Dec. 31st, 2013
Dec. 2nd, 2012
My Gran is on Facebook. This wouldn't actually be a Thing normally, but my Gran is very much a product of her time.
In Her Time, women were doing everything because the menfolk were off fighting in WWII, so she's a ferocious feminist. She was the one that took me aside when I was a little girl and told me that some girls scream because of mice and spiders because they think it's what girls do, but really, it's just silly and I shouldn't do that. Also, she made sure that I had trucks and things to play with, and gave my parents absolute arseholes for giving me dolls to play with because it was subscribing to a sexist ideal.
She was born in a house next door to a Maori family, who gave her her name, so she grew up with race not being a Thing. New Zealand isn't really all that racist, compared to other places.
My Gran's favourite saying for years was "Of course there's a God. She's black."
Today's Gran Comment on Facebook when she shared Betty White's picture promoting gay marriage was "I agree, so long as they stay away from my sons."
At which I died inside.
I know that she's a product of her time, and of her surroundings. I know that, in her own way, she's about as responsible for her thought-patterns as my Grandad's mum, who came out to New Zealand from England, broke her leg, and was horrified at the idea at being treated by "a darkie". Knowing these things didn't stop me from saying
"As long as they stay away from my sons".
Because God help them if they should actually find happiness, stability, and functional love in the arms of a man. Honestly Gran, how can you be so closed-minded? Also, this is the kind of homophobic statement that makes me stop talking to people.
Two of my cousins have also pulled her up on being a homophobe, which is heartening. Anna-Maria actually had a good point with her comment Please define "stay away from". As in "don't hunt them down and "turn" them gay" or "don't talk to or interact with them in any way". If the later, do you suggest gay people wear something to clearly define them as such? Oh, I don't know, like a pink triangle? And would that mean your sons have to stop taking planes in case they happen to be on one with a gay crew member?
I doubt that it's going to have any kind of effect though. Gran, Dad, and I are an awful lot alike in that we're always right. ALWAYS. Even if the rest of the world is in violent disagreement with us. It makes me sad that she thinks that way though. Given her feminist and racial values, you'd think it'd naturally be the same for sexuality, but no. Apparently we don't like them
darkies gay people. Still, you have to try, right?
Also, somewhere out there, an angel just got its wings.
Nov. 29th, 2012
So while the country enjoyed its Hobbit-flavoured bread and circuses, this happened:
Prime Minister John Key has just done a devastating backflip.
It is with deep sadness and anger that I let you know that Auckland's 24 hour rape crisis line is again under threat of closure -- less than 12 months since 7,000 of you signed my petition that forced PM Key to promise its survival.
( and the restCollapse )
But Auckland doesn't need a Rape Crisis centre, right? Rape victims don't need to be taken care of at all, right? They're tough, they can handle it.
Feb. 10th, 2012
Via Miss Kat:
You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.
May. 1st, 2011
As a newly liberated ex-bar tender, I really feel it is my duty to impart some knowledge that I hope will go far and wide and make the whole bar-drinking experience a better one for everyone. So, without further ado,
DOCTOR BASTARD'S GUIDE TO DRINKING IN PUBLIC PLACES
1) General Behaviour
- Tipping. In New Zealand, tipping isn't included in the price of your meal or drink like it is in other countries, and I've heard a horrible rumour that there's a travel guide out there that says NO, DON'T TIP IN NEW ZEALAND, IT'S A BAD THING. I want you to completely ignore that, and, if your bar tender actually deserves to be tipped, please, tip them. There have been times where the tips I've made over the bar have been the difference between me eating $1 instant noodles and me eating proper food.
BUT this doesn't mean that you should tip someone who doesn't give you good service. Tipping is a show of appreciation, so if you don't appreciate it, then don't encourage bad behaviour with money.
- NEVER EVER FUCKING EVER LEAVE YOUR DRINK UNATTENDED. If you have to put your glass down, give it to someone you trust. If there's no-one around, give it to the bar tender. This will keep your drink from being spiked and hopefully you won't be date-raped. The thing with date-rape drugs is that you go from sober to passing out drunk in a matter of minutes, so if you do start feeling a bit sideways, get to your friends, and get out of the bar. If you're by yourself, tell the door staff what's going on, and ask them to wait with you for a taxi. They're there for your safety, after all.
