Floating Life 4/06 ~ 11/07

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The HSC English moanings of Miranda…

…and her mate Barry Spurr.

From the esoteric mind of a Latin Mass Catholic HSC crib writer and a right-wing Catholic newspaper columnist comes this “objective” analysis of the 2009–2012 NSW HSC prescribed texts. Honestly, the parent who complained on my English/ESL site that “the HSC English curriculum is a load of s**t and I wonder – and I think many parents would wonder – how the study of English degenerated into mere literary criticism*” should, logically, praise the new list, if Miranda is giving it fair representation — but of course she is not.

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I don’t hate Doctor D…

… though my quarrel with his work is of long standing and has often been expressed combatively, perhaps the long term effect of F R Leavis via Sam Goldberg in 1964. I see Dr D has been reading me again today. And he uses a Mac. Nothing wrong with Macs. Sirdan has a Mac. So does The Poet.

Just thought you should know that.

Note the top five individual posts visited in the past seven days to 7 pm today.

1. Donnelly is miffed 72
2. The connection has timed out — Firefox 39
3. Two Australian poems of World War II 28 — nice to see that April 2006 post up here! 🙂
4. Does Tim Blair still do global warming jokes? 26
5. Keating: The Musical 25

Christian school? Aluminium’s reality trip
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Written by Neil

March 13, 2007 at 10:18 am

Three magazines and an amazing AIDS story…

1. Quadrant

You will all be overjoyed to discover that HIV does not cause AIDS. Lord Malcolm will be especially pleased, I should think, as this means he isn’t really sick at all and must have been in hospital all those times for work experience, or a vacation, and all that pain he suffers must just be imaginitis…

…the conclusion that HIV is not a sexually transmitted infection, and that it did not cause the AIDS outbreaks of the 1980s, is no suggestion or inference of mine–it follows directly and inevitably from the publicly available data.

See? Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Science Studies (but not, one notes, of Immunology) Henry H Bauer says so at the end of his pathetic article in the Golden Jubilee edition of that increasingly batty magazine Quadrant, with the emphasis on the last syllable please. Before you start believing this crap, which has been around for almost as long as AIDS has and has also had deleterious effects on some leading South African politicians but on very few others, then read Evidence that HIV Causes AIDS with its 137 footnotes to learned organisations and articles (all retrievable online) from the UK organisation ALERT.

Only P P McGuinness could have thought this crap worth printing, even in this crappy magazine, which happens also to be John Howard’s favourite bit of intellectual food. I look forward to “Why the Earth is Flat” in some future Quadrant; I think we have already had articles on why climate change is a left-wing fantasy.
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Agreeing with Kevin Donnelly

Considering my usual stance on the extremely repetitive and nagging Kevin Donnelly — after all I began my 2004 review (revised December 2006) of his magnum opus Why Our Schools are Failing with the words “Why Dr Donnelly is an absolute goose” — it may surprise some that I agree with him about the power of literature to sustain us in our lives, as he wrote in the Weekend Australian (article not online):
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What on earth is John Howard blathering about, and why?

John Howard says people who are HIV positive should not be allowed to migrate to Australia. Well, the fact is that already, according to the most complete database I could find (aidsnet.ch – the Swiss HIV/AIDS Documention Center online), Australia already asks all intending immigrants who are over 15 years old “to present an HIV test result with their application. It is unlikely that an immigration permit is granted to people presenting a positive test result.” However:
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Written by Neil

April 13, 2007 at 3:10 pm

On the awkwardness (and fatuity?) of discussing religion

There is an interesting feature article in today’s Australian on Kevin Rudd’s religion.

Time and again during the past couple of months Rudd has insisted upon the basic congruence between the Christian ethic, understood broadly, and the social democratic tradition out of which his party has evolved.

He has pointed to that strand in the Christian heritage that emphasises the basic dignity of the human person, and has stressed – reasonably enough – the links between that heritage and Labor’s commitment to bringing the nation’s more marginalised citizens back into the social mainstream. Contrariwise, he’s attempted to align the Howard Government with a kind of amoral “market fundamentalism” that supposedly denies citizens that type of respect and dignity.

Rudd clearly appreciates the extent to which the timbre of the national character is up for grabs at present. In his eyes, he’s wrestling with the Prime Minister for the heart and soul of the Australian people, and what it means to be decent and fair-minded as a political leader.

Kevin Rudd’s religion does not concern me much, partly because I find I have much in common with it, but more that his ideas on “what it means to be decent and fair-minded as a political leader”, while they may in part derive from that religion, are also capable of acceptance or rejection on quite other lines. I lean towards acceptance, but with more than a pinch of cynicism about politics generally, I’m afraid. But I am not a total cynic.
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Written by Neil

January 6, 2007 at 12:47 pm