technorati — “once one of the hottest and most valuable proprieties [?] in blogging” — appears to have committed suicide with its re-design.
cinema autopsy is a blog dedicated to dissecting film. i had to go back in time to august to read a review of a film i’d seen and more-or-less agree with thomas’ summary of beautiful kate: “an odd and inconsistent film but overall it is an atmospheric, visually striking and moving piece of cinema”.
eurasian sensation is a blog by a bloke called chris. of race relations, chris writes: “The main question for me was: how does a guy as incredibly annoying as Safran manage to land all those beautiful ex-girlfriends? Sure, he’s funny, but I don’t think I could have a conversation with him without wanting to give him a wedgie or flush his head in the toilet; his uber-geekiness would just bring out my inner bully.” i think maybe it’s ’cause he’s famous… but what would i know. i’m not funny, or famous, and i have beautiful women throwing themselves at me all the time. explaining to them that the revolution is my mistress invariably ends up being really awkward.
kblog : food. vegan food. also stars button the cat, who was BAD recently and killed a bird. bad button. bad. (also : november one is ‘world vegan day’. the 2009 festival of all things vegan — like, gorillas — is being held at abbotsford convent.)
A group calling itself the Australian Cultural Terrorists pulls off possibly Australia’s most famous art heist. A recently-purchased Picasso painting, The Weeping Woman, worth around $2 million, is stolen from the National Gallery of Victoria over the weekend of 2nd-3rd August. The theft is not discovered until Monday 4th, when a ransom note is sent to the Minister for the Yartz, the media, and the gallery, reading:
“We have stolen the Picasso from the National Gallery as a protest against the niggardly funding of the fine arts in this hick state and against the clumsy, unimaginative stupidity of the administration and distribution of arts funding.
Two conditions must be publicly agreed upon if the painting is to be returned:
1. The Minister must announce a commitment to increasing the funding of the arts by 10% in real terms over the next three years and must appoint an independent committee to enquire into the mechanics of funding the arts with a view to releasing money from administration and making it available to artists.
2. The Minister must announce a new annual prize for painting open to artists under 30 years of age. Five prizes of $5,000 are to be awarded. The prize is to be called The Picasso Ransom. Because the Minister of Yartz is also the Minister of Plod we are giving him a sporting seven days in which to try and have us arrested while he deliberates. There will be no negotiation. At the end of seven days if our demands are not met the painting will be destroyed and our campaign will continue.”
The thieves also leave a note in the form of a typed gallery card on the space once occupied by the painting reading, “Removed for renovation”. There are no clues as to their identity and police are dumbfounded. The Minister for Yartz and the Police, Race Matthews, quickly states that Arts funding will not be decided by blackmail, while the gallery’s administrator is left with egg on his face after earlier that year stating, “This face will haunt Melbourne for 100 years. Everyone will come to know it very well indeed, I hope”. After failing to secure their demands the kidnappers return the painting some weeks later, leaving it carefully wrapped in a locker at the Spencer Street [now Southern Cross] train station.
Radio pirates hijack Hitz FM’s signal and broadcast their own show, including talk breaks and music. Police fail to track down the culprits or the source of the signal.
On the first day of protests against the meeting of the G20 demonstrators fan out across the city to take part in actions against companies and organisations involved in the ongoing occupation of Iraq. One crew takes over the offices of the Tenix Corporation for a brief period, debating workers, tossing glitter, and supergluing toy soldiers to various surfaces before moving on to the army recruitment offices, where they put up “I Don’t Know Mate, I Just Work Here” stickers. An attempt by the staff to evict the occupiers via the building’s lift fails after security helpfully turns off all the elevators. The protestors eventually make it out of the building without arrest after a fire alarm is set off, allowing them to blend in with others exiting via the stairs.
Following the occupations, the protestors move on to demonstrate outside a variety of ANZ offices. Although the bank has already done their job by closing all of its city branches in anticipation of such protests, the opportunity is taken to highlight its role in Iraq, and also hassle other war profiteers.
As the day goes on, 100 people occupy the Orica corporation’s chemical services department, protesting its involvement with Barrick’s Lake Cowal Gold Project. Having handed over a document for Chris Avramopoulos, Orica’s General Manager for mining chemicals, the protest disperses. Meanwhile Melbourne’s shoppers are treated to the spectacle of the Radical Cheerleaders spruiking upcoming events.
The second day of the meeting sees the action move to the sealed-off area around the Hyatt Hotel, with police removing a Christian embassy for the poor at around 3:20am. A rally held later in the day sees cross-dressing Tranny Cops lampoon riot police, while G20 lollipop ladies and gentlemen call for an end to neo-liberalism. Members of the Arterial Bloc, wearing white overalls and face masks in the style of the Tute Bianche, get into fisticuffs with the police, charging barricades and trashing a police truck. Later on in the evening the party poopers in blue decide to soothe their bruised egos by mashing up a crowd and removing people dressed as endangered species from a Pink Cadillac parked outside Parliament.
The following day sees police reprisals continue with one man, who hadn’t even been at the protest, being kidnapped off the street and held for around two and a half hours by plain clothes police who assault him and refuse to tell him who they are or why he is being driven around in an unmarked van. Given carte blanche by the State Government to carry on however they see fit, the police go on to snatch other people from the streets before laying into a groups of protestors gathered outside the Melbourne Museum.
- MELBOURNE LAUNCH
Thursday 5th November at the Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall, Victoria and Lygon Streets 6pm-8pm with Iain McIntyre and a special guest appearance by the John Howard Ladies’ Auxiliary Fan Club.
This book reveals Australia’s radical past through tales of Indigenous resistance, convict revolts and escapes, picket line hi-jinks, student occupations, creative direct action, media pranks, urban interventions, squatting, blockades, banner drops, street theatre and billboard liberation; including stories and anecdotes, interviews with pranksters and troublemakers, and over 300 spectacular photos documenting the vital history of creative resistance in this country.
Written, compiled and researched by Iain McIntyre.
Additional research and editing by Lou Smith.
Book design and photo editing by Tom Sevil.