August general chat with Bobi

Over to Bobi (ta muchly):

Now that the brouhaha of MasterChef is over – and didn’t we enjoy that – it is time to ramp up another general chatter thread.

School holidays have just finished here so I thought I would share my enforced viewing habits. I know … children’s shows … but, if you want something light and frothy, you can’t go far past something aimed at a pre-teen girl.

My measure of a good show is: does it appeal to an adult, how many times did the girls put it on repeat, and how many times could I sit through the repeats. It turns out that there are many. Who knew? Canadians invest a huge amount into children’s programming. We could learn a few things from them. Don’t you think we would be a better society if we followed their example? I might write to some of our pollies suggesting they increase funding to the ABC politicians/feedback . I wish I wasn’t so cynical.

Interestingly, the MD of the ABC has refused a pay rise. I would like to think that I had that much integrity but I still have a mortgage and that kind of trumps everything.

Number one on the girl’s list is Odd Squad (ABC and Netflix). If Odd Squad was on cassette, the tape would have worn through. I had to use bribery and corruption (mainly chocolate) to give myself a break.

Little Lunch (ABC) was a close second. This is an oldie but a goodie. It has been around since 2015 but it is charming. The child actors are more than competent, and interestingly, include Joshua Sitch, son of Rob Sitch and Jane Kennedy. I’m guessing there’s a family business somewhere around here.

The same producers/writers have gone on to produce The Inbestigators (ABC) (yes, it is an extraordinarily bad pun). Different cast, obviously, because the previous set of kiddies have aged out of the genre. It has a similar construct but is just lacking something. Maybe the actors are not quite as good. It’s a shame because the girls were looking forward to it.

Never mind. They were persuaded to go in the direction of Hardball (ABC). I think that I enjoyed this one slightly more than the girls but then I have always had a fondness for NZ humour.

And an honourable mention goes to Horrible Histories. This is a British show so, be warned, overt learning is involved. The girls love a bit of grossness, as do I. It does require either reading ability or reading out loud by me. This one really straddled the boundary between adult/children, or maybe it was just for older children. Nevertheless, the girls had fun.

So Boris Johnson, hey? Between that and the European heat wave, anyone else feel like Armageddon is just around the corner? I am going to take a leaf out of Daisy’s book and stay loose. Here is a depiction of Daisy on her summer holiday, not giving a rats.

But to end on an incredibly high note, congrats to Zhee for starting a new adventure and working with my favourite food group – sugar.

– Bobi



  1. I have had to watch so many episodes of Captain Underpants… and a Minecraft which is like a Choose Your Own Adventure. I miss the days of Ben and Holly being Mr 7’s go to show.

    • I have banned mine craft. There is something really off about it.
      I don’t mind Captain Underpants but it’s early days.

      • I uxed to have such a good time with grand daughter no 1 but now she has a phone, it’s all stupid mine craft.

  2. For the adults among us, who also happen to have Netflix, I have just started watching Blown Away.
    It’s a reality competition for glass makers, and is genuinely suspenseful.
    They make these beautiful pieces which can just shatter at the crucial moment.
    And the people are odd without being annoying.
    One of the better reality shows on my list.

    • That sounds fun! Is there stupid dramatic music though – that kills so many reality shows for me.

  3. Thanks, Bobi. A fun review and I love the picture of the bright and breezy me. That’s because Woolif has booked everything and is carrying the luggage (British Bulldog might say it all). Anyhow I look bright and breezy on top, but am giving the finger below. Wait…that came out wrong…edit. Scroll down the page to see I am giving the finger…, that doesn’t work either. Oh well, here is my “up your” list:
    Anyone who is habitually late, and runs for a ferry that has a 3 hour boarding time.
    Anyone who keeps me awake at night.
    Anyone who leaves dog poop in the street.
    People who save/bags sunlounges then doesn’t come to use them until afternoon.
    People who push in line.

    It’s actually longer than longer than that but you did such a lovely impression of me on one dose of my pain killer, that I will leave it there.

  4. Horrible Histories has cult status in our place. We have been watching for years, even the current new cast who, as usual, don’t quite match up to the old. DS and I can sing many of the songs, too. “William, William, Henry, Stephen, Henry, Richard, John…Oi!!”
    Such clever writing and acting, and totally unique.

  5. Well, it’s August, and I don’t have any new adventures on the horizon. Yet. It’s funny, I said to my family last week that, this weekend is the first weekend I haven’t had any plans at all … so I’m catching up on some cleaning, and reading lots of books. Space is in short supply, on my bookshelf, so if I keep a book, that means I’m going to reread it at least once or twice. Plus, I’m getting over my second flu of the season (I know I should get the vaccine, but it’s more, I’ve been prodded and poked with enough needles to last a lifetime. Several lifetimes, in fact. And unless it’s vitally important? I’m happy to get by without). Plus, two of my friends are moving away in August (one, just down to Brisbane for a work opportunity for a few months, but the other, to Japan indefinitely), so I’ll be going out and seeing people a few times.

