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SURVIVOR 36 : Trying To Survive Another Tribal Swap and Reversing The Curse Of Our Previous Winner Pick

April 5, 2018

So, WELCOME BACK to another instalment of our ‘Survivor : Ghost Island’ Edit Analysis where we deconstruct this weeks edit, try to identify the seasons winner and most definitely DON’T burst into giggles still every time we write the word “analysis”.  Tee hee.

Apologies if this feels a little dense or disjointed, but we actually wrote up a whole thing last week but then didn’t get around to posting it until after the episode already aired, so we’ve just merged it into this week, which is of no real consequence as the only person we lost is James and, well, he was very clearly never ever going to win anyway (sorry Jim!)

What WAS a loss, however, was losing our slam-dunk clear #1 Winner Pick that we’ve held on to since the premiere, so lets all take a moment to mourn Stephanie.

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No, seriously – can we actually take a moment because from what we saw from the intro this week, the CBS editors sure didn’t, which actually felt a little weird for someone who was getting one of the more sizeable edits of the season.  Seriously – there wasn’t even a single word said about her once they started this week, which is interesting.  Like, we weren’t expecting them to go all Darren Aronofsky on us with ‘Episode 6 : Requiem For A Stephanie’, but it was slightly jarring after the past four weeks of ALL STEPHANIE, ALL OF THE TIME.   TBH, it is starting to make us wonder if it isn’t that the editors are trying out new editing patterns by choice, but that the season is playing out so South Pacifically that they are being forced to get creative because they have no other option.  Lets keep an eye on this people, because that might just be our first proper HOT TAKE OF THE SEASON.

 

For real-real though, the way they have edited Stephanie doesn’t make sense, at least not from a modern day Survivor editing standpoint.  Now, don’t get us wrong – we’re definitely not complaining, as both this level of character development AND unpredictability are two of the notes we’ve being trying to push to the team for YEARS now, so it’s an enjoyable upswing in the entertainment level of the show.

The only other alternative that we can think of (besides the season being a straight-forward Pagonging) is that S38 or S39 is going to be ‘Survivor Second Chances 2 : Electric Boogaloo’, and thus every single potential casting candidate is getting extra care taken with their edit in order to get the public invested in the next Wentworth or … *shudders* Culpepper.  It makes sense though, particularly when you combine Steph’s edit with the care they took with Brendan the week prior.  Sure, he was never a viable winner candidate (at least as far as we were concerned), but he was given a much more developed and sympathetic edit that was clearly designed to make him both stand out and have people sad that he missed out on making it further.  The fact that Brendan originally almost made Marquesas but was replaced by Hunter Ellis, while Stephanie got the single most developed pre-merge edit since the golden days of Gina Crews is not lost on us either.

Speaking of Stephanie though, that segues us nicely into the first of our two editing lessons of the week (you can read the previous rules HERE) :-

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SURVIVOR 36 : Ghost-Busting The Island Edit and Trying To Work Out Our Winner Picks

March 15, 2018

FINALLY got around to rewatching the past two weeks of   and man, how great is it to have Survivor being actually, well, GREAT again?   Like, for all the talk about #ReversingTheCurse, one can only assume that J-Pro is referring to that of Game Changers and (whelp) #HeHeHu aka The Worst Survivor Season Since The OG Fiji (which was 21 seasons ago).

 

As a hardcore Survivor Fan since Day One, it’s so nice to have a season that is so much that it’s worth writing about again.  And doubly so because, two weeks in, there’s not an obvious clear winner like the last few seasons have given us.  Particularly, it’s great to be getting some semblance of a well-rounded edit and some really unexpected pure-character moments to boot.

 

Plus, the whole Ghost Island motif is actually PRETTY FREAKING COOL.  Like, it’s a shame that it’s not full of the REAL past Survivor mistakes like The Medallion Of Power, Fiji’s “Have/Have Not” Twist, the GODAWFUL CARAMOAN REUNION STAGE SET-UP, casting various members of The Hantz Family or last season’s ill-conceived and frankly embarrassing Final 4 Fire Making Ben Bailout, but it’s a good start.  And it’s a smart, well-thought out choice to breathe some new life into a format that was getting a little too stale to be staying on air.

The Survivor : Ghost Island Legacy Advantage, which has basically become DEATH NOTE at this point.

