Sunday, December 30
and that's what I reckon
boy Brightlulb will be playing a gig tonight at the wonderful 303 bar in Northcote High Street where I used to worship at the temple of Steve Magnusson all those years ago when I lived behind the Northcote station where the brewery used to be. I think that was 2002 ... Last time I was there Jamie Oehlers was cooking up a storm ... they have nice food from some obscure African country there which is to DIE FOR .... but don't die, 2008 needs you.
Tuesday, December 18
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Honorable members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen.
I have a purpose here today. It is a purpose I have tried to serve for many years. I have prayed that God would show me a way to accomplish it.
Sometimes, without warning, the future knocks on our door with a precious and painful vision of what might be. One hundred and nineteen years ago, a wealthy inventor read his own obituary, mistakenly published years before his death. Wrongly believing the inventor had just died, a newspaper printed a harsh judgment of his life's work, unfairly labeling him "The Merchant of Death" because of his invention – dynamite. Shaken by this condemnation, t he inventor made a fateful choice to serve the cause of peace.
Seven years later, Alfred Nobel created this prize and the others that bear his name.
Seven years ago tomorrow, I read my own political obituary in a judgment that seemed to me harsh and mistaken – if not premature. But that unwelcome verdict also brought a precious if painful gift: an opportunity to search for fresh new ways to serve my purpose.
Unexpectedly, that quest has brought me here. Even though I fear my words cannot match this moment, I pray what I am feeling in my heart will be communicated clearly enough that those who hear me will say, "We must act."
The distinguished scientists with whom it is the greatest honor of my life to share this award have laid before us a choice between two different futures – a choice that to my ears echoes the words of an ancient prophet: "Life or death, blessings or curses. Therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."
We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency – a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here. But there is hopeful news as well: we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst – though not all – of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.However, despite a growing number of honorable exceptions, too many of the world's leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler's threat: "They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent."
So today, we dumped another 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow, we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now trapping more and more heat from the sun.
As a result, the earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong.
We are what is wrong, and we must make it right.
Last September 21, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is "falling off a cliff." One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years.
Seven years from now.
In the last few months, it has been harder and harder to misinterpret the signs that our world is spinning out of kilter. Major cities in North and South America, Asia and Australia are nearly out of water due to massive droughts and melting glaciers. Desperate farmers are losing their livelihoods. Peoples in the frozen Arctic and on low-lying Pacific islands are planning evacuations of places they have long called home. Unprecedented wildfires have forced a half million people from their homes in one country and caused a national emergency that almost brought down the government in another. Climate refugees have migrated into areas already inhabited by people with different cultures, religions, and traditions, increasing the potential for conflict. Stronger storms in the Pacific and Atlantic have threatened whole cities. Millions have been displaced by massive flooding in South Asia, Mexico, and 18 countries in Africa. As temperature extremes have increased, tens of thousands have lost their lives. We are recklessly burning and clearing our forests and driving more and more species into extinction. The very web of life on which we depend is being ripped and frayed.
We never intended to cause all this destruction, just as Alfred Nobel never intended that dynamite be used for waging war. He had hoped his invention would promote human progress. We shared that same worthy goal when we began burning massive quantities of coal, then oil and methane.
Even in Nobel's time, there were a few warnings of the likely consequences. One of the very first winners of the Prize in chemistry worried that, "We are evaporating our coal mines into the air." After performing 10,000 equations by hand, Svante Arrhenius calculated that the earth's average temperature would increase by many degrees if we doubled the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Seventy years later, my teacher, Roger Revelle, and his colleague, Dave Keeling, began to precisely document the increasing CO2 levels day by day.
But unlike most other forms of pollution, CO2 is invisible, tasteless, and odorless – which has helped keep the truth about what it is doing to our climate out of sight and out of mind. Moreover, the catastrophe now threatening us is unprecedented – and we often confuse the unprecedented with the improbable.
We also find it hard to imagine making the massive changes that are now necessary to solve the crisis. And when large truths are genuinely inconvenient, whole societies can, at least for a time, ignore them. Yet as George Orwell reminds us: "Sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield."
In the years since this prize was first awarded, the entire relationship between humankind and the earth has been radically transformed. And still, we have remained largely oblivious to the impact of our cumulative actions.
Indeed, without realizing it, we have begun to wage war on the earth itself. Now, we and the earth's climate are locked in a relationship familiar to war planners: "Mutually assured destruction."
More than two decades ago,scientistscalculated thatnuclear war could throw so much debris and smoke into the air that it would block life-giving sunlight from our atmosphere, causing a "nuclear winter." Their eloquent warnings here in Oslo helped galvanize the world's resolve to halt the nuclear arms race.
Now science is warning us that if we do not quickly reduce the global warming pollution that is trapping so much of the heat our planet normally radiates back out of the atmosphere, we are in danger of creating a permanent "carbon summer." As the American poet Robert Frost wrote, " Some say the world will end in fire; some say in ice." Either, he notes, "would suffice."
But neither need be our fate.It is time to make peace with the planet.
We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war. These prior struggles for survival were won when leaders found words at the 11th hour that released a mighty surge of courage, hope and readiness to sacrifice for a protracted and mortal challenge.
