The report button is your friend.

I have been impolitely informed that my name and workplace details have been placed on Facebook for all to see. I haven’t verified this myself yet, but if you see something referring to me, please ‘report’ the post, and possibly the group that it was in.

Thank you.

J.


Killing in the name of Paedophilia

From time to time I get a little mail here at Sharkscage, usually in the form of a comment on my blog. Unlike other blogs, I’m not interested in facilitating discussion from both sides of the issue, and as such I usually don’t authorise the posting of comments that I disagree with. They’ve already had plenty of audience elsewhere, that’s certainly no need for me to provide them with any more)

The posts I haven’t allowed on the blog tend to all follow the same pattern. They start off with a mild threat, often accusing me of ignorance or conspiracy. They will then at length detail a series of opinions which they then try pass off as facts, before lacing in a few more serious threats, culminating with a passive aggressive demand to post their ‘response’ and an accusation that I’m not brave enough to print (their variation of) the truth.

How thick could you get? I mean… really.

The reason I mention this, is because I received a little sulk from an individual that featured in my discussion: Violence for the Masses. Where the same pattern was in this post, and once again I observed protocol and relegated it to the dustbin.

I’ll hereby name said sook ‘Pugsley’ for future reference.

Say hi to Pugsley.

However, some of the content in this post had me thinking about the language that is often used by these serial haters online. It’s not just observed in postings on my blog, but in many other locations on the Internet.

On this occasion, the post was full of references to ‘Homosexuals’, ‘Paedophiles’ ‘Socialists’ and ‘Muslims’.

There’s one word that really stands out to me amongst those 4. It’s the only word that I would actually be willing to say is something that is evil.

However, I’m certain that the poster was writing from a point of view that all these things were undeniably evil. I’d even go as far as to say that he even regards all of these things to epitomise evil. Support one of these evils, and you support them all.

I think we need to start looking closely at the language that people like ‘Pugsley’ use with abusing their freedom of speech. They may be just re-using patterns and clichés that they have heard elsewhere, but what they are saying is deliberately manipulative and could have serious repercussions on our community

Let’s look closer at the one real evil in that list: Paedophilia.

Paedophilia has become a major fear in our community in the last decade. This has been mostly because of the unprecedented access that these people (both men and women) have had to communicating with children via online means. The evils that are perpetrated by these people are very real, and will continue to be a large problem for our community indefinitely.

A large problem has also been our community’s reaction to paedophiles. As was demonstrated when convicted perpetrator Dennis Ferguson was released into our community, there was an outpouring of people expressing their wish to cause physical violence to Dennis.

This was a very real concern to the police. In reality assault is assault. And the lines are pretty clear that such violence is equally as great an evil to our law.

However, ask yourself this question: If your father murdered a man, would you be proud of him? If your father murdered a Paedophile, would you be proud of him?

We humans often justify the violence and the evils we perpetrate. If we feel a need to inflict violence upon someone, we often justify our actions in order to make ourselves feel ‘not evil’.

The Nazis used many justifications to exterminate 6 million Jews.

This is what I mean by a deliberate manipulation. While we have allowed people to justify extreme violence on others because of their evils, we have given them an out – an excuse to commit these vile acts. The ‘Gay panic’ defence which is outlawed in most states of Australia works in this way. It implied that murder was justifiable because the perpetrator committed an act that oddly some people still consider ‘evil’.

But I’m not here to talk about a definition of evil, or even discuss what to do and how to deal with the paedophiles in our community. What I am interested in, is how and why the word ‘Paedophile’ so frequently comes into our language these days.

Look around the forums and Facebook, and you will frequently see references to paedophilia; or more importantly, an accusation that someone is a paedophile.

There’s always no evidence for this, but it’s a falsity that is intentionally perpetrated in the hope that someone will take this accusation as fact, without checking the background on it and treat the victim as though they actually were a paedophile.

What they are really doing here, is trying to attach the label of paedophile to a person so that they can justify the extreme and violent actions that they wish, or are intending to do to this person.

