Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Fountain of Youth - Let's all live forever

Something in the media this week tweaked my senses around the topic of "living forever".

First there was something I spotted on twitter about a mole holding the secret to living forever.

I thought they were talking about the little blind animals who live underground.

I was wrong, they were talking about moles on your skin. You know, like whats-her-face the super model and the Fred kid from The Wonder Years in the Austin Powers movie (moley, moley, moley, moley...mole).

Anyway, irrespective of my errors of interpretation, the real point was that there'd been some mdeical breakthrough in the area of eternal youth and living longer/forever.

Now I realise this ridiculous objective is being pursued by business rather than Government funded science, but it still strikes me as very irresponsible.

To me it seems like the goal of most medical science is to eliminate one disease or another...or them all...actually.

On top of that a whole other branch of "science" is looking for ways to stop our bodies from aging and wearing out.

So with humans now only dying from accidents the focus will move towards the things we create killing us less. Look at the evolution of motor vehicles and aircraft.

Humans quite like having sex. A lot of humans like unprotected sex. A lot of humans are also stupid, let's face it. A side effect of this is uncontrolled reproduction.

So now we are having more of us and none of us are dying.

Right now I want you to think about the ramifications of this.

I am guessing if you've got this far you already know where I am going with this, you aren't stupid and you aren't offended.

To be clear, what I am talking about may not be as dramatic as you assume.

I am talking about "moderation" and being "sensible". Uncommon human traits to be sure ;-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1 million women, 1 kilogram, 7 billion people


Recently I've seen some advertising on TV for 1 Million Women.

It caught my eye because one of the opening lines in the ad goes like "looking after our planet is the most important thing".

Normally right now I'd say something smug and derisive like "no shit Sherlock!" but I won't. ;-)

It is fantastic to see that finally the tide is turning.

No longer are "children the most important thing". It seems some people realise that humans aren't the center of anything let alone the planet or the universe. Somewhere for us all to live may be a good thing to have.

If you are a woman I encourage you to join up and find out what you can do.

I am not sure why men aren't allowed to play. I would have thought men are bigger carbon users than women.

With a global population or nearly 7 billion and 22 million in Australia, 1 million people seems a little unambitious and unlikely to generate the changes required to save the planet.

Never fear, I have an answer.

A few years back I had the idea of the "1 kilogram plan to save the planet".

I described it to a few people but ultimately didn't do anything with it.

The plan is simple and if everyone does it, extraordinarily powerful.

Simply vow to drop one kilogram of "stuff" from your life forever.

If you find that easy, drop another kilogram.

It could be as simple as removing junk from your car boot - reducing weight in your car reduces the fuel it uses and hence the carbon it produces. You can still use your car the way you used to, less would be better, but 1 kilogram less is better than nothing.

You could lose 1 kilogram of weight off your body - obviously, like the car, you are carting less weight around in whatever for of transport you use.

What about reducing the weight of stuff you bring home from the supermarket. Reducing 1 kilogram of consumption means that that stuff doesn't have to be shipped from somewhere else and hence reduces carbon output.

The ways to drop a kilogram and help the planet are endless.

Inspired by 1 Million Women I have created onekilogramplan.blogspot.com.

Spread the word, get involved.

The web site is basic right now but that isn't important. What is important is to spread the idea and actually implement it.

It is so simple and so achievable.

Imagine what would happen if 7 billion people all dropped 1 kg from their life.
Imagine what that would do for the planet.

It doesn't mean all the other stuff shouldn't happen too. This isn't a cure-all but it is great a great idea don't you agree! :-)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Paid Maternity Leave - stupid is as stupid does

So it seems it is nearly finally here as law...or whatever.

As half-arsed ill-conceived (no pun intended) schemes go this is a doozy.

Just why are we implementing more middle-class welfare?

Once again the people who really need help aren't getting it.

I suppose it could be worse, we taxpayers could be funding some kind of frivolous high speed Internet plan or worse still some nong could be trying to filter it.

As if we'd be that stupid. But I digress.

So now you get to choose between the "bucks for fux" (baby bonus) or the "money for nothing" (paid maternity leave).

Where is all this friggin money coming from?

I hear the politicians talk of "Government Money" as if it has magically come from somewhere and is being shelled out from their personal accounts. Arseholes the lot of them. I trust no politician. They are only in it to ensure they get a decent retirement and they only need to consider the next three years when voting time comes around.

