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Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter on Talking Heads tonight

Turn off Channels 7, 9 and 10 at 6.30 and watch something truly relevant and inspirational.

Update

Yes, and so it was indeed… A transcript has appeared on that link. The following was far more moving than the words alone suggest:

ARCHIE ROACH: I was born in a place called Mooroopna in the Goulburn valley, Victoria. My sister managed to get a photograph of Mum and Dad. Mum was very tall and she was very light-skinned Aboriginal woman and my father was very dark, short, nuggety bloke from NSW. It was pretty amazing, you know. ‘Cause I’m looking at Dad, and saying, “Ah, yeah,” and look at Mum and thinking, “Who’s this white woman?” No wonder all my cousins are really, really fair. I’m the darkest of all the cousins. I’m the baby of the family. Four sisters and two brothers.

I didn’t have much time with my family at all before the authorities came in and removed us. You know, they came and just grabbed us. They took me and two sisters of mine, Gladdie and Diana, to a place called Liam Booth orphanage in Melbourne…
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Posted by on May 12, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, Indigenous Australians, TV

 

Sir Gustav Nossal on Talking Heads last night

It’s no secret that I enjoy ABC 1’s Talking Heads. Last night was the turn of distinguished Australian scientist Sir Gustav Nossal, a product of that Middle Europe Jewish world which, following the hideous events of the 20th century, contributed so many brilliant migrants to Australia.

PETER THOMPSON: So let’s chart the life of Gus Nossal and see where it all began.

SIR GUSTAV NOSSAL: My earliest memory is in Vienna. I went to hear Adolf Hitler give his first major speech after the dreaded Anschluss. At six years old, I didn’t know too much about it but it was dramatic.

My father, being of Jewish extraction, left it pretty late to decide that this 1,000-year Reich needed to be fled from. And we didn’t actually leave Austria for Australia until January 1939.

One of the aspects of the Austrian heritage which has stayed with me for a lifetime is a very deep commitment to the arts and to culture. And I have these memories of the old 78s with Caruso singing away, with all of the Beethoven symphonies, Mozart and so forth. And of my dad sitting in his armchair reading to us – Goethe, Schiller and Heinrich Heine…

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Posted by on April 29, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, challenge, culture wars, environment, Holocaust, humanity, immigration, Indigenous Australians, John Howard, multicultural Australia, multiculturalism, pluralism, TV

 

Watching TV again: Jack Mundey; scary computer stuff

1. The good Communist

Back in Cold War days Prime Minister Robert Menzies attempted to ban the Communist Party of Australia. The Australian people rejected the idea – not that the Communists were not subjected to zealous monitoring by intelligence agencies. That went on into much more recent times, and no doubt people on the extremes both of left and right still attract attention. I remember when my Wollongong friend The Red Dragon (cordon bleu cook extraordinaire and avid Bridge player) rang me in the early 1980s to warn me that now she was General Secretary or some such of the Illawarra Branch of the party her phone was tapped. She knew this because one night there was a click on her phone and a voice cut in saying “You take this Bill, I have to go and have a leak.” Since her phone mostly was used for social – not socialist – purposes such as Bridge and recipes, she subsequently used to apologise to the tappers from time to time for boring them so much.)  Unfortunately during the Dragon’s term of office the Communist Party of Australia dissolved itself.

All that aside, Australia’s favourite Communist no doubt has been Jack Mundey – and perhaps poet Dame Mary Gilmore. Last night Talking Heads had a good interview with Mundey.

PETER THOMPSON: Jack, you’ve never been just a hardliner. You’ve always been…
JACK MUNDEY: Intelligent. My interest has always been organisation for the cause that I’m fighting, and I’ve just stuck to that.
PETER THOMPSON: Australia is pretty much a paradise, though it’s far from being the sort of workers’ paradise you had in mind.
JACK MUNDEY: I don’t know about paradise, but I hope that the future for humanity is all the things that I expect it to be.

Not a dogmatist in other words.

2. Scary computer stuff

Four Corners last night was really quite scary, especially after my recent sad experience of malware eating my Toshiba – and that Malware disabled the antivirus and deleted all the restore points before itself as well as disabling the USB ports and the CD/DVD.

r417180_1978514

…Authorities are now working hard to keep up with the crooks. They are having trouble though. Crooks working from countries in Eastern Europe are hard to catch. Home-grown criminals are easier to bring down, but police reveal the legal system doesn’t treat cyber-theft with the seriousness it deserves. One young man stole more than 50,000 credit cards card details but received a suspended one year sentence, $2,000 good behaviour bond and court costs of $150.

Adding to the problem, most computer users don’t realise how vulnerable they are. Four Corners took an e-security expert to an ordinary city street and asked him to assess computer security. Using a basic wireless interceptor our expert found he could tap into up to 20 per cent of wireless computer networks, potentially accessing bank accounts and other personal information. Even those systems that had been encrypted took just 10 minutes to crack. No wonder police are warning we are right to have"Fear in the Fast Lane".

