Try making an informed comment

The reaction to my reaction of Bert Newton’s Speech

So this week I made a short YouTube video talking about the hoopla that occurred after Bert Newton’s Logies speech.

We all know Bert is old as dirt, and the Logie’s love to trot him out every year, which is fine. Bert is Bert, and we all know that.

But while Bert has kept the same jokes year after year, living in his little bubble, society around him has changed. Some of his dad jokes aren’t considered PC anymore, and social media lit up after his speech.

I found it interesting that more people were offended by him calling himself a “poof” than they were about his suggestion that his peers were “mentoring” behind locked doors. Looking around, it didn’t seem like any gay people were offended by him calling himself a poof, it was all the other SJWs who were offended on their behalf.

I had no beef with his calling himself a poof. Maybe he identifies as gay, or bi-sexual. Whatever.

I was more interested in people’s reaction to his comments about the “mentoring” which could be seen as inappropriate, on two levels.

Firstly, because you’re insinuating that your co-worker may have been dabbling in some sexual activities in the work place. Whether people think it’s consensual or not, when someone who is in a position of power offers to mentor someone, sexual activity is frowned upon. There’s a power balance there. Some people may have been mega fans and wanted to engage in sexual behavior, others might feel compelled to engage in sex acts. If we haven’t learned anything from Weinstein about power imbalances, then at least look to the military and see how they have policies about fraternization.

The second issue is making a suggestion like that about somebody who isn’t alive anymore to defend themselves. Maybe Kennedy would find it funny, maybe he wouldn’t.

But after my video went up, Peter Ford posted a part of it on The Morning Show and the Daily Edition. They only played a very small snippet, the part where I state that I am in no way whatsoever implying that Bert, Graham or Done Lane have ever done anything wrong in the past, but that I didn’t think it was a funny joke, and I didn’t think the reactions on social media were great. There was lots of people taking a stab at anyone who had said something negative about Bert’s speech, telling them to lighten up, get over it, or that they had no sense of humor.

It was then hilarious when I woke up and I had a bunch of people who had found my FaceBook page who decided to comment that I should leave Bert alone, mind my own business, and one peculiar comment, that my pink hat offended them….

So basically these people proved my point that they hate anyone who tries to stand up for victims of abuse, and worse, they can’t even have polite discussions or make a comment without going straight for a “fuck you” with no logical thoughts.

I always laugh when these people scream that they’re entitled to their opinions, while simultaneously telling me I’m not entitled to one.

So here’s the thing. I love discussion. I love debating. I love to hear other people’s opinions and stories, and exchanging ideas. It’s how we learn. I think the world would be an incredibly boring place if we all had the same opinion on everything.

But, if you want to comment, at least make an informed comment. Try actually watching the video before you run your mouth, or start screaming profanities. Otherwise, you just come off as an uneducated idiot, and nobody is going to take anything you say seriously.


New Twitter Accounts

Hey Everyone,

while I’m loving life here in sunny Palm Beach, and my amazing husband has allowed me to not work and just be one of those ladies who goes to pilates everyday, I’ve decided it’s time to get my other passions going again. You know, the stuff I was trying to work on before I was forced to put everything on hold for four years.

GDI’m going to slowly start diving again, and I’ll post up my adventures on my other site, Going Down. There’s a new twitter handle to go with that site, @GoingDownOnline So, if you’re into scuba stuff, or just wanna see me drowning, follow along there.

My other site, ShrimpTank, which was my old company is going to get re-done as a fashion blog. Not just any fashion, but about clothes for tiny people like me. Do you know how hard it is to find clothes when you’re 4’11” and have a DD bust? I’m going to keep my Shrimptank Twitter account for that. The site isn’t really going yet, but it’ll get there eventually. Hopefully one day my own clothes will be up on there!

allegedlySo that leaves this blog, which has really become the place where I rant about the entertainment industry, or about other stuff in general. So for my everyday, just Sarah stuff, I started a new @TheSarahMonahan twitter. I hate @TheWhoever accounts, but it was really hard finding a name I liked. Apparently there’s a LOT of Sarah Monahan’s out there.

So well done to the couple of people who noticed me starting new accounts. I wasn’t going to say anything yet, till I got some new content up on both sites, but also don’t want to worry anyone that people are impersonating me.

So, if you’re on Twitter, and you like the sound of any of the above topics, go follow my new accounts.