    Most of my television habits subside, in the back half of the year. “Survivor” is about the only thing I’m going to be following religiously, for the next few months, with “Ninja Warrior” ending tonight. I’m undecided about the Bachelor. I think the novelty has worn off, and as much as I like the idea of this year’s bachie being a hot astrophysicist (smarts equals sexy), you get the same entertainment value from those five minute “Unpacked” segments they put up on Facebook, and they’re only five minutes.

    Manly tends to be the team I cheer for, in the NRL, as the finals creep ever closer. My first exposure to the game was falling deeply in love with a Manly winger (he was the cover-boy for one of those breast-cancer calendars, so, good cause). We know how I fall in love with people, right? 🙂 Anyway, he’s since retired from the game, but you know, your first team is your first team. So them and the Bunnies, as the finals creep closer. I’d love to visit Sydney (on my long-planned trip around Australia, that I never make plans to actually take) and visit one of those smaller suburban grounds, because I think that’d be really cool.

    Meanwhile, “Power Rangers Beast Morphers” continues to air on channel 9 on Sunday afternoons. We’re getting episodes months ahead of America, which is unusual but refreshing. I feel like, if I don’t watch, it’s throwing away a gift, even though the season hasn’t been very enjoyable (except for Steel, the larger-than-life robot who morphs into the Silver Ranger).

    • Thamks for the read Windsong. I agree with you on Bachie. I don’t know how it’s been going in the US, but I the love died for me when they started making it a gig for out of work ‘celebrities’.
      I have no doubt those boot camp boots will soon turn to hiking boots and travelling shoes.

    • I’m going to watch the Bachelor.
      I like the concept of Batchie telling bitches that he’s pissed off and sending one of them home.
      Enough of snowflakes trying to get their faces on telly by being “the villain” as a short cut to a career as an instagrammer.
      There’s not enough calling-it on these reality shows and I’m hoping he’s the grown up in the room taking a step back from the normalisation of putrid behaviour.

  6. Is there a chat for Australia’s Got Talent?

    Because if there is all I can say is what a frickin copy cat!! Opera singer rips off her skirt midway through an aria and proceeds to belt out a rock tune…. where have I seen that before ???

  7. When nothing interesting to me is on tv, I flip around between MASH and SBS Food Channel. Has anyone watched much of River Cottage Australia? I’d only seen bits before an episode a couple of weeks ago, usually thinking that he’s a hipster wanker, whose checked flannelette shirts probably cost $100 each, playing at living off the land. The episode that turned me off that show forever was the one on a chicken farm, where the farmer had a device that broke the chickens’ necks, and afterward they were immediately beheaded. I had no problem with the farmer; I eat a lot of chicken and know chooks die so I can have my nice stir-fry. But hipster dude was doing his first kill, picked up a chook and headed to the neck-breaker with seemingly not a second thought. I say seemingly because I stopped watching at that point. I’m not sure why it still bothers me weeks later – maybe because he could have stroked or patted the chook, or said thanks to it, before going for the kill.

    So, Windsong, have you any books to recommend? I was able finally to get a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale (book) from my library. I wasn’t sure it would catch me, but it has. And it’s unnerving that it was written in 1985, because it seems prescient to today.

    • Von, I like a book called Difficult Daughters, by an Indian Author. I forget who. Then there are some wonderful books by Rohan Mistry.

      • Most memorable book for me in the past year has been The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Not a new release, but one of those books that leaves you unsure about where you stand on different issues (colonization, mission work, family dynamics, the role of America as the saviour of all the backward countries of the world etc). There are characters to love, and to hate, and some of those characters have equal numbers who love or hate them.

    • I read “The Handmaid’s Tale” in college, in one of my literary classes. I don’t think I kept it, but I definitely remember reading it. That was some time ago now.

    • Funny about River Cottage Aus. I have watched about five minutes all up and it included that bit about the chicken killing machine (must have been during a MASH ad break, ’cause we watch that too). I was surprised how blaise they were, but then repetition has probably blunted their squeamishness.

      • I wasn’t surprised that the farmer was matter-of-fact about the kill, but thought the hipster would have shown some reluctance or emotion about killing.

  8. I can think of others but they are probably ones that everyone know Like Wild Swans, and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

  9. The Poisonwood Bible was one of the recommendations from Oprah’s book club. They were so passionately in favour that it kind of put me off.
    And I am not a Margaret Atwood fan so no Handmaid’s Tale for me. I have tried almost every book she has written (because I’m told I should) and just can’t. She is unrelentingly, painfully earnest.
    But so as not to end on too much of a downer, the winner of the Miles Franklin, Too Much Lip has been getting a great write-up (talk-up). I think this one may appeal to me and I m going to put my money where my mouth is.

