...there is only 1gianna.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
For five long years, John Howard gave me something to gripe about on my blog on almost a daily basis. Then came the miracle of November 24. And I’ve had nothing to say since. (Or very little, anyway.)
No, I don’t get it either. The thing is, I’ve still been tuning into politics just as much as before, but I guess I’m in more of a listening and observing phase right now. I'll just have to go with the flow and patiently await the return of the writing muse.
Meanwhile, I’m loving my new course in visual arts. The discipline of going to school three full days a week is a bit of a shock to my system though. The workload is intense and I’m definitely going to find it demanding. It’s also a new experience working a study schedule around the needs of a small child, but so far, so good.
I’m also a bit worn out at the moment as I’m preparing for Harley’s fourth birthday party this weekend. There’s been a fair amount of wrestling with a stubborn piñata all week (the damn things are much more difficult to make than they look. Mine looks more like an alien than a zebra, but it’s the thought that counts, right?).
But now, unfortunately, I’m dragging myself off to bed. Tomorrow is another school day--this time painting and sculpture classes. More another time...hope you are all well....g'night.
Friday, January 11, 2008
I wake up happy, thinking he'll be home today. It's been twenty-one days without him. He calls me up first thing. Rustling in the background, talk of sticky-tape and some sort of "special message" he has to stick in my card, presumably my birthday one. I tell him I can't wait to see him at lunch-time. We talk a bit more, then his father gets on the phone.
"So we’ll see you tomorrow at one then."
"You mean today at one, right," I say.
"No, I thought it was tomorrow."
He checks his emails. Friday 11th.
"Sorry," he says.
"It’s okay," I say. I’m choking back sobs of disappointment but I don't want them to rush their journey back. I speak to my boy again. He whispers things and then I clearly hear, "I love you very much, Mum."
"I love you very much too, little angel," I croak. "We’ll have a little party tomorrow, just you and me, okay?"
I tell him I'm going to go down to Donut King later and buy him a dozen mini iced donuts, a rare treat. He loves to ration them out over a few days: "And this time Mum you can have the caramel one with green sprinkles, and I'm going to have the pink one with yellow sprinkles! And then there's still...one, two, three, four, five, no, six left!" (They make good incentives, too, those donuts: "Young man, if you don't stay in your bed, I'm going to have to eat the rest of those bloody donuts while you're asleep tonight, OK?" Or, "I’ll give them to the cat!" Or, "I’ll put them straight in the bin!"--all work.)
I hope he can't tell I'm crying. His father tells me they’re going walking in the Blue Mountains today and I can only think of the cliffs.
After we hang up, I cry some more. I remind myself there are worse things than him coming home a day late. I pick up the paint roller and dip it in Ocean Grove, the same color I used for his room, and grimly set to work on the last unpainted wall in the study.
Yesterday had unexpectedly happy moments and flew by. But today, boy, today has taken forever...
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Painting his room today, I pushed with such vigour that I broke the handle of the paint roller. I walked down to Bunnings to get a new one. Outside the store I bummed a cigarette off a staffer on his break, then I headed towards the little bridge where my son and I usually stop to rest on the way home from grocery shopping. Two young boys were hoisting an old shopping trolley up over the bridge railing and as I got close they pushed it over, watching it fall, laughing.
"Hey, don’t do that," I said. "You might hit a duck." They looked at each other and smirked at me--old fogey killjoy--before running off.
I sat down on the stoop where we like to cool our heels and watch the ducks, where we unwrap packages of crackers or wash strawberries or refill our water bottles. Last time we were here we sat eating rainbow Paddlepops and he made me laugh by declaring,
"Mum, I love the ice-cream feeling."
I agreed it was a pretty good feeling. After a while I said,
"It was nice seeing Arabella at Blueys yesterday. What was the name of that other kid you both used to play with sometimes, do you remember? You know, that boy with the really big blonde curls?"
He thought for a moment.
"Shirley?" he offered.
Shirley???? Where on earth did that come from? It still makes me smile. I later remembered the boy's name was Jack.
