It’s not always clearcut, but that’s still no excuse…

SherpaA friend of mine sent me this link and question, I wish everyone had the opportunity to answer this question…
“What’s your take mate? Is this racism or is a mountain being made out of a molehill? Am very interested in hearing from.you on this.”

http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedailybeast.com%2Farticles%2F2015%2F11%2F14%2Frace-row-on-mount-everest-sherpas-square-off-against-racist-western-climbers.html&h=gAQHoMrj6&s=1

This was my answer, I’d love you to add your own in the comments below:
“I try my best not to ‘see’ colour in anyone’s skin…

I’m at a disadvantage because I grew up in a period in my country where we had just thrown out a ‘White Australia Policy’ a truly disgusting piece of work.

But of course that meant that those attitudes were commonplace and even authorised by the government of the day, as you know, it takes years and years for attitudes to change… this country was invaded, and then Colonised by the British, a convenient place to send their miscreants and criminals to rehabilitate them and ‘build’ a new country… of course my school history books are / were written say that the British ‘discovered’ this land and therefore we became a ‘country’ in 1770… what a load of toss… anyways, that’s my background, but as I figure more things out for myself, and can truly see the world as it is, I jump forward to this issue of the Sherpa’s… This incident you refer to I address firstly in isolation, a typical white, rich and privileged man who is upset that the ‘natives’ are threatening his dream…
Arguably he has a point that his adventure of a lifetime is being threatened by the locals, $60,000 is quite significant to me, that may not be to him, I don’t know the facts there….

But seriously, these Sherpa’s have been grossly ignored due to ‘our’ love of the hero narrative, but in reality, they are more deserving of that narrative, the work they do to get the people to actually ‘summit’ Everest is truly amazing, the Sherpa’s that dug their heels in and refused to continue in the face of their fellow workers losing their lives and as mentioned, having the indignity of their bodies being trampled over is quite justifiable and plain and simply right.

Now, is it racist?

I can’t answer definitively, but I would suggest that more than likely this man’s attitudes are influenced by racist undertones, we have that term ‘casual racism’ that needs calling out, like sexism, gay and trans phobia’s… The only way for our society to become truly inclusive is to stamp out this insidious form of influence, yes, I too can succumb to it, I have to monitor myself all the time, continually finding different words, different phrases to use… sure, I will still see the funny side in ‘jokes’ and humour as long as they are not cruel or vicious attacks on another person who can’t or doesn’t have the ability or opportunity to defend themselves.

Was there an answer to your question in there mate? I hope so!

Thanks for asking.”
Chat conversation end

As an addendum to the above, I was further disgusted and disappointed
to see the vile attacks that a wonderful former Olympian and Member of Parliament Nova Peris has had to endure from the racists that dwell in my country, so sad…. I hope she continues calling these racist pricks out.

You know the drill, no names

Fuzzy crop
Damyanti Biswas recently posted a piece that related to how anonymous you should be when you write and publish, how much of your own personal feelings you should ‘put on show’… well I struggle with that too, often only publishing to a limited market if I consider it too personal, but then I feel my best pieces are the ones that come from my heart and soul and therefore am limiting myself….

That pic above may be of a young lady who walked by me one night….
setting my heart alight,She walked with the grace of a Flamingo,
picking her steps, placing her feet,
she swayed gracefully her smile all a glow,
and all I could do was look into her eyes,
I’ve always been a dreamer,
but this night, the stars were shining bright on me,
She held my hand, and then we kissed,
it didn’t take long and I was a lovestruck mess!
Now I get the gist of this love that stretches across the sea,
Where the sparks flashed, as we walked hand in hand,
it’s her, she is all I wanted to see.

All I do is remember that time I looked into your eyes,
A touch of love, and lust so sweet,
My heart goes weak when our eyes meet
I think of all the love that we have been making
You’ve touched my heart and I cant help shaking
And all I did was look into your eyes…
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I wrote something for you…..

RandomI wrote something for you….

