Sad and pathetic   31/5/2005

Hinch has made an apology. Of sorts. He said sorry if what he had said about deceased TV great Graham Kennedy had upset anyone.
Hinch told listeners yesterday he stood by his comments, but was sorry if he offended fans of the comedy king who died in a nursing home last week aged 71.
“I will still stick to what I said. I believed what I said when I said it,” Hinch said.
Note, he didn’t apologise for telling a lie, that Kennedy died of AIDS; and he didn’t apologise for the homo-hate that propelled his dodgy revelation.
They’re turning on him at 3AW, too. This morning Andrew Bolt, a weekly guest on the breakfast show, opined that Hinch seemed to have “developed a speech impediment” that caused him to slur his words. Bolt has since reminded his readers that Hinch sued Steve Price for suggesting his speech impediment was caused by something in a bottle. Bolt stresses he is not repeating that claim.
Then morning show host Neil Mitchell kicked in with both elevated heeled boots, branding Hinch “pathetic and sad”.
Mitchell said he had lost any respect he had for his 3AW stablemate.
“He is wrong and he won’t admit it. That wasn’t an admission. It was pathetic and sad,” Mitchell said.
“He said he’d produce evidence, he hasn’t. He has just apologised for offending people. He hasn’t apologised for being wrong. He hasn’t admitted he is wrong.”

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30,000 feet or bust   30/5/2005

Son and heir is off to the US next month. Reckon this might be his preferred airline:
In a business fraught with budget cuts, layoffs and bankruptcies, why is Hooters Air expanding, while most other airlines are shrinking and being eliminated? Brooks is following the success of countless companies that have made fortunes using sex to sell, which, of course, can’t be done without the help of people who use sex to buy. Brooks simply created a Hooters at 30,000 feet. No boring in-flight movies. No male flight attendants who won’t stop talking about Cher’s new album, and no more of the biggest cup on board being the one containing your coffee. Just good old, testosterone driven, 500-mph fun, where all seats come with a first-class view and, if need be, your stewardess can be used as a flotation device.

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Chestnut   

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because it was domesticated and thus legally entitled to.

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Reputation marred   

The Australian continues to flail Media Watch and the sneering popinjay who formerly hosted the hopeless leftwing forum for savaging independent commentary.
In the Media Watch world view, such scrutiny of Fairfax presumably is not necessary. Marr’s take coincides with that of his boss, Mark Scott, Editor in Chief of Fairfax Metropolitan Newspapers. Scott claims that unlike other certain “media dynasties”, the journalism under the openly-held public ownership structure of Fairfax does not “pander to certain corporate interests” or “receive riding instructions” on what reporting must find. (Sydney Papers, Summer 2005) Through Marr, Fairfax corporate interests get their own outlet on the ABC.

Would Marr have the guts to sue?

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The out of touch class   

Bolta is right on the money in a speech he has delivered on the shortcomings of modern journalists. (Scroll to the bottom).

Katherine Betts, of the Swinburne University of Technology, has produced an even more compelling measure.
She analysed data from the 2001 Australian Electoral Study, which asked voters whether they agreed with the proposition that every boatload of asylum seekers should be turned back.
Betts found that voters of eight of the nine occupation categories, from tradesmen to managers, said yes, yes, yes, by a margin of three to one. But the voters in the ninth occupational category said exactly the opposite, let the boats come, almost as if they took pride in disagreeing with the vast public. This group, of course, was our own teacher-preacher class – the teachers, preachers, welfare workers, social professionals of various kinds and us journalists.

Unlike his adversaries, Andrew has some fresh ideas on solving the problem:

We could hire a few more eccentrics, a few more reporters from the country, and a few more from hard-scrabble suburbs – people less likely to adopt the misty-eyed theories and romanticizing of the urban middle-class. We should be ready to have debates on what seems beyond polite debate. We should be far more wary about the collective enthusiasms of our class. If all Canberra press gallery journalists are for something, let’s assume the worst. Similarly, if Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser sign a joint petition on anything at all, let’s get a second opinion.
We should be far less impressed by prophets and causes of the New Age, although this is, in fact, now changing. Bob Brown may still be a hero to many journalists, but he is not to most readers. If Greenpeace is for something, there’s a strong chance most readers – and most rational people – are against it.

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Club cook   

It’s a media article of faith that you’d go broke if you covered only good news.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no room for feel-good stories. And you find the best in regional papers where publishers can’t get away with sugar-coating.
This is my favourite from the past week.
Cook
VOLUNTEER cook Marie Oborne will serve up her 25,000th footy dinner at Cobden tonight.
For the past 20 years, the 72-year-old has spent Thursdays preparing three-course meals for about 100 people.

