Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Stupidity Rules Part 1

The question is not whether women should be allowed to fight alongside men on the front line of the army but rather why they would want to. Really, after all this time, the best women are able to do is get themselves in a position where they now have equal rights for the possibility of a high velocity copper coated soft point round to become suddenly intimately acquainted with their individual neocortexes?

The fight should actually have been to get men to stop shooting rather than to get women shooting as well, I would have thought. The dream of Natalie Sambhi, a 29-year old Master's student who speaks six languages and who apparently lusts after the opportunity to become Taliban target practice, is an intriguing one. It seems that none of the languages she speaks offers the opportunity for her to argue the case for peace, and instead she's fought for well, more fighting.

Australia, Canada and NZ are currently the only places which allow women in full combat roles (unless you count countries where female suicide bombers have done their bit to ensure a bunch of kids live in terror a while longer), however don't expect the US to wait too long to join the trend as this seems an easy solution to current recruitment shortfalls.

One curious offshoot of this decision must be that those who dislike gay people in the military will lose the centrepiece of their argument: the distraction of foxhole sex mid-invasion. Surely those beach-heads are going to be one long orgy of shagging and shooting between all genders now. If only they could just forget about the shooting...

Monday, 19 September 2011

It's a Writer's Life Part 1

A good day today... first up interviewed an archeologist who is returning to Cyprus to recommence work on a dig near Paphos, the site of an ancient theatre. She spoke of the sounds of sparrows, of the cooking smells, of hidden churches in the hills containing relics which comprised religion both ancient and modern (kissing the saint's skull), of the role of linen and weaving in history and how important the art of spinning was in an age where clothing wasn't a fashion item but a necessity for survival. And how those in olden times could do some things better than us, and of the shadows that are sometimes all that survive.

Then I finished editing a novel I intend releasing as a free eBook, so check my website (http://www.simonluckhurst.com/) and expect to see something available soonish.

This was followed by a meeting with a fellow writer, equal part whinge against those who constrain us, and celebration of those who support us, which is probably exactly how it should be.

The final meeting of the day was with a production company which will soon begin further pre-production work on a script I have written for a modern Gothic Australian musical film.  It also included a component on some corporate work we are doing, and I'm happy to report that it doesn't matter what level one works on, it is always possible to learn more, and to contribute.

So, a good day. Life is a weekend. Remember, you read it here first.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Poddie Part 1

So, how cool are podcasts?

Back in the day, and in the place (OK, stand up and take your dues, Australia in the late 70s early 80s, you know what it was like) there infrequently came a simply breathtakingly good piece of audio broadcasting. When it happened, as rarely as it did, it was always far more revealing than This Day Tonight or whatever ephemeral piece of alleged news was on the television. Between the punctuation of static and less informed minds demanding a change to the commercial channels, the ABC would, every now and again, dish out the goods. But, however, it was a hit and mostly miss affair.

Now we can podcast the hell out of the internet and get anything we like. I'll talk about some of the ones I like in the forthcoming weeks, I'm sure, but to get the ball rolling I'd like to mention open source universities. I've just listened to a series of lectures from Yale Open University by Professor David Blight on the American Civil War. 27 lectures by a leading figure in the field, all available for nix nada nothing straight into your phone or pod. How cool is that?

Great for long car drives, lying in bed, pounding the pavement. And every one contains something inspirational in this most seminal of conflicts.

I LOVE the idea of open courses. You don't get the qualifications but you get the knowledge. Great for people with access to the internet but no access to formal education. I'm not saying you should be operated on by a doctor who studied in such a fashion, but if you personally want to hear a bunch of facts delivered by an expert in his or her field, this is the sort of cyberspatial corner you should be hanging out on.

There are hundreds of them, all loaded with intellectual carbs. This is one chance you should take to get as fat you can...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

After 9/11

A lot has happened in the long days since 9/11, some 3650+ of them actually (you do the arithmetic), but a couple of things come to mind.

I like how 'ground zero' entered the lexicon, even though the towers were hit a long way above the ground. I dislike how 'weapons of mass destruction' was a phrase which was forgotten so quickly and not given the opportunity to batter certain American presidents of the time into complete submission until they started begging for mercy and crying uncle.

And I particularly like how American TV has changed. Coincidence? You decide. But there's been a lot better stuff being produced in the last ten years than in the forty before. The phrase 'truth in television' could never be uttered in older times, but now it has a resonance that transcends advertorial 'honesty'. The programs produced by HBO and its ilk have given a new life to the medium. I don't need to name them, if you've participated in the quality, you'll know which ones I mean.

Suffice to say, another one hit me between the ventricles tonight with the power of a hijacked 727, so well done, USA, in this regard. We'll talk about the other stuff later...

Monday, 12 September 2011

Another day in cyberspace...

Hi, so I'm blogging now, and although they say in cyberspace no-one can hear you scream, sometimes late at night there is a distinct high pitched weird banshee-like wail coming down through the ether, don't you think? I'll write more later, this is really just a test.