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Showing posts from August, 2011

Overdue

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"Are you ready for the baby?", I'm forever being asked. Well of course I am. I've bought several presents for Xander so he has something to distract him from the new baby; we've planned and made careful changes so Xander's routine has the absolute minimum of interruption; asked visitors coming to see the baby to make a fuss of Xander, so he doesn't get too jealous. No baby was ever coming to a more well-prepared house. When I tell people this though they usually mutter "weirdo" under their breaths and shuffle away. I don't get it. Is there such a thing as being too prepared?

I guess there is. I'm now a week overdue, in a society which doesn't seem to allow for that occurrence. We like to control everything in our lives these days, and a baby that doesn't show up by it's due date is seen to be, you know, a little bit hippy, a little odd. As Eddy told Saffy, at term with her own child in Absolutely Fabulous, "No one goes to…

Can We Add Right Wing Nuts to the DSM?

Watching the Convoy Of No Confidence roll into Canberra this week - very quickly, considering the tiny size of the protest - one thinks that these people are nuts. They're not sure what they want, there's no coherent narrative, other than demands for an election which should apparently be a referendum of the grab bag of issues they're screeching about. To call these protesters nuts seems a throwaway line, but I've been observing the state of the hysterical right in this country lately, and wondering...is there some form of collective mental illness going on here? All contact with rational thought seems to have been lost. Consider these symptoms:

Delusions - the right are determined to believe things that are demonstrably untrue; like that the country is being run by Labor in close alliance with the Greens. How I wish this were the case. And how far it is from being true. Does the Malaysian solution sound like something Bob Brown thought up? How about 5% em…

Whatever You Say

It's been a week of the very direst stupidity in Australian politics. In just one day, we had the sight of carbon tax protesters standing on the lawn outside our freely elected Parliament House, demanding an election as they refuse to accept the result of the last one, all the while proclaiming "Democracy is Dead". Meanwhile inside the august building Barnaby Joyce was proclaiming to an anti-same sex marriage gathering that legalising gay marriage would imperil his daughters: "We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband, and I want that to happen for them. I don't want any legislator to take that right away from me." He didn't say what they needed protection from - a future as ageing spinsters if their pool of potential husbands doesn't include closeted gay men, perhaps? Nor did he eludicate just what rights a father should have in relation to the marriages of his adul…

The New "Right To Life"

Amidst all the doom and gloom this morning, some nice news for a change; Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong and her partner, Sophie Allouache, are expecting their first child (surely showing some confidence in the economy). Whilst it's no one's damn business how any child is conceived, unless the parents choose to say so, in this case Ms Wong has; thanking the IVF clinic and donor who have helped the couple to achieve their pregnancy.

Well, most people would think it lovely news anyway. But I'm sure talkback radio and the Murdoch press are soon to go into overdrive (edit: they already have) about the whole thing - two women having a baby together? Oh how icky, how unnatural. The more enlightened of them won't directly say such things, though - they'll dress it up in concern for the child. Such views aren't rare; take this piece from social activist Maggie Millar published in the Fairfax press last week. In writing that "Recent talk about the rights of gay …

The Quest For Better Blogging and a Born Baby

I love reading the words of bloggers who turn the trials of everyday life into whimsy; their families' everyday lives writ large as meaningful warm humour. I wish I had that knack. You'd think it would be easy. DH and I both resemble huge nerds, though without the technical skill; DH is very witty; we're gestating a new life form, have a cat who is so crazy attached to me he hurls himself at the door if I dare try for some privacy in the bathroom, and have a goldfish with dysthymia and another with anger management issues. You'd think the comedy would write itself.

Sadly for my purposes, no one is funny on cue. When I look to my household in need of inspiration, everyone acts like I've just told them there'll be no more grocery shopping till all the leftovers are gone. I sit down next to DH with a notebook, but all he says his "stop...bloody...staring at me! Go find something to do" (as if I can go jogging or put up shelves at this stage). Xander refu…

Debunking Facebook Statuses, #1

Sadly, one of the many things idiots often lack is originality. They love copying Facebook statuses complaining about the state of the world, but rarely take the time to check the accuracy of what they've posted. Many of the bordering-on-offensive copied statuses they post are loosely based on American statistics twisted by right wingers; a "Washington" gets replaced by "Canberra" and then it's reposted in all it's inaccurate glory. Take this gem:

"They sent my census form back! Again!!! In response to the question: "Do you have any dependents?"
I replied - "2 million illegal immigrants, 1 million crack heads, 1 million unemployable people, 1/2 million people in over 100 prisons, half of Afghanistan and 535 politicians in Canberra.
Apparently, this was NOT an acceptable answer. Re-post if you agree.
"

How wrong are these "facts" for Australia? In the first of what may become a regular series, let me count the ways:

2 million…

The Unholy Babble

It makes a change from hearing about the carbon tax, but it seems like religion is everywhere in politics and the media these days. Whether it's religious education classes in public schools, same sex marriage, or marking "no religion" on the census, religion is exerting an influence on the public debate far out of proportion to the level of devotion seen in the populace. Our atheist Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is vehemently against gay marriage, which means she is either pandering to the Christian lobby, or she finds the whole thing, you know, a bit icky - I'm not sure which is more distasteful. Meanwhile, Fred Nile - elected to the NSW Upper House in 2007 with a vote of 4.4%, in our strange electoral system - threatened the NSW government that unless they banned ethics classes in schools (public schools!) in favour of religious education, he would withdraw support for their IR reforms. With the Australian census coming up, atheists have been campaigning to have …