Something has gone horribly wrong…

It’s just gone four in the morning as I type this, and in my home state of Victoria, there’s still ten seats left to call in the election – which doesn’t really matter because even if they won all ten of those seats (and that seems unlikely), the Coalition would still be another ten seats short of winning the election.

If you’re a member of the Liberal or National Parties, or a voter for either of them, it’s hard to disagree with the assessment of now-former Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto, that “something has gone horribly wrong” for the party. Because it truly has. This is one of the worst defeats that the Coalition has ever suffered in Victoria. Hell, it’s one of the worst defeats any party has suffered since Victoria became a state in 1901.

And yet…
Continue reading “Something has gone horribly wrong…”

Coming up in 2018!

Just a brief sketch of my plans for the year:

First and foremost, and most obviously, I’ve just launched my first ever podcast, Set This House In Order (click on the green and gold square on the right for more details). One week in, and feeling pretty good so far.

I’m also in the process of remodelling my other website, The Centre Cannot Hold, and making it less of a blog, more of a traditional site. It’s slow going (there’s more than 3000 posts and pages to sort through), but it is coming along. (Click on the blue jigsaw piece design on the right to go there.)

Work continues on my other other site, Reading Orders, because the real difficulty with creating reading orders for pop culture is that people don’t stop making it. (Click on the purple square to the right to go there.)

My next big project is going to be another podcast, called Look Back In Wonder, in which I plan to interview people about their favourite David Bowie songs. If that’s something you’d be interested in, drop me a line – I’m happy to interview just about anyone for this.

There will probably be some other projects along the way, but that’s definitely enough to keep me going for now 🙂

Why a “No” vote isn’t even a “No” vote

I understand that you might want to vote No in Australia’s rapidly-approaching postal survey about whether or not we should stop treating our gay and lesbian fellows as second-class citizens. I disagree with you, but it’s your right to do it. I won’t stop you.

I will, however, point out that your No vote isn’t really a No vote.

It won’t settle this issue once and for all, and if you believe it will, you’ve read too much propaganda about the namby-pamby Lefties. If the result of this vote in No, it won’t change a thing for the Left. We won’t stop fighting until we win this fight, and a decade after we’ve won, even you will wonder what all the fuss was about. The fuss you made – but I digress.

This survey is not really a question of if. It’s a question of when.

Your No vote is, at most, a Not Yet vote. That’s all.

That’s as much as you can hope to achieve by voting No.

Not an end to homosexuality, not a guarantee of the primacy of the Christian churches, not an end to the ever-growing societal acceptance of homosexuality – simply a delay in the recognition that we are all human and all deserve the same rights. Just a delay.

The ALP is already on record as saying that they will legislate for Marriage Equality in the first hundred days after they’re elected, and you know that the Greens will vote with them on this, so it will sail through both houses – which means that, at most, it’s about two years away (unless the LNP starts to perform markedly better than they have since winning office in 2013, and really, what are the chances of that?).

You can delay it, but you can’t stop it. And really, what does the additional delay gain you? Seriously. I want to know. What measurable, concrete benefit do you derive from it? Because I can’t think of anything, and I’ve tried. I’ve also read a lot of the No side’s arguments, and it’s pretty obvious that no one much on that side can list any either.

So vote Yes. Vote to bring the future into the present. Vote to recognise and celebrate our common humanity:

Vote Yes

Why is your crap in “My Documents”?

I’ve just been trying to get my documents folder organised. I have a bad habit of just dumping things in there – little snippets of txt files, longer doc files, even the odd spreadsheet or presentation – at the topmost level and not giving them another thought. Which is fine and dandy, until the volume of stuff gets too high to easily find things.

So I start creating directories to put things in, and before long, there’s a hierarchical tree structure that makes some sort of sense, at least to me.

But there’s also a bunch of random crap also sitting there, in smug little directories of its own, jostling for position and serving as an unnecessary distraction. You know the kind of things I mean. The folder labelled “Custom Office Templates” that Windows puts there, despite the fact that the standard templates are stored with the Office apps that use them. The “Saved Games” folders that Steam and GOG and apparently every game designer thinks are better placed in the Documents folder than stored under their applications – which also tends to mean that they don’t get deleted if you uninstall the game, just to really rub it in.

Coders, programmers, console cowboys, keyboard jockeys, whatever the hell you’re calling yourselves this week, I would like to make a request of you. I want you, before you set a default saving location, to ask yourself one simple question:

Is the file I intend to have saved here actually any sort of Document?

Because if not, it doesn’t belong in the My Documents folder. It’s really not that hard.

And don’t weasel – you know what a document is in this context, and if you’re honest, you find this just as annoying as the rest of us. Although perhaps not quite as annoying as this guy or this other guy do.

Hell, at this point, it’s such a rare thing to do that you could probably advertise it as a selling point of whatever it is you’re selling. At very least, it’d be a feature, not the bug we currently have.

