Friday, November 26, 2004

Bolt

take a look at his latest column. The man is a psycho. He's stopped talking like a rational human being and relies on racist innuendo to make his dubious points . Why would anyone pay the man to write this kind of non-sensical babble. Check out his new blog aswell: Thoughts from my anus

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Books

I finished Bush in Babylon and it was quite an interesting read. Tariq Ali is a very good writer. Some of the tangents are quite beautiful. But the book is basically a short history of modern Iraq and for what it is its very good. There's also an excellent Appendix to the book about Christopher Hitchens which was at once intellectually stimulating and very amusing. So i'd highly reccomend it. But now of course I have a dilemma. What book to read next? I' have a very large stack of unread books on my shelf and i need your help to choose which to read.

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What book should I read next?
A Doll's House by Ibsen -which I have to read for Literature
Travels with my aunt by Graham Greene
One flew over the cuckoo's nest by Ken Kesey
The electric kool-aid acid test by Tom Wolfe
The grapes of wrath by John Steinbeck
Crime and punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
For whom the bell tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The ginger man by J.P. Donleavy
On the road by Jack Kerouac
Power without glory by Frank Hardy




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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The weasels are closing in

Hello Australian Department of Defence, Canberra, Australia

Monday, November 22, 2004

Imitation of Gatsby

For my Literature class one of the assignments we had to do was an imitation of 'The Great Gatsby' by F Scott Fitzgerald. As you can imagine this being one the greatest novels of the 2oth century it was very difficult. But my teacher gave me an A for it so with my confidence bouyed I present my imitation. I'm not sure if this story stands alone without being merely an imitation. I'd say to those that haven't read The Great Gatsby first of all to read it and second to keep in mind that this is an imitation of another writer's style so i'm only partly to blame for how awful you may think it is.

Very poor Imitation of
The Great Gatsby

It was in a curious manner that Fraser went about his business after that weekend. He gave up his position on the board and began writing a novel. Fraser had been on the board of a very large manufacturing company: Hike Industries. He was defined by his work. He was known to many as simply Fraser from Hike Industries and had thus far refused to present a personality worthy of the bestowment of an individual identity. His family were middle class and not particularly proud of it. He spent most of his youth imbibing enormous amounts of alcohol either alone or with a small bunch of friends; one would generously describe as unsuccessful. He had decided to change rather suddenly as if realising that he would no longer play a part in his family’s meagre fortunes. He was a grave adult - even as he found his way up the steps of the corporate ladder his reputation was as an unhappy man. He managed his ascent through a fanatical workaholism and a charm he could turn on when he needed it but faded away violently when he had no more use for you. Why he came back south I don’t know.

He would be staying here by the sea for a long time, Fraser said to me one summer evening- I was inclined to believe him- he had made himself at home in here and I could not see him being attracted back to his old grey world again.

Something had been worrying me about him since the first time I met him. The expression in his voice when we first met that morning on the beach, inspired feelings of anxiety. The word I answered him with came out disturbingly artificial and over generous- and so it happened that I would go visit him in such a friendly manner whilst I scarcely knew him at all.

Fraser’s house was as near to a beach shack you would have seen in our affluent neighbourhood, it seemed well apart from him and the rest of the houses nearby- it seemed the only thing linking Fraser and it was that he slept there. However he was not at all self conscious about it. It was modest yet not as ugly as to be unpalatable.

That evening I walked over to his house after an afternoon inside with a bottle of whisky and Francine keeping me company. We sat and talked on his porch for a few hours. ‘How is she keeping, Francine? ,’ He said looking ahead to the sea and then quickly down to his shoes. She was managing well I replied. ‘Would you like something to drink?’ He got up slowly and walked inside past his glass doors reflecting the moonlight. He returned with drinks for us both. ‘When I was younger I always felt more of an affinity with our rich neighbours than my own family’, Fraser told me as he gulped down his drink. 'I was good friends with the boy next door, we went to school together. His name was Max Applebaum and his family were the kindest people you could imagine. I would have spent more time there than I did at my own home. His mother would cook us pancakes after school, and his older sister Miriam would always join us as we ate. By the time I was sixteen, I was quite in love with her. I would go with the Applebaums on family excursions to the zoo etcetera. How I miss those times. The Family moved away pretty soon after Max and I graduated from high school. We had a going away party for them. Max, Miriam and me were drinking very heavily; we were sitting out side on the grass outside of their house, gazing up at the stars and the moon. I rolled over and gave Miriam a kiss goodbye. Then I must have run back to my house. I remember feeling nauseous and I probably threw up and then I must of fallen asleep.’


