Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snowy, Honesty, Pigeons, and Cousins

1. Loved Snowy's blog post tribute to Christchurch.  I especially love his last paragraph. It has a nice mixture of sorrow and hope.

2. Learned that Julian Assange is being sent back to Sweden.  

3. Read Megan's blog about ordering Australian food from a shop, and tasting it. Like me, Megan lives in Texas and has an interest in Australia. She hasn't tried the Vegemite yet. I'll be interested to know what she thinks of it.  

4. Read article about the Labor Party's internal review.  The general idea is that Labor should act a bit more like the Green Party, especially in regards to gay marriage and climate change.  The article is in The Australian.  They say the review was top secret,  and that they are the only ones that have the information.  So I guess Julian Assange isn't the only one who knows how to get secrets. Or maybe they DID get the info from Wikileaks.

The reason insiders are saying that the Labor Party should act more Green is that the Greens are attracting more and more voters.  So I guess the question is whether a party should mold themselves according to what voters want, or whether they should stick to their principles.   But then if a party changes their principles, is it because they were swayed by voters. Or could it be that they came to their senses?  

Tim and I talked about Obama last night. Obama started out against gay marriage.  Now he's becoming more open to it.  Tim suggested he was always open to it, but was waiting until it would be more publicly acceptable to admit that. In a way, it seems dishonest.   In another ways, it just seems...realistic.   Sometimes if you come across as being too radical, than you might scare people away and not get anything done.   So it helps to be gradual and gentle about it. 

I guess people could end up feeling betrayed though.

I was trying to think of an analogy, and I thought of unschooling.  It's very radical and mind-blowing for many people. Sometimes it's hard enough to get people to understand homeschooling. So we stop at that.  We don't want to terrify them. But if people seem open-minded about homeschooling. And if they seem willing to listen and learn more, we'll talk about unschooling.  

That analogy doesn't fit perfectly though, because I don't tell people I'm against unschooling. I don't say one thing when I'm secretly feeling another thing.  

I think it would speak better of Obama if Tim is wrong, and he really wasn't open to gay marriage initially.  Then he'll just be an honest guy who opened his mind, learned things, and then changed his mind.  There's nothing wrong with that.  

5. Read article that says Western Australia has seen a boost in tourism, following Oprah's visit.   That's good.  I'm confused though. They don't talk about an increase in the amount of people planning to visit.  They talk about people increasing the amount of money spent on packages.  The past average was $6000, and now it's $9000.   So maybe Oprah didn't convince more people to come to Australia.  Maybe she convinced them if they want to enjoy Australia, they need to purchase the extravagance that was displayed on her show.  I hope it doesn't make a bunch of Americans go into debt.

You CAN enjoy Australia without being super fancy about it. Even then, it's pretty expensive though.

6. Read article about Assange.  I really don't know what to think. I'm not in favor of men having sex with women while they're sleeping.  And I'm not pleased with men refusing to wear a condom.  I don't know if I'd call it rape though.  And I definitely don't think the circus matches the crime here.    The question is if Assange wasn't working for an organization that leaks embarrassing government secrets, would anyone have paid much attention to these women's allegations?

Also....

It's hard for me to understand how a woman can have sex while she's sleeping. Is she a very deep sleeper?  I'm a light sleeper, so it's hard for me to relate to that. If Tim just kisses me on the forehead, I'll usually wake up.  I'm GUESSING Assange didn't drug her or anything, because we would have heard about that.   Right?  

7. Watched this fun 1963 video of men singing a song about the Snowy Mountains. It reminds me of old Disney movies.

8. Watched a 1957 movie clip about Cabramurra.  It talks about a family moving to a place where their children will have a multicultural experience.  There are people from all over Europe working in the town.  

I consulted Lord Wiki about Cabramurra.  He says it's a company town. This means you have to work for the Snowy Hydro thing in order to have permission to live there.   The only other company town I know of is Celebration, Florida.  You have to work for Disney to live there, or at least that was the case in the past.

Wait....

Lord Wiki doesn't list Celebration, Florida as a company town.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe it's not one.  They list some other Disney town.  I haven't heard of it.  Maybe they had a name change?