    • Poisonwood was recommended by my MIL and I must admit that I had made up my mind to dislike it because her tastes are so often different to mine. So I only read it because I couldn’t return it without trying to read it. But it surprised me. The writing style takes some getting used to, initially,

  10. Haven’t read Handmaid’s Tale but saw the movie and have been watching the series. Season 3 has been moving very slowly until the latest episode.

  11. So, there is a new scifi show calles Another Life on Netflix. With Starbuck from Galactica. I thought: How bad can it be? She is awesome and I have body envy looking at her (and I have boyfriend envy, she is dating Karl Urban as I recently learnt).^^

    Well, it is horrible. Absolutely horrible. The only good thing is indeed Katee Sackhoff. It is a mishmash of everything scifi we have seen before. Arrival, Alien, Star Trek, you name it. And it is just a messy mess. Lost in Space wasn’t that great last year, but compared to this pile of poo, Lost in Space is a masterpiece!

    • I think Mr Juz started watching it because, well, Starbuck. I think he’s given up. We finished S2 of Dark (so timey wimey. Loved it. Even if I did have to keep pausing the TV to which character was which as it skips around the decades). And now we are committed to seeing OITNB through.

      • We just finished ep 2, not sure if I can continue. We also gave up on Happy!. Season 1 last year was fun, although really weird and pervy. But a fun mess. The second season is just… horrible. I actually started to feel really uncomfortable watching it.

        OITNB is on my list, I loved the show but I heard it has a bit of a disappointing ending. 🙁 Well, will see it myself soon.
        Next week the third season of Glow starts. I really enjoyed the first two seasons, even though I am not a big fan of the actress who plays the main character. Her voice annoys my especially.

        Btw, has anyone seen the trailer for Picard? I have to admit, I am a bit hyped for that one. It will be on Prime next year.

    • I’ve been told not to bother watching Another Life but I have had Dark recommended to me – and to concentrate and persevere. Apparently it’s a bit mind trippy. I’ve decided to save it a for a slow weekend.

      • Yeah you do have to just keep going and it can be hard to follow. Mr Juz was irritating me because he was playing an iPad game as we watched, and kept asking “who’s that?”. Grrrr!

      • Tbh, it is much easier to follow if you speak German.^^ I can imagine with subtitles it is getting a bit more difficult.
        It can be a bit pretentious and season 2 only builds up for the finale in season 3.

      • Sometimes you have to go back and watch some scenes over again with “The Dark”, but overall it’s interesting with lots of twists and turns. I started to watch season 2 but had forgotten some things so found a summary of season 1 and watched that before continuing with season 2.

    • I think it’s fair to be jealous of anybody dating Karl Urban. I had a crush on him, waaaaaay back when he was playing Eros on “Hercules” and “Xena”.

    • I thought about watching “Another Life” and read the reviews and they were horrible so I decided to pass. Thanks for confirming that it’s bad so I won’t waste my time watching.
      I’m watching “The Boys”, an Amazon Prime Original, about super heroes and some people who are out to get them. These super heroes aren’t all that they appear to be. Karl Urban is in this for you Karl Urban fans. There is some graphic violence and nudity.

  12. I did a lot of creative writing and cultural studies classes, in college, so I ended up reading a lot of those old classics. Most of them were interesting, and it’s good that all those texts are still relevant (which, I guess, says good things about the lecturers in charge of running those courses). There was only a couple of those old classics that I really hated (“Wuthering Heights” was a battle to get through. I couldn’t get through two pages without drifting off to sleep. “Frankenstein” was long-winded and painful, and “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad? I don’t remember the story, as much as I remember hating how much I had to force myself through it).

    Most of them are still on my book-shelf. Actually, you got me remembering. One of the ones I most liked was “Dracula”. More than a century old, but by gosh, it was creepy and unsettling. I think I had to read “The Great Gatsby”, at one point, but I didn’t, because I’d studied that one in high school, and loved it so much that I read it twice. It stuck with me, heh.

    • I didn’t like Wuthering Heights (the book – loved the song LOL). I also seem to be one of the few on earth who thinks Jane Eyre one of the worst books I have read. To be fair, the writing is really good at the start, but the storyline and characters – oh dear.

      Gatsby is on my to-read list.

