Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dr Who's Companions POST SEASON FINALE


Donna Noble: you are now 1 SWORD of awful. You had me going there. For a while, I was thinking 4 SWORDS... maybe this is it, even 5 !!!! then...

Catherine Tate: you have 4 SWORDS of awesome for your rivetingly versatile performance as Donna Noble. You were BATHETIC at the end and became horribly stupidly trivial leaving me in tears. You reminded me of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Rose Tyler: I'd retract your SWORD AWARD for that horrible last scene, where you find true love with the part human doctor but then, it's HIS fault. You know who!

Russell T Davies! Wow, I bet the swords have been out for you! I daren't read the forums. I really love your writing but why can't you stretch yourself a little bit. Go on and try out more different gender roles.

I guess The Doctor is so lovingly constructed as tragic father figure (western hero) that any other strong figure can not survive in the same series. That's why I say, "Hey, Russell, try a woman next time! AS THE DOCTOR!

Dr Who's Companions and the SWORD AWARDS

NOTE - First up is my PRE-SEASON FINALE POST which wasn't finished before Sunday night. There's a POST SEASON FINALE follow up!

Firstly, the fact that the women on Dr Who are all companions and that Dr Who has never been a woman for all of his vaunted alien regenerative body shifting abilities automatically disqualifies ANY of them from getting 4 SWORDS.

If Dr Who becomes a woman though, she's a fair chance at 4 or even 5 SWORDS of AWESOME WOMAN WARRIORNESS!

Secondly, Billie Piper with a gun bigger than her entire torso. PUHLEASE! She is so 1 SWORD of awkward. She is BIG CAR LITTLE DICK!

Now, some other companions have been more Emma Peel and less Agent 99, but I'm still waiting for serious SWORDS! There are a bucket load of companions on wikipedia and I'm going to enjoy revisiting old episodes in my new quest to rate the companions.

For now:

River Song: 3 SWORDS - only we don't really know if you're a companion yet.
Sarah Jane Smith: 3 SWORDS - for sheer persistence and fun.
Sara Kingdom: 3 SWORDS - only you got killed off straightaway - such is the fate of many of the strong women companions it seems!

Donna Noble: 2 SWORDS - when you're good, you're great but you're such a temp warrior.
Martha Jones: 2 SWORDS - you were a bit whiny to start but the uniform suits you.

Astrid Peth: 1 SWORD - worth a mention even if only a canary sized mini companion.
Rose Tyler: 1 SWORD - as said above, you are a bit BCLD !

All I can say though, is thank heavens for the taboo against kissing in the tardis!

Fly by Night - Frances Hardinge

Cheap book shops are one of the world's great mysteries and joys. Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge is the best book I've read for a long long time. It was on the discount table. Go figure.

An oddly ironic place given the nature of the book itself and the free exchange of ideas and literature.

Orphaned daughter of an exiled intellectual, Mosca Mye runs away from home, pausing only to collect her sidekick, a pugnacious gander, and to burn her uncle's mill to the ground in vengeful remembrance of things past. An overheard conversation sends her to rescue a travelling con-artist from the stocks, in the belief that he might prove useful to her, and together they leave the waterlogged village of Chough, where the petrifying springs bleach everything chalk-white, and head for a life of opportunity in the riverside towns and cities of the Fractured Kingdom.

.. from a rather sour review in the Guardian by Jan Mark. The Written Nerd has a more interesting review (to my mind) as he/she likes the book and is comparing two recent childrens works around the theme of censorship. Fly by Night and The Lost Colony by Grady Klein.

Strange Horizons' review by Farah Mendelsohn touches upon Fly by Night in a review for Hardinge's more recent book, Verdigris.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Macromantics and more early hiphop memories

That's right! I've been meaning to listen to more Macromantics cause I like what I've heard so far! 2 SWORDS for Romy Hoffman aka Macromantics.

I also dig Sneaky Sound System.

Ladyhawke seems ok too, but overated already?

Anyone remember Sound Unlimited Posse? They were awesome in a kind of daggy way.

Salt-N-Pepa - Let's Talk About Sex in Sydney

Do you remember when? I was always hoping for just a little bit more from these women. But Salt-n-Pepa really were the best around at the start of the hip hop and rap era. There still haven't been many other challengers. Isn't that sad!

Speaking of other challengers, I'm way out of date but all I can think of are Missy Elliot, Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill.

Anyway, I can't quite bring myself to go along and relive the 80s to 90s but almost... Check out the show at the Enmore Theatre.

Don't forget this was when AIDS was a very very dirty word! Now if only the debate included prostitution, these girls would get 3 SWORDS but as it is I'm going for 2 SWORDS.

