Friday, May 30, 2008

Shameless self promo

Okay, i'm in a drama....and i don't mean my every day life drama. I am taking part in a play...a retelling of the Biblical story of Samson. I play Dalilah.

Time: 7:30 pm this Saturday (31 May)
Place: Avondale College, Upper College Hall
cost: $5 at the door

Come...watch...be awed...or at least support me. You might be sorry if you don't:)


My name is Bruce



Its so nice to see a film that takes the micky out of the star performer. Plus, its always amusing to watch Bruce Campbell. Coming soon to DVD...i know, i'm sad about that too.

A scarf under every bed

In the years of the Cold War, America went through a period of paranoia. McCarthy was certain that anyone could be, possibly everyone was, secretly a communist spy trying to turn the hearts of the American people against Capitalism. At the time, those in the public eye were careful not to offend the conservative America, for fear of being put on "The Black List". The list would almost ensure total career failure. But career failure was often the least concern. The rumour of communist support was enough to try a person for treason. Being tried for treason, carried a death sentence. The Rosenbergs (pictured below) fell victim of this and were executed.

It was only a few years ago in high school we mocked the McCarthy era. "How could everyone be so paranoid that they allowed rumour to dictate life and death?" we asked. In my young mind i was certain that we had moved beyond this. I felt confident that America would not fall foul of this thinking again.

It appears, i have misjudged. Yet again, America has fallen foul of paranoia. Look at the picture below. This is a snapshot of an advertisement that was pulled off the air for supporting terrorism. Can you spot the terrorist support?


If you can't. Don't feel bad. The scarf around her neck apparently looks too similar to ones that Yasser Arafat wore and are "a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos". This advertisement of a woman walking to work shows support for terrorism by simply displaying the scarf.

The advertisement has been pulled. "Thank God!" i hear you all say, "If it hadn't been, we might have thought that Dunkin' Donuts was sending a suicide bomber out with a cup of coffee"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Macbeth, the comedy

I receive a newsletter from ticketek. They let me know what shows are playing between Newcastle and Sydney. This week i noticed one that made me laugh. It's Macbeth...the comedy version. How in the world they will turn Macbeth into a comedy i would love to find out...if i have time i so want to go. Anyone want to come with me?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gasp!

I read an article today that had me fascinated. For quite some time the US government has been criticised for its spending on the war. While i tend to criticise the war in general, i had generally chalked up the expense of the war as the price of modern warfare. Turns out, it is more than that.

According to the independent watchdog, Project on Government Oversight, the government spending has spun out of control, leaving massive areas vulnerable to fraud and corruption. Where an auditor used to be assigned for every 642 million spent, they are now assigned to every 2 billion spent. There is less accountability for the money spent.

I am now officially against USA government spending without accountability. And DEFINITELY against the way they are spending on the war.

You should watch this


You'll like it. IT'S AWESOME!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The laws of our fathers


Not long ago gay marriage was ruled legal in the US state of California. As many Christian conservatives hang their head in shame, wailing the virtues lost in the state, equal rights are beginning to be realised for the homosexual community. While those who oppose may remind people of their puritan origins and I am reminded of laws past.

In my parents generation, they saw the rights of interracial marriage instated. Previous to this, those who were not the same skin colour were banned from marrying each other. In my grandmother's generation she saw the rights of women realised. She saw women's cognitive abilities acknowledged and their rights to vote given.

Looking back we wonder at how people would oppose such things. We look at countries who have yet to realise these rights as "backward" and "undemocratic". What will the next generation say of us when they look back and see that it took so long for the public to cry "enough" to the discrimination and segregation of those with a different sexual orientation. I wonder if they will be appalled at our voyeurism, our desire to dictate what happens in other people's bedrooms.

Perhaps they will simply classify us as "undemocratic" or "backward".

The death of JR Simplot



To much of the world the man was synonymous with potatoes. And it was only fair. He did build a great French Fry empire. He had a mind for investment and a great eye for a bargain...and apparently potatoes.

