07 January 2013

Howzat!!!


Howzat, a question that is asked of an umpire by a player on the fielding team as to whether a batsman is out or not.
Now when we apply this to the real world, I think there is a question that needs to be asked of the media and community (regarded as the social umpire) about Shane Warne. Why is Shane Warne so popular and why do the media and people give a shit about what he does? Is it because he bats well in the community and social arena and contributes positively? Or has there not been a loud enough appeal for the umpire (the community and the media) to acknowledge his negative self centered attitudes and behaviors that are so regularly displayed and overlooked.

Is it because the community is lacking in positive sports role models and we are hanging on to him because that is all we have? Absolutely not, everywhere we look there are plenty of current and ex-sports people that have achieved far more both athletically and a community leaders than Warne ever did.
Was he that much of a freakishly good sportsman that he should have an exemption from this kind of behavior. Not really, he was a spin bowler for Christ Sake!!! It’s not like he was a champion tennis player or gold medal track athlete.

Is his behavior not THAT bad or regular? We lets break it down.
·        Sledging saga –Slagged off another player whilst.
·        a microphone was turned on and gladly allowed a channel 9 camera man to take the fall.
·         Being caught smoking –Caught smoking whilst doing an anti-smoking advertising campaign. Warne was a also one of the most popular players in the Australian side at this time and his smoking would have implied to a whole lot of kids who saw him as a role model that smoking wasn’t that bad.

·         Sexting – being caught cheating on his wife with another woman after (s)ext messages were revealed.  
·         Cheating – Being banned from senior level cricket for 12 months for using a diuretic to improve his fitness. He then tried to blame his own mother for giving him the pills.
·         Traffic offences - Being involved in a road rage incident against a cyclist and being caught speeding, all of this when he’s been contracted by the TAC to represent road safety in their latest campaign.
I think I can safely say that most people would regard the above mentioned collection as being regularly bad behavior.

So is it because there are a whole lot of insecure people in a similar demographic in the community that are finding an increasing need to feel good about themselves? To fix this they reflect the moral and behavioral standards as those displayed by Shane Warne, thinking that this is therefore OK? Is it because this demographic is feeling increasingly insecure about the concept of what it is to be Australian. Maybe. Perhaps this is a new mutation of the tall poppy syndrome. Rather than cutting down the tall poppies, lets promote the dud poppies so that no one has to get any better. It reminds me of something I learnt in primary school around the same time I learnt to play cricket. Lowest Common Denominator.
So what happens if we keep Shane Warne at the so called batting crease?  We risk a continuation of our community becoming more and more apathetic to cheating and immoral behavior. We risk our young people not aspiring to being pillars of kindness, fairness and safety within society and thinking that it is OK to cheat and lie and drive fast.
So if you’re one of those people that every now and then feel that society is getting worse in this regard join me in saying YOUR OUT SHANE WARNE !!! Get off the field!!!

29 November 2011

Water for the population Vs Rice Farming Idiots.

Finally a bit of government policy on natural resources that makes sense. Today the Federal Government announced the Murray Darling Basin Plan (Basin Plan). It basically phases in less use of water for farmers upstream. It is the first practical step in the realisation that we live in a country that doesn’t have enough water to sustain farming of things like rice for example. Rice farming… seriously. We live in a country that is mostly desert. My question is, why has this taken so long to figure out? These rice farmers have been pissing in the ears of the Coalition for years while the rest of us have seen quality of our rivers deteriorate and have been slogged with water restrictions.

As you can clearly see in the picture showing where rice in farmed worldwide, (International Rice Research Institute) the rest of the world has figured out something that we haven’t. This being that rice is farmed in and around the equator not as far down as NSW or even South Queensland.  On top of this we are not even close to being in the top 10 traders of rice and, the biggest traders are on our doorstep. This tells anyone with half a brain that we can import rice cheaper than we can afford to buy it from our own farmers. So please tell me...what is the point here?????

It is also interesting to note that when the weather is going well you will have noticed that we haven't heard any whinging from the farmers. This is because they have been making a packet. Why can't they pay a bit of it back to the government who have supported them through the tough years. I’m sure that students paying back HECS debts would agree.


I'll say it again, finally some policy that make sense in terms of international trading and sustaining the water resources for everyone, not just stubborn, pig-headed rice farmers.

17 October 2010

Saint who??

