Post Truth, et cetera… (again)


deeducate

I thought it was about time for me to have a rant again. Enough of these pretty birds and gorgeous sunsets schmaltz … although I must say people seem to enjoy that type of stuff more than they do my rants. Does that signify anything? Not really … read on

It’s official: there is such a thing as post-truth – cheword-of-the-yearck it out, it’s in the dictionary, nogal!

This is the post-truth era! Suddenly dishonesty and inaccuracy are fashionable and accepted!  American author Ralph Keyes says: Dishonesty inspires more euphemisms than copulation or defecation. Well, that’s putting it roughly, but it pretty much sums up the state of articulation that is accepted by the all-consuming public.

post-truth

Kathleen Higgins writes in Scientific AmericanWhen political leaders make no effort to ensure that their ‘facts’ will bear scrutiny, we can only conclude that they take an arrogant view of the public. They take their right to lie as given, perhaps particularly when the lies are transpareart-of-the-lient. Many among the electorate seem not to register the contempt involved, perhaps because they would like to think that their favoured candidate is at conspiracyleast well-intentioned and would not deliberately mislead them…

Much of the public hears what it wants to hear because many people get their news exclusively from sources whose bias they agree with.

 

Stand up for truth: check the facts before you spread them; never believe politicians ever, and reject crap!

Post-truth is a disease which must be challenged before we lose reality and all honour.

truth

Media morality

time-for-lies

Slightly off the point but …what really got me going today is the lack of  ethics and creativity of television. I saw that “Married at First Sight” has become a series.

run-by-ethicsWhat morally bankrupt, banal, conscience-less executive producer agreed to that? How can these people justify the immoral drivel they feed into people’s heaaww-newsds .  Tempting people with TV exposure and cash to perform questionable, objectionable, offensive and immoral ceremonies is disgusting. Do you remember the film of the Depression-era dance marathon of the desperate for the amusement of spectators:“They shoot horses, don’t they?”  Why don’t they re-open the Colosseum in Rome and feed Christians to lions?

That’s post ethics, not just post-truth!

Is there no social responsibility or is it just ratings and ad dollars?reportedly

 

Media Creativity

The other morning there was a riveting item on a traffic jam in Melbourne. We are in Queensland – if there were no traffic jams here, why can’t we celebrate that fact, instead of scanning the country for newsworthy items like a traffic jam? No house fire, car driving into a house, lost hiker, corner store robbery – no worries, some other state is bound to have one…

Surely there are some creative journalists that can break out of the formulaic mould of car chase, brawl, house fire, criminal court case …?

Passion

I hope that this title got your attention. Getting sneaky is how we get buy!

This is about resurgence of my passion.

My pre-passion mulling over period came to an abrupt end when I buttered my toast this morning. I was smiling in anticipation of a great gobbet of our New Zealand made lemon curd on top. Never smile at a crocodile, it will get there first! The cupboard was bare! I had to make do with Anchovette fish paste.

This obviously called for immediate action to avoid any further disappointment.

We are blessed in Queensland by an abundance of passion fruit; so many that even friends and neighbours are full up. So I have essayed into beneficiation – Clem Sunter’s answer to South Africa’s reliance on primary industry; Australia should consider it.

I sprang into action: to Google for a recipe and the cupboard and fridge for ingredients.

Now Baby Boomers men will understand that the challenge before me was of some magnitude. Particularly we who originated in the Dark Continent were not equipped with culinary skills of any sort. The more progressives had mastered making a cup of tea and operating a toaster quite successfully.

In my retirement I have taken steps to avoid stagnation by writing blathering blogs and amazing autobiographies. But now I have experienced… YES, I will confess – a new passion which has brightened my life appreciably.

I am talking about the kitchen arts: those that our wives and daughters absorbed from an early age from their mothers and grandmothers. Whereas when Mum was cooking, boys’ focus was who got to lick the bowl and the biggest slice; girls noted utensils and spoon sizes, pot size and the advantages of butter and how to whisk eggs… the list is long.

So, Dear Readers (those who are still with me), you may agree that the challenge facing me to ensure never having to endure another disappointment in much anticipated indulgence, was great. It may even have daunted some.

By googling “passion fruit curd” I was blessed with about 4,230,000 articles… I read the first three and being health conscious, I chose the one with only 1/4 cup of sugar.

The recipe required in addition:

4 egg yolks

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter

juice of 2 lemons

1/2 cup of passion fruit pulp

What could be easier than that?

