Friday, September 30, 2011

Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Zombies, Forgetfulness and Douglas Annand

1. Read article about Julian Burnside apologizing to Tony Abbott. He wrote on Twitter, Paedos in speedos; and this was in a discussion about a new book regarding Tony Abbott.

Julian Burnside claims he wasn't referring to Tony Abbott. He also says he is new to Twitter, and believed he was talking to only one person.  He thought he was being private, and instead he was being very public.

I think the true story is that Julian Burnside was making an off-color joke about Tony Abbott to a friend. I doubt he meant it literally.   

2. Went to Burnside's Twitter page.

He apologizes many times.

Burnside says he was referring to priests.   

But isn't Tony Abbott known for Speedos?  I thought there was some joke about that.

2. Found article with photo about Tony Abbott and Speedos.  

3. Impressed with the recycling in Andrew's building. He has a photo of it. It's very thorough.

There're several different bins, clearly labeled; plus another bin for stuff you want to donate to charity.

4. Saw an article about Jon Ronson.  He's written a book about psychopaths and psychiatric testing.  He's going to be appearing at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, which is happening at the Sydney Opera House right now.

5. Started looking at the list of speeches being made at the festival. I wonder how many I'd agree with and how many would be offensive to me.  

6. Liked this speech topic. It sound very interesting.  

It's called "Ecstasy Is No More Dangerous Than Horse Riding."

The description for the event says;

When a top UK Government drug adviser wrote in an academic journal that ecstasy is no more dangerous than riding a horse, it caused a political ruckus that led to his resignation. His provocative analogy points to how inconsistent we are when drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, racing cars or participating in extreme sports are tolerated, taxed or even actively encouraged. 

I don't think I ever thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense to me.


We, as a society, often look up to those who risk their bodies and lives with extreme sports and stunts.  But then we talk on and on about the risks of drugs. Is one really more dangerous than the other?

What's the risk of a college smoking marijuana compared to a college student boxing multiple times a week?

Is climbing Mount Everest safer than taking drugs?   

7. Thought I'd probably enjoy Christopher Ryan's speech. It's called "If You Want Fidelity, Get a Dog".  His argument is that monogamy isn't natural to humans.

I would probably agree with that.

I think serial monogamy is more realistic. Multiple simultaneous partners might work for some.

Why is it that we're supposed to have love for multiple children, multiple grandparents, multiple friends, multiple pets, etc, but you're only supposed to have one romantic partner?

One of the things that has made me hesitate supporting open-marriages, and stuff like that, is the whole jealousy issue.  But now that I'm thinking more about it....

We deal with jealousy anyway. And we still compete with others for attention.

Children compete with siblings for their parent's attention. Mothers and fathers sometimes compete for the affection of their children.  People feel slighted when they overhear friends planning an outing that doesn't include them.   

It's hard for us to share our loved ones sometimes, but many of us manage to deal with it.  

8. Wanted to say that I also get annoyed that there's so much emphasis put on sex.

There's that idea that any affection and attention towards others is okay as long as it doesn't involves a penis and/or vagina, or mouth on mouth kissing.  

I think there're many other reasons to be jealous.

I really don't think I'd care that much if Tim had sex with someone else. As long as I knew it's safe sex and he didn't want to leave us, I think I'd probably be cool with it.  

I get much more jealous of other things.

I get jealous when Tim takes tons of photos of someone else, because I have often felt he doesn't take many photos of me.

Yes. I'm vain.  But I've also always believed that people take photos of that which they love, and that which interests them the most.  

I get jealous when Tim shows concern for someone's safety or passionately declares he'd seek revenge if so and so was harmed. 

I get jealous when Tim praises someone's talents, such as singing.

I get jealous when Tim is very enthusiastic and supportive towards someone else's idea.  

Now that I think of it. I get jealous a lot.     

Sex is really the least of my concerns. Why should I care if people exchange bodily fluids and see each other naked?

Well, I guess a lot of people do care.

But I don't.

