Thursday, September 25, 2014

La Vie En Rose by Grace Jones

I heard this on the radio yesterday morning and it gave me the most wonderful earworm all day long. If you would like to be exposed to a most inspiring cognitive contagion from the amazing 1970s just click on the "Go" button. 

From the point of view of a synaesthete and a person who studies synaesthesia I find two things about this music clip notable. The word "rose" in French might mean "pink" or "magenta", and the fashion worn by Jones in two appearances singing this song match that kind of colour, but the clothes certainly don't match the colour of the singing, which to my mind is saturated red, with the soaring parts of the music becoming yellow. The other thing I find interesting is the way Jones' arms go up as the pitch of her singing goes up, a definitely cross-modal or perhaps synaesthetic mode of artistic expression in which location equals musical pitch. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Of course, the best lies are the ones that reveal the truth

I guess it should come as no surprise to see Helen Dale becoming even more involved with Australian politics. I wrote about Dale as one of the fascinating Australians in one of my lists of famous people, lists which I no longer bother to keep up-to-date. She might never live down her fame in Australia from the 1990s as the literary hoaxer who made the Australian literary establishment look like the bunch of dicks that they always were, but I would argue that other Australians have also had a lend of the world of arts and letters, but those other fakers never got flayed alive in the town square. 

I've read that Paul Fenech, Australia's king of low-brow comedy television and film came in as the winner of the short film competition Tropfest one year, the film submitted under a name that would suggest that he was a lady of Jewish heritage rather than a Maltese-Indigenous Australian man with a subversive sense of humour. This stunt was reportedly pulled just a year or so after the "Demidenko Affair" but folks don't hate Fenech, in fact he's very popular in some parts. I put that down to sexism. Women aren't allowed to pull the wool or have a lend, because women are expected to occupy the moral high ground, in the most whiny and humorless manner possible.

And who would not agree that there is more than a passing resemblance between the deception pulled-off against Australia's literary crowd by the late author Elizabeth Jolley, and the curious incident of the platinum blonde in the embroidered peasant blouse? Jolley and husband were pillars of the world of books and the bookish in Perth in the 1980s. National Living Treasure Jolley was a mentor to Tim Winton. She had such a lot to answer for, but in my mind it doesn't get too much lower than writing a letter impersonating the abandoned daughter of one's husband to keep alive a prolonged and odious deception among family. Anyone who would dream of such a trick is certainly a different breed of human being than the apologetic dill that was Jolley's persona, both as a writer and a public figure. Turns out Jolley was a Living National Lie but there was no big cuffuffle, because her real story didn't break while the herd still held her close to their hearts. Out of Jolley and Dale/Demidenko, who was the biggest liar, I ask you? A genuinely odd Aussie lass who wrote a novel from a politically unpopular POV while pretending to be an ethnic, or a first class creep, liar and home-wrecker in private affairs playing the part of a lovably unfashionable borderline-autistic creature of the keyboard to an audience of cabernet-soaked dickwits? Myself, I've always had so much more sympathy for the undercover oddball than the fake autist. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Lili's tip of the day

If you are reading this post in Sydney at the time of publication you only have to wait a half an hour to view a creepy old Val Lewton movie on ABC television. And what are you doing up at this hour? 

Lili's commonsense thought of the day

The very first question that they should ask in any career guidance questionnaire is "Do you fall to pieces at the sight of blood?". And question number two should probably be "Do you generally find people irritating?". 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Lili's older and wiser thought of the day

I volunteered for that crowd for months, and the communication I got from them was housekeeping stuff to do with shifts and asking extra favours. Then I parted with some money to pay online for someone else's ticket to one of their events, and now my inbox is regularly graced with chatty newsletters from the CEO, in which he wishes to convey how much management value their people above all else. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Lili's sad thought for the day

They've left another young asylum-seeker to die. Another man in his twenties, his whole life ahead of him, lost his life in an entirely preventable and foreseeable chain of events, the result of imprisonment at the infamous Manus Island detention centre. Both young men were in the custody of the Australian federal government/the Abbott Government/Team Australia, call it what you will. Neither had committed any crime. They sought refuge. Instead the worst possible thing happened, and Australia is to blame. If you don't do anything to change things, this shit is just going to keep on happening over and over again. Do you give a damn? 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A quote from an Aussie genius of rock

"I cope with it alright… It’s a strange thing because it’s really hard to know what [Aspergers] means and what it does and what it’s doing and what it’s done… so, yeah… I cope with it just by being a loner.” 

