Tag Archives: ABC The Drum

The Bali Two, and profiting from human misery

21 Feb

 

heroinSmall

 

In his piece on Thursday in The Drum, Jonathan Green asks what of the victims of heroin traffickers Chan and Sukumaran, had the two succeeded in smuggling their product into Australia?

Green points out that the traffickers made a “Faustian” pact, the reality of the death of others against their own enrichment: the most brutal and callous entrepreneurship imaginable.

There’s no contesting that fact. Yet if we’re going to discuss profiting from the misery of others, more than half the human species will be found guilty of that Faustian pact. If these millions (billions?) of guilty face the fate of Chan and Sukumaran, the planet will be drenched in blood, a good deal of it the exsanguination of people in high places.

While it’s de rigueur to focus attention on the drug trade as the cause of suffering and death from which others make enormous financial profit, the list of such businesses is long, many of them are legal and many of them are state sanctioned, from the war machines of the Western world, to the liquor outlet that sells more alcohol to the already drunk who then get in a car and kill innocent bystanders.

And this is only thinking in terms of profiting from death. What about the myriad other forms of misery inflicted on one human by another for profit that results not in death, but in a tormented life? Then think about what we do to other species in the unrelenting search for profit, and the prestige, comfort and power profit brings.

That Chan and Sukumaran should be singled out from all the rest for execution makes little sense.

It is one of the awful realities of victimisation that justice is rarely commensurate with the crime.

Chan and Sukumaran chose to deal drugs, knowing that fatalities would result. Users choose to buy and use them, knowing the risk they take with their lives and the lives of those who love and care for them. These ghastly transactions take place in a society that is wilfully blind to its own stupidities in the matter of illegal drugs, such as how that illegality is determined and on what prejudices it is based, and the resulting  failure of that society to combat both the trade, and its devastating effects on so many lives.

In other words it is a systemic failure, and the system as it currently functions enables a marketplace for the plying of the deadly business.

I have no truck with celebrities unconvincingly claiming “I stand for mercy” in the matter of Chan and Sukumaran. Not because I want those two young men to die such ghastly deaths. I don’t. But as Green points out, where are the celebrities when thousands are put to death in the US, China, Saudi Arabia, and where are the celebrities when foreign nationals are tied to posts for execution in Indonesia?

And where are the celebrities when yet another user dies a solitary death because a government refuses safe injecting rooms, and needle exchanges, and  leaves its young to die alone in filthy gutters?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Wilson HRCommissioner spruiks for Abbott on ABC

1 Dec

Tim Wilson

 

I can’t believe what I just saw with my own eyes. On ABC’s The Drum tonight, Human Rights Commissioner for Freedom Tim Wilson, parachuted into his $320,000 a year job by Attorney General George Brandis without even so much as an interview, was a panelist on a program that had nothing to do with human rights or freedom of speech, the latter being Wilson’s specific portfolio. Instead Wilson spruiked for the Abbott government and Tony Abbott, in a display of political partisanship that I’ve never seen before from a public servant.

Wilson resigned from the Liberal Party when he took up his new job with the HRC.

Questions.

Why was Wilson invited to be a panelist on The Drum when his area of expertise wasn’t on the agenda?

Why did Wilson accept the invitation when his area of expertise was not on the agenda?

Is Wilson exempt from the APSC Code of Conduct as regards taking care to avoid partisan positions?

Is it mere coincidence that Wilson appears on The Drum to support Abbott on the day the Prime Minister admits the government’s had a ragged week?

If it isn’t a coincidence, at whose insistence did host Steve Cannane invite Wilson on the panel when his only possible purpose for being there was to talk up the Abbott government?

Why was Wilson given a platform on the ABC to express his personal views as he clearly wasn’t representing the HRC or his portfolio?

What does Wilson’s boss Gillian Trigg think of his blatant public political partisanship?

I’d ask Wilson these questions myself but the Commissioner for Freedom blocked me on Twitter when I asked him how he would handle a situation in which there were competing rights.

