Tag Archives: life

A rightwing thinktank is running Australia

So, that’s a headline, eh? Many people now know about the Institute of Public Affairs, a very right wing thinktank, whose 70th birthday (it was formed at the same time and by the same people who formed our very un-liberal Liberal Party) was celebrated by noted Australians including Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Tony Abbott, George Brandis, and Andrew Bolt. Andrew Bolt’s son works for the IPA, just by the by.

Also there was Tony Abbott’s Opus Dei-connected confessor and friend, Cardinal George Pell, now hiding in the Vatican, lecturing on ethics and ignoring Australian police asking to interview him personally over child sexual abuse in the Church. So Australia’s great and good – or rich and snivelling, if you prefer.

The IPA gets a lot of money from its billionaire backers – and it’s linked to right wing thinktanks in the US, like the Heartland Institute, and not just a little bit. People (if we can call climate denialists that), who work for Heartland also work for IPA.

Much of IPA funding probably comes from Gina Rinehart, daughter of a West Australian mining magnate and very bad poet. The inclusion of ‘special economic zone’ status for the North of Oz (#42 on IPA List) comes right (lol) out of the Gina Rinehart Big Wishing Book for Right Wing Billionaires, right before “Rig system so i only pay workers $1 a day”.

The IPA list? Well, they came up with a list of 75 things Tony Abbott should do to transform Australia. He’s the former Liberal-National Coalition Prime Minister – Liberal in Oz meaning right wing, they’re economic liberals, not social ones, and like most rightwing parties, can’t hold government without alliances.

IPA reckoned Tony could be like Gough Whitlam. Gough was a former Labor Prime Minister, leftist, considered radical for things like ‘equal pay for women’. Tony (the IPA reckoned) should be radical for the Right the way Gough had been for the Left in the 1970’s. Sad that actual equal pay for women is still too radical for 2017 except in Iceland.

Then the IPA came up with another 25 more ‘ideas’. 100 all up, which @elliemail has listed here IPA 100 Demands.

During a conversation on Twitter i stupidly foolishly rashly volunteered to see how many of the IPA’s suggestions had been achieved. Tony Abbott of course is not PM any more, instead Malcolm “My Money’s in the Caymans” Turnbull is but the IPA influence continues unabated.

Before he was even PM, Abbott promised the IPA that the following would be done. Info from Barry Tucker‘s blog at The Sniper Takes Aim. These are the 10 Tony said were already agreed: Crossed out like this are already done…

1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.

2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change

3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund

4 Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

6 Repeal the renewable energy target

42 Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including: a) Lower personal income tax for residents b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers c) Encourage the construction of dams

43 Repeal the mining tax

44 Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states

49 Privatise Medibank

69 Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built

Of course, the moment Tony Abbott won the election he went to work (thank you, Kevin Rudd, for losing an election that when you took over, Labor could have won easily .)

Tony didn’t manage his initial list of 10, but he did manage #1, Repeal the Carbon Tax. Because big polluters should not be penalised, at all. Most people’s energy bills have doubled since he did this, which he said would save everyone money. The Barrier Reef is in such bad shape our government had to throw a major shitfit to stop it being listed as In Danger in the UNESCO listings of World Heritage sites. It’s just in danger of being In Danger, so that’s alright. Already this year, (after last years ‘worst coral bleaching events ever’) the Reef is struggling.

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (#2) went (in the UK, right wing PM May abolished hers too, seeing the pattern?), absorbed into the horribly wordy Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. This was abolished less than a year later.

As Wikipedia mentions, “Its functions were principally transferred to the Department of Industry; with its environmental functions transferred to the Department of the Environment

Abbott also shut down the Climate Change Commission (established to provide public information on the effects of and potential solutions to global warming).

The CCC said bugger off, in true Aussie fashion, switched to crowdfunding and became the Climate Council. Concerned Australians keep it going, because even if idiots in the Liberal National Party Coalition and the other right wing idiot fringe (yes, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, we are looking at you) can’t see global warming, the rest of us can.

Tony tried to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (#3) and the Renewable Energy Agency (almost #6), but failed when some of the minority parties in the senate voted with Labor and the Greens. The LNP’re still chipping away, trying to make the money in the CEFC available to coal-fired power stations, providing they’re ‘clean coal’, something that’s a contradiction in terms.

Tony also directly broke pre election promises to not mess with the Renewable Energy Target but didn’t abolish it (#6). The Guardian has a list of Abbott’s worst 10 environmental decisions – truly scary.

Since his fall, the Liberals have continued his work, most recently with attempts to repeal 18C (#4) though they’ve settled this week for trying to pass changing the wording (which had worked fine for 20 years).

#42 – basically ‘make Gina the Queen of Northern Oz’, still being shouted about because without it Gina Rinehart’s money might not keep funnelling into Liberal Party coffers.

#43 – the Mining Tax was repealed after a bit of struggle. Clive Palmer’s PUP voted for it (he’s a mining magnate too) and it’s rather funny to note that while passing that, they passed the Income Support Bonus abolition and the Schoolkids bonus (welfare cuts). CORRECTION – Palmer voted for this on the condition that the Income Support and Schoolkids Bonus were put off. They’re due to zombie this year.

#44 – done – federal protections for the environment circumvented. This is why Queenslanders are now fighting the State government (which is afraid of losing votes if even 1 mining job is lost) over coal mines (the biggest in Australia!) and Barrier Reef destruction (weirdly, they don’t seem to give a crap about tourism, a much bigger provider of jobs – can only imagine Miner Adani’s hospitality must be better than anything offered in Queensland).

This goes with LNP’s federal legislating that the Environment Minister is above the law – giving then Environment Minister Greg Hunt legal immunity against future legal challenges to his decisions on mining projects – and they made it retrospective, which got Labor’s vote to pass the legislation.Yep. Don’t really have words other than horrifying.

