously, would your funeral be yet another dull, painful affair that you yourself would arrange to have cancelled on your behalf? Not me. I read with much joy my mate Sim's own funeral plans over on her blog - Don't Step On The Mome Raths (see the link at the side of this page), where her appeal to her friends and family for a fun and memorable funeral was made. I liked what I read and it also appealed to me due to a number of thoughts I've had over the years re my own eventual demise.

I'm not one for religion, solomn affairs or everyone dressed in black. I'm also quite nervous about the idea that potentially I might be buried when my mind has yet to cease functioning. I blame YOU, Jeff Bridges!

So how's it going to go down?

My plain iron bark coffin, held together by rusty nails and draped with both the Aboriginal and South Sydney Rabbitohs flags will sit outdoors, even if the weather gods are performing a teary 20 cannon salute, and all whilst the funeral party kicks off complete with kegs, pizza and goanna.

No priest. No religious iconography or music.

I will have my eulogy read in a very serious tone by a person doing their best to hold their dignity in check - in a Batman costume (Yes, that would be you, Rod).

Everyone will either wear Hawaiian shirts or Souths jerseys.

No flowers. Fruit would be nice though. Or maybe a bonsai tree.

In times past I have considered that maybe I should cover all the bases, by maybe having A catholic Priest, some druids, a viking funeral at sea, monks and some Indian holy men, but screw all of that. If there's anything on the other side (which I highly doubt) it is they who will need the insurance when I arrive, because there's more than a few bones that will need to be picked before I unpack my bags.

I've thought in the past that perhaps being buried with an oxygen tank, mask, torch, batteries, phone, 7ft aerial, saw, food, water and drill might be a good idea. After all, there is a valid and creepy reason for there being such a term as "saved by the bell."

I'm still working on what music I'd like played, but for the final tune as my coffin is lowered I would like the one that goes "na na na-na, hey hey hey, goooodbye!!!"

Kegs on. A band at the after party.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Busy signal

It's been a hectic time lately and I happily added to the load of responsibilities and events yesterday when attending the Souths v Titans game at Telstra. Much fun was to be had, but it almost felt like I had to be punished before the appropriate endorphins were released.

The trip to Sydney is long, but with the company of Mr Hemingway I was able to break up the monotony and time passed quicker than it usually does in such a circumstance. I have been neglecting my reading lately, due to to my recently hectic schedule, but it was good to get back into my current book, even if I was left with what I believe will have been the saddest, most depressing part of the book. I couldn't bring myself to read on beyond that point for the day, especially given the distractions coming from the seats adjacent to me.

A woman across the aisle from me, seated next to the window was making noises, and I'm still somewhat baffled as to what the cause was. Was she grieving? Some people have annoying laughs and fewer grieve in an irritating manner, but I believe this particular woman may have achieved it with great success. Her sudden and sharp inhalation pockmarked the air and drove me to distraction. When not making her weird little sounds her koala-like male companion would make the most horrendous, wet, slimy kissing sounds upon her person - loud and crass. When in my annoyance I did bother to look, I saw a skinny man clinging to a fragile idiot in the manner that a koala does to a gum tree. It was obscene in its stupidity.

I'm not normally irritated so easily, and I'm not generally without compassion, but there was something about this particular couple that made me feel anger and great annoyance. At times, I wasn't sure if the pair of them were consoling each other or that the woman was trying to mask her excitement at where the man's finger may have been slickly slinking within the tangled ball of annoyance that they had become. Was it ecstacy? Maybe, maybe not, but in either case public transport isn't exactly the place for such intense emotion or lewd displays of spit smearing.

What could have topped that off? Perhaps it was the fuckwit behind me who had decided that they couldn't live without a TV for an hour or two and decided that ear plugs aren't worth the convenience they are to other passengers. I reaaaally didn't want to have Fran Drescher's voice and a laugh track interrupting Hemingway.


