Posted by Tom French |

Viva Los Muchos Revolutionos

I made that Spanish up, but I figure it could be real.

Ryan and I went to the A30 protest yesterday, it was way cool. It was the protest where you could protest anything you want. Some of the things we found people protesting about were Capitalism, VSUs, Workplace Rights, Public Education Funding, Refugees, Falun Gong, Globalization, Greed, The Environment, Rich People, Homophobia, Anti-Iraq Occupation, Drop the Debt and David Hicks. It was like a left wing pot-roast.

I decided I was protesting about Workplace Rights, Refugees and Drop the Debt.

The demonstration started in Customs Square with a bit of dancing and a lot of speeches. After the speeches the plan was to march to the Opera House. Depending on which speaker you listened to this was either going to be a peaceful march, or demonstration of militant action. While the speeches were on Ryan and I got bored so we did an advance march to the Opera House to have a look at the barricades. It was pretty cool, you couldn't get anywhere near the Opera House. There were big fences everywhere.

On returning to the square we heard some more speeches. Some good, some not so good. My favourite was the man who was telling us about David Hicks and asked us all to have 30 seconds of silence, go into our "heartspace" and send a message of support to Hicks. Then the man said in a rather eery voice "Daaviid, we'rrre with yooouuu."

Following the speeches it was time for the big march. We marched through Circular Quay blowing whistles, clapping and hitting drums. It was fun seeing all the rich people in their apartments and restaurants watch the rabble march by. They looked at us like we were a bit of a traveling circus.

When we got to the barricades people immediately climbed the fence and started rocking it. I think those people had been planning a violent protest all along. There wasn't much time for them to be worked into a frenzy, or provoked. Ryan and I were lucky enough to be few feet from the fence.

Soon, after much shaking and cheering, the fence broke, just meters from where we were. At this stage a long line of Police was moving down the fence getting people off. Once the fence broke people tried to get through but the cops pounced on them pretty quickly. As the crowd surged there seemed to be a bigger surge of photographers and cameramen. I think half the people at the fence were fighting with Police, the other half were fighting for a good shot.

After the Police cleared the fence the horses came down to clear about a meter between fence and protesters. At this stage I realised that the horses were heading right for me and I would rather not get crushed either by horses or fleeing protesters, so I moved a few feet back. It was pretty fun. I felt like I was in a real news story.

Once the horses had cleared the fence further, they left and the Police line held the protesters away. Following that nothing much happened. People shouted at the Police but that's about it. After about an hour of standing around Ryan and I decided to go home seeing as neither of us was looking likely to get arrested and we had made our point to the rich people, whatever point that was meant to be.

I think the Police were pretty impressive. They calmed the crowd very quickly and didn't react to the taunts of the protesters. They didn't do anything that I could see to inflame the situation. I think they were cool. They were certainly better behaved than our mob.

I'm not really a fan of violent protests. It's been interesting reading Long Walk to Freedom (which I finished on the train home last night) and seeing how long it was before the ANC decided to engage in violent struggle. Then seeing the contrast last night when we were told to take militant action because the Government is threatening to lower the minimum wage. I wasn't all that impressed. I fully believe in protest. But violence is a weak, irrational response when embarked upon at the drop of a hat. I don't endorse violent protests.

But it was quite interesting being part of one. Even if it didn't really get all that rowdy.

I like protesting. I like the right to protest. I like democracy. We can shout at the Government, break their fences, and call them fascists, and most of the time the Police just stood there. God Bless Australia.

Here's some photos:

Protest Arrives.jpg
This was when the first protest march arrived at Customs' House.

The Cops.jpg
This is the Police. The Guy in the front in the Stockman's coat didn't like the protesters much and tried to break one of the hippy drummer's drum sticks. He couldn't do it because it was more of a drum log, it was straight from a tree and about 3cm thick.

Reduce Greed.jpg
"Reduce Greed". It made me laugh.

