Dangerous Fundamentalist Fruitcakes Deserve Respect: PM
Oh that's nice, isn't it - Johnster's not only willingly met with the Exclusive Brethren
, according to him they're no real threat
, either. He's such a reassuring, paternal figure of rationality and common sense, isn't he?
EB: Hire two private investigators to dig up dirt on the sex lives of NZ PM Helen Clark and her allegedly gay husband.
JH: "They are entitled to put their views to the government."
EB: Four Corners reports
that disobedience of internal rules on the part of its members, even unsubstantiated, can lead to excommunication, or being “withdrawn from,” and complete, permanent isolation from loved ones.
JH: "I have to say that strikes me as what you might call an unorthodox Christian ... it strikes me as a little unusual, but that is their right and it should be respected."
EB: Church's leader Daniel Hales: "Go back 50 years when I was a boy: homosexuals went to jail...Judeo-Christian principles that are biblical were taken for granted, weren't they? Sacrosanct." Ex-members: "'I had a knock at the door saying that we’ve excommunicated you and you’re not to sleep with your wife tonight,'" says one former senior Brethren member who fell out with the then leader more than 20 years ago and hasn’t seen his wife or children since. His sons wrote to tell him they don’t want to see him because he’s 'not right and withdrawn from and out of fellowship'".
JH: "They have a different, a more disciplined, perhaps some would say a more narrow interpretation of the Christian religion than others, but I respect their right to have it."
The NZ Nationals and NSW National Party: after initially showing some degree of alliance, both distance themselves from EB. Quote NSW Nationals leader Peter Ryan: "...The publicity surrounding the organisation carries with it the strong suggestion of a series of initiatives that don't sit well with me. There would appear to be an overarching control of family members and young people in a way which seems to me to be excessive." And quote Brash following revelations of EB's actions regarding Clark and husband: "They crossed the line and National wants nothing to do with them. I think it's important we make our distaste for this sort of behaviour crystal clear."
JH: Does not.
EB: "Educates" young minds at its "schools" by, among other strategies, telling them exactly which jobs they must take in life, whom to marry, banning most modern novels, removing pages even from permitted 19th-century works and entire chapters from science books, one science book having had all the chapters on reproduction cut out.
Furthermore, Brethren members do not attend university and are not allowed to have TVs, radios, personal computers or mobile phones. They are also forbidden from voting or socialising with those outside the church.
JH: "I did make the observation that I've met a lot more fanatical people in my life than the Exclusive Brethren."
Really, John. I know you're old but I also know even you're not old enough to have been around to meet the Spanish Inquisition.
Oh, and look - don't feel too fussed that the EB is a major, albeit conveniently undisclosed
, donator to the Liberal Party, that EB flyers making misleading statements about the Tasmanian Greens during that State's election were linked to the Tasmanian Liberal Party
or that they are vehemently anti-trade union
- I'm sure they're just completely random coincidences that would have nothing to do with Howard defending them.
Should somebody pop an ad on Seek: "Leader of Australia wanted (spine essential)"? Coz I sure as hell don't see anybody performing that particular job at the moment.
Living in De Nile
(This is SA-related news - all east coast readers can go back to snoozing.)
Less than encouraging correspondence re the 5-years-overdue SA law reform for same-sex couples
QP writes to Ian Hunter, the only gay in the SA parliamentary village, on Monday:Mr Hunter,
Another parliamentary sitting week has gone by, and still no sign of the very elusive Bill.
Has Atkinson actually provided Labor caucus, or indeed you personally, with a specific date as to which date in this session the Bill will be re-tabled?
If he plans to either continue stalling the Bill's introduction, or work with the Opposition to filibuster the Bill out of existence, as he did last year, surely it's imperative that the Bill now be introduced immediately - perhaps a joint effort of the Greens, Michelle Lensink and yourself?
I live in hope.
Really helpful and encouraging, innit.
South Australia deserves better than the Bible-bashing and/or useless freaks that make up its government.
Blog Sycophancy at its Brown-Nosiest + True Love
Welcome back, Riza
. The boy makes me chortle.
But more worryingly - where art thou, o Jellyfish
? I'm suffering serious Chrysaora quinquecirrha (yes, I just Wikied that, duh) and Wanker-watching withdrawl symptoms of late. In fact I'm going to blame this week's lack of own blogging ENTIRELY on them both, for not being around to inspire me. How yas like them apples, huh? Sure, reply, comment, I dare ya - then I know you got no reason not to be blogging. Ha!