9. Thought more about jealousy. It goes back to what I wrote the other day. I don't mind sharing attention and affection.

First of all, too much attention and affection directed towards me would make me implode with stress.  I wouldn't want to have 100% of someone's love.  I'd feel extremely suffocated. I need space—lots of space.

I only get jealous when I feel sad. I'm not getting something that I want from someone, and then I see someone else getting it.

I'll give an example.

Let's say someone I know reads my blog.  If they also read other blogs, of course I'm not going to be bothered by this.  I would think it's fine...great.  We definitely don't need blog-reading monogamy.

But let's say there's someone in my life that doesn't read my blog.  They're too busy. They're not interested enough.  They claim blog-reading isn't their thing.  I would feel hurt by this. I would feel even more hurt if this person sent an email out to me, and several others, recommending another person's blog.   Hey! You guys should check out this blog of my friend! It's awesome!

Stuff like that hurts me.  It makes me angry, sad, and jealous.  I'm pretty good at burying those feelings though...until I read something that brings them to the surface.   

10. Liked this speech topic.   It's called "On Second Thought".

The description: The arbiters of contemporary public debate are unforgiving of those who change their minds - ridiculing such changes as a 'back flip'. But why is changing your mind a crime? While consistency and stability are admirable qualities, do we really want to be a nation of people who can never, ever change their mind about anything and occasionally say 'sorry'?

It takes courage to admit we've changed our mind.


I was thinking about something the other day.

I don't wish everyone had the same beliefs and opinions that I have.

I DO wish everyone had similar thought processes as me. 

What I mean by this is that I wish more people argued with themselves.  I believe this. No, maybe I don't believe that.  Can I believe this and still believe that? Am I being a hypocrite?   

I am often morally confused.  I often feel like a hypocrite. I passionately believe one thing one day, and then a month later I read something and change my mind.

It causes me stress sometimes, but I like that about myself.

I feel some other people are so rigid in their beliefs. They believe what they believe without questioning and doubting.

It could be my imagination though. Maybe in their minds they're questioning and doubting. Maybe they keep it secret, because they're afraid they'll be accused of back flipping.  

I like the people in my life who can admit to being ignorant, confused, wrong, lost, etc. In my opinion, we're the strong ones. The others are arrogant.  

11. Saw that Jonathan Safran is at the Festival of Ideas. Tim read his book and told me a lot about it.   Safran writes about vegetarianism and stuff like that.  

I should read it someday.  Maybe I will. Tim has it on the Kindle.  

12. Thought of a recent confusion I can admit to right now.

When I watch The Walking Dead the main actor reminds me of William McMahon.  I look at him and think of William McMahon.

Then today I looked at photos to compare the two, and I really don't see any facial similarities.

Here's William McMahon.



Here's Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead guy).



There's really no similarity there. But for some reason they reminded me of one another.

Maybe I had some kind of brain glitch.

13. Wondered if William McMahon would have been good at fighting zombies.

Would any Prime Minister be good at that?

The Walking Dead has really given me a new perspective on things. Actually Benjamin Mee's zoo book helped with that as well.

Benjamin talks about his wife dying of cancer.  It's sad and horrible. He admits to that. But he says he still feels they're lucky.  It could have been much worse.   There are people in the world who suffer much more than they suffered.  He gives things like Darfur as examples.

I thought that was a very brave and admirable way of looking at things.  

Then Tim and I watched the zombie show, and I thought, no matter how bad things get, we should be at least thankful the world isn't overrun with flesh-eating zombies.

I've been thinking about Stephen King's The Stand.  In that story, 99.4% of humans die from a new flu.  The survivors have to rebuild society.  It's all quite awful.  But now that I'm seeing people trying to survive zombies, I'm thinking Stu, Frannie, Nick, Tom, Larry, etc., they had it EASY in comparison.

So yeah.  Now when I feel sorry for myself I'm going to say, At least I'm not trying to escape zombies.

And when I'm scared of something happening, I'll say, Well, yeah that would be bad. But it wouldn't be as bad as zombies.  

