Lazy Luddite Log

28.3.08

Tibet: Global Day Of Action

The Beijing Olympics provide an historic opportunity to lobby China to address its human rights abuses. These abuses are rife and are ultimately the product of the status of China as a one-party dictatorship. However modest improvements can and do arise from international pressure on such regimes and China is in a mood to impress the world during the coming Olympiad.

The most prominent (dare I say 'iconic') human rights issue relating to China is that of the oppression of Tibetans. I attended the Global Day of Action for Tibet and think that this peaceful rally in Melbourne was a worthwhile event. Monday 31 March was a wet and overcast day but the attendance was good considering and the mood was positive.

The kind of rally I am accustomed to never starts on time so I was surprised to arrive only five minutes late to discover that speeches had started. I think that there is a very different culture working behind the scenes in groups like the Australia Tibet Council than in more 'activist' groups. The crowd were respectful and responsive and a lot of worthwhile speeches were made and contact info collected for the cause.

The key message of the event was that protests in Tibet are peaceful ones and that the movement for human rights in Tibet have always been non-violent. Furthermore it was stressed that what the Tibetan Government In Exile wants is something that the Chinese constitution allows for - they want 'autonomy' rather than 'independence'. Some speakers expressed surprise at the recalcitrance of the Chinese Government and wondered at its lack of common sense. The thing I think those speakers may be overlooking is the mindset of those who value power for its own sake. Still nothing is so monolithic that it can resist change forever.

One novelty for me at this rally was that the representative of the Federal Government present was on the same side as all those assembled. The Prime Minister has recently been open in calling for China to address its Tibet issue and this development surely lent to the positive mood of the day. It is good to see that our new government recognises that peaceful diplomacy can be frank and forceful.

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20.3.08

Relaxed Closet Obsessive

I am off interstate for the long weekend shortly and have other things to do and yet I felt like I had to do a blog post... simply because it was overdue... simply because I set a personal pattern-of-behaviour in which my blog gets a weekly entry. Even if I have nothing pressing I wish to share with the world I still feel compelled by this self-set stricture. And with that in mind I now have my blog topic for the week - my tendency to be obsessive!

Why does it matter how frequently or with what regularity this gets updated? It is my plaything to do with as I wish and yet I am very much dedicated to this standard of weekly posting. It is one of the obsessive aspects of my behaviour. I say in the title "relaxed" because I can defy this behaviour at will and feel okay about it. I also say "closet" because most of the things I obsess over are things that others may never notice...

So who is to know that I try to have as many tracks designated 'rock' as 'soul' in my iPod? Or that I try to ensure that any sentence with the word "question" in it also has the word "answer" in there too? Or that I prefer savoury to preceed sweet in a meal? Or that it bugs me if I have more than one image or logo in the clothes I am presently wearing? The only one of these things that I think anyone is familiar with is my (apparently amusing) practice of having even numbers of Autobots and Decepticons in my Transformers collection!

And having written this much I now feel I can get on with my day.

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12.3.08

Sketchy

I am fortunate to attend a regular crafts evening. It is a chance to gossip with some old friends as well as a structured time for me to do something I have always enjoyed – drawing. It is one of the cooler parts of my week and I have finally scanned some of my work from those sessions. Some of the sketches in this set have been worked on at ‘Craft'.

All sorts of other creative things are done by others at these sessions like knitting and embroidery and painting and the designing of unique retro-tech trinkets. But sketching is my thing and now some of it is on the Internet.

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