As of this morning, the death toll has reached 1,100 with thousands more injured and feared dead. A lack of heavy machinery has hindered the rescue operation. The main Dr M Djamil Hospital was mostly destroyed and there are not enough doctors or facilities to help the overwhelming numbers of wounded. Most of the city, save a few buildings, are without electricity and water. More news from BBC and The Age.
The UN is still assessing whether to raise an appeal or rely solely on their Central Emergency Fund. In the meantime, the Red Cross, Oxfam and SurfAid are taking donations. SurfaAid in particular helps the Mentawai Islands which are hard to access in general, but more so now. From their site:
SurfAid International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the alleviation of human suffering through community-based health programs. With the support of the New Zealand and Australian governments, the global surfing community, and most importantly the Mentawai people of the affected areas themselves, SurfAid has come to exemplify the healing power of cross-cultural partnerships.
Please help with any donation you can. The scope of the tragedy is not yet known, but the more funds they have, the quicker and better the response will be.
Across the Universe: Sumatra Earthquake
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It’s easy to look at the Indonesian and Pacific earthquakes and see the disaster and not comprehend it. I have a brother, though, and he lives in the Mentawai Islands near Padang. He is safe, his wife is safe, the friends they can contact are safe. The rest? They’re not so sure. There’s also thousands of people stuck under rubble and, well, he said it better:
We are ok but the whole situation is fucked up. Have heard from half our friends that they are ok, but still waiting for more info. No fuel or food in Padang so the next few weeks should be interesting. Thousands of people are buried under rubble, it is pissing down with rain and we are being battered by storms. In a word, it is fucked. Send some positive thoughts out into the universe for the people of Padang. I am veering between tears and nausea.
So, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Sending all the love I have out into the universe, hoping it will get there soon.
Here are some links about the situation:
And to organisations for donations:
If you have nothing else, send all your positive thoughts and love out to the people of South-East Asia. They’re going to need it all, and more.
I love you, brother.
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This is so smart. The Japanese government plans to increase the child allowance to encourage couples to have more babies. Failing that, there are two other options: build robots to pick up excess work, or increase immigration. I suppose it’s too much to ask that the Japanese government consider restructuring the workplace and entrenched cultural conservatism towards women. Why waste time with such expectations when only a handful of countries have even considered these options. Is it really so ludicrous to encourage women to have children by enabling them to have both a career and family? If my government wants me to have children to prop up an ageing population, then I think it’s entirely fair that I ask my government for the ability to do so without having to make a choice between career, family or trying to be superwoman. Fuck robots, love women.
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The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has banned an American Apparel advertisement – I would describe it, but I’d probably get aroused writing such erotic literature.
At first, I was all “hells fuckin yeah about time” regarding the ruling; after reading the article, I’m not so sure. Yes, American Apparel advertising is lewd, porny and their models are deliberately young looking. For an Advertising Standards Authority to ban an advertisement because a model appeared to be underage (she was 23 at the time), basically stipulating what constitutes a “woman” versus an underage girl, well that’s a bit borderline. Considering the ASA did not uphold the complaint that the nudity offensive and could be seen by children, the impact of this ruling seems slightly contentious. As a very young looking woman myself, being told constantly that I’m not a “real woman” is fucking annoying. And the constant paedophile quips aimed at my boyfriends/lovers is embarrassing, offensive and plain tedious.
Go ahead, ban an ad for gratuitous and offensive nudity, but not because a model does not look like what we think a “real woman” is.
On a similar note, on the tram this morning a three year old boy looked at a banner ad for something, can’t remember what, but it featured a man wearing only his underwear. Little boy looked at his mother and asked her why the model wasn’t wearing clothes. Poor mother tried to explain to her kid that the model was probably very hot when his picture got taken and that’s why he was sweaty and had no clothes on. Luckily for her they had to get off at the next stop. It’s difficult enough explaining why I think gratuitous nudity in advertising is offensive to an adult, I can’t even begin to imagine how to explain it to a child who’s command of language is inadequate to their scope of mind.
