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


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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...!