Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Bloody Camels Will Be Asking For A Glass And Ice Cubes Next

We've had plenty of shark attacks, and crocodile attacks, and we've even had wallaby and kangaroo attacks, but now the camels are invading our towns. They're coming for the water and they know how to get it :

Camels are coming into communities in central Australia and turning on the taps, the Macdonnell Shire Council says.

The shire has applied to the Federal Government for a $4.5 million slice of infrastructure funding to build camel-proof boundaries around 14 communities.

Wayne Wright from the shire says thirsty camels are causing significant damage.

"In a number of our communities it's quite common for camels to enter the community and if there are any taps adjacent to houses they're quite capable of either turning the taps on or knocking the taps off so they get water."

The intention is to put cattle grids at the entrances to the communities and place fencing around them.

Weird. The camels can work out how to turn on, or at the very least break open, taps to get water, but they still can't master the art of negotiating a cattle grid?
Sydney Harbour, March 28

Photos by Darryl Mason
Go Eat A Big Bowl Of Fuck, You War Mongers

By Darryl Mason

The staff cutbacks at The Australian are starting to bite. The lead editorial yesterday in the once psychopathically pro-Iraq War minded newspaper :

The editor of The Australian is clearly working under tight budgetary limitations. What other reason can there be for such blatant recycling of old arguments against the Iraq War voiced by hundreds of thousands of Australians, and hundreds of millions of people around the world?

While there is no doubting the moral and strategic sense of the war to liberate Iraq from the despicable despotism of Saddam Hussein, the campaign there took resources and attention away the first front in the war on terror.

With money and good management, Afghanistan may yet be the front where terrorism is decisively defeated.

We went to War On Iraq to find and dismantle WMDs? Hell, no. We did it out of a sense of morality!

The kind of morality that results in unimaginable chaos, the finishing off of already debilitated infrastructure, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people, entire families full of children, thousands of doctors, civil servants, teachers, university professors, nurses and the creation of more than 3 million refugees.

The Australian newspaper, you may remember, joined the rest of the Murdoch national and worldwide media empire's downright nasty and sick assault on those who said Afghanistan was where Al Qaeda came from and so that was where the war should be fought, and that winding back in Afghanistan, after so much progress, to attack and invade and occupy Iraq was downright fucking insane.

The people who, back in late 2002 and early 2003, made all those kinds of arguments against the War On Iraq - including millions of World War I & II and Korea and Vietnam veterans in Australia, the US and the UK - were unanimously portrayed by Murdoch's newspaper and television empire as being pro-terrorist and supporters of Saddam Hussein.

And now, six years later, The Australian newspaper tries to justify its backing of the 2002 turning away from Afghanistan to ramp up the War On Iraq for "moral" reasons? Strategic reasons? So Iran can become the dominant nation in the region, and the United States can pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to brutal Sunni fighters to stop them killing American soldiers?

Is the editor of The Australian typing over a bucket of ether?

The editor of The Australian and Rupert Murdoch can go and fuck themselves.

They lied to Australians, day after day, weeks into months, about a threat that didn't exist, cramming headlines with absolute bullshit pro-war propaganda, while ignoring the obvious truth that hundreds of thousands of other Australians seemed to have no problem locating online for themselves.

The Australian newspaper's complicity in helping to manufacture the reality for a senseless war that killed hundreds of thousands of people will never be forgotten.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Didn't Kill Anyone, But I Like That Movie Where I Did

By Darryl Mason

Unconvicted murder suspect Roger Rogerson was heard on 2MMMFM this morning promoting the DVD of the brilliant corrupt NSW cops TV movie, Blue Murder.

Roger Rogerson was never convicted for murder, and yet Blue Murder clearly shows him wasting scumbags. Why would he want people to think this is true?

It's Australian surreality.

Australians can't get enough true crime. Movies, half a day a week of it on TV in prime time, shelves full of best-selling books about those who simply did not give a fuck.

They try and convince us that cricket and football players and prime ministers are our real Australian Heroes, but since our convict ancestors stepped ashore on this land, we've always, usually quietly, admired the outlaws the most. From bushrangers to bank robbers, from gangsters to bikers, from drug dealers to drug dealer killers. Most Australians stop short of openly admiring our serial killers, but true crime books about such murders, and the true crime TV doco-reanactments, are immensely, suspiciously, popular.

We must be only a matter of months away from a journalist embedding a camera in his eye and joining a Lebanese biker gang to soak up the predicted carnage to come.

(thanks to Kerry for the tip)

Photos taken during a recent visit to the Justice & Police Museum in Sydney :

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Am Not A SockPuppet, And Neither Is My Cat

UPDATE : Even though I didn't mention the name of Daily Telegraph journalist Tim Blair in the story below, Blair's lawyers seem to think this story is about him, and have sent threatening letters demanding a compensation payment for the "immeasurable hurt" I've supposedly caused by publishing it on this blog.

Much of this "immeasurable hurt" appears to have been inflicted by my merely linking to the posts on the Pure Poison blog that first broke the story that either Tim Blair, or someone in Tim Blair's household, using the alias 'WB', was filling comments at his own blog and other blogs defending him, or trying to steer conversations about Blair away onto other subjects.

At Tim Blair's Daily Telegraph blog, 'WB' posted some 70 comments in just a couple of months.

According to blogger Jeremy Sear, who claimed he spoke to him on the phone, Tim Blair acknowledged that while 'WB' was posting comments at his blog, and other blogs, all through his home internet account, he didn't know anything about it. Or that he did know, but wasn't prepared to disclose who 'WB' was.

The letter from Tim Blair's lawyers I received after first posting the below story, also demanded I stop posting other "defamatory" stories about the Daily Telegraph's associate editor on this blog, though they didn't point out any other stories that are allegedly defamatory.

Letters from Tim Blair's lawyers threatening legal action have also been sent to at least three other bloggers who either wrote about what 'someone' in Tim's house was getting up to online, or linked to the same Pure Poison stories that I linked to below (which are now deleted).

Even though the links in the below story now lead to a blank page at Pure Poison, I've been told by Blair's lawyers these links to nowhere should disappear from this blog.

Not so long ago, Blair would have taken on his critics and his mockers at his blog, and would have made a fair to decent attempt at slaying them mightily. It probably would have been funny, too.

Not now.

The game has changed. This is serious.

You occasionally hear about people taking legal action against Murdoch newspapers or columnists or journalists for something they've written or claims they've made online or on air.

But this is the first time I've heard of any Murdoch journalist trying to sue bloggers for merely linking to a story about them, and demanding other stories and comments discussing the linked story be deleted from a blog, and forever disappeared from the Google cache.

Obviously I won't be taking down the below story. Such an action could be perceived as an admission of guilt. Or cowardice.

Anyway, if I disappear the below story Vex Voyager will be pissed. It's the only thing he's done that I've allowed him to post on this bog. I have no intention of causing him "immeasurable hurt."

