24 June 2008

Installing EeeXubuntu on your Eee PC (Dikkii has a new toy part 2)

Once again, I start this post with a note of caution: If you're not a nerd, or an Asus Eee PC user, then don't read any further.

Also, this is Part 2.

Part 1 is here.

The question is how did I get things running relatively smoothly on the Eee PC?

The answer to this is, I really have no idea. I'll be honest, I really don't know the first thing about Linux, or much about computers generally at all. But I do remember most of the sequence that it took me to get all this right.

It all starts here.

EeeXubuntu has had three releases over a short period of time. The last one was in December 2007, but it should be noted that this shouldn't prevent you from having a reasonably useful experience.

And as we go through this, you'll see that it becomes less and less important that the initial install is based on Xubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). We'll walk through the upgrade to 8.04 (Hardy Heron) when we get to it.

For this operation, you will need the following:

1 blank CD-R
1 blank CD-RW - recommended
1 USB stick of 1 GB or bigger
1 ethernet connection to your router
1 Asus Eee PC 900 - no idea if this will work for any other model
1 Desktop with internet connection

Warning: I am not a technically-minded dude. Some of this could potentially fuck your shiny new Eee PC. Read the pages I refer to and decide for yourself before going ahead with this, as what worked for me may not necessarily work for you.

As best as I can remember, this is what I did:

1. Download your EeeXubuntu ISO and burn it to a CD-R

At the EeeUser.com wiki, there is a comprehensive guide to this. Release 3 appears to be OK, but it was back in December. Is there a Release 4 beta for the adventurous? I can't see it anywhere, but I used Release 3, and it appeared to work OK for me.

I used the torrent available through The Pirate Bay - it's fast.

Burning it to a CD-RW first will ensure that you don't create another coaster - but it's suggested that you copy it over to a CD-R to create a traditional boot CD.

2. Use your freshly burnt CD to create your USB installer

Apparently, it's simpler if you plug in an external CD drive into your Eee PC, but I did it the hard way.

Boot your desktop using the CD and run 'Start or install Xubuntu' at the main menu. Note that you're not installing Xubuntu to your desktop, merely running it. As long as you don't double click on the 'Install' icon when the Xubuntu desktop comes up, you'll be AOK.

Now connect your USB stick.

You'll need to run a terminal window in Xubuntu - Applications –> Accessories –> Terminal. Be very careful typing these commands in. The terminal is a powerful tool.

Now you'll need to key in the following command. Or cut and paste - if you use hotkeys, pasting into a terminal window requires Ctrl-Shift-V:

sudo /cdrom/mkusbinstall.sh --autodetect
Apparently, your USB stick will be autodetected, and the necessary files will be copied over. Wait until another prompt appears on the screen and then exit.

You can now power off your PC. The CD should eject automatically as you power down.

3. Install on to your Eee

Firstly, ensure that your wireless connection is enabled. It might be a good idea to power it up in Xandros or Windows first to check. Xubuntu apparently will not detect or install wireless if it is not enabled.

Plug your USB stick into the Eee, then power up holding down the Esc key while you do it. You'll then be prompted to select the USB stick from a boot selection menu.

When the Xubuntu menu appears, select 'live/eeepc'. It should be chocks away from here.

Follow the steps on this page to install. I installed with a swap partition, but this page will let you know the pros and cons of either.

Once the installation process is complete, reboot and you're away. The wireless should work out of the box, but tonnes of other stuff won't.

If the wireless doesn't work, it's not the end of the world. This page is full of heaps of stuff that will help you get your Eee up and running.

Before you follow the next steps, it's a good idea that you shut down and plug your ethernet cable into your Eee PC. Wireless will walk out the door at some point.

4. Run all updates

This is pretty important. But it does come with a caveat - be careful what you click on here.

Running the Update Manager through Applications –> System –> Update Manager will download a lot of stuff to update your system. It will also potentially disable your wireless and do a stack of other things.

You will get prompted in your Update Manager window to upgrade to Xubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron). Do not do this just yet. Shut down your system and hook up to your router via ethernet to be on the safe side. You may need to do this in order to get your wireless running again, and other stuff.

