There is a light

30/04/2012 § 4 Comments

We celebrated my daughter’s birthday last Saturday.
Yesterday, after a bit of a sleep-in and some lunch/breakfast, some of us went to the beach. It was supposed to be a swim but the weather took a turn for the worse and it became a walk. Our feet were frozen (the water was warmer than the air) by the time we got to the coffee and chocolate stop. After warming our blood we started the return journey with the wind at our backs.
Then the clouds opened and this beautiful warm light hit us broadside. I pulled out my camera and here she is. Happy birthday, Pum.

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Unless we forget

25/04/2012 § Leave a comment

That’s what children often say at an ANZAC service because they have never heard the word “lest” before. It comes immediately after the line “we will remember them” so to a kid it would make sense to be adding a little disclaimer just in case we forget to remember.

The Ode of Remembrance.
   They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
   Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
   At the going down of the sun and in the morning
   We will remember them.
The response is either the last line repeated or “Lest we forget”

Here in Australia we are not big on nationalism. Sport excepted, we see ourselves as just another country (although it is God’s) in a global community. Patriotic sentiment in US media is usually met with stomach-turned groans. When gung-ho seppos get their comeuppance we laugh up our sleeves. We can’t help thinking that Superman’s vow to fight for “Truth, Justice and the American way” is contradictory.
But ANZAC Day is an exception. It’s a very important holiday to us. It’s not like Labour Day where everyone goes off on a long weekend and most people probably don’t  know (or care) why. ANZAC Day is respected and celebrated by every generation.
And we are remembering not a victory but a loss. It’s not about how great we are as a nation. It’s about the selfless soldiers (some lived, some died) who fought.

Poppies: we went to Canberra last weekend and visited the Australian War Memorial.

My wife was at funeral a couple of weeks ago. The man had been a serviceman and one of his colleagues read For the Fallen – a poem by Robert Laurence Binyon. She was surprised that the fourth stanza was the ode. This was news to me too. We googled it and noticed that it is the mid-point where the poem turns. Stirring words made more powerful when read in context.
Check it out.

btw: “Lest we forget” is from a repeated refrain in Recessional by Rudyard Kipling.

Run the World (Girls)

19/04/2012 § 4 Comments

So I’m listening to Azealia Banks and I think “Did she just say what I think she said?” and she did. It shouldn’t be surprising – she’s a rapper and they are not famous for curbing their behaviour for the sake of being sensitive to others. For example, when Kanye’s grandmother tried to suggest he might be using the ‘a’ word a bit too much in his latest song, he I’m-a-let-you-finished her and she did’t get to finish.
But back to Azealia. Here she is and she is just so cute.

How does someone so cute get to have such a potty mouth? Somehow she manages to balance the two.
It’s a skill that girls, in particular, seem to need. We live in strange times. We can be who we want to be and do what we want to do. But ours is a very conservative society. It’s not the 1970s anymore – there are some things that society says you just can’t be and things you just can’t do.
I know lots of girls who admire outrageousness but want a fairly normal lifestyle. Does this clash? No – they manage.
But TV and film seem to have a problem with it and have decided to create this weird new stereotype. The promiscuous non-slut. People like Robin from How I Met Your Mother and Penny from The Big Bang Theory. Characters for loving and not judging. Are they real? I recently saw a trailer in which Kate Hudson’s character says: “You look familiar. Have we had sex?” Who says that?

Silver lining: People in general have strict standards but one of those standards is that we must not judge others. So you go girls.

A nice pair

09/04/2012 § Leave a comment

I stumbled upon this on the interweb today. It’s an album design from the 1970s by the British design duo Hipgnosis. Two thoughts* struck me.

1. The pun. If I was designing this today I would hesitate to suggest the pun. Clients are very serious about their works and their image and sadly today’s rock bands are more serious about such things than anyone. They might want something that’s fun and may well be enticed into a bit of bare bottom action but if it’s cheesy it must be clearly seen as ironic cheese.
2. The  montage. This was done long before Photoshop had been thought of. Today, I would be photoshopping like crazy to make it look real. But I like the fake look. The message is clear and it just adds to the whole we-don’t-take-ourselves-too-serious feel.

When the revolution comes puns will be considered high art and unconvincing visuals will be the new black.

*Two at once. That’s pretty good for me.

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