A possie in Aussie

March 31, 2010

Boat people scoop! They buy Home Brand Hawaiian pizza

The Brisbane Sunday Mail had a scoop last Sunday – and honoured it with a front page banner headline:  “THEY’RE HERE”: Refugee crisis hits home! As Christmas Island overflows boat people are enjoying shopping trips in Queensland.

International news agencies have not yet run with the story, but just when I was ready to write, the perfect words on the topic were published by Crikey: They’re here! The racist ham eating muslins have arrived!



March 15, 2010

Outrage? I condemn it as cheap and nasty

Filed under: humor,humour,media,News — Nayano @ 7:09 am
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I have been having trouble keeping up the momentum for this blog lately. It would be a lot easier for me if I wasn’t trying so hard to present a balanced view (What do you mean, you hadn’t noticed!).

Yes, I try to avoid posting out of outrage.

Larvatus Prodeo made reference to the ubiquity of outrage and condemnation on the web when he recently opened a thread in this way:

“What’s been worthy of condemnation this week so far? Which evil political, cultural, social, musical, religious, and other phenomena need condemnation? (Or loud denunciation?)”

Larry Gellman at the Huffington Post wrote Feeding the Beast–Our Addiction to Anger and Fear:

“If you ask most people what they want the most for themselves–and certainly for their children–the vast majority would say “happiness.” So why do so many people spend every waking moment watching, listening to, and reading things that tell us up front are specifically designed to make us angry or afraid?

“…Millions of Americans have become truly addicted to anger and outrage. Fox News and talk radio figured it out first, and years ago became the crack pipe of the angry Right. They realized early on that there’s no money in real journalism any more but they could get rich feeding our insatiable need for heroes and villains.

Millions of Australians, too.

I am constantly amazed by the volume of posts put out by Andrew Bolt (subscribe to an Andrew Bolt RSS feed – it’s very instructive!)

It’s true that his posts are usually short, but there is another factor that makes posting more efficient for him – outrage. The ‘outrage’ theme is so ubiquitous at his blog that even when an action is stated its bare bones, it is implicit that it is being stated because it is OUTRAGEOUS.

It would be much easier to settle for outrage, instead of considered comments.

For a (unintentionally) cynical take on feeding the hungry ‘beast’ of the media, have a look at Feeding the media beast: an easy recipe for great publicity By Mark Mathis

January 31, 2010

How are racists made?

How are racists made? Through stereotypes.

How are stereotypes made? Through:

Reducing complex information to one idea, and

Using one example to represent a pattern

For example, a Korean backpacker is killed in Australia.

Here are a few patterns of thought that could be elicited by this small piece of information:

Koreans are violent people

Australia is a violent place

Backpackers are easy targets

Where do the patterns come from? In most cases the media.

But it is not that the media is conspiring to create harmful stereotypes. It’s just that they are perpetually in the hunt for a ‘story’.

One Korean backpacker killed would probably feature only in state news, and not on the front page, unless it’s a very slow news period, or the killing was macabre.

Two backpackers killed in close succession is a ‘bigger’ story, and gives writers more to work with, i.e. ‘Is this a pattern?’ ‘What is it with backpackers/ Koreans anyway?’ ‘Are we a violent state?’ and so on.

The Korean Association speaks out – even better story opportunities.

From now on, any violence involving a Korean is reported, even minor incidents. And no matter whether the numbers of violent incidents hasn’t increased, or have even decreased, it will seem as if there are more and more incidents, just because they are being reported.

The Korean government speaks out? Even better story. Now we are on the front page, not only in Australia, but in Korea, and possibly in most of Asia.

If ‘Australians are racist towards Koreans’ hasn’t been thrown into the mix, it certainly will be now.

(And if Australians hadn’t thought of being racist towards Koreans before now – they may feel left out ;-))

And if Koreans have never before thought of Australians as racist – they will now.

This cycle of stereotyping is completed.

