Hope Is Not Lost

I woke up this morning to learn that the impossible was in fact possible. America voted for a misogynistic, racist, homophobic, sexual predator over a highly qualified woman. Donald Trump is the 45th American President.

Having this follow Brexit makes it feel like we are in the darkest time line. Our leaders preach hate, the planet is dying and will soon reach a tipping point, there is war and terrorism across the globe, and yet, I believe there is hope. There is hope we can turn things around, we can learn to love once more, we can save our planet and we can find global peace. Not all is lost, and it’s not too late.

America, it’s time to set the example. If you want to continue to be the leaders of the free world like you once were, then it’s time to step up and earn that right. You are frustrated, we understand that. But being frustrated is not a reason to hate. Trump is your leader now, so show him that you won’t stand for his sexist, homophobic, racist comments any longer. I know it’s easy to be afraid of something you don’t understand. You see people coming into your country who look different to you, pray different to you, love different to you. But is it now your duty as the leaders of the free world to show these people the meaning of freedom. Freedom to practise any religion. Freedom to love who they love. Freedom to be who they are without judgment or prosecution.

It’s also your duty to protect this earth. Trump tries to deny climate change, you cannot let him. The USA produces 6,870 million metric tons of green house gases a year. This is just under a quarter of the worlds total amount. It’s time to fight against deforestation across the globe. 46-58 thousand square miles of forrest are being lost each year to make room for coal mines, palm oil plantations, grazing room for cattle, unsustainable logging for timber. This sounds bleak, but it’s not too late. Demand that your new president enforce regulations for companies who are currently contributing to this mass deforestation.

America, you have elected a monster into power. It’s now your duty to the world not to let him get out of hand. It’s time to show us you are the land of the free and home of the brave. Stand up for love, stand up for your fellow human, stand up for your planet. Do some good for the world.

Dawn of Justice: A Review

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Possibly the most exciting superhero movie title we have seen to date. However, the question has been raised – does the movie live up to its title?

This is a harder question to answer than I first thought. My initial reaction was to say no, no it wasn’t. The reviews have been harsh (My favourite being Batman v Superman: Yawn of Justice), the plot was a little all over the place, and more importantly it was missing some crucial components to the characters. However there was a lot of good in the movie as well, so I think it’s time to break down the good and the bad of Batman V Superman.

SPOILERS AHEAD! TURN BACK NOW OR FOREVER HAVE THE MOVIE SPOILED

I’m going to start with some things that I didn’t like. We all know the story of how Batman became Batman. As a young Bruce went to the theatre with his parents, where he got scared when he saw bats. So being the loving parents Mr and Mrs Wayne were, they snuck out the side of the theatre with young master Bruce, right into crime alley. Here is where they ran into a mugger, who accidentally shot Mr and Mrs Wayne. Bruce then blamed himself for the death of his parents because he wasn’t able to overcome his fear, from that moment on he vowed to control his fear and protect the citizens of Gotham. This is a nobel beginning to the silent protector of Gotham… However it was not how things went down in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In this rendition, the Wayne’s are happily walking along a main street of Gotham (granted you can see the theatre in the background) when out of nowhere a man steps in front of them, shoots Mr Wayne and then shoots Mrs Wayne, leaving Bruce stunned until the funeral where he runs way and falls down a hole. This hole is filled with bats who begin to swirl around Bruce. He then begins to fly out of the hole with the help of the bats before waking up from a dream sequence.

This brings us to the next issue of the movie, the dream sequences. Firstly there are far too many of them, including an Inception-esk moment where there was a dream within a dream. Neither of theses dreams have anything to do with the story line (other than re-enforcing Batman’s paranoia of Superman).  The dream sequences end up getting tangled into flash backs (as seen in the Wayne’s death scene) and generally add nothing to the over all progression of the story line.

The story line itself is another big issue I have with this particular film, well it’s more the story lines (plural), there are too many of them. We have 5 introductions before the film really starts (Superman’s intro, Batman’s intro, Lois Lane’s intro, Lex Luthor’s intro, and finally the reason behind why batman doesn’t like superman intro) by the time the introduction scenes are over you forget what has happened in the first introduction scene. This all happens before we even think about introducing Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League. We are then introduced later on to Doomsday, and then at the very end of the movie another villain is mentioned. Over all this movie tries to cram to much into the movie. I understand why they do this, they are using this as a launch pad for the future Justice League movies, but I disagree with sacrificing a movie for the sake of future  movies.

