LET THE SUN SHINE

9 Jun

My computer screen finally karked it. RIP. Go in, get it fixed and hope they don’t hassle me viz the chip on the corner. Wasn’t that I swear! Stayed normal a whole two weeks before the neon tartan marred my vision. Then yesterday no vision. Just a black background and a bunch of lines. Ah it’s just a thing. What matters a thing? It has no soul, no ideas and I don’t need it. Much.

But if you’re wondering why my posts are short you know. I’ve got to slip into cafes or libraries to do them and I’m a busy boy right this minute.

Someone told me this morning that Jupiter and Neptune lined up today. Apparently that’s cosmic news for me. Whoopee! Who knows what weight this stuff bears but what use in casting cynicism on what can only be either immaterial or benevolent. So Father Zeus, Grandfather Poseidon, I who am blessed by your beneficence salute you. Whether or no you exist.

Fortuna and Folly can throw what they will my way. I can hack it today.

BAD POETRY FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT

8 Jun

I’m looking for the key to a door
That lets you out your corridor
I want you; come n’ burst my bubble

Oh fuck! My hang-ups. What’s to say
I’m just a monkey in a cage
A soul’t strafes along the lonesome rubble

But whatever future, this is true:
Beauty is truth and both are you
And I’m outta rhymes, (ain’t nothin’ left but ‘stubble’).

Still, last consider’t perchance ’twas Fate
That led me to you Heaven’s Gate
And not the drink n’ anguished search for trouble

Well I told you it was bad man. Don’t bitch at me. 🙂

THE SCHIZOPHRENIC HEART OF PIG NATION

7 Jun

My position on AGW is now and has always been that it is happening, hence cause for serious concern. I believe we will be forced to deal with the consequences of global scale human economic activity this century. I also believe that introducing a huge political apparatus is both useless and one more nail in the coffin of liberty. My children will be raised to bear this in mind. Sincerely hope this disclaimer is to everyone’s dissatisfaction.

The country is mentally ill. Isn’t it obvious:

Carbontaxyes

Carbontaxno

On the weekends I attend the library which was made difficult this last on account of the protest in favour of a tax! This, in an English-speaking country. The Anglosphere is traditionally resistant to taxation. Obviously a good deal many of us still are, but still hundreds of thousands of people actively support this. Figures. Right now the governing party is backing the ‘yes’ campaign (funny that) and it’s a much better organized effort than those for opposition.

I must confess I laughed when I saw this. The ad is very simple of course. That is its virtue, simplicity. Something that could’ve been set up on a soundstage and shot in less than a day. And the scenario illustrated is absurdly simplistic. There are a lot of problems with it. It really is not such a simple matter. Truly. And, as in America, actors have entered the realm of political discourse. Is that a good thing?

The political ‘solutions’ thus far on offer are, in my irrelevant opinion, at best ridiculous and at worst a cover for some battle of interests or other. My experience of the ALP disinclines me to believe that they’ve all suddenly come over with the love of the planet. I’m skeptical of any proposition that the Gillard government’s war with the mining industry is entirely an ecological matter. On that I shan’t elaborate. No substance, just a hunch.

I liked the people at the ‘yes’ protest. Lots of friendly dogs. The band was cool, finally someone’s got a clue: speeches are dull. Still, there were speeches. There always are. I caught speech-bytes between talking to people who handed me stuff: a pamphlet encouraging me to unite to end mandatory detention for refugees, a glossy booklet covered in oranges: easy vegan recipes. Another says Veganism is the solution: the organic way from crisis to peace.

The speech-bytes kept referring to bad polluters. Polluters. Those polluters, aren’t they bloody awful? Reminded me of lunch at the Hare Krishna restaurant, there was an(other glossy) ad on the table promoting a talk at the Krishna centre: Global Warming: Who’s To Blame. I remember looking up at the lights, hearing the citar drone over the surround sound speaker set, the fan turning. People buying their meals with money given in trade for labour that requires ubiquitous information technology. Stripe-shirt/club tie guys eat spoonfuls of spinach-garnished lemon and garlic chickpeas while checking Facebook, checking email, check text messages, send the report, upload software updates, check movies and absently scan the net for beautiful shining things you want to buy.

Everybody is soooo full of shit.

Who’s responsible for cooking the planet? Everybody. O’ course if you’re an Australian citizen you’re likely to be about 2000% more responsible than the average African. But they would if they could and they want to… so bad. So do the Chinese, and they’re gonna do it. Indians too. Brazil, Russia. These places are getting richer. You can’t stop that. And why should they remain in the throes of pre-modern squalor? The lack of in-depth consideration of these matters on behalf of those who believe it imperative to act immediately appalling.

