You Can Shove Your Rights Where the Sun Don’t Shine

When I breathe in cigarette smoke, my lungs go into spasms commonly known as ‘asthma’. This causes me to have trouble breathing for a couple of hours afterwards, which – thanks to the fact that only one of my lungs can actually provide oxygen to the rest of my body, stuffs things up even more than usual and makes me damn tired. Of course, I can take medication for the asthma, but that causes my heart to go a little nuts and – guess what? – that makes me even more tired.

Strangely enough, given this small health issue, hearing smokers bleating about their ‘right to smoke’ makes me want to scream abuse at them. No matter how much I try, I fail to see how a drug addiction makes a person’s rights more important than anyone else’s right to not be injured.

Wondering what brought on this rant? My local ‘mall’ (that’s a wide, paved pedestrian strip open to the sky with shops on either side, for my international friends) is being considered for a smoking ban. Well, halle-bloody-lujah, cos I hate having to hold my breath while walking to the supermarket just so that other people can have their right to smoke. Except people are fighting it, because it’s SO UNFAIR. You can probably guess what I think about that, right?

Get the hell over it already! Your right to smoke does not outweigh my right to breathe.

Ya know, I’m thinking about fighting for my right to have sex in the mall. After all, it’s far less dangerous to other people, promotes healthy exercise, and supports the government’s call to increase our population. Seems fair, doesn’t it?

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Open Letter to Queensland Rail

Safety Warning: Don’t read this while driving a train

Dear Queensland Rail,

May 1000 syphilitic, diarrhoeaic camels trample through your offices, dripping green pus and yellow poop over your pathetic paperwork. Or, worse, may you be consigned to an eternity of riding your own pathetic excuse for a public transport network. That’ll learn you! Or at least, it would if there were anything remotely capable of ‘learning’ in those empty spaces between your ears.

Yes, I am a tad disappointed in your service. It’s not the actual breakdowns. These things happen – even if it takes a klutzoid QR-approved contractor to break QR lines twice in as many weeks. But still, they happen. And most organisations of your type, recognising this simple fact, put Plans into place for dealing with possible issues. Like, cut power lines and live electrical wires falling on the track. Most organisations learn from experience and plan for fast-as-possible recovery. And hey, maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe there’s a Plan in your offices that says, “In case of service breakdown, dither. In case of major problems, organise buses, then stick head up arse”. Is there?

Let me be more specific. In the first incident two weeks ago, QR repeatedly assured me that a train would be along in 30-40 minutes. Three and a half hours after my train was due, I got to work. In the second incident less than a week later, to be fair, I didn’t stick around after I heard, “at least an hour delay” and “organising buses”. Fuck, I thought, QR would have trouble organising an arse-wiping. So I hitched a lift with a complete stranger. Yes, that’s right. I have more trust in a complete stranger than in QR to get me home unharmed. The third incident? Boy am I glad you asked. Last night I heard before leaving the office that the trains were out but buses had been organised. Right, I planned ahead (food, extra clothes, pillow). I arrived at Milton station at least an hour after the first warning went out. No signage informing potential passengers of a) any problem with the trains or b) where the hell to catch a rail bus. Sigh. So I went to what I considered the most likely location for a rail bus to turn up. Was I correct? No idea. A 470 came along and I leapt at the chance to get to Toowong, where I wouldn’t need signage to know where the rail buses would be (and no, there wasn’t any) and also had businesses open in case I needed to spend the night. I got to Toowong and lo and behold, found a rail bus. Eventually. Hopped on. We trundled along, stopping at Sherwood to ponder how the hell to get to Ipswich when the boom gates at Sherwood were stuck in the ‘down’ position. That small, completely unforeseeable (*cough*) problem eventually navigated, we trundled to Darra. Where we were informed that a train for Ipswich had just left. Dear God, what person in their right mind would expect QR to use the ‘connecting service’ concept for its rail buses??? With many cries of “You’re kidding me!” and “QR are a pack of incompetent dickheads!”, we sat down to wait. And wait. And… you guessed it, wait some more. The news that a train for us had just left Ipswich did not, believe it or not, fill us with joy or gratitude. Especially when the statement ‘stopping at the platform over there to drop off passengers’ was mentioned. WHAT? You sent the effing thing all stations??? You utter, utter bastards. That surely takes incompetence into ‘malevolent’ territory. Let me summarise the rest of the misery by saying that three and a half hours after arriving at Milton station, I finally got home.

In closing, may I just reiterate how much I appreciate QR’s willingness to stick its collective head up its collective arse and scream, “I don’t see how it’s my fault!”? Not at all, that is. In fact, I’m a little fucking annoyed.

____________________

Dear Reader,
Feel free to copy this and post it on your own blog, website, newspaper article, email it to all your associates, whatever.

Target Wants Women to Feel Fat, Dammit!

I just got this from Target:

optionsPlus0589s2

😮

Holy crap, those are some of the most hideous clothes I’ve seen in decades. The best of the bunch looks like a cut-down muu-muu.

I must admit, though, that Target’s decision to add horizontal stripes and floppy bits to plus-size clothing is inspired!

By Satan.

Let’s not even get into the blue eyeshadow and circles-of-blush cheeks.

Clearly, Target’s new range is all about encouraging women to lose weight fast so they can fit into clothes that DON’T scare small children.

Holy Crap, It’s a Pedestrian! Kill it!!!

