An Open Letter to Adam Rd Primary School Parents

Dear Parents,

Do you hate kids’ birthday parties? The reason I ask is because I know I do. I’m not good with lots of kids running around yelling, spilt drinks, tears, arguments, tantrums, balloons (I really hate balloons), but I wasn’t allowed to have, or go to, birthday parties when I was a kid, so maybe I just need more practice.

My child turns 8 today, and this year she wanted a party. We don’t do a party every year, but when we do I try really hard to make it great. We don’t have a lot of money in our family. We’re happy and never go to bed hungry, but there’s rarely anything left for frivolity, so to make it a great party took a lot of sacrifices and planning.

We moved to Bunbury almost two years ago, to rebuild our shattered selves and our family life after a harrowing three years seeing our older son through leukaemia treatment. We love it here, we really consider ourselves locals, and slowly the pieces of us are gradually moving back into place and healing the scars.

The baby of our family, our little girl, was only 3 when her big brother was diagnosed. She didn’t understand of course, but she was still profoundly damaged emotionally by the trauma that impacted our household. She got physically sick, also requiring a long stay in hospital. She suffered emotionally because Mummy was always at the hospital, and when she was at home she was falling apart. It has taken Herculean strength, persistence and determination for all of us to recover, and for our baby to develop her personality and learn all the social skills that would normally just have come naturally through regular family interaction. We still have a ways to go, the scars will last forever, but we are very proud of ourselves for getting this far, still together, still laughing, still loving.

Yesterday was her birthday party. Everything was ready. Pinata was stuffed full of tooth rotting candy, nut riddled chocolates and cheap but brightly coloured novelties. The games were ready to go and the perfect, ultimate take home party bag had been assembled to give each guest. Unhealthy food was ready to go, artificial food colours, over processed ex food and not a single carrot stick anywhere. Balloons and decorations were hung, house was clean, party clothes on. We were ready, we were excited.

 

Image

Grandma came down from Perth the day before, her cousins arrived from Mandurah only a few minutes late, and her best friend was the first to arrive with her Mum and Sister who stayed to enjoy the fun. We waited to begin greeting the other guests, children I didn’t know and their parents who were also strangers. We wanted this to be a chance for our girl to bloom a little more, forge some bonds with a larger circle of friends. I wondered how many, if any of the parents would stay or if most would drop and run, either choice was fine.

We invited seven little girls.

NOT ONE SINGLE CHILD FROM MY DAUGHTER’S NEW CLASS CAME.

In fact only two parents had bothered to RSVP, one saying they were coming, one decline. A third parent messaged the morning of the party to say her daughter wasn’t “feeling well”. The only confirmed guest also messaged to let us know that their family had been “struck by gastro”.

Still, I thought, it’s ok surely out of the four other children a couple of them will come, it’s a frigging birthday party, kids love that shit.

NOT ONE SINGLE CHILD CAME.

My beautiful princess didn’t complain, she had a fun party, even if it did look ridiculously over catered and under populated. The kids all got lots of prizes from the pass the parcel, after all I had wrapped enough layers for twelve children, not five.

Image

 

We’re not the most regular family, hell were probably just downright weird to most people. But we’re people just the same, people with feelings, people with struggles, people with dreams, imperfect and broken just like everyone else. We reached out, we tried to grow and become more than we were yesterday.

I’m usually a very open person, prepared to share you with you my deepest personal feelings, often whether you asked or not. I’m not going to share with you my feelings from yesterday because I don’t want to completely alienate every single reader, but let’s just say my emotions were volatile.

While we are all responsible for our own feelings and hopes and dreams, we do not live in isolation bubbles. When our lives intersect, even briefly our actions can have profound repercussions.

I know our girl was hurt and disappointed, so deeply, because she doesn’t even want to talk about how the children she calls her friends (she’s still learning what that word really means) just didn’t come. Have you ever had a party where no one came? Imagine your child’s fragile, tenuous, sticky taped together world had just been hit repeatedly with a pinata stick, and they bravely tried to pretend it hadn’t, and you might be able to begin to imagine some of the emotions that erupted in me yesterday. Good thing we have laws.

The only parent who had any communication with me, even though ultimately unable to attend, had asked me what our girl wanted for a present. I let her know that she didn’t have a wish list, she doesn’t really want a lot of ‘things’. She just really really really wanted a party with her friends.

If you were one of the parents for whom my daughter’s party was irrelevant, not worth the effort, I hope you feel ashamed of yourself, and I hope you might think on this and not hurt someone else in the future. You won’t be given an opportunity to hurt my daughter again.

If this was just about me, I couldn’t care less. I don’t need friends, I don’t need people, especially not the type of shut down superficial people I observe picking their children up at school. They look at you and barely acknowledge your greeting before turning back to their social clique. But this is my baby, she’s had a rough trot, and she just got slapped down. It makes it really hard to put your hand out again, when it’s been lopped off.

If you read all the way to the end, thank you. If you recognise yourself here…….(you finish that sentence with whatever feels right to you).

Hand Drawn by Daddy

Hand Drawn by Daddy

A Virtual Love Letter

 

 love facebook

Dear Facebook,

Thank you for being in my life. You are very special and important to me. Since you came into my life, the metamorphosis I have undergone has been profound, and whilst I take all the credit for that myself, your contribution should not be underestimated.

When we were first introduced, you intimidated me. So young and fresh, with ideas and ways that seemed foreign to me. Yet you saw past my advancing years and old fashioned ways, never laughing at my immature, idealistic and naive world view.

Our initial attraction was curiously tentative, but we knew the connection was strong. You didn’t give me too much too soon, never expected more of me than I was prepared to give. Slowly, increasingly I began to feel so safe and secure with you.

You taught me to share, and you led me to really analyse and continually re-evaluate what is of true importance to me, what thoughts and feelings would I be prepared to stand by in front of every person on the planet, if it came to that. You taught me the difference between keeping secrets and cautiously protecting privacy, whilst helping me to understand that when I think I have 100% of the bases covered, that is when I am most vulnerable.

You taught me how to have fun, how to escape into magical, childish worlds; and like a drug you made me feel good. I let you have too much room for a while, I began to take for granted the complexity of our relationship and just wanted it to be all fun. You began to be a bit demanding, insisting I share certain information I might not have wanted to, you pushed me to ask people for things, when I didn’t even know if that friend would be interested in helping me. I even resented you a little bit at times, yet found myself allowing the obsession to grow.

