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Return of the Knave
Drink It Black
Thursday, 29 January 2004
Chug-a-lug
The government to blame for all society's ills? Perish the thought. No they take care of big picture stuff: war, large scale poverty, indoctrination.

Let's look at how the individual contributes to the state of our nation and the notion of our state:

Tagging: "Ya see that lovely old turn of the century building.. and ya see that beaooootiful airbrushed commissioned artwork.. yeah and ya see those people's garden wall. Now ya see that hideous scrawl coverin' it all? I DID THAT." [beams with pride]

Leaving the tap on: there's water restrictions with heavy fines for washing the car or watering the lawn outside certain hours but I'm much too busy/lazy to turn off the tap after washing my hands.

Leaving public toilets in a disgusting state: that Asshole song where Dennis Leary sings "I use public toilets and I piss on the seat" was a satirical swipe, not a call to arms!

Littering: we can only hope that the 'Don't be a tosser' ads start to have an effect. But I have my doubts.

And then there are your crimes proper. I'm sure if you did an evening class in criminal psychology they'd tell you that the crooks bizarrely construct a rationale for their actions; something along the lines of 'they (the victim) had it coming'. There'd be very few people, I'd wager, who would commit acts of bastardry without first justifying it to themselves. It's a way of living with yourself despite how horrible you are.


It's doubtful that an ethical society would support an unethical regime in any case.

Posted by berko_wills at 1:51 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 30 January 2004 1:53 PM EADT
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Wednesday, 28 January 2004
Spirit
So what was all that anarchism and paganism stuff about? Well I've long thought that I'm closest to being an anarchist in spirit. Not because I'm particularly rebellious or want an excuse to avoid accountability for my actions (I've met "anarchists" like that and we didn't get along)but by default - I just don't believe that governments can operate in the service of the people without using their borrowed power to pursue their own agenda. And I blame government for a great many of our social ills.

As for paganism: if I have such a distrust of 'God given' authority (worse than secular since it is imbued by some force outside ourselves; unaccountable and nebulous)then why on Earth - or anywhere else - would I subscribe to the Great Unknown myself? And in truth it can't be argued rationally and that's the paradox. Though I do observe patterns that lie outside what a random temporal world should produce.

Some personal examples: when I first lived in the city I stayed in boarding houses and hostels. They were the only places I could afford. And I would see fellow residents in the street or on the bus. When I moved, I would no longer see that set of people but residents of my new abode.
I met my first girlfriend and found my first share house proper on the same eventful evening at a friends' gig.
My own vague picture of the 'girl of my dreams' has long dark brown hair, miniskirt and long black boots. The women I've dated don't fit that description/those descriptions. Unremarkable? What if I told you that nearly every female in my life is a redhead. And that's NOT by design.

Posted by berko_wills at 1:37 PM EADT
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Tuesday, 27 January 2004
House special
More thoughts on mind control (since I can't find an Estonian site on leaderball): We presume that any selfhelp book with 'mind control' in the title is exactly that - self help. After all the kind of 'mind control' practiced by the clergy, the beaurecracy and the secret societies is masked with inclusive rhetoric; compelling you to do something that would normally be against your will, by virtue of some call to a greater good or because it is 'God's will'.

But 'mind control' isn't the be all and end all. Sure you can direct yourself to give up eating fatty foods but if your every second waking thought is directed to not having that steak and kidney pie or second helping of cream tart then that would be a self-inflicted torture. And you would risk missing out on everything else that was going on.

Besides, anyone who has read any of these publications (I guess this is a confession - but then I do steer away from the ones that end every sentence with an exclamation mark)will know that any advice you give to your subconscious or unconscious (depending on the text)must be couched in positive terms so it's never "I will stop smoking fat cigars and drinking cognac while watching allnight Japanese horror flicks" it's "I will adopt a more healthy lifestyle". Otherwise they'll find you flopped over the armchair in a stupor and your unconscious telling you it's all your own stupid fault.

