Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Media Barrage Surrounding the Prime Minister

This is a few days late ;) But I feel the need to comment.

So yeah, Julia Gillard is our new Prime Minister. :)

Although I'm not entirely happy with the way things played out, I am also not pleased (at all) by the guy that randomly called work yesterday and tried to engage me in a conversation about how pissed off he was that a WOMAN is leading the country. Yeah, dude get over yourself. Although I'm not happy with the way it went down, I AM happy with the result. I think Prime Minister Gillard will be awesome.

Steph @ 天高皇企鹅远 put together a post (with awesome pictures) that says it much better than I can.

Also, Dear West Australian (and other Media Sources). WTF is wrong with you? The anti-woman and anti-ALP sentiment that you now post in your "Agenda Letters" are frankly alarming (the poster that likened women to white-ants in all male institutions being a prime example); the fact that you no doubt played a role in the lack of confidence in Mr Rudd, yet now pretend to be shocked despite weeks and weeks of claiming Kevin Rudd would lose an election called tomorrow is really really frustrating.

Also, please stop being a hotbed of chauvinistic sentiment. It does not make me want to read your paper.

This Mysoginistic society really worries me at the best of times, right now I am CONCERNED.

But still I'm really hopeful for the future, and that my country doesn't work against itself.


On Wednesday, I got lost in Target.

Oh, not lost lost. I could still find my way out. I just couldn't find anything I needed. Sometime in the past week, they reorganised almost their entire shop. Hot Options and the Dvd Section were still where they were last week, but everything else had been rearranged.

It's really strange how we get used to things. It actually really bothered me that I couldn't go in, buy my thing and get out. I almost just turned around and went to Big W instead.

And I didn't end up going to Big W, but neither did I find what I was looking for. By the time I found the right section, they'd sold out :/

re I Have A Date With Spring (musical)

Earlier this year (13-March-2010) my Mum and I attended His Majesty's Theater in Perth to see the Dama Orchestra's production of I Have A Date With Spring. It is a musical almost entirely in Cantonese; from the program "Set in the 1960's - 1980's, I HAVE A DATE WITH SPRING followed the dreams, hopes loves, trials and tribulations of four aspiring singers - Butterfly Yiu, Lulu, Nancy and Feng Ping -Whose lives became increasingly entangled while doing their singing stints at the well-known Lai Fa Palace nightclub. They became the dearest of friends. However, they had to part ways eventually, but planned to meet up for a reunion concert at the club before the building was pulled down.

Butterfly Yiu, who went on the become a celebrated singer, agreed to return to her home town, after having been away for many years, to perform at the charity convert. And everyone associated with the Lai Fa Palace did return for the reunion. Many had returned to settle unfinished business while some, like Yiu, had to come to terms with the ghosts of their pasts."

I was going to write a proper review, but to be honest, it's been a while since I saw it. My Cantonese is limited at best, and the English (and Mandarin) subtitles were placed discreetly to one side (Probably this wasn't a problem for most people attending, because the audience was about 90% Chinese, but I did see one reviewer complain about the sub titles.), but regardless of this, I understood enough that I really enjoyed this. The singers were excellent, and I learned some things I hadn't known before, like about the riots in the late 60's in KL.

I'm told some of the translations were off, like the comment "I was once a little chick, but now I am a Big Chicken!" was translated as "Once a chick now I am Rooster"

It was a little bit cheesy, in the way of all musicals, but it was very easy to get into, and the singing was excellent. The set was cleverly arranged, and the clothes were all believable.

If you ever see this playing near you, I would recommend you go see it.

PS; we were seated next to Possibly Best Behaved Children in the world. Aside from rustling their bag of peanuts a couple of times, they were perfect theatre goers. And they were roughly 3 and 5!

Monday, June 14, 2010

47 Days and Counting

I am a P Plate driver. Thankfully only two more months to go, come August and I will no longer have the green P's on my windscreens. I will be indistinguishable from every other driver on the road.

Now, I have noticed that everything targeted at P Plate drivers says we are inexperienced, we are (sometimes) unsafe, and some of us feel invincible. The onus is on us, that we aren't good drivers.

Whilst I (mostly) don't disagree with the above comment (in a general sense), I would like to introduce the idea of;

Other drivers don't help our driving.

For example, I am driving down the highway, stop at a red light, and happen to take off faster than the car next to me when the light turns green (because they were distracted, or fixing their lippy, or telling the kids off, or on the phone)

I am driving at the speed limit, everything should be fine?

Instead, veins of rage seem to go through the brain of the driver I just passed.
Like they're going "HOW DARE THIS P PLATER OVERTAKE ME????" So they will speed up, sometimes to insane speeds, and overtake on the left (which is illegal here), only to turn two hundred metres down the road. Because they couldn't stand that me in my little red underpowered car and my P Plates beat them.

This happens a lot. And some people are like, "But Julie, these people do this to everyone! It's not just to P Platers!" But we do cop a lot of flack about our driving, and at least for a number of us, it's not true. I don't deny that I don't have the same driving experience as someone who has been driving ten or twenty years (but also, I don't have the outdated driving knowledge and bad habits that someone who has been driving that long may have).

People just seem to feel this strange need to overtake a P Plater, shout abuse at a P Plater who has accidentally stalled their car at the traffic lights, and be excellent examples of road rage. And I know I am in the minority, a twenty-something P Plater. But whilst I can ignore these twits who make my driving experience really annoying, would someone who is in their teens react the same way?

So the perpetuation of road rage continues.

47 Days and Counting.

PS: If anyone reads this :P and had a different experience as a Provisional Driver, please let me know.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

regarding Ableism

ableism |ˈābəˌlizəm| (also ablism)
discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.

It's assuming that because I am fully able bodied, can see and hear and everything else without needing aid, that every one else can do the same. Which of course is patently false.

A week or two ago I had an interesting conversation about Ableism with a customer.

Said customer is on a disability pension, but because he is not obviously disabled, it is assumed by many people that he is not. But mainly the conversation turned out to be about ableism in our community.

This is only something that occurred to me recently; when I was fourteen, I ripped ligaments in my ankle and had to use crutches for six weeks. Because my school was full of stairs and had no lifts whatsoever (not even in the new building), I had to leave my last class early, along with a friend, so that I could make it up and down the stairs and across campus to the bus stop in order to get home (without tripping over the hundreds of other students rushing to get home). I've only just realised recently that this is why we never had students in wheelchairs, or permanently on crutches at our school. They would never have been able to get anywhere. And a disturbing amount of schools in Perth (and probably Australia-wide) are built in the same fashion, multi-storey, lots of stairs.

At work, we have a single sloped step, people with prams or in wheelchairs can easily get up it and into the shop, the ailes are wide and probably half the stock is accessible from a height of 1 metre or so. (our shop isn't kind to short people, I have to get the steps if I want to access stock on the top shelves)

Next door is another computer shop, they have three steps to get in. In fact the other computer shop down the street also has steps. I'm kind of wondering how many customers they lose because of their locations?

How often do we hear people complaining about how all the "good" parking spots are reserved for people with ACROD stickers or parents with prams? Never mind the accessibility nightmare people must face every time they go to a new location to shop or visit.

This has been somewhat of a stream of consciousness thing. It's something I've been thinking about for a while, and probably not worded as well as I might have hoped just after I had this conversation with this customer (it was a very long conversation).

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface with regards to Ableism, but I am glad that I said it and hope that it mostly makes sense.

Please find below some links I have found regarding Ableism.

At Bad Cripple: Ableism and Water Shed Experience

At Disabled Feminists Evelyn-Evelyn Ableism-Ableism