Okay.  I'm trying to understand this. I think Celebration is a planned community, created by the Disney Corporation.  But if I'm understanding things correctly, you don't have to work for Disney to live there.  And it looks like it's no longer associated with Disney.  Okay.  Yeah.  This article says they sold it in 2004.

9. Read something, and I'm actually not sure if it's supposed to be an article or editorial.  The title definitely sounds like an editorial.  "Families will be worse off under Julia Gillard's emissions trading scheme for carbon".  I saw that, and thought I'd be reading an editorial, but the style seems more like an article to me.  That's not to say it's completely objective. Can news ever be completely objective?   I doubt it. The writer is usually going to have an opinion, even if he or she tries to sound neutral. 

I really don't know much about pricing carbon.  Maybe I should learn. I do know that it's something the Green Party would like, and the Liberal party would not like. I guess it's more environmental friendly than business friendly.

The big thing I'm getting from the article's comments is that Julia Gillard has broken a promise.   I guess she announced that her government wouldn't have a carbon tax.  

10. Listened to The Jezabel's The Dark Storm.  I like it. It's #15 on the ARIA chart for Aussie singles.

11. Learned that one of King George VI's (Bertie) brothers was the 11th Governor General of Australia.  I wonder if it was in The King's Speech book. I might have missed it, or misunderstood it.  

12. Listened to The Jezabel's Sahara Mahala

13. Read article about the crocodile who was shot, and then survived...maybe.  It sounds like a horror movie.   I feel sorry for the crocodile, and I'm also terrified of him.

14.  Listened to Jessica Mauboy's Let Me Be Me.   It reminds me of something that would play in a romantic comedy movie; maybe something like Sex in the City.   I can imagine it playing while one of the characters walks past cafes and little markets.   Maybe they stop and buy some flowers.   Or they stop at a newsstand, and see that their ex is on the cover of a tabloid. They pick up the magazine, but then they'd decide they don't need to look at it. They'd put it down, and walk away.

15. Listened to Jessica Mauboy's Been Waiting.   I can picture this one in a movie too.   A woman goes to a party.  She's feeling a bit awkward, because she doesn't see anyone know.  She's hoping to see a certain person.  When she doesn't see him, she goes to sit alone at a table.  She waits for a moment, watches people. Then she decides it's a waste of time.   She's going to leave.  She picks up her purse, and is about to stand up.  Then he walks in.  He smiles at her and walks over.  She smiles back at him.

16. Learned that while some Australians are annoying in their hatred of America, some take their love for it a bit too far.  One of my Facebook friends sent me an invitation to hear an Australian motivational speaker named Nick Adams.  The Australian thing attracted me a bit.  The motivational speaker part did not. I really don't like motivational speakers that much.   I think they spout out a lot of crap....most of the time.  Or they say stuff that SOUNDS good in theory, but it doesn't work well in practice.

The invitation said the speech was going to deal with American exceptionalism. I never heard of that term, but I had an idea of what it meant. And I was right.

I know people who believe in this stuff.  What stuff?  The idea that America is SPECIAL....very special.  Like Harry Potter special.  We are the chosen ones. We are better than every other country out there. 

That attitude makes me want to puke, but I refrain from doing so because I have a strong phobia of vomiting. 

Just to set the record straight though (because I don't want there to be any misunderstandings), I DO believe that Harry Potter was the chosen one.  I'm fine with that belief, and it doesn't make me sick.

Anyway, Nick Adams loves America.   Is it like the way I love Australia?  I don't think so.   I don't believe Australia is the best country in the world.   I don't think it's particularly special.   It's just my PERSONAL favorite.  Just like James loves Sweden.   And I have a friend who loves Mexico.    There's a difference between loving something, and believing it's the best/perfect.

17. Read right-wing blog post about Nick Adams. John Rogitz likes Nick Adams because Adams blabs on and on about how wonderful America is.  Oh, but he doesn't just stop there.  He's also bold enough to say politically incorrect stuff about Muslims.    Rogitz provides us with an example.  Adams says,  It is unambiguously evident that their only strengths are making babies and hating the West.  They are unproductive, regressive, and stagnant in terms of innovation.    

