Wednesday, September 28, 2005

only skinny girls wear pants ... happy birthday ricebag

I just figured it out ...


recognise ricebag : ricebags bum atop rickshaw : new delhi : smoggy thick to suck greay gritty air of pahrganj : you know you know you just you know you just want to go home

Yessah ... I write you from my cool air-conditioned shh shh office. Lots and lots of air-conditioning. Lots of shhhhhhhh, noise that is not actually noise, humming that lies just under the radar - not sure exactly what it is - leather-backed swivel seats rolling across marbled carpet; computer hard-drives whirring some electronic pah; the slick sleeves of flipping folders and files; ink-jet printers emitting paper emissaries signalling the work due now, due tomorrow, due yesterday.

12 months ago to the day Ricebag was walking down off Mt Sinai in the Sinai Desert, Egypt.

24 months ago to the day Ricebag can't remember what exactly she was doing but she was with Finah in Amsterdam, camping by a river with a bunch load of bikers.

36 months ago to the day Ricebag was losing her impossible love in the blue blue mountains of Enga.

48 months ago to the day Ricebag was solo trekking and rescued by a missionary plane somewhere on the wrong side of the border.

Today is the first ricebag birthday that she will be celebrating with her family since her bash on 28 September 1997, Glebe Sidoneeeeee Ostroileeeeeeeya.

Yeah. I am having my cake. I am having my cake.

Ricebag has had loads of lovely emails and hugs and phone-calls (best one so far from Gov all the way in Dubvegas) ...

What a nice surprise ... the first email of ricebag's bondei follows:

Hi Ricebag,

I'm not sure if you would remember me, but, i must say time doesn't always erase memories of our youth. My names B** T**, and I went to primary school with you at *** International primary school in ***, I think you had just arrived from living in Brussels.

Anyway I'm emailing to let you know that I recently came across your doco "***" which is currently filming here in Auckland tomorrow Wed 28th Sept 2005 (your birthday...happy birthday) and have organised for a number of PNG'ns living in Auckland to come and support. We are all looking forward to seeing the doco.

Well congratulations on the making of what I know is a great documentry and also for all your amazing achievements so far.

Look forward to hearing from you.

B*** T***

Yes ... Ricebag made a doco ... an internationally-award winning doco with some mates of hers in the blue mountains of her blood in 2002 . It was physically, mentally and emotionally the most taxing thing I have ever done in my life. Beautiful and hard. It broke me down and I am still wading through the flotsam ... which is probably why I haven't spoken of it until now.

Some kind of weird karma that its now showing on my birthday ... big-up to all you NZers ... hope you enjoy - and please drop me an email to let me know!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

mama just said

MyMama just rang me at work.

She said it was just a quick call to see if I sounded any older. I told her not to be silly. I won't sound older until tomorrow. Tomorrow I will sound older. Promise, I said. Good girl, she said. And then she said, Did I tell you that God gave you the gift of Big Dreams. No mama, I said, you didn't tell me that. But we already knew it, didn't we. And I said to her, Sometimes, it feels more like a beautiful fucking burden than a gift. Yes, MyMama said, but God Gave It To You.

Make of that what you will.

one of ricebags biggest biggest worst fears

"What is the meaning of life? That was all - a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with the years. The great revelation had never come. Instead, there were daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one. "
Lily Briscoe in Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse"

On the eve of her birthday Ricebag muses on her life thus far ...

Some of the most important girls in my life, my best friend, BBC, my long-lost cousin Finni, my lovely Finah & Nelo, BabySister and some ors ... love me dearly but don't want what I insist upon them ... don't you want to see this or this and do this and this I say. Aren't you dying to get out and get lost in something bigger than your fears?? Always I get a quizzical look and I swear there's something like pity in there was well.

So what did they teach me?? My women have taught me thus: Will you ever learn, they smile in age-old fashion ... your life is not for me. Your dreams are not mine. Your wildness is your own. My life is good and I am working towards something. I don't have your needs or your passions. My own are sweet and are coming together one by one. By one.

Perhaps, to them, I am thus:

"Your dear, restless, vivid-hearted friend. Sometimes you feel a sharp envy at the sensuality of her ... But you remind yourself that she isn't happy and probably never will be and it's a comfort, that. For no matter how much Theo achieves and acquires and out-dazzles everyone else, she never seems content. She's taught you that people who shine more lavishly than everyone else seem to be penalised by discontent, as if they're being punished for craving a brighter life. I've been knocked down so many times I can't remember the number plates, she said once.