It had started to sprinkle. When I pointed this out, he stopped licking his icecream long enough to muse,
"Rain...rain is just the thing I need."
Today I sat thinking of these fragments, and thinking of the line from T. S. Eliot’s poem The Wasteland, which I’d come across in the Joan Didion book I was reading over Christmas:
These fragments I have shored against my ruins.
It's a line that gets in and repeats itself in your head.
Down at the end of the footpath I could see someone heading my way in a motorised wheelchair with a little orange flag fixed to the back. A man in a leather stockman’s hat drew alongside and stopped, and I realised I had seen him around town before. I thought he was old, never having looked so closely, but now I saw under his hat that he was young, maybe 30, and looked a bit like the younger Mel Gibson.
Car accident, maybe, I thought. Poor bugger.
He wagged his finger in an exaggerated way at my cigarette.
"I know: it’ll stunt my growth," I said.
"Sh...ort a..ss," he said, so I guess he had seen me around town too.
He stared at me so I pointed over towards the ducks.
"The ducklings are brown," I said.
"L...ight br...own," he agreed. Words were mountains his mouth had to climb. It seemed hard work going up, but a breeze coming down.
"I thought ducklings were meant to be yellow," I said.
He shook his head. His gaze fell on my new paint roller.
"My little boy’s away with his dad," I said. "I’m painting his room."
Then he said, "Are you s...apped?"
"Sorry?" I said.
"Are you s...apped?"
"Strapped?" I suggested, confused.
"Are you s...apped?"
"I’m sorry." I felt myself cringing. "More information?"
He abandoned the attempt.
"Are you h...appy?"
I nodded with relief.
"Actually it’s my birthday today."
He wished me a happy birthday and I thanked him.
A party of three middle-aged people was walking up the path and I turned my toes to the side to make a couple of inches more room as they passed between us.
"You’re right," one of them said to me, without looking at either of us.
I put out the cigarette.
"I don’t really smoke," I said. "I just...miss him."
He gave me a kind look. I rubbed my neck. "And I think I’ve done something to my neck painting," I said. "I can hardly turn it."
"P...oor b...ugger," he winked.
"T...ake off y...our g...lasses," he said.
"Sorry," I said. "I’m just really tired."
I raised my big sunglasses and parked them in my hair. "See?"
"Y...ou’re h...andsome," he said.
I laughed. I’ve been called a lot of things but never been called that before.
"So what’s your name?" I asked him.
"My brother’s name is Marco," I said. "I’m Gianna."
We shook hands. His warm hand gripped mine with a strength that surprised me.
"Well, I’m off, I guess," I said, gathering up my things. "I'll see you around. Have a good day, eh?"
"I...’ll tr...y," he said, grinning. He gave a wave and set off towards the bridge, his orange flag an arrow pointing back at me, as if to show me the way home.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Thought it was time I picked up a pencil again, so here's tonight's quick sketch. It's not a self-portrait; it's actually meant to be Her Serene Highness the Princess of Monaco, the late Grace Kelly, from the recent Good Weekend cover.
Alright then, enough doodling. Back to work on some draft posts for Surfdom...*cracks whip*
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The Australian's editorial this morning, entitled 'Cheers for democracy', concludes with:
"[T]he voters' judgment was, like the Kray twins, cruel but fair."
Like the Kray twins? Um....
Friday, November 16, 2007
We're off to Sydney now for a few days. Lots planned for the little man as well as some big nights out for me...about time I say...
Hope everyone is well and like me, enjoying the long-awaited and much-deserved spectacle of Howard's chickens coming home to roost.
posted by Gianna at 9:02 AM
Monday, November 12, 2007
“Mum, come and play with my train track,” he whinges.
“Sorry, sweetheart, but I’m folding this washing right now,” I say, not feeling the slightest bit guilty because it’s the end of a long day of playing with him and he’s certainly had no shortage of my attention. “It's book time in a minute, as soon as I fold this pile of clothes on the couch, okay?”
“But I want you to play with my train track now!”
I stop folding clothes.
