Stuck In My Head – Portishead (+barely contained rage)

This week has been pretty shitty and I’m going to talk about it.
These are my ineloquent views, so please don’t think for a second that I’m saying that these should be your views or are your views. I have been called an extremist, feminist, and an atheist sometimes all in the same sentence and I am happy with those labels.

Reading the news has left me tired, sad, and undervalued as a member of society.
As a lady in a committed relationship, who doesn’t want children, and who knits I couldn’t help but feel sorry for another lady in a committed relationship, who doesn’t want children, and who knits, and who also happens to be Prime Minister of Australia.
I have always believed I was fortunate enough to live in a time where I could choose my own destiny.
Without having a husband I own property, I have a credit card, I have a degree, and I can vote. Yet I have shockjocks on the radio saying that there are people that might assume my partner is homosexual – as though there is something wrong with that.
As though there is something wrong with the way I choose to live my life.

I am strong enough now to not care about opinions of people who don’t matter to me. However I do care that while this is in the media, people in the lunchrooms and in the pubs feel entitled to criticize and comment on my life choices. Whether they’re doing that intentionally or not, when they’re talking about a lady in a committed relationship, who isn’t married, doesn’t want kids (I believe deliberately barren is the phrase), and who knits, they may think they’re talking about the PM but they are also talking about me. This week the world has told me that I am not a “real woman” because I don’t see marriage or children in my future.

In the same week, we’ve seen a high profile domestic abuse case. I was prepared to hear victim blaming opinions from the people in the lunchrooms and in the pubs but I was seriously shocked when this was the only live discussion I’ve heard (I’m excluding online as I have a lovely online bubble where no one would even consider this comment). The comment was about how bad she looked without wearing makeup, and how she is pretty on tv, but not on the cover of a newspaper.
SHE WAS JUST ABUSED! Seriously, her appearance is so low on the available topics regarding domestic abuse it doesn’t even warrant a mention. And yet it’s the only conversation I’ve heard about the whole thing. This week the world has told me that even if I’ve just been strangled in public, I am still obliged to meet a beauty standard.

It would be easy for me to untwist my knickers* and retreat back into my own sheltered world where every person is equal, everyone can choose how they want to live their life, and as long as it’s safe and consensual no choice is better than any other.
But I just can’t do that at the moment. And I don’t just want to talk. There are ways to contribute. There is where you can donate straight to real people and causes. (I’m sure at some point we will see news reports about scams, but I feel the risk is justified.) I recently donated to help cover the living expenses of a sex worker who needed money to be able to prosecute her rapist. There is a getup campaign to steer the conversation away from personal attacks and to the very real consequences of being born a woman.

I don’t usually talk about these things on my blog. But when it came to choose this weeks song, I couldn’t think for all the opinions and thoughts in my head.
If it seems glib to be talking about domestic violence, and then music in the one post please excuse me but I’m starting to think instead of talking about these difficult issues in hushed tones, they should be open and everyday conversations.
I want my niece, and every other young lady out there to find a world where they’re not financially worse off as soon as they come out of the womb, be it through tampons being taxed as a luxury item, not being paid for equal work, and not having adequate superannuation. I want my niece to be able to go to work and be asked “if she wants to get married and have children”, not asked “when” as though it’s a foregone conclusion that because she is female she must have a husband and babies to be complete.
I want my niece to choose her own path in life, whatever that may be. And I want society to accept that choice.
Maybe I’m dreaming of a perfect world, but the only ways that I can think to achieve change is to talk about it and give my time and money.

How can any song possible make its way through all of this clutter? Well there was really only one choice.
In many ways it’s not relevant to this conversation, but it’s the song which is giving me the strength to write these thoughts instead of leaving it solely to the proper writers who explain themselves more eloquently than I do. See articles here, here, and here.

*Is “got your knickers in a twist” a common colloquialism outside of Australia? If not I know it to mean get worked up about something you have no control over.




