The Good. The Bad. The Asinine.

STRAYA!!!

I love Australia Day. Not only is it a guaranteed public holiday on which I can get pissed to celebrate my naturalisation 34 years ago, it is also a day that, through its significance, is pregnant with all sorts of other excellent memories – of friends and family, of other naturalisation ceremonies, of friends in the Navy. I’m not going to pretend that it’s a day when my heart swells with any particular patriotic fervour because, let’s face it, it’s mainly about kiddie pools full of ice, beer and, eventually, your guests.

That’s not to say that the day is entirely frivolous – far from it – it’s just a lot less overstated than, say, the 4th of July in the USA. The flyover, the cricket, the harbour full of white boats and tinnies – all these things enter the consciousness and make me pause at odd moments during the day and reflect on just how damn proud and fortunate I am to be an Australian living in Australia.

And then it happens.

Out come the retards believing that a chain email talking about ‘Citizen’s Day’ has the same weight as a government proposal (such a proposal does not exist). Apocryphal immigrants on the internet telling anyone they can find that when they landed here they didn’t get any handouts (If they arrived between 1945 and 1959, or immediately post Vietnam War, that simply isn’t true). People who are unable to understand that Islam is not a race, yet insist on yammering on about Moslems as if they were an ethnicity. And of course, the endless, endless stream of poorly spelt, grammatically challenged, cognitively dissonant statements starting: I’m not racist, but…”

These idiots talk about “Political Correctness gone mad” when the simple, logical truth of the matter is that, if it had, then they would by now be facing prosecution for being so “Politically Incorrect”. Their continued freedom, in fact, has more to do with the fact that ugly-minded stupidity is not a crime in this excellent, free and diverse country.

Legal or not, however, I have a message for the ridiculously vocal minority that represents this part of Australia.

Dear Mindless Bogans,

Until you have managed to read something other than the Telegraph and inflammatory Facebook statuses, kindly stop spoiling one of our favourite days with your mindless, ill-conceived, poorly-reasoned, toxic bullshit.

Yours Very Sincerely,

 

The rest of the best country in the world that you insist on embarrassing.

An open letter to Cory Bernardi

Dear Cory,

Man, if only I had a dollar for every time I started a letter with “Dear Cory”. I’d have at least three dollars now. I wrote my first “Dear Cory” to Cory Haim to tell him how much I loved The Goonies. My second “Dear Cory” was also to Cory Haim, to apologise for confusing him with Cory Feldman. At that stage I probably should have written to Cory Feldman to tell him that I loved The Goonies, but I found the whole thing quite embarrassing, so I didn’t. I can’t confuse you with those Corys though – you weren’t a famous actor in the 80s, and Cory Haim doesn’t write awesome books like you do (because he’s dead), and Cory Feldman was married by MC Hammer. Were you married by MC Hammer? I don’t think you were, because then you would have written a book about how awesome it is to be married by MC Hammer, and how it doesn’t undermine the sanctity of marriage at all.

Anyway, I haven’t bought your book yet, because it’s $27, and I already gave all my money to Hillsong. But even though I can’t buy it, I won’t download it illegally, because that would be wrong. As my married biological parents always said, “It’s wrong to download shït books using BitTorrent”. That’s one of the things that I love about my married biological parents – they know stuff that unmarried non-biological parents don’t. Things like “Don’t steal” and “Only deny rights to minorities” and “The floppy skin on your elbow is called a weenis”.

And that’s what it’s all about, right? The fact that children do best with their married biological parents? It’s like your identical twit Bill Muehlenberg said, when he quoted the American Sociologist, Sara McLanahan:

Children who grow up in a household with only one biological parent are worse off, on average, than children who grow up in a household with both of their biological parents, regardless of the parents’ race or educational background, regardless of whether the parents are married when the child is born, and regardless of whether the resident parent remarries.

Like you, Bill is just “following the evidence where it leads”. It’s just a shame that it didn’t lead him to the rest of Sara’s paper, where she said that:

While living with just one parent increases the risk of negative outcomes, it is not the only, or even the major, cause of them… Low income – and the sudden drop in income that often is associated with divorce – is the most important factor in children’s lower achievement in single parent homes.

I guess that means that children might do best with their two married biological parents and a steadily-employed live-in lover named Cerise (or Pablo, I’m not here to judge). At the very least it means that, if we’re so concerned about child welfare, we should give single parents all the help they can get. What they really need are sanctimonious lectures by people who have no idea what they’re going through, but all they keep asking for is money and time and cigarettes. Actually, maybe we should ignore the bit about loss of income being the biggest detrimental factor – Sara’s a single mum herself, and she’s probably just looking for handouts. We can also ignore the part where she said “regardless of whether the parents are married when the child is born”. But the rest of it supports our preconceived ideas, so it’s fine.