…….and then my world fell apart, and you never left me.

You were quiet and steadfast, there when I needed respite, a laugh, a chat with an old friend or an introduction to a new one when I felt like others were leaving me. Rather than resenting my growing circle of friends, you even helped me to find previously long lost friends, that had never left my heart. Sadly, I have also learned to let go of people whose paths were heading away from mine, and to appreciate the wisdom of leaving the door unlatched, in case someone I was really wanted to knock on it again.

……..and you helped me learn so much when I didn’t understand the big words the white coats were telling me.

You would show me something completely relevant, right at the right time; and then quixotically, when I wasn’t paying attention you would show me the completely opposite point of view. You have given me so much to think about. In many ways you have re-ignited and then whipped up my desire for learning, to fever pitch.

As my entire universe continued to crumble into a relentless, oppressive meteor storm that I had neither the energy, nor the interest to dodge, I noticed you gradually turned lights on in areas I had previously overlooked or neglected about myself.

The developing of my own ability for self-expression in my unique and innate ways, rather than in traditionally revered or politically correct art forms, is inextricably linked to the time we have spent together. Now that I have enough colour in my imagination to be able to clearly visualise the future I want to paint for myself, you have even given me a platform to test the waters of my abilities.

You’re not perfect, but then no one is. You’ve had your big changes too, some of which were pretty hard to get to used to, and I have had to learn the most effective ways of getting the most out of you. Sometimes you really keep me on my toes, with your random unpredicability, but this has merely reinforced that change happens all the time whether we like it or not. You can’t stop it, you can only patiently try to understand it or relentlessly lobby to shape the direction of the change. In fact, the truly only 100% reliable context is the constancy of change.

I also know that some of my friends don’t appreciate you the way I do. They don’t see all the great things you could bring to their lives. That’s ok too, but I really hope they might gradually realise that they are only going to be able to find the Facebook pot of gold, if they carefully examine the authenticity of their interactions with you. I can see the acceptance growing, thank you for not giving up on us.

Still others regularly mistreat you, even using you inappropriately to suppress the opinions of others, including myself. Some have demeaned you by their narrow superficiality and you have remained tolerant of them. Thank you for that, for they know not what they do, they just don’t let themselves feel enough.

After almost five years together, you’ve seen me at my best. You’ve seen me at my worst. You rode the crazy merry-go-round, right alongside me, and you never left. There were long periods of time where all I did was take from you, accepting what you gave me, without contributing anything to our relationship. And still you never left.

You have inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think.  Can’t ask for more than that.

I love you FB, and I’m not afraid to say it in front of the whole world.

anarchyoriginal2

 

An Open Letter to Adam Rd Primary School Parents

Dear Parents,

Do you hate kids’ birthday parties? The reason I ask is because I know I do. I’m not good with lots of kids running around yelling, spilt drinks, tears, arguments, tantrums, balloons (I really hate balloons), but I wasn’t allowed to have, or go to, birthday parties when I was a kid, so maybe I just need more practice.

My child turns 8 today, and this year she wanted a party. We don’t do a party every year, but when we do I try really hard to make it great. We don’t have a lot of money in our family. We’re happy and never go to bed hungry, but there’s rarely anything left for frivolity, so to make it a great party took a lot of sacrifices and planning.

We moved to Bunbury almost two years ago, to rebuild our shattered selves and our family life after a harrowing three years seeing our older son through leukaemia treatment. We love it here, we really consider ourselves locals, and slowly the pieces of us are gradually moving back into place and healing the scars.

The baby of our family, our little girl, was only 3 when her big brother was diagnosed. She didn’t understand of course, but she was still profoundly damaged emotionally by the trauma that impacted our household. She got physically sick, also requiring a long stay in hospital. She suffered emotionally because Mummy was always at the hospital, and when she was at home she was falling apart. It has taken Herculean strength, persistence and determination for all of us to recover, and for our baby to develop her personality and learn all the social skills that would normally just have come naturally through regular family interaction. We still have a ways to go, the scars will last forever, but we are very proud of ourselves for getting this far, still together, still laughing, still loving.

Yesterday was her birthday party. Everything was ready. Pinata was stuffed full of tooth rotting candy, nut riddled chocolates and cheap but brightly coloured novelties. The games were ready to go and the perfect, ultimate take home party bag had been assembled to give each guest. Unhealthy food was ready to go, artificial food colours, over processed ex food and not a single carrot stick anywhere. Balloons and decorations were hung, house was clean, party clothes on. We were ready, we were excited.

 

Image

Grandma came down from Perth the day before, her cousins arrived from Mandurah only a few minutes late, and her best friend was the first to arrive with her Mum and Sister who stayed to enjoy the fun. We waited to begin greeting the other guests, children I didn’t know and their parents who were also strangers. We wanted this to be a chance for our girl to bloom a little more, forge some bonds with a larger circle of friends. I wondered how many, if any of the parents would stay or if most would drop and run, either choice was fine.

We invited seven little girls.

NOT ONE SINGLE CHILD FROM MY DAUGHTER’S NEW CLASS CAME.

In fact only two parents had bothered to RSVP, one saying they were coming, one decline. A third parent messaged the morning of the party to say her daughter wasn’t “feeling well”. The only confirmed guest also messaged to let us know that their family had been “struck by gastro”.

Still, I thought, it’s ok surely out of the four other children a couple of them will come, it’s a frigging birthday party, kids love that shit.

NOT ONE SINGLE CHILD CAME.

My beautiful princess didn’t complain, she had a fun party, even if it did look ridiculously over catered and under populated. The kids all got lots of prizes from the pass the parcel, after all I had wrapped enough layers for twelve children, not five.

Image

 

We’re not the most regular family, hell were probably just downright weird to most people. But we’re people just the same, people with feelings, people with struggles, people with dreams, imperfect and broken just like everyone else. We reached out, we tried to grow and become more than we were yesterday.

I’m usually a very open person, prepared to share you with you my deepest personal feelings, often whether you asked or not. I’m not going to share with you my feelings from yesterday because I don’t want to completely alienate every single reader, but let’s just say my emotions were volatile.

While we are all responsible for our own feelings and hopes and dreams, we do not live in isolation bubbles. When our lives intersect, even briefly our actions can have profound repercussions.

