Iain Hall's SANDPIT

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Upsetting Mammon. Rolling Stones style

In my younger days we used to see Rock and Roll as something of a subversive art-form and to my mind that is one of the most clever and devious half truths of any commercial enterprise because it has almost always been the case that it is a way to make serious money and to commercially exploit the punters. After all what is not to like about the energy of our biological imperative being exploited in the service of Mammon? Who among you does not have a favourite popular music tune associated with  the quest for your significant other?  Who out there does not get stirrings in the loins when they here their song on the radio? Sadly for the Rolling Stones it seems that their “licence to print money” reputation has reached its use-by date as they discover that their fans will no longer max out their credit cards for the transient pleasure of hearing them play while Mick Jagger prances around on his zimmer frame.

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The expected reward for hubris is of course public humiliation as even Mammon does not smile upon being taken for granted and being expected to endorse the vanity of the Rolling Stones. It sort of makes me think that there is a very good argument for bowing out with some style and dignity rather than milking the fans for every possible penny for as long as they can.

Cheers Comrades

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Malcom McLaren, the blessed Spike and the day after next Tuesday

These days I refer to myself as an “aging hippie” in homage to my laid back attitude to life and living and as a reflection of my belief in personal liberty and my desire to make the idea of “working it out for yourself” more universal but way back in the early eighties I was a rather different Iain Hall. I had done my matriculation as an adult student and been accepted in to the University of Queensland to study the Arts and I was enjoying the life of a student, enjoying riding my bikes living in share houses. Like a lot of students I spent my time going to see various bands and had a collection of Albums in a milk crate. Getting a stereo that would not jump when people danced in the lounge room and gave decent sound was but a dream. Punk music was  loud , irreverent, cheeky and brash but more importantly it was fun. Right up there in the centre of that maelstrom was Malcolm Mclaren.

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All of my preamble was to introduce the notion that the gravestone we leave can sometimes be a really beautiful summation of a life. For instance I just love the inscription on the Grave of the blessed Spike Milligan which  reads “I told you I was ill” it beautifully sums up the man and is also cheekily funny as are so many of his nonsense poems. I suspect its my old codger-hood but I find myself thinking more and more about such things, about the monuments we commission or inspire and how they can sum up a life (hopefully ) well lived, of sins addressed, atonements made and the things left undone by untimely ends, so maybe I need to address my worst sin which is procrastination…
Hmm I think that will have to wait until the day after next Tuesday…
Cheers Comrades

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Chris Evans and Nicola Roxon jump ship

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You have got to love it when something you write is so quickly proven to be correct. When I wrote my post the other day suggesting that Robert McClelland  was the first rat to notice that the SS Labor was taking on water,  little did I know that two big names would  so soon follow him into the life boats eager to escape being entangled in the Sargasso sea of endless opposition. The question is just how many will jump ship before Sept 14? Quite a few would be my call.

Cheers Comrades

Chris Evans and , Nicola Roxon

Chris Evans and  Nicola Roxon

Live and let die in the Pacific

Even the bleeding hearts from the ranks of our Latte sipping friends must realise that on this issue the public are entirely unsympathetic to the hunger strike by detainees on Nauru.  Especially when the majority of those detained there are from Sri Lanka which ended its civil war  years ago.

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Of course there is “No hope” on Nauru that is the point of detaining people there and the essence of its deterrent value. It saddens me to see people there suffering, however they all have the option of returning to their country of origin at any time, instead they try the futile emotional blackmail of the hunger strike.

Cheers Comrades

Frankly when they commit the sort of crimes against the English language evident in their sign maybe we don’t want then here anyway

Craig Emerson is an embarassment to us all #carbonchoices

Its far from being a good day when it comes to  the fortunes of Labor and the left  this example From Craig Emerson shows me that Labor have totally lost both their dignity and any hope of winning on this issue. If the polling is to believed Emerson is gone at the next election, well I for on think that taking up singing as an alternative to politics won’t be an option even though he will be forced to give up his day job.

  The voice he ain’t!

This is how to do it on key Craig

Cheers Comrades

 

Kate Miller Heidke, questions asked but answers lacking

My wife and daughter are fans of Kate Miller Heidke but I’m glad that I did not point out that she was appearing on Q&A on Monday night because to be honest she was well less than entertaining because she seemed to be rather unprepared to communicate in words rather than song:

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Clearly the message from this has to be to play to your strengths or if you are doing something as unrehearsed as a current affairs talk show then try to produce a witty one liner or two when you are called upon to give your views on the topic. Sadly we got several examples of “I don’t know” or “I have no opinion on that.” and the song that she sang at the end was hardly inspiring or that interesting either.
Hmm either the producer of the show or Kate Miller Heidke’s agent needs a severe talking to I think.

Cheers Comrades

Lets thank Campbell Newman for saving us from dreary poetry

As regular readers will have gathered I actaully like the craft of writing,  In this craft, like all forms of creative writing, you learn what works to get your message across and you learn that by having a direct interaction with your readers, rather than having what you write filtered through an editor or a publisher. You see what I am circling around is the issue of “literary awards” and their role in the writing landscape. I have been inclined to think about this because Campbell Newman has just announce that he is scrapping the Queensland Premiers awards with an annual saving to the budget of nearly a quarter of a million bucks. Of course the response to this from the literati has been to denounce this as the act of a philistine:

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Personally I think that poetry per se is very over rated and that apart from aspiring members of the literati nobody reads poetry at all these days. The exception is of course the poetry of songs and songwriters. I bet that if you ask “Jane Bloggs” on the street to recite a poem from memory you will draw a blank but you ask her to tell you the lyric to a popular song and she will be close to  word perfect.  Of course the cultural elites look down their noses at mere popular music yet that would have to be the only form of poetry that makes any kind of an impression on the people or makes  quid these days. So perhaps we should acknowledge that Campbell Newman is doing we Queenslanders  a favour by scrapping the awards and allowing a rather useless forms of literary expression  slide into the obscurity that it so richly deserves

    Cheers Comrades

 

 

 

“There but for the Grace of God go I” , Tim Ferguson, and Multiple Sclerosis

There is a certain courage in necessity, the necessity of making the most of a very bad had dealt to you by fate, and this morning I was rather moved by the story of Tim Ferguson‘s battle with MS.

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Of course for me this brings back memories of my late  father  who eventually died of this much misunderstood disease, so naturally I dips me lid to those like Tim who find the courage to make the most of their lives despite Multiple Sclerosis and the havoc it causes to their bodies and their lives because I have seen the wreckage and it certainly ain’t pretty or at all “nice”.

Yes there is only one thing that comes to my  mind here and that is the old adage that helps us all find some measure of humility “there but for the Grace of God go I” 

With the deepest respect Comrades

 

 

 

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