On the whole my favourite music by Bill Callahan is the later releases under his Smog moniker. However, "The Doctor Came at Dawn", from 1996 is an incredible record. Almost all the tracks are great, but one of my favourites is this one, "You Moved In". Hope you enjoy it too.
I only recently came across Harry Leslie Smith, although he has been writing for the Guardian for over a year and writing books for a very long time. He is 91 and is a social progressive, who writes with great passion about what he has witnessed during his life. He has just published his latest book, Harry's Last Stand, about the edifaces for social good that his generation built, such as universal healthcare, the welfare state and so on are being taken apart, brick by brick. Last November he wrote a piece about the way the British Government is celebrating the start of the first world war. The government here is doing exactly the same thing, although perhaps with even more of the population in support, as for some reason the pointless deaths of Australian and other allied troops in Anzac Cove has become seen as defining the Australian character. In Harry's words:
I find that the government's intention to spend £50m to dress the slaughter of close to a million British soldiers in the 1914-18 conflict as a fight for freedom and democracy profane.
Utopia is the latest film by John Pilger, a journalist who has been making films describing the treatment of Australia's indigenous population for some time. It was on free-to-air TV here in Australia last week and has previously been shown on TV in the UK. It certainly lacks subtlety and doesn't champion many positive stories, but it is valuable none-the-less because it is an appalling situation and one which most Australians pretend does not exist or is the fault of the people concerned. There has been quite a bit of animosity against the film for those very reasons and it is interesting to read Adam Goodes' response to that here. Adam Goodes is the current Australian of the year and an successful indigenous footballer. If you are in Australia it can still be watched online at SBS on demand here , or you can watch it here from anywhere in the world. Finally, you can visit John Pilger's site about the film here.
I came across Nat Johnson a year or two ago on the third Hangover Lounge EP, with the excellent, "Wifey". Can't find a link to that online anywhere, but here is her new song "Dog". She also resides in my old stomping ground of Sheffield and the song was written after walking in Rivelin Valley, where I used to go walking occasionally. Wonder if it is still the same...
I do wonder about the real value of sticking an e-signature to the end of an e-petition, they aren't very verifiable afterall. However, quite a few of the petitions on Change.org have seemed worthwhile and they certainly make it easy to have your voice heard. Looking at this video, perhaps it has made a difference in a few instances. Better than nothing, but is it better than making yourself heard on the street or contacting your MP? Not sure, check out their results here though.
Day four at the 2014 Melbourne Grand Prix, race day! My first ever live F1 race and I was very much looking forward to it. Weather was dryer than the previous day, but not as warm and sunny as the first two days. It was a dry race in the end though. Our race day stand was at the rather less posh end of the circuit, but still a good view none-the-less. Not so great for photographs as the top of the stand was not above the fence, but to see the race cars actually racing click here.
Unfortunately, casual racism against Australia's indigienous people is still fairly rife and seems to be accepted in a way that it would not be for any other group. This week is National Reconciliation Week, which uses the anniversary of our indigenous people being brought under common law with the rest of the Australian population, to highlight the ongoing need for non-indigenous Australians to respect Aboriginal people and culture. The week celebrates the referendum in 1967 which removed the federal right to make separate laws for Aboriginal people. It never fails to amaze me that whilst the world was protesting against apartheid in South Africa in the 1960's, in several Australian states Aboriginal people did not have the right to vote. Learn about Reconciliation week here.
So. Rather than leave everything to Facebook and all the anoyances that entails I have ditched my account and turned my old site into a blog. There are some rather old overviews of my past work, a few random pages on my interests and, by default, whatever random stuff I've felt like posting.