LORD HOWE ISLAND
Harassed by a wrasse!
“Lord, how I lord on my patch!”
Clive sings to the birds,
Asks about my bikini.
I carry a black sponge.
It’s a liquorice bathing suit.
Stranger, please help me.
I’m trapped inside this wet suit!
The zip’s at the back…
Bright white cockatoo.
Wings of alabaster flash
across storm grey skies.
Crimson dahlia spent.
Rescued, floats in a pond
Like water lily.
Wagga Wagga Beach
In winter time is solemn.
A dead wood duck floats.
The tawny bird floats
down Murrimbidgee River.
Water leaves no trace.
YOU SAY FUTILE I SAY FERTILE
let’s call the hole thing “Golf”
VIOLENCE … VIOLINS
TOMB … WOMB
TAINT … SAINT
EMPIRE … UMPIRE
SQUANDERER … WANDERER
LIAR … LAWYER
SMOTHER … MOTHER
FRAGILE … AGILE
SURFACE … SERVICE
SUICIDE … SUCCEED
FAECES … FACES
TERRORISM … TOURISM
GOLD … GOD
TORTOISE … TORQUISE
TORTURE … DAUGHTER
INTESTINE … INTENSITY
DEFECATE … DEDICATE
AUTISTIC … ARTISTIC
COMPLAINT … COMPLIANT
DEVICES … DIVISIVE
COMPRESSION … COMPASSION
MONOGAMY … MONOTONY
INNOVATE … ENERVATE
AUTISTIC … ARTISTIC
GENTILE … GENITAL
HEART … HURT
SEXES … SUCCESS
CHILL … CHILLI
drug smuggler/people smuggler/budgie smuggler
There is something fraught
about temporary relationships, like those contracts between, say, a mechanic and the owner of a vehicle. None is more fraught than the relationship between a woman and a Type B mechanic.
Indulge me: your Type A mechanic is efficient, courteous and maintains a demeanour energised by an eagerness to serve and co-operate. It is a pleasure to hand your money over to this contractor.
By contrast, from the moment a woman drives into Type B mechanic’s automotive workshop and parks her car, always in the wrong place, Type B mechanic is armed, loaded and cocked for the power struggle in the gender war that is about to erupt. Type B mechanic permits nothing less than a complete surrender as the only grounds of engagement in the repairer/client contract with a woman. Beware all who venture beyond this point: this is a playing field of absolute winners and losers, where the contests are feisty and involve subtle psychological taunts aimed at vanquishing the opponent in a handful of opening intimidatory moves.
Type B mechanic believes in some apparent natural law that says a woman cannot understand mechanical engineering, corner a vehicle, let alone reverse-park. The assumption is that a woman’s predisposition to ‘being emotional’ bars her grasp of machines, and the only place for a female in a mechanics’ workshop is in a pictorial calendar.
Micromanaging Type B mechanic is impossible. If you are cost-conscious and want to make informed decisions about money spent on your car, keep shopping for your Type A mechanic. You will immediately feel the powerful, positive energy flows of water and wind on encountering Type A. There will be relief and renewal, and when you see the bikini-clad chick on the calendar in type A’s office you may even find yourself enjoying the celebration of female beauty.
In particular, I wonder why cyclists need to wear tight clothing that advertises sports drinks? Do these guys honestly think that we, the admiring pedestrians, acknowledge their magnificence because it is endorsed by a corporate sponsor? Surely their Sunday morning heroics are self-evident.Why is it that the sponsors are exclusively protein drinks, when the average Joe cyclist devours an array of consumer goods as he burns through the kilojoules? This is the great, unconquered virgin territory of AdLand. It’s a great opportunity for other products to advertise, like manufacturers of washing machine detergent, or sports deodorant, sock makers, local spray-on tan parlours, sports masseurs, brands of lube oil, rubber products, and so on. And why just sports drinks when cyclists are frequently seen taking shots of expresso en route. That opens up the whole expresso machine market to exploitation on the back of their Lycra.Australia and New Zealand once pinned their economies on the back of a sheep. This is the latest incarnation. Furthermore, it is only a matter of months and cyclists will be lobbying for carbon credits in the nascent Emissions Trading Scheme. It will work something like this: every kilometre travelled by bike is recorded on a cyclemeter attached to the bike’s wheel. The device can be removed to connect to a computer. The cyclist logs onto a public data base and the kilometres travelled by bike are recorded. At the end of the financial year carbon credits are issued by the Australian Tax Office which can be used to purchase carbon neutral products.Its a cycle-led recovery. On yer bike and get pedalling.