Skeletons.jpg
The Dancing Skeletons

Fence and the House.jpg
The Barricades

The Commies.jpg
Our Friends the Commies

On the Fence.jpg
On the Fences

Protest.jpg
Idyllic Protest Spot

When the Fence Broke.jpg
When the Fence Broke

Horses.jpg
The Horses Arrive

More Cops.jpg
Cops, and the Back of Ryan's Head

Posted by Tom French |

A30

I'm going to a protest today. I saw it was in the paper and I'm free this afternoon so I thought I'd turn up. I support most of what they're protesting about, but it seems more like some lefties thought "Oh there's a bunch of super-rich people in town let's make a racket!". But as I'm a bit of a lefty, and I want to exercise my democratic right to protest, I'll be there.

I'm also hoping to witness a bit of police brutality. Who knows, I could accidently get myself arrested.

Posted by Tom French |

Advice to the Young

If you are under-16 and ASIO tries to detain you or question you, tell them you are under-16 then leave because they can't do anything with you, they aren't allowed.

I'm getting more and more worried about our loss of civil liberties in our efforts to fight terrorism. Detaining, questioning and deporting Muslims who may be threat isn't going to make them any more sympathetic to our equal, democratic, non-discriminatory society.

I don't see why we need one set of laws for terrorism and another for all other crimes. It just opens up the possibility that terrorism can be used as an excuse for getting rid of anyone who the authorities have a problem with.

Posted by Tom French |

A Week Without Me

It's been a long week this past one. Interesting, rather intense, but straight forward.

It's been hard not being able to blog, I kept having thoughts about what I could blog about, but I couldn't do it.

At the moment I'm in the internet Cafe under the cinemas in the City. I've just spent the past hour in the park lying in the sun and reading about Nelson Mandela. I think I'm only 100 or so pages from the end. This really has been a long walk to freedom. Good though. I'm getting inspired.

Love Is was good. The past week was intense because of it. The lead up was hard because evangelistic messages always weigh heavily on me. But this had the added dimentions of having a production that carried artistic and personal significance for me going along with it. Not to mention the fact that in the message I publicly discussed the general state of my love life with about 300 people, many of them I had never met before. It was good for a laugh. I was once told that it has been said that comedy is born out of anger. I think often my jokes are born out of my inadequacies. If I can't fix it, I'll joke about it. It neutralises the threat to a certain extent. But it does tend to make much of my life public property.

The things we do for the gospel. Good thing it's worth giving up a lot more than a bit of my perceived dignity for.

The show on Saturday night was good. I liked seeing it all come together. The crowd felt a little flat to begin with. Perhaps a little ambivalent to interact with the show. But I think they came around. It was great to see that the show came off. Everything worked, it all felt cohesive, and it was good fun.

Giving the message was fun. I kept thinking that I making too much noise while treading on the stage. The radio mic was fun. I had decided to do the whole thing without extensive notes. That was both a blessing and a hindrance. It was good to be free but a little scary that I could stuff up real bad. It felt a bit like rock-climbing without a rope might feel (a little less dangerous though).

After the show we had pizza and Chinese and was feeling sufficiently stuffed that 10pm felt like 1am. When everyone else had gone home Anmol and I went and cleaned the kitchen in the church before going home. I'm always the last to go.

Arriving at Church on Sunday morning and finding that we'd been robbed was a rather surreal experience. I turned up to the sound desk and Tim was in it. He pointed at an empty bracket on the roof where the projector should have been and said "Projector?". Then he pointed at the spot where the computer should have been and said "Computer?" and at the place where the DVD player normally lives and said "DVD player?" It was at this point that I realised what was happening. At first I thought someone might just have done and over-zealous tidy-up but I was disabused of that idea by the time I had comprehened the empty computer spot.

But I held on to it as a better possibility than being robbed. A few of us went and searched the church just in case someone had decided that all the most expensive stuff in the church should live in a better place than where they belong, but it was a rather pointless exercise.

We lost almost every technical thing we needed to run the show (including the DVD of the show which was in the DVD player) but the losses didn't phase me much. It was just a hurdle that needed to be gotten over. Something always has to go wrong at the last minute and this was the problem for "Love Is". I immediately started thinking about how we could replace the stuff we needed by 6:30pm. I was worried about all the stuff Tim lost though. Things owned by a person have more significance than things owned by a church.

