Vale Erin Moran

The indignity of dying away from the spotlight.

Erin Moran

This week, the world lost Erin Moran. Erin was best known as Joanie from Happy Days, and then Joanie Loves Chachi.

A lot of my friends simply knew her as Erin, a fellow former child star, and good friend.

I never got to meet Erin personally, as like me, she didn’t live in LA. She had stepped away from the spotlight, and moved to Indiana. She did keep in touch with all of her friends in LA though. Many of them knew she had cancer, as Erin had told them, but asked them not to share it with the world.

Erin, like many of us, went through some rough patches. ALL of us have had shitty moments, or bad times. The difference when you’re famous is, is that the whole world knows about it. There’s something about being a child star that the tabloids are just drawn to when it comes to having a bad moment. I think some editors find it orgasmic to show a Disney star looking drunk, or being sloppy. They expect us to have drug problems, DUI’s and bad relationships. If you’re one of the many child stars who move on and go about life quietly, there’s almost a sheer disdain for how boring you are. Places like TMZ would have you believe that every child actor is a train wreck, but in reality, there are hundreds that end up just fine. You just don’t hear about them. But if you’re a kid star that fucks up even once, the public is going to hear about it forever. That one night that most people can hide and move on from will come back and haunt you constantly. People will bring it up over and over. In Erin’s case, even when she died.

Erin died of cancer. She knew she had it. Her friends knew she had it. The public didn’t though, and neither did the tabloids. So when she died, the media immediately brought up her past, and speculated that she died broke and penniless and from a drug overdose. These days, it’s not about getting the story right, it’s about being first. Fuck the memory of the person you’re covering, and screw the feelings of her friends and family.

Its tragic that as a child star, you can’t even die with dignity.

Its sad for Erin. It’s also a sobering moment for all the other child actors out there. Watching the speculation over Erin, I imagine every other child actor having that moment of “when I die, will they bring up every bad moment of my past?”

Child actors are people too. We have feelings. We have souls. We have good days and bad days, just like regular people. (Cause we ARE people, we just had jobs as kids)

Just because someone no longer works in Hollywood doesn’t mean they can’t work anymore. Many actually choose to leave, and they also choose not to share every moment of their lives with the world. We should respect that. We should also respect that when someone dies, we say nice things about them, like we do all the other people you know, and not assume they bottomed out and died disgracefully.

Erin Moran and Scott Baio

Don’t be like Scott Baio and put your foot in your mouth when a former co-worker dies. Even if they DID once have a problem, you can still be polite. It’s hard when someone sticks a microphone in your face before you know the facts, but maybe take a deep breath, say something kind, and sit back and wait for the truth. You don’t need to be the asshole.

It’s only April, and I’m sure there will be more celebrity deaths this year. Maybe we can all honor Erin’s memory by learning from the coverage of her death, and be a little nicer to the next person who goes.

RIP Erin. May all your future days be happy.

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Pedophilia and Politics

Politics of Pedophilia

Normally when one talks about politics and pedophilia, we think of politicians and the allegations of them engaging in pedophilia. Most recently with a girl accusing Trump of molesting her, and of the multiple trips that the Clintons took to “pedophile island” with Jeffrey Epstein, or of Pizzagate, or of the accounts of Fiona Barnett and the pedophile ring involving many Australian politicians, or the sheer amount of people knighted by the Queen who are later tainted with the accusations of partaking in sex with minors.

There are all kinds of conspiracy theories about people climbing the ranks being brought into a situation that involved sex with kids, in order that later on it can be used against them, there’s also theories that birds of a feather flock together, or that people congregate to places where they have access to kids and won’t be questioned. Either way, that’s not the focus of my rant today.

Instead, I want to talk about how politics is being used on the victims this week.

Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos

Milo Yiannopoulos is obviously a very polarizing figure. People either love him or hate him, and many do it without ever having actually heard the man speak. As with most things, the media has an opinion on him, and tells the public what to think, and the sheeple go along with it, without ever researching him to discover whether the guy is taking sense, or is as they say, a complete asshole. I don’t really care what you think of him, as long as your opinion is based on having actually listened to the man, and not just what you’ve been told.

Milo is brash, and not PC at all, and he’s clearly a threat to the establishment. People love to hate him. Many of the elite fear him, because while saying things people may not like, he is very articulate, he’s polite, he lets people ask questions, and he can actually respond without yelling or calling people names. Well, he does sometimes call people things, but not the same way that trolls on the internet do.

This week, he’s had video from a late night interview he did over a year ago resurface. In it, he was talking about his first sexual encounter with a priest. He was about 14 at the time, and he said in the video that he wasn’t going to name the priest involved. The left has now trotted out the video to claim that Milo was all for lowering the age of consent, that he is protecting pedophiles, that because he witnesses inappropriate things happen in Hollywood, that perhaps he partakes in these events.

After people were upset that Milo was targeted by the left, and being used as a pawn to get to Trump, the other side has now gone George Takeiafter poster boy for the left, George Takei. George, who is also openly gay, and loves to hate on all things Trump, also has done interviews discussing how he was given a hand job at the age of 14 at summer camp. These are now resurfacing, in a tit for tat game by the people who think that bringing up people’s sexual past is ok when it comes to politics.

