But, now that the “overwhelming focus” of local TV coverage on the Olympic games in China is over; I can get back to looking at, trying to assess what's happening in the “real” world.
One of the better “alternative” views comes from DW-TV “Deutsche Weller” English language version. Also Jim Lehrer's News Hour from PBS America, as well as some of the more incisive “news analysis” programs and documentaries from ABC Australia.
Where am I heading with all this?
Dunno, really. Isolationism has its own problems, I guess. America still seems to be besotted with the “presidential” games. Gaah, who gives a shit? It will work its way through the circus, two blokes “in tights” will climb a ladder, swing on the trapeze, be accorded a four or 8 year accolade according to one count depending on the level of applause. More about glitz, glitter, glamour and volume from the Ring-Masters than anything else. More about “Ooompapa, façade, fancy costumes and parades”, than any notion of substance.
However, don't misunderstand me. From what have seen so far on TV, at this point of time, not having the impetus nor access to 24 hour internet – if I were leader of any other country on this planet – “Inexperience?”- would much prefer to have a chat, negotiate with Barack Obama, than John McCain .. but am not any sort of leader, and was interested to see and hear some comments by a self professed McCain supporter on local Lateline the other night. Admittedly, there was no “fervent blind faith”, and much of what he said made sensible sense. He pointed out that “History” has a tendency to erase the details, and GW Bush – eventually – may well be seen as a visionary; but only if, in 30-40 years, Iraq truly does become the “democracy” that he envisioned (or was told to envision .. heh). He may be right. He also said something akin to “Europe likes him. I'm against anything that Europe likes. Australia should understand – our ancestors escaped from it”.
At that point I disagreed with him.
Modern Australia didn't “escape” from Europe. It was given an opportunity and built a fascinating society based on freedom, hard work, social justice and – from my point of view – true egalitarian democracy. But yes, our political system IS built on, and modified from – the British Westminster system, but we didn't have to be “reactionary” about it – no “wars of independence”, nobody was compelled to become dead; but EVERY Australian votes (give or take a minor few). We don't have to try to “replicate” “Kings in White Castles”, or go to the extreme of “he who has the loudest trumpet (or trumpeter) wins” - our Prime Minister IS a “man of the people”, can come from anywhere without financial millions or billions to “buy” their way into the Lodge. They stay for three years – or more, or less, as long as the majority of the people of Australia want them to be there. We don't have to shoot them, just give the Party Power brokers an opinion – or when that fails, just vote them out (and yes, a somewhat simplified view).
Barack Obama – intelligent, articulate, successful - seems to carry the many hopes and dreams of so many people on this planet – black, white and brindle. Have just now seen a few words from Michelle Obama - impressive – will be interesting to see what happens next.
[PS, in case someone wants to quibble – yup, am well aware that Australia is a unique island/continent entity in the Asia/South Pacific region. “We” have our own internal problems, but only 20 mill population, so, relatively easy to keep “tabs” on everyone - are mostly well educated and informed, and don't really have much problem with “border security”. No real reason to become paranoid. Bit difficult to walk here these days, and everybody else came by boat (more or less).. heh.]