THE BEAST’S MONTHLY MAILBAG – November 2017
UNDERGROUND CAR PARK ENTERS THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY
Question: When is a service road not a service road? Answer: Alan Doyle, Bellevue Hill.
Alan Doyle might have noticed (if he was even registered to vote, or if he – or the fake Mark Hersey – even existed) that there is now a new council at Waverley. All the signs so far are that the new council will be more community orientated (as opposed to being developer orientated). This means that by the time you are reading this letter, the stupidly expensive Bondi Beach underground car park proposal and the stupidly expensive Bondi Pavilion takeover plan – neither of which enjoyed significant community support – are now probably off the agenda.
Hopefully council will spend ratepayers’ money on something more useful.
The faceless people behind the pseudonyms Mark Hersey, Bondi, and Allan Doyle, Bellevue Hill, can now go and take a long, cold shower – at least until the Liberals run Waverley once again and these discredited projects and their anonymous cheer squads, like zombies, will once again rise from the grave. See you then!
THE LONELY FOXES OF THE EAST
Yes, there are still foxes in Clovelly! There used to be at least one permanent resident on the cliffs below the Clovelly Bowling Club (which hasn’t been seen for years), and one was recently observed between the bowling club and Waverley Cemetery. And then, in more recent weeks, one was seen ‘in discussion’ with two cats below the top gate that enters the cemetery from Boundary Street.
The fox and the cats were making quite an unusual sound and, as they were approached (with due care, of course), the intensity of their dialogue was disturbed. The cats were visible on either side of the fox’s head, both in stretched-out crouches. As the disturbance ensued, the fox scampered through the cemetery gate at an impressive pace, and the cats also disappeared into the night.
As they are increasingly despised and rejected, it seems our local fox population have been forced to leave their traditional dens and rely on the many sunken graves of Waverley Cemetery to lay their tired heads.
Eventually this rejection may even lead to them having nowhere to lay their heads – at least here in the Eastern Suburbs.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGENOT JUST ABOUT LOVE
Hello – I thank you guys at The Beast for your pro-marriage equality stance, allowing same-sex people to marry.
As a lesbian myself, I feel that there is a whole lot of ‘ugly’ out there in regards to this debate. Everywhere you go, there is some forensic analysis on both sides of the argument. Whether people end up voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’, they need to know what is truthful.
Nat Shepherd’s article in the October edition of The Beast, titled “The Unreliable Guide to… the Same-Sex Marriage Postal Vote,” was a breath of fresh air when compared with the constant negativity in our media, including social media.
But marriage, which is actually a human construct, had nothing to do with love, nor did it have any connection to a celestial being; it was designed to keep it all in the family, or as a business transaction. It is still in use today in Hollywood – sham marriages for business purposes.
But, all jokes aside, marriage is still an institution in Australia, with its own perks, which is why this is very important to those in same-sex relationships who want to get married.
Since 2010, the Australian Government did create legislation that allowed same-sex couples the same rights as straight couples in de-facto relationships, as long as they have been in partnership for more than two years (that’s if they seperate), but they would be required to provide proof of the relationship, which could potentially make things quite difficult.
What the level of marriage could do is allow same-sex couples these protections in the case that one partner died or was seriously terminally ill, and also in regards to superannuation, etc. It is something that would be equal in the eyes of the Australian law and nothing to do with any religious association.
Now, about ‘the children’: we already can have children, and we are also adopting children that heterosexual couples don’t want.
So, as it is nearly November already, the postal votes will be counted and the results will be in. Hopefully it will be end up being known as ‘Yesember’.
GIVE RESPECT TO GET RESPECT
Dear James & Dan, a.k.a. The Beast – On my return from visiting a friend, I eagerly picked up The Beast’s October issue from my letter box and, guess what, the Monthly Mailbag section unexpectedly featured a missive of mine, titled “The Gays Can’t Marry.” That was an ‘objection’ gentlemen, not a definitive; your assertion was incorrect.
But, there was also a lovely surprise: an editor’s note in response. Well! There, I found three of your responses that also need correction (you can call me ‘picky’).