I know our girl was hurt and disappointed, so deeply, because she doesn’t even want to talk about how the children she calls her friends (she’s still learning what that word really means) just didn’t come. Have you ever had a party where no one came? Imagine your child’s fragile, tenuous, sticky taped together world had just been hit repeatedly with a pinata stick, and they bravely tried to pretend it hadn’t, and you might be able to begin to imagine some of the emotions that erupted in me yesterday. Good thing we have laws.

The only parent who had any communication with me, even though ultimately unable to attend, had asked me what our girl wanted for a present. I let her know that she didn’t have a wish list, she doesn’t really want a lot of ‘things’. She just really really really wanted a party with her friends.

If you were one of the parents for whom my daughter’s party was irrelevant, not worth the effort, I hope you feel ashamed of yourself, and I hope you might think on this and not hurt someone else in the future. You won’t be given an opportunity to hurt my daughter again.

If this was just about me, I couldn’t care less. I don’t need friends, I don’t need people, especially not the type of shut down superficial people I observe picking their children up at school. They look at you and barely acknowledge your greeting before turning back to their social clique. But this is my baby, she’s had a rough trot, and she just got slapped down. It makes it really hard to put your hand out again, when it’s been lopped off.

If you read all the way to the end, thank you. If you recognise yourself here…….(you finish that sentence with whatever feels right to you).

Hand Drawn by Daddy

Hand Drawn by Daddy

The Sheeple and the Bigot: Episode 2, WWJD

This post contains my reply, specifically to the two individuals you met
in The Sheeple and the Bigot: Episode 1.

https://anarchygirl.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/the-sheeple-and-the-bigot/

However, on a broader scale, it applies to all who call themselves Christians, yet use their faith as an excuse for bigotry.  The setting was in relation to the rejection of gay children because homosexuality is a sin, however it can be easily applied to any form of bigotry justified in the name of Christianity.

It’s long, complicated, and in what will be a surprise for many of you, it’s based on biblical texts. I feel if you want to make a point that has any chance of being received or understood, then it’s a good idea to find relevance to the hearer’s context.

Why is this Episode subtitled:  WWJD?

WWJD

What Would Jesus Do is a phrase commonly used in the Christian community as a banner to elevate their beliefs and remind themselves that they seek higher wisdom.  Some even wear it engraved on jewellery, a modern-day, pop culture, pro-active rather than passive, version of wearing a cross.

As they profess to value the teachings of Jesus Christ, and follow the example left by the gospel accounts of his life and times, I chose to use it as the basis for my reply.

I began to write what follows as a comment on the Facebook post mentioned in my previous blog. Lately, a lot of my comments or status updates on FB end up having a broader scope than I originally intended, so I turned this one into a stand alone blog.

 It is always much more interesting when the true foundation for strongly held tenets are expressed. Both of you have openly identified yourselves as Christians, and confirmed that as the reason for your repudiation of homosexuality.

Whilst I no longer identify myself such, I have a Christian background. I would like to qualify; not your garden variety Sunday church goer, the kind of Christian background that includes actually reading the bible every day from as early as I could read. Deep immersion in the scriptures, including years of studying Jesus life and ministry, verse by verse through the gospels.

If I may, I would like to share with you some parts of Jesus’ ministry that I feel demonstrate some context here, particularly for those who proudly bear his name. In doing so, I am following the example set by the Apostle Paul when he addressed the Areopagus. As we know, the Greeks were a fearful and superstitious bunch, so they had altars of worship to every God they could think up, and just so they didn’t forget one, they had an altar to “An Unknown God”. Paul used this as a way to find common ground to speak about the God of the Early Christians. (Acts 17:22, 23)

From the very outset of his ministry, and consistently throughout, right up to his death, Jesus was very clear on two matters.

1. Intent, humanity, empathy and context were crucial in the application of law as it applies to sin.

2. Abject condemnation of the Scribes and the Pharisees.

They were the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, and are considered by many theologians and bible scholars to have been figuratively prophetic of the religious leaders (all religions, not just Christian ones) during the last days (that would be now).

I would like to begin with his epic Sermon on the Mount. In Matt 5:27&28 Jesus refers to the commandment, “You must not commit adultery”, however he goes on to say, “But I say to you that everyone who keeps looking at a woman so as to have passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus here gives clear indication that actions alone are not indicative of sin, but intent and thought could in itself constitute sin.

Matthew chapter 12 discusses the law pertaining to the Sabbath, and just how this should be applied to daily life in a context of humanity. Verses 9-11 tell how Jesus came upon a man with a withered hand, and is questioned by the Pharisees as to the lawfulness of performing a healing on the Sabbath. Jesus uses their own hypocrisy against them, and concludes at the end of Vs 12 by saying: “So it is lawful to do a fine thing on the Sabbath.”

Notice how here, he is demonstrating how empathy and fellow-feeling should be used when applying the law. Though work of any kind was forbidden on the Sabbath, God’s son himself chose to operate outside that in a context of shared humanity.

As his earthly course was drawing to its conclusion, in Matt 21, Jesus famously returns to Jerusalem, riding into the city on a donkey. He enters the temple, and in the only recorded incident of Jesus acting out of frustration, he throws out those using the temple for monetary gain, physically turning over the money changing tables. As this hurt the Pharisees business enterprises, essentially prostituting the temple, they were even more threatened. But like the arrogant sons of bitches they were (are) they used their devious thinking and extensive knowledge of the Abrahamic covenant, attempting to trip Jesus up on points of law.

Matt 22:37-39, Jesus responds when asked “What is the greatest commandment of them all?” by giving us what is colloquially known at the Golden Rule. “‘You must love God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbour as yourself.’ He concludes his response in Verse 40 with the words; “On these two commandments THE WHOLE LAW HANGS, and the prophets.” (capitalisation mine, not canonical)

But for me, the best bit is Matt 23 where Jesus now speaks to the congregation, not the leaders. It is the most beautiful, condemnatory diatribe of the misrepresentation and hypocrisy of religious leaders (then, now, anywhere in between). Among the slurs he so eloquently delivers, he describes them as lazy (vs 4), egomaniacal and attention seeking (vs 5&6), using aggressive converting methods, only to resort to bullying and fear tactics to ensure the enslavement of the disciple (vs 15).

In verse 23, we again have a decisive and clear directive from Jesus as to applying law. He says: “Woe to you, religious leaders, hypocrites. Because you give the tenth of the mint and dill and cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness….”

Vs 24: Blind guides, who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel.

Vs 27 is such a beautiful visual, and one that for me conjures many, many relevant modern-day parallels. It reads: “Woe to you, religious leaders, hypocrites. Because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men’s bones and uncleanness of every sort.