Posted by berko_wills at 2:08 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 January 2004 2:10 PM EADT
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Sunday, 25 January 2004
On the house

some bits and pieces to tack on to old entries:



Names for tribute bands who actually exceed the original



Above Average White Band
More Creedence
Super Supremes
Greater Temptations

Names on the patina of 'Oils ain't Oils'



Not U2
Not So Young Rascals
No Nirvana
Who Else

II

The idea of combining the last great memory aid - rhyme - with a means of remembering the chapter headings of The Silva Mind Control Method never got off the ground. I had an introduction:

'Mind control' seems like an unlikely thing to hock; it conjures up images of that short bald man with coke bottle glasses and a taste in lab coats. His interest in controlling your mind, if we can believe stories of the era, are to take the place of the debonair and handsome or extract some kind of 'revenge' on them.



but I couldn't be stuffed coming up with the necessary rhymes. It was meant to demonstrate that rhyme worked on anything and that it wasn't that hard to apply rhyme to unlikely prospects. Perhaps I should have chosen something I was immediately passionate about and then modified the commentary to say 'find your own passion to apply rhyme to, use other memory techniques for that architecture text you've been putting off reading.'
Or there's always the 'Results may vary' disclaimer.

III

The Go-Betweens are great. I have no idea what further I wanted to say on the subject. They're still playing and recording so they can speak for themselves.

IV

I think writing is more closely aligned to magic than science. There seems to be that 'the gods help those who help themselves' thing happening. If you sit down and work at your structuring, grammar, syntax, versatility, dramatic effect and so forth, the Muse will kick in at a certain point and give you a sharper image than you might have envisaged; pluck a phrase that resonates and reverberates with meaning, seemingly out of the air. This is my biggest thrill in writing and I can't (don't feel a need to) explain it.

V

Are paganism and anarchism mutually exclusive? What about anarchism and libertarianism?

and why are Marxists so distrustful of anarchists? In religious stance, do Freethinkers and anarchists dispute terms? (hyperlinked site found on www.kartoo.com)
Then what of rationalists and anarchists? Can anarchists ever be called pragmatists? Are they idealists instead?


Posted by berko_wills at 4:39 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 25 January 2004 7:18 AM EADT
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Monday, 19 January 2004
Home brew
'E's back. Yup, I am back online at home after two weeks in the wilderness (an eternity for a net nerd)

I now have a system shorn of all the clutter that I had on my hard drive so, while it is unfortunate that I have lost some handy stuff, I'm going to use this opportunity to keep everything functional and 'within reach'

II

A word or two about my hyperlinks: I don't use them as a form of editorialising, reinforcing some point I want to make. I often rely on Google's 'I'm feeling lucky' to pick the link for a word or phrase and that can give my usage an ironic twist or run counterpoint to something I feel personally.

When a hyperlink depicts an unflattering image of smokers as 'trailer trash' with bad skin that is in no wise MY image of smokers. In fact I don't see smokers as one amorphous group. And the percentage of people in my acquaintance who are smokers makes any tilt at hostility untenable. I DO use controversial hyperlinks in a similar way to the imagery I employ in my poetry - it works against the reader's assumptions. It also makes misconception all but inevitable but I figure that I would rather shine the spotlight on stinkin' thinkin' - and risk being associated with it - than to employ the censorious tactics of my idealogical opposites.
The idea isn't to silence the enemy but to make their stance appear ridiculous.

And sometimes I just can't resist using a hyperlink I stumbled on while looking for something else.

III

There are times when I think I should just run a blog that caters to a particular group and is inoffensive.

Posted by berko_wills at 11:05 PM EADT
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Friday, 16 January 2004
Plain label
Hey all this enforced downtime is paying dividends. I've been doing quite a bit of work on my website.

I've got a song about the ubiquitious Australian cover bands on there that I'll unveil shortly.

I'm not fond of them as a rule (as the song displays) but they do get some brownie points if they call themselves Bjorn Again (ABBA cover band) or Oils Ain't Oils (Midnight Oil - the reference is to the old Castrol GTX ad)

So,to whet your appetite, some truth in advertising with deliberately bad cover band names:

Dung Beatles
The Tyrds
The Grateful Dud
Beige Floyd
Pale Mauve (Deep Purple)
Neil Zircon
BBAA
The Unforgiven (Metallica)
Megadearth or Meagredeath
the Six Pastels
The Darned
Bleak Rubble Motorcycle Club
Sandgarden
Public Enema

Posted by berko_wills at 2:09 PM EADT
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Monday, 12 January 2004
Sly grog
The head of Yahoo is named Tim Koogle? Then I suppose the head of Google is named Tom Yuhoo? Just wondering.

It's quiet in here. Too quiet.

