Archive for June, 2008

Our Elected Dictatorship

June 30, 2008

In some ways I find the Australian democratic system to be little more than an elected dictatorship. When John Howard was in power, and had the backing of the Senate I felt this to be especially true. In fact, it burned me to the core. Our current system means that 49% of the electorate can feel excluded, and I was one of them.

How is that right? That half of the population can be deadset against the leader and still be forced to put up with changes like WorkChoices. WorkChoices strangled all hope I had out of the Howard Regime, he was actively targeting people like me, who work so hard for only a little bit of money. He looked at people like us and said ‘No, I think you actually deserve less rights than you have.’ Less rights. We don’t even have a constitutional right to vote! The vote is outlined in Section 41 of the constitution, the Franchise Act, which can be repealed.

If all wind conditions are right, and the tide is in the Senate can be of absolutely no use at all. How can it function if it does not provoke debate? If there is a clear and safe passage for the bills to be put through by the party in power, because they have more seats, how is it functional? Its not right for a government in power to be able to do all it wants, its reign unchecked. But that is our elected dictatorship.

We’re not functioning properly, this is not the best we can do. There are other ways. I can’t sit here with no say in whether we go to war or not, or industrial relations, or reducing/increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Going to protests isn’t enough for me. That can’t be my only voice. Its not even a legal voice because we have no guaranteed right to assemble so.. I’m struggling. Ticking a box every couple of years to me is not a democracy. Is it to you?

The worst thing is, the writers who openly criticise on their blogs, or in their columns can go to jail for five years for criticising the government. Thank you, anti-terror laws. We can even go to jail without trial and be held there legally, last year that did not seem so far fetched to me. It was the way we were headed, had Johnny won the election again. We saw people being shot dead by police, as they slept in their homes, R.I.P. Mohamed Chaouk. Last year I felt bullied by the government and whats to say this year won’t go the same way?

Rudd is a man who congratulated Israel as a democratic state. Doesn’t that just chill you?

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Catch Meme If You Can!

June 27, 2008

Time for another meme, this one is from Club Wah, the home of a very witty and funny writer.. Go check out some of his stuff.

This meme dictates that I should find the closest book to me, open it to page 123 and write the fifth sentence.

I’ve been re-reading The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger during my breaks at uni, because I concentrate on the story better when I’m bored with nothing to do. This sentence is actually pretty awesome:

“The trouble with girls is, if they like a boy, no matter how big a bastard he is, they’ll say he has an inferiority complex, and if they don’t like him, no matter how nice a guy he is, or how big an inferiority complex he has, they’ll say he’s conceited.”

After I read a few pages, I start narrating in my head Holden Caulfield styles. It can be kinda weird in class because instead of discussing normally, I feel like playing around and analysing people’s phoniness. He’s a brilliant character with an unmistakable voice.

Thanks for the tag, Wah! And now to keep the circle of life moving I tag:

Andy from The Bullhorn, who is absolutely hilarious, and I need to pay him back for getting me last time.

Terry from Unrequited Love And Other Madness, whose musings on life and love are very astute,

and

Ray from Alpine Opinion, another clever writer who has a unique love for Sophie Mirabella (heh, this is how internet rumours start).

Nuclear Power Out Of The Question

June 27, 2008

I’d like to make it clear that I’m not a Greenie. I vote for the Greens only because they seem more socially conscious and on par with my side of the population in comparison to the other candidates who are pretty much both on the right of the spectrum. Lets be honest, they’re on the right.

Disclaimer aside, its time for another environmentally minded post.

Rudd has dismissed nuclear energy as an option in the response to climate change. The collective guffaw of thousands of dirty poncho wearing hippies celebrating can be heard from their various hemp farms all over the outback: “We just might be ok, after all, sun gon’ shine, on this day.”

From the workers lobbies: “If the government was serious about a green future and ensuring the future of coal workers, then a shift to nuclear energy was needed.” (Paul Howes, the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union)

The fact is Paul, we’re nearing the point where if we don’t start doing things that DON’T hurt the environment, we will die, and soon. ‘Nuclear’ is a dirty word for a reason. There is nothing in comparison to the damage it has potential to wreak on people and the earth.

