Missing Link


Tim Dunlop thinks this picture is just begging for a caption. He’s run a very successful competition supplying one. Troppodillians please help out in comments, either identifying the best comment on Tim’s site, or suggesting one of your own. Prizes – well if you’re in Melbourne you can pop round and I’ll give you a copy of Best Australian Essays 2006! (Remaindered already!)

Welcome to Missing Link – Wednesday’s edition – scheduled for Wednesday but slaved over for 80 odd minutes past the deadline of midnight. Oh well.

Well this is Wednesday so we’ll start with

The Yartz

Chris Boyd tells us about the Archibald and other Prizes as does the incomparable Barista.

On the book launch of âOutrageous: moral panics in Australiaâ. The launch is by Richard Ackland, itâs at Gleebooks.

Simon Sellars links to an article which makes some interesting points – viz

When we speak of something being surreal, we mean something between funny peculiar and funny ha-ha. It is undoubtedly this comic dimension that made surrealism so popular in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and still does today. It survives as living culture, not as museum art. You would strain to discern the influence of, say, cubism in contemporary creativity, but it is entirely accurate to call the fiction of JG Ballard, the comic books of Alan Moore, the cinema of David Lynch and the fashion designs of Alexander McQueen surrealist.

Alison Croggin begins an interesting and substantial post with these words “The conversation on playwrights v. writers for theatre sparked by Edward Albee and continued in various blogospherical spaces is getting progessively more fascinating.” Go see if you agree.

Skeletor tells us five favouriate movie scenes.

Sophie Cunningham is trying to figure out if she’s ghettoising the Australian written books in her bookshelf – not to mention categorising and alphabetising them. Go helperise her out if you want.

Kirsty at Galaxy shares one of her dark family secrets – viz that her father told her that prunes are prunes – not dried plums. Think about how it might have affected you if you’d shared a similar secret – then read how Kirsty has come through. You’ll laugh (well I did) and you’ll cry (that’s a bit more of a stretch I’ll admit) but you won’t think about prunes the same way again (there’s no guarantee with this absurd claim either) .

Andrew Norton talks about Murdoch Book’s new ‘money back’ guarantee on fiction observing that not many people will go to the considerable trouble you need to go to to get your money back.

Ben Peek has an interesting post on different versions of Shakespeare raising questions of authenticity. He also tells us that Jean Baudrillard has died. Though it’s not quite my thing, you won’t find too many comments slagging off at pomo and deconstruction as most of the leading lights were way over my head. I have little doubt that with help I would have enjoyed understanding what the best of them had to say. That’s what I did with Hegel who presented similar difficulties reading unaided. With M. Boudrillard, however I did buy one of his books and it wasn’t over my head. It was just up itself French nonsense (IMHO). Not that I wanted him dead. Those who do can now pop those corks. Ben Peek won’t be popping corks and neither will supernaut who is devastated given his view that “He has been the single most important thinker, writer, philosopher for me, in my work, in my life for almost a decade” So maybe I just read a bad book of his.

Matt Sholten recommends an act at the Melbourne Comedy Festival â blissfully unaware â (unless it is a fully intended slight in the full knowledge that I was doing Missing Link this week and would notice!) that I had asked him to do exactly that on Troppo! The link to the show is here.

Paul Martin gives us a review of the week in film the highlight of which is the Spanish film festival – looks really interesting – and one of those many things that are on and that I should see and that I don’t. (Note to self: try not to be so stupid – go and see more things especially when they are on.)

Joshua Gans laments the NGV exhibition “Cubic Stuctural Evolution Project 2004” which involves vistors to the Gallery using lego to make model buildings. They’re clever these artists. What will they think of next?

News and politics stuff


Manning Clark reached back yet again from the grave. I’m biased – I lived in his converted garage for a while, received remarkably generous hospitality from his family like so many others. I liked him – and especially liked his wife Dymphna. Anyway, Manning Clark got another fact wrong. At Faith and Place Meredith Lake has some musings. Happy Antipodean is also in a kind mood. Oddly the right don’t seem to be dining out on the revelations – at least judging by Google Blog Search. Oops I spoke too soon. Technorati has a more salacious crop including this post calling Manning Clark a “red fascist liar and fraud” asking why David Marr hates Ukranians so much. No doubt a good question. Assuming that this is true, on behalf of all Troppodillians, I hereby call upon David Marr to lift his game.

