Plastic Backlash in the Trashy Country

Snailafact

Yesterday in the Stupormarket (a throwaway poem)

People’s heads overflow with plastic crap
Disposable thoughts
Bags
Lives
Wasted
Thrown onto the global garbage heap
To choke other species with trash
And then their own
The final backlash
Don’t care is made to care
when there’s none left to do the caring
Gobble gobble gobble
They can’t be bothered to remember to bring
Recyclable bags to the stupormarket
Eyerolling addicted octogenerians
Bubble wrapped the future
A plastic floating continent
On expansion of forgetfulness
Parasitical capitalism breeds
Superfluous boastfulness
of having so much
You can afford to discard
Without a thought or care
Trolley rage goes national
Surging through rigid brain aisles
Even the checkout boy complains
Take take take
Tupperware mentalities
Consume consume consume
Chuck the leftovers into the ravine
To poison the oceans and streams
Buy buy buy oblivion
It’s what civilised humans do
The way it’s always been they say
Nimby nimby nimby numbskulls

Jinjirrie, July 2018

Deakin University’s Centre for Employee and Consumer Wellbeing behaviour researcher Dr Paul Harrison the disconnect had to do with “the difference between an attitude and a behaviour”.

“People can say, ‘I like the idea of having to bring my own bags’, but people struggle with those things. You can say you’ll do something but whether you’ll do that are two different parts of the brain,” Dr Harrison said.

“Getting into neuroscience, the prefrontal cortex says, ‘Yes of course I can do that’, but the prehistoric brain says, ‘I’ll just keep doing what I’ve always done.'”

The Aridity of the Settler Imagination

Queensland "Climate Science"

On Hearing a “Friend” has Voted for Hanson

You’ve never met a single Muslim
yet automatically you despise them,
your putrid tick for racist Hanson
betrays a guilty, greedy voice within.

What’s the bloody difference
between yours and Toadball’s border defence?
It’s vapid new age love you spout
and you want to keep those Muslims out.

How can I keep loving you
when you’ve embraced her scumbag spew,
imagining Muslims a sub-human race,
high on hate, you’re off your face.

You’re scared of non-European culture
but it’s you who is the savage vulture
picking at this country’s bones,
land thieved by England’s brutal throne.

July 2016, Post Federal Election.

Related Links

Excellent article – How we stopped Pauline Hanson last time:

Howard had toned down his anti-Asian racism in deference to business concerns. But Hanson helped create a climate that enabled him to carry out policies in the interests of the ruling class that meshed happily with his own prejudices and which he would have pursued anyway: the attacks on land rights and native title; the abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC); cuts to immigration, especially family reunions; the ramping up of Islamophobia using the pretexts of “border security” and the “war on terror”.

Howard’s attitude to Hanson eventually changed for two reasons. First, he was the target of sustained criticism from sections of the media, the small-l liberal middle class and even some ruling class figures – prominent businesspeople and Liberal politicians like Victorian premier Jeff Kennett – for not taking a stronger stand against Hanson. This was a product of their concern about Australia’s international image. Hanson was receiving a great deal of media attention in Asia, and as with Howard’s anti-Asian comments in 1988, they were worried about the potential damage to Australia’s business interests and ability to play a dominant role in the region.

Second, and probably of greater concern to Howard himself, Hanson began to cohere a movement and set up an organisation, the One Nation party, that posed an electoral threat to the traditional conservative forces.

Mick Armstrong’s detailed, booth by booth analysis of who actually voted for One Nation in the Queensland election further erodes the notion that her support came mainly from the blue collar working class. He found that One Nation’s support was strongest in what had been National Party strongholds in south-east Queensland – polling 43.5 percent of the vote in Barambah, once the electorate of the right wing Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and over 30 percent in 11 other seats in this area, compared with a state-wide average of 22.7 percent. Moreover:

South-east Queensland has a high concentration of small farmers, and numerous small towns with a large number of small businesses – newsagents, petrol stations, real estate agents, pharmacists, accountants, farm equipment suppliers – but very few large workplaces with concentrations of unionised workers.[25]

The general pattern was that Labor did better in the bigger towns but One Nation overwhelmed them in the smaller centres. So the core support for One Nation was the “small town middle class, not – as so many commentators repeat ad nauseam – ‘ignorant’ workers.” Actually, very few blue collar workers defected from Labor to Hanson. Overall, 80 percent of the Hanson vote came from conservative parties and 20 percent from Labor. In addition, while its highest votes were in rural areas, One Nation polled better in affluent middle class areas of Brisbane and the Gold Coast than in poorer working class areas. Armstrong concluded: “It was not the ‘enlightened’ middle class that most strongly rejected Hanson, but unionised, traditional Labor-voting urbanised workers.”

The role of mass protest in the decline of support for Hanson, however, has been understated if not completely ignored. Indeed, there has been no account that I have been able to find of what was one of the most militant and sustained protest movements of recent times. Yet it was an important factor, playing a crucial role in preventing the growth and organisational consolidation of One Nation.

There was widespread opposition to Hanson from the outset. Many in the business community were alarmed by Hanson’s anti-Asian policies – not because they opposed racism, but because it was bad for business. This became clear when the Business Council of Australia, along with the Council of Social Services, religious leaders – and, disgracefully, the ACTU – issued a joint statement which condemned her stance on Asian immigration but ignored her equally vile racism towards Indigenous people. This was no oversight: anti-Aboriginal racism was the basis of the business community’s campaign against native title. Small-l liberals generally saw Hanson as dangerous. But they too were more concerned about the national interest and Australia’s international image than with the impact of racism on immigrant and Indigenous communities. Like Tony Abbott in more recent times, Hanson was considered to be an embarrassment.

But there was also a groundswell of revulsion and opposition from what Robert Manne might call “ordinary people”. From the moment Hanson made her maiden speech, people started mobilising against her. Everywhere she went she had to run the gauntlet of protesters.

Dealing with Climate Change from a Health Perspective

Possums are survivorsInformative presentation at WOMADelaide Planet Talks 2015 presents an excellent panel discussing some of the proactive things we can be doing to mitigate the health effects of climate change – divest from fossil fuels, reduce population by educating girls, sustain biodiversity, get engaged with bottom up community-based solutions and much more.

Can Human Beings be Well When The Planet is Sick?

  • Dr Paul Willis
    Director, RiAus.
  • Dr Ingo Weber
    practising anaesthetist, former chair SA Doctors for the Environment.
  • Emily Johnston
    PhD student, University of SA, co-founder Adelaide’s ‘Science in the Pub’.
  • Moderator: Bernie Hobbs
    science writer and broadcast, ABC Science Online.

This session of Planet Talks is also available as a Radio National podcast.

Invasion Day 2015

Australian Settler Coat of Arms

Acknowledging white settler supremacist destruction of Indigenous people and habitat. It is telling that the white settler Abbott rewards Prince Phillip when there are millions of Australians who deserve an award before him. What has Prince Phillip ever done for Australians except cost us money?

Cane Toad Time

Toadscape

You know it’s summer in the Sunshine State
when from beneath your desk
there’s a shuffling sound
a gruffly plop and scrape
then you look down
straight into the gloating gob
of the most gruesome pest around here
worse than the pollies, rats and mice
it’s the common cane toad,
that dastardly settler-borne scoundrel.
Out, out, you damn hopping creep
before for the five iron I reach
and augment your next ungainly leap.

Jinjirrie, December 2014

For anyone who hasn’t seen the definitive cane toad movie: