Adrian the Cabbie photoblogs a truly dreadful Christmas decoration at Sydney’s (usually uber-trendy) Double Bay
Most readers won’t be surprised to learn that Rudd, Fiji and the cricket are the most common blogosphere themes of the last day or two. I’m only extracting a tiny selection of the mountains of Rudd punditising, to avoid boring repetition. I mean, what can you actually say about a leader with no personality who hasn’t actually done anything yet? On the ALP leadership change, William Burroughs’ Baboon has a succinct if uncharitable epitaph to Kim Beazley:
Kim B was magnificent as usual in defeat. The very reason he had to go. The ALP has done all the good losing we can afford for a while.
We’re growing old here.
On the cricketing front, Pavlov’s Cat captures the incisive eloquence of media commentary:
I know it’s only the first week in December, but a hot contender for the Mind-Bogglingly Vacuous Statement of the Bloody Obvious division of the Sports Commentary Awards of the Summer has already emerged from the Channel Nine commentary box:
‘And if England had had Shane Warne playing for them, they might have won this match.’
- Tim Blair is the Anti-Christ to some, but his take on “Krillard” is a classic – Meet the Forkers – with the next ALP election campaign running under the slogan It’s Tine!
- A Promising Start – Gummo Trotsky – “Today, I think we need to change focus a little. Right now, Kevin and Julia are probably feeling as little overwhelmed by the helpful advice particularly that coming from Government heavy hitters like the PM, the Treasurer, and the Health Minister on how to be responsible opposition leaders with a shot at winning government. No blogger, however expert her opinion, can expect to cut through those louder, more authoritative voices, right now. Any further advice from bloggers, however sound, will probably be wasted. It’s time for less advice, more encouragement.So let’s take a look at how Rudd and Gillard are travelling, starting with Rudd’s performance in Question Time yesterday. I took a look at the Reps Question Time on the ABC …”
- JHP pit bulls already after Rudd – “Olney Garkle” – “After all, the John Howard Party is not aligned with the US Republicans for nothing. Like them, the JHP has zillions of dollars donated from business to fund smear campaigns so easily swallowed by a gullible and perpetually distracted populace. It’s in the nature of the conservative/reactionary/right wing to resort to such skulduggery. … Of course, we here at Bilegrip resort to name calling on a routine basis, but that’s different. We’re on the side of all that is just and good. Ergo, those whom we defame are the representatives of all that is evil and rotten.”
- The view on Fiji from Austr
alia – Mark Bahnisch – “For reasons which are unclear to me (unless they relate to the ubiquity of Krillard stories), the Ozblogosphere has, as far as I can tell, been completely silent on the Fiji coup. This might also be because the issues aren’t clear cut. The stated reasons for the coup are ones that some in Australia may have some sympathy with …”
- I would never have expected it to happen here – Anonymous Lefty – “After six long, oppressive years of cruelly constitutional government, the army of Fiji has overthrown the country’s tyrannical prime minister and implemented military rule. …”
- Helping Fiji – Tim Dunlop – “Well, at least John Howard is consistent. Sort of. When the prospect of invading Iraq arose there was some debate about why that should happen. …At the time, John Howard made it quite clear getting rid of Saddam Hussein and fighting for democracy had nothing to do with it as far as he was concerned …
- Ruddy raises feasibility of front bench firesale clearout – Rex Ringschott – “Even Access Economics boffin Chris Richardson says that the economy has become “fat and lazy”. Howard has coasted on the resources boom and all the while has depleted our Manufacturing Industry, and talent pool and our coal reserves. Relaxed and comfortable with it he is, and he hopes we’re so fat and lazy too we don’t notice. …
Shake up that front bench good and proper Kevin. Bring in Garret, Bring in Emerson. Demote Swan, Promote Tanner, Place Carr and Conroy, who do next to nothing but their own factional business on the taxpayer’s coin, on the ejector seat and press the button. Hard!”
- Marxism’s Continued Relevance To The Modern World – in the parallel universe at LeftWrites, Michael Barrell argues that Marxism really is still relevant, and uses the plight of textile workers in China as his example of the iniquities of capitalism. It seems to have escaped his attention that china is one of the few countries in the world still professing actually to be Marxist.
- America’s second revolution, but this time it’s against freedom and liberty – Darryl Mason – “A detailed report from the New York Times follows on how the United States has dealt with one of their own : an American citizen named Jose Padilla.
This shocking story of how years of incarceration and brutal interrogation in military prisons can destroy the mind of a man has disturbing echos of what little facts Australians have learned about the life of their fellow citizen, David Hicks, in Guantanamo Bay.”
