Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

Racist cruelty does not belong here

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I was terribly saddened to hear of the death of a young Melbourne girl last week.  She was mauled by a dog. 

I was equally horrified to see this article in The HeraldSun.

Racism

Racism at work

Facebook is an international site so it is perceivable the posts came from outside Australia, but I know in my heart this is a naive thought.  Some may well have, but I know not all did.  While The HeraldSun is a tabloid, this has been reported in other media.

This is a CHILD who was mauled to death by a dog while her father was overseas.  How anyone can make the sort of attacks reported in this story is beyond me. 

Are these mindless teenagers with nothing better to do, who think it is funny?  Where are their parents?

Are they the usual batch of internet trolls?  Are they actual white supremacists?  I don’t care who or what they are, what they did is inexcusable and should be punished – yet the perpetrators will probably never be found and are no doubt too cowardly to come forward.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

August 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding

A friend feeding her baby son

This photo was originally posted on facebook in protest at the banning, by facebook, of breastfeeding photos taken by a wonderful photographer, Christopher Rimmer.  That caused quite an international media storm! My friend has given permission for the photo to be used here.  You can see some of Christopher’s stunning work here.

Breasts.  What are they for? For FEEDING babies.  Yesterday the following status was floating around facebook (I’ve just noticed there are no capital letters in facebook, so that is not a typo 🙂 ) and I was reminded that in 2011 it seems we are still freaked out about a woman doing the most natural thing in the world – feeding a child.  The status was:

So I was on the toilet this morning, eating toast with Vegemite and a bowl of muesli and…What? You think there’s something wrong with eating in the toilet? Did that irk you a little? Then why do people suggest breastfeeding mothers feed their babies in the toilet? If you’re a fan of brestfeeders’ rights, I DARE you to put this up as your status.

Why all the hullabaloo about women feeding their children where ever it is necessary?  Sex.  Western civilisation particularly has this “thing” about breasts almost being classed as genitals.  They aren’t.  Do people get aroused over the sight of a cow’s udder?  No?  Human breasts are for the SAME purpose.  To produce milk to feed offspring.  Yet from all the hype around the topic of where and when it is appropriate to feed a child, one would think this was an insult to humankind.  Or an invitation to have sex.  I do not get it.

If anything, the situation seems to have got worse, rather than better, in the years since I had babies (over 30 years ago).  I remember a fuss over women breastfeeding on planes in the USA just last year.  So are mothers supposed to starve their children while flying?  I’ve yet to see any breastfeeding mother actually flaunt her breasts while feeding.  Miranda Kerr posted a photo of her feeding her new baby and congratulations to her for doing so.  Other celebrity mothers have done similar recently.  We need more of it.  Yet they cop criticism for doing so.  I applaud them for raising the profile of the debate.

Debate?  There should be no debate.  Strangely for me, I haven’t researched if trying to restrict breastfeeding is in contravention of any human or civil rights international conventions or convenants, but morally it certainly is.

Surely feeding a child is a basic, almost THE most basic, human right.  It should most certainly be a civil right.  I’d love to see a precedent case!

Breast milk is the most appropriate food for a baby.  Some women can’t breastfeed and have no option but to bottle feed.  We certainly should not be almost criminalising those mothers who do breastfeed.  I could cite a string of articles about the benefits of breastfeeding, but you can all Google as well as I can and I’m sure if you are reading this, you already have an interest, one way or the other, in the topic.  I’m simply looking at the question from the perspective of human and civil rights.

I’m almost sorry I am not going to be breastfeeding any more children, because I’d love to give some of the anti-breastfeeding brigade a run for their money.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

March 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Digital media versus the broadsheet

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The Age carries a very interesting article today by Brigid Delaney on the digital media and what we get.  Brigid is right: most of the web versions of the papers don’t tend to offer the same depth (unless you look for it) as the paper version.

More worrying, as the article points out, is the “snippet” approach to reading the news by those of the digital age.  For my age group, I am probably not the norm.  I too read the news on the web most of the time.  Every now and then I will actually go and buy the real thing.

I remember being at a workshop on some professional development topic or other with a variety of people.  One of the other attendees was in charge of web site content and gave a short presentation about her work.  The way of writing for grabbing attention on the web is quite interesting (I would fail miserably) for there is a need to grab the attention in that first headline or sentence.  Writers know they have a very limited attention span to work with, so must get the message across in a matter of seconds.

Are we becoming a world that knows very little about a lot?  Is what we know even remotely accurate?  Are we, as the article suggests, concentrating only on the banalities around us?  Paris Hilton gets more attention than asylum seekers for example.  How much do people REALLY know about the whole asylum seeker debate, which let’s be fair, is far more important than Paris or LiLo.  Look at how much screen space was devoted to the St Kilda nude photo issue lately (which yes, I agree, I commented on myself), or how Fevola only has to sneeze to capture the digital front page – of even the broadsheets!  Yet are either of those local stories really front page news when compared with much else that is happening in the world?  Are the floods in Queensland less important that Fev?  I think not.

I often click on a headline or “breaking news” only to find the article is in fact five lines that tell me nothing.  OK, so I now know some guy was arrested somewhere, but I don’t know the details and will probably never find out.

Are Twitter and Facebook becoming almost our defacto news feeds?  After all, what do you have on Facebook? A page titled “News Feed” – but it isn’t.  How many people say they learned of something on Twitter?  How much can you learn from 140 characters?  Twitter is a great way to spread misinformation, though.  Retweet something often enough and it almost becomes accepted fact.  Look at the celebrities using Twitter to deny transgressions!

There is nothing truer than we get what we ask for.  As a population, it seems, we are asking for banality.  That is what we will keep getting, unless we ask for something else. 

Written by Robyn Dunphy

January 4, 2011 at 10:30 am

Facebook’s downtime

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This is a case of what was not really reported at all.  Although Twitter was afire with the Facebook problems yesterday, the mainstream press in Australia seemed to just ignore it.  A system outage affects 500 million users worldwide and this is not news?  Does that strike anyone other than me as strange?

Interestingly, the downtime was while the USA sleeps.  I have visual images of the guy or gal who was on call just not waking up  when the pager beeped (correction – server sent text message) alerting a server problem.  I know, not an exciting visual – but I’m an IT person, so forgive me!  Actually – it reminds me of a time years ago when I was at a party.  One of our friends was a Channel 7 cinematographer and carried a pager (it was in the days before text messages).  Having a wonderful time, he threw his pager in a glass of beer – to ensure he wouldn’t get called out!

I managed to find one report in the press.  I expected there may have been some coverage today, explaining the cause of the massive outage that lasted some 6 or more hours.  Nothing I could find.  Admittedly I didn’t search to the nth degree – I expected something obvious.  Not a peep.

Very interesting……………..

 

Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 31, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Posted in News

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