31 March 2004

This morning

I walked to the train station as usual. But on the way, I approached the local supermarket loading dock in the optimistic sunshine. The roller door was open by about half a foot and at the very moment I drew near, about twenty tomatoes rolled out from under the door towards the street. They traced a perfect parabola towards the curb, and then the downhill slope of the road. They rolled red and ripe, while a scrum of schools boys scuffed past on the opposite side of the road and laughed. No-one picked up the perfect fruit that had no visible owner, but a few of us office drones saw the colour and motion and smiled to ourselves.

24 March 2004

A few Random Thoughts (it's been a while)

First of all I apologise for my diatribe last time - I was having a bad day. To answer Aunty B's intelligent questions:
no, Indian women are not seen in public very much. about 80% of the passing traffic is male. Women are very seldom seen without a male companion.
yes, saris do have a saucy bit of tummy showing, but they don't show ankle, and really the only glimpse you get is of the side (not the tummy). There's no touching in public, no nudity (Indian women bathe in their saris), no kissing allowed on TV or in movies...

Maybe there is an inbuilt need to repress someone - it's often said that in India, the lowest caste of all is woman.

International Womens Day eh? Love Aunty B's list of top chicks and terribly flattered to find self in company of Helen Razer - I love Helen and wish she'd come back to public life. To the list I'd add Joan Kirner and Moira Rayner and Ann Summers. International Women's day in India was marked by the President exhalting women to raise themselves up and inaugurating the Foundation for the Preservation of the Girl Child. The parliament passed legislation banning sex determination of foetuses through ultrasound (too many parents aborting baby girls). And the Chennai police raided and closed down a performance of The Vagina Monologues on the grounds of public obscenity. Sigh.

I've been perusing the Indian women's mags as well. The best of the bunch is Femina - a weird mix of you-go-girl and family life. This month's edition includes articles on:
  • Managing your investments (in which I found out that women here still need a man to guarantee a bank loan - either your father or your husband);
  • Foreplay (that is, 8 different ways to give a foot massage, nothing more risque than that);
  • 10 ways to stay beautiful in winter (interestingly, not one commercial product gets a plug, the tips are all things like "rub yourself with almond oil", "make a face mask from cumin, heem and apples", or "oil your hair with coconut oil")
  • Profile of the woman CEO of ICICI Bank (their slogan is "we have more customers than Australia has people");
  • Raising happy kids; and
  • "We don't want to have kids" - the new phenomenon of the childless couple


long post.... time to stop
From the sublime...

The hypnotic web-based clock - is it art or science? +

To the ridiculous...

Shooting for THE COLONY is starting in August 2004 and continues through to December 2004. SBS is looking for three families and individuals to re-live the experience of their ancestors in the period 1795 to 1815. They are also seeking ten single Australians aged between 18 and 45 to live as the original convicts did.*

. . . Hopefully being SBS they won't hold back on the local warfare, torture, buggery, bubonic plague, near starvation, and endemic corruption. I'd watch that.

+ Props Miss M and wideyedkid .. Artist details on the site..
*Thanks to CC for that one.

21 March 2004

Talkin'

A field of boffins called "evolutionary pyschologists", who hang out with linguists in the uni cafeteria spend some of their time trying to work out what language and human speach is actually for.

The old-skool model says that it is primarly about improved detailed, more accurate transfer of information. Better information means finding better hunting grounds, passing on new skills and knowledge to the next generation, sharing new discoveries in medicines and health, generally just being more competetive, and better able to breed.

But perhaps its not so basic as all that. Actual field observations on people using language and interacting show that for the large majoriy of the time people spend talking only a minute fraction is spent on exchanging data that is in any way related to survival. (Oh, by the way we're talking scientists evesdropping on conversations in the most "natural" settings they could find - crowded cafes, trains, presumably hairdressers salons, making tapes then anyalysing them in a terribly rigorous manner back at the lab). Its mostly completely banal meaningless stuff....our Jason's new job, celebrity marriages, Sheena's dress for the wedding, re-itererating something they said 5 minutes before, what's on at work, Janette's trouble with the baby, the terrible aesthetics of the building going up down the road, the lastest internet flight deals..... you get the picture.

A biologist may deduce that you are wasting a load of precious carbohydrates and brain computing power with this constant drivel, and why on earth did such a giant brain develop in the first place that could cope with something as complex as language?