- Barsexuals. Girls that make out with other girls in order to get boys to buy them drinks. You people are the scabies of hospo and you make us vomit in our mouths. For the love of God, grow some dignity and stop whoring yourself out to voyeurs for booze.
- Unless it's specified on the website or in the bar in big, bold capital letters, you won't get a free anything for your birthday/Christmas/whatever excuse you come up with.
- Female bartenders. If you buy us a drink, we'll say thank you very much, and remember you as being a nice person and will be nice to you in future. If you buy us a drink and then say something that equates to "So what do I get in return? Nudge Nudge Wink Wink Say No More", we will remember you as being a sleazy motherfucker that we will avoid like the plague in the future. We're bar tenders, not whores, and if we were whores, we'd be charging a fucksite more than $8.50 a go.
- A bar is for serving drinks on, not cutting up lines of miscellaneous powder on. If you cut your lines on a bar during a gig, expect to have the bar tender have a sudden sneezing fit and your miscellaneous powder will go everywhere. Also, bars have security cameras pointed at them to stop theft, so really, it's a shitty idea in general.
- Manners. New Zealanders have abysmal manners. There is a magic word that you use in order to show that you want something from someone else, and that word is PLEASE. Having drinks barked at us over the bar is awful and does nothing for our misanthropy levels.
- If the gig is loud, please don't cover your mouth when you make your order - we lip-read when it gets loud, so if we can't see your mouth, we don't know what you want.
- If the bar is busy and there are people behind you, buy your drink, and then go. DON'T SIT THERE BLOCKING THE SERVING AREA. This not only pisses off the bar tenders, but the people behind you as well. And makes the baby Jesus cry.
- Please don't have sex in the toilets if there are only a few cubicles. People do need to use the toilets for their intended purpose, and there are always back alleys and cars if you really can't wait to get home before tearing each other's clothes off.
- Handbags, coats etc. on the dance floor. Please don't. People trip over your crap and fall and break themselves and get glass in their faces and it's all horrible. There's a coat check, please use it. If there's no coat check, then ask the bar tender to look after your things behind the bar.
- If you get up onto the bar without being invited, expect to be escorted out by the door staff.
2) The Building, Including All Furnishings, Glassware, and Fixtures.
- If it isn't a toilet or a urinal, it is not meant to have bodily secretions in it. Urinating, defecating and vomiting are not meant for glasses, the floor, the handbasin, or anything that isn't made of porcelain or stainless steel. BY the toilet is not ok. CLOSE TO the toilet is not ok. If you're over the age of eighteen, which you have to be in order to get into a bar, you should be able to control your bladder and bowels. I will admit that vomit can be a bit of a surprise sometimes, but this is what running is for.
- Parts of the building are not souvenirs. If it didn't arrive with you when you walked through the door, then it's not going home with you.
- Parts of the building are not for you to take out your bad night on. This extends to all acts of violence including kicking, punching, headbutting, and/or throwing other people into the walls, as well as all acts of defenestration, rafter-climbing, glass-throwing, bottle-throwing, and other fuckwittery.
- DON'T REACH OVER THE BAR. No, really. We don't know where your hands have been, so when you reach over the bar to help yourself to straws/lemon wedges/whatever, all we think is YOU HAVE JUST PUT AIDS ON THINGS THAT ARE GOING INTO SOMEONE ELSE'S MOUTH. Bar tenders wash their hands almost as obsessively as Herod did after the crucifiction, and in the bars I've worked in there's also been hand-sanitizer at each workstation for when it's too busy to get off the bar long enough to wash. I doubt very highly that the seething mass of humanity on the dance floor does the same. And what you touch will be going into other people's mouth. If you want something, ASK.
3) The Staff
- Door Staff.
They're there to remind you of your manners. Not so much the please-and-thank-you side of things, but like with any drug, when you add it into the mix of social interactions, some things can fall by the wayside, like remembering to NOT be a complete dick and NOT pick fights with complete strangers and NOT drink yourself into a state where you can't stand up and NOT spike people's drinks. The bouncer's word is also law. If they say "It's time to go", then it's time to go. This is not negotiable.
