this week in: what has your government done to you

The politician Steph aspires to be, Penny Wong (queer, Malaysian-Chinese, left, yells in public) cuts Joe Hockey so decisively.

The Coalition party room voted not to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage. Tony Abbott has suggested it be put to a popular vote, or maybe a referendum, or maybe a plebiscite, terrifyingly demonstrating that some of our federal politicians don’t understand how our political system actually works.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz suggested that because Dolce and Gabbana had never married, same-sex couples had no need of marriage.


The Prime Minister caught eating a whole raw spring onion whilst on site.

Liz asks: Is it possible that Tony Abbott just likes onions?  Is that a bad thing?  Should we as a nation be food shaming him for his unusual tastes when there are so many other weird and terrible things he does?  Is it just that it’s quite funny to watch someone eat a whole raw onion, French or otherwise?


An Asylum seeker who is married to an Australian PR was removed from her husband (and the centre in Brisbane where she was living, and the school where she was studying to receive her HSC) and is currently in a Darwin detention centre.


The state of Victoria’s new government logo looks like a map of Tasmania.  In every possible sense.


While the eyes of the world are on Ferguson, a Queensland police whistleblower who leaked a video of fellow officers assaulting a chef faces charges.  This forms part of a pattern of the Queensland police failing to investigate accusations of brutality from within its own ranks.


“Absolute revhead” and indistinguishable white man Tony Smith becomes Speaker.

Steph says: I know how white person names work. This man has a fake name.


Someone suggested that Indigenous Australians were making booze out of vegemite and so vegemite should be banned in remote Indigenous communities. Vegemite watch began, but has since been retracted.


The chair of the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security thinks Australia should bomb Syria.

Steph says: no. Also call them Daesh, cos it makes ISIS mad to be delegitimised in this way and cos actual Middle-Eastern people have suggested we do so – the Western media is the only media who calls them ISIS.


linkspam: extra special steph loves her football team edition

Adam Goodes’ Indigenous Allies Are Mad As Hell About The Way He Has Been Treated

Two West Coast supporters were evicted for racist behaviour and Goodes was continually booed throughout the match, prompting teammate Lewis Jetta to do an Aboriginal war dance after scoring a goal as a show of support for Goodes.

One of the ejected spectators yelled that Goodes should, “go back to the zoo.”

DAMN RIGHT THEY’RE MAD. WE SHOULD ALL BE MAD.

Adam Goodes standing in front of the Mabo flag

I laughed out loud at First Dog: Why do you boo Adam Goodes? Is it because … (a handy guide)

Adam Goodes ‘unAustralian’ says former Brisbane Roar goalkeeper

Former Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Griffin McMaster has weighed into the Adam Goodes racism controversy by suggesting the dual Brownlow medallist and former Australian of the Year should be deported.

I cry laughing every time I read this quote. Adam Goodes is an Indigenous Australian AFL player who was Australian of the Year. He is literally – like – there is no way to be more Australian in this country.

“Adam Goodes calls Australia Day invasion day,” McMaster wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

“Deport him.

“If you don’t like it leave.”

AN INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN AFL PLAYER WHO WAS AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR.

I

CANNOT

I’m probably actually going to be sick I’m so angry.

Booing Adam Goodes: are we even aware we’re racists? No, we’re dickheads.

I’d be happy to see every Indigenous player from now on perform the war dance every time they kick a goal. That would rub it in all our white faces until we truly got the message that you are part of this culture on your own terms and not on the terms that white society deems to be acceptable.

Richmond to wear Dreamtime AFL guernsey in support of Adam Goodes – yes, excellent, everyone do this.

We want to support Adam Goodes, who has been a wonderful ambassador for our game and his people.

White Australia is coming for you

Finally, in other non-racist news, Andrew Bolt has been busy posting clips of Martin Luther King speeches. He’s running a campaign against the ‘race war’ in the AFL, a war conducted, not by the booing fans, but by Adam Goodes, who seems to be singlehandedly oppressing all of Australia’s white football followers.

Yes, that’s right. You see, MLK had a dream that white children would, one day, be able to say whatever they damn well want – and that non-white people would sit there and take it.

Happily, here in Australia, that noble vision seems on the verge of coming true.

