SCOOP DELIVERED! Professor Bunyip makes good on his promise to provide an insight into the Australian peace 'n' love crowd safeguarding illegal immigrants. His news: the immigrant supporters are fighting amongst themselves like common Democrats.
WEEKEND OZBLOG ROUNDUP:
Don Arthur looks at the New Zealand election (and stays awake), throws some volatile fuel on the spitting embers of the Australia-Norway War, examines statue crimes, and identifies John Howard's meth habit.
James Morrow smacks international apologists for Muslim misbehaviour, notes a new hair-based alliance in the US House of Representatives, chokes on the anti-Israel bias oozing from the ABC, and refuses to fear the consequences of a trade war with Araby.
Tim Dunlop publishes my … er, someone's anonymous hatemail, rallies to Steve Earle's cause, berates Toby Keith, pleads the UN's case, and links rotten meat to free market fundamentalism.
Paul Wright reveals that evil racist Australia is importing more non-white folks than ever before, challenges lefty Rob Corr to an immigration debate, and locates a smart, young, independent political thinker in the pages of the Sydney Morning Herald. What are the odds of that?
Richard Baillie has an excellent joke about masturbation and public transport.
Professor Bunyip vaults rapidly to 1,000 hits, promises a scoop on those who pretend to care about illegal immigrants, muses on McVeigh's missteps (and possible links to Iraq), and condemns dangerous Australian anti-educationalists.
Mathew Bates, nominally a lefty, continues his long march to the Right.
Chris Textor delivers a king-hell beating upon Hugh Mackay, accuses Miranda Devine of nanny-statism, mugs Robert Mugabe, and cheers Lance Armstrong's upcoming Tour de Win.
Peter Kerr lists the best and worst of Steve Earle, points out a possible flaw in the Australian Democrats' "America is out to destroy us" gambit, brings donkey news from Morocco, and links to many good pictorial diversions.
Jason Soon belts Greg Barns, explains the enduring appeal of Ann Coulter, encourages our athletes in Manchester (apparently a sporting festival is taking place there; I've not heard of this), and receives a visit from a Googler searching for "Justin Raimondo fuck".
John Quiggin decries free market cheerleading, questions vulgar monetarists, and vows to end 6am posting after briefly adopting a Reagan-like mindset wherein movies became reality.
Gareth Parker suggests that Ann Coulter could be the Right's Michael Moore (at her weight, she could be seventeen Michael Moores), mocks ALP scaremongering over a bogus sex-for-study alarm, and points out Margo Kingston's worth as a reverse indicator of stock market trends: when Margo says sell, BUY BUY BUY!
A Bright Cold Day in April thrills to the worst book review in history, and opposes Theodore Dalrymple's solution to asylum seeker problems.
Bernard Slattery reports on the online hottie who was a real-life hippo, and helps problem gamblers sate their need for weekend betting action.
Jack Robertson never discards an e-mail or letter, and is now publishing correspondence from as far back as 1982. Among those he's contacted: Phillip Adams, Senator Bob Brown, The UK Spectator, Matt Welch, Stephen Mayne, Margo Kingston, and Cheryl Kernot.
Amir Butler supplies a 10-step cure for Islamophobia, disses Dubya, and hails New Zealand's foreign policy as sensible.
Scott Wickstein praises the latest new Ian Botham, snickers at the current (non) debate about Australia's birth rate, almost gets crushed by a speeding Adelaide driver, and laughs and laughs at Natasha Stott Despoja. Who probably hired that driver.
Alan Anderson could care less about hippie freaks in Western Australia, feels the earth tremble beneath the feet of the Huge Burger Litigant, and merrily flicks Natasha Stott Despoja aside.
Bruce Hill's site isn't loading properly on my screen, for some reason. But he’s always good. So go there.
THE LATEST advertisement for Nando's chicken announces that asylum seekers at Woomera have "decided to unsew their lips after hearing the news that with every Nando's quarter chicken combo, Nando's are giving away an extra quarter chicken free".
This campaign will last for maybe 12 hours before various complaints close it down. In the meantime … an extra quarter chicken free!
CAREY GAGE has a much better name for the deadly monster asteroid advancing towards us. Maybe we should fire an ambulance into its path as a diversion.
I AM CONCERNED. Mother Mary Robinson, the patron saint of wrung hands, ends her term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights later this year. Who, then, will be around to express the proper levels of concern? Here's an interview Robinson gave to the BBC last December, edited down to its major points:
"But I am concerned … I am concerned … Our joint concern … I am concerned … It's hard to analyse everything and I am concerned … I am concerned about that prison revolt. I am concerned about the reports we've had … The United Nations is very concerned about human rights problems … I think they are suffering greatly and I think it is a concern. What does concern me … There's a lot of concern and it's been a continuing concern. There's a concern … "
She's still at it in this Salon interview, published today: "It's a very serious concern … all these experts were concerned about the deteriorating situation after Sept. 11." At least one situation won't deteriorate after September 11, 2003. That's the day Robinson leaves office.
