Missing Link Daily

A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, gilmae, Gummo Trotsky, Amanda Rose, Tim Sterne, Stephen Hill and Saint.

Politics

Australian

Hmm.  Can we engineer a feminism snark thread two days in a row, thereby consolidating ML’s title as ultimate snark-meet for the Ozblogosphere?  Then again, Andrew Leigh rates Troppo as “the closest thing in Australia to a nineteenth-century debating salon”, so maybe we should just see ML as the salon’s slightly sleazy back bar where the cognoscenti go to let off steam …

Brendan’s getting out to listen to the people, but is anybody listening to Brendan?

Tributes to John Button from Jim Belshaw, Kevin Rennie, Robert Merkel and  Web Diary.

Paul Norton commemorates the anniversary of the waterfront dispute.

Andrew Bartlett is on the road with the Senate housing affordability inquiry but he still has time to muse on our society’s odd priorities.

Bridgit Gread deciphers the Victorian Government’s latest education policy at Grodscorp.

Harry Clarke takes a swipe at Ruddite verbosity.

Andrew Norton comments on a story he thought signified a compo culture and inadvertently uncovers more of the story than the media divulged. From the very source.

Tim Blair uncovers a growing Australian crisis of global proportions: a distinct lack of overpopulationists.1

International

wmmbb is sick of the US Primaries.

Kim says props to the protesters at the Olympic flame relay. Jeremy suggests an alternative form of protest while Henry Farrell muses about the differences between this proposed Olympic boycott and earlier ones.

Henry Farrell looks at the political sensitivities of transplanting Sesame Street to Northern Ireleand, but concludes it’s not a patch on what it was when he was a kid anyway.

Ruvy in Jerusalem reports on the Olmert government’s seemingly conflicted response to multiple missile attack threats from Israel’s multiple implacable enemies.


Economics

Stephen Kirschner highlights a legacy-defending Wall Street Journal interview by former US Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan, and Calculated Risk draws attention to a Bloomberg video of another former Fed boss Paul Volker musing about the Bear Sterns crisis (and suggesting that the Bernanke-engineered buyout was pushing the bounds of the Fed’s powers).


far away

real estate dot com

just thinking

memory

Issues analysis

Whatever happened to shame? Lee Malatesta believes it has been drowned out by competing moralities.2((Shame is for other people – that’s one thing that everybody agrees on. ~GT)) Baybers at Austrolabe is more optimistic that nationally broadcast television can still deploy shame successfully. They both agree that legislation is ineffective.

Tigtog looks at the effects of legalised prostitution in Holland.

Jack Lacton at Kerplunk notices worms don’t like Al Gore’s climate crisis.

Andrew Norton on the difficulties of defining “the right” in Australia.


Arts

At the NBCC Critical Mass Tony D’Souza offers a retrospective review of J.M. Coetzee’s Booker Prize winning novel Disgrace.

J.M Coetzees “Disgrace” is about a lot of things, but at its heart it is an anatomy of racial hierarchy change in contemporary South Africa. A very quiet side note to this is its analysis of mans disgraceful treatment of animals. “Disgrace” is a pitiless and errorless book about the condition of the human experience at the end of the twentieth century; while not altogether without hope, the book and its title is a condemnation of the basic state of modern humanity.

Matilda offers a review of the photojournalist Megan Lewis’s Conversations with the Mob, in which she describes her five year encounter with the Martu people.

Guy Beres provides a review of David Mamet’s satire of Hollywood powerplays Speed-the-Plow currently showing at the Old Vic Theatre in London, starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum. (Lucky devil. If only I could experience London theatre without the London prices – looks like I’ll have to compensate by hiring out Mamet’s other film industry satire State and Main on DVD)

Marcellous is cranky abour classical soloists who talk and length when they should be playing, and even more peeved that the Rach racked off in favour of a Shosta because the pianist had a sore hand.

Richard Watts continues stoically reviewing Melbourne Comedy Festival offerings, helpfully providing bolded laugh ratings out of 5 for those who can’t even be bothered reading the review let along attending.

Cartoon from xkcd.


Snark, strangeness and charm

Snarky and strange but charmless. Still, two out of three ain’t bad.

A quick note from cato at Catallaxy about e-prime: English without the verb ‘to be’.

Tim Train pens a hymn for bereft Howard-haters3

Ace psephology blogger Possum Comitatus is getting married on the weekend.  Best wishes from devoted readers here at Troppo.

