Category Archives: Culture

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Now coming to you in Wide Screen… at least from my end

Well, well, well… that of course is the answer to the question “what did the oil baron say when three new oil deposits were discovered in Iraq. The US of course simply said “Fire the torpedoes”, which was pretty useless because Iraq only has a very small coastline and there are much more effective ways to blow things up in Iraq. Strapping explosives to your chest seems to be one way… that’s not really funny is it. Not at all PC.

There’s not really much interesting stuff to write about today, owing to the fact that I spent yesterday in Charters Towers. It’s a hole. Or a series of them. Mostly because it contains a lot of tunnels left over from the gold mines. It is however, one of North Queensland’s premiere tourist destinations – attracting history buffs from all over the country. So if you like history it’s worth a visit. Or if you like meat pies. I’m sure it has plenty of redeeming features.

Today I took mum, dad, and Susie along to an Indy car roadshow thing in Townsville that I had to go to for work. There was lots of burning rubber, lots of noise, lots of girls in Indy outfits, and lots of the types of guys who enjoy those sorts of things. Then I went to WOW and bought a new screen for my computer… and more importantly, the new Muse CD. I’m impressed. I was worried at first. But it’s very good. It’s nothing like any of their old stuff. But Matt Bellamy is still the coolest front man strutting his stuff on stages around the globe.

That’s about it for this episode – be sure to check out the thoroughly politically incorrect ramblings at that other blog… http://philnsmiz.blogspot.com

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Rubbed out

Like millions (well hundreds and thousands (the number, not the little colourful balls of sugar)) of others I’ve been hotly anticipating the hotly anticipated new Thom Yorke solo album, The Eraser. So today… upon its release… I bought it. And I listened to it. And now, here are my thoughts.

This album is slightly more avant garde than any of Radiohead’s work (for the uninitiated and uninterested, Thom Yorke is the singer from Radiohead). The music is a series of syncopated and sometimes rhythmic noises. With very little musical quality whatsoever. Except, and this is a big exception, for Thom Yorke’s voice. I’ve decided I could happily listen to Thom Yorke sing over any noise in the world. It wouldn’t make me happy, because Thom Yorke is a very melancholy kind of guy. But it would be a pleasurable experience nonetheless. He also writes lyrics with cool words and concepts. And his cover art is good. There’s my in depth analysis and review of the CD. I was also looking forward to the release of Muse’s new album. But it wasn’t available at Wow. I wish Townsville had a JB Hifi. Actually, that would be bad for my bank balance.

Another variation on the rubbed out theme – Steve asked me what I thought the Italian guy said to Zidane in the build up to his send off this morning, and I must confess I did not get up for the World Cup. I set my alarm, but promptly metaphorically threw it at the wall. I actually dropped my phone rather half heartedly on the floor. If Zidane is the typical French creative genius then I imagine it was something along the lines of “Oi, you French poof” which was enough to send my favourite all time player, Eric Cantona into a violent fan directed frenzy (see below) – he’s not my favourite player because he karate kicked a fan in the head. He karate kicked a fan in the head because he’s my favourite player. I’m not sure the logic there worked any better than it did in that trashy teen movie which I won’t admit to viewing. My sisters have a lot to answer for.

My parents, and sister, arrive in Townsville tomorrow – it’s the first time they’ve ever come to stay at “my” house. So I’m inventing all sorts of new house rules… actually I’m tidying my room. Maybe.

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Queuing up…

It occurred to me just now that Queue is a very odd word. It strikes me that the second “ue” could, be redundant. Interesting food for thought really. Apparently it comes from the Latin word Coda… I’m not sure how that came about.

That’s all I really have to say tonight. Potentially that post could have been expanded to be quite entertaining – but if I’d made it longwinded and “intellectual” people would have complained. You can’t please everyone all of the time.

I will now shamelessly plug the second most popular blog on the internet (no one likes people arrogant enough to claim “most popular” status) – check it out here.

This blog entry is now terminated… like so many journalistic careers at Channel Nine… it’s like a skeleton (boned – which when you think about it may be appropriate terminology for describing the waif like/wafer thin host of the Today show, I’m sure Eddie was just taken out of context)… in that it probably could have done with a little more fleshing out (also like Jessica Rowe). I think I’m out of Nine jokes now… Although I didn’t have nine to begin with, it’s more like 4…

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Musical Calculus

I’d like to use today’s entry to pose a question inspired by Mark’s comment on my last post.

