Simultaneously an Adult and a Child

•May 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Today I found myself watching Gardening Australia (completely by coincidence).  There was, however, a difference this time (in comparison to my other, infrequent, GA experiences): I was entertained by it. I expect this is a concrete sign of my progression from being a child to being an “old person”.

One of today’s segments was all about attracting “pollinators” (ie. insects that will pollinate your plants). All I could think about was this (note: discussions in the link that are of a more… mature nature).  Proving, contrary to the previous evidence, that I am still definitely a child.

Conker’s Bad Fur Day – ruining everything since 2001.

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Stupid efficient economic management…

•October 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Opposition is once again complaining about the fact that the Government’s stimulus package is working better than expected.

Yes, that’s right, they’re complaining about the Government doing something right.

Occasionally I have to wonder what it must be like to live in Malcom Turnbull’s head…

Not to let statistics get in the way…

•September 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’m not a fan of the Government wasting taxpayer money, so it’s good that there are people looking into the Government’s school spending program.  But I have to say, maybe the opposition should stop trying to discredit the idea of these spending programs when it only draws attention to the fact that there is a 99.75% satisfaction rate.

I’m no political advisor, but it seems like common sense… dunnit?

And the Results are in!

•September 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Do you think anyone will mention that Queensland students are younger than students in other states?

No.  Yeah you’re right – I was being optimistic.

Do you think anyone at the CM will mention that Queensland students are also younger than students from other states in the same years?

No… I thought that was being optimistic.

In – Satanism, Uncategorised

•August 29, 2009 • 1 Comment

I can’t help but applaud Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe for trying to tell people that homophobia is a bad thing.

Catchthefire.com, however, slams Radcliffe for failure to tolerate their intolerance simply because he thinks it might be a good idea to teach same-sex sex-ed.   You know, so young gay men and women don’t engage in risky sexual activity without knowing exactly what they’re getting themselves into.  Silly Daniel.

Then, in some kind of spectacular leap of logic that is clearly beyond my limited human comprehension, the article claims that Radcliffe’s telling people that saying hurtful and harmful things that can have a profound negative impact upon LGBT people is both wrong and anti-[theirdefinitionof]-family.  Gosh, clearly this young man is a terrible role model because he wants us to be respectful to each other.

And of course the celibate, wise and over-qualified Dumbledore seems to fail some kind of morality quota and, like all homosexuals regardless of qualifications, should not be allowed to be headmaster.  I wonder when I’ll get around to studying that important fact in my education degree?

The Latest Scandal…

•August 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’m not quite sure how this story ended up in the papers.  Maybe someone got tired of creating the appearance of corruption where there is none and instead felt like creating the veteran’s viagra scandal.

When I read it I was filled with deep shame.  Not, however, because of the information contained within, but rather because this story was even put into print.

Review: Paper Towns

•June 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As the title of my blog is Shadow People in Paper Towns, I believe it would be remiss of me not to begin the reviewing portion of this blog with a review of John Green’s Paper Towns.  So, here we go!

Paper Towns Cover (USA)

Paper Towns Covers (USA)

Paper Towns, by John Green, is a YA novel that focuses on the life and misadventures of Quentin “Q” Jacobson and his quest to find the mysterious Margo Roth-Spiegleman.  What, however, must be understood when reading this book is that “finding” Margo is more than just a (not-so) simple quest to locate where she is in space-time, but is instead a quest to find out who Margo really is.

From the very get-go Green manages to generate the necessary tension to drive the story forward and engross the reader.  The book will have you constantly asking questions that you must know the answer to: Who’s the man in the park?  Why is Margo showing up and whisking Q away to go on a midnight adventure?  Where’s Margo?  Is she dead?  And, most importantly, why does someone need to own so many black Santas!

Green’s youthful and intelligent tone sets the scene, engages the audience and lets them know exactly the kind of characters that are going to be in this text.  It’s obvious that Green is at home in the first-person perspective, and returning to it for this novel really works to his advantage.  There are a few awkward shifts from past to present tense, but besides these isolated incidents, Green manages to capture the teenage voice exceptionally well, transitioning seamlessly from quirky and witty to contemplative and serious when appropriate.

Green’s ability to create believable teenage characters is also part of the appeal of Paper Towns.  The characters, from the nerdy and awkward Ben to the caring cheerleader Lacey, are complex and multi-layered, and engage in realistic contemporary dialogue.

On top of this, the first-person perspective works well in demonstrating the limitations of human perception.  While Q is not an unreliable narrator, he certainly has his own world-view and this works against him in his search for Margo.  He is only able to see the person he thinks Margo is, instead of the person who she actually is, and before Q can locate her, he must first “find” her.  This ties in to the overall recurring theme of the novel, which is the necessity of imagining the other with greater complexity.  While such an intricate and deep theme might have a tendency to weigh down a text and make it come across as preachy, the way the novel addresses the central theme through the challenges of its characters means that while the book occasionally walks on a delicate line, it certainly isn’t anvilicious.

Overall, Paper Towns is a well-written, entertaining and thought-provoking novel.  On a personal note, I like this book so much that I’ve bought three copies (one for myself and twice for friends).  Its themes are universal, its characters are fun to spend time with, and it is written such a way that it reads very easily.  I highly recommend it.

As the title of my blog is Shadow People in Paper Towns, I believe it would be remiss of me not to begin the reviewing portion of this blog with a review of John Green’s Paper Towns. So, here we go!

Paper Towns, by John Green, is a YA novel that focuses on the life and misadventures of Quentin “Q” Jacobson and his quest to find the mysterious Margo Roth-Spiegleman. What, however, must be understood when reading this book is that “finding” Margo is more than just a (not-so) simple quest to locate where she is in space-time, but is instead a quest to find out who Margo really is.

From the very get-go Green manages to generate the necessary tension to drive the story forward and engross the reader. The book will have you constantly asking questions that you must know the answer to: Who’s the man in the park? Why is Margo showing up and whisking Q away to go on a midnight adventure? Where’s Margo? Is she dead? And, most importantly, why does someone need to own so many black Santas!

Green’s youthful and intelligent tone sets the scene, engages the audience and lets them know exactly the kind of characters that are going to be in this text. It’s obvious that Green is at home in the first-person perspective, and returning to it for this novel really works to his advantage. There are a few awkward shifts from past to present tense, but besides these isolated incidents, Green manages to capture the teenage voice exceptionally well, transitioning seamlessly from quirky and witty to contemplative and serious when appropriate.

Green’s ability to create believable teenage characters is also part of the appeal of Paper Towns. The characters, from the nerdy and awkward Ben to the caring cheerleader Lacey, are complex and multi-layered, and engage in realistic contemporary dialogue.

On top of this, the first-person perspective works well in demonstrating the limitations of human perception. While Q is not an unreliable narrator, he certainly has his own world-view and this works against him in his search for Margo. He is only able to see the person he thinks Margo is, instead of the person who she actually is, and before Q can locate her, he must first “find” her. This ties in to the overall recurring theme of the novel, which is the necessity of imagining the other with greater complexity. While such an intricate and deep theme might have a tendency to weigh down a text and make it come across as preachy, the way the novel addresses the central theme through the challenges of its characters means that while the book occasionally walks on a delicate line, it certainly isn’t anvilicious.

Overall, Paper Towns is a well-written, entertaining and thought-provoking novel. On a personal note, I like this book so much that I’ve bought three copies (one for myself and twice for friends). Its themes are universal, its characters are fun to spend time with, and it is written such a way that it reads very easily. I highly recommend it.