These were not comforting and misleading assurances that the threat was not real or imminent; that it would affect others but not ourselves; that ordinary life might be lived even in the presence of extraordinary threat; thatProvidence could be trusted to do for us what we would not do for ourselves.
No, these were calls to come to the defense of the common future. They were calls upon the courage, generosity and strength of entire peoples, citizens of every class and condition who were ready to stand against the threat once asked to do so. Our enemies in those times calculated that free people would not rise to the challenge; they were, of course, catastrophically wrong.
Now comes the threat of climate crisis – a threat that is real, rising, imminent, and universal. Once again, it is the 11th hour. The penaltiesfor ignoring this challenge are immense and growing, and at some near point would be unsustainable and unrecoverable. For now we still have the power to choose our fate, and the remaining question is only this: Have we the will to act vigorously and in time, or will we remain imprisoned by a dangerous illusion?
Mahatma Gandhi awakened the largest democracy on earth and forged a shared resolve with what he called "Satyagraha" – or "truth force."
In every land, the truth – once known – has the power to set us free.
Truth also has the power to unite us and bridge the distance between "me" and "we," creating the basis for common effort and shared responsibility.
There is an African proverb that says, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.
We must abandon the conceit that individual, isolated, private actions are the answer. They can and do help. But they will not take us far enough without collective action. At the same time, we must ensure that in mobilizing globally, we do not invite the establishment of ideological conformity and a new lock-step "ism."
That means adopting principles, values, laws, and treaties that release creativity and initiative at every level of society in multifold responses originating concurrently and spontaneously.
This new consciousness requires expanding the possibilities inherent in all humanity. The innovators who will devise a new way to harness the sun's energy for pennies or invent an engine that's carbon negative may live in Lagos or Mumbai or Montevideo. We must ensure that entrepreneurs and inventors everywhere on the globe have the chance to change the world.
When we unite for a moral purpose that is manifestly good and true, the spiritual energy unleashed can transform us. The generation that defeated fascism throughout the world in the 1940s found, in rising to meet their awesome challenge, that they had gained the moral authority and long-term vision to launch the Marshall Plan, the United Nations, and a new level of global cooperation and foresight that unified Europe and facilitated the emergence of democracy and prosperity in Germany, Japan, Italy and much of the world. One of their visionary leaders said, "It is time we steered by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship."
In the last year of that war, you gave the Peace Prize to a man from my hometown of 2000 people, Carthage, Tennessee. Cordell Hull was described by Franklin Roosevelt as the "Father of the United Nations." He was an inspiration and hero to my own father, who followed Hull in the Congress and the U.S. Senate and in his commitment to world peace and global cooperation.
My parents spoke often of Hull, always in tones of reverence and admiration. Eight weeks ago, when you announced this prize, the deepest emotion I felt was when I saw the headline in my hometown paper that simply noted I had won the same prize that Cordell Hull had won. I n that moment, I knew what my father and mother would have felt were they alive.
Just as Hull's generation found moral authority in rising to solve the world crisis caused by fascism, so too can we find our greatest opportunity in rising to solve the climate crisis. In the Kanji characters used in both Chinese and Japanese, "crisis" is written with two symbols, the first meaning "danger," the second "opportunity." By facing and removing the danger of the climate crisis, we have the opportunity to gain the moral authority and vision to vastly increase our own capacity to solve other crises that have been too long ignored.
We must understand the connections between the climate crisis and the afflictions of poverty, hunger, HIV-Aids and other pandemics. As these problems are linked, so too must be their solutions. We must begin by making the common rescue of the global environment the central organizing principle of the world community.
Fifteen years ago, I made that case at the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro. Ten years ago, I presented it in Kyoto. This week, I will urge the delegates in Bali to adopt a bold mandate for a treaty that establishes a universal global cap on emissions and uses the market in emissions trading to efficiently allocate resources to the most effective opportunities for speedy reductions.
This treaty should be ratified and brought into effect everywhere in the world by the beginning of 2010 – two years sooner than presently contemplated. The pace of our response must be accelerated to match the accelerating pace of the crisis itself.
Heads of state should meet early next year to review what was accomplished in Bali and take personal responsibility for addressing this crisis. It is not unreasonable to ask, given the gravity of our circumstances, that these heads of state meet every three months until the treaty is completed.
We also need a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store carbon dioxide.
And most important of all, we need to put a price on carbon – with a CO2 tax that is then rebated back to the people, progressively, according to the laws of each nation, in ways that shift the burden of taxation from employment to pollution. This is by far the most effective and simplest way to accelerate solutions to this crisis.
The world needs an alliance – especially of those nations that weigh heaviest in the scales where earth is in the balance. I salute Europe and Japan for the steps they've taken in recent years to meet the challenge, and the new government in Australia, which has made solving the climate crisis its first priority.
But the outcome will be decisively influenced by two nations that are now failing to do enough: the United States and China. While India is also growing fast in importance, it should be absolutely clear that it is the two largest CO2 emitters – most of all, my own country – that will need to make the boldest moves, or stand accountable before history for their failure to act.
Both countries should stop using the other's behavior as an excuse for stalemate and instead develop an agenda for mutual survival in a shared global environment.