For example.  I'm scared of driving on mountains and we might do a little of that when we go to Australia.  I'm now telling myself, yes, we might end up rolling down a huge cliff and crashing to our deaths. But it's a thousand times better than dealing with zombies.

14. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story thread called Subculture Shock.   It's with Frankie Dean and Thomas Blair.

Thomas, I believe is one of the triplets. I don't think I've seen his posts before. I might be wrong, though.

The story takes place in the Melbourne wizarding village; Oliphant Lane.

15. Started to read.

Frankie sings at a club.

Tom is at the same club, trying to get some time away from his family.  I don't blame him. The Blair family seems to have a lot of drama lately.

16. Saw that the club was specifically a wizarding world club. It has wizards, elves, fairies, etc.

Both Thomas and Frankie seem pleased with this. They feel more freedom—maybe more relaxed?    They don't have to struggle with trying to blend into the Muggle world.  

17. Went and had a search through my blog. I found out that I HAVE read threads with Thomas Blair before.  Not only that; I even read his biography.

18. Reviewed my old post a bit. 

It's good that I can search through old posts like that.

I think I know why I forgot that I read his biography.  Thomas used to not have a photo for his face claim.  There was just the name.  So his post and biography looked different to me, and therefore also new.

Sorry about that!

19. Saw that my Australian of the day is Douglas Shelden Annand.

On the Australian Dictionary of Biography site, there're two other Annand people after Douglas. I wonder if any of them are related.

20. Saw that Douglas Sheldon Annand was born in Toowoomba Queensland in March 1903.  

I think Toowoomba is Geoffrey Rush's hometown. I can't remember if he was born there, though.

I'll check....

Lord Wiki says yes.  Geoffrey Rush was born in Toowoomba, in 1951.

21. Learned that Douglas was a graphic artist.

22. Learned that Douglas designed the ceiling of the Australian pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition.

This took place in 1937.

Lord Wiki says there was a Nazi pavilion there. That's not surprising for 1937.

A few years later, Douglas was the art director for the Australian pavilion at the world's fair in NYC.   He did some murals for that.

23. This website has one of the graphics Douglas made for the pavilion.  

24. Saw some Douglas Annand artwork on this website.  

25. Saw another example of Douglas Annand's work on this site.  It's for a Sydney Bridge celebration.   

It's from 1932. I think that's when the bridge opened.

26. Checked with Lord Wiki. He says I'm right about that.

27. Had Jack listen to "Inescapable".  I'm trying to expose Jack to more Australian music.  



28. Went to the YouTube channel of lilbluerocker.

The channel belongs to a 14-year-old named Lewis who lives in Brisbane.

He likes metal music, surfing, and football.

Here's his cover of Bernard Fanning's "Wish You Well".



I think the guitar's a bit loud.

It's hard to hear the singing.

29. Listened to a song that Lewis wrote himself.  It's called "Reflections of"; or it might be called "Reflections of (2010)". I'm actually not really sure.



I like the guitar part in the beginning.

The song seems nice, but it's hard to hear.

30. Started to look at more of Baroo42's Flickr set.  

31. Found myself looking at people in the pictures and thinking, I wonder what they'd look like as a zombie.  

I find myself doing that a lot lately.

And I keep dreaming about zombies.

Maybe Zombies will be my next huge obsession.

32. Wondered if there's a tag on this dingoes' ear.  Or is that just a reflection?  

33. Thought these girls were cute.

And I also thought they'd make good zombies, especially the girl on the left. I mean, with make-up of course.

One of the zombies from The Walking Dead has her own Facebook Page. Her name's Melissa Cowan.

It's pretty amazing to see how the makeup effects are done.   

34. Liked this photo.  The swimming looks fun.  And I love that one of the guys has a Aussie flag swimming suit.  

35. Reminded of The Walking Dead when I saw this photo.  It's because there're tents. And on The Walking Dead, the survivors live in tents.  

36. Liked this photo.  It's really beautiful.