So there’s this giant thank you card you should sign

I wasn’t always an optimist – quite the contrary. When I was 14, I wrote this poem about climate change: The earth heats up The sea rises And so we sink Deeper into ignorance It’s good, right? Yeah, well, as much as there was something satisfying about writing emo poetry and listening to Linkin Park – and I still do both occasionally, though never at … Continue reading So there’s this giant thank you card you should sign

Paradise

Paradise, he declares while I proceed to speak of chains. I am Con-Tiki in reverse, a raft that’s weathered wind and wave. But I’ve tethered me to this here shore, I’m jealous of the roaming tide; these feet that wander rarely now, this heart traversing cloud. Freedom, his desire’s for while forty-five million slaves cry out. Deaf to their lament, their groans, blind to his own … Continue reading Paradise

Converse and convert

I stumbled upon an interesting website this week. In the wake of the failed plebiscite and planned postal vote on same-sex marriage, there’s so much noise around the issue that it really wasn’t hard to run into The Equality Campaign. Titled Having a conversation about marriage equality, this particular page struck me because it was so, well, familiar. “[R]eal life conversations are incredibly powerful. They’re what … Continue reading Converse and convert

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

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