Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Tucked away in The Speckled Hen Antiques impressive  shop in Townsville , little Darwin  unearthed  the above  battered   1941 Queensland   School  Reader  with a  cute title page  illustration  of  a  child  riding a  butterfly , which appears  to  be   the  work of  Ida Rentoul Outhwaite , world renowned for  her  drawings of  fairies, elves ,   frogs   and   children's  illustrated books.  Many  of   her drawings  depicted  fairies  with  gossamer  and   butterfly-like wings
Speckled Hen : Chooks  and   fairies  dwell  therein .


On  the eve of the  first State of  Origin match  in  Brisbane  , a weird  kind of  parallel  universe  has  been  discovered   a  short  distance   from  the  main entrance of  the  Cowboys Rugby  League Club  in  Flinders  Street ,  Townsville. 
Patrons who  depart  the  club  on  foot   pass   the   above  operating   newsagency , advertising  Murdoch publications ,  take  a  few more  steps ... and  do a double take - there  is  the  same newsagency , below ,  but  it  is  locked , empty!!! .  
How can  this  be ?    It  is  enough to make you  want  to   sign  the  pledge, take to drinking water, but the  city is  on  strict   water  restrictions , the  supply siphoned  off  by  aliens   from   another   planet . 

Still , club members   are used  to  odd  things  happening  of  late  . Just recently the club announced it is going  to  " expand its  gaming  footprint . "  Many  took this  to mean  you will no  longer  be able to   enter the premises  barefooted , wearing only  a  JT autographed  athletic  support  . This  led to  a  spike in the sale  of  thongs , recycled  snowshoes    and  gumboots.    Actually, it  means  the  club  is adding   86 more  poker  machines  to  its  existing  212  ,  to make it  "more competitive "  with  other   large  venues .     

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Vallis  photograph

Monday, May 29, 2017


During a week in which   the  Murdoch  Townsville Bulletin  savaged the Queensland   government  like a  pack of mad  dogs   over  the  proposed  Adani   Carmichael coalmine , readers of the  paper  must have thought   it had been taken  over  by a  new  owner  on  Saturday  .

There , on the leader page , was    a well written opinion piece by a   prominent member of  the   reporting staff , Shari Tagliabue , strongly  against    Adani  calling  it  a  Trojan horse  not needed  in  the north . 

 This  was   in   stark  contrast  to  the  paper's  long  running  massive  support  for  Adani  . Indeed , during the week , the Bulletin   quoted   Townsville's  Mayor  Jenny Hill   making  the extraordinary statement   that  the  North  would  be  set  back 50 years  if   the  mine  did  not  go ahead .  Some   council  staff  believe the  Dark Ages  have already arrived  as   there  are  plans   to   slash   employees   by close to  200 ,   and   it  has  nothing to do with  the  Adani  project .
Tagliabue's  commentary   was    run  next  to  a Bulletin  editorial which  actually  , briefly  praised   Queensland  Premier  Annastacia Palasczszuk  for arranging  a  supposed  delayed  royalties  deal  for  Adani .  Deputy editor  Damien Tomlinson  even  painted a picture of  the brave   Premier  on  the burning  deck  of state ,  the  fires   fuelled  by coal ,  fighting off  the Lefties  in her  party, led by her  deputy , Jackie Trad

The Premier ,  he  wrote ,  had " bravely  stood up to the slick , millionaire-backed PR  machine of the  Stop Adani  movement    to fight  for  Labor's  working  class core in  regional  Queensland ..." He is, unfortunately , not expected to be nominated for  a  Walkley  Award  for  this  expression of  deep concern for the  toilers ,  but  it  could  get a  run  as  a  filler in the  laugh   in  column  of  the  Daily Worker . 

This glowing tribute  for the Premier  was despite the fact that  the paper had   flayed  her  unmercifully  during  the  week ( see above )  , a digitally  doctored   photo   depicting  her   in  a  Greens  straightjacket  , her deputy ,   Trad, said   to depend   on   Green   preferences   to   win  and  hold   her  South  Brisbane seat . 

Biff  Latte  Drinkers, Greens 

Then  there  was a  typical  thundering editorial  (which not many people take  seriously )   LATTE-SIPPERS HOLDING US ALL TO RANSOM .   Get the feeble, infantile message in this  great Australian democracy where the Murdoch media monster has been given more  federal approval to  further  extend  its  influence  - Greens , latte soy-milk  sippers  evil  ? See  memo to  "Green extremists " on  front  page  below :  YOU CAN'T STOP ADANI .

