Monthly Archives: April 2012


March for Refugee Rights on Labour Day

There will be a refugee rights contingent in the Labour Day march in Brisbane next Monday. All refugee supporters are welcome to join in. The Refugee Action Collective will be present, and we hope that the recently reconstituted Labor for … Continue reading


Socialist Alternative Meeting: The Civil Rights Movement in America

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Today, despite America’s first Black president, there has been little change and there is now little hope for African Americans. They are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis, with unemployment among Blacks at almost 16 per cent, and with … Continue reading

Munching on $80+ million

AUSTRALIANS will gamble on two flies. crawling up a wall, they say.
Aussie bookmaker Tom Waterhouse is currently betting on how much Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream will fetch at a Southey’s auction this month.
Waterhouse has previously wagered on the winners of reality shows such as Dancing with the Stars and The Voice to add a bit of zest to mundane wagers on political elections and Academy Awards.
Waterhouse’s mother is leading Australian racehorse trainer Gai and the bookie regularly reports on Monday how punters cleaned him out on Saturday backing Mum’s horses such as great mare More Joyous and unbeaten 2-year-old Pierro. It is always “Mum’s horse” though it is a surprise the trainer does not say, “When I am in a professional capacity, it is Ms Waterhouse to you, sonny boy.”
Tom Waterhouse needs to bet on an exotic event such as the Southeby’s auction to recoup some of the damage Mum’s ponies have reeked on the bottom line. It does not hurt that weird bets attract media attention, something London bookie Ladbrokes worked out decades ago.
I do not know how much Tom and Mum know about art but I would like to think it is a lot. It is comforting to believe wealthy people might slip a few stray bucks the way of artists.
Here is Tom’s analysis of the race to buy The Scream or Le Cri, in the land of the Oo-La-La.
“Sotheby’s in New York is auctioning one of four versions of The Scream created by Edvard Munch and, as the only version owned privately, is betting $1.90 that it breaks the US$106.5 million record set by Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust two years ago.
“Of the four versions of The Scream, the one that’s up for sale is the most colourful and the only one whose frame was hand-painted by Munch to include his poem detailing the work’s inspiration.
“Sotheby’s has listed The Scream at $80 million, the highest pre-sale value that the auctioneer has ever put on an artwork but even that figure looks somewhat conservative given the level of interest in the famous painting.”
So here’s the market.
The Scream sale price (including the buyer’s premium)
$5 Less than US$80m
$10 US$80m to US$89,999,999
$9 US$90m to US$99,999,999
$4 US$100m to US$106.5m
$1.90 More than USD 106.5m
I am sure my gambling anti-hero Steele Hill would have a wager after consultation with arty girlfriend Natalie and polymath-bookie mentor, the Gooroo.
As a punter and an art fancier, I think Tom and his crue have got the market way wrong.
Tom admits there are four paintings of The Scream though he fails to mention the brace of Munch lithographs. This contrasts with one Picasso Nude, Green Leaves and Bust.
The prose-poem embedded in the frame is Munch’s reflection on how he came to paint The Scream.
I am not sure how many millions it is worth.
I was walking along a path with two friends –
the sun was setting –  suddenly the sky turned blood red –
I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence –
there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city –
my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety –
and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.
That is my versification, BTW. I am not sure how Munch does it on the frame.
I reckon the best bet is the $5 shot, less than $80 million, though I would make sure the bookie wrote the ticket as fewer than $80 million.
Check out this blog shortly to see who is right.
If you wish to smile about the place of quirky Australia in the Universe buy my book 7 Shouts from Google eBooks or Amazon.

   7 Shouts Google                           7 Shouts Amazon

Two Kinds of Facts

Since the shooting of 6 unarmed Aboriginal occupants of a stolen car by police officers at Kings Cross we have witnessed a major push by the police, the O’Farrell Government and the (mostly right-wing) media to turn our attention away … Continue reading


Stop more stolen generations!

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Swim for Palestine at Byron Bay Ocean Classic

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Amidst members of the 2012 Australian Olympic team and Iron Men and Women competitors  with be the Free Palestine contingent in the race from Wategos to Main Beach Byron Bay 2.2kms We are swimming to raise money for the Middle … Continue reading

Refugee latest Detention Stats

While many are being released- thank heavens , there are still 1600 in detention for 12 months plus.

