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                Three Almost Random Vernacular Photographs

                Published on January 10th, 2020

                I’ve always been an admirer of vernacular photography. That being defined as travel and vacation photos, family snapshots, photos of friends, class portraits, identification photographs, and photo-booth images. Photography by the people and for the people, you might say. And, as I’ve aged, the power of this genre of photography has done nothing but be further enhanced by my own stories over time. After all, 90 percent of what we see in a photograph is what we bring to it as the viewer.

                The first example (below) is a 1970s photograph of someone I knew rather well in an on/off roundabout villainous manner. On one occasion, totally randomly, on the day I was discharged from the Royal Australian Navy I sat on the plane beside this guy. He just had this way of popping up in my youth. Robert Jeffries died in, if I remember correctly, late 1993 along with someone else I knew quite well back in the day… so he’s long left the earth. Therefore I won’t talk about his villainy. That can rest.

                Needless to say this photograph of Rob with a girl named Sylvia Skell (also deceased) is taken on the foreshore of the area of Northern Tasmanian coastline where I grew from a child to an adult. Within this vernacular photograph I can smell and feel the wind (drunken and sober); I have layered memories of these people across time; it’s much like Rebecca Solnit described in River of Shadows as the capture of space and time in a two dimensional frame. For me, at least, this is a powerful photograph.

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                2020 Won’t be the Year we Fix Everything

                Published on January 1st, 2020

                I know people seem to think the catastrophic fires in Australa, the depleting habitat, weather changes and all that shit are going to make a huge difference this decade. I’m sorry, but I don’t have that faith in human beings. We’re going to ride this pony to the end and then some. Most people just want to buy stuff. It’s as simple as that.

                How’s that for a negative New Year’s post? And I mean it. Nobody wants to stop having all their stuff. And for as little as possible. Meanwhile, governments fed by lobby groups and companies are getting away with murder and will continue to do so while they all guffaw about the infinite riches of a never-ending consumption driven global economy.

                Probably the biggest thing we could do to stop things at this point would be to shut down the Internet. And ban shipping containers. Those two things (computing & standardised form-factor distribution) have been the drivers behind the post-1970s phase of globalisation that sees more business done in a day than was achieved in a single year of the 1960s.

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                Twenty One Years outside Her Majesty’s Shithole

                Published on November 28th, 2019

                MBA graduation photograph

                I bear no grudges, nor do I quarter those that hold their grudges against me. I spent 15 and a half years behind bars, the great majority inside maximum security, and on the day I was released on 28 November, 1998… I was let out of a prison van in the middle of the city centre as the newspaper ran a story about me in some beat up about the death penalty.

                Nobody waited for me on my release at the prison gate. Nobody felt it was important enough to visit me for what accounted to a seven and a half year stretch through the middle of my sentence. So if anybody expects loyalty, friendship or some sort of obligatory finger-fuck… go read your fantasy novels. I owe nobody anything. I did my time, I survived… and I have prospered.

                And I do know what’s pissed a lot of people off about my life over the last 21 years. It’s simply the issue that I’ve done just fine. I spent a decade at university achieving a Bachelor of Computing and a Master of Business Administration (with a specialisation in Journalism and Media Studies). My average mark across both degrees was exactly 80 per cent… High Distinction. I was on the Dean’s Honour Roll for Excellence in my undergraduate degree. Apparently the word on the street was that I was below average intelligence… so don’t believe everything people write or say about you. Bullshit walks, as they say. I’ve had a long list of people take credit for my demise without ever leaving their safe little bunker. I remember Chopper asked me one time, “why do you keep treading on the ants?” It was a habit I had. That I no longer have.

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                More Articles on

                1. 2020 Won’t be the Year we Fix Everything
                2. Twenty One Years outside Her Majesty’s Shithole
                3. Radical Brewing (Book Review)
                4. The National Clamour to Build more Prison Beds
                5. The Jiggler Siphon from (Product Review)

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                About the Author

                Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

                My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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