Photo: ESA / NASA / Samantha Cristoforetti
Think you're having a bad day? Spare a thought for the people of Micronesia. This is Cyclone Maysak from some sort of space station (I hate space stations so I don't care which one).
Photo: ESA / NASA / Samantha Cristoforetti
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
(I keep coming back to look at this and laugh like the juvenile self-congratulatory arsehole I am. And that was a massive zucchini.)
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
He's dead, but he's still the business. Ripped off so hard by so many and so rarely credited.
We're moth morons, so a guess as to the identity will have to do.
Condica dolorosa? Lol, a goth moth. Trés sympathique.
I noticed this vivid beauty whilst out watering my aloes a few days ago. We've planted a lot of trees, both native and exotic and enjoy a really healthy if slightly obscure compliment of wing'd neighbours like this guy here. Think it's a dude because of the big pheremone-sniffing antennae. Looking at local guides, we're only supposed to have one species of the largely tropical Condica family here so it's probably a crap attribution, but Port Chalmers is home to a leaky-sieve international container port, so yeah. Anything's possible.
He looks pretty fresh out of his silky little sleeping bag so we wish him great success with any Condica ladies he might encounter. Whatever he is, the world needs more of it.
Ever seen a total lunar eclipse in the flesh before? Neither of us had either, so we decided to add that sucker to our list of notable experiences.
Here in southern New Zealand it was scheduled to begin at 9 something pm. or other hurm hurm errr wasn't paying attention. Well, that was our understanding; as it turns out, astronomers were talking about that being when the umbra getting sort of near the moon a wee bit, rather than actual celestial conjugation. Three hours is a long arse time to be standing out in slightly too cold weather waiting for something very gradual to happen.
The occasional van full of dope smoke weaved past us on the way to the beach to view the thing there. They probably fell asleep before it happened and all have cricks in their necks this morning, which should be a lesson to them.
The night was clear, the wind blew gently from the southwest, the moon was obligingly huge and the colour of pear flesh as it slid from behind the hill along the road from our house. We busted out the tripod and some warm clothing and settled on the verge amongst the freshly-mown hay.
It's amazing how thoroughly you can convince yourself of a phenomenon that is not happening just yet. This applies to so many things in general life that waiting for this shit to appear turned into a bit of comprehensive existential revelation. The more we stared at the moon, the more we were certain it was becoming eclipsed. It wasn't, but we needed to look at 20 frames of the same darn thing in sequence to chastise our presumption.
So we waited.
- A wee bit later: Bored, definitively. I commandeer the camera, turn it toward the northwest and take this pic of Mussel Bay, the railway line and hill below Scott Memorial.
- Circa 10pm: The rabbit's arse is looking a tiny bit shady! Cue Carmina Burana.
A bit after 10: It's definitely happening. I knock the top from a bottle of vintage Cristal and lave my naked breasts with its glistening effusion. The Lovely R is aroused by the wanton nature of my response and we throw off our clothes, those dull emblems of munera and civitas, and revert to the bestial.
(No we don't) .
- A bit more after 10: It's happening, but it's fucking slow and there's no hint of the promised redness. We exchange significant glances and wander back to the house. We were as disappointed in ourselves as you are.
- Some time after that: We come back out again. Exposure troubles strike. We bitch at one another in our dressing gowns under a streetlight.
- More time after that: The moon goes a bit orange, in exactly the same as it does at any other time when you screw up your eyes and look at it through your lashes. Exposure challenges are somewhat resolved, but then the wind comes up and starts juddering the tripod.
- And a bit later still: Behold, mud, sorry- blood moon. Alright, so it's about quarter of an hour off a full, technical blood moon but you get the idea. It was cold, we were sleepy and grumpy and our gear limitations made further observation a little bit moot.
Possibly the eeriest part of this entire galactic procedure was the slow dimming of the night around us, which began with a typical bright blue-silvered glow, full of day-style shadows, in which you can virtually read a book without assistance, to the kind of inarticulate murk that occurs at the bum-end of the lunar cycle. The seabirds, including the roosting herons garking in the pines behind us went quiet and the ocean itself fell into sunken, sheenless blackness.
It was that greatest of mysteries- the beauty of silence and reduction. Of absence.
No one can fast-forward a lunar eclipse and I am glad that the moon made us wait.
We needed reminding.
Despite looking more Irish than Paddy's pig (apparently) thanks to the blunt force of dominant paternal inheritance, I recently discovered Iberian mitochondrial roots, and that is bitterly ironic and poignant and consoling all at once, for a host of private reasons. It also explains a lot. The never wanting to go out before midnight. Sleeping in the afternoon. The loud arguing. My thing for almonds, Español, Spanish men and their Spanish hair. Flamenco has always given me such a fucking hard on; the flesh wants what it wants. We are all subject to its mysterious imperatives.
Like the cameraman (because you know it's a guy), I am somewhat mesmerised by this dancer's delicious posterior. Absorb her moves, let the whole thing roam your bloodstream and try to keep one eye on that guy's strumming hand because: ¡muy bueno!
