Bacon thief

7 03 2010

It’s another night. The birds have stopped singing and all you can hear is cicadas and some animal not caring to hide himself anymore; it knows I can’t see him and that’s all that matters for him, because the reality is that I am the only predator in this hushed night, but all there is in my head is the perfume of flowers carried by the nightly breeze. The little animal knows all of this, and it’s confident, and if I let nature pervade me a little longer, I maybe will be rewarded with the identity of this little companion.

Earlier on I was cooking, bacon as it happens, and as soon as I dropped a hot little rasher on the plate a kookaburra came, and in an instant snatched the bit and flew away , in a flutter of feathers, without ever touching the iron table.

As I was wondering what had just happened the flying thief sat perched high on a branch, some ten metres away from me, helping itself on its spoils of war, savouring the flavour of that hot greasy streak of bacon, heavily enhanced by adrenaline and satisfaction. I bet his bacon tastes way better than mine.

Is it madness?

20 02 2010

This is the question. If you listen to the worldwide media it’s a definite and quick yes, with a capital y that looks at you and screams at you; a very powerful three-letter word that wants you to label this event as an ordinary act of insanity and  forget about it.

I am talking about what happened yesterday in Austin, Texas. At first glance it is an accident, a tragedy, then the possibility of a terrorist attack sinks in. North America is kept in the dark , people of course fear a new 9/11, media are quick in telling us that Obama has been briefed on it, so we can compare this with the moment Bush received news of the twin tower attack.

Everybody fears the worst, another violation of American soil by the evil forces lurking outside the country. Then a twist in the  already known blockbuster plot: a manifesto is found, written by an American engineer  that happened to be the pilot of the plane that crashed into Austin IRS offices. The identity of the pilot is confirmed, new media updates , and the blockbuster becomes a flop. As of now , only a day later , this story has disappeared from the front page of the major news sites. Andrew Joseph Stack’s website has been blocked by the FBI and on a website like most of the comments on this man’s last act have been censored and labelled as offensive.

The media industry wants us to believe this was the bitter end of a mind going awry: a crazy man’s response to his inability of coping with everyday life. Here is a link to this madman’s last written words, . Please, if anyone will read my post,  pay this deceased pilot a tribute and read his manifesto.

These are not an insane person’s words , on the contrary, I believe this man grasped what North-American society really is. I usually frown upon conforming myself to the masses but it appears it’s the only option for me on this topic. This dead man has already three fan pages on Facebook, his actions are sparking at least a debate. In other words people are talking about it, and they are realizing the importance of Mr. Stack’s last stunt. He could have killed hundreds of people but he didn’t. He could have just wrote a complaint letter to IRS but he didn’t. He did instead kill himself, in a very spectacular fashion, to draw attention on his frustrated existence and  to paint himself as a martyr.

I don’t believe it is possible to consider Mr. Stack as a martyr , not even  as a tax terrorist though; he did what he believed was right to do, and not because of insanity. He did it because he was exasperated by the condition of the society he was living in. Many other people feel his same way and I am sure nobody would consider them insane.

Mr. Stack was a desperate man, not a mad one, and media should cover him the same way they would cover a terrorist attack; he shouldn’t be forgotten just for the fear of copycat actions but instead remembered, and discussed upon. North-American people cannot afford to have bad news sugar-coated once again; they shouldn’t be convinced that this was just the final flight of a man who felt persecuted by the Government. This is not madness, it’s just a consequence of reality.

12 02 2010

The post below is the first moment in which I felt an urge to write down my thoughts , and actually spent some time in doing it. I was in San Remo some 4000 km in my journey around Australia , and it was one of the quietest places I’ve ever been. After this I tried to write a little more but between driving and surfing and sightseeing and setting the tent up , there was actually little time  left , so I ended up writing only 5 or 6 more pages of random thoughts , but I did promise myself to try to live the whole journey again , looking at pictures and writing down all the memories that float up my mind. Hopefully I will be able to make a detailed diary of the Asian and the Australian trip.

Right now I am in Vancouver , B.C. , and given all the time on my hands in these days , I am sure I will be able to come up with few posts every few days. After that I don’t know but I desperately want to pen down all the emotions of those days. It has been arguably the best year of my life and I want to do everything I can to have it stuck in my mind forever.

Tidal thoughts

12 02 2010

The Journey has begun , and it is much faster than what I thought ; words are no match against my landscape filled eyes: there is simply too much to take in but I will try my best to keep up with the speed at which Australian tarmac is devoured by my wheels.

