Thursday, 6 November 2014

On the Road Again

Originally published at richardmckenzie.com.au


For the next few weeks, I'll be in Europe, mixing up business with pleasure and study with leisure. It's a strange sensation, going away to another continent, yet feeling as connected as ever via social media. This is something I want to actively avoid. Devices, as useful as the can be, have a habit of occupying the time that used to be spent idly daydreaming or thinking about nothing much.

The gear I am taking away is intended to refocus my photography and travel to the bare essentials. Well, not quite bare essentials. My primary photographic tools will be my Leica M4 with 35mm Summicron and my Hasselblad 503CX with Zeiss 80mm. Sure, I will have a digital (Lumix GX7 w/15mm Leica DG Summilux), but that will mainly be used sporadically for "business" related purposes.

A 35mm lens and a 80mm "normal" lens. What could be simpler?

Literary-wise, I've been inspired by Verso's 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep and A Philosophy of Walking. Both offer solace from the modern world with their slow-burn approach to pressing life issues at play today. Of course books are the sort of thing I could never go without. Bloomsbury's The Textual Life of Airports will keep me occupied (on the off-chance I need it!) in transit while an iPhone full of engaging documentaries and podcasts, along with Mahler, Tchaikovsky et al., will keep me busy in-flight. Yes, I know, "keeping busy" is probably anathema to the slow-burn ideas of the first two books, but time will tell.

Until next time...

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Leader-ing the Way

Murdoch's stable of local 'Leader' newspapers again showed why they are completely irrelevant very important with a great piece front-page 'journalism'.

Conservatively headlined "DANGER ZONES" (I can't link directly - News Corpse wants me to sign up for the privilege of sharing the permanent URL of their 'stories') , Laura Jolly's piece about speed cameras outside school zones takes the fight to speeding drivers who would dare put out little ones at risk by driving at more than 40km/h outside schools (btw 43km/h=instant death).

Just in case you, humble reader, are confused by News Corpse's weathervane attitude to speed cameras, their traffic camera style-guide/editorial thought policy manual goes something like this:
  • speed cameras on freeways and highways = revenue raising, bloody guv'ment
  • speed cameras near 6 lane school zones even where there are ample crossings and pedestrian bridges for children = justified for our precious little ones, would somebody please think of the children, why isn't the guv'ment doing anything to protect the little ones?

But the most brilliant piece of this story isn't even Laura's Januscian take on the whole speed camera bit, it's a quote from Senior Sergeant Brad Peters of Nunawading highway patrol:

“People don’t give school zones the due consideration they should be giving them,” Sen-Sgt Peters said.
“They’re placing such a precious resource as our children at risk by disregarding school zones.”

Sen-Sgt Peters seems to be confusing children with oxygen, fresh water or gold. That or he's swallowed the neoliberal justification (used by both Labor and Liberal) for public education that the whole reason we have schools is to develop productive inputs for the economy.