Missing Link – Anzac Day Special Edition

Years ago, Alan Seymour’s play tagged Anzac Day the one day of the year. For mine (SL) this year’s day brought the best out of Ozblogistan.

Kicking off a plethora of fabulous Anzac Day posts is newly discovered milblogger Brett Holman, who provided a beautifully researched and illustrated post on a piece by a pseudonymous digger (he called himself ‘Sydney Melbourne’) written in 1940. Among other very acute observations of wartime Britain is this little gem:

He finds the people careless and dirty, and venereal disease prevalent, and beyond a few notices in public conveniences he has found little attempt to combat the last evil. People ask him if it is true that there are licensed brothels in Queensland, and seem horrified to learn that such things are tolerated. Yet venereal disease is not rampant in Australia.

Tigtog at Larvatus Prodeo went for simplicity, while Heath Gibson at Catallaxy followed a similar path to Brett Holman, providing intelligent linking commentary on his grandfather’s wartime diaries. Roger Migently shares one of his father’s Borneo stories; Troppo’s own Cam has a fascinating account of flying around in rickety aircraft during World War I (fabulous artwork). Kev Gillett brings things up to date with a Vietnam era post, while Harry Clarke covers the Dawn Service. Jules Crittenden, for his part, heads back to Gallipoli.

Turning to more political takes on the day, Slim wants nothing to do with ANZAC Day as long as Mr Howard is using it as a vrax5.jpgpropaganda vehicle to win sympathy for his participation in the Iraq war:

And letâs not forget that single-handedly, John Winston Howard has done more to undermine the Australian values that my parents’ generation believed in and fought for than any other person, and itâs time to vote him out, for the sake of the future of Australia.

Similar sentiments were expressed at the Dead Roo, where David composed a speech in the Seachange John Howard mode, regretting that the lessons of past wars have been ignored right up to the present.

A highlight of the ANZAC day coverage was this ANZAC biscuit recipe from Helen, with a warning to foreigners that they may not be able to get golden syrup. As long as it’s available in New Zealand, though, this issue doesn’t seem worth expending too much anxiety over. Not to be outdone, Patrick supplies a recipe for ANZAC dahl. Adrian the Cabbie wonders why diggers don’t get more freebies on their special day, describing how one elderly gent thought he’d won the lottery when Adrian waived his fare.

Once again I’ve pilfered a graphic from Gallery of the Absurd, this time an extremely decorative Bodhi Beetle. Over the fold is a (slightly) non-worksafe graphic for which my nephew is partially responsible, and which I’m tempted to bestow on future Threads of Doom ™ around Ozblogistan.

I’ll also note that this an especially chunky Missing Link, in which Ken Parish couldn’t collaborate due to work commitments. Otherwise the team comprised the usual suspects – Amanda Rose, Patrick Garson, James Farrell, Jason Soon and Helen Dale (standing in for Ken as editor).

UPDATE: I’ve just learned that Ken has had a death in the family, about which he blogs beautifully here at Troppo.

1. News and Politics Stuff

Virginia Tech continues to rumble around the blogosphere, with two very thought-provoking posts on the link between art and violence, one from Saint in a Straightjacket and the other from Harry Clarke. Both dig up some disturbingly destructive (and just plain bad) writing from various academics in Virginia Tech’s English Department, and wonder at the link between art and violence. Neither take the easy cop-out: society did it, blame society, but one of Saint’s comments really made me think (SL):

Now as far as I am concerned Cho is responsible for the murders. And I don’t buy that college professors must act in loco parentis – we are talking young adults here. But I do agree that they have a pivotal role in setting boundaries and shaping young people’s outlooks. And as far as I am concerned, Virginia Tech’s English program would be enough to make any normal person angry and depressed.

Harry Clarke and Andrew Leigh warm to some gun buy back statistics – partly in the wake of Virginia Tech, but also in light of Howard’s changes to relevant Australian law. Sarah wrenches herself yet again from the clutches of apathy, this time to denounce Newt Gingrich for lying about the effect of gun laws on shooting deaths down under.

