highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
Yanno, the memes about how earth as a whole might be ‘space australia’ (ie, terrifying and threatening to beings not from there, how the hell do people survive).

A LIST OF REASONS THIS IS A SUCKY MEME

- This meme only exists about Australia, not about any of the other alarming environments humans live in on earth. There are lot of things that can kill you in the amazon, for instance. People live in the Himalayas! People live in the Saraha! People live in the Arctic Circle!

Oh. Yeah. The meme isn’t ‘some climates are extreme’. Australia’s just the furthest-removed-from-Europe climate you can think of that WHITE PEOPLE live in.

- Only it’s not. I refer you to the entire Southern US. Aside from the hole in the ozone layer thing, these are pretty similar climates!

- You know what? Australia isn’t an uninhabitable wilderness where only the most intrepid lunatics survive. It’s pretty scary if you’re white people used to Europe, I guess? Indigenous Australians were doing just fine at living with the climate and the local fauna and flora before we showed up, and they still are!

My point is: the source meme about Australia being a terrifying deadly place is pretty terrible. It’s insulting to the entire population of the continent; it’s really ridiculous coming from Americans (I mean, aside from the fact that you guys have guns, your continent is pretty terrifying, too. You get BEARS in your BACKYARDS. Allligators in your drains! Rattlesnakes! Earthquakes! You keep living in New Orleans!). And there’s this not-very-thinly veiled level of racism, in that the standard of ‘hospitable environment’ is skewed massively toward ‘what do white people think is ideal’.

Then you go and add space colonialism. Either Earth being colonised FROM space - when did an inhospitable environment EVER stop an imperialist power from setting up somewhere? Here, a comparison to Australia would indeed be appropriate. Or you want to ‘send the Australians’ to an inhospitable desert planet full of poisonous things in space. I just know the Australians you’re picturing there are, well, me. White people who gave got used to sunburn from hell and think 44 degrees is liveable weather. (And if you were picturing Indigenous Australians... great, now you’ve got a fantasy about transplanting them off the entire planet instead of off their traditional lands. Unless you are indigenous, maybe don’t do that.)

This has been: Australia is a perfectly nice continent, and was a lot nicer before white people and climate change, will you please think for a minute before exploiting it as your source meme for ‘the worst place to live’.

Ony I'm not putting this on Tumblr because that would be an invitation to Discourse.
highlyeccentric: I've been searching for a sexual identity, and now you've named it for me: I'm a what. (Sexual what)
Not times I wish I didn't have this particular boyfriend (well, there are those too, particularly over such contentious issues as whether or not I can be trusted to order food in French), but any boyfriend.

Today, for instance, it took me quite some time to convince a barber that I really did want a buzz cut. This was negotiated in English, in which the barber was fluent, so language wasn't the problem. No, he just didn't believe a white woman* was really serious about wanting all her hair chopped off (note: I had less than an inch of growth on my scalp when I walked in there). He started with #3 clippers and insisted on working down from there rather than going straight to #1.

Eventually he cottoned on that I was serious, and I liked my hair almost non-existent. At that point, he said to me:

"Does your boyfriend like it, what you've done to your hair?"

It's times like that, I wish I didn't have a boyfriend. 'Don't have one, don't care' would be a pretty good response (but it might get me a lecture on what The Men Like, too).

The best snappy answer would be one involving the words "my girlfriend likes it just fine".

Questions like that would annoy me were I straight, of course. But I'm not, and every time I get asked them I feel stuck, because given a few different turns of chance, the snappy lesbian comeback could've been mine. "My boyfriend has long enough hair for two of us", while a good answer in itself, isn't fixing the fact that some guy with a hairdressing qualification has utterly failed to consider that unusual hairstyles might also go with statistically unusual sexual orientations.

It's a feminist problem, naturally: the assumption that all or most women's lives and choices hang on a male partner's life and opinion. But there's also assumed heterosexuality. Denying the existence of the boyfriend would be a lie, but I feel like I'm somehow lying by admitting to having a boyfriend, as well.

The same thing happens when one is single, too. All possible answers to 'do you have a boyfriend' become lies on some level. "No, I don't (but even if I were dating it might not be a man, except also it might be, aaargh, let's not even start)". About the ONLY time when, as a bi lady, I've felt like I was honestly answering that question, was when the answer was "No, but my girlfriend..." (And then only if the conversation participants had met prior boyfriends.**)

In other news, I hear today is Bi Visibility Day.

