Australia: Not the place I thought you were

The other day after work, I was flowing with the peak hour crowd down Anzac Parade, when I witnessed something awful.

An Aboriginal man was heckling and shoving an East Asian man. The Indigenous guy was yelling obscenities and things like “Go back to where you came from!” to the suited up Asian guy, who was trying, literally, to shake him off. That was Awkward thing Number 1.

People just watched. And did nothing. That was Awkward thing Number 2.

By people, I mean mainly Asian people. The University of New South Wales appears to be predominantly Asian, even the law faculty – a contrast with the College of Law at my own alma mater. That was Awkward thing Number 3.

And I did nothing because, frankly, I’m both Asian and female. I actually thought I might get hit. That was Awkward thing Number 4.

It made me think about how Australia is not the place I thought it was when I was little. Continue reading Australia: Not the place I thought you were

Re-entry. Still from the movie Gravity.

We the Internauts

I love the word internauta. The English translation is “internet user” – an accurate but boring term. The Spanish word, typically, is more wonderfully evocative, pairing well with the idea of the internet as a whole new universe; we as users navigate cyberspace. Internauta suggests an element of the intrepid, of exploring new and dangerous territory. Indeed, the internet is fraught with danger – with … Continue reading We the Internauts

Lavish Friday

Unconditional, eternal, lavish I was reading about how God loves us unconditionally, eternally and lavishly. Unconditional, I get – I’ve had grace explained to me more times than I can count. Eternal, I get – God loved us before time, loves us now and will love us always. But lavish? The thing about growing up privileged but being hyper aware of disadvantage and poverty is … Continue reading Lavish Friday

Freeing the Beast

If I could use my eyebrows the way Emma Watson does, everyone would know where they stand with me. Lumiere and even Cogsworth watched those eyebrows. The Beast dared to hope because of those eyebrows. Only good ol’ Gaston didn’t get that Emma was using those arches to give him the finger.

But where Lion for me was all about Dev Patel’s hair, the latest live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast got me thinking not so much about Emma Watson’s eyebrows, but about the nature of freedom and slavery. Continue reading Freeing the Beast

The problem with American

Last week, on my flight from New York back to Sydney, I binge watched Season 1 of The Newsroom. It’s a series created by Aaron Sorkin, the guy behind The West Wing, with Jeff Daniels playing Will McAvoy, an anchorman on cable news.

In the opening scene of the series pilot, Will is on a panel with a Democrat and a Republican at a university, when a student asks the panel: “What makes America the greatest country in the world?”

The question triggers an epic and rousing outburst from Will, who dresses down both major political parties and rails about why America is no longer the greatest country on earth.

“But it could be”, he then says in softer tones.

That first season of The Newsroom aired in 2012, before Donald Trump ever campaigned for president, promising to “make America great again”.

Coincidence? I doubt it. Continue reading The problem with American

Election reflections: Ecuador and Bolivia

A politician who keeps his word? Who would’ve thought! But after a whole decade as Ecuador’s head of state, Rafael Correa is stepping down. Like, actually. Unlike his buddy Evo Morales, who felt a fourth term to be far too tempting to give up that he tried to change the constitution to make it legal for him to continue as president. Correa’s chosen heir, Lenin* … Continue reading Election reflections: Ecuador and Bolivia