Missing Link

If a (very large) tsunami hit Noosa – from FunkyPix2 (correction Beyond the Fringe)

There wasn’t any political issue as such that brought Ozblogistan out stoushing this easter, although a splendid blue over the politics of the Frank Miller 300 adaptation – of which more in Amanda’s arts section – did ensue.

Climate change is still doing the rounds of the ridges, as is education and electioneering. On the electioneering front, the folks at Muslim blog Austrolabe have an interesting piece on Kevin Rudd’s entry into the (multi) culture wars. Some interesting education posts by Professor Harry Clarke, too, who tackles one of the thorniest issues confronting schools: there are no doubt some very bad teachers out there, yet they are paid the same – and receive identical perks – to good teachers. How is it possible to reward the latter for their efforts? Harry’s thoughts are here and here.

This slightly reduced Easter edition of Missing Link compiled by James Farrell, Amanda Rose, Helen Dale and Ken Parish.

1. News and Politics Stuff

Simon Jackman notes the departure from Newspoll of the legendary pollster Sol Lebovic, and also takes a well judged swipe at the statistical illiteracy of most political journalists.

Graham Young wonders when (if ever) the disgraced Senator Santo Santoro is actually going to make good on his promise to resign his Senate seat. Is he still playing everyone for suckers?

Bryan “Ozpolitics” Palmer reviews the state of the federal polls, especially on expectations of whether Labor or the Coalition will win:

We have almost reached the point where as many people think Kevin Rudd will win the next election as thought John Howard would before Ruddâs ascendancy to the Opposition Leadership. The circle is now complete.

Tim Dunlop finds merit in Andrew Landeryou’s warning that Federal Labor’s mistakes are multiplying, and questions the value of newspapers’ giving op-ed space to politicians of any stripe.

Andrew Bartlett catalogues the negative reactions to the unsatisfactory Hicks fix in both Australian and US newspapers. He throws in a good quote from Malcolm Fraser, which will no doubt elicit the usual invective from habitual Fraser mockers. (And all the standard cliches – High Tory, Scion of the Squattocracy, blah blah. Never mind if he’s right.)

With some help from a Badger, Eric Martin at Surfdom analyses the motives of Middle Eastern leaders as they position themselves with respect to the US, Israel and Iran. He shows that the ‘stick-figure portayals’ of King Abdul and others in the Western media are unhelpful.

Apropos of moves to decriminalise abortion in Mexico, Kim notes the double standard applied to Christian fanaticism, and oppressive laws, especially regarding reproduction, that it inspires:

How does this differ, materially, from the fanatics in Iraq, who, emboldened by the theocratic genie that the US released from its bottle, kill, threaten or kidnap women who refuse to go veiled or make themselves subservient to men as an intolerant fundamentalism would have them?

Also at LP, Robert Merkel discusses aspects of the US Supreme Court’s decision that the EPA must regulate CO2 pollution or show why it isn’t a pollutant.

David “Barista” Tiley takes a considered look at the UNIPCC’s Working Group II report on climate change, called Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability , while the Pencil Guy also covers the issue.

In a spirit of sharing becoming more common throughout the Ozblogos, Rafe Champion makes material he’s written for Quadrant available at Catallaxy, as does Jason Soon with stuff written for Policy. Andrew Norton, meanwhile, in his inimitable (but gentle) way takes apart a Robert Manne MSM op-ed, in so doing illustrating why many on the classical liberal right don’t care about bias at the ABC. Still on his ‘big government conservatism’, Andrew is also excellent on the waste built into the Family Tax Benefit.

Sukrit Sabhlok argues that Australia can’t afford to take a robustly independent foreign policy stance (qua the US) unless we’re prepared to spend much more on defence, acquire nuclear weapons or enter into a NATO-style pact with a couple of larger Asian powers.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Legal Eagle focuses on the proliferation of You Tube? videos made by teeenagers (both male and female) proudly depicting their own distasteful acts of bullying (or worse).

Cast-Iron Helen dismembers the latest offering from gender theorist Jim Schembri, who accuses women of hijacking feminism. ‘A fabulous takedown of Schmuck Schembri’, as tigtog puts it in the comments box. Fabulous also describes the latter’s own pen sketch of sexism visted on an eleven-month-old girl in the park, worth reading just for the writing:

‘Oh, no! Stop! Naughty Nana! Youâll make her fat!’

This was said in that plausibly deniable jocular fashion that one is not allowed to take offence at, on pain of being considered (oh noes!) humourless, but the message was clear.

From Peter Black: Guest blogging at Terra Nova, Elizabeth Townsend Gard has a great post on using Second Life and the concept of virtual property in a first year property law course. Read it here.

“Human Behaviour” (American but resident in Australia) argues that the citzenship test proposed by the Howard government is an entirely reasonable measure and accords with usual process in numerous other coutntries including the US. Still on vaguely WOT issues, Rob at Better Part of Valour notes that the 15 British sailors/marines kidnapped by Iran – if nothing else – look set to make a killing in the red-tops back home. Still at sea, Mark at Oz Conservative dissects an American commentator who attacked the British captives for their (alleged) compliance.

As is his wont, Adrian the cablogger tells two stories – both moving, one heartbreaking – about a bloke and a girl in his cab. This man really does have a gift for narrative (SL). Also on narrative, Julian has a lovely post on the aetiology of airport bookstores, and why they sell what they do.

Darlene Taylor marks the (manslaughter?) sentencing last Thursday of a young man whose drunken driving killed his best friend. The victim was Darlene’s nephew, son of her twin sister. Our thoughts are with you and your family Darlene. The healing takes a long time, but now it can really begin.

