Thursday, July 15, 2010

Aren't WE supposed to be the ones with Tall Poppy Syndrome?

Okay. I like foreigners as much as the next person. And I don't even mind the patriotic ones who want to share the things that are great about their own countries. Personally, I love hearing about other parts of the world. I might like to visit them one day and who better to hear about them from than a native? Please, regale us with stories of your home country - we love it.

However. We all have those ex-pats in our lives - you know the ones - who get a bit On the Whinge. The honeymoon period is over and suddenly nothing is good enough anymore. Everything here is apparently second-rate, and nothing ever in a million-gazillion years could dream to measure up to the sheer amazingness of their home countries, where the lands are always plentiful, the food has this incredible way of tasting oh-my-god-so-much-better-than-anything-that-this-lowly-country-could-ever-dream-of, the leaders are better looking and so much more reasonable - really the most wonderful politicians to ever have lived. And what's more, these states are always, amazingly, the ones that came up with everything first.

If you are one of these visitors to our sunburnt country, land of sweeping plains, then you may have noticed - this bugs us quite a bit, and I'm here to tell you why.

For one thing, I'm not even going to argue with you about how awesome your homeland is, because noone could convince me that Australia isn't the best country on the planet, and rightly so - one should love their own country the most (with a few exceptions - like, the bad ones). BUT. You're being very effing rude and should learn to mind your flipping manners. Coming into our country and disparaging everything about it is like coming into someone's home and telling them how much better your couch, kitchen benches, tiles, bathroom, etc. are. Then commenting relentlessly on the shoddy craftmanship, poor decorating, dusty corners and slightly off smell that simply wouldn't happen in your own home. If you are any kind of decent person, this is not something you would dream of doing - so don't. Because, you know how much you love your country? That's just how much we love ours, and we take personal offence to your insults, as though you were insulting our own homes.

I find the people I have come across who do this are either homesick (which is hardly our entire nation's fault, so grow up) and/or they have a case of The Underdogs. I'm not going to single out peoples from particular nations who do this, but... I usually find unsaid peoples are usually feeling the need to puff up their chests, chihuahua-style, in order to make themselves, and by extension, their own countries feel bigger. And I thought we were supposed to be the ones with Tall Poppy Syndrome?

And I really have to ask - what is it that offends you so? Is it the beauty of the world's largest living coral reef? The adorable endemic species? Perhaps the ample housing for all the people? The free healthcare system (oh wait, that's not for you - my bad. If you became a citizen you could...? Ahem. Okay, no.)? Alright, I've got it! It's the freedom of speech! Or, here in Queensland, maybe it's the horribly glorious weather - like today, in the middle of winter, with a top of 20 degrees and sunshine all day, so much so that I actually lay out by the pool in the sun and picnicked at lunchtime? You're right - O.FEN.SIV. We really shouldn't be allowed.

So, not to sound completely typical about it, but noone is holding a gun to your head, dude. Seriously, there are literally hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, willing to take your place - we won't miss you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Indulge with Lyrics

Right now, I'm feeling a bit like this:

I've been crazy
I've been holdin' myself back for so long
But I've got so much I can give
Don't wanna be afraid to be wrong

You know I'm not too good at too many things
But I've been gettin' real good at gettin' down on myself
But guess what
I'm gonna try to break free from this prison I've built

I'm gonna give myself permission to shine
I'm gonna shine so bright
Gonna make every head wanna turn
You're finally gonna see me
Give myself permission to shine
I'm gonna light up the night
Shine a little of my light on the world

Totally self-indulgent, I know. Bachelor Girl, Permission to Shine, by the way. Great song.

My little self-indulgent lyric-fest got me thinking about all of the songs that punctuate certain times in my life. For example, FAME, the song from the musical of the same name got me through my singing on stage anxiety (not stage fright - it's a different thing. I could speak, act and dance on stage just fine. This was singing specific, strangely) as a whippersnapper. Pumped me up real good. It became my "theme song" of sorts, Ally McBeal-style.

