This is the interesting and exciting blog of Christop - one of the 84 000-or-so people of Ballarat.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The L Word
Under pressure from Christian group, Saltshakers, Just Jeans, Daimler Chrysler, Roche, Allianz and Centrum have all decided to remove their advertising from Seven and Prime's lesbian drama, The L Word, which contains nudity, explicit sex and slef-insemination.
Lesbians On The Loose editor, Merryn Johns, said, 'There are a lot of images of diversity in pop culture these days and it's disappointing that such big companies would respond to a pathetically small group that nobody has ever heard of and be cowed into reacting that way.'
However, from what I've seen of homosexual representation on television, it's all exagerated and stereotypical anyway. None of the homosexuals I've ever known are anything like those shown in Queer Eye, Will & Grace or The Block. And I think its more likely people would be watching the show hoping to see some sex than to better understand gay culture.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

News on the Congo boys
Thanks to the overwhelming community support from the community, Adolphe, Etienne and Matense have had their appeal extended until July.

Friday, April 23, 2004

TV land
On Tuesday, after getting my suitacase back from the fun stoppers and receiving a free lecture on the high terror risk at the moment, I ran into my friend Grant, who does the Tuesday edition of Pluck on Channel 31. I had told Grant about how the police thought I was a suitcase-bomber, and he asked me to come along to the studio, and if they were stuck for time to fill, he'd interview me about my experience.
It turned out there wasn't enough time (Pluck's had its timeslot cut to make more room for SYN TV). But I got to watch the show as it was being filmed, plus a free beer and wedges afterward.

Tonight I got back to Ballarat. Going down to Warrnambool with Trav for a Scripture Union training gig tomorrow morning. We're also hoping to get some video footage to use at this year's Warrnambool mission recruiting events.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

You are not safe!
Yesterday morning I managed to obtain a lift from Ballarat to South Melbourne. However, once I'd gotten to South Melbourne, I still needed to get to my parents' place in Ferntree Gully. Therefore I would need to buy a ticket for the tram and train. So i left my extremely heavy suitcase at South Melbourne tram station, so I could get some money out of the bank.
When I came back to the station, my suitcase was gone. In my mind, there were two possible reasons for this: either someone had stolen it or someone had thought it must contain drugs or a bomb, and had called the fun stoppers. I decided to call the fun stoppers once I got to my parents' place.
Luckily I didn't need to waste the phone call, as I got just as my train was leaving, from Sgt Anthony Lastname at South Melbourne Fun Stopper Station. It turned out someone had thought I looked a bit suspicious, and called the cops. The cops had come to pick it up. And now I have to go back in to South Melbourne today and pick it up.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

The last 10 days
Just before catching the bus to Horsham on April 7, I bought a camera. I was the last person on the bus, meaning I had to sit with one of the many people who had intended to sit by themselves. The bus left at bout 10am.

Arrived in Horsham at about noon. Took some photos and had lunch.
Discovered that in Horsham they have red and green cyclist lights along with the read and green pedestrian lights, which seems kind of pointless since the pedestrian and cyslist lights always seemed to be the same colour anyway.
Also discovered that eveyone in Horsham drives at about 20km/hr.
Listened to an old lady at the bus stop tell me about the 'adopted son' she was visiting in Adelaide who spends all his time on the computer. She also told me all about why smoking's alright and why you can't trust politicians like you once could.

The next break was in Keith, South Australia. This old guy sitting behind me reckoned he was going to pick up one of the old ladies during the break. I took some photos of the silos and got a drink.
Not far out of Keith the driver put How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on. It was rather crap.

Arrived in Adelaide at about 7pm Central Time. However the timetable had said 7:30pm, without saying that this was Eastern Time. So I'd had to message Bonnie, telling her that I'd be there at 7:30 Eastern Time, or 7:00 Central Time. However, when they (Bonnie, Kiah and Bonnie's mum) got to the station, someone told them my bus had actually arrived at 6pm!

