Pages

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

VOTE "YES" FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY




If you live in Australia and your name is entered on the electoral roll you'll shortly receive a ballot paper in the mail, asking you to cast your vote on the issue of permitting same-sex couples to marry and be granted the same legal and social rights currently enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts.

Unfortunately, this ballot –– or survey or plebiscite as our Government also likes to call it –– is being undertaken at a cost $122 million to the taxpayer because our Prime Minister, the not-so-honourable Malcolm Turnbull, lacks the courage to allow the question to be decided by a free vote in Parliament.  Turnbull is doing what politicians do best –– sitting on the fence until the country he purports to lead tells him how he should behave, thereby increasing his chances, as he sees it, of retaining power come the next Federal election.

No one with an ounce of compassion or intelligence can deny that granting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Intersex people the right to make a binding legal commitment to the person they love and have those unions fully recognized under Australian law is the sensible and humane thing to do.  Similar legislation has already been passed in the fiercely conservative USA and even staunchly Catholic countries like Ireland and Argentina now allow and recognize same-sex marriage.  

Why not Australia, which prides itself on the concept of giving everyone 'a fair go'?

Sadly, there are many Australians who feel threatened by any form of sexuality and would have you believe that voting YES will be tantamount to 'encouraging homosexual behaviour' and 'enticing children' into adopting such behaviour before they're old enough to graduate from kindergarten.  These people are generally fundamentalists –– Christians, Jews or Muslims, the choice of religion is secondary to the prejudicial and narrow-minded attitudes they espouse –– who also believe that God watches over them, and only them, from a big fluffy cloud in the sky and that He created the planet Earth for their exclusive benefit and enjoyment.  Many also support the hard right faction of the Liberal Party led by our attention-starved former Prime Minister Tony Abbott –– someone who won't be voting YES even though his own sister is in a committed same-sex relationship and has been for many years.

These same people are currently spending $35,000 per day to convince their fellow Australians that this issue doesn't concern them and, even more insultingly, that it shouldn't matter. 




WHY I'LL BE VOTING YES

I support marriage equality for all Australians regardless of their sexual preference or gender identity.  This is a right –– not a privilege –– which must and should be recognized by any Government, Australian or otherwise, which presumes to describe itself as democratic. 

No one should be discriminated against because they happen to be a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning or Intersex person.  Sexual preference and gender identity have nothing to do with an individual's capacity to love and commit to another human being.  To suggest LGBTQI people are somehow unworthy of this right based solely on their sexuality maligns and stigmatizes them, causing them and their families unnecessary suffering while at the same demonizing and marginalizing them. 

Do we want ours to be an inclusive or a divisive society?  A society where LGBTQI kids can feel comfortable being who and what they are or one in which their sexuality becomes a problem which leads many of them to harm themselves and even commit suicide?  I implore you to think of the parents and siblings of these kids, all of whom would rather attend their weddings and celebrate the love they’ve found with the partner of their choice than attend funerals to mourn their tragic and entirely preventable deaths.  


Voting YES will save lives.  Voting no, on the other hand, will perpetuate stereotypes and continue to send the message that it's okay to hate and vilify anyone the religious right perceives as being 'sinful' or in any way different to itself.

No one currently has the power to tell a heterosexual person who they can and can't marry.  Why should any Government or religious institution have the power to apply these restrictions to the lives of LGBTQI people?  The short answer is that no one –– no Government, no civil or religious authority, no citizen or individual –– should presume to dictate to a fellow human being when it comes to deciding who they can and can't love. 

Love should not be subject to caveats and exemptions any more than eating, breathing or sleeping should be.  Marriage should not be described as the union of 'man and wife' but as that of 'two people
.'  This is what marriage really amounts to in the end –– two human beings making a public commitment to love, respect and support each other throughout the many vicissitudes of life.  It's an individual choice that must be recognized and respected as such.

If you're Australian and you're reading this, I hope you’ll act on the wishes of 5 million of your fellow Australians and vote YES to make ours a fairer, more tolerant nation.  


The time for change is now.  Vote YES and show the bigots and the hypocrites they can't win, no matter how much they spend spreading lies about LGBTQI people and their lifestyles in their idiotic television smear campaigns.