      • I absolutely agree with you on Jane Eyre. There is no way that a book glorifying and rewarding misogyny, domestic violence, cheating (murder?) could get published these days. Well, not without being a bit tongue in cheek.
        I’ve given up watching operas for the same reason. The virtuous abused woman always sacrifices herself to save the rich dude, as if it was romantic, ffs. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  13. Coming here to update the AFL youth girls saga – because I can’t remember where I told you all my outrage. My daughter got punched and then kicked in an u18 footy game. There was no umpires report (our girl off footy for two games) so our club had to pay $500 to cite the girl. Tribunal Wednesday night – we WON. She got 2 week suspension. (Club only gets back $250 though – even though we were proved!)
    It was a horrid foul saga and the bare-faced lies from the other club were just incredible. The father trotted out this “it’s not her nature we are a gospel family” whatever THAT means.

    • Two weeks is pathetic. AFL players get 8 ~12 weeks for that kind of offence.

      Umpire should be suspended for not making report. I’d be trying to warn every club that comes up against that thug to keep a camera on her.

      • Strangely, the day after tribunal we got an email from our club to say they are going to record all home games and encourage parents to record away.
        It is this one club that is notorious – a parent of another club wrote to warn ours that they play dirty. We were all ‘yep, actually we KNOW this to be true’!
        Not good for our daughter though – she didn’t like the attention and calling out that she had been injured. Shefinally played again this weekent – pretty ordinary game too. I think she is gun shy. The problem now is that if we do play them again it will most likely be in the grandfinal. YUCK. Kind of want our team to bow out before then!!

    • Absolutely, BDD.
      And major congrats, BS. The process must have been tremendously tough to go through.
      I hate people who trot out religion to defend the indefensible (I suspect there’s some irony there).
      There’s been lots of discussion lately about the growing power of “Christian Supremacists” around the place. Mike Pence represents the pointy end of this group in America. It’s interesting but scary.
      But knowing a little about them now, I am not surprised at the girl’s thuggery or her father’s (and potentially the clubs/umpires) attitude to the event.
      I have mentioned that we’re all doomed, haven’t I?

      • In Italy we have occasionally seen monks/friars and nuns, and I noticed I that because of their religious attire I silently had a feeling that they were somehow special. Yesterday I asked Woolif (an atheist since the 60s) if they caused him to have the same subconcious reaction. He said it did.
        They I reminded him, and myself that they were just deluded people, continuing to delude others and no more special than the fat lady singing helleluia at Hillsong. I reminded him of all of the poverty sticken people over the centuries who have suffered more because they were told they need to tithe to the church, and that the lesson of the ” widow and her last coin” was used to rob poor widows.
        Sorry Bobi, you got me going on religion. I don’t like any of them.

        • I personally don’t have a specific problem with people being religious … until they start justifying awful, vile things by using their Bibles. “God wants me to do this!” is instant moral justification, so people convince themselves that they can do or say anything (even the most awful things), and it’s impossible to convince them otherwise. It all sounds hollow, to me. A Bible is ink printed on pages, bound in a factory and sold in a shop. Anyone can read one, and anyone can rock up to a church on a Sunday. But Bible reading and church attendance doesn’t automatically make you a better person, and I wish — I wish — more people understood this.

          But fundamentalism is it’s own problem. Look at Israel Folau. He’s covered in tattoos (which Leviticus explicitly prohibits), he’s played football matches and earned money on Sundays (according to Exodus, he should be stoned to death for that). And that’s what fundamentalism is, these days. “You all must obey the Bible! … but I don’t have to. Because reasons.” It’s pure hypocrisy, and it makes my blood boil. Hell, his family background is Mormon. You know, one man with twenty wives? But he can look at two men in a relationship and say, “That’s wrong and unnatural!” It’s why I hope the ARL nails that bastard to the wall.

          (I saw in a news report that the terms of Folau’s law suit include that he gets an apology from the ARL. Really, Israel? Are you going to apologise for telling people, “There’s something wrong with you because you were born different. Beg forgiveness for something you had no control over!”? No? Okay, just checking)

          I read something really interesting on Facebook, the other day, actually. It talked about how preaching to people is just as dangerous, for the people *doing* the preaching, as it is for the people who are being preached *at*. It’s about manipulation. Evangelism is *terrible* as a recruitment technique (bake sales have a higher success rate for getting someone into a cause), but it’s very successful at *keeping* church-goers there in the church. That’s what evangelism is supposed to achieve. You go out, preach at people, make them uncomfortable … and so you return to the church, and everyone tells you, “It’s okay, we’re Godly and they’re not, and we’re better than them.” It furthers tribe mentality, us-versus-them mentality. There’s a risk and reward pattern — a way of manipulating how someone thinks — that’s very similar to what abusers and kidnappers do to their victims. I found it an absolutely fascinating read. And it made me realise there’s a lot more victims of this system than you’d think.

          Anyway. After 36 years, my conclusion is that God gave everybody a brain, and I think He prefers it when we use them.