5. Upgrade to Xubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)

Apparently this causes problems for most, so much so that upgrading to Hardy is seldom recommended. It didn't cause any for me. But then again, when I found this page, it pretty much sorted everything out for me.

The Update Manager should already have a little button in there for you to click to upgrade. Do it. Once done, you'll need to reboot.

There's an optional step in here to enable your wifi - it should have stopped working at this point. If you want to do this now, scroll down to 6A, but steps 7 and 8 will cover this off.

This page here is 24 carat gold for fixing a whole range of stuff on the Eee after upgrading to 8.04. While it relates to a vanilla Ubuntu install, I found that it fixed most of the stuff that needed to be fixed.

6. Correct the shut down glitch

I did this straight away, although one of the following scripts in 7 and 8 might fix it. I don't know. I ran it anyway.

Open a terminal window (Applications –> Accessories –> Terminal) and type in the following:

sudo mousepad /etc/default/halt
Then, add this line to the end of the script:

rmmod snd-hda-intel
This should correct the issue. Something that may be important: When you update a script in Mousepad, ensure that there are a couple of blank lines at the end of the file. This apparently makes the script work better - no idea why.

6A. Enable wireless networking

This is an optional step, obtained from this page. I did it, because I wanted to sit on the sofa while I sorted out the rest, and also because I read it first. The two scripts coming up in 7 and 8 should negate the need to do this bit.

Open a terminal window (Applications –> Accessories –> Terminal) and type in the following:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential
wget 'http://snapshots.madwifi.org/special/madwifi-ng-r3366+ar5007.tar.gz'
tar zxvf madwifi-ng-r3366+ar5007.tar.gz
cd madwifi-ng-r3366+ar5007
make clean
sudo make install
sudo reboot
Some of the lines in these commands didn't work cleanly for me the first time. But they did if I used the magic word "sudo" at the start of the line.

Important: As it says on the page, an update to the kernel will cause you to lose your wifi, and you'll have to run this again. Probably a good idea to keep these commands handy.

Edit 13/07/2008: Anonymous has pointed out that you don't need the "sudo reboot" line at the end. Thanks Anon:

"Hey, just a quick FYI:
In step 6A, you don't need to sudo reboot, the same can be achieved by loading the driver into the ruing kernel with sudo modprobe ath_pci"

7. Run Ubuntueeetweak

At the wiki entry for an Ubuntu 8.04 installation page that I showed you before, there are two scripts that can be run to get most stuff up and running, including the problematic stuff such as sound, wifi, etc.

I ran both of them.

Download this file to your desktop: ubuntueeetweak.sh

Then, open a terminal and run this command, replacing "username" with your user name:

sudo sh /home/username/Desktop/ubuntueeetweak.sh
You will then need to reboot:

sudo reboot
You may need to run this script again in the future if you lose functionality - this normally happens after a kernel update.

8. Run RiceeeyTweak

I did this, although it may be optional.

Same as in 6, download this file to your desktop: RiceeeyTweak.sh

Then follow the same steps as running ubuntueeetweak except for the file name. This will do much the same as above, and install an overclocking facility. I doubt that I'll ever use that.

9. Fix the sound

You will not have sound just yet.

You will need to add a line to a file in Mousepad. In your terminal, run:

sudo mousepad /etc/modprobe.d/snd-hda-intel
Add this line to the file (but only for the Eee PC 90x):

options snd-hda-intel model=auto
For an Eee PC 70x, this line should be:

options snd-hda-intel model=3stack-dig
Then save and close. Then reboot.

You should finally check all these:
  • Right click on the task bar at the bottom of the screen.
  • Press “Add New Item”
  • Scroll down until you find the Volume Control applet and drag it to the panel next to the applications button. (Drag anything else you want down at this time too.)
  • Then right-click on the new Volume Control icon and go the “Properties”.
For “Device”, choose "#0: HDA Intel" (this should be the only one you can choose)
For “Wannabe Master”, choose “Front,0” (which is responsible for main sound output).
Leave the “xfce4-mixer” in the “when clicked” box alone. – that's what we're running.
  • If you click on the icon, it brings up the mixer where you can adjust front speaker and mic volume. Ensure that 'Headphone' is selected. If Headphone is not available, click on 'Show Switches' to reveal it.
  • If you click the volume meter to the right of the panel icon it will adjust the volume up and down.
Test this with something like a YouTube page.

