Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Less Asians and More Guns

My first encounter with Pauline Hanson occurred when I watched the first episode of The Howard Years. She's not exactly my type of person. At least from what I know of her.

From what I saw on the documentary, she's a racist who likes guns. Fun! But I'm going to try to go beyond the surface. Is she all bad? Are there any aspects of her that I can relate to? Is there any part of her that I won't hate? Or will learning more about her make me hate her even more?

Let's see....

Pauline Hanson....

Maybe she's related to the Hanson brothers. They were homeschooled, by the way.

Hanson (the racist one) was born on 27 May 1954. Birthday website time!

Hanson was conceived around September 3, 1953. That's my mom's birthday! So on my mom's fifth birthday, it's likely someone was having sex and creating a future racist politician.

She's a Gemini. This astrology website describes the Gemini as being dual-natured, elusive, complex, and contradictory.

Lord Wiki lists some positive traits of Gemini. These include: inquisitive, charming, witty, attention-loving, outgoing, and positive. Negative traits include: self-interested, impatient, critical, insensitive.

I don't know many Gemini's personally, but the few I know....I have to say these traits describe them quite well.

In numerology, Hanson is a 6. The 6 is about family and domestic stuff. Is Pauline Hanson a family woman? She's been married twice and has four kids.

I don't fault her on the divorce. Sometimes, marriage doesn't work out.

The birthday website says that 6's are least compatible with 7's. It looks like a friendship is not in the cards for us. So sad.

In Chinese Astrology, Hanson is a horse. But since the woman doesn't like Asians (as far as I know) we can just ignore that.

Her Native American sign is an elk. I wonder if she's nice to Native Americans. Does she dislike anyone who is not Caucasian? Or does she target only Asians?

I'm going to talk to Lord Wiki and see what I can find out.

Well, she's the FORMER leader of One Nation. I knew she was involved with that, but I didn't realize she was no longer the leader. I wonder who the new leader is.

Something called The Bulletin named her as one of the hundred most influential Australians. I don't know what The Bulletin is. Okay, it seems the Bulletin is a recently deceased magazine. It was Australia's oldest weekly magazine--starting in 1880. Well, that's kind of sad. Or maybe not. This article says that in it's beginning years, The Bulletin was known for it's radicalism and xenophobia. It's slogan was Australia for the White Man. I wonder if it continued to be racist; or did it tone down a bit? They did pick a xenophobic politician as being influential. That tells me something.

Here we go. Lord Wiki says the magazine was bought by the Packer family in 1961 and became less radical and racist.

I'm totally off on a tangent here.

I gotta get back to Hanson.

Hanson comes from Brisbane. I guess that's where she had her childhood. Her father owned a fish and chips shop. She dropped out of school at the age of fifteen. Then Lord Wiki says she became independently wealthy by accumulating rental properties. Okay? I guess I should say good on her.

Hanson was originally part of the Liberal party. This was around 1996. She was endorsed by the Liberal Party for their House of Representatives candidate. Then she said some negative things about Indigenous Australians. The Liberal party stopped endorsing her; but they already had ballots printed out, and the ballots still had her name on them.

She won the election. Yikes.

In her first speech to the House of Representatives, Hanson declared that white people were victims of reverse racism. I don't get it. Why is it called reverse racism when white people encounter prejudice. Why not just racism? Why do we call it reverse? Actually, I don't know if she used the term reverse racism, or if those are Lord Wiki's words.

Here is part of Hanson's speech: I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. Between 1984 and 1995, 40 per cent of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate. Of course, I will be called racist but, if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country.

What a character! She reminds me a lot of Ann Coulter.

I really don't follow her way of thinking. Well, of course I don't agree that Asians swamp people and never assimilate. But what is this about deciding who comes into your country? The country is NOT your house. You do have a say about who comes into your house or not. It's YOUR house. And yes, Australia is YOUR country. But it's also other people's country...including Asians and Indigenous Australians. They get a say too about who gets to enter.

Speaking of inviting people into your home...There are certain people who will never be invited into my home again. I don't know why certain people think our house is a hotel and not our home.

Just as a brief aside, here's the best way to make your hosts feel their house is a hotel rather than the home of friends you love.

1. Arrive on the host's birthday and do not bring anything. No gifts. No cards! Don't even bother having your child draw a cute little happy birthday picture. Do nothing.

2. Sleep at your host's house during a holiday weekend, but don't attend any of the holiday meals. Spend most of your time with friends who are more important to you--but I suppose unfortunately don't have room at their "inn".

