Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where did I come from....

Hello folks...I am back and still continuing on my voyage of self discovery and inner musings via the way of my weekly rant. Sorry for the delay but slight technical problem, one of the silent assassins, who are other wise known as my three boys decided to destroy the plug on the laptops AC adapter, no power = no blog. Almost thought I might have had to resort to a pen and paper for my weekly rantings.

But again I wander from my initial thoughts and purpose.

I was recently invited by an old friend to join an online group of writers/bloggers and one of the first questions posted by a member of the group was in regards to everyones background and where our motivation lies, which did get me thinking a bit about my past, present and future and as to why I have suddenly decided  taken up writing.

Firstly I am a bloke, born in the early seventies and dragged up in the late eighties and early nineties. A devotee of the Smiths, Morrisey, The Cure, The Housemartins and the Beautiful South to name a few. I was there the night Darren Millane took his last ride after a night at the Tunnel. I was around when disco bickies flooded Australia and our inhibitions disappeared on a wave of euphoria. My discovery of Johnnie Walker in the early nineties lead to the first major rise in a stock price caused by one individuals personal consumption. I had a highly addictive personality and had scant disregard for myself and others well being. Commitment was something that I feared and emotions were something to be suppressed and not shared. These feelings were caused by my own naivety and substantially by an all to unwanted intimate experience within the confines of the local church at an early age, if you follow my drift. I was hell bent on living a life of excess and personal gratification, in other words I was a male tart with a commitment phobia and addiction issues, not exactly the type of bloke any decent woman would take home to Mum and Dad. To say that I was not always honest with others and myself would be akin to actually believing that the Iraq wars were not based upon control over the oil industry. My life at that stage was about denial and doing my utmost to obliterate memories of where I came from and who I was by any means possible.

I remember someone once telling me that I was the most intelligent bloke they knew but in saying that I also had the compensity to make the dumbest decisions they had ever seen, in hindsight they were bang on. I was an absolute spanker for the majority of my late teenage and early adulthood years. So what has changed, if anything I hear your minds asking? Well for one, I made a decision when I was in my mid 20's that resulted in my father seeing me in a state that no parent should have to see their child in. I do not know if it was the look of pity, disgust, shame or failure that I saw in my Dads eyes that day, it could have been a mixture of all of the them. But it was something that I did not wish to see ever again as his look made me feel those exact same emotions and for the first time in a long time I actually thought about the impact of my actions on those around me. I am not going to sit here and say that I clicked my fingers or rubbed my belly and magically everything was better. I stumbled and faltered many times, there were relapses and failed relationships, I would panic and close up/off and hope that the other person would get sick of me and leave before I hurt them via the way of my selfish acts. Yes I know it sounds crazy but it seemed to work in my mind, I hated confrontation, but by doing the above actions I created the exact bloody scenario I was trying to avoid. Men and their stupid right sided brains....so it would end up in me disappearing as I deemed this was the best course of action in my dumb male head for the avoidance of any perceived potential conflict.

But with the stumbles and falls came a resolve to overcome and succeed, I am incredibly stubborn by nature, just ask anyone close to me, my addictive personality developed into a competitive, success driven persona. I actually realised that talking and letting things out can be of some use, startling isn't, maybe they should develop a science on this theory and call it Psychology. My hold on life and the world I lived in slowly began to firm up, demons from the past were excised and plans were put in place to move forward. You could say I had almost found calm and inner peace, or maybe I had actually became confident and comfortable in my own skin. What ever had finally gelled gave me the determination to keep looking up and forward and not be scared anymore, it was time to live my life. So is this latest musing of mine an apology to those that I let down and hurt, or is it the final piece of my therapy, that is having the courage to write about and acknowledge my past? I think it is a blend of both. Am I scared that i am putting this out in a public forum? My answer to this question is no, this is where I came from....I may not be proud of my past but it did make me who I am now and for that I am thankful in a strange sort of way.

So what keeps the SS Allan steaming forward, simple, the love of a good woman and three beautiful sons. I am not going to delve headlong into a synopsis on my relationship, or my boys as I will keep those for another day. But I will say that if I ever felt the old personality traits beginning to surface all I would need to do to quell the fires would be to have a peek into either of my boys rooms as they are sleeping. Motivation does not come any stronger than that.