The plants only last for 25 years, they are ridiculously expensive and very hard to maintain. If the utmost care is not taken anything within a wide surrounding area is heavily poisoned. Plants, animals and people will all die or become gravely sick.

And the thing is, we still haven’t found a successful way to take care of the nuclear waste! It sits in barrels all around the earth poisoning and mutating spiders into superheroes. And then theres the danger of exploding reactors. Chernobyl is all I have to say. You get it. Sure abandoned cities are cool, I like me a ghost town every now and then, but I can’t even get close enough to take a look at it.

There are many cheaper, safer and more efficient ways to generate energy using renewable sources. I’m pretty rapt that Rudd for once, seems to agree with me on this one. I might even let him be my friend.

And just because I’m so cheery about all of this, lets reminisce on one of our favourite Rudd moments courtesy of Rove and Encyclopedia Dramatica for this snippet:

“…On the Aussie TV show “Rove Live,” Kevin Rudd was asked: “Who would you turn gay for?” In other words, “who do you think is the sexiest man alive?” Rudd stammered and could not answer this simple question, as the possibilities swirled in his mind. “My wife Therese,” he finally blurted out. Everyone laughed because his wife is a man.”

Tee hee.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

June 24, 2008

I love looking at media manipulation, and it’s often most obvious when looking at it during a warfare environment.

WW1

Telegraphs were the main way of communicating quickly over long distances, and they couldn’t reach a mass audience. We needed to justify the inhumanity of the killing by using racist posters. The media encouraged distrust of migrants in the community.

Women were pushed into work to replace the men overseas at war. They realised they were as capable as men and pushed to be able to own property or become a member of parliament. When they got the vote, the number of voters doubled. Australian women rejected conscription twice. More media texts were created by the World War veterans and the trauma and horrors they depicted made a second World War unimaginable.

WW2

Cinema came about which addressed mass audiences. There were lots of animation films made intended to educate the public. One lovely example was the ‘Loose Lips Sink Ships’, showing the protagonist telling his girlfriend or something some details about his ship leaving to go to war and a Japanese man overhearing and using the info to destroy the ship. Radio was also popular. Records became publicly available and music was an important tool for propaganda. Top singers of the day had songs with political messages.

Germany had banned jazz music as it was ‘the music of Jews/Negroes’. There were many posters about health to keep people fit to fight and work. They directly targeted troops. Women were once again pushed into the workforce at the end of the war. It stimulated feminist activism and that of African-Americans and Aboriginals.

Vietnam War

Commitment trebled, tv got big and there were finally moving images from the conflict. Guerrilla warfare was very demoralising because it was no longer simple who was being fought. Journalists were covering more of the war, they had access that was previously unavailable and the world was flooded with information about this war, which was ugly. The world saw enemy forces, country people and children dying.

The image of the US was no longer as favourable and the public were agitated by the conflict. The soldiers did not return as heroes, as they had previously. People were no longer as sympathetic as they once were. There was an increase in anti-war media.

The introduction of conscription fuelled anti-war sentiment and the public protested throughout Australia. Newspaper reporting had great influence and reflected and followed the public opinion.

Gulf War

Under a thin disguise of ‘rescuing Kuwaitis’ the US pursued oil. This time the media was more controlled and actually had a game plan. There was 24-7 war coverage and there was a massive saturation of public discourse with news of the war.

Different strategies had been created though, a new type of news called ‘infotainment’. CNN dominated the news with this format. Emphasis was placed on technology and conscious efforts were made to distance the viewer from the on ground conflict. We would see cockpit footage as the pilot pressed a button and blew up a distant target. Because the victims remained unseen the war was not as disturbing. It was dubbed a ‘clean war.’

The coverage was characterised by entertainment formats and computer game styled images. They emphasised graphics and ‘unreality’, simulations of attacks and troop formations. Maps and visual recreations were used. The media neglected coverage of death and human suffering to form a ‘bloodless coverage’. There was no massive public outcry and the war was shorter. There was no conscription and because of this people were not as worked up about the war.

