Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Living it up at the Mikano "Bollywood Affair"

I've been pretty social lately and had a great time at the sold event "Bollywood Affair" at Mikano last Saturday.  My friends and I got suited up for the event as it was a formal dress code which was classy in a good way. My Mum thought we looked Pulp Fiction after seeing our photo on Facebook haha.

I can't remember the last time i dusted off the old suit, must've been Abbiruth's last court appearance haha just joking. All the guys were pretty liquored up on scotch and feeling jolly. I was sticking to ginger ale like a model citizen and sober as after a while we all trooped off to the event after listening to some music and jesting banter. When we arrived a line was already starting to form so we jumped in and got all our tickets sorted and slid past the bouncer. Lucky we scored tickets online instead of getting them on the door as there were no sales on the night to be had. When we got into the place the dance-floor was already going off with Dj's slaying everyone with Indian dance music and just the right volume too not to loud but still powerful enough!

 The chandeliers in the photo were swinging, shining and sparkling and the gang was setting the dance-floor on fire with drunken grins and yelps of glee. When things started to get crazy we all pretty much split off and did our own thing mingling and chatting with punters and trying to get numbers and the like. After to many hours dancing we exited the venue but all at different times Waffles was the first to hit the road at 1am, I gaped the scenes at 2am, Abbiruth at 3:30am in the morning with Soorya and finally the last man standing on the night Abhinaw Sai rolled out the door and all the way home at 4:30am what a legend. 

When your at a rave and trying to hype it up

last night at Kandy club the beats were banging the drinks were flowing and the ravers were raving
the music was so loud it could blow out your eardrum and leave you balling on the dance-floor
it wasn't for the fainted hearted but for the brave it proved a relentless and intense night with 
a phenomenal DJ whipping the house up into a frenzy slaying the crowd with back to back bangers and the random chill out to build back up to peak euphoria. 

Monday, 29 August 2016

Suren Unka & Levi Patel - Classical music meets Electronica on "5/8" at Lot 23

I caught the first show of Suren Unka and Levi Patel's joint classical meets electronic project "5/8" at venue Lot 23 a couple weekends ago with my friend Sai near Kingsland. For some reason I thought the gig was going to be in a run down warehouse in Ponsonby. I got all confused and thought the gig was going down at the art studio 230 were some great Auckland artists work out of haha. I guess that's what happens when you don't google the venue early in the week to make sure of crucial geographical details.

After playing cricket earlier in the day i rolled up to Sai's place round 8pm on Saturday at the Empire apartments in Auckland cbd. I waited for him for a couple of minutes and saw a beautiful young European couple check in. I overheard them muttering about the price of rooms something about what a rip of it was for 250 dollars or something. 

Once Sai was ready he appeared and we trooped off in the complete wrong direction like Don Quixote and his trusted side kick. Once we came to the stark realisation that we were at the wrong place, we quickly talked about how walks aren't bad however meaningless walks are to be avoided when you need to be somewhere. I mentioned how I believed meaningless walks with no fruitful end to be just slightly better than painful torture, waterboarding and the like.

After weighing up to get an Uber we flagged the idea as we both weren't well versed in the app and had low battery and brain power. Naturally i volunteered to pay for the taxi as I screwed up! so in we got and roared off toward Mt Eden were Sai said the venue actually was :) 

When we arrived the flaming venue was annoyingly close to my house which ground my gears for a second and slightly enraged me for a chilled out. We quickly paid our door charge and glanced in at the room down a white walled hallway were the gig was to take place. It was an intimate vibe definitely more romantic date night than head banging electro rave bender. Sai kept mentioning how he thought it might have been someones house that was converted into a music venue, which i thought it may have been. Then he changed tack and thought it was a recording studio. Instead I offered an account that perhaps the room was used for shooting videos and commercials due to the lights dangling from the ceiling which reminded me of my brief extras career on Shortland street lol. 

