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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why we call Australia home

Days like this make you happy to be in Australia. These shots were taken on a lazy week day down at Balmoral Beach. Yeah, I know what you are thinking. Get a job.

Only in Australia: A Queue for the Bottle-O

I have spent some time in Melbourne for the last month or so whilst performing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. On my way home one night I walked past The Exford, a 24 hour bottle-0 in the city centre. This collection of photos was taken at two in the morning. If you look closely, you'll notice there is actually a line to get in, complete with security guard checking people's ID.


Late night Smart Casual

Took these shots of Smart Casual members Nick and Ben Mattick whilst flatting with them at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Currently touring the country with the Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow. Check them out. They are hilarious.

People who should earn a banker's salary - No. 1: Laura Veirs

Lots of the most beautiful and most memorable things in the world are created for free by people who struggle to make ends meet. For example, Horace, Mozart, Van Gogh and Schubert all died poor.

A couple of weeks ago, I came up with the idea of starting a blog citing people who's professions are financially undervalued by society. I wanted to call the blog, "People who should earn a banker's salary". My sister suggested it be called The Robbin' Hood, as in, robbing from the rich to give back to the poor. The blog would have been full of musicians, actors, comedians, painters, aid workers, volunteers, religious leaders, nursing home nurses etc. Anyway, I've decided to integrate the idea into this blog. It's part of Jamison Inc's world, so I guess it sort of fits.

So get on board with the first addition to the "Should be earning a banker's salary" series: American singer song writer Laura Veirs. Thanks again to Guy Garvey, the lead singer of Elbow, for putting me onto this singer.

Laura is currently touring the states, and appears from the photos on her website to be heavily pregnant. I'm sure that as I write this, she has already given birth. Check out the official video for her beautiful song "July Flame".


Late Night Little Lonsdale

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Australia's image: Are we more than shark attacks and enraged koalas?

An article entitled Let's Ingore Snobbery of Old Europe recently appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald written by German sociologist Jens Schroeder in which the author argued that Australia's egalitarianism (read: lack of culture, class or distinction) is a unique achievement and something to be celebrated. Schroeder intimated that whilst Europeans would be ashamed of such egalitarianism, (and often are on Australia's behalf), Australia can nevertheless afford to be proud.

Sound like a bit of a back handed compliment? A bit like saying, for example, "Hey Stephen Hawking, you are severely crippled, but that's what makes you special"? Well, be your own judge and check out Schroeder's article for yourself.

OK, now you've read it. Let me rant.

Commencing rant... now.

Listen up Australia. Apparently we are, quote, "a vibrant nation in a booming region" and we have, wait for it, "more to offer than beach, beer and (alleged) crassness."

Well, thank god for that.

"Proudly plebeian, Australia has no need to apologise for its egalitarianism and should celebrate its achievements more self-consciously. For Europeans... Australians are the plebeians of the Western World." These are the first two seemingly incongruous sentences of Schroeder's article. The first remind tells us we should be proud of our culture. The second reminds us that according to those that matter, we have none. It struck me as strange that Mr Schroeder should start his self-esteem boosting crusade by characterising Australia through the very Euro-centric lens from which he seeks to encourage us to escape. "Ok, so Australia, you're backward, a cultural wasteland if you will. But you have to stop thinking of yourself like that."

Maybe the idea of an emerging Australia shedding it's post-colonial skin is a convenient and original discourse in "tired Europe" (Schroeder's words not mine), but how many Australians really still consider Europe as the centre of enlightenment, and Australia as a simple beer-battered continent with nothing to offer but sun and beaches? Surely we have moved beyond this Paul Hoganesque oversimplification of Australian society.

I feel Schroeder misses an opportunity to shine a light on a more evolved and elaborate Australia, and instead ends up subconsciously reinforcing the very stereotype of Australia as the simple, happy-go-lucky, slap-on-the-back country that he has apparently come here to dispel. Shark attacks, enraged koalas and bogan beach antics might still be the most easily consumable version of Australia for Europe's media (Film's like "Australia" don't help), but a closer look reveals a much more complex (and potentially less romantic) stereotype than the one Schroeder paints.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Clarke and Dawe: The Great Barnaby

They're back. Clarke and Dawe. The ending to this sketch is so random. Love it.

Check it out here or click on the below image to watch.