Getting to Thuruna
After we had packed my stuff into the back of Bonnie's parents' car, we got in and headed out of Adelaide, for Riverton, where we were staying the night.
On the way out of Adelaide, we stopped at Hungry Jack's. Bonnie's mum had never been to Hungry Jack's before. She liked it, except for the thickshake.
I think we got to Bonnie's grandparents' old place in Riverton at about 11pm. Bonnie's mum had been emptying and the house so that the new people could move in.

In the morning we packed most the stuff that was left in the house into the back fo the car, and then went to see Bonnie's grandma at the nursing home.
We left Riverton when it was still pretty early, heading through the Clare Valley to Port Augusta.
We stopped for lunch at a roadhouse in Port Augusta.

After lunch Kiah took over driving, going down the Eyre Peninsula till we got to Cowell, then I drove from Cowell to Arno Bay, where Bonnie's mum took over again, until we got to the farm, about half an hour from Port Lincoln.
We unpacked all stuff from Riverton, had tea, and then drove down to Thuruna, near Tumby Bay.

Easter Camp
The tent
Since Gilbert and Garry (Bonnie's brother and cousin) were sleeping out in the tent, and they were the only guys at the beginning of the camp I decided to sleep out there. It was an old army tent from the Second World War. There were some huge gaps in the roof, but the weather had been great so there wasn't much chance of rain.
Or so we thought. On the Saturday, at about 4am it started pouring. I just happened to be right under one of the biggest gaps, and was getting quite wet, so I decided to evacuate into one of the halls, with about four other guys from the tent.

The people
Before Wednesday night I'd never met anyone at the camp in person. I'd started talking to Bonnie on MSN over a year before, and we'd spoken on the phone a couple of times but that was it.
So going to Easter Camp was a very exciting experience. To start off it it was pretty hard because I hardly knew anyone, but everyone was so friendly that it wasn't very hard getting to know people like:

Squid, Bonnie's friend from YITS, who is now doing an industrial design course at Uni SA, and shares my admiration for The Living End.
Kiah, another friend of Bonnie's, who flew over from Perth the day before me, and left her pillow on the plane. She's thinking of moving to Adelaide to study nursing.
Brett, who works in Keith for the Department of Agriculture.
Jordy, who moved to Adealdie to go to study, then came back to the EP work on his parents farm when he finished. Jordy offered to pray for me for the next two months, then decided that just two months was to stingy.
Stacey, who has just recently moved to the EP, to work as a teacher, but sees her main purpose as evangelism. She's also a great encourager.
One of the main things I got out of the camp was an understanding of what it's like to be new, and not know anyone, and also how much easier it us when people are so friendly and welcoming.

The music
This guy called Abe, who runs an ad-production business in Devenport, Tasmania, was in charge of music, and did a great job of facilitating worship, in a way that's relevant to most young adults; that you can mosh or skank to. It's something I really miss at my own church, when I go back from Christian camps and conferences and stuff.

Beach walks
Every night we all went on a walk up the beach in the drak, which was great for getting to know people better. The interesting thing is that often because its so dark you can't really tell who you're walking with and talking to.

Teaching
This guy from Adelaide called Leigh Cunningham came and spoke to us about having direction, our identity as children of God and something else that I was to tired to understand.

Challenges
There were a heap of challenges for us to complete in our small groups.
One was that each member of a group had to co-operate in pushing a giant, inflated, tire tube out into the water, taking it around a buoy, and then bringing it back to the shore. However, the girls in my group decided that since we were in the country, and 'guys are sexist in the coutry' (ignoring the fact that statement itself is actually sexist) the girls should sit on top of the tube, and the guys should push. Right.
Bonnie's group decided to roll the tube down the sandunes, with Bonnie inside. Unfortunately she ended up stuffing up her ankle.

Theme night
Saturday night was theme night. This camp's theme was cartoons, so we had to dress up as cartoon characters for dinner. I'd been thinking of just making up a character and pretending that everyone else just hadn't heard of, but on the way to Riverton I'd decided to wear a black t-shirt with masking tape spider web stuck on - Charlotte's Web.

The cross
Saturday night, before the beach walk, Leigh got us to write down the things that were currently distancing us from God, and nail our piece of paper onto the big cross, outside on the beach. Later they were all taken down and burnt.

