August 2007


Listening to: Peaches – The Presidents of the United States of America

Happy birthday, Christine! I hope you’ve had a wonderful day, and got lots of presents and ate lots of cake and had the opportunity to play musical chairs or pass the parcel (or both!). May twenty-seven-ness treat you exceptionally well.

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Rights are being ripped away from [Aboriginal Australians] by this government legislation, supported by the Rudd opposition—can you believe that in 2007? There is no choice with the Labor opposition, because there is no backbone there when it comes to difficult decisions like standing for the rights of First Australians and making sure that they do get the health, the education, the job opportunities and the security that they have been denied under Labor and Liberal governments and that would safeguard their communities but also honour their culture. There is none of that from Labor here tonight. This is a Howard Labor opposition. One of the worst, if not the worst, pieces of legislation brought before this parliament is being endorsed by the Rudd Labor opposition here tonight. They say, ‘12 months down the line, we’ll have a look at it.’ We will see about that. The Greens say no to this legislation. We will fight this while ever there is an hour left of debate in this chamber.

Did anyone hear this last night (on ABC News Radio)? Bob Brown kicked arse. Not only in his criticism of the (lack of) opposition, but also in his criticism of the legislation itself:

This is racist legislation, more appropriate in an apartheid South Africa than in this wonderful country of ours. I am not inventing this; this is the government’s own explanation in its own memorandum of explanation. No, it is not confined to the Northern Territory; it applies to black people across this country— Indigenous people. It does not apply to any other community. I ask why that is the case. What is it about crime perpetrated on Indigenous children that should invoke these laws when they are not invoked in the white community? Is it that the government thinks that sexual offences against children in the white community are of a lesser nature or do not matter as much as sexual offences against children in the black community? Frankly, Mr Temporary Chairman, you and I and the minister know that that is not the case.

What we have before us is pure, unmitigated, inexcusable racist legislation….The government should be ashamed of it.

Listening to: Drunken Butterfly – Sonic Youth

This is completely random, but has everyone visited the Cupcake Bakeshop blog? It is magnificent.

Listening to: Wang Dang Doodle – Koko Taylor

My Finest Hour goes mobile! Well, sort of. I’m writing this upstairs instead of being squirrelled away in my room, which is a bit exciting. I nearly wrote something from the State Library on Saturday, but the wireless connection was too dodgy – has anyone ever tried to connect there? Was it just me? It was taking five minutes for pages to load. It’s cool, though – such is life for us laptop users, right (eeeee!)?

Anyway, as usual, the only reason I’m even on the computer is that I’m writing an essay (comparing collection development policies, which isn’t too bad), so this is going to be brief. I’ve mainly been reading library-related blogs and articles, including this article on the scrapping of library fines, which I think came from Jessamyn West’s librarian.net. Any thoughts? At my public library, we will send the debt collectors around eventually, but it’s more about recovering lost books than getting money out of people (we cap fines at $5.00 per item, and restrict borrowing once it reaches $20.00, but we can also waive them where appropriate). At the resource centre, we don’t have a fines policy, and half our books walk out the door and never come back (I’m not sure fines would help the situation, though).

I’ve also read a couple of interesting posts on Pandagon lately, Can a woman have a perfect wife, too? and this one about the gender politics of eating meat . Also, a Cat and Girl for you. And I love this AskMetafilter question: How will I live without Harry Potter?, and this response. I haven’t written anything here since I finished The Deathy Hallows, but I loved it; it was completely satisfying. I loved the feeling of being completely absorbed in a book for a couple of days – I tried to stretch it out as much as possible (I didn’t pick it up at all for a couple of days after I bought it), but really I couldn’t put it down. There have been a few books I’ve really enjoyed this year, but nothing else took over my brain like that. I’m going to miss them.

And on that note, that’s your blooming lot.

P.S. I have joined Facebook, just so I can do the Traveler [sic] IQ Challenge. Anyone else?