Saturday, November 26, 2005

For Malley

Beyond the first draft you'll notice there's not a lot of abstract expressionism and any flight of fancy has landing gear to spare. Basically it's an exploration of the events, not an attempt to replicate the style.


I don't normally do film recommendations but I was most impressed with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (no relation to the Roald Dahl book of the same name)
I only went (Friday night and all and so expensive)because the guys we were meeting at the pub had all planned to catch the 6:45 session screening in George Street.
The after movie dinner (yes we ate late) would have made a nice short film itself as no sooner had we placed our order and sat down than there were plates of food - plates of wrong food "No, nobody ordered chicken caesar salad" so we got asked by two different people (each laden with wrong menu items) what our orders were. Eventually, after a confusion that was never explained, we started getting our meals and a lively discussion ensued on, oh, all sorts of things but strangely, as Iain mentioned, not about the movie which only got a cursory going over while waiting outside the gents.


There's a buzz around Gary the Rat; my son was raving about it last week and it came up in conversation this evening. Fortunately this is one of two nights when I could stay up till 3:30 in the morning to watch it so I had Rage on and went on the computer while waiting. There was some improv show hosted by Drew Freedman on before it. Anyway shall I just say it's worth staying up till 3:30 in the morning for and leave it at that (it's also the sort of show that justifies such a geek/freek/goth/sloth hour)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bashing through the mallee posts

Ella recommended Cordite years ago and, in my sluggish fashion I finally got around to looking into what I could submit. It turns out that they were featuring the granddad of literary hoax figures, Ern Malley, or more correctly:

The Children of Ern Malley

(1) Creature comforts encroaching we stretch
Bug-eyed burghers beckoning
We don't budge an inch

(2) Although you presaged the Post-sages
Who came in at all different stages
Twittering feast on the clime
We'll all get there given time

We dined on your un/funny infamy
Intent with gaunt application
Swapped pseudonyms and stories
Not bothered that
We did not/will not exist

That was the first draft of thoughts. I followed that soon after with:

Plenty of Mallees Out In the Scrub

Who knew that someone so serious
Could be so illusory
Evasive and elusive
To the point of non-existence

Flowery language on unfallowed ground
Still a place for swanning around
Leaving angry penguins
and there surrounds

All along a column shift
For the most abstract of gifts
Taken to the cleaners
Taken to the Max

This was more along the line of what I hoped to contribute; not just writing in the Malley style but referencing the events surrounding the whole controversy. Now I just needed to add a couple of unrelated pieces

Malley's Twisted Branches

Two people putting together poseur despair
Peripatetic poets taken the piss
This could not have existed otherwise
This non-existence

Malley Foul

A huge mound of gathered debris
Used to incubate
The male bird sits

[nom de Malleys: Mallee Boy, Boy Mallee, O. Mallee, Norm Malley, Euchre Lyptus
'Norm Malley wouldn't do this']

A few pages - and 23 days - later I did my second drafts; by this stage having ditched the initial piece, having opted for the pun to play off to best effect, yet again

Mallee's Twisted Branches

Putting together poseur despair
Peripatetic poets
Taking the piss
That could not have existed otherwise
This non-existence

Mallee Foul

A mound of gathered debris
Used to incubate
Atop of which
The male bird sits

Plenty of Mallees In The Scrub

Flowering on unfallowed ground
The spot to swan around
Penguins angered in these surrounds

All along the column shift
The most abstract of gifts
Taken to the cleaners
Taken to the max

Seven days later and five pages later I reworked that third piece in third and fourth drafts

Mallees in the Bush

Flowering on unfallowed ground
The spot to swan around
Penguins, angered in these surrounds

All along the column shift
Was the most abstract of gifts
Taken to the cleaners
Ha ha
Taken to the Max

Mallees in the Scrub

Flowering on unfallow'd ground
The place to swan around
Penguins, angered in these surrounds

All along the column shift
Was the most abstract of gifts
Taken to the cleaners
Taken to the Max

When I checked back in with Cordite (still not having composed my biog) I was greeted with the news that submissions had closed! Being the good sports that they are, they posted my wail of protest or despair (not sure which) at having reached final draft but 'missing the post'; they even replied with commisurations. So I will be better organised for next issue's big idea and, in the meantime, hope this blow-by-blow illuminated something in one writer's process, even if readers aren't convinced at the dedication.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mine furore

Ian Lowe was a baker's son in the tiny NSW town of Caragabal ("West of Sydney, east of Wyalong, south of Forbes, in the middle of bloody nowhere"). When he was 10 the family moved to Tahmoor, south of Picton, on the old Hume Highway. All his primary schooling went on in two-room schools.

