Who’s a good dog?

I toddled off with my friend Deb and saw Wes Anderson’s new movie, Island of Dogs this week. This is another stop motion masterpiece pulled seemingly from nowhere (well until I saw the trailer I’d never heard of it.)  

Its funny, touching and heartfelt and looks amazing. I reckon it’s safe to say that Mr Anderson is a ‘Dog person’ because cats and those who look out for them get short shrift). For the record I love both.  I love all animals except for baby Harp Seals. Those duplicitous, evil creatures deserve everything they get.

I guess after you’ve been on this planet for a while and loved movies more than most you really appreciate a movie that’s so wonderfully original and entertaining. I don’t want to say too much about it - I went along knowing next to nothing about it and really enjoyed the journey as it unfolded in front of us.

Five mighty hambones out of five and with plenty of gristle to knaw on later. 

So long Facebook
Photo by s-cphoto/iStock / Getty Images

There. I did it.  I've taken the surprisingly emotional decision to delete my bloody Facebook account.

Hello to any friends popping in looking for an explanation.

The recent issues with Cambridge Analytica played a large part in my decision. I've known about this company and how they used the data to manipulate the election for some time now as my friend Stevie Gumpin, a Medical Statistician and Rock Concert Promoter (no really), told me all about them and their nefarious ways some time ago.  But what really pissed me off was Facebooks callow and insipid reaction when this information was exposed to the mainstream. Frankly it sounded like Zuckerberg and his minions were more pissed off that they were caught than being genuinely remorseful at helping to elect a functionally retarded narcissist & white supremacist like Donald Trump to the US Presidency.  

That's my stated reason anyways. 
And I guess if I'm completely honest -
I'm just fucking bored shitless with Facebook.

I got all het up about Climate Change a few years ago and spent some time on Climate Change pages sparring with, what I now realise, were Russians doing whatever they could to destabilize our western liberal democracy.  If this were just about democracy that would bad enough, however I don't think the long term survival of this miracle blue ball in space is something to be played with so lightly.  I feel depleted emotionally from the energy I put into countering arguments and researching the subject to win arguments with pathetic nobodies in a failed state like Russia. Nothing against the Russians themselves but seriously, why do you keep putting up with this shit? What? The shit you went through with the communist's wasn't enough?

Anyway, that's my rant over with. I'm hoping now to be a bit more proactive on this personal website of mine now that I'm no longer devoting time and energy to the mental masturbation of Facebook. 


And of course - you can still find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Saudi Arabia diversifies it's economy big time.
 Masayoshi Son and Mohammed bin Salman.Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Masayoshi Son and Mohammed bin Salman.Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Don't ever let anyone tell you there's no money in renewables, especially after this phenomenal deal. (BTW, hows it going with that financing of your silly coal mine idea in the Galilee Basin Adani?)
This story has just broken today of an incredible deal between Saudi Arabia, who seem to be trying very hard to change the colour of their spots, so to speak, and the Soft Bank Group Corporation. It's a 200 Billion dollar deal that will see Saudi build a two hundred billion dollar solar farm that will generate 200GW's of electricity for the country.  To put it in perspective, the nearest solar farm of scale is the proposed 2 GW Bulli Creek Solar Farm in Australia according to Bloomberg. This motha's gunna dwarf that by an enormous degree. 

There's some mighty money being thrown at large scale renewable energy projects around the world and the scale of them is just now beginning to get really serious. Think of the enormous wind turbines being built by General Electric where each turbine will put out 12 MW each. I think I read they're going to be installed off shore of Victoria in the coming year on a wind farm that will put out one and a half times more power than the recently closed brown coal Hazlewood power plant.

`Oh you bumbling Booby!'
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The little boy I have locked inside me is really looking forward to this new reboot of Lost in Space. `Shut up kid, I'll feed you when I'm ready'. Wot? 
I loved the original and I didn't mind the movie either - But this looks like it's capturing something the movie didn't capture (well, I don't think so, it's been a while since I've seen it). But do you remember how anxious you felt for the family being in their predicament?  So far away from everyone. Lost and alone and each week was some new, weird predicament and adventure. And it got pretty trippy too. I remember one episode that seemed to be in an endless expanse with floating paths that intersected each other. LIke an old Bugs Bunny cartoon I saw eons ago. 
I think I need a good lie down.

Here's a great new trailer for the show coming to Netflix.

The Robinson family, part of a highly trained mission to establish a new colony in space, is unexpectedly pulled off course forcing them to crash land on a lost planet. Danger will find them. Lost in Space premieres April 13, 2018.
In Situ...
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`In Situ', it sounds like something muttered by a grizzled English detective in a small village where everyone dies. (Did they not think to look more closely at the investigating detectives?)

In this case it's one of my artworks I've had printed and framed so you can get a good idea as to how it will look.  This is an Instagram image of a farmhouse I took one night while stopped at road works on my way home after visiting my father in hospital. 

I don't know - I just really like this image. I like the darkness. It's a low light Instagram image that's been enlarged so it has an impressionist feel I like that rewards the viewer with a pleasing image of mystery and the potential for crime. If Australian houses had basements then this place has one you may not return from visiting. Or alternatively it could be where Kevin Spacey has gone to ground.

It's been printed on a satin finish, pearlescent paper. The good thick stuff. Like my brain... but thicker.  

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Dear Diary... I can spill!
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It's taken me just shy of 52 years, but today I wrote the word 'yacht' down correctly without spell checking or assistance. I just wrote it down as part of the sentence I was working on and then realised what I did afterwards. Pfft!

