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Um, Yeah, Right

News reports that Noah’s Ark has been found in Turkey have rounded out a bizarre week or so of news in which archeologists in Poland have uncovered the remains of Jack’s beanstalk, a herd of unicorns (what is the collective noun for unicorns?) was discovered in remote New Zealand and the New York Times exposed the truth behind speculation that Barack Obama is actually a foreign born Muslim intent on destroying America.

Oh. Seems it was a hoax. No, really?

Fucking Motherfucker

I’ve refrained from writing about the recent sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church (and, admittedly, pretty much everything else… trying… hard… to… get… it… uh… whimper), feeling that their own disgusting behaviour speaks for itself without any assistance required from such as I, but I can’t resist this little gem on the subject from Tim Minchin. Beware, extremely fucking bad language makes up most of the motherfucking content.


Rachael Cooper

Present: Jim Boots, John Griffiths, Sharkie

Our guests are Rachael Cooper, Hugo and Stuey

Click Play Audio to play podcast. Click here to download

If you’d like to download the podcast, tap this URL: http://the-riotact.com/~john/insban/pod122.mp3 into iTunes or your media player or whatever.

There is a facebook fan page for people to marvel at here.

This link is for people who have podcasting software which you can find here.

Recorded on Tuesday 22nd September, 2009. Track list and more pics after the jump

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Gertrude’s Diary #147 – Killer

I refuse to be sucked into reading about or listening to anything that has to do with that well publicised act of agression earlier this week. In years past it was understood that brutal and senseless creatures behaved thus, but that it was not something decent, clean-living people need bother themselves with.

Sensible people do not want to see these sorts of events splashed all over the news, just to satisfy a prurient interest in how the criminal elements live.  No.  In a healthy, mature society we are content to think about matters perhaps more quotidian but less horrifying.  Acts of bravery and high achievement should be the subject of reporting, and not this sort of sensationalist trash.

Before I move on to other things, I ask that you question the effect this kind of reporting has on your psyche, and consider whether knowledge of such events contributes to the betterment of our society in general, and your own understanding of the world in particular.   I hesitate to include the following headline relating to the story in question, but I’d like you all to view it as the sad and sordid tale it really is, and not some gossipy anecdote about a glamorised thug. [Read more →]

Traces of a photographer

There’s a crush of people crowding around the complimentary wine and cheese while next to me a flash gun fires. Its early but already the small gallery space at the Front is crowded to get a glimpse of Beth Jenning’s first solo exhibition.

My attention is drawn to a stop sign that imposes itself on a brilliant blue sky. It’s a little crazy and very impulsive. Why take that picture? Next to it is a forlorn collection of wicker chairs on a Baltic beach bereft of their human cargo but still showing the unmistakeable signs of summers past. On another wall, isolated from the rest are a pair of well worn blue armchairs that haunt an empty room.

The work is deliberately ambiguous and although the brief explanations offer some relief they do little to inform the viewer. There are glimpses of other places yet they resonate easily in the Lyneham gallery, images that transcend the barriers of place and culture.

And it almost didn’t happen. Beth relates a story of how her plans to shoot stock photographs unravelled while travelling in Italy. Amid the visual splendor Beth stopped taking photos and took some time to ask herself what would she really like to capture. The journey that traces the impressions places and people make on each other began.

Beth’s technical proficiency is grounded in old school film techniques nurtured in the Lake Ginninderra College program and given room to grow during a crazy world tour across four continents to shoot twenty different families. Her images aren’t just a snapshot of some time and some place, they are moments in the eye of the artist.

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leaving traces – A photography exhibition by Beth Jennings
14 to 27 April 2010 @ the Front Gallery

Gertrude’s Diary #146 – Conversation

A while ago now I was given a bound set of 12 pamphlets entitled The Ethel Cotton Course In Conversation, copyright 1927. With such intriguing titles as Lesson No. 3 – Overcoming Irritation and Lesson No. 4 – Too Tired To Talk, this set is packed with useful advice and is a must if you want to speak like people in old black and white movies. Or scream with laughter.

