30 June, 2010

hope there really isn't a hell or i'm pretty screwed!

i have recently begun reading a book called 'the end of faith' by sam harris. it is a continuation of my research into the idea of atheism and how it is connected to the way i feel about the existence of god(s). i have come to the conclusion, that, i in fact don't believe in god. an all knowing, all powerful being who participates in the day-to-day affairs of human beings to me seems ludicrous, but more than anything that such a baseless belief is actually dangerous.

now, before you get your angry typing fingers ready this is what i think. this isn't what i think everyone should think and i'm certainly not so deluded that i posit that i can change a single persons mind about the importance of religion/god to them. that is not the point of this post. all i seek is a conversation on the topic that is civil, thought provoking and honest without it descending into anger and/or fear mongering.

as such, i'm going to tell you a bit about what i think. firstly, i do 'think' as opposed to 'believe' when talking about faith. the only reason is because thoughts can be changed, beliefs seem, to me anyway, more solid and i'm not sure they should be. we as people are forever changing is seems slightly silly to have a belief that can't be altered or even reversed when given further consideration. ok moving on, i was raised catholic and the dogmatic way that such an old church conducts itself never really appealed to me. i suppose, all the poetic revelations spoken about by devout people, in all the iconic literature was never experienced by me and as a result it left me feeling as though i was missing something that everyone singing in church clearly understood. the 'oh. huh. cool.' revelations about the world came to me rather from books. poetry, literature, philosophy, psychology, history helped me understand why i was standing here, now, living the life i lead.

most simply put, i have no faith in god and for a long time was really very angry about that. that was until i realised, you can't be angry at god and then not believe in him/her/it. i'm happy to say i'm no longer angry at god, and haven't been for some time, but rather was just ambivalent. this came from the realisation that the ceo of the universe could never be understood and so i devoted my time to understanding other things.

in most circles that i travel in being an atheist isn't a good thing, not that i habitually share the fact, but rather you instantly get the response, 'oh michelle that's really sad.'. but, it isn't and why should it be? oh, i'm going to hell? well according to the old testament, as i haven't been to church in about 5 years and even then my heart really wasn't in it, i'm going there anyway so i may as well leave the world slightly better off than i found it. so, i go to university, i learn some stuff, i go to work, i hang with friends, be good to my family, vote with a conscious and pay my taxes. that's better than some people and god hasn't even entered into the equation yet.

by the way, i just realised this might be a long post so buckle up kids. next, i have a rather large problem with the thing most religious people (specifically christians, it's what i know so...) habitually and very successfully seek to ignore. the past. i'm not about to go all richard dawkins on your ass' mostly, because he is far too militant in his views. declaring war on organised religion as a fantasy that needs to be extinguished, as an example. not my view, but he does have a point. it is the almost stereotypical point presented by atheists for their lack of belief in god. still, it needs to be said. the crusades, inquisitions, the burning times (witch trials), priests interfering with children, and even the current war on terror have links to organised religion as one, if not their entire, root cause. genocide is a common theme. it is even thought by some historians that the dark ages, that followed the fall of the roman empire and saw about 800 years when all science and critical inquiry were considered religious heresy, had not occurred we today may have ventured outside of our own solar system. this is all academic of course, and entirely my point.

most atheists that i've met merely transfer their faith from god to science. i'm not usually one to follow a crowd but i do agree with this. not that science is our saviour or anything but rather is can be rationally argued. it has a rich history of great thinkers who dared to look past religion and seek for an answer that was tangible. moreover, in our growing secular society this is also more relevant. we all like to think there is something bigger than ourselves, something for us to hitch our wagon to. for some that is god, and for others that is science. it's a social reflex. we are primates, we enjoy the comfort and security that a community provides and if that community believes as you do, then the group is strengthened. so, i guess i hope for the day where, dare i say we become evolved enough. or a future when we don't feel the need to rely on a personal god, to steer us in the right direction and then judge us for our ability (or lack of ability) to follow instructions BUT rather put that faith and trust in ourselves.

