For those who’ve been playing along at home, you will remember that I threatened to occasionally let fly with more than poetry. Also, the name of the blog is “Some Poems & More” and the tagline is “original poetry, occasional ramblings & offensive jokes”. I’ll get to the jokes eventually, probably when some beloved celebrity keels over from self-inflicted damage, but in the meantime its ramblin’ time!
Whatever happened to journalistic elocution? I know, I know – ‘conversational’ television presenters are more attractive to viewers, and the old days when Australian newsreaders put on a faux-Pommy accent are long gone. Still, these people are professional talkers. It gives me the irrits something chronic when an interviewer or a TV presenter punctuates their report with ‘Umm’ or “ahh’. Lots of radio hosts (or as we used to call them in Ye Olden Days, “deejays”) do the same thing. Look, I can grudgingly accept that if you’re a retired sportsman or an off-circuit stand-up comedian, reading the autoprompter fluently is not your first tier skill. Happy to extend you some grace period if that’s the case, but after a while, y’know …. just get better at doing your new job. And if you’re not a recent convert to the field – if you’re a professional journalist by trade and training, specialising in electronic media – then you have no excuse. The content of the news is dumbed down enough; we don’t need the presentation to match it.
I see here that Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most important Catholic (despite Tony Abbott’s self-assessment) is reiterating the Church’s stand against gay marriage. Of course, this is a hot-button topic at the moment both here and abroad and my two cents worth may make no difference, but here it is anyway.
If you want to get married in a Church ceremony, then its the Church’s right to dictate to you the terms of that ceremony. Just like any club, or voluntary organisation, the Church has the right to determine its own internal rules. If you find them discriminatory, or feel that they are oppressing you personally, then you probably wouldn’t enjoy belonging to that club anyway. You’ll be happier without them and they’ll be happier without you.
But in Australia, the ultimate authority over marriage resides with not with the Church, but with the Government. Rightly or wrongly, marriage in 21st Century western cultures is now governed by the public service. This is entirely a secular issue, and Cardinal Pell doesn’t even speak for the majority of Australian Christians, let alone the majority of Australian adults. (According the 2006 census, 25.6% of the population claimed affiliation with the Catholic Church – slightly less than half of all who responded as ‘Christian’. By way of comparison, those who responded No Religion totalled 18.7%.) So, while he is entitled to his personal opinion, and the Church is entitled to its doctrinal discrimination, his suggestion that the Federal Commonwealth of Australia continue to institutionalise discrimination on the basis of sexual preference is not only outdated, it’s unrepresentative. Gay marriage is not for everyone, but then again, neither is Church.
Watched my beloved Tigers run around last Sunday. They still looked a little disjointed, but played far better than a 17-16 loss. I could go on for hours about the stupidity of the stripping rule and the lack of video policing of it, or the total inequity of Golden Point, or Mick Crocker’s flying forearms, but instead I’ll just wish the boys luck for Friday’s game against the Brisbane Broncos.
So, that’s me all rambled out for today. If I haven’t bored you to tears yet, there’s also a poem being posted tonight.