Friday, 25 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Paranormal Activity a low-budget, so-called psychological horror/thriller. It has been touted as the next Blair Witch Project. I was not expecting this to be great, but rave reviews had me believing that it would be scary – nightmare scary, or so I was told. The premise is a couple who start hearing things in their house late at night, so the boyfriend, Mika, buys a video camera to film the goings-on. His girlfriend, Kate, is really freaked out about the whole business, since apparently she heard these noises before in her previous house. The relationship between to two is fascinating to watch as it unfolds, as Kate becomes more and more disturbed by what is happening while Mika, who was unconvinced, becomes provocative. The strain on their relationship is equally compelling as they call in a psychic and employ measures to "communicate" (a failed Ouija board attempt entails), or at least figure it out. Many kudos to Mika - he's much more together than I would be in that situation, and is willing to source out the cause of any noise.
Having not seen Blair Witch (yet), I cannot compare. I was admittedly sceptical of the film’s potential, but was ready to be scared, having read the hype. While the downstairs frights are spooky, I wasn’t impressed, particularly when I’d been told this was a film that would give me nightmares. The premise behind the film, though – the idea that we might not be safe, even in our own beds – is quite powerful. However, the ending was quite disappointing, considering the film’s play on our imagination.
Due to my unappreciative family, I was forced to go to Where the Wild Things are by myself if I wanted to see it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I was curious as to how Dave Eggers would pad out this sparse, short children’s book which is largely illustration and imagination, but the back story was creative, touching and quite fitting. From the opening scene, which consists of little dialogue, in which Max builds an igloo of sorts and starts a snow fight with his sister’s friends just for someone to play with, it is clear Max is a lonely child who craves attention from his single, struggling mother. After a fight with his mother, he runs away. We can see from his handmade creations and blanket cave in his room examples of his vivid imagination. He crosses an ocean and discovers the Wild Things, who are glorious in their furry fury. Even on his imaginary island the Things are manifestations of his broken home; Carol, who becomes his closest friend, is just as needy and selfish as Max. The Things are in desperate need of a leader to unite them and crown Max their King. However, as Max soon realises, trying to please everyone pleases no one, and that family takes hard work. Despite repeated attempts to have fun, the Things seem dissatisfied. Carol and KW are the most dysfunctional of all the couples/relationships, and perhaps the most heart-breaking, for all Max's efforts to help them be together.
The Things are huge, wonderful creations. They seem quite large and overwhelming but really they’re just big and cuddly; the costumes are terrific. Not to mention the fabulous rough and tumble cinematography, which is only bested by the breath-taking scenary and sunsets.
I was, however, surprised by how dark and sometimes violent the film could be, considering it’s an adaptation of a children’s book. I'm not sure I'd be entirely comfortable with a kid under 10 seeing it. The ending is bittersweet, but Max finally realises what he has taken for granted.
The exclamation clearly expresses the somewhat playful nature of The Informant! Matt Damon is not himself; he becomes Mark Whitacre, the man who – in real life – became a whistleblower on his own company to the FBI whilst embezzling massive funds from the firm. Whitacre is a complex, confused character who Damon portrays in a very sympathetic light – it isn’t until the last third of the film in which his double-crossing begins to unravel, and then the lies come out. But at the end of it all, you feel sorry for Whitacre, who seemed to sincerely believe that even after all he’d done to the company, that the board would understand and make him president once his higher-ups had been arrested. The erratic, often unrelated voice-overs are quite funny, and give us something of an insight into Whitacre’s twisted, bi-polar thinking. It becomes apparent that Whitacre is somewhat deluded, mentally, and perhaps a little unstable, but never does he come across as evil, vindictive, coniving or greedy, and never does it cross he mind that he could be any of these things. His wife, Ginger, is incredibly supportive throughout all of this, and even in life stayed with him. This is a hugely enjoyable film in which Damon is in his element.
