Saturday, July 07, 2012
Signs on a pole. Napoleon Street, Battery Point. June 2012.
I do very much like this poem. Bill Clinton's favourite poet, allegedly...
Momma Welfare Roll, Maya Angelou
Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
Pudgy HANDS bunched on layered hips
Where bones idle under years of fatback
And lima beans.
Her jowls shiver in accusation
Of crimes cliched by Repetition.
Her children, strangers
To childhood's TOYS, play
Best the games of darkened doorways,
Rooftop tag, and know the slick feel of
Other people's property.
Too fat to whore,
Too mad to work,
Searches her dreams for the
Lucky sign and walks bare-handed
Into a den of bereaucrats for her portion.
'They don't give me welfare.
I take it.'
Friday, July 06, 2012
Detail. An Awfully Beautiful Place: The Antarctic Art Of Stephen Eastaugh. The Carnegie Gallery, Argyle Street. June 2012.
One review for you today, An Imaginary Life by David Malouf imagines the story of the Roman poet Ovid, during his exile in Tomis (in modern day Romania).
This one reminds me very much of J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians. Like Coetzee, Molouf has a post-colonialist sensibility. The central tension in An Imaginary Life is found in the relationship between the civilised cosmopolitan Ovid, the barbaric local tribe, and a wild child who has grown in a state of nature. The clash between the ‘cultured’ and uncivilised really is at the heart of this dreamlike tale.
The narrative moves beautifully and seamlessly along, conjuring up a timeless, haunting mood that could as easily be two thousand years into the future as it is two thousand years ago. There are some big questions here what is the meaning of life? What is the distinction between instinct and conscious thought and purpose?
This is a very meditative, beautiful book. Highly recommended.
The full piece. An Awfully Beautiful Place: The Antarctic Art Of Stephen Eastaugh. The Carnegie Gallery, Argyle Street. June 2012.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Ezra has somehow managed to construct an experimental death ray that transforms sonic energy into a deadly weapon.
It's been quite a disappointment.
Surprised seagull. Geilston Bay Boat Ramp, Geilston Bay. June 2012.
It’s Theme Thursday time again, and these week – like the perplexed seagull above – I am left to wonder about LIFE'S UNCERTAINTIES.
Certainly, we wouldn’t like life to be too certain. I normally try to eschew the deterministic understanding of events that some espouse. Not for me is the Wu wei[無爲] of the Tao. I just can’t get behind a philosophical standpoint of “non-doing” and just drift along with events and shrugging my shoulders at all around me. If there is one thing that history has taught me, the path of least resistance often leads to a place where you don’t want to be.
Biological or genetic determinism just scares me too much, so I prefer not to think about it. Besides, you really don’t want to be on a journey with fellow travellers like Herbert Spencer, Francis Galton, Charles Davenport right through to Dr Mengele and his crowd.
I am probably more sympathetic to historical determinism than I really should be. Perhaps it is the Eduard Bernstein in me, but there is something about the economic interpretation of history that still appeals to me. There is just something inherently sexy about base and superstructure that appeals.
However, I am digressing (one might argue that my entire life has really been one long digression). We are supposed to be talking about LIFE'S UNCERTAINTIES.
Life, you see, is full of uncertainties. My present philosophical condition can be summed up in one succinct sentence: anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really understand the situation. People are unpredictable. Events are unpredictable. Sure, we can narrow the odds on choices that people make (nor not make, as the case may be); but you show me five people in the same circumstances with the same background and same set of choices and three will go one way, another the opposite and one will neglect to choose.
LIFE'S UNCERTAINTIES, you see. You can never be too sure about anything. There is no ‘dead cert’. No ‘sure thing’. The dictatorship of the proletariat didn’t lead us to a classless and stateless society, what we had as a pile of bodies and some really bad haircuts.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
North from the casino. Sandy Bay, Hobart. June 2012.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Ezra takes a little break as we stroll around Derwent Avenue into Lindisfarne. Thankfully, there was no frost that morning...
Lines. East Derwent Highway, Geilston Bay. June 2012.
And yes we are continuing our slog through the Q and A shamelessly stolen from Sunday Stealing. This week, The Imaginary Meme, Part Four
61. Ocean or pool?
It depends on the weather. If it’s too cold I am heading to the pool.
62. Fridays or Ruby Tuesdays?
Fridays, although I don’t mind The Rolling Stones.
63. Did you want to go to college?
Again? I wouldn’t rule it out, but it is probably a longshot.
64. What did you buy last time at a mall?
Some presents for Ezra.
65. Which close friend have you known the longest?
It depends on how you define ‘close’. Probably my wife.
66. Why do you like the music you do?
Because it makes me feel something that I like feeling.
67. Do you read much?
I read all the time. I love reading.
68. Favourite country?
At the moment I have a hankering for Finland.
69. What is something you wish you were better at?
70. What’s your favourite album/ CD?
This is a very tricky question. In terms of the one that had the biggest impact and has consistently stayed with me, I would have to nominate Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
71. What's a good dinner order?
Something involving octopus.
72. Planes or boats?
73. One rumour that’s been spread about you:
That I’m an incredibly good lover.
74. Who is your newest friend?
Some of the kids at Auskick are very nice.
75. Have you ever sat on a rooftop?
Lots of time. You could pick up the radio and television from Melbourne while sitting on the roof in Burnie in the summers of my childhood. Try explaining that to the children of the gizmos and gadgets generation...
76. Was your last text useful?
Yes it was.
77. Favourite soda?
I don’t drink fizzy drinks any more. I do like a nice sharp ginger beer though.
78. Do you like yourself?
Increasing less so.
79. The worst weather: Hot or cold?
Any time that it is excessively grey gets me down. I can handle hot or cold as long as I have a big blue sky above me.
80. Do you play an instrument?
I play a number of instruments very, very badly.
Monday, July 02, 2012
Kangaroo. Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Brighton. June 2012.
The Internet is a wonderful place filled with the rich and varied treasures of the world holds (as well as a lot of pop up ads.) The following are some things that I've had a look at in the last week. I call this: a Compendium of Click-throughs for Monday Morning..
- National Geographic Traveller Magazine: 2012 Photo Contest
- Australia’s rich talk about saving the environment; the poor bear the burden of doing it
- When should a child have a say about the food they eat?
- Is the world getting better or worse?
- The more things change… There was no golden age for newspapers, which means we shouldn’t be too pessimistic about the future.
- 10 Reasons Countries Fall Apart. States don't fail overnight. The seeds of of their destruction are sown deep within their political institutions.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
Someone has been busy. The laneway off Murray Street, Hobart. May 2012.
Sunday you say?
A top five you're after?
Okay. After this picture.
Can you make out the name? The laneway off Murray Street, Hobart. May 2012.
Continuing on the graffiti theme, how about My Top Five Bits Of