crime and publicity

Following the inquiry into the death of prisoner Simon Rochford, Deputy State Coroner Evelyn Vicker recommend legislation to allow police to suppress information that might “compromise an investigation into a serious offence.”

Western Australia’s new new Attorney-General Christian Porter (the guy who told The Australian that addressing the state’s indigenous prison rate was not high on his agenda) apparently thinks this recommendation is “sensible and deserves consideration”.

Erm… giving the police MORE powers to keep stuff OUT of the press when on most occasions they seem to love PUTTING IT THERE THEMSELVES seems a little strange.

Rochford’s death was yet another chapter in the legal saga surrounding the 1994 murder of Pamela Lawrence. Andrew Mallard’s conviction for the murder was quashed by the High Court in 2005 after he had spent over a decade in jail. The Corruption and Crime Commish made findings of misconduct against police and prosecutors involved in the case. A cold case review discovered a previously unidentified palm print from the crime scene which was traced back to  Rochford … who happened to be serving time for the murder of his girlfriend.

Deputy Coroner Vicker found that the ABC television news report naming Rochford as the new suspect in the high-profile murder case “precipitated” his decision to commit suicide just hours after he saw the news.

Oops.

Last week, The Australian‘s Debbie Guest pointed out that:

The calls for new police powers follow a year of scrutiny of Perth media, including a raid on the Sunday Times newspaper by armed police in an attempt to find the source of a story that embarrassed the previous Carpenter government. [link]

Yeah, News Ltd is still pissed about that one. But I don’t think this is about the media.

Last year I wrote on my own blog about how the cops effed up in naming Supreme Court Registrar Corryn Rayney’s “estranged” husband the “prime suspect” in her murder yet never charged him. Mr Rayney, who’s a FRICKING BARRISTER, recently sued the coppers and the government for defamation.

An article on PerthNow reporting that police revealed info about an item found at the site in King’s Park where Registrar Rayney’s body was found, noted:

Since the defamation writ was issued last month, police have been reluctant to comment on any aspect of the Rayney case.

But wait… now the government wants to give the cops the powers to “suppress information”?

You’ve gotta be kidding me, Christian Porter — the boys in blue can’t keep their OWN mouths shut, dontcha think you need to work on that before fannying about with “suppression” laws?

And, um, didn’t they keep quiet about the tape of Jane or Sarah talking to some random at The Claremont on the night they went missing for twelve years and then got bitch-slapped about that?

This is not about the media going over the line. This is about the cops making value judgments about things when it suits them, and then blaming the mean, nasty media when the shit hits the fan.

Now, Labor’s shadow Attorney-General McGinty says nasty suppression legislation could stifle information which should be made public (well spotted, Captain Duh):

“I have reservations about the wisdom of yet further suppression orders of information [that] should be in the public arena,” he said.

“I think on balance that the public interest is best served by not having so many prohibitions on the public being given the information upon which they can make their judgements.” [link]

Ok, look, I love the dude (especially for everything he did for ending discrimination against Teh Gays in WAys, and stuff) and he’s right, there’s no point putting more powers in the cop’s hands, but in my humble opinion, Jimmy doesn’t actually get the point either.

I just wonder… Will laws ban giving info to the jurors who are supposed to make the judgments? Because until they are unable to lie their way out of jury duty, no member of the public should be making judgements about anyone’s criminal liability.

They should get back to washing their cars on the lawns and shopping at Bunnings and doing those other things all good Sandgropers do. Ok?

While the police are investigating stuff, the public should have no right to information unless aforementioned public can help. The public ‘making judgements’ about on-going investigations, where no charges have been laid and no case against a person has been made in a court of law, has got squat to do with it.

Everyone got that? Good.

But Jimmy’s right on the essential bit: banning the media from talking about criminal investigations like that isn’t the solution.

Sue Short, the ABC reporter who broke the story, said she wouldn’t have named Rochford if she’d “been given a good reason” and call me naïve but I would like to think journos still have the ethics and/or values that would have them hold off on a story if it would do more harm than good to an on-going investigation.

Legislators don’t need to create powers that let the police keep the media quiet, they need to get the police to do their job, and give them proper media training while they’re at it.

