June 2010

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • warning: strtotime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_argument_dates_various.inc on line 72.
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  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.
  • warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/standing/public_html/sites/all/themes/STP/node.tpl.php on line 7.

Airport TV

A version of the following appeared in a recent edition of The Big Issue Australia, which is an excellent publication you should immediately go and buy from your friendly local vendor (who is, at this stage in the year, probably much colder than you are). By way of catching up, however, here is a recent column of mine written from inside an airport:

 


Airport TV

I was at the airport recently and it occurred to me that for some people – stopping over on their way somewhere else – their entire experience of Australian culture consists of whatever is on the telly in the airport during the couple of hours they’re hydrating between flights. What was on TV the day I was in Gate Lounge 12? A news story about a rogue wombat on the loose in Melbourne.

I’m concerned about the impact airport televisions might have on our tourist industry. Firstly, I don’t want to alarm anybody, but people watching Australian TV in airports probably think Australia is an American colony. The Australian accent is a surprise rather than the norm on television, with the notable exception of voiceovers in advertisements for hardware stores.

Not only that, but you’d be forgiven for believing Australia contains only of white people. Some of them think they can dance, some of them are waiting for a panel of judges to taste their marinade, and some of them are breaking up with each other on Home and Away, but if it’s cultural diversity you’re after, it’s usually left to SBS or Border Security to teach tourists what multiculturalism looks like in Australia. Unless you’re American, in which case: welcome home.

Soaps don’t help. It has rained in Erinsborough a handful of times in more than twenty years, which, as we all know, would usually lead to strict water restrictions and lawns that look like the bottom of a woolshed after a bush dance. But Neighbours isn’t about reality. That’s what the evening news is all about.

Someone who hasn’t met a real-life Australian might watch the news and deduce that every sentence spoken by an Australian is concluded with a word made up – no matter how it’s spelled – of four syllables. On the news recently, I was informed by the white Australian lady who came on in between the American TV shows that an Australian sporting team was “this evening heading ho-wo-wo-oe-ome”. The team was, I suspect, heading home, but the word had been extended in order to signal that the sentence had come to an end. At least, I think that’s what it meant. Either that or there is a place called Howowoeme somewhere in the world that’s currently hosting an Australian sporting team.

The one factor that sets my mind at ease in relation to the Australian airport-television viewing experience is that most of the people in Gate Lounge 12 that day were asleep. What this says about Australian television, I will leave for another day.

We're baaaaack....

Erhem.

 

So some of us went overseas. Two thirds of us. That's a lot - percentage wise - so you can understand our absence from these pages and from the streets of Melbourne (we've been getting lots of letters).*

 

Anyway. We're all back in the one place now. None of this travelling through New York, London, Paris and Scotland seeing theatre and art and old friends including but not limited to Standing There Captain of Industry Melanie Howlett and talented performer and crepe officionado Ellen Heyward.

 

Nope. Now we're back in business.

 

Business - at least for me - means writing various things including a weekly television column for The Big Issue Australia. It's fun! Not only does it mean I write regularly, but it means I am allowed to watch television and, when interrupted by somebody, bark through mouthfulls of food "SHOOSH PLEASE I AM WORKING".

 

Also, if you haven't read my article in Meanjin about contemporary theatre in Australia, you should probably get right on that. All the cool kids are doing it.**

 

 

As for Standing There as a collective, well, we're really looking forward to our artist residency at Bundanon in August. We have a bunch of projects we'll be taking along with us (it's a small bunch but we're proud of them - they get along well and almost always keep their limbs inside the car). After Bundanon, we will emerge from the metaphorical phone booth with our metaphorical superhero clothes on... up, up, and away.

 

I imagine.

 

Anyway, it's nice to be back and it's nice to reach out into the silent, deserted ether and speak to you, the absent, quite possibly non-existent contributor to the ongoing Standing There conversation. Have a cup of tea and help yourself to a biscuit from the tin. They might be a bit stale, but you're always welcome here.***

 

 

 

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* We haven't been getting any letters. Sometimes we get letters from the RACV about voting in their elections and one time we got a postcard for a guy called Steve. He seemed nice.

** I have no idea who the cool kids are, or what, if anything, they are doing. I do not mean to slander in any way the cool kids. I'm sure they're actually wearing beanies and sitting in bars drinking short blacks and listening to French pop music from the early sixties while conducting secret affairs and submitting poetry to the New Yorker under noms de plume.

*** Erm. There aren't any biscuits. Someone want to pop down the shops and bring us back some Arnott's assorteds? Be a love. Yes? Gah, bless yer cotton socks.