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Born in 1966 to two medical doctors, James Keaney (1932-2005) and Margaret (nee) O'Flynn (1939-2009), I breathed my first in Derby, Derbyshire, UK. As the names of my parent suggest, I am from Irish stock, and on Dad's side Gaelic was the first language until relatively recently. One of the reasons I play around with the spelling of my patronym is because there is no standard translation of it from Gaelic. After quite some time I was to have 5 younger sisters and brothers; there is a bit of a gap between me and the others. 

By the beginning of 1974 the growing family moved into a house  on a peninsula of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, Australia. There we stayed until the end of 1992/early 1993. In that time I went through Catholic school and become interested in philosophy, which I studied at the Australian National University. Gradually, over this time also, I lost the Catholic faith with which I was raised. From about 1985 I got involved with the punk movement. In 1993 under the influence of Ant Hayes at the ANU Bar I became a socialist. Today I would call myself a revolutionist. For me this involves placing the means of production at the service of everyone's creative and intellectual life projects.

My own intellectual influences are mainly Hegel and Marx. Also those who have most taken them to heart, for instance the artistic avant-garde. The work of the best analytic philosophers, especially the analytic feminists, attracts my continual admiration. The horror science fiction writer H.P.Lovecraft is also a big influence on me. 

In late 1991 I co-founded the terrorist art group Aktion Surreal. In 1999 I co-founded a similar group, Sub Rosa, in Sydney. In 2007 I was heavily involved in the Audiopollen Social Club in Brisbane. These DIY groups were all in their own ways subversive, creative and heaps of fun. Throughout this time I did a lot of DIY stuff including zines, poetry, fashion and low-fi music such as with my band Gerald Keaney and the Gerald Keaneys. In 2007 I finished my PhD at the University of Queensland Philosophy Department on persistence through time.  (Sorry I used the word "Department" instead of "school" or "disciplinary specialty" yadda management yadda.) Immediately thereafter, living by Brisbane River, I concentrated more on professional writing, publishing articles on logic, urban design, DIY and the legality of pornography.

Writing this in late 2013, I feel drawn back into the DIY ambit. Academia can perhaps be forgiven for letting me down, but it hasn't even stood up for itself. It has shrunk and regressed rather than helped create a more thoughtful society. Elite intellectuals often sanctimoniously pose as guardians of cultural achievement. Even setting their elitist sanctimony aside - fine guardians they have proved to be! Culture is a resource to be used, it is not an increasingly peripheral product of the past, a career ladder or a corpse to be preserved or commericalised.

Luckily for the world I'm an old hand at blogs, zines and, as you by now probably realise, rants. It is my position that since the rebellions of the 1960s first made ground, opposition to exploitation has been less effective because it is not based on reasoned convincing discussion and logical argument. We could do with some more street philosophers. A new chapter awaits...


Gerald Keaney