Greens bashing   is  a blood  and smashed  watermelon  sport   long   engaged  in   by   the   Bulletin , Queensland   LNP  dullards  , fat , tattooed  men , the  soon   to  be  put  out to   verdant pasture  Senator  Ian  Macdonald ,  texters  in   the Bulletin  who like  referring  to  the  Premier  as    puddleduck   or  some  other  such  variation .  The Darwin  Murdoch paper  , Northern Territory  News , has a  a long  track  record  of   slinging  off  at  southern  latte  drinkers .

Magpie Swoops in on  Bulletin

A confessed  non-latte drinker  ,  what  Shari had to  say in her column  was   remarked upon by   eagle eyed  journalist  (actually he is the Townsville  Magpie ) , Malcolm  Weatherup ,  still owed  more than  $100,000  by   mean  Murdoch  for defaming him ,  who keeps a  close , critical  watch   on  the  Bulletin .

 Here is what he said   about    brave  Shari  whose column  was  headed  THE LATTE  LOGIC  and contained  an  illustration  of  belching chimneys  atop  a  mountain of coal, the  caption DIRTY BUSINESS:  We deserve better, smarter, sustainable  industries  .  Weatherup,  initially gobsmacked  by the piece,   in  part , commented :

In  a  nutshell , Shari put forward a well argued, analytical view of  an argument you rarely see in a News Ltd publication … but not only that, it was presented right next  to a diametrically opposed iditorial (editorial ) along the standard Astonisher (Townsville Bulletin )  lines...
It was indeed breath-taking almost unbelievable stuff.  And there can be no mistaking who Taggers was talking about when she wrote: ‘Childish name calling is a puerile attempt to brainwash the population into thinking a handful of promised jobs in an industry no one is interested in funding or backing is the way forward.’ This written in a paper whose stock in trade is name calling and journalistic jingoism on this subject and most all other subjects. And was written even in  the edition that carried  this  biased anti-Green, pro-Adani, front page, above .

Ms Tagliabue – who, one must think, has had a better job offer – also asked When did caring for the future of our land, our ocean, future generations and , yes, jobs – sustainable ones – become such a liability … and (people who used to call themselves green) until ‘green’ was hijacked by politicians who have frankly done the cause for a clean planet no favours at all. Oops, Shazza, you forget the word has also been hijacked by the people who own the paper you work for.  If there is a job offer out there, it sure as hell won’t be with News Ltd, maybe The Guardian.

Townsville Bulletin Bubble

From the pen of  another  Bulletin  reporter , one of  the old hands still   remaining ,  John Andersen, just back  from a  trip to Sydney and the scenic Blue Mountains , where local Mountain  Devils  drink  latte with a shot of rum to keep warm  on wintery nights ,   came  confirmation  in  the  same Saturday  paper   of  the fact that the  Townsville  Bulletin  is  in  an  obvious   inward  looking  bubble , one like the  interior of  the Black Hole of  Calcutta .   In an item headed   THE ADANI FIGHT IS ON IN STREETS  OF CITIES  , he  opened  with  the  telling : In the North   we  live in a bubble when we think that the Australian  population  mostly  supports  Adani .  
Down south  he had  found anti-coal and anti-Adani  posters  on railway platforms  and  walls of  store fronts .  He wrote that the fight  for  and  against  the   mine was not  just confined  to central  and  northern Queensland . It was being   fought in  the  bars , clubs  and  in  the  streets  at  a  national level . 
The Townsville Bulletin suddenly went  quiet  after  one  of  its  polls during the week  asked :  "DO you think Labor is out of touch with the needs of the North?"... The result was 59% No and 41% yes .

