If a pronoun is used in the forest….

…will someone still take offence on the social mejias?

I can’t be bothered to post links to the latest pronoun fuckwittery, you can find your own examples anyway. There’s a new one every day, “large organisation mandates pronoun declarations from employees: ridicule ensues”.

A bank in the UK, a civil service department in Sydney. Rinse and repeat.

It’s all red meat for whichever team you support. If you’ve got a libertarian streak, it’s yet another imposition by the wifi password people. If you think the Guardian reports news, it’s a litmus test to flush out the bigots and all the xPhobe Nazis.

The question we never hear asked is, when was the last time you used someone’s pronoun in their presence?

He/him, she/her/ zhe/zim, etc., are words we’d mainly use about someone when they aren’t there.

In fact, many people consider it rude to use pronouns when the subject is in the room. When I was a child, if I said to my father, “she”, about my mother whilst in her presence, she’d angrily ask, “who’s she; the cat’s mother?”.

No, I’ve no idea what that meant either but I bloody well knew I was in trouble.

Now we have the internet I have learned it was/is a very common saying. Basically, use their damn name you rude bugger:

A mild reproof, especially to a child, for impolite use of the pronoun she when a person’s name would have been more well mannered.

Bill’s Opinion

I’d like to think I was brought up well. I try to be polite to strangers unless they’ve done something to deserve otherwise.

If you give me your name on a phone call or if it’s on a badge on your jacket, I will try to use it whenever appropriate. Your pronouns seem somewhat irrelevant to me, therefore.

In fact, if I were to talk about you to your colleague in a subsequent interaction, I’d also use your name. If I couldn’t remember it, I’d say “your colleague”.

It feels like a backward and irrelevant step to spend so much time talking about pronouns, given I and many others would be very unlikely to have ever needed them.

What people should remember however, is the same people who were taught these manners are also from the same stock who are the world’s politest people until the precise moment they become the opposite. Maybe keep that in mind when making demands on our language, they.

Bass motivation

Bill Wyman (no, not Mandy Smith’s ex) has smuggled another “Dear Diary, I wish the world was different” piece past the Editor again. He even got it into the Editor’s Picks category.

If his last one wasn’t bad enough, this one unravelled in 24 hours. Ironic, given his sub-headline:

“But the testimony delivered by an assistant to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made it clear something more disturbing was going on. It will likely be an inflection point.

Here’s the assistant he’s referring to:. Cassidy Hutchinson:

What she claimed, under oath, you can read for yourself. The important part is it nearly all started with words to the effect of, “somebody told me that someone else said or did something”.

Ok Klass, who can tell me what the legal term is for that?

That’s right, Mylene; “Hear’Say”.

All it took was a few hours and a couple of phone calls to the people Hutchinson made claims about to debunk her testimony.

In fact, it was debunked before Australia went to bed last night, so why the Sydney Morning Herald went ahead and published Wyman’s latest fantasy is anyone’s guess.

Bill’s Opinion

The writers and editors in the news media are just not very good at their jobs, are they?

The entire column is anchored on an “inflection point” that was discredited before they even went to print, yet still it went on record.

There’s only two explanations; incompetence or mendacity.

Let’s be kind and say their intentions were pure but their intellectual ability is somewhat simple.

The global IQ tests continue to be set

How did you do with this week’s IQ test? Pass or fail?

You may have failed if you’ve recently started a post on social media with the words, “As a <insert inherent characteristic you have no control over> person, my opinion on the overturning of Roe vs Wade is….”, or words of a similar sentiment.

Newsflash: nobody gives a fuck what you think, especially if you haven’t actually read the Supreme Court ruling and are opining on the newspaper reports of it instead.

Yes, I am aware of the irony of that statement on a blog post about it but, in my defence, people come here by choice for my opinions.

I’ve written about abortion twice before here. First time about an individual, second time specifically about New South Wales. My opinion hasn’t changed; I’d prefer to live in a world where abortion didn’t happen for factors of convenience but only for safety reasons.

Many of those who loudly champion abortion on demand leverage that last reason, stating the mental healths risks to the mother, inferring the risk of suicide. But that same logic has resulting in several thousand teenage breasts being sliced off in the last decade and, frankly, piss off with that as a justification.

If your best argument for taking a physical action with extreme consequences is a possible risk of suicide, perhaps you might want to investigate psychiatry and the possibility of dedicated round the clock nursing care.

But I digress.

Despite what the public statements of organisations such as Dick’s Sporting Goods or Atlassian might suggest, abortion is still legal in the USA, it’s just been downgraded from a Federal right enshrined in the Constitution, to a matter each State’s legislative body can write laws about. If you think this means California is about to ban or limit abortion next week, you’ve not been paying much attention to the changes in political mood of that State since Ronald Reagan was Governor.

But think about this for a moment; those who are wailing about the end of the world following this ruling are questioning that it should be a democratically-decided matter.

How confident must one be of the moral certainty of your position if you’d prefer it if your fellow citizens weren’t given a choice?

