Monday, 17 April 2006

Easter and Islands



It suddenly got cold here, and the central heating is buggered, so we have spent the last few days loafing around at home wrapped in blankets and odd knitted things like Douglas Mawson wore when he explored Antarctica. I tried to take a picture of myself but it looked like I had on a crocheted hijab, which I felt was a little bit disrespectful, so you will have to be content with a picture of Basil wearing his favourite of my scarves. When it comes to choosing which one to go to sleep on, of course he does not discriminate, but this one has little brown pompoms fringing each end, and a year or two ago he succeeded in detaching one of these, and it instantly became his number one toy for smacking around the corridor, chewing on, sneaking up behind, etc. Whenever I move the couch to vacuum underneath the pompom rolls out all covered in dust and fluff. I think he may have been overcome with joy once or twice and inadvertently swallowed & regurgitated Mr Pompom, because last time I saw it it had a kind of whitish crust, like a dried up caul or epidermis.

I intended to mark thirty essays over my break, but I have only managed eleven. I did read all of them, however, and I still have tomorrow. Is it unethical to mark nineteen essays in one day? Dorian says I should just give them all 64. (Legal disclaimer: he's joking.)

Last night we saw a Comedy Festival show that was so hideously unfunny, so excruciatingly dreadful, that 1) it made the Tripod show we went to the night before seem positively hysterical in comparison, and 2) several of our fellow spectators looked actually angry - past boredom, past embarrassment and pity, well into hatred and loathing, verging on physical violence. Of course I cannot tell you its name.

Easter involves four days off with nothing much to do except eat chocolate, so how did it happen that I only got half of one small Easter egg? Not very fair, is it. Today however I more than made up for nonchocolate virtue by eating the Swedish meatballs + chips + gravy + jam combo at Ikea: after earnestly swearing I would never darken their lacquered birch doorway again, I capitulated and bought a picture frame to hang up one of the Educational posters we pulled out of the rubbish bin back in January (and which have ever since been lying in a heap on the floor in the passage. It was quite a task arguing choosing which one to use but in the end we agreed on a 1965 poster showing the "Children of Our Neighbours".



Since hanging it up I've been trying to decide whether the fact that I don't find it impossibly offensive means I have racist tendencies....or more specifically that I rate shallow nostalgic/decorative feelings higher than caring about human dignity. It's a tough one. After all the picture shows a load of smiling carefree brown children wearing approximations of "national costumes" and doing vaguely ethnographic activities with wooden implements....only the Javanese boy is unambiguously modern, he's riding a bicycle. In its defence, the children are not cariacatures. The poster says they are "our Neighbours", not "asylum seekers" or "terrorists" or "muslim extremists" or threats to the security of "our" borders, or some xenophobic crap like that, and they are very neighbourly neighbours, inasmuch as they comfortably occupy areas around Australia that other maps show as big watery expanses scattered with insignificant, unknown islands.

Also, the New Zealand kids are unbelievably daggy.

7 comments:

Pavlov's Cat said...

We've just scored a new Ikea in Adders which I was looking forward to exploring -- what did they do to you? Should I boycott?

Fab pic of Baz.

Another Outspoken Female said...

Come on cough up about the unfunny show - it must be in the bloggers code that it is your duty to prevent like minded bloggers from wasting their comedy festival dollars on crapola.

PS: NZers *are* daggy (but i can say that because i come from there:)

Lucy Tartan said...

But imagine if they found out what their audience really thinks of them?? I don't want to be responsible for the heartbreak, the shame, the agony. Let's just say if you're thinking of going to a show at Duckboard House that begins with C and is about bogans, don't.

Ikea didn't do anything bad to me, bar the indigestion and the confusing floor plan rage. I just don't think they ought to be encouraged. Have you noticed, though, how all the Blogger word verification words are named after Ikea wall units and bedside tables?

George said...

I'm just going to say one thing: Yay, Baz!

Justine said...

The cat! Georgeous!

The guy who owns Ikea is one of the 20 richest people in the world. Going there makes me think materialistically. Personally, if I go, I'm there for at least 1/2 a day, and usually need a meal. Its hopeless! I love it.

Poster = po mo

Crystal said...

Baz rules ... I can just hear him purrrrrrrring ... but 'caul'?

Children of Our Neighbours is lovely.
Should be reprinted and redistributed.
You are correct about the Word Verifications being ScandiNordicavian: a blogger I visit who had/s a Norwegian partner said so too.

Lucy Tartan said...

Glad you are in favour of Children of Our Neighbours, Crystal. It'd be a kindlier addition to most Aussie households than an Alert / Alarmed fridge magnet.