Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 5 September 2015


Joan Baez is playing at QPAC in October.

I'm tossing up whether I should take the nostalgia trip.

The first LP I ever bought was Joan Baez in Concert, Vol 2, Vanguard. That was, I think in 1964, using money earned by picking tobacco at Beerwah on Gowan's farm.

I was 17 at the time. That was the year I got my driver's licence.

Joan Baez' voice and Bob Dylan's lyrics provided the sound track to my adolescence. Strangely, perhaps, the aspirations and hopes seeded back then have remained.

If anything, they've firmed - at least the political values have. Does that make me an unrepentant bleeding heart?

I hope so.

I'm glad I grew up during the hope and simplicity that marked that era. There's been nothing approaching it since.

Now you're telling me
You're not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You who are so good with words
And at keeping things vague
Because I need some of that vagueness now
It's all come back too clearly
Yes I loved you dearly
And if you're offering me diamonds and rust
I've already paid.

I'll go. How could I not?

Viewing that time and those songs through the prism of 50 years will be extraordinary.

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Pic courtesy brisbanetimes.com.au
There's something about this decision that smells strongly of spite.

This young woman is married, and was in community detention in Brisbane. Her application for asylum had been rejected, and in August she was moved from Brisbane to a Detention Centre in Darwin.

She had escaped Iran to avoid a forced marriage (to a 60 year old) .

She had fled Iran with her brother in 2012 on a boat from Indonesia.

She was studying for her Year 12 certificate at Yeronga State High School.

Here are a few questions for the Minister, Peter Dutton -

1. Why was her application for asylum rejected?
2. Why was she moved to Darwin?
3. Was she considered a security risk?
4. Is it assumed she married to gain an Australian visa?
5. Were these decisions made out of spite, or de d├ęcourager les autres?

So far, there has been a deafening silence from the Minister's office.

Sometimes I think we are governed by pure malice.

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