Friday, 11 November 2016

No Fear - The New Resistance.

Many years ago, when I was 12 or 13, I asked my father what he did during the war. Without pause he replied, "Drank tea and smoked cigarettes." End of discussion. When the war in Europe ended in May 1945, my Dad had just turned 20. While he was living in an Ireland that had, just eight years earlier, drafted and ratified its own Constitution and rejected membership of the then British Empire, the people of neutral Ireland were very much affected by the near-cataclysmic events occurring on their doorstep.

I have mulled over his terse 'tea & cigs' response many times over the years, mostly as it became more apparent that the man had a history he did not want to share...and to his dying day, he didn't.

Small pieces of the puzzle have been filled in over the years. I'd prefer not to go into detail here about what he may or may not have done for his or another country in his younger years, mainly because what really happened during the period immediately following the war he took to his grave - and will likely remain as mere rumour, conjecture & occasionally fanciful wonderings. But everything I do know about my father leads me to believe he was, in some way, 'active'. As for my mother, I don't know. She died when I was very young, but she did work as a journalist in the days when that meant a lot more than it does now.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Pat Mesiti - For God's Sake, Skip Ad.

Sometimes Facebook posts become a little too long to be Facebook posts. That's when you need Bigmouthery.

My (skip) ad feed on YouTube the last day or so has been almost exclusively a sales pitch from evangelical preacher Pat Mesiti, touting the 'law of attraction' method of life success. Like you, I generally 'skip ad' as soon as I can. Especially a few months after nearly losing my mind hearing Arnie say 'the best defence is defence!' Besides, it's critical I see Peter Serafinowicz's Sassy Trump or listen to Louis CK's diarrhea song...again.

The difference this time? I know who Mesiti is. I was once a Christian and during the short post-Catholic & pre-agnostic/mostly atheistic/trying to be post-theistic/who-the-fuck-knows-period, Pat Mesiti was a highly considered pastor among my happy clappy peers. So after being hit with a wall of Mesiti ads, I decided to hear him out.

He was standing in front of a big swimming pool at what looked liked a seaside resort, enthusiastically extolling the 'law of attraction' as part of a seminar sales pitch. Unlimited potential, limited seats, y'know how it goes...

As I understand the scientific term, the supposed laws of attraction has to do with bodies' attraction/repulsion in relationship to each other. Let's call this A.

By contrast, human 'laws' of attraction such as those propounded in books like 'The Secret' suggest that your desires and wishes will be made manifest by stating said desires and wishes, which the universe will then grant you. Let's call this B. The sceptics' formula for the combination of the two is as follows:

A + B = C (Commerce)

I am expert neither in quantum physics nor sales pitches, but I think it's disingenuous during a sales pitch for the salesman not to disclose that he is/was an evangelical preacher.

More importantly, I also think it's vital that the unsuspecting are made aware that that said pitchman pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of assault arising from domestic violence.

A more cynical person might reasonably assume that this hackneyed pitch to sell bums on seats is in some way an attempt at a career comeback.

And now, the Diarrhea Song.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Not One More.

Candlelight Vigil tonight to remember those lost to domestic and family violence.
Source: BDVS/Facebook

Many years and several governments ago, the then Liberal leader and aspiring PM Alexander Downer presented to his NSW colleagues the party's slogan on domestic violence, The Things That Matter. Adhering to the well-trod rubric 'always open with a joke', Downer felled the room into agape silence as he said that perpetrators of domestic violence might call it 'the things that batter'. Jump ahead to the time Alexander Downer never became Prime Minister.

That was late 1994 - politically and socially, an aeon ago. Surely things have improved since then? In attitudinal terms, there's a good argument to suggest that yes, there are visible improvements. But in terms of perpetration, domestic violence is on the rise.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Bigmouthery is Back!

After three years, a strange intercontinental adventure and an even stranger internal one, Bigmouthery is back. I look forward to sharing it with you once again. Stay close.