When did you find out that the people who raised you were your biological parents? I still remember when I found out. It was a few weeks ago, when I received the DNA test results. My life had started to fall off the rails a bit. I stubbed my toe, and I lost my Renegade DVD box set, and I had the sudden urge to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded cinema. I suddenly realised that the best way to make myself a better person would be to confirm that my DNA came from the two most loving people I have ever known, and not some fückwits who didn’t know you shouldn’t yell “FIRE!” in a crowded cinema. But it was all OK. The test results came back fine, and I turned back into a good person with lots of friends and nice furniture. It was the second best day of my life. The best day was yesterday, when I found my Renegade DVDs.

What we really need is a plan. You and Bill and I know that children do best with their married biological parents, but what are we going to do about all the weird families with shït kids? Bill Muehlenberg reckons they should be “frowned upon”, so I’ve started walking around the city frowning at parents who look non-traditional. You can tell they’re non-traditional because they have nose-rings and their kids are stealing cars. It’s a bit weird at first, but after a while you realise that it feels good to express displeasure at your inferiors. I think I’m pretty good at it, but it doesn’t feel like I’m doing enough. That’s why I’m happy you rail against abortion, too. Because if you think married biological parents raise the best kids, you should see what happens when parents have kids they don’t even want.

I really admire you, Cory. It can be tough finding rationalisatons for untenable, faith-based prejudices. These days, it’s not enough to just say “It’s true, because I cherry-picked it from the bible”. People want evidence, and it’s quite annoying.

But don’t despair. We must battle on, despite the evidence. It’s what we conservatives do best.

Yours sincerely,

Tim

Children Need a Mother and a Father – The Sequel

Same-sex marriage is a bad, bad thing, because children need a mother and a father. We’ve all heard the argument, and we all know it’s stupid. Or at least, we should.

As I’ve pointed out before:

  • Same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting are two completely separate issues; and
  • Even if we accept that the two issues are inextricably linked, if you’re going to start preventing people becoming parents there are plenty of better places to start; and
  • The whole argument crumbles when you look at how the children of same-sex couples actually fare against their heterosexual equivalents.

How anyone can still persist with the “won’t someone think of the children?!” hysteria is beyond me – and yet there are plenty of people who do. If you happen to be one of those people, and you’ve somehow contrived to find my arguments above unconvincing, perhaps you should consider this.

According to your logic, the introduction of same-sex marriage will lead to this:

With Marriage Equality

But if you manage to prevent same-sex marriage, and maintain your bigotry and stereotyping, things will continue to look like this:

Without Marriage Equality

Well that’s interesting. It looks like those poor little babies have been replaced with Harleys and pink poodles. But that’s OK, because they really needed a mother and a father.

Although, when you think about it, a bit of existence would also come in handy.

Resolutions Are For Losers

When the new year had real religious and economic significance, New Year’s resolutions made a certain amount of sense. They were about renewal, and thanksgiving – a sacrifice to propitiate the gods who allowed you to see another year.

Now, however, it’s all a bit trivial. People promise to quit smoking, start running, learn languages, or whatever, in the completely irrational belief that a promise made on the 31st of January is somehow more likely to be fulfilled. The fact of the matter is, if you really wanted to learn Spanish or start cycling, you probably would have made a start on one of the previous 365 days. The fact that you haven’t indicates that you simply aren’t that serious about whatever inane piece of self-improvement you’ve mistakenly decided will enrich your life. Which you probably haven’t thought through.

Let’s take learning a language. To attain any degree of fluency, you’ll need to commit 10 to 15 hours a week for study and homework, as well as finding a native speaker to practice on. And that’s before we even think about the money. How does that go with a vague desire to understand Spanish? It doesn’t.

Learning an instrument? Same deal, only it’s 42 hours per week and a hell of a lot more money, depending on the instrument. Music is a lifelong pursuit – what makes anyone think they can do it satisfactorily as a hobby?

Quitting smoking? Don’t even get me started. Let’s just say that, if you’re a smoker and there is even the tiniest part of you that doesn’t want to quit, you’ll fail. No matter how special the first day is or isn’t.

How about this – forget New Year’s Resolutions. They rarely work and generally serve no purpose other than letting the person who hears them know exactly how unhappy and unfulfilled you think you are.

Instead, try living every day resolved to do whatever the hell it is that you want, instead of deferring everything to some mythical future when work isn’t stealing all your time, your family doesn’t disrupt everything you attempt to do and your strong preference, given free time, is to faff around doing nothing to re-enforce the myth that you don’t have time to do stuff.

Do it now. This instant. Then keep doing it until you’re done with it. All it takes is to make a New Year’s Resolution to stop making New Year’s Resolutions. Because a resolution is a promise and a promise is action deferred, often indefinitely. Just get started. That way, all the pipe dreams vanish and life can be lived without excuses.

And more importantly, I can stop wasting hours of my life listening to people whine about all the things they want to do but don’t have the time, despite having the time to whine at me about not having time…