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The party is over!

As a baby-boomer heading at breakneck speed toward my seventieth birthday (though still 3yrs away) I have just recently come to the heartbreaking conclusion that it is all over for me. No … not life, but “the party”! The metaphorical party that sustained me for these last forty years on a roller-coaster of self-sustaining optimism so familiar to our generation.

After the breakaway from the confining social and domestic clutches of our parent’s generation with the revolution of the sixties and seventies, freedom … true freedom from suffocating social mores and mind-numbing employment was at last within our reach … we were the pioneers of a punk-generation! Now, all those who are setting the pace with this new style social direction and political aspiration I cannot seem to “connect” with or admire that greatly … and all those I did have great respect for are either now dead, dying or out of the game … I feel like the passenger left on the station and the train has departed. And I just don’t know if I give a f#ck!

The sad realisation of my plight first came home to roost a while back, when I gifted to my son – who was trying his hand at amateur DJ-ing – my complete vinyl collection of LPs. This collection was a honed-down ambrosia of the gods of music of my generation … yes … from The Who “Live at Leeds” to “Zappa/Zoot Allures” … the whole box and dice of every memory of drunken orgy and piss-up to dope-smoked amnesia of the seventies and beyond … encased in that collection was the ghost of many wild parties, boozey card nights and general Sunday laid-back idylls … of beer from the keg sprayed walls to nefarious smoke-infused curtains and collars … and after receiving this holy grail of my wasted (in every sense of the word) youth, he later informed me in disappointed tone that his girlfriend’s dad had almost exactly the same records … except HIS were in mint condition, having taped the record after purchase and used the tape for listening and put the LPs Into cold-storage … WTF!!?

I reflected on this piece of proffered good sense information while the opening bars of Mott The Hoople’s “The Moon Upstairs” from their “Brain Capers” album suddenly sprung to mind and that night with “the mob” of us lined up in front of the decibel warping speakers and “air guitaring” the complete riot in a Southern Comfort drunken bliss; ” … we ain’t bleeding you, we’re feeding you … but you’re too fuckin’ slow … ” And then we’d get serious and put on Floyd’s ”Ummagumma” for a bit of intellectual discourse on Marx and communism! But the thing that really hurt, was not so much that the girl’s father was of that middle-class anal-retentive professional type who knew the price of everything etc etc, but that it was obvious that my son seemed to agree with his action. I could see the gilded threat of “common sense” creeping into his psyche … always a very dangerous thing in the developing mind of the young.

Yes … the party was over. Gen Y is not inclined to follow their baby-boomer parents stumbling gait, neither down the hard-left political road, nor in personal revolution against the corporate work ethic. Theirs is more career orientated, more “market driven”, more style and consumerism, so there was little room for prolonged partying to oblivion. Not that we couldn’t do our job then at the same time … but there was more room for “forgiveness” after a particularly hard weekend … workmates more willing to “cover” for the necessary human foible of having a good time … and there was always the “sickie” when a particularly extreme case of “industrial diarrhoea” overcame one.

And let’s face it … at least to me … work always did give me the shits. I hated it … and all that social responsibility crap that surrounded it … every effing day off to work, come home fall asleep then back to the job next morning … bloody mind-numbing slavery … moored, like so many similar craft, in a marina of lost souls. I would see the tradesmen come to work on the train dressed in clothes suitable for public display, only to don work overalls from their locker in the factory change-room to attend their work-benches and to do the reverse each night to make their way home on the public transport, day in day out. I couldn’t stand such pointless discipline … especially after it became obvious to our generation that the whole capital-based economy was nothing but a big fat con-job … bullshit from start to finish, and we were expected to go along with the con … but be on the receiving end … pisss orrff!

So I left it behind, hopefully for it to rot in its own stench and decay … but I see now it has been resurrected and is enjoying another moment in the sun … AND, apparently being feasted as the “saviour” of a new economy … a technology driven gig’ economy of automation and sterile efficiency; ”meet the new boss … ” So I have been railing against what I saw then and what I still see as the dehumanising of personal ambition and type-casting of personality … bunging square pegs into round holes. God … I hate the f#ckin’lot of it! And then to see those gormless dupes in this gormless govt’ talking their set pieces like a theatrical dummy on one of those kiddies shows from the sixties, do you remember that act; “Chris and Terry (Terry was the dummy)” on the Channel Niners? Ah! .. that Chris chappy was the one ought to have hooked up with Glenys O’Brien … NOT f#ckin’Ernie Sigley … Shit! … I feel like starting a one person revolution.

And now we have this sickly Christmassy shit with f#ckin’ goodwill to all and sundry … the season of saccharine and syrup …

There’s something sickly about all this bon hominy and good-will to all men … or persons … nah! … it doesn’t sound right; “persons” … there’s something un-fraternal about the word … when we really know that “men” means humanity collectively. But even there it’s a bit twee, isn’t it? … I mean it’s ok with the family an’ all that … but to ALL men … nah! … f#ck ‘em … they don’t deserve it!

Half the bastards have been sinking the boot in, in the last twelve months … and now it’s all “season’s greetings and a happy new year” … pissss orf! … even with the family, it’s a barely concealed pay-back situation that comes to haunt you over Christmas pressies: You give THEM the cheese-knife and They give you the bread-knife … and later you both reach for the steak-knife!

But that’s it … we’ve almost become irrelevant, save for our voting block … the party’s over, Vishnu’s juggernaut has moved on, crushing a new generation of suckers only too willing to throw themselves under the wheels of corporate capitalism.  We started work at fourteen and finished at sixty five and damn if the bastards want us to carry on till seventy, while THEY now party! Well, they can get stuffed! And even if us boomers have cried ourselves hoarse from screaming against the machine, one can hopefully see the rising generations picking up the baton and just now starting to take their situation seriously.

Now … at least I can get back to Zappa’s “Willy the Pimp” … Go, Captain Beefheart! … GO!


