Tuesday, June 26, 2007


We have survived Glastonbury but only just. Our backs ache after trudging in mud for 5 days. It's incredible to think that a city of 180,000 people can spring up over night and still provide decent sanitation for everyone. Glastonbury really is a wonder to behold.

Here pictured is our second favourite DJ in the world, after El Hornet from Pendulum, DJ How 'Ard. He is a monster on the decks, spinning wicked tunes. We were so lucky to catch his set.


Iggy Pop
You know when you get a piece of steak, and there's a big chunk of hearty meat, then there's a little line in the meat followed by a smaller piece of hearty meat. Well, Iggy Pop is that line. I tell you, the man is all sinew. He is mental. He comes out on stage wearing jeans only and starts Madonna dancing on the speakers, pointing at his nipples. It's incredible - the man is nearly 107 years old. During his set he asked fans to come up on stage, so 300 stormed the barricades and for twenty minutes Ig wondered round chatting to people then begging them to get off the stage. No-one moved until the 50,000 strong audience started shouting "get orf, get orf". Madness. I loved his concert but can't tell you a single song he sang because it was all too crazy.

Billy Bragg
I was lucky enough to meet Mr Bragg because I was in the Union caravan display when he came in. We had a twenty minute conversation about the new patriotism sweeping the UK and the use of the St George flag. He signed his book for me. Billy's gig was utterly fantastic. He is a genuine all-round entertainer. An absolute highlight. If you get the chance to see him - do it! Here he is doing U2's One Love but making the audience do actions to "Let's drop the debt and it will be all right"...

Random Meetings
There were around 20 of our mates at Glasto which we randomly met trudging though the mud. What fun it is to bump into mates when there's 180,000 others in your way!

Regular readers of this blog will know that Jock and I are mad Pendulum fans. To see them live rather than DJing was electric. What made it even better, was that you could have been listening to this Scarborough band at the Hyde Park Hotel - the were so Oz, so Rock! We had to get into the East Dance tent early to avoid disappointment, which meant listening to Mr Boring Pants DJ for an hour. It was like watching the test pattern before your favourite TV show. The crowd was so amped by the time they came on.

Chemical Brothers
Who never disappoint. After Pendulum it was a walk over to the Other Stage to see the Chemicals. What a way to finish Glasto. Their set included this evil looking clown that stared down at us through the torrential rain. What I love about the crowds at gigs in the UK is that they have flags and other things on poles, like blowup kangaroos, so their mates can find them in the crowd.

Hot Chip
"Over and over and over and over....like a monkey with a miniature cymbal". Hot Chip are the Math Club who were given instruments. I have never set eyes on such a geeky group of musicians. That's another thing I'm loving about music at the moment - anyone can do it and the cool kids are the geeks. Great set - check out this vid - it's fantastic.

Michael McGibbon's T-shirt
My mate Mike flew from Sydney to be at Glasto. He wore this shirt with a pic of George Bush and one of his Bushism quotes about cloning.

We kept going back to a hippy Indian stall to re-fuel on mango lassies. YUM. Actually, the food at Glastonbury was top notch. There were so many hippies there that we were spoiled for choice when it came to vegetarian options - which is the way forward when you are surrounded by mud and long drops.

We simply would not have survived without them.

The Secret Pub
There is a secret pub near Lost Vagueness (where we caught a glimpse of Fat Boy Slim dressed as a bumble bee doing a DJ set). By the time we got there, our friends Jamie and Shane had beaten us, as had the bouncers to let people in. So we ran down the brae and were lucky enough not to get caught entering this little garden paradise surrounded by elms, where I spent the rest of the evening until sunrise, long after the boys had gone home.

What a weekend. Thanks Michael Eavis and Worthy Farm!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The International Prototype

Back by popular demand is the How to be Smart segment of Invisible Inkblot. You can read this little missive and by the end of it, impress your friends at your next dinner party. Memorise and store the following sequence in your left breast dinner jacket pocket and be ready to pull it out at the next Young Liberal Party fundraiser at Kirribilli House.

Are you aware that an international search for a new kilogram is on? The old French one is disintegrating as we speak, and may now only weigh 996.314159265 grams. Ce n'est pas possible! I hear you cry - how can I possibly ask for un kilo de pomme si vous plait next time I'm at a French market if the International Prototype for the kilo is falling foul of the air and elements. I knew égalité, liberté, fraternité was a front. They've been ripping us off with their fancy euro, soft cheeses and dodgy scales for years!

Lucky then some Aussie scientists from the Australian National Measuring Institute are inventing a new kilo. Before anyone accuses me of making this up, this is a real institute, where breakthroughs in Australian measurement have been made (like reinventing the metre) and young prepubescent boys can line up on a Friday afternoon and get themselves checked out before uploading their profile onto Bebo or MySpace.

Personally, the recipe for jam in the Country Women's Association cook book where it says "place a kilo of sugar into a heavy based saucepan" has always done me fine.

In short, Aussie scientists are "...doing everything to really create a perfect object. It's not only near-perfect in roundness, but also the crystal purity, the atomic species and so on"...to create the perfect spherical kilogram.

I don't know about you, but I marvel at scientists. Being the bachelor of art type, science alludes me, and I have been known to impress friends by simply saying, "y'know how if you drop your toast and it lands vegemite side down, well, that's science".

Go Australia go! Get that kilogram and those French sorted out!

Friday, June 15, 2007

If you would like to visit us at Glasto 07....

The red circle is where the tent will be pitched. Thanks Shane for doing the map....

Monkey Magic

What will they think of next? Pop outfit Gorillaz have joined forces with the Manchester Opera to bring back to life that '80s classic - Monkey Magic (which actually was a Chinese folklore from hundreds of years ago). So welcome back Sandy, Pigsy and Triptaka (a boy or a girl? The arguments never ceased). I remember watching this on the ABC...... It was actually a Japanese production. I think I'd like to see the Opera....

