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Misogyny, misogayny and misogainy.

Alan Jones, the notoriously toxic Sydney radio shock-jock who regularly gets his rocks off by running amok against women in positions of power, has done it again, this time to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern.

Jones bitch-slapped Ms Adern on air this week by not only calling her “gormless”, “a hypocrite”, “a joke, a fool, a lightweight” and “a complete clown” for her criticising Australia’s inaction against climate change at a meeting of Pacific Island leaders in Tuvalu, but also urging Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to “shove a sock down her throat.”

Many of us found this very heady stuff indeed, especially since we distinctly recall Jones’ arrest many years ago in London on suspicion of pubic activities in a public toilet.

Whether there were allegations involving a sock or even a cock down either Jones’ or his toilet companion’s throat I’m not sure, as the whole affair seems to have been quickly covered-up.

But most of us have assumed ever since that Jones is a closet gay. Not, I hasten to say, and as any regular of my writing will attest to as true, that I think there’s anything wrong with this.

I’m all for the freedom of gays of all genders, whether in or out of the closet, or even as Jones was, in the water closet, to get their socks, jocks and rocks off every bit as freely as straights can.

But I totally disapprove of misogynists, or as I suspect in Jones’ case, misogaynists who parade their hatred of women for the purpose of misogaining bigger audiences of fellow bigots, climate-change deniers and other such idiots on their witless wireless programs.

As usual, Jones’ latest display of misogyny/misogayny/misogainy elicited an outpouring of outrage from more civilised Sydney citizens as well as those who, like me, who wouldn’t dream of listening to his drivel, as well as from advertisers who left him in droves, and his radio-station management that has threatened to terminate his contract if he ever offends again.

Even the very person he was trying to suck-up to by means of his vicious verbal assault on Ms Adern, Australia’s current Prime Minister Scott Morrison, expressed his distaste for Jones’ diatribe, describing it as “way out of line.”

But by this stage Morrison himself had done quite enough to offend and alienate Ms Adern along with all the other leaders of Pacific-island nations by refusing to sign an agreement that so much as mentioned the term “climate crisis” or committed Australia to reducing its mining, burning or export of coal.

Meanwhile, having delivered himself of his customary crock of poppycock against the NZ PM, Alan Jones has since claimed that he has written her a letter of apology, and that in any case what he had meant to say was that Scott Morrison “should tell Ms Adern to ‘put a sock in it’,” not to do violence to her by shoving a sock down her throat.

“Of course I would not wish any harm to Jacinda Adern,” he stated, adding that “willful interpretation of my remarks distracts from my point that she was wrong about climate change and wrong about Australia’s contribution to [atmospheric] carbon dioxide levels.”

But I personally doubt that Jones has ever apologized for what I recall as his his worst-ever performance of shock-jockery: his suggestion some years ago that Australia’s first-ever female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard should be “put into a chaff bag and thrown into the sea”, and his slightly later claim that Ms. Gillard’s recently-deceased father had “died of shame” as a result of his bereaved daughter’s “lies”.

With this masterful exercise in mysogynistic, misogaynistic, misogainistic malice, Sydney’s malignant mouthpiece for right-wing rabble made an even more disgusting spectacle of himself than he has with this latest load of sock-related shock-jock schlock.

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Trump’s witless trade and tirade wars.

I have to confess up front that, in thinking and writing about Donald Trump, I feel almost as much of a nitwit, if not outright fuckwit as the US Commander/Conman-in-Chief so clearly and catastrophically is.

Firstly because so much has been written about/against this dumb-as-a-tree-stump if not dangerously- deranged disgrace to democracy, truth and freedom that it’s highly unlikely that I can come up with anything new to say in his disfavour.

Secondly because there’s not a shred of evidence that he’s willing or able to change, at least for the better.

And finally and perhaps even more dauntingly, I’m aware that by even mentioning his name I’m only further pandering to his pathologically narcissistic need to flatter himself that he’s the greatest global megastar by far, if only in his own mega-disordered mind.

Indeed, as deeply in the grip of mega-egomania as he is, Trump doesn’t appear to care whether he’s seen as a megastar or megamonster, just as long as his trumpetings on Twitter and his strumpets in the weirdo-wing media can keep feeding his megagreed for mega-attention.

A commodity he’s certainly getting plenty of right now, as his trumped-up trade war with China is both costing a great many US farmers such a bundle that they have to be subsidised with billions of bucks, as well as so threatening the stability of the global economy to the point at which it totally sucks.