this brings me to what i believe in. as the atheist range is large, simply because it is linked with defining 'god' or 'deity', there are many different types of atheism (not even including agnosticism) and i suppose i find myself sitting in the 'practical atheism' corner of the metaphysical boxing ring. individuals live as if there are no gods and explain natural phenomena without resorting to the divine. the existence of gods is not denied, but is designated unnecessary or useless. it is seen that gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life. i agree with this and perhaps most strongly think that belief in gods does not motivate moral action but rather that people are innately humane and make decisions about their moral actions according to this code rather than their wish to go to heaven. this isn't to say that the law plays no part. i mean, no one wants to get shived in jail.

i suppose in many ways this makes me a humanist. to me, it is more powerful and meaningful than a belief in god. we shape our own lives. autonomy as opposed to fate. the international humanist and ethical union is an organisation that requires its members to accept one minimum statement about its beliefs and politics. "humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. it stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. it is not theistic, and does not accept supernatural views of reality". i really like this concept. i guess it's everything i always wanted catholicism to be; a pope without prada? scandalous!

so, not all atheists are angry liberal god haters who despise their own rational nature. i hope i have shown that some of us just have chosen to back a different horse in this race. i hope there really isn't a hell though. oh, wouldn't my face be red!
note: the picture that i chose to use is of the eagle nebula's 'pillars of creation' taken by the hubble telescope in 1995. it shows the early formation of a star and thus, is a nice combination of science and things believed to be crafted by god(s).

29 June, 2010

wollongong, i love you but you're bringing me down.

the song currently stuck in my head....

28 June, 2010

daydream, i fell asleep amid the flowers.

bit of a music post. i have recently rediscovered the wonderful band 'i monster'. 4 of the songs on their album 'neveroddoreven' i have heard before on tv but my favourite song 'the blue wrath' is the theme tune from one of my absolute rewatchable films 'shaun of the dead'. if you haven't seen the english zombie comedy then i can't suggest enough you go out and find it at your local video shop or just borrow mine.

anyways, 'i monster' is a british electronic group, made up of sheffield-based producers dean horner and jarrod gosling that formed in 1997. they themselves aren't very well know yet, their music is instantly recognisable due to subtle melodies and catchy re-mastered versions of old classics.

and if all that doesn't convince you, then do check out their first album here. they also released their latest album last yr 'a dense swarm of ancient starts'.

27 June, 2010

i have truly come to hate my phone....

and this is why. minus the small child this is exactly how i feel about answering my phone when the caller is someone i don't know. ALSO, i hate talking on the phone unless you are my mum, caitlin or ewan mcgregor. please continue to text, email, facebook or call 'round. for some reason i just don't operate well over a telephone line.


24 June, 2010

julia gillard, will you be my prime minister?

the lovely kathryn said that yesterday and i think it perfectly sums up how i, as a card carrying labour party member, feel about the massive shift within the federal party that took place last night and then today. two days is all it took for mr. kevin rudd to get shived and replaced by his deputy.

i do have two concerns. one, that my blog post not two days ago might have had a hand in bringing down krudd. ha! just kidding but, in the span of 12 hours australia has been witness to a seminal event in our political and cultural history. today we have our first female prime minister in julia gillard, an atheist one at that. 'hooray!', i say. feels like all my dreams have been answered. still, a lady prime minister? australia has been, compared to the rest of the world, conservative on the subject. what were we all so worried about? that if we elected (or not, in this case) a female pm that one day, in the future, she will snap because she is having a bad hair day? she lives with a hairdresser people! don't worry about it.

this leads me to my second point. as far as i'm concerned, concentrating on gillard as the first female prime minister is a good thing. this is a good day for feminists and people who believe in equality within the workplace and in this case, the political arena. what i DO have a problem with is all the unnecessary crap that the media has begun to bring up because she is a woman. so she isn't married, doesn't have children, favours a nice pants suit and has red hair.... exactly how are these things essential when crafting policy and/or communicating with the public?

it shows a desperate opposition leader, when his point of attack is that the new pm can't relate to families because she isn't a mother. conveniently forgetting, that she is a daughter, sister and aunt. as far as the media's impending attack on her looks well, lets all remember the women that have previously walked in their sensible heels as leaders of their country, before the new australian pm. though, not thatcher. i'm still pretty sure she is actually a man in drag. isabel peron, golda meir, sirimavo bandaranaike, gro harlem brundtland, benazir bhutto, kim campbell, edith cresson, luisa diogo, helen clark, michelle bachelet, cristina fernandez de kirchner.... the list goes on and on. these are names of women who were either prime ministers or presidents and have lead their country since the first woman was elected to such a position, in sri lanka, 1960.

