Weekly Literature Journal #5; D. Malouf – ‘Fly Away Peter’

In Blogger’s opinion, this goes without saying, really; that “Enemies, like friends, told you who you were”, regardless of the context, this is written in.  Ostensibly, this phrase is born out of tension and a near-fight, between Jim Saddler and fellow recruit in the army, Wizzer Green.  Hitherto, it has transpired that Mr Saddler has seemingly gone through life with a sense of being an agreeable sort of character (both as a literal character, in the novel; and as a personality character, if based on someone in real life).  All of a sudden, he appears to find himself in this aggressive-like situation – presumably, like he has never been involved in, or even felt before.

More so telling, than the phrase in question, is that “…Jim was surprise by the black anger he was possessed by”; as well as “… he came closer to his father’s nature at that moment than he had ever thought possible”.  Here, Blogger surmises that, up until now, Mr Saddler was, or had a likeable personality – especially in regards to his relationship with Ashley Crowther.  It is sensed, that Mr Saddler almost had a coming-of-age, as it were, under Mr Crowther’s influence (possibly also to do with the latter’s easy wealth) and therefore had confidence to expand his wings – in an almost literal sense, maybe by enlisting to fight in an overseas-based war – and horizons, generally.  In this subjective opinion, Mr Saddler can also at times, appear to go through ‘Fly Away Peter’, as almost a submissive individual – even, if at the influence of his harder father.

Unfortunately, all of a sudden, he came to know about being the brunt of a bully, in the form of Mr Green; and that “… something in him offended Wizzer…”.  So, in that sense, Mr Saddler – who had always been agreeable and very personable and friendly with individuals he could trust (namely friends, like Mr Crowther, or Imogen Harcourt – now is the mere brunt of another character, who takes a dislike to him.  Therefore, one can surmise that in coming close to his own father’s nature, he needed to become aggressive and somewhat brutal, in order to survive the harsh world of the military he was now experiencing.

Of course therefore, only these two extremes – the confidence of friends and those who present themselves as critics, bullies and enemies – can only teach one about the vicissitudes of life experiences!  One would also like to include here, or leave here with a very similar idea, or aspect, from another Australian novel, from another era, to that of ‘Fly Away Peter’ – i.e. ‘Looking for Alibrandi’, by Melina Marchetta:

Between protagonist Josephine Alibrandi and good friend, Lee –

“Your problems are out there…  But they’re small.  They only grow out of proportion when they climb inside your head.  They grow because of insignificant people like Carly and Poison Ivy and Sera who feed on them because they know how you feel.”

looking_for_alibrandi_book_cover

Weekly Literature Journal #3; Australian Indigenous Writing

For a poem written in relatively recent times, of 1991; ‘No More Boomerang’, by Ondgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) is extremely pertinent – not just for, or in relation to the changes in Indigenous lifestyle, but ALMOST quite prophetic in terms of how contemporary society has become now, 15 years into the 21st century!  To the blog writer, ‘No More Boomerang’ almost serves as criticism of a consumerist and what is now an ever-expanding capitalist culture – no matter how much some members of society would criticise this.

That is, Ms Walker appears to lament a disappearing way of life, for what would have been a more-or-less primitive mode of existence and therefore very simple and un-stressed.  Most of the first lines, in each stanza, describe what the Indigenous peoples were used to (probably still are, in the very traditional lands); and then, the juxtaposition of how we live in modern times:

 No more sharing                                                                                                 What the hunter brings                                                                                        Now we work for money,                                                                                     Then pay it back for things.

For bloggist, at least; this is prophetic – looking in retrospect, to what one remembers from early 1990’s and to what the world (Western world, at least), has become.  Not only does Ms Walker see the irony of how the world is changing (how can one tell, if it is even for the better – that is just what the population will be told) – but, so many other individuals one knows also lament the simplicity of bygone times.

HOWEVER, the point is, no matter how much people tend to question as to how materialistic we all are – they simply do continue to live that way!  For instance, in bloggist’s experience, only in the last week; at volunteer role one attends to, there was client who needed to come in and use our charity’s free phone service.  He lamented that when he tells others he has no mobile phone, “people look at me weirdly”.  Also just as recently, someone questioned the need for social networking and to “remember, how 20 years ago, we didn’t even have it!”.  Point is, we CAN get by without these newfangled items – but, we will buy into it and continue to do so, as long as the allure of marketing keeps advancing at the same rate.

