Diverse Saturday

Fiona Patten from The Sex Party speaks at the internet anti-blocking protest at Town Hall.

Fiona Patten from The Sex Party speaks at the internet anti-blocking protest at Town Hall.

The first stop on my “diverse Saturday” was the “Don’t Block The Internet Rally” at Town Hall. I use the interwebs a fair bit, both for professional and personal purposes. Don’t we all?

And so I headed down to Town Hall where there was maybe 400-500 people, a lot of them being “the usual suspcets” when it comes to protests in that area.

At one point as I walked through I was confronted with about half a dozen petitions in favour of everything from same-same marriages to “ending the war”. It was all a bit too much, so I wandered over to KFC to grab a burger while I waited for the speeches.

There were a couple of blokes I’ve never heard of before from organisations like Electronic Frontiers, one of whom bore a resemblance to Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. Fiona Patten from what was the Eros Foundation, now The Sex Party also spoke, mentioning the long history of censorship attempts in Australia.

I remain fairly open-minded about the subject, as I just haven’t done enough reading about the real implications of the government’s plan to filter the web in Australia. Aside from the free speech stuff (which brought up notions of The Great Firewall of China), I’ve been most concerned about this idea that filtering the web would slow things down even further. After hearing the speeches, I still remain unconvinced either way of the pros and cons of the plan.

And from there, it was down to meet Damo to continue to help him in his furniture removals.

As it was a beautiful day, the roads were absolutely packed, so things went fairly slowly unfortunately.

I arrived back home with just enough time for a quick nap before heading out to Parramatta to see “Thank God It’s Christmas” at the Riverside Theatre. The show was loads of fun, and I enjoyed it immensely. Jean Kittson was hillarious, in particular, with her tales about talking to her deaf mother on the telephone, and in showing photographs of their family’s “Australian Christmas Tree” (a beach umbrella covered in tinsel which takes up most of their lounge-room).

As I caught the train, I logged in to Facebook and left a brief status update… “James is on the train to parramatta”

By the time I arrived home I had the following comments…

Paramatta doesnt sound like a great destination…why dont you get teh train back home again?

I went to Parramatta once…in the 80’s. It was o.k.

Are you planning to come back?

Show me the way to Parramatta…

Cityrail train…take me home…to the place where i beloooong.

The reason being?

Geez, I thought, it’s only Parramatta! Heaven knows what they would have commented if I’d said I was going to Penrith.