On Sunday JR Simplot died at his home in Boise, Idaho.

His rating on the forbs rich list and being baned from commodities trading for 6 years was not what i remembered him for.

As a girl i remember his house. No, not his house, but the hill in which is house was built on. His hill was perfect for iceblocking. I have many fond memories of that hill and the fun we had on it. Sliding down the hill when it was snow covered, or scooting down on an iceblock in the spring.

The hill will remain.

The man has moved on.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not hell

The next few weeks are cracked up to be slightly better than hell. There will be no fire...but a fair amount of ice. There will be no man with pitchfork, only me with a whip. So to help me remember not to stress too much over life and all that it requires, i have put together a list...of things to help me unwind.

1) drink water. you can't be overly stressed when your drowning in liquid...maybe mix in a bit of sugar...supposedly it helps you be more positive...and possibly sing in a higher key.

2) wear clothes that make you feel pretty. I once saw a small child with a towel worn like a cape chasing seagulls and yelling "I'M PRETTIER THAN YOU! I'M PRETTIER THAN YOU!". She had awesome self esteem.

3) Pray. As long as you address your prayers to the right god your likely to relax. Be careful you don't send prayers to the wrong address or else you might find yourself in the actual version of hell.

This has been kristin's 3 tips for getting through a slightly better version of hell.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Poll results (happiness)

In the end it was a tie between spouses and pets that were the main source of happiness for readers. While children and hobbies tied for a close second place.

Perhaps the information that can be taken from this poll is that the main source of happiness can not be calculated for all people. We have different things in our life that bring out smiles and laughter.

It never ceases to amaze me how different we are. While we might all look similar (head, body, fingers and toes) there are so many different combinations of internal workings that make us unique.

I have often commented how similar I am to my best friends. We like the same foods, listen to the same songs, and re-act the same way to pressure…but the truth is we are often worlds apart. We pull our strengths from different places. We find our happiness and contentment where the other does not.

These differences help bond us together. Without them we might pass over the beauty and new understanding that can be found in friends.

The thought for the today then, CELEBRATE THE DIFFERENCE! We would be boring without it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Respect


When anthropologists look back on history they can often feel a loss when an invading force takes over a culture. The invading force, in attempts to show its power, destroys the culture of the people. They may smash temples, defile sacred objects and in some cases rape women to further demonstrate their power over the people.

Today, we look in horror at these events of the past. Jews and Christians alike mourn the loss of Solomon’s temple. The academic world mourns the loss of many Mayan artefacts. Yet, humanity continues to repeat the failures of its ancestors.

A sniper in the US army has been using the Koran as target practice. The Koran which was bullet ridden was found to have been defaced with graffiti as well.

A study was done in 1971. A Stanford professor of psychology used his class to demonstrate how a prison psychology works. He built a make-shift prison. He assigned half the class to be prisoners and half the class to be guards. He would assume the role of Warden.

It took less only a few days for the students who were ‘guards’ to start demonstrating “genuine” sadistic behaviour towards prisoners. It took the prisoners only a few days to realise they had to take it.

If we allow those with the biggest gun to rule over those they are meant to protect, only fear can come out. It is only through mutual respect can we overcome the biggest obstacles that confront us. Degrading what others are and what they believe will not lead us on a path of peace.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Comic of the week: sinfest


Thanks to sinfest.net for making my day just that little bit brighter.

"I could have done more"


Irena Sendler was a polish woman who saved more than 2500 children during the holocaust. Knowing that she was doing the right thing, she smuggled children out of a city where jewish families were taken to death camps. She could not take the rest of the family, so she kept a record of the names of the children so that after the war they might be reunited with their families.

When she was eventually caught and tortured, she refused to give up the names the children. Her body was broken, leaving her with scares she would bare for the rest of her life. Finally, after friends bribed a guard she was released. She went right back to her work of saving children.

In 2005 Sendler reflected: "We who were rescuing children are not some kind of heroes. … The opposite is true - I continue to have qualms of conscience that I did so little. I could have done more."

