Thursday, December 15, 2005


Q: "Do you think anything the Government said over the last few years has set the tone for the actions on the weekend?"
PM: "Which Government?"
Q: "Your Government."
PM: "My Government?"
Reporter: "Yes."
PM: "Certainly not. What do you have in mind?"
Q: "Your position on Iraq."
PM: "My position on Iraq?"
Q: "Do you think that's had any influence on people feeling alienated?"
PM: "My position on Iraq? You've got to be joking."

Nobody was joking. The reporter persisted.
"Do you think the emphasis on terrorism, on the element of terror, [on] home-grown terrorism in Australia, has made people more worried about certain sections of society?"

Howard, very carefully: "It's impossible to know how individuals react, but everything this Government has said about home-grown terrorism has been totally justified - totally justified - and it is a potential threat."To suggest one should remain silent on something like that, knowing what I know, because that might antagonise somebody else, is a complete failure of leadership."

Monday, December 05, 2005


Enso is free today!
So exciting. FIVE MONTHS of detention finally over.
Celebrations here and now.
Meredith Fest this weekend to add to the craziness for the poor little refugee boy.
So much to do. Calling his family, sending them presents and photos, settling into a strange new life together... Wow.

Friday, November 25, 2005

To Make a Dadaist Poem

Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are - an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.

from Gale, M. Dada & Surrealism. 1997. Phaidon Press Limited

Monday, November 21, 2005


Had such a great birthday. Quarter of a century!
Went to the massive rally against the IR reforms.
Oh! Before that - had a truly wonderful breakky at Ici in Fitz with girls and baby Ot.
Protest was AMAZING.
Twas a great day.... Saw Amin by surprise, who used to be in Maribyrnong with Enso. I posted about his release. Lovely guy.
Anyways. Went to Animal Orchestra in the arvo so Em and Heaf could get food. Then went to Smith Street and found a GREAT! Red bikini!
In the eve had dinner at The Standard. Perfect. Such a crew. Funny, funny. So many gifts. Totally spoilt rotten.

Birthday celebrations are still being stretched out - got a cute card today in the mail and of course haven't seen Enso yet which will be the best present!

ExHAUSTED today. My office moved. It's all open plan and anarchic. Not sure what the blog will do now that everyone can see that I'm not really working.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Who's got a BA?

Me! Well, nearly! I handed in my last piece of assessment on Friday. It was a great feeling. I really felt free as a bird all weekend. I had such a great feeling of peace.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I am safe

I am safe, but unable to be contacted for the time being.
Today the federal Government introduced the much spoken about Anti-terror legislation. The legislation outlines draconian new laws that undermine the values they are supposed to protect. These new laws contain some serious inroads into long-standing human rights protections, particularly in relation to the new regimes of control orders and preventative detention orders. Of particular concern are the provisions relating to: - 14 day detention without charge; - house arrest for 12 months or more; - detention of children between the ages of 16 and 18; - the lack of any meaningful review by a court; - the erosion of the right to the presumption of innocence and a proper legal defence; - the erosion of the right to freedom of speech.
I am safe, but unable to be contacted for the time being
Voice mail campaign. This may become unofficial code for saying the words the new laws dare not allow to be uttered – “I am being held in secret police detention without charge”. Record the message: "I am safe, but unable to be contacted for the time being.... please oppose the introduction of the new anti-terrorism laws visit for more information" onto your mobile phone, home and work voicemail. Encourage your friends to do so as well.
I am safe, but unable to be contacted for the time being
Email campaign. This may become unofficial code for saying the words the new laws dare not allow to be uttered – “I am being held in secret police detention without charge”. Set your auto-reply message on your email program to say: "I am safe, but unable to be contacted for the time being.... please oppose the introduction of the new anti-terrorism laws visit for more information" Encourage your friends to do so as well.


“Man looks in the abyss, there's nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.”

Ever had that feeling? I know I have. Can remember so well standing in a phone box crying in California when I realised there was nothing there.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Festival of Alans

What can I possibly say? This cartoon in the weekend paper foreshadowed a text message from one of the Alans in my life. Have you had any Alan experiences lately?


