bilateral kellerberrin

May 10, 2005

Kellerberrin Tuesday 10 May 2005

Filed under: keller dailies — Lucas @ 12:14 pm

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I think I’m getting “screen fatigue.” Does such a thing exist? Who would want to be a graphic designer / web designer / data entry clerk ? Every day facing the same flickering frame, this universal tool which enables everything we do and then traps us into a heavily dependent relationship. I’m with them Plymouth Brethren down in Cunderdin: no computers, no phones, no faxes. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll give up. Return to a simpler life. But I’ve just gotta send off this one email first…

Of course, writing this blog each day is not a strain at all. In fact, it’s a pleasure to sit and think about yesterday. To give yesterday one last chance to live again before it disappears forever.

And so…

I had to wake up early to submit my pages to the Pipeline, as it was deadline day. This time I pushed it, and produced two pages filled with writing. Donna Mak, the Medical Students’ Supervisor, had told me (through a comment on this blog) that Pallas and Jan were going to be writing a report for the Pipeline about their experience here a few weeks ago. She suggested that I might like to make a report about my experience of their experience. In fact, why not include my thoughts on the anthropologists who were here to do a survey on the med students’ visit… So I did just that. I submitted my (largely unedited) blog entry from April 30, as well as Donna’s suggestion itself.

I arrived at the Pipeline office fairly early this time, so there was no problem with squeezing in my pages. The Pipeline crew was completely different this time – I didn’t recognise anyone. For some reason I felt nervous. Umm, I stammered, talking to the first lady I saw, I’ve got some pages, I’m an artist from the art space… Oh, she, replied – you should talk to Eva, she’s the editor. Eva accepted the pages without even scanning their contents. She just wanted to make sure that the margins were wide enough so that the binding staple wouldn’t obscure the text.

And that is the beauty of the Pipeline. Freedom of the Press. You write something, you type it up, you do the layout, you hand it in, you help with compiling and stapling, and you take responsibility for the effects of your writing in the world. Unlike Bob Skinner’s Bandicoot Express from neighboring Cunderdin (which admittedly is a handsome and tidy volume), there is no overarching editorial or design policy, which makes the Pipeline an anarchic and living newsletter.

I first saw the Pipeline when I visited Keller in January to help hang Husein’s pictures. It reminded me of a Fluxus publication, or one of the artist/poet compilations produced by the Sydney Poets Union in the 1970s, where every page has been assembled and designed by a different person. For one thing, it’s fresh to look at.

But even more importantly, this model is very low maintenance. Deadline is 10am Monday morning. Whatever is handed in by this time makes the cut. 360 copies of every page are made. At 2pm, half a dozen volunteers arrive and form an assembly line to compile and staple the pages. By 3pm, the Pipeline hits the streets – boxfuls are delivered to the Tea Rooms, Newsagency, Hospital, etc etc. And that’s it til next time.

Yesterday, I didn’t have as much fun on the assembly line as a fortnight ago. Probably it was because I arrived a touch late and it was already in progress. Also, I think a lot hinges of the combination of individuals making up the team. This team weren’t gossiping and laughing as much as the other one. Perhaps they had other places to be and wanted to get through it ASAP. I met a nice lady called Bet, and Frank was there too, operating the staple gun. Frank is a Telecentre regular, I’d seen him there a few weeks ago putting together the Kellerberrin local phone directory.

I did my Pipeline drop-off at the Tea Rooms. Joe complained that it was a “bit late today” but made up for it by observing that the newsletters were “still hot.” Then I went in search of Pat.

* * * * *

Pat had invited me to join the ladies up at the pavilion for craft group. That way, I could learn a bit of knitting in order to get going on this silly project of “making a vest for the pipe”. To tell the truth, I can’t see it happening while I’m here. That’s a lot of knitting, and I’ll be lucky to just get the hang of it, let alone make something large. Anne was super-keen on getting it done, but she’s not going to make it out here again from Perth til the end of May. So it looks doubtful.

But not being able to finish is no reason to avoid starting, right?

However, I got lost. I don’t know how, since the pavilion is located at the sports ground, which is just about the biggest piece of real estate in the town. I was riding around in circles and then I realised that I was probably late for the craft group so decided to let it go.