Somewhat Frank vs Non Society - Talk About Sex

In the words of the great Salt-n-Pepa, "Let's Talk About Sex, Baby!"

Isn't vidcasting some kind of interesting? It's all about sex. Thirty something mating behaviours to be exact. Whether you are actually younger or older it doesn't matter. This whole 'let's film ourselves having serious discussions for everyone else out there' is some sophisticated mating marketplace behaviour.

I went in looking for Web 3.0, Social Networking and Feminism. Look what I came out with!

"We took a walk in the park and got to chatting about startups,
technology, electric cars, pets and even encountered a rather
distracting making out session. Check out video episode 46 on SOMEWHAT FRANK with Meghan Asha from NonSociety (below)."

Tech and the City - Ella Morton AND BEING ALMOST 3 SWORDS

I love intrepid girl scientists. I also dig the feminist housewife movement (trying to rediscover the issues with irony). But I am most in awe when the kick ass 2 SWORD worthy fabulous women involved in either area get that little bit meta or mega or ideally BOTH.

Ella, Tech and the City was fun (finished June 07). I wish you had more stuff of your own and fewer consumer tech reviews. This may be inevitable with your move up from associate editor at ZDNet to Features Editor at Cnet.com.au. But I"m looking forward to less 'Choice' and more 'voice' from you. Because you have a great voice, Ella. I have 3 SWORDS just waiting for you.

About Ella Morton

Member since: June 2007
Ella Morton's avatar Hey ho, I'm the Features Editor for CNET.com.au. I focus on our video content, manage the portable audio category and review the odd phone when the mood strikes.

Outside nine-to-five, you're likely to find me rehearsing a play, misplacing expensive possessions and whiling away the last days of my fading youth on the Internets.

Ella Morton is interested in: Camcorders, Digital Cameras, Mobile Phones, MP3 Players and Software.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2042: Art on the Street - Newtown

I love that when the kids walk to school they have to go past the fierce car eating ants at King St Auto. No wonder our school has an Ant-Bullying Policy (sic).

Carcutter is a sculpture by Dillon McEwan and is in the forecourt of the always funky Newtown Auto as part of 2042: Art on the Street.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gillian on Survivor Gabon - 1 SWORD

I read the snarky recaps at Television Without Pity whenever I want light entertainment. I don't actually watch the show. Stupid television is more alluring with added snark.

Survivor: Gabon: Who Will Outwit, Outplay and Outlast?


Stats: 61, from Temecula, CA, Retired nurse

In Their Own Words: She's playing for the baby boomers and beyond, showing that the game can be played with "gumption and guts instead of boobs and butts."

Fun Facts: Born in South Africa, she's applied to be on the game 15 times. She got a butterfly tattoo on her hip at age 60.
Verdict: She's traveled around the world, loves adventure sports, is in shape and a dedicated fan of the show. This "American citizen with an African soul" is determined to be the oldest winner yet. Who are we to say she can't be?

blog it

Gillian, you are an in-your-face try-hard. I do love it. You totally deserve a SWORD. But only one. Because, face it, this is a show about boobs, butts and bloody boring idiots. The rest of the mob... forget it.

It's impressive that you made it past the first elimination, you are an 'old woman'. There was no way you were going much further. The people who are voting you out are idiots or men or both. Amazing women do not succeed on shows like Survivor (just like real life). Think Stephanie and Cirie.

But you knew that, didn't you, Gillian? You've applied to be on the show 15 times!

3 SWORDS - Pru Goward, Paid Maternity Leave and Product Placement

What is there left to say, when this incisive piece by Pru Goward is simply the subtext for the big BIG "Beauty and Beyond" ad from Vogue. No thanks, Vogue. I am already Beyond Beauty.

PS. Guess I was just lucky, cause when I go back now I get AMP Financial Services.

3 SWORDS to Pru Goward.

I am going to have to come up with a new category NO SWORDS AND BEYOND for Vogue. Suggestions?
clipped from www.news.com.au

Super Mums hurt us mortals

Click Here
By Pru Goward
September 27, 2008 12:00am
THIS week we've celebrated the appointment of the first woman deputy speaker of the NSW Parliament. Labor's Tania Gadiel will no doubt make an adequate deputy but my heart sank a little when her parliamentary colleague, Diane Beamer, extolled her virtues as a working mother.

The House was told that so dedicated was Gadiel to the Parramatta electorate she resumed her duties 10 days after giving birth to daughter No.1 and, four days after the birth of her "second adorable little girl she was back at a local function''.

Perhaps Gadiel is a woman of remarkable stamina, endowed with a cast-iron character, a partner able to efficiently take over and a remarkable baby.

Sadly, most of us do not have this trifecta of qualities necessary for a seamless transition from pregnancy to working motherhood. Which is why generations of women, led admirably by the feminist movement, have fought so hard for paid maternity leave.