Vs 33 shows that in a passionate denunciation, even Jesus himself resorted to personal slurs and name calling, referring to them as “Serpents, offspring of vipers…”

You can surely see for yourself the parallels here between these examples and modern-day religion. Aggressive proselytising in the form of crusades, missionary work, knocking on people’s doors, putting up billboards, lobbying in the political arena to advance their own agendas, the indoctrination of children. Money changing in the temple, in the form of extorting vast sums of money from congregants, too terrified to not worship, lest they burn in hell (a teaching found nowhere in the bible).

Hell, the Catholic Church even invented a fictional no mans land between heaven and hell, called purgatory. In which souls not good enough for heaven, but not bad enough for hell would hang in eternal limbo, unless of course their bereaved and distraught family would ‘donate’ sufficiently for God to elevate them to fluffy white clouds and angels with harps. It’s actually inconceivable that anyone falls for that bull shit, but they do.

I mean not to single out the Catholic Church (though I do have a special low place of derision reserved especially for that truly heinous organisation), because ALL religions do it. Every last one of them, in one way or another. (Please don’t challenge that statement, because I just don’t have enough time to sit and type out of a list of every religion and their individual extortion, manipulation and control techniques. I can do it, I just don’t want to, it kind of leaves me feeling really nauseous.)

The worldwide religions of today “bind up heavy loads” of oppressive, detailed rules their congregations must follow. No contraception, no sex before marriage, no alcohol, no coffee, no blood transfusions, no medical treatment at all, no eating ham, keep your dairy and your meat in separate fridges, women must have long hair, men must not wear beards, men must wear beards (in fact the guidelines on clothing alone could fill a book) no divorce unless we say it’s ok, etc etc etc, until everyone is so weighed down, they just give in and relinquish all ability to think and feel for themselves.

And how do these religions acquit themselves, while controlling their congregations with a conductor’s baton made of lead? Oh, they’re out there building massive, beautifully vile edifices, justified as giving the best to God. Amassing wealth, art, property. Wearing “long fringes on their garments”, so that the whole spectacle takes on a larger than life, theatrical quality, spectacular. Yet their beautiful but worthless veneers of meaningless materialism are nothing more than Hollywood stage fronts, propped up on sticks, behind which they are engaging in “every sort of uncleanness”, including but by no means limited to: genocide, rape, pedophilia, murder, stealing (more direct than the previously mentioned extortion), terrorism, etc etc etc, each either justified, excused or covered over and allowed to continue in the name of this omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God.

And the sheeple en masse just blankly stare with zombie eyes and continue to not feel or think for themselves.

With the genuinely serious problems this whole world society is facing today, world hunger, poverty (everywhere, not just the third world, our own backyards), armed conflict, climate change, scientific advances striding faster than ethics, etc etc etc. I honestly believe that with all that going on, if God can still be worried about who is kissing whom, then he is not a being I would ever choose to worship.

Just because something has been believed for an aeon, doesn’t mean it’s right or true or moral. As the biological and social anthropology of the human species marches along, perhaps it’s time to stop “picking out the gnat, and straining down the camel” from the words of primitive desert tribesmen 6000 years ago, and start trusting our own humanity, start believing in ourselves as capable of feeling what’s right and wrong, in the context of NOW.

As a form of disclaimer, this point of reasoning holds no relevance for me personally in my life.  I don’t believe in God, and I certainly don’t believe any human, past or present, real or fictional, can justifiably claim to speak for an authority that doesn’t exist.

John Lennon once said, controversially: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now…”

I agree with him.  Not only Christianity, but I believe eventually all religion will become a dinosaur, extinct.  It’s already atrophying, with those decrying the existence of God multiplying and becoming more vocal.  Coming out of the atheistic closet and denouncing this archaic standard as an epic failure.

Like the LGBT community, we too have suffered rejection, abuse, character assassination.  Many have been shunned by their families, not because we are bad people, but because we THINK differently.

Yet this groundswell is the beginning of what John Lennon prophetically described.  Jesus was expected to liberate his people from slavery to the Romans.  He didn’t do that.  John Lennon was a rock and roll star, expected to merely entertain.  However he left behind the most succinct and perfect vision of a world free from oppression and division.

To me, Lennon’s “Imagine” has more relevance today than when he wrote it. The question What Would John Do has already been answered.

johnlennon

 

Love
AnarchyGirl

The Sheeple and The Bigot: Episode 1

Yesterday, I was scrolling down my Facebook wall, scanning, reading, liking, when a picture caught my eye.  As a photographer, I appreciate beautiful lighting, contrasts and composition, and this had all that.  Plus, as a bit of an agitator with strong opinions, I like images that are provocative, even if only because of the caption they carry.

This is the picture my friend shared.

Gay Men Kissing

I like this picture, I like this message, I like this post, so I liked it and kept on going.

Checking my notifications a short time later, I saw that a very gentle, non-gender related objection had been expressed.  However, it didn’t feel entirely authentic to me, and because sometimes I’m a troll, I decided to offer up an alternative opinion, in a similarly gentle style.

The following images are screen shots of the ensuing conversation.  The names and profile images have been changed to protect privacy.  Some comments that were not relevant, personal between the OP and their friend or potentially able to identify the person commenting, have been omitted.  However the comments are in order and unaltered from how they were posted.

The cast of players are as follows:

  • Tinkerbell True – the OP (original poster)
  • Blind Sheeple – female friend of the OP
  • Bigot Indenial – male relative of the OP
  • Anarchy Girl – me.

Kissing is private
(Hint: click on the image to see in full size.)

I noticed some time later that a second person had begun to comment, obviously hitting the enter key and posting at the end of each poorly structured, grammatically horrendous sentence, rather than posting one complete thought. The comments were so 1970 in flavour, that I honestly thought he was just joking, “taking the mickey” out of bigots, so to speak.  However, from his continued enter key addiction, I began to realise that he was indeed genuinely a bigot.  And worse than a fire and brimstone bigot, he fancied himself as a bit of a comedian.  As a comedian, he makes a great bigot.

Still, I decided to just leave it alone.  You can’t reason with these people, it’s like throwing pearls before the swine, an exercise in futility.  Then, he made a comment that hit me so personally, touched on one of my most profound scars and ripped the scab off. See if you can pick which comment sent me over the edge.  (It’s easy, it’s the last one.)

Homophobic bigot

The flippancy of that remark poked a still very painful wound in me, one that feels completely fresh every time someone even just brushes past it.

