Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm not going to tell you what this remarkable story from 2007 is about, because I don't want to spoil the tale as told by Jack Marx, in a brilliant piece of journalism. I will only try to convince you to read the full story, by quoting these two paragraphs :

Patients were booked into the clinic under assumed names - an understandable necessity for privacy - and travelled in Leighton Jones' car from Eraring to Morisset, spending the 30-minute journey in the back seat with the donor monkey as companion.

-------------------------------

Today, the people of Dora Creek know little of what happened all those years ago, and they'll tell you even less. They squint through security doors and murmur that it's "all but forgotten now" or was "a queer thing". Some joke about it, reciting the urban myth all over again. Even the editor of the local paper declares the story of Henry Leighton Jones "nonsense" that belongs in "a mixing bag of about 5000 other local myths".

The truth, as it so often turns out to be, is far more interesting than the myth.

UPDATE : Jack Marx has a new book out called Australian Tragic, a few dozen forgotten tales of our dark history. Haven't read it yet, but there appears to be a follow-up on the story of Henry Leighton Jones in those pages, as well as a whole load of remarkable Australian stories stories I haven't heard about before.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dust Storms : Caused By But Also A Solution To Climate Change?


A NASA satellite image of the dust storm shrouding the New South Wales coastline

According to the UK Guardian the sort of massive dust storms that blanketed country New South Wales, Queensland and red-skied Sydney and Brisbane are "are spreading lethal epidemics around the world", including "influenza, Sars and foot-and-mouth and....respiratory diseases."

Curiously though, not only are such dust storms apparently the result of drought and climate change, they can also "absorb climate change emissions."
The Sydney storm, which left millions of people choking on some of the worst air pollution in 70 years, was a consequence of the 10-year drought that has turned parts of Australia's interior into a giant dust bowl, providing perfect conditions for high winds to whip loose soil into the air and carry it thousands of miles across the continent.

It followed major dust storms this year in northern China, Iraq and Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, east Africa, Arizona and other arid areas. Most of the storms are also linked to droughts, but are believed to have been exacerbated by deforestation, overgrazing of pastures and climate change.
Sydneysiders were quite excited by the blood-red dawn, and orange skies, on September 23. But on a global comparison scale, the Sydney Red Dust Storm was a junior ranker. Only about 5000 tonnes of soil was dumped across Sydney suburbs. A dust storm coming out of China's Taklimakan desert in 2007, according to this story, lifted up some 800,000 tonnes of dust In 2006, a dust storm deposited 300,000 tonnes on Beijing.

Each year, some 2 to 3 billion tonnes of dust are whipped up by winds from Africa and carried around the world.

Drought, deforestation, land clearing, too many goats chomping every blade of grass they can find, all lead to soil becoming loose enough to lift off, but the apparent good news is that massive dust storms "could be mitigating climate change, both by reflecting sunlight in the atmosphere and fertilising the oceans with nutrients."

So climate change can help cause the dust storms that may help mitigate climate change?

Nature abides.
What Market Is The Murdoch Media Trying To Reach With Fictitious Stories About Children Having Sex?

It was the biggest story for the Australian online Murdoch media yesterday, so does it matter if it was made up?

From news.com.au :









From PerthNow :
They look like a symbol of childhood innocence. But these bracelets are part of an "insidious" game that sees primary school kids perform sex.

And it is feared the craze may soon sweep WA.
The exact same story, under the same byline, appeared in the Courier Mail. With a slight change of emphasis to lock in local interest, and concern :
"...these colourful bracelets are behind an "insidious" craze of primary schoolkids performing sex acts that it is feared will soon sweep through Queensland."
WA, Queensland, where will this insidious made-up craze that doesn't drive children into sex spread next?

PerthNow readers were not so easily fooled :
"this is so obviously made up/an urban legend, nice 'news' story"

"'And it is feared the craze may soon sweep WA' a fine example of yellow journalism."

"Stupidest news report I've ever seen. Parents don't be concerned if see kids wearing them it means nothing. Ridiculous!"

"These harmless fashion statments are not promoting the sexualisation of youth - this ill-informed journalist is!"

"Theseare all over the u.k media as well with almost identical headlines andstories.why would adults honestly think 11 year old kids would behaving sex behind sheds because the right bracelet was broken!!Hysterical adults on one side and pedo dreamers with wild fantasies ofdelusion on the other.Leave the kids alone!"
This near daily focus on the alleged sex lives of children by the mainstream media,where the stories more often than not turn out to be totally false, is disturbing to say the least.

Incredibly, this trash also made it into The Australian.

Is this the kind of "quality journalism" News CEO John Hartigan thinks Australians will pay to read online?

CosmicJester notes the only sources for this 'story' appear to be a Facebook page and UrbanDictionary.
If the"journalist" had bothered to google these evil sex bracelets, theywould have found out that they are nothing new and they are mainly amoral panic/urban legend designed to scare dim witted journalists andparents.

Snopes.com reveals that this panic goes back till at least 2003 and is a slightly updated urban legend from the 1990's.
UPDATE : The bullshit 'shag bands' story did the trick. It became the most read storyon the CourierMail, News.com.au and PerthNow websites :






Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Interview With A Zombie
















(photo source)

By Darryl Mason

Media reports continue to be suppressed about an outbreak of zombie attacks in Sydney, which social networking sites are reporting occurred under the cover of the Red Dust Storm, earlier this morning.

Twitter reports at least 12 confirmed attacks, most are said to have occurred near the north and south pylons of the Harbour Bridge, where hundreds gathered in the deep sepia-toned dawn to photograph the Bridge shrouded in ochre dust.

The Orstrahyun spoke to Zed Immortal from the Post-Life Institute For ReHuman Affairs (PLIRA) and president of the Association of Concerned Undead Citizens (ACUC).

Q : Are your lobbying groups responsible for the media blackout, and the silence from police, who refuse to confirm or deny at least 12 attacks by zombies earlier today at....

A: Let me just stop you there. Firstly, we have no control over the media, or the police. The idea is laughable, and...

Q: But you cannot deny that lobbyists working directly for you are...

A: Let me finish, please. I'll repeat, we have no control over the police or media reporting of these alleged attacks. And right now they are only alleged attacks. This Twitter thing is notorious for false reports of celebrity deaths and events that simply did not occur, and Twitter is the only place where these attacks have been reported. Now, I am not going to deny there was some violence this morning near the Harbour Bridge, but I've been told the violence was limited to a brief physical exchange between one of our association's members, out for a morning lurch, and a photographer, who did not ask permission before taking his photo, and ...

Q: I'm sorry...the smell is just, good Christ, it's so terrible....

A: Open a damned window then.
---------------------------------

"We are a peaceful people who, because of the derision of the general public fueled by the hysterical media and anti-undead politics, keep mostly to ourselves."