Many people are afraid of Theo but you've never been ... All the noise of her personality is a mask and when it slips off, on the rare occasion, the vulnerability riddled through her is always a shock."
Anonymous, 'The Bride Stripped Bare'

Monday, September 26, 2005

a list to live by

Dear ALL please note, my yahoo is still fucked and I haven't emailed anyone in weeks because of that. Lovers, please note I can read/access your emails, I just cannot send an email or reply to any (totally frustrating)!! So here are a few quick replies to the latest in my INbox:

  • Crispy - Nena gets the biggest BIG-UP from me!! 100 years old - biggest hug from me please.
  • Gov - Did you get my phone message? Sorry can't email my love & thoughts.
  • Karlos - loving mango - totally adorable!!
  • Julz - so proud of you!
  • BabySister - so pissed off with you!
  • Woo - let me know ... let me know!! Next bottle of pop on me little artist.
  • ODLV - are you checking in? Or have you fallen off the email cliff. Check in. ok?
  • Dawso - can you stop writing for the red carpet and start writing to me. Miss you.
  • 2 beautiful bidis in Salzburg - you KNOW I love you. Forgive me please for not being a better correspondent. SO much shit has gone down and we have these weird paralell lives and I am dying for an in-person magic moment of which we had at least 300.
  • Naama - forgive and forgive. Every day I am reading in the papers of Israel and please know I think on you constantly.
  • ... all the other lovers ... promise ricebag will write in personal and in kind asap ...

With all this great luck, Ricebag also spent the weekend from Saturday arvo in the bath, and in bed and in the toilet ... yucky stomach bug with everything coming out every orifice ... woke up feeling well enough to go to work (figures!) so here I am ...

As part of the general 30th Independence fervour, I got a load of those general quippy feel-good and life-in-a-quote kinda emails and I usually send those straight to - DELETE - really, all that sappy stuff does not do it for ricebag ... but today I actually thought one of 'em struck a chord re looking forward and all that blah and am sticking it on here for posterity.


The most destructive habit..............................Worry

The greatest Joy.......................................Giving

The greatest loss........................Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work.......................Helping others

The ugliest personality trait.....................Selfishness

The most endangered species.................Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource.......................Our youth

The greatest "shot in the arm"..................Encouragement

The greatest problem to overcome.........................Fear

The most effective sleeping pill................Peace of mind

The most crippling failure disease....................Excuses

The most powerful force in life..........................Love

The most dangerous pariah..........................A gossiper

The world's most incredible computer................The brain

The worst thing to be without.... ....................... Hope

The deadliest weapon...............................The tongue

The two most power-filled words......................."I Can"

The greatest asset......................................Faith

The most worthless emotion..........................Self-pity

The most beautiful attire..............................SMILE!

The most prized possession......................... Integrity

The most powerful channel of communication.............Prayer

The most contagious spirit.........................Enthusiasm

independence : so proud

Yeah. Whatever can I say?? My country is Exotic. Complex. Intriguing. Difficult. Diverse. My people are Proud. Strong. Wild. Free. Learning. Growing. Impatient.

There was so much pride. And Hope. Walking around during the Independence loooong weekend, you couldn't escape it. Massive smiles, inside and out. A reason to celebrate. And celebrate we did.

Ricebag did a fair bit of partying with friends and family. And lots and lots of people-watching (ricebags faveourite passtime).

I think it is fair to say I am proud as all hell to be a Papua New Guinean.

It's just that sometimes being Papua New Guinean is really really hard. But then I remember, that's kind of my birth-song ... and some incredible beauty in this life I have has come from intense hardship ... and love for others and self-respect comes from surviving ... and ricebag is making it. And PNG is making it too.

independence : people : tabari place

Saturday, September 24, 2005

independence : body parts : tabari place

independence : modern huli warriors : international airport

independence : bilas baby : upng

independence : morobean motion : tabari place

independence : duna tribesman : stadium

independence : asaro mud men : stadium

independence : chimbu sing sing : tabari place

independence : drummer boys : tabari place

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


two flags : port moresby 2005

Friday 16th September is my country's 30th Anniversary of Independence.

Today was a very cool day to be working in our nations capital. People everwhere had something something traditional on - clothes, bags, arm bands, flowers, frangis & hibisci piled up ... face paint and big big smiles.

There are a few parties, picnics, functions, family do's planned in the 4 day weekend from here on out. See you in a few!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

the big call-out

Well. Today was a big day for ricebag. What with liking woes and engagements and general deep-thinking on career ... at the end of the day I get a phone call from my cousin Muzz ... the last person in the world I would ever expect to call me right now.