1. Dragging out the Bible again, and so on from there, ‘marriage’ qualified as an institution where a male and female of our species unite for the happy purpose of procreating and continuing the line – a child, together. Unless I am wrong, evolution has not advanced yet to the point where a male and a male, or a female and a female, can achieve this. In situ. There are, of course, modern laws that recognise a ‘de facto’ union appropriately. However, most cases in law can be contested. Live with it.
2. In my letter, the only place I referred to gays as “Gays” is well down the line, starting a new paragraph. You say, “Your decision to refer to gay people as ‘Gays’ is demeaning,” but I made no such decision; it’s colloquial. Why? The acronym ‘LGBTIQ’ says… what? Are the banners that say “Gay and Lesbian Rights” demeaning? Pah! Correct it.
3. Personally, I am relaxed and tolerant. My parents were referred to as ‘wogs’ many, many moons ago. Pah! and Pah! again. Call me “Straight,” “Fatty,” “Shorty,” even “Woolly,” deal with it or walk away. Words are our richest inheritance, literature and poetry over centuries, for example. Freedom is what all our ancestors craved. Words are not a war cause, like religion.
By the way, did you watch Q&A on the ABC a few days ago? With Penny Wong and other stressed participants? It’s a conundrum: give respect to get respect?
Francine, in her letter to The Beast about same sex marriage (The Gays Can’t Marry, Letters, October 2017), is part of a large group of conservative Australia who believe in equality, but at the same time feel that the majority of the heterosexual community should not be discriminated against.
As most people feel that same-sex couples should have equal rights as married heterosexual couples, the only problem is in the wording – ‘marriage’ is a union between a man and a woman, but we could have ‘garriage’ or ‘larriage’ between same-sex couples.
I do not mean to belittle the idea, but this is an offer to avoid discriminating against the religious concept of marriage (and someone’s sexual preference), while getting everyone on board with the concept of equal rights.
FOLLOW YOUR HEART
Dear James and Dan – Thanks for your common decency and thoughtful kindness with your response to “The Gays Can’t Marry” (Letters, October 2017). Follow your heart. Thanks for being open and fair.
GREAT MAILBAG RESPONSE
Hi team – I just wanted to congratulate you on your response to the letters defending George Pell.
It was respectful but truthful and hopefully shuts down that criticism. So refreshing.
WELL DONE WAVERLEY
Full marks to Waverley Council for renewing my nature strip recently and re-installing a ‘No Stopping’ sign. The staff member I spoke to recently was very helpful and got back to me the very next day.
Both my nature strip and the sign, as well as our internet and telephone connection, and an expensive front garden plot, were ruined by a developer and his trucks during building work next to our home that went on for nearly three years. The ‘No Stopping’ sign was actually removed.
It took a couple of phone calls to the council and over a year to happen, but we are delighted with the result.
The developer/builder didn’t give a toss about their workers entering our property without permission while we were out, or using our water to mix cement, resulting in a $400 increase in usage in one quarter. Nor did they mind plugging into our outdoor electricity outlets and breaking our fences and outdoor light fittings, until they were caught out. Be warned.
WHERE’S THE CHEESE?
Hi – Just a query with regards to the rum & raisin “cheesecake” recipe on page 79 of the September edition of The Beast: I wondered why it is called a “cheesecake” when there is no cheese in it? I would be very interested to know.
THERE’S NO CHEESE
Dear Linda – Thankyou for your query on the rum & raisin cheesecake recipe in The Beast magazine. Perhaps that recipe should have been edited with the word “cheesecake” written in inverted commas.
Linda, if you follow my recipes on Facebook, Instagram, or on my blog, www.iheartscratch.com.au, you’ll notice that they are all healthy versions of otherwise unhealthy/inflammatory recipes.
This ‘cheesecake’ recipe is no exception. It is dairy and gluten free, and it is also free of refined white sugar – all ingredients that you’d find in a typical ‘cheesecake’ recipe.
I’m sorry if the article didn’t better explain this. Have you not tried cashew cheese? I’m sure you’d be pleasantly surprised.