Thursday, June 23, 2011

24 June 2010 - One Year On

Picture: The Age 2 Dec 2006

It is twelve months since Julia Gillard deposed a Prime Minister, as the Opposition wrongly puts it, who was democratically elected by the public. Very few Australians actually voted for former PM Kevin Rudd. Australia does not have a presidential voting system like America, we do not vote for the leader of each political party, we vote for our local member. The party chooses its leader, from amongst the members who won their local votes. The fact that the current Liberal and National Parties do not understand the most basic structure of the Australian political system demonstrates that the Coalition is not ready for government. The are barely ready for Opposition.

This means that only the people from the Queensland electorate of Griffith were able to vote for Mr Rudd and people from Lalor in Victoria had the opportunity to vote for Ms Gillard. For the record; Kevin Rudd received 43,957 votes (53.09% of the votes in his electorate), Ms Gillard received 57,208 votes (59.89%). By these statistics Julia is actually was more preferred by the public in 2007.

Over the past 12 months Julia Gillard has managed to not shake the sauce bottle, in fact she has shaken very little. She has stirred a few things however. Making her the James Bond of Australian politics. He was Kevin 07 she is Julia 007. She has stirred up the mining industry, stirred up carbon producers and users and stirred up refugees.

Kevin was criticism for the extreme level of his detail programmatic specificity when outlining any policy direction. Julia has not made this mistake. Instead she has gone the other direction limiting her policy statements to clichés and sound bites; something that did not appear to change from the old to the new Julia. Julia has also lost all intonation in her voice delivering all of her speeches in a remarkably consistent monotone.

It is worth noting that I have no political allegiances. I have voted for various political parties at both the state and federal level. I am a swinging voter – and they are right swinging, between consenting adults, can be a lot of fun. The past election was a difficult one, trying to decide which party I disliked and distrusted the least. Like trying to pick a winner in the footy tips when Collingwood play the Adelaide Crows…I know I will be disappointed regardless of the result.

Other events that took place on 24 June 2010 include the conclusion of longest tennis match in history; John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 at Wimbeldon. Any game of tennis feels like it lasts for three days, this one actually did. Surprisingly the longer the game lasted the more interesting the game became.

Ringo Starr commenced a North America tour in Fallsview Casino Niagra Ontario. Americans will go and see anything including a live recital of Thomas the Tank Engine scripts. Just as long as they do not ask the former Beatle for his autograph. Peace and love.

Neighbours episode 5954 premiered on Network Ten. Summer in attempt to prove her relationship with Chris is not boring, kisses him in front of the school. This ultimately lead to the couple ending up in a hotel room. This show is aired in family primetime viewing so what happened in the hotel room? Another kiss. OOOoooooOOOO sexy! Susan Kennedy, having returned to study as a mature age student, attempts to prove to her straight-from-high-school fellow students that she is cool. Inexplicably none of her younger fellow students accepted her invitation to a cup of tea! Makes a three day game of tennis sound like riveting viewing though.

Turns out 24 June 2010 was less memorable as the media would have us all believe.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Control Freak

Live is not like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. All of the buttons levers and knobs needed to steer through the array of adventures and challenges that crop up with seemingly endless regularity are not displayed in a orderly fashion on a large desk. It is also worth noting that it is often the knobs that take control of the buttons and levers.

Humans are always wanting control.

Relationships it is said is about equal partnership. Lies. We all know it is about who is wearing the metaphoric pants. Who makes the decisions about chores, décor, television channels, meals, friendship priorities, sexual positions? It is always the person who is in control. Occasionally the other person will get to make a decision but only because the person in control has let them.

Why are single people are looking for relationships? Companionship, possibly; sexual release maybe; control definitely. Wether they are looking to control the other or to be controlled. BDSM is taking this to its extreme and if that is your preference, then good luck to you, just remember your safety word!

Work is the same, albeit the language changes. In the corporate world organisational consultants will use language like about autonomy, leadership and motivation…they mean control.

Regardless of where someone’s position sits within the organisational hierarchy everyone wants control. Even if a person does not have any control about which tasks they have to do and sometimes there is also no choice on when the tasks must be completed. People do want the chance to add their personal flare to the task. Like an artist who signs their completed canvas everyone wants their work to be immediately recognisable as their own. A good boss will allow her or her staff to add their signature – real or otherwise – to their work. Sanctioned or not signatures will be added.