Still , this has not stopped the  Bulletin from running  a   car  sticker campaign  with  the  message : DON'T TAKE MY COAL JOB AND  I WON'T  TAKE YOUR SOY LATTE . Really . Naturally  Senator  Ian Macdonald   and  other  LNP suspects have  rushed  in  to  endorse  the  inane  sticker  message   which were  being  handed out for free  from  the  Bulletin office . More  arriving this week .
A text message  to  the  editor of  the  corny  latte bashing paper  said the Bulletin seemed to have a strange grudge against  lattes , which blue collar workers  and  tradies liked , and  speculated  that  so  do  journos .  
Incidentally , the  Weekend   Australian , the Murdoch flagship,  carried a   full page advertisement  for  AGL  headed  WE'RE  GETTING OUT OF COAL ,  declaring that by 2022  it   will  be getting out of  coal , that  it already  runs Australia's  largest solar and wind farms  and  have started a   fund that will add   up to   $3billion into renewables. AGL  asked  ... YOU  WITH  US ?   Not  at  the   Townsville  Bulletin . 

Adani  Cock Up 
Then  came  the  Monday edition of  the  Bulletin  and it  resumed its attack on the Queensland  government,  giving  prominence to  a   panel  piece  headed LABOR'S SHAME ON ADANI , by  an LNP  shadow minister  who  attacked "labors Left faction " and its " grubby  green  alliance   with   extreme activists . "
But  then the Bulletin  revealed that  over the weekend   a bizarre  event   took place  which  makes you  wonder if there is  something  in the  city's   contentious water supply- the dreaded  clumsy drug -  which  makes  people   do  stupid things in high places . Thinking  the   Australian   government and    Queenslanders  were  going to give  them  a   pile of  money,  Adani prematurely  celebrated  by having   its  name  placed  on  a  prominent   city  building .   
The Bulletin ran  a  pic of  the  sign  and   said  it may  have to be pulled down as fast as it was  put up !!!. It   quoted  Adani  spokesman  Ron Watson  as  saying  the signage should not have been installed so soon !!! The work order  should have  been  cancelled when the  Carmichael  mine was  put in  doubt over State Government royalties last  week ... There was  an oversight ... the company had put  on   hold  plans to  set up  a Townsville office... we  don't have a  big team  and it  (sign )  slipped through... what goes up , could come down ...he would  not  confirm  if  office space had  been   rented.... 
The last word in this  incredible  saga  was   delivered  by  the above  keen latte sipper, also  partial to thick shake dregs  ,  at The Strand , on the  Townsville waterfront ,  who  says  he  will  personally  lead a   flock of his  mates  to  the Bulletin coal /cesspit and  peck  the eyes  out  of any  reporter  who  takes the piss out of  latte  lovers.  Photograph  by  latte and  Pelican fancier, Peter Sky-Tower . 

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Lake  Weslee  bloom , Howard Springs , Darwin , by  ace  snapper, Rob Wesley-Smith.

Friday, May 26, 2017


In what has  been described  as  the night of the  Saudi Arabian   flashing Ali Baba  swords, President  Trump   sacked  his  Oval  Office  inner  circle advisers  and  replaced them with   a  brand new   bunch  of   weirdos , above,  to  help him  bugger up  the  world . 
In  this  exclusive  FBI  supplied  photograph of  the  Oval Office  ,  the new   mob of  apprentices look like Sesame Street characters . It is tipped they will  soon have  the  world  in  a  flap .  
Mission  accomplished
And  in another  stunning  midnight  tweet  , Daffy Donald  announced  he had  appointed   the  Blues  Brothers  as  his  religious  mentors ."These   dudes are  on a mission from  God and  the  KGB ," he later  told  a   gobsmacked   media  conference  ."The Blues Brothers  will sit on  my  right  hand while I continue my  starring  role  in the  great  American  reality  TV  horror  show ."
These  shock  announcements  were  made  soon  after  the  president's triumphant appearance  at  the  NATO  conference where he performed  like  a  bellowing redundant ,  rampaging   Ringling  Brothers  elephant  stung on the arse  by  a  wasp , causing  more   damage   than  the  Blues Brothers  did   to  the  armed  forces  of   America , neo-Nazis  and  Good  Ole  Boys during  the  car chase  to  Chicago .
Making  the American  car and  scrapmetal  industry  great  again .

Thursday, May 25, 2017


The  move to start an online   competitor  to the  Murdoch owned Townsville  Bulletin   is  gaining momentum . Several local businessman ,  unhappy with  the Bulletin , are  offering  to  put  up  cash  for the  project .

