The hypocrisy knows no bounds.

So we’re now one month and 15 days into 2018, and marriage equality being made law late last year has enabled the sister of our former PM, Tony Abbott, to marry her longtime partner recently – an event that her own sibling had tried to ensure would never happen.  Yet he not only showed up to the wedding, he took a front seat and congratulated the couple for making the commitment.

Meanwhile, safely tucked in his ivory tower, the Troll himself – Malcontent Turnbullshit, otherwise known as our current PM – was full of smiles and phony cheer as Australia’s vote was made public, at the cost of 122 million dollars for a plebiscite nobody wanted, because it would have been so much easier, and cheaper, just to have a free vote in parliament.  Almost the moment the dye was cast, and marriage equality became law, Turnbullshit commenced to claim the historic event as a victory for his party.  This is the ultimate in hypocrisy, as he’d done everything in his power to stall the vote.  Not only that, but his precious plebiscite caused some of the nastiest discrimination against the LGBT community, as well as misinformation about the Safe Schools program, to be aired on public television in prime time.

In the past 12 months, several members of the COALition have spoken out against marriage equality, including firebrand conservatives such as Cory Bernardi and George Christiansen… and Barnaby Joyce, our “esteemed” deputy PM, who opposed the bill on the grounds that ‘marriage is between a man and a woman’, effectively joining the rest of his colleagues in the belief that allowing gay couples to wed would destroy the sanctity of marriage. Only months later it’s revealed that his own 24 year marriage is over due to infidelity – his – with former staffer Vicky Campion, a younger woman, who is pregnant with his child.

What was that about the sanctity of marriage, Barnaby?!

I’d feel bad for his wife, except she married him in the first place. I do feel sorry for his four daughters, though. Through his actions, he’s shown them just what he thinks of their mother, and the level of respect (or lack thereof) he holds for their union.

The only thing I’m surprised about in all of this is that this bunch of lying, rorting, conniving hypocrites still manage to surprise me with the lengths – and the depths – of their corruption.

Roll on, federal election 2019. Couldn’t come soon enough for Australia.


The day we singles love to hate…

Yes it’s Valentine’s Day, folks … at least, for those in the southern hemisphere. A day of flowers, chocolate, teddy bears and dripping sentimentality. And before you think, ‘she’s just bitter and twisted ’cause she hasn’t got anybody’, I’ve had roughly the same attitude about Feb 14 that I had ten years ago, before my partner and I split up.  To me, it’s just a another day, along with Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day, and Christmas, for big business to make money hand-over-fist.  My ex and I would show we loved each other on a regular basis, we didn’t need a particular day to do it. That was when things were going well, anyway.  These days, we’re no longer in each other’s lives, and it’s sad, but that’s the way it is, I guess.  I don’t have any regrets. I got my kids out of the arrangement. That’s one thing to be massively thankful for.

I guess the thing that really irks me  is that if you are single, people assume that you’re not happy with the situation. That you haven’t found the right person or that you’re unlucky in love. I’ve had two long serious relationships in my life – one of them lasting 15 years – so I wouldn’t call myself unlucky.  And it isn’t as if I haven’t had any opportunities over the past seven years to find someone.  I’ve just withdrawn from the race, willingly, in fact. Yes, believe it or not,  I don’t feel the need to have a significant other.  I’m happily single.  All I have to worry about is the health and safety of my two almost-adult children, and what to do with the rest of my life.  If someone happens to come along in the future then great, but I’m not inviting it.  And I’m sure as hell not going looking for it.

I got a message on Facebook not long ago from a guy named Paul, who must have been in his fifties, from his photo (I’m 44).  I’d never spoken a word to the man before in my life, and here he is wanting to chat and calling me beautiful. Now this was by no means the only such message I’d ever received, but it stuck in my head because he asked me why I was single, and made the comment ‘I can’t believe no one’s ever given you a chance’, despite my two children being in my profile picture with me – so somebody obviously has given me a chance at some point!   I don’t know – the words ‘given you a chance’ just irritated me no end.  As if I was some poor, ugly, neglected toy that just needed a charitable soul to happen along and take me off my lonely shelf.   It crossed my mind to ask him why he was single, but then I realized – I actually don’t care. I never invited his interest.  I only friended him because we support the same football team. I was on the brink of flat-out blocking him and ignoring his message, but at the last minute I changed my mind. Instead, I wrote him a short note thanking him for his interest but telling him, in no uncertain terms, that i was not in the market for a partner and that I was happily single, and chose to be that way. I haven’t heard from him since, thankfully.  Now you might think I was unnecessarily harsh, but I don’t. There are dating apps for that kind of thing. I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, and other Collingwood supporters (and yes, I have all my own teeth, thank you very much). Not because I’m desperate and dateless.

