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.
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.
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.
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.
Several years ago, probably around the time First Offspring was born, the Handsome Sidekick and I bought a will kit. Inside were two wills, and clear, easy-to-understand instructions on how to fill out the will. This should be a breeze! we thought.
When First Offspring was about nine months old, we moved house. I found the will kit. Should get around to doing that, I thought. We lived in the new house for almost exactly six years. While packing to go, I found the will kit again. By this stage, First Offspring had three siblings. Making a will seemed more important than ever, given we had four young people to consider.
I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t feel like writing the blog post today. The week seems to have raced by and I’m surprised it’s suddenly Friday again, and when I was considering this last night, I thought, I’m tired. I don’t really feel like writing the blog tomorrow. Perhaps I should just give it up. My followers have plateaued. I don’t even bother really promoting it much anymore. And I have so many other projects I could be working on, which might conceivably earn me money. Not to mention that I need to clean the house, think about what we’re having for tea tomorrow, and hang out some washing.
But even while thinking that, I knew I would write it. Part of the reason is because the Handsome Sidekick would ask me if I’d written it, and I’m a really bad liar, so I’d have to hang my head in shame and admit I hadn’t. And part of the reason is because I don’t really have a good excuse to not do it.
Recently, a blogger I follow posted something which was hard to read. His goddaughter was diagnosed with a brain tumour some months ago, and the latest news is that her condition is terminal. She’s just a little girl, and her parents and family and friends now have to come to grips with the thought of losing her. The blogger pointed to a website where people could donate, to try and find a cure for these cancers.
And this made me think of the number of times every year, when money is being raised for this hospital or that illness. Friends ask me for donations to cure diabetes or leukemia or mental illness, or assist people living with disabilities. I’m often asked to sponsor others going on walks or runs or bike rides, so they can raise awareness and money to support more research.
I resisted Twitter for years before succumbing to it. And now I’m there, I really like it, mostly because I follow some interesting sites which constantly tweet links to articles I might enjoy (and I generally do enjoy them). The trouble lies when I start to read the comments. I mean, this is the internet, so why am I surprised that comments can be like diving in a cesspool? Generally, I avoid them, but sometimes… I guess I’m my own worst enemy.
The other day, I read an article about overpopulation where I became mired in the comments. I didn’t respond, so at least I have some semblance of sense, but there were people who did annoy me. Mostly, because they remind me of myself, and because I’m now on the defensive.
I’m not sure how widely this story spread, but last week, I read on the BBC website that Marius, a healthy 18-month-old male giraffe, was due to be killed via bolt gun at the Copenhagen Zoo.
Unsurprisingly, there was uproar On The Internet (and In The World, as well). Other zoos in different countries offered to take Marius. There was a petition signed by thousands, pleading with the zoo to spare Marius’ life. But the zoo refused, and last Sunday, Marius was killed, and in front of a crowd in which children were present, dissected, and parts of the body fed to lions.
In our ex-city, there is a shop which sells Indian food. I can’t even remember the name of it, because I know where it is, so why would I need to know the name of the shop?* The point of this is that the shop sold frozen parathas and chapatis, and they were very tasty. They also sold homemade samosas on Fridays and Saturdays, and, even though it was a drive, sometimes I would deviate from whatever errands I was running, to get a couple for the Handsome Sidekick and myself to have for dinner.