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
That first thing up there you can't read says "My personal strengths are...I'm independent." And yes, I'd just gotten a horse (I went through a horse-crazy phase) though I was never good enough to justify fancies of competing in the Olympics. I left "I learn best when..." blank. Apparently, "my social strengths are...I am conscientious and caring" and "my best skills are swimming, acting, [indiscernible. a prize if you can figure out what I wrote here]." Yes, I used to play cricket.
And I'm sure you've all noticed "something I believe in strongly is...God." Yes, I used to believe in God. My RE teacher in grade 6 was very devout. At that stage in my life, though I may have been opinionated, I had no firm beliefs about faith. I was religiously apathetic, as was most of my childhood - I don't remember ever going to church, except for weddings and school nativity - though my father has always been a fairly vocal atheist (who now calls him agnostic.) It's like Diana said - Christianity offered me a kind of security, the idea that something cared about me. I prayed a lot - mostly about little things, but also the more troubling things. I made a lot of deals with God about what I would do if he granted me this. I remember going to a discussion group in high school with a friend, where we would talk about each other and pray. I don't know at which point my faith started to unravel - sometime around year 9, I suppose, when I fancied myself as a bit of a Buddhist. I had my doubts - sometime not long after 9/11, I asked my mother how God could allow such evil to happen. She confessed (no pun intended) that this, too, was something she had struggled with in her faith. Thus ended one of the only conversations I have had with my mother about her religious beliefs. To this day, I don't know where she stands. I think she may be something of a lapsed Christian.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
A couple of weeks ago, whilst channel surfing on Austar late at night, in desperate search of something to watch, I came across Live Nude Girls,* which is definitely not what you’re thinking, despite the fact that it stars Kim Cattrall. It’s a movie, apparently about a bride-to-be on the night before her third marriage, having a girls night in with her girl friends. At the point when I started watching, they were having a candid conversation about masturbation, their fantasies, how long they’d be doing it, the fact that one of them didn’t do it at all, and a very interesting point came up. One of the women made the observation that you see young boys jacking off in films all the time over postcards and Playboy and being Peeping Toms, and yet you never see anything about girls doing the same thing.
So I know it stems from the fact that a woman’s sexuality has always been a source of shame in society since homo erectus but this is ridiculous. It’s the twenty-first century, for goodness sake, isn’t it time we got over these huge double standards?
I found out about masturbation by reading a book, in year 10. And no, it wasn’t the Karma Sutra. It was a historical romance (and a great book, btw) with some fairly detailed descriptions of a young girl’s discovery of love, sex and herself in Renaissance Florence (and how she sleeps with Michelangelo.)
Possibly because I’m not middle-aged and about to married, but I've never had such a bare-bones conversation with any of my girlfriends (about masturbation), even though I can talk to most of them about anything and everything, and have done in the past. But masturbation has only come up once in any of those conversations, and that was in passing. I’d really like to know if my friends do it too. We’ve talked about threesomes, our periods, kissing other girls; why should it be such a big deal? Why is this something we feel we have to write away to Agony Aunts about to ask if this is natural, these feelings, these urges? Why isn't this part of sex ed, of those conversations where women compare great sex, part of something that isn't the sealed section in Cosmo?
I’m not usually the kind of girl who brings this up, but this is outrageous. Why can’t we be proud of ourselves? Don’t we have the right to make ourselves happy too?
*omg, this blog is going to get so many more misdirected hits now...
Monday, 21 December 2009
"Question: What is the opposite of faith?
Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself is a kind of belief.
The human condition, but what of the angelic? Halfway between Allahgod and homosap, did they ever doubt? They did: challenging God's will one day they hid muttering beneath the Throne, daring to ask forbidden things: antiquestions. Is it right that. Could it not be argued. Freedom, the old antiquest. He calmed them down, naturally, employing management skills a la god. Flattered them: you will be the instruments of my will on earth, the salvationdamnation of man, all the usual etcetera. And hey presto, the end of protest, on with the haloes, back to work. Angels are easily pacified; turn them into instruments and they'll play your harpy tune. Human beings are tougher nuts, can doubt anything, even the evidence of their own eyes. Of behing-their-own-eyes. Of what, as they sink heavy-lidded, transpires behind closed peepers ... angels, they don't have much in the way of a will. To will is to disagree; not to submit; to dissent."
— Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)*
What I was getting towards in my last post was that the NSLF really made me think a lot about my so-called faith. And it made me wonder if I’m having a bit of an atheist’s crisis of faith.
No, I’m kidding. I’m not really having a crisis of faith. But I am struggling a bit with what I believe, or what I can conceive of (which reminds of me of TOK: can you believe something you can’t justify, or know something you can’t/don’t believe? Who thought I’d ever quote TOK again!)
I’m an Evolutionist. Darwinism seemed a solid foundation for my atheism. My basic biology schooling enables me to comprehend (at least in abstract) the randomness that led to the Big Bang (some accidental collision of molecules), and similarly the first organisms that lived on Earth when it was all gas and hostile.
But what boggles my mind is the very existence of humans. I can theoretically believe that we walked down from the trees when we were monkeys. So to speak. I understand survival of the fittest. But when I think about all that we’ve accomplished – roads, cars, factories, industry, computers, cities, planes – I wonder how it’s all possible. I mean, apart from due to our brains. I don’t mean that we’re superior to other species, we’re simply more advanced and complex in some key technological ways (probably to do with our hands.)
We live in one galaxy of goodness knows how many. And we happen to live on the one planet hospitable to our needs – water, oxygen, food. We’re the right distance from the sun that it’s more or less the right temperature we can live in.
This means I’m not closed to the idea of life on other planets – I mean, if we evolved, either because of our planet’s provisions or in spite of them, who’s to say other life forms can’t? But in the grand scheme of things – to imagine the whole universe is enough to blow my mind, but even compared to this galaxy – humans are less than infinitesimal.
But sometimes it doesn’t seem beyond grasp that we are just someone’s dream. The idea of time stretching out for infinity – the concept of infinity itself – is just stupefying to me.
*Ahem. Lest it should appear that I am much more intellectual than I seem, I have not actually read this. (Yet.) All credit to Sharan, who brought this quote to my attention on her blog. I love the idea of angels doubting. Reminds me of Supernatural. Shh, I have a little thing for the Holy Tax Accountant.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my closest (but unfortunately furthest away) friends, whom I count in my blessings to know and to trust.
Do you realise this is our 1.5 year anniversary?* I went back and found your very first email you sent me over the mid-year holidays, when you sweetly told me how much you missed my blog, and proposed the song-swap idea. Look at how far we've come! It didn't take long before the emails were about anything (and everything!) but music.
Thank you for always being there for me, despite the distance and the time and all the things that got in the way. I can't wait until the day we get to meet in person. Oh the fun we'll have!
Until then, take care. Happy birthday!! I know your friends will help you have a terrific time without me. And soon enough (although sadly not quite soon enough) there will be a little piece of me for you to enjoy!
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Over the September mid-semester break, I went to the National Student Leadership Forum on faith and values. I was nominated by my college principal (and most flattered to be). I’m not entirely sure how I convinced my father to let me go, being that the whole “faith and values” stipulation, not to mention the fact that it is based on the idea of “servant leadership,” inspired by Jesus Christ, no less, made it sound like a bit of a Christian camp sponsored by the government, but the subsidy from the college probably helped. In any case, I’m extremely grateful I went – it was an incredible experience, and most rewarding.