And finally the last issue I have with this movie is how the conflict between Batman and Superman is written. In the comics Batman and Superman have fought many times. In Frank Millers Dark Knight Returns, Superman is sent to kill Batman due to Batman’s showing up the president of the United States. In Jeph Leob’s Batman:Hush, Superman is under the mind control powers of Poison Ivy’s ‘Kiss’. All of these stay true to the characters, Superman doing things the right ‘American’ way, and Batman fighting for justice in his own way. Both heroes are nobel in their cause. However in Snyder’s version they become jealous school boys who are trying to prove they have the biggest muscles. For me this takes away from the core of these characters. This isn’t the fault of the actors however.

Time for the good! I loved how the actors portrayed their characters. Jesse Eisenberg did a brilliant job as Lex Luthor. While not a traditional Lex that the audience is used to, I believe we walked a line in-between the characters of Lex and the Joker, being simultaneously Superman’s and Batman’s rival. I also enjoyed Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman, this batman is older and hardier than the previous versions we have seen. This makes him battle worn and more experienced, which I believe led to an exciting new addition to the Batmen. Finally Henry Cavill is an incredible superman, he is able to play the glorified boy scout role perfectly, all muscle, truth and justice. It’s unfortunate that these actors weren’t given a better script and story line to work with, but I am excited to see what is in store for the future of the Justice League.

Over all I would give this movie a 4/10. With good cinematography and character portrayal, it wasn’t enough to save the lack of plot or script.

The Trump Terror

It’s time we talk Trump. I know a lot of people have been talking about the latest of our reality TV stars turned politician Donald Trump. Following in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger (Governor of California) and Jerry Springer (the Democratic Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio),Trump once again needs to try and outdo his competition by not running for something as trivial as Governor or Mayor, no, Trump needs to try and take on the big job – the President of the United States of America.

It was funny at first, don’t get me wrong; he was a loud mouth buffoon making a mockery of democracy. That was until people started taking him seriously. That’s when Mr Trump went from mildly entertaining to terrifying.

Things became even more terrifying as people who I know and love starting to side with Trump saying “He wasn’t that bad,” and “I think he might be what the USA needs.” Now because these were people who I love, and I respect their opinions, I thought I would research what exactly Trump stands for and what exactly he plans to do for the USA (because let’s be honest, he has never been clear on his stance when it comes to the debates.) What I discovered made me fear for the future more than the prospect of Fox doing another Fantastic Four Movie (disclaimer: watch the 2015 Fant4stic movie at your own risk).

Let’s take a look at his policies –

Starting with Immigration, a hot topic at the moment as the world bands together to support the refugees spilling out of Syria, proving that the human race can pull together, ignore borders and help their fellow man… Except for Trump, who believes that. “A nation without borders is not a nation. We must build a wall on our southern border.” This is taken from his official policy. Apparently Canada is fine without a wall, but he plans to build an actual wall (Anyone else picturing Berlin here?) between the USA and Mexico. Now how does the illustrious Mr Trump plan on paying for this wall? With the hardworking taxpayers money? Don’t be ridiculous, he want’s Mexico to pay for it! More specifically he is going to take the money that illegal immigrants are sending home so their families can afford food and shelter and use that money to build the wall. In 2013 this number was roughly 22 million dollars. This sounds like a lot of money, until you remember that Mr Trump values his own name at ten billion dollars, which is roughly 434 times the amount he is taking from these people to build his wall. This could also mean they will freeze the bank accounts of any business who employees an illegal immigrant, knowingly or not, and will reinstate the money once the employee has been fired and a “small fee” has been removed from the account to contribute towards the wall.

Then there is the “National e-verify” which is described as: “This simple messure will protect jobs for unemployed Americans.” What does that even mean? It’s so vague it’s terrifying. How will this be implemented? There is already a serious problem with homeless Americans not being able to vote due to not having enough identification; if this ‘national e-verify’ goes ahead what is going to happen to americans who can’t prove who they are? There simply isn’t enough fact on this to do anything else but speculate, so let’s move on to what is going to happen to people seeking refuge.