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  1. Baby Jewels

    Oooh that brought back some memories (with a smile on the face.)

  2. David Stakes

    Music of a generation some of that. Life in us old bastards yet.

  3. Phil Gorman

    Thanks man; that was a real blast from the past. I’m a pre-boomer war baby who also recorded his albums for parties.
    Stupidly, sadly, I sold all my boxes of vinyl and much else, for next to nowt about 15 years ago.

    We were privileged to be part of an all too brief breakout from the stifling fifties. My girlfriend even got her arm broken by les flics at the Sorbonne – happy days! We actually thought we could make a difference. Thatcher and Reagan nailed down the coffin lids on that naive notion.

    And here we are in our sixties and seventies; still imagining there’s a chance for peace, justice, love and the Golden Rule.

    Slow learners,
    square pegs,
    champions of lost causes,
    alone and running on empty,
    holding on to the fading dream.

    But hey! Today’s youngsters are stirring again. Kids are marching for the planet. There’s hope in that.

    Mechina – Alithea

    All I want
    Is air that doesn’t
    Carry the scent
    Of steel, flesh, and fire

    Piercing the clouds
    These circles of light
    Remind me that color
    Exists in ones life

    Curse my
    Human heart
    For this flawed inherent faith
    In mankind

    I will see
    What world lies beneath me
    Decide on my own
    Flesh or machine

    I will see what world lies beneath me
    Holding on to a fading dream
    Of a world that may be the just city
    Holding on to a fading a dream
    That this world may be
    Just may be the Just City

  4. Keitha Granville

    I am delighted that the youngest of my children says to me “it’s not always about money, mum” so there is hope yet that the deep down hippie in me has emerged in him and will prevail.
    Love and peace man.

  5. Jon Chesterson

    Ditto once, twice, going, going, gone, and yet here I am. The party is over, indeed it is, but I don’t recall it ever having started!

    My LP collection in vinyl says more about me than my dedicated 40 years service in public health. This is the poetry of life – politicians, CEOs, GMs, corporate executives, those who have inherited their wealth and haven’t had to work to reach a point of homeostasis or because they attribute their success to being the only ones to work hard thus poverty is the indulgence of the lazy, just haven’t got a clue what most of us have to go through just to survive, and that doesn’t speak for the other two thirds of our world who never get to first base before they die.

    I’m just ten years younger, but frankly people and the system out there, especially government and corporate, are so damn pig ignorant, so fucking arrogant and full of their own bullshit, one day the storm will knock them down dead, that’s my new year wish, goodwill and generosity is not a patronising piss in the pan at christmas and new year. One day they will know what it’s like to be thrown on the rubbish heap, and none of us will be around to bail them out, and even if we were, who gives a shit for the economy and the corporate monoliths they have created.

    The revolution will come, it always does as society resets itself from blind stupidity and mediocrity, from exploitation and slavery, re-inventing itself and awarding its new found heroes. Change always comes, but nothing ever changes.

    I shall officially retire three weeks from now and pass into oblivion without so much as a mention in a grave yard that has long since been abandoned, the one where the weeds outflank the stones, and flowerpot men are put back to work by the bastards who employed them, to dig their own graves in grateful retirement and forced retreat.

  6. Joseph Carli

    I swear to bloody God I’d rather die with total f#cking senile demitia that to live a long life under this new generation’s shit-hole “all embracing..I hearing you and taking it on board effing shit!!”….no bullshit they talk like they know all about it but they really wouldn’t know shit from clay!…LIFE?? they have never even lived it!

    That music we jived to wasn’t just something to tap our fingers to, it was fuel for the fire in our lungs and hearts….CHRIST! was our war-songs.

  7. Joseph Carli

    Good stuff, Phil…sink the boot in I say!…there’s life in us yet!

  8. Joseph Carli


    [ I wrote this piece quite a few years ago. It was an attempt to both explain and understand that moment of decision in my late teens, in the later years of the 1960’s when the urge for revolution was so explosive in our Boomer generation. The thing is, while we were full of the life and want for a new social beginning, AND were keen as mustard to get started in it, we really didn’t (or at least ..I..didn’t !) have any flamin’ idea where it was going to take us!..It was one crazy, hell-raising ride into adventure, with not one adult around to give guidance or example..just partying on for years and years!..the old rules were torn up and the new ones had yet to be written..and when they finally were, it was on the shredded shirt-tails of what was then a conservative Australia..
    Well..the job was done and still is done and all this old boomer can say is ;
    “ Goodbye to all that!”]

    An interesting phenomenon can happen to a young person when they reach their mid to late teens, there is a moment of awakening to the situation around them, the life they are living, the social circle and familial surroundings that guide their every-day movements and decisions. They can have a sort of psychological awakening and either fall totally in-line with the accepted dogma of society, or they can totally rebel and reject the “boring-as-batshit” lifestyle of their parents and peers and go off in a completely different direction. Some of the “baby-boomers” famously did just the latter….I was one of those.

    Now, let me explain the three different phases of baby-boomers…There are those born directly after the second world war, the more inflexible of these grew up with the mind-set of their parents : Conservative, militaristic, socially servile.

    The second wave from the start of the fifties to the middle fifties were expected to follow such sentiments as their older siblings, but they did not..Oh!, they did for a while, as tender youths, but then they rebelled!

    The third wave, till the early sixties, are the misguided conservatives we have in power now! They have leap-frogged back to the fifties in a caricature of what they perceive as their parents control mechanisms and are an exaggerated version of that conservatism!…..Hopeless!

    I am of the middle set of boomers…and man!…did we ever rebel! It wasn’t just a case of :”Oh, I think I’ll go in a different direction”…It was an emphatic…”I’m outa here!”..and I can remember the exact moment when I stopped being the aspiring apprentice carpenter and became the son from hell!

    There were three things that awoke the liberating spirit within me, the first was a book, the second was music and the third that sealed my fate was an incident.