And as far as "defamatory" comments on a blog go, here's one that's been up for a couple of years at Tim Blair's old blog, where one of his regular commenters made up the following psychotic slander and posted it under my name :
Killing Howard is laudable. Killing his cabinet got to be OK too. Killing members of the Liberal party - that has to be a plus, surely. And what about the Nationals? We’ll kill them too. They helped keep Howard in power. And Family First, slit their throats. And what about other Christians, they are conservative and probably voted Liberal. Best kill all them along with small businessmen. There is a real hotbed of Liberal sentiment among these fascist businessmen. Don’t forget the Jews, the money grubbing bastards. They have to be next. Then there are those class traitors, the workers who voted Liberal. Kill them all. Purge the public service of suspected Liberal sympathisers too. That teacher over there. He’s wearing a tie so he must be a conservative. String him up. Hey, that guy’s got an American accent. Slaughter him and his baby too. It’s in their genes, you know. It’s a lot of people to be massacred but it will reduce greehouse gases in the long run.
Darryl Mason
Blair knows I didn't write that. But he has no problem with it remaining on his website under my name. He refuses to delete it, or apologise for its publication.

Fortunately, I don't suffer so easily from the "immeasurable hurt" bloggers and commenters and links apparently inflict on Tim Blair, even though the above grim tirade posted under my name has led to some interesting, if very short, job interviews when some Googling was done.



By Vex Voyager

There's been a bunch of accusations floating around the Australian blogstream in recent weeks, in which it is claimed that a 'journalist' with a major daily Sydney newspaper has been commenting away like a maniac on his own and other blogs under an assumed identity, or assumed identities, or that someone very close to him is doing all this, from his home.

The journalist's excuse when he was called on this alleged sock-puppetry by the rowdy lads at Pure Poison, basically ran something like this (not direct quotes) :
Yes, someone in my household has been commenting on my blog, and other blogs, trying to shield me from criticism, but it's not me. I either don't know who is doing it, from my home, maybe even from my own laptop, or I'm not prepared to say who it is. And by the way, my lawyers have a letter for you. So here's a big bowl of shut the fuck up.
The 'journalist' now accused of what most bloggers call 'sock puppetry', and who has had great fun in the past accusing other bloggers of doing what he now stands accused of, and who has often railed about Evil Pagan Lefties threatening defamation to try and shut up up bloggers like him, has swallowed down a whole bucket of "I'm A Fucking Hypocrite" and has now set his lawyers loose on bloggers who won't shut up about this story.

The Orstrahyun has asked the 'journalist' three times to answer three simple questions about who, if not himself, is writing all those nice things about him online, from his home. Three simple questions. But he refused to answer any of them, instead warning The Orstrahyun to leave the story alone, and go away.

As if that's going to happen.

So, instead, I made up a false identity, Vex Voyager (edit...No you didn't, I'm real - Vex Voyager), to ask myself some hard questions about The Evils Of Sock Puppetry.

VV : You've been accused of sock puppetry, that is writing comments online about your own work under an assumed name, haven't you?

DM : Yes, I have. But I deny everything. It could have been anyone in my house doing it, when I'm away or asleep. You can't prove anything.

VV : Who else in your household could have done it?

DM : Anyone. It could have been the maid, the butler....the sushi chef, he spends a lot of time online, playing games I think, but you never know....

VV : So someone else in your house is going online and writing nice things about you, and going after your critics, when you're asleep or at work, and you don't know who that person might be?

DM : LIke I said, it could be anyone. But It's Not Me. I know that....I'm pretty sure of that. Yep, damn sure. I think.

VV : Hmmm...

DM : Maybe it was the cat....

VV : The cat?

DM : Yeah. He's pretty smart. He can knit blankets out of his molting fur to keep himself warm. How environmentally friendly is that? He should get a whole lot of carbon credits for cutting down on...

VV : You must think I'm the Mayor Of Stupidtwon to believe something like that.

DM : I'm not telling you what to believe. Make up your mind. But my cat is whip-crack smart. That I do know.

VV : Can your cat work a keyboard?

DM : He can hit the keys, but the music is mostly shit.

VV : ....no...I meant, does your cat know how to type?

DM : I've seen it sitting there, licking the mouse pad. I don't think if it smells of mouse, but...

VV : But you were saying before that someone else in your house must have been leaving those comments saying nice things about you online, under fake names....

DM : What's a fake name anyway? I mean, what sort of fucking name is Vex Voyager? I once met a guy named Tooty Von HammerFix, and...

VV : That never happened. Now, you claim as your defence against accusation of sockpuppetry that someone else is writing comments on your own blog, from your home, from the same internet IP address, but you don't know who it is. Is that correct?

DM : Maybe someone comes in at night, when I'm asleep and pushes the cat aside and...It could happen.

VV : Someone breaks into your home and steals nothing but while they're there they get on a computer and leave nice comments about you at various blogs, talking up your work? And they do this over and over again? Night after night? And you don't know who it is?

DM : Hey, like I said, before....how do I know it wasn't the cat? I'm sure the cat understands that if, say, I was working at a major Australian daily newspaper, and I was doing a blog that maybe earned money for me based on how many people were recorded visiting and commenting on my site, if that was the situation, well, the more I earn, the better the cat eats, right? I mean, if I earn more because more people are supposedly visiting my site and leaving comments and I could make retarded claims that my blog is The Blog An Entire City Is Talking About, then I could afford those treaty cat biscuits with the soft, creamy fishy centres. Cats love them. They're like fucking crack for cats.

VV : And you also think your cat might be waiting until you go to sleep, then jumping online and reading through blogs looking for valid and often viciously accurate criticisms of you and then your cat is typing responses either defending you or steering the comments off onto another subject so other commenters stop hammering you...

DM : Yes, this could be so.

VV : And your cat is doing all this, while you're asleep...

DM : Or at work.

VV : Or at work....your cat might be doing all this, falsely inflating your blog's comment counts because it knows if you earn more money it will get a better kind of cat food? Do I have that right? Is that the full story?

DM : I didn't say that is what happened, I'm just saying, maybe it could happen that way. Who knows? I don't know. But someone in my house is doing it, and it's not me.

VV : So it could be the maid, the butler or the sushi chef, correct?

DM : Or the cat. I'm not saying it is, but....

VV : You don't have a sushi chef, do you?

DM : No.

VV : And there's no butler. No maid.

DM : ............correct.

VV : Do you think there's a need to exaggerate about such things?

DM : What do you care? You don't even exist.

VV : Yeah, that's right....


Friday, March 27, 2009

Inhale The New Reality

Just about every point that Mark Morford makes here here for how cannabis can revitalise the Californian economy also applies in Australia. Something like 300,000 Australians allegedly consume cannabis on a daily basis, while another million or two will light a joint or three this weekend, or the next. All are committing a crime, and all those many millions of dollars they pay out to break the law to feel a little better will go to suspected criminals. If California could theoritically raise $5 or $7 billion a year by legaliziing and taxing cannabis, there's probably, at least, $2 to $4 billion in extra tax revenue just waiting to be scooped up and put to good use in Australia.

....could there be a better time to decriminalize/fully legalize pot? Or, more fully, to decriminalize pot, and then spread respectable pot shops and vending machines and dispensaries far and wide, instill quality control and decent oversight and then tax the living hell out of the glorious, stress-reducing goodness, as we stop wasting billions fighting its grand ubiquity and instead sink into profitable pools of warm, hazy progress? Don't you already know the answer?