  1. Note: any snarky comments about Tim B, I’m going to email Helen. ~saint []
  2. Witness the competing lofty indignation-fests spawned by various jokes in the last couple of weeks.~gilmae []
  3. Fortunately Howard Lite’s honeymoon period must be due to expire soon, then we can all get on with cultivating mild dislike for him instead. ~ KP []

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Tim Blair’s piece is mostly at the DH0 level (name calling), with a few moments of DH3 (contradiction), finishing on a strong DH0:

Shes an [sic (DH2)] historian who doesnt learn from history.

gilmae
13 years ago

I’d hit all three of them.

saint
13 years ago

#1

You say potato, he says patato

Chade
13 years ago

At once?

jc
jc
13 years ago

Is the pic up for people to choose the best looking gal?

Is it okay if I think the one of the left offers better gawking value without offending anyone? Is she libertarian? Who cares?

Tony T
13 years ago

Phwoar!

David Rubie
David Rubie
13 years ago

jc wrote:

Is she libertarian?

I thought that question had already been definitively answered in the negative, JC :), besides which, clearly #3 being decidedly pneumatic would be much more fun to bounce off. The other two’s knees are too sharp.

gilmae
13 years ago

Saint: Last I heard him – on Sunday back when Jana hosted it – Tim Blair completely failed to refer to anyone as “guv’nor” or to offer to shine Paddy’s shoes.

wilful
wilful
13 years ago

It was observed a long time ago that the women getting their kit off in the adult magazines were typically a far healthier body shape than the ones flouncing down the catwalks of the world and in the womens mags. Some have suggested that this is because a hefty proportion of the (male) art directors etc involved in the fashion world are gay, and prefer looking at boys (not inferring paedophilia here, just lack of cleavage and hips is their thing).

Saint, thanks for that link. now I know.

jc
jc
13 years ago

I agree, W. My daughter buys all those mags like Vogue etc. and the gals are really dull and usually anorexic looking. She tells me some of them are the highest paid models around which I find truly amazing.

I think the fashion mags look for gals that show up the clothes, whereas pics men go for are all about the body.

Art directors etc involved in the fashion world are gay, and prefer looking at boys (not inferring paedophilia here, just lack of cleavage and hips is their thing).

You reckon? It’s pretty cut throat business which means it is consumer taste that is paramount. If the anorexic, xray wasn’t what the customer wanted they would go for the plumpy look.

gilmae
13 years ago

I do, but I’m overweight and I know it is because I have insufficient self-control over my eating and exercise habits.

Tony T
13 years ago

Fat people falling down is funny.

jc
jc
13 years ago

Do people here think of being thin as a sign of being in control and being fat a sign of weakness?

It would be useful to try and get a definition of what he means by fat or skinny. I know it sounds funny but I think some people have tried to define what we people mean by that.

James Farrell
James Farrell
13 years ago

What happened to the previous meme about men’s instinctive preference, whereby we rate the the woman by her waist-to-hip ratio rather than her overall size? Has it gone by the wayside?

jc
jc
13 years ago

Fat people falling down is funny.

Yes but skinny anorexic teenagers landing in hospital for 6 months of the year isn’t. Not meant to be a smart arse comment but there is also an epidemic of anorexic girls from the wealthier private schools landing in hot water over this issue with some people claiming that the fight against obesity is causing this.

Go to a kids hospital and there are wards of teenage gals (even boys now) rotating an internships to be re-fed as theyre close to death.

It would be amusing if it werent so tragic. The outer burbs of the big cities have weight problem and the inner wealthier burbs have a weigh problem in reverse.

Greewhich CT in the US, which after Beverly Hills is the wealthiest burb in the US, has the highest incidence of anorexia (or close to) in the country.

WaterDragon
13 years ago

“1. saint: Note: any snarky comments about Tim B,
Im going to email Helen. []”
Will you get out the whip first?

gandhi
gandhi
13 years ago

Ken, your link to my blog seems rather snarky and strange. Gandhi-bashing seems to be the sport of the week among the smart set, eh?

saint
13 years ago

#11 Yes (whether they are correct or not to do so is another question)

#17 No

saint
13 years ago

#8 Then that would fit what I was taught about who uses “an historian.” .

