pink wuffles

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Masculinities

Published May 30, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Boy stands in front of mirror and asks what man am I

Mirror mists over and a voice responds

You are son, brother, father, uncle and grandfather

You are student, sometimes & teacher other times

You are friend, worker, professional, colleague, & team member

You are Black, Brown, White

You are bi, gay, straight, same sex attracted, pan & asexual

You are trans

You are leader sometimes & follower other times

You are athlete sometimes & spectator other times

You are Wise sometimes & foolish other times

You are brave sometimes & cowardly other times

You are caring sometimes & insensitive other times

You are giving sometimes & mean other times

You are committed sometimes & apathetic other times

You are joyous sometimes & sad other times

You are well sometimes & unwell other times

You are innocent sometimes & guilty

You are a dreamer sometimes & realist other times

You are friendly sometimes & violent other times

You are tolerant sometimes & narrow-minded other times

You are spontaneous sometimes & serious other times

Your creative sometimes & destructive other times

You are spiritual sometimes & secular other times

You are strong sometimes & weak other times

You are curious sometimes & indifferent other times

You are industrious sometimes & indolent other times

You are everyman & every human

You are you a man shaped through your life experiences

Gay in School

Published May 4, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Gay in School

This episode of Insight explored the topic of “more and more kids are coming out in their teens. What does it mean for students, parents and teachers?”  There is the usual gaggle of passionate, naive and ignorant people expressing simplistic views on a complex topic. I avoid these types of shows because I become so frustrated when people attempt to argue a point often lost in the pain of their own story. Alternately, you have those less enlightened among us argue from a position informed by dogma over reason.

The topics

Homophobia (working definition only) – is more about society ensuring people comply with Heteronormativity as the default. It violently dehumanizes, alienates and marginalizes any who offer a threat to the norm through their thoughts and actions. The most obvious targets are the LGBT communities and we do take this issue personally, because homophobia questions our very existence and is a physical danger. Therefore, for the LGBT communities homophobia is about survival and not some academic argument around inequality. However, it is this very point that limits our ability to engage in any debate to address this without becoming somewhat emotionally overwhelmed and defensive.

In this context, homophobia is about ensuring compliance from all teens to the rules of Heteronormativity. It is a whole of community issue not one solely for the LGBT communities to address. The reasoning behind this position is the institutionalisation of homophobia, even in the face of recent progressive reforms. We as a society discriminate against the other because they are not the same, in doing so deny the diverse nature of humanity.

 Bullying – is often a manifestation of homophobia in addressing the later the former would readily be resolved. If we accepted social diversity or that people interact in a myriad of legitimate ways then there would be no need for a moral policeman like bullying to enforce compliance to a narrow set of dysfunctional cultural conventions.

Identity – Personal conception and expression – the psychological & social   

Sex (biological) , gender (social) , sexual orientation identity , Sexual orientation

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex

The issue here seems to be more about how the existences of people, who do not confirm with cultural convention, challenge the status quo. It seems throughout the ages the LGBT communities find themselves fighting everyday to challenge the ignorance of Heteronormativity .  Heterosexism a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favour of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships, which in affect institutionalises homophobia legitimises violence and marginalises the other. How to challenge this situation question the norm, challenge the status quo and reject sameness.

diversity is the reality of the human condition

Coming out can be an event or process for the individual in disclosing aspects of their identity, like all of life’s developmental milestones it comes with its challenges. There is no arbitrary age when somebody becomes aware of sexual orientation rather it is all normal until somebody tells him or her differently.  We know about the social sanctions, which enforces a level of compliance with societal norms. Sometimes we feel compelled to comply, reject and ignore with each decision adding an additional layer of guilt around not being normal.. What we ask of the people who love us is unconditional support if we choose to come out.

Tinker, Tailor, and Head kicker

Published August 24, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The head kicking mad monk has just put himself up, as the model for a consensus driven Australian politics however, when is Intransience a definition for consensus.  While fielding media question Abbott seemed closed to any changes in his policy agenda, his only concession it seems is some tinkering around parliamentary reform according to him he has always supported, paternalism don’t you just love it. It is obvious this Neanderthal still thinks that he has all the answers to the questions, challenges and issues facing Australia in the tailored policy agenda he has put together in turning this country into some conservative Liberal democracy a shopkeeper’s utopia. However, Abbott does not get the message that he did not win anything on Saturday, the electorate sent a clear message they do not trust either the Coalition or Labor. This result even points to the electorate’s confidence in the effectiveness of the system, some are now talking about consensus politics and what that horse may look like.

