Passion Drop

Sunday Life: September 2017

Okay, the last few weeks have been cold.

Very cold.

And that first day of spring on Friday was a complete let-down.

Springer 2017Nevertheless, spring is here now, and the weather will start to warm up. I don’t know about you, but I am glad to see the back of winter, especially this year’s flu season!

If you were prepared to venture outside, we did have a delicious chocolate festival. August also saw the 2018 Sydney program of Opera Australia landing in mailboxes, with quite a few gems in there.

For the more physically adventurous City2Surf offered fun, exercise, or both. This year more than 80,000 people took part, working their way from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach, 14 kilometres away.

If you are more artistically inclined, the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales opened for 2017, and will continue until 22 October. The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, was the first major prize for portraiture in Australian art, and almost a hundred years later it remains a favourite with the public.

And, if you are looking for something new, edgy, even downright weird, treat yourself to the Sydney Fringe Festival, throughout September.

Meanwhile, I am celebrating spring’s arrival with a sweet and tangy passionfruit treat …

Passion Drop

30ml Passoā Passionfruit liqueur*
20ml vodka
Method: Mix the ingredients, shake with ice, serve in a martini glass.
* Use Passoā Passionfruit liqueur for a naturally flavoured, delicious liquor.

While you are enjoying your Passion Drop, here are a few of my favourite tunes I am currently listening to …

‘No Horses’ by Garbage

Garbage is an American alternative rock band fronted by Shirley Manson. They have been around for over two decades, and have an impressive body of work.

They just released a new song titled ‘No Horses,’ a dark, political protest song which takes issue with where our world is headed if it remains on its current trajectory.

And there will be no apologies
And no more security
There will be no cops
Just men with guns
In their shiny black uniforms
And their big black boots
With their shiny black batons
And their sleek black cars
With their fingers on the trigger
With their fingers on the trigger
With their fingers on the trigger
And their skeleton keys

‘No Horses’ is the protest anthem we all deserve. In the video you will notice the unmistakable nod to The Handmaid’s Tale.

‘Perfect Places’ by Lorde

‘Perfect Places’ is Lorde’s second single after ‘Green Light‘ which made Sunday Life back in April.

I do find Lorde a fascinating artist, she has a knack for creating tantalising soundscapes and writing engaging lyrics. ‘Perfect Places’ is the perfect follow-up single. It has Lorde’s trademark moodiness but, be warned, the music video will make you want to take a holiday as it takes Lorde to seemingly countless picturesque locations in dramatically elaborate outfits.

To have some fun with her fans, Lorde also hid a few easter eggs in her latest video …

‘I Dare You’ by The xx

The xx are an adorable British indie band, formed in 2005 with the members having met each other at school.

Madley Croft and Oliver Sim are both gay, which gives their duets an unusual dimension. Some songs imply they are singing to each other, but in reality they are singing past each other.

I’m in love with it
I’m enraptured
From the inside I can feel that you want to
Way up high on it
Feel it suspending
I’m enamored
Way up in the sky I could see that you want to

The xx effortlessly blends indie pop, eletronica and a little rock in their music.

The video to ‘I Dare You,’ shot in LA, is delightful romp as cool young things wag school, and end up by the poolside enjoying the music of The xx. It features Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things and Ashton Sanders from the Oscar-winning Moonlight, with Paris Jackson also making an appearance.

‘The Dark Net’ by Jamie Bartlett

The Dark NetIf you prefer a literary journey with your Passion Drop, this month my choice is ‘The Dark Net‘ by Jamie Bartlett, although this is less literature and more a textbook meets investigative journalism meets modern reality.

Dark web
The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets, overlay networks which use the Internet but require specific software, configurations or authorization to access. The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by search engines.

Most people only ever heard of the dark web from news stories about drugs, such as the now infamous ‘Silk Road,’ and arrests.

This book will likely scare the living daylight out of most people (in case the Trump presidency hasn’t already done so), as it explores what lies beneath.

The dark web has become the home of radical social and political movements, fascist, Nazis, nationalists, and white supremacists, serious criminal activities from drug dealing to disturbing sexual crimes and fetishes, and the mentally unstable conspiracy theorists, psychopaths, and sociopath who retreat to the anonymity offered by this dark cesspool.

I can’t think of another instance where doing something so bad is so easy.

The dark web is the true hiding place of the worst of the internet trolls – it is the technological equivalent of the bridge from the famous Norwegian fairytale, Three Billy Goats Gruff.

While ‘The Dark Net’ offers disturbing case study after disturbing case study into the activities enabled by the un-indexed web, and highlights some of the dangers this lawless underbelly represents, the author also notes that ‘[f]or every destructive sub-culture I examined there are just as many that are positive, helpful and constructive.’ Unfortunately, the book does not focus on those examples, and will likely leave the reader feeling insecure, even a little dirty, and definitely in need of a stiff drink.

However, at the end of the day, the dark net is nothing more than a mirror held up to society. Admittedly, it is a very dark mirror, and we won’t like much of what we see, but ignoring it is not an option either.

Read more ‘Sunday Life

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