It hurt, and I lashed out.

Bigot Response

The comments that followed included such gems as (these quotes are copied and pasted, the spelling and grammar is authentic to the poster and I take no responsibility):

“…it is animalistic behavior…”
“… left our animal tendancies behind…”
“…we set ourselves standards of living like ages of consent
and not to indulge in incest or beastiality…”
“When i say we I don’t include myself lol”

The last comment was difficult to understand. Exactly what didn’t he include himself in?  Maybe he didn’t set higher standards for himself, maybe he didn’t leave his animal tendencies behind, or perhaps he’s fond of touching up the family pet.  Either way, clearly he sets himself apart from the rest of us.

The final two comments on this thread so far, belong to Bigot Indenial:

Get a Publisher

I thought long and hard about the best way to respond, and what I came up with follows in “The Sheeple and The Bigot: Episode 2, WWJD”.

Love
AnarchyGirl

2nd Grade Ice Cream Penis

Friday this week arrived, heralding a proud parenting opportunity.  We had waited all year, but finally it was time for The Chubble’s 2nd Year class to present the school assembly entertainment item.

I should probably explain, that I’m not your biggest fan of parent participation occasions in relation to school activities. This almost phobic condition is not really rooted in any logical argument, rather, I just don’t play well with others anymore, maybe I never really did. Even when my older children were babies, I never really formed any close bonds with the mothers groups I trudged along to, only because I thought it was obligatory.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, had all the same learning curves with regards to feeding, burping, sleeping and shitting that every other mother has; (you can work out if it was me or the baby with the problems).  I just didn’t really understand two hour long sessions each week, discussing the colour of your baby’s shit, or the frequency of the shit, or the consistency of the shit, or which fruits and vegetables changed any of the previously discussed shit contexts, or how difficult some of the mothers were themselves finding it difficult to shit since they had the baby. Seriously, all that talk about shit and I would go home feeling like I had shit for brains.

Now, I actually find the inane banter and one upmanship of these T-Ball Mums (“Soccer Mum” implies an upper class meaning, and no such thing exists in “Boganbury”) makes me wish we were still talking about shitting, at least that was real.  Combine that with lengthy games of renovating tit for new car tat and I start looking for walls to hit my head against, just to stop me from wanting to bang their heads together.  Perish that a father turns up, as they do from time to time, the ridiculous preening and tittering and posturing, ugh. Yes it reduces me to inarticulate grunting.  Clearly I’m not going to be able to work with these people.

So even though I am excited to see my little cabaret star make her debut, I retain a steely determination to hide behind my camera and tripod, to avoid any unnecessary interactions.  I know it sounds as though I am fairly scathing, but truthfully, I don’t care if they’re vacuous or not, that’s their prerogative.  I’m just unlikely to make many friends.  I do have one other Mum I really like, she’s cool.  I kind of get the feeling that she’s not too far off from my own perspective, she’s just better at hiding it than I am.  I reckon I could drop in at her place in my pyjama pants and she wouldn’t give a fig.

I go to work a bit earlier, rush through, throw on a clean shirt and attempt to beam myself into the auditorium without anyone noticing. Mission accomplished.  Get the camera in the right place so it will have uninterrupted vision.  Mission accomplished.

The excited seven year old students took to the stage in the cafeteria, very well rehearsed, they’d been practicing for weeks.  The costuming required different sets of children dressed in specific colours to represent the five food groups. The theme of their educabaret (it’s a word now) was the importance of having a balanced diet.  The comedy section came first, with one little boy suggesting that having an equal amount of milk and white chocolate was a balanced diet.  I thought he had something, but apparently there’s this thing called the food pyramid.  I’m not sure I’m very fond of Egyptian food, so I’m gonna stick with the chocolate idea.

Each food group then took turns to present a little song, you get the idea.  If it hadn’t been my child, I would have been Facebooking on my phone.  One of the details of this performance that I failed to appreciate was that each child had drawn a picture of a food that fell within their group.  The artwork had then been cut out to shape, laminated and had a hole punched in it so that it could be pinned to the front of their shirts.  Confusingly, they were also all wearing bandannas around their necks, like cowboys.  I didn’t understand the costuming choice there, but perhaps it was too sophisticated for me.  The primary reason I missed the food pictures is I am blind.  I literally didn’t see them from the distance I was sat. (No estimate of distance will be provided.)  I will add that I was concentrating on the filming of the Cecil B. DeMummy epic ….. so ….. yeah, it’s lame, I’m just blind.

When it was all over, with the applause ringing in my ears, I put my decoy equipment back in the car and headed over to the classroom.  I noticed some of the children wandering around still had their flat, plastic coated food pinned on. Then I got it, The Chubble was in the dairy group, she had been talking about being an ice cream, all the notches fell into place.

Then I looked in her bag.

This is what I found.

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Thinking music plays while you absorb the above image.

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I would like to be clear, there was ZERO parental involvement in this art work. It was designed, fashioned and laminated, completely under the supervision of a qualified teacher, during class time.

At this point I am hoping that everyone who reads this, (yes, both of you, you know who you are), are seeing the same thing I am.  If not, perhaps I just need a bit more professional help for my clearly perverted mind.  However, if this image just “rises up and smacks you in the face” as it did me, then you likely responded thus: Laughter, “What the fuck”, laughter, a sneaking suspicion you should be more concerned, more laughter.

I’ve seen video footage of class performances in the United States, and boy do those people know how to put on show.  Costuming that would be envied by Edith Head herself.  Maybe it’s because they have Halloween, they have achieved “Costuming – Olympic Level”.  So I thought I would have a look and see if Google would shame or reassure me.  Now I’m just more confused.

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This little girl clearly did not make this costume herself.  Her parents must have been involved, because this level of craftsmanship requires a great deal of planning, construction and time.  Apparently just not a lot of thought, or even a once over when it was finished.  Maybe she has one of those Mummy’s that I’m not friends with.  Seriously, this has taken the inappropriate ice cream costume to the next level.  How did they not see that????

I have to say, the overwhelming flight instinct was completely forgotten with this discovery.  I felt proud that it was so wrong, and so bad, yet she had proudly worn her creation with total innocence, and was arguably the most animated little performer.

And it was the gift that kept on giving.  When MonsterBiker came home he was full of questions about how the assembly had gone.  I just couldn’t find a single suitable answer to any of his queries, preferring instead to just send Chubbly to get her “ice cream”.