PostSecret is fun for all. Check it out. But I gotta say, this one is one of the most unique and impressive of the 'secrets' I've seen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Detainee free as a bird

AUSTRALIA's longest serving detainee, Peter Qasim, was yesterday treated to his first helicopter ride, courtesy of Dick Smith. The adventurer and businessman - who actively campaigned for Mr Qasim's release - flew over Sydney in the helicopter. "A couple of months before he'd been locked up for seven years and here he was, free at last," Mr Smith said. Mr Qasim spent six years and 10 months in the Woomera and Baxter detention centres in South Australia before being released in July. He is now living in Perth and working as a poultry butcher. The Federal Government issued Mr Qasim with a Removal Pending Visa when he was released. The visa means he must leave Australia and return to Kashmir when it is safe.


I was retelling the story of getting lost with Alanas in Tallinn to someone the other day... Was it JC? Can't remember. Anyways, what a day. I must post photos. We were in Tallinn for maybe 2 days and visited some kind of ethnographic museum. Alanas saw a huge old map of Tallinn that showed a large lake just outside the centre. "Wow, a lake, let's check it out!" he enthused. We three joined him and started walking. And kept walking. For hours. Through the back blocks, the boondocks, the shitty outer reaches of Tallinn. We stopped on a corner, consulted the map........ Turns out the map scale was all outta whack. It was FOUR TIMES further than the scale indicated. We kept walking. Eventually, we got to massive freeway with 10 or so lanes, had to sprint across to a wooded area that looked promising. Got across and stared balefully at the sinister 'Keep Out' signs in Russian - obviously still hanging there from the USSR daze. Goddamn it was a disappointing day. We experimented with a different route on the way back - along a train track then cutting through a series of vacant lots featuring smouldering rubbish, partially demolished houses, small piles of fetid meat and bus drivers beating their carpets. Eventually we found ourselves in the back of an old Jewish cemetery. Walked through thousands of graves, getting newer and more tidy as we walked. Tallinn proper was a sight for sore eyes when we made it back. Anyways, I thought of this because of the treks I've been going on lately around my area, and also because I found a site with some urban wasteland shots from Estonia.

$500 CASH!

HEALTH Minister Tony Abbott's plan to bring in a pre-emptive maternity allowance as a means to reduce the number of abortions has been labelled "patronising and offensive".The "baby bonus" is currently paid after birth, but in a range of measures to be put before Cabinet, Mr Abbott wants to offer early-pregnancy instalments. A $500 payment would be made to pregnant women at 14 weeks and another $500 at 32 weeks with the balance of the $3000 "baby bonus" paid after birth.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Anglo-American Force

I read that Lithuania’s President secretly went to visit the Lithuanian troops who are serving in the war in Iraq. I wondered how many were serving. Looks like my next favourite destination country, GEORGIA has more troops serving than Australia.
Herewith a table showing the (estimated) number of troops committed to Iraq as of March 2005:

USA 130,000 troops.
United Kingdom 8,761
South Korea 3,300
Italy 3,030
Poland 1,500
Ukraine 950
Georgia 889
Romania 860
Australia 850
Japan 550
Denmark 540
Bulgaria 450
El Salvador 380
Mongolia 180
Azerbaijan 151
Latvia 136
Albania 120
Lithuania 118
Slovakia 105
Czech Republic 80
Bosnia and Herzegovina 36
Estonia 35
Macedonia 33
Kazakhstan 27
Norway 10

Friday, October 14, 2005

The revolution is just a teeshirt away

It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's disappointment
So he walks over and he's trying
To sympathise with her but he thinks that he should warn her
That the Third World is just around the corner

In the Soviet Union a scientist is blinded
By the resumption of nuclear testing and he is reminded
That Dr. Robert Oppenheimer's optimism fell
At the first hurdle

In the Cheese Pavilion and the only noise I hear
Is the sound of someone stacking chairs
And mopping up spilt beer
And someone asking questions and basking in the light
Of the fifteen fame filled minutes of the fanzine writer
Mixing pop and politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the great leap forwards

Jumble sales are organised
And pamphlets have been posted
Even after closing time there's still parties to be hosted
You can be active with the activists
Or sleep in with the sleepers
While you're waiting for the great leap forwards

One leap forward, two leaps back
Will politics get me the sack?
Here comes the future and you can't run from it
If you've got a blacklist I want to be on it
It's a mighty long way down rock 'n roll
From Top of the Pops to drawing the dole
If no one seems to understand
Start your own revolution and cut out the middleman
In a perfect world we'd all sing in tune
But this is reality so give me some room
So join the struggle while you may
The revolution is just a tee shirt away
Waiting for the great leap forwards

