Saturday, January 29, 2005

The other day was the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This is the well-known sign over the gate of the camp. Rough translation: work will make you free. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Radio, someone still loves you.

Happy 30th birthday, Double/Triple J!

Sure, sometimes I get sick of you. Yeah, sometimes I do switch you off in disgust and try my luck with Mix 106, especially in the evening during Super Request, like the other night when Rosie decided to get people to ring up and read out their tedious text messages. Sometimes I just want something to sing along to in the car, and I may prefer to hear a bit less Australian hip-hop, but that’s just personal preference. People say you’re less alternative than you used to be….but I only have to change over to an Austereo or Nova station for a few minutes to hear there’s still a big difference.

You do such cool stuff, like recording and playing some amazing live sets. Giving a leg up to new bands. Taking the time to tell the full story of a band or artist. Wacky science with Dr Karl and sport with Roy and HG. Most of your current affairs coverage is aimed a little below my age group, but I really liked the way you encouraged young people to register to vote, well in advance of last year’s federal election.

I still think you’re cool.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

 Posted by Hello

Thanks to Bertie for the tip-off about an easy way to post photos using Hello. Finally, the photos that go with this story, concluded herePosted by Hello

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Warm fuzzy bookshop

Yesterday I stopped in at Hawker shops to check out Ron's Bookshop. This secondhand bookshop used to be at the Jamison Centre but has recently moved to a larger space at Hawker shops. I was looking for a Phil Rickman book but instead I got the first in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. Yeah, it's (kind of) a kid's book. So when I brought it up to the counter, Ron asked me, "Are you a teacher?" I said "no", and didn't add, (I just like reading kids books). He could see what I was thinking, and told me that he only asked because often teachers come in and buy kids books for their schools, using their own money. He said he keeps a stash of kids books to give free to teachers.

How cool is that? Three gold stars to Ron.

UPDATE: Clearly Hawker Shops is the place to be, at least if you're me. I had dinner last night at Rock Salt. I've heard a lot of buzzing noises (the good type) about this slightly pricey restaurant for ages but this was my first time there, mainly because I'm cheap and I live walking distance from Dickson with all its lovely and economical restaurants. Rock Salt specialises in duck dishes and lots of other meat-y things. As a vegetarian, I didn't think this would be the sort of restaurant where I would fare too well. I received the menu and thumbed through several pages of exotic meat dishes, noting a couple of side dishes that might do as a meal for me. Then, to my surprise, I hit... the vegetarian page! Yep, a whole page of vege entrees AND mains. Choice!

All of the food was beatifully presented and everyone seemed happy with it. My meal of pesto risotto followed by apple and nectarine crumble, was fantastic. They even served the ice cream in a separate bowl which made me super happy, because I hate melted ice cream with hot food. They even served little dishes of lemon sorbet between entree and main. So, Rock Salt gets gold stars too.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Footballer killed in a tsunami? Priceless

I was going to reply to Jo's and Polarbear's comments on my previous post, but I wanted to get further into the topic in another post, anyway.

Yes, there is extended coverage of Australian footballer(s) who have died. I don't think this is simply the lure of a sports angle... though there is an issue to be explored there, about whether we value our sports heroes higher than other achievers like scientists and musicians. You do sometimes get the impression in the news that an elite sportsperson who dies tragically was somehow more in the prime of life than anyone else could possibly be. Their "prime of life" is probably quite a short period compared to a cancer researcher or a poet or a politician.

The focus on the death of a footballer gives a focus to a vast and remote tragedy. It's a loss that many people can relate to. It does have a resonance with the Bali bombings. But the real reason that it's so predominant in the news, is that footballers = NEWS. Hmmm, this fishing village was wiped out, and that fishing village, and this string of tourist resorts, etc etc. Wa-hey! A local footie hero!

But there have been plenty of other interesting stories about westerners, like this guy who surfed the tsunami, and this 10 year old girl who recognised what was happening and raised the alarm. (By the way, is it time yet to call for a ban on the use of the phrase "10 old British schoolgirl"? It seems archaic to me: all ten year old girls in Britain are in school, with the exception of truants and the home-schooled. It's useful if you want to conjure up images of knee socks and shiny shoes.)

I was feeling very snarky when I wrote posted the previous, though I'm not sure it fully came across that way. It's hard to know how to react to something like this. Not just because it is on such a huge scale; it's always hard to know how to feel, and what to do, when terrible things happen out there and my life just buzzes along merrily. Should I feel sad? Why am I able to think about it for a while and then go back to whatever I was doing?

This tsunami has left far too many victims in its wake, on many different levels, to be able to keep them all in focus at once. I've been wondering what to think and by extension what I might write here about it. And coming up with very little. 'Gee it's so sad' doesn't get you very far. Picking on the media coverage seemed like something to do. Sometimes I get the impression that the media have hit a macabre jackpot - it's the biggest natural disaster in modern history! The death toll is still going up! On the other hand I have to admit that there is also some sensitive, heart breaking journalism happening. And it's been said before that the constant coverage surely helps to stimulate donations of money and other aid.

Damn 'seeing both sides'. This blog might be more interesting and controversial if I was more opinionated! But that wouldn't be me.

Monday, January 03, 2005

[No title]

Overheard on A Current Affair earlier tonight, not an exact quote but something along these lines:

'We hear so much about the Australians and foreign nationals caught up in this tragedy, but think, just for a moment, about the locals whose lives have been devastated'.

A moment? If that's all you need.