Bouncers are NOT there to prove how big and tough you are. Bouncers are not punching bags. They're not going out of their way to ruin your night. Yes, some bouncers do have the alpha-male problem of wanting to be The Big Man, but unfortunately it's what comes with the territory when you're hired to do things like stop fights and throw out obnoxiously drunk people, which means that you occasionally get punched by stupid drunk people.
- Bar tenders.
* We're here to make sure EVERYONE has a good time. Not just you. So when we say "I'm sorry, we can't serve you any more alcohol", it's not because we're on a power trip, it's not because we don't like your face, it's because you've gotten intoxicated to the point where you're ruining it for everyone else in the bar, and it's time for you to go home. It should be pointed out that people's intoxication levels vary from person to person. I saw a girl get absolutely trashed on a shot of Cointreau. She was all of about four foot five and was so thin she looked like she'd just escaped Auschwitz, so that amount of alcohol was enough to set her on her ass to the point of staggering, slurring, and behaving like I do after a bottle of vodka. So when the bar tender says "I'm sorry love, I can't give you any more booze, have a glass of water and come back to me in an hour", and you say, in your most wounded tones, "BUT I'VE ONLY HAD TWO GLASSES, WHY YOU MAD?", it means absolutely nothing. Your behaviour states that those two glasses were enough to bollocks you, so you're not getting any more. Sorry. And if you're cut off and get a friend to buy you drinks, your friend will also be cut off, and you get to be known as the douche that ruined their night by getting them cut off, and then vomiting on their shoes because the bar tender was actually right and you were too drunk to be served.
* Please don't ask us to sell you illicit drugs. I know that alcohol is a drug, but it's LEGAL. Ecstasy etc. AREN'T, so strangely enough, we don't tend to have it lying around on the shelves. Besides, you could be a plain-clothes cop, and being arrested really does suck, according to sources.
* Whistling, finger-snapping, waving, and yelling in order to get our attention on a busy night will result in you getting our attention, in all the wrong ways. Trust us, we have seen you, we do know that you're there, but the sad fact is that there are other people in the bar, and they were there before you. Patience is a virtue, and when the bar is busy, the bar tender will be stressed out and doesn't need to be treated like a slave in the Roman era. Same with waving of money. As one bar tender I worked with once said "Do I wave my cock in your face? No. Don't wave your cash in mine." And for the love of all that's holy, DON'T TOUCH US IF WE ARE WORKING. If you grab us by the wrist while we're working because you want to be served while we're busy, we will fucking cut you. It may only be in our heads, but there will be bloody mayhem, which is why we're smiling when we finally serve you.
* Drink prices. We don't control the prices of the drinks. Complaining to us about the prices isn't actually going to change them. We can't do anything about it, it's out of our hands, so please don't expect us to.
* Please realise that you're drinking in an establishment, and not at home. Legally, we are required to serve alcohol in certain amounts, and in certain vessels. It is illegal to serve spirits in anything 600ml or over, so if you ask for a pint of vodka, or even a 30ml shot in a pint glass, we're going to have to say no. Asking for more than a standard measure of alcohol, which in New Zealand is 30ml, or a "double", will require paying for more. So the amount of people that ask for a "double-double", and then don't expect to be charged actually surprises me.
* Water. No, we are not required by law to provide you with FREE water. It's the law in Victoria, AU, which I think is a good thing, but it's not law here yet. We DO have to provide you with water, but the bar does reserve the right to charge you for it. If you're in a place where they're charging for bottled water and you don't want to buy it, there's always the taps in the handbasin, although we can't guarantee the quality. Being uppity about having to pay for it won't endear you to the bar tender, and will hold up the line behind you, making everyone else pissy at you. We can't change the law at the drop of a hat, we certainly can't change bar policy at the drop of a hat, so expecting us to is illogical and infuriating. When it IS law, you'll find bars will be happy to hand out water like it's going out of fashion in order to make sure your drinking experience is a safe and happy one.