I haven't tried out the webcam or the mic yet. It might be a little while, but that should get you going - remember, most of everything else that you need to run stuff on EeeXubuntu on your Eee PC 900 is available here. And if it's not there, then try here.

One of the things that I'd like to do is to try out plugging it into a separate monitor. Given the sheer portability of this thing, I like the idea of using it on trips away and plugging it into projectors in place of a regular laptop. I'll get around to doing that eventually.

What else?

  • It performs OK. It's presently underpowered, but the Atom processor in the Eee PC 901 and forthcoming Eee PC 1000 may fix this.
  • It boots up in 74 seconds. Apparently this should be under a minute, but the upgrading and updating will weigh it down. I think that under a minute and a half is OK - I'll need to look into fixing it if it takes longer than this.
  • It's portable. Ridiculously portable.
  • Wireless works after all this, but it's painful having to run scripts every time the kernel updates. This might be fixed in a future EeeXubuntu release.
  • I can't seem to get some of the windows to adjust to the desktop space, heightwise. Hopefully a fix is not too far away.

I might do another one in the future on my Eee PC down the track - I'm still very pleased with it to date.

23 June 2008

Dikkii has a new toy

I start this post with a note of caution: If you're not a nerd, or an Asus Eee PC user, then don't read any further.

Just so we're all in the clear, I'd like to put the following on the record:

1. I do not consider myself a nerd. Nor have I ever considered myself one, except where finance and economics are concerned.

2. I also do not consider myself an "early adopter" of any sort of bits and pieces that are technological, vaguely or otherwise.

3. Lastly, the thought of stuffing around with anything technological is weird and scary to me.

Having said all that, I am going to share my experiences with my new toy - the ASUS Eee PC 900, quite possibly one of the handiest pieces of technology around.

The Eee PC has been around since last year when it was originally developed as what appears to be a response to the one laptop per child initiative. Originally, the Eee PC 700 with it's 7" screen came out, followed by the Eee PC 701 with some enhancements, mainly in the colours available, as well as the drive - solid state, not hard disk, and up to 8 GB.

It was such a big hit with grown-ups that Asus had to raise the stakes a little.

Since then, the 9" screen (and 20 GB solid state drive) Eee PC 900 has some out, with the Eee PC 901 to follow (using Intel's new Atom processor, not the Celeron) as well as a 1000 model which has, yes you guessed it, a 10" screen.

Of course, it wasn't long before the competition came a calling. There has been others - notably the MSI Wind PC, the HP MiniNote 2133, the Everex Cloudbook just to name a few. I hear that Dell are getting into it, and given how the MacBook Air seems to have gone down like a lead balloon, it won't be long before Apple are in on the action as well.

Asus give you the option of Xandros Linux or Windows XP with the Eee PC, although with the new Atom processors and the fact that Microsoft are really trying to stop making XP, I wouldn't be surprised if the 901 and the 1000 offer Windows Vista as an option.

But back to me.

In late May, the Eee PC 900 still wasn't available in Australia. I found them interesting, and was going to investigate buying one. I had set aside June for buying a laptop. I didn't really care if it was underpowered - basic net surfing and the odd Word file was pretty much all I was after. And I really liked the whole portability angle - I can stick this into a laptop bag, and still have plenty of space for other stuff.

Unfortunately for me, this coincided with the infamous budget of May 2008, where federal Treasurer Wayne Swan closed every loophole in the book and stuck means testing on to everything where anyone could benefit. What this meant was that you could no longer salary package laptop computers and expect them to be Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exempt.

More fool me.

