Random Play by Graham Reid


Life in the other lane

Because it has been a couple of months since I last posted here I feel slightly embarrassed and so am making a cautious return. But I got busy . . . with life, actually.

I went to Australia for a wee bit, had some paying work back home which was very time consuming but enjoyable, went to Rotorua and Waiheke, the former for a holiday and the latter for a commissioned story.

And I also did not much. Except see friends, go to the movies, read books, watch Two and Half Men and The Big Bang Theory (our only appointment viewing), listen to a lot of music . . .

The odd things is when you go away or get diverted from the Pressing Issues Of The Day it gets harder and harder to return to them. Anything I thought of commenting on hardly seemed worth it 24 hours later.

I still regularly read newspapers and blogs and wondered to myself what I might add to any discussion about Mr Brownlee (that the hole he was in was getting deeper and they hadn't even begun digging yet?); or the mini-crisis in the Destiny Church (pay them off?) and the major crisis in the Catholic Church (pay them o . . . oh).

I was going to mention how we play a game at home now when the news comes on which is “crime or the weather?” and wait to see just how predictable the coverage will be. Or which “items” are just promos for programmes or the website.

Over Easter we sensed a little disappointment in some media that there weren't more people killed on the roads because . . . well, because it makes for a better story with more graphic images and hand-wringing?

I did wonder aloud to friends what would happen if we had no accidents or traffic queues over Easter, and no garden centres opening? Would that mean there would be nothing for television to report? Perhaps. Although there's always the weather.

But as I say, I was largely out of all such discussions: like that guy who rowed from Australia to New Zealand (hmm, forgotten his name already sorry). He said he'd been reading newspapers to catch up. I wonder how long that lasted.

Of course I was engaged by life on many other levels (notably learning my way around an Apple Mac) and currently just weep for Thailand (and our typically cursory news coverage which lacks depth and background but is short not images of riots and gunshots of course).

On Sunday we went to what we call “Rocket Park” in Mt Albert to celebrate Thai New Year and there was a joyous atmosphere – at the same time as Bangkok's streets were running red and under clouds of tear gas.

The irony wasn't lost on many I am guessing.

I've previously commented on the paucity of news coverage of Thailand and why it should be better. The size of local Thai community at Rocket Park would be one reason alone. But I won't go into that one again.

So here is my belated return – and my absence, I am certain, has not been a worry to anyone. There are hundreds of better and more informed and engaged bloggers not to mention news outlets and so on.

But I would like to mention one thing: it is a “thank you”. A fortnight ago my book The Idiot Boy Who Flew (below) won the Whitcoull's Reader's Choice prize at the Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards.

That award was by public vote and I want to say a sincere thanks to all the Public Address readers who ticked the box on my behalf. The book, ironically, still isn't available at Whitcoulls – but of course, if you are interested, it is through Public Address Books.

And finally: Elsewhere keeps me busy when I am not otherwise busy or snoozing in front of Oprah. Every week I am posting about eight to 10 album reviews, I have instigated a From the Vaults section for one-off songs, there are articles on culture and the arts . . . and much more.

So maybe I am kinda busy after all, and engaged by life on many levels.

Just less and less by what passes for “news”.

Graham Reid is the author of the book 'The Idiot Boy Who Flew'.

(Click here to find out more)

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