Category Archives: Uncategorized

A thought on the answer to racism.

Apparently the United Nations has called upon the United States government to ‘unequivocally and unconditionally’ condemn racist speech and crimes and that US officials should ‘address the root causes of the proliferation of such racist manifestations, and thoroughly investigate the phenomenon of racial discrimination’.

In the same report I was reading, mention was also made of the resignation of Daniel Kammen who was the science envoy (whatever that is) for the US state department. In his letter of resignation he writes ‘Particularly troubling to me is how your (president Trump) response to Charlottesville is consistent with a broader pattern of behaviour that enables sexism and racism, and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community and the planet’.

Notice how ‘all Americans’ comes before and is separate to ‘the global community’ and that by ‘all Americans’ he probably means those who reside in the United States, the other Americas being lesser Americas, but we will excuse him for that little racist slip-up. I also note the linking of racism and sexism and suppose he believes only white men and their white female partners are racist and sexist but that false assumption is not what concerns me here. Rather, it’s the United Nation’s call for the US to ‘investigate the phenomenon of racial discrimination’. Concern because what drives 21st century white supremacists is fear and for some reason the left and institutions such as the United Nations are unable to acknowledge what is, or should be, blatantly obvious. Maybe they are indeed that stupid and have yet to understand Benjamin Franklin’s (?) words when he said, ‘A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still’. Addressing, and validating, in honest debate the reasons many people experience fear when trying to make sense of a rapidly changing world would go much further towards achieving peace than personal insults and ridicule. Problem is both sides would have to put hate aside and that appears to be ‘an issue’.

Into Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Was in Sydney at the weekend hoping to get out and do some street photography but wasn’t feeling all that inspired so I wandered over to the Art Gallery of NSW and down into the contemporary art section. Noticed on the way that the ‘police wall of remembrance’, where they list officers killed in the line of duty and which I had never seen before, is located just next to the gallery. I found a bit discomforting the juxtaposition of a police monument and an art gallery that is supposed to house freedom of expression. Then maybe it doesn’t.
A function of art is to present to the public works that can be like a hypotheses, that go beyond the known and accepted and ask – what if? The public can respond, we can have a debate but that requires freedom of speech and expression. Below are a few pictures I took in the contemporary section.

Closing the gap text on wall of the art gallery of New South Wales.

On the way down to the contemporary section we are reminded about the need to close the gap with aboriginal
Australians.

Out of the Ordinary exhibition at art gallery of New South Wales.

Out of the Ordinary exhibition.

A few photographs – somehow the name ‘Daido’ came to mind.

Installation with outline of four people.

… and further on.

gallery walls with a painting in the background.

Something living.

Painting with Simpson character and melons.

Simpson character and melons.

Chair for the person who guards the installation.

Needless to say the walls themselves were bored and what might make a good work of contemporary art? An acquaintance who is lucky enough to reside in Berlin exhibited three stacks of a gay-boy magazine he published for a short while. The work challenged social conventions related to what can be considered ‘beautiful’ and I’m sure, sparked more than a few heated debates. Here nothing sets a foot outside of the strictly enforced boundaries of a nation in which the mere fact of being an artist means guilt is established.

ad nauseum

LOL – the expected flood of hate mail resulting from my last post failed to eventuate. Not a single comment which means that either no one reads anything here, no one has ever found this blog or no one could give a rat’s ass. Maybe the site stats which indicate thousands of regular unique visitors are fake and the work of the spooks? Seriously, I was expecting at least a few little insults.

Anyway – gay marriage is the ad nauseum talking point on our public broadcasting service and I would imagine many are as sick of the topic as I am. The latest is that legislation that would have enabled a plebiscite, as is the policy of the conservatives currently in government, was again rejected by the senate. The Labour opposition and the Greens want a vote in parliament possibly because they have done the numbers and fear a resounding ‘No’ if the issue is put to the public.