the rest of the world seems, quite rightly, comfortable in choosing a woman to lead them. to choose how their hard earned tax dollars are spent, are represented overseas, that public health and schools are well cared for etc etc etc. but first, if this person is a woman we must judge her outfit and connect her ability to run a country with her capacity to have unprotected sex and then 9 months later push a small human out of her vagina. are the two things really connected?

the answer is no. the liberal thinking people of australia (aka. voters with a soul) should be applauding this move for a more stable leader in julia gillard. a leader that has tony abbott asking his aids how exactly you spell, 'capitulate'.


for a far more eloquent account/opinion of these recent events check out the blog siesta on the pilar. you know, in case my ramblings didn't make that much sense.

23 June, 2010

you can't always get what you want.

don't worry i'm not about to lurch into song with some jaggeresque dance moves. but, what i will do is implore you all to never EVER get talked into writing (or even reading) blogs. sort of an odd topic to choose for as blogger, i suppose, but i'm quite angry at the vicious cycle i seem to have got myself into. one with with no escape route in sight.

some of you may have, and i stress 'may' have, noticed i'm quite the angry ranter. probably because i was miss treated as a child. too late to call child services now. OR, more likely it could be to do with my need for an ego stroking coupled with a safe outlet for my own eloquent brand of meticulously well thought out rage.

even so, now that i have time to actually sit and read a book or watch a full season of glee in one marathon sitting, there is also time to think. serious thinking. life, the universe and everything type thinking. which, like always with me, equates to being bummed out. the things you have always done, or believed in or even just thought were pretty are constantly shifting. to the point that one day you turn around and its 2010 and apparently cargo pants aren't cool anymore.

as i bring this rambling tirade to a close, i really should get to my point. today, i begin 'operation unplug'. taking mini steps back from my computer, very slowly so as not to scare the poor thing. i spend far too much of my time looking at a computer screen and not talking to people. it can't be healthy. as a result, today my twitter account dies. who knows this week i might read 2 books instead of my usual 1, spend less money online and make a new cool handsome shaped friend.

'cause, if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.

22 June, 2010

this is australia!

not america! and definitely not sparta. though some days i do get this strong urge to kick certain people into a big bottomless pit. but, i digress...

in my daily stroll through internet news sites i came across something so deeply disturbing that it has awoken a fierce angry fire breathing dragon within me....and not the cute puff kind! lateline is a goldmine, full of wonderful political commentary and today it did not disappoint.

check this video out!

now, i'm not going to say that christian's don't deserve a voice, they do. i'm just not entirely sure that we should be going the americanised route on this. in god we trust? please. have any of them read the bible, god is vengeful. he killed more people in the old testament that anyone else in the entire book. not someone i am personally happy for my governing officials to be taking advice and guidance from with regards to taxation, immigration and environmental reforms. the guy got a little pissed off one day and FLOODED THE EARTH!

i'm not completely stupid, i do know that the whole jesus/god/bible deal is a metaphor blah blah blah and as i was raised catholic, i'm sure i have some latent rage regarding the subject of organised religion. you believe what you believe. i don't agree with you. the world keeps on a turning. politicians are no exception to this rule, they can have beliefs but i don't want to see them begin to seep into day-to-day policy making decisions.

then again, i conceed that they already have. western culture is drenched in christian morality. stealing is bad, adultery is bader and murder is the badest. in other cultures, with a different religious morality, that order is different. for example in some islamic states adultery receives a harsher punishment than murder. neither is right or wrong, it's just how it is. but, this morality is so imbedded in our societies that it will never be removed. most importantly, i don't like faith being used as a tool for self promotion.

as krudd and tony 'budgie smugglers' abbott freak out over how close the next federal election is going to be, they are willing to do almost anything to get a few more votes. if that means parading their religious beliefs out for everyone to see, then so be it. i really do worry about this 1. because people are eating this crap up and 2. THIS IS NOT AMERICA! that is just not how we roll here and also, well those idiots voted for bush (twice) who essentially made all his decisions with 'gods' council. it really is like talking to your imaginary friend, which is fine i had an imaginary friend when i was 2 years old, BUT these men are world leaders!

please take jesus/god out of the equation when you vote. god doesn't direct these men and if he does 'talk' to them then we have a much bigger problem. 'cause everybody knows, when you talk to god it's prayer but if god talks back then you probably have schizophrenia.