You can twitter around on #IStandWithAdam

a split second action in a dynamic environment

This weekend saw rallies by Reclaim Australia (racists) and protests/opposing rallies from #noroomforracism. And just in case you’re wondering where Victorian coppers stand:

copper pepper spraying a protester; fb text: victoria police went to some lengths to repress #antifa but people power ensured that the fascists left knowing they're very unwelcome in #Melbourne

Here’s a photo of a member of the Victorian Police pepper spraying an anti-fascist marcher.

copper not leaving a racist hanging, gives him a high five

Here’s a photo of a member of the Victorian Police giving a high five to a totally racist fucker at a pro-racism rally.

photo of a medic washing their face with milk after being pepper sprayed by a copper

Here’s a photo of a medic who was pepper sprayed by a member of the Victorian Police. (This action was allegedly with no warning)

user @retrovertigo tweets: So it was a brain fart then? How about pepper spraying medics, was that also a split second decision in a dynamic environment?

Here’s how the Victorian Police chose to defend some actions:

The image of a policeman engaging in a hand gesture with a demonstrator yesterday represents a split second action in a dynamic environment.

We very much hope that this response is merely the work of VicPol’s PR department’s work experience kid, and that Monday morning involved a lot of senior people going, “Okay, we need to find out who high-fived the fascist, who gave the order to pepper spray peaceful protesters and medics, and which dickhead was running the Twitter account yesterday afternoon.”

We have hope, but not necessarily optimism.

@EX_V19: This is what I said about the red light camera but I was still booked

So anyway basically everything is terrible. Statistically, we’re probably friends with or related to people who support some of this shit, and we’re pretty angry right now.

From Our ABC’s reporting:

Federal MP attends Queensland rally

In Mackay, Federal Coalition MP George Christensen addressed a Reclaim Australia rally, telling the crowd it would be naive to think Australia was not at war with extreme Islam.

Dude, we’re seriously not. Like, we’re really, really not at war with Islam. Like. Fuck.

(Political blogger Andrew Elder talks about George Christensen’s political background and the value he brings to the Liberal Party.  Interesting and depressing stuff!)

The Reclaim Australia supporters marched through Elizabeth Mall, singing Waltzing Matilda and the national anthem.

As they reached Hobart Fountain, anti-racist protesters were waiting, singing the theme song from television show Neighbours.

What.

This is all depressingly reminiscent of the 1930s, when lots of countries (including the UK, US and, yes, Australia) saw little bubbles of Fascism rise to the surface.   Luckily, Fascism didn’t take hold in Australia … partially because it was seen as being a bit, you know, foreign. IRONY.

But the other reason it never became mainstream was because the average Australian punters were too busy pointing and laughing to say more than, “Yeah, nuh” to the guys shrieking about international Jewish conspiracies and blaming minorities instead of capitalism for unemployment and poverty.

Liz feels, therefore, that more anti-fascism protests should involve group singalongs of Aussie soap themes.  Reclaim Australia doesn’t deserve the dignity of a serious response.

YOU KNOW WE BELONG TOGETHER.

Here’s a nicer thing, I guess:

A brown man standing with a fist held high; sign says 'not yours to reclaim'. parliament house is in the background. twitter text: @livenewslive: A message for the tiny crowd of #reclaimaustralia bigots in #canberra. #noroomforracism

For some actual reclamation of Australia, support IndigenousX.

A black T-shirt with the words AUSTRALIA: DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT in white.

T-Shirt by Dark and Disturbing, available from their online store, or as a reward for supporting IndigenousX’s crowdfunding campaign.

wind farms, ian, and you

Hello, No Award. Today we’d like to talk to you about a very serious topic. That topic is: wind farms.

Have some background reading from First Dog on the Moon: Dr Onthemoon’s self diagnosis windfarm syndrome check list! and And now, a statement on groceries from the prime minister.

iced vovos will no longer be permitted to act as investment advisers to the elderly

Thanks, Ian! You’re so thoughtful!

Ian the Climate Change Denialist Potato is just looking out for you on behalf of our Prime Minister, Australia. Wind Farms are ugly, noisy beasts. They give you a headache, they take away sleep, they cause fan death on a national scale, and of course they pollute the air and clutter up the landscape with, like, all the fumes they exude and shit.

As a result, it’s very important that wind farms not get any financing from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (and not get any RETs), and a coal mine be approved for an area of NSW that provides agricultural value to the entire country. That the Liverpool Plains has, on occasion, been described as one of Australia’s food bowls is clearly hyperbole. We’re a big country! There’s heaps of room for coal mines! Anyway everyone knows we import all our food and nothing is grown here except grapes. The installation of a Wind Farm Commissioner is just Tony and Ian trying to protect us for our own good, especially from the ugliness on the commute to work in Canberra and that insubordinate wind turbine on Rotto. And all that guff about wind farms being good for the country and for us is all just guff, did you not read what I just wrote. Denmark is probably just lying, anyway.