3. Do not bring any small token gifts to show you appreciate them letting you stay there. Don't bring them a little jar of jam or some yummy veggies to go with dinner.

4. Sneak out of the house everyday without saying good-bye. Don't tell anyone where you're going and when you'll be back. Arrive home late and go straight to bed.

5. Don't bother to take your host out to dinner or lunch as a thank you. Don't bother offering to cook a meal. Spend as little time with the host family as possible.

6. Reveal to your hosts that you are going to out to lunch and to the zoo, but don't invite your hosts to come with you. They're just there to provide you a room to sleep, free meals, and a free kitchen. They're not there to enjoy your company and be invited places. Go many places while you're at their house and never invite your hosts along! You don't want them to get the idea that you might actually like them.

7. Buy your child gifts when you're out, but don't bother to buy anything for child of your hosts. Allow your child to show off his new gift in front of the host's child.

8. When you're leaving for good, don't take time out to say good-bye and thank you. Just sneak out the door.

Tim, don't worry. They don't read my blog. And if they do, it's time they heard it all anyway. I'm damn tired of being treated like a doormat.

Greg, no I'm not talking about you guys. You guys are the most awesome guests ever. I was thinking you might assume I was talking about you since we didn't get to hug good-bye. But I know that's my fault for sleeping in too late. Plus, you guys DID bring a nice veggie gift, and I love and appreciate that. I'm not quite sure I love the sweep-the-table with the broom thing--but we love you guys despite all that.

Okay. Thank you for letting me vent.

Now back to Pauline Hanson.

Lord Wiki said she supported High Tariff Protectionism. I actually didn't know what that meant and had to look it up. Basically, it's the idea of making Australia more economically independent--less imports. I'll admit that I sort of do agree with that...to a point. I mean I think Australia should totally buy back Vegemite from Kraft, and other stuff like that. I do think all countries should love each other and trade with each other. But I also think people should try to support their own country by buying products made from the homeland.

Once, Hanson was on the Aussie version of 6o Minutes. She was asked if she was xenophobic and she said Please explain. Now she reminds me a bit of Sarah Palin. And yeah, she also reminds me of me. I'm much less racist and xenophobic. But I can be pretty dumb at times.

As some of you might have seen on The Howard Years, there was controversy surrounding Hanson and John Howard. He refused to censor her and I think that's good. I don't believe in censorship. But he also initially refused to speak out against her. I think that's bad.

In 1997, Hanson formed One Nation.

Lord Wiki says her popularity began to decline. He blames that on some of her policies which alienated her former supporters. She blames it on John Howard. She says he stole her views. Oh, and also she blames the media. I like to blame the media too. Look! Wow. Hanson and I have something in common.

Hanson was convicted of electoral fraud. She was supposed to go to prison for three years, but that was eventually overturned. It seems she didn't serve any time.

According to Lord Wiki, Hanson announced she was leaving politics in January 2004. Then nine months later she announced she was coming back. She reminds me of Stephen King. He announces his retirement and yet he still has books coming out. Will Nicole Kidman do the same thing? Why do people do stuff like that? Do they really plan to retire and then change their mind? Or is it just a publicity stunt?

I do have a history of leaving places (e.g., Facebook and Livejournal). I think in most of those cases I say I'm going on hiatus. I TRY not to be too definite and dramatic--in case I decide to come back again.

In 2007, Hanson started another political party. Wow. She's ambitious. Amazing enough to be the creator of one political party, but two? I'm impressed.

Hanson said: I have had all the major political parties attack me, been kicked out of my own party and ended up in prison, but I don't give up.

Cockroaches don't give up either. At least from my experience. Neither do some toddlers when they're having a tantrum in the grocery store.

While not being racist and political, Hanson dances! She was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. My parents and my sister watch the American version of the show. I know Bridie Carter (from McLeod's Daughters) was on the Australian version. I wonder if she was on during the same time as Hanson.

Hanson did a commercial for Donut King. What does that say about this Donut King company? I don't know. I'm not sure I'd want to eat those donuts though. I think I'll take my arteries to Krispy Kreme.

I'm now going to say good-bye to Lord Wiki and look at One Nation's official website.

They don't believe in global warming. I have an ex-aunt who shares their disbelief. I personally believe in Global Warming. I don't believe in Santa Claus or God. I guess we all have our different beliefs.

I don't really understand the anti-global warming people. Okay, for argument's sake, let's pretend it's as mythical as the Easter Bilby and the Tooth Fairy. So, what? Is it really horrible that we're recycling, consuming less, and being more conservative in our energy habits?

