Saturday, October 27, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I’m not sure that a nude will convert people to vegetarianism, but I guess there might be some Neanderthals out there who would take one look at Sophie Monk’s American Beauty pose, fling their T-bone in the bin and grab a handful of nuts instead. (Other than their own, I mean.)
Is it my imagination or has poor Sophie been subjected to a bit of digital mulesing?Who on earth has a bum like that? Oh, vegetarians do...riiiiight. Now I’m catching on: Men want her, women want to be her...
Still, I find the following ad is more successful at turning me off eating animals:
Possibly the most unappetising photo of a meat dish ever, I reckon.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Sometimes when I serve my cat his dinner and he finds the quality unsatisfactory, he gives me an offended look and jumps out the kitchen window.
Goodbye, cruel cat food!
Minutes later, he is scrabbling at the back door. I open it. He slinks past, rewarding me with a brush of his fur on my calf.
Miaow!, he cries, managing to sound relieved, smug and sycophantic all at once.
He heads for his bowl, in the hope that something else will have magically taken the place of the home-brand fish in his absence.
He gives me another dirty look and is out the window again.
Five minutes later, scrabbling at the back door. I open it again.
This time I don’t get any fur.
Miaow!, he cries, managing to sound--etc.
This goes on several times until the cat accepts its unhappy fate and sullenly eats a mouthful of home-brand fish, then goes to settle his unhappy self on a couch arm, giving flinty glares if any attempt at patting is made for the duration of the evening. After a while he jumps on the telly, dislodging the aerial he knows is only held in place by BluTac, and smirks a little as I swear and spend a long time fixing the reception. When the picture is restored he rearranges his warm fat body so that his tail is hanging across the face of the person talking on television.
He sighs loudly to reiterate: He does not like home-brand fish.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I agree with Monica Dux when she argues that the Left is obliged to criticise Kevin Rudd for apparently moving the Labor Party to the Right; whether that's a strategy to offer 'conservative middle Oz' a painless transition, or whether that's just who Kev is. But voting in Howard to make that point is totally counterproductive because even if it would send a message to Labor, it wouldn't send one to the Liberals; rather give them all kinds of mandates.
Dux says that Howardhaters (herself included) turn swingers into Howardhuggers with our self-righteous bleating. So does that mean if the Left goes in hard against Kev, swingers might rally around Labor? I don't know. As commenters have said ad nauseam at Surfdom and beyond, the only solution is vote Labor in but on Green preferences.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
From John Howard’s election announcement speech today:
"Can I say, love me or loathe me, the Australian people know where I stand on all the major issues of importance to their future."
Que? I doubt even his own party knows where he stands on anything, anymore. What we all do know is that he is a gross opportunist, forever jumping on bandwagons because he suddenly "senses" something--or is told via the focus groups, anyway. Annabel Crabb made me laugh yesterday:
"Every week, it seems, there's a new idea, bearing no critical relevance to its predecessor. It's a bit like watching a three-year-old building a pizza - "ham AND cheese AND Smarties AND apple AND toothpaste AND olives AND ..."
Anyway, over the years I've had many reasons to loathe Howard. Here are just a few current ones. But loathe might be too strong a word. Let's just say 'dislike'.
1. I dislike the way he’s still not the slightest bit convinced about the seriousness of climate change, except insofar as he "senses" that Australians are taking it seriously so he'd better look like he is, too. He dismisses Al Gore’s Nobel Prize win with,
"Everyone makes mistakes, and there is a danger that we create an aura around individuals that is not deserved."
So, our PM is very conflicted on climate change. He doesn't really believe in the whole conspiracy theory, but he's eager to build nuclear reactors in response anyway.
2. I dislike the way he muddied the moral waters on capital punishment the other day:
AUSTRALIANS would feel "let down" if the Bali bombers on death row were not executed, Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday.
Well, some of us actually think that these terrorists would suffer more from lifelong deprivation of liberty than from a quick dispatching to their eagerly-anticipated sexual reward. To kill them, quite apart from reducing us to their level, turns them into martyrs. Life in prison is a far more tedious punishment, and separates them from their perceived pay-off for much longer. Of course, let our government lobby for greater restriction of prisoner freedoms so that Indonesia‘s ‘soft-counter terrorism’ measures do not equate to an easy ride for convicted terrorists. But don’t claim on our behalf that we are all relativists on capital punishment.
