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  • 2 weeks ago
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The Rise and Rise of e-Sports

Picture this. It’s game night. The beers are on the coffee table, along with the chips, dip, and obligatory pizza is on it’s way. Your mates are all sitting there and you’re watching the pre-game discussion between the commentators on your new 65-inch plasma in all it’s wall-mounted glory. The beers are cold and as the game gets underway you and the rest of your crew give a whoop, crying the name of their teams. Then you turn to your friend and ask “So, what do you rekkon’s gunna happen here?” Your eyes never leave the screen but you hear his response:

“Well, I’m thinking that, considering the early bottle and speed rush, Voke will be going for a hex play, whilst the others are probably going to be focussing on lane support and DPS – especially that Doom. Man, just a simple Heart and some A-S and he’ll be a nightmare for their team. I mean c’mon. They’re all squishy – look at that team. I reckon it’ll be GG before 25.” This, dear readers, is the reality of the sporting world. But these are not sports played by burley men on a field, tossing a piece of skin – no these are the types of sports played with keyboards and mice. 

It’s the rise and rise of e-sports – competitive online play with computer games between – often – teams of highly skilled individuals using their abilities and talents to compete for one goal – the prize for winning a championship. And yes, that includes – with much more frequency – a prize that can be translated into cash. And there has been a massive rise in the past five years alone – with some games such as Riot Games’ “League of Legends” tipping 27 million players per day. To put that into perspective: Harvard/Yale’s School of Sports Studies and “Sports Studies Unlimited of the USA” estimate the amount of people who play baseball – the national sport of the US – is 42 Million. Per year.

And like baseball, most people do it for fun. But there are select few who manage to get it into the big-league – the major league. And these people are now known as e-Athletes. They can also get paid like it too, with some topping out $300,000 USD a year to play games such as LoL, DOTA2, and Starcraft 2. In fact, the largest single prize ever seen in an online game for first place was a cool one million dollars US. So, my question is, given that these massive amounts of money, and obvious parallels to “real” sports are showing – why don’t more people know about this?

Well, it’s because it’s a very recent development. Don’t get me wrong; professional gaming isn’t exactly a new thing. The World Cyber Games have been running since the turn of the millennium. But, realistically like every single other thing in the western world, it wasn’t until the United States began to pick up on the idea of e-sports being a valid occupation that the rise in online gaming – both watching and participating – has been noticed.

In 2002, Sundance DiGiovanni and Mike Sepso founded Major League Gaming. Its focus was, and still is, to bring computer games into the limelight in the same way baseball and grid iron – or Cricket and football here in Australia – are. They wanted them to be spectator sports, viable and most of all profitable. Games which MLG are playing include LoL, Starcraft 2, DOTA2, Mortal Kombat, and (despite the shuddered cries from gamers across the globe) Call of Duty games.

So, now that Major League Gaming has a humungous following, it’s brought the heavy-hitting games of Starcraft 2, DOTA2, and League of Legends out of Korea, Japan and China transplanting them into the fore-front of the western world – where we are starting to see it infiltrate into mainstream society. And it’s all simply because these games (at least the former three mentioned) have a massive spectator base, and are easy to watch, easy to learn the rules of, and frankly are far more interesting than cricket.

In fact, there are bars such as Australia’s MANA Bar in Brisbane, or the Legends Sports Bar in New York City which either hold events based around e-sports – not dissimilar to the “big game” events pubs in Sydney hold for events such as the Superbowl. Or in the case of MANA Bar, are a completely gaming themed bar with everything from Single Player games and old consoles dotted across the place, to big-screen streams of the live championships happening at that moment.

But there is a reason for all of this. People these days, are accessing more and more of their material online – whether it’s for university or work or leisure. Interestingly too, all of these events take place in an online environment and use the workhorse or the internet to contact with their fans, stream their events and ‘broadcast’ to an audience across the globe. It’s also interesting to note, that there is a correlation between the rise of competitive gaming, spectating on said gaming, and a drop in cable TV subscriptioins. Now, I’m not saying it’s a cause – because frankly the internet is to blame for that one – but it is a curious little figure.

