keep walking

I’ve been looking for a new place to live. My geographical range is from the Inner-West of Sydney to the Parramatta region. I work just east of Parramatta at the moment in a suburb called Silverwater. I contemplated moving out there in a hope to pay reduced rent for better digs. Unfortunately the murder of two women traffiked in from China living (and dying) in an apartment complex I was looking at has somewhat stifled that idea. I don’t really want to live somwhere that has tenants that do not notice two people have had their throats brutally slit in the room next door. Other people had warned me about the violence of the area. Plus there didn’t seem to be too many coffee shops about the place.

So I’ve been looking around the Inner West more. It is kind of fun driving around looking at places. I seem to have conversations with people that extend on to two or three properties as there is normally a substantial cohort of punters (any number from 8 to 20) all looking for places in the same area for the same money. Plus some of the places are fun, too. The funnest by far has been a single bedroom place in Leichhardt in the middle of Norton Street that has the bathroom outside and down some stairs; not just an ‘outhouse’, because the shower is there, too. The place is absolutely tiny, I couldn’t fit all my books and magazines in there. Plus it is at the rear of a building and the side accessway has so little width that I literally have to turn my shoulders sideways at some points. Luckily, I have very little furniture anymore so if I go for that place I’ll be able to stock up on Ikea flat-packed.

I am attracted to the idea of renting a place like this purely for the absurdity and adventure involved. Everytime someone came to visit they would be like “What the fuck?” It is better than renting some tired looking place with no character that has an ambience akin to a broken ghost house funpark ride built on a forgotten buriel ground and would make a psychic commit suicide just by browsing the entry for the property online. Most places are complete shite. Indeed, one place in Newtown would’ve have been wicked for the set of a horror movie involving drug-addict university dropouts as I reckon that is the only sort of tenants the vendor is going to find.

It is always the same situation when looking for a place. There is roughly a two week window and you need to find the best place possible in those two weeks. Out of the 8 properties I looked at today, I have one absurd and one sensible place (in Camperdown) to apply for. I have only next weekend to find a place, as I need to move out the following weekend. I think I may have to go for the absurd place just to affirm something different.

Guattari: The Symptom?

Joeseph has a cool post on Guattari over at Fractal Ontology. I like this bit:

The strange power of Guattari’s writings is such that his works are less collections than whirlwinds, less toolboxes than roaring vortexes one is apt to be drawn violently towards: to study Guattari is neither a coincidence nor an accident (for an English academic) but rather a symptom, even a political symptom. Perhaps simply an indication of the self-destructive desire inherent to global capitalism in which the dissemination of essentially “anti-capitalist” literature is not simply allowed but in fact widely promoted — the faint glimmer of global Renaissance.

Theory as symptom of capitalism’s self destruction? I like it…

the wrestler: the problematic of two lives

Just saw The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke. For those who haven’t seen it, stop reading.

It sets up a problematic of living two lives. For Rourke’s character, Randy ‘The Ram’, this is in and out of the ring. In the ring he is a much loved and respected pro-wrestler. Out of the ring is where he really struggles. Throughout the film you see him put his body through hell, and you get an insight into how US culture spawned Jackass as an iteration of pro-wrestling as the spectacle of (real?) human suffering. When I mean ‘real’ I mean the older wrestlers’ bodies are broken (old vs new, present vs memory), not because of the ‘wrestling’ moves, but because of the non-ring action of a match — the chairs, the 2×4’s, the staple guns… His real suffering is on the outside where he can’t ‘act’ and it largely exceeds his capacity to cope.

The relationship with the female lead, Marisa Tomei, who plays a stripper is somewhat undeveloped. She is the stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold. Randy’s affability serves as the crack that forms across her two lives (stripping vs mother/relationship potential).

Knight Rider style turbo boost for F1?

Green Car Congress has a post about the recent redesign of Formular One automotive racing technologies. No all teams will be allowed to incorporate some sort of battery mechanism for storing energy (accumulated through regenerative braking and the like). There is a debate about mechanical (like a flywheel) versus chemical (like normal consumer batteries) energy storage.

What I think is interesting is the possibility of a ‘turbo boost’ function not unlike the ‘turbo boost’ of KITT in Knight Rider. A normal turbocharger system has a turbine compressor driven by the spent exhaust gasses that compresses the air into each cylinder (or space in a rotor housing) so it is above atmospheric pressure, thus allowing for more fuel to be injected into each cylinder, too. The sort of battery-based systems F1 are allowing to be introduced use some sort of external system that would add up to an extra 60kw at the push of a button. This is a lot of power compared to consumer road-going vehicles.