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Return of the Knave
Drink It Black
Sunday, 13 June 2004
Close in time
As intimated I'm taking a cab home, leaning on the designated driver, or attempting to walk and maybe catch a bus if there's one still running

I've enjoyed the act of intertextualising more than I would have taken to cut and paste or roneo

And the revolving hyperlink has hit upon something for me. I won't disclose the methodology; suffice it to say that a journey that began with cigar torches, moved through Russian windows and onto South African rooftops. There were Wiggles wallmounts and Pat Rafter, eventually we had to reach Burke's Backyard (current week). I haven't decided whether I'll keep the DIB revolving hyperlink or move the concept to the new weblog.

Incidentally I will be back to give you the new link. I like what I've been able to do with Tripod but I want anyone who does want to light on my musings or spontaneous hyperlinquosity to be able to do so. And enough people have said they had trouble accessing the site (magnify this by the number who don't tell you or who have no report and thus no rapport) to make me want to try again. Sure not many people read blogs but that's a choice then. No we don't want a nostalgic reminiscence of Idi Amin Adada so we click out and before you know it we're off to see how Jim Bacon's getting on.

Bye, thanks for sharing a few rounds.

Posted by berko_wills at 4:38 AM NZT
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Tuesday, 8 June 2004
Had I posted the blog entry that's been floating in my head this past week and a bit, it would have seemed so prescient - I was mulling over the difference between the junior Bush and the senior Reagan.

Ronald Reagan had dodgy credentials for such a powerful position, he was simple - dangerously so at times, he was inappropriate in his humour, had his own scandal/illegal conduct, a fair share of disastrous policies and a string of gaffes.

Libya and Cuba's response to his recent passing are a reminder of the weight of opposition to Reagan in the eighties.
I guess, though, that he had redeeming features - he could deliver stirring speeches that didn't just endlessly rehash the same references to enemies and 'war on terror' and he was personable. When I read that Gorbachev kept meetings purposely short to avoid Ronnie's jibes about the Soviet economy, I thought that was hilarious. His sense of mischief is a long measure from Bush's mocking of a death row inmate. Reagan's humour was undiplomatic, Bush's is just fucked. And he wasn't all gaffes and awkward posturing like Dubya - he could deliver some genuinely funny lines.

Probably Dr Helen Caldicott[October 12 2002 entry but this blog looks like a velvet goldmine]'s appraisal was fairest (this was some months ago). She, like so many, found him good company but opined that he would be better placed as a kindly old chicken farmer than ruler of the Free World.

I've exhausted my Bush references. You can pull negative references to Bush at random he's so bad. I'm sure you can name two million people more worthy of my ongoing attention. It's just that none of them are leader of the free world. And if he stays in much longer, that phrase will become meaningless anyway.

Posted by berko_wills at 6:32 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 13 June 2004 3:22 AM NZT
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Thursday, 3 June 2004
I'm not suggesting there's no place for the boo, the jeer, the catcall. Polite applause at appaling displays do no one any favours. But the distinction I would make is this: if a speaker were, say, accusing Natasha Stott Despoja of grandstanding then I would hear them out since that is a real possibility. If they got insulting about it and said she was a 'media tart' I might get offended. The line is crossed when you start colouring your terminology.

Additionally, if the claims can't be substantiated, or it will take a while to unravel the discourse that justifies your attack, then a modicum of restlessness in the audience is permissible. In this case, it could occur if Doctorow had opened his speech by stating that the Bush administration 'allowed 9/11 to happen'. His argument here might be that, while such a fiendish plan naturally took the rest of the world by surprise, it can't be said to have done so in the case of parties who were given specific and repeated information about the intended action beforehand. True enough as it stands but difficult to relay in a short acceptance speech. Better to document this in a report where all the necessary links, quotes and references can be made.

But stating that Bush started the Iraqi "war" on a false premise is unassailably true so it behooves anyone with a scintilla of manners and respect for natural justice to hear the man out. Not a point that any of the rabid Bush supporters are even capable of comprehending.

