Sunday, August 31, 2008

An extraordinary sequence of photos, here, details an unwelcome intrusion into the usually mellow, leaf munching, 20 hour napping, day of a koala bear, in South Australia's Happy Valley.

You Will Believe That A Koala Bear Can Fly...

Go Here For The Whole Thing

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ozzy Blizzarded

Between 1987 and 1996, I wrote about a thousand stories, reviews, columns for Australian newspapers and the music press and a bunch of magazines. Most of the stories and interviews were about hard rock and heavy metal, my main addiction.

I recently found a file of the original versions of a few dozen of these stories, hard copies I thought were long lost. The original, first drafts were far longer, more detailed, and more alive, than a double page spread in the West Australian or On The Street could hold. Comparing the originals to the published versions, I've discovered I approached the original writing with far more energy and enthusiasm than I did the editing, where I'd have to lose half or more of a story to fit the word count required for the Herald Sun, or Metal Masters magazine.

No blogs back then to run the long versions on, not like now.

So here's the first of probably a few dozen old pieces I'm going to put up in the next few months. Nostalgia and a need to archive drives me to transcribe these stories from the typewrittered originals, lest they be lost.

This is Ozzy Osbourne, September, 1991 :
Ozzy sighs when he reveals he doesn’t remember anything much about the 16 straight hours Black Sabbath spent in a studio, when Ozzy was only 21, laying down a whole album of songs, live, most songs finished in one take. He also doesn't remember what is now seen by Sabbath addicts as the magical hour when the band needed an extra song to fill out the second album, and came up with Paranoid right there in the studio. Much of it was improvised, the immediately classic riffs and lyrics pulled from a river of beer and dope.

“The funny thing about Black Sabbath being a part of history,” Ozzy says, “is we never knew what the fuck we were about. I never, ever thought we were very good, to be honest."


"I mean Iron Man and Paranoid were good riffs, but we weren’t a great band. We were always fucked up on drugs and booze. The whole thing is actually a hit of a haze to me….

"Anything bad that happened we never took seriously because we just went off to the pub and got pissed again….”

Another big sigh, a shrug. “We missed out on a lot of reality.”


But Ozzy doesn’t want you to get him wrong on his opposition to alcohol and drugs.

It’s for a reason related more to his work, the upcoming world tour, than to a looming tower of regrets for having had so many good times when he was younger.

He doesn’t want to be a role model for anybody.

“Do whatever the fuck you like.”

Ozzy considers this statement for a moment.

“Do what you wanna do as long as you’re enjoying it. If it becomes a problem, then go and get some fuckin’ help. There’s a ton of help.”

Ozzy raises a hand to scratch his face. He misses. He fingers tremble.

“This is where I kinda get pissed off in the respect that just because I was an alcoholic drug addict and I cleaned up my act…” Ozzy is starting to shout now, it’s good, “what gives me the right to tell you not to do it? You are you and I am me. If I worked in a steel mill, and I went up the foreman and told him he shouldn’t drink, he’d tell me to go and fuck myself.

“I’m not a politician. People have always drunk and people will always drink, and people will always die of liver disease due to alcohol, or kill themselves in a car wreck or murder somebody, you ain’t gonna stop it…”
Go Here To Read The Full Story

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How Long Has This Dead Pilot Been Hanging In A Tree?

The moss covered skeletonn may be an Australian, American or Japanese pilot, one of the many lost in the jungles of Papua New Guinea during World War 2.

If true, then he has been suspended in the tree, still locked into his seat, for more than six decades. Another lost body found from that appalling war.

Sometime in the new year, the body will likely be identified, and surviving relatives will be contacted. Someone who has lived most of a lifetime wondering what happened to this man may soon find out the truth.

Hikers say they discovered the skeleton hanging from the jungle canopy halfway along the 96-kilometre historic World War II path (the Kokoda Track).

Guide David Collins from Melbourne's No-Roads trekking company was there.

"It's swinging like somebody caught in a tree and that's when you can really see the cabling and it's the exact shape of a body, same size, everything, but it's just covered in moss," he said.

"It's exactly what it looks like, just somebody caught in a harness, in a seat harness."

He said the the tree with the skeleton had been marked with plastic to help furture investigators find it again.

The remoteness of the site and the difficulties involving in locating and working with anything in the thick jungle canopy mean that it could be months before any identification of the skeleton is made.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rudd : I Have A Narrative

12.30pm : The prime minister speaks. He has a story to tell. A story of Australia, that is the Australia to come. The Australia he wants to make into a reality.

Kevin Rudd has finally found The Narrative. Or so we are told. He's going to speak for almost an hour. It's going to be hard to stay focused. There is carpet that needs to be Dysoned.

I will be breaking for coffee, and water.

12.32 : Why does the little bell to summon journalists attention at the National Press Club look like an oil derrick.

something about a baby...his suit...Hawaii?...Julia Gillard is going to wear a stupid shirt?..."it should be shared around"....his desk...dive shop as HQ..."don't fear, journalists"...."nowhere to run, nowhere to hide here in Canberra, Lachlan Harris knows where you hide" chilling...

Rudd winds up his stand-up routine. It's a grisly death. Stand-up comedians know this feeling, when jokes commit suicide as they leap from the lips. The tomb silence, the nervous laughter. Rudd is utterly unfazed.

And, oh shit, here comes The Policy....Incredible, I've lost track and all interest in only four seconds.

12.36 : The world economy has gone to shit, blame America for their insatiable lust for consumer shit and Brady Bunch scale housing for small families...negative quarters of economic growth...."economic challenges"..."decade of policy neglect"...Ow, take that former Howard government. You've been sassed.

"maximum downward pressure on inflation...A Rudd riff - "(The Howard government left behind) the second highest interest rates in the developed world..." "10 interest rate rises in a row"...."highest inflation in sixteen years...." The chorus is Blame Howard. Oh yes, we are going to hear these stats A LOT.

"assaulting the surplus"...Like it, very catchy.

12.40 : "No More Blame Game" let's blame the Liberals! "Liberal squandered mining boom on consumption"..."a tradition that recognises limitations of both market and government", he's talking about Labor..."challenges"..."fairer Australia"....challenges...21st century challenges...climate change. Challenges."

Global power, investment, innovation, wealth shifts to Asia region. "Energy security"...Thats why we're enhancing our ADF...threats - water security, FOOD SECURITY, more climate changery...."Armed forces need the resources they need.." ???....We don't hate America, yet, but we want to Love Up Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan...Future shaping, don't leave it up to events for the shaping of futures, we must pre-emptively future shape, now....

Mining will still pay our bills, for decades to come. Thank lots of figures on growth...

there is a bird in a tree outside staring at me

"Education Revolution!"....funds...".nation building infrastructure plan..." "increasing demand"...."struggling for training, work, dental, access to housing...." "family breakdown"...."weakening of community ties"..."social inclusion."

