Reminiscing

As you do … on cheap electricity and a gas-led climate emergency.

The late, great John Clarke, together with fellow comedian, Bryan Dawe, explain Australia’s energy market. [Videos might only be available to Australian audiences.]

But don’t mention the planet.

You have to wonder if those companies with large long term contracts for electricity are paying proportionately much less than small users of electricity? It would make sense. Discounts for bulk purchases are pretty standard, aren’t they? I wonder if small users are thereby subsidising the big users? Do we know by how much? On top of that, the Australian government has committed $600 million to fund a new gas-fired power station to boost capacity when domestic demand and hence, gas prices. peak. As gas is expensive and government will want to reduce the budget deficit incurred from the pandemic (including clawing back the cost of its gas-led recovery investments), it doesn’t sound like future electricity prices will be minimised. Maybe this will just spur more businesses and individuals to go off-grid? That is likely to make it even more expensive for those who can’t afford to make that switch. It doesn’t seem to be a win for the hip pocket or the planet. Who does win then?

When Work Sucks

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you. This week I have two pieces of music to tell a sordid story of potential abuse and dereliction of duty of care.

When I was a young lass and fresh out of uni, I applied for a job as electorate officer in the then PM’s office. I recall sitting in the foyer waiting for my interview. Coincidentally at that moment the PM appeared down the hall, a halo of light fell on him as he sauntered back to his office after Question Time. He oozed confidence. The Treasurer followed, also cock sure of himself. All the office staff leapt to their feet to stand as the great man passed. I didn’t know what to do. Should I stand or stay seated? I wondered whether I would have to leap to my feet every time the PM came into the room? This did not sit well with me, so I stayed seated. After all, who did he think he was? The PM? I didn’t get the job. I was pretty enough but the other applicant had more relevant experience. Fair enough. That wouldn’t have been hard in this town.

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Acknowledgement and Justice Overdue

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

A report on an investigation into alleged war crimes carried out by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan was released yesterday (19 November 2020). The investigation found credible evidence that war crimes had been committed. The Chief of the Australian Defence Force noted the report’s findings that a warrior culture and toxic competitiveness contributed to the breakdown in military discipline (a transcript of his remarks was published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

In other words, the people involved and the people that enabled the crimes, were bullies (or complicit, or rendered powerless). Bullying has become entrenched in Australian society so we shouldn’t be surprised. The national infatuation with the ANZAC myth and our war legacy, has become a form of national narcissism which diminishes us all and fails our servicemen and women. Justice must be served for the victims of these alleged war crimes.

It seems trite to finish these comments with a music selection, but that’s why I’m here, so let’s get on with it.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Can An Election Bring Us Together?

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you. I think I need a really big ballad this week (cue violins).

Residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), also known as Canberra, voted in their local election last Saturday. It was a different election, a healing election.

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When Am I Too Much For This Place?

This week’s theme for the Lens Artists Photo Challenge is Sanctuary.  I’m not sure what more can be said about this topic that I haven’t said already, so I’ve decided to re-post my earlier discussion/photos on this subject.  At that time, I said that I didn’t feel safe anywhere.  That is not quite true.  I do feel safe with my family.  Thank goodness for that because in these days of Covid and being confined to home (provided you are lucky enough to have one of those), there are many people fearful of the ones they should be able to trust the most.

WordPress (and now the Lens-Artists Challenge) has asked us to explore what it means to find your place in the world.  Where’s your safe space?  Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up?  Do you prefer the city over a small town?  I have to admit I find this an incredibly difficult challenge because I feel very ambivalent about my place in the world.  I don’t feel safe, or comforted, or any of the things that WordPress has asked us to explore.  I feel that I am possibly too much, that we are too much.  However, I am here.  I live in a wonderful place and I’m grateful for that.  The issue of whether I, and we, can live sustainably is a complex one.

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The Returned

A Short Story

The old man slaps his car keys down on the kitchen table. It’s cold inside the house and he is tired. It’s been a long drive in heavy rain. He has to take a slash. His water works need fixing. That’s why he is here. Back in Canberra.

The mobile rings as he is zipping his fly. “H’lo,” he says loudly. It’s his eldest daughter on the line. The cranky one. Of course, it is not the youngest daughter. She doesn’t ring. She is too busy working in the old folks home. His son doesn’t ring much either. If the old man knew how to text, they might communicate more often.

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Gash in the Fabric

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Well scheiße, ladies and gentlemen, what a crappy few weeks it has been downunder. How’s that for an impressive, or pathetic, example of tautology? It has been all about the corona virus (Covid-19) these last couple of weeks. You know the old saying, “Pride goeth …” Hubris, pubis. Australians have been so self-congratulatory about how we got “on top of” the virus. Apparently and allegedly, all the time we thought our borders were closed, our borders weren’t actually closed, if you know what I mean …

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Another Day, Another Indigenous Australian Incarcerated

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

The problem in believing in the inalienable rights and freedoms of, and equal opportunity for, all people is that some people or groups within society are more free and more equal than others (ie. more cashed up, more able to advocate for their “inalienable” rights, whatever those might be). The problem in also believing in a just and humane society in which the importance of the role of law and justice is maintained, is that one must actually abide by the law and apply it consistently.

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Is Nothing Sacred?

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

I recall vividly how horrified people were when the Notre Dame went up in flames. It was a tragedy and the world mourned with the French people. It is more than just a sacred place. It is history. If a developer is able to legally destroy sacred historical sites, there should be a huge uproar, don’t you think? Anyway, that’s what international mining company, Rio Tinto, has done this week. It destroyed two Aboriginal rock shelters in the Juukan Gorge. The rock shelters date back 46,000 years and are significant cultural heritage sites.

It was reported that one of the shelters was Australia’s only inland site showing human occupation continuing through the last Ice Age (see The Conversation and The Guardian). I’m completely at a loss as to why such wanton destruction of such a culturally significant site for First Australians, indeed all the people of the world, could have been permitted, and even if legal, how Rio Tinto could have thought it acceptable. I guess Rio Tinto don’t know their place.

As they say in the classics, “You’re welcome.”

Here’s national treasure, Archie Roach.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.