Pretty quickly everyone pulled together to get the show back up and running. Tim was great. There wasn't really a time where we thought we couldn't run the show, it was just a question of how. And we got back with a minimum of fuss although it was hard not to feel at least a bit stressed at times.

Steve and Stephen both prayed for the people who robbed us at the beginning of the services. It was good. I was happy to see the church praying for those who have hurt us. I love seeing love in action.

Sunday's show was a different affair. The crowd felt warmer, and having got to the show after the events of the day, made it a much sweeter event.

Preaching was good again. I paced less because Helen told my to. She choreographed my preaching. I was very scared that I had my fly undone, so much so that lost my place. I thought I could read it on people's faces. I think I thought they all seemed to have a look of embarrassed horror on their faces. But perhaps they were just worried about me in general.

It felt good sleeping last night.

Posted by Tom French |

I'll be Coming Home Next Week

I'm going to take a break from blogging for a week. I'll be back on the 29th. I thought I'd do this because I want to focus this week and this will be a tool to help.

Don't worry I'm not having a blogging crisis. I will be back.

And if you're really wanting your fix of Tom Time send me an email, or invite me out for a drink, or dinner. I don't mind.

Hope you're coming to Love Is.

Be Well.

Posted by Tom French |

George Sings

SMH linked to this guy who has created a song where George W sings Imagine by John Lennon. It's cool. Have a listen, it's called Imagine This.

Careful, John Lennon swears at the beginning of the track. It might hurt your ears.

Posted by Tom French |

Everything with the film ended up good. I managed to have about 3 and a half hours sleep, and half an hour before going to the dress rehersal. For some reason I'm still functioning ok.

The dress rehersals were good. Everyone's done very well. I think the show's going to be good.

Sadly watching the film in a different context I found things to fix. I was hoping to just be able to not have to touch the film for the next week but there are sound things to play with, and one or two little visual things to fix. Oh well. They shouldn't take long.

Tonight I went to Kristen's party. It was good. I was thinking I would be rather unawake, but I think I coped. There were many good people there. Sadly I have to be at work in some hours, why can't church be on at 2pm. Oh well, I'll be fine.

Posted by Tom French |

Now I'm going to bed.

Premiere crashed at least 10 times. I stoped counting at around 6. I'm going to render now while I sleep.

Posted by Tom French |

Long Night's Journey into the Night

I'm about to embark on the polish, render and edit night that must come in every growing film's life. This time I decided to get prepared. Seeing as I assume I'll be awake till around 4am (last night Matt amd I were working till 3am), I went to the shops first. I bought myself a frozen dinner, a box of Mars pods, a 1.25L bottle of Coke, and two tubs of frozen yoghurt. I figure if I'm going to be working I should make sure I'm enjoying it.

I also hired Seinfeld to watch while the DVD is rendering and burning. I hope that will pass the time better.

Well, best get started. I'll see how many times I can crash Premiere, or my computer tonight.

Posted by Tom French |

Time in the Sun

This morning after taking Hannah to school and finishing Sideways (I've been watching it slowly for about a week and it's now a week overdue but it was good) I did some editing of Love Is. After that I needed to go to college.

I had to drop a video and a cd off at Sal's house before I left, but I didn't leave enough time to drive there and back and catch the train. I really didn't want to drive, so when I got back home I decided to catch the train anyway and just be late. I arrived at College about 15 minutes late but my class were all outside sitting on the lawn. I walked up to one of my fellow classmates and she said "So you just found out?"

"What did I just find out?" I asked

"Class doesn't start till 3:30 because our lecturer is at a funeral"

What lovely news. I went off for a wander around Ashfield hoping to stumble across a park, and that's what I did. The sun was wonderful. I sat in it, in the park, for an hour and bit writing my talk for Love Is. I don't normally start talks this early, but I've been writing this in my head for the past month or so, so I figured it'd be good to get something on paper.

When I got back to college it turned out that they had started early, but that didn't really bother me too much. I'd had a lovely time in the sun.

Posted by Tom French |

Today is the day the Milk Goes Off

We have a carton of milk in the fridge that is going to go off on the 17th of August. I've been trying to work out what day of the week that will be, so that I can make sure I don't give myself gastro. Blogger tells me that today is that day.

