Sunday, May 31, 2009

If You Park That Thing In My Driveway, I Can't Be Held Responsible For What I Might Do To It

Jeremy Clarkson explains the Australian "Civil War" over Fords Vs Holdens for his readers in the UK :
In Oz, everyone is either a supporter of Holden, part of General Motors, or a supporter of Ford.

Oh sure, there are solicitors and accountants who will claim they are above such nonsense, but when pressed they will say: “Of course, I’m a GM man by birth and I would never allow a Ford onto my drive because” — and at this point they start to get a bit red in the face — “they are all raving poofters and” — by this stage they will be banging the table — “I hate them. I would gladly lay down my life and the lives of my children for Holden and I will kill anyone with a hammer if they disagree.”
That's pretty much how I remember it in suburban Sydney in the 1970s. In my neighbourhood, if you dared to drive a Ford and support Manly, well, you were downright radical. Dangerous, even.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's A Shame Someone Had To Die For This Scene To Become Reality, But...

It's the stuff that living nightmares are made of. The living nightmare where you're the one inside the coffin, screaming to be let out, and only hearing horn hoots, bells and the sound of big red noses being squeaked in reply.

An amazing gallery of mourning clowns can be seen here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Prime Minister Discount Bus Pass, Please

According to the 'Do Nothing/Do Something' Climate Change exhibition at the Australian Museum in Sydney - the first museum exhibit I've ever seen that gives a museumy look back at future events that may or may not happen - some time in the next couple of decades the prime minister of Australia will ride a bus to work, soaking up the praises of passers-by for his Greenist infrastructure policies :

Note the prime minister is sporting Hippie Hair and is also wearing a Red t-shirt.

More from inside the Do Nothing/Do Something exhibit here soon.
"An Enormous Disservice To Science"

This is the kind of review you get when you base a book around Andrew Bolt-approved conspiracy theories about global warming :

The writings are always earnest, often involve conspiracy theories and are scientifically worthless.

Plimer sets out to refute the scientific consensus that human emissions of CO2 have changed the climate. He states in his acknowledgments that the book evolved from a dinner in London with three young lawyers who believed the consensus. As Plimer writes: "Although these three had more than adequate intellectual material to destroy the popular paradigm, they had neither the scientific knowledge nor the scientific training to pull it apart stitch by stitch. This was done at dinner."

This is a remarkable claim. If Plimer is right and he is able to show that the work of literally thousands of oceanographers, solar physicists, biologists, atmospheric scientists, geologists, and snow and ice researchers during the past 100 years is fundamentally flawed, then it would rank as one of the greatest discoveries of the century and would almost certainly earn him a Nobel prize. This is the scale of Plimer's claim.

If Plimer can do what he claims, and can prove that human emissions of CO2 have no effect on the climate, then he owes it to the scientific community and, in fact, humanity, to publish his arguments in a refereed journal.

The arguments that Plimer advances in the 503 pages and 2311 footnotes in Heaven and Earth are nonsense. The book is largely a collection of contrarian ideas and conspiracy theories that are rife in the blogosphere. The writing is rambling and repetitive; the arguments flawed and illogical.

Plimer believes "global warming" occurring on Mars, Triton, Jupiter and Pluto proves human emissions of CO2 don't affect Earth's climate.

He believes global warming does not lead to biological stress. He believes volcanoes emit significant quantities of chlorofluorocarbons. He believes the sun formed on the collapsed core of a supernova. All these ideas are so wrong as to be laughable: they do not offer an "alternative scientific perspective".

Plimer has done an enormous disservice to science, and the dedicated scientists who are trying to understand climate and the influence of humans, by publishing this book. It is not "merely" atmospheric scientists that would have to be wrong for Plimer to be right. It would require a rewriting of biology, geology, physics, oceanography, astronomy and statistics.

Now that would be a book of reality-shattering consequence.

Sales of Ian Pilmer's 'Heaven & Earth' appear to have peaked at just under 4000 copies, including sales to libraries and universities. Andrew Bolt claimed the book had shifted 25.000 copies.

Bolt promoted the shit out of 'Heaven & Earth' on his '1 million hits a month!' blog and it received at least a dozen big raves by columnists for The Australian, Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun. The message from them all was clear and hysterical, there's a Great Greeny Global Warming Conspiracy underway and this book exposes it! You Must Read This Book!

But even with all that free promotion and praise, 'Heaven & Earth' sold only moderately well. As a loose comparison, my first novel, Max & Murray, sold about the same number of copies, in the same time period, but without appearances all over the ABC and the dozens of pages of hype in The Australian.

Pilmer's book sales clearly show the supposedly vast unrepresented masses who don't think global warming poses a threat to Australian industry, tourism or general livelihood is not anywhere near as great as Bolt likes to lead his readers to believe. This is why the Liberal Party doesn't want to fight an election on Global Warming Reality, they know the actual levels of dissent amongst the Australian public doesn't match the reality claimed by the likes of Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair and Piers Akerman. All three are Murdoch employees who repeatedly fail to acknowledge that their own boss, Rupert Murdoch, is the most influential promoter of the 'Global Warming Myths' they claim will lead this country to greater economic ruin than we are currently experiencing.

Victorian Fires' Intensity Equal to 1500 Atomic Bombs

By Darryl Mason

The Royal Commission into the Victorian Bushfires will hopefully lead to changes in fire management and disaster planning that will lessen the likelihood of so many Australians dying in our next, inevitable, encounter with an apocalyptic firestorm.

We are still yet to learn more about those Black Saturday rumours that claimed residents of Marysville and Kinglake were not put under a mandatory evacuation because CFA planners were more worried about evacacuees crashing their cars trying to escape (blocking roads for rescue vehicles, causing a multitude of car accidents, becoming trapped on roads swept by fire) than they were about people staying put and taking their chances. Staying put was how most Australians living in the bush have long dealt with bushfires. Not anymore.

But fire behaviour experts testifying at the commission have also made clear that the weather conditions of Black Saturday, or way the fires spread, so quickly, were anything but commonplace events. These were bushfires of unimaginable intensity and ferocity :

Black Saturday fires burned so fiercely they produced energy the equivalent of 1500 atomic bombs the size of the Hiroshima explosion - enough to power Victoria for a year - the bushfires royal commission heard yesterday.

A fire behaviour expert, Dr Kevin Tolhurst, said the best firefighting equipment could be used in direct attacks only on fires that burnt up to 4000 kilowatts a metre. He later told the Herald that some fires on February 7 burned at an intensity of 150,000 kilowatts.

Dr Tolhurst, senior lecturer in fire ecology and management at Melbourne University, also said fires could burn in an area for much longer than people are led to believe from fire-safety information, which suggested a fire-front would pass in about 10 minutes.

He said this timeframe was true of fronts, but not of "fire-activity areas" dotted with spot fires, where the area could remain dangerous to life from radiant heat for an hour or more.

Dr Tolhurst said the average rate at which fires moved on Black Saturday was about 12 kmh, but it travelled for short bursts at up to 60 kmh. Fireballs did exist, he said: "What a lot of people have seen have been fair-dinkum fireflares or fireballs."

He said these were created because the fuel on the day was so dry and the temperatures so high that burning plants gave off volatile gases quickly.

For now, the most compelling explanations for the outbreaks of the fires centre around a fallen power line, at least two alleged incidents of fires being set by CFA volunteers and a lightning strike.

ABC News keeps a dedicated page for updates from the Royal Commission here.

