Archive for June, 2005
You’ve probably noticed I haven’t been blogging much of late. Really not sure why. I go through phases I guess.
I’ve been struggling with the whole, having the Australian Centre for Democracy and Justice Blog and this on and really now knowing which one to post on and consequentially not blogging much at all. I’ve also been pretty busy with the Centre and at work so just not blogging as much.
One of the other reasons is perhaps that I’ve probably been paying more attention the humorous/cultural type blogs rather than the usual array of Political Blogs (not too keen on the phrase Plogs). There is no doubt that I’m on you Computer has struck quite the chord with me – one of those big Jazz chords with lots of notes in them. In fact I’d go so far as to say that it’s the best thing to happen to the blogsphere since I started bloging.
Recently over at Reasons You will hate me (a fine blog if ever I’ve seen one) Ms Fits has had a series of guest bloggers – all of which I’ve enjoyed immensely. So they are all now on “the list” – the link list that is.
So with not knowing where to post what between the two blogs I’m contributing to at the moment I’ve decided to try and make this one a little more personal. That said, my personal is always political so it will remain fairly political but hopefully will be a little bit more about my life. However, for example, I would never post the stuff I’ve recently written on Animal Rights over at the ACDJ blog. Not sure why, probably because others in the group would disagree and I’d hate for it to be taken as the ACDJ position – despite my disclaimer that all views represented on that blog are those of the author and not ACDJ.
Anyway. The problem is that I really don’t think my life is that interesting. I’ve a pretty big group of friends that I go out with a lot and I’m no stranger to substance abuse but I seem to lack the exciting adventures that the above mentioned blog writers do. I also fear that I lack the reality TV watching ability and sharp cultural critique that so many of these blogger posses.
Moreover, I’ve always had rules for myself with regards to blogging that may get in the way. One of the reasons I love Hambo (and what the fuck is this cunt doing with my name!! Hambo, please email to assure me there isn’t another Hammy in the world) is because he posts when he’s drunk.
Rule number one: Never post when you’re drunk because you will alienate all those that are close to you. In addition you can’t spell when you’re sober you’re probably not going to make any sense drunk!
I also fear that I lack the reality TV watching ability and sharp cultural critique that so many of these bloggers have.
So on a more personal note, one of the things that I do well is spew. I spew a lot. Never during the night but always the next morning. In fact by the time 10pm rolls round and I’m on the terps I say to myself: “If you continue like this you’re going to spew.” Problem is by this point the inhibitions have gone and I just don’t care that I’m going to spew. In fact sometimes I prepare a couple of days ahead, knowing that I’m going to have a massive hang over and will spew so I buy a big bag of mushrooms (the non-magic variety) and a heap of bacon for my hang over cure – once I’ve stopped spewing.
This is what I did last Friday in preparation for the ACDJ launch party (which went particularly well in case you’re wondering). I took it easy at the beginning of the night as I knew I had to give a speech and what a disastrous start to the organisation it would be if I fucked up the speech. So I gave the speech which was enthusiastically received then quietly made my way over to the bar and ordered a pot and a shot of Jeigermiester (spelling anyone?). Then my best mate came up to me and said “Why did you do that, I said I was going to buy you a shot.” To which I replied “and what’s fucken’ changed? As if I didn’t want two shots.”
The night continued in this fashion for many more hours, ie I bought my self plenty of shots as did some of my friends.
So I wake up at about 7. Spew. Then go back to bed.
Then I wake up at about 12. Spew. Lie down on the couch and watch Foxtel.
Then about 2 I get up, thinking that I’m feeling better. Make it half way down the hall way (not sure why). Rush back down the hall way to the dunny. Spew.
It is now occurring to me that I can’t actually remain upright without spewing. I think this is a first for me.
It wasn’t until about 4 that I actually managed to be able to stand up long enough to cook my mushrooms and bacon.
In my family we call it the “Goonan Guts”. All the men (and a couple of the women) on Dad’s side of the family have volatile stomachs and it works at both ends too.
I’ve a feeling there could be a few more “Goonan Guts” stories on this blog now.
I was just thinking about my previous post and wondering what criticisms of my position would be. The truth of the matter is that what I said is really nothing remotely new however issues surrounding animal rights seem to get the biggest response on this blog as become apparent when I was blogging on vegetarianism.
I guess the argument against my position is that it is anthropocentric. As I constantly say, social and ecological justice are two inseparable parts of the same whole. I guess I’ve never really thought about it and just always assumed that this is an ecocentric position. It’s not – it has to be anthropocentric almost by definition.
I always try to break down this humanity/nature dualism in terms of justice. Ultimately this is justice for humans. Humans are custodians of the earth. We need to look after the flora and fauna on this planet, preserve biodiversity, and reduce our ecological footprint. The ‘nature’ side of things will greatly benefit from this which is a necessary and intended outcome. But ultimately I’m arguing for the greater good of humans, otherwise I wouldn’t be arguing that it is ok to experiment on animals as each of those animals would have the same intrinsic value as a human.