Leading the charge is Doug  Kingston , North Queensland business, marketing and media consultant who worked as a journalist, sports editor and marketing manager during a 25-year career with  the  Bulletin .
During that time he was winner of seven International Newspaper Marketing Association awards and 14 Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association (PANPA) awards, including PANPA Marketer of the Year in 2000 and 2004.
Furthermore  he was   involved in the early development of the North Queensland Cowboys, North Queensland Fury and Townsville Crocodiles national sporting teams and received North Queensland Tourism's highest honour - Outstanding Contribution by an Individual - in 2001. Has been a director of Tennis Queensland since 2009 and a Queensland member representative to Tennis Australia since 2010.
Phone: 0417 762 190

Appalled  by much of  the   one  sided    reporting  in  the   paper to support a  particular  angle , he   is  prepared  to   run  the  venture  for   nine months  at   his  own expense   to  gauge the   support . He  has specific  areas of  interest, including sport ,  which  he  intends  covering  himself , in what will be  a  more balanced , wider   coverage   of   local  issues.
A   website   is  being  designed   and  a  surprising  number of  journalists   are showing   support ,  some former  Bulletin  staff  ,  offering  to   write  for  the   paper .  Other  retired  journalists  in  the area , critical of the Murdoch paper ,  with  diverse  interests and  wide ranging  media   contacts , are  closely watching   proceedings .

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


When  rain  bucketed  down  in  Townsville  recently, some of  it   even over the  city's catchment area , the flow  down   Ross River  caused  water  weed  to  mass   causing   the   abandonment  of  a  rowing regatta , which   went unnoticed  by  the  media. News tip  for local scribes : what is Townsville City Council going to do to  clear  the waterway, the imported  weed  cutter  seems not  to have overcome the  problem ?  And now that Magnetic Island  is looking green and fresh and wattle coming  out   after  also copping some of the  rain , despite  a   poor wet in the dry tropics , the  powers  that  be  have announced a  start to burning off  at Horseshoe  Bay . 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Undergoing a  number of  medical  investigations  in  Townsville  , this writer was ushered  into  a waiting   room  and  told  to  sit , a  cannula in  arm . Gazing about , there  were the usual magazines  on  display  dealing    with  subjects  alien to  people  feeling crook  or  somewhat  apprehensive-world   travel and  property investment .

Centre of attraction , however,  was the gleaming  , state of the art  mobile trolley , strategically  placed  in  case  any  patient  felt  the  desire to  fall  down  in  a  swoon ,   bearing the  proud  label : Designed and  made  in Australia .

Another  patient  arrived,  sat down . In  the way of small talk , it was pointed out to  him that  the  trolley  was  an  actual  product  of  Australia . He pondered  for  some  time , gave  the  conveyance  the   once over ,  then  profoundly  declared  : " Probably the  wheels." As  they say, laughter  is  the  best  medicine .  

Monday, May 22, 2017


Hollywood : Hotgossip   here today is that  Donald  Trump will  step down next week  as  president of  the United States  to   star  in  a chain  of  movies  based on  variations  of the swashbuckling pirate  flicks  in  which  Australia's own wicked  Errol Flynn  won  the  hearts  and  minds  of  female  moviegoers.   At  2am  this morning ,  Trump tweeted : Eat your heart out  Johnny Depp...obviously a reference  to   the  flogged  to  death   Pirates  of  the  Caribbean series , the latest part  shot  in  the  Queensland  penal  colony , followed by an outbreak of  mad  dog   disease  in  right  wing  political  circles , at a crescendo right now over the  Adani  con  caper, part of  the Australian long running  revenue and  attack on the  environment  horror  series , Plunder  the    Aussie  Suckers   Down  Under .

The way  President  Trump and   his  top officials   flashed their  swords about in Saudi Arabia  reminded Hollywood producers of   the  action  packed  Errol Flynn movies . So they  made   the  president  a fabulous   offer , the  huge first  down payment  deposited  in the Cayman Islands ,   to  become  a   film star ... thus   avoiding   certain   impeachment .
Other  Ali Baba  bit  players
  We can exclusively  reveal   the first  movie  Donald will star in  has a  catchy   title :  The  Sword of  Ali  Baba   in which he will wear  a  black  Errol Flynn  wig  and  a recycled Groucho  Marx  mouldy  moustache. Then will come the very topical Ali  Baba and the  Forty Russian  Election Robbers   in which  Donald will  carry a .45 calibre  umbrella to protect himself  from  showers.
Scimitars  galore will  flash in  the   certain box office  hit  Ali  Baba  in   the   Scottish  Caddyshack   Bikini   Bloodbath  .