Muzz's dad is MyMama's brother, my Uncle D. Muzz's dad is my primary father-figure ... after my own beautiful father died so long ago. Together Uncle D and MyMama made the futures of all 6 of us kids (me, BabySister and our 4 cousins) ... gave us every opportunity ... made our growing-up a little bit incredible, a little bit farming fun free. We were so goddam lucky and loved and we were spoilt no end (I do not exaggerate) and nothing was ever demanded of us in return except our very very best. And we gave back love and heartache in spades.

Uncle D had a stroke a year ago. And he is doing ok, is ok, is just ok. A little bit ok. But not so great. Not so fantastic. Not even so ok. Just barely ok. It's breaking my heart.

So Muzz rang today. And she said "Come Home" to Lae. This was the big call-out. All us kids have to rally and save the businesses that Uncle D and MyMama pioneered, their hard work and sweat which educated us and fed us and let us be a little bit free and innocent and naive when we were younger.

Muzz and siblings know I am not a business-woman. I don't have that street savvy or the inclination/desire to make money/profit. Born a bit of an idealist and definitely a dreamer and a minimalist ... ricebag is actually trying to head somewhere, to build a foundation and get the tools to manage & create a specific career ... one that isn't driven by the profit motive. And taking "time-out" at this stage isnt really an option.

That is what the right side, the conservative side of my brain says.

But then my left, my liberal, my instinctive side, the one connected straight to my heart - that side says Go Home to Lae ... Be Daughter ... Do Family ... put something back into the ones and the work that put me where I am. It is SO tempting. Mostly because I Want To. Mostly because it's not duty pulling me to Lae but desire. A need and a want to build us up again, to hold our family shit together and keep our ship afloat.

Lord, why was I born a Libran - I can never NEVER make a decision without weighing up absolutely every particle of information, every possible reason, every positive and negative until I start losing the whole point.

As with everything else, I am going to start doing some serious thinking.

best gov

Well ... in light of my last few emails ... I am feeling a little depressed ... but only because of this EXCELLENT news - one of my oldest and truest, a most beautiful friend from boarding-skooool, EKG AKA Gutter AKA Gov ... just got engaged. CONGRATULATIONS my love!! You actually deserve every good thing and I think Mr T might just be well up to the task spending the rest of this lifetime earning the right to call someone as worthy as you, his.

What can I say Gov? I love you to bits and news of your happiness is smashing.

I miss you loads and loads and loads and send you the MASSIVEST hug ever!! Until next I come your way and the guava, champagne and waterskiis are on me. Always, Ricebag.

little fuck-up

Remember how ricebag is in like?? Well the object of that like ... has a ... has a LTG ... long-term galfriend. SHEIZER!!

Strangely enough, this does not altogether deter ricebag.

Might have something to do with the fact LTG lives in another country and reportedly is a bit of a plain jane (the plain-jane bit does worry me slightly as this means LTG might have a fantastic personality to compensate - much rather do battle with a barbie ... an intelligent man will usually get it right). So now I find myself in the unenviable position of having to steal a man away.

Stay tuned. The girls from my office are ... as per our rapid gun-fire emails this afternoon.

I give myself 3 months. 3 months to be myself and give him no option. Just between you and me I just know. There are some things I know. Like the minute we met I knew that IT wouldn't work until Xmas ... and I didn't know why - and now I do (because of this person with a prior claim). Like I know that this boy fits me - it's just something I know. I also acknowledge there is only so much a gal can do ... within reason and if she intends to keep her self-respect (which I do) ... so this old gal is going to play at Being Ricebag and make sure that boy is in the audience, binocs in tow, taking notes at every opportunity. I don't need magic, violence or divine intervention. Just a little time. Like 3 months. Like around X-mas something just might come good.

If you think I sound psychotic - don't worry. I am hardly anywhere near obsessed. Like I said, I just know. So I'm actually more relaxed than when I did not know about the LTG. I too am going to sit back and watch this happen. And we'll see. As I said before, we shall just have to see what unfolds.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

in like

ricebag walking solo across all the way across western tibet : june 2004 : longest dusty yellow-hot days; sub-zero nights in my macpac one-man; home for caves along mountain walls; dry noodles and sleepless fits as yak herds thundered across moon-lit plains; a trillion stars and a lone soul; running, walking, hitching, stealing my way across this ancient landscape; illegal ricebag ... walking kilometres around chinese military checkpoints under cover of night; eating tsampa tsampa tsampa in tibetan tents; prostrating bhuddhist prayers for a world tomorrow tomorrow; walking as a pilgrim over mt kailash; walking lake manosarovar; breathing lungs, moving one foot, one step at a time; a little islandbaby made it all the way from lhasa to kashgar. alone. with a tent. a water filter. a swag of prayer flags. and lots and lots of good luck; very very much a dream come true; a total fucking adventure; crossing raging ice-melt rivers at midnight; climbing canyons; hiding underside metal boxes in tibetan trucks; stranded at the end of the world. Without a visa. Even I forget forget. The intensity. The exhaustion. The purity. The vastness. The pale blue-in-everything beauty. The utter isolation. A desert storm. An ice-capped road. The infinity. Even I forget that I did that. ricebag. me.