“Honestly,” I mutter to myself. “It’s like living with a three year old sometimes." I find this thought usually has the desired effect of putting things into perspective. Sometimes you forget they are only three, compared to your thirty-six.
I decide to try a different approach.
“Okay, here‘s an idea...I'll play trains if you fold these clothes.”
Uncertain look. He’s not sure it’s such a good deal after all.
“Well, someone’s got to do the housework, eh?” I say. “What, you think we have elves or something? That do all the cleaning when we‘re asleep, hmmn?”
I fancy I sense something dimly dawning on him. I know he routinely observes me doing the housework, but I suspect it has not occurred to him yet that I might not be doing it all just for fun.
“Don’t worry, soon enough you’ll be helping me with the housework,” I assure him. “In the meantime, maybe we should think about getting an elf. A couple of elves.”
Of course, he does help me with some things already--sweeping and raking and mopping, or sorting clothes into piles, or taking the boxes and bottles to the recycling bin. But while all this is a wonderful form of educational play, I’m sure, ‘helping mum with the housework’ often means mum ends up redoing it after them anyway.
He goes back to playing with his trains and I go back to folding clothes.
I think I have made my point.
After a moment, very sweetly he comes to give me a hug, and he astounds me by saying, “Mum, I’m in love with you.”
In love with me! It fairly made me melt. Where has he heard this phrase? I only say “I love you“ to him. Maybe the kids at his preschool are already saying it to each other? I remember ‘getting married’ to a boy once in kindy, so I guess kids are well aware of the idea of romantic love by that age. But he's so young.
“I’m in love with you too,” I say dreamily. I realise I am, actually, in love with him too.
Then he runs his hand run up my spiky unshaven calf and says, “Mum, you’re an echidna."
But I've digressed.
When my boy and I are alone at home, he wants me to play with him every waking second. He resents it when I attempt to do housework around him. Paradoxically, on particularly trying days, I sometimes almost take refuge in housework. If your child is tired and whingy and you‘re straying close to ‘meltdown’ territory, there’s nothing like the din of a vacuum cleaner to drown everything out for five minutes. That may sound terrible but I’m sure other parents will know what I mean.
In your attempts to be an adequate parent, you try as much as possible to engage directly with your child. Most of your days together are spent out and about, at playgrounds or playdates, and housework is often left til after bedtime. But unless you have a maid, or elves, it is inevitable that you’ll have to spend at least some of the time that you are caring for and “nurturing” your child, rushing around muttering to yourself under your breath about how you’re nothing but a slave.
All of which I guess is sort of a tangent to my post at Surfdom. As much as looking after small children is a wonderful and important job, it seems to me that we shouldn’t gloss over the sheer amount of mundane domestic drudgery involved. And ‘staying at home with your child’ isn’t all just making robots out of recycled lids and toilet roll tubes, making glitter playdough or building train tracks together. As much as you are nurturer-educator, you are also janitor.
Of course, when they say they’re in love with you, all your frustrations disappear, and you’re a happy slave once more.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I’ve wanted to blog all week but have been under the gun with, you know, life and stuff. We had an unexpected houseguest off and on during the week and there were various domestic dramas (telly blowing up, washer breaking down, locking myself out of the house, etc). And then there's the things you can't blog about. I may have had a worse week than Tony Abbott.
Jumped on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon this year too, so that‘s eating up time. Day two and I'm already in debt by 1667 words (the daily average you should put in if you want to write the fifty thousand words in time) Argh...is a four letter word too.
But things are looking up. So more blogging soonish.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I’m not sure that a nude will convert people to vegetarianism, but I guess there might be some Neanderthals out there who would take one look at Sophie Monk’s American Beauty pose, fling their T-bone in the bin and grab a handful of nuts instead. (Other than their own, I mean.)
Is it my imagination or has poor Sophie been subjected to a bit of digital mulesing?Who on earth has a bum like that? Oh, vegetarians do...riiiiight. Now I’m catching on: Men want her, women want to be her...
