Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The problem for the Den Done Did blog is finding the time and inspiration to write about blog-worthy occurrences in my life. What is blog-worthy? If this was a blog about recipes I suppose that would be an easy question…or perhaps if it were a blog about cats I could just fall back on the photos I've snapped of cats around the world (Now there’s an idea). Or if I’d thought of a great blog idea like Monkey Punch Dinosaur before Adam Ford did…I might’ve done that.
Often it’s a case that I don’t know how to frame something that's happened, or one naturally worries whether an anecdote or everyday tale will be interesting enough to anyone other than me...but perhaps that’s the real point for a blog like mine. It is supposed to be a slightly esoteric and random window into my life and thoughts…but only a window. The blog isn’t me so I guess I shouldn’t laden it with such importance and expectation all the time. Ive written things recently and have been advised not to post them to a “mere blog”(not my words)… I dunno, in case they get stolen or something. Good problem to have I suppose. But in the spirit of this ramble here is a slightly esoteric string of events that is in its way indicative of who I am and the sort of random day-to-dayness that I have been known to appreciate. Ok, Disclaimer over.
I was working on a rubbish removal job recently when I found a bundle of old postcards and photographs from the 1940’s. I couldn’t countenance seeing them go in the bin so I saved them for later investigation.
There was a stylish 1946 Christmas card sent from the owners of the Red Hart Inn in Worcester, England. It was still in good condition so one morning I got the idea to type a quick letter and post it to the current owners of The Red Hart Inn. I wrote “I found this card from 1946 while doing a garage clean-up in Melbourne. Alas I have no idea who the card was sent to. I just thought you might get some enjoyment out of seeing it. Maybe put it up in your bar….funny to think of it returning to its place of origin after 60-odd years”
Rubbish removal guys are always waxing the lyrical about their altruistic recycling activities. A friend of mine Amanda was about to take her kids camping to the Grampians. I said to her “I’ve got show-&-tell items for you to share with your kids” I gave her six photos of the Grampians in the 1940’s. To me that is a pure form of lost-object-found recycling.
I guess I’m trying to be the sort of random act of every-day fascination that I want to receive. That’s the way isn’t it? I often act on these sort of quirky impulses. I put a proverbial message in a bottle and toss it out to sea. I hope this invites the world to reply in kind.
The late gentleman whose postcards I rescued was named, funnily enough, Jim Melbourne. I have done a couple of brief Google searches and can’t find anything about him. Based on the old papers I saw I think he may have served as an aeronautical engineer in England during WWII. Extending that further I imagine that after the war ended he went travelling in the UK before returning to Melbourne. The majority of his postcards are from the UK in 1946. He wrote a lot of postcards that never got posted, including this classic:
“Dear Mum, Another couple of postcards that I haven’t sent previously. Love Jim”
Anyway let’s hope Jim would understand my love of sentimentalia or lost-object-found ephemera or whatever the frack it is that I’m doing here.
A Den Done Did first:
FREE GIVE AWAY!
I have 18 random 1940’s postcards. I am going to make a limited edition, first in best dressed offer
If you would like to be a part of the life of this blog, I will Post to you (That's snail mail kiddies) your very own, probably one-of-a-kind, 1946 post card. Just leave a comment or send me an email with your postal details and I’ll flick one your way! Lovely-Jubbly
Listening to: Foals - Red Pugie
Sunday, May 09, 2010
“Sooner or later we all became what Tyler wanted us to be...” - Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
My heart has been heavy all day with the knowledge that the things that I have collected will not save me. The memorabilia, souvenirs, keepsakes, forget-me-nots, pet rocks, post cards, birthday cards, toy lions, toy T-Rex’s, old bottles, cricket games, books, pictures, CD’s, Band T-shirts, old letters and on and on…all this that I have carted around these many years will not alter the fact that one day I will, in all likelihood, die. I say ‘In all likelihood’ because I still cling to the possibility of a Kurzweilesque technology spike. A singularity event that might give me the option of uploading my consciousness into the digital heavens. Then I could flit around in a virtual reality environment like Second Life or maybe, even better, be downloaded into a new body. I guess that casts grave doubt on whether or not I believe in an afterlife doesn’t it?
Today I tackled the onerous task of unpacking and sorting through the boxes from our most recent house move. It is worse than packing in my opinion. I couldn’t find anywhere to put most things. Assorted random objects flowed out of the boxes like a river of shapes. I tried different drawers but the drawers quickly filled. I moved furniture around but each new move created five smaller moves. It wasn't so much the functional items like tools and stationery that were disturbing me, although I've definitely hoarded too much of that stuff, it was more the personalia: An old love letter, a movie ticket, a little rock I picked up whilst driving across the Nullarbor.
As each new article of personal memorabilia appeared I began to feel worse. I felt the old emotional conflicts rising: Where do you keep them? How do you store them? How do you honour the memories correctly? As the boxes emptied I felt like I was loading weights onto my shoulders. Finally I couldn’t take it any more, I had a long cathartic rant to Eli about how I was feeling strangled by my possessions and then I quit the process for the day.
