You see, I don't always blog about earth-shattering events or subject matters. Sometimes I just feel the urge to whinge about something stupid.....
There is something terribly wrong about this. I think it was a mistake to have even thought of it!
You’ve heard of those awful packet things called cup-a-soup? You may have even been brave enough to eat (drink?) one?
Well, here comes ‘Cup-a-Cake’:
‘White Wings is now selling a cake mix product which allows consumers to cook a cake in a cup using a microwave.
The cake can be cooked within one minute and is promoted as an easy solution for those who do not want to oven-bake an entire cake’.
‘Cake in a Cup comes in three flavours, double chocolate, raspberry and coconut and salted caramel and choc chip.’
It’s actually called ‘Cake in a Cup’ and ‘is available in supermarkets for about $5 for a box of four servings.’
Here’s the promo:
From Cup to Cake in 1 minute..... Warm, fluffy and delicious cake in just one minute, with no oven baking required. Simply empty the contents of the packet into a cup, add two tablespoons of milk, stir vigorously, microwave for one minute - and voila!
A delicious cake, with that gorgeous freshly baked aroma, for your pure enjoyment.
With three flavours to choose from, satisfy any occasion in just a minute.
Well, apart from me having the old-fashioned idea that cakes are baked to SHARE and can be a pleasant way to end a meal or to accompany a morning or afternoon tea – or coffee - with family or friends, what else do we know about this selfish way of making (making?) a cake?
Apparently (according to dietician, Rebecca Bradford), of the 15 ingredients in this Cake-in-a-Cup, eight are additives, including emulsifiers, artificial flavours and antioxidants. And, I think the antioxidants are not the ones that people ingest to help their good health progress but are additives to keep the mix from ‘going off’ – that is, to preserve the Cake-in-a-Cup ingredients while it sits on the supermarket shelf – or, heaven forbid – in your pantry.
The promo suggests that the ‘Cake in a Cup’ will ‘satisfy any occasion in just a minute.’
Just what sort of ‘occasion’ are we visualising?
I honestly cannot think of any occasion that such a thing would ‘satisfy’. Can you?
PS: Thanks to Sunday Mail (Courier Mail, Qld)
A couple of days ago I watched the compelling and unsettling documentary, Chasing Asylum.
Seeing what is happening in our off-shore detention centres made me ashamed to be an Australian. Of course I KNEW of these shocking situations, but to see it - and try to take it all in - was overwhelming.
It was just over 40 years ago that a fishing vessel carrying a small number of Vietnamese refugees landed in Australia. These were desperate people.
As time went by a further 2000 ‘boat people’ arrived; most on unsuitable and rickety vessels.
There is a lot more to this story. It involves political decisions and changes in attitudes. Something had to be done. It was not an easy task.
But eventually a better formal refugee program was introduced and more ‘authorised’ refugees were accepted and settled, which stopped the terrible risky boat journeys.
So, all those years ago, we had a ‘Stop the Boats’ system that worked and, eventually about 90,000 Vietnamese refugees arrived by plane, after being processed in offshore camps in S.E Asia. This processing usually took less than three months, before they were settled in Australia.
From those early 1970s arrivals, the Australian Vietnamese community is now estimated to be over 200,000…that is, counting the next generation.
The immense positive contribution to Australia by people originally from Vietnam is incalculable.
But now we have refugees from other war-torn parts of the world seeking asylum in Australia who are imprisoned in ‘off-shore’ detention places – and have been there for years.
Remember – processing of asylum seekers used to take three months. Is any ‘processing’ being done at all lately? I suspect not!
Asylum seekers in detention are rotting away, neglected - with nothing to do and nothing to hope for. There is no vision of hope for them and, as they sweat and struggle in these tropical hell holes on Manus Island and Nauru, we, the Australian people, are spending over ONE BILLION dollars, repeat: over ONE BILLION dollars a year on housing and guarding (!) these poor people; people who have already witnessed and experienced horrors that you and I cannot even imagine.
For the record, it is NOT illegal to seek asylum, so these people are NOT illegal.
Surely someone from some leading political party can go back into our forty-year history and see how the Fraser government dealt with refugees in the 1970s and 80s. Is there anyone still alive who helped formulate the policies that both stopped the boats and saved the bodies and souls of desperate people? Someone able to advise, if (surely not) details of that program have been lost?
If not for the sake of the refugees, for the mercenary sake of stemming the financially crippling cost.
What has made us so racist, red-necked, xenophobic, selfish and cruel that we can do this to other human beings?
A call to politicians of any persuasion: Risk being unpopular for just a short while and do something that will make us remember you as someone decent .
There is a small paragraph in British writer A.A.Gill’s excellent memoir, ‘Pour Me’, where he is writing about Syrian refugees landing in Lampedusa. It really strikes home:
“…if you would come face to face with these people you would never turn them away. You could not but help them. We all of us strive to be good, to be decent, to do the right thing. It is only their anonymity that allows us to support policies that turn our backs on them, send them away, bury them in internment camps and embargoes. It is perfectly simple – if you were confronted with their humanity, then simultaneously you would be confronted with your own. I want to write this over and over and over again.”
True, so true.
Sorry, an unhappy whinge today.
I can hardly bear to write about this.
In the News: At 20 months of age, a tiny boy was found dead in his cot. Signs of repeated abuse of his little body, resulting in ‘horrific injuries’, had been noted in the months before his death and yet he was not saved.
