About binsblog

I am a fearless reporter who has recently been sacked from News of the World due to wishy washy. namby pamby, bleeding heart, bed weting liberals banging on about Ethics, whatever they are. I try to offend as many people as possible but in the words of some great orator, "you can offend some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but youcant offend all of the people all of the time".

Safe Cars or Safe Climate – The choice is yours

We all want our kids to be safe, don’t we? That’s why we drive them to school in G.H.S.U.V.s(great hulking sports utility vehicles), rather than let them run the gauntlet of kidnappers and pedophiles lurking behind every bush, not to mention G.H.S.U.V.s hogging the roads. But don’t you think that’s a little selfish? Yes, your child will be safer inside your G.H.S.U.V. but the children in the other car you may crash into, the small family car, has far less chance of emerging unscathed.

Whilst we are in thinking mode, it is worth comparing the manifold dangers our offspring will face in their lifetime. Car accidents could turn out to be the least of their worries. We are all inured to those graphic T.A.C. adds. We can imagine our grizzly fate in gory detail, but we find it far more difficult to imagine the world that awaits our blessed little sprogs if things go pear shaped. We are just starting to see a few teasers pop up on the screen, for the action packed sci/fi thriller to come.(soon to be relabeled ‘Documentary’) Bushfires are breaking out at any time of the year, even the depths of winter, and in the most unlikely places, like inside the Arctic Circle. The droughts are getting drier and storms are getting stormier. People are on the move all over the world, mainly from there to here. The trickle of refugees that has snuck past Peter Dutton could soon become a tsunami of humans invading the more habitable parts of the world, such as dry land, especially vast empty continents full of fat kangaroos, if you get my drift. (Bangladesh has a population of 150 million souls and they are breeding like Catholics, even though they are Muslims. Almost half of them live on land that is less than 10 metres above sea level. Think about it!)

So, if our little cherubs are lucky enough to escape death by motor car, there is every possibility they will live to see the next century, if, and only if

they can overcome the enormous challenge that await them. Something those of us born in the last century have utterly failed to do. We shall be handing over the baton to the next generation just as we watch Runaway Global Warming sprint off into the distance.

…and that is the view of an optimist. I don’t mean to be alarmist, but there are other, far more alarming scenarios emerging with monotonous regularity.

Why only last week The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America* no less, released a report finding that the tipping point for the creation of a ‘hothouse earth’ (4-5 degrees above preindustrial levels) could very well be as low as 2 degrees above preindustrial levels. We are already 1 degree above. We could reach 2 degrees within the next 10 to 20 years if we don’t pull our finger out.

A ‘hothouse earth’ would mean a sea level rise of 60 metres, and a rise in temperature that would make it extremely difficult to survive outside Antarctica. Ticket to Mars anybody?

So those of us born in a bygone era of peace and prosperity may well be faced with the consequences of our inaction being played out right before our very eyes, our very cloudy eyes, as we languish in our nursing homes unable to lift a finger to help our progeny tackle the momentous task thrust upon them. One can only hope they haven’t introduced Involuntary Euthanasia by then.

*for details go to:

