Sunday, February 26, 2006

No Title Suits

It's actually taken a couple days to write about this one day, Friday just gone.
I'll be brief.

We had one of the hardest decisions to make on Council on Friday, in a stinking hot room, plus the fact it was like 40 or something degrees. 5 hours on one decision is pretty intense in anyone's language, in any meeting. In one way, because it was so long in coming to a decision, we won't see any action from it until tomorrow morning....that was a relief, but now our mental gearing has to go toward that.

One friend of mine, we found out on Friday afternoon, lost a family friend on Thursday - she was kicked and stabbed to death. She was 18.
Another Friend's mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on Friday Afternoon.
All in all, a pretty rotten lousy day. But we survived.

Needless to say, I spent most of yestersay in bed, away from the world. I'm not going to dwell here on the self-reflection one automatically tends towards on days like Friday and Saturday.
I have had a pretty hard week and a half till now, but, it is life, and it has to be lived with and it goes on.
As painful and as unfair as it can be, and sometimes is, One has to battle on, and so One does.

Certain proceedings will have been dealt with by the end of tomorrow though, which will be a huge load off....

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

An Email Reply.....

Today's post, is an email I wrote in response to a suggestion our magazine, Tabula Rasa (TR), become more 'frivolous'.
The 'theme' of the next issue, is to be "Game On", as the Commonwealth Games are here in Melbourne in three weeks or so.
"Game On" is intended to be about games of all sorts; sports, computer, head games within relationships, whatever; or for people to write about issues around games or the Commonwealth Games.
I intend to write about the "StolenWealth Games" and Black GST movements and The Indigenous Convergence planned for Melbourne during the Games.
Apparently, this is not so popular.
part of the proceeding email (the one I reply to) was that people are reading the Herald Sun in 'boring' lectures.

Isn't there enough frivolity in the Herald Sun anyway? Andrew Bolt for example.
But I wanna have my tirade *stamps foot demandingly*, so here goes...

A) Independant Student Media is the forum for discussing social/political/economic injustice. If not here, where?, back to good old Packer owned 'papers? It is our job to highlight the plight of the dispossesed and disempowered, to bring the issues out to where otherwise ignorant majorities (through mainstream media indoctrination) will be exposed to these issues. Student / Independant Media gives voice to people and issues seen by the owners of the Big Press' as "troublesome", "Radical", or generally not commercially attractive.

B) As journalists, writers and artists, it is our duty to journal, write and express - to highlight or inform - (to) the world the inequities and alternatives; as well as entertain, amuse and inspire. It is our duty to challenge the Status Quo and to challenge peoples beliefs, assertions and ideas.
Making people laugh with a good gag, adding to people lives with the infinite world of colour, visuals and graphics or bringing them to tears over a beautiful, touching piece of prose are also our duties. That (to me anyway, as a writer) should be the ultimate goal - of any artist.
If we anger or frustrate people, by writing about what they don't want to hear about - as opposed to the preferred option of frivolity - then our aim is achieved.
Further, think about this: people are living in ways we don't want to hear about against their will.

C) If TR is taken over by frivolity, then that is how people will see TR (or any publication that takes that route for that matter)....As frivolous. Simple as that.
There is no question what-so-ever about having fun stuff in the mag. None at all. But there has to be a balance - as there has to be in expressing views and issues. But, there has to be 'non' fun stuff too.
Speaking for myself here, fully aware of being seen as blowing my own narcisstic trumpet, I have attempted to contribute across a broad range - Political/Issue based content, Fun Content and Creative Content.

D) IF people want pure frivolity, GO BUY DOLLY! (Or the Herald Sun).

