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Showing posts from August 31, 2008

Come, gentle Spring! ethereal mildness, come.

So here we are, springtime in Tasmania again. Spring has truly sprung folks. The lambs are out and frolicking. The cockatoos are boisterous of a morning. The magpies are swooping the early morning dog walkers. The lads on the bus are nervously switching off their i-pods and trying to talk to the girls. The wallabies have turned feral and have taken to attacking poorly monikered children. Footballers whose teams have missed the finals are turning up somewhat under the weather in nightdresses with foolishly large phalluses attached to them. Ahh Spring! Glorious Spring ! It’s a fine time of year to be alive.

Murderous Marsupials Mercilessly Maul Minor

Long-time readers of this blog will know of my commitment to alerting the world of dangerous creatures. Whether it is Argentinian terror-gnomes , Nazi squirrels or sexually aggressive seals , I pride myself in raising global awareness of specific threats. So, naturally my ears pricked up when I heard this tale from Queensland. With what appears to be no recourse to hyperbole whatsoever , colourful local identity Alwyn "Bones" Bailey has described a terrifying attack on his nine year old dirt magnet. Bones told an excited press corps that his presence alone saved the life of son Morgan, who would have been mauled to death by what may have been zombie herbivores, driven by a lust for blood . "It's deadset serious. Someone should get a gun and shoot the buggers," Mr Bailey argued. "They're not just friendly, cute little wallabies any more – they're killers !" "I had to belt him [the rampaging wallaby] across the face twice, then he c

In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team

The end of winter is always a sad time for those of us who follow poorly performing football teams. I am not a huge fan of Mr Jean-Paul Sartre, the man responsible for the above quote, but fans of the Essendon Football Club can only but agree. So, Henry and I bade farewell to the Bombers, and paid homage to another wasted season by visiting the Henry Fitzgerald McCracken Football and Cricket Arena over the road. Ezra did not accompany us, as he needed a lie down after all of the eating, sleeping and globetrotting he has been doing of late. Henry and I did manage to expand on out plans for the Ezra Leo Fitzgerald McCracken Grandstand and Indoor Aquatic Centre that we are lobbying our local member to help fund. Our vision is to eventually to put Geilston Bay into the position to host the Commonwealth Games , or, failing that, the Gay Games . It very much be the ticket to put our neck of the woods on the map! While meandering around the oval, I did manage to prod Henry in the dir

All the news fit to ignore

Via The Debatable Land , this is how I like 'celeb gossip news' dealt with! The 42 year old French Justice Minister Rachida Dati is up the duff . In typically French fashion (which always amuses me for a country with a Catholic majority), Dati has brushed aside journalist's demands for THE TRUTH, and says that she has no intention of revealing the father's identity and offers this comment that I like very much: I have a very complicated private life, and that's where I draw the line with the press. I won't have anything to say on that subject. Good in her, I say. Quite frankly, I'm mighty sick of hearing the press bleating on about other people's private lives as if it is meant to mean something to people. The bulk of gossip that seems to constitute 'news' these days has (or should have) little relevance to whether or not I vote for someone, go to see their movie, buy their record and so on. It's just all so boring ...

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.

Here we have Geilston Bay just this very morning. It is a pleasant morning, and the news that Madonna and her husband are fighting has done little to dampen our spirits here in Tasmania. If it did, I guess we could turn to Paul McCartney’s new tale of love for consolation. Likewise, the fact that Elton John had a dig at Lily Allen, and that Lily Allen (a few sheets to the wind, I’d say) had a go back at an awards ceremony somewhere not here overnight didn’t rock our boat too much. Nor did Brendan Fevola’s ‘mad Monday’ appearance in a pink nightie and monster dildo worry us. And although I have some sympathy for David Duchovny’s recent ‘illness’ (too much sex? The poor, wretched bugger!), I’m happy to leave him to it. I feel no need to comment on Bristol Palin’s luck, let alone her ‘proud redneck’ lover. I’ll be honest with you too, the next time that I hear Stephanie Rice and Eamon Sullivan, I’m kind of hoping that it will involve crocodiles. The same goes for you, Amy Winehouse. So y

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him

Given that Jen is in Sydney for the day and most of tomorrow, and is 1056 kilometers (656 miles) away from her little man (Henry, that is), for the first time, I felt I'd best put up a picture of him to try and make her feel a bit better. So here he is, a true little Aussie battler™ with a Vegemite -smeared dial, collapsed in a heap after thirteen-hundred laps of the kitchen bench on his trike. He very much won me over when, upon putting him to bed for a nap he asked me for "MORE!" I demanded back, "more what?", thinking that he meant Smarties and reminding him of the absent word "please". His reply? More kisses please! He can kick me in the head as much as he likes if he keeps that up.


