Two items that perhaps should be linked: (1) US Government secretly spies on reporters, and (2) “StrongBox”: a safe way for whistleblowers to contact the press.
Read on: (1) the US Justice Department secretly listened in on thousands of phone calls from AP reporters, attempting to trace their contacts. Link.
And (2): Aaron Swartz, a programmer who was given a crushing federal criminal indictment and who subsequently committed suicide in a Brooklyn apartment, developed a safer way for journalists and their anonymous sources to communicate without being traced by anyone. The resulting Open Source code (anyone can use it) is now operational at the «New Yorker». Link.
Photo: l to r: Kevin Poulsen, Aaron Schwartz, courtesy The New Yorker.
Australian poet Bruce Beaver 1928-2004, at the fun fair in Manly in Sydney, 1984, photo John Tranter. You can read my obituary article here:
Most of my books of poetry are now out of print. Boo Hoo! But they are being transcribed one by one into e-book digital versions by me, maintaining the exact content and pagination of the printed originals. They can be purchased on the internet and elsewhere in carefully-edited and inexpensive editions. These books have been translated into the “Kindle” format, which can be read easily on the Kindle Reader, the Apple iPad, and many other ebook reading devices. Other more open ebook formats will follow.
First, download and install the free Kindle reader so that it is working on your computer. To see a current list of available titles, see this page on my Main Site. Choose one you like. Then go to this page on the Amazon site and pay for and download the title you want:
They each cost less than a glass of good beer! Don’t be mean!
Poet Thom Gunn, San Francisco, 1980s. Photo by John Tranter. Although AIDS was a focus of much of his later work, he remained HIV-negative himself. In 2004, he died of acute polysubstance abuse, including methamphetamine, at his home in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco, where he had lived since 1960.
In mid-1995, nearly twenty years ago, thousands of copies of six different full-color posters, each bearing an aboriginal art image and a short poem by an Australian writer, went on display inside 12,765 buses in sixteen major cities across the USA. The average potential audience for this display of Australian creative material was ten million commuters per day. The venue was «Streetfare Journal», a transport poster project directed and edited over the previous decade by US poet George Evans. George was inspired to begin this extraordinary project in the 1980s by the success of the original travelling poetry project in the Netherlands many years before, where poems were pasted to the sides of garbage trucks. John Tranter initiated and completed this 1995 American project. What did George Santayana write in 1905? “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” You can read my 1800-word report on the project on my Main Site here:
Photo of George Evans, San Francisco, 1985, by John Tranter.
Thinking about listening to Steely Dan. Now why do people laugh when I say that?
During a CNBC interview this morning, Bill Gates continued to toe the party line insofar as he praised the benefits of Microsoft’s tablets and Windows 8 while explaining that iPad users are frustrated because they have trouble typing and creating documents.
“With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain share in what has been dominated by the iPad-type device. But a lot of those users are frustrated, they can’t type, they can’t create documents. They don’t have Office there. So we’re providing them something with the benefits they’ve seen that have made that a big category, but without giving up what they expect in a PC.”
As for frustration with respect to creating documents and the lack of Office, booming iPad and iPad mini sales suggest that most folks find the iPad feature set to be perfectly fine. In fact, Apple’s Pages is the top paid iPad app of all time while Keynote and Numbers check in at number 10 and 11 respectively. Clearly, many consumers are, in fact, typing and creating documents on the iPad, just outside the familiar confines of Microsoft Office.
1981, Courthouse Hotel, Newtown, Sydney, Peter Hutchings, Bill Maidment, Kate Lilley.
Note for photograph nuts: the high contrast, extreme fine grain and the strange color effects on skin (lips and noses often appear too white) are due to the film being used: monochrome 35mm Technical Pan, in a tiny Olympus XA camera. [I swear it's about the size and weight of a pack of cards. JT] Photo: courtesy Wikipedia Commons open access.