E) And finally (I think/You hope).....
To those people reading the Herald Sun in classes and lectures, well, I wish I was as smart as you and could devote so much of my time to reading in class. I for one usually go to class to learn - but that's just me. If they spent more of their time learning in class, and pulled their heads out of their arses, then maybe they would see just how bad the mainstream media is (and LEARN stuff), and turn to alternative media sources for wider and more in depth coverage of issues, or find something a little more interesting than the Da Vinci code; or DOLLYto read.
Alternatively, I could also get really stuck in to them, and suggest they take a place out in the workforce for a while, and leave space for people who are willing to come to University to LEARN, and stop taking up HECS spots from people who actually need them.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday Arvo

I'm not going to get cynical today. Its Sunday afternoon, I'm lazy and (apparently) studying.
Instead, I'll go over my week and bore you all to tears.

Wednesday was the day of coffee with the most wonderful woman on the planet, Miss "V".
I was so apprehensive about meeting back up with her, but as things usually turn out with her, we actually met about half an hour early, in the clothes shop we both shop at (my oldest, fave pair of jeans kinda died....holes where holes shouldn't be. I hope the jeans I did acquire though, for $24, and I, can share as many happy times as my and my ol' jeans did).
We had a really cool evening (Miss "V" and I that is). I was kinda expecting to have a coffee or two, then go our seperate ways. But the coffee or two turned into fish'n'chips, then a few drinks at the local.
A few disturbing, but enlightening topics came up, that I'm not going into here. Topics no doubt extremely difficult to tell a person about. Suffice to say, that a lot has been explained, and that I am infinitely grateful - on many levels, that she told me.
Apprehensions dispelled, I am happy we are talking again.

Union was quite-ish this week, at least as far as Disability stuff goes, but our next Council meeting is coming up this Friday, and it looks like being a BIG one. It seems a bit has been going on behind the scenes that will come to heads this week.
Farewell drinks were held on Friday night for the catering staff we had to put off. A sad night.

Issue one (for '06) of Tabula Rasa came out during the week. YAY.
It seems some of the content I was hoping to see in it wasn't there for some reason.
It looks good though.

Last night was Radio Birdman up here in Belgrave.
Who'd have thought, even five years ago, that we'd ever have a venue that would get bands of such high distinction playing in our little town, but, Oska, who runs Ruby's, has done it. And done it well. The place was packed, but one was able to breath, and well, Radio Birdman just rocked.
And to think, Ruby's used to be the 'junk' shop, back in the days when we had no venue, in fact no pubs at all, and now, we have Ruby's, the Bell Tavern (where all the bogans go) and the ultra cool little bar hidden out of the way called Scarab. Plus of course, over on the other side of Belgrave, is Aztec Bar.
But, that's beside the point, which is, Radio Birdman rocked. I've never seen them before, which is bad form on my part, Radio Birdman being one of the seminal punk-rock bands. But seeing them 30 years on, one can see why they are one of the founders of of the true founders of punk rock.
A cool reminder also, of what rock is actually all about....A bunch o' dudes, in jeans and a tee, who love the music they play, hopping up on stage and just rockin'. No Bulshit. No industry hype and pretensions. No stylists. No 'you strike this pose and you do that move', just get up there and play your fucking hearts out.

How are those tears going? Flowing like rivers yet, or just the trickle of a summer creek?

The school-work is coming along, the bits I HAVE done that is.
This year looks a lot more like getting into the interesting stuff - the stuff I came along to learn. I have four subjects this semester....
History and Sociology of Human Relationships;
a year long Research Project;
Text and Culture;
and Tradition and Modernity.
Yay for fun stuff.

I'm staring to feel guilty for making you all cry from boredom, so I'll leave for today. Be rest assured though, that I'll be back to cynicism soon.
Till then though......

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

An EXTREMELY un-PC post.

I have to say, that in my role as Disability Support Rep on my University Union Council, I feel I should reach a helping hand out to the Liberal Party. They need my help I think, cos they are obviously a bunch of tards.
Let me explain (a little)...