Didnya teechers teech ya how to talk propper? (Not to mention who is obliged to use a style guide)

Aitch not haitch?

gilmae
13 years ago

I know who wot dun it :- )

As for my teachers, they might ave tried to but I was too busy dreaming of going ome.

Niall
13 years ago

What’s ‘fat’ and what’s ‘thin’? At the risk of appearing sexist, one man’s meat is another’s poison. I like the dolly on the right. Plenty to look at and hang onto. Okay…..I’ll own up. I’m a boob man!

Alastair
Alastair
13 years ago

Gandhi, get over it. You attacked another blogger and in my books unfairly. You should have expected repercussions.

Alastair
Alastair
13 years ago

The survey taken regarding the women in the picture was interesting. Whilst I would have thought that the highest vote would go to the lady in the middle (as it did), I would think that other body features would have surely influenced the result.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Re 20.

I hereby ‘fess up. Perhaps I missed a bit of ironic intent in gandhi’s post, but it looked to me as if it would have been more at home at AWH.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

My vote would be the left, hands down.

Graham Bell
Graham Bell
13 years ago

Everyone:

Okay, where are all the normal women in magazines? The buxom and the slim; the rounded and the angular; the tall and the short and the in-between; the ones with pendulous breasts and the flat-chested; the wine-glasses and the brandy-balloons; the smooth and the matured; the glamorous and the homely?

Is there something wring with me – because I prefer women in their infinite variety and with all those imperfections that you just don’t notice any more after you have known them for a while?

gandhi
gandhi
13 years ago

Alastair #24,

I’m happy to deal with any logic-based arguments, but this sort of shallow, mob-rejection groupthink is just so… Blairish.

It’s rather disturbing to see how easily such tactics can be adopted by normally decent people, who regularly criticise the same over-emotional nastiness on other sites.

You have to start to wonder whether Ozblogistan has not become a rather cloistered little club.

Bring back Homer Paxton
Bring back Homer Paxton
13 years ago

I’d say it’s a toss up between the one on the left and the one in the middle.

gilmae
13 years ago

Im happy to deal with any logic-based arguments, but this sort of shallow, mob-rejection groupthink is just so

Oh. The irony. Iz drownings in it!

gilmae
13 years ago

Graham: Maybe not “wrong” exactly, but unusual. Those magazines aren’t just a cesspit of disgusting men taking advantage of silly girls, they’re also a business and the key to that business is the same as every other entertainment business. AS many eyeballs as possible, which means content that appeals as broadly as possible which means basically the same thing over and over and over. They think a particular body shape works for them from a business point of view and reality appears to back them up.

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

Niall said:

Whats fat and whats thin?

That bloke on your webcam Niall? Fat.

Yobbo
Yobbo
13 years ago

Re: The picture, I’ve got no problem with the thinness of the chick on the left, except that she looks like a man. I’m not sure if that’s a product of how thin she is or simply that she is mannish.

Girl in the middle is perfect, girl on the right isn’t fat yet but likely would be after 3-4 weeks of marriage.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Once bitten, twice shy, Yobbo?

SJ
SJ
13 years ago

James Farrell Says:

“What happened to the previous meme about mens instinctive preference, whereby we rate the the woman by her waist-to-hip ratio rather than her overall size? Has it gone by the wayside?”

As you’ve probably guessed, or know for a fact, there’s been a number of earlier studies on attractiveness.

The women in the photograph all have about the same waist-to-hip ratio, so that factor appears to have been controlled for.

They all have “hourglass” figures too, so that breast size appears to have been controlled for.

Facial symmetry, likewise.

There’s another factor that has been raised in the past, which is that male humans (generally speaking, not in all cases) prefer females who resemble their mothers.

The three women in the picture actually do resemble my mother, when she was around that age (hair color, facial features, body shape). There’s no Freudian “Oedipus complex” involved, it just looks like that we may be wired to make selections that way.

So I find all of the three equally attractive. :)

Pavlov's Cat
13 years ago

So, will there be pictures of three blokes tomorrow, so that us girls can compare and contrast their finer (and less fine) points?

SJ
SJ
13 years ago

It’d only be fair, PC. More specifically, I propose that Nick, Ken and James put their Speedos on and stand in front of the webcam. :)

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

More specifically, I propose that Nick, Ken and James put their Speedos on and stand in front of the webcam. :)

Sth tells me that would hardly be like for like ;)

jc
jc
13 years ago

So, will there be pictures of three blokes tomorrow, so that us girls can compare and contrast their finer (and less fine) points?

hahahha;

judging by the your own pic, you’re quite a looker yourself, Pav. In fact you’d win the comp by a texas mile if you were up against those three. Brains and looks can’t be beaten….

