Missing Link Daily

A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, gilmae, Gummo Trotsky, Amanda Rose, Tim Sterne, Stephen Hill and Saint.

Politics

Australian

This is an entry in a contest to match new products with old advertising visuals. Check out all the entries here (via Dale at Faith in Honest Doubt)

Ed at Nuclear Australia is probably pushing uranium up a hill, but he’d really like some nuclear power in Australia and sees an opportunity in the 2020 conference to actually talk about it.

Beju at Counteract Now notes that John Howard is still raking in the rewards of good governance.

John Quiggin ponders the Coalition’s survival prospects and merger proposals.  But as the Libationals?

Andrew Bartlett examines the connections between the Murdoch press’s campaign against scrapping the Carers’ Bonus and their new one to raise the age pension.  Strange that they never did any such thing when Howard was in government.

Possum Comitatus rails against David Penberthy and the dimwitted campaign against the Reserve Bank on behalf of an apparent sacred cow, Western Sydney. 11. gilmae: Aren’t we blessed in NSW? Gimp of a Premier, two newspapers devoid of content, and no Opposition party. []

International

Derek Barry reports on Londoners’ attempts to douse the Olympic Flame before it reaches Beijing.

What does the great sociologist Max Weber have to do with Iraq?  Sandy Levinson explains.

Richard the Non-Blogger posts a nice letter from the Zimbabwe Times. Some background here.(via Norm Geras)


Economics

Will Wilkinson argues that happiness research isn’t completely pointless.


Law

If you’ve been lying awake tossing and turning and wondering why psychics almost never get charged with criminal offences in the US, Ophelia Benson explains.  It’s because of the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 .  

Peter Timmins discovers that the 2020 Summit background paper on Governance Issues rather gilds the lily on the current efficacy of FOI laws in Australia.


facing the consequences

That’s a big one you got there …

escalation

sepia sad wire bike

Issues analysis

David Tiley read the transportation report by Sir Ron Eddington and…oh look, really, just read the post, it defies summarisation.

Are women taking over medicine? Lauredhel carves up the first speaker for the proposition

John Quiggin wants to hear your ideas on how the Libational Party (formerly the Liberal and National Parties) can survive.

Tyler Cowen ponders the erotics of investing and confesses an erotic fascination with staplers.

Publius examines the roots of neoconservatism.


Arts

Andrew Frost reviews several art exhibitions including one on nudists:

Tim Moore has been embroidering naturists (nudists) for the past two years as he finds them fascinating. “I love the fact they sometimes have shoes on, or socks or a hat, I think they look like they forgot to get dressed. The thing I love most about naturists is that they call clothed folk ‘textiles'” 

At Born Dancin’ the Comedy Festival ain’t over till it’s over, but it doesn’t hurt to tune into some ‘anti-comedy‘ if you have the time and the tolerance, or two pithy reviews  about what comedy is not, in the nicest possible way too!

Sam at Sails of Oblivion  had a bad day at the Camberwell market, not buying, not selling, but mislaying stock, this leads into general rumination along these lines, ‘I could never remember all the things I’ve forgotten’. 

Director Shannon Murphy talks about My Name is Rachael Corrie  opening at the Belvoir Theatre in May.  ‘I believe today we go to the theatre for truthfulness. It can no longer merely serve as a medium for storytelling as movies fulfill that role in bulk every week. Audiences need to feel the urge to come to the theatre to be provided with a powerful and longer lasting means for current issues to be heard and reflected on’. The play’s premiere by the New York Theatre Workshop in 2006 was cancelled because of provoking Israel Palestinian discontent.

Spoz rants on the Queens of the Stone Age/Smashing Pumpkins gig, complete with pretty pictures.

Folk Australia on a new album by Chloe and Jason Roweth, “best things to happen to Australian folk music in the last decade.”

Darlene Taylor reviews Shane Warne:The Musical , generously giving it a bare passing grade.


Snark, strangeness and charm

Broken Left Leg disses trial by on-line media.