The power of this language is so great, that the most vicious and aggressive in our society often speak openly of their wish to perpetuate such violence upon the paedophiles in our community, despite the unlikelihood that they would ever meet one. Mention paedophiles in polite conversation, and you’ll often come across someone who seems to switch personality almost instantly, while they tell you of the vicious actions they wish to perpetuate on a Paedophile.

This socially justifiable violence is problematic. In Queensland the issue of ‘Gay panic’ has seen a lot of scrutiny lately as a series grizzly murders have come to the attention of the wider community. All of which had attempted to use the ‘Gay Panic’ defence in court.

My email correspondence from ‘Pugsley’ was no different. Throughout the text Pugsley speaks of violence that he wishes to perpetuate upon all of these groups, while quietly inferring that he would do suchlike upon myself if I continue to get in his way of his right to attack these people.

I’ve seen Pugsley’s online friends use the same language as well. I’ve also watched his friends and others that he is acquainted with label quite a broad section of people that have opposed them has ‘Paedophiles’. And thus diminishing their standing in our community while justifying the kinds of ‘justified’ violence that people like Pugsley wish to inflict upon them.

Another serious side effect of this abuse of the term ‘Paedophile’, is that slowly the label will no longer be as powerful as it once was. Slowly the community will become blasé about the label of Paedophile, and people making that accusation. Crying wolf, so to speak. This is a dangerous outcome which could quickly put the lives of children at risk.

Where will Pugsley and friends, the great (ineffectual) defenders against Paedophilia, be then?

Do you really wish to have a community that can justify all kinds of horrific violence, yet actually make it easier for the real evils in our society to hide?


New theme!

Going to try out this new theme for a while. It’s simple and uncluttered (unlike my house) and with the serifed fonts, it is easier to read.

If you have any feedback on who it looks, drop me a note. Thank you.


Of Patriots and Arseholes

It is not hard to understand the reason that radio shock-jocks are the rubbish bins of morality. When money is involved, morals and basic human respect is the first thing that people will dump. While shock-jocks are paid both highly in dollars and ego-points, they certainly reduce human dignity and respect to the lowest ebb that they are willing to take it.

The politicians cash-in the same way too. While the dollars motivate them the same way as the shock jocks, they swap ego points for power to get their fix.

But while the motivations of the politicians and the cashed up shock-jocks are clear, what about the rest of the community? What motivates the hateful extremists that we come across all the time on the Internet?

I’ve touched on this before in some of my other blogs. People like the ‘Ban the Burqua’ parade who spend hundreds of hours ranting and raving about women wearing Burquas, when they care nothing for the women under them and are likely to only have a few seconds exposure to someone wearing a Burqua throughout their entire lives.

How about the people that want to rid Australia of Muslims ‘to make Australia better’, or the people that carry on about how Australian money is being spent on aid programs overseas when it should be being used in ‘our back yard’. These people often spend thousands of hours online or in pubs venting their spleens, rather than actually trying to help the thousands of homeless on our streets let alone the disabled critically needing more support.

I'm a Pa... paaaa... paaarrottttt...... PATRIOT!

Hell, they could even man a lifeline phone. Last time I heard lifeline weren’t exactly inundated with people volunteering their time or resources. But there’s plenty out there using their modems and computers to complain about someone ‘not doing enough at home’.

You get the picture and I’m sure you know the people. But what isn’t clear is what motivates these them. These are people that are often happy to call the others trying to make a positive difference ‘Traitors’ or ‘Bleeding heart loonies’. But what actually motivates them to do and say things that are so anti community, stupid and sometimes utterly sociopathic, all while banging on about how patriotic they are?

I'm feeling safer around 'Patriots' already.

It’s hard not to just call them delusional. But simply calling them misguided seems inadequate. Do they really see themselves as heroes in their own community? Do they honestly feel that making such bold, yet utterly stupid statements by either bashing a keyboard or blurting it out with a belly full of beer is really make them a greater person in our society?

