Monday, January 21, 2008


The steady thrum of the cicadas fills my ears as i cycle home. A giant full moon hangs over the hill, like a cheap replica of itself. It's dusk. A dog comes out, and chases me up the road, its tongue lolling. I take a left at the bowls club and coast down the hill to home. Another paper is on its way through the printing press, and all is right with the world.

Apart from the stock market crash, and the looming worldwide depression, of course. I scrunch the Malvern Star across the coarse river sand and into the front yard. What a great day not to be a share owner, i think.

Mickey T is back from his kitesurfing sojourn in Shark Bay, i see the old Pajero in the yard. With another boat on the roof of his trailer. The yard is full of boats. A Hobie cat, tinnies, plastic dinghies. And the fishing boat, the Godfather. Plus assorted kayaks and canoes. Yet another boat. This one is a squat aluminium job, with an outboard, barely as long as the 6x4 box trailer. Looks like it has positive flotation sides. It has "kitesurfing" stenciled on it in black. That's right, Mickey T is a qualified kitesurfing instructor now. This must be the rescue vessel.

The lights are out in the house; he must have collapsed somewhere. He's been gone a good week, camped on the beach with his trailer and a bunch of kites and students somewhere in Monkey Mia. It's a four hour drive back from the Bay. He'll be tired all right. I consider waking him to offer him a beer, but decide against it.

It's hot as the devil. That's why god invented airconditioning, i suppose. I crack open a Corona, and switch on the coolness. The news comes on, and tells me Australia has some of the least affordable housing in the world.

"I'd hate to be starting out now," some babyboomer woman is saying. "Houses and properties are just so expensive."

Oh well, so long as you lot have your four investment properties, your share portfolios, and your stupid big gas guzzling four wheel drives. I hope the crash lands you all on your collective greedy fat arses. I kill the set. It reminds me too much of the big converted bus i saw parked out at One Mile, proudly displaying the legend "SKIDRO", with matching SKIDRO plates, and the delightful handpainted phrase "Spending the Kids inheritance Driving Round Oz." How quaint. Selfish motherfuckers. So we're all headed for a recession now. So what. I've been practising living on sod all for 45 years now. I'll manage.

I certainly won't be relying on my superannuation, that's for sure. I've been saying it for years, and i'll repeat it here now, just for the record. There will be no superannuation for my generation. None. Nil. Nula. Not any, aught, beans, diddly, nae, naught, nix. Nothing, nothingness, nought, ought, zip, absolutely fuck all. A vacancy. Zilch. Zero.

The baby boomers will clear out the super funds, just you watch and see. That, combined with the fact that none of the speculative wealth of the share traders has any actual value in reality. It's all one big expanding pavlova. But the cream has already been skimmed off the top, even before it collapses and crumbles into one sticky, sickly mess. There are always the hyperrich few, taking vast profits of the top, either illegally, or in executive contracts and payouts, which if we had a government with any balls would amount to the same thing. Somebody recently told me that my "economic theories", such as they are, fit with what the economist Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr, has to say. I don't have any economic training, but i do have training in basic physics, and i know how systems implode. And i know you can't eat your money, or drink your share options.

"We have a bankrupt system," LaRouche said on January 18, 2008, "which is inherently bankrupt, in which the amount of monetary aggregate being generated to bail out—as you see the bailouts occurring today—to bail out an inflated, explosive mass of financial aggregate, has reached the point that it is now going to accelerate at such a rate, that the question is, whether the U.S. economy, under its present policies, will outlive this current year. People who think they have money, are going to find they don't have any. People who thought they had vast savings, will find out they don't have any. That's the kind of world we're living in."

Yes. People who thought they had beer, will go to the fridge, and find they don't have any ... oh, there's one Corona left. And lemons!

That's the kind of world we're living in. Full moons, Coronas and lemons. Ah, it's a grand day to be poor, for sure.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Dear readers, it's been a long time between drinks.

I spend New Year's Eve on a Greyhound bus. It just gets better and better, don't it? Christmas Eve in a homeless person's camp, and now this. Total electronic ignition failure on the motorcycle. Que sera, sera. I'm back in Carnarvon, o joy of joys. I had a fat time in Perth - a FAT time, catching up with Safari Bob, Das Clayton, Mz Mayhem - and my little niece and nephew.

Family. Can't live with 'em, happily live without 'em.

So. Safari Bob, Das and i are bringing cheap point-and-shoot cameras back. Film is so hot right now. I'm shooting with a cheap 80s Nikon that Das gave me. He also got a Konica, weatherproof, with exposure compensation. Both cameras, for under $4. That's what i'm talking about. Safari Bob is shooting with a $5 Konica, i believe, although i may yet be corrected on this point. Retro technology, trash, that nobody cares about or wants.

And yet ...

Take this sepia portrait of the Art Director and Safari Bob's Artistic Journey. Just plop a point and shoot on the Australia Post mailbox, press a self-timer button (wow! gizmo) stand in front of the lens, and do some deep and meaningful soul-searching.

I tell you, it just wouldn't be the same on digital. Film is so hot right now. I've been developing rolls in the laundry at Mickey T's. No thermometer. Just using songs on the radio to gauge my development time. Fast film, two songs, 1+19 dilution. For a fine-grained film, better make it a song-and-a-half. Empty the dev, and add a tankful of water and a dash of white vinegar, agitate for about the length of a four-bar chorus. Then, fix the film for a song and a bit - constant agitation. Then wash in seven tankfuls of Carnarvon scheme water (fingers crossed) and a final rinse in distilled water, with a drop of dishwashing liquid. Chamois dry, hang it up.


Then get Christian to roll scan it down at the pharmacy.

Yes, we're bringing film back. Safari Bob and i are also intent on bringing der back. Such a wonderful word, yet so sadly underemployed these days. When was the last time anyone said "der" to you? Well yes, immediately after you stated the bleeding obvious - but when? 1979? 1980? Well it's high time we repopularised this poignant, panchromatic, and pithy epistle. And after quite a few lagers, Safari Bob and i did just that. And it immediately caught on. At the Moon Café, in the early hours of one day or another, the waiter brings us our plate of nachos.

You ordered the nachos, the waiter says.
Der, i say.
A pause.
Der, repeats the waiter.
He puts the plate down, and leaves.

It's catching on.

We are all in a process of renegotiating the English language. Which brings me to the title of this post. "Writer's block." Yes - you guessed it. I'm going to buy some land in Carnarvon. I have to retire somewhere after my travels. Ah, so little to do, so much time.