Given that Winter has come and gone, I better post this photograph before it becomes even less relevant to Hobart today. Unlike many, I quite like Winter. One of the better things about Tasmania is that we have clearly differentiated seasons, and a nice cold Winter brings a lot to a year long table. Today is just Henry and I doing the bachelor pad thing. Unfortunately Jen and Ezra have had to zip up to Sydney to attend the funeral of one Gerald Fitzgerald, her grandfather and a lovely fellow to boot. Gerald had not been well for a while, but was as sprightly as ever and as sharp as a tack until the very end at the ripe old age of 86. So to the Fitzgerald clan of Sydney I can only offer the above photograph and this poem of somebody else's in his memory. Five Bells Kenneth Slessor Time that is moved by little fidget wheels Is not my time, the flood that does not flow. Between the double and the single bell Of a ship's hour, between a round of bells From the dark warshi

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece

This photograph is of my favourite youngest son, Ezra. when taking this, I had in mind Jürgen Vollmer’s iconic portraits of a very young pop group called the Beatles in Hamburg . I know that the whole light/dark effect on the face is clichéd, but it’s only clichéd because it looks cool. One day I may get around to scanning some of my old prints of dozens and dozens of stuffed toys photographed in this style. I don’t think that they be nearly as lovely as this though.

Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.

Here is my attempt at classical portraiture, with my favourite oldest son Henry in his Essendon jumper as the suitably sullen subject. I do like how he has co-operated with the artist (me): right hand gripping the wooden seat; left arm resting gently on the side table; thoughtfully and solemnly gazing off into the middle distance. Although I have opted to display it as a colour print (to show off the footy jumper), this photograph could perhaps also work in sepia. This style reflects the technical challenges associated with 30-second exposure times and painterly aesthetic nineteenth century photography. Subjects were generally seated against plain backgrounds and lit with the soft light of an overhead window and whatever else could be reflected with mirrors. Thus, the dominant image of a sullen and still ‘olden days’ was born! How on Earth anyone managed to photograph small children is beyond me. Perhaps it had something to do with the ease with which parents could whip their chil

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?

Continuing along the theme of black and white, and buildings in Hobart, here is a photograph that I took in the Elizabeth Street Bus Mall this morning. I am not sure how I feel about it. I think that I like it, but it seems a bit solemn and sombre. I think that this is because of the book that I had just finished on the way in had left me in that frame of mind. The book is Casualty Figures: How Five Men Survived the First World War , by Michele Barrett. The book is not about the millions who died in the First World War; but rather it explores the experiences of countless numbers of men who lived as ‘long-term casualties’. That is, not those of profound physical trauma, but of the desolate trauma of the slaughter that they managed to escape alive. To do this, Barrett explores the lives of five ordinary personnel who endured war, how they dealt with its horrors, both during and long after the war's end. Through this, she attempts to shed light on the nature of the psychological d

One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't

So here I am, back at work again, this time in a suit. You know what that means: another VERY IMPORTANT MEETING . Have I mentioned how much I like meetings before? But enough of that, I have a photograph to comment upon. I took this snap this morning on the way to the bus stop. If you look through the gums at the front, and ignore the mountain at the back, you should be able to see a bunch of white things in some trees in the middle distance along the bottom left of the picture. That, my friends, is a rag tag group of cockatoos that hang around these parts for a good portion of the year. I’ve shown them grazing about on the grass before, but they seem to like to hang about in the trees this early (this was taken at 7:20 am). Excuse the brevity of this one, for unfortunately I have a meeting to prepare for!

Two great enemies of politics: indifference to human suffering and the passionate quest for certainty in matters which are essentially political

Politics can be an exciting, boring, uplifting, depressing and downright nasty business. It always has been. For these reasons I have made it the focus of my study for an awfully long time, but also for these reasons I more often than not try to avoid following it at all costs. I was going to do this whole positive bit on 'politics' being essentially about the conciliation and compromise of innumerable issues in the pursuit of maintaining peace, harmony and (hopefully) prosperity that is (roughly) 'just/fair', but my heart just isn't in it. Against my better judgment, I decided have a look around at some of the reaction to Sarah Palin being chosen as McCain's Vice-President nomination, but the discussion is just so split along partisan lines that I just can't be bothered. There are an awful lot of hateful people out there who seem to confuse 'righteous anger' with 'coherent argument'. My free time at the moment is WAY too valuable to waste