Movie Weekend and more

The Sydney Travelling Film Festival is in Katherine this weekend. Friday night, we saw Mad Hot Ballroom, which, like Spellbound is a documentary about kids in competition--kids being their own appealing selves and adults revealing some ugly tendencies.

Yesterday, we saw Brides, Paradise Now, The Mysterious Geographic Adventures of Jasper Morello, Howl's Moving Castle, and Me and You and Everyone We Know.

I especially recommend Paradise Now, a "crime drama" (according to brochure, but maybe more accurately called a "political drama") about two Palestinians becoming suicide bombers; ...Jasper Morello, a short animated film which is just very visually original and compelling combining a sort of nineteenth century gothic look with futuristic details and a story of exploration that could have been fourteenth century; and You and Me and Everyone We Know, a film by multi-media artist Miranda July featuring interesting and realistic characters--it's what is called "quirky", a word I dislike for its overuse.

Today's offerings are The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, The Big Day, Turtles Can Fly, Bombon (El Perro), and Seducing Dr. Lewis. I don't know how many I'll see, but Justin has decided to skip the last two.

Weather update: hot and not much rain lately, to everyone's disappointment.

Reading: Still reading Jared Diamond's Collapse, but am also reading Love Against the Law, the autobiographies of Tex and Nelly Camfoo, an indigenous couple from the NT.

Work: I've been enjoying it. Still just working part-time, teaching adult literacy and numeracy. I currently have 3 students, a fourth starts on Monday.

Justin update: He's been enjoying his job. As an example for those who have a hard time picturing his work: He just recorded "Pearl" telling a story about how porcupine (echidna) got its spines. The story takes about 6 minutes. The next step is to go over the recording slowly and carefully to write a transcription, that is,writing down all of the words just as they've been spoken. He goes over it with Pearl, listening and confirming what words she has said and listening carefully for which sounds are in each word. The first minute (about 10 sentences or so) took about an hour to go over. After a transcription, they will also do a translation. That's a little of what Justin does.

Justin's reading: J's into the 2nd volume of Shelby Foote's massive Civil War trilogy (history, not fiction).

Okay, that's all for today!

free schools and the printing press

Thanks for all the birthday greetings! I'm happy to report that the other side of 35 does not look dismal or bleak at all. Opportunities for growth, learning, change, reflection, and joy do not diminish with age, it seems. Perhaps I even recognize them more easily.

In my search to find out more about the life of an ancestor who left Britain as a political prisoner and arrived in Virginia in 1716 indentured for 7 years, I came across this quote:

"But I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!"
Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia, 1671

Three cheers for free schools and printing!