AA Models via The Onion
Cheer yourself up with the happy news via The Onion of fourteen American Apparel models freed from the clutches of their hipster overlords. One can only hope that they are running free today, in clothing that does not hurt their dignity. (click on image for link)
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Sometimes things are predestined. We call it fate. We call it destiny. We call it the just the way things are.
What if things weren’t that way? What if we decided that women weren’t lesser, weren’t so bad, weren’t the bearers of original sin? What if we respected women in every sense of the term?
I arrived at the realisation this week that I had no chance. I had no basis for even thinking that I had something better simply because I believed that it was so. I have spent so long, so many fucking years convincing myself that I live in an egalitarian society (or as close to one we could create). I spent years reading about how far women have come in being recognised for their worth. This week, I came crashing down; in the face of overwhelming adversity that I had staunchly refused to realise, I lost faith, I lost belief, I lost hope. I never had a chance.
Our entire social system is structured against my core beliefs. The constant indoctrination of women as sexual objects, of those who need to be manipulated to one’s will, of their emotions overruling reason, of their inability to be functional because of their sex, of their status of lesser beings, of being less worthy of human rights. I used to think that all these ideas belonged to a forgotten age, one past us in civilisation. It’s not. It’s really fucking not and my naïvete in thinking such was purely blinded hope. That women have managed to reach the higher echelons of society in politics and business (etc.) is a show of amazing conviction against adversity. That we manage to get any rape convictions in this status of being is phenomenal. When “reasonable belief of consent” can be used in court as a valid defense, ignoring that a rape case even being in court indicates some degree of non-consent, is ludicrous. That we blame women for allowing rapists to pursue their sick power fantasies by not reporting them is ridiculous. Why we even think that a woman would be willing to go through the judicial system and “prove” that she was raped is beyond comprehension. Why do we persist in telling girls that their future is as a potential rape victim, that they better behave or the worst will be visited upon them? Why do we never tell boys that women are not there for their whims, not there to justify their worth?
As long as culture permits the objectivity of women as a lesser, we’re all fucked. We’re never going to have a chance. In reality, it’s a one sided fight of half the population desperate to be heard, but yelling into the deaf ear. The fight was over before we even said no.
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Pope Benedict looks like the devil. Those dark circles under his eyes, the hunchback posture, the aging face and yet suspiciously lustrous hair. There’s something not right going on there, and that’s not just because he’s a geriatric virgin dropping hell bombs on condoms. But! Now that I’ve brought that up, shall we consider his latest words of questionable wisdom?
It’s fair to say that no one really likes condoms. They smell odd, ruin the mood and don’t add to sexual pleasure (don’t believe the hype, they are not ribbed for her pleasure). The majority of sane people realise the necessity of these rubber fiends and you understand that the payoffs of not leaving them by the roadside are manifold – inclusive of not getting AIDS, various creepy and visually horrifying STDs and/or babies. Sex and condoms go together like single use hypodermic needles and alcohol swabs: any rational person has a stack of them and disposes of them responsibly after use. Continue Reading »
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I’ve often considered suing Channel 7 News because of false advertising. Whatever they’re presenting, it definitely doesn’t appear to fit into even the most lax definitions of “news”. For ten minutes, it jumps from idiotic subject to even dafter report covering such pertinent topics as roundabouts harming possums, the epidemic of old people dying from old age, there’s no! more! water!, the government stalling on regulating bike helmets that eat hair and won’t someone please think of the (white) children! After that, they pay some lip service to bombs, guns, tragedy in the middle east, Obama being black and then a heart warming snippet on a cat nursing piglets on a farm in England. After that it’s sport sport sport and the weather proclaims that it may rain but it’s probably sunshine because we live in the “Lucky Country”. It’s a pathetic excuse for news and right after, Today Tonight gets going with their exclusive reports on cracks in the pavement and chasing ethnics down the street. Considering most Australians get their news from free-to-air television, the Channel 7 News is doing a great disservice to all citizens of this country.
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