War On Terror

The September 11 attacks were attributed to terrorists and there was massive international 24-7 coverage. Watching it motivated public opinion and the saturation of those images created highly emotional responses. Bush got heaps of support. There was enthusiastic rapport for a military response. On the 7th of October the first air strikes on Afghanistan from American forces commenced. There was immediate coverage and extremely emotive journalism.

Australia supported the War on Terror. In 2001 support was high but then declined both in the US and internationally. Again there were guerrilla tactics needed and the occupied people were hostile. There was a lot of coverage on troop’s behaviour and ideas of the enemy were debated.

The internet changed it all. Suddenly no-one could control the media anymore and people were taking a more active role in the types of media they received. They could look up archived news reports, access forums, watch videos of troop activity on YouTube, read blogs from all around the world including in Iraq and Afghanistan that were updated hourly or faster.

Even after a vigorous media campaign enlisting continued to drop. Mandatory national service was suggested but dropped. The government announced a ‘gap year’ campaign where students would take a year off between VCE/Yr 12 and work/uni to be spent in the army. The official government source was on YouTube. It was all highly unsuccessful.

Counter terrorism ads were similar to the posters of WWII. They kept anxiety present in society and promoted paranoia and mistrust. There was an emphasis on knowledge and suspicion and it opened the door to many racist commentaries. Muslims were dealt with harshly in the media and not long after we had the Cronulla riots.

I hate this anti-terrorism campaign.

Over The Sexism

June 23, 2008

In the past I never really noticed this, but the global attitude towards women is bullshit. I’m getting more and more offended by the stupid things people say without even knowing the mindset they’re perpetuating. It becomes extremely frustrating when it comes from the mouths of women and this is where my post is derived from.

I was visiting a friend and his mates girlfriend was sitting with us, we were watching neighbours or home and away and the topic turned to rape from one of the storylines. The girlfriend goes, “She was a dicktease though, its her own fault.” Me and my friend exchanged looks and I tried my best not to be angry while I explained that this notion of hers was a tactic used in victim blaming.

My fucking god. If this girl herself had been raped, would she feel the same way? I know this is a common idea amongst people and it shouldn’t piss me off so much, but the fact that it came from a female just killed my life. We’ve been so brainwashed by the media and the bullshit that our women are taking part in the female bashing without even realising they are doing it.

Despite how crap the Sex And The City movie was, I hate hearing men say they hate the show because the women are sluts. I’ve heard it from that many guys that I’m starting to wonder if there is any other valid reason. How can they call them sluts, you all know where I’m going with this.. If it was a guy there would be no issue.

Go fuck yourself with your whore vs virgin mentality, mainstream media. You pull down any girl who dares to exercise her sexuality, and those who try to preserve it, you insist on pulling down and throwing their names through the mud. Women are allowed to party. This does not mean we are whores. I’m sick of seeing footage of Lindsay Lohan leaving hotel rooms in the morning. You gave her a freakin mental breakdown, isn’t that enough?

I hate the player blogs, that aim at targeting womens insecurities and flaws to make them feel inadequate and want to impress the guy, which turns to that guy getting what he wants. I understand some guys have confidence problems but theres a difference between using body language and smart conversation to find a relationship compared to getting sex for the night. I hate that the tone of these blogs are bitter and seem to be getting revenge against all the ‘hot girls’ who ever turned them down in their lives. You are sad, pathetic little men and one day you will realise that notches mean nothing and you based your lives on shallow, hateful bullshit.

Well, I’m leaving it at that. Right now I’m not educated enough on the topic to pull the world apart, but I’ll be revisiting this. Ciao.

How To Make Someone Miss You

June 18, 2008

“I miss you so much

I long for your love

It scares me

Coz my heart gets so weak

That I can’t even breathe

How can you take things so easily?

Baby, why aren’t you missing me?”

For as long as I’ve had this blog people have been attracted to its pages in search of the secrets on ‘how to make someone miss you’. I thought that perhaps they’d die off, but I’m still getting heaps of hits from the phrase. Unfortunately the closest I came to it were some lyrics from the Aaliyah song ‘Miss You’ and the rest of the words found somewhere scattered along that post.