“At the same time, State governments are seeking to ‘fast track’ major developments, such as coal mine and coal seam gas projects, reducing public participation and removing legal rights of local communities to mount legal challenges.”

#49 is quite funny – Medibank used to be a not-for-profit health insurer owned by all Australians, until it was sold off. So privatising it, as Abbott did in 2014, is like this huge joke on ALL of Oz. Technically, he was fulfilling a Howard government promise from 2007.

#69 Tony Abbott put now-PM Turnbull on the job of completely fucking up the NBN. Malcolm did an excellent job. It wasn’t stopped, not completely, nor privatised, just gutted, buggered, and ruined.

Malcolm decided that Fibre to the Home was no longer an option (despite him investing in companies delivering FTTH in Europe) but we would have the cheaper Fibre to the Node – which might be come off the optical cable a long way from your home, and be part-carried by the decayed Telstra copper network. Telstra’s been neglecting this for a decade while they waited for the NBN or some other form of cable broadband to come in. This charming article “Nope, copper network still rooted (and maybe worse than first thought)” explains.  So it would be slow. Very very slow.

In fact, Turnbull succeeded so completely that the NBN is in parts slower than Telstra’s rather pathetic ADSL2 (this can be completely destroyed by any errant radio frequency – in my last house, the Adsl2 went down every time neighbour’s badly-wired solar panels kicked in).

It’s also MORE expensive than the original by billions – he literally doubled the cost, then kept going – as this article explains “from $29.5 billion to $41 billion, and then last year to “up to” $56 billion. And instead of delivering 25 Mbps by 2016, now the MTM network isn’t expected to be finished until 2020 – only a year earlier than Labor expected to finish its rollout.”

So today in Oz you might be forced off your decent ADSL2 (if you think 10mbps on a good day is good) onto the NBN, and get LESS speed. Oh – and Turnbull called it the MTM – Multi Technology Mix – but nobody noticed.

People on Twitter still type angry tweets about the NBN. We’ve fallen to 51st in internet speed worldwide.

So. if we look back at the IPA’s list of 100, Tony did 5/10 he promised, we’ve covered 1-4 and 6 of the first 10 and several Tony decided were important. Next on the IPA list were…

  1. abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council

Far as i can tell, this is still ongoing – the bid currently underway (we won a seat on the UNSC back in 2012 for 2 years, when Abbott was still in Opposition) culminates in seats available in 2029. *UPDATE – opposition abandoned when LNP decided being King Dicks at the UN felt good.

  1. return income taxing powers to the states

Kneejerk IPA hatred of Federal powers and their desire to apparently set up tinpot dictatorships in most states notwithstanding, though this has been put forward it hasn’t been made law, and the states don’t seem that keen.

  1. abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission

This is an independent statutory body, that advises the Federal government on aid to the States and Territories. Why IPA wants it gone, i don’t know – except as above ‘tinpot dictatorships’. It’s still there.

  1. abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

This one’s easier to figure out as to why – the ACCC is the only thing standing between most Australians and being ridden over (totes rough-shod) by various businesses or  between businesses as some big Liberal donors set up monopolies or duopolies and get to rort the whole of Oz, something they’ve been happy doing since approximately the First Fleet.

Riding rough-shod over people is a Liberal and IPA right, so they want the ACCC gone. It’s still here.

May God bless the ACCC.

  1. withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol

Pollution is ok, says the IPA – now i’m writing slogans for them.

Air to breathe is not a right the IPA want to defend, not like ‘free speech’ that US import that seems to only be for the right when they want to call someone names because of their ethnicity, sex, sexual proclivities, or religion. Breathing doesn’t affect IPA members, most are reptiles who breathe through really cool filters in their skin. (Ok, so i’m not 100% on that, but why else would they try to poison the air and water and earth? Does anyone know?)

Anyway, our commitment to Kyoto was lukewarm and we even had a special land-clearing allowance in it. This meant we could get to meet emissions targets without actually reducing pollution.

As Crikey points out in the article linked to above:

“Which is why at the same time that we’re on track to meet our target, our emissions from electricity and transport had soared by more than 50% and 40%.”

You’d think the IPA would be totes behind keeping Kyoto seeing it’s so easy for us to fulfil, but ALL pollution deserves to run free, and be able to make up false rumours about minorities if it wants to.

  1. introduce fee competition to Australian universities

This was scrapped, then it wasn’t, then it was, then they cut university funding in the 2014 budget that became the 2016 budget, and at time of writing they’re still trying to pass as the 2017 Omnibus.

That’s me done for now – phew. I’ll come back to this in a new post. Which i will of course link from here.

If you have ideas on why the above are so important to the IPA, leave a comment, if it solves a question or corrects the above, i’ll edit to include it.

Next, we will try to do 12-at least 20.

EDIT – Amazed myself – did the full 100 – here, A Right Wing Thinktank II

copyright 2017 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Few words

Well, Donald Trump is about to be president of the USA – yeah, we might as well all go home, eh? I am trying to find the bright side – the Trans Pacific Partnership will now not be ratified by the US, which pretty much harpoons the TPP and Australia’s politicians’ lily-livered signing away of our nation to rich non-taxpaying corps.

Thankfully we should be spared most of the negative effects of politicians giving international corporations the power to sue local governments if they dare interfere with profit (by having laws against pollution, say), and the TPP’s power to give longer patents to drug companies so drugs would stay high priced longer.

However that’s about all i can think of when it comes to positive aspects to Trump winning the electoral college raffle and a bunch of gerrymandered electorates across America. It’s depressing that a racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic misogynist is now in charge, especially if you’re not an orange puffball who talks like he’s in the middle of an eighties coke inferno at a KKK rally.