 Preliminary   screenplays are being worked on   for Ali   Baba  Gone With the Wind  and   the  must  see over  and  over  treat ,  Ali   Baba's  One  Way  Flight  to  Mars  With  Oprah .

Sunday, May 21, 2017


A person claiming to be a  highly paid  Little Darwin correspondent  is  jaunting about  Central  America  after  taking  the  wind out  of   Air New Zealand's latest advertising   campaign  which  features  a  goose .  Let it be known  that none of our  foreign correspondents  is   paid   and  the  fake  editor  has  a  begging bowl and  plays the  gumleaf , rather badly, in a city  mall, often pelted with  rotten fruit which  nevertheless  adds variety and volume  to  his  fibre intake. See


The  ongoing  massive  slaughter  of   innocent people throughout  the  world  is evidence  of  modern  man's  barbaric  inhumanity  to  mankind . The monstrous   death toll,  gassings ,  bombing of  hospitals , attacks on  relief columns , refugee drownings, capture of   girls  , destruction  of   cities   shows no sign of ending .       


Not only did  the New South Wales governor ,  Baron  Carrington,  and  Admiral Tryon , both good  tooth men ,  have their  sausages sizzled on an Allington  stove , but so  did  others  in  the best  clubs and hotels  in Sydney , elsewhere in the  colonies,   according to  this  advertisement  in  the 1886  Australian Builders  Price Book . Compiled by  architect  and   civil engineer , Charles    Mayes,  published  by   George Robertson , Melbourne , Sydney, Brisbane and  Adelaide, our copy obtained on  that culinary paradise, Magnetic Island ,where the  French restaurant  is  Le  Paradis .  

 Allington  stoves  had  won " the only Cooking  Contest " held in Australia   at the Wealth and Industrial  Exhibition , Prince Alfred Park, Sydney.  
The proprietor of the  firm , James Ward , had arrived   in Australia , probably from one of  the towns  named  Allington ,  about 1872 ,  and  became known as a  whitesmith, stove and   range  manufacturer .  In 1890  he was  granted a   Sydney City Council  contract to supply  cooking appliances  for the Centennial  Hall , now  the  Sydney Town  Hall .  He  served  as  an  alderman on the   council   for a number of  years  and  died in 1915.

Governor  Carrington probably  suffered indigestion from time to time  when he was in the colony  as  he was not impressed  by  some of  the  politicians , labourers  and  read  the Riot  Act  on one occasion . He also strongly convinced   Sir  Henry  Parkes , the so called Father of Federation,   that  he  should  not change  the  name of  New South Wales  to  Australia .

 Apart from having to  eat a  lot of  salt beef   and  weevily  ship's  biscuits in his long and action  packed  naval career, Admiral  Tryon , from a military family,  nevertheless   attended  many  banquets  in  high  places as he rose up the ranks  and  became  concerned  about  the  food and water  supplied  to  sailors.
Early in his naval career  he sailed to America  in 1849 and  visited , Boston , New York and  Washington  where  he  met  leading  politicians  and  sat in on a debate over California's  request to join the Union as a free state rather than  a slave state . Over the years he  developed  social  and  political  skills  and sat in on  the Crimean War   peace  talks  in  Marseilles .    
 On  being posted  to  Sydney in  charge of the  Australian Station in 1884  with the task of  convincing  the colonies to finance  a  fast squadron in the region , he   threw  some  large  parties ,  as  did  Governor  Carrington . The  Admiral had to contend  with  concerns about  the French , the threat of a  Russian invasion  and  the troublesome  blackbirders   who enslaved  Pacific islanders   to work  in  the  Queensland  canefields. On  top of that , the  New Zealanders   wanted  their own gunboats,  instead  of  relying  on  an Australian  based   fleet .   
On returning to England  , he  took up politics  for a time  , then went back to sea  and  drowned   during  manoeuvres when his flagship HMS Victoria  collided with  HMS Camperdown  off Tripoli , reportedly declaring, as he went  down with his ship  : "It was  my fault ."  Strange things happen  at sea- it is claimed that at  the time of  his drowning , his ghost  was seen  ashore .       

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Tucked away in the Atherton Tablelands, about an hour's drive from Cairns , North  Queensland , is Yuruga Nursery , started   30 years ago by Peter and Ann Radke ; Ann died from cancer in 2015 and the business came under new ownership .
Abra photographs.



Comedy/Horror, 72 minutes, not rated.
After their final day of High School, seven gorgeous girls hold a slumber party to celebrate their imminent  departure to college. That same night, on the dark side of town, a maniacal chef goes on a killing spree and soon turns up at their party. Can the girls’ gym coach come to the aid of the bikini-clad group? Unfortunately no. The movie moves on from  there. Quote: ‘Hilarity ensues as the blood bath begins.’

Viewers under 12 years of age who are willing to suspend their critical senses and their bladder urges may get a few minutes titillation from Bikini Blood Bath. Expect long sequences of bikini-clad girls dancing in someone’s house; be ready to wait a long time before you get a glimpse of an unclad mammary – but so many of you settled for this when the film was released that you encouraged the film makers to go on to not one but two sequels. In a U-tube review of these movies, the reviewer said (quote): “Fuck you for making this movie, and fuck you for making  two  sequels.” 

Comedy/Horror, 71 minutes, not rated.

Jenny is a freshman at Community College. She and her seven  gorgeous classmates  pay their tuition fees  by working at Miss Johnson's Bikini Carwash . During  an after work séance  they accidentally  resurrect the infamous Chef  Death . The Chef hunts  down the bikini  clad girls  at Miss Johnson's Year End Party and the side splitting  bloodbath  continues .

This script is more mature than the last. Environmentally-sound carwash detergent is used in recognition of today’s pollution issues.So, what is the appeal of B movies?  They’re fun to pick apart for clumsy script continuity, execrable acting, plot holes, blatant politically unsound material, unbelievably cheap effects, and so on. After a while some films become endearing because of their amateurishness.

Enduring a series of the utterly bad to find that one fantastic turd that has your ribs and jaw hurting by the end, and lends itself to repeat drunken viewings with friends is rewarding. Among thousands of crappy B-films, most of which are instantly forgettable or too painful to endure to the finish are the few rare gems; the point it, is it worth it?  I say yes! But beware anything made intentionally stupid and corny. Pretentious self-consciousness makes me puke.

Comedy/Horror, 71 minutes, not rated.
Jenny and Sharon return after being  twice stalked by Chef  Death  ( the second time by the same resurrected maniac ). While Miss  Johnson lies in a  coma , the girls are working for her cross-dressing  sister , Ms Johnson, at her Bong Shoppe . The Bong Shop  and  a strictly Christian Delicatessen are in fierce competition for Christmas  season customers . Once again  Jenny accidentally resurrects  the Killer Chef .

The bikini-clad girls put their fear aside and invite their rivals to a big holiday party. Mysteriously, guests at the party begin to disappear, leaving everything covered in blood. Who is the killer? Who will live? Who will be slaughtered? Whose bikini top will come off? Most important, who will win the epic eggnog wrestling match? 
The eggnog scene pays homage to the fertility/alcoholic/mud wrestling fantasies of most academics. The bikinis themselves refer to the superficial quality of existential debate  in American society. Get the idea? The ‘B’ Movies are beginning to subvert the glossy artificiality of Hollywood. Give them time. As an aid to selecting the latest and best in B-movies on sale in Cannes, check out this selection of current titles and  their  taglines;

-          BUNNYMAN: Pretty girls die young          

-          THE EVES: Are you ready to be delivered?

-          DEER CROSSING: Keeps your eyes on the road

-          PELT: You were warned!


-          DEDD BROTHERS: Four brothers and a little kidney

-          CRUEL WILL: Your inheritance awaits 

See  post  below

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Every year the gorgeous, facially-stubbled, overpaid, over-coiffed and self-obsessed in the International World of Filmmaking head for the town of Cannes on France’s Mediterranean coast. Amongst them are people who believe film can rightly be called art, and even some who can make a squillion from a movie with audience appeal.
This observer believes audience appeal is no longer the result of careful study and good story management but can be bought by special effects, comic book characters and  putting  minor celebrities  on screen (some described as ‘actors’).

 Many A-list movies use meagre dumbed-down comic book plots which previously would have been derided as suitable only for B-movies. Of course there are exceptions, you say–but even so, if yesterday’s B-movies have become today’s A-movies, what has happened to the drivel we used to avoid like the plague? The answer lies in the gargantuan global structure of film investment, production and marketing. Take a look at Cannes and you’ll see the whole thing in miniature.
Think of the Cannes Competition as an iceberg. The A-list movies and the film stars are window dressing on the tip of this iceberg. The vast bulk of the Cannes monolith lies underneath – literally on the lower ground floor - where the companies buy, sell and distribute the movies. 