Three high ranking minsiters, including the Prime Minister and his Deputy, claim they had NO IDEA that there were bribes going to Saddam, that they had no idea that there was even something dodgy going on, (even if no-one knew exactly what), despite assurances to us via the Cole Inquiry from many quaters (not these 3 individuals of course) that they (the ministers) did know. The many quarters did however, include their senior department officials and intelligance agencies that told them. Even the American senior public officials knew and were telling people what was going on.
But still, Li'l Johnny and his crew had NO IDEA.

So then we have the Health Minister, Tony Abbot, telling us that we should have Ministers controlling/deciding what medical procedures and medications we should have available to us, therapies like RU486 for example, rather than the Therapeutic Goods Administration making the decisions.
Because, he claims, we need public accountable people (elected Ministers) making these decisions for us. That would inherently mean that the Ministers charged with making these decisions would be well informed. Informed enough to run our country and to make the right decisions (obviously they're not)...without their beliefs and moralizing getting in the way. And Tony Abbot, of course, is SO the man who can do this for us.
Oh, hang on, a catholic making decisions on abortion, rather than a secular panel of medical professionals. Hmmm.

So then we move onto other MP's, not Ministers (Thank [insert name of chosen omnipotent being here]), making claims that Australia is "aborting itself out of existence" and that this will lead to the Muslims taking over.
I'll say it again....

Yep. According to the Liberals Danna Vale, we are at risk of 'the Muslims' taking over if we keep abortion up..especially at this rate.

"I've actually read in The Daily Telegraph where a certain imam from the Lakemba mosque actually said that Australia's going to be a Muslim nation in 50 years' time," she told reporters.

"I didn't believe him at the time, but you know
when you actually look at the birth rates and when you look at the fact that weare aborting ourselves almost out of existence by 100,000 abortions every year -
and that's on a guesstimate."

Seriously. Don't believe me? Here is the full article from Melbourne's the AGE.

So, as I said, I really think I should extend the hand of compassion and empathy to these people - the ones running our country - and offer them what help I can under the Disability portfolio. They obviously need it.
Oh, just remembered, these are the same people who passed the ASOL, cutting our funding, which means that try as I might, I won't be able to help them.

Oh well....Till next time.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

This just proves it......

Looking at "talent" in Australia, in the news, entertainment and business worlds proves you don't need any of it.
Nor apparently do you need brains, credibility etc.

Firstly, let's look at our "Idol" Sensations.

Guy Sebastion.
Shannon Noll.

Our Television / Acting.

Home and Away.
And the plethora of other crap produced here, shown to the public and awarded with coverted "Logies".
Rove (McMannus), Pauline Hanson...... need I say more?
I guess Our Nic, Kidman, also gets the torch shone on her here. For her acting, AND for her "humanitarian" deeds, for which she was awarded with a something-or-rather on Oztraya Day. Oh, did anyone mention to the panel deciding who gets these awards, that Our Nic, as well as being some great humanitarian, gets her already well and truly fat enough pockets lined by all sorts of Neo-Cons?
She hosted the Forbes 500 conference last year in Sydney. The Forbes 500 conference basically is a big "piss in yer pockets" shindig held by Forbes magazine for the top 500 CEO's in the World. And she was on the list as a guest speaker. Oh, don't forget the free Commonwealth Games tickets from the Long Room.
Great humanitarian work that is. Anyhow, I digress....

Our music "industry" in general.
Ok a little help here please.
I'll concede that there are actually a LOT of talented people in our music biz, but the record companies refuse to even look at them, prefering Idol Crap.
The same people generally ignored by the worshipped ARIA's.

Our Political leaders. (And I use the term leaders very loosely, as I never have followed them, ie they have never led me)
John Howard.
Alexander Downer.
Mark Vaille.
Kevin Andrews.
Brendan Nelson.
Oh, the list goes on, and on, and on......
(I'll congratulate the Senate for passing changes to laws taking the decision on whether RU486 should be available to women in our country away from a pro-life Health minister, and giving the right to decide back to individual women).