So instead, go see First Dog on The Moon – he’s reliably funny and there is always the possibility of the Interpretative Dance Bandicoots, or the Wallaby Laser Death Festival. He even predicted, by accident (it was a joke!) Trump winning.

I feel better after some First Dog – i hope you do too.

copyright 2016 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I can’t tell you that…

I’m going against my natural instincts. They are never to share. Blogging is so freaking alien. I was born in 1960, missed being Gen X, made it into the Baby Boomer generation by literally 8 weeks, but sometimes think i am a sekrit 1930’s gel who’s been trained to keep the real shit to myself.

When i told a friend i’d been offline (this was a few years ago) because i was depressed and didn’t feel like inflicting my real life downer on my virtual community. He was SHOCKED. He’s decades younger than me, and told me straight up, i should have said something online. I loved him for his concern but tell everyone i was depressed? Pht. Or perhaps ffft. Not sure of the spelling there, but take it as an expression of disbelief.

Every time i see that “ruok” anti-suicide campaign, where you say to someone who might be depressed, “are you ok?” and they are so grateful they don’t open their veins/OD/jump off the nearest cliff, but instead say “well actually i’m totes depressed and ready to like, pinterest my suicide plans but yr concern means i am now ready to live again!” i feel like laughing. I was relieved to see a few other pplz also saying, gawd, anyone realise really depressed pplz lie??” Yes, you can tell by my overuse of Z that i’ve been back on Twitter.

However, i can understand that for other people, opening your veins in a figurative sense on social media is a way to ease that feeling of aloneness. I wish that worked for me when i’m depressed. So if you’re like me, and people offering sympathy/feelingz makes you want to run away, smiling brightly all the time, not because you don’t appreciate their concern, but because nothing stops the fucking pain… perhaps see a psychologist (because that DID work for me). Continue reading


I will never do that…

I was never going to learn to type – no kidding, this was when i was growing up last century (horses and carts weren’t even invented yet, because they only came after electricity, but we had manual typewriters and iceskates, even in Western Australia).

You see, if i learned to type, i’d never escape the steno pool – in 1975, a woman with ambition did not learn to type. Being typists was something women did in droves before men learned to use computers (email happened) and made the steno pool obsolete.

Steno is short for stenographer – someone who took shorthand (a form of hieroglyphs men couldn’t read), and operated the Gestetner machine and made it spit blurry purple copies. Men didn’t know how it or typewriters worked. All that stuff was women’s work. (No, am not joking at all.)

To my disgust, when they wouldn’t let me do woodwork at school i had to learn typing instead. To my surprise, it came in very handy, as though i’d discarded my idea of being a poet, turned out being a writer was something i wasn’t going to grow out of, and of course, computers were about to change the world completely.

I also learned to sew, much against my will, forced once more to do it while the boys did woodwork or metalwork. It too turned out to be stunningly handy, and i really think everyone should learn at least to sew a button back on. Meanwhile, as electricity was introduced, along with hair-dryers, (in my early 20’s, back before there was internets), I discovered computers.

I did not want to learn computers. At all. However, there was this game. Like many people before me, i was hooked. I don’t remember the name of it, but it came on a cassette tape. Yeah, it was the Dark Ages of Computing.

By the mid-80’s things were moving much faster – and the lights no longer dimmed when the rich woman down the road started up her electric toothbrush. Though i do wonder, in these days of moar RAM than a girl can swallow comfortably, how in the name of God did i write my first book on a machine with only 20 megabytes of disk space and a RAM so low it was in triple-kilobytes? (360k i think.)

The only way to accommodate the hugeness of my average-size 125,000 word scifi fantasy – basically a small text file by today’s standards – was to split it into small enough chunks. I kept splitting it until it was loading in seconds, not minutes. Yeah, that 125,000 ended up cut down to twenty chapters that each were separate documents, so the machine didn’t choke.

I fought against learning to cook. Oh teh stupid! Cooking is a joy, a pleasure, an expression of art, sustaining and tasty all at the same time. Being able to feed oneself something fabulous (as simple as good bread), is cool. Fortunately i absorbed quite a bit from being around women cooking and then being forced to attend cooking classes at school.

I was never going to …. well, pick almost anything i said NEVER to. It seemed the Great Siamese Cat in the Sky liked to mess with my head, and if i said NEVER, it was a guarantee the thing would happen.

I was never going to self-publish. Oh har-de-freaking-har.

copyright 2011 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I’m going to peel and salt Justin Bieber…

I’m going to be nice for a whole post. Stop laughing. I can do it. Alright, i probably can’t. So i’ll let the voices-outside-my-head do a post and i can go back to editing The Thing. (I’m two-thirds through the edit, for those following that thrilling saga.)

The last time the voices-outside-my-head did a post, it was New Year and i was going through my usual dislocated why-doesn’t-the-weather-match-the-Christmas-cards annual fugue, and the voices wished you joy in your life. I said you shouldn’t be fucktards. Both good bits of advice.

****

Life can be an awful experience. No doubt about it. Bad things happen to good people and to bad ones, with no regard to who deserves it. No use getting stressed over it. Stress releases cholesterol into your blood stream, and it’s a fatty gunk that coats your arteries, and eventually blocks them. Use the energy to do something about what’s stressing you, but don’t just sit there.

It’s part of the old fight-or-flight-or-bugger-them-with-a-cactus reflex. The idea is you’ll burn that fat wielding your Cactus of Justice, or running away. If all you do is sit on your arse and shout, the way I do a lot, you’ll end up with high blood pressure, because your cloggy arteries are too small for the blood flow and your heart is over-worked. Oops, you just stroked out. (I’m not sure the voices should have let me type this, it’s much more cranky than they intended.)

Now, i don’t have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, (any more), because i stopped worrying and learned to take joy in the moment. It’s not a permanent state, but it’s enough of the time that even with the extra weight i’m carrying, and my perpetual raging at the machine (on here and on Twitter), I’m not risking my life because i care.

