Friday, February 25, 2011

A super quick PSF today, comrades.

"Why no Emily Dickinson?"

Nobody knows what waits ahead
Beyond the earth and sky
Lie-d Lie-d Lie
I'm not afraid to die

And there the work of my own hand
Be broken by and by
Lie-d Lie-d Lie
I'm not afraid to die

Sometimes it finds me fast asleep
And wakes me where I lie
Lie-d Lie-d Lie
I'm not afraid to die

Forget my sins upon the wind
My hobo soul will rise
Lie-d Lie-d Lie
I'm not afraid to die

Lie-d Lie-d Lie
I'm not afraid to die

Friday, February 18, 2011

Let England shake.

OH! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love!
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!--Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance!
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime Enchantress--to assist the work,
Which then was going forward in her name!
Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth,
The beauty wore of promise, that which sets
(As at some moment might not be unfelt
Among the bowers of paradise itself)
The budding rose above the rose full blown.
What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!
They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,
The playfellows of fancy, who had made
All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strength
Their ministers,--who in lordly wise had stirred
Among the grandest objects of the sense,
And dealt with whatsoever they found there
As if they had within some lurking right
To wield it;--they, too, who, of gentle mood,
Had watched all gentle motions, and to these
Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers more mild,
And in the region of their peaceful selves;--
Now was it that both found, the meek and lofty
Did both find, helpers to their heart's desire,
And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish;
Were called upon to exercise their skill,
Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,
Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us,--the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Up or Out?

I love it here Tyler, but I wish they'd close down that old pub and replace it with an overpriced bar.

There's been a lot of talk - here and elsewhere - about the fundamental awfulness of new apartment buildings which are springing up all over town. Whether they are new buildings or conversions of warehouses, factories or other old places, they seem to raise the ire of local residents. Young hip couples, single professionals and party animal arseholes seem attracted to these places. And, living in the heart of Windsor, let me tell you I am affected as much as anyone by the associated increase in traffic, noise, pricks and over-priced cafes, restaurants and bars.

But I am also a supporter of putting an end to urban sprawl. I think high density living is preferable to spreading Melbourne's boundaries even further than they already are.

So where does that leave me?

Well, it leaves me ignoring the problem and watching movies, reading books and listening to music instead of worrying about it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Caution - angry chicks ahead.

"What are you lookin' at?"

Ahh you people can watch while i'm scrubbing these floors
And i'm scrubbing these floors while you're gawking
Maybe once you tip me and it makes you feel swell
In this crummy southern town
In this pit of hotel
But you'll never guess to who you're talking
You'll never guess to who you're talking

Then one night there's a scream in the night
And you wonder: 'who could that have been ?'
And you see me kind of grinning while i'm scrubbing
And you say 'what she got to grin ?'
I'll tell ya
There's a ship
The black freighter
With a skull on it's mast-head
Will be coming in

You gentlemen say: 'hey gal, finish them floors
What's wrong with you ? earn your keep here'
You toss me your tips and look to the ships
But i'm counting your heads as i'm making the beds
'cause there's nobody gonna sleep here tonight

Then one night there's a scream in the night
And you say: 'who's that kicking up a row?'
And you see me kinda staring out the window
And you say: 'what's she got to stare at now ?'
I'll tell ya
There's a ship
The black freighter
Turns around in the harbour
Shooting guns from her bow

Well you gentlemen can wipe those smiles off your face
'cause every building in town is a flat one
This whole frigging place will be down to the ground
Only this cheap hotel standing up, safe and sound
And you yell: 'why do they spare that one ?
'why the hell do they spare that one ?'

All the night through with the noise and to do
And you wonder: 'who is that person that lives up there ?'
And you see me stepping out in the morning
Looking fine with a ribbon in my hair
Well just look at me now
And a ship
The black freighter
Runs a flag up it's mast-head
And a cheer rings the air. hey!

My ship on the dock is a swarming with men
Coming out from the ghostly freighter
They're moving in the shadows where no-one can see
And they're chaining up people
And delivering 'em to me
Asking me: 'kill them now or later ?'
Asking me: 'kill them now or later ?'

Noon by the clock and so still at the dock
You can hear a fog horn miles away
And in that quiet of death i'll say:
'right now !'
'right now !'
And they pile up the bodies
And i'll say: 'that'll learn you.
That'll learn you.'

And the ship
The black freighter
Disappears out to sea
Me !

Hey Kettle - maybe you could go to your party dressed as this pirate.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Egyptian Uprising explained. Also Laid!

"We're still a bit cross, you know"

Rather to my surprise, some commentators on this blog have been crying out for my analysis of the political unrest in Egypt; why I’m not too sure.

I have, however, an obsessive interest in international politics, a drinking problem and way too much time on my hands which makes me – I suppose – as qualified as anybody else outside Egypt to come up with a half-arsed explanation.

So here goes.

The current uprising has been sparked by the Egyptian people being feed up to the back teeth with a regime which is a) brutal, b) corrupt, c) incompetent and d) loved by none.

True, since 1955 the Egyptian people have been governed by regimes that were – at times – a mixture of all of the above but the difference seems to have been the recent uprising in Tunisia and the extensive coverage this received.

There’s been much blather about what a post-Mubarak government will look like, how representative it might be and the role of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood, despite being the oldest and best organised Islamic society in the country, would probably have around 20 per cent support in any free and fair elections. But what seems obvious from the mass scale of the uprising and the nature of the demands being made is that the bulk of the demonstrators want democracy – not an Islamic state.

The other thing some commentators are pointing to is the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which saw a largely secular uprising hijacked by theocrats. However Iran, with its substantial supplies of oil was always better placed to go it alone politically, unlike Egypt which is closer tied to the West, both through tourism and Western economic aid.

The usual suspects are also pointing to the role of the West in backing corrupt, authoritarian regimes, like Mubarak’s. That’s true but the region is not without corrupt, authoritarian regimes that have no backing from the West. The problem, I suspect, is that the countries ruled by the Ottoman Empire didn’t go through the historical process known as the Enlightenment which eventually lead to the creation of stable liberal democracies in the West.


I was quite prepared to view Laid with an open mind, but the constant publicity around it is pretty sick-making, so I think I’ll give it a miss.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's back! By popular demand!! PSF!!! Now with even more exclamation marks!!!!

Good luck, comrades.

'And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

'And these words shall then become
Like Oppression's thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again - again - again -

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.'

The ABC’s Mark Colvin, on the other hand, is not so sanguine.

Danton observed “the Revolution is like Saturn, it devours its own children”.

We shall see.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You're just too hip, baby.

Oh, go away, you lot!

The other day I was in Westgarth*, looking for lunch.

My usual café was closed, so I wandered down a couple of doors to a place that looked vaguely; a) open and b) palatable.

Imagine my horror comrades when I went in and found the place full of hipsters!

Hipsters! Filthy hipsters!

Hipsters everywhere; being ironic, wearing the sort of glasses that only John Faulkner can rock and tweeting about their latest “fixie” bike to their hipster mates.

The food wasn’t bad but you couldn’t get a beer** for love nor money.

I’m not necessarily opposed to hipsters gathering at a particular café (it keeps them from roaming the streets, being all ironic), but I suggest a simple warning at the entrance to alert normal people – something low-key like;


Hipsters inside!!

Hipster cafes*** - Nie wieder!

* I know Desci is rolling her eyes and saying “well durrr, a café in Westgarth, what did you expect?”, but in my defence I was hungry and foolish.

** Not even a beer that tastes vaguely of mud from a micro-brewery operated by two blokes from a shed in Brunswick.

*** It also had artificial grass out the back. Fuck that shit.