As I’ve often said here and as a same-gender-attracted person myself, I have no problem with the concept of gay marriage and can think of a few guys I might have married last century when still young and beautiful, but I do feel we need to address the question of the rights of children with same-gender caregivers and also the rights of biological parents including grandparents, whether there is parenting equivalence and the question of commercial surrogacy which a few Asian nations have recently banned. I would not want to see future gay people being the victims of a backlash provoked by the fact the marriage thing was rammed down the throats of an unwilling public without addressing these and other issues and already I have from conversations with heterosexuals, found they are sick and tired of this gay marriage thing and some will therefore and out of exasperation, vote ‘No’ when the issue goes to a postal vote as appears to be the government’s strategy now that a parliamentary vote and a plebiscite is off the table. In a large part we can thank the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for pushing same-gender marriage so hard we are already beginning to see a backlash.

From those conversations with conservatives, I also found the concern they have with same-gender marriage and other recent attempts at making society more inclusive such as the ‘safe schools’ fiasco, is that marriage and safe-schools are less about inclusion of minorities into mainstream society than they are the thin edge of a broader agenda to completely re-engineer society. For example, same-gender marriage has implications for gender and it could be argued that ‘safe-schools’ was also less about bulling than it was to eliminate gender as early as the primary school playground. I wonder how this elimination of ‘gender’ could be a benefit to gay men whose sexuality is as gender based as that of heterosexuals? The question is who historically has had a problem with gender and sought its removal from all social institutions?

It might surprise some that not all gay men are comfortable with these current developments believing them to be of dubious benefit and potentially a ‘bridge too far’ that could result in a future loss of rights. “Not all gay men” for the most part are older men such as myself who remember that the gay liberation front of old (GLF) was a social movement that pushed for a sexual liberation, kicking the state out of the bedroom, and one from which all members of society stood to benefit – that being including heterosexuals. I think this distinction between past and present gay rights movements is something I should write about and so it will be the subject of a future post.

Other than that the printing business is stalled on a few technical issues that appeared in the first tests, difficult to crash teach yourself what is a trade, but which I will resolve and if not, then there will be printing gear for sale on ebay. Not too fussed about it as it is simply ‘something worth trying’ as part of resolving financial problems and I have other irons in the fire and plenty of things to keep me amused such as books, street photography and the animation project which is progressing.

 

Allen Ginsberg’s “Thoughts on NAMBLA”.

Reading a collection of essays by the American poet Allen Ginsberg I was surprised to find a previously unpublished text in which he explains why he became a member of the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).

Now, NAMBLA has had very bad press and is generally perceived as a child abuse club but the truth is a little more complex. NAMBLA was formed in the aftermath of the Boston sex scandal of 1977 in which police investigations into allegations of abuse of minors turned into a full scale witch hunt that destroyed the lives and reputations of many innocent people including alleged victims who were subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques to force them to cough up names of men who allegedly had abused them. NAMBLA was formed as a mainstream gay rights movement but one that sought to include debates surrounding the relationships that can and do occur between men and teenagers. Having previously worked as a teacher in juvenile detention centres and having managed youth programs for homeless and at risk youth I can say that these intergenerational relationships occur by far more often than the public realise and are not always abusive.

Here’s what Ginsberg had to say,

Thoughts on NAMBLA.

I became a member of NAMBLA a decade ago as a matter of civil liberties. In the early 1980s, the FBI had conducted a campaign of entrapment and “dirty tricks” against NAMBLA members just as they had against black and anti-war leaders in previous decades. In the January 17, 1983, issue Time magazine, following the FBI disinformation campaign, attacked NAMBLA as a group involved in the “systematic exploitation of the weak and immature by the powerful and disturbed.” That struck me as a fitting description of Time magazine itself. NAMBLA’s a forum for reform of those laws on youthful sexuality which members deem oppressive, a discussion society not a sex club. I joined NAMBLA in defence of free speech.

Historically, societies have taken different views of this issue and the political heat that surrounds the subject is unnatural. Demagogic reaction to NAMBLA demeans the subject as a political football. At present European nations do not share current US public sexual hysteria. Various cultures and states offer widely varying definitions of age of consent – age 15 in Czechoslovakia and some US states, 14 in Hawaii. There’s no universal consensus on “consent”. It’s a fit subject for discussion, NAMBLA provides a forum.