Will Donald Trump stand up and support fellow human beings who are fleeing from conflict and persecution? No, no he will not. Instead he will condemn any city who supports refugees by cutting funds to sanctuary cities. I hear you asking what a sanctuary city is? Well, it’s any city participating in the “welcome movement” (currently 57 cities). These cities take in mass amounts of refugees who are fleeing war torn or otherwise devastated countries. Currently these cities get a federal grant to help house, educate, and rehabilitate these refugees into society. Under Trump these cities would get nothing.

He also plans to remove birthright citizenship. Currently if you are born in the USA you are a citizen (makes sense so far right?) but if Trump takes control then if your parents were illegal immigrants or even refugees and you were born in the USA you can have your citizenship revoked, despite not having any other citizenship.

That’s just immigration, take a break now, go get a drink of water, have a pee, and we’ll keep moving on when you return.

The scariest thing about Trump, and possibly the reason he is so popular, is that he has answers. They might be terrible, and in some cases the implications will be terrifying, but he will have answers. These answers will also be difficult for the Democratic Party to argue against. For example, let’s take something that the Democrats have been fighting for since as long as I can remember, gun control.

To give you background statistics, in 2015, 1,447 people (give or take) were killed or injured through mass shootings across the USA. In Chicago alone, there have been 1,625 people shot in gang-controled areas. If the government cared about the actual number of deaths they would (as Obama is trying to do) make it harder to actually obtain these guns. Trumps answer to this, rather than restricting gun control, he will introduce a minimum jail sentence for anyone caught with an illegal firearm. Now he wants to focus mainly on the illegal guns in Chicago and Baltimore, the legal gun owners can feel free to buy as many guns as they want. But for now we will focus on Baltimore and Chicago.

Now these cities are where he wants to take good children/families out of and relocate them into better cities. Between this and sending anyone with an illegal firearm to prison, it’s going to leave a lot of empty buildings. The prospect of what he might do with these buildings could be terrifying, I personally hope he is just going to make more failed condos for rich people, because an alternative is using it as a place to send any illegal immigrant that Mexico refuses to take back. And that has some truly horrifying implications (Anyone else thinking of a certain camp we saw during World War 2?).

The scariest part of all of this is that no one seems to be taking him seriously. For the longest time we was seen as a joke candidate, the one everyone wanted to watch so they could see him throw a tantrum. If he were 3 instead of 69, we would be sending him to his room for throwing said tantrum, not giving him what he wanted. We need to stop rewarding him for bad behaviour; ignore him when he lashes out, let him cry and throw his fists until he tuckers himself out. Do you really want the next president of the USA to be a misbehaving toddler in a toupee? I certainly don’t.

Okay, I have made a lot of subtle (sometimes not so subtle) references to Trump being like Hitler. I’m sure this will make some people mad, because they can’t bring themselves to believe anyone could be as evil as that. Well you should know that for years Trump slept with a copy of Hitler’s sequel to Mien Kampf right next to his bed. This is confirmed by his ex wife who has also said he enjoyed studying and reading Hitlers speeches.

Madonna, Your Fans Deserve Better

Dear Madonna,

We can all respect that in your prime you were the pop princess of the ’80s, however I feel like I need to remind you that it is no longer the ’80s and you are no longer the pop princess you once were. Yes you still have fans, and yes they still love you. But having been 2 hours late to the stage here in Brisbane (4 hours late to another show), I have to wonder why they still have so much respect for you? I did some research and apparently you lost quite a lot of respect from your fans during this tour. Turns out saying “bitch I’m Madonna” doesn’t have the same effect when you’re 57 (soon to be 58) in 2016, when your fans have careers and families, oh and not to mention it was the middle of the working week. You may have a ‘Rebel Heart’ but that doesn’t excuse the blatant disrespect you have for your fans, for the music industry, and for the people working with you. No one minds a late night, but if you’re going to perform late, how about you don’t advertise your show to start at 9pm? Okay, maybe you didn’t have a choice in when the show started; but just like every other person with a job, when your boss says you have to show up at a certain time, you show up at that certain time. I won’t get into the allegations that you were drunk, or even that you were lip-syncing the show, that would be petty.