After a couple of minutes we identified a table to plonk down on I grabbed the first round of overpriced drinks. Probably the laugh of the night was when Sai asked the bar-lady who looked and sounded like the owner "do you sell RTDs?" which me made me crack up. He didn't immediately grasp the idea that this was a more middle-upper class establishment where they tried to rob you blind even over a small orange juice, not that i'm hating on them i mean people operating arts based venues need to make some form of profit to stay afloat especially in these dreary economy times. But sometimes I do feel they forget about people also trying to survive and how lower drink prices and higher volumes may make them more money, but i guess that all depends on their suppliers and how much they are tryna squeeze the venue for. About 5 minutes later after Sai came to the realisation that the woman really wasn't hiding any Ready to Drink coke and whiskeys behind the bar, he opted for Champagne which I thought was a miraculous decision. I'm also glad he chose bubbles as he had almost even completely convinced me that they were hiding RTDs behind the bar. I nonchalantly chose a lemonade with some funny childish drawing on it as i am avoiding alcoholic beverages. 

After fighting our way back through the bourgeois crowd nursing our drinks like new born babies Sai and I patiently sat down and offered the random clap at the opening act who played some pretty sweet piano chords re-creating previously rehearsed music live. He was playing synthesizers and live triggering some vibey soul samples.

Right in the middle of the room was Bob Frisbee mixing sound and the low end was just right with a nice balanced brightness on the overall mix.

 I had a quick glance at the desk

 he was using that 
 I've seen him man at quite a few gigs were for live sound. 

It looked slightly robotic with flashing lights and computer programmed algorithms and filters. I inwardly whimpered at what the user manual for such a piece of audio gear would resemble something probably harder to read than

 Karl Marx's Das Capital 

and likely exceedingly more boring and  confusing. 

On a side note whenever i think of Karl a Bukowski quote flashes through my mind "Don't read Marx, very dry shit!"

After another round of drinks i opted for a marvellously flavoured boysenberry drink or something of that elk. The headlining act aka Suren Unka and Levi jumped up on stage after mingling in the crowd and started drumming and playing synths coming out of the stage from all directions like sizzyling lightsabers.

Hands down my favourite song of the night was the one when Levi Patel started off playing the xylophone as it got into a real deep groove with the drumming slamming a way and strings and synths floating around everyone's heads like little halos.

Funnily enough the band got asked to play an encore but it looked like their repertoire was spent leaving the crowd hungrily wanting more with the random punter looking round like a stunned mallet trying to figure out what was going on? 

From my perspective I think the new E.P "5/8" is a quite mind expanding form of music slightly avant garde and not immediately accessible but potentially very rewarding if it hits you in the right mood and state of mind. Stream my favourite song off the record "Shelter" below; 

For Love is Not Cruel Torture

Rainbows sting
like scorpions
poisoning the cloudy winds
your hazel eyes
weeping salty tears
sorry not sorry i shan't be giving in
For love is not cruel torture
nor a contract drafted up for commercial gain
true love is simple friendship inside a searing twin flame
so burn on burn on like a neon highway lighting my lovers way
as i am quite certain I shall never return from whence i came
snoring down a highway
slumped over drooling on a cloud
i sink back into my couch
upholstered with freezing water vapour
as I mis-pronounce unkempt wedding vows

Friday, 26 August 2016

i love a woman in red

i love a woman in red
it sends signals inside my head
primal lust mixed with temperance
desire allure excitement
the colour of blood dripping red
a powerful woman approaching yes
not a mother daughter or sister no
instead someone you beckon close
without shame or regret things unfold
on the couch in the bed on the floor
within your heart one thousand colours burn to red

Why You Shouldn't Smoke Shisha next to me indoors! ;)

I was eating a kebab at the Turkish cafe on K road with Ruth Bioletti tonight. Directly next to us were a group of European tourists smoking Shisha in a hookah a pipe covered with red hot coals.They were oblivious to the smoke spewing forth from their mouths and noses maybe even their eyes onto us covering us with smoke. In my annoyance I thought how disgusting second hand smoke is. I can understand one choosing to smoke themselves to death but making that decision for another person is immoral and wrong. Also I'm not sure if its true what they say but apparently smoking shisha is close to or worse than smoking a whole pack of cigarettes in 30 minutes. Betwixt my coughing and sneezing the idea sprung into my head;

*hey wait a second i'm currently in New Zealand and yes its illegal to smoke inside a closed food premise kabinga

So I waltzed over to the man behind the counter and put forth my pleas that breaking the law simply won't do. In a somewhat indifferent manner he pointed me to the pizza spinning manager who looked completely dead inside.

