Moata's Blog Idle

Moata Tamaira is a librarian with a black-belt in sarcasm who's been meaning to get one in procrastination too but always ends up watching TV instead. Her blog is an unholy mash-up of whimsy, cynicism and wry observation.

Protecting actual free speech

10:52am 13 Jan 2015

Free speech is one of the greatest things we have that on most occasions we take utterly for granted. The fact that I can stand on a hilltop (or the Internet) and denounce the government and all its evil wrongdoings and not be arrested for it is something that I'm immensely grateful for.

And yes, I will fight tooth and nail for your right to free speech even if what you say is disagreeable to me (I'm paraphrasing that thing that Voltaire didn't say).

Because if there's one thing I know about human nature and our long history of being dicks to each other it's that people in positions of power, like toddlers, need structure. Left to their own devices they will act exactly as they see fit and that can and has involved silencing dissenters (or throwing massive tantrums).

This is why we have laws to protect the people from the mighty. The Bill of Rights Act protects our freedom of expression (among other things).

But this is not permission for anyone to say whatever they like with impunity. We also have laws that cover defamation as well as such pleasant occurrences as "inciting racial disharmony". So we have free speech but even in a legal sense it's not absolute. I cannot maliciously lie about someone in order to bring about their downfall like some kind of cartoon villian. Nor can I try and convince people to act unlawfully. Interestingly, our sedition law was repealed several years ago so I'm all okay to encourage insurrection against the state. So I might save that one for a rainy day.

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Things my kid has weed on

10:40am 08 Jan 2015


They warn you before you have a kid, or at least they try to, about the degree to which their bodily wastes will take over your life. The quality and frequency. The successful containment. And in some very unfortunate cases velocity, yes velocity, comes into play. It is exactly as lacking in glamour as it sounds.

And it is truly amazing how quickly you can become downright blase about it all. I no longer feel sheepish about taking a good long inhale of my son's rear end in the interests of detecting a "code brown" situation. And upon sensing a certain moisture where there shouldn't be any I have been heard to utter "oh, thank God. It's only wee".

Yes folks, you know you've turned a corner when being weed on is one of your better case scenarios. It's right up there with "maybe I'll get to sleep in until 6am!" on the list of "ways your life got flipped, turned upside down"*. To think I once used to be concerned with only my own toileting and excretions! What a narrow life I used to lead, unencumbered by the spectre of mysterious damp patches and telltale odors. What did I do for fun then? 

Certainly not make a list of things my son has peed on.

List of things my son has peed on

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Moata's resolutions: The year of loop-free living

05:00am 07 Jan 2015


Hello there, and welcome to another year of Blog Idle.

What 2015 holds for me and this blog is yet to be revealed but I think it likely that there will be a healthy amount of smut, several minor catastrophes, some mild staining, and more eyerolling than is strictly necessary. Any promises I might make as to the quality of bloggish output for this year would likely be a lie so let's just say I'll do my very best to be interesting and leave it at that.

And so another year begins.

And we are new and fresh and invigorated from two weeks of relentless family-time and merry "hijinks" that may or may not have included hosting Christmas dinner, a DIY project, and an incredibly whiny teething 1 year-old.


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Moata: It was a very good year

10:47am 23 Dec 2014


This is the time of year which, assuming you have time between gift-wrapping, food-gathering, and family-accommodating, one's mind turns to reflection and reminisince. A time to look back on the year just gone and say "where the hell did the time go?"

Here at Blog Idle I generally review the year on the blog. What were the things that we talked about over the preceding 12 months? More specifically, which were the most embarrassing of my disasters? Which news stories sparked the imagination and impassioned commentary?

Of course, this year things are a little different since after the birth of my son I took six months off from the blog. I'd like to thank everyone who has stuck around despite my half year break quietly refereshing the Blog Idle landing page every few minutes, sighing wistfully, sometimes shedding a silent tear untill my return. Kia kaha, guys. Kia kaha.

I'd also like to say thanks for those of you who comment. Comments on blogs and articles, as we all know, sometimes make us despair. Humanity is never so disappointing as when it's anonymously passing judgement, gleefully exercising its bigotry muscle, or just spelling it "your" when it means "you're". But Blog Idle commentors are more often than not, reasonable, witty, empathetic or riotously subversive. Possibly some of you haven't been that pleased about all the parenting-related posts but the content of this blog has always reflected the realities of my own life and I expect it to continue to do so.

But anyway, it's been a big year for me. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Here's where we've been.

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The A-Z of Christmas: Baby edition

01:30pm 18 Dec 2014


Over the years it's been something of a Blog Idle tradition to provide you, dear readers, with an alphabetical listing of my own Christmas wisdom. Here's the first one from 2008, followed by 2009. In 2010 I managed a pathetic two letters before giving up but then rallied back to full 26 letter strength in 2011. I mixed it up a bit in 2012 with a Christmas carol version. But this time last year I was a bit busy being miserable about my underweight Intensive Care-residing baby for that kind of thing. But he's been out for quite a while now and we're now looking down the barrel of our first fully fledged "family with child resident" Christmas.

And that, ladies and sirs, is a whole new ballgame. Or at least I think it is. It's hard to know exactly since we haven't actually had Christmas yet so let's consider this year's list as a touch speculative.

A is for "ALL THE PHOTOS". Yes. You are allowed to take 352 photos on Christmas Day of your baby smiling, eating giftwrap, and drooling on family members. However there is absolutely no obligation for you to put ALL of them on Facebook. Edit a little before going on an upload frenzy, yeah?

B is for "Bouncing". Babies love being dandled, bounced or generally jostled about. But maybe not on a full tummy.

C is for "Competitive Nana-ing". The Master has been blessed with two doting Nanas both of whom, I suspect, harbour a secret wish to be "Alpha-nana". There's every chance this may play out via the media of gift-giving and baby-cossetting on Christmas Day. And I'm fine with this. If, however, things progress towards arm wrestling and who can drink the most vodka shots I will either have to separate them, or film them and stick the whole thing on YouTube. 

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