Friday, November 24, 2006

Mind control for the young at heart

Everyone is lazy let's face it, if they let themselves be.
The mind is incredibly good at justifying it's actions.
We usually think as a post script, most of us just use instinct and ritual to give us a semblance of a thinking person.

Effective artist/warriors/lovers have to conqueor the mind's tricks which allow one to do nothing or more likely something that adds up to nothing.
It is often said that the student house is cleanest when the essay is due and we have all noted how true that is.

This is a veiled aside at those students who aren't blogging at least once a week.
Is it that hard to find the time to post once a week?
Or are you thinking up pale excuses to justify your actions.
Can't do it coz the dog ate my computer, have sore fingers, don't like writing only like messenging my friends, blah ,blah blah.
You must lead the mind, beware of it's tricks because you will fall behind and only have yourself to blame ( although no doubt you will try to blame moi)

I only wish I had a student with an essay due at my house coz it usually looks like a natural disaster area. Having 3 rugrats and a home school going on makes it that way. Also my partner in crime is a bower bird, she hates to throw anything away. She wants to keep the strangest things, strange to me anyway.
This is usually our only source of friction.
I throw bits of crap out and she wants them back.
I have to pretend I never saw them.
Isn't that terrible?
Admittedly I have better things to do than pick up toys.
Grandparents always buy stuff that spears into your foot at 3 in the morning.
Lots of little sharp baby landmines to teach you a lesson.
My feet are bruised and pitted from these deadly toys.
Where was the warning labels for that?

"Warning contains objects that will cause severe damage as you try to pee in the night".

Have installed a pay pal donate button on my space rocker brothers blog.
It seems to be getting some subscriptions.
He has enourmous amounts of selective self discpline.
He blogs every day and it's nearly always good, funny and serious.
He has really connected with his small army of fans.
I thinks they understand him more now.
Selective self discpline because he would eat a whole block of chocalate in front of you, piece after piece.
But when it comes to writing blogs/songs/swimming laps he is the ruler of his mind and body.
I have observed that most successful artists have this ability- to be totally obsessed to the exclusion of all else with their thing.

I saw a real bower bird the other day in the Royal.
It had collected all this blue stuff for it's bower of love.
They only collect blue stuff.
Its that artistic exclusion at work again.
What did they do before whiteys came with their blue straws and cloths pegs I'm not sure but it was a sight I can't remember seeing before.
I only hope someone gets it a blue recycling bin.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Customer is always right (unless they are doing a test)

Looking forward to 10 weeks of partial employment now that my big casual job is finished for the year.
I say that sarcastically coz of course poverty over Christmas sucks.
The family want to move back into the city too.
Which will be a joy.
Moving always is a barrel of laughs.
My big job has offered to let me apply for a permament postion and I had to fill out endless forms and waffle on.
Which I'm not very good at.
One of the criteria really got up my nose-A demonstrated commitment to quality customer service,
like I'm some fast food worker.
"Do you want fries with that diploma Miss. Have a nice day!"
It was making me ill just thinking about this.
Apparently even the CIA talks about it's customers now.
A customer is some one who walks into a shop and buys some thing aren't they?
A customer is someone you say what ever you think they want to hear in order to get them to buy your stuff.
"Yes you look great in that."
"Wow that really brings out your eyes which are beautiful by the way."
Is that how I should be teaching now?
I can't do it.
When my propective music students ask me for career advice I usually give them vague answers like
Put up a flag see who salutes it and
Many are called but few are chosen.
Coz making a living out of your Art is hard.
It is a rocky road.
Your car could break down.
You might get lost.
You'll be hungry.
You might be too early or too late
You might never get there at all.
But now I should tell them what they want to hear like a good sales man?
Yes Nigel stardom used to be a random event bequeathed by the gods but now if you do a Certicate 3 in Advanced Jiggery Pokery you can be a singing sensation in no time.
My beautiful ladyfriend works at the primo acting school, first lesson for this cream of the crop of applicants is "Most of you will spend most of the time looking for work".
In any creative field there is a huge amount of luck and doggered persistance that get you there .
And then your only there for a short time.
You're only as good as your last album, film, showing, whatever.
Not to even mention how likely it is that most of the money you do earn will dissapear somewhere........
Ask Les McKeown from The Bay City Rollers.
Their first two albums stayed on the album charts for a total of 99 weeks from 1974 - 1976.
"Bye Bye Baby", was the UK's biggest selling single of 1975.
Over a few years the band turned into an international supergroup, selling an estimated 300 million records all over the world.
But by the end of the 1979 Les was homeless and totally broke after quitting the band.
I once left my bass guitar strap at a gig in Balmain so I went back there to this big empty RSL the next afternoon and opened the dressing room door and who were there but The Bay City Rollers on ther 1989 reformation tour.
They looked so sad and despondent I almost asked them for an autograph to cheer them up.
I think that tour was organised by a revolting little English man called Mr Grit.
But thats another story.....
So would you like to upsize that degree?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Tree Friends

