Some may have noticed this blog went offline a few times recently, you probably got a ‘server not found’ error but happy to say the host’s wonderful tech people appear to have fixed whatever the issues were. Nevertheless a few posts disappeared into cyberspace which is not a big deal – I’m sure I’ll remember what they were about and will repost. In the meantime below are a few recent pictures and which are also doing OK on my reactivated 500px account. I mentioned that I think on one of the missing posts.
We hear that a lot – that Australia is ‘the lucky country’. What’s lost is that Donald Horne who wrote the book of that name meant Australia is lucky in that it’s success is more due to good luck than good management. As he said, a first rate country run by second rate people and a recent example of that is the domestic supply of gas. Previous governments sold near all known reserves to Asia, amongst the world’s largest, and at a price so low that it would now be cheaper to buy Australian gas back from Japan than frack for more. New South Wales and Victoria have heaps of gas but the resistance of their rural communities to fracking is such that in the end the federal government had to ask the energy companies to please, please put a little aside for domestic consumption and not export the lot. I wonder how much that will add to local energy bills which are already ridiculously high and when combined with the equally ridiculous cost of housing will result in even more average families heading bills in hand to their local Salvation Army office.
Anyways… thought I’d share a few pictures I took a few years ago when and as some who have been accessing this blog would know, I was homeless and living in a tent in the bush. ‘Harmonica Mike’ was well known to backpackers who camped in the woods. Actually and given the tendency of the younger generation to post all and everything on social media, Michael had become a bit of an international celebrity with many wondering how in a country like Australia a man with a plethora of health issues could be left to live in a tent.
Pretty sure I had quiet a few thoughts to share on a range of subjects but as is often the case, by the time you are sitting in front of the computer and looking at a flashing cursor the mind has gone blank. What was that thing that got me all fired up on the train back up the mountains the other day? Can’t remember but thinking about whatever it could have been you realise that it was probably just one symptom of a bigger illness. A bit like five hurricanes in a row in the Caribbean is either bad luck or just another indication that climate change is accelerating which itself is just a symptom of the disease that is civilisation based on consumption. Consumption produces two things, one being heat and the other toxic waste and so the ‘virus’ in need of eradication is human want. No-one will resolve climate change without resolving the insatiable appetite of some for consumer goods. The marketing people have long identified who ‘some’ is – just check out television ads and social media marketing.
OK – so we are all fucked because that particular sub-species will always put self ahead of everything and anyone else and will consider it a simple matter of rights and entitlement to put future generation’s right to a livable planet behind their immediate and irrational want for the latest article of clothing, smart-phone or motorcar. There are scientists who give us a decade at most but that is something I need to research a bit before daring to believe it could in fact be true.
Another thing that grabbed me today was an article about a guy who up until the time of his arrest some months ago was a prominent television journalist. He got himself entrapped by online vigilantes and wound up as the poster boy for pure evil on all the competition’s print and broadcast media. As it turned out he had a dirty conversation with online vigilantes and is facing a maximum sentence of up to fifteen years for the crime of talking stupid. He reportedly pleaded ‘guilty’ to this charge with his lawyer seeking a reduced sentence because no dirty pictures of under-age persons were exchanged and no child was actually interfered with in any manner whatsoever. Throwing out all the bullshit – his crime in fact amounts to having had a dirty thought. Wow – who hasn’t?
The stupid thing with this is that liking young males is average amongst older males, it’s according to research into the role aesthetics played in evolution a major reason that amongst primates the human branch was most successful. Contrary to our hairy cousins human adult males do not reject or even kill young males as potential sexual rivals but rather welcome and mentor them into successful adulthood. For that to happen there has to be a force of attraction between older and younger males that overrides the need for other-sex copulation in the older male. Fact lost on some who, let’s surmise, indeed see pretty boys as the greatest threat to their evil plans for world domination and therefore would push for ever tougher penalties on anyone who even mouths out the thought that a young guy is more fun to be with than a floppy bag of resentment.
Other than trying to remember what crosses my mind when I want to get it down in ones and zeros on the hard drive my 500px, which I closed about this time last year, was re-activated without my consent. Never put anything on automatic payments I suppose is the lesson there. I had the same problem with the newspaper ‘Le Monde’ who don’t tell you when you accept the offer of a three-month trial at 1 euro a month that having your bank details they will at the end of the 3 months take the full amount of the subscription and the only way to cancel it is to send them a suitably filled-in form and by registered snail mail to their Paris office. It borders on scam but I know, I know – print news media is in trouble and big problems require bold solutions.
So having another year of ‘awesome’ subscription to the 500px photography website I decided I may as well use it as a way of getting feedback on pictures and below are a few that are doing well.
Peace and blessings to all.