These are the last few years of decision, but they can be the first years of a bright and hopeful future if we do what we must. No one should believe a solution will be found without effort, without cost, without change. Let us acknowledge that if we wish toredeem squandered time and speak again with moral authority, then these are the hard truths:
The way ahead is difficult. The outer boundary of what we currently believe is feasible is still far short of what we actually must do. Moreover, between here and there, across the unknown, falls the shadow.
That is just another way of saying that we have to expand the boundaries of what is possible. In the words of the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, "Pathwalker, there is no path. You must make the path as you walk."
We are standing at the most fateful fork in that path. So I want to end as I began, with a vision of two futures – each a palpable possibility – and with a prayer that we will see with vivid clarity the necessity of choosing between those two futures, and the urgency of making the right choice now.The great Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, wrote, "One of these days, the younger generation will come knocking at my door."
The future is knocking at our door right now. Make no mistake, the next generation will ask us one of two questions. Either they will ask: "What were you thinking; why didn't you act? "
Or they will ask instead: "How did you find the moral courage to rise and successfully resolve a crisis that so many said was impossible to solve?"
We have everything we need to get started, save perhaps political will, but political will is a renewable resource.
So let us renew it, and say together: "We have a purpose. We are many. For this purpose we will rise, and we will act."
© THE NOBEL FOUNDATION 2007
Friday, December 14
GIG - at Bar 303 on the 30th of December after 8pm! Be square -> be there!
Then, upon returning (by road again) to the Alice I shall be whizzing out to the W.A. border to embark upon a Mental Health First Aid course as the instructor for some youth workers in the remote Aboriginal communities of Kintore, Papunya, Mt Liebig and beautiful Haast's Bluff. How adventurous will be the next few months!!! Do you care? perhaps not ... but I do not mind if you do not care ... for your caring mattereth not to my enjoyment of mine adventurousness.
After that I'll begin the plan of the packing of the house and the moving stuff to Melbourne before Nadine and I drive BACK down the South road via Port Augusta (perhaps I'll try and organise a gig in Adelaide) on the way home to Melbourne (where I'll try to have some gigs) late Feb or early March 2008 ... then I'll be whizzing via Seoul to Zurich and then have a gig in Oslo, Norwegia with Rockettothesky and maybe in Berlin in May ...
catching a slow-train on the B.A.M. to Irkutsk and then to Ulaan Bataar to ride our butts off on the rough roads of Mongoloidia!! How cool ...
perhaps return and move to Taswegia to become Hobartians, settle down and grow a garden in the place that all global warming models suggest is better off than most other joints.
Thursday, November 29
Tuesday, November 20
I played a few gigs ... the most enjoyable being the one I played at Forepaw on High Street Northcote - the sound was amazing ... those wonderful hard brick walls just brought the house down.
I hope to play again in my old hometown soon and if anyone has any places that they reckon I'd go down like a house on fire then let me know to bring my hard-hat and my space-blankets.
Monday, October 29
Three words folks -> Bugger …
There’ll be more events in the coming month … I’ll not be having a gig in Melbourne in November I’ll be having THREE gigs in quick succession. Wow, how about that folks!
Here they are –
my trip to Melbournetown
Friday November the 9th – the afterdark with other troubadours whose names I know not.
Saturday November the 10th – Forepaw
Tuesday November the 13th – the Make It Up Club at Bar Open with the inimitable Robert Curgenven.
So it’s a simple scenario really lurgies and germs, if you’re going to Crowded House on the 9th come and see me on the 10th. Similarly if you’ve got those lucrative tickets to worship at the temple of Bill Callahan at the Northcote Social club you can come on the 10th and buy me a beer in apology for not attending my show on the 9th … can you get his autograph too? I’d appreciate that. I might even buy you a beer in gratitude. How about that folks … ON THE FLIPSIDE!!! If you are one of those miserable sods who can’t afford to go to yet-another-huge-band-that-broke-up-famously-and-now-have-irritatingly-reformed-despite-members-killing-themselves-off-in-the-meantime … especially those of you who have been trying to recover financially from catching a QANTAS plane to catch Crowded House’s final gig on the steps of our greatest architectural landmark back in the late 90’s … feel free to come and wallow at my free gig at the Afterdark … you can chat up sexy people at the bar in the ever-so-slight hope that they’ll shout you one.
Wednesday, October 3
I have a gig lined up at the Afterdark bar/gallery thingo on High Street Northcote, on the 9th of November if you'd love to catch up with me/buy me a beer, that would be very nice. If there's anywhere else that might need me to have a gig at you could suggest it to me and then catch up with me there too!!
perhaps I'll see you at one of the above!
Tuesday, September 18
Got Drunk, Fell Over.
Tonight represents the end of the Sounds Unusual Festival for Alice Springs ... I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. It has been truly, as we say here at the Collossal Adjective, a spectacularly spectacular festival. With spectacular festivities, and spectulative spectaculations, festivalitatious neologisms which roll spectacularly out of your mouth and onto your face.
Saturday, September 8
Fritag night I had the opportunity to play at the Sounds Unusual taster night at the Watch This Space art gallery across the train tracks in Alice Springs. Organised by the inimitable Rob Curgenven
I am tzping on a German lass`s kezboard so if there is any typos then it ainät my fault.
