peteg's blog

Wordlines: Contemporary Australian Writing selected by Hilary McPhee

/noise/books | Link

Patchy, as all collections are. McPhee's introduction starts strong as she reflects on her return to Australia after three years in the Middle East; from the dust of Amman to being repelled by Australian "affluence, food fetishism and the politics of spin." I wish she'd kept on with that, as her summaries of the works of others contained herein are a bit pointless when they are so short and immediately available.

Not much really stood out for me, but I will be keeping an eye out for Drusilla Modjeska's Papuan novel when it's cooked — what's here is not quite enough to satisfy. Paul Mitchell struck a cord with his tale about the extra-suburban dwellers: those not in the cities and not in the bush, living neither a majoritarian or dead-Australia romantic life. The other pieces passed the time agreeably enough.

Melbourne is the vein for the whole thing. With all their education and cash, why aren't the bored housewives of Canberra writing this sort of stuff? I expect big things from this parental leave scheme.

Here's a longer review in The Australian.

Toy Story 3

/noise/movies | Link

Yeah, better again than the second one. Wish I'd seen it in the cinema now. The animation puts the computer effects of Tron Legacy (etc) to shame. Love has been lavished on the script too. Already #26 in IMDB's top-250.

/noise/beach/2010-2011 | Link

I wanted to go for a late-afternoon snorkel somewhere not too crowded. I tried Little Bay only to find it overrun by four-wheel-drives (SUVs? are we American yet?) parked on the footpaths, and drivers not prepared to let me get out of their way. Good to see that Sydney drivers have already decided to continue their unfailing rudeness into the new year / decade. I guess politeness is not a very stable equilibrium.

Anyway I made it down to Cape Banks without incident, although the traffic around La Parouse was even more insane. The water there remains a bit cool, but not as bad as it was, and maybe a little less cloudy than I usually find it. I didn't see much beyond the usual suspects.