Posts Tagged 'Delusions'

where cars go to die…

What is it about the country and everyone needing to collect dead cars? :-/

need more than one colour of course New Age

Where: Birchip, and many other country towns around the world!

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people ARE awesome…

how not to drive 17 April 2014

First time I’ve actually been there when someone has done something totally stupid!

Silly woman  drove onto the shared bike/pedestrian platform at the tram stop outside Melbourne’s State Library, I guess she missed the do not enter sign? Noticing the large bollard in her way she decided taking advantage of the wider tram tracks area would work better than reversing. A pity the platform is elevated!

Amazingly, some men managed to lift it high enough so she could reverse back onto the platform, and received a hearty round of applause for their efforts. 

A sad day for the reputation of women drivers!

Thanks to Sarah M for the title of this post 🙂

Strandbeests… low level mechanical AI or potential life?

A few years ago I saw part of a documentary about Strandbeests and was fascinated. Two are currently visiting Melbourne’s Federation Square and it was great to see them up close, yet disappointing they weren’t under their own steam this time.

Having just watched the TED Talks video below, I wonder now that Theo Jansen might not be a mad genius, but rather has spent more than a tad too long immersed in this project… Is this possibly a huge joke taken way too seriously?

Continue reading ‘Strandbeests… low level mechanical AI or potential life?’

is this really London?

Found this blast from the past, from some time in 2006 in London…

Had an ultra bizarre afternoon on Saturday. Decided to go to a ‘free’ ‘blues’ festival in the city. Turned out to be a bit of a dinky free concert hosted by an animal rescue charity so they could ask the audience for donations.

When I arrived there was a jazz pianist (quite good) with a female singer who sang the whole first number at least a third lower than the key the pianist was playing. Excruciating. The rest of the set was more or less in tune but still excruciating. Then she played solo violin (quite well) while a tall muscular eye candy black man did an interpretive dance (!!!!!!!). All a bit art school.

I thought I’d stick around for the next act, really wanting to hear some blues. Instead a five piece hard rock band from Scotland got up, pretty good music, all black clothes, studded belts, you can picture it.

As soon as they started playing, a group of old fogies, well into their seventies, jumped up and started grooving VERY ENERGETICALLY. Three of the gents wore lurid 70s shirts, two sporting large gold sunnies and WIGS. Yes, wigs. And they thought they were HOT!

Pretty soon there was a bit of a crowd, attracted by the music. We were all looking on with our mouths open, lots of people taking photos. Just wish I’d remembered to take my camera instead of having to make do with the crappy mobile phone camera…sigh! Those photos just didn’t work out.

words, more words, and feeling…

I only found out  a couple of months ago, well after the fact, that one of my intellectual/literary heroes died, relatively young, by suicide as a result of depression, six months after I finished my second reading of his celebrated book Infinite Jest. An acquaintance told me the news, and of how reading of it inspired him to gather as much of David Foster Wallace’s writing as he could.

Since hearing the news and of my acquaintance’s new found enthusiasms, I’ve in turn been inspired to re-read and discover some more of DFW’s brilliance, and of course try to gain some insight into how such a person could end their life.

This week I’ve been listening to an audiobook of DFW reading selected essays from Consider The Lobster and a podcast of him reading part of his 9/11 essay for an audience. And today, a recording of a session not long after his death of a writers group holding a remembering DFW event. The personal accounts of DFW the man were so much more illuminating than any amount of obituaries.

It kind of tore my heart out.

I already felt so bereft that the world had lost a keen mind unafraid to complexly confront our fears and insecurities, our nature,  and to do so with such thorough delight and zest for the breadth of life.

Listening to these recordings though has deepened another unease: a conflict between a feeling of great inspiration about what it is to be human and live a meaningful empathetic life, and the gnawing sadness that not even a great like DFW could think his way out of the darkness, with a corresponding sorrow (like a half remembered nightmare) that it seems even he got it wrong.

His often quoted 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College, includes the passage true freedom “means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”

It’s such a seductive idea – discipline, control, awareness, empathy, growth, value.

What’s bothering me now is the most likely reality is there’s truly some things we just don’t get to choose, we’re hosed whether we like it or not. Some things we just have to feel, and get through and put up with, and hope we make it out the other side not having lost some important part of ourselves, if we make it out the other side at all. An infinite jest. Whether it be the lost potential of thwarted passion, small petty supermarket queue frustrations, or the biggies such as DFW endured which we so dearly wish weren’t the human condition but so patently, and eternally, are.

For now I’m going to keep on holding on to the exuberance and optimism that wicks through DFW’s writing like liquid gold and maintain trust in the hope we can transcend our condition, at least for long enough to make a coffee and pull ourselves together for the next challenge. And fervently hope not too many more of David’s calibre come to find the unendurable unendurable.


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