Sunday, November 30, 2008

There but for the grace of god ...

(or whomever your chosen deity is), go I.

My partner declares that the world's gone mad (again), and I think she's right. With the goings on this week in Mumbai and Bangkok, and the ongoing dramas in Zimbabwe, I'm incredibly grateful that I live in Australia.

We complain about having to go through checkpoints at the airport and the stadium, but these are necessarily 'evils' put in place to try and protect the nation of Australia, and each person who can claim citizenship, residential status, or happens to be here on holiday.

I don't complain - I understand that a small inconvenience now and then will, hopefully, prevent a much more serious disruption. I'm not naive enough to think that terrorist attacks aren't possible in Australia, but the small things we can do to try and stay safe shouldn't be dismissed as being a nuisance or inconvenience.

And while we may not all agree with the decisions made by politicians, we have the opportunity to protest, or to remove them at the next election. And we know that the election will be fair and the result a true reflection of the will of the people.

I can't imagine the pain, both physical and emotional, being suffered by those in Mumbai in Zimbabwe. And I don't pretend to understand the reasons behind the extraordinary protests in Bangkok. But I do know that what we have in Australia is special and should be protected as much as possible, so long as human rights are not trampled upon.

Enough doom and gloom, except for one small in-memoriam. I heard on the news today that this man died:

Who is he? You may not recognise his face, but you may know his name, and you definitely know his work:

Yes, Joern Utzon, the dead-set legend that designed the Sydney Opera House has died at the ripe old age of 90. It's too much of a long story to talk about how the NSW government of the time totally screwed him to the wall and bastardised his plans for the interior of the House, but it's a travesty that his grand plans were never totally fulfilled.

I'm honoured to be able to say that I've performed at the House - both in the Opera Theatre and on the amazing Concert Hall stage. It's a magical place and today I take my metaphoric hat off to Joern for his vision and for giving Sydney, the nation and the world one of the most recognisable and amazing buildings we'll ever see.

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