Archive for December, 2013

Back in 2014

December 25, 2013

It’s the fire season at the moment, so am pretty busy.

Will be back with a vengeance next year.

And don’t forget to indulge in all Seven Deadly Sins on New Years Eve because things are definitely not improving.

My thoughts go out to the people of Mali, the CAE and the rest of the folk living in the Sahel.

And it was just fabulous that the BBC did a feature on Nigerian 70s electro funkster Willian Onyeabor on Xmas eve. Better than all that Christian claptrap that pollutes the airwaves this time of the year.

See previous post: Fun: Some African Musical and Other Resources – Sept 28 2013.


(Marvin Gaye would have cut his heart out.)

Lets bury 2013 with the exuberant sound of Armadou and Marian – Mon Cherie, Ma Cherie.

This site will be almost be focussing exclusively on music and affairs in Africa almost from now on, but with the occasional gorgeous Japanese surfer girl post for Readers who like to get hot and bothered.

Postscript. If you are a desperate still getting over that fizzer of a game between Arsenal and Chelsea, its time to follow a new sport, namely the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Its not exactly a good old fashioned blood sport, but in the past there have been capsizings, drownings, broken bones, concussion, groin injuries plus dramatic helicopter rescues. Qingdao/PRC resident Vicky Song is participating this year, and good luck to her after her truly fabulous interview on SBS recently.

song

Background to above photo here and with thnx.

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Australian Civil Society

December 7, 2013

In the last post we focussed on the woof and weave of Australian civil society and the essentially corrupt and/or criminal nature of its police, judiciary, politicians and other members of the professional classes. To recap, I discounted the popular convict heritage effect to explain the current national character ie the fact that most of tubbyland’s citizens descended for convict stock, being shipped south from the UK in hulks for murder and assorted forms of thievery. The key concept here being that of deracination.

Rather, I opted for a climatic theory which argued that Australian civil society was shaped and organised by its climate. It’s corrupt because it’s bloody hot. Simple. Just think of all those movies where people are dying of the heat and consequentially decide that the old rules don’t apply anymore. The characters begin to focus on the essentials of life – monetary gain, murder and sexual lust – and before you know it things go all pear shaped. The Postman Always Rings Twice. Body Heat. The Treasure of Sierra Madre.

Now, a couple of unkind European commenters identified some weaknesses found in both theories, and one even went so far as to offer an alternative explanation which highlighted the importance of hereditary syphilis in the formation of Australian civil society. As this is an unfounded and cruel caricature I’m ignoring their nonsense, and instead resorting to the nineteenth science of phrenology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology”>Classical phrenology:

focused on measurements of the human skull, based on the concept that the brain is the organ of the mind, and that certain brain areas have localized, specific functions or modules.

If you need a quick recap on this arcane but valuable discipline, try David De Guistino’s Conquest of Mind: Phrenology and Victorian Social Though simply because I met him during my first year in the Big School.
Sydney mug shot
Okay. There was a bit of theory slippage here since the above is a mug shot informed by the Cesare Lombroso’s typology of criminal types. And many more photos of criminality Oz-style 1900 – 1920 can be found at this brilliant site and with thanks. A tremendous social resource and the collection also comes in traditional book form.