My leftie days went much further than you suspect.
Was I a member of university environmental and social justice groups?
Did I ever vote Green?
Did I argue with my girlfriend that women were discriminated against, even though she countered that her (higher paying than mine) profession was female-dominated at all levels?
Did I hand out leaflets arguing for all boat people to be allowed into Australia?
Erm . . . check.
Did I volunteer to teach English to refugees/economic migrants from an outstandingly backward Muslim country?
Well . . . that is to say . . . it’s not what it seems . . . Read More
Al Jazeera sometimes does a brief story on Australia. It is very rarely about a bushfire, Toyota plants closing down or a state election. Rather, it is almost always about how Australians are mean, racist and Islamophobic.
Most recently we had that ridiculous coverage of the closure of the Manus Island detention facility for refugees/illegal migrants in Papua New Guinea. After years of protests, the government decided it wasn’t great and moved the detainees into community accommodation elsewhere on the island. Most of the detainees went, but a large number stayed and protested even more. What were they protesting about now? Oh, it was Read More
Ever since childhood, when I first saw one of those news segments about a fat American who had to be lifted out of his room with a crane, I’ve had a morbid fear of becoming morbidly obese. Strangely, the thing I find most horrifying is being stuck in one’s room for twenty years. Sad!
I know a few of you are going to put up your hands in confession to doing this, too: I sneak a peak at what fat people eat to see what the bloody hell’s going on. Not people who are a little chubby. FAT people.
I always expect to find that they eat healthily but just have some sort of glandular imbalance that causes them to get fat, but what I always uncover is Read More
It wasn’t a rock and roll concert. It wasn’t a passing gay pride march. It wasn’t even a former Catholic’s fit of pique.
It was a girl.
After I had to cautiously break up with a psychopathic girlfriend, I took the bus home thankfully unstabbed and with both my little balls still attached and I thought, that’s enough. I can’t do this any more. I’d had a string of awful breakups with mad partners – some suicidal, some violent – and I’d had a gutful.
I decided I would only date casually.
Some time passed and I ended up dating two Read More
Hiking in Australia, even just outside Sydney, you could walk for days and never see another soul. Here one always encounters boys herding goats, dusty villages, women collecting water and the odd camel train.
How much English does a local, twelve year old goatherd know, you might wonder. Well there’s one word he always knows very well and will repeat to you over, and over, and over, sometimes for hours, until you either leave the area or he can follow you no longer. He puts out a brown palm and says, Read More
The last few weeks have been hard. The toughest of my career, though I’m now experienced enough to take it in my stride and bounce back. But, Jesus. This week especially was tough. Too many more weeks like that and I’m done.
Thursday I got home exhausted and frustrated. I cancelled my language lesson and skipped the gym. I got straight onto the computer, went over my accounts and did some calculations. My query: can I retire as soon as I finish this contract, in two years time? Fully retire, and never deal with this stress and bullshit for the rest of my life?
I figured, Read More