Monkey Killing Monkey

Monkey killing monkey killing monkey
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs,
They forge a blade,
And where there’s one
they’re bound to divide it,
Right in two.
– Tool


This wandered across my feed today. It said “Student Challenges Professor, he shuts her up, her response is sickening!”

For once a click-bait title actually lives up to its own hype. In one way though the whole thing is disingenuous, there are complexities in the region that mean saying things like “The Jews are right” can never be a reliable statement.  To me this does however highlight the basis of the problems that the region is facing and the fact that they have nothing to do with Israel, land or recent grievances or any of the myriad of supposedly rational reasons that both sides put forward in order to justify  perpetual murder.

Here we have a young, well spoken, obviously educated and privileged woman who is calmly agreeing with the statement that she would like to see every Jewish person hunted off the face of the earth. This when she is living in another country away from the issues that surround the problems that supposedly propel this conflict. So it can it really be about these issues? Is is possible that it might be about ideology, it must be about theology. And the only thing I can possibly think of to defend this stance is that there must be a point when it becomes comforting to know who to hate. Me? I have a hard time hating but I can see the attraction. I would wake up and I would know who to blame everything on and joy upon joy it’s not me! That in the least would be refreshing and different. I can see really getting into a good passive hating lather. The issues would come when someone asked me to actually do something about it. “Go and blow yourself up!”. “Oh their not that bad….”

That would get me off the hate train quick smart and I think this is where we diverge. Many Christians for instance and indeed just westerners are really good passive haters. But they draw the line at actively hating people. Lots of us are not even really sure that we should go after ISIL. But imagine if we suddenly declared war on New Zealand. No-one would show up. We’d be like “look make as many sheep shagging jokes as you like but I’m not actually going to shoot one of those poor buggers”. But then we are not told by God and our religious leaders that we MUST hate them. That we have a moral obligation to hate them.

One thing to remember is that though this is insane and terrible, she is young. And there is time for her to change her mind about a great many things and the more education and the more that she mixes with different races and ideas as she is doing at a university the more likely she is going to change her mind. University is a mill that leaves very few people unchanged. Almost none of the ideologically charged people I knew a university still hold these beliefs with the same fervency. Yes it’s terrible but she is in precisely where she needs to be.

There comes a point in some arguments when you realise that you have bought into someone else’s delusion. And it often comes when your opposition for someone’s stance is taken as you supporting the opposite of their argument. Guess what? I can be both anti-Hamas and anti-Israel. Because as an outsider it looks like you are both being petulant children. No Hamas being smaller and less able to defend yourself doesn’t make me want to root for you, stop poking the fucking bear. Do you guys actually want peace? Cause I’m not getting that vibe you just seem insane and you know what’s not helping with that? Telling people that you want to eradicate the Jewish race from the planet. The idea that this might be something that you think is normal or OK makes me and I suspect lots of other people fairly relieved at the prospect of you disappearing yourselves, so no I wouldn’t want you for a neighbour either. As if you Israel you can’t hold the largest most powerful and technologically advanced army in the area AND cry crocodile tears when someone sends a rocket at you AND pretend that it wasn’t in retaliation for something you did AND cry to the world that somehow Hamas are winning whilst you murder thousands of civilians, tell me why you get a free pass again? So no I don’t have to pick a side, this isn’t sport, we aren’t having a few drinks and a friendly bet. You are both in the wrong. It’s a false dichotomy to want me to believe that I have to be either for you or for them.

For me the bit where I realised that I’d bought into someone else’s delusion was when I was arguing with people over whether there had ever been a people called The Palestinians or historically a place called Palestine. After a while I realised that it truly didn’t matter. The idea whether true or not that Palestine didn’t exist in biblical times didn’t stop the fact that there were now people called Palestinians, your doubt didn’t seem to stop their fervent belief that they exist and strangely didn’t seem to stop the reality of them dying in a very real, now kind of way. But some people seem need a crux for their hate something to support it before they can really feel justified in it, or maybe they feel that if they can get me to agree with that then I’ll be ok with the murder of civilians? Oh yeah? There probably weren’t a race of people called the Celts and people who pretend to be druids annoy the hell out of me, but I wouldn’t support their wholesale slaughter! And I’m sorry but let’s be honest ALL claims to land are tenuous at best. It truly either boils down to “We got here first” or “We bought this fair and square from the people who got here first” or “We kill the people that got here first…..but that was a long time ago now so its ok” or “We got here first! And then our god said that we were meant to be here…so it’s ok”.

