Hot Buttered Death

I wanna die just like Jesus Christ... with the radio on

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Chinese court values woman's sex life at two thousand dollars or so.

In a civil case celebrated in the Chinese press as a "breakthrough from traditional moral values", the judge said the unnamed woman's right to sex was an important aspect of her right to good health.
The defendant who caused the crash had already agreed to pay her husband, identified as 41-year-old Mr Zhang, 150,000 yuan for his injuries, but refused to pay her anything because she was not directly hurt.
But China's new sexual liberation has its limits as shown by a woman who sued her husband for 100,000 yuan after discovering he was homosexual.
A wire service reported the case was thrown out because China's civil law made no provision for homosexuality. It was noted the unnamed woman would have been entitled to compensation if her husband had run off with another woman.

This is appalling.

An Australian Muslim has been threatened with dismissal for taking 10 minutes off work to pray.
The Australian Industrial Relations Commission said on Thursday it had received a complaint from Lebanese Australian Kamal El-Masri against his internet industry employers over a threat to sack him unless he stops praying during work hours. [...]
"I'm the last person to be a racialist," Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph quoted TPG general manager Julie Jules as saying.
"I just can't have people taking breaks whenever they want. We run a business here."

Er... it's not a matter of him going off when he wants, I don't think, Julie. Nice way to give that famous Australian reputation for tolerance a serve. Even the not especially Muslim-friendly folks at Silent Running are disgusted, as they should be.

The mystery of the NZSO porn CD explained. It's actually not half as fun as I'd thought. I was under the impression someone had put pornographic stuff on the disc itself, but no, 'twas just the titles that were rude when they appeared in computer-based media players.

Politician quits after TV ad makes him look like a "gay hairdresser". Would he be complaining as much if it made him look like a straight hairdresser instead? Ted Barlow had a pretty good post on this the other day from both sides; neither Democrats nor Republicans come away untouched. Like he says, "Is there any wonder that people hate politics?"

Ban on sex toys struck down as unconstitutional.

An Alabama law banning the sale of sex toys was struck down by a federal judge as a violation of the right to privacy.
He said the state did not prove it has a legitimate interest in banning the sale of sex devices for use in private, consensual relationships between adults.
The 1998 law - part of a package of legislation strengthening the state's obscenity law - banned the sale of devices designed for "the stimulation of human genital organs."

I'm surprised they didn't try to ban the use of hands while they were at it...

Via Tim Dunlop: Google to start demanding money? Tim offers his thoughts on the subject here, amidst his usual updates on the sniper business.

Interview with Morrissey.

Anyway, he can still afford to live very comfortably. He has a house in Ireland, but lives in Los Angeles, off Sunset Boulevard, in a house built by Clark Gable for Carole Lombard. I ask if he lives next door to Johnny Depp, as the press always says. "No, he lives next door to me."

HA! "To someone, somewhere, oh yeah, Steven Patrick matters in mind, body and soul, part and in whole..."

This may be the least helpful thing I've read about the Washington sniper yet.

There are echoes of a movie in the sniper shootings. In a 1993 movie, Malice, a thriller starring Alec Baldwin, his character, a surgeon, says: "You ask me if I have a God complex?" He pauses before declaring, "Let me tell you something: I am God!"
I am God. The same three-word declaration of psychopathic egomania appears on a tarot card found by police at one of the shootings. It may be unrelated to a forgettable film, but for this disturbing fact: Malice aired on a cable network only four days before the tarot card was found.
Related or not, the killer's brazen means of communication puts a chilling real-world spin on an ancient device in fiction, the "signature", a distinctive mark left by a character to announce some misdeed or just his presence.

Nice work, fuckwit. You've just given ammunition to wowsers and hysterics everywhere who are convinced entertainment is sending the world to hell in a handbag and inspiring idiots like the Washington sniper.

Coppola ready to shoot On The Road at last.

Francis Ford Coppola is close to realising his dream of following his Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now by filming On the Road, Jack Kerouac's epic 1957 novel of the Beat Generation.
Billy Crudup and Brad Pitt are being lined up to star in the film, which will be directed by Joel Schumacher. Coppola has held the film rights to On the Road, thought by many to be unfilmable, for many years.

I don't think it's unfilmable. I just don't think it'll make the sort of film Hollywood likes. The book is too episodically structured, and I have this terrible fear it'll just get shoehorned into a coherent plot and narrative that simply isn't there in the text. Apart from which, it's quite possibly several decades too late for it. I daresay that had it been filmed around the end of the 1950s (as Kerouac's other book The Subterraneans was) it would likely have ended up a pretty bad film (as The Subterraneans apparently is, I've not seen it), but it would at least have been made at the proper time. I don't know if the 21st century is really the time for it... and then there's this:

Just who will play Carlo Marx, based on Allen Ginsberg, or Old Bull Lee, the William Burroughs character, is uncertain, although Bob Dylan could be a candidate for either role.

Oh God no.

So Jimmy Carter got the Nobel Peace Prize. Predictably enough, not everyone is happy with the decision. Perhaps they would've preferred Yasser Arafat to win again? Or Kofi Annan and the UN? I think politicising the award as they did was unwise on the Nobel committee's part, but surely there's a lot of stupider choices that could've been made as the recipient...

As I said yesterday, "If you are reading this message, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! It means you have clearly visited this website at a time when it's actually been accessible!" Fucking ANS server wasn't responding for SEVEN HOURS there. And that was as well as the three or four hours it appears to have been down overnight too. I'm getting pretty fucking sick of this.

Friday, October 11, 2002

I'm taking the advice Peter Kerr offered to advertise that radio show I co-host which I glancingly allude to here from time to time. Not so sure about adding the naked woman (none of the naked women I have on my hard drive are really suitable for a family-oriented blog such as this) (family-oriented? Which family is it oriented towards, the Manson family?) (oh, piss off) but I've wired the ad into the top of the page. Do tune in.

Interview with B.R. Myers.

Here's my theory. Many people want to set themselves off from the Grisham-reading herd, but they don't want to read a classic because they're afraid someone will say "Bleak House? God, I did that back in college." And they know they'll get even less cachet from reading an old novel like Caleb Williams that no one's heard of. So they buy the latest prize-winner, which is easily recognized in the office and subway as the "better" kind of book, and then they read it, secure in the knowledge that thousands of the "better" people across the country are reading it at about the same time. I'm sure they genuinely enjoy this sense of intellectual community, even if they don't enjoy the actual book. But remember: they don't have to enjoy it. They're allowed to say that it isn't their cup of tea, or that they found it heavy going. What they mustn't do is differ with the "better" consensus and dismiss the book as bad. Only philistines like me do that.

