ethics & philosophy

ideals, breaches, disappointments and inspirations

Guest Post: Why I’m shutting down the bail laws petition: lone-wolf activism reconsidered.

Single issue petitions on websites like Change.org, and others of their ilk, tend to be focused on the simplest messages one can extract from an issue. The hardest line and most sensational language is encouraged to guarantee two things: the most possible signatures, and bountiful media coverage. On first glance that seems like a good thing, but what is missed with this push?

My understandable, human and heartfelt response to the tragedy of the Sydney siege was all of those things, but only those things. It was informed by my own past trauma, which are legitimate parts of the conversation but not the whole of it. It was not nuanced or critiqued, and it did not engage in community consultation. I simply said aloud and formally what many were feeling, before the facts had come into play. Swept into a maelstrom of commentary and an unanticipated furious public response, I was left reeling and scrambling to begin the consultation that should have been the foundation of any campaign.

Hands up anybody now who’d trust Rolling Stone to tell their story?

“We’ve constructed seemingly infinite incentives for victims to keep silent (you drank too much, you wore too little, you’ll destroy the family, you’ll ruin the fun, your entire sexual history will be dredged and questioned and vivisected … in front of your grandma) and pretty much no compelling reasons to report, nor functional support systems in the aftermath.”

Media Circus: RIP Gough Whitlam Edition

The giants who strode the political landscape of my youth are toppling one by one, leaving only gnats swarming over the entrails of serious political principles while Big Money shakes shiny things at us all, politicians very much included.

Contrast the government’s war on welfare with the rhetoric surrounding critics of the increasing wealth gap as advocates of “class warfare”. Hmm.

What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?

Media Circus: Shame Shorten Shame – Spineless Opposition Edition

The Shorten Opposition is there voting with the government in the House without rigorously debating the bills or using the Senate conscientiously as a House of Review, so these bills are being fast-tracked into legislation without adequate scrutiny let alone electoral transparency. Why?

Contrast the government’s war on welfare with the rhetoric surrounding critics of the increasing wealth gap as advocates of “class warfare”. Hmm.

What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?

Dawkins stirs the pot again

I’ve just posted at Feministe about the latest developments in the skeptosphere’s Deep Rifts TM. For those who’d rather discuss the ongoing cyberstorm that began with Elevatorgate here, this is the thread for you. Links to other people’s posts especially welcome.

Media Circus: Is Welfare “Dependency” Really Our Greatest Social Evil? Really? Edition

Given a choice between a welfare system in which some people get money they don’t deserve but nobody dies miserably, and a welfare system in which nobody gets money they don’t deserve but people die miserably, which do we prefer?

Contrast the government’s war on welfare with the rhetoric surrounding critics of the increasing wealth gap as advocates of “class warfare”. Hmm.

What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?

Media Circus: Blaming/Shaming Women Edition

In just the last week Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn and over 100 female showbiz celebrities brought it all on themselves, doncha know.

Also in the last week our current Federal LNP government has kept on working to push its ideological agenda through Parliament, against what seems horribly likely to be insufficient opposition despite the best efforts of the Greens.

What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?

Media Circus: No Snappy Title edition

I have been mostly speechless/typingless at the latest news, taking refuge in offline activities. But I should still put up a post for the rest of you to vent/rant or even ideally substantively discuss these issues, because disengagement is never going to be a solution, even if it’s sometimes necessary for some self-care. Go for it.

What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?