Whether this story in today’s Sydney Morning Herald is entirely true or not – and it may well be – it certainly highlights another concern.

AUSTRALIA’S diplomats have been warned about a fake email amid concerns it could be part of a cyber espionage attempt, possibly originating from China.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed yesterday staff had been briefed about a suspicious email sent to several staff last month. The source of the email is under investigation by the department’s communications experts. ASIO and the AFP would not comment yesterday on whether they were also investigating the email.

A report in the Canberra Times said the email was suspected to have originated from China and was headed ”Australia-China Free Trade Agreement Negotiations Update”. It reportedly targeted officials who work on China-related matters.

A spokeswoman for the department would not say whether the email was believed to have come from China.

”It is not Government practice to comment on intelligence issues,” she said.

Update

Prompted by Major Geeks I downloaded and installed a-squared Free 4.5. Yes, I have lots of other “condoms” on, including Malware Bytes, Windows Defender, Avast!, Spyware Doctor and Threatfire, but on its first test run at on demand scanning a-squared found two major threats that had thus far escaped detection: Backdoor:Win32/VB.IK and TrojanDownloader:Win32/Banload.IK! Both are rated severe threats by Microsoft.

 

Another great Monday night on ABC

Coincidentally, visitor #320,000 (Sitemeter) came to the Floating Life blogs at 6.43 this morning from the ABC. The visitor read yesterday’s post on the 7.30 Report and Indigenous history.

But what a night Auntie gave us last night! We really are blessed with our non-commercial broadcaster.

6:30pm Talking Heads

7:00pm  ABC News

7:30pm  The 7.30 Report Website

8:00pm  Australian Story Website

8:30pm  Four Corners Website

9:20pm  Media Watch Website Download Watch Clip

9:35pm  The Cut

The Cut is a very promising program, commencing last night – as good as classics like Frontline or The Games, I think. Talking Heads was inspiring. Australian Story last night raised some troubling dilemmas. Four Corners was so powerful I will give it a separate entry, and Media Watch has rarely bettered last night’s episode, which revealed the poverty and venality of commercial tabloid current affairs yet again, but the first issue dealt with would have to be the bottom of the commercial barrel. Standards? You are joking…! See Young Australian of the Year Smeared.

What this nasty little piece suggests is that Jonty Bush and her secret lover have somehow conspired to rip off money from a charitable foundation and had it paid to her as an improper bonus: or as Kate Donnison so pithily put it – remember? – it accuses Jonty Bush of:

Kate Donnison: …dishonesty, deception and a secret affair with a married man.
— Channel Nine, A Current Affair, 22nd January, 2009

Dishonesty? Deception? Look who’s talking! ACA presents not a skerrick of evidence for its allegations, and all the evidence we’ve found shows them to be a pack of lies.

Read it all. It is utterly disgusting. Moral: don’t touch programs like A Current Affair until they mend their ways. They are the pits.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2009 in Australia, best viewing 2009, current affairs, media watch, TV

 

2008 in review 17: what did I post about in April 2008?

Because I began this series “backwards”, this is in fact the last of these chronological summaries! I have made sense of it all on 2008 month by month.

Ninglun’s Specials

2 April: Kafka on the Shore. 3 April: Chinese Art 1: Tang. 5 April: Closely watched trains 4. 6 April: Old Sydney 1. 8 April: Surry Hills 3. 9 April: Surry Hills 4. 11 April: Chinese Art 2 — 21st century. 13 April: Closely watched trains 5. 14 April: Australia: proposed divisions 1838 and as it was in 1900. 15 April: Surry Hills 5. 18 April: Reading Primo Levi. 20 April: More nostalgia. In my boyish imagination…. 21 April: Closely watched planes 1. 22 April: Closely watched planes 2. 27 April: Towns I’ve stayed in 2 — Dorrigo. 28 April: Redfern visions 2.

Floating Life

1 April: Quotes to savour from recent ABC programs; This is home now — “Ninglun’s Journalspace has been deleted, to take effect in 48 hours from now. The posts on Ninglun on Blogspot have been imported here…” Not an April Fools joke; I changed my mind about deleting Journalspace and was glad I did later in the year… 2 April: Successful bloggers; Like a benign psychotic episode: East/West imagination in "Kafka on the Shore" (2005). 3 April: Big changes!; Surprise! – both on changes than happening on my blogs, some since undone. 4 April: When the news and all gets you down…. 5 April: Political and blog roundup. 6 April: Surry Hills on ABC 1.

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Posted by on December 19, 2008 in 2008 in review, blogging

 

2008 in review 16: what did I post about in May 2008?