I also don't buy the accusation that it was 'inappropriate' to make a political speech at such an occasion. Doctorow tied it to the points he was making and, as a guest speaker, he must have some lieuway to choose his topic. There could hardly be a topic more pressing to deliver to the youth of America when many of their number are being killed overseas and they are under threat of being enlisted themselves. It is more of an abrogation of responsibility to do as the mainstream press is doing and going soft on the Bush position.


Keep your boos locked away for such things as:
1) the lead singer of Brian Jonestown Massacre behaving like a wanker (apparently he does this sort of thing often)
2) reality shows that set guys up with a 'stunning chick who turns out to be a bloke' or any other combination of humiliation and degradation that's out there.
3) cynical 'by numbers' art such as songs that repeat 'baby', 'never gonna give you up' et al and cop shows and medical dramas
4) transparent lies and distortion
5) idiots who scratch graffitti on the train windows
6) people who take littering that one step further by smashing glass on the footpath thus creating the possibility that an animal or barefoot child will cut themselves

The list could go on forever and never reach EL Doctorow but would probably include Bush apologists who try to shout down the facts. I'm pretty sure of it.

Posted by berko_wills at 4:11 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 4 June 2004 4:31 PM NZT
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Monday, 31 May 2004
Is anyone who was previously noncommittal, shocked at seeing a front page photo of a lifeless hooded prisoner - not one of our boys fallen victim to religious terrorists but a victim of 'our boys' instead? When did we so comprehensively become the bad guy?!
Normally I try to skirt the news, not out of a sense of ennui or lack of interest, but just because you don't need to come to a blog to get this stuff - it's beamed at you as you eat your cornflakes and again when you settle down to fish fingers, peas and potatoes [insert own culinary preference here]

But it becomes urgent when events move from covert attempts to put itching powder in Castro's beard to flagrant acts of war crime activity. Terrible acts, what's more, arising from an illegal invasion, widely opposed. Left right left right and swing from side to side but never fully recognize that the superpower you looked on to deliver you from evil is dealing plenty of its own on its rapid drift away from what we would commonly identify as democracy.

Mainstream news stories tell us of E.L. Doctorow being booed in a college graduation speech because he mentions all the Bush lies and inconsistencies, straightforward and unembellished.
Boorish college students, however, can't compete with this school principal from New Mexico, a disgrace to his position and an enemy of free speech everywhere.

In their rush to innure their leader from criticism, haven't these schmucks forgotten that, if America stands for anything, it is freedom and independance. What GWB is doing to advance the cause is not clear since his tools are those of every oppressive usurper throughout history. He may not have Hitler's gift for oratory but he has his own 'bombing of the Reichstag' as a lynchpin for a rise in untrammeled power and lack of accountability; playing all the while on a misplaced patriotism. He may not have Stalin's goons to frighten the populace into obesience by taking their possessions and forcing them to cheer long and loud at his words but he has oafish thugs aplenty to try and shut detractors down. The troops may not be committing hara kiri but their commander-in-chief shows spectacular insensitivity when he laughs off his reason for sending them to their death.

Possibly the President of the United States of America will always be a moneyed creep with secret connections and a desire to use economic and military might to boss the rest of the world. But the incumbent is highly dangerous nonetheless.

Posted by berko_wills at 1:46 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 31 May 2004 3:34 PM NZT
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Saturday, 29 May 2004
Licker Laws
The drink tag is restrictive; otherwise I could call this 'Laws Unto Himself'

There is no way you can have a discussion on radio without mentioning the Grand Vizier, the wizened king of wireless... John Laws

Long ago Laws seduced us with his voice. He could sell us on his story - he could even change tack (ref: para 5) - and we'd believe him. "You've Never Been Trucked Like This Before" he declared and, breathless, we checked his rig.
Toot your horn, John, overtake us all.

When you not only lend your voice to more ads than any one of your scratchier colleagues, your shriller compadres, but actually have other companies namechecking your work in THEIR ads, and you know you're on to something special.

DJs who've moved states build their profile, often by having a parallel career on TV, in a newspaper column, or - as with serial broadcaster, presenter, journo Derryn Hinch [page 16 - you don't want to wade through the Russ Hinze eulogy that precedes it] - bounding between each until management lose their patience.