21 June, 2010

flying by the seat of my pants probably isn't going to work anymore....

i'm back baby dolls! and after a hard day of examing, shopping and then drinking, then shopping again i felt my blog calling to me. so here we go.

right, i had my very first psychology exam today and to say that i was scared is a massive understatement. still, i have also never studied that much in my entire life. seriously! my hsc preparation consisted of me watching the x files and well, compared to psych a media degree is a cake walk! sodoku is harder than writing a bcm essay and getting a credit!

this mornings exam was insane! 115 multiple choice questions covering 13 weeks of course content that introduces students to over 125 years of psychoanalytic theory and practice! so in a desperate ploy to, you know, not fail i studied my little heart out. now this need to not fail has never existed within me the entire 3 years i have been at uni! what can i say i'm a masochist. but after failing a 7% quiz rather spectacularly earlier this session it freaked me out so much that i picked up a pen turned away from my precious blog, facebook, twitter, etsy, gmail and hotmail accounts and actually cracked a book.

now the biggest problem is, after the exam was over i felt absolutely no relief. none! if anything, i actually felt worse. yes the session is now over but, i seriously have no idea if i passed todays exam. i have no frame of reference when it comes to academic success with an exam that attacks (yes attacks) key underlying knowledge. i may have failed. i knew some answers, didn't know others and was unsure of a fair few.

oooh well, will just have to wait and see. nothing more i can do now. if i fail, i re do the class. expensive life lesson, but one i probably needed to learn.

ALSO, if anyone comments saying, 'whatever will be, will be' i swear to god i may have to kick you in the face. except when you say it mum, then.... sure it helps.

17 June, 2010

attention: due to the gfc there will be cutbacks.

i have been feeling over the last few weeks that, although i've blogged daily for almost 2 months, the quality of my posts has begun to decline. so from now on, i won't be posting as often. rather i will let my writing be dictated by quality content as opposed to quantity time constraints.

still, if anyone has anything they think i should write about; or just have a topic you think would suit darth michelle, then please feel free to let me know. am a bit of a shut in till tuesday.....exam. gah!

until then peace out, bitches!

p.s., happy birthday dad. :)

16 June, 2010

who knew she was so sensitive about naked jokes.

after watching 'national treasure - book of secrets' yesterday, which is pretty good by the way, i noticed that there are a lot of things that helen mirren does well but, unfortunately an american accent in not one of them. also, the other thing i decided was, when i get all old and wrinkly i will aspire to look like helen does today!

now, i know she was pretty famous for taking off her clothes a lot in her long, interesting and prolific career but she is also a credit to her craft. minus the bad accent in the big disney movie she is rather wonderful. so here comes a mini list of her best -> the queen, state of play, elizabeth (mini series), the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, calender girls, gosford park, the hawk, where angels fear to tread, pascali's island and caligula (one of the worst movies ever, only surpassed by 'sex and the city 2').

14 June, 2010

soccer v football. not that it matters here.

i seem to be missing some sort of 'australian gene' that causes me to give a crap about sport. i am also not ashamed to say that at 4.30am yesterday morning i was dead to the world and having a lovely time in dream land with prince william. not up and cheering on our national world cup team to defeat against the germans. what a spectacular defeat.

so there really isn't much more to this post other than my expression of abject disappointment in my fellow australians. we don't play soccer! we play cricket and rugby and even at one stage were the best team in the world in those sports. seriously, someone who bothered to get up (and no, it doesn't count if you were up all night drunk off ya ass) and watch the early morning match needs to explain to me the off side rule. because, if you can't then why the hell did you bother!?

also, on a side note victoria beckham is a waste of very little space. i really hate her! she is rich and famous and skinny but hey, have you ever seen her smile...? she is nothing to aspire to, she doesn't contribute to society at all. moreover, i'm pretty sure she has had THAT much work done that when in fact she does die her corpse will probably never decay! little bit like a cheeseburger....

but, her birthday is in april....?

happy long weekend to all! so in the eastern states of australia we celebrate the queen, our monarch's birthday today. the problem is her actual birthday is the 21st of april.... so why do we have it in the second weekend of june? this has always bothered me, until today when i decided to consult the magical machine that is google.

