Monday, March 27, 2006

Peter Garrett for PM

I left well enough alone until the following article carried on into the media today... then Peter was on the Political Forum on ABC 702 Radio...

The thing that people seem to miss about him [with the 'can a rock star be Aussie PM?' stuff is that he is a person: of intengrity; with knowledge, legal skills, a good mind, plain speaking and honest!! Not just some "rock star"!!
Midnight Oil was a different animal when it comes to music, they ran their own race, flew in the face of popularity, dissed Countdown and Mollie Meldrum, went independent, stayed home from the US for family when worldwide success beckoned after "Diesel and Dust" etc

Now Peter Garrett is quietly working away as a Federal MP, sure to eventually be tested with a Ministry and in doing so is slowly building a case for a long future in public life as a significant figure in Aussie history!! As PM? We could do a lot worse!!

I'm sure Peter has his moments, foibles and faults... but in the brief moments of conversation I have had, he showed himself to be the kind of humble, self effacing and uncomfortably ordinary sort of bloke who would appeal as a fair and honest political Leader.

Can Peter Garrett rock the Lodge? Some see a future PM
SMH 25th March 2006

COULD the former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett be prime minister?
As the ALP seeks a long-term answer to its leadership squabbles, an unusually quiet and unassuming member for Kingsford Smith has emerged as a potential future leader after barely 18 months in Parliament.
It may not be a big stretch of the imagination, considering the political transformation in the US of Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
One senior Labor official said: "Peter has impressed a lot of people with his policy brain. He needs time as a shadow minister so he can get key portfolio experience, but there are people in the party who see that potential [to be leader]."
An experienced party powerbroker, Bob McMullan, one of Mr Garrett's closest parliamentary colleagues, also responded positively: "Leading the ALP? It's not out of the question.
"I can't see a Labor government in the future without a big role for Peter as a policy player. Whether he gets beyond that is still too early to tell. He is an innovative policy thinker and I expect he will play a big role.
"What progressive parties need are leaders who give people hope that things might be better, that they can change the country for the better if there is a change of government. Peter has that quality but leadership requires more than that. Until people are really tested you can't really tell."
The Greens leader, Bob Brown, is unequivocal: "Absolutely electable. The Labor Party would do extremely well to take Peter on as leader. The rank and file would be delighted with the news. What they need is not just a power politician but one with a social conscience."
And Mr Garrett? "There is no way I am going to buy into your very eloquent hypothetical," he told the Herald during a wide-ranging interview about his budding new career.

"Wake Up" The Living End

'State of Emergency' is a great CD from a band seemingly looking to break into the US and making noises that if this record hand't taken off and doesn't lead to a new level of acclaim and 'work' then that might just be it for the group. Not that they aren't going well, just that their music can have a sameness about it to other than a fan and if one song doesn't sell through the roof then nothing else from the same CD would... Personally I love their stuff!!

All seems to be on track with a Chart Number One, Sold Out headline Shows and support gig for the 'Rolling Stones' upcoming!!

'Wake Up'
I've been buried in the sand
I've come down with no place to land
I don't need you to understand
It's not what I had planned
All the hunger, all the yearning
With the lifeline that you're burning
Poison lessons that you're learning
The road ahead is turning
Suicidal education
It got sold to our generation
Wake up to the manipulation
Wake up to the situation
Suicidal education
Stick together side by side
We no longer need to hide
From the darkness into the light
Now is your time
I need something to numb the pain
Forget me and forget my name
Waiting for the time to arrive
No one gets out of here alive
Suicidal education
It got sold to our generation
Wake up to the manipulation
Wake up to the situation
Suicidal education
Wake Up! Wake Up!
I've been buried in the sand
I've come down with no place to land
I don't need you to understand
It's not what I had planned
Suicidal education
It got sold to our generation
Wake up to the manipulation
Wake up to the situation
Suicidal education
It got sold to our generation

It's a 'wake up and look at whats happening around you' song in that usually slightly more 'pop' style compared to Green Day though it's always a favourable comparison with 'The Living End'.

