Friday, 23 October 2009

Oh, now that's a good one

From what looks like the laugh-out-loud story of the month comes what may be the euphemism of the year:

A statement released by the National Transportation Safety Board said: "The crew stated they were in a heated discussion over airline policy and lost situational awareness."

Remember,  next time you're totally out of it and have no idea where you are or what you are doing,  you've merely "lost situational awareness".  I can't wait to use that.

Update:  I currently have before me a text to translate in which the word "Situationsbewusstsein" appears, multiple times, including once in the title...  it's even in the right context (piloting aircraft).  Which was another laugh-out-loud moment (yes,  I'm easily amused).  There I was longing for an excuse to use this term, and this comes along.  It's almost enough to make you believe in divine intervention.  The word,  evidently a fairly common term in the industry,  is explained to mean "die Fähigkeit,  seine eigene Situation in Abhängigkeit des jeweiligen Umfeldes zutreffend beurteilen zu können"  -  "the ability to correctly assess one's own situation in relation to one's specific environment".  Hmm,  yes, that pretty much fits perfectly with the pilot story...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

It's hip to be square

I think I know now what it is about Melbourne that makes me slightly uncomfortable here.  The place  -  or specifically its hip,  "alternative",  arty scene  -  is just a little too damn hip.  Not just content to be fashionable and cutting-edge,  they're all terribly conscious of just how cutting-edge they are;  they're far too focused on it the whole time.  The great thing about Berlin  (by comparison)  is that although it's got a flourishing,  cutting-edge cultural scene,  it manages at the same time to be largely relaxed and unpretentious  -  which I believe has a lot to do with the deep-seated provinciality of the place.  (Might also have something to do with the lack of money;  Melbourne certainly doesn't have that problem.)  Berlin manages to be extremely cool and deeply uncool at the same time,  and I love that.

Whereas I saw a young hipster dude in the gym today wearing a white T-shirt,  bright green trousers and a green baseball cap in exactly the same colour.  The hipsters here are the kind of people who colour-coordinate their gym outfits.  I'm sorry,  but that's just so Barcelona.

Which is why I'm outta here.  Heading back to Brisbane,  which still has enough of its old provincial,  uncool character for me to feel completely comfortable there,  just like Berlin  (or,  I might add,  Madrid).  Being in places like that is like curling up in a favourite old armchair,  or wearing a pair of ancient but unbelievably comfy old slippers.  Might not get you into the right clubs,  but hey,  you're not going to care.