Equally appalling, tho’ much more effective in the mainstream media, is the assault on the very science of AGW. In this the scientists and the advocates on the opposition have been most useful idiots. There is something sinister of course about the unknown parties who hacked into the Climatic Research Unit’s data in order to sabotage the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Amongst the denials of the denialists is the vehement refusal to see that powerful interests are waging a propaganda war against policies that mitigate carbon pollution. There’s something totalitarian about the tactics.

But, no matter the bad manners, the CRU’s data reveals a bunch of scientists who violate the very principles of science in order to advance a political cause and a personal interest. This is venal. The human race needs science now and yet it displays an absence of its central discipline which is to remind yourself of your ignorance: how do I know that? But in the realm of politics the facts are irrelevant, or putty to be shaped and trimmed. The CRU acts thus and in response the anti-AGW crew declare the rest of the (solid) data in support of the AGW hypothesis immaterial. It’s not happening. The issue is over.

Meantime the weather patterns change and no-one notices. No-one notices the sky anymore. Do you know what phase the moon’s in right now? Doesn’t anyone think it’s funny to hear mosquitos buzzing around your ears in late May!

…..

The discourse of the ‘yes’ campaign, the ad appearing above, link ‘social justice issues’ with sustainability. This despite the argument that making power more expensive and switching to organic food production etc are the indulgences of the wealthier classes and will hurt the poor. This is only the first contradiction in a miasma of bitter choices coming up over the horizon at us. What about the people of Bangladesh? Millions of poor and uneducated people who live in a land that is already subject to flooding from the mountain monsoonal waters. If the sea rises they will be swallowed up. What about the millions who live in the tropics? Millions? Billions perchance? There are places that could become uninhabitable.

Adam Smith posited a scenario that asks what would you do if faced with the following choice: cut off your hand or a thousand people die? I think his figure was actually higher. But let’s make it a thousand, or maybe a million. One? The choice is, objectively speaking, obvious. Your hand is clearly worth less than even one life surely. But… would you do it? If a thousand strangers were wiped out by earthquake would you be more upset than if you lost your hand in a traffic accident? What about a scenario in which millions must die if you are to avoid medieval impoverishment?

I’m not saying that will happen, but what if?

Modern civilization requires energy. This is obvious. As a personal choice I support the slow food, back to the Earth, permaculture vibe. I’m totally down with it and want to be more so. I want to live in a Earthship house and collect fresh eggs in the morning from chickens that wander free fertilizing the garden. That’s what I want. Other do not. And won’t force anyone to live a certain way. It’s been attempted on me, forget it. And also, inconvenient fact: 6 billion people plus can’t live on food grown in this fashion. It’s impossible. I can, because I’m privileged.

Modern civilization requires energy and our current methods of harvestation are unsustainable. Sustainability’s a word much maligned, it makes some people retch. But it’s important. To sustain civilization is to make it last. This basic idea, surely, is worthy to the vast majority of us. Still we argue about what to do and whether it’s necessary to ‘do’ anything. And the volume’s up so high we can hear none but our own voices. I think it is important to ‘do something’, sure.I also think the public policy solutions thus far are myopic, useless, a front for a rort. Many things but ‘effective’ ain’t one of ’em.

Modern civilization requires energy. We can’t go back. The peasant’s life would kill most modern urban dwellers. Ask anyone who was in the Cultural Revolution. How do we acquire sustainable energy sources? Obviously the Sun’s ideal but there are problems. For example, the production of the world’s best photovoltaic cells would not be lawful in this country. Why? The toxic by-products of the process are prohibited by our environmental laws. Just one problem, not even the main one.

There are others. But at the heart of the ‘solution’ problem is science and innovation. Technological innovation is not something that happens well in a governmental department. Scientific breakthroughs never happen because of political decree. The capitalist behemoth might be partially or entirely repulsive to some reading this but, it works. For producing innovative new technology there’s not been anything remotely close. So is the solution to be accomplished by regulation and taxation? By the State taking control of a process it’s ill-equipped to manage or even facilitate. Should we leave ecological sustainability to politicians? Are lawyers the ones who will save us?

I support a carbon tax policy but not the one that is going before the House shortly. That carbon tax is simply an introduction for a cap and trade system (which seems to me a rort designed to keep developing nations from developing), it is (yet again) over-complicated and targeted squarely at the resource and energy concerns. (Those bad polluters). I don’t think that’s smart. They are actually powerful you know. Do this and you get a war; war is destruction.