But the megabucks that megachump Trump keeps costing investors, consumers, employers and workers in the US and the world at large economically or rather wreckonomically with his trade war seem to me so much chicken-feed compared with the terrible moral and ethical toll he’s taken on the so-called Land of the Free with his tirade war.

Trump’s ranting Twitter tirades have grated on just about everything that’s made America as close to great as it has ever got, from immigration by the “tired, poor, huddled masses”, and especially Mexican and Central and South-American masses, formerly welcomed by Lady Liberty, to the genuinely truth-seeking media that he endlessly falsely damns as “fake news”.

He’s also determinedly dumbed-down or done his damnedest to totally dump every possible progressive move made by previous presidents, but particularly Barack Obama, to protect the poor, the sick and otherwise disadvantaged citizens, to combat such crying shames as race-hate and rampant gun-ownership and, of course, to preserve the increasingly-endangered environment.

And into the bargain he’s ‘befriended’ so many of the world’s dictators and other anti-democratic dickheads, from the decency- and dissent-crushin’ Russian, Putin, on down through dirty Duterte of the Philippines to the latest Kim of North Korea to equip himself with rockets and continue to let his people starve or at least suffer rickets.

On top of all that, of course, there’s his support and encouragement for Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and the rest of the gang of Brexiteers or more accurately Wrecksiteers who are hell-bent on abandoning the European Union even, if necessary, at the price of disuniting the thus-far United Kingdom.

The result of Trump’s abandonment of support for truth, liberty democracy, the rule of law and other principles that the US formerly allegedly stood for around the world, however at times hypocritically, is that his version of America is perceived by foreigners like you and me as so laughably far from its previous position as a role model as to be more of a droll or even LOL model.

In short, far from making America great, Trump’s whoring for personal attention, admiration and even, if possible, outright adoration has set him warring against whatever formerly made America rate with not only the intellectually, emotionally and ethically-competent citizens of the US, but also with most of the rest of us.

 

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Ed as in ‘educator’.

Ed Green,my wife’s old boss, subsequently close friend and more recently my friend as well, is dead. He died just a few days ago at home, as he wished to, in the company of the love of his life, partner of 20 years, and more recently since the legalisation of gay marriage, spouse, Aldi.

But before I focus on the ultimate point of this post, which is Ed’s highly-educational dieography, let me fill you in on the necessary background with a brief precis of his biography.

Ed was born in the bush, went to boarding school and then university, and then spent two years as a teacher of English and History before returning to help his father on the family sheep property and later to live there and run it alone.

During this time, as a ‘closeted’ gay male in the in the homosuspicous if not outright homophobic environment of rural Australia, and, as he much later wrote, “a lonely and secretive young man” who was “pretending to be not what he was but what others expected him to be,” he declined emotionally into a state of almost suicidal depression.

But, seeing intellectual stimulus as a possible lifeline, he embarked on a course of distance education while still managing the farm, and thus achieved his Master of Letters by completing a thesis on “Self, Others and Friendship” as discussed in the writings of a 12th-century English monk, Aelred of Rievaulx.

Having thus found salvation in further education, he left his isolated existence in the bush for the livelier life of the ‘big smoke’, Sydney, where he set to work on a PhD in Medieval History before switching to Sociology for the purpose of pursuing his passionate interest in the experiences of gay men who continued living in the rural areas in which they grew up rather than move to the city as Ed himself did.

He then embarked on what proved to be a highly-successful career in educational administration, first with the Department of Technical and Further Education (TAFE), and eventually as the Executive Dean of a series of higher-education private colleges.

And it was in the twilight of this career, just as he was settling back into semi-retirement as an educational consultant and looking forward to spending lots more time with his beloved Aldi, that Ed was diagnosed with the brain cancer that was to take his life in just two years.

Two years in which he endured all the seemingly endless agonies of repeated surgeries and bouts of chemotherapy, but also, of course, the ecstasies of expectation that he might eventually be cured.

But through it all he treated all of us who knew and loved him to an exemplary education in the sadly under-estimated art of dying a good death.

Setting out almost immediately following his initial diagnosis to use every possible minute of his remaining time to take care of his beloved Aldi, most crucially or at least materially by marrying him to eliminate any possible doubt that he would be officially recognised as Ed’s legal heir.

