Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


A response to Eric Abetz’s comments about ‘coming out’ …

I have a thing to say. Regardless of whether we have ever met, I would appreciate it so much if you read on. If you disagree, I would really love it if you would read it again, and realise that my words are coming from a place of hurt and frustration but ultimately from a wish that this would be heard and understood.

I’m writing in response to the comments made by Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz this week. He said: “Ever thought why there is no celebration for those that decide to go from the homosexual to heterosexual lifestyle? Are they not honest? Are they not coming out as well?”

Firstly, I want to say that I believe and acknowledge that everyone is a product of the context(s) in which they have “come up”, so to speak. People’s triumphs and failures are in direct response to the influences that have been put in their way. Mr Abetz is likely the product of a highly conservative background, both in politics and in values. That is what leads him to where he is, for better or worse. And theoretically, that’s okay.

I am not going to rant about marriage equality or the plebiscite, because it actually annoys me how frequently these issues get all lumped in together (it’s like saying that women’s music is one genre). The words that stand out to me in Abetz’s comments echo the comments of a local Christian columnist I once clumsily responded to back in 2012. I had just ‘come out’, myself, and I wish that I’d been able to say what I’m about to say now. I’ve spent years trying to articulate how I grapple with this:


I presume that Mr Abetz and I both brush our teeth in the morning and at night. I imagine that Mr Abetz (or maybe his wife) do a reasonable amount of housework and yard work per year. Mr Abetz and I both probably take fairly regular exercise. I walked the dog just today! We both cook meals for people we enjoy spending time with. We both have the odd bowl of cereal or a cheeky bit of vegemite toast, I presume.

I imagine I can speak for Mr Abetz when I say that we both love the beautiful state in which we live, and enjoy spending time taking it in. We both go for meals with friends and family. I imagine we both fumble over last-minute Christmas gifts for our loved ones.

I suspect that Mr Abetz would like more sleep sometimes, and doesn’t mind a lazy Saturday morning. I am the same. Mr Abetz keeps a busy schedule of work and meetings and engagements and community service and familial and friendship commitments. I do too. I just brought a load of washing in and then hung a load towels out. I untangled my dog from the tether where she’d wrapped herself around the woodpile. I have a few hours of work on the computer and a pile of washing and dishes to sort tonight. I might even vacuum. THIS is lifestyle.

As this is absolutely NONE, ZERO, 0.0% of my business, I want you (dear reader) to calculate in your mind, with 24 x 7 hours = 168 hours per week, what percentage of 168 hours per week you spend being physically intimate with another human. This might be your partner of 20 years or someone you just started seeing or anywhere/anyone in between. You mightn’t even need to calculate: it may be zero, no time at all (which still doesn’t change your orientation, now, does it?) As it is, again, none of my business, I don’t expect or even want an answer. But I want to make perfectly clear how insignificant this is, in terms of time-spent, when it comes to “what makes up a lifestyle”.

In other words: why does anyone give a shit? And why, WHY, if a person spends a fraction of their time in bed (or wheresobloodyever they please) with a person of the same sex, does it immediately describe their lifestyle, which is in only this way ‘different’, as a HOMOSEXUAL lifestyle?

My lifestyle likely mirrors Mr Abetz’s lifestyle in far more ways than it does a high-profile, performing-every-night rockstar, and in far more ways than it does someone who is unemployed and sedentary and hermited. And yet, in none of these descriptions do I mention sexual orientation.

I reject labels, for the most part. My most natural and comfortable and affirming romantic inclination is towards the ladies. But I’ve never really explicitly said that there’s no way in hell that a lovely fella wouldn’t take my fancy. That said, if that were to happen: I wouldn’t be ‘coming out as heterosexual’; it’d be no cause for celebration beyond the fact that I had chosen and taken a partner who I liked and wanted to be with. I’d be frustrated and indignant if anyone in my circle were pleased about this for any other reason than for my happiness. It wouldn’t be a relief. It wouldn’t be a better outcome. (In fact, I’d argue that there’d be a great disrespect for women if someone suggested that a woman would make a subpar partner for me and a man wouldn’t).

I’d be a human being still. With the same lifestyle. THE SAME. And it wouldn’t have made the years I spent dating girls ‘a phase’. It wouldn’t make me someone who ‘used to be a lesbian but is now back with men’ (for the record, I don’t see this happening, but ya never know). I would be the same, dorky, obliging, sometimes-awkward, thoughtful, musical, not-particularly-domestic, creative, honest, worried, funny me.

Mr Abetz: even though I’m largely puzzled by your question, even though I wonder about the circumstances under which you think someone should be ‘celebrated’ for ‘coming out’ as heterosexual, I want you to know that I want everyone to be celebrated for being precisely who they are, with zero consideration made for who they might be sleeping with.

Celebrate the sheer chance it is that they ever existed upon this mortal coil at all, and that we are all here at the same time, to share in our diversity.

Please widen your view.

The world is beautiful from up here.

*Alison Cosker is ‘not originally from Launceston, but proudly considers it her home. She’s edging in on thirty, is an aunty and a beagle-wrangler, and freelances in too many things to have one job title.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

Media bias means people who switch from homosexual to heterosexual aren’t celebrated: Eric Abetz

• John Hawkins in Comments: I have just watched the Clinton/Trump debate. Two appalling people the product of the current American obsession with celebrity both with no scruples, no morals and no standards and totally unfit for the job. Here no people, no media, no pollies of any quality and nobody capable of conducting any form of public debate. The only debate in Tasmania amongst those currently elected is: How do we keep keep our snouts in the trough and preferably our sticky fingers on the levers of power. Oh for principles, standards, integrity, honesty the ability to distinguish right from wrong and a straight back enabling ones head to be held high. The world we all inhabit is very very sick maybe mortally so. Nothing will be done.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Second Opinion

    October 28, 2016 at 12:08 am

    You missed the comma.
    I ascribed our collective lack of wisdom, to an unalloyed arrogance, borne of uncritical self- absorption by the homosexual family.
    What exactly does ” bugger all” mean?
    It may be of interest to you, that the prosecution of a Northern Ireland bakery has been upheld at appeal.
    Ashers Bakery has lost it’s appeal over refusing to place a slogan on a cake. The slogan was a demand for gay marriage, which the bakery saw as antithetical to the existing Law of Northern Ireland…watch that space.
    None of the Australian newspapers reported the finding.
    Nor did Tasmanian Times.

