Missing Link, Thursday May 3rd


Well, nothing’s so handy as a theme, but this edition of Missing Link doesn’t have one. I thought Julia Gillard and Bill Heffernan opening their respective mouths to change feet would allow me to kick off with a handy introduction, but no. Of course there are posts on both, but nothing like Anzac Day or the World Cup in previous editions.

That said, I particularly enjoyed David Tiley’s piece on the British reality telly plan (Channel 4) to dump ten fat kids in the middle of a traditional Aboriginal community… and watch the, ahem, fireworks. ((Who comes up with these daft ideas? I only hope the Aborigines involved get paid like brain surgeons for their trouble.~SL))

This edition of Missing Link brought to you by Jason Soon, Amanda Rose, Patrick Garson, James Farrell and Helen Dale (your humble editor). Graphic is by Chris Berg, because it describes pretty well what I’ll be doing after I’ve posted this issue!

1. News and Politics Stuff

Andrew Landeryou has a thoughtful post on why Rudd/Gillard shouldn’t be scaring the (business) horses with their campaign rhetoric. Bryan at OzPolitics suggests he may be right, with the most recent betting market figures. Landeryou also reports on yet another bid by the perennial eccentric libertarian Prodos for a Liberal seat preselection.

Bill Heffernan has attracted plenty of comment with his latest attempt to secure a place in the Pantheon of Imbeciles. The title of Lauredhel’s post captures the Senator’s logic exactly: Non-incubators are non-people. As for Heffernan’s misgivings, Jeremy Sear and Tim Dunlop both know a fake apology when they hear one. Beyond the Fringe decides to take the piss, and her graphics ain’t too shabby either.

Regarding the notion that Labor has somehow screwed up by failing to satisfy business groups, Jeremy and Tim are again as one. Jeremy scoffs at the BCA’s attempts to portray itself as an objective judge of sensible IR policy:

This faux-neutrality is of course why the business lobby pretended to jump on board with Rudd earlier – and so they could get behind him before revealing the knives. It’s as pathetic as it is predictable.

Tim has a similar appraisal:

The idea that Labor leaders should just lie back and take this abuse from this unrepresentative segment of the top-end of town is ridiculous, and the idea that Gillards comments are somehow indicative of a more general anti-business approach is simply a lie.

Suz at LP notes the birth of an illiberal sounding organisation called The National Character Cancellation Centre, whose job it appears is to deport permanent residents deemed to be of bad character. Legal Eagle discusses the complex issue of sexual relationships with minors, and asks whether the punishment meted out should be the same when there is no trauma.

Turning to the international picture: John Quiggin declares the debate over regarding the possibilty of victory in Iraq. The Coalition’s withdrawal is inevitable, and the real issue now is how to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees. Ken Lovell picks up on the story of Mr Howard’s invitation to a helicopter ride from General Musharraf. The PM, who trades on being courageous, forfeited some points on this occasion. Mark Bahnisch and Tim Dunlop both recommend a piece in Salon.com, contrasting the Israeli Government’s capacity for self-examination with the White House’s lack thereof. Like Andrew Norton, Peter Martin is now in favour of tax cuts – anything is better than the egregious corporate welfare he enumerates.

Solidarity has a quick summary of Greg Combet’s electoral ambitions, and what this says about Labor’s strategy for the campaign, Trev also provides a bit of background on some prominent IR critics.

Ken Lovell dissects that eternal meme; the clash of civilisations. Also, his blog has a beautiful CSS template, for those so inclined. And woah… “Patriotic movies or games that glorify war will be specifically excluded from tough new anti-terrorism censorship laws.” Darryl Mason rips this concept the new orifice it so richly deserves. ((Your New Reality, indeed.~PG))

Modia Minotaur observes that David Clarke’s NSW Liberal ‘uglies’ are now after federal seats, including that of perennial Chaser whipping-boy Alan Cadman.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Mirko Bargaric has an interesting take on why lawyers get the blues while Tim Blair meets John Malkovich. Diogenes Lamp has a thoughtful critique of Michael Leunig’s recent, much criticised Anzac Day reflections. Continuing with his excellent happiness research, Andrew Norton digs up some data revealing that most young people are happy with their lives.