There's numerous other interesting things in the interview. Looks like I might need to keep an eye out for the book.

Ideological clashes over at Silent Running? Murray Hill bows out as cryptically as his brother Bruce:

It is also clear that a couple of the other members of the team are uncomfortable with my declining to express unqualified and unconditional support to Israel so now would be a good time for me to withdraw before I'm accused of anti-Semitism as well as poor spelling.

I'm just wondering what Murray could've done to merit such an accusation, apart from evidently thinking for himself...

May I direct your attention to this site? I found Jeff Cooper's site the other day on my regular rounds, someone (I forget who) had linked to this post of his called "Off the deep end". I had one of those "My God, he speaks the truth" moments when I read it. It articulated the same sort of things I was vaguely pissing and moaning about this time last week, only somewhat more clearly. Jeff has since followed that with a longer post. I've added his blog to the links over there, but thought I'd give him the additional plug as well.

Erik Tarloff on Glenn Gould's two Goldberg Variations. The 1955 and 1981 recordings have been boxed together with one of Gould's infamous interviews. This annoys the hell out of me (as does Tarloff's assertion that the 1981 Goldberg was Gould's last recording; for that, see his Siegfried-Idyll recorded about 15 months later) since I already have both recordings, although apparently both are spruced up fantastically for this new release. It's tempting, though. This paragraph sums up everything:

Peter F. Ostwald's book about Gould tells us that by the end of his life the pianist was a physical wreck, with many muscular and skeletal problems impeding his ability to perform. I don't question it, but neither do I hear any evidence of it in his second recording of the Goldbergs. I do hear something else, though. I hear a brilliant musician who has become so reclusive, so sealed off from and frightened by human connection that he makes interpretive choices that stubbornly eschew sensuous appeal. An ascetic who would rather risk repelling listeners than risk inviting them in. A thinker who writes both sides of an interview because he can't bear to subject himself to questioning, even when it's sympathetic questioning from a knowledgeable admirer. The personal tragedy of Glenn Gould's last years is embedded in this performance, encoded in every bar.

If you only have one Glenn Gould album then it should almost certainly be the Goldberg Variations. This sounds like a set worth investing in if you don't already own it.

JR to get shot again.

Regency Enterprises, a production company based at Twentieth Century Fox, is striking a seven figure deal to turn the primetime soap opera "Dallas" into a feature film.
"I like the idea of doing it for the 21st century, with a new cast," series creator Dave Jacobs told Daily Variety.
"We've got a new take on it. It's a much bigger canvas today and it belongs up on the big screen. Before people would have been interested in who is screwing each other. Now it's the national crimes that are affecting everyone. The conflict is still about family conflicts, but the stakes are higher now. That's the thing that excites me about it."

I'm still waiting for the bit where I wake up and find the above bit of news was just a dream.

Pravda just gets stranger and stranger. Was it ever like this under the Communists? Or would they have stopped the Pravda staff from reading the likes of Velikovsky and Horbiger?

Serial dentist caught at last. YIKES. I'm not sure what's scarier, though, him or this guy:

James C. Hill, a nurse anesthetist in Oklahoma City, told health officials he reused needles and syringes up to 25 times a day to inject pain medication through intravenous tubes at a pain management clinic in Norman and two surgical centers in Oklahoma City.

Some good stuff at Blogcritics today:

Michele Catalano reflects on the death of John Lennon.

Eric Olsen's fascination with toilets is getting disturbing.

Kenan Hebert's not convinced by the new Wilco movie. I'm not convinced by the album, so not sure how I'll like the film. I'll give it a go if it ever screens here, but I'm not hearing great things.

Jennie Rose looks at Lost In La Mancha. Now I really regret missing this at the Sydney Film Festival.

Margaret Atwood sues Canadian paper. That's what you get for calling her a mere genre author... all right, it's nothing of the sort.

Via John Quiggin: William Safire blasts the polygraph. One of the great arguments I heard against lie detectors was when they tested one on a mental patient labouring under the delusion that he was Napoleon or something. The doctors wired him up and asked him, was he Napoleon. The patient replied no. The polygraph indicated that the patient was lying.

By the way, Jason, for what it's worth, this doesn't annoy me at all. Thanks for alerting me to it.

Via Jason Soon: Andrew Sullivan on why we need less self-esteem. Like Jason says, there is an at least slight irony at work there; Sullivan's own self-image is apparently strong enough that he believes people will readily contribute money to him if he puts in a "tipping point" and "buy my books" bit. Still, his point about making sure we don't let feelings of self-worth get out of kilter with reality is not a bad one.

Should the Victorian government be subsidising Paul McCartney's concert there? This sounds a bit suss to me. I heard about the forthcoming McCartney show here and was frankly bewildered as to why he was only doing one show in Melbourne; why not make the expense of the trip worthwhile and do the other capitals too? It would seem this is why...

If you are reading this message, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! It means you have clearly visited this website at a time when it's actually been accessible! Godfucking damn ISP's servers were having trouble yesterday and it looks like more trouble ahead today. I am really unimpressed. However, at least I can still blog, even if you can't read it and I have to make test messages just to get the fucking thing to load properly on my own screen...

Thursday, October 10, 2002

What should the first words from Mars be? I suggest two options:

1) "HOLY LIVING FUCK!!!!!"—the words actually uttered by Neil Armstrong, according to The Onion's Our Dumb Century, or
2) Nothing. What I've always envisaged is that you'd have your astronauts land on Mars, like happened on the Moon in 1969. They would climb down the ladder of the landing module. And once they were on the surface, the "Blue Danube Waltz" would be played to them from the orbiter, and back to mission control on Earth. The two astronauts would dance the waltz without saying a word. Then, at the end, they would get back into the module, fly back up to the orbiter, and begin the long journey back to Earth immediately. It's the most fantastic and complete waste of billions of dollars I've ever been able to conceive of.

Leonard Nimoy publishes new book. To be called Actually I Take That Back, I'm Not Spock After All... oh all right, no it isn't. Possibly just as well, too, cos with this picture on the cover you could frighten people off:

Smuggler caught hiding monkeys in underpants.

A SMUGGLER is facing up to a year’s jail after hiding two MONKEYS in his underpants on a 17-hour flight.
Robert Cusack, 45, flew 8,200 miles from Thailand to Los Angeles with the rare 10ins pygmy monkeys next to his crotch. [...]
The monkeys are now in LA’s zoo. Prosecutor Joseph Johns told a court in California: “The little critters were in surprisingly good condition.”

Presumably no one was game enough to ask whether he meant the monkeys or Mr Cusack's testicles...

