Monthly Archives: April 2007

The Fourth Reich – the Catholic Church

I had a couple of other posts scheduled, but when I spotted this and my entire brain twisted itself into a little ball and exploded with supernova-like rage, I had to postpone them and have a wee rant instead.   Translation:  Jules totally lost her shit.  (I’m not even going to start on the abortion issue and the recent court ruling in the USA that takes away a woman’s right to control her own damn body.)

To sum up, Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and second-highest ranking official in the Vatican, stated (among other delightful things) that homosexuals and gay marriage were evil, perverse, and against nature (my italics).  This is just the icing on the cake after many speeches from the Vatican and the new Pope Benedict XVI denouncing homosexuality.  Before becoming Pope, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (what a charming name) called homosexuality a “moral evil”.  He has also recently attacked the Italian and Spanish government for introduction of legislation that would make it possible for homosexual couples to marry and have children.

This is the kind of hypocritical, judgemental, loathsome, intolerant, ignorant, thoroughly vile trash that made me give up on organised religion in utter disgust. 

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Beauty and the beast: Raves

It’s no secret I adore MAC in general, and a wide array of products in particular.  It’s a great line, truly with something for everyone, although the sales staff might put some customers off with their edgy trendy over-made up looks.  I find them to be incredibly sweet and helpful though, and they’ve never made me feel like a troll (something that cannot be said for any Clinique counter I’ve visited, which is why I never ever buy Clinique, apart from the fact I think the products are crappy and have a horrible effect on my skin).

Recent MAC purchases have included the Select SPF MoistureBlend Compact Foundation, a gorgeously creamy and soft compact foundation with great buildable coverage that never looks cakey or dry and gives my sometimes-blotchy complexion a nice smooth natural finish.  Yum.  I was especially pleased to find this as my last few forays into compact foundation-land had been utter disasters, and I love compacts for the speed and ease and portability factors.  MAC also has a fantastic range of shades and tones for any skin colour and undertone.

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Beauty and the beast: Rants

I have quite a number of “beauty notes” tumbling around in my head – things that are pissing me off, things I love, product reviews, recommendations, all that.  Just nothing substantial enough to make an entire post – so herewith a batch of rants and raves.

I am really pissed off about the MAC Special Collections that are released seasonally or every month or so, because while they are – of course – available all over the US they are not available here, at least not at the same time and sometimes never appear.  Take an example – the Icon/Raquel Welch collection (highly disappointing I might add) was released in Australia at around the same time as in the US; the Balloonacy collection was then released a month or so later in the US but will not be released in Australia until September.  What’s the use of that?  Especially when all the talk on beauty blogs has one jonesing for the “Pandamonium” eye shadow quad (wanna wanna want it NOW).   

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Book blurb: Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes is Jodi Picoult’s latest novel.  Author of past bestsellers The Tenth Circle, Vanishing Acts, My Sister’s Keeper, Second Glance et al, Picoult (pronounced Pee-koh) has a gift for focusing on significant and current ethical topics, gives them a twist, includes a courtroom drama and a touch of romance and relationship interest.  Plot and characters involve and interest the reader and provide talking points galore for book clubs.  Despite the possible Oprah book-club designation, Picoult is never trite.

The protagonist of Nineteen Minutes, 17-year old Peter Houghton, has been bullied and tormented every day of his entire school life, and finally fights back in a fairly dramatic manner.  The school shooting, echoing Columbine, Thurston High and Red Lake, leaves ten dead and nineteen injured.   As with many Picoult novels, the setting moves to courtroom drama, where the life and motives of Peter are revealed through flashback and reports.  Other characters – Josie Cormier, former best-friend of Peter who went over to “the dark side” of the popular group (many of whom are targeted in the shooting), her mother, Peter’s parents, the detective and defence lawyer on the case – are also revealed and their own lives and interactions revealed in Picoult’s sympathetic and involving style.

Nineteen Minutes is a very sensitive, perceptive and significant portrayal of a divisive and emotional  issue.  Picoult pulls no punches, and the novel moves along at a cracking pace.

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An inconvenient truth

Al Gore’s documentary (now Oscar-winning!) An Inconvenient Truth makes totally compelling viewing; it is difficult to quantify why, given it is “just” a movie of one man giving a slide show.  However, with Gore’s passionate commitment to the issue of global warming, climate change, and the challenges and opportunities we face, as well as the voice-overs narrating Gore’s personal journey that intersperse the slide-show, the viewer is drawn in and becomes deeply involved in the subject matter.  Anyone who is left un-moved – or unconvinced – by the factual account (how many reviews have I read that accuse Gore of hysteria and lack of facts?) must be made of stone.  Not to mention, being totally uncaring of what will happen to their own descendants.  

The title comes from the text of the movie, where Gore outlines the problems with marketing the changes in policy and attitude required, and why it continues to be ignored; because it is “an inconvenient truth” that those in administration, government and industry simply do not want to acknowledge.

Classic behaviour of the collective ostrich with it’s head in the sand.

The big question in my mind at the end of the movie was; WHY DO USANS HAVE SUCH A PROBLEM WITH REALITY?

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All well here – unfortunately though I had a bit of a “relapse”.

The procedure I had three weeks ago – the unpleasant and expensive invasive procedure on my neck to kill nerves in order to give me some relief from agonising pain – was pretty much a qualified success and I was beginning to feel some relief for the first time in YEARS even; I was able to decrease my high doses of painkillers (morphine), and I was able to venture out shopping and socialising for the first time in some months.

Until one day I had to take the bus (to a specialist’s appointment, ironically).  Unfortunately for me the driver on the date and route quoted above was atrocious.  He braked heavily approximately every 30 seconds even though the traffic was not heavy and he was in no danger of hitting other vehicles.  He had an unhealthy relationship with the brake pedal, causing passengers and their baggage to slide out of their seats, grab for safety rails, and I also noted a couple of school-children narrowly avoid chinning themselves on the seats in front. 

As for me I experienced constant whiplash effects from the excessive acceleration and braking.  By the time I staggered off the bus somewhere on Kings Park Road I was in extreme pain and had to vomit behind the nearest tree.

So it was back to a state of extreme agonising pain and lots of yukky drugs again.  Can you fucking believe it?  I am just so pissed off and depressed.  I didn’t go through a gross (and expensive) procedure to have some moron of a bus driver bugger me up all over again grrrrrrrrr.  Needless to say I wrote a scorching letter to the public transport authority and if I have lasting damage I’ll damn well sue. <g>

Tux has been a tower or strength through it all, even taking a couple days off here and there (his work are absolute angels about it; although they do get their pound of flesh out of the poor pet) to look after me and ferry heat packs, ice packs and quantities of drugs.  Mmmmm.

I’m starting to pick up once again, and have bought myself one of those groovy foam “NASA” memory pillows, so we shall see if that helps support my poor ol’ neckio.  I ventured into the city yesterday for a bit of shopping/errands and although I had to sleep all day today to make up for it, I’m otherwise fine.  We’re even planning a proper “date night” for tomorrow night – dinner and movie with drinkies at Fibber McGees (in Leederville) – hooray! 

In the meantime – a pox on all filthy bastard bus drivers (except the good, nice ones, who deserve medals, and who I ALWAYS ALWAYS thank).