  2. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    For those interested in seeing a more comprehensive analysis and critique of the homosexual marriage plebiscite, see my article in the Tassie Times…


  3. Wining Pom

    October 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    ‘We’re in the dubious position of knowing all’

    I think you missed a word there;

    ‘We’re in the dubious position of knowing bugger all’

  4. Second Opinion

    October 27, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I look around me in a big city. I hear birds and I see trees.
    The planet is riddled with life. Fecundity is everywhere.
    There might be a nest or two, with an expectation of young mouths to feed.
    We’re in the dubious position of knowing all, but being unable to recognise our own arrogance. Humility has something to do with it.
    I suppose priests may be happy for their own reasons, to participate in the Marriage ceremony. To share in the adventure ahead.
    I am fecund by nature.( that word ), but I do not seek or demand attachment. To choose to inflict a self-serving notion or need for immortality through having a female friend act as a womb for the purpose of child-bearing, is not the ultimate conceit. Commercial Surrogacy takes that spot.
    That is is that to be the future?
    I’m reliably misinformed that medical science can now detect and measure the Soul.
    What an interesting time to be here. Till death us do part.

  5. Wining Pom

    October 27, 2016 at 8:46 am

    ‘Who, in this discussion, is not the product of a Marriage?’

    No one is a ‘product’ of marriage. Weren’t you told of the birds and bees?

  6. lola moth

    October 27, 2016 at 8:43 am

    #53 I was conceived in marriage but brought up in a two female parent home. Half of my family married, the other half did not. Every family member who married is now divorced but only one of the co-habiting couples have split up. Some couples had kids, some did not . Marriage did not figure largely in my partner’s family either with one couple together for over 50 years without God or society raining brimstone upon them. Marriage is a fairly new social construct originally for purposes of inheritance and to please priests. I would rather it was done away with altogether but if it is to exist it should be available to all.

  7. Second Opinion

    October 26, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Who, in this discussion, is not the product of a Marriage?

  8. Wining Pom

    October 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    ‘the difference between rights and indulgences.’

    Rights. A moral or legal entitlement to have or do something.

    indulgences. Gratification of desire. Unless of course you’re talking about the Catholic get out of jail free card.

    Does someone have the right to discriminate? Or is that an indulgence?

    There is no nature law that requires marriage, it was something that humans invented. In fact, an indulgence.

    And now that most people in the world have accepted that people are born gay and desire to lead a life that everyone else leads and form a lasting relationship with a ceremony to kick it off, it is being recognised as a right.

    And it will be recognised one day in Australia, even though those with blinkers still deny it.

    So, my advice to you is, accept it and get on with your life, or stay in denial and be uncomfortable.

  9. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 26, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    The thing WP about ‘equality’ and ‘rights’ is that people like yourself have become so intellectually blunted, you cannot tell the difference between equality and creative equivalencing. Nor can you tell the difference between rights and indulgences.

    These words form part of the marketing blah blah blah for bourgeois democracies; full of symbolism and ideological generalization and windbaggery that means next to nothing in practice.

    In practice, in real worlds that are sufficiently together to know what they are doing, equality and rights are something you have to qualify for by doing something and meeting the standards and requirements.

    You obviously do not understand this, but that is why we are having this discussion. And I am saying plainly that our homosexual brothers and sisters aren’t in the race when it comes to marriage, unless of course the institution and social infrastructure around are lying in ruins.

    Then of course, it becomes ripe for being vultured by opportunists who can sense the weakness and pusillanimity of of what is left of society. For the moment, they can get away with this kind of baloney.

    You speak as if they already had ‘rights’ to something just because. Well mate, no they don’t, and some point, they will find that out the hard way, the day ‘society’ gets its dentures back.

  10. Wining Pom

    October 25, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    ‘So, if someone or some group wants something, well we are talking a sacred site aren’t we.’

    Or if someone ‘doesn’t’ want something. Doesn’t want someone else to have the same rights as everyone else, we’re not allowed to criticise them for their out of touch views?

    You feel you have the right to criticise someone who wants the same rights as you, but whinge, (notice the H) if someone criticises you for pointing that out.

  11. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    What are you trying to say Whining P, that ‘ I want, therefore I must have…therefore it’s my right, just because I want it’

    That isn’t a civil right. It is a consumer one. ‘I fantasize, therefore I want, therefore I need, therefore it is a sacred right.’

    Is that how it works Whining P?

    So, if someone or some group wants something, well we are talking a sacred site aren’t we. So we cannot apply critical judgment here because, well. that would be ‘discrimination’, ‘judgementality’ or ‘injustice’ or racism/sexism wouldn’t it?

    And if the poor things who have wants are denied, they will get upset and need counselling won’t they. It might even constitute a crime against humanity, mightn’t it.

    How dare those educated middle class bastards apply the critical thinking they learned at university, in the bad old days when such subversive and unconscionable behaviour was still allowed.

    Oh well, we just didn’t know about sacred sites and ideological deference to ‘disadvantaged poor things’ in those days. But will we ever learn? Can old dogs learn new tricks? We should know by now that critical thinking is ‘discriminatory judgmentality’.

    Ho hum…..

