Friday, January 30, 2015

The Darkside of the Superbowl!!

   Impressive to see the NFL allowing/encouraging this campaign to air during the football grand final [Superbowl] on Sunday their time and it reminds of the 'downside' of the big game that travels the country to different hosts. The first is the drunken violence that exists in society and can be amplified around football games and their outcomes. The second is the sex trade requiring hundreds of prostitutes to be brought into town for the influx of fans travelling to [in this case] Arizona to see the game or hold a tailgate party in the surrounding grounds or to attend fanzines etc...

"Leaked" Superbowl Ads 2015

They used to be as big a surprise as the end result of the game BUT Rolling Stone again says it has access to 15 'leaked' multi-million dollar TV adverts ready for this Sunday [US time] so Monday daytime for us here in Oz!! You can check them out here

Snickers Superbowl Advert

HT Tim Steele

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Average Bread, great TV Ad

I can't escape the feeling I've met more than one George!!

"Miracles" Coldplay while you find your wallet at the end of the movie "Unbroken"

"Miracles" Coldplay
From up above I heard
The angels sing to me these words.
And sometimes in your eyes
I see the beauty in the world.

Oh, now I'm floating so high.
I blossom and die.
Send your storm and your lightning to strike
Me between the eyes (eyes)

Sometimes the stars decide
To reflect in puddles in the dirt.
When I look in your eyes
I forget all about what hurts.

Oh, now I'm floating so high.
I blossom and die.
Send your storm and your lightning to strike
Me between the eyes
And cry.

Believe in miracles.

Oh hey, I'm floating above the world now!
Oh hey, I'm floating above the world now!

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah!

"Uptown Funk ft Bruno Mars Mark Ronson

So the 80s are 'it' at the moment... neon, pastels, music and and Knighthoods for British Royalty...

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Timeless Land" Yothu Yindi

I forgot to apologise that an earlier clip had images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have died... this is again the case... for the sake of sharing creativity and thoughts on this day...

"My Happiness" Like a Version Claire Bowditch Triple J

Oh yeah...

"Mount Beauty" Jen Cloher

Jen was a musical highlight of Bluesfest I went to a few years back where I got very unwell but still caught her set twice alongside 'Rockwiz' live...
Happy 'Australia Day' people...

"The Greatest View " Silverchair at Newcastle's Civic Theatre

Talented local lads still to be found plying their creativity around the place...
Happy 'Australia Day' weekend


Australia Day, maybe one year...

Maybe one year we will ask the hard questions in time and in ways to make a change
We will choose to celebrate on a day our indigenous brothers and sisters could fully embrace
We will do this because it's important to us, more important than other reasoning

Maybe one year we will stop demonising already traumatised asylum seekers
We will recall the welcome of the 1970s and move beyond slogans of fear
We will identify with those who travel across the sea and we will have boundless plains to share

Maybe one year the social justice and wellbeing indexes will be reported on the news
We will stop adding historically simplistic descriptors to our fallen idols
We will have news, genuinely presented differently without hyperbole or sensation

Maybe one year more people will be served in mission than attend church on a Sunday
We will host meals, provide counsel, offer non judgment and discover more of God's identity
There will be a link between hurts, hopes and mission that's overt and recognised as 'good news'

Maybe one year the Fred Hollows Foundation will have all the money they need
We will restore our overseas aid budget and fund UNHCR processing in Asia
We will know as much about 100 tragic deaths overseas as we do about two in Sydney

Maybe one year our symbols and celebrations will reflect and embrace our values today
We will be able to define who we are by our ethos and not just our folklore
We will recognise, celebrate, compensate and embrace our indigenous cultures

Maybe one year our government will articulate a vision for the long term
We will understand that taxes and borrowing fuel investment in the future
The 'fair go' will not be reinterpreted to punish those most in need

Maybe one year we will understand the new demands of a global world of faith and culture
No doubt we need to stay real about senseless violence and oppression
Will we seek values of peace, compassion, grace and understanding to combat fear?

