meteordust: (kujaku)
Do we have a government yet? Y/N

Volunteering again was - nice. It was a warm sunny day for winter, and a steady stream of people strolled in - all ages, backgrounds, walks of life - did their business and strolled back out. Peaceful democracy in action. I am grateful to live somewhere where voting is as simple and ordinary as going to the bank - it's another task that takes time out of your day, but there's usually a place around the corner, and hopefully you can be in and out in ten minutes, unless there's a queue. And then government happens. (Hopefully.)
meteordust: (kujaku)
There are a lot of things I could say about Dexter Down Under, a graphic novel in which Dexter visits Australia to help the local police catch a serial killer. I have mixed feelings about the Dexter series these days, but I had to check it out.

Minor spoilers )
meteordust: (kujaku)
This wasn't the post I was expecting to make today. But making it has certainly made my day.

Malcolm Turnbull topples Tony Abbott in Liberal leadership ballot

meteordust: (kujaku)
High Court verdict a turning point in same-sex marriage debate

The pair exchanged vows and said their "love and ordinariness" were what Australians needed to see.

"I think a week of love stories - even if it's only a week - will make a difference to some kid out there."

Same-sex marriage laws overturned by High Court

The judges found the ACT law could not operate alongside the federal law as only the Federal Parliament had the power under the constitution to legislate on same sex marriage.

Silver lining in court's same-sex ruling

The High Court has cleared the way for a federal law on same-sex marriage, even though it struck down the ACT law providing for them.

The critical point was that the court held that the word "marriage" in the Constitution means the union of any two natural people. It was not restricted to unions between a man and a woman.

Tears and determination at High Court ruling

"We just see this as a little blip in the arc of justice," she said.

At last

Dec. 7th, 2013 08:15 pm
meteordust: (kujaku)
Couples celebrate Australia's first same-sex weddings

If they take it away again someday
this beautiful thing won't change

- Vienna Teng, "City Hall"

We go on

Sep. 8th, 2013 09:39 am
meteordust: (kujaku)
In the face of a discouraging election result, for those who believe in things the new prime minister does not:

We go on.

We go on standing up for what we believe in.

We go on speaking up for what we believe in.

It begins at the ballot box. It doesn't end there.

"Democracy is not simply a majority voting up on the hill in Canberra. Democracy is a complex interaction of institutions that bring a good quality of life to all people and ensure respect for the human dignity of all people." - Justice Kirby
meteordust: (kujaku)
Again, since when is it okay to depose a sitting Prime Minister?

I think both Rudd and Gillard have been poorly done by their party.
meteordust: (Default)
So, after literally years of waiting for this to happen, how was it?

Well, I did get the very Eurovision experience of witnessing my country's performance and cringing with embarrassment. There was nothing actually wrong with DJ Brown's singing. But why the four dancers gyrating about the stage in black corsets and garters? I mean, really?

It especially stood out because most of the other countries went classic and conservative, with soulful ballads that were probably love songs. I have no idea what they thought of Australia.

The knockout performance of the evening was Indonesia, who was dressed like a queen, with even a jewelled eyepiece, and delivered a magnificent power ballad. Other interesting moments: Japan's cutesy pop idol trio in pink, Afghanistan's traditional string instrument and message to fellow citizens far from home, Korea's hip-hop dance moves and dramatic plumes of smoke and flame. Also, Korea being the host nation meant we got to see some special performances highlighting their music and drama.

It wasn't until the end that I discovered that it wasn't a song contest, but a song festival. So, no voting! Which might actually be for the best, considering regional tensions are still a live thing, and fits the theme of promoting harmony among the nations. So we ended up with all the performers coming back on stage to sing "Heal the World" together. Which is not a bad way to end things.
meteordust: (Default)
At last, the Asia-Pacific Song Festival 2012 will air on SBS on Sunday 28 October at 9:30 pm. (And likely elsewhere and elsewhen if you're other than in Sydney.)

"Viewed by millions throughout Asia, this cultural event showcases the very best K-pop, J-pop, C-pop and music from member nations of the Asia Pacific Broadcast Union. SBS PopAsia's own Jamaica dela Cruz will be co-hosting the festival bringing the fun, glamour and nonstop pop direct to Australian viewers from KBS Hall in host city Seoul, South Korea. Representing Australia, DJ Havana Brown will be performing her triple platinum selling single 'We Run the Night' at the festival. (From South Korea, in English)"

It's not quite Eurovision - it doesn't sound like we get to vote? - but it's the closest we've come so far.

*waves flag and throws confetti*
meteordust: (Default)
It would be farce if it didn't feel so much like tragedy. How did we get to here from there?

I'm back!

Sep. 8th, 2010 12:42 am
meteordust: (Default)
After an unprecedented but strangely liberating week without net access. Will catch up on posts later this week, after I catch up on sleep.

Also, I am pleased that we now have a government, and even more pleased that we have a new Prime Minister and her name is not Tony Abbott.
meteordust: (Default)
I'm not really sure if I need to post that I'll be away for the next week, given that it's often longer than that between posts. But anyway! Net access may be sporadic, so I'll probably only catch up when I get back. See you then!

