- 1. News and Politics Stuff
- 2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
- 3. The Yartz
- 4. T.S.S
- 5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
I was expecting the blogosphere to sink into a post-election/pre-Christmas exhausted torpor this week. On the contrary, almost everyone is firing on all cylinders, albeit fuelled by bile on the right and a heady mixture of delight, schadenfreude and, yes, triumphalism on the left and major parts of the self-styled centre.
What’s the antonym of triumphalism? Whatever it is, Harry Clarke demonstrates and – with a straight face somehow – manages to approvingly link to Tim Blair.1 Presumably Harry thinks this is more of the same ugly triumphalist commentary. Nevertheless, Harry can still manage a jaundiced but not completely negative assessment of the new Rudd Cabinet.
This edition of Missing Link by James Farrell, Saint in a Straitjacket, Gilmae, Darlene Taylor and Ken Parish with editing by the latter.
Nought but the Head remaining to disclose
1. News and Politics Stuff
Still on the election post-mortem front, Guy from Polemica argues that the almost universally accepted Tory explanation for their loss (that it was all about tired leadership and the desire for a change) falsely assumes that the electorate was completely unmoved by policy issues:
It also insults the intelligence of the electorate. It assumes that the electorate did not really care about WorkChoices, climate change, Iraq, education, or a host of other policy areas in which Labor presented a distinct alternative to the government during the election campaign.
arleeshar is indignant that Status of Women hasn’t been accorded a higher status in the Rudd ministry.
Some analysis on the job ahead for Ms Gillard in the Health portfolio.
ML notes that Kevin Rudd is already out of touch.
Brian Bahnisch rejects the conventional wisdom that Peter Garrett is being marginalised in the new Cabinet.
Andrew Bartlett worries that, as a result of the Senate changes, there will not be enough pressure on Labor to ‘consistently on the environment, human rights, justice and Indigenous issues.’ Rudd will be more interested in ‘consolidating the conservative ideological base which Labor has partly taken from the Coalition and avoiding anything which might be seen as threatening that.’ Mark Bahnisch, however, finds grounds for optimism about Labor’s commitment to the indigenous cause notwithstanding Noel Pearson’s sniping.
Ken Lovell reveals what Brendan Nelson has in common with Arthur Calwell and organic vegetarian cafes in suburban shopping centres. David Bath sees him as Pinocchio to Nick Minchin’s Gepetto — except that Minchin doesn’t want him to become a real human being. Andrew Elder sees him as a holding pattern while the Liberal Party works out what next..
Apathetic Gam contends that the racist outbreak in Camden ‘is in no small part due to the fantastic job the previous government did to legitimise expressions of hatred, so long as they were appropriately directed against the right group of untermenschen.’
Andrew Norton argues (unpersuasively some might think) that celebrity status ended up not being a factor in the federal election.
Guy from Polemica thinks that Noel Pearson’s labelling of the new PM as a heartless snake probably wasn’t a wise political move.
Graham Young argues that current moves against Queensland Liberal leader Bruce Flegg should be seen primarily as a move by the dominant Santoro faction to divert attention from its own inept federal campaign performance. In a later update, Graham gives a blow by blow account of the shenanigans in the three ring circus known as the Queensland branch of the Liberal Party (as opposed to the three ring circuses being all the other State Liberal Party branches).3
Digesting the news from America, tigtog doubts that ‘lesbian slurs’ on Hillary Clinton will affect her electoral fortunes, while Ken Lovell explains the advantages of fighting a war without defined boundaries, enemies or objectives :
Adrift in this sea without a compass, events have ceased to happen within any narrative context and have come to be a meaningless jumble of impressions. For example, the war in Iraq – which is not the same war as we won years ago, although nobody has ever explained when a new war commenced or who we are fighting – is supposed to be a triumph.
David Tiley posts an appalling story suggesting that, despite Abu Ghraib, the American military appears to have learned very little in terms of its conduct in Iraq.
2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
In response to an initiative of Rudd’s, Graham puts forward some details on homelessness in Australia, happily unencumbered by confirming sources.