Friday, October 07, 2005


JUST when you think Amanda Vanstone can't get more outrageous, she does.
Yesterday, she should have been contrite. You'd think, having presided over the Immigration Department since October 2003, she might feel she ought to have noticed how appalling it was.
Instead she joked provocatively at suggestions she should take some responsibility for the shocking culture, documented in the Comrie report, that existed until the lid was recently blown off it. "Look, there've been calls for me to step aside from, actually, March 1996," she quipped. "I'm thinking of trying to buy the copyright on Elton John's song I'm Still Standing, but I don't want to tempt fate. So I'll just play it to myself quietly at night."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Jon Ronson

Should have posted yesterday regarding this possible genius. And this post will be a bit lame cos I'm feeling lacklustre today. But just need to get it up - I'll edit it later. I saw this guy, Jon Ronson in conversation about his books on Monday night. It was part of a Salon series organised by Sleepers Publishing. Come to the next one if you can - it's on the 24th of November and the guy they'll have on then (David Corlett) has a lot of interesting stuff to say too. Anyways. Jon Ronson was hilarious, insightful and thought-provoking. Check out his work.

Jon Ronson is the Pommy version of John Safran. He's a writer and documentary film maker. His books, Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats are international bestsellers. He grew up in Cardiff and began his journalistic career as an award-winning columnist for Time Out, and also wrote for the The Guardian and produced BBC Radio 4 documentaries.
His goat book is about his investigation into the US military's strange experiments with the paranormal. At the "Goat Lab," tests were made to see if people could kill animals by simply staring at them. One man, Guy Savelli, who Ronson interviewed, told him that he was able to knock down one of the goats through remote influencing. Other experiments such as walking through walls and becoming invisible were less successful, Ronson reported. The unit that conducted the tests, known as The First Earth Battalion, was spearheaded by Jim Channon who incorporated a number of "new age" teachings into the program. Ronson believes that the use of sound on prisoners at such places at Guantanamo Bay developed out of the Battalion's tests. He also discussed his infiltration of the Bilderberg Group and Bohemian Grove. One of the "Bilderbergers" told him that they do have an agenda towards a one-world government. He characterized the rituals he witnessed at the Bohemian Grove as a "weird mix of paganism and Broadway," but not necessarily of evil intent.

Um, Teach, apparently the director of Napoleon Dynamite is going to direct the film version of Them: Adventures with Extremists!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Australia shuns Middle East migrants

MORE than half of Australians would like fewer migrants from the Middle East, despite a decade-long softening in opposition to immigration. New research also found British migrants want their countrymen to make the same journey. Despite the divisive debate about boat people, refugees and the Federal Government's mandatory detention policy, Australians appear to be becoming more tolerant, with overall opposition to immigration falling markedly in recent years. But 53 per cent would like to see fewer migrants from the Middle East, according to the research, to be published in Monash University's People and Place this month. There is opposition, too, to more Asian migrants, with 36.7 per cent of Australian-born people wanting fewer Asian arrivals. Opposition to further migration was moderate in relation to migrants from southern Europe or Britain. There has been a fall in opposition to boat people since the boats stopped, particularly among those from a non-English-speaking background. In 2001, 63.1 per cent of Australian-born people said they thought "all boats carrying asylum seekers should be turned back", but last year only 53.3 per cent thought that. The author of the paper, Katharine Betts, of Swinburne University, said Australia was unusual in having had a large immigration program over a number of years. "It's part of the deal that if governments are going to do that, they have got to convince people it's in the interests of Australians, not simply in the interests of the immigrants themselves," Dr Betts said.

Ukraine : Perestroika to independence

If you see a copy of the book Ukraine : Perestroika to independence by Taras Kuzio, please drop it in to the library at Melbourne Uni. I lost this goddamn book four months ago and have been renewing it ever since, in the vain hope that it would turn up... Now it's crunch time and the Shirley from the library has informed me that: "There is a handling administrative charge of $15.00 plus the cost of the book. If the book is found within two months after payment is received from you the $15.00 is not refundable only the amount of the book is. If you wish to go ahead you will need to complete and sign a lost book report. A hard copy of the form can be collected from the loans desk of the library. "

Monday, October 03, 2005


I didn't know this was a word.
Then I read an article about Paris calling of her engagement to Paris.
She was described as a celebutante!

Defined by urban dictionary as: "A female of high society and wealth whose debut becomes publicly visible and famed; a debutante who achieves celebrity status."