“The “derivative is bad” argument is silly. Pretty much everything in art, music, science, social/political thought, etc has prior art “influences” and thus can be seen as derivative or reactionary.”

Yes Mark, that is a fair comment – and one well backed up by the Ecclesiastes passage you referred us to. Nothing is new under the sun. However, that does not give musicians open slather to run around stealing other people’s style. Intellectual property laws ensure that you can’t get away with simply stealing another person’s idea, and doing so in the realms of art, music, science and social thought is generally frowned upon. It’s called plagiarism. You don’t see wannabe painters out there recreating the Mona Lisa. If music is art then some originality is required. When seven bands release seven songs with the same chord progression and the all wear the same clothes, and claim the same influences – bands 2 through to 7 of that group are redundancies – unless 2 is a tribute band with a clever pun as a name.

There’s an old song lyric – and you can google it if you like – that says “if everybody looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other,” which is pretty much the point of the “derivative is bad argument” – if all music sounded the same we would get tired of listening to it. Therefore derivative music is bad.

I would also make a distinction between “derived” and “influenced” – derived work is something that could only be reached by copying something – there is no art to that. So that step in Mark’s syllogism is a non sequitur.

In the words of someone who played an important role in the artistic movement – or in the words of some sort of manifesto – Vive Le Difference…

And now… on the subject of the French and Revolutions – check out the newest, most coolest thing on the internet – askaninja – actually it’s not new, only recently discovered…

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flights of fancy… and some other garbage

In the immortal (or somewhat unknown in this case) words of Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins. The aeroplane flies high. I can’t wrap (or rap) my head around the physics involved in getting a machine as big as…well for want of a better corroborative noun, as big as a jumbo, into the air and keeping it there. I sat just behind the wind on the way home today – there are a lot of little adjustments made to the wings during flight that I’m sure are absolutely necessary to keep it in the air. I’ve had some aeronautical engineering type people (who I guess technically are rocket scientists) explain all the updraft and stuff to me but it all boggles the mind. I wonder if boggles became a verb before, or after, the board game…

I flew home with Jetstar. Jetstar owe me $3.80. I don’t know who’s responsible for the coffee shop next to the terminal – but they should warn passengers that you can’t take your coffee on board. What did the hostess think I was going to do with a cup of coffee? You can’t exactly highjack a plane with a lukewarm cappuccino. If I was going to highjack a plane – hypothetically of course – I’d be more likely to use this (don’t miss the customer review at the bottom of the page).

The other question which has been weighing on my mind is a question regarding an industry with its share of critics (and a history of mafia involvement in the US ala the Sopranos) – the garbage disposal industry. Garbage disposal and waste control is something we all take for granted and probably don’t give enough thought to. It’s one of those industries where if you do happen to take notice something’s probably gone wrong. My question is this – how many wheelie bin loads fit in the standard garbage truck? I’m going to try to do some research and have an answer by the end of the week. It hadn’t occured to me that there must be a fleet of garbage trucks operating on any given bin day untilI saw two driving around at around the same time. nathanintownsville.blogspot.com – asking, and answering the questions that matter…

and finally – a fantail wrapper question just to get the comments rolling…

WHO AM I
Born Nigeria, 4/4/1960, he arrived with his family in Australia in 1976. He graduated from NIDA in 1981 and made his debut in Maybe This Time (80). He won an AFI Award for Best actor as the blind photographer in Proof (91); and was nominated for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; won a second AFI for The Interview (98); and was named the Australian Star of the year. He then starred in two blockbusters which would give his identity away.

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How do you think?

Have you ever thought about how you think about things? Is your stream of conscious thought in the style of a documentary? Do you narrate events in your life like a detective in a film noir piece? Or does your thinking mirror a monologue to the camera like those annoying spots in Malcolm in the Middle?

Trolling through the links on Dan’s blog I found myself at the home of Michael Jensen’s blog. He’s one of the famous Sydney Anglican Jensen tribe. He’s doing some sort of study in England – you can find it if you like, but I can’t be bothered searching for the link. He posted an entry on viewing life as a stream of narrative. He’s a pretty smart guy. I didn’t really read all that much but it got me thinking about thinking and how I frame my thoughts. I think my stream of thoughts often flows like a stream of narrative – I do things in time and space, interacting with other characters and these interactions lead to outcomes – problems are resolved, conflicts arise… and my thinking reflects that. I think about how to solve things – and the voice in my head (which I guess is consciousness not some weird psychological condition) follows the narrative, or even pre-empts and influences the narrative, when the interactive bits of life are happening.

