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The End Is Nigh?

Hey there, it’s been a while. You look great! Did you change your hair? Those shoes are adorable on you.

You may have noticed I’ve been taking a break from blogging, I’ve been focusing more on my University work, haven’t really had time to update.  The other day however, I saw something that forced me into action, enjoy…

Whilst driving around Sydney recently, you may have noticed some curious billboards with slogans along the lines of “The world will end on May 21st! The Bible guarantees it!”

The dramatic billboards also feature the address of the website for “Family Radio,” A Christian radio religious broadcasting network in the United States, founded in 1959 by Richard Palmquist, Lloyd Lindquist, and Harold Camping.

Harold Camping is the man behind the May 21st predictions, he says that May 21st will be the date of the return of Christ and around 200 million people (approximately 3% of the world’s population) will be raptured, with the remaining 97 % of the world left to suffer in agony for 150 days.

He claims that he has come to this exact date through a series of mathematical equations as well as through “signs” he says have appeared as predicted by the bible.

Mr Camping is the leader of the group that some have labelled a cult. Members of the group have so much faith in the prediction that they’ve put up billboards and they’ve handed out fliers. Some of them have even burned through all of their savings, so convinced are they that the world is going to end on May 21 and they’ll no longer need it.

Just how accurate are Harold Camping’s predictions? Camping made similar claims of the apocalypse back in 1993 saying that the world would end the following year, even releasing a book on the subject. When 1994 rolled around a red-faced Camping had to back pedal pretty hard, eventually saying that his calculations had been done incorrectly.

Mr Camping reminds me of those kids you knew in primary school, you know the ones, the children who made outrageous claims that they could fly by jumping off a roof only to turn around when someone challenges their claims and say that they can only do it when no one else is watching them.

How is it that so many people are still clinging onto the preachings of a man who has already proved once that he’s full of shit?

I think that people who join cults like these do it so that they can remove all personal responsibility from their lives. There must be great comfort in the notion that they no longer have to think or act for themselves, that one man makes all of there decisions for them. I believe that people chose this kind of brain washing enslavement because in a weird way being powerless makes them feel free.

While that sense of freedom might feel good now it is going to be a very short-lived experience, the followers who are now preparing for the end of days are going to be in for a rude shock come May 21st.  They’re not going to feel very good when the world doesn’t end and they’ve destroyed their entire lives in the process of preparing for the rapture.

It may seem like this movement and their leader could be dismissed as harmless eccentrics, but make no mistake, people like Harold Camping should be treated like dangerous extremists. We should not ever forget what happened in Jonestown. In 1978 Jim Jones led the member’s of his cult the “People’s Temple” into a mass murder/suicide .

A total of 909 Temple members died in Jonestown, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed “revolutionary suicide” by Jones and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions. The poisonings in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at a nearby Port Kaituma airstrip. The victims included Congressman Leo Ryan, the first member of Congress assassinated in the line of duty in the history of the United States. Four other Temple members died in Georgetown at Jones’s command.

There are numerous similarities between Camping and Jones, both follow the pattern of progressive revelation through “one man”, date-settings and predictions of annihilation, all designed to isolate and alienate people into following them blindly.

The disciples of Harold Camping believe that they are following the will of god, they are not. They are following the will of  one flawed human being and one can only hope that these people are able to free themselves before it is too late.

What will you be doing come May 21st?

I’ll probably just be hanging out with some friends, maybe drinking a few beers, and toasting to the fact that my life is not ruled by one insane old man.

Have a good one folks!

Aussie Pride Isn’t An Excuse For Acting Like A Dickhead

Australia Day is almost upon us, and we all know what that means; it’s time for all of the flag wearing, southern cross tattooed, drunken morons to come crawling out of the woodwork to show off their “Aussie Pride.” 

Before we get started here,  let me say, I’m not against having pride in one’s country. Without some form of national pride I don’t think a country can really survive. What I am concerned about is the way that many people chose to express that pride; through public displays aimed to exclude those that they deem to be “Un-Australian” whether or not they really are. 

Just what is Australia Day all about?

Australia Day is a celebration of the arrival of the first fleet in Australia on the 26th of January 1788. The  British colonizers stepped ashore, planted the Union Jack  illegally (even by the laws of
Britain) and claimed this land. They based the invasion and occupation on a legal lie, “terra nullius” (or “empty land” meaning the land was unoccupied), and such was the beginnings of our nation.
It has been pointed out that if Australia Day was really a celebration of our nation it would commemorate federation in 1901. Many people prefer therefore to refer to the 26th of January as Invasion Day – to draw attention to what is actually being ‘celebrated’ on 26th January. Australia Day might be about barbecues and that extra day to have off to drink or nurse your hangover, but it is not without its controversial roots.

