Sunday, November 8, 2009

I hear that some animals cry

I’m going to paint you a horrid little picture. Please have your expressions of shock and disbelief at the ready.
Picture a family. A happy, secure family, borne of passion and love for one another. The parents are career-minded and worldly. They work hard to see their dreams and loves come to life. They build careers and lives around this work and try to share it with everyone they meet. They try to instil in their children the same enthusiasm and drive. The father is particularly driven and his energy for his work makes him enigmatic and delightful.
Then, one day, while this dynamo is at work, he is killed. Killed by the very thing he and his family have spent their entire lives working at. It is a horrible, tragic accident and leaves a great hole in the middle of this ordinary, likeable family.
That’s not the horrible bit. Sure, it’s terrible, awful and sad. It happens every day, but generally that would have to be the worst thing that could happen to the family, right?
Some two or three years after the father’s death, the eldest child, barely twelve, enters the same line of work. And not just carrying on the passion of the work, she is made to do it alongside the image of her dead father. Gruesome, eh?
She has to talk about him, look at his picture, smile at every reminder of him, reminisce about him, even dress like him! She even has to watch footage of him working at the very activities which got him killed.
And her mum helps.

Have you guessed who it is yet?

Possibly the saddest thing about Bindi Irwin isn’t the fact that she has to go on without her dad, and yet surrounded by him every day as though there was nothing sad or solemn about it (and whether you rate him as a primo conservationist or a loud-mouthed yahoo, you’d have to admit he’d be a pretty fun dad). It’s the fact that when you watch the show (thanks ABC Kids), she is constantly referring to the animals as her friends, but is only ever joined on camera by adults and her mum. And once by a shyly-bemused Abigail Breslin. I hope she’s got some real friends with whom she does non-child-star type stuff.


  1. I also hope that Bindi Irwin has friends of her own age that she gets to just hang around with, doing nothing much in particular, just having the kind of mindless fun that 12 year olds do, without thinking of the future or their next appointment, the next rehearsal and show. I like to picture her sometimes just wandering the beach with a bunch of girls, eating icecream, paddling the waves, maybe giggling about "that cute boy over there". I hope she has this sometimes.

  2. Well put Franzy.

    I've often wondered about her and worry that other offspring whose famous parents died early had things tough enough (ie Lisa Marie Presley, Liza Minelli, Natalie Cole) without having to keep working and be the main breadwinner at the age of eight.

    Are we going to see the tabloids documenting her sleazy Britney-like decline in around three years time when hormones are raging, she's sued her Mum for access to the money and wants to go out and have a good time....?

  3. I'm with Shippy

    Bindi has no hope other than a fun ride on the way to rock bottom.

    In my, admittedly limited, experience of 12 year old girls 'fun' seems to only include viciously slandering each other and saying 'whatever.'

  4. I'm hoping HOPING that she'll turn out ugly, which might just force her to see conservation as more fulfilling than posing for FHM.

  5. Y'all are so negative. Bindi could quite possibly turn out extremely normal, still working for conservation, loving her work, NOT going down the drugs'n'booze slippery slide to hell....
    It does happen; not all famous kids turn out rotten.

  6. I agree. She'll be right.

    It's just that ... she calls the animals her friends ... where are her real friends?
    Maybe their parents don't let them go on the tele...

  7. I find her a very strange child. Strange and sad. And does she every wear anything but kahki?? She's a girl for crying out loud!!

  8. Shippy - Mac turned out just fine, considering me was "friends" with Michael Jackson.

    Lynne - Dressing like dad? Check. The whole family dressing like dad? Check.
    Five years of awkward high school? In the post.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32