But I was familiar with John Laws - had heard the golden tonsils - the voice had reached a kid living at 118.06889 longitude, -30.35639 latitude. I doubt there's another announcer who has that range of years and miles, or anything close.

Not that I tune in. The last time he manifested on the office car radio I caught '- or as I like to call them, young people' Was he being bafflingly affable or bluffingly effible? Was he just babbling?

Right now I'm listening to 2SER as they're playing five hours of Bob Dylan.

Posted by berko_wills at 3:09 AM NZT
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Monday, 24 May 2004
I'm sorry, Mr Beatty, this isn't intentional honest! The radio station I used to listen to while living in New Farm was 4ZZZ. The one that a National Party student president closed down for a while there.

Here's a joke for you:

Q: Why do Queenslanders call their beer XXXX?
A: Because they can't spell beer.

Posted by berko_wills at 3:54 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 25 May 2004 3:48 PM NZT
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Tuesday, 18 May 2004
Just to warn you, it's coming up to a year since I started this blog and I'm thinking of closing it down.
I'm not quitting the blogging game altogether - it's way too much fun - but a number of people have been having trouble accessing it. First Jannine said she couldn't access it on her home or work computer. Then there was a (temporary) glitch on the Aussie Blogs site. And then Full As a Goog, who also list Australian blogs, told me that they were unable to access the link. I reported the problem to Tripod but they have done nothing about it.

And, hey, what's the point of prolific prolix and proselytising if there's nobody to read it.


My musings on radio inspires me to give you a short history of my own experience:

Growing up it was 6MD or ABC Regional. They were the choices. And, of course, it was all AM or occasionally Dad's fiddling about receiving the odd shortwave broadcast.

When I boarded away we got country radio that was actually WORSE (quite a benchmark). I remember pledging money on a 6AM radiothon and going into the studio to select a song. After what seemed like hours, I finally settled wearily on Dr Feelgood's rendition of "(Get Your Kicks On)Route 66"

Of course I did receive some freebies from their DJ Wheels Dwyer when he visited the school including "Mary of the Fourth Form" the single by the Boomtown Rats and sundry crap like Carl Douglas.

6MD transmitted 6IX for part of the day and 6AM transmitted 6PM so I already had some exposure to Perth commercial radio before moving there.

And that was enough to make me avoid it as much as possible (there were a few workplaces that insisted on playing the monotonous crap). I mean hey I'd had a taste of community radio; far more palatable and diverse. As I've previously mentioned, I used to sit in my room way up there in the sticks, vainly tuning in to programs like Shake Some Action and One For The Money and hearing newly minted tracks like "TV OD" by The Normal and the eponymous "The Monochrome Set"; songs you won't have heard then or since on 6KY

It was while I was still on the farm that I first heard Riders On The Storm and that really blew me away. It acted as some kind of balance to perhaps otherwise making the mistake of each generation of only getting into whatever was new at the time.

Moving to Perth I continued to listen to alternative radio, naturally enough, and there were some truly outstanding programs aimed at all the various sectors: wimmin, old hippies, folkies, bootscooters, and so on. One particular show must have taken hours to put together as it differed in theme each week and dug out the most obscure tracks that all did a sterling job of tracing the history.

When I moved to Sydney, Double J had become Triple J but still had some latitude to play things beyond just being the Youth Network. Sunday evenings Arnold Frollowes even had an ambient music program.

There's little more to tell. I tend to veer between Triple J - even though I passed the demographic a while back - and community stations like 2SER-FM. Oh yes, I taped the launch of ABC-FM for posterity but that posterity is probably buried in a box somewhere.
Commercial FM radio was originally sold to us as AOR, which, kiddies, stands for album-oriented rock, but, needless to say, it soon degenerated into overly familiar singles, prefaced by "This is []off the album []"

Posted by berko_wills at 3:52 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 21 May 2004 4:02 PM NZT
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Sunday, 16 May 2004
I was wondering why I still had an old newspaper from February lying around. Now I know:

