Friday, April 8, 2011

Homophobia, Portkeys, Trivia, Ukuleles, and Witches

1. Read article about West Australian police person (Rob Johnson) getting into trouble for saying something homophobic.  He referred to an openly gay member of Parliament, and said He is just really, really upset and jealous that we have got a true queen coming to WA.  Johnson claims this is not about gayness, but instead about Oprah vs. Queen Elizabeth.  Maybe it is. Who knows.

To me, it's all about context.  If a gay person and straight person were good friends; and the straight person said the joke, it would probably be funny. The two friends would probably laugh. Then the gay person would think up a good come back and fling it at the straight guy.

If a knowingly homophobic person says it, then it's a whole other ballgame. And from what I see in the article, Johnson has a history of homophobia.  In 2001, he talked about homosexuality being abnormal, and accused homosexuals of trying to recruit others to their lifestyle. So there you go.

I guess the only argument in his favor is that 2001 was ten years ago.  He might have become less homophobic in recent years. I kind of doubt it though.

2. Noticed that I had another mysterious Australian visitor to my Harry Potter blog.  Maybe I should assume this blog is portkey.  

3. Talked to Tim about my mystery. He agrees that it's some kind of glitch.  I think it has something to do with Statcounter, and not Blogger.  I do have to wonder then why isn't every Australian visitor to this blog, showing up on the Harry Potter blog Statcounter.

You know what would be a great fantasy novel plot?  How about a story in which, if people come to my blog at certain times, the blog acts as a portkey.  Not only does it take people to my Harry Potter blog, but it sucks them up to an alternative universe where the Harry Potter story is all real. 

That would be so incredibly cool, but maybe not for the people who got zapped into another universe. They might miss their family and friends...and the 21st century.

4. Decided to listen to more Elliot Freeman music.

Here is a cover of Edwin McCain's I'll Be. I didn't recognise the song title, but once I heard Elliot Freeman singing it, I recognized the song. 

The performance was at the Swan Hotel in Melbourne.  

On Tuesday they have trivia night.  I'm not sure if that happens every Tuesday, or just this one Tuesday coming up.

5. Learned that trivia night at the Swan Hotel is every Tuesday.  That's cool. It starts at 7:30, and it's free.  I don't know if I've ever done a trivia night thing.   I have vague memories of something.

It's not like I go to bars/pubs a lot; probably close to never.

I like trivia though.  Maybe one day we'll try one of these things.  Do you have to shout out the answers?   I get shy about stuff like that. I hate having to call out Bingo on cruise ships...uh, not that it often happens to me.

6. Watched Siankunner sing I am Australian while playing a ukulele.   She has a beautiful voice, and is absolutely ADORABLE.    I think this might be one of my favorite versions of the song.   It combines my love of Australia with Hawaii. 

The wind gets a bit annoying towards the end; but that's okay.

7. Looked at Siankunner's YouTube channel.   Her goal is to learn and record 50 songs by the time she turns 24.  It looks like she has about 30 so far.  Or maybe not.  It looks like some videos are bloopers, or other stuff.  Still, she's pretty close.

Which video should I watch next?  

I picked Stand by Me.  Siankunner sings and plays the ukulele while her brother plays a guitar. It's very lovely.

I love Siankunner's smile.   It's like a mixture of modesty and amusement. She seems like the type of person who can laugh at herself.

8. Watched video with Siamkunner doing a cover of UB40's cover of Can't Help Falling in Love.  In some part, her singing seems a bit off to me.   But I'm not one to judge.   I know my singing sounds a bit off sometimes.  Her video is still fabulous.

I think I want to learn how to play a ukulele.  We have a souvenir one from a Hawaii store in Las Vegas, but I'm not sure if that counts.  Also, it's broken.  Maybe I'll buy a real one....someday. 

9.  Read something written by someone who met Rosaleen Norton. Anna Hoffman talks about the life of the notorious Sydney witch.