Be grateful we have a Prime Minister who, despite being conservative, is deeply into state control of the public interest. We’re a better nation for it.

Indigenous stuff: Stop the forced closures and some links

This next rally has SNUCK UP UPON US but here we are!

Melbourne: Friday June 26, 3pm, steps of Flinders Street Station.

calltoaction

Why are we still protesting, still marching?

New facilities sit empty, go to waste

Multimillion-dollar buildings are sitting empty and underused in WA’s remote Aboriginal communities while traumatised children live in overcrowded houses and go without mental health services.

A new $12 million aged-care home in Warmun has been empty for six months, a multimillion-dollar elders centre in Kalumburu was fitted with two walk-in freezers that are never switched on and a community meeting centre in tiny Woolah was recently built next door to a medical clinic that is used just one day a fortnight.

WA Minister Tells Parliament He’s ‘Proud’ Of World-Beating Juvenile Jailing Rate

The WA Corrective Services minister says he is “proud” of the Barnett government’s record on juvenile detention, despite plans to toughen mandatory sentencing laws, which experts say will only lead to more Aboriginal children in jail.

Western Australia currently jails the highest proportion of Aboriginal men, women and children in the country. Aboriginal youth are 53 times more likely to be jailed than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Loss of federal funds not to blame for remote Indigenous community closures, WA minister says

But the Government has since sought to separate the prospect of community closures from the loss of federal funding, insisting it was about improving health and social outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Police remove Heirisson Island Aboriginal protesters in dawn raid

More than 40 riot police carried out dawn raids on Heirisson Island on Thursday morning to dismantle an Aboriginal activists’ camp.

In a military-style operation, officers flanked by City of Perth rangers swept the camp site, taking down tents, dumping mattresses and belongings into bins in an attempt to move on protestors who had set up camp in response to the WA Government’s plans to close remote communities in the state’s north-west.

Because we have to. Join us, or protest online.

all i know is you’re my favourite linkspam

It is Monday! And today is particularly Mondayish, here at No Award.

REMINDER that there is now a No Award twitter.

ICYMI, apparently the Australian government has literally been paying people smugglers to take asylum seekers back to Not Australia, in a complete inability to understand the impact of MONEY in SUPPLY and DEMAND. Prime Minister Tony Abbot dodges questions on people-smuggler payment claims (SMH) (SMH!!!?!); Tony Abbott refuses to say whether Australia paid people smugglers (The Age).

Spook Magazine writes about our national tragedy, the fact that David and Margaret left us and we’ve no one to replace them. Will there ever be another Margaret + David?

Yesterday Steph and Liz, in the grown up company of Noted Fatberg Zoe, visited the Qianlong exhibition at NGV:I. We also detoured into something something embroidery of England 1600-1900. Highly recommend a visit; “A Golden Age of China: Qianlong Emperor” ends 21 June and includes many small necked outfits, much to Noted Fatberg Zoe’s delight; drunk people in English embroidery runs until 12 July.

embroidery of a lady with excellent hair feeding some sort of four legged creature
i don’t even know what’s happening here

THE PAST: Fitzroy before it was gentrified, with words and pictures at Our ABC.

Pozible for LittleWren, a mago for young ladies

In No Surprises (sometimes I think we should have called this blog “No Surprise” except that’s a bit too Radiohead), How can a mini-series about British settlement show no Aboriginal people? The answers are a) Australia likes to believe there are none; b) Australia likes to believe there were none; c) Racism; d) This is a trick question, who do you think you are, the answer is all of the above.

By contrast, the ABC’s adaptation of The Secret River doesn’t sugarcoat the violence driving the spread of white people through Australia.  No Award hasn’t read The Secret River, but the Australia Council for the Arts’ Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Writing highlights it as one of the best examples of a non-Indigenous author writing about Indigenous history.

(Also, that document is an amazing resource and starting point if you are a non-Indigenous person interested in writing about Indigenous issues or characters.  It was published in 2007, so unless there’s been a new version and I need to update my bookmarks, it’s a bit out of date.  But as I said, it’s a good starting point.)

On a slightly related note: former Continuum Guest of Honour and novelist Ambelin Kwaymullina wrote Walking Many Worlds: Aboriginal Storytelling and Writing for the Young.

