Of Yule and fools [and a teensy clarification]

Howdy – hope everyone had a very merry and jolly and safe Yule season.  I had a surprisingly pleasant Christmas and NYE – I say surprisingly because historically I get deeply depressed around that time. I hate the materialism and the media-driven expectations, all that crap.  In fact, you could just go ahead and call me Ebeneezer.  Neither Tux or I are into the whole Christmas thing; being very casual and relaxed about gift-buying, celebrating, so on, with a huge dose of Bah-Humbug thrown in for good measure.  And feck off New Year’s Eve and resolutions; the only resolutions I make are those that are either incredibly [i] vague or [ii] practical, so none of the traditional lose weight/get fit/quit whatever; I commit to things like trying to use less loo paper – that was 2006’s resolution AND I succeeded. 

So Christmas Day itself was good, a yummy lunch at my parents’ where I got lots of quality time with my adorable niece and nephew – my niece especially loves me and thinks I’m the most fun ever.  Okay so she’s only 10 months old, that doesn’t stop her having discerning tastes!  My mum was in a total tizz as always; I offered to have Christmas dinner at our place next year and WOW does it feel amazing to be able to say that … Christmas in our own home. 

Tux gave me a gorgeous collection of skin care and make up stuff [Ultraceuticals and MAC], plus Gordon Ramsay’s Chef, which is a beautifully designed boxed coffee table book of Ramsay’s restaurants’ recipes and anecdotes.  I gave Tux several sets of cycling kit [skinsuits in bright coloured lycra mmm mmmmm he does look good with those cyclists’ legs], the Special Edition Boxed Set of Blade Runner: The Final Cut, which is awesome, and a new set of skullphones [that due to repeated fuck-ups by the store, he didn’t actually receive until a couple of weeks into January 2008]. 

At the family gathering we exchanged presents; we have a Kris Kringle whereby back in November we draw names out of a hat and buy only for that person with a spending limit.  It’s a very good system.  I’d bought my sister in law a book on learning to draw at her request, and a bunch of good quality art supplies.  One of my brothers had drawn me; he gave me a really nice Vietnamese cook book which is part recipes and part memoir, Secrets Of The Red Lantern.  Tux got a voucher to his favourite bike shop which is always a very welcome albeit prosaic [or do I mean pragmatic?] kind of gift.

 . . . . . . . . . .


I realise I sound exceedingly, nay rabidly, anti-American a lot of the time, but really I’m not!  I merely have major “issues” with the country’s foreign and domestic policies; it’s head in the sand attitude to the environment and climate change; it’s isolationist and supremacist attitude [I mean, have you ever read or watched US news?  There is no such thing as “world news” unless it pertains to the US]; the lack of separation of church and state; it’s treatment of women, the poor and the sick; the inability to deal with reality.  That’s the nation; the people are, as a whole, fine and most of the ones I know and choose to read are positively wonderful.  So, there you go. 

If it helps, I am even more concerned with the rise of fundamentalist Islam not just in the Middle East but in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, than I am about the US and it’s “issues”.

. . . . . . . . . .

And now for the monthly rant – fools who by their works cause me to despair of humanity.

Fools # 1 – The Golden Compass

This is going back a bit now, but I was concerned and contemptuous by the response of church groups in Australia and the US to the film The Golden Compass.  I shouldn’t have been surprised, given fundie weirdos believe Harry Potter to be evil and demonic, but to tell children that “God will hate and punish them” if they went to see it is going a little too far.  [I have the “God will hate and punish” thing on good authority; Kimberley over at my favourite horsie-and-other-matters site I Gallop On had a good bit to say about it; wish I was as eloquent as she], and of course the news media was full of denouncements.

I mean, come on, it’s fantasy.  Phillip Pullman’s books may be about a world in which the bad guys are a powerful and evil group that just happens to have a Catholic structure; but the key point is that it’s fantasy and set in a different world.  Not this one, so I see no need for knicker-knotting.  Unless those denouncing the books and film/s are so weak in their faith they can’t bear a little challenge?  As for telling kids that God will HATE and PUNISH them if their parents take them to see it, what a great way to use fear and terror to give children a complex.  Hardly a God Who Loves Unconditionally, huh.

. . . . . . . . . .

Fools # 2 –Anniversary of Roe vs Wade

I am proud to call myself a feminist.  Many women, I am ashamed to say, claim not to be feminists, seeing it as un-female, butch, or generally unattractive, at the same time as they enjoy the rewards and rights – not privileges, rights – that feminists in the first and second wave fought for.  22 January 2008 was the thirty-fifth anniversary of Roe vs Wade.  In 1973 the controversial and landmark case found

“ … that abortions are permissible for any reason a woman chooses, up until the “point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable,’ that is, potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months [28 weeks] but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.”

[from Wikipedia, because I am a lazyarse.  Ahhh Wiki, where would we be without thee.]

Now here’s where my little finger starts twitching for the Caps Lock key.  THIRTY FIVE FUCKING YEARS POST-ROE VS WADE, WHICH HELD THAT WOMEN SHOULD HAVE CHARGE OF THEIR OWN BODIES, THE WOMEN OF THE USA ARE PREVENTED FROM ACQUIRING NOT “JUST” THE MORNING-AFTER PILL, BUT THE BASIC FUCKING ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE PILL.    There have been many reports of pharmacists in various states refusing to fill prescriptions, like it’s any of their business, and they have been supported by the state and it’s contituents INSTEAD OF BURNT TO THE FUCKING GROUND. 

So this is what women fought and died for … the whole passionate feminist movement of the 1920s and 1970s ditched by the roadside because of a bunch of fundie control freak MEN.

Talk about sodding BACKLASH.  And believe me, Australia will follow.  Or maybe not as, thank miscellaneous pagan gods, we are now “governed” by Kevin Rudd and his Labour government.  If it were still John Howard and his right-of-Genghis-Khan cronies, we’d [meaning, those of us with XX chromosomes] be well and truly fucked.  BASTARDS.

Grrr.  Aargh.

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  • Scary  On Sunday 17 February 2008 at 4:15 am

    You made me laugh out loud with your new years resolution, and you are absolutely right about U.S world news. It’s like the baseball world series. Nothing global about it whatsoever.

    Having said that, I am practicing the national anthem for when I become a citizen (in ten years time) so I better keep schtum on most of my critisisms.

  • Scary  On Sunday 17 February 2008 at 4:16 am

    BTW what is a stomach migraine? When I get migraines I throw up, but I didn’t have one in my head this time.

  • otterkat  On Sunday 17 February 2008 at 6:35 am

    Oh I’m all about setting achievable goals!

    I’m really into saving water nowadays; it’s a huge problem here in Oz. There’s so many tiny things that make huge differences eg, not leaving the tap running while brushing teeth/cleansing face/shaving, having a bucket in the shower to catch excess spray and hand-washing your “smalls” in that, etc etc. Every little helps.

    [Also: heaps of people in the “developed” world would go EWWW but not flushing every single time yu pee saves hundreds of litres of water every year] [Another useful tip – peeing on your citrus trees or marijuana plants makes them grow amazingly]

    Stomach migraines are migraines but without the headache – so most of the same symptoms [aura, photphobia] plus really intense abdominal pain and vomiting.

    They can be difficult to diagnose, obviously, b/c they are so much like a stomach flu. They are more common in kids, but if you get head migraines you’re heaps more likely [something like 60%?] to get stomach ones too. What do you take for your migraines?

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