WHY IS the US government's war on drugs such a failure? Because it's the US government's war on drugs. Reason's Jacob Sullum cites Milton Friedman:
Friedman said "the war on drugs and the harm which it does are simply manifestations of a much broader problem: the substitution of political mechanisms for market mechanisms in a wide variety of areas."
"When a private enterprise fails, it is closed down," he noted. "When a government enterprise fails, it is expanded."
Friedman cautioned reformers against trying "to cure a problem created by socialism [with] some more socialism" by putting the government in charge of drug distribution. He urged them to "recognize that repealing drug prohibition is part of the broader problem of cutting down the scope and power of the government and restoring power to the people."
Happy Birthday, Milty! (He turns 90 on July 31). Do a line for me.
THE SITE COUNTER just recorded hit number 500,000, the half-millionth hitter being someone at South Carolina's Clemson University. Study hard! Make something of your life! Don't become a journalist!
The first time I ever heard of Mooks was a few years ago, when I was driving around LA with Ken and Axel the German guitarist and some crazy Russian actress girls, searching for bars. Axel rejected one place because it was "full of fucking Mooks." Axel is the Charles Darwin of Mookdom. His theories on the origin and evolution of the Mook ought to be published.
THE GUARDIAN'S Martin Woollacott is torn. Sure, those Palestinian suicide bombers are cool, and it's "hard to give up the idea of these young men and women as heroic", and it's great that "suicide bombing is a policy which has worked better, in narrow military terms, than any other the Palestinians have tried." But, well, Martin can't help but see a downside:
The ultimate effect of suicide bombing is to help Sharon stay in power and to provide him with a constant supply of reasons for his persistent and dedicated refusal to negotiate seriously about the future of the Palestinians.
Damn it. Life just isn't fair.
NOW IT'S the Canadian government that's ducking and covering on the Kandahar friendly-fire incident. Mark Steyn asks:
Back in April, wasn't it an American stonewall we were supposed to be worried about? What on earth does the Canadian military know that could possibly be that "classified"?
UNABOMBER-LA-TOMBA: Italy's Ted Kasczynski has struck again. The Italian Unabomber hid some explosives in a jar of Nutella that detonated when a Pordenone housewife opened it.
She escaped unharmed, but others haven't been so lucky. A Cordingano woman lost a thumb and two fingers when a tube of tomato paste exploded two years ago. The L'Unabomber has also booby-trapped candy eggs and mayonnaise.
BYE BYE, Meg Lees. The last semi-intelligent Democrat has left Australia's dumbest party. Politically correct to the very end, Meg announced that she is "not going to be the fall person anymore."
ANGRY SALAD-AVOIDERS have slapped a supersized lawsuit on McDonald's, Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King, claiming the fast food companies had made them fat. One of the plaintiffs, Cesar Barbar, told the New York Post:
"The fast-food industry has wrecked my life. I always thought it was good for you. I never thought there was anything wrong with it."
Barbar, whose scale-crushing mass amounts to almost 125 kilograms (275 pounds), has had two heart attacks and suffers from diabetes, as well as an apparent total unawareness of any information about anything diet-related, including empirical evidence available from his mirror.
ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI, who has pleaded guilty ... no, not guilty ... guilty again ... correction, not guilty to conspiracy charges arising from September 11, gets a rave review from the Washington Post:
In dozens of motions filed with the court in past weeks, he has written a kind of autobiographical tract written in a rough legalese. It is a document of a mind and a man facing death and afraid of dishonor, sometimes rambling and discursive, yet with threads of logic and flashes of brilliance.
He asks rhetorical questions, makes sarcastic asides and sometimes indulges in an almost whimsical irony …
His use of the initials UBL, for Usama bin Laden, is only one example of an almost mystical relation to language. He finds patterns in language, initials that can stand for multiple words, or phonetic connections that seem, to him, to suggest philosophical similarities. UBL isn't only "unique best location" and Usama bin Laden, but also "United Behind the Lion."
He also enjoys politically charged neologisms. Rather like Rush Limbaugh's use of terms such as "feminazi," Moussaoui invents the word "demoncratic" to dismiss the idea of democratic justice.
The Post should hire this Wildean spirit. Moussi might become the next Maureen Dowd.
PLANT FETISHIST Bob Brown believes Australia's skilled immigration policy is deeply wrong:
"The policy is discrimination against the poor. Desperation will not get you into Australia, but money will ... if you are an executive of a company of 50 or more workers, or if you deposit $250,000 in an Australian bank account for a year, you will be granted access to Australia.
"If you come on a leaky boat you will not."
Bob ignores the fact that people pay vast sums to get aboard those leaky boats. Or maybe he just prefers that rich immigrants pay people smugglers than contribute to their new country.
NUKE THE ROGUE 'ROID! An Australian astronomer wants to blast that pesky earth-hating asteroid off course:
The best way to ensure it was diverted was to put a nuclear weapon beside it and blow it out of orbit, Stromlo Observatory astronomer Vince Ford said.
Scientists are still trying to determine whether the asteroid, known by NASA as 2002 NT7, will hit the Earth in 2019.
