Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Great Public Stunt from 'Improv Everywhere'

Nic sent me this video to check out the public space art invasions of 'Improv Everywhere' whose slogan is "we cause scenes." This would be a brilliant thing to do in public space sometime. In this case it was New York's famous Grand Central Station!

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Approach for Chiko Roll Promotion

The Humble Chiko Roll looks like it's taking a new and they hope less controversial approach to it's advertising!! I guess we'll wait and see who they punters vote for out of a selection of 'possibles' for the Chiko Girl!!

Invented by Bendigo Boilermaker Francis McEnroe [as competition for the Spring Roll] it first appeared at Wagga Wagga Show in 1951.

My earliest memories of the Chiko Roll [a handful of battered and fried cabbage, beef, onion and carrot in a bag] was buying one and only one for lunch at Newcastle Baths Kiosk having caught the train 30mins to Newcastle with our rubber surf mats to ride the mini waves at Newcastle's Nobbys Beach [you know, later famous for the Pasha Bulker]!!

Covered in salt a Chiko could fill you up for hours after a morning in the surf!!

Well after a recent controversy over the biker chick adverts and billboards it appears the humble Chiko Roll and it seems you can audition this week and hope to be selected for being a "fun, outgoing Aussie girl."

Mobile Phones 21st Birthday!!

The Daily Telegraph had an article on Saturday celebrating the 21st birthday of the humble 'mobile'!! I recall the 10kg car phone and the Motorola "Brick" plus my own Nokia at 300 grams where they are now about 75 grams and even less!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Row M Seat 30 Film Discussion "JUNO"

Archibald and Bald Archy in the news

The publicity vehicle for the NSW Art Gallery [The Archibald Portrait Competition] closes on Friday at 4pm and hundreds of entries will have been received!! You can pretty much guarantee some rubbish picture will get up to create the most news! Thank goodness for the Packing Room and Public selections. The above picture of Kerry O'Brien has an intersting presence in the reflection over Kerry's shoulder!!

Satirical cousin 'The Bald Archy' now at Wagga Wagga Gallery is a Caricature Prize and the Royal Aussie Portrait is a cracker!!

Waratahs Scrum: It's a Thing of Beauty!!

There's few greater sights in rugby than the sheer beauty, power and skill of a genuine scrum!! Smacked at national level in recent seasons [since Bill Young retired and took his illegal tactics with him... legend!!] the state squads have been doing lots of work on their set pieces. If they could get and stay this low and in line then they will humble some Super 14 opponents!!
Bring it on!!

Just run it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

M rated News: Let that be a Lesson

Johnny Knoxville had a bit of a mishap filming for the Evel Kneivel picture and you can read about here in the SMH newspaper and here on his blog. Seems a backflip on a motorbike shouldn't be attempted until you actually know how to ride one!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Waratahs Season Kick Off Saturday

Another hopeful season of Super 14 Rugby kicks off this weekend and the Waratahs are poised for an improved showing while mercifully they are not making any big predictions!!
Following a review we see the pleasing return of 'curtain raisers' or local and rep footy played from 5.30pm... this is great for an out of towner who needs to arrive by then to get a park!! [Public transport works if you are within 45mins of the Stadium but not for getting home to Newcastle this side of midnight!!
One bugbear is that although less than last year we still have Lote Tiqiri making promises in the media after last years total dud season. Lets hope he scores more tries, makes more tackles and less cartwheels than the ill conceived new mascot known as 'Tah Man'

Just run it!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Apolgy to the 'Stolen Generations' Video

Apology to the Stolen Generations AV

Here's a simple AV reflecting on the words of the Federal Parliament's apology to the 'Stolen Generations' delivered by the PM Kevin Rudd today at 9am AEDST 13th February at the Parliament House in Canberra.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

SORRY text as released to the media tonight


Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.
We reflect on their past mistreatment.
We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.
The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.
We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.
We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.
For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.
And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.
For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.
A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.
A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.
A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.
A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia."

