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  Issue #147

You don't need to go out to eat good food, thankfully

Mike's Pith & Wind - This is serious!
I looked at my computer this morning and saw the date was March 2nd. Wasn’t something important supposed to happen on March 1st? Then I remembered. March 1st was the date David was having his operation! Cripes! How could I have forgotten?
David is my father, by the way. I think I’ve mentioned him to you before. Anyway, he and I had lost touch for a number of years and by the time we established the current rather tenuous relationship, ‘Dad’ didn’t seem to make sense, so it’s been David ever since.
In any case, David’s not been too well lately. He’s ninety-one so you’d expect a few problems I suppose. He’s been pretty stoic through the various health issues he’s had over the past few years and he still has more hair than I have but his hearing is considerably worse than mine. It’s not directly health related, but he’ll be facing the loss of his driving licence sooner rather than later and that will be a major turning point in his life, as it is no doubt for many retirees.
He lives in Rotorua in the North Island of New Zealand. You‘ve probably heard of it. It’s still a bit of a tourist trap but it has seen better times. Rotorua’s main attraction is its thermal activity, which, besides producing picturesque hot pools and geysers, produces a smell like rotten eggs that hangs around the town twenty-four seven. Maybe that’s why the tourists prefer Queenstown these days.
Various local pollens play havoc with David’s sinuses, which means that he always sounds as.. read more

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Dick's Toolbox - Ai Weiwei and Warhol
It’s not often that I comment about art but as I am actually qualified - in the sense of actually having qualifications with the seals of various tertiary institutions place on them – I thought I might have a fly today. If nothing else ‘I know a lot about art and I know what I like.’
One of the more interesting things about the visual arts is that you can put almost anything in a gallery and somehow it becomes miraculously transformed into art. It takes a particular talent to put something together - especially something large and complex - whack it in a gallery and have it not appear to be art at all. In the NGV at the moment there is an arrangement of 1500 beautifully chromed bicycles carefully arranged in a large structure in the foyer. It just looks like somebody has made a structure of 1500 bicycles; it has absolutely no sculptural impact whatsoever. It is bloody big but I looked and said to myself, ’So what?’ If there was a competition to use 1500 bicycles in a way that was entirely devoid of sculptural merit this is the.. read more

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