Sunday, December 31, 2006
It's time like these, near the end of the year, that thoughts of martyrdom come to mind.
It seems to me that each of us, in our own way, suffer from this malaise to some degree. I wonder if our lives would be all the more richer if we took some time to examine why we become one who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle. Especially if that principle is self serving.
Isn't it funny that so many people choose to suffer for some pointless ideal, while others seem to get off scot free without a care in the world - but wait: isn't that the point?
Surely the whole idea of enjoying this life is not about getting pissed off at those people who don't play by the rules and leave it for others to clean up. Maybe the point is to truly let that doesn't truly matter; slide.
So my New Years wish for you, is that you find a way to unburden yourself from whatever jihad you have embarked on, and that you find the strength, not only to find your inner martyr, but to analyse it for what it is, and if it's not worthy, to break free of it.
Life is short, and happiness is there to be found, but only by those who seek to find it. Be that person next year, but if you must - make today a last chance to savour the bitter before the sweet.
Friday, December 29, 2006
So here I am in Dunedin, enjoying the Christmas festivities. I'm happy to report the more genetically unstable of us here have started growing webbed feet to combat the rain since Christmas Day. However, I remain ever positive about venturing home, and that work on the Great Ark is progressing well.
Then I read the newspaper today.
It now appears that all New Zealand must own up to the responsibility of spousal murder. Don't get me wrong - spousal murder is a serious matter, but I wonder how responsible I am for the whole thing.
I hardly drink, and I now obey the speed limits. I don't break the law - yet now I'm lumbered with the responsibility of spousal violence.
Dr Pita Sharples states;
"I believe we find the whole situation abhorrent. We have handled it by denial – it is not our problem, it is a drug problem, a Maori problem, an Islander problem – instead of taking this on as a New Zealand problem which at all levels of our society we need to confront."
I'm wondering where Pita Sharples is going with this. Does he think we're happy to have partners murdering each other on a daily basis?
Pita Sharples needs to get real - there are underlying reasons for all murders, and I believe most sane people believe that murder is not a positive option in a polite society.
Yes - We do however have certain individuals in our community that rely on drugs and alcohol to cope with the pressures of life, and yes, that unfortunately impacts on the lives of others; often in a serious manner. But to infer that we all have played some part in condoning this behavior is ridiculous.
In fact, come to think of it, I'm pretty sure we elected the current politicians on a platform of law and order. In a roundabout way we asked them to protect us from crime, to provide us with adequate health care and better quality of life - so this begs the question - Isn't it you that's responsible Pita?
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Billy Bob’s Father Christmas is about as politically incorrect a figure as you will likely see all year. This movie wallows in its shamelessness. Lauren Graham holds her own with Thornton as a waitress with a Santa Claus fetish. Throw in an angry dwarf and you have a brutally funny film that is sure to ruin any shred of Christmas spirit.
See it - I promise you you'll never feel the same about the Gilmore Girls again!
Friday, December 22, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
The Post Office, god bless it, in its day, was a very structured business. Before it was broken up and sold, there was a place for everyone; and everyone had their place. Even in the cafeteria, we all sat in our own groups, and hardly a word was spoken to anyone who didn't do the same job as you. We didn't trust "them" and they sure as hell didn't trust "us", and all was well with the world.
When my boss "left" we merged into a group of "them" and they had to put up with "us". It's fair to say there was a fair degree of mistrust; at least initially. Some of the guys were a bit intimidating, especially a guy they called Weaner, who to us, looked like a bloody tough street brawler, that would have taken your head off if you looked at him funny - or perhaps just if you looked at him - period.
I still remember the first Friday afternoon beer after work. Dave Brown, my new boss, used to always have a stock of beers ready for us in the lunchroom after work, and Weaner looked like he wasn't really interested in sharing with the new guys. In fact it looked like he took exception to us even breathing the same air as him.
These days - looking back at it I can laugh, because in actuality you couldn't find a nicer guy to know than Weaner- but back then it was a different story. What really broke the ice, was a friendly guy called Vaughan, who passed us a beer, as we meekly walked into the lunchroom. Vaughn with the big smile - and a possibility of someone of substance coming between Weaner and me should he snap in a fit of rage.
Suffice to say I learnt some big lessons that day - It takes one smiling face to put you at ease, and you cant always judge a book by it's cover.
These days, recalling working with those guys remain my fondest memories of Telecom - they were all a breath of fresh air, in a time when it looked like nothing was left for us to enjoy anymore. We striked together - fought together to have a collective contract, then later to remain staff of Telecom when they tried to pawn us off to Downer Engineering. Vaughan and Weaner had families, but they hung on for as long as they could. I admired them and the others for their tenacity, but I realised that at the end of the day they would have to do what was right for them. I was happy when they signed over - it was the right thing for them to do.
I left Downers over four years ago - I never did sign over, and I don't regret it either. There were some great guys I left behind when I went. Weaner left before I did, but Vaughan was still there. I always enjoyed going back to say hi whenever I was in Dunedin - Nigs, Robbo, Did's, Dave, Murray, Robbie and Vaughan always had the big smiles on their faces, and I felt in some way i had returned to a sort of family.
Not that long ago I got word that Vaughan was sick, and that things weren't looking good. He died this morning, leaving the world a little less bright today. Even though I worked with him for years, I never knew his family, or saw him away from his work - but he was a gentle bear of a man, full of heart and good will, and those will be the memories that remain with me now he isn't here.
I was hoping to see him at Christmas, to say goodbye, but also to remind him of the good times we had, and to thank him for that first beer. I'm sure now he knows now, just how much it meant :)
It's times like this when lyrics, or parts of movies pop into my head.
Stuff like "Breathe out - so I can breathe you in" springs to mind.
The poetry of today may as easily be found in the lyrics of a song, rather than any book of poems.
I hardly ever listen to lyrics - to me the music comes first. My friend Matt is wired differently, and always extols the virtues of a song based on its lyrical content. Perhaps some of his influence is rubbing off on me: he was, after all, the man who turned me on to the brilliance of Fight Club.
So when I listened to my latest Foo Fighters DVD; Skin and Bones, and Dave Grohl sings;
And I wonder if everything could ever feel this real forever?
If anything could ever be this good again?
The only thing I'll ever ask of you
You've got to promise not to stop when I say when.
I have to admit that "Evermore" is a brilliant song - in more ways than one.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
This week marks the end of what has been a full on year, work wise. Wednesday was the start of what we in the telecoms industry call a "brownout". Basically it is a known fact that in the short term, not touching communications equipment, means that equipment will be a lot more reliable, so just prior to Christmas we stop our contractors from working on our equipment. Unfortunately this does not mean that all work stops; any daily faults are still sent out for repair, and we use the time to get "all our ducks in a row" (whatever that means). Suffice to say though, this can be an enjoyable part of the year; the weather is brilliant, and there are pub lunches and shouts available to drag you away from the hum-drum normality of work.