Dave Tepper coins a marvellous new word. Here's the definition he provides, from an earlier post:

It's not agnosticism, because I think it is at least logically possible that we can discover whether a god exists. And it's not your standard atheism; although I don't believe in gods, I'm equally unwilling to go out on a limb and say there is no god. What I'm saying is is that the question of divine existence is off my radar screen. It's so irrelevant to me that I'm not even going to bother trying to answer it one way or the other.

Spot on. "Apatheist" is now part of my vocabulary.

Canadian fisherman lucky to be alive after discovering giant Alka-Seltzer. There are only two words I can say about this item: "idiot fish"?

Aileen Wuornos executed, offers incomprehensible last words.

When the curtain in the death chamber opened at 9:29 a.m., Wuornos lifted her head and looked at the audience with a surprised expression before making her final statement.
"I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the Rock and I'll be back like Independence Day with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mothership and all. I'll be back,'' Wuornos said. The Rock is a Biblical reference to Jesus.

I've never thought about what I'd like my last words to be, but I hope they'll be slightly less strange than that.

Now THIS is what you call an apology and retraction.

The story "Filipino-American history recognized" stated that the "Nuestra Senora de Buena Esperanza," the galleon on which the first Filipinos landed at Morro, Bay, Calif., loosely translates to "The Big Ass Spanish Boat." It actually translates to "Our Lady of Good Hope."
Parts of the story, including the translation above, were plagiarized from an inaccurate Web site.

Here is the story of how that remarkable feat came to be. Astonishing stupidity at work here.

Mark David Chapman denied parole for John Lennon's birthday.

At his first parole hearing two years ago, Chapman said he did not deserve to go free. He will be up for parole again in 2004.
Chapman, 47, is serving 20 years to life for shooting Lennon outside his Manhattan apartment in 1980 as the former Beatle returned from a late-night recording session.
Transcripts of the latest hearing were not immediately available. At his parole hearing two years ago, Chapman said: "I believe once you take a person's life, there's no way you can make up for that. Period."

There was a discussion of the possibility of Chapman going free on the Mojo music boards, and I seem to recall someone saying Chapman doesn't want to go free because he knows there'd be too many people gunning for him (literally) once he was past the prison gate. Me, I just think if the prisoner himself doesn't want to seek parole and probably still won't want it the next time his appeal comes round, why make him reapply for it...

Art museum's worst nightmare comes horrifyingly true.

A 15th-century marble statue of Adam by the Venetian sculptor Tullio Lombardo crashed to the ground in the Velez Blanco Patio at the Metropolitan Museum of Art sometime Sunday evening, scattering its arms, legs and an ornamental tree trunk into dozens of pieces.
The statue's fall—a museum's nightmare—was confirmed yesterday morning by museum officials, who said they had delayed an announcement for a day while a preliminary investigation took place. The indoor patio, originally located in a castle in Spain, was screened off to the public yesterday as curators combed the tile floor for fragments. The museum barred news photographers from taking pictures, even from the balconies above.
Harold Holzer, the museum's chief spokesman, said the museum has now tentatively concluded that the 6-foot-3-inch statue fell to the ground when one side of the 4-inch-high base of its pedestal apparently buckled, tipping over both the pedestal and statue.

This detail, though, further down the page, is staggering:

The pedestal beneath the Adam was described as four feet high, and about two feet deep, made of medium density plywood, packed in layers but hollow inside. The bottom of the pedestal rested upon the square four-inch-high base, of which one side apparently gave way under pressure.

Plywood? And hollow? What the fuck were these people thinking, leaving a marble statue of that size on a hollow base?

Australian film culture under threat again. Nice to always be able to trust the government to act in the best interests of Australian performers and creators, eh.

High art to the rescue of journalism?

Times policy, like that of this paper and many others, forbids the manipulation of news photos, such as the blurry images that were the best available shots of the former Rwandan minister, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko. So the magazine had one of them turned into a more striking blurry painting, on the principle that fine art can rework reality any way it pleases, without answering to issues of journalistic ethics.

Romanian man fed up with democracy applies for asylum in Iraq. Yow. I know that right-wing demagogues like to say things like "if you like the other side so much, why don't you move there", but this is a bit silly...

Hundreds of university students score zero after filling exam papers with porn.

Suranjan Das, vice-chancellor, told the Times of India: "We will show the answer scripts to the parents of the students who failed to score a single mark.
"Some students do score zero every year, but poems and love stories in answer scripts is a new feature this year."

Mr Das did not say whether he would be trying to find out precisely why over six hundred students all chose to crash and burn in this manner. For his sake that better also be a "new feature".

Sure enough, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Although compared to the immortal J.W. Bobbitt, this guy got off lightly.

Ken Parish advises of the return of Stephen Hill, an OzBlogger I hadn't previously known (and who, until the other day, hadn't posted since August). Could be a good one for the blogroll.

Ralph Nader won't rule out US election rerun. Marvellous. All they need is for Ross Perot to throw his ten gallon hat back in the ring and 2004 could be fun in the US.

Tim Dunlop continues to post about the latest bout of shooting madness in the US. In another post he ruminates upon the terrorist connection quite a few commentators seem keen to draw:

Although a number of people have suggested the terrorist connection, none has put the case with such certainty as Isntapundit (careful on the spelling). I think the latest revelations (tarot card etc) mitigate against this, and I didn't think it highly likely in the first place, but you can't rule anything out, I guess. Still, it's hard to figure why some people are so keen for it to be terrorists. Spleenville has this rant and concludes that even if it isn't terrorists she has hurt anyone by saying that it is. Well, except the facts.

I agree. Consider this comment from Andrea:

Why can't we even speculate that the shootings that are occurring in Maryland right now might be acts of Islamicist terrorism?

I'm still not convinced that we have to automatically speculate that they are. It could well be some Muslim idiot with a gun. It could equally well be some non-Muslim idiot with a gun. In all of America's fine history of mass murders and serial killings, how many of them have been the result of Islamic terrorist plots?

I am this close to putting a bomb under my ISP at the moment too. The site was down for a couple of hours overnight, it's down again as I type this and the mail server was inaccessible for a few hours too. It doesn't happen very often, I'll give them credit for that, but when it does happen it gets fucking old very quickly.

Can I possibly be the only person having unspeakable issues with Yahoo mail at the moment? Seems that every other time I try to log in to check it, it freezes my browser and at least twice now it's given me the Blue Screen of Death as a result. Even having switched back to the old version of the mail site from the new beta design (which I thought was what was fucking things up for me, as the old version never gave me such problems) isn't helping.

Joyce Millman dissects The X-Files.

