The psychobabbling food-loving seamstress.

Who’s afraid of International Law?

Posted in general musings, Law, writing by Ambs on June 18, 2010

I was talking to a colleague in regards to the first in the series of Wednesday lectures at ACU I went to entitled “Who’s afraid of International Law?” by Professor Gerry Simpson, she asked if it gave me hope?

I had to think for a moment, as I had been so frustrated and all out of hope in regards to international law in the last few months, I had walked out of the lecture feeling a little lighter, but not hopeful for international law as a set of rules that so many people rely on, yet are so malleable and pliable in so many ways (yet I suppose law in general can be looked at in that way).
In answer to the question, I found the lecture to be one of the most realistic and thought provoking on the topic.

I knew I should have taken notes, as most of what was said has washed and mashed together.
I think I’m still processing a lot of what was said, the fact that a lecture that could be concluded as being realistic in regards to whats currently going on (and past events for that matter), as opposed to extremely opinionated, which has fueled my frustrations on the topic in recent months.

It is safe to say that I am well and truely sick of hearing and reading individualistic rhetoric and big bold statements which serve us to no end.  “State A should be prosecuted for crimes agaist humanity….blah blah blah.”

Such bold statements are usually made by people who are experts in the given field, but instead of making the situation realistic, it only seems to serve egotistical (or monetary in some instances)  interests.
Sadly enough I have been finding myself constantly dismayed by people I would describe as heroes growing up of late.

Anyways back to the lecture…
I have sat in on a couple of Professor Simpson’s Public Lectures in the past, but they have not purely been lectures, they have been in-conversations (with Gideon Boas and Philip Alston), or him presenting lecturers for the APCML, so I’ve never seen him talk for anymore than about 15 minutes.

This was a treat for me.  I bought one of Gerry’s book a few months ago, but still have not had the chance to read it yet.
I really enjoyed the way that he broke it up into sections, the hopeful side (which he referred to a the Geoffrey Robertson section), the side which is realistic about the limitations of international law in certain conflicts and also the side which is open ended, and what can sometimes be achieved when international law is able to be instituted on the basis and rules that have been created.

All in all it has set the mood and tone for what looks to be an excellent series of lectures over the next 6 weeks.

I’m especially looking forward to both Tim McCormack and Raimond Gaita’s lectures in the coming weeks.

And another….Hot Damn…

Posted in Uncategorized by Ambs on February 20, 2010

I’m boiling, this is ridiculous!  How I wish I was in Eastern Europe at the moment, winter winter every where!

I fell asleep for about 3 hours, now I’m wide awake again! bah!

I’m trying to remember what I’ve been wanting to write about this week, Depression and Sexual Impulse/Compulsion, my brand spankin’ new blog (currently under construction), my trip, and the fact that I am officially a student (finally!!!).  Oh and the usual law related rant…

Depression/Anxiety and the relativity of sexual desire/obsession.  When I was way way way down, deeply depressed, there were very few things that could get me motivated, one of them was going out and picking-up (or going after men I knew I had no chance with/shouldn’t. A.K.A. Using methods of avoidance, rather than dealing with what was really going on in my head).  I could never work out why I did it, as I’d feel even lower after, and couldn’t work out why my brain wouldn’t let me be happy after certain experiences.
I’ve been thinking about it in context lately, and realising that instant fleeting moment of sexual gratification is yet another method of avoidance.  So instead of staying home, sitting with how I felt, and writing, letting it out, I’d avoid it, and feel even lower after.  Learning that this is yet another pattern of avoidance (like binge-drinking), has bought some interesting clarity.  Some more to think about, it’s a nice realisation though, as I couldn’t work out a) why I kept doing it (or, more so having the intention to), and b) why I felt even worse after.
Just for the record, and to put it in context, that is strictly related to depression (well, my experience with it).
Most people use patterns of avoidance, depressed or not…
My sister for example, is notorious at avoiding doing assignments (she’ll leave it all to the last 2 weeks or so, this also goes for getting reports done!), will always find something to play with before she’ll settle.  Looking for music to listen to, buying things on the internet… etc…

