Mourning the loss of my nation’s dignity. Also: this blog is now a legitimate news source.

Well.

Don’t I feel like the parent whose kid just threw a giant tantrum because someone told them their well-functioning shiny toy was a piece of shit? And I feel bad, because I’m not just ashamed of my kid’s tantrum, I’m ashamed of my kid for being such a dumbass that it can’t even see how good this toy actually is.

Australian Media, I am golf clapping the fuck out of you right now. You won. You 1984’d the shit out of people who are too busy living their lives to spend the time required to sift through each and every news story – from each and every news source, in order to determine facts with which to make informed decisions.

I mean, clearly the Australian people can’t obtain facts from its media. Our media is, in essence, just a bunch of opinion blogs. Only the opinions aren’t those of the writers, but of the corporations and affiliated political parties that keep the blog.. I mean newspaper.. afloat.

When I was in High School, my English teacher gave me a 9.5/10 for an essay I wrote on Australia. She said she never gives out full marks because everyone can always improve, but my essay was so brilliant, she gave me as close to full marks as she could.

I felt like a cheat when I got those marks. I had written that essay in 20 minutes, and hadn’t even worked up a mental sweat to do so. That’s because the essay was about Australia. What I loved and treasured about this country.

I’d be really hard pressed to write that now. I just wouldn’t even bother. What I love about this country disappeared a long time ago, when the people of this country stopped fighting for the underdog and started whinging about being poor because they could only afford one plasma… When they wanted to get rid of a Prime Minister because of the way her voice sounds.

Meanwhile, if the citizens of this country were judged on such superficial matters, they’d all have been put down at the pound.

We are about to see some very dark days in this country, and all those people, those low to middle-income earners who, incredibly, believed that Tony “I am really Satan” Abbott was going to give them a lifestyle that included more income and less taxes, will very quickly realise just how easily they’ve been duped.

I won’t sit back and say “I told you so”. I will tell them to get angry.

My fellow citizens, the election is over, but this is where the work begins. In time, the I told you so moments will arrive, the curtain will fall, and the Great and Powerful Oz will show its true self. It can’t go any other way.

I’d like to be proud of this country again, if possible, so how about we all start demanding from our politicians what our employers demand of us? What about a job-trial period? What happens if they don’t meet their KPIs? What if they don’t use the bathroom code to log out of their phone when they leave their desk?

What makes us accept less of our politicians than is expected of us? We roll over and let our private corporate bosses ram the dildo of “company policy” up our arse on a daily basis – how about we hold our politicians to the same standard?

Our leaders should reflect the values that we of a nation hold to the highest importance. Right now, it appears that our values are: the continued persecution of the world’s most vulnerable people, the continued discrimination of homosexuals, women, and anyone who isn’t a mining/media magnate, and aspirations to have the world’s slowest internet, evar (which is basically like aspiring to get the wooden spoon in the footy tipping comp – clearly, you’re shit).

But it’s okay, because his daughters are pretty hot, and his party members have sex appeal.

Onya, Straya.

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Australia: Where Big Brother hasn’t simply returned to television

With each day that passes, our freedoms are being stripped from us in silent back rooms by powerful and wealthy men (and possibly women with a smattering of glass in their hair).

Last month, the Attorney General set up a Parliamentary Inquiry into potential reforms of national security legislation. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has prepared a Discussion Paper which is available on their website.

The proposed reforms seek to force ISPs and phone companies to keep a record of every article you’ve read online, every item you’ve bought online and every email or text message you’ve sent for a period of two years, which is to be provided to the Government at its request.

The recurring argument of “if you have nothing to hide, it shouldn’t matter” is redundant.

If you knew that someone could use every bored or curious, late night internet browse, and every drunk, angry or joke text message that you’ve sent over the past two years to support any claims of terrorist activity, would it change the way in which you used these devices?

As someone who sometimes has difficulty sleeping and spends a lot of time watching serial killer/conspiracy/secret organisation documentaries, it certainly makes me pause. Used out of context, my entire internet and text message history would be damning.

When I read Orwell’s 1984 as a young teenager, the prospect of a world such as that horrified me. That sense of horror has never left me. The torture of being locked out of your mind lest you be reported for committing a thought-crime kept me awake many nights throughout that book, and in the days that have followed.

Personal phone and internet use has always been an extension of thought, whether it be blogging such as this, or seeking answers to the myriad questions we constantly have in our minds.

I don’t have anything to hide, I haven’t committed a crime and nor do I intend to, but the mere knowledge that the fact that I downloaded a book on the Order of Skull and Bones whilst watching a documentary on 9/11 conspiracies could possibly, one day be used against me to substantiate terrorism claims feels rather akin to being placed under surveillance by thinkpol, to me.

I don’t think I’m important enough to ever be in that situation but you never know what the future holds.

It is certainly true that laws need to be updated to reflect the gargantuan leaps technology has made, but that should not include mandatory data retention of internet/phone usage of every single Australian citizen on the off chance that one of them is a terrorist.

The risk of these powers being abused either by a Government (ours or otherwise) who wishes to silence someone, or by a criminal wishing to use the information for their own nefarious purposes are far too great to allow these legislative reforms to be passed.

On Monday 20th August (yes, this coming Monday), submissions regarding this inquiry close.

The Australian Greens have set up a submission form, pre-populated with a suggested letter which can be overwritten should you choose to do so.

Alternatively, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security website has information on how to prepare a submission as well as accepted formats.

I strongly urge you to enter a submission. Your very life and identity could be the casualty of complacency.