    • So many ferals out there doing things on the field that would result in a court appearance if they occurred on the street. I hope it hasn’t put your poor daughter off playing footy

      • I actually think it has a bit, which is not good.
        She nearly made the NSW U18 team (got through three levels of trials), but fell at the final hurdle – so she is a pretty good player and tough, usually. This has made her cautious and she stands back now instead of getting in and fighting for ball.

        Did I tell you that the other nasty thing? When we were looking at recordings of the game (bugger – none of the incident) we found a clear sequence of ANOTHER player punching her in the face, she dropped the ball, they picked it up and play carried on without so much as a free kick. SAME umpire right there. But we didnt cite that incident as she kept to her feet and carried on! Bad club culture.

        • That’s horrendous. I know there have been some instances of boys’ or men’s teams being banned from leagues for a culture of violent play – sounds like this should happen here.

        • I’m sorry that this has happened to you and your daughter. It’s so much worse when there is no accountability or resolution.

  14. Deer Hunting with Jesus has been recommended to me many times. Although it is dated and is mainly about America, I think it goes a long way to explaining some Australians.
    My favourite bits: The majority of working class/poor voted for Bush in both elections because they are “dumber than owl shit”, they fund fundamentalist colleges that they can’t afford to attend, and they would prefer to buy a luxury car on credit than pay for health insurance.
    He says that ignorance is the enemy.
    In case you hadn’t noticed, the writer is not unbiased: he grew up poor and his brother is a preacher who casts out demons for a living.
    I’m assuming things haven’t changed much and this explains Trump.
    I’m a little way through but it’s a bit of a romp.

    • After another day of sitting back helplessly while awful (and entirely preventable) things happen on the other side of the world, I gotta say, I’m just, I don’t know. Exhausted? Worn down? Something like that.

      Really interesting perspective, Bobi. Certainly, a lot of those insights would be specific to America, but yeah, they’d probably be applicable (here and there) to Australia, as well.

      I don’t personally think anyone sets out, one day, to make awful and stupid decisions. I do think there’s a lot of social and economic factors that influence how people think, and what they value, and these are behaviours that are learned while they’re growing up. You know, for instance? If you’re living in the sticks, in a barely-solid shack? The people around will be drinking and smoking themselves into oblivion on a daily basis. That’s your normal, that’s your reality. Of course, the concept of health insurance is going to be *totally* alien. Likewise, when you’re entrenched in an eternal cycle of poverty … obviously, a luxury car is going to be something of value to attain.

      And if you’ve had the Bible beaten into you, since birth, obviously that’s going to be your entire frame of reference for the world. I saw a conversation about vaccination on Facebook, last year, where a mother actually said that she didn’t vaccinate her children, and then quoted a Bible verse that said God would protect His children from sickness and ills, and that’s why she didn’t care for doctors. That was … staggering, to me.

      I think that’s probably why Trump’s racist rhetoric has worked so well. If you’re trapped in a swamp, if you’re a victim of wider complicated social and economic factors … and someone gives you somebody to blame? “The Mexicans are criminals, they’re coming to kill you!” Of course you’re going to jump onboard, because you just don’t understand the many reasons why that’s such bullshit.

      Trump’s entire platform for 3 years has been, “Blame those evil Mexicans!” and today, some unhinged lunatic took a gun and starting shooting at them, and Trump has the audicity to tweet about how horrified and shocked he is that this happens?

      You’re right, the real evil is ignorance and fear. But information by itself isn’t the cure-all, is it? People have the entire wealth of human knowledge on their phones, but that hasn’t by default solved any of our problems, has it?

      • I, too, am exhausted, feeling hopeless, and despairing after the news today…and all week really, Windsong. It’s hard to find an appropriate word for “for fuck’s sake, people, what the hell, what is the matter with so many of you?”

        I don’t think, though, that most people, even those growing up in extreme poverty, think that murdering other people, put forward as the enemy, is going to be any kind of a solution. I can’t think that, or I would just sit down and cry forever. Trump is an evil, racist, horrible, stupid and very dangerous man, who encourages hatred and division for his own ends., and I believe he is the impetus for many of the mass shootings. He revels in his ability to influence stupid people to do horrible things.

        ScoMo, although so far not to the same extent, also encourages division, with his born-again beliefs he’d like to push onto others,and his dole-bludgers them vs. us rhetoric, is on the same path. I am hopeful that we don’t have as many blindly-following ignoramuses here.

        • “For fuck’s sake, people, what the hell, what is the matter with so many of you?”

          No, I think that about sums it up.

          I’m not sure if people are monsters by default, but a lack of education, a lack of compassion and a small dose of selfishness makes people afraid, and *that* makes them easy to manipulate. People don’t make good decisions when they’re scared, and if someone comes along who promises to rescue them?