A band that will always be 'even better' live...
this clip has just enough imagery to contrast a world of need that it makes a good visual

"Ugly" Sugababes

I had the chance to catch a little of "Rage" ABC TV Top Fifty on Saturday AM and saw two interesting songs that restored my faith in the pop charts for not being a total loss!!

One of those was the clip and song for the Sugababes "Ugly"
View a 30 second clip here:

When I was 7
They said I was strange
I noticed that my eyes and hair weren't the same
I asked my parents if I was OK
They said you're more beautiful
And that's the way they show that they wish
They had your smile
So my confidence was up for a while
I got real comfortable with my own style
I knew that they were only jealous cos
People are all the same
And we only get judged by what we do
Personality reflects name
And if I'm ugly then
So are you
So are you
There was a time when I felt like I cared
That I was shorter than everyone there
People made me feel like life was unfair
And I did things that made me ashamed
Cos I didn't know my body would change
I grew taller than them in more ways
But there will always be the one who will say
Something bad to make them feel great
People are all the same
And we only get judged by what we do
Personality reflects name
And if I'm ugly then
So are you
So are you
People are all the same
And we only get judged by what we do
Personality reflects name
And if I'm ugly then
So are you
So are you
Everybody talks bad about somebody
And never realises how it affects somebody
And you bet it won't be forgotten
Envy is the only thing it could be
Cos people are all the same (The same, the same)
And we only get judged by what we do (What we do, yeah, yeah)
Personality reflects name
And if I'm ugly then (Yeah, you)
So are you
So are you
People are all the same (Oh, oh, oh)
And we only get judged by what we do (What we do, yeah)
Personality reflects name
And if I'm ugly then (Yeah, so are you)
So are you
So are you

Both the clip and the song are very handy at this time of year 'lead up to and including Easter] when songs about judgementalism, the nature of community, values and whats important always come in handy for reflections/worship/Easter focus.

I like the line that "If I'm ugly, then so are you..." it puts such superficial judgements in their place!!

It reminds me to mention 'Girls Aloud' as another interesting pop act... not my usual territory!!
I will now retrun to listening to Ben Harper, Triple J Hottest 100, The Whitlams and Living End.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

XBox 360 On Sale!!

XBox 360 is now launched and available and seems to have set records and drawn the usual suspects out in the middle of the night to play, check out the dancing girls and be serenaded before unloading their hard-earned at places like Sydney's Pitt St Mall EB Games outlet!!

The expensive version comes with a 20GB hard drive and ability to slot into your home entertainment set up and be used for recording stuff, photo and video shows, games, music etc!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

YOU Tube

With a warning that I don't control the content, this site is another variety of the file sharing sites giving wide audiences access to film clips, mpegs and peoples own pirated footage on phone cameras etc...

It includes some great film trailers and U2 footage...

Again, other content may offend!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Youth and the Mobile Phone!!

Don't call us …

SMH March 20, 2006

Out of touch, out of the loop. That's the modern truism of the e-generation whose best friend is a mobile phone, writes Louise Williams.