http://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252

Ben Laycock 2018

CAPTAIN COOKED

Cook & Scrotum copy
Those who did not pay attention in primary school may not be aware of the fact that Australia was discovered by Captain Cook in 1770. Some of you may be suffering from the delusion that it was discovered some 40,000 years earlier by a bunch of blackfellas. Some may believe it was Willem Janszoon, purportedly the first white man to set foot on this land, in the vicinity of Cape York way back in 1606 would you believe, or maybe Dirk Hartog who mapped the west coast in 1616, or William Dampier in 1669. But you see, the problem with all these people is they were not Englishmen and we all know that Australia was discovered by the English, the very pinnacle of human evolution according to the social Darwinism that was all the rage at the time. So there fore logically speaking they could not have discovered Australia because they were Dutchmen weren’t they? But hang on, what about good old Able Tasman who discovered Tasmania several times, way back in 1642. Well as luck would have it, bad luck as it turns out he has the dubious honour of circumnavigating the largest island in the whole world without an inkling of its existence. After circumnavigating Tasmania he set his compass due north in the hope of coming across the fabled Great Southern Land, alas, a wild storm cropped up in the night and the woke up in Aetearoa (the land of the wrong white crowd) renowned for its bloodthirsty savages. They didn’t stay long but headed north again, eventually ending up in the Philipines, then heading south-west to Batavia, (Jakarta) then returning to Drizzle & Fog a broken man where he lived out his days telling anyone who would listen: “Australia doesn’t exist, l know l’ve been there.”
Some time later Captain Cook did actually stumble across the place. Some of you may not be aware that he sailed all the way up the east coast without once setting foot on terra firma. It was not until his boat sprung a leak on the notorious Great Barrier Reef that he came ashore to fix it. There he encountered the Guugu Yimidirrh people.
He offered them gifts of cloth, nails and paper all of which they obviously found completely useless, but they were delighted when he gave them a fish, which they regarded as a symbolic gift.
He pointed his index finger at a large fury beast and enquired:
“What is that?”
Unaware that the loclals point with there nose (no doubt because they usually have their hands full) The fellow said gungurru, which is of course the Guugu Yimidirrh word for finger.
After repairing the boat, which took 6 weeks, Captain Cook bid a fond farewell to the Guugu Yimidirrh and set sail for the Cook islands which had a different name at the time, where he did not receive such a warm welcome.
He wrote in his log:
‘From what I have seen of the natives of New Holland, they may appear to be some of the most wretched people on Earth, but in reality they are far happier than we Europeans, being wholly unacquainted not only with the superfluous, but with the necessary conveniences so much sought after in Europe. They are happy in not knowing the use of them. They live in tranquillity. The earth and the sea of their own accord furnish them with all things necessary in life.’
This is a very important statement. A description of the first encounter with people living in the Stone Age. They were obviously as happy, if not happier than we are today. So that begs the question ‘what is all this development for? All this technology, all these gadgets, all this stuff. Obviously not to make us happier, we were already happy. The only advantage to all this technological development is that we can support more and more people. But is the world a better place for having more people in it? Are we happier because there are more of us? This is not a rhetorical question? This is a very important question, at the very nub of the paradigm shift we face. The only advantage to an ever increasing population is that it is good for business. An ever growing population is an ever growing market. It keeps wages down and prices up. It keeps the economy growing and an economy that is not growing is not an economy at all.
Now where was I before I drifted off course into that diatribe. Ah yes, Captain Cook was sailing off to meet his grizzly fate. A friend of mine was teaching at a school in Aukland a place much frequented by auks and Cook islanders. She innocently asked of her 5th graders ‘what do you know about Captain Cook?’ A little girl, of no more than 8 years old pipped up with:
“My great great grandfather ate him”

Aparently Australia wasn’t always called Australia. When Captain Cook first arrived in his boat, he spied a group of natives involved in some sort of ceremony involving fire and animal sacrifice. Ignoring the caution of his less intrepid companions he strode purposefully up to them and asked:
“What…you….call…this…place?”
To which the natives replied in surprisingly good English:
”Barbeque area, bro”
Captain Cook promptly claimed all of Barbequearea in the name of the king and returned to England forthwith to tell said king the good news. The king however was not impressed, having delt with cheeky natives before.
“They were pulling your leg mate, having a lend of you, taking the piss”. The good Captain was blank with incomprehension till the king said “Jimmy, they were being faceacious.”