I have to admit that this is the first time in quite a while that i have played in front of a largish crowd and the effects of the adrenalin have still to wear off. Photos below by the sexy and wonderful Nadine Kessler.
Andrew Nichols & J9 Stanton
Myself as boy Brightlulb (my protective alter-ego)
Also Rob & Penelope played (but are not as easily located in my picture file.
As an aside I highly recommend the LP (cd ... whatever you want) of Steve Reich`s Triple Quartet. There is the most interesting version of 1967`s Violin Phase done on electric guitar by Dominic Frasca. Surpassing this is the transendental Music for Large Ensemble, executed by Alarm Will Sound and Ossia. There is also a lesson to be had regarding the true use of counterpoint in Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint which is played on a MIDI marimba and sounds bloody amazing. The Triple Quartet itself is played by the invincible Kronos Quartet in such a swathe of driven zest and precision that you may find youself staring at the speakers in wrapture ... ha.
Friday, August 17
With tears in his eyes Bill Heffernan rose to his feet in the Senate last night told his fellow Senators and the Australia public that,
"I went to Yuendumu and discovered within 20 minutesof being there who was running the drugs at theschool. I went to Mount Theo, which is the removalcamp for the petrol sniffers and, within an hour, I discoveredthat one of the key managers there was havingsex with all the kids. When I came back to Canberra, Irang the policeman at Yuendumu and said that I hadbeen there for a day, told him what was going on in thetown, and described all of these dreadful bloody thingsthat were going on there. I said, ‘What are you going todo about it?’ He said, ‘I just want to get out of here,Senator.’ He was not interested."
Heffernan’s comments are a shocking account of a community whose youth have lost their way and a government-funded program fundamentally flawed and corrupted by sexual predation that all Australians would.
It was all lies (link to Mt Theoheffernan response word document).
Despite the implication in his speech to the Senate that he’d been in Yuendumu in September 2006, Heffernan was last here in 2001 – 6 years ago. He flew into Yuendumu early in the morning with the then Indigenous Affairs Minister, Phillip Ruddock and drove out to Mt Theo, a small outstation community 160 km north-west of Yuendumu. They spent the day there, talked to the people running the petrol-sniffing rehabilitation programs and returned to Yuendumu, where they had a barbecue with locals. They flew out early the next day.
Bill Heffernan knows a fair bit about the program at MT Theo. In June 2006, at the tabling of the Beyond Petrol Sniffing: Renewing Hope for Indigenous Communities report he publicly congratulated Mt Theo staff on their hard work and the success of the program. He repeated his praise in a private meeting later that day. At no time did he mention the serious allegations raised by him last night in the Senate.
Otto Jungarrayi Sims is a long-standing committee member of the Mt Theo Program (http://www.mttheo.org/home.htm) and traveled to Mt Theo with Heffernan and Ruddock in 2001 and remembers that day well.
Crikey spoke to Jungarrayi at the Mt Theo office in Yuendumu earlier today,
“Both Bill Heffernan and Phillip Ruddock had nothing but good things to say the program at Mt Theo. After his visit Phillip Ruddock gave us money so that we could replace the sheds at Mt Theo with proper facilities.
“I can’t understand why Bill Heffernan would say these bad things about Mt Theo and Yuendumu when he knows they are not true. Bill has been very supportive of Mt Theo in the past. If he knew of these things six years ago he should have spoken to me or the other people here and we would have investigated them and talked to the Police. But nothing. He didn’t say anything to me about these things when he was here.
“It is really hurtful to me and our community when people like Bill Heffernan tell lies about us like this. This is the wrong story and Bill Heffernan should tell the right story. He owes all the people at Mt Theo and here at Yuendumu an apology.”
Heffernan also owes an apology to the Senate.
Tomorrow is a big day in Yuendumu. The founders of the Mt Theo program, Peggy Nampijinpa Brown, Johnny Japangardi Miller and Andrew Stojanovski will be presented with the country’s highest honour in recognition of their years of hard work at Mt Theo. The Administrator of the Northern Territory will present each of them with an Order of Australia medal (http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/awards/medals/order_of_australia.cfm#significance).
Friday, August 10
I have been very very busy scooting in and out of places - Dalhousie Springs was toastie-warm ... if you need your fingers to turn into prunes for medicinal reasons then I can't recommend any better place ... if you're coming from the Eastern states just head for Birdsville and turn left and you're there! It's THAT simple.
New interview with Matt Levinson for Cyclic Defrost here.
There's a nice little festival of soundscapes named Sounds Unusual that I shall partake in coming to Alice Springs in the coming months as an aside to the Desert Festival.
There'll be a taster at an exhibition opening on Friday the 31st at Watch This Space at which I shall reveal my axe-wielding skills.
Then I'll be a-playing at J-Bird's place out the back of Watch This Space on the evening of Wednesday the 19th on the Improv night.
see you there ... YAY!
Monday, July 30
Friday, June 15
... Perhaps -
* Adelaide in late November/early December,
* then Melbourne somewhere
* then possibly Sydney
then I might have to nick off overseas for a tour of Europe and the odd Asian country. Maybe I could play Mumbai.
