Towards the end of last year I added an Australian puppetry links page here. It’s listed above with the other site navigation tabs. It is a little more than links because there are brief notes with some of the entries. I also started up @OzPuppetry, a Twitter account for Australian puppetry news, which you can see running real-time updates in the widget in the sidebar to the left.
What prompted me to do both was the frustration I felt when I received an out-of-the-blue email asking my thoughts on the ‘puppetry industry, or lack thereof’, in Australia. Although in many ways I’m only on the periphery of the industry, I was aware of lots of exciting and diverse puppetry at the time, as I tried to convey (pdf). So I decided to write down publicly what I did know as links, and to track news as I saw it on Twitter.
But I should say straight up that I don’t know how long I’ll keep doing either. At the moment I’m enjoying it, but I don’t intend to tie myself to it if my interest wanes. Also, with many of the puppetry community here taking to FaceBook for notifications and networking, perhaps it is only a matter of time before it becomes redundant?
The Australian Broadcasting Commission has again shown it’s willingness to adopt and make the most of new media with it’s shiny new ABC News site. It’s really cool – personalized tagging, great embedded video and audio, and an attractive interface, among other features.
Given my interest in big mascots, kitsch and otherwise, of course my attention was grabbed by the camel costume story a few days ago. A man travelling from Sydney to Melbourne on a Qantas flight checked in luggage which included both a camel and a crocodile costume. Twenty minutes later he saw a baggage handler wearing the head of his camel suit, driving to and fro on the tarmac. Apart from the usual concerns one might have about interference with one’s private belongs and security, the story has wider implications at the moment because of suspicions that Schapelle Corby is an innocent victim of domestic drug running, where baggage handlers might be involved.
Here are a few other links to pictures:
Camel and crocodile picture (via The Sydney Morning Herald, photo Northern Territory Tourist Commission)
Camel head face-on (via news.com.au, photo Jay Town)
Camel head face-on close-up (via The Courier Mail)
Report and picture of the characters in action at the gig they were on the way to, promoting (for the Northern Territory Tourist Commission) the Bulldogs-Carlton AFL game at Marrara Oval, Darwin, to be played onJune 18.
Qantas has launched a full inquiry, the baggage handler has been sacked and the airline has reimbursed the owner for dry-cleaning the camel’s head. And the Northern Territory Tourist Commission can’t be too unhappy. The unforseen advantages kind of remind me of those in Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant – “I didn’t get nothin’. I had to pay fifty dollars and
pick up the garbage”.