4 SWORDS for freaking awesome surfer plus - Layne Beachley

There's a lot in the paper today about Layne Beachley. She is a phenomenal surfer. Her personal life has not been easy but she's won 7 straight world titles. Perhaps her resilience has helped. You need to have some powerful focus AND work like a bitch to do that.

While Layne is not surfing or writing or whatever else she does (photo from Aquabumps - Coogee 2004), she has launched the Aim for the Stars foundation.  My eldest daughter applied for support when she was competing internationally without any sponsorship and we were really impressed.

"Aim for the Stars offers moral and financial support to all of you who have the passion and desire to accomplish your goals and who aren’t afraid to ask for help along the way. So take a wander through the site and find out how you can become a part of this fantastic initiative. "

As far as I know, Layne is one of the few women who has been able to put money where her heart is and open doors for other aspiring young women. Not only in sports but across arts and the community.

I hope you get another world title or two, Layne, but you rate an amazing 4 SWORDS here regardless. Maybe you can give me some pointers in the surf one day, cause I surely need some. Some paddling muscles would be handy too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Andragy Blogger Design Updated - Thanks to....

Thanks to the blog community! I have been able to customise blogger enough to satisfy my aesthetic requirements for a while. I'm sticking with blogger right now because I love the new blogger features, like scheduled posts and export blog. If I'd had that one earlier I might still have my blog from Europe!

I've tried a few of the others and I love the feel of wordpress and the additional pages but it just isn't as convenient as blogger is right now. I barely have enough time to post let alone to spend weeks handcrafting my CSS!

For the nav bar hack. Muchas Gracias! Avatar at Bloggeratto and also iSuman.
For the header art: Thanks to Smashing Magazine and Pascal Greuter at Sublog
For the label cloud: Arigato Amanda Fanzani from Blogger Buster for Blogumulus and Roy Tanck for the original Cumulus
For stuff I haven't done yet but probably will soon like tabs: Props to Woork and Antonio Lupetti
For Mu GuiYing: Kudos to Oriental Outpost and the artist ? Ou-Yang Guo-De.? Li Ying-Lai ?
I regret not purchasing this painting when it was for sale. Please can you recreate Mu GuiYing as she is here?

Ant Bullying at Newtown Public School

Newtown Public School's Ant Bullying Perspective is described as an important part of School Policy in a school which strives to be a supportive environment for supporting the environment.

We all know that ants think they rule the world. Well, we're not going to take it any more! Those deadly little fascist dictators will not prevail. Our lands have been besieged. Our liberty and picnics stolen. Our valiantly virulently green p&c is leading the charge with plans to astroturf our entire grass area. Or possibly even concrete it in true Fedterranea style!

So what do we teach our children, where and why? Are literacy and numeracy vastly overrated?
Primary schools have approx 1 hour a week for half a year for 'science'! This is usually integrated with HSIE - Human Society and Its Environment aka history, geography and social studies. That's why I started the science club after school (attended by more than 50% of students!).

Teachers have little specialist science training and access to no interesting resources or materials. No labs. No chemicals. No ... you name it. Generally, I think the state of education in NSW is pretty good. Certainly it is in Newtown, where we have a demographic which enables parent support for many extra initiatives, comparatively little movement in teacher and student population and a range of incomes and backgrounds.

Still, are parents the difference? And what we are teaching our children? A couple of weeks ago, Tim Hawkes, the head of The King's School, wrote a frank and thought-provoking opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald about how our education system is failing to provide students with information they might actually use in their adult lives.

And from T. H. White;

'Wart found that he had tumbled off the drawbridge, landing with a smack on his side in the water. He found that the moat and the bridge had grown hundreds of times bigger. He knew that he was turning into a fish.
"Oh, Merlyn," cried the Wart. "Please come too."
"Just for this once," said the large and solemn tench beside his ear, "I will come. But in future, you will have to go by yourself. Education is experience, and the essence of experience is self-reliance."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's not just me, is it?

Me and the glass of wine or two at dinner? Cause the news is dramatic.

The Finnish killer, facing the camera and shooting. The FBI, investigating the global currency meltdown. And the plants that eat rats.

There is a rat tail sticking out of that plant.

News. Broadcast news.

Homeless Women's World Cup in Melbourne December 2008

I've been on the periphery of activities and groups like the Sydney's Street Socceroos and Sydney Street Choir. But that's not how I found out about the first ever Homeless Women's World Cup in Melbourne this year! I was checking on my Kiva loans and was referred on to globalgiving.org - which is another website that I recommend everyone has a look at. Also Zopa or Fosik.

If you are in a FEMINIST, FOOTBALL or SOCCER network - spread the love!