When I think of you,
so many emotions run through my mind.
When I don’t hear from you, so many concerns tear at me,
I feel like a mighty monsoon is descending on me, slowly drowning everything, overwhelming loss is around me,
so my senses are surrounded by you, like an emerald green mountain river, so deep it’s slipping quietly but firmly over the hard rocks and obstructions of my life, flowing, gurgling, and coursing but gently polishing my rough edges.Babbling Brook
Such is the peace you give to me, like a gentle breeze, cooling my heated brow, caressing my hot fevered ‘wanting you’ skin.
You calm my heart,
like a cool summer’s night, as the hot sun disappears into a bedazzling sunset the coolness of your being calms my heart, my soul,
and in the morning as dawn breaks, you are like that glimmering sun, bursting through the leaves, warming the branches of my complicated life, shining your light around, illuminating and highlighting.
So you warm my soul, my love, your voice cheers me, like a songbird with it’s lovesong, a sweet perfect melody floating on the breeze captivating my thoughts.
Your smile entrances me, like a precious gem, glowing, polished, sparkling and admired by all who see it, all lusting for a glimpse of it.
Your eyes inspire me, excite me, the windows to the inner you, the sensual you that is like the long summer grasses,
waving gently in the breeze inviting, soft and gorgeous.
Your hair invites my touch, fine and smooth, a work of art, long and flowing, dancing off your shoulders with the grace of a ballerina, swirling, turning, beautiful.MG_8118
Your skin delights me, I can sense the pulse of the Orient barely below the surface, ever present, powerful, a phenomenon unseen.
Your heart attracts me, it’s everything you are, everything you do,
each act of kindness
each look
each touch
every smile
every word
all combine to make me love you,
the precious adorable you…

Nepal and the ill at ease… (me)

Border control stole my toothpaste,
My passport didn’t eject from the scanner
Duty free shopping was quite good value
Coffee at Hudsons was better, found a power point in a dark corner to charge my phone
Good flight, the dinosaur couldn’t drive the in-flight video
Didn’t need dinner, breakfast was fine, omelette and croissant, been up since 3.40am, so slept quite well, woke up 3 times with dribble down the cheek, hardly spoke a word to Lisa hard faced bitch in the window seat, I had the aisle with a spare between us! She wasn’t talking before the dribble episode, so I think I got away with that one, Clock on phone says its 9am, but I thinks its around 5.04 am, still dark, hitting the runway now, bit of reverse cowboy going on there, with a twist of sideways..
Bangkok airport is huge…miles n miles of duty free shops and vertical smiles , all the top end brands, face masks everywhere, maybe I should have got those shots… And what’s the theory behind the dunny being full of water before you start, talk about having a nervous !! Morning Glory for breakfast is pretty standard for a single bloke, but when it gets stuck in between your teeth its a bit annoying, not too sure the red Chilli’s were a good idea before a 4 hour flight, turns out Lisa hardfaced bitch is on this flight too, Christ, haven’t I been punished enough with that sort, just as well I don’t believe in destiny… Boarding now, looks like only Nepalese men fly, its about 95% – 5% and I’m including foreigners in the 5%!
Well there’s a trick, after walking 3 or 4km’s through enticing and glitzy shops, they’ve put me on a bus…. Lined up alongside a Nippon airways cargo plane for a drag race down the airstrip, back the other direction 4km, the cargo plane chickened out… Started going past the propeller jobs, then the bigbirds with the engine cowlings off… Should I be worried or preparing for a long bus ride to Nepal?
Finally up the stairs, and met by another smorgasbord of exquisite Thai stewards…
Ah, life balance returned.. And I’ve avoided Lisa hardfaced bitch, she’s 1 row back against the window, sun burning in… I do believe in karma!
Another great flight courtesy of Thai airways, immaculate service. The fish and rice was superb.
So I got to catch up on a movie, Star Wars, pretty cool, filled in the customs declaration form and arrival form, then braced for impact, well it was pretty cool, got some sideways action again as the ground effect took over from the airspeed… Cool surrounds, military choppers, a few wrecks, but a really modern fire station and appliances.
Stroll across the runway, visible signs of the earthquake damage if your looking, enter the terminal to the smell of fresh paint, they are trying hard to recover, its a 70’s brown brick unappealing place, So glad I got my visa in advance, queue was short, easy entry, down the escalator to a teeming seething caucophony of humanity… Wow, 2 or 3 prior arrivals stretched the 2 carousels to their limit, took a while…. Wandered out to customs with paper work in hand, waved nonchalantly through and I headed out into the unknown.. Taxi spruikers were keen, but over the road was a young well dressed man holding up my name, success!!
Dropped a day of writing, some quick notes following,
So we navigate across the car park, there’s a lot more to that navigate word I could expand on…
Squeeze into a little ( with its own driver) diahatsu or similar, and then proceed to inch our way to the exit, obviously at 2km an hour your horn needs to be used often, get to guy, he is taking monopoly money, the red ones, but I couldn’t tell he was any different to all the other guys standing around…
Get around the corner to see armed military checking cars, I nervously waved and they waved us through to the laughter of my driver and manservant… I asked what happened, they said they are always stopped, but the guards thought I must have been important because my wave looked like I was waving them away and they obeyed, probably accounts for the youngest one saluting as we moved on…
So, have you ever experienced chaos, no, not kids toys all over the floor, I mean chaos that could end in serious injury, well, the roads are bedlam, no, serious bedlam. We drove on the left most of the time, the motorbikes and scooters just swarm around you like bush flies at a bbq, turning left is cool, turning right across oncoming traffic is like that feeling your not going to make the toilet when you have diahorrea… I’m writing this 2 days later, so my description is more relaxed…
Amazing sights, my senses were in overload, obviously some quite poor people and street traders, were everywhere, the building is as to be expected, plus signs of earthquake devastation was always in view, it probably took 30 minutes to reach the hotel in Thamel district, and I was just launched onto a different planet, tiny narrow barely paved alleyways that are roads, foot traffic scooters and bikes, plus the tiny taxis, nothing bigger than a VW Polo, which are the luxury ones… Tiny little bolt holes as street shops, thousands and thousands of them, just amazing, so we ducked up an even smaller alley with large steel black gates, the driver tooted (on reflection my driver was easy going on the horn department) and finally a young man about 14 swung the gates open to a nice secluded courtyard… Phew!