- Craig Nicholls in a recent interview article by Dominique Sisley for DIY magazine 

Doesn't Craig deserve some semblance of an adequate explanation to go along with his highly stigmatizing label? Doesn't Craig, along with all people labelled as autistic, deserve better? Is this the best that modern Australian psychology/psychiatry/disability advocacy can offer? Seems very lame to me. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A link between these two concepts?

I was just reflecting on the heavy use of inflated hype words in the first couple of pages of the book Struck by Genius by Jason Padgett, in the collection of one-paragraph book reviews by big names in autism, savant and synaesthesia pop science writing. I refer to words like "remarkable", "extraordinary", "immense", "incredible", "unforgettable", "sudden genius", "medical marvel", "tremendous", "astonishing", "unfathomable", "unleashed", "irrefutable"..... and then I was mucking about in the internet and I came across this article in New Scientist, which explained that a team of researchers have found an association between the dodgier pieces of science writing by one particular scientist and his increased use of  words categorized as "amplifiers". 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lili's insensitive personal atttack for the day

Shut the f*** up with the gender stereotypes, Carrie Bickmore! No Australian is doing more than you are to help us to see humanity through the lens of expectations and interpretations based on cliched and evidence-free beliefs about psychological and behavioural sex differences. If there were degrees in this stuff, my word, you'd have one, and it would surely be printed in pink. You know it and you live it, you life-sized Barbie Doll.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lili's declaration of war

All weeds must die! Get lost Gazania! F*** you Fumaria! Morning glory, you will never see the sun rise again. African Pelargonium, your harsh stink will soon be nothing more than an unpleasant memory. Castor oil plant, prepare to be cast into the darkest depths of the wheelie bin. Whatcha think you’re doing in my garden, Watsonia? Wild oats, you will not live to cast your seed. Onion weed, I shall dig you out completely and carefully, bulbs and all. Goodbye forever Lantana! You will soon be replaced by a local native species of plant that is every bit as pretty and attractive to butterflies. You will not be missed. Shitplant.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lili's fashion tip for the day

Got nipples that can be seen through three layers of clothing? Got nipples that can be seen from space? Try headlight dimmers.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lili's go get f***ed thought of the day

The Conversation has closed comments on this incomplete and biased article. This is political censorship and an affront to free speech in Australia, and pretty much what I'd expect from this tame and lame bit of light reading for the enjoyment of the chattering classes. 

Lili's next thought of the day

Leunig's controversial cartoon about Zionism, Palestine and the strong forces against free speech in Australia:

Lili's wildly contrasting thought of the day

When it comes to the job of telling the world the truth about the war crimes that are currently happening in Gaza, Mike Carlton looks like a martyred hero in my eyes, while the UN's General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon looks like a complete arsehole. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with cured patients, or a safe and secure career in medicine in Western Australia? Choose one.

Below is an excerpt from a New Scientist interview with Australian Nobel Laureate Dr Barry Marshall who was at one time a Registrar at Royal Perth Hospital. I don't think Australian medicine has changed enough since the time described, in fact I'm convinced that psychiatric labels are still used liberally as a way of illegitimately dealing with unsolved or uninvestigated medical and genetic problems. 

If the H. pylori story isn't endlessly fascinating to philosophers of science, then it damn well should be. 

You famously experimented on yourself with H. pylori. Was that a risk for your career?

At that point my colleagues were treating ulcer patients as psychosomatic cases – using antidepressants, tranquilisers, psychotherapy, all that kind of thing. My career was already very shaky because I was ignoring the mental state of the patient and giving them antibiotics. Then my boss's patients started secretly coming to my clinic for treatment. The politics have always been difficult in medicine. There is some truth in the way medical practice is portrayed in TV dramas.

Hey Dr Marshall, you are my hero.