Making its US premiere on September 10, 1993, The X-Files starred the little-known David Duchovny as a flaky FBI special agent, Fox Mulder, and the unknown Gillian Anderson as the level-headed special agent (and medical doctor) Dana Scully. [...] Helped along by the ecstatic buzz among its Web-savvy fans, who called themselves X-philes (this may have been the first show to find its audience growth tied to the growth of the Internet), it soon broke out of its cult status.

Not that quickly, though. In 1995 I was doing a class with Ross Harley called Global Grooves (all about new media and shit like that), and I remember him opening one class with the words "Pop culture quiz! Who's Gillian Anderson?" No one in the class knew. When he mentioned The X-Files there was a collective "oh yeah, that" from the class... we knew the show, but I don't think Gillian Anderson still quite registered with us...

British media gagged over Gaddafi death plot allegations.

The British media have been gagged from reporting sensational courtroom evidence of former MI5 spy David Shayler, including his alleged proof that the British secret service paid $270,000 for al Qaeda terrorists to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 1986.
In its efforts to contain Mr Shayler's allegations to the privacy of the court, the government has even stopped the media from reporting its successful attempt to win a gag order.

So successful were these efforts, of course, that the Australian media were able to report them on the other side of the world. Let's see how long this evidence remains secret.

Peter Kerr of the Bitchin' Monaro Guide has a long post here on the subject of community radio in response to Scott Wickstein's praise of the ABC. Given that I work in community radio myself (as Peter notes, 2SER keeps me off the streets and has done for nearly three years), this obviously interested me, so here's my own response. And I advise you, this is going to be a long one.

Peter starts by mentioning 2MBS, which is based around classical music much like the ABC's Classic FM; regarding which, he makes this comment:

Why would you fund a state owned radio station when a network of community stations can provide the same service at no cost to the taxpayer? Such a network would also provide more locally orientated content than an ABC coming out of Sydney.

Peter would probably be interested to know that MBS actually already is that network (of sorts) that he postulates. I believe ArtSound FM in Canberra has or had some connection with them, though to be sure I can't find any reference on the site. Either that or I'm getting them confused with another station in Canberra. But there's 3MBS in Melbourne, 4MBS in Brisbane, and 5MBS in Adelaide (no website). Although each of these operates separately in different states, they are all affiliated with each other as the Fine Music Network.

Peter then mentions FBi, which he hopes will also give the ABC's Triple J a run for its money. I'm hoping it does, too; actually 2SER are kind of nervous about FBi as well (to the point where there was a semi-official directive ordering 2SER volunteers not to present on FBi as well as 2SER; an outrageous statement, but let's not go into that here). I enjoyed the test broadcast I heard and I think it has the potential to be the sort of station Triple J used to be before it went national at the end of the 1980s. Indeed, I was hugely excited when I heard they'd got the permanent license in May last year, signed on as a member, even planned a music show... sadly, though, that enthusiasm has cooled quite severely.

I'm not going to go into the details of the community radio licence battles. Here's the Australian Broadcasting Authority's report on the licence allocations, outlining why they gave out the licences they did and also why the other applicants failed, particularly Wild FM. That was May. I applied for membership around the beginning of June, just after the licence was awarded to FBi. According to my journal from last year, my membership card finally arrived on December the 5th. The card itself was dated October 22nd. Meaning that 1) it took them nearly four months to process my twenty dollar cheque for membership and 2) it took over a month to actually send the thing. In the intervening time, I'd had exactly one communication from them; the week before getting the card, I got a letter announcing their AGM was happening on December 19th. The website had been down for months. When the site finally returned, there was bugger all on it.

I went to the AGM, where we heard the station's tales of woe with the people from Wild FM. I won't go into detail because I don't know the legalities of the situation, but let's just say Anthony Gherghetta from Wild wasn't taking defeat lying down and had actually tried to get an injunction against the AGM taking place. Obviously it did take place so he must've failed. So we heard about all this, and I gathered that FBi hadn't exactly been bludging all that time, although it still didn't explain the non-communication... and no other explanation was offered, so I left the meeting highly dissatisfied. Since that time, I think I've received two email updates to let me know what's going on. And what's going on? Near as I can tell, nothing. Last I heard they were moving to new premises in Alexandria. They seem to have let the domain lapse, and the site hasn't been updated in months.

The station should've been on the air at the start of last June under the terms of the licence, though I gather they got a special dispensation from the ABA to extend those terms. Apparently FBi should be up and running late this year. It's now October. My membership lapses in a fortnight, and I'm not yet convinced as to how worthwhile it'd be to renew it. Don't get me wrong, I want FBi to do well, even though in some ways they're competition for the station I'm currently with. But my enthusiasm for them is not what it once was.

Finally, Peter says this:

I say free up the airwaves. Give a community license to every and any group who aren't actively involved in sedition - there's plenty of room on the dial for everyone. Those people who ring up ABC talkback everyday, and no matter what the topic of discussion manage to link it to mandatory detention, could have a community station all their own - All Asylum Seekers, All the Time! The conservatives could have their stations too, though if there's no ABC there'll be a lot less for them to talk about. Everyone could have the radio they want and at almost no cost to the taxpayer.

Sadly there isn't enough room for everyone, and there are in fact a very limited number of viable spaces on the radio band. Every radio station has its own footprint, or geographical reach. Commercial networks tend to blast out high-powered signals that cover an entire city area. Community broadcasters have weaker, more geographically circumscribed signals. For comparison: the ABA guide informs me that 2DAY and Triple M and Nova (commercial Sydney FM stations) all broadcast on 150 kilowatts of power. The ABC and Triple J and SBS radio run on 60kw. 2MBS runs on 50kw. 2SER runs on 14kw. Most of the AM radio stations here seem to broadcast on 5kw. 2RSR broadcasts on a mere 200 watts, which explains why you probably can't pick it up more than a few feet from the station.

All fine and well. Now, in Sydney Triple J broadcasts on 105.7 MHz. In Newcastle they broadcast on 102.1. BUT... just as you can sometimes pick up the TV signals from Wollongong on the box, you can still pick up a trace of the Newcastle signal here in Sydney. So that rules out that frequency for use by a station based in Sydney because the signals would clash. Plus radio signals tend to smear a bit along the band. 2SER broadcasts on 107.3 MHz, and that's the point on the band where the signal is clearest. But I can still pick up traces of the 2SER signal all the way up to 107.0 at one end and 107.6 at the other. At the latter point it begins to clash with whatever the hell station it is I'm picking up at 107.7.

So the footprint of a given station has to be taken into account whenever a frequency is allocated for use on the radio band. The ABA has to decide where on the band they can let a station broadcast, and also how powerful its signal can be so that it doesn't clash with anyone else. In an ideal world 2SER would be receivable only on 107.3 MHz, which would let another station broadcast on 107.2 and another on 107.4. Unfortunately the technology as it stands doesn't let us do that.

