Today’s Missing Link is a huge omnibus edition, partly because of the week’s gap in publication of ML (for various reasons largely beyond my control) and partly because Google Reader allows me to cover more blogs more thoroughly. I’m still continually amazed by the huge volume of great reading material produced by the Australian blogosphere on a daily basis, and today’s ML edition underlines it. I’ve always known there was lots of great stuff out there, but the sheer abundance of good material exceeds even my expectations. It makes you realise why the mainstream media takes every opportunity to denigrate blogging, while Crikey abstracts a tiny number of “quirky” posts each day, apparently seeking to give its readers the misleading impression that that’s what blogging is all about.
Anyway, on with the show without further ado.
Patriotic Aussies show respect for the flag at the Cronulla riots …
News and politics stuff
The flag and the Big Day Out
- Every blogger and her cat posted on this story for some reason. Andrew Bartlett has some sensible, sober commentary, and links to some others. Modia Minotaur’s post also contains numerous flag-related factoids I didn’t know. Personally I preferred the more colourful responses … right-leaning ones like Andrew Landeryou, who titled his post Disgraceful: leftist concert organisers attack flag, not to mention the lunar right like Tiberius at A Western Heart, whose post was called Time to fry us some leftists and proceeded to get even more rabid from there. But the best post (including lots of photos) was by Tim Sterne at Sarsaparilla:
If popular music is about anything, it’s about conformity, obedience, and respect for the values of the broader community. Waving an Aussie flag while moshing is a time-honoured tradition. Back when I could be bothered attending music festivals, the first thing I packed, after my cigarettes, pre-rolled joints, two litre bottle of Southern Comfort and Coke, ripped flanelette shirt, earplugs, glow-in-the-dark condoms, amphetamines (strictly for dealing), giant inflatable novelty hand, toilet roll, bong, fake ID, counterfeit tickets, and fifty dollars stolen from my mum’s purse, was an Australian flag or two. Who died and gave BDO promoter Ken West the right to deprive thousands of music-loving youngsters of the opportunity to do the same?
‘Bush as terrorist’ T-shirt kicked off Qantas
- Another frequently blogged issue, with attitudes splitting in an utterly predictable ideological way. Sarah titled her post Get offended at rights infringement, whereas the aptly named Bilious Young Fogey preferred Juvenilia: some immature wanker wants to wear a t-shirt referring to terrorism onto as plane. wmmbb posts a more nuanced opinion, while Paul Mitchell argues that pastel polo shirts, plaid chinos and boat shoes are far more likely to offend his sense of decency and so should also be banned by Qantas.
- Tim Dunlop and Andrew Bartlett have some serious analysis, but the most entertaining take was by insertnamehere at TSSH:
Mandy was – lets face it a larger than life personality. She was a big woman, she dressed colourfully, she got pissed on a regular basis. She was a lightning rod for satirists, cartoonists and every two-bit stand up comic who wanted to get a cheap laugh. Away with her. …
Goodbye Mandy, you useless fat idiot. I’ll miss you.
Rudd’s education discussion paper and speech
- Andrew Norton and Andrew Leigh both suggest that there’s more to education policy than just throwing money at it. Labor will probably need to take on the education unions and state education bureaucrats to have a meaningful positive effect. Daily Flute puts the ALP line, with some useful stats (but compare with Andrew Norton).
A great photo … not so sure of the politics of associating the pro-choice position with late-term abortions
- Tigtog argues the pro-choice abortion position from her own experience (as a mother of two). Suki has a more earthy (and free verse poetic) take on it:
I am pro-choice because having sex, being passionate, fucking hard and often, is not always done to conceive. Paradoxically, sex can lead to conception. Conception is not always the desired outcome. Contraception fails, or is unpleasant, or is onerous, or is forgotten, or requires assertiveness, or is overwhelming”¦
Other news stuff
- Prime Minister kills two linguistic birds with one stone – Pavlov’s Cat explores the PM’s abolition of “multicultural” from the name of the department formerly known (at least by PC) as DIMMER.
- Guest post by Dr Dennis Jensen MP: It won’t be right on the night – Catallaxy hosts a post by federal Liberal backbencher and former defence analyst Dennis Jensen on defence policy (and in particular issues surrounding Australia’s purchase of the Joint Strike Fighter. Jensen then participated in a live comment box discussion – a new and fascinating development for the blogosphere.
- The new puritans – ‘Legal Eagle’
I think the present water restrictions in Victoria are ridiculous: a prime example of shutting the gate after the horse has bolted, just so that the government looks like it is doing something constructive. I’m not the only one who is upset. …
- Socialist windbag: Ahmadinejad – Matthew K looks at some chinks in Iranian President’s support base.
- Trevor Cormack has a standard kneejerk ALP take on Blundstone’s moving its manufacturing operations offshore, while Peter Martin conducts an excellent serious analysis.
- Is the uni admission system in ‘crisis’? – No, argues Andrew Norton.
- ID card stoush brewing – Andrew Bartlett.
- Connecting the dots – John Quiggin on numerous aspects of the post-modern relativist parallel universe seemingly inhabited by many US Republicans.
- All the rivers run to Canberra – Tim Dunlop analyses Labor leader (and John Howard clone) Kevin Rudd’s cynical but arguably politically smart stance on water policy.
- We’ll all be rooned said Hanrahan … – Simon Jackman on Bomber Beazley’s remarkably silly pronouncement about supposedly dubious future of either the ALP and Coalition if they lose the next election.
