Thursday, 23 July 2015
Sunday, 16 March 2014
|From #MarchinMarch - @tonesperth Instagram|
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Monday, 17 September 2012
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Since I've been back after 12 months away, I've been having a great time catching up with my friends. After dinner with a friend the other night, a friend emailed me:
So it was great to catch up with you last week. I have a follow up question: My brother thinks that because all news that is broadcast is "bad" that he doesn't bother watching, therefore is not informed. Is ignorance bliss? Is the outcome the same or similar if you are not in a position to change anything you observe on the 24 hr news cycle if you watch or don't watch? Thoughts?
I went on to reply...
...To be honest I don't know if I can really answer your question because it's been one I've been struggling with since I came back. Before I left Australia I was a total news junkie. Probably almost in the true sense of the word... I used to have "drug" seeking behaviour, I had total withdrawals and terrible FOMO (fear of missing out). It wouldn't be unusual for me to be working with ABC 24 news on the TV, Twitter in front of me and maybe streaming something else online. I was hooked.
But then I went overseas and while I tried to maintain my habit, it was much harder work. Less time to be spent watching endless (and frankly, repetitive) news coverage, Twitter feeds, reading blogs and overseas news websites... it's a lot to maintain. And when you are in a tropical paradise, somewhat less of a priority. And was my life any poorer during those 12 months? No.
Having said that though, the life I was living was without bounds, responsibility, time limits and was relatively stress free. I didn't give a shit about what Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard had said to/about each other that day, and I didn't even know that Bob Carr had been made Foreign Minister until just before I came back... All stuff I would have normally been on top of.
What I'm trying to figure out now is whether or not news actually enriches my life now that I'm back, or whether it actually just stresses me out because I can't control any of it and often it doesn't directly affect my day-to-day life (yet... I don't have a house/kids/mortgage). Have I really just surrounded myself with enablers? People with whom I need to be studying the news endlessly in order to be able to have a conversation? The answer to that is definitely yes. Now I just need to figure out whether or not that bothers me.
What probably bothers me more is that people don't do anything with their outrage... myself included. I get on Twitter and make clever remarks but I don't actually go out and picket parliament, start an action group to try and inform public policy or encourage others to do the same. One of my favourite quotes I found while I was viewing the Magna Carta in Salisbury was "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." So rather than just sit around on my arse being oh-so-informed, I need to get out there and actually do something.
So I guess in answer to your question, sitting around being informed is one thing, getting out there and doing something about it is better and probably more noble. But not knowing in the first place forfeits your right to be disgruntled. One of my other favourite sayings is "Do not complain about what you permit".
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
I'm at a complete loss, with only the bitter taste of incredulousness and rage left in my mouth. My mouth with a clenched jaw and pursed lips. I'm fucking pissed off.
I remember in 2007 when I partied so hard I got kicked out of the pub because that bastard Howard had been voted out. I remember thinking that at LONG LAST we could celebrate and finally move on as a nation.
When Rudd was ousted I was actually happy that Gillard was in and that snivelling jerk was out. Him with his overtly Christian values (I was even a little sad for him during his goodbye speech until he went all Godly and thanked his 'creator'. Fuck him, good riddance). Now we had an atheist, female prime minister who was living with her partner. I felt proud of Australia when we voted her back in, even if it was by the slimmest of margins.
And I know that the odds are stacked against a female prime minister on the 'left' side of politics. I know that much of the mainstream media and industry will do everything they can to de-stabilise this government by calling it illegitimate, running smear campaigns, or otherwise leaving it to its own ridiculous in-fighting that it simply self-destructs while they cover every minute detail.
So what could Gillard do? What about, I dunno, support gay marriage? It enjoys massive support in the community - surely this is a no-brainer? There is no apparent reason as to why she shouldn't support gay marriage personally - she's not religious. It's not like she's in with the God Squad anyway.
And yet she doesn't.
Now we hear the news that even BARACK OBAMA has stated he supports gay marriage. You know him, right? The President of the United States. He presides over one of the most religious places on Earth with some of the most vocal and politically influential Christian lobby groups. And he just backed gay marriage. Not even a half-way vote with the usual 'civil unions' compromise; marriage.
And yet she says she will maintain her position.
So why does this make me so angry? Because I don't believe her. I don't believe that there's any reason why she personally doesn't support marriage equality, particularly in a country where church and state are meant to be separate. This is about politics, and I can't believe that even on such a popularly supported issue such as this, she can still manage to fuck it up.
So much promise, so little delivery. Thanks for nothing, Gillard.
Thursday, 12 January 2012
I'm in Hong Kong. I honestly can't tell you how I've spent the last week or so. It's been brilliant. Very little site seeing. Walk up the hill to the reservoir with Mike, met up with Kat and Craig for dinner at Oohlaa in Soho - mojitos a-plenty. Dinner and dancing last Saturday night with Mike and Phyllis's friends. True Blood. Coffee. Ferries. Doctors. Fucking opthalmologists who won't remove fucking cysts. Trying to avoid the shops. Cooking pasta or Vietnamese salmon. A holiday from a holiday. A blur of conversations about What it All Means punctuated by Steve Jobs's death. Wifi. Tours. Emails and Skype. Missing people. Talking to Pfizer folks. Wishing I felt more grateful and less sad and scared. Two little girls with one pair of skates in the plaza laughing and showing off for their parents. I have two skates but only one of me.
Stay hungry, stay foolish.
Above is my only diary entry for Honkers, and as you can see it was very low-key. My uncle Mike is an air traffic controller in Hong Kong and it was great to see him and his wife Phyllis. I stayed at their place in Discovery Bay, an expat oasis on Lantau Island.
I'd been to HK twice before and both times I shopped until I dropped (it's almost possible to walk around the entirety of the city without ever leaving the air-conditioned comfort of a shopping centre). This time I felt as though I was living a completely different life, knowing full well that I would have to carry anything I bought. How things had changed!
It was funny to come to a more westernised part of Asia after travelling through other parts of the South East. I took this first photo which is almost the complete opposite of one I had taken a couple of weeks before in Vietnam (below).
There's a little something in that for all of us, don't you think??
In any case, the most important development was that I got my Chinese visa with little difficulty courtesy of an agent that Mike and Phyllis put me on to in town. Booked a tour with Gap Adventures, and soon, I was on my way to Beijing. Stay tuned :)