The brand-spankin’-new-blog…
I had a moment last semester while I was doing QOT’s for a class at work, one of the comments caught my eye, “I wish we didn’t have to do so may Hypothetical’s”.  As I read this comment, I wondered why this person was bothering to study Law?
How else would you be able to consider the implications of law on society?
Even if not related to law exactly, the implications of how human beings interact with each other, and the products of these interactions.  One of the reasons I love going back over Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypothetical’s (Yes, this man gets a lot of mentions on my blog.  I will stop talking about him eventually), is because they bring about interesting debate on how different people view things, their actions based on these views, and the product of these action.
Although in a hypothetical situation, the products of these actions are always put in the hands of the person providing the hypothetical themselves.  More reasons why when the last GR hypo was conducted in Oz, you can hear Kim Beazley in the background loudly trying to dismantle what had just happened on stage (innocent man killed by SAS, as the incorrect intelligence information is provided.  Beasley said that it would never happen, as the SAS would confirm that the man was holding a gun and not a broomstick, as is later inferred.  But, the intelligence officer never confirmed before the shot was taken, so you can see why this is a believable outcome?  The shot was fired before confirmation, the intelligence officer should have inferred that this was part of the procedure, or the audience suspects that they shot to kill without he relevant intelligence.), but as far as I’m concerned, it is a believable outcome.
What does this have to do with the new blog?  Well, I am going o start a blog of hypotheticals and ask people to give their views on them.  Think it might be an interesting way of creating a bit of debate…
We’ll see how it develops…

My trip, ahh my trip, next year, gives me the chance to pay-off my debts, and make sure I have enough time off, so I can do most of what I would like to.  Estonia -> Latvia -> Poland -> Czeck Republic -> Austria -> Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) -> (back to) Austria (or through Croatia, not sure just yet) -> Germany -> Switzerland -> France -> Scotland -> England -> NYC -> Philly -> Washington -> Nashville -> Memphis -> Las Vegas -> Los Angeles -> Hawaii -> Melbourne.  Will all be a matter of careful planning…

I have enrolled to do 4 CAP SUBJECTS!!!! YAY!  I am officially a student at Melbourne Uni.  Will be studying 2 Criminology subjects and two International Relations subjects.  Am trying to be accepted into a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Relations and Psychology, with a minor sequence in Criminology.  Very excited! 🙂

Another thing I have been musing about is Woody Allen, and this quote from Kathy Lette: “Word-play is foreplay for females. How else is Woody Allen still getting laid?”  Although said quote quite bugs me now, my response would be more so a quote from the movie Dazed and Confused: “I get older, they stay the same age”…

I get to the end with the full intent of writing about the lastest in Int. Law, and then I get tired…
I need sleep, but maybe you’ll all get lucky tomorry night!

Mansour Bahrami!

Posted in Uncategorized by Ambs on January 30, 2010

Where do I find good in other human beings?
I think it is my hope to see the best in all people no matter their background, or their circumstances.
Certain people shine a light, while others become the worst part of the system.
I’ve been sitting here reading about Mansour Bahrami, wondering if I think he is a coward, or an incredibly smart man, I think the latter.

While I think what is going on in Iran at the moment is incredible (RIP Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani, and those who follow to such a despicable fate behind you), the citizens are incredible and so very brave.  I’m coming to the conclusion that sometimes in some situations it is best to keep your mouth shut and work from the inside out.
Also things that have made my ears prick up in recent times, and I’m looking for more information on, is the inquiry that Geoffrey Robertson QC is working on into the Iranian Prison Massacres of 1988-1989.
The complexities in Iran as outlined by Dr Robertson in the following video:

I would love to see more information from Geoffrey Robertson’s inquiry.