Still, I find the following ad is more successful at turning me off eating animals:
Possibly the most unappetising photo of a meat dish ever, I reckon.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Sometimes when I serve my cat his dinner and he finds the quality unsatisfactory, he gives me an offended look and jumps out the kitchen window.
Goodbye, cruel cat food!
Minutes later, he is scrabbling at the back door. I open it. He slinks past, rewarding me with a brush of his fur on my calf.
Miaow!, he cries, managing to sound relieved, smug and sycophantic all at once.
He heads for his bowl, in the hope that something else will have magically taken the place of the home-brand fish in his absence.
He gives me another dirty look and is out the window again.
Five minutes later, scrabbling at the back door. I open it again.
This time I don’t get any fur.
Miaow!, he cries, managing to sound--etc.
This goes on several times until the cat accepts its unhappy fate and sullenly eats a mouthful of home-brand fish, then goes to settle his unhappy self on a couch arm, giving flinty glares if any attempt at patting is made for the duration of the evening. After a while he jumps on the telly, dislodging the aerial he knows is only held in place by BluTac, and smirks a little as I swear and spend a long time fixing the reception. When the picture is restored he rearranges his warm fat body so that his tail is hanging across the face of the person talking on television.
He sighs loudly to reiterate: He does not like home-brand fish.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I agree with Monica Dux when she argues that the Left is obliged to criticise Kevin Rudd for apparently moving the Labor Party to the Right; whether that's a strategy to offer 'conservative middle Oz' a painless transition, or whether that's just who Kev is. But voting in Howard to make that point is totally counterproductive because even if it would send a message to Labor, it wouldn't send one to the Liberals; rather give them all kinds of mandates.
Dux says that Howardhaters (herself included) turn swingers into Howardhuggers with our self-righteous bleating. So does that mean if the Left goes in hard against Kev, swingers might rally around Labor? I don't know. As commenters have said ad nauseam at Surfdom and beyond, the only solution is vote Labor in but on Green preferences.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
From John Howard’s election announcement speech today:
"Can I say, love me or loathe me, the Australian people know where I stand on all the major issues of importance to their future."
Que? I doubt even his own party knows where he stands on anything, anymore. What we all do know is that he is a gross opportunist, forever jumping on bandwagons because he suddenly "senses" something--or is told via the focus groups, anyway. Annabel Crabb made me laugh yesterday:
"Every week, it seems, there's a new idea, bearing no critical relevance to its predecessor. It's a bit like watching a three-year-old building a pizza - "ham AND cheese AND Smarties AND apple AND toothpaste AND olives AND ..."
Anyway, over the years I've had many reasons to loathe Howard. Here are just a few current ones. But loathe might be too strong a word. Let's just say 'dislike'.
1. I dislike the way he’s still not the slightest bit convinced about the seriousness of climate change, except insofar as he "senses" that Australians are taking it seriously so he'd better look like he is, too. He dismisses Al Gore’s Nobel Prize win with,
"Everyone makes mistakes, and there is a danger that we create an aura around individuals that is not deserved."
So, our PM is very conflicted on climate change. He doesn't really believe in the whole conspiracy theory, but he's eager to build nuclear reactors in response anyway.
2. I dislike the way he muddied the moral waters on capital punishment the other day:
AUSTRALIANS would feel "let down" if the Bali bombers on death row were not executed, Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday.
Well, some of us actually think that these terrorists would suffer more from lifelong deprivation of liberty than from a quick dispatching to their eagerly-anticipated sexual reward. To kill them, quite apart from reducing us to their level, turns them into martyrs. Life in prison is a far more tedious punishment, and separates them from their perceived pay-off for much longer. Of course, let our government lobby for greater restriction of prisoner freedoms so that Indonesia‘s ‘soft-counter terrorism’ measures do not equate to an easy ride for convicted terrorists. But don’t claim on our behalf that we are all relativists on capital punishment.