Once again Peter Black rounds up the tech news so you don’t have to, including some interesting stuff on credit card fraud. Another new milblogger ((you can tell what I spent Anzac Day doing.~SL)) does a great job on the ongoing defence acquisitions debacle – at least as it applies to air power, while the team at Austrolabe (the post isn’t credited) give an interesting Muslim perspective on the ‘sexualised advertising and clothing’ debate. Also on matters Islamic, Pommygranate (who works in the financial services industry) has some background on sharia compliant gilts and premium bonds in the UK, while Nicholas Gruen turns his financial nous to the phenomenon of payday lending in Australia. ((Nick’s post kicked off a great comments thread, and is well worth a look.~SL))

Howard Death Watch was thinking about Iraq yesterday. Tim Dunlop tries again to point out to our leader that America does not equal George Bush, least of all as far as its aspirations toward Iraq are concerned.

Rupert Murdoch made another pronouncement this week.

Bile Grip has the best summary of yet another facet of WorkChoices highlighted by Priceline. Scary stuff, kids. It doesn’t sound so bad when it’s 100k to 75k, but the same reasoning will hold from 50k to 30k, or lower… Tim Dunlop too reviews the case of Andrew Cruikshank, whom Priceline sacked for ‘operational reasons’ so they could replace him with someone else for lower pay. Mr Howard denies that WorkChoices allows such tactics, although the Industrial Commission finds them quite consistent with the legislation.

Andrew Norton also notes that Mr Howard is sitting on a huge election war chest, one he has chosen not to distribute in the form of tax cuts. Andrew also points out that recent polls indicate taxpayers are focussing on tax cuts, rather than services, and that Howard’s hoarding is starting to piss them off.

Ken Lovett at Surfdom advises Christopher Pyne to stop tampering with the market mechanism, and to keep his socialist paws off nursing homes.

The argument that aged care home owners might not look after the old people properly is nonsensical. If an elderly resident doesnât like the home theyâre in they will just leave and go to another one ⦠or their caring children will make that decision for them, should they be suffering from advanced dementia. No sensible home owner would want to lose a customer so the competition to provide high standards of care will be intense.

Still on matters (vaguely) market based, lawblogger Warwick Rothnie notes that the contract specialist’s favourite standby – the bona fide purchaser for value without noticemay no longer be a complete defence in cases where confidential information so obtained is misused. ((He cites Greenwood J, too, always guaranteed to gladden my heart.~SL)) Peter Martin provides some cliometrics on why Kevvie’s broadband rollout may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Dr Faustus, meanwhile, suggests that PhD graduates are letting the side down when it comes to correlating wealth with IQ scores in one of his clever statistical exercises. Legal Eagle takes hold of the same IQ-wealth survey, but then moves onto the entrepreneurial personality – something not confined to the clever!

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Chris Fryer is addicted to Warcraft, and it’s affecting his life.

Sheryl Crow’s recent comments on hygiene have led to hoots of laughter around the blogosphere. JF Beck takes them apart. ((I was going to say ‘tears her a new you-know-what’, which in light of her comments isn’t entirely inappropriate, but this is a family-friendly service.~JS)).

Mirko Bargaric the roaming Benthamite turns his attention to the tradeoff between privacy and the right to life in the context of HIV positive individuals.

Jeremy’s parody of an interview by a broadcaster named Mr Spoonman rings true. If it were even even half as bad as that, it’s Media Watch material.

Pavlov’s Cat’s best post of the week, an analysis of Howardian rhetorical tricks, is in fact a comment on a post by Gummo Trotsky. That post is itself a tour de force, in which Gummo succeeds in listing all 832 legislative acts and amendments of the Howard epoch off the top his head.

Anna gives an example of how anti-abortion campaigners twist the facts about abortion, and links to a site that helps you write a letter to the editor supporting increased regulation of pregnancy counsellors.

Patrick finds confirmation of his doubts about ethanol, and argues that there is vast scope for reducing energy consumption in general before we embrace solutions that might be as bad as the problem.

Tim Lambert survives another encounter with his own personal Captain Ahab.