Curious anomaly- one woman in Northern Immigration Detention Centre Darwin (one of the worst centres) and one woman in Wickham Point

Immigration Detention centre.

What could they have done to deserve this punitive act?

These figures are nearly one month old already so not accurate for today.

detention-statistics Mar 2012f.pdf


Foco Nuevo in May

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Come along to this May Day weekend special concert, which will feature songs that celebrate the lives of working people and their struggle for a better world. LONNIE MARTIN COMBINED UNIONS’ CHOIR JUMPING FENCES Friday May 4 8.00 p.m. Kurilpa … Continue reading


Battles for the Coral Sea

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Reprinted from Chapter 17  from ‘Japan to the Rescue, Australian Security around the Indonesian Archipelago during the American Century’ Heinemann, 1991, pp. 285-94. by Humphrey McQueen [Editor’s note: My partner’s uncle Ellis, not long deceased, told us that he (as … Continue reading


Sovereign Embassy Film Night: Shadow Sister

Sovereign Embassy Film Night: Shadow Sister. 7pm Friday 27th April Brisbane Sovereign Embassy Corner of Cordelia and Russell Sts. Musgrave Park Shadow Sister is a 1977 film biography of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) poet, activist and public speaker Oodgeroo Noonuccal … Continue reading


Defend BDS! Defend the Max Brenner 19!

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On 1 May 19 Melbourne activists will be put on trial for their political activity. In a precedent-setting case, these pro-Palestine activists will be fighting a variety of charges designed to criminalise dissent in Baillieu’s Victoria and intimidate supporters of … Continue reading


Veterans group condemns hollow remembrance on ANZAC Day

24 April 2012 “You do not honor the dead through mindless flag waving, rewriting history or promoting new wars,” said Hamish Chitts, East Timor veteran and spokesperson for Stand Fast – a group of veterans and former military personnel who … Continue reading


Is it better to run or to stay?

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“I’m sure the murderer of Lorenzo Manfredini is one of the immigrants….All you have to do is take a walk in the afternoon in the gardens in Piazza Vittorio to see that the overwhelming majority of the people are foreigners; some come from Morocco, some from Romania, China, India, Poland, Senegal, Albania. Living with them is impossible. ” Continue reading


Launch of Veterans for Peace UK at Giuseppe Conlon House, London, April 9th. 2012

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YOUTUBES – Launch of Veterans for Peace UK at Giuseppe Conlon House, London, April 9th. 2012 YOUTUBE (3 mins 42 secs) Individual Veterans for Peace (UK & USA) introduce themselves at launch. YOUTUBE (19 mins 38 secs) Barry Ladendorf … Continue reading


17 Group — problems of global capital and labour and their social impacts

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The May meeting of the 17 Group, a mere handful of days before the May Day March, on Wednesday the 2nd of May at 7 pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St West End will very seasonably deal with … Continue reading

Lucie Lit Unleashes

Another guest column from Lucretia Lit this week.
Oh those poor ex-husbands of hers. How they must 
have suffered


Messaging my Glitoris

with Lucretia Lit
Column 3                                                    
A REGULAR highlight of my exciting life is the arrival of Futurebook: The Bookseller’s digital publishing email.
The Bookseller represents those poor sweeties who own bricks and mortgage bookshops.
My writer friends and I have a running lottery on how many lines in before Future books begins its first bash at the Evil Giant Amazon.
No one won this week as it was a whopping 11 lines in before the Big A received its first mention.
The lottery jackpots and we were all disappointed. Our sorrow turned to joy when we read this sentence during the second attack.
“I’ve heard time and time again recently that Amazon iall about scale, and it is this that will finally kill off publishers, unable to compete against this ruthless behemoth.’’
Those hyperbole pills are really working for you, Bookseller, dearie.
Having you comment on digital books is like Dracula taking deposits at a blood bank. Bazoomko!
K. M. Luvvie, don’t worry about that nasty man who said you should stop writing about capital and start trying to accumulate it. That gag is about as funny as a rejection slip. You on the other hand, Karlo, have all those sweet Dad jokes in your books. Scewadum!

