Monday, May 14, 2007

Cricket in Zimbabwe, and paedophiles in your neighbourhood

Yes, there’s a link of sorts.

Regarding cricket in Zimbabwe, it seems that there is a bleedingly obvious reason why Australia should not have sporting contact with that country. It is a nation falling apart, yet at least 11 of its citizens apparently have nothing better to do than faff around in white pyjamas while their fellow countrymen starve. For that they are scum. Never mind Mugabe; the “Let Them Eat Spectacle” eleven are sufficiently psychopathic on their own.

It’s called “Look who’s getting the dollars, and what they’re doing for it”. It’s not rocket science, but boomer journo Margaret Simons just doesn’t get it, anyway.

In an article in Saturday’s Age, “Looking for the safety zone” (no URL), Simons manages to make a paedophile, who lived for a short period in her neighbourhood, look positively attractive compared to a boomer yuppie throwing her real-estate weight around.

“No one wants a pedophile for a neighbour.”

If you don’t have young children (and I and the vast majority of my suburb don’t), then what’s the problem? Noisy GenY neighbours, OTOH . . .

The pedophile’s house is “one of those semi-detached pokey 1920s numbers” with a “tiny” distance between the front fence and the front door.

Yep, one of those which unrenovated cost at least $400,000 – and so for a first home-buyer would require annual income of $120k+ to buy. But Simons thinks it positively ghastly, presumably because she lives in somewhere nearby but far more spacious, that she picked up for a song.

Going back to the Zimbabwe segue, I’d have thought that putting a paedophile fresh out of jail in a large (I assume it has at least two bedrooms) public housing (again I am assuming) unit, worth a mint, all on his own might be a fair-enough story. Not because of the paedophile angle particularly, but because he’s a boomer man who has gotten Rolls-Royce public housing, while Xer men get shunted to rooming-houses. Wouldn’t a rooming-house be a reasonable enough domicile for him?

Such mundane monetary thoughts are not even on Simons’ radar, of course. Like most of her generation, all she does in life is take, take, take – and occasionally, bitch. This is thrown into glorious relief when she muses on a recent experience using FOI, versus FOI in the early 1980s:

“When the [FOI] legislation was introduced in Victoria in 1982, I was part of the team of Age journalist who explored its use. We put in big, wide fishing expeditions of requests . . . The truth is that we just wanted good stories. Freedom of information used to be fun”.

Hey, I’m sure that cricket in Zimbabwe once used to be fun also. But stating that in the current environment is not merely lame; it’s obscene. So your journo generation had a hoot when it was 20-something, did it Margaret? If you really can’t see the connection between this fact and FOI’s current uselessness, I’d recommend your moving to a more “pokey” abode – the space is wasted on you where you now live so myopically.

Jesus Paul.

You've got to get a sense of proportion.

- Margaret Simons was annoyed a paedophile was living in her neighborhood. Fair enough I guess.
- You assume she lives in a big house,and you detect catty comments from her about someone on a low income who's also a fugitive living in a big house.
- Yes, she's possibly house proud. Yes, she probably got in when it was cheap. But I really think you are beating things up
- You're right, older people have got a good deal with cheaper houses, super rules etc. But many are battlers too, and many younger people are doing very well.
- Could you get a better job? You seem to have the position that all older people have pushed you into a corner and you can't get out. Are you sure thats right, and its not your bitterness doing it?
I admit that my post excessively personalised the issue/s at hand (which is also what Simons did, but two wrongs don’t make a right). So here is Mark II: why Simons’ article is drivel.

Boiling down Simons’ 2,500 approximate words – originally published in a national literary journal – results in two unremarkable facts. The public servants responsible for housing paedophiles fresh out of jail made one (1) mistake and one (1) oversight. The mistake was to not know that one of the house’s immediate neighbours (not Simons) in fact had young children living in it. Departmental policies were that this shouldn’t have been the case. The oversight was that the house fronted on to a footpath used as a gathering area for a walking “school bus”. Departmental policies seem to have been silent on this, but it is common-sense that if they had turned their mind to such a thing, it might operate as a veto factor for that particular house. Either that, or for the walking “school bus” gathering area to just be relocated in front of another house (i.e. assuming that the house was otherwise suitable).

These two points could probably be expanded enough to make a worthy, albeit rather sensational, 300-400 word story in the local rag. How Simons gets eight times the mileage, and national coverage, out of them is another matter.

Simons copiously pads the underlying issues, of course, with offensive, upper-class pieties (some mentioned in my post) and by personalising them, while at the same time engaging in prolix hand-wringing over not wanting to sound all vigilante. (Sounding NIMBY, OTOH . . . ).

What Simons doesn’t do, despite her generous word-count, is engage in any applied thought. Her laborious and expensive FOI quest results in no more insight than that a public servant/s has stuffed up (oh, and some FOI salad-days, early-80s reminiscing). By default/omission, Simons says, then, that in the midst of a competent, trustworthy and adequately-funded public service, she has found the proverbial single bad apple (on her proverbial doorstep!), and this singularity deserves maximum exposure, in all its isolated perversity.

What tosh. The public service has been progressively gutted since the mid-1980s, and everyday errors of the sort Simons thinks that she so heroically exposes are in fact the norm. How can she not see this? Too much “fun” in the eighties, indeed.

As for your suggestion that I get a “better job”, why don’t you write to Simons to suggest that she move to a better neighbourhood, since you’re evidently in such a spread-the-love kind of mood?
Hi Paul. I was the poster at 1.09am.

- This is a reasonably lucid response. Why can't you write like this in the first place instead of having to filter everything through this ridiculous bitterness. Or just cut to the chase, Simons' article was a beatup.

- Secondly, I didn't mean you should get a better job (I admit I worded it clumsily). I mean that you constantly bitch about your low paid work status, its seemingly an issue for you. So why not attempt to change it? It seems that you have this fatalistic view that everythings stacked against you and people (particularly old people) wont let you move up in life. So then you vent about people like Margaret Simons. If getting a better job is an issue for you, then you should try to change it.
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