Sunday, October 24, 2004

I graduated from university on Friday

I am a graduate, therefore I can no longer show you my face on the internet.

Blokey bloke bloke

When scanning the television guide for stuff to watch on Friday night, I chose not to view this. Thinking it might be something like this; I found that it is actually more like this. Of course, my reasons for not watching this program are obvious: such blatant disregard for the proper use of apostrophes should not be rewarded. And why do they have to take the lovely word 'bloke' and turn it into something so undesirable? Bill Bailey made it sound so nice in Bewilderness (2001).
Are there any men in? [No response.] Any women? [YES - the women respond.] Ah, you see, there's this crisis in masculine identity at the moment. Women are totally at home with their sexuality. I am woman, wo-man. I woman, wo-man. Men: ehh ahh er. Someone else will shout out. Alright, is there any blokes in? [YEAH - the blokes respond.] You see, there's a term that men feel more comfortable with. Bloke, blokey bloke bloke bloke. It's a kind of friendly term. Ah, he's a lovely bloke, he's a nice bloke, blokey bloke bloke. I'm a bloke, you're a bloke, blokey bloke. It doesn't impose any unnecessary demands on us as men. Bloke; that's basically - carry stuff, don't get in the way. Blokey bloke bloke. Man; that's all kinds of other things isn't it? That's nobility, gallantry, wisdom. That conjures up some image of a bloke in a cardigan and a pipe saying, "cover up those table legs mother, they're inflaming my sexual ardour. For I am a man! Ha ha ha!" You can't live up to that . . . When a woman says no, she means no. When a man says yes, it means he probably hasn't understood the question.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

How to snag a nice nerdy boy

Rationale: Sick of bad boys? Sports addicts? Yobbos? Figured out that Mr Darcy is actually not your ideal partner? Ready to settle down with someone who will be your best friend? Get yourself a nice nerdy boy!

Step 1: First you'll need to meet a nerdy boy, which might prove a little difficult, since many spend a lot of their time in front of a computer. However, if you have a nerdy pastime, perhaps you'll meet one through it. Or maybe a friend or sibling has nerdy friends. But if you still find yourself without a nerdy boy, never fear - many nerdy boys are trying to meet nice girls on the internet.

Step 2: Check out nerdy boy. Dress-sense and grooming may be somewhat questionable, but that's a small price to pay for an understanding, intelligent, kind and honest person.

Step 3: Talk to the nerdy boy like you would an old friend. Don't play games or send signals, because the nerdy boy probably won't recognise these strange customs. Find common points of interest.

Step 4: Make the first move. No matter how many knowing looks and accidental touches you give the nerdy boy, it's entirely possible that he has no idea that you're romantically interested in him (see step 3).

Step 5: Live happily ever after...

Monday, October 18, 2004

Insider ideological information

I really want to understand what goes on inside the right-wing mind. This story is just fantastic - because it's funny and interesting and well-written and it says a little bit about why people are politically conservative.

This doesn't mean I'm not going to be devastated if Bush returns to office. I'm glad there's such a time gap between the Australian and US elections - so we all have time to recover between decisions, lest they both be dreadful.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Richard Dawkins...

...has a new book. Despite its apparent failings if, unlike me, you need something with which to decorate your coffee table (I have trouble keeping mine tidy), you couldn't go wrong with this one.

A friend came over on Friday night and commented on the reading material in our bathroom. There was an issue of New Internationalist; Advocate, the journal of the National Tertiary Education Union; Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science; and The Emerging Mind. Daniel reckons this selection says that we are very clever and have absolutely no sense of humour, so we'll have to put The Onion's Our Dumb Century back in there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

It wasn't me

I received this today by email. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Several friends have responded to my previous post. One said, "unfortunately, as far as I can tell, most people ARE stupid AND selfish." Another, "I think people are afraid and cowards, not stupid or malicious." Of course I'd prefer to accept the latter, but only if it's the truth. I know that a lot of people have probably had a lot of intelligent things to say about the election and I should probably do some reading when I'm in the right state of mind.

It looks like either the government will win a majority in the Senate, or the balance of power will be held by Family First. So we're either fucked or double-fucked.

The very name "Family First" gives some explanation for why the government was re-elected. People with children often care more about their families than anything else. They're also so involved with their families that it's difficult to see outside them. Caring about your family when you don't care about refugees (say) is considered selfless. There's something screwed up with this. I don't have children, so for a long time I've felt that I shouldn't make a judgment about other people who do. However, I know some people who love their partner and children, and think that other people in the world matter as well. So my patience with people who can't seem to do this is beginning to wane.