What BOTH sides fail to recognise is that underage sexual encounters are much more complex than simply having a sexual encounter, and at some point discussing it on radio/television. People also don’t understand the nature of media interviews, and how things can come out wrong, or people trying to put on a brave face, or even the fact that many victims of childhood sexual abuse may be in denial of the fact that they were molested, and laugh and joke around about their experience as a coping mechanism. A lot of people who have a sexual experience in their early teens don’t understand the adult implications of sexual contact with an adult. There’s a reason there’s an age of consent. Teens are learning about their own sexuality, they’re developing feelings, they’re becoming curious. They may want to explore those feelings, and yes, they may initiate sexual activity with an adult. It’s the adults job however to recognize what is going on, and say NO. A lot of adults don’t, and they take advantage of that sexual naivete, and while some people may be fine with the experience, others may regret it. Some may be confused, but don’t want to acknowledge what happened, or may turn the encounter around in their minds to make it seem like they were in control the whole time. There’s a myriad of coping mechanisms, and more importantly, there’s no right or wrong way. We are all different, and we all cope differently. Which means we all have no right to judge how someone else deals with a situation. People like to proclaim that they’d act a certain way in a given situation, but when tested, act completely differently. We have no right to judge how Milo, or George, or any other victim of childhood sexual predation deals with it. It’s downright disgusting that we’re now using these people to further a political agenda. Milo was forced to resign from Breitbart, and it’s too early to tell if there will be fallout for George.

I don’t want to hear any comments about how either of them won’t name names, because in the US there’s a statute of limitations. Without proof, the victim can end up being the one who goes to jail for defamation or slander. Either one might say something quietly to the police, without announcing it loudly for a lynch mob to dispense vigilante style justice. I also don’t want to hear about how they were joking around about their experiences. Both were discussing them on very long interviews, (Milo’s was a 3 hr interview FFS) and the point of both interviewers is to get stuff out of people that hasn’t been heard before. Laughing is a common thing when you’re nervous. My husband keeps telling me not to giggle when I talk about Robert. I still do it. I try to laugh the whole thing off, because that’s how I handle stress.

At this point I’ve lost respect for both sides of the political spectrum. I expect politicians to play dirty, but I expect the public to play nice. Everyone needs to just sit back, let the people who are paid to do their jobs get along with what they’re doing, and it’s our job to be nice to each other. We need to stop attacking each other, and seeing who can set the bar even lower by attacking each other openly and with such hostility.

Stop the he said, she said bullshit. Stop airing dirty laundry. Stop trying to stop the system. Let the politicians do their thing, and let’s focus on being good human beings. None of us are going to win a prize for tearing each other apart.

 

 

 

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Fake News

fake newsThere’s a fake news epidemic.

When I was young, journalists were expected to present the facts. If you turned on the news, you could expect that a reporter was going to tell you what was happening, and unless you were watching a talk show here somebody was expected to have an opinion, or reading an actual opinion piece in the paper, the news was supposed to be neutral. They presented facts, and you got to make up your own mind if and how to interpret that news. I’m talking about growing up in Australia. Many other countries were having their media manipulated, like in the 1950’s in the US with Operation Mockingbird. Propaganda presented as news. I think they were much more subtle about it back then, and people weren’t blasted by news 24/7 like they are now. Today, it’s reached ridiculously epidemic proportions, and either people don’t realize it’s happening, or they just don’t care.

I’m not sure how it started. It could be when we moved to 24/7 news, and people have to keep having things to cover. Does this mean that we’re now covering every little ridiculous thing that in the past wouldn’t even be thought of as news? I mean, I now see entire articles about one person’s tweet. Journalists trying to rile up other people by pointing out one twitter user saying something. I wonder how long they spend searching for just the right tweet to write about.

Could it be that we’re in this era of celebrity, where people don’t care about actual important events, as long as they know that Beyonce is having twins, or who got nominated for what award? Tabloids and trashy women’s magazines have been notorious for years for printing crap about a celebrity, stating “a source” told them, with the source either being said celebrity’s publicist, or someone else in the magazine’s office making it up. Have we gotten so used to TMZ and E! news that now we don’t hold our news reporters to a higher standard?

Or is there something more sinister at play? Are we being purposely manipulated in order to create change? Are people like George Soros paying off the media in order to create unrest in order to further their own personal gains? He has been shown to meddle in the media in both Europe and the US during elections in order to try to sway the public to vote for his prefered candidate. People are also saying that he’s paying for some of the more violent protests happening in the US right now.

I’m watching all the division and fighting happening right now in the US, and frankly, it’s stupid. It’s not helping anyone. Well, it’s helping someone, but it isn’t the general public. People protesting in the streets, setting things on fire, even the small scale fights on Facebook aren’t helping any of us. We are being manipulated. Someone higher up is trying their best the divide us. Our job is to take a deep breath and not let ourselves be sucked in by it.

It doesn’t matter which side you stand on politically, religiously or socially. Whether you’re conservative or a liberal, whether you’re LBGTQ or married to the opposite sex, pro-choice or pro-life, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist or any other religious conviction. We’re ALL people. We all have needs and wants and desires. We all want to be happy. If we all talk to each other, we’d probably find that we all have similar wants and desires, at least the basic stuff.

I guess I’m an atheist libertarian, but I wasn’t raised that way. I think the church is an oppressive oligarchy used to suppress the masses, but I also think that a lot of people find great joy and happiness in believing in their chose deity, and therefore, respect their right to worship. As long as people aren’t telling me who and what to believe in, I don’t feel the need to tell them not to believe in anything.