I understand that sometimes things go wrong and you can’t help but come on stage late. These things happen, we get it. However, this is not a one off. As far as my research shows, you haven’t been on time once this tour (for Australia and New Zealand).

Madonna, it’s time to start taking some responsibility. Because, and I’m sorry to say this but, you just aren’t all that any more and your fans deserve more than what you gave them.

I hope we can see some changes for the rest of the tour.

Best Wishes

The World

The Reactions to Paris

A tragedy rocked the world this week when several attacks were made in Paris, with over 120 deaths and over 300 injured it’s a time for mourning. Yet this wasn’t the over all reaction that spread across my Facebook page. There was a lot of anger.

The first thing that surprised me was the anger towards the hashtag Pray For Paris. I saw posts saying “Why would you pray to a God who did nothing to prevent the attacks” and “praying won’t solve anything, why don’t you all do something useful instead.”

I understand that religion isn’t something that everybody believes in, but who are you to say that the coping mechanisms for other people are wrong? How do we know that there aren’t families who have been effected by these attacks who want people praying for them?

You shouldn’t be putting people down for doing what they believe is the right thing, yes by all means encourage people to help in other ways. But nothing gives you the right to belittle another persons belief.

The second thing I noticed were people getting mad that people were upset about the attacks on Paris. I know this seems beyond foolish, but it is happening. People are saying that we shouldn’t care about Paris because of attacks that had happened earlier in the week in Lebanon. They claimed that the media was brainwashing us by not reporting on these attacks. This got me a little upset firstly, do not negate the pain people are feeling about Paris because of another tragedy, the reason that this particular attack would be in your news feed and not the Lebanon attack is that it is more likely for your loved ones to have loved ones in Paris at the time rather than in Lebanon. This doesn’t mean one was a greater tragedy than the other, it just means you have a predominately Western newsfeed. The other point about the media is wrong as well. A quick google search showed that every reputable news site had reported on the Lebanon attacks, from local community news such as 4zzz, through to National news with ABC and international news with the BBC. I don’t believe shows such as A Current Affair and Today Tonight would have reported on it because it was fear mongering enough for them. So don’t blame the media if you aren’t getting information, you need to expand the places you get  your information from and decide for yourself which news sites and shows are the best.

And thirdly, and this is what terrifies me the most, is the threatening backlash on the Muslim community. Thankfully no one on my personal news feed has been blaming the Muslim community for the attacks in paris, but I have seen that channel 7 has once again given well known racist bigot Pauline Hanson a platform to inject fear into the hearts of Australia. She tried to blame the refugees who are fleeing this very conflict for being the ones behind the attack. I personally believe we need to stop giving her any more attention.

Martin Luther King Jnr once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

This should not be a time to let hatred sit in our hearts for anyone. I know that in a situation like this, it’s hard not to let the fear turn into hatred. As Yoda once said “Fears leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” So let’s not allow this fear to turn into anger or hate, instead cast your love out into the world, acknowledge those who are trying to do the same, and only then will we see real change.

My prayers go out to anyone who is in need of them, along with my love and support for anyone who needs it in this time.

Humanity and the Refugee

I want you to imagine for a moment, every day you live in fear that you, your family,  your children, your parents, could be killed any second for really no reason. You have no power to stop it. Every day you wake up in fear, eventually that fear becomes just an over all numbness, every day could be your last, could be your child’s last day. Now… keep this fear and this want to keep your family and your children alive… Someone offers you an escape. They say you can be brought to Australia, a country you hear as one of the most open multicultural countries in the world. This place that seems like the garden of eden, a place where your children can grow up without fear, with healthcare and education, where they can have a future. Would you take it? Would you not take the opportunity to take your children out of a war zone, a place where they are at risk of dying every day, where they will get little to no education, where the longer they stay the shorter their future looks. Would you not try and save them?

The problem with Australia and Asylum Seekers is that we remove the humanity. We don’t see them as people like the rest of us. We are led to see them as just that.. “THEM” Tony Abbot and the terrible “news” programs such as A Current Affair, and Today Tonight (I use news in the same way McDonalds is called a restaurant) try and spark fear into the heart of the nation with an US verse THEM mentality, that they are coming for our jobs and our homes and our society will crash because all of a sudden vegemite is halal (heads up, it’s always been halal, it’s just been certified now).

