Wednesday, April 11, 2007

And One More Makes Ten

John Roskam, executive director of the Institue of Public Affairs, has produced an article about the ABC which appears in today's Age. It begins:

The Federal Government's new media laws came into effect last week - and the sky didn't fall in. Australians haven't been reduced to having only one newspaper to buy, and one television station to watch. In all likelihood, the practical changes produced by the laws will be minimal.

Did I read the rest? Yes I did, though I was strongly disinclined to. Roskam makes his own bias and his opinion of those who disagree with him - those who might answer "Not yet John, but give it time mate, give it time" - blatantly obvious. It's a good predictor of what he has to say about the ABC and the media in general and he doesn't disappoint.

It's not Roskam, or the IPA specifically, I've decided not to be buggered with - it's any writer (blogger or columnist) who opens a post or an article that way. It's boring. You want to convince me you've got something interesting to say? Don't start out by telling me my opinions are idiotic.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ten, Sorry, Nine Things I Just Can't Be Buggered Posting About Right Now

  1. Anything that Mirko "no punishment is enough for the violence perpetrated to the laws of logic by civil libertarians and lawyer groups who campaigned for [David Hicks] release" Bagaric gets published in the fish-wrappers. In matters of moral philosophy, this bloke isn't even a dilettante's bootstrap.

  2. The sad fact that all the major dailies in Australia now fall into two categories - the sewer press and the "perched precariously on the edge of the kerb sliding towards the gutter" press. Stuff it.

  3. The crap state of free-to-air television these days.

  4. Anything published by that Peter Saunders bloke who works for the CIS.

  5. Anything written by Keith Windschuttle. Like his latest article in Quadrant, where once again, he gets stuck into the shortcomings of academic historians. It reminds me of Orwell's remarks, in The Road to Wigan Pier on the "mistaken Communist tactic of sabotaging democracy, i.e. sawing off the branch you are sitting on..."

    I suppose it's possible that PP McGuiness' editorship of Quadrant is really the last step of "the Left's long march through the institutions" and that PeePee and Keith are part of some secret cabal using Quadrant as a vehicle to recruit "useful idiots". If that's their cunning little plan, I'd have to say they've well and truly screwed the pooch, run through the entire Karma Sutra with the family cat and it's time for the budgie and the kid's hamster to get nervous.

  6. Anything else that gets published in Quadrant.

  7. Anything Julie Bishop has to say on the subject of teachers.

  8. Anything Kevin Donnelly has to say on the subject of education.

    When it comes to the "Education Wars" I'm going over the hill and I won't be back until I've caught up on Ivan Illich and that Summerhill bloke.

  9. Bloody conservative bloggers and columnists. Zeppo Bakunin keeps telling me off for wasting my time with them - he reckons it's a complete waste of brainpower. When we have these discussions, I usually stump him by asking who, on the conservative side of commentary, he'd consider worthy of my attention.

    But he's right, damn it. John Ray (JR at a Western Heart) is so hard up for ideas these days that he's moved on from habitual self-plagiarism to plagiarising the words of other conservatives and using their ideas as a soapbox from which he can proclaim his own superior understanding of the Left. And the one or two conservative bloggers I have kept a casual eye on over the past year are on track to the same kind of self-caricature.
How long I'll feel this way tomorrow is anyone's guess. You could always run a sweepstakes on it, if you're so inclined.

Alternatively, someone might like to sponsor me to refrain from writing about these things at a dollar a day, with proceeds going to my favourite charity Medicins Sans Frontiers.

As an alternative to that, I'm prepared to consider the odd blogging challenge, assuming that we can come to some suitable financial arrangement that involves some, or all, of the readies going to the aforesaid organisation*. Now that's blogwhoring.

By the way, commenting is another matter entirely. Just thought it a good idea to make that quite clear.

* MSF's cut of any commission fee will be a minimum of $AUD 50. My cut will be a minimum of $AUD 0 and a maximum of $AUD 100 (in the unlikely event that the fee gets up around four figures - $100 being 10% of $1,000). I still have a few details to nut out. So hold your horses for a couple of days (that goes for the sponsored non-bloggingthing too).

Easter Wrap-Up, Like

So, 'ow were your Easter? Happily unproductive, I 'ope - gets a bit of a grind otherwise, d'n't it? All them responsibilities to't nation's economy an't state and national Ruperts goin' on at y'r about what y'r s'posed to think all't time.

I 'a'n't 'ad a bad weekend me sen. Got a new toy Thursd'y. 'T were hand-me-down Windows box. Managed to buy cheap, end-o'-line ADSL modem off web too. Wi' luck, that'll be delivered later in't week.

Meanwhile, I've divided me time, in roughly equal measure, between hookin' grunty new Windows box on't floor by' t desk to't grunty owd Linux box on't floor by't desk an' settin' round bein' an owd grumpy drawers. Give or take a couple o' times when I were a bit of a mardy pants about one o't' cock-ups that 'appened while I were workin' on't PCs like. Oh, an' I've wasted a bit o't time on th'Internet an' all, puttin' up blog posts.

Well, that's enough o' th'owd d'motic. I'll bet y'r reet sick of it be now.

There are no ratings over Easter - apparently - which means the free-to-air stations fill their schedules with repeats of old crap, rather than this year's brand new crap. So we had a chance to catch up on spooks and I got a chance - while comrade Bakunin was out of the house - to take a look at one of the two DVDs I was lent recently. If I can find a way to do some frame capture, there's at least one photoblog in the first DVD. If not, I'll have to tackle the subject another way.

As for old grumpy drawers, here - well, besides the crap TV situation, he had no shortage of things to moan about. You should hear him go on about "bloody Phillips head screws" and the crap design of PCs. From the outside they look boring - which is fine, there's nothing wrong with a plain looking, utilitarian machine. It's when you open the buggers up that you see the problem; on the inside, they're a lot like the steam traction engines of the nineteenth century. The latter were the topic of that second DVD. It's narrated by a steam traction engine buff. It was his comments on the way they were developed and improved that suggested the bizarre analogy.

And that's it for the enigmatic moustache twirling. I'll bugger off again now.

Among My Souvenirs

One of the things that Helga and I found while we were going through those boxes of old unwanted papers, was an old Herald banner that caught my eye one winter evening when I was walking to Flinders Street Station to catch the train home from work. The next day, on my morning break, I walked round to the newsagency where I'd seen it displayed, and asked if I could have it. The newsagent thought that was a bit of an odd request, but he was happy to hand it over.

I've just done a hunt around the house, to see if I brought it home with me - no luck, so it probably went into the recycle bin. A pity, that, because it's just occurred to me that it was quite a valuable bit of ephemera and might have brought a few readies in if I sold it on E-Bay. Here's a quick mock-up:


Thinking about it today, I got to wondering whether Muslims would be considered halal, or haram - and what about infidels?

Ten Things That Just Ain't Worth Reading About

  1. What the typical man tells you the typical woman wants.
  2. What the typical man tells you the typical woman should want.
  3. What any individual man tells you the typical woman wants.
  4. What any individual man tells you the typical woman should want.
  5. What the typical woman tells you the typical woman wants.
  6. What any individual woman tells you women should want.
  7. What really inept sociological research tells you the typical woman wants.
  8. What really inept sociological research tells you the typical woman should want.
  9. What any credulously uncritical reader of inept sociological research tells you about what the typical woman wants.
  10. What any credulously uncritical reader of inept sociological research tells you about what the typical woman should want.