Then writing the story of his life, perhaps partly to make sense of it all for himself and friends, but mostly, I strongly suspect, for the purpose of literally gifting his existence to the love of his life by dedicating it, as he did the completed and printed book, “Always for Aldi. Always”.

But there was no sense of his being sad and sorry for himself in this, or in the way he continued to live and love life. Which he proceeded to to with a sense of gaiety, in the old happy and glad sense of the word, that to me was vividly reminiscent of the carefree dying days of Socrates as portrayed by Plato in his deathless dialogues Crito and Phaedo.

And even evocative of the shades of Voltaire, who, when a priest begged him on his death-bed to revile and reject the works of Satan, refused on the grounds that this was “no time to be making new enemies.”

Ed’s similarly impish and irreverant sense of humour prevailed through all the physical and emotional pain of his prolonged departure, from the title of his biographical book, “Arse about face”, in reference to his late father’s exasperation at his son’s always doing things the wrong way around, to the light-heartedness of his conversations at the lunches he so loved to host.

All in all, in fact, without going into any more detail, Ed not only lived the death he wanted for himself, but also, by his shining example of how to go about it, educated those of us who mourn him in how to die with as much grace, courage, and above all good cheer as we can muster, when our times inevitably come.

 

 

 

 

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There’s sillier than sapiophilia.

A couple of articles in the online edition of The Guardian the other day really got me thinking about myself, sexwise. Not that they told me anything new about my tendency towards sapiophilia, or what they called sapiosexuality, the tendency to be sexually attracted to intelligent, witty or, literally, wise people.

And not that I’m in the least concerned about this, as I’m not so sappy a sapiophile as to be solely or exclusively so, irrespective of the genders, sexualities or other attributes of those women I’m most inclined to fall in lust and/or love with.

In fact I’m happy and even positively proud to be what I suppose you could most accurately term a heterosapiophile, or in other words a total pushover for both straight and bisexual women who are evidently as brainy as they’re beautiful.

As, for example, my current and (trust me) final wife of nearly 25 years most assuredly is.

Furthermore, I find that, though beauty is proverbially proclaimed to be in the eye of the beholder, I perceive it as being even more in the eye of the mind. And thus for me the smarter a woman is the more beautiful she looks in my mind’s eye, whereas the opposite is, at least in my personal experience, by no means the case.

It also happens that I’m a heterosapphophile, or fan of lesbian women, as our sexualities are so mutually exclusive that we can be truly ‘just good friends’ without the slightest risk of the otherwise virtually inevitable carnal complications.

But I’m not, thank goodness, afflicted with the other paraphilia, or unusual if not pathological atypical sexual interest in objects, situations or individuals, that one of the Guardian articles featured: autophilia/autosexuality.

An erotic condition that has nothing to do with automobiles, which are often suspected of being penis symbols or substitutes for many men, but everything to do with ‘auto’ as in self as a sexual substitute for all others.

Autophiles/autosexuals are apparently so single-mindedly and exclusively self-involved, both romantically and sexually, that the most extreme of them take themselves out on dates, buy themselves gifts, and even go so far as to marry themselves.

Or so says some self-described autophile writer named Ghia Vitale, who claimed to have become engaged to herself in 2017, and was quoted in the Guardian as declaring that she “will one day be [her] own wife” in an “automagous” marriage.

To anyone reading this and imagining it’s some journalistic fantasy or outright fake news, all I can suggest is that you take a look at some of the posts of and by an admittedly very small minority of blatantly self-absorbed and self-adoring female Facelookers.

And if you don’t find such autophilia a lot sillier than my mild case of sapiophilia, admittedly combined with a fancy for threesomes or what I guess you could call triophilia, plus of course a tendency towards the extremely common if not universal male propensity for scopophilia, more commonly known as voyeurism, there are lots and lots more kinds of paraphilia that will strike you as way chillier.

An incredible 547 of them, in fact, according to Anil Agrawal, an  author cited in Wikipedia, ranging from the slightly unconventional to the outright criminal, with the vast majority of them seen in males and comparatively few in females.

And thus even the statistics bear-out the the wisdom of my sapiophiliac belief that the most attractive and sexy aspect of virtually any woman is the beauty of her braininess.

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Brain drain, chain or just plain pain?

You’d imagine that Malaysian politicians might have learned one or two lessons from six mind-boggling, brain-draining decades of deliberate misleducation by the dead-headed Dumno/BN regime.

