Middle East students at the Holocaust Museum

A few years ago I was a volunteer  guide at the Holocaust Museum in Melbourne.  It is a very solemn museum  devoted to the memory of the Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Among the many visitors to the museum were school children of high-school age. They would come with their teachers to learn about the Holocaust and most of the time they were very well-behaved.

Some were visibly affected by what they saw.  It was an excursion that was part of their education and it was meant to teach them about the dangers of bigotry  and racial hatred so that the world would be a better place in the future.

We can all live in hope and we have to try to improve things, don’t we?

I remember one particular occasion,  however,  which depressed and horrified me.

It concerned a school visit from one of the Northern suburbs of Melbourne.  I was walking around the exhibit as was my role as a guide when I heard a couple of Lebanese boys making fun of the photos of Jews being tortured by the Nazis.  I know they were Lebanese because I overheard them talking and then they spoke in English.

This is what they said as they stood in front of a particularly horrible photo.

“We could learn a lot from the Nazis about how to deal with the Jews.”

Those two boys were about 15 at the time and that was five years ago.

I can’t help wondering where these boys ended up.

 

 

Advertisements

It’s a Mitsi ! What is the real message here?

Picture this:-

A man and his wife are shopping somewhere in a cheap, crowded market.  The woman picks up a garment that she wants to try on so she hands her bag to the man so that he will look after it.

Suddenly, out of the blue, he hears a racket.

Apparently, a group of his mates have shown up in a Mitsubishi and are calling him to join them.

Like the numbskull that he is,  the man drops his wife’s bag on the dirt ground and runs off to join his pals in the “Mitsi”.

Message?  The Mitsi (as the car manufacturer is trying to label it) is so tempting that he abandons his wife, loses the bag with all their possessions in it,  including cash and passports,  and goes off for a drive with a bunch of loonies.

So what is the real message here?

This car, which is not particularly enticing in any way,  is meant to appeal to irresponsible idiots with only half a brain.

I strongly suspect that Mitsubishi has latched onto a goldmine with this commercial since there would be no shortage of potential customers in our “brilliant” world.

The real reason why Gay Marriage won in Ireland

Poor Ashers Bakery didn’t have a hope in slowing down the acceptance of gay marriage in Ireland, did it?

From what I observe,  it was not that gay marriage won, but that the Catholic Church lost.  In my opinion,  the Church with its harsh treatment of single mothers and its sexual abuse reputation, has buried itself.

The Church has lost respect among its former supporters and once someone loses faith in something it cannot be regained.

I have no objection to gays wanting the right to be legally married.  It’s natural to need to be accepted by the rest of society.

I did hear British living treasure,  artist David Hockney,  ironically  lament the loss of the Bohemian lifestyle which the gay community used to enjoy.  He preferred it when they were “radical.” He complained that homosexuals are boring now and will become more boring as they dwell in suburbia, mow their lawns,  and have children etc. just like the rest of us.

It was an observation which made me smile.

How long will it be before a married gay couple announces to the press that it is going through,  in the famous words of Ms Paltrow,   ” conscious uncoupling”?   And,  in the fullness of time, the gay community,  with its new rights,  will share the joy of “unconscious coupling”,    just like the rest of us lucky married folk. lol

 

Who needs these Isis collaborators back in Australia?

So the young men who left Australia and joined Isis have asked to be allowed back into the country they abandoned.  Well whoopee!

Do we welcome them back? Do we believe that they will now turn their backs on the most violent and unscrupulous murderers in the Middle East?

Perhaps these traitors have discovered that joining a group of terrorists who want to destroy everything that is good in our world is not a picnic, after all.  It’s not an adventure for the bored sons and daughters of the Muslim community in Australia.

Pardon my scepticism, but if I were a member of Isis and I wanted to return to Australia to cause more trouble here, then I would pretend that I am disenchanted with the Isis credo. I would pretend that I regret having left my comfortable home here in Australia for a cause that is the work of the devil.

