The Love That Dare Speak Its Name!

Well, the disgraceful, repugnant and thoroughly hateful plebiscite is now in full swing and what a most pleasant time is being had by for all. As predicted, a full-scale smear campaign is in effect, where the YES camp have been portrayed as aggressive bullies who won’t be happy until every man, woman and child has been indoctrinated into an unnatural way of life. Naturally, this has led to further hysterics by those on the far right and trickled down into increased violence against those supporting marriage equality.

To be honest, I’m fucking sick of it! I’m sick of reading about the latest lies from the NO side. I’m sick of fighting for something that shouldn’t even be an issue in our modern age. I’m sick of being told that we must be grateful for whatever legislative scraps the government deigns to give us. I’m sick of having to explain to my European friends why Australia is so backward on this issue. I’m sick of hearing ridiculous arguments about how marriage equality will be the end of civilization, as we know it.  People are going to be forbidden to use the terms ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ – really, Pauline? What fucking planet are you living on??? The only thing happening in countries where it’s been legalised, is that more people are getting married and the religious zealots are far less content.

Stuck in time…

Have I accidentally slipped into a wacky alternate universe or are people really losing their shit over the casting of a woman on a television show? Silly question, of course they are. Don’t even get me started on the fact that the British tabloids decided that an appropriate response to the announcement would be to publish titillating photos from her previous roles. I mean, WTF?

Over the past few days, I’ve been astounded by the grown men – and even some women oddly enough – carrying on like petulant toddlers all because the producers of Doctor Who did something apparently inconceivable. For fans for a show about time travel, some of them seem to be awfully fixed in their outdated notions. Does it really matter that a woman, Jodie Whittaker, will now play The Doctor? No, the answer is definitely a big, what on earth are they talking about, resounding NO.  Indeed, the only thing that should matter is if she is any good in the role.

The Plight of the Stay-at-Home Dad.

Now, let me preface this rant by saying that I absolutely adore my son and would gladly sacrifice everything to ensure his happiness, and that my heart swells with love at his every cheeky smile and infectious laugh. That being said, what the hell has happened to me?

I’m unable to answer the question ‘how are you?’ without it rapidly becoming a rambling reply about my son. Sadly, the conversations with my husband have been the most affected, with us often discussing at length the maintenance of ‘The Beast’ – as we’ve affectionately nicknamed him.  Not to mention, I’ve developed a disturbing aversion to higher temperatures. And, perhaps the most worrying of all, I completely forgot about the start of the summer sales. THE SALES, PEOPLE!

Poolside Tyranny!

Fuck the French are annoying!

What should’ve been a fun adventure – our five-month-old’s first time in a pool – was spoiled through what can only be described as a ridiculous adherence to regulation. Just as we were about to enter the paddling pool for infants, an over-zealous employee of the Palais des Sport accosted us and forbade me from entering the pool, due to my inappropriate swimming attire.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, dear reader. ‘Oh, Jimi. What scandalously skimpy swimwear were you about to traumatise the children with?’ Well, that was far from the case let me tell you.

The problem was that my swimmers were not revealing enough. I kid you not. Instead of Speedos, I was wearing rather short swimming trunks, which weren’t skin-tight but could in no way could be considered baggy board shorts – the French have real issue with them for some reason.  Then she demanded I change before entering the water. I know the French are fashion conscious but this was really a tad overboard. What made matters all the more confusing, was that I’ve found that the French tend to err on the side of prudishness in regards to the public exposure of one’s body.

Out of the mouths of babes…

In an age where we’ve made leaps and bounds in the area of communication, why on earth haven’t we come up with something to help us understand babies? I mean it’s a most desperately required piece of technology – just ask any frazzled parent who’d give their right arm to figure out what their screaming Hell Beast wants at three in the morning. Honestly, how hard can it be? They had one in The Simpsons and they predicted the Trump Presidency, so surely anything’s possible? And while they’re at it, they should design one for use on cats, as I desperately want to know what my furry monsters’ fixation for our bedroom wardrobe is all about; meowing plaintively at it on a daily basis for no discernible reason. But I digress.

Admittedly, my interest in this is completely selfish, as before having my own crying bundle of joy I truly believed that it was just a problem that parents should just have to deal with and keep it away from the rest of us. One could say, my current predicament is a good dose of karma for my lack of sympathy but that is neither here nor there.

Scotty, Beam Me Up!

As we edge ever closer to the second decade of the 21st century, I’m dumbfounded that we still don’t have instantaneous travel – à la Star Trek transporters – or at the very least, frequent supersonic international flights.

It must be said that while I absolutely adore visiting different places, I very much detest the process of getting there. Now, I don’t mind the odd high-speed train or road trip but when I intend on going further afield, flying becomes the only option, and we all know what a trying process it has become.

