Provocations, Progress (?) and Puns

June 7, 2008

So, the oil price has spiked overnight. So, it’s supposed to be due to a number of factors, such as America’s sharp rise in unemployment, an Israeli official’s comments stating that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities is a likely possibility and gee, uh, I don’t know… The fact that consumption of and demand for oil is at an all time world-wide high and that oil is a finite resource that we are, well, running out of. The first two factors are no doubt important. But the third factor is the most important thing to remember about the recent feather flurry in rich western nations (such as here in Australia) about the oh so terrible jump in petrol prices. The way the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and the the Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson (or is that Malcolm Turnbull) have carried on about it the last few weeks has been a prime example of blubbering politicians simply not being able to grasp the gravity or seriousness of the chief underlying cause of this (political speak) “added pressure to the economy”. Of course, I have neglected to mention the just as serious negative environmental impacts that our consumption and demand for oil have. What’s needed is a shift away from oil to more economically viable and less ecologically damaging means of producing our energy needs. Funding needs to be diverted to science to achieve this and harmful interventions (or silly exemptions from the Australian Rudd government) that are suffocating market activity towards this end need to be stopped. One step foward. Two steps back…

Barack Obama has finally declared victory in the Democratic Primaries and Hillary seems a bit lost in the wilderness. I’ve heard many commentators dissecting it all and assessing whether this whole process has meant progress for the cause of women and/or African Amercians in the modern United States. I’m inclined to say yes to both. Whether the system actually changes or is changed is a completely different issue, but attempted participation in some active way seems to be up at least on the Democrats side. Both Hillary and Obama’s campaigns seem to have energised and activated millions of Americans from both sexes (for both sides), from many different segments of the middle classes and some from the working classes and of course from people from a plethora of different races. I said it early last year about the Australian election, and I guess the same is going to go for the American one this year: It’s going to be a very interesting year in politics.

Oh, and something annoying! With all these damn stories on the TV and on the net about world oil prices at the moment, I’m going crazy with the bad puns ( “Speculation sets world oil price ablaze”, “Oil price fuels inflation”, “Petrol prices fueling flames at the bowser” etc.) – some stories even have several within themselves. Meh! Bah humbug! Go backpedal on CO2 emissions and ride a bike to work!


The Expanse

May 6, 2008

I jotted down this small passage today as it came to me in a brief lull at work.

We don’t even know how big the universe is. We know that it is still expanding (actually, it’s getting quicker at doing this as time – whatever that is – passes). We think that mysterious matter we call “dark energy” makes up 73% of it, but we’re not even sure what this “dark energy” is. We know that there are massive amounts of energy spread throughout the universe, but we’re not sure what ultimate form this energy takes. We’re not sure exactly what time is and how it “passes” (or is that just our perception?). And as this and a myriad of other questions are speculated, theorised or philosophised about by all of us, the striking fact that we are existing amongst this vast expanse of spacetime, matter, energy and each other jumps up and down on my heart as it pumps blood into the reflective consciousness of my mind.




April 24, 2008

After 4 months I’m back. It was an interesting excercise (excercise meaning me being too damn busy and in the moments in between too damn lazy to re-connect to the internet on a faster and cheaper plan after moving house). I felt naked without my daily stream of information overload and there’s only so much browsing you can do at work (meaning I get 5 mins if I’m lucky). I kept informed through Radio National and NewsRadio… But, I find if you listen to NewsRadio for more than half an hour, you just get really depressed. Anyways, pointless rambling aside, I’m back and still angry, still concerned, still arrogant and still walking along the fine ridge that marries libertarianism with more general leftist philosophy. Watch this space.


Hate whaling?

January 16, 2008

Fair enough. So do I. But why not the killing of cows, pigs, chickens, fish? I mean, what’s the difference? Lots of people in Australia are getting in a fuss about Japanese ships hunting whales in and around Australian waters. People are getting outraged at the way in which whales are harpooned, hauled aboard while alive and then cut up… After this, the Japanese groups with vested interests claim that the whales are scientifically studied and catalogued. However, some Australian groups with vested interests claim that it is sold in Japan as whale meat and that this is the primary reason that some Japanese ships are hunting whales. Either way, why not object to other animals being treated in this way? I love whales and think they are beautiful. But they are no more worthy of our respect and protection than other animals.