The pollies should get back to something they can actually fix instead of wasting time ranting on about unnecessary and draconian “suppression” laws.

I mean, honestly. What do they think they’re running? Notre Dame Uni? Psh.

fun links to keep the masses occupied

Gah, it looks like I may have called an end to my hiatus too early. But we did have a good couple of weeks up-til now, so I’ll count that as a blessing.

Until I have time to pull together all the notes scattered through my several Moleskines (I try to be organised, but I think I am a scatterbrain at heart) into real blog posts, here are some fun things for y’all to read:

If you think that’s special, then think about this. Pfotenhauer said that she lives in a place called Oakton, Va. Oakton is located in Fairfax County. Pfotenhauer implied that the country was part of “real America” because it was open to the possibility of electing John McCain. Here’s the problem: Fairfax County, like its neighbors, are in the process of turning colors. (We can detect this with a special version of a mass spectrometer called a “ballot box.”)

Like regular charges of left-wing bias against the ABC, the moral panic evident in submissions to the Senate inquiry rests on a certain implicit, though questionable, assumption – namely, that only deviation from prevailing orthodoxy constitutes bias.

Conventional views are presumed neutral, and the possibility is never entertained they may be invisibly, systematically biased in the other direction. It follows that the regular complaints of bias and proposed remedies are a form of harassment designed to maintain doctrinal conformity.

However, the highest educational ideals require precisely the reverse attitude – that is, encouraging the exploration of alternatives to preferred, taken-for-granted views. As Bertrand Russell remarked, education should make students think, not to think what their teacher (or government) thinks.

Found any good web-treats recently? Please share!

Love,
Sunili xoxo

October up-coming events

STAND UP Perth

5:30pm, Friday 17 October 2008
Forrest Place, Perth

STAND UP Against Poverty is a worldwide call to take action against poverty and inequality and for the Millennium Development Goals.   It is a unique global mobilisation which calls on civil society, schools, businesses and NGOs and every day people to band together with the same message – that we must MAKE POVERTY HISTORY.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiA0f_Ui1RA]

So if you are in town tomorrow night… join in to put your voice behind this call (there are other Perth STAND UP events too and also, check out more about Anti-poverty week 12-18 October).


Labor Readers’ Club

6.30pm, Tuesday 21st October 2008
The Velvet Lounge
– in the back section of the Flying Scotsman Cnr Walcott and Beaufort Streets, Mt Lawley

The next Labor Readers’ event will discuss the latest Quarterly Essay by Tim Flannery: ‘Now or Never: A Sustainable Future for Australia?‘ (Quarterly Essay, Issue 31).

Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, outlines the threat that global warming poses to humanity. His essay is a passionate plea for both citizens and policy-makers alike to act now and adopt sustainability as a key organising principle.

David Hodgkinson, a climate change and aviation law specialist (see www.hodgkinsongroup.com and www.ecocarbon.org.au) will provide an introduction to the discussion.

Come along and join in the discussion, all are warmly welcomed. The only prerequisite to being a Reader is an open, critical mind and an interest in the future of Australia.

Blog Action Day 08: let’s talk about poverty, baby

Today, 15 October, is Blog Action Day: where nearly 10 000 sites around the great web of the internets will write, design, speak, or whatever on one topic to get the word out and keep it there.

The topic this year is POVERTY.

Yesterday I wrote rather flippantly about wanting an iPod and going oh, look at me, I’m a 20-something in Australia with no responsibilities and a highly disposable income.   And that was just after I’d read a news story about how millions of people are at risk of dying of starvation in Zimbabwe.

When I did my Arts Honours thesis, I spent a year with my head stuck in textbooks on “international development” (as in from the Millennium Development Goals) and talking to people who were trying to “fix” poverty.  At some points it all got a little disenchanting — particularly when I realised that the concept of “development” was invented/thought up after World War II, as in sixty years ago, and we’re still trying to “fix” it.

It’s a big issue. There’s no denying that.  And yeah, sometimes it seems like there’s too much to do, and that no matter how many concerts Bono organises, or how much coffee Colin Firth drenches himself in (hello), nothing much is going to change anything.

But you know what? I still make the effort to do what I can.

