The Week Links: in which our blogger makes music.

Last night I got out the electric piano. I’ve not played it in the almost two years we’ve been living here, and I promised the Handsome Sidekick I would help him out with a song on the game he’s about to release, so I sat, Schroeder-like, on the floor, working out the key and the bassline, and it was So. Much. Fun. It’s one of those moment when it really hits home just how important those ‘non-core’ subjects like music, art, sport, and (at least, here in Australia) languages are. It’s been over 20 years since I last had any formal musical instruction, and so much of it is still there, beneath the surface.

Music’s great, isn’t it? So are music teachers. So are parents who pay for lessons.

Hope you all have a musical day! Enjoy your links…

This article was written last month, but all of what the author is saying is still very relevant, and I think, exemplified in the results of Saturday’s election of Jeremy Corbyn as the British Labour leader. It also gives me hope that Australia may perhaps follow suit and sway to the left, when we have our next election in the next year or so.

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This is all the more relevant considering the recent conversation between our Prime Minister and our Minister for Immigration, where they joked about the intensity of the effects of climate change on our Pacific Island neighbours, and also implied that Indigenous people do not value punctuality. It’s embarrassing that these people are representing us, and while the racism is not a surprise (merely a disappointment), the fact that our government really doesn’t seem to take climate change seriously is just so depressing. We’re one of the countries which is going to feel the effects terribly–not simply through changes in our weather, but also because the countries closest to us are going to need places to go when their islands go underwater, and we will need to step up as one of the countries in the region with the infrastructure to be able to help.

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I think possibly the author perhaps makes some leaps here — I’m not sure it is that sinister, and just because there are groups of girls who can make life unbearable for others who are not in the ‘in’ group, that may not necessarily be Swift’s intention. But I agree that she does seem to have a very impressive posse going, and she does have power. A lot of it. And either she (or her public relations team, or both) know how to wield it.

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The Guardian is running a week-long special on Africa with a focus on African writers and voices. I think in Western societies, our experiences of other countries and continents are often framed in our own terms of reference, so I really appreciate such articles as this, for that reason. I’ve also wonder about why we don’t include northern Africa in our ideas of what Africa is, especially given the diversity which exists in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s good to hear some discussion about it.

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