The drama begins with the necessity of arriving hours in advance to allow enough time to pass through the ever-increasingly levels of security. Frankly, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we are forced to pass through the checkpoints completely naked with transparent carry-on luggage. Granted, it’s supposedly all for our own safety but I do find the restrictions a little ridiculous at times. For my part, I tend to think that if someone can highjack a plane with a pair of nail clippers and a bottle of shampoo then they probably deserve to have it.

Then, one must deal with the horrors of economy – unless you happen to be well off enough to afford seating in the higher classes…or are sleeping with a pilot to the same end. Long gone are the glamorous days of air travel, where people actually made an effort with their appearance, instead of looking like they just rolled out of bed after a heavy weekend. There also used to be enough legroom so that one didn’t run the risk of involuntary amputation. Obviously, I am aware it’s a business and that for the airlines to make a profit and keep fares relatively low they must cut corners. In saying that, there surely must come a point when they need to realise that they are still transporting people and not merely sentient cargo.

Parental Guidance Recommended.

Dear Gods, when will it stop! Why does it have to be so damn complicated?

In the lead-up to one of the most life-changing events that we’ve yet to experience – namely the birth of our first child – my husband and I are in very real danger of disappearing under an avalanche of advice. Honestly, it seems that everywhere we turn we are bombarded with words of wisdom that are often contradictory with the previous lot and it’s all become a little overwhelming.

In fairness, we are partly to blame for our current situation – we did decide to be parents, after all. And yes, we contributed further by reading parenting books and speaking with our own parents, siblings and peers who’ve already been through the process. Unsurprisingly, this has been helpful and frightening in equal measure.

Adding to our information overload, there has also been a great deal of unsolicited advice. Granted, it’s all very well meaning, but there has been rather a few times where I’ve nearly strained a muscle trying to stop my eyes from rolling back in my head and barely resisted the urge to simply shake them until they stop speaking.

F@&K TOLERANCE!

Today, I find myself in the thoroughly unsettling position of agreeing with Pauline Hanson.  Now before you clamour to take me to the hospital to treat my obviously traumatic brain injury, which has taken away my ability to judge people by their own character instead of applying stereotypical hate-filled views to entire groups, you need to calm down.

Truly, there is no cause for concern. Despite the disturbing implications of my proclamation, it’s not as dire as it sounds. In truth, what I concur with is her latest comment that ‘she is over her tolerance’ – not that I can remember an actual example of this supposed broad-mindedness in her usually bile-filled rhetoric…but I digress.

Personally, I’m sick of it.  I’m over being told that I should show compassion and tolerance to people who consistently show no regard for those different to them. Why are the victims of hate and bigotry always the ones expected to take the higher moral ground? For my part, I believe that in our continuing civilised quest for equality we have become doormats.

Send in the Clown.

A few days have passed and I still find myself thoroughly disappointed and angry, but not particularly surprised by the American election results. It is yet another example of the myopic conservatism that is increasingly being seen worldwide – the Brexit vote in the UK and the resurgence of the far right wing parties in my homeland of Australia are prime examples. Even my adopted country of France faces the daunting prospect of the Front National (pretty much the Nazi Party) actually having a shot at the presidency next year. This selfish short-sightedness makes my blood boil and fills me with dread as we proceed into a disturbingly bleak future.

Of course, this hard swing to the right has many causes, with the looming spectre of terrorist attacks, the refugee crisis, uncertain financial markets and a general feeling of disenfranchisement, among the chief motivating factors. Unfortunately, this insular mentality neglects the fact that in today’s modern age our societies are more interconnected than ever and pretending the problems facing other countries don’t matter isn’t a realistic long-term option.

After what was pretty much an insane circus-themed Election, America has elected the President they deserve but not the one they need. Trump embodies the very worst stereotypes of American culture – self-indulgent, narcissistic and paranoid. He is a thin-skinned, rapey, orange bully who has no reason to change his behaviour now that he has the public backing.

Tech Attack!

The curse is back! Now, that the travel gods have apparently finished wreaking havoc upon my life it appears that the deities of technology have taken up the mantle of unrighteous punishment in their stead.

My run of bad luck with technology started with the temporary coma of my MacBook Pro, which was miraculously brought back to life two weeks later. By itself this was distressing enough but sadly this was just the beginning. During this time my Ipod began to play up, followed by my phone falling into a similar state of mental breakdown – trapped in a never-ending cycle of rebooting. Before you ask, no, it wasn’t an Iphone, otherwise an Apple conspiracy would’ve been the most plausible explanation – not that one doesn’t exist, it just hasn’t happened to me yet.

Don’t even get me started on the built-in obsolescence of modern technology and the need to constantly be updating one’s devices. That being said, my phone is just over a year old and should still have at least a year before going to that great charger in the sky. Granted, it had been increasingly glitchy over the past month but I didn’t think the situation had become so dire.