Monthly Archives: February 2011

Voyeurism or genuine news?

In the wake of the recent disasters, both here and round the the world, can I ask whether people think that the news coverage of them has slipped from genuine news coverage and into voyeurism? It seems that the first thing that television stations do now when something catastrophic happens is pack off their highest profile newspeople to the disaster scene. Aren’t the local reporters good enough? Why do I need it personalised by having it covered by a familiar face? Seriously, what does Grant Denier crying at the scene add to my understanding of what is happening? Or is it just ‘good television’?

Coverage of these events is crucial, without doubt, for a whole number of reasons but do we really need our news providers thrusting themselves into the middle of people’s grief? I personally find it offensive.

Have a read of this article and the range of comments from people. Maybe it is time we asked our news providers to do just that…provide the news.

Amazing Drag Queen!

Saw The Be(A)st of Taylor Mac last night at MPAC in Mandurah and it was amazing…best show I have seen in a long time. It was in the smaller Fishtrap Theatre, which is great for these more intimate kinds of show, and he…she…um…whatever was great. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea…but if you like edgy, poignant comedy and songs (amazing voice btw) delivered by a ukulele playing drag queen then this is the show for you!:-) I don’t know what it was but you just fell in love with the guy…and you found yourself all the time in that awkward situation of laughing while thinking the murder of a 13 year old boy by another student for wearing make-up and high heels to school really shouldn’t be that funny. I think that was why it was so good…he would draw you into laughing and then suddenly remind you how serious an event or situation it was. Oh and you have to love those moments when a performers says something contentious and the audience draws a collective breathe…and then just goes on loving the guy!

The really interesting thing for me was to see a US performer bag the United States. He obviously loves his country but is also very aware of it’sĀ  short comings…and is not afraid to say so. It brought to mind an American friend of mine who reminded me of the dangers of lumping groups of people in together by pointing out that less than 50% of Americans voted for George Bush.

Anyway a great night…and really nice to see so many people hang around and chat for about half an hour after.

This is what life is all about!

My friend, Tracy, has been on at me to make some of my postings a bit more positive…all about fluffy bunnies as she explains it. And you know what, she is right. I had a conversation with another friend this morning who surprised me a bit with the comments he made about the funerals for the people killed when the asylum seeker boat was wrecked off Christmas Island. My first response was to blog about it all in my usual sarcastic manner. And then my auntie send me this and my blood pressure dropped about 30 points.

For all the times we stumble there are a lot of times when we stand up and do the right thing. And by ‘we’ I mean people world-wide, not just Australians.

On a slightly different tack….’We are Australian’ for our new national anthem! šŸ™‚

My killer Facebook app! :-)

Ooohhh very excited, just had a great idea. Would welcome your thoughts on it.

One of the key uses of Facebook seems to be what is called Vaguebooking. You know, the posting of status updates that don’t actually mean anything or are intended to be suitable vague so that people are forced to inquire what the poster is talking about. ‘FML!’ is probably the Mac Daddy of all Vaguebooks posts…it screams vague but also ‘I think my life is totally f*&ked for some as yet un-established, reason…let the spontaneous outpourings of sympathy commence’.:-)

Well I’m thinking of dusting off my programming skills and writing an app that will make life easier for all Vaguebookers so that they can get actually go out and maybe get one.:-)Ā  All they’ll need to do is tell the program how often they want their status updated and the software will do the rest.

I’m even thinking of putting in categories so that they can decide what type of VBer they want to be. So far I have ‘Mysterious’ which will have things like ‘Whatever!’, ‘You shouldn’t have done that’, ‘It’s now or never’ and ‘Stop!’ The second category I have is ‘Teenage Angst’, which might also be called ‘Drama Queen’…I haven’t decided yet…which will have the classic ‘FML!’ of course but also things like ‘Why me?:-(‘, ‘Life sucks’ and ‘Why am I always so tired?’ The final category I have is the ‘I’m trying to sound clever’ category which will just be a random word generator that puts nonsense words together in grammatically correct ways. This will generate the ‘Cats and onions?’ or ‘Ever catch a bus to the moon?’ type of Vaguebook status update. I’m sure there are other categories and any suggestions are very welcome.

And of course the beauty of this is that then I can write an app that automatically responds on your behalf to these kinds of status update so that you don’t have to waste your time pretending you care! šŸ™‚

A Facebook privacy rant…the new settings

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook today…

“Today and tmrw, the New FB Privacy setting called “Instant Personalization” goes into effect. The new setting shares your data with non-FB sites & it is automatically set to “Enabled”.Go to Account>Privacy Settings>Apps & Websites (very bottom of the page)>Instant Personalization>edit settings & uncheck “Enable”. BTW If your friends don’t do this, they will be sharing info about you as well. Please copy and repost”

…I checked and it’s for real. In fact it also shares information about anyone on your Friends list.

I know I can be a bit over-sensitive about what Facebook shares etc. but the worrying thing for me is that I would be sharing other people’s information…and that really isn’t my choice to make I don’t think. Why should a site that I visit automatically have access to information about my friends? And I have to say it really pisses me off when software is written with features that you have to go and turn off if you don’t want them rather than turn it on if you do want them. Facebook isn’t the only one who does this…but they all know that most people won’t know they have to, won’t know how to, won’t know they can or won’t bother because, in most cases, it is made excessively complicated to do so.

As I said, I might be over-reacting but the point is I don’t know if I am. I have no idea who they are sharing the information with, how much & what they are sharing and there doesn’t seem an easy way to find out. So what am I telling other people about my friends?