Overnight I experienced a satori.
I have to let go. What has been upsetting me isn’t only about collecting and hoarding possessions it’s also about accepting that life is passing. It’s a bitter concept for me to digest. I am still coming to terms…think of me as a white belt novice earning his second belt on the long road to mastery.
"Latent form is the master of obvious form" - Heraclitus
My oldest friend died suddenly in August last year. His death has shocked me into acknowledging that our collections will outlive us. I can no longer place the same significance on carrying around collections of sentimental souvenirs. Trying to find cupboards to fill them with, feeling guilty anyway because it might not be the appropriate forum for a piece of genuine Denny memorabilia --then I’m swirling lost again because there's no Show-&-Tell ceremony at which to flag the significance of the items to the world…and even if there was what good would it do for more than a few minutes… maybe an hour?
Lasting change does not live in icons and statues. It might visit. It might cling residual for a few moments to the site of a great victory or linger like smoke around the edges of the podium as we hold aloft the trophy. But then we are all gone home. The game is finished and the time has past. Day's end and trophies gather dust in the night. What good is a memorial if the precious thing we are trying to honour in form doesn't live within us? ---the lights go on and I'm alone in an empty room. The room is stark white and filled with a brilliant light that doesn’t sear my eyes. You might think it’d be lonely. All that empty white space yawning out. But it isn’t. Everything that matters is here. Everything about matter…because It's me, I'm there. I'm the memorial… I am the article of faith.
In the end the things we own are but the worshiping of false icons. If I don’t come to the conception that it's all within me then I am choking, distracted --weighed down…belabouring the idea that If I have the best stamp collection in the world that I wont die. I will become the stamp collection.
I’m far from free of this paradigm. Well short of mastery. I just know that I have to try and let go. I cannot go on filling the attics of our future with stuff. I did a job last month in which I had to clear out the back shed of a deceased gentleman. Half a tonne of marble stone off-cuts that he had duly gathered hobby like from work-sites and hard rubbish piles over the years. I’m not saying that’s wrong. Because he built things with some of the stone and I hope that collecting and neatly arranging the pieces of marble gave him much pleasure. I was just struck by the fact that in the end it was his sons who were left to wonder...what to do with it all. The sense of guilt they felt as they watched us throw it in the back of a truck destined for landfill. So I asked myself: If it’s ok for it to go in the bin when I’m dead maybe some of it should be destined for the bin now?
The memories live in me. I am not my stamp collection or a box of cricket cards…I am no closer to my late Father for having carted around some of his clothes for the last 15 years. I drive past the old houses of our childhoods, the old haunts, the old parks -- We’re not there, it’s not there…It is not the place or the thing is it? It’s you and me. We are the articles of faith.
"And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea."
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - TS Eliot
~ Footynotes ~
 Ray Kurzweil
Theory that one super computer builds a superior super computer which builds a superior super computer and on and on until technology advances exponentially in an unimaginable acceleration or spike. And that then Den can get a fully body transplant if he wants one...
 “Ending one minute at a time” – Tyler (Fight Club)
 Listening to: Roots - How I Got Up
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I meant to post this two years ago. Better late than never I guess.
In 2003 my cat Emery Henry Bird went missing. I tried hard to find him. I went to the lost cat & dog home, posted flyers around the neighborhood and searched high and low. To no avail.
Just prior to his disappearance I had shifted house. He had not taken it well. Things grew worse when my girlfriend at the time introduced a new kitten into the household. Emery freaked out. He started disappearing for a couple of days at a time. Not long after that he simply never came back.
So forward four years to 2007 and I'm not living in Melbourne anymore. But I'm over for a visit and my ex-girlfriend tells me how she thought she caught a glimpse of Emery late one night whilst walking home. She couldn't be certain but she was fairly sure it was him. It quite surprised us because we had both assumed he was long dead. So a short-while later I found myself down on Wellington street Clifton Hill near where she had made her sighting. I saw a cat sitting right near where she told me she'd seen him and as I drew closer I knew that it was him. He walked toward me then shied away and trotted over to the edge of the road. He regarded me with suspicion and what could only be described as awkwardness. It was as if he was saying "oh...its you. What are you doing here?"
I drew closer and crouched down before him. He let me pat him for a moment and then he moved back just out of my reach. I said his name "Emery...Emery?" Then I did our little cat whistle that nobody else does. My Dad used it with all our cats when I was a kid. Emery seemed perplexed, turned to leave and then rolled over in the gutter playfully as he might've done years ago. I got my mobile out and took a photo. He turned and trotted up the street. I called out to him but he ignored me. That's cats for you I guess. I followed up the street a little. He reacted coolly...like there was nothing else to say.
I said goodbye to him. Wished him well and continued on up Wellington street.
So there its is. My cat wasn't run over by a car or poisoned. My cat left me. Found himself a new home.
