Immigration, racism, bullying but no sexual harassment (this time)

A quick glimpse at the news, social media and current affairs these days and one could be forgiven for thinking that Lord of the Flies was a documentary. I was at a shopping mall today – I’d rather be on Aitutaki. I saw many people. I found myself sad almost to the point of tears wondering if they were wondering if I was thinking about them in the way that they’ve been described recently in an opinion piece. I don’t like that. It’s awful. I love being surrounded by diversity. It’s invigorating, inspiring, exciting and gives warmth, richness and meaningfulness to life. Embracing diversity is also our best chance at survival and progression.

However I’m doubly sad because I feel we’ve lost the opportunity to address the fears expressed in the opinion piece in a meaningful, progressive way. I feel just as sad at the way the writer has been and is being treated. He’s said insightful things and made a lot of meaningful contributions. He’s a person like everyone else who has fears, says stupid things, clever things, does good things, is sometimes lazy and is sometimes full of energy… (speculation alert) There is hopefully lots of potential to address these thoughts and opinions he has and prompt change.

One thing that won’t prompt change is the nasty, ‘lefty blog’, virtue signalling outrage and bullying that I’ve seen and referred to before by people I refuse to name and promote. I don’t for one minute think they are actually trying to get change on issues they purport to care about because they are using the most well-known useless methods – alienating, insulting and polarising. I speculate they’re out to feather their own nests. A bit like the tobacco industry recommending education programmes to solve youth smoking.  I welcome any attempts to persuade me, effectively, otherwise.

With respect to immigration, it needs calm, respectful discussion. My take on it, my fear,  having delved into the data, is that we might be importing too much white privilege and power, European/Western immigrants like me are still a huge chunk of immigrants. Are we relying too much on other countries’ education systems and not investing enough in developing our own citizens and residents? NZ I think could benefit from a little more investment in education, social and health services and less imports like me. I could be wrong.

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Spurred to literary rage by advertising

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Right, that does it. Now I’m off on a rant. My husband is rolling his eyes….

I generally tolerate advertising, I do quite a good job of ignoring and evading it. Stuff in my mail goes straight into the recycling or on a rare occasion might get used as mulch, compost or rubbish wrapping. I use the freeview machine to zoom through ads on the tele at high speed. I haven’t minded the sidebar ads on facebook because generally I don’t see them or if I do they are totally inappropriate for me or uninteresting. Today however I took intense dislike to a particular ad right in the middle of my facebook news feed. This is where I want to see what my friends have been up to, it’s where I want to see news or views about issues or brands I’ve signed up to. It was an ad for a weight loss product with some gross, oiled up, lumpy, digitally deranged excuse for a female in a bikini. I can’t even remember what the product was. I may be in my forties and my body is likely past its best before date. But facebook advertisers f off with your f’ing weight loss shit. 1) My BMI is normal 2) my husband thinks I’m sexy 3) I am a scientist and I know all that shit you are advertising DOESN’T work.

So now I’m sensitised! I’ve suddenly started taking notice of the ads in my news feed- and please note advertisers – not in a good way. I will be paying careful attention and specifically doing everything I can to expunge, delete and NOT spend a skerric on any product or service that I haven’t specifically sought or liked that appears in my news feed or is “promoted” on my twitter feed.