February 9 : A Holocaust Of Fire, Cyclone Of Flames, Burn Hundreds To Death

This Is Australia, We Burn

Wreckage - The Most Haunting Images Of The Victorian Bushfires

The Myths Of Marysville - They Died In The Church, On Their Knees, In Prayer

Shut It Down And Burn It Up, He's Onto Us

Tim Andrews, somehow involved with offshore promotions to increase membership to the Young Liberals through conservative T & A uncovers another rotten Lefty conspiracy :
"It is also well-documented that there has been a concerted effort by the left in recent months to publish offensive comments on right-leaning blogs, and then attack the blog for their own comments. I do not intend to give them this opportunity."
This is now the standard boilerplate for all conservative bloggers.

It's not us, it's them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday night, Sydney Harbour, shaky ferry :


Sunday, May 24, 2009

We Have To Know Who You Are

By Darryl Mason

There was a can of Dulux paint on a white rectangle stand in the Museum of Contemporary Art. It looked like it had been left there by whoever rolled on the wall's most recent coat of paint. But no.

The Can was Art.

It had a guard.

The crowd gathered in a wing of the MCA to hear, because most couldn't see, a seated debate on Blogging Versus Journalism, with mandatory humming microphone, were hardly likely to start kicking over artworks and trashing installations, but the Can of Paint had its own security guard. Apparently they were worried about the exhibit being "Jostled".

As the afternoon debate wore on, more guards arrived to erect a little security zone around the Can of Paint.

It was hard to concentrate on the debate itself. The action around the Can of Paint was fascinating, sometimes downright hypnotic.

As debater Margo Kingston explained how she had been "broken" by her correspondent work covering the first rise of Pauline Hanson, a gaggle of Japanese tourists walked past the debate and headed for the Can.

They drawn to it, like I was.

One of the younger tourists couldn't resist. He reached for the Can. Two security guards intervened, silently. The tourists left.

The debate continued. Margo Kingston revealed that the Sydney Morning Herald's Paul McGeogh had either got her into journalism or got her into blogging, it might have been both. She said McGeogh was in the room. Which one is he? There's easy a dozen aging men in the room who could pass for McGeogh. I depleted the targets in a visual search of the crowd by only looking for McGeoghs who looked like they seen some of the most goddawful fucking shit no-one could ever imagine in some foreign hell war zone, but there were at least six who could have passed for...there was more action at the Can of Paint.

Another clutter of tourists who were also totally ignorant of the hundred or so people and five debaters they were all quietly listening to, headed for the Dulux. This is the problem of holding a debate in an open, functioning wing of a popular museum dead centre in a major tourist zone.

The atmosphere was all wrong. It was too clinical, the room was too white, all the bloggers should have been standing, it would have been better in a pub, you needed at least one big drink to get through 90 minutes of it. Maybe it needed an element of bingo or something. Every time a debater finished a statement, they called out a number.

And it was all so polite. The heated argument count was zero. Debaters Tim Blair and Antony Lowenstein met before the debate and greeted each other pleasantly.

What? No chair throwing?

I thought there was supposed to be at least half-a-bogan amongst the debaters to get some trouble started, to fire it all up. Alas, no.

It grew increasingly difficult to concentrate on the quiet debate.

I kept getting distracted thinking about what would have happened if Channel Nine and the Murdoch media already had a pay-per-story or video viewing debit system in place, as their owners dream they one day will, all through the hilarious Chk Chk Boom! Suckers!' fakery.

What would happen now the story has been revealed as fake if hundreds of thousands of paying users had coughed about four or five digital dollars each to watch a couple of Clare "Two Wogs Fighting" videos and read a half dozen stories over a few days?

The story wasn't real. Consumers would have paid for fictitious news. How would the media companies repay all they had cheated with this fluff? How often could they get away with it? Would a future where fake news stories are more popular than real ones, and more essentially profitable, come into reality?

If they sell you news and it turns out to be fake, or worse, it turns out they knew at some point before they stopped selling it that the story was not what it seemed, or what was originally pitched through headlines, will everyone who paid actually want a refund, even if its offered? Will they care if the fluff is entertaining and distracting enough?

Debater Tim Blair, of the Daily Telegraph, raised the intensity level of the debate to just above tepid when he took a ridiculous blog killing idea out for a bit of a spin in front of whoever all those people were.

He sounded enthusiastic about the day when all comments on blogs will herald the name of the person who posted it.

In short, the age of anonymous commenting comes to an end, on all blogs, not just his own.

It's a strange thing for someone working at a media organisation that is now relying on the thousands of mostly anonymous-posted comments that appear each day across its blogs, its news stories, to keep the online business model healthy to come out and champion. Online news sites needs comments, lots of them, and most of them are anonymous.

And it was slightly surreal that someone already caught up in a dodgy blog comments-related controversy was actually saying doing away with anonymous commenting would solve many of the problems bloggers face with the comments that sometimes pour into, or out of, their blogs.

Some problems might be solved for Blair with mandatory online ID.

Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

If there was an online equivalent of the photo ID, at a guess, I'd say there'd be about 60% less comments on news stories at all of Murdoch's online media. About the same across most of its blogs, probably 80% less comments overall at Andrew Bolt's, and that's not good news. Heavy comment volumes help pay the bills.

Imagine if all those Liberal Party staffers had to hail Peter Costello and rail against Malcolm Turnbull under their real names?

People thoroughly enjoy anonymous commenting. Obviously. It's why it's so popular.

People love making up a fake online identity and calling themselves a twisted moniker of a childhood superhero or their pet's name, or something ordinary like WB, for example, or something weird but catchy like Startled Rabbit In The Headlights. There usually is no consequence for comments made that are not under your own name.

It becomes a different game altogether in a reality of mandatory online ID when every time you read something at 1am, hammered, and you cut loose at some blog about it, go off, your full name permanently imprinted in online archives above some crazed screed, mostly regrettable virtriol, demented thoughts and nerve-shredding opinions, occasional but plentiful abuse. All of it under your own name, accessible by Google.

Commenting at blogs, and now commenting under certain news stories, is popular because it can be done anonymously, without leaving too much of a trace behind. Take away the anonymity, and the comment counts will plunge, instantly.

Every blogger with a healthy roll call of anonymous commenters knows that.

Anonymity sparks not only creativity, but honesty. People lose passion when what they've got to say has to be said under their own name, forever.

And mandatory online ID would mean that holding fake online identities for the purpose of commenting regularly across blogs you love, and those that really make you swear, out loud, but you can't stop reading, that would no longer be legal.

But why should a thought, a bunch of fascinating facts, a torrent of grinding aggro, or a brain steaming opinion, have to be attached to a person's name or identity anyway?

I'm not sure that most people over 40 comprehend how many in the generation growing up online view the ability to comment anonymously, under an alias, or a festival of fictitious avatars.

They're not hiding. It doesn't matter.

It's not who said That Great Thing that is important anymore, if it ever was at all. The identity can never be fully trusted anyway, so it doesn't matter who posted the comment that makes a hundred other regular commenters at a blog or forum flip out and go nuts..

The only thing that matters is what has been said.

The most wild, but true, fact wins.

The funniest line wins.

The most spectacular leaking of explosive secret government documents wins.

The sharpest observation wins.

The clearest 30 word explanation of the most complex news stories or world events wins.

The most apoplectic but hilarious tirade of abuse wins.

Ideas win.

Not personalities, or even a person, certainly not a name.

It's the words, the ideas, that matter.

Nothing more.

All of that, most of that, it goes when mandatory ID is required to step into blog clubs to air your views, or to even add a mild voice of dissent to the online groupthink roar about the latest shocking news event.

