Bushfires and the media

I can’t help the feeling that everyone in the media is a little annoyed that the weekend bushfires weren’t the cataclysm that they were expecting. And advertising.

Friday night, on the Channel 7 News, Jennifer Keyte anounced in stentorian tones,

“Victorians will live and die this weekend, depending on the weather.”

Personally, I think that <generalisation>the media</generalisation> is totally irresponsible about reporting on bushfires.

They want to terrify us. It’s good for their business.

The warnings and portentous threats that were coming out of the commercial media in the lead up to the weekend were obscene. See, thing is, once we know that the fires are about, there’s not much we can do about it. Worrying won’t actually help.

During our little fire back in ’97, the authorities set up a phone counselling service for people traumatised by the fires. Most of the people who rang in lived nowhere near the flames.

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Lust for the Dust

I can’t understand why so many people are so excited about The Ashes.

I don’t play Cricket, and I don’t find it interesting to watch. In fact, I find it very dull.

Some people talk about how wonderful it is that the Cricket is back on the Radio. Like it’s some sort of confirmation that Summer is here, or something.

I can’t stand to watch Cricket on TV, let alone listen to someone describing it on Radio.

The English have no real connection with my world, outside of the Beatles and Doctor Who. So I don’t really care whether we are better or worse than them at a game that I don’t care about.

People are entitled to be all excited about Cricket, so far as I’m concerned. But could they just keep it to themselves?

If I was ever to find myself excited about something, I’d keep it to myself. Out of politeness.

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Executive washroom

The paper towel dispenser in the Executive Washroom is giving me attitude.

Yesterday I had to tickle its belly to get paper out, and today it was just plain unco-operative.

It’s almost as if it knows that I don’t belong in the Executive Washroom. Like it knows that I should be washing my hands in one of the more dungeonly washrooms.

Or maybe it’s got a touch of the Thorpies.

“A touch of the Thorpies” is when you stop doing something that you’re good at, and that everyone relies upon you to do (and do well), just because you think you’ve achieved all that you can in that particular field.

You stop doing it because you feel you’re not doing it for yourself anymore, but rather that you’re doing it for someone else, to satisfy their dreams.

Someone else like, say, the people of Australia.

Or someone who wants to wash their hands.

I think the paper towel dispenser wants to explore its options in Hollywood. Or maybe have a go at hosting “So You Think You Want To Be An Australian Millionnaire On Ice’.

Good luck, paper towel dispenser. It’ll be interesting to see how you get along when you’re not dispensing paper towels any more.

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Clogging, sabotage, and other shoe-related issues

After having served diligently for a decade or so, my work shoes finally wore out. One of the soles developed a crack, and the first time it rained (we are in the worst drought in a Millennium), my left shoe filled with water.

This meant I had to buy a new pair of shoes. I hate buying shoes as much as I hate buying birthday cards. Which is a lot.

So I went back to the shop I’d bought the first pair from back last century, and I bought a new pair of shoes, as similar to the first as humanly possible. But the shoe-assistant convinced me to go with a size 8, when I’m actually an eight-and-a-half.

I persisted for a week, but then I gave in, and went back to exchange the shoes for a more comfortable design, and a larger size.

Incredibly, there was no problem with returning the shoes. The shoe-assistant even asked me if I wanted another pair to replace them, or if I was happy to just walk out.

It was a return policy, you see, not an exchange policy! How unusual.

I went extra-safe with the width on these shoes, the new new ones. I even tried on a size nine, but that was ridiculous. Size eight-and-a half was fine.

The new shoes are comfortable and all, but they are 120mm wide at the ball. The gap between the clutch pedal and the transmission tunnel in my car is 118mm. So now I have to take my left shoe off to drive.


The other night I was watching ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, and a happy-looking girl came on and clogged for the judges. The judges seemed to have no idea what clogging was, and didn’t seem to like what they knew. They belittled the girl, and took away her happiness. She tried to explain that clogging is really big where she comes from, and fun, and all.

But they weren’t interested in any of that. They had belittling to do. They had to weed enthusiastic dancers in genres other than ones they approved of from the gene pool.

The girl appeared to be heartbroken as a result of their throw-away one-liners about how twee clogging was, and how she should give up her dream that dancing should be fun.

I note at this point that the word ‘sabotage’ comes from the French word for shoe. During the Industrial Revolution, those who didn’t want the machines to take over the world made it their mission to throw wooden clogs into the fine mechanical gears and workings, the object being to ‘clog’ up the machine.

The machines took over regardless. It would seem, however, that those who dance for the sheer fun of it will not be able to take over the world. Dancing is a serious business, and if you can’t dance (in an approved way), then you shouldn’t.

That’s the message, IMHO, of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.

It’s an evil show, and I like the fact that half the time I’m not sure whether the dancers are any good or not.

I’d like to see a competition along the lines of ‘So You Think You Can Lay Bricks’, in which young hopefuls do their level best to lay bricks. Imagine the hilarious possibilities.

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