A Slice of Life

commentary on issues in politics, culture, environment and technology

20 Jul 08 What’s in a Meme?

classic monster movie montage What is a meme? Wikipedia defines it thus: “At its most basic, an Internet meme is simply the propagation of a digital file or hyperlink from one person to others using methods available through the Internet (for example, email, blogs, social networking sites, instant messaging, etc.). The content often consists of a saying or joke, a rumor, an altered or original image, a complete website, a video clip or animation, or an offbeat news story, among many other possibilities. An Internet meme may stay the same or may evolve over time, by chance or through commentary, imitations, and parody versions, or even by collecting news accounts about itself. Internet memes have a tendency to evolve and spread extremely quickly, sometimes going in and out of popularity in a matter of days. They are spread organically, voluntarily, peer to peer, rather than by compulsion, predetermined path, or completely automated means.” Sounds interesting? Read more

Jenny at Multifarious Mushrooms has tagged me, so this meme is in response to her post.

Here are my 4 things

Four jobs I’ve had:

  • Art teacher
  • Computing teacher
  • Web designer
  • Jazz guitarist

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  • Metropolis (a previously undiscovered uncut version was recently discovered in Buenos Aires. Read more about the lost footage here. I can’t wait to see it.)
  • Nosferatu (original version)
  • King Kong (original version)
  • Jurassic Park

Four places I’ve lived:

  • Sydney noth
  • Sydney inner west
  • Sydney south
  • North Coast NSW

Four TV shows I love:

  • Dexter
  • Underbelly
  • Gordon Ramsay, kitchen nightmares
  • Q & A with Tony Jones

Four places I’ve vacationed:

  • Tasmania
  • Cairns
  • L.A.
  • MN

Four of my favorite dishes:

  • Balmain bugs
  • Lobster sushimi
  • Beef Wellington
  • Thai Penang curry

Four sites I visit daily:

Four places I would rather be right now:

  • Tasmania
  • Cairns
  • L.A.
  • MN

People I tag:

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23 Mar 08 Ramsay’s Foul Mouth and Parliament’s Trivial Pursuits

The first time I glanced at on of Gordon Ramsay’s TV shows (Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares), I didn’t respond very warmly to him. He seemed so abrasive; how could anyone stand working under such a loud mouth? In fact, it reminded me of tyrannical chefs when I worked in kitchens as a student. On closer inspection; I found Gordon’s shows to be rather addictive viewing. He may be a loud mouth, foul-mouthed bully, but he has high standards for cuisine, and berating under performing staff is his way of provoking a more satisfactory performance from them. Moreover, most of the people he berates are so misguided, apathetic or just plain stupid it’s hard to feel any sympathy for them. Watching them get blasted with the bleeding obvious is actually quite entertaining; I mean, lamb bones covered in chocolate? Powdered mashed potatoes? Frozen food as part of a ‘unique concept’ in menu design? These idiots deserve all the abuse Gordon dishes up to them, and the portions are ample.

What is perhaps even more entertaining is that the Australian Senate has decided to :

“hold an inquiry into swearing on television and what more could be done about it. The motion to hold the inquiry was moved by the South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi after a recent episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares in which the abrasive gastronome dropped the F-bomb 80 times. That episode screened at 8.30pm on Channel Nine. Another that offended the senator, in which Ramsay used the C-word twice, screened at 9.30. Labor and the minor parties voted with the Coalition yesterday to establish the inquiry, which would concentrate on free-to-air TV. Senator Bernardi promised it would be brief.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Chef’s foul specialty sparks swearing inquiry, Phillip Coorey Chief Political Correspondent, March 21, 2008

Sure, swearing may be offensive to some people. It is of course possible for them (as has been pointed out numerous times in the past) TO CHANGE THE CHANNEL, or perform the even more extreme act of TURNING OFF THE TV. If this is to be an inquiry on “what the community is prepared to accept”, isn’t it already blatantly obvious that the community does accept such things, and has for a very long time? The offending words in question have, after all, very old origins as most ‘swear words’ do. (They have Anglo-Saxon roots as far as I know). Who can say that they don’t use such words at least from time to time. Such words are not always used to cause offence; it’s quite possible to use them in an affectionate way. As usual, it’s about context and language being used in an appropriate situation. However, is the language used on television by Gordon Ramsay, Big Brother, The Sopranos, Sex And The City really among the great social issues of our time? Does the Australian Parliament really have nothing better to occupy its time? Perhaps not…

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