King of the crazies   30/5/2010

A highlight of the TV viewing week lately has been the splendid portrayal of a Phil Spector-type character by Dennis Hopper in the Showcase series Crash.
Sadly, it turns out to be Hopper’s last role.
The director of Easy Rider and star of Blue Velvet, Flashback and Mad Dog Morgan always did crazies to perfection.
Eloquent appraisal here:

The thing is, even his drugged-out fall from grace only served, in the end, to set up one of the greatest acting comeback/triumphs in the history of Hollywood. Seven years later, in what would be — in my view, at least — the single greatest film of the 1980s, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Hopper gave a performance that was more than “dark” and “scary” and “creepy” and all the other words that you could appropriately hurl at it. He gave a performance that shocked audiences with its down-to-the-bone knowledge of evil. Hopper’s Frank Booth still showed the actor’s 1950s roots. He was a greaser out of your nightmares, a delinquent all grown up into a dirty old daddy-uncle. But when he pulled out that drug canister, snapped on the gas mask, and began to inhale, we saw what he had curdled into — a man out of period, a true modern monster, not just an addict but the ultimate addict, a guy who got high on things we had no idea of, because somewhere along the way, he had gone that far past being able to get pleasure out of normal pleasure.

He’ll be missed by those who abhor predictability in performance.

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Peeping at Palins   

Excellent pisstake here on some obscure hack who is aiming for his 15 minutes of fame by renting next door to Sarah Palin and channeling his observations into a book.

May 26, 2010: Sarah’s fascist tendencies are on full display AGAIN! Now she’s gone and built a 15-foot fence between our houses. This woman’s gall knows no bounds. She has zero respect for my rights and prerogatives. I’m a member of the media, not some schmuck on the street! This kind of shameless manipulation of the press smells of the influence of Karl Rove, who I think I saw disguised as a pizza delivery guy. But she will not succeed! Tomorrow, into town to buy myself a ladder!

Gawd, lefties leave themselves open for lampooning.

Tim Blair has covered all bases on the Sarah stalk here.

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Same old . . .   

Now this is what you call a politician-rent boy scandal:

Laws stepped down as Chief Secretary to the Treasury after the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported he had channelled more than 40,000 pounds (57,800 dollars, 47,100 euros) of taxpayers’ money in rent to his long-term boyfriend.

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Degrees of dishonesty   28/5/2010

Note the hypocrisy here. The ALP sets up a fake Twitter account to accuse Tony Abbot of dishonesty.
The ALP has taken its attack on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to social media, launching what is believed to be the first party-sanctioned fake Twitter account.

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Welcome break   

Just back from a relaxing week away in a penthouse at Forster on the NSW mid-north coast. Great views, luxurious but affordable accommodation and the opportunity to catch up with old friends. Tee-shirt and shorts weather most days.

The view from our balcony at The Strand Beachside.

We took a few day trips, one to the delightful ranges town of Gloucester.

They build gates to last up that way.

Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie features a monument to beachcomber Harry, apparently a much-loved character who with local support successfully resisted council pressure to evict him. The Cab Blogger, Adrian Neylan, has collected a lot of information about Harry and his wonderful life and times at Shelly Beach.

In the Hunter Valley we came across the charming heritage town of Morpeth where the Arnott biscuit business originated. The main street boasts a number of fashion outlets which of course means the footpaths are cluttered with men awaiting their spouses’ couture selections.

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Will it make Media Watch?   17/5/2010

When choosing between a conspiracy and a stuff-up in media coverage, go for the stuff-up every time. That’s what I put the latest blunder by ABC news down to. Even though it was a story Auntie’s pinkoes would desperately want to believe. Last night on ABC TV’s 8.30 brief news bulletin the reporterette gushed how Liberal frontbencher Peter Dutton had been caught out buying shares in BHP after the government’s super-profit tax had been announced. Dutton bought the shares on May 4 and the new dirty great big tax was announced on May 12. Laurie Oakes, who accurately broke the story, hinged it on the fact that Dutton would probably have read the Henry Report, which advocated the tax, before his share purchase. Big difference between a policy float and a government commitment to a new tax. Besides, Dutton’s dastardly purchase was for $2000 worth of shares. Hardly a hanging offence as probably every superannuation firm in the nation has bought BHP lately as it slumps into one of its periodic troughs. Glenn Milne has more on Oakes’ ”scoop” here.

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Teen sailor scuttles PM   16/5/2010

Didn’t the crowd roar when teenage sensation Jessica Watson dared to contradict Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s description of the round-the-world yacht girl as “our newest Australian hero”?
“I don’t consider myself a hero,” Watson said, exposing Rudd and his spinners as completely out of touch with their condescending view of Australians of all vintages.
“I’m an ordinary girl who believed in a dream and you don’t have to be someone special or anything special to achieve something amazing,” she said.
Watson, like most Australians, knows that some words, such as hero, have a special – perhaps even sacred – meaning and those who don’t get that are just tools who think we’re all mugs who will fall for any bulldust they spread. Leftish politicians and many of their comrades in the media are among those tools.
And what sort of spell has NSW premier Kristina Keneally cast on Rudd? While she spoke at yesterday’s welcome for Watson, Rudd glared in every direction other than at Keneally. He did the same a few weeks back when negotiating health reforms with her. Is Rudd, among his myriad faults, intimidated by the presence of a personable, US-raised, female politician?
And wouldn’t the impatient little prat have been peeved at having to wait a couple of hours surrounded by all those ghastly ordinary Ozzies while Jess took her time coming home?

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Parma-rama   15/5/2010

Colleague Mark Moor is on an elusive quest. And getting well nourished in the process.

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Retreat from reason   

Erudite commentator Melanie Phillips appraises the “progressive” class and their unreasoning, ideological approach to the modern world. Yes, we laugh at them. Until we realise how much sway they hold in politics, media and academia. Thankfully, there are signs about that the world is coming to its senses.

What has Britain come to when its police officers are given leave to dance about naked? How can generations of Australians have been taught the egregious falsehood of the Stolen Generations as fact? And how many times have Tea Party members or people opposed to a piece of legislation tried to commit mass murder against their fellow Americans, compared with the number of recent attempts by Muslim terrorists?
Such intellectual perversity can be understood only in the context of a far wider and profound retreat from reason throughout the West.

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His master’s voice   

Australia’s best Labor Prime Minister of the modern era bags the worst:

FORMER prime minister Bob Hawke is “broken-hearted” and “disappointed” by Labor’s slide in the polls and has asked a Labor MP whether Julia Gillard would take over from Kevin Rudd before the election.

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