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How to commit murder

At the risk of being totally not politically correct I offer this little Bon Bon,

Just remember don’t ever tell your lawyer you did it otherwise they won’t be happy to argue that you are not guilty…

Murder safely now Comrades 😉


I never thought  that minions of the left would be such a humourless and sanctimonious lot, even though I tagged this post to show that expectation but right on Cue we have our erstwhile critic Zane Trow sprouting off (under an assumed name) in the comment thread over on the dark-side:

Zane Trow

Saturday, September 10, 2011 4:11 PM

Today Hall has a fake axe murder video on his site. The last few days in Brisbane we have seen the saddest and worst example of an axe murder for many many years. Hall wallows in this, he is the most vile excuse for a human I have ever come across. It is simply disgusting, it actual makes me want to vomit. I pity his children and his whole family, and actually I fear for their safety.

I am ashamed to have ever engaged with him at his site. I feel dirty just thinking about it.

OK, I admit to having a rather dark sense of humour

I was  entirely ignorant of the crime to which Zane refers to  here, if such things don’t make it to the Radio National news reports they go straight past me to be honest, doing a little research does suggest that he is referring to the murder of a teenage girl by her mother who subsequently jumped off the Storey Bridge Now as horrible as that murder suicide appears to be Trow is drawing a very long bow to make the ridiculous claims that he does about me in his comment above. Sadly there are vile murders committed every minute  of every day somewhere on the globe among the billions of our number. So according to Trow’s twisted logic every author of every blog should be aware of every murder and therefore not make light of any of it with a bit of dark sarcasm.

For a man with such a devotion to the transgressive in the production of “Art” he seems rather intolerant to me tickling the boundaries of  good taste here and I can’t help but wonder if he feels the same about the animal rights protesters in this story, after all at least one of them has some resemblance to the murdered girl… Do you fear for their families as well Zane

Cheers Comrades

Zane Trow puts foot very firmly in mouth

This post is entirely frivolous and is really about  just how silly some lefties become when they post under assumed names and its about Shardenfraude as well , my own on this occasion because it seems that good old Zane Trow (posting under the name of Eric Sykes ) erstwhile commentator here at the Sandpit has even succeeded in up setting his fellow minions over at Pure Play school  where he makes a grossly stupid comment and is soundly denounced for it.

Now all that I can suggest to our rather bitter friend is that he should get help, sooner rather than later because snide and bitter comments are no substitute for actaully engaging on the topic in comment threads both elsewhere and here.

Cheers Comrades




Art for arts sake

To me it beggars belief that a court is restricting a gallery’s right to display a piece of artwork on the basis that it “offends” some indigenous people and their supporters.

click for source

I just can’t wait for someone to make the argument that artists should respect the beliefs of our indigenous people when they would not make the same arguments about art that draws upon the iconography of other faith traditions. As one commenter here was so keen to point out art is supposed to be about the transgressive and challenging accepted beliefs and ideas.

When I read the part of the piece that talks about the imagery of the sculpture being a “caricature”I could not fail to think about the court action about William Dobell’s entry in the Archibald prize and I remember correctly that claim failed and it was decided that his painting was not a caricature. What I think is happening here is the enforcement of a rather racist notion that only certain people may use the iconography of the indigenous art because I can’t help thinking that if the artist was claiming to be indigenous that there would be nothing but praise from those who are now so vociferously complaining…

More detail about the artist and this piece of work here

Cheers Comrades

Cue Zane Trow 😉

Zane Trow AKA Eric Sykes AKA Clint Barton AKA ???????????

Zane Trow: picture from his personal website

I try very hard to be entirely fair to those who decide to drop in to the Sandpit especially when it becomes clear that they have political views at odds with my own. However its hard to be entirely sanguine when some one starts to bad mouth me personally both here and elsewhere with claims such as this:

“I really don’t get why you are so pissed off with me. Is it just that you are incapable of appreciating that there is more than one way to understand the world and the machinations of politics? (Iain)”

My response to this would certainly not be “generally civil”, so using words I have used here before I think you are a bottom dweller and you talk complete rubbish most of the time. And your complete ignorance of your own stupidity and prejudice makes me laugh. Most of the discussion here is just so dumb that the lure of your site remains, throughout even the busiest of days. The other site you and little Reg refer to also makes me laugh, so I will continue to post there as well, especially when I am not feeling “generally civil”. OAO, have a good weekend slobbering over right wing propoganda(sic).