Stuck in my head – Still Corners

My day leading up to this blog post.
– Stumble out of bed, find clean clothes, walk to train station
– Train ride to work, check twitter see what’s going on in the world.
– Get to work, check work email, check bloglovin (formerly google reader), set tasks for the day, make tea
– Remember the federal budget was announced last night because coworkers are stating misinformed opinions as facts.
– Put headphones in and play mclusky loudly.
– Mclusky is making you more angry and is affecting work productivity (as much as coworkers are). Make tea.
– Seek calming music. Check twitter. Find out Still Corners just released a new album
– Day is looking up. Make tea.
– Work
– Find out The National are streaming their new album too. Can’t find link to stream. Day is looking down again.
– Work
– Check twitter. Find a number of horrible news stories. Tweet about horrible news stories. Find solace in lovely twitter people that are not horrible racist, sexist, transphobic bigots.
– Renew concentration on work tasks. Computer malfunction. Make tea.
– Coworker reignites conversation about Australian politics.
– Listen to Still Corners new album again
– Realise it’s Wednesday and decide to blog about new Still Corners album


In a funk

I’m in a funk, a rut, whatever you want to call it I just don’t care at the moment.

I’ve been knitting but it’s all boring. I’ve been listening to the same songs on repeat, and eating crappy food.

Blah blah blah.

This shawl is the best metaphor for the way I’m feeling. It looks uninspiring at the moment, but I have a feeling it’s going to look awesome once it’s finished.

I just want to skip to the end.

At the moment I just want to fast forward time and skip to summer, when there’s cricket planned, southbound, festivals, sun and music.

I’m forgetting that sometimes anticipation is half the fun.
Instead I’m being an ungrateful so and so.

I have so many plans I just want to get started, rather than wait for supplies.

I’m just waiting for things.
And I’m waiting loudly.


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A sad day for Perth – One Movement festival cancelled

It is with great sadness today that I read about the WA Government’s decision to abandon the One Movement festival which has been held the past two years in Perth.

One Movement was run over 5 days, at several venues around the centre of our beautiful city here. It was crammed full of live music, industry showcases, and opportunities for not so well known bands to be heard. It is the closest thing Australia has to a SXSW. And, in my own opinion, had the potential to become the equivalent of SXSW.

I see the cancellation of One Movement as a loss for two reasons.

Firstly personal.
One Movement is a festival entirely driven by curiosity and excitement. It’s not about the headline band, but about who you can discover. Much like SXSW, bragging rights come from ‘i discovered this band 2 years at One Movement’. There are certainly opportunities to discover bands at festivals such as Southbound, but at Big Day Out, Soundwave, On The Bright Side et al. the crowd swells towards the latter part of the day are more apparent. Only the truly dedicated are watching the first band.
One Movement was geared towards this experience and discovery.
This event was quite important not only as a music fan but as a music blogger. Last year i had tickets and couldn’t use them due to sickness. This year was going to make up for that.

Secondly there are the success stories that have come out of One Movement.
Stonefield were a particular success, who after being seen at One Movement were invited to play at glasonbury. One Movement was a perfect springboard to perform in front of so many industry professionals, and also to get advice from industry professionals.
It had an important function within the Australian music industry and deserved its spot in the calendar.

One Movement was always an overly ambitious idea for a city like Perth. And no doubt much of the criticism will focus on the stale and backwards thinking stereotype (perhaps warranted) of Perth.

Yes, apparently they were making a loss at tax payers expense. But this tax payer will happily pay for it.

Maybe that’s why there is a government enquiry. Perhaps changing the business model is the answer.
Instead of canceling why not cut it from 5 days to 3.
Or maybe try hiring less venues.
Look at Perth Festival for inspiration.
Think about the bigger picture. The tourism money that can come only once a reputation has been established. The boost that you’re doing to the music industry as a whole. The exposure that young bands can get, which can only be a good thing for the city.
Imagine if Perth became the next happening place for musicians to come, be inspired, and be heard.

Please just don’t admit failure.
Particularly when you were offering such a unique product which had the potential to become the next SXSW.

patented rant #1

in response to this ABC unleashed article

Unfortunately gender equality is catching up in this matter aswell.

Only the other day I was reading an article about ‘guybrows’, ie guy’s eyebrows and how guys should best pluck, wax, or otherwise shape their eyebrows to be more attractive.

It certainly is a feminist issue that many women (myself included) speak and write very passionately about. But we can’t forget the guys also striving to meet the impossible standards that are presented to them in traditional media.

Fortunately this is an area that non-traditional media is challenging. There are some wonderful websites, blogs, and online stores who actively promote different body shapes and ideals of beauty. And they don’t shout about how they’re promoting diversity, it’s the norm.
The online market is starting to demand it.
With social media and online forums having an increased influence, this can only be a good thing.