I would offer to betray Isis by blabbing all the secrets that I had  learned during my adventure with them.

But could I be trusted?

After all, a person who has been a traitor once, which these men have been, could easily become a traitor twice or three times over.

So do we want these men back here to cause havoc in Australia?

No way. Let them stay in the Middle East where they belong.

Good on you, Garland, Texas!

There was a time when I was against guns. But that was before the Sandy Hook School massacre in Connecticut, U.S.A in which 20 very young children were brutally killed by a gunman. There was no armed guard at the school which prided itself on being very liberal and tolerant.

That school had a marvellous philosophy which preached that we should all live in peace, and sing Kumbaya my Lord as we hug one another and pretend that everyone else agrees with us and wishes us well.

Sadly, the evil people in this world did not agree with the peace-loving ones at Sandy Hook and so 20 children were murdered by a monster.

That atrocity took place in 2012 and I grieve for the dead children and their families. There should have been an armed guard in the school to protect them.

So here we are in 2015 in Garland, Texas. A couple of crazy jihadists have decided to attack an exhibition which offends them. They arrive armed and ready to kill. The two pieces of excreta shoot a guard but then a policeman shoots the two murderers dead.

ISIS claims responsibility for the attack. That’s okay as long as the assassins were shot dead before they could massacre people. So be it.

The sooner that people learn that we live in a different world now and that good people are under threat from an horrifically evil force the better and they had better change their idealistic views.

If you don’t learn from experience you pay the price and surely Sandy Hook should have been a lesson to us all. We need to face reality and protect our citizens, even as we lament the loss of innocence in this world.

Back online

Following an erratic interruption of almost two weeks I am back online. I won’t go into the details but, fingers crossed, I hope to be online for a while. I still don’t really understand why my website had problems, but it has made me very sceptical about the reliability of it all.

Whilst the internet is an asset in many respects, it has changed the way we live, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

I know that communication is less frequent now because people expect me to be on Facebook with pretty pictures of my cat or dog. I also know that I can’t expect phone calls from people. Now it’s texting. And what pleasure is there in that? It’s like semaphores and smoke signals. Hard to have a real conversation nowadays without somebody fingering a phone.

No wonder I become nostalgic as I caress my Montblanc fountain pen and remember the letters we wrote together. But then who has the oportunity to express oneself in depth nowadays when everything has to be encapsulated into 140 characters?

Melbourne’s alcohol problem

There is something wrong in a society which demands that you explain why you don’t drink alcohol. This is the case in Australia, unfortunately.

It has been the case ever since we came to Australia in 1951. If you didn’t drink then you had better explain yourself. Are you ill, or are you an alcoholic, perhaps? Do you follow some strange religion which forbids you from touching a drop?

You were made to feel uncomfortable and unsociable if you said, “I don’t drink.”

Every occasion was accompanied by drinking alcohol. In fact, if you weren’t allowed to drink then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy watching sport or weddings or graduations or births or even wakes. Shades of Ireland really.

It was and still is the Aussie way of life. Friday night is for “getting pissed” as it is called and a hangover is proof that you had a good time, even if you hardly remember it yourself.

What has struck me since arriving in Melbourne is the number of liquor outlets in every suburb here. There are people drinking in the morning by themselves in many coffee lounges. The solitary drinkers ore often lonely women of a certain age.

What exacerbates the problem is that many of these people are driving after they drink. And to make matters worse, we have a big drug problem in Melbourne. It is cause for concern when you don’t know who is driving in front of you. We have been advised not to look at drivers if we drive alongside them on the road. Who knows what they are on?

The drivers here are very aggressive, competitive and rather frightening. They are obsessed with playing with their phones as they drive and even women have been caught under the influence when they try to park outside a school to pick up their children.

I did comment once in a previous blog that the most polite drivers I have ever encountered are Texans.

I really cannot understand why Melbourne is supposed to be “the most livable city in the world”. For druggies and alcoholics, maybe…