A neighbour is playing what sounds like an old KC & The Sunshine Band song. I fight the urge to go searching for lyrics to old KC & Sunshine Band lyrics.

"challenges"...."new way of governing"...."take Australians with us"....where?

Screw this, I'm breaking for coffee....

12.51 : Lots of good news on education. "arbitrary public league table"...."three central pillars of reform in schools"....great news, reform and more money for education. Make it happen...

Horrific revelation, Rudd is almost impossible to satirise. Unless you love Dilbert comics, and thought The Office didn't spend enough time making jokes about paperwork and filing.

12.55 : The room of journos and Labor front benchers look like they're sitting in a board room meeting. A very, very boring board room meeting. A numbing torrent of important numbers, stats, detail and promises wash over them, but all delivered with the enthusiasm and intensity of unbuttered toast.

"Greater Transparency"

"We should not tolerate underperformance." That doesn't sound good. School merging. "Tough action is necessary if we are to achieve real change." "Tackle Underachievement."

So schools must tackle underachievement while not tolerating underperformance.

Deploying resources.

This carpet is filthy.

Did I miss The Narrative part?

I must have. "This is serious business we are talking about today."

I will not tolerate underachievement in my underperformance.

RuddSpeak could be turned into a self-help manual. But you would need to read a motivational book first to get motivated enough to read it.


Suddenly, he's finished.

"I thank you."

The cream of Australia's parliamentary media now get to ask questions. This will be exciting. Rudd's going to get hammered. What about your promises to keep fuel and grocery prices low? What about rising poverty? How many jobs will you be willing to sacrifice to fight climate change?

First question....Education, league tables, feet voting.

Rudd makes no apology for that, that being the last point. Whatever it was.

"agreed standards." "Question to the part of the question." "Arbitrary national league."

"socio-economic profile."

"argy bargy."

Commonwealth landing.

Another Question. Tax, consumers, Woodside....gas impact...blame Nelson? Your choice.

Rudd is Captain Obvious : "No one likes getting a tax when they haven't had one before."

This is nowhere near as much fun as I thought it would be. Making Rudd funny is fucking hard work. Brendan Nelson and Alexander Downer wrote their own material, reams of it, every day. You barely had to search to find the Gold. With Rudd, you're waving a hand-held metal detector over a thousand acre field, searching for a bottlecap.

Another Question. Journo wants to know how, day to day, people are better off now then they were before Rudd took over. A decent question, but Rudd begins to answer so quickly he seems to have rehearsed it all in his sleep.

"Pathways to the future".

"Bread and butter concerns" "Bread and butter responses"

Broaden your RuddSpeak. Even the "sourdough and olive spread" crowd are concerned.

"shirking from argy bargy."

"if some people walk with their feet, that is exactly what the system is supposed to do."

I don't think Rudd even knows what that means.

More tackling of various things educational.

Another Question. Mark Riley has a dig about how much Rudd will have to spend on the Education Revolution, which appears to have become vastly more ambitious during the course of the Press Club address. "How much will it cost?"

Rudd's answer : unions, provisions for funding over forward estimates...

The bird is back in the tree. It's watching me again as it eats a bug.

Apparently, there will be no more handing over of blank cheques on education. "Conditional negotiations on quality education benchmarks." I smartly hid all the sharp knives before subjecting myself to this.

Rudd speaks in word chunks. "Into. Bigtime. Literally."

He's been reading. Too. Many. Blogs. Clearly.

1.14 : Another question. Is FuelWatch doomed? Christ, the fucking tedium.

I could finish this carpet before Rudd finishes his answer.

"lower tax to GDP ratio...." Rudd's relentless answer is attacked by a few "uhhhs" which appear to cause him mild surprise, or shock, but only for half a second. He quickly recovers. "A necessary fiscal discipline."

A grinding tsunami of numbers, cliches, statistics, action words, Rudd speak, the evolution of human language has hit a roadblock.

Another Question. Mathew Franklin from The Australian ups and looks ready to rip Rudd. "I like a bit of argy bargy, as well," Franklin says with a smug sneer. Rudd says, "I know. I've read your work." A subtle tightening of Franklin's face. Rudd managed to get a real laugh off him, from the other journos. Franklin mutters to his friend that Rudd is a "wiseguy". This will be a good question, please. Anything but education...

The question is on education. "...backing down to demands from the states...." The Fool. He gave Rudd the chance to ramble on about productivity, state vs commonwealth, additional payments, "structure of national policy politics" and how "we can't shirk this agenda anymore" or take the "heads in the sand" approach. A hopeless question.

1.21 : Michelle Gratten asks a question. Or three. "Is there a case still for making the fall in tarrifs recommended by the Bracks report?"

Here we go. "Slowing in growth across the economy"....

What a wasted effort this was. I should have known better than to think Rudd would supply anything even close to Comedy Gold. There is nothing, nothing...

Rudd's monotone voice drifts into background fog. My brain is so bored by what it's now hearing it allows me to listen through Rudd to the sounds of trees growing outside. There is mercy only in that it will finish soon...

And then,

"I'm A Free Trader. Always Have Been, Always Will Be."

Rudd just outed himself as a Free Trader. It sounds far more exciting than it actually is, but it is one of the few moments in the whole hour when Rudd seems genuinely excited. Just for a moment, and then its back to business as usual.

"stretch budgets further"...."engineered tariffs"...."innovative directions which are consistent with the nation's other priorities." "drive the family budget further."

1.24 - Another question. More education, state vs commonwealth. "What do you say to parents that might be alarmed" should schools close?

Rudd is ready...."agreements on the ground"..."outline clearly the criteria which may lead in that direction"..."if you're a bunch of mums and dads, and you see through the transparency measures I mentioned before...." "practical hard disciplines"..."for the sake of the kids"

1.26 : Another question. More fucking education. What is wrong with these people? They have no other questions, about anything? Even Rudd looks bored now. He hits play, and he talks, his voice drops and rises only slightly, like an empty boat on a mostly calm sea, back and forth, back and forth. Al Qaeda will soon learn this technique of speaking that Rudd has already mastered, so when they are captured by the Americans and renditioned, they can casually bore the interrogators into releasing them, within days.

"...transparency reporting arrangements"...."non-compliance with the basis of the agreement"...."We're not going to take a backward step."

1.28 : "Consultation...consultation...consultation...." Rudd actually said that word three times in a row. Is this his personal mantra? The one word he chants during meditation, instead of 'Ohm'?

"...Quantitative Investment"...."Qualitative Disciplines"....

"Human Capital"

"....prosecute this with full vigour, knowing full well there's going to be blowback on the way through..."

The ABC mercifully cuts the live feed.

So what was The Narrative? The mildly anticipated Rudd story of Australia's future that will carry us through this new century and see the nation rise only higher, to only greater achievements?

Rudd wants Australia to have the most skilled, best educated workforce in the world. That's the golden ticket for surviving, and rising, in the New Asian Century.

Education. Process. Procedure. Review. Reform.

