Weird stuff!

15 November, 2001

Two people seem to have found my Sep 11 page via Google, it seems – basic as it may be.

Anyway, I just wanted to publish the two completely opposing responses just for a laugh. The first is so extreme that I think even most right wing commentators would strongly disagree with it. The second is surprisingly refreshing.

Response # 1:

“I saw what u wrote, I found it on google yesterday. u must be a terrorist cuz afghanistan deserves all it gets frmo the US, if thye have to kill every last one of those islamic bastards to pay for 9/11 then it must be done. and the serbians? well they got their reward, we shoulda nuked em. fucking animal I hope you die with osama bin lamer, enjoy fucking him in hell mate!”

Response # 2:

“Your page, while small, showed a level of insight that’s really been lacking in this whole situation, and gave us a valuable opportunity to see non-mainstream views (i.e. those that promote the value of human life generally) of the conflict. I honestly hope you expand on what you’ve done and write even more. It’s sad that many people who’ve taken the non-mainstream line have also swallowed implausible conspiracy theories and I’m glad to see that you’ve avoided that temptation. Keep up the good work.”


Nice sterile letter for consumption of the masses.

8 November, 2001

I saw the anti-gay-rights protest outside Parliament House today. Part of me was amused by the spectacle, and part of me deeply saddened that the representatives of Christianity, whose message is one of hope or redemption for *all*, actually believe their own garbled form of the message. Margaret Court (former champion tennis player) of Victory Life Centre, and Barry Hickey, the Catholic archbishop of Perth, were among the speakers. For those not aware, the WA Catholic Church has its own skeletons – in particular with regard to their treatment of orphans and others at the Christian Brothers schools.

For the record, I used to be a member of one of the more extreme Protestant churches (used to be known as Rhema) – Margaret Court went to this church before starting her own ministry. I left in 1995 because I became very concerned at the way things were going, some sections of the group were very cult-like in the way they operated.

Anyway, my letter:
Dear Editor,

I was quite bemused to see the protest rally outside Parliament House yesterday, holding signs up like “Protect our young boys” and denouncing gay relationships.

Equally so that the representatives of a church which have paid millions in legal fees for their clergy’s defence against some of the worst abuse cases WA has ever seen against young boys, were among the speakers at this rally.

I challenge the movements at the head of this protest to explain why they are so opposed to gay relationships being regarded the same as heterosexual defacto relationships, without using the word “immoral” or the words of the Bible. After all, the church regards these defacto relationships as being immoral and sinful too, so why single out gays?

Update: predictably, The West didn’t print it. Oh well. Some interesting letters did get published however:

1. Hooray, Kabul is free from the mob of vicious extremist thugs who have used their religious fundamentalism as justification for telling everyone else how they should live their lives.

Meanwhile here in WA, we have Margaret Court and her mob of fundamentalists, including the usual suspects among your letter writers, insisting that what God has told them on their personal hotline must override policies which our secular Government clearly declared before its democratic election [State election in Feb 2001].

– Nick Suess, Bayswater

2. I see that religion, once again, is being touted as an excuse for humans to inflict pain and suffering on others by forcing everyone to try to bend to their way of thinking.

How are these so-called Christians who voice their opinions against gay law reform on these pages any different to Osama bin Laden? He, too, wanted to make the world think as he does and he didn’t care who was hurt or killed in the process – supposedly on orders from his god. At least bin Laden has an excuse – he is a madman. What excuse do they have?

– Ryan Nicholas, Maylands

Responses: I got some very interesting responses to this article, and some informed discussion arose. A person who worked nearby reported that the small core of protesters “were yelling the most hateful and horrible things about gay people” and that in their opinion, “basic Christian charity/sympathy is beyond these so-called Christians, who would probably ditch their children on the street to fend for themselves given half a chance”.

Another pointed out that the millions the church spend comes from the faithful who believe they are giving the money to God. They credited the Uniting and Anglican churches with holding more progressive views in line with Jesus’s own: “the God I have come to know, who is described by Jesus in the Gospels, loves me for everything that I am. Throughout Jesus’s lifetime he promoted tolerance, compassion and understanding. Love as described in 1 Cor 13 and as preached by Jesus in the form “love thy neighbour”, doesn’t seem to include the hatred expressed at that little meeting last week. I’m glad McGinty isn’t swayed by them.”

The consensus was that “Christians, to me, are like any other large group – fractious and widespread in their opinions. Everything from liberal, tolerant and ethical through to the sort of fundamentalism being complained about in the letter at the top of this page.”

General silliness

2 November, 2001

Someone pointed out to me … do you realise that America is behind the times?

No, I mean literally. The US is presently 5-8 hours behind GMT. Even Chile, which is at the far west of South America, is ahead of Maine and New York etc by one hour due to daylight saving there.

If that's the case though, Fiji is ahead of the times. Just imagine what implications that has!

Oh and on time zones, why is Singapore, Malaysia, Western Australia and the Philippines on the same time zone (GMT+8), yet Thailand, between them, is one hour ahead? Mysteries never cease 🙂

International phone costs

1 November, 2001

OK, so I phoned a friend in the UK and we chatted for 15 minutes. More than a little concerned about my mobile bill for this call, I rang my mobile company to ascertain the rate to the UK and …

It costs ONE THIRD of the per-minute cost to phone the UK as it does to phone a local number here in Perth on my mobile!!

As I thought, the world is truly mad …