          And when enough unhinged people have guns … it’s happening in China right now, it happened in Christchurch, it happened in Germany, it happens every time an American grabs a gun and storms a gay nightclub, or a synagogue, or a black gospel church, etc etc. You just want to hope that at some point, there’s enough bodies that force people to realise that there are serious problems (the acceptance of white supremacy as political ideology, pushed and almost-endorsed by Trump, and the fact that guns over there are treated like candy) … but they’re not going to, are they? They’re too far gone down the road.

          You wonder what that country is going to look like, in a few years’ time. If there’s anyone left.

          I don’t know, I’m not trying to be flippant, I guess I just feel numb.

          As for ScoMo … I wasn’t happy with him winning, for that reason. See, Turnbull stood up to the agressively-extreme conservatives in his party. He put that marriage-equality law through, come hell or high water. And I think Julie Bishop would’ve been the same, I reckon she’s got balls (forgive the crudity), and she wouldn’t have put up with their crap. But ScoMo is just religious enough to toe the party line and do what he’s told.

          Still, ScoMo seems open to ideas (and he does seem to be making progress in some places), so maybe it’s not all bad?

          • It is actually scary how easy it is to become desensitised to the bad events. In some ways that is more worrying.

            Windsong, I like the way you think deeper than many about the reasons for how people react. It is common today for many who believe they are on the ‘right’ side to just dismiss others as ignorant, instead of trying to delve into the reasons why.

            Trump was elected because people had concerns that were not being taken seriously. I personally believe he is absolutely the wrong solution, and is a danger to the world in his ability to make friends of enemies and enemies of past friends (in international diplomacy, and financial policy). I think he proves the folly of the presidential system and too much power placed in one person’s hands. However, the world needs to look seriously at why he was elected. Those reasons don’t just go away if Trump loses next year. Groups in society who want believe that they hold the only civil view and everyone else is just ignorant are becoming louder, and the push back is only to be expected.

            The world is crying out for moderation, but when moderates try to lead they are condemned because they are not strongly enough one way or the other.

          • I feel like information is power. If you know the “whys” of a problem, you can attempt to address them. To me, that’s just good sense.

            Alas, I lack the intelligence to make any further progress. Just the other day, I had to listen to someone defending Folau by saying, “Well gay people should just go back to being straight, and that would solve everybody’s problems.” How do you fix something like that? How do you tell someone that a thing they think is totally ridiculous, to the point where they’re hurting people by doing so? How do you stop people from believing ridiculous things, if they refuse to listen to reason? I don’t get mad at ignorance … but the deliberate choice to remain ignorant by ignoring knowledgable people? Oh yeah. That makes me mad.

            If Trump drops dead tomorrow (he’s one of the oldest presidents ever elected, and his love of junk food and MacDonalds is probably not a good thing, for the long term), it’s not going to really fix anything. He spent 3 years stoking the fires of racism, but the damage is done. Too many people have spent too long believing that violent nationalism is the way to go (“Mexicans/Muslims/the Jews/gay people are evil! We need to get of them!”) to make them suddenly stop thinking that.

            People thinking that being a decent human being is just part of the political spectrum is the real problem. The more that hate is normalised and justified, the more acceptable it becomes. And I don’t think there’s a way that they can stop that from happening … now, add in a corrupt gun lobby who has financial incentives to keep the population armed, and there’s nothing to stop another pile of bodies, today, and then tomorrow, etc etc.

          • There’s a bit of an issue with “how do you tell the person that what they think is ridiculous?”. I think it is the implied criticism that get the backs up of the person being referred to, the assumption that they are an ignorant oink who is out of step with the progressive world. These issues are contentious, purely because there is evidence and convincing argument on both sides, but both arguments are rarely put into the public domain. People who have their views dismissed without hearing feel disenfranchised, and then they vote for someone like Trump or Pauline Hanson because they think those people are giving them a voice.

            The terrible tragedy is that someone like Trump uses these people to fuel his own politcal ambition, without really agreeing with them. It is on record that he previously supported abortion, and then stated otherwise when he realised there were votes in it. I would love to think he had a genuine change of heart, but think it unlikely.

            We are going in circles here a bit, so to summarise, I would like to see a world where people can put their arguments with equal civility, name-calling is eliminated, and people refrain from trying to give the impression that ‘everyone’ agrees with them because their view is the only civil one.

            And, for the last word, violence (real violence, not just hurt feelings) is unacceptable in any circumstance.

          • “I think it is the implied criticism that get the backs up of the person being referred to, the assumption that they are an ignorant oink who is out of step with the progressive world. These issues are contentious, purely because there is evidence and convincing argument on both sides.”

            But there isn’t, though.

            “Being gay is a choice, so it’s okay to tell gay people to change who they are because that’s wrong!” is something that’s said by straight people (who obviously don’t know), and it flies in the face of the direct testimony of one tenth of the world’s population.

            “Mexicans are evil criminals!” is also complete rubbish, when you look at actual crime rates affecting America.