Like Norman Cook of The Housemartins who morphed into the artist we know now as Fatboy Slim, people do have the ability to develop, evolve and change, even people like me...

Rant over...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What the.....

Now folks please let me apologise for the title, frankly I was a bit speechless when I came across the particular article that is the subject of my current rant, but that has been suitably rectified and I have found my voice again, so to speak....thank the lord I can hear you saying. We are going to digress a little this week and hark back to my first blog and into another rant on parenting, or lack of.

But back to the article in focus this week, the title in question that was responsible for rendering me speechless went as follows, "UK Mum buys seven year old daughter a boob job for her birthday". Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the wee little donkey, what the fire truck is going on here...has the world gone mad? Now I am normally proud of my ancestral heritage and the fact that I can count on my stoic British cousins to uphold dignity and common sense in this crazy world we live in, so I read on further. Nope it was wasn't those wacky Beckhams up to mischief again, I kept reading, definitely not a promo for the next series of Little Britain either. Bugger me this is for real, I am sorry to my dedicated British follower, but it looks like my ancestral heritage is French for the next month or so.

The person responsible for this fine example of modern parenting technique is one Sarah Burge, who is described in the press as the "human barbie" and has allegedly spent £500,000 on surgical enhancements to herself. First warning sign, anyone that needs that much work done probably has some severe mental health issues in regards to where their place in the world is, and might not be the best role model for a young child. Do not get me wrong I am not against plastic surgery, I love a good boob job as much as the next bloke, but half a million quid of work, has this woman heard of the saying "you cannot turn a sows ear into a silk purse"? The next warning sign to spill forth from this mother of the year contender was reported as following. "Poppy(the child in question) isn’t interested in bouncy castles or pass the parcel, so I splashed out on something a little more grown-up," her mother, who hosts swinging parties and writes erotic novels, told journalists. What the....swingers parties, erotic novels. Imagine the conversations around that dinner table, "what did you get up to today Mummy"?  "Well sweety I trussed up this old geezer, gave him a right caning while I had my favourite latex suit on, your Daddy was sitting quietly in the corner, then I thought what a cracker of a story line that would make for my next novel."  Can you see where my title came from now?

 I have looked through history in an attempt to find other fine examples of appropriate gifts given to kids from their parents. A young Robert Mugabe was given a book titled  'Genocide for Dummies' on his seventh birthday no repercussions there....and George Bush Jnr was given a copy of  'logical thinking and its applications for public speaking' for one of his formative years birthdays...again money well spent. Ms Burge went on to say that the present in question was via the way of a voucher for when young Poppy turns 16, thank god for that, the thought of a seven year old running around with a set of hooters bigger than her head was a trifle disturbing. Heaven forbid that this child is bought up in a supportive caring environment and taught that beauty and confidence starts from the inside and not via the way of a surgical procedure. If later on in life a person decides that they want to head down this path for whatever reason so be it, but once again let kids be kids and parents be bloody parents.

Now Ms Burge I have a few words for you, some them are not fit for publishing here due to the fact that I want this blog to be accessible to all ages, but there are some left that I will use. Self serving, ignorant, lacking the basics of moral fibre and just plain bloody stupid. I am sure your eyes would be wide open due to the amount of botox you would have had(probably enough procedures to make even the skin of the saggy baggy elephant taut), so how about you use them. Your primary role is to be a parent to your child, to love them and guide them as they grow up and let them know it is ok to be a kid. Your child should be enjoying pass the parcel and bouncy castles for her seventh birthday, not a a £12,000 ‘exotic pamper party’, which included manicures in the back of a pink bus. For goodness sake Ms Burge you should be busting out the chocolate crackles and fairy bread for your kids party, not a set of DD knockers....I am tempted to continue on and comment on the over sexualisation of our kids via society and media influences but that will be saved for another day.

Ms Burge you are a disgrace....Rant over.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The climate for change

My Dad always told me, "son when you go out camping, do not take a dump anywhere near your campsite, if you do you will have to live with the smell." Now I am not a climate change fanatic, nor am I a head in the sand sceptic, you could say I am a moderate. I was going to say I was a 'climate change liberal' but that might not go down to well with my greener readers. But i seems to me that we as society have lowered our strides, squatted on our haunches and proceeded to take a big dump over this planet we call home, I don't know about you but I am beginning to get a waft of shite coming my way.
Let my preface the following: I am not a scientist, aligned to any political lobby group/party or am I an actress/actor spruiking the cause, basically I am just a middle age bloke whose thoughts will probably throw up more questions than answers.