I'm also looking forward to heading back to Dunedin; catching up with my family and friends. My Capri is getting it's warrant of fitness, and I'm looking forward to driving her again after a year in storage: that in itself, is a Christmas present.
Until then I have a great weekend in which to fly my RC helicopter, do some last minute Christmas shopping, and meet up with an old friend who I havent seen for around 10 years. It is a bit daunting so meet someone you kinda fell out with that long ago, but I hope that any bad memories on either side will have long been lost, leaving only the good ones remaining. I hope.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
|You Are An ENFP|
You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverant, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're qutie the storyteller!
You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.
TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM: You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.
ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM:
You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.
AN AMERICAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead.
A FRENCH CORPORATION
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.
A GERMAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
A BRITISH CORPORATION
You have two cows. Both are mad.
AN ITALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. You break for lunch.
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION
You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.
A CHINESE CORPORATION
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.
AN INDIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. You worship them.
A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows Methane gas production (hot air) funds acquisition of strategic Australian Dairy Companies controlling 2000 cows. Liquidate Australian cows for dog tucker and milk harder
Sunday, December 10, 2006
For a change of pace I thought it might be refreshing to write a more - stream of consciousness - post.
With that in mind I'd like to blog about something close to my heart : Battlestar Galactica.
Honest to god - this program is fracking amazing. For those of you that think that you can judge a book from its cover - I implore you to give Battlestar the benefit of the doubt.
Some may think it is a space opera of some sorts - and they would be right. But along with the space opera there are serious themes to be discovered - and along with that, some amazing characters.
The plots from week to week follow some disturbing events happening right here, right now. Parallels between Battlestar's treatment of Cylons and ...say for the sake of argument, Arab detainees in Cuba seem on the surface - evident - and with good cause. And while I can in no way condone tossing people out airlocks - di's recent post of peoples laptops being detained in the US of A, ensures that tossing people out of airlocks is just around the humanitarian corner - so to speak.
The character of the moment is, in my mind, Starbuck. For some reason, this wreck of a person, has captured my heart, and for the life of me I cant bring myself to condemn her. Sure - She is waaaay out in left field but regardless of her faults, her heart is in the right place, even if her mind isn't. Face it - we can forgive any digressions - if - and only if - their hearts are in the right place. Faults abound - but people persist regardless. I hope she has some sort of redemption upcoming - God knows she deserves it. Like a kitten left at your door step - it's impossible to not let her into your heart and home, in the hope that you dont regret it when the good will runs out.
Give Battlestar a chance - and while you're at it- cut Starbuck some slack, or at least someone you know with a heart of gold, but a few less than fatal flaws.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Man! - I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived.
I see all this potential, and I see squandering.
God damn it! - an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.
We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place.
We have no Great War. No Great Depression.
Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives.
We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars.
But we won't.
And we're slowly learning that fact: And we're very, very pissed off.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
After my last post I'm in a quandary. Are all my posts firmly rooted in my past?
I'm not sure there is an easy answer to that question. We are, after all the collection of our experiences - good and bad - and any experiences, and our reactions to them are influenced by what has come before. I also understand the statute of limitations, and where it applies - in the past we did some incredibly stupid things. Today, I'm proud to say, I still do stupid things - but i hasten to add - less life threatening stupid things. For example; Trying to ride your motorcycle over 150 mph on a bumpy but straight piece of road sounds like fun - until you start to think about what would happen if ANYTHING bad happened next. At 25 years of age you don't - but these days these thoughts do slip in occasionally.
I'm not sure when personal responsibility started playing a more significant role in my life. Some would say I was always an old bastard at heart - and to them I must admit some truth to that statement; I actually got rung up on Friday night by Donna (a younger co-worker), who asked how my knitting was going - the cheeky cow.
Also, writing about more recent exploits might cause more discomfort than would be intended. Writing about such things as glitter transfer, the weird navigation to/from Showgirls venues in strange cities, or other things that happen "on tour" would be breaking some kind of official secrets act, I'm sure.
In the meantime I'll drink to selective madness, with limited repercussions - and the occasional nod to the bit of brain that stops me before I step over that line, wherever that line may be.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
My relationship with U2 began around 1980. Back in 1983 a day didn't go by without U2's album Boy hitting the turntables in our senior common room at The Taieri High School. Back in the day the main staples (music wise) were The Police, Spandau Ballet, Kissing the Pink - and obviously U2.
I will go on record in saying that I thought the studio version of I will Follow sucked but the unique style of music U2 offered was a breath of fresh air, when compared to the new romantic dross of Duran Duran, The Style Council, and Talk Talk. I say dross now - obviously - but at the time Duran Duran's video clip "MTV" style over substance existance was lapped up by all and sundry, and like the followers of fashion all 17 year olds are, I brought into it hook line and sinker.
When U2 released "War", I was a U2 junkie - seeing Bono as a plausible role model - I wanted to be up there waving that white flag yelling "No More" during Sunday Bloody Sunday: the little idealist I was. "Live Under a Blood Red Sky" was the full-stop and the end of that chapter of U2's story, and many of us were ill equipped to deal with the abrupt change of direction offered by "An Unforgettable Fire". It wasn't until their "Joshua Tree" album hit the streets, that I started listening to them again - and I became somewhat envious of the new fans following U2. They werent as jaded as me - and the nerve of them to think that Joshua Tree was U2's best album. Fools!
Over the years since, U2 and I have crossed paths now and again. We saw eye to eye on "Achung Baby" , were barely talking during "Zooropa". The trial separation during "Pop" was difficult. U2 were courting a new legion of fans: there was a party I wasnt invited to - and I wondered where it would all end.
I've been to see U2 on every tour to New Zealand since 1983. When Love Comes to Town, with BB King in Christchurch was brilliant, as was Zooropa - although for very different reasons. The BB King show was a road trip with my friends and remains a warm memory of that time. The Zooropa concert was a last minute thing for Roons and I - the technology on show was mind boggling - I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
Last weekend U2 played at Mount Smart Stadium. I have to admit that I was aprehensive: did I really want to see tham again - after 13 years. Would we still get on?
Tim, Sandra, Jim and Bridge came up from down south to stay for the weekend. We headed off to the concert on foot, after it became obvious that the trains could not carry the crowds of people. The rain beat down on all of us shuffling toward the stadium, but people of all ages moved as one - it was a bizzare feeling of unity.
The concert was amazing. A TV reviewer actually complained that the crowd was singing too much - but he was a complete prat. I have to say that again - he was a complete and utter prat.
A prat who couldn't understand that concept of a group of people, bound together in a relationship - a love of music - and of a band that has touched so many people over so many years. When Bono and the crowd sang along to the words of New Years Day " Say that it's true, it's true - we can break through. Torn in two we can be one"... I knew I was lucky to be a part of it.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The fears that live inside of us, whatever they are, and however they manifest, prevent us from living our highest potential as individuals, and as contributors to the human race. If we consciously and vigilantly transmute these fears, through compassion for others and for ourselves, we will know what it is to live a peaceful existence on this planet.