Most people like myself do not make carnal love to hairless boys and girls. Yet such erotic inclinations or fantasies are average and are commonly sublimated into courtly sociability. An afternoon’s walk through the Vatican Museum will attest centuries of honorific appreciation of nude youths, an acceptable pleasure in the quasi erotic contemplation of the “naked human form divine”. From Rome’s Vatican to Florence’s Uffizi galleries to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, we see statues of prepubescent Eros, pubescent Bacchus, male ephebes (naked bodies 12 to 18), the adolescent goddess Kore, nymphs, naiads, young fauns and satyrs in abundance, Laocoon and his boys with pubes exposed, wrinkled old Neptune’s loins, old hags with undraped withers and dugs, Olympian Zeus and kid Ganymede. Western civilisation prides itself on its foundation on classical Greek culture, wherein intergenerational love was a social practice praised by philosophers.

A dash of humour, common sense humanity and historical perspective would help discussion of NAMBLA’s role. Further, libertarians or anarchists may remember Blake’s warning, “One law for the Lion and the Ox is oppression.”

These considerations shouldn’t be distorted to apologise for rape and mental or physical violation of children. I respect those who want to fix a general law to prevent abuse of minors. This is a real problem though less politically demagogic than advertised by some aggressive therapists, politically correct thought police, and the obsessive senator Jesse Helms. It is NAMBLA’s mission to raise the subject, explore it, and provide a platform for debate.

Child abuse laws have been abused, especially since the Reagan-Meese commission’s predictably incompetent linkage of pornography and violence. Subsequent formation of a Justice Department child porn bureaucracy sent federal squads roaming the states teaching local police to practice prurient snooping, invasion of privacy and lawless entrapment. Often police intrusion into consensual intergenerational affections and affairs results in abuse of both parties. Police authority also has made use of mind rape of the younger person, forcing unwilling youths to fink on close friends with threats of jail or beatings. One important function of NAMBLA is to keep track of bureaucratic manipulations of adolescents by police, FBI, media, and other agencies who handle such delicate issues with a meat ax. A Witch Hunt Foiled: The FBI vs. NAMBLA provides an impressive volume of information on these outrageous police practices.

Ginsberg, Allen (1994) Published in ‘Deliberate Prose’ Selected Essays 1952 -1995 pp 170.

What I feel is missing in Ginsberg argument is the role the ‘beautiful boy’ principal played in the development of western art and culture and not just that it was the most ubiquitous representation of the human form in western art. It was the aesthetic yard stick of most of the west’s greatest achievements and in all areas. What its removal could imply for future development we can only surmise but there are already indications of what lies ahead in the dumbing down and low quality of much of today’s cultural output. That ‘human form divine’ is now all but absent.

Economic sabotage and electric is fast.

Imagine you are a business person looking into making a long term investment and you have to choose between investing in an industry you know is on its way out and another which you know will replace the previous one. Any sane person would choose to put money into the new rather than waste money propping up what is dead-industry-walking. But not the Australian government which is doing all it possibly can to delay making the transition from fossil fuel based industry to clean, high-tech industries of the future. Just a few days ago Scott Morrison MP and federal treasurer was on television going on like a smart ass school boy about the ‘disaster’ caused by South Australia’s efforts to switch to renewable energy, mocking the idea of power storage by installing the world’s biggest battery as being just like the big banana or big prawn installed by the side of highways by struggling outback towns in an effort to attract tourists.

The truth Scotty is ignoring is that other nations are powering ahead with the switch to clean energy and well done to the British government for following the French in looking to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Should be sooner but it’s a start and is that not sufficient writing on the wall that once again – Australia will be playing catch up?