THEY are the new social outcasts: teenagers and young adults without mobile phones.
Disconnected from their peers, they risk nothing less than social desolation. The lot of the mobile phoneless is to languish waiting, condemned to a merry-go-round of missed meetings, the mobile tribes having long changed plans and moved on.
This is not the melodramatic plea of an adolescent, bent on persuading sceptical parents. Nor a thinly disguised marketing pitch. It's the conclusion of an increasing number of studies by academics and psychologists around the world.
It is no longer a matter of what you have to say, just so long as you are constantly talking or texting, and being seen to do so, says James Katz, director of the Centre for Mobile Communication Studies at the Rutgers University in the US.
Mobile phones are the portals to friendships and social networks, the ultimate measure of social status and portable shrines to self-image, he says. And if no one's calling, there's little shame in programming your phone to ring you, checking for non-existent text messages or talking up a storm with an imaginary friend.
"Kids are talking incessantly on mobiles or messaging from the back of the bus to the front of the bus; they are constantly reinforcing the message that they are in the loop, that they are part of the in group," Katz says. "To not have a phone feels like social banishment. It really is an issue of being excluded, of being an outsider."
He says about 90 per cent of young people admit they have faked a call. Often they are trying to cope with social anxiety by showing they have someone to talk to, or just want to be called away from an awkward situation, he says. But some are so determined to show off that they pretend to wrap up Hollywood deals in front of their friends.
To test the anecdotal evidence of the perils of social exclusion, Katz's centre recently subjected 100 undergraduates to 48 hours without their phones, but with internet access to soften the blow. Only 12 made it, Katz says. The drop-outs reported that people got too angry with them, emergencies came up or responsibilities demanded they pick up their phones. Three students thought their lives were happier without constant communication.
"They felt under tremendous pressure to keep in touch; they felt isolated and lost. So we actually know what happens when kids go into mobile-phone withdrawal."
An Adelaide mental health expert, Rahamatulla Mubarak Ali, of Flinders University, agrees. He interviewed hundreds of Australian teenagers for his pilot study of internet use last year but found discussion frequently drifted to mobile phones and social networks. "A phoneless person may not be included as a friend," he says.

Young people consider a mobile phone the most important item of all - it is more important than access to the internet or even television, Marilyn Campbell, from the Queensland University of Technology, says.
"Getting calls and text messages are status symbols," she says. "Ownership of a mobile phone indicates you are socially connected, independent from your family and in demand.
"Teenagers have always tried to hog the phone, but they used to have to ask permission to use the family phone and it was often a public conversation. Mobiles bypass parents in a very personal way."
A Seaforth mother, Rebecca Higgins, was determined to buy her 15-year-old son, Ben, a mobile phone, whether he liked it or not. Without one, he had caught two buses only to arrive at a meeting place and find no one there.
"Kids don't make prior arrangements any more. Everything is left to the last minute," she says. "Socially, life moves so much faster.
"I was very upset when he was left out, but I don't think I understood how his peers were thinking. They weren't trying to ostracise him; they'd changed plans at the last minute and it just didn't occur to them they needed to ring a home phone in advance."
Another group of Manly teenagers is horrified at the thought of being disconnected at all.
"Well how on earth would I know what was going on without a phone?" one asks.
A study in 2004 by the Australian Psychological Society found that almost half of teenagers without mobiles felt left out. But, significantly, more than 90 per cent of phone owners said they respected their peers without phones, suggesting social isolation is a practical communications issue, not a deliberate slight.
Australians own about 19 million mobile phones. That's fast approaching a saturated market, except among the under 18s. Eighty-seven per cent of 15- to 17-year-olds have phones, as do 64 per cent of 12- to 14-year-olds, but only 16 per cent of six- to 11-year-olds have them, according to the latest Nielsen eGeneration statistics.
Pressure for mobile phones is mounting from younger and younger children, and parents are putting up little resistance, Campbell says. Phones are seen as safety devices, and prepaid network access cards and free text message deals have reduced parental anxieties about cost.
Katz says mobiles have changed the fundamental nature of communication; it's now quantity over quality.
"There used to be a concern about quality - what did you talk about, what did he or she say? Instead, it's how many times you are contacted, how many messages you receive, how long it is since the phone beeped. People are looking to the mobile network to define their feelings.

