Because the world needs more overwrought candour.

Monday, September 25, 2006

My near near death experience
So I went hiking on the weekend up in Mt Baw Baw national park with a couple of friends and we bravely forced our way through maybe 12 km of thick scrub before finding an elusive Scouts Hut. It was a fortress - bars on the windows and a cover over the keyhole. To break in, we adopted a two prong attack. Willy removed a corrugated iron section from the back, peeled back the insulation and crawled through the small hole, while Jules unscrewed the entire upstairs shutter and opened the window. Both made it in at the same time and we lounged in front of a fire rather than huddle in our tents. (We were good squatters, tidying up and repairing our break-in sites). The next day dawned rainy before the clouds parted and gave us enough hope to make the trek back to the car. Two hours in, the fickle weather changed again and unseasonal hail turned to unseasonal snow, dumping at least 10 cm in an hour. The joy of unexpected snow soon turned sour, as none of us had waterproof pants or shoes and brushing past snow covered scrub numbed our legs. Two more hours passed and the early stages of hypothermia set in. I found my mind wandering to warm times, an abstract mulling over memories as my dull legs fumbled with the slope ahead. I slipped and slid more than I should have. We lost the trail, once, twice, a third time and I started internally panicking in slow motion. Were we to die here? At 25? What a stupid death - caught out by frozen legs and an unseasonal blizzard. A death as stupid as dying from a toppling vending machine. Ollie said run Doug, warm yourself up, don't give into the cold and I did and fresh life came into my limbs for a while before the light-headed sickness crept back in. Willy had no gloves and the socks he'd made do with weren't the same and Jules was stumbling a little and Ollie was shivering uncontrollably and we'd lost the trail again because nothing looked the same beneath 10 cm of snow and finally, at last, we found a landmark and then another and then we passed a hill and the wind died back from perhaps 80 km an hour to 30 and we knew we'd be alive tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thoughts after seeing An Inconvenient Truth

- Imagine if George Bush had the passion to make such a thing
- Imagine if Mark Latham had the passion to make such a thing, not the twistedly intriguing dummy spit that was The Latham Diaries
- Imagine having politicians with actual passion in the system
- Imagine 100 million refugees fleeing the sea - the chaos, the starvation, the amorality, the fear from the Western countries who will largely escape the tragedy of sea level rises, the fortress-countries.

What a remarkable feat of science communication - measured, thoughtful, impassioned without whining. Why wasn't this man president of the free world? Why isn't there someone earnest in there, rather than these flexible suited men able to make anything sound plausible? Why are leaders who inspire rather than rule so rare?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Odd deaths
First Steve Irwin, now Peter Brock. Australia's legends and larger than life men keep dying in ways that matched their lives, by things that defined them: wildlife and a rally car. Many commented that Irwin's death shook the nation, nearing the frenzy around Princess Di. She was also killed by something that defined her - the paparazzi. Is it irony or neat symmetry the way these three were killed? Perhaps like the way oxygen is essential for life but in part determine the trajectory of our lives by killing us slowly through oxidization.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I've been a full time worker for about six or seven months now. While I quite like the cycle of work-stop-work, the disturbing thing about it is that I can see the rest of my life unfolding in a similiar vein and it scares me. I've also acquired a new temporary housemate, K, who told me an abridged version of her life story over an hour. I did the same thing and it took about a minute. It makes me think I'm following established routes too much; joining an existing organisation and taking home my share of the spoils. What K did was move to Sydney on a whim, become involved in an internet start-up, get bought out by a bigger fish, moved to London, lived in Italy, returned to Melbourne, worked on a feature film and now she books bands. While I've stored up a nice stock of dreams to live one day when somehow I find myself shucked out of a job (undiluted travel / a book / life without borders), I keep these dreams as armour against the threat of ever having to implement them, like a cunning politician. Oh, I have plans - but implementing them? If not now, when?