Paying people to reproduce is not a long term solution to any problem facing our species. Is is simply pandering to middle class voters who still want to have their lattes and their holidays while a nanny or childcare center looks after the kids.

"If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em" and that goes doubly for taking time off work to have them.

All generations up until now have managed to do it without paid maternity leave.

Shouldn't we be asking ourselves why we are doing it? It seems to me that it isn't about being civilised and growing as a species but more about getting what we can for nothing.

Pyramid schemes are illegal, so why can our Government implement a scheme which requires more and more people to show up in our country one way or another and feed the middle to top layers?

Sure, things have changed. The world has changed. I just not sure many people have accurately assessed the nature of these changes and responded accordingly.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kids in QLD, damned if you do and damned if you do...


Right now in Queensland Australia two young people are on trial for having an abortion.

Australia considers itself fairly liberal and progressive but even Australians know Queensland is a hold-out for moderate whack jobs with nothing better to do than whinge about the old days, fear fading curtains (from daylight saving), and just generally piss the rest of the country off.

Now don't get me wrong, I have friends in Queensland but I know they are fighting the good fight. I am just saying the state, as a whole (or is that hole?) is quite backward.

I cannot believe that these people are being put through a trial for making a very personal and probably sensible decision.

They aren't be tried for bringing in illicit drugs, as far as I can tell, they are being tried for having an abortion.

This all happened two years ago too.

So these poor folk have had 2 years of this crap hanging over their heads.

They could go to jail. WTF!

It seems like dodging one bullet in Queensland puts you in the path of another.

I am surprised the trial doesn't consist of throwing them off a cliff and seeing if they fly.

If they do fly then they are witches and will be put to death, if they don't then...well...splat (but if they survive that they'll be retried as witches because no-one can survive a fall like that).

In the words of Idiocracy "Carls Junior says Fuck You" Queensland.
You should be ashamed.

Friday, October 08, 2010

BBC Radio program worth a listen...and some lovely feedback...


Someone I’ve recently met sent me the link to your site after I mentioned a BBC Radio programme regarding ‘being child free’. I’ve included the link here as I think it is worth a listen – if you can spare 45 minutes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t3tbm


There are many interesting points made in this programme, but one that came to mind when I was reading your blogs was the problem of ‘fertility decline’ and how ‘society is at risk’. I wondered if you thought it an interesting topic to write about on your blog to create debate.

I felt compelled to send you this email because I was shocked that a couple who were involved in your book (I still have to search for this and buy a copy!) have been ostracised by their family. Although we have been judged by people (you can see it in their eyes, can’t you?) we have not been subjected to any harsh criticism to our faces, and I feel such sympathy for the couple who have had to ‘go back underground’, so to speak.

The one verbally critical friend I have actually sent me the link to the programme above, along with an apology. It was a fabulous day for me. She used to bully me over morning coffee as she was convinced of her conviction that I ‘would make a great parent’. My choice for a CFZ was such a challenge for her and she still doesn’t fully understand; she thinks I chose a career over motherhood. Actually, I chose not to be a mother (by the time I was 18) and then I went out and built myself a career, free from a ticking biological clock. I believe my friend’s apology is an indication that she has come to terms with my choices and will, in future, refrain from cajoling me to join her ‘Mum Club’.

Your website will be my haven when I need to identify yet another good reason for the choices I/we made. Anything that we can add to our armour to protect us from judgemental friends and acquaintances will be gratefully received.

Thank you both

Monday, September 27, 2010

Some cool new clothing and merchandise


I've just added a bunch of cool new clothes and products to the CFZ Cafepress shop.
There's a whole lot of new dark coloured clothing with the hires 3D Child Free Zone logo on it.
Some funky Sigg bottles, pet accessories, sexy underwear (for all sexes - there used to be only two, but not anymore in case you were wondering:-).
Get along, get some and tell your friends.
I'll be adding new products to the other shops soon (http://www.cafepress.com.au/boredwithbabies and http://www.cafepress.com.au/childfreesigns).
Stay tuned.
Have fun - David

Friday, September 24, 2010

Parents want it (a Child-Free Zone)


You may, or may not, be amazed at how often parents say to us "I want a child-free zone" or "maybe I should never have had kids".

