Archive | August, 2012

Talking heads: STFU

29 Aug

While I agree that grief is certainly a state of consciousness that differs considerably from the everyday, I don’t think it’s quite another country as some would have it.

However, it does seem to have the capacity to throw everything outside its parameters into stark relief. Suddenly one sees that none of the emperors have clothes . For example, when I tuned into QandA on Monday evening I saw not a panel of distinguished and erudite guests, but a pack of braying, self-important, self-opinionated talking heads, about whom I could only think “Why? Why?” before silencing them with the remote.

Grief has severely curtailed my tolerance for talking heads. I have no idea why this particular group has become the target of my ill-will. I’m having the same difficulty with The Drum as I did with QandA.  Who are these people? I ask myself as I collapse, stunned and exhausted on the couch, looking for a bit of relief from the demands of living and dying. How did they come to be? Why are they everywhere? From what primary source have they metastasized? How is it that they manage to reduce the most intense, the most numinous, the most awful,the most terrifying, the most special of human experiences into highly articulate banality, just by opening their mouths about it?

Grief also disturbs one’s sleep patterns. The Dog and I sit alone in the lounge at 3 am, sharing Vegemite toast and drinking tea (well, The Dog doesn’t drink tea) and watching episodes of Breaking Bad. This comforts me. I need fiction like I need food and water.  I need story. I need a level of complexity and emotion that is absent in the clichés and sound bytes trotted out by the talking heads, who really, I’m beginning to believe, just want the chance to show everybody how clever they are. They’ll talk about anything. They aren’t required to have any expertise, or even to be particularly informed. All they need to know is how to talk.

I mean in what universe is it just fine for female genital mutilation to be reduced to a three-minute segment of  a talk show? Write about it, read about it, think about it, but chat about it?

In the midst of all my other troubles, there is the matter of my feckin’ Swedish chair. As some of you will know this chair has caused me injury in the recent past, to the degree that I put it out for the tip but was obliged by Mrs Chook to give it a second chance. Well, it has once again decided to throw its castors and land me on my arse on the floor. In the early hours of this morning I contemplated a trip to Ikea for a new chair. I imagined shopping in Ikea in my current state of consciousness. I see nothing to be gained by such an exercise, and much to be lost.

As I’ll be living in Sydney for a couple of months from next Monday, the chair won’t be an issue and maybe someone else will go to Ikea and get me a new one so I don’t have to.

The other thing is music. I can hardly bear to listen to music because so much of it makes me howl, and I mean howl. Not for me the quiet sob. I dare not use my iPod in public, for fear I will start to howl. As there is much of a practical nature to attend to , the time for the luxury of howling is not yet arrived, though I’m considering taking some alone time over the next day to close all the doors and windows, play music very loudly, and howl and thrash till I can howl and thrash no more.

Grief can be so alarmingly visceral.

On the whole, it seems to me from my admittedly jaundiced perspective, people talk too damn much. I could count on the fingers of one hand the people who have something interesting and substantial to say. Why can’t we have good story on our televisions instead of the crap opinions of professional talking heads? Who cares what most of them think? Who cares about their blah de blah de blah de blah? Who cares about their shallow pseudo analysis? Why don’t they all just STFU

PS: Sorry for the rant.

Abbott’s vast vault of verbal mediocrity revealed

23 Aug

On ABC’s 7.30 Report last night, interviewer Leigh Sales unmasked the man who would be PM for the empty vessel he truly is.

Abbott is comfortable only when he can mouth slogans. Take him out of that comfort zone, as Sales did last night, and he’s close to inarticulate. Incapable of coherent human exchange, and in a fashion approaching the robotic, he searches desperately for the slogan he needs from his vast vault of verbal mediocrity. With the fierce concentration of a five year-old tying his shoelaces, mouth working, eyes swivelling,  tics pulsing, Abbott digs deep into the black back caverns of his memory, and after a delay that causes the viewer to practically cringe with disbelief, he emerges to triumphantly flourish a slogan he’s finally managed to recover, the one he hopes will save him from actually having to answer a question.