But to judge by Pakatan Harapan’s recent decision to make Jawi or Khat calligraphy a compulsory subject in all government schools, the powers-that-be are as dim-witted as ever.

Of course it doesn’t help that so many of these dunces, from their old headmaster Mahathir Mohamad on down, are Dumno/BN uni/looniversity alumni, and apparently as determined as ever to chain the brains of as many Malaysians as possible to that most ridiculous of so-called 3Rs, race, religion and royalty.

And as if to add doddering inanity to this ideological insanity, they still haven’t yet decided for once and for all which language(s) to use for the instruction of the nation’s youth in the traditionally truly brain-training 3Rs, reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic.

Admittedly some of the graduates of or rather defectors from the old Dumno/BN school are at least pretending to find this calligraphy edict a pain in the brain.

And notable among these nay-sayers is Rafidah Aziz, formerly such a teacher’s pet of Mahathir that he has never made her write a hundred times that “I must not make a killing out of corruptly selling automotive-import approval permits (APs)”.

But the AP blot on Rafidah’s copybook is another story, and I’d get get back to my subject. Which is that indoctrination in the Dumno/BN 3Rs is brain-washing, brain-chaining, brain-indocrinating or in other words preaching, not teaching.

And even genuine teaching is in vain if students don’t attain some degree of brain gain in terms of both content and purpose. The acquisition of knowledge, genuine knowledge, is very important, of course. But educators should not be content to impart just content, or instruct their charges in what to think, but should also encourage and support them in learning how and why to think for themselves.

Or, as the ancient-Roman sage Plutarch wrote a couple of thousand years ago, the mind is not merely “a vessel to be filled”, but far more importantly “a fire to be kindled.”

But of course the very idea of kindling mental fires or inspiring of people to think for themselves is the very bane of ministries or departments of alleged education in countries whose governments maintain power by fomenting racial, religious and other kinds of division and discord.

A fact that brings us back to the question not of whether calligraphy per se is likely to prove a drain on Malaysian children’s brains, but why training in this beautiful art should be so strictly restrained to a single language and script.

Obviously the intention is not primarily students’ gain, but attempted perpetuation of majority-religioracial reign over the lain-lain. A project which, in terms of both brain drain and brain chain, is at the very least pathetically inane and at worst nothing short of insane.

 

 

 

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My bucket, sakit and fuck-it lists.

 

It seems to be all the rage these days for people to make must-do lists of all the things they are dying to see or do before they kick the bucket, pop their clogs, drop off their twigs, pass on, pass over, meet their makers, go to their eternal rewards, fall into their big sleeps or whatever other terms they choose to use for becoming deceased.

But, having led quite a full, though admittedly at times fool, life, I feel that my cup runneth over and so does my bucket, and thus I can’t think of much more that I’m desperate to get done before I chuck it.

So I can’t make much of a fist of a bucket-list, beyond wishing for far more quality and jollity time with my family and friends, as much fornication either real or increasingly imaginary as I can manage, and all the freedom I need to engage in my customary frenzies of writing, reading and smoking.

Yes, I’m aware that some will be cigaretching with disgust at my failure to quit this cigarwretched habit, which I grant you is a health hazard, and in light of the heavy duty the Australian government hits tobacco with, it’s a wealth hazard for us smoke-suckers too.

But, what the hell, it’s my favourite addiction, and one far less destructive to myself and others than alcohol and other most drugs of dependence are, and I’m not about to shuck it, bucket or no bucket.

In any event, as I’ve found on the few occasions I’ve tried giving it up, quitting is just too painful. A comment that conveniently brings us to the second of my two lists, which is of all the things I find so sakit, or, for readers unfamiliar with Malay, so painful as to make me almost long to kick the bucket.

And the more I think of my sakit list, the longer, indeed more endless, it gets, so to spare myself the further agony and futility of trying to complete it, at least for now, here is a sample of it, in no particular order of ordure:

Donald Trump; Rupert Murdoch and his ‘News’ or rather Noose organisation, including that pox on the media, Fox; (c)rap music; Malaysian politics/politricks; Peter Dutton, Australia’s minister for homeland security and refugee torture;  the leaders or rather misleaders of the fake ‘People’s Republic of China; visits to the dentist; Hollywood ‘action’ movies; Vladimir Putin; Syria’s Bashar al-Assad;  fundamentalist religious maniacs of all breeds and creeds; religion in general; Bollywood movies; Australia’s pension and welfare agency, Centrelink; Donald Trump; the pathologically lying prime minister of Australia, Scott ‘ScoMo/ScamMo/ScumMo’ Morrison and his counterpart in the UK or rather YUK, Boris ‘Brexit/Wrexit’ Johnson; people using their mobile phones while driving; ‘reality’ television; and of course, once again, Donald Trump.