I reiterated that it was illegal to smoke inside a cafe/restaurant and if wanted the owner to get a big fine he should tell these nincompoops to move outside. I quickly sat back down at the table and ate a chip and low and behold next thing you know the tourists were drop kicked all the way down to the other side of the cafe. I would've preferred the South Island but they were just far enough away so they could carry on smoking their stupid lungs out with all shisha they could buy. They did look a bit unhappy outside in the cold wind whipping them all around with a sprinkling of icy cold rain every now and then. Some might call me selfish.

You would be wrong I was happy as I could be I tucked into my kebab enjoying my meal with Ruth Bioletti immensely. A very fulfilling feeling flooded my body, justice maybe? I cant say for sure but what I would stress is how important it is to politely stand up for yourself and be unafraid to spoil someone else's party if they don't care about you.

What can I say the law is a great and wonderful thing, especially when it's on your side!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

It's in the wind and the wet that one becomes thankful for the roof over ones head

Auckland Shoe-shining man Larry turns away from money and discovers human happiness

Watch the video here:

The video above reminds me of Aristotle and the virtue ethics approach to life. Which for people who don't know is an Ancient Greek philosophy that informs how one approachs life by pursuing virtues such as bravery, compassion, love etc and by respectping others through an ethical life of mutual respect. It's aim is to lead one to human happiness and a meaningful life encapsulated by the Greek word eudaimonia - the flourishing life that sees a human being bloom like a flower to their full potential. 

Surprisingly Aristotle believed one still had to have a ton of money to achieve the eudaimonian life, as he put a lot of weight in the virtue of magnificence to which he thought only the rich and rulers of society could carry out. 

In contrast the shoe shine man in the video seems to have turned his back on wealth altogether which is a more epicurean move I reckon.

Electric Blanket Lover

the only lover i ever needed was my electric blanket its hot as hell but knows how to cool down and stay chill when i need it too plus when im not ready for it there no quams it just waits for until i'm ready for it to engulf me and when im out of town on work or on vacation I know it won't cheat either or demand that it come too plus for the amount of unconditionally love i get from it im onto a good thing pity it's a guy and im not gay i guess no relationship was made to be perfect also sadly you never break up from an electric blanket they tend to die on you like your favourite pet animal or maybe they decay in a crumpled pile on a sweltering hot afternoon in Summer then full of remorse and guilt you shamelessly attempt to resusciatate the love you thrust it back onto your bed like the wedding night of your platonic consummation despite this primal display of wild dissarray the chilly depths of Winter overpower your union and it wont heat up properly like it youse to and your forced to throw all that good loving in the trash anyway Thank god there a more were that came from with electric blankets lining the fully stocked shelves at Briscoes But from my observation sadly they all seem to be getting shittier and shitter kind of like human beings overtime maybe one day electric blankets will resemble shitty human beings completely so much so that given the choice they will all choose not to work at all given the choice the poor old sods

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Gabe and I chatting about Maths, Attending a Punk show & Partying at the Kings Arms

Last weekend my brother drove up from Wellington. I hadn't seen him in agesss and his friendly face was a sight for sore eyes. His hair had been cut short having grown out from a number one buzz cut and he looked as healthy as one can living in a flat haha. Gabe had until very recently been grappling with some serious problems in maths and physics at stage 3 inside the dungeons of Victoria University. He had driven up with his friend Gus who also flats with him and studies maths too. I was also super surprised at Gus' hair that was strikingly similar to my my niece Desdemona hair colour being coppery red.

A day or so or after they arrived Gabe was explaining how there's a blurry line between the disciplines of both "Maths and Physics saying how 'they seem to seep into each other, or collide" he also mentioned how "If you don't have enough maths, you can't really do physics at the highest level. He told it was because there are a lot of random variables in physics with a kinda of lazy good as it gets mentality prevailing. That's why I think Gabe likes Maths it's just more robust and pure as it tries to avoid flawed foundations as much as possible.

The chat with Gabe also tied into how I had been reading about the philosopher Bertrand Russell
and how as a boy he became obsessed with finding out the true foundations of maths
in-particular trigonometry. Russell wasn't satisfied with the claims of maths that took a similar
position to physics where you couldn't be absolutely certain how or why underpinning factors
were a given. Sadly for his sake Bertrand's pure maths obsession didn't cease leading to him
writing a right a mammoth of a book called the Principia Mathematica. The book took him over
9 years of 12 hour days to complete. What a jail sentence! but it could make for fun heavy reading
for Gabe if could bear to turn the pages of such a fear inducing book, hide your calculators.