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Hobnobbing

So the Bronwyn Pike thing. It went quite well. The first amusing thing that happened was just by coincidence we ran into Bronwyn Pike's son who our teacher knew somehow. He told us to get stuck into her about the nurses and paramedics. Once we got into the city, we were a bit early so we went to get some coffee. I didn't have any money so I just had water. But we had an amusing conversation with our teacher ( a very strange woman).
So we got inside parliament house and we were met by Bronwyn Pike's electorate officer Melanie Mcgrath. She was a charming youngish woman. Who told us a bit about parliament and the work of the minister etc. Then Bronwyn Pike arrived and she took us for a tour around Parliament. A very nice building but as Bronwyn explained to us, not really suitable for the running a state in the 21st century. Their offices were very small. Bronwyn's office was smaller than my bedroom with only a table with The Hun, The Age and The Melbourne Times on it and two desks on either side of it.
We walked past a few of the other MP's offices. The liberals had anti-tolls stickers and posters stuff stuck to their walls, and Dennis Naphine had the cover of an issue of the Melbourne Times stuck to his door. The title being 'State Labor chickens out' with a picture of a chicken wearing an ALP badge. The funny thing about this being I don't think Napthine bothered to read the article as it was a firm attack on Labor from the left; attacking the state government on it's social welfare policies.
We ended up going into a dining room area where Bronwyn bought us some soft drinks. Whilst we were there having a nice little chat who should walk in but Robert Doyle. John and I make a few snide comments to ourselves. Then Robert Doyle starts looking at us, for what reason nobody knows. So he sits down to lunch with his blonde lackey but as we're leaving he gives us another look. John and I resolve to come back to Parliament for question time after grabbing some lunch.
We both got pasties and consumed then outside Sweet Mama's cafe. Then we walked back up to Parliament. And got into the lower house for question time. And lo and behold Robert Doyle keeps giving us the eye. John eventually gives up and gives him the finger. Which shocked him back in his place. Bronwyn gave us a wave as she exited the house after question time. So we caught the train home and came away with Bronwyn Pikes card and an invitation by Melanie Mcgrath to contact her if we wish to talk about anything etc.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Independent reporting in Iraq

One of the only unembedded reporters in Iraq is Dahr Jamail. You can read his weblog here.
Here he talks to Amy Goodman from Democracy Now about among other things political and media censorship in Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: Which brings up the issue of what kind of news is getting out of there. You have got embedded reporters with the U.S. military, and then the two major Arab satellite networks, Al Arabiya, the reporter detained by the U.S. military, and Al-Jazeera, forbidden to report from Fallujah. Could you explain what's happening and what you know of this Al Arabiya reporter, what has happened to him?

DAHR JAMAIL: Well, as you mentioned, he did go to Fallujah to try to get inside the city, to report on what was really happening, and he was promptly detained by the military, and he is still being held. That's all the news that we have. He's essentially disappeared at this point, which is the typical case when anyone is detained here. They vanish. There is no contact with them. And so he’s had -- no one has been able to contact him, nor him anyone else. I should add also that as of yesterday, U.S.-backed Prime Minister Allawi made a statement that any Al-Jazeera journalists caught trying to report in Iraq will be detained. So, they remain under the gun, and the media crackdown here has really been beyond belief. They have made announcements prompting media to report, quote-unquote, “accurately,” meaning they only want the U.S. military side of the story. And this crackdown on the Arab media has been very pronounced because stations like Al-Jazeera have consistently done a very good job of reporting extremely accurately what is happening here on the ground in Iraq. They do very good war reporting. They do show the graphic images, as they should, because this is a war, and this is what's happening here. This is why they continue to catch so much flack from the United States, particularly Defense Minister Rumsfeld. This is why their office in Baghdad was bombed during the initial invasion of Iraq, even though they specifically gave their coordinates to the Pentagon to avoid that happening. So, it keeps continuing on into the occupation. Of course, when the fighting rages and reports come out that don't play in the best interests of the U.S. military here, or the U.S. government, of course, the hammer gets dropped once again on the media that's doing their job.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

1 am

Ok i'm up and blogging. I'm going to have a meeting with Bronwn Pike tomorrow. A few weeks ago, I for some reason agreed to attend a 'Young Leaders conference' or something like that. I guess I agreed to go because my motto inherited from my grandmother is 'say yes'. This applies to a lot of things and is generally a good way to learn, to make mistakes and to have a reasonably interesting life. What it was was us sitting around for a whole day with Private school fuckwits listening to people speak. The speakers actually weren't on the whole bad apart from some random Today Tonight psychologist and Wayne Shwass or Vosss or something, a retired very stupid footballer. But the thing is the whole shindig was costing these private school kids $45 a bang. Thankfully our tickets were partially subsidised and will be fully subsidised tomorrow. ie. we get our money back. Not that it was that shocking, but really for $45 you'd expect to get some food. Possibly the freakiest speaker there was this guy with no legs who told some crazy stories about trying to rescue his friend with cerebral palsy from an institution by putting him in his schoolbag and dragging him away. Also he said how his Father would have beaten him to punish him for being mean to other kids ( the specific example he used was some peers of his throwing him in a bin and then lighting the bin on fire, ' if i'd litten somebody on fire, my father would have taken me out the back and litten me on fire') because 'YOU TREAT OTHER PEOPLE HOW YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED' . Say what indeed? Obviously this maxim does not extend to abusing your child. Anyway that guy was kind of crazy.
So i'm meeting Bronwyn tomorrow to get some money back and apparently she's going to show us around parliament house. My previous run in with Bronwyn was when she was at our school promoting an eating disorders information book for schools. I was briefly seen on channel 7 news that night walking behind her.
2 questions I probably won't ask her are:
1. Why do you have such a massive budget surplus whilst services need more funding?
2. Why do you not set up a database of hospital waiting list information thats easily accessible for doctors so they don't have to put their patients on numerous different waiting lists?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Pandagate is dead. Long live Pandagate.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