Well no more. I’m going to do my best to help these poor souls who cannot for the life of them get someone to miss them. My heart goes out to you, I’ve felt it. Lets just think about it logically. It’s not even a hard task. First think of the people you yourself have missed and why you missed them.

For one reason or the other, their company was enjoyable. The people I miss dearly usually have some character traits in common. So all we need to do is copy them.

Interesting Conversation

You don’t want them to ever get bored while talking to you. If you don’t naturally have the talent of spinning conversation, then do some reading on a few interesting topics (or subjects your missed one is into) and casually weave them into conversation. Bring something new to the table, teach them something and argue from a unique point of view.

Activities

You always remember that night you went on the ferris wheel, compared to the million nights you spent in the same hang out, doing the same things. Do different and interesting things together. Go for drunken walks along Southbank or have a meal at a restaurant with unusual food. Go ice skating or to the comedy club (which can be pretty gay but at least you can tear it to shreds in review together later). Be spontaneous.

Funny

This is a bit harder because, lets be honest, who can force being funny? Sometimes coming off forced or not being sure of a joke can ruin a whole convo. But a friend will generally find anything you say a lot funnier just because it was you that said it. Same goes for a missed one. Give it a crack, just be a bit playful and clever. It will lighten the mood and that brings me to my next point.

Keep It Light

If they initiate a deep and meaningful then fair enough, but if not then going into intense things are just going to make someone feel like they’re being drained. Deep conversations take a lot of energy and thought, just don’t go there. Be happy, laugh things off and don’t take anything too seriously.

Appearance

You want them to have a gorgeous visual when thinking of you. Mostly their memory of you will be the last time they saw you, or how you look in general when they see you. That means it’s very important that you look your best each time. Try to wear something different when they see you, with one article being impressive (eg. Big, jewelled earrings, a flattering dress or colourful stilettos [If you are a man please ignore the brackets]).

Incorporate The Other Senses

We don’t just remember conversations and what we see. Smell is supposed to be the best trigger of memories, so wear a perfume, cologne or use scented body oil so that they can associate a certain smell with you. They might not remember the exact smell, but anything it kinda smelled like will remind them of you.

Also, touch them. Don’t be too over the top about it, but touch their arm and nudge them while you are walking together. Or hug them spontaneously, in a laughing, joking kind of way. Generally we are not an overly affectionate society so touch shocks people and they remember it.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

Short fun periods of time are way better than sticking around and shit getting boring and awkward. I couldn’t think of anything worse. When I visit people, they’re lucky if I stay two hours, unless we’re drinking together or doing something good. I stay until the convo starts to get stale or the fun is over, unless you’re willing to make me a cup of tea.

When You’re Not With Them

Don’t be easy to get a hold of. Wait a couple of hours before you reply. Don’t pick up the phone, call them back 20 mins later. Or if you can’t handle that just wait a few rings. Get off the phone quickly unless the convo is pretty good. Also, find creative ways to inject yourself into their minds. If you know their footy team, mes them during the game saying ‘ohhh what a goal..’ or something. But messages from you must be rare! Rare I say! So rare that when they receive the mes they say to themselves, ‘oh what a nice surprise’. If you’re a guy and you can slip something of yours into the chick’s handbag for her to find later, that’s a good reminder. Just a pen or something you won’t need, or that she won’t have to return. Which is another thing..

Presents

These are awesome, things they will immediately connect to you when they look at them. They can be gay little things like those toy rings you get out of the gumball machines, or a cd you’ve burnt for them, a flower you’ve picked for them or a handwritten note. Avoid big gifts, they will send a weird message, unless it’s their birthday.

Seriously, these are going to work. Its foolproof I tells ya! Anyway, I hope I’ve finally helped you all, was starting to get pretty worried about you kids and your missable-ness woes.

“Girl I’ll never find another,

Another one to take your place

Cause you were so, so good to me baby

And you kept the smile upon my face

And I’m on my bended knee and I’m crying,

Crying won’t you come back to me

Cause you mean the world to me

So tell me why.. why..

Why’d you have to go away

Got me missing you everyday

Everyday I’m missing you..”