---------------------------------
Q: So you're saying reports of brain-feeding by, as you say, members of your community this morning are false? Are in fact just Twitter gossip? A hoax?

A: Right now, that is exactly what I'm saying. Now, I'm not saying that nothing violent did not occur, but I am saying that if it did, it only involved one or perhaps 50 members of our large Sydney community, and such incidents of violence, which I fully condemn, should not reflect on all members of our community, both locally and nationally. We are a peaceful people who, because of the derision of the general public fueled by the hysterical media and anti-undead politics, keep mostly to ourselves.

Q: Zombie attacks in Sydney have been on the rise in recent months, and there is ample evidence that...

A: I have to stop you again,, I'm sorry. But I and many of my fellow post-lifers find that word terribly offensive, and outdated. We prefer the term post-lifers, rehumans or, if you insist on using the jargon most popular with youth, and the movie and video game saturated public, the undead. .

Q: Excuse me, I didn't mean to offend you.

A: That's quite all right. But it shows how much work our associations and action groups have to do to change the way the public views people like me who are no longer living, but are not yet dead. "Zombie" is a word that should have stayed in the 1970s, along with all those awful, awful George Romero and Italian horror movies denigrating our kind.

Q: It's true, isn't it, that lobbyists from your institute are responsible for the banning of video games where post-lifers are massacred and brutalised?

A: No, it's not true. But I wasn't displeased by the decision of the federal government agency responsible. Now, we really need to wrap this up, I have religious duties to perform this afternoon and...

Q: Could you explain, briefly, some of the tenets of the post-life religion for my readers? The red dust storm that covered Sydney this morning was seen by some as apocalyptic, and related to the End Of Days Christian beliefs, and some are already blaming what they call "the ungodly existence" of post-lifers as being somehow responsible for it.

A: What utter nonsense. We don't control the weather. Today is the most sacred day of our religious year. We will gather around the graves of recently departed loved ones and wish them a speedy return. We believe in the Third Coming of our Messiah. We believe we are currently unliving through the Start of Days, and soon, very soon, our Messiah will descend from the living.

Q: You don't believe your messiah will come from the ranks of the already dead?

A: No, he will be born in a post-life state, he will be rejected by his family and community and will come to unlive amongst us, where he will be treated with respect and honour. The kind of respect and honour we all believe the still living deny us, all these years after the outbreak began.

---------------------------

"We will be pushing for the Australian government to include measures to combat vilification of the undead in the new Hate Speech laws."


-------------------------------

Q: What it is like to be dead?

Z: Well, obviously it has its disadvantages. It's hard to get a decent table at good restuarants for starters. There is the smell factor, which is why we tend to only mix with our own kind. Then you have the moronic people in the street who keep shouting "Brrrraaaaainssss!" while you're trying to go about your business, or take your children to school. I understand why the pre-dead feel the need to mock and denigrate us, after all there are many, many popular movies where the undead are not portrayed in a positive light, at the very least. But we are taking action to rectify this kind of public vilification. We are sending a delegation to the UN in December to lobby for representation on the UN Commission for Human Rights. We will be pushing for the Australian government to include measures to combat vilification of the undead in the new Hate Speech laws.

Q: I'm sorry....I just....it's the smell. Christ, it's like finding a packet of old bacon that fell down behind the fridge two months ago. Can't you do anything about that?

A: We've tried. Nothing can cover our scent, and many of us choose not to try. We do, indeed, find it an attractive smell. Rich, tangy. I actually find the smell of the living quite repulsive.

Q : So are you in a constant state of decay? Are you rotting right now?

A : No. Actually I feel quite good. I haven't had any major repair work done in months. The decay across our community appears to be slowing, which is good news for state and federal health care budgets, and local hospitals.

Q : Isn't true that there are other ways for the undead to halt the physical decrepitude, so you don't have to have so much repair work done quite so often?

A : I know where this question is going. And I don't appreciate it. I made it very clear to you that we were not to discuss this topic.

Q : But it's a topic that very much fascinates people, living people I mean. About your people.

A : Well, that may well be so, but that's their problem, not mine.

Q : It's their problem if your hunger and horror of personal decay becomes so overwhelming that people like you jump on the freshest living human they can find and tear open their skulls and feast on the....

A : You've been watching too many movies. Incidents of...what you describe amongst the undead are very, very rare. As this morning's events, or non-event as it was, will no doubt prove, incidents relating to the old myths that you seem obsessed with are actually few and far between. All but non-existent these days, in fact. The living are far more prone to violence from their own kind, then from ours.

Q : But there's few if any recent accounts of normal people eating the brains of...

A : Normal people? Is that what you said? Right, I'm going to have to stop you there, and end this interview. Thank you very much.

Q : What do human brains' taste like it, sir? Is it true they're delicious?

A : No, that's it. I've had enough of this. You're not only being rude, but utterly offensive.

Q : How many human brains have you eaten, sir? 10? 50? 100?

A: I'm not answering any more questions.


A tense end to an interesting interview.

Reports of zombie attacks in Sydney are still appearing on Twitter, as the last of the red dust storm moves up through New South Wales and into Queensland, but these reports seem to be closer to satire, or blatant hoaxes, than any representation of reality.



.
There are so many brilliant photos of the Sydney Dust Storm on Flickr, Twitter and dozens of blogs I haven't got around to seeing much of what the professional photographers of the mainstream media have come up with yet. But for me, it's going to be hard to beat TomHide's Flickr portfollio of incredible, apocalyptic images of the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park.



How Much Will It Cost To Stick Our Cool New Sunglasses On Those Old Digger Statues?

The Australian War Memorial, the Last Post and the Eternal Flame are now brought to you by BHP, Boeing, Qantas, BAE Systems, Rio Tinto, Fosters, the Australian Gas Association, News Limited and some 80 other corporate sponsors.

The Full Story Is Here

I suppose it makes sense that the manufacturers of weapons and bombs kick back something (if only a minuscule amount), from the billions of dollars they've reaped off Australia's century of foreign war fighting, to the memorials that honour the hundreds of thousands of Australians killed and maimed fighting those wars.

.
Just Blame A Typing Cat

Hold the presses, associate editor of The Daily Telegraph, and hilarious failed litigant, Tim Blair, finds a spelling mistake on Twitter!
Deep thinking from Antony Loewenstein:
The thought of telling Israel what to do is plesant and necessary
Antony Loewenstein failed to insert the letter 'a' into the word 'pleasant'. Yes, isn't that exciting?

In part due to the very restrictive 140 character limit per post, Twitter is often a correct spelling, good grammar and even basic punctuation free zone. The information, the link, the joke, the snark, the insight, the trivial detail, the content of the brief comment, is all that matters, as all the established rules of the English language can be, and most often are, casually cast aside so as to fit the comment inside that tight character limit. Finding spelling mistakes on Twitter is piss easy. Too easy.  