"This is not just being driven by marketing and advertising. Ultimately, you can't sell people something they don't want. Human beings have always compared themselves to each other. Mobiles are the new human fetish. It says volumes about where you stand in the tribe."
Mobiles have also turned assumptions about the "digital divide" on their head. The thesis that the world's poorest communities and nations will fall even further behind is being played out with the internet - poverty means you are less likely to be online. But children in lower socio-economic groups in the US are more likely than their richer peers to have their own phones, Katz says. Mobiles are symbols of upward mobility everywhere, including in huge developing economies such as China and India.
But being connected isn't all positive. Teenagers and young adults can move like swarms from one social occasion to another, with little thought for the efforts of the hosts of the deserted "dull" party, or those of the party gatecrashed en masse, the tribe assembled via text. Then there's the opportunity to hide behind technology to avoid emotional situations, Campbell says. "You can text your great aunt so you don't have to bother with the social niceties of making conversation, or you can dump your boyfriend or girlfriend via text message."
Last year a large New Zealand study of 12- to 15-year-olds found that 23 per cent of mobile phone users had ended a relationship by text, 39 per cent had used text messages in an argument, 29 per cent used their phone in class and 11 per cent were woken up every night by incoming text messages.
Campbell says that just as phones are tools of social inclusion, they can be used in bullying. "It's a very new area of study, but the question is whether this is just another medium for bullying, or whether the technology emboldens bullies because they can say things via text they wouldn't otherwise say," she says.
Teenagers and young adults are so preoccupied with "connectedness" partly because they are the first generation to be unable to imagine the inconvenience of being out of touch, Katz says.
But it's also a "life stage" question. Young people are still developing their identities and value their place in social networks. Older people, rushed off their feet at work and at home, aren't always so keen on being constantly available, especially if they're expected to give up their precious time to listen to a friend who is waiting, bored, in the supermarket checkout queue.
But, Katz says, it is definitely not just the young who have mastered the modern art of inane mobile conversations. He says 20 per cent of Americans talk on the phone at the supermarket.
"We just like the contact, even if we are only talking about what's for dinner," he says. "The mobile phone seems to have migrated from a luxury to a vital communication tool."
Can we live without mobiles?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

South Sydney Rabbitohs

When I was growing up I inherited my cousins enthusiasm as a fan of the South Sydney Rugby League Club. 'The Rabbitohs' [named after the blokes who used to carry sticks with rabbits hanging from them around the streets of Redfern and Darlinghurst and call out that produce was available for sale for stew or soup] were a foundation club from 1908 with the NSW Rugby League. This was a hybrid rugby union invention championed by JJ Giltnan and others. Giltnan managed to convince Dally Messengers mum to let Dally switch from rugby union to the paid professional sport of rugby league.
Souths colours are myrtle and coachwood [green and red] and they are the most successful winning-est club in the history of league in Oz. JUst not so for the last several years. During the Super League war over broadcast rights the Rabbitohs were excluded from the comp while other teams went the merger route. People protest power and the courts re-admitted Souths a couple of years ago and the club has struggled to catch up to the modern era ever since. For every forward step there's been two backwards...

Today, historically it seems more than 75% of voting members have voted to privatise the club by offering a 75% stake to Peter Holmes a Court and Russell Crowe [mad Souths supporter] with 25% in the hands of members and a raft of conditions on future sale etc!!

While not all good news, things could not possibly have been worse and so the inevitable has happened...

While I have moved on the follow Rugby Union in the last twenty years and had a soft spot for the Newcastle Knights... the bunnies hold a special place in my story and my growing up. I spent years watching black and white telecasts of grandfinals as Eric Simms, John Sattler and Co won year after year...

It's an interesting story for many reasons. The Souths supporters from inner city Sydney are an underpriviledged group... an eclectic mix of 'battlers', sufferers from mental illness, the aboriginal community, yuppies, the old guard, long term locals, traditionalists and fans from Australia far and wide... The protests that led to Souths reinstatement were a localised groundswell gone mad... in many ways this stands in stark contrast to the idea of privatisation... BUT if it has to happen, better loyal fans and passionate supporters than business opportunists!! Nothing thats happened has prevented the team from being moved away from Redfern Oval... which was a great venue in its heyday!! but is now a delapidated eyesore that Clover Moore [Sydney's independent Lord Mayor] is determined to return to greenfield site. It will be a state of the art training ground but not a redeveloped stadium!!

LIke all good stories I guess we'll have to wait for the next chapters to judge the current scenario!!

Go the Rabbitohs!!

2006 Archibald Packing Room Prize

Catch the Archibalds at the NSW Art Gallery or on its regionals tour later in the year!!