Wikipedia defines it as: "A portmanteau of the terms celebrity and debutante. The term denotes a socialite who is 'famous for being famous'"

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I love water towers. And silos. On my trip to SA last month I took a few photos of them... And some when I was in Tassie earlier in the year. I'm inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, who for more than forty years they have been recording the heritage of an industrial past. Their systematic photography of functionalist architecture, often organising their pictures in grids, brought them recognition as conceptual artists as well as photographers. As the founders of what has come to be known as the ‘Becher school’ they have brought their influence in a unique way to bear on generations of documentary photographers and artists.
Check out their work here.
But seriously. Watertowers. Heaps of Canadian watertowers. And more, in Finland. Wonderful.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Buy Books!

Great little bookstore in Clifton Hill. Check it out. It's open Wednesdays and Fridays 10am - 5.30pm and they're in the midst spring cleaning sale - 30% off all books under $50. Bargain.
It's called 'Havillands' and it's at 474a Wellington Street, on the roundabout behind the big mural of a nude which is turning into a big mural of a garden and a poem, one street back from Queens Parade towards Collingwood. They specialise in poetry and have fine and collectable books as well as having a great collection of bargain paperbacks.

Another Passed Poet

Many great Melbourne poets have died in the past 18 months. The world is diminished. Patrick Alexander is the latest. He died in Gertrude Street on Wednesday. One of his poems, Lines Late in the Day, herewith. Rest in peace.

I grow tired; the first pallors of darkness fall-
I blur emptiness with the T.V's images
until I do not see them, like hotel wallpapers,
and, numb, I find I still look back-

the long waste of chances, a show-off's cowardice
the endless easy evasions, so often playing the drowning man
with disability, certain of rescue - and the words,
almost incessant, excusing and immobilising self

in chiaroscuro, centre-stage of feelings and awareness
from which no exit into the world, no commitment found;
and when sometimes the words saved, I was a part,
recognised acceptance, then tacitly I would retreat

speaking denial to myself, denial - anything
to inhibit change, that loss of inadequacy,
of oblivion's self-rule. This poet is ambience
and signature of his work, and nobody

can be final arbiter or judge of his own worth;
as light fades, I know that feeling the taint of shame
does not redeem; if I believe it all to have been loss,
I preempt any victory to come: I assume that it was all war.

On imaginary battlements, seeing only ruins and demanding
reparation, that is choice and may find no answer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Escape from Woomera

Your country is in chaos. Death squads and gangs rule the streets. Your nearest relatives have been killed, and you fear you will be next. Selling your last possessions in exchange for passage on an unseaworthy vessel, you risk your life travelling across the world in search of a new beginning. But when you arrive, you are locked away in blatant defiance of UN laws. Those who have locked you away are acting illegally, but it is you who are treated as a criminal…

Play the game NOW!

The War Prayer

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Mark Twain dictated The War Prayer in the early 1900s as a response the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Thursday, September 08, 2005

City of Mystery So full of History

If you were at my birthday party last year (loose Degrassi theme), or have travelled in my little car, maybe you've heard the 80's compilations that McGregor made for me. One of my favourite tracks, which is good for driving and dancing, is Moscow, by some German disco band called Dschinghis Khan. Photo+lyrics=pleasure!

Queen of the russian land
Built like a rock to stand
Proud and divine
Your golden towers glow
Even through ice and snow
sparkling they shine

Bush Urges Victims To Gnaw On Bootstraps For Sustenance

In an emergency White House address Sunday, President Bush urged all people dying from several days without food and water in New Orleans to "tap into the American entrepreneurial spirit" and gnaw on their own bootstraps for sustenance. "Government handouts are not the answer," Bush said. "I believe in smaller government, which is why I have drastically cut welfare and levee upkeep. I encourage you poor folks to fill yourself up on your own bootstraps. Buckle down, and tear at them like a starving animal." Responding to reports that many Katrina survivors have lost everything in the disaster, Bush said, "Only when you work hard and chew desperately on your own footwear can you live the American dream."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Gutta

That's what the locals call Port Augusta... I think you gotta worry about a town that begins with a prison and ends with a detention centre perched on an army base. But the Mayor says: "I have encouraged this community to "hang in there" as God has his hand on Port Augusta - 'The City of His delight'." Hmm.
So the locals seemed like a bunch of racists, and I tried to keep a low profile. There's a large indigenous population and apparently the Gutta is where there was communities of Afghani cameleers years ago. One of the guards at Baxter had an Afghani parent and an Aboriginal parent. Wow.
The Ranges are very beautiful and on the drive out of town I saw emus on the artillery range next to Baxter. The detainees can see the blue sky and the red earth, but not the horizon that makes sense of the landscape. Heaps of flies and dust.
Took some great photos of silos, watertowers and desolation. Will post them when I can get Jack to download them for me.