Dr Ford said nudging it with a stock-piled nuclear weapon could help alleviate the problem for 1000 years.
"That'd be the way to do it," Dr Ford told the Seven Network.
A nuclear weapon saving the planet? What will Helen Caldicott say about this?
BRIAN KNAPP bids to become the Joe Bob Briggs of the Blogosphere. You want unpretentious, snappy, straightforward movie reviews? Brian's your man.
THE HUNT for Hector's captors continues. Soon pitchfork-wielding vigilantes will take to Sydney's streets, grimly seeking out the two women who stole our magical parrot. The Daily Telegraph reports:
They are the most wanted women in Sydney – grey haired, aged in their 50s and driving a late-model Toyota Camry.
Investigators believe the pair of misguided animal liberationists who stole Hector are sincere in their beliefs about animal rights but may have overlooked the fact that the ageing galah's release into the wild would be fatal.
Sydney animal welfare groups yesterday denied anything to do with Hector's abduction
Meanwhile, reported Hector sightings have so far led to nothing:
False sightings have been reported as far as Werrington, near Penrith, where one man believed he was being held in a back yard, and at Granville and Lane Cove.
One man reported a galah struck up a conversation with golfers in Parramatta on Saturday afternoon.
A $1,000 reward has been posted. If Hector isn't found, the terrorists will have won.
BLACK HELICOPTERS circle above. Guy Rundle, trembling with concern, says Australia is "giving up its freedom to anti-terror laws".
THE AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS have been feudin' and fightin' for weeks. It all began when former Dems leader, Meg Lees, ventured the opinion that perhaps Australia's telecommunications network could be fully privatised. Shock! Horror!
That led to various internal party conflicts and personality clashes, if anyone in the anodyne Democrats could be said to have a personality. Now Mike Elliott, head of the party's South Australian branch, says he has found the source of all the trouble.
It's George W. Bush.
Elliott is serious, apparently. Exactly how Bush and his henchmen have been able to destabilise the bipolar idiot party he doesn't say, but presumably it involves the electronic manipulation of brain waves, thus provoking the eight Democrat senators to attack each other in the press. At the time they seemed to do so of their own accord. Elliott obviously knows better.
Party leader Natasha Stott Despoja, programmed by White House operatives, is today returning to Australia, ostensibly to reunite her shattered team. I wonder what Bush will have her do.
WHAT THE HELL? Simon Chapman, leader of Australia's Anti-Joy Division, is defending the right of television programs to show people smoking cigarettes.
A NATION grieves for Hector the abducted parrot. The Prime Minister, John Howard, today issued this call on the front page of the Daily Telegraph: "I urge the culprit[s] to return Hector for the continuing enjoyment of passers-by." New South Wales health minister Craig Knowles declared: "I want the parrot back." And state premier Bob Carr said: "My simple plea is this: bring Hector back alive and well."
Hector's kidnappers will likely be tied up in sacks and thrown off cliffs - repeatedly - once they're caught. The Daily Telegraph reports:
Anger toward Hector's kidnappers, who bundled him into a beige Toyota Camry outside the pet shop about 1pm Saturday, grew during the day.
"They're mean old bitches," John Laws told his audience.
West Ryde resident James Worth said: "How could someone be so cruel and callous to a bird that's provided so much love to so many people?"
LATEST COLUMN in The Australian mentions Aden Ridgeway, Philip Ruddock, Greg Barns, Ali Bakhtiyari, and the UN's Marissa Bandharangshi. Oh, and the peasant Hazara folk of Uruzgan. Of course.
WHEN THE stock market is in decline, it makes sense to turn to older businesses with established consumer support.
ALAN ANDERSON, another cool new Ozblogger, slaps Marxist historian (and permanent ABC commentator, natch) Scott Burchill around:
Scott Burchill, lecturer in International Relations at Deakin Uni, takes historical revisionism to new heights. He claims that the Iraq issue was manufactured by Dubya to distract from corporate failures (go back and look at the timing, Scott), that there is no evidence that Saddam will provide weapons to terrorists (he openly funds Palestinian suicide bombers, you imbecile) and blames irritating pacifist Richard Butler for withdrawing UN inspectors (Saddam was stopping them from doing their job, you ivory tower nitwit).
With people like Scott "Saddam is a good bloke" Burchill teaching in our universities, is it any wonder that they churn out so many boringly earnest young Trotskyites with no grasp of history, no analytical skills and no common sense?
IT USED to be so easy to spot a New Zealander, writes Professor Bunyip:
Among the telltale signs:
(1) If the person in question was wearing a borrowed suit, looking sheepish and answering to "the defendant."
(2) If he was begging the barman to cash a dole check and getting "shuttier and shuttier" every time the request was denied. Or,
(3) If he was serenading fellow passengers on the bus to Campbell Parade with a melody that sounded like "That's Amore!" but, at a closer listening, turned out to be the tribal lament of an oppressed and exiled people:
When you see two black feet
On the street
It's – a Maori!
Go read the Bunyip's site to discover why Kiwi-spotting is nowadays a more difficult task.
