Archive for the ‘Photo’ Category

Interesting Parking in Collingwood

Saw this BMW “parked” in the median strip in Otter Street, Collingwood today. Somehow they managed to park it without damaging the bottom of the car. Stolen car, creative parking or a hipster art exhibit?

Some photos from the 1950s of Melbourne

Two great pictures of Melbourne for your Friday afternoon courtesy of Arcade Gazette. The first picture of Flinders Street station appears to be taken at its 100 year anniversary.  Its kind of reminiscent of the Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld/Disneyland.

The second was again taken in the 1950’s featuring a view of Bourke Street with Parliament in the background.  I was surprised to see a double decker bus featured in this picture but it seems that they were quite popular all over Australia at that time period. Yet another adopted British icon.

Facebook Car

Friend Request?

Friend Request?

We’ve seen the Google car but I didn’t think the Facebook car would be an old Kia.  Seriously, unless this is a company car, who pays money for a vanity plate with Facebk on it?

Picture via @arcadegazette

CTCV tags appear over Melbourne’s world-renowned graffiti

"CTCV" tags drawn over more skilled works

One of the things I love about Melbourne are the amazing graffiti pieces we get. Apparently, we’re known internationally for it, in certain circles. We have a thriving and skilled population of graffiti artists – even under draconian laws that, for example, make carrying a can of spraypaint illegal (giving the police a pre-packaged excuse to stop suspected vandals that merely “look the part”, and haven’t actually been seen doing anything traditionally illegal).

The ‘Authorities’ choose to interpret graffiti as an eyesore. This has led to ridiculous crackdowns in the past, and masses of public money blithely wasted by our state and local governments on “graffiti clean-ups”, such as during the Commonwealth Games.

In the not-so-distant past, a police graffiti/transit squad was rumoured to have engaged in “tagging” of graffiti pieces. Graffiti artists would report catching police “slashing” graffiti pieces (painting over the top of them); I found one tale on an internet forum from a guy who says he left a can of spraypaint behind while being chased by the police – and later found that his can had been used to “slash” a range of pieces.

Tags began appearing, slathered across much better pieces, reading “CTSA” – rumoured to stand for “Cops Trashing Shit Art” or “Cops That Slash Art”.

My view of graffiti is obviously more positive than the “legal” view. I think you need to put it in some kind of perspective. Consider this: We’re bombarded with advertising wherever we go. A billboard is a genuine eyesore. We put up with lists of sponsors and corporate logos on sporting, artistic, and museum events, because we want their money. But they look disgusting. Most of the time, advertisers are outright insulting us; if they’re not insulting our bodies, they’re insulting our intelligence.

Graffiti, on the other hand, entertains. It’s not something put up there to make money; in fact, graffiti artists lose money on it, and sometimes carry it out at great personal (and legal) risk. Sure, it’s about prestige and showing off, and the worst of it – the texta tagging – can almost sink to the level of a company logo… not quite, but almost ;). But it’s often genuinely impressive. If not for the skill involved, then for the “How the heck did they get up there??” factor. Sometimes, there’s even a political point to it – while companies use slick advertising to gloss over their use of overseas sweatshops and other crimes against humanity, graffiti will occasionally bring you comments like “Stop Logging Our Water Catchments!”, “No Jobs On A Dead Planet” (in massive letters on a giant smokestack), and the bitingly ironic slogan “Shut Up And Shop“. And at least it’s your fellow Melbournians trying to grab your attention, just because they think your attention is valuable – not because they want to hustle you.

In around March of this year, Melbourne commuters began noticing a new tag – “CTCV” – used to “slash” a range of pieces. Mostly along train lines, and always over much better pieces.

CTCV tags along Melbourne's train lines.

CTCV tags along Melbourne's train lines.

A friend of mine pointed out that “CTCV” isn’t too far from “CTSA”, and apparently he wasn’t the only one to draw this conclusion. Do an Australia-centred google search for the initials, and you’ll find lots of forum speculation along similar lines by those in graffiti culture.

Is it the work of “gronks” – less talented kids trying to annoy the older graff artists and make a mindless mark of their own? Or could the “C” at the start of “CTCV” stand for “Cops” – as it has been rumoured to in the past? “CTCV” – “Cops That Catch Vandals”? “Cops Trashing Crap Vandalism”?

We’ll probably never know, unless they’re caught in the act. And then, the only people catching them would be graffiti artists themselves – reliable enough eyewitnesses if you ask me, but I doubt the “authorities” would concur.

Melbourne from 3000 feet

melbfromaboveYasanga Wijekoon captured this neat picture from his cousin’s Cessna 172S aeroplane. By the looks of the picture, he was flying just above Southern Cross station. The tilt shift version is quite neat as well.

Twitpic: Melbourne from a Cessna 172

Tamils Nightly Vigil Continues in Federation Square, Melbourne

Melbounes Tamil community continues a nightly vigil against the genocide. The vigil is now ending it's third week.

Melbounes Tamil community continues a nightly vigil against the genocide. The vigil is now ending it's third week.

Melbourne’s Tamil community continues to protest against the ongoing genocide in Sri Lanka, which has seen thousands of Tamils locked up in camps, subjected to terrifying conditions by the Sri Lankan military, and often killed outright, while the Sri Lankan government works to block foreign media from entering. Earlier in the week, I reported on the existence of a protest group at Federation Square. Now, after seeing them there for the third night and talking to some of those involved, I’ve learnt much more about it.

