Monday, July 31, 2006

The Dark Jenolans

In a development which confirmed our unspoken, unmentionable fear of the great expanse that is the unpopulated mass of Australia- ancient, untouched and raw-, the Jenolan Caves have been discovered to be the worlds oldest open caves. They are three hundred and forty million years old.

Apparently the Aboriginals have long shunned the Jenolans, and their name for the caves translates to 'Dark Places'. Anyone who's read any of the works of H.P Lovecraft knows that this is a horrifying development, bringing the paranoiacs and the gullible (is there a difference?) among us one step closer to the Dark Ones.

For those of us who aren't prone to seeing such patterns, it's nevertheless a scary thought to consider that these caves have been around since the Carboniferous age, when no human walked the Earth; which is a good thing. I'm glad I wasn't around then, and you should be too. Scientists know a lot about the creatures from that age from their teeth. Seven meter sharks, the Rhizodont, swam in fresh water. Dragonflys with a wing-span of seventy one centimeters, flying around, and they were predators.

I'd very much like to visit these caves. Although, as Ian said to me,
"You'd probably just get there and say 'Oh, so this is the Jenolans.'.. "

Monday, July 24, 2006

Brideshead Revisited

"Ought we to be drunk every night?" - Sebastian Flyte, from Brideshead Revisited.

I've arrived back in Brisbane after a seventeen day return home. It was a real pleasure to be back with my family, and having all of my favourite meals cooked by my Mum, and seeing all of my friends. But for me, the highlight of my time back home was watching the entire Brideshead Revisited series with Mum. It's the finest television I've seen in my life, surpassing even Seinfeld.
The acting, cinematography, music, direction, it's all wonderful, and it has such a sad, beautiful story.

I also found it entirely relevant to the present day. Whilst the story did not entirely advocate getting drunk all the time, and was of course mindful of alcholism, it was (thankfully) not entirely puritanical on the subject. I'm rather annoyed that the sportsmen and women of my generation seem to have taken alcohol and given it such a bad name; through their celebratory partying and sexual harrassment and deviancy. They've taken all the innocent fun out of drinking.

It led me to ask "Was Evelyn Waugh a heavy drinker?". I did some quick research and the answer seems to be "Yes".

That's in common, then, with some other literary heroes of mine, such as Christopher Doyle , Ernest Hemingway, Anthony Burgess and Jack Kerouac. I'll try to research this theory a little more.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The State of Origin State

Serious sport is war minus the shooting - George Orwell

Congratulations to the Queensland team on their fantastic victory this evening. It seemed that a lot of the umpire decisions didn't exactly go their (our) way, and yet they (we) still managed two beautiful ones when it looked like they (we) might lose yet again.

After the spit was wiped after rolling down my chin and I was through bellowing like a Bili Ape on a full moon, I realised old Georgey boy might have a point. Every decision the umpire made seemed, to me, a travesty. That Willie Mason looked like a filthy bucaneer, a right scoundrel. There seemed to be malice behind every New South Welsh movement. And everything that Queensland did was heroic. State of Origin seems to put me in this state moreso than other sports, and I've had friends agree with this sentiment. What is it that makes it so?

Is it all the more infuriating when the enemy is so similar to your own side? Does civil war tap into that Cain-Abel seed inside us all, ape and man alike?

Is it the lack of that seed that those Bondo Mystery Apes are blessed with, some preterition deep in the Congo, which gives them curiosity instead of aggression towards humans?

So for the those Bili Apes, let's have a minutes silence for the New South Welshman, our brothers and cousins, implicit in this Bondo Mystery.

Still, they're nevertheless a cheating, vain, vulgar, sour and banal shower of bastards, the lot of them.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


There's an interesting "10 Questions for Imelda Marcos" in Time magazine this week. A highlight was:
"If you know how rich you are, my dear, then you're not really rich."

How hard can it be to know what you have? I think this really says something about the difference between being rich and wealthy- and it's not greed. It's ignorance that defines someone as rich her.

Later on, she says:
"I'm poor not in material things but in the truth...I had to wear jewelry then, but all that was taken away, confiscated by the government. They think they have taken everything away everything from me, including my shoes. But actually that's my biggest defense: when they opened my closet, they found shoes instead of skeletons."