And that's about it. Throw in some stuff about climate change, rebuilding infrastructure and using the Army to save drowning multitudes if climate change gets apocalyptical and it's done.

Review, Reform.

Perhaps this is why Rudd manages to poll so highly, routinely, in 'better PM' ratings. He seems to be nothing but a tediously dedicated public servant, thrust into the highest office in the land.

Australians mostly don't want to know every detail of what Rudd is doing, they just want him to do what they want all politicians to do. Shut up, do the job, get the job done, and deliver the bad news when necessary.

Pundits have repeatedly made idiots of themselves predicting when the 'Rudd Honeymoon' will end. They've been at that one for almost two years now. Rudd's popularity simply must fall soon, indeed plunge, but they don't.

Outside of the daily need for stories to fill newspaper pages, news websites and the evening news, Rudd hasn't had any real complete disasters. Not on the scale of stuffing up the delivery home of an Australian soldier killed in Iraq, for example. Or lying to the Australian people about not having committed soldiers to fighting in Iraq, when the truth had been known for months. Or locking up legitimate refugee children in desert camps until they're desperate enough to smash their heads against concrete walls.

And as for the 'control freak' tag, that has been exposed as guff by Rudd himself, having left the government in the hands of Julia Gillard for some 20% of his time in office.

Australians like their prime ministers to be boring, so they can ignore them. They like them to at least sound like they have everything under control. But they also don't expect miracles, and can be patient when they know changes are underway.

Review. Reform.

The Rudd Narrative remains unclear. So let's try constructing one from the above :

"I'm a Free Trader. I like a bit of argy bargy. We must make a Quantitative Investment in Human Capital through Qualiative Disciplines. Consultation. Consultation. Consultation. Review. Reform. Argy bargy."

Why are you still reading this?

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Look Back At APEC : The "Violent Riots" That Didn't Happen

Something was going to happen during the APEC conference in Sydney, one year ago next week. The police were convinced that protests were going to turn into bloodbaths of frenzied rioting and looting, they said as much in press conferences during a month of increasingly crazed claims, leading up to APEC, of what they insisted was absolutely going to happen.

But nothing much happened at all. There was violence. But it came from the police.

There was a lot of police, and not much for them to do, besides stand in long lines and tell old people they couldn't cross a city street and would have to walk all the way across Hyde Park to get to where they wanted to be, which was right there, on the other side of the street.

There was a ski-masked collection of supposed 'National Anarchists', who didn't seem to grasp the inherent contradiction in their very name. The media grew impatient waiting for them to senselessly kick in the windows of the closest fast food or coffee franchise, but a motley crew of anti-Bush protesters boxed them in, while grisled old communists mocked them mercilessly. I'll come back to all that later in the week, and do some retro on the stories of that month.

But for now, to celebrate the one year anniversary of the $300 million APEC : This Is What Your City Would Look Like If You Were Living In A Police State, some ultra-security porn :

The nozzles they are holding are for chemical weapons

All images by Darryl Mason

Flashback : Police On Use Of Brutal Tactics During APEC : "That's The Way We Do Business Now."

Police Declared Anti-Bush Marches Would Be "Full Scale Riots", Four Days Before They Were Held

Dear Jerkoff,

A reader (via e-mail) did not enjoy, nor appreciate, recent orphaned baby whale coverage on this blog.
Dear Jerkoff,

I read yor dribble about Colin the whale and its obvious you are a heartless piece of shit.

The good thing is that there are probably very little people who read your crap - evidence by nil or very few comments to your shithouse stories. I just happened to stumble on it by accident and will never visit it again. The name of your stupid site is also dumb.

Its probably because there are so many arseholes in the world like you that, that the caring and compassionate people are more concerned with a starving baby whale, rather than people (who are complete strangers) who have died in plane crash etc and why the story of Colin the whale has taken precedent over other news stories.

Every day we hear all the other stories about human suffering and plight but it is extremely rare that a baby whale seperated from its mother is on our door step.

Once again the arsehole powers that be did nothing and took the easy option of killing the baby whale while they even botched that.
The stories that inspired this reader to write such an awesome tirade :

Orphaned, Dying Baby Whale To 11 Metre Yacht : "Will You Be My Mummy Now?"

Kill The Orphaned Baby Whale, Do It Now

2028 : Once Beloved 'Baby Whale' That Never Went Home Now Regarded By Most Sydney Beach Goers As "Monster Nuisance"

They Killed Colin

I did care. That's why I didn't want to see Colin, who turned out to be Collette, endure a days longer, far more painful, lingering death from starvation.

It seemed obvious from the beginning that we could not save this creature.

But it was a fascinating and rare event. And perhaps a test.

A massive, yet still infant, giant of the ocean arrives on the doorstep of a major world city, completely helpless.

We can throw robots at distant planets, but can we save the baby whale?

In four days, we couldn't come up with a solution. The scale of saving, and thereby, adopting a baby whale for the first year of its life was beyond us.

Thousands of litres a week of specially developed baby whale formula. A pool the size of a small town for the whale to swim in, for its first year or more. Collette would then have been more than 10 metres long and porking out at more than 25,000 kilos. And then there's the krill.

Most of the surface of our planet lies deep beneath the oceans and seas. We have barely even begun to explore this part, the larger part, of our world.

A humpback whale, like Collette, can swim halfway around the globe, every year, and can dive deeper than we can climb. Male humpbacks sing seduction songs double the length of Guns N' Roses ballads. They can live off their fat all winter, freeing up time to hang around whale watching boats, or roaming off our beaches and coastlines, making us love them even more.

Making us want to save them even more.

They can catch their food by blowing bubbles for fuck's sake. It's obvious who the better adapted species is.

But the humpback whale was almost wiped out existence, through hunting, in the middle of the 2oth century. The invention of the explosive harpoon made escaping with a few spears in the back impossible.

There's an estimated 80,000 humpback whales cruising oceans today.

We have a remarkable and rare love for whales, and ancient legends and art show that we have viewed them with awe for tens of thousands of years.

When the killfest ended, we had speared and harpooned, and then explosively harpooned, an estimated 250,000 (but likely far more) humpback whales. A worldwide ban became reality in the mid-1960s.

The whales are, however, making a comeback.

We now treat humpback whales with the kind of respect and care and public devotion we usually only reserve for other humans, or at least pampered-beyond-reason cats.

Migaloo is a white humpback whale, who famously roams the east coast of Australia most years. Migalooo has been granted a 500 metre exclusion zone when he swims by. Humans are not allowed, by law, to come within half a kilometre of this massive creature.

Now that is presidential treatment.

The followers of Green Jesus teachings, in this age of enviro-biblical apocalyptic imagery, will see the arrival of that baby whale as a sign, a test, a challenge, one that we failed because we couldn't save this little desperate miracle of nature.

But nature is cruel. Have you ever seen a huge black crow peck and then eat the eye of a shrieking lamb? This is behaviour we have deemed, morally, to be cruel.

