Why the Australian nanny state is a waste of resources

Australia is under the misapprehension that it can protect and care for its citizens even if these citizens don’t appreciate the effort. In fact, they bite the hand that feeds them. Well-meaning and politically correct Aussies are deluded when they believe that they can do some good for their “fellow man”.

It is true that the less fortunate require assistance but that assistance has to be welcomed and treated seriously.

Let’s face it, very few people appreciate a hand-out and this was exactly the case today when we went to a shopping centre.

A man sat down beside us. He had obviously not been shopping, nor was he eating lunch. Instead, he sidled up close to us, showed us a food voucher for Woolworths and told us that it was worth $25 but that he would sell it to us for $20.

The voucher was one that is handed out by charities and the government to ensure that the dole is not wasted on gambling, drugs and alcohol. This man was keen to swap food for whatever he wanted instead.

Is this a good method of teaching the needy to shop responsibly? Or does this make a mockery of the system? After all, you can’t force people to act responsibly if they are determined to abuse the nanny state.

I bet someone will buy the food voucher from him and how ironic is that?

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished


A Fond Farewell to Costco in Melbourne, Australia

It is with much regret that we have decided to stop shopping at Costco.

You see, the products currently sold at Costco in Melbourne, Australia, have gone downmarket and no longer tempt us to buy them.

I am not questioning Costco’s marketing ability. They cater to the demographic which will buy their products. Consequently, there are many huge bags of rice, lots of sweets and potato chips, cans of spaghetti and baked beans, alcohol, and foods with an Asian appeal such as frozen wontons etc.

Gone are the American imports which attracted us and the Continental delicacies which we enjoyed buying.

The change in products has been a gradual one. The original Caesar dressing disappeared, dill pickles were hard to find and even a well-known American jar of mixed bean salad is now unavailable.

Apparently, these kind of foods were not attracting enough buyers and so they were replaced with very mundane products that were obviously better sellers.

I was a fan of Kirkland’s own brand of products but they seem to have been replaced as well. This is unfortunate because many of the Costco offerings can now be purchased in our local Australian supermarkets.

I find that Aldi sells quite a few of the continental products that were originally in Costco when it first opened.

Such is the way of the world. My husband enjoyed the arancini he used to buy at Costco but they also went missing the last two times we trekked to the city to buy them.

What a pity this has happened! It was great while it lasted and we used to look forward to our regular visits there. But the selection no longer attracts us and we hope that another supermarket chain will provide the tasty titbits that we can no longer find at Costco.

Give me a Thomas Kinkade home.

They mock him and call his paintings “kitsch” but I would love to live in one of Thomas Kinkade’s art works.

I first came across his work when we visited the U.S and I became enchanted with his paintings of ideal cottages and gardens.

They are welcoming and safe and to me they represent what a home should be, a sanctuary from a hostile and miserable world.

The arty farty world hates him because he is unrealistic. He is popular with the masses and that must be bad, surely. After all, what do they know? They only know what they like, don’t they?

Perhaps it would be more acceptable were he to paint monstrous images of decapitated bodies, but if I want to see that I only have to switch on the TV News and be confronted by piles of corpses and children holding up severed heads in the manner of Jihadists.

Not surprisingly, I have had it with the real world and would much rather inhabit the world of Kinkade with its optimistic glow.

You can have your Goyas and your tortured souls. Your religious triptychs which depict sinners going to Hell are apparently not kitsch, even though they were the fashion of the day when the Church aimed to terrify the population with its threat of purgatory. These paintings were weapons wielded by the Church and I would not want any of them in my charming little abode

I remember when I studied Victorian literature at a post-graduate level, I was informed that Charles Dickens was not to be taken seriously because he was too popular. He was kitsch according to some of the snobbish professors at the University.

There obviously is an elitist element in all this kitsch business. If you manage to entertain the man in the street with your writing or your painting then there must be something wrong with your work, according to the experts.

How pretentious is that!

So give me a break from all this elitism. I want art that brings a smile to my face.

I prefer beautiful paintings, like those of the Pre-Raphaelites. And so this is where I will include the heart-warming works of Thomas Kinkade as well.

Pity that he has passed away in very sad circumstances, but nevertheless he has left us a beautiful fantasy world which I would gladly love to inhabit.

Rose-coloured glasses? Most definitely, but reality is less appealing, nowadays.