Away from those complexities, back to Mansour Bahrami, who I think is an incredible human being.
A man of 53, all he ever wanted to do as a young boy was play tennis, it was his passion.  He was a ball boy in Iran for many years, but was never allowed to play.  He did sneak out onto a court once and subsequently his racquet was broken, and he was severely beaten by a guard.
He resorted to learning the game, by watching players, and resorting to mimicking them with frying-pans or broom handles.
There came a time when the Iranian team was short of players, and Bahrami was allwed to play.  His talent was obvious from the start, he made it to the Davis Cup Tennis team by the time he was 16.
As the Islamic Revolution of the 1980s came down, so did the governments views on things that were viewed as having a western base.  The Tennis Courts were closed down, and Bahrami played backgammon for three years.
He so desperately wanted to leave Iran, that he fled with his life savings to France, which he unfortunately gambled away at a casino.
His singles days were behind him by this stage, but he did very well in Doubles, although this came from his inextricable thirst to entertain the crowd.
Bahrami gave up professional competition in the 1990s, but found a permanent home and niche on the champions tour in the early 90s.  His most memorable matches when being teamed up with Henri Leconte during doubles matches.
My favourite thing about Bahrami however is that despite all that he has been through, he has the most amazing sense of humour, and loves to entertain his audience, it’s a beautiful thing to watch.
But I think I’ll just let the video’s speak for themselves:

A late Australia Day/Invasion Day post…

Posted in Uncategorized by Ambs on January 30, 2010

I’m not sure how to start this post off…

I’m finally out of bed (yay! Sleeping Upwards of 16 hours a day for the last 2 – 3 days has not been fun! Nor have the headaches, body aches, and general lack of energy!).  The time I have spent awake, I’ve spent watching random things on you tube, old and new Degrassi, random vids of Latvia and Estonia, bits and pieces of the 2000 olympics (Opening ceremony snippits, and parts of Roy and HG’s The Dream), Andrew Denton’s interviews with Geoffrey Robertson and Helen Thomas, random tourism video’s for Australia (And Dorethea MacKellars reading of My Country, which is gorgeous)…
General random stuff, that either made me laugh, or just feel better in general.

I love my country, and for all of the bad press we have been getting over the last few months, I think we are actually quite a tolerant society.  Sure we have pockets of idiots, but everywhere does.  In every country around the world there are extremists, the ones who ruin the party for all of us.
My parents and teachers always taught me to be tolerant of other races, and also taught me that there is much to be learnt from other cultures.
I love the thought of Vindaloo Against Violence, such a fantastic concept.  I’m hoping it will fill the Indian Restaurants in Melbourne, Australia on the 24th Feb.  It’s a great cause and an even better reason to go enjoy an amazing meal!
It is one of those things that really does bring us all together.  There’s nothing I love more than a great meal (at home or at a restaurant), and great conversation.  Gives people a chance to vent, and in some cases understand more about the people that they are sitting at the table with.
I know that when I was younger I always loved the stories of indigenous culture.  Dreamtime stories always drummed up that imagination you need to love this country for what it is.  “Her Beauty and her Terror – The wide brown land for me”
It’s quite akin to the bonfire concept.  I love sitting around a fire, singing songs, watching the night go by, listening to people tell stories.

Whats my point?
To all that would sarcastically say “Happy Invasion Day”, to stray from the crowd that they dislike with a hatred.  Saying things like that is quite akin to those that incite their own form of said hatred, and incite imbecilic violence.  As much as it pains some people to admit that they live in the same country as those whose racist tendencies cost lives, and incite fear into the community as a whole, they do.  While it is fine to vent, I am more than happy to allow that, you are free to do it.  Sometimes, just sometimes, to fight the evil, you need to celebrate the amazing.  To celebrate the achievements of those who have fought for equality and freedom, stood up and said no.

Giving these people more of our time, just gives them more time to appease their egos.  It is not about celebration of our multi-cultural country, it is the degradation of the things that we should stand up for, and hold together.

That sounded a little bit politician-ish eh?

Maybe I am finally going insane…??

Zimbardo and Robertson…

Posted in Uncategorized by Ambs on September 30, 2009

…these two men are part of the reason that I want to study both Psychology and Law.

I find Zimbaro’s findings during the Stanford University Prisoners/Guards Test incredibly intriguing.