So all you lovebirds, have a great day, but keep in mind that to sustain a successful relationship, you need to appreciate your partner all year, not just for twenty-four hours.  And if you’re single, appreciate the fact that you get the TV remote, and the bed, all to yourself, for just a bit longer.



Yours for Eternity

Anyone who follows my blog will know that I have three main issues I’m passionate about: justice for victims of crime, LGBT rights, and fighting the stigma of mental illness through education. This is because all three issues have affected me on a personal level, in some way.  So it’s probably surprising to some who know how irate I can get about the justice system and the fact that Australia doesn’t have the death penalty, that I am so passionately against it in some cases.

If you’re a true crime buff like me you’ll have heard of the West Memphis 3 and how they were railroaded by the US justice system in Arkansas in 1994 for a crime they didn’t commit.  It was a case that drew worldwide attention with the support of director Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh, Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Henry Rollins for the three teenagers – Damien Echols (18), Jason Baldwin (17) and Jesse Misskelley (17) who were unjustly targeted because of the way they dressed and the music they listened to.  The crime? The murder of three eight year old boys, whose bodies were found naked and mutilated in the creek at Robin Hood Hills, Arkansas, on May 7, 1993.  Officials honed in on Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, but particularly Echols, because of an obsessed juvenile officer named Jerry Davis, who was bound and determined to fix Echols up for something, simply because he didn’t like the teenager and what he stood for. The result of which became one of the grossest miscarriages of justice in US criminal history. Echols spent just over 18 years on Death Row for a crime he didn’t commit, and his co-accused, Baldwin and Misskelley, were sentenced to life plus 40 years.   I won’t go into the details of the case as it would fill a book (and has) but if you’re interested, check out Amy Berg’s West of Memphis, a documentary that covers the legal fight to free the three young men, along with details of new evidence that points to another, extremely viable suspect, one the cops barely bothered to look at in 1993.

But to the title of my post – Yours for Eternity is a book by Echols and his wife Lorri Davis, who corresponded by mail while he was on Death Row.  Davis felt a strong pull toward Echols and his case after seeing the first HBO documentary Paradise Lost, during which it becomes obvious that the boys were being railroaded by the police tasked with solving the brutal – albeit NOT ritualistic – murder of three little boys.  The love story that evolved over almost two decades wherein Davis and Echols were not even allowed to touch or be in the same room together (without a pane of glass between them) reads like something from a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, but every word of it is true. They married in December of 1999 in a Buddhist ceremony, and have been together since Echols’ release in 2011.  Not a born romantic, I was nonetheless enthralled, and read the book in one night.  It chronicles their relationship through the letters they wrote and kept all those years, as you would under such dire circumstances.

All that said, I’m still in favour of the death penalty, in certain cases, and I believe that some killers, such as Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Australian mass murderers Julian Knight and Martin Bryant deserve to be put to death for their unspeakable crimes. But these are all men who were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, either because they confessed and were unremorseful, even boastful,; or because police found the bodies where they said they’d be, or because of other irrefutable physical evidence, such as in the case of Knight and Bryant, who were caught in the act.  The death penalty should not be applied where there is any doubt whatsoever about who did the crime, and why.  You’re probably thinking, well, d’uh!  But the fact is, there are many people on Death Row in the US and other countries that still have the death penalty, who were put there either because a)the police felt pressure to solve the case b) the police and prosecution had tunnel vision regarding one or more suspects and overlooked leads that took them elsewhere; or c) the investigative team were deeply stupid.



Jack the Ripper – Who was he?

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past century and a half, you’ve probably heard about the most infamous and elusive serial killer in history. By the way, this is not to celebrate or glorify the actions of a murderer – it’s simply an acknowledgement of the fact that in 2018, one hundred and thirty years after the fact, we still don’t know who he was or why he did what he did. This fact alone has kept Ripperologists such as Martin Fido, Stuart Evans, Paul Begg and Colin Wilson et al champing at the bit for “new” clues to the identity of the person who simultaneously horrifies and fascinates true crime aficionados in equal measure, and has done for, well, over a century, now!