3. I dislike the way Howard’s sudden interest in indigenous Australia feels selfish. It feels as if it's all about him and his relationship with white Australia. I notice the way he has described it in terms of achieving some kind of "settlement" of the issue, as though you can write a few words of preamble, then draw a line under the whole thing and put it out of your mind (and maybe your history books). When I saw George Brandis on Lateline the other night I realised again what made me uncomfortable. It doesn't feel to be genuinely about indigenous Australians, more about white Australians and how we feel. Brandis says, in a petulant tone of voice:
"I've never done anything to hurt the Aboriginal people. John Howard has never done anything to hurt the Aboriginal people. I'm sure you, Virginia, and you, Lindsay, have never done anything to hurt the Aboriginal people..."
And it just all seems so self-centred--being about how it reflects back on white Australia, how we feel about ourselves and our past, and whether we must take responsibility for the actions of the settlers. The new Liberal symbolism is far less about actually making a difference to the lives of indigenous people as about making white Australians feel better about themselves. And that's not what "reconciliation" means to me.
Anyway, I’m sure there will be plenty more loathing/disliking over the next six weeks...but that’s all for tonight, I'm all ratted out.
According to Howard there is much to fear about "wall-to-wall Labor governments":
"Such a state of affairs would rob this country of the necessary checks and balances that a federal system inevitably provides."
Well, surely it's not quite as dire as that. Voters are still able to vote Liberal at the next state elections. At worst it’s a short-term lack of balance, which presents little risk.
Making a big deal of this checks-and-balances argument means Howard puts himself in a position where, if the Liberals are in power federally, he must really argue against voting in a number of Liberal state governments. Anyway, if Labor were in government federally, maybe people would be more willing to give state Liberal parties a go? The onus is simply on the Liberals to come up with credible state alternatives. (When it was down to Iemma v Debnam, it was a no-brainer. But Iemma v O’Farrell? Different story...)
If we can’t vote a federal government out just because of what is occurring at state level, it makes it impossible to hold a federal government accountable on its own merits (or lack thereof).
And let’s not forget how, in recent times, Howard has been working hard at trying to absorb various state powers. As such, voting Liberal federally means accepting such further weakening of the powers of the state governments that you ostensibly voted in as checks-and-balances against federal power. Hmm...it’s a tangled web, innit?
I'm often fairly critical of Murdoch media outlets, and here's another typical example why. Look at this piece of dirty reporting in today's Daily Telegraph. The link pointing to the article by Chris Tinkler reads, Boyfriend scandal - Gillard's lover's dark past, and if you click through, you will surely be shocked and horrified to learn that not only did Gillard's partner once drunkenly crash his car into a fence, he also fathered an illegitimate child a long time before he met Gillard.
What a scandal! What a dark past! These terrible crimes clearly reflect deeply on Julia Gillard. She's clearly responsible for these events or at least guilty of turning a blind eye to them. Or something.
Most tiresome is the arms-length way this muckraking is reported: "An investigation into the past of the man who is the boyfriend of the woman who could be Australia's first female deputy prime minister has also uncovered claims...", etc. "An investigation" by who--the Libs, who've tipped off the paper? Or by the paper itself? It's not clear. But either way it's pathetic to try to smear politicians by raking through the pasts of their families and the paper should be ashamed of this kind of useless reporting.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
This was strange and smacked of desperation--Tony Abbott accusing Julia Gillard of being a political animal. Gee, how totally inappropriate for a politician, eh? Last election, Labor was too inexperienced in politics. Now it seem's they have too much experience. It's not Learner Latham, it's Learned Gillard:
It was Gillard's obsession with politics that counted against her. Mr Abbott said voters were seeking a bit more humanity from their political leaders.
"She's someone who has lived, breathed, ate and drunk politics for the whole of her adult life," he said. "The average person would look askance at such a political animal...The thing about Gillard is that she is very bright, just uber-professional and a formidable debater. It would be a lot easier for her to realise her ambition if there was evidence of a broader lifetime experience. It's very hard to be a leader in a democratic society if your life has been consumed by the job as hers seems to be."
