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Bill Withers and YouTube’s magic moment

The New Yorker‘s pop critic, Sasha Frere-Jones (who I thought of for a long time as a sassy woman of colour, but *alas*  is a fortysomething white guy with a blue-chip ancestry, originally Alexander Jones) wrote a piece recently about Bill Withers. I came across Bill Withers in the early 80s when I was rummaging […]

How to draw a lightning-fast conductor

How to draw a lightning-fast conductor

Don’t know about you but I find it difficult enough drawing people who are sitting still at arm’s length. So drawing someone at five yards who is in constant motion with his back to you is twice the fun. There is satisfaction in nailing even part of a credible image. I was attending a glorious […]

Wordwatch: gay, or ssam and ssaf?

Wordwatch: gay, or ssam and ssaf?

Terms of engagement: ssam & ssaf: On a youth radio station the other day a woman being interviewed explained how her department did surveys among young folk about sexuality and homophobia – they never use the word “gay.” She didn’t say why but the clear implication was that it was too loaded. What they use […]

American Christianists: mad, bad and totally, awesomely nuts

American Christianists: mad, bad and totally, awesomely nuts

What is it about American Christianists? How can one say that a catastrophic earthquake, with a death toll of at least 100,000 people, and that might rise to half a million, be “a blessing in disguise”? Well, I don’t hate America, I love ’er – as the Girls put it in West Side Story: I […]

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The Crikey culture blog

Just got charity punked

Just got charity punked

Well, it was just so smooth. Man on phone, mellow voice: Good morning, are you X from Y Avenue? I’m from the Z Hospital (where I had been last year) Oncology Unit and we’re doing a raffle for the kids – can I put you down for a book of 20 tickets – that’s $30. […]

Friday whatever

Friday whatever

Singing Nun Scientist: From the wonderful Symphony of Science, whose mission should you choose to accept the invitation, is: a musical project by John Boswell designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form. Here you can watch music videos, download songs, read lyrics and find links relating to the messages conveyed by the […]

On yoga: Iyengar, the father of modern yoga at 91

On yoga: Iyengar, the father of modern yoga at 91

From Broome beach to Salamanca Place (or Ljubljana to LA), torsos are twisting and buttocks are “sharpening up,” pointing to the sky, and lotus sitters possibly chanting Om (that’s the character on the left). If you are practising yoga, you have B K S Iyengar to thank for the discomfort. As a fellow student said […]

Friday, whatever

Friday, whatever

Just because. Famous Author Regrets and Must Decline At the peak of his fame, the late great litcrit Edmund Wilson had a standard postcard he sent out. The scrawl says “I don’t [do] live readings either when I’m offered a very large fee. EW” (Which reads oddly, but sic.) Amendment, see comment below: the “when” […]

On reading: ennui and enthusiasms

On reading: ennui and enthusiasms

Note: I have, for reasons professional (deadlines), private (distracted by picture making) and transcendental (all the recent politics), delayed this post for a couple of weeks. But as it regards reading – for pleasure – it makes no difference. The Complaint: reading purgatory There’s that patch when you feel you really want to read something […]

On politics: Abbott – got old, already

On politics: Abbott – got old, already

I only, even, with some reluctance, bring up the subject of our New Alternative Prime Minister because of an unexpected reaction. Coming across my father-in-law watching the news – it was wall-to-wall Tony Abbott and his ascension to the Liberal leadership – I said, you must be happy, he’s in your church. The old man […]