The Serendipitous Saunter.

Good Sunday to you all! It’s been a busy week here on the south coast and looks to get even busier in the lead-up to Christmas. End-of-year parties, the Christmas pageant, daycare graduation (I kid you not)… I keep emailing myself reminders because I’m sure I’ll forget something or another.

So, I’m very ready for an early night tonight and looking forward to First and Second Offspring being back at school tomorrow, and then I can cull their toys. But I need to get through the day first, so I’ll go and do that, and leave you with some links to read.

Bob Geldof recently released a 30th anniversary recording of Band Aid, in particular to raise money to fight ebola. As admirable as it is that he wants to assist the effort, many feel that the way in which he is going about it—in the same manner as he and his colleagues did 30 years ago—is condescending and patronising. I happen to agree; I feel as though Geldof might have been able to contribute better had he worked in partnership with African musicians, rather than simply rehashing an 80s rock song. That’s not dismissing the huge amount of money it’s raised, but it does seem like there was more than just a little ego involved.

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As our own government seems to want to deny, deny, deny when it comes to climate change and the desperate need for a turnaround from fossil-fuel based energy, this article details the staggering cost involved in trying to protect homes from rising sea levels and increasingly unpredictable weather events, and assisting those whose homes have been damaged by such events. The difficulty is, as always, to be able to communicate the urgency of climate action to the public, when most people don’t believe it will happen in their lifetime, or to them. We’re still very good at ignoring the signs, and we’re electing governments who reinforce that ignorance.

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This was a really uplifting story out of Wunsiedel, a small town in Germany. The burial place of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, they were frustrated at having to endure an influx of neo-Nazis every November. The neo-Nazis were marching for the so-called National Heroes’ Remembrance Day, and rather than simply hold counter-protests, this year, the residents of Wunsiedel went for something completely different, with amusing and successful results. I love to see the sense of humour and initiative these people displayed to fight the hero-worship of one of the more unsavoury figures in our history. Congratulations, people of Wunsiedel! I hope the neo-Nazis are suitably discouraged.

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Finally, I’m not sure what global attention this story received, but Karl Stefanovic, one of the anchors on a breakfast TV show, became sick of the negative attention and disparaging remarks his female colleages received with regards to their dress. So he decided to run an experiment, and wear the same suit, every day of filming, and see how long it took for people to notice. He’s now auctioning the suit, with proceeds going to White Ribbon, a male-led organisation which goal is to end violence towards women. Not only is this raising money and awareness for an excellent cause, but it’s also obviously an interesting reflection on how both men and women view fashion.

8 thoughts on “The Serendipitous Saunter.

  1. A Sunday Post … thank you! Regarding the way so many are treating climate change, I’m reminded of the sinking of Atlantis scene in “Erik the Viking.” Let’s all sing a song together, and pay no attention to the rising water. It has, of course, to do with money (something that, as a promissory note, doesn’t necessarily exist – and doesn’t belong to us anyway, as it’s invariably federal property). With this in mind, there is an appropriate quote from Alanis Obomsawin, “Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.

    I read the article about the neo-nazis in Wunsiedel with a large grin – thank you for sharing it! I think the way the German government approaches the neo-nazi scene is, while well-intended, not as effective as it could be. They try to drive it into the shadows, where free from public scrutiny, it is able to poison the people more effectively. My contention is that the scene should be kept out in the open, well within the domain of public scrutiny, where education can openly confront hate-based propaganda and expose the underpinnings of neo-nazism for the nonsense they really are. In the shadows, scene members take on auras we don’t benefit from them having … in the open, as aptly demonstrated by the good people of Wunsiedel, they are exposed as fools and the butts of very simple, yet clever jokes.

    I just noticed that you refer to your children as Offspring (capitalized). I’m not sure if the association is actual, but I can’t help but think of my favorite band and smile further! Happy Sunday to you, as well!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the links, and apologies for taking so long to respond to your comment.

      Yes, news about climate change is just so frustrating. I had hoped that we here in Australia were turning a corner, a few years ago, and that we’d be looking to a much greener future, really keeping pace with the best in the world. But unfortunately that didn’t occur, and now our government is so ridiculously backward, it’s embarrassing. Sigh. You really can’t eat money, and all the money in the world won’t buy clean air or water either. Or good health! I really wish our priorities would change.

      I think part of the problem with extremist groups is that giving them any kind of platform might appear to be indulging them, and in the case of neo-Nazis, the German government can’t (and no doubt refuses, as is understandable) to seem to be doing that. It would be great to have a real discussion about the rights and wrongs of such beliefs, but I do wonder if one can ever really get through to someone with such twisted logic? In any case, the Wunsiedler solution was a fantastic way of poking fun at a pretty ridiculous group.

      I also like The Offspring (group)! I figure unlike my childhood, which was internet-free, theirs is basically all online (not that they go online at all yet; the oldest is only seven). So anything I write about them needs to keep at least some of their anonymity. When they get older, they can decide how much information they want to divulge to the world. It’s not my place to do it for them🙂

  2. Unusually, I’m familiar with all of your stories this week! The Karl Stefanovic story made its way over here, and my husband told me about the inspired actions of the people of Wunseidel. The Band Aid 30 story made me think of Radi-Aid for Norway. It’s by a Norwegian aid agency, but it turns the whole charity pop record on its head. Basically, it’s a bunch of African musicians, appalled to discover how cold it is in Norway, who get together to make a single the proceeds of which will buy radiators for Norwegians. Very funny!! The website and video can be viewed here: http://www.africafornorway.no/

  3. So agree with your comment on the Band Aid 30 single. I heard this rehash version for the first time on Thursday and my first thoughts were that nobody was singing in tune. It’s dire, tired and well past it sell by date, good cause or not. Still, it’s raising millions and you know what they say
    ‘If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It.’

    • Yeah, I mean of course, it’s great that they’re raising money. And there is that nostalgia aspect for them, and for many of us who remember the original song. But there could have been better ways of going about this without releasing the song again (let’s face it, it’s not that great a song anyway).

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