I’ve been a UNICEF Global Parent for several years, donating money to that program every month even when I was a student.  When I have to give people gifts, I get them chickens or seeds or goats or small business grants from Oxfam Unwrapped (my friends get a card; people who could do with a goat get a goat).  I try to only buy coffee from cafés that use fair trade beans and I try to only buy fair trade tea and chocolate, too (sometimes, but, I really feel like a Snickers; I do then try to offset that somehow…).

I also joined the Make Poverty History campaign, and when they send me emails about lobbying projects that asks me to take 2 minutes to click through and sign a petition the government about the travesty of the maternal and child mortality in developing countries, I do it. Oh, and I am hosting The World’s Largest Fondue Party (or at least, a part of it) at my place in November (SAVE THE DATE!!), which is part of the Stop The Traffick campaign to end child trafficking labour in the manufacture of our chocolate.

Yes, I know those are only little things.

Like the way I also take all my recyclables home from the office because our building doesn’t do recycling, some people might think I am an idiot because just little me doing those little things probably isn’t going to make a big impact.  But you know what?  I don’t care what people think about the things I do.

I have a choice.  I have a choice between:

  1. doing those little things that might-possiblymaybe have some positive impact (no matter how small) but don’t require me to go very far out of my way at all; or
  2. not doing anything at all because, psh, that’s what most people are doing anyway, even if that will totally-definitely not have any impact,

My choice is, CLRLY, the first one.

And if people want to think I’m a little odd for my choice, all I want them to know is that I don’t give a shit about what they think.

And until I have time to set up a Kiva fund, or the guts to quit my job and go work somewhere like Cambodia like Laine, or the inspiration to set up a program for indigenous people in the Kimberly like Dan, I will keep doing those little things.  Actually, I’ll keep doing those little things even when (that’s right, not if, when) I get around to taking the bigger steps.

There’s a list on the Blog Action Day site about the Things One Person Can Do, but if you can’t be bothered to read that, they’ve got a video too.

Watch it, yo:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzxtBWQvXAU]

I hope this post encourages people to think about the little things they can do that will be part of a bigger effort to deal with the issue of world poverty.

Look, I know that with all these talks about recession and credit crunches a lot of people have issues to deal with that are even closer to home. But that’s exactly why, right now, it is just as important to talk about poverty which has been affecting entire countries, heck continents, for decades and decades.  Think about it. I guess that’s all I’m asking for. If you want to take it any further, and kinda maybe talk to me about it, my email is sunilisblog via that google internet communication thing.

Love,
Sunili

xoxo

money, money, money

When I was growing up (in my totally fun immigrant family) we always had to listen to Sinhalese songs on cassettes on any long drives. Lame. My little brother and I never got any of it so we were consequentially deprived of pop-music throughout our youth. (That’s probably why my brother thinks he is/wants to be a brother ie a gangsta rapper.)

Except for ABBA.

For some reason my parents had a couple of their tapes and listened to them sometimes (were they big in Sri Lanka, too?). Yeah, sure, we were growing up in the 90s, but it was nice to be able to know the language of car songs — even if they were from the 70s.

My favourite song is probably Mamma Mia, but everyone seems to be talking about cash and stuff these days, so I am going to go with this:

I work all night I work all day to pay the bills I have to pay
ain’t it sad
and still there never seems to be a single penny left for me
that’s too bad
in my dreams
I have a plan
if I got me a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work at all I’d fool around and have a ball

Bless.

But from what I gather, it’s not so fun In A Rich Man’s World at the moment. And it’s probably worse that usual in a less-than-rich person’s, too.

I feel kinda out of the loop, though.

(Until, of course, I get evicted or have my rent spiked,) I don’t have to worry about feeding hungry tummies or paying off mortgages. I never invested in the stock market so the last month has been like very whatevs for me. And I paid off my credit card a couple of pay cheques ago.

So now, I just get more dollars miraculously deposited into my bank account than I actually “need” to spend in a fortnight.

And a wealthy man can go suck it, as I have no interest in (nor prospects of)  being an investment banker/drug dealer’s coke-addled trophy wife.