Welcome to the world of sabotage. We have seen the clips of fastfood staff bathing in the kitchen sinks, recently the former manager of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen was jailed for flambéing the building. American postal workers are famous for their murderous shooting sprees. It is all about control.

When architecture moved from discreet offices to open plan working areas the amount of personal decorations, photographs and gadgets on peoples desks increased. Control of space.

In primary school we would use out rulers to push neighbour’s pencils back when they strayed “onto our side”. In the Brady Bunch the boys divided their room in half using tape on the floor awkwardly leaving Greg no access to the door to the room and Bobby and Peter with no access to the bathroom. Thankfully no-one uses the bathroom in a G-rated American sitcom.

Family is another control battle ground. Psychologists will hypothesise ad-nauseum about sibling rivalry labelling each position within the family; oldest child syndrome, middle child syndrome, youngest child syndrome. Surely we can all relax now knowing that each position has issues, and it is always about control. Control of space, toys, past times, fashion and parental affection. And what better way to exert your dominance but to fart in your siblings face.

In the animal kingdom biologists will discuss pecking order and being the dominant or alpha member of the group. Again, control. In this instance the control is about territory, food and sex. The territory is of course defined as the area of land in which the dominant animal controls the access to food and sex.

Food and sex, the two things we need to control sustaining life. Food sustains us in the now and sex (procreation) sustains us for the future. In the modern world food is not limited to what one can hunt or gather but rather what we can purchase which is why control at work is so important: work = income = food. Sex, its frequency, style and choice of partner, at least in its base level of attraction, is often determined by superficial elements such as fashion and possessions. Therefore work = income = sex. If you can combine the food and the sex then you are in ultimate control. As George Costanza in Seinfeld said “the kitchen is the most sensual room in the house.”

Control is about choice. So if you do not like the food and sex in you life make a choice. Take action. The choice might be to change jobs, to change partners, to change diet or exercise. The choice might be to simply wake up 10minutes earlier.

Only an idiot does the same thing the same way but expects different results.

Oh and the bridge on the Enterprise was fake, the buttons, levels and knobs did not really control anything. The crew only survived each adventure by getting off their arse and taking action. It’s a choice.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Going Gaga

The media no longer seem concerned about Lady Gaga’s gender. Early in her meteororic rise to fame they were curious as to whether her genitalia was an inny or an outy. Was the title “Lady” a self imposed misdirection rather than an a royally bestowed hereditary aristocracy. Was she infact the human incarnate of the reality television show Ladette to Lady?

The universe was of course lead down the media-led search for an hermaphrodite, with their main area of the search limited to the confines of Lady Gaga’s undies.

Very little comment was made by commentators as the the merits of her music or stage performances. In the world of music careers being discovered on YouTube opposed to years of grafting musical talent on stages in dingy bars to audiences of fewer people than the local drunk has teeth is it any wonder Gaga added a few stunts to her act to get the worlds attention. Ok so arriving a n awards show in a meat dress might be a cut too far

Now the media types are complaining that Lady Gaga might be too gay. Of course they are! These are the same commentators that were obsessed with the fact that both Ian Thorpe and Ricky Martin were not gay enough.

Are the media really concerned about celebrities sexuality, or are they just that lonely that as long as they are talking about someone’s sex life they can avoid the emptiness of their own bedroom?

As NBC executives once said, “ a person’s sexual preference is no-one’s business but their own.” Do we care that politicians have affairs? Sure for some pollies there is a definite cringe factor akin to the day children realise that their own existence is a result of their own parents bumping uglies. Like with Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot announced their relationship. The country was horrified, less because they were having an affair, more because no-one could (or wanted to) imagine them naked…together.

The criticism of Gaga comes on the back of her very public support for gay marriage. Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) was criticised not for his support of gay marriage but for threatening to shoot his own son if he came out. Note he is not concerned about his sons sexuality or whom he may choose to marry but just rather if his son publicly declares his preference. Morgan has adopted the US military creed of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

At the same time the thinly veiled pressure for Julia Gillard and Tim Mathieson (another political couple no-one wants to imagine naked) to marry.

Married, not married, gay, straight, single regardless of a celebrities situation the media is not happy. Or bored. We now live in a 24hour news cycle where media outlets feel compelled to report news non-stop regardless of how little news actually took place. Some days a 24minute news cycle is still 20minutes too long.

So the media makes things up or report trivia like news.

They are driving me gaga.