(See how I used reverse psychology there? Brilliant.)
Was thinking (yes, that was the odd sound) - you know who understood true love? Gladys Knight. She didn't think twice about leaving behind the Big City Life and Glamour and Shit of LA to catch the Midnight Train to Georgia
with some loser she'd met who'd gone to the City of Angels, couldn't get his shit together ("dreams don't always come true", as Gladys more diplomatically put it), and went running back to Hicksville, Redneckton with his tail between his legs.
And why did Gladys do this? Because "(she'd) rather live in his world, than live without him in (hers)".
You reckon Madge would ever do something like that? Reckon Kyles would leave gay Paris and Olivier and follow some bogan back to Moonee Ponds (yeah yeah, OK, I don't know the exact Melbourne suburb Kyles hails from, a trillion gay points lost, whatever)? Not freaking likely.
All the Boomers are spot-on - we're such a selfish, self-aborbed generation aren't we. If Gladys were, you know, dead, she'd be totally spinning in her grave.
Coz QueerPenguin Isn't Afraid to Tackle the Serious Issues
COMPLETELY UNRELATED UPDATE: Heheh, Uruguay. U.R.GAY.
...incisive, insightful political and social commentary...
...has very little, if anything,
...to do with this particular...
That is all.
Stingrays Want Your Children + The Other AX
Oh for fuck's - 'revenge attacks' against stingrays? Yeah, because the evil stingray - which has an advanced level of consciousness that incorporates free will - knowingly and intricately plotted Steve Irwin's demise. In fact if the stingray hadn't have been stopped, it would have continued to murder annoying expatriate conservationists. It is a vicious, sociopathic serial killer, after all.
I'm pretty sure that Irwin himself would be repulsed by this behaviour if he were still around - but it says something about Irwin's appeal that the sort of mongo gorillas who've done this were part of his fanbase, doncha reckon?
Poor Adriana Obscenities. It looks as though she's set to Lose a Turn driving for 18 months and unless she finds a good money Spinner soon she may end up Bankrupt. If only she'd found a good charitable PR agency to give her some Free Spin, this might not have been such a Surprise and she may not have had to pay Top Dollar in court fees. At this rate she'll have no money left with which to Buy a Vowel. But remember Adriana - consonants are free!
This might be karma. I've still never forgiven Ads for the time she cut in front of me in line at a bank in Burnside Village (think Adelaide's Double Bay/Toorak, with all the accompanying blue rinses, gold jewellery and Range Rovers but about a sixth of the disposable income), using her 'charms' to sweet-talk the chap who ran the video store opposite into letting her jump in front of him (and therefore the rest of us).
Still, I can't help but feel sorry for her. And I think all these puns on her previous career when reporting her current situation - 'Fortune runs out of Xenides', 'Adriana's Wheel of Misfortune' etc - are just tacky and simplistic. I'd never lower myself to that.
The Proud Sport of Fag-Bashing
What is the saddest part about this savage gay-bashing
on Oxford Street over the weekend?
Is it that it occurred on the street we like to think, perhaps naively, still as our own - a refuge where shit like this does not or should not happen?
Is it because, in the testosterone-fuelled madness of the closeted, microscopically-endowed men-children, they beat up a guy who was actually straight?
Is it because the security guard working the Columbian at the time - last I checked, still a gay, not just gay-friendly venue - allegedly claimed it "wasn't his problem" when asked for assistance from a man whose front teeth had been knocked out?
Is it because "at least two dozen people" allegedly walked past without offering any assistance to the victims?
Is it because in the Surry Hills Police's latest restructure, a full-time Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer was made redundant, replaced by 5 part-time equivalents - none of whom were apparently rostered on that night?
Actually, they're all quite tragic in their own way.
As long as I've lived in Sydney - nearly 4 years now - I've never really felt 100% safe on the Golden Mile in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, especially at the western/Hyde Park end where there has been a steady increase in straight venues with their aggressive clientele of labotomosied, drag-racing bogans and their horrifically trashy lady friends.