- Gillian Anderson
All this in no way explains why watching the Pixar movie "Cars" moved me so much today.
Rent it, and perhaps you could enlighten me.
Monday, November 20, 2006
I was listening to Radio live the other day and cringed when I heard Martin Devlin mention the associated heath benefits of circumcision, partly because the issue of "lopping off" a part of a male babies anatomy seems to me, rather barbaric in this day and age. The article he was referring to can be found here.
According to the report in the November issue of Paediatrics, circumcision may reduce the risk of acquiring and spreading such infections by up to 50%, which suggests "substantial benefits" for routine neonatal circumcision.
Mothers then proceeded to ring in ad nausism stating that they had there kids "done" and they had no problem with it. My rebuttle may sound something like "Piss off lady - and leave you son's penis alone". "If he wants to multilate his body later on in life - then let it be his choice - not some over zealous mother on a penis chopping frenzy"
Some days I wonder how far we have come when we resort to hacking at our own bodies in some bizzare effort to improve on the original model. Have we moved on any further from the more horrific female circumcision? I fear not.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Question: Do you think there is a bias against middle age sex (on TV)
Answer: I think that there is a misunderstanding about middle age sex - the problem is we don't ever see middle age people actually just freely enjoying their sexuality with each other, so there's an imbalance. Although, i do think that as we grow emotionally, we become more complicated people, and with more wisdom and more complexity attached, i think that kind of fun free loving devil may care sex and sexuality is a little harder to come by. So even though we would like to think at middle age that we can exercise the same freedoms, in fact we're almost more vulnerable. It doesn't mean the sex cant be better, which I'm here to tell ya, it can be - but i don't think is so much a bias, as it is a little bit of the truth .
Say it isnt so!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I was never a real fan of "Tears for Fears" but I love the epic scope of this song, even if the subject matter isnt the nicest. The bridge at the end that starts "Its under my skin, but out of my hands..." is sublime. Youtube really doesnt have the quality to do the sound justice, but if you have the album you'll know what I mean. Turn it up. And yep thats Phil Collins on the drums....
Thursday, November 09, 2006
See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong.
They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool.
And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don't have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter.
... great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love... and let's face it, you got a big head start.
The only true currency in this bankrupt world if what we share with someone else when we're uncool.
Cameron Crowe - Almost Famous
I admire Lance Armstrong - really I do.
I'm not going to buy into the controversy over the did he/didn't he do the drugs thing. I'm not even going to dip my toe into the whole Sheryl Crow thing: The truth is he is an amazing athlete.
But even though he has won the Tour de France many times, and has battled cancer to live to tell the tale, the thing I admire most about him, is his strength of conviction.
This week Lance entered, and completed the New York marathon - his first - in less than 3 hours. You might think that for an athlete of his caliber this would be a walk in the park - but reading this interview after, paints an entirely different picture.
...his body seemed to tighten and showed signs of pain and fatigue in the final few miles. He started to fall off the pace required to break 3 hours before a final push allowed him to meet his personal goal.
"Before the race that was my goal, I wanted to break 3 hours. But if you told me with 3 miles to go, `You're going to do 3:05,' I wouldn't have cared," he said. "Honestly, at the end I was so tired, I couldn't care. Now I'm glad I did."... and So will he be back?
"Now's not the time to ask that question. The answer now is no, I'll never be back. But I reserve the right to change my mind," he said. "I don't know how these guys do it."
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Master Poe: At times the task you face, may seem overwhelming. And you may feel unequal to what is required.
Young Kane: Master, I observe others, and they seem to know the way.
Master Poe: Do you?
Young Kane: I am puzzled and unsure. I move one way, and then another. To no purpose.
Master Poe: And therefore, grieve.
Young Kane: Yes, master.
Master Poe: The sage has said "Others are contented, I alone am drifting. Not knowing where I am. I am different. I am nourished by the great mother. In an uncertain hour, the wise man acknowledges uncertainty.
Good luck Di
Ban cars because of boy racers
Ban alcohol - because of alcoholics
Ban pokie machines - because of problem gambling
Ban motorcycles - because of motorcycle gangs
Ban chewing gum because it's everywhere on the pavement
Ban cigarettes because of the butts
Ban fireworks - because of the fires
Ban the military - because of the wars
Ban lies - because we know the truth
Ban cell phones - because I've heard they're dangerous
Ban free speech - because we don't need it any more
It's not your fault.
Maybe you were given the strap at high school. You were taught wrong.
If you failed at school then it's It's societies fault. Because - you see - you should never fail - you just didn't achieve. Try again. And again. And again. You'll get it sooner or later.
And if you don't - you've got a right to be angry.
Know your rights - the cops cant touch you if you're smart. Keep quiet - don't talk - sweet - it's the law.
Just keep blaming someone else
Cuz its not your fault man!
C'mon - lets terrorize some people with our fireworks, because I've heard they're going to ban them next year....
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Ever since that I've made a reputation for acheiving a few quick exits from many a birthday party. Or any party for that matter. A friend the other day threatened to tie herself to me in an effort to stop me escaping when no one was looking next time we were drinking together. Time will tell if i grow out of this phase - I guess when I've made my mind up to leave I can't be stopped.
The first rite of passage for many New Zealanders is the 21st birthday, an unfortunate event where one almost always ends up throwing up in front of their freinds after skulling a yardie. It's a horrible experience - or so I'm told: I left my 21st early and managed to miss out.
From twenty firsts come engagements, then marriages, then the 30th's and 40th's.
Whilst the horrors of batchelor parties abate, I will never be able to forget them all, even with serious therapy. Even today the words "half mast" can send many of my friends into post traumatic stress disorder.
Divorce has never really been something I've had to deal with. Ok, it happens, and I'm very lucky to have seen the best in my friends during this trying time. I'd imagine it's a hard thing to go through - perhaps even more horrible than the yardie - but to go through it publically for the whole world to see, must be horrible.
So spare a nice thought for Reece this week, and if you see a "womans magazine" with a down and dirty expo article on their marriage split, do yourself (and them) a favour, and leave the mag on the shelf.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Kibbles had previously mentioned this some time ago, and was quoting five planet Earth's would be required if the rest of the world decided to follow the western worlds requirements for resources. I am happy now to see that he was wrong, and that we would only require 2 Planet Earth's. I feel so much better.
From the article;
Humans are stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends, the WWF conservation group said on Tuesday.
Populations of many species, from fish to mammals, had fallen by about a third from 1970 to 2003 largely because of human threats such as pollution, clearing of forests and overfishing, the group also said in a two-yearly report.
"For more than 20 years we have exceeded the earth's ability to support a consumptive lifestyle that is unsustainable and we cannot afford to continue down this path," WWF Director-General James Leape said, launching the WWF's 2006 Living Planet Report.