We recently lost vehicle manufacturing in this country but still have the specialised labour force, the engineering knowhow and factories that could be retooled to produce electric vehicles. Given that in this case we know the future it would make sense to create public/private partnerships and position Australia as a supplier to the emerging clean economy rather than the consumer it will become if we continue down the walking backwards track. Would make sense but not to people like Scotty and others who are prepared to spend a billion dollars of taxpayer money to provide a railway link from a proposed coal mine (world’s biggest open cut they boast) in central Queensland to a loading port slap bang in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. All that to give a few thousand low skilled people short term jobs but at a huge and permanent cost to the environment whereas the same amount invested in new and high-tech industries including electric vehicles could provide long term employment to tens of thousands when you take into account satellite industries, logistics, etc. The automobile industry themselves know what is just around the corner but as one CEO I was listening to recently said, they need help to make the transition from petrol to electric. Climate change is a disaster just starting but it is equally an opportunity to reshuffle the economy to everyone’s benefit.

If we needed, as we often do here in Australia, to look over the Equator to see what others are doing the example of Volvo and Porsche are good examples; both manufacturers have declared that from 2019 onwards they will only make hybrid and all-electric cars. Porsche apparently will also withdraw from Endurance racing I’m told because, well, there’s no point in spending millions promoting vehicles that are already things that should be displayed in a museum to horrified school children.

The fact is that climate friendly race cars will be faster and more fun than the noisy, polluting and incredibly inefficient things of today.

Below are a few related links.

Porsche to enter Formula E.

France to Ban Petrol and Diesel by 2040

Britain to Ban Petrol and Diesel by 2040

Volvo goes hybrid and electric only by 2019

Think electric is boring? Below are two vids of the Lightning LS-218 electric superbike. (218 mph at Bonneville)

 

 

Palestinian in prayer kicked and MH17 Bellingcat report.

A picture is worth a thousand words? Check out this video from the al jazeera ‘Inside Story’ program and watch how a man on his knees and praying is just kicked aside by an Israeli soldier. In any civilized nation that level of disrespect and cowardice would cause outrage. The playback button below will bring up a link to the al jazeera youtube channel.

 

 

Also, it’s been three years since MH17 was shot down, we hope it was accidental, and investigative site Bellingcat has released a detailed summary of their findings. Either go to their site or if not accessible from where you are, just click on the link below to download a copy.

mh17-3rd-anniversary-report

Traveling heat press and surviving a dark place.

Do I get sick of it or what?! I mentioned I’m working on a micro-enterprise, a way maybe to drag myself up by the bootstraps. Limited financial resources, to say the least, penny by penny you get the gear needed by cutting out the once-a-week coffee at a local cafe, only buy food you need, watch films on Youtube rather than go out. Stay in a house like a prisoner. You try to make the micro-enterprise fun, not take it too seriously and think positive that this time, it will work and years of scraping for every last dollar and as happened after I returned from what could have been that one last trip overseas, you decide to continue but homeless you have no choice but to live in a tent until one of few courageous enough to be a friend and after a few years, says you’re too old to be out in the cold and offers you a place to sleep. You hope that effort and determination to live will be rewarded and finally, something will go right and the loneliness and the spiritual and material emptiness will come to an end.
What makes it even harder is when you were wrongfully made a criminal to your own community, made one amongst the most despised, and so intimacy, friendship and even family relations are impossible and if not, are damaged beyond repair. When people throw mud at you, some of it always sticks.

But maybe it is because of that injustice that you continue, keeping in mind that success is the best revenge, and that when an injustice is committed there is an imbalance created in the Universe which it will not tolerate. Success can simply be that you are not dead. God knows how much you no longer fear death but would in fact welcome it but he, or the Universe if you are an atheist, speaks to you if you are open to listen. I remember in 2009 been in a tiny holding cell with a young Muslim and who listening to my complaints and self-pity as we sat waiting to appear for a bail hearing said, “Brother, God, the Universe, is love and what is happening to you now is what God wanted for you now, you don’t understand it but one day you will understand”. I wish him well and hope his life turned around just as I do others I met during the weeks I was locked up before been granted bail. Jim the Hells Angel, my cell mate Gazza who was facing years for armed robbery, the young chap I called ‘bomb boy’ and the many others whom I also pray God may have found.