For those of you who are only familiar with the case insofar as you’ve heard the name Jack the Ripper and perhaps even know the year he stalked the gas-lit streets of the East End of London – 1888 – let’s recap.

Jack’s London, principally Whitechapel and its surrounds, was a place of abject poverty and misery in the late nineteenth century.  Prostitutes openly walked its cobblestone streets, plying their trade wherever they could find a dark corner.  Filth was regularly thrown from windows out into the alleyways and unemployment and homelessness were rife. People would scrounge together the few dollars they could to get a ‘doss’ – a room for the night – to avoid the danger of sleeping in a doorway, as crimes such as muggings and rape were commonplace.  Some churches would offer a pew to the desperate, and then literally rope them in to keep them from falling to the floor as they slept. This was a tactic of some of the lodging houses as well, as there were just too many homeless to give a bed to.  It was into this sad scene that an opportunistic and savage fiend slithered, killing and mutilating five “unfortunate” women in a way that was unheard of back then, only to disappear into the shadows afterward – and the pages of history.

Yes, he only killed five women. Or rather, he was only officially connected with five murders – those of Mary Anne “Polly” Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Kelly.  Other homicides in and around the autumn of 1888 have since been attributed to him by various authors, but the deaths of the aforementioned have been listed as the official “canonical five” in Ripper lore.  The first murder occurred on the night of the 31st August, and the last, and worst in terms of its sheer brutality, was committed on November 9th.  It was also the only Ripper murder known to be have taken place indoors.  The rest were committed on the very streets Jack walked, in the late (or early) hours, and it continues to amaze Ripper enthusiasts a hundred years later just how he was never caught, considering everything we know about the nightlife in the East End from newspaper archives and history books.    Murder, assault, rape and other crimes were fairly common in Whitechapel, but these murders were something East Enders had never seen before, and quite rightly, never wanted to see again. Jack not only slashed and stabbed these women, on all but one occasion he mutilated and disemboweled them, treating them like nothing more than animals in a slaughterhouse. This is what set him apart from other killers of the day, and what has kept him in the history books ever since – that and the fact that his identity remains, despite the best efforts of criminologists and true crime writers worldwide, a mystery.

The name “Jack the Ripper” came from a letter sent to the Metropolitan Police, taunting them about their efforts to catch him, written, in part, as a limerick:

I’m not a butcher, I’m not a Yid,  Nor yet a foreign skipper, But I’m your light-hearted friend,  Yours Truly Jack the Ripper

The rest of the letter gave information that only the real killer would be privy to, which is how the constabulary at the time knew this particular missive was no hoax.  Other serial killers have, of course, corresponded with the police and media, sending them letters filled with “clues” – the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) being cases in point, but Jack the Ripper was the first to play such risky games with his freedom.  Serial killers have been modelling themselves after him ever since, for different reasons. Some of them clearly want to be caught; and some just want the notoriety and ego boost that comes with believing they’re “too smart” for the police.

There have been countless books written, proclaiming to have solved the mystery of who the Ripper was, but the reality is, no one really knows for certain and unless some pretty unshakable evidence in the form of DNA emerges, no one ever will. This is why the Ripper remains so entrenched in the minds of criminologists, forensic psychologists, law enforcers, authors of true crime novels and of course us armchair detectives, for 130 years since he stalked the streets of Whitechapel.  Of course there are the usual suspects, made up of foreigners, madmen, butchers, bakers, candlestick-makers (kidding) – hell, even a member of the royal family (Prince Edward Albert Victor, son of Queen Victoria) was a suspect and the source of quite a few conspiracy theories, the most famous being the Royal Conspiracy, chronicled in the Allan Brothers’ film From Hell, starring Johnny Depp as Inspector Abberline, and Heather Graham as Mary Kelly (with the worst Irish accent I’ve ever heard, btw).  Other theories point to suspects from all walks of life, including doctors (Dr Francis Tumblety), lawyers (Montague John Drewitt), artists (Walter Sickert), cotton-merchants (James Maybrick), Australian criminals (Frederick Deeming), hell, even Aleister Crowley’s name has been linked to the case, although usually via an acquaintance who was considered a suspect.