Fresh from a visit to Nauru, Andrew Bartlett reports that although economic conditions are bleak there, at least Australian aid money is being put to good use (whatever one might think about the conditions attached to that aid). As is his wont, Andrew Norton gets stuck into Clive Hamilton, noting that – among other things – Hamilton seems to think that the Australian Libertarian Society’s blog is an official mouthpiece for the CIS.

In a scathing post, Mark Bahnisch documents the tragedy of QUT’s scuttled humanities programs, and challenges rightwing culture warriors to open their eyes to the real issues. The comments are well worth reading too, especially this supportive one from Harry Clarke. Pommygranate muses on the intersection between property rights and free speech – at least as applied to the blogosphere – and comes to a surprising conclusion.

Is Steve Edwards – the self-proclaimed ‘raving wingnut’, now ensconced in Vietnam – mellowing with age or just getting weirder?

Seven months ago I was obsessed with politics, as I had been since adolescence, and thought about it all the time. These days, I have only a fleeting interest in the subject (hence the lack of blogging).

I do not intend to vote in the coming federal election: having now come to a sincere belief in the destruction of democracy – perhaps due to living under a successful, liberalising, dictatorship! – might have something to do with it.

3. The Yartz

Everything you need to know about the Big Brother 07 group at Scott, To Be Certain. Peter Black is unashamed about his enjoyment of the show. The Guru’s Guru and Sexualite point out the vanilla nature of our housemates in contrast to versions around the world.

Matilda’s Larrikin on the Miles Franklins, Peter Craven and national identity. Also at Matilda an Anzac Day poem and the weekly round up of arts reviews in the papers.

Knitting or sewing? Both, says Black Dog.

The Rest is Commentary reviews two productions in Melbourne, Exit the King and The Pitch.

Mark has an idea for Free Comic Book Day (May 5th, apparently).

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Phil at Sidelined turns his attention from cycling to tennis, providing an excellent backgrounder on declining participation in what used to be Australia’s ‘other’ Summer sport.

That summer sport – cricket, I mean – once again ‘treated’ its fans to a pair of one-sided semi-finals, something Tony the Teacher failed to anticipate, although the post he wrote straight after Australia steamrolled South Africa (complete with faux Saffie accent) is very amusing indeed.

On matters footballing, Leinad provides an excellent update on Sydney FC’s fortunes in the round-ball code, while Five links the Greatest Game to the One Day of the Year with skill in this post.threadofdoom.gif

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

Darlene has discovered her British readers want to know what an ‘ocker’ is, Adrian wants to know whether it’s kosher to say a woman is ‘handsome’, and Jason Soon asks whether genetic determinism provides a secure foundation for gay rights, in light of news that Singapore is using genetics to justify liberalising its repressive anti-gay laws. Oz Conservative, by contrast, suggests Sweden has got the wrong end of the stick when it comes to laws on gender equality.

Ahhh, Big Brother is on again, and Scott To Be Certain catches up on an old friend, whilst Ms Fits makes a new one

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37 Responses to Missing Link – Anzac Day Special Edition

  1. Once again this hasn’t gone out to subscribers on our list – sorry. I think I must be holding my face wrong, or something.

  2. Jacques Chester says:

    No, all my fault I’m afraid. It’s fixed anyhow :)

  3. 832 eh? I never bothered counting them.

    And I hate to tell you this, but the list isn’t complete. When I got to 2004 I had 13 pages of word processor document, and I just couldn’t be bothered any more. Plus, I got a bit carried away excising items early in the list.

    What’s left is 832 bills that all originated in the House of Reps, weren’t private members Bills and weren’t set aside. How many of them got passed is another matter entirely.

    Just thought we should be clear about that.

  4. While we are on the subject:
    Anyone from melbourne want a FREE ride to Apollo Bay and Back tomorrow Friday 27 April? Email me tonight – I might reply to you.

    NB: It’s my music on the car sound system.

  5. As is his wont, Andrew Norton gets stuck into Clive Hamilton, noting that – among other things – Hamilton seems to think that the Australian Libertarian Society

  6. C.L. says:

    …has done more to undermine the Australian values that my parents

  7. Slim at the Dead Roo wrote that, not me. I couldn’t get it to indent so had to use italics instead. They may not have come out on every browser.