Can anyone suggest venues for any of the above cities ... I'd be most appreciative of all input since I haven't lived in major cities for so long that I don't really know what's happening and what's not.
the middle of the year brings flocks of people to the living room and wanting to borrow your car and expecting that you'll have holidays to be their guide throughout central Oz ...
oh well, I guess I'll just take some holidays and be their guide ... if you can't beat them - use a different club.
Jerome approaches from the East, down the Plenty Highway thrugh Boulia; Kershaw comes from the vast expanses of the Sydney wastelands ... Matthew flies from the hometown before fleeing to the other side of the planet of the apes.
and they're all vying for my floor and my attentions.
Sunday, June 10
... better than chips!
....... and cheaper than 'em!
* Pumpkin Seeds May Promote Prostate Health
* Changing jobs is a sweet thing ... you should all quit your jobs.
* And buy this book - Dry it! You'll like it.
* Ah, those of you who happen to be in Alice Springs come to Araluen on the night of the 16th for the 15/15 festival.
* I'm a movie star. I'll be in the one called
Made by -
Anthony, Miranda, Nadine, Monica and Joshua (me).
Sunday, May 13
Thursday, May 10
And that I should become a psych nurse.
When you decide this … and tell other people
You invite all sorts of answers into your
Some people are disgusted
Some people think you are amazing
So very amazing.
Some people have no idea what that is
And assume that you have something to do with
He was weird.
I just reckon it’s interesting
And it’s one of the greyest areas there is.
Are there shades of grey?
I recently made a trip to Utopia for work … there I had a chat with the local hippie doctor Kaminarnda who told me that Utopia, which is just like it sounds, is soon to be split up into half by a new scheme to Shire-ise the Northern Territory. One of these shires will take up one side of Utopia and another on the other side …. Of course … these people don’t like change much and hell, why fix something that ain’t broke. As I was staring at the map on the wall as the doctor was talking i realised that –
When I first moved to Alice Springs from Sydney I quickly got the picture that Australia, as a concept, is very East-Coast centric. Most of the people are on the Eastern Sea-board and the money and decisions flows through there. Decisions are made there that affect people in far-away places that these people have never been to and never will … and probably don’t have much attachment to at all … even if a place like the outback has fuelled our imaginations as a country … it’s part of our bloody identity … but people don’t even know what to tell a tourist other than “There’s nothing out there mate! NOTHING!” … which isn’t fucking true anyways is it!
After a while I started to notice something else … The Northern Territory is very Darwin-oriented. For those of you who don’t know, Alice Springs is in the dead centre of Australia … it’s very dry, surrounded by a very different climate to the “Top End” (as they call it). The top end is tropical and has crocodiles, has more people, has more facilities, has more shipping, more access to cheap flights, has the government etc. I started to hear people talking about how frustrated people were about having government somewhere else. Darwin makes decisions about what money is sent to Alice and for what … usually in the same way the money is spent up there even though it looks and feels and sounds and smells and tastes like a different world. The indigenous cultures up there are completely different too. I realised that the Territory is the same, it’s Darwin-centric.
After another little while I began to think about Central Australia (a term which is really a Centralian way of reclaiming our individuality from ‘Territorians’ from Darwin) and the remote Aboriginal communities which are reliant on Alice Springs as the capital of Central Oz for supplies, white specialists, health, power, technology … there are people in Alice who make decisions for communities up to four-hundred clicks away and as little as 20. And then I realised something … decision makers in Alice screw it up all the time too.
I’m not suggesting that I could come up with better political solutions … just suggesting that you don’t have to be far removed from a place to make decisions that affect people in ways you never thought possible, detrimental ways.
Centralised governments that do not consult with locals are inevitably going to stuff people around. It must be said that the idea behind making tonnes of shires in the Territory was a recognition of the fact that centralised governments have too much trouble in such spread out places. The remoteness of the Australian interior ends up meaning that governments would rather speed up the democratic process by making decisions on behalf of other people instead of a nice PC process of consultation which would take bloody forever.
This is not a diatribe about the evils of centralised governments … I’m hardly a commie … or a fascist …
just illustrating how wonderfully grey it is to work in the world’s murder capital.
(and I love the racially loaded phrases people use like “world’s murder capital”).
Monday, April 30
I recall when I invented this site I thought to myself, people really do write a lot of trollops on the net don’t they!
ie - “Today, I was a teenager and I was misunderstood”
what a load of TROLLOPS!
( what a cool WORD! )
It makes one wonder about whether or not the whole bloggup thing is particularly about connecting with other people or just about venting your thoughts in the hope that someone understands you or … just about reading other people’s minds …
Some crazy people I know … (and work with) sometimes think that the radio is inserting thoughts into their head, or people are taking thoughts out
… this is called “Ideas of reference” … I have no idea what that refers to really … but that’s what Psycho-iatrists call it.
Others have this great idea that someone has put a chip in their head or neck that controls them or tracks them or whatever
… which is all fine until they try to get it out with a fuck-off big machete. Big messy procedure which invariably brings people to the attention of mental health services. It’d kind of suck to have a chip in your neck though wouldn’t it?