Because I have plenty of pennies left for me.  And that’s even after my direct debit to UNICEF has gone out.  AND, even though I’ve never reeeally been a good saver, I am also saving 16% (which > 10% suggested amount) of my pay because I’ve set it to be popped over to my savings account by my employer. (Thanks for the tip, Grendel!!!)

I am quite, quite lucky, I know I am. And I know I could lose my job (but frankly… I won’t complain too much right now… hah) and things could get really bad, and stuff, but I am a good Buddhist, I know this too will pass [also apparently a Jewish story??] and I’ll deal with that when I get there.

But what now?

I suppose I could save more (but that’s kinda boring)… or give even more to charity (maybes I can buy two Big Issues a fortnight??).  But with all this talk about consumer confidence dropping and economic stimulus packages and stuff, I’m thinking: welp. Mayhaps I might go get an iPod at lunch time?

BUT I CAN’T GET ONE.

DJ’s and Myer haven’t got the 16GB size I want, JB Hi-Fi haven’t got the right colour (dude, I am not like gonna just throw the cash away on one I don’t actually like!) and the knobs at DigiLife didn’t seem interested in selling me anything either.

W. T. F.

So, back at the office, I tried to order one online, but IT FROZE LIKE 5 TIMES and then when I rang the Apple Store, and patiently went through 3 recorded menus, I was told (by a recorded message, of course) that the Apple Store’s Opening Hours Are — [this is where I slammed the phone down].

Um… hello?

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY IF NO-ONE’S GOING TO LET ME BUY ANYTHING?

I am just trying to be a Good Capitalist Denizen (™).

Why can’t I do that?

What is the universe trying to tell me? That capitalism sucks, or something?

What. What?

OH RLRY?

Rupe’s Troops Rally for the Cause

So I gave up reading news.com.au because it is like 99.6% tabloid crap, but The Australian is starting to piss me off again.  I can’t remember why I quit it last time, and I don’t know why I went back again this morning. A ‘comment’ piece in the flashing Opinion widget at the top of the site got my attention, though:

To what extent is the Democratic presidential nominee still in thrall to extremist friends, asks Mervyn Bendle?

The online copy editors @ News Ltd really need to get off the crack and actually read the articles before writing the subhead/dek.

One assuming this piece is going to be a considered analysis of the totally ridiculous (and totally refuted) claims about Obes Pallin’ Around With Terrorists, which one should expect in a country in which there are unlikely to be many swing/undecided voters, would in all likelihood be confused to find themselves reading propagandist drivel that reads like a stump speech delivered to rednecks who will respond with “Terrorist!” and “Kill Him”.

Merv, who is apparently a “senior lecturer in history and communications at James Cook University”, apparently also wants a job as She Who Will Not Be Named’s speechwriter.

Because why else will some bogan from a Queensland uni care to spout out random facts and 40-year old soundbites about The Weathermen, select snippets from Obama’s books about his influences and then make ominous warnings about What American Voters Really Need to Think About (dun dun dun):

The question that the American people may have to ask themselves is how much this extremist milieu still drives Obama’s political outlook and how much it will guide his decisions, policies and appointments throughout the federal government system as the next president of the US.

Don’t it just fill you with fear and trepidation? Don’t you hear the call to arms to ring up your friends Nelly-May and Billy-John who live in some Red State and warn them of the imminent danger of That Radical Extremist*?

Aside from the lame/misleading technicalities, why the eff is this article even in The AUSTRALIAN?

Yeah, ok, people are allowed to have their opinions, and WTF-ever, Rupert’s editorial cronies are allowed to print whoever’s opinions they want, but seriously, how is propaganda for the US election worthy of publication in this country’s national paper?

Sigh. I don’t know why I even bother.

Aside: not to get too nit-picky, or nothin’, but do you think McCain knows that a press release listing big donors who support him includes Leonore Annenberg, chief of protocol in the Reagan White House, the president/chair of the Pennsylvania-based Annenberg Foundation and the widow of Walter H Annenberg, the late publisher, philanthropist, ambassador, and founder of the  Chicago Annenberg Challenge (that being the nasty “radical” organisation that indelibly taints Obama with horrible, evil, lefty-terrorist-scumness)? The Republicans are a fricking joke.

