Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tasmania, the Border Force Act,1970's Men, and PS22

1. Started thinking about Tasmania.

I had planned on us going to Hobart, if and when we go back to Australia...and if we decide to do Tasmania again.

But I've been looking at Google Maps this morning and getting the idea that most places I want to visit in Tasmania are up north. It might be better to fly into Launceston.

I'd be sad about missing Hobart, but probably not that broken up.

Then again, Tasmania is a small state. Flying into Hobart would only add about two hours to our driving trip.  Well, and then we'd have to drive back to the airport; so that would be about four hours. Still. It's not too bad.

2. Read a very disturbing article about children in detention. Mandatory, limitless detention for asylum seekers is quite awful in itself. But the thing in the article that really creeps me out is this line:

Defying new federal laws threatening two years' jail for health workers who speak out against immigration detention centre conditions, more than 400 of the hospital's doctors stood together on Friday demanding children be released from detention. 

What the hell?

That can't be true.

I'm thinking...HOPING it's a misprint.

What kind of country would have a law that threatens jail time for people who speak out against injustice?

3. Found an article about the law. It's called the Border Force Act.

I'm not sure if the main point of the law is to punish whistle blowers; or if this is a side effect of the law.

Side effect might be the wrong word to use.

I guess it would be more like an unintentional consequence...well, and that's kind of what a side effect is. So maybe side effect is an appropriate word.

4. Went to the Australian Government's website.

The bill looks complicated. Well, the process of the bill looks complicated. I haven't looked at the actual bill yet.

5. Started looking at the bill.

6. Wondered about evil laws in the US I'm unaware of. And what about the rest of the world?

7.  Started to think I was getting misinformation from the two articles.

If I'm understanding the bill correctly, it's not as evil as the articles make it seem.

8. Wanted to note that I might NOT be understanding the bill correctly. It's very legal-ish.  I think I'd need a lawyer to translate.

From what I understand, though: Yes, you can go to jail for two years for disclosing protected information. But there are all sorts of exceptions.

For example, in section 48 of the law it says:

An entrusted person may disclose protected information if: (a) the entrusted person reasonably believes that the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat to the life or health of an individual; and (b) the disclosure is for the purposes of preventing or lessening that threat.

So, yeah. Australia isn't saying they can do super evil things to young children, and health care workers will be sent to jail if they speak out against it.

9.  Did think, though, that mandatory detention should end for all people—not just children.

What about preventing drowning?

Send over cruise ships. Then people won't have to get on rickety boats.

It's never going to be happy and perfect, though. There's not enough space on our planet for happy people who all get along—much less when many of us are xenophobic.

10. Started watching Underbelly: Razor.

I'm tired of the blood and razors. Though when I was young, I loved horror slasher films.

The thing is, I don't think I liked the actual slashing parts. I liked the characters, the relationships, the fight against evil, the interesting villain backstories, etc.

11. Excited because the Australia Location QuizUp game I've been playing is now giving out titles. This is one of the fun things about QuizUp. You earn cute little titles for each category.

Today when I finished playing a round of Australian Locations, I saw that I had earned, and had access to, several different titles. I picked Yara-ma-yha-who, the Australian version of vampires, even though it might not be the highest title available to me.

12. Looked at the cast list for my tomorrow episode of Underbelly: Razor. Saskia Burmeister is one of the guest stars.  So that means, there are at least three Sea Patrol actors on this series.

13. Started watching Howzat: Kerry Packer's War.

14. Bored by the show, so far. But it's fun seeing the 1970's clothes, hearing the Aussie music, and seeing the Aussie TV clips.

15. Recognized actress from Howzat; then saw that she (Mandy McElhinney) was also on Paper Giants: Magazine Wars.

16. Had a hard time keeping my eyes open, but the show is actually kind of interesting.

They're talking about Cricket players not being paid enough and some plan to have a big Cricket match on TV. It will include the best Aussie players and the best players around the world. I guess they'd pay them well.  I think they're going against the Cricket bosses, though, so they have to keep things a secret.