Indigenous peoples are unlikely to ever use the written word in the same way as those to whom the English language belongs; we reinterpret and subvert to make someone else’s form communicate our substance. In the end, we are not writing. We are speaking, singing, laughing, crying. And we know it is desperately important to be heard.

At Crikey, why don’t many more train travellers bike and ride? Feel free to ask Steph this one in detail, because the answer is ‘VLine hates cyclists’ and passively does everything it can to discourage bikes on trains.  (Liz adds, also, bikes on trains at peak hour are just really inconvenient and everyone stares at you with hate in their eyes.)

Look, I’m not saying that winters are only going to get worse in Our Climate Dystopia, but for a little while we’re going to have some more severe cold weather events, and it’s well noted by people from countries where it actually gets cold that Australian houses are shit in the weather, so it’s nice to have an article to point to about that. Australian houses are just glorified tents in winter.

a chair made out of antlers and other horrifying things
tianzi, no

The Evil Reign of the Red Delicious – Liz is perplexed by the way this article frames the scourge of the Red Delicious as a uniquely American problem, but nevertheless, she’s always up for hating on the world’s most terrible apple.

Phil Tippett was demoted from Dinosaur Supervisor to Dinosaur Consultant for Jurassic World.  He did a terrible job at that, too.  THIS ISN’T AMATEUR HOUR, PHIL.

Link to Linkspam: as usual, Natalie Luhrs provides an excellent round-up of reading material in general, and in particular, this week, to the responses to Tor’s decision to throw one of its leading creative directors under a bus after she dared call noted white supremacist and misogynist Vox Day a white supremacist and misogynist.

The first comment expresses something Liz has been thinking since it happened, that publicly reprimanding an employee is unprofessional and bullying.

(Note: the top picture on the linked post is from Eliza Bennett’s A Woman’s Work Is Never Done series, in which the artist embroiders her own hand.  I find it deeply upsetting and horrible, and I don’t even have self-harm triggers.  It also makes me angry, in that it’s meant to be a statement about the lives of women who perform menial and manual labour, yet it’s something that only someone who doesn’t perform that sort of work can do.

But honestly, I just find it so upsetting and grotesque that I suspect I bypass common sense and go straight to I Don’t Like It, Therefore It’s Problematic And Also Objectively Terrible.  Which is ridiculous, because like I said, I bypass common sense.  For example, I had to stop typing this three times so I could get up and take a walk around the office and flex my un-injured hands for a few minutes.  Seriously, it makes my hands so tense, they get muscle spasms and a week of arthritic pain if I see it and don’t block it fast enough.

My point being, I guess: warning, trigger and otherwise.)

She was a Puritan, but she was painted like that, so I assume Puritans were the Chardonnay socialists

a selfish rabble

It makes Steph really happy that the selfish rabble of Australians and people around the rest of the world exists. We’re condemning the forced closure of remote communities. May 1 was an international day of protest and action. I was at the Melbourne protest, and we shut down Melbourne during peak hour on a Football Friday.

I got into fights with white men. Exclusively white men, which tells you a lot. Their arguments essentially devolved into two key elements. “You’re losing your audience. You gotta let people get home.” Mad chookas to the chick behind me who followed up my argument, after he got stuck on ‘you gotta let people get home,’ with “People are losing their homes, mate.”

“Peaceful protest does nothing. You have to fight their militia with a militia. You have to militarise.” Also, I note, a white man.

Police look on as protesters stage a sit down protest outside of Flinders Street Station. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Police look on as protesters stage a sit down protest outside of Flinders Street Station. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

It was crowded, and we blocked traffic. It was definitely an inconvenience.

Someone from WAR read out what Bolt had written; that it’d be great if we’d done it on a quieter street, making less inconvenience. Which completely misses the point.

I’d like to note, though, that every time someone yelled ‘make room’ for a person with assistive mobility tech, we made room for that person to get through to Flinders Street; often that way was led by a protester clearing space for them.

I loved the guy from Country West of Melbourne who said, “Let me read you something my Great Grandmother wrote me. ‘ALWAYS WAS, ALWAYS WILL BE, ABORIGINAL LAND.'”

There was a passion and a power and a vibe, and please keep on.

There’s a reason why I continue being part of this selfish rabble. It’s not at all to be selfish – surely it is easy to see that this is not selfishness, but selflessness. I am a latecomer to this land – born on stolen land in the 80s, to latecomers to the land. We have plenty of unviable communities remotely, rurally; and at least Indigenous Communities have a cultural connection, have a continuing relationship to the land, and aren’t built on stolen promises and stolen lives and stolen children. If I can fight for my right to vote, or to be allowed to work in this country, both things people had to fight for decades ago for me to do them now, I can damn well fight for the right of Indigenous Australians to live on the land that wasn’t stolen from them.