The expansion of the Internet has allowed more and more people to touch with other cultures and experience things which they many not. It’s not outlandish to think that someone was googling around the Internet, or having a night in on youtube, and came across a Starcraft 2 match – and started to watch it. He/She has noticed that this is an interesting phenomenon – the Korean and Chinese players are treated like our sporting heros here. They are paid well, fed well, have endorsements and team jerseys – for sitting in front of a computer. Then that person goes to tell the friend – and it spreads from there. 

Admittedly, there is a harsh gaming world. The amount of times I personally have been called a “n00b” or a “Bronzer” or, my personal favourite, an “Stupid dumb convict fuck who can’t play drow. Lol.” But this is no different to what we see in parliament, or what we observe on the field. “Whats up hotshot? Can’t throw a ball?”, or, “Can’t run to save your life. Hopeless.” It’s just another parallel between the boof-headed footy players and nerdy-pasty gamers.

It’s a team sport like every other, but also like no other. On the one hand, it accomplishes the same things any sport will – cooperation, teamwork, mateship and all the rest of it. On the other, it brings together people from the other side of the world, to play with each other toward a common goal. It doesn’t cost millions of dollars in flights and hotel rooms and drugs (although I’m sure some of the gaming community do partake in illicit substances) and, if you wanted to get really into it – nowhere near the green footprint of a traditional sport. So I have to ask, what is holding us back from embracing this? 

When I was younger, I used to head over to a local gaming café with a friend of mine to play Battlefield 1942. It was a dark, dingy place, where you paid three bucks an hour to sit and fire virtual shots across an historically inaccurate map, all the while eating KFC and drinking soft drink. Gamers like me, used to be shunned into small rooms like that gaming café, and were more often than not considered weirdos, nerds, geeks, and a million and one other names for daring to utter Nintendo’s name in the classroom.

But the reality is, I’m now nearly 24. Next year I’ll be a quarter of a century old. We gamers are growing up. Its us that are so interested in these events, it’s us that would fund them, and it’s us who would go to the local pub, sit down and watch the 1v1 TvP match happening tonight in Korea. We are a moving, aging force – and as the older sports journalists and sporting heroes die out, the new come in and these games will gain more traction. They will gain more publicity. Slowly, the screens will be switched from the NRL or the AFL and will go to the D2CL, or the WCS.

And eventually, people won’t be sitting at the local with a beer, talking about that pass from who’s-his-face to what’s-his-name, or the tackle that was clearly too high, or the try that was given incorrectly. They’ll be talking about that strategy, that battle, the item pool, what the turning point was, who’s supply was low, what lost them the game. It’s only a matter of time.

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  • 3 weeks ago
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  • 4 weeks ago
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On Refugees – A Triple Point Solution.

Refugees, boat people, immigrants, illegals, aliens – whatever you want to call them have been a hot topic in the media in Australia for about the last 13 years. Really, it all started with the Tampa Affair, which flared issues with Norway due to a freighter carrying refugees from Afghanistan (mostly) being disallowed entry to Australian Waters. There’s a bunch of other terms that have evolved through this – mostly from our elected officials in Canberra (that’s our capital to those of you who aren’t aware) throwing blame on one another for the results of this death, or that sinking, or this plan that didn’t work. 

Now, we have in place a policy known as Operation Sovereign Borders – a joint task force headed up by the Australian Defense Force to “Stop the Boats”. Indeed it has, according to the releases from government.

But that’s another story.

You see, dear readers, what I want to talk about is how we, the Australian people, could possibly benefit from the incoming refugees. How we could use them, and help them at the same time to create a better Australia for us all. I warn you though; these opinions are far from the centre as my usual opinions are. They are, in fact, going to make a lot of people very upset when they read them. But, if it does, then it means at least you’ve given it some thought. Well, I hope so.