I arrived at the stadium and after seeing a couple of mates, Sim rang with impeccable timing. Meet at the usual place for our usual exchange of goodies and quick and fun conversation.


I enjoy our exchanges of film and music, but I don't think I was ever prepared for the stack I was handed, and in the manner that it was handed to me. I was given the coolest bag - ever. Full to the brim with DVDs and made to help keep all my camera cords and bits and pieces organised. The perfect size, and the outside is covered with pineapples (because I tend to put pineapple on much of what I eat), and celery inside it (because celery is evil and best hidden from view), even if Sim did introduce me to a recipe that makes celery actually taste quite good!

Fun and games over and after trying the horrible parsnip chips and the delicious choc coated goji berries that Sim brought, and then left with me, off she went to sit in her usual seat and left me to it.

Game time. A sea-sawing affair and an enjoyable encounter - ruined. The referee did his best to fuck it up and one of the touch judges gave the worst display of an official since I saw a try awarded in u19's at Newcastle when the bloke I tackled over the try-line failed placed the ball lower toward the ground than my knees. In the end, despite every effort to help the opposition, the referee awarded Souths a kick at goal with 2min to go, with us behind by 1 point. A penalty that he'd never have been able to avoid awarding. Souths win by 1.

A great win, but in the end its a pretty hollow win. It doesn't quite compare when you find one of your mates you catch up with at games is in hospital with a tumour the size of a tennis ball inside his skull.

The trip back home wasn't too bad. The train line had track work, so it was a bus for half the trip. A woman on the bus made complaint though, and fair enough as we weren't exactly travelling along the most efficient route and we stopped out the front of one train station for 5min for no apparent reason other than the silly time table. So good on her for speaking up. However, it's a shame in the way she addressed the issue. She spoke with the driver and the cityrail employee in the first seat in an aggressive and condescending manner. She spoke in regard to her circumstances and 12 hours workload per day. It was easy to feel empathy, but it quickly became very hard when her aggressive tone and lack of people skills saw her ripping into what was basically nothing more than a pair of shit kickers (a term meant with no disrespect). Yes a complaint is valid, but why not rip into the people in charge?

Being hostile and speaking in a manner which places one in a position to be condescending and rude is no way to go about things. One passenger at the back of the bus said "sit down lady" and that drew the typical school teacher response, and a cry of "I have every right, and I'm doing this as much for you." Fair enough, but when another commended her as she stepped off the bus, she said "finally, someone with the guts to back me up" I considered ripping into her myself. The woman had the right idea, the wrong approach, a child-like view of her environment and certainly was in no position that she deserved support, as much that she deserved the right to speak. That she referred to being from Sydney and an outsider in the mountains where she now lives also drew upon my annoyance, as it was clear that she felt that Sydneysiders are a particular breed above country types.

It's a shame, but some of the most obviously intelligent people are also incredibly thick when it comes to dealing with the real world, away from study and work.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Monday, 2 June 2008

Blog entry!

I do enjoy blogging - despite the long gaps in-between each post. One of the reasons for that lately has been that I've an alternate concept brewing inside my head, and my head being at the very core of that concept.

Instead of writing random posts on whatever crap I'm presently interested in, and throwing those in with my every day dealings, I'm considering a more refined and charted course, whereby I might endeavour to chart my own brain and the philosophies I hold. A dummies guide to my thoughts if you will.

A good idea or perhaps an invitation to disaster? I suppose time will tell.

So, do I continue on with this blog, or do I split it in half?

I'm not really sure what particular purpose Playing Zod might render once I've switched my major rants to my brain blog. I will have to give that some measured consideration. For one, I'm not sure that a blog that is entirely dedicated to what I've done in any given week is worthwhile.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Time spent well

So, what do you do when you go to the pub? Every Thursday and Saturday when I go, I play trivia and I spend most of that time drawing on the question sheets during any lull in the entertainment. Most of my friends souvenir those sketches and weird doodles, but a few make their way back home with me. So, I thought I might scan a few and present them here, for your bemusement..