And now the news we've been waiting for ...

It's official. Ricebag is in like. IN LIKE!! Do not even begin to underestimate how amazing that is. Shhhh ... he doesn't know yet how hard he is about to fall for me. My instincts tell me he also is in like, has like for ricebag ... and I am not going to let this one go without making him suffer for love first.


After Meg rang on Friday she gave me a real kick up the bum. And now I just feel so ready to shed this slump I've been in and look forward ... and the minute I do that (ie yesterday) something promising happens. Last night at an AIDS fundraiser party ... he is the one wearing the white belt.

I can't tell more because true love was thwarted all evening but but but I have my girls, The Sepik Girls, and they are my cheer squad and a little sumthin sumthin has just gotta be coming up.

I mean, Jesus. I woke up with a smile on my face this morning. How corny is that.

I always hate this beginning bit ... the sussing-out part. I just want to get to the first kiss. Then I'm ok; I know how to deal; I can navigate from there. It's the confidence thing. After the first kiss you know the liking is mutual. This before-bit ... it's ... a bit nerve-wrecking. Will he?? Won't he?? It only matters so much when I really-really am in like. If I am less-in-like, then with my winning "personality" and a few fluttering eyelashes, I can increase your little ricebag-like to a lotta ricebag-like ... there's just less for me to lose. But when I am in real-real-like, like right now, then I am somewhat lost. Somewhat paralysed. I could totally shine with absolutely every other living organism in the room, but when I get close to showing off ricebag-in-her-stunning-element to the object-of-ricebag's-affection, this stupid brain shuts down. Lord, how'd I ever get a boyfriend before??!!

At least I know. I have The Sepik Girls to remind me constantly - he'd be a bloody fool not to jump me! That and the fact that we are going to have a beautiful life and that we will make amazing looking mini-me's, keeps me forging ahead.

However, dear readers, please dont expect a hot tropical love affair any time soon (boo hoo). This is, after all, island manyana time and with ricebag her life is work and not much play. We shall see. We shall see. We shall just have to see.

ALSO at the same 'do' last night, I met someone I did not know before but whose blog I've been following ... Larissa is an Australian Volunteer teaching at a high school in Port Moresby and you can catch more about her experience living and working in PNG on her blog BOMANA NIGHTS.

Gave her a bit of a shock in the Ladeeez (why do all the most vital communications always take place in the ladies toilets??!!) when I recognised her from her blog and gave my HEY and "outed" myself as ISLANDBABY.

Ms Bomana Nights is a totally gorgeous girl in real life. Just so you know.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Yesterday, winding down the office week and my blinds started to rattle ... I was sitting in my office talking distractedly to my secretary when I started to think I was fainting, my head was shaking and I had that feeling in my whole body (slightly out-of-body) that usually precedes such an episode ... but then I realised - my blinds are shaking! Which means my walls are shaking! That went on for a full minute. An earthquake. I am on the top floor of the 2nd tallest building in town. The whole entire building shook. SHOOK.

The SMH reports that therthquake measured 7.3 shook parts of Papua New Guinea but there were no immediate reports of damage and the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a tsunami was unlikely. The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 4.35pm Sydney time, was off the east coast of New Britain, about 130 kilometres east-south-east of Rabaul.

And here I was worried about BabySister in Japan who was visiting friends in Nagasaki last week when the typhoon hit and she found it a bit hard to get back to Tokyoyoyo where she lives. Thanking God she is ok.

Friday, September 09, 2005

phone call

ricebag walking a pre-autumn street : copenhagen 2003

Wow. Cannot believe it. Meg Taylor rang me this morning from her office as the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman of the IFC in Washington DC. Little old insignificant me. I sent her an email begging for advice re ricebag's career decision (read: INDECISION) and she has helped me set my course again. And we chatted for 20 minutes and she is so incredible, she got right to the source and said this is very dangerous ... now is not the time to play. And I. Heard her.

