Sunday, December 18, 2016

From AusPolooza - Ghosts Of Politics Past


Over the last few years I've been reading a lot of history, English, Roman, Ancient, American. I've noticed a pattern in politics throughout history. This pattern appears to be crisis, struggle, success, complacency, idiocy.

Crisis is most often war, sometimes financial collapse or famine. Then the people work together for the common good. After a successful culture is established people become complacent and expect it to last forever. The final stage of political idiocy is the point Australia and most of the western world is approaching.

As evidence of this claim I present Jackie Lambie, Pauline Hanson, Donald Trump.

In a time when all information is available to all people we are behaving like idiots, accepting the information presented on social media. There is no thought of learning the lessons of the past. Propaganda, fake news and emotional appeal have replaced policy, and no one seems to have noticed it happening, let alone that it has happened before. It has always happened before a crisis, a war, financial collapse or famine.

The hope is that we have some leaders who have read more deeply than the latest polls, but I'm not seeing much evidence of that. Perhaps those serious minded politicians who actually present policy are not being elected and we are creating our own demise?

Those who have read some history are watching it repeat, and preparing for the crisis, then the struggle.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

From Auspolozza - Sydney Radio Shouty Men


The New South Wales government banned greyhound racing, on the basis that greyhound trainers had been caught employing despicable means to train their dogs and the number of slow dogs killed each year was considered unacceptable. The barbarity didn't equal the entertainment value. Almost no one attended the races, only gamblers paid any attention, who would care if greyhound racing disappeared?

Sydney radio shouty men suddenly became huge supporters of greyhound racing. Suddenly, as if something occurred to raise their interest, to make them become so enthusiastic about greyhound racing that they went into battle for it, suddenly. I wonder what it was that raised their interest, so suddenly? Can you imagine what it was?

The government folded, suddenly greyhound racing wasn't so bad. The Sydney radio shouty men controlled the government by managing public opinion.

The New South Wales government believed greyhound racing was cruel, the greyhound racing industry did something to gain the support of the Sydney radio shouty men, we don't know what, then greyhound racing wasn't cruel any more.

That's the way to run a state.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

From AusPolooza - David Leyonhjelm - Trumpesque?

From my new Australian politics blog,

Today Senator David Leyonhjelm cast himself in the shadow of President Elect Trump . . . I'm sorry, I still can't say the words president and Trump together without staggering for a moment. It's like the words astronaut and hedgehog together, sure, through evolution it might happen, in a billion years, but not in my lifetime.

Senator Leyonhjelm was speaking about a shotgun that he has been lobbying for. As a senator in our federal government lobbying for shotguns is obviously an essential element of his duties, nothing else is pressing. His point was that the perceived limitation of personal freedoms was one reason Trump was elected. In saying this Senator Leyonhjelm was portraying himself as trumpesque. Trumpesque? Don't sweat it, you'll see it in the Oxford within four years. And possibly hedgeonaut.

Senator Leyonhjelm is misunderstanding which nation he is living in. Australians, on the whole, are supportive of strict gun laws, so those who require them can hold them, but those who don't require them can't. Our culture and history are quite different to the American. Both are what they are, but comparing Australian politics to American is an oranges and apples comparison.

When Senator Leyonhjelm claims government decisions on topics like gun control will lead to an insane change in our voting habits, beyond the already lunatic fringe we observe in our senate, he is misunderstanding his nation. By the next election, when Senator Lambie has lost the plot, when One Nation has disintegrated, again, when Senator Xenophon has become too preachy and painted himself into too many corners, when Senator Hinch has imploded with self admiration, by then the voting public will be yearning to choose between the two devils they know.

The small parties and independents have a bit over two years to show us that they are relevant and dedicated to serving us. If they don't, which is likely, they'll all be sacked by the public, and any grandiose dreams of trumpesqueishness will appear as silly as the word I just made up.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro

If you are a revolutionary, always keep in mind that one of your comrades wants to be king.

King Fidel is dead.


On Realpolitik

Realpolitik ceased to exist when kings ceased leading their troops into battle.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Give Me A Hand?

I'm currently trying to resuscitate my near dead flute playing career, I'm hoping you'll lend me a hand?

You can help by just listening to some tracks, or by clicking play on the music player above this blog post. I don't even mind if you turn the volume down and let the track play in silence, just by people playing the recordings they become more prominent on sites, popularity drives popularity, don't you know? If you prefer something more mellow go to and listen to the Bird Hide album, or search "jak bird hide album" on Spotify if that's where you listen to music. Playing tracks really does make a difference, it really helps. Hopefully you'll enjoy the tunes too!

If you want to go above and beyond go ahead and share some tracks on social media, spread the word. Other people sharing the work of musicians is many times more effective than the musicians sharing their own work, it helps even more than playing the tracks yourself.

I need to get known again, be seen as a genuine player. I am a genuine player, but that doesn't make any difference if I'm completely unknown.

All I can offer in return for your assistance is my gratitude. I know, not much of an offer, eh? You'll also know you're helping a musician who is following his own path, playing an instrument that struggles to find a place in popular music, and who is always learning and developing his craft.

All I need is a helping hand to get me in front of the public again, the rest is up to me.


The above track, Four Flute One Takes, is a demo I recorded a while back with Sydney/Tokyo producer Iain Ploughman. He laid down some tracks he liked, then I improvized on them. They were all recorded in one take. Improvization is my favourite form of music.

The Clergy Are All Liars

The clergy are liars. They are. They may not intend to be liars, they may be deluded, but they are all liars.

The clergy earn a living by selling a bridge between Earth and Heaven. Comic book conmen sell real bridges that they don't own, the clergy sell a bridge they don't own and a bridge that doesn't exist. The bridge goes to a place that doesn't exist. That's a marvellous con, but it's still a lie.

It's an easy living, reading from a book, telling stories, I'm sure it's a very pleasant way to live. I've no doubt the clergy administer some good works, converting other people's charity into organized work is a worthwhile thing to do. I'm sure most of them mean well, but they are all liars.

Even if they truly believe that a place called Heaven exists, deep down they must know they have no more idea of how to get there than anyone else. No one knows. The only people who know what occurs after we die are the dead, and they aren't talking.

Over thousands of years different people have described different versions of Heaven and different ways to get there. All these Heavens have been based on the culture of the day, all the people who earned a living telling other people how to get there lied. They didn't know. No one knows.

The bridge to Heaven is a sweet thought, I think we'd all like to believe it exists. It doesn't. Those who earn a living selling you that bridge are lying to you. All of them.