But what is the likelihood that someone well-dressed, wealthy or well-known could have done it?  Who could get around the streets of Whitechapel in those times with impunity, without raising eyebrows, as would someone who was ‘slumming it’, such as Prince Albert was reported to have done?  My personal guess is that it was probably a local, someone who lived and worked in the East End, someone who would have disappeared into the scenery.  Someone like Charles Lechmere, an abattoir worker whom, according to police record, was among the first on the scene at the Polly Nichols murder.  A recent documentary explains this particular theory in more detail, and leaves the viewer with some pretty intriguing things to consider.


In conclusion, I think this documentary is the closest thing I’ve seen to solving the age-old mystery: who was Jack the Ripper?  It pretty much speaks for itself.  But if you’re a bit squeamish, or easily offended, it’s probably not for you.  There is a warning at the beginning, but there are some things, such as the morgue photo of Elizabeth Stride, that chill me to this day, and I’ve pretty hard to scare!

Happy viewing!

PS: And if the video happens to start from the start again, just click on a spot on the timeline down the bottom, just past where it ended and it will continue where it left off. Worked for me, anyway.

And so that was Christmas… and what have we done? Another year older blah, blah, blah…

I know, I know, it’s been a while, right? Well, like most others over the Christmas and New Year period, I’ve been busy, babysitting my niece and nephew while their parents make big bucks at work, looking for a house so my family can be back together again, taking the dog to the vet when my mother accidentally fed him a cooked bone (he’s okay now, but it cost me $286 dollars for taking him in on Boxing Day, thanks, Mum) and last but certainly not least, taking my son into emergency because he deliberately overdosed on his antidepressants. Yes, he’s okay too – it was only a half-hearted effort, thank Christ for that – at least physically.  Mentally he’s got a way to go.  Some of my followers might know that my son is transgender. He was born a girl but has always felt like a boy. A couple of years ago he came out to us and changed his name – a fact his father has still not gotten over – and for all intents and purposes, he’s male. He still needs top surgery though and Australia doesn’t provide that through our public health system. So we have to save up 9-11 thousand dollars to get it done. So unless one of us can get a job it’s going to take a while.  He recently found out a girl he liked was seeing someone and that set him back a bit, hence the suicide attempt. I’ve never seen him so low – it scared the shit out of me. He’s doing better now, thanks to his best friend (his dog), and some hope in the form of a job trial, but you can bet I’m watching him like a hawk now, something a nineteen year old isn’t likely to appreciate!

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Hope y’all had a safe and happy Christmas and New Year, and that your resolutions last longer than the holidays. I also hope that 2018 is better than its predecessor. For all of us.

Congratulations Australia… the real work has just begun.

By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know that Australia’s much-maligned postal vote revealed that an emphatic 61 percent of the population voted YES to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry”. For many, it was a sweet relief, as their nuptials don’t have to include expensive tickets to fly friends and family overseas, for something they should, by rights, be able to do in their own country.  For others, like me, it’s a chance to see their friends finally tie the knot and have Australia recognize the union under law. Personally, I don’t believe marriage is the right thing for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right for others, and I cringe whenever I hear a conservative bang on about how marriage is sacred, and ‘between a man and woman’ because I have so much evidence to the contrary: the divorce rate, for one; the level of domestic violence in our country (by March 2017, 62 women were killed by their partner,  husband or ex), for another.  Then there are the gay couples who’ve been together for years and are in happier, healthier relationships than many straight couples I know. All they want is to take the next step and make their commitment official. Now, finally, they can. Congrats, Australia – or roughly just over half the continent – for having the good sense to see that legalizing gay marriage is not going to lead to people marrying trees or teachers encouraging kids to be transgender. Honestly, some of the bullshit that has been propagated by the No Campaign is just laughable. Some of them need to attend a Safe Schools lecture themselves, just so they might have half an idea what they’re talking about.

The other point I wanted to make was about the supposed ‘religious freedoms’ that MPs such as George Christienson and Cory Bernardi are worried about being trampled on. In other words, these extreme douchenozzles want the SSM bill written with safeguards attached so that churches, celebrants and businesses that deal in weddings can refuse custom to gay couples if same-sex marriage is against their beliefs. All I have to say to that is, if the religious right to discriminate is protected, I’d like the businesses to have to state clearly, on their place of business, that they reserve this right, so that discerning shoppers (like me) also have the right to discriminate – and boycott the fuck out of the tossers.  If you think that’s hypocritical of me, consider this: currently, we are not allowed to discriminate or harass someone because of their religion, race, sexual orientation or gender. But isn’t that EXACTLY what these people want to do?!

