Moving on. A phone conversation with my brother:
Things have changedimproved even, in one way, the delay on the telephone gone or
so slight you don't notice, it being hot and a day full of birdsa
"century" on the old scale, which they still cling to here. Our geographies are
confused in the dialogue. Here it's a bright day, warmer than we might expect, gales
rolling in overnightthe shearing season is over and the money's gone and even a bus
trip down to the city doesn't bring a centthey wouldn't listen if André Segovia
himself was busking on a street corner. You said to call back with an anecdotewell
how's this, mate: this nyungar bloke told me that double-gees were introduced as a weapon
of genocidethe people no longer able to walk barefoot. He wasn't taking the piss, he
was seriousand when you think about it... stock feed, genocide. Addition and
subtraction. Group sets and statistics. Remember the Aboriginal settlement on the edge of
town? We knew it as kids; he grew up there, on the edge of the paddocks. Probably stooked
hay on the farm. Can't ride my bike, need thorn-proof tubes, the double-gees are so bad
they get you every time. Might have to start chaff cutting next week. The worst job. Even
worse than haycarting. Remember Yarloop. That was heavy haymeadowhay with all the
seeds and bits'n'pieces in each bale. The heaviest sort. They're lighter here in
Yorkwheat hay. More air, lots of straw. They wanted to break you. Glasses and books
and a strange way of speaking. But you kept going and you made friends for life. They
respected that. Yeah, remember how they thought our way of gardening was a joke. A hobby.
They were about serious food production. Drums of roundup and tonnes of superphosphate
mixed with traditional farming methods from the south of Italy. The best artichoke hearts
in olive oil I've ever had! Yes, and bean plants the size of trees. The telephone is a
strange thingyou're almost here.
i'm listening to the tapes right now. i put it off
for a while, worried that they might disappoint me.
but they don't. i'm dubbing them onto cassette tape
for my new research assistant. i was waiting to find the
right person. i think Carrie Lumby can do the job (she's
Catharine Lumby's younger sister, and a brilliant
philosophy postgrad, besides being hyper-fastidious,
a good quality in research assistants!) i'm going to
leave her the tapes to transcribe when i'm up at
you just said something like: "there's a great story
about that" which you don't talk about. I'm thinking
that where there's asides that aren't followed, maybe
we can hyperlink bits of writing, rather than
mess with the transciption too much. what do you
think? i kinda like the rhythm of the spoken word.
--On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 1:08 AM +1100 "McKenzie Wark" wrote:
> we can hyperlink bits of writing, rather than
> mess with the transciption too much. what do you
> think? i kinda like the rhythm of the spoken word.
yes, let's do this
glad they're up to scratch
are we looking at a pluto book or should we
be looking elsewhere
do you recall acker cutting a hole in her trousers and suggesting her friends do the same re visits from the family pet to the sacred chamber (my
anything from terri-ann re closing speed off?
great acker anecdotehaven't heard that one before
would it be possible to do a tape via phone sometime?
by phone, yes no worries
listening to "Bleach" at the momentcan't help it,
still love kurt
phoneyeswhensay Monday week? how would we
negative creep gets me every time
our millennial anthemwe're no genative (sic) creeps!
the subject will have to bePHONE
my brother rang me for the first time in years yesterday (we are actually
very close but he doesn't trust anything from outside the wheatbelt of WAand not
even anything from there)he commented on how there was no time delay like there was
sixteen years ago when we'd spoken on the phone when I was in London...
tracy and i watched sunday bloody sunday last nightas tracy says, a film
entirely about style"the phone" plays a big part, esp the message
servicerich pickings i reckon!
ah, kurt... do you remember where you where when he died?
i was catching a train from NYC to Princeton. he made
the cover of the New York Post
--On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 1:27 AM +1100 "McKenzie Wark" wrote:
> ah, kurt... do you remember where you were when he died?
od'd on hammerliterally
--On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 1:28 AM +1100 "McKenzie Wark" wrote:
> its a bandwidth thingthe satellite lines
> have delay, the optic fibre doesn't. you can
> *hear* the technology
i always listen to public image limited's rise
before making any decisions about the future
anger is an energy
(or is it really the other way around?)
"We no longer have roots, we have aerials."