Maybe one year our flag will be ours whether it goes into battle or onto our singlets
We will celebrate a diversity of sports and the arts or science as we forge a renewable future
The idea of sustainable living will lead us to harness the power of the sun

Maybe one year my words will be unnecessary in the wake of my actions
I will have participated actively in the creation of the hope I know to be real
I will stand back and reflect on a life well lived with a little room for an introverted smile

Maybe one year...

"Anthem" TIDDAS

'Australia Day' a complex 'celebration' which one day will be held on a more appropriate day recognising some hurts and hopes are bigger than the need to stay the same...

"Black Fella/White Fella +The Deadheart" Warumpi Band + Midnight Oil

   This song was written by Neil Murray for the 'Warumps' and in this clip it shows how the song was used as the 'changeover' between they and the Oils on their 1987 tour through the top end... the tour which was only a few weeks long but as Rob Hirst said "once this place grips you it won't let go" and so it shaped the band and it's music for over twenty years of reflection, advocacy and art. Happy 'Australia Day' Weekend.
   Yes people get worked up about indigenous references to 'Survival Day,' or Anglo advocacy for the idea, but objections to this demonstrate a lack of empathy and/or a need to be right, ahead of a need to build relationships. I'm grateful for every great thing that it means to live in this country and to be Australian, yet the scar on this nations soul can be healed through reconciliation and a genuine and sustained effort to build on the gentle and creative spirit of the complex and rich cultures that make up our entire history. May it be so...
   'Recognition' in Australia's Constitution would continue a worthwhile path that should lead to restoration and compensation. It's the kind of regard and working relationship reflected in the artistic side of the Sydney Olympics but with a more far reaching impact and more at stake...
   I'd rather effect on this than whether our national flag should be available at the $2 shop on satin boxers, budgie smugglers, a singlet, bikini, hat and thongs...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"To or not Let Go" Megan Washington at TEDx Sydney

I had no time for Megan Washington's first forays into 'making a name for herself' as an indie artist but as she goes on making music I like it more and more... happy "Australia Day' Weekend Eve

"Don't Tear It Down" vSpyvSpy

Here's one for the true believers...

'Australians of the Year'

Being announced in Canberra right now!!

Energy, a picture of something different and better, focused on the hurts and hopes of others
Cleverness, ideas, causes, gifts and passions
Stories and opportunities to celebrate and gather around

"If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story"
Ivan Illich

"My Island Home" Neil Murray

Yes, that's right, written by Neil Murray for the Warumpi Band and later identified with Christine Anu and others...

"From Little Things Big Things Grow" The Waifs + Claire Bowditch + John Butler

Great Aussie collaborators...
Once someone does a version of a Kev Carmody song he considers it 'theirs' to run with and he was impressed with the Waifs changing the tempo of the song for 'Cannot Buy My Soul' album

"Heaven (Must Be There)" Eurogliders

Sounds of the 80s this 'Australia Day' Weekend

"Say Goodbye" Hunters and Collectors

Continued 'Australia day' Weekend vibes

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"The Deadheart" Midnight Oil

I consider this to be the perfect Australian rock song... the perfect Oils song anyhow...
Band, horns, didgeridoo, justice, story, giving voice to the voiceless and filled with hope...

It's my fav. live Oils track with many a punter trying to decipher the increasingly obscure jamming that leads into it so you can get in early on the "do, do, do do do, do do, do!!" and so it includes a very masculine sing-a-long so different to 'Khe Sanh' or 'Last Train Out of Sydney'...

"A Thousand Miles Away" Hoodoo Gurus

Crank it up, imagine a colourful [red and orange and brown carpet] wood panel 1980s pub with cigarette smoke, only four poker machines, sticky carpet, VB and a crowd pressed in just beyond the fire regulations and a PA where the bass drum and guitar cause your lungs to vibrate when hit...
"Australia Day' Weekend music mixtape!!

The Stiff Gins and Sydney Childrens Choir at TEDx Sydney

This was a stunning performance to experience live... here it is for this weekend... more to say on that in coming times...

