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

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

My love-hate relationship with reality TV and the concept of marriage

Commercial TV is an evil genius. I don’t watch much of it these days, but somehow I got suckered into Married At First Sight. It’s just, y’know, I’m making dinner and my housemate likes to unwind in front of the box. So there I am, innocently frying my fish when she begins hooting with laughter. So I get drawn away from the stove (I am a walking fire hazard) and find it’s that show the boys were talking about the other day. The one I made fun of them about.

When they refer to the battle for the watercooler, this is exactly what they’re on about. Commercial TV has perfected the art of balancing the ridiculous and the relatable, the beautiful and the ugly, attraction and revulsion, to create programs like this. Shows you love to hate on and hate yourself for loving. Shows you can’t help but talk about.

Like I’m doing right now, on the night of Valentine’s Day, incidentally. Continue reading My love-hate relationship with reality TV and the concept of marriage

Sorry, what do you mean?

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?

Bryan Adams v Joe Hockey

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

Self-censored

I’ve always valued my education, and I know a significant part of my identity and beliefs are shaped by my schooling. In fact, with each year that passes I am more grateful for the education I received. It was good quality, public education all the way from kindergarten through high school and into university. I was taught to explore and discover, question and analyse, express … Continue reading Self-censored

boring Christian music

This afternoon, for the first time in a long time, I listened to Christian radio.  And tried to figure out why Christian music is so boring. I often say to people that Christian music tends to be very samey – melodies, lyrics, production, voices, everything. There’s nothing particularly awful about it, apart from the occasional awkward line that doesn’t quite rhyme or doesn’t sound quite … Continue reading boring Christian music