Joy is where you find it. Watching nature, walking, cooking, making things, doing that perfect spreadsheet and knowing you’re going to make it financially through another month. Okay, so i’m not sure anyone but me gets that last one, but i totally love that feeling of being in the moment – i can get it washing up.

The big thing about the moment? Your brain is ostensibly off. You’re completely focused on the task in hand, even if that’s as simple as admiring the feather on a bird’s wing or that algebra formula.

You might be using your brain, focusing on some job, and the work might be hard, but you know you’re on the way to a goal, so it’s fine. And everything switches off. All worry, all care, all of it. You keep going, doing good work.

You come to, some time later. And often the solutions to problems are right there, as your ostensibly switched-off brain nutted out the answers while you were cleaning the silver.

We repeat. The word ‘enjoy’ means ‘with joy’ – so enjoy your life. Have it with joy. What else are you going to do with it? If you don’t like it, for most of us in the Western world at least, there are other solutions, like changing it.

You thought i was going to say ‘then top yourself if you don’t like it here’? Honestly, I’m the Antichrist, not a jingoistic right wing Earth patriot. I can imagine us in the future, snapping at alien immigrants the way the nasty little one nation types do. “If you don’t like this planet, then get off it!”

****

That’s all, i can’t stand it. It goes against the grain, being nice. What with me being the Queen of Darkness and proxy Antichrist. New readers may be wondering how i got to be the Antichrist, and all i’m saying is that even the Antichrist turned out to respond to a good clout across the earhole with a walking stick, and is still in a coma. I have his passwords. Nuff said.

As for being the Queen of Darkness, that’s a much older story – when i used to be in a band, i was shouting about something i’d read about Christian fundamentalists, and said, “They’re so sure they’re on the side of Light. If that’s Light, then i’m the Queen of Darkness.” (Originally there was swearing, because it’s the only language muso’s understand.)

That was nearly 20 years ago, old news. The Antichrist gig is fairly new. But hey, i’m told i get to peel and salt the emos, and i can do what i like with Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. At the moment, i’m edging towards using the Gleaming Instruments of Death, but maybe the Cactus of Justice would do the trick.

Oh come on, who doesn’t want to torture Justin Bieber to death? Just for the fringe, people! Just for the fringe!As for Lady Gaga, well seriously, does anyone neeed a reason? Her whole schtick of pseudo-vulnerability wrapped in emo pouting deserves divine retribution.

© https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Ich haz bin ein songschreiber..

SQUEE. To the max.

Yep, even better than a baby hippo pic.

Though not quite as good, as, “Hey, peasants, guess what, i has agent with William Morris Agency,*sounds of triumphant squees*  and The Thing is represented round the world by people who will foment a publishers’ bidding war for meh.”

Instead of the William Morris Agency and publishers fighting in jelly, but quite good, all by itself, I haz announcement….

Since about 2007, when the super-cool 70’s/80’s US world famous pop duo (or one of them) happened to be in a farmhouse in Wales with a world famous member of a UK 60’s supergroup, who happened to be playing some songs of mine he’d recorded because he knows the guy who’s one of my co-writers *pauses for breath* well, since then, there’s been no interest in my music.

I hadn’t been pushing it, the people playing it at gigs weren’t gigging much, and I wasn’t expecting anything. But then i got the phonecall.

Someone wants to record one of them. Ooh? Ooh! OMG! Squee! And other things that signify excitement. So now i have to join PRS. Wait, all my musical education is non Aussie, and about 2 decades out of date (when i left the business side of the music industry).

It’s not even called Performing Rights Society here, but praise be to Baby Jebus and His Holy ButtPlug! There’s an Aussie version, which is completely free to join. ARPA… wait, no APRA-AMCOS! And it’s free – did i mention that? (And thanks again to the delicious and delightful @Gabfran, who helped!) Now we hope the person records it, and doesn’t just blow their brains out on coke.

See, i’ve seen it happen heaps. Too often to get excited. Not only did i see the business side, i was in bands, had friends in bands.  One friend ended up with no money left, half an album, and a producer flying on keys of Bolivian marching powder. A change of hierarchy at the record company left him without a contract. He was one of the lucky ones, they didn’t come after him for the advance.

The other thing? I wrote that song back in the 1990’s. So long ago i’d have to look it up in the archives to find out when exactly. Probably about ’96.  So long ago i’d stopped bothering to punt it about. And here we are, fourteen years later, and someone’s sniffing around.

This is the music biz. *sigh*

We iz nearly faymoose. Again.

****

The post title? oh – songschreiber = songwriter. “I am a songwriter.” With a bit of Lolspeak chucked in. It’s like when Kennedy said, I can haz Hamburger! Wait. He said Ich Bin Laden ein Berliner. Something like that. It was bad German, allegedly, just like my title.

© https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I’ll just be a minute….

Picture this…

You’re disabled, badly. In Queensland you qualify for a disabled parking sticker,  but in New South Wales you’re told, as that useless leg is still attached, you won’t get it. If you were enormously fat, says the doctor, acknowledging how bloody unfair it is, no problem. It’s a pity, he adds, that you’re such a fit cripple, and haven’t let yourself go, or eaten yourself into diabetes.

Women with children get close parking. You don’t. Okay, so you cope. You walk despite being crippled. You pull up outside the chemist, on your way in for your heavy duty painkillers and nerve blockers. Someone parks beside you, so close you can’t get out. Even an able  bodied person couldn’t slide out. You wind your window down.

Mate, you say, you’re too close, you’re blocking me in the car. I won’t be a minute, says the man, dashing past you. So naturally, you back out, re-park a few spaces away, and get out. You limp back to the car that was blocking you in. With your good leg, you kick the door in. Then you limp away.