In ‘No More Boomerang’, there is no more going back to a simplistic, naturalistic way of life – no matter how much the Indigenous, or others in our contemporary society will reflect on this and the disappearing way of life.  Overall, from the Indigenous perspective, the poem is indicative of the system that the white settlers brought in – and how this one system order, will ultimately control one and all, regardless of culture.

 We’re so ingenious
We can walk on the moon

Julian Lennon – Saltwater Lyrics

Weekly Literature Journal #2; National Identity

Blog writer, is ATTEMPTING to appreciate ‘The Measure’, by Dame Mary Gilmore.  One might have selected either of Henry Lawson’s two featured poem, in this curriculum (‘Faces in the Street’ and ‘The Union Buries its Dead’), as both paint very vivid pictures, of a slice-of-life, as it were, of what common Australia was like at that time, in the late 19th century.  Surprisingly, one did appreciate them both, genuinely.

However, there is just that one, or two lines, of the last stanza, being:

 Weeds on the garden pathways grow                                                                       Where the swift feet were wont to go…

One understands, that that Dame Gilmore’s poem, is about young (or any-aged) Australians going off to fight overseas’ based wars.  In some respect, ‘The Measure’, in its entirety, could be about the futility, or the unjustifiable need of war!

The way writer sees those two lines, is about the passing of time generally – whether one has ever gone off to war-zones, or just left home for permanent, or other much extended period of time.  Primarily, for writer, it comes down to a sense of time passing and a farewell to one’s halcyon days of bygone years – only, just to remain in one’s memory, of what childhood was like.

This sense of time passing, or missing of a former way-of-life, is probably made much more pertinent, by actually going off to conflict, and possibly facing certain death (which is what any war effectively is, anyway).  Additionally, the line

  And yet, the equal sun looks down                                                                         On kingly head and broken clown,                                                                         And sees, not friend and foe, but man and man

implies that all humans on Earth, are completely equal.  Maybe also, that world wars are completely man-made and in the whole scheme of things, was are of no bearing (or should not be) in the existence of life.

Again, personally; ‘The Measure’ seems to imply that ultimately everyone’s fate is fairly much the same – eventual death.  So, blog writer is not the only one in reminiscing of the former years, when swift feet were wont to go.

Weekly Literature Journal #1; as Based on Option 2., of Judith Wright’s Quotation, “I’ve no Wish to Chisel Things Into new Shapes.”

It is quite interesting, to the writer of this blog (Weekly Lit. Journal #1), that ‘Rockface’, by Judith Wright, was written as relatively recently in Australian history, as 1985.  One had assumed by that time/period in Australia’s history, the nation was already well-established, in terms of altering landscapes and desecrating the nature that was already indigenously there!  Admittedly, one would have to read, or view ‘Rockface’, in context to entirely of ‘The Shadow of Fire:  Ghazals’, and fairly much how this specific poem (ghazal?) relates to the content of all other entries.

Ms Wright appeared to be a lover, of the natural environment, and conservationist; and an all-round social activist.  Therefore, one can see that she would have taken a somewhat anti-capitalist stance, in being against the exploitation of Australia’s natural resources and therefore against the previously mentioned desecration of the natural environment.

Actually, as it such somewhat recent in this land’s history of things; one would find it comparable to the modern-day altering of Sydney’s landscape (to bring it closer to home and something more familiar, with writer of Jounrnal).  For instance, am somewhat intrigued by the transformation of Miller’s Point, over (or after) roughly 227 years of European settlement – taking into account all waves of migration and not merely the British colonisers.

From what started out as a very primitive, almost non-descript, utilitarian landscape (flat stones found at Dawes Point on the harbour foreshore in The Rocks were used for roasting whole fish – from ‘Pre-European Arrival’; from website ‘The Rocks’ [sub-titled with almost pertinent slogan “Made by Many Hands”]) – nearly all of the entirety of The Rocks precinct, together with neighbouring surrounds, Miller’s Point and Barangaroo, have been ‘chiseled’ by groups and individuals with the capital to do so, into a potentially world-class recreational area, for those with the financial means to buy into this type of modern, high-tech, glitzy spot it aims to inevitably become.