    Let me enlighten you.

    I was an avid reader of books in my early teens…you probably know the type of books..: Crime, mysteries, war, adventure…that sort of thing…I was a regular “young boys own” kind of fellow, till one day, in the mid sixties or so, whilst about to catch a train, I was looking at a book-stand for something to read, and in a hurry, I bought this book that had on its’ cover a war theme…I bought the book and caught the train….the title of the book : “Catch 22″…I fell in love with that book…I still love it! I’ve consumed it so many times, like one consumes a lover, a hunger insatiable till you next see them! When touching is not enough and total immersion is demanded..a beauty!

    In 1967, The Beatles released their “Sgt. Peppers” album…Talk about a bombshell!…Never, never before in the world of music had such a magical mix of bizarre and sublime sounds been cast upon the masses. You cannot honestly tell me that you can listen to that album and not be swept away with the mesmerising musical magic….and that moment when the calliope lilts in “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite”…”…and of course Henry the horse dances the wALTz…”…..glorious! magical!, marvellous! To HELL with Elvis!…and then came Hendrix and The Stones.. who wants the crappy crooners? Just turn up the volume!

    The third incident was the defining moment, when the combination of the first two awakenings jelled with the third and I went home to sleep on a new and exciting desire.

    Again, it was 1967…the end of that year, I was nearly seventeen…it was Summer…….I don’t suppose the name ; Bodo Skrypek means anything to you? Why should it?…But just roll that name around and off your tongue a couple of times….obscure? abstract?…..intriguing isn’t it?…But I kid you is a real name. As a matter of fact, he nearly got into a punch-up with a copper one night who thought he was having him on giving a name like that!

    Bodo was a “Rocker”….you know?, in the days of Mods and Rockers…Bodo was a Rocker of the first order..The BSA Golden Flash motorcycle, the black leather jacket and chrome chains, black stove-pipe jeans with “ripple-sole” shoes, the tats, the snarl, blonde, “flat-top” haircut and the sartorial exactness of a Jimmy Dean, but with the aggro of “Chopper Reid”, if Chopper was around in those days!

    You’d understand what I mean if I tell you that he used to clean his motorcycle, engine and spokes, with a toothbrush!…that machine was a black and chrome beast, an android extension of his personality, he could toss it around like it was a twirl of his fingers. It was totally phallic… Bodo WAS the fifties personified. We adored him…. We feared him!

    One summer night, at the top of Brighton Rd., Three of us gathered near “The Monument” ; a column, still there but moved a little to one side of the road, a testament to war. Three of us were there..: Pommy Len with his Honda, Ron Parker with his 350cc. Beeza..and myself, the youngest by a couple of years, with my Yamaha. It was the early days of the emergence of the Japanese motorcycles…themselves a bone of contention amongst the motorcycle purists who mostly scorned the “Jap-crap” for British machines, of which, amongst the Rocker brigade, Triumphs and BSA reigned supreme…Norton was acceptable, but just,: the intellectuals choice…the rest were, in the vernacular of the times..:”poofter bikes”!

    We were there, at the S-bend in the road, at the monument, just milling about, dead-still night, nothing to do and no intention of doing it! And then Bodo rolls up on his Golden Flash Beeza…sees us, does a U-ee and pulls up and parks with one automatic quick-flick of the side-stand whilst simultaneously dismounting…He lit up a cigarette…(where did it come from..magic! there it was, the lit match already somersaulting away into the night). He stands, we gather around to the “flame”…moonlight and streetlight phosphorose man and machine, memory fixed to time and place..did I know it was the end of an era…

    Jacta alia est!

    My senses were alert..I don’t know, something was stirring in me, a portent?..Did we talk? I don’t remember, did we animate? I don’t remember..But next thing, another motorcycle comes around the S-bend and pulls up. I do not know him, but Bodo does..even some sort of respect…he rides a Suzuki “Hustler”, the quickest bike off the mark for those days…his pillion is a blonde girl, long..blonde hair…they are both about nineteen or twenty, no crash helmet, no shoes, just “T” shirt and casual denim jeans…but maaan!, they looked so cool and relaxed, they didn’t get off the bike, just straddled it and conversed with Bodo, who, after some little time in discussion on the merits of particular motorcycles tired of the conversation and tried to “hit on” the blonde girl pillion who, with a disdaining toss of her blonde hair, seemed to scorn him!…a new ideal, a new generation!..I saw it, the vulnerability, the loss of attitude….

    The young man started the motorcycle and with a casual adieu..and that’s what it was ; an adieu!..They turned and accelerated down Brighton Rd with such amazing speed and unity of line, that even Bodo paused in the action of putting his cigarette to his lips. I Iiked that look of cool denim, the girl, the bike the attitude….an Epiphany! I wanted it!

    There seemed like a long, long silence between the departure of those two prophets and any action on our parts…That machine and its’ passengers just went…whoosh, no thundering roar of engine, no aggro from the young man toward Bodo’s facile attempt on his pillion, just a swift, smooth departure from the point of disturbance toward serenity..the red tail-light a point of distinction fading into the distance.

    “I wonder”, said Bodo suddenly,”How fast I can get up to coming down that road?”

    He was turned gazing up the new stretch of bitumen of Ocean Boulevarde…None of us commented, it was a rhetorical question, for he had no sooner said it than he had flung his smoke away and mounted his bike and still with the kick-start at the nadir of its stroke, the motor throttling the side-stand snapped as he leapt the bike out onto the road, wheel spinning in a smokey arc while the bike aligned itself to point up the open road.

    We three moved our bikes and ourselves down the road a little to where the bend straighten out toward Seacliff. We stood on the edge of the kerb and waited.

    You could hear him before you could see him as he came thundering down that boulevarde…that Beeza was screaming, a throaty howl. Christ he was flying!…then he appeared just as the road went into that long, broad sweeping bend of which we were at the zenith. He was already pitched at a low angle as he went into it at a speed of at least a hundred miles an hour….as he floated toward us, the bike howling with a spraying shower of dazzling sparks shooting from the muffler and foot-pedals as they bounced and scraped on the bitumen.