Are the discussions ongoing? Are they passing the bong of possibility around the state Senate chambers? You're damn right they are. What's holding them back? Probably the usual: the negative PR, looking "soft" on crime, encouraging permissiveness, pressure from prison lobbies, and so on. Don't worry, Sacramento. Everyone's already plenty drunk/high on prescription meds trying to alleviate fears of losing their job to care about that nonsense right now. Get to it.

Is there really anyone left who doesn't already know the "War on Drugs" is a pathetic joke, an abject failure and a taxpayer nightmare, and the only reason it survives at all is to fund the CIA and fellate the prison guard unions and support a shameful prison system, and to let politicians say they're "tough on crime" so they can to deflect all those uninformed parents who relentlessly whine about pot in public schools just before dashing off a wine-tasting party to snort a nice line of Bolivian coke?

Anyone left, furthermore, who doesn't know that pot is far safer than booze, less addictive, nonviolent, more transportable, easier to light, and generally won't interfere with your ability to crawl across the carpet and lick cookie crumbs from your lover's thighs? And sure, while heavy, daily usage can make you slow and stupid and rather useless to the world, well, so can a six-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper and six hours of TV every day.

Let's phrase this grand scenario in another way: Why the hell not try it? What have we got to lose? What, we could go more broke? We could get more desperate and anxious? Fact is, economic nightmares need not breed only miserable stories of lost homes and lost jobs and shuttered businesses. They can also spawn creative solutions, innovative thinking, widespread munchies. Now is the time.

Those clips popping up on the evening news of air police carrying great armloads of very wild looking cannabis plants out of isolated rainforests are fantastic. Is there a better distributor of cannabis seeds across a large potential growing area than helicopter blades? Probably not. But it ensures that in six months or a year they can go in again and haul out another likely wild crop as the 'War On Drugs' continues along its expensive, destructive, immature and ultimately absurd path.
Something In The Air.....

Australians are smoking less and less cigarettes as each year, since the the days when they were handed out free to non-smoking soldiers during in World War 2, passes by. And yet, lung cancer rates are still rising.

Why is this happening?

Trachea and lung cancer remains the third leading cause of death in Australia behind heart disease and strokes.

But while the top two are decreasing, there is a rising number of deaths due to lung cancer

According to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were more than 7,600 deaths from trachea and lung cancer in 2007, up by about 900 on the number recorded in 1998.

According to the story, 15% of all lung cancer victims have never smoked, at all. So more than 1100 Australians are dying each year from lung cancer that is not a result of smoking. That's close to the nationwide road toll.

So what is causing so much lung cancer in non-smokers?

Breathing city air?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Call It Espionage, Because That's What It Is

If you go about cutting billions from defence budgets, you're not going to be popular with those who rely on ever increasing defence budgets to maintain their international arms industry relationships, and lifestyles :
Australia's defense department has secretly investigated ties between the defense minister's family and a Chinese-Australian businesswoman as a potential security threat, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The report will likely increase the tension between the defense bureaucracy and Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon who recently described his department as "incompetent" in its handling of a pay dispute within the elite Special Air Service Regiment.

The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper said defense department intelligence and security officials recently examined the 16-year relationship between Fitzgibbon's family and Sydney-based Helen Liu.

Looking for something they could smear him with, via the Murdoch tabloids. They didn't find anything, and now another nefarious spying scandal has broken into the mainstream media. An immediate investigation has been launched, and of course the Defence Department will be investigating itself.

If Australia's intelligence agencies are spying on and hacking into the laptop of the fucking defence minister, imagine what they're doing to the computers, and online lives, of mere citizens of this country?

Bernard Keane at Crikey has lots more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's A Human, This Meeting Is Over

Photos By Darryl Mason

Cockatoos gather, awaiting the downfall of man, or plotting how they can work together to carry away small children, at Audley, NSW, in the Royal National Park

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Play Nice, Your Comment May Be Archived For Later Use Against You

By Darryl Mason

The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair warns his readers :
Prepare to be watched...
He should also be telling his regular commenters to prepare to have their comments, all their comments, archived and data-mined at a later date by persons unknown. And not just the comments they leave now, but all the comments they have ever left at a Tim Blair blog.

It seems he's only just discovered that government agencies, including ASIO, monitor Australian blogs, and in particular, the posted comments.

Tim Blair won't tell his readers that the widespread trials and use of such online monitoring technology, and key word recognition programs, became reality during the lead-up to the Iraq War.

The surveillance of Australian blogs is not exactly a new thing. Whatever prime minister Kevin Rudd allows such programs to become, they began in the Howard era.

Blair should tell his readers that he's known for years that all comments at his blog were being monitored, and archived, by government agencies, right through the last four years of the Howard era.

Blair also failed to inform his readers that some of their more violent, or violently insane comments, might come back to haunt them one day, might in fact be used against them, to prosecute or persecute them. That they were written under aliases may make no difference at all in a courtroom.

Rupert Murdoch has already shown that privacy is all but a fiction at MySpace, and his worldwide media empire, presumably also including Tim Blair's blog at the Daily Telegraph, have something of an open agreement with local government agencies to offer what help they legally can to track down someone who has posted threats of violence against politicians, or public figures, at any of Murdoch's online media. Those loudly wishing to kill movie stars and necklace green activists also get red-flagged. Such comments might not make it online, but they are not forgotten, nor do they disappear.

Prolific commenters at blogs, say on a story about Islamic terrorism or why "something must be done" about Rudd, are routinely monitored and followed online by any number of government intelligence agencies and private agencies. They're not just looking for "terrorists" anymore, now they're looking for "extremists".

In March, 2004, Tim Blair enthusiastically promoted ASIO's recruiting of online spies, not perhaps understanding that some of those who signed up would probably be monitoring his own site for threats of violence or "hate speech" a few years later.

The joke is that Blair ever believed such monitoring of online comments would stop at sniffing out possible Islamic terrorists, and not go after those who want Islam banned, or get publicly furious about tens of thousands of Muslims immigrating to Australia.

There's a New Terrorism, of which many millions may already be likely suspects, because the War On Terror was never meant to only stop at nabbing the suicidally jihad-crazed, it was always about introducing laws and widespread surveillance to go after "extremists" (as then President Bush began calling terrorists in 2007).

If you think the definition of "terrorist" is loose in government legislation, try to find examples of behaviour that define you as an "extremist". The word "extremist" has come into common usage by world leaders because "terrorist" was almost too specific.

Depending on where you are in the world, "Extremist"covers religion-crazed church burners and airline bombers, American libertarians and Ron Paul supporters, anti-abortion activists and animal liberationists, anarchists and anti-globalisationists, drug-dealing bikers and Afghanistan-based beheaders, anti-cannabis prohibition marchers and gun-rights patriots.

Unspecified thought crimes will get you flagged, watched and followed across the internet.

Everyone is a potential suspect when the prosecution of thought crimes becomes a policing and crime prevention reality.

As is our reality now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Seriously, What Are They Smoking?

By Darryl Mason

Who knows, maybe soon there will be a new pharmaceutical to treat this fresh, mostly unexplained and extremely dodgy sounding "syndrome" :
There is mounting evidence to support the existence of a new syndrome afflicting heavy cannabis users, after the world's first cases were found in South Australia.
Of course.
The condition "cannabinoid hyperemesis" was first identified in a group of about 20 heavy drug users in the Adelaide hills in 2004, and a new case has emerged this time in the US.

