For immediate release: Daniel’s ego on loose

From time to time there comes a point in every online diary when one writes amedia release about oneself. I helped write one the other day, not purely about myself, but I certainly rated a mention. The difference is it actually went out to the media, though I’m not sure it was newsworthy. Still, in the interests of my ego and in documenting any significant (or, let’s face it, tiny and trivial) event in my life, here’s the headline and an excerpt.

MEDIA RELEASE – 12 September 2003 – All Change at PTUA HQ

Melbourne’s key public transport advocacy group has some new faces with the retirement of two prominent campaigners on Thursday night. … At the meeting PTUA members elected Daniel Bowen as President and Anthony Morton as Secretary for 2003-04. Both are experienced campaigners, with Mr Bowen editing PTUA News since 2001 and Dr Morton serving as the PTUA’s Policy Director for a number of years.

Me on TV again
No caption, my most prominent pimple was showing, and the reporter got the organisation’s name wrong. Even though I watched as she wrote it down in her notes. Oh well.

And I’m not really that thin.

Eventually it should be online here. Now, it would be easy to dismiss the Public Transport Users Association as a tiny fringe group. Or conversely, to assume it’s a monolithic organisation like the RACV. It’s neither – it sits somewhere in the middle, with 700-odd members (and some of them are quite odd, I’ll wager) and a small core of about a dozen active volunteers who do the actual legwork. And I’m one of them, though I’m still not sure where I find the time.

Being President of an organisation run by volunteers doesn’t actually give me any power. I can’t get them all to lobby for a train every 5 minutes from my local station to the city, 24 hours a day. They’d tell me quite rightly to piss off. It’s just a figurehead position. I wouldn’t have nominated for it, but nobody else did.

On Wednesday, it was Channel 7’s turn to give me (and more correctly, the association) a few seconds of the limelight, though to Channel 7 viewers, I was a nameless talking head from the Public Transport Association (sic).

Oh well, at least I was wearing a nice tie.

I had stood in front of Parliament station for a few minutes earlier in the day, chatting to the reporter. I’ve now relaxed in front of the camera, but now I’ve got to stop relaxing so much that I forget to say vital things for The Cause. They also did the bit where they film the grillee shooting the breeze with the griller. As well as the obligatory "walk towards the camera" shot. None of which they used, but someone in the office still recognised me the next day.

Amongst all this egotistical swollen hot air balloon head drivel I do have a serious question to ponder. The two TV reporters I’ve met recently have both been women. Both seemed very pleasant, easygoing and intelligent, and it was noticeable that neither were bimbos. Perhaps (one can hope) the theory that women on TV and in the entertainment industry generally are past it at 30 is only a myth? Or is it just that neither of them will ever get to host Today Tonight? But then, maybe they’re too intelligent to care.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.