Australian Monuments

Australian Monuments

I want to share this Australian history with my children. I want them to know about the oldest culture in the world, their convict ancestors, and the role of their late grandfather in building perhaps the world’s most tolerant and successful multi-cultural society.

But what the fuck is wrong with my country?

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Emerging in landscape

Emerging in landscape

I love the following descriptions of our place in landscape from John O’ Donohue, who was born and lived in the west of Ireland.

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Bowerbird: Letter from Colorado. How Trump is transforming rural America

Bowerbird: Letter from Colorado. How Trump is transforming rural America

In Colorado, the President’s tone has started rubbing off on residents.

By Peter Hessler

The New Yorker, July 24, 2017 Issue

This is a compelling article. Hessler covers Trump supporters in Grand Junction, Colorado.

  • Why should you read it?

Because, ‘people have reasons for the things that they believe, and the intensity of their experiences can’t be taken for granted.’

‘“I’ve never been this emotionally invested in a political leader in my life,” he  said. “The more they hate him, the more I want him to succeed. Because what they hate about him is what they hate about me.”

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Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D Vance

Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D Vance

If you’re looking to understand the culture and thinking of generations of poor white Americans in the age of Trump, then portions of this book will provide fascinating reading.

Still, I can’t reconcile the myopia of the wide-eyed American exceptionalist  I found in the second half of the book, with the often astute social observer I met in the first.

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Book Review: The Emperor of All Maladies – a biography of cancer

Book Review: The Emperor of All Maladies – a biography of cancer

This is less a review and more of a birds nest.

The book opens with a terrifyingly beautiful epigraph from Susan Sontag:

Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship.

Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom 

of the well and in the kingdom of the sick Although we all

prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is

obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves in that other place. 

each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves in that other place. 

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Mundane Music

Mundane Music

I’ve been making music every Monday. Little snippets. Bits and bobs. No rhyme or reason. Just simply music for the sake of making sounds. I’ve been uploading these snippets to Google Drive and sharing them with my wonderful friend Danling (a.k.a Mundane Matters) for her to use or ignore as the mood takes. Here’s the first bit of my Mundane Music she’s used.

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Lessons from music #1: Stay the course

I was discussing the slings and arrows of artistic fortune (or lack thereof) with my friend Bernard in Manly last Thursday night. We went round in circles for awhile. I ate too much, we both gave the claret a wee nudge and then we began to hone in on something.

To create is to expose yourself to judgment, and for those of us familiar with the arctic wind of anxiety – judgement, depending on your state of mind – can be a helluva thing.

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Resist.

Resist.

The following was written by Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History, Yale University,
15 November 2016.

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

 

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