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Sep 19, 2017


Aboriginal & Islander Art

Aug 9, 2017


Buzzfeed, the Garma Festival and the noble savage

For mine it is but a few short steps from the Buzzfeed treatment of this year's Garma Festival to a neo-romantic and naive view of contemporary Aboriginal society as "noble savages". But Buzzfeed can easily do better than 16 Photos, as we can see in this piece by Simon Crera, 16 Powerful Photos Of The Oldest Living Culture On Earth, which looked at the 2014 Garma Festival.

Buzzfeed, home of the “incredible” listicle, has lifted its game in the past few years, particularly with the recent strong political writing work of Mark Di Stefano, among others. Buzzfeed’s stock-in-trade is the visual earworm that jumps out of your phone or off your screen … who could possibly resist clicking on “18 Things We Learned About Matty From “The Bachelor” Australia” or “This Is What Those Pull-Together Sticky Bras Look Like On Different-Sized Bodies“?

Buzzfeed isn’t alone in propagating this inconsequential fluff and there’s no shortage of sites where a photo is not worth a thousand words, but a thousand click-throughs.

Continue reading “Buzzfeed, the Garma Festival and the noble savage”


Jul 16, 2016


Po Monkey by Lou Bopp

This is a guest post by Roger Stolle*  that was first published at his Facebook page

MR. WILLIE SEABERRY (1941-2016) opened his juke joint in 1963. Last night, the man they called “PO’ MONKEY” (who, like most juke runners, WAS his juke joint) passed away at 75 years old. RIP.

When the first text showed up in my phone last night re: Mr. Seaberry’s passing, I started to try and call the juke runner — in disbelief. Unfortunately, further confirmations quickly followed. As I contemplated calling him, I searched my cell for his number. Under “Monkey,” I found his number as well as two other Mississippi “Monkey” listings (including the monkeys-riding-dogs we book each year at Juke Fest).

That — in a nutshell — is how fascinating and surreal The Delta really is. It’s a land of characters and history. And Mr. Seaberry was as much a part of the Blues Delta as the Mississippi River, railroad lines and cotton fields. A towering figure here.

Continue reading “Willie “Po’ Monkey” Seaberry – a Delta life lived large”

Fun stuff

Dec 28, 2012


Rachel Maddow – the first openly gay host of an American prime time TV current affairs show – is for mine the thinking-man’s liberal crumpet of our time.

Maddow is on a roll right now. Since her eponymous show opened on the MSNBC cable network in August 2008 she has led the charge – along with Keith Olbermann, Al Sharpton and most recently Lawrence O’Donnell – that has seen MSNBC transformed from, as the New York Times recently characterised it, a “CNN also-ran to the anti-Fox.”

Continue reading “The rise and rise of the anti-Fox – how Rachel Maddow rattles the right”

Some places I've been

Dec 22, 2012


Exactly a week – to the minute – after 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and mowed down 26 people, 20 of them kids, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre stood in a crowded press-room and delivered the NRA’s “meaningful contributions” to the gun control debate that has bloomed in the last week.

Back to NRA’s contribution in a bit.

Continue reading “Wayne LaPierre and the NRA – pissing on the graves of the Sandy Hook dead”

Fun stuff

Apr 30, 2011


Map from US National Weather Service

I’m sitting in Darwin Airport at one in the morning waiting for the redeye to Sydney where I’ll then jump on an A380 to LA and points east of there.

Continue reading “You call that a flood? THIS is a flood – the Mississippi River in May…”


Jan 7, 2010


Valverde, the “Texan”, TDU2010 and what The Australian didn’t tell you…

As the recent fall from grace of the 'world's greatest golfer' Tiger Woods has illustrated, there are very real risks associated with the deification of sportsmen. When they are inevitably proved human both they and their sport suffer. There are some in the Australian media that would rather gouge their eyes out with their pen than write a negative word about the demi-god that is Lance Armstrong.

The headline in The Australian on 30 December 2009 above a piece by Peter Kogoy screamed “Doping ban cloud over Tour Down Under rider“.

The first two words in the body of the piece were “Lance Armstrong” – aka the “Texan”.

Most people with even the smallest finger on the pulse of the world and Australian pro-cycling would have at that point assumed that Kogoy would go on to tell us about the most recent news on Lance Armstrong’s previous Astana team and that elephant-in-the-room of pro-cycling, doping and unlawful performance enhancement.

That news was broken by the French daily Le Monde on 23 December, in an article headed “Astana aurait commis une infraction pénale pendant le Tour 2009” that spread rapidly in the mainstream & cycling media.

Continue reading “Valverde, the “Texan”, TDU2010 and what The Australian didn’t tell you…”

Australian politics

Oct 28, 2009


The Northern Territory has seen a number of what might politely be called “adventurous” broad-acre agricultural schemes that have resulted in inglorious failure.

Readers will know that I have borrowed the name for this blog – The Northern Myth – from a favourite book of mine of the same name published in 1965 and written by the distinguished agricultural scientist and economist Dr Bruce R. Davidson.

Davidson was a man well before his time and of whom many of the current boosters of the mantra of “develop the north” should take notice.

He was highly sceptical of the overblown claims being made by politicians, commentators and other boosters in the 1950’s and 1960’s of the potential of the north as an unburdened paradise for broad-scale agricultural development.

Continue reading “Australia’s shame Part 2: Tiwi Forestry – 30,000 hectares of “bankrupt monoculture””


Apr 15, 2009


Po’ Monkey’s Lounge – Merigold, Mississippi

$5 entry, $3 beer - no fire or liquor licenses or other permits or authorities - and Po' Monkey vigorously enforces his own strict set of rules - no baseball caps, no guns, no baggy-ass pants - this effectively excludes young teenage gangsters from the lounge - no fighting, no beer bought in and no dope smoking.

Po' Monkey's Lounge rules

Poor Monkey’s Lounge (known to everyone as Po’ Monkey’s) is a jook joint surrounded by cotton fields on a dirt road outside of the small town of Merigold in the central Mississippi Delta – a part of the United States that is all but invisible to the rest of the country.

Continue reading “Po’ Monkey’s Lounge – Merigold, Mississippi”