Monthly Archives: September 2006

Tragic confidence

In August last year I posted a poem by Yehuda Amichai.

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.

The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.

But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

This comes to mind as I read in today’s Sydney Morning Herald Film on Christian children’s camp has cross to bear:
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NSW politicians should butt out…

And this is one of them. Both Minister Carl Scully and Opposition Leader Debnam (he still is, isn’t he?) are having another populist hairy-chest show over the sentence handed down yesterday on the 18-year-old who was one of the triggers (but not the cause) of the Cronulla riots a year ago. The magistrate said what needed to be said, in my view; see Cronulla fighter betrayed our safe haven: magistrate.

In Sutherland Local Court the magistrate, Jacqueline Trad, told Osman: “By your conduct you have turned your back on your family, your culture and your real country, all for the sake of some juvenile, impulsive and misplaced allegiance.”
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Good news

I don’t tell M stories here very often; he doesn’t like me to, but this is worth sharing. Recently M and I both got mobile phones under different Telstra plans, his a contract, mine a prepaid. We also had two landlines. M got rid of his landline first, and then when I decided wireless internet (you can’t really call it broadband) was at least viable, we got rid of the other landline. Now there was the rub: Telstra was not happy, so they restricted M’s calls to inward calls only! Bastards! So we fired off a complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
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Posted by on September 30, 2006 in Aussie interest, Current affairs, M, News and Current Affairs, Personal



How Martin Krygier ambushed the Quadranters…

And on Michael Duffy’s Counterpoint too. There they all were on the 18th September celebrating Quadrant’s 50th anniversary, and there was Martin, son of magazine founder Richard Krygier, along with the venerable Dame Leonie Kramer, P P McGuinness (the current editor) and of course the sometimes dippy Duffy, all bent on lauding John Howard’s favourite magazine, in what may also be John Howard’s favourite radio show, with the possible exception of Alan Jones at breakfast on 2GB of course. And it was all going swimmingly until the last few minutes:

Michael Duffy: Martin, can I ask you the same question? Before 1989 Quadrant had a neat role, if you like, a very specific role. What is or ought its role to be? Or does it still have a role?

Martin Krygier: Here I’d part company with my colleagues on the panel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 29, 2006 in Aussie interest, Cultural and other, Current affairs, Indigenous Australians, Multiculturalism and diversity



The joy of Akismet and the sorrow of the Right

Back in July I mentioned that Akismet was about to bin my 1000th spam comment; well up to today it has binned 2294 of the suckers! There has been a pattern lately too, a whole swag — about 200 in the past 48 hours — emanating from RIPE Network Coordination Centre in Amsterdam (a prime source of spam), which could of course mean anything, offering a mind-boggling range of pornographic options, and all linked to one post: This is so arrogant and so annoying….

According to the Sunday Telegraph today [June 18 2006], NBC have called for the Beijing Olympics to be rescheduled — so that American TV viewers can see them in prime time! Well, put that where the sun doesn’t shine, that’s all I can say…
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The public art of David Humphries


Here is where I had dinner last night and a few red wines, meaning I do feel a touch seedy this morning… But what a great night it was, excellent conversation going back thirty years and more. I took the bus out to Rosebery and entered David’s studio, greeted by Jacko the red-tailed black cockatoo flying freely through as wonderful an interior garden as you could imagine. The pictures don’t do it justice.
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Posted by on September 28, 2006 in Aussie interest, Cultural and other, Jim Belshaw, Personal


The joy of Gnomespeak

“Gnomespeak” is the characteristic style and thought-patterns of the Great Grey Garden Gnome of Kirribilli House, aka “The Prime Minister”. It is remarkable how thoroughly this has permeated our culture in recent years. Like “Newspeak”, its purpose is to render dissent unutterable. We were told, and by “we” I mean ESL teachers at a meeting I attended around 1998, that the words “multiculturalism”, “equity”, and “disadvantaged” were from now on to be avoided. In their place we were to speak of “integration”, “cohesion”, “harmony”, “incentives” and “Australian values”.

The process goes on.
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