* We do actually like patrons, and when it's quiet, we're more than happy to have lengthy conversations with them - some of my favourite people are the regulars that I've met through working in bars, and I've met some genuinely fascinating people across the bar. But please don't take it amiss if we can't stop and chat with you if we're up to our asses in patrons and having to make fifteen drinks all at once.
*Bar tenders are people too. If we can't give you what you want, or in the fashion that you want it, then swearing at us will not make us more amenable to doing what you want. It will make us not serve you again. By law, bar tenders don't have to give a reason as to why they won't serve you, we are not actually obligated to serve you, so keep that in mind when there's only one bar tender and you want to start slinging profanity.
They might be behind the bar, but they can't serve, so please don't harrass them. Also, using them as a ploy to get a free drink by saying "the glassie took my drink away and I wasn't done with it" is an OLD strategem, and won't work 9/10 times, because bar staff aren't stupid.
So there we have it. I'm sure that there are more things that need to be mentioned, but they escape me at the moment. A lot of these things are simply common sense, but you'd be amazed at how distressingly rare common sense is among the greater public. I think I can pretty much sum this all up in four simple words.
DON'T BE A DOUCHE.
Oct. 5th, 2010
08:22 pm - Spirit Day
It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.
RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)
REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.
Yeah, I might be in NZ, but there's no reason this can't go global.
Aug. 16th, 2010
So, a couple of days ago, one of the Breakfast hosts from More FM Tauranga used the word "poofter" in a derogatory manner:
Johnny Williams wrote in to the Broadcasting Standards Authority to complain under Standard 7, which states
"Standard 7 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice is relevant to the determination of this complaint. It provides:
Standard 7 Discrimination and Denigration
Broadcasters should not encourage discrimination against, or denigration of, any section of the community on account of sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, occupational status, or as a consequence of legitimate expression of religion, culture or political belief.
7a This standard is not intended to prevent the broadcast of material that is:
• a genuine expression of serious comment, analysis or opinion; or
• legitimate humour, drama or satire."
Johnny's complaint was that the word "poofter" was used in a derogatory manner, and thus discriminating against gay men.
Radioworks/More FM came back with this:
"RadioWorks maintained that the term “poofter” was not used in a discriminatory or denigratory way. It argued that the word was used to describe being a “wuss” or a “wimp” while discussing the winter pool jump.
The broadcaster said that, in accordance with the Authority’s definition of denigration, it must consider whether the comments blackened the reputation of a class of people. It said that it was confident that “the word was used in context within the discussion regarding jumping into freezing water”. RadioWorks concluded that the broadcast had not breached Standard 7 and it declined to uphold the complaint."
It was apparently a light-hearted exchange of humour. My curvy white arse.
Then Johnny came back with this:
"Dissatisfied with the broadcaster’s response, Mr Williams referred his complaint to the Authority under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989. He maintained that “poofter” was a derogatory label for homosexual men. He argued that using the term to describe a “wuss” or “wimp” demonstrated that it was discriminatory. Mr Williams said that he was “appalled” that RadioWorks considered “poofter” to be an acceptable term."
To which the BSA said this:
"We accept the complainant’s assertion that “poofter” is generally considered to be a derogatory term for homosexual men. We also accept, given the context in which the term was used, that it was intended in this instance to mean "wuss" or "wimp" rather than a term of abuse directed at homosexuals. While we are of the view that broadcasters need to be aware of the negative connotations of terms such as this, and take appropriate care in their usage, we consider that it was part of a brief, light-hearted exchange, and was clearly not uttered in an abusive or vitriolic manner. Accordingly, we do not consider that its use on this occasion reached the high threshold for a breach of this standard.
We therefore decline to uphold the Standard 7 complaint."
