I’ve been considering whether National Sorry Day would be more or less controversial if we spoke Spanish. There are a couple of ways to say “sorry” in Spanish: Disculpa/Perdóname Literally “Excuse (me)” and “Pardon/Forgive me”. This form conveys an element of fault on the part of the speaker. A sincere apology and plea for forgiveness would use these verb forms. At the same time, perdón and disculpa are sometimes also … Continue reading Sorry, what do you mean?
The Eurovision you know and love.
The song was perfect. The dress was perfect. The hype was perfect.
Okay, so in hindsight we were never going to win the thing. But for a long moment there they really made us believe it was possible.
And the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 is … a Korean-born Australian? One who would have celebrated not with champagne but with a glass of lemonade?
It was too good to be true. For all the logic that Eurovision famously doesn’t follow, this perhaps would not have been in the spirit of Europe – not the Europe of the twenty-first century … Continue reading The Eurovision you know and love
Apparently Margaret Thatcher was my hero. When I was in Year 6, each kid in our class had to nominate a female role model and I chose the Iron Lady. I don’t know why I didn’t pick Aung San Suu Kyi. Way cooler. And I mean, I’m possibly part-Burmese. Maybe.
Meanwhile, Alex – the boy I had a crush on – chose English nurse Florence Nightingale. My heart fluttered and sighed. This guy is beautiful and deep!
He chose a compassionate, determined, God-fearing woman. I chose a conservative politician (in)famous for being a hard-ass.
To this day, I think Alex had the right idea. And I’m starting to think I need to have better taste in women. Continue reading Something about Mary
To commemorate the official start of Evo Morales’ third term as president, I thought I’d share a few images that demonstrate the cult that has grown around him as a political and cultural figure. In Bolivia: In Russia: In Chile: Continue reading All About Evo
Bolivia is currently reforming its justice system. On October 31, the Bolivian Parliament passed a new piece of legislation, called the Law for the Decongestion and Effectivisation of the Criminal Procedure System. In case you were wondering, it’s Ley de Decongestionamiento y Efectivización del Sistema Procesal Penal in Spanish – and “efectivización” isn’t a real word in Spanish either, hence the weird translation.
Process is at the heart of justice – as important as a just result is a just procedure to arrive at that result. I’ll confess I’ve forgotten a lot of what they taught me at law school, but this particular principal of justice has stuck with me. Working at IJM Bolivia, I am struck anew by how much of a paradox this often is. Continue reading “Effectivisation”: A post about the law (and reforming it)
If I could choose two words to describe Washington, D.C., they would be EMPIRE and EXTRAVAGANCE. Perhaps they are two words that historically have gone hand in hand: the latter both reinforces and is a projection (and perhaps a symptom) of the former. In twentieth century history and politics classes we often discussed the USA’s imperial character. All the monuments and memorials I saw in DC last week seemed … Continue reading Two words for Washington
What can I say, I’ve always had impeccable music taste. But no, seriously – I haven’t posted this video to “Bryan-roll” you. Yesterday morning whilst kind of listening to the sermon and kind of not, I began to see one of my favourite childhood songs (and airport/elevator staple) in a whole new light. Maybe Bryan Adams had a point: “Everything I do, I do it for you.” You … Continue reading Bryan Adams v Joe Hockey
Another election to remind me how disappointed and frustrated I am with the state of Australian politics. There is a huge lack of true vision for the future of the country, our national identity and our place in the world, the kind of society we want to be. It’s all about short-term (and often populist) policies which don’t contribute to any real big picture. It … Continue reading Election 2013. Sigh and splutter.