"If everyone around the world lived as those in America, we would need five planets to support us," Leape, an American, said in Beijing.Ok - so it turns out Kibbles was right after all.
The Americans are doing something about it 'tho. Their latest Hummer H3 does an impressive 20miles to the gallon (on highway driving).
Check out the ad...(click to view in more detail)
Monday, October 23, 2006
Just the other day I Skype'd Di and along with other gems of conversation, we ended up talking about people who steal your soul. "Steal" is perhaps a harsh word, especially in this sense, where people you know or love take a piece of your soul - perhaps in a way - without knowing. In my mind, parts of someone's soul are given freely, more than taken. It's not a conscious effort on either persons part, it's like I'd imagine, when you see your child for the first time, or when you greet a dear friend after a long time apart. I'd like to believe that at that moment the dynamics shifts, and we become something more than aquatintences, or even more than friends. I'd like to think that.
The trouble is, that society in its infinite wisdom, has its little rules that must be obeyed - and we often find it hard to say the things we need to say to each other, sometimes until it is too late. Knowing this to be a universal truth does not make it simpler to buck tradition, but I'd like to think the soul swapping happens anyway.
I have to believe it - actually. :)
Friday, October 20, 2006
You throw me in a pan
You cook me in a can
You stretch me with your hands
You love to watch me bake
You serve me up with cake
And thats your big mistake
Your guest comes in dressed smart
You offer a la carte
You didnt have the heart
And I want a tv embrace
And i, Im getting off your boiling plate
They swore youd steal my steam to feed your dream
And then be gone
I wish I could say that everyone was wrong
You left me burned and seared
You left me ripped and teared
And older than my years
I should have know at first
That you would leave me hurt
You had to try dessert
No way to let off steam
Dont bother milk or cream
No way to let off steam
And I want a tv embrace
And i, Im getting off this boiling plate
They swore youd steal my steam to feed your dream
And then be gone
I wish I could say that everyone was wrong
It must feel good to stand above me
While I make you so proud of me
It must feel good that Im now gone
I wish I could say that everyone was wrong
I wish everyone was wrong
I wish everyone was wrong
I wish everyone was wrong
I wish everyone was wrong
I wish everyone was wrong
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
This is Shihad - with "Home Again". Personally my favourite song of theirs is "Pacifier" but the YouTube Version doesnt do it justice.
Hope this doesnt make you homesick Di.
1) A lead singer with non classical vocal training.
2) A catchy name - in this case think L M N O P
3) A BBQ around a pool listening to a song with a hook so big you could hang a towel on it.
4) A piss take somewhere in the chorus
Spring is here - and summer's just around the corner! :)
Party on Wayne - Party on Garth ! Excellent!
english translation for those who dont speak Kiwi:
Song: Everyday's a Saturday
I got a pocket full of your kisses
And i know that I'm never coming back
I've been warned but I long for your embrace
I keep calling save me,save me
Cup of coffee and a packet of cigarettes
Up late cause lectures don't start yet
Bowl of Weetbix and a plate of bacon and eggs
Sunday morning gonna do it all again
Every day's a Saturday
Every night's a night like this
Every time that we draw close
Every time a perfect miss
Called up my friends and I'm thinking of a barbeque
Mid afternoon and there's nothing better to do
Feeling good and they sky seems extra blue
I can almost see Utopia
Monday, October 16, 2006
The following article was printed in the New Zealand Herald as rebuttle to the previous article calling for Top Gear to be Junked. Ben Fenton from the Telegraph Group obviously disagrees.
Two words are guaranteed more than any others to provoke me. The first is "provocative", when used in a way that ignores the dictionary definition of the verb "to provoke": to annoy or infuriate someone, especially deliberately; to incite or goad.
The second is "healthensafety", which began its wretched existence as three words, but has become one. Between them, they encapsulate some of the most tiresome aspects of British life.
Hugely popular and boorish television programmes such as Big Brother and I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! are justified by their producers as "provocative".
In a genuine world, it would be enough to justify Big Brother because it supplies the second aspect of Juvenal's recipe for controlling the mob - bread and circuses. But that idea might be too provocative.
"Healthensafety" was invented in the 1960s by civil servants to create jobs for their own children. Its primary function is to stop everyone who wants to do more with their lives than eat bread and watch circuses, from having any fun.
The BBC often has to defend its motoring programme Top Gear from criticism of its presenters' sexist or xenophobic comments, or their glorification of environmentally unfriendly driving.
It usually claims that the programme is meant to be "provocative".
Perhaps it means it in the dictionary sense, but I doubt it. Knowing the BBC, it probably means that Top Gear is naughty, but attracts huge audiences.
Five hundred complaints in six months about a programme that reaches five million people a week is simple maths for 21st-century broadcasters.
Last week, Richard Hammond, one of the trio of politically incorrect Top Gear presenters, lay in a neurological ward in Leeds after flipping a drag-racing car while driving at close to the British land speed record of 300.3 miles an hour (482.3 km/h).
His comrades, James May and Jeremy Clarkson, spent time at his bedside, but they and the huge staff that produces the programme must have been conscious that "healthensafety" is now as great a threat to the future of Top Gear as the laws of physics were to Hammond's life.
A BBC spokesman talked of a "healthensafety investigation" during the day and to many fans of the programme, it sounded like a herald announcing the arrival of the Spanish Inquisition.
By the weekend, more than 1000 people had sent Hammond their good wishes on the BBC's website. It was a testament to the popularity of the man, but also of the programme.
In our risk-averse and emasculated society, watching people fool around at high speed in cars answers a basic human need, even if only vicariously.
Children, mine included, love Top Gear and that is not surprising, because their lives are particularly restricted by the undiscriminating edicts of the riskaverse.
And, of course, Top Gear is a very childish programme. The humour is childish - using a medieval catapult to throw a particularly awful Nissan through the air, or dropping a caravan from a height is slapstick, but it delights my 11-year-old and me equally.
The jokes meander towards puerile xenophobia -- Clarkson said the BMW produced Mini Cooper would be more quintessentially German if its satellite navigation system was set to invade Poland.
The ritual humiliation of the weak is cruelly childish. Caravanners, cyclists, environmentalists and the dull are Top Gear's favourite targets.
Inventing ways of destroying caravans occupies much of the producers' time, and ridiculing safe drivers or "green" roadusers provides an easy laugh.
Yet its psychological geometry leads to a single point - driving is easily transformed into a mundane activity, but it is also one of the few affordable ways human beings can defy our natural limitations. Or, in other words, have fun.
Fun should be safe, but only if you are supervising somebody else or doing something that affects other people's security and property. Otherwise, fun should just be fun.
Personal risk should be a matter solely between a person and his or her insurance company.
That is the essence of Top Gear. Humans have climbed all the mountains and travelled up all the rivers that the planet has.