It’s no secret that Australia’s economy isn’t in the greatest shape. Partly, yes, it is to do with the GFC. It also has quite a bit to do with an incompetent Labor government who couldn’t organise a booze-up in a brewery – at least not one which makes any kind of money at the end. And there are a few other little things as well which influenced it – but the big kick in the pants for the economy happened in late 2007 – when it was almost certain that the Labor Government – for the first time in over a decade – was to seize power under Kevin Rudd.

The economy wound back – simply because the business heads of Australia don’t’ have confidence in those in the left. And you can find this out by doing one of two things – talk to a big wig in the business sector, or just look at what happened when it was certain that the Liberal Government was about to reclaim power in 2013. Things began to pick up once again. The building industry began to pick up, the retail sector had a massive boost, and the flow on from that will be seen soon enough. 

But the Economy of Australia is certainly not as awesome as it once was – under the Howard/Costello government. Nor is it anywhere near the powerhouse of emerging economies today such as China, nor is it anything like the powerhouse economy that was (and to a certain extent still is) the United States. The big reason for this? The Manufacturing industry.

In fact, President Obama himself said: “If we want to build and economy that lasts, that is strong, that has a strong foundation… we’ve got to do everything we can to strengthen American manufacturing.” Now, that’s obviously talking about the United States, but the same rings true for any other country around the world – including our own. You only have to look to the afore mentioned China and another western economic powerhouse – Germany – to realise that the ones with the strong manufacturing sectors weathered the storm of the GFC much better than any other. In fact, any emerging economy will need a manufacturing sector to become prosperous and to become economically sound.

So what does this have to do with Australia? And what does it have to do with refugees? Well, it’s simple. Australia cannot, ever, be deemed to be globally competitive on price with Australian manufactured goods – simply because the cost of manufacture here in Australia is far too high – by comparison to the rest of the world. Things like our minimum wage – which is the highest in the world, drives our goods production up like crazy. However, there is a massive opportunity here with people coming from other countries. And, I should note, this is the point you should stop reading if you’re easily offended. If not, please continue.

If we were to let refugees come into Australia, on the provision that they had to work, for a company of the government’s choice, for the first 3-5 years of their stay in the country and use their skills, at a reduced rate of pay (by comparison to the rest of Australia) such as, $5 an hour, we’d be competitive again. Competitive on a global scale. Sure, we wouldn’t have the cheapness of China, for example, but we would have good quality controlled goods coming from Australia. We’d be bale to sell these goods to Australia and around the world and bring the profits home.

Now, whilst the people are working in these companies, the Government would have to do their bit. Namely, teaching and education of fluent English, Australian way of life, the Australian ethics and ‘way of doing things’ if you will, along with housing and food etc considering the lowered wage. Not to stamp out culture or anything like that – but a simple way of teaching people what is acceptable in this country and what is not. For example – don’t beat people up, don’t disrespect people because of sex, etcetera. And you know what, you’d find that when these people finish their stint here and are released into the community (for want of use of a better term) you’d find that some would want to stay and become managers of that facility they were working in. The same as we see in the Army, when conscripts want to stay in the military and work their way up in places such as Switzerland and Italy.

Now, that solves two sides of politics. The right, who want to look after business, and the left who want to let refugees in. But there’s another side of politics who could, very easily, destroy the entire plan. The Greens. Ah yes, our tree-hugging ‘alternative choice’ (who’s preferences all go to labor anyway, so you might as well vote for them instead) who would be crying out about the impact on the ecology and the local environment because of industry.

So, how to deal with them? Simple. We turn the manufacturing industry’s sights to the best thing Australia could produce: Solar Energy. The Australian climate in the middle of the Simpson Desert for example, is one of two places best suited for the production and development of solar energy on the entire planet. So why not use it? And, with a government hand in the pot as well, it’d be seen that the government is doing something about climate change. Not seen to do something, but actually doing it as well.