As I said; it makes sense when a cowardly shock-jock does it because of the incentives. But do these members of our community honestly believe that mimicking these often half-baked statements that are simple used to get a rise out of an audience will possibly see these people attaining the same fame, power and fortune of the shock-jocks and politicians? Hell, even the shock-jocks tend to be more inclined to charity and community work (without court orders) than most of these people.

If Australia does need people to fight for it, it’s the people in the community that need it the most. It’s easy to go to the pub, get a ‘skin full’, then wave a piece of cardboard around with a comment written on it with a Texta. It’s easy to threaten to bash a person from a minority group such as Muslims, Jews and gays. But I don’t see any of these cowards offering their time to help beaten women, to sit and talk to a lonely senior citizen, to help a family with a child with cancer, to build a shelter for the homeless and the mentally unwell.
If someone has the time to ‘make Australia great’ by spending hundreds of hours making fake profiles and verbally abusing anyone on the internet that they disagree with, then they have the time to actually get off their arse and make an effort to genuinely make a better Australia. The community is what the community makes it. Not the government, and certainly not the shock-jocks.


Violence for the masses

Over time, I’ve come to feel that the Internet has morphed into some kind of substitute ‘fairy-land’.

On here, we often become who we wish to be. We paint ourselves as someone that we are not, and we substitute our real identity with this creation; An avatar of ourselves, which doesn’t always reflect who we look like from the outside, but often reflects what we look like from the inside.

Tank Girl

Am I fantasising about being Tank Girl again? Sorry.

I remember from years ago hearing a term called ‘Yahoo inches’. This term talked about how men often referred to their penis online as being much, much bigger than it was in real life. It point out that the size of the penis was more important to them than it often was to the women they were talking to, but none the less they still continued with a lie that was only about lying to themselves.

Below the waves that we surf every day, there is a writhing and slimy pool of primordial development; the seeds of the future of the evolution of how we live in this new virtual environment. Talking about this has become my key focus of this blog. And some of the things I see are truly disturbing.

The internet has allowed us to communicate with each other like never before. As such, it has fulfilled the almost insatiable appetite that we have as humans to be heard and understood, even though often we have absolutely nothing to say.

So we often fill the void with our deepest, darkest fantasies. These fantasies are often derived from our most primal urges; sex, violence and need for control of our lives and environment.

It’s when I come across stuff like the following that I find myself wincing at the screen.

Hill_air_eee_ous (rolls eyes)

This is from a group simply called ‘Patriots’.

The group itself is pretty much a nothing group. It doesn’t seem to have any particular focus other than calling for the beer goggled Australian view of culture to be reinstated, while making some kind of token support of ‘our troops’. As you can see by the photo it isn’t particularly popular.

But just recently a dramatic blood filled photo (well two photos actually) made an appearance. The first picture  shows a boy inadvertently kicking a girl in the face. It appears to be a genuine mistake that’s happened during a bit of horsing around, but the consequences are clear for all to see in the next photograph.

Clearly upset and not receiving treatment for the incident, the girl is photographed with blood streaming down her face, appearing upset at being forced to do so. Standing next to her is the boy that kicked her, smiling absurdly either because of pride at beating this girl or from sheer dumbfounded embarrassment.

But it’s the attached ‘captions’ to this photograph, albeit really just two, which really makes me wretch. Is the picture poster laughing at the accident?  Or are they laughing at the violence to a woman. There’s nothing to suggest that they are the latter specifically, but the proceeding comment (a suggested caption) certainly suggests otherwise.

This comment is supposed to be funny, but in reality turns this whole photo into a statement trivialising violence against women. Is this the first thing that this guy thought about when he saw this photo? As the comment doesn’t seem to be particularly considered, it would suggest that it was indeed the first thing that came to mind. After all, he was so quick on the keyboard that he needed to return to add in the passive aggressive tail ending to the comment.

This is far from the worst example of this kind of thing. But we’re talking about a facebook page here that claims to be promoting the supposed iconic things that define Australian culture, and I assume by the title being patriotic about it. Freedoms that our military have apparently fought (and died) to uphold.

