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Archive for July, 2014

Old Film:: Vanda Tronerud (1950s)

Monday, July 21st, 2014

My mother was a nurse before marrying my father. The photographs on this page are scanned from 6cm x 9cm film negatives that were made by my paternal grandmother Elvie Ruth Bonner (1901-1986).

My mother in her younger years

Full height view of my mother in her younger years

I can’t say that my passage through this World has done much for my mother’s peace of mind. She was too poor to afford me as a baby, I was a particularly troublesome teenager and I brought a whole lot of grief for her right into my forties. But mothers soldier on, regardless. I know my mother loves me unconditionally. That’s enough. All I can do is apologise. The fifty year old me wishes that I’d made life much better for her over the years. She’s a good woman.

Smoking Cigarettes is just Stupid

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Guy Ritchie’s film Rocknrolla had a beautiful scene with Johnny Quidd (played by Toby Kebbell) performing a slowly delivered monologue about cigarettes. Johnny Quidd points to the health warning.

Written in boring bold black and white is the statement that these neat little soldiers of death are in fact trying to kill you. And that, Pete, is the truth.Johnny Quidd, Piano Scene, Rocknrolla

Because we know the science behind the death rate that cigarettes incurs on our society. There is no safe level of consumption of cigarettes. Not a single drag. The estimate is that one half of all cigarette smokers will die from direct causes of smoking cigarettes. We know that sucking any smoke into your lungs on a regular basis is almost suicidal (considering the 50 per cent death rate). And we know that when we get ill from smoking those little soldiers of death there will probably be someone to watch us slowly wither from cancer or lung disease and carry our oxygen right up to the hospital steps. And it’s no secret that there is a strong correlation between smoking cigarettes and levels of education. The higher the education, the less likely that we’ll continue to smoke cigarettes.

Yet we’re suckers as human beings for being butt-fucked by the large corporations. Where does the money trail of cigarettes lead, I wonder? But, we know that one, too. This is a no-brainer.

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Photography Groups tend towards Conformity

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Late this week I wandered into a group photographic exhibition at a local art gallery. About sixteen large photographs (I can’t recall if they were framed). One per photographer. Reasonably high prices for amateur digital photography. Black and white. Almost homogenous around the four walls. Dare I say, bland.

And that’s one of the problems that I have with joining photography groups. That all groups push towards conformity. All groups. Businesses, teams, families and yoga getaways all put pressure on the member to conform to the ideas and fashions of the greater opinion.

Not that everyone has to conform. And sometimes we don’t. But non-conformists in any group are in for a bumpy ride and it takes a strong will to rise above those expected norms. It comes to that definition of culture, I guess… stories, legends, artifacts, customs, beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviour.

What I’d have liked to see from a group photography exhibition would have been an array of diverse perspectives. Ideas. The pushing of boundaries. Something that said each photographer had chosen their most powerful/interesting picture to put on the wall. Rather than the safest and sharpest digital pictures to please the group norm.

What I’d like to see from a group photographic exhibition is a room full of bravely individual daring non-conformists. But that’s not what groups are about. By definition.

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About the Author

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

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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