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The road to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon - Sikamikanico in America, Part II

If you want to get up close and personal when seeing a country, there’s no better way to travel than long distance bus. Planes just whisk you from city to city, tedious trips between the airport and the city itself notwithstanding. Trains are often hailed for their ability to provide views you can’t get by air, but often trains go through culverts and tunnels. You want to know the real place, get a bus. Interstate Buses in America are often maligned as dirty and dangerous, but I’ve never had any problems; although I’ve only travelled heavily touristed routes, and your mileage may vary if you’re getting the bus from Earwax Gulch, Iowa to Excess Covid Deaths, Tennessee. You mileage will literally vary if you’re stabbed to death on the way, which would reduce the number of miles you travel considerably.   California roadside stops really go in for the ye olde world feel. On my last trip to the state, we’d stopped in Kettleman on the journey along the Interstate 5 from Los Angeles to San
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Los Angeles - Sikamikanico in America, Part I

 How I would  have loved to have been around for the golden days of travel, when people dressed up to fly, went on long ocean voyages, and there were porters and valets and cocktails. I can see myself in a darling powder blue travel suit, my hair in pin curls set off with a jaunty hat, with my matching leather luggage taken care of my someone who calls me “madame”. But of course in those days, travel was completely out of the financial reach of schlubs like me, and looking elegant is beyond the question in any era. I can spend two hours trying to make myself look polished, walk out the door, get caught by a slight breeze and seem to have crawled through a hedge. I could don a twinset and pin curls and still arrive at the airport looking like I fell down the stairs on the way, which I very well may have done. So I’ll accept the indignities of travel in this era, kicking suitcases around the airport, being submitted to full body scans, and donning a plain dress and capri pants for the ex

Sikamikanico in America - Intro

My travelling companion, Stampy.  I blame The Strokes.  The NYC rockers famously broke through with their 2001 debut album Is This It and were hailed as the saviours of rock. (Although they weren’t even nominated for Best New Act at the Grammys, rather proving Homer Simpson’s views on the matter ). At the time I didn't want to know. There was tonnes of great rock out of Australia in those days, I was wary of fads, and most of all a bit of trauma in my personal life months before had left me uninterested in new music. When YOLO came out in 2006, I loved the song but didn't know it was by The Strokes for ages and when I eventually found out, I still didn’t seek out any of their music (too busy lying facedown on the floor listening to Triptych by the Tea Party). It wasn't until I heard their new cut Why Are Sundays So Depressing on the radio in 2020 and realised yes, this is exactly the song I need right now, and I went on an obsessive deep dive of everything the band had eve

Anti drugs or Anti-Semitic? Exposing Drug Free Australia

Drug Free Australia sound like a stand up bunch of people on the face of it. Keeping kids from trying drugs is a noble aim, I think we could all agree, even if in one's most exhausted, stressed out moments of parenthood the desire to sedate your kids has briefly flashed across your mind.  But for the peak body Drug Free Australia, that may be the only noble thing about them. Problematic doesn't even begin to describe this lot. They peddle pseudo scientific nonsense about the dangers of drugs, partner with organisations that have been labelled  brutal, unscientific and based on human exploitation  and have stated that gay people should be laughed at and ridiculed *. Most disturbing of all however is that DFA heavily leans into the Anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that George Soros covertly runs the world . Yikes, who are these people? You don't have to go far beyond the face of it to see that these people aren't on the level. The front page of the DFA website claims the Uv

The GOP wants to take away young people's rights too

Not content with taking away women's rights to decide what happens to their own bodies, the GOP are determined to strip the rights of children and young people as well. Matthew Kacsmaryk, a federal district court Trump appointee in the Northern District of Texas, has upheld a lawsuit brought by local Republican official Alexander Deanda challenging Title X , which provides contraceptive access for low income people, including those under 18, on the grounds it "violates the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children". Deanda believes it is his right to prevent his children from accessing contraception, as he is “raising each of his daughters in accordance with Christian teaching on matters of sexuality, which requires unmarried children to practice abstinence and refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage.” Deanda, whose lawyer, Jonathan Mitchell, helped write the Texas law that allows anyone to sue a person who aids or abets an abortio

Karma will get you

You can't go a day on the internet without seeing someone invoke Karma. Someone will post on a neighbourhood Facebook group that their bicycle was stolen from their front yard, and the police don't seem all that bothered about tracking down the perpetrators. And there it will be in the replies: "Don't worry. Karma will get them eventually".   They're not referring to the complex concepts of Karma in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosphy. The watered down, White version of karma casually invoked on the internet whenever someone has a grumble is taken to simply mean: if you do something bad, something bad will happen to you. Placing it, I guess, on the lower end of the scale of cultural appropriation of spiritual practices , the whitewashed, for-profit magic bowls and yoga and saging that function, in the words of the late Elizabeth Wurtzel, as "a brain-dead insult to the very Native American [or Asian] culture it is supposed to revere".  I can see why t

Ann Coulter, cry-me

 Ah, Ann Coulter, what can I say? ("Preferably nothing", you reply, "she's a washed up has been who used her shit takes to ascend to the top of shit mountain during the Clinton impeachment, and, unable to compete with the new breed of Republican hate mongers, has been slowly sliding down shit mountain ever since".) None of that is incorrect, unlike anything Ms Coulter writes. But she at least used to be kinda  interesting to read, inasmuch as I'd check her books out of the library if I was running low on something to read, and sort of enjoy the argumentative thrust even if the wounds failed to land.  Then Barak Obama won the Presidency in 2008, and she lost all relevance and her freaking mind. For the duration of the Obama presidency, in her dwindling schedule of TV appearances, she referred to him as B. Hussein Obama. For 8 years. Why? "Because it's funny.". I don't think it was ever funny, but for the people on her side, maybe it was funn