Let’s head on over to ‘The Anti-Bogan‘ blog.

Here, there’s plenty of examples of calls for violence against people of other religions and genders, as well as homosexuals and other alternative lifestylers.

Men. Manly manly men from the TAB.

The first two in this photo are Queensland Health employees, one of which may have patient contact, or work in patient areas.

Again, this is only a small example of the kind of violence that is lived out online. But it is an active example of what is actually happening inside the heads of people using these online forums.

The more passive signs of what kind of fantasies are being acted out in the online fairy-land is to look at the kind of pornography that is being consumed, large scale, online. Most of it consists of aggressive, often violent acts of intercourse where women appear to be more used as tools than lovers. Little respect is shown, and more and more frequently extreme disrespect is something that is becoming the norm. These act out the same sexual, violent and controling fantasies for the consumers, possibly allowing them to indulge in their fantasies without having to actually say a word, or leave the comfort of their mouse.

But really it’s a long stretch to claim that everyone looking at a porn site is indulging in violent fantasies. But in reality we don’t understand how many actually do, and why.

Often people that speak out against this violence are accused of treading on someone else’s ‘freedom of speech’. Sometimes these accusations become threats of violence in themselves. And on rare occasions, these threats become real world problems as men and sometimes women take their online fantasies and try to live it in the real world.

What can be done?

This is the hardest question to answer. In our community the threat against ‘freedom of speech’ often resonates as an attack against our freedoms. Yet many in our community aren’t mature or considered enough to distinguish the difference between these freedoms and the incitement of violence or hate-speech.

These are people acting against our community. These are people who are turning neighbour against neighbour. They are raising their children with disrespect to anyone that isn’t their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. While the world is evolving technologically at an amazing rate, these are people that are de-evolving our ability to work in a diverse and complicated world while they live out an increasingly perverse series of fantasies that the ever advancing tools in our society are giving them to do so.

What we need most is to start to understand why it is happening, and stop pretending that it doesn’t happen and doesn’t have an impact on our community. Advances in our communication ability has allowed this to happen in our society, it’s time our society advansed as well.


Got a problem Idiot?

It doesn’t take much to find some idiot’s opinion on ‘the interwebz’ about almost anything. Indeed, that’s almost all that the net is actually full off.

It’s empowering and disheartening at the same time. We can watch it rise to the highest intellectual highs, and then fall to the lowest of lows. We can witness some truly amazing moments, and then be drowned in a torrent of off the cuff incredibly stupid comments.

Got a problem Idiot? Tell everyone!

Got a problem Idiot? Tell everyone!

It gets weird. Really weird when you start to look at the groups filled with people complaining about their first world problems. This is one of the greatest tragedies of the internet, as it has given an amplified voice to some of the stupidest people in our community so that they can vent loudly and proudly some of the dumbest things that they can dream up.

Often they’ll excuse their utter dumbness by claiming to be exercising their right to ‘freedom of speech’. When in reality they are simply just exercising their right to open their fat and well-fed mouths to complain about the things in their line of sight, which they haven’t been able to consume into their ‘way of life

Let’s take for example the ‘Ban the Burqa’ groups on Facebook and elsewhere.

The fear of women being clad in a Burqa is clearly one of the most absurd first world problems that we have. There are some third world countries where not wearing a Burqa is a crime which has some violent and severe repercussions. As such many women in those countries live in fear every day of their lives. Yet here in Australia the women that are wearing them are doing so both voluntarily, and usually for a love of the religion that they sincerely believe in. Which is one of the basic freedoms that we too often take for granted here in Australia.

Yet here in the developed world, we fear the Burqa wearers. Online Ban the Burqa groups are filled with people that justify their fear by making statements about how women wearing Burqas are potentially suicide bombers, bank robbers, drug dealers and anything else that the fearful can shove under a black sheet.

These groups justify their stance by claiming that they are standing up for the ‘victim’; the women that are forced to wear the attire that they object to. Meanwhile they also claim that what they are ‘against’ is something that is incompatible with our national ideals or character.