The syndrome is characterised by nausea, stomach pain and bouts of vomiting - ill effects which, oddly, sufferers say they get some relief from by having a hot shower or bath.
"Cannabinoid hyperemesis" is a terribly shit name for anything. If they want this new "syndrome" to seize the public imagination, and make those who use cannabis for medicinal purposes shift back to pharmaceuticals from paranoid fear that the next long slow sweet numbing inhale, or next crunchy bite of a delicious cannabis-rich Anzac biscuit, might turn them into people from the hills outside Adelaide, then they've got to come up with a truly catchy name.

ShowerHolic Screaming Dope Disease (SHSDD)

Toxic Pot Shower Shock Syndrome (TPSS)

Adelaide Hills Mindfuck Freakout Disorder (AHMF)

Something like that. But better.

In the US case, the sufferer had been smoking marijuana daily and in heavy doses for six years. This eventually led to bouts of vomiting lasting two to three hours daily, and this was worse after meals.

As with South Australian cases, the young man initially turned to "compulsive hot bathing behaviour" to relieve the symptoms but he was not cured until he gave up smoking cannabis altogether.
The cure is a simple one. Stop smoking so much fucking pot if it's fucking with your head and driving you to act like an insane vomiting death-wish crazed lobster.
Adelaide-based drug expert and emergency ward doctor, Dr David Caldicott, said he had seen three cases of the illness and it was possibly also under-reported by sufferers.
Possibly under-reported? There's only four known cases of it mentioned in medical literature, after widespread cannabis usage across the Middle East, China, Mexico, North America, for thousands of years. For twice the length of Christianity, cannabis has been used, and abused, and yet nobody has ever written, or reported, the symptoms of this new "syndrome" before. Unless the consumption of bong or bucket water is involved.
"We're probably seeing the tip of the iceberg in the emergency departments, it's probably far more common but far milder (in the broader community)," he said.

Little was known about how cumulative cannabis use could lead to vomiting...
Cannabis poisoned by toxic chemicals in grow rooms pushed to maximum output? Too much tobacco in the mix? Unchanged bong water that resembles watery peat moss?

Cannabis is used by hundreds of thousands of Australians,
and hundreds of millions of people around the world. Daily. Where are the deaths? AIDS and cancer patients use cannabis to stop nausea, to fight the urge to vomit and to calm stomach complaints. These three benefits from absorbing cannabis are amongst the most frequently cited reasons why so many American medicinal cannabis users moved away from gut-burning pharmaceuticals to one of the world's most common weeds. It stops you feeling like you're going to vomit everything inside not nailed down.

That this new excitedly, hopefully, promoted cannabis-related "syndrome" is manifesting in heavy users the exact opposite of the well known, medically recognised, very real benefits of cannabis is utterly bizarre. And likely not true. At least in the 'syndrome" being linked to cannabis. Toxic doses of THC are all but impossible to ingest, short of drinking a wine barrel of hash oil without stopping for a nine cheeses pizza.

Whatever is going on, "cannabinoid hyperemesis" sounds downright nasty :
"Grown men, screaming in pain, sweating profusely, vomiting every 30 seconds and demanding to be allowed to use the shower. It's a very dramatic presentation."
Unfortunately it's not on YouTube.

The Daily Telegraph, and the evening tabloid TV shows, must be greatly anticipating an explosion in Crazy Sweating Screaming Projectile Vomiting Toxic Pot Syndrome (CSSPVTPS). None of them have been hooking hard into Australia's most popular natural, curiously illegal, drug recently, probably because so many of their reporters, writers and producers are themselves infrequent users of cannabis, and other drugs, and are secretly wanting to do positive, non-attack stories on pot smoking in nursing homes and terminal illness wards, and know the drug is the least dangerous, and least domestically destructive, of all those consumed recreationally by Australians.

Then again, perhaps this new, mega-cannabis consuming "syndrome" is real, dangerous and spreading.

If so, the cannabis consumed by those suffering twice a minute vomiting might turn out to be spiked with something toxic, and hallucinatory. Cannabis dosed with enough DMT would make anybody (particularly someone who didn't know they were about to get higher than God) vomit like a gushing tap, sweat profusely and demand immediate communion with healing, calming water.

If these alleged syndrome sufferers are also having mind-electrifying religious visions, then DMT spiking is likely the cause.

But still....

Smoking vast quantities of Adelaide hydro every day for endless years, probably punched from festy buckets, would turn even Tommy Chong into a gibbering freak convinced that only by immediate immersion in hot water can he stop from involuntarily puking out his lower intestine.

News.com.au : Cannabis Users 'Suffering New Syndrome'

Teenagers All Fked Up On Drugs & Booze....Well, A Few Are

AMP Building, Circular Quay, March 21

Harbour Bridge, March 21

Sydney Harbour, March 21
The Global Warming "Farce" That Helps Pays This Idiot's Bills

The Professional Idiot rails against the hypocrisy of Corporate Greenism hassling people to cut down on their carbon emissions :

Earth Hour next Saturday will see hypocrites turn off their lights for just an hour to show they care about global warming - which actually halted a decade ago, and which we can’t stop even if it really was bad.

The Sunday Age won’t admit these last two facts in its coverage....so deep in cahoots with green propagandists that it can’t admit to that hypocrisy.
The Professional Idiot rails against the Corporate Greenism Hypocrisy of the media competition, but the CGH of his own employer, News Limited? Not a word. Never a word of criticism, or even defiance, against Rupert "Climate Change Poses Clear, Catastrophic Threats" Murdoch.

And The Professional Idiot is rewarded for his loyalty, and increasingly suspicious silence on News Limited's Corporate Greenism, with this big fat banner ad across the top of his blog every time he posts another "Global Warming Doesn't Exist" story :

It's a farce for The Professional Idiot and News Limited, but it's a fucking funny one.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm Not Paid To Tell The Truth You Know, Just Because I Write For The Australian

Here's how The Australian newspaper proudly promotes professional propagandist Greg Sheridan :
Greg Sheridan is the most influential foreign affairs commentator in Australia. A veteran of over 30 years in the field, he has written five books and is a frequent commentator on Australian and international radio and TV.
Here's Sheridan using all that foreign affairs experience in writing about the widespread claims of Israel war crimes committed against Palestinian civilians :
I do not believe a single story of Israeli war crimes or atrocities in Gaza. There is no evidence of any such story beyond Palestinian eye-witness accounts....
There is now :
"There was a house with a family inside .... We put them in a room. Later we left the house and another platoon entered it, and a few days after that there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sniper position on the roof," the soldier said.

"He shot them straight away....he killed them."

Another squad leader from the same brigade told of an incident where the company commander ordered that an elderly Palestinian woman be shot and killed; she was walking on a road about 100 meters from a house the company had commandeered.

The squad leader said he argued with his commander over the permissive rules of engagement that allowed the clearing out of houses by shooting without warning the residents beforehand. After the orders were changed, the squad leader's soldiers complained that "we should kill everyone there [in the center of Gaza].

"Everyone there is a terrorist."
Greg Sheridan obviously listens very closely to his boss, Rupert Murdoch, and always does what he knows he should.

Sheridan won't be fired, he'll probably just get another award.