I was resigned to the fact that unless I could find a retailer willing to backdate an invoice to before 7.30 PM on Tuesday 13 May, I would be forced to buy my laptop the hard way. This could be hard to explain to an auditor from the tax office if I managed to do this for a PC that hadn't even been officially released in Australia yet at this point in time.

In the last week of May, I stuck in a lowball bid on one of these babies on Ebay, and was even more surprised when I won the sucker.

Yes folks, I picked up an Eee PC to be shipped from Hong Kong for about AUD $110 off recommended retail. Add in the AUD $50 for courier costs, and I had a bargain. Not only that but chances are that I would be getting mine before Asus even shipped their first Australian order for the 900.

(I notice now that Asus have dropped their price on the Eee PC 900 by about AUD $50 - I still got a bargain)

So I had a new Eee PC 900 running Xandros.

I wasn't at all happy with the way that Xandros makes your Eee look like a kiddies' toy. I did some browsing on teh interwebs and found that quite a lot of Eee users were putting different Linux distros on. Some were reporting great progress with different Linux distros, even running KDE, and a couple had even managed to get Windows Vista and OSX Leopard to run on their Eees.

But the one that seemed to be the best supported was a cut-down version of Xubuntu called EeeXubuntu.

Oh, OK. Not all of you will be familiar with Xubuntu. A couple of months ago, this blogger bought a new desktop and created a Linux partition running Ubuntu, which presently appears to be one of the best supported Linux distros available.

Ubuntu runs the GNOME desktop, but if you would prefer, it comes in other versions, such as Kubuntu, which runs the flashy KDE desktop, or Xubuntu which runs the fairly basic XFCE desktop. Which appears to be ideal for low-powered devices.

There are other supported Ubuntu derivatives.

I did some investigating, and while I can't actually find any concrete examples of anyone running the full version of Xubuntu on their Eee, I did find this site which caters extremely well for anyone wanting to run alternate Linux distros, and has a wealth of stuff for EeeXubuntu.

I had relatively positive experiences with Ubuntu, so I thought I'd give EeeXubuntu a go. It was relatively easy, although there are some things that need to be done in order to get your Eee PC operating effectively.

After I managed to get most things running OK, one of my old housemates suggested that I put this out there for potential users to enjoy, because I can pretty much say that things ran almost seamlessly for me. And these will be put into what I think is a decent order in Part 2.

Part 2 is here.

16 June 2008

Conspiracy Theory #3,478

I read recently that Velvet Revolver, featuring three ex-members of Guns n' Roses - Saul "Slash" Hudson, Michael Andrew "Duff" McKagen and Matt Sorum have recently sacked their singer and ex-Stone Temple Pilot, Scott Weiland.

Meanwhile, over in the Guns n' Roses camp, singer William Bruce Axl Rose, Jr is still labouring away on Chinese Democracy, potentially the longest-anticipated anti-climax in music history.

Is anyone else prepared to put 2 and 2 together to get 300 on this?

15 June 2008

Rock epic of the month: "Look To Your Orb For The Warning" (Monster Magnet) 1995

Rock epics of the month is a series of posts where I'll look back on classic examples of what I think is the greatest excess of rock and roll - the rock epic.

Stoner Rock. One of the silliest sub-genres in rock and roll. And yet, I loved it.

In the early nineties, this very, very small movement inspired some titanic work from a number of bands who have either been forgotten about or, in turn, been regarded as something approaching legendary. The best remembered example of this genre was probably Kyuss, but normally if you chat with stoner rock aficionados, it's not long before Monster Magnet get mentioned.

Stoner rock was a peculiar beast, coming as it did after the wave of grunge that broke in the early nineties. It was best described to me as being equal parts early Steppenwolf, Hawkwind and Black Sabbath rooted firmly in sixties psychedelia, but I could see where the grunge influence fitted in as well. Influential in the early years, indeed, were grunge bands like Mudhoney and the Screaming Trees, who themselves, were quite close to Kyuss.

Stoner rock peaked a bit later on with the work of Queens Of The Stone Age, which featured some ex-members of Kyuss, but it was clear that QOTSA's take on stoner rock was both cleaner and leaner than the glorious mess that it was in its earlier incarnation. Wolfmother, from Sydney, appear to have also found success milking a similar teat to Monster Magnet.

