Never Ends.

I was going to write something passionate, about gun violence, gun control and the simply incomprehensible continuation of this morbid fascination with weapons in the United States. Not that the US is alone in this; I believe all of the elements which contribute to these recurring massacres exist elsewhere, and yet the US manages to provide the perfect conditions for it to thrive—conditions which it seems reluctant to change.

 But I’ve written about this before.

 Here.

 And here.

 And here.

 And here. 

I’m at the point where I can’t get angry about it anymore, and I deliberately remove myself from the internet when they happen, because I can’t get as sad about it as I used to, either. Why bother? I think. It changes nothing. Have I really become so cynical, as I advance in years? Or is this way of turning inward, of switching the world off, just a safety mechanism, just a means of survival so the grief of this world doesn’t cause me to cave in and collapse?

 I saw the familiar anger and distraught outrage emerging on the internet and over the radio, of course. However, this time, there’s a difference I’ve noticed about the reaction to Orlando, and it is that I am not alone in my resignation. There is a sense of despair which wasn’t there after previous shootings. There is the realisation that if Sandy Hook changed nothing, why would this one be different? Despite being the biggest mass shooting in the US to date, the fact that it occurred in an LGBT nightclub, a club attended by a group of people already vilified by so many, means that this will simply be yet another shooting.

 This time, here is a sad acceptance: This is the way it is. It’ll always be this way. This changes nothing.

 That is perhaps the biggest tragedy of all. That all these deaths will be simply added to the list of names of those already gunned down, and that they will precede those who will be gunned down in the future. There have been protests and anguished pleas, but this time, there are shrugged shoulders and broken sighs, and a despondent public who finally feel they are utterly powerless to stop this disease of hate.

 So well done, NRA. Congratulations, gun manufacturers. You spread the fear and the lies and the hatred, and we are broken. We still love, we still care, but we are tired, and sad, and nothing changes, and this cycle never ends.

You win.

But before you celebrate your victory, perhaps you’d like to wash all that blood off your hands?

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Who Cares?

Well, the poor blog has been neglected over the past month or so, and there is good reason for that–I’ve been busy (I know, but I mean, more than usual) doing a short course in business so that I can better market myself as an editor and possibly publish others’ books somewhere down the line. It’s been very interesting and I’ve not only met some other inspiring people, but I’ve also learnt a lot about small business and some of the ways in which I can hopefully make mine work.

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The Week Links: Summer Edition.

Yes, I’ve been a little remiss with the links lately. Who knew summer holidays, swimming lessons, stationery shopping and work (plus the usual busy-ness) would keep me run off my feet these last several weeks? Well, everyone, probably, but it still always comes as a surprise to me that there are not enough hours in the day.

We’re expecting a warm day today–not as warm as Perth, but still summery–and I hope to be able to pick the last of the boysenberries and pretend to get organised for another school week (but no doubt I’ll end up working and/or reading a book and patting the cat. Possibly taking the dog for a walk. Maybe eating some cake…)

Enjoy the links!

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No.

Before First Offspring was born, I read.  A lot. All about babies. Having sat many an exam, I guess I treated the pregnancy and impending child-rearing like a test, and studied accordingly. I learnt about all different parenting techniques, and weighed up the pros and cons of routines, attachment, co-sleeping, vaccinations… really, everything. And one of the philosophies was that the word ‘no’ was an unhelpful word, to be avoided, if possible.

Telling your children ‘no’ sends a message of negativity, and is irritating to both you and them. And it can ‘breed resentment and plant seeds for future rebellion’ in your youngsters.

‘That sounds fair,’ thought yet-to-be-a-parent I. ‘I like the idea of being a positive parent. I’ll make an effort to say ‘no’ less. All that negativity is unhealthy, anyway.’

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No Place for People Like You.

Recently, changes to our migration act here in Australia meant that any non-Australian citizen who served a prison sentence for more than 12 months would be at risk of deportation at the end of their prison sentence. No doubt this was an attempt to rid our otherwise unsullied paradise of unsavoury foreign types who go around committing crimes and generally bringing down the tone of the place.

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And… ACTION.

Australia is on fire.

I don’t mean in the Alicia Keys sense. We are literally burning here, with massive fires, such as one only hours from where we live, which killed 4 people, and others in South Australia where people have also died. To put that into context, we have a good warning system, and people in fire-prone areas are used to preparing for and defending their properties against fire. For people to die… it’s unusual. It’s terrifying and tragic. And it’s only the beginning of summer–the start of the bushfire season. Our summer is predicted to be horrendously hot, coming off the rest of 2015, the hottest year on record.

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So You go Back in Time to Kill Baby Hitler. Now What?

Recently, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was asked if, given the opportunity, he would travel back in time to kill Hitler as a baby. He answered that of course he would, although he admitted that he didn’t know if or how that would change the course of World War II and history.

The whole time-travel-to-kill-Hitler concept has become a bit of an internet meme, and because of this, seems to have a sense of the absurd about it. It’s as if you can’t say that you would do anything else, with the gift of time travel, without mentioning that first.

This has a couple of major problems, and it bothers me that people treat it with such disregard. Of course, I’m also aware of the absurdity of writing a blog post about the issues of time travel, but it highlights a number of greater concerns.

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The Thin Blue Line.

This past week has sped by so quickly for me–as is evident by the fact that I’m writing this on Monday rather than the usual Friday–so I only heard in passing about the incident between a police officer and a high school student in South Carolina, and I only managed to read anything about it yesterday. But I did hear a discussion about a related issue on the radio later in the week, and during this talk, the interviewee discussed the issue of police violence, in particular in relation to persons of colour. Racial prejudice in the police force was something which needed to be addressed, he said.

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Sowing the Seeds.

I’ve been out planting seeds this morning. I planted sunflowers a few weeks ago and was very happy to see them pop out of the ground only a few days later, and then they were all eaten by snails. Grr.

So I’ve planted more. I have a lot of seeds because I saved them from the sunflowers I planted last year, which means I can afford to lose a few to snails. But you can be sure that I’ll be buying coffee when I next go shopping (coffee is poisonous to snails and slugs). And as I was walking around with my watering can, giving the seeds a soak, my thoughts turned to the TPP. It’s not as big a leap as you might think–saving seeds is something which is common to both gardeners and farmers the world over, and with the trade agreement having been apparently rushed through, I’m concerned about how this will affect our agricultural sector, and the environment, as well as a host of other areas.

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Promises, Promises.

A few years ago, I did a Masters thesis on German Greens politician, Petra Kelly. I was inspired by her energy and commitment to green issues, but also how she and her colleagues made the move from activist to politician. As someone who certainly railed against the idea of the establishment, I was interested in how they made this transition, and realised that the trade-off was not as simple as I might have thought. Working at a grassroots level, Kelly and her colleagues were easily able to get involved in protests, or participate in acts of civil disobedience. They had a fluidity of movement which came from their widespread connections with other activist groups, and were motivated by the need to speak out about changing the status quo.

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