I'm now reading about One Nation's beliefs and policies. I'm trying to think of a nice way to say this. I'll just say they are pretty much the opposite of what I stand for. They're not my people.

I think I would have some sympathy for their viewpoint if Caucasians WERE the first Australians. I think yeah then they'd have a right to say we don't want the others. I think they'd be a bit rude and snobby, but hey it's their country. Just like my house is my house and I have the right to exclude people I no longer consider to be my friends. But white people were NOT the first Australians. So, I don't think they have the right to be snobby and exclusive.

 I do think they have every right to want to want to preserve their race and culture. But do that by having cultural events/parties that celebrate white European Cultures. Don't do it by being snobby towards other races. If you want more white people, have sex, and make more white babies. I personally want more racially mixed people in the world. I don't do this by joining a political party that tries to exclude single-raced people from my country. I just went and found an Asian guy. I seduced him, we had sex, and a mixed race child popped out nine months later. There you go. Easy as pie.

Now I'm going to look at Pauline Hanson's official website. The website gives her phone number. Should I call her when we get to Australia? Maybe we can do lunch.

She says on the first page of the site: My love is for my country and I am a proud Australian. I will not apologize to anyone for my beliefs, concerns and my straight talk. I don't intend to sugar coat issues but will tell it the way I see it, with honesty and integrity.

I respect that. I respect people who are open, honest, and upfront about their beliefs. I think people have a right to say what they want to say. And I think those of us who disagree with their particular beliefs have the right (and responsibility) to speak up about our disagreement. Otherwise, our silence often infers agreement.

On immigration, Hanson says: There’s no doubt that immigration can be a passionate area for debate. One of the main reasons is simply that no-one likes to feel that they’re unwelcome or excluded; that they are rejected. It can be painful. It’s important also for immigrants to remember that the people of the host country feel exactly the same way. If immigrants clearly don’t want to join and identify themselves with the host culture, the people of that host community also feel rejected. The rejection of their community cuts even deeper as it happens in their natural home.

I think her words are beautiful here and I actually agree with them to a point. But in that case, shouldn't all Australians follow the culture of the ORIGINAL Australians? I know she's talking about current white people and their relationship to Asian, Muslim, etc. immigrants. The statement though could be also applied to Indigenous Australians and the First Fleet. It describes their situation perfectly.

How do you find a balance between new and old? How do the people who were there first make the newcomers feel welcome? How do the newcomers keep their own culture without alienating the people who were there first? Can we accept others without losing our own identity?

Hanson says she welcomes anyone who truly wants to become one of us. I'm guessing by us she means those who follow European Christian culture. But Australia is already filled with people who are not of that culture. Why can't us be defined as people who belong to Asian, Jewish, Muslim or Aboriginal cultures? How about homosexuals? I know there are a lot of them in Australia. Do they count as us?

I'm too lazy to read about her other policies. I'm pretty sure I'd disagree with most of them.

I'm going to read her bio page.

Oh wow. She DID spend some time in prison. Eleven weeks.

Anyway, I'm going to shut up now. My blood sugar seems a bit out of whack. I'm going to get me something to eat and spend some time with my child.

I just realized I didn't talk much about the gun stuff. I can't find any information on her website. I might be looking at the wrong places. From what I saw on The Howard Years, she's against gun control. I don't like guns. I don't like when racist people have access to guns. That's all I'll say for now. I really need to get something to eat. My little fingers are shaking.


  1. Those house guests MUST NOT STAY AGAIN. Their rudeness is beyond rudeness. Poor you!

    I had some friends from the UK stay with me a few years ago... they behaved in a similar way. They were meant to stay for 2 weeks, but I sat them down after about 5 days and invited them to actually spend some time with us (my kids wanted to see their kids etc). They were outraged that I was setting "conditions" upon my hospitality and promptly moved out to a hotel. Phew. We're still friends, but, just quietly, I would not invited them to stay again.

    Now, Pauline Hanson.... YUCK. She was not only overtly racist (in my view anyone who accepts while fundametalists of any religion but not black or coloured fundamentalists of any religion proves themselves to be basing their decision purely on skin colour) but frighteningly ignorant. It was proven, during her court case, that she was a puppet for some other racist politicians who were looking for a front-person.

    The most frightening one of those was a guy called David Oldfield. He wrote all of her speeches and was the co-founder of One Nation (with David Etteridge also).

    The classic thing about the "Please explain" comment when asked whether she was xenophobic, was that she had used that word in a previous speech. Such a puppet.

    By awful co-incidence (and because I have one of those lives), I spent a week at a Health Farm (spa) with David Oldfield and his EQUALLY scary and right-winged wife Lisa Oldfield in 2003.

