Sunday, September 21, 2008

Squatting rises in the US of A

While banks continue to make thousands homeless in the persuit of massive profits, real estate agents bemoan the rise in squatting. The dreadful fact that people are being evicted from their family homes in order to keep the buildings empty doesn't seem to warrant a mention in this article from mercury news.
Instead the article dramatises the supposed danger that is posed by trespassers, continually citing the pepper spray that the realtors insist on carrying despite none of them actually knowing of any instances of a violent squatter.
Some realtors go further, like Kirsten Amodeo who has organised self defense classes so the families who've been evicted by banks can now be beaten by realtors. But if that doesn't learn them, Felicia Horkins (Amodeo's associate), only wishes she could carry a concealed weapon.

By the way, i stumbled across this story on this cool blog called SquatterCity. Check it out.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yawning Man

Yawning Man formed in 1986, and to reinforce the stoner stereotype, didn't get around to releasing any official records until 2005 when they released Rock Formations (click to download).
The album is described as "a melancholic mix of acoustic space rock with elements of surf music, as well as middle eastern guitar style".
Yawning man were one of the original desert rock bands and remain very influential to bands of the Palm Desert.
Reminiscing of the desert rock scene and Yawning Man's involvement, Brant Bjork formerly of Kyuss said;

Yawning Man was the sickest desert band of all time. You’d just be up there in the desert, everybody’d just be hanging, partying. And they’d show up in their van and just, mellow, drag out their shit and set up right about the time the sun was goin’ down, set up the generators, sometimes they’d just go up there and drink beers and barbecue. Sometimes it would be a scene; sometimes it would be very intimate. It was very casual and loose and everybody would like, while they’re playing, everyone would just lounge around. They were kinda like a house band. It wasn’t militant like Black Flag. It was very drugged, very stone-y, it was very mystical. Everyone’s just tripping, and they’re just playing away, for hours. Oh, they’re the GREATEST band I’ve ever seen.

This is very much worth the download. Rapidly shared for your convenience.

And another Gem from the Palm Desert;

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hugo Chávez - Paints a pretty picture

Much like Hitler, Venezuelan (quasi)revolutionary Hugo Chavez, has been revealed to have abit of an eye for painting.
And it also has been revealed that businessmen have an eye for the works created by the hero of the working class.
3 Businessmen recently bought this work "La Luna de Yare" or "The Yare Moon", for $255,000 in an Auction which started at $14,000.
Members of his party reportedly remarked that they were suprised of the price. Proceeds are expected to
go towards funding his socialist party.

I Scream, You Scream...
An anarchist Ice cream truck is touring about the United states offering helpful tips and propaganda to its customers, as well as delicious ice cream.
The truck drivers name is Aaron and he is a co-founder of The Center for Tactical Magic, which says of itself;

The Center for Tactical Magic engages in extensive research, development, and deployment of the pragmatic system known as Tactical Magic. A fusion force summoned from the ways of the artist, the magician, the ninja, and the private investigator, Tactical Magic is an amalgam of disparate arts invoked for the purpose of actively addressing Power on individual, communal, and transnational fronts. At the CTM we are committed to achieving the Great Work of Tactical Magic through community-based projects, daily interdiction, and the activation of latent energies toward positive social transformation.
Aaron remembering his first customer says “My first customer was a little old lady who got an ice cream, and I asked if she wanted a piece of propaganda. She said: ‘Only one? I’ll take Anarchy, Black Panthers and Earth First.’ I was like, ‘Right on.’”

More Here

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Locked out

So i arrived at the house i had set my heart upon this morning, armed with a broom and tape measure, only to find that some goons had been sent around to screw the door to the frame.
Basically there is no way into the house, even for the owner, without breaking in now. So you can only imagine the house has been secured so it can continue to rot away in peace.

Here's to waste!

Anyway, on a more beautiful note, here we have the music of Steve Reich, remixed by various artists. This is pretty old now, but listening to Reich recently reminded me of my HSC year when i had to analyse this piece, different trains. Please listen, it's worth it.
This is one of three movements, America - before the war, which is followed by Europe - During the War and then After the War, obviously.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Home Improvement #1

Introducing; The House!

The dwelling is a modest 1 bedroom terrace about 2-3 Kilometers from the CBD. My rigorous researching leads me to believe that it has been unoccupied for well over a year, in which time it has been left to the mercy of the elements, and by the looks of things, vandals.

Every window is missing, there is a lot of debris on the floor, carpet needs cleaning, electricity and gas need connecting, the toilet needs to be sealed, yard cleaning up, shower head installed, new coat of paint and I'm sure there will be many more things to add to this list as i spend more time in the space.
The pictures below show the space as it was when it was first entered. I intend to update this section of the blog fairly regularly, detailing the work being done, and answering any questions i can from potential squatters or curious minds.
To view these posts, and these posts only, at the bottom of this post click the "home improvement" label.

Front Door; A view from the hallway.

The Kitchen

Hot water System!

A Door (obviously)

The next few home improvements should be somewhat more interesting, and i hope to deliver some squaterlicous blogness to you soon. Take care.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Nathan Rees

This is a photograph that accompanied this story about the corruption of the NSW Labor party in regards to their dealings with developers. But i think it's pretty appropriate now, if only Verity Firth were replaced with Carmel Tebbutt.

Nathan Rees sounds okay (relative), on paper, or more so, on his Wikipedia page.
He is a self described Westie, hasn't been a suit his whole life, formerly employed as a garbo and greenskeeper. But then again, Costa was an Ironworker-rigger and an engine driver for cityrail.
Rees also being an avid cycler - Hopefully will do something about the ruined cycleway, but I'm not holding my breath.

Rees' first few moves have been admirable, sacking Sartor and Costa - which Sartor hilariously dubbed "a mistake". But that is only 2 of 24 ministers, and then there is still the rest of the party to deal with.

For Tebbuts views on same sex adoption, see here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jeff Wall

"Now we are living at a moment when we have already imagined, and even in great and excessive detail, better ways of life than the one we are actually living. As a result, we often feel humiliated when we observe soberly the way we do live." - Jeff Wall, 1990.

Some works by Jeff Wall

Picture for Women 1979
Transparency in lightbox 1425 x 2045 mm

Jeff Wall A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) 1993
silver dye bleach transparency in light box, 87-1/4 x 148-1/2 inches

Milk 1984
Transparency in lightbox 1870 x 2290 mm