Finally, one would just want to include a short film (if one can) of the altering of The Rocks area and just Australia, as a whole – into something completely different to what it was.  Writer assumes, the film-maker sarcastically questioned, as to why stop there – when we go on ever-increasing additions to the Harbour, merely to make that so much more convenient to live in:

‘Tomorrow Miller’s Point’, by Alberte’ (?).  At approximately 54 seconds, into entire collection of short films.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw1GAmyd9Zo

Never Ending Story of Social Mediaaaa… Just cut it out, Marianne – and it Will be cut After This Last, LAST Blog

For what it is worth, one realised that I have not walked-the-walk, and done bugger-all, in regards to photo-sharing (and this was due yesterday!).  Anyway, as writer is (non-actively) signed-up to Pinterest – I do admit to being hypocrite, in that I only signed-up, like Twitter, because some competition T’s&C’s stated I must be a subscriber – this might be worth a shot… in photo-sharing.  Internationale Jurgendbibliothek (English:  International Youth Library), in Munich, GER, is apparently the biggest Library in the world dedicated to children; and was visited, by writer, in 2012.  http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Youth%20Library%2C%20Munich

There is whole wing, named after Michael Ende, original writer of ‘The Neverending Story… which would have been one of the first ever movies writer saw, back in the distant, sepia-tinted, whole other world (without all the gadgetry of today), of the childhood days of the 1980’s.  And actually, I have never read the novel, as back as a five, or six year-old, did not really care, or scrutinise whether it was based on originally on a book.  Only when writer got to International Youth Library, did I read up on that it ‘The Neverending Story’, was actually written by this German author, Mr Ende.

Just as this Posting, will not make much difference, to the end result; personally, photo-sharing websites admittedly do not do much to sway one to think differently, or admire anything in particular.  While the standard cliche, ‘picture paints a thousand words’ was previously mentioned, it is only actions that really do speak louder, than both words, and pictures (for writer, anyway).  Viewing these Library pictures, on Pinterst, is just not the same, as visiting there… and unfortunately, if I never get the chance to go anywhere else, then I just have to miss out… I will not use the forced contrivance of viewing things through photo-sharing, as a substitute.  

Penultimately, just wanted to share one amusing thing (in my opinion, at least) about another photo-sharing.  Because I assumed something like the Youth Library would have been available on the ‘oh-so-cool’ Tumblr – which it did not seem to be – upon attempting to sign up, I chose my user-name as NoNoNo,  I.e. with apologise to A. Winehouse, my choice of this username came from:  ‘They tried to make me sign up to Tumblr, but I wanted no, no, no’.

Tumblr said, this username was already taken, or unavailable… and therefore suggested ‘ultranonono’ – hey, which was is even better (Tumblr not realising my intent).  ULTIMATELY: 

                                                                                   In class I’ve been bad

                                                                                   But when to my own world I go back,

                                                                                   To blogging, I won’t go, go, go.

 

                                                               

      

                                               

Post 7: Reflect on the unit. Which social media type most appealed to you? Were you surprised by the ways Libraries use social media to engage and connect with their users?

Status Anxiety De Botton, A. (2008).  Status AnxietyKnopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

OK, this is merely the title of philosophical book, by British writer/philosopher Alain de Botton, who I assume/understand, might have coined this expression – i.e. caring too much, about one’s standing in materialistic and/or experience-rich society, and what others might think of them (my words, and understanding of this). Would have preferred to use this quote, in previous Post, and vice-versa… but does not matter now, because at end of the day/blog, anyone’s cyber status makes no difference as to their value as a person, really… I do not mean to get too schmaltzy, but it doesn’t.