Sendler died on Monday. She was 98.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Poll results

Apparently according to the always-accurate blogger poll, the USA is the most dangerous western tourist destination.

Who would have thought that all those Michael Moore films about how sucky it is to be in America with so much violence and no health cover would make an impact on the tourist industry!

While the USA does have the highest violent crime rates in the western world, a study in 2006 showed that it actually has lower over-all crime rates. So the bonus is that you are less likely to get pick-pocketed while visiting New York, your still more likely to shot in the head while visiting the local mall where your great aunt Mildred lives.

Remember to vote in the newest Poll and have your say on the way of the world!

Reason number 666: why i don't have children


I have long known that studies supported the idea that marriage makes people happier. I did not know that marriage withOUT children made them happier still.

According to a professor of psychology at Harvard University married couples have more happiness than those who are single, divorced, or co-habituating. However, the happiness of the couple decreases upon having children.

Once the children have left the home, the happiness of the couple returns to pre-children rates.

"Parents tell me all the time that: `My child is my greatest source of joy'," Professor Daniel Gilbert said. My reply is that: `Yes, when you have one source of joy, it's bound to be your greatest'."

AT LAST!! I finally have a scientific answer for why i am still childless!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ghita

Becky has already posted a blog about Cleopatra Stratan. I thought it was so cute, i'd post a video of my own. This is an english version of her song Ghita. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

the wedding dance

It is so nice to see a loving couple dance their first dance together. It's sweet and tender. I thought i might share this moment with you. While it isn't me in the film, you'll understand why i think this touching moment is worth sharing.


video
Thanks to melody for sending it to me.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Death for a death

The first excecution in the USA has been carried out since the Supreme Court lifted its temporary hold on excecutions. A mere 20 people showed up to protest the event.

The man convicted of killing his girlfriend by shooting her in the face in 1988 was put to death by leathal injection.

After 20 years, I can not help but wonder if they put to death the same man that committed those crimes. Undoubtedly circumstances would have changed the man. I don't know if he was a nicer or meaner man...but i would find it hard to believe he was exactly the same.

The issue brings up the question of punishment verse rehabilitation. While prison is arguably the worst place for rehabilitation, is our goal as a society to produce balanced members of society? or to punish those who have committed crimes against the society?

If the process is meant simply to punish, execution is one of the better punishments.

If the process is meant to rehabiliate, than the execution of a prisoner is useless.

If the process is meant to serve as a detourant for those who might choose a life of crime, studies suggest that criminals don't believe they will be caught...thus the punishement is not enough of a detourant.

Confusious once said, "Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society". If we are not considering even the lowest in our society, than we have failed to make a good society. After all, "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons". (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

Capital punishment might feel like the right course of action when we have been wronged, but to base judgement on a feeling is wrong. We must be willing to provide more than food and water to those who trespass against society...in fact we should be providing these services long before they trespass. Counselling, Psychologists, Educators, financial stablities must all be provided if a society wants to move forward together.

We have already seen the cost of not providing these. The prisons are full and over flowing. Homelessness is rising, the life expectancy is lower for those on the other side of the gap.

Opening more prisons will not solve this problem. Fast tracking the execution line will not keep society safe. We need to move to the heart of the problem.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Olympic dreams


The Olympic games this year are the centre of controversy for much of the world. Tibet is often used as the reason for much protest against China. There are many more abuses that are less public that China has carried out, but they will hold the games non-the-less.

Holding the Olympics is an honour to any country that hosts the games. The amount of publicity the country gets is enough to continue to generate a steady flow of interest long after the closing ceremony. The country reaps a revenue that helps bolster any economy. It also helps foster a sense of global awareness. The average person suddenly realises the rest of the world is out there, watching.

China has it tough. As an up and coming world power is it facing opposition from current order, western order. Western countries are quick to point out the atrocities that China's government has carried out and continues to carry out, but these same protesters remained silent when games were held in Australia, even though the Australian government practised continued abuse on their own aboriginal people. When the games were held in the USA, no one suggested that USA should loose their privilege because of their treatment of the poor or the increasing numbers of domestic slaves from Mexico found within their boarders.