@TheSarahMonahan and @GoingDownOnline



Middle Class Outrage

Middle Class Outrage & First World Problems

As I read through twitter, and I’m amused by pictures of peoples cats, read through news links and see people’s sandwiches, I’m also struck by the amount of outrage over petty stuff. At least most of those people know they’re being wankers by putting the little hashtag #FirstWorldProblems Then there are the people who are genuinely upset over things. Normally things that irritate me. Maybe that’s why their tweets stick out. So it’s my turn to be outraged on the internet. Oh, the irony,

I’ve learnt a few things in life. Some because of situations I’ve been in, others because of my work. Others because they should just be common sense.

Two things that strike me the most, besides the amount of absolutely worthless people on Twitter who obviously have nothing better to do all day that to cyber bully people, is the amount of whining that people do about stuff they could probably just go out and fix. Or at least do something other than sit on the computer all day and complain.

I understand not everyone is given access to all the information they need to make an informed decision all the time. However, usually a little Googling will give you some knowledge. I for example, work in Border Security. I don’t get to carry a gun and sit on the line like others in my facility do. Instead, I’m a desk jockey, writing reports, working with intel and watching the cameras. I get to call the guy on the line and give him a heads up about what’s coming. I understand I get access to information that gives me a completely different opinion than most on what goes on on a border. It’s not all refugees seeking a better life. It’s not all poor Mexicans coming to pick lettuce. For the most part, it’s not even Mexicans. It’s drug and currency runners, and other people who are running the border because they can’t get a visa because they’ve been deported 3 times for rape or murder charges. So when I read tweets about those poor, poor people who are just looking for a better life, I’m a lot more skeptical than most. I know why people don’t apply for visas. I know why people pay people smugglers. I know why people “loose” their documents. What pisses me off more though than middle class folks who want to complain about the big bad government protecting their rights by wanting immigrants to go through proper channels is how people complain about their government. Your government is protecting you. They’re trying to make sure the person who was already busted on 5 felonies who then escaped isn’t coming back to kill your kids. They’re making sure they’re not terrorists trying to pass themselves off as refugees. Also, if you’re so damn upset about the rights of said refugees, you could do something about it. Instead of complaining on twitter, or writing some snarky blog about how awful things are, get off your arse and go do something about it. I wonder how many of the complainers have bothered to go sign up and do some volunteering? When I lived in Australia, I went and did a course at TAFE that certified you to teach ESL to new migrants. It was free and only took a couple of days a week. Here, I joined a medical unit in the guard. Every year, they do a big trip to the border where they provide free medical care to people who can’t afford it. It’s right before school goes back. They give free shots to kids and adults. They do health screenings for the adults. They provide translators for those who can’t speak English. It’s all free. The people in the Guard don’t get paid. They sign up because they want to give back to their community. When there’s a fire or hurricane, the guard goes out and sets up shelters. They provide food, shelter and medical care. Instead of complaining on twitter, go join some organization that actually does something to help people.

Then there are people that complain the other way. If someone says something, like they were bummed they couldn’t afford the new iPad, some other internet hero will lambast them with how other people are starving in 3rd world countries and they shouldn’t be complaining about a lack of an iPad. I wonder if these people have ever lived in a 3rd world country. Not just visited some tourist town, but actually lived. I spent a year in Honduras. It’s the 2nd poorest country in the Western World (behind Haiti) and has the highest murder rate in the world. People there might not have had solid walls, but they all had cable TV…. People who wanted to work found work. Even if it was pushing an ice-cream cart. Others just wanted to sit at home and watch novelas all day and send their kids out to beg for money. Yes, Honduras sucked. However, if you choose not to get a job, I choose not to give your kids money on the street. I don’t need some middle class suburbanite telling me I’m an awful because I choose to have a job and choose not to hand over my hard earned money to someone who watches TV all day. If I want nice things, and I work hard to buy nice things, I shouldn’t have to feel guilty for it.It’s not much different on the south side of San Antonio. People come to the mall with their kids. They’ve got tattoos all over. They’re wearing a bunch of gold. They’re paying cash for perfume. Their kids have black teeth. Those people will complain the can’t afford to take their kids to the dentist. They can, it’s just not on their priority list.

Lastly, I want to touch on Needs, Wants and Rights.

