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Return of the Knave
Drink It Black
Saturday, 20 September 2003
Peat
Okay I didn't want to dwell on this but tell me this is not uncanny: Slim Dusty dies one week after Johnny Cash. I mean... And I know all you hardbitten rationalists are going to say "Hey he was 76; it's just coincidence"
but really, if you were a big country music fan in the outback right now you'd be reeling at this double whammy.

What does it mean?

I know I believe in magic despite having my last clear magickal experience twenty years ago. An Angry Penguins concert at the Shaftesbury was where I met Ally and moved into my first full-fledged sharehouse. That whole episode made me feel that calling it all 'coincidence' was really pushing it; especially remembering the state I was in and the circumstances that led up to it.

It's mainly my belief system that qualifies me as a '100% Neo-Pagan' (thanks for the quiz, Ella)rather than conclusive results with a pendulum in Kalbarri, an old takeaway container filled with inky water at Sam's, or the odd horoscope that seems to pin exactly what I'm going through at the time. But I'd like to know what's going on right now.

Posted by berko_wills at 11:07 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 21 September 2003 3:31 AM NZT
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Wednesday, 17 September 2003
Black hole
I'm not yet at the age where I scan the obituaries looking for my name - or the names of those people that my failing memory still recalls - so I'm not given to marking the passing of each new celeb who drops off their pedestal. But this does seem something of a watershed year for death (and ties in with my immortality post).

You know, when television was in its relative infancy we would have been treated to a Katharine Hepburn special, a Bob Hope special, a Death Wish festival.. hell, we probably would have got one or two old episodes of Beverley Hillbillies to commemorate the passing of Buddy Ebsen. Now that we're into more rigid formatting (can't miss any of the twenty billion home repair/auction shows or bachelor/survivor/stupido programs that fill scheduling these days)those days are gone and it's left to the evening news to give us a brief rundown of a life richly lived.

It's interesting that Bob Hope and Leni Riefenstahl both pegged it at 100+ in the same year as they represent two of the greatest propogandists for their respective sides. To me, Leni was the greater artist.
I'll probably talk more about 100 year olds at a future time.

And what inspired all this morbid musing? Why the passing of The Man In Black o'course. (I've long had his website bookmarked but its being hit by some seriously heavy traffic at the moment). Now we'll all have to wear black; this is the death that really hit me. Johnny Cash represents a bridge for me and my parents' generation and, I suspect, for generations on either side. He was universally respected in a way that Charley Pride or the Butthole Surfers could never be.
It is further tribute to Cash that there was a LOT of articles about him before he died. It was kind of spooky opening up the IT liftout and seeing 'pages Johnny Cash has bookmarked'. It was published around the time he died.

Posted by berko_wills at 3:50 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2003 3:55 PM NZT
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Thursday, 11 September 2003
Gaping maw
Boy was I happy when I checked my blogsite and saw that all the links were showing. Thanks boffins!

Let's tie up some loose ends, shall we: I thought you wouldn't want to read about what I read about for too long. But I do just want to set the record straight as far as my childhood reading went:

1. I was able to read comic books before the great Marvel-ation of 1973;
2. My sister and I had our own subscriptions.

We started both getting Jack and Jill and then Playhour and Robin. Once it appeared we'd both outgrown sentient hot water bottles and the Magic Roundabout, Robin I think started getting Princess Tina and I waited expectantly each week for Lion and Thunder. I don't know why this was considered more acceptable than the American superhero books. Maybe it was because there was a mix of stories featuring soccer teams and funny strips like Mowser the Priceless Puss and his enemy James the Butler. In any case, I was allowed to start buying Marvel westerns before Dad relented and let in the 'cape and tights characters'.

At high school I spent my pocket money on choc milk and - continuing my Jeckyll/Hyde fascination - the Incredible Hulk, (among many others).

My fledgling obsession with music carried on into my late teens and my first sharehouse. Some guy we knew had a huge pile of NME's out on the verge for collection and I took as many as I could so that that was all I read for weeks on end.

Rolling Stone I pretty much only picked up for special editions but Q became a firm favourite.

And I read horror anthologies and discovered a wealth of late nineteenth century (out of copyright) horror writers. This coincided with an ongoing interest in the occult and metaphysics.

I'd kind of developed an interest in compendia of facts and almanacs and it was in the Whole Earth Catalogue that its founder Stewart Brand exposed me to the idea of being comprehensive in my reading. His thinking was that you should know the type of soil under your feet and the names of the clouds above your head. So I was actually mad enough to pursue this goal, more or less.
I probably haven't read that publication or report but I just might have too.

