Friday, December 30, 2005

I'm confused (again)

After the US invaded Iraq and found that, "gosh, heck!" there were no WMDs to be found they shifted paradigm and became the saintly liberators of an oppressed people. So it is with great confusion I find myself reading now that, courtesy of documents provided by the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, the US is injecting millions of dollars into a country that tortures and oppresses its people. And the US's cash injections are just the tip of the iceberg - they are also more than happy to have the Uzbek leader, Ruslan Sharipov, over for their little political tea-parties; they quash UN human rights reports on Uzbek torture and they happily accept intelligence received from victims of the same.

What I'm detecting here is that it's okay to torture as long as it's in the West's interests.

And make no mistake folks these guys - the Uzbek government - are bad. Really bad:

"There are over 6,000 political and religious prisoners in Uzbekistan. Every year, some of them are tortured to death. Sometimes the policemen or intelligence agents simply break their fingers, their ribs and then their skulls with hammers, or stab them with screwdrivers, or rip off bits of skin and flesh with pliers, or drive needles under their fingernails, or leave them standing for a fortnight, up to their knees in freezing water. Sometimes they are a little more inventive. The body of one prisoner was delivered to his relatives last year, with a curious red tidemark around the middle of his torso. He had been boiled to death.

His crime, like that of many of the country's prisoners, was practicing his religion."

So, over at America blog they've published the documents in their entirety. It is lengthy reading, and it includes the frustrated emails of Craig Murray as he tries to explain to his government why it's immoral to be dealing with such a dictatorship, so skim read it as you will.

I guess what comes out of all this is that, as He Who Shall Not Be Named often states, "there is an evil that lurks," blah, blah, blah. In fact... wait a minute... I just saw some footage of the White House on the news and, unless my eyes mistake me, I think I've spotted that lurking evil. $2,000 dollar suit, yep; strange, disturbing facial ticks, yep; stammering, incoherent address to the media, yep...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Cat Power Song

I am in heaven.
Chan Marshall's blissful caress
Sounds of feline dreams

I really shouldn't be allowed to post sometimes.

“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

I understand the sentiment, I empathise with the desire, but the reality is when you dance with the devil…

Bob Geldof has come out in defence of his decision to join the UK’s conservative party in coming up with a policy on global poverty. And I’m sure that when he says he is in “no one’s pocket” he truly believes it. Unfortunately, he just became a pin-up boy for a group that is interested in enslaving women, imposing its own religious and political beliefs upon those who do not share them and making token moves towards relieving poverty in the interests of garnering better votes at the next election.

But I applaud the effort, even if it is bound to fail.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Holiday!

Happy annual-ritual-that-the-Christians-stole-from-the-Pagans day everyone!

Play hard but fair.


(p.s - I do realize the irony of calling it 'happy holiday' in lieu of the Christian sentiment)
(p.p.s - 'Holiday' is a derivative of 'Holy day' if you didn't understand the first p.s)
(p.p.p.s - This is a token p.p.p.s, just 'cause I've never gone to three before)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Here's Johnny: a day in the mind of Kubrick

On Sunday I visited the Stanley Kubrick Exhibition at Federation Square. I was always going to be biased on the quality of the exhibition as Stanley is my favorite mainstream director. Director of Lolita, A clockwork orange, Dr Strangelove (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb), Full metal jacket and a whole host of other films, Kubrick constituted my cinematic diet as a child. You should have seen me, I was like a kid in a candy store. I looked Hal in the eye. Hal for Chrissakes! The name Hal, incidentally, is comprised of the three letters preceding IBM in the alphabet, an eerie coincidence if you consider that Hal, the AI computer in 2001 A space odyssey, was an evil, maniacal piece of technology.

I found out lots of interesting Kubrickisms at the exhibition. For example, I discovered that junior Stanley was quite the photographer, which explains why his direction of cinematography was so effective. I saw all the letters of condemnation that he received from the nutsoid Christian freaks who seemed unable to take Oscar Wilde’s advice that ’there is no moral or immoral art, there is only art that is poorly or excellently executed (not verbatim). I was amused to learn that there was a deleted scene in Dr Strangelove, one involving a pie fight between the leaders of Russia and the US; the scene was deemed to be a little too foolhardy, and likely to render the film a farcical vibe.

