No whining

I hate whingeing.  People who can’t drop a spoon, miss a green light or endure a bit of rain without furiously shaking their fist at the very heavens and making a big song and dance about it.  Boo hoo!  Life is so unfair.  No one else ever, EVER misses a green light.  Woe is me.

If you were born in a civilized country you’ve already won the lottery of life and have no legitimate grounds to complain about much at all, unless you’ve been locked up for a murder you didn’t commit or something like that, and I very much doubt you have.

So just pick up the Read More

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Oxfam whores

For reasons some of you may be aware of, I upload posts many months after I have written them.  Hence my topical articles are stale and I have to remind you what they’re all about.

Cast your mind back around eight thousand years, to the heady days of February 2018 when some Oxfam staff got busted rooting Haitian whores.  Remember that?  No?  Well, look it up while the rest of us get on with it.

There are many curious and interlocking layers of hypocrisy involved.  Let us peel back the onion layers until we cry.

First, everyone pretended to be Read More

Reading the right thing at the right moment

I read a lot, and every now and then the material is so perfectly apt to my present thoughts or circumstances I get a little superstitious.

The other day I was feeling down.  I was thinking, fifteen more months in this bloody country.  I was thinking, things might get even worse.  My mind ran through the various grim possibilities, some more plausible than others.  The new boss being a nut.  Being refused an exit permit.  My company being nationalized.  I also thought about war breaking out but that would actually be a good thing – Read More

Stupid people think you’re stupid

There was some interesting research a while back which I refer to here almost daily.  It compared how expert people thought they were in various fields versus how expert they actually were.

They found that actual experts realized they were knowledgeable on the topic but admitted gaps, those in the middle recognized themselves as such and those who knew absolutely nothing thought they knew everything.

I experience this phenomenon at work.  People who know a bit about my field or who have high intelligence and good general knowledge see me as I am: a Read More

Steve

Steve thought Japan was awesome right from his first night in the country.  Fresh from Broken Hill, we let him drop off his bags then took him directly to our local, Bar Accredit.  There was some sort of DJ event on and the place was packed.

What Steve immediately liked was that the music was great, everyone was dancing, and the J-girls were so friendly that they were taking off the foreign men’s shirts and doing sexy dancing with them.

One girl in particular took a shine to him but she spoke no English.  His usual game hamstrung, he decided on a more blunt approach that could not fail to be understood.  He took her by the hand, pointed at the door and said, Read More

The arrogance of non-profits

Back when the mighty Stegosaurus roamed the earth I was a skinny, long-haired uni student wondering what to do with my life.  I knew that I wanted to make a difference, and I was quite sure that I would, but the problem was that I had no particular skills nor did I stand out in any way.  However, I was me – surely I’d land on my feet and end up working for some glamorous department of the UN or in some wonderful NGO or maybe as an ethics advisor to an enormous global corporation, making the world better bit by bit every day that I rode to its campus on my mountain bike.

Now, I understand at this point some of my readers want to pull my ears and punch my nose but you can’t because this is the internet.  Fair enough.  I will pull and punch them for you because I know how much I deserve it: Ow!  Arr!  Yowza!

Okay, done.

Of course, like the rest of humanity, when adulthood finally arrived to smash the stupidity out of me in the form of Read More

The two civilizations

There are two advanced civilizations extant on Earth – East and West.

The West has its origins in ancient Greece and Rome, and has spread through the British Empire to North America and Australasia, together with trace amounts in southern Africa.  While Hungary and New Zealand are obviously quite different, there is a common current running through them.

The first Western country I ever visited aside from my birthplace was Read More

The Incapable Continent

While hiking up in the hills, a JICA guy pointed out a new groundwater and irrigation project in a valley far below.  He explained that it was to improve the water supply in a nearby village.

“Who did that for them, then?” I asked cynically.

“France.”

A remarkable feature of this country is just how little the physical infrastructure has been improved since distant colonial times.  After decades of independence there are still only the old European buildings lining the streets.  There are no Read More

Bloody emigrants

Some lefty comedians on Triple J once thought it would be funny to ring a right-wing shock jock live on air and ask him if there was too much emigration.  They got the desired reaction from him: “Emigrants?  Like, people who want to leave Australia?  Who cares about them?  They can bloody well bugger off!”

But sometimes emigration is a greater issue than immigration.  This has often been the case in Read More