Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Changes in Society, Protests, The Anthony Family, and Ray Fletcher

1. Read article that says Gillard and Rudd kissed each other.

How sweet.

They weren't having a romantic moment though.  

It was like one of those don't-read-too-much-into-this kiss on Neighbours

Gillard and Rudd were kissing because the carbon tax law has been passed. 

Tony Abbott didn't join in with the affectionate celebrations. He's not happy about the carbon law.

2. Learned that the vampiress in Let Me In is played by Chloe Grace Moretz.

She's not Australian; but she was in a movie WITH an Australian when she was very young.

She starred with Melissa George in the remake of The Amityville Horror.




3. Watched another trailer for The Slap

Melissa George is in that.



She plays the mother of the child who was slapped at the barbecue.

4. Read Andrew's post about Bali.  From his post and some of the comments, I see I'm not the only one weary of Bali.   

On the other hand, I know of people who love it.

Bali probably sounds better as a tourist than it does when you're a person reading the news.

Andrew says, While I haven't been to Bali, most people I know have. The above doesn't sound like the place as it has been described to me.

The "above" refers to various Bali horror stories that Andrew talks about in his post.

The same can probably be said of America. It's not so bad for some of us living here.  And it's probably a fun tourist destination. But if you go by what's on the news, it sounds like we're all shooting at each other.

Australia  too sounds scary from the news.   There're boat accidents, murders, shark attacks, children go missing...

I guess the best thing to do is not read the news before you go on a holiday.  

5. Wondered. If I wasn't American, would I want to visit America as a tourist?

I'm tempted to say no, but that would probably be wrong.

I'd probably want to go to Hollywood, at least.

6. Felt guilty when reading Andrew's post about the Wall Street protests, because I haven't been really paying attention to that story.

It's one of those things where I look at the headline and then move on to something else.  

But I'll read about it now a bit, with some help from Lord Wiki.  

As I predicted from the headlines, it's an anti-capitalism movement. Some folks are saying it's the left-wing version of the tea party.

They want higher taxes for the rich, higher taxes for corporations, better health care, less war, etc.

I want that too.

I don't know if protesting is going to help.

Maybe it will? 

It seems to me that Obama has been trying to bring about these changes. He just meets with so much resistance from Republicans.  He can't snap his fingers and magically reduce the negative aspects of capitalism. 

I wonder who the protesters are targeting. Is it Obama and other politicians on the left?   Are they saying they're not doing enough?  Will having the protests increase Obama's ability to make changes in government?

Will the protesters inspire the right-wing people to change their viewpoints?

Will it scare them into changing their viewpoints?

I'm skeptical about protesting, I suppose.

I mean there were tons of protest about the Vietnam War. But there was still a Vietnam War.

There are protests about abortion. There's still abortion.

There are protests about animal abuse.There's still animal abuse.

It seems, though, that the Arab Spring has done some good in the world.

Maybe there is hope...sometimes. 

7. Felt protests are uninspiring.  I can't see how they'd get people to change their mind.

I personally think it's preferable to change people's minds through novels, songs, movies, documentaries, poetry, etc.  Although maybe that doesn't do much either.

Well, I don't know if any of that changes the world. But it's probably better than sitting around feeling helpless.  And peaceful protesting is a million times better than terrorism and other forms of non-peaceful protest.

Anyway....

I'll see how it goes.

8. Googled Times that protests have made positive changes.

I found a website about the Montgomery Bus boycott in America. 

It's making me feel a little bit hopeful....remembering the civil rights movement.

Changes do happen, and boycotts and protests contribute partly to that sometimes.

9. Thought about gay marriage and all that.

There's been a ton of improvements in how society treats people who are homosexual.

Why?

What has been the main contribution to that?

Why and how did people become more empathetic towards the cause?

Was it protests?  Boycotts?  Movies? Books?  Dumbledore coming out of the closet?   Personal experiences?  Peer pressure? Gay characters on their favorite soap operas?  Editorials?  News articles?  