Click HERE to PLEDGE YOUR YES VOTE at the website of the EQUALITY CAMPAIGN.  You can also click HERE to read a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the plebiscite and HERE to read a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the issue of Marriage Equality and why it's such an important one for all Australians regardless of their sexuality.


TICK THE YES BOX TO MAKE OURS
A TRULY FAIR AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETY 
 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

THINK ABOUT IT #28: Frank Zappa


Failure is one of those things that 'serious people' dread.  Invariably, the persons most likely to be crippled by this fear are people who have convinced themselves that they are so bitchen they shouldn't ever be placed in a situation where they might fail.
  Failure is nothing to get upset about.  It's a fairly normal condition; an inevitability in ninety-nine percent of all human undertakings.  Success is rare –– that's why people get so cranked about it.

The Real Frank Zappa Book [with Peter Occhiogrosso, 1989]


Click HERE to visit the website of US musician, composer and astute social commentator FRANK ZAPPA (1940-1993).

You might also enjoy:
THINK ABOUT IT #15: Noam Chomsky
THINK ABOUT IT #11: Lee Nutter 
THINK ABOUT IT #4: Lenny Bruce

Thursday, 24 August 2017

THINK ABOUT IT #27: Marion Woodman


I always try to grasp the metaphor at the root of an addiction. That varies.  With food, it can be mother; with alcohol, spirit; with cocaine, light; with sex, union.  Mother, spirit, light, union — these can be archetypal images of the soul’s search for what it needs.  If we fail to understand the soul’s yearning, then we concretize and become compulsively driven toward an object that cannot satisfy the soul’s longing.

Conscious Femininity: Interviews with Marion Woodman (1993)


Click HERE to read more about the life and work of Canadian author, feminist and psychologist MARION WOODMAN.  You can also click HERE to read an online interview with MARION WOODMAN originally published in the November 1995 edition of M.E.N Magazine.

You might also enjoy:
THINK ABOUT IT #25: Christine Rosen
THINK ABOUT IT #18: Nancy Jo Sales 
THINK ABOUT IT #14: Dorothy Rowe

Thursday, 17 August 2017

POET OF THE MONTH #42: Farzaneh Khojandi


FARZANEH KHOJANDI, c. 2015





FORGOTTEN BY TIME


There was a boy.  He would spread his wares
in our alley.  The strength of the hero, Rostam,
roared from his shoulders,
he had the features of a Joseph,
his hair was the torch of Zoroaster,
flaming with ancient times.
The young boy sat on an old stool,
saying goodbye to his rose-scented time.
His sweets had no takers,
sweating in their paper wrappers;
his cheap cigarettes knew
that the point of their lives was to burn;
his soaps longed for the day
they would lather in beautiful hands and die.
The boy turned his eyes
towards passers-by
and, pondering the to and fro of cars,
he didn't think of spring coming and going.
The summer of his youth
was dissolving into sunset
and winter would wrap him in snow.
Happy?  Unhappy?
For he was oblivious to love,
for the margins of his life were rusting,
for he mistook the moon's halo for the moon.
Ruthless life had sat a young boy
on an old stool and forgotten him.


Date unspecified


Translated by NARGUESS FARZAD and JO SHAPCOTT



The Poet:  The following biographical statement appears on the Poetry Translation Centre website.  [It is re-posted here for information purposes only and, like the poem re-posted above, remains its author's exclusive copyright-protected intellectual property.]

Born in the remote Khojand province of Tajikistan in 1964, Farzaneh Khojandi is widely regarded as the most exciting woman poet writing in Persian (Farsi, Tajik) today and has a huge following in Iran and Afghanistan as well as in Tajikistan, where she is simply regarded as the country's foremost living writer.  Her frequently playful and witty poetry draws on the rich tradition of Persian literature in an often subversive and humorous way.


Click HERE to read more poetry by Tajikistani poet FARZANEH KHOJANDI posted on the website of the Poetry Translation Centre.

You might also enjoy:
POET OF THE MONTH #30: Ayten Mutlu 
POET OF THE MONTH #11: Fatma Ben Mahmoud 
POET OF THE MONTH #8: Mohammed Bennis