This is in fact a review on another review of the film ‘Australia’, written by Mahjid Heath and published on ABC Australia Indigenous here: http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/stories/s2443697.htm. As someone not from Australia but who was deeply interested in it as a child reading National Geographic magazines and also as an indigenous ‘brownie’ from another part of the world, and who has similar experiences and is aware of problems and issues arising out of the settlement of white people to indigenous lands, I find that this critique has simply ‘over analyzed’ the film. It is the unhappy state of mind that intellectuals sometimes suffer when they read far too much into a simple and straightforward affair than even exists within the actual context.
Other stories of the ‘Stolen Generations’ will follow and in no practical way, can those be contained in one film; it is the introduction to them that is meaningful and will be remembered. It is mysterious why the author is upset at the ‘black-faced’ make-up of Ursula, except only to say that it was over-done, there can be no embarrassment at the fact of ‘blackness’. How can this be offensive at all? The author ceases to make any sense at all. Is the author seeing too much meaning where there none of the sort? Despite the film’s impracticality in certain areas and the usual over-done Hollywood must-have-romance, this film will certainly remain in memory for a long time to come. This story - the story line of ‘Australia’, cannot contain all stories, but its plot has actually succeeded in hinting at other stories – there should have been no more – that is for others to tell hereafter. i. e., one story that binds many others is that of the connection between mankind of all sexes and races, earth and the elements and the methods with which each tribe or people has survived and carved its way - in the landscape, in history, and in and out of our hearts.
Australia has succeeded in doing this by far and has certainly introduced the burning interest to explore the other stories of this large continent and its people.To say that the film “conveniently covers up the exploitation of Indigenous Australians ..etc etc..” illustrates that the author is a true cynic and has little hope; making excuses for this behaviour with convenient displays of intimate knowledge of the history of Australia. Who is he really trying to impress?Kidman’s comedic performance was exquisitely nuanced and exceptional and it has far increased my overall respect and regard for her as one of the finest actresses. Brandon Walters, with the progression of the film, made you love him as a mother would a child and you believe that he will go ‘places’ thereafter. Ursula could improve her performance for acting on film – she seemed to have the exaggerations of one who performed in theatre.Our Rating: 3 Stars
Scorn a popular role-playing or online game which sells in the millions and scorn the gamers who play it without reasonable proof and you’re up for a rage and revenge by this dedicated online community that speaks of total commitment and loyalty to their group - and that includes even the conservative gamers who openly show scorn for the critic. There are a few lessons learnt here and learnt very well.
A self-help writer, Cooper Lawrence and author of the book “The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace With Your Inner Overachiever”, openly criticized Mass Effect, one of the most critically praised games of 2007, on “The Live Desk With Martha MacCallum”, a Fox News program featuring a discussion of the apparent sexual content of the hit video game.
Even worse, the author admitted on the programme to not having played the game after having delivered intense criticism that the game contained frontal nudity and explicit depictions of sexual activity. The assertions of virtual lasciviousness first appeared earlier this month amongst online bloggers who were incensed by short ‘YouTube’ clips which were taken from the 30- to 40-hour game. Cooper Lawrence appeared to mischaracterize the game when she stated:
“Here’s how they’re seeing women: They’re seeing them as these objects of desire, as these, you know, hot bodies. They don’t show women as being valued for anything other than their sexuality. And it’s a man in this game deciding how many women he wants to be with.”
Mass Effect is a science fiction game which includes a complicated romantic subplot that is no more inappropriate in its plot or graphic in its depiction than any television show played in the evenings to public viewers. Factually, and as a point of further embarrassment to Ms. Lawrence, Mass Effect allows users to play as either a man or a woman, and the few suggestions of intimate contact occur in the context of a detailed interpersonal story line.
An exacting revenge by online gamers - who turned their caustic disdain and anger on Cooper Lawrence - materialized. Ms. Lawrence’s most recent book user-rating on Amazon.com, “The Cult of Perfection”, was sent spiraling into near oblivion with one-star ratings given by these gamers who sought their retribution.
The book was tagged with the keyword “ignorant” and tied for 2nd place for keywords “garbage” and “hypocrisy,” and tied for 4th place with the words “hack” and “hypocrite”. Gamers went on to attack the book further on the Barnes & Noble Web site, symbolically fulfilling the game’s now seemingly most appropriate title ‘Mass Effect’. Amazon has stated that they would soon begin to remove reviews written by users who, obvious to them, did not read the book.
What is ironic and causes the most humorous aspect in this fable is that many of the reviewers admit that they have not read Ms. Lawrence’s book - as one Amazon user puts it:
“I know all about this book but have never fully read it. Why? Due to the overwhelming backlash, I have no choice but to agree with the 1 star ratings. The rumors are rampant that this book was poorly written and poorly researched. So without verifying the contents myself — I give it a 1 star. Good thing video games aren’t judged in this manner — whew!!!”
In all contrasts, the game Mass Effect, which sold more than 1.6 million copies since November 2007, is far more popular that the book “The Cult of Perfection”.
Since her interview on Fox Channel and the ‘mass’ ensuing controversy, Ms. Lawrence has said that she had watched someone play the game for about two and a half hours (after the fact) and further:
“I recognize that I misspoke, … I really regret saying that, and now that I’ve seen the game and seen the sex scenes it’s kind of a joke… Before the show I had asked somebody about what they had heard, and they had said it’s like pornography, … But it’s not like pornography. I’ve seen episodes of ‘Lost’ that are more sexually explicit.”
Coming on the heels of the controversy and seeking an apology of some sorts, Electronic Arts, the giant publisher that owns Mass Effect, has asked Fox News for a correction but Fox only offered that Electronic Arts be given a chance to appear on the channel. Electronic Arts has not yet decided whether to accept this offer. Chief executive of BioWare, the Electronic Arts studio that made Mass Effect, Ray Muzyka and who is a medical doctor, further stated:
“We’re hurt. We believe in video games as an art form, and on behalf of the 120 people who poured their blood and tears into this game over three years, we’re just really hurt that someone would misrepresent the game without even playing it. All we can hope for is that people who actually play our games will see the truth.”
Lesson #1 learnt: Prove it before you speak.
Lesson #2 learnt: Revenge is not fair.
Lesson #3 learnt: Ms. Lawrence’s ‘Making Peace with Her Overachiever’ is obviously still a ‘work in progress’ for the author.
Rigoberta Menchú, the Nobel peace prizewinner, Unesco goodwill ambassador, Guatemalan presidential candidate and figurehead for indigenous rights was ordered to leave the 5-star Hotel Coral Beach in Cancun when she entered their premises in August 2007. The hotel’s staff was not aware of Rigoberta Menchú’s true identity and assumed that she was a tramp or bag lady from the area.
The attempted eviction was stalled when other hotel guests recognised Ms. Menchú and interceded on her behalf. The behaviour of the 5-star hotel was not only embarrassing but was a prime example of disrespect for persons of indigenous origins; Ms. Menchú dresses herself in indigenous clothing which is her signature mark. Read the UK Guardian full report here.
Where To Next? Nude Models Now Advertise Coffins
The Italians have now found a way to advertise coffins - with nude models. The poses are sometimes very explicit; with rear views of models wearing g-strings and in bending position seemingly being nothing out of the ordinary. We thought the Italians were a religious lot…
Xinhuanet (ChinaView.com) has posted really cool pictures of Naomi Campbell Science Fiction photos; all covered in silver, the super model looks really ‘divine’.
These photos are copyright CRIonline.cn.