Admittedly, these sorts of attacks are few and far between so I don't mean to sound alarmist - but when you are there, at that time, going into or coming out of Slide (pretty much the only good gay venue in that localised area) there is certainly always the sort of vibe where you feel a punch-up could break out at any moment. For every one vicious and cowardly attack like this, there would be maybe ten occasions of wankers yelling out "fag" or "poofta" as they drive past (reeeeal tough-like). There are maybe twenty dagger glares or comments under the breath. So while the attacks are incremental, the source of resentment always seems to be there, festering in one form or another.
You're meant to develop a thick skin to the abuse, and most of the time you can brush it off. I had some charmers get stuck into me and my partner in Kings' Cross a few weekends ago, and while I was drunk enough to get past it, they were obviously looking for something, and sometimes - sometimes - all you want to do it take the fuckers on and beat the shit out of their ignorant, homophobic arses. But as always, with these sorts of confrontations, it's all fun and games until someone pulls out a switch blade and scores a carotid artery.
Then we had to cop it on a recent retreat to the Blue Mountains - nothing major, just stupid kids on a bike bravely making a comment after riding past us. It seems no matter how far you travel, you'll never quite escape it. But it's sad to see homophobia is still alive and nurtured in successive generations. I honestly thought most people under 25 these days could deal by now. Again, I must be naive.
I'm not going to get too self-righteous about the people who walked past without offering help - I imagine it would be nerve-wracking to reach for the mobile phone when there are 10 men in spitting range who might just as easily turn on you when they see you attempting to call for help. But I'm pretty sure that, while most people walking by didn't want this to happen and hoped it would quickly, there would have been some - maybe even just a couple - who enjoyed the show.
And I wonder at what point of their development did they achieve this state, where they actually derive pleasure out of either bashing a fag or watching it happen? Would those kids on the bikes in the Blue Mountains got a laugh out of it? What about the drive-by verbal abusers? Would they stop the car and get out to cheer?
There still seems to be this unspoken element of pride within traditional constructs of masculinity when it comes to fag-bashing. Something to do with putting us in our place, I guess, like I imagine wife-beaters (literally, not the singlets) feel when they're giving their missus another good slapping.
Of course, alcohol and chronic lack of self-esteem are almost always involved, but the bashing themselves ultimately are manifestations of extremists picking up and running with what they perceive to be "legitimate" homophobia. You can understand why they might think, in their own deluded little brains, that what they're doing is a form of community service. They hear mainstream politicians talk of us as a threat to the family. They read columnists write about how the pendulum has swung "too far" to the other side and needs to be re-balanced. Hell, when your country's government and beloved Fearless Leader are financing gay-bashing thugs
, what other message is there to be heeded?
Campaigns like Maxi
Shield's, to reclaim Oxford Street, are admirable but ultimately only band-aid solutions. Questions need to be asked about why men, in a developed, supposedly secular nation, still feel it's OK to bash fags. These poisonous attitudes do not exist in isolation. No, I'm not saying John Howard, Tony Abbott or even Fred Nile are personally responsible for what went on Saturday night. But I am saying that while gay-bashers are the cause of the problem, ironically they are also a symptom.
And I for one am getting pretty fucking jack of it.
Crikey, I Don't Give Much of a Shit!
Vale the Crocodile Hunter, dying in tragical circumstances at the hands of
We're back in Kerry Packer territory when it comes to this guy - mass debate about whether the meeja's reaction to his death is disproportionate, what he was REALLY like in life, etc.
Seems fairly straightforward to me, so let me break it down:
1. Guy was an idiot, but he was a genuine, consistent idiot - stupidity was natural, not an act.
2. Did some good shit for animals and conservation, but maybe shouldn't have held his baby within snapping reach of a crocodile's jaws.
3. Had a very high international profile, whether we liked it or not. Of course when he died suddenly it was going to make news.
4. Don't have it in for him because he said he liked John Howard - criticise the meeja instead for asking him for his political opinion as though he were any expert on the subject. Plus he did qualify that he thought it was his duty to like any Australian PM of the day. Blind patriotism maybe, but not necessarily far-right conservatism.
5. Sad that he died, especially as his missus just popped out a second baby croc for him. Probably would have been more poetic if a croc took him instead of a stingray, but the fact that some kind of deadly animal killed him was perhaps not such a great surprise given his line of work.
All good? Fab. Let's move on.
