Year: 2010

Poll Position

In China there are elections, but all the candidates are from the same party. In Afghanistan, voters face physical intimidation and bribery before they even get to the polls, and corruption and electoral fraud once their votes are cast. In Fiji the military leader cancels and postpones elections according to his own will. In Australia last weekend, voters were asked to attend a polling station of their choice, at the time of their choice, select the candidate of their choice, and cast their ballot for the federal election. Unfortunately, the mere privilege of having free elections appears lost on many voters as they are forced to give up half an hour of their Saturday to perform this duty once every 3 years or so. The contempt which is shown towards our electoral process only serves to highlight a self-centredness we rarely acknowledge. “Let’s get this shit over with”, one wife said to her husband as they walked in through the school gates. Disgruntled constituents arrived to see moderately lengthy queues, scrunched up their faces and …

Happy Snaps

I’m going on an overseas holiday. I lose count of how many times I have explained my itinerary, which day I’m leaving and when I’ll be back. “Sounds great, make sure you take lots of photos!”, they all say. Why should I? Are they really going to want to look at them when I get back? Holiday snaps pose a timeless dilemma, one that has haunted travellers, be they backpackers, gap-yearers or newly retired empty nesters, for generations. It’s actually quite a challenge to enjoy the moment if you are continually yelling, “take one of me in front of the statue!” You know you’re in trouble when you find yourself assessing the scenery not in terms of how magnificent it is, or how it makes you feel, but rather which angle or camera setting will give the best shot when it’s printed in 6 x 4 matte. There’s nothing like walking for hours to the top of a mountain, only to take a few photos and walk back down again. Something to show the folks …

Bus Vs Car

I feel sorry for the busses driving around on their route with no-one in them. Unwanted & lonely, they must feel. Are they resentful of cars? Like a walkman is of an i-pod… People still like music, they just don’t like how you give it to them. People still like going places, they just don’t like using the RSL-carpeted seats and safety bars to get them there. Me, I quite like going on a bus. You don’t have to think about traffic, directions, where to park when you get there. You are completely free to eavesdrop other peoples’ conversations or cocoon yourself within your musical earplugs. If only the bus went precisely where I wanted to go and when. Aye, there’s the rub.