Monster Magnet were from Red Bank, a little town in New Jersey. Formed by Dave Wyndorf and a few friends in 1989, they had already released two extremely highly regarded LPs in the pantheon of stoner rock by the time they got around to recording this - Spine Of God and Superjudge.

Monster Magnet's approach was probably best exemplified by a quote of Wyndorf's that appeared on the inside of their first album:

"It's a Satanic Drug Thing, You Wouldn't Understand."

By the time that Monster Magnet got around to recording their third LP, Dopes To Infinity, they had already been through a plethora of lineup changes, mainly due to the difficulty which band members had in working with main songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Wyndorf who strikes this blogger as a bit of an egomaniac.

Nevertheless, Dopes To Infinity was a superb album, completing a trifecta of well received stoner rock longplayers. 'Negasonic Teenage Warhead' was a hit and Monster Magnet looked to be going places that other stoner rock outfits such as Kyuss or Tumbleweed weren't likely to ever head.

'Look To Your Orb For The Warning' wasn't the longest track from this album, but it was a veritable journey through Middle Earth for your average stoner. It starts with some light guitar and mellotron before ripping into a proper Sabbath-esque groove.

Wyndorf never sang about boring stuff, when he could have gone on about spaceships on your doorstep and the old man down by the river, which he does all the way through this.

Jon Kleiman's drums through this are a huge sound and the use of the one chord throughout the verses and the breaks are quite effective. The choruses, on the other hand, return to the simple guitar and mellotron of the intro, before returning to the Sabbathy guitar, bass and drums grooves and it's only towards the end that they break the single chord cycle which most of the riffing likes to exist in before exploding in a burst of multi-tracked guitar and mellotron towards the end.

Whatever did happen to Monster Magnet? Well, the last I heard, they had released an album last year, which had been previously postponed after Wyndorf had overdosed on some prescription medication. They're still around, but probably not in the form that people remember them for.

They never released a video to this tune, as it was never a single. But this is a machinima rendition of it with skeletons grooving away, complete with air guitar and goat's head salutes. You've just gotta love it.

09 June 2008

Denial. Or why people actually drink.

So I'm watching Four Corners and it's all about a topic that is quite big in Australia at the moment – teenage binge drinking.

And there was all this focus on reasons why people drink, but in reality, no one really wanted to say why people do. And I just don't get this, because in the fight to see if people will change their drinking (and, yes, drug taking) habits, no one, but no one is seeing the elephant in the middle of the room.

And I don't get this, because at the end of the day, I can tell you right now that the reason that most people drink heavily, or take drugs isn't what everyone tells me. It's not because of peer pressure, or depression, or school or work pressure. In fact, the more I read this, the more I get the impression that a complete denial of reality is in place.

Sure, these have an impact, and might be the cause in a minority of cases, but let's be honest here: Teenage piss-ups wouldn't occur if there wasn't a more fundamental reason for drinking. Orientation weeks at universities wouldn't be the all round bacchanalia that they are if people didn't have what is actually a very strong basic reason for heavy drinking or drug taking.

So what is it that stops the media, government departments, celebrity drug abusers and alcoholics from saying that the real reason they binged on drugs and alcohol is that it's purely and simply fun?

During the mid nineties, I went through a brief patch of going to rave parties with a mate of mine. It wasn't long before I realised that if you weren't off your tits at these, they were extremely boring. Unless you were really into the music. In which case, didn't it make more sense to not be taking drugs at these parties?

It did look for a long time during this period that suddenly someone was going to be honest and say exactly the reason why people went to these and got so incredibly munted. And I waited and waited and still no one came out and said, “I take e because it's fun.” And then the cult of the celebrity DJ unexpectedly fell over and rave parties either went back underground again, or became theme nights at clubs.

During this time, people still drank to excess, just like times past, and certainly like things will continue to be. Russell Crowe was busted for a couple of drunken incidents. But you know, during this period, if anyone could come out and say, “I drink heaps because it's fun,” it would have been Crowe. Instead, he didn't do it. He told interviewers not to ask him the hard questions, and curried favour with journos who might have viewed him in a more sympathetic light.

