The Age - Smelling More Like a Murdoch Every Day


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Ahh, The Age.  I remember what it was like before the combo of shrinking mainstream media combined with Gina getting onto the board.  It's not like this hasn't been coming for ages.

But then, I remember when the ABC could be counted upon to report news in its entirety.  However, Auntie's news reporting is starting to veer a little closer to Channel Ten and a little further from SBS.

However, this opinion piece by someone associated with the Institute for Public Affairs claiming that that ABC is way too left-leaning is ridiculous.  Of course, in comparison with Murdoch media the ABC is positively communist.  But that's not a very good comparison.

He's lost me totally when he talks about Auntie being privatised.  Haven't we learnt anything from the Kennett years?  Privatising your assets is short-sighted, profit-driven and just plain ridiculous.  And labelling those in disagreement with your views as "hysterical" is the usual way people behave these days when talking about people who are not them or their gang, but it contributes nothing to the conversation.

A piece of fluffy click-bait.  Can't expect much more from The Age these days.  Sadly.  If there was ever a need for a taxpayer-funded broacaster, it's even more so today, not less, even if Auntie also needs to lift her game. 

Flower Child


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Gee, I love this kid so much.

Look at her.  A free-flowin' flower child of the 60's, even though she wasn't born until 1970.  Don't rein her in.  Don't tell her to wear clothes, man.  Let her be free. 

Don't not post her nudie pic on the internet just because some people get creepy gratificational pleasure from innocence.  Don't pander to the lowest common denominator, man.  Those people have a problem.  But fear of that sort of person shouldn't stop you from taking off your clothes in the middle of the park, or the older you from posting it on her blog just because she loves it.

She's at the park on a picnic with her immediate family and their friends and some other people.  Max and Jenny and their kids must have been there because Max captured this photo.  And that head at the bottom that's almost cut off?  That's Michelle.  She was, I think from memory, Dad's cousin's daughter.  I have a vague memory of years later going to their house and being amazed by the fact that they had a laundry chute.  Did I really  slide down the laundry chute with her brother Christopher like it was the Faraway Tree?  Or is that just an embellishment, a dream that I wished had happened?  I will never know.

But that visit is a about eight years from now.  Now, we're outside in the sun, man, and the kid's about three.  She's a trusting soul.  You see that Michelle?  You can't see it but she's wearing innocent blonde pigtails and she's sitting there as if it's nothing to do with her.

Well, she was the one who told Little Susie to go and take all of her clothes off.   And Little Susie did.  And so yeah, all right, so she might have been a little gullible, a little willing to agree to whatever some big girl suggested.  But hey, you know what?  The kid came out of it looking cute.  You, on the other hand, Michelle, wherever you are, you just come out of it looking like the back of a head.  And I would rather be overly trusting and be thought a fool than be a mean little snitchy thing with no head trying to make me look stupid because you're a nyah-nyah.

So there.

Australia Day


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Today is not the day to spend celebrating the things we love about living in this country. To continue doing so is an insult to those who were this land's custodians for 60,000 years before Her Maj saw fit to steal it like a criminal out from under their feet.

One of my ancestors was transported here for stealing, too - food, to feed her starving siblings.  Her "criminal" act brought her here, which is how I now call this land my home.  I love this land.  It's not "mine" as far as ancestral lines go, but it's a little bit mine underneath my feet in the only way I want it to be mine ~ not by ownership and titles and deeds all written in flouncy, crappy, obfuscating English.  It's mine in the way that I connect to it.  I fancy, in my more whimsical moments, to be able to feel the songlines that once were its unbroken map.  I love the music, but I certainly don't know how to read that particular musical score.

I have an idea afoot, a personal and professional idea that's been swilling around in my mind and chest for five years in one form or another. It's about creating a space that uses creativity, bodywork, and awesome intellect to explore the possibilities of how to do this life thing in the future, and of doing it in a way that empowers us to take charge of ourselves, to grow wisdom and care for the earth and ourselves, instead of living under this creatively shity drudge and slavery to the visionless and nasty paradigms of those who have been in power too long without being kept in line.

