Letters 30.3.13

13. 13LETTERSBeaut blues
WHAT a great blues and roots at the weekend. Accolades to all involved and special credit to those who came to enjoy such great music.
It was a pleasure to be amongst people who were obviously enjoying themselves without resorting to the gross behaviour so common in this fair city.
I believe the wide range of ages unified in their love of music created a wonderful event. I cannot speak highly enough of this positive experience and can only wish all who were involved continued success and look forward to more of the same next year.
As a community we need more of these positive experiences and those who are interested in improving our public events should take notice of this festival, which does it so well.
Fay Kennedy
High St, Fremantle
The Ed says: Which makes you wonder whether the sniffer dogs might have been better deployed elsewhere. So a few ageing hippies thought they could sneak a doobie or two in (shows how long since they’ve been to a concert); it was hardly likely they were going to run riot. Police resources are stretched and should be put where they’re most needed.

Souir grapes
IF anybody wants to hear what a sore loser sounds like, look no further that the letter of Kevin Bovill (“In confidence”  Herald March 23, 2013). Four paragraphs of nasty, personal abuse from a bloke who doesn’t even have the guts to tell the reader he was an active Liberal campaigner in the recent Cockburn election.
The only true part of Bovill’s spleen-venting was that Cockburn residents have democratically chosen their political future and that is with the same MP who has represented them for the past four elections.
If those four election decisions don’t tell you something Mr Bovill then you clearly don’t get the message: Cockburn residents have voted consistently for WA Labor and for me to represent them because I take local issues up and fight for them..…successfully.
Unlike other candidates and some MPs I never take my electorate for granted and fight for every vote. Successful politics is not about whining and complaining, it’s about doing; something Mr Bovill clearly will never understand.
Fran Logan (Successful) MLA for Cockburn
Gateways Shopping Centre,

A good friend
EMMA CICCOTOSTO who died last week (Herald, March 23, 2013) was a good friend of mine. She shared her life with me and with thousands when she and I recorded her story, Emma: a translated life, and followed it up with a book about food.
I found her an open and positive person who valued her family and community highly. She was one of a number of unsung heroines who arrived in Australia from Italy between the wars to be greeted by indifference or suspicion from the locals.
Her ebullient personality won her many friends and her intelligent assessment of her situation allowed her to make the best of what must have seemed at times a poor choice. The world has changed since 1939 but her story teaches us that immigrants often give us more than they receive: a lesson we should continue to learn.
Her life as a widow was enriched by her membership of the Amicizia Club, Fremantle Bocce Club and the Italian women’s choir, Le Gioe delle donne.
I will miss her a lot.
Michal Bosworth
Oxford, UK

Speak up
ALL legal angles to prevent the skateboard plaza have now been exhausted (ie, the bids for heritage and A-class listing of the Esplanade).
So the question must now be asked of councillors, residents and those who visit and value Fremantle—are we prepared to sacrifice one-third of our invaluable reserve now the designs have been revealed?
You must ask yourselves: Is this what you expected, remembering it is not temporary. About 3500sqm of concrete at a cost of $2 million and provision for future expansion. Whilst other councils are adding to their green space in various ways because of future inner-city living forecasts, our elected members, in their wisdom, are doing the opposite. There are several more suitable sites for this type of development. This is our last chance for you to speak up and lobby your councillors.
Chris Grisewood
Henry St, Fremantle

I HAVE frequented and lived in Fremantle and its surrounding area for more than 20 years. I am familiar with its undistinguished and idiosyncratic features.
Hence my surprise when I stumbled into the lesser known Woodson Arcade and, through the Arcadia art installation project, I was transported to another place. The subtle playfulness of the video works I found took me back to an experience that can only be compared to a childlike discovery.
Thank you to the City of Fremantle which continues to promote artists and push the boundaries of contemporary art, and for the artists in making the familiar a new experience.
A Lanza
Forrest St, Fremantle 