  12. Wining Pom

    October 25, 2016 at 12:40 am

    ‘It does say something when the most vociferous anti plebiscite people are those that do want same sex marriage.’ As same sex couples want overwhelmingly.

    What do same sex couples want? Ask same sex couples. What do the first Australians want? Ask first Australians. What do middle aged European Australians want? The right to tell everyone else how they should live their lives.

  13. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    October 24, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Re #46’s:

    “It does say something when the most vociferous pro plebiscite people are those that do not want same sex marriage.”

    one might reply…

    It does say something when the most vociferous anti plebiscite people are those that do want same sex marriage.

  14. Wining Pom

    October 24, 2016 at 9:50 am

    It does say something when the most vociferous pro plebiscite people are those that do not want same sex marriage.

  15. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    October 24, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Josh Manuatu, a member of Eric Abetz’s staff, gave an interesting interview on Radio National’s ‘Counterpoint’ program. Josh is gay, opposes changing the definition of marriage and supports the plebiscite. You can listen to the interview here: http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2016/10/cpt_20161024_1630.mp3

  16. George Smiley

    October 23, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Actually I was talking about figurative or literal violence towards other men to prove to yourself and others you aren’t attracted to them. But yes, some use violence to women also to stake a claim to manhood.

  17. Claire Gilmour

    October 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    #41 Fair enough.

    The terms of agreement of “Marriage” have changed a lot in western society since one can now have either religious or civil marriages. On the flip side the advent of Co-habitation without marriage has created its own set of government/legal rules. And country by country those laws are different.

    It’s a worry that like, once upon time, one had to change their religion or be accepted within a certain societal status to be allowed to marry … let’s recall in the not too distant past that kings were made to give up their throne for such!

    Let’s recall that some religions allow multiple marriages – albeit it’s generally men can have multiple wives … I’d like to, well at least imagine! the Amazon woman being able to do that one conversely 😉 maybe I can start a new religion there … what would Abetz say about that? lol

    I don’t agree on having a plebiscite (in this case) because – I believe …

    It potentially targets the vulnerable;

    There are more important things the government should spend ‘our’ money on;

    It’s ultimately a co-faction of religious/government tool … which will give rise to the current proposed watering down of ‘hate’ speech – as both together are designed to do;

    If one wants to put all their love and eggs into one basket, so be it … no matter religion, colour, creed, status, gender;

    Personally I like the idea of a love so profound that you want to commit everything between the two of you – but I don’t believe ‘marriage’ itself is the be all and end all for everyone. Marriage suggests two people stay together for life, regardless of negative consequences. But if people want to do that, regardless of gender, I think they should be able to.

    And ultimately I think allowing, well hope such, (hold onto your hats!) that allowing same sex marriage will help start to curb the human population explosion!

  18. Second Opinion

    October 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I post here using a pseudonym so do not enter into personal issues.
    It is of concern to me that there will be things that people reveal of themselves which are unresolved, and who are then left vulnerable.
    Is this the nature of the harm to people that homosexual advocates foresee, from holding a plebiscite?
    If it is, the harm done will come not from Haters, Bigots, or Homophobes, but from within. It is a worry that I share.
    I see myself as disinterested in these things, but am well aware of changes in society since I was born. Such changes have seen what was once inevitable, is now considered optional at best, and then inferior.
    Inevitable works, although you testify different.
    If marriage is to be just a subset of a lifestyle choice that requires lifelong administration of potions and politics, then marriage will mean nothing. It will be the end of marriage.

  19. Claire Gilmour

    October 21, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Yet again, I’m misrepresented. I mentioned both male and female! So don’t misrepresent me by saying I’m doing a male only attack. But I really don’t care whether one uses and abuses me anymore, I’m used to it .. . the crying for shame and hope, with integrity and balls of steel that many could only dream of having! Indeed I’ll add the education system to the ‘ignorance’ of ‘no- help’ to what they know but do nothing about.

    The crux, which #37 alludes to, is whole of system failure.

    Whether that be some parents, community, religion, schools, government …

    Perhaps I’m autistic? … perhaps I’m 16 or 3 yo forever? … perhaps I’m reincarnated? … perhaps I’m suicidal? … perhaps I have a dream? … perhaps I’m clairvoyant? … perhaps I care beyond myself … perhaps I plant seeds to grow beyond … just perhaps life could be different if people were allowed to be real and really FEEL and express that rather than just being political tools …!

    Real Life is not about political agenda by agenda – political weapon by weapon in using the disenfranchised as a vote getter for the next election. Ie the government won’t allow same sex marriage at the moment because it is too easy for politicians to use as a political tool next time around. It’s cruel!

    I find absolutely no difference in Australia disallowing same-sex marriage to the once upon time no vote for women or that once upon a time physical/sexual/emotional/ financial abuse of women and children was deemed acceptable.

    Why should ANY human suffer years or indeed a lifetime, let alone generationally at the hands of legislation by a bunch of Politicians who will never likely live to see the negative repercussions of their actions?

    Or Perhaps I don’t use big enough words!
    … the devil you are, the devil see …. or Mad dogs eat flesh! That’s me highland Scottish clan catch cry! 😉

  20. John Hawkins

    October 20, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Abetz as the then leader of the Government in the Senate would have been well aware of the Shotgun trade off with a crossbencher,

    That is why he was copied in on the Abbott office email.

    Well may he deny it.

    This is par for the course for this disruptive disloyal and appalling man.

    Kick him out of the Parliament … enough is enough.

