Talking about names on ABC Radio’s “Life Matters”

I had the very great pleasure last week of joining ABC Radio National’s Life Matters for a talkback about names, nicknames and pseudonyms — live via Skype from my hotel room in San Francisco.

“What’s in a name?” We have heard these famous words of Shakespeare’s many times, but have you ever considered just how much of our identities are wrapped up in our names?

It’s often the first thing we’re asked. It’s how we identify ourselves to others. But do you like the name you’ve been given? Are your parents to blame, do you think?

You have the ability to change it — would you? Have you? Have you taken your partner’s surname? Is your name hard to pronounce? Do you constantly correct people on how to say or spell it?

Maybe you have a nickname which has basically become your ‘real’ name? How did you get it? Do you use it to go online to chat or date anonymously? Or on social media?

I smile at the title of the session, because that was also used as the headline for my story for ABC’s The Drum last year.

Here’s the full hour of the program, embedded from the ABC website.

Obviously the audio is ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

[Photo: Live from San Francisco: me at my desk at the Omni San Francisco Hotel connecting to ABC Radio National in Australia via Skype.]

Your Cnuts for episode 53 are…?

Cnut of the Week graphic

The time has come! There will be an edition of Stilgherrian Live tonight from 9.30pm Sydney time. You’d better start nominating people and things for “Cnut of the Week”.

“Cnut of the Week” is where we honour the example set by King Cnut the Great, who demonstrated to his sycophantic courtiers that trying to hold back the tide is pointless.

We’re after your suggestions for people, organisations or other entities who are futilely trying to hold back the tide of change — especially changes wrought by our increasingly networked digital society. It has to be related to something in the news in the last week, and you have to explain yourself. Nominees have to be not merely doing bad things, but failing to notice or adapt to the change around them. And you have to nominate here, in a comment on this post, for your entry to count.

We’ll have our usual offer of a t-shirt of your choice from our friends at King Cnut Ethical Clothing. Just nominate a “Cnut of the Week” and be watching the program when we draw a name from the Cocktail Shaker of Integrity.

(Of course, neither me nor King Cnut Ethical Clothing are as lame and unethical as to share your email address with anyone else. I for one have site policies about this sort of thing, and so do they.)

Who do you nominate, and why?

Conroy’s Cnutful Hat Trick

Photograph of Senator Stephen Conroy labelled Cnut of the Week

Yes, Stephen Stephen Conroy was voted “Cnut of the Week” for the third time running by the audience of last night’s Stilgherrian Live — which you can watch online now. My people do not like his Internet censorship plans, it seems!

We had so many nominations, ranging from “NSW wheat farmers” (who, despite record crops in some areas, are still whingeing because the world economic recession means they can’t get the price they want for their grain) to “the people of Arkansas” (for their medieval attitude to gay couples adopting children).

Still, despite a strong final field including Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (for calling US President-Elect “tanned”), Vitamin D (you’ll have to watch) and NSW Premier Nathan Rees (for recent state budget cuts), Senator Conroy was the clear winner with 66% of the vote.

Will Conroy be “Cnut of the Week” yet again?

Cnut of the Week graphic

In just 4 hours, we’ll discover whether Senator Stephen Conroy is chosen as “Cnut of the Week” for the third time running — because it’s just 4 hours until tonight’s edition of Stilgherrian Live (9.30pm Thursdays Sydney time).

Senator Conroy is pre-nominated because… well… he’s continuing his denial-mode tactics in relation to Internet censorship. I know mah peeps, and I know ya want to nominate him. Who else? It’s the same rules as usual. We’re after people (or abstract forces of nature, or organisations or whatever) who’ve been futilely trying to hold back the tide of change.

Who do you nominate, and why?

Episode 31 online!

Screenshot from Stilgherrian Live episode 31

Last night’s episode of Stilgherrian Live is now online for your viewing pleasure.

I reckon this was one of the smoothest-running programs ever, with more controlled ranting — or do you prefer the uncontrolled rants?

Senator Stephen Conroy was our clear winner of “Cnut of the Week” for his continued involvement in the creation of Australia’s Internet censorship regime.

I’d like to do next week’s program from outside the office. Not the Manly Ferry, as @JonoH wants, because it’ll be dark at 9.30pm. I’ll save that for a special Saturday or Sunday afternoon edition — which would be better? So where should I pick? Somewhere that’ll be accessible and interesting after 9.30pm on a Thursday night.

Oh, and did you see the special impromptu edition the other night? It’s in four parts, episode 30A parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. There’s a naked bottom to be seen, amongst other things.

Stilgherrian Live returns Thursday 4 September

Title graphic for Stilgherrian Live Alpha episode 8Yesterday I spent some time thinking about Stilgherrian Live, my “live on the Internet” program. Here’s what I’ve decided…

I’ll start another series of eight “regular” programs at 9.30pm (Sydney time) next Thursday 4 September. One-hour programs, like the “extended” episode 8 of Stilgherrian Live Alpha, with some new regular segments as well as “Cnut of the Week” and other “popular” elements.

Some of these segments will be pre-recorded, because I need some brief breaks during the program and it changes the pace nicely.

There’ll also be at least one interview per program — any suggestions for people you’d like to hear from?

There’s a few other changes too…

Continue reading “Stilgherrian Live returns Thursday 4 September”