Thankyou Meg.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


ricebag looking up to the sky : any day dulwich : london 2003

Shhhhh ... it's a secret. Finally. Some good nius for your islandbaby. Some very good nius. Mi by toktok long yu behain liklik. Noken wori tumas. Sumpela hevi mi bin karrim by go longway liklik na nau mi na ol line bilong mi hamamas.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

some mornings

ricebag lying in : january 2005 : somebody's farm : sunburnt-west country new south wales

Some mornings I wake up and I just do not want to get out of bed. That's mostly coz I just do not want to go to work. It's not my nature to lie in - I am not a sleeper-inner-er ... was born to rise and shine. Or just rise. Born to beat the sun. I love that hour when its still black out, when everyone else is deep deep down and I own that hour, I celebrate that stillness. In me. In my world. And it makes me sad that the 9 to 5 thing is hammering me into the mould of the norm, when crowing at 6am is a shitty alarm signalling the start to a shitty day. Waking up with the sun warm on my face is new to me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


JCD tagged me. I am filling out the questionnaire he sent.

As I told JCD I really do not enjoy doing these kind of things because books are like lovers ... some are mistakes; some are shared some are read and revisited and reloved; some were borrowed; some were never returned; some were hard to part with, others easy to leave behind; some books were fast and some were sweeter ... you get the picture ... so, I am not going to be incredibly exhaustive in this list (don't worry, I've DEFINITELY read more books than had lovers) ... what I am trying to say is all of these were personal; all of these were personal experiences; some, very intimate. Yeah - I am a book-lover!

When I was growing up whenever we visited someone elses house, my sister went straight to the bathroom (an excuse to scope out the joint) and I went straight to the bookshelf (an excuse to scope out the minds of the house).

So here goes:

Total Books Owned:

Owned - easily 1500 realistically, closer to 2000 (not counting text books for school/uni which would add about 450). Permanently borrowed - around 100

Last Book I Bought:

"Learn-To-Drive Handbook" by Kerry O'Sullivan (self-explanatory this one).

Last Book(s) I Read:

  • "I Am David" by Anne Holm - Read this when I was in Grade 3 - loved it then, made me cry now. Nicked from my little cousin Van & finished it in one sitting on Sunday.
  • "Globalization and its Discontents" by Joseph Steiglitz (mandatory reading for any one who wants to know more about the IMF/World bank and how much they've fucked up - by someone who was the leading economist at the World Bank.) Finished it last Friday.
  • "The Fight" by Norman Mailer. Old Norm - an artist. Even if you do not follow boxing, you will appreciate the mastery of this book as Norman Mailer gives a first-hand account of that infamous battle between Mohammed Ali and George Foreman in Africa - the same documented in that famous doco "Once Were Kings". Reading this is pure enjoyment. This was my 3rd re-read, finished 10 days ago. Classic.
  • "We Were The Mulvaney's" by Joyce Carol Oates. Finishing it now only because I've bloody started it. Big book. Big sticker marked "Oprah Winfrey Book Club" on the cover - should have known it would be a pain in the a** ... but needed something to read that was non-taxing. Don't enjoy her style. At all. But appreciate it nontheless. Love what it means - that Eden does not last forever, that falls from grace can bring a new kind of life, from destitution - how Oprah does that sound!

Books Currently On The (back)Burner

  • "The Glass Bead Game" Herman Hesse
  • "Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" Jared Diamond
  • " A Brief History of Time" Stephen Hawking. Second read - trying to actually understand it this time.

  • "Infinite Jest" David Foster Wallace. Massive book. Have been 'reading' this one for a longa while now - promise to finish soon!!
  • "Cold Comfort Farm" Stella Gibbons
  • "The War Against Cliche" Martin Amis

Books I Like To Read:

  • ON Art theory - lots of different things about art theory and history of fashion from mnemonics to Martin Heiddegard, from Oscar Wilde to Gore Vidal.
  • ON Modern thrid-world economics - not dry texts but reflective experiential accounts.
  • ON Travel - but nothing too thin and wishy washy back-packer yar yar. More along the lines of mountain-climbing accounts; biographies of famous explorers; less famous, more intrepid accounts of modern travel etc
  • ON Classics - my list is endless. I mean "classic" in the Victorian sense. Revival of Thomas Hardy ('whip me, chain me"); always Bronte sisters and Jane Austen; currently revisiting Tennessee William's various plays; more into poetry now (Specifically early American Modernist) - previously American Beat (Charles Bukowski) etc etc
  • Biographies - on artists; travellers; authors; basically interesting people. But must be well-written, well-researched.
  • ON Criticism - of art, of art theory, of philosophy theory, of modern economic theory.
  • ON vegetating - good modern murder fiction eg anything in the Kay Scarpetta series; even some of my sisters Steven Kings; etc

    Just good fiction.