Other people feel that they are so
light that if
they don’t wear their
at all times they
Now that would suck.
Thursday, April 26
This photo is from a trip I made to Utopia (I know, it sounds lovely doesn't it!)
this photo is of weird lines of light in the sky at Uropuntja.
I am my own imaginary friend. There are moments when I catch myself talking to the floor about some situation that I once was in … maybe I’m playing the situation out better. That comeback that must have been better than the crap I came up with at the time. Or some future conversation I could be in. ‘could’ being the operative word. It’s all bloody fantasy.
Gets me into trouble sometimes. Well, it’s a little embarrassing. Car parks always undo me. I’ll be happily muttering to myself thinking I’m all alone then I’ll look up and catch eyes with some husband sitting in his car waiting for some wife to finish work so he can drive her home talking about the nutter who works in the nut-house. Name tag swinging around my neck as bounce up to my car, I keep on bouncing to the song that I’d been singing the whole time … no not talking to myself – singing! Of course, if that prick reckons I’m picking up habits from work, that’s his fuckin’ problem.
Wednesday, April 4
I had to create a "review" section on this blog to accomodate all of the millions of squillions of reviews that are just piling in ... not that that does much to the sales volume but it makes me feel a bit better about the annoyingly annoying level of work you have to put in to get your independent CD "out there". Just check on the side-bar to the right of these words ... see it there? it's the one that says "reviews" ... just click on that there ... very nice ... goodbye.
I fly to Finke today in a charter plane ... I shall make a little movie out the side of the desert ... I'll tell you ALL about it tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 13
... well, Nadine and my cover design got reviewed.
check it here -> Cyclic Defrost
In other news ... I appear to have changed jobs again ... so once again I can drive Landcruisers 'round the desert 'tween rocks and blocks of nothing!
Of cyclic defrost #16
Melbourne will get its turn on Saturday April 14
at the Taylor Deupree (12k) live show
at Northcote Social Club, Supports are Solo Andata and Seaworthy.
I was a movie star in the 15/15 movie festival ... check it out in June, my team will have won so you'll know all about it from the tabloids.
Friday, March 2
- 2007 Sounds Unusual Festival - review by Sumugen Sivanasen
- 2007 A mention from the Sounds Unusual improv Flashpoint night - here
- 2007 Cyclic Defrost Boy Brightlulb interview by Matt Levinson (web only)
- 2007 Cyclic Defrost album review boy Brightlulb - Is This A Desert? (self-released)
- 2007 Cyclic Defrost Sleeve design reviews by Bec Paton
- 2008 For notes from radio interview on the To and Fro show the 4th of March 2008 on RRR radio Melbourne go here and for the list of songs I forced them to play go here.
- 2009 New Weird Australia volume 3 - one track on compilation (Sydney based)
I have received my orders, I am to write on this topic. BUT IT'S SO DIFFICULT!! Because it's not all white, just as Elliot Perlman's Seven Degrees of Ambiguity hands it to us it's all bloody grey!
Christ, I live in the murder capital of Australia ... so named because people kill each other a lot here, due to the extremely high level of antisocial activity caused by decades of maltreatment in a whole plethora of levels which have coloured the world to such a level that one might think it had turned to a murky brown rather than anything else.
But no ... it's all white!
As first speaker for the affirmative (and I'm certain there will be further rebuttals and comments from the negative team in the comments section before too long) I aim to prove to you all once and for all that everything is not only tinged with pure calcium-white, but that it is all one big pure chunk of wallopingly pristine zinc-like opaque clarity that renders all other shades of life completely meaningless. No borders, no undulating shadow-filled valleys that darken the landscape ... it's just a purityrranical wedding-dress white from fingertip to fingertip, from top to toe.
For one thing, our sense of the world is completed coloured by our senses. In the realm of the metaphor, if it weren't for our senses we would perhaps perceive nothing at all ... what better representation would there be other than the white of these words ... no black background, merely nothingness, no taste or touch, smell, no sound, no pain, no pleasure ... how bloody boring ...
how bloody boring
I am so bored by the concept that I might have to stop now and open my jowls for a good old fashioned
ahh, that was good ... my lungs stretched open wide to give us all a nice taste of the world-in-white, which is really really really ALL THERE IS.
Thankfully, we evolved in a such a way that to further the species above the microscopically amoebricated level of ennui created for the gods or pieces of white dust floating in and out of space and time.
I'm not going so well so far ... I have no direction ... all I have to do is focus on the nothingness that is everything ... like the Nothing in the Neverending Story. All that is left of Fantastica is this particle of dust, said the childlike princess. I think they called it Fantasia in the movie ... but I thought Disney had dibs on that one. Stupid Hollywood producers ... YOU SEE! You see how easily we have deceived ourselves! We, have blinded ourselves from the nothingness to such an amazing degree that our minds flit from nothing to nothing in an instant, differentiating bullshit from bollocks to keep ourselves interested and sane ... if we noticed the Nothing then we'd probably cease to exist ... ^poof^ ... gone ... in a puff of white smoke which is indecipherable from the white 7eleven in New Orleans that got taken out by that non-existent white cyclone caused by the white butterfly flapping it's wings in whiter-than-white Adelaide town South of that blindingly sun-sticken white South Australian desert ...
