Another Monday, another episode of Q&A where the Twitterverse had a collective freakout. I rarely watch it, for so many reasons, but you get a great idea of what is happening just by watching the Twitter feed anyway. Tonight seemed much worse than usual… I think my friends are getting sick of the show finally!
On the positive side I was back at school, and feeling constructive and helpful, which makes things easier. I also put in the last piece of my application to CSU… yes, teaching More on that as it develops.
I’m back at school tomorrow, which I’ve virtually had two weeks off from… excepting three very quiet days there of course. At least it will be a quiet start, with two staff development days before any students return!
Right now, I’m wavering between deeply optimistic and excited, and angry, annoyed and deeply sarcastic, depending on what I’m doing at the time. It’s a bit too extreme really, but it’s such an easy thing to do. Too much crap out there and too many complete lunatics online or in the media. There’s really nothing to be done but keeping away from it of course, but wouldn’t it be so much better if the big issues actually still attracted civil discourse still?
Begin the party… Happy birthday Will!.
A great afternoon, with enough guests for fun, but not too many that it became difficult. Lots more Lego, some fun outside, and so much food… (that we still have left!)
(Bilden är tagen med Instagram. Se fler!)
Posted in family, images
Went over to Tamworth today with Sallie and the two older boys to check out Iron Man 3 (and a few other things we could fit in). It’s the first Iron Man I’ve actually seen at the movies (well, not counting The Avengers of course) and none of us were disappointed!
It’s just really great fun, a consumate action adventure movie that really fits into the Avengers movie universe Marvel is building. Great cast as always, and some very entertaining twists that you really don’t see until they’re on you.
I know that a lot of the story was based on Warren Ellis’s Iron Man: Extremis graphic novel, and you can really see that in the story line. There’s at least one moment that’s just so odd yet so right, and I just thought to myself… “that’s an Ellis moment”.
Great action, performances and fun. Just what you need.
Anzac Day today of course, and there’s much to be said for the value of remembrance, and the meanings we draw from the day. I think there’s much to be said for who’s losing that meaning now, and why.
Is Anzac Day becoming too much of a nationalistic celebration now? I was talking online with a few people today about this, and they reported seeing all kinds of awful jingoism and nationalism surrounding the day, and too much “celebration” full stop for what should be something very solemn. I try to avoid that, so didn’t see much of it, but I know what they mean.
Have we lost sight of the fact that the original Gallipoli landings and the campaigns of 1915 were a terrible disaster? That our troops were invading a foreign land at the behest of our British overlords, and while they were brave and heroic and did what they could, it was a terrible folly?
I think that commemoration of a terrible, misguided battle, and the commemoration of how horrible all war is, is the truest and best way to remember the Anzacs. Whether they fought for a noble cause or a useless cause, there was always much bravery to be had, but also too much sadness and loss, and things we should seek to never repeat.
We now have more young veterans than in decades. Will we stop and make sure their ranks do not grow again?
In a society and a system where everything gets bigger — where prices go up, wages go up, consumption goes up, the economy goes up, why is it that the only thing we’ve decided should always go down is taxes? And just who do we think we are benefiting from this short-sightedness anyway?
Here’s a new one: Don’t cut my taxes!
I want society to be funded sufficiently. I want schools, hospitals, roads and bridges, and other civic institutions to be funded well, to allow a strong standard of living for all and an equal opportunity to start life for our nation’s young people.
I am sick of the selfishness. Every time we cut taxes we send the signal that it’s every person for themselves, that no one needs to fund the building blocks of society, and people should increasingly only look out for themselves. And in a variety of areas, we’re seeing the results of this.
So you know, I might not love having my taxes raised (but even that has to be necessary sometimes in our ever expanding society), but I certainly don’t see why they need to be cut!
So try saying that next time: Don’t cut my taxes!
Wish my birthday was always in the holidays!
Happy 9th birthday Will! Our oldest son and the bravest boy I know
He’s dealt with a lot in the last year, but he’s doing so well now, and he deserves all the happiness he can get!
We see the surviving suspect of the Boston bombings about to be charged in the US, and this is good and proper and how it should be. But as has also been seen, this is not enough for some people. Some people scream “enemy combatant” and want everything changed, either because they are too authoritarian or too scared.
For a start, you don’t adhere to the proper rule of law and criminal charges for the sake of the bomber, you do it for your own sake, and the sake of your society. He deserves to be treated as a common criminal, with the same rights as a criminal, because that is how a civil society runs. Importantly, in the US that could also mean the death penalty (which I’d object to for other reasons), but in this case that is appropriate because it already exists in the law (not as something thrown up as a “special case”).
You’d think that after 10 years people would have learned something, but sadly that would be somewhat naive. The type of person who wants to throw away all established legal precedent to “fight the terrorists” is for a start in the US usually someone not willing to do much at all to combat regular gun violence (a massive irony there by itself), and usually an ultra-conservative authoritarian who is happy to throw away the law whenever they please just because they can. They seized the post-September 11 landscape as a chance to transform society as they wished, and in the ensuing disasters they gradually lost their influence, so of course with a new event they sought to re-establish that influence.
Fortunately this doesn’t seem to be working right now, though there’s always a chance of them making a return. Even in Australia you can see that authoritarianism rising at times — I would say most related to the fear of “boat people” and the paranoia about refugees that grips too much of the population. Just be vigilant of this mentality, I think.
After a really good run home, we’re back in Coonabarabran. Nothing serious to report, just glad to be here!
Back at work tomorrow, but that should be pretty easy. Got to write-up a few things here in the next couple of days, including my thoughts on the new movie “Oblivion”, the state of educational funding in Australia (and the subsequent disaster that is politics), and maybe something on the media, politics and the situation in Boston over the last week.
We had a great time today at the Lego Brickshow — and unsurprisingly took a lot of pics! So many ideas and so much inspiration…