AUSTRALIANS MAKING NEWS IN THE US. In Florida, one of our beloved and tasty national birds has been assassinated:
An Okaloosa County sheriff's deputy killed a rampaging emu with five shots after the flightless bird chased one dog and harassed others in this rural Florida Panhandle community.
The 5-foot-tall emu, whose ownership was uncertain, was spoiling for a fight with four dogs on the other side of a fence in Holly Booe's yard Sunday.
Via the Daily Pundit. By the way, the correct pronunciation of emu is "eem-you", and not, as most Americans say, "e-moo", which sounds like a cow designed by Microsoft.
And in Houston, 20-year-old Adam Hart is enjoying the hospitality of the local prison:
"Accidental terrorist" Adam Hart has avoided up to 10 years behind bars, and instead has been given a seven-day sentence.
The blundering backpacker appeared in a Houston court yesterday, pleading guilty to a reduced charge over a forged passport that saw him locked up initially as a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist.
The FBI cleared Hart of any terrorist links and reduced the charge to a misdemeanour. Hart claimed he was using the passport to get into US pubs where the legal drinking age is 21.
REVEREND AL "GOOD TIMES!" SHARPTON says an FBI surveillance tape showing him discussing a coke deal with an undercover agent is a plot to sabotage his triumphant march to whitey's White House in 2004:
The tape, recorded in 1983 but broadcast for the first time on HBO last night, shows him being offered a 10% share of a $350,000 deal by Victor Quintana, an FBI agent posing as a South American drug dealer.
"I can get pure coke, or you know, 99%, for about 35,000 a kilo," Mr Quintana says. "How does that sound? So we bring in 10, you'll make $35,000."
Mr Sharpton, wearing a cowboy hat and chewing an unlit cigar, replies: "I hear you."
Sharpton says the tape could actually boost his popularity: "If anything, it will rally people around me." Given the career of Marion Barry, he's probably right.
OH, GREAT. That's just perfect. A stupid asteroid is on its way to kill us all. Way to go, space:
An asteroid discovered just weeks ago has become the most threatening object yet detected in space.
A preliminary orbit suggests that 2002 NT7 is on an impact course with Earth on 1 February 2019.
VIOLENCE HAS ERUPTED at an anti-spam protest in Perth. One man was shoved, and several instances of heckling are alleged.
HATEFUL MONSTERS have kidnapped Hector the parrot. Sydney's Daily Telegraph reports – on its front page, no less:
For 31 years he sat on a Sydney footpath talking to everyone who passed by and, more importantly, listening to their every word.
On Saturday in a brazen daylight raid, Hector, a 32-year-old galah, was kidnapped by two elderly, grey-haired women from outside the West Ryde Pet Shop.
Education minister John Watkins, the area's member of Parliament, is distraught:
"Hector is a significant local identity," Mr Watkins said yesterday. "After 30 years he'd be a bird of habit and it would be unfair to take him from familiar surroundings. Please return him to his loving owners and to a community that depends on him."
Town mayor Ivan Petch has lost a trusted advisor:
"He was a talkative old fellow and it's a poor effort someone would go to these lengths," Mr Petch said. "Hector was my adviser on the happenings of West Ryde. He talked to everyone down there."
Local citizens cannot cope:
A Denistone resident of 40 years broke down when talking to The Daily Telegraph about Hector yesterday.
"I'm going to cry, my whole world has stopped," she said. "You just didn't go to West Ryde and not say hello to Hector. People come from all different places to the Woolworths at West Ryde to see Hector. Hector is never without someone talking to him. Everybody says 'goodbye Hector', even if they don't have time to stop. I feel sick."
The sinister hand of the animal rightists is suspected:
Police Inspector Steve Martlew said Hector could have been "liberated" by a welfare group concerned the bird had spent too long in its cage.
THE INDIAN MONKEY MAN IS BACK! And now he's illuminated:
Police said they had received numerous reports from various parts of the state of a mysterious "ape-like creature" attacking people, a year after a similar scare gripped New Delhi.
Some alleged the Bihar creature "jumps and sparkles with red and blue lights," while others described it as resembling a machine, operated by remote control and "handled by anti-social elements to terrorise people."
THE US GOVERNMENT brought the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on themselves.
That's what Robyn Scholes, letter writer to The Melbourne Age, thinks. She was answering The Age's question: Should Australia support the US? And she isn't alone in her views. Let's continue with Robyn's letter, then look at the other idiots …
"Given their interferece in the governments of other countries for over 100 years, and their agressive foreign policy for the last 50+, its a wonder such events have no taken place before now. The Australian government has supported the US in much of it's agression over the last 40 years and it's time we stopped. We have enough human rights and oppression issues to address here, before we head out into the world to solve those of other countries. One American President was quoted as saying.. 'We (the US) have no mandate from God to police the world.' If his successors had kept this in mind, The World Trade Centre might still be standing. Australia should distance itself for Bush's 'Strike First' policy, before someone decides we are a threat."