Trust me, his expression was one of pride and wry acceptance.

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So, to end this tale of fear and loathing, inappropriateness and lack lustre production skills, I will leave you with a picture of my inspiration, The Chubble in all her self-acquitted glory.

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Please don’t ask me about the hat, because it makes my brain hurt
trying to work it out.

Love,
AnarchyGirl

Kill the Sharks ….. So Says the Fool!


SHARK ATTACK!!!!!!!!!

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Two words guaranteed to sell newspapers, get the radio turned up and everyone shushed as the dinner time news plays the sensational coverage.  It seems that being eaten alive by a wild animal is a pretty terrifying prospect.  Granted, it’s not something that sounds like a whole lot of fun.

The most recent attack was on an abalone diver off the coast of Esperance.  Newspaper reports indicate this man is an experienced diver and spear fisherman, who has been attacked by a shark before.  Now the chances of being attacked just once are so incredibly remote for the average person, that you’d have to think this guy is the unluckiest bloke to ever pull on a wet suit.  The flip side however, is that he has to be pretty lucky to have survived twice, experience and quick thinking obviously counting for a lot.

West Australian Fisheries Director General, Stuart Smith, has issued a “catch and kill” order for the great white shark that attacked the diver yesterday. Invoking the extraordinary powers of the Barnett government’s “Shark Mitigation Strategy”, introduced after five fatal shark attacks in Western Australia between August 2010 and March 2013.

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“If a sizable white shark is caught in the waters over the coming hours,
I am likely to give the order to destroy that shark.
I don’t have any particular desire to destroy a shark,
but my overriding concern is to ensure public safety.”

The report goes on to quote Mr Smith’s belief in “the reasonable likelihood that it is a white shark” and his view that due to the school holidays there is “an imminent threat of further attack”.

WHAT A FUCKING MORON.

Firstly, this attack occurred 180kms east of Esperance.  Check your map, that’s wide open ocean, a long way from where any kiddies will likely be swimming during the school holidays.  Great whites swim fairly quickly, about 50 kph, and are known to cover large distances in their normal migratory activity.  So I guess, this shark could have, after having tasted yummy human flesh, reasoned that if it swam closer to shore, there could be baby humans, the tastiest of all.  Sounds legit.

I have spent a good portion of my life underwater.  I have been skin and scuba diving my whole life, my Dad loves to tell the story about how he carried me down the cliffs at Devil’s Kitchen in Victoria when I was only a few weeks old, to sit on the beach with Mum while he went diving for crayfish.  I have never been lucky enough to encounter a great white shark, (yep, I said lucky, because I soooo want to see one in the wild, before I die), but I have swum with many sharks including bronze whalers, grey nurse, reef sharks, carpet sharks and dozens of other lesser known species.  The prettiest one was a little epaulet shark that was remarkably friendly, in about 60 ft of water off Canal Rocks.  I think sharks are amazing and beautiful, even the great whites.

Thanks to Steven Spielberg and sensationalised media reporting, the images at the top of this page are what most people conjure when someone says “shark”.

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….but I see them like this.  Beautiful, primal, completely free. I’m not afraid of them, rather in awe.  Don’t mistake my reverence for a naive or cavalier attitude towards my own safety. When I’m pulling a cray fish out from under some rock, my body wedged between the limestone and the sand, legs floating awkwardly towards the surface, as if the laws of physics are reminding me “you don’t belong down here”, I’m always a little relieved to find my legs are still there when I finally pull my head out of the dark.

You see, that’s it really, we don’t belong there.  It’s like going to a foreign planet, you require life support systems to spend any more time beneath the surface than a single breath will allow.  Humans are ungainly in the water, bulky, awkward and slow moving, by comparison to even the tiniest ocean dwellers.  It’s not our natural environment, but it’s theirs.

If aliens from another world invaded our home, I don’t think we’d be passing the peace pipe……and we have the gift, burden ability to reason, to contemplate our actions and the possible consequences. We see a sheep, taste a sheep, and then decide it’d probably be nicer if we ate the baby ones.  Sharks don’t do that, it’s an astounding presumption of human arrogance to project our decision making process onto other species.

I could repeat ad nauseam the environmental factors involved in this argument. I could make comparisons about the imbalance with which humans take from the sea, but that argument, though wholly valid, has been done to death.

I think the real argument here is, why so much focus on preventing the loss of human lives, when the loss is so incredibly small.  I mean no disrespect to the families who have lost loved ones; were it my child, or my husband, I would grieve just the same.  I just feel that the level of dismay, the hysterical fear mongering and the knee jerk reactions are disproportionate to the threat.

One comparison statistic that helps to illustrate my point is this, in the six years from 1992 – 1998, 411 children aged under 5 drowned in this country.  FOUR HUNDRED AND ELEVEN pre-schoolers lost their lives in bathtubs (67), backyard pools (173) and other bodies of water.  Four hundred and eleven.

Perhaps we should be looking at banning bathtubs and swimming pools, fencing every single dam, lake, well, pond and pothole full of rainwater.  Maybe that’s too big a burden on the whole community, so how about we just punish the parents for not supervising them enough.  Take their other children away, preventatively, they’ve proven themselves negligent.

The very same day as this most recent shark attack, a man drowned and three others, including a child, were injured when a “freak” wave capsized their boat off Bundegi in Exmouth.  The statistics on boating accidents are surprising, those deaths don’t seem to get the same press as the shark attacks.  However, if the goal is preventing the loss of human life, then why aren’t we banning boats?  Or perhaps we could engineer special wave breaks to be positioned in key locations off the coast to prevent these “freak” waves.

I realise that these suggestions are preposterous.

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So is the notion of hunting down and killing great white sharks just because some human got themselves snagged on their teeth.  Equally contemptible the existence of shark nets along the east coast, and the repeated suggestion that we get them here.  (That’s another story for another day.)

Policies of “Shark Mitigation” and powers allowing “catch and kill” of the already endangered apex ocean predator are precisely the type of spineless, uneducated, fear driven responses we have become used to under the Douchemucous Barnett government’s nanny state tyranny.

It just makes me really, really fucking mad.

Football Fans………Take Three Deep Breaths!

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Aussie Rules!!

We love it, don’t we.

I LOVE IT.

No, I really do.  It’s the one thing about me that flies in the face of everything
anti-establishment I like to believe about myself.  I love my footy.