Ben Boyang 2010

West Papua – A Short History

West Papua History

 

In 1949, Sukarno led Indonesia to independence from the Dutch, but West Papua remained under Dutch rule. After a while the Indonesians began threatening to take over West Papua from the Dutch. The Australians wanted the two halves of the Island of Papua reunited. (A very sensible idea, that would have avoided much future suffering) but John F. Kennedy would have none of it, so in 1963, The U.S. brokered an agreement with President Sukarno, where by the U.N. would run the province till it was handed over to Indonesia on the condition Indonesia organized a ‘Vote of Free Choice’ (some call a vote of no choice) within 7 years. None of the local Melanesian people were consulted, so they started their own independence movement, the O.P.M. – Organisasi Papua Merdeka (Papuan Freedom Organization) with the words

“We do not want modern life! We refuse any kinds of development: religious groups, aid agencies, and governmental organizations just Leave Us Alone!”

In 1965 the leftist Sukarno, was overthrown by the authoritarian dictator Suharto. Every member of the Communist Party of Indonesia they could find, was rounded up and murdered. One of the worst crimes against humanity of the 20th century.

In 1969 the Indonesians conducted the so called ‘act of free choice’:

It was run by the infamous TNI – Tentara National Indonesi ( the Indonesian Army, a law unto itself) The U.N. stipulated that every local Melanesian adult could vote,( over 900,000 people) but the T.N.I. hand picked 1000 village chiefs, whom they convinced, via threats and bribery, to throw in their lot with Indonesia. The vote was unanimous, quite an unusual outcome for a free democratic vote.

In July 1971 the Melanesian people of West Papua declared their independence, but unfortunately no one was listening, or almost no one. The Peoples Republic of West Papua is recognized by one country, Vanuatu. Very soon after, the Freeport mine began operation in the province, the largest and most profitable gold mine in the world. This mine remains the largest obstacle to independence for the people of West Papua.

 

Meanwhile, in 1975 there was a revolution in Portugal. In an act of gross irresponsibility, the Portuguese unburdened themselves of their remaining colonial assets, including Timor L’este. The Indonesians moved into the vacuum, snuffing out a brief flowering of freedom for the Timorese. It would be 25 years before they once more regained their sovereignty, due largely to the efforts of one man: Jose Ramos Horta, the Timorese ambassador to the U.N. who devoted his considerable diplomatic skills to putting the Tiny country on the map.

But West Papua is not Timor L’este. It was not administered by a European Colonial power for 500 years. It is not, and does not want to become, part of the modern world. An admirable ideal, but one that makes it very difficult to get heard in the clamour of the rat race. As the last of the unadulterated indigenous peoples of the world become swamped by the metastasizing cancer of Consumerism, keeping up the unique way of life of the people of West Papua becomes ever more precious, for them and for all of humanity.

 

Ben Laycock 2016

The 2016 Len Fox Painting Award Exhibition

untitled

Castlemaine Art Gallery

-till December 31st

This triennial award is for a painting ‘in sympathy’ with the work of Emanuel Phillips-Fox. The $50,000 prize money was put up by his generous nephew Lenny, who was apparently a card caring member of The Communist Party, but he obviously came across a large stash of cash that he failed to squander on the great unwashed.

Emanuel, or Manny to his many friends, was born and bred here in Australia, but he far preferred to spend his time in gay Paris, documenting every nuance of the bourgeoisie as they indulged in their endless pursuit of leisure and pleasure, oblivious to the Marxist revolution unfolding all around them: Boating on the river, tea in the arbor, croquet on the lawn. Mr. Fox was especially fascinated with the young ladies in all their finery, frolicking in the fields, or reclining in a hammock in the dappled sunlight with a book in hand, a flower in their hair and vacant look on their pale faces.

When he did happen to pop back to Oz from time to time he was at pains to highlight the immense civility of this nascent society, despite the tyranny of distance and the proximity of tyranny.

Of course it would be nigh on impossible to find any self-respecting artist turning out that sort of sickly sweet romantic schmaltz these days, so the judges were required to seek sympathy for other qualities in Mr. Fox’s work:

Vibrant colours, impressionist landscapes, scenes of everyday life, women standing around without their clothes on.

Here at the gallery, l note that every picture in the room has ticked one of those boxes, but it seems none of them has ticked two.