People just can’t seem to grasp the difference between a need and a want. Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you need it. When I worked promos, the amount of people who told me they needed another sample, or shirt, or free trinket amazed me. They’d say, I need another one. I need it for my sister, and I need another one for my Aunt, and one for my cousin. If I run out, they’d say, well give me your shirt. Seriously, I had people who literally wanted the shirt off my back. I’m giving you something for free, which you’re either going to throw away, or go around the corner and sell. It’s free shit. It’s not stuff you need. Same thing applies for that cute designer handbag, shoes or any other luxury item. Needs are basic stuff, like shelter, food, water. Then there are rights. A lot of people need to read up on what their rights really are. Or what other peoples rights are in other countries before they start complaining.

For example, the US is not a signatory on the UN refugee program. They don’t have to take anyone as a refugee. Australians are not guaranteed the right to free speech. People seem to think because something applies in one country, it’s true for ALL English speaking countries. No country has to give you a tourist visa. It’s up to that country to decide if they want to let you in or not. Just because you want to visit a country, doesn’t mean you have a right to.

Lastly, there’s Need to Know. People seem to think they have a right and a need to know everything. Just look at the Wikileaks fanatics. Actually, people don’t have a right or a need to know everything. Especially when it’s sensitive information that could put other people’s lives in jeopardy. Just because you’re interested in knowing the details of something, doesn’t mean you have the right to hack somebody’s computer and find out.  (Or hacking their voicemail) Your interest in a subject is not more important than making sure justice is done. It’s not more important that keeping other people safe. When the time is right, and it’s safe for everyone, information will be released. It’s not like Joe Public reads that stuff anyway. Shit, even most journalists don’t actually do any research on their own these days. For the most part, it’s the bad guys who are reading over the classified stuff. Yes, there’s plenty of stuff we get at work marked classified that I don’t think should be, I think it would be in the public interest for people to know. But where do you draw the line? It’s not my decision to decide what gets released and what doesn’t. I accept that there’s a reason it’s not being released. Just like my case. There are some details that have been released, and some stuff people will just have to wait till we go to court to hear about. Just because you’re interested in the details, doesn’t mean we’re going to spill the beans on everything before justice is done. Some things need to stay confidential till it’s over. I know that goes against my first point of educating yourself before ranting, but sometimes people just talk about stuff they have no business getting involved in. There’s also the hypocritical factor. Why is it not OK for News of the World to hack celebrities phones but it is OK to steal State secrets? Are the private messages of Hugh Grant really more important and need protecting than where a platoon of troops is? If you’re going to advocate for one, you have to accept the other.

Well, now that’s I’ve been that crazy person I’ve been bitching about, and I’ve vented and feel better, I’m going out. Tomorrow when I wake up and read twitter I’ll just tell myself everyone is being sarcastic when they tweet about shit, or they’re also just having a vent. If that doesn’t work, I’ll keep telling myself that ignorance is bliss and there’s lots of happy people out there.


Social Media & Celebrities

Connecting with famous people through Social Media.

I love the internet. I love Social Media. I even used to work at a SEO company, and actually got to sit on FaceBook and Twitter all day long. I wrote blogs for several companies and helped  others understand Social Media and how to incorporate it into their business.

Since going public with the past a couple years ago, Social Media has been a mixed bag of fish for me. It was pretty vindicating using television as a medium to share my story. I had been abused in a television environment, so using it as the tool to go public and share what happened to me was a great way of taking that tool and re-purposing it.

As the story broke in Woman’s Day, I was still in Texas. I didn’t even know it had been published, till I saw it online on the WD website. Internet forums starting to go crazy with the story. I was watching the ACA and TT websites as they had coverage of interviews with other people. Then ACA sent Peter Stefanovic to my house in Texas to interview me. We used Skype to stay in contact with people in Australia, trying to figure out just how crazy big things had blown out of control. We were all watching forums like Whirlpool Hey Dad scandal thread. (Which is now several hundred pages over 3 different threads) Twitter went crazy. Hey Dad actually trended for a little bit there. People made all kinds of FaceBook pages. It seemed like everyone who had access to a keyboard had an opinion on the issue.

I got lots of emails, both good and bad. I had people commenting on my website. I was watching the twitter feed to see what people were saying.