Illogical Binge Drinking Rant

June 16, 2008

Apparently more than four beers constitutes for binge drinking, according to new guidelines that will be released next month by the federal government. Are you serious? I can drink three times that on a big night, although at that stage I’m probably giving everyone the drunk eyes, hugging them and telling them how much I love life. What are people like me classified as, then? Not to mention the guys I drink with who will easily go through a couple of slabs. We’re past binge drinkers, we’re hyper elite super drinkers!

Brendan Nelson is calling for Rudd to rule out an increase on tax for beer and wine. I’m still shaking from the last 70% increase on the lolly drinks, what will I drink once everything has gone up? I deadset have switched to beer and champers since the tax, being a poor uni kid it hit me hard. Honestly, is alcohol really that much of a problem compared to other things? Can’t they put a tax on eccy and blow instead? I know they’re getting a slice of that pie, even naive kids like me are aware of the importing strategies the Pablos of the world are using. I believe the current fav is ‘all your eggs in one basket hidden in a container on a ship’, so upping the checks on containers would easily put a spanner in the works and have a huge effect.

Anyway, I’ve said this before, but binge drinking is not going to be stopped by taxes. No one ever stopped drinking over money, we either got more creative or copped it on the chin and paid the extra. They’re pretty much just targeting the lower class on this one, pushing the bottle further from the reach of those who don’t have lots of money to spend on wants instead of needs. Good, you say? You’re sick of seeing the drunken yobbos in the pubs and prefer a more aristocratic crowd? I must extend a warm f-u, on behalf of the distasteful proles.

How would I solve binge drinking then? Well, for starters we need to look at the definition with a bit more leniency. Four drinks is kinda wack. I wish I could get smashed off four drinks, then I probably wouldn’t be complaining about the price rise. By the way, are they putting the profits of these taxes back into D&A services? Because taxing for surplus is just bullshit to me, governments should put money back into the people and sit on even at the end of the year, not make a profit.

People are always going to want to binge drink, we always want to get drunk. Thats what alcohol is for, isn’t it? The teens are the worst for it, because they’ve been prohibited all their lives and suddenly feel a need to catch up to everyone, they’re chasing the cool. Perhaps a different attitude towards drinking needs to be portrayed. We glorify our stories of drunken escapades and declare alcohol to be fun and adventurous through movies, tv, advertising, and music. Of course they want to do it, how could they not? A price rise won’t change the attitudes. Damn you Rudd, you shit me. Here’s to you.

Meme’d

June 14, 2008

Andy over at The Bullhorn has tagged me for a meme, so here goes. Its my first time everybody, be kind. So I’m gonna fill out my answers to these questions and tag a few people to answer them on their blogs, who will in turn do the same. Ready?

1. What were you doing ten years ago?

Well, I’d just started high school. I was in Year Seven and was very shy, nervous and I did all my homework the night I got it. This is one of two years (the other one being Year Eight) that I was called to the end of school awards ceremony to receive a fancy certificate for being named ‘Academic Excellence’ achiever in every one of my classes. The year after had a few less classes on the list, and the years after that I wasn’t invited to the awards at all. Known to most as the ‘Year Nine Slump’, I’d done as most girls my age and discovered wagging school, boys and blue light discos. I was still as smart, just stopped trying.

2. What are five things on your to-do list today?

I’m not a big do-er of things lately, but today I’m going to the movies with my mother and sisters to watch the dreaded ‘Sex and the City’ movie. I was going to just say ‘a movie’ to avoid a bit of embarrassment but fuck it, I’ve got nothing to hide. I enjoyed watching the series, I’m going to see the movie. I wanted to never mention anything about SATC in this blog, but I guess when we look back years from now it will be evidence that I did partake in this global phenomenon. After that we’re thinking of going to King of Kings in the city, my favourite Chinese restaurant. Thats like two things isn’t it? Well, I’ll probably get drunk at some stage so there you go, three.