I can’t remember an interview that has so thoroughly exposed Abbott’s utter uselessness as a leader, or indeed, as an MP at all. Racist, misogynist, ill-informed, incapable of intelligent debate on just about any topic, riddled with insecurities, Abbott’s only talent, if it can be described as such, is chanting Liberal mantras, those repetitive, monotonous utterances that mean nothing, inspire no one, and address none of the issues facing this country today.

Combine this lack of talent with an overwhelming ego, an excessive sense of entitlement, and a delusional belief that he is born to be PM while conspicuously lacking all the qualities that position demands, and Tony Abbott is revealed as the pathetically proud owner of a piteously inadequate mind.

We need many more interviews such as this one, in which Abbott is called to account for his lies and mischief. He’s been getting away with it for far too long. A few more encounters like last night’s, and surely the Liberal party will have to think hard about who they’ve chosen to lead them into the next election.

PS: Sorry for the polemic.

Mr Abbott addresses his peers

Abbott, 2010: It’s good that women do housework

22 Aug

While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it’s inevitable and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all that we always have, say, more women doing things like physiotherapy and an enormous number of women simply doing housework  Tony Abbott 2010

I don’t think there’s anything I can add to that.

Always

17 Aug

This.

Who could have known there would be so many tears?

15 Aug

Hello everyone,

I’m on my way to Sydney to sit with my husband, who has suffered a massive stroke.

Though we’ve been married for some twenty-six years, a second marriage for both of us, for the last few years we’ve had little to do with one another. Ours was a ‘love of my life but we can’t live together ’ situation.

We could never bring ourselves to divorce. “I’ll never want to marry anybody else,” he said, when I once angrily advised him to expect the papers. Of course, his response disarmed me completely, and I realised I probably wouldn’t want to marry anyone else either, so we never took that final step.

I thought I saw him for several days before I heard the news of his illness. Going about my business in the little village where I live, I thought I saw him walking ahead of me, the loping gait, the baseball cap, the jeans and checked shirt.

I remember that every time he was about to make another appearance in my life, I would sense his presence in the days before he arrived in the flesh, or rang up, or emailed, or sent something in the post. So I knew these imagined sightings were precursors. He always said he also knew when I was about to make an appearance, because he started dreaming about me.

I don’t know why we couldn’t sort it out a whole lot better than we did.

He said he wanted to die before me because he didn’t want to be on this planet if I wasn’t. I said if that was the case, I wanted to lie down beside him and hold him in my arms as he left me.

He may or may not know me now.

For some reason all the planes were full today, so I’ve had to take the train. As it turns out I don’t mind at all. I don’t feel like being above the earth. I feel like being firmly upon it. The landscape is simply gorgeous at 7am on a winter’s morning, with fog rising above the rivers and paddocks, and sun on the dew. My best friend, with whom I share a house (she a widow, me still yet a wife) drove me to the station in the dark. I call her Mrs Chook. She calls me Senora. These nicknames have something to do with a trip we made to Mexico, though I’ve forgotten what. The Dog, who yesterday cost us $200 for his dental hygiene, was left sulking at home.

Yesterday Mrs Chook visited a sleep clinic in search of a remedy for her snoring. Around 6pm she walked in rigged up like a suicide bomber, with wires on her head and hard-cased things wrapped around her torso to monitor her sleep. This is because I recently refused to travel with her anymore in situations where we have to share a room. It was for her own good, I told her. I would have injured her eventually, probably fatally.

Mrs Chook has lately had to care for her ageing mother and a sick brother. We have been thrust into a world of aged care facilities and hospitals, an area both of us have been free of for some time.

At the other end of the cycle, we regularly spend time with my youngest grandchild, to whom Mrs Chook is an honorary grandma. This gives both of us a satisfying sense of connection with the beginning and ending of life, of extremes we don’t understand, but that somehow fully ground us. Without each other, neither of us would do it half as well, I suspect. It seems to be our fate, for the time being, to stand by the others as they move into life or out of it.