Trying to make something of a life that was destroyed. I accept my fair share of blame but as my Iranian friend said, it had to happen even if I can’t as yet see the reason. Or is it obvious and I still just shy away from that reality? Surely meeting all these people, listening to their stories including that of Gazza who then in his mid-thirties told me when I asked about the tattoos covering the burn scars all over his body, how a rival gang had grabbed him in the street when he was fifteen, doused him with petrol and set him alight. Experiencing their fear, their sense of social rejection, I’ve mentioned here a second book. Maybe it will help others who find themselves in a dark place. But before that book can be written and I more often than not feel I’m not up to the task of writing it, I need to survive a while longer.

Anyway – enough of all that for now and getting back to this micro printing business, I just about have all that is required to start experimenting with screen-printing techniques that for sure will produce items that all humanity will want to possess. Let’s think positive. As in LOL. The keywords were ‘just about’ because and remember the bike trailer that in the end had simply disappeared as did a number of other items ordered online? Well, this time it’s a heat press listed on ebay as from the USA but turned out to be from China and from where it did make it’s way to the Australian east coast but was then accidentally sent to the other side of the continent, Perth, from where it was sent back to Sydney and according to the ‘ Asia Pacific’s premium integrated (?!) transport and logistics company’ – their claim – still had a ‘Perth’ sticker on it and so was sent back to Perth where it now lies waiting to be returned to Sydney and this time not by truck but by airfreight they said after I got very loud on the phone and using language learned in prison, with their ‘freight investigators’. All up and given roughly a distance of 4.5 thousand kilometres across the continent, this press has made an 18 thousand kilometre detour before landing, possibly because no sign of it yet, on my doorstep.

Can anything go right? Yesterday I couldn’t access the photography site and not the first time that has happened either. The tech people in Iceland where it’s hosted were great as always and said it was a problem with the server but it’s the same site that was hacked in April and it has been under constant attack since and even this blog was attacked 20,600 times just last month. LOL I must be upsetting many and the fight goes on.

Blessings to all.

Correction from last post. The government has decided on calling their new super police and intelligence ministry ‘Home Affairs” and not “Home Security”. For sure ‘Affairs’ sounds really serious.

Also – noticed these past weeks that I’m not even getting the usual spam in my comments folder. What that means is that if you sent a comment lately and I haven’t approuved it, the reason is I didn’t get it because maybe the firewall is doing it’s job a bit too well? Who knows with all this tech rubbish?

Champagne soaked boys and home security.

Nearly cracked up laughing when my house mate, a feminist, told me the organisers of the Vuelta a Espana bicycle race have decided that this year there would be male ‘podium assistants’ and there will be no kissing. Apparently the Spanish organisers were inspired by a similar move to include males by the organisers of the Australian “Tour Down Under” who reportedly believe the practice of kissing and the cyclists shacking up the champagne bottle and giving the girls a shower is sexist. Seen plenty of motoGP riders and F1 drivers spray each other and the crowd but anyway, logic would have it that if women have a problem with this type of behaviour, they could simply refuse to be podium girls.

LOL – I know one motoGP champion who would not be complaining if the girls were given the flick altogether and, was it not in ‘Republic’ that Plato suggested the way to get soldiers to fight harder would be to give the bravest amongst them first choice of the boys?

It’s expected this will be expanded to Formula 1 and motoGP and it will be interesting to see who between podium boys and podium girls gets the most camera time. Advertisers will be sitting in front of their televisions stopwatch in hand as will feminists at the ready to write angry emails if the girls get a second less on-camera time than the boys. In the words of doctor Gonzo – it just gets weirder.

Also – yes you guessed well – it’s our prime minister again and this time he announced on the public television not many watch and in the middle of the working day, that essential to our safety is putting the intelligence agencies, the federal police and border patrol under one super ministry. Yep that’s it, putting intelligence gathering and covert operations, policing and covert operations and border control under the authority of one minister is supposed to make the country safer from – drum roll please – terrorists. Not much mention of pedophiles and only in passing drug dealers this time.

