Remote area unemployed face punishment for ‘passive welfare behaviour’. That title is basically nonsense but what the article really says is that unemployed in the country (most likely indigenous people) will be forced to work harder for benefits, in areas where work may be more difficult to come by. Awesome. Great job, Australia. You’re the best.
Need to do some art at your computer right now? SPIROGRAPH.
Obviously No Award has feelings about climate change. No Award also has feelings about Greenpeace, and they’re not amazing: Greenpeace apologises for Peru stunt that may’ve harmed Nazca Lines. A Greenpeace protest was poorly thought out, resulting in potential damage of an archaeological thingy that’s 2000 years old.
Christian Leaders Strip-Searched Over Political Prayer Vigil. Liz has been watching Love Makes A Way, a multi-religious (but mostly Christian) movement that protests against our asylum seeker policy by praying in politicians’ electoral offices and getting arrested a lot. (As a general rule, Liz does not approve of prayer as public performance, but this is one of those times where an exception is made.)
This week, the protesters were not only arrested, but strip searched, denied access to legal advice, and had their Bibles confiscated. The strip search and denial of legal rights happens a lot in Australia, and I don’t want to seem like I’m particularly up in arms because it’s happening to middle class white people, but it was … surprising and unexpected. And confiscating the Bibles is another degree of bizarre all together.
Anyway, Liz supports Love Makes A Way, and also hopes that this has a side effect of drawing attention to problems with treatment of prisoners in general. (Also, Liz has been known to say snarky things about Pentecostals, prosperity gospels and hypocrisy, and would do well to remember that a couple of Pentecostal leaders were arrested this week.)
Stella Young passed away on the weekend. She was loud and honest and an amazing advocate for people with disabilities, especially young ones. She told some incredibly graphic sex jokes. Here is a list of great things and articles both about her and by her.
No Award encourages you to spotlight writers at The Butter.
At the Conversation, Lonely over Christmas: a snapshot of social isolation in the suburbs.
Road rage committed by horse-drawn carriages in Melbourne (No Award is against horse drawn carriages).
Gift guides for hairy-legged, bra-burning misandrists:
A Spinster’s Holiday Gift Guide: What To Buy For The Woman Who Loves Solitude (Liz draws the line at The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, which is interesting, and also the only pop history on the subject in the English language, but is also not very good. Sorry.) (Steph says, don’t be sorry. It’s a terrible book that I would have thrown across the train but I was in a carriage of the Beijing subway at the time on my way to work, so that seemed like a bad idea)