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I just watched another really, really bad scifi disaster movie. I watch a great deal too many of them so I feel able to provide some basic tips on how to survive these D grade movies.
1. Don’t be a teen. Impossible to avoid I grant if you are a teen. But teens generally are the first to go.
2. Be the hero. (Or the hero’s girl). Sometimes the only 2 that make it out alive.
3. Don’t go in the water! Never ever go near water. Don’t even have a glass of water if you can help it. This always ends badly.
4. Children don’t die. Yes the monster may tear apart your friends and family but your 3 year old sister will be fine. Worth remembering.
5. Keep covered up, especially if you are a woman. It is a well known fact that movie monsters prefer semi naked women.
6. Boats are not safe. If you have a boat it will stall, sink or have some kind of failing. Be prepared. You might need a bigger boat.
7. Monsters always attack during a busy tourist season.
If you can think of more I will certainly add them.
I had to share this from an email from Welcome to Australia. Feel free to follow them on twitter and Facebook.
Fairness for some is not fairness at all.
This might seem like an obvious statement - but in a nation that is proud of its commitment to fairness, we now need to be reminded that excluding anyone from fairness indicates that we’re not committed to fairness at all.
With this in mind, one of the key aims of Welcome to Australia is play a part in expanding the Australian public’s definition, or understanding of, the word “us”.
Our definition of “us” has direct impact on the way we express our values. Our definition of “us” provides the boundaries of certain rights and responsibilities.
So, a limited definition of “us” is useful in some contexts. We use the word “us” to refer to our families, and being in a family confers certain rights and responsibilities. We use the word “us” to describe the people who support the correct football club - Port Power - and to exclude those who don’t from the privileges associated with belonging in that special “us”. Those of you who are part of “us” know what those privileges are and those who aren’t keenly feel the heartache of being left out. Citizenship is another way we define “us” and it too has certain uses for understanding our civic rights and responsibilities. It’s an important part of the process of belonging and also of contributing to Australia’s future success.
However, the concept of universal human rights is based upon the idea that there is a universal “us” –that if you’re a human being then you’re a part of “us” - and that being a part of “us” again confers certain rights and responsibilities. A commitment to universal human rights is an invitation to see all people as “us”. This doesn’t mean that everyone has all the rights of a citizen, or a footy club member, or a family member – but it does suggest that for all of “us” there are basic common rights and responsibilities. You might not get to sleep in my bed, you might not get to wear the black, white and teal or have access to Australian consulate support –but a universal inclusion of all people in the “us” of humanity suggests that there are some rights common to every single human being.
The very concept of human rights is recognition of an “us” that is wider than our skin colour, our citizenship, our cultural norms and our language. A human family.
And, in an Australia that rewards the kind of policies that have us reading reports like this, we need to expand our understanding of “us”.
We allow behaviour towards asylum seekers and their children that we’d never permit if it were to happen to “us”. Imagine if one of “us”, pregnant at the time, were removed from their family in the dead of night, whisked away to another city, held indefinitely without trial and there was no right for them to hear the charges against them? We’d be up in arms. Why? Because they are of “us”.
Why are Australians allowing their government to imprison children on Manus Island? Because they aren’t “our” kids. They aren’t “us”.
In essence, what we’re doing is arbitrarily deciding who gets to be as human as we are… and who is not included in our understanding of the universal human “us”.
Today, Australians need to expand our understanding of us. We need to be reminded that if we’re all people, we’re all equal. With certain equal rights relating to justice, freedom, opportunity and safety.
Why is it so important to help Australians see “them” as “us”?
Because wherever “us” and “them” exists, true social cohesion does not. Wherever “us” and “them” exists, so does permission for abuse, marginalization and exploitation.
Wherever “us” and “them” exists, human rights abuses will follow. There will never be equality without empathy, and you cannot have empathy for someone you cannot identify with.
If we want a future Australia where all people are treated equally, we must learn how to include all people in the popular conception of “us”.
We must think about why fairness is a value we will uphold for some but not for all, what that says about our understanding of humanity and the kind of nation that will be built by a discriminatory style of “fairness”.
Australia can be a nation of fairness, justice, compassion and freedom where all people are welcome to belong. It’s time to work together on a more expansive understanding of “us.”
To the stranger who looks at me with disgust when I say I’m unemployed - I probably have more education than you.
To the minister who says the Newstart Allowance is a temporary measure - I have been on it for four years.
To the ex boyfriend who dumped me because I’m not working - I can do better.
To those who believe all people on Newstart are crack whores who have no wish to work - I really, really want to work but have seizures that prevent me. I am still trying.
To those who believe Newstart should only cover basics like food, clothing, shelter and medicine. - It doesn’t.
To those who believe I should live below the poverty line - Thank you.
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