Thursday, 28 September 2017

Rape and Pillage

G'day Possums,

Mrs Wombat and I went on a little amble t'other day.  
After staying with friends near Benalla we meandered up to Chiltern and on to Goulburn, perusing The Big Merino "Rambo", a magnificently haughty specimen and then diverted to the Illawarra Highway, travelling through a very colonial Englishness of Exeter with its delightfully understated 1895 Art Nouveau St Aidens Anglican church, to Sutton Forest and then on to Kiama.
The Big Merino "Rambo"
The Big Merino "Rambo"

We  returned via the M1, taking in the beautiful Pacific coast with its multiple secluded inlets and dramatic landscapes south of Narooma, the beautiful country of Tilba Tilba conversing there with some of the delightful and self proclaimed notorious, "Tilba Tappers" to an excellent lunch at the Tathra  wharf.

Back into Victoria, Cape Conran and the Snowy River estuary at Orbost were highlights and after a stay in Bairnsdale, returned to the home burrow.
 Snowy River estuary at Orbost
 Snowy River estuary at Orbost
So why the title, Rape and Pillage following such a visually stunning trip?
Well, the pillage could in some fashion be explained by the road-kill carnage seen in this 1400 km trip: 22 Wombat, 2 Echidna and dozens of Wallaby and Kangaroo carcasses littering the road side, particularly in the NSW region. The rape? There was a small cove/beach near Kiama that had once been full of shell middens until the arrival of the colonists who denuded the area of its flora, built a wharf to transport stone quarried further inland to Sydney and generally laid waste to an Indigenous culture of a beautifully balanced environment, food sources and shelter material. This experience was sadly, seen repeated a number of times in other places.
Turingal Point ,near Tathra
Turingal Point, near Tathra

Reflecting on this, it seems that our "national culture" was "set" back in the 1790's.
We have a lamentable world record for the extinction of mammals, we are still (in Deep North, Queensland) clear felling/stripping bush for cattle farms, over-logging marginal forest with endangered species (in The Tardis State of Victoria) and polluting bays and rivers nation-wide with run-off from roads, farm fertilizers, and coal mines and sewage.
Tathra Wharf
Water theft by large irrigation companies is aided and abetted by our apology of a deputy prime minister / water minister the New Zealander, Barnyard Joyce and today I listened to the faux environment minister, Fictions Frydenberg, prevaricating on re-newable energy in order to kow-tow to fossil fuel companies and abnegate responsibility for the nation's gas supply and allow "fracking" to destroy more farmland and pollute the water table in the worlds driest continent instead of developing a viable and sustainable energy policy.
Unfortunately I didn't vote for Santos, AGL, Alinta or Ergon et al, to run this country, so I don't know why this present Ruling Rabble thinks that sucking from the taxpayer teat qualifies them to not lead the nation but blithely follow multi-national business' profit plans to the country's environmental, economic detriment and eventual demise.

Interestingly, during the trip, similar attitudes popped up in conversation with other travellers or locals... none of them happy with the manner in which this place is being allegedly governed. I would have expected in rural towns more conservative attitudes to be expressed but the opposite was the case. It was the same with shop-keepers as it was with the person on the street. Once, during a picnic lunch at Holbrook in a conversation with a Adelaide couple, a person nearby joined in to agree politically, with what we were saying, so it seems that our famed reticence not to publicly and openly discuss politics is being eroded by the sheer continuing incompetence of the Ruling Rabble and its ad hoc administration. Even a middle class couple from Victoria's Blue Ribbon bay-side opined that we're no longer in a good place and were thoughtfully amused at my fantasy suggestion of the woman converting the tip of her walking pole into an elimination device of the corrupt Reboxetine Robb who has "Quislinged" the nation to the Chinese.


Great Uncle Otto's boy, Eric, Vichy Abetz has again provided ample evidence not only of the Ruling Rabble's abject hypocrisy but also their legislative confusion: a front-runner of the push to have section 18C wiped from the statute books as he thought it limited free speech, Vichy has called for the banning of some Septic-Tank Rapper singing an "equal love" rap song at the NRL Grand Final entertainment. It seems that personal religious kant and the divisiveness of deeply ingrained homophobia trumps policy.... and community!
No wonder people will publicly query the proficiency, stability and veracity of this rabble or for that matter given the constant ranting of failed Ruling Rabble prime miniature, Rabid-the-Hun, its sanity, too.
Hoo-roo, Petals,
St Aidens, Exeter, NSW
St Aidens, Exeter, NSW

Friday, 15 September 2017

Cashed Out on Ethics

Shane making a Wreath
Shane making a Wreath

G'day all,
That screaming Harpy, Michaelia Cash whose acidic tones are IMHO worse than a thousand Sulphur Crested Cockatoos on a Summer's eve, has been temporarily silenced following her Orwellian praise of the resigning  Australian Building and Construction Commission's boss, Nigel Hadgkiss: "The government thanks Mr Hadgkiss for his service and wishes him well in his future endeavours," The Harpy screeched. "Mr Hadgkiss has played a pivotal role in restoring the rule of law to Australia's building and construction industry, despite relentless opposition and appalling intimidation from lawless construction unions and their political supporters."
Hadgkiss has stepped down because the court found him to be breaching workplace law by mis-informing unions of the appropriate law and, by acting out the wrong news commentary instead of following the Ruling Rabble's legislation, its amendments and acting on his staff's warnings, getting "the vibe" wrong...(his  words, ffs), something The Screaming Harpy was aware of for at least the prior 12 months. So, like watching someone drowning and only effecting their rescue after 10  minutes under water ,The Harpy Cash waited until the obvious was proven in court. Which is somewhat similar to his tardiness and her earlier failure to "remember" to add her new multimillion dollar home to her parliamentary pecuniary interest register.
And remember Petals, it's the unions who are corrupt. 