Reflecting on anything, I usually equate to coming to an end of some spiritual retreat; end of high school; or six years in the one job; or the end of a more say, tangible experience/project – i.e. where one was involved in so much activity, and liaising/meeting directly with people, that there was not that sense of time passing slowly, i.e. the adventure was over, before I knew it sort of thing. Or, promise… my last song lyric –

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

From Good Riddance (Time of Your LIfe) Written by Billie Joe Armstrong, Frank E. III Wright, Michael Pritchard. Music by Green day.

Personally, it is somewhat difficult to get reflective, on a mere contrivance, such as keeping a blog. The ‘fun’ thing about this, was going from one computer, to another – from swanky hotel, to Holroyd Library, to free internet cafe, to Burwood Library, to Parramatta Library, to swanky hotel, to State Library, back to swanky hotel… inevitably, Mt Druitt TAFE (if I make it to tomorrow).

Very, very biased, when I write that Facebook is most appealing, not only by default, but by memories associated with it. Come on, let’s admit, it is so unbelievably popular the world-over, because it is just so easy to use – for someone like me, who gets irritated by just passively sitting here, using computers, that is really saying something. And to think, it started by such a superficial reason, as comparing people’s faces, at a university, in USA – hence name Facebook. And my very superficial reason for actually paying (yes, paying – but at discounted rate), to watch ‘The Social Network’, was because had a huge crush on Jesse Eisenberg, at the time… not becuase I care about computers, or some multi-billionaire tech-head who started FB.

As regards to whether there was some element of surprise, as to how Libraries practically use social media… well, it did help, that the staff at Mt Druitt TAFE Library, explained their in’s-and-out’s of use of social networking. That is essentially it really, because inevitably one must realise that all institutions will find ways to engage with users, or Library patrons, in our case, in very different ways. I mean, the way I look at it… I have used social media, to engage directly with Libraries – because I have had to, i.e. merely to get my message/enquiry across. It is not something one gives much thought to… you just do it. If Libraries can use social media, in whatever form, it does not matter, in a memorable, and engaging way… then of course it is a good, open, and fair thing. As indicated previous Posts, writer has sent trivial messages to my Libraries via FB, just because have become aware, they are more likely to respond that way, than by email.

Otherwise, there is Library website, as a starting-point – which can act as an easy portal, to all their active forms of social media. And really, that is the beauty, and often taken for granted thing about the Internet itself – it allows all of this expression, and engagement. Ultimately, when writer went to a free seminar/talk at Sydney Town Hall in about March 2013, with Sir Tim Berners-Lee (widely known, or believed to be inventor of WWW); some kid in the audience, asked the last question of the evening – along the lines of what Sir Tim thinks might ever supercede the Internet. Given the age of the child, and that she is inevitably the future… the answer was basically ‘… whatever you can imagine’.

On this, here is my last link, if it goes through, from WordPress, of all social media types; and which was originally read in the print edition of the daily Sydney Writers’ Festival Guide ‘@ The Festival’, about a University of Technology of Sydney Library, and where it is headed: http://atthefestival.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/looking-to-a-new-future-proofed-library/
Ochs, K. (2014). Looking to a new future-proofed library. Retrieved June 15, 2014, from http://atthefestival.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/looking-to-a-new-future-proofed-library/

Post 6: Illustrate some of the issues associated with the use of social media tools

Aayooh
I’m tired of using technology
I need you right in front– of me

Lyrics by C. Jackson, J. Timberlake, T. Mosley, N. Hills/Music by Timbaland & Danja

Heavily cut lyrics from an otherwise fairly sexually explicit track… and I do prefer cover by (one-hit-wonder?) artist called Milow, which was quite big, while travelling through Europe in Summer ’09 – don’t think it made it big here. Anyway, for me, the lyrics as is, highlight the fickle, and ephemeral nature of what gets posted on social media – i.e. nothing beats the experience of engaging directly with humans, whether I want to, or (often) not… I will admit to that!