Sunday morning service
On Easter Sunday we got up at 5:30, to sit on the beach and contemplate the resurrection as the sun came up behind the clouds, over the gulf.
When the sun was up we shared the communion, meditating on the symbolism of the wine as the blood of Jesus that bled so we could be made clean, and the bread as his body that was broken for the same purpose.

Baptisms
On Sunday afternoon, Leigh baptised five people who had decided on camp that they wanted to be baptised. One of them was one of the people who had had chosen on camp to become a Christian. As they came up out of the water, we cheered and clapped, then prayed for them, then cheered and clapped as they came back to the shore.

Sunday night service
On Sunday night we had a kind of church service, which a heap of people who weren't at the camp came to. Each small group had to organise a part of the service. My group did a drama, which was quite good, if I say so myself.

Down on da farm
After camp, Bonnie, Squid, Kiah and I went back to Bonnie's family's farm for the night. Squid, Gilbert, Garry (his family live on the same farm) and I went in Garry's car, along a road made from quartz, of all things.
When we got to the farm we spent until tea listening to Kiah and Squid play recorders, which was quite amusing.
When Luke, Maryanne and Seth arrived we had tea.
After tea we went out in the ute to shoot some kangaroos. I shot one. Altogether we shot six, plus two two rabbits.

Tuesday morning we (me, bonnie, Kiah and Squid) got down to the bus terminal in Port Lincoln at about 8:00, and caught the bus to Adelaide. We were amazed by the vast array of possible seating positions.
We stopped for lunch in Port Austa, once again. However, before we went to get lunch, Squid had to go to the toilet. So he went itno the toilet and came back out soon after, saying, 'It's full.' I presume he meant that it was full of people who'd been ont he bus all morning. So we waited until it was no longer full, he went ina nd spent about 10 minutes inside. So we ended up having to rush to Woolworths and eat what we got there it on the bus.
Giant Squid (Squid's dad) met us in Adelaide at about 7pm, and offered to drive Bonnie, Kiah and I to Bonnie's place, in the southern suburbs.