Some of the more interesting interviews over the last three years of the G’Day World podcast.
David Bath writes about being a single father, with some thoughts on the differences between social attitudes to single fathers and single mothers.
John Quiggin is satisfied that the objections to genetically modified canola have been answered, but he insists on better labelling.
Jim Belshaw analyses the just-released ABS survey of adult literacy and life skills, advancing the courageous suggestion that instead of increasingour educational effort we might rather aim at “redefining jobs to reduce the educational component“. Meanwhile, Andrew Norton adds the political dimension by using the ABS survey to argue that there is far too much to be done in education to leave it to a part-time Minister like Julia Gillard.
Poise and pointlessness (via Lauredhel)
3. The Yartz
Tim from Sterne reviews Dweezil Zappa’s Zappa Plays Zappa, a show that features a Zappa playing the songs of another Zappa. According to Tim:
Zappa Plays Zappa was entertaining but it was also admirable in its restrained but genuine sentimentality, its playful yet subtly deferential approach.
Tim also pops up on Sarsparilla to discuss the awarding of this year’s highly-prized Bad Sex in Fiction Award (BSIFA) to the late Norman Mailer. The passage the judges thought deserved the prestigious BSIFA contains the following words:
The Hound began to come to life.
If dancing for real rather than “dancing” with a hound that’s coming (to life) is your thing, check out Chris Boyd’s review of Aether.
Melbourne’s the most cultured city in Australia (no correspondence will be entered into), and it’s ventures like La Mama Theatre that make it that way. Alison Croggon went to La Mama’s 40th birthday do the other night. The party left Ms Croggon with the “sensation of a small animal decomposing overnight in (her) mouth.” Hopefully, Ms Croggon’s cat hasn’t mysteriously disappeared.
Avi Lipski of The Rest is Just Commentary posts about the end of the Broadway strike.
Boynton lists her TV 20-10, with the cricket, Summer Heights High and Love My Way all getting a mention. For those not in the know, cricket is a game in which a bowler bowls a ball at a batter. It’s fascinating stuff.
Tigtog elevates Colleen McCullough to the Hoyden Hall of Fame.
Alison Croggon is underwhelmed by the appointment of Peter Garrett as Arts Minister, and forensically demolishes a bitchy op-ed piece by Age arts correspondent Robin Usher in which he character-assassinates outgoing Melbourne International Arts Festival artistic director Kristy Edmunds.
(troppo sports stadium)
On the basis of this election’s lesson, John Quiggin sums up what can and can’t be claimed for betting markets.
Mike Salter reviews the Beckstacular LA Galaxy versus Sydney soccer “friendly”.
Sexy political working family?
5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad
Tim goes sleep-Walkley-ing.
Rob (who was recently counselled by the ever-compassionate Nabakov – read the comment thread starting here) focuses on the life of sixties pop accessory Edie Sedgwick to engage in some depressive navel-gazing about the erstwhile naivete of (his own) Baby Boomer generation:
Like Edie Sedgwick, we rode the wave right up to the wall, and there we crashed, like she did, at the end of that lacerated decade, although it took us another thirty and forty years to realise the fact.
The pseudonymous collective at Bilegrip has decided to fold its blogging tent and stagger off quietly into the sunset now that John Howard has been vanquished. Apparently they’ve been at the job of Internet Howard-hating in one guise or another since 1994. They’ll be missed.
Finally, an observation that even most of Tim Blair’s numerous blogosphere ideological opponents may find difficult to dispute, apropos of a particularly other-worldly piece of triumphalism by Age columnist Tracee Hutchinson:
Manic Traceeee is even less readable than depressive Traceeee. More from kisdm001: Traceeees column today includes a rather dodgy claim: Suddenly we had a first couple who were smart, successful AND sexy. It was magnificent. Sexy sure has changed since I left Australia
- Oh yes, sour grapes. Those Germans have a word for everything.~gilmae
- Offering further proof that the left, even the centre left, are bereft without their paranoia.~gilmae
- BTW I wonder what ever happened with the disgraceful if predictable moves to expel Graham from the Queensland Liberals? ~ KP