Posted: February 4, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Tags: Christianity, equal marriage, family, gender roles, lgbtiq, relationships, Religion, sexism, WTF
It’s not often I bother to click on a link tweeted by ABC Religion and Ethics because far too often I find myself suffering serious eye-roll, if not rage. Sometimes they have articles worth reading, today’s effort by Roger Scruton and Phillip Blond (two UK writers) was not one of them.
The article was florid and pretentious, using language and terms that many people would struggle with, but the worst thing is that the article was masquerading as a balanced view on marriage, which instead came across as sexist, gender essentialist and a bit homo, bi and trans* phobic. I suspect that most people would have been put off by the language use, I almost was, and perhaps for my rage levels I should have let myself be – curse my stubbornness.
Posted: January 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Tags: media, weather, WTF
Instead of writing a researched article which looked at the current impact that the lack of recent rainfall has had on the city of Melbourne and how that lack of rainfall has contributed to Melbourne’s current water usage, Jason Dowling at The Age decided to write instead, “Is the wally back? Melbourne water use surges“, based on the “Don’t be a Wally with water” campaign to reduce water usage during drought in Melbourne. From Dowling’s article:
HAS Melbourne turned back into a city of water wallies?
After years of conserving water, the city’s usage has surged this year.
A hot summer and easing water restrictions have coincided with a big jump in water use. In the week to January 10, Melburnians used an average of 238 litres per person – 50 per cent more than the former daily usage target of 155 litres a day.
It was the highest weekly per capita water use since the week ending February 15, 2009, when 241 litres a day were used.
In the week ending Thursday, average daily water use per person was 225 litres, 45 per cent above the former 155 target.
It’s not just a hot summer that has led to a big increase in water usage and it’s not just the easing of water restrictions that has led to a big increase in water usage – it’s the complete lack of rain. As of writing this post, Melbourne has received a whole 0.6mm of rain* in January 2013. The monthly average for January** is 47.6mm – I don’t see Melbourne even approaching that much rain in the remaining days of January. In December, Melbourne received 30mm of rain *** with the average rainfall for that month being 59.3mm – only slightly over half the monthly rainfall. Again in November, Melbourne received 37.2mm of rain ****, the monthly average being 60.3mm, and so on and so on – all these things that Dowling could have actually researched.
As there aren’t harsh water restrictions in place, because in 2011 and early 2012 many parts of Victoria flooded, which was great for water catchments, people are keeping their gardens alive while waiting for it to rain again. And waiting they are, because the Bureau of Meteorology are already suggesting that parts of eastern Australia are going into drought.
When Dowling approached the Water Minister in relation to the recent increase of water usage, they replied:
Water Minister Peter Walsh denied there had been a cultural shift in Melbourne back to heavy water use. ”Melbourne has had some very hot days recently, we haven’t had a lot of rain, and it’s summer. It is not uncommon for water use to peak during such hot and dry conditions,” he said.
”After restrictions eased to permanent water saving rules last November, water use generally has continued to trend at similar levels, which indicates that the lessons Melbourne customers learnt during the drought about using water wisely have stayed with them.”
It’s also school holidays and we’re fortunate enough to have a heat dome over much of inland Australia. When this heat dome wanders to the outer edges of our island nation people are going to do what they can to keep themselves and their children cool. Water is an excellent method of cooling down. People are also going to be drinking more, using evaporative air conditioners more, showering more frequently and using more water to stay comfortable and alive.
This article by Dowling should have focused on the whys of Melbourne’s increased water usage and asked why it isn’t raining (climate change), and how the heat dome has formed (failed monsoon – climate change), and perhaps even asked a meteorologist to explain how failed monsoons impact on rainfall in the rest of Australia. This article could have been a very useful vehicle for educating people about how and why rain falls across Australia, and perhaps asked more about whether our water usage is sustainable if the continent is going to continue to dry out.
Perhaps instead of Dowling blaming people for watering their gardens with drinking water, using drinking water to cool themselves and their children down (if any), and using more water around the house, Dowling should look at the broader and more interesting story. That’s journalism, this article falls far short.