News stories are taking bits of a stream of narrative and analysing the elements. The journalistic definition of “news” is information that is of some interest to the public. The approach journalists take when they report news is to answer the big 6 questions – known in the industry as the 5 Ws and 1 H – who, what, when, where, why, and how. If narrative is a stream of connected events occuring in space and time then all these elements will be addressed.

Being of a journalistic, inquisitive bent I find that my approach to the narrative of my life has been somewhat influenced by this paradigm (paradigm is one of my favourite words). Not only do I approach any “conflict” or events that arise in my narrative (life) through the framework provided by these questions – but I’ve started viewing every event that occurs in terms of its newsworthyness.

There are a number of jokes out there featuring different professions and how they see the world – or the simple things in life. A true story I heard recently featured a group of people watching the football – a dentistry student, a med student, and an excercise/sports science student. During the game there was an incident where a player collided with another player’s head. Play was stopped while the player received some medical attention. The dentist commented on the effect the impact would have on the player’s teeth, the med student named the bones that may have been fractured, and the sports science student pointed at a guy in the background and said “he’s doing that static stretch wrong.”

And here, after that complicated five paragraph intro is the story that prompted this post… last night I was driving home from Mission Beach (where I’d been for a work function featuring Beechworth bakery owner Tom O’Toole (an interesting character)) with one other member of the Townsville Enterprise team. It’s a 2.5 hour drive to Mission Beach from Townsville – some say 3. Just outside of town we were stopped by a collection of emergency service vehicles attending the scene of a major accident… and do you want to know what my first thought was? Where are the TV cameras… this is a news story. I had my phone in my hand calling WIN television’s news director with the hot tip before I’d even considered the possibility that people may have been seriously hurt by the crash. When did I become so callous? Have I been that desensitised by years of watching and reading the news? Tom O’Toole made a comment about watching the news that was funny enough to repeat:

“If a dog came into your house and pooed on the ground while you were eating dinner you wouldn’t just sit there and watch him – you’d kick it out of the house, or worse… but every night we let the news do the same thing – it feeds half an hour of crap into our living rooms and we just watch it without thinking. I stopped watching news 20 years ago, and now when I turn on the television it’s the same news anyway – same wars, same crimes, same politics… you may not be what you eat, but you are what you fill your head with.”

Has anyone else been so obviously scarred by their profession? Do the teachers out there see every event in life as an opportunity to fill a lesson plan? Do opera singers see every tragedy as a potential aria (the style of song not the Australian Recording Industry Award)? Do IT people ever see any events that happen in the wider world? and do proctologists just think the world is a bunch of (feel free to insert an appropriate colloquialism here – I’m not going to do your dirty work for you).

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Who would you ban?

“A British radio station has banned all songs by balladeer James Blunt from its playlist after receiving complaints from listeners. ” – From the SMH.

If I could ban anyone from the radio it would be James Blunt too.

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What’s hip about hippies?

Today’s post comes courtesy of me. I’m allowed to that once in a while, it is my blog afterall. Today I’d like to write about hippies. There’s very little right about hippies (that’s a little bit of political humour for those out there not clever enough to pick it up). Some hippies are ok. I’m all for peace (most of the time), harmony (but I’d actually prefer social melody. Harmony suggests different people managing to be different while appearing to sing to the same tune. So by extension social melody must be everyone doing the same thing which I think is a much higher goal. Provided everyone does what I think is the right thing. Let me rephrase that so it sounds less arrogant… Provided everyone does what God thinks is the right thing… I’m not sure that seems less arrogant actually, I’m not claiming that my will is perfectly equal to God’s. Could this be the longest bracketed statement ever to grace the pages of my blog? Who knows.), tranquility, and protecting the environment. But I have some questions about the whole green movement.
1. Who decides which green causes should be fought for and protected – why save the whales and eat lentils – surely lentils should be protected.
2. How can hippies justify protecting trees while smoking (burning) grass (marijuana)?
3. Why do they fight big battles (ozone protection) while ignoring, or contributing to, smaller problems (bad body odour)?

I guess my stance on hippies makes me anti-green, and in an amazing coincidence it turns out my car is anti-green in colour. I created a colour completely devoid of green, and full of blue and red in paintshop, and I came up with a colour alarming similar to my mauve excel.

