vote with your heart

Posted in humbug alert, opinion, rants on April 30th, 2010 by george

Poor old UK. Whatever happened to us? What used to be a haven of soft edges, a little run down and shabby, like your favourite old armchair, has evolved over 30 years into a shiny, brittle, trashy landscape of concrete and glass and plastic. Where benign eccentrics once lived quiet, extraordinary lives of their own devising; there now predominates an army of media junkies wondering who they are and what they are supposed to do next.

I hold Margaret Thatcher and every jackass that followed responsible. Now in 2010 a fresh but frighteningly similar bunch of goons are asking that we elect them into power. They speak blithely of ‘change’ and ‘the common good’ and ‘a brighter future’ in tones that wouldn’t convince an 8 year old. In fact all they can honestly promise is that the will more or less perpetuate the stagnant, diseased behemoth their predecessors so cynically threw together.

They keep insisting that a vote for anyone other than one of them(the 3 main parties) is a wasted vote. Can we wake up now please? What’s on offer is a media-savvy slew of snake oil salesmen. Its all about what you are being seen to be rather than what you are. Who are they? They barely know themselves. All they are qualified to do is appear at ease among TV people and journalists. The real world? I don’t think so. You wouldn’t want Jonathan Ross to run the country would you?

The only thing worse than voting for one of them is not voting. Make a little effort. Its not too late to go out and form a personal opinion about one of the alternative party candidates. You will probably find that you like them much better. They probably wont win this time round. But every vote the same old greedy bastards don’t get is a nail in their coffin. They have to go. Lets make it sooner rather than later.

Dont be afraid. Vote with your heart.

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fear of flying

Posted in journal, opinion on April 23rd, 2010 by george

Recent events have seen an Icelandic volcano bring much of the world’s air traffic to a standstill. For six days the skies above Europe have been quiet. It has given us a glimpse of how the world might be if or when the planes stop flying altogether.

As the aviation industry lurches tentatively back into action, its future seems more than ever suspended between desire and reality. How much longer can we expect to zip around the world with such ease? Read more »

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the claw of doom

Posted in how about? on April 15th, 2010 by george

Two days ago I opened my mandolin case and a clawed birds leg tumbled out. Surprise doesn’t begin to describe my reaction. Right away my fevered brain started throwing up possible explanations.

The first and most likely story seemed that someone put it there at my last gig while my attention was elsewhere. A little strange, but then what would you do with it if you found yourself holding such a thing? If this is the case, I’m wondering if it was someone I know, and whether their intentions were playful or malevolent?

Next the voodoo option occurred to me. A week or so after Easter I took a tumble on my bike and injured my knee. Could this severed limb be part of a fiendish spell that brought about my distress? Who could foster such urges toward me?

I then got to thinking about who or what might have been playing my mandolin while I wasn’t looking. I enjoyed the mental picture of a group of birds picking some bluegrass tunes, hanging out with a jug of liquor, raising hell. Still it would take one hell of a drunken brawl to explain why one of them might have left most of their leg behind.

A lot of questions and no answers. Now I have the bizarre thing and must decide what to do with it! I don’t want to dispose of it just yet as I might never then know how it came to be where I found it. But I don’t want to keep it indefinitely. I don’t like it. There is something creepy about it.

Well, I never asked for a boring life.

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wounded knee

Posted in announcements, journal on April 13th, 2010 by george

Last Tuesday morning, I damaged my knee. Cycling back from church, at some considerable speed, I went off the path, slipped on some mud and lost control.

I remember flying through the air, then the next thing I recall is yelling in pain. Almost immediately, a woman with her young daughter and small dog came to my assistance. They were so nice. I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask their names, but thank you whoever you are. How often it is that something bad happens and almost immediately something good happens too.

They helped me to my feet, and after assuring them several times that I was OK, I hobbled slowly home. I spent the rest of the day doing very little except putting off going to the hospital in the hope that I really was OK, but I wasn’t. Read more »

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wasted votes

Posted in opinion, rants on April 11th, 2010 by george

Conservative, Labour, and even Liberal Democrat pundits are fond of saying that a vote for anyone other than a major party candidate is a wasted vote. I’d like to suggest that the exact opposite is true. Voting for any of these dinosaurs is helping perpetuate the miserable mess they have made of our country, and by association, our world. It is a lazy, spineless option.

How many of us are truly passionate supporters of these gangs of greedy bastards? This is a time when the Australian voting system would serve us well. Australians are required by law to vote, but there is an extra box on the ballot paper enabling voters to register there dislike of all the available candidates. Were we given that option in the UK, and we voted honestly, it would make for some interesting arithmetic.