Well, dear reader, this mob reckon from their studies that the primary purpose of language is to build and strengthen human relationships. You may have noticed me touch on this subject before. Other beings are so fundamental to our survival that we are constantly chattering, sharing , reinforcing our relationships. As miss J notes - "I trust you, I am interested in you, I am connected to you". Possibly the actual information, while important, is secondary to the exhchange.*

Today I was subjected to a lot (and I mean a lot) of talk about cars. Car racing, car models, car performace, car manufacturing and distribution. My end of the table at the Aussie barbie had a higher ratio of middle aged blokes at it, and it the subject just kept coming back around like a bad penny. Having little experience or interest in pretty much all the topics on offer I felt a bit like one of these researchers. Since we've established that any exchange is likely to be totally removed from issues of day to day survival, perhaps so-called conversations like these act like a natural filter for who on god's green earth one is to form bond with. Ipso facto, boredom is clearly an evolutionary tool for weeding out people who you have no need for in life. Bear it in mind kiddies.

*note: complete lack of referencing indicates that this abstract is entirely formed from a sketchy memory of a bbc science doco. Of course.

17 March 2004

Just a few

My mother is a wine guzzling bad influence on me. Chardonnay anyone?

It was international women's day last week. Anyone notice? So an appropriate if somewhat belated Bsharp fave chicks list:

- Germaine Greer (queen of nerdy academic aussie women), Courtney Love (I don't care what anyone says, I know she's a giant fuck up and she flaunts it. Go Courtney), All of The Slits (except Budgie because he's a man), Cheryl Kernot, Natasha Stott Despoja (for having more balls than the rest of cabinet combined), Isabella Allende, Angela Carter (RIP), Patsy Kline, Debbie Harrie, Dusty Springfield, Julie Andrews, Tanya Donnely, My gem-friends, Fee Fee L'amour, , Helen Razer, Miss S.Archer (how could I forget), Frida Kahlo, Mish M, both the Angel[l]s, Anias Nin, Kim Deal, Madonna (ooh didn't expect that one), Valery Wilde, Sarah Michelle Geller, Judi Dench, the skinny one from Smack the Pony, Betty Sue, Sister Wendy, Tank Girl (Alright! I know she's fictional and created by a bloke, but what the hell), Rene Zellwegger (not often you see the hollywood types poking fun at themselves), Salt and Pepper ("Hey Pep, I don' think they're gonna play this song on the radio"), Siouxie Sioux, Valerie Salonas, Libbi Gorr.

12 March 2004

hmmm.....since I got the big welcome I figured I should make an entrance.
ouch ouch ouch - my head hurts. It's all wrong what I have done to it.
Classy entrance huh? There is a classy story behind it too....

OK - this isn't so hard, I reckon I can do it, but maybe not today - I just need to go back to day dreaming my way through the rest of the day.
The gym instuctor said the other day that day dreaming is good - it means you are alive. I know it is good, but now it is qualified. Ha! yeah by the gym instructor - oh dear - not only does my head hurt, it clearly isn't working properly.

11 March 2004

Calling all leftie media sluts

An audience spruiker for the SBS current affairs program Insight called me last week. They will pay a whopping fifty bucks for people to go to Artarmon on a Tuesday night to watch the show being taped. Its in a new format where they encourage audience questions (but speaking on camera is not compulsary). You'd be at the studio from 6.30 pm for 2 hours. There's a nice bit of cheese and bickies first and canass some issues for the panel to discuss. Each week has a topic like, you know, terrorism, or genetic engineering. All the easy stuff. This might be up some readers' alley, so to speak. If so, you need to call a nice fellow called Ron at McNair Inginuity Research. 1800 669 133. (Its okay to post the number, they're a promo firm! They called me at 7pm at home, anyway... ). I can't make Tuesdays due to a prior booty-shaking appointment. Get in there. Mix it up.

5 March 2004

Welcome..

Miss Mitzu! (Drum roll please) Glad to have you in the nerd lounge.

As for me - not much to report. Perhaps some changes, some new things, and you know how the Aunty crew loves nice new things. Fresh housemate, different work stuff, a change of feeling of here in the bunker, I think it might be activity. Maybe something else. I thought that chrysalis would probably have its uses.

Current Music: There is Power in a Union - Billy Bragg, Lockit - Falling Joys, Obsession/Tango - Shakira.

3 March 2004

What would a party be without..

Quotes.

"Ooh it feels just like walking on the moon" - Now I wonder why the slats on my couch are all out of their brackets? hmm.

"You know I think you just use it as a barrier. Really." - Thanks Miss J.

"I'm wondering if its time to put some pants on".

Club Hawaii was a roaring success, and there is a digital image record too.