Almost as easy as finding a spelling mistake on the Daily Telegraph website.

So while Tim Blair was busy stalk-trawling Antony Loewenstein for inconsequential spelling mistakes on Twitter (where Blair doesn't have an active account, at least not one under his own name) this doozy appeared in the first line of the first story on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, where Blair is, of course, an editor :











The Hurt of being "knocked bledding to the ground", you'd have to imagine, would be Immeasurable.

.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rupert Murdoch's UK Sun, where nothing is beyond the pun, even terrorism :











(via Reddit)

Monday, September 21, 2009

He Had Himself Nailed To A Cross For Your Entertainment

John Safran's new eight part series on love beyond your tribe, Race Relations, is only a few weeks away. It looks hilarious, thoughtful and very timely :



More detail from The Age :

John Safran's Race Relations will see the comic examine cross-cultural, interracial and interfaith love in a series that features scenes shot in Israel, Palestine, Togo, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the USA.
Other crazy stunts will see Safran talk to his dead mother, become a ladyboy and an Elephant man, and even turn black and go undercover in Chicago.
Pilger : The War On Afghanistan "Is A Fraud"

Australian journalist John Pilger was awarded the 2009 Sydney Peace Prize in August :
The jury made the decision on the basis of Pilger's “courage as a foreign and war correspondent in enabling the voices of the powerless to be heard”. It also praised his “commitment to peace with justice by exposing and holding governments to account for human rights abuses and for fearless challenges to censorship in any form”.
On November 4, he will receive the award at a lecture at the Opera House. On November 6, Pilger will speak to some 1500 students at a peace festival hosted by Cabramatta High School.

John Pilger's work is not published in any Australian city daily papers, despite being our most famous, internationally recognised journalist. Nor is Pilger published on supposedly "edgy" comment and opinion sites like The Punch or The National Times.

Why?

This is why
:
The Afghan war is a fraud.
It began as an American vendetta for domestic consumption in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks, in which not a single Afghan was involved. The Taliban, who are Afghans, had no quarrel with the United States and were dealing secretly with the Clinton administration over a strategic pipeline. They offered to apprehend Osama Bin Laden and hand him over to a clerical court, but this was rejected.

The establishment of a permanent US/NATO presence in a resource-rich, strategic region is the principal reason for the war.
Too Much Truth

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Germaine Greer, in the recent documentary on Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, describes seeing the show while living in England in 1968 :

"It was one of those dead moments and I kicked on the television and there was Skippy. And I watched it absolutely hypnotised, because it was very sunny and there was a cobalt blue sky, grey vegetation and ruddy brown rocks, and that was what I was staring at. Just staring at, because I don't think I even realised how homesick I was until I saw those tree shapes. There was all kinds of things about it that were totally unbearable, but the landscape, and the light!"
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd : "You Can Get Fucked!"

Prime Minister Kevin "Strippers & Booze" Rudd listens to the latest string of complaints from Labor factional bosses, and replies, curtly :

"I don't care what you fuckers think!"

"Don't you fucking understand?"

"You can get fucked!"
Rudd's swearapalooza was unleashed on Labor faction leaders when they apparently kept whining about the slashing of MPs' printing allowances from $100,000 to $75,000 a year.

You can't say Rudd's response was altogether inappropriate.

UPDATE : The story above was reported by Glenn Milne, who Kevin Rudd called "the Liberal Party journalist of choice" when asked about his swearing this morning. Rudd didn't deny he unleashed as quoted, saying :
"I think it's fair to say that consistent with the traditions of the Australian Labor Party, we're given to robust conversations. I made my point of view absolutely clear, and that is these entitlements needed to be cut back, and I make no apologies for either the content of my conversation or the robustness with which I expressed my views."
Fair enough.

.
That's Not A Name, It's A Thrash/Speed Metal Trademark

Somewhere in Australia, there is a child legally named Metallica.

However, according to this story, it is illegal to call your child 'Ned Kelly.'

Sir Lady Chief Maximus Duke Seven is also out.
"I've Not Felt This Well For Ages", Then Death

The last meal of legendary British TV chef Keith Floyd, stricken with bowel cancer, was as follows :

A Hix Fix cocktail - "a morello cherry soaked in Somerset apple eau de vie topped up with champagne"

Cigarettes

A glass of white burgundy

A plate of oysters, plus potted Morecambe Bay shrimps.

Red-legged partridge and bread sauce for the main, washed down with a bottle of CĂ´tes du Rhone red

Apple pie and perry jelly

Floyd's personal motto was to enjoy good food and wine to the full. A few hours after the meal, he died in his sleep.

.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You Drive Me Insane, In The Nicest Possible Way

Nick Barker's back on the road in October. Always an excellent show, from one of Australia's greatest live performers.

This is his song about his grandmother, who suffered from senile dementia. She came to believe that she lived in two homes, and wanted to know when her family would take her to "the other house". A song from the heart. Sad, but beautiful.




Murdoch Media Reports Murdoch Media Plans Won't Work



It was there on the front page of Rupert Murdoch's news.com.au for a few hours, then it was gone. A story featuring Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, explaining why Murdoch's plans to charge people to read digital news is doomed to fail :

Publishers of general news will find it hard to charge for their content online because too much free content is available, (Eric Schmidt) the chief executive of Google says.

Mr Schmidt was responding to an announcement by News Corporation chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch that he could start charging for content online.

"In general these models have not worked for general public consumption because there are enough free sources that the marginal value of paying is not justified based on the incremental value of quantity," he said.

The story was open for comments, all of whom agreed with Schmidt. One example :
Gone are the days of people getting all of their news from the one source. People get their news from a variety of sources now. There is absolutely no reason to confine oneself to a singular edition of news on a single web site. I wonder why Murdoch doesn't understand this?
No doubt the automated publication of that news wire story on news.com.au must have caused a few palpitations.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What Would Jesus Do...If He Took Control Of Your TV Remote?


image from the Orlando Weekly

The Australian Christian Lobby is sending out 'Stop The TV Smut' press releases again :

With standards governing on-screen content being reviewed for the first time in six years, the Australian Christian Lobby launched the "Tame the Tube" campaign to combat what it says are industry attempts to weaken TV standards.

"Sex, violence and foul language are normal fare these days as TV networks push the boundaries," ACL managing director Jim Wallace said.

ACL said it had about 10,000 registered supporters, mainly from orthodox and evangelical churches.

They don't like Underbelly much.

There should be a suburban crime show based around the jaw-dropping Biblical tale of Lot and his two daughters. Then we could have a God-fearers friendly TV drama where a stranger wanders into a new town, say St Kilda, pursued by a gang of locals intent on raping him, the stranger takes shelter in the home of Mr Lot, who then volunteers his underage daughters to the rape gang when they drop by to attack his house guest. The town explodes, killing just about everybody. Mr Lot flees with his two daughters, who then get their father drunk and seduce him. But no swearing, butts or tits, of course. The ACL thinks that would be going too far.

