First Dog on the Moon: Meanwhile in Gaza …

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First Dog on the Moon (Andrew Marlton) is an Australian Walkley Award winning political cartoonist and satirist. His cartoons appear regularly in The Guardian.

First Dog on the Moon also has his own website, which you can check out here.

This cartoon first appeared in The Guardian’s online edition on 21 July, 2014

 

gazadog

Between Shame and Relief I Stand – A confession by Samah Sabawi

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Dear friends,

this beautiful and moving poem about Gaza is by my good friend Samah Sabawi. Samah has kindly given me permission to reproduce it. It has already been posted on my Live from Occupied Palestine blog, but I also wanted to share on Red Butterfly Effect.

Samah is a Palestinian-Australian poet and playwright, who writes regularly for a range of media websites on Palestine and human rights. She is currently preparing for the premier of her latest play, Tales of A City by the Sea, which is a Palestinian story of love, separation and resistance set in Gaza. The play will premier in November in Melbourne.

Samah tweets at @gazaheart and you can check out her website, Tales of a City by the Sea by clicking here.

in solidarity, Kim

samah's poem - Between Shame and Relief

 

Solidarity with Gaza and Palestine

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french protest smoke colours   French activists in Paris release smoke in Palestinian colours in solidarity with Gaza

Dear friends,

I have not had a lot of time to post on Red Butterfly Effect this month due to Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza, which has now claimed the lives of more than 1050 people – the majority of whom are civilian, including hundreds of children. As a result, my focus has primarily been on the Gaza/Palestine solidarity campaign, including regularly updating my Palestine blog, Live from Occupied Palestine. with updates about what is happening in Gaza and the rallies in support of Gaza and the Palestinian people have been taking place both in Australia and Internationally. 

If you are interested in being updated on the situation in Gaza and the Australian and international solidarity campaign, you can check out Live from Occupied Palestine by clicking here.

Here are some direct links to photo essays of the Gaza solidarity rallies in Melbourne, around Australia and internationally.

Photo Essay: Melbourne Rally Against Israel’s Brutality in Palestine – 12 July 2014

Video & Photos: From around the world – Protests for Gaza and Palestine against Israel’s aggression.

Melbourne stands with Palestine: No to Israel’s war crimes in Gaza – 19 July 2014

Photo Essay: Australian rallies for Gaza against Israel’s war crimes – 19 & 20th July 2014

Melbourne stands with Gaza: Thousands stand in solidarity with Palestine, call for the Australian govt to break ties with Apartheid Israel

I have included below just some of the tweets from journalists and Palestinians in Gaza on the situation there (click on image to enlarge). 

in solidarity, Kim

B1 saftawi 8 laragaza scape

laz5 reuters2un4un51cnnFireShot Screen Capture #330 - 'Twitter _ MMVickery_ This is #Gaza_ Plumes of smoke ___' - twitter_com_MMVickery_status_492035542264328192shajiyacnn1FireShot Screen Capture #248 - 'Twitter _ JFXM_ #Gaza medics breaking down ___' - twitter_com_JFXM_status_490996797096349696larsim2reuters3childrenp2  FireShot Screen Capture #328 - 'Twitter _ millerC4_ #c4news #Gaza A uni prof who ___' - twitter_com_millerC4_status_491522733864669184FireShot Screen Capture #433 - 'Twitter _ AFP_ Gazans dig dead from rubble ___' - twitter_com_AFP_status_493061854286323713kel1kelFireShot Screen Capture #441 - 'Twitter _ sheikhNB_ One by one, members of the ___' - twitter_com_sheikhNB_status_492961620448919552

 

  

 

Melbourne: Union and Community Protest against the Abbott/Hockey Federal Budget – 6 July 2014

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A selection of photos from the Melbourne July 6 Trade Union and Community Bust the Budget rally and march: An estimated 5,000 to 10,000  turned out to oppose Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s classwar budget attacking workers, students, pensioners and the poor.

All photos: Kim Bullimore  (click individual photos to view enlarged version)

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Music: Eyes, Nose, Lips Cover Project

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Taeyang from my favourite Korean idol group, Big Bang released his first song of his new album on June 3.  A few weeks later, his label YG Entertainment announced they would be embarking on a Cover Project where its artists would do covers of songs by other artists on their label.  The first one being a cover of Taeyang’s Eyes, Nose, Lips.