 

So, what are we doing here?  As opposed to the standard recap format, which so many other writers do better/funnier/more on timelier than we could ever dream(z) of delivering, we’re going to be putting on our Sherlock Holmes-esque sleuthing hat and investigating the season from an editing point of view.  To those of you who haven’t really followed before, it’s always been a passion of ours to really follow the show and break down the story based on the edit, and try and crack out the winner like we’re reading an old-fashioned Agatha Christie novel or something.  It’s the way we’ve approached Survivor ever since Heroes vs Villains, and using that we’ve picked Fabio, Sophie, Kim, Cochran, Tyson, Mike, Jeremy and Michele right from the very get go.   Now, to be very clear, this is a SPOILER-FREE ZONE (because what fun is a mystery novel if you cheat and jump straight to the last page, right?)  But also, it’s super important to note that edit prognostication is NOT an exact science.  For every rule that is pretty much set in stone, there is another new rule that gets invented each year as different types of players win, or different approaches to the editing them take effect.  Having some real, logical, human flexibility in this is what probably sets us apart from the EDGIC Community, which will lock itself in to people like Devon or, say, Dr Mick, even though it’s blatantly obvious to anyone with a brain that they’re not winning the season, no matter how many checkboxes they tick off.

For example, before Tony Vlachos, there had never, EVER been an edit like his that had won.  So you could eliminate him for a hundred different reasons but, when it came down to it, it was just because we’d never had a winner PLAY like Tony before.  Adam Klein from Millennials vs Glenn X is another great one – the edit absolutely CRUCIFIED him at the merge, and showed him making several game-ending errors with jurors that there was no way we could see him overcoming it.  So when he comes back with a 10-0-0 vote to win, we learned that when a player plays THAT GOOD of a game, the only only to portray them is to create doubt where there is none, and basically assassinate their chances ala Tony V in order to make the rest of the season an even remotely suspenseful one.   The CBS editors have created some fake suspense with winners before, but nothing like the hack job that they did to Adam (which we had to formally apologise to him in person for after shitting on his game and his winning chances for a majority of the season).

 

 

THE RULES

So, what are our Golden Editing Rules for WINNING SURVIVOR?  Now, each week we’re going to walk through a specific one, because otherwise this word count is going to have more 0’s than Stephanie’s inevitable cheque.  But, this week we are going to start with one of the most important, that has held true for 34 out of 35 seasons (and, even then..)

WINNERS EDIT RULE #1 – No Matter What, The Winner Will Be Clearly Established In The Premiere.

This right here, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Survivor Edit 101 that will NEVER, EVER let you down.  You can get yourself as many New Rules as Dua Lipa allows, but season in and season out, this one always holds down the firmest.

In 35 seasons, the only Survivor Winner who hasn’t been solidly established in the premiere was Tina Wesson, and that was by design (as we elaborate on further down the line).

But basically, a winner will ALWAYS be shown in the first episode and get at least one really solid strategic confessional, and something establishing who they are as a human being.  The more forced it might seem, or the less likely the reason you can think of to be shown it, the more confident you can be in them being a season winner contender.  The latter is how we zeroed in on Michele Fitzgerald and had her as our LOCK Winner Pick right from the Kaoh Rong premiere and never deviated from her since.  No matter how INV the actuality of their gameplay might be, the premiere itself will always make sure you know their name and that their story is told right from the start.

 

THE CONTENDERS

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Ranking The Past 35 Survivor Winners From Worst To First

January 29, 2018

Having just crowned our 35th (35th!) Champ a few weeks ago, what better time to stroll down Survivor Memory Lane (N.B. Not a real place, although probably the working title for a majority of the seasons we’ve had this decade – #GhostIsland anyone?) and update our Epic countdown from last few years (see previously editions HERE and HERE).

Now, we’re the first to tell you that there is genuinely no one set way to win the game – besides getting to the end and receiving a majority of the votes (are you listening Russell?) – and that’s what makes coming up with an objective and definitive ranking a hard task indeed.  Every player comes from a different deck of cards, so we’re assessing them on how well they played with the hand they were dealt.  We’re grading them on their individual winning game so, while Parvati may overall be considered the greatest female player of all time, only her winning game in Micronesia is deemed relevant to this discussion.