Sadly, Crowe was not going to be the pioneering celeb who was unrepentently hedonistic. Was he muzzled?

So what is it that prevents anyone from calling a spade a spade? Why can't anyone actually say publicly that they drink heavily because it's fun?

Here are some of the reasons that I came up with:

  • The merest hint that drinking or drug taking is “fun” might be seized upon by a core group of drinkers as an excuse to engage in this type of activity. Exactly who this core group is never specified, nor is the exact level of influence they might have upon fellow drinkers or drug takers.
  • Sports stars are prevented from admitting the fun part because it might be seen to go against the prevailing opinion that, just like the one that tells us that diets rich in anti-oxidants will prevent cancer, immunodeficiencies and global warming, sports stars must be seen to be god-like role models and therefore must criticise drinking and drug taking at all times.
  • Celebrities can't ever be seen to ever be supporting this sort of thing. Unlike sports stars, they can't rely on less subjective criteria of talent such as sports results. Therefore, if they're on the nose with the media, and by extension the general public, that's it for their careers.
  • Government departments. Really, they're just as subject to spin doctoring and propaganda as corporations. In fact, it was a government minister who refined modern use of “propaganda”.
  • Charities that deal with the unsavoury parts of drug and alcohol use. Quite a lot of them are wowser organisations. Let's look at the list: Salvation Army – Christian sect that explicitly supports teetotallism. Alcohol rehab centres – they usually only have a little bit of money so any extra drinkers are likely to make their existences tough. Alcoholics Anonymous – what do you expect from a group that likes to maintain that everyone is an alcoholic?
  • The media likes to target anyone with drug or alcohol problems. If society suddenly were to be a little more liberal minded towards drugs and alcohol the media might have to divert some of its resources towards things like, gasp, the news.

What would be really good would be if people could suddenly be honest about why they get stonkered. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen – it would wipe out an enormous industry.

And yeah, there are bad things that happen to people who over-imbibe. But none of this is really going to make a scrap of difference to your usual participant in a teenage piss-up. They know. So why not just be honest and acknowledge that this stuff is fun? Then maybe we might be on the way to finding a solution.

Of course, this might send out "the wrong message". Well we've tried the other messages. They're working fine, obviously.

06 June 2008

Mercy Ministries closes their Sunshine Coast operations

Well, I'm stunned that things moved so quickly on this.

Mercy Ministries have closed their Sunshine Coast operations.

On his blog, Sean the Blogonaut has been providing excellent coverage of this freaky cult and the weird-arse activities going on. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

Also, there is a campaign to get Gloria Jeans to sell coffee for a better cause. Worthwhile, I'm sure that you agree.

Maybe if enough people get involved, Mercy Ministries will be shut down entirely. Sean's X-Mercy Stories post is here.

02 June 2008

An open letter to artists everywhere

Oh man, this could be controversial. I risk being misunderstood, but, well, that's art for you.

Dear artists.

I've been reading avidly in the media about the Bill Henson affair, and realised that I don't like you very much.

Henson, I'm sure that you recall, may be charged with certain crimes for taking nude photos of young children and attempting to profit from them. Some people might call this porn, but Henson, and some of you, appear to think that because Henson did this as art, it's fully justified.

Personally, I'm staggered at the disingenuity of your assertion that Henson's photo's can be defended on the grounds of "art" or "culture", when you had a veritable arsenal of stuff that you could have used to defend this. Freedom of expression is one. Realism is another, given the fact that 13 year old girls are occasionally nude.

So strange as it may seem, you went and chose the one excuse that really shits me about art and artists, and the weakest and least defensible of the whole lot: Anything done in the name of "art" is apparently OK all round as far as you lot are concerned.

You are a pack of complete fucking idiots.

What's more, you are a fraudulent pack of complete fucking idiots. You're quite happy to defend Henson, because he seems to be well connected amongst the tortured artistic milieu. Yet for years, photographers in the porn trade have been ridiculed by you lot, mainly because they lack the airs and graces that define your artistic stereotype, which you only seem too keen to conform to.