I’d vote for ya in a flash, so there.

Bring back Homer Paxton
Bring back Homer Paxton
13 years ago

More specifically, I propose that Nick, Ken and James put their Speedos on and stand in front of the webcam

Just goes to show for all our achievements as a society to date, women are still second class citizens :-)

SJ
SJ
13 years ago

It wouldn’t be like-for-like, but it would be fair punishment.

Bring back Homer Paxton (jason soon)
Bring back Homer Paxton (jason soon)
13 years ago

#40 – oh right, I didn’t realise Pavlov had revealed her secret identity recently.

say, PC, are you by any chance related to that very excellent essayist in the Monthly who writes about classical music and shares your surname?

Pavlov's Cat
13 years ago

say, PC, are you by any chance related to that very excellent essayist in the Monthly who writes about classical music and shares your surname?

Thank you for this unmissable opportunity to get in a free plug for Cousin Anna’s album; all is revealed here. If you click on that last link you can even hear her play.

JC — heh. These gals are all young enough to be my daughters. But thank you for those kind words.

Alastair
Alastair
13 years ago

Gandhi that’s your interpretation of the criticism you received. I make my own judgements. I’d hope everyone else came to their own conclusions as well. It is hardly surprising that many people found your criticism of Mark objectionable.

Graham Bell
Graham Bell
13 years ago

Gilmai [32]:

Another name for that mindset is “group-think”. isn’t it?

The first thing that crossed my mind when I read your post was the marketing style by the big-three car makers – and then along came Toyota, Datsun, etc …. and the rest is history. There’s a fortune ready to be made by whoever in the advertising industry is the first to realize what a turn-off all the bimbos, blow-up-dolls and other assorted parodies of women are to some customers. For me, for instance, if I see an ad for machinery with a woman languidly draped across it [as to opposed to a picture of a woman operating it], I just flick the page with a suspicion that they are trying to sell me dodgy goods – and I’m not alone in that!

Psychology and market research? Yeah. Right. Hang on, I’ll just grab my wallet – I’ve just seen the gorgoeus chick in the ad so now I have this uncontrollable overpowering urge to rush out and BUY the junk they’re trying to flog off!! L-O-L!!

SJ [36]:

Just on facial symmetry. A lady I once knew had noticable but not marked facial asymmetry – yet she was one of the most attractive women I have ever known: she had charm, grace, vivacity, lovely smile, flashing eyes, well-groomed hair, well-proportioned figure, intelligence, diligence, cheerfulness ….
Facial asymmetry? Oh yes; I hadn’t noticed – it isn’t symmetrical, is it? :-)

gandhi
gandhi
13 years ago

#26 Gummo Trotsky,

You are some piece of work. Weren’t you the bloke who once canned my comments at LP because you decided I was getting over-emotional?

There was nothing “ironic” in my post: I think the idea of the Army promising “welcome to country” smoking ceremonies as a way to lure Aboriginals into the Armed Forces is beyond pathetic. I’m not being racist here, if that’s what you assume. As a nation, we have done everything possible to destroy Aboriginal culture, but the idea that you can blend what remains of that culture with the culture of the Armed Forces is just a bloody fantasy.

Of course there will be A.J.’s who violently disagree with that assessment: they all love to pretend they are best mates with the blackfellas (the KKK hoods remain hidden under the bed in barracks). But to me this looks like another stupid waste of taxpayer funds, and an exercise doomed to failure. That’s my opinion, and I’m entitled to it.

Now you can agree with that opinion or not, but to label my post “snarky and strange” just shows that you have no idea where I am coming from, which is probably because you have your own preconceived ideas about me. It is in fact you who is being “snarky and strange” (and utterly charmless), which is pretty hypocritical, isn’t it?

I suggest an apology is in order.

gilmae
13 years ago

Graham: If you like. However, if that’s an example of what you want to call groupthink, practically everything humans do is groupthink.

Fyodor
13 years ago

judging by the your own pic, youre quite a looker yourself, Pav. In fact youd win the comp by a texas mile if you were up against those three. Brains and looks cant be beaten.

Well said, JC. It seems that there IS a subject upon which we can agree.