What really gets me is the skewed priorities hippies have towards their particular cause. Sure whales are nice, big, friendly animals – but what about the thousands of starving Japanese children who’d benefit from eating the whales brought in by all the whale-harpooning daddies out there. Think of the children. It does seem to me that the green movement has a fairly warped sense of important issues. Some may argue that there are thousands of issues out there and it’s great to have people concerned for all of them, everyone needs representation. Which would be fine if the green voice wasn’t so loud. Once upon a time, when I was a poor uni student (read that how you will – I did mean that I lacked financial stability but I make no claims to greatness as a student) I was walking on my merry way to uni when I was accosted by a well meaning hippy type who wanted me to consider supporting an obscure wild life protection group. I understand that this girl was doing her job, which is a pretty crappy job, and was probably being paid by commission. But her suggestion that I change from sponsoring a compassion child to sponsoring a panda because it was “national change charities day” proves once and for all that hippies are stupid.

This diatribe was encouraged by an article in the opinion pages of today’s Sydney Morning Herald. The article looks at the quality of life in Australia – analysing whether things are actually any better with the strong growth in the Australian economy. Apparently some things are good. Some things are bad, including an increasing tendency for families to break down (or up – funny that two opposite words mean the same thing – I guess the keyword is break. You could probably even say break sideways and people would still understand). But this isn’t the biggest issue our culture has to deal with. I guess I’d agree with that (I’d probably say the underlying issues of human selfishness and greed were bigger problems – and the issue underlying those issues is sin). There are plenty of other issues out there that could be at least as difficult as a family break up. Child abuse, murders, an alarming suicide rate… there’s plenty of problems in our society that an increase in cashflow doesn’t seem to be solving. But no. Apparently our biggest problems are land clearing, extinct bird species, salinity and greenhouse gas emissions… and that my friends is why I hate hippies.

In other non-hippy news… Tim started a blog today – its title is a delightful pun on his name. I must say I’m flattered by all the people who are starting blogs just because I have.

Finding Emo

What is the deal with Emo? This is a blog by request for Joel. He doesn’t understand emo people. Neither do I. Emo used to be a classification of a branch of punk music. Apparently now it’s so much more. Some people (Jon Ray) debate emo’s right to hold its own place in the spectrum of musical genres. Some people love email. Some spell checks don’t like the word emo. These people wear black make up, have crap hair and wear clothes at least 4 sizes too small. Apparently they like self harm and stuff now too. Back when I was a young lad, well back in the 90s anyway, people who cut themselves and wore funny black clothing were called goths. As far as I can tell the only difference between emo people and goths is taste in music. For a complete guide to being emo check out this site here. It’ll create an emo identity just for you.

Emo used to be a label for any emotional rock. Weezer are an oft mentioned example of this first wave of emo acts. Weezer are cool. Just because Weezer are emo, and Weezer are cool doesn’t make all emo bands cool. That is a fallacious syllogism. Syllogism is a cool word. I just wanted to use it in my blog.

The new wave of emo is darker… edgier… according to wikipedia common elements include dark colored hair (often dyed either black or an unnatural dark hue), males wearing pants tailored for females, lots of piercings, and dark make-up on males and females. In short, emo people are weird. Wikipedia also notes they may have a tendency towards self harm. They also like fringes. What’s with that?

Now that you all know how to identify an emo there are certain rules for approaching them in social situations. The first principle of approaching an “emo” is that you should never expect any form of response or interaction from said emo. Unless you’re talking about how wonderful AFI is. Emo’s love AFI, or My Chemical Romance, or any of those punk bands who write emotional songs. Emo is just a category for people who aren’t hardcore enough to be goth and are too stupid to be normal. There’s something sad about a group of non-conformists who all dress the same.

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Why does it always rain on me… literally not figuratively

So when I told Donna I was moving to Townsville she said “ha… get used to never seeing rain ever again.” Well Donna, you were wrong, so na na na nana na. Our stock editorial (the writing we have on file to use for ads and send to journalists and stuff) boasts that Townsville has 320 days of sunshine per year. I’m starting to wonder if the North Queensland year is slightly longer than the standard 365.25 days. I’ve now been in Townsville 67 days. By my calculations (read estimates) it’s rained on all but five of those days. That means that at this point the standard Townsville year runs for 382 days assuming there is no more rain. What a phenomena. We should call the weather bureau, or the department of astronomy (if they don’t exist they should), or the people who make all the calendars in the world (if there’s not a centralised company there should be, not that I’m pro-monopolies but sometimes they just make things easier).

