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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Australia 2011 - Day 12, Part 2 - Darwin

"Let's get rid of Infirmary Feminism, with its bedlam of bellyachers, anorexics, bulimics, depressives, rape victims, and incest survivors. Feminism has become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their moldy neuroses." - Camille Paglia

***

Australia 2011
Day 12 - 9th August - Darwin
(Part 2)

Next was the museum.

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"Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory... The Northern Territory's Premier Cultural Institution"
In the land of the blind...

First, since I was tired, hungry and thirsty, I had brunch.

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This Eggs Royal (Eggs Benedict but with Tasmanian Smoked Salmon) cost me A$19 but it was good.

There was an aboriginal art gallery, but once again no photos were allowed. Most aboriginal art places don't let you take photos, for some reason. This is no loss anyway, as I hate it like most Modern Art, but for the opposite reason - it's too primitive (aside: I generally dislike primitive art, no matter which culture it comes from). It's a little better than Cycladic Art, but that's not saying much.

According to the museum, the world's oldest surviving rock painting is from Australia. Of course, this claim is questionable at best, with older examples extant in Europe. One documentary claimed some of the most beautiful rock art was from Australia. Well, this was subjective.

The museum also mentioned aborigines applying to get their land back, and mentioned this in a very neutral way, with no background. While I'm against German-style uncritical self-flagellation, they should've said a bit, at least, about what happened. I also saw no mention of the Stolen Generations (aboriginal children taken from their families and given to white families).

According to a documentary, "Lofty Bardayal Nadjamerrek AO" was "the last known practitioner of the ancient art of painting in rock shelters in Western Arnhem land". This was less shocking than it sounded initially.

The museum had a lot of 20th century, even late 20th century, items. The earliest items I saw were from the late 19th century. It would stand to reason that many of their artefacts could easily be procured by other museums, given their recency. But of course you won't see this in Asia, since Asian museums have essentially political rather than educational missions.

Aboriginal art is either primitive or modern - it didn't go through a realist phase.

There was a synthesis of aboriginal and modern art. So there was Linda Syddick's "ET returning home". He looked like a teletubby, even if the painting was done in 1994. The commentary compared ET's returning with the ascension of Jesus. Hoho.

Some aboriginal painters had white surnames - perhaps they were part of the Stolen Generations.

There was a very boxy "Tjanpi grass toyota" - basically a redneck pickup truck, made out of woven grass by blackstore tjanpi weavers.

There was a section evoking Cyclone Tracy from 1974.

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Trigger Warning!


Cyclone Tracy sounds

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Giant Snake

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Seafood

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Nameless stingray - but it can still kill you

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"By biting and injecting a potent toxin in its saliva, this little octopus can paralyse a person within about 15 minutes"

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"Humans can be affected by venoms and poisons. Learning about the animals that produce them is the best way to guard against injury"
I have a better idea: leave the Northern Territory

"Spider bites have resulted in deaths in Australia, but there have been none in the Northern Territory"
I'm sure this is very comforting

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Marsupial 'rhinoceros', giant goose

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On the Rise and Demise of Megafauna

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Ichthyosaur

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Water rats
Everything in Australia is weird, even the rats

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Doves and pigeons - apparently they're the same thing

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Birds

In 1988 the Australian Rock Art Research Associaton commissioned a simulated rock art panel in fibreglass -_-

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I took a picture of the sign since the work was not to be photographed.

Albert Namatjira painted landscapes in the European style and claimed there was no difference compared to traditional dot paintings, as they were both spiritual. Uhh.

Among his works, 9/10 were titled either "landscape" or "traditional landscape". Very creative.

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Then there was Sweetheart - a stuffed croc.

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"I am not a model
I am not a cast
I am real and I am fragile
PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH ME"

There was a SEA gallery.

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"The Gallery's purpose is to increase our understanding and awareness of Australia's nearest regional neighbours, with whom Australia's future is inextricably linked"
i.e. it has a political purpose?
There were things from Indonesia; Malaysia; East Timor; Chinese/Chinese influenced China from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and Scotland. It wasn't really the whole of SEA represented.

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East Timorese wood carvings. From Right to Left these are items 1-3.