Just like I’m married to a man, but I’ve been known to kiss a girl or two. Some of my friends are gay, some are straight, and some like a bit of everything. As long as everyone is a consenting adult, I don’t give a shit what they do in the bedroom. It’s none of my business. (Unless they’re personally inviting me to be in there) My friends Sean and Thomas getting married should be no bigger a deal to me that if Kacey and Shawn get married. It has no effect on my personal life or my own marriage whatsoever.

People need to stop worrying so much about what other people are doing, and start taking care of their own shit more. Stop believing everything that the big news outlets are telling you. If you’re interesting in something, do some research on it. Read more that one website. Read three or four. Read things that you would initially dismiss. It’s good for you to learn new things, and read opposing opinions. Instead of dismissing someone as being a racist/xenophobic/islamophobic/liberal etc, have a calm discussion. Ask them WHY they have their opinions. Ask them to explain it to you. If they say something you don’t like, instead of shutting them down, ask them to tell you more. Not just so you learn, but so they do. If they can’t explain it to you, it means they’re probably also simply parroting what they heard on the news, or from their friends, or parents. Discussion forces both parties to think, and maybe learn, and change. Screaming at each other like children doesn’t help anything. I have never changed my view on something because someone called me a name. I’m betting you haven’t either.

Instead of complaining about a situation, sit down and ask yourself how you can fix it. If you don’t like the current leader, what’s an adult way to change it? Is it waiting till the next election and voting them out? Is it going out and educating people? Is it getting involved and creating a bill? Is it sucking it up and actually running for a position yourself? Find a constructive, useful way to channel your anger and frustration. Running through the streets and rioting, burning shit down, punching people in the face, and getting arrested doesn’t solve anything. You’re just making it worse. For society, and yourself. If you don’t like a guest speaker, instead of turning up and booing them, either go and see if you can engage in actual conversation with them, or, just don’t go. Save yourself the agony. Just because you don’t like someone’s opinion, doesn’t mean others don’t, and frankly, others have just as much right to their chosen guests as you do. By protesting, you’re just giving that person you hate more of a voice. For example, I had never heard of Milo Yiannopoulos before he was banned from Twitter. There was all this fuss, so I googled him. Now that the kids at UC Berkeley have protested, a whole other group of people who had never heard of him are now looking him up. You wanted to silence him, but all you really did was give him a bigger audience.

fake corp news

So now we have to ask ourselves, who is benefitting from all this hate? Who is profiting from all the riots? Who is trying so hard to divide us, and why? Whether you’re a conspiracy theorist or not, you’ve got to be able to see that there’s something bigger at play here.

I’m not going to be a part of it. Screaming at my friends, protesting in the street, bitching at people on FB. It’s not healthy. It doesn’t help me, or you, or any of us, so I’m not going to be a part of it. Ask yourself what you’re getting out of it? Ask if you’re gaining anything by letting yourself get worked up? Is it giving you any benefit at all?

Then, if you truly want to go out and do something, do something useful. Go volunteer somewhere. Make your grandma dinner. Donate some money to a charity. Go meet with your local politicians and make useful suggestions, or volunteer with them. If you’re passionate about women’s right, donate time, cash or goods to a shelter, or if you feel the need to defend rights, maybe pick somewhere where women truly don’t have them. (Like the Middle East or Africa) Think people need housing, go volunteer with someone like Habitat for Humanity. Like animals? There’s plenty of shelters that need help. Find something constructive. Hashtag activism isn’t really activism. It’s lazy, and doesn’t help channel your rage into anything useful. Rioting and smashing down windows in Starbucks isn’t helpful either. Take that anger, turn into into passion, and do something great with it. Pick something that’s actually meaningful to you, don’t just jump on whatever the next twitter outrage is, then forget about it 10 minutes later when the next outrage hits. You can’t do anything useful if you don’t stick to it.

Most of all, open your heart and your mind. Embrace your fellow man. Don’t let yourself be manipulated by the man. Remember the golden rule, never Discuss Money, Religion or Politics in polite company, and it’s up to us to be polite company.

 

 

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Trump Won. Now What?

So last night was the US election, and this morning, you’d think that the world was about to end. On my facebook feed, there was a never ending stream of The Sky is Falling! and other such scaremongering.

Yes, Trump won. People had to know this was a possibility. I mean, he was on the ballot. The other choices were Hillary, Johnson, or as many people chose to ignore, another woman, Jill Stein. Let me start with that. There are a bunch of people crying about how we hit a glass ceiling, and how the world has gone backwards, because a man won the election. They made it sound like Hillary was the first women to ever run as a head of state. Never mind that there has already been 26 nations that have already had a woman run a country, people ignored that there was another woman on the ballot. Nobody cares that she lost. Then again, it seems nobody cared she was on there in the first place. I think a lot of people only voted for Hillary because she owned a vagina, which I think is a terrible reason to vote for someone. Vote for them based on their policies, or their record, not because of what’s in their underpants. Hillary didn’t lose because she’s a woman, she lost because people didn’t want another four years of the same thing.

Trump isn’t a true Republican, and he’s not a Democrat. I’m not really sure what he is politically. He’s a businessman who was also a reality star. He offered the people something different. Lots of people weren’t in love with what he was offering, but Americans truly believe that voting third party is a complete waste, and so while Gary Johnson had some good ideas, he really didn’t stand a chance. Much like we all loved Ron Paul back in the day. It just wasn’t going to happen.