Books That Mean A Lot To Me:

DISCLAIMER This list is not exhaustive ... many other books have left some indelible mark on the skin of my mind.
  • "The Prophet" Khalil Gibran
  • "South" Sir Earnest Shackleton
  • "Guns, Germs and Steel : The Fates of Human Societies" Jared Diamond
  • "The Future Eaters" Tim Flannery
  • "The Catcher in the Rye" JD Salinger
  • "She's Come Undone" Wally Lamb
  • "For God, Country and Coca-Cola" Mark Pendergrast
  • "Slouching towards Bethlehem" Joan Didion
  • "A Fine Balance" Rohinton Mistry
  • "Cloudstreet" Tim Winton
  • "Orientalism" Edouard Said
  • "Heart of Darkness" Joseph Conrad
  • "SAS Survivial Guide" SAS
  • "Touching the Void" Joe Simpson
  • "What Katy Did" Susan Coolidge
  • "The Magic Faraway Tree" Enid Blyton
  • "Johnnie" David Malouf
  • "Mrs Dalloway" Virginia Woolf
  • "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" Robert Pirsig
  • "Another Country" James Baldwin
  • "On the Road" Jack Kerouac
  • "1984" George Orwell
  • "The BFG" Roald Dahl
  • "Brave New World" Aldous Huxley
  • "The Picture of Dorian Gray" Oscar Wilde
  • "Brideshead Revisited" Evelyn Waugh
  • "Crime and Punishment" Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • "Goodnight Mr Tom" Michelle Magorian
  • "Lord of the Flies" William Golding
  • "Midnight's Children" Salman Rushdie
  • "The Little Friend" Donna Tartt
  • "To Kill a Mockingbird" Harper Lee
  • "Wuthering Heights" Emily Brontë
  • "The Feminine Mystique" Betty Friedan
  • "A Clockwork Orange" Anthony Burgess
  • "The Incredible Lightness of Being" Milan Kundera

As I have said before - I am going gaga in this place where books are scarce - just can't get them - do you know what that's like for the girl who goes to bookshops for fun, before shopping, before even, chocolate cake and milk??!! It's painful!

So do not forget - it's my birthday on 28th September - that is SOOOOOOOON!! If you post a book to me now, it may just get here in time! HINT: I am dying for a copy of PAtrick White's "Voss" and also Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness".

agreeing with kofi

In light of my mini rant yesterday, I thought the following was relevant.

Even though I do not always agree with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he has recently made a statement with which I completely agree -

Annan called the US-UK 2003 invasion of Iraq illegal, unsanctioned by the UN and told Britain's BBC World Service radio that the war in Iraq was contributing to Muslim anger throughout the world.

"I think there are many Muslims that are extremely unhappy today.

"Unhappy because they feel victimised, they feel isolated, they feel victimised in their own society, they feel victimised in the West, and they feel this profiling against them. And the Iraqi situation has not helped matters," he said.

"In fact one used to be worried about Afghanistan being the centre of terrorist activities; my sense is that Iraq has become a major problem and in fact it's worse than Afghanistan."

Annan said, what we all know, that the invasion of Iraq ought to have been approved by the 15-member UN Security Council and it never was, making that action, in effect, illegal and against the UN Charter to which all those nations as part of the Axis Against Evil are also signatory.

Hello?? As I said below ... these people, these Muslims, these Iraqis did not ask for this war, a war which we are told is freeing them but which they are telling us, is killing them.

George Bush has set up a dichotomoy - in his own words, 'we the free' are on the side of 'Good' and 'they' are 'Evil' - and with this Good vs Evil construction, Good can never win until it completely defeats Evil.

But what is the 'Evil'?? Is it Saddam Hussein?? Is it the Sunni or the Shi'ite?? Is it the Muslim factions who will not cooperate with the US?? Is it it Osama Bin Who??

That has NEVER been properly clear.

WHY?? Because George Bush is not really trying to remove the 'Evil" ... he is trying to get the OIL.

And the cost of this ingenious crusade is innocent lives on both sides of the great divide. Innocent American soldiers. Innocent people in a London morning rush-hour. Innocent Iraqi women, children, farmers, academics, moderates. These are the people who are paying the cost for this immoderate war; for this huge massive F-up.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has accused Islamic militants of using Iraq and Afghanistan as an excuse for attacks and for recruitment and leaked documents showed Blair's security services had warned war would inspire terrorism at home. Big surprise there ... if someone invaded my homeland and on THEIR OWN AGENDA dictated who should be ruling and who could not (in this case pro-US vs anti in Iraq) ... and if that someone continued to disrespect my culture and religion; flaunted international and humanitarian laws; and disemminated false propaganda ... well, you can understand how Bush's own extremist religious crusade (he did say "GOD told him to do it") has fed an extreme response on the other side.