10. Had an idea.  Maybe protests help in that they make people realize there's an issue out there.   The protests themselves probably don't make people change their mind. But if people go out to learn more, maybe what they hear, read, and watch will inspire them to support the cause.

11. Read about the Qantas strikes.

The ground crew and custom officials are walking out on the job, because they're disgruntled.   

Maybe it will get executives to listen to their complaints.

Sadly,though, the strike also hurts the customers.

I guess the hope is that in hurting the customer you also hurt the executives.  Maybe changes will be made.  

12. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story thread called Keep 'em Coming

The characters in the story are Stuart Blair and Nicole Barkwith. 

It takes place in a Narragyambie bar called The Drunken Roo.  

13. Started to read.

It's the evening of August 19. That's pretty long ago.

Nicole is going to the bar to meet with Stuart who's the Minister of Magic.

I tend to forget he has that important job.

14. Started to read Stuart's post. He seems like a really nice government official.

He met Nicole at work, saw that she was new, and invited her out for a drink. I imagine most people in his position wouldn't be nice enough to do that.  

15. Saw that Stuart caught some flack for inviting Nicole out. People in the Ministry teased him for taking a young woman out.

16. Learned that Stuart and Nicole both have something in common. They both have farming origins.

17. Saw that Stuart received more assumptions about his date with Nicole. He's friends with the people who work at the Drunken Roo. Like his coworkers, they assume something romantic is happening.

18.  Realized I was confusing Stuart with Adrian.

I found myself thinking, But what about Mereditha?   Isn't he supposed to be getting back together with her?  Would she be okay with him going out with another woman...even if it was just a platonic thing? 

Now I remember. Mereditha's man is Adrian.  She went on a date (or two?) with Stuart, and that's how she ended up at the big family dinner where she had the reunion with Adrian.

I don't know why I got the two confused.

I did and do remember that Stuart is the father of all those children—Tim, Tom, Tam, Stewie jr, Jezabel....and now Améa.  There could be even more.

19. Wondered how serious Stuart Blair was when he mentioned going for the goal of becoming Minister of Magic Australia-wide. If he got that job, would he work with Julia Gillard at all?  Or do Ministers of Magic contact Muggle government officials only in emergencies?

20. Wondered if gay marriage is allowed in the wizarding world.

If not, maybe Stuart would help to change that. His daughter is gay, and I think he'd want her to have equal rights.

21. Read the last post in the story.

Stuart mentions finding out that Améa is his daughter.

I thought that happened recently, because of another Tally thread; The Things We Thought We Knew.

It takes place on September 10, which is after Stuart had the date with Nicole.

Améa's post talks about finding out that she's a Blair.

Well...I think I get it.

Jezabel's post says, Being the nosey woman that she was, Jezebel was aware of what had gone on with Améa and Adele, and the former's thoughts on the eventually upcoming wedding and that Adele had revealed Stuart to definitely be her father.

So, I guess prior to Améa hiding out in the hotel, it was suspected that she was Stuart's daughter.   Then I guess something happened to make them know for sure.  Was it magical paternity tests?

22. Saw that my Australian of the day is Hubert Lawrence Anthony. The Australian Dictionary of Biography says he was known as Larry.

23. Saw that Larry Anthony was born in Warren, New South Wales in 1897.

I don't think I've heard of Warren before.

24. Found Warren on Google Maps.

It's about 1.5 hours north-west of Dubbo.

25. Learned that when Larry Anthony was about 14, he started working as a telegraph messenger.

A few years after that, he joined the Australian Imperial Force.

He served in Gallipoli for a few months, but then had to leave because of illness.

26. Saw that Larry Anthony got into banana farming. He had some challenges in the beginning, but later he became successful.

27. Learned that Larry Anthony became a politician. He was part of the Country Party, and became a Federal Member of Parliament. He had the Richmond seat.