Points will be awarded for various things, for example :-

  • CONTROL – How much control contestants had in getting themselves to the end and how much of that winning journey was actively planned.
  • GAME AWARENESS – How well the contestant read the game and tribal dynamics over 39 days and made deliberate and informed choices, versus stumbling ass backwards into a win.
  • DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY – How many obstacles were on their road to victory (whether it be game structure, fellow competitors or even their own personal limitations).
  • CHALLENGE WINS/IDOL PLAY – While Terry Deitz-ing your way to the Final 3 may look impressive on the surface, the elite players never need to rely on an Immunity Idol or Necklace in order to survive a vote unscathed.  Now, being able to work one or both into your overall strategy is a different story, but a truly great game isn’t defined by something as arbitrary as how good one is at glorified carnival games..
  • JURY MANAGEMENT – As stated above, the only single way to win Survivor is to convince a Jury of your previously eliminated peers to give you a majority of votes at the end.  How much of this factored into their gameplay and how many of these eventual votes were *for* them, versus just being the lucky recipient of BJS (Bitter Jury Syndrome).
  • SHEER LUCK – Whether good or bad, luck will always play a factor in the game of Survivor.  How a player maximises or minimises their own is the real testament to their overall skill.

So, without further ado, lets start from the bottom (and no, for once we DON’T mean Sash)..

 

35. BEN DRIEBERGEN – HEROES vs HEALERS vs HUSTLERS

 

And right off the bat we have Ben, our most recent winner – who played an excellent game of, well, being saved by an inexplicable (and completely dubious) Production Twist.  Not to mention a seemingly never-ending string of Hidden Immunity Idols that mysteriously being re-hidden right next to all of Ben’s favourite hangout places on the island.  Several contestants over the years have been famous for catching (or, in the case of Richard Hatch, BITING) sharks, but with the lengths production bent backwards to push Ben into that Final 3, this was the first time a season *jumped* it.   There have been other winners who have pretty dubious paths to the win, but none have been so egregiously offensive to fans of the game as this one.  Don’t know about the Heroes or the Healers, but the real hustler of Season 35 was Jeff Probst himself.

BEST MOVE : The tirelessly looking for idols was impressive, although loses some of it’s sheen for the blatantly suspicious way they kept turning up almost literally under Ben’s Feet.  Other than that, his best move was basically just his backstory, which is as nauseating a reason to win as you can get in modern Survivor.

SHOULD HAVE WON : Chrissy had one of the most phenomenal Final Tribal’s we’ve ever seen (or heard) and yet could only manage two measly votes.  If you want to talk about how fundamentally biased Survivor has become against female players these days, look no further than the way the other five jurors voted, even after hearing her powerful argument (and Ben’s pissweak one for himself).

 

34.5 KRISTIE BENNETT – AUSTRALIAN SURVIVOR (S1)

 

File under :- ‘How To Win Half A Million Dollars Without Really Trying’.  No, but seriously – Kristie seems like an absolutely lovely girl, but no one in the history of Survivor has won so much money for doing so little.  Like, she literally earned $500,000 for 1.5 days worth of work, which is nice work if you can get it I guess?  Credit where credit is due, THAT Immunity Challenge performance at Final 3 was incredible, and she turned in a phenomenally confident Final Tribal Council performance (so confident in fact that no one seemed to notice she was either bullshitting or borderline delusional about her own performance in the game but, still, either or both of those things still would be better answers to those questions than HOW LEE DID).   Still, all of that pales in comparison to the fact Kristie literally was about to get voted out of Vavau 3-1 on Day 29 and was saved SOLELY by a (then unprecedented) Production Twist that saw Sue be kidnapped by the other tribe right before votes were about to be cast.  Even worse, right up to Day 55, Kristie legitimately seemed to have NO FREAKING IDEA that she was so close to being stuck on the pre-jury vacation for the rest of the duration of the game.  Is it her fault that there was a production twist?  No.  But in Season One, when such things were unheard, she was as good as gone – but, unlike Tara, Annaliese and any other future players stuck in similar situations, she can’t claim any credit for surviving it and thus nullifies any glory gained from winning.  END OF.

BEST MOVE : Well, this is certainly an easy one for a woman who condensed 55 days of gameplay into 36 hours.  You could argue her Immunity performance was epic, but really it was that extraordinarily authoritative FTC performance that converted a frankly terrible game into a pretty decisive win.  And genuine respect is deserved for that (even if most of it was spoken out of her ass).

