Monday, July 30, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
After all The Australian's bleating about "breaking real stories and adding to society's pool of knowledge" the other day, I was amused to read this line in a news.com.au story last night:
"Max Bowen, manager of the Iron Duke Hotel at the corner of Botany Road and McEvoy Street, told SMH Online that he ran outside after hearing the crash and saw the mother covering her daughter." (my emphasis)
You wouldn't be feeding off a Fairfax story there would you, News Ltd?
Last night he says,
"Mum, it's sore."
"Hey? What is?" I say. I turn the light back on.
"The door," he says.
"The door is sore?"
"Yes," he says. "It has a sore handle."
"Yes, and if you close it, it might bleed, you see."
"Oh, dear." He is starting to get scared of the dark and wants me to leave his bedroom door open at night. Still, I'm a little disturbed by his dark imagination. I haven't even been reading him The Brothers Grimm.
"Well, we better leave it open then, eh?"
"Yes," he says, relieved.
I close the door when he's sleeping, though, because otherwise the cat likes to try and smother him.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Matthew tagged me with a 5/5 meme the other day. I'll give it a go.
1. Name your area of expertise/interest:
I thought about offering "procrastination" as my area of expertise, because on my way to the computer to write this post today, I had to first make a lime cheesecake and then repaint my bathroom and then do some cartoons and then have a lie down and feel sorry for myself for having a cold (you know how you get those fits and bursts of energy when you are sick?). And then sure enough it was time to collect my child. And somehow now it's five to midnight. No more time for mucking around!
So I'll say "puns". I love making them and I love reading other people's puns. It's one of the things I love about blogging--especially since there's not much call for punning when writing straight fiction, for example. (Having decided on puns as an area of interest, though not necessarily expertise, a few days ago I immediately found I couldn't make any good ones for my new posts. Stage fright, I think.)
2. How did you become interested in it?
Growing up with a dad who was a sub-editor and spending a childhood listening to he and his colleagues make drunken puns around dinner tables.
3. How did you learn how to do it?
I think it's just always been part of the family tradition, to engage in word play all the time. Then later when I worked in magazines and newspapers for years, I got to write headlines to my heart's content.
4. Who has been your biggest influence?
Tie between Asterix and Groucho Marx.
5. What would you teach people about it?
A triple entendre is even better than a double entendre.
(Today's Handy Terror Hint: Don't forget to pack some Valium!)
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I feel like weighing into the debate provoked last week by The Australian’s editorial sledging online writers. Others in various comments threads have pointed out that the newspaper is likely most irked by competing for-profit online media like Crikey, rather than the thousands of amateur sites like mine. I couldn't resist reacting to some of the claims the paper made in attacking the credibility of online commentary (described as “smug, self assured, delusional swagger”).
The paper doesn't seem to realise that before blogging, people just thought all this. Now anyone has an avenue to criticise anything, including the media itself, which the media doesn't appear to be enjoying. Maybe blogging 'preys' on expensive primary content produced by Big Media. But it also performs a useful function in holding the media to account for what it writes. It's another layer of bullshit detectors.
You get a sense of the stubborn resistance of traditional media to new forms here. Newspapers acting threatened, dragged kicking and screaming into accepting the internet and its democratisation of debate. Then they suffer the indignity of being in competition with their own online presence as well, and possibly even watching their online entity overtake them in revenue. No wonder they're cut.)
But back to The Government Gazette.
“[There has been] silence when Mr Howard's performance has been put under the gun.”
That could be because it’s been done so half-heartedly. Sure, Paul Kelly writes things like (30 September 2006):
"John Howard has backed US policies that have fuelled the global jihadist movement and made Australia less safe. This seems a comprehensive failure and Howard should be called to account by the media, the Opposition and the public....By any measure the war in Iraq is going badly. And prime ministers who support unsuccessful wars that energise the enemy, expand his recruitment lines and give him vast propaganda value are not entitled to claim superior national security credentials...The scale of Howard's blunder will become more and more apparent. Labor should hold Howard to account. Iraq [was] a mistake, a war in which Labor's initial position was correct."
The paper has demanded the public hold John Howard accountable for his mistakes and the public has apparently done so, approving of Rudd as the cleanskin. But the paper didn't take its own advice. To use the vernacular, it did not ‘go’ Howard.
“As a newspaper we don't know who we will support at the federal election.”
When are they going to make up their minds, you have to wonder. When Labor announces it will go to the next election on a platform of AWAs, going nuclear, staying in Iraq indefinitely, etc? Um...
"The Australian is not beholden to any one side of politics..."
Didn't you just say you were Right of John Howard?
"Most of our criticism has been from the Right, chiding the Government for being overly generous with middle class welfare and reform shy..."
Well, unless Labor drastically changes its platform, it’s impossible to see how a proudly conservative paper like The Australian can honestly claim it still hasn’t decided who it supports.
According to the newspaper,
“Most of the electronic offerings that feed off the work of The Australian to create their own content are a waste of time.”