Um, what else.
Oh, our beloved journalists, particularly the mainstream ones (y'know, the real trustworthy, credible ones), the ones most people actually believe. The ones that are well, let's face it, owned by PBL - The Packers.

The greatest Australians seem to be our sportsmen. (Yes MEN. Our women, except for Cathy and Jana and the swimmers, don't really count).
Ricky Ponting, again, named Australian Cricketer of the Year.
(Another PBL pawn methinx).

Oh, speaking of PBL/Packer pawns...
Guess who got the top job at Nine?

Eddie fuckin McGuire.

From the AGE..... [insert long list of career achievements here]
"McGuire was also the Master of Ceremonies for the 1999 wedding of Jodhi Meares and James Packer - PBL's executive director, believed to be the driving force behind McGuire's elevation to chief executive.

"James' father, recently deceased media tycoon Kerry Packer, was also said to have shared a close friendship with McGuire."

So, even with the State Funeral he doesn't deserve, Ol' Man Kerry is still getting in the news (he used to own).

HA......This just proves it. You don't need Talent, Credibility OR Brains to climb that ladder in Australia.

Edit Note.
In the original of this post, I named Nelson as Kevin.
Its actually Brendan Nelson.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Free Speech 101.

in no way endose religion-bashing.
Free speech challenges the Status Quo.
I intend to link here for one reason, and one reason only.
That reason?
NOT to offend or subjegate Islam or its followers.
(And yes, these are three sources of THE cartoons)
Edit Note 14 Feb 2006
The links have been deliberatley broken by me out of respect for the Muslim community and anyone who may happen to pass by here.
My say on free-speech has been said.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Lost Posts.

Lost Posts

I’m sick of lost posts.
I’ve now lost two, one of which just absconded of its own accord off into the netherworld of the blogosphere, the other got swallowed up by this piece of shit computer.
So, I’m going to re-attempt to post. Hopefully, this one won’t disappear.

First things first, and most importantly……..
I was checking out TOOL’S website the other day, and YAY, there is a new album well and truly on the way.
So on the way in fact, that according to TOOLBAND.COM, it has been mastered. Three of the guys (plus, of course, the manager) are jumping aboard aeroplanes and undertaking a whirlwind ‘promo’ tour – Australia is on the list, while Adam is staying back to direct the new video.
A festival headline slot has been confirmed for April, and while there is no official date set for the release of the NEW ALBUM, May has been earmarked as the release “date” and according to (and ME), hopefully sooner in May rather than later.
For anyone not so engaged in ‘album discourse’; that is like a baby being in the last tri-mester.
So, again I will say, YAYYYY!

The AWB scandal. And I’ll just be brief here.
If you read my post from last week on the AWB scandal, you’ll have a bit of a background on the situation. This is far from being an exhaustive post on it, if I were to be the one capable of writing this issue up on a blog, well, I could write it up in book form too, as I’m sure will be done at some time in the future (not necessarily by my self).

I’ll finish it off for now though by saying this…..
Australian Dollars potentially bought bullets for Iraqi insurgents to shoot at Australian and American soldiers.
I am unreservedly opposed to not just this war, but ALL war.
The fact that Australian dollars potentially bought bullets for the people shooting at Australians, let alone anyone, is just sickening.
And I cannot qualify my use of the word potentially enough here because we don’t know for certain that this actually happened. But let’s face it…..The kickbacks went illegally to Saddam and the Ba’athists. From there who knows? Bullets? Potentially. Quite possibly. We just don't know enough yet.

BACK TO SCHOOL TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can’t say YAYYYYYYYYYY enough.
Before I say anything else, a massive shoutout has to go to MissPoliticsAustralia for giving me strength to pull through the last couple weeks. Without her help and support, I would not be a very happy chappy at all. Still got a couple things to work out, but the main point is, that I am back, classes have started and that a MASSIVE weight has been lifted from my shoulders…..I can breath again. I am SO relieved.

