the Fitzroy Flasher

art and ideas: photos and words: mainly and sometimes.

Ah Margaret…#facepalmemoji

May 26, 2017

Trust a bigot to get me writing again. Hi, how have you been? So Margaret Court, hey? What the fuck???? I have to say, this is not going to be a rant of outrage, I actually feel sorry for her. First, she thinks her ‘frequent flying’ haul has some kind of pull and will cause Qantas to stand up and take notice. Second, she has misread the public sentiment. Third, she is hate filled in an climate of anti-Trumpist desire for change, love and tolerance.

My limited understanding of the industry in which Qantas has – surprisingly – thrived is that they do not make the dosh from the bums on seats. They are not a little pop-up start-up business begging customers to buy their $5.00 fake cactii. So the rules of ‘the customer is always right’ do not strictly apply, well not to the most obvious customer, the passenger. If it did, I wouldn’t be shoving my 20 inch ass into 16 inch seats. So error number one, Margaret, nobody at Qantas cares if you stop flying.

On the misread of the public: Sure, there are people who agree with her. And my (admittedly left leaning) local public ridicule them equally. It is no secret that stoopid people are the most biased. It is also no secret that there is a body of evidence suggesting those most homophobic are homosexual. So whoops, Margaret you just stumbled upon how to be uniformly hated by smart people, whilst simultaneously making people go ‘hmmmmmm’.

Finally, how utterly fucking sad for her. Truly. Think about the image of that English grandma and her trans male grandson on Youtube, talking about their love and adoration for each other. Think about the unity of thousands at marriage equality marches internationally. Think about the Yarra Town Hall public notice that refugees are welcome. I do not think I am going out on a limb to suggest that love and acceptance, as well as tolerance, make lovers a wee bit happier than haters.

I have to go out now, with my wife, our marriage being legal in Canada, but not here. We are going to have a pub meal in a Bogansville sleepy town where the bakery supports One Nation. But where, overwhelmingly, the locals hate the bakery. And fully embrace the lezzies.

So suffer in ya jocks, Margaret. When you recover from the bitch slap you are universally receiving, I accept, and tolerate you, and wish only love and acceptance for you. You silly twat.




What time does

April 29, 2017

It passes, 

It promises,

It gives rise to –

And rules it all out.

It bastardises the truth,

And resets all the rules,

It plays havoc with hearts,

Messes with our minds,

And wreaks of the inevitable:

Until so relentless is it’s rhythm 

That we all fall in line behind it.

Men with beards and the women who love them

January 14, 2017

The menu read all smashed, all Super Salad with Acai.

The coffee was a sour roast, the type of inhouse shit I hate.

The men were bearded, staff and customers. 

They postured and peacocked against well placed mirrors – 

Those wall lengthers, adjacent to the stools with no footing. 

The stools people try for a moment while surveying the room for another option. 

The women looked, by old sexist descriptors, bookish. 

They read peer reviewed journals and ordered second coffees. 

While their bearded blokes practiced silence.

They were underwhelming in their ironically simple cardigans. 

I gazed over an undersized table at my devoted wife. 

She was sipping fresh juice through a waxed paper straw. 

I texted her the title of my next blog and she smiled knowingly: 

Men with beards and the women who love them. 

Post hipster uber hipsterism is the new next. 

The language of permission

September 14, 2016

This week a wise friend cautioned that the language of permission is very powerful. She suggested that, if a plebiscite occurs at all on this issue of ‘allowing’ same sex marriage’, the question should only be ‘do you agree with an amendment to the Marriage Act 1961’, or ‘do you agree with the removal of changes made by the Marriage Amendment Act 2004’. It should not be ‘do you agree with same sex marriage’. She said it better and probably didn’t say that exactly, but that is all I remember.

It is subtle isn’t it? There is no need to ask anybody what their views of same sex marriage are. And frankly, none of us have the power to ‘allow’ or ‘disallow’ a marriage. We are not given marriage police licences. 

So the ‘should they have your permission to marry’ business is silly. This is not the question. If you consider it an issue of removing the changes that came about in 2004, it is really not about changing anything at all, but it is about removing an inequality that was inserted into it, in 2004.  I do not care, nor do I want to hear, what anybody thinks about my sexuality. Ever.

The language of permission is not subtle at all. It is heavy with expectation. The expectation is, that the person being asked, must have some kind of power or authority to decide. Most importantly, it is giving Australians the power to decide something that the country has voted people called parliamentarians in, to decide. We have told you what we think, by electing the people we did, to represent us.

The Marriage Act 1961 was amended to exclude same sex unions, explicitly, by parliament. The process of this involved the elected members passing a Bill. Parliamentarians, voted in by Australians, did this. It was accepted, as appalling as it was, that the change had been, as they say, mandated.

The people of Australia were not asked their opinion about this change, nor their permission. The process happened as all legislative change happens, by the elected members putting a Bill to parliament, and a majority voting for it. It is more complicated and multi-staged than that, but the main gist I am interested in here is this: it was not a process by which the people of Australia all ‘had a say’. They were assumed to have ‘had a say’ in the polling booths.

What has changed? Absolutely nothing. Where is this drive for a plebiscite coming from? the far right. What can we do?  Hope that those of us who voted Labor, Greens or other parties and independents supportive of same sex marriage, do their thing and stop the plebiscite.

I am bitterly disappointed that not more of us had the foresight to put the Equality Party first and get some queer representation in Parliament last election. I am relieved, however, that the Australian people did not hand Turnbull a massive majority. In fact, we now have a parliament, elected ‘by the people’ who have ‘had our say’, who could make marriage equality happen.

In simple terms, a plebiscite is a referendum that does not change the constitution (i.e. because marriage is not governed by the Australian Constitution). The types of issues where they have previously been utilized have been matters affecting all people. Like military conscription.

Australia’s current recognition of same sex marriages that have been performed overseas, is hit and miss. Some states recognise it, others do not. My same sex marriage in Canada is recognised in Victoria. And in being so recognised, I have not, to my knowledge, endangered anyone’s lives or forced anyone to go to war. So I would really love to hear any compelling argument as to why, having democratically voted, the Australian public should give their ‘permission’ about what can and should be a simple, legislative process.




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