    Pommy Len and Parker leapt from the road edge to the back of the footpath….I stayed where I was…I don’t know why, except I was mesmerised in the theatrics of this performance..for that ‘s what it was ; a statement of bravado in the face of total rejection…Bodo had lost face with that girl, with that young man…with us..certainly with me, I wanted nothing of it, no more big-noting, no more aggro, no more warrior tactics….I wanted liberation from that whole social network , screw them all! Though of course, I couldn’t voice those specific thoughts as I stood there rooted defiantly to the kerb. I wasn’t going to respond to the automatic fear….I know now ; with mortality being the only certainty, the whole world runs on bluff.

    Sure enough, Bodo swept past so close to me I could smell the engine oil and feel the heat of that motor. He was still braking as he neared the Seacliff junction..but I couldn’t care less, for I had already mounted my Yamaha and was quietly making my way home…I had a lot of thinking to do.

    As I lay abed, thinking about that young man and the girl, the fact that they didn’t get upset or angry, they just “walked away”…and that is what I did to that life back my job, to my parents, to my home, to all the expectations of that boring-as-batshit society…it’s what we all did, a whole generation almost, spontaneously, I didn’t get angry, I just..; walked away!

  9. Tim Jefferson

    Joseph Carli,

    What are your thoughts on the baby-boomers who have “pulled up the ladder after them”?

  10. Glenn K

    ahhhh, Joseph, I loved this article! Resonates in so many ways. And listening to the Zappa music link brought back many memories of sinking deep into my chair (or couch or beanbag) and into enlightened thoughts under the influence of some sweet smelling hash. 🙂

  11. Joseph Carli

    ” What are your thoughts on the baby-boomers who have “pulled up the ladder after them”?”…the ‘fortress mentality’..I know several of them…lost the faith,got a taste for personal /financial security and bolted the door to the outside world…trouble is…in many of those cases their worst enemy was already inside the castle…inside themselves!

    Yeah…Zappa…was viewing one of those “reaction” you tube things where a young twenties something reviews classic prog rock or other period pieces…and he was freaking out on Zappa’s “Black Napkins”…from “Zoot Allures” …what they don’t realise is that you HAVE to be three sheets to the wind or something to even get the gist of that stuff…Christ!…even now when I’m stoney cold I get half high just listening to the stuff… here..:

  12. Joseph Carli

    I’m not sayin’ we have to go back to digging for yams with a stick or spearing animals for tucker….but we have to draw the line somewhere…and I reckon we’ve gone past that time of a good balance of tech’ know-how and time for a good life…I mean they’re planning to colonise fucking MARS!!??…What the f#ck for??…and half the population can no longer cook a decent meal with all the ingredients in the world available to themselves…These old homesteads around here…in this VERY marginal country were once self sufficient or could barter home grown produce with other farmlets without money changing hands and live quite well…Just here on this small holding, they had pigs, chooks, dairy cows, sheep and grew a couple of hundred acres of cereal the nearby town there were flour mills, bakers, saddlers and hawkers and tinkers and blacksmiths…a complete organised community…and then the mortgages rolled in ..and the time payments and the “managed economy” of the bankers and middle-men…if a quid could be made honestly, then two quid could be squeezed out of the suckers dis-honestly and those “respectable nation builders” that we now vote into parliament were just the people to do it..and now all you see is desperate folk struggling on in a crumbling waste of a town and a community divided…

    The fuckin’ Downers, the Pynes, the Steven Marshalls and all the rest of those creepy little shits!!…f#ck..I’d “gulag” the lot of them if I had my way!

    THEN…I’d go back to listening to Frank Zappa!

  13. Joseph Carli

    Yeah..I reckon the early seventies were the moment when a halt shoulda’ been put on further social developement..why..we had it all then…good food, good multi-cultural mix…the quadrophonic system and the K-tell lettuce spinner!…and no disco!!…
    But then along comes the little messengers from “Big Corp”…selling us all the shit in the world..placating the protestors and making Malcolm Fraser sound like the ‘good bloke” in all of that act of treason!…They’re always there..the calming voice..the “listen to reason” people…the little messengers to throw oil on waters that were troubled for good reason…
    Remember this..:

    Helvityni…I gotta tell this one to you..speaking of David Stratton the other night and his coming to grips of understanding Australian humour and irony all in the one scene…:

    Many years ago, back in the 70’s, I was working in Melbourne, and on a Monday morning smoko, this young labourer told the gathering there about an event he witnessed at the footy at the “G” (MCG) that Saturday…it seems at the height of the action between (I think) Collingwood and Essendon..(the lad was a Essendon supporter and the foreman a die-hard ‘Pies), at some place in the spectators area where it gets a bit rough (I’m not savvy with the G), this young woman who had been drinking a fair bit got all agitated about her team losing and getting sledged by the opposition supporters there, started hitting those next to her with her big leather handbag…This caused everybody to press back away from her so that soon, with her swinging that bag around by the long, leather sling, there was a circle of tight-pressed people just out of reach of that weapon as it swung around and around..

    It wasn’t long before some became agitated themselves and started calling and shouting..:

    “Hit the moll, hit the moll….someone just hit the moll!”

    And then, out of the perimeter of the crowd steps a kind of “Sir Galahad”..and with a chivalrous determination, steps straight up to the woman, who stops swinging her bag and stands wearily next to him as he moves in a circular motion slowly around that space saying all the while in a calming, gravitas tone, both hands slowly pumping up and down like he was bouncing a basket ball in each…:

    “No… hits the moll…no-one hits the moll, no-one-hits-the-moll…”

    Chivalry is not dead, what?