To put this achievement in context. I've always had a mental block with this word - spelling it 'yaught'. My long time mate Steve has known since High School of my challenges with this word and as a true friend does, stirs the shit out of me about it.
I texted him about my achievement tonight and he replied asking if I was really trying to spell yogurt.  

Hurricane Abbott

I read this today and had to repost it as I believe it succinctly cuts through to the core of Tony Abbott, as to the low character of the man himself and the selfishness of his political ambitions.

Force of Abbott

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Periodically, a fact is so self-evident that to state it can make its obviousness seem startling. This, for example: There is no force in public life more destructive than Tony Abbott.

For almost a decade, since he first became opposition leader, Tony Abbott has held Australia to ransom. He has trashed four parliaments. None were better for his presence in them.

His solitary skill is damage. He has wrecked institutions, torn down careers. He has ridiculed the rule of law and coarsened the realm of debate. He has governed against minorities and indulged himself at the expense of duty.

In opposition, he was driven by entitlement, by a loon-eyed belief that he had been anointed to higher office. Here was a man whose mother believed he would be pope or prime minister. Ill discipline denied him the former and cost him the latter.

Having lost the leadership, Abbott is driven by revenge. He has no interest but himself. His anger is the anger of confusion. Abbott cannot reconcile that the world is not the way he imagined it to be, with him as prime minister and the country docile in its satisfaction. This confusion is greater than simple self-interest: it is driven by the fact Abbott never understood he was living in a contemporary society; he governed for a world that no longer existed, for a fantasy of the past. His leadership was always illusory. His default has always been treachery.

That one man could do so much damage is testament to his corrosive gift for harm. Here is the man who held back the country on climate action, who invented whole electoral edifices to deny marriage equality. Here is the man who weaponised a fear of refugees and later Muslims, who made citizenship a plaything, who fractured the community in the hope of leading its broken wreckage. Here is a man for whom truth is an abstract concept. The most honest thing to be said about him is that he has a working substitute for integrity.

A person of any dignity would resign the parliament. There is no room for him in it and he has nothing to offer if he stays. Each day he remains, he serves only as a lesson in the flaws of the human character. He is a study in male rage.

A byelection is always a fraught proposition, especially for a government in a state such as that which Malcolm Turnbull leads. There is always a risk that an independent might win and refuse the balance of power.

But the risk posed by electors is no match for the risk posed by Tony Abbott. This man is dangerous. He has nothing to lose, not dignity nor esteem. He stands for nothing and that makes him explosive.

The parliament cannot continue in this stalemate. The Liberal Party cannot continue to negotiate with a terrorist. That is what Tony Abbott has become. He has no care for the carnage he creates. He is not troubled by the damage, by the policy stasis, by the landmines he sets between what the country wants and what its leader is allowed to do.

Tony Abbott has never provided good government. He has spent almost a decade denying it. The only decent thing he has left to contribute is his resignation.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Jul 8, 2017 as "Force of Abbott". Subscribe here.

A diary worthy incident

I thought I might post some things that either happen to me or I observe. I'm reading David Sedaris' new book, Volume one of his diaries ' Theft by finding'.  They contain little observations and such like from his diaries and they are utterly him which is a wonderful thing if you've ever read his other books. I'm rather more verbose but as I'm reading I realised that I notice some things in life, in my own way, that are at least similar and at most, not. 

For instance;

A few days ago, Mum and I had been talking about how scientists had concluded that Neanderthal man, all those years ago, had not so much been wiped out by our common ancestral species so much as they'd been interbred out of existence. Many of us still retain neanderthal DNA deep within our genes. I like to picture them within a lost, moss covered treasure chest on a remote strand of this DNA but you've got to admit, it's a much pleasanter way for your species to go than being whacked over the head or something. Did cavemen stab each other?

So there we were, Mum and I, at the Salamander Shopping Centre with Dad, having a coffee and a breakfast of toasted sandwiches when a chap who, I kid you not, looked like a neanderthal, walks into the centre and starts talking earnestly to some other chap he's seen on his way out of the centre. Possibly they spoke about how his family had been interbred out of existence by this other chaps sister. "The end of the line stops with me goddamit" he possibly said, "we've held on for so long and now that's it for us!"  "I'm really sorry about that" the other chap posssibly replied. "I mean, my sisters a slut but she's her own slut and you've got to give her some sort of credit for that at least."  It may have possibly gone something like that. But more than likely they were just discussing where they could score some ice. 

Later, and further down inside the shopping centre. I was walking alongside my old dad when we saw the neanderthal chap walking toward us a bit of a way off. Just in front of us walked a young chap of our own species of human in a dark blue t-shirt. As they passed, the neanderthal chap turned back suddenly and aggressively enquired to other young chap as to what was he looking at. The other young chap then countered with the obvious "what are you looking at?"  At this point my father and I are well and truly and physically in the middle of this idiotic verbal tennis match. We both felt the tension around us build and an unsaid thing passed between us to move on in case this encounter escalated into something the Daily Telegraph might later describe as 'unfortunate'.  

Thats pretty much it. They continued enquiring as to what each other were observing until a security guard returning from a toilet break rounded the corner and they both broke apart to pursue other conversations of great wit. 

Whales need to be very careful about where they play...

Here's a new image from the prawns and bees book. This one is of a ship accidentally bumping into a whale while it's playing hide and seek with a seal. 
Here's the sketch first up so you can get an idea of how this image began.

And below is the final image, all tucked away and ready for bed.

I'm thinking I might take a break from it for a short bit and put some work into the other book which has been neglected for a while now. A fresh head on it I hope will make the difference and allow me to really get ahead on it.