Mark Bahnisch resists going native. How long can he hold out?

Helen is appalled by one of those sexist, racist and totally unfunny emails that a particular species of meathead insists on sending people, while Tim Blair apparently thinks she’s a humourless feminist.

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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69 Responses to Missing Link Daily

  1. Gummo Trotsky says:

    Embroidered nudists? Sounds more painful than tattooing.

  2. Patrick says:

    Tyler Cowen ponders the erotics of investing and confesses an erotic fascination with staplers.

    That’s a stretch of an interpretation – from ‘non-neutral’ to ‘erotic’!

  3. Patrick says:

    David Tiley’s post was very good, although I don’t understand why his friends are apparently all afraid of cycling in Melbourne.

    The conclusion, however, was both disconnected and plain weird:

    We have to stop producing greenhouse gases. Any of them. Ever. Now.

    Does anyone else believe that?

  4. Laura says:

    Tim Blair’s commenters are an utter disgrace to the blogosphere, and so is Tim for indulging them. I also think it is incredibly pathetic of Saint to have emailed the link to Helen’s post on to Tim, because if you disagree with somebody you should just debate it out with them like an adult, not set in motion a process which you KNOW will inevitably result in a torrent of malicious filth descending upon the person with whom you have given up holding a normal discussion.

  5. gilmae says:

    So now not only is Tim Blair responsible for everything that his readers do, so are people that communicate with Tim Blair? We could establish another Erd

  6. Helen says:

    Gilmae, it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it, as the song says.

    Anyhoo, it’s very entertaining – where’s that popcorn? I’ll have to clean all the Bundy and Coke / Midori Breezer cans off the Balcony later tho.

    Arent we blessed in NSW? Gimp of a Premier, two newspapers devoid of content, and no Opposition party.

    This is different from Victoria… how? ;-)

  7. Niall says:

    Storm in a teacup, folks? I do believe Saint has transgressed on one of the unwritten ethics of rational blogging, that being “one ought not use another blogger’s resources to score personal angst points”.

    Seriously, Saint, sooling Blair’s troop of half-witted howlers onto Helen because you didn’t appreciate your sage advice being dissed, is a low act. Frankly, I believe you both make valid points. You played ‘devils advocate’ as you stated, and Helen highlighted the distasteful character of the email & it’s propagator. Both perfectly valid approaches. So why involve a moron like Blair? The issue is beyond his understanding anyway.

  8. gilmae says:

    Victoria is *supposed* to be that way because it’s not as good, duh!

  9. Jason Soon says:

    Well you heard it here, folks.

    Tim Blair is a dalit, a pariah, an untermenschen.

    No respectable human being should have any contact with him, whether it be emails, beers or otherwise.

  10. Ken Parish says:

    Taking Helen’s question seriously for a moment, Brumby is a rather more substantial political figure than Iemma and has a serious interest in policy. And the Victorian government appears moderately competent (rather than supine masters of spin and bullshit like NSW Labor) and seemingly fairly non-corrupt (again in contrast to NSW Labor).

  11. I laughed at the bombercat gag when I first saw it. It was in an email my partner sent me. People have different senses of humour. Any comedian who has the ability to be universally funny will be insanely rich. Such is life.

  12. Jason Soon says:

    Very inappropriate skeptic. Go wash your mouth out in soap – and cover those table legs while you’re at it. Such a licentious household you run.

  13. wilful says:

    Also, Baillieu seems generally decent and potentially competent. Not really demonstrated, frankly nobody’s listening to him at all right now, but maybe one day able to form a reasonable government?

    The Age has many faults, but (sadly) it remains one of the better papers in Australia. And the Herald Sun certainly isn’t on a par with the Terrorgraph.

  14. Patrick says:

    Skepticlawyer – I too am horrified – only unreconstructed males like myself are allowed to find that kind of racist-against-the-poorblackarab-muslim-race funnny!