Just an aside, thinking of becoming ordained online. Would love to officiate at some fabulous gay weddings!

The Top Ten least attractive things about men.

Okay… the above link, if it works, takes you, gentle reader, to a place where men have listed their top things women do that they find least attractive. Now, if you actually care, this article would probably be useful. If however, you’re like me, and you like being single, you might find it a handy tool to keep men at a safe distance. If you’re deadly serious about remaining single, that is.  I find my resting bitch face is usually enough to send them heading in the opposite direction. Kidding. But no, not really.

Trouble is, most of it attacks things that women do to try to beautify themselves in order to attract a male, ie makeup, hairstyle, perfume etc. Turns out, ladies, that you need to walk a very fine line between over and under-doing it. My advice? Don’t bother. You’ll be much happier. So here’s my list of things that men do, that turn me off/aggravate me to the edge of ritual homicide.

  1. Pissing on the toilet seat/lid and not cleaning it up. I mean, guys, come on. You’ve had years to perfect your aim. At the very least, you could employ the use of a dunny brush to clean up your mess. Or did your mother do that for you until you were 30?!
  2. Bad breath/body odour. I find these turn me off in equal measure. There’s no excuse for bad BO, guys.  It’s called deodorant. There can be a few reasons for bad breath however. An abscess, rotted tooth, infected tonsils … perhaps visit a dentist and get it checked out?!
  3. Spitting. Can’t stand it. Turns my stomach. If you really need to do it, please go elsewhere.
  4. Farting and laughing about it. Honestly, guys. Toilet humour ceased being funny, for me, after I turned 21. But we all know guys mature slower than girls, so …
  5. Fat guys who insist on not dating fat women. Pot. Kettle. Black. That’s all I’m saying.
  6. Arrogance. Pretty much speaks for itself. Goes hand-in-hand with a sexist attitude.
  7. Religious zealots. Kirk Cameron, I’m talking to you. Get your head out of your arse. It’s 2017, not the dark ages. Your wife is not your slave.
  8. Beer guts/man boobs.  It’s not a good look. Same goes for the hairy back. Hey, if we have to bust a gut to stay slim and keep you guys from straying, the least you can do is hop on a treadmill once in a while. And get a wax.
  9. Gambling. I find it roughly the same as throwing money into a paper shredder. Those who have lots of it never seem to appreciate that one day it might all be gone.  Same goes for hissy fits by spoiled, pampered tennis players.
  10. Lecherous older men leering at anything in a skirt. Actually, make that lecherous males leering at anything in a skirt/coming onto anything professing to be female online.  Especially if you happen to be married. There’s no bigger turn-off than a married man who can’t keep it in his pants.

Rant over.


What do Stranger Things, Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein have in common?

Answer: apparently, they’re all terribly un-PC.

I recently read an article attached to a meme about the second season of Stranger Things being released on Netflix.  The person who’d posted the meme (and wrote the article) admitted that she might be the only person in the world who HATED the show. While I doubt that, because it takes all types to make a world, I decided to read her article to find out why she objected to the show so much. What I found was one of the most cringe-worthy pieces of overblown, politically correct, extremist feminism I’ve ever read. And I consider myself a feminist.

Now, I like the show. No, actually, underline that. Three times. And add a couple of exclamation points for extra effect. I’m from the generation who grew up with Ataris and E.T, Star Wars and Masters of the Universe. We didn’t have mobile phones, the internet or Netflix. Hell, Australia didn’t even have cable back then. So the show, which is set in the early ’80’s (for those who haven’t seen it) is pretty damn nostalgic. It’s like watching a  Stephen King novel adapted for TV (rather than some of the iffy movie versions of his books).  Yes, there’s some “problematic” material in there, but only because back in the 1980’s, political correctness was not a thing, and in order to accurately reflect an era, the Duffer Brothers had to stick to the attitudes, misconceptions and stereotypes of the time. Even if that meant that the females in the show were subject to attitudes about the importance of being pretty or having a boyfriend or being sexualized. That was just how it was.  If they’d created a show that harked back to a time in the previous century but still espoused the morals and ideals of today, it wouldn’t have seemed realistic. The writer of the article didn’t seem to get that. She waffled on about how Barb was largely ignored – even by her best friend – because she wasn’t boy-crazy and dared to have a brain. She also did more than hint that she thought Barb was gay, and had a thing for Nancy, just because she was pissed that Nancy was hanging out with the cool crowd and doing things that didn’t seem like the Nancy she knew. Hell, I’ve had friends like that at school; friends who dumped me when someone more interesting came along (read: a boy) and yeah, I felt resentful like Barb, but not because I was harboring a crush on my friend.