I am now very sensitive about what I say about other people on Social Media. I know that people, even celebrities and famous people, or those like me who are simply in the news, do actually read the internet. We do use Twitter. We can see what people are saying about us. Unfortunately, about a good 80-90% of it is negative…

Before saying how much you hate someone on Twitter or in a forum, think about how YOU would feel if someone said that about you. Then imagine you’re reading that while you’re already under a whole heap of stress. It was hard enough going public, laying my soul bare, telling people about my past, without then having thousands of people judge me and post everywhere that I was simply a money grubbing publicity whore seeking an extra 15 minutes of fame and a way to sell Going Down. I was trying to do the right thing. I was trying to speak out about abuse. I was using the medium I was comfortable in, since that was what I knew. I was trying to make an impact, getting the message out there. I had expected there to be some negative reaction, I didn’t expect to see people slamming me on places like Expecting Mothers message boards. I could only imagine what they would be like if their kids came to them for help one day….

Anyhow, over the last couple of years I’ve changed a lot. I have a new outlook on life, and a new outlook on Social Media, as well as celebrities.

I just want to remind people that celebrities and other people in the spotlight are people too. They have good days and bad days. They have feelings, just like you and me. Just like you wouldn’t like it if a bunch of people talked shit about you, celebs aren’t immune to people talking smack about them. I’m sure Liesel doesn’t appreciate people talking about her figure while she’s preparing for the Olympics, (she’s a fucking swimmer people, not a Victoria’s Secret Model) or even Rihanna tweeting that her performance sucked in Sweden, when they didn’t know her Grandma had just died. There are so many cases I can think of when people are coming down on others when all they really need is a hug. I love that Sophie Monk, Piers Morgan and Ricky Gervais are witty in replies, but I’m sure they’re not totally immune either.

Being mean on Twitter is just another form of cyberbullying. Celebs aren’t immune.

So, I thought these Jimmy Kimmel clips were funny. It’s a great way to remind people that Celebrities are human just like us. It’s presented in a funny way, but it has a good meaning behind it. There’s a few of them on YouTube. Go watch, and next time, think before you tweet.

BTW, I’m @shrimptank on twitter.


The Power of Social Media

Make friends in Minutes.

When I was a kid, I had penpals. The kind you had to actually use a pen to write to. Then, you’d send the letter off, and a few weeks later, you’d get a letter back. Sometimes I miss the days of real letters.

I’m also very grateful for new technology. If it wasn’t for Facebook and feeling like I’m still a part of the lives of my friends back in Australia, I think I’d be a lot more homesick. I love that I can read the Australian newspaper everyday and I love that there’s an app for the 2DayFM radio station so I can listen to Aussie accents here. I enjoy watching the Aussie news over the internet, even if it is in small 3 minute blocks.

When I’m having a bad day, I can email someone and get a response back and feel better in minutes. When Corey Feldman did his interview, it brought back a lot of memories and some heavy emotions. Then I got an email from another child actress. She had famously gone public in the US and pissed a lot of people off. She had been following my case in the media, and another friend on FB put us in touch with each other.  She wrote me a couple emails and put everything very matter of factly. In the first email she talked about the balance of power in assault cases. She called it “sexual abuse vs fame public reaction mathematical algorithm” The public’s belief in and support of a victim of rape/sexual abuse is directly proportional to the fame and “likeability” of the victim, and inversely proportional to the fame and “likability” of the perpetrator. In other words, when a victim goes public with her story the response she receives will have nothing to do with the severity of the rape, number of occurrences or age at when the crime occurred. It will be based solely on her fame/power vs the fame/power of her perpetrator. She had several examples, and it was kind of a downer, because I’m not the famous/rich one in this case….

Her second email however was like a revelation and has helped me tremendously. Also: Something to remember – that I had to learn – is that the apprehension, conviction and incarceration of your perpetrator is NOT actually YOUR responsibility. It is the responsibility of law enforcement.

But remember, when people attack you for speaking out: any trouble the bastard is in, is entirely HIS doing. You didn’t “get him in trouble” – HE DID when he started assaulting children.

By the same token, when those on your side harass you to do more, you are not on call to “put him in jail”.  You called the cops, it’s THEIR job to put him in jail.

This was the most empowering thing anyone has ever told me. It lifted the weight off me. She was right. I had done my duty and told the police. I gave them my statement. I invited them into my home in Texas and continued the investigation here. When they email me or call, I answer them the best I can. A lot of people may not agree with the way the investigation started, but it was MY journey, not theirs.

