“The Federal Government must come to grips with the increasing number of highly skilled Australians being lost to the world’s major cities or risk permanently losing the talent, according to a report to be released today.” (Age)
Personally, the Federal Government must stop releasing social policies from the 1950s if it wants highly skilled Australian women to come back. And how about an immigration policy that doesn’t make us weep with frustration and cause us to be ashamed of our country?

Saw the new Lord of the Rings last night, so I can finally read the reviews and watch the previews.
This morning the frost was so thick it looked like it had snowed overnight.

It’s probably too flippant but the ‘war on terror’ is also a war on grammar. It’s no longer enough to have a war on ‘intense, overpowering fear’ instead of one on ‘the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons’.
Take the way everyone’s saying Bush and Blair have been careful to avoid ‘triumphalism‘. I don’t think they’re really talking about ‘the attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, especially a religion or political theory, is superior to all others.’ Was ‘triumphant‘ too simple for them?

If you’re not spending your lunchtimes doing last-minute shopping, check out www.soundtoys.net. I was really heavily into this kind of stuff a few years ago, but gradually got more into traditional programming, partly because the audience was more limited back then. Also, because I was lazy and crap at it.

I’m easily amused. A friend sent me a link to www.birthdayalarm.com asking that I enter my birthday so he gets a reminder. I’m very ambivalent about my birthday – I like people to remember it vaguely around the time it happens, but I hate the day itself and won’t celebrate it.
Anyway, I entered Little Baby Jesus instead. I love to think that Huey will get a reminder for His birthday. (I was tempted to enter Little Baby Cheeses but that seemed silly).
“Can We Change Your Mind Little Baby?” Now the site is trying to convince Little Baby Jesus (or Little Baby, as they familiarly call him) to sign up with a range of cards including ‘Bday Poppers’. (Apt, if you knew my friends). See? Easily amused.

Quick and dirty Firecracker reviews:
Manhole was quite funny. The locations used were particularly evocative, subtly reflecting the characters and their lives. It also did a really good job of showing how much China has changed socially, economically and culturally in just a few years.
Cross Harbour Tunnel was very obviously an indie film – they’d put a lot of work into it but production values were necessarily low. I’d recommend it for the good script and performances, as well as a different view of Hong Kong. Lots of films have told the story of one day or night from many, overlapping viewpoints, but Cross Harbour Tunnel managed to be original.
Leaving in Sorrow would have been a lot better if it had been more tightly edited and more strongly structured. As it was a dogme-style film a lot of the clues about time and location that would normally come from the lighting, music, mise en scene, etc, weren’t available to the film maker and this showed up weaknesses in the plot. From the conversations around me when it finished, I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t sure how to read the ending.
I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing, but all three of the films I saw seemed at least fifteen minutes too long.

It’s the first of three work Christmas parties tonight. I’m seeing a few films from the Firecracker Showcase over the weekend, which will be a nice change from getting completely trashed. I’ll still be getting trashed, but at least I’ll be doing something constructive during the day.