The writer of the article mentioned that she herself was gay, and that’s okay, I’ve got nothing against that – if you’re a follower of my blog you’ll know I support Same Sex Marriage in this country – but what I objected to was her insistence that the Duffer Brothers obviously have a vagina fetish, being that the portal into the Upside Down looks like a vagina (does it? I wouldn’t know) and that men are frightened of vaginas. (Right – that’s why they’re always trying to get into them!).  Her argument makes no sense whatsoever. Unless you’re an uptight, man-hating lesbian, I suspect.  Another gripe she had concerned Eleven’s androgyny and the fact that the boys dressed her up as a very girly girl, with a blonde wig (because the lab goons were looking for a girl who looked like a boy), and dared to tell her she looked pretty.  Excuse me, but is that an offence? That poor girl was probably never told anything like that until that moment, because of being a literal lab rat, and she just lit up. It made her happy. It bolstered her self esteem. If that’s offensive or ‘problematic’ in these days of gender neutral political correctness gone mad, then I’m sorry, but I think you should remove the ginormous stick from your arse.

So that’s my rant about the worst review of Stranger Things I’ve ever read. I’ll post you the link when and if I find it again. Just had a look through Facebook and it’s vanished, so maybe she copped a lot of flak for it. In other news, Kevin Spacey has come out as gay – big surprise (NOT) but what did shock me personally was how he did it – as a response to allegations he sexually harassed a fourteen year old boy thirty years ago at an industry event, in effect equating being gay to being a sexual predator/pedophile. I’m pretty sure that if I were gay I’d be seriously offended by this. And I’d have a right to be. He’s just managed to put gay rights back fifty years.  If he were an Australian actor, with the focus on the gay marriage vote at the moment, the Vote No Campaign would be having a field day.  He would have played right into their hands, giving them yet another highly divisive argument against same sex marriage.  Not long ago we had a well-known Archbishop make the statement that gay couples shouldn’t be invited to children’s parties because it’s ‘not safe’. Inferring, of course, that either homosexuals are pedophiles or the kids ‘might catch gay’.  Both of which are of course completely untrue and categorically ridiculous (not to mention totally ironic given the amount of pedophiles in the Catholic Church). But the idea has managed to seep its wicked way into the Vote No campaign nonetheless. And believe it or not, some people are buying it.  Now I don’t profess to know much about the whole Kevin Spacey debacle apart from the fact that he hasn’t dismissed the allegations or refuted them in any way.  All I can say about it, other than what I’ve already said, is that a) I’ll never watch Seven, American Beauty or The Unusual Suspects with the same enthusiasm again, and b) Why on earth did it take thirty years for the actor (Rapp, not Spacey) to come forward?! Was it the recent allegations against former Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein from various female celebrities that encouraged him to speak out, despite the statute of limitations having well and truly expired? But then, as we know, Bill Cosby was tried and convicted on sexual assault charges from years back; as was Rolf Harris, so anything’s possible.  We all knew about the seedy side of Hollywood – the infamous ‘casting couch’ – so the Weinstein thing shouldn’t really be a shock to anyone.  As far as Kevin Spacey is concerned, however, there goes another actor I admired, plummeting from his pedestal. First it was Mel Gibson, with his anti-Semitc rant, then Johnny Depp was rumored to have bashed Amber Heard (and his career hasn’t recovered yet); and now this. I just want to be on the record here: if you’ve got anything rotten to say about Harrison Ford, that might have happened thirty or forty years ago, please keep your damn yap shut.