So as I watch a type A cyclist bristling impatiently in a expresso coffee queue, his pumped adrenalin levels already ramped up by the equine hormone and the imminent double shot of coffee, I notice that his Lycra advertises Express Courier services and Phuel (marketing company). Later that day Liberal Party agitator Tony Abbott is seen in his Lycra advertising AMGEN (a biotech company). Lycra-clad cyclists are mobile billboards. Choose to watch that space – or that of their flashing buns.
Ok, so now Tony Abbott ups the ante with his value-added-Lycra by foisting his budgie-smugglers onto us, an aghast public audience. It will be interesting to see the effect of his scheming contours, his hard Right, and the carbon-coloured deniers from his shadowy cabinet.
Australian Copyright Law needs to be reformed so it cannot be manipulated by greedy, vexatious litigants using technical ignorance of the subject area to unjustly effect an outcome.
I refer to the recent case of Copyright infringement and Trade Practices breach involving Larrikin Music and EMI regarding:
Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree. Men At Work Down Under.
It is granted that the same three notes and rhythmic values in Kookaburra’s opening phrase match the introduction flute riff’s fourth phrase. This is made clear by printed music that shows only the melody and rhythm. It also shows that the flute’s second variation riff contains the notes and similar rhythm to the second Kookaburra phrase. However, one cannot base the case against Men At Work’s use of the Kookaburra fragments on the print music transcription alone because it is only a visual representation of what is heard. Be very clear about this: music is experienced aurally, not visually.
Specifically, what is missing from the print music is the issue of harmonic embedding, a point not elaborated upon by the musicologist. He makes a comment about the “different feel” in which the Kookaburra notes are played. Let us ask more about what this means because this affects the way the flute riff is heard.
1. In DownUnder, the tempo is significantly faster.
2. The harmony of the tune is different at precisely the flute riff. The verse harmony, in which the flute riff is embedded in Down Under, is in a minor key. Kookaburra is in major key throughout. In diatonic Western music these are two contrasting harmonic structures.
3. The intervallic relationship between the notes and the chords underneath is different in the two songs. For example, in Kookaburra the first note is in a highly consonant major 3rd relationship to the chord. In Down Under that first note is in a major 7th relationship to the chord which is a dissonant interval. This is crucial evidence, because when one hears a short melody in a different harmonic context – even with a musician’s ears – it is heard and understood differently. However, if it is isolated, or pointed out, it can be recognised. It stands to reason that the Kookaburra musical quote became the question on a quiz show because it calls upon specialist listening skills.
To further obfuscate the reference, the Kookaburra fragment always appears as the secondary or “response phrase” within the flute riff. I understand that the primary or “question” phrase of the flute riff is an original melody.
The point is that if the Kookaburra reference is so weak in its power of recognition because of how harmonically decontextualised it is in Down Under, and how buried it is when played as a secondary phrase, can it really be said to be infringing the Kookaburra copyright? It is hidden, but rather in the manner of a clever musical joke. The flute riff contributes to the song by the power of its “hook”, however, the Kookaburra melody used in the flute riff is not the secret to the success of the hook because the cultural reference is too obscure.
While the proportion of the Kookaburra material used in the flute riff is high it is only by relying on print music alone, that is, without an harmonic context, that the case can be argued that a substantial quantity of the whole of Kookaburra was used in Down Under. An exceptional consideration in this case is that the total copyright material of Kookaburra is small to begin with. These are structural matters which have not adequately been addressed by this case, and indeed, they have been used to advantage by the litigants.
The Quantity factor is only a part of the overall copyright infringement landscape, not the overriding issue. I repeat that music is aurally experienced, not read. The law needs to take this important fact into consideration Copyright law insists on ignoring the relationship of the melodic material to its harmonic context and it needs to take stock and be better informed about musical structures. The judge’s finding has blindly ridden rough shod over some basic tenets of the human perception of music. As a professional musician I was aghast at how the plaintiff vexatiously pursued this claim. Those of us who have specialist musical knowledge are aware of how the case was argued to take advantage of an ignorance of technical musical issues. It was particularly galling to see how a judge could be duped by lawyers.
The lyric content of Down Under explores the theme of a dislocated Australian youth (a backpacker travelling the world) clutching at a handful of everyday Australian icons to represent his distant culture to Old Worlds of Europe and Asia Unlike the lyric content of Australianisms which turned the song into an anthem, the aural reference failed to connect as the vast majority people couldn’t hear the Kookaburra theme in Down Under. After it being pointed out some people still struggle to identify it.
Thank you for your time in reading. We need to change Australian Copyright Law to reflect music as it is heard. Additionally, a statute of limitations needs to be put in place.