Or something along those lines, anyway. I'm still trying to formulate what it's about.

It's not without some irony that I note that except for wages, the most expensive component by far of this proposed enterprise will be that of leasing land.  Land which was originally fleeced from others. Costing nothing to steal.



Saturday, 25 January 2014

Fearing the terror of adrenaline that courses through your body,
lighting up your fear like a bonfire


engaging with the emotion that fuelled the whole thing in the first place.


Engaging with and accepting the emotion lying beneath
and knowing that that is not the same as the adrenaline-fire

dispels and soothes
like some sort of magic

the adrenaline response fuelling the fear.

Crazy, huh?

"Without fear of negative emotions, there will be no anxiety".  Today's listening, to get me out of the latest anxiety loop, @ Good listening while I'm sitting around in my undies at lunchtime, trying to muster up the energy to get out there and actually do something :\

There's always a part of me that looks askance at these sorts of things and focuses on the wanky things about it that I don't like.  That's the style.  But the underlying information and knowledge and technique is what I'm after :)

Peace? by Ragnar1984 (free to share as long as you link to their page)

Empower Disaffected Teenagers, Rathern Than Control Them


Thursday, 23 January 2014

For 16 years, Operation Newstart has been helping disaffected teenagers that are struggling at school by taking them out of said school for an entire term (bonus!)  Half of their time is then spent outdoors doing different physical activities that help build their self-esteem, while the other half is spent volunteering and pursuing vocational training.

Brayden Cartwright, who was interviewed on the ABC's PM, learnt through the program not only how to surf, but also how to envision a larger sense of future.  "School doesn't give you those opportunities to view other people's perspectives. You learn to work as a team.

"I didn't pay much attention [at school]; I didn't care too much.  I mean, depression and anxiety and a lot of stress weren't really helping.  I didn't know what I was going to do in life, where I was going to go.  I was just going to be a bum on the streets. So they really helped."

But unfortunately, now the Victoria Police - a major component in delivery of the program - has pulled out, stating that while it still wants to work with disengaged kids it is going to follow its own tack to do it.  This has been a big blow to Operation Newstart, effectively meaning that they needed to suspend their Bendigo and Frankston programs.  And now the Federal Government has withdrawn the $300,000 grant promised by the previous Labor Government to fill in the gaps left by the departure of the police in terms of delivery of the program, which puts in doubt the ability of the program to continue.  The Federal Government wishes instead to put that money towards its own method of tackling the problem of youth crime, which happens to be installing more CCTV cameras and better lighting.

Control, not empowerment.  Um, yeah, awesome idea.  Take teenagers who have plenty of reasons to feel alienated and disenfranchised because their culture is one cold, alienated and disenfranchised biatch herself, and doesn't support them in the ways they're screaming out for internally, where life is confusing and changing and they're scrabbling to keep up with it.  What better wise way to deal with those kids who are falling off the edges of everything by installing having even more electronic eyes to watch them from a distance and make them even more anxious and suspicious?  Awesome vision there.

Operation Newstart says that it is doing the work that governments should be doing when it comes to helping to cut youth crime.  I'm not so sure I agree with that statement.  I mean, I feel confused these days about what role I believe a government is meant to play ~ I have a left-wing heart but I'm in agreement with those on the right when it comes to the need for limits to government size, at least when it comes to the calibre of government we see in the dying days of the Western Empire.

A government's influence (which seems so often to translate into abuse of power and control) seems to me to grow in proportion to its distrust of its citzenry, compounding their resultant powerlessness and alienation.  We as a people are so routinely and regularly watched over, inspected, prodded and noiselessly threatened from afar that I don't even know if we even recognise half the time what that kind of environment has done to us. 

I tend to think of a government's function primarily as a large centre of administration of our money and resources, rather than it being the province of things like keeping crime under control.  The government should be a centralised place from which we can use our money in ways that will benefit us as a society.  For that to happen, a government needs to have a level of trust in its citizens, where it gives them free rein instead of smothering them under accountability standards and red tape.  Australia is so burdened by bureaucracy I reckon its edges must be starting to melt into the sea.