Peter then goes on to mention TV, but I've talked long enough here as it is so I'll shut up. (Did I just hear a cry of "Yay!" go out across the world?)

More items from the referrers...

This sounds nasty. This just sounds terrifying.

This confuses me. Does the searcher think Islam is full or shit, or Jerry Falwell is full of shit? I'm betting on the latter, though.

I don't have any of these. Will live ones do instead?

What the fuck?

I daresay, too, that the people of Germany would like to paraphrase Mark Twain here and state that rumours of their country's death have been greatly exaggerated.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Thanks to Michelis Jannis for sending this excellent story. Like the author of the article, I'm a bit bemused by the idea of a "trainee dishwasher".

Abraham Abdallah, a high-school dropout and restaurant worker, obtained the personal details of top figures in Hollywood and Wall Street (including Steven Spielberg and Microsoft's Paul Allen) to obtain fraudulent loans in their name and scam credit companies. Court documents filed in New York charge that he used this information, and details of US corporates and financial institutions, in a scam designed to net up to $80 million.
Yesterday Abdallah pleaded guilty to a 12-count indictment charging him with wire, mail and credit card fraud, identity theft and conspiracy, Reuters reports.
In his defence, Abdallah said he was not motivated by greed but by depression and an obsessive compulsive disorder.

I thought the problem with depression was that you can't actually get motivated to do anything. Clearly I've been approaching it the wrong way, cos it seems to have worked (until recently at least) for our Abe, and I need to get depressed more often...

Tony T. from the After Grog Blog thinks I'm "[not] such a count after all". I'll presume that was meant as a compliment, so will take it in that spirit...

Starving third world masses warned against evils of contraception.

Though critics have called the Catholic Church's anti-contraception campaign irresponsible and dangerous, particularly in regions where food and medical facilities are scarce, the missionaries remain steadfast in their commitment to fighting the spread of birth control.
"No man-made organization knows God's will," said Atlanta-born missionary Lucas Roberts, 24, handing out Bibles to polio-stricken children in Dhaka, Bangladesh. "His ways are mysterious and noble. All we can do is interpret His words as they appear in the Good Book. And those words clearly state that we have an obligation to shun effective methods of population control."

Vintage Onion goodness. Read now.

"Hot Buttered Death is a spanner that hangs upside-down from the ceiling, runs on tapwater and dissolves dirt." Er... OK. The Prior-Art-O-Matic also has this to say about the OzBlogocracy:

  • ABC Watch is an armband that can be controlled remotely and requires a sample of DNA.
  • Alan Anderson is a pudding that's made from recycled cardboard and plays the theme from Steptoe and Son.
  • Don Arthur is a computer mouse that's made of rubber! It feeds your pets.
  • Bailz is a key-ring that sticks to the ceiling like a gecko, can be used by children and tracks its position with GPS.
  • Bargarz is a button-badge that shouts 'WARNING!' at the first sign of danger and talks.
  • Angela Bell is a newly-discovered breed of fish that feeds your pets! It keeps your teeth clean.
  • Tim Blair is a coffee cup that's great for hammering in nails!
  • A Bright Cold Day In April is a stereo system! It keeps you warm at night!
  • Amir Butler is a TV remote control that can be used to deter muggers and inflates into a dinghy.
  • Catallaxy Files is a toaster that makes virtually no noise whatsoever! It pushes things down staircases.
  • Robert Corr is a banner advert! It has a built-in calculator!
  • Shannon Davies is a wrapping paper that can help you lose weight, detects evil and cannot be moved.
  • Tim Dunlop is an office whiteboard that catches spiders! It is only visible under ultraviolet light and recharges itself at night.
  • Stanley Gudgeon is a personal organiser that bounces up and down and is built and maintained by tiny nano-robots.
  • Peter Kerr is a scooter that runs on tapwater!
  • David Morgan is a DVD player! It works at twice the normal speed!
  • Ken Parish is a razor! It uses human blood for fuel!
  • Gareth Parker is a credit card that swears!
  • Leesa Patterson is a soft-drink can that plays a mean game of Go! It rotates at high speed and scans its user's fingerprints.
  • John Quiggin is an MP3 player! It hovers!
  • Bernard Slattery is a pair of shoes! It records memos!
  • Chris Textor is a carpet that dispenses tea or coffee!
  • Scott Wickstein is a credit card! It can play Mornington Crescent!
  • Paul Wright is a toaster that talks! It knows your name.

    I'll let the individuals named above decide just how accurate those descriptions of them are.

  • Hello to anyone who may be visiting from John Jay Ray's site. He doesn't like me very much and I daresay you won't either. The only reason I have bothered to look at his site again is because I found it in my referrers this morning and guessed he must've seen my not terribly amused reaction to his Hitler-as-leftist theory from the other day. Indeed, he found said reaction to be "abusive", which interested me as I thought I actually hadn't been too rude to him... if I'd called him a blind, bigoted, Left-hating arseclown or a demagogic right-wing turd, THAT would've been abusive. I only wish to take further issue with this comment of his in response to my post:

    Delving among the abuse, his central point seems to be that Hitler was not a Leftist because when he came to power he proceeded to evaluate human beings “according to ethnic heritage and religion”. That bald assertion completely prejudges the question at issue (whether Leftists can be racists)

    Look a bit closer, if you can stand it, and you may notice I never even touched upon the issue of the Left and racism. I never said the Left either was or wasn't or could or couldn't be racist. Leftist racism seems to be YOUR bugbear, not mine. To reuse and rework something I also said the other day, what really matters to you? Attacking leftism, or attacking racism? What I objected, and object, to was the attempt to smear the Left by the association with Hitler, one of the vilest human beings to plague the Earth in the last century and quite possibly ever. You cannot tell me you didn't know what you were doing when you threw Hitler into the ring like that. Despite what you seem to think, I actually did study history at school and university, one of the subjects we did was Hitler and Nazi Germany, and I've since read William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (all 1400-odd pages of it) as well. I understand the magnitude of his evil adequately, thank you very much.

    Finally, I will not be reading Mr Ray's full paper on the subject when it appears because I can already guess what he's going to say in it. Indeed, I will not be giving Mr Ray any further attention whatsoever, and I daresay he'll be glad to hear that.

    Tuesday, October 08, 2002

    Great, bushfire season's started early. Weather was horrific today, 34 degrees in the city (12 above average for this time of year), and as a result there's nearly a hundred fires burning around the state with three fires just in Engadine. Wonder how long it'll take the stupid bastards to come out and start lighting them deliberately. This looks like being a great summer when the REAL hot weather arrives. As an indicator of how twisted the weather here can be. it's forecast to be only 21 degrees tomorrow, or in other words almost what it should've been today.