The Forum consisted of keynote speakers at every meal, a variety of graces from different religions, much discussion about what it means to be a leader, our personal values, time in Parliament listening to speeches by K Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull (leader of the Opposition) about their own faith, community service, a Bollywood bling-themed party (complete with dancers trying to teach us how to shake them hips) and small, tight-knit groups, with whom we did, shared and ruminated everything. I was skeptical, I’ll admit, of the so-called “bond” we’d form , but we had so much fun (our community service was a “random act of kindness,” so we washed people’s windscreens for free at a service station) and I’ve kept in touch with almost all of them since, which is fantastic. The whole experience was invigorating; it made me remember what I want to do with my life: help people. Three speeches stand out in my mind. Two of them were by businessmen-made-charitable entrepreneurs, who espoused that it is OK to make money, because money is necessary in order to implement widespread and meaningful change. The third was a man called Dave Andrews, who devoted his life to changing other people’s. He opened up his house to the mentally ill and homeless; he moved to
One of the things it has made me think about, then and now, is my faith. If you’ve followed me even for a little while, you probably know that I’m a “raging atheist” (as Pepito puts it, so nicely.) But when it came my turn to share my story in our small group discussions I realised something. Just because I’m an atheist, doesn’t mean I’ve of “no faith,” as is the PC phrase. It just means my faith isn’t in some higher being; it’s in humanity. I still don’t whether I believe people are inherently good – I want to, but I don’t know if I can* – but I believe in the ability of people to make good, and that good will overcome. Which stems from or feeds my optimism that all will work out in the end. I resent the implication that I don’t believe in anything. Why does faith have to be religious?
I was talking this over with my friend K last week, and she raised an interesting point about religion (she, too, is an atheist, not that it makes a difference.) We were talking about religion, and whether the hope it provides, and the attempts at providing a guideline for morality justify it (in all its prejudice and discrimination) and she raised the question about morality for morality’s sake. That is, shouldn’t people want to do good because it is the right thing to do? Not for the sake of some afterlife, or greater power?
I was watching something the other day and I can’t remember what it was – it might have been John Safron, or it might have been a movie – and someone said “religion starts wars,” to which someone replied “no it doesn’t, it’s just an excuse, it’s not the cause.” Or something like that, I’m paraphrasing.
*Do people have a redeeming feature? I remember skimming through The Glass House, a thoroughly depressing but very engaging memoir. The young girl who writes and narrates the story asks how her mother can believe all people have good in them. What about Hitler, she says. Well, the mother answers, Hitler was good to his dogs.
Monday, 9 November 2009
There are three possible options:
1) UTOPIAN/CLICHE FUTURE - "If the Future did a documentary of the last fifty years, this is how badly the reenactors would dress." Think Star Trek: TNG or the Time Travelers from Hob. Ever see how the society in Futurama sees the 20th century? Run with it. Your job is to dress with moderately anachronistic clothing and speak in slang from varying decades. Here are some good starters:
- Greet people by referring to things that don't yet exist or haven't existed for a long time. Example: "Have you penetrated the atmosphere lately?" "What spectrum will today's broadcast be in?" and "Your king must be a kindly soul!"
- Show extreme ignorance in operating regular technology. Pay phones should be a complete mystery (try placing the receiver in odd places). Chuckle knowingly at cell phones.
2) DYSTOPIAN FUTURE - This one offers a little more flexibility. It can be any kind of future from Terminator to Freejack. The important thing to remember is dress like a crazy person with armor. Black spray painted football pads, high tech visors, torn up trenchcoats and maybe even some dirt here or there. Remember, dystopian future travelers are very startled that they've gone back in time. Some starters:
- If you go the "prisoner who's escaped the future" try shaving your head and putting a barcode on the back of your neck. Then stagger around and stare at the sky, as if you've never seen it before.
- Walk up to random people and say "WHAT YEAR IS THIS?" and when they tell you, get quiet and then say "Then there's still time!" and run off.
- Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell "NOOOOOOOOO"
- Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.
- Take some trinket with you (it can be anything really), hand it to some stranger, along with a phone number and say "In thirty years dial this number. You'll know what to do after that." Then slip away.
3) THE PAST - This one is more for beginners. Basically dress in period clothing (preferably Victorian era) and stagger around amazed at everything. Since the culture's set in place already, you have more of a template to work off of. Some pointers:
- Airplanes are terrifying. Also, carry on conversations with televisions for a while.
- Discover and become obsessed with one trivial aspect of technology, like automatic grocery doors. Stay there for hours playing with it.