So this morning I watched my friends lose their collective shit, crying over how they’re going to lose their healthcare, or get deported, or having their same sex marriages annulled, and I want to tell everyone to take a deep breathe, and relax.

Think back to every other election you’ve lived through, and especially since the advent of social media. Every single time, half the country loses their minds, crying it’s armageddon, that the economy will fail, that they’ll lose their rights, basically that their life is over. Then, a couple years later, those same people are complaining that the elected official hasn’t fulfilled any of their campaign promises, and that nothing is being done.

Presidents are figure heads. They can make executive orders, but they can also be struck down. Nobody walks into office and within a couple years has done all they said they would. That’s why you have the senate. There’s balance. Trump isn’t going to walk into office in January and annul your marriage, or take away your right to birth control. He has said he’ll make changes to Obamacare, but he hasn’t said what those changes are, so before you cry that you’re going to lose your healthcare, maybe wait and see what he’s actually trying to do, and then if what he wants will even pass congress, and then access your options. Who knows, since about the only thing I’ve heard him say about healthcare is that he’s going to make it tax deductible, it might actually be better for those self employed people who have to purchase their own and don’t get it through an employer. The thing is, we don’t know, so don’t give yourself an ulcer over it. Premiums already went up a ridiculous amount before he was elected, so you can’t blame that on him. I also highly doubt that insurers are going to go back to denying people with pre-existing conditions. If your insurer does, find another one who doesn’t.

As to the posts about foreigners feeling scared to be here in the US now, I haven’t met a single foreigner in real life who actually feels that way. I’m a foreigner myself, and I have plenty of other expat friends. (and no, they’re not all anglo.) We’ve all concluded that as long as you’re here legally, there’s absolutely no reason to be freaking out. Trump isn’t going to deport people here legally. I’m not sure why people think he hates foreigners, I mean, his wife is one. Is he going to start with her? No. Probably not. Will he get tough on people who are here illegally? Maybe. Do I think that’s a bad thing? Well, I spent three years working on a border program. I spent three years watching cameras, processing reports, analyzing data on the drugs, money, people and weapons that went back and forth. I saw Border Patrol agents who had a harder and harder time doing their job. I have a completely different perspective than most civilians. There’s a reason the USBP endorsed Donald. I do think that legitimate refugees have a place in society. I don’t think that paying a coyote to smuggle you across a border from a country that has no problems entitles you to live here when so many of us went through the legal process just fine. Basically, as long as your papers are in order, you’re fine. No different from the last guy.

I’m not scared of WWIII breaking out. I was actually more scared of the never ending war we could have endured if Clinton had won. She was very pro-war, and anti Russia. I don’t have a problem with a guy who actually wants to be friends with other heads of state, and who isn’t interested in another Cold War. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Trump will start shit, but I’ll worry about that if and when it happens.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve spent the last couple of years really trying to teach myself to breathe and be calm and not get hysterical over every little tweet or FB post, or cause du jour, that I can sit back and watch this calmy. Maybe I prefer to take a moment and see the bigger picture, or let shit play out before I get my panties in a wad, but I really think people are way overreacting.

Don’t let crying celebrities and the 24/7 news media let you get all worked up.

Trump will be sworn in, and just like every other President, anything he tries to do will be blocked in the senate. It will be years before he can realistically achieve anything. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

orange-new-black

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My Personal Paradise in Palm Beach

So for those of you that have read Allegedly, you’d know that Matt and I rode off happily into the sunset in the last chapter. Well, technically we headed East, into the sunrise, and sadly, Maya didn’t make it with us.

Matt and I have been wanting to move to Florida for so long now, and after I left my job, we just stayed in Victoria, Texas because we were comfortable. We had already sold the house in San Antonio, but we were still close to the ranch. We liked the other people in our RV park, but it was a hassle for Matt, because it was over 2 hrs to the closest airport, and he travels almost weekly. Then, our friends started to leave the park, and Matt’s work started talking about dividing his territory. He could stay with Texas/Louisiana/Oklahoma, or get Florida/Tennessee/Georgia. It was just the push we needed. We had no reason to say in Victoria, and I dreaded the thought of moving back to San Antonio. So we spent forever looking for a new RV park we liked. We had sold our house already, and lived full time in an RV. People think this means you can just pack up and move anywhere. In theory it does. In reality, not so much.

Matt really wanted to live somewhere between Miami and Ft Lauderdale. Each has a good airport, and both are big cities with lots of stuff to do. So that’s where we started looking. I’m amazed at some of the RV parks in Florida. Most were built back in the days before RVs had slideouts, so the slips are tiny. Then, in winter, they pack them in like sardines. Some RV parks double people up. The amount they charge in winter is astronomical. Some RV parks in South Florida charge as much for a tiny RV slip as an actual apartment. It’s literally just a tiny piece of land. Many of them aren’t even concreted. Miami and Ft Lauderdale fill up with French Canadians over winter. People reviewing parks said if you don’t speak French, forget it. They’ll actively exclude you. Then, the majority were either right next to a train track, or in super sketchy areas.

Matt and I drove to almost every single RV park from Islamorada in the keys to Boca Raton, and didn’t find anything we both liked. We almost gave up. Then, I found a place online that wasn’t listed in the RV guides. It was up further north in Palm Beach, which Matt had originally considered too far north, and he wasn’t sure of the airport there. But I knew it was meant to be. It was right off Australian ave. It was literally a sign. I had him look at the flights in and out of there, and he was satisfied it would work as his hub.