Our minds have coloured the world all sorts of silly inconceivable colours. You may ask, how could our minds conceive of other colours that don't exist ... our minds that don't really exist either ...
the answer is simple ... I don't know. I don't have the imagination to stretch that far out of our nothingness to conceive of any palpable reason as to how we achieved this wonderful feat of passing time in the most boring of universes by entertaining ourselves with colour ... or the internet for that matter.
Monday, February 26
That is one crunching second song. Feast your ears on this one.
Rickie Lee Jones - Ghostyhead
She's a self reinventer of sorts that completely took me by surprise with this one. Exquisite, wafting, joint-infused, organic-electronic, meanderings that reek of a facetiously muddled America suburban street during the day and during the night. Road kill is a killer.
Bjork - Homogenic
Yes, I am obssessed with the woman ... I have every album and every DVD that doesn't cost more than a weeks worth of pay ... so in defence of my obssession I will say that this lady is the MOST important recording artist of the modern era. The word 'artist' is probably more apt in Bjork's case than in any other musician breathing today. The beats and the accordian, the lyricism, the iconographic cover and the visuals that are associated with this music are as epic as the landscape that inspired it. The volcanoes of Iceland don't match up to the emotional value of Five Years or Immature.
This is your Captain Speaking - Storyboard
ah, there are times where I can't get this music out of my head ... Weathered is exquisite! widescreen, 38mm and epic. Notoriously hard to come by but if you search hard enough you might find one in Europa.
Mick Turner - Moth
Solo project of the unique guitarist from the Dirty Three. A half-finished collection of melodic fragments that sound as though they were washed ashore from Bass Strait, or collecting dust in a sepia cottage. Using loop pedals and a sense of melancholy, Turner created a world that has never been heard before and probably won't be heard again. I can't write the word unique enough times.
Steve Reich - Electric Counterpoint/Different Trains
Amplified Guitar soloist and tape, or guitar ensemble. Electric counterpoint is bloody awesome stuff! The different layers over the shift over each other in a seamless work of blimmin' art from one of the original masters of the recorded/live combination.
Augie March - Sunset Studies
Tim Rogers once wrote of this album that he loved the lyrics of this album but he had no fucking idea what they were talking about. Glenn Richards' words tumble over us with a mesmeresmic quality that can't be boiled down to a nutshell-paragraph. They won the triple J hottest 100 with a song recently but their backlog is far more worth a gander than your average bunch of Aussie geezers ... highly recommended.
The necks - Atheneaum, Homebush, Quay & Raab
4 CDs, each filled with 50 minutes of continuous hyponosis of gradually shifting pseudo-minimalistic improvisation by three of Australia's greatest musician ... lie-on-your-back-in-awe-next-to-the-speakers music.
Because of Ghosts - No more reason, no more doubt
Music that shouts out with bloody urgency that post-rock is dead. Moody and birthed from the stuff of Winter delirium. Living in the desert I'd forgotten what cities felt like till this disc slid into my ear-holes. They recently released The tomorrow we were promised yesterday, but, like Harry Potter, start at the first tome.
Rockettothesky - To sing you apple trees
Debut album by Oslo artist, with gorgeous production, who treats every piece of sound like it's one of her own limbs ... in fact, I reckon Jen Hval is a little obssessed with body parts - visceral and surprising, a bloody diamond in the rough.
(Bias disclaimer - she's a friend ... perhaps not objective, but I reckon her music will spread across the globe for fucking good reasons very soon my good reader)
Laurie Anderson - Big Science
Man, she had it all over anyone else from 1980! This album is unbelievable. Any exploratory musician should mandatorily acquire this LP in any and every blimmin' way possible! Amazing fact number one - O Superman (the album's most strikingly beautiful song) was in the top 40 despite it's use of a synth-vocal counterpoint and pleasantly vocoded sentiments that evoke the crimes of the all-powerful.
Tuesday, February 20
Alice Springs recently voted to Not be a nuclear free town … isn’t that fan-friggin’-tastic news.
Time for us to leave I reckon … I was looking at this map that I have below that I stole from somewhere but can’t remember where from … and that map shows how close the deposits at Pamela and Angela, Orange Creek should really be called Yellow Creek. And they’re only 2-3 k’s away from East Side … and they’ll soon be trucking into town and getting shipped off to Johnny’s enrichment plant somewhere else and then taken to France and fuck knows where else to get turned into toxic shit that is nothing but poison … why not leave the yellow cake caked by the sun in the ground and solar panel Alice Springs instead of spending 20 million dollars moving the noise-making fossil-fuel run power plant. Why is it that non-consuming, cheap methods of creating power are canned because they don’t keep the economy going … why is the solar-water-heating system on my roof not connected and we’re paying ridiculous amounts of money to pay for the electric system which uses up fuel in the noisy power site that will cost 20 million dollars to move because it bothers the rich people who live near the golf-course that requires amazing amounts of water to keep it green in this ridiculously sunny capital of Central Australia that doesn’t use solar power!!!!!!
There … that’s out of my system. Not much else in the way of news but I thought I’d direct your attention to a couple of facts …
1 – I have no news.