By taking these produced panels to the rest of the world and selling them to – for example – the biggest two polluters on the earth (the USA and China), they’d be lowering their emissions. What would the advantage of that be? Well, we’d be helping them do so. They’d be more likely to buy Australian goods than Chinese, and not to mention if we could develop a true energy conversion (which let’s be honest, if anyone can do it, it’s Australia) then they’d be a hot little item. And it’s a million times better than a carbon tax – both logically and fundamentally. So, in one felled swoop we’ve done a few different things:

First, we’ve taken in refugees to keep those on the left-ish side of politics happy. We’ve boosted productivity in the Australian Economy, and warded it against another potential GFC by creating jobs, and a whole new manufacturing industry through the use of immigrant help. And, we’ve kept the greens at bay by using the industry to create globally changing technologies to reduce not only our own, but the world’s carbon footprint. All the while, helping people seek a better way of life, and find a better life to live here in this wonderful country, which was built on people coming by boat.

I know there are going to be nay-sayers who are reading this, probably scoffing at the idea of Australia changing the world on such a dramatic scale. Well, we’ve done it before. In 2003, two brothers who were immigrants to this country from Denmark created a little application called “Where 2”. The app was bought by Google and became what we now know as Google Maps. Yeah, Google Maps – Australian invention. But that is small compared to the biggest Australian invention of them all. The fact that you’re reading this now on your smartphone, or tablet, or laptop is thanks to the biggest technological advancement of the past twenty-five years. That little thing, which was actually a failed experiment on black holes, by CSIRO John O’Sullivan, went on to become Wi-Fi. Yup, Wi-Fi is an Aussie invention that is in every single smartphone, laptop, tablet, and nearly every TV. All from a place of just 23 Million People.

This is just an idea. It’s an idea I’ve had rattling around in my brain for some time now – but I can’t see how it won’t work. It’s better than sitting on our hands and doing nothing, it’s better than saying no to everything, and it’s certainly better than pretending nothing like this could help at all. In fact, I think if we gave it a go, we’d probably go from that country that places like the United States know a little bit about, to being a country which would be studied for aeons to come as the little nation that changed the world – for the better. And most of all, did it with the most upheld views of the Australian adage – a fair go for all, a strive to make our little patch of earth better than it was before, a fighting spirit to stand up for what’s right, and reject what’s wrong. Even if the odds are against us.

As Phillip Adams once said: “Unless you’re willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen.” And no one else on this entire earth, rolls up their sleeves and gives something a go, like our little nation of convicts, on our small patch of sunburnt earth, a nation of underdogs often ignored by the masses of the rest of the world.  Maybe we’ve got something to prove, maybe we just like a good challenge. Whatever it is, I know we’ve changed the world before, and we can damn sure do it again. 

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A response to an Open Letter, Politically So

I spend a lot of my spare time browsing on Reddit. Let’s be honest, it’s become somewhat of a great source for articles and sprigs of inspiration for whatever might be tickling my fancy at that moment. And of course, right now, the hot topic has been a few things: 

1. The Missing Airliner MH 370
2. The Ukranian turmiol
and 3. The recent “March in March” against our current Government.

For those of you, dear readers, who don’t know what the “March In March” was all about, I’ll copy-paste from their website for you:

A peaceful, non-partisan citizens’ march and rally at Federal Parliament to protest against the current government’s policy decisions that are against the common good of our nation. This signifies the people’s vote of no confidence in policies of the government that go against common principles of humanity, decency, fairness social justice and equity, democratic governance, responsible global citizenship and conserving our natural heritage.

But alas, at least one person had a problem with the backlash the event got from the media (what little it did receive at least). I mean it didn’t even bother the government, who the march was aimed against, so why should the media even really pick it up? Well, to cover the news story of the day probably goes the answer, but the lacklustre turnout for the event was, despite being blamed on poor weather, a reason enough to have the media ignore it. Well that and stories number one and two above. 

But one journalist who did pay special attention was Andrew Bolt. Love him or Hate him, he’s a no-pulled-punches kind of guy who says what he means and means what he says. And his recent article about the March in March got special attention by one redditor, who managed to rustle up some offense when he was called (even though he wasn’t) a “barbarian” by Andrew Bolt. So, he wrote an open letter to Mr Bolt explaining his actions… which really turned into a “why I think Andrew Bolt is a dickhead” article. So, this is my reply to your fantastically written and clearly well-thought out letter. Enjoy Lyndon!