SHOULD HAVE WON : Lee.  Heck, El, Flick & Brooke all played wayyyy better games (and don’t even get me started on Poor Phoebe.. #RIPhoebe).  So, yeah, basically anyone else but Kristie.

 

34. NATALIE WHITE – SAMOA

 

Hands down the most maligned Survivor winner OF ALL TIME, due to her shocking (SHOCKING) defeat of Russell Hantz a few years back.  Whilst her social game was approximately one million times more impressive than said bandy-legged troll (on account of her actually, ya know, HAVING ONE), she loses major points because going into the Final Tribal Council, not one single person from that jury was even planning on voting for White (they were split between Hantz and apparently feckless Dr Mick) – but she won them over with her thoughtful and honest answers.

Plus, she beat a rat to death with a stick.  I mean – what’s not to love? :-

BEST MOVE : Orchestrating the pivotal merge boot of (the incredibly sexy) Erik, that set the whole Galu post-merge crumble in motion.
SHOULD HAVE WON : *sigh* Russell.  Whilst his social game was just AWFUL, he did play an incredible strategic game and changed the way Survivor was played forever.

 

33. BOB CROWLEY – GABON

 

Who?  GaBob sauntered along most of season 17 half-asleep, crafting a few (admittedly impressive) fake immunity idols along the way.  Loses points for the fact that he was planning to take Matty to the end who would have kicked his ass ten ways to Sunday.  Also for the fact that Randy (who cast the pivotal vote for his eventual 4:3 victory) was planning to vote for Susie to win that night until she totally (and inexplicably) burned him on his jury question.  That’s right people – there’s an alternate timeline out there where SUSIE SMITH IS THE WINNER OF SURVIVOR : GABON.  It’s a very dark place indeed.

BEST MOVE : Playing the Granddaddy role to human waterworks Sugar, who forced the Final 4 tie that allowed him a spot in front of the Jury in the first place.
SHOULD HAVE WON : The aforementioned Tear Fountain herself.  Sugar basically controlled the entire game post-merge without once becoming a target.  If she had’ve actually decided to play for the title of Sole Survivor instead of just Fan Favourite, it all could have turned out so very, very different.

 

32.5 JERICHO MALABONGA – AUSTRALIAN SURVIVOR (S2)

 

Then we have Jericho, who has the distinct honour of NOT being the worst winner in (Modern) Australian Survivor History.  And that’s about the nicest thing we’re going to say about his game, which was marginally better than Kristie’s in the sense that he DIDN’T ALMOST GET VOTED OUT PRE-MERGE WITHOUT EVEN REALISING.  But Jesus Christ, when that is the best thing you can say about someone’s winning game, you know you’ve got some problems.  Seriously, there must be something in the water in Samoa that makes people just become completely delusional to the merits of their game, because six months on and we’re pretty confidently Jeri genuinely thinks that he won this season on the strength of some stale ass cookies.  Which was cute the first couple of times but became fucking insufferable by the seven hundredth confessional about it (AND DON’T EVEN START US ON ALL THE MRS MANGLED ARMY METAPHORS).  But at least, unlike Kristie, Jericho actually made a few good moves, namely insulating himself as the least threatening member of his alliance (although they were never HIS Army, like he kept banging on about every five minutes).  And he won a few key endgame challenges – and then totally squandered them, like the time he voted Tessa of all people off the jury (even though she was probably the most rational member of the jury and literally would have voted for anyone BUT Tara, who he ended up taking to the end with him).  Plus there’s the whole part where he was good as gone at Final 4 until Tara semi-inexplicably decided she needed to beef up her resume by arbitrarily making a move for the sake of making a move.  In conclusion, a nice guy who managed to win Survivor in spite of himself.

BEST MOVE : Keeping himself nestled as the tiniest Russian nesting doll inside the Sarah/Michelle/Luke Asaga alliance and winning Final Immunity over Peter when he needed it.

SHOULD HAVE WON : Can’t believe we are saying this, but we would have voted for Tara, who played a much better game than even she seemed to realise.  Of course, this is Australian Survivor, whose 55 Day running time means all the best players start getting got circa Day 40 (aka when the U.S. version would be wrapping the game up).  Like, has there ever been a more heartbreaking string of boots than the one-two-three-four punch of Henry – Tessa – Sarah – Luke?

