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Showing posts from April, 2010

Future Schlock

Recently I imagined how it would be if my eleven year old self could travel through time and visit me to see what life is like in 2010. Frankly I don't think she would be very impressed. The glorious technological future we were promised never arrived.
Consider commercial air travel. With the execption of personal entertainment, air travel hasn't really changed in forty years - the planes are the same, the airports are the same, the delays are the same. (Security screening takes longer). It takes pretty much the same amount of time to fly from Sydney to London now as it did in 1970 when the 747 came into widespread use. Every few years you see a news story about how in five years or so, there will be aircraft that can fly to London in four hours, but nothing ever comes of it (in fact, I think I remember seeing the first of these stories when I was about eleven).
It's not just air travel. Nothing predicted by The Jetsons, or our imaginations, came to pass. We never went back …

F Club

Over the weekend, I attended the F Conference, the first major feminist conference held in Australia in many years (no one seemed to agree just how many). It was enriching and inspiring. It was also confusing, perplexing and briefly infuriating. I consider myself a feminist but good grief, half the time I had no idea what these people were talking about. The conference seemed to divide between the older, second wave feminists active through the 1960s, 70s and 80s (who received a deserved round of applause in the opening session) and the fresh young feminists leading the charge now. I felt quite out of touch - someone in between age-wise, who considers herself a feminist but has mostly been in the corporate world for the past many years and has done something between very little and bugger all for the feminist movement.

So I spent much of the conference struggling to comprehend the language, the vocabulary, the nuances. There was the usual mix of panels and workshops that these events o…

A Thing Of The Past?

Back in 2004, when I heard of the death of Thomas "TJ" Hickey, the young Aboriginal man who died after crashing his bike and being impaled on a fence following a police chase through Redfern, I thought it was just an accident, and anyway why was he running if he hadn't done anything wrong?

I'm ashamed of my ignorance when I look back now. But I thought police racism and brutality were things of the past. I was really, really wrong. There was an outstanding warrant for TJ's arrest at the time of his death, and when he saw a police car in the area, he assumed it was seeking him. (Police later admitted they were in fact chasing him). So he fled. I'm not making any statements as to Mr Hickey's innocence or guilt, for either way he had good reason to run; the continuing harassment of Aboriginal people - especially young men - in inner Sydney.

The general public has no idea; I know I didn't. The allegations here, of police behaviour immediately following TJ&#…