“Patriotism is loving your country, nationalism is hating everyone else’s”

Australia Day has become bastardized over the years, it has gone from a public holiday which many weren’t particularly even aware of in the eighties to an over the top affair involving bizarre rituals such as face painting, flag wearing and temporary (or permanent) tattoos of an australian theme.  These displays and the attitude of these people often makes others feel excluded and segregated. The best example of “Aussie pride” gone wrong occurred on December 11th 2005, the infamous Cronulla riots.

 On 4 December 2005, a group of volunteer surf lifesavers were assaulted by a group of young men of Middle Eastern appearance, with several other violent assaults occurring over the next week. These incidents were widely reported and commented on in Sydney media. An initially peaceful crowd gathered in the morning of 11 December 2005 and by midday, approximately 5,000 people gathered at Cronulla beach to protest against a recent spate of violence against locals. Fuelled by alcohol, the crowd turned to violence when a young man of “Middle Eastern appearance”  was spotted on the beach. He was surrounded by a crowd outside a local hotel and attacked.
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  and the mob sang Waltzing Matilda
 
 Retaliatory riots also took place that night and on subsequent nights, resulting in extensive property damage and several more assaults, including one stabbing and even some attacks against ambulance and police officers. The riots made Australia look pretty bad for quite a while, with several countries issuing travel warnings to potential tourists.
You only have to look at the many horrible images from that day to realize that these people have nothing to feel proud about, this display was disgusting and terrifying.
Since the riots, symbols like the southern cross tattoo have taken on a more sinister meaning to me. If I spot someone with a southern cross tattoo I will more than likely assume them to be a racist. The southern cross seems to be the swastika for the new generation, such are the effects of the riots on Australian culture.
Looking at the above photo there can be no doubt that man evolved from apes, and these gentlemen clearly still have some evolving to do.
  

 

I’m Proud

I am still proud of my country, proud even though same sex couples still don’t have the same rights at heterosexuals, the problems of the indigionous people of this country are still rather awkwardly avoided and ignored, and people with different cultural backgrounds can sometimes be made to feel like they don’t belong. I am proud of my country. I am proud of our diversity, of the way that we evolve and change together and I’m proud of the way we can pull together through adversity. Am I going to pull a flag around my shoulders and chant “Aussie Aussie Aussie!” next week? Not quite.

 I didn’t choose to be born in this country, I just was, I could just have easily been born in Germany or China, the luck of the draw said I ended up here. My country right or wrong? No freaking way, if I feel my country is going in a bad direction I’ll speak up, as should you.

There is one good thing coming from Australia Day this year, and that is that many Australian’s will be joining together to raise money for the flood victims in Queensland, this is the right way to express pride in ones country, by working towards making it better.

Have an awesome Australia day bitches, try not to act like a dickhead.

 
 
 
 

 

Revenge, Is It Worth It?

Historically, there are two schools of thought on revenge. The Bible, in Exodus 21:23, instructs us to “give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” to punish an offender. Then, more than 2,000 years later, Martin Luther King Jr., responded, “The old law of ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.”

Who’s right? I think it’s possible that both theories have some merit, while exacting revenge may make you feel as if you have taken back some control or power in a hopeless situation, revenge comes at a price. Instead of helping you move on with your life, it can leave you dwelling on the situation and remaining unhappy. Considering revenge is a very human response to feeling slighted, humans are atrocious at predicting its effects.

When Revenge Goes Wrong

While wanting revenge at someone who has slighted you may be a knee-jerk reaction, it is sometimes best to take the time to think about the possible consequences of your actions. Take Marie Lupe Cooley ( 41, of Jacksonville, Fla.) When Marie saw a help-wanted ad in the newspaper for a position that looked suspiciously like her current job — and with her boss’s phone number listed — she assumed she was about to be fired.

So,  she went to the architectural office where she works late Sunday night and erased 7 years’ worth of drawings and blueprints, estimated to be worth $2.5 million.

It didn’t take Steven Hutchins, owner of the architectural firm that bears his name, much time to figure out who’d done it — Cooley was the only other person who had full access to the files. Police arrested Cooley Monday evening and charged her with causing greater than $1,000 damage to computer files, a felony. She was bailed out the following afternoon.As for the job, Cooley originally wasn’t in danger of losing it. The ad was for Hutchins’ wife’s company.

Whoops. So Marie pretty much went and fucked everything up, all because she jumped to conclusions and sought out vengeance without taking time to think things through. Think it through people! Figure out whether or not it is worth it to you.

