Quick Quips: What a Week

08/01/2019

Because it’s fun and allows me to comment on things that might be of interest but do not warrant their own post, the ‘quick quips’ is something I intend to become a weekly thing (I know the “New Year” one came out a couple days before the 1st, but we can overlook that). I realise some of the ‘quips’ are not exactly ‘quick’, but compared to the usual post size they are. So hopefully every Tuesday a post like this will go up, a compilation of things that happened throughout the previous week.

  • A week into 2019 and it’s clear that Australia is one of the most boring countries in the world – a fact that I am quite grateful for but it doesn’t lend itself to anything beyond a scathing review of whatever petty nonsense occurs in Parliament each week.
  • In contrast, this is the byline of an Al Jazeera article about the protests in France:

“Protests involving 50,000 turn violent in French cities as demonstrators smash into ministry with a forklift in Paris.”

Not that I particularly condone violent protests, but you’ve got to admire the lengths the French will go to display their dissent.

  • Meanwhile, Australia’s biggest weekend news was small gathering of what have been touted as Nazis at a rally in St Kilda, organised by convicted criminals and attended by a Senator who, in his maiden speech (inadvertently, so he claims) to Parliament put forward the idea of a ‘final solution’. Considering even Pauline Hanson thought it best to step back from Fraser Anning, it’s no surprise the crowd that showed up was tiny enough to be outnumbered by the police presence.
  • Sally McManus put out a tweet that compared the fact that workers can be punished for attending union rallies for their rights but that Anning used taxpayer money to attend the St Kilda rally that highlighted how dangerous he is as a Senator. Some criticised her for getting political, but I think it was a fair point to make.
  • The US government remains in shutdown over the spat with the wall funding. My knowledge of the US system isn’t that great, but I heard somewhere that if Trump keeps this shutdown going for too long there may be grounds for impeachment to flip things back into action. It would make sense – if the President is unable to keep the government functioning then, like a vote of no confidence in Parliament here, Congress should have the power to replace the President.
  • While horror stories of the families being affected by the shutdown pour in each passing day, one has to wonder why it’s the government workers and services that suffer and not the paycheques of the dickheads who supposedly run the place but can’t.
  • Saudi Arabia has announced that five of those involved in the plot to assassinate journalist Jamal Khashoggi are planned to be sentenced to death. Obviously, Mohamed bin Salman and his advisors aren’t on the list. While the murder of Khashoggi was an affront to the world of free journalism, as I have posted before, the death penalty still has no place in a civilised world. I suppose the problem you run into there is the fact that Saudi Arabia is not exactly a civilised country.
  • More proof of this is evident in their dismal treatment of women. The new divorce notification measure is better than no notification, I guess, but it is still bizarre. And a woman is seeking asylum out of the country in fear of her life as she renounced her family’s religion. Coincidentally, she is seeking asylum here in Australia, but I assume as ‘au pair’ was not on the paperwork that is why Peter Dutton has thus far refused to allow her entry despite the world pressuring him to do so.
  • Speaking of Dutton, his grasp on International Law and maintaining a decent global image appears to be minimal. Australian born Neil Prakash is currently in a jail in Turkey with terror charges against him. Dutton has spent the last week or so trying to revoke his Australian citizenship as a way to look ‘tough’ on terrorism. To do this, he has claimed the man has Fijian citizenship (at this stage known to be untrue). Given that he does not, his Australian citizenship cannot be revoked because then he would be stateless. Just like the refugee detention centres on Manus and Nauru, despite the rhetoric, it is not legal.
  • Since the Fairfax merger with Nine, there has been a noticeable increase in articles promoting streaming services and good reviews for movies and shows on them. Probably nothing to do with the fact Nine owns Stan. Am I being too cynical about the corporate monopoly of the Australian media landscape? Yes, justifiably so.
  • The Betoota Advocate is the most reliable news source in the country and they aren’t even real news.
  • I’ve had friends tell me they’d vote for me if I were to put myself up for election. While I find that flattering, and could probably muster up more than 19 votes if I got the chance, I have a sliver of self-respect. Not that I’d rule out the possibility, there’s always a chance I go insane, but for now I think I’ll stick to talking shit about our current politicians.
  • My family has been watching the old season of The Big Bang Theory and in one episode Howard made a Simpson’s Apu reference about Raj, which he defended by saying “It’s not racist, he’s a beloved character from the Simpsons.” Given the manufactured outrage a while back about an Indian stereotype in a show full of stereotypes, the line was so much funnier than it used to be.
  • I finished The Trial by Franz Kafka a week ago. A shame it was incomplete, and it didn’t evoke the ‘fear’ that the blurb on the back suggested, but it did well painting the picture of the endlessly nightmarish bureaucracy one gets caught in trying to achieve any kind of results. It somewhat reminded me of Centrelink and its tedious processes.
  • “Here we lay, in our final hours like dying flowers
    The price we pay, as you struggle for power that your ego devours”

    – Hollywood Undead, Bloody Nose.

  • Yemen appears to have dropped out of mainstream thought recently, but the bombs are still dropping in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
  • Only just getting this post finished up and uploaded only an hour or so before midnight – closest I’ve been to not posting at least once since the start. That I have posted more pieces than there have been days, however, I would forgive the occasional lapse – but not today!

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