So is Rupert Murdoch still quietly funding illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, and the ethnic cleansing it involves, or was that more of a 90s thing?
When Piracy Is Perfect For Your Business

By Darryl Mason

Underbelly II becomes the first Australian TV show to get into The Pirate Bay's millions-mega-viewed Top 100 :

(click to enlarge)

The so-called 'leaking' of nine episodes (some unfinished) of the first series of Underbelly last year to The Pirate Bay introduced the show to an immediate, international audience in the millions.

In the next couple of days, the latest episode of Underbelly, via The Pirate Bay, will be downloaded, or 'pirated', tens of thousands of times, ultimately meaning millions will see the episode on their laptops or on burned DVDs from friends, before it is screened internationally.

The Top 100 at The Pirate Bay is viewed between 10 million and 20 million times every day, by alleged copyright violators in dozens of countries.

You cannot buy this kind of publicity.

If the producers of Underbelly are not already putting torrents of their show, along with unaired special features, or extended scene packs, on The Pirate Bay, they should be. This is the most inexpensive and effective way there is today to introduce an Australian TV show to an international audience. The 'piracy' of The Pirate Bay, and other torrent sites, will build the audience for Underbelly 2 across the world, as the producers of the show no doubt already know.

The first series of Underbelly was the most pirated TV show in Australian history, yet it still sold more than 100,000 box sets, in a matter of weeks after its release. If people were 'stealing' Underbelly by downloading allegedly illegal torrents, then burning them to DVD or watching it on their laptops, why would some then go and buy the DVD box set of Underbelly Series One?

The Dark Knight was the highest grossing movie of 2008, it was also the highest selling DVD, and yet it was also, easily, the most pirated movie of the year, if not of all time.

If tens of millions could and did watch The Dark Knight for free, when it was still in cinemas, why did The Dark Knight still sell so many cinema tickets and DVDs? If people are getting something for free, then why are are some of them also buying it?

Because if you give something away, something good, something entertaining, to 10 million people, you will always get more than 100,000 (maybe even a million or two) who will want to buy a proper, well=packaged copy of what they've just enjoyed so much. They want to buy it as a gift, to keep themselves for that awesome looking box DVD sets collection that fills the shelves where books might have once sat. Or maybe they buy that DVD or box set because the want the creators to be rewarded for their hard work and they just happened to have the money to buy that special DVD pack that looks so much cooler than an inferior quality home burn.

Every time someone uses The Pirate Bay to download a movie, TV show or album, for their own personal use, or to share for free with friends, this does not mean a potential lost customer. That is a music and movie industry fallacy, an outright lie, meant to trick you into thinking that piracy is costing them money they would have otherwise earned if piracy didn't exist.

A lot of Australian TV shows are now winding up on The Pirate Bay, and occasionally someone fluffs up, and posts an episode that hasn't been aired yet. Whoops. Yeah, let's all Fight Piracy.

It's pretty obvious that many of these supposedly 'stolen' TV episodes, like a lot of new albums and some movies, are being posted to The Pirate Bay because producers or distributors know that, despite their public 'anger' at piracy "destroying our industry", they know that having millions across the planet enjoying that show, album or movie, for free (no distribution costs), means that when it comes time to sell that DVD box set, or that concert ticket, the potential customer base is all that much larger.

The Pirate Bay, like Bittorent, is one of the websites that will probably be blocked for all Australian internet users (those who don't know how to get around government censorship anyway) within a matter of months.

This fundamental caving in to the established, and few, major entertainment industries will severely damage the ability of many young bands and independent moviemakers to get their creations in front of a potential worldwide audience in the millions. The greatest and most inexpensive distribution system for unsigned bands, and self-funded moviemakers, will be stripped away, because the entertainment giants don't want to lose control of what they have spent so long dominating. Distribution.

No record company or movie distributor can match The Pirate Bay for getting something entertaining, or more importantly ground-breaking, in front of such a large, potential worldwide audience.

The monopoly of giant entertainment corporations is now busted. They've lost control of distribution. Without monopoly control of distribution, the entertainment giants are without power. At least, the kind of power and control they've enjoyed, sometimes brutally, and sometimes deadly, for more than six decades.

This is why the entertainment giants don't want The Pirate Bay to exist, or for you to get access to it. They are blaming those who love music and movies and want to share what they've found and enjoyed with people who might also love it.

While some in the mega-entertainment corporations are screaming, pushing hard for The Pirate Bay to be blacklisted, there others, younger others, in those very same megas who are trying to tell their superiors that if worked right, The Pirate Bay is the greatest world audience builder in the history of entertainment.

Radiohead, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and AC/DC all released new albums in the past two years and, sometimes unofficially, allowed mass piracy of those new albums weeks before the real thing hit record store shelves. They all sold millions, and they all have, or will, sell out entire countries' worth of gigs without spending the once-necessary millions on publicity and promotion. The publicity and promotion have been taken care of by those who got it for free, early, and shared it with their friends. And raved about it to everyone else.

You probably won't read about any or much of this in the mainstream media, but rest assured the producers of Underbelly are absolutely stoked that episodes of the new series have been 'pirated' and that one of those torrents has now cracked The Pirate Bay's Top 100.

They're happy because they know that this piracy of their show will lead to more interest and probably bigger sales to TV stations and cable channels across the world, along with another mega-selling DVD box set.

The rest of the Australian entertainment industry is slowly waking up to what The Pirate Bay can do, for free, for them.

But they'll probably only realise the truth once they've succeeded in getting the Rudd government to blacklist the site, and then it will be too late.

In many ways, the current fight against torrent piracy, and The Pirate Bay, is something very close to a Last Stand for the entertainment giants.

They can either embrace and learn to (commercially) exploit the world's greatest entertainment distribution network, or continue to watch their empires crumble, tumble and fall.

Or they could just stop charging thirty fucking dollars for a new album or a five year old movie.

The smart people of the new entertainment industries, like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, know that the best way to counter the dilution of earnings from piracy is to take control of it and then offer something of quality and rarity for those who are prepared to pay.

It's pretty simple stuff, once you finally realise that all the old rules have been shattered and scattered.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Alexander The Great? Yeah, He's Buried In.....Broome"

A great story of the bush pub tale variety, does it matter if it's not true?

"We just got onto the subject of Alexander The Great's tomb, and he said, 'They'll never ever find it, no matter where they look, because Alexander the Great is buried in Broome, in Western Australia'....

"Approximately 50 years ago, some guy went into a cave in Broome and he saw some inscriptions in there and they looked like ancient Greek.

"He reported it to the government, then the government went and saw it and they confirmed there were some inscriptions there.

"....he defined the inscriptions as saying, in ancient Greek, 'Alexander the Great'.

"The government did say to him at that time, 'You didn't see this, OK, this never happened'."

"Nobody ever, ever suspected that Alexander could have died in Broome..."

Great story.

In primary school, there was a big map of the world on the wall. While we were being taught that Europeans didn't reach Australian shores until the 16th century, at the earliest, I'd look at that map, at the way you could pretty well paddle a canoe (with land stops for food, water, rest) from the Middle East to just above Darwin, and think "Bullshit." If you could make that journey in a canoe (and some have), why couldn't mariners a thousand or two thousand years ago have made the same trip?

