Journal

Bullies and Blame ... here's what I think

What is it about blame that people find irresistible? We have all done it. “They should do something about it,” is a common blame phrase. Or “If it weren’t for X, Y would never have happened,” is another.…

I think blame is the trap we fall into when we are sidetracked from the pursuit of answers to our questions. Frustrated with finding that some things don’t have answers available readily, we grab onto blame and hang on tight.

There are some circumstances where this may be understandable. When someone dies young from a disease not caught in time, or in an accident, fingers are pointed. When wars happen, politics and religion are blamed. When drought inflicts its fiery wrath, we blame global warming or bad civic planning or water hogs. If we miss out on a plum job, we feel resentful toward

Come Write In #26 - Do weeping angels terrify you?

What is your greatest fear?…

It’s a much more difficult question in so many ways than it may first appear.

Years ago I boarded with a family when first attending university. There was another boarder, a friend of the husband who managed an RM Williams store in Melbourne. He seemed like a nice enough fellow, a little bit country and a fairly tough, crass sort of bloke. But he was terrified of mice. At the time I thought it was incredibly odd, especially for someone who grew up in Victoria’s north.

But not so. It seems when he was a lad there had been a mouse plague. He had fallen asleep sitting up in bed one night and woke surrounded by mice crawling all over his bed. When he stood, the wallpaper all around him had been eaten away by the mice and all that was left was his silhouette. I don’

Come Write In #25 - Emotional Truth

There are only two hours of today left and I’ve almost missed the boat to post a blog a day so what should I write about? The themes, topics, subjects and musings are endless and I could pluck just any old thing out of the sky.…

But the passion or whimsical musings are not hitting me and I do not wish to present anyone who reads my writings with something that is not moving me in some way. That would be disrespectful.

For me, my writing must have even a small amount of emotional truth to it or I’m being dishonest. It doesn’t matter what that emotion may be really. It doesn’t need to be heavy or angsty. In fact, I prefer to keep the angst-filled poetry, for example, to myself … unless, of course, I am satirising it.

And having written the above, I realise that the bottom line with all my wr

Come write In #24 - nature, nurture or just plain old?

I am becoming my parents. There; I’ve said it!…

It’s true and it’s something I never, ever thought I would confess to in a zillion years. But as I get older I hear myself telling my daughter things my mother told me – and just lately, with my half century looming, I’m getting cranky like the old man! (Better do a limb count; legs don’t run in our family).

But you know what? It’s not so bad in most respects. The alternative is not great i.e. staying young forever. And given the choice, I’d NEVER go through my 20s again. Never! Not in a zillion years. And my 30s weren’t so great either. My 40s, bless ‘em, have been epiphanous and, if what my uncle says is true, I will be hitting my stride in the coming years.

Everyone who knows me well is familiar with my main flaw, trait or perhaps attribut

Come Write In #23 - Universal Paranoia

I’ve always wanted to research and write a piece, a joke, a poem or thesis on universal paranoia and its manifestations in popular culture.…

“Wha?” you might be thinking.

Well, it’s based on the not-so-pivotal moment in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when Arthur Dent declares that he had always felt as if he was being watched and Slarty Bardfarst tells him that this had nothing to do with the fact the human race was being manipulated by mice, but that it was merely something everyone felt.

For years I had thought Slarty had mentioned the phrase ‘Universal Paranoia’ but on reviewing the films, series and books, I think it must be a term I came up with or perhaps I just read it somewhere else. Whatever!

Why am I fascinated with paranoia and its universality? Perhaps a definition would sit

Come Write in #22 - Respect for the Bitches

I have been following a thread on the Facebook page of a Brisbane cocktail bar that asked for feedback for its new drink names which include Winey Bitch and Redheaded Slut. You can imagine that a lot of people are taking offence and a lot of people are taking offence at the offence. The whole feedback thread has degenerated to name calling between those who think the names are really ‘mad’ and those who think they are hate speech.…

I’m offended by the names. They really are hate speech towards women as far as I’m concerned. But normally I would screw my nose up and move on. This time I didn’t. I’ve stopped and commented, thought about it, then I sent an email to a current affairs program hoping they will look into it.

Why did I do this?

It really worries me how things are going out there i

Come Write in #21 - We can all be heroes

Why is it we go through life needing heroes? We all do it – some consciously and some do it subconsciously. Some are serious, some flippant, and some completely misguided.…

We call these heroes all sorts of things. Some are mentors, teachers and even our parents. Some people idolise the values and masculinity of comic book heroes like Batman and Superman or the strength, independence and rebelliousness of Wolverine. We worship religious figures, celebrities, actors or people who excel in their fields like doctors, scientists, business people.

There’s the intellectuals, the artists, writers and philosophers who could be named. And then there are ‘every day’ heroes; people we have met and admired and perhaps even aspire to be like them.

Are you anyone’s hero? I never, ever thought I would pu

What value my art (bit of a whinge I think)

Did Vincent Van Gogh make a living from his art? I can quite categorically say ‘no, he did not’. He lived on handouts from his loving brother, but poor Vincent did not sell a single painting in his lifetime. He was the epitome of the poor, starving artist.…

Did Cezanne make a living from his art? I’m not sure but I read somewhere that his wife was so frustrated with their poverty that, at one stage, when a customer wanted a painting of just an apple, she took to one of his canvases with a pair of scissors and cut one out to sell it!

Can you imagine taking a pair of scissors to a Cezanne?

Of course they lived in different times and there was no mass media to bring them to instant fame. But would they be revered today if they lived in modern times? And now, can you live from your art?

I ask

How long is forever?

In the short time since forever began, there’s been a kitchen fire creating smelly chaos, a fat suit filled with turkey and veg, a CEO snappy about sweet biscuits, an interesting trick with garden beans, and unfortunate reincarnations.

Are you intrigued by this piece of forever? You should be. And if you want to join in and contribute a piece of your own forever in 150 words or less, pop into the forum at Flash Fiction and see what title is currently up for grabs.

This is the ‘funnest’ challenge I’ve seen unfolding in a long time. For details click here

Self affirmation?

There will ever
only
be one da Vinci!
Monkeys and typewriters hammer in my head. This has little to do with Leo’s lovely and brilliant life’s work.…

There will ever
only
be one van Gogh!
I still have both ears. But then again, he started out with two, I think.

There will ever
only
be one Cezanne!
I liked his apples. So did his wife; a customer asked to buy just one and she cut it out of the canvas and sold it. They needed the money.

There will ever
only
be one Andy!
Not that I ‘get’ his art really, but certainly there was impact and it resonated in the modern world somehow. What did it all mean? Perhaps that question reflects why he was popular. I’m not terribly fond of soup though.

There will ever
only
be one me!
That’s the point. Popularity and skill and resonance and impact are all byproducts. This, I

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