@ClubWah provides a provocative retort to the lobby group the Daily Telegraph has, curiously, branded the 'Wrath Of God' :
"fuck off you fucking shit-eating fundi cunts!"
In answer to the question posed in the headline, I'm sure Jesus would be regularly tuning into Top Gear, if only to marvel at how far transport has come since the days of the donkey express.


The Dan Brown Code

The secret is out. Outraged connoisseurs of fine literature, formal sentence structure and the holiness of the Queen's English crack the secret to Dan Brown's success :
(In every book, the) attractive protagonist gets called unexpectedly to help in a case where he/she is an expert. There's an obvious antagonist, physically unattractive, who's clearly out to get the protagonist. There's also the trustworthy mentor, who helps out the protagonist. At about three quarters of the book, the antagonist gets killed and turns out to be actually been helping the protagonist, whilst the mentor is the evil one. Meanwhile, the protagonist and his/her attractive helper of the opposite gender run all over the place to collect hints and clues, they persevere in the end, and in the final chapter they have intercourse. Oh, and every chapter ends with a cliffhanger.
Sounds great, fast-paced, a few twists, but easy on work-depleted brains. No wonder he's sold so many books.

Another commenter to the hilariously tweed-draped Dan Brown's Top 20 Worst Sentences rams through this observation, bursting with snark for the grammar nannies :
Proper grammar exists only to keep snobz in jobz.

It's all about getting yer message over, Innit? If yer message is much more interesting than the crap that some people write in t'fish wrapper, then everyone's happy except those who got battered as kids by sadists in public schools for splitting infinitives.
For many millions who buy and read Dan Brown's new book, The Lost Symbol, it will be the only book they read this year, or will have read in years. But They're Still Reading A Book where they otherwise would read nothing. How anyone can see a massive, if brief, enthusiastic increase in novel reading as a bad thing, as something destructive, because the writer often beats the English language out of shape for the purposes of page-turning entertainment, is beyond me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Move Over, Kevin, We Have A New Contender

Our prime minister is probably the world's most famous living picker of head-located orifices.



Well, not anymore.

While President Obama was posing for what will easily become one of the most legendary presidential photos ever taken (at least for the Star Wars generation)....




This guy went for a dig....



It's too late for Photoshop.



(h/t - Reddit)
Murdoch Celebrates Death Of Newspapers : "It's Going To Be Great"

By Darryl Mason

It's not just smirking bloggers and feisty independent New Media snarking over the Death Of Newspapers. Now Rupert Murdoch, who convinced a generation of British fathers in the 1970s and 1980s that they should be proud to see their 18 year old daughter's tits on Page 3 of The Sun, is joining in the newsprint grave dancing :

"I do certainly see the day when more people will be buying their newspapers on portable reading panels than on crushed trees.

“Then we’re going to have no paper, no printing plants, no unions. It’s going to be great.”

But the monopoly of distribution and political influence he once enjoyed, and exploited, with newspapers is gone forever. Now Murdoch's news has to compete in the ultimate free market, as he tries to force readers to pay for news that they will (soon after it breaks) also be able to find elsewhere on the internet for free.

Murdoch has also announced plans to increase prices for the cable sports programming he controls. He believes News Corp. has been “undercharging". Australian subscribers to premium Fox Sports channels will be surprised to hear that.

The first example of how Murdoch's YouWillPay! system will work, as far as news and opinion content is concerned, comes with the announcement that :

The Wall Street Journal...will start charging non-subscribers $2 a week to access content on mobile devices such as the BlackBerry, he said. Current subscribers will be charged $1.

So even if you already pay a few hundred dollars a year, or more, to access The Wall Street Journal, Murdoch's going to hit you up for another $52 a years minimum to read it all on your hand screen.

The headline on this Financial Times story reads :
Murdoch Hails E-Readers
Like he has a choice now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Can We Sleep While The Earth Is Weeping?

By Darryl Mason

I don't know about you, but this is one of the stupidest fucking things I've heard this year :

A Midnight Oil hit advocating Aboriginal land rights in the '80s is being used in the noughties to mobilise nations to combat climate change.

The band's former frontman and now Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, helped write new lyrics to Beds Are Burning, as part of the celebrity-led initiative.

Yes, Bob Geldof is involved. So is Duran Duran. Nothing in music is sacred, not even a Midnight Oil song that helped to bring the idea of Aboriginal reconciliation to a new, more open-minded, less bigoted generation. The only consolation I suppose is that Bono isn't involved.

Well, not yet anyway.

The original Beds Are Burning lyrics....

''Out where the river broke/The blood wood and the desert oak/Holden wrecks and boiling diesels/Steam in 45 degrees''.

....have become :

''Down at the river bed/The earth is cracked and dry instead/Farms a failing, cities baking/Steam in 45 degrees.''

This :

"The time has come/A fact's a fact/It belongs to them/Let's give it back."

Has become this :

''The time has come/A fact's a fact/The heat is on/No turning back.''

"The Heat Is On"? Someone call Glenn Frey!

Garrett won't be singing on the rebake, and it will be given away online.

In a few years time, if global warming doesn't turn out to be the "clear, catastrophic threat" that Rupert Murdoch predicted, and the Earth turns more icy than melty, Midnight Oil could always rewrite the lyrics to Cold Cold Change.



Great fucking song. By the way, Cold Cold Change is now 30 years old.
Impossible Fiction

By Darryl Mason

Found this on Twitter last night : 'Enter The Times Cheltenham Twitter Competition'. The task is to write "a story" in less than 140 characters. Fucking hard. Infuriatingly hard. Which, of course, is what makes it such a fun and 'must try this now!' writing challenge.

So here's a few of my post-midnight entries :
* "Run! the voice in her head yelled. "Run NOW!" She got up from the table and ran outside. A car mounted the curb and killed her instantly.

* The plane exploded. She counted the stars as she fell, ready for death. Then she saw her house far below. She aimed for her pool....

* "How much do you love me?" "More than life itself." She handed him a knife, "Prove it." "Okay," he said, "you're number two on my Love List."

* "I can't marry you," she sighed. "I'm not real. You made me up." The moment he realised this was true, she vanished. He picked up his pen, again.

* "One day you will invent a time machine," the visitor said. "I'm here to show you how." The visitor was decades older than my reflection

* When he left Earth, he was an astronaut. When he arrived on The Moon they told him he was, in fact, a soldier, and he would never go home again.
Note, these stories as they exist here are slightly longer than 140 characters, but only because I removed the Twitter shorthand which renders 'about' as 'abt', 'you're' as 'yr', 'realised' as 'realsd' and so on, for easier reading.

You can look at the other entries to the comp. here.