- ‘Private dick’ gets a whole new meaning – ‘Roger Migently’ from Values Australia looks at the decision of various local councils to appoint private detectives to probe the activities of illegal Sydney brothels!
- Another one to cross off the list – Kimberley tidal power – Robert Merkel debunks claims about the promise of tidal power.
- Muslims in Australian politics – Andrew Elder
- How many would work for less than the minumum wage? – Andrew Leigh
Life and other serious stuff
- “Clear thinking” – Gummo Trotsky on a bizarre subject called “Clear Thinking” apparently taught in Victorian high schools in the 50s, 60s and 70s, seguing into a reminiscence about a truly appalling teacher he once had.
- Don’t call me a prude please – Alex has a fascinating post about the effects of pornography.
- The global warming acid test – ‘Melaleuca’ focuses on a less known consequence of global warming – acidificartion of the oceans.
- Afghan opium has legitimate use: NHS doctors – use it don’t burn it, argues Sarah.
- The perfect woman is … made-up – Gianna
… What if, I suddenly thought to myself, the man I love turns out to be attracted to high-maintenance women? Maybe the majority of men are? What if the man I end up with turns out to be secretly (or openly) more attracted to the well-varnished woman than to a low-maintenance chick like me? …
- Dobbing is a big issue – Chris Berg argues that encouraging people to dob in others to the government is unAustralian. In fact, ‘dobbing’ was a mortal social sin when I was a kid, but it doesn’t seem to be the case nowadays. Chris’s IPA colleague Andrew Norton also weighs in with some thoughts on the ethics of dobbing.
- ‘Moderate’ left and right – Andrew Norton crunches the numbers and discovers that moderate lefites are less tolerant than moderate righties. As a centrist I am, of course, deeply tolerant of the complete fucktards on all sides of the ideological divide.
- Julia Julia Julia – Helen ‘Cast iron Balcony’ Smart on Julia Gillard’s bizarre utterances on motherhood and politics.
- Does feminism fail women? – Mark ‘ozconservative’ Richardson
- A better system for all? – Mark ‘ozconservative’ Richardson on Australia’s refugee program
A fairly dodgy-sounding artistic work, but a great photo c/- The Art Life
- David Lynch’s Lost Highway – Paul Martin reviews this 10 year old classic. You can do that when you’re a blogger, and I can highlight it because I’m a Lynch fan too.
- Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto – Richard Watts reviews the latest Mel Gibson bloodbath historical epic.
- Archibald Backwash: Live by the Media – Andrew from Artlife.
- Shantaram and the idea of a noisy novel – Eleanor Hogan
I’d like to suggest that Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram provides a new take on the Australian novel. Shantaram is a noisy, baggy monster of a creation: tho linked to a central protagonist’s quest, it spans multiple characters and continents over a large time period, and juggles long, unwieldy plotlines.
- Lou Reed’s Berlin – Chris Boyd reviews Lou’s recent Sydney concert performance of his 1973 album
- The mother of all independent companies – Matt Scholten looks at a funding crisis facing Melbourne’s iconic La Mama theatre company.
- How to stop a charging rhino – David ‘Barista’ Tiley
The Recording Industry Association of America seems to work on a very clear, simple theory. We live in a society driven by spectacle, and you get the most attention by biting the heads off kittens in front of children. So the RIAA has been behaving like complete bastards to tiny, insignificant people, knowing it gets a heap of publicity. …
- Ertl of the jungle – Tiley again, with a fantastic post on the life of German film director (and Leni Reifenstahl collaborator) Hans Ertl.
Mad Bad Sad Glad
- Zoe is the mother of a brand new baby boy. Congratulations!
- The tale of ice in the sky – Robert Merkel holds forth on the history of comets, while Nicholas Gruen tells the story of his own encounters with them and posts some photos of Comet McNaught.
- Fumento spits the dummy – Tim Lambert focuses on right-leaning American science writer’s departure in high dudgeon from Winds of Change blog, after being caught fudging/misrepresenting research about stem cells in amniotic fluid. Tim has also been involved in a quite nasty stoush about global warming issues with Online Opinion’s Graham Young. Neither of them exhibits deep (or even shallow) civility.
- Tim Blair notes the fleeting return of his favourite target Margo Kingston to the media (and blogging) spotlight as a supporter of banning the Australian flag from Sydney’s Big Day Out.
- World’s shortest book – sometimes Tim Blair’s trademark abbreviated blogging style works superbly, and this post is an example.
- Short pants man – Bernard Slattery
A TEENAGER has been accused of being a deadbeat dad by a government agency that claims he fathered a child when he was three years old.
- Erection police – JF Beck on an attempt to ban TV ads said to be promoting the recreational use of Viagra to counteract the droopy effect of some party drugs.
- Someone stop the world … – Sam Ward looks at an American teacher facing 40 years jail for accidentally showing porn to her middle school class!
- Is 9:12pm too early to broadcast the word ‘cunt’? – Peter Black ponders one of the vital questions of our times. The word was broadcast as part of a documentary called Britain’s Fattest Teenager.
- I sent my daughter to a nightclub and she got drunk! – Armagnac continues his parenthood-driven lurch to the pragmatic right.
- Harden up – Sam ‘Yobbo’ Ward links a ‘Chopper’ Read contribution to YouTube!
- Crikey! I’m happy that snake killed me! – Dionne Bliss at TSSH –
Looks like we have the first victim of the Irwin Curse. Hayden Parkinson, the 16 year old who died of a snake bite last week, “worshipped Steve Irwin”.