  14. Joseph Carli

    And now everyone’s onto this “indpendants for parliament” bullshit!…the only reason they voted in Karen Phelps is because she was female and therefore “safe” after all the male bullshit going on..but really, she’s only playing “nightwatchman” for the LNP till next election and then she’s out and another “full-time liberal” takes the seat back.

    If I was a major political player, I’d be putting up some dummy “independants” in high-risk seats to gather preferences or at worst case to get an “onside” player into the seat.

    And I’ll be honest with my opinion here…you “soft women” are a political pushover these days..I had one giving me a hard time on twitter..a sporting person..If you are a conservative party, all you gotta do is get the major sporting authorities to “give the girls” a ball to kick around..a gold cup at the end of the season and a bit of tele’ air time and likely as not you got them onside for a conservative vote!…no bullshit!

  15. Kaye Lee

    “the only reason they voted in Karen Phelps is because she was female and therefore “safe” after all the male bullshit going on”

    For starters, her name is Kerryn Phelps, and she has a hell of a lot more going for her than just being female. She is an intelligent principled woman who best represented the opinions of her electorate.

    “you “soft women” are a political pushover these days”

    Ya think?

    ” all you gotta do is get the major sporting authorities to “give the girls” a ball to kick around..a gold cup at the end of the season and a bit of tele’ air time and likely as not you got them onside for a conservative vote!”

    Because we are all just so grateful if the men let us play?

    Seriously Joseph, your arrogant dismissal of women is getting worse. It feels like you are deliberately trying to provoke a reaction. That is the least offensive explanation I can come up with.

  16. Joseph Carli

    Phelps was always a right-winger..she may be called “moderate” except there is no such thing in politics…I’d like to see her cross the floor against LNP wishes…she’s just “safe pair of hands” for the LNP till the next election…

    Yeah..I reckon a lot of you post-modern “soft women” are soft political many come out from under an umbrella of “caring / sharing” identity so as not to cop any serious poltiical flak…: “Look at me! I’m a possible mother so I must be kind and gentle!!”..solid political/social performers like Ger’s Greer or Gloria Stienam or Gillian Triggs would have your guts for garters and your small intestine for slippers and still come up smelling like roses!

    Play what?…I don’t see women’s Lacrosse getting extra funding…now THERE’S a killer sport and no mistake!

    ” Because we are . . . ” again with the “Royal ; WE”..

    Seriously, Kaye…your arrogant dismissal of joseph is getting worse. . . ” (What’s good for the goose. . . )

  17. helvityni

    I too believe that Phelps is a good woman, it does not matter that she is a Liberal turned Independent….

    Not all right-wingers are bad; if there were more like John Hewson, amongst them, I would not mind if they were in power; Latham and Richardson were also Labor…they are not all bad or all good on any side….

  18. Joseph Carli

    Yeah, but Helvi…when you go back to Hewson /Keating etc..THAT was a turning point in Australian politics…sure an’ it could get nasty in thoise times…like Fraser’s betrayal..but under Hawke…good or bad it did settle down to a predictable style…and Hewson was in there with that…but when Howard and co. came into serious contention and the minerals boom was in the offing, it got real nasty..real vicious..and those political players of the day filled the needs and the deeds….and the white-anting had been going on for some time…

  19. Joseph Carli

    And Phelps ; past pres’ of the AMA…not known for bolshie appointments…

  20. Kaye Lee

    I at no stage made any comment about you personally Joseph. I disagree with your comments regarding women. The fact that you feel free to stereotype us and then castigate me for using “we” is interesting.

    It also appears that you have not been paying attention because the government filibustered their way through the last sitting session precisely because Phelps wanted to introduce a bill the government did not want to debate. I am not sure what you mean about Phelps “crossing the floor” when she does not belong to a party?

  21. Joseph Carli

    ” Seriously Joseph, your arrogant dismissal of women is getting worse.”

    “I at no stage made any comment about you personally Joseph”

    Are you coming down with a mild case of cognitive dissonance?…..

    That wasn’t fillerbusting when Phelps telegrammed her intention WAY before time TO debate..that was a predictable defensive move.

    “Crossing the floor” = metaphor..

  22. Kaye Lee


    Tony Windsor made a good comment about that when Barnaby Joyce took over in New England and turned up to all the opening ceremonies at things Windsor had started. It was something along the lines of I don’t care who cuts the ribbon as long as the thing gets done. I too admire Hewson.

  23. Kaye Lee

    As any parent can tell you Joseph, saying I don’t like your behaviour is not the same as saying I don’t like you, though you certainly seem to take any disagreement very personally. I am disagreeing with your assertion that the female crossbenchers are mere seat warmers and that female athletes will be so grateful to be allowed to compete that they will reward a political party by giving them their vote.

    “Crossing the floor” = voting against party lines. If you don’t belong to a party, you can’t vote against party lines.

    “filibuster” = delay or entirely prevent a decision being made on the proposal by talking rubbish until you run out of time. ALL filibusters are defensive moves so I have no idea what you are talking about when you say Phelps ‘telegrammed’ her intention. You can’t table a Bill without signalling your intentions.

  24. Joseph Carli

    But those so called “independents” could have gone with labor when there was a threat of a no-confidence vote in the govt’…but they know right down to a disgruntled electorate that their jobs would be gone if they acrted independently in the interests of Australia.

  25. Joseph Carli

    ” As any parent can tell you Joseph, saying I don’t like your behaviour is not the same as saying I don’t like you.”…aww..that’s just sugar syrup…and what’s with the “parent” thingo? that some sort of qualification?

  26. Joseph Carli

    Ooohhh..I see…the parent thingo…you’re “explaining” to me like you would to a child…NOW I get it…but that’s what I am complaining about in my original article above…it’s now all a child-like pretence at life…a generation playing in some sort of kiddies sand-pit, talking kiddie-talk and playing kiddie-games…

  27. Miriam English

    God! Joe, you do go on with some angry bullshit.

    You are angry. I get it, but perhaps step back and see that you’re angry because you’ve become brittle and inflexible and no longer fit a world that’s continued to change. The clue to this is the way you categorise entire groups of people — vast numbers of people — on simplistic factors, such as when they were born. Well, sorry to break it to you, but there are revolutionaries in every generation, as well as suck-ups, and corporate types, and partiers, and drug wastrels, and intellectuals, and all the rest. You can’t categorise any group on some simple trait. It doesn’t work. It is the trick authoritarians, racists, homophobes, misogynists, and other misanthropes use to dismiss large numbers of people in their game of dividing society. And it affects people who are angry… look out Joe…

    The music you fondly remember is great. Agreed. But musical genius is pretty-much a constant. There is brilliant music being made now too. You are simply too bound in your ways to give it a chance.

    Should we have stopped advancing in the ’70s? I’m sure people of the 1800s felt the same about their favorite times. Each person feels the same about their own personal golden time. There is very little that’s special about any time above any other time. We make those times special to us.

    The tale of the bikie-rockers struck me as interesting in how those people had absorbed the marketing from corporations and thought they were rebelling. They had become pawns, never understanding how they’d been brainwashed, from sucking on tobacco (paying a company to kill you), to dressing in a leather and denim uniform, to paying a small fortune for a particular motorcycle brand.

    I chat often with younger folk and have great optimism for many of them. Most are far smarter than we were at their age (though some are appallingly stupid too, as so many of our generation were). Only a couple of years separate you and me Joe, but I’ve spent my life trying to maintain some degree of flexibility. I don’t know how well I’ve succeeded, but while I still love all the old music of the 50s, 60s, 70s, and onward, I also love much of the music being created now. I love the counterculture ideas of my youth, but I am also swept up by some of the awe and wonder and good sense of many modern ideas.

    One thing that is truly different about the present day is that things are changing much faster than they ever did. It’s expected that this pace will continue to accelerate. This suits me perfectly, because even though I consider myself a very patient person, I don’t want to wait decades for the improvements we see on the horizon. I want artificial intelligence (AI) to be here to help me. I want the ruling class to be thrown out of their positions of power by AIs that are much more humane and are cheaper (don’t award themselves multimillion dollar bonuses). I want to see the end of money. I want to see settlements on the Moon and Mars and perhaps the asteroids. I want to see the re-greening of Earth when technology fully embraces renewables and total recycling and efficiency and miniaturisation. I want the increasing pacifism and humanising of people to complete itself. I want to see authoritarianism to implode under its lunacy.

    Bring it on. I want the future. It doesn’t scare me. I love the past, but I love the future more.

  28. Joseph Carli

    THANK YOU MIRIAM!!…There, Kaye Lee….THAT’S how you frame an arguement…none of this pussy-footing go feet first into the deep end!…so I talk bullshit…give me one name who doesn’t?…

    And anyway, Miriam…what have you got against that magnificent achievement of 70’s technology..: The K-tell lettuce spinner!…and the “music” they make now is really shit!….full-stop!

    And don’t come all the raw prawn with MY genralisating..when you go on about colonising the moon and wherever…as if!!…we’ll be lucky to get away with another couple of decades here on Earth unless something is done about climate change.

  29. Joseph Carli

    Anyway…nice chatting…gotta go won’t be back for a couple of days……….yeah, I’m hearing you!..

  30. Diannaart


    Wonderful rant, not so sure about AI overlords, but then the current mob are useless and expensive.

    As for the future, it is one of my favourite things … what will happen next?

    And speaking of the past, well not yours truly so much, but a lot of nostalgia here, I thought I’d post the following video from the inimitable Shaun Micallef.

    Ah, yes, the wisdom of the elders …

    Not sure how much of my comment will remain exactly as I have written, as other readers may be aware, Joseph Carli has the right to change any of our comments, if he disapproves. For example, if he doesn’t like a children’s cartoon, he’ll censor it. No freedom of speech on a Carli blog. Does provide that frisson of anticipation, sort of exciting in a predictable way …

    Top o’ the morning to all.

  31. Jim Bridenstini

    Forget about other planets, mankind will never even live on the Moon. And the reason? Obvious, there are no shopping malls, and yet . . . NASA and assorted fools continue to blow national budgets pretending it’s going to happen. Joe, the party might look like its over for some, but it might just be an interval of sorts, in other words, it pays to keep an open mind.

  32. nonsibicunctis

    Thank you, Joseph.

    Somehow you’ve captured the amalgam of thought and feeling that encompasses me so frequently these days. I well recall the days of bakelite 12″ singles and then what became ubiquitous for the time, the 45 rpm singles and EP’s and the 12″ albums. I still have a few of my old vinyls, though most of my collection was stolen.

    I have to admit that I obtain most of music from the Internet now but the experience has nothing of the wonder of browsing through the racks of albums in a record store, listening to a track or two in a sound booth, and rummaging through second-hand or old stock bins for the odd treasure at a bargain price. Arriving home and pouring over sleeve notes and magic inserts or simply examining the amazing and intricate artwork of the album covers. The whole experience was a feast of pleasure and contentment, a high that is now only conspicuous by the emptiness of its absence – even if the music one downloads is as good.

    I do have a hope that there is movement in the younger generation, however. I see statistics that indicate the younger generation to be increasingly eschewing cars for bicycles or public transport. I see many of them considerably motivated to protest against immoral and environmentally damaging activities, cruelty to animals or the plight of so many in the majority world. Many also show an eminently sensible disdain for the regimentation of the work routine and its almost inevitable ability to make working not about living one’s life and experiencing the new or developing relationships or skills, so much as being paid enough to do exactly the same thing the following week, and the week after that, and so on, ad infinitum.

    Many of today’s young also seem much more aware of social discrimination and won’t have a bar of it. Unfortunately, given our system, that also means that many are not politically engaged because they recognise the massive flaws of our political system and its lies and corruption. However some are willing to tackle that and increasingly we are finding young people – and of both genders – being elected not only to government but to the governing bodies of charities, businesses and other institutioins.

