On my soapbox

I am making ceramic tampons, these tampons are made from Southern Ice Porcelain and when fired, they will be blindingly white. The icy white background will make the red words I am going to paint on them even redder.

Here they are in their very raw state, waiting for their words, waiting for their strings, waiting to be turned into PROTEST TAMPONS.

stop the tampons

Refugee advocacy groups have been telling us, the general public, that refugee women do not have free and easy access to sanitary products, to nappies for their babies, that toilet paper and water is rationed. This message has been slow to filter out into the mainstream. RISE first raised this matter in 2011. Advocacy groups have been telling us of the inhumane treatment of refugees and we are not listening. This article published in the Green Left  titled, “Life in Detention a Daily Shame” Shames me. Locking up refugees has now become big business and there is a lot of money to be made in cruelty.

oppression

The Governments propaganda machine has been working overtime to convince 60% of those one thousand people polled in this poll that refugees MUST be treated even more harshly.

Even more harshly? How can that be?

How can I look anyone in the eye when this is being done in my name?

The Anglican Parish of Gosford is a beacon of hope. Father Rod helps me to remember my humanity and shows me what a true Christian looks like. A real Christian has little resemblance to these mealy mouthed Christians of expediency, led by our current Prime Minister and his motley crew of shameless bullies and opportunists.

plead for compassion

Australia is hurtling down the same path that Germany followed in the 1930s and those of you that roll their eyes and mutter she hit Godwin’s Law before she hit 500 words can go and play with the intelligentsia elsewhere, you have no place here on this blog.

Refugee arrivals are now recorded officially as numbers instead of names. Will we tattoo them next?

refused birth certificates

The simple tampon has now become a symbol of freedom.

As a free woman, I can walk into a shop and buy all the tampons I want. I also buy chocolate with my tampons.

Do refugee women get chocolates with their tampons? Do the guards dole out single pieces of melting Cadbury Dairy Milk along with rationed sanitary products?

Morrison’s comments at his press conference, published in the Guardian yesterday, make for interesting reading.

Scott Morrison has dismissed a campaign of sending tampons to his office to push for more open access to female sanitary products in detention centres as a “juvenile protest”.

“That was a ridiculous protest. The policy hasn’t changed. It’s been the same for years. There’s open access and continued access on demand, female welfare officers, all of those sorts of things,” he said.

For people to be sucked in and engage in this juvenile protest I think was very unfortunate, it is very disappointing and not the sort of thing that I would have thought that people who should be more responsible in the debate should be supporting in any way,” Morrison said.

When a powerful white man tells me that my protests are ridiculous I know that I am on the right track.

And what does “all those sorts of things” even mean?

I can assume it means all those sorts of women’s issues?

I despair internet.

I despair.

We are proudly trumpeting our hateful xenophobia to the world.

And I stand here and I loudly say, Not in my name. Never in my name.

Seeking Asylum is NOT ILLEGAL.

And in my despair and my powerlessness I make ceramic tampons as a protest, to show that I disagree and to show that Xenophobia has no place here with me.

human rights abuse starts with secrecy

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Yesterday I discovered that Joe Hockey had called me a troll and blocked me on twitter.  My dastardly crime that had caused Joe Hockey to call me a Labor Troll was the reposting of one of his own tweets.

I will say that again, my trollish crime was re-posting one of Joe Hockey’s own tweets.

Oh dear Joe Hockey, Oh deary dear. Is this what our politicians have come to? Reduced to name calling and public hissy fits because a member of the public questions their own words.

It was your own words I was responding to Joe, not Labors words, not a PR piece or a smear campaign designed to discredit you, but your own words, Joe Hockey.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we.

I posted this image onto my frogpondsrock facebook page knowing full well that it would also auto-tweet to my  frogpondsrock twitter account

Joe hockey tweet.
The caption that goes with the image is,

“Joe Hockey went too far with this tweet. He has since deleted it, but unfortunately for him, it doesn’t undo what he said. Kudos to the people who called him on it.”

As twitter is a tool for  conversation, naturally a conversation ensued.

twitter conversation 1

 

twitter conversation 2

I was prepared to let the matter drop until my friend Zoey told me that Joe Hockey was now referring to everyone as trolls. So Of course I clicked over to Joe’s public profile on twitter and read his tweet.

Now I was grumpy.

Joe hockey tweet

My indignation most certainly was not faux Joe. My indignation is very real and it comes from the fact that I am a real live human being who has lost both her parents and I know first hand how desperately sad my first Christmas without my father was and how terribly sad my Christmases have been without my mother.

That is where my indignation stemmed from, from my humanity and my sympathy for our Prime Minister’s loss.

I take great offense at being called a Labor Troll and in my pique I went to retweet Joe’s tweet so that I could wail loudly about my trolldom, only to find that he had BLOCKED ME!

My indignation had spiralled from supposedly faux to  extreme in 140 characters or less.

