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News and events

The language of disasters: active shooter, WMDs, robocalls

Tragic events in Boston last week. Being quite interested in language, a couple of things about the use of words caught my eye as events unfolded. Active shooter This is something I’ve noticed before, during all-too-often incidents in the US: the term they now use is “active shooter”. In this case it was at MIT, […]

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News and events

Some thoughts on 9/11 ten years on

9/11. Is there any other one-off event that is known throughout the western world by its date? Of course, if it had happened anywhere else, it would have been called 11/9. But it didn’t happen anywhere else. Only the USA is big, brave, brash, bold and independent enough that it would buck the trend and […]

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News and events

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden is a good example of a moral issue that for me is more grey than black and white. I would like to think that I would never wish anybody dead, nor be glad at hearing of someone’s demise. But if ever I were to waver on that, it would be for someone […]

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books transport

The Example

The Example, by Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson (published by Gestalt Books), might be the first graphic novel to be set entirely within the confines of Flinders Street Station. It’s a short but thought-provoking read, combining a most-of-Western-world issue — paranoia over terrorism — with a more decidedly local Melbourne issue: the trains. Speaking of […]

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Culture Politics and activism

Did we get fooled again?

Last night I found myself watching some of the Concert For NYC, in particular The Who’s performance. I’m still not going to splurge out on their forthcoming concert (dubbed rather cruelly by one friend as “Who’s left?”). But this four song performance from 2001 is great music. And remembering it in context, very moving, a […]

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News and events

The war entry

As I think about world events, and look through my diary entries for this month, it occurs to me how self-absorbed I might seem. This is not really the case – at least I hope it isn’t, though I’m not about to use this an excuse to launch into a 3000 word study on how […]

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News and events

Flowers

After lunch I took a walk up to state Parliament House. A blanket of flowers covers the steps, left there by people in memory of the Bali bombing. Judging from the notes, most had been left there by strangers, rather than relatives of victims. Above, blowing in the wind, the flags are still at half […]

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News and events

Collective consciousness

At 8:47am this morning as I was driving along, car headlights lit up along the road. Not all of them, by any means, but probably close to two-thirds of those that I passed. It was a simple, yet poignant reminder of September 11th last year, a gesture suggested by a local newspaper, which has been […]

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News and events

WTC

I was just about to go to bed last night when my sister e-mailed me: Tue 11/09/2001 23:16 "Heard about the World Trade Centre!!!! logon to the new (sic), quick!" I did so. You probably know the rest. Now almost 24 hours later, it’s still a little hard to digest. Rest assured, anyone reading from […]