A weird statement, a printer and a photograph.

Weird things happen such as a guy coming over to your place of residence to declare art should be about ‘spreading good in the world’. If it were a kid I’d give him a pat on the head and compliment him on having such a noble thought but such a simplistic comment coming from an adult left me scratching my head and not least by the question of what might have caused this sudden and irresistible need to set me straight on what art is.

The temptation would be to simply answer there is no such thing as ‘art’ and even if there were such a thing, it is less than certain it would have any ability to ‘spread good’.

I know some might bulk at the suggestion there is no such thing as art including this person who appears to have concerns about my ‘art’ which I can assure you he has never set eyes upon but whatever and who cares, whether there is art or not is an interesting question. We could say that before mass media, cameras and cheap books there was ‘art’ and that it fulfilled an important social function in providing guidance to the masses in how they shaped their lives. Maybe it is this art this guy meant? I’d hate to wake him up to the reality those days are for the most part gone.

The reality today is and as said by someone from the Frankfurt School of philosophy and social theory, that marketing and advertising have replaced art and religion. The operative word being ‘replaced’, one swapped for the other, and it’s true if we agree that people when seeking meaning and direction in life are by far more likely to be influenced by a lifestyle advertisement appearing on their Facebook page than Chris Ofili’s “Virgin Mary Encrusted with Elephant Dung”.

Should we consider a Facebook advertisement ‘art’? That could be debated as well but what we could say for sure is that the Facebook advertisement would be a by far more effective way of “spreading good” than a pretty drawing of a flower by unknown.

OK – maybe stating there is no art is a bit rough and as Kokoschka replied when asked what he thought of modern art, he said “It’s actually very good art in that it is dehumanized art that perfectly reflects a dehumanized society. I paraphrase sorry, but even if ‘very good art’ the question of its relevance to contemporary society remains. I liked what feminist and academic Camille Paglia had to say on the subject in an interview with Vice magazine.

“ – the fine arts have become very insular and derivative. There is good work being done, but it too often reminds me of ten other sometimes better things over the past 100 years. The main problem is a high-concept mentality. There’s too much gimmickry and irony and not enough intuition and emotion”. 

Critic Camille Paglia thinks “Revenge of the Sith” is our generation’s greatest work of art. Vice magazine, November 28, 2012

In other news the ‘good’ is that I finally received part of the kit I need to start printing shirts. Still chasing up the rest but feeling more confident I’ll be up and running in a few weeks.

Haven’t posted any pictures for a while so here is one I snapped this afternoon and decided to call “The Lovers”.

Two stuffed personages outside a wooden door with graffiti and miscellaneous objects.

Note to English speakers – I will change the default language to proper English some time soon.

Blessings.

Photography site (near) back up and running after hack.

Been working these past few days on restoring my photography site after it was trashed by some drop-kick hacker in April. It’s far from complete with new content needed, typos to fix and pages that need redesigning but despite that it’s looking promising. Comments are welcome.

djinnproject.org

Cheers.

Mea Culpa – I trashed the Pell post as having relied on memory I got some historical details wrong. I should know better!

Democracy, T-shirts and why people don’t buy newspapers.

Working on getting work which increasingly is less about scanning the classifieds and other employment websites for a nine-to-five job but rather will have to involve creating the money machine myself. Business, books in progress and not forgetting the art and photography entirely – suddenly there are not enough hours in the day and often I’m still at it in the early hours of the morning.

Part of ‘the plan’ involves reviving my t-shirt business of years ago but this time rather than just airbrushed shirts, I’m also adding screen-printed into the mix. Sounded easy enough but a few hours research was enough to discover it’s actually quiet involved if you aim to make anything someone might actually want. The technicalities of getting a design onto cloth in such a way it is somewhat similar to what was intended is difficult enough but before that one needs to be a creative genius, especially in these days of gross oversupply, and come up with colors and shapes that displayed on the wearer’s chest will satisfy his or her need for peer approval.