Ok. Great. An Australian has been recognised for dedicating her life to others. This is an amazing thing and a first for this country. I don’t won’t to detract from this. Congratulations Mary McKillop. What bugs me about this is that Australian society has no other way of acknowledging people that reach this life long high level of service to others than though religion, and even worse through the same denomination that has serious questions to answer in terms of paedophilia and contraception. This being the Catholic Church.

Why is it that this organisation, which mind you is the richest and most power political power on earth, feels that it has some kind of recognised say over who is (when you break it down) a good person and who is not.

Over the past 2 decades we are reminded again and again of priests, community leaders of this church, taking advantage of their positions of power by sexually abusing small children. Why this happens?? Who knows but, it seems to be a pattern unique to the Catholic Church. Yet it is the same organisation that today has been in the media all over Australia telling who we are to consider to be a Saint or someone who god thinks is a bit more heavenly than us. Let’s look at this from another perspective people. It’s like the Former CEO of David Jones deciding who will be the Equal Opportunity Commissioner. Quite plainly, this doesn’t seem right.

16 January 2008

Off with is' ed'

You walk out into the light and realise that you’re on top of a bridge spanning between the two massive turrets of a medieval castle. As you walk into the door leading to the turret you notice an ancient stone spiral steps running downward. You follow the steps past the ground level and start to wonder about the eerie candles lighting the way down toward what could only be the dungeon.

video

You would honestly think that you had stepped back 600 years in time when you arrive at the Beynac Castle. We were lucky enough to get there in the middle of the off season which meant for the first 2 hours we were the only ones there. Everything about the castle was authentic, which when you’re the only ones there, gave you an amazing perspective of what it was really like when King Richard the First (the Lion Heart) walked the steps from the Dungeons up the stairs and across the Draw Bridge to the Ancient Church within the Castle walls.


The Castle as a whole is precariously positioned at the top of 150 foot cliff which looks of on the Dordonge River which winds its way through the Perigord province of regional France and is located a few kms south from Sarlat, a beautiful medieval town in Perigord. During the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries this fortresswas French during a certain period, then English, and again French in 1453.


The oldest part of the castle is a large, square-shaped, keep with vertical sides and few openings, held together with attached watch towers and equipped with a narrow spiral staircase terminating on a crenellated terrace. To one side, a residence of the same period is attached; it was remodelled and enlarged in the 16th and 17th centuries. On the other side is a partly 14th century residence side-by-side with a courtyard and a square plan staircase serving the 17th century apartments. The apartments have kept their woodwork and a painted ceiling from the 17th century.

We toured around the castle for most of the day. Althought the weather was a bit drizzly it didn't take any of the magic away form what was an amzing day.

18 November 2007

Go Socceroos

G’day punters. Sorry about the lack of blogging in a while. Since Rome there hadn't been much going on until this weekend.


On Saturday I spent 4 hours helping the ALP hand out ‘how to vote’ cards at the Australian High Commission. Over here we have a 2 week window in which to vote in the Federal election and this Saturday was the only Saturday that the High Commission was open and as such it was probably the busiest voting day. There are around 400,000 Aussies over here and around 20,000 of them vote so it almost felt like being at home on a really, really cold day. As usual it was good to wind up the other parties. Especially Family First.


After that Penny and I decided to head down to Cravern Cottage, Fulham for the Socceroos vs. Nigeria game. I’ve got to say this has been one of the highlights of time in London so far.


After a first half of no scoring, Australia’s David Carney smashed one in to the back of the net to set the 11,000 strong Aussie crowd into something I’ve only seen at an AFL finals match. Awesome.



Nigeria being the best team from Africa saw Australia side a team full of stars. To my surprise Harry Kewell, Mark Schwarzer, Lucas Neill, Brett Emerton and Tim Cahill fronted up on the day.


Anyway just a quick one this time. I’ll report back soon. Enjoy the weather over there for me. I certainly can’t over here.

28 October 2007

When in Rome

So it was time to don the sandals and togas and board the 50 pound Ryan Air flight to Campino Airport in Rome.


We got there at about 10pm on Wednesday night so there wasn’t much to do but check out the hotel and enjoy an Italian Wine before bed. The Hotel wasn’t too bad for a 3 star. We had a great little balcony that squeezed 2 people in for a great 4th story view of a typical roman street.

