April 22nd, 2008


LSS progress

Woot! I hit the halfway point today - in the backlog - I have read 824 shorts and I have 824 shorts to go!!

When I say "read" I mean I have a score in the spreadsheet - if something is in the spreadsheet but we don't have a review copy of it, I give it a zero cause I can't read what I don't have and I want to get to a point where I don't have nearly 1000 stories to read on my to do list. I figure, if we at some point get hold of some of these items I have zeroed, I can always go back and rescore them.

Of the 824, I have probable read close to 550. That makes me about one-quarter of the way through last year's tally. And since it's April, I'm about on track.

From Little Things, Big Things Grow!

I just downloaded my copy of the song from the Get Up Mob.

Here's what Reuters say about it:

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to Aborigines for past injustices has been turned into a song, with rights activists on Monday saying the apology was a defining national moment.

"Some moments in a nation's history are so significant, so uplifting and so unifying they become the inspiration for artists, thinkers and dreamers," said Brett Solomon, from the political activist group GetUp.

"They turn those moments into the food which nourishes the nation's soul," Solomon said.

Rudd, whose centre-left government swept away almost 12 years of conservative rule in November, apologised in parliament to Aborigines on February13, saying past assimilation policies since British colonisation were wrong.

Rudd's words feature at the start of the song, which adapts a hit ballad "From Little Things, Big Things Grow" by singer Paul Kelly, which told of an eight-year strike by Aboriginal stockmen that led to formal recognition of indigenous land rights.

I keep saying it but it doesn't remotely touch on how I feel. For 12 years I was sad, defeated and ashamed about the kind of country our Government was creating. I had lost hope of the kind of idealism that had brought me to my career, my interests and my political leanings. I had lost hope in our society.

Now, I am excited, buzzing with excitement in fact, at the things that happen every day in this country. The massive moves forward that we are making just by taking just the first step. There are nearly 280 000 members of Get Up across this country. That's nearly a third of a million people who actively want to change this country for, hopefully, the better. And this group is now taken seriously by the decision makers. And more than that, the decision makers want to know *what we want* for our country! The 2020 Summit was about giving people a voice, to play a role in how we direct where we go as a whole. That is just so exciting to me that I can't really express it without clapping my hands and jumping up and down.

And I'm mad at the people who told me that this could never happen, that Rudd could never win, that he won't do what he promised. That I'd see that all politicians lie and say anything to get in.

It's not true.

From little things, big things grow.

Go buy the song, and help make it top the charts so that people across Australia hear it and know that saying sorry was a big deal but now we have to follow through and show that we meant it. And more than that, show that the Arts can be a powerful voice for power and change.