Killing Anonymity Kills Comments.

It's that simple.

Before I left the museum I decided to try and get a photo of the Can of Paint on a White Stand with a Security Guard.

But the Security Guard said no.

I left, I didn't want any trouble.

I Hope Kerry O'Brien Really Did Say That, Because It's True

By Darryl Mason

Australia's most boring, dreariest columnist, Gerard Henderson, suddenly comes up with something to quicken the stale blood of all Australian conservatives obsessed with Lefty Commo Green Solar Nazi Pink Batt Obamaist Peter Costello-hating bias at the ABC, in all its most insidious forms.

Particularly that of Big Red himself, Kerry O'Brien :
Coalition Staffer: “Kerry , you realise…I respect Peter [Costello] a lot.”

O’Brien: “Well good luck to you then - I don’t. He doesn’t like politics; he has always been the first one out of here (Canberra) on Thursday. Peter Costello does not have the nation’s interests at heart. He is only in it for himself, always has been, always will be. He needs to get out.” (Note : O'Brien is out late, hammered on tequila, telling them what he thinks)

Coalition Staffer: “I actually really respect some of the reforms of the Hawke-Keating era.”

O’Brien: “Howard and Costello never recognised the importance of their reforms. Costello simply rode on the consequences of the Keating and Hawke wave of economic reform.”

Liberal Party staffers leaking on a journalist. Interesting.

Gerard Henderson only revealed the conversation notes of a close friend for the most hilarious and bitchiest of reasons :
....normally....(I) would not publish the note of a conversation conducted in private on a dark Canberra night or morning. But this is what the 7.30 Report’s political editor Michael Brissenden did concerning a conversation he and two others had with Peter Costello in 2005. Mr Brissenden’s release of the details of this off-the-record conversation a couple of years later was specifically approved by Kerry O’Brien.
Rowwrrr! Take that you unrepentant Whitlam groupie, you.

What really gnaws at the mind of Gerard Henderson is that hundreds of thousands of addicted 7.30 Report viewers will agree just about 100% with what Big Red told the coalition staffers that tequila-drenched post Budget morning. And oh, oh, how it eats at poor Gerard.

The Professional Idiot meanwhile must repute any and all genuine and accurate slayings of his precious Peter. The Idiot appears to have given up his dream-duty of hosting MediaWatch, and is eying up The Chair of Chairs at the ABC, that of The 7.30 Report. But first he and Henderson must drive Big Red from his perch, it's not going to be easy. The Idiot :
Gerard Henderson reveals something on his blog that makes me uneasy,
No, not the rumoured 'FaceBook Style Raunch' photo set Gerard took of himself to help drive recruitment to the Liberal Party. The Professional Idiot is uneasy because Kerry O'Brien apparently expresses 'bias' when he's half-blasted in a pub after a long day.

These freaks of conformity don't even want people to have 'bias' after hours.
Friend : Kerry! What sort of wine should we have with dinner?

Big Red : I'm sorry, the ABC charter does not allow me to express a preference for either the white or the red. Let me list in detail both the positives and negatives present in making such a choice, but I cannot guide you in anyway as you choose....

Friend : Just grab a damned bottle of the red.
The more I think about the possibility of The Professional Idiot hosting Media Watch or, even more fantastically, The 7.30 Report, the funnier it seems. It can only be topped by imagining Gerard Henderson hosting either shows. Obviously the novelty value would wear out fast.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Clare Werbeloff Had The Right Words At The Right Time In The Right Place

But Is She For Real?

UPDATE : No, She's Not

By Darryl Mason

What, a shock :

Internet sensation Clare Werbeloff, instantly famous for her eyewitness account of a Kings Cross shooting last weekend, has admitted she fabricated the story.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the 19-year-old told investigating police that she "made the whole thing up".

"We've spoken to her, but she's not a witness to the shooting," a senior Kings Cross officer said.

"She's told police that she didn't actually see it."

As Ms Werbeloff's newly hired agent, Adam Abrams, confirmed, "She was not a witness. She saw the camera, ran over to it and told this story."

Did she run over from a nearby PR agency?

Interesting. She didn't lie to the police, she only lied to a freelance cameraman near the scene of the shooting, who then sold the footage to Channel Nine.

This might spark an interesting social experiment with the media. People running up to freelance television cameramen at police-heavy scenes and giving totally quotable witness reports to events they didn't see unfold.

Is the "Two Wogs Fighting" mini-saga the kind of News Event the mainstream media is expecting us to start paying to read and view online?

Is this the business model that will save journalism?

Now the media will blame Whoever She Is for forcing them to whip this fakery into a Big Story.

No doubt, 'Clare' and her friends think all the media time devoted to her non-witness comments is fucking hilarious. And it is.

Particularly all the journalists who have proudly declared themselves to be raging against political correctness because, like 'Clare', they too are "part-bogan".

The Herald Sun's Andrew Bolt, again showing why he never stops earning the title of The Professional Idiot, fell deep under the hypnotic spell of hypnotically non-PC Clare :
Clare Werbeloff prefers accuracy to manners in describing a shooting - and that includes doing the voices, too.

It’s made her instantly famous, thanks largely to Tim Blair.
Yes, The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair was particularly excited when he thought 'Clare' really had witnessed what she claimed she had :
"This is excellent."
Tim Blair also once believed that Iraq had nuclear weapons and couldn't wait to attack London. He also believes global warming poses about the same threat to human life as swine flu : zero.

Now Blair knows he, like so many others, got royally P'knd by Clare's very entertaining sham, he's not a happy blogger, and he's sniffing at some kind of conspiracy as a distraction :
Creative Clare....obviously had a source for certain elements of her account.
Blair's solution? Get Clare's friend :
Her friend “Swanny” – who, you’ll recall, also “witnessed” the shooting – might be able to help here.
Why bother? He didn't lie to police either.

The Chk Chk Boom! Chick was worth some 190 comments at Blair's blog, and thousands of page views, when his readers thought her words were real, and what a gormless parade of 20th century insight it provided, filled with high schoolish-gleeful debate about "Wogs" and "Niggers".

When Clare was real, Andrew Bolt helped promote "the club mix" of "Two Wogs Fighting", and claimed :

The police, on the other hand, have suddenly gone blind.
Clare prefers accuracy over manners and the police are "blind".

How much will Rupert want us to pay for that kind of guff?

The thing, most of those in the mainstream media who hyped "Two Wogs Fighting" the hardest won't even care that it's all as fake as the now classic Sunday Telegraph EXCLUSIVE about Pauline Hanson's tits. The Sunday Telegraph editor who said he would quit if the photos turned out to be fake never did.

Channel Nine won't apologise, neither will the rest of the media that treated "Two Wogs Fighting" so seriously, and pumped it to the world. Look at this, this is Australia!

They won't have editorial meetings where they resolve, "to never let this happen again."

Instead, it will be "Next!"

Of course, whoever 'Clare' is will not be forgotten, somebody has to wear the blame for making the media look like morons, again, and if there's more ratings and hits in it, she will be hounded and harassed.

Tooheys did quite well out of it, however.

That big ad in the background of a extremely popular YouTube clip viewed a few hundred thousand times, and seen by millions elsewhere online and on international TV, was a free advertising coup, accident or otherwise.

And regardless of what newspapers or current affairs show claim, this story was broken by an independent news blogger, Mumbrella.


This is Clare "Two Wogs Fighting" Werbeloff :

But is this 'Clare' as well? Working at a PR agency, located just up the road from where the shooting and her stardom began? A PR agency specialising in marketing to youth through viral videos?