We haven't explored all the oceans, but there is a limit to the interest you can take in translucent fish. Few of us can visit Everest or the Amazon basin, still fewer can pilot a bathysphere, but we can watch someone else do it.
Few of us can afford a Bugatti Veyron, but we might be able to imagine what it's like to sit behind the wheel of one, and we want to see it driven fast, because that is what it was built for.
Hammond, Clarkson and May are paid to have fun on our behalf and make us laugh while they do so. They do a very good job of it. Of course, they aren't always justified in doing what they do.
Their antics with an antique Jaguar C-type were condemned by my colleagues, and could have led to a duel at dawn if "healthensafety" had permitted two sets of motoring journalists to fling spark plugs at each other from 20 paces.
Overall, Top Gear simply celebrates transport as risk-taking rather than travel.
Last year, the lobby group Transport 2000 berated Clarkson and the others for favouring performance over efficiency and conservation. They proposed replacing Top Gear with something more moderate and green.
The BBC must resist any calls to put Hammond and his friends in any other gear than top, or apply any brakes to their adventures, because, if it can tolerate them being "provocative", or even provocative, then it can certainly let them continue in the fast lane, waving two fingers out of the window in the direction of "healthensafety".
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Did you realise, some of the seemingly biggest battles won on this earth, have been achieved not with conflict, but with passive resistance? For example of passive resistance take this WW2 story;
When the Wehrmacht invaded Denmark in 1940, the Danes soon saw that military confrontation would change little except the number of surviving Danes. The Danish government therefore adopted a policy of official co-operation (and unofficial obstruction) which they called "negotiation under protest." On the industrial front, Danish workers subtly slowed all production that might feed the German war machine, sometimes to a perfect standstill. On the cultural front, Danes engaged in symbolic defiance by organizing mass celebrations of their own history and traditions. On the legislative front, the Danish government insisted that since they officially co-operated with Germany, they had an ally's right to negotiate with Germany, and then proceeded to create bureaucratic quagmires which stalled or blocked German orders without having to refuse them outright. Danish authorities also proved conveniently inept at controlling the underground Danish resistance press, which at one point reached circulation numbers equivalent to the entire adult population.
So - Have you heard of Aung San Suu Kyi?
What comes next is a summary of the following Wikipedia entry.
When I hear about people like this, I feel the human race has a chance at survival. :)
Aung San Suu Kyi was born on 19 June 1945. Her father, Aung San, negotiated Burma's independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, and was assassinated by his rivals in the same year.Suu Kyi was educated in English Catholic schools for much of her childhood in Burma. Khin Kyi gained prominence as a political figure in the newly-formed Burmese government. Khin Kyi was appointed as Burmese ambassador to India in 1960, and Suu Kyi followed her there, graduating from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi in 1964. Suu Kyi continued her education at St Hugh's College, Oxford, obtaining a B.A. degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 1967. Upon graduation, Suu Kyi furthered her education in New York, and worked for the United Nations. Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Myanmar in 1988 to take care of her ailing mother. In that year, the long-time leader of the socialist ruling party, General Ne Win, stepped down, leading to mass demonstrations for democratisation, which were violently suppressed. A new military junta took power. Heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence, Aung San Suu Kyi entered politics to work for democratisation, helped found the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988, and was put under house arrest on 20 July 1989. She was offered freedom if she would leave the country, but she refused. In 1990, the military junta called general elections, which the National League for Democracy won decisively. Under normal circumstances, she would have assumed the office of Prime Minister. Instead the results were nullified, and the military refused to hand over power. This resulted in an international outcry and partly led to Aung San Suu Kyi's winning the Sakharov Prize that year and the Nobel Peace Prize the following year in 1991. Her sons Alexander and Kim accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf, Alexander's acceptance speech is linked in the External links section of this document. Aung San Suu Kyi used the Nobel Peace Prize's 1.3 million USD prize money to establish a health and education trust for the Burmese people. She was released from house arrest in July 1995, although it was made clear that if she left the country to visit her family in the United Kingdom, she would be denied re-entry. When her husband Michael Aris, a British citizen, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, the Burmese government denied him an entry visa. Aung San Suu Kyi remained in Burma, and never again saw her husband, who died in March 1999. She remains separated from their children, who remain in the United Kingdom. She was repeatedly prevented from meeting with her party supporters, and in September 2000 was again put under house arrest. On 6 May 2002, following secret confidence-building negotiations led by the United Nations, she was released; a government spokesman said that she was free to move "because we are confident that we can trust each other". Aung San Suu Kyi proclaimed "a new dawn for the country". However on 30 May 2003, her caravan was attacked in the northern village of Depayin by a government-sponsored mob, murdering and wounding many of her supporters. Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene with the help of her driver, Ko Kyaw Soe Lin, but was arrested upon reaching Ye-U. She was imprisoned at Insein Prison in Yangon. After receiving a hysterectomy in September 2003, she was again placed under house arrest in Yangon. In March 2004, Razali Ismail, UN special envoy to Myanmar, met with Aung San Suu Kyi. Ismail resigned from his post the following year, partly because he was denied re-entry to Myanmar on several occasions. On 28 May 2004, the United Nations Working Group for Arbitrary Detention rendered an Opinion (No. 9 of 2004) that her deprivation of liberty was arbitrary, as being in contravention of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, and requested that the authorities in Burma set the prisoner free, but the authorities have so far ignored this request. On 28 November 2005, the National League for Democracy confirmed that Suu Kyi's house arrest would be extended for yet another year. Many western countries, as well as the United Nations, have expressed their disapproval of this latest extension. On 20 May 2006, Ibrahim Gambari, UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs, met with Aung San Suu Kyi, the first visit by a foreign official since 2004. Suu Kyi's house arrest term was set to expire 27 May 2006, but the Burmese government extended it for another year, flouting a direct appeal from U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan to Than Shwe. Suu Kyi continues to be imprisoned under the 1975 State Protection Act (Article 10 b), which grants the government the power to imprison persons for up to five years without a trial.On 9 June 2006, Suu Kyi was hospitalised with severe diarrhea and weakness, as reported by a UN representative for National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma. Such claims were rejected by Major-General Khin Yi, the national police chief of Myanmar.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Yes my friends: Season Three of Battlestar Galactica is dark indeed. What other program on American TV would dare show the use of suicide bombers to acheive a "justified" end? Ron Moore has something to say, and I can't stop listening.
Friday, October 13, 2006
I noticed on David Farrar's Kiwiblog that there is an auction on trademe featuring Labour's election pledge card. I love the comments. Priceless.
Humour is a large part of what makes a New Zealander. Our dry wit, and our under-statement speaks volumes. You can never take yourself too seriously here because there's always someone around who will absolutely take the piss, and you will regret it - trust me.
Have a great weekend folks :)
Monday, October 09, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
I am truly a child of the seventies. Although I was born in the sixties, for some unexplained reason, the memories of my childhood revolve around 1977: What came before 1977, and what came afterward.
