Thursday, 18 December 2008

Kings and ladies, too

Au plus esleve throne du monde si ne sommes assis que sus nostre cul.
Les Roys et les philosophes fientent, et les damnes aussi.

Upon the highest throne in the world, we are seated, still, upon our arses.
Kings and philosophers shit: and so do ladies.

- Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)
(via The Consolations of Philosophy, Alain de Botton)

Friday, 12 December 2008

V-Wall Tavern, Nambucca Heads

We took two days off work and headed up the north coast to Nambucca Heads for a weekend of camping, fishing and beering. We nailed the camping part, and, of course, we totally nailed the beering part, but we found the fishing part a little difficult. The locals in the pub, the V-Wall Tavern, thought we must be serious fisher-people, because we certainly had all the gear. But what with the gale force winds that weekend, and worms being tricky bastards to put onto hooks, and us not knowing how to tie a hook properly onto a line, and the overabundance of good cold beer, well... fishing just didn't really happen.

The View from the Loo

Located towards the rear of the V-Wall Tavern, these toilets represent everything good about seaside bars - roomy, welcoming and well-appointed.

The toilets were clean and, for some reason, I really liked the shape of the spout. It looks a little like a puppy.

The bar has the usual selection of beers on tap and service always came with a smile. One of the nights we were there, a great band was playing. We drank a lot of beer that weekend, so I can't remember their name. The something or other experience...

V-Wall Tavern

The chips at the bar were okay, but the 'damper' was really disappointing; just a bread roll warmed up. A nice bread roll, sure, but come on! this is the heart of anglo-saxon Straya - you've got to get the damper right!

Nice dunnies, V-Wall. The Bog Logger says "Your nanna might not like the band, but she'll love the loos".

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Divisions of labour

In the 'Boring but important' section of The Week this week, there's a story about India's push to provide a toilet for every Indian household by 2012. Currently, dry toilets are 'serviced' by people who are considered untouchable. Plenty of work has been done by organisations such as Sulabh International to provide different job opportunities for these shit clearers, but plenty more needs to be done.

Also in the same section was a statistic that says Australian adults are spending more time at work and with families; as a result, men are spending less time on housework, while women are spending more.

The progress in sharing housework that was recorded from 1992 to 1997 has now stalled.
I can't understand why, in a modern age, the division of housework is still a point of contention between men and women. Surely everyone wants to live in a moderately clean home and each person should work to their strengths. Don't like a stinky toilet - clean it! Can't stand doing dishes - leave it to your partner. Take out the garbage instead.

Sometimes I think the fundamentally patriarchal nature of male-female relationships in western society means that things like housework will continue to be a sticking point. Housework will always be seen as 'women's work' as long as women continue to be encouraged to value aesthetics over function.

(Of course, I hardly need to add that all people are encouraged to value aesthetics in 'feminine' things, such as women's personal appearance and domestic lives. When viewing men and manly things, they should desire strength and a sense of humour.)

(I also don't need to add that most of the shit lifters in India are women, in spite of the fact that women in slum areas of India have little or no access to toilets for their own use.)