Been in the Sydney burbs house sitting and with added cat and fish feeding duties which is not all that exciting and so last Sunday I made an effort and went into the city hoping to get some good pictures at a ‘Vote Yes’ march. That been of course the same-gender marriage thing again. I took a few hundred pictures most of which are useless as I anticipated they would be given the location (between very boring high rise buildings) and time of day (excessive contrast between sunlit and shaded areas) but was hoping the LGBTQI event might create opportunities for some good human interest pictures. That didn’t work out all that well either because for the greater part the marchers were all white middle class young adults with a few bringing along the kids. Not sure the march would have convinced a single ‘No’ voter to vote ‘Yes’ if that was the intention because where it failed was in not putting forward a reason why a person who believes marriage is between a man and a woman should change their voting intentions. Stamping your foot and screaming ‘Not Fair!’ is not a valid argument as many children find out when they try it on their parents.
I’ve been over this same-gender marriage thing more than enough already and will maybe just post some pictures when I get around to sorting and processing what is worth salvaging but there is one I think speaks in support of Ginsberg’s piece I published here recently in which he argues amongst other things for the need to deal with the sexual rights of teenagers. Something the mainstream LGBTQI have run away from out of fear of rejection by the conservative hetero majority. I took the picture below in a railway station as I waited for the train back to the suburbs. I had to be quick because the kid frequently repositioned the sign between bouts of whatever he was doing on his phone and therefore the less than perfect quality of the snap shot.
We understand from what he has written on his placard that he is thirteen and wishes to marry a male — and edit, my flatmate set me straight on who this Chris is, an actor apparently, but the point remains — end of edit. Anyway, there you have it, out in the open that young teenagers make choices, identify as gay and fall in love. None of this can be swept back under the carpet which means that limitations on what can be said in debate, written or represented in the visual arts is useless and this all encompassing taboo is even dangerous given that youth have discovered – and I have this from sources and NOT from my own research – other platforms where their expressions of sexual desire are, let’s say, welcomed and eagerly encouraged.
Of course legislation is needed but by itself it will not resolve this issue. We also need intelligent and informed discussion and up-to-date sex education. I hear already those who would say that a strict environment in which kids are ‘kept innocent’ is the way to deal with what they would describe as sexual promiscuity in children and to them I would reply that research carried out by a NYT journalist some years ago found that half of all boys working as under-age male prostitutes in New York are from fundamentalist Christian families. Makes sense – in a conservative religious family a same-gender-attracted child quickly learns that receiving love from those he or she loves depends on he or she accepting to self-hate in silence and isolation. They will seek out their kind but are likely to do so in a self-destructive way because that is how they have learned to express and interact with their sexuality. I can remember myself growing up under those circumstances and thinking back it’s a miracle I survived to adulthood. I used to fantasize about been able to bring a boyfriend home and receive the same approving reception as I did if I came home with a girl. I liked girls but most often the relationship failed because of my lack of physical interest. I could manage a half-decent performance – I think – but only when drunk and at a time when I was still young enough to be less fussy about what was in the bed.
OK – blabbered on a bit more than planned but there is just one final thing I want to add and it’s the reason why I will vote ‘Yes’ in this postal plebiscite despite as all who come here know, having reservations based on the possibility of a backlash caused by a lack of clarity on issues such as the rights of the child in same-gender families and lack of discussion about how all this will change the institution of marriage. A major concern of those intending to vote ‘No’.
With regard to the institution, same-gender marriage will – possibly – reshape marriage into an institution based on the celebration of love between two equals and not on child raising and property. Same-gender marriage presents an opportunity for heteros to also rethink their marriages, most of which fail, and therefore same-gender marriage could benefit all of society.
The second reason for my ‘Yes’ vote is that as same-gender-attracted people we have fought and won many battles and now that we have started this one, we can’t afford for the sake of younger gays like the boy in the picture, to lose it. Even if I still think it is strategically risky and it might have been a better idea to win this debate in factory lunchrooms and by the water bubbler of city offices before asking the public for a decision. The fact of homosexuals having to ask the heteros for their approval also doesn’t sit comfortably with me. Anyway – blessings to all and vote with your heart.
New month started and we have floods all over the place with much talk of ‘community spirit’ but not of the elephant in the room which is of course Climate Change. Here in Australia the talking point is still same-gender marriage so desperately wanted by the feminist movement and of course the shorty boy in North Korea whom we must assume is reacting to internal threats to his leadership. In fact – fairly sure the North Koreans would be happy to see him fed to the dogs.
Still waiting for a reply from the office of the prime minister, our local member of parliament – Labor federal MP Susan Templeman – and the Australian government’s security website about why Australian citizens are allowed to join the Israeli Defence Force and not Islamic State? Now over a week later I have still not received a response and so must assume that both sides of politics are closing a blind eye to what is a double standard and one that can only cause resentment in the Muslim community. As a nation we will pay a price for choosing to support the morally indefensible actions of a rogue nation (that being a nation that does not respect international law).
And otherwise – further progress on books, animation and a bit of photography is being made and also some Iiado katas and riding of the mountain bike every day to prepare for my next attempt at a long ride out west when the weather warms up a bit more.
Not much to say so will leave you with these words of Palestinian poet Mazen Maarouf,
I’ll tear off my lips
and eat them
I’ll rip out my chest
because I’m not an orphanage
for gathering angels.
I’ll remove the door
and stand in its stead
to stop myself from leaving
for the hole in the world.
Blessings to all.