Mumbrella lists the reasons why the the Two Wogs Fighting girl might be a cleverly improvised piece of viral marketing.

Channel Nine News insists Chk Chk Boom! Clare is for real, a freelance cameraman said so :

"I think she came up to me and then I said 'Do you know what happened?' and she said 'Yes' and she just spontaneously came up with what you saw on the vision there," Greg said.

"I think she was a young girl that had had a few drinks… it wasn't a beat up.

"She didn't stand there [in front of the beer ad] specifically ... I framed it so that the police car was in the back [of the shot].

"You've got to understand that you're at a shooting, you're there to get the action at the time and usually get a grab afterwards."

Besides Greg's account, there are a few more reasons why this is one of the sillier conspiracy theories to do the rounds of the blogosphere.

It seems highly unlikely (as Mumbrella acknowledged) that The Projects could have reacted quickly enough to turn a random, late-night shooting into a marketing stunt.

Unless they are very good at what they do, and can improvise at a moment's notice.

The suspicion cast upon anything that suddenly becomes popular in viral culture is both good - to flush out the fakes - and cynical, but it is necessary.

PR fakery and press-release journalism fills our newspapers and the evening news, an online generation grows up suspicious of the fact that they are constantly being marketed to, and manipulated. They revel in the fact that, unlike their parents, they are very well aware that marketeers are aiming to influence them, everywhere they go online. It's a game to bust the fakes and they usually win.

You can lobby to have Clare Werbeloff join the ABC's Q & A panel as a social commentator in the Q & A comments section here.
Going Down, Fonzi Style

By Darryl Mason

A Pure Poison commenter asks :

Yes, they can.

Two fine examples in just one day.

Miranda Devine :
"...what it feels to be male, to have testosterone surging through young bodies, building huge muscles and attack instincts for which society has little use any more."

Andrew Bolt, who most of you already know as The Professional Idiot, wants to see an end to the Loud Aussie Abroad tradition of telling the locals to "Get Fucked" :
"It strikes me that our public manners in fact no longer meet the standard required in most other countries, and improving them might make us a lot safer when we travel."
It's a slippery slope for Bolt. Next he'll be telling his readers they have to respect all their religions, too.

That should go down well.

Some more Devine to finish :
Popular culture today presents a narrative in which the liberalisation of sex has travelledd on an inevitable continuum from the 1960s to some Brave New World free-for-all where Huxleyan teens engage in clinical couplings in which the only things to be negotiated are safety and consent.
She takes the mainstream media reality, or popular culture, she believes in far too seriously.
Sorry, What Was That Bob?

During a panel discussion on Q & A last night about group sex and the NRL, Bob Ellis dropped this clanger on Tony Abbott.
Bob Ellis : "You have at least the record of a rugby tour, comrade."
Tony Abbott fear grinned for a few seconds, and the conversation moved, awkwardly, onwards.

UPDATE : From the Q & A transcript :
TONY ABBOTT: I thought you were going to say raise the age of consent for going on a rugby tour. Maybe only let 40 year olds go on rugby tours.

BOB ELLIS: You have a track record of at least a rugby tour, comrade.
Ellis was not making a lot of sense :
BOB ELLIS: The logic of this whole argument is surely to raise the age of consent because most of these people are saying, "Look, she's only 19. How did she know what was going to happen?" I mean, if you're going to go that far, you're either going to say how important it is or, if you're not going to go that far, you're going to say how unimportant it is.
Err, yeah?

Or he was making too much sense....
BOB ELLIS: But Roy Master's view of it is that it is, for better or for worse, common practice."
There you go. You really do learn something new everyday. I didn't know using the older, more famous one as reassuring bait to lure in a teenager and then stand by while the girl is, arguably, being raped, or at least seriously and severely abused, by up to dozen football players, watching each other masturbate, that this was common practice amongst rugby league teams.
"...and if this one man (Mathew Johns) is guilty and should be punished, there are thousands so placed...."
Thousands of rugby league players have done this kind, have they?

And then no sense at all. Ellis' mind is just about fried :
"....and I think there is a question not just of consent, but of complaint. If there was not consent on the night there should have been complaint the following the morning or complaint a week later. And if the complaint takes seven years...

TONY JONES: Well, there was complaint, as it happens, within days to the police.

BOB ELLIS: Yes. Okay. All right.

TONY JONES: So let me hear from Penny Wong...

PENNY WONG: I'm sorry.

BOB ELLIS: Okay. I withdraw that.
Fade out.
Conservative T & A Heats Up Young Liberals

By Darryl Mason

This sultry sex bomb was once used, successfully, to recruit new male members to the Australian Young Liberals :

But this is 21st Century and the Young Liberals know Maggie doesn't have the chub factor she once did for Australian male conservatives. God knows why.

The Young Liberals' Tim Andrews understands that while Maggie is hot, she's just not hot enough to bring in the new recruits, and after hanging out at young Republicans piss-up-and-tits-out parties in Washington DC he decided it was time to see how a 'Hot Chicks Love Conservatives, No Really, They Do' recruitment drive might work in Australia. So he gathered together a collection of FaceBook Photos They May One Day Regret images of young Australian student female conservatives and libertarians under the title :
Why The Right Will Triumph in Australia: Hot Girls
Below is Tim Andrews with John Howard, who Dame Elizabeth Murdoch now calls The Man Who Destroyed The Liberal Party.

Here's Tim Andrews' explanation for why he ditched Margaret "You Look Like You've Done Something Naughty, Young Man, And You Have, Haven't You?" Thatcher and based his recruitment drive around female university Liberal Club students instead (excerpts) :

It is only natural for those of us on the conservative/libertarian side of the political fence to feel a bit glum at the moment. Big government everywhere seems on the rise. Here in Australia the fiscal vandalism of the Rudd Government is unparalleled in our history. Things seem bleak indeed.

However – there is reason for hope! For optimism! Definite proof that here in Australia we shall triumph!

How do I know this? Easy – the Babe Theory Of Politics. To put it simply – we have all the hot girls.

It's actually the Babe Theory Of Rock.

If guys rock up to a pub and find a young, unknown band carving away and see twenty girls steaming up the dance floor and going nuts for the band, some of these guys will leave raving about how awesome the band was and will return for the next gig and bring their mates along. This is why so many girls who look great, cheer louldy and like to dance find it so easy to get on the guest list at early gigs by unknown bands. The guys come because there are girls, then, hopefully, start liking what they hear, and a few more hardcore fans are born.

Tim Andrews' idea, presumably, is that lonely, young conservative males will see the photos and think, 'For the love of Howard! Look at all these babes, I'm signing up tomorrow!'

It'll probably work.

Andrews finishes his pitch for young conservative males to sign up with this :

I rest my case. Join the Liberal Students here.

(BTW: I know there are many other hot Liberal girls out there – so be ready for part 2!)

Some of the comments from his blog :
Gabe Says:
Tim, you are fucking disgusting.

Ross Grove Says:

On select occasions I have reason to call you a genius. This is one of them. Thank you for making the right sexy again.

Stephen Conroy Says:

The two Andrews have given this some attention today, Andrews. I wonder if Bolt really is as “shocked” as he makes out. I bet he beats off to these pics when YouPorn is down.

Tim Andrews Says:
You will be pleased to know that all persons featured on the page did agree to being published here (of course, not that it matters the photos being public domain and all).

Tim Andrews wanted to attract media attention with his 'Conservative Girls Are Hot' campaign and he has.