28. Learned from Lord Wiki that Larry Anthony is the father of Doug Anthony. Doug Anthony also had the seat of Richmond. He had it for a long time—1957 to 1984.

Doug Anthony is the guy who inspired the name of the comedian group Doug Anthony All Stars.    Or at least I think he inspired the name.

It's the musical/comedy group with Paul McDermott.  

Here's my favorite Paul McDermott performance.



He's singing with a witch there, but not the Tallygarunga type. It's Fiona Horne, who's a Wiccan. 

29. Thought that Fiona Horne would work well as a face claim in Tallygarunga.

How about Tanya, the mother of some of the Blair kids?

Does she have a face claim?  Has she ever been a played character in Tally, or has she always been more of a flashback type person?

30. Looked at the character repository in Tallygarunga. I don't see Tanya, so I think maybe that means she hasn't been a played character. 

31. Amazed that I went from Larry Anthony to Doug Anthony to Paul McDerrmott to Fiona Horne to Tanya Blair.

I should really get back to Larry.  

Or at least let's get back to the seat of Richmond.

The Anthony-Richmond connection didn't end with Doug.

He had a son. Larry. I'm assuming he named him after his father.

Larry II had the seat from 1996-2004.

From 2004-present, the seat has been occupied by someone not in the Anthony family.  It's Justine Elliot. She's in the Labor party.

I wonder if Larry II had children. Will they have the seat of Richmond someday?  

32. Went back to the Australian Dictionary of Biography so I can learn more about the first Larry Anthony.

He played a part in bringing television to Australia....if I'm understanding things correctly.

33. Learned that Larry Anthony was very anti-communist. That's not too surprising for a Country Party politician in the 1950's.

I think a lot of people were anti-communist in those days.

34. Went to Ray Fletcher's YouTube channel.  

I like what he says in his profile.

He talks about how music didn't come naturally to him.  He's had to REALLY practice.

It's good for me to hear stuff like that.

I don't really see the point in pursuing things I'm awful at.  I'm not going to waste my time learning how to do cartwheels.  But if there's something I'm sort of okay at, and I like doing it, I should practice.

I shouldn't quickly give up on something simply because I'm not absolutely perfect at it.

The other thing that Ray Fletcher talks about in his profile is how he uses his music activities to help with his depression and social anxiety.

I think that's very inspiring.

I'm thinking we all have our psychiatric drugs.  It's just some of our drugs aren't really drugs. 

One of Ray's drugs is music.

One of my drugs is blogging.  My other major one is fiction. I NEED fiction to keep me sane.

Then there's laughter. That's a huge psychiatric medicine for me. If I'm feeling depressed, a teaspoon of Modern Family or Stephen Colbert is sure to make me feel at least a little better.  

35. Listened to Ray Fletcher sing "Hallelujah". 



It's very weird, and beautiful.

Ray has a nice voice, and he does very creative things with the song.  

36. Decided to multi-task.

I'm going to listen to Ray's music while looking at Baroo42's Tassie and Back To Sydney Flickr set.   

37. Started to listen to Ray Fletcher sing "Vincent".



This guy is FANTASTIC.

I'm so impressed with how he does the song.

38. Saw another Baroo42 photo with people risking their lives. 

Why do they do stuff like that?

39. Saw that Ray Fletcher hasn't uploaded anything for 8 months.

Why!!!!!?????

I hope he's okay.

He's so talented.

He needs to do more music.

40. Listened to Ray Fletcher sing "I'm Yours"



That song always makes me think of Elliot Freeman.



41. Wondered what's up with this giant Swatch.  

42. Wondered who this woman in Sydney is. She's barbecuing.  

Maybe she's Baroo42's mom.

I thought Baroo42 was from another country; but maybe he's Australian.   

I don't know. 

I saw a video in one of the earlier sets.   It sounded like people were speaking a language besides English.

Then again, sometimes Australians do speak another language besides Australian.

