Monday, January 28, 2008

Google is good for you

I never set out intentionally to take control of the title of my blog: the term Antipodes. Consequently, I'm amused to discover that, when you use Google with the expression antipodes blog, six of the ten findings on the first page refer to my blog. The explanation, I think, is obvious: the Antipodes blog is in fact hosted by Google. So, by drawing attention to my blog, Google is kindly keeping things in the family, as it were. Thank you, Google! In politics, I believe that this phenomenon is called nepotism.

Incidentally, since I'm talking about the term Antipodes, I take this opportunity of pointing out explicitly that I do not limit the sense of this word to its conventional usage, as a synonym for Australia and New Zealand. To my mind, this term designates "the other side of the globe". The Greek etymology is "having the feet opposite". That's why I tend to use the adjective "antipodean" to designate generally any kind of upside-down situation. What this means is that, for every spot on the planet, there's a specific place on the other side of the world that could be referred to as its Antipodes. When I was a youth in Australia, I imagined (rightly or wrongly from a strict geographical viewpoint) that the Old World of Europe was my Antipodes. And now that I actually live in this particular Antipodes, the term has reverted in a sense to its familiar meaning: the Australian continent. For me, I like to consider that my birthplace (Australia) and my present homeplace (France) are linked by means of an antipodean relationship... which is often of an upside-down nature.

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