In the interests of cheering up the blogiverse, I plan to regularly plant a happy yarn among the rant and rhetoric. Links appreciated.

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Engaged line   28/5/2005

Dash it, economies around the home may have cost dearly. We decided to dispense with second landline and use the remaining one for Net and phone purposes. Trouble is about an hour ago the beloved got a phone call from an old pal and has been on the blower since.
Charles’ tip has thus been nesting in the email box, unavailable to the masses who flock to this site on a Saturday to get the good oil.
At time of writing, you have about a minute to get on it:
Today’s selections…I hope we can win enough to buy a six pack and a
carton of Players for Saturday night.
FLEMINGTON R3 No 3 Johnny Be Good: 1 unit to win, 2 units to place.

UPDATE:
Well done, Chas. It’s bounded home with a bit in the tank for a third placing, paying the nice place odds of $3.10. I’d like to see it over a bit more distance in a fortnight.
Here’s the remainder of Charles’ weekly musings on sport and society:
Last week’s answer was the Hawthorn 1961 premiership side. It was the last premiership team without an interstate recruit, and all players in it played only for the Hawks. John Kennedy was coach, and Graham Arthur, from the Bendigo League, was the captain. Hawthorn had recruited ‘Candles’ Thompson from South Australia a few years before, but he was a disappointment.
For this week, consider the original nine VFL teams: Essendon,
Collingwood, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Geelong, South Melbourne, St Kilda, Carlton, and University.
The original nicknames (a few of which survive), were created by the barrackers in the Outer. The clubs later imposed their own nicknames in many cases. What were the original nicknames of these nine teams?
This has relevance for conservative philosophy. Conservatives believe in the ‘extended order’, that is, the natural structure of society which people create by their own voluntary actions, if they are allowed the freedom to do so. Socialists however believe that order must be imposed by the coercion of anointed ‘experts’.
Socialists cannot grasp the idea of a freely-developed spontaneous
order, and that is why they believe that the only alternative to their pestering, authoritarian nanny state is social and economic ‘anarchy’.
The imposed nickname of the Fremantle Dockers is a classic example of socialism in football. Why didn’t the AFL do the conservative thing, and just listen to what their supporters on the boundary were shouting out?
Needless to say, all the original VFL nicknames were examples of the extended order. And Essendon were not called the Bombers – not in 1897, when the Wright brothers were still repairing bicycles.

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Human headcase   27/5/2005

They don’t come much more pathetic than Derryn Hinch. At his peak he was a superb self-promoter and smart delegator with enough chutzpah to keep you engaged for as long as it took to absorb a tabloid shocker.
Now, the best he can manage is contrary, ill-researched spin on the story of yesterday.
After blowing a fortune, he’s back on afternoon drive radio and with no intelligent grasp of the day’s issues resorts to libelling the dead to generate an audience. A damned angry audience at that, it seems.
Without doing the most fundamental research, he’s claimed Graham Kennedy died of AIDS. Extraordinarily tasteless, I first thought, but quite possibly true given Kennedy’s ambiguous sexuality.
But woeful judgement, I also thought, given that Hinch’s remaining loyal fans are drawn largely from the demographic that adored Kennedy. A segment that believes you don’t speak ill of the dead and that Kennedy was merely a confirmed bachelor.
Hinch’s claim has been hit for six by a recent negative test on Kennedy but the Human Headline (reckon he invented that himself) says he has proof he will reveal later today.
If it’s unconvincing, it would not surprise to find 3AW Hinchless next week.

UPDATE:
Thanks Hinch, you deadbeat. Copped a shellacking at the pub last night from several old Gra-Gra fans who reckon if you’re from the media you’re just another Hinch. Likewise, anyone from the media’s not real popular with some for bringing the bad news about Shapelle. Only a matter of time before someone suggests I join those parasites parked outside Kylie’s home. And believe me, it is pointless mentioning messengers and shootings.
Anyway, the arrogant mongrel has refused to apologise and looks like trying to brazen it out. Might be time to make my feelings known to a few 3AW advertisers.