So full of enthusiasm and putting leftist philosophies aside I decided to engage in some capitalism, ordered equipment I no longer had due to past bills and later garage sales and then and after setting up the accounting software – oh the horror – got stuck into doing some designing. Well, couldn’t help myself and after churning out a series of sentences, images and jotting down other ideas for shirts that would for sure rake in the orders, the question of what I was actually doing came to mind.

Designing shirt graphics of course but beyond that and seeking ideas it occurred to me that a ‘good idea’ is one that adds to a human debate that is ongoing and probably started as soon as humans realized there are aspects to their lives they knew to exist but could not grasp sufficiently to fully understand. How many texts are there about Love for example? Starting from the first recorded which could be ancient Greek such as the writings of Homer or Plato and up to “Pretty Woman” or present day debates about gay marriage? The important thing is not arriving at a final answer which is beyond our abilities anyway but rather is the perfection of the debate. It must include all voices and be unlimited in scope and working on a seventies style counter-culture design and realizing I was self-censoring and have less freedom than the artists of the mid-twentieth century, it occurred to me that just as climate change could already be a runaway process, if in the simple act of designing a T-shirt I feel a need to exercise caution then all those important social debates have been closed by ill-informed legislation and democracy is already in an advanced state of decay.

And in Paul’s “also” section – a thought on why people don’t buy newspapers anymore. I was going to make this the subject of a post but a few examples are sufficient to make the point that the Internet is not solely responsible for killing print news.

From the BBC style guide a few examples of what we get these days in broadcast and print,

Dying more than once…

For the second time in six months, a prisoner at Durham jail has died after hanging himself in his cell.

A suicide bomber has struck again in Jerusalem.

It’s a sad and tragic fact that if you are a farmer you are three times more likely to die than the average factory worker.

Running out of celebrity rapists? No problem for this writer, the dead can do it as well.

Sixty women have come forward to claim they have been assaulted by a dead gynecologist.

OK – now compare the above to the beautiful piece below,

The boy’s spindly body sank slowly to the dusty gravel road. He lowered his head to the pebbles, resting his sunken cheek on his hand. His dry cracked lips did not close. He tried to cover his bare feet, but the torn dirt encrusted rags he wore were not long enough. He placed an empty tin can, his only possession, near his stomach. And then he started to cry.

Afghan Children Die in Streets of Hunger. James Sterba. New York Times 1972

Notice the rhythm created in the repetitions,

He lowered his head – His sunken cheek – on his hand – His dry cracked lips – He tried to cover – he wore – He placed an empty tin can – his only possession – his stomach – he started to cry

Poetry in prose in which the repetition of “he” and “his” in this single paragraph achieves the writer’s goal of drawing readers into the tragedy of the 1972 Afghan famine and in a way that establishes a personal connection between the reader and this Afghan child whom we know, in the following moment, died of starvation. He forces the reader to make that conclusion his or herself and hopefully write a letter demanding humanitarian intervention. (Which by the way, had we done at the time we would not be fighting the Taliban today.)

I’d buy a newspaper everyday if writers such as James Sterba filled its pages.

 

True Art is Truth – an explanation and Go Japan!

I thought I should explain the byline ‘True Art is Truth’ which is a Spartan proverb and has nothing to do with realism in the visual arts as some assume but rather is about the need to speak truth to the extent that is possible in speech and writing. I found that Aristotle had covered the subject and much better than I possibly could and I also added part of an essay on writing by Robert Louis Stevenson in which he also speaks about the need for truth and honesty.

Aristotle.

The first rule of good speaking is to know and speak the truth as a Spartan proverb says, ‘true art is truth’; whereas rhetoric is an art of enchantment, which makes things appear good and evil, like and unlike, as the speaker pleases. Its use is not confined, as people commonly suppose, to arguments in the law courts and speeches in the assembly; it is rather a part of the art of disputation, under which are included both the rules of Gorgias (Sophist) and the eristic (Eris – goddess of discord and conflict) of Zeno (philosopher best known for his ‘paradoxes’). But it is not wholly devoid of truth. Superior knowledge enables us to deceive another by the help of resemblances, and to escape from such a deception when employed against ourselves. We see therefore that even in rhetoric an element of truth is required. For if we do not know the truth, we can neither make the gradual departures from truth by which men are most easily deceived, nor guard ourselves against deception.