Don't ask me to explain any of these. I have no idea what I'm drawing at the pub, and sometimes I don't even know once I've finished. Let's just blame the Black Russians and never again speak of this.

Friday, 11 April 2008


I'm about to head for a walk up the mountain, whilst there's still some sunshine and the air isn't like myriad layers of frozen pain against my lungs. I need the exercise. Perhaps outwardly I don't, but I can feel the ugly building up inside, ready to burst the squishy balloon that I'm slowly becoming.

Wish me luck. Send up a pair of flares and some other slacks if I fail to return!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Why am I awake?

I've been thinking bout starting a new blog. It could be written from a dog's perspective. Perhaps completely written in woofs, and with pictures of lots of bitches. Oh wait, never mind. There's already a lot of guys who write blogs like that. Women too.

Little known fact #1.
I once actually tried to build the world's worst website, and failed.

I had an idea, in about 1997, for a website so utterly bad, that it would trap people in a maze of java pop-ups, pictures of women's armpits, bright pink and lime japanese blinking text, and jpgs of jpg placeholders and so many frames that it would look like a.. framey thingy.

It never worked though. It must have set off every alarm and notice to the host server that it never lasted more than an hour each time I loaded it up.

A shame. I know the world needs more glowing neon armpit pics with built in love boat midi files.


Zod says:
I'm looking for something to blow $40 on ebay
Zod says:
any ideas?
Beck says:
dvd? cd?
Zod says:
dvd might be a good idea
Zod says:
something I can't get in regular stores maybe
Beck says:
good idea..
Beck says:
if I had $40 to blow I'd go looking for that anime dvd i cant seem to find any where
Zod says:
which one is that?
Beck says:
hang on.. just need to load my spreadsheet

Maybe it's just my sense of humour alone, but hey it cracked me up. Beck does geek good.

Super ideas!

Umbrellas with vibrator handles - Good for when it's wet both indoors and out, and handy for shaking the rain off!

Edible underwear with built in laxatives - Because you need to be taught a lesson. Eating underwear is stupid!!

Renewable marriage licenses - Most people aren't mature enough for lifetime licenses any more. If they ever were.

1-hole golf courses - because 18 holes worth of destroyed wilderness and animal habitat is ridiculous. Mark Twain was right.

Inflatable half-humpback whales - Sold only in Japan.

Australian Liberal Party Showbags - A child's introduction, complete with bile flavoured lip balm , blank history book with pen, 24k gold bobble head Jesus, and 1000 ft of red tape.

Now GO - spring forth and make these a reality!!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Dictionary revisions

Welcome to the Bastard Dictionary of the Apocalypse, aka: John's guide to frigged and expired words.

Today's entry is:

Hero (From the latin "Here, ya zero" - "to award unnecessary praise and stature")
  1. A person who survives - an avalanche, plane crash or other event, generally by no significant action of their own.
  2. A person who performs a clutch, last moment play whilst participating in a sporting or social event - see basketball, football, knitting etc.
  3. Someone who plays air guitar really well.

Monday, 7 April 2008


The styles for this winter's fashion elite are in..

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Sometimes I have to wonder about this species of ours. I look on in depressed bewilderment at the way in which humanity pulls in a myriad of directions, never striving for a common goal or to better our lot on a global scale. Petty rivalries and jealousies are created every day and often thrive until replaced by another equally pathetic quarrel. Language is always the first tool to be utilized in helping fools differentiate between themselves and others. It's worse when words become a tool in such a manner, where it is non intentional.

One particular word that is unintentionally used, for the greater part, as a divider, is "civilization." Whilst not readily obvious to the vast majority, the usage does become clear when you are on the receiving end of classification, in the negative sense.

What is civilization?

