The spring issue of youth journal Voiceworks, themed 'V' is out now. It features a piece I wrote on the changing educative goals of children's television and, in particular, that crazy phenomenon known as Sesame Street. I'll post up a scan when I get my hands on a copy, but for now - go out and buy it!
Here's a little sample:
"There’s a bear in there, and a chair as well. There are people with games, and if you grew up in Australia within the last 45 years you’ve probably heard the stories they have to tell. I spent my early childhood poorly recreating Benita and the Playschool gang’s craft projects with Clag glue and whatever I could get my hands on; family heirlooms, clothes or insects. Playschool holds the honour of longest-running Australian children’s program, second across all genres only to Four Corners, so I’d hazard a guess that my home wasn’t the only one unintentionally vandalised in afternoon creative frenzies. Nearing a half-century of air-time is no mean feat, and the gang have bought themselves a facelift to celebrate. The ABC re-launched the show’s iconic opening number with a more ‘modern’ sound in July, along with a shiny new interactive website. Then there’s the American educational revolution three years Big Ted’s junior. Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street? The average five-year-old from Brooklyn, Cairns or Bangalore could. They might tell you the fictional street is ambiguously set in New York, with speculation pointing to Manhattan’s west side. This Muppet empire now stretches to over 120 countries and has been a part of an estimated 80 million children’s early lives. It answers an impressive number of pub trivia questions such as ‘Which television show has received the most Emmy Awards?’ but it’s biggest achievement has to be staying on-air long enough to see its first viewers retire."
Making my way down The Valley mall early on Thursday night, past the club blasting a cover of Wham’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’, past the pub crowd and onwards to Woodland, I was sceptical. Sceptical that BIGSOUND could deliver a night of equal quality to one before (see why here) and that conference-goers who had been shooting the musical shit since 9am Wednesday would have any energy left. An hour and a half later the event had sold out completely and there was egg all over my face.
Given the scores of ‘must-see’ new acts, fresh young faces and hyped radio favourites, you’d need a Harry Potter-style time turner to make the most of the experience. I don’t have one of those (yet), so I set out to simply cram in as much noise as possible.
Read the original coverage here. I also shot and live tweeted the event; it was an awful lot of fun.
“Is this the end or is it just beginning,” they sang and it felt right.
As Inland Sea wrapped up their opening spot at BIGSOUND’s live showcase in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, it signalled the start of something big – for the night and for the talented young acts that would fill it.BIGSOUND is an industry conference that exists to talk about music and the people that make it. For those throwing themselves into the conversation, it’s a long and fulfilling three days. For two of those days, when the sun goes down, Australia and New Zealand’s up-and-comers emerge for show and tell.It’s a variety show for industry types, a block party across Brisbane’s entertainment precinct, and a heartening display of genuine talent. I know every crumb in every corner of The Valley, but I’ve rarely seen it as full of energy as it was last night. There are weekends where the streets groan under the sheer weight of people, where the music is oppressively loud and sweat hangs heavy in the air. What BIGSOUND brought was a true celebration of things to come, and a crowd united in a love of music.
I've been a little quiet on the freelancing front and this is why: I've been working on a little magazine called Run, Rabbit that will be launching online in December. I'm getting so excited at the quality and range of pitches coming through from talented folk not just from Brisbane, but from around the country and the world. It will be quite a bit of work to get going, but it never feels like it when your heart is behind a project.
Run, Rabbit will cross culture with compassion, craft and creativity with community. I haven't been able to find anything quite like what I want to achieve: something that speaks to my playful side, but also makes me think, engaging me in issues larger than myself without compromising on intelligence or patronising me. Something that doesn't then try to sell me something or tell me how to do my hair this month. So, I decided to make it myself. No products, no fashion, no beauty, no god damn celebrities, no hipster-snobbery or intellectual elitism. Just ordinary people with extraordinary ideas or talent, thought-provoking pieces sharing space with the silly and the mundane. Writers who share their beliefs, thoughts and experiences without trying so damn hard to seem irreverent. This is what I want to read, and I don't think I'm the only one.
Vital escapes in busy cities, our world-class green spaces give us plenty of fresh reasons to play and relax, writes Anna Angel.
A BREATH of fresh air does a world of good, so get a few lungsful tomorrow, on World Parks Day.
Whether you fancy a cheap and adventurous camping weekend in a national park, a romantic picnic on the foredunes, or a family barbecue in a city park, the choice across Queensland is limitless.
David Clarke, CEO of Australia and New Zealand's leading parks organisation, Parks Forum, says healthy parks lead to healthy communities.
``Not only do they contribute to physical health, but also to mental health: exposure to the natural world is therapeutic,'' he says.
Queensland University of Technology community space expert Dr Gillian Lawson says councils recognise the importance of harnessing our natural blessings. ``We've got a strong tradition of sporting groups using parks, but not of a diverse range of physical activities that are much more widely accessible than a cricket match,'' Dr Lawson says.
But she praised Brisbane and Gold Coast councils for providing locals with fresh reasons pull out the picnic hampers.
One example is Brisbane City Council's LIVE arts program, which will see parks across the city play host to a mix of free music events throughout September.
Another is the city's Active Parks series with free and low-cost activities in more than 50 of the city's parks. The program varies throughout the week and comes alive on weekends.
Before the new web team wipes everything we worked on last year, I thought I'd share some images and text from the 2010 Frock Paper Scissors site. It might not seem so important, but it's crazy to think every design element, every image and every word was dreamed up, coded, edited and fussed over by myself and the entire web team. It takes more work, and is much more satisfying when the final product comes together, than I ever realised. I only wish I could have continued with the site after the mammoth task of redesign.