Crossroads of Australia

News today: Statistics provided by new Immigration Department secretary Andrew Metcalfe show 645 people in detention in early August. This is the lowest number since 1999, and compares with 1035 in March.
Only 5 per cent of detainees held in Australia arrived aboard boats, compared with about 14 per cent of those in detention in March and 23 per cent a year ago — 34 unauthorised boat arrivals are in detention in Australia, with another 29 on Nauru.
In March, 146 boat arrivals were in detention in Australia and 54 on Nauru; a year ago 247 boat arrivals were in detention and 82 on Nauru.
The Government's mandatory detention policy remains, but the figures reveal it has a completely different look about it now, following backbench insistence on the release of women, children and families and the Government's desire to get as many people out as possible.
Of the 645 people, 6 per cent are unauthorised air arrivals. Most — 65 per cent — have overstayed visas and another 18 per cent have had their visas cancelled.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Port Augusta

Heading West tonight. Staying in Adelaide then getting up early and trying my luck out at Baxter. Wish me luck. Back on Monday.

New photos in album. Mum's book launch at Dante's, McGregor and Wallace's birthday, shenanigans up at Hirsty's, Monsta Fat, Heide, etc.

I'm going to close with some quotes from an email I got from a Melbourne guy who just got to Lithuania: "Last night Sarunas left the party for a smoke outside and he came back with a black eye. In Lithuania it seems that it is also dangerous for guys our age to drink. They get beaten in the night. I look forward to it. Not only Sarunas but a guy who came to the party turned up with a black eye. He'd got it from a party the other week. You get drunk. You leave the flat. You get kicked and you can't defend yourself. THEY ARE BEATING PEOPLE UP OVER HERE AND NO ONE CAN REMEMBER WHO THE FUCK DOES IT."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

You are my sun

Originally, metaphor was a Greek word meaning "transfer". The Greek etymology is from meta, implying "a change" and pherein meaning "to bear, or carry". In modern Greek the word metaphor also means transport or transfer. Hmmmm.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Refugee's Lament

Teach wanted me to post Auden's 'Refugee Blues', written in March 1939, because it is just wonderful, and heartbreaking. I think it is companion to Cohen's 'The Partisan'. Herewith.

Refugee Blues

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.

The consul banged the table and said,
"If you've got no passport you're officially dead":
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said;
"If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread":
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying, "They must die":
O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren't German Jews, my dear, but they weren't German Jews.

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

The Partisan

When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender, this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.

I have changed my name so often,
I've lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.

An old woman gave us shelter,
kept us hidden in the garret,
then the soldiers came;
she died without a whisper.

There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
but I must go on;
the frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.

Les Allemands e'taient chez moi, (The Germans were at my home)
ils me dirent, "Signe toi," (They said, "Sign yourself,")
mais je n'ai pas peur; (But I am not afraid)
j'ai repris mon arme. (I have retaken my weapon.)
J'ai change' cent fois de nom, (I have changed names a hundred times)
j'ai perdu femme et enfants (I have lost wife and children)
mais j'ai tant d'amis; (But I have so many friends)
j'ai la France entie`re. (I have all of France)
Un vieil homme dans un grenier (An old man, in an attic)
pour la nuit nous a cache', (Hid us for the night)
les Allemands l'ont pris; (The Germans captured him)
il est mort sans surprise. (He died without surprise.)

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing,
through the graves the wind is blowing,
freedom soon will come;
then we'll come from the shadows.

Friday, August 19, 2005


My Farsi is getting better and better. Now I know at least 10 words. Fareshteh means angel. A good word to know. And yesterday I learnt farda, meaning tomorrow.

News I woke to this morning was that 'detainees are being released from detention centres with so little preparation for life outside that some have asked to be returned, according to two refugee workers. This week an Iranian man, released three weeks ago after five years' detention at Baxter detention centre, returned to Baxter and asked to be readmitted, said lawyer Kon Karapanagiotidis, director of the Melbourne-based Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.'

It's all lyrics at the moment, even if the music ain't so hot. So tonight, a song about the fair go:

'In 1788 down Sydney Cove
The first boat-people land
Said sorry boys our gain's your loss
We gonna steal your land'

Ugh. It's all a bit political. So maybe for a bit of dumb shit, I'll look to Napoleon Dynamite:
'You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.'

