…entre nous soit dit…

between me you and the gatepost.

Photos: Bugger… but that’s what you get when you try to help animals

These photos are dedicated to those who feel the need to be absolute animal lovers and liberalists [for example the Animal Liberation Front (aka ALP)]. I guess sometimes things can just fuck up for you. I believe that is definitely some irony. SUCK ON THAT.

An overturned boat at a bay in Uwajima, 675kms southwest of Tokyo.
A Japanese fisherman was knocked off the small boat and died after trying to rescue a straying whale.

 

 

Plantation workers near Kuala Lumpur examine a huge python which had eaten a workmate.

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April 5, 2010 Posted by | journalism, photography, procrastinating, weird | Leave a comment

Current Options for Studying Abroad Next Year…

I’ve looked at the Academic Ranking of World Universities on both the Global and European scale and the sad thing is, I can’t go to most of them. It sucks. Because as much as I’d love to just choose any old university, I would also like one that is highly regarded or respected on an international scale seeing as I want to be working internationally after my degree. It makes sense.

Now I am going back to the Exchange office again tomorrow morning, so chances are that these options could change tomorrow, but for the present moment, these are the options that I’m looking at ( I took out the ones I definitely wouldn’t go to purely because I don’t want to be studying in those countries – mostly because they’re in Asia, too close to home, Germany, Italy, or places in the USA that I don’t want to study in – but the rest are still convincible):

 

MY CHOICES:

1. Sciences Po (Paris, France)

Academic Ranking of World Universities: # 204

Unsure as yet to whether or not I would be able to study in Paris, at the moment (from what I can tell with my limited french skills on the completely french website) I think I might have to go study out in Menton, which is near Monaco on the Mediterranean sea, in order to be able to do a politics course on Middle Eastern and Meditteranean affairs in english… or I could go to Le Havre which is north on the english channel and not far from Paris to do european politics in english.

That’s the thing – getting an english course.
 

2. University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Academic Ranking of World Universities: # 3

Berkeley has an amazing film programme (although it has limited spots so I doubt an exchange student would be given one) which I could use for my communication studies (although they haven’t made a patnership with our communications department so I don’t think it would be accredited)
. It also offers English and Politics, so I could study any on of my chosen majors and they seem to have some pretty good courses listed.

It’s not like I’d be short of choice here and it is a highly regarded university (America’s top public university). The only problem is of course, that I wanted to be in Europe next year – not America. But it’s still worth looking at nonetheless.
 

3. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (USA)

Academic Ranking of World Universities: # 13

They have a tonne of English courses (upper level) to choose from, as well as a shit load of communications courses (upper level) to choose from (although they haven’t made a partnership with our communications department so I don’t think it would be accredited). And to top it off that have a multitude of Political Science courses. So really, I’m spoiled for choice here and they have everything I want – including  accommodation unlike some of the European universities. But once again – it’s in America and I wanted to be in Europe for next year to travel as well.
(Oh and I just found out James Franco was studying there in 2008 – god dammit I’ll miss seeing him there by next year! F*#!)
 

4. Royal Holloway (University of London) (UK)

Academic Ranking of World Universities: # 316

There’s a large choice of English courses that seem pretty good and although they have politics, international relations and communication studies, I don’t think I’ll be able to get them accredited seeing as those departments don’t have a partnership with the corresponding UWA ones. Damn fools. 

The bright side: This will get me to studying in London again and it’s pretty (it’s in a freaking castle) and I have a friend that did his degree there and liked it (although it wasn’t exactly rave reviews)… On the downside:It is on the outskirts of london, not the center and, most of all, it’s not ranked very highly in the scheme of things…
 

5. University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Academic Ranking of World Universities: # 43

There’s quite a few political courses that I am able to do here and as far as I am aware they’re all taught in English. Although that would be one advantage to going here – I can attempt to fail at yet another language. (They recommend going across for an intensive learning language crash course for two weeks prior to semester).

I actually did consider going here originally when I first started thinking about Studying abroad. The only thing that stopped that idea was the ridiculously high prices for student accommodation. I will admit no matter where I go, they will be high, but this was almost outrageous. And if I do end up going on exchange (I will god dammit!) then I want to stay in a hall of residence preferably so I’ll be with a lot more people and hopefully make a lot more friends that way.
 

And those, my friends, are my top five choices at the moment (although the last two could be swapped maybe… the only reason Royal Holloway got #4 despite being pitiful in world acclaim was because it’s in london, there’s no language barrier and did I mention it’s in a freaking castle?)

Well it’s time for me to do some readings for my politics tutorial now. It’s almost 3 am and I have to get up in just over 5 hours in order to be at the International Students office by 9am to meet with the Europe specialist guy. Then it’s 7 hours straight of fun fun fun university with no breaks! -_- man my time table really sucks. But I’m committed to going to all of my classes tomorrow since you can’t miss tutorials and I’m already behind on approximately 30 lectures – yes I know. I’m a terrible student considering there’s only been 3 and a half weeks of class so far. SHUT UP.