Before 1977 I remember growing up in rural Canterbury, then travelling to the Cook Islands, where I lived for 2 years. During those formative years there was no TV - but there was music, and books. In reading, I developed an active imagination, and to this day I can still get lost in a book. I joke that now when I'm reading or watching TV, you first have to open a channel of communication before I can hear you. Simply put: you must say my name first. This isn't me being rude: i simply cant hear you unless you do. Until then I'm not there with you - I'm somewhere else.
Its hard to know why ''77 was a pivotal year. We moved to Dunedin in ''76, and boy was I ever green. Living around kids in the Cooks who weren't sophisticated types (read: didn't lie, cheat, or use sarcasm), it's a wonder I made it out of a New Zealand Intermediate school in one piece. Again; today I often feel a little naive about the way i interpret other peoples actions - I've spent all my time catching up I guess.
In spite of the lack of street smarts, I'm happy about where I am. I'm not any part of a flock of sheep, congregating in groups, saying nothing. Don't get me wrong -I'm no leader either, but I have a strong notion of self, and that's important when we live in a climate where conformity seems more important than individuality.
This post is going somewhere - I'm sure of it.
Normally the phase "When I was young" would only apply to sad old gits who whine about the youth of today, and when I hear that phrase, normally I'd change the radio to another station and shake my head and sigh - but today I'm not so sure. This is because the world has changed a lot in the intervening years - and so have it's youth. Any of us older than 40 have had some small part in making what we have, that surrounds us. I'm not proud of that fact.
If we are simply growing up sooner, then either we have to somehow slow things down again, or accept that a youth that commits an "adult" crime be treated as an adult. Holding on to the past is a nice idea - but if the past no longer applies, perhaps we can just remember those endless summers long ago when the world seemed a safer place, and smile, knowing we got to live there once upon a time.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Yes - I am a geek.
Yes - this means I will not get laid any time soon.
I dont care - I await, with interest, the relationship between Apollo and Starbuck. The fact she's now married may throw a spanner in the works. Perhaps Apollo will now take more risks?
We will see - I guess.
Starbuck is perhaps one of the most interesting characters in on TV today - period. And the fact she looks like a very good friend of mine just adds to the mix.
Yes - again - I know I am a geek :)
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Whilst tripping the blogsphere, I dropped in to see Green St Girl and came across her article on Banksy.
I'm not sure if agree with the whole grafitti art thing - I guess for me it comes down to a combination of the talent of the artist, the subject matter, and the area painted.
One of my biggest regrets is that I can not draw. I'd love to be able to do this type of stuff. Until then I guess I can trace.
Take a look at Banksy's website here, I'd be interested in your thoughts on this type of art. Dont be shy - there are no right or wrong opinions....
BTW: I found the information on his site;
A guide to cutting stencils
• Think from outside the box.
• Collapse the box and take a fucking sharp knife to it.
• Leave the house before you find something worth staying in for.
• It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.
• Spray the paint sparingly onto the stencil from a distance of 8 inches.
• Be aware that going on a major mission totally drunk out of your head will result in some truly spectacular artwork and at least one night in the cells.
• When explaining yourself to the Police its worth being as reasonable as possible. Graffiti writers are not real villains. I am always reminded of this by real villains who consider the idea of breaking in someplace, not stealing anything and then leaving behind a painting of your name in four foot high letters the most retarded thing they ever heard of.
• Remember crime against property is not real crime. People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access.
• The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over. Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous. Any fame is a by-product of making something that means something. You don't go to a restaurant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I couldnt find this article on the web, so I should point out it was written by Johann Hari for the Independant newspaper in the UK. (Please dont sue me guys).
Article Starts here;
Jeremy Clarkson's speed addiction is a health hazard, and not just for him, writes Johann Hari
Ho Ho. For Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and their army of Top Gear speedophiles, driving cars so fast they can smash a skull or kill a child has been a subject for uproarious laughter and acidic hate for years now.
Clarkson has declared "speeding is no big deal" and shouldn't be punished with points on your licence. He has supported the gangs of thugs going around smashing the British speed cameras that have -- according to independent studies - saved more than 1000 lives. And he has derided anybody who disagrees as a "health and safety Nazi".
His acolyte "Hamster" Hammond said that because of these views, Clarkson should be made Mayor of London so he can "roar around London in a Lamborghini with a mayoral flagpole, shooting cyclists".
Now Hammond is lying in a hospital bed, lucky his life was not ended by this adolescent need for speed. I wonder if Clarkson, as he stared tearfully at the wounds of one of his best mates and comforted Hammond's wife and kids, thought back to all the times they have used Britain's big death toll from speeding as a glib punchline.
Did he remember the column he wrote recently, in which he declared, "Of course, in France speeding is endemic and this means they have a far, far higher death rate than we do. But let's be frank here. You can't really judge a country by the number of people who don't die in car accidents"?
Did he remember the snarling contempt with which he responded to pleas from the AA and some of Britain's most senior traffic cops to stop encouraging people to break the law? Does he see now why we "Nazis" try to slow cars down?
I have never engaged with Clarkson's arguments in my columns because he doesn't have any. I may as well engage with one of the Tweenies.
He is merely the court jester for the petrolhead death cult, a far-right jokesmith gripped by an erotic obsession with inanimate metal objects. A man whose response to global warming is to deny its existence and brag that he leaves his patio heater on 24 hours a day "just to wind up Greenpeace" is not a person to argue with; he's a person to ignore.
But as he has learned in the past few days, Clarkson's unserious statements can have serious consequences. The chief speedophile's campaign against speed cameras has vastly increased the number of people like Hammond lying injured in a hospital bed. It's hard to find a logical thread in Clarkson's opposition to the Gatso (speed) cameras.At times, he claims he is angry because they don't actually save lives but international studies show this is nonsense. Speeding has fallen 40 per cent in areas with speed cameras - and that has huge consequences.
If you smack into a child at 30mph, the odds he or she will die are 50 per cent. If you hit them at 20mph, their chances of dying fall to 10 per cent. When confronted with these basic facts, Clarkson switches his jabberings into a different lane. He begins to argue that he opposes speed cameras because politicians have installed them simply to pay for their junkets".
But as Clarkson admitted last year recent figures show Britain's 6000 Gatso cameras earned £110 million ($314 million) last year but made a profit of just £12 million".
In governmental terms, that is a pittance. So ... they aren't "raking in money", then, are they Jeremy? That's because the Government has installed the cameras for the reason they say they have: to save lives.
Then Clarkson is left to fall back on the case that he is a brave defender of the rights of ordinary people from a "1984-style" Government. But the right of an individual to drive at 50mph doesn't weigh much against the right of a pedestrian not to be killed and Clarkson knows it.
That's why-- when his mercifully unbroken back is against the wall - he confesses: "I don't curse speed cameras because of civil liberty issues. l curse them because they slow me down."