The Australian :
...there's still something really creepy about the whole thing.

Tim Andrews' Twitter response to The Australian :

Great idea. Burn the Murdoch media, fuckit, when did the Murdoch media ever do anything for the Liberal Party?

40-something Murdoch media column filler Tim Blair approves of photos of young female conservative students lying on their beds in high heels showing some leg :
conservatism is lookin’ good
Andrew Bolt doesn't disapprove, but who can be sure :
The young Liberals are in trouble if they think boasting about the hotness of their female officials is the best way to recruit. Or they’re not, perhaps.
A Blair & Bolt frequent commenter has a thought :

Apparently, Helen Coonan was on Sky News and she thought it was a bit of a laugh and said she wished she was young enough to make Tim Andrews' 'Hot Conservative Girls' list.

But boring, old school Australian conservatives are not impressed. Malcolm Turnbull refused to speak to the media about it, and NSW Liberal leader Barry O'Farrell said he found Tim Andrews' emergency recruitment drive "disappointing and unacceptable."

Pru Goward thinks it's damaging to the Liberal Party brand :

The former Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward says she is disappointed that photos of scantily clad Young Liberal women have been posted on a website in a bid to encourage more men to join the organisation.

Some are wearing bikinis, one is in suspenders and another is lying on a bed.

"I'm disappointed that he's misjudged the importance of a political party like ours that for so long has defended the dignity of men and women," (Pru Goward) said.

Maybe the Young Liberals should have stuck with safe, reliable old Maggie ....photoshopped into a bikini, of course.

UPDATE : Tim Andrews is officially sorry, and sooking a bit. One of his readers tells him to Man The Fuck Up. Well, tells him to be at least as manly as John Howard :
  1. Captain Whacky Says:

    Dry your eyes princess. Some rabid, pinko, back to the trees, enviro-femo nazis don’t like your post so you take it down?!?!?

    Man up for godsake. You have folded faster than superman on laundry day. “Oh noes! Thomeone dothen’t like what I pothted…oh noeth whateves thall I do?”

    You capitulated sonny-jim, What would Howard do? Hmmm? Hmmm? Did he carry on like a little girl with a skinned knee when people disagreed with him? No He took it on the jaw and said “Please sir may I have another”.

The Enviro Femo Nazis from the treetops claim another scalp.

Note : The photos of the student leaders and 'Hot Young Conservatives' have now been deleted from this post.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

You Can Piss In The Street, But Make Sure You're Dressed Sharp

By Darryl Mason

I wonder if Miranda Devine extends the same level of boys-will-be-boys tolerance to the homeless?
No one enjoys the smell of urine in the street but (Willie) Mason's discreet call of nature was hardly a capital offence in the scheme of things and at least he was wearing a nice suit.
And I had no idea that widespread outrage about a 30 year old man leading a gang bang, or more accurately a Gang Wank, on a 19 year old girl involving at least eight men, leaving her unable to walk without help, was all part of a Feminist Conspiracy To Stop Men Violently Fondling Each Other In Public. Thank the smooth, waxed, hairless chests of manly men who chase footballs that Miranda Devine is around to set me straight.

And this is great :
In sanctioned team violence on the football field, young men can test their courage and express what it feels to be male, to have testosterone surging through young bodies, building huge muscles and attack instincts for which society has little use any more. It is teaching them, not to be violent but how to control their violent urges.
That must be why I'm so violent, because I spent more time in the library than groping other boys on a muddy football field. I played a bit of rugby league at school but found it boring, tediously pointless.

The library nerds, like me, knew the more interesting girls were not watching boys play football, but were always to be found where the books were plentiful and the chairs were comfortable. Library nerds also knew that we didn't have to cop an elbow in the jaw, or have a shin shattered, to impress these girls. You just had to listen more than you talked.

Miranda Devine can see the connection between "sanctioned team violence" and grown men standing around wanking as they watch their mates wanking, but she's too cowardly to go anywhere near that bell ringer.

From A Warm, Cosy Home Sydney, Devine Calls Devastated Queensland Cyclone Survivors "Whingers"

Miranda Devine Claims Anti-Iraq War Crowd Find Car Bombings "Satisfying", But Can't Find One Single Person Who Said So

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm Heading For My Pandemic Bunker, Australian Swine Flu Cases Have Soared 300%

Dramatic breaking news from the never hysterical Rupert Murdoch online media portal, :

Good God! Triple! Within a matter of days. This is out of control. Is it now time to salt the corpses of your neighbours for post-pandemic survival rations? Before any of us do anything that drastic, let's go to the story :
Australia now has three confirmed cases of swine flu.


Well, the headline was true. There was one confirmed case of an Australian becoming infected with HumanBirdPig Flu, and now there's two more.

So yes, HumanBirdPig Flu cases in Australia have tripled, they have, in fact, soared 300%.

Headline hit baiting at its best.

UPDATE : Just a quick note to point out that I'm not mocking the people who are sick with swine flu, but the senational nature of the reporting. This can be an extremely nasty flu, and small children in particular who get it are going to feel extremely unwell, and going on what has happened elsewhere in the world, some of those children will die from the virus.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I believe that hundreds if not thousands of Australians have already caught ManBirdPig Flu, but wrote off the symptoms as 'normal' influenza, or a particularly nasty case of the flu they catch most years, and didn't seek medical attention.

The majority of Australians do not go to the doctor or hospital when they catch the influenza strains that pass amongst us every year around this time.

This means that a few dozen who had ManBirdPig Flu did not feel ill enough to stay home or go to a doctor, and ended up spreading it amongst friends and family and fellow commuters.

Short of a major mutation and/or a further melding of this virus with other influenza viruses, like H5N1 (bird flu), I don't think ManBirdPig Flu is going to wipe out hundreds of thousands of people here. But it will probably claim a few hundred lives, or more, before our immune systems learn how to fight it, and adapt to its presence in the flutopia of viruses and bacteria our bodies are continually at war against.

UPDATE : According to a "sensitive but unclassified" May 19 report from the US Centre For Disease Control, 64% of all confirmed or probable ManBirdPig Flu cases in the US occurred in people aged 5 - 24 years old. This is a New Flu that attacks the immune systems of the young and healthy.

Don't Despair, Dance!

Okay, who's been eating those most magical of mushrooms at Brekky Central?

That's seriously fucked up.

I can't wait for the Pandemic Flu Go Go Dancers.
The Chaser has a zippy new website up, in preps for their return to the ABC next week.

Not a lot of new stuff on it yet, but you can get Osama Bin Laden to send a personal message to a friend or enemy, and you can declare your own jihad on just about anything you want.

It's going to be interesting to see what they came up with. Easy to recognise on the streets of Australia, The Chaser team were forced to shoot dozens of new skits and pranks in locations scattered around the world.

Bring The Chaos.
Rudd : I Will Not Say What You Want Me To Say No Matter How Many Times You Ask Me To Say It

By Darryl Mason

Why won't Kevin Rudd go on TV or radio and say the words "$300 billion", in reference to a possible future Australian debt?

Because Rudd knows that the Liberals are going to use any video or audio clip of Rudd saying "$300 billion" in their attack ads in the next election campaign, and he's not going to give that word bomb to them to use against him.

Tony Jones on Lateline
almost managed to crack Rudd open on Monday night. Almost. He gave it a good go, but relented when time was running out. Jones should have taken the approach of the BBC's Jeremy Paxman and asked the question he wanted the answer to at least 14 times in a row.

