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Showing posts from January, 2014

Aboriginal Privilege

I've always wondered, without actually wanting to find out, what it would be like to live in an authoritarian dystopia. Well, we're finding out now. Shit's getting more and more bizarre every day, from the Prime Minister whining that the national broadcaster is being mean to him, to that unfortunate business of violating Indonesia's borders whilst "protecting" our own. And just to put the ridiculous cherry on the ridiculous sundae, yesterday suave right wing lunatic about town Andrew Bolt - with no Aboriginal heritage as far as I know - proclaimed that since his family has been here for several generations, he is, in fact, indigenous.

Now, whilst everyone in the country with an IQ above room temperature blinked in amused disbelief, I began wondering what's really going on here. Even Bolt couldn't believe this rubbish, surely. I imagined a long, boozy lunch in Melbourne sometime over the Christmas break, with Peta Credlin explaining "we're in b…

What Happened To The Green and Gold?

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Those of us old enough to remember the Bicentennial in 1988 may remember, tucked in amongst the tall ships and flyovers and national backslapping, seeing Aboriginal people protest on the streets. I asked my father what they were protesting, and he repeated whatever Alan Jones and John Laws were saying about it. I really couldn't understand. It was a big party. Other countries were giving us presents. There was going to be fireworks. Fireworks! Why couldn't they just be happy?

I've grown up since then, well enough to realise that for Aboriginal people, what is referred to as "Australia Day" represents the loss of their millennia-old culture, laws, traditions, way of life; the genocide (I can't put it any more mildly for that would be a lie) that began the day a few creaky ships bearing the dregs of British society invaded their nation. I've grown up, and decent people have grown up, but large numbers of Australians haven't, refusing to recognise history…

100 Things About Me

Lists of "100 things about me" were all the rage when I started blogging. In 2004 (eep). I always meant to do one but never got around to it, then forgot, but to mark my upcoming tenth anniversary on blogger, here in utter self-indulgence is my 100 things.

1. I remember the dates of nearly everything that ever happened to me.

2. I can barely remember the names of people I meet.

3. I didn't remember my husband's name till after our first date.

4. We met at the Sly Fox pub in Enmore and had our first date at Happy Chef in Newtown.

5. Jamie Parker, the State MP for Balmain, thought this was hilarious when I told him.

6. I supported Labor when younger and handed out how-to-votes for several candidates.

7. When I was a kid, I never really knew how to interact with people, so I imitated what I saw on TV, mostly sitcoms. This was not successful. TV people laugh off things that get you in big trouble in the real world.

8. I started voting Greens in 2007, and joined in 2011.

9. I'…

Drunken Violence And The Truth About The Newcastle Solution

It was impossible to avoid a sick, horrified feeling, "oh no, not again". Another young man fighting for his life after a random, unprovoked attack in the street from a drunken maggot on a night out. As Daniel Christie lies in a coma after heading out on his first New Year's Eve alone with friends, everyone is desperately hoping for a solution...and the "Newcastle Solution" is the one that's often raised. Since 2008, alcohol sales are restricted after 10pm, patrons cannot enter venues after 1:30am and everything shuts at 3am - leading to a 37% reduction in alcohol related assaults. It looks great, at first glance. Trying this is suggested for Sydney, to reduce the violence. But would it work?

 In the first place, it's worth noting that the intention of the Newcastle solution was never to reduce alcohol-related violence. In the early 2000s, as part of the urban renewal, large blocks of luxury apartments were built in the Newcastle CBD; these were especial…