There seems to me an obvious connection between Roma dance practise and the nautch ( नाच, nāc) dancing of their Indian antecedents, with a few Middle Eastern influences collected along the way. A Spanish associate told me of stuffing himself into ever-tinier flamenco joints in southern Spain back in the day, complaining of low ceilings (he was 6'3") and assuring me if you weren't shitting your pants with fear at 3.30am in some random alley to see it, the show wasn't worth the mugging. But he was a drama queen and a music snob so he may have been exaggerating.
* Photoessays * Movie Reviews * Selected Ravings *
And oh god he's wearing a kilt with those boots and knee socks.
Excuse me while I take a private moment for myself.
Do you drive? We've never owned a car and are starting to feel pretty smug about that abstention now with everyone else selling a kidney to fuel and maintain the fucking things. We hate what the combustion engine does to both cities and people and rejoice that bikes have seen such a resurgence in latter years. While we currently walk almost everywhere, we'll be investing in a pair of wheels each once the cycleway from Dunedin to Port Chalmers is finished and we have a clear non-state-highway-full-of-logging-trucks run into town.
Enjoy this small slideshow of sexy machines.
* We liked all of these things * And we love Perfume *
I've met ginger Scottish rastasmen, Japanese & Maori goths but not anybody black & punk.
I've always been aware of the influence of black culture on punk and alt. expression via nasty old blues, reggae and rude boys, and I mean, come on- the most nyctalopic gothique has Holiday and Robert Johnson throbbing in its bloodstream, even if most scene babies don't know that today. Do we all meet in the middle with this shit or is black punk a different place?
Part of me thinks yes, the other, no. I've been denied opportunity, kicked out of places and assaulted because of the way that I've looked, and the way that I look is the way that I am. My intrinsic personality is not something I can scrub off, even to my own advantage, but I know that my white privilege is still not adequately informed.
Check out Phil Knott's images of the other black experience in Lens.
Can you believe they're the first fair trade org to manufacture totally fair trade organic chocolate?
I feel like some good news would be great right now, don't you? Read this short BBC piece on Kurdish women subverting patriarchal and nationalist structures and enacting change on a local and personal scale.
Did you know that as we speak, only a quarter of Turkish girls progress to high school?
The Lovely R and I have believed for some time now that most of what we consider modern democratic process is pretty fundamentally fucked, hijacked by insurmountable vested interests and of little practical use to even informed and active participants. And women face a double disadvantage, labouring under procedures devised and instituted in our absence that are maladapted at best and directly oppressive at their worst. But there is a way to get around these moribund macrostructures; by ignoring them.
We can all walk away from conflict and the requirements imposed by institutions we no longer believe in and move toward enacting our own realities. Every household is its own state. Every village and small town is a world unto itself. Every city is an empire. After so many generations under the guns of the cock-clutchers surrounding them, these Kurdish women are leading by example. Xosbext bî! READ ABOUT IT HERE
We interrupt our regular scheduled programming to bring you an important message: emo hitler.
Scott Scheidly’s Pink!
As a dreadful child I, along with other juvenile naturalists, used to invade the slightly scary granite boulder caves on a isthmus at the edge of the Arafura Sea and gently pluck the little bats from where they were blamelessly nestling on the ceilings. They were almost unbelievably tiny under all their silky grey fur and pretty uncomplaining, happy enough to be warm and contained as long as we didn't do anything sudden or mean. As it became dark we would stand on the beach and open our hands; the little bats would crawl to the end of our fingers and then flit away into the blood-warm and ember-red evening.
I know they're vectors for some pretty gross diseases, but so are people. I regret nothing.
> East Woody Island, Arnhem Land, Australia.
* More Strange & Wonderful *
So what's it like to live with the Roaring Forties in your backyard?
Usually okay. But sometimes not so much...
This was taken from the opposite side of the harbour from us and about 3 clicks south, but it was the same in Port, believe me. I apologise for two youtube posts in a row but this is kewl. And I apologise on behalf of thinking NZers everywhere for the ejaculations of Captain Obvious, our narrator.
I thought our stupidly huge front windows were going to give me a very exfoliating facial. No damage, tho. Some snow today.
Great local band. These two tracks are off a nice little album from a few years back, Passive Me Aggressive You which I turn up quite loudly now and then. I'm not in love with either video, especially the one below (NZ art school fails are just... epic) but at least they're not taking their fucking clothes off or working a pole.
Not that I would mind seeing most of them work a pole. *Goes back to sucking the blood of captive youths*
We still <3 Bob's immortal awkwardness.
What's that you say, dear readers? You're... you're desperately soliciting anecdotes from an annoying old person? To help smooth the edges of an incoming monday? Well, I've twice seen this song turn a deteriorating party around and if you've ever been to a darksided occasion that's really sliding southwards, you'll know that's no small thing. The first time was in a derelict two-story place by the Avon in Christchurch where so many people were catatonic that it looked like the dead outnumbered the living, but as soon as the band in the backyard worked through their repertoire to this single, everyone was magically roused and poured out through the window slash door like someone had started a fire in the toilet. Deliberately this time. I don't think I've ever seen so many crazy smiles, sloppy dancing fails and spontaneous projectile vomiting in a six by six metre square area, and probably never will again.