 

 

 

Gail Dines was shouted down by left wing tossers, claims academic

5 Oct
Caricature on "The great epidemic of porn...

Image via Wikipedia

Oh my god, I just got home after a terrible day trying to buy a smart phone only to find this on the Drum. 

The good Dr Meagan Tyler is having a dummy spit at those of us who did not take to Professor Gail Dines and her anti pornography messages, and those of us who continue to resist the same harangues from MTR, Abigail Bray, and the man I’ve written about twice already this week so I won’t say his name because Steve at the Pub will say I’m obsessed.

Many anti porn activists are reasonable and rational and don’t want to ban anything, Tyler assures us, giving Dines as one of her examples of the rational and reasoned. She then claims the Professor was “shouted down” on Q&A, and otherwise abominably humiliated by left-wing tossers who feel they have a duty to be sympathetic to the plight of pornography consumers, whether they agree with porn or not.

Plight? What plight?

Needless to say I’ve dashed off a response, but whether or not the Drum will use it is another matter. As one commenter remarks, there are so many articles on the Drum written by anti porn campaigners, and hardly anything putting another perspective. I venture that maybe two of my articles there are among the very, very few that challenge the anti porn status quo. Why is that, I wonder?

Smart phones. I tried to explain to the man in the phone shop, who had very bad breath, that all I really want is to receive photos of the new baby, send emails and tweets and texts, and a few other little things.  Talking on the phone is not one of my great interests so I don’t really need 500 million hours of talk time. Turns out I’m an aberration on two counts: 1: not having got a smart phone way before now, and 2, not liking to talk on the phone. There’s no plan that caters for my needs he said, rather triumphantly I thought, for somebody with dog’s breath.

So tomorrow I’m going to another shop, but I’m wondering just how much of my life I want to waste on this mission. It’s the plans that do your head in. How did it all get so hard? Why don’t they just make an iPad with phone stuff? Should I just stick to email and forget the phone? Then I’ll miss out on the baby pictures everybody else gets on their smart phones. I’ll be marginalized. I won’t belong. An outsider. They won’t love me.

I’m hungry. I’m tired. I have to walk the dog.I can’t think straight. It’s cold.

Porn debate moves to ABC religion/ethics; end of Catalonian bull fights; go the f***k to sleep

26 Sep

And while we’re on the subject, for some reason articles on pornography seem to have been removed to the Religion and Ethics section of ABC’s The Drum from the main Drum Opinion pages, where they always drew a great deal of very varied commentary. My  first article there, Pornify This, resulted in some 472 comments before the thread was closed.

Why the ABC no longer appears to consider the pornography debate a mainstream issue is a mystery. Apparently it only concerns those who come to it from a religious and ethical perspective, and those are the terms in which the debate has now been framed on the public broadcaster.

Pornography is a mainstream issue, as those who rail against it are forever reminding us. It’s everywhere we look, they claim, from Bill Henson’s photographs, to women’s magazines, to outdoor advertising, to the cosmetic industry, to fashion houses, to Barbie dolls. So how come the ABC has marginalized the topic to Religion and Ethics?

On the positive side, at least the extremists aren’t getting the coverage they used to enjoy when their articles were front page. That’s not all good, though, because the debates their convictions inspired were lively and full of engaged energy, ample proof, I would have thought, that the topic is of great interest to a lot of people.

Three years ago in a Barcelona square on a hot July afternoon, I signed a petition to end bullfighting in Catalonia. I’d just given a conference paper titled: The Experience of Being Injured: an Otherwise Perspective at the Myth, History, and Memory Conference at Barcelona University.  Today, bullfighting is finally ended, in Catalonia at least.

This is just a small example of how anybody can help make a change, even at the other side of the world.

I’m away for the next few days attending the birth of a grandchild, up there on the list of my life’s very bestest experiences. Seeing my children with their children almost makes motherhood worthwhile.

I’m taking Mr Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck with me in the form of cereal bowls and cups, as well as Go the F**ck to Sleep, made (in)famous by Noni Hazlehurst‘s reading here on YouTube, a gift for the first-time parents who have told me a million times that the baby isn’t going to make any difference to their routines. A wise woman, I say nothing.

See you in a few days.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,225 other followers

%d bloggers like this: