Michael,Listened again, point taken and apology offered.I am just so damn frustrated, as I am sure you are. Obviously, I got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning! Happy now (and a touch embarrassed).
Don't mean to "burst anyone's bubble" here however, I actually feel pretty DISAPPOINTED! For the last two weeks, the atmosphere here has been electric. It only seemed moments away when the truth would finally be revealed. Tell your family, tell your friends and tell your neighbour. THIS IS A BIG STORY - AND IT'S ABOUT TO BREAK! An article will be written later this week, and everyone should be excited. Everyone will be talking about the AWU and especially Gillard. Frankly, today seems to me the perfect example of "OVER promise and UNDER deliver". A few paragraph's in one newspaper. This was not at all what I was expecting. Michael, everyone here has stopped listening to this government because they promise things, and the delivery is pathetic. PLEASE don't fall into that trap. Managing expectations may see more people stick around here. We desperately need SOMEONE to believe in. I thought that was you. Now I'm starting to doubt if I was right.
Very quietly, without further noise, someone in authority should withdraw the money. What is the role of taxpayer money in the pursuit of predilictions like these? This was the government funded arts community in Melbourne, last night:
Rings, passages, metamorphosis: the painted ''spell'' in the ACCA corner is also a threshold, preparing viewers for two connecting rooms, one containing remnants of Friday night's boundary-pushing performance in which six Balletlab dancers were invited to defecate in clear perspex seats. On the wall, a video shows another version of the performance, in which Dwyer participated.
A Sydney University painting lecturer, Dwyer calls a spade a spade - or, in this case, a shit a shit. Not poo, crap, faeces, stool, excrement, night soil, number twos or plop. Such euphemisms either medicalise, infantilise or are coy, while shit, she says, is about truth and universality, a base material we all deal with.
''With the shit, what I am really curious about is at what stage the shame starts to build around a child,'' says Dwyer, who has long considered the project and who has often used other abject materials (bedpans, bandages, dead animals and sewerage pipes) in her art. She has also spent much time working in aged care. ''We shit communally as children or perhaps as soldiers in a state of war. Old people in nursing homes might do it publicly. It is weirdly democratic,'' she said.
''We might know about other planets, nanotechnology and incredibly complex philosophies, but when it comes down to it, we don't know anything about our shit. I am looking at how the institutions and architecture are built up around it and how our shame starts.''
ACCA's director Juliana Engberg says the centre's history of supporting difficult work ''distinguishes us from the mainstream'' and is a key reason for its existence. ''We are champions for artists.''
That is why Dwyer says exploring excrement and the act of defecating, which might initially cause revulsion, can bring valuable insights, even political motivations for change at a deep level.
Having herself participated in the communal act of defecating in the video, Dwyer says she found that ''there is a lot of shame attached to it but when you can actually do it [communally] it is quite liberating and empowering''. ''I felt I needed to go through the experience if I was going to ask other people to do it.''
The filmed group comprised artist friends. For the public performance at ACCA, she worked with Balletlab dancers as she was already collaborating with them on another project. ''They can't shit on demand, of course, but they are dancers - they are tough and fit and they have great control of their bodies. I found it very brave and generous of them that they were willing to put themselves through a bizarre situation like this within the context of art.''
Doing it together was crucial. ''The communal thing - or the lack of it - is deeply embedded [in our culture]. We are shitting away in little boxed enclosures, and in public toilets you can hear other people sometimes and it's really embarrassing. People are really ashamed of their bodies but as soon as you bring it into a situation that is completely antithetical to that, you can't help but rewire your brain.''
Thank you to reader Am I Paranoid for the links. Unbelievable.
GREG COMBET AT RALLY: This is the start of our national week of action. They reckon we used to run the country. I reckon it wouldn't be bad if we did run it.
TONY JONES, 'LATELINE': The Federal Government has seized on comments by the ACTU Secretary, Greg Combet, suggesting that unions should run the country.
JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: This reveals in one sentence what this campaign is all about. It's not about the welfare of unionists, it's not about getting the unemployed back into work, it's not about boosting their real wages. It's about union power. And Greg Combet said it all.
GREG COMBET: I've punished myself a bit over it because I've been around long enough not to make mistakes. I was making a joke and it was met with a lot of laughter and levity, but, of course, it can be misrepresented, as it was, by the Prime Minister. And, er, you know, it's a sort of, lapse in concentration, if you like, that really I shouldn't make because it gives your opponents the opportunity to try and go on the attack. And, as a result, you know, I'll be even more disciplined in the future.
Michelle Two sent me this link to the comments from an ABC Australian Story edisode on 28 August, 2006. What do you think - jest or plan?`
Also this video of union reaction to the first Howard Government budget might stir some memories.