A Disturbing Reality


The two Australian DJs who pulled last weeks “prank” call to the British hospital where Kate Middleton had been admitted for morning sickness, must have been pleased with themselves. High fives, pats on the back, handshakes; worldwide attention, internet sensation. Sales Managers giddy as they boosted ad rates, station manager basking in a ratings glory.No doubt they were already plotting the next stunt, unwilling to relinquish the celebrity high.

The bubble burst with the news of Jacintha Saldanha’s suicide. The nurse at the receiving end of their harmless little joke had taken her life. Teams of public relations professionals and lawyers took over. Nursing an adrenalin hangover the station pulled the show off the air. The offending DJs issued a statement saying how devastated they were. Not nearly as devastated as Jacintha’s family.

My ponder is reality; or lack thereof.

Perhaps human nature is such that we will never rise above genetic programming. The Roman Coliseum replaced by the “reality” of Honey Boo Boo, Celebrity Rehab., the Botoxed housewives from hell. Reality media is an obsession. We feed on “reality” that looks to me  like an M.C. Escher painting. We laugh at misfortune and excess, shake our heads in mock disbelief as Snookie gets into another bar fight.

All of us are responsible for Saldanha’s suicide. Time to leave the Coliseum behind. Reality may be difficult at first, but at least we will gain some self respect.

My “Ugg”ly Pleasure


Uggs are a sheepskin boot from Australia. Void of shape or style, somehow they managed to adorn the feet of half the women I passed. More accurately; young women, the Lululemon yoga pants set. It didn’t stop there – Uggs supported skirts, leggings, skinny jeans; outfits were built around the ugliest boot imaginable.

I scoffed at Uggs, they were my socks with sandals. My daughter and I joked about “Uggfits”

When my husband announced he wanted to buy Uggs for my birthday, I thought he was joking. Not wanting to hurt his feelings I managed a weak smile. In my heart certain I could wiggle out of it, I played along. He asked me to meet him down town today; with Uggly dread I agreed.

The first store we went to didn’t have my size. Better yet – we now knew they were priced at $200. Things were looking up – fate might just take care of things. We tried again, this time a department store with an extensive Ugg display. Struggling with myself for not speaking up I weakly asked the sales clerk for my size. She was rather odd and cranky, we waited and waited. Five minutes passed, then ten. She emerged from the back room to tell me she couldn’t remember the size I had asked for. Yikes.  The situation was becoming surreal, I took dishevelled and forgetful clerk as an omen that Uggs were not going to be. By now I had plenty of alternatives in mind; my smile was genuine.

Without warning my world came crashing down; she approached us with three shoe boxes. Resigned to my Ugg fate I sat down and pulled one on. Before even standing up, I was converted. My foot nestled in a warm embrace; hurriedly I pulled on the other and took my first steps. I was walking on fairy dust, pillows of magic, with music greeting every step. That was 12 hours ago. My closet lies on the floor as I plan my “Uggfits”. In hindsight my husband knows me best, I wouldn’t have been married for over 30 years if he hadn’t been able to see through my Uggsgust . I may just sleep in them.

Ugg Short Classic Chestnut

Total Eclipse of the Sun


Growing up the prospect of a solar eclipse was big news. Granted  the sixties and seventies were different times. I grew up in an age when we all gazed skyward. An era of lunar landings, rockets, and space probes. We sat glued to our B&W televisions as mission control made their final count down. Popular Mechanics magazine was popular and Captain Kirk warped his way across the universe. Quantum physics, string theory, and dark matter were unheard of. Food was cooked on a stove not zapped, telephones were wired to the wall, and  nothing short of joy describes packing away the eight track tape in favour of the cassette.

I realize my ponder is lost on anyone under 40 but there is a relevant point.

The future I used to read about has arrived. It’s not the past that makes me nostalgic, nothing makes me happier than sitting at my computer. What worries me is the disconnect from our world. We all move so fast. The world passes by as the “road trip” is replaced with “all inclusive” vacations. Terror describes the reaction to losing a cell phone, the one device many are incapable of putting aside for even the briefest of moments. Texting not talking has become the preferred means of communication, often the only assurance we have of reaching someone. Coffee shops; once the place to meet and exchange ideas,silent but for the faint tap of keys on Mac Books. We have “friends” we’ve never met, debates with strangers, and fail to recognise the irony when shelling out for the latest self help e-book.

It would be unreasonable to expect the realm of possibility to ever include setting aside our modern tools. There will always be a future, technology is unstoppable. What’s sad is how runaway advances have taken away our ability to dream and imagine.

I can’t think of a better way to charge your spirit or feel restored than to gaze at the sky. The Taurids peaked last night so chances of an earth bound fireball are slim. My suggestion is a good old fashioned eclipse. Unless you live in Australia the next total eclipse of the sun on Nov. 14 isn’t much good. Don’t despair there will be plenty more. Given fair warning you can arrange an “event” to watch it with all your facebook “friends” The only catch – you have to actually go outside and see it for yourself.

http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/list.html

Total Solar Eclipse
This photograph shows the total solar eclipse of Oct. 24, 1995, as seen from Dundlod, India.
CREDIT: Fred Espenak/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center