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I am an unashamed, one eyed, drugged to the eyeballs, West Coast Eagles supporter.  I love my boys, whether they win, lose or get busted smoking meth.  A great one hung up his boots and whistle this year, but we’ll always love Woosha, arguably the single biggest influence on a personal level from any one person in the history of our club.  Jako (Glen Jakovich) is my favourite ever Weagle, from a very big list of absolute superstars, and I even have a bottle of dirt from the 1992 MCG where the young big birds from the west made history.  The first non-Victorian team to win the coveted cup.  They hated us, and the more they hated, the more we gloated, it was a heady time.  Yes, it brings out the worst in me.  Yes, I yell and scream at the umpires at games. YES, I LOVE THE FOOTY.

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Let’s face it what’s not to love.  Young, athletic, muscly men at the peak of physical condition, particularly with amazing upper body definition; greased up, poured into tight little shorts, long socks and sleeveless jumpers.  OK, that could possibly be a very female perspective, but clearly we have views too.  This week sees the appointment of the first ever female president of an AFL Club. Congratulations Richmond.

We take our sport very seriously here in Australia, with sporting heroes reaching national icon status.  The flip side of the coin of course, is the stunning fall from grace from some of the most gifted we have ever seen.  Gary Ablett Snr, Ben Cousins, Wanker Wayne Carey – just to mention a few.

Fallfromgrace

We expect a lot though, don’t we.

Our AFL footballers are widely called “professionals”.  In sporting terms, all that means is a distinction between someone who gets paid to play sport, as opposed to someone who undertakes it for recreation.  There is no requirement for the individual to meet any other standard of education or achievements, study or responsibility level, like would normally be attached to someone who practices a “profession”, eg: Doctor, Lawyer, Accountant, Engineer etc.

Yet, because these boys, choose to earn a living playing a sport, we expect them to live their personal lives to a set of standards that are defined by their employer, their regulating body and the government. Then they are put on a pedestal by fans, discussed relentlessly in both sporting and tabloid media. They are expected to perform at peak, even “elite” levels, week in, week out for two thirds of the year and maintain physical condition for the rest of it.  Most of this begins before the good ones have even finished high school, their emotional and psychological maturity still in infancy.

They’re typical teenage boys.

Their skilled profession is chasing a ball around an oval.

Unlike actual professions, like scientists or doctors, these kids don’t have the ability to heal or cure a single solitary problem. Neither are they charged with drafting legislation that controls society.  No, they’re just co-ordinated and genetically gifted boys (and why aren’t girls allowed to play – another blog topic) who work for an employer.

The AFL is nothing more than a very big business,
a very big, very rich, very self-important employer.

If you take away all the rhetoric, the pompous self-promoting bandwagon, what do we really have here.

A whole pile of old, rich guys who find the fittest young specimens from around the country, train them, control their diet, sometimes even tell them who they can be friends with and where they are allowed to go.  Then once a week, the rich guys transport the well trained specimens to special arenas, where they are fenced in and people are charged money to come and watch them fight over a prize. Certainly sounds like a sophisticated, highly evolved process that serves the higher good.

The other significant difference between these gorgeous young men and genuine professionals like Accountants or Physiotherapists is that their career has a very short lifespan.  Dustin Fletcher, still playing for the Essendon FC, is the oldest to have pulled on the boots.  He is 38 and has a one year contract.  This is a young man’s game.

This week, following his team’s Premiership success at the Grand Final, Lance (Buddy) Franklin announced he was leaving the Hawks to take up a very lucrative playing deal with the Sydney Swans.

BuddygoestoSydney

Last week, straight male Hawthorn supporters were prepared to bear children to this man, he was worshipped and adored in every possible way, by every single Hawk fan.  In the last few days he has been called a traitor, washed up, scumbag, asshole, we’re better off without him piece of trash.

WTF?

How is that we can expect so much from these young men, most of whom NEVER claim, nor set out to be, these role models we must create for ourselves; and then not expect them to see that if they’re going to be an integral cog in the wheel, then they’ll make hay while the sun shines.

Good luck Buddy, invest wisely Son, look after your joints, you might need them when you’re not much older.

Dedicated to Chris Mainwaring
No. 3 guernsey for the West Coast Eagles 1987 – 1999

Mainy

Once Upon A Time …. There Was a Chubble!

Yesterday saw the end of the third term of school for West Australian kiddies. We have one of them, a kiddie that is.  The Chubble is our 7 year old, blonde haired, blue eyed, bundle of knowing, mischievous manipulations.

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She’s a treasure our girl, she struggles being her sometimes.  I understand what that’s like.  This term has been really hard work for us, resulting in frayed tensions.  So when the opportunity for us all to have a little break, regroup and come back stronger, we jumped at the chance.  Grandma (MonsterBiker’s Mum) misses her little ray of sunshine now that we’re country folk, so she offered to have the Chubble for the whole two week school break.  MonsterBiker and I took the opportunity to both take a week off work during this time.  Obviously our main goal is to discuss parenting issues and important things like that, we would never want to imply that we are shipping off our baby girl, just so we can party. We’re serious grown-ups.

Friday morning, the last day of term, dawned overcast and dreary.  Yet the mood in the house was excited and ebullient. Chub headed off to school and I went to my Friday cleaning job (the Spanish lady).  MonsterBiker was able to finish work a little early that day, so we all arrived home around the same time.

As I mentioned, Chub has had a few challenges with school, she’s as smart as a whip, but she’s so easily distracted, highly emotional and tightly wound, that she struggles interacting with her peers and teachers.  She’s a bit like her Mum and her Dad in other ways too, for instance, she really doesn’t like to be taught things, preferring to teach herself.  When it was time for her training wheels to come off her bike, by hook or by crook, she would not let either of us push her along til she found her balance.  Tears, standoffs, some yelling.  So we left her alone.  In one afternoon she was riding confidently all by herself.  She’s a nuclear powerhouse of determination, with regular core meltdowns.

So when she came outside after school and presented me with this…………..

Meritaward

…..let’s just say, I was bursting with pride and golden optimism that maybe, just maybe I wasn’t completely failing my beautiful, different little girl.

That’s the thing about being a parent, but especially when you are the parent of a soul that refuses to be moulded, recalcitrantly rejects guidance and challenges you just because she can, you feel like a constant, epic failure.

At times, the fights seem relentless and no matter how firm my resolve to stay calm, not allow frustration to turn into yelling, every time it happens I become more convinced that I am the worst parent who has ever lived.  So I apologise – again, remind her that she is loved and promise to myself to do better the next day.