I was walking from work to the train station last night, when my street-crossing became slightly more complex. A ute was parked on the street. In the middle of the lane. Its lights were on, its driver was in his or her seat… they were just parked there, waiting. For something. Me being the paranoid bint I am, I decided that it was waiting to run me over. I’m not the fatalistic type, but something about my day at work caused me to shrug and step out onto the street. And the ute started up, and drove straight at me. Sigh.

Obviously, it didn’t hit me. Stuff that for a joke. I’ve had so much practice on Brisbane’s streets that I can probably dodge traffic in my sleep. Not that I’ve tried… I think.

Anyhow, I was meandering down the marginally-safer footpath and pondering the general Brisbane attitude to pedestrians – those unlucky souls who, whether by moral decision or economic necessity or lack of stomach for hour-long traffic delays and psychotic parking-space-seekers, happen to be travelling on foot. And I realised something.

Brisbane hates pedestrians.

Brisbane hates pedestrians with a passion.

Think I’m suffering post-almost-runover-stress-disorder? Pffffft to you too.

Look at this standard intersection:

Pedestrians can cross, with the lights, each way. Fair enough. That varies a bit in many places – only three crossings, whatever.

Now look at a standard Brisbane intersection:

Pedestrians have to cross a ‘left turn any time with care’ lane with NO signals, NO pedestrian crossing, just… a keen eye, quick feet and even faster wits.

See? Brisbane hates pedestrians.

I’m not sure whether it’s a hatred of greenies and hippies (historically likely – thanks Joh!), or a desire to increase the socio-economic status of the city through a ‘shoot-the-horse’ kinda process, or a simple recognition of the basic human desire to run down anything that it’s too hard or too illegal to shoot.

Come to think of it, maybe all of the above.

Pet Hate #4035

Long, ‘evocative’ sentences in my fiction.

I don’t want to hold on to a sentence in my head for half a minute while my brain catches up with all the imagery that you oh-so-elegantly inserted. Sixty words in the SECOND SENTENCE of your book? Oh puh-lease.

And, given your ridiculously long sentences which would cause me to recoil from your book like a chook faced with a brown snake – and yes, I did squawk in horror – do not stick your nose in the air about other writers. Especially those who are ‘over-eager’ to publish. For God’s sake, ask one of them to help you with your damn punctuation.

If You’re Looking Like an Idiot, Close Comments

I don’t usually indulge in rants. When I do, I try to keep it impersonal and avoid anything even approaching flame-like behaviour.

There’s always a first time, though.

And this first time’s a doozy. Because I am well and truly riled up.

Some people seem to have no idea about the real world and no capacity for putting themselves in other people’s shoes. Usually I can shrug these facts off, because let’s face it, some people are just brought up to be ignorant and self-righteous, and that’s a tough wagon to get off. It makes keeping an alcoholic sober look like a breeze.

Here’s what’s made me angry – Mummifiedx5 says “There’s a name for these women” in reference to the recent uproar about women claiming sexual assault by NRL players. Apparently, that name is Idiot. Well, that’s a little better than the name I suspected her of meaning, I’ll admit. But here are a few of the underlying messages I got from her post, and the comments various people left, that had me wanting to bite people:

  • If you allow yourself to get into a dangerous situation – either through inexperience, or too much alcohol, or not watching your drink carefully enough and it being spiked, or bad decision-making – you’re to blame for getting into the situation in the first place, and shouldn’t press charges.
  • It is always clear what a bad decision would be, and what might lead to a dangerous situation.
  • Any woman who indulges in ‘immoral’ behaviour is clearly up for any other ‘immoral’ behaviour which might be going on, whether she specifically agrees to it or not.
  • It is possible to scream for help or say ‘no’ in every situation. There is no possible scenario in which a woman may find herself unable to do so. If she does say no, this will be carefully reported by the press.
  • You’ve only been ‘really’ raped if you did absolutely nothing morally wrong, did not drink or take drugs, and did not show any interest whatsoever in the attacker(s).
  • ‘Real’ rape is clear-cut. There is always simple, obvious proof lying about. The press will always report such evidence faithfully.
  • Women who make accusations of sexual assault where the other party (or parties) are famous, or where the evidence is not clear-cut, make it harder for ‘real’ rape victims to come forward. It’s got nothing to do with the self-righteous arseholes throwing “Slut!” around and blaming the victim. Honest.

Here’s what I’d like to say to anyone who’s simply bad-mouthed these women:

GET THE FACTS FIRST.

Can’t?

Well, that’s exactly it. No-one knows the exact facts, except maybe the people involved.

So, what to do?

How about just suspending judgment?

How about deciding that the last thing that sexual-assault victims need to hear is “you’re lying” and “you brought it on yourself, you idiot, smarten up!” – and that just in case they were telling the truth, you’ll shut up and forego the thrill of the self-righteous bitch-slap?

How about imagining your daughter, or sister, or friend, hearing you trash-talk women claiming to have been sexually assaulted, and then not telling you when it happens to them because they don’t expect any sympathy from you?

How about not acting like an arse?

I Hate to be a Critic…

But man, I bought a Cosmo for the first time in years (I was sick, thought it might amuse but not strain my brain). And they’ve got a sex blogger. Holy crap. This person gets PAID for blogging in a mag? And blogging in a mag? What the HELL??

*mutter*

(and the quality of the above post is about the same as the sex blogger)

(maybe I should talk about sex more)