    More seriously, does anyone really wonder why the poor guy didn’t copy charming funny light-hearted Helen in on that? In fact, I’ll bet he never emails her anything. Or one further – he probably never exchanges a voluntary word with her :)

  15. jc says:

    Brumby is excellent and should be in for a long time. Baillieu isn’t very smart. I actually think he is one of the few politicians in a leadership role who I can say is genuinely thick.

  16. wilful says:

    heh heh, it’s not an arab woman’s vagina, it’s a cat in a robe with explosives!!!

    HAH HAHHAHAHHAHHA

    ROFLMAO!

    really, how very clever. Totally piss funny.

    And no, of course there’s absolutely no subtext of anti-islamicism or porn. Who could think such a thing, apart from a bitter twisted lesbian feminazi who can’t get a root?

    (man this is so not making it past the spambot)

  17. Ken Parish says:

    Troppo’s spambot is a sensitive New Age model.

  18. TimT says:

    It’s interesting, actually, because one of Helen’s points was that the email was forwarded only to guys, a point more or less missed in the stoush that ensued. It’s one indication that the email is meant for guys, not women. Why would that be? That said, it’s interesting that Skeptic – and a few (female) readers on Blair’s thread – have commented on receiving the email, too.

  19. Heheh, this is kinda funny. The point I was trying to make is a genuine one, though. Humour does vary between people. However, policing humour (here comes the libertarian, you’ve been warned) is even sillier than the silliest humour. If it wasn’t so deleterious to the body politic on straight free speech grounds, then I’d be laughing really hard at various attempts by people of all political stripes to ‘control’ humour.

    I’m sure Blair’s crowd would find, say, a send-up of fallen diggers pretty unfunny. They’d react like Helen has with bombercat. However other people may find a putative send-up of fallen diggers funny. I tend to view humour on a case-by-case basis – and I only laugh at stuff I consider funny.

    It’s horses for courses – let preferences (market and non-market) sort it out.

  20. Gummo Trotsky says:

    I didn’t even get a wry smile out of the bomber cat, but I might have in other circumstances. Perhaps the graphic needs a caption – something like: “Can haz virgins soon?”. That’s still not laugh out loud funny, of course – just LOLCatz funny.

    All the rest of this controversy is just mutual reinforcement of stereotypes.

  21. gilmae says:

    Hmm. I think I would definitely have sniggered if the lolcat caption had been added. Without it; well, I can see how it would be funny if you hadn’t seen it all before and done better.

  22. James Farrell says:

    The bomb adds nothing to the joke: it just makes it vulgar and offensive. Without the bomb, it might have been mildly amusing, but no funnier than the same idea with, say, ‘Catholic pussies’ and a cat in a veil and habit. Even then, it would have taken a more classy and striking picture to elicit a guffaw.

  23. Helen says:

    “Are you Being Served” has been and gone for quite a while folks. I think it’s safe to say we’re not objecting to the sheer edginess of it.

  24. Chade says:

    I would’ve thought it wasn’t funny because it’s been done to death and simply isn’t funny, especially without lolcat captions (which in themselves haven’t been that funny anyway for at least a year)…

  25. Geoff Honnor says:

    Has nobody noticed that the photo-shopped ‘splody cat is wearing a keffiyeh, not a hijab? It’s clearly a bloke cat. Could we have some attention to outrage-provoking detail, please?

  26. John Greenfield says:

    Laura

    Unfortunately you are merely confirming the widely held suspicion of most people towards the humourless, censorious, and authoritarian feminist.

  27. John Greenfield says:

    skepticlawyer

    Clearly you have internalised the bourgeois male imperialist orientalist fantasies about the Muslim woman’s dignity and resistance to having her body colonised by the wearing of the veil. To this extent you become a Benedictine Annoldette who is a carrier of the white man’s expansionist culture-raping agenda. And so on and so forth. ;)

  28. Laura says:

    John, you pontificator, didn’t you read my comment? here, I will cut and paste it for you.