According to a typical faceless online dictionary, civilization is:



1. highly developed society: a society that has a high level of culture and social organization

2. advanced development of society: an advanced level of development in society that is marked by complex social and political organization, and material, scientific, and artistic progress

3. advanced society in general: all the societies at an advanced level of development considered collectively

I would argue that historically the word has been applied sparingly in any of the contexts noted above. No, instead I find the term to be one used primarily as a means of condescension. If a culture or society is different, it's been far too common a case where integrity and willingness to develop a thorough understanding have been thrown out the window, in favour of condescending generalisations, meant only to place the known societies on a pedestal, above those cultures and societies mistaken for being primitive. Perhaps "civilization" should be replaced with "complication" as a far more logical means for differentiation.

Whilst European civilization has more often than not claimed the high ground, it has done so through cultural and social ignorance and by being totally oblivious to every other civilization on Earth. Indeed, it has inherited much of its prosperity on the back of the ingenuity of the civilizations it has so often mimicked, dominated or poured scorn upon. Having said this, the Europeans are far from being alone in this form of bigotry, as every major power has done and will continue to do the same. The ancient Greeks thought themselves superior to the rest of the known world, the Romans then superseded them and thought the same. Europe thought itself better than Asia, whilst Asia Minor and the Chinese both assumed their superirity to the West, whilst entertaining macro struggles within their own regions. One can only imagine what the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians thought, whilst now America, China, Christianity, Islam and Europe all are pulling at one another, and failing to get anywhere.

Getting back to the crux of the matter, it's the usage of the word "civilization" that I am forced to question. So often my own culture is targeted, yet the terminology is used as a throwaway device without any substance. Is the Western World really more civilized than Aboriginal Australia, and has it ever been? The answer is always a clear - no.

In 1788 when the first steps toward a multicultural Australia were taken, Aboriginal Australia was seen as primitive, yet the truth was quite the opposite. Whilst technologically poor, the fact is that the continent was home to numerous cultures and a society that had evolved into a highly functional and efficient machine - as could be expected given the 60,000 continuous years of development and refinement that were possible.

Aboriginal Australia evolved to meet the requirements of the environment of which it was a part. As the early European settlers found in their struggles, developing Australia was never going to work, until they had at their disposal the full resources of Europe and the world.

Australian soil is not suitable for sustaining crops without fertilization, which could have only come from non indigenous livestock. No Australian animal could ever have pulled a plough, and without beasts of burden there was never any reason to have made a wheel. To this day, no indigenous plants are a sizeable and sustainable cash crop, other than Macadamia nuts.

Without a means to cultivate crops there was never a reason or any particular logic for people to build permanent homes in most parts of Australia. Whilst there were some seasonal village settlements in S.E Australia, for those communities that farmed eels, or lived by large water courses, those are generally ignored by the history books. Despite roaming from one set camp to another, each tribe did have ownership over a particular tract of land within a clearly defined boundary. Calling an Aboriginal Australian a nomad would be the same as calling a farmer the same for maintaining livestock on one of the larger Australian cattle stations, which in cases rival the size of Britain and some of the smaller US states.

Technology develops where there is a need, and where resources allow for it. In Australia's case, it would take outside resources to advance Australian technology.

Socially and culturally however, it could be argued that few cultures can rival the organisational structures in place within traditional Aboriginal societies. It was, and in some cases still is far more advanced than is given credit.

Where the Europeans often saw what they termed a lack of civilization, they also equated it with a lack of intelligence of those being studied. Which again, was a foolish notion, carried only to improve a collective and ignorant ego.

I don't like civilization as a word. It's as superfluous as other outdated and ridiculous notions such as race and the study of phrenology. It makes me cringe and wonder at the intent of the individual using it. I suppose for me it is one of those words that can trigger an alarm to go off, and force me to tread lightly. Although I would say that, as I have "the brain-pan of a Stagecoach tilter."

Amusing keywords

I've been keeping an eye on the searches that people do to find my blog (via an account at and it's pretty darn amusing to say the least (to me anyway).

In no particular order, I give you the top 10 weirdest search terms that have lead people to my blog..