You probably have heard much mention of fake news and alternative facts recently or proposed laws presented as ‘protecting’ us from evil when in fact it is to protect established power from civil society.

Robert Louis Stevenson.

Man is imperfect; yet, in his literature, he must express himself and his own views and preferences; for to do anything else is to do a far more perilous thing than to risk being immoral: it is to be sure of being untrue. To ape a sentiment, even a good one, is to travesty a sentiment; that will not be helpful. To conceal a sentiment, if you are sure you hold it, is to take a liberty with truth. There is probably no point of view possible to a sane man but contains some truth and, in the true connection, might be profitable to the race. I am not afraid of the truth, if anyone could tell it me, but I am afraid of parts of it impertinently uttered. There is a time to dance and a time to mourn; to be harsh as well as to be sentimental; to be ascetic as well as to glorify the appetites; and if a man were to combine all these extremes into his work, each in its place and proportion, that work would be the world’s masterpiece of morality as well as of art. Partiality is immorality; for any book is wrong that gives a misleading picture of the world and life.

I like that last line in which he states that partiality is immorality. Ever try discussing religion with a fundamentalist or an atheist, politics with a member of the far right or left or gender relations with a militant feminist?

Also, you know I’m pretty militant when it comes to civil and political rights and so I was happy to see the reaction in Japan to the passing of new ‘anti-terrorism’ laws. Violent protests and funny that in a matter related to democracy we in the West can now start taking lessons from the East. Rather than go over the details myself, just click HERE to go to “The Guardian” article which covers it all pretty well.

More fear and thoughts on ‘Wonder Woman’

Like many I often have the television switched on in the next room so I can listen to the news channel whilst doing something hopefully constructive like writing a book, working on the animation project or cleaning the kitchen. Usually what’s coming from the flat box is not all that interesting but the other day something did make me put down the mop to pay more attention to what was being reported. Namely, our prime minister together with state premiers and first ministers fronting the media at the end of their COAG meeting. COAG, for those who don’t live here, is the ‘Council Of Australian Governments’ which are the state and federal government. What struck me listening to each premier (head of a state government) and the federal prime minister was the level of agreement on giving our law enforcement and intelligence services yet more power, “the tools and powers they need to keep us safe” was more or less how they all put it. Not a dissenting voice and no mention of a sunset clause nor how these extra tools and powers would be independently managed.

Benjamin Franklin’s words come to mind,

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Thinking about Britain, recent terrorist attacks and the slippery slide towards becoming a nation governed by fear something else comes to mind and it is that in WWII Britain could have surrendered to the Nazis and avoided 67,200 civilian casualties and the greater part of their 383,700 military casualties. But they didn’t because for a nation that has strong beliefs with courage to match, surrender to tyranny was not an option. They stuck it out, took the blows and won. With help of course from like-minded nations but it is true that had the British given into fear and surrendered, the world would be a worse place and to this day. No nation has ever stood proud of its fear. Terrorism? Nothing new and not a reason to give away freedoms and rights that cost all wars and nations combined, literally millions of lives.

The problem we have is that we are fighting an idea and don’t have a better idea and strengthening state, history has shown, weakens nation.

OK and I also wanted to draw attention to an article on the al Jazeera website about the hypocrisy of Hollywood. You might have seen “Wonder Woman” and you may remember the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza which killed over 2500 thousand people including 511 children. Here’s what the little actress who somehow landed the role of ‘Wonder Woman’ had to say,

As quoted in the al Jazeera article.

I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children…We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom! 