Many years later I met an old Aboriginal man in Katoomba who said that he been told ancient stories of visitors who worshipped the sun being shipwrecked at different times on both coasts, perhaps four thousand years ago. The visitors, supposedly from Egypt, and the local Aboriginal tribes exchanged gifts and traded rock carving and hieroglyphic making techniques. Some of the Egyptians died here, others built ships and left again. And some who left, returned.

Years later again, an Egyptologist at the British Museum listened to this tale and said while there was next to no proof that such meetings actually did happen, centuries of Egyptian history is lost to us, wiped away by revisionists, looting and decay, particularly from the centuries when sun worship was at its peak.

The fact that we cannot find proof now does not mean such encounters did not happen. If Egyptians did meet Aboriginals three thousand years ago, it also would help explain why the ancient Egyptians and some Aboriginal tribes had the same name for the sun, 'Ra', and shared some very similar funereal rights and mummification practises.

And then there's the boomerangs found in the tomb of Tutankhamun :

Censor This

I'd never even thought about visiting Australia's most popular homemade porn site, until the government decided for me that soon I shouldn't be allowed to see it :

A secret list of websites deemed illegal by the communications watchdog has been leaked to the public, and includes one of the most popular sites in the country.

The site, which news.com.au cannot name, is the 38th most popular site in Australia, according to web ranking service Alexa.

It is a popular pornography website estimated to be visited by millions of Australians.
It's called YouPorn. People vid themselves fucking and post the vid there for whoever's interested in watching them fuck. There are thousands of homemade porn vids at the site, watched by millions of Australians.

The Wikileaks webpage that broke the story of what sites and pages are actually on the internet blacklist has now been censored for most Australians :
http://wikileaks.org wiki/Australian_government_secret_ACMA_internet_censorship_blacklist,_6_Aug_2008
As has the rest of Wikileaks. All of it. Every single page. Which will make any number of the world's most powerful corporations and the governments of the United States, the UK, Israel, China and Saudi Arabia very happy indeed.

Some of the banned or blocked sites and pages on the Rudd government internet blacklist :







From what I can work out, it will be (or already is) illegal for me to directly link to the above pages, but it's not illegal for me to tell you that you can cut and paste those URLs into the address window and hit return. It's not yet illegal to visit those sites, but they're believed to be on the proposed mandatory internet filtering list. So one day soon, it might be.

More on the pages the government does not, or at soon will not, allow you to see :

* A page of 'weird pictures' on Wikipedia that has collected the weirdest pictures that have appeared on other Wikipedia pages. It's mostly bondage, fetish and Karma Sutra-type sexual positions illustrations.

* Anti-abortion websites that contain images of feotuses, along with Christian websites that are linking to graphic anti-abortion websites.

* A couple of pages on Ways To Kill Yourself. Some are serious, like hanging, others are ridiculously silly, and purposely so, like trying to microwave your head.

* Pages that have been online, in various forms, since about 1988 that detail how to cause low-key chaos in your neighbourhood, how to make your own guns and how to boobytrap your home against intruders.

* Pages of graphic images of civilians killed and wounded in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

* A page on how to use poisons to kill yourself. The most shocking thing on that page is just how many common pharmaceuticals can be used for suicide, and how small some of the fatal doses can actually be.

An interesting conspiracy theory on just what the Rudd government may be up to, from a Reddit commenter :
The Internet filtering plan seems to have been a ploy by the Labor government to win favour with Stephen Fielding, a socially conservative Christian Evangelical senator.

However, there is now no way he could support an Internet filter if it meant that it would block Australians from accessing an anti-abortion website. Any chance of an Internet filter in Australia is now dead in the water.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Labor government was somehow involved in this, as a quick way of killing off an unpopular policy without getting offside with Fielding.
No doubt there will be more to come on this....

UPDATE : Wikileaks is now available once more to Australians, and here's the list of blacklisted websites.

I'd seriously advise all readers of The Orstrahyun to not click any of the links on the Wikileaks 'ACMA Blacklist' page . From the URLs alone, there are clearly hundreds of truly demented and illegal sites there, the kind you never want showing up on your permanent websurfing records. Plus, it's not yet known if some site you visited yesterday or three years ago, even out of simple curiosity, could can be used to prosecute you in the future.

Frankly, seeing the URLs alone of many of the blacklist sites is enough to make anyone feel utter revulsion.

But should fetish sites be categorised, and banned, alongside child porn sites?

Will the growing blacklist eventually include sites that carry political tracts of what we now label, or will soon label, "extremists"?

Will mainstream media companies, already losing lots of business to independent bloggers and independent news sites, eventually lobby the ACMA to have some of the competition taken down?

And what is likely to become the most contentious question of all : How will anti-hate speech laws be used to censor sites that may be labeled anti-religious, or offensive to any one religion?
Broke? Nearly Homeless? Unemployed? Cheer Up, At Least You'll Have More Time To Spend With The Kids

By Darryl Mason

How intense is the rage being felt by the hundreds of thousands of Australians who devoted much of their lives to work, and commuting, for the past decade now only to find themselves no better off, and in many cases far poorer, than they were before they started living to work?

The best cure for years of intense, life-dominating, work is not a two week holiday, it's being unemployed. A good few months off always reminds you just how much more life has to offer than 60 hours a week behind a desk, or a steering wheel. Of course, the money's absolutely shit.

And far too many in Australia will learn this is all so very true as the global re-ordering of economies, wealth, trade and financial systems continues to wreak its seemingly endless destruction.

The new poverty, the first blast of long-term unemployment millions of young Australians have ever experienced, will have to be marketed to us as something positive, an overdue fresh look at the 'Work/Life Balance :

With falls in consumer demand starting to affect jobs, the customary "how's work?" is now followed by "has anyone been sacked?" and detailed analyses of how unfair/random/scary it all is. However, to avoid retrenchments many companies are implementing four-day weeks, extending leave, and cutting hours. In a country crying out for work-life balance, those experiencing such alternatives may not want a return to unsustainable patterns of paid work.

Levels of work-life stress have reached epidemic levels, with 55 per cent of employees feeling constantly rushed, and 46 per cent perceiving inflexible working times (Skinner and Pocock 2008, Work, Life and Workplace Culture). Such mismatches between actual and desired work patterns illustrate how organisational cultures are simply outmoded.

Though Australians on average work long hours, professional services firms classically illustrate how workers are reduced to timesheets. Each billable hour increases revenue, and costs firms nothing if employees are salaried. Their logic, therefore, is to equate long hours with greater production, call this "productivity".

Physical and mental health problems become increasingly widespread, carers are denied 'real jobs' because they can't put in 50-hour weeks, while working parents increasingly miss out on the lives of their children.

We could continue this trend towards one-dimensional existence, or we could take a stand.

We know that money doesn't buy happiness, and that our "standard of living" transcends mere consumption. Amongst talk of reducing monetary excess, we have a rare chance to influence that most precious of resources - time.

If we choose to, we could jump off the treadmill of consumption and work. If we choose to, we could redefine our workplaces, homes and communities. If we choose to, we could stop running, and start living.

Living non-expensive lives, that is. Which is not hard when you find yourself unemployed. The less you have, the less you spend. The choice in what is happening to Australian workers now, however, is being made by someone else. It's not quite the same as saying, "Fuck this, I've had enough, I need to get rid of all this work if I'm ever going to learn what living is all about."