Still, even then, if Jones asked Rudd "can you say $300 billion debt" 14 times, or more, Rudd wouldn't have said those words.

He learned a lot from the mess John Howard made of election promises about "keeping interest rates low" and "keeping interest rates at record lows".

Trying to pre-empt a Liberal Party attack ad this far out from an election is a pathetic, trivial thing for the prime minister to be worrying about when the economy is rupturing, but Rudd is a political animal, first and foremost.

The Liberal Party, even Malcolm Turnbull, a once formidable manipulator of minds and emotions, still don't seem to understand this essential psychological fact about Kevin Rudd : He was, is and will remain, a mind fucker. He hasn't stopped fucking with the minds of the Liberal Party since he took over the Labor Party leadership in late 2006. And short of a stroke, he won't be stopping the head games anytime soon.

UPDATE : Not only can Rudd say "$300 billion" he can also say "$200 billion", but he still didn't say those monumental levels of debt in any kind of sentence that the Liberals can make sure come back and haunt him, or harass him, leading into the next election, though no doubt they will surely try :
HOST: And Paul Keating had a problem with the R word. Do you have a problem with the B word, billion, I notice and this was on Lateline, you wouldn’t say $200 billion and you still haven’t said it. You say 200 and 300.

PM: That’s exactly right, $200 billion, $300 billion, all I was explaining to you is the actual comparisons which exist between it and the performance of other relevant economies around the world.

Nobody Saw The Financial Crisis Or An Australian Recession Coming?


By Darryl Mason

There seems to be more and more people popping up in the media claiming "nobody saw it coming", the IT being an Australian recession, plunging house prices, a global financial crisis.

But it's not true. You just probably didn't see it coming if you were only reading the business sections of supposedly reputable Australian newspapers, or believing the guff that flowed from so many now discredited financial experts on the evening news, always promising that everything was okay, that stocks were the safest place to park your money, and it still wasn't too late to take out yet another loan on your heavily mortgaged home to buy another $20,000 worth.

If I could see it all coming back in 2006, why didn't the financial experts? That the world was heading for a major, if not unprecedented, financial crisis wasn't exactly a big secret, and you didn't have to search too long or hard to find the stories that told the blindingly obvious truth about what was coming. You just didn't find many of them in the mainstream media, particularly not in that media's business sections.

I published the following story near right on three years ago at the Your New Reality blog :

US Faces "Impending Financial Disaster"

"Tremors Through The Global Financial System"

May 16, 2006

By Darryl Mason

Those kinds of headlines are exactly the words you want to see in a news story about the US Dollar and US stock markets and the growing loss of global market faith in both.

The US, like Australia, has been borrowing more from central bankers than the value of the goods and services it produces.

The US and Australia has been living on vast credit, and now the international lenders look like they're going to start calling in some of the debts, as stock markets in the US and Australia go through an "adjustment", or "downturn".

Is the US on the brink of a recession? Yes. It hasn't tipped over into recession yet, but it's on the brink.

The rush to turn US dollars into gold, and even copper, is the simplest and most obvious sign that the US Dollar is fading rapidly. Gold is regarded as a faithful standard during years of economic turmoil, and some predict it may even reach an incredible $1000 per ounce with the next six to twelve months.

Mind-blowing. A few years back, the first websites I saw that pitched the positives of turning dollars and savings into gold were the alternative news ones.

That was less than two years ago when gold was still at $325 an ounce. Buy gold, buy gold, 'radical' economists chanted, while Bloomberg, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal sniffed at and quickly dismissed the likelihood of gold rising dramatically anytime soon.

So much for the experts.

One of these so-called radical, or alternate, new rhythm economists is Paul Craig Roberts. He's an older, wiser gentlemen of vast experience with the US economy, having served as the Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury during Ronald Reagan's administration.

Here's what he's thinking today :

The US current account deficit as a percent of Gross Domestic Product is unprecedented.

As more jobs and manufacturing are moved offshore, Americans become more dependent on foreign made goods.

This year the deficit could reach $1 trillion.The US pays its current account deficit by giving up ownership of its existing assets or wealth. Foreigners don't simply hold the $800 billion in cash. They use it to acquire US equities, real estate, bonds, and entire companies.American consumers are heavily indebted.

The growth of consumer debt is what has been fueling the this the economic picture of a superpower that can dictate to the world, or is it the picture of a second-rate country dependent on foreigners to finance its consumption and the operation of its government?

You could say virtually the exact same thing about Australia today (not including the word 'superpower').

We, too, depend heavily on foreign lenders to help fuel our recent economic booms. Australians were allowed to borrow vast sums of money to buy houses, cars that depreciated spectacularly and consumer goods that took years longer to pay off than their warranties lasted.

Unlike the US, however, we've had a massive wave of mineral markets boom-time, which sadly is now drawing to a close.

The Howard government collected more than $100 billion in "extra" taxes, over the past four years, on the back of the minerals boom, and blew most of it on the War On Terror, the War On Iraq, meeting superannuation commitments for former politicians and government workers and tax cuts for the richest of all Australians.

The Howard government used virtually none of it for major infrastructure projects or new technical training schemes. The state governments were just as wasteful.

So now we don't have a human stockpile of skilled workers, or the manufacturing facilities for them to work in, we don't yet have a national broadband system (the one alleged to be coming is still years away), and our roads and train lines couldn't cope with all the plugged-in, high-tech workers even if they existed.

What is unique about the Howard government is that they were so brilliantly able to bamboozle the media and the public at large that Australia was one of the leaders of the global economy and, at the same time, convince most Australians (with a spectacular program of propaganda and double-speak) that interest rates were not going to rise.

Of course, Howard actually asked "Who do you trust to keep interest rates low?" But his minions made sure the public understood that to mean "Who do you trust to stop interest rates from rising?"

If you walk out of the casino with $10,000 in cash, but you owe the casino $100,000, you are not a winner, and they will catch up with you. Sooner, rather than later.

For the average credit-card using, mortgage paying, $50,000 per year earning Australian family, the worst is well and truly yet to come.

Hundreds of thousands of Australian families got suckered into the home ownership scam of the past four years, when house prices were over-valued by tens of thousands of dollars, from Brisbane all the way down to Melbourne (with the exception of most rural and country towns).

And, at the same time, they were tossed credit cards to buy white goods to fill those huge homes and to purchase mega-wide screen TVs as fast as China could churn them out.

More than 100 houses a week are now being repossessed by the banks and average credit card debts are spiraling well above $5000. Average household debts, outside of the mortgage, are racketing up to between $10,000 and $15,000.

For a few thousand Australian families, a further half a percent rise in interest rates will mean ruin. For tens of thousands of Australian families, a two or three per cent rise in interest rates will be absolutely devastating. Even if both parents manage to hold onto their jobs. In a recession, their wages will be cut, of course, and with the recent IR reforms there will be little they can do to stop that from happening to them. And if they protest too much about working a 60 hour week, they can now be fired without recourse.

In a recession, you are not rich if you are you paying off a house that has lost 20-30% of its value in the past two years, or if you are struggling to the meet the interest payments alone on credit card debts. And families will be using them, of course, to pay the phone bill and to buy groceries.

And you are certainly not rich, even if it may feel like it, if you own a $10,000 mega-wide screen TV and surround sound system that isn't worth a tenth of that at a hock shop less than year after you purchased it on low interest credit. It might take you five to ten years to pay off that TV, but there will be 3D holographic TV soon enough.

In a recession era economy, you are as good as rich if you are debt-free, regardless of the accumulation of possessions in your rented home.