* From the Devil’s Republican’s Dictionary/Thesaurus

Radical Extremist“: (n) 1. generally, a coloured person; or a white person who may like coloured persons. 2. Terrorist. See also: Socialist; Gun-Hater (But Bombthrower); Baby Killer.

a blue day post

October is beyondblue Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month, and today, 10 October, is Blue Day and World Mental Health Day (more info – PDF).

The PTUB crew are having a Blue Day gathering but I can’t make it, so consider this my contribution to raising awareness of anxiety and depression… a very worthy pursuit indeed.

One of the most horrible (of many) things about depression is the silence surrounding it — people with it don’t want to admit they have it, as much as they feel the urge to talk about it, and friends of sufferers, as much as they want to help, often don’t know how to talk about even if they knew.

I’ve been wanting to write here about mental health and depression and stuff, and there’s never going to be a “right” time to write about it, and today is as good as it could ever get.

It’s quite the personal issue for me.  I grew up having a particular interest for politics and law stuff, and, both of those areas have particular issues with mental health (I’ve mentioned politics and depression here before, and The Pinstriped Prison also referred to the issue).

Then in the first part of last year, things went a little pear-shaped.  To say the least.

I was in my final year of university, doing Honours in Law, the editor of the student magazine, I had a great part-time job and I was in a wonderful long-term relationship.

What more could I even imagine asking for?

But morning after morning, I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. Randomly, and mostly over the dumbest thing, I would burst into inconsolable tears. I didn’t want to see anyone, not my friends, not my boyfriend.  I skipped classes and slept well into the afternoon. I couldn’t concentrate on anything — from study to even books and TV. I was freaking out about my life, even though everything was going so well.

Yup. Many of the classic symptoms of depression.

I was eventually diagnosed with depression, and started medication and counselling.  But not before it nearly cost me my relationship, my studies, and my friends.  It was also very difficult dealing with my family since I realised that a lot of my feelings stem from my younger days.

While I recently started reducing the dosage on my medication, I am by no means recovered.  In any event people question whether you ever can recover from depression — I’ve been told that I’ll probably go through some spells throughout the course of my life — but I am still definitely still on the road leading out of the darkness.

I tried writing about it, but was too self-conscious to use this blog, which is so obviously labelled as being from me and linked to my real life. So I started another blog, anonymously.  I suppose that by keeping it a secret, I was just perpetuating the vicious cycle of silence about depression as well hiding my true experiences and my true feelings of who I was.

Earlier this week, a wonderful person I follow on Tumblr bravely posted about her experiences with depression (and particularly, anti-depressants) and inspired by that, and the whole point of this week and this day, I have decided to share my other blog to anyone who cares to read it.

I thought about importing the posts into this blog but I have decided against it. I may change my mind later on, but I did promise I wasn’t going to turn this into a LiveJournal type thing!

So I’ll just link to it, and, in a way, connect that part of me to the rest you find here.  So here are my (sporadic) stories about my journey Out of the Bell jar.

Happy Blue Day, everyone. Please talk to your friends about depression — if you feel like there’s never the right time, it really is right now.

career choices (advice from Michelle Obama)

Ohmygod you guys!!

We just had to select our preferences for the first year rotation at The Firm next year, and have been invited to end of the month drinks to meet everyone, right, and just I randomly found this article from the WashPo – an exerpt from Michelle: A Biography, that is totally speaking to me right now re my life choices as mentioned the other week (and also here).

I am currently flipping out.

Since I can’t really put any coherent thoughts together, I will copy out the relevant bits, but you might want stop reading now because I am about to gratuitously compare my life to Michelle Obama’s.

Here we go:

A driven, focused student, Michelle had propelled herself into the Ivy League and, as a summer associate at Sidley, was starting to reap the benefits. Along with 60 or so other law students, she spent the summer of 1987 being courted by the firm’s highly paid partners — going to baseball games, lunches and happy hours. Her stint there led to a full-time job offer and a stark choice: Work as an associate at a big-name law firm earning about $65,000 a year, or look for something more public service-oriented but likely to be less lucrative.

GAH!!! That’s MY stark choice RIGHT NOW!!!