In response to some bizarre arguments by Caroline Overington in the Australian, at LP Gummo strives to set the record straight on America’s inequality performance. Jason Soon, meanwhile, provides an excellent piece on the return of the caudillo in South American politics. Jason also notices heavyweight American intellectual Thomas Sowell getting, ahem, really grumpy with life, the universe and everything.

Tim Lambert is intrigued by John Laws’ revelation that the wheel hadn’t been invented in the Middle Ages. Tim speculates that the chariots sent by the Pharaoh to pursue the fleeing Hebrews may have been hovercraft.

There have been numerous incisive posts on language and political rhetoric in the last few weeks from the likes of tigtog, Gummo and Pavlov’s cat. Adding to this bounty, hormonal hysteric Helen puts the ’emotional’ side of the nuclear debate.

Austrolabe does the guest post thing again, this time with an excellent piece by banker Andrew Reynolds, where he explores different options for Sharia compliant financial instruments.((For those unfamiliar with Sharia’s basic financial rule, it’s that interest – both receiving it and charging it – is forbidden.~SL))

Rank and Vile, meanwhile, bids an emotional and heartfelt farewell to his… washing machine.

After a difficult stint looking after a family member, Pavlov’s Cat pleads for some guidance:

What is a carer to do? What is the correct response of someone who’s well to someone who’s in a state of shocking pain and fear, and quite possibly gaga from their meds as well? How do you deal with emotional meltdowns, particularly (but not only) when they are directed straight at you? How do you manage your own vulnerability to attacks from someone you cannot possibly attack back? What are you supposed to say? What are you supposed to do?

3. The Yartz

Matilda has three or four posts we could include, but we’ll go with this one on genre fiction and the neverending quest of science fiction for credibility.

To tide you over until Australian Idol auditions, the Seven Worst Singers in the History of YouTube.

Craft post of the week: Making flying ducks with spiritsdancing. Who doesn’t love flying ducks?

A little bit of Peter Andre and Jordan is enough to last a long time: Scott, To Be Certain has your update.

For Melbournites, Across the Rooftops has a comprehensive gig guide for the next week.

Rallying cry of the week. From Knowledge is Everywhere:

My iPod is pristine, never having held anything thats not a podcast. Eight years later in 2007 and I am no longer a consumer of any music. I will not return to the consumer pool until this industry behaves responsibly and stops holding back technology and human civilization. The RIAA are the Luddites of the Information Revolution, putting their own interests before the rest of humanity, to protect an outdated cartel whose time is up.

He/she manages a pretty decent list of favourite Rage videos though. Trevor Cook also catches this particular meme.

Gianna has been exhibiting her growing drawing portfolio. She has already made good progress with figures, and is now concentrating on faces. Constructive advice is welcome.

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Scott Wickstein gets stuck into Collingwood, this time for trying to stop Port Adelaide from wearing their traditional black & white kit during Heritage Week. He’s no Port fan, but thinks Collingwood are full of it:

It is all very unseemly coming from a mid-table Melbourne suburban club that has won only one trophy in nearly twenty years to go around dictating to the rest of the competition what should be what. Some modesty befitting its status in the game would have been called for here.

Gilmae decries VB’s plan to introduce a mid-strength, pointing out that no-one in their right mind drinks VB for the taste, only to get hammered, quickly and cheaply. And a mid-strength sorta kinda defeats the purpose…((Yeah, not sport strictly speaking, although some of the people I know reckon beer drinking should be a sport.~SL))

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

Continuing his series on contemporary pariahs (his last blogpost was on David Hicks), Adrienswords now has some reflections on Cho Seng-Hui. Along the way he references Don DeLillo and Marilyn Manson. As they say, read the whole thing. Adrian the Cabbie – sadly and rather reluctantly – brings out the banning tool, after a persistent troll accused him of inventing his taxi stories (among other things).

Jabberwocky manages to lock herself out, with hilarious results (for the reader, although it probably wasn’t fun for her at the time). Peter Black asks the really important question: could you survive for a month without the internet? Nicholas Gruen, meanwhile, gets stuck into Microsoft Word, this time for presuming it can execute searches properly. Graham at Ambit Gambit has a cruel but funny piece on the various nutty things Germans have believed over the last 100 years, including some recent additions to the genre.