There’s enough hate and blame to fill the entire Middle East and NO frankly I am not interested in who started it. Honestly if it didn’t affect the rest of the world then I’d be inclined to let you destroy each other. YOU’RE FIGHTING OVER DIRT. YOU BUNCH OF FUCKING MORONS. If it were possible I would separate you two. And yes I probably have a better understanding of the situation than most people, yes I know the history of the area. I know the leaders that were assassinated on both sides trying to move the peace process forward. I know about the six day war I know about the UN. I DON”T CARE. Pointing fingers shuffling your feet whilst mumbling “The only thing the other side understands is violence” is what children do. STOP BEING FUCKING CHILDREN. Adult’s compromise, adults say “ok that was the past, this is the now, the future is what I can control from my actions today and I want to make a decision that will not only stop people dying on the other side but on my side.”

What people seem to be incapable of saying to your faces is YOU ARE BOTH IN THE WRONG.

Look sometimes, there are two kids in the class and although you like them both individually there is absolutely no way they should be sat next to each other. Because when they are it turns into hell for everyone, this is you guys.

And no I seriously don’t care that Jerusalem is kind of important for both of you. It’s the THIRD holy place for Jews and a place where Mohammed supposedly once tied of his horse. So big fat hairy deal.



If I am murdered in the next few months don’t worry about trying to work out who did it…I just made two powerful enemies.


And look…someone’s been forced to take public transport…

Public transport in Melbourne has a few issues. First there is the problem that the public pays for Public transport at least twice. Once in taxes and again when you actually use it then sometimes a third time if you get fined for some reason. Now this has been a problem for years but nothing has ever been done about it and now that PT is in the hands of the private sector it’s only going to get worse because now you pay two systems and you pay more every year with no end in sight. Now you might be thinking…wait…that’s hopelessly naive what do I want  FREE public transport?  Well yes but failing that we pay massive amounts of tax and then pay for the system so I want value for my dollar. What’s worse is that every time a transport system runner fails (which so far has been 100%) the government has to step in an spend money to get it back on track again as well as having to spend money to maintain and built the existing and new infrastructure. And even then they are only doing the bare minimum and a lot of people seem to think that it’s not safe.

Remember this guy? No me either but he fucked it all up and then ran.

Remember this guy? No me either but he fucked it all up and then ran.

Then there’s the millions of dollars that was spent on Myki. But this isn’t going to be another round of Myki bashing. Except to reiterate a powerful meme that’s been going round lately. Now memes are usually useless and anything that can be summed up in a few words and a picture is usually nonsense but this one gets to the heart of a major issue that’s been a concern for a long time.

Not bashing it...honest

Not bashing it…honest

You used to be able to purchase tickets on trams. Now you can’t. Somehow despite technology making it easier to purchase anything and everything in all other facets of life from pay-pal to pay pass to Google Wallet it has become harder to purchase a ticket to travel on a system you already pay for. How is this even possible? Oh sure you can top-up your Myki online. But it takes up to 48 hours for the balance to show on your account so you can’t say forget to top up at a station but then remember that you need to do so on the tram and put some money on your card via your phone thus be in full compliance of the law.


As I said Memes are useless because it’s actually much WORSE than what is being portrayed here. Because even though it takes 48 hours for your Myki to be topped up a ticket inspector will accept your fine on a tram right away. They won’t be detaining you for 48 hours to make sure that the transaction goes through in much the same why when you purchase something in a shop they don’t ask you to come back in two days. So how is it that they can get their shit together to accept a fine immediately yet we have to wait two days for it to appear on your Myki? What the actual fuck?

Look at him go!

Look at him go!

And what is more is that if you pay the $75 on the spot fine you wave your right to appeal or refund. And that’s important since over 50% of people who challenge in infringement get the decision overturned. So what Metro and by extension the government are saying is that your $75 is more important to them than giving you payment options or purchasing options. That despite all their belly aching that there are lots of fare evaders (one in ten by their own estimates) they won’t give the people reasonable access or opportunities to purchase a ticket as fines are clearly the money spinner for them. A few months ago I trained into the city. I have a valid myki with plenty of money on it but I forgot to touch on or rather I thought I did but evidently I didn’t. When I couldn’t get through the barrier I went straight to a couple of guys who I thought might be able to help me out. Despite seeing that I didn’t use public transport very often and my insistence that it was an honest mistake, instead of deducting the price of the trip for me from my card they finned me. I appealed and it got overturned. Metro says that people should “Always travel with a valid Myki” but that isn’t enough. If you forget to or can’t for some reason touch on then you get a huge fine, if you forget to touch off you get $27 dollars deducted from your card. Sure there are people who fare evade and I’m not in favor of that but frankly Metro sees the public as cows and they are milking us for all we are worth.

