Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

English Privacy and Rebekah Brooks.

May 16, 2012

Rebekah Brooks and Phone Hacking

While the tentacles of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire stretches well beyond Britain, the phone hacking and intrusion of ‘privacy’ seems to be mainly concentrated in the Anglo world. Why, one could reasonably ask?

Well, one answer might well be our obsession with deliberately living lives that are hidden. This wanting to be hidden dates back hundreds if not thousands of years. Perhaps the pillaging, raping and burning by the Vikings on our soil left its inedible mark on our proud British heritage.  Our home is our castle and if it wasn’t for lack of money, everyone  of us would want to be surrounded by moats and drawbridges. We compromise and have blinds, thick curtains and 6 feet high fencing instead.

We like our privacy. It is the first word of preference when asked how we would like to live. Where is my privacy? This is often the primary requirement when moving into a new home. When neighbours apply permission to extend or build something next door, the possible invasion of privacy is often the reason for councils objecting to the development application. I sometimes wonder why we build houses with windows.

We like our gardens but don’t want to be seen in them. When do the Anglos do their gardening, at night perhaps? We put in outside furniture and giant turbo driven 8 burner stainless steel gas barbeques but, by and large, we stubbornly want to remain hidden and prefer to have all that in the back yard and not at the front, risking fully exposing snags and ourselves to the dangers of the outside world.

Now, with this almost universally well known need for the Anglos wanting to remain hidden, unknown, unseen and ‘private’ till the grave, it is baffling what we are so keen about in wanting to remain hidden. What goes on behind those curtains of privacy? What lurks behind that wall or fence? Are dastardly acts of the most hideous and perverted nature  happening? Are the Anglos whipping themselves into a frenzy of orgiastic delights unknown to the rest of us?

Phone hacking outside the British Empire would never have that attraction to readers because everyone knows that the French Prime Minister has affairs or that the Italian President has a penchant for rubbing coconut oil on nubile young girls. Continentals live their lives in the open and rely on openness and community values in keeping an eye out over each other. In fact, the scandals that the Brits so delight in would at best elicit a yawn amongst most of the rest of the world.

Of course, the neuroses to remain hidden don’t mean that we are not curious in finding out what others are doing. It is a double edged sword. Make something hidden and we will inevitably want to snoop around, if only to find out if others are like us as well. This is why people were paid to do all this phone hacking.

Finally it becomes an addiction, hence those awful Anglo Sunday papers revealing who is doing the latest stint in a re-hab., or who is looking suspiciously pregnant and not even married to boot. That close up, is it proof of a Brazilian wax, surely not?  Gee, doesn’t Andrew Beiber look a bit pale; I am sure he is back on the crack-ice again, is he?

For the Murdoch Empire it was a colossal and monumental opportunity of money making. It worked while it was going on. And now, the spectacle of Rebekah Brooks in Court with her lovely tousled red hair will be another one of those continuing sagas, raking in even more money. Go for it boys.

My old ‘Stamping’ around Revesby (Selamat Makan)

May 11, 2012

The old ‘Stamping’ will never stop. (This NOT from le salon des ABC refuses)

Isn’t it sweet and proof of the conviviality of the readers including those ‘Pigs Arms’ patrons that my writings are never purely judged by its spelling? There I was happily ‘stamping’ away at my old ‘stamping’ grounds of Revesby being haughtily dismissive of lawns and petunias. And yet, with the dawning of another day and with more words urging me on, I remain humbled, (doing a Rupert Murdoch)  by the kindness and tolerance of the readers, not only allowing me to dwell on these pages, but also being presumptuous enough in thinking those words worth reading, including the ‘stamping’ around.

Perhaps this stamping around in suburban Revesby has some basis in happenings at earlier times.

I was given a stamp album for Christmas in 1948. I have kept it ever since but no stamps have been added since 1956, the year of our arrival in Australia. I started saving postage stamps as soon as I could walk (my mother told me). They used to include stamps from all over the world. It became far too complicated and I decided with my new album to concentrate on The Netherlands and its colonies instead. The colony of Indonesia (former Dutch East Indies) was then tottering on the edge of becoming independent under Sukarno and I remember tens of thousands arriving in Holland taking with them the world’s finest cuisine and different cultural habits. Many could not hack the colourless Dutch climate and its relentless damp weather and moved onto Australia. This eventually resulted in many Indonesian restaurants popping up in Sydney and elsewhere. One of those was called Selamat Makan in Victoria Street, King’s Cross.  Much later another one opened up in King Street, Newtown ‘The Safari’. I can sometimes still taste the spicy ‘Rendang’.

The date of this Christmas gift stamp album from my parents of 1948 is written on the front page in lovely long- hand writing. Do kids still learn long-hand or has that gone overboard as well? The world of the abbreviated language is now much in vogue, with C U LTR or LOL with ROLFING being bit more expansive. I remember in the late fifties the start of texting with the 4 SALE signs arrivals in front of second hand car sale yards stretching mile after ugly mile on Parramatta Rd, Sydney.

Going back to my album,   I used to get a yearly stamp catalogue specifying and updating the latest stamp issues and, more importantly, the value of stamps. The value of some stamps, depending on the numbers issued, would drastically increase as the years went by. I kept a little book with their updated values. Sadly, while I still have the album somewhere, the book of updated stamp values has gone, disappeared. Perhaps my parents chucked it out or left it behind in our house at The Hague together with the lovely tropical fish aquarium and all those Neon-Tetras.

Now, with the likelihood of more years past then coming still, the inclination to dwell on what has been, have to be resisted somewhat. The temptation to finish up being called ‘a boring old fart’ by many will surely become the incentive to look afresh at the ever changing world and its many colours. There is no other way and so many words might still be queuing.