Hoffman says that Norton wrote erotic tales.   One of the main characters of Belinda Castle's River Baptists is an erotic tale writer.  I'm still making my way through that book...which in itself is not really erotic.  It just has a character that writes erotic stuff.   

Supposedly Norton was inspiration for the Rolling Stone's song "Sympathy for the Devil". I think I know that song.   Isn't it the one that's played at the end of Interview with the Vampire?    Okay.   Yeah.  I looked up the lyrics.  That's the song I'm thinking of. 

I can't find much to back that idea up, so I'm not sure if it's true or not.  Then again—can we ever have 100% faith that anything is true?

Hoffman says that Norton told her she knew she was a witch, because at age seven she had two blue marks on her knee.  She believed that was a sign. 

Norton had a crush on Dracula  when she was young.  Maybe that was seen as rare and sinister back then.  These days I think it's quite common for kids and teens to have crushes on fictional vampires.

Hoffman says Norton was moody.   Hoffman tried to hang out with her, because she wanted to be a witch too.  Sometimes Norton was very welcoming, and let Hoffman borrow her occult books.   Other times she was very unwelcoming.   That sounds...human.   Sometimes you want visitors, and sometimes you don't.  Her drugs could have also made her more moody, perhaps.

10.  Read from Hoffman that Norton confessed to casting spells on her enemies. That's scary.   I wonder if it's true.   If I was a witch, I think it would be hard not to be tempted to do that. Hopefully, I'd resist.  Sometimes I get really angry and find myself wishing bad things upon people.   I try to avoid that, and instead wish good things upon these people.   An example might be the teens who killed the black swan. It's very tempting to wish them harm, but instead I would try to wish for them to feel guilt and remorse. I would wish for them to become better people, and less hateful towards animals.  

It's doubtful I have any power, so it probably doesn't matter anyway.  But just in case...I try not to think awful things. 

11. Found an article about another Aussie witch; Fiona Horne.  I've heard of her, and heard that she was a witch. She's the one who sings with Paul McDermott in the video I love; Shut Up/Kiss Me.   It's such a beautiful song.      

12. Learned that Fiona Horne wanted to be a nun at one point.   I did too!   I don't think it was ever a huge dream for me.   It was one of those mild aspirations.  I actually don't remember it much. But I remember seeing Mermaids with Winona Ryder, and strongly relating to a Jewish girl wanting to be a nun.   

13. Learned that Horne dabbled a bit in Satanism, but decided she didn't like it.  She switched over to Wicca.  She kept her religion a secret for awhile, and then came out of the closet in 1997.

14. Learned that Horne is a licensed snake handler. That's pretty cool.  

15. Went to Fiona Horne's official site.   It looks like the witch thing is a huge part of her life. She's not just a singer who happens to be a witch.    She has published books on witchcraft, and it seems she's well known among people interested in the subject.

16. Felt a diminished amount of respect for Horne because she starred in a reality TV program.   Celebrity Survival.  I really hope JK Rowling never does anything like that. It will shatter me. 

17. Watched intro video to Celebrity Survival.  I'll admit it.  I did watch one season of Survivor, and kind of enjoyed it.    Actually, the season I watched was the one filmed in Australia.   This was back before we had a DVR, and Survivor was on the same time as Charmed.    It was a huge struggle for me to decide which one to watch.   I don't remember what I did.   Maybe I went back and forth?   I might have waited until Charmed went into reruns, and watched it then. This was the season where Julian McMahon was introduced, and my later dreams about him would eventually lead to an obsession about Australia.   So it's funny that I sometimes chose not to watch him because I wanted to see who'd win the Survivor TV show taking place in Australia.   

18.  Saw that Fiona Horne has an online spell book.  That's really cool. I like that she gives some information away for free.  I'm suspicious of spiritual leaders that make you pay for all their teachings.

It looks like most of the spells involve aromatherapy oils and candles. I guess that's what I'd expect.

I can't say I have a lot of faith in the stuff. I'm skeptical.  But I think it's neat, and I think there's something beautiful about it. 

And....I can't say for sure that it doesn't work.