Wave therapy
DINGHIES are part of life and can be used to transport persons to and from their boats, but can also be used for short teaching trips for kids, or for fishing or crabbing.
The degradation caused by dinghies on the foreshore is far, far smaller than what large waves cause, created by big boats. Every inch of the river is affected and we can see trees falling in.
Repairs are never preventative on the river, it always comes a year or two later, after all the trees are dead.
A sandstone corridor in front of the most affected areas would be the answer before all the foreshore gets damaged.
Keep your hands off my dinghy—it’s my therapy.
M Tromp

Punk god!
THE man on stage is nearing 70 but he wears the same outfit he has worn on stage for 40 years—tight black jeans and no shirt.
He is as sinewy as ever but his skin has the weathering of an old man. Think melting wax. He has the energy of someone half his age, even younger.
There is a brightness in his deep-set generous eyes. He loves it, this thing: performance. His stance disguises his ill-made spine and awkward movement. He can twist his legs. He can ping in the air. He can still rock it. His hair is damp dark blonde tendrils. His pants need hitching up again and again.
Sometimes his stomach moves as if an alien is about to burst forth. He invites the audience to the stage. His minder, nearly as old and wizened as he, does some protecting. But Iggy is still picked up, hauled around. Where does the lout want to take him? People sense this is their moment to touch him. They reach out. Some are pushed away. Everyone struts their stuff. If you get on stage you want to show off. You turn your arse on the audience and wiggle it. You don’t want to get off either.
I remember how Dylan would not allow his close-up image on the large screens. He seemed vain, awkward with age. He hid beneath a big hat. Not Iggy. Not a hider. Every vessel under every bit of chest skin is on show. Every armpit hair. Everything up close. Even from a distance you feel his sweat land on you.
Later, Iggy climbs down to join them in their mosh pit. Again, everyone is about touching him. Feeling the skin and the hair. You could taste him if you wanted to. He says “bless you” and he means it. The audience is his saviour. He asks for the lights to be turned on them. He wants to see them. Bless you. He takes you passenger. He climbs back on stage, his hand down the front of his pants.
But Iggy is punk. Some Blues N Roots fans have wandered home. Too much sun. The audience is thinner. There is space about the lawn. Red cardboard chequers the lawn. Some choose to be witness to this spectacle and watch to say they saw him.
A Punk God. Up close it is still heaving. They are the fans who have come for Iggy, despite the other bands in the line-up. They don’t want crooning by Chris Isaak. They don’t care for Pretty Woman. They would rather die than get Down, Down with Status Quo. They want hard, raucous, real. They want Iggy.
Nicole Lobry de Bruyn
Barnett St, Fremantle

On the way
THE Thinking Allowed by editor Andrew Smith complemented my letter of last week about enhancing democracy through media regulation.
The events of the week confirm this is a major issue for our country.
The Coalition has received great help from big media ever since the 2010 election, endlessly calling for the dismissal of the partnership government (ALP, independents and Greens) on the grounds of incompetence.
All they have achieved is a two-year display of their own political incompetence, painted into a corner, plus last week, a strengthening of the government through the discomfiture of its weaker members.
I am not focussing on individuals nor even parties, but rather on the progress of the community in the never-ending process of improving democracy, which goes back millenia.
The first thing to say is all our institutions were founded by people educated in the ideas and culture current in the 19th century. That is true of our constitution as well as parliaments and political parties, our education sysem right up to the universities, and so forth.
In a general sense, the core of that culture was what some call “the post Galilean spell” wherein we imagined we had reached a stage of rational thought that could solve any problem.
Our modern problem is with words. Language is still young in geological terms, maybe around 75,000 to 150,00 years.
Getting words to match up with the greater volume of signals our bodies receive from our surroundings is a long, complicated difficult process.
English philosopher AN Whitehead warned of “the error of misplaced concreteness,” meaning don’t confuse the symbolic system inside our heads with the reality outside, which we are trying to communicate to each other.
What I am saying is we are getting on with that process. We are making quite good headway, but perhaps entering a critical phase.
Ted Zeffertt
Solomon St, Fremantle
The Ed says: Sorry Ted, had to take the flencer to this in order to fit it in.

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