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how to do bias in one easy step [08 Feb 2013|01:00pm]
There's a great example of bias going on over at the homepage of "Smart Company" (I'm not sure what the smart is all about, most of their articles are about businesses failing...) http://www.smartcompany.com.au/

I'd post the pics, but can't upload them. But follow the link and check out their image slider for images 4 and 5.

#4 has the caption "What a Labor victory will mean for you - While they’re behind in the polls, it’s worth examining what another term of Labor would mean for your business. BY BERNARD KEANE and GLENN DYER." and a picture of Julia Gillard, with a ghostly male figure behind her (? Kevin Rudd needing a shave).

#5 has the caption "What Prime Minister Abbott will mean for your business - It's time to take a look at what an Abbott-led government would mean for the economy. BY BERNARD KEANE and GLENN DYER" and a picture of Tony Abbott (looking smug, but that's just normal).

Well done, "smart company" for showing us how to do gender and political bias all in one easy lesson.
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40 songs [01 Feb 2013|01:05pm]

This morning I thought I'd try to encapsulate my life in 40 songs (file under: futile). So, in no particularly specific order...

40. "Cinnamon", Clouds
39. "Happy Birthday", Concrete Blonde
38. "Rattlesnakes", Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
37. "Wide Open Road", The Triffids
36. "Lock It", Falling Joys
35. "Rainbow Connection", The Muppets feat. K.T. Frog
34. "Watching the Wheels", John Lennon
33. "Closer to Free", The Bodeans
32. "One Way", The Levellers
31. "Perfect Place", Voice of the Beehive
30. "There is a Light That Never Goes Out", The Smiths
29. "Malibu", Hole
28. "Take Me Back", Noiseworks
27. "Man Overboard", Do Re Mi
26. "Soho Square", Kirsty MacColl
25. "Bastards of Young", The Replacements
24. "Song to the Siren", This Mortal Coil
23. "Left of Centre", Suzanne Vega
22. "The Great Beyond", R.E.M.
21. "God Bless", Died Pretty
20. "Under the Clocks", Weddings Parties Anything
19. "Child in Time", Deep Purple
18. "Eternally Yours", Laughing Clowns
17. "Listen Like Thieves", INXS
16. "White Rabbit", Jefferson Airplane
15. "The Unguarded Moment", The Church
14. "There is No Such Place", Augie March
13. "Union City Blue", Blondie
12. "Time", Pink Floyd
11. "Miss Sarajevo", U2 and Pavarotti
10. "Lithium", Nirvana
09. "In My Kitchen", Tiddas
08. "Fight the Power", Public Enemy
07. "Wages Day", Deacon Blue
06. "Lucky Number", Lene Lovich
05. "Rock Lobster", The B-52s
04. "Cool Thing", Sonic Youth
03. "Hey Jack Kerouac", 10,000 Maniacs
02. "Unfinished Sympathy", Massive Attack
01. "Kiss Off", Violent Femmes

It could easily be another 40. These aren't necessarily my favourite songs, but they are ones that I carry around with me, in my mind.

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32 January [01 Feb 2013|10:51am]
made it through another lap of the sun.
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Canberra convention [23 Jan 2013|01:07pm]
I've been to a couple of conventions in Canberra, and have great memories of them. Fine conversations, great people, good times.

This year I have mixed feelings. In many ways it'll be confronting the monster head-on.

First time in Canberra since Mum passed. That's going to be hard, given the 5 or 6 trips I made over in Mum's last couple of years. It'll be like one big something is missing. It'll be autumn, too, which was Mum's favourite season, the reason why she moved to that corner of the world, the desire to see trees turn a multitude of colours. And it's at the hotel I frequently stayed at when Mum was in hospital.

And L will be in the US at this time, that's too many hours worth of timezoning to calculate right now.

There'll be lots of good times, and great people, and fine conversations. But there'll also be sadness.
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5 minutes of my life I'll never get back [22 Jan 2013|11:18am]
I let curiosity get the better of me. First, read scalzifeed (http://whatever.scalzi.com/) talking about dealing with trolling comments (http://scalzifeed.livejournal.com/1997302.html). Sounds like a fun thing to do, next time I get trolled in a forum I can edit the comments before posting, i.e. not facebook.

Out of curiosity, I went looking for who the unfortunate individual Mr Scalzi was referring to in such a negative manner. I googled, found his blog, and went a-reading.

5 minutes later, I'm left with the following conclusions

1) I don't know if he is racist, sexist, or homophobic, but I don't know if he isn't;
2) If by dipshit Scalzi means misinformed and boring, I'll buy that;
3) I've never actually heard of this guy, as a writer, blogger or otherwise.
4) he has a very boring blog where he uses too many words to say too little.