 If anyone asks “show me the money”, tell them to look down here. Underneath the main competition building, the Palais des Festivals, (at its inaugural Festival in 1949 its roof blew off during a storm) is a seething termite’s nest of tiny low-ceilinged marketing booths representing hundreds of companies, some flying obscure national flags and flaunting so-called national film industries – booths populated by swarthy, sweating men of short stature who talk too fast gesticulating against a background of lurid posters.

They all have ‘product’ to sell - movies in every language known to the human race, mostly violent and bloody, others gloomy and repressed. For a moment you may think you are in a bustling slave market until you realise that this is where the D-grade now B-grade movies are on offer.It’s not all hard-nosed. There’s glamour, or rather dreams of glamour, down here with Dante. Writers, actors and directors struggle towards a big break; they are the traditional fuel which feeds this part of the industry. These people will work for peanuts and has-been TV actors queue up in the hope of reviving their careers. A very few titles like The Winged Serpent, The Evil Dead, and Polyester were successful in the 80s, but most died a death in the drive-ins (the drive-ins themselves died soon  after).
The growth of cable television helped support the low-budget film market. Many B movies quickly wound up as "filler" material for 24-hour cable channels or were made expressly for that purpose (Tarentino’s Grindhouse series is a high-budget tribute to those movies). The broadcast version of the midnight movie remains popular and low-budget horror also appears in Hotel TV menus worldwide. The video rental market became vital to B-film economics when producers who used the right model aimed to make a profit not from theatrical rentals but from the video store. Now DVDs are nearly dead (remember VHS & Betamax videotapes, 8-track audio and video casettes?) new technology now sees B-movies going direct to Netflix and others to be cabled or streamed digitally to viewers. A few ‘new releases’ might appear briefly in those theatres where the carpet sticks to the bottom of your shoes, so it’s better to watch B-movies at home.

Your correspondent is a film aficionado of exquisite taste and sensitivity. That is why in May 2015 he did not attend the Cannes Festival and did not view the three movies featured which will be featured  in  this report at a later  date,  if Little Darwin can get its  act  together , preferring to remain pure in his prejudices.  I have chosen a suite of three movies from Blood Bath Pictures, distributed by Osiris Entertainment of Unit 3, 9428 Eaton Avenue, Chatsworth, California.

NOTE : Dear reader , it is hoped to overcome the technical problems which annoyed  Burleigh , who is  soon to be  nominated for  an Academy Award  in  a reshoot  of the  African Queen , stranded on  a French canal, next to a  parking lot for grey nomads .   However, be warned  that  the   said Blood Bath  Pictures    contain  a  shocking  amount  of   nubile  flesh .


Vallis  photograph of  bougainvillea.


View of Westpac-formerly Bank of  New South Wales-Townsville  highlighted  by  sun .


Model of  an   early   settler's  homestead  built from slabs with  a bark roof   by  James  Rushby , at  Mudgee  , New South Wales.  The  model was made  by  his daughter  Charlotte  before 1857. Published in 1976, this  slim volume  contains the information that soon after the  First Fleet  arrived in 1788, a  visitor found  that  in  houses  of  individuals  could  be  found most of  the comforts  and  not  a  few  of  the  luxuries of  life .
Of particular interest  is a replica of the Sydney Cove Medallion produced by Josiah Wedgwood in 1789 , made  from clay  sent to England  from Sydney by Governor Arthur Phillip . The  figures represented  Hope addressing  Art, Labour and Peace  on the shores  of Sydney  Cove .   
Other illustrations  include   the  oldest  surviving  Australian made  piano  built by piano-forte maker  J. Benham , who arrived in Sydney in 1831  ; a  rose mahogany armchair , one of a pair ,  made   by convicts  John Webster  and William Temple ,  for   Governor  Macquarie,  with casuarina  inlays ,  upholstery in  kangaroo skin ; an astonishing  silver  cricket  trophy in the  form of  an epergne  depicting  a  cricket match  with  mounted emu eggs and etched  glass vases  by  W. Kerr , Sydney . -- (Ponsonby  Willis  special .)