So. Come on, indulge away. Indulge yourself, indulge me. Whatever. Slap me with some lyrics, Baby!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

You could call me thoroughly disgusted.

Since hearing of the sex scandal involving former football player, Matthew Johns, I have been continually shocked and amazed at the response by people in my world - my very own friends. Female friends, even. I don't know what it is that is making people feel so sorry for him, but I have a theory.

Johns struggled through his interview with the Nine Network's Tracey Grimshaw. He choked up, he teared up, as did his wife who sat dutifully by his side. We have seen Matthew Johns as a football player and a television personality on The Footy Show - a fun-loving larrikin. That full-of-life character was diminished in this interview - he appeared broken. We could see it in the eyes and hear it in the voice of this person we are all too familiar with.

His accuser, an anonymous 26-year-old woman from New Zealand, also gave an interview on Four Corners. Her face was blurred, her voice digitally altered. We didn't actually get to see and hear her pain in all its glory the way we did with Matthew Johns. She is a faceless woman. She is a nobody. This, my friends, is where you can consider yourself sucked in.

Oh, I have no doubt that Matthew Johns is sorry. I can see that he was going through real pain and struggle. However, his main struggle was with oh so carefully finding the correct words so as not to incriminate himself any further! I have to say - he did a great job. He managed to barely say anything at that we hadn't already heard. If he had been almost anyone else, Tracey Grimshaw would have absolutely eaten him alive. Luckily for Johns, he has been around the media long enough to know not to be lead by a leading question.

Now, it's not that I am completely unfeeling for Matthew Johns. I feel sorry for him, because he has lost his job at possibly the worst time in the world to do so. He has been thoroughly embarrassed, his family life has been compromised and he is taking the wrap all on his own. No, it's not entirely fair, although being the only one on the chopping block is actually serving him well to make him out to be a victim (again, sucked in viewers!).

So, let's have a good look at how he got himself here.

He gang banged a nineteen year old girl seven years ago, cheating on his wife in the meantime - FACT.

He has admitted to doing so. He has admitted that it was wrong. He has said he is sorry "if she feels traumatised" - NOT that he was part of the cause of her trauma, but that SHE FEELS that way. Well done, Matty, carefully worded.

I suppose the big question is whether or not he should have been fired from his job as a presenter on The Footy Show. Does the punishment fit the crime (figure of speech!)? You know what? I believe so, and for a number of reasons.

1. He says she was a willing participant in the group sex. That she had gone back to the room with two football players, but that another ten or so had joined in and she willingly participated. I'm sorry, but agreeing to have sex with two men is a world apart from allowing a dozen to have a crack. Perhaps she was initially consensual, but when the other ten invited themselves in, it's not far fetched to imagine that she was intimidated and so went along with what was happening, only to feel taken advantage of later. Half of them were having sex with her, while the rest stood around masturbating. This is a vulgar image to be forced to conjure up, let alone find yourself a part of.

Matthew Johns, the rest of the gutless mob not taking responsibility, and half the men around the country seem to think that because she didn't physically fight them off that no wrong has been done. Well that is crap. At what point did that mob determine that this young girl was 100% consenting to what was happening? Did any of them stop and take a moment to consult with her and give her an option to back out? Doesn't sound like it. In fact, it doesn't sound like they were much concerned with her thoughts or feelings on the topic at all. They saw her as a non-person - nothing but a peice of meat to play out their fantasy with.

2. He is not sorry for what happened to this girl at all. It took an awful lot of coercing from Tracey Grimshaw for him to muster up anything that even resembled an apology directed at her. Clearly, he still thinks of her as nothing but a groupie slut. Apologies for his wife and children flowed like water - and so they should - but he has done nothing but the bare minimum to lessen the impact from the public. Take it from someone who has worked at a high level in PR - he's too concerned that there will be even more repercussions if he makes a proper apology.