it turns out that there is a very cool and rich history behind why we get a day off work; unless of course you work in hospitality and then, yay extra money. it all began way back in 1788 when governor arthur phillip declared the holiday in celebration of king george the 3rd (who was born on the 4th of june). the holiday did jump around to coincide with the birthday of the reigning monarch until it was decided after the death of george the 5th (queen elizabeth the 2nds grandfather), whose birthday was on the 3rd of june to keep it on its original weekend.

not going to tackle the issue of an australian republic because well, i'm not sure if i have a solid opinion on it. i don't like the idea of inherited wealth and privilege but i also equally like having a long weekend that usually falls around my own birthday.

13 June, 2010

burberry update.

bit of a mini post because well, i'm dyeing from some sort of next day beer drinking thing.... so burberry update! thanks to heather, jp, kel and my mum! the 'michelle wants a burberry coat fund' is going quite well. $100 down, with $500 to go. so help a sister out. otherwise i'm going to have to work for the coat.

i am planning on getting the coat the week after next with various donations, birthday money and my own hard earned cash.

check out the coat i'm buying here. thinking of getting the tan one but i also like the navy one. which colour do you think? navy is easier to keep clean but tan is just so....burberry.

also, how cool is the tartan under the collar?

12 June, 2010

happy birthday! hope you like your miller's voucher.

so, today is my birthday. yay! the big two-five. eek! anyway, i am a narcissist but i actually wanted to talk about the act of giving gifts. now before you all rush off to return your gifts for me STOP, read this and then decide if the panda jumper you bought me is actually a good fit.

i read a few months back a very cool article about the act of giving someone a complement that i think is appropriate. there is an intricate behind the scenes emotional roller-coaster ride of motives one has when giving a complement (or in this case a birthday present).

the level of intimacy between two people is one aspect of how personal and/or expensive a present is. still, the more specific the gift the bigger the risk. no one likes to be put into the wrong group. you skrew up and give a present that the receiver doesn't like then you are essentially putting a square peg in a round hole. it won't work. BUT, if you get it right then well, perfect present equalling hugs and kisses.

still, this is a minefield. the easiest way around this in today's culture is the wondrous gift voucher. this is though essentially admitting, 'i don't really know what you wanted and it's rude to give cash so here, buy what you want.'. hmmm i'm not exactly sure how i feel about gift vouchers or even cash as a present. i like money but, at the same time it makes you feel as though that person doesn't really know you. that, in my mind, comes down to the gifts recipient not the gift giver.

oooh well, this is all rather redundent. 25 isn't a big birthday and i am truly not expecting more than a drink in my ability to have lasted half way through my 20s. giving a gift is a lovely gesture that even if i don't love i'm sure i will like. plus i'm a good liar so you will never know the difference.

11 June, 2010

the satorialist.

some of you may know of the lovely fashion photographer scott schuman's blog the satorialist. i routinely check this blog a few times a few to see what weird and wonderful people he has grabbed a shot of on his travels all around the world.

if or when you go check this blog out the thing i always remember is, i can never either afford most of the things on it OR would never think of combining these clothes and coming up with a look like that. but, it does give you fashion ideas.

my taste in fashion is actually fairly generic in comparison to the people in the blog. i have come to terms with this. still, the quest for cool, different, brand name clothes is never ending. you might not be able to buy cool but, snazy clothes might make you feel pretty cool.

this blog just goes to show you, pushing the envelope in what you wear is really just a question of how far you want to go. the blog really does prove that fashion style can reflect your own personality. these are people on the street, normal people. just like you and me. 'cept richer. bastards! ha!

10 June, 2010

fur coats....yay? or nay?

i personally have nothing against vegetarians per se. still, the wankery ones who do it for stupid reasons or aren't consistent do seem to grate on my nerves! there are many good reasons to become a vego. health reasons, it is proven to be a much healthier life style. environmental reasons, its been reported that the run off from abattoirs causes more damage to the environment than driving a large fourwheel drive. animal rights, concerns that animals are unfairly treated in an inhumane way.

all are good reasons, i suppose. still, seems like a lot of hard work for animals that were they smarter, quicker or endangered wouldn't get eaten. although, i do eat free range chickens and eggs but that's only because i think they should at least get a bit of a run around before i eat them. but, all this comes down to was the douche bag environmental wankers handing out flyers for the ethical treatment of animals at uni a few weeks back.

