Australian puppetry links and news

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?

Go the ABC!

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.

Breakfast reading 5.05

  • Turnbull says IPCC report backs government position: The government asserts black is white (again). Breathtaking. Peter Garret, the Opposition Environment Minister, is not hitting back hard enough with things like this. I’m not sure why, because he is articulate and knows his stuff. On present form his predecessor, Anthony Albanese would be better. I was quite impressed with how well Albanese had a handle on global warming before he was replaced.
  • Turnbull’s hypocrisy on climate: Ian Dunlop (formerly a senior international oil, gas and coal industry executive; Chair of the Australian Coal Association in 1987-88; and the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading from 1998-2000) pulls no punches.
  • Schwarzenegger signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Victoria to share environmental expertise. “Sometimes if the federal government is a little slower than the states are, then we have to step up to the plate and we have to create the leadership. It is common that a lot of times the states provide the leadership and then eventually the federal government picks up with it and carries it on. So, what we are doing basically is in California we want to show the leadership and we want other states to join us in the United States, but also overseas.”
  • To treat the dead: An intriguing new theory that after a heart attack people don’t die from irreversible cell damage due to lack of oxygen, but rather from an active biochemical event triggered by the resumption of oxygen supply. The cellular surveillance mechanism cannot tell the difference between a cancer cell and a cell being reperfused with
    oxygen, and triggers the death of the cell.
  • In a flat world imagination is the key: edited version of a speech by Thomas Friedman (from The New York
    to the Sydney Institute. “The world is flat – it has been flattened. We are going from a
    world of vertical silos of command and control to a world where value is created horizontally by who you connect and collaborate with… In this new flat world, there is one iron rule of business and one rule only. When The World is Flat, whatever can be done will be done. The only question is will it be done by you or to you.”
  • Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace: Danah Boyd (2006) looks at how and why kids use MySpace, a welcome voice of reason amid the hyped MSM coverage of MySpace following the tragedy of the Victorian girls. I like her analysis that relates it to public and private space.

That Camel Costume

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 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”.