Then there are the nights when it’s 9:30 and we’ve been playing bedtime yoyo for two hours, “Yes, you can have the light on”, “Mummy, I need to go to the toilet”, “Can I get a drink of water”, “I can’t sleep”, “I had a bad dream” (which of course is impossible, because she hasn’t been to sleep), “My legs are hurting”, “Mummy I don’t want the toilet light on anymore”…………. and on and on………..

GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP!!!!

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(Incidentally, my only son, The Genius bought this book for me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  What it says about me as a mother that my child bought this for me, will likely be the subject of a future blog.)

Last Tuesday was one of those nights, and I lay there in the dark, with my eyes wide open knowing sleep, if it showed up at all, would not be there til the early hours of the morning.  I kept telling myself, four more days, four more days, four more days, hating myself for longing for time away from my own child, and right then, right there, I already missed her, and she hadn’t even left.

Each of my children has been a unique gift.  Three children, each arriving at very different stages of my life, and I have learned so much from being their Mummy. I love our Chubble, she’s just like her Dad, knows just how and when to push my buttons.  This ability leads to situations where I learn the most about myself, so while it’s as exhausting as trying to suck a steak through a straw a lot of the time, I wouldn’t trade her for all the flannelette shirts in K-Mart.

She has a wonderfully wicked sense of humour, impeccable timing, and often will make a completely innocent and unplanned comment, that is a perfect assessment of what’s happening around her.  She loves music, remembers the lyrics to her favourite songs, and more often than not for her bedtime lullaby begs me to sing Wasted Time by The Eagles.  (I completely crucify it, but she doesn’t seem to mind.)

All right, all right, shut up. I can hear you all asking in chorus (you are, aren’t you) “Why do you call her Chubble?”

She was a gorgeous baby, one of those ones with the big, floppy, pinchable cheeks.  One day when she was about three or four months old, holding her head up but still a bit wobbly, Daddy was bouncing her up and down on his knee, and we became ridiculously amused by the fact that her head seemed to bobble up and down, like the plastic tiger in the back window of the Kingswood.  This merriment was exponentially compounded by the fact that her St Bernard like jowls would bounce in the opposite direction to her head.

We were pissing ourselves laughing.  MonsterBiker would bounce her a few times, we would loll about hysterically, then he would bounce her again.  We never seemed to tire of it.  Through the laughter and our nonsensical attempts to describe this comedic spectacle, we realised: “With chubby cheeks and a bobble head, she’s our little Chubble Head”.  It stuck.

She’ll always be our Chubble Head.

Freedom of Speech and Social Networking

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Earlier today I participated in a debate regarding the freedom of each individual to post as they see fit on their own social network pages.  It prompted me to make this blog, sharing with you my personal position on this issue.

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A famous quote, attributed to Voltaire says:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

This is a tenet I hold dear.

 

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We all have issues which we feel strongly about, fluoride in the water, gmo crops, legalisation of cannabis, animal rights, human rights, religious freedom, scientific ethics………..you get the idea.  At least, I hope you do, because a person without passion is very dull indeed.

So, who decides which issues are appropriate for public expression, which ones are more important than another?  How about if I ask all my vegetarian friends to stop posting about their lifestyle because it offends me? Or what if I ask my gay friends to stop posting pictures of their friends kissing because I don’t like looking at that? Perhaps I might ask my atheist friends not to post negative comments regarding religion because my faith is disturbed.

(Anyone who knows me knows that I do not hold any of the above opinions, I am being metaphorical.)

I personally believe that social media IS a portal for social change, shifting perceptions gradually, drip infiltration of the social psyche. The vein like bleeding of information through friend networks that link and spread can bring awareness of issues previously only recognised by niche audiences. Sufficient awareness breeds action.

Look at it this way, if 100 people see one post – 10 of them share it – 1 of those 10 acts on it. Well that’s one more than was acting before it. How about if 100 people see 10 posts, and the slow exposure has finally prompted a larger response, then maybe 10 of them act. You can see my point.

Conversely, if an issue is completely removed from social interest, then one person can post 1000 times and eventually they will be deleted, blocked or ignored and the issue will die itself.

The question then becomes which issues are worthy. They all are if someone believes in them enough. It’s not up to me or you or anyone to decide what’s important, it’s up to the collective and that will happen by the process I described above.

I will illustrate how I actively apply this process in reverse. I currently have 663 friends on Facebook. Now a lot of this list is people who I have added over the years as neighbours in games I have played. Therefore they are not necessarily people who hold to the same life views or philosophies I do. This is great because it broadens perspective, and perhaps by sharing my ideas it may influence some of them.

However, I have very strong views about religion, God and all forms of worship, and how these tenets influence society as a whole. I have had a friend list well over 800 people in the past. Some of those not with me anymore have deleted me, either because I no longer play the game, or perhaps my views have been unpalatable to them.  That’s cool.  Some of those that are no longer there I have deleted because I feel violently opposed to the bullshit (my opinion) that they are spreading. By removing them I limit the exposure of their posts to my friend list, and I remove the temptation to go postal on their asses.

This is only a tiny protest, but if enough people feel the same, then eventually the ground swell becomes tidal and the opinions get washed away.

Censorship should apply only a personal level.  If you do not want to share, view or aid in the dissemination of certain opinions, then I recommend you take control of your page by allowing only what you want to see. You can remain friends with someone but change your settings so that you don’t automatically see their posts in your news feed. You can still visit their page, but you are in control of your own viewing.

Before you hastily begin limiting what you expose yourself too, ask yourself this:  If something is so offensive or upsetting to you, is it because your moral core is pricking you? Have you always wanted to do more, but laziness or apathy keep saying, “yeah yeah, I’ll get around to it”?  Do you have time to take action?  If not, then scroll faster or hit the delete and block button.

In a universe of very few absolute right and wrongs, I believe that suppressing another person’s viewpoint, regardless how unpleasant, is Wrong.

FOOTNOTE:  As this is my blog, I retain the right to remove any comments I see fit.  That being said, my firm goal is to not censor any opinion shared in my comments.  The only exception would be if something crossed a legal boundary that could impact on me (yes, I still have to function within a society if I hope to change it).  I would hope that even if you disagree strongly with me, or with anyone who ventures a comment, that you will refrain from engaging in irrelevant personal attacks. I will not respond to any, ever, and you only devalue any merit you may have had in your argument. Please attempt to keep your rhetoric on topic.