Unless you're John Howard, Political Animal, I suppose. Way things are going though, looks like Howard's going to be getting a little 'broader lifetime experience' himself very soon. Along the lines of fishing and golfing and public speaking gigs. But who knows? According to Abbott, this should help him with any future comeback plans. What, you think he's really going to go away? Come on, the man lives, breathes, eats and drinks politics!
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I suck at dating. Really suck. You know when you like someone and it makes you so self-conscious that your behaviour weirds out? Yeah. Pretty much blew the whole thing from start to finish. Couldn’t be myself. Then again, maybe I just need practice. A lot of practice.
Never mind. We writers can at least comfort ourselves that we are going to get some mileage out of our dorkiest moments.
PS. I hate the word 'dating' but what else can you call it?
Friday, October 05, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
OK, we're struggling to make ends meet at the moment*, so it's possible I might lose my net connection for a week or two (though hopefully it won't stretch into three months like last year when we faced a similar cashflow problem...what is it about the month of September ?) Anyway, I might get a chance later to catch up on all the blogs, and get some posts up, before we go offline.
(*and of course, Joe Hockey, it's just cos we're coastal dole bludgers, far too lazy to snap up one of the gazillions of wonderful non-existent jobs available in our town.)
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
So, the Liberals have settled the leadership question. And this time they mean it, okay? (Until the next bad poll.)
Kerry O’Brien interviewed John Howard last night. Howard pleaded to govern for up to three more years. Uh, this mightn’t have been the best thing to tell people who keep telling him to go away, they’re bored of him. Like Barnaby Joyce, my thoughts turn to a metaphor of lovers. Of the jilted lover who cannot accept it is over. Vows to change. Reminds you of the good times. Stalks you.
The biggest question went unanswered: Why exactly is Howard so much better than Costello to lead now, given he’s happy for Costello to be PM when, ‘well into’ his next term, he deigns to go. (We're left guessing what 'well into' means, but from his digs at Beattie and Bracks, we must assume it must be more than one year.)
Why not Costello now? If he’s good enough for us in the foreseeable future, surely he’s good enough now. What is he, chopped liver? Oh, that’s right, he is.
If Howard is saying Costello is still not good enough to lead, after all this time, he’s deliberately selling us a dud. He emphasised the team was running for reelection, not just him. In that case, why is it so important that he head it up. Why can’t another team member have a go?
Truth is, I doubt very much that Howard thinks Costello will ever lead. "Over my dead body," is the phrase that leaps to mind. Howard knows that by the time he retires, someone else will have had time to make their mark (or remake it) and oust an unelectable Costello.
Costello is the Liberal Party’s Simon Crean. A man whose sense of entitlement is palpable to the voters but still doesn’t manage to win the public over. And Costello has far more policy baggage on top of that.
Howard claims that if elected again,
...well into my term, I would come to the conclusion that it would be in the best interests of everybody if I retired...
But we are left wondering why it would suddenly then be in the party's best interests to leave. And what if it wasn't? According to the strange logic of his exit formula, wouldn't he have to stay whether he wanted to or not, so long as the party wanted him and it was in their best interests? (Hotel Howard: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.)
OK, sample people: go forth and cane them again via the polls.
It’s making such great political reality TV.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The other day Conservative columnist Piers Akerman complained,
"Howard has stuck to a mantra about the leadership ever since the question was first raised. He has steadfastly repeated that he will remain leader for as long as his party wishes him to remain. The commentariat, however, seems psychologically incapable of taking him at his word."
Well, Piers, that might be because it clearly is up to Howard: as we've all seen, he has simply refused to go despite his party wanting him out. As Akerman's colleague Paul Kelly writes today, "Howard will have to be dynamited out of the job".
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Interesting juxtaposition of stories in The Australian newspaper today. In the first story, Britney Spears is panned for her controversial VMA performance. She’s described as being "out of shape" and "no longer boasting [a] buff body". Right beside it, a story about new rules limiting the use of underage models by fashion designers in response to "controversy about the fashion industry’s use of super-thin waifs to advertise clothes." There's a further photo gallery of Spears's performance thanks to News Ltd. Under one photo, the caption has the male dancer saying “Are you serious? I’m not going to lift you!”