This litany of loathings is, as I said, just a sample of my sakit-list, or in other words the mere tip of the viceberg of people and phenomena so painful that I’d almost literally die to rid myself and the rest of the world of, and I’ll surely thinks of lots more and perhaps someday give you a progress report on it.

Meanwhile, however, I’ll turn my attention to thinking of things that I either formerly wished to do and have since realised were too stupid or impossible for words, like achieving rock-stardom, driving in Formula 1, winning the Nobel prize for literature or an Olympic gold medal for the men’s 10,000 metres; or else have always considered too pointless to waste precious time and energy on.

This, my fuck-it list, as I can’t help thinking of it, includes skiing on either water or snow, as I don’t like the cold; mountain-climbing, as I’m terrified of heights; sailing or ocean-cruising, on the grounds that, as the great Dr Johnson observed, being trapped aboard a ship or boat is as bad as being in jail, only worse given the additional risk of drowning; learning lots of languages, as I’m one of the world’s least-talented linguists; and so on and on. And on.

In short, however long I live I will never have enough time to think of all the items that belong on my sakit– or fuck-it lists, let along a bucket big enough to hold them all. But no worries.

Though my bucket-list is tiny compared with the other two, it will take me the rest of what has been a very lucky lifetime to get through it. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, working as hard as I’ll be trying to live-up to my expectations of enjoying the company and conversation of my family and friends, exploiting my waning sexual powers and opportunities, and writing, reading and smoking-up a storm, maybe when death comes along I’ll be busy enough to duck it.

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Autism beats rortism and whoretism.

A couple of days ago, notorious ‘con’ as in ‘conservative’ columnist/calumnist and commentator/conmantator Andrew Bolt turned his poison pen against Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish girl with autism who has achieved worldwide fame for inspiring the Fridays for Future global school climate-strike movement.

In a typical rant in the Melbourne Herald-Sun, better known to many of us as the Herald-Shun, one of the rabid tabloids by means of which Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, or, more appropriately News Corpse, dominates the Australian media landscape, Bolt wrote of Thunberg that he had “never seen a girl so young and with so many mental disorders treated by so many adults as a guru.”

He then pressed-on with his assault at some length, first wondering “why so many adults – including elected politicians, top business leaders, the Pope and journalists – treat a young and strange girl with such awe and even rapture.”

Ms Thunberg responded to Bolt’s slurs on her and her acknowledged autism by tweeting that “I am indeed ‘deeply disturbed’ about the fact that these hate and conspiracy campaigns are allowed to go on and on just because we children communicate and act on the science. Where are the adults?”

Of course the answer to this is that a great many alleged adults are as doltish as Bolt in their denial of the clearly-evident fact that man-made climate change/global warming exist, let alone that they’re a global warning.

And as for Greta Thunberg’s autism, it is unarguably far preferable to the inane if not outright insane ignoretism  displayed by the Andrew Bolts of the world in the right- or in other words wrong-wing media, and wrong-wing governments almost everywhere from Canberra to Washington toward the threat of potentially-catastrophic climate change.

Of course much of such ignoretism is driven by rortism, the breed of heedless greed that drives the already filthy rich to get even filthier so, and to hell with considerations of the human and environmental consequences.

And supporting the wretched excesses of those afflicted with rortism are the the forces of whoretism – the hordes of bloggers, lobbyists, think-tankers, politicians, and of course alleged journalists like Andrew Bolt, who are happy to sell themselves, body and soul, for as much cash and cachet as they can get.

But, thank goodness, those afflicted with rortism and whoretism are slowly but surely finding themselves outgunned and out-funded by a fast-growing faction composed of both local and global organisations including major banks, massive manufacturing and commercial corporations and even the world’s biggest mining company, BHP, that is committed to taking serious anti-climate-change action.

In other words, business and commerce are starting to demonstrate their renewable-energy know-the-scoretism, and thus promoting progress even more effectively, if never more admirably, than young Greta Thunberg is, with her irresistible combination of youth, energy, intelligence and proud autism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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