- How important is experience going to be? – Guy at Polemica – “One little slip, even of the trivial sort that the much more experienced Beazley managed on a couple of occasions, and it could be curtains for Labor in 2007. It may well be true that voters are just about ready for a fresh face and a fresh team leading the country, but as we saw in 2004, it is indeed possible to be “too” fresh. …”
- ‘not just an echo’ of old Labor? – Gary Sauer-Thompson – “So what does the Rudd/Gillard ALP stand for in terms of new ideas and values? It looks like an Australian version of Blairite New Labour to me, for all the talk about Whitlamite free education and health care. …”
- More evidence of Work Choices wage cuts – Trevor Cormack at Solidarity – “In a previous post, I highlighted ABS figures that show a decline in average wages since the introduction of WorkChoices. A rightist blogger attempted to explain away the figures, saying that an influx of low-paid workers were dragging the average down, “but not the earnings on average of those who already have jobs”. While that might be partly true, it doesn’t explain everything.Unfortunately, there is evidence that WorkChoices has reduced the real wages of already-employed workers. …”
- Do As I Say, Not As I Do – Dbloh – “Indonesia has just been dragged into the 21st century of sex scandals, courtesy of one of it’s most powerful politician, Yahya Zaini who has been exposed [sic] as the other person in a widely circulated sex-video involving Maria Eva aka Maria Ireva, a dangdut singer. Unfortunately for Yahya, the head of Golkar’s religious affairs committee which has responsibility for moral issues, Maria is not his wife and to be caught on video with Maria in a compromising position is bound to have the proverbial effect of “sh*t hits the fan …”
- Over at South Sea Republic, Cameron Riley is blogging up a storm, with two meaty posts on Australian or Austral-Asian federation and harmonisation of laws between Australia and New Zealand. No really, it’s more interesting than it sounds. More interesting than Rafe Champion’s 350th post on Karl Popper and Imre Lakatos anyway.
Science, technology and environment stuff
- Walkley Magazine article on Lancet study – Tim Lambert – “Imagine an alternate Earth. Let’s call it Earth 2. On Earth 2, just like our planet, there was a Boxing Day tsunami that killed about a quarter of a million people. On our planet the tsunami was front page news for days and because of the horrendous death toll people opened their hearts and their wallets. On Earth 2 the reaction to the tsunami’s death toll was different. The story was in the papers for one day and was buried in the inside pages. John Howard said the estimate was not believable. George Bush said that the methodology was discredited. News reporters made it clear that they didn’t believe the number. Opinion pieces were published dismissing the estimate because the Red Cross was “anti-tsunami”. Does Earth 2 sound far-fetched? Well, that’s basically what happened when researchers from Johns Hopkins published an estimate that there had been roughly 650,000 extra Iraqi deaths as a result of the war. …”
- Strike up the (broad)band – Andrew Leigh – “Joshua Gans has released a new discussion paper. Unless someone printed out this blog for you, you’ll probably be interested in what he has to say.
I have come to the conclusion that, given the constraints we face today, that the debate is all wrong. Put simply, the whole idea that we need a national solution to broadband is misplaced. …”
Car art at Sydney’s Olympic Park – see Meredith’s post from Sarsaparilla extracted at left
- Via Saint in a Straitjacket – feeling old? (I still can’t embed YouTube videos because I can’t work out how to turn off the Rich text Editor, which Nicholas reckons is buggering up the code)
- At Sarsaparilla, Meredith blogs about a cars and video games expo at Sydney’s Olympic park: “The men’s technologies pushed them outwards into the world, helped them to take up room and control space. The women’s technologies streamlined their bodies and – especially the super-high heels – diminished their ability to move freely. I read somewhere about a study where parents were given babies randomly dressed in pink or blue – not their own babies – to hold. Parents holding blue-clad babes turned them out to face the world while those holding pink-clad babes kept them facing inwards. …”
- Germaine Greer is angry – wmmbb – “Dr Greer reports in The Guardian that she was awarded a Golden Bull award by the Plain English Campaign for the following sentence:
The first attribute of the art object is that it creates a discontinuity between itself and the unsynthesised manifold. …”
- The worms – Susoz fills us in on everything you probably didn’t want to know about worm farms …
- The appetite for nice things – Tigtog – “The aesthetic of conspicuous consumption, and the fashions of the accoutrements involved in it, underpin the climb up the greasy pole and the corporate ladder to the cabinet rooms and the boardrooms, those rooms above all still dominated by men. So why is it overwhelmingly women (and those men perceived as effeminate) who are accused of being “trivial” simply because they too like to surround themselves with nice things? …”
- Test cricket never boring – Steve Edney (who must have been watching a different game from me for the first four days anyway) – “Martyn must be dumped. We’ve known he was a choker since this game in 1994. Six runs from 59 balls with McDermott cracking fours down the other end and victory 6 runs away and what does he do? Holes out to cover. Twelve years later little has changed. Fortunately Hussey and Clarke have steadier heads. …”
- David ‘Barista’ Tiley blogs about the execrable taste of the ABC audience whose choices for the best 10 record albums of all time were revealed the other night, with Pink Floyd’s mega-pretentious Dark Side of the Moon coming in at number 1. David suggests an alternative approach that might come up with a set of albums actually worth listening to by people with a modicum of taste and discernment (as opposed to the collective taste of the ABC audience which manifestly completely lacks these qualities).
- I want to be a princess, I want to be a princess..hang on, I am one – Darlene Taylor blogs about the forthcoming not-to-be-missed reality TV series Australian Princess 2 and also trolls for a bloggy bite: “Of course, the blogosphere is chockers with ladies and that including the beautiful Bek, the lovely Helen and me, me, me, me, me, me, me. Caz, Chrisse, Rachy, Zoe and Yobbo are also princesses. Feel free to alert me, me, me, me, me to others who act like princesses.”