Monday, March 2, 2009

An Act Of Irresponsible Leadership

What sort of leader takes 1.8 million dollars payment from a company at a time when 1850 jobs are being cut? What are the national values we are trying to build?

Just say a low paid worker receives $40 000pa. I find it hard enough supporting myself, but these are people most likely supporting a family as well.

Simple math will show you that the "leader" of Pacific Brands thinks she is 45 times more valuable than one of her factory workers. And maybe she is in her decision making, but the question rather should be, how much money does someone need to run their life? And moreover, given the current economic climate and the fact that the company is receiving government grants (ie national money), is receiving 1.8 mill an act of responsible leadership?

Maybe I'm just idealistic (in fact, I know I am, but unapologetic, for that is one of the strengths of youth). Maybe I just respond better to the William Wallace characters - stirring the floundering troops on from the front line himself, despite imminent defeat.

At least then if you go under you might retain some social capital under your belt. You might have built a more robust community in the face of economic defeat. You might have maintained a cohesion of human will, fertile for future and possibly diversified projects. You might have inspired hope in a youngster that no Australian will be left to stand alone.

But fuck em. Let's just bail because the numbers on the books point to China.

How long must the health of our community relationships and nation's spirit remain subservient to it's precious economy?

Trains Run On Rails

Trains run on rails. There is a set course for them to follow; not ad libbed or by accident, the destination was known before construction ever began. Perhaps there is some anticipation for the traveller on their first rail journey, a personality excited to follow in the works of those who have gone before them, to wonder what the surveyor and builder must have felt carving through the opposition of the landscape. Speed and efficiency are found on rails - a well traversed route of mechanical precision.

I have two legs (we're getting real deep here). Walking is my mode of transport through life. As a Transient, I frantically seek the speed of the rails, though in reality I'm more likely to be lost tackling a mountainside with bloodied shins. It's a wild attempt at adventure, but valid too. If you choose two legs and an unventured mountainscape, your experience will be vastly different to a train carriage. A decision is required of you at each step, each tree stump, fern, rock or stream to navigate onwards. And despite a terrain that can leave me ragged, nothing else would satisfy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Drive

I've never really done Valentines. Probably because I haven't dated many people. Last I remember was in year 11 when Melanie gave me a blue teddy. Too much commitment for me - I cut and ran. Anyway, it was an unhealthy grade of blue.

I was keen to give Vday a shot this year, but uncertain how to approach it, given the nature of the history with this friend of mine. Over this summer I've reconnected with my best friend from high school. We were both so coy we never even hinted at dating while in school, and following grad simply drifted our separate ways. Haven't seen her in years, but our time together this summer has grown into what I can only describe as the seeing-her stage - interested but not bankable. Our commonality as commitment-phobes has ironically enabled us to open up to each other.

So herein lay my dilemma: how do I show my affection in an openhanded manner? Roses were out. Far too red.

There's a frangipani tree near my house. She cannot pass it without gathering two or three of its fallen flowers from the footpath. Problem is, no florist carries them (at short notice *blush*) because they damage easily. Also, she lives about 2 hours from me and I had prior commitments in Sydney this afternoon. Is driving several hours just to deliver a bouquet going to freak her out?

In the end I decided if we were such good friends and did understand each other then there wasn't much to lose. I have a knack for arriving at girl's houses when they are in the shower. Today was no exception; fortunately she came out wrapped in a towel for her mother was in the adjacent room. After an appropriate shriek, I told her to go get dressed and the sporadic giggles that came from her bedroom for the next five minutes told me that the trip had been worthwhile.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Trough Of Ordinary

Winter has come to Bondi. The violent heat of only a few days past which left so many dead subsided to a light grey boring drizzle. Apart from our first shark attach at the beach in 80 years, the days have been uneventful. It's that period in between the successes; the weary trough of ordinary in which job rejection letters are more frequent than love notes and motivation wanes into frustration.

Valentines tomorrow. I wonder what it holds for me. My girl is not the wet romantic type, preferring garden-cut frangipanis to long-stemmed roses. Not that this should bother me, right? A low maintenance woman a man's dream. Yet part of me yearns her to be more engaged with me than she is. I feel part of her retreat at times.

I've been single for a number of years now. Perhaps disenchanted by the whole situation during a university relationship. So I've felt somewhat of a newcomer to the dating scene. I discovered a whole arena new to me - the "I'm seeing this girl..." arena, of mutual limited commitment - of which I was previously unaware. I was raised rather black and white. Whether through direct instruction or perceived expectation, it was either "thunderbirds are go" or nothing at all. Post-uni took me a number of years to recover. Only recently have I felt relaxed enough to tamper with the opposite sex. But love is not where I began this post.. I'm sidetracked.

The trough of ordinary is an essential part of my life journey (so much less exciting than love goss - sorry!). I'll cut this short: between the high points of success lies the daily routine of discipline and repetition - the ordinary. My work in the media on TV shows or modeling can be very exciting, but there are frequent moments adjacent requiring consistent planning, doggedness and commitment to the task. Amidst this I also need to identify times to pull my head out of career mode and appreciate the present moment around me. Go for a run. Surf (maybe in the sharkwaters). Delight in the motor-mechanics of my body.

My grandfather lies on his deathbed unable to move or speak. It's a sobering forecast of my own future. I visited him this week for the first time since Christmas. In just over a month his decline in health was astounding. He's a mute corpse limited to facial expressions and hand gestures to communicate. I know his time will be soon and it's OK. But it does inspire me to be thankful for and make the most of what I call my golden years. My parents describe their twenties as such, and I would also. Young, healthy, free, unburdened. My grandfather's present condition is one of those events in life which refocus your drive. It's what makes the simplicity of the surf so joyful.

The world lies before me and only self doubt can restrain me.