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Human Behaviour

5 Dec

‘Human Behaviour’ is a gloriously mad song by the gloriously mad Bjork.

I wanted to be a journalist back in the day before I really understood how dangerous and competitive a job it would be. I don’t have what it takes to pry into somebody’s business and destroy their lives for the sake of a story.

I keep abreast of the news and like to read the comments by the readers. The quality of  Australian news media leaves a lot to be desired. The newspapers recyle the same trash and ‘The Age’, once a respected paper, is almost on par with the very right wing, biased rag ‘The Herald Sun’. ‘The Australian’ is probably the only paper worth reading for Melburnians but it’s not easily accessible. Papers in the other states are just as bad.

The following list seem to be topics that are discussed nowadays are (in no particular order). Some actual, real news would be nice for a change.

1. Whether or not smoking should be banned in outside of restaurants/sidewalks/public places in general. I’m a non-smoker but feel rather sorry for the smokers. Smokers have the right smoke their coffin nails in peace

2. Should marijuana be legalised. I roll my eyes whenever I see this topic as it’s pulled out every few days. I did see a debate about legalising ecstasy recently so maybe they’re moving onto harder drugs.

3. The pay packets of CEOs. Jobs are cut and the proles struggle yet they still earn huge salaries.

4. Gillard vs Abbott. Or Gillard vs Rudd. Or mix it up a bit with Bailieu, Carr and others. And whatever problem Australia has now, blame it on Gillard. Politician hate has always been fashionable and our first female Prime Minister is especially disliked.

5. Housing prices. Sky rocketing and those meanie banks keep raising interest rates.

6. Should teachers be paid more. Occasionally they’ll be very controversial and ask whether or not nurses or police should be paid more. Prepare for the whinge from teachers about how much they work and having to deal with ratty kids.

7. The death of retail. It’s the government’s fault, take your pick of which. Be prepared for complaints about customer service, how cheap things are online and why can’t Gerry Harvey just shut up. Oh, and of course it’s the government’s fault.

8. Whether or not Australia should stay a monarchy or become a republic. Australia still wants a monarchy but when things are quiet, this topic is a good standby.

9. Should gays be allowed to married. Occasionally they’ll push the envelope further and ask gays should be allowed to adopt. Prepare also for a religious debate here. And homophobes are kinda funny in an awful way.

10. Whether or not Australia is a racist country. Oh boy, this is a fun topic. Throw the term ‘bogan’ around a bit and you’re set.

11. Asylym seekers and immigration and general. It’s seen as a drain on our resources and those who come over are seen as savage ingrates. Oh and they supposedly steal jobs from the locals. The media fuels the paranoia, omigodtheyretakingover.

12. The laws of other countries. Bali and Indonesia get a fair bit of coverage due to some silly tourist bringing drugs into the country and being harshly punished for it. Of course we Aussies think that our laws are the only ones that matter.

13. The Myki fiasco. Myki is Melbourne’s troubled transport smartcard system that has become a national joke due to its delays and immense financial cost.

14. Getting rid of the pokies. Gambling addiction is a problem but the pokies are a soure of revenue for the government so it’s unlikely they’ll get rid of them any time soon.

15. Compulsory immunisation of children is the latest hot topic. Prepare for pop science from both sides.

16. Centrelink benefits and teen mothers. Teen mothers are living it up on government benefits and shows like ‘Teen Mom’ from America don’t help matters.

And some other great topics to recyle are taxi drivers who don’t take passengers, overseas call centres, carbon tax, delayed flights, ipads, internet filters, abortion, euthanasia, etc.

Sadeness

23 Nov

Remember ‘Sadeness’ by Enigma? Probably the only song that charted that had Gregorian chants. It’s a strange, hypnotic, sensual song. I didn’t like it when I was young, it was a bit too weird. The interest in mysticism in the 90s probably stems from this song. Interesting song, religious and about the Marquis de Sade. Ah Sade, that crazy weirdo. The original practitioner of s&m, he believed that sex had to be painful to be pleasurable. It’s quite a topic for a popular song.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and not in Aus), you’ve heard about the Jill Meagher case. A pretty woman who worked at the ABC who went missing and was later found dead. In a senseless attack by a stranger.

As insensitive as it might be, I’m a bit over it. It was undoubtedly horrible and sad but the media really overplayed it. Every front page was dedicated to Jill and it seemed that every news program was too (from the two minutes of tv I saw in waiting rooms). I read that a couple of other women had gone missing as well but they were just mentioned in passing. Those women it turned out later had died of natural causes but they had been missing for about the same time as Jill and potentially could have been in danger.

So Jill had been out drinking with her work colleagues at night and then vanished. There was footage from a clothing shop and she and a man were outside and appeared to be arguing. The mystery heightened, did she know him, were they having an affair, was he a stranger. Her body turned up a few days later, she had been stabbed and the killer arrested. A seemingly ordinary guy and it was an opportunistic killing.

The media increased its frenzy. It became more obsessed about her, this pretty Irish expat with a bright future had been taken from us. She had worked at the ABC as a Radio Coordinator so it undoubtedly had something to do with the intense press coverage. It got to the point where Jill’s family actually asked the public not to say anything more that might bias the trial against the killer.

Then the marches started. March for Jill’s memory! Peace March! March for more public cameras! Say no to violence against women! It’s not as if women are being murdered on a regular basis and that this murder could have been completely avoided. There will always be sickos who will go out for a kill. We know about ‘stranger danger’, it’s been drilled into us. We’ve heard enough about women being murdered and avoid dark alleys.