  1. leather bar trivia
  2. Half man half bird
  3. morrissey is a twat
  4. Super dickery
  5. happy fuckers club
  6. herpes zod
  7. I fucking hate phones
  8. zod woman
  9. noony noony typewriter
  10. baby rabbits-grow hair?
I'm not really sure what to make of most of those. I don't ever recall writing about a leather bar, or Morrissey. I did make a joke about herpes once, but what that has to do with General Zod, from Superman comics/movies?!??

What ever the Happy Fuckers Club is, it sounds pretty good.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Go Souths!

As previously promised - a photo of me in my first Souths jersey/jumper. The expression isn't for the jersey, it's for being stuck in pre-school at Maclean in Northern NSW, having my photo taken with a bunch of kids I couldn't stand. Ahh memories!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Fun exercise

So, I don't have a drawer beside my bed, but having read and enjoyed the list of what's in Sim's top drawer, I feel compelled to do the same.

So to the amusement of all, here's what cluttered crap one would find on the desk in front of me:

  • A giant red soup mug, which I drink my tea and coffee from
  • A tall middy glass
  • An empty bottle of benadryl, to ward away passing airborne illnesses
  • Vouchers from the local Workers Club
  • A printer, Epson 1270, which prints up to A3+ size
  • My Rabbitohs library bag from kindergarten
  • An A4 drawing tablet, bought cheap from Aldi's
  • White Ipod
  • Speakers, which only purpose are to act as a port for my headphones
  • 2 Spindles of blank CDs
  • $9.20 in silver
  • Wide screen Asus monitor, 19 inch
  • PC, custom built, black case with the side ripped off for quick access
  • mp3/avi player, a Christmas present, filled with Family Guy episodes
  • A huge pile of photographs behind my monitor, all waiting to be scanned and cleaned
  • A booklet on Tarot cards, to help with the design of the deck I'm making for my portfolio
  • Superman movie DVD (original 70's one, not that Routh shit)
  • Steak knife
  • Office XP CD, along with about 20 other random discs
  • Phillips head screwdriver (2, because one always goes missing)
  • A lamp, which I hate, because it gives me headaches
  • Sewing machine oil
  • A green plastic milkshake cup, because any smaller cup is wasting my time
  • A can of furniture polish, being mocked by the mess on my desk
  • Waitresses album - "Wasn't tomorrow wonderful" (vinyl)
  • Scanner, A4 IBM
  • Twisties crumbs
  • A fork I bent in half without even using mind powers
  • energy saving lightbulb
  • My old mobile phone
  • marriage certificates from the 1840's in England
  • Sketch pad
  • 3 pens, including one for the drawing tablet
  • Batman comic from 1986, in mylar bag with backing board
  • Time Magazine (9-11 issue) in mylar
  • Ticket to last week's South v Bulldogs game
  • Various pieces of mail
  • Whatever else is in the pile of photos

Quite obviously I need to tidy up and decide on a filing system beyond putting stuff behind my monitor. A good thing my work desk is an old dining room table. Even better that my chair is a big comfy couch, with my mouse sitting on a stool beside me.


I don't really understand the whole logic behind toilet paper with cute patterns on it. Maybe I'm not hip enough? I'm not sure that wiping my arse with a piece of repetitive lo-fi art is all that appealing to me, especially if it features something like a smiling teddy bear, or perhaps a dolphin.

Yeah that was random. So is the fact that I've been thinking about relationships, the lack of a current one, and the fact that maybe I've placed way too much emphasis on finding a partner, rather than just living and enjoying life ahead of that goal. A mate tonight told me that I try too hard, and it's hard to disagree. Maybe it's time to quit trying and to let anything that might possibly happen just come to me, instead of always chasing it.

Whilst I may only ever date people who are my "type" and that I see a lot in common with, going with logic rather than emotion, it's the part where once I've made a decision that the emotion takes over, and I do tend to let it burn unchecked.