Dear Lyndon,

Putting aside the fact that you clearly have little respect for Andrew Bolt and his opinions (after all, you did manage to call him a “Vociferous, bigoted sycophant” (which for those of us without a thesaurus lying nearby means outspoken person who looks down upon the views of others due to their own prejudices whilst trying to cosy up to powerful people to gain their influence) which means that really you shouldn’t have cared enough to write an article, I’m going to assume you actually do care about what he had to say and thus had some kind of reason to write your article. So, let me for the record, and in case you decide to do this again, set a few little things, which you may have overlooked in your writing through blind rage.

Firstly, you are correct. Australia has had a large history of vulgarity. But it’s the next few words you seem to have forgotten about whilst clicking away in a hateful spout of creativity: “in appropriate context”. The examples you sighted of vulgar word use throughout Australian Political history are exactly that – appropriate in context. The context of your sign was one that was directed at one person, and not in a jocular (see, I can also use a thesaurus) nature. There is a large difference between calling a friend at the pub a dickhead, because he spilt your beer whilst telling you about his latest escapade, flailing his arms wildly like an inflatable arm tube man, and calling someone who you’ve never met, nor even had any form of contact with, a dickhead because you don’t’ agree with his views. You see it’s about context.

I do agree, however. I hate hypocrisy in all forms. I agree that if someone is a hypocrite, they should be brought to light. Further to the point, a little bit further down the page you call Mr Bolt the “journalistic equivalent of a protestor with a vulgar banner, except you’re neck deep and venting vapid rage…”. Yet that is exactly what you are doing. You’re venting your own rage, on your own little corner of the internet, where the people at reddit will hear you because they will find it funny. You see, I find it sad. I find it depressing that you spent this amount of time on your letter to Andrew, which he will get approximately four lines into and commit probably ten seconds of total thought to before pressing the delete button. Partly because it’s laughable, but mostly because you are breaking your own rules. Don’t be a hypocrite. Doubly so if you’re going to accuse others of being one.

You may think it is fair to call him (and Mr Bolt) a dickhead, and hey – it’s your right to do so. But there are a few things that you might need some clarification on, just in case you ever walk into Mr Abbott at some time and want to say these things to his face. Especially if you’d let him finish a sentence, which if I’m reading correctly, you don’t seem to be the rational argument type, more the “I’ll scream over everyone and if I yell the loudest my point will be right” type of arguer. Firstly, I’ll start by saying you’re right. I don’t’ think it is right for him to sell of sections of our land, or let overseas investors come into the fray and take land which should belong to Australians off us. That’s just not right. However, Abbott is not dredging our reefs and cutting down our world heritage forests. No, he’s allowing companies to do so… with a large list of attachments to it.

You see, when you need to build something, for example, you have something called a DCP, or Development Control Plan, which you have to comply with. There are also others such as a LEP (Local Environment Plan). These are organized by the local councils of the area, and dictate things such as what you need to protect, how much land you can build on, what you can do to offset, if at all, the toll you’ll create – in fact it’s quite exhaustive. So just because Abbott has said that he’ll rubberstamp the go-ahead for some of these projects (which I’ll admit, I don’t like too much either), it doesn’t mean they’ll get passed. In fact, it’s more than likely they won’t, if the local council’s LEP and DCP have anything to do with it.  And I’ll suggest with the areas you’re talking about, the rules in those pieces of legislation would be a nightmare for anyone to try and overcome.

Also, he’s not oppressing minorities. To suggest that is nothing short of stupid. And whilst I don’t agree with defunding health or education, unfortunately the group who were in before him were left with an Economy that was the envy of the world, and was stronger and prouder and more prosperous than it was before they held power. They squandered the opportunities given to them by an extremely competent government, racking up a debt of well over $700 Billion. That’s why these cuts are having to be made, because of, I’m guessing here, your ilk.