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Double trouble   25/5/2005

Timely topic raised last week by our turf specialist and sports trivia diviner Charles Murton who introduced the subject of identical twins to his weekly poser.
The Age today comes out with a corker of a story in which former Saints coach Stan Alves reveals he once considered playing Darryl Wakelin, then under suspension, in place of his injured and identical twin brother, Shane, in a crucial game late in 1998.
In desperation, St Kilda considered swapping the twins for the final-round match against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba but decided not to, realising the serious implications and repercussions. The Saints lost the Brisbane match, and their two finals, to finish sixth.
In 1963, Geelong enabled their star centreman Alistair Lord to get off a striking charge and possible suspension — and consequently elimination from Brownlow Medal contention — by convincing the tribunal that the villain was Lord’s identical twin brother, Stewart.

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Bye-bye Gra-Gra   

Graham Kennedy, who died early this morning, was Australian television’s first superstar.
Everyone, from grannies to little tackers, loved Gra-Gra the outrageous clown, who in the small city that was Melbourne in the 1960s, couldn’t hide the fact that out of the limelight he was often lonely and sad.
He made me laugh til it hurt when I was a kid. Regularly. Jerry Lewis and Stan Laurel did occasionally, but Graham hit the mark every time.
I wonder if they’ll give him a state funeral? Should they decide to, someone should find the clip of Kennedy in runaway pine box crashing into a doctor’s surgery and inquiring: “Doctor, have you anything to stop this coffin?”
Faaaarrrkk, you silly bugger.

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Media Watched   24/5/2005

Not happy Liz, are commentators over at the Media Watch site.

One points out this fine example of judicial pre-emption from Liz’s script:

“It’s now just four days till the Indonesian Court hands down its verdict and sentence.”

And another accuses MW of playing the race card:

I have to take you all to task regarding the first part of your story on the “NT ambush” in the outback.
In it Liz discussed how ABC Darwin had a story about some guy being held up on the highway by a bunch of drunken idiots
Now, up to this point, I’m picturing of a bunch of drunken hoons – sadly, white ones – when Liz came out and basically alleged that there was a pointed implication that Aborigines were responsible.
I found it distinctly unsettling that Media Watch chose to link drunken attempted theft with the word “Aboriginal”.
Look, it’s bad enough that the mainstream media do this in a more overt fashion, but in this case, Media Watch deliberately chose to play the race card, not ABC Darwin, or their caller, and this is pretty clear from what went to air, and from your transcript online.

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Down with wowsers   

It took no time at all for some interfering turd from the Bracks nanny-state to get on radio this morning and recommend that Victoria follow the lead of UK socialist wowsers and ban happy hours in pubs.
It leads to irresponsible drinking, the blue-stocking claimed, without a shred of evidence. And so what if it did; why should the business operator and the clear majority of responsible drinkers be penalised because of a minority who can’t control themselves.
Busy-bodies have never got enough to interfere in, so I would suggest if the fascists like the mug on radio are so keen to stamp out irresponsible consumption he can continue on down the shopping strip past my local pub. (Which has a happy hour on Thursdays, which I rarely can attend, in which the customer is challenged to “toss the boss” ie the barman tosses, you call, if your call is correct, free drink).
There’s the take-away food shop which is constantly supplying irresponsible eaters with lashings of fatty, greasy tucker that are not going to do their major organs any good whatsoever. No doubt the nanny-stater would license it to sell only tofu and mung beans.
Past that is the hardware shop, with all manner of dangerous tools and materials that are a menace in the hands of the irresponsible handyperson. They even have glue and aerosol paint containers and we know the damage they can cause to victims of society.
Then there’s the fashion shop with its wafer thin clothing dummies which are a blatant enticement for poor irresponsible girls to get all anorexic.
But worst of all is the newsagent. They not only sell lotto tickets and scratchies which suck the livelihood from irresponsible pensioners. Down in the magazine section they have these publications that could entice irresponsible adolescents to the ills of onanism.
Oh, I could go on about the dangers to the irresponsible in the barber shop, the horrors of irresponsible caffeine consumption at Gloria Jeans and the risk of irresponsible petrol inhalation at the service station.
But why bother, the whole suburb is just a health and safety minefield for the irresponsible.
I can understand that nanny-state whining suits socialists, because it’s always someone else’s fault and only the state can protect you from malevolent forces.
But where the hell are the supposed champions of individual responsibility, the Liberal (for non-Aussies, conservative) politicians? I know they’re a pretty lame bunch, but surely someone there is bright enough to realise that people, particularly the less powerful who once voted Labor automatically, are sick to the teeth of bullying fascists from the socialist state controlling their social customs.