To be honest, I was a little disappointed with Lesson No. 3. I thought it was to help me overcome my own irritation, but apparently it was to avoid irritating others. What a strange idea. The three taboos Ethel enumerates are:

1. Do not refer to divorce in mixed company if you are unfamiliar with the marital condition of every member present.
2. Do not condemn nor ridicule any occupations or professions. (there go all my jokes about lawyers)
3. Do not bring up controversial topics nor make flat, positive statements unless you are among intimate friends. (instead, bring up boring topics and make flat, negative statements, e.g. “I hate your guts Charlene”.)

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Gertifieds is a free advertising service for music related items. Need a new bass player? Need a new bass? Need somewhere for your bass player to rehearse with his new bass? Why not try Gertifieds? It probably won’t work, but what the hell, it’s free. Write to gertifieds@culturazi.com. Don’t forget to let us know once you no longer want to run your ad.

Drummer wanted for touring/local gigs.
Local 3 piece needs a new drummer. I have a new, world class EP I’m keen to tour. We’ve just got a potential booking agent for the South Coast region who wants to book us in for gigs in that area. We have gigs lined up in the ACT and surounding areas. We’re looking at playing at the various folk festivals around the country. We need someone who likes the tunes (roots, country, reggae, blues, folk rock stuff). We need someone who is really willing to practice and form a totally solid set. Maybe somone who has a day job but is willing to slowly move over into full time band work as we build up momentum. Please call Matt on 0412102668.

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I am liking this song by Sigur Ros. The video is also pretty cool, but possibly not safe for work.

Sigur Ros – Gobbledigook

Vietnam Letters #75

Postmark 2nd August, 1970

2nd August 70

My Dearest Sandra,

Well here we are back at the Dat but not for long. Got in this morning about 10AM and will be going out to-night ambushing around the village and back in the morning. I don’t think we will see much more of the jungle before we go home, I think we will be ambushing around the villages for the rest of the tour. It’s not to bad coming back to camp every day as we can have a shower and put dry cloths on. Yes it’s still raining over here and seems to be getting colder in the nights. How did the wedding go yesterday. I hope  you didn’t have to much to drink. Got a letter to-day from Bert Cullen to-day, seems he has been sick or off colour lately. Haven’t heard from you for a few days now but I guess you’ll write when you get back home. Am sick and tired of this damn place over here and am just busting for the day to come when we will be heading home, more so, so that I can be with you Sandra, I am missing you. Well dear not much to write about so will finish up for now.

Lots of Love,

Jock. xxx.

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Jazz Manouche (Clankenstein, Wim Glenn, Ewan MacKenzie) @ The Front, Wed 1st Apr, 2010
by Jacqui D

Having arrived late and been asked to do a music review at the door, I wasn’t exactly prepared.  However I sought a vantage point and started listening, both to the music and to the people around me.  It’s 7/8 timing that makes Romanian gypsy music, I was informed by the reliable sources around me. Write that down. Yeah, get that down. And yep that’s a hammer dulcimer or cymbalom, that table thing that fella is playing.

(more text and a small picture gallery after the jump)

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Gertrude’s Diary #145 – Meditations

As I sit here at my desk by the window, with the sky glowing an empty blue through the trees outside, I’m struck once again by the fact that I have no idea what I will write about.  Also, that it’s rather early in the morning to be awake considering that I don’t have to go to work again for 5 days. What drives me to wake with the dawn? Why does the sound of currawongs and cockatoos seem to be the only alarm clock I need? Why do I get such a thrill from seeing the moon set in a pink and purple sky, the darkness fading in the glory of day? How did I come to sound so up-myself?

Turning my gaze from the window, I cast idly around for inspiration. Perhaps it will be in the directions to a farm near Taralga, written untidily in a gold gel-pen on the notepad next to me. Is the incronguity of the golden words and their quotidian purpose a subject on which I could base my blog? I wonder. I doubt.

Frucken hell. How do people keep this crap up? I would want to chop my fingers off if I wrote like this all the time.  John and The Editor are right; I do only have one voice.  How am I ever going to break into the literary world if all I can muster is this earnest and sometimes wryly humorous style?  Maybe I shouldn’t give up blog writing after all.

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