Monday, May 29, 2006

I'm Not Surprised

Erk!! Father forgive me, it's been a while since my last confession. This whole doing-actual-work-at-my-job caper is seriously eating into life's important things, like blogging and...shit.

Anyways, I had a particularly heart-felt email from a QP reader asking me my thoughts on the latest Daily Terror queer bash posing as investigative journalism. So my reply, cynical old bitch that I am, is:

I'm not surprised.

I wish I could say I was particularly shocked, angered or upset by the latest anti-queer campaign of that painfully abrasive brand of toilet paper known as the Daily Telegraph, but I’m not. The Terror has form when it comes to scaremongering over raising awareness within young children of sexual diversity, and its attack on the Tillman Park Childcare Centre at Tempe, for “daring” to educate pre-schoolers about the reality of families with two mums or two dads, is yet another chapter in its depraved manifesto of gutter “journalism”.

I’m not surprised, because the specific target of the Terror’s assault is Marrickville Mayor Sam Byrne, who has proudly and explicitly supported the centre’s choice of juvenile texts depicting same-sex families in everyday situations. The Terror’s editorial delights in reminding its readers that Byrne’s mayoral campaign was actively supported by the Greens, one of the Murdoch media’s preferred whipping boys of choice. The Terror’s real agenda here is revealed in the final line, when it claims that “this outrage shows anyone considering a protest vote (ie, in favour of the Greens) should read the fine print”.

I’m not surprised that our state leaders on both sides of politics (if indeed, one believes a left/right dichotomy even exists in state politics anymore) have fallen over themselves to be the peppiest cheerleader for the Terror. Premier Iemma, who does not “personally believe it appropriate for two-year-olds to be dragged into the gay rights debate”, is but an unamusing Muppet, with the Terror’s arm wedged firmly up his backside and determining when and what he should speak, lest he say one thing by accident that might actually cost him one single vote.

I’m not surprised that our federal government has jumped on board to fuel the flames of ignorance and fear with absolute alacrity. Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop – who, would you believe, is considered a “moderate” in federal Liberal politics – is literally echoing the Terror (see the editorial) when shrieking about the “perverse biases put into early childhood development”. It’s precisely the sort of rhetoric that’s music to John Howard’s ear and will keep her accustomed to the front bench of that government.

I’m not surprised that the actual reality of this situation – a pre-school educating young minds to diverse families in a council with a high concentration of parental same-sex couples – has been lost in the s-bend flush of sensationalist headlines that define our least favourite tabloid rag.

Opponents of minority sexualities are fully aware that young minds are the most malleable to tolerance and understanding. That’s why this assault is so fierce and well-resourced. Maybe I’m just an overly cynical sod, but I only wish I could say I didn’t see something like this coming.

But I'm not so cynical I won't put out a "chin up" to any same-sex parents out there genuinely saddened by this garbage or fearing for their children and the subsequent victimisation they may face now this gay-bashing has once again been validated. I genuinely believe that, like the cognitive aberration that fueled racial segregation, this mind-set of hate will - eventually - dissipate through natural evolution.

See? Not such a cynical bitch after all.


At 30/5/06 12:13 am, Blogger Byron said...

Wouldn't it be terrible if children were taught that whatever they feel... it's ok.
Repression is a good thing!
Let's keep the youth suicide rates high!

At 30/5/06 10:23 am, Blogger Splatterbottom said...

Sam, it is obvious that there is a political agenda being pushed by the Terror.

On the other hand, the message may have not gotten through to the sports pages where there is a story (no link available) about Hurricanes player Chris Masoe crying after being hit with a handbag by former All Black captain Tana Umaga!

As to your last paragraph, all power to your incorrigible optimism.

At 30/5/06 1:43 pm, Anonymous swatschy said...

It's pretty obvious this is just another terror beat-up, and you're right about the easy targets (same-sex families with little kids are pretty ripe for a conservative kicking, being far too busy and tired to argue the point).

For the record, I've got a kid in a Marrickville childcare centre, and they're amazing, diverse places in terms of the race, religion, socio-economic status and family structure of the centre parents. None of the staff or other parents (they're all straight, except for us and two other couples) would ever make me despair the future of Australia.

At 30/5/06 4:38 pm, Blogger george said...

'You've got to be taught
Before it's too late
Before you are 6, or 7, or 8
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught'

At 30/5/06 5:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only silver lining to all this is the suprisingly large number of letters that appeared in the Terror today praising the teaching of diversity - from both queers and straights. Nice to see that we are not such an apathetic community after all! I dont know if it had any affect on the powers that be at the Terror but their coverage today was somewhat more evn-handed than the shrieking rot they were spouting yesterday and on Saturday. I thought it was also fortuitous timing of the ABC to run the "Fathers Day" episode of Australian Story last night(featuring a large number of kids in non-traditional family structures and with queer parents). CW

At 30/5/06 7:17 pm, Anonymous Adrian said...

The sad part is that the conservatives are really running out of "A" material in those odd moments when there aren't refugees trying to jump the queue. Gay parents and queers in general are decent enough as fallback material for the Right, because they have nobody openly challenging their obvious homophobia.

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