I had just finished reading “The Official Preppy Handbook” and it assured me that Palm Beach was THE place to be. At least in Winter. Apparently I’m supposed to summer in the Hamptons, or Europe.

So on his next trip to Florida, Matt checked out the RV park here, and it was ok. So we set a date, and we moved. We miss our friends, but, I’m so happy here. I’m glad we didn’t find what we wanted in the other cities first.

We are actually in West Palm Beach, which someone told me I should never mention to anyone out on “the island” but in reality, no one has battered an eyelid when I tell them we’re in West Palm, and not in Palm proper. Most are fascinated that we live in something smaller than their pool house. The island is absolutely gorgeous. Apparently it contains the top 1% of the nation’s money, and the top 2% of the world’s money. I told Matt I could see why. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. I said “If I was a billionaire, I’d live here” to which Matt replied, “you’re not even a millionaire, and you DO live here.”

He’s right. We might not live in a $50 million dollar house on the beach, but I live in an RV that I love only 5 minutes away from it. I have no desire to live in one of those huge houses. Or any house again for that matter. The RV life is so simple and easy. It has everything we need, and nothing we don’t. I don’t have to spend hours cleaning (or hire a maid) and the little bit of gardening I do is because I want to, not because I have to.  We got lucky and have the biggest RV slip in the park, and I have a veggie garden, and even made a tiny zen garden. We’re so close to the airport that Matt calls me as he lands, and I make it to pick him up before he’s even outside. Thankfully, as close as we are, we’re not under the flight path. Some of those big houses are though…

I drive out to the island everyday to go workout. I found a beautiful place that does barre, yoga and pilates. They do spin too, but me and cardio aren’t friends. I try to go to a class everyday Monday to Friday. The people are super nice, and even though they all drive Land Cruisers and Porsches, they all think my lifted Jeep Wrangler is awesome. (It is) I’m not trying to get a supermodel body, I just want to get healthy, and it’s happening slowly. Barre is so much harder than I ever expected it to be. It’s harder than CrossFit was. I really enjoy it though, and Matt thinks I always look happier when I go. I’ve met some really cool people there. Even some that I have weird small world connections with. (Who would have imagined two people in a pilates class in Palm Beach would have both been interviewed by Tracy Grimshaw!) There’s also a bunch of expats here, and I’ve even made friends with another Aussie. One that I would have been friends with even if we both still lived in Australia. -Hey Maggie!

The restaurants here are amazing. There’s every kind of food you could think of, and it’s all good. Downtown West Palm Beach has CityPlace and Clematis St, which are both super busy and filled with shopping and restaurants. We’ve found a few favourite places, but are still trying everything else. We even found a cute little hangout we both like called Camelot. It’s a bar, but they also do a member’s thing. Palm Beach is full of members only clubs. We can’t afford The Breakers or Mar-a-Lago, (seriously, they’re both over $100k just to apply, then there’s the yearly fee) but I totally joined Camelot, just cause I could. (It was $100 a year) They gave me a fancy metal membership card, and now I feel totally preppy, belonging to a club in Palm Beach. 😉 While Palm Beach is very seasonal, and almost empties out in Summer, (everyone really does go to The Hamptons) West Palm Beach is buzzing all year long.

We still enjoy going down to Ft Lauderdale and Miami. Matt has to go down all the time for business, so I’ll go along some days. They are both fun to visit, but I don’t think I’d like living full time in Miami. Miami is super fast, flashy and very nouveau riche. Also, the traffic sucks. Palm Beach is old money, and everyone is super laid back and totally charming and chilled. Bonus; no traffic, unless you get caught by the drawbridge as someone sails their mega yacht through the intercoastal…

So even though we majorly downsized our life materialistically, I think we did a major upgrade spiritually. My quality of life here is so much better. I’ve never been happier. I’ve never enjoyed living somewhere so much. I absolutely love it here, and I’m grateful that Matt was able to move us here. The dream of living in Florida not only happened, but turned out so much better than I ever imagined it would.

So, if there’s something you think would make you happier in life, do it. Just go for it. Maybe you adjust your expectations, or make compromises. You might find that you give up something that didn’t make you happy anyway, in return for something that gives you so much more pleasure. I have zero regrets about giving up our big house in San Antonio. I’m living large while living tiny. The trade off is totally worth it. I’m not suggesting you move to Palm Beach, but go find the place that makes you happy, and just make it happen. Be flexible with your expectations. The thing you might have thought of as a compromise might end up being the thing you end up loving the most.

And just for the record, even if I was to become a millionaire, or even a billionaire, I’d still pick Palm Beach. It’s my happy place. I think the only difference is I’d pay off someone in the council to let me park the RV out on the island. Or build an RV park out there… Or live in someone’s pool house. Then again, I’m so close right here where we are, there’s not much point. Except to make Matt happy cause then he could walk to the beach instead of driving there.

Most of these pics below are from my Instagram, but since some people don’t use it, I figured I’d share them here, so you could see how awesome this place is. If you are on instagram, go follow me (@Shrimptank) so you can see all the other amazing stuff I didn’t include here.

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Iggy Azalea to judge on X Factor Australia

IggyAzalea

So it’s been announced that Iggy Azalea is going to be a judge on the next season of X-Factor in Australia. Which, if you follow my rantings on here, you know I’m thrilled about it.