            And that’s my point. People can be precious all they like, but sometimes their opinions (and those aren’t even opinions, they’re statements of fact, that are one hundred percent incorrect) get dismissed because they deserve to be dismissed. The pain of not being able to easily or nicely change people’s minds when those minds darn well need to be changed. We’re not talking in the abstract. A culture of racism against Mexicans led that unhinged lunatic yesterday to go and kill a bunch of them. Gay people are killing *themselves* over this constant barrage of rubbish spouted by straight people.

            When people are hurting and dying, yeah, my sympathy for people’s feelings runs out.

  15. I don’t hope to further concern you, but yesterday I posted this…..and said, jokingly, that it was fixed.
    To my surprise, an acquaintance (a flat earther) took me seriously.
    So never wonder why the world does the things it does.
    FyI, I was tilted my phone.

    • One of my friends turned out to be passionately anti-medicine and anti-doctor, and I don’t even talk to him anymore. I tried to stay friends with him, but whenever he opened his mouth, all I heard was his ridiculous nonsense and couldn’t do it.

      He was also part of the reason I got fired, while I was sick last year. He wasn’t a good friend at all, actually, now that I think about it.

      • wow that seems like a friend you should definitely dump Wind.
        Anti-medicine and anti-doctor just defies the scientific achievements since, oh, the Middle Ages.
        I couldn’t cope either – power to you for dumping the dodo!

        • Might as well tell the story. Context is always a good thing.

          This guy used to work at the toy shop alongside me. We always got on really well. I was a nerd, he was a nerd. He loves Spider-Man, he was good at selling things, and he was a bit of an entertainer, so he always got on well with the kids (although he had trouble reading the room, sometimes. This is an important thing to remember). The thing about him, though, was that he was *huge* into self-help stuff, you know, that Tony-Robbins mega-empowerment, “Be your best version of yourself” kind of stuff. I never minded it much, but it bothered me a little when he assumed that, because it worked for him, it’d work for everyone else.

          But I liked the guy, I respected him, and I liked listening to him.

          (I have a pile of books on my bookshelf that were gifts from him, things about “Thinking Rich” and “The Slight Edge To Be Your Best Self”, and one about how to be a millionaire by the age of 30. He swore by that book, so I read it, as a favour. The author was an ass. You can just tell. And the book? For 100 pages, the book rambles on and on about the fast track to wealth. “Isn’t the fast track great? Why be in the slow lane to acquiring wealth? You should be in the fast lane to earning wealth! The fast track is so great!” Legitimately, that is a summary of the first 2/3 of the book. By about page 100, I was just screaming at the book, “Just tell me what this damn thing is!” Eventually, you hit some vaguely useful financial advice about investing in the internet or land or real estate, but that’s it. There was nothing to the book at all. And if someone spends 100 pages telling you how great something is, without telling you what the thing actually is? That’s either a scam, or organised crime. My friend had been conned by fancy words with zero substance. I said that I’d been confused, by this book that gave you no helpful advice at all, and he was really confused by that, so clearly he saw something in all of that, that I didn’t)

          Then, in the back half of 2017, I got sick. I went into work to tell them, “I need surgery, and then I need a month to recover from that, and then I’m going to need a long time next year to deal with treatment stuff.” He was on a break so we went to lunch. He bought a sandwich, sat down, and the very first thing he said to me was, “Is this a challenge you can overcome? Is there a chance for personal growth?” Who the hell says that? You’re talking to someone who’s just had a serious medical diagnosis, but that’s the first thing you say to them?

          I just shrugged that off, because I was used to him. Anyway, we got back to work, and he begs me not to get chemotherapy. “That stuff’s bad for you!” Of course it is, that’s kind of the point. Then he does it. He says the thing. “I’ve done my research!” I’ve heard that from conspiracy theorists all over the internet, and that’s when he started to lose me. I explained to him that, of course, I was going to listen to my doctors. Why wouldn’t I? They’re the ones with the medical degrees. And he gives me a three hour (!) lecture on why doctors are secretly evil and I shouldn’t trust them.

          That was it. I just felt myself losing all respect for him on the spot. I couldn’t deal with it at all. I didn’t talk to him much, last year, while I was recovering. Then in August, I went back into the shop, and of course the entire place was a mess (that was my job, to keep the place slightly-organised). I was shocked at what a disaster it had turned into, but he was in, that day, and he then told the bosses, “Oh, Pete shouldn’t come back to work, he’ll get stressed and that’ll be bad for him.” Good intentions, maybe, but that is a knife straight to the shoulder-blades.