At this point in time anyway, governments are not good at operating in any other method other than the stock-standard old empire methods of control that alienates us all further.  It is exactly the same way that our economic system functions, to keep us in slavery to running the rat wheel instead of being able to put our best talents to use for the benefit of ourselves and other people, and to receive their talents in return.  Money is supposed to be a bridge between my talents and yours, not the seven-lane megahighway that shunts us all into the emergency lanes.  The elements that are meant to be tools for our empowerment have instead become the hammers that smash us over the head.

I was a disaffected and alienated teenager once, and she doesn't beat so far down beneath my chest even these days, and I know for a fact that what you need most as a teenager is a tiny bit of security when there's barely none, belief from the adults around you that it's okay to let go and experiment, and evidence that those same adults aren't really a bunch of rather stupid dicks.  Teenagers don't need much encouragement to think adults are dicks because that's part of the terrain that goes from being a child to becoming an adult.  Teenagerhood is all about breaking free.  Cultures other than ours have recognised this and initiations and rituals have been built into this time of life as par for the course ~ powerful, symbolic, culturally-embedded tools that helped teenagers move forward out of their comfort zones, learn to depend on themselves, take responsibility.  We might not agree with the methods of some of those rituals and rites, and some of them might seem dodgy to our modern day sensibilities, but they served useful purposes.  Ones that might have helped me feel less derailed myself, helped to encourage my own burgeoning sense of curiosity about the world, helped me to hone my risk-taking into stuff that might have been good instead of shagging guys when I was way too young for it and getting pissed every weekend because that was the only ritual going round that appealed to me.  Seems crazy and shortsighted to me now, even when I think back to that same teenager because she had such an intense desire to engage and understand the world, to be given a chance.  She couldn't have articulated it, but she was ripe for some ritual and ceremony and passage-riting, but unfortunately there were none for the taking in the culturally dead Australia of the 1980's.

And not much seems to have changed.  Which is why initiatives like Operation Newstart are such important ones, and why relying on the government to initiate enterprises which work, that create meaning, that give us a sense of being the writers of our own story, is not something we should hold our breaths for.  Because as far as I can see, the only language the Abbottoir Federal Government seems to speak is the usual one of control, fearmongering, and of adherence to the status quo.  The last thing they want is for people to be empowered.

We must do that ourselves.  Change has never, ever come from the top.  Not the sort we're all looking for, or need, anyway.  The sort of change that ... well, will change everything.

Bananaman ...


Saturday, 18 January 2014

... is on the counter, in despair at the depths of his own ennui :) 

Which is I think what Buddhists refer to as adding pain to your suffering.

Be kind to that, Bananaman.

And be kind to that Bananaman.

Kindness and compassion towards the Bananaman is like watering the garden after a Melbourne heatwave. 

I am qualified to talk about this because I know both what happens when you are kind to those spaces within yourself and let them be, and I also know what happens when you are repulsed by those spaces and resent and do not accept them.

* ~ *

It's true that there is a lot to despair about.  Really, living in the times that we do, if you are not sometimes despairing, then you are not facing up to reality.

That despair protects something beautiful and innocent.  No matter how much it's hidden under layers of toughness and cycnicism, we all underneath contain the same innocence, needing protection, soft and mushy as an overripe banana.

Anus Horribillis


I often do this - something goes wrong and I take it all upon myself, as if I absolutely could have prevented it but didn't through laziness or aversion, and therefore it's my fault and proves something is horribly wrong with me. Whereas in fact there's only so many balls you can juggle and anyway, haemmerhoids are common enough to the human condition.

Apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and shoved up your clacker has worked for lots of people apparently, so I'm always up for some experimentation.

All of those people who have tried this remedy know full well that the word "shoved" is here used for effect rather than any reflection on reality.

Upon reflection, 2013 on the whole resembled for me the four days of weather hellishness Melbourne has just been through.  Four days of temps around the 43 celsius mark.  Last night the cool change hit, and the smell of the earth rose up to where I was on the balcony watching the lightning flash purple down the stretch of the sky.  Any birds that we've seen over the past four days have been drooped with their beaks open and their wings slightly away from their body to stay as cool as possible.  The bird bath stayed mainly unused because it was too hot to get to.