cows have feelings and are bad for the environment (methane, run off, farming practices) and eating them is also murder. all fine, all true and thus, fair enough. BUT whilst wearing leather boots and drinking bottled water (that is also bad for the environment) they did nothing but piss me off with their inconsistent eco posturing! you are either all in or not at all. but, to me if you sit on the fence and pick and choose what you like and don't like about a cause, that is worse. even if you do do that don't go around bitching to me about tofu and saving the bloody whales!

so quickly, on the topic of fur. i think they are pretty. i am definitely not against the industry or people who wear them. but if you do wear one and then not eat meat you are a hypocrite and i hope you get eaten by a shark!

09 June, 2010

iphone 4!

as a mac convert and gadget geek the iphone 4 is making me drool with anticipation! it is rather wonderful and a complete revamp on the previous generations. boasting more vibrant retina display, 'masking', hd video recording and editing, a 5-megapixel camera (with a led flash) and 'ibooks'!

but the thing that they have finally included, what nerds everywhere have been asking for has been realised. VIDEO CALLING! aaarrrhhh! the future is here and it's bright, compact with not a silver spandex unitard in sight.

follow this link and check out what it has to offer, in detail! its making my iphone look disgustingly retro. might go and put snakes on it. boooo to my little consumerist soul.

08 June, 2010

bring on november!

harry potter and the deathly hallows, bitches! going to be epicly dark. first look at bill nighly as scrimgeour, griphook and john hurt as ollivander is back! can't wait for more footage. check out the first official trailer, though i'm not exactly sure what happens to the sound at the end.

07 June, 2010

me + duchamp = a house on fire!

right, i'm back. sorry about that, life encroached on my blogging duties. but here we go, art is the topic of the day.

i have always found a great affinity with the works of the great franco-american dada and surrealist artist marcel duchamp. he was a playful man and his ideas about art and the way we perceive it are all fascinating to me. not to mention during a very successful career, he gave up paining and sculpting to become a chess master.

perhaps his most famous series of work were his 'readymades'. these are, specifically, what i want to tell you all about. ordinary manufactured objects that the artist selected and modified, as an antidote to what he called 'retinal art'. by simply choosing the object(s) and repositioning or joining, tilting and signing, the object becomes art. as this process involves the least amount of interaction between artist and art, it represents the most extreme (maybe even pure) form of minimalism.

he believed, quite strongly, in this, "....it was always the idea that came first, not the visual example. a form of denying the possibility of defining art". he only made 20 readymades, this was to avoid the trap of his own taste. meaning, that once you deemed a piece 'good' or 'bad', it became what he called, 'an enemy of art'. as a result, he never was able to define how he himself felt about the pieces in the series and even the style in general. the enigma that was duchamp is tied up in this fact, he was never able to define 'readymades' fully enough to satisfy him and moreover, felt that defining it wasn't essential to the series of work.

the 'fountain' is easily the most famous work in this series. this is because it took the idea of common place objects that are then defined as 'art' to its most conceptualised visceral extreme. this picture of the piece is the only one of the original, taken by photographer alfred stieglitz. it was lost in 1917 shortly after its installation. it is believed to have been thrown out with the garbage like other duchamp works of the time.

still, this doesn't reflect its worth or importance as a great artwork of the 20th century. in 2004, it was voted the most influential artwork of the century by 500 British art world professionals and the artist-authorised replica (1964) was sold in 1999 for $1.7 million. it is now housed in the tate modern, london. check it out an do what others have done, piss on it. if you love it or hate it....it was after all, what it was made for.

06 June, 2010

damn you baby jane!

sorry guys, can't talk today busy making coffees and talking 'hagspoitation'. will explain later.

may the psycho biddy be with you.