While I am a big fan of Akdong Musician and have been playing their new album PLAY non-stop for weeks, it is actually Tablo’s reimagined version with new lyrics, which is my favourite so far. This is not surprising given I have been a long time fan of Tablo and Epik High, with them probably being my all time favourite Korean hip hop group (with Drunken Tiger and Soul Dive coming just after them).

In the last day or so, Eric Nam, who originally came to public attention by covering kpop songs on youtube, has released an english language version of the song.   I doubt any of my favourite Korean indie rock groups will release a version of the song, but if they did I am sure they would also do an amazing job!

 

TAEYANG – original release

 

AKDONG MUISCIAN

 

TABLO – Reimagined version (with new lyrics by Tablo)

 

ERIC NAM –  english version of original Taeyang version

Kdrama Review: Inspiring Generation

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inspiring-age-2-800x412

  • English Title: Inspiring Generation (also known as “Age of Feeling”)
  • Revised romanization: Gamgyukshidae : Tooshinui Tansaeng
  • Hangul: 감격시대 : 투신의 탄생
  • Director: Kim Jung-Kyu
  • Writer: Bang Hak-Ki (comic), Chae Seung-Dae (ep.1-10), Park Kye-Ok (ep.11-24)
  • Network: KBS2
  • Episodes: 24
Inspiring Generation-Kim Hyun-Joong.jpg Inspiring Generation-Lim Soo-Hyang.jpg Inspiring Generation-Jin Se-Yeon.jpg Inspiring Generation-Kim Jae-Wook.jpg Inspiring Generation-Kim Kap-Soo.jpg
Kim Hyun-Joong Lim Soo-Hyang Jin Se-Yeon Kim Jae-Wook Kim Kap-Soo
Shin Jung-Tae Gaya Teguchi Kim Ok-Ryeon Kim Soo-Ok Doyama Denkai
Inspiring Generation-Choi Jae-Sung.jpg Inspiring Generation-Son Byung-Ho.jpg Yoon Hyun-Min Inspiring Generation-Song Jae-Rim.jpg Kim Sung-Oh
Choi Jae-Sung Son Byung-Ho Yoon Hyun-Min Song Jae-Rim Kim Sung-Oh
Shin Young-Chool Choi Soo-Ri Aoki Denkai Mo Il-Hwa Jong Jae-Hwa

First and foremost, I loved Inspiring Generation, despite it having many, many, many, many faults and flaws. I loved Kim Hyun Joong and his character, Shin Jung-Tae. I loved the period setting, the sets and the costuming. I loved the artwork and promotional posters for the series, which are just visually stunning. I loved the young actors, who played the main characters in their youth in the first four episodes of the series. I loved the brilliantly choreographed fight scenes, despite them being quite violent and bloody. I love that the drama had a cast of thousands – well not quite a cast of thousands, but I loved that the drama was populated with so many characters big and small, which gave it a more realistic feel too it.  But while there was much to love about Inspiring Generation, there was also many, many, many, many faults and flaws with the series as well. And it should be said these many faults and flaws were not inconsequential.

Based of the comic of the same name which was published in the Sports Seoul from 1985 until 1988, Inspiring Generation (also known as Age of Feeling) is set during the 1920s and 1930s against the back drop of the Japanese occupation of Korea and China. A film-noir style drama, it spans a period of more than 20 years and travels between Korea, Manchuria and Shanghai. It tells the tale of Shin Jung-Tae, a young man from a poor family, who becomes a street fighter and smuggler, in order to aid his family.

When news of Inspiring Generation first hit dramasites, I was very excited to hear that it would include two of my favourites, Kim Hyun Joong and Kim Jae Wook. It was therefore quite disappointing when Kim Jae-wook, whose character was to be the second male lead, bowed out of the series after appearing in just three episodes (with his last appearance being in episode 8).