Listening To: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
I watched the dreadful "Two Coreys" reality-tv show a couple of years ago and came away convinced that Haim was in serious trouble with prescription meds. I made a Google news alert for him in my email account. For the last couple of years I'd been reading sporadic news reports about the latest B-grade film he was working on. B-grade films, but working. Hope springs eternal.
Anyway I've got nowhere to go with this. No punchline or neat ending. I just wanted to put his name on my blog and acknowledge that I liked him and that I am sorry that he has died...way too young.
Corey Haim Pictures
"Look at your reflection in the mirror. You're a creature of the night Michael, just like out of a comic book! You're a vampire Michael! My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire. Oh You wait 'till mom finds out, buddy!"
- Sam Emerson (Haim) The Lost Boys
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
We paid our penitence However. As soon as we'd done shooting we went and visited the Killing Fields. A sobering experience and the perfect contra-distinction to the narcissistic pleasure of firing a gun.
Also quick note: Our stand in camera guy didn't put much stock in composition...you might say he was more of a 'point and shoot' sort of fellow ;-)
*Originally posted on my Flickr page
Listening To: Cambodia Rocks - Various Artists
Saturday, February 20, 2010
SAVE LIVE MUSIC
PROTEST RALLY THIS TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23RD
We march in protest. Our small venues and community must be protected, empowered and respected.
Assemble at the State Library, cnr Swanston and Latrobe Sts.
ARRIVE EARLY - MARCH LEAVES AT 4PM
This is a peaceful protest. Families welcome and encouraged to join the march.
STRICTLY NO ALCOHOL. It’s illegal to drink in the street and important to show the broader community that WE ARE NOT HIGH RISK.
is Save Live Australian Music, a non-politically aligned, independent entity made up of musicians and music-lovers.
In a bid to address street violence Liquor Licensing Victoria (LLV) has introduced sweeping changes with unintended consequences for the local music scene.
LLV should admit its mistake and make simple changes immediately, acknowledging that there is no link between live music and high risk. The Tote is gone, who’s next?
On 23 February, coinciding with the 34th anniversary of AC/DC’s famous ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ film clip shoot down Swanston Street, S.L.A.M. is protesting in support and celebration of Victoria’s music scene, where new liquor licensing laws threaten to pull the plug on live music.
Meet at 4pm outside the State Library to make your way along Swanston Street and up Bourke Street to Parliament House to hear guest speakers from 6 to 7pm.
The RocKwiz Orchestra with guest performers will lead the rally, repeating the three chords from ‘It’s A Long Way to the Top’ in the back of a flatbed truck as we follow – ALL 10,000 PLUS OF US – holding placards and instruments chanting down these ridiculous laws. Over the famous riff new lyrics will be created, such as ”So the Tote’s been shut down, send Sue MacLellan [LLV Director] on her way”.
Lack of support for this precious industry has gone on for too long! Celebrate the diversity of Victorian music. Be one of the thousands of musicians and music supporters who will make this a day to remember!
Music means many things to many people, but the most important is that it IS passion, creativity, happiness and life for many people. So please come and help support one of the best things that Australia has to offer: live & local music.
Invite everyone and if you can’t attend please sign the petition. If you are reading this you love music. Keep it alive by keeping it live.
Friday, January 15, 2010
If you are upset about the Tote Hotel closing then register your protest by contacting the following people:
Emailing is good but letter writing and phone calls are best...faxes too!
Please feel free to email me with any alterations or additions.
Richard Wynne MP
State Member For Richmond:
Postal PO Box 1474 Collingwood 3066
Phone 03 9415 8901
Fax 03 9415 8918
Minister for the Arts:
* PLEASE NOTE : it may not be worth writing to Lynne Kosky since she announced her resignation today. A new Arts Minister will be announced soon.
Suite 603, level 1, 2 Main St. Point Cook Town Centre, Point Cook 3030
FAX: 9395 3061
Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs and the Minister for Gaming:
Electorate Office Address
9 Blackburn Road, Blackburn, 3130
Ph: 9878 4113
Fax: 9878 9135
Ministerial Office Address
Level 5, 1 Macarthur Street
East Melbourne 3002
Ph: 8684 1400
Fax: 8684 1444
Director of Liquor Licensing:
Phone (03) 9655 6600
Fax (03) 9655 6978
General inquiries Liquor Licensing:
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal General Inquiries:
The Victorian State Premier John Brumby:
Ministerial office –
Level 1, 1 Treasury Pl, Melbourne 3002
Tel: 9651 5000
Fax: 9651 5054
Electorate office –
145A Wheatsheaf Rd, Glenroy 3046
Tel: 9300 3851
Fax: 9300 3915
Your Voice Victoria "Contact The Premier":
The Victorian Deputy Premier &
Rob Hulls :
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. au.
Electorate Office Address:
473 Keilor Road, Niddrie VIC 3042
Ph: 9379 5879
Fax: 9379 4434
Ministerial Office Address:
Level 3, 1 Treasury Place
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Ph: 9651 1222
Fax: 9651 1188