    We had arguments about gun-control (they both believe that all AUstralians should be able to kill people who intrude onto their property etc) but I walked away when they started on racism (I would not have been able to hide my disgust). It ruined a week that was meant to be cathartic and therapeutic for me. Grrrr.

    I could find NOTHING to like or respect about either of them. They had huge senses of entitlement, which I guess allows them to be racist. No empathy.

    Both used their infamy to forge television and radio careers. Lisa's television career proved to be shortlived, but David is doing talk radio on the dawn shift somewhere or other. I hope he stays there.

  2. Fe,

    You are so much more mature than me. We should have done the same thing--actually sit down with them and explained why we were upset. I took the more passive-aggressive approach which isn't mature at all.

    I should have just sat them down and said "Look, we're unhappy with the way you're acting."

    I CAN be direct, but usually I need someone to approach me first.

    I guess my style is to act passive-aggressive. But then if someone says "Hey, are you mad?" I'll totally spit it out. And then they probably usually wish they never asked.

    I definitely think Pauline Hanson is racist--despite her denials. What racist person admits to being racist? They always deny it--well, maybe not if they're in the KKK or a skinhead.

    The puppet stuff--very interesting!! It makes sense and gives me new insight into the "please explain" statement.

    Sorry about your awful spa experience. Yeah, guns and racism always puts me in that relaxation mode. Yikes!!!

    The Oldfield's sound absolutely lovely. I think I shall picnic with them while in Sydney.

    Speaking of that....did you ever get my email???

  3. Kaylee,

    Thanks. I know others have worse problems. It's pretty trivial when it comes down to it.

    I guess I'm lucky, that for now, these are the worst of my problems.

    Well, actually I DO have worse problems, but I think I have some ideas that might help me.

    Okay, I'm rambling.....

  4. Pauline Hanson was one of the most vulgar creatures that we as Australians had to endure. She has a voice that makes you want to rip your own ears off, and she's a foul and vile racist.

    As for your 'guests' I would name and shame them. But that's me - I'm up to my ears with people that leech.

  5. There's a good book about Hanson by Margot Kingston. Hanson went on to become a sort of tolerated eccentric, appearing on Dancing with the Stars and in advertisements. Of course, a large number of people still virulently hate her.

    Bad houseguests? That's a tough one. One school of thought is that they should be allowed infinite licence in a sort of traditional oriental style. I'm more inclined to the view that what is indisputably bad behaviour (not a product of cultural difference) is the time to send 'em to the highway.

  6. Anja,

    I don't think anyone who knows them reads my blog....except my dad and my bil read once in awhile...but they know everything already anyway.

    I COULD put their names up and see if they ever Google themselves. I think it will actually be enough punishment not to let them stay at our house again. This wasn't the first time. They (or parts of their family) have stayed with us many times. This isn't the first time we've been used with barely a thank you.

  7. Retarius,

    I find it a bit disturbing that she became a tolerated eccentric--unless she actually changed. From what I've seen of her website, she still seems awful to me. She uses pretty language to hide her racism, but I think it's still there.

    Like America though, Australia probably has a lot of racists. Some outspoken and some quiet about it. They probably look up to someone like Hanson.

    As for our guests--they're part of the white Christian culture. As far as I know, they follow the same etiquette books.

    I was thinking last night. If it was just about the gifts, I'd probably find them to be lovely guests who just failed to read a few etiquette books. I don't even like gifts much. So if they didn't bring a gift, but they were nice in other ways...really. Who cares?

    What went beyond rude was leaving the house without saying good-bye each day and then coming home just to go to bed. That's not just rude. That's hurtful. They should have come back early enough so that we could have all sat around and talked...the kids could have played.

    Then it was INCREDIBLY rude to leave for good and not say good-bye or thank you....just sneak out the door. I really doubt there's any culture that would promote such a practice. Maybe there is?

  8. No... I didn't get your email!! Please resend (a pun on Pauline's "please explain"!)

  9. I think the reason Pauline Hanson has become more tolerated is that people pity her. As the story unfolded, it was clear that she is pretty dumb, and a product of her environment.

    She really believes the vile stuff that she spouts, and she equally believes that it is justifiable. She just doesn't see the other side of the coin, like the ones you point out. She is moronic, not evil. Had she grown up in a tolerant, forward thinking house and community, she would be those things.

    Pauline Hanson is a symptom, not a cause - at least she looks that way to me.

    PS The word I have to type is coosnog, and I am enjoying dreaming up meanings of it... :)

  10. Ariane,

    I don't know. My political, philosophical, and economical beliefs are much different from my family's.