3. What snacks do you enjoy?

I’m more of a savoury person. My dad thinks this is because I drink beer, something about bitter vs sweet, can’t quite remember. I like chips and dips. Chips of choice are Kettle Sour Cream & Sweet Chilli, Doritos, Burger Rings, Blackrock Honey Soy Chicken, Sour Cream and Chives Pringles and also hot chips. My dips are spinach, sour cream, french onion, salsa and most importantly, Tzatziki. Tzatziki is one of those foods that taste good on everything.

4. Things you would do if you were a billionaire.

I’d set up my family so they were always comfortable, new houses and all of that. Invest some and give a big chunk to charities, probably spend heaps on clothes. I’d party a lot, jet set around the world, do a lot of relaxing on beaches and concentrate on my writing.

5. Three of your bad habits.

I can be pretty stubborn. I’m often late. And I can be messy but I try to think of it as the cool, creative kind of messy. Thats enough for this section, moving on.

6. Five places you have lived.

Glen Iris, Melbourne – lived there after I was born and for the beginning of my life, although I don’t remember anything about it.

Current home, Melbourne – Most of my life has been spent here with my family. I have the old master bedroom which is huge and has an ensuite, and its painted magenta, royal purple and gold in a kind of Indian, Arabic, gypsy design. Might upload pics to show you, it sounds a bit like a mess when I describe it but its quite beautiful and everyone comments on it. I love this room, when I move out I’m recreating it.

Dads place (around the corner from mum’s) Melbourne – When my parents first split up last year, my dad went from a busy home full of people to a lonely house by himself. I couldn’t bear the thought of him being alone so I moved in for a while. We have the same personality, quick to anger, quick to forgive, stubborn, ferociously protective of loved ones, caring, generous, very introspective and thoughtful. He is probably the best person I will ever meet, very wise and accepting, a good all around bloke. We could never be bothered cooking so we lived on cups of tea and toast and spent hours debating on all things in life. My other sisters have also lived there for long stretches, we take turns.

Box Hill, Melbourne – Came here to study to be closer to the tafe I was attending at the time. I was living with my divorced aunt, who is pretty cool but a bit mentally unstable. I was too, at the time, so we fit together perfectly. She didn’t cook much and I didn’t eat much, we preferred to live on cigarettes with me on Pepsi, and her on wine. I did a lot of intense thinking and serious writing here, I learnt heaps from my course, so far more than I’ve learnt at Uni (about writing anyway). Lived mostly in solitude, with my aunts cats for company. I made some friends, but I preferred to go back to my home suburb to see my old mates on weekends.

Paris, London, Rome, Fiji – Holiday destinations, lived at each for at least a week. Fun times.

7. Five jobs that you’ve had?

Kitchen Hand, Pizza Hut – My first and worst job ever. Manager was a Nazi, he always made me cry.

Waitress, La Porchetta – Pretty sure the bosses here were in some kind of mafia, everything was corrupt, cash in hand, under the table, groups of men meeting after hours to play cards, all Italian. The day after I quit it got shut down and new owners took over. I hated this place too, they never paid me on time.

Waitress, Wedding Reception – Loved working here, loved the bosses and all the staff. We got paid $120+ per night in cash. The downside was the sheer mass of back breaking work to be done each night. Was too much effort, too far away and things had gotten weird since I kissed the bosses son.

Waitress, Another Restaurant – Meh. Wasn’t the best of times, wasn’t the worst of times. Pay was shit but it was very close to home. Hated smelling like pizza and pasta all the time. Loved their food though.

Office Girl, City – This job was my best job ever. I excelled at it, I finished everything in record time and took on other people’s unfinished work, learning the different roles in my team. I impressed my managers and was making heaps of money. But it was horribly boring and I spent long hours pretending to work (which was much more difficult than the actual work). I also felt trapped, like there was no way for me to move forward and that I wasn’t challenging myself. I completed my contract and went back to Uni to finish my degree.

8. How did you name your blog?

Nothing You Confess Could Make Me Love You Less is a lyric from Stand By You – The Pretenders, which is an awesome and timeless song. I want my blog to be a place where I can tell everyone all my ideas, opinions and confessions without fear. I love that whole song and the meaning in every line. That song is my blog title. I’m always including lyrics in my posts too, for the same reason. They are the songs I’m listening to while I go through those emotions and they convey ideas that I could never articulate.