I'm still up in the air about Twitter as a vehicle for fiction, incredibly short fiction as above, or very well structured serial fiction told 140 characters at a time, over God knows how long. It's like trying to stuff a fat old reluctant dog through a tiny cat door.

Turning, or translating, a finished novel into a Twovel seems an equally impossible task. I've been working my way through a novel of mine that was published in 1996, Max & Murray, converting it into a twovel, as you can see if you look to the right of this page and down. But so far it feels pretty much like a total fucking disaster. Which makes me want to both abandon it and finish it as quickly as possible so this ridiculous experiment is done with.

Anyway, I'll get into all that in a longer post, later, with some examples of paragraphs from Max & Murray the printed novel versus the twovel posts I've done so far here.

Yes, I know, thrilling stuff.

@darrylmason

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Professor Blainey : TV Has Taught Footy Players To Speak Proper

From the Herald Sun :

Prof Geoffrey Blainey said one of the biggest changes over the past 50 years was the astonishing improvement in pronunciation and grammar.

"That clearly has come from television and radio and films, not from what's been taught in schools," he told the Herald Sun.

Prof Blainey said earlier generations used to say things like "them days" and "all of youses".

"I'm not criticising them, that's what they learned in childhood, but that old grammar has virtually vanished," he said. "Even when you listen to the footballers today, they all speak well."

It Was A Stupid Waste Of Time, Until I Started Using It

In May, Tony Wright, national affairs editor for Fairfax media, unloaded a tirade of anti-Twitter bitterness, claiming "much of the chatter is less substantial than air" (excerpts) :

Twitter, for those free souls who have avoided contact with modernity, is a method of shooting your latest thought (a term used loosely) into that disembodied world inhabited by the millions who operate a computer or a mobile phone. You have precisely 149 characters, including spaces, to type each thought, which boils down to the sad question: "What are you doing now?"

The result, almost universally, is banal communication almost beneath description.

It is the current equivalent of citizens' band (CB) radio, where the poor sad sods who drove trucks up and down the highway shouted "breaker, breaker" into their hand-held mikes, followed by inane fantasies that rarely amounted to more than the truth that here was a bored person sitting isolated on his bum, watching the traffic go by.

A recent Nielsen survey that found 60 per cent of Twits quit in the first month is cause for hope that we have not all lost our minds. Dross is dross, even if it spins in the enchanting cosmos of cyberspace.

Tony Wright joined Twitter on August 15. He now uses Twitter prolifically, primarily to cover Question Time.
"Look! They're Reading! Books!"

Australia's media, including Channel 9 News, Channel 10 News, Live News, News.com.au, SMH and the Daily Telegraph, according to Mumbrella. gathered this morning in a Sydney bookstore to watch people speed-read Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol.

Freemasonry, and its role in shaping George Washington's revolution against England and the building of the city that bares his name, including the often downright bizarre architecture of Washington DC, plays a key role in Brown's new book.

The Sydney Museum of Freemasonry, only a few blocks away from where dedicated journalists reported stoically on people reading books, must be wondering why they didn't get a call.

It's not like the MoF is trying to distance itself from The Lost Symbol. They're now selling it in the museum's bookshop, with big posters in the foyer.

BTW, freemasons' run the country. At least, they did between 1923 and 1941.
Mungo MacCallum On The Legacy Wars

From Crikey :

It’s all Kevin Rudd’s fault. Here we are, nearly two years out of the Howard years and happily consigning them to well-deserved oblivion.

And then Rudd has to mention the war; and of course John Howard and Peter Costello lurch out of the political cemetery to boast about the size and quality of their tombstones and pretend they are not really dead after all, and Malcolm Turnbull feels that he has to join in and defend the two people in the world he most wants to forget. Such is the level of discussion in contemporary Australia.

The trigger, of course, was Paul Kelly’s latest blockbuster, a weighty, indeed ponderous, attempt to spin the 24 years of government by Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and John Howard with (in alphabetical order) Peter Costello into one seamless thread of economic reform.

Launching the book, Rudd predictably dismissed the Howard-Costello period as a mere hiatus; he and only he was the true bearer of the flame kindled in 1983. This admittedly partisan view was derided as mean-spirited and mendacious, but it did invite a critical appraisal of Howard’s legacy and what, if anything it has left us. And on close examination it is not a legacy which can be dismissed lightly. It can, however, be dismissed heavily, so here goes.

The proudest boast of Howard and Costello was that they handed over a robust and vibrant economy, free of debt and sizzling with growth. It was indeed free of government debt; on the other hand private debt, vigorously encouraged by government policy, was through the roof and still climbing. And certainly Australia’s economy was growing and had been for many years.

The problem was that the growth had been squandered on election bribes to middle class voters. Vast quantities of tax had been collected only to be handed back, although the hand outs disproportionately favoured the top end of town. Very little was invested in infrastructure and still less set aside for the inevitable downturn – thus Rudd’s need to borrow large amounts, which is now the target of coalition outrage.

Indeed, so extreme had been Howard’s profligacy that if all his 2007 election promises had been honoured, the budget would have gone into structural deficit even if the boom had continued. Not much of a bequest after all.

*************

Rudd’s principal charge against them is that they did almost nothing to boost productivity against the inevitable time when the mining boom came to an end. Education, research and innovation were all allowed to run down, almost to the point of stagnation. This is where the bonanza should have gone and this will be the priority in the years ahead.

In other words, economic reform will certainly continue, but not as an end in itself: it will henceforth be a means towards social reform. And it is by this criterion that Rudd’s own legacy will be judged.

Read The Full Story Here

Monday, September 14, 2009

Malcolm Turnbull On Death Of Newspapers

Turnbull writing on the fall of newspapers, and the controversy over mainstream media charging readers for news content, in The National Times :

It was Rupert Murdoch who shrewdly, if gloomily, predicted: "The internet will destroy more profitable businesses than it will create."

And there are few businesses more vulnerable to the internet than newspapers, especially those dependent on revenues from classified advertisements.

It is hard to imagine many people poring through hard copy classifieds if they have access, as most do, to the speed, functionality and comprehensiveness of online classified sites.

While the demise of newspapers has been greatly exaggerated, the trend is certainly against them.

As an avid consumer of news, I can say that I only buy hard copy newspapers nowadays out of habit.

The vast bulk of the news and opinion I read I have received electronically – much of it before the newspaper itself actually finds itself to my front door.

We all understand that the circulation revenue of most publications, and certainly all newspapers, was always woefully inadequate. The newspaper was a cheap, on occasions free, platform upon which to sell advertisements both display and classified.

A similar observation could be made of free to air television, although there the oligopoly was a function of regulation.

The internet has changed all that. As broadband, especially wireless broadband, becomes more and more ubiquitous the barriers to entry to compete against free to air television, newspapers and magazines are evaporating.

