Monday, July 31, 2006

The All-Blacks new haka

The All Blacks, New Zealand's National Rugby Union team for those of you who are unsure, have recently performed a new haka, or traditional dance that they perform before each test match.

Go here for a history of the haka.

How many times can Bruce McAvaney say “controversy” in one telecast? What’s controversial about it? Maybe if the Australian’s took some pride in their aboriginal past we might have a similar traditional dance with ceremonial meaning.

Maybe the Scots could throw cabers at the opposition before a test match.

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A blurring of nations

Over the last few weeks the Israel/Lebanon conflict has raised a lot of questions that have been asked in several forums. And again here.

When the conflict flared, there were claims of up to 25000 “Australians” in Lebanon that would require rescuing from danger.

It has since been discovered that 3000 of these people were indeed in Lebanon on holiday or visiting family. The other 22000 are Australian citizens who permanently live in Lebanon. Why are these people suddenly in danger because they are Australians? If they are permanent residents, why are we being called on to rescue them from their homes at our expense? If you live in Lebanon and hold Lebanese and Australian passports, then you are Lebanese, and have chosen your life. The only conceivable reason you may hold an Australian passport is if you claim something from the Australian government, hence the Australian people. Are you Australian? Good, here’s your Australian passport. Are you Lebanese? OK, there’s your Lebanese passport, deal with the consequences that go along with it, you don’t get both. Dual citizenship is not merely for convenience. Even watching television of late and seeing protests regarding the conflict showed young Australian men of Lebanese backgrounds claiming that they would “spill blood to protect their country”. They’re not talking about Australia, the country they live in, work in, and have families in, the country that shelters them from conflicts such as this.

The other thing that has been bought to light is the incidence of Australian citizens serving in the Israeli army, following the death of a young man who was an Australian citizen serving in the Israeli army. A good many of these people are from America, as well as Israelis, and reports of up to 100 Australians serving. Many of these may have been born in Israel and subsequently moved to other parts of the world, therefore forced to undertake National Service in Israel. But there are many volunteers in the Israeli army who need not serve.

One question I would ask is; would these people, Lebanese or Israeli, even entertain the notion of serving in the Australian armed forces?

I have no problem with people of diverse and different cultural backgrounds adopting our country as home. It is beneficial for many that they retain a great many of their cultural traditions. What is not fair is to use religion as a tool for maintaining foreign citizenship claims. You can be Australian and Muslim, rather than Lebanese. You can be Australian and a Buddhist, rather than Chinese. You can be Australian and Jewish, rather than Israeli. Many sons and daughters of first generation immigrants claim to be of their parent’s nationality. There was a reason why their parents came to Australia. They saw a future, in a new country, with a new nationality. I wonder how many of their children will claim to be Italian, Lebanese, Brazilian, Mexican, Israeli, Greek, etcetera.

There’s a lot to be said for roots, but until people realise the futility of certain religiously motivated disagreements, violence like this will exist till the end of mankind.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The doped up American kids

Man, oh man, just when you think the American's cant get any weirder, along comes a company like CampMeds!


I find this particularly disturbing:
"All my best friends take something," said David Ehrenreich...

What sort of peer pressure is this breeding? It's not a big stretch for a kid to come home and say "Mum, all my friends are on Zoloft, why aren't I?" What better way to make a kid depressed enough to require said Zoloft medication? Hopefully mum will have the sense to answer "because those kids aren't getting inspiration, love, control, warmth, happiness, a stable home, etc, etc, etc. Now, go play outside."

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Monday, July 17, 2006

The lessening importance of birthdays

Another one come and gone...33 under the belt and somehow it doesnt really matter as much. There's the milestone birthdays, 18, 21, and the new one of 30 instead of 40.

Is this a statement of society that we celebrate 30 now? Have you made your first million yet? Have you gone into hock for your 2 bedroom designer unit yet? Do you even have a partner? Are we celebrating 30 because by the time 40 rolls around your first or second child is 9 months or so old and you're in no position to party with your friends? Maybe you just dont want to face up to the fact that you're 40 and realise that you've got to work till you're 75 in order to finance your retirement?

Whatever it is, I really dont mind birthdys passing. The more I have, the more my kids get. And the more I get with them.

Philosophical enough for you?

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Another life in the world

Well I'm still here...after a lay off for the birth of my daughter. Another new life come into a big, mad world.

Life goes on, even if it is a little more important and meaningful.

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