Saturday, February 17, 2007

An End to Satire

I've come to realise that it's far easier to write good satire than good critical analysis (assuming one acknowledges a difference between the two). And I don't wish to take such easy paths.

So from now on I shall try to put an end to my somewhat sarcastic, ironic tone of the last two posts.

To all who don't and didn't 'get it', I hesitate to apologise, but hope you'll continue to read onwards nonetheless.

I shall leave the satire to Hutton. He's brilliant.

And so to start things off on a far more serious note, let's go again to politics, in particular columnists.

Whilst some people, it would seem, decide on the columnist who they feel most akin to, find most agreeable and therefore less offensive, I find this is a very (obviously) myopic approach.

Far better to adopt the Baconian method (named after Francis Bacon the philosopher, not the painter). On the assumption that the truth would often lie between left and right idealogues, and indeed 'Beyond Good and Evil', the Baconian method suggests to consider both extremes of opinion, would that the resultant view become balanced.

In a modern Australian context, I would take this to mean: read both Philip Adams and Andrew Bolt.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Steel Enema for the Japanese

Paul 'Steely Dan' Watson, captain of the vessel Farley Mowat, is a man of unique beliefs.
In some ways, he and I aren't that different. He loves whales, and so do I. I think they're splendid creatures, a sight truly beautiful to behold, and even more beautiful to taste.

I tasted my first whale in Osaka. I remember it very well; a high-rise restaurant in the lovely Rihga Royal, sipping the divine Asahi Black, which is the best stout beer one can find, as far as I'm concerned. And the whale; whilst words shall never do justice to such olfactory and gustatory delights, a comparison to the finest qualities of bacon, steak, and salmon would not be misleading. Thus it is vital that we preserve the whale population, and indeed encourage growth. Unfortunately, there are certain Japanese Vessels who inappropriately whale under the wrong conditions, in the wrong areas. Such actions haved jeopardised the whale population, and as such action should be taken against it, especially as international water policing forces are reluctant to uphold their international laws. Watson and I agree on this point.

Unlike myself, however, Watson is also accustomed to performing enemas on a mass scale.
"Perhaps it's time to give [the Japanese] a steel enema they will never forget.'' says Watson.

It's a unique solution to the problem of over-whaling, one that I wouldn't have thought of personally, but Watson has over 30 years in the field of steel enemas. It's also a rather more culturally specific solution- I'm aware that certain Japanese find the act of the enema rather enticing, and indeed erotic. So this move should be seen not as an act of the iron fist, but as an act of the velvet glove.

Whilst it may seem to us a unique, even bizarre suggestion for persuading the Japanese Whalers into conversation, we can't place our Western sexual anxieties ahead of the whales.

After all, so called anti-whaling countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the US merely boycott conversations with the Japanese on the issue.

I'm glad to see some action taken.

Watson, and the Mowat, pre-enema phase of the operation.

Friday, February 09, 2007

'Midnight' Garrett and 'Dog' Turnbull

It's hard work keeping up with politics these days. Just recently, a work colleague of mine remarked: "It's hard work keeping up with politics." This was after I had exclamed my frustration at being called in to work last evening, thereby missing the 7.30 Report debate between the new Minister and Shadow Minister of Environment.

After reading the transcript, I thought it'd be timely to introduce the two men, after what I've read of their MP websites.

Peter Garrett was once vocalist and interpretive dancer for the band Midnight Oil.
"For me, music is still the food of life and books remain the great reservoir of imagination and insight, ie the good stuff for us all to draw on." he explains on his website.
Garrett's days as a street performer of mime.

Malcom Turnbull was, and remains, a prominent lover of dogs.
"Malcolm Turnbull, Wentworth's own Federal Member loves dogs. He has three of his own – a red cattle dog, Rusty and two Maltese silkies, Jojo and Mellie." thus explains his website.

Amazingly, the Hounds of the Turnbulls are no strangers to mass-communication. They maintain blogs of their own. Unfortunately, this often results in confusion as to the author of the articles.

For example,

"Today I had a bath. There. I have written this awful truth.

Most of the time I dont have baths. The little terriers are always getting washed.... And they don't seem to mind. In fact, I suspect Mellie likes being washed. She changes colour and goes from a muddy white colour to what she likes to think is champagne blonde! What a laugh.

Anyway, I resist baths. But sometimes, it catches up with me and so I found myself in the bathtub being scrubbed, a small boy called Luca was assisting with great glee. Weeks and weeks of carefully accumulated smells washed away."

Now, given that Turnbull is an advocate of water conservation, could not this article have been written by him? A stoic, eccentric man, who rumours have it*, once proclaimed to the press
"Bath? I know no bath". The same rumour also holds that this was Turnbull's justification of the Ba'thist Cleansing policy in Iraq.

Turnbull with Wife, Son, Daughter and Hounds.

*This rumour was started by me

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What the Ho?

Macau, from my small knowledge of the it, is an interesting place filled with interesting people.
For example, a son of Kim Jong-Ill's apparently lives there a lot of the time.

Paul told me about how Stanley Ho made heaps of money by owning the license to run a casino in Macau- apparently for a while he was the only one in town who had the license. Forbes say he's the 84th richest man in the world.

So what's he doing paying the New South Wales Labour Party AUS$109,000 in donations? I thought capitalist tycoon billionaires gave to the right, not the left.

Whilst he does apparently have 'significant property holdings in Queensland', where the ALP is also (thankfully) in power it seems an odd move. Perhaps he's going to start buying big in Sydney. Even stranger is that he payed AUS$48,000 for lunch with Premier Morris Iemma of NSW, and then skipped the lunch!

Billionaires. They're a foreign people.