Month: January 2015

Post #9 – When Should I Start Learning Mandarin in Preparation for My Chinese Overlords’ Arrival? Pt. 1

You’ve probably all heard that the 19th century was the ‘British century’ and the 20th was the ‘American century’ – but who gets to call dibs on the 21st century? China is the front-runner, but I’m here to explain why you don’t have to start learning Mandarin in anticipation of your eastern overlords juuuust yet. With the Chinese economy expected to eclipse that of the world’s sole superpower – America – possibly as early as next year, China seems like a safe bet at the moment to kick arse this century. But to equate current bullish economic growth and substantial international political sway with a direct association to a ‘Chinese Century’ would mean you’re ignoring a key proponent of their current position in the world – resources. So unlike the British Empire of the 19th century and the American domination of the 20th century, I’m willing to argue that the 21st century will not belong to China. That’s right – you’ve heard it here first ladies and gentlemen! I believe the battle of resources in a world of dwindling supplies will be China’s ‘Achilles heel’ and will eventually lead to them conceding that not only does this century not belong to them – but that it won’t really belong to anybody. To prove my point, I’m going to look at China’s heavy reliance on non-renewable resources such as coal, oil and uranium. I’m also going to argue that China’s ability to manage human ‘resources’ and geopolitical relations in an increasingly hostile region of the world is probably all going to go to shit sometime soonish. China’s capacity to deal with the natural resources of water and food will also be explored in this era of climate change, pollution and decreasing biodiversity. Lastly, I’m going to show my lovely readers (that’s you… yes you!) that all these issues presented will lead to China – the world’s largest exporter of goods – decreasing their output to the rest of the world, thereby reinforcing a vicious feedback loop of diminishing returns and turmoil at home. This will inevitably result in a decrease in relative economic and political power and thus cut the balls off any argument that this is truly China’s century.

Over the last few years, China’s economy has been growing at eight percent or more per year; that means it is more than doubling in size every eight years. That’s pretty damn impressive. In stark contrast, the economies of Europe and America have seen stagnation, contractions and patchy economic growth – particularly since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-8. If there was ever a chance for China (more…)

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Post #8 – Did OPEC Just Chuck A BHP? Lenin Would Say ‘Yes’

Oil is our God. I don’t care if someone says they worship Jesus, Buddha, Allah, whoever – they actually worship petroleum

The good news is, ‘God’ just got a lot cheaper. No this isn’t another post having a dig at religion, but rather a discussion about oil. What better time to have this discussion then now, when the price of oil has practically crashed and it’s cheaper to fill up your car now than at any time in the last 5 years. But why is this the case, and why is it happening now? How does this relate to the world’s largest mining company? And what the hell does Vladimir Lenin have to do with any of this? I’m a nice guy, so I’m going to break it down into easily digestible points so that you know exactly what’s going on…

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Post #7 – Do Something For Your Country – Kill A Taylor Swift Fan

John F Kennedy once said,

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

I come to you with this same pertinent request, at a time when Australia needs you most. Your country needs you to murder a Taylor Swift fan, and if you’re feeling extra patriotic, kill a couple more. The reason for this call to arms is this – Taylor Swift fans are attempting to hijack Australia Day and ruin the Triple J Hottest 100. To my international readers, Australia Day is the day Australia was ‘discovered’ and marks the British making landfall in 1788 on January 26th in what is now referred to as… Sydney. Let me put this out there first though, I’m not the biggest fan of Australia Day being on this particular day. Why is that, you ask? Well I tend not be an imperialist, racist, ignorant arsehole and I feel a bit queasy about getting all celebratory marking the day we commenced genocide against a whole continent of people (but this is a rant for another post on another day). However, there is one aspect of Australia Day that I – and I know many millions of other Australians, both here and abroad – really enjoy. This is the Triple J Hottest 100. Just to provide some context for my foreign brethren who haven’t been Down Under before, Triple J is a publicly-funded radio station whose target audience is 15-somethings’ to 30-somethings. Because it is owned by each and every Australian (via our taxes) it contains no adverts, no sponsors and no commercial slant. As they say it best on their own website,

While we’re on [the]  subject of commercials, you should know that triple j is completely AD-FREE. We ain’t pimpin’ no-one’s shit (unless it’s our own), no matter what the price.

Because it falls under the umbrella of the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – similar to the BBC) the station attempts to play a lot of Aussie content. Furthermore (more…)

Post #6 – Islam Can’t Take A Joke, and Here’s Why

I knew it would come, I knew it would stay and I knew it would suck. I am referring to that thing that makes Australian summers’ Australian – the sun. The last few days (before it started raining) have reminded me that this continent cannot (despite what popular science tell me) be more than five miles from the surface of the sun in January. It’s so damn hot, and my portable elevated fan provides little reprieve for the repressive heat that squats like a hobo in our sun-baked unit. It was in my sweat-induced insomnia that I decided to do what any reasonable person does at 02:30 in the morning and log on to Facebook. A friend had recently commented on a Sydney Morning Herald article, meaning it showed in my news feed instantaneously. Like a broken record the breaking news story skipped across my screen. Another possible terrorist attack. Innocents dead. A collection of pissed-off Muslims – but no suspects. Different location. Different time. Different target. Different mode of attack. Same religion. Same story.

I have, on many occasions (as many of my friends can attest to) stood up against the bigoted and xenophobic attitudes directed towards Muslims after events such as this. Hate is not cool, and I won’t stand for it. Nor will most other reasonable thinking people in a civil and respectable society stand for it either. But I’m growing tired, I’m growing weary, of seemingly (more…)

Post #5 – Sexism and a Puppet

So the Honourable PM Tony Abbott, the man who was responsible for pearlers like the one below, has something to say about sexism:

‘What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year…’

He is internationally renowned for his stellar record of saying ridiculously misogynistic one-liners that would make Johnny Bravo blush. He was also on the receiving end of probably the most scathing, if not the most famous, anti-sexist rant ever. He also stated that the greatest thing he had done as Minister for Women was to get rid of the ‘Carbon Tax’, leading to one of the funniest things to trend on social media since Justin Bieber was punched by Orlando Bloom in a nightclub. So you would probably raise an eyebrow if he started accusing others of being sexist twats. What would make it all the more bizarre would be if he accused his own party of being the ones with the sexist banter. But in typical Abbott fashion, he has stumped me, and the electorate, once again – by doing just that. Abbott came out in defence of his chief-of-staff Peta Credlin recently, asking his colleagues to ‘have a long hard look at themselves’. I feel terrible for Bronwyn Bishop and George Brandis in all of this, because with mugs like theirs you’d think they’d prefer to do as little reflection in the mirror as possible. Ohh snap!!

But on a serious note, (more…)