3. I dislike the way Howard’s sudden interest in indigenous Australia feels selfish. It feels as if it's all about him and his relationship with white Australia. I notice the way he has described it in terms of achieving some kind of "settlement" of the issue, as though you can write a few words of preamble, then draw a line under the whole thing and put it out of your mind (and maybe your history books). When I saw George Brandis on Lateline the other night I realised again what made me uncomfortable. It doesn't feel to be genuinely about indigenous Australians, more about white Australians and how we feel. Brandis says, in a petulant tone of voice:
"I've never done anything to hurt the Aboriginal people. John Howard has never done anything to hurt the Aboriginal people. I'm sure you, Virginia, and you, Lindsay, have never done anything to hurt the Aboriginal people..."
And it just all seems so self-centred--being about how it reflects back on white Australia, how we feel about ourselves and our past, and whether we must take responsibility for the actions of the settlers. The new Liberal symbolism is far less about actually making a difference to the lives of indigenous people as about making white Australians feel better about themselves. And that's not what "reconciliation" means to me.
Anyway, I’m sure there will be plenty more loathing/disliking over the next six weeks...but that’s all for tonight, I'm all ratted out.
According to Howard there is much to fear about "wall-to-wall Labor governments":
"Such a state of affairs would rob this country of the necessary checks and balances that a federal system inevitably provides."
Well, surely it's not quite as dire as that. Voters are still able to vote Liberal at the next state elections. At worst it’s a short-term lack of balance, which presents little risk.
Making a big deal of this checks-and-balances argument means Howard puts himself in a position where, if the Liberals are in power federally, he must really argue against voting in a number of Liberal state governments. Anyway, if Labor were in government federally, maybe people would be more willing to give state Liberal parties a go? The onus is simply on the Liberals to come up with credible state alternatives. (When it was down to Iemma v Debnam, it was a no-brainer. But Iemma v O’Farrell? Different story...)
If we can’t vote a federal government out just because of what is occurring at state level, it makes it impossible to hold a federal government accountable on its own merits (or lack thereof).
And let’s not forget how, in recent times, Howard has been working hard at trying to absorb various state powers. As such, voting Liberal federally means accepting such further weakening of the powers of the state governments that you ostensibly voted in as checks-and-balances against federal power. Hmm...it’s a tangled web, innit?
I'm often fairly critical of Murdoch media outlets, and here's another typical example why. Look at this piece of dirty reporting in today's Daily Telegraph. The link pointing to the article by Chris Tinkler reads, Boyfriend scandal - Gillard's lover's dark past, and if you click through, you will surely be shocked and horrified to learn that not only did Gillard's partner once drunkenly crash his car into a fence, he also fathered an illegitimate child a long time before he met Gillard.
What a scandal! What a dark past! These terrible crimes clearly reflect deeply on Julia Gillard. She's clearly responsible for these events or at least guilty of turning a blind eye to them. Or something.
Most tiresome is the arms-length way this muckraking is reported: "An investigation into the past of the man who is the boyfriend of the woman who could be Australia's first female deputy prime minister has also uncovered claims...", etc. "An investigation" by who--the Libs, who've tipped off the paper? Or by the paper itself? It's not clear. But either way it's pathetic to try to smear politicians by raking through the pasts of their families and the paper should be ashamed of this kind of useless reporting.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
This was strange and smacked of desperation--Tony Abbott accusing Julia Gillard of being a political animal. Gee, how totally inappropriate for a politician, eh? Last election, Labor was too inexperienced in politics. Now it seem's they have too much experience. It's not Learner Latham, it's Learned Gillard:
It was Gillard's obsession with politics that counted against her. Mr Abbott said voters were seeking a bit more humanity from their political leaders.
"She's someone who has lived, breathed, ate and drunk politics for the whole of her adult life," he said. "The average person would look askance at such a political animal...The thing about Gillard is that she is very bright, just uber-professional and a formidable debater. It would be a lot easier for her to realise her ambition if there was evidence of a broader lifetime experience. It's very hard to be a leader in a democratic society if your life has been consumed by the job as hers seems to be."
Unless you're John Howard, Political Animal, I suppose. Way things are going though, looks like Howard's going to be getting a little 'broader lifetime experience' himself very soon. Along the lines of fishing and golfing and public speaking gigs. But who knows? According to Abbott, this should help him with any future comeback plans. What, you think he's really going to go away? Come on, the man lives, breathes, eats and drinks politics!
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I suck at dating. Really suck. You know when you like someone and it makes you so self-conscious that your behaviour weirds out? Yeah. Pretty much blew the whole thing from start to finish. Couldn’t be myself. Then again, maybe I just need practice. A lot of practice.
Never mind. We writers can at least comfort ourselves that we are going to get some mileage out of our dorkiest moments.
PS. I hate the word 'dating' but what else can you call it?