Debt-free and freedom become virtually one and the same when the economy stumbles and falls and the true value of the dollars you earn drops, as your wages drop and interest rates rise.

Australians are being told that we must "be more competitive" with international rates of pay and productivity levels.

The problem for Australian workers is that the powerhouse of productivity today is China, where 70 and 80 hour work weeks are not unusual and the average hourly rate of pay there is a mere 57 cents.

Actually, forget what I said about the mega-wide screen TVs. For the average Australian worker, with a crippling mortgage to pay off, kids to put through school and a mountain of credit card debt to deal with, a mega-wide screen TV with surround sound might be just the thing to take the edge off after a 14 hour workday.
That is, if you can afford to buy the fuel you need to drive those traffic-clogged roads to work because there are not enough engineers to keep the buses, trains and ferries running on time.

But that's another story altogether.

Brrr. A Cold Wind.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"Chasher Style Prank" Cost An Election, And $3300

By Darryl Mason

He helped get the Rudd government elected, he screwed up his wife's career, it cost him $3300 in fines and court costs, a blanket of shame, people shouting at him "you're a fucking dickhead!' in the street, an acre of humiliation :

Gary Clark was convicted last month of breaching the electoral act by handing out the bogus leaflets in his wife's seat of Lindsay, just before the last election.

The pamphlets claimed to have been published by a non-existent radical islamic group, and praised the Australian Labor Party for supporting the Bali bombers.

He has been fined the maximum penalty of $1,100 and ordered to pay more than $2,000 in court costs.

This event sucked the life out of the Liberal Party, on the eve of the 2007 election.

The day the Lindsay Leaflet Scandal erupted, John Howard delivered his last big speech, and it was a pretty good one, but the entire Q & A at the National Press Club was devoted to going hard on Howard over the Lindsay Leaflet Scandal. It was ugly, and across Sydney, you could feel rusted on Liberal voters peeling away by the thousands, throughout the day, in disgust at the filthy sabotage politics that had been attached to their brand.

Clark's wife, retiring Liberal Party member for Lindsay, claimed she knew nothing about it, and when she did, she thought it was, you know, just a bit of a laugh and infamously, a "Chaser style prank".

ABC journalist Chris Uhlmann delivered a dawn phone call interrogation on Jackie Kelly, less than seven hours after her husband was busted hand-delivering the leaflets linking the Labor Party to support of terrorism :
CHRIS UHLMANN: Well, Jackie Kelly, good morning.

JACKIE KELLY: Hello. How are you?

CHRIS UHLMANN: Was your husband involved in the distribution of this pamphlet?

JACKIE KELLY: Well, I've read the alleged pamphlet and when I first read it I had to laugh because I think everyone who reads it has their first instinct is to laugh, pretty much everyone who's read chuckles in terms of the parody it does make of various things that have happened during the campaign.

So my view is that it's a bit of Chaser-style prank that an ALP goon squad, which I understand was is led by some unionists, have chased down and hunted down and tried to intimidate and I understand there was even a fight, so yes, I think it was all a very…

CHRIS UHLMANN: But just to establish it, your husband and two colleagues were handing out this pamphlet?

JACKIE KELLY: Well, my understanding is they were letterboxing…

CHRIS UHLMANN: This pamphlet?

JACKIE KELLY: Well, I don't know. Well, I don't know, allegedly. Allegedly.

CHRIS UHLMANN: And this pamphlet says it comes from an Islamic organisation that doesn't exist? It says the ALP wants the Bali bombers forgiven and supports the construction of a mosque in western Sydney. What's funny about that?

JACKIE KELLY: Oh, look, it makes a parody of Robert McClelland's gaffe and those sorts of things. I think its sort of, I think its intent is to be a send-up but it obviously hasn't worked.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Isn't it its intent to drive people away from the Labor Party? Isn't that the intent of this?

JACKIE KELLY: No, well, I think if you read it you'd be laughing. I think it's quite… most people who've read it have sort of said, "Oh, well, that's a Chaser-style of prank."


CHRIS UHLMANN: Alright, who printed it?

JACKIE KELLY: Oh, look, I don't, I don't - I'm not, I don't know enough about it.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Was it from your office?

JACKIE KELLY: No. Absolutely not.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Who funded it?

JACKIE KELLY: I don't know. I don't know.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Who authorised it?

JACKIE KELLY: Well, look, there isn't any authorisation on the alleged document, but certainly our anti-union material has all of our stuff all over it.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Can you guarantee that no funds came from your office, or from the Liberal Party for this?

JACKIE KELLY: Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

CHRIS UHLMANN: So where did the money come from? Someone must have printed it.

JACKIE KELLY: Look, everyone's got home printers and whatnot. I mean, you can do up dodgy flyers how you like. Anyone could have… even the goon squad following.

CHRIS UHLMANN: So you're saying that the goon squad following then printed it, then put it in their hands so they could letterbox it?

JACKIE KELLY: Look, I could send you a number of material that has been put out by "dear residents et cetera" on exactly these same issues or similar issues related to the campaign. I mean…

CHRIS UHLMANN: Was the Liberal state office involved in this joke?

JACKIE KELLY: No, not at all.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Was the Federal office involved in this joke?

JACKIE KELLY: Not at all.


CHRIS UHLMANN: So now you're saying that he - you knew that they were going to be expelled?

JACKIE KELLY: Where is this conversation going?

CHRIS UHLMANN: I rang and I've identified myself as a reporter and I want to know how much you know about this particular document?

JACKIE KELLY: I don't know anything about it, right? I know basically what my husband has told me, his version of events, and obviously what the papers are alleging, and obviously what the ALP is putting about. Now I think there's a certain modus operandi in the ALP that is showing its face here in terms of unionism, using its standover tactics and thuggery. They're on the way back. I mean, they're coming back.


CHRIS UHLMANN: Jackie Kelly, thank you.

Cheers. Jackie Kelly and her husband, Gary Clark, destroyed the last chances of the Liberal Party at the 2007 election by what he did, and then what she said.

The audio of Uhlmann's interrogation of Kelly is here. A remarkable piece of historic political journalism, and a classic example of why so many Australian conservatives so often hate the ABC.

This is how The Chaser reacted to Kelly trying to associate their comedy stylings to the monumental dickheadry of her husband, and mostly unnamed fellow conspirators.

And here's why Conservatives Don't Do Comedy.

John Howard knew when he stepped up to the podium in the National Press Club in the early afternoon the day the horrible story hit all the headlines that disgust was spreading fast through his Bennelong electorate. It was a nasty story, and it was everywhere. It was the biggest Liberal Party story of the entire election campaign, and the hardest to dampen down, or dismiss.

But Howard knew an even bigger story was breaking as he began his final speech. He'd already lost the election. Bennelong was gone, and with it the prime ministership. His political career was dead.

The text of the Lindsay Leaflet that Tony Abbott knew absolutely nothing about, at all :

"The role of the Islamic Australia Federation is to support Islamic Australians by providing a strong network within Islamic Australia.

"Muslims supporting Muslims within the community and assisting and showing christian Australians the glorious path to Islam.

"In the upcoming federal election we strongly support the ALP as our preferred party to govern this country and urge all other Muslims to do the same.

"The leading role of the ALP in supporting our faith at both state and local government levels has been exceptional and we look further to further support when Kevin Rudd leads this country.

"We gratefully acknowledge Labor's support to forgive our Muslim brothers who have been unjustly sentenced to death for the Bali bombings.

"Labor supports our new Mosque construction and we hope, with the support or funding of local and state governments, to open our new Mosque in St Marys soon.

