I hate that speech so VERY much.
Russell asked me to post my tweets, so here they are.
My great-grandfather, George "Sonny" Skerrett, Gallipoli survivor, interviewed for the occasion of his 100th birthday in 1992:
"Ashore, it was frightful. Terrible.... The Turks applied for the armistice to bury the dead. I went out with four doctors, couldn't do much for them, just bandage them. There were 4000 Turks buried that day, I never saw anything like it in all my life. I cried all day, all afternoon, I couldn't stop. Six of my mates, we did everything together, swum and played tennis, they were all out there dead. I looked for them but never found them. Some of the bodies had been lying out there for over a month, and they just fell to pieces in the 100 degree heat.... We were shelled continuously, shrapnel shells falling on both sides. Why I never got hit I'll never know. I still remember the beach. There were a couple of thousand men lying there in all shapes and sizes and forms, all wounded and sick.... We could only treat a certain number of them. The badly wounded, they'd say, you go and find someone else to look after, and they just lay there and died.... I still think about Gallipoli quite a bit. It accomplished nothing.... War's terrible, everybody loses. The only ones who win are the people who make the bombs and shells and the bullets."
Because, as a family, we knew how Sonny felt about his experiences, it's this sort of deep regret, sadness and anger that I've also always felt during Anzac Day. I hope that isn't changing to any great extent. I was given great pause by the "Flanders Fields Commemorative" chocolates I saw today, asking if they were made with mud, terror and amputated limbs. Gah.
This is great: TrendsMap’s timeline visualisation of the #NZvSA hashtag last night. Check out India!
Nobody reads my posts, do they? Typical.
Also: American husband completely won over by this World Cup*. It can be done! One American at a time!
*He kept mixing up his cricket terminology with his baseball terminology, urging Elliot to do a "walk-off" and "call his shot like Babe Ruth", but that added an extra layer of fun to the proceedings.
I honestly thought I was going to puke for the last few overs. I kept pacing around the kitchen making sure not to stray too far from the kitchen sink.
This is a fun visualisation of the #NZvSA hashtag last night. http://trendsmap.com/v/ykNe/w
after the first report came out and some people were all, "See, the police did everything they could, this is just how these things go." No. They could not have failed more spectacularly than "a specialist child protection unit didn't understand the law around child sexual abuse".
Our endless willingness, as a society, to give the police WAY more than the benefit of the doubt really worries me.
I, too, have a soft spot for the home reno shows. I think I'm the only person in the world who finds Kevin McLeod rather insufferable but I really enjoy that show partly for that reason. There is much derisive squawking at his antics and monologues in our house. I think some of what appeals to me about those shows is the barely concealed irritation the hosts have with the stupidity of the homeowners. Sarah Beeny in particular is always smiling through gritted teeth whenever someone ignores one of her suggestions, and Kirsty and Phil don't even hide it - they're just out in the garden ranting about how much their couples suck. Heh. (I tell you what, though - home reno and property investment reality shows are some of the most inclusive and non-exploitative out there, rainbow-families-wise. The lesbian couple with two children is introduced and dealt with in the exact same unremarkable way as the cishet couple with two children.)
ProjRun and Top Chef are both pretty consistently great. All the contestants are either really creative or completely wackadoo (the best are both), and the judges generally walk the fine line between entertainingly snotty and reasonably constructive (I do lament the departure of Michael Kors, though. His dated-but-pointed metaphors were a delight). Also: frocks! Food! What's not to love about frocks and food?
Then there's what I consider the second tier of scripted reality TV, which is stuff like The Amazing Race. It's very well made, and you CAN watch it to learn Things About the World, but mainly you learn how crappily taxi drivers are treated around the globe while American couples in disintegrating romantic relationships yell at them impotently. (This is obviously rewarding in a whole other way.)
Then there's stuff I consider Unmitigated Trainwreck TV, which can be pretty delightful if you can maintain the sort of detached amusement for which Generation X was famous. My favourites in this genre were things like The Anna Nicole Show (may she rest in peace) and the slew of VH1 fake-love-finding series like Rock of Love and Flavor of Love. Many of these - the endless Bachelors and Bachelorettes, for example - don't need to be watched from beginning to end. In fact, Joel McHale from The Soup summarises the best moments from these every week.
(I too used to be dedicated to America's Next Top Model because I loved what a completely unselfaware megalomaniac Tyra is. But even that can wear thin after a decade or so.)
Just a tiny reminder that characterising everyone who watches reality TV or talent shows or what-have-you as proles or idiots is rather off-putting.
Jackson kindly asked me to post my little Facebook Laneway summary, so here it is.
We arrived at about 1.30pm after a lengthy parking odyssey which wound up with us in the casual lot of a megachurch. The house of the Lord charges more per hour than I imagine its patron would be comfortable with. Still, on with the show!
Angel Olsen - appealing country-goth, probably on the wrong stage in the wrong time slot. Loved the female bassist, who clearly did not give one single fuck.
Courtney Barnett - Speaking of women who don't give a fuck, this was unexpectedly badass! Fun songs with a reasonably grunty band. She kinda reminded me of Liz Phair, which can only be a good thing.
Mac DeMarco - I found this band quite hard to place: they were clearly influenced by a lot of disparate things and I couldn't work out if the "summer jamz" vibe was totally enjoyable or had looped all the way around to 90s "brah". I was also kinda distracted by the fact that one of them looked a bit like Wooderson in Dazed and Confused.
Royal Blood - ROCKIN' power duo, boiling down bogan ridiculousness into its finest essence. Clearly heavily influenced by QotSA (and then back to Zep). I laughed out loud with delight several times during their set, so (oddly enough) this was in my top few acts of the day.
Jungle - I wanted to like this band. I really wanted to like this band. I only lasted four songs before realising that they clearly thought they were much funkier than they actually were. Once my husband said they reminded him of Level 42 it was all over rover.
Jon Hopkins - I have a pleasant feeling about this but it may have been associated with moving to the much smaller, cooler, harbourside Cactus Cat stage and eating an ice cream. I give him props for such heavy bass that he vibrated my sunhat right off my head.
(Eagulls) - I place this band in brackets because I saw one song before realising that a) I had to sit down for a minute and b) they were boring me. Loudly.
Future Islands - This was a fun way to pass the time from the crush in front of the Belle & Sebastian stage. Lead dude does, indeed, give it his all, even if I couldn't see very much from my shorty shortass vantage point. I noticed enough to realise that he looks kinda like Kevin Spacey (if Kevin Spacey was the middle manager at your office job and was a sweaty raver at karaoke parties).
Belle & Sebastian - 19 years without a NZ tour, ever, and we had to make do with 45 minutes. Tantalisingly brief (8 songs?) but really great. I could probably have done without their "people dancing on stage" bit, although the woman who tried to hump Stuart Murdoch gets props for Most Pointless Act of the Festival.
(FKA Twigs) - I heard and saw a bit of this from where I was nursing my horribly sore feet at the back of the crowd. She looked amazing but I was left cold. Possibly thanks to my feet.
St. Vincent - I am very, very glad I broke on through to the other side and made the effort to see this, because more women who don't give a fuck are key to my feminist satisfaction at music festivals! She is extraordinarily compelling and composed, and I loved her material live. I was, oddly, reminded of Prince (has the Purple One ever worn a leather cheongsam?). At the time I tweeted "OH DAMN SON" and I see no reason to take back that assessment. Fantastic way to end the day.