This is the first time I ever drove a car solo. I was 17 and still 5 years away from getting my licence. Greg, Jennifer & I were visiting Dad and we were at Nan’s caravan park. Dad said I could go for a drive around the park with Greg.
I’d not driven much by this point.
Greg and I, being Greg and I, decided going 5kph was boring and left the caravan park and made for the highway. We went along the old highway instead of the real highway and ramped it up to 70. Flying along we both commented how fast it seemed. It wasn’t until we stopped to take this picture that I realised the car was so old it was still in miles per hour!
We got up to a few things in our youth, my little brother and I. There was the time caught a train from Penrith to Glenbrook with our bikes, went through the National Park and the rode down the Pacific Highway almost literally shitting our daks at the speeds we were going.
And then the time he was in hospital for an operation and bored, so I put him in a wheelchair and we went missing for an hour or two, we visited several wards including maternity to look at the babies, before coming back to a berating from parents and doctors.
I think maybe we’ve been out-marketed, sometimes. We’ve been caricatured as being anti-gay. And as much as we’d say, ‘Wait a minute, we’re pro-marriage, we’re pro-traditional marriage, we’re not anti-anybody,’ I don’t know. When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-molders that are behind it, it’s a tough battle.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan appeared on Meet the Press (US) on Sunday and above is his reply when asked by David Gregory about the massive shift in attitude toward same-sex marriage.
Ummm I gotta say, dude, “God” is the master marketeer. The Bible is the highest selling book of all time (though give 50 Shades of Grey a 1000 years and we’ll do a recount). If that isn’t good marketing I don’t know what is.
Also… GOD… you’d think an omnipresent, omniscient being could pitch in with a little marketing. Like just saying to the world, all at once: “Here I am”. But he doesn’t, because like all imaginary things… he’s imaginary, doesn’t exist. The greatest story ever sold is the idea that a god exists.
This past weekend was a bit of a whirlwind.
Friday: Kicked off the weekend with some pizza and Vodka Prosecco Sorbet (a fizzy alcoholic drink) with Kathryn. Then we made the grievous error of watching “Not Another Gay Movie” with Kathryn. It’s an eye opener to watch it with a straight lady friend who’s somewhat motherly. I never been more aware of the number of MA 15+ sex scenes in it before.
Saturday: We went back to Moka for breakfast, something we said we wouldn’t do. But it would seem that the chefs have been practising the recipes they must have bought when the place changed hands because everything was nice once more.
Then we went home and I played with shooting and focus stacking some photos (I didn’t love the result), followed by making a bokeh kit out of cardboard as a tutorial for the camera club website (I’ll add it later when I’ve taken some photos with my new kit). All while re-watching documentaries about Kevin Clash (the puppeteer for Elmo) and Bill Cunningham (famous New York Fashion Photographer). Then watched The Wolverine the second in the lone X-Men stories, this one set in Japan.
Finally for Saturday we decided to pack the car up and go and take some photos of the night sky in the country. We went all the way to Lake Eppalock, not far from Bendigo. It’s about a two hour drive and the idea was to escape the light pollution of Melbourne to see the stars better.
In short, we didn’t go far enough! The light was still there and the gorgeous night sky was still a little compromised by the lights of the city with a hint of Bendigo’s lights too. Next time we’ll just head down the Great Ocean Road or to Mornington Peninsula instead where we can face the cameras towards the water and shoot away with no chance of light pollution.
We hand planned on camping out, but a wind picked up with a chill in the air so about 11:30 we decided to pack it in and head home.
Sunday was a warm one. We didn’t do much, waking up late after our late night. Could really be bothered to do much but go for a trip into the city with our cameras. We took a walk around and snapped away. It was a lovely day. While taking some photos of the World AIDS Day sign on the bridge David was approached by some folks who clearly had something to do with it and he took their photo for them. While he was snapping with their camera, I was snapping with mine.
Then we went home, stopping at the store on the way, and got all domestic. David made several delicious salads to go with our pork steaks for dinner and for lunch this week. He’s loving the sous vide machine. I did the washing and vacuuming. I also watched White House Down the Channing Tatum / Jamie Fox version of Olympus Has Fallen where the President of the USA is hunted in the White House but assisted by the unexpected hero.
Worthy of a Good Life
Living in a ‘home’ made of bamboo, rope and corrugated iron… barely large enough to hold a bed for the two people who live there. Working for less than $70 per month this is the life of the better-off factory workers in Bangladesh.
When we walk into Coles and buy a ceramic bowl for $3 or a Kmart T-Shirt for $5 or practically anything else in any of our stores these days (even most of the food products) we’re contributing to the lives of the workers of Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Korea, China, et al.
People will argue that without the work these people would be worse off.
I’d argue that the 1,127 people who died in a factory collapse in April 2013 are not better off. Their dead. They join the 500 who died in a factory fire five years ago and the countless other undocumented and under-reported cases throughout the “third world”. They join the countless who are maimed, blinded and otherwise injured making products for the western world.
I can’t help but to think that things would be different if these people were white. If the dead looked like us it seems we’d care more. That is our disgrace.
We need to get to a point where we have a world government. People would argue that we’ll open the world to the ultimate corruption, but really we already have that, it’s just we’re allowed to look away and say “that’s not our problem, the country should look after their people better”.
Our corporations are taking absolute advantage and only we can do something about it. They won’t stop selling you t-shirts for $5, for which they pay less than $1. They won’t stop paying so little to the factories, who then in turn pay so little to their workers.
Of course it’s not good enough for our businesses to pay more to the factories because you’d be giving more money to factory owners who forced workers at gunpoint to remain at their machines while the factory collapses around them, all to ensure they could meet the strenuous timeframes and costs set by Kmart, Cotton On, Top Shop and the others that make their clothes in these places. It’s unlikely that without oversight, which seems non-existent in these countries, that we’ll see anything change in the near future.
Hard days ahead
This past week has been a rough one for my little sister and her husband. Last Friday my nephew Joshua was stillborn. To say it would have been a hard day for Jennifer and Peter is an understatement.
Today they are having a private service for Joshua to say farewell. I can only imagine in the haze of last Friday their grief was mixed with shock. In the days that followed and in particular today there is no buffer of shock just raw emotions.
As extended family I feel their pain, I grieve for the nephew I will never know. I look at their other children, Alek and Emily, and I know that Joshua would have been an asset to the human race, we’re poorer for his passing.
I hate that I am so far away at a time when family should be together. I wish them the best for today, the christmas break can’t come fast enough so I can see these amazing people.