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Halloween…WTF?

October 28, 2010 4 comments

Now I know that we’re the unwritten 51st state of the USA, as well as being a conquered territory in the American cultural hegemony, but can someone please tell me what the fuck Halloween has to do with Australia?

From what I’ve seen about Halloween (admittedly from TV/movies…how ironic), it’s basically institutionalised begging and promoting obesity, making the US the nation it is today…one of big fatties.  It’s also something to do with their puritan past and a legacy of the escape from England on the Mayflower…I believe.

So what relevance does that have to Australia?  SFA you say?  I agree completely.  It’s just another in a long line of supermarket driven “holidays” prom0ted purely so that they can offload cheap crap from China, as well as increase the sugar intake of our kids by 5 million percent.

Frankly if I see kids trick or treating in my street the only treat they are going to get is a clip around the ear, followed by a hearty “fuck off” to their parents.

I know it’s very “get off my lawn you damn kids” of me, but do we really need even more of the American culture shoved down our face?

 

UPDATE:  From various other readings (some pretty pro-Halloween stories) I have found I was incorrect about the source of the Halloween tradition.  Apparently it started in the UK 1000 years ago, then went to the US.  Of course they commercialised the living shit out of it, but at least it’s one of their traditions.  It is most definitely not one of ours and comes across as blatant commercialism by the supermarkets etc.

The new Narrative (TM) – NBN bad

October 25, 2010 4 comments

The Opposition Oracle has recently left no doubt at it’s predominant narrative for the new Parliament.

Borrowing from their “successful” tactics in the war against the BER…you know, the one where they print the first negative shit that springs to their fevered little brains regardless or the facts or reality, they have now gone boots and all into the NBN.

For some bizarre reason they think they can use this as a club to beat the Government around the head with, and I think they have totally lost the plot.  The fact is that they would really struggle to find a large group of people who are satisfied with their broadband experience (if they can manage to get it at all), and as for those poor buggers in the rural areas, well it’s back to the 80s for them technology wise.

Apart from the traditional furphys about wireless being superior to fibre (apparently in defiance of the laws of physics and contrary to actual experience), we don’t need faster right now (because we were happy with the horse and carriage as well) and why waste money so people can download movies faster (that’s right because a 21st century telecommunications infrastruture IS ALL ABOUT DOWNLOADING MOVIES…arseclowns), here are some of the latest hits:

  1. $43 billion price tag. This one constantly shits me because it’s not even close to being accurate.  As soon as Telstra agreed to sign on the price immediately dropped down because NBNCo will now be able to use Telstra’s ducts instead of digging their own…an immense saving and completely obvious to everyone expect the OO, the barrackers (to borrow a phrase), and the Minister for Demolition himself.
  2. $4000 to connect. This is a good one.  What they “neglect” to mention is that this was the cost for one person to completely wire his house for data by installing cat6 cable that was capable of handling the signal.  The standard  connection for a single port looks to be $300, and from what I have read that’s only if you don’t sign up initially because it would be free then.
  3. Only 10% have signed up. By looking at the actual figures you would find that only 10% in the very first test site in Tasmania have signed up…in the mainland sites the take-up rate is something approaching 80-90%.  But then again expecting the OO to report all of the facts instead of the ones that boost The Narrative(TM) is a bit foolish.

To sum up, I think the OO and the Coalition are on a hiding to nothing on this one.  The overwhelming majority of Australians are tech-savvy enough to realise what they are missing out on and to realise that the NBN is an investment in our future.  It’s only the rusted-ons who can’t speak unless they get the Talking Points memo from Liberal HQ or the Luddites who can’t comprehend the opportunities this will provide that don’t get it at all.

As an indicator, anyone who says “why do we need faster internet, I’m happy with what I have now” or “why do we need faster internet for downloading movies” is patently stupid or a massive troll.

Captain Incompetent must go

October 15, 2010 6 comments

After the debacle that was the Test series in India, the public blinkers have finally come off and people are starting to question Ricky Ponting’s abilities as a captain…two years too late if you ask me.

I know in Oz the captain of the Test team is seen as a sacred cow and usually left to go at his own time, but I think it’s long past time to give Ponting the Kim Hughes treatment.