  21. Second Opinion

    October 20, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I had to remind myself of what exactly this piece is about:


    Abetz seems to think it takes but the flip of a coin to determine one’s sexual identity. If it were so simple?!
    I look at me, and see myself comforming to the society norm of being male. I don’t have to identify as anything. I am male…
    So when I am hit upon by a sad individual who is suffering the delusion that I might be “available”, am I to inform all within hearing that this is an unwelcome advance? It is what I should do, but not wishing to escalate matters, I ignore it and hope he dies the death. I must choose between discretion and discrimination it seems.
    That is but one occasion recently.
    There is a trend for individuals to “demonstrate” their proclivities in the public space. On a sunny day in the city mall, I came across a couple being unduly passionate. After I register that they were both male, I went on my way.
    On returning through the Mall, there they were again, so I watched from a distance as they seemed to renew their efforts whenever someone passed.

  22. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Garry, you do not have to beat up on yourself or your sex, even as you accept what Claire is saying.

    I think we often mistake a symptom for cause.

    We are collectively suffering the consequences of 50 -70 years of disinhibition posing as liberation, that has deregulated our social commons to the point of bankruptcy. Poor behaviour and attitudes just do not get addressed properly in our system of social mentoring, so we are producing some lousy semi adult/adolescent social product, that never grows up, even as it gets old.

    Part of that is the take down of familial infrastructure to the extent that the templates for moral training, partnering and parenting have just disappeared, leaving everyone to flounder by the seat of their pants. The old patriarchal templates and socializing software got partially taken down, but were not replaced or institutionalized.

    All this has meant that familial parenting and mentoring has been taken over by the marketing system and as seen or heard on…run by the masters of business administration and the hyped Pied Pipers of Cool, who take the children off their parents and into the magic mountain of consumerland.

    Our social/life infrastructure and the consumer software that runs it has left as much damage and mess behind itself as the corporate attack on our the earth’s life support systems.

    So it should come as no surprise that there is a lot of malignant stuff going on inside what is left of our social infrastructure and pinning it all on men simply ideologically obfuscates the need to taking larger responsibility for what has gone wrong.

    And the political agenda behind that is that our social libertarian humanist brothers and sisters want to evade getting pinned for their share in the intractable problems that their social libertarian agenda has caused, which is just as pernicious as the corporate one.

    Poor, incompetent and violent male behaviour currently makes men/boys excellent fall guys for a dysfunctional rogue regime. But if women were a bit stronger and had some testosterone to get them really going, the boys would be massacred in droves.

    As it stands, women who are now both wage earners and domestic workers, eventually have to resort to an acid tongue to deal with their totally self absorbed and bumblingly unhelpful spouses, which acid burns the relationship and eventually destroys it in a welter of recrimination and increasingly, violence…

    And the males just haven’t been made to give up their sexual dominance agenda.

    The answer to this is to reconstruct our social commons and its templates, so everyone is trained, clear what is expected of them and that there are robust consequences if they do not meet the standard required.

    And boys particularly will be taught in no uncertain terms, especially in adolescence, that they are not the centre of the universe and that humble social respect is front and centre of everything they do, especially when it comes to their womenfolk….

    Getting this done is not going to happen by itself. Unabashedly ‘authoritarian’ intervention to sweep away 50-70 years of libertarian slops will suffice. Our homosexual brothers and sisters will fall in behind that.

    They will show some respect and circumspection in their dealings with a cleaned up and revitalized social system that will not tolerate opportunistic baloney.

  23. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    October 19, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Gee Claire, I’m sorry. I didn’t read your full comment before responding. I saw only the first half of your comment, and sorry, I didn’t see your whole comment till a little while later. Claire, I accept without qualification, what you posted. I’m sorry that my own sex/gender is such a rotten bunch, capable of such rotten acts. If I hate anything, then you could say I hate male company. Particularly males in groups. They, like the footy teams of my youth, are predatory and horrible. You were right when you told me to “Grow up … or at least become aware”. Fool that I am.

  24. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    October 19, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Claire (#33+#34): Proves my point ( at #24), doesn’t it? From which direction does the hatred come?

  25. Claire Gilmour

    October 19, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Oh and just to add some fuel to the fire …


    I’ll say as a ‘jaded Green’ re above link – you so-called Christian/catholic senators/parliamentarians are a bunch of hypocrites!

  26. Claire Gilmour

    October 19, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Garry #24 You can pretend to walk a 100,000 miles in another’s shoes, but when you actually haven’t you can’t even begin to imagine what that 100,000 miles costs you.

    Did you know the exclusive brethren are trying to buy up private, out of the way land in Tassie?

    Certain names are linked to this … hey eric … le souef?

    It’s beyond the homophobes … it’s another land grab and political control thru a church …

    Grow up … or at least become aware …

    Once upon I had a daddy, he said years after he raped his daughters, both natural and adopted that he was raped by a priest when younger, so he was prone to such!!! He died and I celebrated that I no longer had to live in fear of him finding out where I lived!

    Once upon a time I had a mother … she shared in her husbands un-natural tendencies to rape ones child.

    Just WHY actual REAL love and marriage no matter for what sex is considered no-go and being lambasted over the actual realities of domestic/sexual violence abuse is beyond me!

    Why is it that the debate on same- sex marriage has become so much more important than domestic/sexual/financial violence/abuse?

    Because the church and their sycophants want control! The church is ultimately run by men with a cock in hand!!!! Good grief do you think we are that much more modern than 100-200 or even 500 years ago in how our politicians and church run together?

    In another 100-200 years today will be considered another of the dark ages.

    But no matter, you will take my words and dis-scribe them for your own foolish ways … whilst my true words will live on … and be paramount in the future.

  27. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 19, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks for that Ian. Nicely put.

    As it happens, I am a secular, but I do share the fundamentalism of the religious fundamentalists.

    It is sourced from a belief that indulgence capitalism and its libertarian ideological offshoots, both market and social, have lost the plot over a 60-70 year period.

    The protestants who kicked off The Reformation were fundamentalists who wanted to get rid of all the corrupt medieval religious excrescences that had accumulated over the previous 1000 years and take the whole movement back to its Biblical sources; the basics.