Presumably, a big concern with social media, is that because it is a free-for-all forum; this will inevitably give rise to ‘cyber-bullying’. Sorry to say, that this is understandable, given the clichéd reasons, of people hiding their identity behind the screen, and being empowered in that way, merely by being anonymous, or untrackable, behind their computer screen – i.e. not in the presence of others, or not in the moment. Admittedly though, one is hard-pressed to comprehend how issues (assuming these are negative), can affect Libraries in a bad way. Bad feedback of Library experiences, at best; or possibly stalking of staff, at worst. Computer savvy hackers, with that much time on their hands, can manipulate their way into Library’s respective social media outlets (usual suspects), and possibly do something there, i.e. unleashing ‘viruses’, and other rubbish like that – as I only use PC’s on an as-needs basis, like now, I would not care how to do any of the stuff, no matter the money, or kudos involved. Therefore, my usual gripe about us all ‘becoming slaves to technology’ blah, blah (Can I please ‘illustrate’ this, by including one of my favourite songs of the 1990’s – so portentous – ache so bad for those days before I could turn on computers, and sit here all day… obligatory YouTube video, ’21st Century Digital boy’, by Bad Religion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAPbUXePmig – oh, might not work, because of ‘technical difficulties’)

It was once suggested in Social Media Studies Class, that maybe new(er) upstarts, like Tumblr, might eventually dwindle in popularity, once the ‘oldies’ get on-board – like with FB. I can only assume, it will just become another passing fad, like so many of these sorts of things are – like inevitable cyberspace ‘flotsam/jetsam’. I also equate use of social media, to either jumping on bandwagons, or a form of cyber ‘rent-a-crowd’. I.e. by having so many ‘followers’, and ‘friends’… without knowing whether they really at all care, know, or understand. Main example, of this is the Kony 2012 phenomenon. One can only assume, that masses of people started following this, because it was considered maybe a cool thing to do, i.e. jump on this bandwagon, because some tech guru, Mr Jason Russell got all self-righteous about saving citizens, mainly children, of Africa, from a terrorist warlord running amok in the wildnerness … OK, but since when before, has anyone in the affluent West cared about what happens in Uganda? Well possibly since this explosion of social media, and when things started to ‘trend’, and enabled the massess to jump on any ‘trending’, popular bandwagon, just because they could… without real feeling for it. The definite positive, which no one can deny, is that Mr Russell at least did something to bring this to prominence… and social media has this power – to make us aware, and care, and even for just a little while (like Kony). If one wants to get behind a cause, at least I would want to do it with a meaning… not because friends, or acquaintances are doing it, or recommend it. As one of the bars in the city, has a poster on the wall, saying “‘Like’ like you mean it”.

Oh, and just finally; it is mildly ironic (mildly, because it may not be big issue, yet), that the very fact that Libraries are helpful in promoting literacy; the constant use of social media, and tyring to fit information, in truncated formats, might lead to a form of sub-standard, or complacent literacy. As Australian journalist Mia Freedman indicated in a live ABC audience screening of ‘One Plus one’ (which writer attended, according to Jenna again, has since screened), there is a concern that standards of written journalism has falled a bit, and gone by way-side, since the boom in popularity of ‘quick-fix’ reporting on Internet, and general blogging – although, she heavily blogs herself (http://www.mamamia.com.au/#bfqcUvIRhYqZsOD3.97). Gees, I am such a hypocrite, I haven’t bothered with her blog myself – see, social media does this. Therefore, although this might be wrong approach, I would prefer to use social media in Libraries, merely for objective informational purposes, of very basic, as is level… if you require more detailed information, please come in for a discussion; call us by phone; or send an engaging, open-ended email.

Post 5: What benefits could using photo sharing sites such as Flickr or Instagram have for a Library?

Images… pictures… beautiful Apologies to fellow class-mate Jenna, who would have used such similar superlatives, in a conversation last Wednesday, 11/06/2014, in the Mt Druitt TAFE Library (sorry, can’t remember exact wording).  Fairly sure words to this effect, used by Ms Wildie, in Social Media Studies class.

Mmmm, instead of talking-the-talk, as it were, writer should really do some more practical research here, and actually peruse what Libraries have to offer, in terms of photo sharing.  Yes, much like YouTube is a form of sharing of ‘moving pictures’, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, and the like, are able to so totally display their memories, in a digital photo-album, on cyberspace (never, ever again need to worry about the photo-album being one of those ‘only 3 things you would save, when the building/house, or Library for that matter, is burning down’).

