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Silk Farm in Siem Reap

Another week, another collection of articles I have found interesting enough to pass on.

The articles

  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, says Australians need to get over their obsession with boat people.  I’m a little annoyed about the human trafficking reference though, that’s quite different to people smuggling and confuses the conversation.
  • A fascinating article in The New Yorker about a plagiarist.
  • So apparently women are guilty of sexually harassing men when they look good in their clothes.  Say what?!  Make sure you read the comments, they’re even better than the article.

Blog of the week

  • Brain Pickings is like an online museum of super cool and artsy stuff.
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Time for the second round of what I’m reading. This is already becoming difficult as I started this post on Tuesday, the day after posting the first in this series, and I already had four articles to share. I will try to limit the number of articles posted here, those who want to see more of what I’m reading can follow me on Twitter, where I frequently share the articles I enjoy. This past week has included…

The book

  • This has been quite a busy week, so I’m still on the same book as last week, ‘The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla’.  It’s getting to that exciting part where I have to force myself to put it down so I can get some sleep.

Articles

  • My flatmate alerted me to this beautiful article from Poetry Magazine about the Island of Lampedusa, which many African asylum seekers travel to, by boat, as a way into Europe. The author manages to represent the perspectives and positions of all involved in a very honest and respectful manner. Also, the author references The Leopard, one of my favourite books, several times, as well as Dr Who, one of my favourite shows! It is quite a long article, but I strongly encourage you to read to the end.
  • This is an interesting post by author Jennifer Weiner on whether or not the New York Times book reviewers are sexist.  Here is a response on Salon.com.
  • Can you be feminist and care about fashion? Ms Magazine explores.
  • Beautiful illustrations of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale on The Guardian (sample shown above).
  • Add some spice to your cooking with some help from Monica Bhide. I have tried any of these yet, but have every intention of doing so some time in the next year.
  • And here is an article from last year by my favourite Guardian angry man, Charlie Brooker, on aspect ratio.  As he says ‘There are only two kinds of people in this world: those who don’t have any problem with watching things that are randomly stretched or squashed, and decent human beings who still have standards’.

Blog/site of the week

  • A little while ago I discovered the work of photographer Joel Robison. It’s a lot of fun and very creative. Check out his work on Flickr.
  • Downtown from behind is a tumblr with a fabulous photographic series of cyclists from behind on various New York streets.

I am so excited that SBS has done this and I can’t wait to see it! One of the reasons, in my opinion, behind the fear and distrust of asylum seekers in Australia is a lack of the human element in the story. I hope that after watching this show many people will think about and see the story of asylum seekers a little differently. I by no means expect people to change their minds completely and call for an increase in our numbers, but I hope it will decrease the hysteria and xenophobia directed towards one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. Perhaps it may also lead to some more considered and intelligent discussion about asylum seekers in government, the media, the workplace, and around the dinner table.

Now, how to get it onto the commercial stations…

Dear Mr Abbott,

When you had your ‘stop the boats’ epiphany, I’m wondering if you had read the following passages of your bible.  Or maybe you have crossed them out in black texta.

Leviticus 19:33-34 (NIV)

33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.   34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I was just wondering…

This is one of my favourite posters. I have it on my wall at work. But it does create conflicting thougths and feelings in me because it promotes the idea that that helping refugees and asylum seekers is good because they can contribute something to our community and society. Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% in support of that, but shouldn’t we be helping people because they are human beings in need of our support? Not just because of what they can do for us? I sometimes worry that we place greater expectation on those we have helped because of this. Or maybe I just worry too much.