Thursday we headed down to see the Colosseum. What can I say…. Amazing. The Romans had there blokey entertainment totally sussed out. A massive stadium the size of the MCG which twice a week displayed a group of blokes and animals smashing each other death. Who needs action films…. In all seriousness though, the actual structure really makes you really think what happened between then and now. They seem to have been a lot more advanced socially and politically than the empires of the later centuries.


Friday we did the spiritually correct thing and checked out the Vatican. As far as buildings go it is a pretty impressive group. The actually church or St. Peters Basilica and its grounds are about the size of 2 and a half footy fields. I guess I was bit disappointed to find out that a lot of the materials used to build the Basilica were actually gold, marble and iron taken from the Colosseum which at that point was neglected by the then Christian (Catholic) ruler.


Saturday we walk from the Hotel over to where the Pantheon was located. The Pantheon meaning "Temple of all the gods" is a building in Rome which was originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome. It is the best preserved of all Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world. It has been in continuous use throughout its history. Although the identity of the Pantheon's primary architect remains uncertain, it is largely credited to Trajan's architect Apollodorus of Damascus. Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Christian church which is probably why it hasn’t deteriorated as much as the non-Christian buildings.




Sunday we checked out the Spanish Steps and then the Roman Forum. The Spanish steps were a bit lame. Just packed with tourists, beggars and scam artists. A group of the scammers tried it on with me by tying some friendship string thing around my wrist so tightly that I could get it off so I was then forced into buying it for like 10 euros. Little did they realised that I would ark right up at them and advise then in a less than polite way that ‘I was an Australian and I DO NOT GET SCAMMED’. It turned out that I ripped the string off of my hand and didn’t pay which led to me being told that ‘Australian’s are fucked.’ Ah well. We know the facts, so that’s OK.


The Roman Forum was amazing. It was generally the site of the government sector of the day with the remains of the Senate and most of the other government departments and buildings located there.



Anyway that’s about it folks. I will say that Rome was definitely one of the best cities I’ve seen so far. Great food, great sights and a great climate. Talk to you soon.


BD

25 September 2007

Birthday Away

I though I’d write another new post on my last weekend in London as on Saturday in was my 31st birthday. Well.... the celebration actually started on Tuesday night when we ventured out to the Royal Albert Hall to see John Mayer.





What a great venue! The RAH (not the hospital) had quite a large capacity for such a different shaped venue. Also the acoustics of the place were fantastic. John Mayer turned it on as usual and played most of his songs from his album Continuum and a few of the old favourites. He still also does that weird shit with when he is playing he’s playing certainly parts of songs on his guitar. Another thing worth mentioning about that night was that the suburb of West Kensington were the RAH is located seem to be very affluent and hold very few immigrants or poor people. Mainly just rich whitey’s . Very different from Hackney. There seem’s to be less of an in-between in London.




Wednesday night was thankfully very quiet and involved a bit of quiet time in the flat.


Thursday saw the arrival of my good friends Al and Megan who we caught up with in Hammersmith and saw a stand up comedy show by Ricky Gervais from ‘The Office’ and ‘Extras’. I can almost still feel the soreness in my jaw from laughing so much.







I guess I went along not expecting too much from a stand up show by a guy who I had only really known to do TV comedy. Geez.. was I wrong.


Friday saw Al and Megan move there stuff to our place and then involved a few drinks after work and then a great meal at the Drunken Money. http://www.fluidfoundation.com/venueDetails.aspx?VenueID=2481 . It was very basically a bar crossed with a yum cha type Chinese Restaurant. The highlight was the salt and pepper squid which were served extra thin and crispy like a bowl of fries. I would even go as far saying it was as good as Ky Chow in Adelaide.


Saturday morning saw us all sleep in a grab a great a full breakfast at the French Restaurant across the road from our place. It was great to have breaky and chew the fat with some good friends. Al and then went and kicked the footy in the park while Penny and Megan went to the Tate modern to see some arty gear.


Saturday night we all met up with another friend Flick in Sheppards Bush to have Dinner and see the Hilltop Hoods. ‘What a great a night’. While going in I saw some old friends from Blackwood High so we all hung out and saw the show. Afterwards we had a few beers at the pub down the road and then moved with the crowd to the after party at K-West.





So we got home at about 5:30 Sunday morning and caught up on some well earn sleep.


Even though I didn’t get to spend my birthday with family who I miss a lot, this was still one of the better birthday weeks I’ve ever had. Thanks to all involved and especially to my lovely girlfriend Penny who made most of this happen and got me a cool Holland hoodie for my birthday.