Forcing people to reassess their work/life balance by taking away their jobs is more like shock therapy.

Maybe that will be the new way to tell someone they've got the flick : "We've decided you need some time to reassess your work/life balance."

Those who have to sell us the upsides of losing homes and discovering long-term unemployment, to fight the rise in suicides, depression and domestic violence, need to come up with something better, something that sounds a lot more fun than "The Frugal Years" to describe the many dozen months of The New Recession We Simply Had No Choice To Have.

They need to make unexpected poverty and unemployment sound like some kind of fun.

Perhaps that's how the Rudd government can brand market all the unemployment - "It's Not A Bad Thing, It's A Good Thing!"

They could run nightly ads reminding you just how great it is that you now have so much more time to spend with the family, or complete those long overdue home repair and renovation projects, or to reassure you that you can go to the (discounted) afternoon cinema sessions, on a weekday, without feeling guilty.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We Will Be Monitoring You

Andrew Bolt, The Professional Idiot, suddenly realises (again) that some of his commenters might actually be fakes, posting multiple comments under multiple names. What a shock!

(click to enlarge)

Bolt's blog has been japed, sometimes mightily, by multiple identity commenters for years. He never seemed to mind so much when it was Liberal Party staffers doing most of it, mostly to create the illusion of a fiery "debate" that few real people were actually interested in having.

The question is, if Bolt discovered that some of his most prolific commenters were professional comment leavers, would he ban them, or tolerate their contributions to keep those '1 Million Hits A Month' flowing in?
Just Another Sideshow

The "I can't believe this shit!" takedown by The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair of the new global warming hyperarama movie, The Age Of Stupid, would be far more convincing if the following "We Are Global Warming True Believers" Corporate Green banner ad from the boss didn't keep popping up all over his blog :

And if his co-editors didn't keep putting headlines like this on the The Daily Telegraph's front page :

Who is more hypocritical?

The climatologist who truly believes in the threat to humanity posed by climate change, but who also flies to conferences to convince the world that they need to stop flying so much?

Or the alleged journalist who claims global warming is "completely bogus" yet earns a living from a media company that is the world's biggest, most influential, most powerful promoter of "the clear, catastrophic threat" from climate change? A corporation that proudly admits to injecting global warming hysteria into cartoons and TV shows watched by billions.

This Age Of Stupid movie sounds like absolute junk, but when will Blair stop piddling around with the small fry in the Age Of Climate Change and go after the real main players, the ones who are convincing children that their parents are killing the planet because they want to watch the cricket or Law Or Order on a big screen TV?

He could start with his own boss, Rupert Murdoch, and the Corporate Greenism that infects News Limited for starters. That Murdoch is, ultimately, Blair's boss should have nothing to do with his exposure of the global warming hysteria and hypocrisy that helps to pay his wages.

UPDATE : The Professional Idiot, Andrew Bolt, has a flurry of blog posts challenging the consensus scientific opinion on the reality of global warming, but his own employers are counter-acting his work with the very same ads that make Blair looks ridiculous :

News Limited, as I've stated above, is the most powerful, most influential force in creating a mass mind which believes global warming is real. Both Blair and Bolt refuse to go after what any rational person can see is the Number One distributor and promoter of global warming hysteria and Corporate Greenis, simply because they are being paid not to.

Blair and Bolt are paid not to shut up about global warming, but to not criticise the massive 'Global Warming Is Reality' propaganda campaign Rupert Murdoch's worldwide media has been unrolling for at least two years.

Al Gore? Easy target.

Fat, hairy old hippies living without electricity? Easy target.

Deluded protester walking a thousand kilometres to stop global warming? Dead easy target.

Rupert Murdoch and News Limited's nefarious campaign to realitise global warming?

Utterly untouchable.
I Want To Know, But You Don't Have To Tell Me That

By Darryl Mason

There is sometimes a bit of wisdom to be found amongst the usual anti-Muslim frothing, bizarre Rudd-related conspiracy theories and Howard/Costello worship at The Professional Idiot's.

This from NC :
...the public doesn’t have a right to know and you would be surprised how many don’t want to know. The “public” has no rights over the private lives of individuals, they are just that “PRIVATE”.

The death of a person may be news, the grief of their friends and family is not. Who decided it was news worthy to shove a microphone in the face of a grieving mother and ask ‘How does it feel’, pity the response of “how do you think moron” is edited out.

For too long we in Australia have been fed a steady diet of gossip and been told it is news. The opinions of journalists are reported as news rather than opinion, worse still journalists interviewing journalists about events rather than getting the news from the source. Sloppy, lazy and trashy reporting, too many so called journalists don’t do their homework before interviews and display their ignorance the moment they open their mouths asking inane questions

I don’t care which Hollywood star is sleeping with whom, its not news, neither is asking so jetlagged starlet or sports person, “how do you like Australia” the minute they get off the plane.

It’s not news, it’s not informative - its gossip, but far too often its lead item on the TV news or on the front page.

All of this is exactly why so many Australians are turning away from the dead tree media, soaking up news instead from blogs and alternative news sites.

Rupert Murdoch's Australian media are reeling from the gratuitously tasteless fake photo scandal surrounding Pauline "That's Not My Belly Button" Hanson.

And so they should.

Many of the non-blog Murdoch news sites had to stop accepting comments because the vast majority of commenters were heavily slamming The Daily/Sunday Telegraph and Herald Sun for propagating so much creepy shit, and invading Hanson's privacy in a deeply disturbing way.

Will they learn anything from it?

Only if the damages they have to pay out cost more than the profits made from running the non-story across its front pages and all over its online 'news' sites.

You want to know why corporate tabloid media is dying? This is why. The pap and crap doesn't distract the public like it once did, this is why newspapers like The Sunday Telegraph are so desperate they will pay $15,000 to a dying man, with a very vague memory, for photos that kind of look like Pauline Hanson might have at 20, but are probably from an Eastern Europe porn/dating site.

And on old photos that some may wish have disappeared forever, here's an interesting rumour bouncing back from New York : Murdoch owns MySpace, and every drunken party photo some kid puts up there gets copied, named, tagged and filed away. Why? Just in case that partying kid becomes someone famous and decides to delete their MySpace profile and photos, the Murdoch media will always have copies of those photos that may, one day, cause much regret.

If anyone from the Murdoch media is willing to deny the above, in full, I will be more than happy to update with a correction, or clarification.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Stand By The Lyrics That I Don't Believe In Anymore

Last weekend, Peter Garrett went some way towards repairing the damage he wrought upon die-hard Midnight Oil fans, when he entered Parliament and gave the impression that he didn't stand by the songs he'd sung and recorded with the Oils, and that he saw himself in the band as just a performer, nothing more.

During a press conference before the Sound Relief gig, the Minister for the Environment announced this disclaimer :

“I think that you can look at lyrics out of any songs and clearly, there are going to be lines there that pertain to any human situation. But the songs stand in their own right and in their own time.”

Wait a minute, he's still saying he doesn't believe in the lyrics he put his voice and his name to. Not anymore, anyway.

The Sound Relief gigs held in Sydney and Melbourne, which also saw performances by Jet, Kylie Minogue, Hoodoo Gurus, The Presets and WolfMother, amongst the dozens of acts, raised more than $5 million for the victims of the Victorian Fires.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Ted Is Still Big Ted, Isn't He?

