Saturday, 24 November 2007

Riddles In The Dark




Questions that are not asked often enough.

How did we get to where we are today?

When did people stop paying attention to what was going on around them?

Why did we allow ourselves to become so distracted from reality?

How much irreparable damage has been done?

When did the mass media gain control of the greater common consciousness?

Why did we allow this to happen?

How can we fix this?

When is it too late?


Sunday, 18 November 2007

Who Knows? - Rambalations 5

I don't know where this is going to go - just a warning. Lots of issues I want to touch on here, but I'll try to keep some logical and sensical flow going.

Who knows, I may even throw in an Anna Corin segue.

Since Louise asked for it, let's start with the impending election. It appears neither of the major parties in Australia have paid any notice to what has been happening around the world in the past 4 years. Or their own backyards. All I hear from the Liberal (I refuse to call it the coalition - when was the last time the Nats actually did anything?) party is economics disguised as big ticket item policies, geared towards the good of corporations, while all I hear from the Labor party is.... well whatever the Liberals say but with less focus on the economics and more geared towards the workers.

I don't hear anything from the minor parties. The mainstream media has made them vanish into thin, polluted air and they seem to be doing nothing in regards to the digital media. Maybe they're just not doing anything at all? Perhaps they'll speak up and/or be heard this week.

It has been entertaining watching the majors try to use digital media in their campaigns tho. Johnny Costello has made a repeated fool of himself on Youtube (search for his posts yourself - I aint shitting on my blog) while Ruddy Kevin discovered social networking platforms such as MySpace and Facebook. Still, they don't seem to get it. Or use it. Because, if they did, how could they possibly be so blind to what is going on around them?

Social networks have proved to be just that. People from all walks of life are finding their common interests and sharing their experiences with one another. Regardless of race, gender, religion, age, sexuality, financial status, location, physicality, appearance, education. We are engaging with one another and pissing off the old barriers, and not just online. But to make this work for you, you have to participate. This is where the major parties have failed. I have had not one political candidate or representative talk to me during the campaign. None. No-one representing any political party has approached me on the street, has knocked on my door, phoned me during dinner (although that could be because I do not have a fixed-line phone service) nor, thank fuck, posted a comment on my blog. Have any bothered approaching you?

If one did bother to engage with me in conversation, I would be happy to talk with them. Shit, there's heaps of issues being addressed in this election, so I'd be more than happy to hear their policy outlines. But only if they could speak frankly about them and not just talk spin.

And if they were to say something like this, they'd get my vote.

But all I am seeing is mass-market spin.

On the other hand, they may have been following blogs all this time and think that mass-advertising is something bloggers are really interested in, and therefore continue to use mass-market campaigning. Given the state of many blogs now, I can understand why they would think this. On a few pages that I flicked past today, I found it almost impossible to find actual content. It was there, squashed between adverts and paid-posts. But if I have to hunt for content, then I aint gonna read your page. And a lot of the content I did find was about this whole Google page-rank dispute that has developed - whatever that may be about. It appears to only impact people who use blogging as a means to make money. Since it seems to be largely based around blog advertising and has zero impact on me, I'll not be reading any further into it. Best of luck to those fighting that greedy corporation who had the audacity to change their own business practices.

There are other things I plan on focusing on this week.

Lastly, for what it's worth (and as this is a free blog, it's worth nothing), I'm not planning on voting for either of the major parties. No great surprise to any of you (ir)regular readers. One of them is going to win either way and both fail to impress me. Instead, I'll be voting for the minor party which focuses on those issues which I find important. Their preferences will end up going to one of the majors, but at least I've had my say on what issues are and aren't important according to my perception of the world (yes, world - even though this is an Australian election, we are players in world politics and apparently we're almost worth as much as the USA). If enough people voted in this way, we may see issues which are important according to the people actually being addressed.

Although I am undecided which minor party will receive my vote, I do know it will not be Family First. The last thing we need now is a bunch of right-winged 'Christian' zealots running the country.


Songs played while writing this entry:
"Where Is S" Infected Mushroom
"Dreams" Quench
"Bambaata Back To The Core" Goldie
"Drumstick" NJoi
"Scared" Slacker
"Perception" Cass Vs Slide
"It Doesn't Matter" The Chemical Brothers
"Konspiracy" Kemal
"Mockmoon Remix" Genlog
"Sweetness And Light" Itch-E And Scratch-E
"Niji" Denki Groove

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Reality Check

"I lost touch with reality
now my personality
is an unwanted commodity"
Teenage Fanclub De La Soul

Sometimes it's good to have a reality check, both as an individual and as a collective. You don't want to do it too often because you become so obsessed with the analysis of reality that you loose sight of the real reality. But every now and then it's worth doing. And what better time than now?

America has been delivered a reality check in the form of this report (kudos to Cooper). I wonder if Johnny Costello or Ruddy Kevin will take any notice of it.

If you're an internet user then read this post by Colin. (Ever notice how internet users are socially acceptable while heroin users aren't, yet they're both referred to as 'users'?)

I'm sick of being single - time to do something about that.