For an abandoned animal to die a cruel death is natural. Parents walk, or swim away, the infant dies from hunger, exposure, or perhaps heartbreak.

We hate this, it kills us.

Of all the hours of the magnificent, majestic 'Planet Earth' series by David Attenborrough, it is the few minutes of a lost baby elephant running the wrong way in search of its mother, as dusty winds consume it, that haunts most who've seen it.

The passionate desire of so many people to want to save Colin (Collette, or 'Humpy', my choice) came from being human. Beyond nature.

To intervene, to want to save the helpless of another species, an entire species in fact, is something uniquely human. It is at the core of our species.

That the baby whale died was no epic failure on our part.

If it was a test, as the Green Jesus may one day claim, we passed because did not let it starve to death. We did not let nature take its course. We intervened, and ended it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nelson's New Strategy : Silence

Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson is still polling like Ivan Milat, despite the Rudd government providing a heaving banquet of opportunities (FuelWatch, GroceryWatch, Rudd's World Tour : Redux, the Carbon Tax) for him to publicly shred PM Rudd (or at least Treasurer Wayne Swan) and to mock the government's first eight months in office.

But almost every time Brendan Nelson opens his mouth and begins speaking to the media, he ends up saying something that further instills the irresistable desire in almost every Australia to hit the mute button, or to throw the radio out the window, or to crash the car because you haven't mastered the steering wheel volume controls yet and you'd rather take your chances sailing through a guard rail into a mist-filled valley than listen to Nelson talk about old people he's met who are so poor they can't afford hot water for their tea, thanks to Kevin Rudd, and have been reduced to sucking tea bags left to heat for a while in the sun.

So Brendan Nelson, according to news reports, has decided to adopt a new, highly experimental and rather thrilling strategy to win back public support and hold onto the job that Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Costello don't yet want :

We should all wish him the best of luck.

What awesomely surreal press conferences this could lead to.

Nelson steps forward, smiles and says nothing. The silent seconds tick by. A journalist jumps in, fires off her question, but Nelson doesn't reply. He just stands there. smiling. More questions come, still nothing from Nelson. The journalists confusion quickly turns to hostility as they realise Nelson is doing something they don't understand. It's too innovative. The questions and demands for him to say something, anything, only grow in number and volume the more Nelson says nothing.

When the journalists are exhausted, defeated, Nelson turns and walks away. Still smiling.

Suddenly Australia wants to know what this bizarre little man has to say for himself.

"What is he up to?" "Why won't he speak?" "What will he say when he does finally talk to us again?" "He still shits me, but I'm curious now he's clammed up, who is the man behind that smug grin?"

This could work for Nelson. Hell, why not? Nothing else has.

Friday, August 22, 2008

They Killed Colin

Orphaned Starving Baby Whale Media Freak Show Finally Ends

The abandoned, starving baby whale that won the hearts of many mildly interested Sydneysiders as it starved to death in Sydney Harbour has finally been killed.

But not before the NSW premier used the festive occasion to make a complete spectacle of himself :
NSW Iemma today agreed the outlook for the 4.5m humpback was "bleak".

"Our hearts are breaking with what's happening with baby Colin...."
It's a baby whale. Has the NSW premier spent a Friday night in a Sydney casualty unit lately? Human hearts breaking, everywhere.
"It's looking bleak, but every effort is being made."
It's a baby whale.
He said zoo and veterinary scientists were working to save Colin, while federal Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon had offered to mobilise defence force assets if required.
The sharks are already taking test bites out of Colin.
"The key here is, he's weakening, he's losing (the) strength to get him fed and (to) a pod that will care for him," Mr Iemma said.
For fuck's sake, Iemma, Man Up. You're the fucking premier of the state. And Colin is doomed.
"The chances are not good."
If the NSW premier uses the merciful killing of Colin to weep inconsolably in public, he must be replaced immediately.

Colin, the baby whale, has been given a far more merciful and humane death than the lingering, humiliating deaths hundreds of elderly Australians will be forced to endure this year. Some will starve to death for days longer than Colin did. Real people, not baby whales.

It was good to see that Channel 7 in particular had its news priorities right.

The countdown to Colin's dope-laden death led the evening news tonight. And rightly so.

The achingly pathetic plight of poor Colin was followed many minutes later by some fuss about a monstrous plane crash in somewhere called Spain that only saw about 150 people burned to death in a fire tornado of aviation fuel.

The sharks are still nibbling away at Colin. We're told this during a Colin update, halfway through the evening news. Some children in a nearby apartment block can be heard crying.

Counselling for children distressed by Colin's passing may need to be sought, and counselling too, perhaps, for the slightly older children who are still trying to understand how a slowly dying animal, and the distressed locals who want it to suffer more while scientists rush to perfect a comically large fake whale tit to feed him, can be deemed more newsworthy than one of the worst plane crashes of the year.

"Mummy, why did those nasty meany mean National Parks & Wildlife people kill baby Colin?"
"Well, sometimes animals, even little baby whales, get sick, and sometimes we can't look after
those animals, no matter how hard we try. Sometimes sick animals die, darling. And sometimes when animals are very sick, sick like Colin the baby whale was, we have to help them to go to sleep so they don't suffer in pain any more. Do you understand?"
"Yes. Like Blacky. My fat dog. He got sick, didn't he? He had to go to sleep because he was sick..."
" Blacky..."
"Colin looked sick. And he was hungry too. Blacky ate that whole bowl of food real fast, remember that mummy? Just before Blacky got sick that day when I was at school and you had him put to sleep? Remember that, mummy? Two days before we moved to this new house?"
"Will Colin's ghost haunt Sydney Harbour?"
"I don't....We can get a new dog, you know. A small one this time."
"Yeah. I'm gonna call it Colin!"
"We can think of something better, later."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kill The Orphaned Baby Whale, Do It Now

2028 : Once Beloved 'Baby Whale' Now Despised By Sydney Beach Dwellers As Monster Nuisance

More Soul Crushing Images Of A Starving Baby Whale Here

Time is running out for the orphaned baby whale that adopted a yacht as its replacement mother, and has now been mercilessly named 'Colin' by Sydney tabloid media.

If 'Colin' the infant humpback whale doesn't find a new whale pod to look after him soon, and soon will soon mean just a matter of hours, Sydney will give the world the media spectacle of a impossibly cute baby whale starving to death in the world's most beautiful harbour. While some of the best minds in the country are devoted to building from scratch a comically large fake whale tit.

'Colin' could soon be beaching himself at Bondi, not the worse place in the world to die, but not good news for the tourist economy. "Oh God, Bondi? Isn't that where they let them little baby whale starve to death?"

There's little time left. It must be done, and done soon. Forget the big fake whale tit, finish Colin off now. Don't let that bitch goddess Nature send some sharks to tear the poor little fucker to bits, still alive, whistling and clicking hopelessly for help.

It's time to Man Up. The baby whale must be killed.


Before it suffers anymore.

