Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi

28 02 2010

What do you get when you mix sequin, glitter, costumes, Lady Gaga and the thumpa-thumpa? Sydney’s 2010 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (see photo gallery).

For an insane 17 hours (yeah, you read that right), I was in Sydney’s Oxford Street where the parade took place. I’ve never attended a Mardi Gras or Gay Pride event but I can definitely understand why Sydney’s is one of the largest and best in the world.

But I’m getting ahead of myself–let’s rewind a week.

Not even an hour after I stepped out of the Sydney International Airport did I, along with other Americans, experience our first anti-US experience. It was purely miscommunication that happened between us and the shuttle driver and it ended up in a “you Americans never listen” lecture. I took it as a kind of battle wound or medal of honor for “fastest time in pissing off an Aussie.”

After the driver grumbly dropped us off our units (that’s apartments for you Americans), I settled in and met my new flat mates: Stephen from Ohio, Vincent from France and Jenny from Sweden. We’re good for each other.

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A Yank soon-to-be Sydneysider

12 02 2010

For the next 11 months, I will be trading in fuzzy little squirrels for kangaroos in Australia (and proof that my dream to ride in the pouch of one is that much more realized).

This saturday, I’ll be enduring a 20-hour flight before I can finally set my feet in Oz. And of course what better way to start the cultural immersion early by flying QantasLonely Planet guide to Australia in tow.

I’ve been practicing my Aussie accent, but I have to say it is not nearly as developed as my queen’s English. But I’ll be the one with an accent for once…a strange realization.

From Seattle, then Los Angeles, to my final destination in Sydney.

I will be studying at Macquarie University under their media studies program.
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How our digital society is changing storytelling

9 02 2010

I recently watched “digital_nation” a PBS special on the impact of digital technology on habits, behaviors, way of thinking and humanity. The more I watched, the more I realized: we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Via FRONTLINE's "digital_nation" special page

Much of my generation grew up right in the middle of the surge of the personal computer, Internet and digitization of our reality. And right now, everyone–not just news companies–is trying to understand what this means.

But an interesting aspect to look at is how the nature of storytelling is being molded by the digital age.

As technology further develops, more and more avenues for media are being created, allowing storytelling to be told in a dynamic and new way.

The art of storytelling has surpassed its oratory roots, and encompasses almost any outlet and tool that technology can provide.

There is no medium that has been untouched by humanity’s urge to tell and hear a story. In the same vein as Ray Kinsella played by Kevin Costner heard in the 1989 film, “Field of Dreams,” if you build it, they will come. If a new compelling way to communicate, connect and share information is created, people will utilize that medium.

But perhaps no other medium allows the flexibility and possibility for multimodal storytelling as the Internet so freely permits. One of the most visible effects of this recent phenomenon can be seen in the news industry.

News saturates every conceivable medium: print, radio, television and the Internet. Much of the news is driven by stories.

Whether it be about a community overcoming tragedy like the 1999 Columbine shooting or a country devastated by natural disaster like the recent deadly earthquakes that hit Haiti, it is not just the facts that people crave but it is always in the context of a person, community or society.
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