****

You’re about to use the self-serve checkout at the supermarket. It’s evening, when you shop because there are less crowds, as it’s easier for you to deal with a trolley, something you find very hard with your bad leg. You can also get parking close by, which as you don’t qualify for a disability sticker, makes a huge difference.

A woman and her partner are blocking three self-serve checkouts. One with their two trolleys of soft drink, frozen food, and chips, then the one they’re using, and another with their giant pram.

Excuse me, you say politely, would you mind moving the pram so i can use the checkout? We’ll just be a minute, says the woman.  Five minutes later, they’re still feeding different cards into the reader, trying to find one that’s not maxed out. Your pain levels are rising, you don’t do standing well.

Rather than offering to kill them if they don’t get out of the bloody way making a scene, you go to the one manned checkout and queue for a while. You see the couple at the self service checkouts are now getting the staff to remove items from their bill, then going through the rigmarole of feeding through their twenty cards again. You notice there’s no baby food in their two overflowing trolleys. No nappies either. (Diapers.)

As you leave, fifteen minutes later, they’re still there, still looking for a card that works, apparently too stupid to walk twenty metres (about that in yards) to the nearest cash machine, and find out which, if any, of the cards has any money on it at all. You’re poor, you have sympathy for those in the same boat, but there are limits. You hope they choke on their bloody chips.

****

Up in Queensland, when you did have a disabled permit, you’re pulling into the bank parking area, when someone in a large 4WD cuts you up, and parks across two disabled parking spaces. Oi, you say. I won’t be a minute, says the man, hurrying to get into the bank.

So you stop right there, get out of your car, and even with your leg brace on,  something in your eyes warns the man,  he doesn’t pass you, and runs back to his car, which he moves into a non-disabled space.

****

You’re walking with a severely disabled friend. She’s had a stroke, only one side of her body moves. She can move at a shuffle thanks to her braces and cane. People keep barging into her, to the point where you are hyper-alert, watching ahead, behind, and to each side, ready to say oi!

There’s plenty of space around you, no need for people to come so close, but they don’t look, intent on their own lives, and insist on pushing past, in so much of a hurry that a two-step detour is impossible. You’re not in some central city area, this is at a quiet suburban shopping centre. It isn’t some once-off freakery, it happens every time she goes out.

****

You’re at the shops with your disabled friend. He’s walking with a stick, slowly. It’s Christmas time, heavy crowds.  Even so, as the woman nearly knocks him flying, and hits him (on his bad knee, which stands out, it being held together with a large metal leg brace) with her shopping, several people around see, and join in with your “Oi! Look out!”

The woman looks back,  and you shout angrily (over the noise of xmas carols) that she nearly knocked him over. She humphs, and says she’s in a hurry, like that’s a good enough reason to knock over a disabled person – or anyone.

The other people giving sympathy and offering help are very much appreciated, and make you both feel better, but you feel like chasing the woman down and cracking her on the knee with a shopping bag full of electrical appliances, just to see how she likes it.

****

You’re having a bad day. Along with the leg brace, you’re using your walking stick. You see some people walking towards you. They are spread out over the 4 metres of open space (12+ feet) that’s the walkway next to the shops, completely blocking it to anyone else. You stop, next to a shop window, close to it, waiting for the people to both see you, and move to one side.

They keep walking, looking everywhere but dead ahead, until one of them actually barges straight into you. It doesn’t knock you over, you were ready for it. They get stroppy with you and complain that you’ve hurt them when they bounced off your titanium leg brace. (Stroppy is angry.)

You point out they had plenty of space to walk through, they could see you clearly, you weren’t hiding, and point to your leg brace and stick. Some of us, you say, can’t get out of the way easily.  I’ve been standing here since you were over there, you say, and point some fifteen metres away (45+ feet) They seem surprised, both at where you appeared from (you being such a sprightly and fast-moving person), and that you didn’t get out their way if you saw them.

****

You’re waiting for a taxi you phoned for. You’re outside the shops, leaning on your walker. You have many problems, including being unable to walk unaided. The taxi driver pulls up behind you, and starts calling to you.

He gets out of his car and comes up, shouting and yelling. “What are you, deaf?” You hear him, finally. There are people all standing staring. “Yes,” you say, mortified, fighting back tears, “yes, I am. My hearing aid broke this morning.” The taxi driver looks embarrassed, mumbles something that might be an apology, and helps you into the car, folding your walker to go in the boot.

You want to tell him to sod off, but instead you decide getting home is more important. Your small revenge will be not tipping, and complaining to the taxi company. When you get home, with the door shut, then you let yourself cry.

****

What is it with humans? Can’t you put yourself in the other person’s shoes? Or in their orthotic brace? Have a bloody care – when something happens to you, and you’re not able to move as fast, or as surely, is that the only time you realise, gee, it’s a bit rough trying to get around with the other humans who think their needs take precedence over everyone else’s?

Can you imagine how fucking frustrating it is, when your body doesn’t do things as quickly or as well as you want it to?

I suppose not. However, you might want to remember, not all of us are crippled so badly that we can’t push you back when you shove us. Some of us studied martial arts, and can do things to you with our walking sticks you won’t believe.

So don’t mind me, and don’t be surprised when your car door gets dented if you park so i can’t get out of my car, and then expect me to wait while you go off and do your shopping.

This militant cripple has had enough.

NB – i don’t look crippled. Like most disabled people, i do my damnedest to hide how hard it is for me to look normal.
The above examples are all ones i witnessed or were related to me by the disabled people involved.

© https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


I am shutting my eyes now…

This is going to be a ten minute rant. Well, less depending how many words we get to. My blog is most shamefully neglected *brushes away cobwebs* but that’s a good thing, because I’m in the middle of edits after the first outside read of The Thing. (For those who haven’t been paying attention, The Thing is my now-complete sci fi fantasy novel.)

