Despite yesterday’s media reports to the contrary, the world hasn’t ended. I’m still breathing. How about you? Instead of Armageddon, Europocalypse, DeathbyKeen or something similar, we all seem to get by. The Henny Pennys have survived the farmer’s axe to live another day of worry.
BY MICHAEL MATUSIK
Yesterday’s lacklustre 0.25 per cent cut to the official cash rate will no doubt have many in a spin. Well, stuff them – today is special. It’s an opportunity to take some time to reflect.
Today, for most Australians, the Transit of Venus was visible. It’s when Venus appears as a black spot moving across the sun from 8.16am to 2.44pm. Big deal? Well, it won’t be back until 2117 – yep 105 years from now. Just reflect for a few moments on how much effort man made to observe and measure this astronomical event.
We have an iPhone app to watch it, but somehow that isn’t the same as gazing upwards in wonder about where we, and it, are all going.
We humans seem to underestimate the good things and overvalue the utter rubbish. Much of how we spend our time these days is just plain bunkum. So in this frame of mind, even more delicious given it’s mid-week and all, here are my anti-bunkum thoughts.
Daily and even monthly indexes
Top of the list is house prices. What’s the fascination with regular property price indices? Give it a rest, guys – you need to be in it for the long haul. Frankly it is all just white noise. In fact, what’s measured is also plain bunkum. The median or average price, regardless of when or how frequent it’s measured or on what geographic scale, will have no bearing on what your property is worth or how much you should pay.
Isn’t it about time that the real world turned its back on the self-serving, hypocritical, attention grabbing, politically motivated vacuum heads called ratings agencies? Surely there must be some other source of advice available from less biased, conflicted and publicly discredited sources than these, who often seem to be at the centre of conflagrations of their own making.
Reality, my backside! Five camera angles, metal screws in Bear’s handmade bamboo ladder, planning a meal in five seconds after being told the two key ingredients… And everyone in the house watches it on their own plasma, computer or Apple TV. Give me a board game any day of the week. Or better still, a good book. Although I’m partial to Seinfeld and NYPD Blue reruns, and I could rewatch The West Wing series any time. But if you’re going to watch something on the idiot box, get everyone at home involved. What ever happened to the Sunday night family movie?
Oh, what crap it is. Yes it helped make Singapore and other Asian centres what they are today, and it helps make living in the tropics more bearable. True, too, it creates white noise – the good kind this time – to help one live downtown. But give me a fireplace in winter and a big hat over my house (overhang for those young ones who haven’t seen an eave) in summer.
Fancy food, lots of silly names and service as cold as Christmas, as the saying goes. Give me a home cooked meal like mum still makes and dish me up some decent service, a smile and a whole lot of personality. When at home, the simple meals are often the best – toasted cheese sandwiches, homemade pizzas on the Weber, eggs on toast or tomato soup with crusty bread. They’re hassle free and everyone can relax together – even in front of that elusive Sunday night TV movie.
I am an analogue man. Joe Walsh’s new album out later this week is titled such. Yes, I use Apple everything, but not all the time. When I get home – it helps when the actual service at home is lousy – everything is switched off until the next day. Why not take a bath, have an afternoon nap or sit in the sun for a good while. Go see your adult children rather than Skype or text them.
Now we are getting on some shaky ground here. Moving into some bloody murky waters, given the amount of music I download from Apple. But I never download a single, always the whole album. In fact, I don’t like the term album – music, as Jackson Browne often discusses on stage, is a record; a record of events of that time or place. Good records resonate with many listeners but great records resonate deeply with you.
I often listen to Born to Run, Late for the Sky, Blue Valentine or Bella Donna (to name just a few) in their entirety and almost always by myself, in the quiet and often in the bath. With candles glowing and incense burning, if you must know. Right now I am quite into lemongrass stink sticks.
Yes, I am talking to you Anonymous. Bloggers who aren’t prepared to give their full name when replying get treated as spam on my blog. Have the guts to stand by your convictions. All we have, when it’s said and done, is our name. In an increasingly post, post, post-modern world, showing one’s face is a rare thing.
You probably have your own list, and if you don’t maybe today might be a good day to start one.
I didn’t rush to work this morning. This Transit of Venus was my last and I didn’t want to waste it.
Michael Matusik heads independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights and has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition. Michael authors the free Matusik Missive.