Friday, January 19, 2018

The first First Baby

Jacinda and Clarke, the parents to be of the first First Baby
You know times are a-changing for the better and the braver when the leader of your country announces she is pregnant.

Fittingly this happened today in New Zealand, the land that was first to grant women the vote.

And the Dad, the third First Man we've had in this country, will be the primary caregiver of the world's first First Baby that is due in June, which will be another first.

It's a brave new world indeed, and I for one can't wait to see how well these two trailblazers show us how it can be done, they both seem ideally suited for the tasks.   

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ice is nice

Given that justice might be likened to a drug for the feeling of euphoria it brings that is all too often fleeting with the high hope fading and in its wake, a legacy of disappointment and failure to live up to the spirit of justice, I think I might be forgiven this cheap pun (ice being heroin's street name, if the American movies I watch are to be believed) to mark Iceland's recent move to make it illegal to pay women less than men for equal work, adding a burden of proof on all employers to show that they are in fact complying with the law and actual punishments if they are found to be not complying. Imagine that! Actual punishments for non-compliance of a gender equality law. What is the world coming to?! 

This is a world first indeed, though equal pay legislation has been in place there and in all democratic countries around the world since the 1970s, but has remained unequal not least because the majority of law enforcers in these countries have continued to be men who, it turns out, are not so fussed in practice about the equality and justice for all they have written endless theoretical treatise on ever since the Enlightenment in the 1770s.

But not in Iceland anymore. Today in Iceland equality becomes real, in large part because that country boasts an equal number of male and female parliamentarians. The commitment is to have 100% compliance with the law of equal pay for men and women by 2020.

So although I have no actual idea if ice is nice (I like a cube or two in my vodka), and have never been to Iceland, where there is clearly a great deal more to be charmed and chilled by than actual ice, I think this practical commitment to equality between the sexes and to honouring those Icelandic women who walked off their jobs, in home and out, to fight for this equality forty-plus years ago, is a sign that the world, one country cube at a time, is finally becoming actually enlightened to the practical challenges that real equality and justice between the sexes (and between humans) presents, thanks to the women who are enlightening those other people in the world who are not women. And that, my friends, is nice. Nice ice.     

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Black is the New Golden and Women are the New...

In her presidential speech accepting the Cecile B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, Oprah Winfrey spoke passionately about her pride in being the first black woman to have won the award (awarded since 1952 to 49 men and 14 women in total), and about how she was inspired to pursue her dreams when watching as a little girl in 1964 Sidney Poitier become the first black person to win an academy award for best actor.

But overall her speech and the Golden Globes ceremony in general was a celebration of our times in which women are speaking up to men in power and saying no to their abuses of that power, with most women at the ceremony wearing black in solidarity with those women who have spoken out as part of the Me Too Movement and Oprah saying to a standing ovation:

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.” 

Also in solidarity with this feminist movement the Big Little Lies actresses brought female activists to the ceremony as their guests rather than their male partners, while a female-centred and anti-sexual-abuse-themed film, Three Billboards, won best film and various other awards. 

So it would seem that this is not a passing news story or a political moment in time to be replaced by the next big noise, at least not if the powerful women of the world, like Oprah, whose mother was a domestic cleaner, and like all of us in our own brave, little and big ways, have anything to do with it. And they/we do.

Oprah for president 2020? Sounds like a golden idea to me. 



Friday, January 5, 2018

Off with a hiss and a roar

The year off to a stormy start with the storm chasers out in force at our local Takapuna beach this morning at King Tide after a full moon last night and record high winds this morning. 

Not so much fun for campers... 

Single file out of the North Shore this morning before the road was closed. Hopefully it's not a case of an ill wind that forebodes no good for this critical year.   

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Year of the Frock

So according to some, 2017 is/was the Year of the Cock, though, as I noted in my earlier blog under that title, this is a western twisting of the Chinese Year of the Chicken, a designation that makes rather more sense, given all that we get from the chicken compared with the cock.