And what's more, I'd say that there is someone busted for kiddie porn once every couple of months and sent to gaol in this state alone. When was the last time you defended their art? You disgusting hypocrites.

You defend Henson, because you contend that "art" was his intention. You complete bunch of nob ends.

It's quite possible that art was his intention. But so what? Society's laws and values, sadly in my opinion, aren't based upon intentions, with the exception of some. Like the ones in this case that mean that Henson probably will escape prosecution. Yet I don't see you campaigning to see other laws brought into line.

In France, a trader is awaiting charges based purely on the consequences, not the intentions of his actions. Where were you during this, eh? When did you speak out against his charges?

Thanks to you, we're now likely to get a barrage of kiddie porn thrown at us under the guise of "art". It doesn't take a genius to see that any porn photographer wanting to profit from exploiting nude kiddies will now just throw up a gallery somewhere and stick up their photos which might not only involve kiddies nude, but possibly "doing stuff" as well. Fuck you.

It goes further than that. I heard not long ago about people having their cameras confiscated on Australia's most famous beach, merely because they might have been photographing chicks in bikinis. I didn't hear a single one of you complain about this. Maybe if they'd uttered the word, "art" they would have been able to keep their cameras. You sanctimonious morons.

What, you don't like my "thin edge of the wedge" argument? Well, why the hell are some of you content to trot it out then? I watched the news tonight, and I saw some of you complaining about the potential for increased censorship across the board as a result of this.

Yet none of you complain about existing censorship regarding porn. For that is what Henson's art is.

I have to laugh, whenever I hear some of the lame excuses trotted out by you lot. So the children's parents consented. So what?

Ms Jones, I like your work. You paint nice. And your 15 year old daughter would be considered technically nubile in some cultures, but not here. So why are you defending Henson's work on the parental consent line? Didn't you tell me that you recently told your daughter to stop pleading with you to allow her to have sex with the young brickie next door who she's been flirting with outrageously? Why won't YOU provide consent? Because you can't legally?

Well then, Ms Jones. Why aren't you campaigning to have the laws changed so that you can? After all, you're happy to defend the parental consent line in Henson's case.

"But it's not sex," you say. So what, Ms Jones? You're still being inconsistent.

OK, so I made this scenario up. Let's call it "art" and that'll make it alright. I hate that. Why can't I just be an exaggerating idiot? Is there something wrong with calling something what it is? Why do Henson's nudie shots of 13 year old girls cease to be exactly that when they're called "art"?

Well fuck you, artists.

I hate the fact that you expect government grants and complain about businesses being provided with tax concessions.

I hate the fact that you hate intellectual property laws except where it's your copyright over your work.

I hate where you resort to defending bad taste, mistakes and half-baked concepts as "art", yet criticise fellow artists when they dare to do stuff that's entertaining.

I hate the fact that you sell your stuff in galleries for outrageous prices, yet criticise anyone deemed to have "sold out".

I hate the fact that you're so fluid with your definitions on what "selling out" actually involves.

I hate the way that you insist on being branded as "eccentric" and have the nerve to criticise anyone for pointless pigeonholing.

I hate the tortured artist thing with an absolute passion.

I hate public arts funding, and wish it would stop. I hate the way that our national broadcaster insists on foisting arts programmes on to the rest of us.

I hate the way that you believe that it's your right to profit from a hobby.

I hate most of your work.

I hate myself for liking quite a lot of your work.

I hate the fact that you're all so fucking hypocritical.

I hate the way that because I'm a musician and writer, this makes me one of you and therefore just as hypocritical as the rest of you.

And I hate the word "art". Seriously, it should be fucking well banned. The vast number of the rest of us do not want to hear you claiming that your latest unentertaining installation of questionable merit is good merely because it's "art".

Put jam on it and jam it up your arse.


PS: I'm not deliberately being ironic - I know that this technically qualifies as art. Fuck you.

Believe it or not, people wonder why I get so frustrated with the term "art". I don't think that this is going to make it any clearer.