Sauce is not sure that 2GB's The Parrot will appreciate this plug for his show by his rival over at 2UE, Mike Carlton.
Ray, a 2UE listener, leaked this email correspondence with Carlton to the internet gossip sheet Crikey.
"From: Ray the listener
Sent: Tuesday, 10 February 2004 6:02 PM
Subject: Didn't hear
My Dear Dropkick,
didn't hear your interview with Carr this morning expect bit of a promo quick grab...well done now that's much better...I wonder if you have the guts to get that little grub David Marr on and get into him about being a misguided lying son of a b*tch...still going on about Iraq and who said what in the UK...may as well go on about what the Japanese diplomats said in Washington prior to Pearl Harbour. You might help him get over it. Then again I suppose a small step forward...I should be grateful
Regards Ray
Carlton's reply:
Dear Raymond.
Just by chance, I have discovered a bunch of your mad little emails in my junk folder. You truly are a pig-ignorant, foul-mouthed, drivelling half-wit. I imagine that you drool saliva when you write...that your knuckles drag on the ground when you walk. You are a moron, a nerd, a sour and toxic polyp on the anus of society. You are a mental pimple.
They have programs for people like you, though. One is called the Alan Jones Show. It's on 2GB 873, same time as mine. Go listen.
Mike Carlton

Posted by berko_wills at 1:57 AM NZT
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Monday, 10 May 2004
Half pint
It was one of the big things I used to do with my Grandad but there isn't that much you can say about darts is there? I mean, we used to go for long walks around Mandurah as well.

He was good company, not overly talkative but a mine of information on a time now long gone. I would not have wanted to be faced with the same situations that he and Nana had to deal with. The pioneer spirit has been replaced by the culture of convenience, and the cause of war not as clearcut as it once was.

Posted by berko_wills at 3:56 PM NZT
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Friday, 7 May 2004
Pastor Flagon, Rector Civilisation
The one thing those wretched reactionaries revel in is in how 'soft' and 'pc' the Left is. This might be true of your upstanding social democrat type who's a member of the union and votes for Labor Right but over on the fringes where the dear ol' anarchists play methinks it's a different story.

For one thing, we don't buy into the idea of 'the native whose way of life was perfectly attuned to nature until the evil whiteman came along' Any more than a cursory examination of tribal customs will reveal that they can be shockingly sexist, ridiculously superstitious and tragically unjust. Which is no more reason to discriminate against them than it is for another racial group to pick on us for having stupid and dangerous ideas like 'a woman should keep silent in Church' or 'thou shall not suffer a witch to live'(I'm paraphrasing but not by much).

In the case of our own indigenous population, I find it wonderfully ironic that after the rather paternalistic attitude of our pater, my sister should end up marrying a Pitjanjarra man. So we're related by blood.
Which gives me a - tenuous - right to comment as follows:

For once I am in agreement with the Liberal government: ATSIC was so horribly corrupt that it had to be shut down. You could argue that there needed to be changes made at the top. No doubt. But wasn't it then a responsibility of the Aborigines themselves to express dissatisfaction with their leadership and seek a replacement?

Secondly: the recent Redfern riots. I lived in Redfern and it was no fun. I had an inventive time working out detours so I wouldn't be constantly badgered for handouts; especially, paradoxically, on pension day.
The reason there is such a police presence? Because the police are inherently racist or because there is more than your usual level of trouble and potential crime? Who has examined this in any kind of critical light without immediately taking one position or the other?
And, yes, you can make a very good, and valid, case for why a disenfranchised people would turn to crime and drunken disorderliness but, nonetheless, if you're to protect those potentially on the receiving end of this disaffectation then you need cops, right?

A kid panics (why? had he done something wrong?) when he sees a cop car, hurtles off on his pushbike and loses control flipping onto a spiked fence. Horrible yes. But what was the cause of the riot? One community commentator stated that 'the cops pushed TJ onto the fence', which is ludicrous in the extreme. So a sector of the Redfern aboriginal population ripped up pavement and did their usual job of defacing the place, threw rocks at people, endangering their lives, and SET FIRE TO REDFERN RAILWAY STATION because a kid panicked at seeing a cop car and came off his bike.
Makes sense to me.

Posted by berko_wills at 4:04 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 10 May 2004 4:13 PM NZT
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