Monthly Archives: July 2011

The things that really frighten me

A Whirlpool forums user, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote the following (reproduced here with permission) on some of the political “debate” going on in a certain forum there:

I think the older I get, the more I’m losing patience. It’s not that I consider the people to be ignorant, it’s that they want to be ignorant. Or, more to the point, that they want to believe that Australia used to be this pristine, happy place filled with butterflies and rainbows, until the nasty, dirty ethnics came in and started turning it into a scummy hive of crime, corruption, and violence. They write their own little narrative around it, they twist every story, they select, they deselect, they emphasise, they de-emphasise. They omit the truth, they insert sly lies. What is not said is often the most important bit, as with any dog whistle.

I wouldn’t care so much except that I feel so much innate loathing for what that ideology leads to – we saw it in the past, in Europe, in the middle of the 20th century. I can’t detach myself from that, and I can’t unlink myself from the outrage that I feel when I see people cheerleading that ideology, that poisonous ideology that should have been eliminated when it’s figurehead died a coward’s death in a bunker in 1945.

I really couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m also reminded of this quote by 村上春樹:

Narrow minds devoid of imagination. Intolerance, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems. Those are the things that really frighten me. What I absolutely fear and loathe.

Two orbits around the sun

This time two years ago, I was coming to grips with parenting: how to wash a baby, how to dress a baby, coping with the perpetual lack of sleep—particularly so after being up all night during the long labour. Though I can’t complain too much about that as it was my lovely wife who did all of the hard work. The last two years have been pretty stressful, with a change of job, and shifting house twice (one of those interstate). Lots of other stressful events too. Parenting is not easy, but it is very rewarding. Chloe’s amazingly advanced in speaking (and is now starting to learn characters/letters) in not one but two languages. She’s starting to “read” by herself by just memorising what words go with what pages in some books. She’s a very happy, easy-going child, and spending time with her is the best thing in the world. I love her to bits and I’m so very proud of her.