Atom Heart Mother

Atom Heart Mother

This has moved beyond disincentive and is now a scam.

The Music of Who

Let’s talk about the worst thing about Peter Capaldi’s tenure as the Doctor and no I’m not talking about the fact that I want to tell him he’s forgotten his tie every five minutes. It’s the theme music.

But seriously...put a freaking Tie on.

But seriously…put a freaking Tie on.

Doctor Who’s theme music has a rich and interesting history. Written by BBC stalwart at the Radio phonic Workshop (the BBC’s special sound department) Australian Roy Grainer it was arranged and “Performed” by Delia Derbyshire and Delia did an amazing job with it. She knew it was going to be for a Science Fiction show so she performed it all on state of the art electronic instruments, oscillators, and tape. Reportedly when Ron Grainer heard it his first reaction was “Did I write that?” so far off the beaten path was this music. It was really radical for the time, indeed the sound design of Doctor who WAS radical at the time. It was very electronic indeed for the 1963 story “The Daleks” famed electronic experimental composer Tristram Cary composed an entirely electronic score for the serial. One of the first examples of a mainstream production taking such an experimental approach. And you have to remember that electronic music was not mainstream, it wasn’t accepted at best it was considered novelty. Just 7 years earlier in 1956 the entirely experimental score for “Forbidden Planet” which was generated on homemade electronic instruments was denied a real composing credit because the musicians union didn’t consider it real music (the composers were credited with “Generating the tonalities”). The Beatles hadn’t even used a synthesiser yet in 1963. This was a year before the first modern synthesiser was even made available to buy! Try finding an example of a song which is mostly synth that was popular before 1963….go on try.

The music itself is a rich cacophony of a driving bass with a high pitch processed organ over the top of it, if it had a backbeat or kick is off with “funky drummer” and it would be modern electronica. But its echo’s and layered instrumentation served to make the sound of the piece highly polyphonic rather than monotone which was characteristic of synths at the time. It’s this richness however which does not lend itself to being added too. This is why in the 1980’s instead of adding an orchestra when they wanted to change the music they simply did it again on more modern synths. Which by then were not only accepted but there celebrated. The 1980 version (which is in the wrong key) was arranged by Peter Howell and as bad as it is, he realised that you need to have some key ingredients and that you can’t just keep adding lines to it and expect it to come out good. The 1986 version is….well terrible. And fucks with the original far too much. And still in the wrong key. The 1987 version actually brings it back down a bit and puts the focus back on the music rather than effects.

The orchestrated version for the 1996 movie was… ok. I didn’t like it at the time but it did grow on me.

When the theme came back in 2005 it kind of had an amalgamated feel to it, it had almost the original synth arrangement but then strings and brass backing up the bass and a pulsing string descant accompanying the theme as well as fife drums. I didn’t like it. I thought it added unnecessary complexity to the theme. Ever since the mandate to Murry Gold seems to be “Make it louder, more pulsing and more complex” this is a tall order to a piece of music that’s already rich and with each variation it seems that it’s mutating. No longer is the main hook so prevalent, other instruments which in the first iteration seemed like an afterthought started to take over to the point that from 2010 we started to get an ascending brass figure which dominated all else. But it was still recognisable. Then in 2012 someone threw in a Russian choir! It seemed that was all bets off from this point on, now random sounds were being introduced, little pulsey things, explosions, doors closing, paper being crumpled and the Tardis itself featured. String figures and descants were introduced where they wouldn’t fit and it kept getting louder. If this trend continued by 2017 we would have a theme predominantly played on a harmonica, backed by a Salvation Army band with internet cat sensation Maru singing the hook and the sounds of plumbing, digging, elephants having seizures and purple all in the mix and most worryingly; all sound in the universe would actually be the theme to Doctor Who.

The modern theme is no longer music, it’s sound attempting to punch you in the face.

Then we have this new theme.

Tubular Bells, pulsing (of course) and strange stings are all in force but the worst thing about it is that the main hook now seems to be played on a vibrating lobster being plunged into boiling water.

I personally think that the best expression of the theme was the 1973 version which was once again arranged by Delia Derbyshire. And one of the secrets of this is that she really didn’t fuck with it. She added some new textures but it’s very restrained and the key elements that make it a great theme are still present and high in the mix.

This new theme is at best “retro” it says nothing new. It’s not daring, it’s ghastly. It’s the ghost of Delia Derbyshire’s achievement. Which is sad because they should have gone back to basics. IMHO.