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Always Crashing In The Same Car

Every chance, every chance that I take
I take it on the road
Those kilometres and the red lights
I was always looking left and right
Oh, but I'm always crashing in the same car

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fair Go

The question for my reflective essay at uni this semester is "What is the role of 'egalitarianism' or the notion of 'a fair go' in Australian society? What are the key debates and challenges which focus on these concepts?". Today I came across an article about refugees that Enso was in Woomera with that was all about this shit. Maybe you remember the Bakhtiyaris?

"Asked yesterday if she had read their file, Amanda Vanstone said she hadn't. Asked if she had seen any evidence that they were Pakistanis, she said she hadn't. Asked if she'd seen, or anyone had seen, their Pakistani birth certificates, she agreed there weren't any. She said, however, that they had had a "fair go" - including, apparently, 32 months behind razor wire - and that fair go was now, sadly, fading to black. She never visited Woomera and, though a lawyer, never looked at the evidence. "

Mmmmm more to come....

My Car is Ready!

So excited... My lil car is apparently ready to check out of the hospital! I'll be back on the road this week! Great great great. Look out Melbourne.

Saw another recommendable moofie this weekend: Crash. It's on at the Nova. Great stuff. And before it showed, there was a preview for Turtles Can Fly, and it gave me cascading goosebumps, so I'm rapt that it is on general release.

News: British pop star Phil Collins is coming to Lithuania. The author of "Another day in paradise," "Easy lover," and other famous songs will perform in Siemens Arena in Vilnius on October 22. The British performer, who is visiting Lithuania for the first time, included Vilnius on the route of the "First Final Farewell Tour"."This is a concert that we can be proud of," Giedre Zemaitiene, the head of the agency that is organizing the concert, said. According to her, the sum paid to the performer will be the largest sum paid to an artist in Lithuanian pop history. Collins and his band will also perform in Estonia. The article states that the 8,000 tickets to the concert of the star, which will take place in Tallinn in October, were sold out in 55 minutes. Yikes!

Friday, August 12, 2005


The Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square puts on the walking shoes this month with the Australian premiere of Richard J. Frankland's reworking of the classic Australian film - Walkabout. Presented in association with Chamber Made, this event combines original film and behind-the-scenes footage from the 1971 production with video, music and live performances. Tackling the representation of indigenous Australians, Chamber Made's Walkabout sets out to redress the European romanticism of the unknowable 'noble savage' and the silencing of the indigenous voice. Continuing ACMI's central place in Australia as a venue for innovative and technically demanding events, Chamber Made's Walkabout will further test the skills of our technicians. In this performance our cinema will be transformed to take the shape of an abstracted film studio where film cameras operate on stage in real time with live video mixing with the performance. Chamber Made's Walkabout promises to be a dazzling cross-media event... Find out more at the ACMI website.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Andrej Varchola

Text received at 2:09am today: "Hiya! Warhol's death: HIV, drugs, or other?"

I responded at 2:10am: "Banal death: complications from routine gall bladder surgery. Shouldn't have happened."

It made me sad that people probably assume the worst of poor old Andrej Varchola, when his death was really the result of his fear of hospitals and doctors, which meant he delayed having his recurring gall bladder problems checked. He died at the age of 58 and, like the good Catholic boy he wanted to be, was interred at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery.

Ugh. While I'm at it - some Warhol quotes:

+ Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery.
+ Death means a lot of money, honey. Death can really make you look like a star.
+ Uh, gee, great.

The Big Jib

I never realised there was any confusion, until I read some postings on Steve's blog a while back. Is it 'jib' or 'gyp'? That's the question... Teach was horrified when I used 'jib', hearing it as 'gyp', which was interpreted as racially offensive to the Gypsies. But... I was just saying 'jib' No offense intended! I looked it up, and the two words are similar, but not the same. Let's leave gyp behind and use jib, it's safer.

JIB: To stop short in some action; to refuse to proceed or advance; to draw back, back out.
GYP: To cheat, trick, swindle.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Turtles Can Fly

This is the great film I saw yesterday. Please see it if you can.