17. Got the idea that I'm probably not attracted to late 1970's men. The longish hair with big mustaches really doesn't do it for me.

18. Liked that A Welsh Girl in Australia's blog post about school holidays began with this phrase:
The school holidays have started here, two glorious weeks of freedom.

I like that Beth sees a break from school as the glorious freedom. Sometimes there are parents who feel more free and wonderful when their children go BACK to school.

I was thinking that maybe it's because Beth is the mother of an only child. Maybe parents of multiple children are more likely to want breaks from their kids. But I have an email-pal with three kids, and she seems to prefer it when her kids are at home rather than school.

19. Realized parent's attitudes toward school holidays might be determined by how well they and their kids get along. If they don't get along swimmingly, this can be due to a clash of personalities or a challenging child.

Some children want to be almost constantly entertained. They don't do well playing by themselves.This can be exhausting for the parents, and I wouldn't blame them for looking forward to school days returning.

20. Remembered that some parents have jobs to go to. For them, school holidays are probably seen as the time they need to frantically line up childcare.

21. Realized I can be interested in the Howzat movie despite not being interested in sports.

The basic storyline is really a man standing up against the conventional way of doing things and having to deal with a lot of people not being happy about that.

22 Went to the Triple J 2014 list.

Today I'm going to listen to the 96th song which is "Paranoia, Ghosts, and other Sounds" by Safia.

That's an interesting song title. It sounds fun.

I'm wondering about paranoia as a sound. What does that mean?

Well, I guess paranoia can be a sound when a paranoid person vocalizes their paranoid ideas.

23. Started to watch the video for "Paranoia, Ghosts, and Other Sounds".

It starts with spray painting.

24. Saw that the video is about drawings coming to life behind a man's back. But he sort of senses that something is up.

25. Liked the video a lot.

I can't tell if I'm seeing a man chased by his delusions or a man being chased by scary graffiti animals that have come to life.  Is is mental illness or the supernatural?  That might be one of my favorite questions. And I think the answer is always better when it's ambiguous.

26. Felt pressure to research people from Underbelly and Howzat.  But I think I'm learning all I want and need to know from watching the shows. I'm personally not that interested in cricket or 1920's gangsters.

27. Decided I'm slightly interested in Nellie Cameron, the woman played Anna McGahan, on Underbelly.

28. Learned, from Lord Wiki, that Nellie Cameron became known as the Kiss of Death Girl. This is because many of her boyfriends ended up dead. Though I don't think she wasn't the one who killed them.  I guess she was seen as bad luck?  But she dated violent criminals. Isn't it expected that there's going to be danger for them?  It's not like she's a girl who dated science teachers, and the science teachers all ended up dead.

29. Started watching a cute and unique cover of Ball Park Music's "Surrender". There's no singing. Instead, a girl plays the violin to replace the vocals.

I think it's quite lovely.

30. Enjoyed Farrowmusic's cover of "Surrender".

31. Started watching PS22's cover of Birds of Tokyo's "Lanterns".

It's hard to beat PS22. I love them. I need to listen to them more often.

32. Wondered if PS22 has done any more Australian songs.

33. Learned, from Lord Wiki, that PS22 is in Staten Island.  I assumed they were in Manhattan.

34. Saw that PS22 did a cover of "Somebody that I Used To Know".

I don't like this one very much, but I also wasn't a big fan of the original.

35. Started listening to PS22's cover of Tame Impala's "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards".

That's Australian, right?

I think it's quite good—the original and the PS22 cover.

36. Watched Kylie Minogue sing "Put Your Hands Up" with PS22.  Some of the sound quality seems a bit messed up.


It's fun.

37. Started listening to PS22's cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over".

38. Started having memories of going to an 8th grade dance.

I think maybe the song was popular at that time.

39. Consulted Lord Wiki.

He said the song was popular in the United States in the spring of 1987.  So...yeah. I would have been in 8th grade then.