From the consumer's viewpoint there is the prospect of almost infinite abundance of information and opinion. Our son in Hong Kong reads the Australian media online with the same ease as he, and we, are able to read the New York Times, the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal - not to speak of the South China Morning Post.

And the access to opinion is not limited to those big names. Increasingly opinion leaders have their own online blogs. If you want to get an expert, often contrarian, insight into the Chinese economy for example you can go to www.mpettis.com a specialist blog by a professor at Peking University and enjoy not just Michael Pettis' views but also a vigorous debate and commentary on every post.

The days when only a handful of media companies controlled access to the media megaphone are fading from view.

There are four main players in this game and it is interesting to consider each of their positions in the old and new worlds.

The author of the content – the journalist for example – faces the challenge of news organisations with diminishing revenues. But he or she still has a valuable and important contribution to offer. People want to read Annabel Crabb or listen to Alan Jones. But what about the humble news reporter whose byline is less memorable or compelling? The advertiser has it made. The avenues for spruiking their wares gets wider and cheaper all the time. The internet offers the opportunity of very precise targeting too – so its all upside for the advertiser.

The consumer too has it made – content is becoming more and more diverse and almost all of it is free. Those sites which try to charge big money run the risk that they drive down traffic which then reduces their attractiveness to advertisers who after all are only interested in eyeballs.

The publisher, the big, established media company, has the most to lose. It is all downside. The reason the Sydney Morning Herald could charge a premium for its classifieds (or indeed its display advertising) was because it had a large number of dedicated readers for whom there was no, or very few, alternative mediums – now there is an enormous range of alternatives most of them offering vastly superior functionality.

Many traditional hard copy publishers have sought to move into online publishing, but in doing so they have arguably only hastened their own demise. Because they assumed the hard copy publication was paying for the content, the marginal cost of repurposing it for the internet was negligible. Hence access to online newspaper websites is almost invariably free. They therefore offered advertisers the opportunity to access the readers who were interested in the content offered in hard copy for a tiny fraction of the price of an advertisement in the newspaper itself.

And you can see this decline in the share price of Fairfax. When the Tourang consortium took over Fairfax in 1992 the shares listed at $1.20. Today – seventeen years later – the stock price is $1.64.

So who wins out of all this? Certainly the advertisers and the consumers, that's a no brainer.

The established newspaper companies will struggle to build enough additional value in their online businesses to offset the loss of value in their declining hard copy businesses.

But what about the writers and journalists? Are they to face an anarchic brave new world where they have to try to sell their wares on line as Alan Kohler and Bob Gottliebsen are trying to do?

And what happens to investigative journalism?

Opinion is relatively cheap to acquire or produce. But who now can pay for a team of reporters to work diligently away at government or corporate misconduct?

This era of profitless abundance should give us cause for concern – it raises real issues for our democracy. Will newsrooms deprived of the resources to do their own sleuthing become more and more dependent on packages of information prepared and presented to them by the growing army of government media advisers and spinmeisters?

How independent can the media be if it lacks the financial resources to do its work?

Good question.

The answer will become clear over the next two years.
Just Another Journalist Who Wants 9/11 Victims' Families To Shut Up

By Darryl Mason

President George W. Bush, November 10, 2001 :

“Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September 11.”

Daily Telegraph associate editor, Tim Blair, marked the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Washington DC and New York City with this remarkably weak and predictably puerile smearing of those who hold doubts about the official Bush White House 9/11 conspiracy theory :
When someone starts in on that stuff, it's time to leave the room. "Truthers", as they are known, hold two mutually-exclusive beliefs: That the Bush administration was run by morons and that it pulled off the greatest conspiracy of all time. Truthers are spectacular idiots.
Here are some of the people utterly incurious journalists like Tim Blair think are "spectacular idiots" for demanding a new investigation into the events of September 11, 2001, and for those in the Bush administration who failed to protect Americans that day to be held to account :



Ten Australians died in the 9/11 attacks. Some of those victims' friends and relatives have their doubts about the Bush White House official version of events. Considering the abuse dished out by journalists like Tim Blair towards other 9/11 victims' family members, you can understand their reluctance in going public with their doubts.


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Sunday, September 13, 2009

On Twitter, The Chaser's Chas Licciardello picks his favourite protest sign from the massive anti-Obama rallies in Washington :



(via @ChasLicc)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Digital Dinosaur Boomers Alert : Rudd Begs YouTubed Video Game Brainwashed Online Youth To Help Him Save The Country

Why can't I write Fox News-style headlines and stories on an Australian blog? I can, and I will.

By Darryl Mason

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, or Krudd as he is covertly known by the 'wired-up' generation who are champing at the bit to sit on death panels to weed and cull the ranks of future national wealth-absorbing Baby Boomers (unless a Liberal Party government wins the early 2010 elections and John Howard returns, Menzies-style, to shepherd them into senility) is now inviting the digitally-enhanced hordes of Generation Y to help him design future Labor policy.

It's true! The most nightmarish future fear of all Baby Boomers has already come spine-chillingly true. Goths & Emos are deciding how to run the country.
If you were Prime Minister for a day - what would you do to :
  • help our young people grow up safe, happy and resililient
  • give young people the skills they need to learn, work and fully engage in community life ?
  • reduce the physical and mental health risks facing young Australians, including negative body image, anxiety and depression, obesity and alcohol-fuelled violence?
  • enable young people to accept responsibility for their actions and their behaviours?
  • help young people to negotiate the challenges of today's society?

Wait....resililient? R-E-S-I-L-I-L-I-L-I-E-N-T?

Yes.


How can Kevin Rudd run the country when he can't even master SpellCheck? If what the Liberal Party is saying is true about what the K Rudd Krew is doing to this nation (and let's face it, when have The Liberals ever lied [?]), the Goths & Emos probably can't do any worse.

But maybe the prime minister himself didn't write that piece on his blog today. Maybe it was a staffer? Maybe Krudd's emo-advisor?

Nope.



The prime minister is already sending people scurrying for their dictionaries (or as the digital youth call them "those word things") on a near daily basis without him going and making up words.

Even quite catchy words like Resililient.

UPDATE : On Twitter, I tried to blackmail the prime minister using the screencap of his misspelling of 'resilient'....



...but I decided instead to go pubilc with it fro the glood of th natoin.




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Once Were (Political) Warriors

Prime minister Kevin Rudd has succeeded, once again, in getting the past and present stars of the Liberal Party to waffle on defending decisions made one, two and three decades ago. Just as he intended.

Dennis Shanahan in The Australian
:
John Howard and Peter Costello have struck back politically and personally at Kevin Rudd's characterisation of their government as indolent and uncaring neo-liberals, declaring the Prime Minister has reached "new heights of political mendacity".

Stirred from his sick bed, Australia's second-longest-serving prime minister has accused his successor of politicising and demeaning 30 years of continuing Australian government reforms, including those of the Hawke-Keating era, for partisan benefit.