2 – I have attempted to embark upon a quest to write about nothing whist making reference to many things that might perhaps be construed as news items … but alas I am not a journalist.
3 – I bought that Pivot album because I once or twice met Richard Pike when he went out with a friend of mine in Sydney and I was curious about his music … his brother Lawrence Pike is a bloody guru on the drums … I witnessed his prowess once at the Excelsior Hotel at one of those JazzGroove nights in my city-bound days and thought so then. It seems he is able to turn his hand to rock grooves … though of course they aren’t as groovy as his jazz-grooves or organic but they are the root from which the intensity of Pivot grows from.
Monday, February 12
... perhaps real estate might suit him better,
perhaps the boom-dude for a situation comedy on the tele.
whatever he does he will put his full concentrication into it.
any suggestions then leave a massage and rub your teary eyes ... and thanks be to you for glistening.
Monday, January 22
The car starts without a problem. But he tells us that when we rock up in Alice to call the battery company and tell them that this battery has caused nothing but woe for all concerned and that the Marla roadhouse does not stock this battery because they only stock products that they can stand by… and they can’t stand this one so they don’t stock this one … understand! So I wave goodbye to Pig and head for the border … keen to get out of South Oz … we get to the border and stop to take a picture of the sign that says ‘Welcome’ cos we’re still tourists I s’pose and thought it’d be funny. So we take a picture and trundle back to the beast that I’ve decided to name after my travelling partner. Turn the key and wouldn’t ya know it the fuckers dead!
So some bloke stops for us … he’s headed to Arnhem land to work on a mine … he’s got a flash car but can’t jump-start us because he’s got electronics in his beast but he’ll give me a lift to somewhere where we can get help. That’s fine so I jump in and Ilya stays with Ilya (some Polish name of something). And we zoom up to Kulgera up the road, the fellas got a killer CD collection. Always thought miners must be Cold Chisel fans … this bloke’s got all sorts of interesting musos in his book. Drops me off saying that we’re the third people he’s stopped for to help because he reckons if he does that then he won’t end up in the shit himself by some favour of fortune. Nice cars like that don’t arse-end themselves do they?
So some bloke points the phone to me and I call NRMA NSW and they put me on hold and I chuck more coins in and then I get told that I can get someone to come to the car from Curtin Springs or from … wait for it … Marla! Since I have to three bucks a kilometre after the first one-hundred I figure Marla since it’s only two or so hundred back down the road … so I hitch back down to the car and sit and wait for a car without electronics and a good CD collection to come and save me from the three hundred dollar bill for a jump that’ll inevitable come from my saviour, played soccer that the brit had left in the car, had a sandwich or three … ate some contraband fruit that shouldn’t have crossed the fruit-fly-free zone and who the bloody hell should turn up but Pig. Jumps the car, buggers off home telling us to drive straight to Alice and don’t stop. We drive North, then decide since neither of us have seen the rock we should turn left … and then head to Curtin Springs.
Rock was big and rocky. Took a while to walk around it. We figured since there was tonnes of cars and tour buses when we left on the walk, there’d be plenty of buggers to jump us when we came back. When we came back there was no one. So dehydrated as something that’s very lacking in water we walked up to the visitors centre and found some old Scot who’d been in the Territory longer than Europeans had been in Van Dieman’s Land who finished his lunch and drove us down and jumped us away. We drove to Alice … it was getting dark and there was roos all over the fuckin’ road and I was shitting my pants because the car wouldn’t go faster than sixty kilometres all of a sudden … which wasn’t so much of a problem considering the large bucks that were prancing around but the problem was more the fact that my headlights were not working very well … and every time I turned them on the car slowed down even more. I wasn’t really expecting to get there much in time for dark …
Somehow made it … found a phone … did NOT turn off the motor to make the call and got directions and drove to the other side of town, parked the car in the driveway of me mates and turned the key off …
Ilya didn’t move after that. The car, not m’mate.
Friday, January 19
photo - Nadine on her wedding day drinking champagne
Saturday, January 13
Fruit-cake the earth is warm these days ... have you noticed?
Perhaps not in the North ... but I haven't been there lately.
I apologise for not having written in this space for some time ... but I have been ever so busy at work and preparing for upcoming nuptials. This week in fact, how bizarre ... can't wait.
Reading Steppenwolf by Hesse ... charming little thing he is - And in less than six months I shall be a fully qualificado nurse specialising in psychiatric mental health. These last two interesting pieces of information may appear to have very little to do with each other but let me ASSURE you that if someone who calls themselves the "Wolf of the Steppes" doesn't have a somewhat gradiose flavour to their presentation then I'm a little bunny rabbit about to be run down by a road-train on the Plenty Highway nearby to one of the remotest bunch of sand-dunes on planet earth ... so there.
Don’t you climb those tin-roof dunes
Don’t you fall -> suburban doom.
Don’t you keep that frame of mind
you just can’t live the wishing life.
Please don’t sew synthetic seams
Don’t believe those t.v. dreams
don’t fly too high your wings will melt
don’t bring it in too low you’ll drown.
photo - the garlic harvest at the Permaforest Trust, Dec '05