* January rainfall figures taken from Bureau of Meteorology
** Mean rainfall figures taken from the Bureau of Meteorology
*** December rainfall figures taken from the Bureau of Meteorology
**** November rainfall figures taken from the Bureau of Meteorology
Posted: April 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Tags: body, Feminism, gender, gender roles, medicine, science, WTF
*Warning – the link for the article that I am quoting from below may be considered NSFW*
So what happens when you get a GP and Family Planning Specialist, and a Psychotherapist and Life Coach together to write about sex after giving birth? You end up with this train wreck of an article. Honestly I expected that two such qualified people would be able to write an article that used language that was easily understandable and didn’t read like the two authors were thinking that their 12 year old children might read it.
My first issue with the article is not the language, but instead the hetero-centrism, that the only people who give birth are women who are in relationships with men (not other women), and secondly that sometimes people who give birth don’t identify as women.
Posted: April 14, 2012 at 12:19 am | Tags: academia, differences, privilege, racism, review, WTF
*Trigger warning for extreme racism*
A peer-reviewed journal by the name of “Personality and Individual Differences”, published a paper in March 2012 titled, “Do pigmentation and the melanocortin system modulate aggression and sexuality in humans as they do in other animals?” (full paper available at link), by two psychologists. The psychology bit is important, because the paper is essentially looking at biology, and there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of qualification in biology that the two authors of the paper have.
I strongly caution you regarding the racism in this paper. It is abhorrent and awful. The commentary below delves a bit into who the authors are, my WTF in relation to the contents of the paper, and how fucked up the whole thing is. The paper is a hard read, and this whole post may be triggering.
Posted: February 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Tags: equal marriage, lgbtiq, politics, racism, WTF
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, after all they are a religious (though ecumenical) organisation dedicated to “the family” whatever that means to them. That in itself is an interesting thing, family is really quite a nebulous term, and I am not convinced that narrowing the definition to the current idea of a nuclear family does anyone any good. Surely families are more than two opposite sex individuals and their 2.4 children living in suburban Australia. Surely family includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, your best friends, siblings, your best friend’s kids (if they have any), your neighbour, nephews, nieces, and anyone else that you consider part of your family.
But anyway, the Australian Family Association is all about the rigidly defined nuclear family. One woman, one man, and any children that they may have during that relationship. They appear to be a bit fuzzy on children that aren’t from that relationship, and that’s one of the points which will I’ll use to nail them in their “Arguments defending children’s rights over same-sex couples’ rights” (yes that’s right. And the only reason I’m linking to it is to prove that I’m not making it up).
Posted: January 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Tags: comments, spam, WTF
I can’t approve this spam comment because I don’t want to pass traffic through to the spam blog, but I thought I’d share because its funny
Thank you to your words of purpose even though this information is likely to placed some sort of damper around the selling associated with tinfoil hats.
Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Tags: Language, lgbtiq, media, racism, WTF
Two articles in today’s Age (online) were so jaw-droppingly bad I thought I’d draw everyone’s attention to them. The first is an article sourced from AFP, and appears to have been just been pasted in without any consideration of the AWFUL language included.
The article is titled, “Outrage as naked women dance for tourists in ‘human zoo‘”, seems just from the title, to be an article on tourism exploiting women – and then you read further in, not too much further in, just the first paragraph:
Rights campaigners and politicians have condemned a video showing women from a protected and primitive tribe dancing for tourists in exchange for food on India’s far-flung Andaman Islands.
Primitive? Primitive? According to who? Is there any way that sentence could be any more racist? The women are part of the Jarawa people, an group of people indigenous to the Andaman Islands. How hard is that to say versus “primitive”?
The second article is titled, “Court in same sex tennis furore” is in relation to Margaret Court and her issues with an equal marriage protest/action at the Australian Open. Hoyden About Town blogged very nicely about the issue here.
Part way through the article…
Court, a 24-times grand slam singles champion and a pastor at the Victory Life Centre church in Perth, has long opposed same-sex marriage but sparked a fierce backlash from retired women’s champions Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, both homosexuals, when she reiterated her views in a Western Australian newspaper recently.
“both homosexuals”????? I don’t know how Martina Navratilove and Billie Jean King actually identify, but the correct terms most commonly used to describe women in same sex relationships, are lesbian or bisexual. The term homosexual has a negative history from being classed as a mental disorder. Steve Williams has a great blog on the issue here.
To my mind, the word “homosexual” has a very clinical cadence to it, and the emotions it seems to invoke appear to stem from the not too distant past when homosexuality was still thought of as an affliction and a mental disorder. There’s also an inherently androcentric core to the word “homosexual.” Of course, it can be used to refer to both gay and lesbian people, but I’d wager that the word “homosexual” is mostly used in reference to gay men, especially when utilized by social and religious conservatives. Moreover, it probably carries notions of sex and, by extension, anal sex or sodomy, which is usually one of the central pillars of disgust threaded throughout most prejudiced material.