Usually this is in jest. Mostly they want our stickers on the bedroom door :-)

But on occasion, during our CFZ journey, we've been approached by people who wish to remain anonymous and who want no reply from us (just in case someone sees it).

We've had quite heartbreaking correspondence from people about how they feel tricked, trapped and very alone because they have kids now, but never wanted them.

If their families found out all hell would break loose...of course!

They tell us amazing stories of kids off the rails, drug addicts, family struggle, illness, child related divorce and anything else you can imagine.

They tell us they love them because they have to but if they had their time again they would not have children.

Every one's story is unique and one thing I've learned is that there is no "right" answer.

If you've got no kids people tell you that you are wrong, if you've got one they tell you that you are wrong, if you've got 17 you still get told.

Despite our constant endeavours as a species to see into the future it remains unpredictable. I'm pretty sure it always will too.

There are, however, some things we can do to influence it.

I was pretty damn sure I wouldn't make a good parent for a lot of reasons. I am not a bad person, I don't think, but I would not be a good parent.

Did I go out and find a partner who'd force me to reproduce? Did I have a kid anyway? Did I take the risk of screwing up another person's life with my bad parenting skills? Did I then regret the f***ing thing?

I think you know the answer.

In the past I have been accused of being conservative and avoiding risks. Maybe too much so and maybe to my detriment.

Putting myself in my hypothetical kids shoes, I wouldn't want to work out one day that my Dad had gambled with my life. Bloody hell, it is easy enough to blame your parents for your shitty life without it actually being their fault.

A life is a pretty big thing to screw up and when you are doing it to someone else that is a crime.

You can't get 6 months or a year into parenthood and say "nope, not for me, I am pushing this sucker back where it came from".

If I ever catch anyone encouraging someone else to breed instead of just listening to their reasons, their fears and their excitement I'll slap them!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I am going to destroy everything you care about

There's has been a strange and recuring theme I've encountered during the CFZ journey.

It is what I call the "destroy everything" mentality and I must confess I'll never understand it.

It goes like this, somebody dies as the result of an accident. It most often involves an animal but it can just as well be a plant or an inanimate object.

Suddenly a whole bunch of humans want to kill or destroy everything that looks vaguely like the animal or thing they now blame for the accident.

Australian's used to be brilliant at this. One or two people a year are killed by sharks off our coast. The Australian response used to be to go out and kill all the sharks we could find.

"That'll teach 'em". The problem is, of course it doesn't.

The same thing with Dingoes, snakes and most recently, Magpies.

Yep, Magpies. A boy being chased by a Magpie ran onto a road, was hit by a car and later died. "We'd better go out and kill all the Magpies!" "Why didn't somebody already kill all the Magpies, they are clear threat to the human species", "when it comes to choosing between a Magpie and a child it is a no brainer"...

...it certainly is, it certainly is.

We'll never know all the facts. Clearly this is just an accident involving a child, a passing motorist and a bird who's species has been defending its nests this way for thousands if not millions of years.

Humans seem to have a mad desire to attribute blame. In our haste it usually ends up wrongly applied.

In a forum whree the Magpie incident was being discussed, I suggested that going out and killing everything that posed a threat to the human species may not be such a good idea.

Wow, did I get shot down...well they tried. ;-) I was accused of being "a rampant greenie". Okay, I'm just going to ignore you now...but to my chagrin I often don't ignore them.

I further pointed out that if we were going to adopt a "kill every threat to humans" strategy we'd better start by taking out the biggest threat, ourselves!

Boy had I misjudged my audience. My arguments flew so high above their heads and were far too subtle for the majority. Yeah, I know...unbelievable!

Not for the first time did this response make me think "why do I care?", "Why do I even bother pointing these things out?".
After all, it won't be my kids living in the resulting "Field of Bogans".

Anyway, not much further down the track the whole planet will be wiped out one way or another. Ultimately the future doesn't exist. All we have is now and we are killing it.

The things I care about, wildlife, nature, the planet as a whole and well, most things really, are not respected by a great many people. They seem to forget where they are living.

So many people feel they can destroy what I and many others care about because they don't understand it.

It is lucky we don't all act this way. But if you keep pushing me guys...remember, I don't understand you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ass-ump-tions

It is amazing the assumptions and leaps of logic people make when they read these three simple words “child-free zone”.

