Saturday 30th of August 2014

an humble admiration of bruce petty's work...


I admire Bruce Petty.

He is quite older than I am, yet he has a far superior satirical contemporary expression than I can muster. Bruce Petty's brush or pen or finger is all over the place like an annoying fly we chase with an Aussie salute. But the flight path of the lines is but than random as we soon discover the cutting purpose of the graffiti-like penmanship. 

The relationship between reality and the image explodes like a series of World War I shells falling on sleepy troops playing Blackadder's get-me-outta-here in the trenches. It rattles windows and it plunges in our bath-tubs, making a tidal wave from Sydney to Perth. If I was Julia Morris I would use the word "delicious" whatever this would mean.
From our suburbia to our government's spooky theatrics, we travel with Bruce Petty on the unicycles of our hypocritical prejudices, while thinking we're smug at the wheel of our latest Merc or our Toyota ute with Bluey in the tray. 
Crikey!, I have heard, is looking for a new cartoonist as it lost "The First Dog on the Moon" to the Guardian... I would suggest to Crikey!'s mob, for krissake, hire Bruce Petty or get permission rights to reproduce in full all his 1960s drawings of Australia's life on all levels, which are as true now as they were then. Possibly more relevant now since we had time to "evolve" on the same average spot. 
I do not have the time to do more than what's on offer on this site. It takes too much energy to crank it up. 
See, Bruce Petty's work appears to come from an obsessed genius philosopher who can draw quick and be a knife-throwing poet at the same time — with an irrationally controlled-hand, that a computer would mutilate. 
Computers "normalise" everything. They reduce time, matter and energy into blancmange bytes in which the fun is often absorbed like blotting paper absorbs a splutter of ink. And a computer makes me lazy. It's comfortable to know that mine is the keeper of my memory and knowledge, as I remember little and know peanuts. Without the computer, I would be prodding a stick to collect greasy waste paper thrown by tossers on park lawns, which to some extend could be better than being dazzled by a screen scroll.
Sometimes, I dream of being obsessed with vitriolic angry black lines but only end up waking up lazy as usual... I must be having "better other things to do" during the day. So I recycle a lot  — including faces, jackets and ties.
In order to achieve this "Petty" look one would need to defocus on the precision and shoot with unrestrained trained imagination and a proper free-hand. One needs to also be on familiar terms with the weapons of choice, the pen or the whatever tool and the blank page.
A blank page can be daunting for many authors, but rarely to the energised doodler with a sharp sense of observed cultural decadence "in growth like a canker". But I suppose, without this decadence, there would be no Bruce Petty burning pens on sheets of drawing paper.
If I may indulge here, something to my detriment is that, in my toons, I have mostly chosen to play "the man", not the ball... It's more dangerous because when these "men" (and women too) have the ball, they usually try to fudge, obfuscate, lie and/or push like thick 300-pounds rugby props through a threesome of nerds with glasses. 
I suppose I'd deserve a red card for this, but as usual there is no referee to see that THE MONGRELS DESERVED A RED CARD WAY BEFORE ME. 
So I must become the referee and kick then in the balls...
Bruce Petty deserves far more recognition in this country for the crunching visions that he gives us. Please do not give him an OAM (he might have one?) or such gong because he deserves better than that. The Aussie medals are still unfortunately tied up to the imperial system and saint-hoods are too religious for comfort despite all the miracles Bruce Petty has performed with a tarred brush. 
May be he should be honoured in the Australian Treasure hall of fame with Leonardo, Michaeangelo and Spike Milligan. But he might hate that too. Bruce Petty seems to be his own man. Appreciation of his work may the best medal he could receive.


Image at top shot from his book "Petty's Australia fair" published in 1967 (republished 1976 as Petty's AUSTRALIA — and how it works)

a burb "not for everyone": the shire...

a burb "not for everyone"...


Of course the advert was promoting Sylvania Waters way before Sylvania Waters — the TV series... Looks a bit like Mandurah minus the dolphins...

lowering politics below the navel, into the prick area...