When It’s Not Worth It

It’s not worth it if taking that revenge is going to hurt you as much as it hurts them. It’s not worth it if it’s aimed at someone you still care about, because deep down, you’re going to regret it. It’s not worth it if the revenge means that you continue to dwell on the person or situation that brought you to wanting revenge. If plotting revenge is stopping you from moving on and getting some closure from the situation, it’s not worth it. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is move on, continue being awesome and forget about it. That other person is already fucked, they have to wake up every day and be themselves, they have to live their lame life. You get to wake up and be you! You’re fabulous! (I love your hair like that by the way.)

When It Is Worth It

When you’re dealing with a situation or a person that has left you feeling completely impotent, revenge can be a way to take some power back for yourself.  Will signing your cheating ex up for various charity and telemarketing lists solve all your problems? No, but it might make you feel a little bit better knowing that at least you’ve done something to release some pain, it may not be the healthiest thing, but at least it’s something.

To summarize, I’m not going to be one of those people who says “revenge is never worth it.”  I think that vengeance has its merits, (I’m a fan of it myself, so I advise you never to cross me bitches) The only advice I’m going to give on the matter is think before you act, is your form of revenge going to come back and bite you in the arse? It’s not worth going to jail just to get back at someone who has wronged you. Like the saying goes, the best form of revenge is leading a good life, (just make sure you have that person on your Facebook friends list so that they are forced to see how awesome your life is).

Until next time gentle reader, peace out and stay rad.

Today, I Am A Maverick.

Today, as I approached the traffic lights near the train station I saw that they had just changed, that the little green man had disappeared and the little red flashing man, (who was taunts and teases “come on! You’ve almost made it!”) had just turned into a still and stubborn red man, whose blank inanimate face spells defeat.

I stood and watched as the last of the pedestrians who were just slightly quicker than me finished crossing the road, if only I had been a few seconds faster, I would have been one of them, secure in the herd, I thought to myself. These lights were particularly long, and I could see the train station across the road, so close and yet so far, the lights were still red, but a mad dash across the road now would get me securely onto my train and off to work on time, if only I had the guts to do it. I battled with the decision, this was split second thinking, I had only the most limited time if I was going to make the attempt at crossing the road. No, I wouldn’t, I would wait. I was not going to risk my life, or more importantly possible social embarrassment by breaking the pedestrian code.

I was content in my decision, until… Who was that? That girl, walking with such confidence one might expect her to be the star of some kind of female empowering medical drama. She walked right by me, paused, for only a second before striding out into the road, crossing the street without any problems, just making it to the other side as the traffic started to move forward.

I was shamed, left standing there like a fool. Because of my own fear, because of my insistence on adhering to societies rules, I was left waiting for the lights to complete their cycle once more. That girl who crossed, she was a maverick, she did things her way, screw traffic convention, screw pedestrian protocol. I was envious of that girl, I wanted to be that girl, and today I have decided, I will be that girl. Today, I become a maverick.   

When I eventually boarded the train, I saw everything with new eyes. There was only one seat left, a small gap between two people in the middle of a three person seater. The old me would never have disturbed these two people by attempting to squeeze in between them. It would have been rude and embarrassing, indeed there were already two or three people standing, glancing wistfully at the seat, nobody game enough to do anything about it. Normally I would have been one of those people, but not today. Today I focused on that seat, I strode purposefully towards it and as I locked into eye contact with the man on the edge of the seat I said in a loud clear voice “Excuse me” I squeezed past him and slid victoriously into the seat (which if I’m honest, was not quite big enough for me to sit in comfortably.) As I glanced around the carriage I saw the looks in people’s eyes, I could tell they were thinking, “Who is this girl? Where did she come from? ” I turned and looked at one woman who was staring at me, I shot her what I considered to be a wry smile, she turned away awkwardly. In hindsight, it may have come across more creepy than wry.

From then on I was  unstoppable, when I ordered my lunch, the woman mistakenly put butter onto my sandwich despite me having asked her not to do so. I spoke up, I informed her that I did not want butter, and I felt only the mildest hint of guilt as she was forced to begin my sandwich again.

I spoke up, I didn’t play by anybody’s rules, pedestrian protocol was a thing of the past. If you answer your phone on the train in front of me, get ready for a stern throat clearing. I was drunk on my new freedom, I was out of control, in many ways, I was unrecognizable, even to myself.

It was as I reprimanded someone for cutting in line and was given a steady stream of abuse in reply, that I realised I had gone too far, I couldn’t live this way. Being this kind of radical maverick was too tiring. I had to stop.

Although It was a difficult change, I gave up my new-found maverick status, I retired my out there attitude, and I transformed back into the mild-mannered girl I always was, although my mark on the world was a small one, at least I tried, at least I can hold my head up high, knowing that I gave it my all, and as I wait for the traffic light this afternoon, my disappointment may be dulled by the next maverick that steps out into traffic getting run down by a car.