On Monday, Mr Rudd, at the launch of The March of Patriots, by The Australian's Paul Kelly, said the Howard government had been "indolent" and the Coalition could not claim to be partners with Labor in Australia's economic reforms of the past 30 years.

"The Liberals' failure to advance a framework for increasing national productivity is not a minor blemish on their economic record," Mr Rudd said.

"It reflects a fundamental failure of long-term economic reform and casts legitimate doubt over the extent to which the Liberal Party can be regarded as partners with Labor in the great project of economic modernisation."

Even social reforms that "endured through long periods of Liberal rule" survived, according to the Prime Minister, only because of political expediency and not because of any genuine support or belief.
Rudd has effectively pulled off this kind of caper, of forcing Liberals to go on the defensive about their most important claims to economic success and major reform, from the very first week of his leadership of the Labor Party. Rudd's strategy of getting the Liberals all hackled up succeeded all the way through the 2007 election campaign. And it's still working now for Rudd.

As John Howard proves, as he desperately seeks to remind Rudd that he used to be someone important :

In one fashion or another we are all political warriors, but we have a superior obligation to the national interest. That obligation obtains in opposition as well as in government.

No side of Australian politics has a monopoly of either virtue or merit. Each according to its own value system has attempted to improve the lot of Australians.

In failing to acknowledge this last Monday, my successor diminished himself, and not the Liberal and National Parties.

This 24 hour wonder must have been worth a few good laughs for Rudd.

.

Fire Dancers, Fiji, August 2009 :











Photos By Darryl Mason


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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Stop Whingeing, Go Make Some Money, Murdoch Readers Tell Jews

Tabloid media content provider, and DJ, Kyle Sandilands said :
"That's what all fat people say. You put her in a concentration camp and you watch the weight fall, like she could be skinny."
Jeremy Jones, Jewish Affairs spokesman, said :
"To joke about the experience of people who are being starved to death or murdered ... is quite horrendous."
The Murdoch media said :

Shock jock Kyle Sandilands has been suspended again after insulting Holocaust survivors and their families...

Which means 'Kyle Sandilands Insults Holocaust Survivors' is locked into Google search results of his name, presumably forever :



Murdoch media online readers said :
"Why do these Jews complain about every thing? Every little chance to be in the news and they gas bag away...yes little Fritz and Josef was evil and Kyle's a rancid motormouth bla bla bla..BUT...This was not about Jews! Go make some money! Yeeesh!...LOL"

"Concentration camps existed in Bosnia as well. Haven't heard a complaint from a Bosnian like you do from a Jew."

"How sad that Jewish leaders are so precious .... stop whinging!"

"maybe Kyle's comments would have been ok with the jewish/israeli lobby if he'd said "put magda in gaza"?"

"Do these jews ever stop whinging about anything and everything?"
And Murdoch media online readers also said :
"The Jewish community should back off...it certainly seems that the Jewish community still insists that any mention of concentration camps is a direct attack upon them. Jews weren't the only ones who suffered and/or died in concentration camps throughout history, but certainly seek to make the most mileage out of it."

"...what gives Jewish people the right to supress ANYONE'S freedom of speech including topics (jokes, fact or fiction) regarding concentration camps??"

"...why are we all so affraid of upsetting the Jews? They are not the only people to be persecuted. Anyway, they run the world economy and their imaginary invisible God is apparently the best one!"

"In many European countries you can deny that God exists. But you deny holocaust and you go to prison. Examples are Austria, Switzerland, Germany etc. Jews run this world. I can assure you that just because some jews raised concerns, Kyle will be banned."

"...the nazis killed alot more orthodox russians then jews, you don't hear the russians complain, why is that, oh yeah because they dont have any lobby/ interest groups with their hands in everything"

"do we have to go through never ending rounds of jewish outrage ?? The Jewish people do not own terms like genocide and holocaust and concentration camps, so why are they acting like it is always about them ? Ive lived for 30 years and every single year of that life, sometimes every week, I have outraged jewish people thrust down my throat via endless chain rattling of some sort.Yes, we know you were victims and so were many of us, now lets get on with life in 2009!! It is NOT 1940 anymore."

"Notice how its turned into a Jewish debate again, I think they just love making everyone feel sorry for them all the time! Its like they have little radars that pop up when they hear concentration camp or anything that will link to them."

"As the so called "holocaust" was itself an event hyped and used for political gain, I don't see why Kyle is subject to such abuse. There are serious doubts about the numbers and events of the "holocaust" as we know"
All of the above Murdoch media reader opinions, from Murdoch's news.com.au and Herald Sun sites, were only published after moderation.

Once again, the words of Kyle Sandilands that sparked all this :
"You put her in a concentration camp and you watch the weight fall"
Would Kyle Sandilands be sacked and fined if he read the opinions of Murdoch media online readers live on air?

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Children Of The Bong


Children in Jamaica sharing cannabis (photo source)

News.com.au runs this story and opens it up for debate in comments. The story :

Parents in an impoverished western Sydney suburb are plying children as young as six with cannabis to "keep them quiet", a leading children's charity has revealed.

Counsellors at the Mount Druitt branch of the renowned Ted Noffs Foundation say the disturbing practice is becoming a trend.

"We are seeing six-year-olds being given bongs by their families to keep them quiet, stop them crying, or put them to sleep," clinical psychologist Michael Kirton said.

The debate :
"I'm staggered to read this. Humankind is surely becoming the scourge of this planet and the sooner humans become extinct, the better off the world we be."

"You might as well just hand them over to the drug-dealer."

"....thats great...grow your children up with a drug addiction. It may calm them down, but wait 10 years and they will be bouncing off the walls if they dont have it constantly. Mt Druitt, what do you expect."

That's downright Westist.

"...find the suggestion of a 6-y-o smoking a bong to be highly doubtful. It's not as easy as it sounds; believe it or not, smoking a bong requires coordination to make it work at all."

"seriously, no way a six year old could smoke a bong. They'd be parachuting it and burning holes in the carpet."

"....that's my tax you're getting your kids stoned with."

"Ban Orchy bottles!!"
Everyone's a comedian when six year olds are allegedly punching cones in Mt Druitt.
It's Only Biased Reporting If You're A Rotten Lefty Blogger

Dennis Shanahan at The Australian reports on the latest poll results :
Kevin Rudd's personal popularity has lifted to a six-month high....
Followed by the standard dose of Shanahan lemon-sucking :
....despite problems with the economic stimulus spending, rising unemployment and fears of interest rate rises.
Every news story hand-crafted to fit the tastes of the majority of The Australian's readers.

But Shanahan doesn't go far enough in listing the problems Rudd still faces. I would have added, "(and fears of interest rates) and soaring pet care costs and the eating of nearby star systems by the Adromeda Galaxy...."