He says he has been waiting in fear for seven years for this to come out - if that is not admitting his guilt, I don't know what is. What he did was officially not a crime, so he won't go to jail or have any legal repercussions - as long as he sticks to his story - so a sacking is not all that bad in comparison.

3. Part of being in the public eye is making sure that you live up to the responsibilities of your position. These football players are handed oodles of cash, adulation by the bucketload and they seem to think they are above the law, the rules and common decency. They break the rules of their own clubs and the NRL, and that's not right.

Very few aspiring athletes get to do what they do, and too many of them continually abuse their positions. They don't seem to have any concept of understanding that with all of that money that they make, there are a stack of other people whose livlihoods depend on the sport, too. They affect those people when they stuff up, because they affect their own fans who lose faith in them and stop watching the sport and going to their games and buying their merchandise. There is big money in NRL, and it's a big part of our Australian culture; they should have more respect for it. Their careers are a privilege. A privilege that doesn't give them a right to do whatever the hell they like.

When I hear of these things happening, I don't want my athletic little boy watching football and looking up to the players. I look at him and I don't want that life for him. I don't want him to be the kind of man who would think that it's okay to treat a nineteen year old girl like she is worth nothing more than sex with him and a whole bunch of his mates. In fact, just thinking about it for a second makes my skin crawl. It really makes me lose faith in the sport, and I'm not the only one. It's a real shame. So as much as all of these footy fans are saying, "Poor Matty, let's rally behind him" maybe think about how he has let you down, too. He's certainly not doing your beloved sport any favours. The Nine Network had to let him go - they would have lost sponsorship/advertisers if they didn't. Companies just don't want their products to be associated with men who participate in gang bangs with young girls and cheat on their wives. Call 'em crazy, but they don't see it as good image building for their brands.

You know, as much as I'm disgusted in Matty and the other men involved, I'm also disgusted in the reactions I have seen over the past few days. Even girls I am very good friends with have spoken out, saying they don't know why the woman accuser is complaining, because "she got herself into this situation". Well, this is my thought: This is as bad as saying a girl wearing a short skirt "asked" to be raped. Yes, this woman did get herself in the situation to a point - she can certainly take some responsibility, and she has. She obviously got caught up in the excitement of having some famous football players give her some attention. Many girls would. She probably made a stupid mistake by going back to their room and agreeing to have sex with two of them. But does this somehow exempt the men from their wrong-doing? Is she supposed to cop it on the chin because she was a bit naive and awfully silly? Do the men just get to get away with it? What they did was immoral, and just because it's not illegal, that does not mean that it should go unpunished. Since when did we become a society that puts such a low value on moral standard?

Matthew Johns said it - he has feared repercussion over this incident for years. Well, here it is. This is the consequence of your actions, Matty.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good on ya, Carry Prejean!

First let me say, I actually do not agree with Miss California, Carry Prejean's answer to the question regarding gay marriage posed to her in the Miss USA pageant. However I admire her strength to stand by her beliefs. Plus, I actually don't think she said anything offensive. Mind you, I think anyone who starts a sentence with the phrase, "No offense to anyone", is making the rookie mistake of disclaiming the offensive comment they are about to make.

Watch this:

Her response, though inarticulate, was not rude. I don't know what the other questions were, but this was a TOUGH QUESTION. It was pretty much no win situation for her. No matter what she had said, she would have offended people. I think perhaps her only mistake was to put forth her personal beliefs, when she wasn't actually asked to share her personal beliefs on gay marriage. She started out well... if only she had avoided commenting on the nature of the legislation passed, and concentrated on the American people having a choice in such matters. If I were her, I would have said, "No, I don't think each state should simply follow suit. The United States of America has a process to pass such acts, whereby each state has the right to individually address the issue. That is what makes our country so great - our freedom of choice." Except that I wouldn't necessarily say "our country", being Australian and all. Hang on - what would I be doing in a Miss USA pageant, anyway?!

