Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting my rang-on

It's the season to be a red head, and yes I am (as of 6 hours ago) part of that exclusive club. Exclusive in the sense that it could cost a mere 10 bucks and an hour of your life.

I think my decision was primarily (rationalised by myself at least) due to serving a girl who had excellent hair, and I thought why not. But increasingly I'm thinking it my be in my subconscious, given that some of my journalistic heroes (Leigh Sales, Kerry O'Brien) and the most recent PM are all part of the red-club.

Whatever it is, I wonder about all of those redheaded stereotypes, and whether they apply to me, even though it was a cocktail of toxins and colourants that made me so.

Are blondes dumber?
Are red heads more freckley/nerdy/deserving of nick-names?
Are brunettes... actually what are the stereotypes surrounding brown hair?

Ginger Spice made the rang sexy in the 90s and Christina Hendricks (of Mad Men fame) is bringing it round again in the 10s.

Well, at least I know I will have Julia Gillard's approval!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Can you top that?

Birthday parties for parents are one of the biggest social competitions of your child's upbringing. They are a public showdown to prove how much you really love and care for your little Charlie or Suzie.
Whose fairy bread is fluffier? Whose balloons float for longer? Where is the clown? Whose cake has more sugar?
Well, at least that's what most of the birthday parties I attended between the ages of 6-11.
But I have come to realise since my days of party poppers, things have changed.
I mean, really, picture this:
Your daughter is turning 10. She really likes MasterChef and TV Chefs such as Gordon Ramsay. So what is the logical answer?
Hellenic Republic for lunch, Press Club for dinner on the Saturday and on the Sunday Maha for Lunch and Maze for Dinner. For 20 people each time.

That is a lot of fairy bread.

Once more?
At 13th Birthday?
Your precious pumpkin takes a hot pink stretch limo from home to the up-market restaurant you've booked, where she and a table of 20 kiddies eat lamb spit to their heart's desire.
She is a adorned in a hot pink feather boa. Those feathers make it everywhere around the restaurant.

If parents are spending thousands of dollars on 10th, 13th, 1st birthdays or christenings, how much more will they spend on their kid's 21st or 18th?

Buy a jumbo jet and fly to LA where Miley Cyrus is waiting, hot pants and whiny voice at the ready?

Make her the first 16-year-old girl to fly into space in an aircraft sponsored by Ella Bache?

I understand you love them, but tell me how you're going to tell shnookums where their inheritance has gone, just in time for them to actually need something, like a house?

Show your children some self-restraint and say 'no' once every now and again.

It feels good to get that out.

Friday, June 11, 2010

2010 election; the year's most dissapointing multiple choice

The best thing about multiple choice is that there are only four options.
Usually one is just plain wrong, one is very far fetched and the other two are to err and ahhuumm between if you don't already know the answer.
For example:
If you mix 1 part red paint and 1 part yellow paint together, what colour would you get?

a) Green
b) Polenta
c) Orange
d) Peach

Orange is the answer, polenta is edible. They're usually fairly straight forward, unlike what you will be choosing at this years soon-to-be-announced federal election.

Who will you vote for in the House of Representatives?

a) Generic Labor Party candidate (C'mon, remember K07?! We've got so many more acronyms to fulfil! NHHN, NBN, RSPT, ETS*, BER)
b) Generic Liberal Party candidate (Work Choices is dead, I swear. I pinky promise. Cross my heart hope to die and deliberate between core and non-core promises in front of your eyes!)
c) Greens Candidate (Are you a disheartened Labor voter? Do you feel your western lifestyle can't be justified unless your government looks after refugees and mandates backyard wind turbines to replace the ol' hills hoist?)
d) Independent or Socialist Alliance or Pauline Hanson's protege (Why not mix it up a little?)

Who will you vote for in the Senate?

a) The Sex party
b) The Guns party
c) The Fish and Chip party (tartare sauce now included!)
d) The Southern Cross Tattoo party
e) The Murray-Darling Basin party
f) The Scientology Party (now with extra gambling machines and cult lifestyle, just to tick off Xenaphon)
g) The That's what Steve Fielding said party
h) The 'In my day' party
i) I think you get my point party

It barely matters which way you vote, especially in the lower house, it's a bit same, same and not that different. The question is really about trust.
Do you trust the Greens to have the balance of power?
Do you trust Labor to fulfill promises and do something meaningful?
Do you trust Tony Abbott to run the country?

The problem is most of generation Y don't give a donkey. Many people I know aren't enrolled to vote and don't care.

If you aren't enrolled, why?
If you know who you're going to vote for, do you know why?

To me it seems like a multiple choice with no right answer because in the end they all mean roughly the same thing.

*probably not til 2013, we don't have the balls to call a double disillusion

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The two big Vs; merchants of some unwanted knowledge.

As I have mentioned previously, I'm vegetarian and am currently reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals. It's an enlightening read, and definitely a modern day, and American, version of Singer's Animal Liberation.

So I've also been interested in what farming practices are used in Australia, as Eating Animals say 99% of eaten animals in America are sourced from factory farms.

I've been thinking of asking and interviewing farming groups and doing a bit of research into it over the semester break. So if anyone out there knows some juicy tid-bit that might help me on my merry way please do spill.

And now to the title of this blog's point.

Yesterday ABC's The Drum, Marieke Hardy ranted about Ruby Rose being 'veganese', a vegan who eats cheese and fish.

Unfortunately, however conscious you are with your grocery, food or general purchases, someone or thing will be harmed or mistreated in the process of it being made and transported to the store. Who do you blame? Capitalism? Industry? Yourself?

Simply put, who knows.

As much as I try to avoid gelatin, non-fair trade products, palm oil, nestle, resin, Coca-Cola, Unilever and any other company that harms other animals, the earth or humans, it's a damn difficult thing to do. I live with two vegans, both of whom smoke and wear leather. I have Doc Martens, but I buy second-hand leather only. I try and buy vegetarian cheese and free-range eggs. We're all walking contradictions of our own or others morals or ideologies.

Once anyone moves away from being vegan to, say eating cheese or fish, they have to find a way of justifying it to themselves, as well as their herbivore counterparts. "I need more Iron" may be legitimate but you can get those nutrients from other foods.
But shouldn't Rose and other high-profile vego or vegan celebrities be applauded for getting these issues into the public sphere?

Fellow The Drum contributor Helen Razer made a comment on Hardy's article, which is resounding, and at the heart of why saying you're vegan, or vegetarian can quite often mean the meat-eaters in the room will immediately shut you out:

"To tout veganism as a cure-all for the world's ills or a form of moral superiority is both (a) misleading and (b) alienating."

It's not about superiority, it's about informing people and ensuring they know what they are eating, how it was produced and that they are okay with their choices. Some people's morals won't give a damn, and others will change their choices.
That, I think, is a better way of conversion.

Think about it like this: If you are an atheist, and a Christian tries to convert you, in the street, at a church, wherever, you would block them out or ignore them.
But if you were agnostic, engaging in a conversation about God, faith and belief with a Christian is, I believe, a way of enhancing or learning about that certain religion.

You are not going to win people over with isolation, confrontation or force. They first have to be open and willing to learn for any-such shift or change to occur.