The second time was at a birthday in a practice hall on Bedford Row; there'd been a scuffle or two, the birthday boy was operatic-fighting with his ex and things weren't going well. My boo had been hustled into playing VU covers (something he detested), was already twitching and scowling thunderously as a result and by the time the first plastic cup of Stone's Green Ginger Wine had flown past his head, he'd had a fucking nough. Aborting Venus in Furs, he scragged the lead guitar and snarled just like heaven, no fucking intro (bassists, lol) and off they went, lurching into a dreadfully mistimed and heavily ad-libbed version. That was an heroic degree of magnanimity on his part since he was a staunch Banshees man, but the punters were appeased, the liquid critique was stopped in its tracks and the last time I saw the birthday boy he was getting what looked like a pretty thorough pants exam by a lovely and enthusiastic stranger.
This is the power of a truly great dumb song. Do you still love it too?
A lot of peeps hate on the Dandys but fuck, tell me you wish YOU didn't write this song.
The Lovely R and I are more than uncool enough to admit to loving this track and dancing around in our dressing gowns shouting the lyrics at one another between mouthfuls of toast on a Sunday morning slash afternoon. Hi, neighbours! Have you seen Dig? We recommend you do so now, especially if you've cohabited with a musician or been any kind of band affiliate because you will lol your arse off and love every stupid, pointless moment of it.
Look at Courtney strappin lo. I'll always have a place in my heart for that shit right there.
Firstly, let me apologize for not assembling some gismantic audio-visual glittering spectacular like I sort of intended. And I did intend to, because you, the reader, have exhibited incredible taste in continuing to patronize this blog and read my shit and stare and point. :) The Lovely R and I have been super-busy this month still working a house renovation; the solvents have been fucking with our mental processes (and not in a good way) and it's fair to say we haven't been all we could be. But we should be fully back in the saddle this week.
I didn't think I'd last a whole year; well... I questioned whether I would, but as it turns out, this blogging lark is gently addictive and a great way for a superopinionated egomaniac to thoroughly baste the collective unconscious with their viscid cognitive juices. You're welcome. Recording and sharing your various processes is a sure way to confront yourself with the reality of your own existence; the good, bad and indifferent and their respective proportions. I know I've bored you with my depressive bullshit and subjected you to morbid poetry, but then you'd probably do the same. Some shit can't be helped, lol.
To mark the occasion, both the Lovely R and I will be regaling you with our personal perspectives re text and images; I'll report some good stuff you might have missed from the early days of this mofo and we'll add our few cents worth of advice to the novice blogger etc.
We both hope you're still enjoying The Blackthorn Orphans. I know we are. Every day it's totally fucking fantastic to remind ourselves that people are actually reading the book after all the years of dithering and uncertainty. 90 000+ visitors is a good start.
So thanks again, constant readers and casual-type bitches. Don't go changing. We heart you back.
I don't like Depeche Mode and sort of want to fight them, MMA styles. Individually or together- whatever dude- I have the feeling I could take them. Useless is therefore both a guilty pleasure and an especially perverse theme song and, just to sprinkle a little more pepper in my own eyes on a wednesday, the version you see here is not even my favourite. I much prefer the Kruder/Dorfmeister remix (below). Grudging props to any video shot in a quarry, though, especially one featuring something that looks suspiciously like a two-finger solo on a mint-green Gretch. Lol. That's entertainment.
But fuck guitars. The bass part is the shit and I highly recommend it for all your contemplative pedestrian/tuning out the sound of other people talking requirements. When I'm at home I plug a fuzz (that nice silver Boss one) into my bass and play pointlessly embellished not-right versions of it to pass the time, to the delight of no one.
I did say it was a theme song.
I'm currently high as a dragon kite on solvents due to my commitments as a painter on a building site, since no one thinks writers should earn money any other way apparently, and am especially pissy since the only person with a radio A: insists on using it; B: loves classic hits and C: enjoys humming along to them and D: is 100% tone deaf. So if it's a light couple of blog weeks, blame toluene, dismissive Western attitudes towards artists and Elton fucking fuckity fuckhead John.
Someone I once knew was such a font of disturbing/raunchy/totally fucked shit like this that watching Gay Bar is like streaming his consciousness live. He's not around to see such magnificent realisation of his personal conceptual wonderland, but it always comforts me to know that there are others out there with minds like rotary clothes lines whirring in a force 10 gale and hung with strings of sausages and blow up dolls and eight kinds of tinsel. Despite being one of the most perversely heterosexual men on the planet, he was a gay bar superstar and just accepted it placidly, back when such things were still genuinely risqué and even quite hazardous. I loved that about him.
Pouring out a forty to ill-starr'd gerbils everywhere.
And ahhh, High Voltage- the gift that keeps on giving.
Can't look away; don't know why; would pay good money to be able to.