Thursday, September 13, 2007

Spot Sparks

Hopefully, some of the Asia Pacific's future leaders.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

APEC Sydney

When these heads of state come together during these pow-wows, you wonder if they compare notes on how best to police their borders and 'protect' their people. Australia's new anti-terror law has come under fire lately, and people are seriously questioning whether civil liberties are being sacrificed at the altar of anti-terrorism. Sydney has been in complete lock down this past weekend to make way for the APEC summit. Human rights watchers are critiquing the expanded powers of Sydney police impinging on Sydneysiders' rights and whether they have not been overly 'forceful' in enforcing security.

The latest news on TV show burly police offers, all conspicuously not wearing their name tags, carting away a young woman who has gone over the agreed space of protest. There's also been footage of officers pushing a female journalist so hard she fell on the ground. One thing I noticed though, the police didn't carry batons and those plastic shields. So, its really not as bad as what Manila protesters contend with during rallies.

Here is a short doco on the preparations of anti-war, anti-Bush and all sorts of activists to welcome the APEC Summit leaders.

And here's a clip showing the heads of state in their Aussie costume, the driza bone (dry as a bone) coat they wear in the outback. Watch out for the commentator's hilarious quip about GMA. Hehehehe.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


It is tricky having to share domestic space with two strangers, trickier when you don't particularly like them. Well, not that I dislike them, just that I've finally accepted the fact we can't be friends. I share nothing in common with either J, a Chinese Malaysian or A, an Aussie from Melbourne. When you are making dinner sharing the kitchen, or have democratically decided on which TV program to watch, it is a strain to make conversation.

In her own fashion, there is much to recommend about J. For a young woman of 22, she is not frivolous or shallow. Not irritatingly girly, not loud. She seems to be incredibly self-sufficient for someone so young, and a hard-worker. As her cultural background dictates, she is never wasteful. Not with the dishwashing liquid, not with the use of electricity, the washing machine, dryer or dishwasher. Given time and maturity, I expect I will probably come to respect her. She was here first when I came in January. There was a bit of a fuss on how controlling she was over the management of the house. So controlling in fact that our first housemate A from Canada, had to move out. But after one heated altercation last April, when all were grouchy and tense over finals and assignment deadlines, we have made our peace.

A is a boy encased in a grown man's body. Some would say he is quite attractive, if not for the receding hairline. Stereotypically macho, all he he seems to like doing is watch footy (rugby or Aussie football...I forget what's what, there's so many variations of the game), play footy in real life or play footy on his Xbox. I wouldn't say he's a dumb jock however, but it is difficult to make conversation when you don't share points of interest. I have been living with him for four months, but his accent is so weird it's embarrassing having to ask him to repeat himself still. So far, he has brought home four girls that I know of. 2 girls he met here, and 2 girls flew in from Melbourne. Nothing scandalous, no overt display of anything...I guess he doesn't want to embarrass either J or me. J herself has had her boyfriend C come stay with us a couple of times already. But anyway, C's a likable fellow and when he is here they probably make sure I'm not in the house whenever they do the horizontal tango as the wall between J's room and mine is quite thin.

I make acquaintances quite easily if I choose to apply myself, but my housemates remind me I don't make friends easily. Maybe because friendship for me means more than doing things together. I was telling my Indonesian friend A the other night, boy or girl, we gotta have chemistry. Which is shorthand for conversation should come easily and I shouldn't have to censor myself on the topics of conversation. There would be genuine exchange of ideas, whether they be about the Chinese in the Spratlys, the meaning of life or Justin Timberlake's delectable hiney.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


"Hegemony is the result of control over the ideological state apparatus, following the seizure of state power at the political level. The various apparatuses of the State must not be smashed but rearticulated."

- Carl Boggs, Gramsci's Marxism