But it’s bulldust. These groups often attack the women under these Burqas directly, subjecting them to personal abuse while attacking them for their religion. In these groups they often directly attack the ‘victim’ they are trying to ‘protect’ while savaging the religion that supposedly victimises them. Ignoring the love and faith that these people hold in this religion

They usually completely ignore the parochialism of their own point of view and quite often miss the real dangers to these women. Often ignoring that they themselves are actually the endemic part of the problem.

But they are protecting a ‘victim’ of sorts. They are protecting themselves. Although they don’t concede it personally, they live in fear of things that seem trivial to most. They fear the Burqa and the women under it. They fear Muslims, usually irrationally, and they fear the unknowns of not understanding what drives these people; even though their day-to-day lives, goals and dreams aren’t actually any different to their own.

Ask them what the solution is, and you will get a small spectrum of answers that vary from being downright stupid, to impulsively considered and concieted. All of which end in the one simple outcome of simply removing the possibility of them encountering the people that they dislike in our community.

This is where the true tragedy lays. Whereas the imbecilic members of these groups often spend hours attacking those people that they despise so intently, their contact with them will often be only a mere few seconds of their entire lives. They may drive or walk past a Muslim on their street every day, but a woman wearing a Burqa is likely to be just something that most of them will only see briefly a handful of times.

Most of these groups rely on photos stolen from the web to depict women wearing Burqas, simply because they have seen them themselves so rarely, that they’ve rarely been able to actually capture a photo of one, despite the flotilla of cameras that are now accessible in our modern community.

The ‘Afraid’ are spending hundreds of hours of their lives fearing something that they will only ever be exposed to for a matter of seconds. The likelihood of them being exposed to the ‘unknowns’ that they fear about these people infinitely less likely still.

These people are indeed victims. They are victims of themselves. A life spent fearing the unknown and running from the monsters that hide under their own sheets is a life wasted. They aren’t going to solve the problems of the world by attacking others less fortunate than themselves, and no one is ever going to achieve something other than their own humiliation by hunting the world for the monsters that are in their own heads.

While the internet is awash with modern versions of Don Quixote, it’s easy to lose faith that you could still find a diamond in the rough. When you have oceans of idiots navel gazing on the most menial of problems in their lives and broadcasting them to the world, you know one thing is for sure: The idiots of the internet are here to stay.


The beer-goggle view of Australian culture

Let’s stop for a moment and have a serious look at our culture. The Australian culture; often referred to as ‘Aussie Culture’.

Speedos on the beach!

No, it's not Tony.

It was a sunny day and there wasn’t a lot of work to do. A Clydesdale horse was running free on a beach; jumping over puddles and roughing about in the sand. Later that day when things were cooler, the Clydesdale hooked itself up to a cart with a few of his mates, and as the sun set behind them they rode off into the into the cool evening; their dust trails glowing in the sun’s warm afternoon rays.

What a lovely way to spend the day.

What this image had to do with cricket or football we’ll never know. But it’s what hundreds of thousands of Australians saw in the middle of every match in the ‘70s & ‘80s.

Ever heard someone start talking about ‘Aussie Culture’? I’m sure you have. It’s supposedly the culture that is being threatened by immigrants (which have been coming to Australia for over 200 years). It’s apparently the culture that defines what it is to be ‘Australian’.

Get someone to define ‘Aussie’ or even ‘Australian’ culture, and they frequently talk about scenes of drinking beer, working hard and playing hard. Swearing, sitting around the barbeque and just generally making a dick of themselves. If you’re really lucky, they may even talk about eating a pie at the football. Oh yeah, and driving a Holden and swimming at the beach.

And then there’s ‘mateship’.

Sift through the links above for long enough and you’ll start to see certain themes emerge. Australians are all white and of Anglo decent. Only men work hard, and women are servants to those hard working blokes. Only men have fun while women are there to look good.

At the time that most of these commercials were made, Australia was largely an immigrant population formed from people that had fled the poverty and the devastation of Europe after the Second World War.

