Charles Gutjahr

Melbourne, Australia

Welcome to my website. It's a collection of my photos, writing, opinions, presentations from and about yours truly. More about me...

Charles Gutjahr

A personal opinion

Don't egg them on

Fraser Anning contributes nothing good to our country. He perpetuates xenophobic lies then acts like he is some victim of society, which is bullshit.

So that's why I'm disappointed a kid hit Anning with an egg this week. Not because Anning doesn't deserve it, but because it gives a tiny sliver of truth to his contrived victimhood. Anning's egging is nothing compared to what the victims of his words have suffered but it plays into a narrative that the right-wing extremists of our country want to perpetuate. They want to be seen as victims, and this kid gave them that opportunity.

So I reckon the egging did all of us a disservice and contributed just a tiny bit to the rise of extreme right-wing ideology in Australia. Don't egg them on.

Charles Gutjahr

A personal opinion

The opinion that I self-censored

I have been enjoying writing a short opinion each week. It can get some friendly debate going and helps me think more deeply about the assumptions I carry around in life.

But this weekend I wrote an opinion then decided to censor myself. So instead you're getting this paragraph. Why? Because it was about another country. My opinion on that country isn't unusual and should not be controversial, but it is a country which punishes people who call attention to problems rather than deal with the problem itself. At best I would add only a tiny voice to the cacophony who already say what I would, at worst I could be refused a visa and never be able to visit again. So self-interest wins, I say nothing.

That makes me appreciate Australia even more. We have our problems here and I like to complain about them, but I'm never scared of expressing an opinion about Australia.

Charles Gutjahr

A personal opinion

The Ends Justify The Means

Recently I argued with a friend over the concept of 'the ends justify the means'. I think its bad reputation is unfair. A common argument against the concept is that Hitler justified the horrors of the Holocaust by the ends of achieving the Third Reich. I think that argument fails because those ends would be appalling. When the ends are unjustified it does not follow that any means are justified.

The material question that 'the ends justify the means' poses is what should we do when the ends are justified? Does that justify less-than-ideal means? I think it does.

I think we should strive for a peaceful world of equal rights and opportunity. I think those are justified ends. If we can get to those ends through means that are always good and ethical, then great! But the world is not that simple and sometimes it throws up a choice between ideal means or ideal ends. The right choice there is to pick the ideal ends. Are means actually ideal if they lead to a worse outcome for the world? I think not, and so the ends are more important than the means.

Every argument I have heard against the concept of 'the ends justify the means' mistakenly blames means when the problem is unjustified ends.

Charles Gutjahr

Brunswick East
It’s fence painting weather today.

Charles Gutjahr

A personal opinion

The Coalition government is now more responsible for deaths at sea

For some years the Liberal and National parties have held Labor responsible for the deaths at sea of asylum seekers, and I think that's fair: around 1000 died during the Labor government and I reckon different policies could have prevented those deaths.

Now it's the opposite: from now on the Coalition is responsible if anyone dies at sea.

Their reaction to our parliament doing the right thing and legislating for medical evacuations has been to claim it will encourage more boats. That's bullshit. The law clearly does not apply to future asylum seekers, so the only thing that would encourage boats is someone telling them spuriously that border protection has been weakened. The only people making that false claim are the Coalition. That makes the Coalition responsible for any new boat arrivals — and any tragic deaths at sea.

Charles Gutjahr

Avenel Roadhouse
Herald Sun letter writers are remarkably preoccupied with virtue signaling. Four letters brought it up today.

Charles Gutjahr

A personal opinion

It is fair to take away dividend imputation refunds

Labor are right to stop people who don't pay tax from getting cash refunds on dividends.

There is a small but loud constituency claiming that it's unfair to take that away, however I think that it's self-evident it would actually be more fair. The money mostly goes to people with self-managed super funds, who are people with plenty of money. People who have struggled to get by all their life do not have a self-managed super fund.

That's not to say taking away this benefit wouldn't hurt some retirees. It would. It's just that others are surely hurting more. Instead of giving money to the (relatively) rich via dividend imputation refunds, we could give it to poorer Australians who need it more. That what I think is fair.

Charles Gutjahr

A personal opinion

Carrying cash

It's getting easier to live life without cash in your wallet — or without a wallet at all. We can go shopping just about anywhere with just a credit card or smartphone. I buy most things on card... but I also make sure I keep a small amount of cash on me just in case.

I know a handful of people who refuse to carry cash now. They buy on card, or don't buy at all. That puts them at the mercy of failures and mistakes. Electronic payment systems sometimes fail. I was once mistakenly locked out of my bank account for days. Why not carry a little cash to mitigate these rare but predictable situations? I think you're foolish if you refuse to carry cash.

Charles Gutjahr

Someone forgot to bring the monster cards so I took the opportunity to draw us some new murder-rats

Charles Gutjahr

A personal opinion

Australia Day

Australia Day will inevitably change to another date. Conservatives don't seem to realise that they have already lost this battle of the culture war.

My friends used to hold Australia Day parties every year, but in recent years they have stopped. The growing understanding we have about how painful 26 January is for Indigenous Australians takes the fun out of partying on that date. 26 January has stopped being Australia Day for many Australians, and if it's not a day for all Australians then is it really Australia Day any more? No, it is not.

Conservatives can have as many parties as they like on 26 January, but when so many of us don't join in then that day is not Australia Day. No words or laws can make it so when Australians don't have their hearts in it.

Charles Gutjahr

Rushall railway station
Hidden just underneath Rushall station

Charles Gutjahr

The Alehouse Project
Fridays

Charles Gutjahr

Bluebonnet Barbecue
The square format of Instagram photos gave me the difficult choice of: do I focus on Amy? Or do I focus on this amazing plum cocktail? My choice was made when the neighboring table ordered exactly the same... the pretty pink plum cocktail for the guy, a beer for the girl. So this photo is doing double duty, you could see the same if you turn your head a little to the right.

Charles Gutjahr

Bluebonnet Barbecue
Friday night

Charles Gutjahr

Piknic Électronik Melbourne
Look at us pretending not to be middle-aged!