A young girl, Sarah Cafferkey recently reported missing and later found to be murdered, again by older men. Unlike Jill, it is believed that Sarah knew these men. This incident happened a few weeks after Jill’s murder so it has heightened the public’s paranoia and sadness. It seems as though so many young women are being murdered and that Australia is no longer safe.

Both Jill and Sarah have become the poster girls for violence against women. Not just by strangers but by family members. There is to be a ‘White Ribbon’ march as somehow their murders have increased an awareness of domestic violence. Whilst it is always good for there to be stands on domestic violence, it seems like a bit of a farce. Jill and Sarah hadn’t been victims of abuse, they had just been targeted a couple of twisted men.

The public needs this. The picture of Jill next to a bookcase is haunting. She is looking upwards and smiling, innocent looking, pale faced and pretty. She is white, middle-class with a good job, things like this aren’t meant to happen. Sarah is smiling and looks your typical popular 22-yr old.

The public’s obsession with the women is exhausting. The more marches there are, the more hysteria. They need to preserve the memory of these two pretty white women. Let them, it’s upsetting yes but frankly, the marches are about rebelling against the patriachal society. Men killed the women. It’s a march about feminism, we have the right to wear short skirts, be alone at night and not be murdered.

Don’t Worry Baby

15 Nov

I was a 90s kid who grew up with music on records. The parents thought cds and cd players were an overpriced extravagance so we didn’t get one til my late teens. We had maybe twenty cds that were mainly bargain basement instrumental Muzak. I remember that one had, oh the awfulness, pan flute covers.  Anyway, I’m a fan of the dreamy music of ‘The Beach Boys’.

I’ve been following the tragic story of the Krim family whose nanny brutally murdered their children. I used to nanny when I was at uni and so sometimes read fluff about celebrity nannies, new york nannies, etc. So coincidentally, the Krim murders had just happened when I was googling. It was beyond horrifying. This nanny had brutally stabbed two innocent children in the family’s Park Avenue home. It had the makings of a Hollywood thriller or ‘Law and Order’ episode. The attractive, wealthy family who had it all and the nanny who resented them.

The story becomes more tragic when one reads entries in Marina Krim’s blog. Some cruel commentators have dismissed her as being a shallow rich bitch who would rather do lunches or get her nails done whilst leaving her kids to the ‘help’ to raise. Marina’s blog is heartbreaking because she writes about her love for her kids and the outings she had with them. There’s a cheeriness and innocence in them that makes easy to relate to. She is every mother, despite the money. She talks about the nanny ‘Josie’ with affection and about the trip the family took to the Domenican Republic to see ‘Josie’s’ family. Looking at the pictures and reading the happy blog, I felt sick that the happy family life was about to be destroyed.

It was gruesome. The nanny had stabbed Leo whilst he was sleeping. Lucia had tried to defend herself about the knife. How could she have won. This crazed animal was attacking her and she had no hope, she was only a little girl. Then Marina Krim came home with Nessie and the nanny stabbed herself.

I can’t fathom it. Children are such pure creatures. I fell in love with every kid I was taking care of, despite not always liking the parents. I breathed in their baby skin and then fell asleep on me. I was their protector for a short while and would have done anything for them. In fact, I used to fantasise that if the parents for some reason weren’t able to take care of them, I’d adopt them. In a totally non psychotic way of course. Stories about children are always hard to take.

One interesting part of the Krim story is the divided opinion of the Krim family. It’s disgusting but some feel that the parents are to blame for the nanny’s psychosis. One could have empathised with the nanny, Yoselyn Ortega had she not killed anybody. We all experience money troubles and we all work for managers who earn significantly more and we don’t always love our bosses. I was referred to as ‘the babysitter’ in my younger days and was taken advantage of by a wealthy Toorak mother who didn’t work. Humiliating, yes, but I would never have harmed anyone. Ortega was struggling financially so the Krims offered to give a her a few hours of cleaning a week to do for extra cash. Some see that as a strike against the Krims as Ortega was employed as nanny, not a housekeeper. They believe that Ortega should have been paid more. Hmm, money is money and a bit of extra cleaning is sometimes easier than taking care of kids. Yet Ortega felt that it was beneath her. Another ‘justification’ for her gruesome act was Marina Krim being dismissive of her by not saying goodbye. And it turned out later that the Krims had suggested that she find employment elsewhere as her work was not up to standard and even recommended her to another family.

Hmm. Reasonable excuses for brutally murdering two children, methinks. Having to do a bit of cleaning for extra money a job which your employers have kindly created for you as you needed extra money. A spat with the boss whom you have had a good relationship for two years with! Who took you on a holiday to see your own family! And your own money problems are of course the fault of your well-off employers!

She wasn’t abused, she was paid a decent wage, she worked in good surroundings, she had a couple of seemingly trouble free kids to take of and the Krims considered her part of the family. Yet somehow, she has become a martyr for the overworked people on minimum wage with horrible wealthy bosses because of those terrible, terrible conditions. Yes, $18 an hour which is the going rate for nannies in New York is not enough. Heaven forbid that a nanny should be asked to do a bit of housework. If one does not want their children to be murdered, one must pay super high wages, regardless of how well the nanny performs. I find the attitudes of people who think this way as sickening as Ortega’s actions. How can some members of Western societies actually believe that the nanny could be justified by killing the kids. Thank goodness that it isn’t the majority opinion, I wouldn’t want to live on this planet if it weren’t the case.