ETA: Also, we still do not have a government. Although somehow, we seem to be managing okay.
meteordust: (Default)
I was out all day yesterday after voting, and by the time I got home I didn't feel up to checking online who had won, in case it gave me bad dreams. By the time morning rolled around, I was finally braced for the news, except there wasn't any yet.

What a mess.

In these last three years, for a brief time, there was a government I could believe in and an opposition I could respect.

Now the choice is between disappointing and disastrous. I don't know which I'll wake up to tomorrow.
meteordust: (Default)
Ever since I saw the trailer for this movie a few months back, I have been completed stoked about it. I read the Tomorrow books back in high school, and they blew me away. Seven Australian teenagers go away camping for a weekend, and come back to find their country has been invaded. With their families imprisoned and their homes occupied, they decide to fight a guerilla war against the invaders. They are forced to make sacrifices, witness death, commit violence, and try to retain their humanity. Through it all, their friendships sustain them.

John Marsden is one of the best authors writing for young adults in Australia, honest and uncompromising. Some of this story is gutting, and some of it is exhilarating, and all of it is brilliant. If the movie sucks I will be incredibly sad. But the trailer looks pretty awesome.

If you haven't read the books, I highly recommend them. Even the titles are cool:

1. Tomorrow, When The War Began
2. The Dead Of Night
3. The Third Day, The Frost
4. Darkness, Be My Friend
5. Burning For Revenge
6. The Night Is For Hunting
7. The Other Side of Dawn
meteordust: (Default)
I was not expecting to find out this morning that we suddenly have a new Prime Minister. So Rudd hasn't been doing so great in the polls, but things were not that dire. Opposition leaders change all the time, but it's a big deal for a Prime Minister in office to step down.

I've had a lot of respect for Gillard and I'm keen to see what she'll do now, but I agree that we have wasted a perfectly good PM.

Damn. Three years. It went by fast.
meteordust: (Default)
It's perfectly normal to buy the cast recording, to take the memory of those fantastic songs with you. And there's nothing wrong with looking up reviews of the show or listening to interviews with the cast.

And when a live performance is broadcast on TV, naturally you want to tape a copy to keep. And when you borrow Recollections of a Bleeding Heart, well, you're only educating yourself about history and politics. And everyone already knows that Wikipedia is a source of endless fascination.

But when you find yourself at midnight downloading YouTube videos of Question Time debates from over a decade ago, that's when you have to step away from the keyboard and go have a quiet lie down.
meteordust: (Default)
So last night was the Keating! special sing along show. No, I didn't go, but I was a little tempted - I've listened to the CD about a billion times over the last couple of weeks, and I reckon by now I probably could sing most of it off by heart. It happens with every new favourite musical of mine, and I've become uncommonly fond of this one. And yay, I now have my own copy of the ABC2 live broadcast from last week, thanks to [ profile] pelrun's heads up, so I can rewatch at my leisure.

And now my appetite has been whetted for more musicals - so far this year I've seen Chess and I've seen Keating! and I would have seen Wicked except that they decided not to come to Sydney, damn them, and I'm not quite prepared to hike down to Melbourne just for that. I wish it was like London or New York where you have a crazy smorgasboard to choose from, but I guess neither of those places could have given us Keating! which as one reviewer said is totally brilliant but absolutely unexportable.

Apparently there also exists TONY! The Blair Musical. Who would have thought?
meteordust: (Default)
There is something irresistible about the idea of a musical about Australian politics - to take a subject so pedestrian and unromantic, and elevate it to the high drama of musical theatre. But if ever an Australian politician fit the role of protagonist in such a drama, there could be no better choice than the colourful, infuriating, and occasionally visionary Paul Keating, and no better setting than the memorable years of his prime ministership.

Keating! is that musical, a much lauded, award winning production that will be winding up its long run at the end of the month. I saw it at the Seymour Centre last weekend, and it was every bit as hilarious and nostalgic as I had hoped.

Review! )
meteordust: (Default)
Three months ago, we signed Kyoto.

Yesterday, we apologised to the Stolen Generations.

Tomorrow, who knows what else is possible?
meteordust: (Default)
It's kind of hard to work up enthusiasm for a day that commemorates not some great act of nationhood, but the day a British fleet landed to build a penal colony, a day which indigenous Australians still regard as Invasion Day. The anniversary of Federation would have been a far better choice for our national day, since that event more truly marks the birth of Australia. It's just a damn shame that the constitutional convenors chose 1 January, leaving us with the messy prospect of stacking Australia Day on top of New Year's Day. So I guess for lack of a better alternative, we're stuck with 26 January.

Still, we get a public holiday. And it's probably more typically Australian to be thinking, "Woot, long weekend!" than swelling with national pride.

My favourite entries on the You know you're Australian if... list:

1. You know the meaning of the word "girt".

13. You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep.

16. You're secretly proud of our killer wildlife.

19. You believe that cooked-down axlegrease makes a good breakfast spread.

21. Hamburger. Beetroot. Of course.

24. You still don't get why the "Labor" in "Australian Labor Party" is not spelt with a "u".

35. You still think of Kylie as "that girl off Neighbours".

36. When returning home from overseas, you expect to be brutally strip-searched by Customs - just in case you're trying to sneak in fruit.

42. You know, whatever the tourist books say, that no one says "cobber".


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