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Javanese Terracotta Figurines. From left to right, they are items 2 and 3.

Next was a section of the museum with boats from SEA and Oceania. A lot of them were confiscated.

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Vietnamese refugee boat

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Indonesian Boat which wandered into Australian waters and got impounded.

At some point I had procured some of the crappy local magazines. My conclusion was that they were the same as the crappy Singaporean local magazines that people liked to read in Slavery, except with a little bit of nudity.

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More crap.

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"Pelican crossing"???

On the bus back to the city there was an aboriginal man beside me who stroked my neck then said "my husband. my wife. me and my wife". Then he continued with something unintelligible, and kept talking (not in English) to no one in particular. Uhh. Maybe he'd been glue sniffing.

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"Dress and behaviour standards apply when travelling in the Territory" (bus sign)

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"This business is FOR SALE...."
Not a resounding vote of confidence in the business prospects of the location.

A kiddie size at Cold Rock Creamery cost $5.20. Considering this was its country of origin...

We had some time so I went to poke around in the supermarket again.

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I can't remember why I took this

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Proudly (Partially) Imported OJ. This wasn't that vile but was far short of Florida's Natural etc.

The area from the previous night with the Fish & Chips shop was closed. Even the Oriental places were all closed. I was sad as I couldn't get Butter Chicken, so I settled for Tommo's Pies.

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"Virtually Trans Fat Free"

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Bacon & Egg Pie
I never got why people liked mushy peas ugh.

I thought the pie shop girl was German but it turned out she was French (but wanted to reply in English). She was leaving in a week, making for a full year in Australia.

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"Penaltey for non compliance. Fine to the tennant"

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I don't know why I took this. But this is how I scribble my holiday notes (there isn't usually a tear in the paper though)

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Asian-friendly ATM

Australian Outgoing Passenger Cards need to be filled in by everyone - including residents. And they also ask if you're a resident leaving permanently.

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Outdated Economist (they were off by a week)

The Maxims and FHMs had no "unrestricted M (mature)" ratings, so it seemed they had no nudes.

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I doubt Australians eat Kangaroo, Crocodile or Emu Jerky. I tried the Emu Jerky since I'd not had it. It wasn't very good. Aside: Robert Timm's Kangaroo Steak is done very well.

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Interesting luggage tags

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I just missed the Census by a night. Strangely the census covers international tourists.

There were flights from a place called "Granite". It's in Victoria.

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"More NT Travellers are returning from Overseas with HIV. Be prepared pack condoms"
I like the URL: http://www.safesexnoregrets.nt.gov.au/

Amusing things from the website:

"Young people in the NT have more STI than anywhere else in Australia." (maybe there's nothing to do in the Outback)
"Safe sex can include: Not having sex" (isn't that like Chicken Rice without the Rice?"

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"Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! Food & cold drinks allowed on the plane"
Lucky AirAsia doesn't fly there.

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"Last chance to buy Duty Free"
THANKS AH

Someone before me and 2 after me got frisked by the security detail, while I didn't. All were white. Racial profiling!

There was a billboard featuring Joanne Peh promoting Jetstar's Darwin flights. Yet, how many Australians know her?

Jetstar sells Krispy Kreme donuts on Domestic and New Zealand flights for A$3 - even more exorbitant than at the airport.

When we landed we were told if we had mobile phones within reach we could turn them on, but all other electronic devices had to be off until we entered the terminal. Uhh.

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Changi: You can get 2x the difference in prices if you find the same product being sold for less. HOWEVER this is only valid at "comparable outlets". This smacks of an opportunity for collusion.


I'm not sure how aborigines can wander around in loincloths and not be cold. For example, in the South of Australia (or even Uluru) at this time of the year.

The most common language after English in Darwin was German.

I'm quite sure initiatives banning plastic bags are supported by garbage bag makers.

There's very little 'Royal' flavour in Australia, in the names or otherwise. No wonder they're yearning to be a Republic.

Why is there no Fanta Lemon in Australia?

In Oz many of the nice people are nice but the few nasty people are quite nasty. In other places, even if they're not as nice they at least aren't nasty. So in Australia the variance of niceness is high.
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