Now, the temperatures outside are half of what they were yesterday and the activity flurries. Rainbow lorikeets, cockatoos, rosellas and kookaburras  coming back to life.

The World is Alive and Sentient


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Sometimes it happens that a person can name the exact moment when his or her life changed irrevocably.  For Cleve Backster, it was early in the morning of February 2, 1966, at thirteen minutes, fifty-five seconds into a polygraph test he was administering.  Backster, a leading polygraph expert whose Backster Zone Comparison Test is the worldwide standard for lie detection, had at that moment threatened his test subject's well-being.  The subject had responded electrochemically to his threat.  The subject was a plant.

Since then, Backster has conducted hundreds of experiments demonstrating not only that plants respond to our emotions and intents, but so do severed leaves, eggs (fertilized or not), yogurt, and human cell samples.  He's found, for example, that white cells taken from a person's mouth and placed in a test tube still respond electrochemically to the donor's emotional states, even when the donor is out of the room, out of the building, or out of the state.

I first read about Backster's work when I was a kid.  His observations verified an understanding I had then, an understanding not even a degree in physics could later eradicate:  that the world is alive and sentient.
Derrick Jensen, The Plants Respond:  An Interview with Cleve Backster in The Sun Magazine

A fascinating, compelling interview with a scientist who has been conducting experiments into the nature of consciousness - a controversial subject then, and still so now.  And one of the most beautiful, to me.  Well worth a read in its entirety.

The sacred Dog-A-Log tree


No comments

Monday, 13 January 2014

We're ripe,
you and me.
Full to bursting with

Is it not some sort of
everyday natural miracle that
despite the excess use of
landlord superphosphate,
we are organically sweet
underneath our prickles,
spurting juice,
ready to fall from the tree
and seep in to feed the
dry saline earth of
our mother?

I made this!  Free to use if you link back to this page, attribute it to susieq777, & don't use it commercially
(in other words, a creative commons noncommercial/no derivatives/attribution licence)

What I Have Learned

No comments

Sunday, 12 January 2014

  • That having a break from the reprehensible Western capitalistic slavery bullshit is very good fuel to keep fighting it for the rest of the year.
  • That health is the scaffolding for everything else.  That freedom is more important than anything, and that lack of it is worse than death.
  • That Bendigo is a lovely town, and that even if it's only an overnight drive-in/drive-out, I feel like I've had a real, true break.. 
  • That I love my partner and that I hate being stuck in a dying artifical system that puts so much strain on both of us, all for the sake of money.  That I feel in my saggy old uterine waters that this year will be less about the grindstone and more about wonderful new change for both of us.  
  • That this year I would love to be able to go away on day trips and overnight stays and chill the batteries more than last year because that damn thing is FUN.
  • That d-Ribose seems to work for me with my fatigue levels.  How much it works remains to be seen but honestly, when you've been floored with fatigue and held captive for so long in your own body, to see some sort of evidence that you have come upon something which is going to help level out the stamina field so that maybe those bike rides can be a thing of the future is like being reborn.
  • That a wonderful idea, which is itself a creative scaffold awaiting the arrival of more and further ideas to put inside it, is a big enough incentive to spark you out of the looming depression that the holidays are over and it's back to the grind (even if the grind is waiting for work that doesn't come while your partner works way too many hours).  Wonderful ideas that look towards the future/past ways of doing things that move past the reprehensible Western capitalistic slavery bullshit present are golden and healthful and full of wholesome flavour to boot.  And they're 99% fat-free. 
Milking It.  Part of the wonderful Little Dudes series by JD Hancock

The Crux


Monday, 6 January 2014

Perhaps everything terrifying is
deep down
a helpless thing that needs our help

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Secret Treasure by Lucid-Light under a creative commons atrribution/name/no commercial use or adaptation licence)

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

1 comment

Sunday, 5 January 2014

I participated in the inaugural Australian Women Writers Challenge last year, and this year I'm doing it again.  Because it's fun reading books written by people with vaginas who live in the same country as me.

