August 31, 2005
It’s been a while since I posted news of my fellow Tasmanian, Mary! But this news report:
If Mary has a little girl, expect to call her queen is really refreshing and actually very significant - the Danish government is proposing to allow Mary’s firstborn, should it be a girl, to ascend to the throne and become queen. This has caused wide speculation about the sex of Mary’s baby actually being female, which is also exciting. Not because I am a big royal fan, but because it will really offer opportunities for media time and all sorts of public discussions and debate to test those antiquated views about women’s roles in any sort of organisation that relies on the patriarchal order. Well, one would hope so, anyway.
August 30, 2005
In the past couple of days there has been a push by some of the liberal backbenchers (namely Bronwyn Bishop and Sophie Panopoulos) to outlaw the wearing of hijabs in schools. John Howard has disagreed with this view, but here’s some of the Sydney Morning Herald’s report:
Mr Howard said he opposed Mrs Bishop’s push to ban Muslim girls from wearing headscarves at public schools because it would be impractical. But he defended Ms Bishop’s “right to express a view”.
Mrs Bishop has called the headscarf “a sort of iconic item of defiance”, and echoed the call of the Victorian Liberal MP Sophie Panopoulos for a ban. Mrs Bishop’s remark prompted much criticism, including a rebuke from the NSW Minister for Education, Carmel Tebbutt, who yesterday ruled out any change to the uniform policy, which allows schools to develop a dress code in consultation with the community. She said she supported the right of students to wear the headscarf as long as it was within the school code.
Mr Howard said: “I don’t think it’s practical to bring in such a prohibition. If you ban a headscarf you might for consistency’s sake have to ban a yarmulke or a turban.
However, Labor’s education spokeswoman, Jenny Macklin, said Mr Howard had not gone far enough in opposing the MPs. “John Howard must show leadership and pull [them] into line over their calls. We need national leadership … not extremist knee-jerk reactions.”
The federal Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, John Cobb, said Mrs Bishop’s comments were ignorant and an insult to many Australians. In a statement he said: “The government does not seek to impose cultural sameness on Australians … Do we ban nuns from wearing a habit?”
I am really shocked that two women politicians are behind the push to ban the hijabs. They’re using a feminist platform and claiming that the hijabs are an affront to women’s freedom (well, Sophie was, I couldn’t work out Bronwyn’s stance). Ummm what about religious freedom in a society that is multicultural and tolerant of difference in lifestyles? (I could write an essay on this but I don’t think the blog is the right place for it)
August 28, 2005
Thanks to Bruce Eisner for pointing me to this issue of the American Business Week, which has a special feature called: 21 Ideas for the 21st Century.
The 21 ideas are all very interesting, but idea 18 suggests that for most kids these days, they are mature enough and intelligent enough to be ready for University by 15 or 16, rather than the current age of 17/18-ish. Instead of doing years 11 and 12 (the HSC here in Australia), they should be admitted into University after year 10. The writer argues that the final 2 years of high school are often no more than putting kids into a holding pattern, treating them like children, boring them to death… and that by that time in their life school is totally incongruous with the outside worlds of kids, who are much more independent, able and ready to think for themselves.
It’s a really interesting argument and I agree with lots of it, especially because of the increasing gap between kids knowledge and experience with new technology (kids of all ages here, not just adolescents) and their poor old teachers who don’t have the time or energy (and sometimes even the inclination) to keep up with it all. Anyway the section about idea 18 continues to talk about the concerns to do with maturity of all kids and so on, so its not all over-hyped and unrealistically idealistic, but to be honest I really like the idea.
August 27, 2005
Didn’t everybody just loooooooooove this book!? I couldn’t put it down when I first read it some years ago now.
If you haven’t read the book, I thoroughly recommend it! Here’s a summary from imdb.com:
In 1929 an impoverished nine-year-old named Chiyo from a fishing village is sold to a geisha house in Kyoto’s Gion district and subjected to cruel treatment from the owners and the head geisha Hatsumomo. Her stunning beauty attracts the vindictive jealousy of Hatsumomo, until she is rescued by and taken under the wing of Hatsumomo’s bitter rival, Mameha. Under Mameha’s mentorship, Chiyo becomes the geisha named Sayuri, trained in all the artistic and social skills a geisha must master in order to survive in her society. As a renowned geisha she enters a society of wealth, privilege, and political intrigue. As World War II looms Japan and the geisha’s world are forever changed by the onslaught of history.
A movie poster from an English site:
But actually the poster from the Japanese site (where the movie is called Sayuri, the name of the Geisha) is better:
as well as this fascinating trailer - and even though its a Japanese site the trailer is in English.
