43? What Is It Good For?

Today is my birthday
Am I gonna have a good time?
Bloody good question
Here’s hoping
The world doesn’t owe me a good time
Which is fortunate
Surely I can make a small space
Of my own, contained-to-one-day
Cheer.

Birthdays are important
An anarchist with a taste for celebratory rituals
Only really has birthdays to go with
Mostly, I like other peoples birthdays
Except when the occasion is a decade change
And it’s appropriate to round up all my friends and family
The people whose existence I celebrate
Daily.

So on the uninteresting occasion of my 43rd birthday
I celebrate the presence in my life
Those who are writ large in my story
(See what I did there?)
I could name names
But you know who you are
You make my birthday truly happy
I am yours
In Love
and, naturally,
Solidarity.

Paula
23/02/2017

2016: an UnPraise Poem

It’s been a 2016 kind of year
The stupid season low on cheer
Too many deaths of artists we hold dear
Too much bombing, war, fleeing and tears
Politics everywhere getting weird

So we are gathered here today to say
Fuck you very much
For the year
That has been
Two thousand and sixteen

Still, babies were born and new friends were made
Compassion provoked and hatred belayed
Community built and corruption dismayed
As always, there were good things underlaid

So 2017 should hold no fear
As long as we keep this truth near:
Our struggles are both old and new
We will beat them, me and you.

Early afternoon, and I am waking
The new year sun already baking
I think back on the year that has been
Two thousand and sixteen

Of the sights I have seen
Running for a safer scene
Finding fine fantastic friends
at the end

So this year I face
with no fear.
I say farewell to the last, without a tear

Paula de Angelis & Hugh Ryland, 31/12/16

Professor Paula Presents: Proposal(s) for a Perfect(ionist) Post

  1. Enter a search string into google, preferably in “labo(u)r history notions of boolean algebra” format. You will get wikipedia. Do not despair.
  2. Copy and paste the first paragraph into a text document. DO NOT save anything at this point.
  3. Scroll down to the footnotes and click on any link that looks like it is better written. This is known as “standard academic research practice.” Copy the good bits to the text document. If you forget to copy the link… meh. It’s there, thanks to those wikipedians. “Show All History” is a wonderful menu item.
  4. Junk all of the wikipedia entry except for the dates and names. The grammar panda says no to subordinate clauses.
  5. Be succinct and opinionated. Write what happened. Full stops only (unless, of course, a civilised sentence requires one).
  6. Find a recording that is interesting, legal, aesthetically pleasing and/or historically significant. Searches may be a lot longer than they appear when inside the brain.
  7. Proofread. Then proofread again. BEFORE sending and/or posting the thing.
  8. If it’s less than a thousand words, finish it before your afternoon nap, or it will prevent snoozing.

Love, Innit?

Anarchistic Love Songs from Cosmo

People who know me, and some who have randomly asked, know how I feel about Valentines Day. The words “hallmark holiday”, and “arbitrarily dictated expressions of love” “philosophical opposition”, usually come up. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that I am a romantic,in a weird anarchist free love type way. I like to see people getting laid. I revel in the many people I know who have beautiful, equal partnerships. I do truly believe that love is one of the greater revolutionary forces. And I love love songs.
This collection of songs, from the Cardiff based folk punk musician Cosmo, is a wonderful, unsentimental, heartfelt collection of songs that have love in the theme. Some are funny. Some are even about relationships. They are all, however, based on Cosmo’s perceptive, hilarious and unsentimental love for humanity. Which is why I like them.
So happy day of romance. The occasion might be arbitrarily dictated. But love and and anarchy are good things, every day of the year.

Banned Practice Set List

We’re a duo with ring-ins. We do covers.

We are folk because we do other people’s songs, and we believe that music is not a spectator sport. We rock, because we do. We’re ocker, because Australians need to be reminded that we’re an anti-authoritarian bunch of larrikins who don’t believe in locking people up or blindly following idiots.
We are still in the band practice (pun intended) stage. Look for an unleashing on an unsuspecting public at a protest or open mic very soon.

Andrew, who is the proper musician in this duo ( I just warble along), informed that once we have nailed all of the songs below, we will have a real set list. It will be weird to try and book gigs on my own behalf for a change.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “I Won’t Back Down

Cosmo “Strike! Occupy! Resist!” (we have made an “Ocker Strine” version. Thanks to Kamala Emmanuel for some great verses)

The Kinks, “Twentieth Century Man” (remade to “Twenty-First Century Being”)

Kev Carmody “River of Tears

Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter, “Down City Streets

The April Maze “Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down

Lorde/Weird Al Yankovic, “Royals/Foil” (words by Weird Al, tune by Lorde)

Les Thomas “These Machines Cut Razor Wire

The Fraggles, “Be Your Own Boss

Acronymic Frivolity for Anxious Activists

Come up with “acronymically fraught” names, real and imagined. Examples from the mad writer, just to get you started:
Secret Service
American Secret Service
Bureau of Undergraduate and Graduate Economic Resources
Coalition for a Reasonable Approach to Politics
Society for Normal/Abnormal Friendship and Understanding
Denver Region Opportunistic Parachutists
and an Aussie joke: Society for Holden Industrial Technicians (defunct)

Why Are Politicians…? A Friend’s Answers

1. lawyers

Well, they do make the laws. Plus they’re always getting in trouble with the law for being corrupt (see point 2), so probably best to know something about how to get around that whole mess you got yourself into.

2. so corrupt

These are people who want jobs where you get to play the magical game of “musical pay rises.” Every time the music stops, not only does everyone get a seat AND a pay rise, but they get to decide how much that pay rise should be! When the game has rules like that (and if you want other rules you can just make them up as you go along), of COURSE you attract corrupt applicants. Common sense it is, padawan.

3. wearing blue ribbons

Umm… no idea. Camouflage, perhaps?

4. so stupid

See point 2 about the type of applicants that the job is, by its nature, going to attract. That, and the fact that there are no qualification requirements for the job. Heck, you don’t even have to complete school, as long as you have enough campaign readies in your back pocket.