Who’s eating who? The media has always fed off the public for quotes and vox pops, and now online, for free content via comments boxes and forums. In whose opinion is “most” of the content “a waste of time”? If it’s such a waste of time, why are blogs so popular?
“But the one-eyed anti-Howard cheer squad now masquerading as serious online political commentary, apart from a few notable exceptions, has all but exhausted its claim to be taken seriously.”
Then why are they taking it so seriously? You wonder why these journalistic elites feel the need to stoop to conquer. If bloggers have no credibility, why the sudden urge to demolish it?
I reckon the paper is just embarrassed they’ve backed the wrong horse. Now, maybe because Rupe himself is acting like a swinger, his paper feels the need to rationalise its support for one of the last governing fossils of the late neocon era...
Anyway, it’s not all ‘endless commentary’. Some of us also post nude drawings.
Friday, July 13, 2007
We didn't get a chance to leave peacefully. The police just started pepper-spraying people, hitting them with batons and throwing them to the floor. It was absolutely shameful.
The Education Minister Julie Bishop:
So we did ring the police because they were actually inside the office chanting.
Imagine! They were actually chanting. Dangerous, chanting. Might lead to macrame or something.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
So then my boy came down heavily with the head cold he'd been nurturing since last week. Bad timing given the current flu scare, but since it's only been a mild cold and it's been several days now, and he's still cheerfully running amok, I'm not too worried (that's so unlike me!). Just means we've had a few sleepless nights and I had to keep him home from daycare yesterday, just to be on the safe side. Today we're taking a little busride outta this town for a quick change of scenery. Anyway, blogging will hopefully resume before the stack of clippings and notes beside my computer get too yellow...
posted by Gianna at 9:50 AM
Monday, July 09, 2007
I’m going to steal a blogger convention--and by that I mean a common post type, not a whole gathering of bloggers--and do a “What I’m…”.
what I’m watching…
Wallace & Gromit. Fave line from Wallace: “Now then, no sense in prevaricating around the bush”. Especially liked: A Close Shave.
Mr and Mrs Smith. My library had this and I thought, it’s free, how bad can it be? In a word: Tragic. Like stickytaping a copy of New Idea across your telly. There’s an early scene where Brad and Ange are at a party and someone hands Ange a baby, and she is made to look uncomfortable, as if she’s never held one before, and whaddya know, just at that moment Brad’s character looks over from a doorway to see her holding the baby…COO!…. And that’s the point at which he falls in love, of course.
“You know, part of me really wants this.”
“And the other part?”
“Also wants it, that’s the problem.”
Pretty In Pink. Also from the library. As good as it was when I was fourteen, with a classic 80s soundtrack. (Apposite line: “I mean, he’s a yuppie, but he’s soooo nice!”)
what I’m listening to…
what I’m reading...
Newspapers and blogs.
St Johns’ First Aid for Babies Fast! Recommended. If you read through this while you have PMT you may have a little cry at all the terrible things that can conceivably happen. But having a first aid book with exact photos of procedures is very reassuring.
Sneaky Veggies. Recommended. Yummy recipes, witty style.
I was too embarrassed to show my face around Surfdom for a few days last week after leaving a stupid self-pitiful comment there. I mean, the post was about another blogger who died, and I managed to try and make it about me. Cringe. I’d been in the last throes of PMT, and feeding into that had been the sudden and inexplicable estrangement of a sibling, making me feel worse than usual. Mostly when I have PMT I am careful not to traipse around the blogosphere leaving petulant whiny comments that probably do nothing but confirm people’s suspicions of my rampant narcissism. And the trouble with my whiny comment was that it’s not even true. I do have nice friendly email chats with other bloggers or readers from time to time, and frankly I’m often the worst offender as far as being unsociable goes. People have sometimes made efforts to involve me in the blogger community and have been rebuffed. What's more I’m a terrible emailer, usually lurching inappropriately from gushy to curt (though I do a nice line in flirty banter that leads nowhere).
So I don’t really know what I was trying to say, except that I was feeling bleak and desolate that day and probably a little melodramatic. (I notice that in almost all the sketches that I drew on Tuesday, I am scowling.)
It’s hard to talk about suffering from PMT when many people think it’s all in the mind. I still have a bone to pick with the female academic (whose name escapes me) who came out last year insisting that women just make it up. In my family they speak in hushed tones of my ‘feral' PMT, which roughly equates to rapid cycling bipolar disorder, tending to buffet me between two extremes: ogre of positive energy and ogre of sad energy. Sure, a hormonal mood disorder is all in the mind. Like other hormonally influenced mental states, say puberty, menopause, postnatal depression. None of which exist and all of which are just female excuses for bad behavior, right? Stupid academic. “Well I don’t get it myself, so it mustn’t exist!”. Man, that really stuck in my craw. Anyway, back on the upswing now so blogging should pick up again (and self-pitiful comments should cease). And I have to crawl back to Surfdom with my tail between my legs anyway, as I have some (ahem) serious posts to put up soon.