No spellchecking tyranny for Robyn! Those US multinational spellchecking companies won't agressivly interfer with her. Poor spelling seems to be characteristic of the anti-US lobby; I'd hate to generalise, but it's as if all these people are fucking retards:
"I think Australia is a independant country, realy not follow USA and sacrified our nation's benefit. USA look after their benefit very carefully and sacrified ours, like wheet and meat market. Not so many countries like Australia follow USA so closely, perticularly about military attacks to Iraque. This is one way trafic! I think USA is slipping to the unilateralism rapidly after the cold war, in every aspects like increase tax for import steel, unilaterally pull out from atom weapon contract with Rusia, etc. Look ourselfs first! Do not follow the unilateralism. Treat the international affairs according to the UN policies. America is the biggist military export country in the world. If there is no war in the world a lot of American companies will be bankrupted. In other words: no war no America! Australia is a agriculture country we are not on the war weapons, we are 'on the back of sheep'."
Tell it like it is, "John Campbell". When they aren't complaining about the sacrificed of our wheet market, the anti-Americans are striking poses of such moral superiority as to make one ill:
I'd just like to say that I'm proud to be one of those 'do-gooders' who believes that oil is not as important as human life. Bush is morally corrupt.
Well spoken, Robert. You suck. The next letter, from Paul J.S. Duffin, defies analysis. What kind of mind is capable of writing something like this?
Well, with John Howard...leading the country....he's always looking for a big brother U.S.A. or a big sister U.K. to try and remove the hefty burden of true leadership from his...shoulders....of course the present australian gov't has gone too far in their support for U.S. policy... ...both Australia and the U.S.A. should have imposed sanctions on ''Israel'' years ago..... but they are afraid of being seen as anti semetic....Isael have milked the ''nazi'' crime...far too long.....and are clearly a big if not the biggest evil...in the middle east... ...but with much of the conservative gov't regimes in...U.S.A. and Australia...being funded by...groups who strongly support Israeli politics....howard the coward...has chosen to hide under....''the big boys skirt''...and the big boy himself has looked to appease the beast at the expense of Palestine....
paul js duffin
Paul...is really...going to...win...a...lot of...arguments...with his...super...abundant language...skills. Hoo...ray for...Paul...!
SONGS THAT MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD SICK. Steve Earle's controversial late entry has blasted the opposition into a bloody cloud of peacenik atoms. Who knew Steve was so desperate for Blog attention? A full review of the latest nominations will be up later, but in the meantime WSJ OpinionJournal editor James Taranto reveals that his sunny worldview is the result of not being exposed to Signs, by the Five Man Electrical Band. He writes:
"Apparently this song was No. 98 on the pop charts for 1971, but I somehow managed to avoid hearing it for 30 years. My favorite passage:
And the sign said anybody caught trespassin' would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and-a yelled at the house, "Hey! What gives you the right?
"To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in?
"If God was here he'd tell you to your face, 'Man, you're some kinda sinner'"
"I happened to catch it on the radio last year, and the music was kind of catchy and the lyrics were amusingly stupid, so I downloaded it from Napster. Yeah, I know it's their intellectual property and all, but hey! What gives them the right?"
Man, if they complain, they're some kinda sinners.
THEODORE DALRYMPLE, himself the son of a refugee, may have a solution to Australia's asylum-seeker debacle:
Asylum-seekers should be allowed to come, for whatever reason, on condition that they receive no help whatever from government or public funds. They should receive no social security benefits for, say, three years, or any help with housing or medical fees for more than a month after their arrival. If they break the law before they have established a new and independent life for themselves, they should be deported at once.
Such a scheme would have several advantages. It would encourage established immigrants to establish voluntary charities to help their fellow-nationals in need, at no public expense. It would remove the necessity for bureaucrats to sort the political sheep from the economic goats. It would encourage sturdy self-sufficiency. It would answer the needs of the genuinely persecuted, for anyone in real danger would accept the bargain. It would favour the integration of asylum-seekers by forcing them to work and to learn the language and culture of their new country.
WELL, AUSTRALIA IS IN THE DEEP SOUTH:
Girls as young as 11 have become pregnant and gone on to have babies, official figures reveal.
Hundreds of Australian girls and boys aged 15 and younger are becoming parents every year, Bureau of Statistics data shows.
In 2000, more than 380 girls aged 15 or younger gave birth.
HAMAS IS DUMB, hallucinatory, nonsensical, and doomed. So says Tunisian Muslim journalist Al-'Afif Al-Akhdhar in a searing open letter to the Palestinian psycho terrorist gang:
I ask the intelligent among you: 'Do your religion and your moral conscience permit you to brainwash the Palestinian youth whose lives you risk with such nonsense?' How can you allow your strategy to be based on a hallucinatory reading of Jewish theology? Isn't this theological reading of the issue of the Palestinian people what created its tragedies?
[Without change], you will not grasp the message of September 11 – that the era of suicide operations is over and any violence whatsoever is unacceptable internationally and constitutes terror, whatever the reasons behind it. Violence will achieve no political reward whatsoever. The pre-emptive war, that is, offense as the best form of defense, is the strategic rule of the war on terror. It is no accident that the E.U. countries recently added the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades to their list of terrorist organizations – the list in which you and Islamic Jihad were the first.