Time comes when even the most passionate ideas can be overrun by vapid and inane motion. No more. I suppose it's time to look after myself and quit worrying about tomorrow, and stop neglecting the possibilities for today.

Sun will be up soon. I should probably get to bed..

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Happy Chocolate Day, fuckers!!

Yeaster: The time of the year when we celebrate the savage ritual killing of a man with a yeast infection, 200 years ago, by a horde of brown rabbits adorned in brightly coloured battle armour. As a tribute to their savage successes in battle we celebrate by eating their unborn young.

The life cycle of the Easter Bunny is perhaps one of the more complex aspects of religion and biology ever devised. It's right up there with the Xenomorph and the butterfly for complexity, i.e. a domesticated rabbit and a rooster copulate, and their offspring is either a stillborn somewhat waxy but delicious brown rabbit, or an undeveloped embryo within an egg consisting of the same material as that of the sibling stillborn rabbit. So, never having seen one of the eggs hatch, do the brown rabbits grow hair, or will an occasional egg actually survive the refrigeration process and being wrapped in metal and thus produce a new rabbit?

It's a slow day. Can you tell?

The week has been fun though. Losing in a tight game at Thursday pub trivia, enjoying my TAFE studies and then there was Saturday..

Whilst the football was shit, catching up with Sim was a lot of fun. Although brief, it's a blast and helps makes the trip worthwhile when the team lets me down and I have a long trip home.

When I say long, I mean long. I was at Lidcombe station at about 10pm, where I asked what time the next service through to the Blue Mountains was. About 10.30 said the City Rail employee. So, I waited. Nothing. I caught the train to Parramatta, where I found that no services for the mountains would have stopped at Lidcombe at all that night. I waited at Parramatta until about midnight before catching another train into the mountains, to Katoomba, as it would only be going to Mount Victoria rather than Lithgow. I stopped at Katoomba because it has a decent waiting room and more vending machines than Mount Vic, which at night is like a morgue.

So, I stood around in the damn tunnel until about 2.30am because the waiting room was locked, whilst the station workers all sat in their nice warm office watching TV and having hot drinks. What arseholes.

I finally stepped through my front door at 4.01am.

Tired, but I ended up awake until 6am, as a basketball game I wanted watch was on. Hah.. yet another losing team.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Sesame Street - Capital I

Yeah.. odd memories that just pop back into the head at random or with a little prompting..

Saturday, 2 February 2008


The Aussie Government has finally decided to offer an apology to the Stolen Generations, and it's about time.

It's a reasonable enough gesture to make. It's human and shows the sort of compassion for fellow human beings who were wronged that the Howard Government would never have It's also the right thing to do, and for a number of genuinely fair reasons.

People of varying backgrounds are removed from their parents and extended families every day, but not as a smokescreen for an assimilation policy, meant to feed a slow form of genocide. Children are removed for the wrong committed by parents, and not for the colour of skin or cultural heritage. It's true that many people in government agencies since the 1800's have genuinely had the best intentions in mind when dealing with Aboriginal people, but the best intentions can at times be the genesis of the most heinous of crimes, as history has proven on countless occasions.

My own family provides for an excellent case study in the effects felt in Aboriginal communities regarding the generations that were removed.

My great grandfather was born circa 1874 in the Upper Murray region of Victoria. In about 1883 he was taken from his family, never to see them again, to be placed on a Christian mission in S.W Victoria. At that point in time whilst the intentions were honourable to give Aboriginal people an education there really is no excuse to have destroyed a family in such a manner. For all intent and purpose my great great grandfather became an orphan, and all for the sake of an education that focused heavily on Christianity, with reading and writing as an afterthought.

By the age of 13 in 1886, three year after having been taken, my great grandfather was cut free from his rudimentary education/indoctrination and then forced into working as a farm labourer. This was standard policy for all male Aboriginal children aged 13 and older. The policy incidentally was introduced in the same year, 1886.