He describes speeding as a glorious aesthetic experience he is prepared to take huge risks to indulge in. This pure distilled glee is at the core of his hatred of speed cameras; the rest is just a rationalist sheen that is easily scraped away. But this makes it clear how purely selfish his defence of speeding is.
So Clarkson and his groupies can feel an adrenalin rush, there has to be a bloodsacrifice on our roads that tops even the death toll jihadists have so far inflicted on us. (If this sounds like hyperbole, remember: The death toll from 7/7 is racked up every fortnight on our tarmac by Mullah Clarkson's soulmates.)
Of course, if these sad boy-men want to pay to go on private land and take risks with their own safety - as Hammond did in this instance - they should be allowed to, just as you are allowed to go mountaineering or chain smoke or (in my case) eat too much lard. If Clarkson wants to commit suicide, who are we to stop him?
But these Top Gear toffs posing as ordinary blokes know most of their viewers will speed on ordinary roads, where they will smack into ordinary people. (Hammond thankfully seems to be recovering. Every year, 1000 of his fellow Brits never do.)
Indeed, Clarkson brags about his ability to speed on real roads, saying he can find sustained "high octane, red-line thrills" on Britain's standard-issue tarmac any day.
The rhetoric of this tiresome eunuch doesn't only blatantly encourage his viewers to speed; it has bullied and intimidated the Government too. Richard Brunstrom, the chief constable of North Wales, says: "Police resources have slowly drifted away from road policing [over the past few years] because that is the Government's intention."
Even though the opinion polls show solid support for speed cameras, the Government is allowing this vocal, vacuous campaign to skew their priorities. And the BBC is giving it a swollen platform.
Clarkson seems not to have learned from his friend's accident, still raving at the weekend against "the environmentalists and ... muddle-headed road safety campaigners" in the very articles where he described his mate's injuries. But his blindness is no excuse for the BBC's.
It's time for the corporation to send the rusty, dangerous old piece of scrap called Top Gear to the wrecker's yard-before it can maim and kill anyone else.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
I'm fine - really I am.
IG - I have not given back everything I've borrowed over the years. So you don't need to plan an intervention.
Mum - I'm not saying I will never be a Dad. I just think that it is a possibility you might consider....
Sheesh!!! - maybe sometimes I have a thought, and write it down - and god forbid I write a load of crap that isnt true. :)
So in the meantime, dont think it's all doom and gloom, It's just that I cant write nice stuff all the time. Life just isnt like that, and neither am I.
Regular transmission will resume soon. And it will be about Top Gear.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
It's funny how the little things can really throw you off your stride. For the last week I've been walking around in the biggest funk: a partial depressed state of mind. The arrival of Asquared (who I will blog about soon) has offset this slide, and the contant flow of red wine and fine dining has set me back on the road to happiness once again.
So why the funk?
Last week I managed a trip to Christchurch; I had some work to do with some people there, and I even managed to stay an extra day because I got involved in a nasty fault.
Serendipidiously my folks were also passing through at the time so I managed to spend a couple of days with them, but all this isnt what threw me out of whack: It was Coffee Girl.
In all fairness it wasnt even her fault - I was planning to drop in for a quick chat, and possibly meet her partner.
I arrived pretty much on time, and as a bonus got to meet her little daughter, who is, by the way, as cute as a button. The trouble is: I like kids. Obviously other peoples kids, because I eventually get to give them back to their harried, sleep deprived parents. I realised a long time ago that I really dig kids. Although one or two can be a bit shy around me, most can't wait to show me all their toys and books. Years ago I remember reading to Georgia when she was small, I even remember going around to see Tim and Sands just so I could catch up with her. It was an amazing thing to do, and in a strange way, really put the world in perspective. Kids really have a way of doing that.
Anyway - I was chillin with Coffee Girl's toddler, checking the latest in pop up childrens lit and platics toys, when Coffee Girl said "Mark, you'd make a great Dad".
You know - I think she was right. Problem is: realising I may never get to find out.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
1) They behave deplorably
2) They don't take responsibility for their actions
3) They lie to us.
4) If they don't get their way they change the laws to say its OK.
They are basically children, and don't deserve to be treated any differently. I for one believe that the time has come to treat them as they deserve to be treated - with contempt.
They are our elected representatives, and should behave (at least publicly) as such. How many times must New Zealanders be reminded - THEY WORK FOR US!!!!
Until they grow up I suggest we drop their honorific titles, at least until they deserve them. So no more Prime Minister or Right honourable - lets just use their real names because they are no better than us.
Respect is earned, not given lightly.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
When I first started taking photo's, I started with sports: first Rugby, then Motor sports. Eventually I got bored watching motorcycles go around and around in circles: Now I'm now mostly grown up I watch Formula One on TV where cars go around and around in circles. But I digress; because my friends, when it comes to photography, cars and bikes may be nice, but eventually you'll realise the real deal as subjects are people.
Take the photo above; metaphorically I mean - because this actual photo is mine - ALL MINE. It is not for you.
Mary is without a doubt the most talented and attractive character actress of her time. And although I will never meet her in person, I would like to comment on what I believe the photographer has captured.
Note the lack of formal clothing and jewelry and the imperfect hair, suggesting a practical, no nonsense approach to life.
Note the strong angles with the left arm, and the equally strong angle on the right, creating an impression of strength of character.
Note the tilt of the head, and the sadness in her eyes that seems to be mirrored by her expressionless mouth, designed to promote a sort of vulnerability or ambiguity.
The use of the chair as a barrier to symbolize the barrier she perhaps has to keep between her public persona and the real private person beneath. The hand through the chair perhaps to say she is not entirely shut off from the world.
The use of the brown and warm colors to create a feeling, that this is a good, kind, warm, down to earth person.
What I am trying to say, badly, is that a photo can mean many things to many people. A portrait can capture many different emotions, often dependent on the viewer, and a good photographer can, on occasion, capture a moment in time when the subjects character can truly shine through. It's rewarding when it happens.
Friday, September 15, 2006
I stole this article from here.
Bush to hold talks on Ali G creator after diplomatic row.
US President George Bush is to host White House talks on British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.
Cohen, 35, creator of Ali G, has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of Borat, a bumbling Kazakh TV presenter.
And now a movie of Borat's adventures in the US has caused a diplomatic incident.
The opening scene, which shows Borat lustily kissing his sister goodbye and setting off for America in a car pulled by a horse, had audiences in stitches when it was first shown last week.
But the film, which has just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, has prompted a swift reaction from the Kazakhstan government, which is launching a PR blitz in the States.
Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev is to fly to the US to meet President Bush in the coming weeks and on the agenda will be his country's image.
President Nazarbayev has confirmed his government will buy "educational" TV spots and print advertisements about the "real Kazakhstan" in a bid to save the country's reputation before the film is released in the US in November.
President Nazarbayev will visit the White House and the Bush family compound in Maine when he flies in for talks that will include the fictional character Borat.
But a spokesman for the Kazakhstan Embassy says it is unlikely that President Nazarbayev will find the film funny.
