I noticed a report that the United States will be stationing troops in Australia…once again. Anyone that has read the history of World War Two knows that MacArthur hid out in Brisbane after fleeing the Philippines. Anyone stained with him had a very nice life, compared to those on ships, Pacific islands, or the jungles of Asia. General Stilwell, who received far less glory, lived a less comfortable life dealing with Chiang Kai-Shek.
Anyway, I recall an Australian friend telling me what his countrymen thought of their American allies. He had not been born at the time, so the phrase must have imbedded itself into the culture. He said that Australians considered Americans to be “over-paid, over-sexed, and over-here”.
Dubai has an impressive aquarium, which is located in a mall (also has a skating rink suitable for ice hockey). One four-story glass wall is available for all to see, but one can pay to go inside for more displays and a better view from below and above. The amount and variety of sea life is amazing (a word I do not use often or lightly, unlike many people).
The last aquarium I visited, several year ago, was in Sydney. It was not as large or as impressive. Seems strange that a desert nation would have a bigger and better fish tank than a continent surrounded by seas.
As I expected, who finds the Black Box of MH370 is more important that simply finding the thing. This is obvious from the posturing and tone of reports from various countries involved in the search.
Mere sighting of debris by Australian, French, US, or British personnel is greeted with wonder and hope. Last week, the Australian prime minister was confident. Now that the Chinese have discovered a tone on the frequency of a black box, all reporters are treating the report with skepticism. No one trusts the Chinese or wants them to be successful. The Australian government is now urging caution and even complaining that the Chinese have told the world. British reporters seem upset that they were not permitted to be the first to discover something significant, simply because they have deigned to help the search. They give the impression that this is their right.
If the black box is indeed found, the battle to determine who gets to evaluate the contents should be entertaining....
The main headline of Gulf News, the English-language newspaper in Dubai that I find outside my hotel room door each morning, blared today the following.
UAE ranks 14th, ahead of US on human rights
This is the conclusion of a Norway-based human rights organization (the country that produced one of the Nairobi mall killers). The US landed at 20th, behind Germany and France. Norway won the prize, followed by Sweden and Australia. I not know what happened to Holland, Denmark, Finland, or Switzerland, to name a few nations that I find rather civil.
Anyway, the folks in Dubai are proud of themselves. That does not mean that any prejudices will be removed....
From trailers I have seen and learning that a rap musician has been involved with scoring, prejudice tells me that I will not like the new production of The Great Gatsby as much as I liked the Robert Redford version.
I have no idea how true to the novel the new versions remains, but the opulent production values seem out-of-synch with the intention of the author and how I imagine the period. The last production captures the spirit of the time, as I imagine it with the help of old newsreels, movies, and photographs.
Although I appreciated Mr. Luhrman’s film, Australia, (which many critics disliked and which did not enjoy box office success), I did not like Moulin Rouge. That, too, was too artificial and did not capture the period...as i imagined it to have been. Perhaps my dislike of that film also influences my prejudice against his The Great Gatsby. Trailers suggest too much glitz and exaggerated cliché. Although parties at the time were surely opulent, I doubt that they were so colorful and flashy.
Opening weekend box office results were reasonable, perhaps because of the cast, but time will tell if the backers make money on yet another production of an old book. Most critics have not been kind. On the other hand, people, who have not read the novel or seen the other version (especially young, non-readers), might like they see...
Don’t know if this works, but it’s clever and entertaining...
_ I read today that the United States is planning to increase its military presence in Australia. This news will divided Australians into three groups. First, there are those destined to make money from this decision; they are happy. Second, there are those that do not care, because it will not affect their lives.
Finally, there are those that remember World War II or have heard about it from relatives. I recall hearing from a friend the Australian assessment of US troops being stationed in their country. It described them as “over-sexed, over-paid, and over here.” Then, as now, only the first group was pleased about their presence in their country.
THE AUSTRALIAN WAY (But it works everywhere)
No matter what side of the political fence you're on, this is hilarious, tragic, and VERY telling about politicians' honesty! It all depends on how you look at the same facts and how creative a writer you are or can hire.
Judy Rudd, an amateur genealogy researcher in south east Queensland, was doing some personal work on her own family tree. She discovered that ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s great-great uncle, Remus Rudd, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Melbourne in 1889. Both Judy and Kevin Rudd share this common ancestor. The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows at the Melbourne Gaol.
On the back of the picture, which Judy obtained during her research is this inscription:
'Remus Rudd horse thief, sent to Melbourne Gaol 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Melbourne-Geelong train six times. Caught by Victoria Police Force, convicted and hanged in 1889.'
Judy recently e-mailed ex-Prime Minister Rudd for information about their great-great uncle, Remus Rudd. Believe it or not, Kevin Rudd's staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:
"Remus Rudd was famous in Victoria during the mid- to late-1800s. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Melbourne-Geelong Railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the Victoria Police Force. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."
Compare the two versions of the same biographical sketch. That’s how creative political whitewashing is done...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.