Sunday, July 23, 2006

I like smoke and lightning.....

Being a fan of the metal genre, I ventured to the Palace to see Queensryche. What an interesting crowd. First of all, it was the most polite crowd I've ever been in. Everyone who bumped into me during the night said sorry. It was very civil. The crowd itself consisted of:
Traditional metal heads - You know these guys, they are the ones with the long hair, Iron Maiden t-shirts, and tight black jeans;
Metal chicks - hair peroxided within an inch of its life, leather everywhere, studded jewellery;
mid 30's metal fans - guys who were fans during the 80's but no longer feel the need to dress the part. These guys have short hair and dress street casual;
mid 30's metal fans girlfriends - these girls have been obviously dragged along by their boyfriends to experience the fine music that is Operation Mindcrime;
New converts - the early 20's brigade who are discovering the fine fare that 80's metal had to offer. I overheard one of them talking to a bunch of over 40's and lamenting the fact that he was born 15 years too late.

The gig was excellent. I've been waiting to see Operation Mindcrime live and it didn't disappoint. The only downside was the songs from Operation Mindcrime II. They fell a bit flat. I don't know why they wanted to do a sequel 20 years later since sequels to albums usually fail.

Keeping with the metal theme, what does a singer of an influential and highly successful metal band do when they are not singing? They are commercial pilots.

Do you know which band this guy fronts? He recently flew about 200 people back to England after they had fled Lebanon.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Who did you vote for?

I've been following this Howard and Costello 'argy-bargy' and reading the average citizens view on this, for example, at The Age. I common thread in these rants is the phrase "I voted for Howard/Costello not Costello/Howard". Now, not everyone lives in the electorates of Bennelong or Higgins. So most of the writers in these forums did not in fact vote for Howard or Costello, unless their ballot had names similar to the Prime Minister or treasurer. So, you people did not vote for Howard/Costello but your local member. By the way, do they know who that is?

My point of this is that people should be thinking about who they are really voting for and keeping those individuals true to thier election promises. You should be basing your vote on the people actually standing in your electorate. I know that this idea is a fantasy. It's too hard to check what each candidate really stands for. Too many hide thier real beliefs just so they can ride on the coat tails of someone else. Thier ambition is just power, not to do good.

Another thing that gives me the irit's is 'directed preferences'. I was reminded of this via the story that John Pasquarelli ran as an independent and was funded by the Liberal party on the understanding that he would direct preferences to the Liberals. 'Directed preferences' rely on people being sheep and just doing what they are told. That's the problem. People have become lazy. Wake up! You can choose who you direct your preferences to. You don't have to follow the 'How to vote' cards.

This leads me to a few more hypotheses (I won't call them theories until they are backed by hard evidence, although I think the evidence is pretty strong) that I have:
90% of the population are sheep.
90% of the population are stupid.
The more a country becomes scientifically advanced, the less scientifically literate each individual becomes. In fact, they become less scientifically literate then the previous generation.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sosedi, Buren, Mezoblebi, ....

I have many theories. Most of these come from considered thoughts random rants that I have from day to day. However, I keep forgeting these until something triggers the memory of a particular theory. Today I read an article in the Sunday Age which reminded me of one of my theories. It goes something like this:
The larger a city is, the more lonely its inhabitants can become.
I have lived in my apartment block of 16 units for the last 18 months. I have only met two of my neighbours in that time. The first was a woman in her sixties who I spoke to for the first time about a year after I had moved in. I have only seen her twice. I can't even remember her name. The second was a girl in her late twenties who knocked on my door a few weeks ago to borrow a corkscrew. Her name I still can recall. I have no idea about any other inhabitant of my apartment block. If something happened to any of them I wouldn't know about it. They may as well be living on the other side of the world. You hear those stories about people who have died in their house in the city and not been found for weeks.
Is this because they can call on others who are not neccessary neighbours? Or does the city cause agoraphobia? Or do people lock themselves away because they fear the unknown? Has media emphasis on the rare violent events that happen in the city been a factor? When people meet, do they eye off the other with distrust and extreem caution?
I don't. Call me naive, but 99.99% of the population are decent folk. I try (and it is hard) to begin a conversation with someone who I haven't met with no preconcieved ideas of the type of person they are. They soon reveal themselves for who they are and then I'll make a judgement.
One thing I found strange about both the meetings of my neighbours was that they didn't ask what my name was or tell me what their name was. Both times I had to interupted the conversation topic to introduce myself and find out who they were. It used to be that when you met, the first thing that was exchanged was your names. Is this a symptom of the prevailing mood?
How many of your neighbours do you know?