And my boyfriend's punishment for his part in the heteropatriarchy shall be that he must clipper my head, or at least find me a cheap barber near his abode.

~

*He acknowledged, slightly sadly, that he has given close crops to many African women. He was nappy-haired himself, with a rather cute crop of coils 1-2 inches long.
** Of the two lies, I'd rather be taken for a lesbian. It feels to me as if the assumptions people make based on 'interested in women' are more accurate w/r/to me than those based on presumed heterosexuality. Or it's homophobic stereotypes, which I don't wish to disown or evade just because I happen to date men too.

The Moon

Apr. 20th, 2011 07:14 am
highlyeccentric: A green wing (wing)
“the moon”
Andrew Michael Roberts

all the other moons
get their own names.




I am quite angry with the moon today. It's been causing people to ask Trojie stupid questions about earthquakes (hint: they are not caused by phases of the moon) and one of my idjut Facebook friends is trying to tell people that the fact that Easter dating is associated with the moon means it's really a pagan festival.

Not, y'know, that Passover has anything to do with it. *facepalms*

I BLAME THE MOON
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
Apparently he's happy we're helping out NZ at the moment because "they're family, not foreigners".

Firstly there's the unpleasant implication that foreigners should *not* be gladly helped, which I am happy to see that several people are grumbling about in the letters page of the SMH.

But there's also the strange idea that family and foreigners are mutually exclusive categories.

Show of hands all those whose family ARE foreigners!

I myself am not possessed of any overseas family - my nearest immigrant ancestor was my great-grandfather, back before England counted as foreign in the Australian mind - and so far as I know the only one of my relatives to *leave* Australia permanently since then is a second-cousin who moved to Canada and hasn't had anything to do with my branch of the family since then. But non-indigenous Australians have *always* come from places overseas (obviously; otherwise we wouldn't be here), and there have always been (sufficiently affluent) Australians traveling back to wherever it was their family had come from, or on to other places for all sorts of reasons. People who travel sometimes stay. Sometimes they marry and bring new families back with them.

Foreigners are our family, Tony.

*goes off grumbling*
highlyeccentric: Steamed broccoli - an image of an angry broccoli floret (steamed)
[livejournal.com profile] active_apathy has her two bob to say about the government's ISP filtering plan. Which is GREAT, since she has a really wide readership. Plus, there's an Avenue Q joke.

Eggs Maledict had his rant on Friday, and noted that, at that stage, there was only one Australian news report on the non-opt-out plan, but we do rate a mention in The New York Times, one in the Inquirer and a mention by the leader of the Swedish Pirate Party, the latter in reference to the Swedish government's wiretapping plans. There may be more articles by now, but a cursory glance at the SMH will show you that the mainstream media still haven't decided it's worth remark.

Active Apathy had a link to Electronic Frontiers Australia, whose rules of incorporation state:
OBJECTS AND PURPOSES
1. To protect and promote the civil liberties of users of computer based communications systems and of those affected by their use.
2. To advocate the amendment of laws and regulations in Australia and elsewhere which restrict free speech and unfettered access to information.
3. To educate the community at large about the social, political, and civil liberties issues involved in the use of computer based communications systems.
4. To support, encourage and advise on the development and use of computer based communication systems, and related innovations.
5. To research and advise on the application of the law (both current and proposed) to computer based communication systems and related technologies.
Y'know what? I like these guys. I'm seriously considering joining, which is saying something given that I've stubbornly avoided all forms of political activism right throughout her uni career.

Now, let's consider some of the articulate information concerning and arguments against the filter which the EFA and nocleanfeed.com have to offer:

long discursive discussion of how filtering is supposed to work, and how it in fact does not )

Now, as the EFA state, all this effort will in fact do NOTHING to protect children and other internet users from the threats which the government has identified as most prevalent on the 'net:
Labor’s own policy document, Labor’s Plan for Cyber-safety, identifies several risks children face online, including:

* online identity theft
* cyber-bullying
* having photos published online without their permission
* computer addiction
* picking up a virus or trojan
* online activities of child predators

