typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Archive for January 2008

Six Degrees of Celsias…

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An odd choice for a title but possible cause for sustained reflection if you’re punching bowls in pixeltown.

The excellent all-things-planetary-meltdown website Celsias has pumped a wishful article about Coca Cola’s sudden money-down recognition of their ability to play some kind of positive role on the planet. They’ve nicely framed it with some additional links to prankster acts of independent journalism, so although I’m not currently in a posting mode I do encourage you to head over here and check out the prankly goodness.

Oh, by the way – it’s good to sea that Greenpeace haven’t lost their sense of humour, or context, or reality, or self-importance. . .

What the hell – One out of four ain’t bad.

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January 31, 2008 at 2:21 am

A Beautiful Whale Tale from the Southern Seas

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This sweet piece of writing comes from Paikea – originally as a comment here, but too good to leave tucked away.

I am Maori, the Whales are very special to my people. I have heard their song all my
life. Our people and our Polynesian cousins have followed this magnificent creature
all over the world. As the whale knows the safest time to cross the seas. The Whale is
in our dreaming and is a very strong gentle intelligent spirit. It is a teacher.

We (all humans) were given this planet with everything we needed on it. We are borrowing it from our children. Yet we are slow learners and still defacate in our own nests, we act
like spoilt children who scream Mine Mine All Mine, we show our immaturity by not
thinking of others around us. Animals included. We show our ignorance and
arrogance by our actions of torture and greed.

The Japanese as a whole are a sophisticated people, this has blinded some because of greed and a misplaced sense of pride. Their hunting methods are barbaric to extreme, i’ts as if they feel power when they can inflict the most pain to the vunerable. This is not the behaviour of a civilised people. I kill my own meat with the greatest of respect and thanks, but if I cannot kill a creature humanely it lives for I would not put that shame upon my spirit. Not all of my people are of the same mind, but that’s something for me to bear.

The barbaric nature of many of the Asian nations on the Ones Without a Human Tongue, shows their inability to move forward in life. On traditions, the Japanese never went whaling in the southern oceans, a tradition of some of my ancestors was to eat Asians. Sushi
japanese at my place lol. The Japanese are endangering the extremely lucrative whale
watch industry in Australia and New Zealand, what right do they have to jeopardise
this. They have admitted killing lactating whales, leaving the babies to die a slow
lonely painful death, these people (if you could call them that) are evil. A whale is too
big to kill humanely.

I bow to The People of The Sea Shepherd, they have my financial and spiritual support, hopefully my son will join them next year to help protect our Spiritual Teacher The Whale. In time may you all grow ears so you can hear the song of the Whale, for then you will be able to see your world in all its splendor.

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January 28, 2008 at 3:14 am

Coca Cola to pay for refuelling of Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace anti-whaling vessels.

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In a dramatic move earlier this evening, Terry Davis, the boss of Coca Cola‘s Australian division, announced that the frequently maligned multinational would throw financial weight behind the battle for whale protection in the Australian seas off Antarctica.

Tasmanian brewer Bluetongue Beer was recently purchased by Coca Cola Amatil. During last year’s whaling season, the company donated $250 000 to Sea Shepherd, enabling the group to acquire and operate remote communications equipment, as well as airing the following commercial in Japan. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 24, 2008 at 3:43 am

Best & latest on the Antarctic situation, including overview from Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson.

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There was an excellent piece in the Guardian today, A Tale of Two Ships. It makes for a lengthy but captivating read, pitting the Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd philosophies against one another to enhance readers’ understanding. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 17, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Australian premiere of Cloverfield: a suitably abrupt review

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Marauding interweb meem, edge-of-the-seat thriller, hi-tech minimalism, monster-genre revival, Nokia commercial, whatever!

There has certainly been an advertising-boosted buzz about Cloverfield over the last couple of weeks. It isn’t a cultural phenomenon (despite what JJ Abrams, producer extraordinaire seems to think), and it didn’t feel like some drastic turning point in modern popular cinema, BUT Cloverfield succeeds as an immersive, organ-churning rollercoaster of a film starring, albeit in the periphery, what must surely be the best movie monster since Alien. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 16, 2008 at 9:37 pm

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Sea Shepherd – latest on hostage situation

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The following is the latest blog entry posted by Sea Shepherd on their MySpaz page.

Japanese Whaling Fleet On the Run With Two Sea Shepherd Hostages
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ship Steve Irwin is in full pursuit of five vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet including the Japanese supply vessel Oriental Bluebird.The Japanese harpoon vessel Yushin Maru No. 2 has taken two Sea Shepherd volunteer crew members hostage. Benjamin Potts 28, an Australian citizen and Giles Lane, 35, a citizen of Great Britain are being held hostage onboard the whaling vessel. Both men were assaulted and then tied to the railings of the whaler. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 16, 2008 at 11:07 am

breaking: Japanese whalers take activists hostage

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Astounding! Last year around this time, things were really getting dramatic in the Sea Shepherd pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet across Antarctica. Crew missing at sea, shipboard fires, the risk of a pristine environment being chemically decimated, and even one human death as an accompaniment to the slaughter of hundreds of mammoth sentient beings.