Correction: the date was probably Saturday 12 March, 1983.
More from the «Surfers Paradise» magazine #3 launch party, Courthouse Hotel beer garden, Newtown, Sydney, 1981. (Correction: the date was probably Saturday 12 March, 1983.) Eve Jennings, the Sydney Mark O’Connor, not the Canberra Mark O’Connor. This one published a brief book of poems under the pseudonym “John Nash”, I believe. In a recent poem in his Tapa Notebook, poet Laurie Duggan writes
“Mark O’Connor (the one we used to call ‘the real’
a.k.a. John Nash, author
of ‘Ode to Iggy Pop’)
once said: ‘who could feel bad in a hotel.’
More from the «Surfers Paradise» magazine #3 launch party, Courthouse Hotel beer garden, Newtown, Sydney, 1981. (Correction: the date was probably Saturday 12 March, 1983.) Left to right: poets Nigel Roberts, Pam Brown, Dîpti Saravanamuttu. Photos copyright John Tranter, 1981.
At the «Surfers Paradise» magazine #3 launch party, Courthouse Hotel beer garden, Newtown, Sydney, 1981. (Correction: the date was probably Saturday 12 March, 1983.) Facing camera, Kathy Davidson.
Excuse me if I post twice, but… on my Main Site here you can read “The Anaglyph”, the opening long poem from «Starlight: 150 Poems», published in 2010 by the University of Queensland Press. Extensive notes to all the poems in that book are available on this site as well.
“The Anaglyph” initially resulted from a commission from the Toronto magazine «The Modern Review» to write a piece of any type on John Ashbery’s 1967 long poem “Clepsydra”. In response I took the first word or two and also the last word or two of each line from John Ashbery’s poem, and wrote material of my own to fill each line out.
A clepsydra is a water-driven clock, invented in Ancient Greece. An anaglyph is a drawn or photographic image, usually printed in red and bluish-green ink, that, when viewed through spectacles containing one bluish-green lens and one red lens, presents a three-dimensional image; that is, an image consisting of two superimposed and differently-coloured views of the same scene.
The poem was extensively reworked and became part of my 2009 Doctor of Creative Arts thesis dissertation for the University of Wollongong, along with 112 other poems and a thirty-thousand-word exegesis.
This piece is about seven printed pages long.
Just in: [»] Martin Duwell reviews John Tranter: Starlight: 150 Poems (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2010), 214pp.
“There can be little doubt that “The Anaglyph” is the dominant poem of this collection and one of Tranter’s great achievements…”
Revealing Interview! Everything you wanted to know! In fact, MORE than you wanted to know!
Last year I did an interview about my poetry and my life, with Toby Fitch. It ended up being around sixty pages long.
Some six months have gone by since it first appeared in «Mascara Magazine». I have placed a copy of it (with some additional images) on my Main Site today, which happens to be US poet Rod McKuen’s birthday:
Take a look!
(Photo of Toby Fitch, New Zealand, by John Tranter, 2011.)
It seems that a simple typing error gave writer Peter Kocan (see below) an Order of Australia (AM) rather than the Master of Arts (MA) he earned at the University of Newcastle. The Australia Council, responsible for the erroneous press release, has corrected the piece.
There’s still the mystery of why he titled his second book «The Cure» (1983) when there was already a book by recovering addict Kevin Mackey with the same title, published in 1970. See my review of Mackey’s book.
Poet and playwright the late Dorothy Hewett at the Exiles reading mentioned below, 6 December 1980, Taylor Square, Sydney. R.F. Brissenden was one of the featured readers. Photo copyright © John Tranter 2013. [Later interpolation: The poetry reading was at 2 pm on Saturday 6 December 1980; Les Murray said he'd come, then didn't, as usual. Ah, the ego!] Other readers: John Forbes, John Tranter, Martin Johnston, Dorothy Hewett, Phil Sheppard, Bob Brissenden.