Huh! Have you ever tried to separate egg yolks from the limpid, runny stuff, without getting egg shell in the mix? … and pips out of lemon juice after it has been added to the sugar?

What’s a double boiler?

What if you have no unsalted butter AND no whisk, which you discover only after you have started mixing the stuff …

In my passion, I took the bit between my teeth and combined pulp and sugar and warmed it over a bowl in a pot of boiling water (ingenious, I know).

I managed to separate most of the yolks and whipped them with the lemon juice (only a few pips remained) and I mixed it with the passion fruit, then added the cubes of butter slowly, while whisking the mix until they melted…To demonstrate my nonchalance at my new found prowess, I made a cup of tea and sterilized an old coffee jar at the same time. Multi- tasking I believe it is called.

A prime aspect of this curdling process is whisking, which is required to be continuous. Imagine my horror when someone knocked on the front door! I had to remove the pot from the flame, attend the inquiry (can I clean your gutters ?) and dash back to resume my whisking.

New-fangled culinary technology does not faze me – I even managed to take the temperature of the cooking curd as I whisked.

Once it reached 160 deg F, I whipped it off the stove and jarred it! I tell you now whisking for about 20 minutes requires perseverance and some endurance.

But I did it … and I got to lick the bowl and the spoon.

I am passionate about cooking …

Beware! Beware! 
His flashing eyes, his floating hair! 
Weave a circle round him thrice, 
And close your eyes with holy dread 
For he on honey-dew hath fed, 
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
*

*Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The poisons we love

Imagine if chocolate was found to be the cause of a major proliferation of diabetes in children. smarties

Revolting image – sorry! (It will probably kill me too! I love Smarties…).

Would we stop eating chocolate …?

So, what’s my point? Well, it’s the poison we all have built into every aspect of our lives, surrounding us and almost indispensable! I am talking about plasticplastic in all of usPlastic affects human health. Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

It doesn’t decompose, it breaks down until we can’t see it and has entered every water system in the world.  Plastic soup anyone?

It is simple. The continued production of plastic must be prohibited – like dangerous drugs are. But plastic is so useful and efficient! Can you imagine your kitchen without Tupperware type containers? Or your house or your car …?

But plastic is very new technology. Its not even a hundred years old. Our parents and grandparents did without it. It’s certainly not essential, it’s useful …. and we are lazy, spoilt and indisciplined. We continually deny what we know is bad for us, because it makes our life easier, more fashionable, funky (think tattoos and body piercing).

I mean dogs lick cane toads for the buzz, for heaven’s sake, why can’t we be stoopid like them?

Plastic producers made plastic functional, fashionable and pervasive. It can’t be their fault – they were doing us all a favour, producing such cheap and useful stuff. But now that they know… it is all different.

In a 2014 Florida USA Court judgment, a tobacco producer was ordered to pay damages of $23 BILLION to a chain smoker’s widow. Think of the damages payable by plastic producers for all the harm caused to the population of the world by pollution and carcinogens in their products!

So next election, vote for the party that produces the best plans to:

  • educate our children about the fact that plastic is poisonous
  • ban the production of plastic
  • generate programs to eradicate or recycle plastic into less harmful products
  • funds research which enables widespread bio-degradation of plastic.

Yeah! I know this is a daydream and if the billions wiser than me can’t see it happening, it is not likely to happen…

plastic scavengeBut how would one dispose of these formerly loved poison lumps? Dump them in the bin, to be a treasure discovered by some Third World scavenger? (Yeah, refuse is exported to people rich, poor countries.)

 

Or chuck them in the river when no-one’s looking?

plastic wave

 

                                                              Apply your mind to save your future!

Reality Check

This video eloquently expresses the future shock boomers and later generations (people just like us who you know) are facing.

It sounds almost poetic; it is quite long, but stick with it (I know it’s hard for you) – it is a major life lesson:

TED video: retirement reality check

Remember that this woman is from affluent America!!

Swallowing our pride and coming out are the hardest thing to do if you’ve grown up in the Consumer Age, keeping up with the Joneses. Downsizing and offloading all that hard earned stuff is not easy.

when I get older

Relying on the State is just foolish. Age pension will shrink as longevity increases.

Check out your parents – they will hide their plight from you; it is anathema for you to help them out!