The best thing that happened to Australian politics last year was The HollowMen.

In a new clip, The HollowMen deal with the always contentious issue of just how much funding the ABC should get, and what they should be expected to deliver :

Working Dog, the team of actors, writers and producers behind The HollowMen, equally skewered Australian tabloid current affairs TV back in the 1990s with Frontline. The strange thing is, producers of Australian tabloid current affairs TV appear to have spent much time watching host Mike Moore working his tragedy-magic on Frontline, and took lots of notes. Today Tonight and A Current Affair are as reminiscent today of their own parody Frontline, as Status Quo are of Spinal Tap.

From Frontline, episode 11 :
BRIAN: Our audience simply doesn’t have the concentration span.
MIKE MOORE: (playing with a bit of stationary) …
BRIAN: Mike?
MIKE MOORE (looks up) Sorry.
BRIAN: We’ve got three minutes to do a story. Five if it involves nudity.
Did Frontline actually become a training video for Australian current affairs presenters and producers?

It only just occurred to me how much the office scenes from Frontline remind me of Ricky Gervais' The Office. There's obviously big differences, but the cast of characters is vaguely similar, it's mostly set in office of course, it's shot like a documentary, and Mike Moore is just as ignorant and self-obsessed as David Brent.

There's plenty more Frontline here if you need further convincing that Ricky Gervais saw the show in England (Frontline was screening on cable when I was there in 1997 and 1998) and thought 'Brilliant! I can do that!'
We Don't Have Time To Spy On Everything

Australia's key intelligence and spying agency, ASIO, is apparently not aware that there is a fake ASIO Twitter.

That's not exactly reassuring, is it?

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation wasn't aware of its fake account, which announces security updates warning, among other things, people not to eat things that smell bad.

"We would urge anyone interested in ASIO to go to our official website," an ASIO spokeswoman said.

Some stout advice from and pro-security news from the fake-ASIO Twitter :
We have already filed a report detailing both Peter Garrett's dance, and his mishapen head as a threat to national security.

Thanks to mindcontrol drugs/art sweeteners; half chance consumers will rise up against a corrupt Government.

(ASIO) is fighting the 'good fight'. We may be on your side, but we're still going to ensure that Freedom doesn't win.

(ASIO) owns everyone of any significance in the major media. Except for Rove. Nobody wants to own Rove.

SECURITY ALERT: Fire relief concerts appreciate relative irony of being rained out.3:53 PM Mar 14th from web

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Stand By The Lyrics That I Don't Believe In Anymore

Last weekend, Peter Garrett went some way towards repairing the damage he wrought upon die-hard Midnight Oil fans, when he entered Parliament and gave the impression that he didn't stand by the songs he'd sung and recorded with the Oils, and that he saw himself in the band as just a performer, nothing more.

During a press conference before the Sound Relief gig, the Minister for the Environment announced this disclaimer :

“I think that you can look at lyrics out of any songs and clearly, there are going to be lines there that pertain to any human situation. But the songs stand in their own right and in their own time.”

Wait a minute, he's still saying he doesn't believe in the lyrics he put his voice and his name to. Not anymore, anyway.

The Sound Relief gigs held in Sydney and Melbourne, which also saw performances by Jet, Kylie Minogue, Hoodoo Gurus, The Presets and WolfMother, amongst the dozens of acts, raised more than $5 million for the victims of the Victorian Fires.

When I Look In The Mirror, I See A Stupid Man Looking Back

If you were a blogger for a daily Murdoch newspaper, and you had recently sent lawyers after an independent news site that dared suggest you, or someone in your household, was commenting hundreds of times, under aliases, at your own blog (and warned other bloggers to stay away from the story), would you be game enough to draw attention to a blog that doesn't get many commenters at all?

This Murdoch blogger is game enough :
The words-to-comment ratio at this talky leftoid site – which reads a little like an unedited and slightly concussed Mike Carlton – is a remarkable 3,104/1.
This is the post from The Michael Duffy Files that grated that Murdoch blogger so much he had to do something really stupid (excerpts) :
What sort of fucked up fantasy life does Tim Blair live?
On his commenters :
What a sick bunch of fuckers. A bit like the kids bullied in the schoolyard fantasizing about payback and blowing the mother fucker bullies away. You know in black trench coats with pistols.

Blair's always been a smarmy, snide, evasive, furtive gadfly, relying on others to do his dirty work. Sometimes he lets down his guard with a stupid comment, and the fully horsehit, fly blown nature of his thinking creeps out into the sunshine.

He sure knows how to dog whistle to his loon mates. It's just a pity he doesn't know how to pick up the dog shit when it gets smeared all over his blog.

And by the way, steroid rage is bad for you, along with ignorance of movies. Take a valium, drop an e, and go into a dark space, to chill out, like mushrooms. Second thoughts, why not eat the mushrooms? Like Alice, you might enter a new time space continuum in your peculiar minds.
When you insult this blogger's commenters, you are not only insulting his readers, you are insulting his friends and/or housemates, and probably a typing cat as well.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pristine Beaches Trashed By Renewable Energy Spill

By Darryl Mason

More than 10,000 solar panels and 200 wind turbines were washed off the deck of a Chinese freighter late last week, during a cyclonic storm. Now, the solar panels and turbine blades are washing ashore along more than 100 kilometres of Australia's most majestic coastline. Dozens of beaches in Queensland are now closed to the public, as hundreds of volunteers go about the barely monumental task of picking up all the solar panels, while heavy vehicles are now being brought in to remove the turbine blades.

The whole clean-up operation is not expected to cost millions of dollars will not keep some of Australia's most popular beaches closed beyond Monday. The Queensland government has declared a State Of UnEmergency.

"It's terrible, just a complete non-disaster," said Rada Bonflair, founder of the controversial pro-fossil fuels lobby group, Mother Nature Hates Renewable Energy, She Really Does.

"The solar panels are very difficult to remove from the beaches. You need at least two people to pick up each one. The wind turbines will take at least twenty minutes for each to be hoisted away. This whole clean-up could take a day and a half. If this spill was of toxic chemcials, dioxins and oil, then it would be a very different story."

A volunteer at one beach clean-up operation said his fellow volunteers were getting angrier by the hour as they continued to find no injured animals to rescue, outside of a few fish, and no nests of destroyed turtle eggs.

"If this had been 100,000 barrels of oil? Now that would have been a worthwhile disaster," the volunteer said. "We would have been cleaning dozens of pelicans and shaking our heads very angstly, and we'd be sifting sand to get out every last sticky globule. It would have taken weeks, cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and resulted in hundreds of lost jobs because our pristine beaches would now look like absolute shit on the evening news across the world."

Rada Bonflair said there was a valuable lesson to be taken from the non-destruction of Australian beaches by the renewable energies spill.

"People love to use a variety of renewable energies because it makes them feel good," she said, "and they think that their choice not to use oil or burn coal is somehow pleasing to Mother Nature. Well, it's not. She gave us oil and coal to burn, and when we stop using her free gifts, she becomes very, very angry indeed. What didn't happen to all those still beautiful and undamaged beaches from this non-disaster was no accident. Mother Nature was sending us a message. If we don't use the fossil fuels she has created for us, then she will absolutely not punish it. We don't have much time left."