A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, gilmae, Gummo Trotsky, Amanda Rose, Tim Sterne, Jen McCulloch and Stephen Hill
Worst of Perth wonders about the values of all the bogan talkback ranters harassing Henson, when many of them clad their kids in tiny T-shirts like these ones. In similar vein Louise Adler on TV last night noted that many of the Tory commentators professing deep concern for children’s welfare over Henson were strangely silent about Australia’s detention of asylum seeker children for years on end with horrific mental health consequences.
Andrew Frost at The Art Life posts a sane and surprisingly balanced detailed evaluation of the Henson teen nudes affair.11. KP: Incidentally, my own attitude, if not already clear from assorted ML extracts, is that Henson’s work is clearly art not porn, that banning it would be a socially regressive step, and that most of the arguments of conservative opponents are without merit. Mind you, Andrew Landeryou has a point about the hypocrisy of many lefties who decried DJs for “corporate pedophilia” for using clothed teen models but now blithely defend Henson’s artistic freedom. OTO there are real issues surrounding “consent” by young teenage models, and my “gut” reaction to Henson and his body of work is that while exploring important social and cultural issues they emit a disturbingly Wicked Uncle Pervy vibe. [↩]
Ken Lovell frets that the Yanks are cranking up for an Iran invasion and wonders why Rudd remains so unconcerned.
Robert Merkel is glad that Australian Middle East troop deployments are mostly window-dressing.
Dianne Sharma-Winter looks at the abolition of the Nepalese monarchy, which might be more of a cause for international celebration had it not been effected by the new Maoist government intent on cementing its power.
Lauren Hilgers examines China’s crackdown on its human rights lawyers in the wake of Tibet and the leadup to the Olympics.
Sean at Road to Surfdom bravely argues that Hillary should be the choice of sane Americans!
Peter Martin reports that the Fuel Watch scheme will have been voted on by the time you read this. He and Joshua Gans looks at the ACCCs latest update to their Fuel Watch econometrics which found statistically significant beneficial effects on petrol prices in WA post introduction. Possum does his own number-crunching reaching similar conclusions. Jason Soon, on the other hand, discovers that Martin Ferguson is “smarter than I thought.” 22. gilmae: Faint praise, I dare say. [↩]
Norman Geras reports that George Monbiot made good on attempting to “arrest” Bush flunkie John Bolton, but failed in the attempt. Norm seizes the opportunity to excoriate Monbiot for “hypocrisy” on Iraq. 33. KP: though making one or two unphilosophical value assumptions in the process. [↩]
Jack Chin dissects the factors behind the disparity between drug warrants/arrests between African-American and wealthier white neighbourhoods (and universities).
Ronda Jambe believes that entrepreneurs selling Green services are the better activists.
John Quiggin examines a WaPo article suggesting a wilful American reluctance to remember WWI, and examines the contemporary implications of such ignorance of history on the current posturings of GW Bush.
Will Wilkinson discovers one or two leaps of logic in philosopher Crispin Chartwell’s new anarchist tract.44. KP: He’d have to be an anarchist philosopher with a name like that, or a photographer shooting arty teen nudes. [↩]
Chris Boyd sidesteps gazzumping his Hun review of the Meryl Tankard dance production INUK 2 with a rant about Tankard herself that is almost certainly more entertaining than the review (the Hun seemingly doesn’t put its theatre reviews online).
Dean the Happy Antipodean considers Life in His Hands Susan Wyndham’s book on the life of neuro-surgeon Dr. Charlie Teo a somewhat uneven text.
Roger Merkel recommends My Fair Lady, soon to end its run at the State Theatre, Melbourne.
Charles Stross has been reading up on police states, dictators, and the lifestyles of the despotic and infamous.
Boyd van Hoeij continues his Cannes Festival coverage reviewing Laurent Cantet’s Palm d’Or winning film The Class which employs a verite like approach (similar to his previous films like Human Resources) to explore the dynamics of students and teachers in a school based in a mixed-ethnic neighbourhood.
Annie Paul presents the war of the Nobel Laureates as St. Lucian poet Derek Walcott produces a poem The Mongoose that ridicules Paul Theroux nemesis V.S. Naipaul.
Stephen Sydner reviews Yoko Ogawa’s The Diving Pool.
Pommygranate calls for the NRL salary cap to be abolished.
JC at Cricket-Blog is worried about the prospects for Australia’s batting lineup following the withdrawal of Matt the Bat with an Indian 20/20 circus-induced achilles injury.
Snark, strangeness and charm
Helen “skepticlawyer” DaleLegal Eagle is more nervous than skeptical about karma, while Ophelia Benson is disgusted by Sharon Stone’s Chinese slant on karma. The Stumblng Tumblr is more interested in the source and sincerity of Stone’s karmic apology.
Joshua Gans looks at the fine line between entrepreneurship and cheating.55. KP: I don’t have a problem with this sort of behaviour. However I always caution my students that obtaining study guides/summaries prepared by their classmates is largely useless anyway, because the major benefit of compiling a study guide lies in the fact that the task itself reinforces learning, forces the student to distil key points on each topic and helps in remembering them. You don’t get any of those benefits from a study guide prepared by someone else, so it isn’t “cheating” because the help someone else’s guide provides in an exam is almost completely illusory anyway. [↩]
BTW the Stumblng Tumblr is well worth putting on your daily reading list for the extraordinary succession of strangeness and charm (and occasional snark) he ferrets out of cyberspace. This one for instance:
A convicted felon who became a motivational speaker and used his life experiences to warn teens about the dangers of drugs and crime is accused of going on a bender and smashing a former prison buddy in the face with a statue of John Wayne.
Geoff Manaugh ponders communication satellite “constellations” and concludes that we are “participating with astronomy an act of both indescribable beauty and utter revulsion, as if we’ve designed and constructed the most spectacular cathedral in the world… but it’s for a new fun ride at Disneyworld.”
Temujin spruiks a couple of international libertarian get togethers.
Dale notes that the earth-size GPS portrait highlighted in yesterday’s Missing Link was actually a hoax, a fact ferreted out by bloggers.
The latest update from the Caz and Hack/Spin Starts Here “outing” site:
Team Lulz has been asked to give ourselves up to try to save one poor associate of Jamies hes now taking to court. Yes, Jamie has gone and made false claims to a court to get whats called an interim intervention order against this innocent man, and has had the police show up at his door as a way of menacing him and his wife. All on the basis of a website that has nothing to do with him! We look forward to hearing what happens next. Sorry mate, we are sympathetic to your plight, but as we said above this isnt a peasant village and Jamie isnt the Nazis and we wont give in to terrorism.. no matter how many innocents he attacks. But Team Lulz shares your outrage.
[Note from KP]Incidentally, for current readers who don’t recall Caz and Hack’s defunct site, it mostly focused on snarky pop culture trivia and was sometimes wickedly funny in a snarky way (e.g. starting an Easter petition demanding the crucifixion of Delta Goodrem). However it progressively degenerated into increasingly nasty, thuggish bullying of other bloggers and anyone else to whom its authors took a dislike. Hence the schadenfreude reaction of many to the unmasking of Caz and Hack, who gleefully trashed the privacy of others while gutlessly guarding their own anonymity.
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