Not to be outdone, the 2007/08 season of resistance has just kicked into overdrive. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 15, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Australian preview of Cloverfield

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mainstream pop culture has a seemingly increasing ability to disappoint, but what the hell – HA!! Preview tickets!! Check back in here tomorrow night by 10:30 pm for the review.

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January 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm

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Major breakthrough: Australian Court moves to block Japan’s whaling fleet

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This summer’s enviro-political drama has just geared up from regional discomfort to international powder keg. In mid-January, the Australian Federal Court ruled that whaling by Japanese company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd in the Australian Whale Sanctuary – including disputed waters off Antarctica – is illegal and must stop immediately.

Humane Society International, represented in court by Senior Counsel Stephen Gageler, Barrister Chris McGrath and the Environmental Defenders Office, had been fighting to achieve this outcome for close to 4 years. Since 2005 the possibility of such a result had been blocked by federal Attorney-General Ruddock. He had deemed smooth relations with Japan more valuable than potentially unenforceable court orders.

Newly appointed Attorney-General Robert McLelland removed this administrative distortion late last year, thereby giving Justice Allsop the discretion necessary to issue an injunction. It remains to be seen how the federal government will enforce this court order. Read the rest of this entry »

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January 15, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Forest campaign against Garrett may have teeth…

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Just pilfered this sassy new bulletin from the ever-lovely Tasmanian Times. It comes fresh from the keyboard of Karl Stevens:

Peter Garrett needs a comb as much as Tasmania needs a pulp mill’.

This is a new campaign targeting Environment Minister Peter Garrett …

PEOPLE are asked to send a plastic hair comb or a picture of a hair comb, with or without an anti-pulpmill message to Environment Minister Garrett.

Nothing abusive or insulting please.

The aim of this campaign is to draw attention to Garrett’s refusal to acknowledge the proposed pulp mill and the clearing of native forest in Tasmania as a critical environmental issue.

There are the 2 addresses for people to post to:
Peter Garrett
Suit MG40
Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Peter Garrett
PO Box 249
Maroubra NSW 2035

If you happen to be combing the internet from overseas, just stick ‘Australia’ in before the postcode.

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January 14, 2008 at 12:59 am

film review: No Country for Old Men

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Although they may need to apologize for their Intolerable Cruelty, the Coen Brothers really don’t have anything left to prove to anybody. One of the most successful writer/director teams in the history of film, their latest film, No Country for Old Men manages to break the few rules they had perhaps missed along the way.

Just like O Brother, Where Art Thou, Fargo, and Raising Arizona, sinister humour meets perfect casting with great results. Tommy Lee Jones gives a superb performance which proves key to the ultimate impact of the film, but perhaps the biggest surprise is Spanish film star Javier Bardem.

Coming from a background of soft porn and gayploitation flicks, similar to Antonio Banderas, Bardem utterly dominates as the soft-spoken, brutally moral assassin pursuing a suitcase of money and a truckload of drugs across the harsh American Midwest.

And that’s more plot than needs to be known. The essence of Coen films seems to be a questioning of the very stuff of life. Is morality a fiction, or just a story usually told badly? What happens when we break ‘the rules’? Why don’t we break them more often? Has God left us completely to our own devices?

There is the trademark convergence of coincidence and retribution, usually fuelled by a simple accident. But there is also the deliciously dark and jarring humour which many attempt and few achieve, perhaps none to the level of accomplishment seen in No Country for Old Men.

Quite simply, the film is deservedly being hailed as a modern American masterpiece. While all movies are best seen without expectation, any that you may hold shall be shaken up in the most welcome way by this 2-hour slap-in-the-face. Utterly recommended.

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January 13, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Posted in art, awesomeness, review

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news highlights of the week.

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Satan’s very own trouser stain went to Israel and went beyond the usual ‘talking shit’ to get into the talking of ‘holy shit‘. Even though Bush was selling masses of weapons to Israel at the precise moment that Palestinian civilians were being killed in their homes, even though the legitimate election of Hamas resulted in a Western tantrum and further restrictions on food and security for the hungry, this prick now thinks he can clean up his CV with some handshake photo-ops with the weakest leaders of Israel and Palestine respectively in years. Not to mention firing off some crap about fighting the evil doers who hate freedom. Duh George, irony.

Still, at least he won popular appreciation for his typically insightful humour:

“You’ll be happy to know, my whole motorcade of a mere 45 cars was able to make it through without being stopped,” Bush said after being asked about the 30-minute journey from Jerusalem and Ramallah.

“I’m not so exactly sure that’s what happens to the average person.”