My First Podcast: “Look Back In Wonder”

This is actually kinda funny. After noodling around with what I wanted to do podcast-wise, and even announcing here a while back that I had three different podcasts in mind, it turns out that the first cab off the rank is going to be a different one entirely. This is it:

Look Back in Wonder is a song by song journey through the back catalogue of David Bowie. In each episode, I’ll interview someone about the Bowie song that means the most to them. The people I interview will come from all walks of life, united by our common love of Bowie.

So I need your help for this. If you have a story you want to share about a Bowie song and what it means to you, get in touch. Email me here to let me know what song you’d like to talk about. If we can at all make the scheduling work, I’d be happy to talk to you. (I live in Melbourne, Australia, so if you do too, we can probably do this in person. If not, well there’s always Skype and such.)

What’s coming up

I have a variety of plans, and the point of this site is to tell you about them, so maybe it’s time I did that. I have a variety of balls that I’m currently juggling, and here’s a list of them:

Websites

Aside from this site, I have two others – The Centre Cannot Hold and Reading Orders (plus a third one that’s getting near a launch) – aside from this one. Both of these are getting worked on and having new material added to them at least once a week.

Podcasts

I’m in the process of setting up a bunch of podcasts, with two taking primacy at the moment. (There are two others, but one is research heavy and the other is vastly more ambitious, and thus, they’ll be along later.) More news on that as we get closer to launching.

Apps

I’m currently in the process of building my first app, and once that’s completed, I have ideas for more of them. Again, more news on these as it comes to hand.

Writing

I am working on some writing projects with various people at the moment, but all of these are longer term projects at the moment – although I’ll probably push one of them closer to launch when I finish the app, and then go on alternating between them as I go forward. And yes, more news as launches draw closer.

That’s my 2017 as it stands at the moment, although it’s possible that some or all of these projects will be delayed by contract work, because I often need to prioritise short term income over long term income. But these jobs are almost always short term in nature, and I’ll always be returning to the projects listed here.

Stay Angry

One to ponder, on this Day of Australia and Invasion and Survival (and Rum Rebellion Anniversary):

Have you ever been on the phone to some poor call centre drone, trying to get someone to hear your complaint, only to have them tell you to calm down? Or even hang up on you, if you should – heaven forbid! – dare to swear in the course of expressing your feelings?

Sucked, didn’t it?

It’s a neat little trick, the way that we’ve all been convinced that whatever point we’re making is instantly delegitimised if we should commit the simple human error of being angry while we make it. (Unless we’re a member of the current federal government, apparently. They seem to be able to spew hateful bile without any consideration.)

Never mind that there’s nothing like being told to calm down to get anyone’s hackles up. Never mind that it’s not like the people actually responsible are even going to hear our complaints – one of the major reasons why call centres are so popular with companies and government agencies is that they insulate those in power from our complaints. From our anger.

Hell, complain too often, and you’re just a crank who can be ignored entirely, all your anger delegitimised because what reason is there to complain?

(While we’re talking about it: be nice to the people in the call centres, because their only sin is wanting a job. Don’t take out your anger on them unless it is truly deserved by them. Instead, try asking for their help with making your complaint, because you’ll be surprised at how many of them are ready, willing and able to help you stick it to their bosses – and know how to aim your complaints better than you do.)

So the next time you hear someone making a fuss about something that seems like a non issue to you, don’t tell them to be quiet, or nice, or polite about it. Remember all those times someone told you that, and how it made you feel.

All those people out there who are telling you to wait, to be calm, that the time is not yet ripe…

…they are either your masters or the sheep who serve them.

Everyone who says that gay people in Australia need to wait just a little bit longer to be able to marry; that racism would end of only indigenous Australians should stop making such a fuss about it; that Australia’s women should wait until men are ready to let them be equal…

…to blazes with their calm downs.

Apologise for your word choices if you must, apologise if you manner frightens people, sure.

But never apologise for an anger against injustice. Never.

I know, I know…

There’s nothing much happening here right now.

At least, nothing visible. There is work going on behind the scenes, but it only becomes visible to you on rare occasions, since it’s mostly very minor adjustments to the CSS and other coding. Trust me, it will be worth the wait – I’m hoping to be able to reveal a little more about this sometime next week, but I don’t know exactly when that will be as yet. I know this is annoyingly vague, but I promise, I’ll be revealing things to you as soon as possible.

2017, here we come

In fact, here we are.

Worn out from worry and grieving, but nonetheless optimistic that a new year is a new chance to get things right. I don’t know about you, but I have big plans for this year. That’s the reason for this new site: a place for me to just speak about stuff. I have other, more specialised sites for other purposes, but this is for announcements and thoughts.

Some of the former will be along as soon as they’re ready; the latter will be along as I have them.