  • Show them this video
  • Talk to them;
  • ask them to show how they are coping
  • suggest ways for downsizing and trimming sails
  • consider more communal living if it reduces living costs and increases income

If you are young, start now to work out how you are going to live after you retire (probably at age 72).

when I get older i will

My view is that families should combine on rural land and produce as much food as possible.

 

A Patriot

I spell the word with a capital letter. A Patriot to me has always been a person worthy of the highest praise, possessed of the highest virtues.

Until yesterday, when I saw the title of a photograph in an exhibition that I visited with my daughter. It was one of a series of photographs depicting the “unite the right” rally in Charlottesville, USA. The picture was of a bearded older man in camouflage, clutching a rifle with a sort of blank fervour in his eyes.

I am conservative, a white male (oh dear!) with, I hope, a modicum of balance and perspective. But I didn’t like that label, nor could I criticise it. I talked with my daughter, a teacher, about it. I mentioned that I had once written about the need for the institution of learning about the cardinal virtues and the need for iconic models for our youth and that my view had been criticised. What virtues could beat Courage, Prudence, Temperance and Justice, as proposed by St Thomas Aquinas?

courage  temperance prudence (2) justice for one side

She responded obliquely in the way of the New Age; not contradicting but offering a different viewpoint. She felt that diversity was the key and that inclusiveness and tolerance would yield a good basis for future societal foundations. I felt my gorge rise with hot words of … watering down values and standards to reach a common denominator that would suit all which would not be a standard at all, which was the fault of liberal democracy and… and …  

But I stifled them, stumped by the thought that she was probably right and that I was a dinosaur, out of time and that my steam would be obsolete and silly.

Anyway Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao Ze Dong, Pol Pot and Robert Mugabe were probably Patriots too!

Bollemakiesie

The young can make us young again too.

beer and braai

As is our habit we braaied at the weekend, well on Easter Monday. It was our usual family gathering with dear friends and some visiting rellies from across the ocean.

Somehow there was a slightly more festive spirit than the norm which seemed to make the beer and fizz go down easier.

We were a somewhat eclectic crowd with some in their sixties, fifties, forties, thirties, three dogs and a four year old sprite.

Normally a fairly shy child, on this day, she was filled with the energy of a March hare and the command of a Ringmaster. While we chatted and kept up the level of our liquids in the early stages, she inspected the toys and her dolls house, engaging the dogs in a number of role plays. A bit later, I noticed the dogs had gone missing. I found them in the dolls’ house, waiting patiently to resume the game.

However, the young queen bee had moved on and was engaging the adults, commanding their participation in a number of exercises and role plays, including  catch-the-grasshopper and a tea party.

Her timing was impeccable and her enthusiasm and commands were charmingly irresistible. The new activity at Playschool was yoga so all were instructed to participate in yoga exercises. Peer pressure enforced participation, which should have been more wisely considered in some cases.

Head over heels (bollemakiesies in Afrikaans) were the exercise for men and all surrendered their dignity to roll around on the grass in pairs. The last pair included a grandfather who was proud to have been in his primary school gymnastics team and remembered well his star turn of a somersault over a wooden horse…

His bollemakiesie was very well executed, symmetrical and straight. However, the total effect was spoilt by the unfamiliar pressures on reasonably airtight gaskets. The resultant lapse of the system was quite a blast.

dogrofl.jpg

A nervous glance sideways revealed that it had not gone undetected.. two people were crying and the dogs were trying to run away…

Growing old does not prevent infection by the rashness of youth, it merely impairs the ability to maintain dignity and integrity while under its spell.

My granddaughter is quite a lot older and wiser now.

finger pull fart

Why is Bigamy still a crime?

…The Attorney-General’s office says the government is not considering amending the laws, or in any way recognizing polygamous marriage.

This is from an old article on Voice of America news:

Polygamy unofficially exists in traditional Aboriginal communities in Australia’s Northern Territory – and that these relationships are recognized when the government grants welfare benefits.”
… in the United Kingdom … the British government said it would grant welfare benefits to all spouses in a polygamous marriage, if the marriages had taken place in countries where the polygamy is legal.bigamy synonyms

Australian social security law recognises that multiple partners are assessed exactly the same as any other person, with no additional payments for having multiple partners
While bigamy is a criminal offence (under section 94 of the Marriage Act 1961), it is not an offence to have multiple simultaneous de facto relationships. (Wikipedia)

Monogamy… is not “natural.” That is, hardly any species practice it, except for birds (and, reportedly, cockroaches)… only about 5% of the 4,000 or so mammal species on earth hang around with just one mate. (These include wolves, beavers, naked mole rats and meerkats.)