Hiding? Like cowards? The ‘boys and girls’ risking their lives? Does she mean as in dropping bombs from a great height and shooting shells, from heavy tanks and at a safe distance, onto schools and hospitals? Brave indeed and as for ‘hiding’ behind children and women (sexist comment that implies women are as helpless as children btw) instead of fighting would she also say the Jewish heroes of the Warsaw ghetto were ‘hiding behind women and children’? Sorry but Gaza and that WWII Jewish ghetto have a few disturbing similarities.

This ‘Wonder Woman’, whose name is Gal Gadot, was an Israeli soldier and a ‘settler’ on land stolen from the Palestinians. A feminist idol maybe but also clearly a member of the ultra-right – the same from which her fellow citizens had to be liberated by others – and is an outspoken supporter of land theft and genocide.

Now, remember the Oscars and all the outrage about the lack of females, of non-white actors, directors, etc? You could be led to believe the arts community has a morale concious and is socially progressive but – apparently not when it comes to children surviving as best they can in the world’s biggest prison.

I’m not anti Israeli – honestly – but strongly feel that enough is enough, we need to fix this puss-oozing sore and that means Israel needs to respect the international law that created it and withdraw to the 1967 green line as it has been repeatedly told. If it fears further attack then the United Nations can disarm both sides and put peacekeepers in place for as long as it takes for the extremists, on both sides, to die of natural causes. Happy days for all.

Brrrrr – too cold

The winter bike trip, as it turned out, was a nice idea. The one thing I didn’t anticipate was that overnight temperatures would drop to sub-zero. In the early hours of Thursday and unable to sleep, I realized the sides of the swag were frozen. I was told next morning by a security guard from a nearby power station and who probably feared I was some greenie intent on doing evil to the coal-fired station, that it had hit -5. That’s OK if you have a sleeping bag which I didn’t because there was no room left on the trailer and I thought the swag and sleeping fully dressed would be sufficient. Anyway, learned a few things and the next attempt will be in Spring.

Hill on the way to Lithgow with mountain bike and trailer in the foreground.

Steep and a long 2.5 kilometer pushing the bike and trailer.

Dead Wombat on the highway west of Lithgow.

Felt like a dead wombat myself – the hills are a killer!

Swag, mountain bie and trailer by the side of the highway to Mudgee.

Setting up camp by the side of the Mudgee highway. In the early hours of the morning I realized the swag’s canvas was frozen.

Also, just have to make a comment about president Trump’s latest act in ‘make America great again’. In what is the gravest threat to ever confront the human species, he decides to align the United States with Syria and Nicaragua and has effectively surrendered leadership in solving this problem to China. I’d be very surprised if the nations who did sign off on the Paris agreement accept a renegotiation and the way they will most likely deal with the United States will be with a punitive carbon tax slapped on everything it tries to export. Net result? More rust in the rust belt.

The fact is that, and regardless of America’s greatness, at the very least we have to bring the carbon level back to 350 parts per million or less for life on this planet to continue. I’m an optimist, it will be done with the only question being, at what cost? Climate catastrophe is just not going to happen.

Finally a trailer

Finally got a trailer for the mountain bike, am packed up and ready to set out tomorrow morning. From Katoomba where I currently live, I’ll be making my way north west and the final destination will be Narrabri which is about 500 kilometres from here. Once there I’ll make a decision about whether to head south back towards Sydney or continue. So at a minimum the trip should be about a 1000 kilometers.
I’ll be taking pictures of course and will post a few here when I find a public library with Internet access.

 

 

Inspiration

Sticking with the subject of art and creativity, these past years I’ve been experiencing a state of confusion and inaction I’m sure many can relate to. Maybe in my case it is less acute given that advancement in age brings the ultimate excuse for doing nothing and which is that ‘it’s too late anyway and may as well just sit tight and wait to die’. Its for the most part true, my father used to say ‘if you haven’t made it by forty you may as well give up, take any job going and hope it sees you through to retirement’. He was speaking about careers in business but the art scene is not much better, ever noticed how many art competitions and support there is for ‘young and emerging artists’? In reality you can be an emerging artist at any age, even old age, but not according to the mainstream who by their insistence an emerging artist must be say under twenty-five prove two things; one that at the bottom of the mainstream indeed lies mediocrity and two, they don’t want anyone over twenty-five kneeling before them with mouth wide open. Not a joke – I knew a gallery owner in the past who got sucked by all his exhibiting artists. Therefore the shit he had hanging on the walls of his multiple galleries but I’ll stop right there. You get the picture.