Consensus politics can relate to

Consensus Democracy is the application of consensus decision-making to the process of legislation in a democracy

or

Consensus Government or government by Committee – non-partisan government

It would be the end of party politics, which may be a good thing

Oh, these are strange and interesting days when the political establishment faced with a quandary of their own making seems challenged.

The wash up

Published August 24, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Government ?

Who are these faceless men?

Labor –who assassinated Kev07?

Bill Shorten

Mark Arbib

Among others

Independents

Bob Katter

Rob Oakeshott

Tony Windsor

All three are ex-national party

firsts for Parliament of Australia

House of representatives

Wyatt RoyLNP – 20 yrs old – youngest person elected to parliament

Adam BandtThe Greens – first member of that party directly elected

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Disappointing result for Maxine McKew 1st term loss

Good-bye Wilson Tuckey you raving right wing loony

George Christensen Dawson’s own right wing loony

Welfare is not a dirty word

Published August 17, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

It seems Australia’s addiction to middle class welfare, although not as comparable to the US, has these politicians drooling with glee in doling out one fat promise after another. It is reminiscent of Howard‘s campaigns many promises with little commitment in the follow through upon gaining office. The position taken here is that welfare is not Christian charity as conservatives see it. Rather it is a strategic investment in social capacity building, through wealth redistribution especially in wealthy Nation/States like Australia. The underpinning principle being that all citizens have the right to enjoy a high quality and standard of life and not just the privileged few.

In the current manifestation the Welfare state is no more than a handmaiden of capitalism, in spewing out cheap labour for this inherit crisis flawed social system.  We have seen the operation of capitalism as a greedy obsessive-compulsive beast that nearly brought society to its knees. However, it readily put out its paw in demanding assistance from the State through the public purse.  Business as a matter of routine  seemingly nay say social interventions in promoting the virtues of economic liberalism however, expect significant consideration for itself. It seems business’s hypocritical position on State interventions rarely comes under a critical gaze. One could argue Business sees the State as a handmaiden in advancing the capitalist imperative of consumerism. Upon reflection after 500 hundred odd years of imperial and subsequently capitalist expansionism, we have a bio-system on the verge of collapse and a society in chronic distress.

During, the 2010, campaign we have seen one promise after another aimed at enhancing a work ready labour force, while those on the margins are shown the stick of punitive consequences for their errant ways or ignored. The question then becomes what is Australia’s view of the Welfare state a great social equaliser or as a flawed inadequate safety net to mitigate the impost of capitalism.

And

How good is greed?

How many smiling faces do you see on people’s faces in the street?

Why do you think the health system is under distress?

When will we say enough is enough and take back our right to a long health and happy life?

When will we realise the simplistic capitalist view of society does not enhance well-being, it simply turns life into a discount sale

Many pigs that fly and barrels they live in

Published August 16, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

This political slogan coined by the Coalition seems a contradiction when reflecting on this group’s political philosophy and policy history. Being the party of small government and low taxes, has in the past 4 weeks amassed an wide-ranging list of electoral promises (pork barrelling) including extending current service provisions and a new  2% business tax., oh sorry temporary levy. Today, I received a flyer from the LNP candidate for Dawson George ‘Waa Waa’ Christensen promising the

following, obviously if elected.

Real action but is it realistic

  • Mackay ring road – $30 million – traffic control
  • Townsville Good Sheppard Home – $2 million  – extensions – private
  • Whitsunday Sports Park $600,000
  • Mackay Events Precinct #5 million
  • Proserpine Community Centre $100,000 – new build
  • Mackay Basketball Stadium $4 million  – upgrade
  • CCTV – Burdekin – law & order
  • Local Tourism – $1 million – promotion

Dollars & no sense

On the never never plan

  • Bruce hwy improvement
  • Bowen Water Treatment plant
  • Airlie Beach Main Street upgrade

Please note these are all infrastructure projects, something the Coalition does not seem to have a good record on readily addressing.