Air masturbator Geoff Shaw and abortion

With Victoria's Parliament resuming today, it remains to be seen what onanistic MP Geoff Shaw will do — though contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence says she's sure it won't be in women's interests.

WHAT VICTORIAN MP GEOFF SHAW has between his legs may hold more raw intel than what lies between his ears.

Geoff Shaw, you will recall, is the honourable Member for the much maligned seaside electorate of Frankston who was filmed simulating masturbation in Parliament last year — his air seed and the taxpayer's real money yet again misspent on barren ground and facile time-wasting antics.

It was a selfie, given that he performed in public knowing full well that the House cameras were turned on — even if his colleagues weren't.

In Australia, we have diminishing expectations of our male politicians in particular, many of whom display an overt preoccupation with their own and other penises and sometimes with the olfactory mystique of lady gardens.

Today, Victoria's Parliament reconvenes in what is, by any measure, a dismal caricature of a decrepit and arthritic democracy.

The standards bar is well hung below the contemplative navel. First, we need to revisit some of the highlights of our national lowlights.

read more:,6449


Allow me to quote one of many Bruce Petty's deep thoughts (accompanied by savaging drawings of the Liberal and Labor parties — 1967) on this thingster called the Australian government...:


"... A preferential voting system assures the voter two or three alternative choices which are carefully preferred for him on how to vote cards by his first choice. Voting is compulsory, but enthusiasm is left to the discretion of the individual as a citizen's right. The quality of the candidates is not high so 13 houses of parliament and 800 MPs are required."



resulting in incredible profiteering...


Unpublished plans for the Barangaroo site show planned buildings have more than doubled in size since the original design brief was issued, prompting the City of Sydney to call for fresh public input into the controversial development.

Two modifications, proposed but not yet public, takes the floor space to 681,000 square metres.

The council has also accused the state government of having a very serious conflict of interest, because it is both the approval authority and the owner and developer of the site. 

A blunt and strongly worded paper, considered at the council's development committee on Tuesday night, marks a serious deterioration in relations between the council and the government over Barangaroo.

This is the standard way developers behave," said Councillor John Mant, a former planner. "You get approval, then you come back for a bit more, and a bit more, and you drop things that are for the public but keep the bonus floorspace. You turn a modest building into a very large one.

"The history of Barangaroo does not engender trust in the planning system."

City planners told councillors the latest modifications, known as modification 8 and 9, were so significant they should be considered as a new proposal and public input sought.

Modification 8 covers Barangaroo South where the office towers are now under construction by Lend Lease and the casino and hotel proposed by James Packer. Modification 9 covers Central Barangaroo, which is under the control of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority. They have the combined effect of increasing the floor space from 330,000 square metres in the 2005 design brief to 681,008 square metres – more than double. Compared to the first concept plan that was approved, it is a 70 per cent increase.

Cr Mant said it was not just the public but other property owners in the CBD who were affected. They had proceeded with developments only to find the market for office space, shops and restaurants swamped by a much larger Barangaroo.

"Wherever you look, the process surrounding Barangaroo is not good," Cr Mant said, referring both to the planning process and the government's failure to put the casino licence to tender.

Read more:

As Bruce Petty said in his book "Petty's Australia fair" published in 1967 (republished 1976 as Petty's AUSTRALIA — and how it works):

The importance of town planing has long been appreciated,
and careful research, co-operation and ingenuity among land
owners, sub-dividers, finance institutions, shire councillors and
MPs, has resulted in some incredible profiteering.
The towns are hopeless.


Bruce Petty

Thank for that tribute to Bruce.

We at Balmain Institute (he lives down-the-road) made him our first Lifetime Member in recognition of his generosity character and good work. Please feel free to similarly praise Bruce at our Facebook site

It is open to your comment.



another cartoonist for crikey... Apparently, according to gonzo, Ulf Kaiser is looking for cartonist job somewhere... May be — should Bruce Petty be out of Crikey's league and be on the wrong side of politics (I think Bruce savages all sides of politics) — they could see what Ulf can do for them...  and thanks to utravel (see above) for making him a life member of the Balmain Institute...

Sorry, I can't praise Bruce on Facebook... I don't do Facebook...