I just re-watched the first episode - I'd forgotten how clever, camp and funny it was!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Vale George Burarrwanga

Jock alerted me to the death of George Burarwanga who was lead singer of the Warumpi Band, best known for songs such as My Island home, Blackfella-Whitefella and Stompen Ground.

You can see George perform by clicking here and here or here

or you can watch Peter Garrett, MHR, sing with them by pressing play!

I didn't know his name until Jock pointed it out, and I'm embarrassed about it, because I've heard his music many many times on Triple J.

One week to Glastonbury Festival!

Here's the weather forecast for the Glastonbury Festival. It's gonna rain....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Discipline Urgenly Required II

The recent leak from the ACTU is another notch for Howard's belt in his relentless march to remain in power. There's part of me that wishes I was in Australia to fight this battle, and another that feels as though I have gone AWOL leaving my comrades to defeat the tyrant. Stories like this make me feel that Labor's grip on the election could slip for potentially the third election in a row because of stupid mistakes. It's so easy when you're on the other side of the planet. Keep up the fight fellow Aussies!

Interestingly, the bigger news story of the day is not the ratting of the "how to" manual, or the bargain basement bash at Kirribilli, but the disgraceful figures that have come out regarding who gets what government money. The poorest of the poor continue to miss out under Howard, while the top end reaps the benefits of welfare for the wealthy. What a disgrace.

But that's a much tougher argument to win. Much easier to have nasty, vitriolic, "celebtocracy" stories that make the front pages of tabloids so middle voters don't have to think long term and political activists don't have to explore with and move voters to actually think and believe differently. Remember - it was Howard that said Australian voters remember nothing other than the last two weeks of an election campaign.

See Tony Blair's recent speech on the role of the media or David Marr's piece in Quarterly Essay about how democracy and debate has been on the demise since Howard's rule. Both Blair's speech and Marr's article hit the spot when it comes to reporting of silly stories in the media and the lack of public debate.

"Ooohhh.....look Big Ted, it's a big phat tax cheque for middle and high income earners! Hello middle and high income earners!" .."Hello middle and high income earners! Little John, can Little Ted join in with the middle and high income earners?" ..... "Oooohhhh, I don't think so Big Ted. He's working a double shift on minimum wage cleaning the toy box tonight, and anyway, he couldn't afford to eat at this restaurant".

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunni Side Up

I am at a loss to understand why the American bunker commanders have given their GI Joes the OK to trade, sell and supply guns, ammo, cash, jeeps and fuel to Sunni insurgents who are "disenchanted" with al-Qaida. Apparently, bunker chiefs have decided it's up to each commander on the ground to decide if their insurgents are worthy of such gifts. I'm wondering what tests the insurgents have to pass in order to gain the goodies. Do they simply front up at a meeting point and declare that they promise to stick a needle in their eye should they ever pass on the guns to al-Qaida or other insurgents intent on killing Americans?

I'm sure the CIA once gave weapons and money to al-Qaida to sort out those peski Ruskis in Afghanistan twenty years ago. And look how that worked out.

Bizarre. I think at the heart of all of this lies governance. There is corruption at every level of governance in Iraq - the Sunni speaker was just expelled
by the Shia-dominated parliament yesterday for various scandals and the army and the police corps are riddled with sectarian violence.

This governance transcends to more than just Iraq. Iraq I believe, is a symptom of a wider problem of governance - state and corporate - that is a virus chewing its way throughout the planet. Just look at the recent G8 summit. Mountains of money (and still not an acceptable amount to forge positive and everlasting change) pouring in to Africa, but knowingly being put in an abyss of stink and corruption.

And it's not just African nations. BAE Systems - the massive weapons manufacturer in Britain - and possibly the Ministry of Defence, have been caught out bribing Prince Banbar of Saudi Arabia to the tune of "one billion pounds". Worse, the British Labour Government prevented an inquiry from concluding because it could test the friendship of the two nations. A billion quid - think how many school lunches that is....

Twenty-first century governance...sunny side up? It's a scrambled mess.

Please enjoy this video clip of Fat Boy Slim's
Weapon of Choice. Remember - if you walk without rhythm, you won't attract the worm.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Our own orange revolution...

I love GetUp!

Feel free to spread this around as much as possible! I'm sure there will be more to come closer to the election.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Joof and Trev elope!

Congratulations to my sister Judith and her partner Trevor on their recent tying of the knot. This they kept secret - they didn't even tell Hayley - and their witnesses were the photographer and the bed and breakfast landlady, who brought along her best friend to blow bubbles during the ceremony.

The photo is soooo Oz! Just look at that bush in the background...makes me a bit homesick! Well done you two.

On other matters:

The Glastonbury lineup has come out. For those of you who are into your music, click here and get jealous! An aural sensory overload is coming my way! Fabulous!

Yesterday, we caught up with Lord-in-waiting George, whom we keep seeing at gigs around town. I asked him at the last gig if he wanted to be real friends and he said yes, so we went to a lovely pub for a drink of real ale (Lusty May it was called) and whisky. He went to Eton college (that most poshest of schools, where parents send their children to be fine upstanding citizens of the empire) along with Prince Harry (yes, George very young) and he's studying art history in order to gain knowledge of the art in his family's manor. I asked him if he was upset that he would be unable to don a red robe and take his seat as an hereditary peer. Lord-in-waiting George said he would have done his best to serve his country in that way, but was glad that there was no burden on his shoulders. Interesting chap, slightly misguided - but who isn't at 21?

And this weekend - we have not one social engagement! Lovely!