-- McKenzie Wark
--On Fri, 26 Nov 1999 "John Kinsella" wrote:
> i always listen to public image limited's rise
> before making any decisions about the future
--On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 1:33 AM +1100 "McKenzie Wark" wrote:
> anger is an energy
--On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 1:33 AM +1100 "McKenzie Wark" wrote:
> anger is an energy
which brings to mind a motograph - re phones
--On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 1:42 AM +1100 "McKenzie Wark" wrote:
> could do it 22-24 dec
this is good for the phone job. i'll speak to the abc and bbc guys about a hook-up. so
that will be two conversations. how many do you think we can include in the book? all
other text might work best as footnotes and/or appendices don't you think? and there's
always the intro....
i'll have to find the right mic to do a phone
tape, but let's do it.
only problem is datesi'm off to varuna 1-21 dec
could do it 22-24 dec
i'm off to nyc 26 dec
i'll get a 'spy mic' so we can do the phoner anywhere,
any time, but a studio recording would also be pretty
cool. dialogue across different techinteresting!
--On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 1:50 AM +1100 "McKenzie Wark" wrote:
> not sure how much more to record, or what might be needed
> by way of an introductiondo you have any ideas on
maybe 'just' an essay on the nature of
we could piece that together via email (a point in itself) after we've prepared the text
i think we might want to *subtract* from the transcripts
it isn't all equally interesting to the *reader*. But
any new material should hang off it, maybe at the back or
in the margin.
not sure how much more to record, or what might be needed
by way of an introductiondo you have any ideas on that?
just listening to the end of the Toulouse tape, the
other title that suggests itself is Mindfuck. I
remember being totally fried at the end of that one,
like the way acid wears out the synapses. (Philip
Brophy is right, the mind is a muscle)
--On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 2:32 AM +1100 "McKenzie Wark" wrote:
We have to walk or ride into town to make a call from a public phone box. A few miles.
We all go on bikes. F rides a low-slung dragster. People think we are freaks. The Mormon
police sergeant invites us into his house and asks about dope. Sometimes he comes out and
has a gentle look around. Not quite a search. Like to know what's going on in my town, he
says. He picks us up walking home one evening from the bus station and offers us a lift
back. He says, I bet you've got dope in your bags. We keep straight faces and climb into
the back. He's a vegetarian. I've not been vegetarian long. Living on the dairy farm makes
it easy to become vegan. Stephen becomes vegetarian and then vegan in one evening over a
bowl of cream. The cows are dragging tonnes about the paddock. They enter the machine and
plug straight into the human body. Stephen plays the piano for the police sergeant's
family and I read them poetry. They store dry foodstuffs in tin cans waiting for the end.
They collect original seed strains and get on well with the local Italian farmers who
maintain original seed stocks and know the difference between "real" and
"constructed" tomatoes. And that's in the mid-eighties. The house is consumed by
fleas, and we retreat. When the news breaks that the guy we've been buying dope from has
been murdering women and girls we go straight to the cop and tell him everything we know
about this bloke and his partner.
They were people you felt fear and horror being around, though you could never say why.
They sold pot cheap, saying they wanted to keep things quiet. One time the man asked me to
leave my girlfriend with them while I went to get some money. She and I looked at each
other and declined his paternalistic offer. We backed out of there, just knowing it was
weird. But there was never anything more than this until we heard the news. We all went
mad. It destroyed our minds and everything fell apart. There was still some hay left in
the fields, and we refused to help bring it in. The farmers couldn't understand why our
attitude had changed. Too heavy for you? Too fast. Bit rough? The look of hell in our
faces scared them off. We left soon after and wandered. Everything seemed hopeless. The
world was bad. We told our story over and over to detectives but what we knew of their
characters was of no help. We heard rumours of what they'd done to their victims. We knew
of others who'd known them being placed under police guard. There seemed to be things
beneath the surface. We tried to forget we'd ever seen them. We all tried to go straight.
At Yarloop I grew vegetables and wrote poems. I grew herbs and read. Without television
or phone we talked to each other. Sometimes a dark silence filled the house. We talked
about the fate of the cows that surrounded the house, contained by fences and irrigation
ditches. We heard the bells at dawn as the boys from next door rounded the cows up for
milking. As the truck came in to cart them off to the knacker's yardworn out. One of
the old blokes asked me if I liked taking it up the arse. I rolled another bale of hay and
filled my head with the sound of the heat, the tractor working the rows of hay. Bringing
the hay in brought satisfaction. Best of all, I cultivated strawberries.