For the very first time we will hold a Women's Homeless World Cup in Melbourne Australia from 1-7 December 2008 with 8 national teams including Columbia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Uganda and Zambia.

Make a donation

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Headline - Labor councillor attacks her party

There are not enough women in politics. Meredith Burgmann - 3 SWORDS.

Meredith Burgmann ... hates the way the party operates.

Meredith Burgmann ... hates the way the party operates.
Photo: Danielle Smith

Sunanda Creagh Urban Affairs Reporter SMH
September 24, 2008

The NSW ALP is run by right-wing machine men, has an offensive, blokey culture and would be vastly improved by the departure of the power broker Joe Tripodi.

No, it was not the Greens talking; it was Labor's newly elected City of Sydney councillor, Meredith Burgmann, who yesterday delivered a stinging attack on her party.

Cr Burgmann told the Herald at the swearing-in of the new Sydney city councillors that she "hates the way the party operates".

"I think it's offensive. I hate the right-wing, blokey culture," she said. "I would be much happier if Joe Tripodi wasn't there."

Cr Burgmann attracted 9066 votes in her bid to become lord mayor of Sydney. It was nowhere near enough to beat the incumbent, Clover Moore, who got 56 per cent of the lord mayoral vote, but the silver-haired Labor left-winger got almost 1000 more votes than the Greens candidate, Chris Harris.

"My personal vote was fine, which shows we were right to run a defiantly left-wing campaign," she said.

To view the entire article, click on: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/09/23/1221935641162.html

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kiva - on shortlist for Amex profits

Ordinarily I wouldn't advertise Amex. But if you are benighted enough to have an Amex card (or want to become a guest member AND PERSONALLY, I DIDN'T!) then vote for Kiva to win $1.5 million dollars. Someone's going to get it and why not KIVA! I LOVE KIVA! GO KIVA!

20 something bloody bloggers

The only requirement for membership is that you are between the ages of 20 and 29. How long do you reckon it'll be before that is loosened up a bit? OHH the angst as they slide into 30 something boring bloggers!

Hey KJ. Let's just stick "I'm a 20 something blogger" buttons on our pages for the heck of it.

Not that I'm not enjoying reading the mhfs but I think Rage Against the Menopause is more fun.


It's Time for Raging Menopause (the BAND!)

or should that be Rage Against the Menopause?

I had fancied The Kombi Trip (nostalgia) or The Heat Death of the Universe for our band name but as we come closer to actually picking instruments and songs and hiring rehearsal space, I'm wondering why not a name that's closer to the bone.

As the vertebrae crumble, I reckon that Raging Menopause is more kick ass than Machine Gun Fellatio!

I'm amending the set list to include:
Gimme Shelter (Patti Smith/Rolling Stones)
Higher Ground (Hendrix/Chili Peppers)
I Feel Glad (Cream)
Because the Night (Patti Smith)
The Passenger (Iggy Pop and the Stooges)
any Rolling Stones
Smoke on the Water
the Immigrant Song (with global warming lyrics!)
Stranded (the Saints)
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle? the Smiths
Public Enemy?
Or "The Revolution will not be Televised" Gil Scott Heron?
Bowie (early?)
The Clash (anything)
The Cure (early stuff)
Siouxsie and the Banshees (early stuff?)
Quasimodo's Dream - if I can find a retro strap on keyboard

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Sword Award for Awesome Woman Warriors

ONE SWORD AWARD - pretty pathetic really but you are at least trying. You are a foot soldier in the feminist ranks. A good follower but ultimately cannon fodder.

TWO SWORD AWARD - you will die trying. You are a sergeant at arms in the struggle. You might even have a better idea of the issues than those in command but no one's listening. You might also be completely misguided but you are making the effort.

THREE SWORD AWARD - Master (or Mistress) and Commander. You are leading us into battle in your area of excellence.

FOUR SWORD AWARD - kick ass extreme awesomeness. You are Feminist Fists of Fury. You are often ahead of your time and under appreciated. But we love you. You are four swords of awesome woman warrior!

FIVE SWORD AWARD - this is nirvana. You are SuperMummy, WonderWoman, Eve, Lilith, Germaine and Madonna. YOU ARE UBERWOMAN! You are everything Feminist. As that includes many contradictions, upon attaining this level of awesomeness you will instantly transport to another dimension leaving a black hole the size of Switzerland behind.

I continually revise my opinion of how many swords someone is worth, so keep checking! Comment!

Sick of Twitter - How about Reviewer?

Time for a new gadget, Andra! I want to be able to give my lists of things 1 to 5 swords.

Perhaps others would like to vote or simply look at my list. Perhaps others would like to have their own hats or stars or dogbones...