… of 1,231 societies from around the world noted, 186 were monogamous; 453 had occasional polygyny; 588 had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry.

In fact, most of Africa is polygamous including the King of Swaziland and President of South Africa. The Muslims practice polygamy as do the Aborigines.

So… if the majority of societies allow polygamy; there is no sanction for multiple ‘partnerships’; our own government pays welfare benefits to polygamous partners and  recognises polygamous marriages from other countries …WTF?

Values are changing very rapidly: not long ago Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for sodomy, now he could be Queen. Eve and Eve can marry and have children of their own. If you are a Somali refugee with three wives, all four of you could receive welfare payments and if you are a woman with five children by different fathers, you will also be supported by the State if you are too busy breeding to work… feminist slant

Bigamy is such a yesterday issue … the only problem is …politics. We recently saw the song and dance over gay marriages.

It may be common sense but it may be politically impossible: one imagines that only One Nation would be thick enough to take on this potential hot potato; especially with the glitter surrounding gobshite rabble-rousers like Milo Yiannopoulos whose party tricks include turning petticoats into straitjackets or vice versa.female polygamy

So? What’s your point, you say. It is not actually that bigamy is an obsolete crime, like buggery.

My point is that the law is obsolete and needs changing but can’t because the political process is obsolete and too slow and doesn’t work!

 

elon muskWe need a political Elon Musk who is talking about tours to Mars and travel from Sydney to London in under an hour. Someone who can use technology to create a political system that excludes blather, insult and delay and quickly brings about simple laws that regulate our society.

 

A mutter of discomfort?

‘British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned from the government on Wednesday. Fallon has become embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that is washing over Britain’s government. Fallon admitted to and apologised for placing his hand on the knee of journalist Julie Hartley-Brewer in 2002’

Just a murmur of discontent, an expression of discomfort … no disrespect intended – do forgive any perceived insult… (it’s called a disclaimer grovel).

Yeah, right! I feel like screaming over the inanity of our current First World cultural approbation of incidents involving people who raise a hullabaloo over uninvited sexual overtures a long time before. Nothing more than overtures.

They were too timid or intimidated or ignorant to raise a hue and cry until motivated years later by the possibility of media celebrity – I mean they are far too principled to do it for the money, I am sure!

In this age,  there is a media hunger for any salacious event involving people which may invoke the interest of the hoi-polloi, the bourgeoisie or even the upper crust.

There is a scale of demand:

  • If the event is very salacious, the participants need not be famous or prominent in society.
  • The inverse applies: if you’re a big wig, a fart becomes very smelly.

While courage, charitable acts and intellectual achievements are important, they do not beat salaciousness for current media value. The appetite for impropriety is insatiable: there seems to be an irresistible need for people to be able to indulge in a superior tsk! tsk!; a holier than thou moment. As we have seen lately, there has been a rash of terrible people outed for uninvited sexual overtures.

Where does the fault lie? The Media moguls will say: “we are just giving our consumers what they want” or “our viewers have a right to know”.

I say the media must be compelled to take responsibility and beware of the likely impact of the diet they feed consumers. Every diet must be reasonable to avoid gluttony and obesity. Editors and publishers control the media fare. “They want …” is not justification.

prudence opposite

One of the cardinal virtues is prudence and that should be required of those who control media content.

As well as those making amorous advances.

How many of us have been tantalised by an attractive person and in hope, made an advance and failed?

How many have spurned unwanted advances and been castigated for it?

How many have wanted to make advances or wanted advances made, to no avail? – Certainly a lot fewer these days, when such incidents may cost a dollar or two in the future!

While my irk is about the hyperinflation of amorous advances in Western society, the extremes of female subjugation, genital mutilation and sexual slavery practiced by a far greater number of people, mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are horrifying and a most appropriate target for our outrage.

We need strong media attention aimed at preventing those cultural practices flourishing in our squeaky clean Western societies.

Another Myth

Once upon a time, less than 40 years ago, I sent people to gaol for growing hemp; reeferswell, the recreational type of it. In those days it was used as a drug for purposes of pleasant intoxication and it was verboten!

It seems that marijuana was caught up in the prohibition legislation years when all intoxicants were demonised and prohibited: liquor, morphine, heroin, etc.