Recently I showed my 8 year old son Happy tree Friends and he loved it as I knew he would.He also loves the Simpsons which contains the Tom and Jerry parody Itchy and Scatchy.
Happy Tree Friends is sold on the premise it is so full on violent that it shouldn't be watched by kids.
Of course it is not really any worse than Tom and Jerry or Roadrunner as a matter of fact it has some great lessons about life.
Basically that stuff can kill and maim ya.
It's sales pitch works like Parental Advisory Stickers. They are the only kind of records any self respecting teenager should buy of course. Putting a warning on something is like honey to a bee.
The forbidden fruit of consumer culture.
Most rap music works the same, selling itself as anti-establishment when it is really the opposite.
Instead of stick it to the man and march to your own drum, its message seems to be making lots of money and buying stuff will liberate you.Just like an ad for Rolex.
A matter a fact some Hip hop is an ad for Rolex.
Rappers spend an inordinate amount of lyrical space listing products coz they get paid to.

Did I mention that I'm one of those terrible people who don't have free to air TV at all?
How weird is that?
How do my children find out about the world?
Now do you mean the real world or the world of TV, you know what's going on in the OC?
Cause I can guarantee they are better informed than most kids their age.
Coz they don't have to swim through a great tide of garbage to get to the good stuff.
You find out about the good shows and get them on DVD.
We had 99 channels of cable crap for a while and it was truly horrible, over night the kids started talking with American accents and saying "You wanna piece of me".
It had to go.
So liberal with Happy Tree Friends, Fascist with TV in general
My parenting is a paradox, actually my life's one too.
One show I'll try and not expose them to is Southpark.
Yes I know your thinking this guy doesn't get it but I do.
I laugh and it's funny but it's also at it's center heartless.-
I was watching it from the beginning,but over the years come to realise there is a cold and inhumane personality streaking behind this creation.
I was drawn to Monty Python from an early age because there was a philosophy behind the humour that resonated with me and I am suspicious of Southpark for the same reason.
Of course it's only a matter of time before they are watching it but I'll try and be the gatekeeper for just a little longer.....

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Sauce of Denial

Went round to my brothers place the other day.
He boils water in a very inefficient way in a kettle on an electric stove.
I had pointed out before that a $15 electric kettle would save him time and a fair weight of greenhouse gases.
When he started to complain about how long the kettle was taking, I tried to gentle remind him a small investment would soon pay off.
He went off his brain.
"I don't need this shit."
I wasn't just thinking of you I replied.
'Well I don't need to think about that shit either"
And there is the source of denial.
Because it is the small actions that we are all taking that is making our planet less habitable for our children and their children. Unless they are good at treading water, that is.
This is a big conundrum.

Nowadays every one knows cigarettes cause cancer but it wasn't always so.
For decades tobacco companies denied there was any link between their product and ill health.
They spent millions of dollars funding bogus research, buying influence in governments and paying mouthpieces to create a climate of uncertainty about the dangers of tobacco.
Did you know more people have died since 1940 from smoking than were killed in World War 2?
And that tobacco companies knowingly made cigarettes worse for you?
You can learn more about this in the excellent film "The Insider" with Russell Crowe.

One of the most vocal climate change deniers is a Fox News columnist called Steven Milloy. He also runs a web site called
Junk Science which a brilliant use of double think of course.
He is also not suprisingly funded by none other than the biggest oil company in the world Exxon/Mobil.
He runs several "thinktanks" with names like the Free Enterprise institute which collect money for their good work muddying the waters in the minds of Joe Public about our world wide changing weather patterns.
Read all about it here.
Well guess what Steven Milloy, your boss the Big Rup Murdoch has changed his mind about global warming thanks to his son James.
James is actually a pretty cool guy (and I speak from personal experience) doubly so if he's turned his dad.
So I'd be feeling a little nervous about my Fox column if I was you Steve because you don't want to go displeasing the Big Boss now do ya?
Hopefully you'll also choke over breakfast on the corporate fat you've been hoovering for up spreading your sneaky snakey misinformation for so long.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

This Time it's Personal

I know I've been a little strange in my last couple of blogs.
A bit Orwellian in fact.
So to make up for it all, here's some holiday fun.

Firstly am I brave or stupid.
Maybe a little of both?
One thing for sure I am already addicted to Youtube, what a great idea!
The whole world is up there.
To paraphraase Mr Cobain" Here we are now-Entertainment".
We are our own amusement.
Want to see the real Halo?
Check out

Totally scary?
But for a real laugh you cant go past this one.

Careful at work.
Great to see the yanks having a laugh at the horrible situation they got us in.
Finally had the best bike ride native animal score yestaday.
30 kms through the Royal.
No I dont run them over, I just watch them on the trail.
Seems animals dont react to bikes the same way they do to footsteps.
So the sightings were....
Three lyre birds,
two echindas
And a goanna up a gum tree.
Beautiful animals living happily a few kms from my front door.
Steve Irwin RIP.
Next post I will give you my recipe for kangaroo curry which is absolutely delicious.
No I dont eat Lyre Birds or Echidnas but I did use goanna oil once.