From the 60’s onwards, Kubrick developed an obsession with Napoleon, and longed dearly to make a movie about his life. Being a man of great passion - and, yes, obsession - Kubrick, in preparing his research for the film, managed to assemble the largest library of Napoleonic texts in the world! These texts were all on display at the exhibition, and I noticed with envy that some tomes the director collected were actually written during the life of the great French military leader, making them some 200 years old. I read with sadness that, due to a lack of studio backing, Stanley’s plan, despite his 30 year obsession, never came near to getting off the ground.

A one stage I wandered into a room set up like the bar that the Drogues attended in A clockwork orange, which was complete with pale naked lady chairs and fluorescent wordage adorning the walls. Eerie, utterly eerie. I touched the robes that Tom Cruise wore when attending the dark, ritualistic orgy in Eyes wide shut (Tom Crusie in a film with emotional depth, who’d have thunk it?). I giggled with glee as I played around with a scale model of the 2001 space station. The original coke bottle that Lolita seductively drank from was on display. And, I sat upon the missile that Peter Sellars rode rodeo style to his demise at the end of Dr. Strangelove.

The way the exhibition was laid out was excellent. It was divided into sections covering each individual film in chronological order of production. Every exhibit had a succinct explanation accompanying it, and a plethora of great, original props were on display. There was a lot of great footage on televisions scattered throughout the center, with commentary from actors past and present. 2 hours of unadulterated fun were had at Fed square, and I’d recommend that anyone in Melbourne get down and see it - it will be well worth the $12 door entry.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I can’t post properly while I’m at work. I can only submit a little post (like this one) – anything larger and blogger fries like the mind of a vodka swilling Russian while he supervises a now-defunct nuclear missile station.

But, there are three things that I’m going to post about when I get home from work tonight:

1) I visited the Spiegel tent on the weekend to watch the Burlesque hour

2) I went to the Stanley Kubrick exhibition on the weekend and it was Farkin’ amazin’

3) It has been almost a year since that fateful day; almost a year since I made a terrible choice. And, in a strange coincidence, she rang last night (why do people do that?). It’s been almost 8 months since we last talked. I think I’d like to write a longer piece about her; about what went wrong and what went right; and about my vision for the future.

Oh, and as an aside, nicotine patches give you very strange dreams (there is actually a disclaimer on the box), and for someone already gifted – or cursed! – with vivid dreams it can mean only one thing: fucking loopy, nutty, batshit insane dreams.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oh, but if he'd listen

Quote of the day:

"when a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property."

-Thomas Jefferson

Would that Doubleyah felt the same way.

Monday, December 19, 2005

And, one more...

Thumbs up for winery tours!

Quixote upon the sunny Mornington hills

A picture of our day at the winery.

I'm the one in the centre.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A tiara and a tree stump: the bittersweet tale of the Virgin Suicides

I don't really have the time nor the inclination to break down all the reasons why I love this film save to say this: The Virgin Suicides highlights with such razor sharp focus the everything and nothing, the outrageous passion and the dull tedium of early adolescence that it actually makes my chest hurt. Not many other people that I've discussed this film with have liked it all that much, but I think it's spectacular.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Winery tour

I'm heading off on a winery tour today, which is payback for services I rendered a month or so ago. The sun is shining and I even think I heard a bird chirp - should be a good day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Newsflash: racial attacks not racist

Australia, land of sunshine, land of peace loving people; coastal beaches surround her and lush green forests populate her soil; multiculturalism and religious tolerance make her a haven... No, no, no! I'm reading the wrong script - I must have accidentally picked up a copy of John Howard's, 'Australian fantasy 101.' In reality, Australia, just like every other country in the world, is a racist country, and for Howard to claim as he did yesterday that: "I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country," can mean only one of two things: 1) Howard is an out of touch idiot, who has no idea what is happening on the ground or 2) he was deliberately deceiving the Australian public because a component of his vote is derived from those very racist elements that he claims don't exist (let's not forget how he manipulated the public's xenophobic fears via the children overboard scam).