    I am a secular who is advocating the same thing about the indulgence regime of late capitalism. Significantly, it was Martin Luther who kicked of the rebellion against the Old Church with objections to indulgences that sold salvation by the dollar. The consumer society does pretty much the same thing

    And while the market libertarians are more dangerous in the physical ecological sense, the social libertarians, the Orthodox Libertarchs, are every bit as much a regime institution with agendas that are just as damaging in the social/reproductive/existential sense.

    The homosexual marriage issue is in the larger sense a minor side show, it is emblematic of just how corrupt and short sighted The Libertarchs have become

  28. John Hawkins

    October 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    I have just watched the Clinton/Trump debate.

    Two appalling people the product of the current American obsession with celebrity both with no scruples, no morals and no standards and totally unfit for the job.

    Here no people, no media, no pollies of any quality and nobody capable of conducting any form of public debate.

    The only debate in Tasmania amongst those currently elected is:

    How do we keep keep our snouts in the trough and preferably our sticky fingers on the levers of power.

    Oh for principles, standards, integrity, honesty the ability to distinguish right from wrong and a straight back enabling ones head to be held high.

    The world we all inhabit is very very sick maybe mortally so.

    Nothing will be done.

  29. Second Opinion

    October 19, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Ian at # 29,
    I do think that Christoher references a Darwinian model of generational succession. That has been the accepted, and the ONLY means of species progression.. . It is not a religious argument at all. It remains the case that only religion is prepared and willing to defend an institution that ought to be inviolate from every insult to it’s integrity.
    It is true that marriage has been demeaned over time, as government over recent generations has entered the bedroom, interfering where it can in what is none of it’s business. This with the avowed aim of protecting Taxpayers money!
    You presage more than you realise Ian. Even if you have no personal interest in this, Is the loss of marriage as the descriptor of Real complementarity and of Real sex, the future you would invite upon us?
    The word REAL will take on an added burden of proof. Real sex is what keeps the Darwinian model going. And it prescribes marriage as the social construct necessary for your existence in a sophisticated society.
    Marriage is just what a Real relationship demands to be called.
    Real Marriage might yet be the next battleground.
    Discrimination knows no bounds, when white becomes black.

  30. Ian M

    October 18, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    #27 Chris, some misdirection and straw men which are actually more enlightening than one might think. I didn’t mention homosexuality, although that is the main topic here. Whether nor not 2 people can reproduce shouldn’t come into it, but I’ve stated that already. You still seem fearful not enough people will want to reproduce.

    You mention “technology”, yet this has nothing to do with the debate at hand. You’re conflating your concerns about contraception with homosexuality. I’d argue fucking has less to do with reproduction now than it ever has, which is great. Our population is still increasing at an exponential rate so imagine where we’d be at without contraception?

    But we’re not talking about sex. Or we should’t be.

    Fundamentally, you believe marriage to be a religious construct between a man and a woman, with the main purpose to have a family with kids. I believe it is a human construct where 2 people who love each other (I’m not touching polygamy here) can celebrate in exactly the same way as anyone else on earth (except immediate family, please don’t go there). It also conveniently doubles as a legal contract.

    I don’t think it will ruin society or humankind in any way if homosexuals are allowed to marry. You do. Until we find some common ground we’ll be discussing at cross purposes.

  31. Wining Pom

    October 18, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    #27 C E-N “Your parents won’t be thrilled about it, but if they are reasonable people, they will accept your lifestyle as one of life’s occasional inevitabilities that has to be lived with and accepted because they love you undconditionally.”

    My wife and I have always said that we would rather our kids came out as being gay than born again. Much more natural. But, they are all hetro atheists and we’re happy.

  32. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Ian #23: Fundamentally, all living things are born, grow to maturity, reproduce and then die.

    Reproducing is a critical stage of development for all adults. And for that purpose they enter into reproductive relations. All the reproductive organs are designed solely for that purpose.

    Your growth into adulthood is supposed to prepare you to reproduce the next generation in a secure and reliable fashion.

    Our technology has allowed us to enter reproductive relations without reproducing, so there is discretion there that did not exist before. But if a young life defeats our technology, it is not an ‘accident’. That is what is supposed to happen. Just because we can defeat the purposes of our biology most of the time, does not mean those purposes cease to exist or that the relationship isn’t a reproductive one.

    Life defeating technology has given the impression of sexuality being a separate category from reproduction, but this is just ideological obfuscation. Technology doesn’t change the basics one iota. Nor does it allow off message lobbies to fudge that meaning for their own opportunistic purposes.

    If your sexuality is off message, well there it is. Your parents won’t be thrilled about it, but if they are reasonable people, they will accept your lifestyle as one of life’s occasional inevitabilities that has to be lived with and accepted because they love you undconditionally.

    Just don’t force them into participating in a marriage caricature that pretends to be something it isn’t, or make them watch the coming of grandchildren that will never have a proper mother or a proper father.

    I know we have already allowed marriage to degenerate into a pastiche of single parenting and blended ‘families’, but none of it is mentoring children properly, which means the sexual politics of the next generation will be even more chaotic and dysfunctional than what we are already blighted with.

    As you can see Ian, this question of sexuality and marriage is really only tangentially about homosexuals. They are just taking advantage of the weakness and incapacity that is in front of them. And that is the warning. It will not always be thus.

  33. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Well said Bazzabee #21. One’s sexuality is absolutely no one’s business except one’s own, unless, as you say, you are sexually engaging.

    George #22, to suggest that heterosexual men have the sort of proclivity for violence towards their women that you suggest is over the top. And if you have evidence for that, you would need to be very critically aware of the limitations of the research. Much social science research is riddled with unstated and subterranean value judgements.

