Posts Tagged ‘Foreign’

Balm for the saddened heart.

March 21, 2019

 

We thought of looking at some TV again. I mean we generally watch the news but not much else. Thank goodness for SBS’ ‘On Demand’ and the ‘ABC I-view’ which allows one to see almost anything that has been filmed. We have taken to foreign movies and serials as never before. Anything with a foreign language and we will most likely watch it. Sometimes an English language movie pops up but with both our hearings failing we loved the subtitled foreign ones. For an unknown reason English language serials on the ‘Smart TV’, don’t show subtitles.

But back to out latest attempt to watch the normal TV programs. We watched two documentaries on the one night. Number 1. was Foreign Correspondent exposing the dreadful plight of how the multinational drug companies have managed to wreak havoc on millions of US citizens with a drug called Oxycontin. It belongs to the opioid class of pain killers and apparently this drug was sold in the US without warnings of risks of dependency. The camera on Foreign Correspondent took us through the streets of San Francisco showing us the sights of dozens of people, young and old, nodding off on heroin or meth.  A few sober enough to answer questions all spoke of how Oxycontin started them off on heavier drugs. Millions of US citizens’ lives are ruined by this scourge. And the blame squarely put on the Medical corporations responsible for their plight. It was a most depressing documentary.

Nr 2. was even worse. It was a documentary made by Louis Theroux on Milwaukee. It showed us the frightening casualness and acceptance of mindless shootings and killings in that city. It is called ‘Murder in Milwaukie’.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09c4ppc

A loving grandmother is shown watching TV with a gun tucked under her cushion next to her, ‘just in case.’ Her grandson had been shot dead the week before. A group of young men interviewed by Paul Theroux on the cheerless looking street did not throw much light on this violence. They were seen smiling and joking. A man drove by and one could hear a shot being fired from the car. They did not even look up. It is that normal. The mother of her son shot dead the week before was showing her gun with a rapid motion ejecting life bullets on the bathroom floor. How utterly depressing. The despair and weariness of the police trying to bring the shooters to justice was included with an attempt to bring some balance to the footage.

I think we will go back to our Skandia Noir serials. At least the murders are fictitious.

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How to become more Australian.

July 21, 2018

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You can tell that the elections for a Government are getting close. Politicians are ramping up a bit of nationalism by proposing that emigrants acquaint themselves with a ‘true Australian culture’. At the same time are hints about that  Australia is slipping away from its unique Australian culture. Even in far-away England an Australian politician, Alan Tudge is suggesting we are at risk of ‘veering’ away from our special uniqueness. It is useful, especially before elections, to try and get extra votes by suggesting foreigners are the cause for us slipping away from our special Australian uniqueness.

Here is part of what he said;

“Australia will consider adding a “values test” for those considering permanent residency in order to protect its “extraordinarily successful” multicultural society, Malcolm Turnbull said.

The prime minister confirmed what his citizenship and multicultural minister Alan Tudge told the Australia/UK Leadership Forum overnight, where he floated the idea of a “values” test to fend off “segregation”.

Tudge told his London audience “our ship is slightly veering towards a European separatist multicultural model and we want to pull it back to be firmly on the Australian integrated path”.

Whenever someone espouses Australian uniqueness one can rest assured that not a single definition or sample of this special Australian culture will come forth. How can it? Are the people in Italy or Norway without freedom of expression? Are the Dutch forbidden to have a choice in how or where they live. Do the French not have laws protecting them from exploitation by banks or crooks? Are Germans denied sauerkraut?  One thing that stands out separating Australia from the rest of the world, is that in our unique culture, we in Australia only, still don’t have a Bill of Rights.

If we are supposed to be well versed in Australian values and even go so far as insisting that those considering residency here to do some kind of Australian culture ‘test’, how come that our head of state is a British subject? With all that Australian uniqueness we still haven’t got our own Head of State. Why?

It were the American forces who saved Australia from Japanese occupation 1945, not that of Britain. We are guaranteed protection by our Anzus treaty foremost, and would be silly to think English troops coming to our rescue in case of wars.

This ploy to try and ramp up a freaky form of Nationalism using anti-foreign rhetoric is so typical of our state of degradation on the political front. We might get our politicians to do a test instead.

We should all despair and show it at the next election.

This matter of right choices. (Auto-biography)

August 22, 2015

In summing up the choice to return to Australia from Holland was made spontaneously. Helvi was happy to stay but also happy to return. She has much less trouble with the perceived pros and cons of this country or that country. To ‘just get on’ is much more in her domain than mine. I mull and procrastinate and still make rash decisions. It seems an oxymoron.

The reasons given can be seen as both wise and unwise. Both countries have good and not so good qualities depending on personal likes or dislikes. To shine further light on what happened back in 1976 seems an exercise that might be futile and runs the risk of boring  the reader who could already be somewhat stretched in accepting this chain of indecisive events.

I do remember missing the good times with my extended family of brothers and sister with their spouses and their children in Australia. Another item not to be ignored was the lure of the bush. It is rather comforting to know you can just walk into the Australian bush  for days, never need meet another soul.  This makes for great therapy, but also great murder scenarios. Skeletons are sometimes discovered of people gone missing years before. Australia is even big enough for that! Some call it “Lebensraum”.

The sea of life is what we make of it and mulling over past events is what this exercise is all about. I write down what happened in the past, hopefully without invoking even more guilt or judgement. This is a luxury that I give to the readers. There is no greater naval gazing than writing memoires. The dressing up of calling it an Autobiography seems a bit haughty if not pretentious. It is not as if this writer is an Obama or the latest Pope! Even so, it is the best I can come up with in doing something useful. Apart from all that, it keeps me off the streets.

If I remember right we arrived back in Australia in the beginning of June 1976 and moved into our house around the beginning of August, coinciding with arrival of all our belongings. Those belongings were packed in Holland in two large wooden crates measuring together a bit over 17 cubic metres. I received a letter from Customs that the goods had arrived and that,  after inspection by custom officers, I could arrange to get them picked up and delivered to our house in Balmain.  The Custom letter also gave the sage advice to take a jemmy-bar to prise open the lids of the wooden crates.

After arrival at the depot it took about half-a-day to find the crates amongst thousands of other crates. It had Oosterman written on it and that was of some comfort. However, to open the lids proved difficult. Even to get on top of the crates was going to be very difficult, (sorry ‘challenging’). It was years later when the word ‘difficult’ was banned and changed into ‘challenge.’  The psychologists have a lot to answer for by making us believe that changing words around, somehow can make life easier. Later on  the word ‘challenge’ was primed up even further and has morphed into ‘solutions’.  We all know that after paying to get ourselves psycho-analysed we end up accepting there is nothing to life’s problems that can’t be overcome by using and finding ‘solutions’.  I wrote before about our local butcher selling ‘meat solutions.’  Huge trucks and road trains thunder along our highways with ‘logistics’ written on their tarpaulins, bringing ‘solutions’ all around our country.

A friendly truck-driver gave me a leg-up onto the top of the crate. How to open the lids allowing for Custom Officer inspection when standing on top of it? The logistics were challenging. The Custom Officer arrived and with help of the friendly truck driver managed to open the lids. He poked around a bit and wasn’t all that enthusiastic in looking for wood-worm or other possible infestations of bugs that Australia was very weary off. Most people that have ever flown into Australia might remember the Customs carnival going through the plane cross armed, after arrival in Australia, holding two spray cans above their heads and spraying the perplexed passengers still sweetly restrained sitting in their seats! All in an effort to safeguard Australia from nasty Foreign Overseas born flies  and insects. Of course, no country in the world suffers more from flies than Australia!