Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Bloopers and troopers

Some moments of recent risibility to share. Last night my sister-in-law had me cracking up. She was trying to say “I don’t mean to be pompous” but instead said “I don’t mean to be posthumous”.

I was still laughing as I was going to bed remembering it. She knew the moment she said it was the wrong word, and we had a good laugh about it. I’ve had a couple of silly moments like this, too, though I can’t readily remember the words I might have mis-used. (Well, there was that time I posted James Dean when I meant James Brown that one person found very funny).

Last Thursday I gave a couple of radio interviews at one of our national Radio broadcasters, SBS. The first was quite a serious interview with an Arabic program (the interview was entirely in English though, as my Arabic isn’t crash hot) wherein Majida, the excellent radio host, and I talked about Australian multiculturalism. It went to air that night and a few of you listened to it. I didn’t post the link here as it only lasts for 24 hours until the next program displaces it on that URL.

Anyway, the second interview I recorded was for a youth program called Alchemy. It has not yet aired but I’ll post the link this time around as I’d love for people to hear about my friend Maya’s important research. Maya is a Lebanese researcher and PhD candidate who has been in Australia only since last July, and it has been very interesting to hear of her experiences and her research in Lebanon.

Maya sat in on my interview and I on hers, which were conducted in both English and Arabic. As we were about to record the interviews for Alchemy, our interviewer advised us that it was optional to wear the studio headphones. I hadn’t worn mine during the first interview for the main program, so didn’t for the second. Maya tried on hers and I burst out laughing. Her hair went all awry. The incongruity of my delightful friend conducting a dignified interview with her hair all over the place made me laugh. She laughed as well, catching her reflection in the darkened studio glass.

Only problem was, I couldn’t stop. We started the interview and the comical image of the askew hair re-entered my mind and I burst out laughing again. Maya was very good natured about it and so was the youth program host, laughing along with me and patiently waiting til my chuckles subsided.

It took another take and false start but I finally managed to sober up when Maya got into talking about her fieldwork. Her community health research was conducted in Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon and it just about broke my heart to hear about the conditions. The lack of opportunities, dealing with the resentment of many of the Lebanese, the sense of futility, the lack of facilities for children to play, and so much more.

More funny moments recently but I’ll leave it there for now. Some are undoubtedly of the “you had to be there” type that may not be readily translatable to a written re-telling, so I won’t regale you with unfunny recollections ;)

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This entry was posted on 23 February, 2007 by in Personal reflections.

Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"