- 1. News and Politics Stuff
- 2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
- 3. The Yartz
- 4. T.S.S
- 5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
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 propaganda 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 â¦ 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 notice – may 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.
Mark has an idea for Free Comic Book Day (May 5th, apparently).
(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.
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.