And Now For Something Pretty Darn Similar

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

  • Today I passed a venue purporting to be "Sydney's Oldest Sports Bar - Established 1896". What the hell, I wondered, constituted a sports bar in 1896? I can imagine the advertising signs: "Listen to all the Men's Sculling Action on our wide-speaker wireless! Tuppence drafts of ale before 10p.m.! Minimum dress standard of morning suit applies".

  • I've also noticed that along with security cameras, there are also loudspeakers being mounted on traffic lights around the City. Something to do with APEC I assume - all the world leaders will be safer from attack if potential terrorists can not only be watched, but shouted at as well. (Isn't it odd that the massive security measures are put into place whenever "world leaders" are involved, yet whenever a terroritst plot is uncovered, it's almost always aimed at civillian targets? These world leader types are interestingly paranoid). Anyway, if I was a bored security officer, staring at a surveillance monitor for hours on end, I doubt I'd be able to resist the temptation to wait for some sheepish looking sap to walk past and yell through the speakers, "Hey you there, yeah you in the jacket, man are you ugly! Who cuts your hair, Edward Scissorhands?" But then, I'm just a bit sad.

  • Why is it that, whenever anybody dies in reasonably peaceful circumstances, they're described as being "surrounded by loved ones"? If I'm ever dying in bed, I certainly don't want my nearest and dearest sitting around watching me do so. Go out, see a movie, go to the pub - just put The Simpsons on for me. I've always enjoyed TV more when there's not someone else there, jabbering away. The outcome won't be affected much, and we'll all be happier.

  • The less drunk of you might have noticed...yep, I've finally re-done my template. I've pretty much abandoned my blog in recent months; a combiation of lack of time, lack of net access and lack of interest. I thought if I renovated this place, I might be a little more inclined to spend time here. Also, the old template looked too much like a personal page; this started as a personal blog, but hasn't been for a long time, and I didn't want a political/social blog masquerading as a MySpace anymore. I'll be tooling around with the HTML for a little while yet, but honest feedback is welcome (as long as you don't hurt my feelings, say anything negative, or insult me in any way).
  • Happy Birthday, Mr Prime Minister

    Thursday, 26 July 2007

    So, John Howard turns 68 today. He still looks amazing, like he's in his fifties...the Nineteen Fifties, in fact. There won't be many merry returns for him today though. The Government is facing a landslide defeat, and Howard himself is increasingly desperate, this morning blaming interest rate rises on "Labor government - state Labor governments" (a comment more likely to make your average voter think of clutching at straws than making good points) even as he falls over, forgets names, and is pilloried in the media for being past it.

    One could almost feel sorry for John Howard. He could have retired at a favourable time in favour of Peter Costello - the tenth anniversary of his government, in March last year, would have been a nice, cute, noteworthy option - and be remembered by history (though not by me) as one of Australia's greatest Prime Ministers. Instead, it seems like he'll be remembered as the man who hung on too long, dragging his party down with him, and possibly losing his own seat.

    Yes, I almost feel sorry for Howard. Then I remember...he gutted Medicare, the ABC and universities. He wouldn't issue a symbolic apology to Indigenous Australians. He claimed asylum seekers were trying to throw their children overboard and used this as an excuse to lock them up in offshore detention centres hosted by tiny nations with no choice but to take Australian money. He dragged us into a war with Iraq we didn't want (referring to the half-million people who marched against it, as a "mob"), and now he won't get us out. He forced the unemployed to perform jobs considered too menial for prisoners in return for their subsistence handouts. He thought he was the president and diminshed the role of the Governor General every time there was a photo opportunity. He wouldn't go when he had the chance and now he's trying to hang on like a spoilt child.

    And in all this, after eleven years of his rule he's left Australia, though it pains me to say it, a diminished place; more selfish, more self-centred, meaner. The sense of a fair go, of helping a mate, has been replaced by the sense of "my interest rates, my petrol prices, me, me, me and nothing else matters!" It's a terrible thing and I don't know if we can ever recover, but I know who to blame.

    So, John. Today I say not happy birthday, but fuck you.
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