Daily Archives: January 8, 2008

I know I really shouldn’t…

…but I can’t resist. A whole new interpretation has been suggested, according at least to my WP search engine record, by a reader here today:

Harbhajan symonds gay

Well that puts a whole new construction on “You monkey!”/”What a bastard!” etc… Heard such conversations many a time in certain Sydney watering holes… We are all prostitutes and junkies opines another searcher, while a third went looking for short but beautiful racial harmony poems. That’s nice.

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Posted by on January 8, 2008 in blogging, diversions


On other matters…

The Juice & Java has a new owner, apparently. Fenwick (the recipient of The Rabbit’s plant back in 2005) has sold the cafe to a young Cambodian guy who, he tells me, arrived in Australia when he was 12 in 1984 not speaking a word of English. Having survived Pol Pot he will probably survive Surry Hills. Nice person. I wasn’t sure whether he was filling in while Fenwick had a holiday, but now I know.

Coffee is still as good.

The clean-up: make that two and a half wheelie bins… Still going, and I have made a corner at last where I have all my tuition resources arranged so I can actually find them. I even found things I had forgotten I had! 😉

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Posted by on January 8, 2008 in multicultural Australia, personal, Surry Hills


Racism No Way

That is the name of an excellent Australian education site which I thoroughly endorse, but this R-word really is a dangerous one to throw around. I know, because I have been guilty of so doing. Just ask The Rabbit! 😦

Lately the R-word has been getting a run in the “scientific” whaling exploits of the Japanese; everyone, including the maker of the now famous video which currently sits at the top of my VodPod on the right, knows that gastronomy rather than serious science is the object of the exercise, whatever its legality. I might mention that I do eat kangaroo, but not dingo, and I am sure (in the case of the latter beast) that even in Japan culling of pest species does take place without a view to dining off them. The link between, right or wrong, the attitude of most of the world, including Australia, to whaling in the 21st century and the xenophobic and War-on-Terror fuelled events in Cronulla in 2005 is tenuous to say the least.

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Small stats thingie


That’s the last 100 visits to the combined Floating Life sites (excluding English/ESL and Blogspot) — i.e. since 1.22am today Sydney time. Good Aussies were asleep, obviously, while lots of Americans seem to have found something to read. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 8, 2008 in blogging, site stats


Further to my 1968

It is worth reading Gerard Henderson in today’s Sydney Morning Herald: I remember 1968, and I was there. We agree on this much:

Some of the Australian activists of four decades ago exhibited a similar sense of self-delusion. The painter George Gittoes recalled that “everyone was mad in 1968”. The newly retired Labor politician Meredith Burgmann declared that “anyone from that time will tell you – we really thought the revolution was about to happen”. According to the filmmaker Albie Thoms, in 1968 or thereabouts “everyone started self-medicating”. Even today, the likes of Gittoes, Burgmann and Thoms seem unaware that about 1968 they mixed with a few members of the left intelligentsia. At the time the overwhelming majority of Australians were a quite sane lot who did not believe in the likelihood of imminent revolution and were not into the drug culture.

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Posted by on January 8, 2008 in culture wars, reminiscing, right wing politics


And yet it really was, in many respects, a good and exciting game, that Second Test…

It is such a shame, all this. I had an interesting chat just now with the newsagent, Indian-born, who has been following the whole drama on Indian satellite TV as well as in the media here. He and I agreed that it is highly likely Harbhajan did call Symonds a “monkey”, though the inquiry into the incident has followed rules of evidence that are very questionable: “hearsay” rather than actual. It is also highly likely Hogg called Harbhajan a “bastard”. What we then encounter in part is a case of intercultural communication breakdown. In India the term “monkey” is not as loaded as Australians might think; oddly it is possibly analogous with the status of the word “bastard” in Australian English, where that term is not normally deeply offensive, depending on tone and context. However, here the term “monkey” applied to a black man really is racial vilification, on the ground that the message in the word is that the black man is lower down the evolutionary tree than the user of the word. That is why we hear the word applied to Symonds as “racist”. He may as well, from our point of view, have called Symonds a f*cking nigger. That is what we hear when Symonds is called a monkey. I can accept that Indian speakers/listeners may be giving and receiving a different message. Similarly, an Australian calling Harbhajan a “bastard” is not questioning the man’s parentage, though if the word is used in anger it is obviously not complimentary. On the other hand, we Australians call each other “bastards” all the time: you really are a soft bastard, but I like you…

I can quite understand the point the Indians are making about the process and subsequent verdict against Harbhajan.

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Posted by on January 8, 2008 in Australia, Cricket, events, racism