Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beppe Grillo - A New Start for Italy?

Beppe Grillo has been a comedian since the mid-1970s. During the 80s his act turned steadily more political as he inveighed against the corruption that was steadily engulfing Italy under its then Socialist prime minister, Bettino Craxi.

"A politician visiting China rang Craxi and said: 'Listen. There's a billion people here. Are they all socialists?'
And Craxi said: 'Yes. Why?'
'Well, who do they steal from?'"

"Who makes up a criminal conspiracy? If you go and look, they are made up of bankers, politicians, judges and, just perhaps, once in a while, a criminal."

"An artist ought never to prostitute himself or herself – except for money."

"They ask me: 'Are you on the left?' I don't know. I've stood still. It's all the others that have moved."

"Life has become a show at which we are the audience – and have to buy a ticket."

In 2010, Grillo started the Five-Star Movement through his popular blog, which has quickly gained traction among a wide swath of people in Italy who are losing jobs, fed up with austerity measures, and disillusioned with both sides of the political spectrum. With the initial plan to form a lose group to represent people who are dissatisfied with the current political system, Grillo has inadvertently shut down parliament.

Since the Five-Star Movement is not part of one of the two major coalitions, Grillo was never going to be in a position of power. But the ruckus he’s caused has forced Italian politicians to take him seriously, and even try to bring him into the fold. As of this writing, the Guardian has reported that Bersani has publically reached out to Grillo, asking him to join his coalition. They may not want Grillo around but they have no other choice.

Even more amazing is that Grillo gained all this support without the help of traditional media – he refused to take part in debates, did not grant interviews, and gathered his supporters through his blog and social media.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Bacon and Moore

Moore reclining

Bacon riding high

Warhorse, Flag and Cathedrals old and new
Bacon's palette

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Leichhardt: Blue Sky at Night

on the way to Pan Roma

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stefan Kudelski 1929 - 2013

Stefan Kudelski, the inventor of the first professional-quality portable tape recorder, which completely changed professional quality sound recording and invigorated the work of documentarians, independent filmmakers, folksong collectors and oral historians across the globe, died on Saturday in Switzerland. He was 83.

The Polish-born Kudelski was an engineering student at a Swiss university in 1951 when he patented his first portable recording device, the Nagra I, a reel-to-reel tape recorder, about the size of a shoe box and weighing 11 pounds, that produced sound as good as that of most studio recorders, which were phone-booth-size. Radio stations in Switzerland were his first customers.

The bigger breakthrough came seven years later, when Mr. Kudelski introduced a high-quality tape recorder that could synchronize sound with the frames on a reel of film. Mr. Kudelski’s 1958 recorder, the Nagra III, weighed about 14 pounds and freed a new generation of filmmakers from the conventions and high cost of studio production.

Along with the newly developed portable 16-millimeter camera, the Nagra recorder became an essential tool for the on-location, often improvisational techniques of New Wave directors like Fran├žois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, and American documentarians like D. A. Pennebaker, who used the Nagra to record the 1965 Bob Dylan tour featured in his classic film “Don’t Look Back,” released in 1967.

The folklorist Alan Lomax, who had been recording musicians everywhere he went with heavy professional machines, immediately switched to the Nagra when it became available, and was particularly excited that stereo recording was now so elegantly simplified.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Friday, February 01, 2013

Palm Beach river trip

Gathering weather
Patonga ahead
Lion Island ahead
Misty view
Patonga fishing boat with equispaced cormorants
Rocks and surf
Bobbin Head
Trainee board paddlers
Sunset and Snapperman's Beach