That just about brings to the end this wet day’s spray of wild generalizations. I’m just a monkey on a rock trying to fish a few beans of truth from a mountain of bullshit.

I don’t know. Still I have a few convictions. I think we’re gonna get it. I think we should take a chill pill and ‘start disagreeing without being violently disagreeable’. I think we should re-acquire scientific discipline: what do you know and how do you know that? I think we should face all of the problems, consider them thoroughly, and refrain from expressing strong views on matters we haven’t considered. And I think we should maybe stop once in a while, turn off our gadgets and clear our minds (can we?).

The solution is technological and scientific. The solution is ethical, the choices you make everyday, the way you act. The solution is savage: ‘there’s gonna be sorrow try and wake up tomorrow’. The solution is in the minds of brilliant entrepreneurs and engineers we haven’t heard of yet. The solution is stop blaming ‘them’ and realize there’s no Justice there’s just us. The solution is… as simple as that. And infinitely more complicated.

No matter. It’s mostly not under your control. Here’s what is: inhale, breath deep, look up at the sky. In a city it’s the only real nature you ever see.

AIN’T IT JUST LIKE THE NIGHT TO PLAY TRICKS

6 Jun

I woke up with the Monday Morning Blues like everyone else today. Clear skies didn’t help, at first. I boot up my electric tartan screen plagued with lines of so many colors that I’m sure Apple Macintosh has ascended to the heigth of Scottish aristocracy. And they’re welcome to it.

I boot up this magic almost-flat little book that plays music and remembers my brain-farts. Takes pictures, captures physical vibrations in the air. Open the book only to find that one of my favorite songs has disappeared. The one I was hankering for this melancholy morning. There’s a big blank on the list. I play it, nothing. Damn! So I boot up Blonde Redhead instead. Nothing. Shit! So it’s gonna be one of those fuckin’ weeks, what comes Thursday? Sorry Mr Stewart you’ve got three days to live please pay the bill before you leave.

Oh!

The volumes switched off. D’uh! Live without technology for a while and you get stupid. You start doing things like actually noticing the faces in the night-clouds at night. The song’s playing its place on the list remains blank. A secret song. One little skerick of truth left in the world where the hacker can’t find it. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!!

The volume’s off, switch it on. See how easy it is when you forget about your teen angst bullshit for five seconds. I’m having a day. Fuck off World.

I don’t know why I was fussing, it was maybe the last beautiful day to be had for a while. Outside the clouds gather and the wind shakes its fist at us. We’re gonna get a blasting. I’m just lost in myself. Transcending ‘self’ is the key to contentment in life. These are words, I tell others, to live by. But I find I’ve gone a long time now wallowing in ‘self’, lost exploring the extinct crevices of I, me, mine, festering at the injuries poured on me by those who should love me. And why don’t they love me – goddammitt!

Oh this morning that bark cabin the mountains looked pretty good to me. But slowly the day manifests as a god one. I’m stuck into the work. And consistently something appears, something that didn’t exist before I sat down this morning. Some semblance of vague satisfaction creeps into me thru the afternoon, maybe my existence is justified after all.

Dusk, and friends gather. Beefs are settled with a minimum of fuss, I catch up with this guy, he’s crazy man. Always fun. Won’t say what but he got away with it. Feel the love, se the smiles. These guys are glad to see me. Why the fuss? Have I been in some kind of prison that I’m always looking over my shoulder to see if there’s a guy with shank? There’s human snakes sure. Always on this planet sumbitches what can you do? Leave it out.

And what about the shit they give me, these friends. Taking shit’s part of the deal, I know that. And haven’t they got plenty from me? The night has fallen but the sun has risen in my soul. Dig it, there’s wind at my back. The Earth is alive, magic returns and there’s two vivid blue eyes out there somewhere got a hangdog droop about them. I got things to do this week, so many things. And one of ’em is to make those eyes laugh.

PAINTING

5 Jun

Annunciation
“The Annunciation”, 1914
John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)
England

TUNE

5 Jun

Big Mama
The way I feel today is in the music and not the words.

WORDS

5 Jun

O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spinners’ legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
The traces of the smallest spider’s web,
The collars of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams,
Her whip of cricket’s bone; the lash of film;
Her waggoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid:
Her chariot is an empty hazelnut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.

And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;

O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on court’sies straight,
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees,
O’er ladies ‘ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
Tickling a parson’s nose as a’ lies asleep,
Then dreams, he of another benefice:
Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plaits the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage:
This is she—

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet
Act One; scene four.