Personally, I think there's a difference between being brave enough to be politically incorrect, and being blatantly hateful and racist.  Starting a debate over whether Muslim women should wear the Burka....that's politically incorrect. Saying Muslims don't have any strengths outside baby-making and west-hating? That's just complete crap.    

18. Saw that although Lord Wiki doesn't have a whole entry on Nick Adams, he does talk about him in his entry on the Municipality of Ashfield.   It's a government area in Sydney, west of the CBD.   Adams is one of 12 councillors.  BUT Lord Wiki says he's been suspended.   Maybe that's why he's roaming around America making speeches.

Lord Wiki has a list of controversies surrounding Ashfield. They ALL involve Nick Adams.  

He racked up a bunch of phone call and cab fare expenses.  That made his coworkers a bit angry.

He wanted to ban pigeons from his area.    nother Councillor named Marc Rerceretnam responded.   The mind boggles when I think of Ashfield pigeons flying to the border of Ashfield and stopping directly at the border, saying "oh no, that's Canterbury, I can't go into there" and flying back in again. I mean this, this is, what exactly is this motion trying to do?   

That's pretty funny. 


Why does Adams hate pigeons? What? Are they good for only baby-making and hating the west?

 Oh, and Adams also hates power tools. He wanted them banned from his area. I guess he wants a world without Muslims, power tools, and pigeons.  But he loves Americans. 

You know I wouldn't mind finding an Australian who loves America as much as I love Australia.   But I'd prefer them not to be so hateful against other groups.  I do know a couple of Australians who are very fond of America. Their love is not as zealous as my love, but they think America is cool.  I've met one zealous Australian American-Lover.  He was very right-wing.  I can't remember if he was bigoted/racist.  I shouldn't assume he was just because he was right-wing. Then I'm being the bigot.   Right?

I do get the feeling that any Australian zealously loving America is going to be right-wing.    I think the left is more weary of us...or at least weary of our government.   Then again, there can be left-wing Australians who zealously love American culture (like our brilliant Modern Family) but don't like some of our history and government.  I guess they'd be similar to us left-wing Americans who love America. 

19. Delighted because I watched a bit of Ricky Gervais, and he mentioned Harley Street in London.   That's where Lionel Logue worked!

20. Listened to Sarah Blasko sing Flame Trees.  

21. Listened to the Whitlam's version of Flame Trees.  This is the first time I've heard it. It's different, and interesting.  

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I love hearing covers of songs.   I think it's fun.  I especially like it if someone adds a new twist to a song. I don't get excited about song covers that sound very similar to the original.  That's one of the things I don't like about Glee.  Some of the songs sound too similar to the originals. OR they sound to similar to other covers of the original.  It might not be the case for everything on the show.   I don't watch the show often enough to know.

22. Wanted to tell people about this Facebook Page.   It gives us an opportunity to express our condolences to New Zealand. They're going to take all compassionate things that people say, and make a book out of it.  It's sad, but sweet.  

23. Read my cousin's blog entry about how she's becoming TOTALLY Australialized.   That girl has come a LONG way.   She didn't much like Australia when she first moved there.   Now she's all loving on it.   I'm tempted to sing.   Laura and Australia sitting in a tree.  K-I-S-S-I-N-G.   First comes love.  Then comes marriage.  Then comes.....

Hey, do Australians have that song?   Or is it just an American thing?  

I'm betting my cousin's story is common.   I'm sure most expats have a hard time adjusting.  Then they grow to love their new country and never want to leave. 

Maybe my cousin never will leave.  I might be a bit jealous then.  I've FINALLY adjusted to her temporarily living in Australia when I only get to visit every few years.  I mean I'm pretty okay with that now. Sort of.   Usually.  Will I be able to handle her living there permanently?    Probably not.   I'll try my best though. If she becomes an actual Australian citizen,  I'll likely throw a temper tantrum and have a nervous breakdown.  But I'll get over it eventually. I do need to practice my fake smile so I can display that when it comes time to congratulate her.  I'm not Golden Globes material here, but I do have some acting ability.  

24. Read the comments on my cousin's blog. I followed one of the commenters to her own blog.  She's an Aussie psychic medium named Natalie.   That intrigues me....of course.   How could it not?    
I'm going to follow her blog.  I'll follow it with a mixture of skepticism and open-mindedness.  It looks interesting, and fun.