  8. patrickg says:

    This is an absolutely cracker edition, if I do say so myself!

  9. There was a mass of good stuff out there… while I was editing, it just kept getting bigger and bigger. I couldn’t leave any of it out – so much great material, and some terrific new blogs, too.

  10. James Farrell says:

    Orwellian implies some kind of euphemism, inversion or obfuscation. Slim said plainly what he meant. And if you disagree, CL, why don’t go to Dead Roo and argue with him instead of creating a spectacle here with your hysterical and quixotic defence of the indefensible.

  11. “Orwellian” – it’s the word you use when you can’t bring yourself to say “revisionist”.

  12. C.L. says:

    Orwellian implies some kind of euphemism, inversion or obfuscation.

    Bullseye. A soft toy for James. How about a stuffed Gummo goblin?

    Orwellian because for the last 48 hours every left-wing numbnut around has been politicising ANZAC Day as an outlet for their Howard Derangement Syndrome (HDS) – under cover of accusing Howard of politicising ANZAC Day.

    Of course ousting Saddam Hussein was in the finest traditions of Australian military history. That case is closed, except in the minds of the Lord Haw Haws of the Western left – whose opposition to the War on Terrorism (excepting the Good War in Afghanistan) is driven by that treacherous neurosis which has occasioned their electoral loss of the Anglophone world.

  13. pommygranate says:


    thanks for the mention.
    i came across Seymour’s play from the latest edition of Qadrant. i loved the rebuttal by Alfie Cook of his anti-war upwardly mobile son,

    “You’d take away everything.
    You’d take away the ordinary bloke’s right to feel proud of himself for once.
    You know what this march means?
    You know what it is?
    Marching without uniforms, that’s what it is.
    Y’ don’t go out there to show what soldiers y’ was, y’ go out there as mates.
    Y’ go there to say it was a job.
    It had to be done and y’ did it.
    Boys i knew all my life.
    Went through the Depression with me, through the war.
    They’re nothing much, either, nothing much.
    But for one day of the year they’re somethin’.
    Anzac Day”

    I attended my first Anzac Day last year at Burleigh Heads. A very moving service. I wrote a post on the experience for my blog, which i was thrilled to see that the Burleigh Heads RSL published on their website, here.

  14. Bullseye. A soft toy for James. How about a stuffed Gummo goblin?

    Stuffed with straw, as usual. You’ll be hard put to find any piece I’ve written on the subject of Anzac Day more recent than this, for the very good reason that no such pieces exist.

  15. Goodness me, people do seem to have a dose of the grumps. And here’s Patrick and me thinking we’d done a rawther good job.

    Lighten up, folks, and enjoy the great reading.

  16. C.L. says:

    The stuffed goblin, it speaks! I don’t believe I cited anything written by you Gummo. I don’t read the LP toilet wall much and I’m not sure if your own blog still exists. There are numerous examples from this ANZAC Day, as with past ANZAC Days, of left-wing dingbats using the memorial day to attack the Prime Minister for political purposes – by, you guessed it, accusing him of using the memorial day for political purpose. Deploying “sincere” feelings of admiration for the Greatest Generation – interspersed with bogus arguments about how the evil Iraq War is a departure from the honourable military exploits of yore – is part of the performance art. That’s precisely what this dead kangaroo person has done with his nauseating insistence that he’ll be having nothing further to do with ANZAC Day whilesoever Howard remains at large.

    Memo to the marsupial: nobody cares whether you’re part of it or not.

  17. Dang, that didn’t work. If this keeps up I’ll finish up having to bestow a ‘legendary thread’ gong around these parts, which wasn’t the plan ;)

  18. Yeah well, he started it, miss.

    Of course I reserve my right to change my story completely and deny that anything at all untoward occurred, should this matter come before the ABL (Australian Blogging League) Tribunal.

  19. Nice, Gummo. Good funny. Now about that striking charge…

  20. C.L. says:

    Sor-ry. Great post, great collection, wonderful, superb – a blog roundup, what an original idea etc etc.