I have been laying low in Texas since the investigation started, because I was told I should. It was “duty” to go crawl back under a rock till it was over. I had to make sure there was a conviction. If I didn’t stay quiet, it was my fault if the case for the other girls didn’t pan out.

I’m sorry, but it’s NOT my responsibility. I will do my best to help the police in any way I can, but I’m not going to stop posting on my blog, or be social on twitter, or talk to people on FB, or have conversations with people in real life just because there’s an investigation underway. I don’t know how long it could take. Nobody does, and people can’t realistically expect me to withdraw for years if it drags out that long. As long as I’m not talking about the investigation, there’s no reason I can’t also be an active member of social media.

Meanwhile, in the twitterverse, I think we’ve all been following what’s happening with Andy. His blog is now down off the internet, and he’s currently hiding hoping things will blow over. I’ve been amused that people have been so upset that I was quoted in the Sun as having laughed when I saw Andy in there. With the way Andy dishes on others, he has to expect that people give it back. And apparently he does. I got this PM from him this morning after someone called me a “nasty piece of work” on Twitter.

I’ve had some really interesting conversations with people over the last few days thanks to Social Media. It’s nice to be able to communicate instantly with people all over the world, instead of waiting till it’s already old news. That being said, I would still caution people to be careful what they say on the Internet. It’s easy to take things out of context. Sarcasm doesn’t convey well in 140 characters. You can still be taken out of context. Private doesn’t really mean private. Andy used to love grabbing screenshots on my PM’s to him, as I have done above. But, it also lets you communicate instantly and be able to check in on someone and make sure they’re OK.


The Surreal Life of a Former Child Star

It’s funny how life can be so surreal sometimes.

I’ve lived here in Texas for 10 years now. We’ve traveled a bit, including a couple of trips back home, but for the most part, I’ve spent the past 10 years being just your average Joe. Nobody over here really knows about my life back in Australia. The few people who do know that I was once an actress only really know because they’ve been to one of my parties where another Aussie Expat has let the cat out of the bag and said that once upon a time in a land far, far away, Sarah was on a popular TV show…. For the most part though, I just tell them it was on a long time ago and it’s not a big deal and they leave it at that. I’m so normal over here that sometimes even I forget that I was once an actress. I tell them “Hey Dad..! was like Full House and I was like Candace Cameron. Nobody’s heard of her since then either…. ”

So, when I’m out and about and look at my tweetdeck and see my own name come up, sometimes I’m like, “Huh?” Yesterday, I was out working at a promotion and saw a couple of tweets. I figured someone may have been slow on the uptake, or I had somehow come into Andy Blume’s wrath of hate again.  So when I clicked on the link and saw it was a new article, it was kinda strange.

really? Page 3? Surely there's something more important going on.

I sent the link to Matt and when I got home he told me he thought something was going on, since he had been getting calls all weekend from strange journalists looking for a story. He thought it was odd that people were all interested again. I had also received emails from a couple of journos, but forwarded them on to the Detectives at Strike Force Ruskin, since I’m not supposed to talk about the case at all while they’re still investigating.

It’s very strange when you’re in the news. It’s even weirder when you’re so far removed from it that you don’t even know it’s happening except when you happen across it like on Twitter or someone sends you a newspaper clip like the one above. It’s very surreal. It’s also amusing that it took journo’s over a month to find that blog post. Oh well, I guess it was a slow news day in Australia.

But, I guess at least the good thing is that they mentioned Bravehearts. I am super excited to be one of their Ambassadors. I’m going to be coming home in September to attend the White Balloon Day event. They’re going to be having a Celebs Who Say NO campaign and I get to be part of it. I’m not sure I really qualify as a Celeb, as I think of myself as just another has been Former Child Star, but I’m flattered somebody thinks so. If it means I get to do something good, I’ll take the title.

So, make sure you keep an eye out for any White Balloon Day events near you. It’s not to early to start planning something.

White Balloon Day is September 7th, 2010.  Go to the White Balloon Day website to see how you can get involved. It could be as simple as purchasing an official White Balloon Day Balloon to fly at work, wearing white that day, or attending on of the special dinners that are being organized. I’m going to be sitting at one of those dinner tables, so maybe we’ll get to meet in person. I like meeting new people!

So check back here to see more information about White Balloon Day and Bravehearts as I get more involved.