    “if you disagree with somebody you should just debate it out with them like an adult, not set in motion a process which you KNOW will inevitably result in a torrent of malicious filth descending upon the person with whom you have given up holding a normal discussion”

  29. John Greenfield says:

    Helen

    Actually Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy and the rest of the Grace Bros. gang are on television in April 2008, and have been for nearly a year now. Do keep up, dear. ;)

  30. saint says:

    Niall, I recently wrote to someone in an email that I don’t feel obliged to correct everything wrong I see on the internet, even if it’s about me. So I won’t correct you.

  31. saint says:

    gilmae,

    So I’m no. 1, Tim Blair is the chosen one, and Niall is annoyed?

    Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

  32. Helen says:

    Do you know what a rerun is, JG?

    Really, all the responses along the lines with “if you don’t guffaw at this lame schoolboyish joke, then you are deemed to have No Sense Of Humour”. This is risible given that Saint had devoted a whole post on the same day, or the day before, complaining about a different joke. Talk about double standards!

    Plus, if you don’t give any old humiliation of women a free pass, then you must be a Victorian prude and cover your piano legs; no in between! Truly, I don’t know how some of you finish your grad degrees with thinking like that. My 11 year old could pick holes in it. And for those who disingenuously point out that is is a MALE kitteh, well duh, but the “joke” consisted of a three part powerpoint where the recipient is first invited to view some “mu$lim pu$$y”. Boom-tish! Oh, hold my sides.

    If you don’t understand what’s wrong with that, as one commenter on a feminist blog said recently, I really don’t know how to explain it to you, especially as Saint, TimB and the flying monkey army have a completely separate code of conduct for themselves and for everyone else.

  33. Jason Soon says:

    Why is it that making jokes about ‘pussy’ is somehow sexist and demeaning to women yet we never hear similar complaints about the use of the word ‘dick’? The joke was partly about pretending to be spam so that was the obvious reason for the ‘pussy’ remark.

    One other thing – I never said I found the joke funny myself. I don’t. I think it was lame and not deserving of comment either way. But now Helen is trying to turn it around into a debate over everyone must laugh about the joke. Umm no it was about how she huffed and puffed and wrote a humourless tract about it.

  34. John Greenfield says:

    Helen

    I am afraid your attempt to universalise YOUR thinking this joke is “wrong” simply will not fly. The real issue here is what is it about YOU that is causing this melodramatic meltdown? This tendency of a certain clique of feminists to disallow as “wrong” anything with even a whiff of not always taking every single woman extremely seriously indeed as proof of “a river of misogyny and racism” is not only tragic, but tedious, narcissistic and quite contemptible.

  35. Helen says:

    So Jason, why is it OK for Saint to do it? If not “boyz club”, then what?…

    I forgot one important life lesson: don’t feed the greentroll.

  36. Jason Soon says:

    I have no idea what Saint did Helen. I only know about this because I click onto Tim Blair’s site. Each case on its merits. If you want me to ex ante condemn all acts of humourlessness I hereby do so. But it sounds like you’re acting like the persecuted feminist again.

  37. wilful says:

    Trying to avoid feeding this, but I don’t and never have identified or been identified as any sort of a feminist (extra hard for those of us with Y chromosomes). But it’s still a dumb sexist joke that I find offensive. Not offensive enough to abuse the person who sent it to me, or to post about it. But still offensive.

    (actually I’m not that sure it’s very sexist, it’s racist and stereotyping, that’s what’s offensive, the ‘pussy’ bit is mostly just porn-related idiocy)

    jason, when we start getting paid less we can start whinging.

  38. Jason Soon says:

    Interesting that Helen has somehow jumped to the conclusion that I somehow am covering up for Saint – a conservative evangelical protestant who hates Richard Dawkins and whose worldview is probably strongly antithetical to mine – just because we have the same kinds of appendages – rather than consider the more simple reason that I read Blair more regularly than I read Saint. This is reductive radical feminist thinking at itsmost blinkered and self-parodic.