Shanahan's up to his old poll massaging tricks of 2007, yet again.


(click to enlarge)

The federal election will be held in the first quarter of 2010. Perhaps it takes a good six months for Shanahan to get back up to speed?

The only surprising thing is that Shanahan hasn't started talking up a Churchillian return from John Howard.

(via@timdunlop)

November 2007 : On Eve Of Shattering Howard Election Defeat, Shanahan Declares 'Our Polls Must Be Wrong!'



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National Times To Launch Monday

For an online-only entity, the promotion online for The National Times has been all but non-existent, less than one week out from its official launch.

Google News, for example, has only one current story about the National Times (at the time of this posting). Just the one. And it isn't even from the Fairfax media, it's from Mumbrella :



The announcement released today by Fairfax for to start some hype for The National Times is snoreful :

“Fairfax Media is set to unveil the anticipated online version of its revered National Times masthead next Monday, September 14. Carrying on the National Times legacy, the site will bring together the best opinions, commentary and analysis from leading Fairfax columnists and opinion leaders from around the world on the biggest issues in Australia.

“Watch out for more information, including the announcement of high-profile contributors later this week.”

They probably mean Mike Carlton and whoever the goanna is :


The launch of The National Times, twelve weeks after the launch of Murdoch's The Punch, completes Australia's Old Media absorption of New Media formats like blogging, embedded video and reader-generated content via comments and Twitter feeds.

The National Times has at least 45 opinionists weighing in on a rainbow of subjects and issues. Combined with The Punch, there will, by the end of next week, be more than 70 professional "opinion makers" (were they tempted to use "opinion shapers"?) trying to draw in the massive online audiences already enjoyed by the Sydney Morninng Herald, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun and the Northern Territory News (crocodile attacks are always popular). A few million online daily readers at least.

I don't think it's a question of whether The National Times and The Punch can both find large audiences. Whether that audience hangs around in healthy numbers when they have to pay to read Mike Carlton or, err, Peter Costello, is something we'll learn next year.

Going by the below ad from Fairfax for the National Times....




.....they're aiming for the Digital Baby Boomers, a massive market in the next few decades, as the millions-strong generation that was going to change the world, but invented ultra-consuming instead, crams into Ruddnet-enabled nursing homes, set adrift into thousands of days of retirement with little to do but mournfully play old Doors albums and get online to agree with everyone else at the National Times that getting old is shitty and the Alex Hawke-led Liberal-Greens coalition government of the 2020s is Still Not Doing Enough for elderly boomers.
Akerman's Big Fat Libelous Mouth Nearly Sucked ABC Into Expensive Lawsuit

Not happy with costing his boss, Rupert Murdoch, more than $1 million in defamation payouts over the years, Daily Telegraph columnist Piers Akerman tried to get the ABC sued on Sunday morning's Insiders by naming federal Labor minister Anthony Albanese as being possibly somehow connected to a murder still being investigated by police :
Appearing as a panellist on ABC-TV's Insiders program, News Limited's rotund reactionary began putting the case for a federal inquiry into the bribery allegations emanating from the murder of property developer Michael McGurk. When Insiders host Barry Cassidy questioned Akerman's logic, given the allegations were about ministers in the NSW Government, Akerman began spreading the web of suspicion, in the process mentioning a certain cabinet minister in the Rudd Government. The program was forced to scramble to delete any record of the comments from its website to avoid the possibility of a rather messy lawsuit.
If anyone knows, from repeated lawsuits, what they can and can't say on TV or in a newspaper, it's Piers Akerman.

Akerman was ignored by the clearly furious host, Brian Cassidy, for most of the rest of the show. At its close, Akerman trundled through a trifecta of lies and distortions :
Three broken promises reminded this week. Not one house built for Aborigines. Not not one boat turned back, and of course workers to lose out under the industrial award modernisation.
Akerman's blog post the next morning was called :

Who Will Pay For The Tragedy Of Dementia?


Akerman's had a great run sucking up ABC appearance fees and expenses as the most absurdly biased pro-Liberal hack in Australia. We know from recent studies that the Lefty Green Nazi Socialist Pagan Bias at the ABC is a myth, just another Conservative Blubbering Point, something for mostly Murdoch opinionists to stuff column space with. There's no need anymore to stack ABC shows like Insiders with 66% Murdoch media hacks. There are plenty of other journalists, bloggers and commentators with just as much so-called 'insider' information on Canberra and the workings of Australian politics as Akerman is supposed to possess but rarely reveals.


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Monday, September 07, 2009

Skippy The Bush Kangaroo : 'Dumb As A Sheep'

A great piece from David Dale in the Sun Herald about Skippy exposes the shocking fakery behind the kangaroo who I'd been led to believe was embarrassingly smarter than that kid he kept rescuing, Sonny.

...various animal wranglers reveal that kangaroos are impossible to train, because they are "dumber than sheep". Their acting range is limited to sitting still, looking around and hopping away, so the producers filmed 14 different animals in the hope of capturing enough variety of movement to fit with script needs. Before any scene, the chosen roo was kept in a hessian bag, so that she (yes, Skippy was female) would emerge dazed and compliant for a couple of minutes before making her escape.

It's a technique for controlling the talent that has sadly gone out of fashion in Australian TV production. Kind of.

300 million people around the world ended up seeing Skippy, but Sweden wouldn't show it. Why?

...it might give children "a misleading impression of an animal's abilities". What? Just because Skippy can make phone calls, open a safe, handle the controls of a helicopter, play the piano and the drums, and communicate at a level of sophistication rarely achieved by a 12 year old human being?

I remain convinced that I once saw Skippy spinning a tyre iron as he changed a wheel on the ranger's four wheel drive and cooking an omelette. But then, I can also recall Skippy surfing, but the cast rarely left the national park. Allergy medication in the early 1970s was very, very strong.

I didn't know this :

(Skippy was)....Australia's first venture into international program-making....Skippy paved the way for more versatile actresses such as Nicole Kidman, Toni Collette, Cate Blanchett and Rachel Griffiths.

A dazed kangaroo paved the way for Australian actresses internationally?

Add Skippy to our list of National Treasures.
The Spirit Of Derek & Clive Lives On

Wah, of Club Wah, comes across a motherlode in his Fucktard Hunt :
Why is it whenever someone is lost necessitating a search and rescue operation the fucktards come out and question how much it costs the tax payer with the sort of concern showed as if the money was being ripped out of their own unwashed arses using a pair of multigrips, a can of WD-40 and a fucking tow rope?
Good question.

Another good question :
If I had 25 rounds in the magazine of my SLR rifle and shot 25 fucktards like you at a rate of one every 1.3 seconds. How long would it take me to make the world a slightly better place?
A Club Wah commenter :
You take cursing to a new level.
It's an ever evolving slanguage :
Go and get your head fucked by a front-end loader.
More Here