 

 

 32. SANDRA DIAZ-TWINE – PEARL ISLANDS

 

 

Also known as the only two-time winner in Survivor’s 28 season history.  Less well known for winning through sheer virtue of not being Lil or Jonny Fairplay.  Gains points for pioneering and perfecting the “As Long As It Ain’t Me” voting strategy (Rob C in Survivor : Amazon played similarly, but not to the same blatantly mercenary effect Sandra did).  Loses points for having no real control over her own fate in the game.  While she deserves props for constantly keeping herself positioned one up from the bottom, her actual win came solely down to the fact that Final Immunity winner Lil knew she couldn’t beat either of her opponents and figured that at least if she took Sandra to the end and gave her the win, the million dollars wouldn’t be as likely to be blown on blowjobs and blow (or strippers and coke, as it was put).

DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT THOUGH – Here’s an amazing clip of Sandra’s Grade A Social Skills that won her her first cool mill.  “I CAN GET LOUD TOOOOO!” :-

BEST MOVE : Openly having her vote for sale at every Tribal Council.  Warring factions kept using her to vote each other out, ensuring she was a necessary vote and never the target.
SHOULD HAVE WON : Umm, no one?  Is ‘no one’ an option?  Pearl Islands was a rollickingly entertaining season with Tie-dyed Outcasts, ACTUAL Outcasts and Dead Grandparents Galore, but no real strong strategic players post-merge to speak of.  Or, for that matter, pre-merge.  Actually, quips aside, Jonny Fairplay 100% deserved the win that season and is actually an incredibly underrated and lethal player, as he immediately proved in Micronesia (at least until the prescription med withdrawal kicked in..)

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REFLECTIONS

January 2, 2018

NYE Tweet 2017

 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot this morning, mostly cuz I’ve never been big on waiting for NYE to take stock and make resolutions that are needed in life, but I do respect taking the time for self-reflection, and these are the three that stood out to me :-

1. Having the clearness of mind to tune out a lot of the life white noise and differentiate between those things that won’t really matter when I looked back at this period of my life (my last job, apps and lot of my more superfluous social activities) and be able to confidently prioritize the things that do (ailing family members, my close friends and the career that I’ve actually always wanted). It’s easy to lose sight of the things that matter most to you and who you want to be as a human being, and I’m glad that I’ve kept sight of that and kept working away towards it.

 

2. Taking the time to really focus on getting my back back in shape after spending the last five years really finding chronic pain starting to really drain away my day to day enjoyment of life. It takes a lot of discipline to for me just to get up and do ANYTHING first thing in the morning, let alone going and doing 2.5 of stretching and remedial weight training almost every single morning these past few months, but it’s made all the difference in the world to me in so many ways, even if I’m too bleary-eyed at 7am to see if I look any good or not 😂😂💃🏻

 

3. Having the confidence and self-respect to demand certain values and minimum standards in friends, particularly on social media. Like, between the SSM debate, Weinstein-gate and all the hateful bullshit pouring out of right-wing Australia and everything going on in America, it’s been so exhausting and demoralizing realizing how many people I (thought I) knew that are either willfully ignorant or just plain empathy-free and mean-spirited. So I’ve cut a lot of them out, because if you can’t be open and kind to someone, somewhere in the world, I’m not going to tolerate bad behavior to others just because it doesn’t personally impact me. I pride myself on being surrounded by carefully chosen smart, compassionate and passionate friends and so, if you’re reading this, I just want to say THANK YOU for being you and being someone worth being friends with in this day and age. It’s appreciated more than y’all probably know. 💝😘

OOOH! LOOK WHAT SCHOOL MADE ME DO.. (Redlands College Radio Remix)

September 30, 2017

So, my twenty year high school reunion is coming up next year, and I’m not going to lie – I’ve been REALLY looking forward to it.  Well, to clarify, I HAD been looking forward to it until the most recent statistic surveys (and the general close-minded hatred some fellow classmates’s Facebook pages have spewing lately) alerted me to how many of my own peers still see me as a second class citizen.  No matter how nice I’ve always been.  No matter how kind.  No matter how I just generally have never given them any reason to think they are superior to me (or I to them).