The trick to success I think is to say you couldn’t give a rat’s arse if anyone reads your book or buys your painting. In fact the starting point is that you couldn’t give a rat’s if you die with the music still in you. After all, dead you don’t know you’re dead and by way of consequence, don’t know you had a good novel or groundbreaking painting buried deep in your entrails. Maybe you did suspect its existence but couldn’t be bothered writing it down and that’s fine as well, possible years of sleep deprivation and self-doubt is a high price to pay for the privilege of getting less money than a kid flipping burgers at Maccas – if you work out the hours spent in most cases – or having your ego fluffed up by a few people wanting your signature on the first edition. Maybe you are an idealist and want to make a contribution to your nation’s cultural heritage but your nation will never miss what they don’t know could have existed and the populace are probably too busy watching Big Brother or reading Cleo, Fast Fours or V8’s & Big Tits and if not are probably watching, holding chin between thumb and crocked first finger, the Bolshoi’s umpteenth repeat performance of Swan Lake. It’s not reason enough and especially if and as is increasingly the case nowadays if the work is honest, your creation could well attract more hate than admiration. I’d say and am not alone and not the last to say it – if you do it then just do it for yourself. When it’s finished you can decide whether you want to put it out there.

A reason and will to create is difficult enough but there is worse and it is the confusion over the source of so-called inspiration. For the most part the public love to believe and artists love to perpetrate the myth, and maybe believe it themselves in some sort of deluded way, that there is something metaphysical or even divine to the artist’s inspiration and they have this rare ability courtesy of Nature or God. Let me set people straight on that, near anyone can learn to do anything to a level commensurate with the amount of effort they are prepared to put in and the same applies to composing and performing music, drawing, painting and writing. Genius is as Edison said, ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration and it’s true, no matter you roll your cigarettes, wear ripped jeans and have a ring in your nose, your work will always be crap if you don’t work hard at your trade and that before worrying about the inspiration bit of the equation.

But lets talk about that one percent which is indeed so rare. Here is a fact I found funny but which did not surprise me. Most are familiar with the works of German composer Richard Wagner and would agree he accessed the lofty ranks of genius but I didn’t and suspect most didn’t know that he reportedly could not compose if he was not wearing silk underwear. In other words – if further clarification is needed – he could not be ‘inspired’ if he was not jerking himself under the table. I have that on good source – a series of serious lectures on serious German culture called “What is German”. Thomas Mann hints at the same thing when in “Death in Venice” he writes, “It is well the public know only of a great work and not also what inspired it because knowledge of the source of the artist’s inspiration would confuse them and lead them to think less of the work” I paraphrase as too lazy to dig up Mann’s exact words but you get the idea and in Mann’s case he must have had his young boyfriend in mind, in 1942 he records,

-from the Klaus Heuser period, when I was a happy lover… Well, there it is – I have ‘lived and loved’. Dark eyes that shed tears for me, beloved lips I kissed – it all happened, to me it was given, I shall be able to tell myself this as I die.

Half his luck. Ginsberg put it differently but I guess meant pretty much the same when he said a poem rises from your guts. LOL – his gut must have been in a remarkable state of agitation when he penned, “Please Master”.

Please master can I touch your cheek
please master can I kneel at your feet
please master can I loosen your blue pants
please master can I gaze at your golden haired belly
please master can I have your thighs bare to my eyes
please master can I take off my clothes below your chair
please master can I can I kiss your ankles and soul
please master can I touch lips to your hard muscle hairless thigh
please master can I lay my ear pressed to your stomach
please master can I wrap my arms around your white ass
please master can I lick your groin gurled with blond soft fur
please master can I touch my tongue to your rosy asshole
please master may I pass my face to your balls,
please master order me down on the floor,

Well – no comment and you can read the rest on the ‘Hello Poetry’ website.