          Anyway. In February this year, on the last day of summer, I went into town to have an ice-cream (how I celebrate the last day of summer), and I walked past the shop. He saw me there and invited me in to chat (toy shops are very quiet during February). I didn’t want to, but thought, I’d be polite. But every time he opened his mouth to speak? All I could hear was this anti-medicine drivel. I couldn’t deal with it. So I made an excuse and just walked out of the shop, and haven’t spoken to him since. I deleted his phone number, I defriended him … yeah, I think I ghosted him. But I don’t care, I just cannot deal with someone like that, in my life. That’s not the kind of person I want to be around.

          And it makes me sad, in a way. I respected him. He once told me that he had trouble keeping guy friends, and I was one of the only ones he had. I can’t imagine why, if that’s how he treats people. But he genuinely wouldn’t think that he’d done anything wrong, and that’s what throws me. How could you treat someone, that way, and think that everything was a-okay?

          I worry about him, and his choices in life (particularly when he starts having kids), but he’s the one who’s going to make them. With friends like that, who needs enemies, you know?

          • I get it Windsong. All of it. Acquaintances on a “journey”, friends who lecture. The conspiracy theorists, flat earthers and anti vacs with no medical or scientific degree.
            I try and base friendships on qualities lasting qualities like kindness, humour and trustworthiness, and put ideologies and politics aside but sometimes people just push it.

      • Oh, there are too many people who put black salve on something they SUSPECT it MIGHT be cancer. Or people drinking their own piss. And who think big pharma aka evil doctors are only making them sicker.

        And ffs, what did that jerk do to get you fired? 🙁 And, sorry for that really dumb question, but how can a company fire you while being on sick leave? Doesn’t Australia have protection for employees in that situation? In France, they cannot fire you while being sick. Only if you do not get sick notes or do something else really stupid.

        Anyway, I am sure karma will get to him. 🙂

        • I was a casual employee. In Australia, casual employees have very few rights. I wasn’t on a specific contract, so they were free to tell me, “We don’t want you back” any time they felt like it.

          Still an asshole thing to do, yes. But legally, they were allowed to do it.

          A few people suggested to me, “You should’ve talked to a lawyer!” and maybe I should’ve, but what’s the point? I would’ve lost any case, and even if I didn’t lose, why bother going back to a job where you’re not wanted?

          Oh, and sorry, you must’ve replied while I was replying to Brussel’s post 🙂 . The story’s all in there.

        • WS, he’s a dumbass. Not necessarily for his views (which are dumbass views) but thinking that you would want to hear them: self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and entitled people continually astonish me. It would be interesting to see if his views remained the same if he was in your situation – not.
          And, sadly, you are right, as a contractor/casual employee, you have no rights. I worry about the future of the next generation/s. They have no idea the broad range of things that they are losing to enjoy the benefits of the gig economy. Don’t get me started (sad face).

  16. A friend and I went to see “Hugh Jackman: The Man, The Music” show last Saturday. What an awesome experience! Well worth every penny and more.

    His talent and versatility is obvious, but we were both struck by his humility and ordinary Aussie-ness. And the support cast were also brilliant.

    • That is spooky – just chatting to a colleague who also went on Saturday. She also said it was awesome and she found it quite emotional!!

  17. Anybody try the new Seachange last night?

    I had mixed feelings afterwards. I have been trying to keep an open mind, and I will keep watching to see what happens, but there was definitely something missing in this first ep.

    I didn’t like the implied slurs on “Max”. I suppose they had to invent some reasons for his absence, and this might be preferable to him dying, but I still hold hope that he might reappear (I know, there is no evidence that William McInnes is coming back) and show that it was all a misunderstanding.

    Very weird to have “Ike” from 800 Words appearing. The two shows were already shown to have strong similarities, so seeing Ike (without his kiwi accent) was disconcerting. It also seems that they want to reinvent Angus and Karen – not sure if that is wise.

    I am not fond of the new pub owner, I hope he isn’t meant to be a love interest at all. The very best part of last night was the Police Sergeant. She was great, and I love that she is the antithesis of Sergeant Grey.

    I am trying to see this as new, not as a sequel, but so far it doesn’t seem any different from All Saints, ACP, Packed to the Rafters – all great shows but nothing like the whimsy of the original Seachange.

  18. Woop woop. Freeeeeeeedooooooom!
    Signed all my papers today and officially am without a job. Amicable split from Blizzard. It feels really weird, but I am super excited for fall when my classes start. Professional pastry chef with a formal French training, think that is quite a good thing to have. 😀

      • I am so sad. But I wouldn’t have fit into the Gs preference anyway. I am not a blonde and 25. 😉

        Thanks guys! I am really just happy. Even though I have 4 weeks of nothing ahead of me now until my training starts.

  19. I’ve nearly finished The Handmaid’s Tale. I mostly read at night in bed, but see that it has taken me two weeks to get to the final chapter.

    I enjoyed the first half of the book. After that, though, I was getting a little tired of her whiny ass.

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