Now who do I know in India who can build it for me, or would it be faster to learn to do it myself. What's the crossover between google gadgets, blogger widgets, mac dashboard widgets and others?

I've read it recently but I do not retain information that i can google. Is this the way we all think now?

Are you deliberately barren?

This blog author, Another Outspoken Female, is one of my favourite woman warriors. I don't know who she is but she gets 4 SWORDS on my newly invented scale of awesomest women warriors!

Go to Deliberately Barren or email her at otherrants at gmail dot com.

invitation to join deliberately barren

I’ve hidden this blog away like a treasure to be explored on a rainy day.

That day has now come (though there is more wind than rain) and I am opening deliberately barren to become a collaborative blog with any other women who are child-free, child-less, infertile or just didn’t quite get around to having children, to join in.

The title is in honour of Australia’s first female deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, jibe from the enlightened Mr Heffernan – stating she was unfit for leadership because she was ”deliberately barren”.

This forum is open to be read by all – men, women, parents, step-parents, bereaved parents – with contributions by women who fall into the category of barren whether through choice or circumstances, deliberately or not. There is the opportunity to celebrate, grieve, laugh, rant, raise awareness and much more. But most of all, it is time for us to come out of the shadows.

blog it

Feminism's Great Leap Forward? Virtual Boyfriends are the NEW BIG THING!

Or simply curing loneliness 2.0? Reportedly, 52% of members are Japanese females in their twenties, with thirty-somethings accounting for 18% of the user base. Could such an idiosyncratic approach also succeed in the US or Europe?

I can certainly see the need, but currently a webkare seems as satisfying as a wii-fit. I'm looking forward to the customisable, hackable virtual boyfriend. Kind of like waiting for my gps to do passive male aggressive with an Australian accent.
clipped from www.techcrunch.com

In Japan, girls are crazy over virtual boyfriends. Webkare (Web Boyfriend in Japanese), a mix between a social network and dating simulation site, is Nippon’s newest web sensation. Geared exclusively towards girls, the site attracted over 10,000 members just 5 days after its release on September 10, racking up 3.5 million page views in the same time frame.

The site is a huge hit over here. Girls sign up and become members of a social network but also users of a dating simulation in cartoon style. They have to try to hook up with one of four male Anime characters (who are the “stars” of the site) through “conversations” and must collaborate with other Webkare members in order to move on in the game. Eventually they conquer the heart of the chosen cartoon boy.

Reportedly, 52% of members are Japanese females in their twenties, with thirty-somethings accounting for 18% of the user base. Could such an idiosyncratic approach to curing Loneliness 2.0 work in the US or Europe?
blog it

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Police raid Ferncourt Fiasco!

The mighty of Marrickville trembled at the shock police presence at the biannual Ferncourt Fiesta. While concerned parents flitted from bush to bush around the bowling green, hedonistic dancing continued unabated inside.

Whether the police were unwilling to overturn the Greens (at great cost to the public purse) so soon after an election, or simply overwhelmed by the spirited dancing on display, we can not be certain. A young policewoman was heard muttering "HRT" into her radio.

The Concordia Club were bemused at this turn of events. Mein host, prominently bandaged, asked, "But aren't the children proud of these parents?" He asked if Ferncourt is "some kind of special school? To have such parents!". We were able to assure him that Ferncourt is indeed special.

The staff of the Concordia greatly enjoyed the evening, dancing merrily to and fro in traditional dirndls carrying plates of schnitzel and sausage. At times they themselves were mistaken for the entertainment and indeed they did join in to several performances. But this is only to be expected at a club with such impeccably maintained grottoes.

Celebrity choir. Top comperes. Sublime crooning. Sex on legs dancers. But the incomparable act of the evening was the gestalt performance, reminiscent of the Warhol era and preempting punk, when Colin the Whale stormed the stage.

No surprise that beneath the bejewelled and bedazzled costume of Colin the Whale, channelling Marc Bolan in the glory days of T-Rex, was glam man about radio, Tom Morton.

Pithy unspoken comments about gender roles and the fate of women in the rhetoric of the left abounded as Colin the whale changed to Colleen while being relentlessly pursued by National Parks and Wildlife. The green credentials of NPWS fell apart in Andra Keay's Dionysian charade of "Green Pieces".

The piece de resistance was the rampart storming Eurydice Aroney, who as a Greek Goddess enhanced with Japanese technology, prevailed where the Greens failed. Whether she humanely rescued Colin the Whale from a life of sentimental subjectivity or impaled him upon the female perspective is left to the audience to decide.

But the last words were all Tom Morton's, "Itadakimasu!"

Meaning "Thank you for the food I am about to eat!" this epitomised the subtlety and sheer halucinogenic beauty of this all too brief performance piece.