Seriously – the ability to create a notable piece of creative work involves pretty much the whole person just as does the act of making a baby. Trying to limit the exercise to the intellect will always result in at best a well-crafted mediocrity because any suppression, even the slightest, will always turn you back from artist to tradesman and if the case you may as well not bother. Or maybe and as George Orwell wrote is the only solution for an honest writer – commit suicide. I’d suggest if asked, you create for yourself, burn the result if fearing unpleasant repercussions, and generally just stick the middle finger up and say fuck youz all.

Bicycle trailer update: on route from Melbourne by courier this time so fingers crossed, I’ll be out in the wild next week.

 

Junky and still no trailer.

There’s a backpacker hostel down the road and that on top of a cliff face is held up by concrete walls which, to the local kids is canvas for their street art. So far the game has been that the artists spray their tags, paste up or scribble some derogatory statement about the local police force on the walls and then someone paints over it the next morning. I’m sure this game goes on anywhere in the world where there is youth, walls and spray cans and just like other places, the strategy here has been to designate a space where local youth ‘can express themselves’ in an appropriate and safe environment, maybe a few social workers on hand to talk about gender fluidity and breaking glass ceilings, but of course the very nature of true street art is that it is art of the street and not just art in the street. Street art is anarchistic and the mere fact of a surface and the art that will be painted or pasted on it receiving prior approval from any authority whatsoever disqualifies it from being described as street art.

Anyways, the latest attempt by either local authorities or the owners of the backpacker hostel to put an end to the nightly decorating of the concrete walls has been to paste up a sticker warning of dire consequences should anyone feel an irrestible urge to ‘express themselves’ in the wrong place. But it’s a fail as well in that it clearly indicates that the authority who issued the warning was also too busy expressing themselves on public walls to attend English class. The graffiti will be given to police?! It’s a bit like the sign at the bottom of the stairway to the upper level of London buses that states, “Dogs must be carried”. Damn it – don’t have a dog.

OK, for the smart ass at the back of the class who asked, the sticker should read “Photographs of graffiti in this area are given to police’.

Sticker on wall.

In other aspects of life, believe it or not I’m still trying to get my hands on a trailer for my mountain bike. Had I four weeks annual leave in which to do this planned bike excursion I would now be putting the trip in the ‘nice idea but…’ basket. The latest attempt was yesterday when I ordered a trailer from a mob in Sydney and which offers a similar item on eBay and boasting ‘free delivery’ I noticed at the bottom of their ‘thank you for your order’ email explanations on how to calculate the cost of shipping. The trailer hasn’t shipped and I will deal with that later today most likely by requesting a refund. I think it would be better to order straight from China where these trailers are probably made anyway. Come to think about it, Australia Post still hasn’t got back to me about how the first one just vanished. That’s the third parcel they have ‘lost’ in the past six months or so, the other two were together and from an unknown source. Auspost had left a ‘pick up from the post office’ card in our letter box but when I presented it at the counter they were unable to find the parcels nor even determine whether they had tracking numbers. I made a complaint and in that instance they fell over themselves in efforts to reassure me all things possible were been done to locate them with even a guy presenting himself as an employee of Auspost ringing weeks later to make sure I was happy with their unsuccessful efforts. Possibly making sure I would not pursue the matter any further. Whatever was in those two parcels must have been important to someone and I would encourage the person who sent them if they are reading this to hit the contact button and I’ll reply with suggestions.Anyway, so here I am not knowing when or even if, I’ll ever be able to ride my bike down the road.