When you sign up you're given the option to nominate how many books you're going write and/or review.  This year I have opted for the very lovely option of However Many I End Up Reading, seeing I fell short last year and my Inner Perfectionist took the opportunity to point out that I failed to achieve what I had set out to do.

Which may well mean I'll end up reading more than I did last year :)

This year's reads and/or reviews:
Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko
All That I Am by Anna Funder

The Railway Man


Friday, 3 January 2014

Today, in the toilet at the Cameo Cinema, The Police were playing.  The entire album of Outlandos D'Amour, which was pretty cool.  And so I did a wee to the rather apt strains of So Lonely.

I went to the movies alone because it's sort of empowering going to the movies alone, don't you reckon?   Maybe especially when you're feeling lonely.  Nothing like being held by the Great Dark Womb, munching a popcorn/Maltesers combo.  Soothing stuff.

I saw The Railway Man which was quite wonderful although probably not really all that soothing.  It was also very symmetrical because the seat I got allocated was right in the middle in the very back row.  The curtains squeaked ever so slightly as they opened to their full we're-past-the-ads-now-prepare-for-the-feature width.  I was the youngest person there, which doesn't happen very often these days. 

The movie was about a whole lot of things - the futility of war, about shame, about PTSD, and ultimately about forgiveness and redemption and all them big-band beautiful sounds.  Which is pretty interesting because a great deal of it was about the horrors of what one bunch of people will do to another bunch of people in the name of whatever it is they're fighting for.

I would love to have the solidity and faithfulness of Patti Lomax but unfortunately the reality is that I'm closer to Eric, even though that leaves me in the crappy position of feeling bad comparing my own traumas to his astronomical ones and therefore finding myself wanting and thus increasing the loneliness quotient.  After all, I have never suffered the sorts of atrocities he suffered while a POW in the Second World War on the Burma Railway.  I simply don't know how he survived.

But that was only one self-absorbed component of the flavours that I've been left from this movie because it really is very good.  And my, Colin Firth proves again that he is a wonderful actor.

More people than usual sat silent at the end of this movie when the credits rolled.  And from my position at the back, I got to inspect just how many people were wiping their eyes.  But of course we were all good cinemagoers and managed to keep ourselves intact.  Nary a bursting sob ensued, though I think there were probably a few people, like me, holding themselves back.

Great stuff.  Highly recommended.

The Village


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

"Many adults who were traumatized as kids have never experienced their Self in consistent control. Such people (i.e. their dominant subselves) are skeptical that they have a gifted, reliable inner team-leader and a more serene and productive way of daily living available to them" - Peter Gerlach

I'm a hearty proponent of what Jung called Active Imagination and what this man here Peter calls Inner-Family Therapy.  While my inner skeptic still scoffs at the wankiness of all of this stuff, I've done enough work in this area to know that that is only one part of me, who is in my particular case covering for and trying to protect one of the parts of me that's, well, still a little fucked up.

This process has become sorta precious to me.  I've seen in myself the changes that come.  I still have a so much understanding and sorting to do, but this type of process is like being my own therapist.  It's empowering.  I guess it's been a little helpful to me that I have had several people who I have practised this type of therapy with, both beautiful, gorgeous women who have provided a safe space for me to enter into this rather more different form of talk therapy and couch-lying.  But I don't think it's necessary to have anyone else but you along for this particular ride.  It's the best way I know to enter into myself and to listen to parts of me that are screaming without my ever knowing who they were before.  And changes come, too.  Not fast enough, that's a given.  But they do.  Changes come, and growth, and new parts discovered that I have not been conscious of before.  New ways of being in the world.

Maybe this whole area of subselves is the story in action of the operation of different parts of our brains in action, as Peter Gerlach hypothesises.   Not just the physical brain as a bunch of muscle and neurons.  The brain as narrative, the brain as story.  Just how I like it.

How about you?  Have you ever done any of this kind of work?  How did you find it?