"Turtles Can Fly is a 2004 film written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi. It is the first film to be made in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The film is set in a Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq. Thirteen-year-old Soran is known as "Satellite" for his installation of dishes and antennae for local villages looking for news of Saddam. He is the dynamic leader of the children, organising the dangerous but necessary sweeping and clearing of the minefields. He then arranges trade-ins for the unexploded mines. The industrious Soran falls for an unlikely orphan named Agrin, a sad-faced girl traveling with her brother Henkov, who appears to have the gift of clairvoyance. The siblings are care-taking a three-year-old, whose connection to the pair is discovered as harsh truths are revealed."

It's funny, but the synopsis given by the director is totally different to the common one: "There are a couple of days left to the beginning of the war between America and Iraq.The perplexed Iraqis are after receiving the latest news of the war.Among these people there is a 14-year-old mother by the name Agrin who wants to commit suicide. This film is a narrative about Agrin’s adventures."

I told Enso and another Iranian guy who is with him at Baxter that I saw this film and was told that the director's brother spent 5 years in detention in Australia - apparently released last month.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Just as Teach loves the Herald-Sun vox pop, I check The Age polls, which are equally enlightening.
Had a thought today... Remember Stuart Diver? Reality television event that has been totally forgotten. How bizzare-oh.
Saw a terrible film - A Hole in My Heart - at the Fest last night - highly unrecommended. I spent the final 40 minutes staring at my hands. Couldn't stand it after the first 20 minutes. I think I've become a little 're-sensitised' in recent months.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I was wondering about bahasa

Remember, Teach? I think we were wondering about the relationship between Bahasa Indon and Bahasa Malay. Well.......

Bahasa Indonesia is a normative form of the Malay language, an Austronesian (or Malayo-Polynesian) language which had been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries, and was elevated to the status of official language with the Indonesian declaration of independence in 1945. It is very similar to the official Malaysian form of the language. However it does differ from the Malaysian form in some ways, with differences in pronunciation and also in vocabulary, due in large part to the many Dutch words in the Indonesian vocabulary.
It is spoken as a mother tongue only by 7% of the population of Indonesia and 45% of the population of Malaysia, but all together almost 200 million people speak it as a second language with varying degrees of proficiency; it is an essential means of communication in a region with more than 300 native languages, used for business and administrative purposes, at all levels of education and in all mass media.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Image hosted by
How good is Basquiat? I've just reminded myself of his genius. And how hot he was. I found a review of a show of his written by JOHNNY DEPP of all people...!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Chen Yonglin

The Department of History presents: A Forum on Political Asylum in Australia

Guest speaker: Chen Yonglin, formerly of the Chinese consulate in Sydney, recently granted a permanent protection visa by the Australian government.
With introductory comments by Dr Klaus Neumann, Research Fellow, Swinburne University; author of Refuge Australia, Sydney: UNSW Press,2004.
Chaired by Dr Antonia Finnane, Senior Lecturer in Chinese History.

Time: 12.30 - 2.00 p.m., Friday, 5 August.
Place: Prince Phillip Theatre, Architecture Building.


Ok, so I had the accident, that was shit... Other news this week... I went to my first lecture back at uni this semester and was totally disillusioned. I had enrolled in Art Since 1990. My reasoning was that, I wanna know more about contemporary art, and this is my last subject of my degree, so I should do something fun, but I think it'll be more of a drag... I don't know anything about art and a third year Art History class is not the place to start! Grr so I'm thinking maybe I'll do Teacher's class Australia Now.

Also, Enso's friend Amin was released from Maribyrnong on Tuesday. AZADI! It was similar to when the Iraqis were released, I didn't understand what was going on when I saw him out the front of the gates. The Department never tell the detainees what's going on until the last moment. It was very emotional... So happy for Amin, so shit to still have to inside and see Enso still in detention. Today Amanda Vanstone is visiting the centre, who knows what the purpose is, Enso has tried to request a meeting with her so we'll see.

Saw Ryan Adams in concert last night. Teach had a spare ticket so it was last-minute. I'm not really a fan so it was strange to be there, not singing along. He rambled and sooked and talked about cocaine. Lots of what he crapped on about makes sense now that I've looked him up on Wikipedia and read 'Ryan was nominated for a Grammy Award for his cover of Oasis's "Wonderwall" from Love is Hell but did not win.
Ryan has a reputation for his appalling temperament. Notable incidents:
include ejecting a fan who jokingly requested the song "Summer of 69" (written and performed by the near-namesake
Bryan Adams) at a Nashville concert on October 14, 2002.
leaving a drunken message on Jim Derogatis' answering machine in response to the critic's review of his concert. This has subsequently been leaked onto the Internet.'

