Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My most recent detractor

It's been a while, but could I have forgotten how exhausting it is have a person close to you that despises you? A person who uses every utterance, measures your comings and goings and categorises everything once discussed when you were friends?

After I sat through a 45 minute diatribe the other day I had been given plenty of free character assessments. Many of the criticisms where just, others were simply wrong, but the most hurtful where the ones where my detractor didn't know what on earth he was talking about.

I was accused of short-changing my students in my university teaching but the guy has nothing at all to do with university teaching. He took a quote of mine "I give them the answers in the exam; how on earth can they fail?" and took it to mean that I simply phone it in.

I have close to a thousand students a year - from school leavers through Chinese postgraduates to middle and senior SA managers who are likely to disagree. And a few detractors.

As I come off a pair of super engaged one-on-one meetings where one of them gave me a spontaneous hug on leaving (I'm not a huggy type) I can honestly say this to my detractor:

"Spend a bit of time looking inwards before you start trying to find too much fault outwards"

Or is that the problem - you looked at yourself and it scared you? Never mind - we all get that, too. And I'll introduce you to the rest of the club of my detractors. They're mostly good people - I think you'll like them. And at least you'll have a conversation starter.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Love Takes Care

I forgot how much I liked this song and also forgot how much I really liked having Doc Neeson in the world. The doc died about 5 years ago and I've barely shrugged. This explosive, theatrical frontman of The Angels was an important part of my early years.

I saw the angels last night with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as I sat there with my sister and brother-in-law. Dave Gleeson could not be a better frontman now; comfortable in his own skin and feeling the need to prove nothing.

But fuck I missed the doc. It was very nice that the Brewster Brothers dedicated this song last night to Doc Neeson and Chris Bailey.

And the song. When I first heard it in the 80s I thought of it as a love song to a girlfriend. But as it is for these things I find it equally applies to way I feel about my inner family - my inner circle - these days.

Sure, I am always off on my own tangent. I won't - I can't - smother you, but I would never leave you lost or fending for yourself. My mum gave me the emotional room to make my own stupid decisions for myself, and grow  I knew she was there for me; my biggest fan.

Love takes care of its own.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is a national treasure, and great value for money.

I like to have balance in the sources of news that I consume. So, I have a subscription to the Australian and to Sky that pretty much takes care of my "right biased" sources although they are often a little more balanced than I would expect. This screenshot is a perfect example.

My right-leaning sources cost me money. Sure, only about $30 a month but my "right" sources are far more expensive than my "left". The government funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation is an extremely cost efficient way for me to get my left leaning news. The price is argued to be something like 15 cents per day - about $5 per month. And for my $5 I listen to a huge amount of talkback radio and have the fantastic iView service. We have Insiders, The Drum, AM, PM, 7.30, and great specials such as the "War on Waste". All of these are top-class journalistic efforts and so much cheaper then the "right wing" content that I buy.

I agree. We should protect our ABC. It's a national treasure.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A slave by choice - at times

I came home a little late the other night from a day of teaching and entered into the familiar banter with my youngest son. And I love the way he slam dunked me:

"Yeah I'm the one who's kicking back or comfortable in my bed and you're the one who's still getting around here dressed like a wage slave".

That's my boy. He works hard at what he does and I hope he's learning the value that we only do this for our own reasons.

And that sometimes you need to be a wage slave to be able to break out do the things you love.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Raindrops are not pointy

I walk through every day where people are saying things that are flatly wrong. I don't have the energy for it but I assure you that if I say "no, that's not it", then I will be on solid ground.

Like this.

Raindrops are not pointy.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Betrayal is a thing

You know what drives me? It's a desire to live well despite a number of what I feel are deep betrayals. The deepest betrayals are where I have (explicitly or figuratively) sat in front of people and said "one day this shit is going to go down and when it does I'm gonna need you to stand by me. Are you down with that, will you be there for me?"

And then they weren't.

To live well despite the betrayals of that dozen or so people is my goal.

I have so many good friends and a dozen or so ex-friends.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent

My first ever boss in sales gave me a plaque with this quote on it:

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Calvin Coolidge - 30th US President, 1923 -- 1929.