I think it’s awesome that a talent show in Australia will actually have an Australian as a judge. It’s a shame that’s she’s taking the spot that Dannii Minogue is vacating, instead of having two female Australian judges, but at least they’re replacing Minogue with another Australian female.

I think Iggy will be amazing. She ticks all the boxes that a TV show in Australia wants. Young, pretty, and they have to fly her in from overseas…. As an Aussie living in the US, it’s great seeing another Aussie doing so well over here, and I admire her hard work, and the effort she put into really making a name over here for herself, especially in a genre most people wouldn’t think of a white, female, Australian, doing well in at all. My patriotic pride beams everytime I see her.

I hate that talent shows in Australia always hire foreigners. It’s ok to have the token one or two, but all the shows follow the same format of having the foreigners outnumbering the Aussie’s. Which is kinda silly, since they’re judging Australian talent. Maybe they think Australia doesn’t have enough international superstars, or even Australian stars, or maybe no-one else wants to do it. But I’m glad Iggy signed on. She truly is an international star, and she went from knowing what she wanted in Oz to moving to the US and making her dream a reality. Hopefully she can inspire and help others do the same.

So good on the X Factor for scoring Iggy Azalea. I hope the Australian audience is kind to her, and realizes how cool it is that she’s going to be going home to work on the show.

Good luck Iggy. Enjoy your time in Australia.

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Dealing with Celebrity Sex Offenders

When a celebrity is a sex offender, the victim doesn’t have the option of simply avoiding them.

I turned on the TV this morning, and as I was flicking through channels, Robert’s face popped up.

After leaving Hey Dad..! he mainly did voice over work, but he had a tiny part in a C grade movie called Race The Sun. It was about a group of Hawaiian kids who built a solar car. Anyway, since it’s an American movie that was filmed in Australia, they play it here, and it means that when I am randomly flicking through channels, I am subjected to hearing his voice, and seeing his face. Even though I no longer live in Australia, there’s still the potential of me having to see him, when I least expect it.

Thankfully, I’m pretty good at dealing with it. It’s not really a huge trigger for me anymore. (Well, today was ok) But it got me thinking about all the other people out there who are unable to avoid their perps, and how there’s always debate about celebrity sex offenders, and whether they should be allowed to continue to work.

It’s a tough question. I think it’s a shame for an entire body of work to be wiped from history simply because one person in the production was a terrible human being. Should all the cast from 7th Heaven never receive royalty cheques again because the dad molested a few girls? Should Hey Dad be wiped from TV because of Robert? What about the Cosby Show? Can we no longer listen to Six White Boomers at Xmas because of Rolf Harris? Should we avoid all movies directed by Roman Polanski, Woody Allan, Victor Salva and Bryan Singer?

I think each person has to decide for themselves. I thought 7th Heaven was cheesey, I never watched myself on Hey Dad, and Cosby always gave me the shits. However, millions of other people loved these shows. But, what about the other cast members. Is it their fault that the male stars here thought they were above the law, and didn’t keep their perverted sexual desires in check? Are we punishing an entire production by boycotting a show because of one person? Sometimes I feel like it’s not fair to the other people associated with a show. I think it’s not fair to Simone Buchanan and Ben Oxenbould that they can’t proudly display Hey Dad clips on their resumes because of something that Robert Hughes did. I feel bad for 7th Heaven cast members who rely on that residual income. I feel sorry for The Cosby kids who have to answer questions about Cosby when they’re trying to do interviews about something completely unrelated.

Then, Robert pops up on my TV.

racethesun

My brain goes from trying to be the impartial person, right back to seeing it from the view of anyone who has dealt with a celebrity sex offender. Even when I move overseas, I may still be subjected to seeing that trigger. Anyone who has dealt with a celebrity sex offender could be subjected to their attacker at any point. Even if they avoid their movies, or make a point not to turn on the TV when their show is on, at any point, while flicking through channels, that person could pop up. It might be on E! News, or a TV commercial, or on a random talk show. The only thing the person can do, besides refusing to watch any form of media, is to learn to deal with the trigger. Some people can, and some can’t. Some people need more time, and some don’t have access to the resources that will help them heal from that trauma.

So what’s the answer? I’m not really sure. Maybe there’s a balance. I think that while old stuff, pre-knowledge of sexual offending might be OK to keep showing, for the sake of other actors/crew, and let the public decide if they want to watch, I think that going forward, the offender should be barred from more public work. If you’re a celebrity sex offender, you shouldn’t get to keep putting your name out there. You shouldn’t be able to keep putting your face on TV, or work in movies. You shouldn’t be allowed to be glamorized, and continue to work in the industry. You shouldn’t be rewarded, while your victims have to keep seeing your face, or your name, or hear your voice, over and over, forever and ever.

It’s not just for the victims of these celebrities, but for anyone who was a victim of anyone. Seeing someone convicted of a sex crime be rewarded with work, or strutting down a red carpet sends a horrible message to victims everywhere. While the victim lives with the act forever, and has to learn to heal, the perp is out and about, living a glamorous life, being glorified, and everyone forgiving them. It doesn’t inspire victims to speak up, or try to do anything about their molester. Why bother going through the drama of police investigation, court, etc if the person if just going to go straight back to normal life afterwards? As much as I hate that we all look to Hollywood for life inspiration, we do. If people see that celebrity sex offenders aren’t punished, people will wonder what chance they have of their own perps getting punished, celebrity or not.