Half a century later, Ian Lowe is emeritus professor in science and technology at Brisbane's Griffith University. He is one of Australia's foremost authorities on climate and the environment. Five years ago he was named winner of the Prime Minister's "environment award for outstanding individual achievement". He is someone, you'd have to think, who knows what he is talking about.

On Wednesday, as president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Lowe spoke to a lunchtime audience at the National Press Club. The ABC televised his 4000-word speech live at 1pm. It repeated it at 3.25am. The Herald reported a segment of the speech in its Thursday issue. No other paper that I saw reported it. No TV or radio current affairs programs picked it up, either. The speech just died. The media wasn't interested.

And Lowe's core message?

First: "There is no serious doubt that climate change is real. It is happening now and its effects are accelerating." He detailed those effects and their growing economic and social cost. Second: "The science is very clear. We need to reduce global greenhouse pollution by about 60 per cent by the middle of this century." He detailed how we should do this and what will happen if we don't. Third: "Like most young physicists [in the 1960s], I saw nuclear power as the clean energy source of the future. I want to tell you today why [35 years of] professional experience has led me to reject that view."

And Ian Lowe had this to say about Australia's uranium industry: "I suspect the real motive of [renewed calls] for debate about nuclear power is to soften up the Australian people to accept a possible expansion of uranium mining. This is a modern version of an old debating trick. When we were debating the report [on the Ranger mine in the Northern Territory] 30 years ago, then prime minister Malcolm Fraser claimed that an 'energy-starved world' needed our uranium, conjuring up the picture of small children freezing in the dark if we didn't sell it. This was a transparent attempt to portray a crass commercial operation as a moral virtue, based on the untrue claim the world needed nuclear power.

"I wonder how much the current debate about nuclear power has to do with BHP Billiton's planned expansion of the Roxby Downs uranium mine in South Australia? The company has applied to the Commonwealth and South Australian governments to take from the Great Artesian Basin five times more water than it currently does. Plan B is for the company to build a desalination plant, costing around $160 million more than extracting the extra water from the Basin, [which, in turn] could threaten the fragile Mound Springs ecosystem in the desert.

"The Big Australian should be warned it will not get away with making a big mess in the South Australian outback."

One of the more startling bits of evidence Lowe offered of the appalling waste of energy by Australians was this: "Reducing waste is by far the cheapest way to reduce greenhouse pollution [by coal-fired electricity]. Did you know that more than 10 per cent of household electricity in this country is used keeping appliances like TVs and video players on standby?"

None of this was thought newsworthy. If you didn't see the ABC's lunchtime telecast or the repeat at 3.25am on Thursday - neither of which advertised who was speaking and about what - then you stayed ignorant of the views of one of our leading scientific minds on the paramount issue of the new century: the very survival of life on our planet. Your mass media thinks it doesn't rate. Neither do the politicians.

Get hold of Lowe's speech. It is utterly compelling.

Alan Ramsay, SMH 22/10/05

As a former member of People for Nuclear Disarmament (my radical youth days before I became an armchair anarchist), I found that people who were opposed to nuclear war were virtually of a mind with those who opposed the uranium industry. You would expect that there might be those who favour the peaceful use of nuclear energy but I never encountered any.

I am not one for censorship, and certainly not in favour of the government's cowardly attempt to dodge criticism by enshrining their cowardice in "anti-terrorism" legislation so, in the best tradition of impartiality, I give you the reaction of the other side to this article. Go, go, go Tim, you ol' tree-loppin' gas-guzzlin' envirobasher you.

