Farewell Clive James, you were a brilliant writer and satirist and your stories of growing up in Sydney were some of the first and funniest I ever read. Thank you Clive.
I remember one of the first 'funny' books I read was a collection of short stories which featured Clives stories of growing up in Kogarah and in particular the Billy Carts he built. I re-read it again and again, each time finding it hilarious :-)
He was everything you could ask for in a writer, incisive, observant, laconic, damn funny and gently sentimental.
I reckon Mark Twain would have rated him a top writer.
I grew up watching him comment on the Telly, with Marguerite Pracatan singing in her....unusual style.
A few years back I was horrified by the local Aussie Tabloid Media when they staged an ambush with a 'secret mistress' looking for some form of 'gotcha' moment, raced over to England with a woman who had for whatever reason, decided to reveal they'd had an affair.
Instead of A Jerry Springer moment they encountered an aging, extremely unwell James, who was genuinely glad to see her and very kind about it.
A 'gotcha' moment it wasn't and I hope the folks involved feel a deep abiding shame for their treatment of him.
I believe if any person found themselves with even a smidgin of his warmth and intellect, they'd feel pretty chuffed.
He added well to this world and we would benefit from more like him.
Ok so, I am fully aware that writing headlines with myself in the 3rd person is generally not considered a great sign.
To borrow from Mencken, there comes a time when even civilised persons feel the need to roll up their sleeves and hoist the black flag.
I'll start with the Keyboard. Apparently it's the New Sword.
Spent my weekend reading the Internets. I'm a happy data sponge.
Was time to share the blog. Yeah, this matters even when I think it might not. I talk to people who are getting what we are trying to give.
Some peace and a relief from the outside tempests.
It's what we do and why we started blogging. A few of the folks we originally started this for have passed on. Others are still in-country, even sometimes if that's in the deepest country of their own mind.
Thus with appreciation of your forbearance, when I went to post our content to FB today I...went a little....er....well.
Oops. My bad. I mean, my truth, but. oops.
And cos I own it. I add it here.
CROSS POST FROM FB
As part of our decision to move content away from Facebook as a result of their antisocial behaviours, I'll increasingy post to our main page and link here. We're not in a commercial position where we can deny ourselves access to the community that has grown with us since 2008, but I can't bring myself to keep providing 'free' content and supporting a platform, that, in the words of Sascha Baron Cohen, would be perfectly comfortable running ads from Bad Guys (see I cant even add the word here because it will block more people from seeing this post...talk about self censorship). Once my awareness has been raised, that truth is shown to me, then obviously I can no longer cooperate with evil or I am going to get that awful sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Mr Zuckberg, I'll accept that the Auto Content Bot will notice that your name's in my post and I extend my profound hopes that you will follow Jack Dorsey's lead at Twitter. Political Ad money sure is sweet. Having the trust and faith of your end users is fundamentally more valuable. You have chosen the 'have it both ways' path and, well, it's gonna piss me off, but I'm moving me, my mates and my barbecue. Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia just launched a competitor with no ads. Yep that's right. Yep I went and checked it out straight away. It's gonna take some time, but you are changing my behaviour. Just one little band, one little few mates that will check their account that one less time because we're not posting content. No matter how you slice the loaf mate, there are only so many artists in any one generation. Only so many people active in culture and communication. What happens when one by one, the lights go out in the sky? The monetisation of our data; the restriction of communication into a paid-for, absolutely-antithetical-to-the-existence-of-the-fewking-internet mechanism (no I am not giving you $24 so more people see this.) and your decision to allow un-truthful advertising that is beyond any sense of fair play or free speech, simply a ruthless capitalising on OUR presence on facebook to plaster us with propaganda by state based players, knowing that Propaganda works. We're not immune. Magicians use our mental blindspots to entertain us. Bad Actors use it to sow division. Enablers allow it to happen. You are a war profiteer, no less than if you sold the ammunition or the bandages. Yet, we still use FB as a significant mode of communication. Since 2008. I'm not immune to the commercial problems either. As I can't square this circle and I am not pious enough to abandon the platform altogether, I'll settle for second best, for today, to squeak and speak and Link instead of filling your catalogue with pleasant things. Maybe my Propaganda has a right to be heard too. Is that worth the $24. Yeah I think so. Oh yeah - the content about our weekend I would normally have posted. Link here. I gotta get my moneys worth, Right Mark? https://www.stormcellar.com.au/…/2559-smokey-vocals-waiting…
yeah I'm still gonna use Fb for it's ease of mobile blogging and because user habits dictate that people will use it until there a reason not to or an alternative.
My conscience is tempered by the job I have to do for the band, and also by my own willingness to try and engage on others peoples mental territory.
And even as I try to delay my withdrawal from it, I hear my nagging damn conscience say 'No. no further'.
Bah. Really, all I wanna do is post stuff about a nice weekend and some music. And if that gets used to harm the people I am trying to show love towards then I have moved to something beyond failing, I have enabled harm.
Working on the problem. Either I have to compromise, or Mr Z and Team P-for-profita-ganda-palooza will.
And anyone who has had inkling of the natural stubborness of the average harmonica player will know which side to bet on. :P
When we started the 'Weather Permitting' project last year I didn't expect to enjoy it nearly as much as I have.
It's a throwback to our earliest days, Mr Wizard, Donald Deep Jeffs and Dan Sexton at the Rozelle Markets, under the big tree.
Good times, good times.
Yesterday's show at the Bowral Twilight Markets was great fun.
Sadly, the Gnocchi lady wasn't there. Bummer. That's some good Gnocchi. Have to go back!
Although it seems obvious, I was surprised to find that the constant smoke in the air affected my vocals, it was a bit of a struggle but we got through it. Well done to Mr Wizard for managing a random nose bleed in the middle of a song.
I was having a chat with the Honey vendor - I had no idea how much the drought has affected honey supplies. The drought has taken a toll on everything.
On the plus side, it was explained to me that all it takes is one good 'honey flow' so I will keep my fingers crossed. Beekeepers are a very calm breed of humans, for obvious reasons :-).
Things must have gone well yesterday because at the end of the session, we were showered with Sausage sangers, Pies, Pork & Crab Dumplings and Vegetarian Indian.
We were in between the Indian and Gozeleme stands, with incredible smells of spices coming in waves as the winds shifted. They were dancing as they made the Gozleme. Yeah girls I saw that ;-)
It all smelled fabulous and the place was jumping. Apparently there was a 'good vibe' in the air (as well as the spices!).
We all got to take home some (awesome!) pies.
Australia still is the 'lucky' country in many ways, we spent our time outside, in relative safety (excluding say for example all the dang fires that have been happening) and in the company of our fellow Aussies and visitors, and if you've ever wondered what successful multiculturalism looks like, go to the food section at a good market.
Cappucino in hand, vegan rice on plate, assorted yummies from Daikon Radish Kimchi to Cinnamon Honey, sitting in the sunlight, tapping your foot to music.
Good times, right now.
It's worth the effort to travel to markets and experience the artisan cooking and crafts.
This has been one of our better project ideas :-)
Now if you will excuse me, it's Sunday and I have some pies to heat up.