Tuesday, December 27, 2005

'Tis the seizin'

for the fourth Touched By The Season quiz in which we attempt to question all kinds of things about the year 2005 (I heard someone call it 'twenty-o-five' the other day). I looked back at last year's entry for inspiration and was confronted with a statement about natural disasters and terrorism so it appears not much has changed on that score. We've had more hostages and more celeb silliness, with their interminible changing of partners.

Oh well I'll do my best:

  • What banner appeared to label President Bush in a humorous, and some would say appropriate, way at a media conference this year?
  • Which royal kicked the bucket this year?
  • The discovery of soft tissue of which dinosaur will 'provide a gold mine of information about the physiology of dinosaurs'?
  • What was the (English) name of the German film that, sixty years later, finally dealt with Germany under Hitler?
  • Which of the energy drinks hosts a music academy and which 'home of grunge' did they reach this year?
  • Privatisation continues. A costly tunnel created in a deal with a private company has caused consternation at which State government?
  • What exciting occurence happened on the Australian Who Wants to be a Millionaire? this year?
  • What happened to the piece of shit song Wasabi by Australian Idol contestant Lee Harding?
  • Which video game was briefly taken off the market because of a hidden sex scene?
  • Name the entertainment reporter who asked Jake Gylenhaal what he thought of winning the Oscar for Donnie Darko last year.

  1. ayep
  2. craps game
  3. you're my main man
  4. one man's vision
  5. gives you wings
  6. fretting over your own admission
  7. Coach to victory, followed by Flood
  8. What else? It went to number one
  9. cos the overt violence wouldn't do it
  10. He means his foot.
    And as a bonus, a review of the 2005 Logie Awards

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Overegging him on

I wouldn't have thought that a poetry message group could generate heat the way it does but it keep things interesting. The funny thing when an interloper crashes in on the fun and starts causing trouble, there are a world of poets waiting to pounce and oust.

If the pen is mightier than the sword then the word wide web of words is more powerful still.

The latest little scrape about a self-congratulatory and hyperpromotional poet whose work seemed as overblown as his reuputation inspired this piece of peace

Over egging Him On

What if the once patient prince had to say
I dislike your disposition; you'd best be on your way
Would you put that in your reported poetry
How would it vary your verity
Now let me see your long list of me me me
But of all the memes of e
This one I'd like to see

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

We shall fight them on the beaches..

I was astounded. The main photo on yesterday's SMH was of a crowd of ockers pummeling some Lebanese beachgoers with beer cans and fists. I thought we were safe from this sort of mob violence and I was wrong.

Naturally it's been big enough to catch world attention as there is a post on the Straight Dope message boards about it. Though I couldn't join in the conversation as they now charge. But I did have a say on the Triple J forum.

My take. Lebanese gangs started this - not 'youths of middle eastern appearance'; a useless euphemism that is more trouble than it's worth. It may or not be connected to the pack rapes of a couple of years back but it is a consequence of gangs menacing this area, shouting obscenities, and generally being obnoxious; it is definitely as a direct result of the jerks who bashed lifeguards that stopped them playing football on the beach. That kind of behaviour just won't fly in Australia.

Is it fair that the actions of a few should result in innocent Lebanese - and other races; the mob not being the brightest - being bashed? Decidedly not. It is appalling that they should indiscriminately tear the veil off a thirteen-year-old girl. What could she possibly have had to do with the actions that lead to this?
But I hope that those in authority within the Lebanese community take this opportunity to bawl the gangs out for bringing this down on their heads. It would be disingenuous for them to react to the reactionaries; that would only escalate the violence and the mistrust. Action has to come from within.
You see, there is no point in being namby-pamby and pretending that this is not race-based on both sides. The authorities are constrained in the actions they can take and that is why the 'Anglo'hooligans felt they needed to take things into their own hands.

I understand the liberal sentiments of those who say punish on a case-by-case basis. But the plain fact is that the Lebanese pack rapists specifically identified themselves by their race so why wouldn't their detractors?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Drive in driven out

The only thing we had to entertain us when I was a kid growing up in the wheatbelt was the drive-in. I mean, we used to play and had great imaginations because there was nothing ready-made to divert our attention. We built cubbies in the bush, played chasie and hidie and generally wandered and explored.

But our one form of passive entertainment, apart from the radio which only picked up the local country radio station and rural ABC, and the old books of my grandparents, was the drive-in. When we were little kids Nana used to look after us while our parents went, and we only got to go to the family films. Once Nana and Grandad retired to Mandurah, and we were older, we would quite often frequent the drives. It was a forty mile drive to town to see a newsreel, two movies and a cartoon; pretty good value but a real trek to get home tired when it was all over.

I can't claim to be exactly nostalgic for those days as I'm perfectly content to hire five DVDs for as many dollars and watch them in the comfort of my own home (well OK I rent but you know what I mean). But it was there that I first got my real interest in film when I saw those early spaghetti westerns and they still hold up well all these years later.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Posts crypt

I'm starting to sound like those wankers who write in to the Daily Telegraph. Where's my compassion? I don't know, I just get tired of the Right making ridiculous blanket statements about those of us on the Left being liars or being ill-informed when, truth be known, they are more prone to relying on received wisdom and twisting things to their own ends. My attitude to religion and politics is built on years of intensive investigation, not on what my minister or the tabloid press says.

Now, before you retort that I am just as guilty of making blanket statements about the Right, consider that the sheer motive will of someone to go against the status quo requires them to be better informed since they have to seek out the information to support their viewpoint. This is less the case than it once was perhaps, but then I'm not enamoured of people who parrot the party line for the Left either.

That said, I just want it clear that I don't condone the hanging of heroin traffickers (yes, of course they did it)or the blatant hypocrisy of the Singapore government, I just think it was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Impending demise

Early tomorrow an Australian will be executed and, unsurprisingly, there has been a great deal of upset over Nguyen Tuong Van being hanged. The last person we hanged was Ronald Ryan back in 1967.

Now, like most Australians, I am opposed to the death penalty, but smuggling heroin through Singapore ranks as about one of the most stupid things you could possibly do because they are uncompromising hardarses and nothing escapes their notice. If you can't spit gum on the footpath without copping a hefty fine, what tolerance for a drug courier? There is no question in my mind that Nguyen would have been aware of this or, put it this way, if you haven't done a risk assessment of the countries you're travelling through, you have absolutely no business whatsoever trying to smuggle drugs through their customs.

Of course the noisy rightwingers will take me to task on this and point out that one has no business smuggling heroin whatever the risk, but that isn't my point. There are a whole range of countries that are more lax in their checking and/or more lenient if you do get caught. Singapore has a model that works very well for them; they're not going to change. Piss on the toilet seat there and you're asking for trouble. So isn't this just the Darwin Awards with an official spin?