Even if I was still working in the industry, I would choose not to work with a sex offender. I would never make a film with Roman Polanski or Woody Allan, or even alleged sex offender Bryan Singer. That’s something that each person still working in the industry has to decide for themselves, but I know where I stand.

What about you? Do you think there’s an answer? How would you deal with it? Let them keep working, boycott all their work? Would you work with a celebrity sex offender on a production? Is art more important? Or are victims the priority? Is there a balance?

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Did Ed Sheeran Steal Photograph?

Or do all songs just sound the same?

It’s Ed Sheeran’s turn this week to be accused of plagiarizing a song.

There’s been a lot of lawsuits lately involving the music industry. People claim that other artists ripped off their music, whether is be from stealing lyrics, to chords, or harmony. When you’re in the same genre, it’s got to be hard to make music that is completely new. There’s only so many music notes, and eventually, one song is going to sound like another if your lawyer is hungry enough.

Men at Work got done for stealing the riff from Kookaburra sits in an Old Gum Tree, which just smacks of a label going after easy money. The record company bought the rights to the kids song way after each song had been made. (Kookaburra was written in 1932.) The estate of Marvin Gaye sued over Blurred Lines. Chuck Berry sued John Lennon claiming certain lines and melodies for “Come Together” were taken from Berry’s 1956 track, “You Can’t Catch Me.” John Fogarty was sued for plagiarizing John Fogarty, after he left CCR and sold the rights to get out of his contract. His old record label claimed “Run Through The Jungle” sounded too much like “The Old Man Down the Road”. There are plenty more incidences of people being sued for music sounding similar. There’s only so many ways you can string music together and make it sound pleasurable. Otherwise you just end up with Jazz…

So here’s the thing. How many more years can people make music, and NOT have anyone claim it sounds similar? Especially when almost all the hits of the last few years have the same four chords?

For your viewing pleasure, I present Axis of Awesome, with their song 4 Chords. It’s worth the watch, just because it’s great, but it also makes you wonder why none of these people felt like they should sue?

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Victim Impact

If you haven’t read the Victim Impact Statement yet that was written by the woman who was raped by Brock Turner, please, take the time to do so. It’s on the BuzzFeed Site. Yes, it’s long. 7000 words in fact, but it’s incredibly well written, and very moving. I challenge anyone to read it and not feel some kind of new found empathy for rape/assault/molestation victims. It should be required reading for all people charged with rape, and all their families who try to defend them.

I read some pretty shitty comments on articles related to the Stanford Rapist, Brock Turner. I had written a piece about him yesterday, after his father released a statement, saying his poor son just didn’t feel like eating steak anymore. The Daily Mail picked up my blog post, and while I was reading other articles about him, I was simply amazed at some of the comments. I was amazed at how many rape apologists there were out there, and how many people thought that the victim should just move on. Many thought that since she was unconscious during the assault, and she couldn’t remember the attack, that she was being a cry baby, and shouldn’t be upset at all in the first place. Isn’t that kind of like saying that if your house in robbed, but you’re not home when it happens, that it’s ok, and you shouldn’t really care? Or that when you’re under anaesthetic during surgery, and they amputate your leg instead of removing an appendix, you weren’t awake, and didn’t feel it happening, so it’s all good? No? Don’t think those are good analogies? In each case, something fucked up happened, and you lost something you shouldn’t have. Oh, you think your material possessions are worth more than someone’s dignity or self worth? It’s ok, most people simply can’t comprehend the effect of sexual assault until they’ve lived it.

What I personally connected with in the letter written by the victim was the process of what occurred after the event. She was taken to a hospital, and was subjected to hours of rape kit testing. Her whole body photographed. Her body entered again with instruments. Having to speak to multiple people about the ordeal. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do that. I can’t imagine how hard that would have been. I did experience what happened after that though.

What people don’t tell you when you finally find the balls to start the legal process of getting some kind of justice from your attacker, is that it isn’t just going to be them that is on trial. The victim is also on trial. Maybe more so.

We all know the phrase “Innocent until proven guilty” and the courts, rightly, treat the defendant that way. Even people who have been caught in the act, maybe even on tape, but who plead not guilty, and drag their victims through court, are given the presumption of innocence. Not so the victim. The defendants lawyers will spend an insane amount of time, effort and money to dig up every piece of dirt on a victim. They will research your entire history, looking for anything that could possibly make you look less than trustworthy. They will read your entire FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram feeds, looking for the smallest thing they can bring up. Dare to post a smile on Instagram a month after your attack? Well, shame on you. How could you possibly ever smile again after such an alleged event? Go to a party? Busted! Oh, there’s a picture of you on the beach four years before the attack, and you’re wearing a bikini? Well, you’re just going around scantily dressed and inviting people to hit on you.

What’s your sexual preference? How many people have you been with? Any one night stands? Be prepared to share those details with a courtroom full of people. What color shoes were you wearing two weeks before the attack? You can’t remember? Well, if you can’t remember that, how come you can remember all the other details of what happened that day you were raped? You must just be making it up. Had consensual sex once while drunk with your boyfriend? If you could consent with your partner, why couldn’t you consent with the person you had never met before?

It amazes me how the defence is allowed to badger victims on the stand. They’re allowed to completely emotionally assault the victims, calling them all kinds of names, insinuating all kinds of things, or just outright calling them money grubbing, attention seeking sluts. They don’t have to prove their client is innocent, they just have to prove you’re not believable. You’re not credible. You’re not worthy of being believed. Going to court is the most soul destroying experience. Assuming you even make it that far.