In the past few years, ever since his stars have left the scene, he has been repeatedly been found out for his remarkable lack of captaincy skills.

He is crap at setting fields, though apparently the team captain can now be overridden by a second rate spinner.  He is poor at managing his bowlers, his only response to winning a toss is to bat…probably because the only tactic in his playbook is to bat first, score a squillion runs and then bowl them out twice.  Of course he does this regardless of the pitch and weather conditions…who can forget him batting first on a seaming deck in humid conditions, then being mystified when they were rolled cheaply.

In my personal opinion, he lost my respect as a captain a few years ago when he was in the position of taking two wickets to win the match, with two bowlers with momentum behind them and on a roll.  What does he do?  He swaps them out with spinners so he can bring up the over rate so as not to incur a fine, consequently throwing away the chance to win the match.

Couple this with him losing the past two Ashes series in England, and as a captain he makes an average batsmen.

What made me yell at the screen this morning was the typical talking head blah blah that as there is no-one capable at the moment and Clarke isn’t ready, they should just let him continue on.

Who says the captain needs to be the current vice-captain at all!!!!  Frankly Clarke is massively over-rated and is lucky to be in the team…if he wasn’t a protected species by being the VC and from NSW, he would have been out on his arse years ago.

Apart from Shane Watson, everyone batting above the keeper has been living off their reputation for far too long and should be given the arse, including our glorious leaders.  The bowlers have a rotation system in place…why not do the same for the batsmen?  Have a pool of 10 batsmen from around the country and rotate them in and out to build a core squad of test hardened players.  It would sure as hell beat this situation where a players only needs to get a decent score once every 3 years to maintain his place in the team (yes I’m looking at you Mike Hussey).  They should also rotate the captaincy around…I can think of at least two players better at captaincy than Ponting right now, Cameron White and Chris Simpson.  I know they’re not from NSW but they are streets ahead of Ponting in captaincy ability.

If they don’t take steps now to renew the team we’ll have the same old situation again with 3-4 players retiring at the same time, or 1-2 retiring and 2 others really struggling, but staying in the team for stability.

If they don’t make changes I fully expect us to get out arses kicked in the Ashes series…even with pitches blatantly doctored to suit our bowlers.

Abbott & Pyne – slow learners?

October 12, 2010 4 comments

If there’s one thing that can be said to be archetypical of the Australian personality, it’s that they cannot stand a whinger.

So for someone who claims to have “people skills” and be in touch with the average Aussie, Abbott’s recent performance is completely mystifying.

In the “JetlagGate” debacle, Abbott patently stuffed himself up with his ridiculous jetlag comment.  Gillard obviously restrained herself, because instead of calling him a pathetic soft-cock, she simply said his sleep patterns were his problem.  She then only responded to actual questions and tried to keep her answers circumspect.

Now any normal person would have tried to keep their head down and wait for it to blow over after humiliating themselves so badly, but Abbott jumps in with both feet to accuse her of leaking.  This is then quickly denied by the reporter in question, so what does he follow up with?  “Julia’s picking on meeeee!!!!”.

Seriously what a tool.  And then his little lapdog yaps in with his comment on bitchiness…talk about your pot meets kettle scenario.

Frankly I think they would be better served by having at it with handbags at 5 paces…the winner could then get their arse trounced by Julia.  She wouldn’t bother with handbags…she’d just nail him in the junk and be done with it.

How these tossbags could think that their recent display in any way shows them to be capable of governing Australia is beyond me.

Of course all of the coverage on this non-troversy has had a welcome side effect for the Coalition…no-one is taking them to task for the audit that wasn’t and their blatant lies pre-election about it.   But then again, their mates in the MSM are running interference for them in precisely the manner they were during the election…back to situation normal once again.

Watch the audit story sink without a trace while Julia gets front page coverage for 3 days because she wears too much white…

New media and the right whingers

October 6, 2010 21 comments

I’ve been reading and commenting on political blogs and sites for quite some time now, even more so since the lead up to the election.  I even used to dip my toe into the cesspool that is the News Limited stable of sites, but no more for me.  I mostly stick with Fairfax for my news as they are marginally balanced, then look for greater understanding and analysis on the various blogs.