I briefly thought he could be called Mr Rantypants, but figure that's probably too much imagination on my part.

So the punchline is, there's nothing to see here, move along.
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Steven Utley 1948-2013 [14 Jan 2013|01:31pm]
Today I woke to the news that Steven Utley impatientape had passed away.

The world has again become slightly less awesome.

He told me a couple of weeks ago of his diagnosis, but damn, I always thought we'd have more time.
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oh life [23 Nov 2012|09:29am]
today's shaping up to be, in a Mick Thomas way, a no postcard day. Move along, nothing to see here.
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oh life [21 Nov 2012|10:06am]
today's update from the world of crap is my desktop computer is playing up. I boot, it starts, then it stops, at a random amount of time, usually but not always after I've logged in. It has all the hallmarks of being a hardware problem, possibly overheating, but I haven't been able to run diagnostics properly.

On the other hand, the trouble started after it updated some Windows 7 stuff. But it's not acting like a software thing -- it would be unlikely for things to crash like this in both normal and safe mode.

Suffice to say I don't really need this right now, i could do without having to contort my shoulder checking everything. And there's not a lot of cash available to replace stuff.
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oh life [20 Nov 2012|09:48am]
I've done something to my right shoulder. Nothing too major, just inconvenient pain when it wants to go in certain directions, apply force, carry weight. Seems to be kept at bay through occasional painkillers and a liberal coating of voltaren, for now.

Of course, doing stupid things to recharge my karma, like carrying lost cocker spaniels around trying to find their parents, are contraindicated. Still, dog and parent reunited happily. (To clarify, the dog didn't know she was lost, just having a ball wandering around out of sight and sound of her owner.)

Also spending a chunk of the evening wrapping books for posting, following a good dose of painkillers, wasn't the best. But folks will soon have books and that's a good thing.
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oh life [15 Nov 2012|01:10pm]
nothing to see here, move along...

I'm just feeling that no matter what I say, people will jump up and challenge me, say I'm wrong. I could chew out Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Eichmann, any of those clowns, and I'd bag it from someone.
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Reading [14 Nov 2012|03:15pm]
I don't read as much as I used to, and definitely a lot less than I should.
I think I've read three published books this year, actually that might be an exaggeration, as I'm still reading one of them. I've probably read a few more, as I have actually done a lot of reading, I'm not good at using January 1 as a marker, and I don't keep any sort of journal to remind me of what I've read.
But if I had a gun to my head, I could definitely only name 3 titles.
(As I write this I remember a fourth title, so I've read more than I thought.)
I do read a lot, but not in printed, bound and published book form. Online articles, novel submissions, collections, anthologies, the bulk of my reading is done on a computer screen.
The book I'm reading right now, the words printed on paper and bound with a cover, it's a real treat and surprise for me. This book represents a departure from the norm.
I'm reading the advanced copy of Juliet Marillier's forthcoming collection, PRICKLE MOON, a book that will be available in mass-market form next April.
What's special about this one is that I'd normally only create the ARC after giving the electronic manuscript a solid working over, ordered stories, formatted into house style, removed widows and orphans, started making it pretty. The SOP is that I've been through any title at least twice before the ARC appears.
This time I haven't done that. All I did to the manuscript was format the title of each story before producing the ARC.
--
I wish I could actually write a post and be able to remember the point I was making.
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On publishing The Hall of Lost Footsteps [08 Oct 2012|11:40am]
I apologise in advance if anyone finds anything in here offensive, or uncomfortable. I'm not sure if what will appear is actually what I feel all the time, but I'll try to get down some of the thoughts I've had over the last 2 years.

For those who don't know, TP published a Sara Douglass collection, The Hall of Lost Footsteps. You can buy it here: http://www.indiebooksonline.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=110 as well as at amazon, barnes and noble, and the book depository (except the book depository has it listed as being by "Sarah" Douglass, even though they've been told otherwise...)

Hall was Sara's last book. It wasn't meant to be this way, but last September cancer took Sara away. Last year was a really crap year for that, as in May my mum died from cancer too. In a bad way it was kind of good, as it meant that when I was talking with Karen Brooks about the book, Karen was caring for Sara in her last days, and we bonded over this. It's crap to bond over something like this, but it's not like it's a situation anyone ever wants to go through.

