Australia is in an awful political situation now. The left is impotent, the far left is ineffectual, the right is completely self-serving, the far right is gaining a stronger foothold. The Australian collective unconscious has not been around long enough to set into a solid. We don’t like to remember its initial basis because it is centered around genocide and assorted other social, cultural and physical atrocities inflicted on the native population which understood this land in deep ways, large portions of which are now lost forever.
The Australian public has so little control over the state of things here. Watching the protests in the Ukraine actually having an EFFECT; that is unforeseen here. When protests and rallies occur here they go for a few hours, they march down Swanston Street, they go have a drink, they go home to watch the news and if one of the commercial stations shows ten seconds of the protest from its weakest angle they feel as though they have achieved something. I think of the appallingly unjust dismissal of Gough Whitlam, the impotency of Harold Holt, the pandering to the US during Vietnam contrary to the wishes of the Australian public, the pandering to the US during Iraq contrary to the wishes of the Australian public. The past 100 years of Australian political history reminds me of a bunch of kids playing a board game which they have been playing for an hour and a half and are getting sort of sick of it and are beginning to take liberties to expedite their own benefit, they don’t even give a shit about the game anymore.
Sorrowful, tragic waste and destruction through selfishness and ignorance.
Cobra Killer at Revolter last night.
I am running with the herd in agreeing that it's a disappointment to see their music head towards more of a chicks-on-speed format, conventional structure usurping their earlier brutal sound, but granted they both have other outlets for that sound and probably need the extra cash which comes from paddling in the mainstream.
Unpleasant, boorish girl hurling herself against us for the duration like a stranded puffer-fish. Screaming 'I love you, I love you!', tyring to grab the killers' legs and mash her mouth against their flesh. Not seeming to consider that being closer to people whom you admire starts with like thinking and henceforth like creation of things which are good, it's not a matter of aligning your flesh with theirs in the front row of a concert, making sure they know that you know all their lyrics.
December 17, the day of the Saturnalia.
The Saturnalia was originally celebrated in Ancient Rome for only a day, but it was so popular it soon lasted a week, despite Augustus' efforts to reduce it to three days, and Caligula's, to five. This important holy day (feriae publicae) was for more than fun and games. Saturnalia was a time to honor the god of sowing, Saturn. But again, like our Christmas, it was also a festival day (dies festus) on which a public banquet was prepared.
It was a time of celebration, visits to friends, and gift-giving, particularly of wax candles (cerei), and earthenware figurines (sigillaria). The best part of the Saturnalia (for slaves) was the temporary reversal of roles. Masters served meals to their slaves who were permitted the unaccustomed luxuries of leisure and gambling. Clothing was relaxed and included the peaked woollen cap that symbolized the freed slave. A member of the familia (family plus slaves) was appointed Saturnalicius princeps, roughly, Lord of Misrule.
And here's to the Hilltop Youths.
Perhaps I will try to delineate a new screenplay character every day, although this project might end up being confined to the days when I am locked on to my work computer, giant electromagnet-style.
But many’s the artist who gets away with this synthesis without putting in much cerebral effort at all. I can see why it irks people of Fiona Macdonald’s era (Fiona Macdonald in this context being imaged as banner-toting Liberty a’la ‘Liberty leading the people’, forefronting the argument on behalf of the mostly silent brothers and sisters.) I mean those late eighties-early nineties conceptual/abject artists working in Sydney/Melbourne, sure they were deriving from Mike Kelley USW but I think the difference is, they were deriving principles and ideas, and developing them, and then translating them into their own work. These days it seems to be undertaken on more of an aesthetic level.