The Fiasco audience roared their approval and voted "Colin/Colleen the Whale" the Fiasco winners! Back stage there were wild celebrations as Michael, Geoff, Sharon and KerrieJean realised that they had launched a phenomenon.

Not content with recently launching her own blog, Radio National's KerrieJean was swift to see the potential of the evening. "I'd like to launch a little song that Big Swifty and I have been working on", she announced, as the strains of "Geez I feel like a root" filled the dance floor.

On the way home, the headlights swang like pearls.

Headline - The land of the rising female

A FEMALE candidate is standing for the presidency of Japan's ruling party for the first time.

Yuriko Koike will run against four men in the internal party vote for leader. The party leader is all but assured of becoming prime minister because the ruling party controls the powerful lower house of parliament.

"We would like to find out if the glass ceiling for women is actually an iron plate or not. We will see," Ms Koike, 56, said on Friday.

"Unless we put more women in decision-making positions the potential of Japanese women can't be fully realised," she said.

Former foreign minister Taro Aso is widely expected to win the leadership contest.

To view the entire article, click on: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/09/20/1221331276756.html

Saturday, September 20, 2008

blog lockdown starts now!

I mean tomorrow. Really really really really.

From tomorrow, these are the rules:
  1. No more than 3 posts a day.
  2. No more than 1 hour TOTAL. (unless i happen to get really highly paid job blogging lol)
  3. 1 hour spent in exercise each day. (without sneaking off to the computer or the notebook or the chips and bikkies)
  4. Alcohol intake to be severely reduced... ditto chips
  5. Real writing to be done for 4 hours/day, 5 days/week
  6. Daily blog/log/survey to be kept ... without wasting valuable exercise or writing time on it.

This will be an interesting exercise! When i did more exercise I thought less in general. Daily survey of thoughts vs actions to be kept!

Now if I can add quality time with my loved ones I might achieve beatitude and simply cease to exist in this time and space as we know it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Apologies to my Eldest - Young Woman Not So Wasted

Not that I'm going to wallow in motherhood here. This is a place of sharp & bitter commentary. Just remember that I called you first to explain that it's not personal no matter what I say about young women. It's an opinionated opinion formed by you, me and everything else around me. My first thoughts were to say please don't ever think badly of you or me because of my sharp tongue. For my next icon: introducing mother in law's tongues aka the snake plant!

scarily slowing down - glorious zeitgeist or entropia

My blog is whirling outwards and I feel the impending entropic collapse. I googled entropy for another noun, verb or variation and found the Entropia Universe. I haven't been to the real one yet. Only the one inside my own head.

For rather a while I've rationed my music and reading to give my own head a chance to think about something other than trivial mundanity. I have a shocking propensity for repeating whatever I last heard as if it were somehow my own marvellous creation.

I've come to a point of equilibrium. I don't own an original thought. I do just seem to express things that bloody bucket loads of people somewhere or other have just expressed (only better) and I have probably just crimped, cadged and cheated it from them, unless I happen to be an unwitting trendsetter.

You can glorify it by calling it zeitgeist all you like. I am torn. Every post I write, I find links to other blogs, books and clips that I am never going to finish getting through. Do I enrich my entries? Do I go back to ignoring others so that I have space to breathe?

I love the freedom (recently felt) of writing whatever I felt like without a fear. I've always been my own worst critic and I've stopped (am stopping). I pity my friends with blogs of note. I don't know if I would survive being overseen by anyone else. Luckily no one else is ever likely to read this.

Honestly, if school P&C meetings send me into a spiral of self doubt and loathing, how on earth could I ever want to write something for other people to read!

I have a sudden great sympathy for David Foster Wallace (1962-2008) and a wish for silence.

Right after I work out how to trackback my next post.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kiva - the cup runneth over!

Time for an earnest appeal. How can anyone NOT loan to Kiva. You invest in humanity and get a good return. It seems that the world agrees because today every appeal for a loan was fully funded.

To date, Kiva has enabled lenders to send $43,337,460 to the working poor around the world.

Currently, Kiva is experiencing a traffic spike and all loans have been fully funded. Our team is working with Kiva's Field Partners around the globe to approve new loan applications every day.

While you're waiting for an entrepreneur you'd like to fund, please help support Kiva by donating to our operating expenses.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

and Vale Bronwyn Moye - Another Fun, Fearless Female - 1950-2008

3 SWORDS for this fallen woman warrior. VALE!

Sydney Morning Herald Obituary: September 16, 2008

WHEN Bronwyn Moye attended question time in the NSW Parliament, which she did regularly, she made herself as visible as possible, positioning her wheelchair on the floor of the house, facing the Government benches. She never let the MPs forget that people with disabilities lived in their constituencies.

