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The big board game


People are speaking out! A host of women in the entertainment industry have come out with a range of complaints about male colleagues, complaints which hark back many years. It has been a cascade of allegations and the sense one gets of the emotions of these women is as a type of catharsis They demand to be treated with respect in the workplace. The "Me Too" campaign has managed to organise and galvanise women in protest against named powerful figures in Hollywood and elsewhere in the entertainment industry in countries like Australia. Impassioned speeches were made at the Golden Globe Awards, notably by television identity Oprah Winfrey. (The media infers from Oprah's short speech that she may now run for President of the United States!) The issue of sexual harassment in the workplace in the entertainment industry has erupted since accusations in 2017 against movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, and now his name appears to be mud. Craig McLoughlin in Australia, who played Dr. Blake in a dreary TV series called, The Dr. Blake Mysteries has been suspended in the latest series in the making. He will no longer be playing the main role in the current production of Godspell due to complaints by his female colleagues. There is a righteous indignation and outpouring of emotion from women affected. It's out in the open. The men named all deny wrongdoing. Presumably efforts will be made to get to the truth.

Are car rampages the new normal in Melbourne?

Every day, ordinary men and women, climb into the driver’s seat of machines capable of high speeds where a collision with each other, an obstacle, or a living thing, can cause serious injury or death. These people, when they start their engines, could be feeling calm, stressed, angry, sad, or confused. The extent of these feelings may or may not be sufficient to impair their ability to drive safely to their destination. Even if their feelings are sufficient to affect their driving, most times they will be lucky enough not to encounter any problem and will live to drive another day. The same applies to the extent to which they may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The viability of our cities, commerce, societies, relies on the trust that people behind the steering wheels of motor vehicles will behave themselves, will not endanger others, and they that they will not use the full potential of the engines they control.

Progress to Dystopia

Watching Q&A is an increasingly confusing experience. It would appear, from the questions and the panel responses, to anyone with a perspective of more than 30 years that we have not just been marking time but gone backwards with respect to gender and sexuality, anti-racism and colonialism. There was a sense of enlightenment in the 1970s, when women burned their bras, anthropologists wrote about gender pathways, and women in the Middle East wore miniskirts and went to co-ed universities - but things have gone downhill since. From current discourse as exemplified often on the media and especially on ABC 1's Q and A, it's as if the easy-going youth cultures of the 60s and 70s never happened ! We are now being 'educated' about a grey future where the best we can aspire to is mutual tolerance, when once we had far greater ambitions. In the 70s, for young people, the sky seemed to be the limit in terms of understanding international friendship possibilities. This was long before the Internet but when international travel became more widely available and there was a bit of a pause in wars which have since become constant.

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