Silence Kills Me

Silence kills me. I am unable to study or work in silence. There is something about silence that distracts me. It’s the possibility of something happening that isn’t happening that distracts me the most.

So I listen to music. It can’t be just any kind of music though. When I am at uni I can sometimes hear other student’s music though their headphones and they might be listening to something that can be found in a club on a Friday or Saturday night and I have no idea how they can concentrate. The music that I listen while to working needs to have focus itself which helps to pin down my own focus.

I’ve started back at uni this semester. Between work and uni and everything else I want to do in a day I have to focus when I sit down to my work. I can’t waste a moment. If I do I fall behind, I stress and then end up hiding in my bed from all the work that has piled up.

This week I have decided to start out strong so I am listening to Band of Horses – Cease to Begin. It was recommended to me by a friend. I asked him to recommend me something to listen to and within seconds he replied without even thinking about it. It has everything that I look for in a study album; It is focused, stylistically consistent, fun to listen to and has lyrics that distract me only sometimes. The album starts out strong with Is there a Ghost. Islands on the Coast is a personal favourite and by the time Windows Blue has rolled around I’ve worked for a solid 35 minutes and I am ready for a quick study break before I press play again and keep on going.

‘Strayan, Mate!

Last night I was on Skype with two friends in London, they were both asking me when I plan on returning to the UK (no idea). One of them asked me if I considered myself to be English. My answer, of course was, “No. I’m a F**king Aussie, Mate” He was asking if Australians consider themselves to be English because we are still a constitutional monarchy with the Queen still on our coins and our head of state*. I found his question to be a little insulting, sure my language preferences on computer devices is usually set to English (UK) rather than English (US), and the Union Jack can be clearly found on the Australian flag but what goes on in England and with the Queen and her parliament has really little to do with what actually goes on down here. With the exception being during ashes season.

This post was originally going to be part rant part reflection on what it means to be Australian in the year 2014. It turns out that being Australian is actually a very complex thing. Our media is saturated with American and English TV programs, movies and music. Even our reality TV programs are all extensions of shows from overseas. I’m of the opinion that it is hard to hang on to a traditional sense of what being Australian means when we are influenced quite heavily by the going ons in other countries.

I was also going to talk about how I speak  ‘Strayan. Which ultimately means that I wear thongs on my feet, footy could refer to almost any sport than involves a ball and the possibility of that ball being kicked at some stage, and words like sook, vegemite, bottlo and tradie are used regularly and often. I know that I don’t always enunciate very well and that I tend to ask for a glass of ‘wata’ instead of a glass of water, but I know for a fact that I can speak better english then some English people I know. And how I don’t think my accent and choice of words is enough to build a national identity around.

I was then doing a little internet browsing and found Star Wars Downunder. It is a fan made star wars film set on a fictional Australia like planet, and follows Merv the Jedi on his quest to have a quiet one. Its part star wars parody part beer commercial. The production is pretty impressive for a fan made film and is worth watching just for hearing all the australianis and their interpretation in the subtitles.

 

 

*I should point out that his question was more about when a person might develop a different national identity after immigrating to a different country. His point was more specifically about when did the Australian identity emerge. That is a question I can’t really answer, it would be such an individual experience that would be hard to try and generalise.   

I Finally Get Around To Posting Something or How To Have An Interesting Blog.

I’ve been wanting to start this blog for some time and I have kept putting it off for many, many reasons: I don’t know what to write about; who will want to read what I write about; my writing skills aren’t that great; I’m not that interesting.

The other day William Zinsser’sOn Writing Well” had  been recommended to me. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I did become curious as to who Zinsser was. I’d never heard of him before, who was he to write a book on writing? After a brief google search I came across a speech he gave at Deerfield Academy in 2010 titled “How to have an interesting life.

I am always eager to hear what older generations have to say about living an interesting life. It seems that in today’s social media world an interesting life seems to be about how many likes a post can get on Facebook or how many twitter followers a person has.  These older generations had interesting lives that they didn’t feel the need to share with strangers on a daily basis. It seems that it was enough to be just living that interesting life.  Zinsser described both the process of being interesting in his life and writing is seeing his “life as a product, It’s a continuing process.”

And that is how I want to see and approach this blog, and to be honest my own life. This shall be an evolving process. I’m unable to say what will come next or write I will write about. This is a process and it is nowhere near a finished product. I look forward to discovering how and what this little adventure evolves into.