Howard's comment related to the violence that broke out on Sydney's Cronulla beach on Sunday. However, being as the violence was aimed at those of Middle-Eastern appearance; when racist slogans such as 'who let the wogs out?' were chanted; and when members of the Patriotic Youth League, which is considered to be a neo-Nazi group, were visible amidst the mass of 'protesters', it seems obvious that racism had a large part to play in proceedings. But, as Suki points out, how can you expect our Prime Minister to call racism when he sees it when, in fact, our Prime Minister is racist himself.

John Howard has scorned repeated calls to say 'sorry' to indigenous peoples on behalf of the nation, an apology much needed in the face of Australia's historically recognised semi-genocide of its Aboriginal population. I'm hard pressed to see how John Howard can make any assessment of what is racist and what is not in light of this constant refusal.

Personally, I don't think that John Howard should say sorry. I think that he should crawl from Canberra to the NT begging Aborigines forgiveness for two hundred years of theft, murder and rape; maybe he could stop in at Cronulla on the way and tell a Lebanese person that their bashing wasn't racially motivated.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Fielding watch

Perhaps a more apt title for his party would be 'my family first.' But this is just the usual bullshit I expect from the conservative right.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Your eyes are as black as regret
The weight of them sucking me down
I felt the burden of your love and yet
Now I’m wishing I’d let myself drown

Silent speaking at its finest

Writing that will grab your nuts in a rough crushing grip. Writing that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Tim Winton:

OUT OF THE RUMORS OF PLACES, of the red desert spaces where heat is born, a wind comes hard across the capstone country of juts and bluffs, pressing heathland flat in withering bursts. Only modest undulations are left here. Land is peeled back to bedrock, to ancient, stubborn remains that hold fast in the continental gusts. Pollen, locusts, flies, red sand travel on the heat, out across the plains and gullies and momentary outposts to the glistening mouth of the sea. And in sight of cities, towers, the bleak shifting monuments of dunes, the wind dies slowly meeting the cool offshore trough of air, stalls the carriage of so much cargo. The sea shivers and becomes varicose with change and in the gentle pause it clouds with the billion spinning, tiny displaced things which twitch and flay and sink a thousand miles from home. Fish rise as blown sparks from the deep, itching with the change. Sand, leaves, twigs, seeds, insects and even exhausted birds rain down upon the fish who surge in schools and alone, their fins laid back with acceleration as they lunge and turn and break open the water’s crust to gulp the richness of the sky, filling their bellies with land. And behind them others come, slick and pelagic to turn the water pink with death and draw birds from the invisible distance who crash the surface and spear meat and wheel in a new falling cloud upon the ocean. Out at the perimeter a lone fish, big as a man, twists out into the air, its eye black with terror as it cartwheels away from its own pursuer. There is no ceasing.

Masticating mishaps

The horribly mundane and wretchedly banal Quixotism of the day: every year when the season passes from Winter into Summer I get terribly itchy gums. Whether it's psychosomatic or based on some real fact of physiology, they itch like hell and I'll be miserable for at least 3 days.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Someone stumbled upon my blog by typing in the search words, 'wild girls gone nudy.'

Don't I wish.

Senator Sellout

The liberal government, aided and abetted by Family First's Steve Fielding, managed to pass its ideological legislation, Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU), through the senate today. With unionism in universities now voluntary it pretty much spells the death of organized activities, support and, importantly, student's first experience of political assembly. This nasty piece of legislation was introduced for no other reasons bar the liberal party's ideological hatred of unions. Steve Fielding - a supposed family man - should be ashamed of himself for crossing the floor to support this bill. (Keep an eye on this man; he has anti-abortion, anti-choice policy support on his agenda for his next little trick.)

"University of Sydney vice-chancellor Professor Gavin Brown was disgusted by the passage of the laws. "

"The passing of the voluntary student unionism Bill is a temporary victory for the red-necked Philistines that will damage Australia's reputation internationally," Prof Brown said.

Today's successful bill marks the climax in a whole stream of controversial legislation passed by the Australian government. (more on that at a later date).