"Sometimes" Midnight Oil

More music for 'Australia Day' Weekend

"Sounds of Then [This is Australia]" GANGgajang

The first of my 'Australia Day' weekend posts!! Loving the humidity!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"I Will Wait" Mumford and Sons Red Rocks

   Don't you just love it when a band that gets huge takes a solid break [live 12 months] so that you do get to miss them and can't wait for any new material. Mumford and Sons have their critics, imitators etc BUT their passion and energy are hard to copy well!! Red Rocks looks an amazing concert venue and by all reports they played Coachella too... not to mention Sussex and Dungog!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Things I'm Looking Forward to:
1. Better health and fitness [with the work needing to be put in]
2. Lap swimming at least 3 times a week
3. "The Making of Midnight Oil" at Newcastle Museum
4. Seeing "Matilda" some time on stage in Sydney
5. A holiday in Fiji two years on
6. Wanderers Rugby 2015
7. Waratahs Super 15 [4] Games v Aussies
8. Another School Year for the girls
9. Rugby World Cup whatever happens
10. A Live Concert or Two
11. 12 month Check Up
12. Taking Photos
13. Mentoring/Learning/Training/Consultations/Creativity/Relationships in my work
14. A better year than 2014
15. Working out what next in my vocation by the end of 2015

Things I'm Not Looking Forward to:
1. Winter
2. People that are 'impossible' to work with
3. Having too many things to do
4. Conflict
5. Working out what next in my vocation by the end of 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

"Cosby Sweater" Hilltop Hoods

Expletive warning!!!

Unfortunate timing but a catchy song that should figure highly in the Triple J Hottest 100 in the J's 40th anniversary list

"Surely There is Room" Malcolm Gordon

Wow!! Thanks Malcolm Gordon and thanks Craig Mitchell...
For pointing to Malcolm's song reflecting on the treatment and plight of asylum seekers here in this part of the world, see Craig's post here

Sunday, January 18, 2015

fundamentalism n.

fundamentalism n.
1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
2. a. often Fundamentalism 
An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.
b. Adherence to the theology of this movement.
c. putting the 'mental' into and taking the 'fun' out of

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ABC Radio Double J turns 40 [of as Triple J of course]!!

   Secular, youth oriented and always pushing out in ways that mark their territory and audience as part of our brilliant public broadcaster the ABC!! It's supposed to 'push your buttons' like the way I knew I was too old when Triple J embraced hip hop and R&B as staple playlists. My connection actually began through listening to Roy & HG's 'Festival of the Boot' Sydney/NRL Rugby League Grand Final in their satirical style. Then came the Saturday/Sunday program and I branched into hearing what was popular as youth music over several decades.
   We all live out of a framework and values, we all have choice about what we critique, what we take on and how we think, feel about and see the world through current affairs, music, social issues and Triple J makes all that accessible for often ignored young people...
   The Domain Concert sounds huge for Friday and next Mondays look back will no doubt bring lots of memories for so many people. Triple J has always offered caution around drug culture, violence and current events. Some of the ABCs current affairs journo's come from a Triple J background... What I like about Triple J's role is it's ability to empower and skill 'culture makers' not 'sheep' and to resist the outright rejection or the poor imitation culture that has sometimes characterised generations of Christians. To this end Uniting Church faith communities that aim to create lifelong learning & faith development understand the different voices and influences that can be celebrated, questioned, rejected or embraced... these faith communities teach the 'tools' to create and sustain gifted followers.

My Non Magazine and Newspaper Holiday Reading has Begun

   I've just started reading my Kindle version of "Simply Good News" by NT Wright. It's a timely sketch arguing against a number of reductionist views of 'the gospel' [of which we are all capable at times] in a readable essay exploring a framework that something happened, something is happening and something will happen.
   It places Jesus birth, life, death & resurrection as the Bible tells it in it's context, considering what Paul is saying and why and will no doubt continue to celebrate who Jesus is, God's mission to transform and to renew and reconcile the whole of creation... but hey I've only read about 50 of 700 pages!!
Here's one 'review' or outline here and another here
When I've read a bit more I'll find some reviews that don't agree with NT

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Row K Seat 19 'The Water Diviner' Discussion

If this works you can download the PDF of my latest movie discussion here

Marv Albert All Time Sports Bloopers one last time on Letterman

Mar visits each year to talk NYC sport and to present a bloopers reel, this time a 'best of' as Letterman retires in May 2015!!