- Be generally terrified of people who are dressed immodestly compared to your era. Tattoos and shorts on women are especially scary.
And that's it. Remember, the only real rule is staying in character and try to fit in. Never directly admit you're a time traveler, and make really, really bad attempts at keeping a low profile. Naturally, the dystopian future has a little more leeway. And for the record, I've already tried out all of these in real life, in costume. It is so much fun you want to pee yourself.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Friday, 30 October 2009
JAG is writing a bucket list. Suggestions?
L: pat a turtle
JAG: wow that was fast - a 15 sec response time I believe! ;) may have already done that - we used to rescue baby turtles that fell into our ramp!
D: eat a turtle?
L: don't eat a turtle.
D: oh ok...pat then eat?
L: ahahahaha I think not XD unless you have?
L: no turtle eating!!
E: oh my gosh! i remember those turtles jag! awwww
B: Go drinking with me!
JAG: I like that one ^^ :) one of these days...!
O: do easters 2010
O: bungee jump
O: eat escargot
O: pat a tarantula
N: eat a tarantula
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Shrek has the answer: lay-ers!
Dress: Valley Girl, $30
Boots: Tulips, $25 (on sale)
Jacket: Valley Girl, $35 (half price!!)
Belt: Vintage (my mother's, once)
Tights: school, standard issue
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Anyway, I didn't see this while I was there, but some of my friends did, wrote a question and found the answer posted on his blog. I've been perusing it, and found some very interesting insights:
Finally, the question from a couple of the Dreamers:
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Having nothing to compare it to, I'm told Inglourious Basterds is pretty par for the Tarantino course; gory, twisted sense of humour, melodramatic. However, well aware of said reputation, I was surprised as how much I enjoyed this film in all its kitsch comedy (mind you, there were many scenes I couldn't watch for the grisly bits.)
The film shifts between thriller and, at times, something resembling the cinematic equivalent of a comic book. Tarantino certainly doesn't take no prisoners with his audience, either; from start to finish the film an assault on all the senses; bloody, brutal, no-holds-barred, all set to a hardcore, rock soundtrack which, more often than not, indicates someone's going to die. The dialogue is absolutely brilliant, witty, irreverent, which is probably why it wasn't just another savage war film.
The cinematography lingers on every glorious death throe and at times is so overly dramatised (moving between characters like a tennis match except with devastating consequences) you want to shakeTarantino and say "get on with it man!"
Christoph Waltz is unwavering and disturbingly convincing as the SS Colonel Hans Landa nicknamed the "Jew Hunter" for his so-called ability to think like Jews, who well deserves the Best Actor Award he received at Cannes this year. Brad Pitt's exaggerated-beyond-belief American accents ("we're in the Nat-zi killing business") is a constant source of cringing but also amusement.
It's probably true that the film is way too long, being that's it's about 2 hr 45 min. There's lots of scenary and unnecessary dialogue that could be cut, being as a lot of it's conveyed by the subtle character interaction. An example of this - and one of my favourite scenes - is when Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent, who is fantastic as a Jew who got away, living under cover in Germany) is taken out for lunch by the SS and runs into Col Landa - the man who came after her family as a child. The tension is not only palpable, but fearful. Diane Kruger plays the femme fatale as Bridget von Hammersmark, a double agent German actress.
Although the film "provides a fascinating alternate history to aspects of the war in Europe," jdl raised an interesting point about whether the film is a disservice to the Jewish memory. It struck me throughout the film that what the Basterds were doing to the Nat-zis is on the same cruelty level as what they were doing to the Jews. Doesn't that make the Jews - or these Jews, in particular - as bad as the Nat-zis? Just look at the way barbarism is glorified in the above advertisements. Sure, we want to see them fight back, and we're cheering for them to blow up Hitler, but does that make them any more justified? The film is satirical to the point of being silly, but is Tarantino really empowering the Jews through this film or dehumanising them? There's Jewish heroism, and then there's the Basterds, who may not be a kind memory to Jewish suffering, which leads to another point: should the Holocaust genre be treated more sensitively by Hollywood? Or is nothing sacred to the cinematic money-making machine?