 

And yet here we are.  Something that I’ve been looking forward to for almost two decades (the ten year one was an eff-ing HOOT, and a really happy, lovely memory of mine) is now done, gone – totally dead to me.  And it’s really breaking my heart thinking about it, because I don’t understand how all these alleged Christians and People of God can treat their fellow man like that.   So after weeks and weeks of reading some really hurtful (and really stupid) stuff, I decided to send the below out to 800+ ex students of the school (in a gently tongue in cheek but affectionate Facebook group called ‘You Know You Went To Redlands College When…’) – not to start fights or hurt feelings, but to try and make them aware of the damage they are doing, both to myself and a whole community (and to their very own children, friends and families).

 

“You know you went to Redlands College when you realise you’re not able to go to your 20 Year High School Reunion because (statistically speaking), 55-80% of your graduating class view you as a less worthwhile and less equal human being than they are – and that even though you only got an SA+ in Bible Studies, it turns out you actually truly *understand* the New Testament better than most of them seem to, because #JesusWouldHaveVotedYES “

 

Before you wonder where I am getting my data from (besides the plethora of No-voting ex-students on Facebook and various other social media sites), here is a handy breakdown of how, statistically speaking, we are still smack bang in the middle of the Vote No camp (even though countless members of said camp from my very own grade have had the chance to get married and divorced more times than I – or they – can count..)

 

 

Now, please keep in mind I literally have no judgement at all about someone getting divorced.  There are few things sadder than a union at least one person believed in ending on any less than completely amicable terms.  But you’ve got to have a screw loose to be someone who has literally been through that situation and yet spend all your free time spearheading hate campaigns trying to oppress minorities and deprive them of legal, emotional and spiritual rights that you yourself seem to take for granted.

Also, in case any of you wonder why I’m even bothering to draw attention to this issue instead of just spend my time with people who truly value me, like the real decent Christians I surround myself with at home – as opposed to all the morally hollow, superficial Christians (Jordan, Simon, Amy, Bek and Audrey from the JUBILEE CHURCH in Sydney, I’M REFERRING TO YOU ❤ ❤ <3) that seem to be on a mission in my Newsfeed lately, then please feel free to take a few minutes and read this, which is a very painful and honest account of what it was like growing up surround by hypocrisy and hate :-

https://glennyfromtheblock.com/2017/09/12/why-marriage-equality-matters/

 

Anyway, I don’t expect to change too many minds.  And it’s not just because the latest studies literally link the #VoteNO camp to being of significantly lower cognitive function than those who Vote YES (you can read a really interesting article breaking it down HERE).  While it’s an easy jab to make, I refuse to believe that having a lower IQ makes you a mean-spirited or compassion-free human being.  But I guess it goes a way to explaining why trying to logically or intellectually reason with a No Voter seems to be a relatively lost cause – which is incredibly frustrating for me as I refuse to give up on them just because they’ve turned their backs on me.

 

Cute Photo of Me actually caring about the next generation of children, who I am hoping to spare the hatred, torment and hurt that many of us grew up with.

 

Thank you for reading, whatever your personal opinion may be.

All the best,

Glenn Oke, Class of 1998.

 

You Still Break My Heart Every Time I Look At You

September 28, 2017

I always find the way that I’ve written music to be so weird.  Like, it’s less any sort of process and more like something plucked fully formed out of the ether – like painting polaroids with my mind. I don’t really know where they come from and I don’t really put a lot of effort into it, they just appear sometimes.  One of the nice parts (heck, one of the only nice parts) of being stuck up in Brisbane these past few weeks has been the fact it’s really freed up some space in my brain that was previously the property of everyday stress and anxiety to really just be reactively creative again.  I’ve done some of the best writing I’ve done in a long time, and I’ve been writing songs again too –  which is really nice actually, as that was always my first real love as far as writing mediums go.

 

Anyway, I thought I’d share this with y’all, because I think it’s something really special – or as special as anything can be that I wrote start to complete finish in less than fifteen minutes one-handed on my phone whilst I was walking home from my Grandma’s the other night.  Like, the whole entire thing – words, melody and music – just poured out linearly because the title popped into my head and I thought “dang Glenn – that would be a neat title for a song”.  And here we are.     It’s a little bit Bon Jovi ballad (think ‘Always’) meets Shania Twain or old-school Melissa Etheridge – so, probably in the latter day Kelly Clarkson arena, I guess (it’s probably not urban enough for Keith)?