3. The Yartz

Slightly delayed but worth highlighting just the same, Alison Croggon reviews the current Melbourne production of Eugene Ionesco’s Exit the King, starrring Geoffrey Rush and a stellar local cast, while also observing that several of the MSM reviews of the play seem to have just regurgitated the PR handout for the play. It’s times like this I [KP] really envy people who live in Sydney or Melbourne for their access to quality arts events. Incidentally, Darwin Theatre Company is presently advertising a forthcoming local production of Not Like Beckett by Alice Springs playwright Michael Watts. Proving that the blogosphere has really arrived, DTC’s ad in the NT News features a quote from Alison Croggon’s review of the Melbourne production. However, it spells Alison’s name “Groggon”, which can only enhance her status and authority as a theatre critic here in the Territory.

Meanwhile, Nabakov continues his occasional reviews of old movies on video, concluding that a Pommie gangster thriller called The Long Good Friday starring Bob Hoskins is roolly roolly good. [KP – seeing as I’m typing this in my study while hiding from the Friday night cop shows on the ABC, I’ll probably take Nabs’ word for it].

Off the Record has Part Two of a series on new bands to watch (hear), with downloads. And Guy at Polemica takes a break from politics to blog about something important: music.

Last week it was a chocolate Jesus that animated the ‘sphere, this week it’s Greeks’ turn. The burning question being: Is 300 fascist? [My burning question is: “Do you get to see Dominic West naked?” — AR] The A listers at LP, Catallaxy, Surfdom weigh in on eminently predictable sides. Ben Peek was bothered by it too. Sexualit©’s Anastasia would make Herotodus himself proud with a defence of the Greeks against “asinine film reviewers.”

Link dump: awful term, excellent resource from Tim Sterne at Sarsparilla.

Spark Online is a blog by Victoria College of Arts students and currently has a series on the Melbourne Comedy festival and WOMADelaide. All of it is worth checking out. Robert Merkel reviews the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala night, finding it good in parts but a tad tedious, and also a performance by Irish comedian Ed Byrne (one of many at the MICF apparently – why are there so many Irish comedians at the moment, and so many Pommie chefs with TV shows, I can’t help wondering? – KP). Darlene Taylor revews numerous performances at the MICF. Meanwhile, Legal Eagle reveals that clowns – the silly happy circus variety – give her the creeps. It appears she’s not alone on that score.

Your token Easter link: what else but Ecclesiastical embroidery.

Apparently this is the quality of animation needed to win Tropfest … see Simon Sellars’ review mentioned adjacent

Simon Sellars (who also posts at Ballardian) reviews short film festival Tropfest 2007, and concludes [as did I – KP] that the winning film was crap, and featured weak animation to boot.  To my taste it was one of the poorer entries. Simon has some more general criticisms of the tropfest format, including the apparent insistence that films will be created by a combined writer/director:

Itâs sad when writers are being bred out of the film industry, especially when a bunch of shit is all we have to show for it (hey, when you make films about faeces, you open yourself up to all kinds of snide remarks). Iâm thinking of the welfare of the Tropfest directors here, too. Filmmakers are selling themselves short with this idea of the director as can-do multitasking superhero, when spending a little bit of time with an actual writer might just deliver the killer punch that jaded filmgoers everywhere are so desperately waiting for.


4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Veteran blogger Scott Wickstein has made a welcome comeback to sports blogging at The Sporstman’s Journal. Scott muses about a new heavily sponsored Indian cricket league that he fears might poach Australian players [KP – only desperates and has-beens, I would have thought], and about why the AFL still doesn’t schedule games on Good Friday, when both rugby codes do so. Scott also speculates that the current holders of broadcast rights for the World Cup being held in the Carribean might be deliberately allowing/encouraging negative commentary in order to drive down the rights asking price for the 2011 World Cup.

Tony the Teacher uncovers a Pakistani online rag that reckons the Australian cricket team should have DNA samples taken, on the theory that Paki coach Bob Woolmer’s murder could be a revenge attack at the behest of sacked umpire Darryl Hair!! And while we’re on matters cricketing, Peter Black has yet another body to add to You Tube?‘s growing list of enemies – the ICC.

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

Australia’s king and queen of pop culture snark, Caz and the Hack, have announced their retirement from the blogosphere, only a couple of weeks after Skeletor, the other truly talented writer at Spin Starts Here, had also pulled the pin. It’s fitting really, on the (second?) anniversary of their most notorious stunt: calling for the crucifixion of pop princess Delta Goodrem. Some hated them, but I (KP) was a devoted fan and I’m in deep mourning.

Peter Martin reports on research showing that many/most people who pay for gym membership don’t use it much of the time and would save heaps of money by paying for a cheaper plan or attending casually.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic at Charles Darwin University, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law) and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 12 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in he early 1990s.
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8 Responses to Missing Link

  1. I have stuffed up the link to Julian’s post on airport bookstores; the piece is available in his April archive here. Unfortunately it isn’t possible to link to it directly.

  2. Fringe says:

    Oy! although the Funkypix2 folk inspired me with their cascade of tsunami horrors, that pic of the Noosa pre-disaster is mine, all mine at Beyond The Fringe.

  3. Ken Parish says:

    Oh sorry about that. I’ll correct it right away. I actually liked it better than the ones at Funkypix2, which is why i used it.

  4. Ken do you mind fixing Julian’s link while you’re at it? Use the link in my first comment. Sorry about that.

  5. Ken Parish says:

    OK done.

  6. Fringe says:

    Hi Ken

    Thanks :) much appreciated. Keep up the great troppo work!

  7. Thanks for that Ken. Next time I will try not to be so clever ;)

  8. Darlene says:

    Thanks for your kind words.

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