Which brings me to today’s political discussion. On Sunday after church I was talking to a couple of people about the introduction of VSU and the government’s increasing desire to introduce a user pays culture. The underlying theory can be summarised (today I’ll try to actually summarise – ie be succinct) as the belief that people shouldn’t be forced to pay for services they don’t use – and should be able to control who they get those services from. It’s the rationale behind the sale of Telstra, the proposed privatisation of Ergon and the introduction of privately funded roads with toll systems introduced to pay them. All very interesting stuff if you like economics. For the rest of us there’s apparently a worrying spin-off if VSU sucks all the life out of on campus culture. One of the people I was talking to is quite involved with theatre stuff at JCU, she was talking about a petition signed by members of Australia’s cultural alumni – former graduates of leading institutions who have gone on to taste success as Australia’s artsy ambassadors – successful actors and musicians who claim that their success can be directly attributed to the funding they received from student unions on campus. Well I have a message for Heath Ledger, Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett and co… I want my money back. Nicole Kidman can keep hers as compensation for having to share her adopted children with a freak. But the rest of you living in your multi million dollar penthouses in America – please send me a cheque for $1210 – that’s how much I outlayed in guild fees while I was “studying” at QUT. It’s a small price to pay. I’d hate to think I spent all that money funding the future multi million dollar Australian exports. It hardly seems fair to me.

I posted a comment on Andrew the Opera Singer’s blog (as opposed to Andrew the guy who works for the weather channel) promising a link. I’m a man of my word. Here is your link. Andrew is married to Peta. Peta is Dan‘s sister. Dan is Joel‘s brother. Joel’s music can also be found here. Joel is cool. I am also cool. There are several links both literally and physically (maybe).

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Life imitates art…

Imitation, they say, is the highest form of flattery. I’d like to direct you all to Ben’s blog because it is truly flattering that he’d start a blog just to compete with me.

Once again I have nothing essentially “newsworthy” to report. I got free lunch on Friday – I guess that’s newsworthyish. I also had an altercation with my alarm clock – I really didn’t want to get up when it told me to. But that’s hardly news – news is meant to be new, and interesting to people – and that is neither.

I realise I’ve covered politics, tax and theology (religion) in my blog in recent times – I’m not expecting any dinner party invitations any time soon. I’d be terrible company. All I need to talk about now is death and I’ll be on the social blacklist forever. Conversation at dining tables is an interesting phenomena – conversation in general is an interesting phenomena. At the function I was at yesterday (a business leaders forum with guest speaker Minister for Tourism, Industry and resources, Ian Macfarlane) I sat with some local “business people” and a “business journalist” – part of my job requires “networking” with these local “business people” and I’m realising that there’s very little I actually have to say to a bunch of middle aged, successful people. It would seem that sport is the one great equaliser across social groups and demographics. Luckily I spent all those years memorising useless facts and figures about a variety of sports (and dad thought that was a waste of time).

Why do we (or I – I can’t speak for everyone else) naturally steer away from conversation topics that are likely to cause division. Surely different opinions are essential elements of conversation – if everybody agreed with everyone else we’d get tired of talking to each other (I vaguely paraphrased that from a song). My mother will tell you all that I like a good argument – or a bad argument, and I’m certainly not afraid to share my opinion on any topic (being a journalist means I’m vaguely qualified to talk about everything – at least that’s how I think it should work. It’s a sort of jack of all trades master of none type deal.) regardless of how much I know about it. But still I get trapped in a meaningless cycle of small talk and irrelevancies – to the point that some people doubt my ability to have serious conversation. I blame postmodernism for all this. It’s no longer politically correct to engage in meaningful, robust debate. People are too sensitive about feelings and protecting each other from having to think. Well that’s my rant for today. If anyone feels like disagreeing please do so…

Heroin is so passe…

For those of you who are wondering what on earth that title is talking about you should go here.

It would seem that the world’s most famous drug addict is in trouble again. Pete Doherty is a “musician” who owes much of his fame to his shambolic attempts at life in the media fishbowl – he is/was going out with supermodel Kate Moss. He’s also famously been arrested about 30 (I actually have no idea how many, but it’s a lot) times for drug related crimes. Yesterday the pinnacle of the English print media, The Sun – famous for its topless page 3 girls – printed photos of Doherty injecting some form of presumably illicit substance into the arm of an unconscious girl. Today he was arrested for his efforts. None of this is particularly exciting – but it reminded me of a story I heard on JJJ a while back. There’s a band/group of pseudo political activists/social commentators called the KLF. They famously burnt a $1 million pound art grant (they literally set fire to a pile of money) and did some other crazy stuff. A few month back the KLF released a press release claiming to have actually invented Pete Doherty’s career. Conspiracy websites all over the net picked up the story and ran with it. They claimed it was an experiment based on three key theories:
1. In the so-called “alternative” scene, everybody is too scared of missing The Next Big Thing to worry about anything else.
2. We feel that our culture has become an enormous soap opera. We don’t care what a person thinks, or creates, or contributes. We just care about what they do in their normal lives. Especially when it’s something they shouldn’t be doing.
3. If enough people say that a piece of rubbish is a bar of gold, we’ll
believe it’s a bar of gold

You can read about the Doherty hoax here.

