All posts tagged: Collective Shout

Ants, Porn and Stopping up the Gaps

As I watch yet another trail of ants wind its way along the windowsill, across the benchtop and into a cupboard, I wonder what God was thinking the day he made these tenacious critters. I understand their admirable qualities – the team spirit and industrious work ethic – but they’re not the descriptors that spring to mind as I’m washing their little black corpses off the sausages I left thawing on the bench. I am an ant-killer. Surface spray is my friend. I wipe those team-spirited, industrious ants with my mean, green dishcloth and flood out their syrupy lodgings with burning hot water. They have died in their hundreds, but still they return. I know what needs to be done. We need to find their entry point, and block it. But on a 1950s house, that’s no small feat! There are potentially more ways in than there are ants! Which is exactly the way I have felt about the nasties my children will face when they are old enough to “Google it”. Like the steady …

Indecent Exposure

Warning: this article is rated PG – not recommended for persons under the age of 15. Why? On account of the enormous, hot pink condom on display in Sydney’s Hyde Park. The 18-metre, fluoro pink sheath was lowered over the Hyde Park Obelisk as part of an advertising campaign to raise awareness of HIV prevention among gay men. As with most things 18-metres tall, hot pink in colour and erected in a public space, it was unavoidable. My gut reaction is that public spaces should be free from sexual messages. They should be places to walk with your children in the assurance that you’re not going to have to shield their eyes or broach a big topic like sex while tying up shoelaces and wiping Vegemite from mouths. The HIV prevention theme was fine – spread that message! But let’s do it in a respectful and relevant way. Queensland director of the Australian Christian Lobby Wendy Francis weathered a barrage of criticism after she publically questioned the suitability of the pink penis in the park. …

Walking the Catwalk of True Beauty

A friend went to the dancing competitions recently with her three young girls in tow. She expected a chance to appreciate the talent and dedication of our city’s fledgling dancers, to ooh and aah over the costumes with her daughters and just have a fun, girly time together. She also expected to feel that old pang of connection to her childhood days when it was her up on the stage, leaping and twirling, smiling heartily in a cloud of glitter and sequins. Instead she walked away feeling cold. “How things have changed,” she said to me. “I wish I hadn’t taken my daughters to see that.” What seven or eight-year-old’s performance could evoke such a response? She described little girls dressed in costumes more suited to a gentleman’s club, gyrating like Miley with saucy moves and expressions far beyond their years. Another dad relayed how uncomfortable he felt seated in the stalls of the local theatre, waiting for his daughter to perform. He thought they’d all be wearing pretty dresses, leaping and pirouetting around the …

Beauty is More than a Sexy Selfie

I think we all know someone with a selfie obsession. They post photos of themselves on various social media sites in different mundane situations expecting us to like, share, favourite, retweet and even comment on such humdrum proclamations as: “New lipstick!” (photo: lips pouting, eyes bulging like a Bratz doll). “Having a fat day” (photo: sad face, skinny jeans proffering a lean little bum). “Lunch!” (photo: a smoothie, ‘nuff said). Er, why? Why oh why oh why do people waste their precious moments on this? I shall pause briefly here to accommodate the decreasing percentage of the populace who have not caught up with the social media craze (c’mon dad, it’s about time!) A ‘selfie’ is “a slang term used to describe a photo that is taken of oneself for the purpose of uploading it to social networking sites and image sharing websites… To take a selfie, the right or left arm is extended with the camera held backwards.” (webopedia.com) All us social media users are prone to the occasional selfie but it’s worth pondering the why …