Now Trow seems to spend a bit of time around the Lefty political traps, usually he posts under the screen name of “Eric Sykes” and I only know his name because one day he decided , unprompted, to post some comments here under his real name ,  it was his choice .

  Under the Eric Sykes moniker   you get  comments such as these:

Eric Sykes

May 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

London has ceased to fund the arts. Yes indeed, hard to believe right? “No arts organisations are to be funded by London Councils beyond this summer…”. It seems to me that this is also bound to happen in Australia; and Brisbane the most likely place to go first. I could be wrong, I often am…but all the indications are there for anyone who cares to look. I give it five years. I am sure there are many who will find it hard to imagine; this bleak state of affairs. Local Government arts funding seems so much part of the wallpaper; those of us that remember or have bothered to study how hard it was to get Local Governments in Australia to even consider the arts will have no trouble envisioning the down turn. We’d better campaign better, for sure. But we’d also better get ready for the inevitable and find ways to survive…and by that I do not mean we should all turn into businesses or “extend our corporate partnerships”. I mean we need to get back to basics and stop taking the corrupt State for granted.


This comment is actually rather self-serving given the fact that Trow works for an Arts organisation

Eric SykesEric Sykes

May 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

“nobody is suggesting that in order to avoid becoming the victim of a glassing, you may want to consider avoiding pubs”….

I haven’t been to a pub for the last 15 years for exactly this reason, other than on a Sunday for lunch with the kids amongst other families. Even then things can get ugly. Pubs are very dangerous places in Australia and I suggest that they be avoided at all costs. That’s a shame, but it’s real.

Having said that I agee(sic) whole heartedly with – “the way to stop sexual assaults is for people to a) find out whether they have consent, and b) care about the answer….”. This will need an esstenial(sic) shift in overall Australian (male) culture, and that is going to take a while. As men, we’ve just got to keep at it, and not let sexism pass when we are confronted by it, ever.

Trow has obviously caught a severe case of gender self-loathing , and here in relation to the “Slutwalk” nonsense we find him uncritically accepting the notion that men as a gender must for ever be held to account for the acts of a very small number of evil individuals.

Eric SykesEric Sykes

May 19, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

“It is a filthy, sexist and dishonourable argument which condemns all men, and all decent people, with the violations of a few rotten men.”

This (kind of) retort, (in my experience) often (not always) emerges when one is (broadly) critical of (male) culture(s) overall. The culture (very often) frames the individual (of course), but one can (I believe) discuss the frame without (attacking) the individual. So the discussion of the frame is not personal, it’s not about (my) father, (my) sons, (my) grandads(sic), (my) brother. But it is about what fathers, sons, grandads(sic) and brothers are.

However, challenging sexism is (also) about the individual (& the culture, the frame..phew), it is about challenging your father, your son, your grandad, your friends, your workmates and whoever…whenever the misogyny appears. It is hard work, and sometimes it can be dangerous (one gets the old self rant hate for example, or one is ostracized(sic) by male peers, and rarely, but occasionally physically attacked) but in the long term it is worth the effort….(for example) I do not want (my) (or anyones(sic)) daughter to live in fear ….

Here the gender self-loathing is given full flight Trow has bought the trendy Feminist meme about the innate evil of the male gender and while his personal commitment to fight against misogyny is in one sense admirable, but  the entirely one sided view that he is endorsing actually does a disservice to humanity. There is a great deal of misandry inherent in feminist  ideology; A more balanced position is of course desirable  but unlikely from Trow.

Eric Sykes
Posted October 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

One wonders then why anyone would seriously bother about “charts” any more? And why a metal band that only sells 3600 CD units is somehow…newsworthy? Plenty of bands sell more digital units than that…sheeesh, even I sell more than that. Does that mean I’ll get on the cover of Rolling Stone finally?