Instead, I started looking for the school. I bumped into Kathleen (I think that’s her name) trundling her trolley towards the co-op. This is how I always bump into Kathleen. She’s a sweet lady with a penchant for pink stripes, and she’s always pushing her trolley.

(Kathleen is not to be mistaken for the other Kellerberrin lady-with-the-trolley, the old old one who plays a mean accordion (what is her name?) – someone told me that her trolley/pram is full of clothes, and she simply parks it and sleeps at one of her many daughters’ houses each night).

Kathleen and I always stop and have a brief chat about the weather and shopping and such things. Nothing of great consequence. Sometimes she reminisces about the changes that she’s seen in the town. She sent me off in the right direction for the school.

I found Steve, the principal, and I asked him if it’d be ok for me to borrow one of those circle-clicker distance measuring things. You know the kind? A wheel with a one metre circumference on the end of a stick. You run it along the ground and it makes a click each time it rotates. Sure, he said, let’s go find one. We found Felicia, a teacher whose class has been using them to practice calculating the area of a rectangle.

Felicia and Steve asked me why I wanted to borrow one.

“Well…” I said. “I wanted to knit a vest for the pipe. Pat and Di gave me all these nice balls of wool, and a rudimentary knitting lesson. I think the vest is not going to happen any time soon, but the balls themselves are pretty nice. I laid them out on the living room floor and they looked like planets. So I thought I might do a walk along the highway, starting with a big ball for the sun, and moving further and further away, laying a ball of wool on the side of the road for each planet. The circle-clicker thing will help maintain accuracy within my solar system “scale-model.” It’s an exercise we did when I was in year 4 in Port Hedland. I think it was designed to give us kids a concept of the vastness of outer space.”

Felicia said it was fine for me to borrow a “circle-clicker” any day after 10.30am. They have maths class until then each morning.

4 Responses to “Kellerberrin Tuesday 10 May 2005”

  1. Pauline Scott Says:

    Not sure of the proceedure here, Mail…..Website….like a foreign language. Anyway I’ll see if you get this. The Old old lady pushing the pram is Hazel Winmar and the teacher at school is Valecia (get it right mate!!)JOKING. sHAME ABOUT THE PIPELINE NOT BEING SO MUCH FUN, SHAME ABOUT MY TYPING SKILLS – press the right button, makes for accuracy. Came looking for you on Sunday afternoon to see if you were up to pushing branches into the mulcher, to assist a couple of OLD people and earn yourself some cash on Monday, but alas you I could not find. Anyway we worked our back ends off and have the scratches to show. Won’t waste any more of your time, as I have not idea where this goes or even if I have the ability to send it anywhere. Not much point in doing any more if it’s not ever going to arrive – is it!!!!!

  2. eva Says:

    Sorry you got all in a dither on Monday morning- we at the Pipeline are very passionate about what we do and don’t mean to intimidate you. We have approx 22 volunteers on roster which is great. As for editing anything- well- be can get a bit picky about some things but on the whole we know that as a rule people only want to put positive thing in. Anyway I must have read your article at some stage or I would not have known about your “Blob”!! or what ever you call it. Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in our village and all the best

  3. Lucas Says:

    thanks eva, no worries about the intimidation thing, (sometimes there is a bit of … “poetic licence” in my writing). i guess i was just surprised to discover a whole new batch of volunteers – some of the groups i work with would KILL for 22 active volunteers!!
    i think you guys do a fantastic job.

    part of the attraction to the pipeline for me is the “look” and also “mode of production” (very low tech) – which are similar to many do-it-youself artists’ publications in which I have been involved in Sydney. We call them “zines” which i guess is short for “magazines”. The Pipeline is Keller’s premier zine, for sure…

    Also, Pauline and Eva – congratulations! you are the first Kellerberrin residents to make comments on this “blob”! I was beginning to think nobody used the internet here!

  4. Joy Conn Says:

    hi lucus,
    i was born in kellerberrin. Most there would have know me as ‘Joy Lawrence’. i would dearly love a copy of that phone directory u mentioned . would be nice to catch up with old friends .

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