I'm impressed - a new site (co-site to Australian blogs) lists Australian podcasts. Clearly, I need to get with the times and get a pod. (I did buy an iPod Shuffle which is useless, it only worked for a week.)
"Tomorrow, on April 28, the United Nations Security Council will receive a report on Iran from the UN's nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is likely the IAEA report will repeat what it has said earlier: that while there is no direct evidence Iran has diverted nuclear production to a weapons program, Iran has engaged in an 18 year secret nuclear program and failed to fulfil its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But whatever the report says, the Bush administration has made clear its intention to take military action against the Tehran government if it does not comply. This is enormous pressure on the Security Council to allow the Bush Adminstration to dictate UN policy on Iran.
Just a few years ago, massive global mobilization, and the millions of people in the streets of cities around the world saying NO to Bush's war, helped governments to resist US pressure. That same mobilization forced the United Nations to do what its Charter requires: standing against "the scourge of war." The UN refused to grant the US legitimacy for its illegal invasion of Iraq. That UN resistance insured that the whole world had to recognise the US war and occupation of Iraq was and remains illegal.
Now we must ensure that the Security Council hears those voices once again.
United for Peace and Justice, the largest and broadest anti-war coalition in the United States, has launched a campaign aimed at the UN Security Council, demanding that the Council stand firm against US pressure.
Please sign this letter. With your signature it will be sent automatically to the ambassador and foreign minister of each member of the Security Council.
Please join Australian voices to those of UFPJ to demand again that the world say NO to war!"
** If you are signing outside the U.S. or Canada, please list your city in the "City" box and country in the "Street 2" box, select "Other" in the State/Region box, and be sure to add your own or another postal code in the "Zip/Postal code" box.
Accent: Many people assume I'm English (eg taxi drivers ask how long I've been here...) I'm hopeless at mimicking accents but somehow managed to lose my Australian accent when I lived in England. And I live with an English woman. Booze: I don't like whisky at all. White wine makes me feel sick. I drink beer (Peroni or Coopers) and red wine and rose. Chore I hate: Vacuuming. I only do it about once a year. (Co-parent does it.) Dog or cat: I have both. I'd choose dog over cat. Essential electronics: Computer. Favourite cologne(s): In my 20s/30s, I wore perfume. Chanel No 5, Opium, etc. Now I don't own any. I occasionally rub some rose-scented cream into my wrists. Gold or silver: Silver Hometown: London and Sydney. Insomnia: There have been periods in my life when I suffered from insomnia, this is not one of them. Job title: Editorial programmer! (Writer and editor). Kids: One Living arrangements: I live with my partner and our child. Quite traditional, in all but the sexual orientation sense. Most admirable trait: Depends on who's doing the admiring. I've been told I'm admired for my analytical mind. Number of sexual partners: In double figures. Overnight hospital stays: Three, all in/fertility related. First (one night) for a laparoscopy. Second (five nights) to have one ovary removed. Third (seven nights) for pre-eclampsia and caesarian. Phobias: I don't think I have any true phobias. Just fairly standard fears. Quote: "We're alive, we're together, we're on the ground". An oft-repeated quote from co-parent, after a particularly bad flight experience in India. Religion: None. Raised as a Catholic. Siblings: Four. Time I wake up: Usually 7-7.30am. Unusual talent or skill: I can't think of any that are unusual. Vegetable I refuse to eat: None. Worst habit: Procrastination X-rays: Teeth, hand, several of my uterus/ovaries Yummy foods I make: Recently I've been cooking a good Moroccan vegetable stew with cous cous and harissa. Zodiac sign: Cancer
My 84 year old friend Angus dropped by to return a book. We chatted and I brought up my irritation - no, let's be frank, my anger - with the treatment of Anzac Day in the media.
"Yes, it's complete nonsense. You'd think it was a religious holiday. Ridiculous. And this chap who died and was called an Anzac Day hero, he was cleaning his gun and forgot to take out the bullets - what kind of a hero is that?" said Angus. "It's all guff".
It's hard, I said, to raise a boy in this kind of atmosphere - you don't want to be the constant cynical voice in his ear.