No wonder teens have eating disorders. It’s not just the fashion industry. Look how quickly and gleefully the mainstream media describes the healthy-looking, normal shape of a woman as overweight.
I'm no fan of Spears generally, but gimme a woman over a waif any day.
elsewhere: similar thoughts.
Monday, September 10, 2007
After I posted this at Surfdom just now, I switched on Lateline in time to see a neatly-combed and scrubbed John Howard vowing he would stay on and win.
What option does he have--publicly wring his hands in anguish? Say, "But how could this be happening? I have the ear of the Australian people!" Of course he will act concerned, but confident. Alert, but not alarmed. He needs to try to harness the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy, after all--fake it til you make it. Naturally he's also trying to trade off the fact that Australians respect tenacity. That may be so, but I doubt the laundry list of complaints that voters have will just magically evaporate.
And the pressure's on, if Glenn Milne is to be believed (Sunday Telegraph, 9/9/07, not apparently available online). He invokes the spectre of the mysterious 'unaligned ministers' who have apparently given Howard a deadline of mere days to shape up or ship out....
Sandra Lee writes about 'cultural cringe', seeing this expressed in the "self-flagellators flooding the talkback radio lines moaning about what they saw as Australia's and Prime Minister Howard's misplaced but slavish devotion to the US and President Bush".
I don't understand this argument. Aren't her 'self-flagellators' actually condemning cultural cringe themselves? Aren't they demonstrating pride in our own culture when they criticise the expectation that we swear unquestioning loyalty to another one?
"The Cringers apparently forgot that the alliance and friendship between Australia and the US did not start with Messrs Howard and Bush, nor will it end there."
Precisely why it should be okay to criticise the 'extraordinarily close relationship' the two men have without being accused of being anti-American in general, let alone anti-Australian. Their enmeshed relationship, closer than those Howard has with other delegates, is surely why the US alliance was so salient to the public. Our policies, thanks to Howard, are very closely tied up with Bush's. To criticise the Bush-Howard alliance is the opposite of cultural cringe, I would have thought. Ironically, it's Lee who is embarrassed and cringing at her bolshie compatriots.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Impressed with the Chaser's recent APEC stunt, Osama bin Laden unveils his new look:
Breaching Western security should be a breeze now.
(I cut to the Chaser at Surfdom the other day. Oh, and also posted on Condoleezza Rice's Lateline interview while there.)
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Slow news day, obviously, so Imre Saluszinsky decided to gross us all out. Apparently he wants to "eat something sweet and creamy off [APEC media spokesperson Anne Fulwood's] naked body". As Annabel Crabb put it today, Imre's latest column is "a stomach-turningly, police-callingly explicit account of his own haggard sexual yearnings for poor Anne Fulwood".
What was he
Friday, September 07, 2007
"Mum," he said. "On the news, they’re just making it up."
"What do you mean, little man?" I asked, thinking gee, he's pretty critically literate for a three year old...
"Cos, well, Mummy," he explained, "they’re pretending the streets are on fire."
"Oh, yeah...I think that was part of some kind of show...um..."
Nice reminder of why kids really shouldn't watch the news, even just in the background. If only I could get him to bed earlier...sigh...
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Unless you're too busy having conniptions, that is. I had a laugh with my folks today over John Howard's "Tough on Drugs!" promotional booklet which we all received in the post lately. I don't know about your family dynamics when you were a teenager, but parental conniptions were a feature of ours. If I'd dared to pipe up with, "I always wanted to try that stuff!" or maybe even "It made me feel really good!" when busted, I'd only have earnt myself a good ohrfeige*. And, surely, had my ass grounded from here to kingdom come.
At least we can look back and laugh, I guess.
Talking to your kids about drugs is all well and good advice and probably worth the price of this attractive booklet. Just don't expect them to tell you the truth. Unless they're stupid.
*Ohrfeige: German. Literally ear-fig, but (from memory) equates to getting your ears boxed.