Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Upside down Miss Jayne

For those not dwelling in Australia, a brief explanation.... During the 70's, 80's and 90's, the ABC produced a show called Mr Squiggle (the man from the moon). As you can see, Mr Squiggle had a rather large appendage attached to his face - a pencil for a nose. His primary talent was being able to take a group of lines on a piece of paper sent in by a viewer and transform these lines into a picture. Being a marionette, Mr Squiggle was operated from above and, as such, had a tendency to draw his pictures upside down. This often lead to the catch-cry of "Upside down Miss Jayne" (Miss Jayne being the long-running human host of the show).

For Mr Squiggle, it was all about potential and perception. Take 3 random lines and see the potential of what they could be and evolve into. What the viewer perceived to be a bigger bunch of squiggles at the end of the drawing, Mr Squiggle (or his puppeteer at least) would see a completed picture - it just happened to be upside down.

Over at R World, Ron posted a short commentary on the new media, including this link discussing how the existing media is needing to change and adapt to new technologies and demands. It got me thinking about how other industries are needing to adapt and change. As examples: the recording and film industries due to pirating and P2P technologies, the car and energy industries in light of the demands to decrease global warming. A lot of noise has been made by these industries on how devastating these changes are, how they will lead to a loss of jobs, and more importantly, profits. Hell, even little Johnny Howard today slammed the concept of cutting green-house emissions by 30% by 2020, stating

"Sir Nicholas Stern is reported in The Sydney Morning Herald today as advocating a reduction of what? Thirty per cent in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020. Now that would have a devastating effect on the Australian economy.

The idea that this country could achieve that kind of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020, which is a bare 13 years from now, the kind of economic dislocation, the level of unemployment, the damage that would be done to Australia's competitive position, is self-explanatory, Mr Speaker."
Let's face it - things are in a real mess at the moment. We've managed to successfully and completely fuck up ourselves and the planet over the past century. It is time to change our perception on how we have traditionally done things and see the potential in implementing changes. If this means rethinking the way we work and earn money (both as individuals and corporations), then so be it. Like any revolution, there will be sacrifices made - how many traditional jobs and industries had to change or disappear due to the Industrial Revolution?

Like the little guy below, we need to be creative in the solutions we develop - adjust our thinking beyond what has been done and start looking at what can be done.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Holiday" Weezer
"Helter Skelter" U2
"Blister In The Sun" The Violent Femmes
"The Chain" Breeder
"Sunsets" Powderfinger
"Human Behaviour" Bjork
"Come As You Are" Nirvana
"Calling Earth" Yves Deruyter
"No Good (Start The Dance)" The Prodigy
"Zebra" John Butler Trio
"Surf Wax America" Weezer


Ron West said...

Nice story! I believe the potential consequences on not acting on global warming are far more devastating than continuing as is.

There was a great article today in the NYT - included this interactive feature of winners and losers:


Colin Campbell said...

My kids loved Mr Squiggle for a while. I found some old videos and the cassette, quite by accident in the library one day. Not having grown up in Australia I had never heard of him. They used to launch into loud renditions of Here's Mr Squiggle....You can imagine.

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