The figures associated with this are alarming:
Latest available figures show 488,808 animals – 1339 a day, or more than 55 an hour – were used in experiments in Victoria in 2003. This is above the long-term average of 449,000 and significantly higher than the 1997 figure of 324,308.
Naturally The Age ran with a picture of a rather cute and human looking monkey. I can’t help but feel this is overly emotive. It seems quite obvious to me that only a very small minority of the animal tested on were monkeys.
Of course it raises interesting issues with regards to why animal testing is bad. I’d argue that for the most part there are no concerns regarding biodiversity. So surely the issue becomes animal suffering which, as a principle, I believe we should minimise. However do we distinguish between the suffering of a monkey and a mouse? I believe Peter Singer says that suffering is directly relative to sentience and draws the line somewhere around the squid. Then of course there’s the broader issue of the alleviation of human suffering.
Ultimately we probably do test on Animals too much. Clearly a degree of complacency has crept it. It just concerns me that we can get overly emotive about soft fury animals. While I realise that there is often alternatives to animal testing and I believe these should be used as much as is possible a degree of animal testing is always needed.
I can’t let John Howard’s partial capitulation on Petro Georgiou’s reform of the detention of refugees go without comment.
First and foremost, we need to recognise it as a great victory. Georgiou’s private members bill was the tip of the ice-berg. The majority of the work has been done in the community through activism, support networks, letter writing, visits and so on. The issue has been kept alive which is a difficult thing to do in this day and age. However Georgiou and his fellow Liberal Members do of course deserve our praise for their remarkable bravery on the topic.
It was interesting to note that Vanstone was nowhere near the negotiations. As the minister for immigration that would piss me off. That said, it adds to my intrigue regarding Mandy’s role as the minister. I can’t pick if she is just a really nasty woman who genuinely believes what she is doing, or if she is someone who actually disagrees with the policy but enforces it with great rigor in order to please a prime minister who then publicly contradicts.
Following on from that it is interesting to note that Mandy’s powers have been extended. Flexibility is important because of the diversity of experience and the situation for the refugees is so diverse – no two cases are the same. However given my previous point I’m unsure if this is a good idea or not.
Finally we can’t forget that we still have a fight on our hands. The reforms are inadequate. Mandatory detention is a bad policy. So is the pacific solution. These people are still punished as ‘queue jumpers’ in their greatest time of need. There are viable alternatives and we do have a humanitarian responsibility to these people.
…as an interesting aside, Johnny is an opportunitist. He has obviously utilised this opportunity to his advantage. In Kyoto next?
I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought the Federal government’s heritage listing of the Alpine National Park would do nothing with regards to the granting of grazing licences by the state government.
Canberra is now trying to be ‘reasonable’ and wishes to reach a compromise agreement with the Victorian government to prevent the case going to the high court.
This seems to back up my earlier claim. The federal government will look a little silly if the High Court says that it doesn’t have a leg to stand on. So now the Feds are trying to come across as the reasonable sort who just want to bring everyone to the table.
Working with community groups and government grants I tend to keep a close eye on the movements of all state government departments.
The Northern Territory has always had an Office for Ethnic Affairs. Whilst it may seem like petty semantics, the use of the term ‘ethnic’ is rather dated – some may say by 30 years. The term ‘multicultural’ is a much more appropriate word. Ethic implies a first generation immigrant and overlooks the children of these immigrants, and their children for that matter. It’s these second and third generation people, who still identify with their ethnic origins as well as Australia, along with the first generation immigrants that work towards the beautiful mosaic (as opposed to melting pot) that is Australia’s multiculturalism.
So I applaud the Northern Territory government (who look likely to have an ALP government be reinstated this weekend) for finally having an Office of Multicultural Affairs replacing the Office of Ethnic Affairs.
Hello all. If you haven’t noticed that my blog has changed then you are probably vision impaired and I hope that this site is accessible to you.
I’ve gone for green because it’s, like, the colour of the environment and I like trees – they help me breath.
I’ve also rearranged my links with a few new additions. If you want a link and I haven’t linked to you just leave a comment. They are now ordered in terms of their content. To be honest I just use these links as my book marks so that’s the way they are ordered. I could just put my ‘friends’ blogs in other places but I can’t be bothered.
You may have also noticed that I’ve changed my little message at the top. This is because my supervisor is currently reading over the final draft of my thesis which should be handed in within the next few weeks (although I’ve been saying that for a while now).
I’d also like to remind you all that I am contributing a fair bit over at the Australian Centre for Democracy and Justice Blog. It would be great if you could get involved over there with a few comments as well as linking to it.