Posted by berko_wills at 3:58 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 14 September 2003 2:03 AM NZT
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Saturday, 6 September 2003
Wake
If you wondered why my frenetic pace of blogging was slowed to a crawl; it's a technical issue as you'll no doubt notice - long term viewers of these escapades - there is no hypertext at all. Even in spots where it seems to provide all the context.

As to which hitch is glitch, the Tripod boffins are working on that now. Perhaps in an effort to mask my cursing, the HTML for capital [letter after 'e'] has been replaced in all parts by a patch of scribble, which also affects the code for hyperlinks.

There is so much good stuff in town now we are spoilt for choice. Lou Reed is in town and David Bowie is simulcasting himself into a cinema in George Street and will even answer questions after the show.
Presumably when he tours Australia early next year, he will forego the second encore to stand and talk to a cinema audience in the New Hebrides.


Posted by berko_wills at 7:41 PM NZT
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Sunday, 24 August 2003
Down the hatch
Aah, HERE it is! If I had to nominate the one thing that makes life in this form special it's the discoveries that turn our whole group thinking on its head.

We've already seen how society's views have adapted to the changing mortality rate. There is more interest vested in the current plain of existence with the advent of greater longevity and more fortuitous circumstances. Shorter lifespans would have required a shoring up of the afterlife as time and influence allowed little in this life.

But immortal? And imagine the profoundness of the tragedy when someone is killed where they could otherwise have lived on. Eternal life on Earth would not be blissful or heavenly; there would be many things to adjust to and problems to confront. I'm sure experientially it would be fantastic just to be able to create that Barbara Cartland concordance that you would otherwise not have had the time for. But it would affect the whole attrition rate and we've already seen the writing on the wall when it comes to population growth - what prospect for the future generations if their ancestors are still holding down jobs and influencing debate? How fast would our depletion of natural resources and food crops occur if we lived on indefinitely?

Posted by berko_wills at 5:53 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 24 August 2003 6:12 AM NZT
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Friday, 22 August 2003
Glug glug
Enough about my past for the time being. I'll regale/bore you with more about my early reading habits in a future post. In the meantime I wanted to pick up on that extremely fascinating story about immortality looking set to becoming a reality.

In my search for this groundbreaking story (or never-need-to-break-the-ground story)I came across this bit of fluff and a dumb Kiss ripoff site. This might be getting closer but still not the story I want. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by berko_wills at 4:04 PM NZT
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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Burning hot
Loathe am I to list alone. It seems we need context. All I can tell you about the magazines is that they were my parents' choice. I get more than my fill of news from the late news on TV and the papers I pick up. I don't have an interest in rural affairs and I only read women's magazines when I'm waiting in a doctor's surgery (HQ is an honorable exception).

Nor was I trapped in the back of beyond with nothing else to read. I was always buying black and white reprints of Green Lantern et al (NOTE: I just lied in hyperlink twice but it was too cool to let go)and then there was stuff like Little Dot. Or those weird old books by the likes of Fergus Ferguson.


Posted by berko_wills at 4:02 PM NZT
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Sunday, 17 August 2003
Too much coffee man
Before I go on to my scheduled entry I just want to impart some hot news

They're sticking to the Godfather of Punk line but I tell ya he could pass for the Messiah of Punk with that pose!

[Pre zine]

My love for comics developed over time and with new discoveries but I also read everything else that came in the mail: Australian Women's Weekly, Elders Weekly, Farmer's Weekly, and Newsweek.

And in Grandad's room in the old house there were boxes of old Reader's Digests. I consumed a few decades worth of this consistently Right Wing commentary (they adored Nixon)leavened by humour in uniform and in a shirt and tie, and still turned out critical of accepted practices. The jokes on reactionary propoganda I guess.

Posted by berko_wills at 5:30 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 22 August 2003 3:57 PM NZT
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Wednesday, 13 August 2003
There's been a spill
Appropros of nothing


Posted by berko_wills at 1:22 AM NZT
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Sunday, 10 August 2003
Rum and coke
Now just because I've gone to pains to point out how deficient the USA is - and I think that's only responsible when they are adventuring abroad and clamping down at home in ways unacceptable and hazardous - doesn't mean that I dislike all things American. Far from it. I could easily stay up all night extolling the virtues of this film, that novel, the innovations, inventions, ideas... But having a penchant for Batman comics or Clint Eastwood movies doesn't mean that one should accept what a country is doing at an official level.

Perhaps they need to develop more of a sense of history but judging nations like this is always shorthand. I certainly wouldn't want to reflect the image my government puts across overseas.


Posted by berko_wills at 10:32 PM NZT
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