"You can let him be for a couple of years, but at some point you'll have to take him aside and say, 'the world doesn't work quite like that'" said Angus, whose plane ditched into the English Channel on return from a bombing raid over Europe in 1944.
The men who live opposite put not one but two Australian flags over their balcony yesterday. Bloody hell.
'The men opposite' intrigue me, in a distantly sociological kind of way. I'd guess that they rent the house, not own it. There seem to be three of them living there, though random other heterosexual men seem to wander through. They're not that young any more - late 20s at the least, mid-30s for one of them, though it could be the fact that he's balding makes him look older. He'd be the one on the lease. He drives an Audi, so I'd guess he's something like a marketing manager. The others have what I take to be expensive cars as well. Cars feature prominently in their daily routines and conversations. The Audi has a Ralph sticker on it - that's the type of men they are.
Every couple of months they have a loud party, at which they sing raucously and very drunkly till about 3am. Often these parties seem to be male-only affairs, (but don't worry, they're not poofters). Not long after we moved in, the Audi driver had a loud conversation with his ex-fiancee on his mobile phone about getting the bloody ring back, even though the cost of it didn't matter to him - it most definitely did not matter to him (repeated loudly several times) that the ring had cost $8000.
The Audi driver regularly gets paralytically drunk and abuses the other men at the top of his lungs. At these times he sounds like a fifteen year old boy screaming at his parents. None of them seems to give a shit about the fact that they let it all hang out. Perhaps we can be very easily dismissed as the middle aged women who live opposite (I'm not sure if they would have figured out we're a couple - I'm not sure if we would have entered their consciousness to that extent. They seem too busy being ostentatiously obnoxious to worry about anyone else.)
They do a lot of walking around while loudly talking on their mobiles - they walk in the yard and out into the street. Not many cars pass by in our street, so they can stand in the middle of it and talk on their phones. All of which gives me a valuable glimpse of how the dominant half lives.
But two flags? Double the patriotism?
At the sight of the flags, Olle said "Go Aussie". Today's children learn this kind of slogan early. It's in the air they breathe.
Poor boy, it must be confusing to him to have parents who were almost spitting at the tv during the 15 minutes - 15 MINUTES - of ABC news time given to breathless reporting of Anzac Day ceremonies in Canberra, Sydney, Solomon Islands, Kokoda, Iraq and Gallipoli this evening. Actually, it's me, the fifth generation Australian, who was spitting. Co-parent, a mere migrant, was merely bemused.
Oh, on one hand I can laugh at it, but actually this kind of blanket reverentiality (is that a word?) frightens me. It's such nationalistic, militaristic crap. It presents such a uniform picture in which not a single word of dissent is heard. That our national identity is based on military battles is not to be questioned.
In a way I'd like to know what the two flags mean to the men opposite. Then again, I don't know that I could bear to hear what they'd say.
Wouldn't it be great to have a blogher conference in Australia?
I'm not suggesting we have one - with the small population here, I think such a conference is a few years away. However, a women bloggers get-together is not an impossibility. Perhaps next spring? I'm busy until then, but after August, I could help organise something. Any interest?
Later: Thanks to the comment from Elisa, it looks like there are a couple of things we could all do to make any future event easier to organise. First, go to the Blogher website and add a link to your blog, with the sub-category of Australia. Then have a read of the discussion at Disambiguity, which although coming from a more tech angle, inlcudes and ends with some interesting links.
Thursday April 27 7:30-9pm Youth in Action: activism vs apathy Toby Brennan, GetUp! and Jemma Bailey, Trade Justice Campaigner
Toby is the community campaigner for a rapidly expanding political movement, GetUp.org.au.
Jemma is the trade justice campaigner and policy officer for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Jemma has recently worked with Oxfam’s International Youth Parliament, convening a workshop of 40 young people around the world on the impacts of trade agreements and grassroots responses. She is also on the board of AID/WATCH and is actively involved in the Legal Observers Project, a collective of lawyers and law students who advocate for expanded rights for political protest.
Mosman Art Gallery cnr Myahgah Rd & Short St Mosman 2088 Entry by donation $10 waged/$5 unwaged inc free glass of wine Organised by North Shore Peace & Democracy