"Labor was the only political party to support the entry to this country of our Grand Mufti reverend Sheik al-Hilaly (sic) and we thank Hon Paul Keating for over-turning the objections of ASIO to allow our Grand Mufti to enter this country."

A scan of the leaflet :


We don't get a lot of brawling amongst authors in Australia, certainly no good knife fights at the writers' festivals, or blaring headlines about Tara Moss slapping Thomas Keneally into a blithering heap at a double-booked Dymocks instore, and we are a poorer literary nation for it. When was the last time you read about two Australian novelists smashed out of their minds on borboun punching the effluvia out of each other? It must be decades.

So we must settle for this violence-light, envy heavy online exchange between John Birmingham and Nick Earls.
Birmingham :

I've been on a book deadline for about four weeks now, I think. I have another two to go.

Oh sure, I could be like those suck-ups and panty-waists who get their manuscripts in on time, or even early, with minimal fuss and a daily regimen of cold showers, birch-whip floggin's and a steady, metronomic rhythm of a thousand words a day, every day, for as long as it takes. Yes Nick Earls I'm looking at you. But those Playboy Bunnies up on the hovercraft's pool deck aren't gonna chop their own lines or massage each other's buttal regions with extra virgin olive oil all by themselves you know.

Earls : Wish I could help JB. I sympathise with you, locked away in that cage, your every pore pumping out the ugly deadline pheromones. But what can I tell you? I got my manuscript in about a year early, and everything feels very mellow right now in the hot springs in which I'm luxuriating on my pre-book-tour junket in the mountains just outside Taipei. They brought the laptop over to the edge of the pool in case I could contribute, but the screen's steaming up faster than I can type. I'd like to at least say I feel your pain but, you know, right now I don't think I'm feeling any. Might have to go - I have a sudden rush of nothing to do, and all day to do it in.

Birmingham :
Damn you. Damn you to hell, Earls!!! It's just like kindy all over again. Always turning up with finished forts and castles on box construction day.

John Birmingham, now a self-confessed airport novelist (and a damned good one), has been using Twitter to detail exactly what it is like to punch out thousands of words a day of action-fat novel as a hovering, shadow-heavy deadline twists his ears and repeatedly rams his head into the desk to keep those words flowing. It's been very interesting, funny and fascinating to follow.

Birmingham should publish a selection of those twoots at the end of his new book, so readers can see a bit of the process behind it, the airport novel equivalent of a DVD extra.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pistols from the mid-1800s through to the early 1900s used in Australia by bushrangers, traps and bank robbers. On display at the Sydney Police & Justice Museum

Who Are All You People? What Are You Doing Here?

Thursday was a very, very good day, so thank you :

Unlike blog's that claim "one million hits a month", this readership came mostly from people who read a couple of stories then left, without leaving a dozen or two dozen comments. The Liberal Party comment crew obviously don't see it as worthwhile to come around spraying comments and insults, and thank fuck for that.

Readers clearly have more important things to do than hang around a blog like this posting comments and checking back a few dozen times a day to see responses to their comments and then posting another comment, then checking back to see who responded to their last comment. If that was happening on a daily basis around these parts, there'd be "one million hits a month", and more.

I appreciate comments, when they come, but it doesn't make any difference to why I do this, and keep doing it. I'm glad readers, like you, don't have the time to post hundreds of comments, you get more time for more worthwhile pursuits and I get a lot more other writing, fiction writing, done.

Some new short stories for the ED Day prequel, covering the 90 days of pandemic waves that lead up to ED Day, will be ready soon, and of course they'll be free to read online.
Riveting Viewing, If Your Head Is Filled With Rivets

Rupert Murdoch wants all his journos and bloggers to get used to the idea of reporting and opining in word and video. If they can't cut it across multi-media platforms, and pull those hits, they'll be gone.

The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair dips his toe into these tepid new waters with this video.

The flanno is for bogan cred.

He doesn't seem to get it. You don't score three or four million views because you are reluctant to do the jump, you score that kind of traffic when you attempt the jump and fail, smash into the ground at 70kmh and catch a bouncing motorcycle to the spine.

Hopefully, this bit of snark won't upset him too much, I'd hate to get another 'Be Nice To Tim' letter from a lawyer, they must cost a packet.
Exclusive? We Got Nothing

By Darryl Mason

Sydney's Daily Telegraph, Melbourne's Herald Sun, the Courier Mail, the Adelaide Advertiser, proclaims a Mad Max 4 "EXCLUSIVE" today :

MTV had a story with far more detail back in early March, including the fact that director George Miller has already stated the fourth Max Mad movie is going to be animated, not live action, meaning there will be no "shooting" in Sydney :

“We’ll probably go a different route,” Miller told MTV News about the potential talent voicing the lead role. The plot would be partly lifted from the script of the fourth “Max” film, which was set to shoot in 2003 until financing collapsed in the wake of the Iraq War.

Now Miller is resurrecting the idea as an R-rated, stereoscopic anime flick for theatrical release. It’s a curious undertaking, to be sure, but one made all the more certain to happen after the runaway success in 2006 of his computer-animated “Happy Feet”—not that the newest, ever-violent “Max” film will have much in common with that kid-friendly penguin party.

“I see myself as someone who is very curious about storytelling and all its various media,” Miller said. “I’ve always loved anime, in particular the Japanese sensibility. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

The Orstrahyun covered this story back on March 8 :

Max Mad 4 Is Coming, Animated And Mel Gibson Free

So what's the big Exclusive all these Rupert Murdoch daily newspapers have nabbed?

Nothing :
The Daily Telegraph could not confirm casting intentions because nobody at Kennedy Miller was available for comment.

Nor could we confirm whether Miller intended to direct Mad Max 4 himself. And if he did, whether he intended to direct it simultaneously with Happy Feet 2, which is currently in production in Sydney.

Nothing about Mad Max 4 as anime, or the extensive video game that will see release before the fourth Mad Max movie, nothing about Miller's already announced plans for the movie, nothing about the old Mad Max 4 script, 'Fury Road', that has been kicking around for years and will likely supply at least the basic plot of the new movie :

The new film is set two centuries on from where we last left Max, wandering the wastelands at the end of third instalment, Beyond Thunderdome.

While the first two films saw women and gasoline as being the most precious resources left to be plundered by biker road armies, and water became a plot catalyst in Beyond Thunderdome, this time around the unpolluted DNA of human 'pure breeds' will be the treasure all seek to possess.

Gibson's Max is expected to show up in the new film in flashbacks, to reveal what happened to him in the last years of his life, before the new Max, a 'son' derived from his DNA, takes over the story.

The new Max's mission will be to act as a 'protector' and escort a group of non-mutants across the wastelands with their precious stock of unpolluted DNA. This pure DNA stock is desired by the mutant hordes, as it can be used to clean up their genes, and make them resistant to the radioactivity that still infects the land.

How hard is to fluff out an "Exclusive" with some actual information from a Google search, seeing as the Daily Telegraph couldn't get an interview with George Miller, or find out any hard detail from anyone connected with the project?

The MTV story quoted above, with Miller's quotes, is the third story listed when you Google 'Mad Max 4.'

Rupert Murdoch thinks that people will soon pay him to access this kind of non-event "Exclusive" content online.

Good Luck with that.

Here's an old trailer for the original Mad Max, the American trailer with, akk! American voices dubbed over all those excellent, characteristic, funny Australian ones. How wrong is this?

Getting Nostalgic For A Post-Apocalyptic Aftermath