There was some indignant reaction in Australia last week when a video, produced by an anonymous person from Japan and distributed on YouTube, made claims that Australians hunt kangaroos and other animals for both sport AND to eat and we kill other animals such as cows and pigs to simply eat them. The video went on to claim that Australia’s objection to Japanese whaling is simply a reflection of Australia being racist and acting with overtones of cultural imperialism. It’s not my intention here to address the particular points made by the video. I just want to ask a few other questions while the issue is out there.

So, why are whales so special? Why is it more appropriate to eat a cow, pig, chicken or fish than a whale? What about a kangaroo? a beautiful, majestic deer? A moose?

We compartmentalise, steralise, lactate, torture, abuse, neglect and then eat cows, pigs, chickens, fish, kangaroos, deer etc. everyday as a society. But, when whales are hunted, a double standard of outrage surfaces. Is it simply because some species of whales are endangered? If this is so, then why not make as much noise for any other species of animal or plant that is endangered?

The way whales are treated by the Japanese is a direct reflection of the way that we as a society treat the cows, pigs, chickens and other animals that we raise with the explicit intention to chop up their bodies, wrap them in plastic and sell them in supermarkets for x amount of dollars per kilogram. It’s an outright double standard. Different cultures kill and eat different animals. Both exploit the animal, who has vested interests of their own: their right to life and their right to freedom. Humans of all cultures are guilty of robbing all animals of their right to life and freedom. Whales are one example of this… and many more can be found in among our own culture as well as in most others.


Out of Touch…

December 19, 2007

It’s a sign of how out-of-touch the Liberal-National Coalition became before the federal election on November 24: Brendan Nelson (who?) has taken almost a full month after the election to declare that WorkChoices is finally gone and dead. Thanks Brendan, now you’re up to date with what a majority of the electorate thought in early 2005. Keep plugging away, you conservative pratt…


Shame on you, Channel Ten, You Misogynistic Fucks

December 15, 2007

Tonight, I just finished watching The Importance of Being Earnest and my TV automatically switched over to Channel Ten. It happened to be in the middle of an ad break. An advertisement for the show “America’s Next Top Model” came on saying that it was some sort of Christmas special edition of the show. As the viewer was bombarded with three separate women walking along a catwalk in very revealing clothing, the voice over said “ho, ho, ho”…

It’s bad enough that women and girls are being objectified in subtle ways, but now we as a society are outright not only condoing this fucking bullshit, but promoting it. Bratz dolls, America’s Next Top Model – what the fuck is going on here? I call on anyone who is reading this and seen this ad to call Channel Ten and complain – I have.

I’m not even going to bother explaining why this has outraged me to the point where I am white with anger. If you need to ask, you’re a fucking idiot. I’m a school teacher and I can tell you that this type of shit is having an extremely negative effect on young girls. I over heard some girls in one of my classes talking one day and they were saying how boys weren’t even given an accurate picture of how girls looked because they just see porn or shows like “America’s Next Top Model” portraying an extreme form of un-reality.

When un-realistic and mysogynistic portrayals of women are thrust into young men and women’s faces everyday, it is undoubtedly going to negatively affect the respect that they have for each other as subjective human beings as well as the way they interact. Women, as a man I cannot speak for you and nor should I, but I will say that your battle for equality and independence is far from over… Fuck, I’m angry!



November 25, 2007

The speculation on what Rudd will do in his first term can wait for a few days.

For the moment, let’s just revel in the fact that Howard is gone. He is a spent force in Australian politics, as are the whole conservative bunch of jerks that have led this country for the last 11 and a half years.  He not only got smashed with a massive swing against the government, but he lost his own seat.

A fitting end to a PM that made this country more mean-spirited, more selfish, more un-sympathetic towards their fellow humans and planted fear and loathing in the hearts of well-meaning Australians for too long.

I am one of the many Australians who never liked, respected or trusted the man who has fundamentally changed this country for the worse over the last decade. I am also one of the many Australians who are rejoicing at the end of a dark chapter in our history and am at the very least somewhat hopeful for the years to come.

Many conservative pundits are already trying to put a damper on Rudd’s victory saying that progressives will be disappointed with him. It may be the case that some of the things that Rudd does (or does not do) may disappoint us in the years to come. However, for the moment, I shall indulge in gloating at every conservative arsehole in Australia. Suck shit. Your man is gone. Your time has come and Labor is back in power. Go fuck yourselves you conservative prats. You’re out – you’re gone and after your sweet victory in 2004, you’ve fallen a long way. Ha-fucking-ha!