    I don't think Martin Bernheimer liked the new Philip Glass opera very much.

    I glanced at my watch as the curtain rose on Friday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The vehicle, fashionable fountainhead of the so-called Next Wave Festival, was Philip Glass's latest extravaganza, Galileo Galilei. The time was 7:40pm.
    An hour later - an hour stretched with an endless array of chugging ostinatos, rippling arpeggios, repetitive doodle- doodles and pesky wheedle- wheedles - I furtively glanced at my watch again. It was 7:55pm.

    Ooh, bitch. I don't know, though, is there much point complaining about a Glass opera being bad when minimalism as a musical form is pretty much antithetical to opera, or indeed vocal music generally, as a musical form?

    This is just... weird.

    Montana's Libertarian candidate for Senate has turned blue from drinking a silver solution that he believed would protect him from disease.
    Stan Jones,a 63-year-old business consultant and part-time college instructor, said he started taking colloidal silver in 1999 for fear that Y2K disruptions might lead to a shortage of antibiotics.
    He made his own concoction by electrically charging a couple of silver wires in a glass of water.
    His skin began turning blue-gray a year ago.
    "People ask me if it's permanent and if I'm dead," he said. "I tell them I'm practicing for Halloween."

    So if red is the colour of Communism, does this mean blue-grey will become the colour of Libertarianism? Have a look at the photo, too... doesn't look too ghastly there, but apparently if you put him up against a person with normal skin it's really noticeable.

    R. Robot, finding liberal bias everywhere.

    Look who's playing politics
    by R. Robot
    "Could you be a little more vague about why we're doing this?" says Hot Buttered Death. That's not what Hot Buttered Death was saying last year. The rumormongers of the breathtakingly nattering Left are not capable of rational thought. So they accuse confident people like President Bush of whatever pops into their heads.
    I ask you, has our Republic seen the like of this nattering treachery? Hot Buttered Death and his wretched Democrats are at it again. "Blind and improvident, Mr. President," he said on Crossfire. Isn't it clear by now that a monster has already thwarted weapons inspectors? Shockingly, to be one of the negligent Fifth Column is to stagnate and corrupt. I ask you, has our Republic seen the like of this wretched anti-Americanism? In the wake of Tony Blair's tough speech, let's put to rest the pro-kidnapping duplicity of the criminals, for there is nary a shred of evidence.

    Ink Syndicate have rock review robots too:

    "Ride Child Ride" is an eerie ballad about the group confronting its demons and their regrets about appearing on the Howard the Duck soundtrack, with strings hauntingly arranged by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. The latest from Hot Buttered Death starts with the folky blue-eyed soul of "For the Love of Rock," and doesn't let up. On this album, the surviving members reunite -- and in top form. Just listen to the Muzak vocal interplay of "Careful With Quiche, Kathleen." Thankfully, they have stuck to what they know best: from-the-heart harmonies.
    Hot Buttered Death is more high-octane than ever. Hot Buttered Death gets things off to a smoldering start with the playful "Drown." For all their narcotic songwriting, Hot Buttered Death has never been easy to understand.
    Let the good times roll.

    Hard to argue with that...

    The conservative Top 40. Can't remember how I found this (it was a few days ago, might've been through Metafilter), but it's vaguely interesting, if prone to bits of stupidity... Mr Bartlett clearly has no idea that John Lennon was opposed only to violent revolution, not change per se; and can liberals not also possess religious and/or patriotic feelings, or are only conservatives capable of loving God and country? It also annoys the hell out of me in the same way I used to get annoyed at the likes of the Brothers Judd "best conservative films" list, because frankly I don't see how they help. If someone out there is so determined to live their political ideology to the point that they'll let it dictate whether or not they like a movie, song, book, etc, then I'm sorry but I find that plain and simply idiotic.

    For example, Eve Tushnet's list of her favourite conservative movies lists Ernst Lubitsch's Ninotchka, describing it as a "really sweet, funny, very anti-Communist comedy". As a counterweight to that, let me introduce you to Lev Kuleshov's The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr West in the Land of the Bolsheviks, which I would describe as being really sweet, funny, but pro-Communist. Ask yourself which you consider to be the most important part of those descriptions. If you're more interested in watching Ninotchka now because it takes some considerable swipes at Communism, then go away now. And similarly if you want to see the Kuleshov film cos it's pro-Communist. If you want to see either or both of those films because they're both funny, then great. You and I can be friends. But if you're only interested in something because it reinforces your political beliefs irrespective of its actual quality, then I'm not interested in you.

    World-sized object discovered beyond Pluto. We truly are living in a fine age for astronomy. They're not calling it an actual planet as such, but it's the largest thing to be discovered in the Solar System since Pluto. There's already a FAQ available from one of the discoverers.

    Iraqi family name child after Philip Ruddock.

    The grateful couple named their third child after Philip Ruddock because he granted them refugee status.
    Baby Philip was born three weeks ago to the couple who are currently in Papua New Guinea on the island of Manus.
    ABC Online reports that the family wrote to Mr Ruddock expressing their gratitude at being granted refugee status and enclosed a photocopy of the birth certificate with the letter.

    Next: Ruddock pauses, thinks to self "Hang on... I actually let someone into the country?", and moves hastily to correct that little problem.

    How teenage girls get off on Big Brother philosophically.

    Sydney University's associate professor of media studies Catharine Lumby and associate professor in gender studies Elspeth Probyn studied several hundred girls to examine their response to reality television programs such as Big Brother.
    Halfway through a three-year study to be completed in 2003, Dr Lumby found girls aged 12-18 loved to watch the program because they related to the housemates and situations in the house.
    "One of the fascinating things is a lot of them said they loved it because Big Brother is like their life," Dr Lumby said yesterday.

    Yeah, same here. My life is being locked inside a closed set on the Gold Coast with a dozen other people and cameras recording us 24 hours a day, with someone being ordered out of the house every Sunday night too.

    Grease is the third, is the third, etc.

    OLIVIA Newton-John and John Travolta are believed to have signed-on for a third instalment of Grease.
    Grease 3 is expected to be a reunion-style film where the T-Birds and Pink Ladies meet-up 20 years after graduating from Rydell High.
    Grease made almost $650 million at the box office but the 1982 follow-up starring Michelle Pfeifer bombed.

    And for some reason they think a 20 years later followup won't do the same thing?

    What is your major malfunction, Barbra Streisand?

