here it is
2005-07-12 - 6:35 p.m.
Well, technically this diary is supposed to be abandoned, but having used it to check up on jinks and mechy the other day, and then having today both been tagged by giallo and having received a postcard from meph I feel sort of compelled to come back and write something.
I just answered a long and difficult phonecall. I think I often used to write about not liking the phone, and I think it has something to do with... writing being a sort of singleminded, focused activity. If I'm sitting here writing, or reading for the matter, concentrating on something, then if the phone rings, I have to immediately drop what I'm doing to go pick it up. It's annoying. Oh, right, so, perhaps on that note, here's my list of five things that society in general enjoys or tolerates that I personally can't stand.
Mobile phones especially, but really, how badly do we need them at all? Especially now that we've got email... oh, I know it's not practical to talk about eliminating them or whatever, but I personally would be happy without one in the house.
2. Mandatory detention of asylum seekers.
I'm not sure if political things really belong in a list like this, but, hell, it's my list. So, if you're not from Oz you may not realise this, but we have one of the most draconian systems in the world for dealing with refugees. In contravention of articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, especially 14, 25, 26, and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, we have a policy of imprisoning all people who come to Australia to seek asylum here. The justification of the policy is that if they weren't imprisoned, they'd "disappear into the community" and if they were found to not be genuine refugees, it'd be difficult to find and deport them. Well, in response to that, I can only say, New Zealand has about the same ratio of asylum seekers to native population that we have, and they seem to manage without mandatory detention. NZ doesn't look like sinking under a tidal flood of refugees anytime soon. Anyway. It just makes me so fucking mad because it's not necessary, it's cruel and barbaric... people who are guilty of no crime, who are not even accused of a crime, are held in jails on Australian soil for years, without trial, without any recourse to the normal legal justice system, for having dared to come here and throw themselves on our mercy. By the quality of our mercy you shall know the nature of our hearts. And most Australians are either just indifferent or they actively support it. This massive travesty of international law, of natural justice, and of basic human decency, continues in large part because a serious number of my fellow Australians support it. And why do they support it? Well, not many of them say it openly, but it's hard to escape the conclusion that they don't like darkies. The very same people who are full of sympathy for Schapelle Corby (who I agree, is unjustly imprisoned and I feel sorry for too) have absolutely none for people in a similar situation on our soil because they're racists and they don't see people with dark skin as human beings like themselves. There are many things I love about Australia, about Australian culture, but this vein of racism is a worm in the heart of the national character and fills me with shame and rage.
Well, after all that I'm not sure if I can think of three other things... um.
This belongs with telephones, I suppose. I am some kind of weird mix of technophile and luddite, I guess. I love computers, the internet, hi-fis and DVDs, but I hate phones and I hate cars.
4. Bad manners.
Also, along with being a raving leftist I seem to be a reactionary old-fashioned stick-in-the-mud when it comes to things like saying "thankyou" and "excuse me" and "pardon". Between friends is one thing - you don't have to be on your best behaviour 24/7 - but giving these little verbal signs of acknowledgement to strangers is the way that you let them know that, while you may not have time to get to know them personally, you know that there's a person there and that they deserve a basic level of respect. Maybe this isn't tolerated as much as I think it is... yeah, I guess it's not an easy thing to gauge.
5. Um... hmm. Yeah, I can't really think of a fifth thing. Maybe I'm just too positive. ;)
Well, I feel like there should be something more, but I've kind of run out of impetus. I guess it's the nature of the task but this sort of feels like I've just written out a long whinge. :) So, yeah, maybe there'll be one or two more entries. Never say never, I guess.
"Here it is" - Leonard Cohen