    So, yes, I loved your piece and it has aroused so many memories and feelings in me, which given that I’m largely dead inside because of the tragedy that is the current situation of world leadership and governments’ actions, has been something of a surprise to me. I remember now why I was enthused at hearing ‘Blowing in the wind’, ‘The Time’s they are a changing’,’Revolution, ‘Mother’s little helper’, and too many more to name here. I realise now at least one of the reasons for my mental illness and the great well of darkness with which I live and from which i struggle to escape, with no success.

    I’ve ranted enough but did want to say that ‘thank you’, not only for the very personal emotions it stirred in me but also for the pleasant, even exhilarating feeling of liberation from the constant downer of political gripe and grievance. Indeed, your article, for me, seems to have been more about the magic raised by what isn’t there, rather than what is.

    Thanks again.

  33. Lord John

    I understand Josephs anger and I agree with some sentiments given by Miriam.There is a great deal of ageism happening and we seem to be divided by technology more and more every day.

  34. Diannaart

    You know, John Lord, I understand Joseph’s anger, what I don’t understand is his knee jerk reaction to ANY disagreement, particularly from women.

    As for ageism, well, given the majority of commentators here are in their 60s and older … can’t we take a look at our own behaviour and out it?

    Also, technology keeps me in touch with people. For which I am grateful.

    It is people who create divisions.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Music is one thing that brings people together.

  36. Miriam English

    Diannaart, good Micallef clip. 🙂 I just recently bought the first 2 seasons of his “Ex-PM” series on DVD.

    As you say, the AIs can hardly do worse than the mob who currently run things, and because we will have ensured they have empathy and high intelligence I think they will be much better.

    Joe, your dismissal of today’s music is to be expected from someone who seems intent of preserving himself as a fossil, but you’re so wrong. People like Frank Zappa and Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton and Jimmy Hendrix were definitely masters, but this generation has its masters too, for example Ewan Dobson:
    but if that’s too structured for you, try this cool piece, which begins sounding tight and trancey, but about halfway through lashes out into beautiful, howling guitar:
    Or, if it’s atmosphere you want, I’ve been going though a period of crushing on Pryda’s music lately. Try this strange piece which will infect your mind if you play it more than a few times:
    or this delightful little piece which I’ve set as my computer’s reminder alarm:

    How about this beautiful, touching piece by John O’Callaghan and Lo-Fi Sugar:

    But no. You’re locked in the past, angry at the future for passing you by. You point your blame in the wrong direction though — you’re the one who stood still; of course it would continue onward and pass you by.

  37. helvityni

    Gillian Triggs was treated badly, very badly…it’s a pity that women like her don’t go into politics…

    As for Germaine, I was stunned when she (on Q&A) made fun of Gillard’s way of dressing…!!!( or was it Julia’s bottom that she had a problem with ?)

    I’m still hurting by the nastiness dished on me ( by women) on Bob Ellis’ Blog…

  38. Miriam English

    Jim Bridenstini, NASA spend less than half of one percent of the USA’s budget on work that gives early warning and progress reports on disasters all around the world, helps us understand what’s happening to the climate, to the ground-water, to the ocean currents, to the winds, and so much more. NASA’s expenditure is a great investment that pays back many times over. They give us the communications satellites that let us dissolve national borders building friendships all around the world, and giving us a real chance at world peace, because people are less likely to want to go to war against their friends. They gave us solar panels, they give us new alloys and composite materials, 3D printing of metals, and much more.

  39. Miriam English

    Oh, and NASA keeps track of planet-killer asteroids. And of course all the people who love to hate NASA will be the ones wailing and begging them to save us all from an asteroid that does take a collision course with Earth.

  40. Diannaart

    Apologies to all for going off topic.


    Many women, including myself, disagreed with you. That is not nasty, that is a difference of opinion.

    I know I did state Bob Ellis was a predator for engaging in sex with underage girls. I also remember you said Bob Ellis was a good man and a friend. Well, that is your perspective.

    Holding grudges is a shame for all, but particularly unhealthy for the holder.

  41. Miriam English

    Diannaart, Shaun Micallef is certainly clever. (heheheh referring to Tony Abbott as tonedeaf made me laugh)

  42. Diannaart


    There is much solace in humour.

    Besides, the cat’s away …

    Some Hannah Gatsby

  43. Bracket Creep

    Helvityni Keep playing a straight bat.Germaine Greer is so irrelevant these days it’s sad.And the toxic hurters are devils on planet earth.

  44. Michael Taylor

    Can we please have some Beatles? 😀

  45. Kaye Lee

    I love the Beatles but tonight wasn’t the night for it. Hubby and I watched a show about Elton John and then got very reminiscent to the point of tears. He lost his dad a couple of months ago and our son has just moved out of home and I played Father and Son by Cat Stevens. Then he requested Cat’s in the cradle. Which then led me to a great play list where we danced, sang, and cried.

    Music is a powerful tool.

  46. wam

    the party is just beginning joseph by the time zappa started his facts are not wisdom his aussie preboomer contempories had been whacked by the first coffee lounging in the ‘purple cow’? where I found chinotto? and friday midnight to dawn lehrer, belafonte, PPnM, baez, dylan, clancy brothers(got many a pom very annoyed but luckily before violence to straights) simon garfunkle, lightfoot
    Buy a radiogram and scour the vinnie style shops for records and play them to your head, your grandies and loud enough for the neighbours the silent generation sounds will make you strong enough to forget your errors with genY and let you stop Y from ^^@@&# up gen Z. It might cost you I found a harry belafonte at carnegie hall at the yarrawonga council second hand shop and asked how much $92 wow no more easy buys since the net???
    beauty michael took my darling to the beatles in adelaide for an engagement surprise the worst concert ever a total waste of money but the best yes I could wish for and she is still putting up with me
    ps I do have vivid memories of the boys mouthes opening and closing and their hands moving on the guitars but the screams still haunt me.

