Tag Archives: Sydney

MTB out to Hanging Rock. A few pics

Nothing much to say here other than spent the afternoon riding out to a place known as ‘Hanging Rock’. There used to be a ‘hanging rock’ going on photos dating back to mid last century but I’d say the rock itself has long fallen into the Grouse valley below.

 

Bike and=camp fire by the side of the track to Hanging Rock, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Bike and someone’s campfire. Good idea to camp a bit back from the cliff edge especially if you’re a sleep walker…

MTB bike by the side of track . Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Stop on the way to Hanging Rock.

Parks and Wildlife sign listing all that is allowed and all that is forbidden. Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

All new and fun things are forbidden.

Track to Hanging Rock, Blue Mountains, new South Wales, Australia, Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Made for MTB riders, the track to Hanging Rock lookout.

MTB at leaning against tree growing at the very edge of the cliff face. Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, Picture by Paul Nyssen.

If the tree fell – all would be at the bottom of the Grouse valley, a long, long way dawn.

Cliff edge overlooking the Grouse valley, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Great place to slack line but that’s verboten in the Blue Mountains National Park. Like most things fun.

View east of Hanging rock, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

At the distant horizon you can see the Sydney skyline. Over 100 kilometres away. Not visible at the resolution of this photograph but just goes to show how good the air is up here. Unlike say, Beijing or London where you breath crap and can’t see the building across the street. No use giving up smoking if you live in such horrible places.

Neutered gays.

Result of the gay marriage plebiscite will be known tomorrow. Sad thing is I can’t think of any guy I’d want to marry and that I know for sure to be alive. Anyway, all this social engineering bullshit distracts from what we should be most worried about and that is of course avoiding the sixth great extinction, if that is still possible.

A few recent pictures including one below I took at the ‘yes’ march in Sydney. If you read the Paglia interview you may remember how – back in 1995 – she described the mainstream, gay activist “ACT UP” style, “When I look around and I see the kind of ACT UP style, with the short shorts and the combat boots and a kind of skinhead look, I think, first of all, how childish, and secondly, how desexualized, no matter what people say, how utterly neutered.” Well, nothing appears to have ‘changed’ much in over twenty years. Reading Paglia’s comments I remembered a picture I took at the ‘vote yes’ march parade in September. See below…

Photograph of adult male dressed in cut-off jeans shorts, tShirt and boots at gay marriage protest march in September in Sydney.

So what’s different from Paglia’s description of twenty years ago?

OK, not a great comparison but let’s compare the above to Caravaggio’s ‘Amor’ painted circa 1600 (below) and which Robert Hughes described in his “Shock of the New” art documentary as “the victory of sex over culture”. I don’t agree with Hughes but it has to be said he was Australian and the product of a sex-adverse Australian culture particularly at the time when he made that documentary. Sex is front and centre of course in Caravagggio’s painting but the painter would have acknowledged his painting of Amor is in agreement with Mann’s “Death in Venice”. The beautiful Tadzio (below Amor) is Amor and Aschenbach, like Caravaggio, is the artist who bows before divine beauty as made visible to us by the gods in the form of the boy beautiful. This was gay culture at its highest and how it existed up until I’d say the immediate post-Stonewall period when and as the ‘yes’ march photograph clearly shows it became a sad, childish and neutered parody of what it had been.

Caravaggio's 'Amor Victorious" circa 1600

Love’s victory over all other human achievements.

The beautiful boy 'Tadzio'. Still from Visconti's film adaptation of Mann's novel 'Death in Venice'.

‘Tadzio’ the boy beautiful as represented in Visconti’s screen adaptation of Thomas Mann’s novel “Death in Venice”.

And a few recent pictures of mine and such as they are…

Man with baby daughter.

A friend with his baby daughter.

Black and white night photograph of back of buildings and graffiti in Katoomba, New South wales, Australia. Photograph by Paul Nyssen.

Many of these pictures are taken with a small point-and-shoot whilst out walking to the shops in Katoomba.

Night black and white picture of light cast on wall and that gives the impression of church windows.

Felt a bit mystical. lol

LGBTQI March in Sydney and 13 year old wants to marry his idol.

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.

:Picture of 13 year old boy on station platform with pro same gender marriage sign.

Wish them both well.

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.