Criminal defendants are, for the most part, one of the following: mentally ill; drug and/or alcohol addicted; from a background of socio-economic disadvantage. Frequently, a hybrid of all three.
Public housing, meth addiction, history of abuse, grew up as a ward of the state… That’s the stuff you here time and time again of defendants when you sit in court, Children’s Court or big kids court, all day.
It becomes like another world that you can easily compartmentalise away. It is disconnected from your life, as a practitioner, sipping lattes with your colleagues on Fridays and shopping at Cue and David Lawrence.
It’s a strange thing. You standing there, wearing your little dry cleaned suit and crisp little shirt and quaint little fake pearls and leather pumps. And neatly pinned hair and carefully applied make-up.
And there in front of you sits the magistrate, or judge, dressed in a similar fashion (if female). And their associate, also similar, and the other court staff and corrections officers, and the other lawyers waiting, all dressed similar.
And down the bar table is the defendant (or your client, if defence is your thing), smelling unwashed, hair unbrushed, face unscrubbed, clothes unclean, generally un-fucking-kempt. Sticking out like a sort goddamn thumb.
Except for the fact that they are, really, the only one running the show. The one we’re all here for. The one that gives us a need to dry clean that suit, and iron that shirt, and whack on those faux pearls. In a strange, roundabout way, this is all for them.
So the ease with which we, practitioners, compartmentalise “their” world from ours, is surprising. It shouldn’t really happen. Their world is ours. Without them, I would be out on my ass, without a job.
Dara-Lynn Weiss is some American Vogue editor, who is also a mother. And possibly the Worst Mother Of The Year.
Basically this idiot put her 7-year-old daughter on a diet because she was slightly chubby. And when I say she “put her he on a diet”, she put her on a motherfucking DIET. She tells of one time, at a birthday party, trying to stop the host from giving her daughter some salad, because she was still hungry after bitch mother denied her a proper lunch. And then her mum writes this piece about it in Vogue and gains international notoriety, and as does, inadvertently, her slightly chubby daughter.
I would bet money this kid will be a head case with an eating disorder in adult life.
5 star parenting, you dumb cunt.
I am a born and bred Australian. I have never lived anywhere else, apart from a brief stint in Japan as a child. I am not a particularly well travelled person and I don’t particularly want to be. I love living in Australia and feel lucky to have been born here.
And yet, come Australia Day, for some inexplicable reason, I feel overwhelmingly like an outsider.
Some strange little alien looking in on a big club of peeps who don’t know I exist.
I feel as if my ethnic/cultural identity is too complicated to really flesh out.
And so on Australia Day I am inclined to sit on my ass and angrily scroll through my disgustingly patriotic news feed, rather than partake in festivities.
I am usually a very festive person. I am up for a party at any time of the day or night. Yet come Australia Day, I want nothing to do with the celebrations.
Could it be that because my lineage is ethnic, I feel a sense of not-belonging? It seems the most logical explanation.
I suppose it comes with the turf – if you are lucky enough to be born in to a culturally diverse household, rich with stories of Central Asian wartime and foreign languages, then you might expect to suffer in some other respects.
And for me, there is no greater suffering than feeling like an outlying freakshow on your birthplace’s national day.
I fucking hate Australia Day, readers. And it has nothing to do with hating Australia.
Work conversations … they are the best of times, they are the worst of times. I have a fair few brilliant colleagues who are just bitchin’ and we have awesome candid-as-fuark, REAL conversations about genuine life issues.
Other work conversations are shit. They make me want to choke on my own breath and go in to cardiac arrest just to avoid the continuation of this shitty-ass conversation.
I will give you an example. I am in the photocopy room arranging after work drinks with a couple of work kids. This one chick pops up and says, “Oh yeah, me and Dan went to that new bar a few weeks ago. He loved it because he’s a bit of a beer connoisseur and they do this great in-house brew. Actually it reminded us a lot of this place we went to on the Amalfi Coast when we were there in 2008, visiting Dan’s brother who was working over in Italy at the time. Although that place was obviously more up-market and, you know, authentic.”
Okay let me break down for you my reaction to the above:
1. I don’t know who Dan is, but I will assume it is your boyfriend/partner/husband/whatever the fuck.
2. As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, this is how much I care about alcohol generally … zero cares. This is how much I care about YOUR views on specific alcoholic beverages … minus eight cares. This is how much I care about “DAN’S” (who I still don’t know who that is exactly) views on alcohol … minus fifteen cares. In other words, I don’t give a fuck mate.
3. I barely know you, I do not know this cunt Dan whatsoever, and now that we are talking about Dan’s brother who worked in Italy in 2008, I think it is time I take that pair of scissors that are in the stationery cup behind you, and start self-harming.
And I just stand there nodding and saying, “yeah. Oh cool.”
What the fuck am I being told this information for. It is not in any way possible for me to care any less about this information. And yet this is the situation I find myself in in this particular moment in my life.
And then the conversation continues, like some other mongrel jumps in, “Oh, how was dinner with Dan’s parents?”
Oh fuck. Here it goes.
“Oh! Well… Interesting that you ask. So I had to pick Dan up from work and then go round there, that was the plan, but then I’m working late, so he goes over there, and I’m sort of thinking, ‘will I meet him there, or, you know…’ So I’m sort of thinking, like, you know….”