I guess I should put some news about myself up here too…

This weekend I went to two birthday parties and a church camp – pretty action packed stuff really. I thoroughly enjoyed all three events. People up here are nice. Five word sentences are cool. Those of you who read the comments section, or even comment – will have noticed reference to a question about how to make a girl fall in love with you – it turns out the key is pulling faces and playing hide and seek – but the girl is three, and my second cousin so I’m not sure if that’s a method that is going to work anywhere else. You’ll also have noticed my sister Madeleine has decided that rather than starting her own blog she’ll steal my comment space. I’ll forgive her if her submissions continue to be as brilliant as her piece on public transport ettiquette. I also promised my housemate Tim his own entry in the main part of my blog. Tim cooked me some sort of fish dish last week – it was interesting – any dish with beer in the sauce is bound to be interesting. Tim is cool. He sometimes reminds me of me. I don’t think I can pay anyone a higher compliment than that. He’s also single ladies (I’m not going to punctuate that sentence because I think it looks funny – Tim is single ladies, hahahahaha, Tim is single, ladies, either works for me)… maybe you should all move to Townsville chasing someone.

Only in America… (another gem from the SMH)

It seems friendly fire isn’t all that friendly. A DEA undercover agent from America had a first hand experience of the military oxymoron when he was giving a lecture on gun safety to a room full of children last year. A parent was on hand to capture the lecture on film. Filming undercover agents is a bad thing to do. Particularly if your home movie is going to make it onto the internet and onto millions of computer screens. This poor chap can’t work anymore and he certainly won’t be asked to give gun safety lectures. This video has caused me no shortage of amusement. I love the part just before he pulls the trigger when he says “I’m the only one in this room professional enough to be handling this weapon.” He displayed some form of professionality by continuing the lecture with a bullet lodged firmly in his thigh. The Herald gave some details on the aftermath of the incident.

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l’esprit d’escalier [the perfect witty response]

I was reading the Sydney Morning Herald online today for my fix of culture and intellectual stimulation (not that those things are in short supply up here but News Limited Papers in general are pretty horrible) and I came across an interesting interview with Tim Freedman the singer from the Whitlams. Tim Freedman is one of my favourite Australian songwriters. He’s responsible for some of the greatest song lyrics ever written, eg “she was one in a million, so there’s five more just in New South Wales” from Up Against the Wall. He’s also one of the worst anti-drug spokesmen in the history of the “say no to drugs” campaign. I remember seeing a TV special where he basically told people the only way they were going to learn about the effects of drugs was to take them. Thanks Tim. Anyway, having firmly established his credibility as a role model I’m now going to direct you to the article here. He makes an interesting point about conversation – and missed conversational opportunities – particularly l’esprit d’escalier. To sum it up for people too lazy to click a link – he is haunted by missed opportunities. He’ll even call a journalist who interviews him two weeks later to amend his answers. I’m wondering if this is just a luxury for the rich and famous. Can we all buy an opportunity to add to past conversations? As someone who often misses great opportunities for witty (or even non-witty but effective) responses – only to think of them at some later date – I think it would be of some benefit to bring in a system where amendments to a conversation can be made in another time and another place. I propose to make this the time and the place for such comments. If you feel like you could have, or should have responded to me, or anyone else, in a more witty or appropriate manner then post a comment.

In other, less Whitlam related news…

I spent Friday night on Magnetic Island with a Sunday Mail freelance writer and her husband. If you’re ever on Magnetic Island I can now highly recommend the barefoot: food, art, wine restaurant. They did the best steak I’ve eaten in a long, long time.

I now have internet at home – if you desperately want to see how I’m going and are too cheap to call me and don’t like reading through the random stuff on my blog you can now find me on MSN at nathanc32hotmail.com you need to put the @ symbol in there – that’s to ward off the evil spam harvesters.