Tony the Teacher has the best dick gag. EVAH.

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16 years ago

This hasn’t gone out to our subscribers, and this time I can say with confidence that it’s nothing to do with us – Dreamhost are still sitting on our subscription list. Jacques is working his tail off to get it back.

Apologies once again.

16 years ago

Which is why I prefer a blog reader.

I hope all the NRL fans or at least the NSW NRL fans are looking forward to tonight’s Country vs City match in the lead up to Origin.

This is probably the best place as any to put a suggestion for a Club Troppo thread – so how about a thread about what we Want out of the upcoming budget and what we Expect out of the upcoming budget thus the post and comments thread can then be compared and contrasted to the actual budget.

16 years ago

um, my additions aren’t there? Did I add them too late or something?

16 years ago

I am female

16 years ago

Thanks for that, scientaestubique. I really did have a good look around to try and find out. Honest!

16 years ago

I have no idea, Patrick – the wiki told me you were there, then obviously ate your contributions. I’ll go back in and see if I can find what you did. This has happened to me once before, too – it ate everything I’d done and I had to poke around for a fair while until I found it.

16 years ago

I’ve been able to retrieve some of it, but not all, alas – the wiki got the munchies.

James Farrell
James Farrell
16 years ago

The Berg picture – is it a Tintin homage or a Tintin ripoff?

16 years ago

…the neverending quest of science fiction for credibility…

I don’t know if science-fiction is that worried! Last night I went to a hilarious meeting with about thirty other Melbourne SF geeks who were going through the nominees for the Arthur C Clarke award this year. They proceeded to trash everyone of the novels with one-liners that would make P J O’Rourke jealous, and concluded that Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ was the best book never to be nominated for this year’s awards.

There was also an interesting dialogue on the sub-theme to the evening; some evaluated every book that came their way as to whether it was true SF or not. They didn’t look at SF and ask whether it lived up to the standards of ‘respectable’ fiction; they looked at ‘respectable’ fiction and asked whether it lived up to the standards of SF!

16 years ago

Thanks Helen!

Ken Parish
16 years ago

Many thanks to Helen and the team for keeping Missing Link going (in impressive style) during my enforced absence. Following family bereavement, I’m now up to my eyebrows in crises arising from the CDU Bill of Rights Symposium next Thursday and Friday, which I unwisely agreed to convene/co-ordinate. The worst of those crises is that the MC we’d secured, Phillip Adams, has just notified us that he must withdraw for health reasons. How we’re going to find a suitable substitute MC at such short notice is not immediately apparent (although I remain stressfully optimistic – if the worst happens I may be forced to dress in black with a stage white beard and do an Olive Rancher impersonation).

In the meantime, I’m hopeful I’ll find time to edit next Monday’s Missing Link, but I certainly won’t be able to have any role in next Thursday’s edition. Helen, are you feeling energetic??

16 years ago

I’ll have time to do both, Ken, but will need to ease up in the following week (beginning May 14th) as I have a trial starting then.

16 years ago

What gag?

16 years ago


I’m planning a post on the similarities between the Cthulhu mythos and Westerns, SL; shall I tag it with sports in anticipation? :- )

16 years ago

Tony, it was bloody funny. Maybe not at the time, but definitely in hindsight.

Gilmae – feel free ;)

16 years ago

Amanda – No worries :o) I find I get less inappropriate email without it listed on my blog.

16 years ago

Yes, that is something of an irritation, isn’t it. Pron sites trying to set up skype conversations, and such like. I’ll leave you as gender neutral in the post, then. No need to encourage the idiots.

16 years ago

skepticlawyer – I don’t mind, I just leave it out of my profile, as I found having it up got me the wrong kind of emails, but not any extra spam. I think there’s a few bots out there searching for female profiles.

16 years ago

Oh righto, Helen. I thought you meant gag, as in I was telling a joke.

I guess I had to be there.

16 years ago

thanks Troppo! *scribble, scribble, scribble* *rub, rub, rub* I think I’ve got a better batch ready for tomorrow…so bear with me.