Sorry, off track.

Anyway, while I would actually vote for the legalisation of gay marriage, I like Carry's answer in this interview, because she is 100% right - nothing is worth compromising your beliefs for, not even the title of Miss USA. Good on ya, Carry!

PS. And Perez Hilton is just being a big-mouthed bad sport about the whole thing!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Things I heart right now

I Heart Vibrogym

Oh my goodness. I have done but three sessions so far, and I'm not kidding - all of my cellulite is GONE. In all honesty, I didn't have a buttload of it to begin with, (pun 100% intended), but it was present. I only wish I had taken an incredibly badly lit before photo, so I could be their poster girl. I could have been the butt & thighs of Vibrogym! Another opportunity lost. Hmph.

I Heart JD & Turk's Bromance in Scrubs

I love this clip so much I want to marry it:

I Heart Working From Home

There are many many things I heart about this, but here are the main ones:
1. I don't have to wear my horribly unflattering and uncomfortable uniform
2. I can have whatever I like for lunch. Today I had leftover lamb roast and yummy veges
3. While I have my lunch, I can watch Oprah! :D

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Top Five Countdown of crude Aussie Sayings that will make you Lose Your Shit

One of the things I like most about being Australian is the bogan-like language we use. When I say "we", what I really mean is other people who are way more bogan-like than I. Sometimes I enjoy infusing some boganesque phrases into my commentary for funsies, but mostly I just like laughing at them randomly. Usually I find myself doing so in an inappropriate moment, like when I've stopped listening to the conversation happening around me and let my mind go on a little wander. This happened today when I recalled one such saying, which makes number one on the below Top Five Countdown of crude Aussie sayings:

5. "I'll knock your block off"
This is something baby boomer parents would have said to the likes of my generation. Although I'm sure some parents still say it today. Unfortunately, it's not as commonly heard now that smacking your kid up the side of the head is frowned upon. Oh, that's what it means - I'll smack you up the side of your head - really hard. The 'really hard' part is kind of implied.
Other faves of this callibre: "I'll knock you from here to next Tuesday", "I'll knock your teeth so far down your throat, you'll have to stick a toothbrush up your arse to clean them" (can't say I've actually heard anyone say that one, but it was too funny to fail mentioning)

4. "I lost my shit"
Un-princess Jasmine has actually successfully injected this saying into her everyday language. I take my hat off to her; it's pretty awesome. This means you got very very angry, or just could not compose yourself for one reason or another, or had a highly emotional or strong reaction to something that happened. For example, you could say, "When he cut me off in traffic, I just lost my shit" or, like Un-princess Jasmine recently said to me, "Sally, I saw this absolutely sexy DILF the other day. Seriously, you would have lost your shit."

3. "Died in the arse"
Ever had something not quite go to plan? It was all over before it began? Then this is the saying for you. So awesome.
In context: "Sally, whatever happened to that idea of yours to manufacture and market hot cordial?"
"Oh. It died in the arse."

2. "I've had a gutful"
For when you've just had enough.

1. "Suffer in your jocks"
Awfully, this is a way of wishing a horrid fate on someone. By saying this, you are cursing the person to suffer through the discomfort and humiliation of having let out some diahorrea in their pants. Really, what could be worse? This would be reserved for someone who you truly hate. It's pretty much a way of kicking a man when he's down. You may recall in the legendary film, The Castle, lead character Daryl Kerrigan says this to the opposing counsel when he believes his solicitor has just won his case.
Other insulting and no less revolting curses include: suck a fart or eat shit and die.

Now for some honourable mentions:
"I've been running around like a blue-arsed fly" (I've been really busy)
"I haven't seen you since you were knee-high to a grasshopper" (since you were a small child)
"She thinks the sun shines out of her arse" (She has an inflated opinion of herself)

What are some of your faves?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm gonna blog that shit

Seriously, DON'T try it - you could ruin it for the rest of us!!!