Back to Good defeating Evil. Bush has set up a division and sided his western counteparts. He has made it so that the US/UK led coalition cannot succeed unless every obstacle in its way is obliterated. Only he hasn't told us what those obstacles ARE. He intimates its Osama; he said its Saddam; he suggests its illegally stockpiled weapons; he said its the warring factions iin Afghanistan; he said its the warring factions in Iraq. The truth is he is using any scrap of an excuse he could find to get into Iraq and gain power over the oil reserves.

It is never going to be so black and white - this Good vs Evil. WE are not Good. IF we say we are, then we MUST say who is Evil. George Bush has not done that. Basically anyone now, whom he labels as against his crusade, is in that category - and that is very very dangerous, because it's not about Good and Evil then, its about who is on George's side and who isn't. He is a self-proclaimed judge and executioner - what has forced western countries to side with him - "either you are with us or against us" - love that quote George!! He TOLD the wstern world that American Freedom was Good - that ANYTHING that attcked that was bad. Leaves a LOT of room for what falls into the Evil basket.

He has turned the whole Middle East region (again!!) upside on its head and now wields his Big Stick without legitimacy or responsibility. Once again, the US wants to control the region, to put in leaders in the region who are allied with the US, allied with Saudi Arabia.

The backlash is the acts of terror seen in London and in New York and now expected in every Western city in the world. The US-UK led coalition said they went in to dig out the terrorists. yet they did this knowing that the obverse effect would be to force Islamic moderates to extremism, knowing that their unsanctioned war would engender more aggression and acts of terror.

So if they knew that - why did they go in the way that they did?? Simple. Again - this war was not to remove the source of terrorism or stock-piled nuclear weapons in Iraq. They went for OIL. Or, at least, George Bush went for oil and we in the West followed him like the self-deserving robots that we must be.

Kofi is right. But what he says should not come as a great shock. It's common sense and self-preservation. What is motivating further acts of terror is also what has motivated us to side with Bush - an intense desire for self-preservation for our way of life. The West, by their actions, have judged the rights of Iraqis less worthy; less 'good'; less free; and less right. And this is the penance we pay - further restrictions on our freedom by our own governments.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Needless to say I am totally and completely shocked and saddened by the damage and utter devastation caused by this storm in the US ... and daily, I am outraged by the completely inadequate response from the US government ... specifically George W Bush ... last night OurHero asked where was the American government?? Where was the American Army ... where were they last week? The answer is clear - in Iraq.

How inconvenient for GWB as he had to break his vacation for this storm that has wreaked havoc through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Call me a cyncic but it should not come as a shock to people that the American Goverment under GWB wasted no time directing the attention and finances of a nation and the world towards ridding the planet of Saddam Hussein (via the unavoidable road of Afghanistan and under the banner of freedom) ... within a day that 3000 people lost their lives on Sept 11, GWB mobilised an international army and used, engendered and promulgated Fear ... to legitimise the invasion -INVASION - of both Afghanistan and eventually Iraq ... and it's no secret - OIL = WORLD POWER ... its so obvious. We didn't need Michael Moore to tell us what was plain as day. That Michael Moore has been a massive success says a lot about our inability to draw direct conclusions from glaring facts unless someone packages it into a 90 minute documentary that feeds us info in bit-sized digestible pieces so we can be appropraite dismayed and outraged as we walk into the sunshine from the dark and air-conditoned theatre.

So GWB got the war he wanted - to get the oil he wants - oil is power is control is oil. This is not a nursery rhyme - its reality.

And now - after Katrina? Where is his reaction; where is his 'duty'; where is his army? Oh yeah - they're in Iraq. And so lets send in the Armed Guard instead to shoot-to-kill the looters (that's if they're not playing cards while people are dying). God help them. It speaks volumes that GWB has been paralysed this week ... too bad the Deep South is full of black people who, it would seem are good for fried chicken and creole, some jazz and modern revisionist version of a 'strange fruit' KKK past ... those young black sons of the Saaath are good enough fodder for the US OF A Army, Unlce Sam Wants You!!! ... but, hey - too bad suckers - you don't produce oil down there.

Maybe if we can somehow link Katrina to Osama bin Blah or/preferably and old Sads the devil -incarnate (this is after all war of Good vs Evil), GWB might actually be able to ACT on this disaster. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to spin-doctor this connection ... after all GWB and his cronies managed to create a war in Iraq on the following lies:

Bullshit #1: Osmah Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are in IT together to rid the world of freedom-loving people like you and me. Any idiot who had bothered to investigate the complex world of Islamic politics would have found out in less than a minute that Osama would sooner to business with George W than Saddam - Osama considers Saddam an infidel for having a secular state in Iraq and not a religious one.