In general I believe this gives me a more rounded take on the various news items of the day, though usually the MSM’s idea of “news” stretch the bounds of credulity…handbags and earlobes anyone?

One thing I have noticed is that the comments by the right whingers and their more unhinged cousins (if that’s at all possible) tend to follow a very rigid style and structure and I have provided a handy guide to follow so you can detect any of these mouth-breathers in action.

N.B.  This will not help you at all in the News Limited sphere, as the vast majority of commenters in that arena show signs of sociopathy and can’t really be classified as normal in any way.  It’s good that the moderators over there actually cull sensible commentary as it saves us the hassle of separating valid discourse from mindless dribble.  Anyway on with the list.

  1. The Talking Pointer. This is by far the easiest one to spot.  They will usually start up with one of the headlines from a typical right wing source (The Australian, Alan Jones, LNP etc.) and push it for all they are worth.  The sad thing is that all they are capable of is parroting exactly what they read from their source…they do not have the intellectual capacity to add any thoughts to it themselves.  When confronted with reality-based evidence (their worst nightmare) they will simply refute with the same well worn lines.  Best ignored.
  2. The Derailer. A more advanced version of the Talking Pointer.  This particular model, when confronted by inconvenient facts that destroy their “argument”, will immediately introduce another, completely unrelated talking point in an attempt to distract you from completely schooling them in their own inadequacy.  This is dead easy to spot and is even funnier because the new talking point is usually just as easily refuted.  This can lead to an entertaining romp through the RWDB psyche, but I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.
  3. The Strawman Demolisher. The natural evolution of the derailer.  This one doesn’t even need confronting to bring on the next talking point…they will gladly raise it themselves in a misguided attempt to prove their own “superiority”.  Most masturbatory of all the right whingers and they should be called on it at every opportunity.
  4. The True Believer. This one just cracks me up, but they are the most obstinate of the lot.  The true believer isn’t much one for research or fact finding…they will simply state an opinion (the more outrageous the better) and then just wait for the onslaught.  They will be literally be deluged with facts and references and links, but will usually say “that’s not my interpretation” and continue on their merry way.  No matter what evidence you can provide to the contrary, they will steadfastly continue on in their own belief and claim that your sources are biased or not reputable.  The more obstinate of these will actually admit their ignorance, but still claim that your sources are incorrect because they “believe” their own sources…contrary to all evidence.  I have personal experience with these two on other blogs…but won’t name  names.  Initials on the other hand….
  5. The Cherry Picker. The most insidious of all right whinger netizens.  This one will cheerfully go through any references you may provide and extract choice bits of information that either contradict your position or bolster their own, when in reality the information in context completely shoots down their proposition.  When called on this they will ask you to provide further evidence that they are wrong, and after you do they will simply cherry pick some more data and start it again.  Their greatest joy is to waste your time chasing your tail in their exercise in futility.  Simply call them on their bullshit and ignore…don’t waste your time.

This is my list…can you add any others to it?

UPDATE:

From B.Tolputt in comments:

The Socratic Questioner.   They don’t ever provide proof of their position, generally leaving their position unstated. Instead they will ask questions, pose hypotheticals, and otherwise avoid talking about facts that oppose their viewpoint by trying to force you to justify yours. An interesting (if aggravating) mix of Derailer & Strawman Demolisher. Like the Cherry Picker, they are primarily interested in wasting your time.

The Projectionists (a variant of True Believer & Derailer). They accuse others of ad hominem attacks, whilst engaging in them. They accuse others of believing in conspiracy theories whilst accusing One World Government provocateurs of being behind the latest policy on climate change, tax reform, and bus passes for school children. And they claim any opinion not aligned with their own as being “mindless support” for Party/Politician X, never wavering from their for-whatever-reason-I-can-think-of attack of their chosen opponent.

UPDATE 2:

From Mobius Ecko:

The Cracked Crystal Ballers are actually children of Howard as it was John Winston who, in the throws of a series of woeful polls and facing an election defeat in 2007, made a series of very flawed predictions that were rapidly followed by just as dire predictions by his senior ministers and then the OO and RWDB. Not a single one of the predictions ever came close to realisation but it never stopped them moving the goal posts and making newer more outrageous ones.

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