The average person gets beaten up by Israeli forces armed, trained, and financed by your government, George, becaue you have money for strategic military aid but none for genuine humanitarian needs… but good gag about the check points. ha. ha.

Arnold Schwarzenegger took lots of steroids and never gave back any trophies. He’s a multimillionaire movie star governor and rightly so, I guess. Marion Jones took steroids, has given back 5 Olympic medals, had race results from 7 years ago cancelled, and been sentenced to 6 months jail, 400 hours community service, and 2 years of good behaviour. Forget all the reasons given and the fluffy explanations of instant analysts. She was successful, she’s still black. That’s why this is being done to her. End of story.

The Guardian came out with its list of the 50 people most likely to help save the planet, and it’s definitely worth reading. Obviously there are mistakes, like the inclusion of Bjorn Lomborg – an overrated statistician who does his best to be mistaken for an objective authority and critical thinker. Obviously the inclusion of Peter Garrett is interesting – because Bob Brown and Christine Milne have been left out, because he is in on the basis of his efforts regarding climate change (which have officially been ‘0’), because it may well be an accurate forecast.

Speaking of planetary saviours, Paul Watson’s Sea Shepherd are still trawling the Antarctic waters in search of the Japanese whaling fleet. For all their pre-election noise, the new federal government have been utterly disappointing on the whale hunt front. Although combined US and Australian pressure saw humpbacks taken off the Japanese menu, it could be readily speculated that this was always the Japanese intention. By distracting diplomacy and outrage with their proclaimed intent to kill endangered and high profile humpbacks, the Japanese whalers won both gullible kudos and increased space for harpoon-play by rescinding this particular plan – which may never have actually been any more than a ploy.

Not only are the government doing nothing, they’re doing it actively by withholding information about Japanese whereabouts from the Sea Shephered and Greenpeace ships who could take action. Although Greenpeace finally caught up to the whalers later in the week, their new “hands-on, down-and-dirty” branding still doesn’t extend to sharing info with Sea Shepherd – something they have specifically refused to do in the past. To highlight how similarly limp-wristed the federal ALP’s effort has been, Sea Shepherd appointed former Liberal Environment Minister Ian Campbell to their board this week. He takes up a spot beside Terri Irwin, Sean Penn, and others.

Of course, environmentally, a huge piece of news this week was that China has moved to ban plastic shopping bags. The mighty nation currently goes through 3 billion bags every day. They have set a legally binding target of June 1 2008 as the date on which this will no longer occur at all. Not to be outdone, the following day Peter Garrett proclaimed that Australia would ban plastic shopping bags by the end of this year. He managed to claim most of the credit for this comparatively lightweight gesture without making any mention of China.

Also ignored by Australian media, CIA papers from 1974 were released detailing how American analysis at the time confirmed that Israel was developing a nuclear weapons capability. Certainly more convincing than anything they’ve come out with about Iran. Or Iraq (where yet another new ‘official’ death toll has come out – 151 000). Or North Korea. Even though N. Korea conducted an atomic test. To better understand why journalists and news media spend far too much time with their heads firmly up each other’s asses, this piece from Politico is exceptionally useful – not to mention a fun read. Oops, I mentioned it. Called “Why reporters get it wrong” the piece tries to grapple with the wake of the Hillary Clinton resurrection one day before she was officially due to be buried.

And the absolutely legendary achievement of the week has to go to James Castrission and Justin Jones. The young Aussie kayaking duo finally expect to hit land later this morning. After 60 days of rowing, covering over 3000 kilometres when they set out aiming to cover 2200, and with their legs and bodies wasting away, the story of these young men fighting horrendous conditions, a massive challenge of endurance, and their own internal processes has been riveting. Catch up on their story via the Crossing the Ditch website.

And although it probably fits in somewhere between religious bullshit and animal torture, a Footscray man ended up in court for buying an 11-year old girl high heeled shoes and asking her to kick him in the genitals. If the shoe fits….

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January 13, 2008 at 3:37 am

Happy New Beer!

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The General Managers of Cascade Brewery , Tooheys , XXXX , CUB and Coopers were at a national beer conference.

They decide to all go to lunch together and the waitress asks what they want to drink.

The General Manager of Tooheys says without hesitation, ‘I’ll have a Tooheys New.’

The General Manager of Cascade smiles and says, ‘I’ll have a Cascade Draught, brewed from pure mountain water.’

The General Manager of Coopers proudly says, ‘I’ll have a Coopers, the King of Beers.’

The bloke from Carlton says, ‘I’ll have a Carlton Draught, the cleanest draught on the planet.’

The General Manager from XXXX glances at his lunch mates and says, ‘I’ll have a Diet Coke.’

The others look at him like he has sprouted a new head.

He just shrugs and says, ‘Well if none of you ponces are drinking beer, then neither am I.’

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January 2, 2008 at 12:05 pm