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Showing posts from May, 2008

Mid-Week Points

To those who would criticise Kevin Rudd for being "out of touch" by having a butler , I say - come on . You mean to tell me that if you were in the same situation, you'd forgo the butler to be "one of the people"? Camden Council has unanimously rejected a proposal to build a Muslim school in the area, keeping their semi-rural tranquility safe for little racists. They say that the decision had nothing to do with it being a Muslim school. Of course it didn't. One parent was pictured on the news saying, "My kids can't read and write Islamic, how are they going to go to that school?" Nevermind, I'm sure they write and read Australian real good. Apparently, artist Bill Henson is so disturbed by the controversy over his cancelled exhibition, friends are worried he may give up photography entirely. That would be a shame...except when you consider, it would mean he'd no longer be asking pubescent girls to strip for him. That could only be a g

This Art Attack

It amazes me that in all the varied opinions I've heard on the nude child photos , no one has actually mentioned the real point here. One's opinion on the issue has become almost a shorthand for your cultural views. Think the photos are art? You have a highly developed aesthetic, you're in favour of freedom of speech, you're generally an open-minded individual. If on the other hand, you think the photos are exploitative kiddy porn, then you're a philistine, right-wing wowser. Both wrong. Look, I can see that the photos are art. But that does not make them okay. "Art" should not be able to supersede the general rules of right and wrong. Otherwise, where do we draw the line? Photos of people being killed? Children need to be protected. And those who now want to view/defend the photos are exploiting these children, in the name of free speech, every bit as much as those sickos who get dirty thrills from them. Bill Henson has exploited them; not sexually, but f

We Won! We Won!

Well, of course I mean Manchester United have won the Champions League . It had nothing to do with me. Then again, maybe there was divine intervention in Moscow on behalf of a woman on the other side of the planet, clad in pyjama pants and a Man Utd shirt, wrapped in a blanket, racked with nausea and praying with white-knuckled fervour. God, of course, works in mysterious ways. Although I set my alarm for 4:30am, in time for kickoff, I half-planned to sleep in a while longer. But after being tormented by dreams of a bizaare 12-3 Chelsea-United scoreline, I got up to watch just to relieve my misery. I'm not going to provide a match report here; there are many better ones out there, written by people who didn't view the match in pre-dawn bleariness. I wasn't persuaded or concerned by the respective goals from each side; I'd seen it all before, in 1999, and somehow felt the last minutes would be crucial. And was more prescient than I could have known. Full-time came and w

Ever The Optimist

Have you ever developed a vague notion that you'd dig around and find an item you hadn't seen for a while, been unable to immediately locate it, and then suddenly finding the thing becomes the most important thing on Earth? That's what happened to me Sunday night when I couldn't find my Manchester United home replica shirt. Man U are, of course, playing in the Champions League final on Thursday morning (Sydney time). And once I thought about it, I knew I had to watch the match wearing that shirt. Last time Manchester United won the Champions League was May 26, 1999 (and no, I didn't have to look that date up). At the time, my life was not going so well. In fact, it was bloody awful. Then Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored the winning goal seconds from full time, and suddenly, my life completely turned around, ushering in a golden period I look back on as one of my happiest times. And I watched the match in my Man U shirt. Now it's 2008, and things haven't been go

The World Keeps On Turning

It's been a very busy week. Natural disasters, budgetary dilemmas, social controversies - but enough about me. I've been working ten hour days, so I'll try to distill this weeks' missed posting opportunities into a creamy, info-rich singularity for you. So I'll be yet another blogger crapping on about Labor's first budget . There was nothing for people like me in there. There never is anything for people like me. At least we can stop providing baby bonuses for those earning over $150,000 a year (shut your whingeing , you lot, you want kids, you pay for them). Wilson Tuckey provided the soundbite of the week as he lameted the loss of the baby bonus for high income earners, saying "I've been in the racing business for many, many years and we tend to look at the high achievers as those who should have foals". Eugenics isn't dead. Last night, Brendan Nelson delivered the Opposition's Budget reply - and can I just say, watching the telecast wi

If You Lived In Sydney, You'd Wish You Were Back Home Right Now

What a very disconcerting city this is sometimes - you only have to turn to the news to see how. Whether it's parties attended by guests of "Corey Worthington appearance" (to quote directly from the Daily Telegraph's article on a balcony fall at said party), mobile confession booths to be set up around town during World Youth Day, the leading Conservative radio host, telling his listeners its their job to maintain his accuracy, or the counter-terrorism squad dropping into a suburban library to say "Hi!" ... things can be a bit screwy here somertimes. But my main point today is, what are we to make of the disaster waiting to happen that is Town Hall station, as in this opinion piece from the SMH? I'm not just talking abou the hideous green and yellow tiles, the rats, the wooden escalators, the rusting safety barriers and the smell (what on Earth must foreign visitors think of a prime transport link in Australia's biggest, most important city?). A

So Now Who Do We Laugh At?

This blog has been rather quiet lately. I've been busy. And I've been lazy. It takes effort and intelligence to write thoughtful, informative posts about the issues of the day. My fallback position has always been to rant about politics. But now that the Howard government is gone, there's nothing to laugh or rant at anymore. Whatever else I'll say about the Howard government, it was a rich source of humour and creativity. I was discussing this with Chas* the other evening. As he said, "Who are we supposed to make fun of now - Joel Fitzgibbon? No one even knows who that is!" It's easy to be funny when you're angry. Sure, we can make jokes about Rudd's smug nerdiness, but it's not quite the same. The same thing happens in America - can there be a deeper vein of humour to tap than Bush? (And I use the word "deep" advisedly). What will happen if Obama wins the election? Once the euphoria dies down, will John Stewart be, eventually, out of