I must confess that this phrase was born to be cheeky, thought provoking and perhaps even a little bit confronting but it rarely means what a lot of people assume it means.
What I didn’t realise was how much baggage people bring to a subject. Some of it is passion, some of it is fear and some of it is downright ignorance.

One of the funniest responses I received when child-free zone first entered the public arena was to the logo. I person I was working with at the time looked at it and asked in all seriousness “why does that baby have blood all over it?”
CFZ Logo, where's the blood?
Wow! I had to walk away. I couldn’t think of how to continue having a rational conversation with this person. Sure, part of our logo is red, but blood? Really? Something scary was going on in that person’s brain for sure.

One particularly venomous reaction we get that never fails to amuse me goes something like this “I’m glad you (horrible) people aren’t having kids. Imagine what terrible parents you’d be”. Yeah, well, you won’t raise my ire by agreeing with me ;-)
Do you think anyone will get this joke?
Another reaction, that perplexes me to this day, is “don’t you think that is a bit racist?” Of course there’s no racist connection whatsoever to the “child-free zone” words, topic or anything but yet, somehow, someone’s mind has made it.

Of course the subject itself is very broad and quite complex. You may be wondering why I’ve decided that these three words are the cause of these reactions.

Well, the reason is simple; most people who have these types of reactions have clearly not got past those three words before they go off. Rather than read a bit further or ask us a question they’ve decided, based on those three words, how they are going to react and that is that!

Only last week I had a person respond to my BLOG with the phrase “Your baby hating blog it (sic) just not cool”.

Now, Child-Free Zone always has and always will be about a person’s right to make an informed, appropriate and personal choice about reproduction. It provides the information for the other side of the choice, information which has been traditionally hard to find.

At no point does our web site proclaim or encourage the “hating of babies”. Sure, some people do feel that strongly about the subject and some people do indeed “hate babies”. But that is very clearly NOT what our web site is about. You just have to read beyond the title to discover this.

Wow, if they didn't get the last one, how will this one go down?It is public knowledge that I have no interest in babies. I don’t want one, I don’t want to be around them and I don’t find them interesting but I don’t just “hate them” because they are babies. Our web site, and well, me in particular, will bag adults for making stupid reproductive choices but it won’t “hate babies”. There’s no point, they can’t fix the problem. They’re the product not the cause.

I’m not the argumentative type. But when someone labels me incorrectly you won’t keep me quiet. It is not that I care about their opinion. It is that I care about their ignorance spreading to those I do care about.

ThinkI guess what this is all about is our reaction to unpalatable information. We’ll all encounter it at some time of another. It is us who choose to label it as unpalatable. It is also us who choose when to label it as unpalatable.

It is a tough ask, when our communications channels are catering to our ever shortening attention spans, but please read or listen beyond “the first three words” before you make your judgement on any subject.

I promise to do the same.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Families, who'd have one?

When I co-wrote our book “Child-Free Zone” I had over 80 participants fill out our survey. Participants were also asked to provide anecdotal feedback...their stories...if they felt so inclined.

Some even helped me with media enquiries as the adventure panned out. After all, the media wanted to hear more than just our story.

I met some wonderful people during this time and have been privileged to keep in touch with some and hear how their stories are progressing.

Recently one of our nicest couples and biggest helpers emailed me. We hadn’t heard from them in a while because the publicity and media attention for the book had waned by now.

The email I received from them was nothing short of heartbreaking.
Despite being eloquent, fair-minded, lovely people who simply chose not to reproduce, their family decided to launch a campaign of intolerance and misunderstanding upon them.

Now we all know the media can be, well let’s say, less than accurate when it comes to the facts. Hell, in our experience an article that is 80% correct is a miracle and quotes quite often aren’t! Still, there was nothing bad or out of the ordinary where this couple were involved.

As time progressed the couple’s family grew and despite wanting to be involved in their extended families lives they were shunned. Articles and videos were thrown in their faces as evidence that they are child-haters and bad people. Family events became very uncomfortable to the point where the email to me expressed deep regret that they’d ever been involved or public mentioned their choice at all.

In my experience, public and honest declaration has done nothing but foster understanding and tolerance among my friends and family. In the minds of reasonable people this choice isn’t even an issue.

It made me very sad, and still does, that the family of these lovely people would treat them this way.

To me the problem isn’t with the couple, it is with the family members who choose to shun them, believe the media and make assumptions rather than trust what they have experienced with them first hand.