After mulling over the importance/irrelevance of maths Gabe convinced me we should go out
as it was Friday night. So amongst the wind and rain we ran out into the drizzly night while
scanning online for something to do on our phones. Thankfully early in the week my friend
Temuera had messaged me about a gig happening at the Kings Arms but for some reason
I had convinced myself it was at Neck of the Woods. Probably because I really like the later
venue as some of Tem's cool friends work there. In fact the last gig we went to see saw a
fast as hell rapper from Bone Thugs 'N' Harmony preforming a secret show to hype the
Blockparty festival he was playing the next night. However, equally awe inspiring was the
gig before that I attended with Tom Scott and his musician mates going ape shit and throwing
down a rowdy ass hip hop set. I'm telling you the bass and low end of that gig was intense
plus the energy from the Auckland crowd was hyped turning the charm and enthusiasm
way up for the local muso, music meshed everyone together in a good buzz.

Anyway it finally clicked that the gig was at the Kings Arms. I had previously heard an advert
on BFM early in the week advertising a Third3ye show. My neurons made the connection that
this was the gig Tem said was happening. On route to that gig we decided to drop into another
a punk show at Obie Dobie at 300 dominion road. I got us some drinks and low and behold my old mate Ben Olsen was screaming his lungs out with his latest band Riot Carcass. His vocals were
shredding and the backing band made up of guitar, bass and drums (classic set up, tried and true) were holding down some meaty riffs with the occasional callous cymbal crash thrown in. Ben and the gang played a solid set almost nose to nose with the audience as there was not stage. The crowd consisted of some direhard music fans, other band members and random dudes. There were also people outside puffing away on death inducing cigarettes while the music from the gig leaked down for blocks which was rather funny in itself. In between bands once Ben finished Gabe and I charged outside for a bit of air and to rest the old ear drums. I just remembered before the punk gig Gabe and I had searched in vain for earplugs at the local Countdown in Mt Eden but there were none, shame on you Countdown for not stocking such a basic commodity in your overpriced shelves. Once the next band took the stage we decided to bugger off as they were a bit indie and mellow for our taste.

Out in the cold we were throwing up not literally just to get a burger or not. We foolishly settled
on Burger Fuel. I got some 10$ thing that was pretty much just a meat patty in burger bun.
I mean pretty uninspiring for the price tag, never eating their again. People say Burger fuel its not the same as it use to be but I think folks we all need to admit to ourselves that the food was
always shit even from the beginning. On a funny side note another one of my friends worked
at the Burger fuel in Mt Eden for ages and he said that under his contract he could eat a burger every shift he worked there. But apparently the rules changed so new employees didn't get a a free burger so it was just him all on his lonesome after his other co-workers had moved on cooking up these monster burgers every shift for himself while the other employees just looked on hungrily. Anyway Gabe ate some Japanese burger thing with some mad stuff inside it that just looked like deep friend onion rings, his burger looked much better than mine but still rather drab after a while we decided to leg it to the next venue just before the rain came down which was a good call, well a cheap call.

When we jumped into the fray of second mosh pit of the night after paying our
ten dollar door charge we grooved along to Bailey Wiley mid-set firing the crowd up
with a pretty electrifying and sexual music that reminded me of Beyonce lyrically, musically
and visually. Eden was djing behind her playing beats for her to sing over, I remember him
from Mt Albert Grammar he played the drums and was a real nice guy. The way Bailey moved
around on was primal and the music exceedingly dance-able. The next guys up on stage where
the headliners called Third3ye with Basil djing, beat matching and scratching behind them
on the dj decks taking over from Eden. On stage Third3ye explained to the crowd how the
show was slightly different to a normal release party. Together they had decided to preform
all their new songs live before recording them and releasing the latest record. Such a move made perfect sense to me, because the more you can play the songs the better the music is gonna be when you record it. When you kind of know the songs by instinct instead of counting bars and crap like that you can do some nice stuff. The guys started to do their thing by firstly shouting out Fuck the Police before expanding our minds with some spiritually infused eastern by way of NZ rap songs. My favourite part of the set was when one of the Mc's started talking about souls, he said their was definitely a few old souls in the building as well as some young ones it made me laugh when he made it clear that he didn't discriminate between souls! The guys new songs reminded me of Cyprus Hill and people started lighting up the ganja towards the end of the set.