As for the front page coverage of the lesbian Wendyball player, Megan Rapainoe’s rambling and incoherent unsolicited Zoom broadcast (sorry, “press conference”); we’ve truly gone down the rabbithole. What next, A ten minute monologue from Elton John on his favourite brand of tampon?

Bill’s Opinion

Cool yer jets, everyone.

Abortion has not been made illegal in the USA. It may, in future, become so in a couple of states. If so, it adds yet another to our list of choices for those who are “pro-choice”:

  1. Abstain from having sex.
  2. Abstain from having sex with someone you know you don’t want to be be with for the rest of your life.
  3. Use contraception, but be aware this carries a residual risk.
  4. If an “accident” happens, carry the baby to term and decide whether you can cope with parenthood after it’s born.
  5. Offer the child up for adoption to one of the desperate couples who can’t conceive naturally.
  6. Drive across the border.
  7. Kill the damn thing like a virus.

Can you name the crime?

If the Sydney Morning Herald editors want to outsource some work to me, I believe I can evaporate ridiculous columns like this one down to just the facts with a simple question, such as today’s title; can you name the crime?

Don’t bother reading the piece, the alleged crime isn’t described. Just a lot of Orange Man Bad guff.

To be fair to the bloke with the unfortunate name, he smuggled of a lot of this filler past the editors over the last few years, so he’s not been given any opportunity to learn from the grownups in the room:

Can you see a theme emerging here?

Bill’s Opinion

Imagine being this obsessed with Donald Trump. What must the inside of that head be like?

He gleefully tells us this one-sided process (when will the case for the defence be heard?) in Washington will result in Trump’s impeachment, but doesn’t complete the sentence, “…for the crime of <insert the name of a broken law>”.

It’s terrible to see a person captured by an obsession to the point their personal case of mind projection fallacy bleeds in to their professional life.

Accepting that how you want the world to be isn’t how the world probably is is an important step towards achieving inner calm.

Je suis un a former arts editor and assistant managing editor of National Public Radio in Washington.

Je avais un residence. Je habiter la A la south of France. Voulez vous partir with me?

1st world lethargy

Lethargy (noun)
A lack of energy or vigor; sluggishness.
A lack of interest or enthusiasm; apathy.

Seems apt for a first world country facing power cuts.

This, in a county with 2 million tonnes of uranium sitting under the soil. Or about 3.000 years’ worth of energy at today’s rate of annual demand.

But here we are, facing the risk of power cuts in a country claiming to be close to the peak of technological development and collective intelligence.

Surely there’s a typographical error, the sub editor must have missed an auto-correct replacement of “Australia” for “Afghanistan” or “Angola”.

Regular visitors to these infrequently-updated pages (yeah, I know; life has been busy) will know I don’t want or expect much from my governments; secure borders, rule of law, national defence and, if the government feels it must interfere in the provision of the utilities of water and power, keeping the bloody lights on.

If the government can’t even do that, what is the point of having one?

Seriously, if you one day find yourself with the job title of Prime Minister or Premier and the lights go out on your watch, perhaps consider firing every Diversity and Inclusion Officer, cancelling the budget for every Christmas party and closing every department not focused on the aforementioned core business of secure borders, rule of law, national defence and keeping the fucking lights on.

Bill’s Opinion

Australia is likely still 10 years away from breaking ground on its first nuclear power plant. So brace yourself for eye-watering energy bills, wearing a lot of layers in the winter and sitting around in air conditioned shopping malls in the summer.

Complex problems? Here’s Lisa Slams to save the day

As we’ve previously observed;

What a fucking great job it is being Lisa Wilkinson; you get to give a monologue to camera once a week, complaining in your side-of-mouth idiom about whatever it is your PR people think will resonate with the viewers, safe in the knowledge you’ll never put yourself in the situation where anyone can take you to task about your previous opinions and predictions.

This week’s orally-lopsided (has she had an undiagnosed stroke?) monologue is “exposing” facts about gun crime in the USA in the wake of a tragic school shooting in Texas. Ooh, look at the big Lisa Slams mic drop.

Lisa Slams’ facts:

  • Texas lowered the age for owning a handgun to 18.
  • There are 120 guns to every 100 people in the US.
  • The pandemic saw more guns sold (nearly 40M) than at any time in US history. Gun deaths rocketed.

The greatest thing about being Lisa Wilkinson is that it’s not part of the job description to make logical sense or suggest solutions. Your job is to simply point at problems and shake your lopsided mouth on national TV, whilst demonstrating you are one of the few people who care. It’s a bit like being Megan Merkel but without the racism and pussy-whipped ginger mentalist.

If only we all could have such a job.

Bill’s Opinion

It shouldn’t need to be said, but we will anyway; America isn’t Australia. Gun ownership is the second oldest amendment to their national Constitution, a document at least 50% of the country hold nearly as dear as The Bible or Torah. These people believe the First Amendment requires the Second Amendment otherwise it is meaningless.