Didn't do much Wednesday morning. Bonnie was at work and Kiah was alseep still, so I sent some postcards and finished reading The Dressmaker.
When Bonnie got home from work, the three of us caught the bus with Kez (Bonnie's nextdoor neighbor) to Marion Shopping Centre, and considered the absurdity of a couple of lines in a certain Hillsong song.
At Marion Bonnie and I got some spiky, plastic wristbands, Kiah got some CDs (Powderfinger, The Darkness, Jet) and Bonnie got this cool CD rack at JB Hi-Fi for $10. However she left it in Rebel Sport, and Rebel Sport were unable to, ah, find it. We had tea at an Italian restaurant. I ordered a bruschetta, which was really really good. After tea we went and saw 50 First Dates. I was expecting it to be a typical Adam Sandler film, but instead of being stupid, most of the humor (and there wasn't heaps) was just gross. And Sandler the one being wasn't funny. I actually quite enjoyed the 'niceness' of the film. On Thursday I went into the city. Took a lot of photos. Went to the museum and a few art galleries. Got yelled at by the curtor at the Experimental Art Foundation for walking into their gallery, which wasn't meant to be open. Also went to Polixeni Papapetrou's Dreams and Whispers exhibition at the Nexus Gallery and the Art Gallery of South Australia, to see the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art's Contemporary Photo-Media exhibition. Back to Ballarat Friday morning caught the train to the city. Left at 8:25am. The trip was uneventful. It was a bus of ordinariness. Arrived in Ballarat at about 7pm, and dicovered that the Coke I had left in my cupboard was still fizzy, although it had already been opened. Tuesday, April 13, 2004 I cannot be bothered saying much right now except that I got back to Adelaide from Eyre Penninsular about two hours ago and am quite stuffed due to the camp, going out shooting last night and the ten horu bus trip back today. Wednesday, April 07, 2004 I am going to Adelaide very soon. Also, What About Us? has been updated. But we no longer have a Rifky. He was voted out last week. Tuesday, April 06, 2004 Help the Congo Boys - IMPORTANT! I received this e-mail this afternoon: Hello to all my friends and family, I do not mean to abuse the privilege of having access to your email address, but I do mean to appeal to your compassionate hearts. Please take a small amount of your time to read what myself and colleague Keith Briant have put together regarding an appeal to our Minister for Immigration, the Senator, the Honourable Amanda Vanstone, to exercise her discretionary powers on compassionate grounds, to provide protection and residency for a group of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Known as the Congo Boys, or more recently as Vox Congo, these guys have become known around Australia for their musical talents and inspiring Christian ministry. The 3 we are advocating for are Adolphe, Etienne and Matense. I have come to know them quite well over the past 18 months and they have deeply touched my life. I have come to know them so well because our church, Knoxfield Church of Christ, has been providing housing for them during this time as they have been appealing their case to the Magistrates Court for protection and Asylum in Australia. Unfortunately, their appeal was dismissed and they have now decided to appeal directly to the minister. As a Christian and as one who has journeyed with these 3 men, I am committed and convicted to help them with their appeal. It is my calling to 'seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with my God'. I appeal to you all to look deep into your hearts and respond to this humanitarian appeal if you are able. As followers of Jesus we have a duty to seek what is just and humane for all God's people in this world we live in. Where influence is available to us, let us use it wisely and for the good of serving God. Below are some options on how you can respond: Attached is a file containing a petition, their summarized story and instructions on how to write a letter to the minister (for those of you who know or have experienced the ministry of the Congo Boys). If you are interested in passing a petition around your office/work place, friends and family, you can fax it complete, back to +61 03 9801 6215. Any letters can be sent to Keith Briant at the address provided. There he will collate them as a package to be sent to the minister, or you can email them to myself or Keith at the email addresses provided. Our contact phone numbers are also included if you would like to ask us any questions. If you would like to use email please take a short time to read Adolphe, Etienne and Matense's brief story and add your name to the petition below (of course it is more desirable to have you sign the petition attached and fax or mail it back). Pass this around to as many people as you can, either by handing on a petition or emailing it. When emailing, be sure to copy this email, create a new one, then paste the copy and add your name, then send it on. NOTE: Unfortunately time is not a luxury, we only have until Friday, April 9th 2004 to lodge this appeal with immigration. Because Friday (Good Friday) is a public holiday we need to have received all petitions and responses by Thursday, April 8th 2004 at the latest to be sent off. If you are a recipient of this petition, please note the due date and the urgency of a reply. Thankyou for your time and your faithful response, God Bless. Yours sincerely, Mark Riessen, Minister, Knoxfield Church of Christ The Congo boys have been living at my parents church, and teach my little brother, Justin, to play the drums. Here is a copy of the petition. Please get as many people as you can to sign it, and fax or post it so it will get to Amanda Vanstone by Thursday (AEST). Saturday, April 03, 2004 Finished this for Indigenous Culture this afternoon: Traditional ideas regarding Aboriginal origins The most scientifically accepted theories about the origins of the Aborigines suggest that they came to Australia from southern Asia during the ice age, when the sea level was lower. However, Aboriginal