And, it seems that the blame (blame?!) has landed at the feet of the (child care) social workers. They are workers, for goodness sake. It must be a tremendously difficult job for them to keep tabs on neglected children. Sadly it means paper-work and sometimes foot slog and lots of meetings and so on. Case workers leave their desks at the end of their working day and go home to their families. They are not able to watch over their little ‘clients’ 24 hours of the day. Nor are they tied to the children by their heart strings as a parent or family should be – and in usual circumstances is. Sure, this was shocking neglect on the part of a government department and I quote, from the spokesperson for Child Safety: ‘The failure of the department to protect the most vulnerable (is) a scandal’.
Yes, true, but the bigger scandal is that people seem to be copulating randomly, with little or no thought of consequences and thereby producing children they do not want nor care for.
That each and every child is not cherished by his or her parents is the biggest scandal of all. And a tragedy of immense proportions.
From another state comes a report of a man charged with murdering his girlfriend’s 11 month old baby. The child was not his.
Less than two years ago this young woman had been in a relationship and become pregnant. A baby was born and 11 months later she had re-partnered with a man - who then killed the infant.
All that took about 20 months; not a very long time.
And eleven months is certainly a very short life; possibly a sad and painful one as well. I don’t know the details of that story so I’ll try not to judge too harshly but it seems that some relationships (or are they merely encounters?) don’t last long and are therefore hardly stable enough to sustain a family with babies and children.
Here’s another: The body of a missing twelve-year-old was distressingly found dumped by a river. Murdered. She was a girl who had lived all her life ‘in care’ – brought up by people other than her own parents (or parent, or family). The reason given for this was that her mother was only 18 when she had given birth and therefore too young to care for her. But, that was 12 years ago. The mother would be 30 by now and surely able to care for her daughter. But no; she was presently too occupied with her other children - and a pregnancy.
What are we doing that babies and children are virtually discarded? Are disposable?
And, yet, on the other hand, there are desperate (potential) mothers & fathers who would do anything to become parents. Whole books have been written about the quest for motherhood.
What’s going on?
It’s not only the thought of battered children - or murdered children – that worries me.
Last week a news story told of a house fire (in another state) where five children escaped on their own, as there was no adult present at the time. It was 2 AM when fire crews arrived to put out the fire. The children’s ages ranged from two to 14. They were home alone, in the middle of the night and the house caught fire.
Another house-fire story from the past is almost permanently imprinted in my mind. Again, the mother (this time ‘a single mother of seven’) was filmed for the TV News, surrounded by a gaggle of small children, in front of what was left of her rented house. She was sitting on the remains of the back steps and on her lap was a baby of no more than four or five months of age. The house fire was a tragedy and an appeal had been set up to help provide the family with some basic needs. But, the question in my mind was, where did all these (seven) children come from? Where was the father of (at least) the small baby in the mother’s arms? This woman was very young and possibly able to continue producing children. How would she cope with seven or more kids as they grew and demanded even more of her (and others’) time and resources?
Am I being elitist?
Am I exhibiting intolerance?
A warning…what follows may be deemed out of line, but here goes:
There are ways of preventing pregnancies. This is not the Middle Ages, when babies were caused as much by ignorance as by purposeful coupling.
Are any of these too hard to negotiate? Methods to stop the influx of unwanted and uncared for babies – ultimately children, ultimately damaged humans?
Sure, the thought of ‘a baby’ is a comforting experience for some. A baby. Yes, but the baby needs constant attention that isn’t always a happy situation for selfish adults.
The baby turns into a demanding toddler and then into………….and on it goes until it’s not only a battered baby, it’s an abused older child and adult and often an abuser him/herself who knows no other way – and sometimes a person who sadly ends up in prison.
If that sounds tough, then check what the upbringing of many of today’s prisoners was like.
I didn’t want to write about politics – I really didn’t. But it seems as if, right now, political discourse is pushing such an overpowering influence on the world’s well-being that it’s practically infiltrating the air we breathe.
Whatever just happened in the UK?
How is it that the people voted to LEAVE the EU? And, almost straightaway, voices are emerging (especially of young people) saying, ‘we didn’t want to LEAVE, but we thought they (they?) wouldn’t need our votes to pass the REMAIN arrangement’. (So they stayed home!)
What? Is that just laziness, or what?
“What have we done?” seems to be a common response to the new order.
And what ulterior motive did the Murdoch press have for pushing so hard (to the masses) for the LEAVE vote?
What do they have in mind for the future?
“Those who manipulate the organized habits and opinions of the masses constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”
– Edward Bernays, assistant to William Paley, founder of CBS
Then we have the US: Talk about ‘What have we done?’
Surely there are at least some Republicans who are wondering how they have managed to end up with the appalling red-neck racist clown, Trump, looking like a leadership possibility.
How moronic are this brand of Americans? No more than the malleable UK mob who didn’t think though their votes, I suppose.
Hopefully a lot of republican voters will be (as in UK) too lazy to come out to vote.
But, how scary is the world starting to appear?
And now, here in Australia, we have an election on Saturday.
And our voting is compulsory.
The current Prime Minister is almost (I said, ‘almost’) running scared, as he utters threats to the populace about dire results of voting for minor parties or independents.
From what I can see, our only hope for decency is to inject the thoughts and deeds of at least a few independents into our boring parliament; a parliament that currently panders to big business - and the big banks - to the exclusion of any needs of John and Jane Everyman and their deprived hospitals, schools and environment.
Not ‘What have we done?’ yet for us.
I just hope that’s not our cry next week!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.