  47. Joseph Carli

    Hello..I’m baaack!…Some of you will be chuffed to know I spent the weekend at a “anger management workshop”..’ know, the direction I was going in wasn’t any good…really…and I had to concede after Miriam’s post, that it was time to do something about it!…

    oops!..the time!..gotta go do the horses…

  48. Miriam English

    For real Joe?
    If so, good for you!

  49. Dianne

    Joe this a Political Blog for the most part.Know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

  50. Joseph Carli

    ” Joe this a Political Blog for the most part.Know when to hold them and know when to fold them.”…..Of course…of course, Dianne…and I appreciate your sensitive advice to me…

  51. Michael Taylor

    Ummm, Beatles, Miriam. Not beetles. 😜

  52. Michael Taylor

    Dianne, what do you know that we don’t?

  53. Kronomex

    I rather preferred The Rutles.

  54. Rhonda

    I still like GG. There you go – she hasn’t fallen out of favour with everyone. And geez Joseph, how much longer do we have to tolerate the continuation of the universal male/men in common language? Sheesh! I’m so fkn over it. Signed ’66

  55. Miriam English

    Heheheh 😀 Michael, I wondered if you’d notice.

  56. Michael Taylor

    A Beatle tragic like me notices everything, Miriam. 😀🎸

  57. Dianne

    That’s one very Royal “We” there Michael.

  58. Miriam English

    Oh, well, in compensation, if you haven’t seen it, perhaps you’ll enjoy this from just a few months ago:

    Paul McCartney – Live in New York (1hr 42mins)

    He wanted to get back into the fray and play as he did with the Beatles, way back in Hamburg, so the songs they play are things like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and much more.

  59. Michael Taylor

    I definitely will watch that, Miriam. 👍

  60. Michael Taylor

    Dianne, I’ll rephrase it just for you: what do you know about this site that I don’t?

  61. Joseph Carli

    Rhonda..” Sheesh! I’m so fkn over it. Signed ’66″….well…good for fkn YOU!

  62. Kaye Lee

    “Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.”

  63. Joseph Carli

    K L..: ” . . . Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry . . . ”

    Ohhhh…I see…oh dear..I hope I haven’t inadvertently led some of you astray…Yes..I did go to an “anger management workshop” on the weekend, but it wasn’t to suppress or ameliorate my anger, but rather to better direct it to target those I wish to give the shits to!…nothing wrong with a bit of sparkling, healthy anger, I say!

    Anyway…happy new year to you all!

  64. Kaye Lee

    I would suggest that goal is unworthy of your literary talents Joseph. And most unlikely to work.

  65. Joseph Carli

    Oh dear, K Lee any literary talents I posess were born out of the sewer of carthasis and hard yards done in the work-field…something that cannot be lost or demeaned by lofty ideals!’s “dirt under the nails”, K L…dirt under the nails!…and anyway..what about using that humour?…

  66. Kaye Lee

    Hey I’m smiling. Aren’t you?

    None of us get to our age without dirt under the nails Joseph. And life would be an ugly affair without ideals don’t you think?

  67. Dianne

    I rest my case.

  68. Joseph Carli

    ” Dianne

    I rest my case.” ………..don’t you mean ; cask…as in “Chateu Cardboard”?

  69. Miriam English

    Looks a bit like Joe is descending into a grumpy old man’s void. What a pity.

    I can choose to fill my view with the good things in my life, or the bad things. Neither really changes the actual number of good things or bad things, but it does change the frame of mind I use to approach them.

    One way, my life is enjoyable and feels charmed. Every day is welcomed as an adventure with cool new things to do and to learn. It lets me look past pain and setbacks to appreciate wonders all around me.

    The other way, my life might become consumed by anger and regret, and feel like it’s all gone wrong, with nothing to look forward to.

    I use the uplifting way to view the world around me. Some time back, when I was on chemotherapy my doctor remarked that she hadn’t seen anybody else respond to such debilitating symptoms so cheerily before. I’m proud that I can take the most negative events in my life and find something positive in them.

    One of my old friends has her own house, her own car, and many of the luxuries most people would want, but she has a very negative outlook and spends most of her time being angry and resentful about her life, which makes her depressed. I love her but she is a terrible drag on those around her.

    Which is the better way to approach life?

    Surely life is to be lived and enjoyed. What point is there in poisoning your life with anger?

  70. Joseph Carli

    Y’ know..
    I go outside in the mornin’
    Pause..take in th’ weather..;yawnin’,
    Mark how the dawnin’ sun
    Gives the silver’d branches a dun
    Coloured sheen…nice ‘n clean.
    Matching the wing of a galah
    Tight-cling’d there…..on a spar.
    An’ I’m thinking..
    In this quiet, morning haste
    That one oughta’ feel some poetry
    Whilst in such a place..
    But then…’d just be a waste…

  71. Paul Davis

    On the floors of Tokyo
    A-down in London town’s a go go
    A-with the record selection,
    And the mirror’s reflection,
    I’m a dancin’ with myself
    A-when there’s no one else in sight,
    A-in crowded lonely night
    Well, I wait so long for my love vibration
    And I’m dancing with myself
    Oh oh, Dancing with a-myself,
    Oh, oh, dancing with myself
    Well, there’s nothing to lose
    And there’s nothing to prove, well,
    Dancing a-with myself
    If I looked all over the world
    And there’s every type of girl
    But your empty eyes seem to pass me by
    And leave me dancin’ with myself.
    So let’s sink another drink
    Cause it’ll give me time to think
    If I had the chance I’d ask the world to dance
    And I’ll be dancin’ with myself
    Oh oh, Dancing with a-myself,
    Oh, oh, dancing with myself
    Well, there’s nothing to lose
    And there’s nothing to prove, well,
    Dancing a-with myself

  72. Joseph Carli

    Give the man the clap he deserves!

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