Speak to a Real Person, Get Free Directory Assistance

Here in Australia are keeping track of lots of corporate tricks!!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Worship Unplugged # 35

Inspired by a National Youth Workers Inservice 'Sacred Space' we included a worship station in the 2005 UCA NSW Synod Opening Worship that looked like a well enjoyed meal at a table that everyone had just gotten up from. The food and half filled glasses remained, one Tim Tam sat temptingly and a museum like board on a easil explained what the group had been talking about.
They were remembering a plan to buy a pub and open it as a space for 'community' and a missional endeavour [still serving alcohol responsibly, but no pokies] and they were talking again about what might have been possible and wondering if its not too late...
The scene looked and played out great!!

Just recently I visited the Bradman Museum in Bowral NSW and wandered into the section which is set up like a cricket dressing room from the 1940s. There are lockers in use, a mannequin with head in hands and a sensor activated pep talk from the skipper before you take the field again after the tea break. It also happens to have old phones where if you listen and push a button you can hear some players from different eras talking about the Sydney Cricket Ground, their own experiences etc...

It all reminds me that for worship to be 'real' in this age [and maybe any age] it needs to be an experience of God... enter the creative art of making spaces... spaces that smell, look and feel like the scene they are creating. You can use these kinds of 'walk ins' to tell an old story, set out a modern scene that relates, create a space for responding or to use voices and stories to expand peoples view of the topic at hand. As always this takes work and will only mirror the time and effort expended... a naff poorly propped drama is still naff, even if you can walk onto the stage!!

The disciples have just fled the room at the last supper
World Leaders have just been meeting to discuss world debt
four young people have just been in the room talking about their future hopes....

You could add questions for reflection or discussion, biblical links, prayer points etc

Saturday, March 11, 2006


So you're that busy when the U2 Tour is cancelled that you haven't had time to get excited about the concert that was supposed to be happening!! Lucky!
No not really, I like many others wish the Edges daughter well in her struggle with a serious illness and am also disappointed that March 31st will look pretty damn different!!

So November, or more like this time time next year!!

BUT to be tormented and inspired even further, catch Bono on 'Enough Rope' with Andrew Denton on Oz TV this MOnday 13th at 9.35pm on ABC TV!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Simpsons Introduction

Check out this brilliant latest take on the introduction to 'The Simpsons'

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pearl Jam self titled studio album released in May 2006

While still missing an ocassional fix of new stuff from the Oils... the quality music is coming thick and fast at the moment.

Pearl Jam have their current single available for bootleg download from their website and announce the release of their upcoming studio album SELF TITLED!!

Plus the site has the first leg of their world tour... look out!!

The single sounds like the prediction that :all the instruments are out on this one, loud and happening!!"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Reese Witherspoon is More Than Legally Blonde!!

With films like 'Election', 'Pleasantville' and 'Cruel Intentions' alongside Legally Blonde I and II [not to mention Rachel's sister in 'Friends']... Reese has shown her undoubted acting ability in a seemingly brief yet surprisingly busy career!! So it was interesting to see her beat Felicity Huffman to the Oscar this year...

Phillip Seymour Hoffman walked it in and interestingly George Clooney still carries a few wounds from his self described "killing off of the batman franchise"!!

Do yourself a favour and see:
"Walk the Line"
"Memoirs of a Geisha"
"Good Night and Good Luck"

at least!!

Save your hard earned and give "Brokeback Mountain" the slip...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Razzies before Oscars Fever Strikes

Before you get caught up in Oscars fever [and if Phillip Seymour Hoffman doesn't win there should be yet another Inquiry] check out the Razzies Awards for Worst Film, Actor etc

Friday, March 03, 2006

Whitlams New Album 19th March 2006

The Whitlams new album "Little Cloud and the Apple's Eye" is due for Aussie release on Sunday March 19th with some good reports from secret and not so secret festival gigs recently!!
Stay tuned!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Row M Seat 30 "M:i:III" Teaser only

Ethan Hunt returns to our screens in the no doubt mindblowingly expensive Mission Impossible 3 [M:i:III]!! The cast has some impressive names:
Tom Cruise
Ving Rhames
Keri Russell
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Laurence Fishburne
Billy Crudup

Check it out ahead of a 4th May release at