In other news: ZOMG IRON MAN 2!!!
Source: IMDB of course!
"President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee countered that it was trying "to promote what he stands for and the positive processes that have started now.""
Not that it's not amazing, but it is justified? Is it too early in his career? Is it bang out of order? Consider Obama is the second sitting President to receive such a prize since Woodrow Wilson, who, it might be pointed out, brought WW1 to an end, wrote the 14 Points for peace and helped shape the Treaty of Versailles. Though Obama is a beacon of hope - and the importance of this globally should not be underestimated - and has begun many admirable and forward-thinking policies and initiatives (see Climate Change and International Relations) - he has achieved very little of note yet. Yet. But is the Nobel supposed to be in recognition of his potential or his past?
Should he accept it?
Friday, 9 October 2009
Thursday, 1 October 2009
I sometimes wonder – more so since the National Student Leadership Forum – whether (my) optimism is a luxury I can afford because my life is good. Everything does work out in the end, more or less, for better or worse. Would I still feel the same if I were an orphan, if I were starving, if I were homeless?
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
The best thing is, I'm not even making this up!
A project of the national continence management strategy (I didn't even know we had one!)
Suggest a toilet.
Plan your trip around your pit stops.
Or just browse (find the best place to park your, well, you know!)!
On the run (got the runs?) and need to know where the nearest convenience is? You can access the NPTM on your phone!
Really, how thoughtful of our government. I want to know who's being paid the big bucks to come up with this stuff (and where do I sign up?! Sounds like easy money!)
How did I find out about this ultra-useful site? Not whilst browsing for toilet destinations, that's for sure. There were bookmarks. At my local library. And it amused me so much I took one and it now marks my place in Paullina Simons's The Bridge to Holy Cross.
Speaking of my local library...it's just moved from the old courthouse to a newer building that got scrubbed up on main st, right next to the Council. It's a lovely new building - all light, airy, clean and shiny with loads of space, something the courthouse never had, with all those books crammed on shelves lining the walls - but it's not the same. The courthouse had character, and that's something every library should have. It had beanbags, and there were no qualms about lying around on the floor, just reading. Plus it was a charming building. Sure, it was a little bit on the not-quite-big-enough side, but a small price to pay for atmosphere and comfort. I'm a little bit sad, but it is quite an attraction now. Walking in there the other day though (it was the first time I've been able to see since it was opened in the middle of the year) I was the only person there, apart from the librarian. And it felt very - well, awkward. You could hear the lights buzzing and you were very aware of your own presence. Hopefully it will grow into the building, with time, but for now it's just a memory of its former self.
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Harry Taylor was grade fucking A on Riewoldt - he was bloody brilliant! Kept Riewoldt out of the game. Chapman was his usual excellence, earning him a well-deserved Norm Smith (medal.) Rooke stood up above his usual class, and even Tommohawk shone (for once.) Young 'un Travis Varcoe took a while to find his feet (not to mention his fellow players!) and probably should have been replaced by Matthew Stokes, who was incredible the '07 grand final.
What an absolute nailbiter. It's about as close as it gets for a Grand Final, notwithstanding the Sydney and West Coast games of recent years. Down to the wire. Geelong looked shaky for a while, but like that epic game against Hawthorn, where they won by 1 point with a kick after the siren.
For all their greatness, though, Geelong did get lucky - St Kilda's failure to convert with all their set shots, free kicks and running into goal meant the Cats stayed close. But it was Geelong's rise to the challenge in the final quarter that proved them as the greatest team of all.
I really wanted to find footage of coach Bomber Thompson after the siren goes and he realises they've won. It's classic for a man who is usually so reserved - he looks like a kid locked in a candy store, he's so thrilled.
And guess what: another one of these has come out! But if you don't follow AFL you probably won't get it...