Recent 'Colin' news here and some 'Sharks Want To Eat Colin' news here and the beginnings of an International Save Colin From A Natural Death Coalition rumbles here.

UPDATE : Can the Australian Defence Force save the dying baby whale? The basic idea is to float the baby whale on a huge inflatable bladder out to open sea in the vague hope that a passing pod of whales will adopt him, and more importantly that he will find a feed. Absurd.

Colin hasn't had a decent feed, it appears, since Friday, or earlier. Letting this thing starve to death when he could be put out of his misery is cruel. Even a jackal wouldn't let an animal die in front of it for four or five days. Why aren't dedicated animal rights lovers campaigning to end this?

Kill Colin. Kill him now.

BTW. The big fake whale tit appears to be a non-starter. Nobody seems to know exactly how to mix up a blend of infant humpack whale formula.

UPDATE : Good Christ, Piers Akerman agrees with me. I've changed my mind. Save Colin! Save Colin!

UPDATE : By using the new WayForward internet archive, we have managed to pull a story relating to 'Humpy' that is circulating online, and through iBrain, in August, 2028 :
The 20th anniversary of the arrival in Sydney Harbour of Humpy, the 'miracle baby whale', fell last weekend, but there were few celebrations.

Humpy's days as an iconic Sydney tourist attraction are long gone. His twice yearly visits, when he prowls the harbour for months at a time, disrupting ferries and shipping, and regularly beaching himself at Bondi, Manly and Cronulla if the feeding teams don't show up.

"We should go back to calling him 'Colin' again," said one resident of North Bondi, "because that's what he's become. The old mate who keeps hanging around and doesn't know when to go home."

Residents along Sydney's rapidly shrinking beach fronts hope each year it will not be their locale where the massive whale decides to make his temporary home. Humpy's whale songs, once so beloved by coastal dwellers, are now deemed to be such a late night interruption that some claim property prices have fallen noticeably, all thanks to Humpy.

"I hated whale songs when I was married to a Silence Therapist," said Manly resident, "I loathe that noise now like burning feet. We had him off the beach, and on the beach, for three years in a row. It was like, 'Oh great, he's back. Again. When's he going to fuck off somewhere else with all that stupid beeping and whistling and clacking all night long."

"It's like having a noisy neighbour who won't turn the music down," said Bondi resident Juno Flowglass. "Well, how in fuck do you tell a fully grown whale swimming ten metres off your balcony to turn the music down at 4am?"

Humpy was an abandoned baby whale, a few months old, who swam into Sydney Harbour back in 2008, and infamously adopted a yacht as its replacement mother.

Humpy was starving to death, and was saved from the brutal hatred of The Nature by human intervention.

The baby whale was nursed back from utter nothingness, around the clock, by a teams of volunteers, who chugged formula into him. The baby whale vigils, the compact car sized feeding nipple, the strange week when human wet nurses floated in Sydney Harbour offering full breasts to the humpback (who was then known as 'Colin') quickly, became big international news, and 'Colin's' fame reached every corner of Planet One World, One Dream.

The George Miller movie, 'We Must Kill That Baby Whale', starring Russell Crowe as the spear fisherman who wants to kill the starving whale, for what he claims are humanitarian reasons (while secretly harbouring an insatiable lust for fresh baby whale meat) and Nicole Kidman as the scientist who invents and builds, in a tense 24 hours, the world's largest fake whale tit, went on to gross more than $1 billion, winning seven Oscars in 2010.

That year, Colin's fame was at its peak, and the humpback whale was granted official status by environment minister Peter Garrett as "a National Icon of International Recognition For Purposes Of Heritage And The Protection Of Ocean Dwellers Both Large And Small, Forever."

The Australian Tourism Industry lobbied, successfully, for 'Colin's' name to be changed, however, and a public vote offered up 'Humpy' as the most popular new name. The tourism industry caused a brief flap in the media after an official stated, "You can't market anything called 'Colin.' That's mission impossible."

But after 18 non-stop months of around the clock caring and feeding of 'Humpy', whale experts declared the rapidly growing whale was healthy, and more than fit enough to go and find his own food.

"Humpy's just being a lazy little shit," said a Friends Of Humpy member in early 2010. "He's not starving. We clean out the fucking fish markets for him three times a week. He's a whale. Hasn't he got somewhere else to be? Secretly, most of us are wishing he'd just piss off. We've got other stuff to save."

Today, Humpy remains an officially listed National Icon, but his popularity plummets with every return visit.

"We should have killed it when it was a still just a little bastard," said a Cronulla resident.

"Humpy beaches himself because he thinks it's fun. I'm totally convinced this is what he's up to. He's laughing at us, running around trying to dig him out, pouring water over him for two days, stuffing all that fish and squid in his mouth, and he just lays there. He doesn't even try to get back in the water. He's loving the attention."

Back in 2008, crowds gathered on Sydney beaches to hold up signs demanding someone 'Save Colin! Now', but each time he returns to the place where his life was once saved, the now openly despised whale would be more likely to see signs shouting 'Go Away, Humpy, And Don't Come Back!'

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why Won't Someone Crucify Big Mo On A Missile For Art's Sake?

Gerard Henderson visits a modern art gallery, shuffles inside and immediately doesn't like what he sees :
Step inside the MCA and there, hanging from the ceiling, is an artwork titled A civilizacao occidental e crista (Western Christian Civilisation) by the Argentinian Leon Ferrari - depicting a crucified Christ attached to a US F-107 fighter aircraft.

This is presented as a critique of Western civilisation.

But what about the double standard involved?
Henderson now wants art works expressing 'the alternative view' to be presented in galleries and museums to counter the inherent Evil Pagan Lefty bias on display whenever artists create just about anything. He has some ideas : artwork which showed the prophet Muhammad attached to, say, an Iranian missile.
Yes, exactly. Why not Buddha crucified on the space shuttle?

Henderson appears to have struck America-Hating, Evil Pagan Lefty Gold.
...left-wing alienation is alive and well and on show in contemporary Australia.
But then, damn, he starts going on about the menace of elderly Commies. Then World War I and how the Dardanelles slaughter of Australian soldiers (28,000 casualties) did not go down as the War-Hating Evil Pagan Lefties would have you believe. You tell 'em, Gerry :
Sure, the Dardanelles campaign was a military debacle. But it was devised with the best of intentions...
Aren't they all, Gerry? Aren't they all?
The contrast between the views of the alienated intelligentsia and the majority of Australians are seldom more evident than at times of international events.
Gerry's right. It should be Big Mo on an Iranian missile.
Corrections & Apologies

It pains me to admit to all you Evil Pagan Lefties that are now intravenously injecting latte as you read this, but I was wrong, and Andrew Bolt was right :
"An unhappy columnist who writes what seems to me a plea for help, and who confesses she is indeed in trouble, should not be kept in harness by a newspaper hoping to win extra sales from her growing despair."
Maybe mainstream media columnists with mental health issues should not be allowed to write professionally, and not simply because their ruthless bosses might be taking advantage of their illness by allowing them to publish all manner of twaddle and old wank for the entertainment of readers.

