It’s been bewildering watching Australia drift back toward a past where White Australia impulses rejected by Holt, McMahon and Fraser have re-proliferated in conservative minds. It’s a rationale more extreme than apartheid in South Africa, for, instead of segregating black and white societies within a common country, it seeks to deny, prevent and deligitimise the very existence of non-white communities. Labor, spineless in their pursuit of a perceived identity-based voter in the marginals, far from offering any impactful opposition, instead contribute to the naturalisation of these ideas since the Tampa at least. When he called the 2000 election, Howard said “this election more than any other will be about leadership”. Howard said, “Beasley does not have the ticker”. When the Tampa crossed the horizon, Beasley proved him right. Faced with that first poll coming out of A Current Affair (the Fox News of that period) Beasley fumbled for a day or so trying to work out his position, before falling behind the polls of Howard’s Australia, thus initiating a pattern which remains into this current election campaign. A Whitlam, Hawke or Keating would not have taken a breath to consider right from wrong. A generation of change toward a society where diversity is understood to be one of our greatest strengths was subverted.

Factcheck: is Labor’s policy on asylum seekers and refugees any different to the Coalition’s? | Australian election 2022 | The Guardian

A decade later, the Gillard government was very self-congratulatory about its “forward thinking” Asian Century White Paper, an Orientalist document which megaphoned that we are open and responsive to Asia, so long as there’s a dollar in it. A paper which failed to see “Asia” as anything other than “them”, oblivious to the Asia within us. The Gillard government were spruiking it at the very time that, in response to a perception that Asian kids were exploiting an unfair advantage in the HSC, the Kenneally Labor government in NSW was implementing a handicap for HSC students wanting to study the first language of a parent, thus undermining what would otherwise be our exponentially greatest asset in integrating with Asia – Australians sharing their heritage with the people with whom the ALP wished to engage. Would it be absurd to handicap kids in HSC English if one or more of their parents spoke English as their first language? Though it’s since been tweaked, Kenneally’s “Heritage Language” handicap continues to discourage kids who might otherwise have an advantage in developing language skills to a level that would equip them for Australian business, government, and cultural engagement outside the Anglosphere.

Liberal Party MP Fiona Martin confuses Labor’s Sally Sitou for Tu Le.

If you want to live in an Australia where the White Australia mindset remains wholly and consistently rejected, you will not be voting for the current conservatives, but don’t for a minute think you should vote for the current Labor Party. These are people who have lost their way.

incredible glasses cases

Who gave me this? Could it be anyone other than my sister, Lesa Farnsworth AKA Gallagher AKA MacNamara AKA Neon Goddess! The best I have known. You are a reminder that no-one is more valued and loved than a person with a pure heart. What a “Regal” gift you once gave me. Was it my birthday? What year was it? I’ve had this case a long time, maybe since the ’90s. Still looks as fresh as the day I got it. One thing about you, love, is you know quality when you see it.

Leopart skin spectacles case
Leopard skin spectacles case, Elton & Mills, Sydney.

(the blanket of course is from our mother)

The dating game

I spend a week back in Bondi now and then, cat-sitting Rollo for Toby and Steph. I’m normally on my own and that suits me. There’s a place on Curlewis Street called Speakeasy, and I keep going back there for their meatballs, their 🍄 mushroom over polenta, and their yummy wines. Tonight I was reading The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (a good read), trying not to be distracted by the gorgeous people, cars and motorcycles zooming or ambling by (I can’t help but look up sometimes).

I saw a slender woman standing on the corner opposite, not as striking as many of the women around here, but charming looking in her own way. Middle aged, with snipped hair unusually fully grey, and a sensible, stylish casual dress.

I went back into my book and I don’t know how many minutes passed, maybe three mouthfuls of mushroom and polenta, two sips of wine, a page of the book.

A couple took a table next to me, and I looked up to see it was the slender, charming, but not Bondi glamour lady and her slender, charming looking, but not Bondi hunk beau. Not long passed and though I wasn’t going out of my way to listen, it was clear they’d literally just come to Speakeasy to meet for the first time. I looked again and thought, these two look like match. His greying hair suggested a darker shade than hers in his youth, but placed him in an earlier quarter of middle age like her.

Not deliberately, I caught bits of their conversation. The proximity made it unavoidable. I overheard him say, “you’re only as old as the woman you feel”, and though I hadn’t caught the conversation immediately preceding it, I cringed as she gave an obvious response. Can’t recall precisely what she said but it was along the lines of “we’re not making bad puns already are we?”

She was a nurse, and following an awkward exchange after he’d asked her what type of nurse, he told her they could talk in terms of some medical acronym he was familiar with, as a result of some aspect of his life I’d missed. He used the acronym four or five times in the space of a few sentences, apparently the only acronym he knew from the world of nurses. She brushed the conversation gently in some other direction.

It is not uncommon for heterosexual men on the social fringe of a place like Bondi to seek opportunities to discreetly drop hints about their macho adventure lifestyle into conversation, or to drop them when the opportunity didn’t arise. Scuba diving, something else, and his bike, a KTM 390. She speculated about his motorbike, maybe she said cruiser, and he explained that KTM were known for their line of moto-cross bikes, but that his was a different style, it sat higher. Oh, so more of a racing style, she said. She apparently had limited knowledge of motorcycles, but could speak of them in an authoritative manner.

I was out of wine and meatballs so I paid and moved on. It’s probable the guy wasn’t a dickhead, but from what I caught I reckon that was her impression. I hope he was just nervous and that she realised it. Part of me wants to believe they landed in bed together in a screaming heap of orgasms, but it was not looking promising.

Kevin Rudd’s call for a Royal Commission into the “cancer” on democracy

Former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has called for a Royal Commission into the concentration of media ownership in Australia, singling the Murdoch media empire out for its aggressively monopolistic and partisan activities. A Royal Commission into the corrupting effects of the media on democracy shouldn’t stop at the Murdoch press. I’ve seen lazy, half-baked reporting, massaging of truths, and supposition from several corners of the press, including national broadcasters, the ABC and BBC, with geopolitical implications. If Australia follows the US into a war with China, ABC journalists will be equally responsible for bringing on the level of hatred and mistrust within the community that has made it possible. I detected a new editorial tack from the ABC just this week with regard to China, but the horse has bolted.

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You’re fired.

Donald Trump, please resign. You’re not needed. You’re not the right person for the job, especially now. We’re about to be force-fed the second-rate circus that is a US election. Your presence will only make it more putrifying. I caught some grabs of the Democrats’ party convention this week and if it wasn’t bad enough listening to their delusionally smug commentariat the past four years, two fat greasy fingers stuffed down my throat would be a more enjoyable way to gag myself. Saddest, they seem to think it’s back to business as usual, as though the absurdity of a Trump presidency was not enough to shake them out of the stupefying orthodoxy. That’s the reason you’re president.

Obviously, Pence is an arse but he’ll scrape through the rest of the year. Anything is better than you, “leader of the free world”. What a wonderful advertisement for US democracy, for democracy in general. You’re a moron, get out, you’re fired.

team america vomit GIF