Thank you MissPoliticsAustralia.

Onto class….It was so good to be back in the classroom. We started the year, and the week (at 8:30) today with a nice little introduction to “History and Sociology of Human Relationships”. Great stuff. THIS is the stuff I’m here for. Not some dumbarse course on how to choose a Uni course. Duh.

No-one here knows of Miss V. Long one short…
We met. Got real close. Parted company. Re-met and started hanging out…got even closer. Re-parted company. - Here are a couple posts from my old blog from the time. (Scroll down just a little)
The first time we parted company was ‘my move’. Then when we ‘re-met’, things were just really natural and flowed real, neigh, in the end TOO smoothly, then SHE was the one responsible for our parting ways.
This was about 6months ago.
Thursday, completely out of the blue, she texts me, asking how I am. Flabbergasted wasn’t the word. Gob smacked doesn’t even come close. So I reply (even though she even said she didn’t expect me too), and she replies that she wants to see me sometime.

She really is cool though. And I do have massive soft spot. Hmm.

Nuh, that’s about it.
OH, I guess Mini-Vinnie-Me isn’t on hiatus eh.

Some posting of substance soon……..

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Beginner's Course in AWB kickbacks 101.

Originally, I was going to post about the AWB scandal, and what I think it all means. As in, what I really think it all means.

But I'm tired as and will have difficulty making any sense.
So, in the stead of trying to make sense and to avoid making a complete dick out of myself by making a complete dick out of myself instead of writing what I think in a way that expresses what I would be trying to say, but in reality would sound like utter gibberish, I'll avoid talking about the AWB scandal until tomorrow.
No doubt there will be more damning evidence to come out and try to understand and comment on then.

Before I go onto something else, for anyone who has never heard of the AWB scandal and knows nothing of it (that'd be YOU Misters Howard, Vale and Downer, oh and the board of the AWB), the Australian Government, right to the top - the Prime Minister (amongst several other ministers), and Australia's sole wheat exporter, the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) were caught, well, basically, handing cash over to Saddam Hussein during the UN sanctions against Iraq and the Food-for Oil scheme.
In a nutshell, $300 MILLION, yes M-I-L-L-I-O-N, three hundred million Australian dollars was paid out to a phony Jordanian trucking company to truck the Australian wheat in Iraq.

Problematic in itself.

But add to that, that the 300 MILLION Australian dollars was not just Australian Dollars - the currency unit, but Australian dollars. Three hundred million of what I have in my pocket.
Dollars that were Australian that "migrated" to Iraq, to Saddam.

No, the AWB was not ripped off by some kind of dodgy Iraqi (as in Ba'athist) official, or group or whatever running a scam. This is where it gets real juicy. Because, as problematic as it all seems so far, it's nothing compared to the whole story.

Because... SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS (including our Ambassador to the US) AND MINISTERS (including the Prime Minister) actuully KNEW that the AWB was paying 'kickbacks' to Saddam's regime.

The Bastards knew that the UN sanctions were being breached.
The bastards in fact didn't jut know, but were active in hoodwinking the UN, and when questioned by, the US Administration. Our Ambassador to the US, was instructed to give certain answers to certain lines of questioning, and to not answer in certain other ways.

The US admistration is now setting up inquiries into this whole episode to find out exactly who said what and who to etc...
Currently, there is a Royal Commission (known as the 'Cole enquiry') going on into the affair over here.
Tomorrow is expected to be a BIG day of questions, answers and statements.

What else is to come of this? Who knows?

So, now that I've set out some background, I'll get back to not talking about the AWB scandal. Tomorrow though, I'll set out what I think are some of the ideas going on here that haven't sort of really been spoken about, YET. Some of the implications for Australia and the US.

I'll also sort through some articles, here and hopefully in the US press about this and link you all up for you to have a good look for yourselves.

Till then though.....

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