[Quotes from the The Advertiser]

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thoughts of the blog and far TOO much information

This blog has lost focus, or, rather, it never had focus. I’m not sure what I want the focus to be, but I know that I want more than there currently is. I keep a paper-based, moleskin diary for my truly dark thoughts, however I do enjoy this little endeavor, so I’m going to have to give some deep contemplation to vibe and sentiment.

I’m also thinking about placing my weathered, battle scarred face up in the picture box. I wonder what the potential ramifications of this could be? I know I’m ugly, so having the few people that read this share that knowledge with me isn’t really a concern; I am, however, a little worried that it may help one of my reality based friends chance upon this site. Hmmm, more contemplation is required I guess.

With thoughts of community spirit in mind, I went trawling tonight for some good Australian blogs. I was sadly disappointed at what I found. In comparison to the US and Canada there seems to be a dire shortage of long-running, passionate political and/or personal blogs. The ones that I was able to find have popped up magically in the sidebar.

In a complete digression, I think that blogging will likely be the death of me. You see, I work on a wireless laptop which I sit on my lap as I type in bed. My computer seems to emit some pretty potent death rays and, given the positioning in which it sits, those rays are finding their way into my balls. At the end of a half-hour sitting my balls grow quite hot and begin to ache. I’m thinking testicular cancer is not that far away; that or mutant babies. I was probably already likely to have mutant babies, so death is my major concern right now. Maybe I need to wear boxers made out of tinfoil. Now that would be a fashion statement.

[Update: Silly me. Babies are probably something that are physiologically impossible for me to have, anyway.]

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

So, who are the real terrorists?

The lines are blurred:

"THE story of Khaled Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent kidnapped by masked CIA agents and held in isolation for five months, gives an extraordinary insight into how "rendition" works."

Extraordinary is one way of looking at it.

"The story began on New Year's Eve 2003, when the Macedonian police picked up Mr Masri as he crossed the border from Serbia into Macedonia."

Indeed, we just can’t abide by those nasty Islamic folk wandering across borders. We’re the world police!

"He said he was travelling for private reasons after a quarrel with his wife. But the police noticed that his name was similar to a known associate of a September 11 hijacker and insisted that his passport was forged."

Why did they think that his passport was forged? Because his name was similar to a known ‘associate’ of a terrorist. Think for a second to where the obvious conclusion of this logic leads.

"After 23 days... He was taken from his room, blindfolded and drugged by men in masks and black clothes. He was flown to Afghanistan, where he was held for five months."

Taking an innocent man from his country, drugged and blindfolded, and taking him to a country known for its terrorists and violence. So, who are the real terrorists?

"Unfortunately for the CIA, two months after his transfer to Afghanistan they concluded that his passport was genuine: they had the wrong man.

Another heated debate ensued at the CIA. Should the agency admit the mistake to the German Government? Should it just do a "reverse rendition" and dump him back in Macedonia?"

A ‘reverse rendition’? It sounds very much like they’re talking about a bank transaction, not a human life.

‘Eventually after Condoleezza Rice, then Mr Bush's national security adviser, argued that the Germans should be told, he was flown to Albania and abandoned on a narrow country road at dusk.

"They asked me not to look back when I started walking," he told the Post. "I was afraid they would shoot me in the back."’

I think it was very generous of them to dump this innocent man on a narrow country road and not shoot him in the back. He should think himself lucky. I wonder how much other ‘baggage’ has been dumped on random Albanian roads?

‘Stephen Hadley, Mr Bush's National Security Adviser, said yesterday he did not know how many cases there were of mistaken renditions.

"The folks who are fighting the war on terror have a difficult job," he told CNN. "They are charged to be both aggressive to defend the country against attack and at the same time to comply with the US constitution, law and treaty obligations."’

Yep, folks, if you want to make an omlette you’ve got to crack a few eggs.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

One negligible shuffle sideways in the war on drugs; one giant leap backwards for mankind

I'd composed many words on the execution of Tuong Van Nguyen. I'd talked about the pointless cruelty of execution, and the huge gift the world would receive if a soul redeemed were born into it. Two thousand words or so in I realized that I just couldn't do it justice, and that the tolling bells meant that he was dead. So I've condensed things down to just 11 words:

Tuong Van Nguyen: another fucking corpse in the name of mankind.

17/08/1980 - 02/12/2005 Rest in peace