Look Internet, HEAR ME IN MY INDIGNATION, Joe Hockey has BLOCKED ME.

Joe Hoceky blocks Frogpondsrock

I then became very Hmphy and started a very loud conversation on twitter and facebook about wussy politicians who block normal decent VOTERS.

facebook

more tweets

The different tactics and approaches of the LNP politicians towards women online compared to their labor counterparts is a wide gulf that needs to be closed.

The Prime Minister invites female bloggers to morning tea and Christmas drinks and shows herself to be appraochable and human.

Joe Hockey as a highly placed member of the opposition blocks women online and calls them names.

Good work Joe, good work indeed.

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Veronica and Evelyn have been granted gate leave which means they are both home for the weekend. Evelyn’s seizures are not registering on the EEG machines which is a worry and as far as I know her MRI results were clear. The Doctors have eliminated all the easy reasons why my tiny little grand daughter is having these seizures. Ev is not having multiple strokes, there is not a brain tumour, her liver isn’t failing, her bile ducts are not blocked and it isn’t Epilepsy.

One of the advantages of living in the 21st century and having a broad social media network, is that Veronica accidentally found another Mother whose little baby is doing almost exactly the same things as Evelyn. It is terribly isolating when your child is unwell with some rare condition as I know only too well and so I am pleased that these two women have connected. The potential for their respective medical teams to connect up as well is also a possibility that keeps me level.

Such is my ability to detach myself from reality that I will now spend the weekend very determinedly not worrying about Evelyn and I will drown my brain in the specifics of my ceramics instead.

The upside of using up my weeks allotment of petrol driving to and fro from the hospital, is that I am stuck here at home and I have no way to avoid doing any work.

So I will be glazing pots all weekend ready to take a suitcase full of my work to Adelaide to sell at the Triennale’s Sunday Suitcase Sale.

These pots are the ones I will be working on, they will have an iron oxide wash on the outside of them to bring out the texture. Texture that was made with a rock my friend Meegan brought me back from Corfu. The inside will be a deep glossy blue or green.

They should have a final glaze that looks the same as these cups.

Now for the Chicken update. Natasha who owns the delightfully quirky Three Windows Gallery at Oatlands gave me two hens to keep my Rooster happy. As it stands at the moment I have two roosters left out of the original three I rescued and some time this weekend I will only have one rooster.

I told a friend that I was going to eat two of the abandoned roosters and she was appalled, her Mother even went as far as to tell me that it was disgusting that I should be killing the roosters to eat. I was in a hurry to get down to the hospital to See Veronica and Evelyn so I didn’t hang around to ask if they were meat eaters or not and if they were, where it was exactly they sourced their meat. That will be a conversation for another day and of course if mother and daughter turn out to be committed Vegans, well then I will happily wear the label of disgusting rooster murderer and go quietly about my carnivorous ways.

What I find appalling  is that we have become so far removed from the food that we eat that it is perfectly acceptable to buy  meat from a shiny clean supermarket but it is dreadfully cruel to kill your own food.

The roosters that were abandoned down in the gully would have starved to death, been run over or killed by a quoll, a dog or a feral cat. Their options were limited and their outlook was pretty grim. I walked down a giant hill shaking a bucket of wheat calling “chook chook chook” and the roosters followed me home. In the time they lived with me they were well fed,totally free range and repeatedly told how handsome they were (Roosters like flattery)

The oldest and naughtiest rooster was killed quickly as he was eating his breakfast and he will be delicious. The second naughtiest rooster is still out in the paddock crowing his head off and shagging his new sheilas. He will be killed equally as quickly and he will also be delicious.

The third and luckiest rooster will then have sole shagging rights to the two hens Natasha gave me. Providing he doesn’t irritate The Spouse too much by crowing underneath the bedroom window at the crack of dawn, he will live a happy life  until his daughters grow up and then I will eat him as well. If he produces only roosters, he will live long and prosper and I will eat his sons instead of him.

As a carnivore I like to know where my meat comes from. I refuse to buy any meat from factory farmed animals. David nagged and nagged me for bacon every time I went to the supermarket and I steadfastly refused to buy him bacon because I could not find any that was from free range pigs. Guy and Eliza from Mt Gnomon Farm have since come to David’s rescue and he now treats bacon like the luxury item it is.

What I don’t mention about the throw away roosters is how much I had to beg The Spouse to be allowed to keep them. How I had to faithfully promise to keep the destructo creatures out of the garden and how at first light when I hear the roosters crowing I dive out of bed  to shut them up with food so that Jeff’s insomniac head doesn’t explode.

Life is full of compromises and difficulties and it seems to The Spouse that every compromise I propose poses difficulties for him, but he loves me and now I have chickens again.

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This week mining billionaire Gina Rinehart became the largest shareholder in Fairfax, having already bought a stake in Channel Ten. But this new video reveals this move is bigger than one woman’s ambition — it’s part of a coordinated and very deliberate strategy, with climate skeptic ‘Lord’ Monckton seen here advising a room full of mining executives on how the industry must gain control of Australia’s media.