The Action Contract

  • Pay back the debt –capitalism thieves on debt that is how the WFC happened.
  • End waste – small government means the States have to pick up the bill by cutting back services
  • Stop new taxes – no taxes for the mining sector, but a 2% levy on businesses
  • Help families – paid maternity leave
  • Stop the boats – the great foreign threat
  • Do the right thing – what do they mean if this isn’t subjective according to whose value base

Feeling left out

Published August 16, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

At the official launch of Labor’s 2010 campaign Bob ‘the right wing patsy’ Hawke promoted as the esteemed father of modern Australian Labor, a faded image of its historical self. One could argue Hawke is the architect of processes that has seen Labor swing from a social change agenda towards reinforcing the mundane status quo of the centre-right. However, he cannot take all the credit successive Labor leaders have blindly facilitated these processes in turning a socialist force into a party of insipid lawyers, academics and right wing union stooges. Their only goal to retain political power for its own sake with no ambition to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged or address other social justice issues. Rather, the opposite seems to be the case in mounting a laundry list of middle class welfare responses to endear themselves to the aspirational voting blocs.

This may explain why it seem at the present there are no visionary political leaders,  rather the opposite with the performances of Gillard and Abbott during this campaign. Even today Gillard sort to invoke Obama with her ‘Yes we will mantra’, while the mad monk shopkeeper could only offer another round of criticisms. Some commentators argued it is an attempt by Labor to make a distinct contrast between them and the Coalition, the question then is what these differences are.

  • LaborSocialistcentre-right – a mob  of insipid lawyers, academics and right wing union stooges
  • Liberalsliberalist – conservative – voice of business and private enterprise with a culture of  shopkeepers, lawyers and doctors
  • Nationals – conservative voice of regional, rural and remote Australia –  whinging landowners who rarely look beyond the next harvest and complain bitterly about anything especially, how hard life is and how poor they are.

Do not look here for fire in the belly politics advocating social change.

George your an idiot

Published August 14, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

A note to George

George Christensen the LNP candidate for the federal electorate of Dawson has once more put his foot in his mouth before engaging his brain. As a skylarking university student George contribution a supposedly satirical  op-ed piece for his student Newsletter this literary classic has come back to bite him, instead of facing up to his stupidity he, his family and the party machine have come out swinging at his opponent the ALP.

Who wrote the piece George?

Obviously, it is about being caught out as a misogynistic, racist, homophobic, narrow-minded right wing ventriloquist doll , who else would the neo-cons put up for this seat.

Abbott dismissed these as colourful remarks when confronted in an  ABC radio interview

The Debate: sustainability verse development

Published August 14, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle

Dick in his own uniquely Australian way produced this documentary while a little heavy on nationalism raised a number of questions around the population debate. The debate seemingly avoided by politicians of all shades was already happening in a strange and abstract way for example around infrastructure, immigration, climate change, aging population and economic development. Then just to confuse us further a number of furphies   pop up around racism, if you speak about population then there is some correlation to racism. This debate like all complex questions attracts a large number of knuckleheads with a litany of simplistic analyses and commentary note finger pointing at Hanson & One Nation if they are still around.

The debate BIG Australia (36 Million -2020) verse a sustainable Australia (?), obviously the truth is located somewhere between the two. What attracts me to the sustainable Australia position is simply that it needs to be a strategic approach to address the needs of our country (environmentally, socially and economically). The only problem I see is capitalist greed that equates economic development +even increasing population + broader tax base + increased profit margins + infinite = positive social outcomes. How realistic is this equation do the numbers add up, nothing grows for ever there is a finite value attributable to everything, do keep on consuming until Western civilisation crashes and the whole biosphere implodes. One point that does stand out is Smith a self-titled capitalist naming capitalism as the major reason for this issue in naming the sacred cow as an unsustainable burdensome beast.

Other issues

Homophobia – a number of tweets made disparaging comments around same-sex attraction – disappointing – heterosexuals still  do not understand same-sex people live in a family, some parent children and live very ordinary lives – they may get us mixed up with Str8 tea room princesses

The Agenda: It is time Australia has a serious policy debate about issues that affect its future.

  • Environmental stewardship – strategic management of a  finite resource
  • Sustainability
  • Comprehensive primary healthcare – beyond hospitals
  • Infrastructure
  • Civil society – social justice – poverty – housing – employment – training – education – relationships ,
  • Economic development  beyond capitalism towards sustainability – focus on developing  Human capital – social capital

It is time for capitalism to start paying its due