Moye, who has died at 57, was in many ways the midwife to a number of key pieces of legislation concerning the rights of people with disabilities in NSW, and one of the foremost campaigners for the disabled.

Bronwyn was one of five children born to Kenneth Powell, a Rose Bay chemist, and his wife, Betty. She went to Rose Bay public and Kambala schools, and began an arts degree at Sydney University but left in 1972, when she married Richard Moye, an engineer. They moved to Whyalla, where he worked in the BHP steelworks. She taught English at Eyre High School until their son Daniel was born in 1974, after which she was a marriage guidance counsellor.

Moye's neck was broken in a road accident near Cobar in 1975, and she became a quadriplegic. Yet the injury made her life busier, rather than less so. She had a second son, David, in 1978, did a BA at Macquarie University in 1981, and carried out many roles in the field of disability. A stroke in 1985, which reduced the limited movement in her left arm, did not stop her.

She became a visiting lecturer on sexuality and disability at Sydney University's faculty of medicine; sat on the Women's Advisory Council for the NSW International Year of Disabled People project; presented and produced Freedom Bound, a weekly radio program on 2SER-FM; was a director, then president of the Australian Quadriplegic Association (now Spinal Cord Injuries Australia); was a leader of the NSW Disability Council, the advisory body to the NSW Government, and contributor to the publication of I Always Wanted To Be A Tap Dancer, a book about women with disabilities.

Fighting with Citizens for Accessible Public Transport in 1991, Moye helped lead a group of wheelchair users to block Broadway in protest at the lack of access on buses. She lobbied the NSW Legislative Council for appliances for disabled people, was an advocate at the Disability Complaints Service, helping disabled people solve problems, and joined Reclaim the Night marches.

Moye helped develop the Disability Services Act (1993) and Complaints Appeals and Monitoring Act (1993). She was a leader in the Commonwealth-State Disability Agreement negotiations, which cemented the funder-provider role between state and federal governments.

More recently, she turned her energies to the NSW Network of Women with Disability, which provides a place where women with disabilities can share ideas and experiences, and make themselves heard in their fight for equality. She co-ordinated the network's participation in the annual International Women's Day marches.

Moye had an engaging, zany and raucous sense of humour - and a trademark laugh. She loved family occasions and having coffee and eating out with her friends - especially garlic prawns and a glass of red wine. She was awarded an OAM in 1987 for service to those with disabilities. In 2005, she won the Edna Ryan Award for feminist activity in the political sphere.

Edna Ryan - the real Fun, Fearless Female!

3 SWORDS for this amazing woman warrior. VALE!
clipped from welnsw.org.au
Each year the women's electoral lobby celebrate the life and work of Edna Ryan through the presentation of the "Ednas". When Edna died in 1997 at the age of 92, she left a rich legacy. These awards are designed to support the interests that Edna championed, and to proclaim the fun and humour that she enjoyed.

She balanced her advocacy with friendship (mothering more than her own three children), a sense of fun (creating potholders with political slogans) and a love of theatre. She passionately wanted to make the world better for all, and especially for working women. More information on Edna Ryan

Follow the links to read extracts of the nominations for 2008. The full nominations are deposited with the NSW State Library and made available to the public. The recipients were:

MENTORING: Dori Wisniewski (photo ), Suna Er (photo ), Sandra D'Souza (photo )

EDUCATION: Jude Irwin (photo ), Lesley Laing (photo )

WORKFORCE: Jo Kowalczyk (photo )


GOVERNMENT: Liz Barlow (photo )

COMMUNITY ACTIVISM: Matina Mottee (photo ), Elaine Odgers Norling (photo ), Christine Sinclair , Beth Eldridge (photo ), Tess Brill (photo )

THE GRAND STIRRER: Karen Lee Willis (photo )

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Self Fulfilling Prophecies not Fun, Fearless Females

women who read glossys are voting for glossy women.
clipped from www.smh.com.au
She's fun, fearless and female ... Fifi Box.

Fifi Box took the top honours at the Fun, Fearless, Female awards as
voted by 80,000 readers of Cosmopolitan magazine. The awards recognise women's achievements in TV, radio, fashion,
sport, music and business.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Feminism and Science Fiction part 4

Chapter 10: Feminism and Science Fiction part 4
from In the Chinks of the World Machine by Sarah Lefanu

Rhoda Lerman (and Tanith Lee and Angela Carter, as mentioned earlier) is concerned with the body's interchangeability. In Lerman's Call Me Ishtar the movement is between goddess and mortal, the queen of the heavens and a middle-class American woman. In The Book of the Night a girl child, Celeste, is brought up as a boy and accepted into the monastery on Iona where she subsequently lives. At puberty she is transformed into a cow. While some of the tenth-century monks are attracted by the increasing power of Rome, for others ancient Seth still roars from the chaos. The forces of disorder and entropy are marshalled against the order of language, progress and rationalism.

