Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bits And Pieces

I've been meaning to post these pictures for a while. They come from a fantastic website called The Big Picture which has amazing photos of things happening around the world. These photos are of children in Somalia, part of a series of pictures on the East Africa crisis. I love words, but sometimes pictures say things so much better; I suppose because, although they're framed, there seems to be less bias. The photos in this particular series were heart-wrenching. In amongst the suffering is such resilience and resolve to live; I wrote an essay once in philosophy about the instinct to survive and how natural it is to us to do whatever we can to do it. Pictures showing this, like the second one here, are amazing... but they make the photos of hopeless faces who have just seen and suffered too much to fight even sadder. Photos are also important because they make situations, like the crisis, personal; numbers and words on a page might strike a chord, but faces, especially children's faces, are a challenge - can you look at me and go back to your day without helping me?

Vincent and I have been thinking and talking about the election policies parties are announcing, and I'm feeling really disillusioned. I just finished a book I thought was great and would recommend to anyone except my eldest sister (I don't know why I'm always nervous to recommend books to her; maybe because she has read more books than anyone I know?) - Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow. It is a lot about social change, and a bit about socialism and anarchy, and it's made me wonder how much I really support temperate politics. I don't know that fighting something within a framework that supports it is the way to take it down; I think upheaval and revolution may be the only way - otherwise it is always adapting, and never creating.

Anyway, here are a few lines I liked:

'He looked up with the swollen and laughable face of grief.'

'Or is injustice, once suffered, a mirror universe, with laws of logic and
principles of reason the opposite of civilisation's?'

'We might both be servants of our colour who insist on the truth of our manhood
and the respect it requires.'

'...he had aged and gone dull, made stupid, perhaps, by his travels and his work, so that more and more he only demonstrated his limits, that he had reached them,
and that he would never move beyond them.'

Part of what I like about Doctorow's writing is his use of punctuation; for me, punctuation is like the wooden blocks of adulthood.

Lastly, exciting news: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons are coming here in April! I have loved Frankie Valli since I was nine, listening to Sherry on Kool FM on the clock radio in my bedroom. Vincent and I went to see Jersey Boys last year when we were in Melbourne and loved it so much we wanted to see it again (as usual, our poverty, not our wills, didn't consent). We have tickets to both Fleet Foxes (at the Town Hall!) and Beirut in January... I have my fingers crossed that the fact that Frankie is playing Vector and will expect an older crowd won't mean tickets are exorbitantly priced. If they are, there's always YouTube.

This has always been one of my favourites, partly because nine-year-olds love quiet starts that launch into something big, partly because Kool FM hardly ever played it, but mostly because it's so awesome. 'Don't cool off while I'm burning!'

PS Does Frankie look scary because he has turtle eyes or because he was Rusty Millio?
PPS Have a look at this series on The Big Picture if you have time. I really liked it.

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