Climbed the stairs to the 4th floor, to a clean respectable 3 star room, you get what you pay for, and this is fine.

Who I am is much more than what I do.

Right there, that was the problem.
I’ve known this for a while, like that gut feel you should always trust, but until I read it somewhere else, I couldn’t articulate it.
I just realised that till now I always identified myself, not by who I am, but by what I do for a living.
It’s easier, giving yourself a title. It plays with people’s imagination. Gives them a box to put you in, makes them feel more secure, ‘oh, you’re just a printer, a small business owner, unemployed, therefore you don’t threaten me or my status’.
It’s also a lie. I could expand here on what I consider my real qualities, but let’s just leave it at being a lie, I’ll leave you to work out the rest.
Luckily, or maybe some things by design and hard work I am more than that. I know things, and I’ve experimented with things, and as a person have so many more aspects than just being a printer.
The wind of change and freedom blows through my mind again. This is why I do this stuff, writing pieces, quitting jobs, moving houses, trying new things. To find my real identity.

Because I’m more than my job.

Homophobia and Transphobia

I acknowledge that the Australian Parliament is basically Christian, beginning sessions with prayer and so forth. It’s an interesting concept, as I would strongly suggest that the majority of Australians do not go to church any more, so if this is a democratic society, has the country voted with it’s feet? We do not wish to be Christian anymore? While there is the hyperbole of Islamic fundamentalism causing terrorist acts, particularly overseas, I suppose that the pendulum would swing back towards an acknowledgement from the majority of people that they would prefer to be seen or known as a Christian country, which in itself is strange as by law we are not allowed to discriminate against religious freedom. What do the practising Muslims think about this?
More to my Title heading, what do we, both Christians and Muslims and the myriad of other beliefs, generally think of Homophobia and Transphobia? Do all the adults need re-education? We have the current hysteria regarding penis tucking, chest strapping, anal sex, gender identifying toilets and changerooms all being raised due to the Government requesting a Report into the Safe Schools program. Like with same sex marriage, the reality of 2 grizzled old men gaily holding hands and even open mouthed kissing in public, is quite a shock to some, particularly the older generations, how do we feel about kids at school dressing in clothing that suits the gender they identify with? and the other normal acts of life that come with that gender identification, kiss chasey in the playground takes on a new dimension… When the Sex education program was introduced into Australian schools there was a divided uproar, it seems to have been slowly accepted by the majority, but do we now, along with the Safe Schools program add components to the Sex Education program of gender diversity and sexual preferences or variety? If these components are added, will it reduce the Homo and Transphobia issues we are currently experiencing? I don’t wish to add Cory Bernadi’s name her, but he was called a Homophobe by the opposition leader last week, would education alter his thinking and also stop the name calling from the Opposition Leader? Personally, I embrace change, and as long my personal mantra of ‘do no harm’ is maintained, I’m all for adding the education to the current programs, age appropriately obviously!
hairy men kissing

The Safe Schools hysteria

No one wants bullying to exist in our schools, and even more so, when it does rear it’s ugly head, we want it stopped dead in it’s tracks, we want the perpetrator AND the bullied to receive counselling and support. I note that there are issues from the ACL (Australian Christian Lobby) regarding some of the information being supplied by linked organisations that particularly pertain to gender issues. This is the issue that has tipped the Coalition Government over the edge, and it has initiated a Report into the program. It is reported that when the PM became aware of Penis tucking, chest strapping and other information being supplied, he stopped the discussion and asked for the Report, there were also concerns regarding the Costs of the program, fearing a rort, he included this in the terms of reference. The hysteria that this has caused in the left thinking populace is amazing, the program hasn’t been stopped, there is a Report been ordered. This reminds me of the anti-Abbott era, people are doing their cause no good by jumping at shadows, if you’re concerned about the Report, contact your Federal MP, that’s what they are for!
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