The protestors have been gathering at Federation Square, every single weeknight, beginning around 5 and lasting until 6 or 7, for the past three weeks. Previous protests have gathered around Parliament and the State Library, but at these places, they were failing to attract much notice. Now they’ve found that at Federation Square, far more people can see them. Not only that, but they’re near the police station here, and in full public view – both of which make them safer from attacks by Sri Lankan ex-pat supporters of the genocidal regime. Recently there was an incident in which a group of pro-government Sri Lankans had been out drinking, and Tamil protestors were driving through the city on a pre-planned route. The government-supporters mobbed the Tamil cars and broadcast the incident on YouTube to make fun of them. Racism is a real issue for ethnic Tamils in the Sri Lankan community.

So they stand chanting slogans relating to Tamil independance, to stopping the genocide, and to the controversial resistance group the Tamil Tigers. (more…)

Melbournians/Sri Lankans/Tamils protest at ongoing Sri Lankan Genocide

Banner for a protest in Melbourne over Sri Lanka's treatment of Tamils

Banner for a protest in Melbourne over Sri Lanka's treatment of Tamils


This evening across from Flinders Street Station, I heard the unmistakable sounds of a protest rally.

“Tamil Tigers – Freedom Fighters!”
“Sri Lanka Sri Lanka – Don’t kill Tamils!”

A large-ish group of people had gathered to protest the ongoing ill-treatment of Sri Lanka’s Tamil population. The Sri Lankan government, under the guise of cracking down on the rebel Tamil Tigers, continues to wage a war against it’s civilian population, and the Tamils are among those at the short end of the stick. We see the same problems in Colombia, where the government uses the FARC guerillas as an excuse to continue mistreating indigenous and poor Colombians, and in Isreal, where Muslim terrorists are the favourite excuse for the government to build up an apartheid state against the Palestinian population. All of this, of course, goes on with the tacit support – in fact, through most of history, with the actual monetary and diplomatic support – of our own Western leaders, who generally refrain from kicking up too much fuss.

I was given a pamphlet directing me to these links – haven’t visited them yet, so be warned that there may be disturbing images.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN4e9ZbxP1s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrBPILJyonA
http://fastuntoaction.wordpress.com/

You can contact the organisers of the protest at: networktamils(at)gmail.com

A gathering of protesters outside Federation Square in Melbourne.

A gathering of protesters outside Federation Square in Melbourne.

University staff go on strike for a new contract

Redmond Barry's statue bearing an NTEU flag

Redmond Barry's statue bearing an NTEU flag

The picture is of the statue of Redmond Barry – the quintessential aristocratic buffoon, and the man who sent Ned Kelly to the gallows, forever standing outside our State Library. But the flag he’s holding? Apparently after death, Mr Barry has become involved in the union movement!

It’s an NTEU flag, and the National Tertiary Education Union has called a strike today after several Melbournian universities failed to sign new contracts for many of their staff.

University managements have been mis-managing Australian universities for some time – there’s no dearth of academic articles analysing various aspects of this mismanagement (that’s the problem when you mistreat wordy-types), and various issues came to a head as the NTEU called it’s strike. I spoke to one person who has been kept on casual contracts with no job security for the past five years; one speaker referenced a friend who had been in that position for the past twelve. And I know academics who work far more than eight-hour days to keep their work going, and yet are paid part-time. These sorts of stories have become commonplace in the modern Australian university, and there’s little sign that things are going to change.

Interestingly, NTEU members seemed far more radical than the union leadership supposedly representing them, and it seemed that the strike rally ended rather abruptly, with no general call for a Speak Out – something which would certainly have kept most of there for another couple of hours!

I helped out at the RMIT picket lines today, and found that many people where generally sympathetic. Those crossing the picket line did so apologetically and with some awkwardness, a minority tried to tear down our posters and generally make nuisances of themselves, but such people are always in the minority. What was most heartening was that quite a few people i spoke to decided to turn around and take the day off, and i convinced some to come along to the rally later on.

All in all, the support from the ground up was far more impressive than the support from the top-down. If this had been announced further in advance, if those in the various ALP-aligned student unions had been willing to support it more fully, if the NTEU leadership had encouraged a speak-out and allowed the membership to dictate what happened, it could have been huge.

Comedy Festival Redux: Bea Arthur

beaa1

Bea Arthur at the Melbourne Comedy Festival / Credit: David Knox

David Knox from TV Tonight posted this great picture of the late Bea Arthur at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Bea Arthur, who played Dorothy in The Golden Girls, died last week aged 86.

Back in the 90’s, in the heyday of The Golden Girls, Bea toured around the country including a show at the Comedy Festival. She came back in 2002 and performed again in Melbourne.  How did we pull such a big comedian back then and now we can barely get B list American celebrities? Kudos to a funny lady. Might hit channel #bittorent for some Golden Girls episodes.

TV Tonight: Remembering Bea

Telstra Dome..um Etihad Stadium Panorama

<i>Footy at the Dome by suzy_j</i>

Footy at the Dome by suzy_j

Well, we are about 3 weeks away from the start of the 2009 AFL season. What’s usually a boring NAB has proved quite interesting with the debut of the troubled Ben Cousins for Richmond.  In what is probably the biggest panorama I’ve ever seen online (10945 x 4202), suzy_j has taken a lovely photo of the game from last Thursday.  It’s also interesting to see the AFL is not backing down to referring to Etihad Stadium as it’s previous name, the Telstra Dome.

Flickr: Footy at the dome

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