43. Wondered, though, do Australians go backpacking around Australia?   I would imagine they mostly go overseas.

But some might travel around their own country. Maybe?

44. Listened to Ray Fletcher sing "Here Comes The Sun".  I'm not going to embed it because I already have too many embedded videos for this post. 

Ray's singing is wonderful like always, but the sound of the recording sounds a bit off to me.

45. Wondered. Was this photo taken in Sydney? Or is that Canberra?  

I think it's Canberra; but I might be wrong. 

46. Knew for sure that they were in Canberra when I saw this photo.  Well, and the ones leading up to it gave me the idea as well.

47. Looked at the Australian Monopoly board

I have another Perth street today.

I guess each Monopoly color set deals with a different city.

Tomorrow I'll be starting on the oranges, and that's Adelaide streets.  

I like it this way.

It's probably better than jumping from city to city.

48. Found Hay Street on Google Maps

It runs east to west, and starts at Barrack Street.

49. Saw that there's a business on Hay Street called National Australian Migration Services.

It looks like they help people move to Australia.  

I guess it's for people who don't want to do the migration research on their own. 

50. Saw that there's a school on Hay Street.  It's called WAEC-West Australian English College

I guess it's a secondary school?

51. Saw that WAEC is a university for international students.   It helps them learn English.

52. Saw that the area around Hay Street has a lot of businesses that deal with migration.   

53. Found a restaurant on Hay Street. I went to the website, and saw it was part of a hotel.

The restaurant is called Cornerstone Bar and Kitchen.  The hotel is called Mantra on Hay.  

54. Saw that the Mantra on Hay is expensive.

It's $399 a night for a one bedroom apartment.

55. Didn't see anything on the website to make me wish we had the money to stay there.

I mean sometimes I see expensive hotels, and I feel the temptation to splurge.

I'm not feeling it here.

It's nice...definitely.  But it's doesn't look spectacular to me.

56. Decided Mantra on Hay looks very corporate to me.

It looks like a place you'd go for a work conference.

57. Found another hotel on Hay Street. 

This is part of the Comfort Hotel chain.

I think we have them in America too.

Maybe it's an American company?

58. Learned from Lord Wiki that Comfort Hotel is part of an American company called Choice Hotels. 

59. Liked that kids stay free at the Comfort Hotel!

I'm looking at the price. It's about $170 a night. That's not bad, but for the looks of the rooms I'd want it to be about $130 a night.

60. Saw that there's a park on Hay Street. It's called Queens Gardens.

Maybe it's their botanical gardens?

61. Learned from this website that there's a Peter Pan statue in Queens Gardens.   It's a replica of the one in Kensington Gardens.  

62. Had an idea in the shower.

Maybe for my accent practice, I'll try to do a little recording everyday.

It will be like my own little podcast, but hopefully they won't be more than 3 minutes long.

I'll usually embed, but if I have too many videos already....I'll just link to it.

I think this will be good for me.

Not only is it good Australian accent practice, but I'll also be practicing public speaking.

And for me, public speaking is talking to anyone who's not Tim or Jack.  

62. Made the recording.

It sounds a bit more American this time.  I kind of tried to just be natural...and not force anything too much.  I'd say it's about 60% American,  25% British and 15% Australian.

63. Figured I should use the same picture all the time for the background photo thing. I'll have to try to find one I like.

64. Decided to use the photo I used yesterday. It's my messy office where I write my blog. I think that's appropriate.

65. Deleted my recording.

I'm going to try again.

66. Made another recording. This time Jack helped me a little.  

I think this one is about 75% American 15% British and 10% Australian.

A part of me thinks I should scrap the videos where I fail, but then I'll keep having to do outtake after outtake; and I'll get even more nervous.

I think I shall display my failures and successes.

67. Changed my mind.

I wanted to try to do a better video.  

It's not that much better, but maybe it's a teeny tiny bit more Australian.

So....here's the video