Roman Vassilenko said: "The Government has expressed its displeasure about Borat's representation of our country.
"Our opinion of the character has not changed. "We understand that the film exposes the hypocrisy that exists both here in the USA and in the UK and understand that Mr Cohen has a right to freedom of speech."Nursultan Nazarbayev has taken Mr Bush up on an invitation to visit this country to help build our relationship with the USA. "I cannot speak for the president himself, only for the government, but I certainly don't think President Nazarbayev and Mr Bush will share a joke about the film. "The bottom line is we want people to know that he does not represent the true people of Kazakhstan."
The Kazakh government has previously threatened Baron-Cohen with legal action, for allowing Borat to, among other things, make fun of his homeland, demean women, slander gypsies and urge listeners to "Throw the Jew Down the Well."
Anti-Borat hard-liners have pulled the plug on borat.kz, Borat's Kazakhstan-based Website after his frequent displays of anti-Semitism and his portrayal of Kazakh culture.
Nurlan Isin, President of the Association of Kazakh IT Companies took the action after complaints. He said: "We've done this so he can't badmouth Kazakhstan under the .kz domain name. "He can go and do whatever he wants at other domains."
The row originally erupted in November 2005, following Borat's hosting of the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon. The Kazakh Foreign Ministry was furious over Cohen's bad taste representation of the nation.
'No such thing as bad publicity'
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev told a news conference: "We view Mr. Cohen's behaviour at the MTV Europe Music Awards as utterly unacceptable, being a concoction of bad taste and ill manners which is completely incompatible with the ethics and civilized behaviour of Kazakhstan's people. "We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind."
Baron Cohen responded to Ashykbayev in character by posting a video on the Official Borat website. In the video, Borat said, "In response to Mr. Ashykbayev's comments, I'd like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my Government's decision to sue this Jew.
"Since the 2003 Tuleyakiv reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world. "Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats, and age of consent has been raised to eight years old."
His blatant outpouring then prompted the Kazakh government to hire two public relations firms to counter the claims, and ran a four-page advertisement in The New York Times. The ad carried testimonials about the nation's democracy, education system and the power and influence enjoyed by women. News of President Nazarbayev's upcoming visit has prompted experts to study the character's impact on US culture.
Sean R. Roberts, Central Asian Affairs Fellow at Georgetown University, has been studying the phenomenon.
He said: "I have found that more Americans are aware of Kazakhstan than four years ago when I last lived in the United States. "The increased knowledge of Kazakhstan, however, is not due to the country's economic successes or its role as a U.S. ally in the war on terror. "Instead, most Americans who have heard of Kazakhstan have heard of it through a satire of a Kazakh journalist named Borat.
"Borat certainly does not promote an image of Kazakhstan that is in sync with that which the government and its leader would like to promote abroad. "As the old adage goes, however, 'there is no such thing as bad publicity.' "If that is true, Borat is bringing much more publicity to Kazakhstan."
Cohen's representatives refused to allow him or his alter ego to respond to the controversy because it's not close enough to the film's release date.
Monday, September 11, 2006
I was talking to IG this evening and this morning, and in both cases the conversion flowed like the second bottle of a great red wine, just after a particularly stunning bottle of first red wine.
Guy conversations are never boring: they are fill of partial "bits", that to a casual girl observer would never make sense of.
Too bloody right.
Guys can talk for hours - debating the latest XBox game - to asking the universal questions of why all my girl friends like girls, and why slim girls always surround themselves with not so slim girls.
Guys are so unPC - and that is a good thing. In a guy conversation, what you see is what you get. No stone unturned - no truth unsaid.
When asking why I am still single - a guy response may well be "Because you're soooo fucking ugly - thats why".
Well I'm happy we got that sorted then - shall we move on to world peace then? Nah - lets have a bourbon on ice and a white owl cigar - It's been a long day.
The guys conversation is rarely heard in the home anymore. Sometimes the guy may make the mistake of uttering a line of "guy speak" within air shot of a women - or worse a wife. I had a friend who once decided that it was safer to say "I have no opinion on that honey" to every dodgy question his wife asked. It didn't work for long. It seems that the irony of honesty is not lost on the opposite sex. What would I know? All my friends are girls: and they like other girls.
So while I was discussing the irony that is my life - we skipped from conversation to conversation - much like a stone skipping on a clear still lake, until the inevitable sinking of the stone, when IG mentioned he was naked.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
A name out of my past has come back to haunt me, and although it has been over two years since we spoke the feeling of loss is daunting.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a feeling of sadness or remorse - I was totally happy to remove the "5 foot something" pile of crazy from my life. It was for the best - really it was. I just regret I spent so much time and energy trying to help solve a problem that had no solution.
But like all those other disasters in my life, I learnt from it - and although it killed me a little to live through it - and killed me a lot more to let it go, I never ever regretted it.
Some may say I had no right to interfere to offer help, but it was a friend, and for a while I think it helped. In the end I just ran out of energy, I'm sure "a certain someone" blames me for my failure - of that I'm sure.
I'm just thankful that I learnt something from the whole thing, and although the name spoken or written still makes me feel physically sick, I realize in time my memories will blur enough to totally forget. But in order for that to happen I cant really stand to hear that name anymore.
Does that make me a shallow person?
Friday, September 01, 2006
Anonymous said...this is very interesting, tell us more about ben affleck.8:17 AM
OK I will....
Ben Affleck is a fictional character. He has appeared in numerous movies - most recently in Kevin Smith's Clerks 2. In actually Affleck has appeared in a number of Kevin Smith's films but confusingly in all cases, known by other names. His aliases are many and varied; Shannon Hamilton, Holden McNeil, Bartleby, Himself, Ollie Trinke, and Gawking Guy.
Affleck has had an interesting career. At one time or another he has worked in the following jobs; Sheriff, Miner/Astronaut, Angel cast from Heaven, Captain, Comic Book Artist, Government agent, Blind Superhero, and Mobster to name but a few. I wonder where he gets the time. I suspect he had padded his CV ; as he was born in 1972, which would have made him -31 in 1941, and hence too young to enlist as a Captain.
However even superhero's have flaws: he is a complete womaniser. He has had relationships with Alyssa Jones, Grace Stamper, Bridget Cahill, Ashley Mercer, Elektra Natchios, Dr. Rachel Porter. Often seeming to be heading to marital bliss at the end of his last movie Affleck suddenly appears uninvolved at the start of his next movie. Girls beware!
In a vague reference to this shady past Kevin Smith added a bogus reference to having to '86 dead hookers from his trailer....
Affleck is however currently married to Elektra Natchios, who herself, goes by many different names. It goes to show that truth is stranger than fiction.
Evidentally Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms. We know this to be a fact; because Affleck actually said it himself in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Affleck also played himself in J.A.S.B.S.B - playing Chuckie Sullivan in Good Will Hunting 2 (Applesause). It was very ironic!