NICE to see respected Pakastani journalist Irfan Husain at the recent London Book Fair. The international guest wrote,
Located at Earl’s Court, London’s enormous exhibition hall, the fair brought together literally hundreds of publishers. Indeed, when I asked an official at the media centre for the exact number, she couldn’t give me a figure. ‘’
Irfan, honey, we know you mean it as a compliment. But that says more about the calibre of British journalists than the resilience of bricks and mortgage bookstores. Uwhacanini!

P. W. matey, don’t take this the wrong way and it is only a question. We know that you are the only Australian Nobel Laureate for literature and that’s wonderful because most Aussies think reading is a jail Oscar Wilde went to. But Patty, yer ol’ bastard, has anyone actually finished one of your books. Nobellaba!                                                                 

RAC: Organising Meeting + Convergence Report

Tony Mockeridge sings Article 14 Griffith Uni Covergence Reportback **Griffith Uni Nathan Campus 1pm, Thursday April 26th Graham Willett Bldg (N53) Room 0.64** Eye Witness Accounts: Brisbane contingent reports back on the reality of the detention system in Darwin. Over … Continue reading


Important meeting re National Museum of Labour – Thursday 3rd May

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Dear Comrades and Friends, The Brisbane Labour History Association and the Queensland Council of Unions are holding a meeting with Kim Sattler, Unions ACT Secretary, to promote the National Museum of Labour. Kim has been involved in the setting up … Continue reading


NSW police are way too deadly

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on tuesday 24 april at 1.30pm we will be holding a rally outside the nsw parliament house to protest the violence and abuse of the nsw police as ably exampled by the circumstances at kings cross and 5 police-related deaths … Continue reading


The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

‘Two sides of every story’? Related to this title is the the death of the man who ‘inspired’ the song by Bob Dylan.Compare the facts as told by Dylan and those described in The Times (Ben Hoyle January 12, 2009 … Continue reading


The Last Kinection – ‘Are We There Yet’ featuring Simone Stacey

See The Last Kinection (thanks 2 e) Sitting in her room / She looks at the sunlight / She tries to write a tune / All about her life / People tried to put her down / Don’t want her … Continue reading


Sir Joseph Banks and the Question of Hemp Book Launch

Drew Hutton, Green historian and activist, will launch Sir Joseph Banks and the Question of Hemp by Dr John Jiggens at Avid Reader, Boundary Street, West End, on Tuesday April 24 at 6pm. Sir Joseph Banks and the Question of … Continue reading


The case of Ali Jasmin -14 year old boy in adult prison

The case of Ali Jasmin – Hamish McDonald’s investigation Dear all, As the unbelievably shocking revelations about the case of Ali Jasmin, a child crew member who was no more than 14 years old when convicted in an Australian court, … Continue reading


”With god on our side…”

One on my favourite Dylan songs is the bitterly ironic anti-war song  ‘With god on our side‘. The lyrics are below. Oh my name it is nothin’ My age it means less The country I come from Is called the … Continue reading


Remember the ‘Ghosts of Deir Yassin’

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CD out now – April 21 Brisbane Launch reminder Phil Monsour News and Information Hi Welcome to new subscribers. Plenty of news this time around. The new CD Ghosts of Deir Yassin is now available for purchase and download online … Continue reading


Remember Palestine

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This is a call out to union members to write to their union asking for support for Palestine. Include a copy of the poster and ask if the union will support Justice for Palestine to commemorate Al Nakba. Some unions are conflicted … Continue reading

Ms Poison Pen returns

Another guest column from Lucretia Lit this week.
She is awful; can’t wait to see what she has to reveal.


Messaging my Glitoris

with Lucretia Lit

Column 2

NAUGHTY New Hampshire author Jodi Picoult has been going around insulting all those cute self-publishing writers.
Ms P was being interviewed on something odd called the Daily Beast. (one of my ex-husbands used to always wake up with that – how tiresome for me).Her advice to aspiring authors was an emphatic “do not self-publish’’.
Jodi dear, you  published your first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale way back in 1992. Let the new kiddies play with their lit toys anyway they want. Screeeowww!
TSE, Sweetie, you were quite right to lock Viv away in that mental hospital.
It was either you or her. What havoc recitations of your poetry would have caused to the already damaged minds of other inmates. Tseekah!
NO such excuses  for you, J-J R, you Swiss scoundrel. Fancy surrendering you children to a foundling hospital.
And all that nonsense about religions being equally good. Are you mad? Oh, that’s right you are and don’t go blaming your critics for that.
There is no better religion than good old Christianity. I have offended against it many times and have always been forgiven. AROOSHKA!