More Info and Resources

"Bringing Them Home" Report
National Sorry Day
Government Details

AND a great article by Peter Garrett from todays Sydney Morning Herald here

"SORRY" and it's symbolic importance

Today and tomorrow are significant moments in Australian history as we have and will witness a "Welcome to Country" opening the first session of our Federal Parliament under the new Labor Government and tomorrow an apology to the "Stolen Generations" of all indigenous people effected by the policy of forced removal of children carried out by governments, agencies and churches. Perhaps it's true "when you change the government you change the country!"
There has been a lot of commentary and controversy around the 'need' for an apology and the wording of same. Most of the negative response has by my observation been self centred and focused on preservation or limiting the 'cost' of such a thing. Every time I hear the topic on radio and in the print media I am reminded of the motivation and skills required in 'actively listening to' or helping someone else who is struggling in some way. It's all about the focus being on the needs of the person [not ourselves]. It's motivated by a desire to see all living 'whole' lives and doing our part to remove any stumbling blocks. Mostly people seem to get it! But the majority of critics seem not to grasp this ability to see the issues and feelings through 'the eyes of the other'.

Is it 'do we need to apologise?' OR is it 'do aboriginal people need us to apologise?'

Either way it's like those times when despite your conviction you've 'done nothing wrong' it's clear another person is effected by what you've said or done in a way that a simple apology can remedy. Or while at the time it seemed like 'the right thing to do' you later realise that from the perspective of the other and by all the evidence and narrative available to you it's time to reassess and 'own up' to past mistakes. When I say 'sorry' to a bereaved friend and I didn't do anything to contribute to the persons death I may be using the wrong word but I just mean I feel for them and wish it were different!
There's also a lot of comment about SORRY as a symbols. There's nothing wrong with symbolism per se... it needs an adjective like deep symbolism, poor symbolism, misplaced symbolism or appropriate and desperately longed for SYMBOLISM!!
I for one [and I seem to not be alone] believe despite the best intentions of those carrying out the policy up until at least the 1970's [not the 1870's] the impacts detailed and shared in the 'Bringing Them Home' Report are too important to ignore!!
The Uniting Church made it's apology about ten years ago and has since been entered into a 'covenanting' or reconciliation relationship with indigenous people and particularly the 'United Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress' [UAICC].
In many articles and conversations I have shared the view with colleagues and friends that it's a matter effecting the 'very soul' of our nation and I see PM Kevin Rudd and others share this view. We take another step in 'growing up' as a nation on Feb 13 as we say SORRY!!

Do I really need to write anything about God's perspective or the biblical standpoint on this?

Next steps and our own personal responses will be vital, lest we fall into the trap of "loving justice and doing mercy" which is the all too easy soft sell version of Micah 6:8.

You could:
Pray for reconciliation and indigenous people
Join a Support or Covenanting Group
Support local Aboriginal groups and communities
Challenge racist stereotypes/jokes/first impressions etc
Invite Local groups to join in events, speak to your group, celebrate together
Acknowldege the traditional owners of the land in your place through a church grounds plaque and statement at the beginning of any events and happenings
Be a friend
Be a Mentor
Live Justly
Read up
Read a copy of the extracted stories from the 'Bringing Them Home' Report
And so it goes on...

I had tears in my eyes as I listened to Matilda House-Williams doing the 'welcome to country' with humour and strength this morning and I assume tomorrow will be just an amazing happening!! It all reminded me of the Warumpi Band and Midnight Oil touring central and northern Australia in 1986 which led to the writing and release of "Diesel and Dust" and is preserved in the Blackfella/Whitefella documentary. "Stand Up and Be Counted" gives way to "The Dead Heart" as the bands swap places in between each ones set!! Note a young Neil Murray and the charismatic lead singer George Burrarrawanga from Elcho Island. The Warump's were first to record the song "My Island Home" now closely identified with Christine Anu.