These days it's getting difficult to find any of the Ruling Rabble who aren't  besmirched with the taint of corruption and who seemingly can't act either ethically or in the nation's interest rather than their own. 

Barnyard Joyce, facing disqualification from parliament by virtue of his NZ citizenship refuses to step down as deputy prime miniature or from parliament as do four others in the same boat. He is also under the hammer for the Murray-Darling water rorts.
"Flappy-Head" Robert, he of  "it's-a-fake-Rolex-not-a-genuine-Chinese-bribe-type-one" infamy, is now under investigation for being a director of  a company receiving government contracts (worth some $32,000,000.00) whilst a minister in the Ruling Rabble with a portfolio conflict relevant to his business interests. "Oh, my dad's the director not me". Pity, dad didn't know that! 
Another Deep Northerner, Thug Canavan blamed his mum for his dual citizenship.... he was only 25 at the time.... and she didn't tell him.

The garrulous Greek from Adelaide, Nick (god-I'm-brilliant) Xenephon passes legislation giving away the rest of the Australian media to the Ugly American Murdoch whilst still a dual national and technically, probably not allowed to sit in parliament let alone legislate dud deals.  Parroting the Mis-communication minister, Fifi Fifield, that  this was not  going diminish media diversity but enhance it, Garrulous Nick celebrated his allocating $60,000,000.00 to local papers already owned by Murdoch to employ more intern journo's to further promulgate the Ugly American's right wing rubbish.

This is I suppose being consistent with current Ruling Rabble philosophy as "Clean Coal " is coming to the fore again with the Ruling Rabble digging themselves an ever bigger coal hole in the economy and the country's climate future.... our national debt being now over $500,000,000,000.00... but this is "good debt" not "bad debt' like the $34 Billion of Labor debt from four years ago.
What is it that's awry with the moral compass and ethical nature of these ruling rabble types who can't seem to understand that corruption and conflict of interest is not part of their remit?
Hoo-roo Possums,

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Fringe and other follies

G'day Possums
 Mrs Wombat and self have had a amble around the Ballarat International Foto  Biennale t'other day.
I didn't exhibit with "the Fringe" this time, wrongly assuming that the venue I had previously used having changed hands, was no longer available.
The original director of the biennale has stepped down and a new regime is in place so there was quite a difference in the emphasis of "the Core" program  that was refreshing,  particularly the works from Iran, Jordan, South Africa and Cambodia which expressed a different nuance of thinking and seeing.
The exhibition "Tell" at the Mining Exchange  featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists also showed different sensibilities and humour in their varied and expressive works.
I have with the past Biennales tried to cover all of the "Fringe" exhibits but this time both of us, frankly, were quite disappointed in a lot of the stuff exhibited and have opted this year to show just three examples and mention some others.... and we did not get to see all of the exhibits in two days viewing, perhaps only 50% of them.
Fairbanks Eye Gallery at 917 Sturt St  had three of what we considered  the best of the exhibits, Elaine Batton's "Vanitas Revisited", Ollie T Cool's "Un-Broken" and Silvi Glattauer's "La Puna Argentina".
Elaine Batton's "Vanitas Revisited"
Influenced by C17th Dutch painters and exploring the notion of "Vanitas" or our attempts to avoid the impermanence of life by vainly accumulating wealth and musing on death by the symbolic decay of flowers, Elaine Batton's works are rich in their density and beautifully printed and presented.. look for her delightful book, too.
Ollie T Cool's "Un-Broken"

Richly embalmed in wax and gold and preserved in ice,  Ollie T Cool's insects and animals are fragile emanations of life on the edge of decay. "Un-broken" presents another version of vanitas as the encapsulated subject matter becomes exquisite specimen.
"La Puna Argentina" are large beautifully printed landscapes from a blanched, arid volcanic desert area bordered by both Chile and Argentina. Surprisingly colourful in their virtual monotonality, Silvi Glattauers works breathe the monumentality of the huge space and evoke our human insignificance in such places.
Now for something completely different... if Wendy Beatty's "(Landscapes) 1.1" at Bar Wat, 32 Drummond St North Ballarat had been presented for exhibition 30 years ago I dare say she would have told to go away and learn the proper techniques of negative care, printing, enlarger handling and print spotting. These large distressed "arte-povera," traditionally processed, black and white landscapes prints are still impressive in their ( I suspect), tongue-in-cheek, single finger salute to the  exquisite perfection of computer aided digital contemporary photography.  Well worth a look.

Also worth getting to see but not photographed is Chris Sheils' "Time is an Illusion" at Art House Gallery City Centre Arcade, (Shop 6) 315-317 Sturt St Ballarat. redolent of the traditional  photographic forms of American, Jerry Uelsmann,  these works present an almost dystopian amalgamation of  disparate places in complex dreamlike detail.
...and a couple of mine from wandering the streets of Ballarat on those days...

Wombat Droppings  today are brief .
In signs that privatisation has been shown, as many of us suspected, to be the wrong path to travel down, Prime Miniature Truffles Turdball has announced what is probably only another thought-bubble: he wants to buy back a privatised Coal-fired power station and spend $50,000,000.00 shoring up the energy systems they have spent years selling off instead of devising a creative and forward thinking energy policy that would advantage Australia not just foreign capital.
On top of this insanity it also looks like the deregulation of the building industry is producing what could only be expected: shonky materials, dangerous buildings, Byzantine codes that no-one follows, rampant greed and no-one to take responsibility when the shit hits the fan.
And Dick Smith is being a real Dick, swiping away at the ABC 'cause they wont play his Noe Notion tune about population growth... it seems he wants to do to it what he did to aviation....
Let's hear it for unfettered capitalism, Petals.