Goodnight folks xx

March 17, 2010 Posted by | French, journalism, just a quick note, lists, Politics, Study Abroad/Exchange, university | 3 Comments

Balibo

the balibo five journalists 1975 Balibo the Movie

Tonight I went to see the film Balibo and it was nothing short of amazing. At university I take both Communications and Politics and I was told by 3 teachers in one day to go see this movie… Tonight I finally decided to go see it and I’m so glad I did.

balibo the movie poster

Here’s what IMDB had to say about the movie:

As Indonesia prepares to invade the tiny nation of East Timor, five Australian based journalists go missing. Four weeks later, veteran foreign correspondent Roger East is lured to East Timor by the young and charismatic José Ramos-Horta to tell the story of his country and investigate the fate of the missing men. As East’s determination to uncover the truth grows, the threat of invasion intensifies and an unlikely friendship develops between the last foreign correspondent in East Timor and the man who will become President. BALIBO is a political thriller that tells the true story of crimes that have been covered up for over thirty years.

The film was nothing short of amazing and I especially thought that the use of some of the filming techniques was really what gave that authentic feel to the film and what helped to make it so confronting. In particular, the use of grainy film for the sections about the Balibo Five. The change between the grainy film and the modern high definition quality for the sections following East’s journey were smooth and barely noticed.

The only downside for me was that every time I saw Gyton Grantley (who portrayed Garry Cunningham), I automatically thought of him from his role in hit TV series Underbelly as Carl Williams. That’s how I know and recognise him, so it was a little distracting for me. The rest of the characters seemed very well cast, although I’m a little reserved as to wether Anthony Lapaglia was the best man for the role of Roger East. For the majority of the movie, he put in a stella performance, but there was one moment at the end of the film where they focus in on a close up shot of his face as he says dramatically, “I’m Australian.” That point just made me cringe at the over dramatised hollywood seeping in there. Oscar Isaac was the run away performance, even though he was only the supporting actor.

Malcom Rennie Balibo Fivecunningham balibo five australiaAnother thing that I thought ought to be commended though, is the strong ties the film had to the actual true history – keeping it as close as possible. By that I don’t just mean telling the tale accurately, but also recreating and re-enacting images and what film we actually do have from all the journalists that were in East Timor and concerned with the film.

Example: Left the real Greg Shackelton  Right Damon Gameau’s portrayal of Shackelton in the film).

Seeing this film, was the first time that I’ve actual felt scared about my career choice. There was a particular scene in the film that shows the death of the Balibo Five that was very confronting to me. When they stabbed some of the members of the group, I was really shocked by it. If there’s one death that I really don’t want to be my fate, then it’s definitely being stabbed. Except, that’s one very real occurrence and risk I would run working in a war torn area, although it is more likely I would be shot given today’s use of guns being vastly more popular thanks to cheaper arms deals.

Since deciding I was going to become a journalist, I’ve always wanted to do international journalism/correspondence and go to war torn areas or conflict zones. I wanted to write a piece that would change lives and break a story which would bring the truth to millions. Of course I was originally inspired by Jennifer Conolly’s role in Blood Diamond, but that’s a story where the journalist goes into a high risk area, survives and manages to write her article. It’s hollywood – she had to survive to tell the tale. 

Watching this movie though, it was very confronting because it was like, “hey you know you might die really young if you choose to do this”. It’s not like there’s ever a year when we don’t hear about at least one journalist being killed somewhere amongst a fight. A couple of years ago there were even those journalists held hostage and then beheaded. The terrorists filmed it all and it was broadcast. Their poor families. I’ve always joked around when people ask me what kind of journalist I want to be and I’ve replied with a casual answer of, “Oh you know… One of those journos that gets blown up in the middle east. I want to do correspondence.” Now I’m thinking that I’ve probably jinxed myself big time.

Greg Shackelton Balibo

 I really wanted to include this still from the film (to the left) on a side note, purely because it reminded me so much of my Dad. He owns a series two Land Rover exactly like the one used in the film (with minor differences in the back windows and back door). Not only the car, but also Shakleton’s look with the hair, boots and the shorts – I remember my Dad having that exactly look when we used to go on holidays as a child… although I remember him wearing thongs as opposed to the boots more often than not. There were quite a few scenes in the movie that reminded me of the very Aussie lifestyle and the images of Aussie’s you see from that era – especially of the boys in AFL at the time… I believe that was the time of the mustache was it not?

Shooting Balibo Maniaty

On another side note, I found an article from the Indonesian News (in english) and it says that they’re still denying that they murdered the five Journos, simply that they got caught in between fire from the Indonesians and the East Timorese Government. There’s also articles from the ABC about how the Australian Government has failed the Balibo Five at bringing there murderers to justice, and The Age, which is an interview with Tony Maniaty who was a journalist in East Timor at the time and crossed paths with the Balibo Five as he fled the country with his life. He has now written a book about the making of the movie and his memories of the whole experience called ‘Shooting Balibo’ (pictured right). I’m actually quite interested now to read that. He also teaches at the Sydney University of Technology, so I’m quite interested in that as well. Maybe do a year post grad there? Or my honours?

So back to the point: for anyone who hasn’t seen this movie, I thoroughly recommend it. Go see it NOW!

August 27, 2009 Posted by | journalism, just a quick note, movie review | 4 Comments