Now, normally, let us say that as an investigative journalist, political dissident or member of a greenie group opposed to a coal mine the government supports, you would have two types of opponents. One, those who are required to respect the law (your local police for example) and the second, those who are not always required to respect the law. That could include Intelligence officers who might be given a task to complete and where the only rule is the eleventh commandment. “Thy shalt not get caught”.

Imagine you were the target of such an operation and survived and wanted redress. You might go to the police or in Australia to the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) who might instruct the federal police to raid and seize compromising documents from the spooks or even drag the spooks into a dark cellar to be questioned by a yellow-eyed woman with her sleeves rolled up. No chance of that happening now. Spooks and federal police will be under the control of one minister. I think they want to call this the ‘ministry for home security’ but maybe a more seventies-style South American name might be better such as, “Ministro supremo para la protección del poder estatal”.

Home” “Security” and “Ministry” (preaching the good word?) who is going to see anything but ‘good’ in that?

If you understand Spanish or know how to use Google translate, click here for the article about the podium boys.

Legislation driven by fear.

 

And strengthening state continues with today the prime minister announcing proposed changes to the ‘call out’ (the army) legislation because allegedly the New South Wales police didn’t do a good job dealing with a ‘terrorist’ incident in 2014. What happened was that an unhinged person took hostages in a Sydney cafe and after a stand-off the police went in and a few people were killed. The police came under a lot of criticism for how they handled the incident, most of it unfair as they could not know how determined this man was, whether he had explosives, what type of weapons he had, etc.

The armchair generals who are never put in a position where their own lives might be at risk and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, decided the army should have been called in. Allegedly they would have done a better job at neutralising the threat presented by a lone person with mental health issues holding a gun to the heads of a few persons on a coffee break. Delicate situation for sure, but a skilled negotiator might have been able to de-escalate the situation whereas the arrival of the military more likely than not, would have had the opposite effect.

What the prime minister is proposing is dangerous to democracy in that it removes checks and balances that were wisely written into the constitution and in federal law to protect the civilian population from the excesses of power whilst at the same time providing for emergency usage of the military when and only when, the resources of state police have been exhausted.

Section 119 of the constitution says that,

The Commonwealth shall protect every State against invasion and, on the application of the Executive Government of the State, against domestic violence.

What this guarantees is that a state cannot call out the army against civilians who might be protesting whatever as is their democratic right. To further limit the ability to call out the army in situations of civil unrest, there is also section 51A of the defence act which says that in the case of a state requesting call out of the army, federal ministers must be satisfied that,

                     (a)  domestic violence is occurring or is likely to occur in Australia; and

                    (aa)  the domestic violence would, or would be likely to, affect Commonwealth interests; and

                     (b)  if the domestic violence is occurring or is likely to occur in a State or self-governing Territory–the State or Territory is not, or is unlikely to be, able to protect Commonwealth interests against the domestic violence; and

                     (c)  the Defence Force should be called out and the Chief of the Defence Force should be directed to utilise the Defence Force to protect the Commonwealth interests against the domestic violence.

The above is what the prime minister claims needs to be changed to protect us from nut cases in cafes. I doubt it would make any difference and a better strategy would be to give more training to local police, if there is indeed a clear need, in the art of negotiating with the mentally unhinged. What these changes will do for sure is remove checks and balances from the threat of a bad federal government, and no nation is immune from electing the wrong persons, having the ability to call out the army against protesters without having to first receive a request from the state government which might be on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

I think most would agree they would prefer to be blown up than leave our descendants with less freedom than we enjoyed and this and other recent changes giving more power to state is an example of the dangers Franklin D. Roosevelt was referring to when he said in his 1933 inaugural speech that, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

 

And yet more surveillance. RIP Liu Xiaobo.