It occurs to me that if this group turned their attention to alternative energy instead of wasting it on greenie-bashing, we'd all be a lot better off. Or, if Bob Hawke's plan to dump the world's nuclear waste in Australia is taken seriously, I'll expect them to front up and provide the address to send it. Then we'll see who the hypocrites are.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


It appears I'm an unearned Mallee as Cordite has closed off submissions - I'll fill you in on the details later - in the meantime, if I get run over by the proverbial here are the two volumes of poetry I wish to have published:


The Vanguard to Innocent Bravado
Barking Up The Wrong Tree
Rubberstamping a Genius
It's Funny You Should Say That
Leaning To God
With You in National Spirit
The Humourist Who Woke Up Dead on a Sunday (of all days)
What In America Makes The Music?
The Levitating Chiropractor
Shop With Soul
Personal Belongings
Now I Get It
Dreams in Black and White


If They Ever Make Me a Statue
Questions Remain
Suicides in the Pool
Reductionist as Clown
Lots of Luck
This Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means
The Search for Plastic Christ
Incapable of Further Expression
Firing Volleys
Extremist Barbecue
Artistically Inclined

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The things we fined

Father fined for smacking child

A 24-year-old Perth man has been fined $750 for smacking his five-year-old daughter and pushing her into a bedroom after she ate lollies against his wishes. Charles David Parker, of Sorrento, was convicted in Fremantle Magistrates Court yesterday of one count of common assault. The court heard that on November 4 last year Parker smacked his child after she took lollies from the kitchen despite being told not to.

Sydney Morning Herald October 22-23, 2005

For anyone who has ever been smacked as a child for doing something naughty, or has smacked their own child for doing something after they told them not to, this must come as much of a shock as it does to me, who can answer to both.

Times change, I understand, but this seems like an extraordinary intervention into family life by the State. I realise it's not open slather, and domestic violence of any kind should be dealt with with the seriousness it deserves, but this isn't any of the ancient instruments of torture that informed Victorian parenting, this is a smack. I guess the point is, where I come from, nobody would bat an eyelid at a district gathering if the host(ess) smacked one of the kids that were mucking up and sent them into their room. Bloody hell, it would be expected!

So now this one individual who is guilty of doing nothing different from his forebears - and a good many of his contemporaries - is publicly named and fined in a process that took a full year to reach judgment. Luckily he has a common name, though it would take a special kind of hypocrisy to shun the man.

I also wonder if the State was kind enough to send Mr P home with some patronising pamphlet on how you should properly discipline your child for his seven hundred and fifty dollars worth. And who, for the love of Pete, saw fit to march to the nearest station with this scandalous report of a father smacking his child for taking lollies?

It sounds like someone may have had a gripe with the defendant and knew the Nanny state would take their charge seriously. It may have even been his cousin Nosey who was over when the incident occurred.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Slapped with a babelfish

Oh дорогой, я имею ощупывание которое единственная причина я имеет поэтому много анти-klimaksov в моей жизни влюбленности так, что я смогу написать о ем. Muse жестокосердн для того чтобы быть добросердечен.

Si c'est le MUSE qui remplit de combustible mon manque de justesse romantique alors est elle également une violette craintive, parce que les jours s'écoulent et je ne peux pas pousser ma poésie et chansons à un public de halètement.

Schaue ich zurück an diesen Feiertagen als Erfolg, weil ich ein anderes Lied über lokalisierte Gefühl schrieb und das von aufpassendem Leben mich vorbei führen Sie?

Θα επιθυμούσατε να το ακούσετε; Πολύ καλά ..


Dreams bigger than my dimensions
Yet not as pretty as my pretensions
But if she's so effing effusive
Why is it all so elusive

Hardwired with herd wary, hide
It's safe if I keep it inside
Exacting as it is, exclusive
Why is it all so elusive

Now I'm narrowing the field
A limit to which I've appealed
And somehow still never made use of
Why is it all so elusive

(, weet ik het, is het ja, ja gelijkaardig in gevoel aan de ' Zaal van de Elleboog ' en een paar andere liederen naast maar dit wijst nauwkeurig op hoe ik niettemin voel)

Per voi veda, sopra queste feste, Angelie mi ha detto che ancora stia recuperando da un rapporto precedente, Kat ho lasciato appendere e la mia data con Kate ora sta sembrando improbabile.