Album of the Week "Rose Ave." You+Me

I'm enjoying the collaboration between P!NK and Dallas Green in the car this week!!

The Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer 2

Straya Day Indeed....

Oh wow... um...

Newcastle Earthquake 25 years on...

   The Newcastle Museum is a great venue and holds some remarkable regular exhibits of pop culture artefacts but also offers inspired seasonal or topical exhibits. The current standout [apart from paying to see the dinosaur one] is a simple series of black and white photos that feature the stories of a number of people who experienced the Newcastle earthquake in 1989 and were photographed at the time... it's a then and now large black and white photo exhibit.

So of course the baby in the photo is the 25 year old on the left of the new photo. The mum would have been wheeled out to Fletcher Park at Newcastle Beach I think...

We met Debbie because our daughters went to school together and it means I've been introduced to the hidden joy that is Lake Macquarie Art Gallery...

I loved the stories people shared... like a Police Officer on his first day [literally 2 hours into it]...

I know all three people in this photo. Mayor of Maitland Peter Blackmore, Leo volunteers Andrew Roberts-Thompson and Tony Buzek!!

Topics in the Newcastle Herald were looking for this young man and his date for the Relief Concert a few months ago...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Asian Cup 'Football' at 'Newcastle' Stadium 12.1.15

   It's a wonder the crowd figure wasn't closer to 25,000 as after all even I went to the 'soccer' tonight thanks to a friendly invitation!! I hadn't really paid attention to who was playing this first of four local fixtures until today... realising the significance of PALESTINE v Japan!! I forgot to take my scarf...
   It was great, although the Palestinians struggled and went down 0-4 [was I really about to write that they'd been outgunned, not for the first time] We enjoyed sitting in a section dominated by Palestinian fans and their collection of drummers and flag wavers... as annoying as the game is it's better live!!
   There was a palpable sense of celebration with a hint of pride and the joy of an open celebration of what it meant to see their national team go around. Remember this is not possible in many other sporting ventures due particularly to passport issues. It was a bit puzzling too to hear of fans with pre purchased merchandise having to dump it in a bin on the way into the ground while friends had a much faster passage through the Security bag check... not sure what was doing there?
   Anyhow, the second half was a little laboured as Japan attacked the far end of the ground and yet 'shut up shop' a little in attack and just worked their blanket defence really well. It was interesting to go along and see the 'event' that is a football match!!

Golden Globes 2015 Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Opening Monologue

The George Clooney line is my favourite!! These two are always edgily hilarious!!
So begins my award season tragic Tv viewing...

Screen Actors Guild in 2 weeks
Grammys Feb 9th our time
Oscars Feb 23rd our time

Nike Power Laces [by October perhaps]

I think the pre work has been done on Kobe's latest version...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Peeling Potatoes in 60secs

DIY gold!!!

"With or Without You" U2 cover by a Dog


Apparently the dog has it's own twitter a/c
Oh and it's my chance to plug this often shared picture...

Friday, January 09, 2015

UN 'International Year of Light 2015'

Ok, lucky I'm on leave or my brain would be exploding with the creative possibilities for this 'opportunity'!! Read more here

"The Head and the Heart" Another Story

   A song written as a response around the time of the Sandy Hook School shootings in Newtown in the US. A way of the songwriter seeking to work through the feelings experienced at such a time...

Thursday, January 08, 2015

"In the Valley" Midnight Oil

   This is not really a song about terrorism or extremist violence, which is no solution to anything. It comes to mind to me for today because while Peter Garrett was being so open and reflective about his own story he closes out the song with a short 'values' or 'ethos' statement... some hopes for the future and it's those lyrics that struck me the day I first heard them and continue to inspire and motivate me to be reflective and clear in my own 'values' and 'ethos' as I go along.