An incomprehensible tragedy

This morning I learned that a childhood friend of my eldest child had been killed in a hit and run incident in Winchelsea, Victoria. I remember this child well, he and my son (daughter at the time) were good mates in primary school. Don’t recall exactly how old they were when they used to hang out, maybe 8 or 9?  His name was Tyler, and he was the youngest son of a single parent family. His mother, Janelle, was a lovely lady I got along with quite well. I used to sit and have a coffee and a chat with her when i’d go and pick Alister (then Eris) up. She worked at an insurance company in town as a receptionist and Tyler was her entire world.  As a single mother for nine of my eldest’s nineteen years, I know how it is to raise children on my own, and how close you become as a result. You’re all each other has, even when there is support from the extended family.  I count my children as my best friends and most loyal supporters in anything I do.  They are, as Tyler was to his heartbroken mum, absolutely everything to me and always will be.

I cannot fathom the pain Tyler’s mother must be feeling. My heart goes out to her. I hope they throw the book at the lout who hit Tyler as he rode his motorized bike and left him for dead. It was dark and the killer didn’t have his headlights on. I’m betting the car, an SUV, was stolen. The justice system has to make this piece of shit accountable for his actions. A mother has lost a precious son; a community its innocence, yet again, after the events of 2006, when Robert Faquarson killed his three young sons in Winchelsea dam.

Tragedies like this really bring home to you just how lucky you are as a parent and how precious your children are. I can’t tell you all how relieved I was when my son told me he had no intention of getting his license anytime soon. I have friends whose children are probationary drivers and they must chew their fingernails to the quick until the car pulls up in their driveway. I know I would, every time!  As regular readers of my blog would know, I am the mother of a transgender teen. My son came out to me just over two years ago, informing me that he’d always felt like he was in the wrong body and that he fully intended to live as a male and change his name. We have gone through several counselling sessions together at the Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne, as it is the only gender clinic of its type in Victoria, as well as numerous doctor’s visits and, for the past year, Al has been receiving testosterone injections every three months. I recently began seeing a psychologist for my depression and low self esteem, and to do that I had to get my doctor to agree to a mental health plan. Imagine my disgust when my doctor, close to retirement age and a Catholic to boot, insinuated that my depression must be because of the fact that I had a daughter, and now I have a son. I was speechless at the time, and I wish I could have that moment back because I’d definitely tell him what I think of his assumptions. My son is NOT the cause of my long-standing depression. He doesn’t even factor into it. I’ve accepted his transition, largely because I’ve always felt, and said, that I didn’t need to have a son, I had Eris (his birth name). That’s how much he felt like a son to me, even before he came out and began living as a male. The idea that I’d “lost” a daughter is ludicrous to me. Especially now, hearing about Tyler. My child is still living, breathing, existing, gender notwithstanding. It’s not as if I’ve actually suffered the worst loss a parent can imagine. It’s not even slightly the same thing at all.

Rest in peace, Tyler. xo



An unpopular Opinion … brace yourselves.

Someone has recently started a petition to convince Australia’s Channel 7 not to broadcast Liar, starring Ioan Gruffudd and Joanne Froggatt. His reasoning is that the drama discourages rape victims from reporting their sexual assault, as the female protagonist in the show is not believed by police.  Fair enough, right?

Well, here’s where it gets murky, at least for me. I’m all for reporting sexual assault if it’s a genuine sexual assault. Not a case of, ‘oh, I think he might have raped me’ (unless of course you were drugged and came to with him on top of you) or ‘I did everything but yank his dick and then told him no because I changed my mind.’   I may receive death threats for saying this, but if you go on a first date with someone – male or female – and invite them back to your place, into your room, onto your bed, start kissing, fondling, get naked etc, WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK THEY’RE LIKELY TO EXPECT?!!!! This is exactly what the female character does in Liar. Sure, SVU and other crime shows enforce the politically correct notion that no means no, and that it doesn’t matter what the situation, you can change your mind at any time, but at what point is it being a cock-tease? Why make a guy feel like a complete arsehole, and contrive to ruin his life, because he got the wrong end of the stick? Sure, if told no the person instigating sex should stop. That’s a given. But if you’ve given him all the right signals, and he thinks you’re good to go, and right before he’s about to do the deed you say ‘oops, changed my mind’ … is it just me or is that poor form?  I’m all for women being progressive and open about liking sex, and being just as free as men when it comes to having one night stands.  It’s the 21st century. The sexual revolution was in the ’60s and ’70s.  You go, girl. What I don’t like is the recent attitude that you can do everything bar jump a guy’s bones and then shut up shop.  If he then turns around and misconstrues your intentions, then you only have yourself to blame.