See him talk about it here, along with Abu Graib:

I find the things he talks about incredibly amazing.

I’ve been wrestling with the thought of good and evil of late, on so very many levels.
On a local level, looking at the trial of Leigh Robinson, one side of me says, thank god he is off the street and away from harming anyone else.  On another level, I wonder if he could truly reform, I don’t think so.  I don’t think from the sounds of what he said during the trial , that he could even understand the emotional abuse he was not only putting either of those girls through, their families as well.
But could a monster reform?  Is it possible?

On a national level, I feel so Un-Australian, and horrible in relation to those people who are stuck in detention centers before they are let out into society.  It’s all such a disgusting abuse of human rights, makes me feel horrible.
Also makes me wonder what my Nanna and grandad went through when migrating to Australia after the Second World War.

On an International Level.  Where do I start?  Milosevic, Karadzic, Mugabe….the list could go on and on and on.  I could not even imagine what muist go on in these peoples minds to think that they could do what they have to so many innocent people.

Geoffrey Robertson (on Enough rope with Andrew Denton) on terrorism, basic huuman rights and civil liberties;

GEOFFREY ROBERTSON: Look, we’ve had 400 years of dealing with terrorists beginning with Guy Fawkes, who wanted to blow himself up and the houses of parliament. I think if there’s one lesson that we’ve learnt – and I’ve prosecuted terrorists, I’ve defended them, I’ve judged them – it is that in the fight against terror you do not weaken or abolish fundamental liberties because when you do so, that gives the terrorist the support and the sympathy that they need in which to breed. I mean, what is the greatest recruiting poster for al-Qaeda today throughout the Middle East? It’s the pictures from Abu Ghraib. Why did Abu Ghraib happen? “Sadists on the nightshift”, said the report. The sadists on the nightshift, Lynndie England, and the Alsatians got the cue from those men in the White House who said the Geneva Conventions are quaint, are obsolete. That sent the message. So, I think the first lesson is that we must cling to fundamental civil liberties at a time of terror in order to defeat the terrorists by preventing them getting that pool of support.

This is one of the many reasons I think doing Psych before I do law with give me better grounding when it comes to the fundamental understanding of such things.

That all being said, I’m dreading having to study Tax, Corporate and corporations Law.  Give me Crim, International Private and Public Law over thsoe any day.

Yet another TBC…

I should blog more often I know…

Posted in comedy, fashion, general musings, giggles, music by Ambs on August 19, 2009

Yeah, yeah I should blog more often.

I had something to blog about the other day, but I’ve completely forgotten what it was about.

May have been Myanmar, my shows, wanting to rip off Zimmerman & Sass & Bide, my dislike of Alannah Hill’s design (no form, no feed, and clashing together as many different textures and colours as you can into one outfit doesn’t make you cutting edge.), the tremendous help I’ve had from lecturers at my work on my show, the fact that things are pretty good.
I always wonder when things are going to go to shit in periods like this. “When will the world slap me upside the head?” I ponder…

I got my reading mojo back, it started with Harry Potter, then a little Shakespeare, now P&P, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest, and Breakfast at Tiff’s. It’s nice to have it back, as I think next year I’ll have my head back in the books.

The show is really starting to write itself, which is such a fantastic feeling, its flowing, and these scripts are blowing me away.
While they’re all running on the same premise, the strength of every show always lies in a different area, which is what I wanted. They had to be strong in different parts, I want people to come to at least one or two of the weeks wondering how we’ll challenge the improvisors, and also not knowing what to expect.

I’m going to go back to my original solo-show idea, I made the newer version of the show too complicated for the moment.

Things at the moment are going well, which is nice. Doesn’t take much for my nerves to kick in though.

Oh and work is busy, and even days like today, when I kept getting errors when running reports, I still enjoy it. I really like my job, and really love what I do. I also really believe in the course, partially because I want to do it, and combine it with an LLM at NYU.
Bah, have to get through Arts/Psych first!

Just feels like everythings going really well, and it was me that made it go well. My life turned around, not miraculously, not because someone took pity on me, but because I worked to turn it around.