15 May 2009

Thoughts I Have Had

When you subscribe to The Economist you get sent the Pocket World in Figures. This is an excellent publication (and before Earhart has a go at me, YES, it is a REAL BOOK, look to the right, there is a picture of it) and I quite enjoy having the GDP of Chile at my fingertips whenever I need it. 

However, I was perusing this informative smorgasbord of a read this evening and I came across a couple of very disturbing facts, which I will get to shortly. As soon as I have justified the fact that I was reading this on a Friday night:

1. The sound on my computer does not work so I cannot watch Susan Boyle on YouTube like the rest of the world.
2. My local is the Reddie, the most dangerous pub in London. I have yet to convince a friend to meet me there.
3. Everywhere else involves walking and... it's raining. AGAIN. 

HENCE The Economist's little book of delights entertaining me this evening.

Now, where was I... oh yes! The disturbing facts. Whilst Australia is top of most lists concerning alcohol it comes depressingly low down in some of the other areas. We are 7th in the world when it comes to students' reading performances. Not bad, but New Zealand beat us. A WORRY. Of course, enrolment in schools isn't a problem. According to the guide, 105% of kids go to primary school and 150% go to secondary school! 

And where are we COMPLETELY ABSENT? Most notably, we don't have any names on the Nobel Prize Winners lists. I know we have had Nobel Prize winners, just not enough to feature them apparently. Patrick White won it for literature as did J.M. Coetzee and we can kind of claim him because he's become an Aussie citizen (with reluctance as I don't really like his work) but that's all I can think of.

So, this is a call to arms. Australians: write more. And write better. And write more prolifically. The French dude who just won the prize? He's got a TONNE of books. Sure, none of them are at all accessible and they're all to do with sensory feelings and perceptions and the mind as a floating organism... but now he's got carte blanche to keep doing what he's always been doing, with a seriously inflated bank balance. 

I've just googled him and his name is Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (hmmm, must be a first-born child. I too have too many names). What I wrote about his work above may seem a little dismissive so let me quote a more concrete description of his body of work for you: "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization." 


Thank you for listening. Over and out. 
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