OH, say it’s not you, Danny. When a book thumps the table with the title Whitney Amy Michael Elvis – Superstars are not Superhuman, it sends shivers up my spine – shivers of dread.

The author is accredited as D T Pollard. One D..T.. Pollard we know is Danny, of the clan, who wrote the successful Rooftop Diva: A Novel of Triumph After Katrina.

We know authors have to eat but do they have to do it through books which prevent readers keeping their food down. KABUSTED!

OOOH, Alex Crawford, luvie, it’s not all about you. Alex is a girl with a boy’s name . She works for Sky News, is most macho, and fits in well at Rupee’s Boys’ Club.
In February Alex in Libya sent an endearing story to Sky TV viewers about a freedom fighter who found one of Colonel Gaddafi’s hats. He may well have been among the freedom fighters who later ruthlessly butchered an unarmed Gaddafi, begging for clemency.
Geez, brave Alex, why not a book about your few days in Libya when the locals were kind enough to put on a war for you?
Let’s call it Colonel Gaddafi’s Hat to assure readers it’s your memoir without any of the big-picture guff.
And we thought all the fun and shallowness of Sky could not a book make. The cash registers go Kachinski!

Send your literary Goss to Lucretia. Email


May Day in Brisbane 2012

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The organisation of the May Day 2012 celebrations in Brisbane is in disarray and needs to be fixed. It has become a mates day at the beer tent for union organisers and a few rank and file – a pub … Continue reading


9 Theses on the Party

‘The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles’ — Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party

The organisation of the May Day celebrations in Brisbane is in disarray and needs to be fixed. 
Both the venue and the day are wrong. Musgrave Park and 1st May are better than the RNA showgrounds and 7th May.
There is pressure from employers and public service managers for Labour Day in Qld to be moved to later in the year.  They are happy to commemorate needless carnage on a beach in Turkey a hundred years ago and a day that is not the Queen’s birthday — anything but the international day of the workers and their unions. 
Other states in Australia have already made this concession.
The bosses argue that because Anzac Day (Wednesday, 25 April), Labour Day (Monday, 7 May) and the Queen’s birthday (Monday, 11 June) are close together, Labour Day should be moved.
Unions need involvement from community grps, but the ALP is wary because no community grp has reason to go to Labor in QLD anymore. The only stronghold left to the ALP is the unions and they are going to protect that to the detriment of rank and file workers.
Needless to say, community groups are victims of our own lack of organisation.
It is important that we bind together to improve the organisation of May Day.

in solidarity,
Ian Curr
0407 687 016

Continue reading

BBB on KDP and OK

THE three Bent Banana Books eTitles  Can you believe it… 5 Strong Bricks in the Wall and 7 Shouts are now available on Amazon Kindle.
Kindle accounts for about 65% of the eBook market. The three books are also available at Google eBooks for those who own eReaders other than Kindle.
Bent Banana Books managing editor Bernie Dowling said the books will continue to be available through Google eBooks and its partners
“The Google eBook store is a pleasant way for readers to shop but two in three eBooks are sold to be read on Kindles,” Mr Dowling said.
7 Shouts (My Shout)The book 7 Shouts written by Mr Dowling is a humorous  interactive journey through modern culture where city and country meet.
“I have YouTube, Wiki and email links, the sorts of things you cannot do in a print book,” Mr Dowling said.
7 Shouts sells for $8.06. Visit7 Shouts
Can you believe it... (Arts Alliance Anthologies)Can you believe it...  is a literary collection of 24 contemporary short stories, each illustrated by an an accomplished visual artist.“Again it is something you do not get in other books, either electronic or print, original illustrations by serious artists,” Mr Dowling said. It costs $8.20 Visit BELIEVE
5 Strong Bricks in the Wall (Arts Alliance Anthology)5 Strong Bricks in the Wall is a collection of five illustrated short stories from a longer anthology.
“It is a sampler, if you like, and sells for $3.29,” Mr Dowling said. Visit BRICKS
Bent Banana Books is a boutique publishing house which promises books which are different.
Free previews of its books are available on the website links section. Visit