Show and Tell

I know that this isn’t a parenting blog but I can’t help myself. My (not so) little girl started school today.  She looked so shiny and happy and hopeful in her over sized school uniform.

When I picked her up this afternoon she told me she said had a secret for me “you didn’t pack me enough food, Mum”.  “Oh didn’t I?” I replied, knowing full well she had had today’s menu picked for the last few days and refused my offer of more food as I handed over her lunch box this morning.  She was adamant about what she was taking and I wasn’t going to ruin her morning by making a scene and forcing my will upon her (and I knew she had an adequate amount for her 3 meals breaks. But I’m guessing that she ate extra at lunch and had nothing left for afternoon tea).  Then after a pause she said “No I was mistaken..you can pack me extra tomorrow “.  Wow, one day at school and look at the new and improved maturity levels.

Apparently she had “great fun” and when I told her that she would be going to school five days a week she got real excited “Yay! Five’s my favourite number!”  Well that just works out nicely doesn’t it?

I implore you to check out this link.  My girl’s first day wasn’t quite like this for me, but I am going to insist on sharing this with you anyway as its just plain hilarious.  It’s from LOOKY DADDY! A blog that actually purports to be about parenting, but is actually a site of much hilarity.  To set the scene for this clip, Brian is a stay at home dad,  and its his twin girls first day at preschool.

The First Day of Preschool from Brian Sargent on Vimeo.

By the way how’s this for some show and tell?

Japanese boys bring WWII bomb to school

Further to my “Un-Australian” musings – here be links

In the Sydney suburb of Manly, hundreds of youths draped in “Aussie pride” livery wore slogans declaring “f–k off we’re full” as they smashed car windows and ran up the famous Corso targeting non-white shop keepers.    (From the LP post, link below)

Picture of Australia Day revelers at Manly Beach, their bodies adorned with the slogan “Fuck off we’re full” (via Lauredhel@Hoyden About Town, see here more info and discussion about this image)

Unbelievably enough, bearing in mind our discussion about flag wearing Aussies and the seedy side of patriotism, there was some trouble yesterday of the Australia Day kind.  Let me make plain I am not saying that Australia Day is bad, in fact, there are many council run events and fundraisers and family picnics and all sorts of other lovely things that happen on Australia Day. Unfortunately some celebratory things were marred by trouble.  It seems that the darker side of patriotism is growing more noticeable – discussed here in depth on the LP thread. Upon hearing about the events described above, my nearest and dearest noted “Nationalism is only one step away from Facism.”   So anyhows, for your information here we have a collection of news stories about Australia Day happenings.

Rudd rejects Australia Day change

Kevin Rudd, who last year delivered a formal apology to Aboriginal Australians for past injustices, has rejected the idea. “Let me say,” he said, “a simple, respectful, but straightforward no”.

Rees slams Oz Day brawlers

Nathan Rees says he is concerned some people are still trying to hijack Australia Day celebrations.

“Absolutely reprehensible that people use the cloak of Australia Day or indeed the flag as insignia or a flag itself to dress up what is bigoted behaviour,” he said.

Boozy Australia Day brawl deplorable: police

No arrests made in Lennox Head Australia Day brawl

Police praise well-behaved Australia Day festivities

Riot police called to quell Aust Day brawl

Policewoman punched during Hunter brawl

and in other Australia Day news

Sex on Fire tops triple j’s hottest 100

American rock band Kings of Leon has taken out the number one place on triple j’s hottest 100 countdown with their song Sex on Fire.

Billed as “the biggest music poll in the world”, the annual Australia Day countdown took place live from Parramatta Park in Sydney.

On a more personal note, apparently a group of youths tried to pick a fight with my little bro (he’s 18 ) at the Melbourne BDO.  His current facebook status :    “ sticking feathers up ur butt does not make u a chicken, wearing a flag as a cape does not make you aussie.”

Apparently, I’m “Un-Australian”..

..for seriously considering the argument that Australia might be better served by changing the date that we celebrate Australia Day.  As detailed in this news article 26th of January commemorates the landing of the First Fleet in Sydney and subsequent settlement of NSW.  Furthermore, Australia did not even exist as a country until January 1, 1901 when Federation occurred. Prior to this time Australia was a series of separate colonies.  This is quite apart from the fact that to the Aboriginals the 26th of January represents ‘Invasion Day’.  Upon reading the comments thread connected to the article it became apparent that any one who dares to consider the argument for changing the date is ‘Un-Australia’.  So although giving people a ‘fair go’ is consider to be the ultimate Australian quality, this only applies to those that don’t challenge the status quo.

To be fair, some on the comments thread, were for the idea:

I, for one, think that’s a bloody good idea, and I don’t think that Indigenous Aussies can find anything celebrate about Jan 26, so let’s find a better date to celebrate as Australia Day. It’s a celebration, not a test, of “Australianness”.