tradition states that the Aborigines did not come from across the seas, but originated here, in Australia. According to Aboriginal tradition, a long time ago localized Creator Beings founded their societies. It is believed that when the Creator Beings arrived in the land (usually from the sea, sky or out of the ground) it was flat and empty. The Creator Beings traveled across the land, creating geographical features, plants, animals and human beings. Other spirits arrived in the land during the creation period, whose actions also resulted t\in the creation of various flora, fauna and geography. Some of them also turned into animals, plants and landmarks when they died. In the Kulin nation, which stretched across Central and Western Victoria, the Creator Being is a male wedge-tailed eagle called Bunjil. It is said that Bunjil took three sheets of bark, placing a lump of clay on one. He kneaded the clay till it was soft, and then put some on the second piece of bark, where he molded it into the shape of a boy. He then used the remaining clay to shape a second boy on the third piece of bark and then danced around the clay figures. Bunjil then attached stringybark to the heads of the figures, giving them hair – one with straight hair and one with curly hair. Then he lay down on them and breathed life into their mouths, nostrils and navels. Bunjil danced around the now-living boys, causing them to speak, stand and grow into adult men. These were Ber-Rook-Boorn and Koo-Kin-Ber-Rook, the first men. One strange thing about this myth is that it doesn’t explain where women came from. The Tiwi of Bathurst and Melville Islands say that their Creator Being, Muntunkala (or Mundunkala), a blind, elderly woman, came up out of the ground, with her three children clinging to either her back or breasts, depending on the version that’s being told. She embarked on a long journey, and route of her journey became Bathurst and Melville Islands. Then she created the plants and some of the animals that inhabit the islands. One difference between this myth and most other Aboriginal creation myths is that the ancestors of the Tiwi were Muntunkala’s own children. The Gagadju people (who Kakadu National Park is named after) say that their Creator Being, Imberombera, surfaced from the waters of Malay Bay, carrying dilly bags full of spirit children, who she released at different points during her creation journey. In many other parts of Australia it is believed that spirit babies come from the clouds or under the earth, where a Creator Being placed them, and many other peoples in Arnhemland also believe in a female Creator Being who came out of the sea, like Imberombera. The Murinbata people, from the Port Keats region (east of the Northern Territory - Western Australia border) say that Kunmangerr, the Rainbow Serpent created the first Murinbata. He was the first person to ever play the didjeridu, which he made out of bamboo. The first time he blew into his didjeridu, instead of music, bats came out. The second time he blew into it, two spirit children came out, one male and one female. These were the first Murinbata. In Cape York, the Torres Straight Islands and Papua, stories of a common Creator Being can be found. However, the narrative of these stories suggests that it began in Australia and traveled to Papua, rather than vice-versa, as the Creator Being began his journey in Cape York and traveled through the Torres Straight Islands to Papua, where he died. Friday, April 02, 2004 Krispy Kremes & Fluff on toast routemarker says: got to get some more krispy kremes routemarker says: brb Taqwa says: see? you damn train hoboe! Taqwa says: lol routemarker says: microwaved it for too long lol Christop says: what arew krispy kremes? Christop says: i do not think we have them here Taqwa says: some doughnut that everybody seems to think are good.. Christop says: ok routemarker says: tthink? they are good Taqwa says: maybe to you, but you can taste Christop says: they can't be good if i haven't heard of them before routemarker says: lol you have to try it hot to appreciate them Christop says: I have just had fluff on toast and it is quite weird routemarker says: lol they just came to asut last year Christop says: Mr Fluff Fluff routemarker says: the fluff isnt mould is it/ Christop says: no Christop says: it is pink marshmellow spread from america Christop says: which costs only$2
routemarker says:
lol
Taqwa says:
lol
Christop says:
hours of fun and amusement

Googols of space
Google are planning to run a free e-mail service that will give each user 1 Gig of storage space. Users will be able to search every e-mail they've ever sent or received. The service will be funded by ads relating to topics discussed within the user's e-mails - much like those used by Google-owned Blogger.

Final Hours
Kaidt pointed out to me just before that Strange Laura (from Warrnambool mission) was in the paper today. Their school's doing a theatre production called Final Hours, which is about the final hours of Jesus' life (original, isn't it?). Laura is Jesus' mother and Kaidt is the guy who helps Jesus with the cross (I forget his name). Kaidt says it's going well, but apparently on opening night a whole heap of the cast started laughing while Jesus was dying, which I expect would be pretty annoying...
I would have liked to go see it, since I know a few people who are in it (like Six Characters) but it's not on again until Wednesday night, and by then I'll be in Adelaide.

Six Characters in Search of an Author
Went and saw Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author at Camp Street Wednesday night.
Six characters from an unwritten play turn up in a theatre in the middle of a rehersal, and request that the company do a production of their story. I thought the form of the play was very interesting but it seemed a bit ordinary, possibly because there wasn't really any change of pace. However, the actors who play the six cahracters did a really good job with their movements and expressions, and their costumes were very effective - grey, period suits and dresses and white masks.