The Professional Idiot should step up to for a battery of psychiatric examinations immediately.

After all, as he repeatedly tells his readers, he is a top columnist with Australia's biggest selling daily newspaper and he also mind dumps into a blog that has had "one million hits this month" (but that would be last month when Bolt scored a three day link on the Drudge Report, which records 20 million views a day). He is influential. He gets through. He's utterly convinced me with his faultless argument.

With all the non-binge drinking resulting street violence and "stripped" children on display in obscure magazines, our society is clearly too fragile to survive the mentally ill writing for daily newspapers, particularly as columnists. That's what the Internet is for!

So The Professional Idiot should go first, to make sure he is mentally and emotionally fit to hold such awesome responsibility as writing a Melbourne Herald Sun newspaper column. We clearly can't afford to take any chances.

We need to know if Andrew Bolt is mentally competent to hold his current job, showing the same sort of concern he showed in once again using his expansive media exposure to push for the writer Catherine Denevy to be sacked from her job with The Age newspaper. Her exit from the Herald Sun's only competition has been part of the The Professional Idiot's agenda for some two years now.
Worried About Terrorism, Don't Care So Much About The War On Terror

Will Australians fear terrorism more under Kevin Rudd than they did under Howard?
The shift raises complications for Kevin Rudd because, while the electorate supports his withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq, it still wants Labor to retain the Howard-era laws to combat terrorism at home – a feeling at odds with the views of many Government MPs who want to tilt the scales of justice back toward personal liberty.

The Australian Election Study posed a new, more general question last year: “How concerned are you that there will be a major terrorist attack on Australian soil in the near future.”

Two out of three (65.7 per cent) said they were concerned.

Majority Of Australians Want Limits On Free Speech, Would Allow Homes To Be Searched Without A Warrant

The battering ram of fear mongering and rampant propaganda really does smash through :

A clear majority of voters believe freedom of speech should not extend to groups that are sympathetic to terrorists (56.8 per cent agreed with this proposition and only 23.2 per cent disagreed).

A smaller majority also said police should be allowed to search the houses of these people without a court order (50.5 per cent in favour versus 33.2 per cent opposed).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dying Baby Whale To Yacht : Will You Be My Mummy Now?

A month old baby whale swam into Sydney's Pittwater yesterday.

Where is its mother?

Nobody knows.

But the desperate little whale decided a yacht could be it's new mummy and apparently tried to suckle the hull, injuring itself.

The baby whale couldn't be coaxed back into open water, without its new mum leading the way. But the whale is running out of time.

Apparently you can't just send down a big bottle of formula with a nipple the size of a car to keep the baby whale alive. It needs to find its mother, or a new actual whale replacement mother very, very soon, and get feeding.

Prepare yourself for tears. This isn't a Disney movie, so there probably won't be a happy ending.

Watch The Baby Whale Seeking Comfort From An 11 Metre Yacht
'Oh, Shit. Did We Help Drive Her Crazy?'

We already know Andrew Bolt, The Professional Idiot, has no real sense of humour. He will join in with those who want to give "two fingers" to the Professionally Outraged, while his irony meter registers nothing. They're talking about Professionally Outraged people like you, you moron.

One of The Professional Idiot's favourite targets of his Professional Outrage, for at least two years, has been former stand-up comedian and professional comedy writer Catherine Deveny.

The Professional Idiot's not simply happy enough in feeding the paranoid 'Green Nazi' fantasies of his some of his most dedicated readers. He isn't content to merely dabble in blindingly obvious psychological media warfare tactics, with his constant sprinkling of the reaction words "rage", "hate" and "violence" all over stories he scratches out on his favoured targets. It's not enough to be the most prolific mainstream media distributor of fear and bigotry, as only the Professionally Outraged can do, Andrew Bolt now wants one of his favourite targets fired from her job, on the basis of unconfirmed gossip, when she may need that gig more than ever before :
"An unhappy columnist who writes what seems to me a plea for help, and who confesses she is indeed in trouble, should not be kept in harness by a newspaper hoping to win extra sales from her growing despair."
"Help Her, Don't Exploit Her" The Professional Idiot writes...Andrew Bolt is so sympathetic.

The spreading of mainstream media claims that a columnist for The Age is suffering bipolar disorder begins, of course, with "the equally sympathetic Tim Blair."

This is how sympathetic Tim's been towards Catherine Denevy, a writer whose work he has been stuffing his blogs with for years :

"Deveny’s tiring brain sometimes suggests that she relocate to where stupid people dwell..."

"For just one week every year, the high-pitched shrieking noise coming out of Melbourne is produced by something other than Catherine Deveny:"

"Catherine Deveny is an idea-resistant bigot."

"Catherine seems unbalanced enough to seek Keating-resembling facial modifications."

"The woman is insane."

A light sampling of the dozens of times Blair has used Catherine Deveny columns as the litter tray upon which his readers shit comments about her politics, her weight, her sex life, her face, her vagina. There's less of that kind of thing now Blair is blogging for the Daily Telegraph. His readers can't even swear at her, not like the old days when Blair was an independent blogger.

The Professional Idiot, naturally, has been just as enthusiastic as Blair in unloading general nastiness and twisted interpretations of what the 'possibly bipolar' columnist has had to say :

"It turns out that what impresses her most is abuse."

Here's The Professional Idiot suggesting Deveny be prosecuted for writing about Catholicism. And that was back in February, 2007. Andrew Bolt has been on his Fire Catherine Deveny mission ever since.

In April, The Professional Idiot devoted much space to how "Hateful" Catherine Deveny is, thoroughly proving how embarrassingly simple his concept of satire actually is, and ensuring that when anyone enters Catherine Denevy's name into Google, the second or third thing they see is Bolt's headline "Hateful Columnist". Whose children wouldn't love to see that kind of branding on their mother's search engine results?

Did Blair and Andrew Bolt not ever wonder if Catherine Deveny, a professional comedy writer, was taking the piss? Or are only blokes supposed to be that clever, or able to do that kind of thing so well that they could be fooled so monumnetally?

Now, just in case the already malicious gossip he and The Professional Idiot are spreading about Catherine Deveny, through the the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, turns out to be actually true - neither 'journalist' used the miracles of e-mail or the telephone to confirm the claims they've published - Blair announces he will lay off :
Deveny’s columns...are a frequent target here. No more. Assuming the above account is accurate...
Why just assume?

A commenter at Blair's nearly gags on the hypocrisy :
A day late and a dollar short Tim. Your contribution to Australian public life has been to make it more vicious, personal and psychologically destructive than it otherwise would have been.

You go beyond the forthright criticism or satire of other people’s ideas or points of view to burrow into their soul. The strategy got you back in the game after no-one would hire you, and it’s served you well.

But these mealy-mouthed declarations of ceasefire are hypocritical in the extreme - as hypocritical as your apparent shock that adversaries could take delight in your recent cancer.