05 June, 2010

i'm the mascot of an evil corporation!

bart simpson said that, but still, doesn't make it untrue. he was talking about mickey mouse while wearing a black bra on his head but, it has got me thinking again about the choices we make when we buy things. business ethics seem to simply not exist with regard to large corporations like disney. they don't care who they trample on for the sake of economic expansion and simple bottom line profits. so, why should we?

well if the economic crisis has taught us anything, it is that we as consumers do have a collective power. we stop buying cars = general motors goes under. we eat at home to conserve cash and mcdonalds posts much lower annual profits. the first example is true, but somehow, the second is not. this year mcdonalds in complete contrary to their sales, posted profits that exceeded the last two financial years. how is this possible, i hear you ask? like other big companies they cut costs wherever they could to keep their ceo in a nice new jaguar.

a lot of us, i'm sure, have worked as teenagers for large transnational companies for disgusting levels of minimum wage to keep us in new billabong threads and the latest album from britney spears (not that i'm projecting with these examples). at this age you don't even think about what you are contributing to these companies, like mcdonalds, you are immersed in your first real step into the big world of consumerism. ignorance might be bliss but that doesn't make it ok.

if you choose to see a disney movie or wear nike shoes then you have to take some responsibility for the business practices of these companies. you might never see the people, who work for almost nothing in indonesian and chinese sweat shops but, you continue to keep them enslaved. consumer culpability.

i have always managed to somehow ignore this fact. i work, i get paid, i buy shoes, they fit, i look cool and nothing else really enters into it. money for product. it's a simple enough trade. it isn't until you look into where the shoes come from that the little voice in your head (mine is starting to sound like you rob, damn you!) starts to make you feel bad about the decisions you have made.

vegetarianism seems to me quite similar. still, it makes me sad that we live in a world where more people care about animal cruelty than human cruelty. politics text books have told me over and over again that globalisation produces clear winners and losers. the divide between rich and poor is expanding as quickly as globalisation is. just because you are a winner doesn't mean you have to ignore the trail of destruction (losers) you have left in your buying frenzied wake.

next time you have a happy meal i suggest you contemplate your impending heart attack AND the 5 year old child in jordon working for 2 cents and hour. would you like to work for that?

if you want to read into this further, i can't recommend enough that you check out 'the national labour committee' website here. they hope to inform people and 'put a human face on the global economy'. also the picture is by british street artist banksy. his work hopes to make people more socially and politically aware. he is amazing. check it out here.

04 June, 2010

arh ceeelllloooo.....

avant garde is defined as, "any creative individual or group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts)". the video below features cellist zoe keating. she is rather amazing in her composing and layering of sounds and other music. give it a listen, check out her site and get your hands on her album, 'one cello x 16: natoma'. wondefully weird....it's when things become redefined.

03 June, 2010


i have been asked to post about this website by a friend who i recommended it to and is now insanely obsessed with it. etsy is a great online shopping website that is a bit like ebay but without the bidding and houses way WAY better stuff.

do check it out if you like clothes, books, accessories, furniture and house stuff that are one of a kind and a bit different. the sellers are really helpful and will post to australian most of the time if you ask. also, all prices in usd so consult xe exchange for up-to-date currency conversion stats before clicking that 'commit to buy' button.

i must warn you there is also a lot of crap on this site but they are outnumbered by great finds....not that i have a birthday coming up or anything. previously expensive brand names that are now vintage are michelle must haves, so shop away. thus, unless you want to look cool and be insanely poor then don't click here.

02 June, 2010

danger mouse and sparklehorse present:

this is a great cd written and produced by danger mouse and sparklehorse and deserves a serious listen for the sheer amount of wonderful names that are included in the artists list. iggy pop, pixies, the flaming lips, super furry animals, neutral milk hotel, julian casablancas, the shins, nina perssons, the strokes....it's like an orgy of amazingness! deep mellow tunes but, for some reason the album isn't actually that depressing. moody but jaunty.

still, my primary reason for this post is the rad 100 page book of photos that will be included with the cd. the picture above is one of them and shows the very talented david lynch, who contributed the stills and is responsible for great films like, 'mulhollond drive' and 'blue velvet'.

you can get your hands on a copy via the evil torrents and listen to the entire album that is live streamed here. or if you are more patient than me, and you can wait till the 13th of july when emi will be re-releasing it for a nice tangible hard copy.

01 June, 2010

honorary jedi knight.

this post goes out to all my readers who actually make a habit out of reading the narcissistic crap that spews out my hatch everyday. specifically, obi damo kenobie! the boy who is like a big brother might be a wingey little bitch but he requested a cameo so here it is.

so, if anyone else would like a jedi/starwars related nickname then comment on this post
and i will be happy to supply you with a sexy alias like mine and damiens!

may the force be with you.