    I mean I do agree with you in terms of feeling sorry for her.

    Honestly, yesterday I was watching Stephen Colbert roasting George W. Bush and in a way I felt pity for him (Bush not Colbert). I start thinking is Bush really evil, or is he just a dumb guy who got too much power and made a lot of mistakes?

    I go back and forth in my feelings toward ignorant people. Sometimes I pity them and sometimes I feel incredible amounts of anger towards them.

  11. Not everyone is a product of their environment - in this post you clearly stated opposing sides of an argument - Pauline just isn't smart enough to do that. She isn't just ignorant, she's stupid. She's just not capable of forming the arguments that people like you, who can move away from the influences of their environment, use to form new opinions.

    At least, this is my take on her. Obviously I don't know her personally, but I do know people like her. My grandfather was a bit like that, as a result of the war. He wasn't completely stupid, but he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed either, and that combined with his experiences at the hands of the Japanese left him incapable of seeing the whole argument about all sorts of things.

    I don't know about George W, though. I can't make a coherent picture in my head of that man. Too many people who should know say he is very bright - he bamboozles me and I'll be glad to see the back of him!

  12. The idea of George W. being smart is very scary. Is he just pure evil then?

    As for your grandfather, I think I can have sympathy because his experiences were personal. I'm guessing they were traumatic.

    I'd have more sympathy for someone who hated Arabs if they lost someone in 9/11. It's not that I'd agree with their prejudices, but I'd be sympathetic.

    I don't know if I'm making any sense.

    I think any trauma like that is going to mess with your head. I imagine it would be hard to stay open and accepting. Fortunately, some victims of tragedy/pain overcome those feelings. But I don't think we can expect everyone to.

  13. In the immortal words of N. Tennant, copyright 2006:
    "Is stupid really stupid, or a different kind of smart?"
    (regarding George W. Bush)

    The sad thing about Pauline Hanson is that she had enough support to be elected. She reminds me of the people on "The Brady Bunch" segment of A Current Affair.

    On the other hand, she was a great dancer on Dancing With The Stars. *g*

  14. Tors,

    It's like Hitler. Some people act as if he's single-handedly responsible for the Holocaust. He had a LOT of support. The Holocaust could have never happened without that support.

    I guess the positive thing with Hanson is a lot of people were against what she said.

    I'm glad she was good at dancing!!

  15. Tors had a very good point..she was hugely popular and in certain areas hero worshipped. She also was a ridiculous puppet who seemed to care more about what she wore than how people actually saw her. I remember being stunned at the ignorance but thinking at the time that she appealed to a lot of unsophisticated blue collar workers...especially the type I saw when I was based in Brisbane when I was an air hostess in the seventies. Very old fashioned correct God fearing White Australia Policy thinking types. You see people forget that the WAP was part of our culture for so long...my family were ten pound poms in the sixties and we were treated like shit. Can imagine how the average beer guzzling Aussie of the sixties thought of Asians? I think Vietnam may have been the closest to anything Asian that a lot of Aussies ever got.Apart from the illicit sugar cane workers in Northern Queensland early last century.

    Sorry about the house guests Dina...inexcusable...especially when you and they have kids. But am very excited to realise that Tim is Asian...yeah...two of my friend's are Filipinos ...which is actually why I think my mother did not want them to visit...it still goes on in this day and age...she remembers how she was treated in sixties yet she does it herself now...sickening and hard to break through it ..she probably is not even aware of it herself.

  16. Magikquilter,

    I think both Australia and America have a lot of racism. A lot of times people keep it secret. But as soon as they find someone who's not shy to admit it, they'll happily admit it too.

    When I was in college, some guy was interested in me. I talked to him on the phone and he said something I couldn't quite hear/understand. I said "What?"

    He said something like "Oh, don't worry about it. I'm just being Jewish."

    I was bewildered and then he explained....it's just a saying that means "I'm being stupid."

    I was shocked and slightly hurt. I think it was the first time I had PERSONALLY encountered anti-semitism. But what really hurt was that when I told other people about it...no one cared! They thought it was funny.

    Maybe that's the true horror of the Holocaust--not that a mad man had a crazy idea. But that so many people were perfectly happy to go along with it.

    It's the whole group mentality. We can do awful things when we feel we have other backing us up.

    As for your mom. I think that's common. In California, they say the people who voted most against Proposition 8 were black. I guess the thing is...just because you're a victim of prejudice, it doesn't stop you from being prejudiced yourself.

    Imagine what our world would be like if all the victims of prejudice worked together instead of against each other!