    The row began last month when Streisand sent an indignant letter to Dick Gephardt, the Democratic Party leader in the House of Representatives. For the traditionally liberal opinion-formers of Hollywood, the backlash that followed came as a shock.
    The letter from the 60-year-old singer and actress accused Mr Bush of seeking war against Iraq to improve Republican chances at next month's mid-term elections. Streisand urged Democrats in Congress to "get on the offensive" and oppose the administration's hardline stance. [...]
    R Lee Ermey, who made his name as the fearsome drill sergeant in the film Full Metal Jacket, told The Telegraph that Streisand's views were far from representative of Hollywood as a whole.
    "Once again, Barbra Streisand has opened her alligator-sized mouth wide before her humming-bird brain has had a chance to catch up," said Ermey. "Of course, she has the right to her opinion, but what she does is use the 'bully pulpit', helped by her fame, and people think she's talking for Hollywood."
    Ermey, an ex-marine and outspoken supporter of Mr Bush and the war on terror, continued: "We need to do something about the situation before it turns round and bites us in the ass. Democrats are criticising President Bush for not spotting signs that 9/11 was coming. But they don't want him to act to stop the next disaster. Ms Streisand does not speak for me or many other folks in this business."

    Hollywood rushes to defend "traitorous" Vietnamese actor.

    Don Duong, 45, an actor who lives in Ho Chi Minh City, came to State Department attention this week after Hollywood figures, including Mel Gibson, Patrick Swayze, Forest Whitaker, Harvey Keitel and film maker Randall Wallace, began a letter-writing campaign to the US ambassador in Hanoi and other officials in Vietnam and Washington.
    Gibson appeared with Duong in Wallace's We Were Soldiers, and with Swayze and Whitaker in Green Dragon.
    State-owned newspapers in Vietnam have quoted government officials as saying that Duong is a traitor and has "lost his honour" by appearing in two films that "distort the legitimate war history of our people and the humanity of the Vietnamese people".
    The government has seized his passport, threatened him with jail and prohibited him from leaving the country or from acting for five years.

    Meanwhile Abbas Kiarostami still can't get a visa to enter the US. Funny how no one in Hollywood is rushing to help him.

    Appeal and apology demanded over S11 demo in Melbourne two years ago.

    Individuals involved in the S11 demonstration two years ago are demanding an apology from Premier Steve Bracks after it was revealed today three police officers will be punished for their actions at the protests. [...]
    "We are seeking an apology from Steve Bracks because two years ago he said that we were all thugs and violent protesters and that the police had done no wrong," said the S11 Alliance's Stephen Jolly, who took part in the protests.
    But the reprimand prompted calls from the Victorian Police Association for an independent avenue of appeal for police officers.
    Association secretary Senior-Sergeant Paul Mullett said it was ironic that three officers would be punished over scuffles with demonstrators outside the World Economic Forum when the S11 protesters got away virtually scot-free. [...]
    He said police officers believed the system had let them down.

    Yeah, cos God knows the Victorian police force are a bunch of really outstanding blokes. It's not like they'd ever do anything like, oh, shoot unarmed people dead...

    Virus Hoax Alert

    I got the following virus alert by email today:

    "I have received an email warning that a virus may have been sent to me through a contact's address book. The virus (called jdbgmgr.exe) is not detected by Norton or McAfee anti-virus systems. The virus sits quietly for 14 days before damaging the system. It's sent automatically by messenger and by the Address Book whether or not you sent emails to your contacts."

    There were instructions after that for how to see if the thing is on your machine, so I immediately searched my system and was somewhat alarmed to indeed find the file in my System folder. However, the file was described as "Last updated 8 May 2000", which did not square with the reference to it lying dormant for 14 days.

    Suspecting this might be a hoax along the lines of previous virus warnings telling you to delete some file that was actually an important part of the OS, I did a bit of Google searching and discovered this page. The file is a common Microsoft file (Java debugging registrar). Symantec advise that it can become infected by viruses like any file (there is a particular virus that targets it, which Norton have protection against), but is not a virus itself. The jdbgmgr.exe file is described as "not a critical system file", although without it some Java applets may not run properly. There are instructions for re-installation if you did delete it.

    So if you receive this virus warning yourself, don't panic, and just forward the above info to anyone you receive the email from (or indeed anyone you may have already passed it on to).

    Oh, and I got my first non-porn search request from an Arab nation today... normally any time I see the domains for Saudi Arabia and the UAE in my referrers I automatically assume they've been looking for porn of some sort and I'm always right... and while it's nice to know that a good number of people out in the Persian Gulf area of the world are no different from a large number of Western Net surfers in that respect, it does get predictable. So it was kind of nice to be proven wrong for once. Or rather it would have been had they not actually been looking for this...

    RIP Arts & Letters Daily. I stopped linking them a while ago cos the page was getting too big to load up every week (did they really need to archive months of stuff on one page like that?), but never realised they were actually in such dire straits. However, there's a partial resurrection going on here; looks like having similar archival problems eventually, but there's stuff there already I'm going to have to read...

    Monday, October 07, 2002

    BloodHag. I first heard of these characters through Audiogalaxy, oddly enough, there was a small feature on them there. I regret not actually downloading any of their stuff now...

    Pope creates umpteenth saint. Although not everyone is happy with this latest choice.

    Queen presides over unveiling of street sign. It's tempting to add a sarcastic crack like "Next: Queen attends opening of envelope", but the story's better than that.

    White supremacist prevented from going nuts. Truly this man was a complete idiot:

    The white supremacist hid his racism from his Chinese wife, Oi Yee Yip, whom he met while working at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 1989. The couple ran a Chinese takeaway in Birmingham until they sold it in the early Nineties. They have lived apart since 1995.
    In interviews with police, Tovey cited his wife's ethnicity, his love of music by Hendrix and the soul singer Sade, and the presence of two black lead actors in his favourite television programme, Red Dwarf, as evidence that he was not a racist.

    As long as you can convince yourself, mate, that's half the battle. Unfortunately the other half of the battle where you have to convince others could be trickier...

    Somewhat useless piece about Syd Barrett. So he's still deranged, still doesn't want to talk to people... what's changed there?

    "Love Me Do" celebrates 40th anniversary. My god but I feel old for some reason, even though that song is twelve years my senior. I think it's just that the further back in time the Beatles move, the older I must be getting, so to realise how long it's actually been (nearly half a century since the band first came together; now THERE's a scary figure) makes me realise how old I'm getting. Is it right for a guy who's nearly 28 to feel quite as old as I do?

    Jeffrey Archer faces trouble over prison diaries.

    Jeffrey Archer could face an extended stay in prison after publishing a prison diary. The book, which will be serialised in the Daily Mail next week, is based on three weeks he spent in London's top security Belmarsh jail at the beginning of his four year prison sentence for perjury and obstructing justice.
    The director general of the prison service, Martin Narey, said he was seeking legal advice to determine if Archer has broken the rules. "He can't make money while he is a serving prisoner from publications and I have a duty to protect the privacy of other prisoners and members of staff. He has to respect that," he said.
    If Archer is found to have breached prison rules, disciplinary measures could include an increased sentence.

