What lies beneath: Sydney gets the southern hemisphere’s first body farm Australia
We Need To Talk About Fairy Bread – Please note that Stephanie has chosen to take “you can’t gentrify fairy bread” as a challenge. But also, what counts as gentrification? As a lower-middle-class person from Perth’s dodgy suburbs, is it gentrification if I take my favourite childhood snack and change it up?
The Future’s Been Here Since 1939: Female Fans, Cosplay and Conventions
Favourite pieces from this weeks’ AusPol: Abbott coins “doing an Abbott” to mean making a mistake; on the impacts of Sir Prince Phillip; on Adam Giles and the NT.
New site Future Black, decolonising design in Australia’s built environment.
One for stationery nerds and people with Khe Sanh earworms: The illustrious history of the yellow legal pad
The article title is misleading, but about how talk of Polyamory is white, when Polyamory isn’t. (Surpriiiise)
MAPS of the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
Notes on the Melbourne Free Trams. We were just going to link this with no commentary, but it turns out Steph has some feelings. The entirety of the City of Perth is a Free Transit Zone (FTZ, for those from Perth), and it a) takes in a huge chunk of the tourist attractions, and b) is used a lot by workers who drive to work, and then would ordinarily take taxis or cars between meetings at different ends of the CBD. The FTZ and the ubiquity of the buses, as well as the existence of the Cats (buses that exist solely to do laps of different sections of the CBD), means they do get used. And don’t end up with the overcrowding issue that Melbourne’s CBD trams were already experiencing. I don’t have a solution, I’m just saying.
Last year, the ABC axed RampUp, its excellent site for discussion around disability. A short time later, comedian/writer/disability advocate/all around hero Stella Young passed away.
That quote, ‘the only disability in life is a bad attitude’, the reason that’s bullshit is … No amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp. No amount of standing in the middle of a bookshelf and radiating a positive attitude is going to turn all those books into braille. – Stella Young
Now, the ABC is airing New Zealand show Attitude, a series of short documentaries about people with disabilities. There is also also a crowdfunding project for an Australian version.
Unfortunately, Attitude doesn’t seem interested in prioritising the experiences and views of people with disabilities. Here’s a round-up of posts about why it’s not great.
The problem with ABC’s new disability series, “Attitude”
Disability voices have to be heard to change attitudes
Disability media and Attitude TV — Carly Findlay discusses her hopes for the Australian version
Attitude series and the power and responsibility of portraying disability on mainstream TV
Graeme Innes, formerly Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner, writes in favour of Attitude.
I respect Innes a lot, but I strongly resent that Attitude seems to be entirely aimed at an able-bodied audience.
A different kind of attitude
(note: this post talks a lot about the so-called third world, and basically trades disability inspiration porn for poverty inspiration porn)
For my part, the whole concept of “attitude” is fraught. My rheumatologist constantly praises me for improving my chronic conditions by having a good attitude, and it makes me quite uncomfortable. It’s easy to exercise and practice self-care when you have a full-time job, a functional bike and access to an affordable public swimming pool.
And it’s distressing to realise that you’re being classified as a Good Patient just because you have these advantages — while, for example, your mother is classified as a Bad Patient because she has no energy to exercise, no access to a pool, and the public rheumatologist who sees her intermittently assumed she was an alcoholic. (She’s a teetotaller.)
And I don’t even have that great an attitude. “Yes, I have multiple chronic illnesses. It’s very dull. Let’s get on with it.” That’s me on a good day. In a bad week, I can and will bore everyone I know with my incessant complaints about being in pain — but my rheumatologist doesn’t see that.
Adam Baldwin/Supanova/GamerGate round-up
Adam Baldwin is an actor, best known for Firefly, who also holds some very conservative opinions, coined the term “GamerGate”, and facilitated the doxxing of game developer Zoe Quinn. Here’s a handy round-up of his behaviour.
Supanova is one of the very few pop culture expos in Australia. Adam Baldwin will be a guest at the Sydney and Perth events in June. Suffice to say, lots of people are unhappy about this. There is a petition to revoke his invitation. (You should sign it!)
People discussing the matter have been doxxed, abused, driven from their preferred social media platforms, and generally treated badly. (Liz got off lucky with some rather tedious mansplaining. Nice try, guys, but I work with lawyers.)
Supanova, meanwhile, has engaged in some epic fence-sitting, also some general rudeness, also tried to manipulate a feminist comedian into supporting them. (The original article, published in Fairfax’s Daily Life, has been removed; the link is to an archived version.)
The thing is, this isn’t about Baldwin’s politics. Hell, Star Trek: Voyager‘s Roxanne Dawson quotes Bill O’Reilly on her Twitter, but I wouldn’t say she’d be an inappropriate guest at a nerd convention. It’s Baldwin’s behaviour, and that of the people he supports, that’s the problem here.
As a small, fat, feminine and female nerd, I would not feel safe at an event as attractive to misogynist bullies as Supanova with Baldwin as a guest. And I wouldn’t want to give money to a company that engineers that situation.
Baldwin himself is easy to ignore and avoid — I’ve attended a whole lot of Supanovas, and accidentally encountered a guest once. But the men he attracts? Most are just keyboard warriors, mired in self-hatred, lashing out at women to compensate for their problems. But as Brianna Wu’s experience would attest, some are dangerous. And Baldwin feeds them. That’s why I don’t want Adam Baldwin to be a paid guest at Supanova.