The entire letter is in this tone. Excellent.
OSAMA BIN LADEN found in Milan! The old freak has been moonlighting as a murderous Italian vegetarian textile heir:
The heir to an industrial dynasty was found in the street naked and dripping with blood after allegedly killing his fiancee, Italian police have claimed.
Milan golden boy Rugger Jucker allegedly told police: "I am bin Laden."
He has been detained over the murder of 26-year-old Alenja Bortolotto, who was found in a bathroom of Jucker's home with a kitchen knife stuck into her abdomen.
Well-known in Milan, where he owns a vegetarian restaurant, Jucker is descended from a dynasty of industrialists who headed to the city from Switzerland a century ago and founded a textiles empire.
THE AUSTRALIAN blog hive just got a whole lot smarter and funnier. Stanley Gudgeon – he takes his name from a character in Lennie Lower's only novel, Here's Luck – is the pseudonym behind bunyip.blogspot, where the wrong and stupid are dealt delicious injuries. Go read the whole site. Here's an extract from a recent post:
"THE father of two boys who escaped from Woomera Detention Centre and tried to claim asylum from the British government has flown into Sydney without incident."
So begins the AAP story on the arrival of the variously spelled Ali Baktiari – who goes by "Baktiyari" inside The Age, "Baktiari" on the paper's home page and "Bakhtiari" in the Sydney Morning Herald. Meanwhile, The Australian makes everybody happy and opts for "Bakhtiyari". By the time Web Diary's Margo Kingston battles dyslexia into submission and collects a tattered thought, the family will no doubt be the Black Tiaris.
This isn't a lesson in the folly of throwing your identity papers away and then wondering why people can't get your name right. It's a pat on the back for the AAP editors who noticed what is undoubtedly the most remarkable, wondrous thing about Baktiari's -- let's settle on that spelling -- dash to Harbour City: He set out for a specific destination and actually arrived! It may be the first time any member of the Bouncing Baktiaris has accomplished what, for them, appears to be a major miracle.
He (I assume Stanley is a he) also relieves me of any further need to smite Kingston. He does it better, and with more laughs. Welcome aboard, Stan!
SONGS THAT MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD SICK, pt III. Australian wuss duo Savage Garden have vaulted into contention for the George Michael Activism in Music Prize courtesy of savage reader Patrick McA., who nominates The Animal Song:
Animals and children tell the truth, they never lie
Which one is more human
There's a thought, now you decide
Writes Patrick: "From which we learn that the singer has never, in his entire life, met either an animal or a child. As is well known by anyone who has ever been a child, children lie their heads off. 'I didn't take the cookie', 'Teddy broke the window', 'Yes, I'm over 18'. Lie, lie, lie. I defy anyone to deny this.
"Animals are a bit more tricky, because they can't talk. But they can communicate messages non verbally, and these messages are usually lies. What is a cat or dog saying when it puffs its hair up? That it is bigger than it actually is. A frill necked lizard? The same thing. Every creature with protective colouration is telling the world that it is not there, when it actually is. What about all those creatures that deliberately copy the appearance of other creatures? Usually poisonous or deadly ones so that others will leave it alone. All lies."
Even better is Patrick's Fisking of another Savage Garden track, Affirmation:
I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you
"There goes the theory of evolution. It's because fat and sugar are good for you when you are hungry and starving. Being able to eat too much of them is a historical accident."
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
"Well, except for the ones who beat and abuse their kids."
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self-esteem
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone
I believe in karma what you give is what you get returned
"Which it is by definition. That's what the word 'karma' means."
I believe you can't appreciate real life till you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
"How does he explain refugees coming into Australia, then? Are they all confused and just need to have this song played to them and then be sent back home?"
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye
I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality
"People have been controlling their sexuality for thousands of years. Maybe they would be more healthy not to (I don't believe this) but to say they can't is to insult millions of disciplined people and assume they have the animals instincts of (say) a rock star."
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
"Sounds very much like self justification to me. And what does it mean? You should sleep around as long as you remember to pick up the milk?"
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones to disagree are millionaires
"How about boyband millionaires who made fortunes by singing songs for a few months and getting lucky with a good promoter? Aren't they just about the most unfair of all?"
I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
"What if your unhappiness is due to cancer, or starving to death, or having terrible songs played at you? Do you forgive the cancer cells?"
Maryland's Ryan M. refuses to forgive pretentious big-suit wearer David Byrne for his awful Lilies of the Valley:
momma she had complications
there's nothing very strange 'bout that
nuns said "we can't kill that baby.
we'll have to let your mother die"
Writes Ryan: "Stupid nuns." There's more:
way too many people on this island
getting way too crowded on this boat
need someone to bail some water
if we're gonna keep this thing afloat
"It sounds so easy when he puts it like that," says Ryan. "Let's all have some Soylent Green." James H. points out that Kris Kristofferson wrote some great country songs, but "should be slapped with a tire sandal for this little horror", namely Sandinista:
Sandinista, you can hold your head up high
You have given back their Freedom
You have lived up to your name
Sandinista, may the soldiers disappear
May your children live forever
May their laughter fill your lives
That laughter you're hearing is directed at Kristofferson and his Sandinista friends, who were voted out by the freedom-loving citizens of Nicaragua. James also nominates "almost anything from Roger Waters post-Animals and solo".