Angst about a cruel music buying public not recognising Trow’s “musical genius ” maybe?

Eric Sykes
Posted June 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

Paradise Motel have always been such a great band IMHO, a rare and beautiful moment of character in a characterless landscape. So glad to hear they are still pushing it. All power to them.

He likes this band 🙄

Eric Sykes

Well Ray that assumes that elections have anything whatsover to do with what people actually think and feel; and further if the options presented to them have any actual meaning for them at all. Thus the shift towards THE AGENDA has been progressively growing since the turn of the century. You can play King Canute on tha(sic) beach all you want. But the actual evidence is clear – social change is rarely if ever introduced by elections or by governments. Again, not rocket science, just history.

What is it with the right and history?

Translation: Come the revolution you will see the futility of democracy and the glorious triumph of the vanguard party …

From his commentary you would have to assume that he is pretty much your standard far left arty type and when you do the inevitable google search of his name you will easily find his personal profile (its on the first page of the google results)  While perusing his personal website (which is rather dreary) I was trying to find out some substantive writing to get a handle on just what his actual political philosophy is. His writing page is a great example of how not to create a portal to your prose (no matter what the subject). Of the ten items cited only three of the links actually go to pieces that can  be read by the casual visitor, the rest go the index pages of Arts magazines and then to read the cited pieces you are required to either buy the hard copy or pay to read the material on line. Of the three pieces that are accessible one is a piece at Crikey (under his Eric Sykes pseudonym) about George Telek  and the other two go to pieces he has had Published at On-line Opinion [1] [2]

IN the first of his Online Opinion pieces we find Trow bemoaning the state of “the Arts”

They are always reasonably successful at this since they are the only ones (apart from touring rock stars and movies) with anything remotely like a marketing or advertising budget. After a while you get used to seeing them next to the cinema ads everyday in the paper. Then you gradually forget that anything else might exist: you’ve been subliminally conditioned into thinking the Queensland arts industry only ever produces art from somewhere else. And what’s wrong with that? At least it’s entertaining. And because the visibility of contemporary Queensland culture is so low, the big boys get to behave as if they are, in fact, the only art around; they are the “ARTS”, luxuriating on (yet another) South Bank just like in London … or Melbourne, or Adelaide or … well … any city with a river and a cultural inferiority complex really.

It is twisted but true – when government says it is going to increase “the ARTS” budget, usually what it means is it is going to extend (or build, or develop) new bits of the buildings it already owns, to get the staff that already work for it to do what it says. Spending money on itself. Very clever, and easily mistaken for an investment in culture.

Our culture doesn’t develop in buildings, it breathes through the city like a mutating virus and it is never, ever in line with a government policy. But like David Byrne once said “I’m a tumbler, I’m a government man …” and the government arts staff will try their best to pull it into line.

The line that I have emboldened in the quote above is very telling indeed when it comes Trow’s attitude to the arts, he clearly thinks that it has to be transgressive and at odds with the wider society yet he wants support from the public purse for its creators.  This strikes me as either being naive or profoundly hypocritical but worse still he seems to have nothing but disdain for the common people who might, gasp, just want to be entertained.

His other piece at Online Opinion is in a similar vein but it is very revealing about his attitude to accountability for the public money that he thinks should be spent on “the Arts”

What can be done? I would advocate the small but highly effective Australian independent arts centre sector as a model.

The independent centres have grown out of communities not been imposed on them. Always governed by independent Boards of Management elected at AGMs by members, they have, almost by default, much more diverse, contemporary programs because they are linked directly to their local community. They are always friendly places to visit even though they are falling down, and most of all they are able to pick and choose their programs and their staff (and their architect if they get to afford one) on the basis of knowledge of the arts and response to audience demand rather than response to some twisted colonial bureaucratic compliance.