Sara never saw a copy of the finished book. She barely saw the advanced proof, in all honesty. By the time the proofs arrived, Sara knew that this was going to be her last, she was ill, and something like this just brings it all home. Even though Sara had been battling the cancer for a few years, she was still writing through a lot of this. She didn't lie down and wait to die, she was productive as long as she could be. So seeing a book, knowing it was going to be her last, was at the very least bittersweet, and probably a lot more bitter than sweet. Most of the final proofing was done by Karen Brooks.

Even though Sara approved the cover and all of the contents, I don't think she was able to have the input that she would have normally wanted. The title story was in draft form, and Sara knew it; she also knew she'd never be able to bring it up to scratch. With her permission I passed it on to the amazing Angela Slatter to rework and polish. Angela did a great job on the story and Sara insisted on the co-credit.

I never wanted to publish Sara's last book, and having been through it I don't think I ever want to knowingly publish anyone's last book. Sara was great to work with, she had great humour in her correspondence, but there was always a reluctance in my mind to trouble her with small details once her condition got worse. So this book probably didn't have as much input from the writer as much as most of our books.

We sold out of the limited signed edition before it was released, in the weeks after Sara passed. Total word of mouth through fan sites, so I guess if I'm proud of anything it was knowing that these books got into the hands of her biggest fans. We've never done any large scale publicity for this book, just a few online posts and sending out some review copies. I'm too torn over this -- it's a really good collection and deserves to be read widely, with a whole bunch of great stories including the title story, but part of me feels like it's not in the best taste to be too proactive in spreading the word. Part of it's in my own head, too, that I can't really talk about this book without tearing up, I don't feel entirely comfortable being around the book, I don't want to make money off the departed.

One thing i did do was buy 300 ovarian cancer ribbons, sending these out with each limited edition, and giving them out at events and conventions.

Part of me kicks myself in hindsight, thinking that if I'd been busier earlier, I could have got the finished book into Sara's hands, maybe we'd have been able to work on it more together. It's a great book, but I can't see it without dissatisfaction, too, irrational dissatisfaction. That Sara never got to see a finished copy, or read any of the reviews, or hear Kate Forsyth talk about it at the Sydney Writers Centre last year.

Sara's fans have been great, buying the book, saying great things, and telling others about it. A good thing with Hall was seeing how loved and respected Sara was, and the lengths her fans would go to for her.

I still don't know, with hindsight, if I'd have done this book. In some ways, putting this work together, doing my bit in ensuring the complete Douglass canon is available, is the most important thing I've ever done. Hall is an important book. But I didn't really enjoy doing this book -- the trade off is my own satisfaction.
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selling books [03 Oct 2012|11:33am]
We've tweaked the indiebooksonline homepage to give you 30 great titles to look at. Check it out: http://www.indiebooksonline.com/catalog/index.php
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to do list [03 Oct 2012|09:10am]
Posts I really need to write sometime:

1. on publishing The Hall of Lost Footsteps.
2. on indie press original anthologies.
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mawwidge [20 Sep 2012|09:42am]
mawwidge, bwings us together today...

awesome movie, Peter Cook was such a great comedian. But this isn't about The Princess Bride.

It's going to go into the realms of hyperbole, and the only folks who should take offense got their way in the australian parliament yesterday so they can STFU.

I'm engaged to the most wonderful woman. Totally absolutely wonderful. Engaged, got down on one knee, gave her a rock, the whole shebang.

But lately, part of me doesn't feel completely comfortable with us marrying (fortunately we had a discussion this morning and both are on the same page about this). It's not about our commitment to each other. It's about the unfairness that lets us do this while so many other loving, committed couples out there can't. You know the ones. The ones who, for whatever irrelevant reason, don't fancy the opposite sex.

The ones who want to spend their lives cherishing, obeying, sickness and health yada yada another person, but it's just that that person shares a pair of chromosomes in common.

And getting all scientific on ya, how important are these chromosomes anyway? Surely if they were really really important, we'd have given them monikers at the start of the alphabet? Nope, we called them X and Y. And anyone who has spent any time around ye olde school filing systems knows that XYZ all get lumped into the one category anyway.

So science content over, back to the shit. Why do I want marriage equality? I guess it could be seen as being for selfish reasons, selfish in that I believe I'll enjoy my marriage more if I know that it's something that everyone can do.

I'm not big on exclusive clubs, clubs with exclusion policies, especially ones where the policies are based completely on things beyond anyone's control. I like inclusive clubs. I'm a member of Hawthorn Football Club, it's a big club, tens of thousands of people, and all you do is pay some money each year and you're there. The only clubs I've joined simply by being born that I am proud of are my Australian and UK citizenships. Even then, I don't know if it's pride or just wanting to travel lots. Still, while citizenship is a club that you join at birth, you can change clubs if you want, so it's not binding. You can even decline to have a citizenship club, but that takes a lot of effort and you don't get to travel.