If we are to have fresh blood taking over the reins of government, we have to vote for them. Yes they may lose at first, but the more people that vote for minority candidates, the more others with similar convictions will be inspired to do the same. And the more the incumbent fat cats will tremble in their custom made loafers. Instead of allowing the status quo to discourage potential future alternatives from running, we can positively encourage new candidates to step forward.

The only wasted vote is not voting at all. Don’t let the big boys fool you. They don’t care about you. Vote for someone who does.

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Not all ideas are good ones

Posted in journal, opinion on April 1st, 2010 by george

I remember when I first found myself attracted to creative people, how the best of them seemed unstoppable fountains of ideas. And I quickly realised that quality control was not part of the equation. That would impede the flow. I marvelled at how someone could come up with remarkable, inspiring trains of thought one minute, and blindly stupid, asinine rubbish the next.

As a callow youth, I was quick to make this judgement of the genii I encountered, but never for a moment considered that I did the same thing. I liked to think that I applied a filter to what occurred in my fevered brain, sparing anyone nearby from my direst imaginings. The brainwaves that I made public were good and pure, immaculate conceptions all. I-yi-yi…

Once again, music saved me. Once I started playing music for real, jamming for hours on end with friends, it slowly dawned on me that only by letting it all out could I begin to express myself. As a musician I am still learning to think, play and filter simultaneously. How else can I expect to keep it fresh? Read more »

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living room

Posted in journal, single dad on March 29th, 2010 by george

I love our living room. It serves many purposes. Currently it is a guest bedroom, an internet cafe, a laundry room and a cinema. This is when it is happiest.

When no one is staying, sometimes days go by when no one even goes there except to pass through to the back yard. When I was a child, we lived for a short while in a lovely country cottage that had a parlour. We never went in there except when we had guests. Sad and wasteful.

The name living room says it all. Its a room for living to take place in. When I’m on my own, the kitchen mostly becomes my living room. Thats where the food delivery system is…there is a phone in there…washing machine…its the warmest place in the house. When I’m done in there, I either go out, or to my studio, or to bed.

I get no kick from sitting on my own in a comfy chair, watching TV or reading a book. I am too much reminded there is no one else around. So another reason I love my living room is that if I am in there it is because I have company.

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make babies

Posted in how about?, journal, opinion on March 27th, 2010 by george

This morning, in the early Saturday quiet, I saw a young father, carrying his very young child in a snuggly, wrapped inside his coat. Instantly I remembered how it felt carrying my own child in this way. From there my mind went to young people I know who have recently had babies, and in particular to dear friends who are expecting their first child in July.

How blessed we parents are! Over the years I have heard all kinds of reasons put forward for not having children….’the world is overcrowded’…..’we haven’t the money’…..’its downright irresponsible’….’I don’t think I’m ready’…’my work will suffer’….’its not for everyone’….and so on. If you are lucky enough to become a parent, in an instant, all these things become utterly meaningless.

I recall, in the flush of fresh parenthood, wanting to persuade everyone to make babies of their own. How insensitive and foolish this was. We are all blessed in different ways. Years ago, with the great Mumbo Gumbo, I recorded a song that light heartedly addressed this.

The saddest thing in our world is orphaned or unwanted children. If you have the means, please consider supporting SOS Children’s Villages, perhaps the most effective international organisation today caring worldwide for abandoned children. Johnny Cash, Angelina Jolie, and Nelson Mandela are just some of the distinguished believers in the SOS Children’s Villages mission.

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daily bread

Posted in single dad on March 26th, 2010 by george

One of the questionable delights of child rearing is the catering operation involved. I mostly enjoy cooking, but left on my own, I would cook a great deal less than these young ‘uns demand. I have to remind myself that I am lucky to have normal, healthy teenage children who are hungry all the time!

Although the teenage appetite has made it a little easier, they are still most particular about what they eat. This is complicated by the fact that while one would prefer to eat nothing but meat and pizza, the other will only eat fish and vegetables. Read more »

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rebirth

Posted in journal on March 25th, 2010 by george

My friend Neil gave me this orchid last October for my birthday. I’m woefully inadequate when it comes to plant care. I watered it and it soldiered on through November, but by Christmas it looked as if it had given all it had.

I put it in a slightly larger pot, and continued to water it. By the end of February I had little hope left that it would flourish again. However it never looked dead.

10 days ago, an undeniable bud manifested itself. Today it sports 2 flowers and a third bud is vigorously preparing to do its thing.

I have nothing profound to say about this. But it is deeply satisfying and reassuring. So much in nature shuts down during winter. In the depths of the cold weather it is difficult to remember how much is gone, and tough to imagine any of it returning or being replaced. But it does and it is.

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