I need advice, I need direction … really I just need some help.
My partner and I are considering selling up and travelling around Australia – we are pretty agreed on that part – the issue we have is that we can’t seem to reach agreement whether a caravan or RV is the way to go.
I’m pretty keen on an RV but I am worried about having to take it everywhere – its a big vehicle to lug around but my partner favours a caravan – he reckons there is more storage – but he is concerned regarding driving stability.
All we are doing is facilitating – so I thought I would ask your opinion – perhaps you have an experience or know a website that you could share. Any assistance would be appreciated and just so you know we would be looking at taking our two dogs with us – so space is going to be a real issue. (What do you do with the dogs when you go in to buy food? Can you take dogs in national parks?)
So many questions and no idea where to look for answers.
Illegal dumping – its an increasing issue in Australia and while I would love to blame those who undertake this practice – in all honesty I don’t think that is where the responsibility belows.
Let me explain why – in Australia local councils took it upon themselves to encourage recycling – which is a great practice – but rather than starting in schools and highlighting the benefits they decided the best means of making households recycle was to make rubbish removal an expensive and cost prohibive practice.
They did this over a number of years and I don’t know if other countries implemented similar practices but here is how they put their policy into practice.
The first step was to give us three bins –
Red lid – general waste, Green lid – garden waste, Yellow lid – recycling. I don’t think anyone had an issue with this – I know I was quite excited, I had young children and the recycling bin gave me another means of disposal but this was only stage one.
Over the next couple of years the red bin got smaller and the other bins remained the same size. You actually had less refuse picked up and when you consider that the recycling and green waste was only collected fortnightly you began to find that you couldn’t dispose of it all.
Dump fees began to rise – there was a steady increase in the fee from the implementation of the new bin system and while it wasn’t exhorbitant it was cost prohibitive. When families on lower incomes had to decide whether to take their rubbish to the dump or pay bills and eat there was never going to be any other option than illegal dumping.
While I concede that councils do offer free hard waste collection twice yearly and one voucher to dump green waste in my the attitude of the council that rubbish disposal has to:
completely ignores the responsibility to the residents. In my view it is the councils responsibility to provide its residents with a cost effective means to dispose of their waste and the rampant illegal dumping which has resulted is at least in part due to the practices the council has imposed. Failure to consider this issue will only lead to an increase in illegal dumping – which of course comes with its own associated costs.
So this week I thought we would return to one of my favourite topics of how culture shapes society and to contextualize this I want to examine one of my favourite modes of influence – music.
In this example the type of music is relatively unimportant – rather it is the mode which is utelized that provides its power to influence. So what is this mode – well it is known as the answer song or response song and occurs when a song is written in direct response to another. This may be to provide support or agreement with the original or, more commonly, to challenge the content of the original song.
While this concept has been evident since the 1950’s its popularity really sky rocketed in the 1960’s, demonstrating rivalries and often cultural prejudices. An example you may be familiar with is Elvis Presley’s Are You Lonesome Tonight?was responded to by Dodie Steven’s Yes, I’m Lonesome Tonight.
Now I know what you are thinking – all in the past – no one does this anymore but it is quite common, the following are examples I bet you never recognised:
Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough” (1994)
Travis Tritt “Strong Enough to Be Your Man” in 2002
Eminem’s “Stan” (2000)
KJ-52 “Dear Slim” (2002)
Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” (1968)
OK Go’s “Good Idea At The Time” (2005)
Mötley Crüe Girls, Girls, Girls” (1987)
Lady Gaga’s “Boys, Boys, Boys” (2008)
Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind” (2009)
Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg “California Girls” (2010)
Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (2007)
Sia’s “Big Girls Cry” (2014)
I think what this demonstrates is that musicians and songwriters are as aware of the world around them as their audience and by crafting response songs they are providing an additional commentary on society. This ultimately shapes not only the impression of those who listen to the answer song, but also reconfigures how the original is perceived.
I feel that this clearly illustrates not only how music has been used to influence and transform but also that music’s impact can never be underestimated.
I often think that people underestimate crocodiles – they are not only stealthy and fast they are also incredibly cunning – even as Australians well versed in the danger of crocodiles – I have been amazed by the stories I have been told.
Some of my family live in Cairns, so we head up that way quite often and on my last trip in September 2017 I was being warned to be careful at the beach, for crocodiles had been reported for swimming ashore and attacking. On that trip we also headed to Cape Tribulation and were advised that a young boy had been snatched by a crocodile when he went down to retrieve a ball which had rolled near the edge of a river.
Having stated this I don’t wish any harm to the crocodile – their instinct to survive just makes them a dangerous. They are a beautiful creature which should be respected and treated with caution.