I experienced this with people I didn’t even know. It was like they could tell everything about me from a paragraph in a newspaper or a 6 minute spot on TV. I’m sorry, but no matter how you cut it, and with media inaccuracies thrown in, I am far more complex than can be conveyed in any means other than knowing me in person.

Yet people are quick to judge when they have their own agendas and family are often happy to be more vocal and critical than strangers. This can be very hurtful.

The tragedy here is that this lovely couple have been forced to go back into hiding and denial about their choice. They asked me to remove their names from all past and future editions of our book, our web site and never mention their names again.

I have to say I was uncomfortable with this. I wanted to help them not erase them from history. Of course I obliged. I didn’t want to cause them any more pain. After all, they’ve got family being painful enough.

The lesson for me here is that, family or not, you don’t have to put up with this crap. You have to be you and if people don’t like it divorce them!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Childfree Election


Every time an election comes around the babies are trotted out.
They are kissed, pandered to, subsidised and generally occupy a disproportionate amount of attention from our politicians and the media.

Funny thing is, babies can’t vote and their parents represent a dwindling proportion of the voting population.

Julia Gillard, notable for being barren and unmarried it seems, has suddenly started puckering up and paying out. She loves babies now but she doesn’t have one of her own or ever want one. Wow, is that a third face she has now? Abbott is no better. They don’t call him the mad monk for nothing.

Sure we all know politicians can’t lie straight in bed and wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them (thanks Mum for those pearlers) but do they have to be deceitful to our faces?

The “family” based rhetoric is dusted off as well. This really annoys me because, as far as I can tell, everyone on the entire planet belongs to a family, but this is not how the politicians use the word.

They use “family” based policies to disenfranchise, to divide and conquer, and to put “us against them” and they do it on purpose. It is a sure fire emotional catch-all. When a politician says “family” they don’t mean us.

You see, if you are single, married without kids, married with kids who’ve left home...let’s face it anything but a mum and dad with a baby... you can go to hell when election time comes around. You can’t say anything bad about families though and if you do look out!

The politicians want these policies to sound like they benefit everyone when really the only people who benefit are those with a baby right now! This is a very small percentage of the population and relatively short period in most people’s lives.
This is short-term vote buying at the expense of the planet’s future. Global problems caused by growing populations are fine to talk about outside of election time, but come time to vote we’d best start buying votes and breeding like rabbits. I am yet to see an economy on this planet NOT geared around population growth. It is a pyramid scheme by another name and subject to the same rules of collapse.
Rest assured having a baby for personal short-term financial gain is a bad idea too. Do you know how much a child costs its parents over its life? Estimates are now hovering around $1 million.

In 18 years when your child is still living at home and the baby bonus long ago spent, Gillard and Abbott will be curled up in retirement, living a life of luxury on our coin and not the slightest bit accountable or caring for your plight.
There’s actually a lot more to the future than just children so vote accordingly. After all, it will be your kids, not mine, living in the world you voted for.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dick Smith's Population Debate

I want desperately to chant “Dick Smith for President” but I think he’s better off not in politics.

The best things about Dick are that

a) he is persistent

b) he will transcend politicians

c) and he will outlast the three year terms they fight over.

When our current crop of muppets have f***ed off Dick will still be around keeping the new ones on the back foot (nearly said honest then realised how stupid that would be).

My feeling is that while there is a band wagon to jump on leading up to this election we’ll see an exciting level of discussion on this topic.

Once the election is over it will be back to business as usual.

We can’t trust politicians or big business to do anything but look after their own interests.

No policy or number or incentive or penalty will make a difference to what people do.

Waiting for infrastructure (geez that argument pisses me off) fixes and improved technologies (of any sort) won’t make any difference.

The only way to make a difference with the population issue is to do something yourself.

We, the child-free, already have.

The general population needs to learn that they have control – just stop breeding people!!!!

It IS that simple.

But, they won't until it hurts them or their back pocket.

I've said it before and I'll say it until I am dead, it ain't our kids living in the mess we leave behind - we don't have any!

David

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome to our new Blogger powered web site

Welcome to our new web site.

Using the facilities of Blogger we'll be invited selected friends and trusted CFZ posters to contribute to this site.

In the meantime please browse around and enjoy the content that is already here.

Regards,

David Moore