QP Call to Arms: Recruit the Hotties Before God Does!
Long-time QP readers will remember my short-lived RSPCDan campaign, in which I implored us all to save the tremendously pretty Dan O'Connor from fundie clutches.
Then I watched him for about 40 seconds on Gaybours and decided the Clappers could keep him. He's so god-awful (ha-ha), I feel compelled to snort Ajax through a $5 note whenever he's on screen.
But this - this is beyond cruel. This is just sadistic:
Yes, he's the next brainwashed fundie Idol hottie, Dean Geyer (*image kindly ripped off from Sam #2).
The evil geniuses at Fundie Marketing HR are nothing if not canny. For a pack of sanctimonious abstinence-preachers, they sure understand the adage that sex sells. Would you buy a CD if this were on the cover, without even bothering to listen to the lyrical dogma first? Thought so.
What I want to know is, though, what do they have that we homos don't? How do they keep nailing these impossibly hot men? Is it because they begin the brainwashing process at a young, impressionable age? Is it because of the opportunities for hot male singers to have their recording voice heard by thousands via the Hillsong CD empire?
I only wish the skills of fags to "recruit" were as effective as we're accused of. I bow in genuine reverence to the truly skilled recuiters - you guys outdo yourselves at every turn.
But remember: Denying the abovementioned the chance to pleasure others is as much an affront to fags as it is straight women. So I implore all of us to pay closer attention, and get to the blossoming art works of nature before Jesus can.
After all, there are plenty of other ways to bring a boy closer to God...
John Howard - The Lagerfeld of Racism
So I guess most of you will think, "well, DUH" in response to this - but I'm coming to understand that racism is a bit like fashion: things go in and out of style.
And our PM is pretty good at either keeping up with, or even dictating, fashions.
In 1987, he was sporting a nice anti-Asian kimono
In 1997 he was all about accessorising
with the ill-fitting floral designs of one fish-and-chip entrepreneuse as she savaged as much indigenous attire as she could.
And for 2007, it appears burkas are going to be out, out, out, and homogenous beige
Why bother only identifying "a small section of the Islamic population, and I say a small section...which is very resistant to integration?" Firstly, it's a small section that is not reflective of the broader population, and secondly, as the PM's own advisory group member Iktimal Hage-Ali points out,
"there's a whole lot of other ethnic communities whose parents, whose grandparents don't speak the English language, and it's never a problem in the mainstream Australian community for them to go on living their everyday life without speaking the language.
Yet as soon as it's a person of Arab descent or a Muslim person ... politicians feel like they need to bring it to mainstream attention as the only group, like marginalising us even more then we already feel marginalised today."
I guess there always needs to be a racial whipping boy du jour - an obvious target on which to land all of society's ills. I feel I appreciate this a little, being a part of a sexual whipping boy subculture which even today can be comfortably villified with majority support or ambivalence, but I've certainly never been marginalised based on my race alone.
But who knows - perhaps I might be in the future? Who can predict fashion trends like this?
Lest this be misconstrued as a defence of deliquent Islamic men - after all, we know how much the Right love their Straw Islamo-Sympathising Left Man who "sooner believe(s) John Howard and George Bush are a bigger threat to world security than Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakar Bashir" (praise be to the Devine Miss M
for that one) - let me make clear, as I have before
, that I don't care for Muslim thugs any more than I do the Christian ones. Thugs are thugs, first and foremost.
At a stretch, I might even admit that I'm one of John's battlers who feels "uncomfortable" about the concealing dress of Muslim women. I don't like any system that uses religion as justification for female oppression.
But that's not really the issue here; I'm talking about why our PM somewhat spuriously chooses to identify only the "small" percentage of Islamic/Middle Eastern residents who allegedly refuse to integrate. I have 3rd-gen Italian, Chinese and Greek friends whose grandparents, who've lived here most of their lives, can still barely speak English. It doesn't strike me as a particularly distressing issue, but if it did, I'd identify the problem across the board of all non-Anglo cultures who've immigrated to Australia post-WW2, not just the Middle Easteners.
But of course, this isn't a spurious statement at all. Howard knows he can get away with this because anti-Islam is the current fashion. It's an easy, token diversion from the fresh
range of scandals
plaguing his administration.
Personally, however, I prefer not to take my fashion cues from this particular trend-setter