"Stand Up and Be Counted"
Blackfella Whitefella Doesn't matter What ya' colour
As long as you A true fella
As long as you A real fella
All the people Of different races Around the world
In different places Doesn't matter What your name is
We've got to have lots of changes
We need more brothers If we're to make it
We need more sisters If we're to save it
Are you the one who's gonna stand up and be counted?
Are you the one who's gonna be there when we shout it?
Are you the one who's always ready with a helping hand?
Are you the one who understands this family plan?
Blackfella WhitefellaYellowfella Any fella
Doesn't matter What your colour As long as you A true fella
All the people of different races Around the world in different places
Doesn't matter Which religion
It's all the same when the ship is sinking
We need more brothers If we're to make it
We need more sisters If we're to change it
Are youthe one who's gonna stand up and be counted?
Are you the one who's gonna be there when we shout it?
Are you the one who's always there with a helping hand?
Are you the one who understands this family plan?
Stand up Stand up and be counted.....
Are you the one who's always there with a helping hand?
Are you the one who understands this family plan?.....
Are you the one who's always there with a helping hand?

"The Dead Heart"
We don't serve your country
don't serve your king
Know your custom don't speak your tongue
White man came took everyone

We don't serve your country
Don't serve your king
White man listen to the songs we sing
White man came took everything

We carry in our hearts the true country
And that cannot be stolen
We follow in the steps of our ancestry
And that cannot be broken

We don't serve your country
We don't serve your king
Know your custom don't speak your tongue
White man came took everyone

We don't need protection
don't need your hand
Keep your promise on where we stand
We will listen we'll understand

We carry in our hearts the true country
And that cannot be stolen
We follow in the steps of our ancestry
And that cannot be broken
We carry in our hearts the true country
And that cannot be stolen
We follow in the steps of our ancestry
And that cannot be broken

Mining companies, pastoral companies
Uranium companies
Collected companies
Got more right than people
Got more say than people

Forty thousand years can make a difference to the state of things
The dead heart lives here

This is the live song where punters attempted to be first to decipher Jim Moginie's re-arranged guitar lead in and begin chanting "duh-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do" in time as the real tune emerged on those hot sweaty nights where at least some percentage of the gathered crowd were aware of the lyrical content and the determined wish for change!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Superbowl XLII Giants down the Patriots

Despite the Fox coverage of the iconic NFL Superbowl finding its way here in Oz we miss out on the advertising specifically produced for the coverage and for which companies shell out the entire budget of a small nation to produce!! However you can catch them here on MySpace.

Meanwhile a game of NFL American Gridiron football also took place between the much fancied New England Patriots who were undefeated all season until this 'grand final' and the late finishing New York Giants with their previously 'green' and underperforming quaterback [Eli Manning]!! Manning has been known for giving up intercepts and getting to playoff games but losing them... until this year where they knocked out huge competition.
Having fallen just short 38-35 against New England in the final game of the regular season at the end of December it was clear that this improved outfit were in fact the only team capable of stopping the Pat's... and so they did!! Tom Brady has been to and won three previous Bowls but NY rushed him, broke their rythmn and restricted their stars when it counted. NE made huge gains when picking up NY's mistakes BUT couldn't convert enough into points!! It's probably in my top 2 or 3 games and I've been watching since about Superbowl XIII.
These days I only get to see a few early games [no more ABC or SBS Tuesday Nights] and then watch a few games from December onwards. Had I blogged yesterday I would have said that I thought they could do it and because of my soft spot for the city of New York I'd be cheering for the Giants [as any self respecting 'Raiders' fan would... Oakland that is not Canberra]!! So I took my admin work, jobs to do list and brainstorming for Easter Camp WA to Wests to watch the big screen! I was lucky to do so!
Not as lucky as the three other lads who'd turned up to watch just before me. In walked three American girls out here on holidays!! When I left they were on last drinks after some tequila slammers and skols when the team they followed were scored against and had been told one more round and they'd be 'cut off' from bar service!! I have no idea what pub they were to hit next but I am sure they kicked on and will have great headaches tonight!!
So again, enjoy those adverts and go Raiders in 2009!!

Thinking and Praying for Rod Today!!

So its not just NY Giants chance to upset the unbackable NE Patriots in the US NFL Superbowl today BUT also good mate Rod is having a quadruple heart bypass surgery!! Godspeed Rod!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Recycled Stationery

Went to Officeworks this morning and was impressed to find a grwoing range of specifically 'recycled' products. They included: a pencil case from old tyres; pens from whitegoods; from game consoles; boxes; cups; and car parts.
Find their supplier here although there are many companies online offering similar!!