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You know that I would be a liar   23/5/2005

They’re having a lot of fun over at Fark.com with the claim aired by the US version of A Current Affair that legendary rocker Jim Morrison is alive and well and riding horses and firing guns in Oregon.
The consensus is the claim’s a load of bullsh. Besides, as one commenter observed “No-one’s alive in Oregon”.
Here’s the pic behind the claim:

pic

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Stupidity in denial   

Andrew Bolt touched a nerve last week when he savaged the culturally antiseptic Melbourne Museum.

It is astonishing that a huge institution called the Melbourne Museum has not a single display on the men who helped to found this city. Not one mention of John Batman, for instance, or Matthew Flinders.

In Bolt’s reader’s forum a commentator revealed that an inquiry to museum staff about the dearth of museum material on exploration and settlement in Victoria prompted the reply: “We don’t do invasion history. . .”
How bloody stupid is that, I thought. You don’t like the route history took so you don’t present any official history at all. Revisionism by omission — there’d be a tin of wrigglers at the bottom of that.
But just when I thought politically correct history rewriters couldn’t get any dafter, this appeared:

A re-enactment of the Battle of Trafalgar is not an opportunity for “French-bashing”, says the Royal Navy.
Instead of the British taking on a French/Spanish fleet at next month’s event to mark the battle’s bicentenary a “red” force will take on a “blue”.
Navy organisers fear visiting officials may be embarrassed at seeing their side beaten, The Sunday Times reported.
Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock said an event which did not acknowledge who the enemy was is “absolute twaddle”.

Doesn’t someone, anyone, on the Left feel just a teensy, weensy bit embarrassed by the retarded antics of their cultural commissars?
Please, can I have a comment on this from a leftie?

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Laughed out loud   22/5/2005

The footy may not have improved as a spectacle but the standard of commentary is soaring. Kangaroo forward Sav Rocca was having a dog of a day, missing easy shots, dropping marks and being where the ball ain’t.
774 commentator — didn’t catch his name — observed that rhyming slang for “shocker” used to be “Barry Crocker”.
“Today it’s Saverio Rocca,” he quipped.

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Heavyweight has doubts   

The New York Times faces the unpalatable truth; the only group the public has less confidence in than journalists is lawyers.
In the post-Watergate 1970′s, some 25 to 30 percent of Americans reported to the Harris Poll that they had a great deal of confidence in the press, more than they had in Congress, unions or corporate America. In the 2005 poll, the press ranked only ahead of law firms, with 12 percent reporting high confidence in the media.

The article looks at one of the major reasons the media stinks to fair-minded readers. Publishers of the likes of Paul McGeough take note:
The Internet amplifies professional sins, and spreads the word quickly. And when a news organization confesses its shortcomings, it only draws more attention. Also, there is no unified front – no single standard of professionalism, no system of credentials. So rebuilding credibility is mostly a task shouldered network to network, publication to publication.
With credibility in mind, several news executives are now trying to limit the use of anonymous sources.
“What I hear from my neighbors and at Little League games is, people who aren’t journalists don’t get why there is so much anonymous sourcing,” said Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. “It’s not that they think journalists are making up quotes. But they are mystified by it. And there is such relentless attacking of the press, and people hear that journalists lie, that it harms credibility.”

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Scotland the grave   

What, no bagpipes, no “foo-in Jammys” threatening to “poonch ya foo-in had en” and no more stupid tartan skirts? The world’s gotta be a better place:
GLOBAL warming is a bigger threat to the world than Hitler, a leading historian has warned.
Dr Jim Hunter told a conference on renewable energy that it would finish the job of the Highland Clearances Dr Hunter, former chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said Scottish communities would be obliterated over the next two generations by climate change.

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Turning Japanese   

The beloved and her sister are planning to go to Japan to visit sister’s son. Anyone know where to find the best flight deals from Oz to Land of Rising Sun?

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   21/5/2005

Anyone interested in stock market investment may find this interesting. It was sent to me via weekly email out from Commsec. Note, I’m not recommending subscribing to or investing in the company pitching. I merely found the points it raised interesting. I’ve got a few shares but am a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to trading, preferring to sit and hold. I realise now this reluctance to take profits has cost me significantly.

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Taken a powder   

Please, the name of the place is Victoria, not Keystone.
VICTORIAN police will have to re-train their drug sniffer dogs after the embarrassing discovery the animals have for months been confusing talcum powder with cocaine.
Two investigations are underway into how a package of talcum powder used for training purposes was wrongly labelled as cocaine.

There is an upside, however:

“The lighter side is that they’re very good at detecting talcum powder at this moment, so if there’s any missing kids out there we will find them very quickly I should think,” he said.

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