I haven't blogged for a while because all the spare time I've had on the computer I've been editing. Matt came over last night and we fiddled with things till about 2am. Sal also came over for a tad but she didn't stay long. We did a bit of work making beautiful images to dance to, but the computer crashed, and it was all gone. Bah, now I have to do it all again.

Ryan, Anmol and I watched The Island tonight. I haven't seen a movie in ages so it was good to be back. I really liked the film. It's really just one big chase movie with heaps of things smashing. I think there were not-so-subtle references to concentration camps and emancipation of slaves (except this time the slaves were white and the guards black, at least in their uniforms). I actually found the scenes of "freedom" a little emotive. It's embarrassing that I could be a smidgion moved by a Michael Bay film but thems the breaks. However, it being basically an action movie, it was cool.

If I ever happen to accidentally become a famous director I'd like to direct big, expensive action movies. I doubt I would, but I would like to. I want big highway chase scenes with cars getting squashed by large metal objects falling of the backs of trucks. That'd be splendid.

Scarlett is still pretty tops, but they spent the whole of this film making her look like a model.

I have to preach in a week and a half. I'm starting to get nervous. Whenever I preach evangelistically I get nervous. This time it's with the film so I feel like I have a whole film riding on this ten minutes of talking. I also feel like if I don't preach well people won't make decisions. I'll try to remember not to take God out of that equation.

Lucky I love it or preaching would stress me out too much.

Posted by Tom French |

Flying

Of the 33 pages of script in the film, I've edited 29 of them. I would say I've done pretty well so far.

Posted by Tom French |

The sad thing about video editing is that you can't listen to music while you do it.

We had a production meeting today at Cafe Florence in Hornsby Mall. I had the continental breakfast. I like eating breakfast out, but I wasn't very good at getting up at 8am on a Saturday morning. There should be no numbers on the clock before 10am on Saturdays.

This arvo I had a Barbie with my small group. It was fun. We spent a lot of time throwing frisbees and kicking balls around. I think I could say that I enjoy kicking balls now. I never used to but I think that was because everyone was always better at it than me. They still are, but I'm less inclined to put any sense of self-worth on whether or not I can kick a ball.

On Tuesday when I hanging out with Hannah I took her through the car wash. She thought that was great. I love car washes too. Once, Mil and some others off us took her car through the car wash. I think we were looking for something to do. We brought ice creams then through we drove through. It was an extremely laughous* event. I have that as a memory of when I have found something absurdly hilarious. I do like car washes.

*I made that word up.

Posted by Tom French |

2,329 Words Later

I've finished. Hooray. It's probably a silly idea to be blogging now, but it's not going to make much difference.

Here is an action shot of me typing my essay. I'm about 1,400 words in at that stage.

Action Shot.jpg

You'll notice that I'm reading the The NIV Application Commentary of Luke. I really shouldn't be seen reading that. Those commentaries are looked down upon by serious Bible Scholars. I should be embarrassed to be seen reading it. I think maybe because it's easy to read. Bible Scholars don't like things that are easy to read, it makes them feel dumb. It may also be because it has interesting anecdotes in it as well, Bible Scholars don't like interesting books, it makes them feel frivolous. It may be because it has a picture of Willow Creek on the front. I'm not sure what Bible Scholars think of Willow Creek, but serious Bible Commentaries are meant to have daggy covers, so they look boring to read.

I photocopied all the serious Bible commentaries, but I wouldn't have looked nearly as academic if in my "action shot" I was holding a photocopied piece of paper.

Anyway, I'm done now.

While writing this essay I learnt that in the ancient world they would use shellfish called Murex to get purple dye and "it would take about 12,000 molluscs to yield sufficient dye for one Roman toga." That's why purple was a very expensive colour to wear. (From here)

Good night.

Posted by Tom French |

I'm about to start writing my essay for the semester. I have one essay due this semester and I leave it till the night before it's due to write it. Of course I have never started writing an essay more than a day before it was due in my memory, so just because I only have one is no reason why I would change my habits.

Oh well, 2,225 words before bed. Off we go.