Posted: November 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Tags: gah, WTF
Well I did write a post on being angry, and the related emotional journey I have had with anger, but it has been eaten, I can only assume by the internet goat.
I can’t find a cached copy of it anywhere, and hadn’t backed up my site immediately after posting, so it’s gone.
Normal service will resume shortly.
Posted: November 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Tags: gah, google, media, WTF
Hi there, you seem to have not noticed my first letter to you, which I found a bit disappointing. Perhaps you did notice it, and thought “well we’ve got all these secret plans which will resolve this issue, but since they’re secret we’re not going to say anything”, which still sucks, because you could have at least said, “Yes, we’re aware that this is a problem and we’re working on a solution”. I would have been much cooler with that… since I wasn’t the only person who had raised this as an issue, something I discovered after checking your google feedback and issues page.
So you didn’t notice, and life moved on. You created Googe Plus (G+), a rival to Facebook, something that looked interesting and inviting until the Nymwars began, and I quit. I didn’t quit all my other google products. I still have my calendar, my email and my RSS feed with Google, it’s annoying (though not impossible) to move them all.
I didn’t complain when you changed the way that Google Calendar looks, although I think it looks sterile and ugly. When there was mention that Google Buzz was going to be shut down, I wasn’t particularly concerned – afterall, most of that stuff was on Google Reader anyway, and Buzz wasn’t all that popular.
When I heard that Google Reader might be rolled into G+ I was concerned. I use Reader a lot. I share articles with friends and people with similar interests to me. I read articles shared by friends and people with similar interests. I have a decent investment in Reader, but I thought to myself (clearly blithely) that most of the existing functionality of Reader would remain, because not every Google client is able to use G+ (particularly those with nyms, and/or a need for anonymity).
Clearly I couldn’t've been more wrong. Google, you broke Reader. You broke everything that made it a product that I enjoyed using, and that my friends enjoyed using, and that was actually useful. You broke communities of people who shared stuff with one another, in the hope of improving your G+ product. I don’t understand why we can’t have both G+ and Reader.
Now, if I want to see what my friends have read and are interested in sharing, I have to rejoin G+, something I’m not interested in doing until you’ve fixed the nymwar issues. I know that you are working hard on this, you’ve had your VP of Social wassname come out and say that pseudonyms will be allowed, but without a time-frame. I’m not willing to rejoin until that happens, so for me, and all of those who can’t or won’t use G+ until that time? You’ve taken away communities from us. That sucks.
The other issue, the one you appear to have completely failed to take into account, is about how much people want to share, and who they want to share it with, as well as how people use Reader and the items that people share with them. In moving Reader to only share on G+, you’re effectively making people spam the feeds of their friends, and not allowing those who don’t have time every day to check the items that someone has shared, to stockpile those and read them when they have time.
I know you can create circles on G+ so that you only share things with people you want to share things with, but do I, or anyone else I know, want to flood a friend’s feed with a whole range of blog posts that interest me, when they can’t pick and choose the time to go and read them? That was one of the best things with Reader. I could leave it for a couple of days if I was really busy, and then spend some time to catch up. There have been months when I’ve had very little time to read posts shared by people who read some very fascinating stuff, and letting it stockpile until I had time meant that I didn’t miss out on anything, and that I knew it would be there for me to read when I found that time.
I know I’m not a lone voice in the wilderness about this. I know that I’m not alone in being very upset that you’ve killed off a community building function so that you could focus entirely on G+. I urge everyone else who is reading this, and who is upset at the removal of sharing functionality from Reader, to sign the petition.
Posted: October 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Tags: Language, stuff, words, WTF
Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever
No and no… and no and no and no and no
Neither of those two statements are true. Pain is not always temporary, and to suggest it is makes those who live with chronic pain either non-existent, or delusional. Some pain is temporary, and some pain is not.
Quitting is not forever. Quitting is just a thing. Sometimes it can be about personal boundaries, abilities, or coping capacity. Sometimes it can just be because you are done and don’t want to continue. Sometimes it can be because you’ve changed your mind. None of these things are necessarily permanent – though of course they could be, but that doesn’t mean that all things you quit are.
So, poster on the wall at my gym, kindly take your offensive slogan away and sod off – because fire… the effects of that can be permanent.