Here is a handy list of all the things I didn’t post about in May 2008. 😉

Ninglun’s Specials

Quite a few posts this month. 2 May: Closely watched planes 3. 3 May: Towns I’ve stayed in 3 — Hill End NSW. 4 May: Closely watched planes 4 — "Faithful Annie". 6 May: Surry Hills 6 — found images. 8 May: Closely watched planes 5 — Tiger Moth. 9 May: Shire childhood, adolescence and early adulthood 1. 11 May: Shire childhood, adolescence and early adulthood 2: 1958. 12 May: Shire childhood, adolescence and early adulthood 3: 1959 – 1961. 13 May: Towns I’ve stayed in 4 — Trundle NSW. 14 May: Shire childhood, adolescence and early adulthood 4: Cronulla 1961-1962, 1964-1969. 15 May: Things noted, even in Cronulla, in 1969. 16 May: Miscellaneously good, bad, or ugly. 18 May: Redfern visions 3: plus part of Surry Hills. 19 May: Chinese art 3 — modern traditional landscapes. 22 May: Homage to John Flynn. 23 May: But is it art?NOW A PAGE. 26 May: Sirdan’s pics from the Wollongong trip. 30 May: Towns I’ve stayed in 6 — Wellington NSW.

Floating Life

1 May: Obama’s Mister Wright…; Radio presenter John Cargher dies. 2 May: New Orleans crime fiction draws on crime fact, especially one incident in the shocking history of homophobia; Tony Abbott reinvents the "undeserving poor" (see Shaw’s "Pygmalion") and calls it "new conservatism". 3 May: On dividing the rainbow – one of my better religion posts. 4 May: More Tartan Noir: Frank Muir "Eye for an Eye" (2007); Sunday with Sirdan: Chinese Whisper/Brett Whiteley/The Oxford.

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Posted by on December 19, 2008 in 2008 in review, blogging

 

Quotes to savour from recent ABC programs

1. Barbara Blackman on Compass last Sunday:

Geraldine Doogue
Tell me about friendship. What — because it rolls off the tongue easily, but I think it’s more than that for you?
Barbara Blackman
Well I think friendship is the sharing of fun and profundities. And there’s a time when you meet someone, you meet them here and there and you have snippets of conversation and I will say to that person, “Please come out and have dinner with me, have a whole conversation,” I ask them, I give them your sort of interview, “Where do you come from? What do you believe?… And um, that’s a making of friendship. Or you might say, “Well, we haven’t got enough ground for friendship.” But I think once there’s that one-to-one depth of intimacy, then the friendship builds up on that.
Geraldine Doogue
Who are you likely not to be friends with? Who don’t you enjoy being friends with?
Barbara Blackman
People who want me to join in their bitterness and anger, and I won’t have a bar of it. Or at my age, a lot of people I’ve known when you say to them, I haven’t seen you, how are you getting on? They tell you all about all their grandchildren. I love my grandchildren but ah, you know I find they’re not letting you into their life, they’re giving you the mirror or the outside of their life.

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Posted by on April 1, 2008 in Australia, current affairs, humanity, Indigenous Australians, Reconciliation, TV

 

Six good reasons for turning off commercial TV after 6pm Mondays…

I confess to enjoying my daily dose of Deal or No Deal on Channel Seven, but after that go to ABC for:

1. Landline at 6.00

This program is a bridge to rural and regional Australia. Aside from the fact it is actually interesting, it is something we city folk really need to watch if we are to have any understanding at all of our own country, not to mention of where our bread and butter come from. Speaking of bread, there was a fascinating item last night on native grasses and grains, about which I knew nothing.

SEAN MURPHY: Agronomist Ian Chivers runs a Victorian company already selling nearly 30 different types of native seeds.
(To Ian Chivers) So, harvesting a few in a week or so?
IAN CHIVERS: Well, I reckon about, yeah, seven or 10 days and get the first light one over then wait for the bigger one.
SEAN MURPHY: With protein levels greater than 20 per cent, low glycemic index and free of gluten he believes the alpine rice will have massive market appeal but it can also be of huge benefit to farmers.
IAN CHIVERS: I think it works beautifully in the high rainfall zones in the pasture sense where people can get a dual purpose out of it. They can graze it for eight months of the year, starting January through to August then close the gate, do a bit of fertiliser as necessary and then just simply come back and harvest it in December and then that just repeats. Because it is a perennial, you’ve not got the risks associated within an annual sowing, you’ve not got the risks associated with drought and other losses through that. You’ve just got a perennial crop that’s going to do it every year.
SEAN MURPHY: Graziers are increasingly seeing the benefits of native grasses as pasture, improving ground cover and biodiversity and reducing problems like erosion and salinity.
It wasn’t always so. Only 30 years ago, homegrown flora was considered a problem.

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Posted by on February 26, 2008 in Australia, TV

 

The Music of Buddy Holly And The Crickets — SBS last night

There was a particularly jaundiced review in the Sydney Morning Herald:

This is a trite doco-by-numbers about the 1950s rock’n’roll star who died in a plane crash with the Big Bopper and Richie Valens in 1959. The archival footage is limited, restricting the doco mainly to a series of still photos and wrinkled talking heads who all seem to start with “I first met Buddy Holly back in 1953 …”…

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Posted by on January 5, 2008 in Australia, memory, TV, USA