…she acknowledged that her years at Princeton had changed her. She entered the university, she wrote, determined to use her education to benefit the black community. But by the time she was preparing to graduate, she was not nearly so sure where her obligations lay. “As I enter my final year at Princeton, I find myself striving for many of the same goals as my White classmates — acceptance to a prestigious graduate or professional school or a high paying position in a successful corporation. Thus, my goals after Princeton are not as clear as before.”

GAH again!! I wanted to save Sri Lanka and stuff!!! But then I accepted the fancy job!!!!!!

In Michelle’s case, Sidley Austin was offering a prestigious name and a lucrative starting salary. Michelle had grown up with parents who lived paycheck to paycheck. She had student loans to pay off. In the end, she went with the private firm, a conventional choice and one she would eventually urge others not to make.

OHMYEFFINGGOODNESSSSSSS!!!!

I should stop now, but then there’s this, which is TOTALLY ME RIGHT NOW THIS YEAR and therefore makes the previous stuff MORE APPLICABLE:

She was, White recalls, “quite possibly the most ambitious associate that I’ve ever seen.” She wanted significant responsibility right away and was not afraid to object if she wasn’t getting what she felt she deserved, he says.

At big firms, much of the work that falls to young associates involves detail and tedium. There were all sorts of arcane but important rules about what could and could not be said or done in product advertisements, and in the marketing group, all the associates, not just the new ones, reviewed scripts for TV commercials to make sure they conformed. As far as associate work goes, it could have been worse — “Advertising is a little sexier than spending a full year reading depositions in an antitrust law suit or reviewing documents for a big merger,” says White — but it was monotonous and relatively low-level.

Abner Mikva, a former congressman and federal judge who is close to the Obamas and was an early mentor to Barack, finds that account of Michelle’s 20-something impatience amusing. “It doesn’t surprise me at all,” he says. Michelle is “clearly somebody who likes to make decisions and likes to be involved in exciting and important stuff. I can imagine writing memos for other lawyers — I don’t think that would have been her favorite dish of tea.”

Well at least that totally disproves the Whiny Gen-Y theory! Victory! I’m just an ambitious person, just like Michelle Obama, that’s all. No need to categorise that work/ambition/whinging thing any further.

Moving on through the article, on to the life/career choices stuff… there’s this bit about when Barack took her to meet a group of people he had worked with as a community organizer before he started law school:

Barack stood up that day, and he spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about the world as it is, and the world as it should be. And he said that, all too often, we accept the distance between the two, and we settle for the world as it is, even when it doesn’t reflect our values and aspirations.”

Yes. The crux of my dilemma.

The next bit of the article goes through the cutesy stuff about them going out, having a long distance relationship while Barrack was studying, getting engaged etc — she she kept nagging about getting marred.

Um. Nope. Totally not the same as her on this bit at all. I have not ever waited for boyfriend while he was studying far away NOR nagged aforemention boyfriend (of nearly four years) that we should just get married. Nup. Never.

Anyway. That’s not the point. The point is about careers:

… Michelle was ready to revisit the choice she’d made when she graduated from Harvard. At the time, she was still reeling from the death of her father in 1991. Fraser Robinson had died while getting ready to go to work, felled by what Barack, in his book “The Audacity of Hope,” describes as complications from a kidney operation. This was an event of enormous emotional and psychological magnitude for Michelle and the rest of her family. At the Democratic National Convention, she described her father as “our rock. Although he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his early 30s, he was our provider. He was our champion, our hero. But as he got sicker, it got harder for him to walk. It took him longer to get dressed in the morning.

“But if he was in pain, he never let on. He never stopped smiling and laughing, even while struggling to button his shirt, even while using two canes to get himself across the room to give my mom a kiss. He just woke up a little earlier, and he worked a little harder.”

His death made Michelle aware of how short life can be and prompted her to reflect, she has said in interviews. “If what you’re doing doesn’t bring you joy every single day, what’s the point?”

Her father’s death wasn’t the only one she was grieving. In 1990, one of Michelle’s closest friends from Princeton, Suzanne Alele, had died from cancer when she was only in her 20s. Alele, a computer specialist at the Federal Reserve, had always followed her heart, doing what felt right rather than what was expected of her. She was described in her alumni obituary as a “free spirit” who was much loved by her classmates.