Now the question is - why do I like the Japanese poster better than the English one? Well… don’t you agree that the Japanese poster portrays the essence of a young geisha - kind of demure and graceful, head bowed, more of the traditional costume showing and so on. But the English poster makes the woman look really anglicised - its too stylised and much much too assertive with those eyes making a demand like that. The Japanese one says: observe my world but stay your distance. The English one is way too sexual and inviting. I think its an absolutely beautiful image, but it could be an image symbolising any genre and style of movie. The Japanese image on the other hand captures the symbolism of the book much much better. The body and stance of the Geisha is fashioned to present an identity of Sayuri which is faithful to the one I remember.
This movie will definitely go into my “to view” list!
Guess what?? I bought myself a present! Yes! Finally! An exciting mobile phone with lots of features that I don’t know how to use (how do I get mp3s of jazz and classical pieces on it I have been wondering to myself). I finally bought a flip top phone, see here is how small and compact it is:
and here it is flipped open (with a wallpaper of some roses..awwww):
But of course, what is just as important was finding the perfect and mega-cheap accessories to go with it: a little red Chinese-ish mobile handbag, and (just because my niece has one) a dangly charm thing to go with it.
Of course, I totally embarrassed some older Italian male salesman when I VERY INNOCENTLY asked him: “Do you have any dangly things….” (he didn’t let me finish my sentence before going all red in the face and stuttering “errrr… scusi, my dangly things?”). Sheeeez. I finally managed to get what I wanted but it was with lots of gracias and pregos and he called me bella, bella, BELLA and showed me virtually every accessory he had there.
I have now downloaded the compulsory Sex and the City ringtone I simply had to have. I want to download some mp3s but can’t work out how to do it. Oh and I also have FM radio built in so I can at least listen to classic FM and the jazz channels there, though i really need one of those bluetooth headsets to do so properly (those other earphone thingies fall out of my ears and irritate me). But I couldn’t afford the teddy bear charm AND the bluetooth headset all in the one day, so that will have to wait.
August 26, 2005
SMH is reporting today that Candace Bushnell’s latest chicklit book could also be made into a TV series, about 3 40s+ very successful career women! Ooohhh how exciting! Here’s a bit of the article:
New sex and the city?
August 26, 2005 - 9:31AM
Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell is in talks to turn her new book Lipstick Jungle, the story of three successful career women in New York, into a television series.
In an interview ahead of the September 6 publication of her latest novel, Bushnell said it was too early to discuss who might play the three main characters - a film producer, a fashion designer and a magazine executive.
Bushnell said Lipstick Jungle was a “pretty philosophical kind of book” about what happens when women like the thirty-something women of Sex and the City get into their forties and experience real success in their careers.
“There’s a lot of interest in Lipstick Jungle becoming a TV series but it’s just a little bit too soon, in a couple of weeks I could tell you all about it,” she added.
Yippee! Something I hope happens because, well… it is my birthday next week, and I am not going to tell you how old I will be but… “get into their forties and experience real success in their careers” … I am hoping the second half of that sentence won’t be too far away either :>
I just found this paper that I really like the look of because of the nice theorisation about blogs being polyphonic and multivoiced. And yes, sometimes even contradictory because of the shifting times and moods behind the posts. Unfortunately I can only get the abstract for some reason even though I think I should have full access through my Uni, but even the abstract is really provactive - sometimes its just the idea that’s needed to stimulate another angle of thinking about things. But if anybody else can get access I would still love to read the whole thing. Here’s the abstract:
Threaded Identity in Cyberspace: Weblogs & Positioning in the Dialogical Self
Vincent W. Hevern
Le Moyne College
The rapid emergence of Internet-based personal Weblogs (”blogs”) reflects specific technological innovations and new online practices with broad affinity for the self as dialogical. This article employs qualitative analyses of the structural components and selected postings from a spectrum of 20 English-language blogs. Weblogs display multiple and shifting positionings in the form of ongoing, personally meaningful, and hypertextually threaded themes. A Jamesian (1890) “stream of thought” quality characterizes many blog entries when read chronologically. However, the active posting of contradictory or competing personal viewpoints reflects the polyphonic qualities of the dialogical self suggested by Bakhtin’s (1929/1973) analysis of authorship. As such, blogs serve as explicit examples of Hermans’s (2001) systematic model of the multivoiced self’s active encounter with social and cultural others. The sequencing of commentaries in some Weblogs illustrates processes of cultural exchange by which authors thread pathways through overlapping but somewhat different positionings in processes of negotiating new or changing identities.