While many reacted with a visceral anger at the very suggestion:

Just a quick suggestion, Time [sic] for you, your apologist mates and those that just don’t qant [sic] to get it. It’s 2009, time to build a ladder and get over it. Australia Day is Australia Day. Join in or shut up. Invasion day is a myth brought about by the guilt industry of the last century. Progress to the 21st century. We have more important things to deal with.

And (among other lovely comments):

What a lot of garbage, is “The Professor” now saying that each State and Territory should celebrate on a different day because the arrival of the British in Eastern Australia on January 26 “is not relevant to the Territorians”. The British did not land in WA or SA or QLD on this Day, but they did commence to establish a Great Country on that day and anyone who is proud enough to call themselves AUSTRALIAN should be proud enough to celebrate on January 26.

Like migrants, the indegenious [sic] take the benefits provided to Australians, if they don’t want to be Australian, give up the benefits.

(Benefits such as poverty and discrimination ‘cos we’ve given them so much haven’t we?)  Speaking of indigenous Australians Mick Dodson has been named Australian of the Year (in a gesture that seems to indicate that the Rudd govt intends to act upon the rhetoric expressed in the ‘Sorry Day’ speech.  This seems to be a real out reach to the Aboriginal people and an action that I could not imagine the Howard govt making ever.  Hopefully we’ll be seeing more concrete actions in this area).  Professor Mick Dodson had to consider whether he wanted to accept the award, given what Australia Day means to his people.

But he says accepting the award will help him advocate for human rights in Australia.

“It’s a humbling thing, but I too share the concerns of my Indigenous brother and sisters about the date, and I talked long and hard with my family about this and we decided it was in the best interests that I accept the nomination,” he said.

Professor Dodson says he hopes to build Australians’ understanding of what it means to protect the rights and human dignity of all Australians.

The way I think that it could be construed is that if Australia Day is not a celebration of the specific events of Jan 26 1788, then why not have it on another day? 26th of January has long been Australia Day, but it is only since 1988 that it has been a permanent public holiday.  Prior to that the actual holiday was moveable, like Easter, and always occurred on the last weekend in January – thus there was always an Australia Day long weekend even when 26th (Australia Day) occurred no where near the weekend.

I am going to be honest, by standard measure it could be argued that I really am ‘Un-Australian’.  I won’t be celebrating tomorrow by drinking beers and enjoying a day off (a re-occurring motif in the aforementioned comments thread).  I wish that I was celebrating like this: as it looks like fun, but in reality I’ll probably do some studying, maybe some gardening and a bit of housework.

Is it just me or does anyone else find the increasing ubiquity of the symbol of the southern cross (tattoos, stickers on cars) and the aussie flag a little troubling?  Anyhow if you want to know how Australian you are,  you can always take the Facebook test.

So how are you spending Australia Day?

Update: Bonus Australia Day Links

Australia Day: “Speak English!” @ Hoyden About Town

Happy Australia Day @ Cafe Grendel

Invasion Day @ the-paris-site

‘What ever happened to..?’ Edition

The girl from Tasmania recently attacked by a shark?

Hannah Mighall is recovering very nicely thank you.  She is defending her attacker and asks that the shark not be killed.

“I don’t want them to kill the shark, I want the shark to live,” she said.

“I was in its territory so it’s not really it’s fault and it didn’t really kill me or anything. I still wouldn’t want  Birit killed though.”

This girl is awesome.  She surfs and her lifesaving skills (and some help from her cousin) probably saved her life.  Her attitude to this ordeal is admirable and to top it off she is only 13.  Who said girls can’t do anything?

The man who threw his shoes at Bush?

Muntadar al-Zaidi is seeking asylum in Switzerland.

John Howard?

Well after annoying the American people and inconveniencing the President elect he got his sycophantic heart’s desire and wild rumour and speculation (comment 39 in the link) place him in a ranch next door to (soon – counting down the hours – to be ex) President Bush’s place.

The missing reasons for women being induced?

Concerns have been raised about pregnant women being induced “unnecessarily”, after a Scottish audit of 17,000 births.  In more than a quarter of cases, researchers could not find a medical or other explanation for the procedure.

I’ve got a theory about the missing 28% and it goes something like this:

Doctor: “Look I’m going to be away on the weekend when you are due, and I know that you what me to deliver your baby, so how about I schedule you in for an induction on Thursday?”

This blog?

Well you may have noticed that my blogging has been a little light on non-existent of late and I apologise for that.  Christmas and New Year festivities have kept me from this blog, but as I am sure that most of you have been in the same position its probably ok.  My blogging is going to continue to be sporadic at best over the next six months as the thesis has deadlines looming.  Now that I have systematically tested out most forms of procastination known to humankind it is well and truly time to get my head down and finish the thing.  In the meantime, I’ll be around reading and commenting on my fav blogs and looking forward to when I’ll be all done. So Happy New Year everyone and I hope that you all achieve your goals this year.