Posted by Tom French |

Sad

Last night I was about to go to bed but I got distracted clicking that "Next Blog" button in to top right corner of blogs. I do it sometimes hoping for a good blog to come along but they rarely do. Most of the time there are just people with posts that say "This is the start of my new blog. I wonder if I'll keep blogging?" or "Cheap Insurance! Cheap Insurance! Cheap Insurance!"

But last night, after about 30 useless blogs, I found one that was very interesting. It was written by this woman who was talking about her relationships. She would talk about how she was seeing one man who she fell in love with. But he didn't love her, so they broke up but promised to stay best friends and keep sleeping with each other. And then she had her ex-husband, who she was seeing again for a while, but not sure whether she should keep seeing, or sleeping with him. He was being too ambiguous for her and she still hadn't forgiven him for cheating on her. And she also had a blind date who she was sleeping with for a while, and guy she met on the internet.

At the end of every post this woman would write some piece of wisdom she had learnt from the most recent events. Like after having a break up with a guy who had been cheating on her but was still using her for the sex she said something like: "Just keep waiting, and keep searching, and something good will come along."

And there'd be all these stories of men treating her like a piece of meat and her friends would comment and just say "Lots of hugs" or "You can do it, I believe in you". And I wanted to go find her and say "Hey, woman, you're worth more than this!" It was horrible. I wanted to tell her to stop letting the men treat her so badly. To stop giving herself away, she's not that cheap.

But I couldn't. Even if I commented on the blog I would have just sounded like a raving Christian. Or a busy-body at the least. I couldn't really do anything for her. I didn't know her name, where she lived, who these people were she was talking about. All I knew were the intimate details of her life.

So really it was just a sad night's reading. Fascinating, but sad. I felt bad for the women we men have treated badly. But there isn't a lot I can do about that. I'll encourage the men I know to be good to woman and I'll try and treat them good myself. And I won't sleep with women who I'm just friends with, I'm sure that makes things messy.

Posted by Tom French |

I'm getting $768

That's why we like doing our tax return.
This is a secret line of text, just because I can.

Posted by Tom French |

Yesterday

I had a fun day yesterday.

Tim and I went for a walk and found a house with three purple Merc vans out the front. All the same model, all without number plates. It was cool. I was thinking they could be terrorist vans, Tim thought they could be ASIO. We were later informed they were owned by a man with a coffee business. Oh well.

I sat on the back verandah in the later afternoon sun in a cooshy chair reading my Bible for about an hour.

Church was in the round last night, thanks to Helen's instinctual sense of innovation. The very high point of that was there were plenty pillows around which meant pillow fights. I spent half my evening fighting with most of the younger youth group guys. A considerable boost to my self-esteem seeing as I am bigger than them.

After church we had a young adults gathering which the older youth came to. I spent most of the time sitting with some of them getting "words from God" for each other and reading random Bible verses. It was a rather fun game, although perhaps a little sacrilegious.

Update: I was just at a Parish Council meeting tonight and someone commented that the young people were very rowdy and were "bouncing off the walls" at church last night. I didn't mention that I was bouncing with them.

Posted by Tom French |

Devils and Dust

Fear's a powerful thing, baby
It can turn your heart black you can trust
It'll take your God filled soul
And fill it with devils and dust
- Bruce Springsteen

It would be at this point that I would write a post about fear. Perhaps about how much of our lives are motivated by fear. Or perhaps the shape of our world now that terrorism has become the new evil. I could talk about how we're loosing our civil liberties, or how everytime a school kid accidentally leaves their backpack on the train it's going to get blown up by the Bomb Squad.

But I won't talk about them, because all I really wanted to do was quote those lyrics. All this stuff underneath is just an excuse to justify the quote. Still, it has got me thinking now. Perhaps when these germs of rumination have evolved they'll be a post at the end.

Posted by Tom French |

I just finished Season 4 of The West Wing. Damn cliffhanger, season finales. Grrr.

Posted by Tom French |

Follicool

While there are many nasty rumors going around that I am suffering from the early on set of male pattern baldness, I highly doubt they are true.

But since my hair line is beginning to take a little rest from covering the front of my head, I have decided it that I might not get a hair cut for a while. Just to celebrate the hair that I have. I had been toying with the idea for a while and it became a cemented decision tonight when my Grandfather asked if he could touch my head. Usually people like to touch my fluffy, sheep like hair, but tonight he wanted to touch my bald spot.