After being moved to another mission/concentration camp, still in S.W Victoria, my great grandfather was allowed the opportunity to finally move elsewhere in about 1901, moving back to the Murray River, and a mission near Moama. There he met the daughter of an Aboriginal man who was one of only a handful who had been allowed to purchase his own land. They married in 1902.

Things went well for a while, until conditions began to deteriorate. Children and adults alike had a high mortality rate and disease spread through the community. Of my great grandmothers 16 children, only 6 survived. Land that the people had successfully cultivated and that had allowed for the community to be self sustainable was taken away and awarded to neighbouring white farmers. The community then went into great decline and became a burden on the government.

Whilst my great grandparents then moved to greener pastures in the NSW town of Wyalong, where my grandfather and his siblings were allowed the rare opportunity of a high school education, things were not as comfortable for my great grandmother's two sisters and their children still on the dwindling mission station on the Murray.

The early 1900's saw my great aunt's four daughters stolen from her. This was despite the fact that she was an assistant school mistress, had a husband gainfully employed, that she spoke 3 languages fluently (English, French, Yorta Yorta) and also trained as a midwife and helped deliver many of the successful births in her community. In the autobiography of one of her daughters the reader is shown the terror and heart rending loss as experienced through both mother and daughters eyes and followed the mothers years of documented struggle to regain her children.

The truly saddening aspect of this small slice of history is that the occasional successes of some of the stolen children are used by some as justification, and to promote the idea that policies were ever reasonable. Such logic is based on a loose understanding of matters, discounting of history and media spin as dictated by unsympathetic.

My great aunt's children are again an excellent example. They gained their education whilst with their family and then were placed in a training camp for domestic servants, far from their parents for no viable reason. There they sure enough were taught the multiplication tables, but a number also learnt about the pains of rape and other forms of physical and mental abuses, at the hands of often unskilled workers. When old enough, those girls (like their male counterparts learning to be stockmen, regardless of being from the city or country) were then sent out to upper middle class white families as low wage domestic servants, whose wages were then kept in trust whilst only being allowed sixpence as pocket money. The majority of those people who for all intent and purpose were slaves never did see their wages that were kept in "trust." That is why reparations are an important part of any government apology.

Despite those hardships those four girls did go on to make something of themselves. But not without seeing the trauma claim one of them in a suicide and another attempted suicide. One founded a college and became an author, another an author and co creator of a television series, and another the matriarch of a family whose achievements range from sports star to playwright, academic and novelist, whilst founding an Indigenous medical service and co-founding a legal service.

Despite the pains inflicted upon those four girls and many of their cousins in varying family lines, the barbaric assimilation and destruction practices remained in vogue until the mid 1970's. Despite my fair skin I missed being removed by less than 5 years. My father only escaped removal in the 1930's to 40's by being taken by his mother to Boys Town at Engadine, where her work in the kitchens and friendship with the school's founder saw that her son would remain unmolested by government policy. Sadly, that didn't save my father's six sisters. They followed in the footsteps of my great aunts children, being forced into slavery a generation earlier. There at the camp they weren't short for the company of family. It's no surprise that those girls who were most heavily traumatised are those that have commonly passed those unresolved issues and developmental pains to their own children.

Again another generation, and their children too were in some cases removed. And again there were suicides and those who drank themselves into oblivion to forget their pains and memories.

I don't think that the average Aussie should feel guilt, but empathy is most certainly something that more should feel as they are allowed to learn more of the truth. As in my prior post regarding Australia Day, I believe the government must take responsibility, as they represent Australia's past as much as they do Australia's present and future. They are leading a nation that has benefited in no small way from the injustices committed against Aboriginal people, for well meaning and ignoble reason. Acknowledging and regretting the mistakes of the past is as important as taking pride in the strides that have been made, because examining those mistakes and understanding them is the only way forward for all.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Back in the saddle

So, I'm back into dating again after giving it a bit of a spell. What triggered my new found interest and enthusiasm is the fact that for a moment in time I pondered the possibility of dating someone I consider to be a good mate, and not just someone I'd recently met, as per usual. That's generally reasonable enough, but when it comes down to it - I just don't think it's a smart idea. It's just too risky. So yeah, can that idea. I won't even consider such a thing in the future.