People are concerned that we are taking in too many refugees, but the reality is we are taking in so few we may be in breach of international law.

We don’t get the full story, I have heard people say that the only reason the are coming to Australia is to improve their socioeconomic status. No one would risk their 3 year old drowning because they want to move from middle class to upper-middle class.

I’ve heard someone else get mad at a photographer who took a photo of a drowned three year old because he should have saved the child if he cared so much…. I would like to make this clear the child was dead before he washed ashore…

He drowned along side his 5 year old brother and mother. His father survived and travelled back to Syria to burry his family. He was given the opportunity to resettle in another country and he said “what does it matter, all that was precious to me is gone.”

We are losing our humanity. we are losing what it means to be human, our empathy, our sympathy, our compassion. And that terrifies me.

A friend of mine has written an article about a boy whose parents and brother were killed and he escaped the country with his 2 best friends. As they were running up a hill to escape, soldiers open fired, they were 16, soldiers open fired on children. his friend was gunned down, begging this boy not to leave him, not to let him die. His other friend pulled the boy away to the top of the hill. To this day he says he still sees his friend begging him not to leave and asking why he left him to die, he blames himself. He is 16.

While on the boat to his new life, it capsizes, half of the people on board drown, including his last friend in the world. He is now on his own, no family no friends.

He makes it to Brisbane, and he sees people dancing in the street in Southbank, music playing. And for the first time since he left his home country, he smiles. He knows that no matter what things will be better here. He now lives in a detention centre, only being allowed out to attend school. But still he is happy, because no one is gunning him, a child, down as he flees after his own family was killed. He still sees his friend in his dream asking him why he left him to die… but he believes that now he is here things will get better. He studies harder than almost any student I have met.

This is a real human. Just a boy who has no one, no friends no family, living in a detention centre, and who is happy to be in such an accommodating country….

We have lost our humanity.

Our compassion.

Our ability to feel anything for anyone but ourselves.

Tony Abbott and his media think fear mongering is the best solution. But it’s clear that the only thing that it’s doing is removing us from our fellow humans.

It shouldn’t be US vs THEM. We are all humans, and we need to realise that before we are too removed to come back.

So to Tony, Today Tonight, and anyone who believes that Asylum Seekers don’t have a right to be here, but yourself in the shoes of that boy. See things from their perspective. Find your humanity.

Trying to Adult

I recently quit a job, I won’t mention the name of said job, but know it was a type of club for coffee. a coffee club if you will…. And I was so happy to be rid of the environment. For whatever reason this coffee shop was unable to ever have a satisfied customer, and the times I was able to use my customer  I would be told I was spending too much time with the customers. Customers would be waiting 45 minutes for an entree of 5 calamari rings, but I wouldn’t be able to make small talk to distract them from this wait. Not to mention the crazy under staffing… but I’m getting off topic.

Once I quit I felt a freedom, that was until it was time to do my taxes…. I discovered that they didn’t email me my payment summary, which indicates how much I could claim back on tax etc. At first this seemed like a relatively easy fix, all I would have to do is call up the old store and get them to email me my payment summary… I was wrong… so very very wrong.

the first conversation went along the lines of:

Me – “Hi, I’m an old employee of this store, I haven’t received my payment summary, would you be able to email it to me, thanks?

Boss – “We emailed them last week”

Me- “Ahh, well something must have gone wrong as I never received the summary”

Boss – “Yeah well we emailed them last week”

Me – “I don’t suppose you could email it again”

Boss – “No you have to call head office”

Me – “No problem! Do you have the number by any chance?”

Boss – “Just look it up online”

Me – “Ok, thanks for your time”

Boss – *hangs up*

I then went and called head office

Me – “Hi, I’m an ex-employee. I haven’t received my payment summary”

Receptionist – “We emailed them last week”

Me – “Ahh yes, my old boss did mention that, but said I should call you to email me again.”

Receptionist – “You have to email payroll”

Me – “Do you have an email address?” *fearing they would just tell me to look it up online

Thankfully they did have the email address! So hopefully I will be able to actually complete my taxes like a real adult and can be rid of this club for coffee for good…

And remember, never stay in a job you hate just because they pay you!