Even then the Anglos weren’t that different. Many were first generation Australians from families that had fled the oppressive poverty that had destroyed Scotland and Ireland as both of those countries became giant Industrialized soot-pits.

It is the customs and practices of this latter group that we owe a lot of what we call ‘Aussie Culture’, but we’ve even turned a blind eye to a lot of what else they brought with them too.

As it stands, our definition of our culture is largely made by how Australians ideally views themselves at play, and is mostly a by-product of people trying to flog consumables to us as we play.

This is in contrast to many other nations that are culturally defined by their religious practices and how they overcome the hardships that their nations endured. A much more self depreciating view of their world than we as Australians are often comfortable with.

It is no accident that people often define Australian culture by conjuring up the same images that we see in these commercials. They show people enjoying themselves. The make you feel good about the kind of life you live, and encourage you to reward yourself with one of their products, which makes you feel part of the community and part of Australia as a whole.

It’s how people want to feel. They don’t want to be the lonely piss-head sitting at home with the wife, watching the football on TV. The beer commercials that flash up on the screen during those football matches ensure that just sitting at home sinking a cold beer doing this, makes them feel like they are actually part of something. It makes them feel part of a community and social circle. It also makes them feel more masculine and part of the action.

If we ignore the alcohol fuelled violence & domestic abuse in our community, and the health issues that it brings along with the deaths on our roads every year caused by drink driving, we could almost see beer as a cultural icon. If it wasn’t for the fact that it is drunk in pretty much every country in the world, in almost exactly the same way.

There’s nothing Australian about beer, except for the local branding. There’s nothing distinctive about Barbeques either. Holden hasn’t been Australian since General motors bought the company and decided to use the name of one of that company’s Australian founders.

Mateship itself is quite a contentious term. There’s nothing in mateship that couldn’t be observed anywhere else, and is far from a quality that is distinctly Australian. Not even Australians buy completely into the ‘Mateship’ thing, as was famously demonstrated by Les Murry when he refused to word it into the Australian constitutional pre-amble after the Australian Prime Minister tried to have it included during a referendum.

Australians have held mateship up without challenging its virtues for some time, even though when you look past its face value, it appears to have been a justification for sending tens of thousands of young Australians to their deaths, in mud pits half a world away.

All that death they suffered just to discover mateship, just to define our culture? Bulldust.

There’s a real tragedy in all of this. There are things that we have neglected of our culture while we have embraced this commercially driven view of our society. Women and aboriginals tend to be forgotten, along with anything outside of our densely compact social microcosms.

We rarely embrace the major contribution that immigration has made on our country, and worse there are groups of people who are going out of their way to down-play the contribution on our culture by immigrants. Further more, they then attempt to marginalise immigrants in our community by claiming they don’t fit in with out culture.

So much for a ‘Fair go’.

In the pursuit of the iconifiction of beer drinking as a cultural idiom, we have neglected such things as ‘School of the air’ and ‘The flying doctor’.

While we try and paint ourselves as social, close and matesy, the reality is that much of what has defined us as Australian, has been dealing with our isolation and remoteness. These things don’t fit well into beer commercials, as no one likes the idea of being segregated and alone for much of their life. Yet we are.

Historically women have made major contributions to our community and culture. In fact, it’s in the history of Australian women that we see some of the most uniquely Australian developments in our community. All of which is neglected by our beer goggle view of our culture.

It is impossible to completely and wholly understand the part aboriginals have played in our community, but like it or not Aboriginals have made a major positive impact on the way all of us Australians live our lives every day. In our attempts to whitewash our culture over the last 100 years or so, Aboriginals have refused to go away, and are far more of an integral part of our community and culture than the some members of our anglicised community are often comfortable with or willing to accept.

To our community’s detriment, we still kick aboriginals to the kerb, only to come and seek them out when we need something from them. A shameful act that shows how little we actually understand about community in Australia

It’s time we stopped looking at our culture through the beer glass. It is time we stopped devaluing people in our community when we try to define our culture. It is time to stop telling people what our culture is, and rather start living our lives by developing and growing the culture around us.


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