Friday, December 21, 2007

The goodies keep coming

I keep thinking this has been an enormous year for a political junkie, then remember the last three have been pretty full. Partly political, totally emotion perhaps, these are the last two bits I’ll share before Christmas.

The Whales

Okay, it sounds a bit tree hugging, but today we celebrate a welcome reprieve from Japanese plunder of our Southern Ocean whales. Howard’s halfwits, those dregs from the former government, were incensed that Rudd’s government might risk diplomatic relations with Japan just to rescue whales.

I’m not sure how these people live there lives, but for the majority of Australian, who live on the continents coastline, the slow build up in whale populations has become almost personal.

Year by year now we see these magnificent animals move north up our coastlines from the chilly southern waters. The move north during our winter, hugging the coast as they go, to give birth to their young in safe waters.

On the trip back south they shelter in inlets and harbours, often close to large populations. We not only get to see these animals playing and nurturing, we actually track and have names for many of them now.

There is a strong body of scientific research and a growing emotional attachment to the whales. Japan claim scientific research too, but they say they need to murder 1,050 of them to carry out there research.

The Rudd government took a soft approach to the problem, simply threatening to monitor and record the killing activity, in preparation for a strong legal challenge. Obviously Japanese official recognised the threat of recorded evidence is more powerful than diplomatic games.

Of Kids and Goths

I can’t say I really understand kid culture, but then I’m an adult and it is not my place to understand. I know many of us are saddened by self destructive behaviour and that has become synonyms with tribal groups like Goths and Emos.

A couple of things this week reminded me of the complexity of most social groupings. Nothing quite like seeing a humerous approach to dealing with their own issues.

First was a tee shirt I saw down the street, sported by one of those pale skinny kids dressed in black with funny hairdos and body piercings. It read:

Be happy Emo Kid!

The second was my young friend Jake, of the Army cadets’ story recently. Jake is telling his Goth friends a few jokes now. Like:

Did you hear about the ice addict who committed suicide when his stash melted?

Did you here about the emu who was depressed because he didn’t have arms to cut.

Okay, sick, but really heartening that these kids are talking about issues and dealing with their own.

I’m not going anywhere, and will be around the blogs. I just need a mental break from producing for a few days. Have a wonderful Christmas.

14 comments:

dada said...

Merry Holidays, Cart!

It's nice to drop by here occasionally (post-election), if only to drool with envy. But it's a nice exercise in living vicariously.

As for the Goths and Emos - thanks for catching me up on the latter. (Have they hit our shores yet, or have I just been living in a cave?)

However, I seriously think if I were a kid today, I would want to be a Goth. To have a depressed girlfriend with black nails and lips. We could take downers together while carving graffiti in each other's appendages and listening to Siouxsie & the Banshees.

For Christmas, we could visit a mortuary and drool over coffin options. Oh geez, I'd better stop. I'm getting all turned on here.

Cartledge said...

Jeez, after that it will be more than merry - I'll need another drink.
Oddly I can sort of relate to these kids. At that age my tribe was the last glow of the beats, as opposed to the dominant hippies.
I guess a girlfriend in a woolen cap and duffle coat was enough of a downer :)

dada said...

OK, I guess I was along in there somewhere twixt the beats, Beatles, and BS (Buffalo Springfield). In the late Sixties I was bagged by a hippy chick with one of those great authentic black hippy coats (I never knew what they were called). In time she grew into a "normal" adult and we became democrats. (As opposed to "abnormal" adults, i.e., republicans. ~grin)

But a girlfriend in a woolen cap sounds like a wonderfully depressing curiosity worthy of much of one's attention!

abi said...

I got quite a shock a few months back when our friends came over for dinner accompanied by a young teenager dressed all in black, right down to her fingernails. This, we were informed, was a Goth.

But during dinner, it was clear that their daughter was the same bright, engaging kid with multi interests that she was before the Transformation. It's just a superficial phase.

Merry Christmas to you and yours...

Cartledge said...

dada I can't do the French, the saying comes to mind: the more things change the more they stay the same.
Re emos, i'm told you have them there and they are a sub group of goth. Supposed to be more 'emotional'

Thanks abi. and ditto on the kids. Lets hope the all turn into dada democrats :)

D.K. Raed said...

