Monday, July 31, 2006

Capricornian gothic

Ahh Rockhampton, town of my youth.
Beef Cattle Capital of Australia, my suburban gothic obsession began with you. The town where the local serial killer mistakenly confessed to the murder of a teenager who had actually just been hiding out in her boyfriends bedroom for four years.
Where i actually felt safer with my friends brother who spent time in jail for attempted murder, than with one of his Prison guards who sexually assaulted me as 14 yo. dropping me home from youth group.

I spent a long time hating the place and left at 16 to go to Uni, but now, many years later, find myself strangley affectionate to this cattle mad town. I even collect, and paint, bulls. Maybe its cathartic.

I found this catalogue for Fairy Springs Semen Catalogue at the Brahman Breeders Association last month. I should send it in to Rove. The transcipt inside is just as me!

( the way Hi ya to the lovely Kirsten Livermore - Capricornia's Federal MP, big sister of my childhood best-friend, and former UQ Union Faculty Rep collegue circa 1991 ! Go girl.)
*note to trainspotters: Kirsten grew up in Mackay not Rockhampton. I actually spent my first 10 years in that beautiful town before the parents moved to Rock-vegas

Saturday, July 29, 2006

If i put sex and gothic in the title do i get more hits? (Update: Yes)

Hmmm, we'll all know soon enough.

I went out to a strictly invite only party last night, and i swear i'm getting too old for this scene. There were people falling all over the floor, vomiting, screaming, crying and throwing stuff. There was a cop brought in to make sure nothing got out of hand and even he didnt blink and eye at the chaos, just stood at the entrance making sure the place wasn't crashed by outsiders. I must say its always lovely when the younger girls come up and say how much they adore my clothes but that definately is the last primary school dance i'm going to for a long while. ;)

Seriously its always interesting chatting with the parents who inevitably ask "what do you do?".
I explore the dark shadows and undercurrents of suburbia through conceptual art can be a conversation killer, so i tend to say 'a bit of art, a bit of writing, and a bit of N.G.O. organisational development when i can't pay the bills'. Mmmm they tend to nod , thinking that at least explains the ecentric clothes and bright red hair, if nothing else.

And i smile and look at the gorgeous families before me and wonder what their secrets are, what do the mothers think about when they get those rare moments alone....when thoughts about the the mortgage and the soccer carpool subside....what are their dreams, their fears, and who do they think about when they are making love?

And part of me rails against the domesticity, and, yet i have profound respect for it at the same time. Because, at least for those of us who do think and struggle with the journey, its less of a cop out and more of a determined choice to hold a myriad of forces in tension.

And i think that can be, ironically, one of the most radical choices of all.

Monday, July 24, 2006

(Holy) Kissing and Making up...Everybody's doing it

Methodists and Catholics have (holy) kissed and made up 500 yrs after renegade Monk Martin Luther spat the dummy at the corrupt practices florishing in Catholicism and launched one of last milleniums more spectacular success stories - Protestantism (right up there with the WWW and sliced bread).

Concerned with what he saw as spiritual manipulation of the masses for political and material gain, his 95 theses was the penultimate theological 'whilstleblow' which is still hard top - even in this age of mass media and the tele-evangelist.

Hats off to the Wittenberg Door - to the real one made of wood and its online namesake still calling out shonky religious leaders today and bringing us gems such as the Gospel according to Napoleon Dynamite

Now, if we can just get the Jews and and the Palestinians together......

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Nick Cave & Gothic Christianity

I've always been interested in religion, and the gothic in society. Came across this article during a recent Google journey -A facinating article about a goth icon by Stewart Lee written in 2003. YOu can read the full article at his site here

Cave’s Christianity is perhaps the most shocking thing about his recent history. His lecture The Flesh Made Word enraged a vocal minority of the audience during its 1997 Edinburgh Fringe performance, but rationalist fans could then at least excuse Cave’s God as a metaphor for the creative process. “God is a product of the creative imagination,” he wrote, “and God is that imagination taken flight.” But today the author of the introduction to the Canongate edition of St Mark’s Gospel is unequivocal. “I do accept Christ’s divinity. More and more so actually. But I don’t think a person truly believes unless they doubt as well. My faith kind of swells up and subsides. It’s going through a swelling up at the moment

Get thee to a Nunnery

Bet the guys embroiled in Big Brothers 'sexual assault' scandal wish they had joined the ABC's proposed new Reality program the Abbey - a 33 day stint in a Nunnery - instead of the place they find themselves now.

To read what ABC online readers think of the fiasco visit:

While i'm sure the guys had no malicious intent with the groin incident, it was a serious and completely unacceptable lapse in judgement and the context in which it occured throws up a myriad of issues to do with personal, legal and commercial boundaries surrounding the program.

Should all this still not serve as a warning about the evils of reality tv, than perhaps you may like to apply to join The Abbey: ABC TV is looking for five women for a new 3 part series. Take up the challenge to live the life of a contemplative nun for 33 days and nights - one day for every year of Christ's life.
You will leave behind the hurly-burly of modern life to embark upon a search for meaning, spirituality and self behind the walls of an enclosed order.
Immerse yourself in the world of The Abbey and live by The Rule of Silence and Obedience. Learn what the spirit of community living is all about as you share the nuns daily routine of prayer, farm work, craft and domestic tasks. Throughout the challenge of living in this other world, you will have a Sister-mentor to listen, support and guide you. Will this life hold any relevance to you as a contemporary Australian woman? Will spiritual contemplation and prayer have the power to transform your life or will you find it too hard a cross to bear?
Interested? Find out how to apply

Applications close July 7th.

( had i not already sent myself off to a Nunery for a 3 day silent solitary retreat back in 2002, I'd be tempted to apply now...and yes , it was worth it.).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Psychedelic Furs and the Far Northern Tropics

I am currently in Cairns. Though its winter, the sunlight is so all pervasive and warm its easy to assume everything is all sunshine and light. Scratch a little deeper though, and Cairns is one of those places where most people have a 'past' or an intriguing story at very least. Makes things more interesting than would otherwise appear.... people used to change and transition, running from, running to, seeking and hoping for new futures. Our 7 years here were some of the most turbulent but intoxicating years of our lives. I miss it so many ways but it was the right time to go in 2001.

Just a few hours before i drove up here...i caught the Psychedelic Furs at the Tivoli Brisbane with a gorgeous writer friend Shelley Kulperger. Shelley's good friend Stephen Carlton has written a play that explores concepts of north Queensland Gothic thats playing in brisbane on July 14 i think. I'll post more details later (read:when i can find them)

Oh, did i mention that Richard Butler looks a lot like Hugh Grant crossed with David Bowie these days? Delicious.