Gabe was consistently up the front moshing in the crowd for the whole Third3ye set blowing off some post exam stress. I went outside into the garden area of the venue and gazed at the stars and bricks that made up the music venue tortured by loud music. My brother eventually came outside and I let him know how there had been a bit of a commotion over developers trying to pile a shit ton of apartments on the music venue. He thought it was all rather funny. I told him how Dad probably thought the business had been their for long enough that they might have bought the building and probably hated the idea of bowling the place.

It kind of surprised me to hear of people who still have a decent bone in their body choosing art and commerce over just pure commerce. But I think its probably the right decision as no one wants to get dragged into the fatalistic frenzy of the Auckland property boom this late in the second half. But lord only knows how much they would stand to make if the owners flogged the place. An image of a yuppie chasing a carrot attached to a bag full of millions rushed through my mind or something stupid. Everywhere people were smoking cigarettes i asked Gabe if he was still smoking he said nah price was to much for him now "30$ bucks for a smoke, bugger". So we just chilled with our beers watching people smoke away their money on $30 dollar cigarettes.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Bonded Slave Labour in Thailand Sex Industry

Wow I've been flicking through a book on the new form of slavery in the global economy in the book "Disposable People" by Kevin Bale and it's not a pretty read. Did you know a 'bonded labour' brothel in Thailand makes an average profit of $1 million U.S dollars a year. That's after all bribes and overheads are paid out. Unlike normal brothels were woman 'choose' to work at such places? in a bonded labour brothel a worker must payback an unserviceable debt to their employer. 

The estimated value of the sex trade in Thailand is estimated at around $26.25 billion u.s dollars a conservative estimate. When you read about the horrible working conditions of sex workers in Thailand and the pure form of exploitation of woman it does make you wonder why this is happening, until you factor in all the dirty money made from the industry. Contrary to what you might believe Thailand has enjoyed somewhat strong economic growth over a quite a few decades pulling millions of people out of poverty. Sadly the government and police suffer from systemic latent corruption and are heavily complicit in keeping the gravy chain of the sex industry churning over regardless of the human toll.

I was flabbergasted to hear that in the poorest areas of Thailand the northern mountain range region it is not uncommon recently for parents to sell a daughter to fund the purchase of a new television set. In contrast years ago but not to many a child was sold into slavery only as a last ditch attempt to save a family from destitution. Sadly though with the rampant consumerism taking hold of the Thai nation due to a healthier economy acquiring meaningless material goods is now seen as symbolic of prosperity and are treated as life threatening necessities. 

On a personal not I'm really glad I wasn't sold into slavery to fund a TV set during my youth, and worse still when your bought as a slave you incur a debt that you must pay back for your families sake as they are liable too. In the breakdown you get sold into slavery, your parents get paid the average $2000 dollars or less by the trafficker then you the newly coined slave have to pay it all back on-top of interest and all your expenses. Meaning that your value in reality when your sold is virtual nothing. Furthermore when it's all counted up all the labour you could've provided your family on the farm and domestically by remaining at home means that your parents don't even break even on the sale of their child! 

If you want to check out "Disposable People" here is the link:…/…/0520272919

-- Auckland University plans to close its doors to the public --

I'm saddened to hear that Auckland Uni is cracking down on people attending classes that they aren't enrolled in including current students. 
In the long-term I foresee such a neo-liberal policy directly hindering peoples ability to educate themselves. Although I have never sat in on a class I have never been enrolled in accept the odd class with a mate who was I don't think it's right. The New Zealand university education system shouldn't be reduced to a pay to play scheme.
There are to many bright vivacious youngsters and wise senior citizens that deserve to learn regardless of whether they are pursuing a recognised tertiary qualification. Have universities pride swelled to such an extent that they have forgotten members of society fund there very existence. 
Institutions of higher learning should be open to all. It's like the powers that be actively won't people to stay dumb and uneducated I wonder why that would be...i guess the myth of anti-intellectualism in New Zealand is alive and kicking a rugby ball.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Band on the Run...from their Promoter

Tired of being pushed around and suffering from the flu The Neo's decide to pull out of a gig at their local bar. Their promoter who is paying them $1 a minute is incensed & says that they will never play in Auckland again...Moss's thoughts on this (drummer) from his couch, dressed in his grand fathers woollen dressing gown that is a few sizes too small is heart felt and deep.