We must have enjoyed the taste of bullshit so much, GWB served it up again:

Bullshit #2 Now that GWB has "established" the link to Saddam, he accused Saddam Hussein of amassing weapons of mass destruction. To date, despite several UN-led investigatins on Iraqi soil, there has been NO proof of this. Nada.

Bullshit #3 And this load of crap must taste extra good coz it also came out of our own arses. Oh well, we say - at least George W Bush and the United States of America, acting as the World's Police are LIBERATING those poor Iraqi's.

If that's the case ... then can someone please explain how liberation has to date involed the 'incidental', as in by-accident, killing of approx 65,000 Iraqi women and children. How did 3,000 Americans killed on a sunny morning in September 2001 ever justify this ... this revenge; this war without warrant; this unqualified invasion ... when did we all start accepting that 1 American life is worth several Iraqi lives. At least.

OUR communal disprespect for fellow human life; our communal neglect of the rights of others to practice their own religion; our communal Fear; ... has allowed us to grade our right to life and our freedoms over anothers ... has allowed governments in the US, UK and Australian to consistently and continuously restrict and pillage our own human rights ... has in fact, made US culpable.

And now, thanks to Katrina, it appears that it's not just any American life. It must be 1-American-life-taken-by-some-anti-Bush-&-anti-Saudi-leader-who-presides-over-a-nation-with-vast-oil-reserves (if that tenuous link has ever actually been proven) - let's, say, someone like Saddam Hussein ... then, it appears THAT American life is worth hundreds of anothers; of the lives of those 'others' who observe hijab and pray to Mecca, call Mohammed their prophet and the koran their way.

So what about the American lives taken by Katrina and being taken daily for lack of water. WATER. Not Oil. Those lives, it seems, aren't worth very much at all.

An excerpt from a radio interview with C Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans, as printed here in the New York Times:

NAGIN: But we authorized $8 billion to go to Iraq lickety-quick. After 9/11, we gave the president unprecedented powers lickety-quick to take care of New York and other places.

Now, you mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique when you mention New Orleans anywhere around the world, everybody's eyes light up -- you mean to tell me that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need? Come on, man.


Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They're not here. It's too doggone late. Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country.

2 weekends

Apologies for being absent from blog ... last week was a great week for me because MyMama was down and also because I had 2.5 days out of the office for illness ... beaut. The only time feeling like absolute shite is worth it is when I don't have to be at work because of it.

So ... about my weekends on either side of my less-than-crap week ... what does a twenty-something girl in her "prime" do back in her home-town, the capital of the second-largest island of the world ...

Weekend before last Mr Jimmy Barnes had the good grace to hit our shores ... probably the biggest "international act" of 2005 ... and I had the good grace to part with K150 (AUD70) for a ticket (a hefty part of my salary!!!) ... managed to rock up with my girls and we partied on after his 2 hours set (Khe San willl always sound good to me) and hit the infamous Lamana nightclub ... that was the FIRST night I have stayed out until dawn since I returned 5 months ago ... and if you know ricebag, you know that staying out until dawn used to be my religion.

Speaking of religion ... this last weekend I had the great good luck to be stuck with my family and went on Friday and Saturday night to a Crusade ... yes, Reinhard Bonnke from Germany is an evangelist and he held crusades all weekend ... you know the kind ... lots of people, lots of waving hands, lots of praying, a few miracles chucked in for good measure ... I went willingly on the Friday and when I tried to abstain on Saturday night, it was impossible ... I got "the look" from the olds which means there is no option my darling girl.

Speaking of being a darling girl beautiful MyMama heads home to Enga today after spending last week here. The reason I have been remiss on the website is because she has been keeping me busy with a few infrequent stresses over some property (possibly buying) and also because she is a bit of a fuddy duddy and I have learnt to let things be her way (oh maturity is such a wonderful thing). She took me shopping all Saturday which was great although I somehoe paid for all the fuel, lunch and purchases - go figure. The great thing about making almost no money is that I don;t care if I spend it all - not able to save, not wrth saving ... so for the first time in my life I am working and not hardly saving - feels very very decadent - and wrong - simple economics will tell you that without savings you cannot advance your economic position - and mine is now one of RELIANCE on my family after a decade of independence since leaving school. Hopefully all of that will change ...

Have been spending some serious time comptemplating the near future. Every day the good angel and the naughty one are doing battle over my career ... we shall see what unfolds.

So thats my update for now ... I know you think I lead an incredibly exciting high-octane existence so I just wanted to dispell some of those rumours. Its all getting a bit sad when Jimmy Barnes and Reinhard Bonnke become the highlights of a social calender. Yikes.