Despite having more spysmashers and firewall and what-have-you than anyone could reasonably keep track of, something has gotten into my home computer. Symbolically it crashed on New Year's Day. A friend at work has me reassured that it is not kaput as it still brings up the Windows 98 screen before shutting down so I'll haul out the pc repairman to have a look. Serves me right for surfing into those outlaw sites (I can just see a stern Mother Superior wagging her finger at me now - and I'm not even Catholic!)

II

You know free-to-air television has reached a nadir when the silly season offerings are better than regular programming. This wouldn't even be a topic of conversation but my regular evenings of logging on are curtailed and I've run out of smoko, so bellybutton lint holds no fascination at present.

Posted by berko_wills at 1:38 PM EADT
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Wednesday, 7 January 2004
Billy tea
I'm not nationalistic or jingoistic but I am patriotic to a degree. I'm happy that we have sports stars and actors doing so well.

I think our expatriates are a pretty admirable bunch. Barry Humphries can be obnoxious in his different guises but that is the point of satire. And the joke really is on us.
If Robert Hughes is obnoxious for real then we can forgive that by the fact that he is an outstanding critic and author.
Paul Hogan has been a bit of a one-note act - reinforcing the ocker stereotype at that - but is set to redeem himself in a role where he pretends to be gay
Clive James is clever and a poet to boot.

The list goes on. One Aussie who does worry me, though, is Steve Irwin. Having a go at the Greens for attacking Bush in Parliament is one thing, dangling your baby near a feeding croc is quite another.

Posted by berko_wills at 1:20 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 7 January 2004 1:41 PM EADT
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Monday, 5 January 2004
Aftertaste
Here are the answers to the quiz:

1. This is even more impressive than I thought: Katharine Hepburn was nominated for a staggering twelve films and won four times!!
The winning performances were for Morning Glory in 1933, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? in 1967, The Lion in Winter in 1968 (two years in a row!), and On Golden Pond in 1981, which, as I recall, also won Henry Fonda the Best Male Actor.

2. Bad Taste, Meet The Feebles, Brain Dead, Heavenly Creatures, Forgotten Silver, The Frighteners The first three are ALL bad taste and Forgotten Silver is especially brilliant but for reasons I can't tell you - you need to see the film.

3. Despite the sardonic comments from one reviewer about how Kevin Smith would have Daredevil foregoing the weightraining and swinging from the rooftops for eating donuts at the mall, Smith proved he could write about more than slackers and mallrats when he penned a very successful run on the Daredevil comic series (he also had an equally successful run on Green Arrow).

4. Canada

5. Surprisingly, for a couple of wordy and linguistically stellar blokes, it is the rather prosaic I Want You.

6. selling undies (lingerie for my overseas readers)

7. Walker and Winston

8. ah, you supply this one. War on Mad Dictator? We'll Make a Distraction? What a Mighty Decoy?

9. Mick and Keef are 60

10. I have no idea either. Bollywood doesn't get much of a look-in on Entertainment Tonight

Posted by berko_wills at 1:49 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 5 January 2004 2:00 PM EADT
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Saturday, 3 January 2004
Out with the old
Don't mind me, I always get insanely optimistic at the start of a New Year. It's not a bad impulse and the only trick is to capitalise on it while it lasts.

2003 wasn't all bad: I was legitimately working at a university, I started a blog and kept it happening, I had the best Valentine anyone has ever given me: a whole month of love verse snippets, I made it across for my sister's wedding and friend's fortieth (one day apart)
But I have a lot of work to do to make this year more fulfilling: places to be published, social connections to be rekindled, doubt and hesitation to be conquered

I'll keep working on the webpages and hope that the hyperlinks I hap upon here are of interest to the people who do drop in here.

I think Ella's right about comedy so I'll brighten the blog with more humorous flights of fancy.

I'm probably about done with religion but I will have links to the unnewsworthy in other lands and infuriate the blow-ins with links in other languages. Maybe I'll even find something written in Cornish
It's this sort of stuff that strikes me as characteristic of the world wide web.

As for my own indulgences, there will be comics stuff to tie you up. And any excuse for musical musing
Plus the revolving link that everyone's forgotten about will continue with this kind of thing

Hope to see you here and, for those who have their own online journals, I'll be sure to be popping my head up with commentary there as well.

Happy New Year 2004

Posted by berko_wills at 4:38 AM EADT
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