It’s a road trip and it’s the only way to do it : you could easily fly around this vast country, stopping in any of the state capitals , but not only it would be more expensive , you would also miss all that this land truly represents: untouched nature.My point of view is probably biased , not having visited Africa or South America , but never I have experience such a kaleidoscopic diversity of wilderness and sceneries. From Albany’s cold shores to the penguins on Phillip Island ; from quokkas on Rottnest to salt water crocs in Queensland.

Right now I am in San Remo , almost 4000 km from where I started , in Perth. I am perfectly aware That this unnamed beach is not Victoria’s crown jewel, but it retains a beauty of its own. In the time I took writing these hundred or so words , the tide unveiled a good twenty metres of sand,  rocks and seaweed , without any noise except the calm and repetitive rushing of the waves. Sure enough as soon as I turn my head from my book , another five steps have been given back by the sea.

My pupils are now held captive by the water , however,  the naked eye cannot detect the exact moment in which a rock emerges. I am nonetheless more and more aware of this calm and silent retreat. It tells me one of the most captivating truth of this land : it’s almost five days to Christmas and it doesn’t feel like it; no glitter , carols,  pageants , advertisement nor corporate dinners.

In five days at seven pm the water will escape this very same bay, and it will be as quietly magnificent as any other day of the year. Everlasting daily beauty: that’s what this continent is made of.

Full flavoured chips , touch-downs and health insurance!!!

9 02 2010

And it was finally over. After an apparently vintage rock ‘n’ roll show by ” Who ”  and almost four hours of continuous commercial break , the Saints managed to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Colts were sad but nonetheless pleased ,  they commended the winners and praised their own franchise for what has been a remarkable season under any aspect. All the football lovers will spend the next two weeks deciding whether Peyton Manning could be included in football’s quarterback élite even without multiple trophies and newspapers will spend many , many words on the rise of the Saints : from Katrina’s rubble to the tears of Drew Brees , deservedly declared Mvp.The Saints deserved that trophy but I already hear too many parallels between the   team and the town : it’s great for a historically losing team to win a Super Bowl but the franchise is being painted as if it suffered like the poor people of New Orléans did in 2005 ; truth is , they were just a few millions shy from relocating to San Antonio , thus abandoning four decades worth of loyal support from the city. Luckily they stayed and they played  a  major role in charity fund-raising.

Anyway , I have to admit that I really enjoyed the game :  suspense was building up until the last minutes of the fourth quarter and the Saints’ offence has been nothing short than exciting. To top all of that the game practically finished with one of the best interception in NFL’s history. The ads were cool too , although since I am living in Vancouver at the moment I had to see them on YouTube. Bud ‘s one was funny , totally male directed as always and I don’t even want to get into the Tebows’ one : my opinion is that if the press wasn’t making noise before they aired it half of the viewers wouldn’t have gotten it ; the other half wouldn’t have cared I think.

What really got on my nerves though  is that it’s not called Super Bowl anymore. It’s the Doritos’ Super Bowls. How tragic is that ?  Commentators actually read it that way. This is the final event of one of the toughest sports on earth , featuring the best teams in the league at this point , filled with  testosterone-oozing players,  and while all 92 of them are beating the hell out of each other in order to appear the new all-American heroes , somebody in the tv booth is proudly announcing that some brand of flavoured chips got the denomination of this Cup.

I love the game ,  and I  like some of the ads they throw in just for the occasion , and I eat Doritos’ too ,  but I got to admit that Super Bowl has  now become a commercial whore , ready to sell itself to highest bidder.  I know that we are living in a crisis ridden period , especially in North-America , but I am not sure that such a big organization  as NFL should sell the name of one of the world’s  most known sport event . I mean it makes me hate Doritos’ for even considering buying those few pixels in front of the word Super.

NFL is not the only one , many organization are on the same line in these days , but it sends the wrong message to my skeptical  mind .  Watch as in a  few years nations will start getting ads money. In fact  I wonder why Iceland didn’t ask for a commercial partner already : they are broke , their name appears on every world atlas , they are a great place to visit and Viagra has broken its contract with major league . Or maybe Obama will finally surrender his plans for universal health care and get some money back by being the President of Kaiser Permanente United States of America.  I hope not : the first one would be funny but the latter would send too many people to the other world.