Not a problem, I'm still in the saddle and still looking and hopeful and have met someone new.

Not sure what it is about women from out west, but that's where my current thoughts roam. It's very early days with the new interest, and maybe I'm not even the woman's type, but our conversations are interesting, and a lot of fun. That's a pretty good start. I won't get too excited just yet, but so far so good.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Australia Day

National Aboriginal Day of Mourning, January 26, 1938. On the right is my grandfather, my grandmother with children, including my father.

It's January 26 - Australia Day.

It's a great idea, but I've never been able to celebrate it given its particular timing. That lack of enthusiasm for the day is a fact that sometimes many people find hard to accept and have sometimes been somewhat aggressive in addressing. I can understand that, and I appreciate that the day holds great meaning for the majority of Australians, but at the same time I wonder why there is not much tolerance for differing views? I don't expect others to embrace my stance, but I do believe that the logic behind it if heard out is worthy at least of some tolerance if not understanding.

Unlike in most other countries Australia's national day of celebration is not held on the day of its founding, rather it celebrates the founding of a penal colony (New South Wales) in January 1788. The colony is one that in practice encapsulated the eastern half of the Australian continent. The colony eventually went on to be sub divided into several further colonies (Tasmania nee Van Diemen's Land, Queensland nee Moreton Bay, New South Wales and Victoria nee Port Phillip) which finally reunited as a nation and Commonwealth on January 1901.

So why isn't January 1 considered as a more appropriate day for celebration? Well the obvious answer is that Australia historically has been an Anglo Celtic dominated nation, and quite rightly their descendants (myself included) take pride in how they have helped shape this country. But Australia is a multicultural nation, with a history that has been shaped as much by the many other waves of immigrants that have come to these shores, those that have no ties to New South Wales or its colonial and penal history. What interest is there for the 60,000 years of history that Indigenous Australia brings to the table on this date?

When this subject is raised it invariably is seen as an attack by an Aboriginal person who refuses to let go of the past and embrace being Australian, when the reality is closer to the opposite. The injustices of the past committed against Aboriginal Australia are important to remember, but they don't figure too greatly in this particular view point that I hold. Even so, I find it offensive when issues such as the Stolen Generations are trivialised in such a debate or argument, given that no Aboriginal person alive today has not been adversely affected by such government policy. If not directly, then through the trauma wrought upon mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins and kin. I personally check all of the above boxes save for my mother.

I have ancestors that arrived in Australia on the first convict fleet. I also have ancestors that were already here. For the latter people the arrival of the first fleet was not a positive, whilst later developments in European and Aboriginal relations were.

Australia Day should be a day for all Australians to celebrate, and I believe it should have as much meaning to the average Vietnamese or Italian immigrant or Aboriginal person as it does to a 6th generation Australian of English or Irish convict stock, and not via acceptance of the status quo, but through looking to be truly inclusive and respectful. The arrival of the first fleet and the founding of New South Wales should of course be marked on this day and celebrated in its own right, and aimed at those whom it is relevant to.

To those of you celebrating the day, I hope you have a great time, but forgive those of us whose views may differ to yours without aiming to insult your own views.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Did you see..

OK, so did anyone see that last post - the one that I pulled? No? Good. Whiny, semi drunken moaning in public is bad shit.

Unless getting paid for it.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Lookin' kinda campy..

New Year's Eve Party - Webby and I.

Goodbye 2007 and hello to whatever number comes next. Here is what I want to happen this year:

1. Find THE woman. Not A woman.
2. Souths win number 21.
3. Either make living in this town more rewarding, or finally surrender and move to the inner city of Sydney.
4. Finish my genealogical novel.
5. Be a little easier on my brother.
6. Learn to play flight of the bumblebee on trumpet, and sound good at it.