    What may be happening is that the sexual political environment has become so asset stripped and laissez-faire in its operations, that it has become a hot bed of dysfunctional relationships and discontents.

    The take down of patriarchy has been partial, ineffectual and unsupported, plus there has been no concerted effort to capitalize new behavioral and attitudinal templates. It is a miracle that the divorce rate is only 42%.

    Everyone is flying by the seat of their pants in a domestic environment that itself has been partially taken down, rendered powerless and evolved into a shared consumption depot rather than familial nurturing and child mentoring process.

    Our domestic environment is a real mess.

  34. Wining Pom

    October 17, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    C E-N, you lost me with faith and reason being side by side.

    And did we reproduce before marriage was invented?

    ‘Once homosexual marriage gets up, the Mardi Gras will almost certainly become a priority target for terrorists.’ shows that your reason is a long way behind your faith.

  35. garrystannus@hotmail.com

    October 17, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Christopher (#10): your … “I am not a political fan of Eric, but it is a measure of what has happened to political discourse that no one here has really led an argument against him.” … was apposite and it gave me some hope that we could discuss such matters without recourse to the ‘Uncle Otto’, to the ‘cock in the hand’, to the ‘just like Honiker’ jibes made against Eric Abetz in the earlier comments. Much has been made of the divisiveness that a plebiscite would bring, of the hate that would further be directed at the gay, lesbian etc members of our community, but what I felt that I saw here in these earlier comments, was hate directed at Eric and I also felt that maybe the hate that might come during the plebiscite would be directed — not at our lgbtqia people, but at those like myself, who might publicly reject the concept of same-sex ‘marriage’.

    As you correctly (in my opinion) pointed out, Christopher, there had not been much (if any) of a response to Eric A’s ostensibly risible ‘reverse-coming out’ plaint. I’ve been working on something that I’d hoped to put to our TT boss in the next few weeks, but now I look forward to your (foreshadowed in your #17) hopefully upcoming article on the matter. Judging by your past contributions, it will be erudite and substantive.

  36. George Smiley

    October 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    The easiest way to ‘come out’ as a heterosexual is to be seen beating the crap figuratively or otherwise out of somebody else. Unfortunately it isn’t very convincing, showcasing an ongoing level of desperation. And for those desperate people out there wearing badges: it’s OK, Eric and others, you can’t help the pre-natal hormonal levels that washed over you and made you what you are. Just learn to accept – the more of you that give in to your natural inclinations means the less competition for everybody else so it is actually POSITIVE for normally sexualized people who otherwise wouldn’t give a sh*t.

    Not that there aren’t bastards out there on the whole sexual spectrum. My father had been a newsboy on the mean streets of LA during the ‘thirties. So he was a poor boy and they were always hassling him.

    “Will ya come up to my room for a nickel kid? I won’t hurt ya.” And for his entire life he hated the wolves of whichever persuasion. It is an important distinction. Meanwhile a little cousin of mine has married (her) female friend and they have a little baby. Her mother (an M.D.) said “It isn’t the life I would have chosen for my child, but they are deliriously happy and what kind of (deleted) would want to come between them?”

  37. Bazzabee

    October 17, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    One of the most tiresome things gay people have to do time and time again is come out. Coming out isn’t something one does conceit happens daily for some reason people think that they have a right to know. I stopped telling people years ago since then I have lost count of the number of times someone has said “you didn’t tell me you were gay or why didn’t you tell me before now”? As if my sexuality has anything to do with anybody and I do mean anybody anymore than anybodies sexuality has anything to do with me unless that is we are having or plan to sex and by then you might well have worked out which way the wind is blowing.

    All this makes me wonder if those who chose ‘to go home’ will have to spend pointless hours saying “I was gay but I have now chosen to be st8 because of the compelling arguments of Senator Eric Abetz.

  38. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Dear WP, you are absolutely right; everything is in the eye of the beholder. What you imagine is unfounded prejudice is someone else’s reasonable belief. Fundamentally, the ground rule axioms by which we live our lives and derive our values are a result of prevailing economic forces and ways of doing business, whose ideological expressions are bound to get dominant traction, as long as that regime lasts.

    We live under very powerful consumer form of capital whose economic indulgence drivers generate equally powerful social indulgences. Your social libertarian world view has been conflated with consumer ideology to turn liberty into untrammeled disinhibition without boundaries, to produce the ideal consumer.

    And the reason that we are having this conversation along these lines is that the world order is not only unsustainable on an ecological level, but a social and existential one as well. It is feeling destabilizing tectonic shifts that promise to bring the modern period to an end.

    And whenever this kind of thing happens, faith and reason start to part company, but they need each other. Faith without reason becomes blind, Reason without faith becomes unanchored, compassless and riddled with opportunism and excuses. And everyone. to some extent becomes victim to this.

    Both you and Abetz, as fellow libertarians in your respective economic and social spheres, are just as blindsided to certain things as each other. Neither of you can see just how bankrupt the libertarian paradigm of Indulgence Capitalism really is, from whichever end you look at it.

    Unsustainability is not just a corporate problem. You are all off with the ideological fairies, because you are all in total denial as just how damaging indulgence capitalism really is, all round.

    You are every bit as much in denial as to just how corrupt your ideas have become, as Abetz is in denial of anthropogenic climate change.

    The homosexual marriage opportunism is only possible because the social/reproductive commons is in such a ruined state, it can no longer protect itself.

    The reason you ‘cannot understand how if a same sex couple got married, it would somehow diminish society’, is you just do not get how really precarious your ideological position is becoming. the following will form part of that nemisis.

    As an axiomatic, non negotiable and unshakable article of faith, I believe that whether it actually delivers on it or not, marriage is overwhelmingly a reproductive engagement between life creation partners whose primary business is mentoring and modeling that relationship to their offspring, by defining to them daily, over a reproductive cycle, what it means to be men and women, and mothers and fathers, so that in their turn, those offspring can pass on those qualities to their own successors

    that is a political principle and line in the sand that defines what reproductive commons should look like, at any cost…..