  21. And here’s me thinking both of you would get into the spirit ;)

    FWIW, the whole point of Missing Link is to collate a variety of posts from a variety of perspectives. Of course you’ll disagree with some of them – I know I do. I disagree with Slim’s take on Anzac Day. We included his post because it gets people talking.

    Mind you, the talking may be better carried over to his blog…

  22. Jason Soon says:

    Slim appears to think that World War 2 was a ‘rich man’s war’. The only way to talk to someone like that is with him in a padded cell …

  23. slim says:

    Jason – the quality of unsubstantiated twaddle and personal abuse in the commentary here made me think I was at Catallaxy. Simply abusing someone who doesn’t agree with your point of view may work for you in the comfort of your circle of like-minded compadres, but the Missing Link aspires to quality commentary. Please take personal abuse directly to the blog concerned.

  24. slim says:

    In terms of the wars that Australia has been involved in, there certainly haven’t been any poor men’s war. The main winners in wars are the politicians and the industries that supply the resources for war. Like those US owned factories in the Ruhr during WWII – the kind that Dubya’s granddaddy had his fingers in.

  25. Jason Soon says:

    Wow, I made one comment on this thread and I’m responsible for all the ‘unsubstantiated twaddle and personal abuse’? If I’m interpreting you wrongly then write clearer next time. And I’ve put up a post on your post now so do feel free to defend yourself.


  26. Slim, that was uncalled for. The stoushing was between CL and Gummo – Jason only just arrived.

  27. slim says:

    Helen – all due respect but Jason said “The only way to talk to someone like that is with him in a padded cell

  28. Bannerman says:

    CL, I really don’t believe you’re representing Howard’s critics parents generation at all accurately. For a start, Australia’s involvement in WW2 was a matter of national interest. The current calamatious cock-up in Mesopotamia resulted from a moment of political opportunism. Secondly, and probably most importantly, Howard’s critics parents fathers had white feathers sent to them anonymously in the mail if they’d not considered joining up by 1942. Thankfully, Australian generations since have matured……well, those of us who can see political convenience for what it is have anyway.

  29. C.L. says:

    The calamitous cock-up was allowing a mad man characterised by Bill Clinton in 1998 as the biggest threat to regional stability (and a threat to world peace) to remain in office – where he directly or indirectly killed about a million people. The continuing cock-up worth worrying about now is the rise of a casual alliance between Islamists and their “progressive” enablers in the West. The terrorists blow up 50 civilians and immoral curs like Harry “Haw Haw” Reid and Kevin Rudd say the resultant death toll proves the “war” is “lost” and that surrender is the only option. So, naturally, more people are blown up. No surprise that, by name, Reid has been mentioned favourably in the latest dispatch from Al Qaeda in Iraq. Eighty per cent of Iraq is relatively settled. Iraq is not a catastrophe but the amorality of those who would scuttle its progress to win a few elections in the West certainly is. The World War II generation knew very well that world conflagrations could only be avoided by acting against tyrants before it was too late. That’s what George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard and others did. The attempt by the left to appropriate the prestige of the Greatest Generation and to characterise the evils it overcame as especial and historically incomparable enormities, vis-a-vis the war of the present which they trivialise for partisan reasons, is transparently pathetic and laughable. It is also a slap in the face to the past heroes of this and allied nations – who certainly would have recognised the ‘peace in our time’ recidivism of Nancy Pelosi and friends for what it was: indictable naivete and moral cowardice.

  30. Here’s another “Thread of Doom” image for ya, SL.

  31. Gummo, what are the, ahem, spiky thingies that look awfully like bbq skewers sticking out of her (I assume it’s a she) front and back?

    Or are they part of the background?

  32. Think it’s a lamp-post behind him(?). Lousy composition, on balance.

  33. Yeah, you’re right. It’s a streetlight. I have a sneaking suspicion the composition is intentional though…

  34. Jason Soon said:

    Slim appears to think that World War 2 was a

  35. If Saint’s anything to go by, people in padded cells have been known to make sense…

    Just sayin ;)

  36. five says:

    Thanks for the mention!

  37. Pingback: Club Troppo » Missing Link (somewhat belated)

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