None of these risks would be in any way mitigated by the clean feed internet filter. This all suggests that resources to protect and educate children about online risks and appropriate online behaviour could be spent better than on the clean feed, especially as free filters are already available to all parents concerned with content risks for their children.
This 10.5 million dollar package is 10.5 million dollars which is not being spent on tracking and charging child predators. It's 10.5 million dollars which is not being spent on policies and avenues by which to prevent cyber-bullying and/or prosecute those who are guilty of cyber-bullying. It's not even stopping anyone from publishing photos of them online without their permission, even explicit photos: any halfway-savvy predator or bully will have access to an anonymising service which will connect him/her to an overseas ISP and allow them to upload to overseas sites. All this plan will do in that regard is prevent australians from viewing that content. I don't know about you, but the idea that someone could upload a photo of my child (had I a child) to a site which is blocked in Australia, which means I might never find out about it, is really quite disturbing.

And does that mean that if it's not visible in Australia, Australian law enforcement isn't going to help you? Out of sight, out of mind, so to speak?

ETA: Aaaand this is why activist groups come in handy sometimes. The EFA have a list of ways to complain to the government, including a form letter you can edit according to your needs and send on to Senator Stephen Conroy.
highlyeccentric: Steamed broccoli - an image of an angry broccoli floret (steamed)
1. This is the man to complain to if you feel inclined to make a formal complaint. Interestingly, his media releases page includes nothing about the filtering plans. But back here he promised that there would be a way to opt out of the censorship system.

2. I put A more cogent rant up on my blog, in which I make conjecture about the consequences for academia. We have the world's leading expert on Potter fandom working in Australia, people. Wouldn't it be entertaining if she couldn't access her research material?
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (theses will eat me)
I HATE, HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE the fucking Sermo Lupi ad Anglos. Can I just say again: I HATE IT. I hate it and its horrible contradictoriness and I hate the fact that I thought I'd made an argument but I'd actually made two contradictory arguments, and I hate the fact that once I thought I was done with it I saw the Bocera and he pointed out all these other contradictory bits. And I HATE HATE HATE the fact that the argument I really really want to make I cannot possibly prove.

What I can apparently prove is that on the 16th of Febuary 1014 Wulfstan, Archbishop of York, ordained a bishop of London, while the current bishop of London was bishop of London but in exile with king AEthelred. ONB, the Archbishop of York shouldn't be ordaining a bishop of London! (Although he could be doing so in his capacity as bishop of Worcester, I suppose.) TWO, a bishop who ordains a new bishop of London clearly doesn't expect the old one to be returning any time soon, and therefore is not about to advocate the recall of King AEthelred.

Except that apparently *this* Bishop did, turning around the next day (if Wilcox is right, at least) and declaring that it's a terrible sin to expel your lord, living, from the land. And the synod and witan, who had gathered for the ordination of a new bishop, all suddenly agreed with him.

I FUCKING HATE IT.

I *want* to agree with Ian Howard, who is a historian not bothered by minor details of literary interpretation, and say Wulfstan certainly did not support the return of AEthelred because that would be a stupid thing to say in York in February 1014. I want to say AEthelred *invaded*, rather than was recalled.

That is what the history would say. Unfortunately the literature says the opposite. I swear there is a way, somewhere, that the SL can be rereaad. But I can't find it right now and it makes me crankypants.
highlyeccentric: Steamed broccoli - an image of an angry broccoli floret (steamed)
I wish to share with you the fabulous rantings of my Tawdry Other Woman. Tonight, she combined justified righteous indignation with entertaining phrasing.

KAYLOULEE: Look at this! The headline says Cabbie Guilty of Rape. The first sentence goes An 18-year-old woman who was raped by a taxi driver on her way home after a night out with friends was a virgin who had recently moved to Sydney. I DON'T CARE. IT DOESN'T MATTER IF SHE WAS A VIRGIN. It doesn't matter if she hadn't ever had any sex at all, or if she was a prostitute. YOU DON'T RAPE PEOPLE.

HIGHLY: Why is it important that she was having a night out with friends, either?

KAYLOULEE: I DON'T CARE IF SHE HAS FRIENDS! I don't care if she never goes out! I don't care if she's a recluse who spends all her time at home on Livejournal! You don't rape people!

~

And now, I notice that the second sentence of the article is At the time of the attack, "Jay" (not her real name), believed she was gay. What's that supposed to mean? She changed her mind after being RAPED?

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