And if you think you have it rough or aren't happy with your appearance, then check this out because I bet you'll never guess what this is by just looking at the photo.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Top Of The Desk

Because Cooper told me to (and because it's one of my favourite pics that I've taken):

Port Douglas, July 2006

Show off yours:

[1] Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).
[2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).
[3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

For MAC users: Press [ Apple] [ Ctrl ] [ Shift ] and [ 3 ]


"You're so fuckin special
I wish I was special"

I was chatting with a mate on Friday night at a work piss-up and we were discussing a woman we both admire. She's the type I've always been a sucker for. Natural beauty, smart, confident, creative, laid-back and a bent sense of humour. The whole package. And recently single. My mate was doing all he could to convince me that I should pursue a relationship with this incredible woman (the only reason he wouldn't do it himself is that he is happily married to his wife and kids). In theory it sounds great.

You see, I know I am not the type of man this particular woman is attracted to. If I have learnt anything in my short life, it is that everyone has their 'type' when it comes to attraction - both physical and emotional. And in this instance, I fail in both categories. She is attracted to the confident, well-built, tall, decisive, slightly arrogant, sporty, rugged types, whereas I am the quiet, average-build, medium height, submissive, thoughtful, spectator, homely type. We get along great as friends, but the chemicals are only flowing on my side.

So I will continue to admire her as a friend until eventually she finds a guy who fits her type who she chooses to spend her life with and we grow apart.

You may call this a defeatist attitude, I call it realistic.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Beds Are Burning" Midnight Oil
"Impact" Sound Enforcer
"Capoeira Brasileria Psicolodel" Kaigang
"Point Break" Solphurex
"So Tinha Que Ser Com Voce" DJ Marky
"Big Cat" Afro Celt Sound System
"I'll Get You" Plump DJs

Sunday, 4 November 2007

29 Days Later

Its been 1 day short of a month since I last posted on my blog. No real reason why, I just haven't - haven't felt like it, haven't had the motivation, haven't had the time. And as we're moving into summer and the silly season, I think I'm not likely to post all that often over the next few months. Still, it's nice too see a number of regular visitors still dropping by to check in on me.

So what's happened over the past month?

  • Little Johnny has set a date with Kevin 07, giving all us Aussies an opportunity to pick between the lesser of 2 evils. This would have to be one of the most interesting elections I can recall. There is such a wide range of issues being addressed and opinion being thrown around, and people actually seem interested this time. I think this public interest is being helped along by the internet and tv shows such as Difference Of Opinion, Insight and The Chaser's War On Everything. According to an online ABC poll, new media is now a strong source of knoweldge in elections:
Where will you get most of your election news from?
TV - 39%
Radio - 22%
Online - 27%
Newspapers - 12%
2656 votes counted

  • Usually, Australian tv moves to off-season at this time of the year. However, due to the increased usage of P2P, tv stations here have been forced to bring forward the screening times of popular US shows. This has lead to them advertising with catch phrases such as "Streamed direct from the US", which, in most cases, is blatant false advertising. Take for example Californication, which premiered in the USA on Aug 13 and premiered in Australia on Aug 27 - a 2 week lag. And yet, channel 10 continues to promote it as "Streamed direct from the USA". One day the main-stream media will wake up to the fact the we're not all gullible idiots.... one day.

  • I went to an advanced screening of 30 Days Of Night on Halloween. While it was a decent vampire movie, I was a bit disappointed. Yeah, there was plenty of blood, the ending was a bit unexpected and the setting in Alaska put a good spin on the vampire story, but it just wasn't scary enough - 3 wooden stakes out of 5.

  • I've been pleasantly surprised by the support provided by Beyonwiz, the manufacturers of the PVR mentioned in my last post. The company runs an online support forum and takes on board the feedback provided by their customers. I had a couple of issues with networking and play-back performance which I raised on the forum and these were quickly rectified. It is nice to see a company that actually uses internet technologies to their benefit.

  • The USA has gone into debt crisis largely due to over mortgaging. Strangely enough, the Aussie Dollar has remained strong - for now. Hopefully, this will encourage people to rethink their spending and budgeting. I have been really surprised by the amount of debt people are in, especially on credit cards. I only have one credit card with a relatively small credit limit, so am surprised when I hear stories of friends who have over $10k worth of debt rung up on their credit cards. Society has become so focused on the 'quick fix' that people expect to have everything they want, now. Unfortunately, those who know how to save and budget are punished for the greed of others' through interest rate increases. It's good to see some bloggers out there taking steps to change their behaviour, and I can only hope their message spreads.

Ok, so plenty of other stuff has happened in the past 30 days, but that'll do me for now. I will return, maybe sooner, maybe later.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Black Girls" Violent Femmes
"My Michelle" Guns N Roses
"Valley Of The Dolls" Mylo
"Scary Dog" Sixth Sense Approach
"As The Rush Comes" Motorcycle
"Dual" Memory Tree
"Lump" Presidents Of The United States Of America
"Ariella" Black Acid
"Emenuis Sleepus" Green Day
"Funky Sound" AK1200

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