Why do I bristle when my boss starts talking about the Townsville "abos", telling the loans manager why house prices in one area are depressed.
Then why do I not bristle when a good friend tells me he didn't walk his dog through the local Aboriginal space, Musgrave Park, because of all the "goon drinkers". [Ed-Mar 2007, my friend tells me that it was not the issue of race that kept him from the park, rather the issue of alcohol drinkers. Apologies]
Is it just the word "abos" I should take offence at? Surely it's the intent behind the spoken words that is the problem, not the actual words. Isn't it just as offensive to say "All Jews should be killed" as it should be to say "Certainly some axis programs were abhorrent and inhumane but this does not mean that we should too harshly judge the principles of trying to better the human race?"
I made up both of the above statements, and of course I do not support them, but I was trying to test whether it's OK to say a horrible thing in a nice way - and to me it seems obvious that it's not. No matter how dressed up a statement, how much delicate surgery has been applied to it to remove any immediately offensive connotations, the meaning is what counts.
So why do I not bristle at my friend's "goon drinkers" comment. I know that goon drinkers is a word for Aboriginals, because that park he talked of is and has for decades, been a park reclaimed by Brisbane Murris. To put on an event there, like the mediaeval fair, or Pride week, or Labour Day, you have to get the permission of the local elders, I am sure.
I suppose if I had confronted him and asked him what was wrong with the goon drinkers that stopped him from entering the park with ihs dog it may be something as simple as not wanting to be scabbed for cigarettes. Which still has an element of racism doesn't it, assuming that Aboriginals will beg cigarettes off you? Or if you have experience with that very group directly, does that mean that you are entitled to comment on their behaviour, that you are not making a generalisation based on others of their race's behaviour?
I do not know if this is a fault of mine, looking at both sides of every argument. So many people I work with are opinionated, they seem hard set in their decisions. Certainly on this implementation of the Phoenix platform at work I am coming across one staff member who does not want to accept change. They have a view of what they want in a corebanking package and only grudgingly work with the one we chose because it's not perfect. Even if I explain it's as close as we can get to perfection because with this package the suppliers will take on board any modifications we request, and they will implement them after checking the ramifications. As long as we're prepared to pay, of course.
This is such a paradigm shift from the previous system, FCS, that alone this aspect of the product tells me it's the right one. But one staff member is just not accepting. The same staff member whose husband referred to "towel heads" last Christmas at the office dinner in New Farm...Is there a link between unthinking opinionated people and racism? Definitely. If you start questioning your beliefs, how does racism stand up? What factual basis is there for sweeping statements about people based upon race or any other identifier?
So I look at both sides of every story, and it takes time, and it means I form fewer opinions than the average non-thinker. But I just came from the Brisbane Writers Festival at Southbank (what a marvellous idea!) and saw Robert Mann, who has "been", if you can be such a thing, on both sides of the political spectrum during his life - left at first, then right, now left again. And he criticised the view that if you're left then you need to hold the same views as another person also on the left. As he said, why should you expect someone who believes a certain thing about environmentalism as his friend to also have the same views on religious fundamentalism as his friend?
This is a great idea. I have long been around unthinking people, and even when I spent some time with so called thinkers, ZZZ workers in the early 90s, so many of them were slaves to some dogma that the very thought of discussing the possibility that communism was bad never entered my mind. Even when it was obviously bad and a monster, the left stood in unthinking inacceptance of it, because it had started out on good grounds. Noone was looking at the meaning behind the words I guess.
I think I will now go and install the Windows Media PLayer 11 beta - my WMP10 is a headache, hanging constantly. Hope 11 fixes these things.
later, 11pm, been crying again, 5 shots in 24 hours, too ,much dope, it will take me too long to recover from this. and i still have cash, my grocery money...so little self respect.
Funny, but I have realised that what I fear the most is being one of those people that people say of me "...he just doesn't realise it's over, I mean, she moved out, stopped sleeping with him 5 years ago, and he still doesn't get it!"
I put my fear of being thought of as such a person above my chance of happiness, the chance that s was telling the truth when she said she wanted a break, she needed to get away from me to see if she missed me. So I disconnect communications. I don't send her the hundreds of SMS that I ache to send every time I use. Don't get me wrong, I miss her straight or stoned, but stoned I get weepier and more likely to send SMS. Straight I can be colder and have a higher disconnect.
It seems like everyone I talk to tells me not to pursue S. That she isn't worth chasing. But then I think "how many people have I really spoken to about S?" And it's only a couple of people, people who have their own issues. So I have to take more of my own counsel. I know if I want her back in my life it would be as a partner, someone who is fulfilled by helping fulfill me. It made me happy to see her doing design stuff, her getting a job at S-Drakes. B4 she left she said I needed to do my MSF thing, but I don't even know if that's the real me. Maybe just her concept of what "me" is, and what she thinks that "real me" needs to do. I think i'd prefer to write a good book. I know I'm offering nothing by saying that noone ever really knows anyone else, but it keeps coming back at me, like a junkie asking for tick on a Sunday.
Reading "Road to Wigan Pier" by George Orwell, nee Eric Blair. And as I read of the squalor of housing shortages in the 1930s I think of street junkies today. Not the well-to-do junkies like myself with a job and hanging onto accommodation, with dreams of petty bourgeoisie still not completely erased from my dream factories of my mind, but the street users. Those that live for nothing but junk (perhaps I do to but I pretend to the world at large that I have other interests and goals, just another distortion of the old "I can give up anytime I want to!" phrase).
These street junkies work/beg/steal/prostitute/scam all day for the money to buy heroin or ice. Any extra money from a scam gone better than expected may be diverted to food, but if it's enough extra it will be used just to buy more dope and use even more.
New Scientist says that all addictions - gambling, sex exercise, heroin, coke, ice - stimulate the same parts of the brain. I agree. I was addicted to exercise in the mid 80s. I would ride to Woodenbong or Byron Bay, 10 hours cycling away, just for the release of endorphines it caused. The blissful nothingness after such an exercise was beautiful. Then I was hit by a car and I found I could obtain the same end goal without spending 8 hours staring at a white line on a highway under my front wheel. It wasn't laziness, it was the ability to exhaust myself through work and get opiates to release endorphines that appealed to me