February 8, 2016 - Think Question Resist Think Again


New York’s underground diva Penny Arcade is worth listening to.  Excerpt from ‘On The Edge’, article in The Australian Newspaper Review…

On unhappiness … “The culture we live in tells us we must keep our unhappiness at arm’s length, but I say no, let’s bring it up close and see if it’s throwing a shadow on the wall that’s 10 times larger than what it really is.”

On the upside of despair … Quentin Crisp used to say to me,  “Miss Arcade, you have transformed your despair into a career.”

On music (and acceptance) … Arcade still sticks the anthem (I Will Survive) on repeat when the going gets tough.  “I medicate through music.  If I’m unhappy I’ll play a certain song 325 times in a row.  But being depressed is part of my lifestyle.”


george orwell

On culture…

“Everything George Orwell said has come true.  It’s 1984 in 2016.  There’s the surveillance.  There’s the destruction of history and the erasure of language.  People are being reduced to silence, told what they can and can’t speak about.  You can hardly say anything without offending people, which means nothing can be discussed.”

About books and loss …. She bought a book in a second hand bookshop by French Philosopher Michel Foucault who was developing the ancient Greek notion of parrhesia.  A parrhesiastes is someone who is compelled to choose frankness and truth instead of falsehood and silence, often with great risk and loss involved.

dumbo man

(See previous post and soul lifting poem from the man above, ‘A Different Way To Tread’.)

Her new show ‘Longing lasts longer’ … it’s a rallying cry to put down the cupcake, that symbol of gentrification and self-absorption, to eschew the banality of conformity, selfishness and, well, the likes of Snow White.  To think, question, resist.   Think again.

damien rice

(Image from Damien Rice CD).

Pass it on to all the thinkers and feelers you know …

June 9, 2015 - Thumbs Up To Nice Guys

It must be tough being a sensitive, nice guy in a macho, sexed up, muscled up, revved up, mucked up, violent world.  Thumbs up to all the ‘nice guys’ (and girls for that matter) who choose a different path.  That takes balls – and brains.  Check out The Black Dog Story about difference.  And think about this and this.  Pass it on to all the nice you know  ….

May 25, 2015 - Brain Train

 brain train todd

Redesign Your Brain .

“Whether you’re scared of heights, public speaking or failure, you can face that and overcome it. It never goes away. The clarification is that brave people are not without fear, they just deal with it differently – it’s the fear that makes them brave,” Todd Sampson (Gruen Transfer) tells AFR Weekend.  Redesign My Brain 2 with Todd Sampson will premiere this Thursday, May 28, at 8.30pm on ABC TV. Read full article about the show at Australian Financial Review here.smartphone

Todd On Smartphones …. “Our lack of attention is being exacerbated by smartphones – a trend he sees with his two young daughters – or as Sampson calls the devices, ‘our substitute brains’.  The numbers are saying that with technology our IQs have gone up but our EQs [emotional intelligence] have gone down, so we are doing better on these tests because we have more information at our fingertips but our ability to relate is dropping because we have more virtual friends than real friends,” he says.

Todd On Creative Thinking …. “One of the defining factors of creative people is the ability to switch perspectives.  As we age, we become functionally fixed, we narrow our perspectives and actions. Really good creative people have the ability to switch. If you follow the same people on Twitter and subscribe to the same magazines, then your perspective stays the same because you’re pretty much getting self-selected information.”

Todd previously featured on Black Dog talking about ‘World Proofing Our Children’.  And in the show you’ll see Todd take some impossible steps like the Frenchman between the Twin Tower buildings here.  A previous post about the danger of labeling people as in picture above here.   Pass it on …

May 13, 2015 - Rice Is Nice

damien rice 2

damien rice


Long live the CD.

Sometimes when you’re not feeling so good, it’s easier just to stay roomed in at home.  Or you could take a risk, go out and possibly be met by a ‘feel good’ experience and someone nice …..Went to JB Hifi for a dose of music in the form of some new CD’s and found Damien Rice’s package of smooth vibes and beautiful artwork within a ‘nice to hold’ cardboard sleeve.  But it wasn’t just the physical process of flicking through the CD’s that provided the feel good experience, it was also the guy who worked there who, on taking interest in the small collection in my hand, enthusiastically strode off to bring back a favorite of his own that he thought closely matched my choices.  And so we talked a bit about the music (and the covers) and …. well, it made my day.  The digital age (and hunkering down at home to escape the world) puts us at risk of losing these simple, meaningful and excitingly intimate connections – unless we keep resisting, continue buying the real thing and engaging with the real world.  More feel good with previous posts, ‘Canned Kindness’; ‘Full Stop’; ‘Hey you’;  ‘Pay It Forward’.

April 18, 2015 - Critical Thinking

black dog

Why didn’t the Black Dog cross the road?                                                                                                       Because he wanted to wonder a while at the masses marching in blind faith.

Why didn’t the Black Dog cross the road?                                                                                                             Because green’s not always right – and red’s not always wrong.

Why didn’t the Black Dog cross the road?                                                                                                                     Because he wasn’t ready to go yet.

Think about it…

Find in Clunk & Jam book.

April 6, 2015 - Army of Ink Little Star

army of ink twinkle twinkle

Little Star .

When the lights go out I cannot see, but when I sit alone in the dark with the glow of real stars above, the warmth of the distance soothes the longing to be close.  Now, when I go out into the woods at night, it’s not a star that will grant me my wish -it will be my own candle glowing in the dark.

Footnote:   This little soldier is from the Rock The Boat book.  Which is what often happens when you endeavor to make personal change.  Or when you tell the truth. It ‘rocks the boat’.  The small, feathery space where she sits calmly with a single lit candle might suggest a quiet, personal vigil.   One that reminds her to value herself and the small space and life she’s so painstakingly created.  A space that keeps her protected from harm – her world snugly contained.  Allows her to control when the ‘lights go out’ rather than the onset of darkness being manipulated by those around her.

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