Archive for September, 2010

The Trifecta Of Stupid

Customer returned the Slow Cooker because it "Takes too long..."

If you ever wonder how anyone can be so dumb as to (insert dumb thing), think again. The sad reality is that the average IQ in Australia is 98. As that is the average, that means there are a lot of people far lower on the IQ scale than 98. In a lot of countries it is much lower. I am always quick to point out that IQ and common sense are rarely related but sometimes the intelligence quotient of the individual does have a lot to do with why they do some pretty stupid things.

Take the photo of this electric appliance. My wife found this on the shelf at our local K-Mart. Someone had returned the Slow Cooker they had purchased because, as it states on the yellow ticket as the reason for the markdown “Takes too long…” Whoever bought it must have been  on the stupid pills for a week. It is a slow cooker, it is designed to cook things slowly. I wonder what the person does for a job, heaven forbid they are in charge of anything on the public roads.

Few people listen to what they are being told. They hear, but they don’t listen, they don’t pay attention and actually comprehend what it is they were just told. They might then go on and do something very much not what was asked of them simply because they interpreted the instructions to suit themselves. In many cases this can be amusing, often hilarious but it can also be time consuming, frustrating and sadly, all too often harmful, even lethal.

What is really scary is that people like the slow cooker returnee can enjoy the trifecta of stupid. They vote, they breed and they drive on the roads. That is really scary.

Cook Me Some Eggs, Woman!

I remember years ago watching ‘Jake The Muss’ beat his wife up because she refused to cook some eggs for his drunken mates in the movie “Once Were Warriors“. Of course the bashing wasn’t about the eggs. Similarly in Kentucky this weekend a man shot his wife and four witnesses dead with a 12 gauge shotgun because she didn’t cook his eggs properly. That wasn’t about the eggs either.It’s never about the eggs. The eggs, or the door left open or the kid staying out late or whatever the ‘reason’ may be is only the spark that lights the fuse. The explosion was building up for some time and just needed that final trigger to set it off. In this case it was eggs. Next time, who knows?

You can often avoid such explosions of violence by being aware of what went on before you arrived with your frypan and tray of cackleberries. Not every time, but often enough. It is never about the eggs. Keep that in mind.

Online Dating – Offline Dying

A British man who went to the Philippines to meet his online penpal was stabbed by her jealous Filipino boyfriend. The man died of his wounds. The internet has increased the ease with which we can meet compatible partners from around the world and yet that instant gratification aspect doesn’t lend itself to a positive outcome.

Usually the man finds his bride to be has more than one iron in the fire, but then she probably isn’t the only woman he is writing to either. Many of these women are out and out scammers, a lot are often not women at all but “Bakla” (Tagalog) or “Bayut” (Visayan) – trans gender homosexuals who work the chat rooms getting western men to send money to them.

Lately the chatcam scene has taken the lead for ‘introducing’ men looking for a new life and partner to a Filipina. Many men overlook the fact chatcams are a form of prostitution, albeit virtual prostitution as the couples never physically touch while online. Some of the ‘genuine’ girls on the penpal sites also work in the sex industry there, usually because there are few other options for the poorer ones with no tertiary education. College costs money but to even work in fast food you need to be ‘college level’, or have at least one year of a college course under your belt.

There are many other very genuine, loving women online also and perhaps the lady in this story was one of those, although one must question her bona fides if she has a ‘jealous Filipino boyfriend’ who takes such objection to his foreigner competitor he runs amok with a knife.

The whole foreign bride scene is one where you need to be cautions and get advice from trusted sources. My eBooks on the topic sell well and I am happy to report many very positive testimonials from my readers. Sometimes a few dollars invested up front can save a lot of money, heartache, and perhaps even your life!

One thing I do take umbrage at is the use of the term ‘Mail Order Bride’. I find it offensive to say the least, to both parties involved. I and my wife were defamed by a Queensland law school in a report they prepared on People Trafficking for the UN, claiming I was the husband of a ‘mail order bride’. I pursued the matter vigorously, knowing I was picking a fight with an organization that had vastly superior resources and capabilities then I did when it came to a legal stoush. However, I had right on my side and I was not going to allow them to go unchallenged. Finally I received a letter of apology from the Dean and the offending statement was removed from the report.

I met my Filipina wife face to face in the Philippines but even if I had met her online, so what? ‘Mail Order Bride’ raises an image of a female shaped courier satchel arriving on one’s doorstep… “Sign here please sir, here’s your new wife.” It demeans both parties and is no different to calling anyone derogatory names based on their ethnicity, race, gender or orientation.

If it is wrong to use such terms when referring to negroes, homosexuals, minorities, disabled people and so on, so too it is not acceptable to use it about women who utilise technology to increase the number of potential partners they can connect with. Remember, the words we use form our thoughts and our thoughts direct our actions.

Suicide By Ambulance?

In the US they have a name for those people who take a gun and menace the public hoping the police will be forced to shoot them: Suicide By Cop. I wonder if the recent tragic accident in Sydney of a woman stepping into the path of an ambulance is a new phenomena, Suicide By Ambo?

One wonders if she were deaf, blind, drugged, drunk or just unlucky and not paying attention? Or did she do it on purpose? I know train drivers are often on stress leave because people deliberately leap in front of their trains. It is a fairly sure way of getting the job done although nothing is certain nowadays (as the man who jumped off the 39th floor of a building in New York found out).