    I had a feeling his lordship would try and spin his prison experiences into book form, but I wasn't expecting him to do it quite so quickly...

    RIP Museum of the Moving Image.

    The British Film Institute yesterday confirmed that the Museum of the Moving Image, once its award winning £14.5m project on the South Bank in London, will not be rebuilt.
    The museum, with an eclectic collection including original models of the Daleks and the dress Marilyn Monroe wore in Some Like It Hot, opened in 1988, and became one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, particularly with young visitors. However it had been losing money heavily for several years before it closed in 1999 "for redevelopment".

    Bastards. I visited the MOMI back in 1996 when I was in London, and thought it was a great thing; I was only sorry that I did it on our last day there and consequently didn't get as long to look around as I'd have liked.

    The phenomenon of the US state Poet Laureate. Like apparently many people, I was somewhat startled to discover most US states has their own Poet Laureate (how British of them), and probably would not have done so had the fuss surround Amiri Baraka (referred to in the article) not arisen.

    Charles Rosen on T.W. Adorno. Interesting stuff. On those rare occasions when I visit the UNSW bookshop I see books by Adorno for sale there and on occasion I've been tempted, though the price of them has always acted as a deterrent. I'm not so sure now, though, after reading Rosen's article. Interesting, too, to see that Schoenberg was not impressed by Adorno's attempt to boil down the divergent strands of 20th century music to himself and Stravinsky, and that he found Adorno's denigration of the latter "disgusting"...

    La Cicciolina offers herself to Saddam Hussein in exchange for world peace.

    She said she has already made the offer to Hussain before, during the Gulf War.
    "I would do it holding my nose and closing my eyes - I would do it for peace," she told Catalan daily El Periodicoon.

    Saddam would be quite welcome to have her, I daresay...

    Tim Dunlop is in the middle of that ugly shooting business in the US at the moment. He's providing ongoing commentary (also this forthright pot-shot at gun culture).

    Tex is angry again.

    These cunts are now investigating our SAS over their actions in East Timor because they may have killed some militia members who ambushed them. Sweet motherfucking jeezuz. For chrissakes, these fucking miltia members were slaughtering civilians by the thousands. And the UN is investigating us????

    Robert Corr follows the story with a bit more detail here, it seems to be not quite as simple as that. I understand why Tex's knickers are in a knot—we don't like our boys to be accused of this sort of thing because we don't like to think our boys might actually do this sort of thing—but I'm more inclined to what Rob says in his previous post. We don't have any inherent immunity from investigation, and if the allegation's being made I'd personally be more disturbed if the UN didn't do anything. If the guys didn't do anything wrong, and they probably didn't, then they get off and there's no need for fuss...

    The world's funniest joke thing has already been adequately covered elsewhere in Blogland. I just thought I'd pass on a favourite of mine.

    What's got three legs and a cunt?
    A drum stool.

    Those words of wisdom were actually uttered by no less an MOR tantric sex addicted former white reggae boy superstar than Sting. You know, the artist formerly known as Gordon Sumner. I read that in an interview with him and the two other blokes from The Police once. Regrettably, the author of that article did not indicate whether or not Stewart Copeland's sides split with hilarity at those words.

    Is this really John Ray's best argument for discrediting the left?

    And how about another direct quote from Hitler himself?

    “We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions”
    (Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by John Toland, Adolf Hitler, 1977, p. 306)

    Clearly, the idea that Hitler was a Rightist is probably the most successful BIG LIE of the 20th Century. He was to the Right of the Communists but that is all.

    This is vomitous rubbish and I'd like to say Ray knows it, but somehow I don't think he does (or if he does I doubt that he cares). Speech of May 1, 1927, eh? Great. That was back in the days when Hitler was just theory. What about what he did after January 30, 1933, when he moved from theory to practice? The Third Reich may have abandoned the "unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property" (I don't know whether or not it actually did; those more familiar with the economic practice of Nazi Germany than I am may be able to tell), but all it did was replace it with the even less seemly evaluation of a human being according to ethnic heritage and religion, or had we forgotten that? I'd introduce Ray to the concept of Godwin's Law, except I don't think there'd be any point.

    Oh yes, and Archie used the verb "Fisked" on the alt.movies.silent newsgroup (which is where I know him from previously; I'll post the link when fucking Google Groups actually catch up with it), a verb which I'm sure most punditbloggers will be familiar with. The blogosphere is moving beyond the WWW to Usenet, folks, and if there is a god may he she or it have mercy on us...

    Thanks to Archie Waugh for sending me this article by Mark Steyn. I know John Quiggin has called Steyn in the past over what he sees as historical inaccuracies and borrowing with misquotations and other things. He's evidently more familiar with Steyn than I am, so I'll let him pick this one apart in detail if he wants. What intrigued me in the article was this comment:

    The anti-war types of the 1930s were wrong but, in fairness to them, their view was formed by the bloody toll of the Great War, the slaughter of a generation—their brothers, cousins, friends. The anti-war crowd today face precisely the opposite problem: that there’ll be no wholesale slaughter, that war for the United States now comes with no human cost.

    What exactly is that supposed to mean? That it's OK for the US to go to war cos only the other side will get killed? That the other side isn't human? Steyn's point about the attitudes of the anti-Americans may be well made, but if I'm reading him correctly his own attitude doesn't entirely fill me with hope.

    Thanks also to Ian Clark for sending me this article by John Pilger (who went to Sydney Boys High School just like I did, as it happens) on Israel's nuclear capacity. Ian's worried about how long it'll be before the nukes get pulled out in the current crisis, though I'm actually not quite so worried... when opposing sides have nukes they're both a worry, but they seem to both become too afraid to actually use them. I think if Israel was going to use nukes against the Arab nations, they'd probably have done it years ago... which is not to say some idiot won't come along that's not afraid to use them, but for now I don't think we need to worry too much about that. Of course, as I said in my email to Ian, I could be talking out of my arse, and knowing me I probably am...

    Sunday, October 06, 2002

    And hello to the good (?) people of Silent Running, thanks for the linkage... nice shade of Communist red you've got going on in the background, folks...

    Some search requests from the referrers:

    To the person looking for this: yes, I suppose being crushed under a glacier is a kind of hardcore death, you fucking weirdo...

    To the person looking for this: I've seen them, they're not that hard to find, and as with KISS I suspect the disguised versions are an improvement.

    As for the person in search of this...

    ...will this charming portrait of Alan Jones do? (Thanks to Gareth Parker for that one.)