Depressing this morning listening to our prime minister together with top brass from the Australian Federal Police going on about why the ability to force tech companies to decrypt communications is essential to protecting us from – drum roll please – terrorists, drug dealers and pedophiles. The usual suspects and none better to strike fear in the populace. To the civil libertarians who might question this breach of human rights, his argument was that we should not put the entire population at risk to protect the rights of a small and criminal minority. Sounds logical and who would argue that, well, no amount of lost freedoms is too great where the lives and virginity of children are at risk? Certainly not Hitler who from memory, made pretty much the same argument in Mein Kampf.

The truth is that the number of terrorist organisations capable of committing a successful attack is less than forty years ago, pre Internet, and all those terrorist organisations of mid last century simply faded away because of a lack of popular support and Islamic terrorism will do the same. There was no need then nor is there now for a permanent loss of civil and political rights. Drug dealers and pedophiles? They do not need Internet access to commit their crimes and at best these proposed laws will create an inconvenience for the petty criminals and one they will quickly overcome. In fact, it is known that terrorist organisations that are well-organised and capable do not use clear net social media, download-for-free encryption nor even the dark net to organise their attacks but rather rely on old and tried systems of covert communications such as code books, messengers and face-to-face meetings in safe locations such as a cave in Afghanistan. Furthermore, no wide spread loss of freedom and rights will ever prevent a person with sexual hangups and feelings of being downtrodden and ignored when they should – in their mind – be ruling the planet from constructing a bomb, renting a truck or buying a hunting knife from the hardware store. What will go a long way to preventing such lone wolf and other attacks would be a society in which you are not only what you have and where people have equal right and opportunity to be heard and in which they feel accepted as equals. Not just ‘tolerated’ like we do the kid next door who annoys the crap out of everyone with the drum set he got for Christmas.

The prime minister certainly chose the right day to announce yet another loss of civil and political rights because today is also the day those who believe in freedom and are prepared to fight for it, lost Liu Xiaobo. The Chinese hero who put freedom ahead of his personal safety starting from Tiananmen Square in 1989.

An inspiration and example to all who believe in democracy.

OK… I mentioned before a print business which is coming together but slowly in part because of equipment sourced from overseas going missing. Just like the bike trailer. The latest is a press which is both heavy and rather big and that unloaded in Newcastle which is just a hundred kilometres north of Sydney was sent to Perth which is on the other side of the Australian continent where, it was ‘lost’ until I requested a refund. Miraculously found, it is now on a truck, or so I’m told by the transport company, and on its way back. All up since been unloaded in Australia it will have made a nine-thousand kilometre detour before landing, hopefully, God willing and planets aligned, on my door step. The bad news for my little enterprise is that this press is just one of six items which appear to be experiencing difficulties in finding Katoomba.

Work also continues on the animation project. I’ve got to the point where my character kicks and tosses a skull around an abandoned factory, will make sense when and if I post the finished result here, but animating this sequence is proving to be a challenge in that I can’t find suitable reference. How fast does a skull fall after been kicked in the air? 9.81 metre/second square you will say.

screen shot of blender animation interface.

Character preparing to throw skull into the air. Animating this sequence without reference is proving to be a challenge.

And the book for young persons which is taking the lead over book two which is dark and for older and wiser persons. I don’t think anyone who has never written a book can realise how bloody difficult it is! For starters you are faced with the problem of trying to hold the entire thing in your head. Notes help of course but the sense of approaching writing a book as similar to building a house becomes obvious. Have a plan, detail your characters, are they driving the story or is the story driving them, lay out the foundations of the whole construct, build it up and only then worry about the colour of the curtains. Still not easy but better than your character liking plums in chapter two and despising them in Chapter fifteen. This young person targeted novel started out as a script for a short children’s animation, got put aside as most projects do, was resurrected and has gone from light story for little kids to something a bit more involved and profound for somewhat older kids. I will finish it if only because the learning journey makes writing this story well worth the effort. If you’re bored I’d strongly recommend writing a book. Believe me, it takes you into another world and you don’t see the hours fly past. Great fun and much frustration – if that makes sense.