At least that seems an admission of ignorance. To be poor in the truth, seems to imply that she isn't in possession of much truth. Funny thing, to say that, it's a paradox. Like the sentence "I always lie." And then to talk about her loss of jewelry and shoes, relating back to her opening preposition of being poor in truth? Aren't jewelry and shoes empirical objects; material in nature? Also, how is it to her 'defence' she had shoes in her closet? Apparently she had 3000 pairs of shoes, and they themselves were 'skeletons in the closet' because it was evidence of a fortune ill-gained.

Now, "Imeldific", is an adjective currently used to describe someone of 'ostentatious extravagence'. I think perhaps it should be extended to describe someone of 'ostentatious extravagence and remarkable stupidity'.

Tickle Me Emo

Something I've noticed upon arriving in Brisbane is a new class of stereotype amongst youths, my age and younger. They hang out along the Queen Street Mall, and they're the current majority of Mall Rats, it seems. On a first glance they look like Goths, or Gothics, because they wear mainly black, and even some of the guys wear pale makeup. But the attire also includes comical patterns like green and white stripes; they bear some resemblence to a clown, or acrobat. The hair is dyed black, usually, and the way that it's parted seems to suggest that one side is longer than the other.
Studded belts seem to be de rigueur. The term "Emo" has been given to them, which apparently stands for "Emotional".

This isn't confined to Brisbane, as it turns out. Whilst I'm not sure where it originally stemmed from, the Emo can be found in large herds on the internet; in this very blogosphere. From what I've seen, they have characteristics outside of just fashion (although, some seem to just stick to the fashion). They seem to like punk music, and share some views that the convoluted later day punk movement had, but they probably have never heard of The Velvet Underground, or Andy Warhol. In fact, the image can be described as neo-punk in a way.

The general ideology of the true Emo seems to be: I'm dissatisfied, young, helpless, hopeless and despairing. This consumerist world is cruel, no one understands my plight, but apathy is the cool choice that I make. I'm unique, and superior to those who can't see the truth; and in this way, enlightened in the sense that I'm engulfed by darkness. And don't ever try to judge me, or class me, because I'm unlike anyone else; only I have the ability to see that life is pain.

It's basically Nihilism.

My analysis of the dress code is that the black reflects their bleak view of the world; the nihilism part. The occasional hint of colour is to suggest that they were once happy; to contrast with the blackness they now feel (this provides for them another sadness, I used to be happy and ignorant...). The lopsided hair cut is their lopsided view of the world, their unbalanced opinions. On this note, giving a nod to my hero Thomas Pynchon and his observation in V, it would seem that the position of father-confessor has, for the Emo, been taken by, of all people, the Hairdresser. Society takes the form of Dandruff, the banality to be shed, that's revealed when all is made Black and True, and this clarity is achieved not by Psychoanalysis, but by the painful yet liberating process of Hair Dye and Straightening, which Straightens not only the strands of hair, but the Soul of the Emo.
"I think... I'm getting a bit of... curl" suggests that the Emo may be experiencing the false, the foolish, the forbidden sensation of Optimism. "We'll Steam and Straighten," says the Hairdresser.

The interesting thing is that the Emo doesn't actually seem to bother to read anything that might relate to Nihilism, that extreme form of Existentialism, or any other forms of it. If they did, they might sharpen up their act.

But as it is, they've yet to realise their essential contradiction. They have a big individualist ideal; yet they're a new stereotype, just another class of youth. They dress differently in uniform.

That is to say, they're the "don't-stereotype-us" stereotype.


I've always enjoyed reading blogs. Even if I've never met the person, sometimes there's some very interesting reading to be had.

After months of deliberating, I decided to make the decision ("in the same terminal class as reaching for a gun"- Thomas Pynchon) to start my own. This is to serve two purposes.

1. To keep my family and friends updated.

2. To give me a chance to be read (perhaps by those other than my family and friends). This is, I feel, an often overlooked component of writing, just as important as having an audience to listen to music.

I don't wish to have an inward leaning blog; I'd rather keep it to those things that I'd bring up in a conversation; films, books, world events, things of this nature. So, if I can maintain these original intentions, the blog will be about things that happen to me, and what I have to say about some events.

I'll try to do at least one post a week.