Speaking of Fevola...did anyone see footage of him, aired on various footy shows this week, at the Brownlow Monday before last? He was positively shit-faced and armed with a mike - a dangerous combination, with yet-to-be-seen, undubitibly lethal consequences. Pretty funny though. I really wanna see the stuff they wouldn't show on the Thursday night Grand Final edition of the Footy Show!
TDL has got to be one of the funniest movies I’ve watched in a while. It’s witty, it’s heart-warming, it’s refreshing. Not to mention it reinspired my fervent desire to visit India at some stage in the near future.
This was also kindled by a recent Bollywood party I went to, complete with professional dancers who tried to teach us uncoordinated Westerners how to shake it, Indian style. India has such a bright, vibrant, rich, amazing culture; the very definition of exotic.
Think of the dancing, the saris, the wedding ceremonies, the singing, the languages (not to mention the religions), the FOOD! Then think of what Australia is. Vast desert plains, sure, and the Aboriginal Dreaming (which in and of itself is inspiring) but we’re culturally bland. What’s our national food? The meat pie. The lamington, maybe. Vegimite. VB. We certainly don’t got any “moves,” except a bit of a sideways shuffle, and our national uniform is hardly anything to be proud of: thongs, a wife beater and board shorts. Our natural icons are amazing, sure – Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, to name a few – but people-wise, we’ve got no Gandhis. We've got Ned bloody Kelly, for goodness sakes (who I should really rag on, because he is my area's one claim to fame) - a bushranger! Why are we so proud of him?!
Maybe it’s because we’ve got no history, we’re just a convict offshoot of Britain.
Or maybe because we’re a bit of everything, a combination of cultures, we’re no one thing.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Youth Decide '09 is a national youth vote on climate change.The more greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere the worse climate change will get.
This December countries will agree on a global limit on greenhouse gases at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Countries will each set targets for how much they will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020. Australia will have to decide our target as well.
The targets that are chosen will determine the kind of world we will inherit.
Australia's young people (4.8 million between the age of 12 and 29) can be a voice for their generation: both here in Australia and for those poor countries and communities around the world who will be most affected by climate change.
I'm voting online and I'm going to the concert on Wednesday in Fed Square (Cat Empire!!!) but I'm voting for 25-40%. Because although we'd love to avoid many of the consequences likely to result from 10-40% of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we've got to be realistic about this. Countries like Germany are well on their way to acheiving 40% by 2020; Australia is not, even below 1990 levels. If we can stablise emissions somewhere around 450 ppm - current levels around approx 385 ppm - hopefully we can avoid more than 2 degrees of global warming, because anything above this is thought to have particularly dangerous implications for the percentage of threatened species/rates of extinction, ability for ecosystems to adapt, increase in extreme weather events and changes in rainfall patterns, not to mention sea levels rising.
Monday, 14 September 2009
My heart really goes out to her after she was left standing on the stage at the VMAs, holding her award for BEST FEMALE VIDEO for song You Belong With Me when Kanye West crashed the stage, grabbed the mike and proceeded to say Beyonce deserved the award.
The sweetest thing is the look of utter surprise on her face when it is announced that she won, and when she explains how she's always dreamt of this moment: "I always wondered what it would be like to maybe win one of these someday, but never actually thought it would happen."
But West ruined her moment when he jumped on stage at Radio City Music Hall.
"Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," he said, as a shocked Beyonce looked on and the crowd began to boo West.
Fortunately the night was not over for Swift, who was due to perform after she received the award, but was too crestfallen. Later, Beyonce, ever gracious, sacrificed her own time upon winning Video of the Year to let Taylor finish her speech.
There's a lot of speculation about whether this is a VMA stunt, but I don't think so, because it's very unsportsmanlike and in very bad taste. This is not like Bruno. This is Kanye being rude and uncharitable.
Anyway, T Swift's vid totally deserved to win, it's cute and funny and sincere and utterly charming.
Enjoy (and drool) all over again:
Here she is looking gorgeous, advertising for the VMAs:
I can't believe she's only 19. My age. She's incredible! And so grounded. What an inspiration.