Monckton, an avowed climate skeptic and darling of the right wing says that in Australia we need to keep the news straight and fair and balanced as they do in the US with Fox news.  Anyone with even a smidgeon of intelligence, knows that Fox news is anything BUT straight or fair or balanced when it comes to the interests of ordinary people or the planet as opposed to interests of the mighty corporations.

I ask that you watch this three minute video uploaded to youtube by Get Up and that you think about the implications for our media in Australia. If Gina Rinehart has Fairfax and Rupert Murdoch has New Limited, what do we, the people of Australia have?

 

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I would never in a million years deliberately align myself  with a brand like Nestle. The evidence of poor corporate practice is far too overwhelming for me to ignore and the thought of supporting a brand like Nestle is anathema to me. I lump Nestle in with my other least favourite brand Monsanto and I try to avoid any purchase of their products. It can be quite tricky trying to work out exactly where their corporate tentacles are tangled. So you might find this post  an interesting starting point.

I am an adult living in a first world country and as such I have the advantage of being able to pick and choose my lifestyle choices.

I am standing on my soapbox today, NOT to make anyone feel bad, but to ask questions that bother me.

I am baffled by the silence from a large number of bloggers that attended the bloggers brunch yesterday. I  know that there were bloggers at this brunch who I respect and I am interested in their thoughts. Why the silence on twitter yesterday? Did you miss the conversation about Nestle on twitter? Are you still working out how you feel? Or did you respond and I missed it?

The bloggers brunch is now a familiar event in blogland. Bloggers get invited to a brunch. An air of exclusivity is maintained which make the invites to these events highly sought after. Brands representatives  turn up and throw buckets of freebies at the lucky bloggers and the blogger in turn goes home and tells their  friends and readers how wonderful said brands are.

Everyone is happy happy joy joy.

Except me.

Watching from the wings and tweeting my displeasure about the fact that Nestle was one of the brands at the most recent bloggers brunch held in Sydney yesterday, my thoughts were Nestle? Really? Then I thought that maybe people didn’t know about Nestle’s atrocious corporate record, so as the #bloggers_brunch tweetstream started to flow I tweeted this tweet using the #bloggers_brunch  hashtag.

Just to make things easy for the bloggers attending the brunch I tweeted a link to the Nestle Wikipedia page. The controversy and criticism section makes an interesting starting point.

By this time other people had tweeted their displeasure at Nestle being involved.

I was at work at the time so I wasn’t following the twitter stream too closely, but I was very surprised by the absolute silence from the bloggers at the brunch.

So I started to poke at the organiser a bit by responding to her Nestle tweets with rather provocative replies of my own.

Deathly silence.

poke poke poke

I am sure there are bloggers out there who don’t want to ripple the bloggy gravy train by saying anything negative about the wonderful brands who were at the bloggers brunch. And from some of the instagram photos the brands were very, very generous. But I do wonder, is a bootload full of plastic product and free samples of  milo and tim tams really worth that much? Is it that easy to become so caught up in the hype and power of  brand events that it doesn’t matter what companies are giving away the free stuff as long as it keeps on being free?

I would like to finish up by stating very clearly that it is not my intention to start throwing stones, or to make people feel bad. I am trying to start a conversation about how we consume, not just the products but the message from our corporate masters.

The message I get from all these brand events is one of  rampant consumerism an any cost and honestly people the planet cant really take much more punishment, but that is a post for another day.

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An Open Letter to Dick Adams Federal Member for Lyons

September 6, 2011

An alternate title to this post could well be Dick Adams staff don’t care about his constituents opinions. Dear Mr Adams, Yesterday I decided to ring your office in Perth, Tasmania and voice my concerns about the offshore processing of refugees. Your own website Mr Adams clearly states that My priority as the Member for […]

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I should publish the photos of the naked St Kilda players as well!

December 28, 2010

As an act of solidarity with the St Kilda Schoolgirl. I have been following the #dikileaks saga very closely and my heart goes out to the girl in the middle of this whole nasty mess. A young girl who became pregnant to a St Kilda footballer and was told to piss off when she asked […]

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The Weeping Sore, An Article by Richard Flanagan.

December 19, 2010

The article has been removed because of copyright issues. Bugger. You can still read it here on the Tasmanian Times website. or here at the The Guardian.

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I hope they bite you!

December 5, 2010

Yesterday I was standing in line waiting to buy some crayfish. I was talking to the woman in front of me and we were both watching one of the workers cook a crate of crayfish, that he then snap chilled and brought over to the counter to be bought by hungry locals. The woman and […]

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Sharing the Love #2

November 24, 2010

It is time to give a shout out to a member of the Australian blogging community. Again I have chosen a blog that is sometimes difficult to read, next month I will direct you towards something a bit lighter. Australia is a very racist country and anyone that says it isn’t, needs to come down […]

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