  39. gilmae says:

    Saint: Well Tim would have a Blair number of zero, stands to reason.

    Anyway, despite the fact that I disagree with half of everything you say and find your devotion to an invisible pink unicorn a little funny, I’m with you, bro, based on our mutual dangle.

    Also, I find colostomy bag jokes funny; I thought it was hilarious when my friend sent me a bear with “CANCER” written on it the week after I was diagnosed; and I am amused that the alleged “humorless feminist” was quite happy to go along with the “gimp” tag despite it being a horrible term for the mentally disabled retard that Morris Iemma surely is.

  40. Fyodor says:

    Also, I find colostomy bag jokes funny

    Man, do I have the YouTube clip for you.

  41. Jason Soon says:

    Somehow I got the idea from Pulp Fiction that a gimp was someone who got tied to a chair, blindfolded and buggered by other men in S&M gear.

  42. gilmae says:

    It’s also a person with a limp. It’s a bit of a slut of a word.

  43. Mark says:

    Can also mean a cripple generally.

  44. Mark says:

    JG’s on the slide. Whatever happened to the “Presybterian boiler suits” which once adorned his anti-feminist invective?

    I’m sure he could cut and paste them from old comments if he’s unable to think of anything original by way of pointless abuse.

  45. Geoff Honnor says:

    “My 11 year old could pick holes in it. And for those who disingenuously point out that is is a MALE kitteh, well duh, but the joke consisted of a three part powerpoint where the recipient is first invited to view some mu$lim pu$$y.”

    Oh, please. The “joke” – such as it is – hinges on the universally understood porn spambot, entry portal currency of ‘pussy.” What is revealed (Ta Dah!) is a cat (aka pussy) in stereotypical, photoshopped, (male) middle eastern “suicide bomber” attire.

    It’s tasteless and not terribly funny and it’s gaining way more attention than it actually merits.

  46. Geoff Honnor says:

    “I do believe Saint has transgressed on one of the unwritten ethics of rational blogging, that being one ought not use another bloggers resources to score personal angst points

    And the rest of your comment – as is so often the case – goes on to use another blogger’s resources to score personal angst points.

  47. Mark says:

    But isn’t that what the Missing Link comments threads have become? The ultimate snark-meet for the Ozblogosphere?

  48. Tal says:

    Mark you should know buddy.

  49. Niall says:

    Saint, exactly why did you run tittle-tattle to Blair, if not miffed at being chided?

  50. Jacques Chester says:

    Workchoices was the most evil piece of legislation ever to be introduced into an Australian parliament.

    That’s the most preposterously hyperbolic statement ever introduced into a Missing Link selection. And ML has linked to Graeme Bird once.

    The site motto seems apropos. “Where the Right isn’t right”. And neither is the Left.

  51. Graeme Bird says:

    No you are lying Jacques.

    No one is more capable of hyperbole then me.

    Lets see the evidence mate.

    (Sorry that’s me – Jason Soon – gave you a scare didn’t I?)

  52. gilmae says:

    For the longest time, Jason, I was 99% sure GMB was you yanking everyone’s chain.

  53. Jason Soon says:

    Gilmae
    for me to pull that off would have to be the greatest hoax since Ern Malley. I don’t have the time and energy to write the stuff he does.

  54. gilmae says:

    Yeah, eventually it became obvious that if GMB==Jason Soon, it meant Jason Soon was forgoing sleep.

  55. Jacques Chester says:

    Any comedian who has the ability to be universally funny will be insanely rich.

    I predict that they won’t be a comedian.

  56. Nabakov says:

    “For the longest time, Jason, I was 99% sure GMB was you yanking everyones chain.”

    Does it really matter who created Birdy or John Greenfly or Jack Strocchi? Like possessed ventriloquist dummies in campy old horror movies, they’ve acquired a life of their own well beyond the tentative steps that their handlers initially put them through.

    “Pull the strings!”

