Thailand approaches rapidly

Next week’s trip to Bangkok is taking shape. ’Pong has booked a fine-looking hotel at a mere THB2000 a night (about AUD66). I’ve been chatting with some Thai lads online — and been amused at the assumption that I’m a farang looking for, um more carnal pleasures. [sigh] Such assumptions! They seem to stop when I mention my boyfriend. So, 6 nights in Bangkok and then off to Chiang Mai. Any suggestions for things to do? And no, you can skip Patpong.

Dead cat waving

Go read John Birmingham’s angry rant about the government’s recent straight-up racist demonisation of Sudanese migrants. I was so angry with immigration minister Kevin Andrews last week I couldn’t actually write for fear my brain would explode. Birmingham has let his explode — and the world is a better place for it.

Howard’s concern seems genuine — genuine spin, that is

John Howard’s racist intervention into the management of Aboriginal child sex abuse cases seems to be based on genuine personal shock, at least according to one feature story yesterday:

“I thought the report was just horrific,” he said yesterday. “This is very genuine. I am distressed. It is terrible. Little children. Don’t underestimate the personal interest and commitment to this. Or Mal Brough [Howard’s Minister for Indigenous Affairs]. He is quite passionate about doing something on this subject. I said to him, ‘We’ve got to do something, we’ve got to grab hold of this. The territory’s not going to do anything.'”

But once that’s out of the way, the spin begins:

“It’s just terrible. Just imagine if it was Dickson, or Brunswick or Marrickville or whatever. It’s just intolerable and you’ve just got to do something about it.

Cute choice of examples, Mr Howard. I don’t know about Dickson (are you reading this, Antony Green?), but I live in the Marrickville electorate and Brunswick is the Melbourne equivalent — both multicultural Labour-voting areas.

Howard’s choice is 100% political. Mention left-wing heartlands so those on the left take the example personally and sympathise with the pain, and those on the right are reminded that these mixed-race communities are a hotbed of sordidness. He certainly doesn’t say “Just imagine if it was Mosman or Elsternwick.”

I mean, there’s no child sexual abuse in suburbs with deciduous trees, and Howard wouldn’t risk upsetting core Liberal party voters by even suggesting it were possible.

Howard doesn’t mention that the Little Children are Sacred report is the 13th enquiry into Aboriginal child sexual abuse since he became PM — three of them federal enquiries!

He doesn’t mention that NT chief minister Clare Martin proposed an interventionist solution a year ago — which he ignored.

He doesn’t mention that federal funding to tackle this issue was cut 4 years ago.

But he does keep emphasizing that he’s taking control, that he’s in control, that once more he’s Big Strong Daddy.

And as I write that a sudden thought crosses my mind. Isn’t Big Strong Daddy the one committing most child sexual abuse?

[P.S. There’s interesting comments on this issue attached to my original post. Enjoy.]

That’s just straight-up racism, Mr Howard!

Prime Minister John Howard rides his white horse into Aboriginal Australia to save the kiddies. Yes, banning pornography will prevent child sexual abuse, apparently — despite a complete lack of evidence to support that idea. Despite the fact that whities committing sexual abuse against white kids won’t have pornography banned in their communities. And despite JWH being on the record as saying he’s opposed to censorship of any kind. Just how many ways can you be a complete hypocrite in the one news story?

Owns plasma TV, but still a racist

Photo of accommodation poster

This poster advertising share accommodation in Sydney is pretty typical of the genre — a list of features, tear-off tags with phone numbers, and the notice that you’d be the fifth person in a 3-bedroom apartment.

But there are two features worth pointing out.

1. Boasting that “Nobody sleeps in the living room!!!!!” reminds us that it’s now normal to over-crowd CBD apartments. These buildings were designed with a certain occupancy, so may the gods help them all in the event of a fire.

2. Saying “Europeans, North- and South Americans or Australian applications preferred” is just a coward’s way of saying “No blacks or Asians” — which is a bit rich for someone choosing to live in Sussex Street, right next to Sydney’s Chinatown.

Owners of mobile phones 0415 520 775 and 0403 220 688, you may well own a plasma TV and “really nice furniture”, but you’re still racist turds.

If it wasn’t for the fact that doing so might count as harassment, I’d suggest that we all phone you and say so.