My Auntie told me that balding is caused by high amounts of testosterone. Wikipedia has since debunked this idea for me, but I have decided to ignore that and assume that my hair loss is a sign of my alpha maleness. Perhaps something important to note is that Apes and other primate species use balding "to convey increased status and maturity." (Thanks Wiki)

I also have been known to be teased for the amount of body hair that I have. Body hair actually is caused by testosterone, and Wikipedia has told me that "a hairy chest is considered as very masculine and attractive." (Please don't bother to check the context of that quote.)

So, since doing this research, I feel I must declare myself Alpha Male. At least
"Follicly Alpha Male". Hair loss and a hairy chest, how much more masculine can you get?

Posted by Tom French |

Tonight I watched Constantine, that was a bad, bad movie. Especially the bit where Keanu gave the Devil the finger on his way up to heaven. It was like Bill and Ted but taking itself seriously.

Posted by Tom French |

We had Mormans come to our Bible Study group tonight. I was all prepared to be as facinated by them as I was by the Muslims, but I wasn't all that interested. They were interesting like a bad science fiction movie. It got boring pretty soon.

Really, it's all just rather whacky.

Posted by Tom French |

I just had an idea about what I could do for a year of my life. When I finish my B.Th I could go to Film School for a year and get a Graduate Diploma of Directing, or something. That'd be way cool.

Posted by Tom French |

Postsecret

This website is facinating. People write a secret on a postcard and then send it to the guy who owns the blog. He puts them on the blog.

Posted by Tom French |

Let There be Light

For youth group on the oval yesterday arvo we finally had the key to the lights. We got to play sport on the oval with the oval lit up and I got to be the one to turn the lights on. It was so much fun. I love turning lights on, especially big ones, and I've never turned on big ones at the top of telegraph poles before. Apart from perhaps being the grounds keeper at Telstra Stadium, I reckon I've almost got the best job in Sydney.

Posted by Tom French |

The Hills Are Alive

Australian Story tonight was about Brian Houston. It was a really positive look at Brian and the whole Hillsong thing. Except for one epilogue statement at the end, the Houston family, and Hillsong itself, came out looking very good. It was very funny to see the old footage of Hills when in started. Brian had great hair.

I enjoy stuff about Hillsong. I'm getting much fonder of them as I get older (not that I'm a wise 22-year-old). Perhaps it's cause I found the bits in the Bible that talk about unity. I'm probably also getting soft.

Posted by Tom French |

I love Milo Cereal

I got my speeding fine in the mail today. I thought I was doing 72km/h but the letter told me I was doing 71km/h which could mean I sped up after getting flashed. An obvious ploy, always a good idea to make a fast get-away from the speed camera.

I want to get a photo of me speeding. I thought that could be fun (not that I endorse speeding.) The problem is in the letter it said I can only get the photo if I have a lawful interest. I'm not sure if "I think it would be fun to have a photo of me speeding" is a lawful interest. So I think I might just write and say "I was driving the car and would like to see the photo. Lots of Love, Tom" I'm still deciding if that's the best way to sign the letter.

I finished reading Harry Potter today. I'm not really all that satisfied. It was fun spending the time with Harry and friends, but I have to wait till book 7 for the real pay off.

The thing that is starting to get to me about Harry is how black and white the characters are. Everyone is either good or bad, there is no in between. Snape is the only person who was ever interesting in that respect, but that's been dealt with. So it's a little boring in that respect. The good thing about Star Wars is that the battle between the Dark Side and the Not-So-Dark Side is both internal and external. That's not the case in Harry and I think the books are much weaker for it.

Still they are fun.

Now I can go back to reading Nelson Mandela's book.

We filmed on the weekend.

I've enjoyed these film shoots a lot. Maybe I'm enjoying not having the stress of directing. There has been lots of silliness on set.

I've also been enjoying editing. I like making it all come together. Putting hours of footage into a coherent story. That's fun.

I think the production values are better on this shoot too. Each time we make a film we're getting better at it.

I really like Milo Cereal.

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