Before that industrial hemp was a major crop: even George Washington grew it, as did the ancient Egyptians. Henry Ford said: “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” 

Big business seems to have had a hand in suppressing the cultivation of all types of hemp.

These days we are slowly rediscovering the wonders of hemp (including marijuana). All that is necessary is to re-educate ourselves. Even legislators are grudgingly relenting on the illegalities of cannabis, persuaded by its undoubted medicinal benefits.

We are all educated to a high level now, so we can get over the mythical monsters of past propaganda… even communism has been deflated as a 20th Century bogey.

So … get your mind around the fact that industrial hemp is a wonderful and highly useful plant:

  • 75-90% of all paper in the world was made with hemp fibre until 1883. One acre of hemp can produce as much paper as 4 to 10 acres of trees over a 20-year cycle, but hemp stalks only take four months to mature, whereas trees take 20 to 80 years.
  • Clothing & Fabrics: One acre of hemp will produce as much material as 2-3 acres of cotton
  • Hemp can be made into various different building materials, hempcrete, fiberboard, carpet, stucco, cement blocks, insulation, and plastic.
  • Hemp plastic can completely replace oil based plastic materials that we are using today… and is completely biodegradable hempstalk_diagram
  • Hemp can be made into fuel in two ways: biodiesel, or ethanol and methanol.
  • Hemp seeds are very high in protein, containing 25% protein content. Along with magnesium, potassium, dietary fibre and almost every vitamin and mineral that the body needs, they contain high amounts of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
    • In Australia it fetches above the average price of grains that are currently grown.
  • In Canada, industrial hemp has become a booming multi-million dollar export.

So check it out for yourself. You will find that like butter, hemp is good stuff! Become a new age hero and promote hemp as a replacement for paper and fossil fuel.

Not as easy as you may believe. Common sense has other opposition:

hemp joke

This is the new age challenge: rooting out fake news and reviving buried treasures of the past: Remember Nikola Tesla  – his inventions are now being realised as the treasures they are!

A new campaign

Our current campaign is a global war against that yoke of uniformity, the nenoose tieck tie.

There can be no logical explanation why people continue to tie strips of cloth tightly around their throats and then dangle them on their chests. 

This was blogged on 16 October 2005, but the real campaign against the necktie started in practice in the 90’s with the wearing of silly socks on Fridays. The more radical followers of the movement also began wearing outrageous and unseemly ties to draw attention to the folly of the fashion convention.

The recent neck-naked appearances of those prisoners of convention and foremost icons of the stiff upper lip Society, HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, KG, KT, PC, ADC(P), HRH Prince Henry of Wales, KCVO and the Obamas indicates their clear support for the campaign and clearly demonstrates that the campaign is all but won. (The speculation that they read this blog can not be confirmed.)

no necktie nobles.jpg
Long live the revolution!

We will not be distracted by celebrations of victory but rather dedicate our considerable efforts to a new campaign.

Ban the Bag 

plastic jelly fish

The New York City Sanitation Department collects more than 1,700 tons of single

turtlefood
Turtle Food

use carry-out bags every week and has to spend $12.5 million a year to dispose of them.

Clean up Australia informs us that plastic bags have been around for 30 years now. It is estimated worldwide that 1 trillion bags are used and discarded every year.

 

plastic picnic spot
Protected picnic place

Australians use 3.92 billion plastic bags a year, that’s over 10 million new bags being used every day. An estimated 3.76 billion bags or 20,700 tonnes of plastic are disposed of in landfill sites throughout Australia every year. Australians dump 7,150 recyclable plastic bags into landfills every minute or 429,000 bags every hour.

We know that we can do without them; they are a recent invention – we used baskets or boxes before, we can use them again. Aldi has none and we flock there!

ACT, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania have banned single-use plastic shopping bags. Why do Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, Europe and the World not follow?

This is one way we can contribute to saving our world – work on it, work on your politicians, teachers and children: you can do it!

Start by taking your own carry bags to the supermarket and greengrocer – don’t use their bags. Not that easy – you have to put on your Crusader’s armour everytime you shop!

biobag-I personally will have to work out a solution to picking up dog poo, but I will try too.

I wonder if the Princes are good to go on this? (Not the dog poo bit, but lending their weight to a plastic bag ban…)

Our destiny is in our own hands! Seize the opportunity and strike a blow for everyone of us!

whats your vote