Tagged Bloggers:

ClubWah

This Devils Workday

Gullybogan

Rayedish

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

June 13, 2008

Picture generously donated by the brilliant Club Wah.

After a visit to An Onymous Lefty, I happily discovered the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay detention camp are now allowed the right of haebus corpus thanks to the US Supreme Court, and as such can fight against their imprisonment. Sadly for the Bush Regime, suspected terrorism no longer constitutes for indefinite and torturous imprisonment with their usual ‘guilty until not given the chance to be proven innocent’ methods.

Is this a beacon of hope for our own imprisoned peoples, who live in the detention centres after fleeing their previous homelands due to life threatening conditions? People who aren’t even under suspicion for any crime at all, their biggest mistake having chosen Australia as the country of their destination.

The legal definition of a refugee from the 1951 United Nations Convention (and the 1967 Protocol, which Australia is a signatory to also) states that a refugee is :

“Any person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable, and owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country.”

Australia takes in on average 13,000-14,000 refugees a year from the total of an estimated 17 million people of concern. Most countries take about a hundred thousand refugees but some countries take in well over a million. Article 31 of the UN Convention on Refugees states:

“Contracting states shall not impose penalties on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, [come]…directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened…provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for illegal entry or presence.”

This is Australia’s loophole. Because many refugees cannot make the trip directly to Australia and must stop off somewhere first (usually to refuel), Australia puts them in detention centres so that it can ‘legally’ settle which are and which aren’t refugees. In 2001 only 17 Afghan refugees were released from their detention centre and classified as legal refugees.

This is a clear breach of international obligations to human rights as they are defined by the United Nations. The convention was prompted by the Jews who tried to leave Nazi Germany but were refused and literally sent home to be slaughtered in death camps later.

Another interesting point to be raised is the amount of people who overstay their visa in Australia who are not deported or detained- about 50,000. These people are mostly white and Anglo and outnumber the refugees by at least 3 times.

Australia, or Ausfailure as I have lovingly come to call it, is constantly under a spell of the highly contagious xenophobia virus and so these ‘scores’ of invading peoples are seen as a threat to our national identity, culture and job security. False claims from Mr. Howard of boat people throwing their children over the sides of their vessels into the ocean even won him an election. Stay classy, Ausfailure.

Official Australian Immigration Policy (Also available as a fridge magnet):

A Perfect Day

June 12, 2008

“If this was my last day here on earth

Would you remember me?

Never really thought about it

So carefree

Young and just doing my own thing..”

My last day would begin with me being woken up by my kitten who sleeps on my bed. He would come over to rub his face against mine like he always does and I would give him some hugs then get up and feed him. The shadows would be dancing on my walls and it would be a mostly cloudy day, with warm winds. I love those kind of days.

My sisters and I would go to Starbucks and get a frappe. On the way back we would pick up some Lebanese pizzas and take them to the park for an early lunch. We would sit on the branches of our favourite tree, like we did when we were younger and enjoy the breeze. I would tell them where my diaries are, and how to find this blog, so that they could read them when I was gone.

After that we would meet up with the girls and go shopping for dresses to wear that night. I would find some beautiful jade green party dress for only 20cents, and we’d go get our hair blow dried and teased. We’d get gelati and walk past Luna Park to the beach, and flirt with cute guys while dipping our feet in the ocean. Then we’d go home to have pre-drinks of vodka with cranberry juice, and start getting ready to go out for dinner.

For dinner we’d meet up with the rest of my family and everyones partners, and all my mates. We’d eat creamy garlic prawns with hot chips and get wasted together, shotting Jager bombs. Everyone would be dancing to Beyonce who would sing on stage, right in front of us. We’d play pool and I’d actually be good at it for once, instead of my usual hack ways.

In the end I’d fall onto my bed, exhausted, and have pleasant dreams forever.

“Sure as all that breathe will die

And showers fall from April skies

A heart thats pure won’t be denied

The kind of loving that will rock you

The kind of loving that will keep you

Hold you for a lifetime..

Even in the sad times.”