Now our current government has suggested a carbon tax, to me the word tax makes me quiver in my jocks. I have three kids, cars and bills, I am being smashed around the head with constant rises in utilities and cost of living increases. Just last week I had to sell a kidney to buy some banana's for the kids lunches, currently I am in negotiations with the Epworth Eye Clinic in regards to the sale of my left cornea so as I can purchase a lamb roast for Sunday lunch when the family comes over. So the possibility of another tax that could impact  my already over taxed existence was probably not the best sell ever by a government, especially when the lead in prior to the last election was "we will not introduce a carbon tax". From the onset this has taken some of the credibility away from a very credible topic that needs urgent attention and action, the further we head down this path of inaction the longer the way back it becomes. The average punter wants to see change but they want certainty in their economic future and the ability to provide for their families. Now I do not want to sound simple here, but we are a supply and demand society. As wealth increases and population growth continues to rocket forward we are going to create  higher demand so business will have to supply greater levels of goods, services and utilities to meet this demand.  This will lead to more revenue being created via the tax on carbon emissions created from the increase in manufacturing needed to supply the extra goods, services and utilities. So what does our current government plan to do with this new found income stream? That's right folks they will compensate families and businesses impacted by the expected increase via the way of income tax breaks, rebates and increases in welfare payments to offset the expected increases, bloody super, I will not have to sell a lung to pay for the next kilogram of banana's I need to buy!

At the risk of sounding like a real simpleton, isn't the purpose of a tax on carbon to reduce our dependence on being a carbon based economy and look at ways of finding/developing alternate energy supplies? Buy compensating families and businesses who are directly affected from the implementation of the carbon tax aren't we only moving money around and not actually creating any longterm solutions? If quoted figures are correct the price on carbon emissions will be $26 per tonne which will create revenue of $11.5 billion, anyone want to take a stab at what percentage the federal government plans on spending on green research and development? A tight fisted 10%, that is all, bloody pathetic isn't it. This is on top of winding back solar rebate schemes and other renewable energy programs/initiatives implemented to try and make us a more energy efficient society. So the other 90% of the raised revenue goes to compensating business and ordinary Australians for the expected cost increases, ever heard of the saying "robbing Peter to pay Paul", prime example people, it just does not make sense.

I did go looking for what our beloved federal opposition had via the way of alternatives to this governments proposals, no great surprises in the fact that I did not find a hell of a lot to write about, fiction is a bit more prevalent than fact it would seem. Also it is hard to determine the identity of our opposition when all you can see is their butts because their collective heads are buried in the sand regarding this issue.

No I am not going to sit here and pretend that I have the answers, but I do have a few thoughts. This issue is beyond party politics and should be tackled in a bi-partisan manner, imaging all out elected representatives working to together on the single biggest common issue affecting not only Australia, but the globe. Maybe our elected representatives could actually expand renewable energy grants, for instance expand the solar energy rebate, not wind it back as will occur at the end of this financial year. How about a true green loan scheme, 0% interest and repayable via income tax or redemption of tax returns for those wishing to utilise  renewable energy sources/technologies. Imagine the reduction in carbon emissions if even 25% Australian homes were solar sustainable efficient? We have the technology people, but do we have a government with the balls to walk away from big business and the power they wield within our supposed democracy? At the end of the day a new tax is not going to change peoples perceptions, it will only harden peoples resolves against expanding their ideologies. Government must take decisive, informed action and remember that it is ordinary Australians that elected them to make important decisions such as action on climate change. But unfortunately it appears that all level of government dances to the tune of powerful lobby groups, remember the mining tax? It is easier for our government to buy off voters with a few shiny income tax breaks than it is to stand up to a lobby group-after all they could not risk losing their funding base. The Garnaut review into climate change has been released, it will be interesting to see how many of the recommendations are adopted by the multi party committee into climate change or will we end up with another outcome like the Henry tax review, pick and choose politics?

Rant over....