Sunday, November 9, 2008

Blood oranges

Three more idiots are dead. Does it fix anything? Does it make us better people? Does it allow us all learn as humans from our mistakes and live happier lives?
Now 205 people are dead as a result of the 2002 Bali bombings. That's it.

"There is an unwanted chapter in my life that begins with violence and closes with violence. There is a sense of emptiness."

Brian Deegan, father of Josh Deegan who was killed in the attack.


GTH - To Shippy for the tooth-rotting metaphor and a grudging tick to 327 for nerding up in the old nerd box. The picture was of course meant to reference both the literal poor dental care resultant from a 'user pays' society and the metaphor of dealing with both HECS, Centrelink and self people folk what don't get the value of an educated community: eating shit.


  1. I had a theory, about the suffering these guys would have had with a lifetime in gaol (jail to my American friends) that would be removed if the death sentence was inflicted. However, considering the fact that one of them was allowed to get married in gaol and they are allowed to talk to young childern about war against western countries, made me think differently. I don't really understand some of the Eastern countries laws/punishments but then again, I don't really understand some of our own.

    GTH: Franzy's suggestion of tools implementing a possible consequence of mass murderers due to the senseless violence that they partake in.

  2. I reckon you get a point for keeping gaol Aussie.
    Yes, I also have that "lifetime in gaol" theory, but maybe "gaol" could mean "Australian gaol" or "U.S. military gaol".
    Perhaps all terrorists should be asked to name their cause, and then be sent to whatever country's gaol they were fighting against. Presumably living among the hated infidel would be far less pleasant and more like gaol than the alternative.

    This is where it begins to become difficult. How do you punish someone by depriving them of liberty, or even their own lives, if they do not value it?
    And doesn't punishment also have the ring of hope for rehabilitation sitting above it? As thought the punished will become sorry and see, through their punishment, what their errors have been?

    I wonder if I'm the first person ever to think about this stuff? Pass the cheezels, man - this is deep ...

  3. I have a feeling that when they were sentenced to death/life, the discussion was made by many of the people heavily involved in the Bali situation.

    Yes, it doesn't make sense taking someone's life if they don't value it, however if they didn't value it, wouldn't they have been a Martyr with the bombings, although the definition of Martyr means technically now they are Martyrs and it means they get so many virgins after death or something like that.

    It's one of the questions that has been passed around for years. How do you punish these crimes? Many people in the US appear to be quick to ask for death; I don't want to be making a stereotypical suggestion, but Australia is turning more and more like the US everyday. The Oklahoma bombing was probably an easy one for the US officials to jump on, with the culprit Tim whocares, being fast tracked to death. Was it easier being an American? Did he value his life any more than these Indonesian 'Martyrs'? Who makes the decision as to how much they value their lives?

    I'd almost be leaning towards calling it Euthanasia.

    Cheezels passed.

  4. Brian Deegan couldn't have said it better myself. Some Islamic leaders in Indonesia have also come out and said that none of these three misguided clowns will be - forgive my paraphrasing here - getting that magical ticket to heaven and access to the 77 virgins and should not be celebrated as heroes.

    I could never condone killing another human being and yet maybe this is easy for me to say because it wasn't my child, sister or partner killed in the attack or me having to see the bombers' insanely smiling faces paraded in the media every day.

    You're right though Franzy. Three extra graves won't make an ounce of difference or put off any other lunatic (['lunatic' being the key word here) from doing something similar, but it might, just might, have eased some of the mental and emotional anguish of some of the victims' families. Maybe.

    Can I have a cheezel too?

  5. GTH - that's one helluva an evil gardening shed you have there

  6. I think it's neither here nor there what we think. We don't have any control over how people are punished over there. The problem of course is it will only beget more violence

    Ultimately there is no solution because humans are a lamentable bunch of no-hopers who will never live in peace

    On that happy note...

  7. Shippy - I just finished reading an article which outlined the poor way in which the bombers were handled by the Indonesian government, which you also mentioned: ie. allowed to marry, talk to children, communicate with the outside world other than their lawyers. They gave interviews, published books and were accorded a certain amount of celebrity - none of which gave the impression that the Indonesian Govt was concerned about the families of the victims.
    So life in the prison of celebrity seems much more pleasant than the prison of anonymity. But death for them? It only guarantees death.

    Kath - I do agree that some victims' families are probably feeling better today than yesterday. But they will never stop feeling the worst ever and the death sentences now guarantee that there is no chance of healing.

    Squib - You're right, you're right: we should never give up hope! Right on!
    I guess that's why the death sentence bothers me - it denies any hope for an improvement, at all, ever.

  8. This is off topic but... I've had people tell me they don't understand the motivations of the attackers. But I think can understand their motivations perfectly. Put yourself in their situation. You live in an a third-world country with third-rate helathcare and education systems. And the only real foundation for your economy is a seemingly constant stream of rich ignorant Australian tourists who come to your beaches purely to get drunk, take drugs and generally act like obnoxious bogans. In the process suppourting the drug trade which has probably torn apart your family or friends and destroyed any shred of dignity your nation might have had. Then along comes a particular school of fundamentalist islam which tells you that you aren't worthless and makes an easy scape-goat out of the very people, whom with the aide of the media you've learned to hate all this time. Better still, this particular religion as it has been interpreted for you justifies the killing of enemies of Islam. And you belong to the very same school of fundamentalist Islam which the western world was apparently waging war on at the time.

    It's not justifiable, but it is understandable.

    I have a problem with people who refuse to understand the motivation for acts when they disagree with them. This happens with various tragic events throughout history. The Jewish holocaust and the genocide in Darfur just to name a few. I think you need to understand the flawed logic of the individuals who commit these crimes in order to avoid it.

    The question I find myself constantly asking people is this. If you choose not to even acknowledge the existence of a motivation, no matter how shallow. How can you possibly hope to prevent such a thing from happening again?

  9. I think that's where the core of my anti-death-penalty-even-for-mass-murdering-terrorists believe comes from.

    To prevent something, you must first understand it. And how can you possibly hope to understand anything by killing it?

    The problem with the death penalty is that it's an extremely archaic solution to a very modern and complex problem.
    It's like trying to cure cancer by sacrificing goats.
    The death penalty might act as a deterrent to (some) drug smugglers but as a punishment it offers no individual hope of redemption, and therefore no solution to the problem of terrorism.

    By the way - who can't understand the motives of the Bali bombers? Surely the full range of explanations you offered are fairly prevalent - everything from "They're jealous of the west" to "They're dispossessed, freewheeling sociopathic victims of fundamentalist psuedoreligious whack jobs with no concept of humanity".

  10. Well it was a pretty popular topic of conversation at my previous place of employment. And despite attempts to discuss the actual possible motivations of the attackers there were a few who remained convinced that these people were just monsters or insane.

    Perhaps some people just can't comprehend something they disagree with?


  11. Perhaps some people just can't comprehend something they disagree with?

    And this ironically is the exact problem the Bali bombers had in the first place.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32