And for fun – here is a stereotyping test:

December 20, 2009

Father Christmas granted Business Visa (subclass 456)

Filed under: humor,humour — Nayano @ 7:45 am
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Today is not only Sunday Funday, but also the last Sunday before Christmas.

This is a news item from last year, but as a recurring event, I believe it still has relevance today. Enjoy!

(The Possie will be on holiday from now until January 11 2010)

December 6, 2009

Does racism justify violence? ;-)

Filed under: humor,humour,racism — Nayano @ 6:58 am
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It is Sunday Funday – but today is also Cuteday!

Cats are one of the most popular hits on the internet, so let’s join in!

November 29, 2009

Something you don’t want to do? Get a marginalised migrant

Filed under: humor,humour,Immigrant workers — Nayano @ 7:43 am
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Happy Sunday Funday!
What would we do without marginalised migrants to do our dirty work?

(From KnoxNews.com)

November 15, 2009

Australia’s only Sudanese Stand-up Comedian

Filed under: African,humor,humour,refugee — Nayano @ 7:18 am
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This is the second time Sunday Funday has featured Australia’s only Sudanese Stand-up Comedian, Mujahid Ahmed, who lives in my home town and works for the agency I work for (lucky us!).

Enjoy. I particularly liked the very last line!

November 8, 2009

Racist… yes. Very very funny? Extremely.

Filed under: humor,humour,race relations,racism — Nayano @ 7:22 am
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I thought hard about whether to share this – but I found it very very funny!

Now you know how low my humour can go.

But beware if you are a racially-sensitive type.

Have a happy Sunday Funday!

November 1, 2009

PhD tales from the Heathrow detention facility

Filed under: detention,humor,humour,migration,racism — Nayano @ 6:52 am
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It’s Sunday Funday!

I regularly have a look at Jorge Cham’s ‘Piled Higher and Deeper’ website, where Jorge cartoons about life and PhD candidates.

It’s funny, or, as Jorge says,

“Results show that persistent exposure to phdcomics dot com (PDC) is mildly correlated to jocular deportment, which suggests improvements in temporal-delay behaviour of bounded activity.”

And this week Jorge cartooned his experience of being detained and very nearly deported from Heathrow airport.

(If you need some seriousness on the same topic, however, see yesterdays’ post on this blog Want child abuse? Night raids? Summary justice? Just ask your Immigration official)

October 27, 2009

Asylum seekers given massive Centrelink payments drawn from the bank accounts of pensioners and disabled war veterans

Last week I wrote in outrage about the ‘news’ item about refugees and Centrelink benefits on Channel Nine, in which they claimed that three quarters of refugees are claiming Centrelink benefits.

Media Watch examined the claims last night on ABC TV, and showed that any figures that Nine could have obtained from Centrelink would related to all persons in the Australian population who are from a refugee background – and that means as far back as the 1950s.

Nine is ‘standing by’ its story. Howard Sattler said that Nine must be ‘innumerate’.

Or deliberately beating up refugee and asylum seeker hatred?

Or perhaps Nine executives have been innocently taken in by the spam emails that periodically do the rounds. Immigrant facts and furphies

If Nine believes its figures, perhaps they will even take Ben Pobjie seriously: 😉

“The Rudd Government’s border protection laws, passed in 2008, state specifically that any foreign national can live in Australia rent-free and with full dental cover if they:

a) make landfall on any shore within an 800 mile radius of Broome;
b) have comprehensive identifying documents, or an entertaining story as to how they lost them;
c) promise under oath to sew their lips together or give a convincing impression of psychological distress if not allowed in, and;
d) are not actually carrying an improvised explosive device at the time of interview.

“The laws also state that any asylum seeker shall be granted access to massive Centrelink payments drawn directly from the bank accounts of pensioners and disabled war veterans, and that they have the right to force local primary schools to tear down Christmas decorations at any time.” Asylum Seekers: A User’s Guide

And it’s not even a Sunday Funday! “Stop treating us so equally!” they cry. “It’s creeping us out!”

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