Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2016

I used to be (more) racist.

I used to be racist. Oh, not the overt sort of racist. I didn't call people the n word or think black people were inferior or anything. In fact, I thought everyone was the same and we should all be treated equally. I was the good sort of racist! One that doesn't think they are racist at all.  When the first season of Australian Idol aired in 2003, with several of the contestants being people of colour, I thought "why are there so many non-Australians on it?" When Aboriginal boy TJ Hickey died in 2004 when he crashed into a fence whilst fleeing from police on his bike, I thought "well, that's very sad, but if he hadn't been running away he wouldn't have died." When I heard of high rates of disadvantage among Aboriginal people, I thought "well, that's very sad, but there are so many programs to help them". When I first heard of white privilege, I got very indignant. I thought "how dare you, my life has been anything but privilege

Ten days of distraction from a shrinking economy

Australia's economy shrank by 0.5% in the September quarter , the largest contraction since the GFC. Such things happen, but of course Prime Minister Turnbull, Treasurer Scott Morrison and the rest of the Government quickly and soberly announced plans to get the nation back on track. Nope, I'm just kidding. The entire government, enthusiastically aided by the Murdoch press, launched a campaign of obfuscation and downright bizarre distraction, refocusing the national pique on issues so marginal, so trivial, that you actually might have to give grudging credit for a brilliant piece of political play.  In ten days: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton bought into the "War on Christmas" , declaring Australia is a Christian country, that people want their kids brought up in a normal environment and that a lack of Christmas carols in schools is - what else? - "political correctness gone mad".  Treasurer Scott Morrison f ired up the barbie for a roast of Newstart reci

Australian Trump supporters betray those lost on MH17

Newly elected One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts is off on his Christmas holidays. He and his family are going to the United States to visit relatives. And whilst I strenuously disagree with his politics, I wouldn't wish Senator Roberts and his family anything other than a happy trip. It won't all be fun and games, though: Because like pretty much all of Australia's new, and newly emboldened, alt right, Senator Roberts is just smitten with President Elect Donald Trump. From One Nation leader Pauline Hanson toasting Trump's victory with champagne in front of Parliament House (way to show you're in touch with ordinary workers there), to Cory Bernardi proudly wearing a Make America Great Again cap and saying the same sentiment should apply to Australia, to George Christensen, elated by Trump's victory and pondering the lessons to be learned for us, they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude. They believe he stands for what they believe they stand f

Bi By Now

I first had a crush on a girl when I was about 11, I think, in my first year of high school; she was a couple of grades above. But it was fairly innocent, as crushes usually are at that age, and in one of the ancient Advice To A Teenage Girl books still swimming through the school library system there was a healthy dose of homophobia, with some of the less noxious wisdom being that adolescent girls often have crushes on older girls, it's a harmless normal stage they'll grow out of. Considering the great big globs of weirdness I was saddled with in almost all other areas of my life, this was welcome news. Hooray! I'm normal! And this was a different time. It was years even before Ellen came out, and that was such big news on the cover of Time magazine. I knew there were lesbians, but I thought it meant you had to crop your hair short and ride a motorcycle. But I liked pretty dresses! And there were no visible bisexuals at all. Homophobic jokes abounded. I'm pretty sugg