Oh fuck. Ohhhhh fuck. STOP. TALKING. Please stop.
I don’t know how to exit this situation.
It is very awkward to just walk out right now. I need an excuse of some sort. But I don’t have my mobile on me, and my office phone is clearly not within ear-shot.
Oh my God. I have to just stand here.
My legs are cramping up.
She’s talking about his parents. She’s talking about his parents’ frontyard and how tidy it is.
And then 15 minutes later I walk out of the photocopy room, loaded with the least interesting information I could possibly have just been imparted with.
I am exasperated with disgust having acquired such fucking retarded irrelevant information.
The Modern Dating World and I are a terrible fit. I don’t know what’s protocol. I say all the wrong things.
This guy asked me out on a date the other night. Let’s call him….Drake (Not the real Drizzy).
He talked almost non-stop on the first date. I was a bit shocked. I just sat there like a stunned mullet. Like okay cool.
Then he texts me after saying it was good to see me. I was like okay cool.
Then he texts me that weekend asking to see me again the following week. I was like…okay…cool.
Then on our second date we go to dinner and then a bar. At the end of the night he was like, “it feels like so much longer than a week since I saw you. Can I see you again?”
And I said…okay…(laughing nervously)…just call me or text me, or whatever…
And then I kind of slunk away in to the darkness before we could make out like teeangers.
I am so retarded. I think I legit like this guy.
If you are a dating a girl and she is behaving as above, she may still be interested, just quite seriously retarded. Have faith. Although if she’s retarded maybe you’re no longer interested.
Whatever. F dating, it’s too complex for my brain.
1. Law school’s lack of resemblance to practice is astounding. It truly is it’s own little world of grubby habits, misunderstandings, stumbling bumbling failings, cramming, scraping through, stressing and feeling sick to the stomach on exam mornings.
2. That dead, perpetual, heavy feeling of academic inadequacy. The seed is planted in semester 1 of first year and it will never leave you.
3. That you will never know what the fuck is going on in a course until that course is well and truly over. Sometimes it will take years.
4. Law students.
5. Everyone else hates law students too. So technically, everyone hates you.
6. The focus on clerkships and top tier firms. That there are only numbers for perhaps 5 clerks at a firm, and that they will receive 1,000+ applications from all over Australia.
7. The Priestly 11.
8. The bell curve.
9. The focus on exams and essays and written assessment generally, and the total abandonment of advocacy-based assessment.
10. Law students. Again.
Last Friday 27 January 2012 something wonderfully unnecessary took place. An Aboriginal man on national TV declared, addressing the white Australian masses, “Recognise Aboriginal sovereignty, or piss off out of our country.”
God bless this sentiment. But I rue that it needs to be said, let alone that a fierce declaration is still so widely ignored.
Of course Aboriginal Australia has sovereignty. This is an undebatable truth.
White Australia never legally acquired sovereignty over Australia. Sovereignty was illegally acquired after a false declaration of terra nullius. The declaration was false because international precedent contemporaneous to white settlement clearly defines terra nullius as “desert, unoccupied.” “Land belonging to no one.” See Mabo v Qld (No. 2), specifically Brennan J’s judgment, to see how and why this declaration that Australia deserted, unoccupied land belonging to no one was clearly bullshit because of the vast and richly diverse indigenous population.
However, because white Australia was (and remains) racist as fuck, they gave no consideration to indigenous Australians, and declared Australia terra nullius anyway. By making that declaration they made white settlement a heck of a lot easier for themselves. It meant sovereignty could be acquired. Alternatively, if white settlers had recognised Aboriginal Australia they would have had to conquer Australia in order to have had sovereignty. Acquisition is only an option where the land belongs to no one.
The falsity and illegality of white Australia’s acquisition of sovereignty is deeply disturbing and rarely touched upon in this country.
Acknowledging that the current political institutions in Australia do not actually govern with legally recognisable sovereignty, calls in to question the very foundations of modern day Australia.
The High Court is extremely hesitant to tackle this issue. If the bench truly engaged with the question of the legality of white Australia’s acquisition of sovereignty over 200 years ago, they might not like what they find. Least of all because their own judicial integrity, authority and jurisdiction would be undermined by the illegality of what took place. The High Court was established by the Commonwealth Constitution (s71), therefore the court itself is rooted in the declaration of white Australia’s sovereignty. The High Court would be acting supra-constitutionally; essentially, standing up above the Constitution of their own court and questioning their own legitimacy.
But, yo. I’m not the High Court. And I’m here to say loudly and proudly that I agree with that commendable sentiment I opened this blog with—anyone who fails to recognise Aboriginal sovereignty can piss off. White Australia never acquired sovereignty legally. Sovereignty has always remained with Aboriginal Australia.
Modern day Australia is an illegal occupation. There is also a genocide going on against Aboriginal Australia, but that is an entirely different issue. White Australia treats Aboriginal Australia in a way that is not only morally despicable, but grossly illegal. The NT Intervention? I don’t want to get in to these issues in any great detail, but holy fuck.
We invade other countries for doing the type of shit we do to our own indigenous people.
Stay classy, white Australia.