But really, it’s a very low blow to say that “I hope people who meet his daughters say ‘oh, your dad is the famous dickhead!’”. That’s really low. If you want to take on people, take them on, you leave family out of it. That of course, would be the journalistic thing to do, play the game, not the ball. Right now, you’re attacking the ball, as was every single person at that protest. You see, the game was played last September, in something called the Federal Election. I don’t think I need to explain the details to you, but the Coalition slaughtered the Labor party, even with the preferential voting system. Whether you like it or not, the Liberal Party was voted in, overwhelmingly. If you wanted to protest you should have done it last September, when the time came. Now, you’re whinging because you didn’t get your way.

And you know what, that sounds less like an educated person and more like a spoiled brat. Now, I wasn’t there. I wasn’t at the march, despite I’d have loved to have been, because I was working. Something which it seems most of the people there didn’t have to do on that day. Granted, it was a weekend, but I didn’t see many suits in the thousand or so photographs from the Sydney marches. They would have been working, or spending time with their family, or girlfriend, or boyfriend, or whatever the case may have been. Either which way, doing something more important than walking along the streets with signs much, much worse than yours.

No, my furry friend, no one but you and your ilk is bringing political discourse down to “this level”. By your vulgar, inappropriate nature, and your little whingy wishy-washy all over the place article – poorly written and screaming of “first year university arts student” - you are creating and self-perpetuating the “vacuum of fear and hatred” you talk about. The relic of the bygone ideology is you, and your hateful, spiteful words, which you seem to think have impact. The way you attack people with such hatred and bile in your words is indicative of someone who will “fade away as your ageing audience go senile”. 

No, this was not a good article.But lucky for you, I have a few tips on improvement. If you want to write journalistic articles, try reading a newspaper first – a real one. Not a reddit post, and not a left-wing propaganda article either. A real newspaper – one owned by a multi-national corporation, with a style guide and a readership that numbers in the millions. Oh and one, very, very big thing. And it’s my final point, I promise. 

If you’re going to attack a journalist, make sure you attack him/her on the grounds of reality. You had a photograph taken of you next to a sign saying “resign, dickhead” at a march which was anti the current government, and the one person who’s opinions you claim to not care about writes an article, calling you (and everyone else at the march, mind you) a barbarian, and you write such a disgusting piece of journalistic tripe in response that it makes me ill and laugh at the same time because you were clearly so deeply offended by his remarks (none of which by the way were off the mark at all) that you proceeded to attack him and his views personally, and eventually sign off the bottom by calling him a dickhead?

Lyndon, it is clear to me that you are not a journalist. You give in to the propaganda which is spewed out at events like this, and read only one side of politics. You, are clearly buying the hate mongered by others, and you are certainly no PR machine. But hey, at least you can pat yourself on the back and say “I showed that famous journalist who makes money selling his words and writing about what he thinks, whilst I sit here and go “blblblblblblblbl” with my lips.” Well sir, you’re a dickhead as well. 

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Questions from QandA

So Monday night I managed to head to QandA. I’ll admit, politics is my guilty pleasure. I love watching the morons in the chamber argue about whatever it is they are arguing about on any given day - which usually amounts to who is in the wrong the least. But last night I saw someone come up against serious scrutiny for the opinions he held.

Senator George Brandis - despite that I’m not the biggest fan of huge guy simply because of his views on internet piracy (which are not in line with others in his party, as well as hypocritical to boot) he did make a little bit of sense last night. But when he was against a newly-promoted editor of the Australian, a well respected tv host and journalist, the a member from the shadow cabinet and a super left-wing academic, he really didn’t have much of an option but to say what he wanted to and cop the flack from the panel - and indeed the audience.

Now, firstly, his views on section 18c - or the ‘Bolt laws’. I actually agree wholeheartedly with his ideas. His logic is, simply, freedom of speech shouldn’t be impinged. I agree with that. I don’t want to be walking down the street and be sued for some saying something because I was misheard - or I write an opinion and have someone call me a racist. Now yes, I agree that these laws do some of there way to protect people from racial vilification, but not as much as people themselves. Essentially what we have is a law which stops people expressing themselves - unless of course you fall under the exemptions in section 18d. Which basically leaves the general members of the public… Which sounds exactly like “I can say that because I’m better than you.”

