Monday, September 14, 2009

Nearly 48 hmmm!

I have a big catch up to do here.....

Firstly and most importantly, I got an email from Bob Birch @ Through Australian Eyes today. I have copied a letter he sent to Ms Sally Begbie who is the Ombudsman at SBS Australia. My first thought after reading the letter was "why can't I write like that?" Bob is passionate, articulate and what he has to say is very relevant. I wish these were my words...

"Dear Ms Begbie,

It has come to my attention that you, in your role as ombudsman for SBS, have directed SBS journalists to not use the term "Palestinian land" to describe the occupied territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

According to a memo from the Head of News the status of these territories "remains the subject of negotiation" and should be described solely with reference to their geographical location, for instance, "Israeli settlements on the West Bank".

May I remind you that the status of these territories is not the subject of negotiation. East Jerusalem and the West Bank (and thank you for having the good grace not to call it Judea and Samaria) are territories under military occupation by Israel. Their status is determined by international law, not by some Zionist whimsy.

Israel has carried out a sustained program of ethnic cleansing and dispossession of the native population from East Jerusalem and the West Bank under the military occupation since 1967. This has been accompanied by a media campaign to expunge the terms "Palestine", "Palestinian territories" and, in fact, "Palestinians" from the lexicon.

I wish to express my disappointment that SBS, a publicly-funded broadcaster, has seen fit to bow down to pressure from the pro-Israel lobby in taking this misguided and unethical stance."
Bob Birch.

On a more personal note ( it's all about me!) I had a visit to the dentist last week for the first time in many many years. Not much had changed that I'd noticed upon was still frightening, the smell was the same aroma of torment and the pain was incredible. I had a tooth taken out. Well, first it was broken up into a thousand pieces while STILL IN MY GUM then the schrapnel was removed with what felt like the skill of a second year apprentice concreter. To the dentist's credit, she is diminuitive of stature, for a few moments I was sure she was going to put her knee on my chest for more leverage but she managed to rip all three roots out with the strength of someone 14 times her size. The sound was something that will come back to haunt me sporadically over the rest of my years of existence and never pale in intensity. My fists were clenched so tight I am sure I have transferred the prints from my fingers to the palm of each hand. I was dismayed to find that "please rinse" seems to have gone by the wayside but "you'll have to make another appointment" seems to have stood the test of time. New technology abounded...xrays done in the chair, computers recording all my dental data and while I got a stern talking to about smoking my bill was sent via cyberspace to the receptionist and was printed ready for payment before I got out there. Which was a blessing, because I just wanted to get the hell out of there, go home, self medicate and mope around feeling sorry for myself. And I have to go back next week......I suppose this confirms that I am not a 'prevention is better than cure' type of gal. I suppose it's all part of getting older......which I will be very soon.

I've noticed I don't have the patience to endure fools anymore, or people who believe they are mightier than most and think they have power. Maybe I never did and it's only now that I admit it. I also look at the bigger picture, the world, the unfairness, the beauty, the cruelty, the selfishness, the selflessness, how insignificant and how enormous some things are and I'm trying to find what is really important to me.

Ok, I'm putting it out there so there's no turning back....on Thursday, after 33 years, I WILL STOP SMOKING. Do I want to post this? It's a big call and a huge commitment. I think I'm ready though. My motivation is that with all the money I save I will go to Palestine for my 50th birthday. Wish me luck..

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