I have always felt suicide to be selfish, not painless as the theme to M.A.S.H. claims. But as the song says, the choice is up to you, take it or leave it.

Some suicides go to great lengths to make sure they don’t leave a mess for others to clean up. Too many simply don’t care and they have no thought for the trauma they will cause loved ones, emergency service workers, whoever finds their corpse or the drivers of trains, buses and trucks. And now ambulances.

If it were a suicide, we have to wonder why? Why do so many of our citizens feel the need to opt out well before their time? Teen suicide is a major problem, particularly in the rural areas of our country.  Experts say suicide is really a cry for help and usually not the first time the victim has attempted it. Our poor record of treating the mentally ill, more as criminals than patients, often is a factor in suicide. Suicides are not reported in the media except for murder-suicides where the murderer takes their own life, all too often after killing their own family members.

I was told the reason for the media blackout is to prevent copy-cat suicides or encouraging others to kill themselves after reading about it in the newspapers or hearing it on the radio. I have news for the media, it is not making any difference, is it? People still do it just as they still smoke cigarettes even without cigarettes being advertised on television since 1976 and in other media for more than a decade. Nowadays you can’t even see a pack on the shelf yet it hasn’t stopped smokers, nor has the massive tax hikes to the price. Nor does keeping quiet stop people committing suicide.

I think we need to report each and every suicide. We need to give the reasons as best we can find them and do so in words that discourage rather than encourage. We could show others feeling depressed enough to want to die that there are options, people they can talk to, light at the end of the tunnel.

On the other hand, surely the right to die is the last human right ‘They’ can take from us. It is already illegal, I’m surprised they don;t make it a capital offence. We refuse the terminally ill the right to die with dignity and insist they suffer on, I won’t call it living. I think we have it all wrong. We need to help those who want to die to do so with dignity and free of pain. Anyone who wants to suicide can go through the process and in doing so I am sure we would provide a safety net that would catch so many of those who currently fall through societies cracks. We would assist the terminally ill to pass on peacefully and everyone involved, from staff to patients to relatives would be better off.

Of course to do that we need a radical rethink of our attitudes to death, euthanasia and life. Maybe one day.

“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide…. I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying)….” Albert Camus, “The Myth Of Sisyphus” 1942, Libraire Gallimard, Paris.

If you or someone you know seems cut off, alone, desperate and suicidal, PLEASE talk to some one. Get help.

Lifeline  13 11 14

A Life Sentence- Just Like His Victim’s

I read with utter disgust the report on the sentencing hearing of a serial rapist in a Sydney court. It makes chilling reading as you think what it must be like for a woman, after the rape at knife point is over, to be told by her attacker he has been stalking her for two days and knows where she lives? We should applaud her personal courage in not buckling to this slime and reporting the crime to the police, then seeing it through the courts.

Another of his victims was raped only a metre away from her baby. Imagine how vulnerable she now feels, for herself and her child. Meanwhile this criminal will probably get a few years in prison where he will be fed and even educated and most likely protected from harm. All the time his victims have to live their lives, cope with the fears and the stress and hope they never become a victim again.

In cases such as this, where the offender has damaged so many lives, I feel a primal need to even the score. It might not be rational or ‘educated’ but it is very, very heart felt. If the courts could prevent this rapist from ever physically raping again I would be happy. But that would mean either solitary confinement until the day he dies, at public expense, or some form of castration.

While he might not be able to penetrate his victims as he once did, he would still be capable of doing other harm to them,perhaps even more physically damaging. He might turn to murder in his anger and frustration. So is the anger for us, the State, to pre-empt how he might react and execute him? This is the dilemma faced by the courts and the law makers.

In the short term the only solution is to do one’s best to try and avoid becoming a target and then a victim. The victim’s of this rapist are not at fault and can never be held to any blame for their attacks so don’t misconstrue my message. What is done is done but for the future, if all of us, as men are raped just as women are violated, took a moment to think about how much of a target we sometimes make of ourselves, perhaps we can begin to take steps to minimize the risk and the likelihood we suffer such a tragic fate.

To the victims of Shannon Curreen, you have my respect for your courage and strength of character. Take whatever solace you can from the fact that you are still alive, so what ever you did to stay that way was the right thing at the time. You can never be held to blame so don’t, please, don’t waste a moment blaming yourself. I wish you all the best in moving on with your lives and if I can be of any service, just say so.

39 Storey Fall And Still Alive!

A New York man attempted to commit suicide by jumping from the 39th floor of a West Side apartment block. He landed in the back seat of parked car… and survived. He is being treated for two broken legs. One might think they will be a lot shorter than they once were by the time he recovers.

I had always been led to believe that four stories is about the most you can expect to jump from and survive the stop at the bottom. Of course you can trip and kill yourself falling from however tall you are when standing, there are no hard and fast rules to life or how you leave it.

If I did have to drop four floors I would hang and drop, scraping along the side of the building and trying to slow down my impact with the ground if possible. Like some cartoon character there would be fingernail scratches scoured deep into the brick work all the way down!

I wonder if he lost consciousness on the way down or at the moment of impact? I read of a man in Paris who fell from the Eiffel Tower who was heard to say “I’m alright so far” as he passed people on the restaurant terrace half way down. Nice touch.

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