After going to the police, there’s the investigation. Which could take years. Some people find just that part to be so bad, they they rescind their statements. Often when people “take it back” it’s not that it didn’t happen, it’s just that they want it to all go away. They don’t think they’re strong enough to go through with the process. Especially when there’s a huge power balance between the perp and the victim. There may be outright threats, but it could also be small stuff, like your family disowning you, your friends all distancing themselves, the police asking you to make phone calls to your attacker to try to get a confession on tape. Everyone in town who has been questioned in relation to the event judging you. Even if you are able to make it through the initial investigation, it may never even lead to an arrest. If he is arrested, it could take years before a trial, during which time your life’s on hold, waiting, waiting. Court dates are constantly moved, and each time, emotions are crazy. You have to re-live the event over and over. Then, you get to court, and even if the bastard is found guilty, it’s still not over. You still have to live with what happened to you. You have to live with the process, and the trauma of court. If your case was public, you get to have it be the first thing people think of when they think of you. I hope this girl gets to keep her anonymity. People can read her powerful statement, and not have to know who she is. She sounds incredibly strong and brave, and I hope she finds some sense of peace. Others who are public will always live with it, publicly and privately. Two years after Robert was found guilty, and I should be enjoying peace, I’m still dealing with a high court appeal, and the occasional dickhead who decides to hero worship Robert and try to ruin my day by popping up on my social media accounts, applauding the pedophile, and threatening me for speaking up. Imagine if two years after you went to court, you still have to deal with this:

threat

So to all those idiots who think that victims of sexual assault should just be happy that their attacker got a slap on the wrist and should move on, get a grip on reality. The victim can’t just move on. Even if they were unconscious when it happened, they had to live with the trauma of getting through the court process, and they continue to live with the feeling they may never be safe again, or that their whole life is being judged, or that they may never just be their old selves again.

I hope none of those internet trolls have to learn empathy the hard way, or have to read the same type of comments about themselves that they once wrote about others.

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Brock Turner and his asshole father

His Dad said WHAT?

Brock Turner, Campus Rapist
Brock Turner, Campus Rapist

So by now, we’ve all seen the case of Brock Turner, the college kid who thought it was perfectly fine to rape an unconscious, intoxicated woman on campus. Thankfully, two other people saw what he was doing, pulled him off the girl, and held him down till police arrived. In this culture of people excusing campus rape as just a part of college life, almost like a right of passage, it’s nice to see that two decent people intervened. (Although it turns out they were foreigners, so maybe local kids aren’t learning much) But, it meant that Brock was caught red handed.  At this point you’d be forgiven by thinking we’re really making a change in how campus rapes are handled. Instead of pleading guilty after being caught in the act, he hired and expensive lawyer, who tried to find dirt on the victim. They put her through another assault.

Then you read the statement that the piece of shit father released after his son was sentenced to the ridiculously short sentence. Instead of being given the available 14 years, the judge sentenced this rapist to six months, in a country jail. Not even the real big boy prison. I’ve met people who have been locked up here, and they like to distinguish between whether they went to jail, or to prison. In Australia, it’s all pretty much the same. In the US, there’s a HUGE difference. Prison is where bad people go. County jail is the equivalent of the local drunk tank. So after this guy does his petty six months in his day care facility, he gets probation, and has to register as a sex offender.

Now, if you weren’t already seething at the leniency of the sentence, this guy’s father comes out and tries to say that it’s still too much for his poor baby rapist son. He says his boy lost his smile, and hardly eats anymore. He then goes on to say that instead of jail, poor Brock should just be given probation, and he should be used as a type of educator, teaching people about the consequences of drinking and promiscuity.

So, never mind that the girl he raped may never smile again, or have trouble eating. His kid who did the raping is having a hard time being happy, now that he was going to court, because everyone knew what he did. To then say that his kid could teach about alcohol and promiscuity is a total slap in the face to victims everywhere. Instead of saying, “Don’t rape someone who can’t consent” he is saying it’s the girls fault because she got drunk at a party, and she was obviously a slut, and she was asking for it.

So Daddy never taught this kid right from wrong, and is still teaching his kid it’s OK to rape women, by saying it was her fault, and it’s his son who is the real victim here. It was just 20 minutes of “oops”. He’d never hurt anyone before. Never mind this was his first of four years at college. Maybe this was just the start. How many more women would he have raped if he hadn’t been caught?

I wonder if he has a daughter? Would he feel the same way if she was the one raped? Or would he disown her and tell her it was her fault? I wonder what will happen when his son is in jail, if he gets raped. Will daddy blame the rapist, or blame his son for being a pretty boy in jail and inviting it? Will people think it’s ok, because in prison, like college it happens so often it’s just accepted and isn’t really considered a crime?

I know that a parent is supposed to defend their children, but they should also teach their children right from wrong, and this guy obviously never did. Maybe he doesn’t know right from wrong himself, and has a few of his own “drunk conquests” in his past…

Instead of teaching your daughter how not to get raped, teach your sons not to rape.

Written statement from Dan Turner, Brock Turner's father.
Written statement from Dan Turner, Brock Turner’s father.

You can read the impact on the victim in her own statement here. I hope Brock’s father reads it, and realizes that his son is NOT the victim here.

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