Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quit with the boomer sterotype, please

I suspect that some people who despise the ALP don't want to find themselves looking like filthy leftists, so instead, they're trying to frame political debates as generational debates. 

In other words: “boomers hate the upcoming generation, so” … we (the boomers) are killing free education, universal healthcare, and environmental action.

If you think you can keep your right-wing credentials this way, you're a more complete idiot than the “Western Sydney bogans” of uniform race, culture and political leaning that you believe exist because the AFR's Boss magazine tells you you're different from.

I mean it. I know V8-Falcon bogans who've fallen in love with nature and have more flexible political views than "hate boomer" hardliners.

Yes, I'm a boomer, and I hate hard-right anti-intellectual politics with the experienced hate of someone who's seen it all my life.

Since 1980 or thereabouts, I have marched in environmental protests of some kind of other. I also marched against the first introduction of university fees, and I have written on this blog about healthcare.

I've also put my own money into my environmental beliefs, by way of buying the business referred to in my profile.

We didn't buy Bunjaree Cottages to get rich. We bought it because it's about 14 hectares of mostly virgin bush in the Blue Mountains, because we wanted to protect it from the kind of person who thinks resorts involve concrete and lawn. A significant chunk of the property is a hanging swamp feeding a permanent creek that flows, eventually, into the Grose River.

Every now and again, I have to give a refund to people who don't understand wildlife and can't bear the ringtail possums running on the roof, or the antechinus that can squeeze so tight you can't keep them outdoors.

The same plot of land is home to lyrebirds, wonga pigeons, echidna and spotted quolls (the latter being an endangered species).

All of which means it's really offensive to find that because some media commentator has drawn a demographic line across political beliefs, a whole heap of people will accuse me of trying to undermine their futures.

Don't believe the hype, kids. The divide isn't generational – you are statistically more likely to be a hard-right voter than I am – it's a political divide in which business has completely captured one side of politics, only partially captured the other, and is therefore barracking for the side it owns.

The public demographers drawing “boomers versus the rest” lines across age boundaries are the owned creatures of business. They're taking part in pulling the wool, and it's working: you honestly believe you can characterise my beliefs and actions purely according to my age.

They – the destroyers of the environment, ravagers of health, despisers of education – have known how to divide and conquer since Machiavelli.

The political nastiness in Australia is not a synthetic boomers-versus-the-rest narrative. It's a simple ideology of the hard right, paid for by businessmen with no compunction about outright lies in service of their hip pockets, practised by politicians with no compunction about telling those second-hand lies, also in service of their pockets.

If you believe otherwise, you're a fool – and folly knows no generational limits.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Thorpe and Hildebrand (with a language warning)

The summary of the story (you can search Twitter if you need a long version) is:

Ian Thorpe: Yes, I'm gay*

*There's a long footnote to this that isn't germane right now.

Joe Hildebrand: We already knew you were, hur hur hur.

[general outrage]

Joe Hildebrand: But seriously folks...

Think on this: Ian Thorpe is popular, admired, successful, well-off, and he believed in post-millennial Australia he had to stay in the closet.

Think on this: the first reaction, before his “oh, shit, wrong call”, of one of those shit-scrapers that Murdochia thinks represents anything but the views of other shit-scrapers, is to make a joke about Ian Thorpe being gay.

He then tries to dig himself out of the shit-scraper world, with lines like these:

In all seriousness, Ian Thorpe coming out might actually be the biggest breakthrough for gay acceptance Australia has ever seen.” (Me: bollocks, with all respect to Thorpie: Ian Roberts had to break a bigger taboo. I still think well of Ian Thorpe for doing so).

APOLOGY: I am so sorry that apparently everyone on Twitter didn't know Thorpey was gay. Best wishes to your home planet.” (You lame coward, Hildebrand)

The reality: Someone well-known, popular and successful makes his “I'm gay” statement, and the lowest-rent arse-worm of a cohort of low-rent arse-worms called “News Limited Columnists” immediately makes a gay joke. It's his first response. The foot rises as soon as the “gay” hammer hits the nerve near the knee.

For stool-samples like Joe, the only excuse to be gay and get an apology for the kind of joke that makes 17-year-olds laugh is that you are successful, popular, and well-known. Any other gay – the ones that aren't Ian Thorpe – is still fair game for this pond scum.

The only reason Hildebrand backed down even to the lame degree he did is obvious: the damn fool managed to find a target that even the most Neanderthal of his knuckle-dragging followers liked.

Stick it to those ABC lefties, but leave Thorpie alone” scared him when “leave gays alone” wouldn't.

The lame school bully turned around, and none of his muscle were standing behind him, so he ran. The very pith and essence of “coward”.

In 1977, I got a kicking in Katoomba Street at 4pm in the afternoon. Because I'm gay? No, I'm not. Because I had gay friends. That taught me a certain degree of solidarity, and gave me (yet another) lesson in the gang-behaviour of the bully.

What a lame, weak, small man is Joe Hildebrand.