I think it will be hard to see him helpless, he who was always vigorous. How he will hate his present predicament, if he has any awareness of it.

I have spent today with him. It’s terribly difficult to understand him as his speech is severely compromised. “Why are you here?” I think he said. “Because I love you,” I replied. “Aaaah,” he sighed, “take me to the Opera House.” “Not today,” I said, “but I’ll sing if you want.” “No, no, no!”

His food arrives. Baby mush, the same stuff I fed to my infant grandson two weeks ago. He rails at the nurse. “Not you! She’ll feed me! Her!” All goes well till dessert. “Not fucking apple sauce! I won’t have fucking apple sauce.”

That came out quite clear.

Then he cries. And cries. His body is so small now I can scoop him in my arms. These last weeks my arms have been filled with baby Archie, and now they are filled with him.

Then five minutes ago, a message that another new grandchild is on its way, and will arrive in the autumn.

Who could have known there would be so many tears?

This is what my arms are for. The beginning of life. The end of life. I am glad beyond words, that I have them.

 

 

 

 

 

More Abbott on women: equality is “folly” ‘cos biology.

11 Aug

It would be folly to expect that women would ever approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, their abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.  Tony Abbott

As recently as 2010, Tony Abbott was given the opportunity to elaborate on the above statement and to withdraw it, if it no longer represents his views on women. He did neither, so I can only conclude he continues to hold these biologistic views about women’s potential.

I wonder if Abbott extends his beliefs on biological determinism and inequality to any group other than women?  It seems unlikely that someone holding to that ideology would only apply its doctrines to sexual difference.

What are these “large number of areas” in which women can never have equal representation, cos vagina? The only one I can think of is being a sexist dick.

Abbott reveals in this statement his belief that difference is a barrier to equality. Women can never be equal to him because we are biologically different from him. Only those who are biologically the same as him are his equals. Ergo, all others are in some way lesser beings.

Does he apply this theory to skin colour as well as genitals?

The prospect of a leader of this country who holds views that are the basis for the theory of eugenics, ought to give us all pause for thought.

Not only are women lesser beings and therefore un-entitled to desire equality, it is , according to Abbot, folly to believe that we can ever be otherwise. Foolishness. Silliness. Nonsense. Madness, even, to think that women, hampered by our biology, potential destroyed by our vaginas, can aspire to even approach equal representation in large, but unspecified numbers of areas. Areas like medicine? The law? Politics? Academia? The finance sector?

In which areas of life does having a vagina determine your ability or otherwise to think?

I don’t think Abbott is unequal to me because he’s got a penis. He’s unequal to me because he thinks owning a penis makes him superior, and that makes him a fool.

In one sentence Abbott reveals what he thinks of women

8 Aug

The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience. Tony Abbott. 

Reduced by whom? Who has reduced abortion to a question of the mother’s convenience? Well, according to Tony Abbott it must be women who have reduced abortion to a question of the mother’s convenience, presumably because:

  • Abortion is a “grave” matter and women are incapable of perceiving it as such because they are women, stupid.
  • Women are dumb, or at least a whole lot dumber than Tony Abbott.
  • Women need men like Tony Abbott to guide them on the matter of abortion because they are too wilfully unintelligent to grasp its complexities all by themselves.
  • Women will, willy nilly if you let them, rid themselves of unwanted foetuses because they don’t know any better and what’s more, they don’t feckin care, do they?
  • Women actually have no moral compass.
  • Women are innately frivolous and untrustworthy.
  • Women don’t know half as much about abortion as do men like Tony Abbott.
  • Women must be made to understand how serious it is to abort a foetus because they clearly just don’t.
  • Women are twats.
  • Women will murder their children unless men like Tony Abbott stop them
  • Men like Tony Abbott have a moral obligation to protect women from themselves.
  • Men like Tony Abbott have a moral obligation to protect a foetus from its mother who will kill it, just because she thinks it will inconvenience her.
  • Women are pathologically selfish when it comes to a foetus.
  • Women have no grasp of the awesomeness of life.
  • Women are not men.
  • Women are not Tony Abbott

 

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