So, the rant. Lordy, so much to bitch about, and so little time. I think I will focus on one thing. Tights are not pants. If the foot is in, you wear it with something covering the crotch. I do not want to see your genitals outlined in all their glory. Tights in this instance means what we Aussies call stockings and the UK call tights – anything one piece with the feet in, in various weights from sheer to knitted.

I am great believer in ‘every twat is beautiful’ but it doesn’t mean i want to see yours. I even saw a woman this week wearing a pair of the black tights with the white breathable crotch area. People were stopping to stare, and laugh. The woman wiggled along, no doubt thinking they were all looking at her cos she was hawt. Nobody looks hot wearing tights as pants – well, they might look lewd, but if you want to do porno, there are places for that, and it’s not where children or unconsenting adults can see you.

Then there were the group of young girls, who were wearing tights with the waist rolled down to nearly their pubic bones, a shirt tucked in, inside their g-strings underneath, and the g-string pulled up to show waist whale-tail. Ridiculous didn’t quite cover it. Again, people were stopping to laugh, and there were a number of men noting that you could actually see the colour of their undies AND every detail of their vulvas. Look at that chick, she’s got an outie!

Keep your vaginal lips to yourself, sugarpops – if i want to see them, i’ll go look at your page on one of those adult sites where all the men post their penises and the women, in increasing numbers, reduce themselves to a collection of flanges and pink bits. It’s like budgie-smugglers – those tight and tiny lycra swimming togs for blokes that show you whether he’s circumcised or not. So, where was i, penises and labia, um…. i think that’s covered the tights are not pants thing, and it’s been ten minutes.

I even edited out a side rant about Tony Abbott (our leader of the opposition) wearing budgie smugglers and making me want to wash my eyes with bleach. Having said that, if you’re on the beach, and a mad swimmer, or a lifesaver, then sure, I’m told they’re good to swim in.

Tights, however, are NEVER good to wear anywhere by themselves, except possibly in the bedroom when you tell your Mr to tear his way in. What, you’ve never done that? The ripping of the nylon is rather spiffy.

Pfft – you’ve had an extra four minutes. Time for me to go. My work here is done, and The Thing needs another hetero sex scene. Yeah, i put in a bunch of homo ones, and somehow edited all the hetero ones out. As Mr Whatsit said, i could have cornered the gay sci fi fantasy market.

  • On twitter, those who rant about tights not being pants do it under the hashtag #tightsarenotpants
  • If instead of laughing at that, you’d rather follow me – do so at – @stinginthetail
  • I was first awakened to the glory that is tightsarenotpants by @franksting – who is one of the best ranters in 140 characters on the planet, and a lovely bloke to follow.
  • @agent_x – who is likewise an excellent follow, showed me this – there are many of us, and we have press packs! http://www.tightsarenotpants.com/

© https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Only 7 months until my birthday…

I was surprised by the positive reactions to the last post on professional victims – i was sure some emo would give me a hard time, but instead, a bunch of people who’ve been manipulated by emos stood up to say, “Oh God! I know someone like that!” A lot contacted me on Twitter too, and a number contacted me privately to check they knew who i was talking about.

The post was inspired by several professional victims i’ve had the misfortune to run into, in the last 12 months or so in particular, though i also have some i’ve known all my life, but it was amazing how many people were right on the button. Personally, I know way too many of them. I know of even more, as being emo doesn’t preclude being famous. Many celebrities love playing the victim.

But anyway, that was last week. Or the week before, i’ve had flu,  I don’t know what week it is. This week, i’ve decided the attention whores of the world have had enough attention, let’s talk about something nice. Like food. Or good sheets. Hmm. Or i could just rant about whatever’s on my mind.

We could talk about you, but that would mean you’d have to stop lurking, say what’s on your mind, and while we’re waiting, the rest of us might wander off. We’re known for it. Short spans of attention, that’s what the world has now. You’re as good as your last blog post. Most people won’t read back further, those who do earn my undying lurve.

Nothing is as flattering to us egomaniacal anarchist monarchists as reading back. I have some wonderful posts back there. Why should i be the only one who reads them? You don’t read back over your own blog? Not even to laugh at your own jokes? *gasps* And people think I’m weird. Who else do you write for, if not yourself?

Oh, i remember what i was going to do a blog post about. I missed my own blog anniversary. On the 10th March, 2010, this blog turned one. (My Twitter account also turned one, i missed that too, on 14th March 2010.) I’d been blogging on a private site for a while, and had decided i’d had enough of the emos who’d apparently taken it over.

While i was figuring out what to do, i was doing a humorous post on fascism, or trying to, and wanted a pic. I googled funny fascism, found Jenny the Bloggess and thought woo. Once i’d stopped laughing, i figured if she can do that, i don’t have to hide myself behind an adults-only firewall because i swear and discuss adult themes on occasion.

The Australian Prime Minister disagrees with me on that, he thinks Australians are too immature to cope with anything adult on the net, and he’s trying to ban me, ignoring the fact that protecting the children is only possible if their parents pitch in. Yes, that means you. Don’t shut your child into their room with a computer, unless you want to set them out as predator-meat. I’ve blogged on that before in “Toaster Sex Will Rot Your Brain“.

Anyway, we were talking about me. Remember? *looks over bifocals at you* Yes, turning fifty this year, might i remind you. You have until October 31st 2010 to buy me a present, and i suggest you all chip in and get me something from the site that sells the Hello Kitty Kalashnikovs – the Mother Teresa Rocket Launcher is always a fave.

Hey, one thing i don’t do, is sit back, simper, and hope people get me what i want. I’ve learned, it’s best to be clear, to ask outright, and to remind people – yeah, don’t sweat it, i’ll remind you in plenty of time. Mr Whatsit can’t even remember his own birthday, it would be asking for trouble to expect him to remember mine. (Seriously, he needs reminding, and never knows how old he is, we have to work it out.)