China has a dark side. This is a perfect time to help raise awareness of its abuses, but it isn't a time tarnish the Olympics. This is an opportunity to help China assimilate into the world community. To help it do better by its people. The influence the world has is great, if applied appropriately. Let's not loose this chance to change the world for the better.

Monday, May 05, 2008

More Fashion

If you've ever wondered about the fashion industry, i'm about to give you a profound insight.


^"I've always wanted to play Luke Skywalker! Now thanks to Australia's Fashion Week, I CAN! Where's my lightsaber?"



^If she were any happier about her catwalking abilities, her face would fall off.


^Fashion embraces all kinds of body types. Even those with three or more breasts!



^"Of course i would actually wear these glasses in public. See i'm already doing it on the catwalk!"


^Homage to all conservative Muslim women who want to take the next step in the fashion industry.



^ You can tell she really loves wearing 20 pounds of decorations on her head.


^The girl on the left is running the risk of having her bones poke holes through her skin. The girl on the right was kidnapped and forced into fashion modeling. (check out the hair...no brushed in weeks!)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Monster Movie Theory


I've got a theory it could be bunnies....

okay before you start singing along, this is actually a somewhat serious post. I was recently reading a blog about how popular Monster Movies are a response to things that happen in the real world. For example, the movies like Godzilla are the response to the nuclear attacks in Japan. The blog then went on to suggest that when the monsters changed to Vampire or Zombies, they were responding to viral plagues that were blood related, such as AIDS.

As i began thinking about the popular monster movies of today, i began to think of films such as Saw or Hostel. These are films that play off the fear of a monster but with a few considerable differences.

In the big Monster films of the past, the monsters were killed by humans working together to destroy the villain. In monsters films of the moment, the monster is human but he has isolated his prey to a point they are helpless against him. In the end, the victims do not over come the villain. At best the victim becomes the villain, reviling in the torture himself.

The 1950s films, while still ending in uncertainty (about whether or not this monster was the last one they would have to kill), there was still a certain amount of hope in the future. Today, the films are reflecting a hopelessness and helplessness. Is this a product of living in a society that believes global warming is going to be our undoing? Is it because terrorism and fear (from both the middle east and western countries) has taken a place of authority in our minds? Is the fear we see in the film reflecting our own fear and helplessness?

I do not know the full extent of what these sort of films are telling us, but i do believe that these monster film are telling us something truly scary about the world we are living in.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The hard yards


If life was like a box of crayons, you would probably find it much easier to choose between the right and the wrong. You would instantly be able to tell what you were getting when you picked up the crayon for your strokes of blue and yellow. But life is so rarely boxed into crayon colours.

So much of our media thrive on villains and heroes. The Bali Bombers are villains and the 9/11 Firefighters are heroes. As readers we want our stories simple and easy to understand. We don't want the full story, it would be too long to fit into its cover space and too opposing to our ideals.

Recently i was sent an email that asked me to sign a petition to keep two men in jail. The email detailed thing they did when they were 10 years old (they are now 25ish) that landed them in prison. The email told of the horrors that they committed and almost terrified me into believing that if these two men were released they would certainly come after me.

But who among us is the same person that they were when they were 10 years old? They are different men now.

If they are worse than they were at 10, whose fault is that? They were removed from their parents. They were brought up by the state, their lives were paid for by the public. If these boys were not rehabilitated, then perhaps the fault lies us for not providing them with an environment in which they would be able to grow into functioning members of society.

If we have provided these things, why would we condemn them for life over the things they did as a child?

It is easy for us to condemn the criminals for their crimes without looking at the circumstances that brought them to that place. It is easy for us to denounce the worse among us as "unfit for life" without doing the hard yards to help make them fit for life.

The fix for society is not a quick one. Nor is it one size fits all. It involves a lot less assumptions and a lot more care.