As in the Zoline story, language takes on a logic of its own that is unrelated to the objects to which it was formerly tied. From this follows a breakdown, not just of women's role in the order of human society, but of the very nature of femaleness. As with Zoline, it is not only culture that is interrogated but nature. But the pivot in Lerman's work is the powerful awakening of sexuality, which transgresses linguistic and cultural codes.

So, too, with Angela Carter, who takes the anodyne out of fairy tales and re-euips her young girls with claws, teeth and a powerful desire. There is an element of violence in Lerman's work which is traditionally not a quality of 'feminine' writing: such an element appears in the work of other women, for example Octavia Butler and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, as well as Carter, Lee and Tuttle. It too is transgressive; the construction of the inviolable body is a corollary of the construction of the coherent self. Woman as 'woman' is interrogated as well as woman as self.

Perhaps it is the position of science fiction on the periphery of mainstream fiction that makes it so open to borrowing from elsewhere, from physics and fairy tales, from philosophy, folklore and myth. And perhaps it is the position of women on the periphery of mainstream (patriarchal) culture that makes SF so suitable a genre for them to work in. For women have not had to bear the awful weight of the Great Tradition, and so have been free to experiment, to riffle through, stopping here and there to work in odd corners, as Tiptree's Ruth describes to Don how women live, 'by ones and twos in the chinks of your world-machine'."

Monique Wittig's Les Guerilleres is often included in discussions of feminist utopias of the 1970s (see for example Joanna Russ, 'Recent Feminist Utopias'), but I think it is more fruitful to read it in the context of the 'disintegrationist' writers. Like Carter, Lerman and Russ, Wittig questions the laws of language and difference that govern our place in the world. Les Guerilleres gets included under the 'utopian' label because it shows a future, separatist, almost women-only world. But the guerrilla fighters of the title are not simply waging a war against men (who appear only peripherally anyway) but a war against the language that constructs them as women and then contains, or encloses them. They are trying to get back to point zero, denying even the names that women have given to themselves in defiance of men, and questioning in particular the metaphors that bind women to the processes of Nature.

Les Guerilleres does share a certain dream-like quality with Gerhart's The Wanderground: a similar circular structure with the story unfolding through many different voices; but its aims are quite different. Where Gearhart seeks harmony and synthesis with nature, Wittig questions the possibility of such a notion.

Monique Wittig's most recent novel, Across the Acheron is a fierce and witty re-enactment of Dante's journeyings through the circles of Hell. Wittig herself is the vengeful voyager, her anger, passion and contempt for sexual slavery held in check, not always successfully, by her guide Manastabal, and resting from her labours every so often in the lesbian bars of limbo.

None of these writers is concerned with the conventions of the 'feminine' in terms of construction, imagery or language, yet all of them, I think, are powerfully feminist. If we want to see what women writers of science fiction have to offer the reader, then we shouldn't be sidetracked by essentialist, and finally moralistic notions of 'feminine' and 'masculine', although the appearance of such a dichotomy is understandable, given the received view of science fiction as a male bastion. We should be looking instead at how science fiction, true to its tradition (not always exploited) of political as well as scientific speculation, can be grasped and used by women writers whose ideas are rooted in a feminist analysis of the world.

Different writers of course hold very different ideas of what feminist SF is. Unlike other forms of genre writing, such as detective stories and romances, which demand the reinstatement of order and thus can be described as 'closed' texts, science fiction is by its nature interrogative, open. Feminism questions a given order in political terms, while science fiction questions it in imaginative terms. I have tried to show the many ways in which contemporary women writers express this, and I hope that I have shown the political and aesthetic vitality of science fiction. If science fiction demands our acceptance of a relativistic universe, then feminism demands, no less, our acceptance of a relativistic social order. Nothing, in these terms, is natural, least of all the cultural notions of 'woman' and 'man'.

Media Tarts by Julia Baird


how the Australian press frames female politicians

Julia Baird's Media Tarts is a gripping account of how the media have treated women politicians. While the tone of the book is even-handed, reading the history is at times gruesome, like watching a demolition derby. … In Baird's hands, it is a great political story.

Elspeth Proben
(Sydney Morning Herald)

Julia Baird has interviewed dozens of women in politics, as well as columnists and opinion leaders in the press gallery for this readable, authoritative and thought-provoking book (it has a great cover too).

Pamela Bone
(The Age

Julia Baird has worked as a weekly columnist and as the opinion editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. Her career at the Herald began in 1998. She has a PhD in history from Sydney University and has worked as a history tutor and in radio. She now works as a senior editor at Newsweek, and lives in New York.

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