Michelle resolved to live her own life in that vein. “I wanted to have a career motivated by passion and not just money,” she would tell the New York Times years later.

(emphasis added.)

Ok, truly, I am lucky that my dad nor any closest friends have died (touchwood), but that point is still pertinent to this whole dilemma.

And learning from other people’s mistakes/misfortunes/lessons is the best thing ever, right?

Ok, this is also something I worry about about, CLRLY making me even more the same as her:

In a 2004 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Michelle also expressed a lingering sense of guilt about enjoying so much material success as a big-firm lawyer while others who shared her origins and upbringing were not doing as well. She remembers asking herself, “Can I go to the family reunion in my Benz and be comfortable, while my cousins are struggling to keep a roof over their heads?”

Moreover, she wasn’t enthralled with the work at Sidley Austin and apparently didn’t think many of her colleagues were, either. “I didn’t see a whole lot of people who were just thrilled to be there,” she told Newsweek earlier this year. “I met people who thought this was a good life. But were people waking up just bounding out of bed to get to work? No.”

Yup. Same. I have lots of guilt about that stuff (like here) and, in the last few weeks, even in my non-corporate-law-firm job but that is still dealing with boring-corporate-law, I have been raaaather miserable.

Anyway, then: Michelle went to work at Chicago Department of Planning and Development:

Michelle’s new job was “economic development coordinator,” which city records describe as “developing strategies and negotiating business agreements to promote and stimulate economic growth within the City of Chicago.”

Hello! TOTALLY wrote my thesis on something in that broad general field!!

So now, having established that I AM JUST LIKE MICHELLE OBAMA, let’s have a look-see at what she has advised young people to do with their career choices:

After three years of toiling on behalf of Barney [as in, “The Dinosaur”] and Coors beer, Michelle was working to bring new jobs and vitality to Chicago’s neighborhoods. It was a turning point in her career and in the way she would later frame her life story. Michelle didn’t just leave the world of corporate law; she would go on to publicly reject it.

We don’t need a world full of corporate attorneys and hedge-fund managers,” she said earlier this year as she campaigned in South Carolina.

She and Barack both make a point of talking about how they left corporate America (After graduating from Columbia University, Barack spent one year as a researcher for a Manhattan financial firm before becoming a community organizer) and devoted themselves to public service. “We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” Michelle said at a campaign event in Ohio this past winter. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that.

So there you have it. The advice from Michelle Obama, THE WOMAN TO WHOM I AM TOTALLY JUST A MINI-HER, on THE VERY DECISION I AM LOOKING AT MAKING RIGHT NOW.

Oh gods. I need to lie down.

rejection

I got my rejection letter for Thing last night.

They sent back all the material I had to submit and BLOODY FOLDED MY TRANSCRIPT which is totally rude.

Anyway, I cried, which is normal which I cry at lots of things (most recently this DVD — yeah, lame) and then I got really, really angry.

In fairness I wasn’t expecting to get it, but I am just totally shocked that I didn’t even get an interview.  I know this probably seems a little arrogant, but I honestly felt that I was a good candidate.  So did M, but I guess he has to think that, but so did the person who got it last year, who swore lots in reply to my Fb message passing on the bad news.

I remember randomly seeing an article about some book some woman’s written about Kids These Days having been brought up on an overdose of self-esteem, but I really, truly thought I’d be a shoe-in for at least a bloody INTERVIEW.

Sheesh.

I kept randomly wanting to hit things/cry all day but I am also telling myself it doesn’t even matter, because it totally doesn’t and I was actually just waiting to hear I didn’t get it so that I can get on with thinking about the rest of my life.

There’s this part of me that wants to start analysing everything to figure out why so that I can rationalise my anger/be better for the next thing I apply for, but then again, I realise all the other things I HAVE succeeded in already.

Which then I realise is totally proof that I am AWESOME and SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST GOT AN INTERVIEW, AM-I-RIGHT??

Humph.

Anyway. Not thinking about it any more right now. I am going to look at Yes We Can (hold babies) and watch the next episode of The Wire (season 1).

Now. Were are the mutha-funking Tim Tams? And I think I will really be needing that Genie that refills them, too.