That just screams freedom of speech doesn’t it? And yes, for those of you playing at home, that last question was rhetorical. It is, by having this law in place, creating an elite class who can say more than those in the general public - when in fact those in the public should have the loudest and least censored voices of all. After all, it is they who decide the country’s leaders and who the media report for and to.

The second big thing which came out of the night was that of gender equality. Now, whilst I’m all for gender equality what I’m not for in any way shape or form is a quota system. The reason is simple - if you have a quota which has to be filled you will fill that and people with the real skills to do the job you want to do will miss out. The outcry came when the Prime Minister only had one woman in his cabinet. Of course, the left kicked and screamed and rights activists all over the country got up in arms about this fact. The reality is though the people he chose were probably the best suited for the job.

Let’s put it like this. An employer has ten positions to fill and under these quota systems has to employ a fifty-fifty ratio of people. Now, assuming that the best ten people happen to be five from each sex, that’s a great thing. Reality is, it probably won’t happen like that. It could go either way - three from the males and seven from the females are the best for example. But, under these laws, two women will miss out in favour of two blokes who are sub-par. That’s not fair by any stretch of the imagination. It means, essentially, that business will have to employ people who they wouldn’t under normal circumstances employ due to their credentials, attitude, or ethics not being in line with the company they are looking to work for. As a result, these laws are essentially asking business to risk their bottom line (which is what business is all about guys, let’s not get sentimental) due to laws they never wanted in the first place.

It could damage businesses all around the country. I say could because the odds of that are pretty low, in reality. But looking at it from another point, what about job seekers? People like you or me are going for the above job. We miss out because the quota has been filled for our sex, despite you having better qualifications than the other person. This is, whether you like it or not, a form of legislated discrimination and a step toward having a hierarchical job state - a la brave new world with the alphas, betas, and so on. I’m not sure I’d like my country to go down that path. In fact, I wouldn’t like it to go down that path at all.

You see, both of these laws when enacted restrict freedom. True freedom is, unfortunately, going to be met with consequences. In this case, it is the consequence that someone might get deeply offended. Or someone might be, god forbid, not given a job because someone else is better at it, or more suited to the role than they are. But hey, that’s a price for freedom. True, unbridled freedom to do what you want. And this is where it comes down to the individual.

The individual has to be responsible for his or her actions. Moreover, the general public has to show that the individual’s actions were wrong. So, taking the bolt case, the public outcry and the black mark against his name is probably more than enough to punish him. We don’t need these laws restricting freedom. I know that despite listening to Bolt, I never take anything he says without a grain or two of salt - even before he opens his mouth. And it’s due to the backlash we have seen here in the public arena. In fact, it’s so bad that if anyone comes out in defence of what Bolt said, or says they will be ridiculed in public - as happened to Senator Brandis on Monday night.

It is down to the individual not to be a horrible example of a human being, and not be sexist, or racist, or spurt anti-gay messages. These people rarely get listened to due to the vile nature they usually pour out. We know these laws won’t work. They will fail. People will get around them. And we know this because of one industry - an industry which has been under fire for a long time for the vile, disrespectful and negative influence on children. The gaming industry.

Late last year, the gaming industry saw the biggest computer game ever released - Grand Theft Auto V. In Australia, it received a rating of R18 - which means it is restricted for sale and (theoretically) play to those over the age of 18 - the age of an adult here in Aus. Yet I have seen countless mothers, and fathers, buy it for their children who are not old enough to play it by law, and then only to return to the place of purchase and scream at the poor sales staff who sold it to them. Lines such as “this shouldn’t be sold for children!” Or “how can you market this to kids” are some of my favourites. The very fact that there is an R18 sticker on the front seems to not sway anyone from buying it for their children, and when they realise the reality of the he situation they look for someone to blame.

This is exactly the same here in these cases of 18c and the proposed quota system.  Sure, make all the laws you want, put R18 fifteen feet high across the front of the package, but at the end of the day people who want to express their opinion will get around the system. It’s all up to the individual, and the choices they want to make. And there is nothing that can change that.

Nothing but time.

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