    And if you think that this can be tucked away by some miserable little plebiscite or a marketing and PR con job, you are dreaming mate.

    You clearly do not appreciate how dangerous our position is becoming. And I would advise anyone concerned for their safety to stay well clear of the G & L Mardi Gras. Once homosexual marriage gets up, the Mardi Gras will almost certainly become a priority target for terrorists.

  39. Wining Pom

    October 17, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Dear Cristopher, a furphy is in the eye of the beholder. I’m sure some people in the world would use that word to dispel the argument that their prejudices are not well founded.

    I can’t understand how if a same sex couple got married, it would somehow diminish society. Some would feel uncomfortable, so for those to be able to relax, society has to make others feel disenfranchised.

    And #18, I have never been to a Mardi Gras so can’t discuss. I must admit I would like too. They look like fun. And it is interesting how they started. An answer to police brutality and a demand to be recognised as equal members of society.

  40. Second Opinion

    October 17, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Wining Pom at #16,
    I am as sure of this, as my experience of the successive Sydney Gay Mardi Gras’ of the early 80’s in the Cross would attest to. It was hedonism, licentiousness and lasciviousness writ large. No rainbow was seen, nor were Demands made.
    I stopped going as the thing got bigger.
    What is your recollection ?

  41. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 16, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Dear Whining Pom, whether reproductive couples do or do not have children is an irrelevant furphy. It is a reproductive relationship whether they reproduce or not. They are part of that firmament, albeit a small one. Overwhelmingly, the vast bulk of us reproduce.

    As to your request to expatiate further on the quote you copied and pasted, I’ll take a rain cheque on that as I have an article coming up in these pages that will answer all, once Lindsay gets round to it.

    And as to my comment on inequality, you are absolutely right; no need to say more…

  42. Wining Pom

    October 16, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    #15 ‘Before HIV/Aids, there was no need of SSM.’

    Are you serious?

  43. Second Opinion

    October 16, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    We are experiencing a disruption of societal values, to such a degree that marriage itself is rendered disposable.
    Before HIV/Aids, there was no need of SSM.
    The human toll from HIV infection was real enough: someone recently called the response by Blood Banks then, to stop blood donation from active homosexuals, as a hysterical measure.
    Now, as was declared recently in the Mercury, HIV is no longer a threat. Just as treatments for HIV have now proved so effective in treating the symptoms, against the need for lifelong administration of drugs; complacency has led to 1000 new cases a year.
    So when I go to this site:


    I do wonder just where we are going.

  44. Wining Pom

    October 15, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    ‘but not necessarily equals in all things’

    Say no more Mr Cristopher Eastman-Nagle.

    And I guess that heterosexual couples who don’t want to reproduce should also not get married. Or are they just two people who want to be together and publicly announcing it?

    And, please explain; In this current environment, it is possible to bluff, crib and fudge your way through by shifting the goal posts and the rules of the game. However, like so much else that is going on right now, it isn’t sustainable and will promptly blow up in your face the moment the social arrangements that made the shift possible become, for whatever reason, ‘inoperative’.

  45. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    October 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Dear Whining Pom,

    There is no question here as to whether homosexuals are ‘accepted as members of society’. It isn’t a problem with ‘diversity’ either.

    We can accept each other as friends, acquaintances, fellow citizens and members of the human species, but not necessarily equals in all things and not necessarily having business in certain areas of life, like marriage.

    For some things one has to qualify, by meeting certain status and/or capacity requirements. And I am saying, if you feel that you want to identify and behave as a homosexual, that is fine, but you then deal yourself out of the reproductive environment. You have no business there and you are not an equal in that realm.

    In this current environment, it is possible to bluff, crib and fudge your way through by shifting the goal posts and the rules of the game. However, like so much else that is going on right now, it isn’t sustainable and will promptly blow up in your face the moment the social arrangements that made the shift possible become, for whatever reason, ‘inoperative’.

  46. Second Opinion

    October 15, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Alison Cosker’s homily on Home and her family might be heartfelt, but it doesn’t address the underlying dissolution of society we are experiencing. A putsch has been gaining momentum; it’s target is marriage, or at the least the word “marriage”

    Christopher Nagle at #10 nails it.

  47. Wining Pom

    October 14, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    #10, ‘coming home’ is ridiculous, that’s why Abetz is getting hammered. There is not a gay agenda to change society, it’s just people wanting to be be accepted as members of our society.

    There are many different kinds of sexual orientation which people are born with and when that is accepted, we can move on.

    All life is a myriad of diversity and to think that even though some are good at maths, some art, some sport etc. etc. etc. all must be of the same sexual orientation is proof that life is not understood.

  48. Christopher Nagle

    October 14, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I am not a political fan of Eric, but it is a measure of what has happened to political discourse that no one here has really led an argument against him.

    Demonizing the man is not an argument against what he is saying, which is a whinge about how far homosexual agenda has penetrated and been absorbed into the media culture, as a result of a well executed and very protracted PR and marketing campaign.

    To get a ‘Coming Home’ (as opposed to ‘Coming Out’) slogan up and running, takes perhaps around ten years of repetition from diverse ‘authoritative’ sources and populist mouthpieces in strategic positions of influence, as part of a systematic propaganda campaign.

    Abetz’s whinge is not armed with anything except a defensive and reactive personal agenda, that is just bound to lose ground, because it has no strategic goal except to slow down what some people have the gall to call ‘progress’ and he wants his market libertarian cake but not eat its social consequences.

    He can be easily picked off with an ideological smear campaign, which the homosexual lobby and its fellow travellers have been overwhelmingly successful at.