  57. Nabakov says:

    “”Any comedian who has the ability to be universally funny will be insanely rich.”

    I predict that they wont be a comedian.”

    Bingo! The funny depends on being able to laugh at others. If we’re all in on the joke, then there is no joke.

  58. jc says:

    Jack Strocchi

    Jack’s just a more verbose version of homer but with serious attitude towards Muslims. I love jack’s social movements screeds. They just go on and on and on.

  59. Pavlov's Cat says:

    policing humour (here comes the libertarian, youve been warned) is even sillier than the silliest humour.

    Agreed, SL — but was not Helen who was policing humour. It was, rather, the man who selectively sent round the email, ‘policing’ it in his unspoken censorship. Helen was not policing it, she was critiquing it. My own teeny-tiny libertarian streak tells me she ought to be allowed to do this, and to do it without all the flying monkeys in the world being cravenly sicked onto her by a third party and then sent swooping down on her, flapping their semi-literate spelling and crap logic.

  60. saint says:

    Ye gads I must be something: Tim Blair, the god who must be feared, is my puppet!

    Gilmae, next time you chide me about my devotion to an invisible pink unicorn, I’m going to set off a torrent of invective about your “racism” and misanimalia by emailing Helen. In the meantime you owe me a beer.

    Taking Ken’s point at #11 seriously for a moment, I put it to you that showing up as moderately competent vis-a-vis Iemma, does not one competent make.

  61. PC – as I mentioned aways up the thread, I received the bombercat email gag (amid others of a similar genre) from my partner some time last year, IIRC. I do think Helen was policing humour (although any such humour has long since departed this place – this is gonna be comment 61, peeps). I also think the Blairistas were policing humour. There may be more useless acts around, but I can’t think of many.

    Not sure about the siccing – like Jason, I read Blair & ML and found about the stoush that way. If saint’s also indulging in humourless disquisitions, then we may be witnessing a dispute between two well-used kitchen appliances

    Trying to get people to tell funnies that uplift and never denigrate is like casting a spell on George W Bush’s ears in the hope that they’ll shrink. Humour comes from a very unkind place. I think it was Woody Allen who opined that Jewish jokes were the mortar between the bricks of the crematoria. Didn’t stop him (or lots of others, Jewish or no) for a moment.

  62. saint says:

    Comment #63 SL. Prurient imaginations, Islamic terrorism and Gaia goddess worship all deserve either mockery or disdain. So does this post by Helen al-Hilaly.

  63. Laura says:

    “Not sure about the siccing – like Jason, I read Blair & ML and found about the stoush that way. If saints also indulging in humourless disquisitions, then we may be witnessing a dispute between two well-used kitchen appliances”

    I too read about this in ML, followed its link to Blair, and in the post there he says he got a tipoff from Saint, so that’s the siccing part, skepticlawyer.

  64. Laura says:

    “Humour comes from a very unkind place.”

    This is often said but it’s only partly true at best. It would be pretty easy to reel off a long list of comedians whose jokes don’t have butts, or who manage to poke fun while maintaining a basic respect for other people.

  65. Patrick says:

    It would be pretty easy to reel off a long list of comedians whose jokes dont have butts, or who manage to poke fun while maintaining a basic respect for other people.

    Have a crack!

  66. TimT says:

    I’ll start. Lewis Carrol, author of the Alice in Wonderland books, and much notable nonsense poetry (Jabberwocky, the Hunting of the Snark); and in fact many other writers of nonsense/absurdities. W S Gilbert, the lyrical half of Gilbert and Sullivan. Most puns/jokes, since they almost never mock people, specifically; they rely on a punchline or an element of word play. Much American humour of the mid-20th century – Thurber, White, W C Fields – which often make fun of people or characters they are affectionate of. Sure there’s many more.

  67. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Laura @ #64, yes, that’s exactly what I was referring to.

  68. saint says:

    “..often make fun of people or characters they are affectionate of”

    Once upon a time that was also characteristic of Australians. I’d like to think it still is.

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