More Pandagate

Crikey reports :

Andrew Bolt fires one back at Crikey

The Crikey editor has not read or followed the apparently childish blog bunfight involving Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt but we naturally get the personal blame and happily publish his typically feisty rebuttal:

Why can you be relied upon to inevitably tell untruths, Stephen, provided those untruths are to the detriment of people who know you for what you sadly are?

Here's just three of the untruths in your most recent abuse of me:

  • No, I was not "conscripted to their cause'' - the cause you identify as being the fight between some Melbourne University students and Michael Danby, a friend of mine. I have not written a word on that dispute, and have no intention of doing so. Indeed, I deplore some of the baseless slurs Michael has been once again subjected to since that dispute began - slurs I have gone in print to expose as false some time ago.
  • No, I have never met any of the students you mention, although months ago I did a Q and A interview via emails with one of them for Farrago, in which I talked about writing and politics. It is on this interview, I believe, that Mischa Schubert based her claim on Insiders that I'd given political advice to these students, seeming to suggest- falsely - I had advised them in the tactics that upset Michael.
  • No, I did not have any communications with a fictional character before writing my article, or write a syllable based on information provided by such a source. After my article appeared, I exchanged emails from someone posing (illegally) as a solicitor. The question now is how those emails came to appear on the site of a staffer for a Labor Senator, and why that staffer publishes highly defamatory and false material about several people in what seems to me to be largely a politically inspired campaign for Labor. This man may well be your own source, and we may well ask you about your own associations and motivations.

That you have published again such snide untruths, without seeking to establish the truth, or refused to judge my article by the arguments contained within, instead of by your jaundiced guess at my fancied motivations, should tell your readers all they need to know about the moral morass that now passes for your conscience.

Please publish this, so that the record is corrected.

Andrew Bolt
Web site: www.heraldsun.com.au/andrewbolt

And the mysterious Simon Hollins set the record straight


Dear Crikey,

I have no interest in helping clear Andrew Bolt's name, albeit tangentially, but even as a fictional character I feel I must contact you in the interest of the truth.

You wrote: "It seems that the Liberals had been sourcing their information from two fictional characters - one of whom Bolt had an email conversation with before writing his column."

This is incorrect. Robert Corr did not obtain or publish the dates and times of the e-mails concerned, but I can confirm that Bolt did not contact this address until after his column was printed. However, Bolt did have e-mail contact with Alex Lew the day before publication. I believe Bolt will be especially keen for you to correct this sequence of events.

I must say I found it extremely surprising, not to say amusing, that while Bolt's own research turned up no trace of Diana Elgar, he was nevertheless still eager to engage with me, a fictional person's fictional solicitor.

More surprising again is Bolt's latest effort: contacting Robert Corr's employer and accusing Corr of defamation, impersonating a solicitor and blackmail ("wrongly, I might add," to quote Bolt himself). Threatening Robert's employment in such a manner strikes me as astoundingly hypocritical, given Bolt accused me of threatening Alex Lew's future employment.

Yours fictitiously,
Simon Hollins

PS. I understand you may have concerns about obtaining information from a self-confessed non-entity. I'd like to state for Robert's sake that I am not Robert Corr, nor does Robert Corr know who I am. Robert Corr has had no involvement in the Diana Elgar/Brett Kleinitz/Simon Hollins correspondence.


Interesting no? Andrew Bolt refers to an incident with Mischa Schubert on Insiders, did anyone see this? The Simon Hollins email is fully % hilar though.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Whats going on

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - yeah
Father, father, father we don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on
What's going on
Yeah, what's going on
Ah, what's going on


Mother, mother, everybody thinks we're wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply 'cos our hair is long
Ah you know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
What's going on, yeah what's going on
Tell me what's going on, I'll tell you what's going on

- Marvin Gaye

This kid is Hilar. This site makes me feel better.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


'One of the most nauseating images of the Iraqi war was of Tony Blair kissing an Iraqi boy. What he was not kissing was the dismembered corpse of an Iraqi child, or the mutilated body of another.' - Harold Pinter

From Bush in Babylon

Friday, November 05, 2004

Kenneth Davidson - My australian idol

Since 1996, the Coalition has been obsessed with balancing the budget and reducing public debt - which isn't the same as managing the economy. On the contrary. The fixation with finance has been at the expense of balanced development and sustainable growth. The Government has cut spending programs on education, training, research and development, and industry development set in place by the previous government and designed to deal with the external deficit.

Growth has been consumption-led. The banks have borrowed most of the funds to finance the deficit. The money has been used to engineer a housing bubble, to the great short-term profit of the banks.

Read the whole thing here

Congratulations President John Kerry

Cost of the War in Iraq
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