Let’s face it really, often people would simply like to look at aesthetically beautiful images, and pictorials, as it is admittedly less mentally taxing than dicperhering what people have to say in the written/typed word. So, logically photo sharing would succeed, in this way – writer fully admits this, and understands that people everywhere just enjoy displaying happy-snaps, and other other more meaningful pictures. Libraries are no different; and for logistically reasons, they understand, that if not everyone can find time to visit their permanent, or temporary collections (more often, due to the distance, say), then scanning images onto cyberspace-based photo sharing is undeniably a certain way to reach the massess, which would not otherwise visit the Library.

Also surely I am not the first to use the proverbial ‘picture paints a thousand words’ reasoning – but it is true… enough said, at that. Oh, also – we should admit, that due to language barriers, potential non-English speaking migrants in Australia, or indeed others with language/literacy difficulties for legitimate reasons, would actually find photo sharing displays of Libraries quite beneficial. The greatest argument here, in my opinion, is that rudimentary images, and the most elaborate pictorials/paintings, were indeed the only way that societies in ancient times, could communicate – respectively, this is what cavemen did in times possibly before some lucid language/s was formed; to the the completely elaborately intricate religious paintings of the Middle Ages era, when The Bible was not comprehensible to most of the ordinary peoples of the known world at the time. People’s propensity to always longlingly look at pretty images is insatiable… how can Libraries (or any institution) not latch onto this?

Post 4: What benefits could using video sharing sites such as YouTube have for a Library?

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A 2006 study commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation found that 71 percent of people using public libraries cite the library as their primary source of access to a computer and the Internet… With more technology in libraries, patrons also have better and faster access to information, the ability to stay connected to family and friends, and opportunities to explore the world.  ALAAmerican Library Association (2009). Public Libraries & Technology.  Retrieved June 14, 2014, from http://www.ilovelibraries.org/getinformed/technology

Yes, this is based on United States of American findings; however, as writer has visited Libraries in USA, in a lot of cities/towns, just as has been done in Australia; it is safe to write that American Libraries, share the same openness, approachability, ease of access, freedom of information, and generic services, just exactly the same, as we do here. Being signed-up with, and having visited all of up to a dozen different Libraries, across metropolitan Sydney, one cannot deny that the computer terminals provided by Library, are often some of the most intensely used resources that these Libraries have to offer – more so, than even free wi-fi (which you can get anywhere).

Now, to the point about video sharing websites – yes, it is understood that question refers to how YouTube, say can be utilised to mainly promote what Libraries have to offer, in terms of services, materials, etc. However, observing various PC screens used by patrons, when visiting Libraries, it is also safe to write, that YouTube website itself is on about every second screen there is – more so than Facebook (FB), email, or other general websites. The writer reckons, the obvious reason for this, is YouTube is also another form oF ‘television’ say, with literally a countless amount of channels (videos)… and counting. Therefore, YouTube is more of a form of entertainment, where anything can be viewed – more so than, what I would deem the ‘1-dimensional’ forms of FB, and Twitter. Users can get much more creative with YouTube, in order to get their message/s across.

So, why wouldn’t Libraries use this media platform, to engage with, and literally bring their Library services to more life? YouTube is undeniably, like a free form of extra TV, where Libraries could create their own short movies, advertisements, or mock-up musical film-clips (or even original musicals); however, hopefully this link goes through – with example of yet another American-made ‘protest’ clip, that creatively gets message acorss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8QjjKrEK7Y Oooh, as much as I would try to make this more Australian-based, there is just something about Americans, that even when they came across as relatively dead-pan, they can still put more ‘oomph’ into things – and I guess that is why they are world leaders in entertainment (I do not use the trite argument ‘Only in America’, anymore – because, after visiting there, they really are a genuinely more open, and less guarded people, than say here).

Anyway, with a little more effort than it takes with other social networking media, Libraries promoting themselves – not even promoting, but just creating ‘home-video’ style clips, of events, for preservation sake – it would definitely be more eye-catching, and memorable, than merely typing written words, on the screen. However, at the same time, allowing views to make comments, and get their voice across, just like FB, and Twitter – YouTube, contains the best of both worlds.