Duck and Run by 3 Doors Down is the target of Brian J.'s wrath. He writes: "This song gets a lot of airplay on American alternative rock stations. The notion that 'freedom' should lead to a low cost of living just slays me."
To this world I'm unimportant just
Because I have nothing to say
So you call this your free country
Tell me why it costs so much to live
Tell me why
I bet it's something to do with Enron. Yeah, Enron is behind it, and the evil Bush family. Bob Dylan has written so many songs that there's bound to be the odd ruin among them, and Don F. has found a prime example of rotten Bob – Union Sundown, from Infidels:
Well, you know, lots of people complainin' that there is no work.
I say, Why you say that for
When nothin' you got is U.S.-made?
They don't make nothin' here no more,
You know, capitalism is above the law.
It say, It don't count 'less it sells.
When it costs too much to build it at home
You just build it cheaper someplace else.
Bob was an anti-globo before it became fashionable. Briefly fashionable in the '60s was Grace Slick, whose frightening decline reached its lowest depths with Starship's We Built This City, nominated by the Combustible Boy:
Someone's always playing corporation games!
Who cares? They're always changing corporation names!
Esso becomes Exxon, and Grace is pissed. "Like Billy Bragg with Thatcher," writes Tim R., "John Cougar Mellencamp spent most of the '80s bitchin' about Reagan whilst banking a lazy few million." In Country Gentleman, "he imagines Ronnie to be a bird making a stew (I think). And they say Reagan's brain is fried!"
Country gentleman, now there's a bird that flew
High above his nation, preyed on its weakness.
Picked our bones and threw it in his stew.
Thank God he went back to California.
"Thank God," says Tim, "that John went back to Indiana." From Stew Bird to Free Bird; both Matt Welch and Brian Knapp attack Southern fried rockers Lynyrd Skynrd, Matt because of the apathy over Watergate indicated in Sweet Home Alabama:
In Birmingham they love the governor
Now we all did what we could do
Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?
Tell the truth
And Brian is down on the Skynrds over their anti-gun track, Saturday Night Special:
Handguns are made for killin',
They ain't no good for nothing else.
And if you like to drink your whiskey,
You might even shoot yourself.
Lynyrd Skynyd should've worried less about guns and more about air safety. Matt nominates as the worst song of all "Don McLean's feeble but catchy McCarthyite attempt to diss the Beatles, Stones and Byrds as common Satan-spewing no-talent fuckbeans spoiling his pure little fantasies of being a teenage fag-stomper at the football church behind the five-and-dime." If you've ever wondered what American Pie was really about, wonder no more:
Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in hell
Could break that Satan's spell
War is stupid
And people are stupid
And heroin addiction is intelligent. What horrors await when next we visit Songs That Make The Whole World Sick? Find out tomorrow. Or the day after. Soon, anyway. Honest to God, there are too many nominations to sort through.
CORRECTIONS. Referring to songs mentioned in the second instalment, Joanne Jacobs writes:
"On 'Power,' Peter, Paul and Mary should be told that their glowing wood fire is polluting the air and hastening global warming.
"On 'you and me' killing the Kennedys, it's only fair to point out that the speaker is the Devil, who indeed may be culpable. I had nothing to do with it, however. Despite being Jewish."
A likely story. I bet that mysterious Grassy Noel guy they always talk about was Jewish, too.
FROM AUSTRALIA'S man in Afghanistan, Time magazine's Michael Ware, we learn that the Afghan president has fired all his bodyguards … and replaced them with Americans!
WATCH THAT 39th STEP – it's a doozy:
Edward Lee Howard, the notorious American traitor and the first CIA officer to defect to the KGB, has died after breaking his neck in a fall outside his Russian dacha.
Howard's defection in 1985 provided one of the Cold War's most memorable espionage tales, but his treachery led to the death of one man and the expulsion from Moscow of six others
GEORGE W. BUSH'S attempts to freeze terrorist funding haven't been very successful, according to reports. And why? Because of the ancient trading system known as hawala.
IS ANYTHING NOT THE WEST'S FAULT? Now we're being blamed for drought in Africa:
The starvation brought on by the 1970-85 drought that stretched from Senegal to Ethiopia captured the world's attention with searing images: skeletal mothers staring vacantly, children with bloated bellies lying in the sand, vultures lurking nearby. Before rains finally returned, 1.2 million people had died.
Now, a group of scientists in Australia and Canada say that drought may have been triggered by tiny particles of sulfur dioxide spewed by factories and power plants thousands of miles away in North America, Europe and Asia.
Or, on the other hand, it just might not have rained much.