 

Anyway, ENOY!

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Why Marriage Equality Matters…

September 12, 2017

It’s been bugging me a lot lately the debate about same-sex marriage.  I don’t mean the part where it’s fundamentally humiliating in this day and age to have to beg people for the right to be treated equally.  And not the part where it’s just a ridiculous amount of public funds to be wasted on something (that essentially has no legal consequence) when there are schools, hospitals and an ever-increasing amount of elderly Australians who direly need the money more.

 

But the thing that really has been upsetting me the most is the passivity of a lot of the people around me.  The friends and family members who, whilst likely to vote ‘YES’ on the non-legally binding marketing survey postcards currently being mailed out to them, seem content that quietly and privately ticking a little box on a piece of cardboard is enough to show support for the loved ones around them who have spent their lives being told to be ashamed of themselves for as long as they can remember.

 

Still, if they’re voting ‘YES’ then why does it feel inadequate somehow?  I’ve had countless arguments with my own mother about it and it frustrates me because I know she genuinely doesn’t understand why it almost feels like a betrayal that she doesn’t care *more*.  I mean – if someone was saying my little brother couldn’t marry his girlfriend, she’d be the first person marching down the street and knocking on every single door she could until she ensured the whole suburb understood about equal rights.  Heck, if that were the case I’d be right there marching alongside her.  Most of us would fight to the death for our loved ones, so why don’t they feel compelled to stand up and fight for us?

 

And it occurred to me that part of the reason why is because none of them truly understand what growing up gay is like.  I mean, this huge part of who we are and what shaped us is something that a vast majority of us kept secret for many years (and some of us still do).  We never talked to them about what it was like growing up being told that we different.  We never talked about what it was like being told who we love is wrong.  We never told them what it was like going to school each day being afraid of getting the living daylights beat out of us because of the way we were born.  We never talked about how lonely adolescence was for us because we couldn’t kiss who we wanted to kiss or date who we wanted to date.  We probably never made them acknowledge how much they contributed (whether implicitly or explicitly) to that very fear that, at any time, we could be kicked out of our own homes forever for nothing more than just being who we are.  And most of us have never told them what it was like to spend every single day contemplating killing ourselves because it was easier than living in fear.  Heck, most of us have never even said that out loud to ANYONE.  Thankfully, most of us eventually find a way to outgrow that feeling when we venture out into the adult world – but some of us don’t.  Some of us never make it that far.  So while we contend with all the other battles you all face surviving the challenges of childhood – whether it be being ‘too fat’, ‘too ugly’, ‘too unpopular’ or ‘too slow’ – we also have to battle an entire decade (if we’re lucky) of that daily battle about whether or not we want to live through another day.  One that often stretches far into adulthood for an unimaginable amount of you still.  The thing is – if you look around right now, the chances are good that someone sitting in your office, or across from you on the train, or in your very own home is STILL waging that mental war in their head, even in adulthood, because they are still too afraid to come out and live their life the way they actually want to.

 

But mostly I wonder if people realise how lucky they are to have that person sitting across from them at all.  And I guess they probably don’t, because they’ve never really been told how many times that person almost took their own life growing up, because they grew up in a world where we say that being gay is not okay.  And I wonder if the rest of you that have a family of your own realise that there is a one in ten chance that one of your own children is probably going to silently struggle with this very same impulse every single day that we let this sad excuse for a debate wage on.  It may just be a marketing survey about marriage equality, but it’s really a referendum on whether hard-working, decent, everyday Australians should get equal rights to go along with the equal taxes they pay and the equal responsibilities they have.

 

Cute Pic of me and the dog writing this. He’s not gay, but I’d support him if he was..

 

And for those of you sitting there with someone in your life who made it through the daily torment growing up gay in Australia still is to this very day, then take a second to appreciate that they are still there, and that they decided to stay.  Because most of them had to do so on their own.  And you’ll never know how close you came to not having them in your life anymore at all.  So be grateful, and help try to build a better Australia where future generations don’t have to feel this way.  Chances are, you probably weren’t there to protect us when we needed you to back then.  So BE HERE NOW and fight for us.  BE ANGRY.  It’s not too late to make a difference…