Band On the Run - How to Drum Left Handed - Neo-Kalashnikovs

Not everyone's favourite neighbour...The Neo's drummer Moss Bioletti likes to practise before breakfast. He plays the drums with his little toddler niece to The Wiggles Quack Quack Quack Cockadoodledoo for a warm up, then launches into it in his PJs. Moss is left handed so this video would be good for people who would like to see how this is done. Follow The Neo's, a three piece sibling indie rock band. They live a quiet life down in the Antipodes, Auckland, New Zealand and they just wanna make music. Subscribe to follow.

The masses do not sway my fellow creators, For we are like blazing diamonds, In the worn rock face that is humanity

    Words that fell into my head after reading Nietzsche

Loving Don Was' philosophy of recording/producing

Just read a great interview about Don Was one of my favourite record producer's in Tape Op magazine, check out his approach to recording 
"Personally, I get supercharged out of having a bunch of people sitting around in a circle in a room and not worrying about whether the mics are bleeding into other mics. In fact, I'm encouraging bleed. It actually sounds better when you have as much drums in the vocal mic as you have vocal. Even better if you can do it without headphones. It's hard to do, but I try to get it as real, and put as few barriers between people, as possible whenever I can. Sometimes you've gotta do what you gotta do. It requires that you work with people who can get through a take without fucking up."

Don Was produced the hit single "Love Shack" by the B-52's, he also produces the Rolling stones 
mediating fights with Keith and Mick, has done a bunch of records with John Mayer, Willie Nelson and is a dedicated and accomplished musician preforming with Don (Says What). He is currently President of Blue Note records a subsidiary of Capitol records.    


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A Battle Over Science - The Raging Theist VS the Nirvana T-shirt wearing Atheist

I went to a debate on science tonight with both an atheist and theist arguing for how they think science demands God's existence or not. I found both arguments fascinating. From a scholastic point of view I thought that the atheist had stronger arguments and engaged in the debate in a fair and more even temperament. The theist seem led to slip into a passive aggressive demeanour to strengthen his arguments that I thought significantly detracted from his points that were from the outset weak. 

The atheist in contrast chose a different sly tactic of underhanded put downs to his adversary and the room in general even if he tried to mask them with good jest. From my perspective I thought the whole thing was a bit of a joke as I tend to keep the areas of science and religion distinctly separated. The debate about science and God seemed to devolve into a convoluted mess. I mean on one hand science has given us modern medicine to improve our health and well being. 

While on the other hand religion in the wider sense of the term acknowledging some higher power in the world is fundamental for many overcoming addiction and harmful ways of life that science can not easily fix or help. 

The great scientist Einstein agreed that science and religion dealt with different essential areas of the human life one rational the other irrational yet people are still fighting about which one fits were. To Einstein and myself it seems rather clear science is rational to the point of being stale and meaningless, while the irrational risky nature of religious thinking is essentially its unique and beautiful singular charm - the other way round that the theist argued for is to my mind simply wrong. 

Nevertheless emotions run high and the debate rages on, while a slowly back away and run! 

A nice article on Einstein's thoughts about science and religion

Monday, 15 August 2016

Inspired by a Woman of Unearthly Beauty

You have the most
Beautiful eyes and nose
Your beauty is like a dancing muse making love to centaurs
Your eyebrows only accentuate the maddening affect your appearance has on my soul
I was once a lion now fully transformed I'm like a child one stones throw away from enlightenment
Inside my body I sing and preform sonatas in your honour
Though they never do you justice
I fear I have been reduced to a rambling fool drunk on love swinging on a bar stool
Lusciously and lavishly your lips seem to me worth more than riches
What a real woman can inspire in man knows no bounds
I would devote myself to slavery if it meant having you!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

'Waiheke' Painting by Robin Midgley

I just discovered the awesome kiwi artist @rmmidgley on Twitter. My favourite painting of his is the one of Waiheke. He's definitely an artist to watch out for in the future. I also think that it's really cool that he started painting later on in life, his art work shows if you have a passion for something you can excel regardless of when you begin. I find all Midgley's landscapes very easy to relate to and in my mind they help capture the reality of what NZ really looks like, a sleepy farm centric world not some annoying phantasmic photo with an aim to boost NZ tourism.!gallery/ckiy    Check out all the other Areas of NZ Robin has painted

