Monday, May 12, 2003

Urk, my connection has been unreliable the last few days. In that time, I've travelled to Perth for an orthodontist appointment and, to my surprise, come home wearing braces on my top teeth. I'm not complaining... the sooner they are on, the sooner they are off and my health insurance covered more than a third of the total cost (hooray - finally all those years of disappointing rebates on the purchase of prescription eyewear are forgiven until I next remember the percentage of my total income debited directly from my account fortnightly by my health insurance fund.) So... no carbonated drinks (I'm hoping that doesn't include beer) and carrots for a year and soup, rice, pasta and ice cream for the next few days until my teeth adjust to the tension.

Watched another great episode of enough rope on Monday - Rebecca Gibney talking about her experiences in a family deeply affected by domestic violence, a virus expert, and a fascinating letter from a former Japanese guard to an Australian former WWII prisoner-of-war (or his brother, I perhaps missed the connection with the writer), which was brought to the show by a member of the audience. Evidence from a very different source (for Australians at least) that war finds people in circumstances beyond their choosing and that good and considerate people exist in such circumstances. Also featured were two furniture removalists talking about their work. The audience laughed when the domestic violence was mentioned by the removalists as an obvious problem they had to negotiate as part of their jobs - I think because most people (at least those in Denton's audience) don't associate shifting house with violent outbursts or break ups. Only now do I see how the interview with the removalists re-confirmed the need for more community awareness of domestic violence as discussed with Rebecca Gibney.

Yeah, I love watching Australian TV even if I do feel like a 10 year old when I can't resist watching the Logies. My choice of best dress was that worn by Dannii Minogue during the medley with Sophie Monk and Rebecca Cartwright!

After my obviously unhealthy interest in Australian TV (will I be able to tear myself away from Ben's affair with Felicity Falcon-Price on Blue Heelers to watch the second part of the documentary Hollywood Inc at 8.30pm?) I saw a promo for TV Freak on the ABC and thought I'd check it out. Somehow, without knowing the answers, I scored five out of five in the Freak E-card quiz. I love that I can watch short video clips at the ABC's site - in this case, Iggy Pop singing 'I'm Bored' on a 1979 episode of Countdown.

The TV Freaks site is a few days behind in it's weekly recommendations (unless there was nothing freaky to watch the last few days... very possible). The current feature is about places to spot celebrities who are no longer in the spotlight - for example actors working in bars. Is it really that surprising that actors who have appeared in commercials or who are currently not working as actors have other jobs? Even less surprising is the revelation that a winner of Meet the Folks is working in a Melbourne bar - unless he won a holiday at the Hotel California, a weekend away is unlikely to see him off for life. Maybe people really do watch too much telly and are surprised that real people who live in our own communities are the same people we see on the screen. I can understand my two-year-old nephew being surprised to see Doopa Dog at a community event and I can understand being flustered when we see someone we recognise from TV but don't know personally... and I did click on all the illegible names on the Flash map to see what information might be given... but I'm wondering why, why is it a surprise and of interest?

I'm also intrigued by the story of Jayson Blair, a New York Times reporter who plagiarised and lied in stories written for that paper. An article about the deception can be read at the Age Online ('New York Times describes deception by ex-staffer
,' May 12 2003). 'Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception' is the New York Times response to the affair (registration is required). I am yet to read the full article. Jack Shafer at Slate Magazine argues that Blair is solely responsible for the deception, without examining how a situation such as this might develop, in 'The Jayson Blair Project: How did he bamboozle the New York Times?' (May 8, 2003). Al Giordano calls Blair creative and intelligent in 'Jayson Blair Cracked The Code: The Young Plagiarizer Beat the New York Times at its Own Game' from the Narco News (May 12, 2003). Some interesting ideas in this article about the readership and market of the New York Times and what readers expect to read - suggesting that Blair simply tapped into what the paper is likely to publish without regard to whether readers might expect accurate and fair representation of current stories. I'm thinking that all reporters write stories that they hope are likely to be published and will fit with the style of the publication, usually without deceiving their employer or their readers. So far I haven't found any answers as to why the situation eventuated but I'll read a little more later.

The West Magazine included a reference to Name Nerds - another place for me to search for character names!

We celebrated our Flinders Finale on Sunday. The event coincided with Mother's Day but fortunately people made the effort to attend. I enjoyed most of the talks, although somehow I was asked to use the video camera to record some of them. I still need to learn how to politely point out that I have a vision impairment and that while I can see the image in the viewer, I can't always see what's directly in front of me and that if I place the recorder down for five seconds I'm likely to spend thirty seconds just trying to work out where exactly the viewer is when I pick it up again. Hopefully, any really bad camera work is not my problem. The yacht club presented mums with a posy on the day and both the Lions breakfasts and the Friends of the Hospitals mariner's lunches went down well...

And, now that Wednesday is well over, I did watch Blue Heelers...

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