When I wrote this earlier blog on Jan 6, fifty-one weeks ago, it was before the Women's March and the Weinstein revelations and the  #MeToo movement and the box-office smash hit feminist films Hidden Figures and Wonder Woman and TIME magazine's pronouncement of the sexual harassment "whistle-blowers" as Persons of the Year,  all of which, and much more besides (including the election here in September of a woman PM that made international headline news), contributed to such a surge of feminist activism and interest in exposing and fighting sexism around the globe that the word 'feminism' became the most searched for word in 2017 and voted Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster for 2017. 

Who would have thought it would take the election of the world's biggest cock to finally, after the tireless efforts of dedicated and much derided feminist campaigners for more than two centuries, liberate and listen to the chicken?

Well I didn't think. But I did sense the beginning of this long-awaited and hard fought for uprising at the Women's March in Auckland two weeks later, when so many women, here as around the world, showed up with their voices and their placards to protest that king cock and loudly and openly identify with the feminist cause.

I'd been on a fair few feminist marches before this one and never seen anything like this level of collective anger and support for the sisterhood, with there being so much to lose for those, especially women, who identified with the much despised 'F-word' and movement. But now, in one short year, that once reviled word is the word (and cause) of the moment and women (and men) who identify with it are hailed as brave instead of hated as bitter, man-hating harridans, at least by many, if not most.

So in honour of this seismic shift I designate 2017 The Year of the Frock, with "frock" loosely woven to mean whatever item of attire you chose to wear -- or not to wear -- that celebrates the life-giving and hate-trumping power of the world's egg layers, with and without feathers.



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Catnip Christmas

Mother TT guarding the nip.
So... we bought a new plant for the garden and it turned out to be CATNIP. Our two resident cats are obviously pretty happy about the situation, one of them, TT, is pictured guarding said nip here.

The other, Trixie, her daughter no less, has shown an interest.

Otherwise we, the owners of the garden and chief purchasers and planters of all and sundry pants, are happy enough about the arrangement of the plant designed to grow wild and spill down the low hill onto the brick path, which it more or less does.

The fact that we didn't know it was Catnip raises the Christmas surprise element significantly. Surprise is king at Christmas and here we have mastered surprise, TT and her daughter Trixie had no idea we were bringing home catnip for Christmas. Much harder to surprise the children.

Daughter Trixie,
watching the nip from a close distance.

Anyway, we are happy with the result, two happy cats and a garden that looks suitably rambling and wild, which is what I wanted in adding the plant that would turn out to be catnip.

Everyone is more or less happy, the best you can ask for in this day and age.


Love to know what it is about the catnip that they like so much...

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Time to end

A family of two young girls (8-9yrs) and their mother built this
on Takapuna Beach yesterday. 
It's time to end the year and maybe the blog. I am feeling overworked and it is probably time to move on to a more integrated image, site and message for Sacha Jones Comedian. This blog gets a little too "political" for that image and message, at least for some people's tastes, not mine, but some. So fair enough. Time to ditch "the political" and rock the comical! Are you ready??? I hope so.

So the very best of the season and end of year and New Year to all of you! And a Happy Christmas Day for those who are into Santa. I hope to see you again via my integrated web presence in the future if this is indeed my last blog post. It is certainly my last of the year.

I am, I confess, into Santa and the whole nine yards of red tinsel and spiky holly and too-tasty chestnut stuffing mainly, I think, because of childhood associations. Everyone wants to be transported back to their childhood from adulthood when you have lost the childhood freedom to not know who you are yet and so to be all sorts of different people while more looking out than looking in.

That is the freedom of the child and that is why I love working with preschool children. There is so much creativity in them. So much fun, so much freedom, so much curiosity, so much energy, so much life! I just adore them all. It is a total thing for me and even older children right through to teens and early 20s.

New Christmas umbrellas in Sydney 1970.
I (older sister) was VERY happy. 
I am into older people too, quite a fan of the human being in general, though I am not quite as much into older humans because of their (our) mainstreamed and streaming traits. But still very much I love them (us) for their (our) endurance, our experiences and our readiness to laugh at ourselves, something most of us couldn't do when we were younger. I know I couldn't.

So a very Happy Christmas!!!!!!!!!! May you get at least one thing that you want and or need under the tree and have some fun food time with the people you care about.