Oh, The Places You’ll Go At Burning Man

In the late 70's I participated in Confests in Australia (see Confest 79). The tradition of such alternate festivals has continued. Burning Man in the US is perhaps the leading example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahv_1IS7SiE

Fuck For Forest

I hadn't heard of Fuck for Forest. Very European (it originated in Norway and expanded to Berlin). And very much an extension of that continent's tradition of sexual radicalism; from the theories of Otto Gross and Wilhelm Reich in 30's Berlin, to the neo-Reichian flowering of the 60's and 70's. This is the new generation of the sex-positive counterculture. I've consistently made the point that the Anglophone reaction to nudity and sexuality seems unable to escape Puritanism. I just can't see the likes of people like Gail Dines or Melinda Tankard Reist having much currency outside the Anglosphere. Seems Europe [...]

The New Hippies: Angus And Julia Stone, Isabel Lucas

I had been meaning to write something about Angus and Julia Stone and now that they've just won Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year at APRA (something that Bliss from my novel WILD CHILD also does) it seems very opportune. Angus and Julia are good examples of young Australian musicians who have had a somewhat bohemian upbringing and who are bringing the hippie ethos to a new generation. It's not just the fashion. It's the nod to folk music, to keeping things simple and a commitment to good causes. I particularly like the clip for [...]

Stonefield – Again

These young women are great and they keep getting better... This is their new release, Black Water Rising. http://vimeo.com/23144849 This has so many resonances with my novel Wild Child its not funny - even the retro hippie look with the head bands and long flowing hair.

Wild Child: The Rivers Of Northern NSW

The protagonist in my novel Wild Child grows up on a commune in northern NSW. They have access to one of the many rivers and creeks that flow from the mountains. Here are some shots from the Hermetic blog that perfectly illustrate what it's really like and the kind of childhood many hippie kids from the region are lucky to have.

The Alternative Solutions: Architecture

It has been some 20 years since people have been able to build a stunning house that is entirely self-sufficient in both energy and water. By using techniques such as Permaculture you can also become partially self-sufficient in terms of food. One of the more impressive results of the alternative movement has been the application of the principles of sustainability to architecture. There are now a number of businesses specializing in sustainable building practices (see here) Back in the 70's the big thing was mud brick and adobe, but that is only one technique. Since then architects and builders have [...]

The Alternative Solutions: Permaculture

The heroine of my novel Wild Child is raised on a 'commune' in northern NSW. The commune was founded by university academics and students in 1974, just after the Aquarius Festival. With the right balance of utopian vision and hard work they succeed in building a successful alternative community. This is not fiction. As a result of the Aquarius Festival northern NSW is now an important cultural hub for the 'alternative' culture, with many successful alternative experiments and a viable 'alternative' economy. There are other alternative hubs in Australia, places where hard work and persistence has created a thriving alternative [...]