And Tim Blair is doing a bit of nuance busting at those who think it’s not such a big deal – “Leftoids love liars”. In the comments Rafe has a relatively mild dig while McAnzac lets us know that “in the second volume of his autobiography, âThe Quest for Grace,❠he (Manning Clark) leaves the reader in no doubt that he saw the Nazis in World War II as some sort of ally against the hated British. He praised Hitler as aware of âThe High solemneity of the occasion❠when listening to the declaration of war, while in his âHistory❠(Vol V). he describes Winston Churchill by contrast as more or less raving mad and âlike a man possessed by a wild demon.â. So there you have it. Ambit Gambit also has a critical commentary – though it’s more critical about left leaning apologists for Clark than Clark.

Andrew Bartlett has a good post – and a good heading on Rudd and Burke et all âBurke-gate, print-gate, Grill-gate, speaking-to-anybody-gateâ.

Andrew Norton reviews Ross Gittins’ new book which is worked up from his enjoyable columns. He even spells his name correctly which a number of bloggers don’t for some reason. Andrew continues with a contrast he has argued for before – of Gittins’ Saturday (demystifying economics) persona with his Wednesday (Clive Hamiltoneque) persona.

At LP Kim sees parallels between the overreach of Howard et al on Rudd and Ann Coulterâs comment that she “can’t really talk about” John Edwards because “you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.'” Thanks for that one Ann.

Aussie Bob has a good hop into Paul Kelly’s post-modernist approach to politics – Paul argues taht a pollie may not have done anything wrong, but if Paul Kelly has to write that he’s not done anything wrong then the pollie is clearly at fault for letting others suggest that he is at fault – so he is at fault – get it? The perception is the reality etc etc. Guido takes you to a few links with the best of the left on Rudd.

Tim Dunlop compares the newly released HREOC report on ” the need for businesses to better provide terms and conditions that allow workers to balance work and family commitments” with Pru Goward’s standing for the Liberal Party which is the sponsor of WorkChoices.

Life and other serious stuff

Jeff Sparrow has a link to a concerning story about women in Iraq. Unfortunately the prose so drips with righteous indignation and propaganda that my own response is to wonder how truthful it is. But I donât know.

Andrew Bartlett tells us about Malalai Joya, a young female Afghan Member of Parliament making a big impact who he first blogged on in 2005.

Peter Black has lengthy comments on the new online censorship regime laws as does Margaret Simmonds and the great Kim Weatherall. I didn’t know – though no doubt lots of people did – Kim had called it a day at Weatherall’s Law back in January even though she will continue to post “less frequently but no less deeply” at LawFont. Thanks Kim, you were terrific and glad to see you back at Law Font..

Leftwrites goes meta and wonders what it’s all for – Leftwrites that is.

Barista gives us some interesting material in two posts on squatting in Copenhagen how it got going in the 1960s and has been going strong ever since but is now in the sights of a right leaning government. As usual he has the best of taste in pictures.

Skeptic Lawyer has a long and painstaking post on the law and the detention of David Hicks arriving at the unimpeachable conclusion that Guantanamo is “wrong, wrong. wrong”. It sure is is is.

The View From Benambra has an interesting discussion of why Moore’s Law – the prediction of steadily and exponentially increasing power of computer chips – is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to predicting the future. As some economist wag said (something like) “prediction is difficult, especially about the future”.

Mad Bad Sad and Glad

Patrick at Blueberry Fool (good name ey?) has an awesome video of some serious manoeuvres on one of those soccer machines that were around when I was a kid – but which are pretty much on the endangered list these days.

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17 years ago

Have I fallen off your feed again, by any chance?

Chris Boyd
17 years ago

Thanks for the shout, but there’s one too many https in your link to my Archie post… it takes you into never never land.



17 years ago

Your defence post (F22A v JSF) got a run in my last Missing Link, which was the weekend edition before Darlene’s efforts.

17 years ago

That is a seriously sensational photograph of Manning Clarke Nicholas, I’d be guessing it’d have to be film. Wow.

Paul Watson
17 years ago

Umm, David Marr positively lurvved Helen ‘Demidenko’, which means he hates Ukrainians?

17 years ago

Not all Ukrainians appreciate being reminded of (some) of their ethnic compatriots’ wartime activities. Some even deny them completely (although these tend to operate on the same fringe as Holocaust deniers, and in my experience are quite rare).