Let’s circumnavigate the room in a clockwise direction, clinically dissecting each work as we go. (At this point it is germane to confess that l myself entered this very prize. Having failed to make the cut, l have been dining on sour grapes ever since.)

A quick look around reveals an overwhelming preponderance of landscapes, either realist or expressionist, though none could be described as impressionist. (As l said impressionism is no longer de riguer – or ‘cool’) There is a little cluster of vibrantly coloured works, some might say garishly coloured works, that l fear Mr. Fox would have no sympathy for at all. Then we come to the work of the renowned John Nixon. Harking back to his glory days in kinda, John has used all the bottle tops and bits of wood in the craft box to make a picture. (Well done John, keep up the good work.)

Bill Sampson, a local lad, has done a conceptual take, reducing one of Mr. Foxes vibrant landscapes (‘On the Mediterranean Coast.’ It is in the gallery so you can compare it if you like) to a few enormous pixels, each one the size of a lamington. Very post-modern Bill, but l don’t think Mr.Fox would approve of your conceptualism, or your post-modernism for that matter, he was having enough trouble getting his head around impressionism.

Jason Jones, another local to make the cut, has faithfully produced a simulacrum of a genuine Fox landscape, in fact it is so simulacrimous (sick) that l took it for a direct copy of ‘Gumtrees at Cremourne’, but Mr. Jones swears black and blue that he has never set eyes on the work in question. l will let you be the judge.

Next up we have a cluster of moons. I imagine Mr. Fox would like all these. He does appreciate a good moon.

David Falzon has entered the only work that seems to evoke anything like the saccharine romantic tones that saturates Foxe’s oeuvre, but it is crying out for a young damsel in a bustle picking daisies with a vacant look on her angelic face.

There is a smattering of eerie dark works, one or two even bordering on the sinister. Mr. Fox would not approve. He didn’t do spooky.

Lynne Boyd, (one of the lesser Boyds, no doubt overlooked due to her gender) has done perhaps the only work that could vaguely be described as impressionist.(If you squint a bit and look out of the corner of one eye) Excuse me for bragging but l went to art school with Lynne and l would have to say she is by far the most consistent artist l have ever come across, except for Prudence Flint. Her work has not changed a jot (or is that a dot) since those heady days back in the early 1980s.

Well done Lynne. Do not be tempted to stray from the chosen path of enlightenment..

One Kevin Chin has produced one of the most life-like impressions of a drug induced psychosis outside of the psyche ward, but l fear once again, that our Mr. Fox would not approve. Drugs were rather frowned upon in those days, even though they were perfectly legal. Go figure?

Abdul Abdullah has a foreign sounding name and has done quite a disturbing piece referencing those poor unfortunates incarcerated in remote islands in the vast Pacific Ocean. Now l don’t know where Mr. Abdulla comes from but here in this country we don’t bring up such nasty topics in a nice place like an art gallery.

Last but not least we come to the winner.

‘Wash’ by Prudence Flint. Prudence is by far the most consistent artist l have ever come across, except for Lyn Boyd, of course. She has been painting the same painting all her life, using exactly the same model every time, (I kid you not) stuck in the very same room, with the very same tiles and the very same slightly nauseating colour scheme. You would have to agree, she has got it down pat.

The subject, who has shared all the most mundane moments of her prosaic existence with us, over all these years, without leaving her room/cell, without growing older, or younger, or even changing her expressionless expression. Not even her newborn babe can raise the hint of a smile.

I feel like l am looking at stills from CCTV footage shot inside a lunatic asylum, featuring a patient under heavy sedation since the 1950s who is only allowed out once a year to feed the pidgeons.

When will this woman tear off her straight jacket and go running down the road stark nakid, squeeling with joy?

 

Footnote:

As you are no doubt aware, Len Fox amassed his not inconsiderable wealth driving trucks. His next award will be for a painting of a truck. Hopefully this will bring a few more locals into the art gallery.

 

To see a lot of Manny’s work just go to google images and type in his name.

