Random Friday memory 33: three from October 2005

I used to say ten years ago that I had a blog instead of a memory. Looking back ten years from 2015 rather confirms that! I had to think hard about the first item before I recalled it is about JZ, who is now one of my Facebook friends, as indeed are the other two in this set of memories/recycles.

1 Nice

02  Oct 2005

I had an email the other day that cheered me up.

This is [name] from the class of 2003 and I’m glad to see that your [English and ESL] site has gone from useful to delightful.

I still remember studying your charming compilation of Chinese stories and cultural insights back in Year 10, and I hope that they are still as welcome in the classroom.

I held dreams of writing my own novels back in Year 12 (and diverted a significant part of my study time to keep an ideas journal), but that fell through …

Now, I’ve resolved to get started on this path because I’ve identified this as a dream too important to leave unrealised.

I gave him a few leads, and he replied:

Thanks for the leads and I’ll pursue them before signing up.

I’d very much like to meet you in person again, so if you have no objections, please let me know when you’ll be on school grounds. One of my biggest regrets in High School was that I never discussed deeper issues with the teachers – my standard schoolboy questions hardly did justice to their years of colourful experience. I did a bit of this in Year 12, and a lot of it now in Uni, but I would’ve loved to have talked more with you when in your classes. I hope it’s not too late?

So we have arranged to have a chat later this week, though I warned him I was these days just a grumpy old man. To which he replied:

Your ‘grumpiness’ never struck me as anything less than a passionate world view that seeks to be as accommodating as possible given the prejudices and errors of the world. I believe we’ll get along fine!

Aw shucks!

He is from China originally, but as you can see his English is in very good shape nowadays.

2 M suffers racist attack

14  Oct 2005

Gary Lo has experienced more racism within Sydney’s gay community than he has in the mainstream community.

When he went to gay venues people muttered things like “fucking nip”. He found it almost impossible to get served at bars, as the staff would look straight past him. And when he tried internet chat rooms, the minute the issue of race came up people would say they weren’t interested…

Lo, who was born in Hong Kong but has lived in Australia since he was two, said people in the gay community seemed to think they had “more leeway when it came to racism”.

“It seems like anything goes with the gay community when it comes to race,” he said.

“Maybe it’s because there’s a sexual hierarchy of desirability on the gay scene. And Asians rank pretty low on that. No one talks about it but it’s pretty well understood.”…

It would be nice to think Gary is a bit oversensitive or paranoid, but it is sadly not the case.

I was shocked to learn last night that a couple of weeks ago M was physically assaulted by a gay person in what seems to have been a racially-motivated attack. M required medical attention, and the police were called in. Beyond that I can’t say more, as I normally do not publicise M’s business here.

As I have said before, racism is NOT an acceptable world-view; it is utterly irrational, it is a psychological problem, a personality disorder, and a great social problem. Give it no tolerance.

Issues arising from cultural conflicts and varying degrees of acculturation in a migrant context in a culturally diverse society such as ours are another matter, and often require careful thought, but such issues, let it be noted, are not down to the unscientific concept we call “race”, and are best sorted calmly and carefully, with an eye to fairness and compassion and, let it be said, tolerance of difference.

3 Melbourne Theatre Company :: End of the Rainbow

31 Oct 2005

Melbourne Theatre Company :: End of the Rainbow :: Return of an old friend.

This starts in Melbourne on November 10, with some prep happening here in Sydney right now, which led to a surprise visit from my old young friend Philip, whose place M and I shared when we began living together exactly fifteen years ago. Philip moved to Melbourne at least ten years ago, and I had not seen him again until tonight. We went to a Thai restaurant in Crown Street — the same one where Mr R and I once had some excellent fish — and spent a lot of time catching up. He is working as a stage manager on the above production, having recently graduated from university in Melbourne. Now thereby hangs a tale, but I will not embarrass Philip by telling it, except to say how great it is to see what he has accomplished. 🙂

See also my 2012 post New York, New York.

I have never been there. I do know a few people who are there now. Here are two.

  • Philip Costello, a friend, and flatmate a couple of times in the 80s and 90s. “To all those who may be concerned. No damage, leaks or flooding at my home, but am affected by the big power outage that is affecting a large part of Manhattan. Have fled to the Upper West side to a friends apartment till power is restored.”
  • Jeremy Heimans – former SBHS student and all-round amazing internet person – #11 of the Top 100 Creative people in Business 2012, I see. “Sadly, #sandy is just the new normal. We’re going to face this more often & with growing severity for the rest of our lives. #climatechange” – Jeremy on Twitter four hours ago.


Not a million miles from where Philip normally lives these days