How do you know which of your targets is dealing with problems or issues as bad or worse? Not everyone is as eager to share their diagnoses with the reading public as you are.

Has it ever occurred to you that if you have to stop a certain way of writing about someone because they’re ill, then the attacks were unwarrantedly vicious and destructive in the first place?

So thanks for the late fit of decency pal - maybe your illness has made you think a little more reflective about how you’ll be remembered. But maybe we’d all be a little better off if you found another outlet for whatever’s inside you that propelled you in this direction in the first place.

Of course, you’ll throw in stuff about no-holds-barred comment and free thinking etc, but everyone knows that your selling point is the infliction of pain.
Blair and Bolt use hypocrisy for their own special hysteria.

Tim Blair and The Professional Idiot are having deep thoughts about whether they might have added to Deveny's mental load, or far worse, instigated some, or many, of the problems they seem to believe she is struggling through, with their tag-teaming, often personal attacks, in the blogs and the pages of two of Australia's biggest selling newspapers. Plus all those regularly vicious and downright nasty comments that their readers seem to be so fluent in.

What did they think would happen?

Can people be driven mad by being the target of a co-ordinated campaign of vilification and abuse through blogs and newspapers?

Of course they can. Isn't that the whole point of choosing a target and then going at it, week after week? To play with minds? Some disappointed readers of Blair and Bolt will wonder why they are now backing off, instead of finishing what they started.

The Professional Idiot thinks having an unconfirmed mental disorder is worthy of being fired from what could ultimately prove to be a most vital, important part of recovery. A job, a means of writing her way out of, or through, whatever is troubling her, if the unconfirmed claims from a blog comment that both Bolt and Blair are relying on turns out to be true.

Mental health issues rarely get the sort of coverage they deserve in the media, considering how widespread apparent depression, anxiety and suicidal behaviour is now in Australia.

More so-called mentally ill people should be writing for the mainstream media.

What happened to a diversity of views?

Why do only the apparently sane get to control debate in Australia?


The reason why the mainstream media that Blair and Andrew Bolt cling to is dying is because it can't compete anymore for entertainment value with the full-blooded rants and spectacular raves that can be found in the comments of hundreds of thousands of blogs every day. Theirs is a mostly Confected Outrage. And made safe for mainstream public consumption. Lawyers hover over everything Blair and Bolt now write. They are restrained, caged in, by their real, or professionally necessary, conservatism.

Writers like Catherine Deveny go further than Blair or Bolt would dare to, being easily frightened lads, and she manages to flare up the kind of devotion and blinding anger in her readers that Blair and Bolt long for, try so hard to inflame, but very rarely get.

Deveny is an original, perhaps that is what pains them both the most of all.

That and the lingering fear that she may have been having them both on, for years.

* I've posted the chunk I've deleted in comments below due to extreme verbosity.

All images by Darryl Mason

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is It Worse To Be Remembered As A Loser Or A Coward?

Howard Now Remembered As Both

By Darryl Mason

Obviously all those Evil Pagan Lefty chants of 'Howard The Coward!' really made an impact on the former prime minister during his last years in office.

John Howard now freely admits, to former John Howard staffer Gerry "Brown Tongue" Henderson, that he refused to give up the leadership of the Liberal Party in the months leading up to his devastating 2007 federal election defeat because he didn't want to remembered as a coward who was too scared to face defeat.

So Howard is a loser and a coward, because he ultimately lost the election after he refused to step aside for a new leader when it still might have made a different to the Liberal Party's election chances, all due to his terror at the possible puncturing of his massive ego.

More here :

The senior Liberal Andrew Robb told John Howard late last year the Coalition government was headed for a "train wreck" as he mounted a last-ditch bid to have him step aside for Peter Costello.

But Mr Howard told his minister that while he was pessimistic about the election, he "had more show of winning than Peter" and if he stepped down voluntarily, history would regard him as "a coward".

Mr Howard (said) the party as a whole never made its view clear. "If my senior colleagues were, as a group, prepared to own a request for me to go, I'd have gone," he said.

"But I was not going to, out of the blue, go because I didn't think that would have produced a different result and that I would have rightly been criticised for cowardice."

Consider all this an attempt by John Howard, and his loyal former staffer Gerry, to get down on the record their version of what happened before the release of Peter Costello's memoir, which will very likely detail a different reality.

For someone who claimed he would not be around yabbering away in the media all the time after he left office (like former prime minister Paul Keating), John Howard sure spends a lot of time talking to the media (like Paul Keating).

Not complaining of course, it's still very fucking funny indeed to see Howard trying to shore up his version of how he absolutely did not all but destroy the party he led for 12 years because he was terrified of being remembered as a coward, primarily by his wife Janet.

Hilariously, now Howard is remembered as both a Coward and a Loser by former key members of his own government, and much of the Australian public.

Howard is much more entertaining now he's just another whining baby boomer reflecting on past glories, and failures.

Friday, August 15, 2008

'Jihad Terror Manual' Recommends Assassination By...Cake!

There's nothing funny about terrorism. But the Sydney trial surrounding a book allegedly promoting jihadi violence and advocating acts of terror is starting to yield a few unexpected laughs :

The book at the centre of a terrorism related trial in Sydney lists assassination methods including smothering a target by throwing a "cake".

Another method listed is wrapping the target in "a strong plastic bag", which the book says hardly leaves a trace on the body and could leave the impression that it was suicide.

...Mr Khazaal's barrister, George Thomas, said except for a few paragraphs written by his client, the book was compiled from material authored by others which was freely available in the public domain.

Twelve methods of assassination are listed, including detonating a car from a distance, sniping, booby trapping a room, storming houses, poison, shooting down planes and striking motorcades.
Are they talking about a jihad manual or a Tom Clancy novel?
The smothering section includes drowning and the cake throwing technique.

"A couple could pretend to be joking before attacking the target," the translation reads.

"This would lead to his eyes, nose and mouth being plugged and loses the ability to breathe.

"Few would suspect the fatal consequences."
This is terrifying stuff. Clearly we need to ban the home stockpiling of flour, eggs, milk and vanilla essence. For God's sake, anyone could make this deadly weapon in the privacy of their own kitchen.

Then again, there's probably more than a few suicidal, hopeless cream-and-pastry junkies who would welcome such an attack. Hell, it beats being blown apart by an IED.

Sarah Lee and The Cheesecake Factory better watch out, now they've been linked in a 'jihad manual' as possible creators and distributors of potential weapons of mass, gooey, delicious assassination.

I went shopping yesterday morning and saw entire shelves of deadly smother-cake ingredients available for sale. You don't even have to show ID to buy them! In the freezer section, they had dozens of smother-cakes ready to go. All a jihadist has to do is thaw them out!
Another assassination method is "hitting with a hammer", noting "this type of weapon is excellent in close combat where fire arms are not desirable".
It all sounds very dangerous. Nobody has ever discussed how a hammer can be used to kill someone before. Except for The Beatles, and that whole Maxwell's Silver Hammer song.