Kim Hyun Joong has long been one of my favourite Hallyu stars. SS501 is one of my top five favourite kpop idol groups and I love his solo music. One of my favourite things about Kim Hyun Joong has always been his personality: not only does he come across as being very down-to-earth and blunt (which I love), I am a big fan of his sense of humour which can be best described as both deadpan and 4D (a Korean term for eccentric, quirky, off-the-wall personality/humour). I particularly loved watching him teamed up with Hwangbo in the Korean variety show, We Got Married, where you really got to see his hilarious and eccentric sense of humour.

Kim Hyun Joong’s first drama was Boys over Flowers, which helped skyrocket him into becoming one of the biggest names in Hallyu. Despite loving him in Boys Over Flowers and later Playful Kiss, the reality was that his acting wasn’t great. So as keen as I was to watch him in Inspiring Generation, I did approach the show with some trepidation because of this. But I think its safe to say that Kim Hyun Joong did a great job at silencing his critics and surprised us all with how much he has improved as an actor.

Unfortunately, however, despite some very fine acting from Kim Hyun Joong and many other of the cast members of Inspiring Generation, as mentioned the series had many, many problems and faults. From the beginning, the series was plagued with a seemingly never-ending series of financial and production problems. Not only were (and still apparently is) problems with actors not being paid, actors dropping out of the series (such as Kim Jae Wook who played Kim Soo-ok) there was also changes in writers. And while I love the fact that the drama was filled with “a cast of thousands”, so to speak, it also should be said that such a large cast did also contribute to creating some of the problems with the series – for example making it difficult for some characters to be fleshed out and remaining underdeveloped due to pressures to develop new characters or other characters. All of this, unfortunately impacted on the quality and direction of the drama. The initial change of writers at the end of episode 10 didn’t have as big an impact as I had original expected and for the first 14 or 16 episodes of 24 episode series, the writing was fairly consistent and reasonably good. However, towards the end of the series, the writing consistently went down hill.

Not only were there big gaps in the plot and character developments, many central characters were just left to flounder (e.g. the female lead of Kim Ok-ryeon played by Jin Se-yeon and Song Jae-rim’s character of Mo Il-wa). Other character’s storylines became confusing and nonsensical (such as Um Tae-goo’s character of Do Ggoo). Whole storylines were either put on the back burner, forgotten or abandoned, such as the backstory of the freedom fighters opposing the Japanese occupation which was one of the things that initially made me excited to watch the drama, but also the storyline around Shin Tae-jung’s missing sister (which was originally a central driving force for Jung-Tae’s actions).

But despite this and at times feeling quite frustrated with the series (especially towards the end), I still loved it. Perhaps this is because it was possible to visualise very clearly what the series could have been, if it had been able to rid itself of such faults and flaws. I think if it had been able to do that, than Inspiring Generation would definitely have shot up into being one of my top 5 favourite Korean dramas, but alas that has not been the case. I think the reason I am still able to love the series, despite all its faults and flaws, is because the writers and producers initially did such a good job with the series in the first quarter of episodes. As a result, it made it possible to retain a lot of goodwill towards the rest of the series, even as its faults and flaws began to mount up.

So despite all of this, I still would recommend checking out the drama, not only to check out Kim Hyun Joong vastly improved acting skills but because there is still a lot to enjoy about the series,  including some wonderful quirky and fun characters, some terrific acting by many of the central characters (including by the young actors depicting them in their youth), the brilliantly choreographed fight scenes and much more. And hopefully, you too will fall in love with series like I did.

 

 

 

Inspring gen 3 in one posters

inspriing gen - tripcast costumes inspiring gen

Aamer Rahman: How Racist is Australia? Pretty Damn Racist.

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Dear friends,

I am reblogging my friend and fellow activist, Aamer Rahman’s excellent article which was published recently by Crikey and which appears on his Tumblr.  Aamer is one of Australia’s best young political comedians.  For the last couple of years he has been performing with Nazeen Hussain, as part of Fear of a Brown Planet.  Aamer has also been a political activist since his university days, campaigning against racism and social injustice.

If you haven’t already checked out his Tumblr, you can do so by clicking here.  I have also included below the article, two short videos showcasing his political comedy, as well as Australian Story’s 2011 program on Fear of a Brown Planet.

in solidarity, Kim

How Racist is Australia? Pretty Damn Racist.