To see a lot of Prudence’s work go to google images and type in her name

 

Ben Laycock 2016

 gum-trees-at-cremorne

Gumtrees at Cremorne – Manny Fox

Radio Roundup -Final Show 8/7/16

Local news-

Jail Birds Escape

Stone Quarry rejected – Council states:

‘We have enough stones”

Midland Downgrade-

Just 30 seconds can save a life

+

Malcolm Turnstyle stars in

The Never Ending Election

Pauline Hanson stars in

Return of the Living Dead

Greyhounds star in

Cry Freedom

Sam Hains stars in

The Hipsterproof Fence

John Howard stars in

W.M.D. – A Fantasy

+

Mice trained to detect W.M.D.s

(Weapons of Mice Destruction)

l have been on MainFm for over 5 years now, and my faithful companion has been by my side for 2.

l am sick of missing all the Friday night fun but management won’t give us another time so we have called it quits.

Watch this space for the next exciting adventure

Chow Ben Boyang

The Neoliberal Doctrine

The term neoliberal was invented in 1938 at the height of the Keynesian ascendancy, but was not adopted worldwide until the 1980s, championed by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

The neoliberal doctrine goes like this:

Competition is the basis for all human interaction.

Margaret Thatcher sums this up neatly with the famous quote:

“There is no such thing as society, only the individual.”

There is a natural hierarchy of winners and losers.

Winners are rewarded with a monopoly, losers with bankruptcy.

The basic unit is the consumer who is free to exercise their right to choose.

$1 = 1 vote in the consumer democracy.

All social problems can be dealt with by applying the laws of Supply Demand.

Every individual is given an opportunity to accumulate wealth, no matter what handicaps they begin with.

Those that fall by the wayside have only themselves to blame.

It works like this:

Install white ants at the centre of State power whose job is to cut taxes, thus starving the state of the ability to adequately fund the functions of the State, rendering them dysfunctional and ripe for take over by the corporate sector, whilst building resentment against the state itself at the same time. Neat hey?

Here in Australia, while the Liberal Party aggressively pursues the Neoliberal agenda, the Labor Party reluctantly follows in its footsteps:

A freeze on new taxes, trade liberalization, privatization of infrastructure, education, health etc,.

At the same time Labor doggedly clings to the good old tried and true Keynseyan doctrine:

Promote economic growth by stimulating consumer demand.

A simple doctrine from a bygone era before Climate Change, rescource depletion, pollution and mass extinctions reared their ugly heads.

The Libs prefer to stimulate growth by giving tax breaks to Corporations in the vain hope they will reinvest it rather than salt it away in offshore tax havens.

The Greens on the other hand don’t seem to be so keen on Keynes or Neoliberalism, as they are both a direct threat to the environment and social justice, but they are very cagy about exactly what they would replace them with if they were in power.

 

 

The Land of the Fair Go

Bad News!

The Liberals will win this election.

No Federal Government has been chucked out of office after one turn since The Great Depression

This is the land of the Fair Go. After you have had a fair go, you give the other mob a go. This is called Democracy.

The Libs will win this election because it will be decided by people who do not care about politics, people motivated by pure self interest, who will vote for whomever has the most to offer them personally. This is called ‘The U-Jack Society – “Fuck you Jack, I’m alright”.

The Libs will win this election because, despite Oz being THE richest country on earth ( and daylight comes second) most people are worried about the economy, and voters consistently rate the Libs as being more competent with money, as they are very adept at accumulating it.

We live in a Neoliberal paradigm – Winner takes all!

If you are a winner you vote Liberal as they will safeguard your money from the marauding hoards. You don’t have to worry about education or health because your kids go to private school and have private health insurance.

If you are a loser you vote Labor because they will pay for your kids education and keep you alive in your old age.

However, there are some winners who vote Green because of their compassionate policy towards losers.

 

Disclaimer: I have bet a large sum of money on The Libs based on this assumption. Of course I would be overjoyed to lose it all, but I would be even happier to back a winner. Losers suck!