Hey, believe it or not, we even have a tribe of goths here in utah. Yes! I saw them at the Wal-Mart and at the County Fair. They reminded me of Beatniks, all dressed in black & affecting a give-a-shit attitude. oh wait, maybe that was my response to them. whatever. it was great to see some diversity.

Dada is so funny! I'm trying to recall "an authentic black hippie coat". A Pea-Coat? Or one of those long dark mid-calf button-down georgian-styles, usually worn with black knee-high condi boots? (wow, talk about a turn-on) ...

Love the whale update! I used to catch the annual migration of the CA Grey Whale every year from Cabrillo Point in San Diego. Never made it down to Sea of Cortez, where the whales supposedly "play" with humans while raising their calves. It looked like harrassment to me, all those tourists in their buzzing boats trying to touch a breaching leviathan.

Happy holidays to you, Cartledge, whatever you do! And nice for you, it's summer down there, while we are freezing our buns off here.

Cartledge said...

Thanks d.k. Sometimes I think I found the lost Aussie tribe in the US among you guys. Funny, irreverent and surgically precise in summaries. I must say Dada’s being turned on was a bit of a worry, but if I was stuck in the desert my mind might drift even more into strange pastures. (Don’t tell him I said that!)

As a child of the sun it really surprises me, but I miss living in the sub arctic. I never understood Christmas until I was there. It sounds a bit limp, but I had tears rolling down my face when a light snow fell on my first Christmas Eve in northern climes. Very evocative.

Not sure about Utah. An hour at SLC changing planes and the view from the air did not do the place justice, I’m sure. But once the whales are safe I’ll be back to freeze my pimples off!

D.K. Raed said...

no, Cartledge, I think you got the BEST view of SLC from your plane. To me, it's just a big city. The surrounding mtns are pretty, but the city itself is in a valley with bad winter pollution. oh & the traffic stinks with rude drivers.

I've experienced xmas snow in vegas (yes!) and when we lived in Washington state. It's pretty, but not my thing. I much prefer sunny palm trees. I like my santas dressed in red bermuda shorts!

Thanks for the compliment, but IS there a lost Aussie tribe? seems to me you guys got about the best place going, why would anyone wander away? if it wasn't for all the poisonous snakes, it'd be about perfect.

dada said...

"Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose" ah, yes Cart', thanks for reminding me of my lost heritage.

My father grew up speaking French as a first language, taught it to my older sibs, and by the time I accidentally happened upon the scene nearly 18 years after my youngest older brother, my father had been assimilated. Result: In his waning years, his French was little better than mine (which is nonexistent).

But I've always wished I had learned a phrase my dad's brother (quite the lady's man) would ask of the women: "Will you sleep with me tonight?" To which he fondly recalled the response of one young beauty, "I don't know what that means, but it sounds lovely!"

But I digress, don't I? Sorry.

Your experience in the northern climes during Christmas times that you described as "Very evocative" -
was that being emo? Did you feel the least bit emo? Just curious?

I have a memory of one Christmas in southern Calif. in the 50's (last century). It was 90 degrees. After thinking about the great down under (thanks for reminding me), I'll now think of that particular December as my Aussie Christmas.

Thanks deke for mentioning the black fingernails. But the real, REAL turn on are those blackened, sunken looking eyes. Sad, depressed, necrophiliac almost. Whoops, better stop now. I'm getting into Mike Huckabee territory.

d.k. You probably know the coat. Your description sounds good. But Mrs. Dada never had the boots. (That sounds more like what a men's club dancer would wear?)

Lastly, "the lost Aussie tribe" still existing...in the U.S. -- among us. Thanks for the compliment, Cartledge! (I think.) (Ahm, that WAS a compliment, wasn't it?)

As my wife remarked yesterday when your name came up: Here in the northern hemisphere, Cartledge is stuff in your joints whereas, in the southern hemisphere, it's PEOPLE!" (She then laughed at her cleverness, as I stood staring at her, dumbfounded.)

Cartledge said...

Dada - A talented bloke with fascinating digressions. My ex wife, she whose name shall never be spoken, delighted in trotting out French phrases in and English royal accent. She would have made a great sit com performer, the straight one who can’t fathom humour. That was enough to make me recall the English and forget the French.

was that being emo? Alas no, it was far closer to that loathsome sentimentality. We beats don’t do sentimentality – Kerouac would turn in his grave. Merde! But the xmas lights in the living room and snow gently falling outside the window is something I only knew from crappy TV. Sweltering sun or raging thunderstorms were more my experience. And it was always light far too late to worry about the lights.

