What's nice about this place is that it is like a community, a place where people can post freely and share, and maybe even express personal opinions without the usual so-called "social" media disputes.
If you haven't read the honest, heartfelt & beautifully written post by @Kels_guitar you should. (Put your Profile settings/Notifications on so you see posts by all). If you haven't seen the post it is here: https://deborahconwaywillyzygier.locals.com/post/553433/to-understand-what-your-music-did-and-does-for-me-you-need-some-context-trigger-warning-refer
And it seems like as good a time as any to tell you that for the last year I have been working on a book of autobiographical essays (far from finished) and I thought in reply to Kels I would put up some of my essay on the song she mentions, DCN348. Have a meaningful Easter Sunday everybody.
This is an edited excerpt:
The idea of truth is messy, human nature is messy, being an animal is messy, nothing is cut and dried, not even birth and death anymore. In this digital age expectations have shifted to expect more clarity, on or off, zero or one but life and the complexity and chaos inherent in it is rendered in the grey areas not the black and white, the on and off, the zeros and ones.
DCN 348 is a little song on a huge topic. I declared myself on the side of truth a long time ago. Easy decision, lying is a skill I never mastered except to occasionally convince an audience that I am happy to be there when actually I’d rather be lounging at home in my pyjamas. Mostly I tell the truth or at least avoid telling an outright lie. Life is a lot less complicated that way and it’s our default position; we don’t trust liars, and we don’t like being lied to. It seems pointless having a conversation with someone if you’re aware you can’t trust anything they say. Of course we can lie to ourselves but probably not wittingly.
But ultimate truth only resides in the undeniable - pure mathematics and suffering. In all other arenas truth is a pliable narrative or alternate readings of raw material; in our courts the circuitous conundrum all parties must navigate to find the heart of truth; in our parliaments truth is negotiated via the art of compromise; the fourth estate is laden with conflicting truth tellers competing for our faith in their version of events; our universities, specifically humanities departments, are divided between partisan truths and ways to view the world across diverse subjects from literature to geography; scientific journals are ablaze with opposing interpretations of data which lead different scientists to claim different truths; and cultural institutions who curiously appear the least tolerant, accepting only the narrowest version of truth that conforms to what they subscribe to. We tolerate it all, as long as we believe the proclamations are made in good faith. The skill to dominate a debate rests on the body of knowledge you can draw on and as the old cliché goes, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Truth is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “conformity with fact, agreement with reality” so a person pronouncing what they believe to be the facts with the information at their disposal believes they are speaking truth. But if they hold too strongly to their original position in the face of changing or opposing facts, are they liars? Zealots? Fantasists? Authoritarians clinging to power? How do we convince ourselves of the truth in the face of a whole other set of facts? Can truth transcend time, place and circumstance? Religion, politics and cultural practise would indicate otherwise.
And social media, hand in glove with the ever more ravenous news cycle that has accelerated the fast and loose approach to facts just to get out in front of the next guy has become the furious engine of the widening political schism. In these crazy days of the dawn of the second decade of the second millennium, we are so divided we don’t even comprehend that there could be a different interpretation of our understanding of the world. Partisan politics have become partisan lives.
There is nothing to be said in the defence of full throated denial of truth; nothing but grief and despair likely to emanate from forced repudiation of reality; nothing but suffering and death associated with long term demagoguery. The least wretched life is lived when your goal is to aim for truth.
I feel lucky to have understood this lesson early…
As a preteen I went to Sunday school at Temple Beth Israel in Alma Rd. Every week we were encouraged to bring a few coins from home to drop into the Jewish National Fund Blue Box; there was one permanently in the corner of the classroom. My mother generally supplied me with a few coins but I mostly didn’t put them in the Blue Box, instead I went to the local milk bar at recess and bought myself sweets. And foolishly instead of concealing the evidence by eating it, I hid what I didn’t eat in a shoe box in the back of my bedroom cupboard - I mean who would ever think of looking there?!? I had built up quite an impressive stash by the time I was sprung. “Where did these come from?” I didn’t get pocket money so no doubt my parents had already figured out what was going on; I probably attempted to say a friend had given them to me though I don’t think I was convincing. It was a very early lesson for me that I was a terrible liar. It didn’t take long for them to break me down so I was confessing to 1) taking my parents money under false pretences; 2) denying the charity their money; 3) buying lollies with the loot; 4) repeat offending, a quadruple whammy. And what was my punishment? My cruel parents left me at home alone (under the watchful eye of Linda the live-in) while they and my sister went for lunch at grandma’s house. I was beyond devastated. I have to say it worked. These days I rarely eat sweets, I donate to JNF and I never lie.
We finally finished off this video that we started in 2017 during lockdown last year . Some things take time. Clearly. Have a good weekend everybody.
beggar man keeps company
with soldiers, sailors, spies and thieves
everybody’s got a scheme
beggar man wears his on his sleeve
the priest is begging for a soul
the rabbi’s begging for the scroll
the ferryman begs for his toll
the jelly’s begging for the roll
Oh oh everybody’s begging
you have a lot of everything
you have someone to do your every bidding
and I see you living like a king
but you know there’s still something missing
the dog is begging for a bone
the heir is begging for the throne
the poor man’s begging for a loan
the unknown are begging to be known
Oh oh everybody’s begging
nothing like an earthly hell
to bring out all the-self styled angels
but the ones who spell it out can’t spell
you give them something and they want something else
there’s writers begging to be read
there’s voices begging in your head
there’s blood that’s ...
Enjoy your weekend all.
I thought of this today as News Corps has announced they've struck a deal with Facebook to pay them for their content. We recorded this nearly a year ago when lockdowns were first beginning as a favour to the Australian's music journalist. Did we ask for payment, no, but should we have?..... Anyhow here it is for those who haven't seen it and to those who managed to hold on into 2021. A cover of The Alabama Shakes' Hold On.
From Paul Kelly’s self-described ‘mongrel memoir’ ‘How To Make Gravy’ pg 139-140
"Everybody Wants To Touch Me’ is sometimes read as a riff on celebrity. That seems to be Sydney cabaret singer Paul Capsis’s take on it on his album of the same name. Medusa-haired Deborah Conway, Melbourne singer-songwriter and mother of three, knows a little about celebrity and pregnancy both. She fronted a band called Do-Re-Mi in the eighties and had a big hit with a song called ‘Man Overboard’, featuring the memorable lines ‘Your pubic hairs on my pillow, your stubble rings the sink.’ Her shapely posterior was also famous, full-framed and proudly bare on big Bluegrass Jeans billboards nationwide, with the tagline ‘Get yours into Bluegrass’.
Do-Re-Mi functioned as a collective - a shaky construct in pop music at the best of times - and used language such as ‘ideologically unsound’ (the predecessor of ‘politically incorrect’) in their band meetings. Deborah, with her ...
A great new doco that I got to sing a song for: WHEN THE CAMERA STOPPED ROLLING. It has been selected as a FINALIST for Best Australian Documentary at @SydFilmFest 2021.
Jane Castle, the daughter of trailblazing Australian filmmaker, Lilias Fraser, tells the epic tale of her mother’s extraordinary life, her career and their challenging relationship.
Get your 🎟 to the Australian Premier at Sydney Film Fest today:
Feeling a bit more human again. Connected, tipsy, jovial, singing. And the food was good too
The Wait got me to the end of St Kilda Pier and all the way home on my walk this morning at a fast clip, dodging cyclists, sandy dogs, early traffic. Ran through the boogies & cruised through the ballads. What a Great soundtrack from two of my dearest co-travellers. #vikaandlinda @vikaandlindabull Beautiful.