    His problem is ‘Coming Home’ to what? He has the same problem as the aboriginal community had when white liberals declared that they were ‘Bringing Home’ the ‘Stolen Generation’

    ‘Home’ was and is turning into dysfunctional garbage, as a result of systematic and long term deregulation and privatization of not just the ecological and economic commons, but the social, moral and existential ones as well.

    Inter-gendered sexual and parental politics in the social mainstream is almost as fraught with unresolved agenda, mismanagement, malfeasance, lack of governance templates, unstable arrangements and resultant social damage, as the aboriginal communities that were investigated by the NT board of inquiry into the protection of aboriginal children from sexual abuse.

    The only governance left are the proud messages from the sponsors and the Pied Pipers of Cool.

    Abetz cannot point to an alternative to the homosexual ‘lifestyle’ that he could conceivably be proud of and have any confidence in. That is his real weakness.

    His commitment to market privatization and deregulation has exactly the same baleful implications for the economic and ecological commons as the libertarian humanist commitment to the same thing in the social and existential realm.

    The market and social libertarians are running the same ideological agenda in their different areas of regime responsibility and engagement, with exactly the same disastrous outcomes.

    Abetz is futilely trying to welcome ‘turncoats’ into a social redoubt that is so smashed up it cannot possibly defend itself properly, which is why our homosexual brothers and sisters are having a field day invading it with their ideologically exceptionalist ‘new normal’ cuckoo marital agenda, that no society in real possession of itself would tolerate for five seconds…

    Guys like Abetz simply do not realize how eviscerating the libertarian paradigm really is in the context of indulgence capitalism. It converts into devastating disinhibition whether we are talking the behaviour of financial institutions during and after the GFC, or sexual/political/familial decay and disintegration as laid out in the 2016 S.A. Child Protection Royal Commission, of which the premier, Jay Weatherill said, “What we do know is that a staggering one in four children are the subject of a notification of abuse or neglect — and for Aboriginal children this figure rises to almost nine in 10.”

    None of this is the fault of the homosxual community, but their success in colonizing and overwhelming a key feature of a very damaged reproductive society, its marriage institution, will be seen as emblematic of this collapse in governance.

    And as consumer societies start to implode, as they inevitably will, homosexuals will become the first targets of people looking for someone to blame, particularly if they get caught in the open holding hands with a couple of kiddies in tow….


    Regards, Christopher N

  49. Sanguine

    October 13, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Jeepers Eric, you sure do need to start getting out and about a bit more….or maybe you need to see your therapist more often.
    Your words make you seem definitely weird…are you really an elected-more-than-once Senator? No kidding…seriously, now I’m really worried.

  50. TGC

    October 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Not sure why #6 doesn’t just come out and say what #6 means.

  51. Philip Lowe

    October 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Eric Abbetz does remind me of Eric Hoeniker,the old East German puppet leader.It is sickening to see how many people who were hard liners in one political system,ie,Nazism or Communism,can jump ship onto another totally opposite form of government,and then become control creatures in the adopted can of worms.Politics or religion,same shit different box.Wasn’t Orwell brilliant when he nailed these people.

  52. Claire Gilmour

    October 12, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Has Abetz never held his own cock in his own hand? Has he never had a fantasy? Is Abetz so pure of mind, heart, soul … and deed? Does he know for a fact neither his past or future kin have never loved their own sex?

    Such righteous people have things to hide I suggest.

    Even Christ protected a whore …!

    And religion (and then political law) protected the rapists, paedophiles and domestic violence perps for generations.

    But I digress …

    Just like a bunch of weak upper echelon Red Coat war mongers who have NEVER had to personally fight physically to stay alive and defend the future from unscrupulousness …

    Guy Barenett – Abetz’ new right hand man? … a so called minister for small business, does not fight for small business, for the state, he fights for himself.


    Political law mongers … narcissists always do it for themselves.

    How dare you try and inflame/inspire the ‘forest wars’ again for nothing but political gain and against the future well being of our state and country.

    But because most of you politicians are weak men, with weak chins and souls, you do it (fight) with word mongering only … you would NEVER physically put your own life on the line to save your own kin … weak political men are like that!

    Send them all (the politicians) to the front line of a real war or into the homes of domestic violence (a real current humanity war!)and perhaps they may come back with some real wit, intelligence and soul …

    Damn you political religious fundamentalists who take money from the people to give you the power to destroy and torture the people for generations.

  53. Eleanor Kramer

    October 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Well said Alison!! Let’s hope your article reaches the minds of many. Keep on talking until…….

  54. Wining Pom

    October 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

    ‘those that decide to go from the homosexual to heterosexual lifestyle’

    Will Abetz would ever ‘come out’ as a Communist. Why not? He could just wake up one morning and think that that’s the way to lead his life. The fact that his brain is hardwired to Conservatism shouldn’t get in the way.

  55. john hayward

    October 12, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I’m not sure that Alison shares that much of a common humanity with Eric. I certainly hope I don’t.

    Eric’s obsession with conscripting everyone else into his own dismal regiment is not something i can empathise with. Ditto for his bizarre conviction of his own brilliance.

    From what I’ve read about the sentience of octopuses, i have a certain fellow feeling toward them. Can’t say the same about Eric.

    John Hayward

  56. John Hawkins

    October 12, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Maybe Abetz would like to come out and comment on Otto Abetz who was responsible for sending the Jews of Paris to the gas chambers.

    In the context of persecution of minorities Erich Abetz is the epitome of an extreme hard right Australian Gay and Green hating Liberal.

    Abetz was, or maybe still is, the keeper of the dirt files for the Australian Liberal party in Canberra.

    Come out Erich and give us your thoughts on the Nazi hard right and its efforts to remove homosexuals from society.

    Is there somewhere here a course of action you can be proud of?

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