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16 April 2009 @ 10:32 pm
Fly-by post  
Have been hammered by deadlines this month. I am juggling a few different jobs, and appear to be the only person left in publishing who can understand a range of craft patterns, which means that I am still miles behind wth everything that is not hitting print deadlines. Not to mention slightly cross-eyed from mental knitting ...

I am not ignoring your comments, I am appreciating them and internalising them before answering. It's different.

So, very briefly, Fiji has had another coup. Fiji has these semi-regularly and they are relatively civilised for the most part. This time, the 'government' has decreed that no media will be allowed to broadcast news that is critical of the current political situation and has put censors in many of the major outlets.

For the first few days, editions of broadcast and paper news were skipped. Then the journos decided that Gandhi was right and that passive resistance could make its point gently and pointedly. So they went back to publishing the news. Nice, safe news. Completely uncritical news. News such as: "Paint has apparently dried on his old couch, Max reports. Given the job of painting the couch, Max was excited at the prospect of the paint drying. But when asked how it dried, he was nonplussed.

" 'It just went on wet, but after about four hours, it started to dry. That was when I realised, paint dries,' the young scholar observed."

Find a few more here at the SMH coverage, or, for the full story, go to the Fiji Daily Post site and check out their local news. While the laid-back pace of Fijian life may trick you into thinking a few actual news stories are satires, the real comedy will soon be obvious to you. I curtsey respectfully in their direction.

In completely different and very sad news, the vicious and deadly Marysville fire, one of the fires that swept through Victoria in February, has been ruled arson and the police say they are close to charging a volunteer firefighter with lighting it. I have no words for this, and so go back to admiring the Fijians.

PS Thanks, Cal! You know why.

jamie2109: general - coffeejamie2109 on April 16th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
Sorry about your deadlines. :(

And re the fires - it's funny but as soon as they mentioned it might be deliberately lit back when it happened, my first thought was someone in the CFA.

I'd never ever condone it and the person responsible should be put away until they die. I do know that there was a lot of disquiet in the services about the restrictions on backburning - which of course became even more difficult through the long years of drought. I can so see one unbalanced person seeing it as an opportunity to say - 'See? This is why we need to do controlled burns on a regular basis.' Which, never in a million years excuses deliberately setting fire to half the state and causing so much destruction of lives.

And a further sad aspect of human nature is that we're now finding that people who offered accommodation are starting to demand their properties back. This is having the effect of adding more stress to those that are trying to rebuild their lives, having to find somewhere else to live in an area that is already overcrowded with virtually no vacant housing available. It's a bit sad, really. I mean these people were generous enough to help out in the first place - rent free or a nominal rental - but now it seems that generosity only lasts so long. Some others that have not yet received any of the govt money, have had their rents raised to commercial levels, which is kind of hard. Two months seems to be the extent of some people's idea of generosity. I find it hard to completely condemn them as some may be suffering their own financial woes because of the lack of income from the property and maybe didn't expect things to go on indefinitely, but... my heart is still with the people who lost everything.

Hopefully, everything will be sorted out soon.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on April 16th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
I thought Kev was going to make sure that everyone had sufficient funds to get through this time. Come on, Kev!

I can understand people starting to be concerned about money; times are rough all over and with rents in the hundreds per week, eight weeks is a moderate amount of money, but yeah ... In an ideal world ...

Sadly, there is usually one nutter in any hundred fireys, and that nutter really knows how to take advantage of a high fuel load.

I do hope that it was either craziness or greed that motivated this person. I would hate to think it was some form of mad commentary on backburning.
jamie2109: general - coffeejamie2109 on April 16th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, there is plenty of money for most people - there are always those that slip through the cracks though, aren't there. I was at Berry Street Tuesday and a lady from Marysville was saying that they have been told to leave where they're staying now. DHS has found them a place, but it's an hour and a half drive away. Which is pointless. For the rent rises, I've only heard rumours so far.

And I think regardless of why the fire was started the lessons on backburning have been learned. Hopefully.

I'm dreading it being someone I know.
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on April 16th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
Man Gets on Bus

*is ridiculously impressed*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on April 16th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
I have been applauding them all day!
AutumnHearti_autumnheart on April 16th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Sadly, the arsonist-in-brigade thing is more common than it should be. The instances I've heard of, though, have all been people who had problems of the ooh-fire-pretty, or I-want-to-be-a-hero variety already, and so joined an organisation that would let them indulge that :(.

I know in NSW these days, you have to go through interviews and a background check and so on before you can join, but that's pretty new, and even then it doesn't pick up the latent ones.

I am loving the Fijian news articles, though! I'm really rather awed that they've been brave enough to resist censorship this way: in full view of the internet, no less. A definite mark on the plus side for the information age.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on April 16th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know anyone who has had much experience with firefighting who is surprised to hear about arsonists. In NPWS there was the other type, too, the we get paid huge overtime rates for firefighting sort. At least they had the 'sense' to mostly come out over winter.

The Fijians are fabulous! I am so impressed with them. Their government is not vicious, and this upholding the letter of the law, so I think it will be fine, though they can probably say goodbye to any parliamentary press party this year ;-)
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on April 16th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
glass_violet on April 16th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
Cannot concentrate on Fiji, am too busy being horrified by Google Books travesty. How can it possible be legal? *is gobsmacked*
drgaellon on April 16th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
What? What? Explain, pls?
glass_violet on April 17th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
Go check out Caitlin R Kiernan's LJ (username greygirlbeast)
drgaellon on April 16th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
The FDP has gone back to posting real (if innocuous) local news. Nothing about the government, but they have reports of a fire, a robbery, a delayed shipment of supplies to an outlying hospital... looks like they did it for just one day, to make a point.
Meredythmeredyth_13 on April 16th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Well at least now I understand how the whole paint thing works ...
Robyn: mearobynsung on April 17th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
A volunteer fireman?
Why? I mean, other than the horrible dramatic irony, why?

I just read the Man Goes Out headline.
Fiji Daily Post wins.
uminohikariuminohikari on April 17th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
A-are craft patterns really that difficult to learn?

Also, Fiji journos are awesome :D
It's a Deensedeensey on April 17th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)