August 24, 2005
This post is for my mother who worries constantly about me…
August 23, 2005
In 2 days, this has become my most viewed flickr photo ever! It’s really amazing to see how fast these new toys spread around and how clever everybody is being with this one in particular. Check out the hundreds of other magazine titles. There are some laugh out loud ones there - so many I can’t choose a favourite :>
I wrote about Web 2.0 in a book chapter and the editor has asked me to write more about it, so here is a link to the sources I have found so far online:
From read/write web
Stigmergy: interaction through the evironment
Will from weblogg-ed points to Jim Cuene’s powerpoint presentation Web 2.0: is it a whole new internet? (personally I found this extremely useful)
Digital web magazine article
I think its really interesting because many writers about Web 2.0 tend to focus on the infastructure and the applications rather than the people. I think from my ‘critical literacies’ kind of perspective, the significant shifts from “the old web” to “the new web” are really about the following ideas:
1) interactivity and the level of control of the “reader”, who is now becoming the writer / organiser / interacter / designer of their world
2) obviously everybody relates web 2.0 to the idea of the web becoming the new platform of choice for all media - for me it means that a 14 year old girl can make her own movies with her friend on the other side of the world and have an audience of over 100 others critique it for her (feedback and commenting are features which have really revolutioned the way lots of kids think/write)
3) also as a social scientist, the whole notion of tagging, bookmarking, contributing to community resources and so on is really important. This has been around for ages (how did web 1.0 get started in the first place for example?!) but it seems to be growing exponentially and to be getting more attention by everybody.
This is just a start and as always, provisional thinking - TOB (thinking on blog)
August 22, 2005
Today I finished my chapter on fictional blogging for this book. It used some of this paper I wrote for BlogTalk Downunder but at least half of it is new. I am gradually ticking off my commitments (yay!)…
August 21, 2005
because when I went for a walk today they wrote this in the sky for everybody to see…
According to local Newtown history, the inspiration for Charles Dickens’ character, Miss Havisham was a woman called Eliza Emily Donnithorne, and she lived in Newtown, just around the corner from me!! I learnt this earlier in the week whilst sitting in the Doctor’s surgery of all places, and so today I ran out and photographed the house from all angles. I also found the story here which had this to say:
She may have been Dickens’s muse for a jilted bride, but Eliza Emily Donnithorne will experience a renaissance of a different kind in a Sydney cemetery today.
The daughter of an East India Company judge and master of the Sydney Mint, Donnithorne was among the cream of 19th-century Sydney’s social scene and - contrary to the mores of her time - determined to marry for love, much to the frustration of her eminent father.
A clandestine affair with a lower-class shipping clerk who left her at the altar on her wedding day soured Donnithorne and led her to a 40-year spinsterhood worthy of Dickens’s Miss Havisham.
According to National Trust historians, Donnithorne and the fictional jilted bride shared more than just a common history.
“[Donnithorne] is generally believed to be the inspiration for one of Charles Dickens’s most memorable characters, the jilted bride Miss Havisham of Great Expectations,” said National Trust of Australia cemetery adviser, George Gibbons.
Dickens is believe to have heard the story of Eliza Donnithorne through family connections.
“As a character of local and international literary importance, Donnithorne’s resting place, St Stephen’s Cemetery in inner-Sydney Newtown is a mecca for Dickens fans,” Mr Gibbons said.
Isn’t that exciting! Here are my photos of the house and surrounds:
After seeing DrJoolz’s post, I couldn’t resist making some magazine covers using this fun flickr feature. So here I am, simply irresistible me!!
August 20, 2005
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The latest issue of the journal Discourse, at: http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk focusses on Digital Literacies and looks very exciting- I can’t wait to read them all! The articles include the following:
Digital Childhood and Youth: New texts, new literacies p. 279
Victoria Carrington, Jackie Marsh
Interview with Gunther Kress p. 287
Electric Involvement: Identity performance in children’s informal digital writing p. 301
Multimodality, “Reading”, and “Writing” for the 21st Century p. 315
Split Frame Thinking and Multiple Scenario Awareness: How boys’ game expertise reshapes possible structures of sense in a digital world p. 333
Challenging Notions of Gendered Game Play: Teenagers playing The Sims p. 355
Catherine Beavis, Claire Charles
Toward Critical Media Literacy: Core concepts, debates, organizations, and policy p. 369
Douglas Kellner, Jeff Share
Locating the Subject: Teens online @ ninemsn p. 387
Stephen Atkinson, Helen Nixon
Changing the Rules? Computer Games, Theory, Learning, and Play p. 411