Other news was a bit of fan mail from a lovely German guy called Christian who complimented me on my photo album. He's ace. You can check out his photo album and his (German language) blog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Car Accident

A good weekend... Until my car accident at 3.30am on Sunday. No-one hurt... Except my car :( We only had 9 weeks togetheer... But they were beautiful, important weeks. Now the little mushroom is convalescing at a compound in East Brunswick while I decide it's fate. Tragic.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Live8 Has Huge Impact

News from today::

The United Nations has appealed for millions of dollars in aid from donors to tackle an "acute humanitarian crisis" in the West African state of Niger where 2.5 million people, including 800,000 children, are facing famine. "We are having now an acute humanitarian crisis in Niger in which children are dying as we speak," said UN relief coordinator Jan Egeland. He said no statistics were available on the number of deaths so far but noted that 150,000 of the 800,000 children affected were suffering from acute malnutrition and were likely to die soon if untreated. "We could have prevented this and the world community didn't," Mr Egeland, the UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, said. Malnutrition has hit 3.6 million people over the past year, a third of Niger's 11.5 million population.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Detainees Released

Yesterday when I went to visit Enso at 5pm, there were some media around... I wondered why but then I remembered that Enso told me the Iraqi couple from Nauru were to be released. They left while I was visiting. This photo was taken by the front gates of Maribyrnong. It was really strange becuase there was a lot of elation, they are a really sweet couple and everyone is very pleased that they are no longer detained... But at the same time, what does this change? I sat with Enso, as usual, for a couple of hours and went through the same emotional difficulties... Same conversations and upsets... Ugh.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Back From Tassie

Phew! Can't believe I survived! It was totally cock-tastic. Can't wait to get my photos back...
I reckon we went to every single op-shop on the island and most of the pubs. It was a bit of a magical mystery tour... Starting in Hofart, then onto Deloraine, Cradle Mountain, Coles Bay and then back to the bustling capital before home. We hired a sexy lemon magna sedan and shared the driving from dim sim outlet to op-shop to pub all the way around the island.

Monday, July 04, 2005


June 28, 2005---------------------------------------------------------------------LIETUVOS RYTAS - According to an article, children will not have a chance to play inthe stadium of the Juozas Balcikonis Gymnasium in Panevezys because thearea is being researched by archaeologists from Vilnius. The gym of the school will not be available for any activities, either,since the researchers are using it as a storage place for theirfindings. It is believed that a total of about 580 German soldiers killed duringthe First World War were buried on the current territory of the school. The daily states that the tombstones on the graves of the soldiers weredestroyed at the beginning of the Soviet occupation. The area was turnedinto a park and later a sports area for students of the gymnasium. The scientists, in cooperation with a group of Lithuanian soldiers andstudents from the school, have already unearthed 150 bodies. Rimantas Jankauskas, an anthropologist who is a part of the team workingon the project, said that there is little information on the health ofsoldiers during the First World War and therefore any pathologydiscovered was fascinating. "Confrontation with war in gymnasium in Panevezys," the headline of thestory states.

Friday, July 01, 2005


"Rules? There are no rules! We are trying to accomplish something here..."--Albert Einstein

Who is the drunkest?

Image hosted by

Monday, June 06, 2005

Too Many Secrets

Was thinking on the weekend that I've got too many disguises to have such a public thing as a blog. What was I thinking? I guess if I travel it's a good thing to have but at the moment I'm soooo boring, doing the work work work thing :(
I just got a RANDOM compliment from a dude who works somewhere on my floor. I've never spoken to him and just then he popped his head in and said "Nice jumper". I was so shocked, I said "NICE JUMPER?!" and he replied "Yeah, nice jumper". I thanked him and he disappeared again.
The jumper is one that I kept thinking was so ridiculous I should just turf it at many stages while I was away - it nearly didn't leave London with me and then nearly didn't come home from Vilnius. But now, it's all worth it for a random compliment.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Happy Birthday Teacher

If you know Teacher, you know she is just amazing, such a brain, such a lovely heart. It's her birthday today and she deserves to celebrate... PhD candidature submitted this week, no sleep for at least a month... We missed our regular Tuesday arvo cuppa and natter yesterday so I'm feeling a bit out of sorts :(

Anyways, welcome to the Lament.

I'm now counting down to my show... 3 weeks til it opens. The world holds its breath... The Blue Line opens on 23rd June, at the world-famous Eltham Library Community Gallery. The opening will be a star-studded event, to be sure. See you there.