This is my response (originally published in Crikey) to Mark Sawyer’s article ‘How Racist Are You’ published in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald last week (http://www.smh.com.au/comment/how-racist-are-you-20140611-zs43h.html)

 

Dear Mark,
As a comedian I very much appreciated your satirical piece ‘How Racist Are You?’ published in The Age last week.  I think you captured the attitude and tone of Overly Defensive And Clueless White Man perfectly.  It’s actually  inspired me to write my own piece called “Hey Ladies, Pipe Down About Sexism.”

Of course, I’m being silly.  You didn’t write it as a parody piece. The truth is much more embarrassing. This is what you, and plenty of others, actually think: apparently racism is totes not a thing any more.

Being told by white people that racism is a figment of our imagination is nothing new.  I know well enough that when looking for some quality racism, the best place to start is with the guy screaming “I’m not racist!” You did not disappoint.

Thank you for the awkward list of times you didn’t challenge people’s casual racist comments.  As the kids say nowadays, cool story bro.  And maybe you’re right – there is nothing that justifies calling Australia uniquely racist. Not the specific genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and languages, an unparalleled migration history that banned non-white immigration here until the early 70s, or our one-of-a-kind anti-asylum regime.  These are things that happened pretty much everywhere, right?  But seriously, why let history and facts get in the way of a white guy’s Feelings About Stuff.

You’re correct, far right parties like One Nation are a thing of the past. But only because their rampant xenophobia was quickly co-opted, re-branded and shared between Labor and Liberal, making Hanson totally redundant.  In an era where our Attorney General openly defends the art of bigotry, Pauline’s services are no longer required.

You ask how many people alive are truly racist.  I don’t know the exact figures, Mark. But ask yourself if the life expectancy statistics that apply to Aboriginal people – well below the national average – would be tolerated if they applied to any other group in this country .  Ask yourself if our system of militarised  border protection and detention – recognised as exceptional the world over – would be acceptable to the Australian public if it was designed to intercept, round up and indefinitely incarcerate white people.

These things cannot exist without a sizeable population of what you refer to as ‘true racists.’ The fact that, as a nation, we accept and allow such things to happen is not an accident or the result of simple misunderstandings. They are the calculated outcomes of generations of programming.  Maybe racism is less about white people making unfortunate comments and more about systemic inequalities that have become the permanent and invisible background noise of Australian culture.  To quote you, it may pay to look at the bigger picture.

It’s 2014, champ. Racism isn’t about segregated lunch counters and people refusing to shake hands any more.  Racism is about this country’s obsession with defining boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, and the pervasive and violent ways in which those boundaries are maintained.  Racism is about two major parties collaborating for years to convince a white majority, through various codes, that they are perpetually at risk of losing out to lazy Aborigines, ghettoised migrants, dishonest asylum seekers and suspicious Muslims.  Racism is a government using free speech rhetoric to facilitate racial vilification.  Racism is, in a climate of perpetual fear and hostility, The Age choosing to publish some childish nonsense about how there’s no such thing as racism.

You’re convinced things have changed. I’m pretty confident they haven’t.

Aamer Rahman is a standup comic and writer in Melbourne.  He is currently touring his solo show The Truth Hurts in the UK and does not miss Australia.

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Aamer Rahman: Refugees

Aamer Rahman: Reverse Racism

Australian Story: Fear of A Brown Planet – 7 November 2011

Game of Thrones: spoofs, parodies and covers

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Game of Thrones Theme New Orleans Jazz Cover - Swamp Donkeys at BB King’s

 

The Pugs of Westeros


Let it Go(T) – The Game of Thrones/Frozen Mashup Crossover

 

Game of Thrones Brady Bunch makeover – Wil Wheaton

 

Photo Essay: Victoria Trades Hall Bust the Budget rally

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A selection of photos from the June 12 Trade Union Bust the Budget rally and march: An estimated 20,000 nurses, firefighters, teachers, health workers, construction workers, electricians and many other workers turned out today to “Bust the Budget” as part of the Victoria Trades Hall initiated rally opposing the Abbott government’s class war budget attacking workers, students, pensioners and the poor.

The next trade union rally against the budget will take place nationally on July 6.

All photos: Kim Bullimore

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