MEGA-BELLA! From The Guardian:
An alternative beauty contest in Italy has chosen a new Miss Tubby to lead resistance against the svelte tyranny known as bella figura which makes fat a crime.
Maria Dore, 36, crushed rivals at the weekend to win the Miss Cicciona (Miss Tubby) contest after weighing in at 194kg (30 stones) at the 14th annual Tubby competition in Forcoli, near Pisa. Afterwards she revealed her secret: pizza with mushrooms.
THE MELBOURNE AGE reports a new anti-smoking ad campaign:
An initiative of Quit Victoria, the ad features deadpan comedian John Clarke as an unnamed tobacco company's "head honcho", announcing a national product recall because of the danger of cigarettes to customers' health.
The ad finishes with Clarke telling smokers: "If there's one thing we care about here, it's your health." He then bursts into laughter.
A follow-up ad has Clarke admitting he is not really a tobacco executive: "I'm just a person and I've got to make my own decision about cigarettes, and so do you."
Curiously, the article fails to mention that Clarke is – or was, the last time I saw him – a smoker.
FREE THE AFGHAN REFUGEES! If you can find one, that is. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
A spokesman for the Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, said yesterday that a growing database and more stringent checks - including linguistics tests worth $4 million in the past 18 months to two years - had led to the conclusion that many people claiming to be from Afghanistan were not genuine.
The Government has already taken action to cancel Mr Bakhtiari's visa, saying he is from Pakistan and is not a subsistence farmer from a small village in Afghanistan as he claims.
"We have someone, at least one person, who says they know him as an electrical plumber from Quetta in Pakistan," the spokesman said.
I'll always be a contender
The allusion to the recent death of Rod Steiger indicates that we are in the elegiac mode. But the promiscuous mix-and-match of high and popular cultures (Romantic elegy meets "On the Waterfront") also indicates the poet's postmodern affinities.
Yes, I know my bones are very
But now he confounds the very postmodern expectations he has aroused by giving us, of all things ... a rhyme! He then immediately re-con-founds (if I may), disarms tradition, by switching without warning or preliminaries from trimeter to pentameter. He is playing with us, teasing us. "Catch me if you can!" he says, "But beware, for I am a wild thing, and could explode!"
And by Allah you won't see me
He continues in the pentameter ...
Look at my eyes? You'll see no
The poet dismisses a possibility (that we would look at his eyes and see butterflies) that would never have occurred to us in the first place. He thus once again locates us, rhetorically, in an abyss of perpetual uncertainty. This trope (or, rather, trope-of-a-trope) is strictly Miltonic.
My home is filled with cries... due to
all the lost lives
Now he rhymes "butterflies" with "lives". It is a challenge to the entire poetic canon itself: "I am here; I have arrived as a poet".
But I swear by Allah I'll never
Now that challenge intensifies. The invocation to Allah, in the postmodern context we are working in, is clearly ironic.
I'll still throw the stones even with
my broken bones
Oh my God. A septameter. Whitman!
Why can't I hear from you, don't you
have any phones?
The poet calls upon his precursor poets – Milton and Whitman, preeminently – to provide him with the rhetorical strength he needs to complete his Ode, to in-spire him via their phones/poems/phonemes. But they are silent.
Ya I forgot, your not on the chase, try
it out and put your self in my place
We have barely composed ourselves after the play on your/you're when we are confronted with the pun on case/chase.
Soon I'll return to my lord, the one
that deserves every grace
Now the poet "looks forward" to the "expiry" of his own in-spir-ation, to the death and dissolution of his very poet-hood ...
Oh you don't have to worry cause of
me you'll find no trace
in a world that cares nothing for poets ...
It really is too late, why did you
until they have withered and died for lack of recognition ...
You could have sent me at least one
and the appropriate crockery.
I guess it is my fate
And La Ilaha Illa Allah is my mate.
Shunned by a philistine public, the poet believes that only death awaits him. But, by the very strength of his lines, he has staked his claim to immortality. We know now that he has something to give us. And if he has worn his heart a little too openly on his sleeve, it was only to leave more room for what he has, much less openly, strapped to his chest.
Toilet: bracelet, droplet, gauntlet, goblet, harlot, omelette, piglet, tablet.
Lewd: chewed, crude, dude, intrude, mood, nude, rude, screwed, tabooed, viewed, wooed.
Behaviour: failure, figure, junior, lawyer, saviour, voyeur.
Arrest: caressed, confessed, conquest, molest, obsessed, suppressed, undressed.
A SURVEY of tourist boards worldwide has revealed the British to be the most loathed of all holidaymakers. Among the survey's findings:
•Germans are the best behaved.
•British, Irish and Danish are the worst behaved.
•Americans are the most courteous.
•Brits are the rudest, along with the Russians and Canadians.
•Germans, French and Americans make the greatest efforts to speak local languages.
•The British make the least effort to speak the local language.
•Italians, Spanish, and Germans are most likely to eat local food.
•Americans, Indians, and Brits are least likely to eat local food.
•Germans are the worst tippers.
•Americans, Japanese, and Russians are the best tippers.