Is it too soon to use the word 'farcical' to describe this trial?
Water Civil War?

How desperate will state governments become, and how far will they go, when their cities become truly dry? Obviously the idea of a civil war breaking out over fresh water flows is ridiculous. For now. But another decade of drought might change all that. The driest country in the world can still become even drier, especially when you remember that Australia's population is expected to increase by another five million people by 2020.

I'm still undecided on whether South Australian premier Mike Rann is ranting like a loon, in this story, or if he's right on the money. Regardless, it's truly bizarre to hear an Australian premier accuse another state of terrorism :

...Rann says the diversion of water from the Paroo River in Queensland is an act of terrorism during a water crisis.

The river runs from south-west Queensland to north-western New South Wales.

In 2003 the two states agreed to protect it from dams, weirs and irrigators but satellite images of the river show 10 kilometres of channels and a dam have been built.

Mr Rann has described it as a criminal act.

"That is an act of terrorism against the nation, it's terrorism from within during a water crisis," he said.

"So my view is that anybody and I don't care who they are or how big they are or how important they are, if they're diverting water illegally they should be locked up, it should be a criminal offence."

Soon enough, it probably will be.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"...Yes, Mummy...I Know Mummy...But I....Yes, Mummy....I Just Think That....Yes, You're Right, Mummy, You're Absolutely Right..."

You can be one of the richest, most powerful media men in the world, but you still have to shut up and listen when your mother has something to say.

Last month, Rupert Murdoch's mum, Elisabeth, was interviewed by Andrew Denton. The whole interview is worth watching, if you haven't seen it already. She really is an extraordinary old woman, with a fantastic attitude towards life, death, wealth and keeping your children in line. The interview also supplies some remarkable insights into Rupert himself :

ANDREW DENTON: With your own did you draw the line? What was the line for you?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well they were they would say I exercised a lot of loving discipline. I was never indulgent with them because my husband was inclined to be a bit indulgent so I had to swing the other way...I think they'd all....grew up to...appreciate my attitude...about material things, you know? I think it's a very materialistic age and....children have far too many things.

ANDREW DENTON: What is the benefit of a life with less as opposed to more material things?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: I think you're more appreciative. I think you only appreciate the highs when you've known the lows, don't you think?

ANDREW DENTON: Your own family is a family associated with wealth. What are the advantages of wealth and what are the dangers of it?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well I think the advantages of wealth is...that you have an opportunity to do so much good....wealth can be very misused but generally speaking it's a tremendous tool in here in helping community. People say to me sometimes, "You must be very proud of Rupert" and I know what they mean. They think he's made a lot of money and I say, "I am very proud of him because he's a good father and a good son." And that's what I'm proud of. Not so proud of his wealth.


ANDREW DENTON: No matter how old you are and how old your son is, he's still your son isn't he?


ANDREW DENTON: How do you address an adult child if you feel they're going the wrong way?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well Rupert and I don't always agree but we respect each other's attitude, I express my views very strongly and....Rupert listens to them. Sometimes takes my advice but on the whole you just have to I think...maintain your views without insisting that somebody else accepts them.


DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: I think some of the values are quite wrong. I think that ah the worship of money for one thing is quite quite wrong. Money doesn't bring happiness. It's your attitude of mind that helps you to enjoy life.

ANDREW DENTON: Do you have a sense of what happens after you die?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: ....I think we leave something but we nothing happens to us personally.

ANDREW DENTON: Would you like there to be an afterlife?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: No. It'd be very uncomfortable I think. [laugh]...
there'd be might be all sorts of people one didn't want to see again. [laugh]

ANDREW DENTON: You're going to be 100 in February. Are you excited?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: No. I realise my time must be running out but I'm not going to waste a minute of it and I hope to live till I'm 105 at least. [laugh]

ANDREW DENTON: And why 105?

DAME ELISABETH MURDOCH: Well cause that's a fair a fair run. I might be even be able to live a bit longer. I hope so. In fact I'd like to live forever. [laugh]

Note : I have cleaned up the transcript a bit from the version that appears on Denton's Enough Rope website, solely to make it read cleaner.

The Multi-Million Dollar Trial Of A Book

Is this all they've really got on this so-called 'terrorist suspect'? That he cut and pasted together a collection of online articles?
A Sydney man allegedly compiled a book advocating terrorist attacks including bombings, shooting down planes and assassinations of key US officials including George W Bush, s Supreme Court jury has been told.

The book, entitled Provision on the Rules of Jihad, contained sections that canvassed various methods of murder and terrorist attack including letterbombs, boobytrapping cars, kidnappings and poisonings, according to crown prosecutor Peter Neil SC.

Mr Neil, in his opening address in the case against Belal Khazaal, said the book listed a number of countries that were key targets for the attacks, including Australia.

It also included references to international terrorists including al-Qa'ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and talked about how “small cells” could cause havoc among Americans.

“Small groups can cause horror to the US and Jews alike,” Mr Neil told the jury was a quote from the book.

Mr Khazaal has pleaded not guilty to knowingly making a document connected with assistance in a terrorist act and attempting to incite the commission of a terrorist act.

It is alleged the offences occurred between September and October 2003, in Sydney and elsewhere in the world.

However, Mr Khazaal's counsel told the jury the material was written by others and was freely available in the public domain.

The crown is alleging that using the non de plume Abu Mohamed Attawheedy, Mr Khazaal put together the book, which promoted violence against Christians, Jews and non-Muslims and had it posted on an internet site.

Nr Neil told the jury that Mr Khazaal did not use his own name and he did that deliberately to distance himself from his own document.

The book, a collection of articles written by other people, talks about successful assassinations of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and unsuccessful assassinations and why they failed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

43% Of Herald Sun Readers Want More Teacher-Teenager Raunchy Photos

The mostly always excellent Grods blog spots the Herald Sun trying to do a bit of dodgy online Outrage polling.

As Grods points out, the story that sparked the poll is a non-story. A popular 24 year old high school teacher poses for photos with a 19 year old girl, not connected at all with the man's day job. Of course, the Christian-heavy 'Family Groups' are outraged, once they were alerted to the outrageousosity by the Herald Sun.

The teacher's school has basically told the 'Family Groups' and the Herald Sun to get stuffed :
Sacred Heart principal Joan Janssen said in a statement: "The school community wishes Rhys well. He's a very popular teacher with the staff, students and parents, and we can't wait to have him back at school."
Here's the 'Show Your Outrage' online poll from the Herald Sun.

The results as of 11pm tonight.

The Murdoch tabloids love running this polls. The aim is to provoke an overwhelming response that will form the basis of a few more non-stories.

However, you probably won't see a story tomorrow in the Herald Sun stating that nearly half its readers think "it is appropriate for a teacher to pose in raunchy photos with a teenage girl."

Though they should.

Awesomely hilarious.