Some links:

The live blog from The Guardian

At Buzzfeed

At the ABC

A piece on the latest raid at Heirisson Island from a NZ station

You can find more stuff at #sosblakaustralia and by following @sosblakaustralia

‘The Menzies Era’ – drinking game and review review

Former PM of Australia John Howard loves Menzies. He loves Menzies so much, in 2014 he released a 630 page tome about Menzies’ impact on Australia. No Award doesn’t have time to read 630 pages written by a white man about another white man in order to review it for you, so instead we’re going to review the existing reviews of people who could be bothered reading 630 pages a white man wrote about another white man. (Please note: actual tome is 720 pages in length, but only 630 of those pages are biography.)

Rules of reviewing Howard’s Menzies:

  • You have to play the Howard’s Menzies drinking game.
  • Every time someone mentions that Australia was “cheated” by the slandering of Menzies: drink.
  • Every time someone says it was Keating’s fault that Menzies is viewed badly by Australian history: drink.
  • Every time a review says ‘Menzies had his bad points’ but fails to mention that thought Nazism wasn’t that bad: drink.
  • Every time a conservative waxes rhapsodic about Gough’s sweet kisses: drink.
  • Every time someone mentions how amazing John Howard was: drink.
  • Every time someone references light: drink. Drink twice if that light is on a hill.
  • Every time someone mentions a personal anecdote about Menzies or Howard: drink.

Spoilers: Stephanie’s favourite review is the Quadrant one. You’ll know why when you get there. Special mention to the Canberra Times review, for amazingness that we will be discussing later. #regionaldystopia

Overall, Steph has learnt from this process that she maintains a bias in regards to Menzies and his years, and she’ll be damned if she’ll let some baby boomer (or older) take that bias away from her.

Reviewer’s note: None of these reviews are linked, because Steph doesn’t want the bounceback to NA. However you have been presented with all the details you need to google them.

Continue reading “‘The Menzies Era’ – drinking game and review review”

australian gothic

A thing happened on tumblr on Wednesday – tumblr user korvidian started writing South East Queensland Gothic. Now we are all playing! After today, No Award, you are on your own, but for those of you who aren’t on tumblr and therefore have yet to fall down this hole of gothic glory, here is what we’ve found so far:

where it started, in South East Queensland, pt 1, pt 2, pt 3.

federal politics gothic 

a change.org petition that you signed sends an update. when you click to open the email, a staticky voice hisses from the speakers. ‘budget cuts, budgets cuts, budgets cuts,’ it whispers.

fnq

Perth

Perth (by Steph, deep in the haze of she should sleep)

Melbourne pt

Canberra

Sydney

Sydney

More SEQ, and more

General Australia 1 and 2

Indigenous points + SOSBlakAustralia

Let’s start with something uplifting: a compilation of rallies across the world calling for No Forced Closure of Remote Communities. Yay to everyone who was able to show their support, in whatever way they could!

Residents leaving WA settlement ‘amid fears of closure.’

“They’re gone, they’ve just taken off,” Mr Kopp said.

“People are just looking for another place to move on to because they’re just frightened.

“It makes me sad too, that’s all my family too, all moving away from their country.”

Our government is driving people from their lands, through fear, through threats, through actual humans rights abuses.

Funding cuts to Aboriginal Legal Services.

At Fieldnotes and Footnotes (and if you’re not following their twitter, you are missing out), A brief history of recent Government attacks. Withdrawing, withholding and rescinding…

No Award love museums, and yet: Reclaiming our cultural heritage.

For a brief period it seemed the Djar Djar Wurrung tribe had outmanoeuvred the two museums. The British Museum insisted that the Melbourne Museum take legal action against the Dja Dja Wurrung to lift the emergency declaration immediately. The Melbourne Museum became terrified that this reclaiming of stolen artefacts would jeopardise its future loan ability from other international museums, despite recognition in Australian law of the need to protect Aboriginal ownership of stolen cultural property. So bowing to pressure from the British Museum, the influential and well-resourced Melbourne Museum took the Dja Dja Wullung people to court, Dr Foley resigned and later the federal government rescinded the Protection Act.

From SOSBlakAustralia, a printable sign.

Two pieces from New Matilda: NITV National News to be spiked by June; and Beyond Dot Paintings.