In other news, it's 34 degrees right now. Yikes.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Black Sunday

Australia has re-elected the incumbent government with an increased majority. I can't bear to read a newspaper or watch television commentary. No doubt I'll eventually be able to face it, but the shock is too great right now.

We were appalled by the public's response to Tampa in 2001. We should be used to the idea that most people in this country make terrible political decisions.

What this says about the moral fortitude of the majority of the population I'm afraid to speculate on today. It's easy to think that most people are mean, selfish and stupid, because then we can just give up and ignore politics forever. I could take up basket weaving instead. It's more difficult to come to an empathetic understanding of why people voted the way they did, because it creates hope that something might change some day, and we should continue the fight to make that change happen.

But I'm still probably going to make the difficult choice - to try to figure out what was going on in people's minds when they voted Liberal - later, when I'm less emotionally connected to the whole thing, because I just can't bear living in a society where I have no faith that the next person is probably mostly good.

My parents taught me that most people are basically good. This is because God created them and God is in them. I don't believe in God anymore, so I don't have any reason to believe that people are good apart from the evidence of their actions. And I really want to find this evidence so I can be happy and not isolated.

Maybe the answer is that the advertising campaign was clever and most people are actually quite stupid - not being able to see through the campaign and not paying attention to sophisticated media. I could probably live with that. Stupid. Not selfish or mean. Just dumb. Thick. Can't help it.

Of course, then there's the question of why people didn't care about our involvement in the Iraq war, why people didn't care about detention of asylum seekers and why people didn't care that Howard lied about children overboard. I can't stop my brain from taking the next logical step and concluding that most Australians think white people good, brown people bad.


I had a large evening of commiserating last night that concluded at about 7am. But at some stage I've got to sober up and face the world. Perhaps my outlook will be a bit more colourful tomorrow.

Friday, October 08, 2004


A classic. I used to spend lots of time and make a mess salting the eggplant and zucchini, but I've now rebelled and discovered that it's fine not to go to the trouble. Excellent on pasta, in lasagne, on cous cous, with your favourite bread and (I'm told) as an accompaniment to red meat. Don't worry if the eggplant, zucchini and capsicum isn't exactly in the proportions below. Also, I've suggested you use three different capsicum because the variety of colours and flavours is nice, but don't worry if you've only got two. This recipe is adapted from Charmain Solomon's.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 small red capsicum
  • 1 small green capsicum
  • 1 small yellow capsicum
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 440g tin of chopped tomatoes (or four large red tomatoes peeled and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cook finely chopped onion and oil in a large saucepan on a low heat for 10 minutes or until soft. Add crushed or chopped garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Cut eggplant, capsicum and zucchini into chunks. Add to saucepan and cook over a low heat, covered, for 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, coriander, herbs and salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 30-40 minutes.

If you're just having ratatouille with cous cous or bread, you might consider the taste sensation that is baking an egg in it. Put ratatouille in an oven-proof dish and make wells with a spoon. Crack eggs into the wells and cook in a 180 degree oven until the eggs are cooked as desired.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

God before green

Support for the Greens has grown in Australia over the last four years, and they are losing their reputation as a single issue party. You'd be forgiven for thinking that the ideology of the Greens is somewhat similar to the Democrats. After all, they seem to have similar positions on policy issues such as health, education, defence, refugees, the environment and even economics.

So imagine my surprise to find that the Democrats' NSW Senate preferences are (to select a few prominent parties):
4. Family First (anti-abortion, anti-gay, "conservative family values" party backed by the wealthy Assemblies of God churches, which contain lots of voters, and moreover, lots of bodies to hand out how-to-vote cards on polling day)
12. Christian Democratic Party (the awful awful Fred Nile - possibly more conservative than Family First)
13. No GST (a creation of David Oldfield and David Ettridge - formerly of One Nation)
17. The Greens
21. 50% Liberal/National, 50% Labor
Ah well, you might say, that's politics, and I'm sure the Greens
have made similarly ideologically bankrupt preferences. No:

7. Democrats
10. Labor
13. Liberal
19. No GST
21. Family First
25. Christian Democratic
Note - Family First have made some amazing preference deals this election with major and minor parties alike. So take an extra minute and vote below the line!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Am sick again

Sorry for not posting. Tummy bug. Have had to skip interesting long-weekend activities. Daniel is missing a rare social activity tonight to make me soup and watch lemonade go flat and generally be nice.

In other news, Mickey is now even more famous than he was before.