So I would hand over all the civic arts centres to community elected Boards of Management, while insisting that operational funding from government remain the same – with a regular injection of capital funds to compensate for all those civic centre capital works dollars drawn down from other than arts budget streams that assist in cyclical maintenance; all the money the independent sector hasn’t got – which, by the way, is why the civic arts centres always look clean and new and the independent ones are dirty and falling down. Or even if (God and Her Royal Highness forbid) the independent Australian centres were funded at the same level as the government centres they would also be able to advertise and market themselves far wider than they can at present*. Which is why of course “mainstream” Australia, especially the media, has never heard of them – and why contemporary Australian culture is always so controversial when the mainstream stumbles across it. It just doesn’t look like “arts” because “arts” is what we have in our performing arts centres isn’t it? All that opera and ballet and that merry happy go lucky third rate Broadway with the occasional Pink Floyd or AC/DC tribute band thrown in to show we aren’t afraid of popular culture. (Hey! Did you know that Queensland Orchestra did a gig with that really groundbreaking Australian rock band Kiss a while back? Wow! Talk about orchestras getting new audiences and public money going on Australian culture – fantastic!)

The use that public arts centre money is put to could be decided by the public, not government. This is not rocket science. Most arts funding in Australia is government funding government. The independent Australian arts centres have been around a long time (well over 30 years in some cases), and rather like the Australian community radio sector they are directly and heavily supported by real people with real wants and needs: large audiences who feel culturally connected to the art that is presented to them.

*My bold

Like so many of his oeuvre  Trow is very much a cultural elitist (see his derisive reference to  “Pink Floyd or AC/DC tribute band(s) “ above) who seems to think that the primary purpose of any “Arts” entity is to maintain the lifestyle of its proponents all of his writing on the subject that I have managed to access on line entirely ignores any critique of what the social goals of any art practice should or can be (apart from his clear belief that it should always  be at odds with the government agenda). Nor does he even consider the question of what makes something “good art”. By his choice of career its obvious that  Trow thinks that the arts is an industry and that organisations like the one that employs him should get more money and be less accountable for the way that it is spent. Gee you would not guess that he is a lefty now would you?

This quote from the Diary page of his website is very telling:

12 May 2011

Well the USA has managed to kill OBL without even a hint of anything remotely resembling the “rule of law” they say they are so fond of. And the Australian Labor Party has managed to set about punishing those on welfare because they are on welfare. And I am captivated by a book on Malcolm X that clearly shows the issues that drove him have got worse not better. I also note that the free jazz musicians of the day were actively involved in social action, alongside X and others. The “radical avant garde” then meant something quite different from using the latest stomp box in (all be it) unusual ways with the factory pre-sets on your soft synth.

I am a great supporter of Mr Assauge in his efforts to re-invent the underground, I suspect he and Malcolm would have got on like a house on fire, literally, and he has cheered me up immensely this week with the following little quote.

So it has to be reasonable to assume that the rule of law is important when it comes to dealing with the worlds most wanted man but a hindrance  to any artist who wants to make art on the public purse.  He eulogises the “underground” and anyone who he considers a “revolutionary”   Well the overall impression that I get is that he is a man with lots of unfulfilled ambitions who seems to be rather bitter that life has not recognised his talent or given him the affirmation that he so clearly desires , the comment above where he praises a computer hacker and an anti Semitic black activist is deeply worrying If anything from my interactions with him here he reminds me a great deal of the central character in the 1980’s comedy “Citizen Smith”  but with far less charm than Robert Lindsey brought to the show.

On one aspect though he is not like the character of Wolfie Smith, Trow  does appear to have some musical ability. He  is a musician who makes “ambient music”  listen to his music  here or here although you might soon  feel that it is a waste of time and your internet  downloads to spend too much time doing so because after checking out a few tracks I was struck by a   lack of variation there is in his output. Certainly not to my taste  but it might please some in much the same way as piped music in public places does, and as he tells us he has met  “been in the same room, twice” with John Lennon  😆

I started to research this post because I was curious about the chap who has developed a very negative opinion about me and I was rather keen to find out why. I’m now a bit closer to understanding what sort of political viewpoint he is coming form. It seems to me that he is really little more than a  Marxist/Leninist disappointed that the revolution won’t come and that the evil capitalists won’t continue to finance his revolution (through Arts funding) or the recognition of his musical “genius

Cheers Comrades

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