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Musings about Bukowski and Hemingway with a sly Zizek reference haha ;)

Musings about poet Bukowski as well as a reference to Hemingway plus 'objet petit a' Lacan's theory of desire that Zizek finds compelling

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A Synopsis and Thoughts on: "The Survivalist" Movie (2015)

So I watched a film about a dude lost in a forest somewhere in Ireland living in a hut last night. 
The title of the film is "The Survivalist" with the stock story-line about everyone dying on earth
 and the only survivors being reduced to starvation and brutal savagery.

The unnamed male protagonist who looked to me like a closest ginger, runs a horticulture farm that he patrols with a random shotgun strapped to his back. I'd describe the main characters personality as un-waveringly paranoid. At any moment he looks like he's going to shot someone or something a racy prospect. 

Despite the formidable circumstances the lead characters finds himself faced with he manages to create a nice little pad for himself with wooden walls a fire, heaps of locks on all his doors and even some makeshift plumbing that gets fresh water into his hut from a nearby water hole. 

After a while the viewers becomes accustomed to the monotonous mans way of life governed by fear and death jumping out from behind him at any moment. Then suddenly two woman appear on the scene literally trying to steal his radishes from his garden, Peter rabbit style. The guy gets mad angry at them and points a shotgun at both of them but then relents allowing them to stay the night as he fancies the younger woman. Naturally from this point on there is a strong undercurrent that underpins the film of the two woman trying to kill the man so that they can take over the farm, there only real prospect of living through winter. 

During the numerous attempts of murdering the man the young girl (Mia Roth) and the male protagonist start having a whole bunch of sex and start getting on famously with a cute little relationship blossoming. The new couples status only further complicates things as the girls mother is still hell bent on killing the guy so that she can smoke his modest stash of cigarettes. 

Synopsis over watch the film to see what happens!

What I want to mention though is the compelling qualities of "The Survivalist" that highlight the innate ability for human beings to be cold and calculating killers with our inbuilt instincts to thrive and survive in adverse conditions. When we are introduced to the male protagonist you can't help but put yourself in his own position and understand how human beings came out of the forest and wilderness by killing as a way of survival and life over countless generations. It's funny to think how badly we believe modern society to be what is really amazing is how superiour it is in many ways to the lonely precarious nature of the survivalist man. If he breaks his leg or falls ill he dies, in modern society you can simply rest in bed or wait for your broken bones to heal. It's a small difference but a very significant one that we are allowed to survive through what were once fatal accidents that seemonly trivial to us now.

The film also highlights how humans survived or died in nature due to the ability to hide and stay concealed from other predators. The myth of the apex human killing machine is mis-leading and not really true. In the film we see how human beings in our natural habitat generally only kill out of self-defence and the protection of vulnerable others. The remedial tasks of gathering food in the film also shows how something that was once so tough and a year long ordeal for most is now as simple as shopping at the stupid supermarket. 

Lastly if this film succeeds in anything it's in awaking the hunter within the viewer. In modern society we sometimes find ourselves so removed from the wild and animals that we forget how we came to dominate them or take the position of shepherd over them. Sadly there are no animals in the film of the survivalist except a bunny rabbit so our place within the spectrum of animals and nature does not reverberate as strongly as it could of. The lack of companionship of the male protagonist does seem in many ways self imposed. But what is certain is how many is a rare type of creature suited to running, fighting, hiding and in general surviving against the odds and even with others trying to kill him at every fork in the road. 

The role of horticulture in the movie also conveys how humanity slowly started to bring a certain amount of stability to our lives as we moved away from foraging and were allowed to grow crops and surplus food that could be stored. 

One of the axes I have to grind with the movie is the naivety of which the protagonist planted and cropped his plants and where he situated his house/dwelling out in the open. It seemed to me a slight loop hole in the movie that the man didn't try very hard to hide his house and crops away from the prying eyes of evil stranges with bad intent. Paradoxically he chose to build his gardens in-front of his house with no protective measures or any thought of camouflage introduced. And for this reason in many ways he didn't really seem like much of a survivalist more a denialist of the necessity to be careful which he so often preached in the film but didn't practice nearly enough.