   Today the paperback copy of "Strict Rules" [I recently bought online] arrived in the post. I decided late last year that I'd like to read it again but I no longer have my hardcover edition. It's an authors insight into travelling the month with the band through Australia's north on the trip that inspired the 'Diesel & Dust' album in 1987/88 and it's a great read... it was even a Year 10 essay exam a few years back...

And those closing thoughts...

“I hope virtue brings its own reward
And I hope the pen is mightier than any sword
I hope the kids will take it slow
I hope my country claims its own”


"Kyrie Eleison" Sinead O'Connor

Recording of Sinead track with just one still photo...
Hmmnnn, gives me an idea!!

Highlight of a Great Summer of Test Cricket

Have enjoyed a great first two days at the SCG Test Cricket v India courtesy of Geoff Smith and the usual 'Paddington Gift' crew!! Thanks for taking my 'selfie' for me SCG Trust!!

"Skip the Ad" Flight Centre

"Captain Risky"

Love this ad from cinema and TV recently...

Sunday, January 04, 2015

'The Corner' Cafe Camperdown

   Not content with steak and chicken on the menu and new building designs, McDonalds are conducting an interesting experiment in Camperdown that's been in the Christmas/New Year media... I had reason to be in Missenden Rd, Camperdown yesterday [these are not my photos] but I did recognise the facade of the cafe and thought it an interesting location to catch staff, passersby, students and the general public right next to the front entrance to RPA... pulled pork, quinoa, baristas and the only giveaway an actual McCafe presence... what's next 'all you can eat pizza'?
   Wearing my vocational 'cap'... it's not just a change in decor, feel, location or sense of welcome BUT the menu reflects a whole different understanding of [a] what people need and [b] hospitality in meeting and exceeding that need... what learning could be applied to community gathering, activity and worship spaces to reinvent how the church offered it's core idea of 'reconciliation and renewal of the whole of creation'? Note, not a question about 'dressing things up, changing the 'menu' or the decor but a deeper question about addressing the context... the context for McDonalds is all encompassing societal and generational change... appealing to the lowest common denominator is losing market share...

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Lists 2014

Things I'm looking forward to in 2015

Looks like instead of the Barrier Reef it could be Malolo Island in Fiji again
'The Making of Midnight Oil' exhibition at Newcastle Museum
A couple of experiments and some intentional youth ministry in some new places
Carving out time for taking photos
Possible creative time in Adelaide [I'd love to do a Masters in Missiology if I ever have slightly longer term job security]
The Rugby World Cup in the UK on TV
Another great school year for the girls
Wanderers Rugby Club season 2015
Two days of Test Cricket at the SCG
A few big Movies e.g. The Avengers Age of Ultron, Mad Max Fury Road, Terminator Genisys to name only a few

"Catching Pictures"

   'Revelation' and various derivates were taken in the free wordpress domains so I'm putting my particular photos this year here or here if that link doesn't work for you

   Again it's about photos of things that strike a chord with me, you may or may not find the insights meaningful or helpful. That's sometimes the thing about revelation or the celtic notion of 'thin places.'

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Photos 2015

   A few weeks back I decided I wanted to explore more taking of photos in 2015. The working title is 'Revelation' and I won't commit to a photo a day but when I think I've had or found or see or wonder about an image I get the chance to capture... it could just even be that it's what life was about that day... This is a bit less restrictive than Advent or Lent, though I enjoyed those projects!!
   I enter another final year in a role in my vocation and I think this will help and not hinder my time of reflection and discernment... I am looking at buying a new point and shoot camera to go with the current waterproof and pretty handy one and the iPhone...
   I thought about a Canon but this has a great sense and auto setting... will compare to some SONY models and choose asap!!

Post NYE Update...

Nailed it!! Dinner with family, Coke Zero and a few nibblies!!
Some OK TV and in bed asleep by 11.30pm!!
Happy New Year!!

LIST FOR 2015!!
Take up my photography intentionally
Keep lap swimming at local pools
Holiday at the Great Barrier Reef
Stick to the story
Design a collaborative project
Buy a replacement pair of Doc Martens
Visit Sydney for day off fun at least four times
See 25 Movies
Spend more time with my girls
Stay healthy, keep to plan
Work out what next in my vocation