The creeping hand of authoritarianism

Little by little the creeping hand of authoritarianism reduces us to sheep-like cyphers, and as usual the vastly overstated threat of terrorism is used to justify it. The innocuously named Assistance and Access Bill 2018 is intended to force companies to provide information about how their systems work, thus compromising their cybersecurity. It’s an extraordinary overreach by officialdom in the name of fighting terrorism, which is nowhere near the level of threat suggested by the … Read more

Black as Night

It’s two o’clock in the morning and she’s alone. Jason has left it too late to say he can’t make it. Kids are sick, apparently. Dragging anyone else in now is out of the question. Most nights see only a few customers drop by, but it’s been an hour since the last customer left, and it will be some hours before Sharon and Judy turn up to relieve her. She moves around … Read more

My experience with religion

My experience with religion is interesting (at least to me). I was brought up as “no religion” by my parents, one of whom was a failed Catholic, the other with barely any comprehension of religion. I and my brothers were sent to Sunday school so that our parents could have some “afternoon delight”, but after the required ten weeks to score a bible, we stopped going and went to play instead. After … Read more

Customer disservice

When I received a letter from Telstra saying that I hadn’t paid my bill and if payment wasn’t made by two days earlier (!), I risked having my phone and internet service suspended, I was close to being ropable. First off, they hadn’t sent me a bill for July, and secondly I’d  already taken the precautionary step of paying enough to cover the likely charges. I phoned and was given the usual … Read more

The worst political attribute

Hypocrisy. It can be deliberate or — I hate to use the word ‘innocent’ — unknowing. If deliberate, it smacks of deceit and ruthlessness. If the perpetrator is unaware of their hypocrisy, it is symptomatic of a mindset that is incapable of impartiality, an inability to self-examine, a static belief in their, or their party’s, absolute rightness. What brought this to mind recently was the LNP’s claims that Bill Shorten is a … Read more

Recalcitrant Kindle

I have a Kindle Paperwhite ereader that’s over three years old. It’s worked well, which is just as well as I use it every day. Occasionally, though, it freezes and I have no choice but to reboot the device and then everything is back to normal. Today, that didn’t work. Repeated attempts at pressing the on/off button were in vain. I was weighing up whether to buy a new one when I … Read more

The Dancer

I’m on the dance floor for the first time in a long time. It’s Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice, my grandson’s favourite. We often dance to it together. The beat is intense and I’m on top of it, using all the moves I’ve choreographed in the privacy of my living room. At last I’m able to display my prowess. Now I’m moving like someone on steroids with St Vitus Dance. I spy … Read more