Wait… hold the presses. I’ve seen just the thing.

A Hello Kitty armoured personnel carrier – perfect for the Invasion of Queensland ’09 ’10 – we’ll put it down as “donations to the Office Chair and Tank Business Vehicle Fund” officially, as we can’t mention tanks, APC’s, and invasion costs to the Tax Office. Why Hello Kitty? Well, nobody suspects her. As the man in charge of Hello Kitty Hell says, she’s taking over the world, and nobody is noticing. Ooh – there is a Hello Kitty Gatling Gun out – if the APC is too pricey, i’ll settle for that.

According to the Accountant of Doom, invading Queensland, or even parts of New South Wales, isn’t tax deductible. War isn’t tax-deductible? What kind of country is this? And i’m not allowed to kill any more public servants, something about murder being actually illegal.

Speaking of murder, I haven’t killed anyone in The Thing lately, (my work-that-was-in-progress). I had one of those bubble of knowledge moments – where my knowledge suddenly all meshed, and i realised I’d waffled on way too much in my initial draft, to the point where whilst trying to read it over quickly, I ended up lost in my explanations.

So i am chopping out the ones that can be chopped, reducing others, and replacing some with conversations or the actual events, instead of reported ones. I’ve also realised i must have been frisky when i did the sex scenes, they’re a bit too explicit and lengthy for a fantasy sci fi epic, so they’re gone. All jolly good fun, and if i just had a Hello Kitty Kalashnikov to shoot the neighbours with, life would be sweet.

Life is pretty good, despite having flu (or some kind of virus), which i was just getting over when we found a boat. I’ve mentioned we live on a lake. One of our neighbours seemed to have acquired a boat. Before we realised it was abandoned and rang the cops about it, unfortunately some people stripped the engine off it, but what’s left, we have salvage rights on.

I told Mr Whatsit it was just like Whiskey Galore (a book then a film, released under “Tight Little Island” in the USA), but without the whiskey, obviously, and the Customs and Excise men, but he didn’t get it, not having read as many old books and watched as many old movies as i have. (He’s not fifty this year, so he gets no attention at all.)

I had to explain, it was a ship that ran aground on an island in the north of Scotland, and the islanders tried to salvage the whiskey it was carrying. You see, to our surprise, the police, instead of just checking to see if they had a stolen boat reported, told us we had salvage rights. Yes, we are like pirates.

We’ve ‘recovered the vessel’. We tied a rope to it, Mr Whatsit went all Boy Scout – he’s actually a Queen’s Scout, the highest scout you can be, and from back when scouts weren’t terribly politically correct, dressed in red tees (that’s nice for the red-headed kids, eh?), and worshipping celebrities like they do today – ffs, they’ve made Bear Grylls, notorious for faking his survival program, their Chief Scout – Mr Whatsit is disgusted.

So, with our salvage operation, Mr Whatsit tied the Tank to the boat, (ah, the joys of the sheepshank and the bowline – not just handy for fun in the bedroom), then hauled it up the beach, and we are now holding it for a while, until we’re legally allowed to dispose of it, unless the owner turns up. It had fake registration on it, so we’re quite hopeful they won’t.

Of course, standing out in the rain while Mr Whatsit backed the Tank across the foreshore, watching the ropes, checking the boat wasn’t breaking in half, all of this contributed to the bug i had last week (or maybe the week before) coming back. *coughs in pathetic fashion* It’s not that bad, really, as since i stopped smoking nicotine i don’t tend to get coughs like i used to.

Funny that. Giving up tobacco was part of my hysteria over turning 47. I couldn’t still be smoking at 47. Not when an uncle died of heart disease at 48, and they discovered he had lung cancer. He also had cirrhosis, as alcoholism runs in the family.

I stopped drinking much at all quite young, so at least my liver’s survived, (the rest of me is kinda stuffed) and astonishingly, the cardiac specialist who checked me out was so happy to find a healthy heart, i thought he was going to cry. I gather most of his patients are terminally obese, alcoholics, drug addicts, or all three.

Back to me! I’m going to turn 50, so i’m getting the hysteria over early. I mean, i like to enjoy my birthdays when they come, not be angst-ridden and crying into my beer (if i drank beer) over my age. I do like being older, by the way, us older women don’t take crap from others like too many of the younger ones do.

We’ve learned the hard way, that’s the road to unhappiness.

*******

And at last, i’m over the bloody flu. It’s like being reborn – i’m not living on antihistamines, sinus meds, and painkillers. I have managed to clean the house, which is great, the floors were getting crunchy.

Now if i need to get my head back into The Thing. Aside from the edit, it’s been shamefully neglected, and i haven’t added much to the narrative since i crippled his mother. I pushed her off a tower. Well, i didn’t, it was the evil half-brother.

I’m thinking of doing horror for my next work, as i quite like being evil, and @RayGarton, who’s a real horror writer, and published and everything, freaked out when i showed him a topless pic of Donatella Versace, so i’m thinking it might be my future.

Donatella Versace with her clothes on

After all, if i can stand that, i can do anything.

© https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


Die Already, Emo

To be clear, when i say emo, i’m not necessarily talking about moody teens following a musical fashion, with long fringes and too small tshirts. That’s pretty normal teen behaviour, wanting to be different by dressing exactly the same and writing very bad poetry.

My emos are those who exist to milk your pity, otherwise known as the professional victims.

I am NOT talking about the genuinely depressed.

Here’s a therapist’s account of dealing with professional victims. As she says, The victim posture is the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy. By wallowing in the passivity and supposed powerlessness of the victim, one becomes blind to all opportunities and outlooks that do not conform to the supine posture of the victim.

One might call it “self-victimization,” but the point is that it is voluntary.”

I quite often (just by law of averages, not intentionally) read emo blogs or Twitter profiles written by professional victims. I’ve found that emos come in all ages, and that men are just as happy to use misery to manipulate as women are.

There’s a fair number looking for money for nothing, others pretend to sell you something.  A pity purchase. Others are hoping for a pity fuck, or even a pity relationship. Many are hoping you will take pity action and donate to them or their cause, or write to the government on their behalf. I even had one saying “buy my book, help me help myself, instead of just handing your money straight to me like i was a charity case.” Um, yeah. But your book is crap.

They may be partnered, or not, the pro victim doesn’t stop whining because they find a partner, (especially if the old partner starts to realise they’ve been suckered, or the new partner is actually an emo too), and they’re happy to move on to a new sucker any time they find one.

Some of them whine on behalf of others “the poor [insert disadvantaged group/animal here] – feel sorry for them!!!!” and some run charities – some even do so without taking a wage and when they’re in need of charity themselves. Even when helping others, they have to be victims. It’s how they get off. It’s what gets those emo juices flowing. Mmmm….  suffering. Woo hoo!

Oops, did emo just lose their home because they weren’t paying attention to real life? No problem, they can write a blog about it, and garner lots of attention. Of course, using their (poor homeless) kids to manipulate your emotions is part of the deal. Münchhausen’s Syndrome, where people deliberately make themselves ill for medical attention, is classic professional victim. Münchhausen’s by Proxy, where they harm their children to get attention, is too.

Emos are addicted to trying to manipulate emotions by exposing their suffering. However, you are not getting the whole story. That they made themselves homeless, ill, or poor, is never mentioned, except to show you how it’s never their fault. A lot of people stay a little wary, thinking there’s something not quite right, but others fall in head-first to the emo trap.

Once someone is sucked in by the pro victim, it’s like the sucker is in love. There is nothing you can do to make them see the truth. Even if you provide documentary evidence that their emo is actually a manipulative piece of pond-life, you will often be accused of lying to discredit the poor victim. Victim is the operative word – they must always be the victim, even when bravely speaking out on behalf of other people suffering in similar ways.

Ever told someone that the person they love is cheating on them? That their self-help guru stole all his/her ideas from Norman Vincent Peale (one of the first ‘self help gurus’)? If you haven’t, let’s just say that hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but burst someone’s sucker bubble and you’ll find out what real hell is. The suckered may come to hate the one who suckered them, but they’ll hate you more. You will earn the enmity of both people. I know this from real life experience, more than once. It never works out well. For anyone.

I think that secretly, like the cuckolded do, suckers know when they’re being played – the signs are there. However, the suckers deliberately blind themselves to what the pro victim is doing – milking their pity and manipulating their emotions. Eventually, the sucker should come to their senses, usually when they notice something about the pro victim. Emos don’t want healing or practical help. If you leave a sympathetic note on their site, saying how they can get real help in their area, they will delete your post. If they followed your advice, they would have to pull their head out of their arse and stop whining.

The more they whinge, the more people pay attention. Pro victims have their metaphorical (and sometimes actual) hands down their pants over this – it’s better than sex or kink play, because they don’t have to give anything, they just whine and bitch and moan, and everyone pays attention! It’s something for nothing, which is exactly what they’re looking for. If you offer real help, especially the kind where they have to do something for themselves, you’re trying to stop their performance, and that makes you something to be destroyed.

Even if someone physically rescues them, the pro victim will be back in their chosen forum (Twitter, their blog, a chat room, MSN, the cafeteria), inside a week, complaining about how the place they’re in now has weird-coloured walls and they have to clean their own room. Not only that, their rescuer is being mean, because they say the pro victim should stop wallowing in self-pity.

So the emo complains and whinges some more, about how awful their current circumstances are. It’s so good, they may even cut themselves.  Someone comes along, says, “Oh, how dreadful, don’t you have anywhere else to go?” And emo has hooked another sucker.

I have this to say to emos…

You want to play the victim? Don’t come to me. I don’t tolerate you in real life, and I won’t online. I’m not interested in being a sucker for you. I’ve been there, done that, and consequently have a low threshold for bullshit. You want to cut yourself? Go ahead, sweetie, and can i help you find the vein so you do it properly? Emos are experts at not harming themselves when they cut – it’s not to kill themselves, it’s purely to get attention and to look tragic.

I knew one (in his 40’s, true emos are all ages), who would drive to the Emergency Department at his local hospital, and park within sight of it – so there would be no risk of him bleeding to death if he slipped with his sterile scalpels. He had dressings too. His mobile phone was right there, charged up, emergency services on speed dial, in case he couldn’t walk the 20m (20 yds) to the door. After a couple of hours in the A&E, getting all the attention he craved, he would come online, asking people if they wanted to see his cuts on webcam. Hysterically, (laugh or cry, your choice), he was on a kink dating site, advertising himself as a dominant male.

The best thing to do with emos – like all attention whores – is deny them the oxygen of attention. Yep, just ignore them. Occasionally remind others that if someone wants to stay miserable, it’s best to leave them that way. You see emos a lot on Twitter – people saying, “So and so was mean to me, everybody hate them on my behalf. i can has mai victimhood nao? kthxbai”

Some people even attract emos. If you feel you should help the helpless, watch out, you might just be on a hiding to nothing, trying to help someone whose idea of heaven is whining about all the reasons no one can help them. It’s very tempting to be mean when they turn on you for daring to say, “Well, happiness is a choice.” It’s not a choice to them, one doesn’t get attention for being happy. What are you, nuts?

That scent in the air is the scent of burning martyr, so a person being mean (or someone an emo can represent to others as being mean), is fodder for the pyre of their victimhood.

Still, sometimes, I just can’t help myself. I snap back.

© https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com