So there's now a facebook page here:
And the More FM Tauranga FB page is here, if you want to sign on and have your say:
And this is the BSA link for that particular case:
Now, I've done some digging around on the internet and in some dictionaries I have at home, and in NONE OF THEM does the word "Poofter" mean "wuss" or "wimp". In ALL of them does it refer to the world "Poofter" as being a derogatory term for an effeminate gay man. Now, admittedly, I can't count on people in Tauranga to know what a dictionary is, and given that I lived there for a year, I know the kind of cashed up rednecks that live there, so in all reality their use of the word "poofter" isn't actually a surprise because it's fairly, and sadly, common parlance. But to use it on the air?? A week away from Survey*? ARE YOU FUCKING RETARDED?? EVERYTHING that we're being taught about on-air practise at the moment says play it safe and work with your target demographic. Don't damage the brand. The More FM target demographic is 35-55 with a skew to the female ear. Whitebread mothers with kids. NOT people that would be ok with having to explain what the word "poofter" means, or why it's not actually ok for their kids to be using that word in every day language.
And what the fuck trying to change the etymology of the word?? That's like me pointing at ( This hereCollapse ) and calling it a potato, and expecting everyone else to be ok with me referring to it as a potato. YOU CAN'T JUST CHANGE THE MEANING OF A WORD OVER NIGHT BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT AN IDIOT FOR A DJ THAT WANTS TO SOUND EDGY. LANGUAGE DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT.
And another thing that really perplexes me: gay people get picked on right from the word go, right? They've had to fight all of their lives because of who they are, and although they might look effeminate and waiflike, there's a hard bastard under those false eyelashes that is more than capable of kicking the head of anyone who would contemplate starting a fight. I remember being asked to stop a fight between two drag-queens who were working the same stretch of the red light district. One was just under seven feet tall, and the other was using her stilletto heel as a weapon. Break that up? FUCK that shit. You can, and go with God, my son. And as to harrassing them? Are you crazy? The last thing you want in your adult homophobic life is to have your arse handed to you by a "cock in a frock", and believe me, it'll happen. And I'll be on the sidelines giving them points out of 10.
Also, this is going WORLDWIDE people. It's not just me that's angry over this, there are other people in NZ that are going to be posting and reposting and re-reposting this and fairly soon the world will know Vinnie and Kit from More FM Tauranga as "those bigotted bastards that should have engaged their brains before opening their mouths".
WAY TO GO, MORE FM TAURANGA, now NZ looks like we should all be taken in for re-education. We're not all morons, I promise!!
*Survey: Where the Commercial networks get surveyed to see how popular they are, and which DJs are the most listened to etc. I'm guessing More's listenership is going to take a dive after this.
Jul. 17th, 2010
Ok, so apparently this video is somehow a breach of American copyright law. I don't know how, it's not going to keep Gloria Gaynor from buying another porche, these people aren't actually making any money off the video, so basically, I think it's a crock of shit that APRA is trying to pull the video.
So fuck 'em. Make the damn thing viral. If anything it's going to raise people's exposure to the song*, and possibly make people get it through iTunes or whatever.
The fact that the actual survivors of the Death Camp had the guts to actually go back to the place that nearly killed them and still probably haunts them even now on a daily basis in to defy the ghosts of their past, and dance in the places where their loved ones died is something that makes my breath come short and I'm filled with admiration for them. Fuck you, APRA. They've fucking earned the right to use that song.
*As if there's anyone that hasn't heard that song at least once in their life. C'mon y'all.
Jun. 20th, 2010
Yep, the good people at Wildilocks on Cuba st are having a Bring A Friend For Free special until the end of July. Cass and the lovely girls will do amazing things with your hair, and if you bring a friend, you'll only pay for the one head, so to speak*.
I've had my hair tamed there once. I've got medium-to-long hair that normally needs a whip and a chair to make it do things properly, and Cat managed to make my stroppy hair not only curl and sit and look all Holly-Golightly-esque, but they've also got some of the nicest staff that I've had to deal with. They're friendly, but not overly chatty, which some hairdressers can be and it drives me sideways when you're in the middle of having a scalp massage and the stylist wants you to actually form a coherent thought while your brain is completely mush. They also have an awesome range of steampunk fashions, wigs, accessories, and cool stuff.
This is their website here:
DO IT!! It's what Jesus would do.
*Conditions apply. I think you have to be a New Customer instead of a repeat offender, or be a repeat offender that brings in a fresh head.
Jun. 9th, 2010
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