Your wife sounds to be extremely amusing, who would have thought of Cartledge and cartilage? (sorry, that was barbed Aussie wit, hardly suitable for this Christmas morning). But it is the sense of humour that grabs my attention. One is taught that North Americans are devoid of any broad appreciation of humour. It’s terrific to have preconceptions destroyed.

Now seeing as it is tomorrow here, I would give you some stock market tips. Unfortunately the markets will be closed on this auspicious day

d.k. Thanks for the compliment, but IS there a lost Aussie tribe? Close to you I believe are the large remnant of the Aussie ski slopes. They take refuge in similar places, like the snowfield of Colorado and Western Canada.
Having experienced that airport in SLC I’m in no hurry. I had a morbid fear of being trapped, and wandering that wagon wheel for eternity. Scary stuff.
And snowy xmases… Don’t ask me what drives those deep irrational feelings. But I left my beloved back there, the one who taught me the delights of a cuddle on a chill winter day. Changed my whole perspective…

dada said...

It's all so connected, so cosmic!

The cartledge--cartilage was the result of fooling around with a new online video messaging system I'd downloaded and discovering it has a search capability --out of curiosity--I typed in "Cartledge" and several in Australia popped up. (Kin of yours perhaps.)

Anyway, an old HS classmate turned me on to this after our old messenger no longer worked. What does this have to do with anything?

Well, whilst old classmate was living in Germany a year or two ago, I visits her thru the computer via messenger with a guest she has from SLC who is really from Australia. And this Aussie gal has the accent (when she wants to) and, being a sucker for an Australian accent, I was very taken...that's before she played guitar and sang via the computer for me. Wow, angelic! Eventually I saw a picture of this heavenly voiced lass and she's very pretty indeed. Turns out she's a ski instructor in the SLC area!

And now I'm only confirming what you knew all along. How the hell do you know such things? Merde, indeed!

Cartledge said...

Dada, you obviously (thankfully) haven't crossed the Cartledge clan in Georgia or Virginia. They go back to blockade running through the War of Independence.

How the hell do you know such things? I suspect you and I are a similar age and I've noticed you are also observant. Life is just too interesting to not try and understand what we are seeing.
For my part I generally get more pleasure from looking outwards as we tend to be forever surrounded at close quarters by dills. Don't know your excuse but I enjoy your insights.

dada said...

cart' - I get about 98% of what you say, save for metaphors - subtle or not, analogies and southern hemisphere humour (sometimes), but I'll have to "answers.com" this term dills. I'm thinking I have a clue, but that's when I often get into trouble (grabbing at assumptions over my head).

~Scratch the thought. Appears answers.com (my version, anyway) only knows the English meaning for dills. (yes, I can be tedious sometimes - sorry.)

And, here, here, ditto - I, too, enjoy your insights. While a total misanthrope (is that how one says it in Australian?), I enjoy - completely - meeting new people, much like your fine experience yesterday with prototype robot military metal worker encounter. Sometimes one small sentence begins a consversation; uncovers new dimensions to the endless experiences of humanity.

Several years ago, had a similar experience with a bloke who turned out to be retired from the super secret Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab in northern NM. (We didn't uncover that our first roadside stop at his small private museum to his tribute to the oil age in the form of ancient, restored gas pumps.)

But on our second visit, we learned he was a nuclear warfare strategist up at the lab. From that point, I became suspiciously silent, too. (If really good at it, it just seemed like such a dead-end job to me.)

While seldom in those parts, if ever I run into a Cartledge in VA or GA, I'll be sure to fall suspiciously silent at that revelation. Thanks for the warning.

Cartledge said...

“I get about 98% of what you say” No needs to feel like a dill dada, lots of people have trouble following my language. Generally it has advantages, as most people I would prefer not to talk too. But I like enquiring minds and interacting with interesting and interested folk.
I enjoyed the Los Alamos tale. It is incredible finding people with these experiences, but generally they don’t have any idea of the value of those experiences. The bloke I met the other day is functionally illiterate and helps design and make these high tech machines. To me that is incredible and totally fascinating.