I finished reading Burrough’s “Junky” which I found is for the most part just a better account of life as a drug addict than those I’ve heard a thousand times over from clients when I was a youth worker. Drugs are the sum total of their existence and try to talk about anything else and in two sentences they will bring the conversation back to their habit and most pathetic is how they expect you to be impressed with what they believe are tales of epic heroism. Aside from that the book does get better as you progress and about half way through it even begins to attain a high level of readability with about a dozen pages of outstanding writing. I liked for example his description of the patrons of a ‘fag bar’ in New Orleans,

In the French Quarter there are several queer bars so full every night the fags spill out on the side walk. A room full of fags gives me the horrors. They jerk around like puppets on invisible strings, galvanized into hideous activity that is the negation of everything living and spontaneous. The live human being has moved out of these bodies long ago. But something moved in when the original tenant moved out. Fags are ventriloquists’ dummies who have moved in and taken over the ventriloquist. The dummy sits in a queer bar nursing his beer, and uncontrollably yapping out of a rigid doll face.

I’ve seen this myself and sadly the above description is fairly accurate. Burroughs was not a homophobe and makes no secret of his own same-gender sexual adventures which in 1953, when “Junky” was published, must have raised a few eyebrows. As an example – a boy in a bar in Mexico,

I turned to get a closer look at the boy who had moved over. Now bad. “Por que triste” I asked. (“Why sad?”) Not much of a gambit, but I wasn’t there to converse.

The boy smiled, revealing very red gums and sharp teeth far apart. He shrugged and said something to the effect that he wasn’t sad or not espeially so. I looked around the room.

Vamonos a otro lugar,” I said. (Let’s go some place else.”)

The boy nodded. We walked down the street into an all-night restaurant, and sat down in a booth. The boy dropped his hand onto my leg under the table. I felt my stomach knot with excitement. I gulped my coffee and waited impatiently while the boy finished a beer and smoked a cigarette.

The boy knew a hotel. I pushed five pesos through a grill. An old man unlocked the door of a room and dropped a ragged towel on the chair. “Llevas pistola?” – (You carry a gun?”) – asked the boy. He had caught sight of my gun. I said yes.

I folded my pants and dropped them over a chair, placing the pistol on my pants. I dropped my shirt and my shorts on the pistol. I sat down naked on the edge of the bed and watched the boy undress. He folded his worn blue suit carefully. He took off his shirt and placed it around his coat on the back of a chair. His skin was smooth and copper-colored. The boy stepped out of his shorts and turned around and smiled at me. Then he came and sat beside me on the bed. I ran a hand slowly over the boy’s back, following with the other hand the curve of the chest down over the flat brown stomach. The boy smiled and lay down on the bed.

Later we smoked a cigarette, our shoulders touching under the cover. The boy said he had to go. We both dressed. I wondered if he expected money. I decided not. Outside, we separated at a corner, shaking hands.

Beautifully crafted and I wonder if it did not inspire that page in Frederique Mitterrand’s book “La Mauvaise Vie” (“The Bad Life”) in which he describes his encouter with a teenage male prostitute in Thailand and that was the cause of a scandale widely reported in international news media after Marine Le Pen said in a 2009 television interview that it proved Mitterrand had engaged in “sexual tourism”. How things have changed since 1953.

Blessings to all.

Stuck.

Stuck in F—king Katoomba because a bike trailer ordered from a store in Victoria on the 5th has gone missing. Yesterday I got a refund from eBay but now have to start again and this time I think I will get it picked up by private courier. Can’t even organise a bike ride without something going wrong and that’s item number three that has gone missing compliments of Aussie Post.

So here I am with not much to do other than continue setting people up so they send me a “thank you for your application but unfortunately” and reworking the animation which suffered a major set back when I realised that the back-up version was not the latest version after I wiped and re-installed the contents of my hard drive. All of which when not reading W. Burroughs “Junk”, saw me outside in the beautiful late autumn sun raking up leaves whilst pondering whether I should add to the to-do list: finish writing that book everyone says I should finish.

Hopefully it won’t be much longer before I can finally pedal a bike into the countryside.

Also – since my post about the eight-year-old there have been near two thousand attempted attacks on this blog. Most originating from the United States. No comment.

Also, also – the Manchester horror? What sort of sick fuck wants to die by mangling his guts with those of little girls? Nuff said about the true reason for this sort of attack.