Speaking of citizenship or immigration, are the Inequals worried that if we grant marriage equality, we'll be swamped with millions of homosexual refugees? Our shores invaded by hordes of rainbow boats? Our jobs taken by all the rainbow warriors?

I say it makes economic sense to let them come. I've seen Will and Grace, I know that all gays spend lots of money on consumer items, won't that stimulate the economy? Let the lesbians take over the pub scene, maybe we'd see a few more pubs install cheap pool tables. It would guarantee Kylie Minogue gets a number 1 every 6 months or a year or whenever she wants to release anything. A Kylie national tour could be part of a stimulus package. Sure, we'd have to get a few more trendy cafes, put up with a few questionable fashion tastes, but wouldn't t be worth it in the end?

Like I said, I'm going into hyperbole. But I'd like to finish on this, while we're talking about music. How about all those Inequals who had music by Elton John, George Michael, Queen, Melissa Etheridge, 4 Non-Blondes, Joan Armatrading, Monique Brumby, or Savage Garden playing at their wedding? So these folks are happy to have homosexuals entertain them and their guests on their special day, while denying them the right to have a wedding of their own? That sounds like fucking slavery to me. Sure they didn't drag Freddie Mercury to perform in manacles and chains, but this is a hyperbolic metaphor.

If you ain't willing to give everyone equal rights, and treat everyone as equals, don't appreciate their music.

EDIT: In case you're in any way wondering, Liz and I are still getting married. But we want it to be a happy event for all, so Australia, you have 18 months to get your shit together. And the unrepresentative swill has that time to get representative.
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random thoughts [19 Sep 2012|10:06am]
so yesterday was the big brain explosion -- I would say brainfart but I don't think I like the term.

I've been pondering books and publishing and ideas and about all that comes from the pondering that is definite is that I'm proud to call TP indie. So much cool stuff is done by indies, Factory Records. great bands on other indies. I'm happy to associate myself with this kind of thing.

trying not to think about politics -- so many total crazies on the extreme right, and it just makes me angry that people going around doing good work, writers, musicians, artists, don't get the attention that some stupid dickhead saying really fucking dumb things gets. dear world, being a stupid backward thinking amoeba isn't deserving of attention.

i'm beginning to feel passionately about the idea we should all share good stuff. Maybe the above paragraph explains a lot, the good guys are too busy shouting down the amplified fucking idiots to spend the time to share good stuff.

I believe in what you do. I believe in watching you.

Peace out. don't believe the hype. bacon.
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getting it wrong [18 Sep 2012|09:38am]
Hello, is this thing on? I don't know if anyone is reading livejournal anymore. I rarely do, I'm just being a bit overwhelmed by the need to have an online presence everywhere.
I'm just a bit overwhelmed in general.
I've pretty much stopped blogging, so I guess if I'm not contributing why should I be reading. It's about conversation. There's a lot going on in my mind, so many thoughts tripping over themselves, and in the end nothing gets out. Internal censors making sure i get everything right, like I can't commit any thoughts down unless I get them all totally correct. My mind is not sturdy enough to be wrong. See, even then I said not sturdy when I really wanted to say too fragile. I'm left with thoughts that refuse to leave my head, except in a brain explosion on facebook where it seems like everyone tells me I'm wrong anyway. Even when they aren't, it feels like they are. I've been told that we often give 1 negative comment the same weighting as 7 positive ones. Some days that might be an over-estimate. If I was a better person I'd make it a policy to make 7 positive comments before I'm allowed to make one negative one. Then I'm sure my brain would explode with the addition of another crazy, arbitrary rule.
I guess I just wish people would share more, share more good thoughts, if they see a post or picture or update they like then share it. Tell people about the good stuff, as well as get angry about the bad stuff. I think this century is driving people crazy. I have no answers, no questions that I can get out, just a jumble of chaotic half-formed thoughts I'm too scared to express in case I'm wrong.
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for dirk [01 Jun 2012|10:53am]
for mr flinthart
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new site of sorts [13 Apr 2012|11:56am]
I'm building a semi-pro site for stuff, over at http://www.punkrocker1991.net
it should have bio, biblio etc at some point.
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Uni Days [11 Dec 2011|07:15pm]
After 20 years, my undergraduate uni days are over. I passed the last two units (56% and 52%) and have now satisfied the criteria to step up and get a Bachelor of Communications. Woohoo!
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