Want Fries With That PhD?

That Australia’s current system of higher education is unsustainable is a fact most are willing to concede. The latest evidence, revealed by the ABC, is of a $13.5 billion debt accrued over four years. This news adds another nail to the coffin of Entitlement Era higher ed and must surely accelerate a large-scale overhaul of the present—pun intended—arrangement.

Continue reading

Deadly opinions & the Islamic State


ISIS militants wave a flag in Iraq


The violence in Northern Iraq is terrible. That’s my opinion, but is it ‘true’?

Being entitled to your opinion is something we hear a lot about at the moment and normally it isn’t a matter of life and death.

Something else we hear is that what’s true for one person doesn’t have to be true for someone else. Two completely different opinions, and yet they can both be true at the same time.

The danger with claiming that all opinions are valid and true is that in so doing we may be losing the meaning of ‘true’ itself. If everything is true, does that mean nothing is?

I’m writing this because of IS, the Islamic State, a ‘terrorist army’ of militant Muslims with an unpleasant opinion about what Islam means who are threatening genocide as we speak. The point of this post isn’t to get bogged down in what ‘true’ Islam means, but rather to ask us in the West how we’re going to respond. Continue reading

Elliot Rodger and the girls


To continue riding my current hobby horse of anti-entitlement, and considering current discussion trends, it seems fitting to talk about man’s entitlement to women–well not their minds, (who cares), but their bodies most importantly.

So I have the task of riding (maybe flogging) a horse, as well as jumping on-board the proverbial wagon.

It seems common to label Elliot Rodger as either a psychopath or a misogynist. Surely he’s both. Regardless of that, it has led to a media—social or otherwise—flurry about misogyny and feminism more generally.

I think that can only be a good thing, provided it doesn’t descend into misandry.

So why is it that women can be so easily objectified in Western society? What are the reasons, on a personal level, that lead many men to feel they deserve a woman to look a certain way, or behave in a way they like, or even, simply that they’re entitled to ‘have’ a girl at all.

I agree that institutions like Hollywood have often helped turn women into meat, but it’s a cop out to blame them and the likes of Hugh Heffner for doing what they do: business.

If you don’t like a product you don’t buy it. If the product doesn’t sell, the business goes broke.

Apparently, based on the unchanged role of women (seems to be aesthetic appeal) in mainstream movies, we, the consumers are happy with the product: sex sells. But why? Why is it so easy to change a person into a product for our entertainment?

I suspect it comes back to entitlement. I’m sure many feminist academics have traced the historical roots of misogyny, so I won’t go into detail, but I would argue that in the end it is based on a male assumption that women were created/evolved to be the deserved possession of men.

Now of course I’m not pretending that everyone is included in ‘mainstream’, but by definition, it is the majority of us.

‘I’m not like that’ many guys would say.

And I hope they’re right, but really? Have they never thought that they deserved a girl? Even sub-consciously at the time?

Claiming that men have been socially conditioned to feel they deserve women, may have some truth in it. But that can be used as an excuse for all kinds of behaviour.

This social conditioning  surely came about in the first place based on some entitlement complex that led men to believe that they somehow deserved women, for no other reason one can assume, than because that’s what they wanted.

Regardless of the way society and culture can exacerbate a problem, shifting blame doesn’t fix anyone .

You can’t fix society by simply saying it’s got a problem.



My country, not yours



I was at Coles the other day looking for the shortest line at the checkout. A nearby granny with a walking frame was clearly doing the same. The red cardboard triangle that said ‘go away’ was taken off the conveyor of a nearby checkout as it opened for business. We looked at each other, the granny and I, and ran—more like waddle-rolled on her part—for the empty checkout.

Thanks to my superior athletic ability, I made it first, of course. I did the gentlemanly thing and congratulated her for trying hard and coming second. I also consoled her in her defeat by explaining that I truly deserved to go first because I was faster than she could ever dream of being. Letting her go first was non-sensical, I owned that spot and wasn’t sharing, I deserved it. She mumbled an incoherent reply which I’m sure was praising my fleetness of foot and enlightened reasoning.

Continue reading

You don’t deserve it (or anything?)


A prostitute, the PM, Gina Rinehart, Novak Djokovic, and a paraplegic—no, they didn’t meet in a pub and this isn’t a joke—it’s about opportunity and whether people deserve what they get in life.

Johnny thinks he deserves an ice-cream. Why? Because his mum told him that if he behaved well, he’d get one. He did behave well, so he’s entitled to it (he thinks).

Continue reading