In addition, the fact there are more guns than people should give a fairly large clue to the possibility a rather large ratio of the population want to and actually do own a gun. Unless, of course, Lisa Slams thinks the gun ownership is concentrated in the hands of a ridiculously well-armed 1%.

Lastly, if one to were scratch a little deeper into those “rocketed” gun deaths, Lisa Slams might find some uncomfortable truths; the vast majority of gun murder victims are black men, murdered by other black men. Mass shootings get the headlines but are a drop in an ocean of human tragedies.

Also, most deaths by guns are suicides.

I don’t know what the solution is to America’s problem with gun crime, but I’m not going to sit here in another country and lecture them on how to solve a problem I have zero expertise in. I imagine that’s as patronising as people asking the citizens of Northern Ireland, “why can’t you all just get along and respect each other’s religions?

Good on Lisa Slams though for demonstrating there isn’t a complex problem in the world she feels unqualified to deliver a four minute monologue to camera about with a follow up Tweet.

Next week, Lisa Slams solves P vs NP and persuades Depp and Heard they still love each other and should have a baby together.

The unintended consequence of not confronting transgender kids

The trans nonsense became very real for my family recently. Fortunately my family are all sane and safe, but a peer of one of my children took her own life last month.

Anyone who has experienced a suicide will know the incredible reach of utter devastation it delivers to everyone touched by it, regardless of family connection or closeness of relationship to the person. Everyone in the wider community is impacted and left with unsettling questions and emotions.

I will try to keep the details as generic as possible; it’s going to help nobody if this random corner of the internet can be traced back to the dead child.

The child who committed suicide “identified as transgender” from the age of 12. She changed her first name and required use of grammatically incorrect pronouns.

Her parents, the high school, and the medical professionals went along with this charade for two years.

In fact, in a private conversation with the High School Principal last year, I realised it was a source of professional pride that the high school had a “trans” student. Let me stress that; rather than expressing sympathy for a young person in their charge who was clearly demonstrating mental illness, the School Principal was happy to boast about the situation as if it was progress.

This is the same High School Principal who, in an email to me, suggested I give one of my children a mobile phone to take to school as “it’s not great for kids to stand out as different” when I complained that my child was annoyed there was nothing to do at lunch and break time because all their peers were glued to their phones (most of which had completely unrestricted access to every possible internet site), so wouldn’t talk or play.

Around this time, the school LGBTQ Pride Club was established, with a teacher supervising the lunchtime meetings and free biscuits on offer to those who attended.

Shortly afterwards, other pre-pubescent girls in the school announced themselves to be transgender.

Now, the tragedy has occurred and everyone is running for cover.

Bill’s Opinion

When we send our children to school, we do so with the primary expectation they will be physically safe and the secondary expectation they will not be subjected to experiences negative to their mental well-being.

Receiving an education in core subjects such as Maths, Science and English” seems to have become a far distant third priority these days.

Increasingly, it seems not even these two basic expectations are being met. if this were the case, perhaps a grown up might have said, at any time in the last two years, “no, you aren’t transgender; you were born a girl, will remain a girl throughout your life and, if an archaeologist digs your remains up a thousand years from now, they will immediately recognise your body as being female”.

Language has been bastardised too. Forget the current pronoun lunacy; “suicide” is now a verb, as in, “to suicide” or they “suicided”.

What was it before? “To commit suicide”. Why? Because it is a sin; someone has sinned and the result is a lost life. It is a failure of some kind, not simply an inevitable consequence of announcing one’s new pronouns and gender. We should not accept this premise and we should not accept the false logic that confrontation with reality will harm people living a fantasy; we have the proof neither route works perfectly, so choose truth.

Throughout the last two years, several people with a duty of care have failed to divert this child’s attention from negative opinions on the internet, otherwise the 12 year old wouldn’t have randomly discovered the concept of transgender and wouldn’t had found a route to sell nude photos of herself online to fund puberty blocking drugs.

The clues were there should the activist teaching staff had bothered to have looked. They might have heard about Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria and realised that more than one trans child in a school of 1,000 students is a statistical improbability. There were none in my school when I was growing up, as I’m sure there weren’t in yours either. There were plenty of kids who later turned out to be homosexual and very happy in their adult lives, however.

There are people in our community who are culpable for these failures. Let me list the main failures so, should they read this, they can assess whether they own any:

  • Unrestricted internet access for children.
  • Unrestricted use of screens in break time and at lunch at school, rather than physical interaction.
  • Treating mental illness as trivial and “going along with” unrealistic world views as if they were based on fact.
  • Establishment of a school club for 12 year olds based on sexuality and unrealistic opinions on gender when there are another four years until the age of consent for any sexuality, gay or straight.

If you were involved in this person’s short life, perhaps ask yourself the question, “Consider the possibility that, rather than being kind, you made things worse by agreeing with rather than confronting her fantasy. What if she was just gay? Or even maybe a David Bowie Ziggy Stardust era fan who’d eventually evolve to The Let’s Dance album?