The past twelve months – 12 – July 2014

Was this the end of July? Seems just yesterday.

See Pig’s guts! It’s the end of the month!

At the beginning of July I noted M’s travels in Alaska and Canada – photos from which I saw just the other week in Surry Hills. I also noted: “My brother in Tasmania had surgery on Monday. Good news there too, as he is now back home in Devonport.”  I then went on to waste my breath on the unlovely Scott Morrison.

3 July — Wollongong transformed — 2. This was an ongoing series culminating in the new centre opening later in the year and the completion of work in Crown Street Mall.

Cronulla was on my mind.

Oh Cronulla, my old stamping ground. I revisited a few years back.

…The coverage on Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl included much disturbing footage I hadn’t seen before. It was also good to have a police viewpoint presented. On the other hand the episode did tend to minimise provocations from the “Leb” side that did happen. The point made that Cronulla Beach had long been the preferred weekend haunt of people from the western suburbs because it is the only beach accessible by train is also true. Even in the early 1960s I recall how Gunnamatta Park was full of Mediterranean types feasting on cockles taken from the bay – so much so that the sandbank eventually collapsed sometimes blocking passage of the Bundeena Ferry at low tide.

Whatever, the hideous xenophobia we saw back then in 2005 is simply beyond all decency and is certainly not patriotic. Rather, it led to our country being shamed internationally.

Sadly, as we saw recently, this aberrant interpretation of being Aussie still surfaces, most bizarrely just lately on an intercity train.

Check more of my entries on The Shire: Neil’s Final Decade; Floating Life; Ninglun’s Specials.

Another matter raised in Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl last Thursday was the radicalisation of young Muslims. I found what was shown interesting, particularly as in the period 2001 through 2005 it was very much part of my work. See for example The Mine and the Islamists: cause for concern?  It appears there may be more about this next week. I may post something more then as the issue is very much a live one again.

6 July is when my late uncle Neil would have turned 90: Ninety years on – family thoughts.

7 July: Sheltering

Still very relevant is 9 July’s The very real danger of the two minute hate.

…The effect of the Telegraph front page is clearly to suggest very strongly that ALL 65,000 or so asylum seekers are “assassins” or at least some kind of criminal. What were they thinking when they decided to run this line?

Almost certainly the purpose is just cheap stinking populism to sell their rag to gullible punters. The usual tabloid sewage. Fear and loathing of asylum seekers sells these days. But sewage like this really makes our country a worse place, not a better. Do we really want to ape the journalistic methods of Der Sturmer?

See also The New York Times 4 July 2014.

Australia is pursuing draconian measures to deter people without visas from entering the country by boat. In doing so, it is failing in its obligation under international accords to protect refugees fleeing persecution…

Saw some great DVDs. And then there was the Ian Thorpe interview.

See also an effort of mine which was for a while a page backed by the Sydney Boys High Welfare Committee:

GLBT resources

“Be sure that, in the end, inclusion will replace exclusion. For the sake of the planet and of humanity it must be so. And by our lives let us be an example of respect for human rights. Not just for gays. For everyone.” —Justice Michael Kirby, High Court of Australia. See below…

A bit out of date now as it was last revised in 2005, but much there still works. A shame that Sean Crist’s  “Rusty is a homosexual” has disappeared though; it was delightful.

Ah: a copy exists. BTW it was Thorpie’s former classmate who introduced me to Rusty back in 2000!

Then on 14th: Channel 10, the Commonwealth Games, and Ian Thorpe.

Recycled some 2000-2001 entries then: And at the beginning of this century I…  I then had another go at our Prime Minister:

17 July: Wollongong turns it on — 1, Wollongong turns it on — 2.

Yesterday began in the lower register – damp and coldish. A shame, as one of M’s housemates, Max, was coming down to Wollongong from Sydney. I had at the Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills a few weeks back sold him on the “best Chinese food this side of Sichuan” at the Red Dragon in the Steelers Club and on the wonder that is Illawarra Brewery.

Max’s train arrived and fortuitously a Shellharbour bus was waiting at Wollongong Station, accelerating our progress down Burelli Street at far as IPAC – appropriate given Max is an actor. Then at Steelers Chris T, my usual Wednesday lunch companion, joined us.

Red Dragon lived up to its reputation. The two-for-one deal meant we could have four dishes and we did: Sichuan spicy lamb chopsMao Family pork 毛氏红烧肉; Kung Pao chicken, and a garlicky/sesame oil stirfry vegetables to balance the heat of especially the lamb, which is very hot. All for just $12 a head. Max was amazed. Here is their (PDF) Sichuan menu…

The two-for-one deal has now ended.

Seems the world was just a bit much on 19 July.

See also Did he who made the lamb make thee? I then Recycled from July 2009.

22 July: Just caught up with last night’s HIV/AIDS #QandA – superb — 1.

This was a must see – much more so than #QandA often is. The panel and audience included people from the World AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne. You will recall that some of the researchers coming to that conference perished on MH17. And what a panel!  Do go and see/read, wherever you are in the world…

Then came MH17.

Wollongong Lord mayor Gordon Bradbery comforts Carol Clancy’s son Andrew Malcolm at a candlelight vigil to honour the victims of MH17 on Monday. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

See also West Wollongong magnolia, graduates and general weird stuff….

28 July:

Last Saturday I was treated to lunch in the Red Dragon Restaurant at Steelers

Great food as ever, and very multicultural company, my companions coming from Iran, Korea, Bangladesh and Australia – albeit the last being German-Cambodian. Such a shame the whole world can’t be as harmonious as that little group in a Wollongong footie club!

Two of my companions disappeared outside every little while for a smoke. I could empathise as once I would have been joining them for sure, but when the subject was raised by one of them I did tell my story – 50 a day (preferably Benson and Hedges), then 2011 and the cardiac ward and successfully stopping if rather after the horse had bolted…

Then on 30th: “My Wollongong Library reading has lately included two very different biographies. Least controversial first…” True or not true? Two biographies. One was Sir Henry Parkes. The other was Mark Kurzem, The Mascot (2007).

West Wollongong morning: 24 July