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35 responses to “Saturday Salon”

  1. Pavlov's Cat

    Some other people might have heard ‘the next great Russian dancer’ being interviewed on the radio earlier in the week. Ivan Vasiliev, 21, is in London with the Bolshoi dancing the lead in Spartacus. Here he is when he was eighteen.

    During the interview he said that dancing made him happy because it was his element. ‘I am fish in water.’

  2. Jacques de Molay

    The Greens campaign launch will be shown on Sky this Sunday at 12:30pm EST.

    Also, does anyone know why ABC2 won’t be showing series 5 of The Wire? They’ve just shown every episode from series 1-4 back to back so it just seems a bit odd they wouldn’t show the final series.

  3. sg

    I’ve got a post up on my blog about the data from the wikileaks war logs. I think actually that there has been no increase in casualty rates in Afghanistan, or IED attack rates; all that’s happened is that as the number of soldiers in the country increases, so does the number of casualties. Which kind of makes sense, since you tend to send soldiers to a warzone to kill shit.

    I think the rhetoric of the Guardian et al that the figures (even the missile attack figures) represent a “growing insurgency” may not actually be correct.

  4. Razor

    What Jacques said! About The Wire, that is. Thank God for iView! and I’m an Atheist.

  5. Jacques de Molay

    -The Treasurer’s debate between Swan and Sloppy Joe will be at the National Press Club on August 9. If Swan is half as passionate as he was on the 7.30 Report the other night he’ll mop the floor with him.

    -For anyone unfamiliar with the odious SA Labor Right factional warlord Don Farrell here is a piece on him, “The Godfather of Unity”:


  6. tigtog

    Re The Wire – presumably their purchased rights on Seasons 1-4 were just about to run out, so they squeezed the last bit of juice out of them. They may not have been able to fit purchasing rights to broadcast Season 5 into their budget.

  7. tigtog

    PC, that young man is marvellous – the precision, grace and athleticism are sublime.

  8. Mindy

    The four year old found an old tape from the eighties this morning with The Calls’ The Walls Came Down. I feel like sending it to the media as an omen of what will happen if they keep giving Tony a free ride.

    Also, Gen Xers and older who still remember songs from that era – there was a song with lyrics that neither my hubby or I could decipher but we both remember singing something along the lines of “wyangnyangniosis”. Does anyone know what that song was?

  9. CMMC

    LP’s DNS is going crazy, just got redirected to Julie Bishop’s blog.

  10. Paul Burns

    And yo survived the death stare as well?

  11. paul walter

    Jacqes de Molay, it’s interesting that Farrell’s SA right faction colleague, the more reasonable Annette Hurley, chose just very recently not to recontest her position.

  12. Jacques Chester

    LP’s DNS is going crazy, just got redirected to Julie Bishop’s blog.

    Your DNS is stale and is redirecting to the old address for LP, which, it turns out, was at the same machine as Julie Bishop’s site. It’s picking her site out as the default for some reason. Possibly the “maximise_hilarity” setting has been set to true.

  13. nasking

    My view:


    So Abbot’s Won, Labor’s Dead, Howard Era Was Great


    just part of one of the most manipulative & perception manufacturing campaigns by some ruthless media outlets & complicit talking heads I have ever witnessed. Not unlike the vile & unsavoury stuff we had to put up with during the Bill Clinton era.

    Let’s refresh our beloved media’s memories shall we:


    TEN (10) rate rises in a row…a GST that hit the poorest and was implemented badly damaging small businesses…

    Much more on the Howard era in that post. I’ve had my fill of the media BS campaign.


  14. paul walter

    Jacques Chester, that’s an act of god. Julie will now be able to sit down and learn something about the real world and its problems, withjust a little imagination.
    Deprogramming of the Murdoch-dependent would be a keystone for social policy if this writer was running things.
    Thing is rehabs would be difficult.
    You’d have to be able to deal with convulsions and other withdrawal symptoms, especially when they watch ABC/SBS.
    Of course, you can’t do withdrawals from fantasy into reality cold turkey, you’d have to let them have a fair ration of TDT, Fairfax and ACA early, just to ease the transition.

  15. sg

    Germaine Greer has done a barn-storming critique in the Guardian of some new book by journalists kristof and WuDunn, called Half the Sky. This book purports to be “feminist” but Greer’s review makes it sound more like “racist.”

  16. Lefty E

    I’ve been out letterboxing with my daughter for the Greens, and feel miles better already. Head-cleansing action!

    I still feel strongly that Abbott will lose. But its going to take some serious reworking of the ALP campaign, of the sort we’re seeing all over this blog and poll bludger.

    Hope they’re out there listening – they’d have to concede at the point the current strategy isnt working.

  17. terangeree

    In Okayama, after spending most of the day and last night spent on trains.

    Hanabi in Tokyo and Okayama. No rooms in Tokyo. Vacancies in Okayama. Beautiful and romantic friend is one city away.

    At the moment, I know nothing about election campaigns. Sorry.

  18. sg

    Terangeree, I just struggled through a desperate attempt to book rooms in Tokyo 4 weeks in advance. Summer in Japan is hectic! I am going to Tottori in a week and don’t have a hotel booked, I’m either going to chuck an all-nighter or crash in a love hotel.

    I bet it’s filthy hot in Okayama today, right?

  19. terangeree

    Oh, yes, sg. Bloody hot everywhere.

    I think there were some fireworks in the distance tonight (I had the video camera running, and it probably caught some lights in the sky on the other side of the castle), but I was busy getting happily half-pissed for ¥680 between a very drunk obasan who doted on her docile dachsund with the inappropriate sobriquet of “Tiger” and a trio of 20-somethings (both the obasan and the young’uns kept refilling my glass, and obasan insisted on scrawling her contact details in my notebook).

    The trams between the station and the castle were packed, so there were thousands walking along the straight, wide, flat street that stretched betwixt the two. The many yukatas made it look like Okayama had been invaded by thousands of giant Birds of Paradise, and just walking the length of the street was enough of a celebration. Fireworks be damned!

    And maybe it was the beer, but I somehow managed to have two reasonably fluent telephone conversations in Japanese with the newish girlfriend who I’d still argue is the model for the mother in the movie “Ponyo…”.

    “Life wasn’t meant to be easy,” Bernard Shaw wrote and Malcolm Fraser infamously quoted.

    The full quote ends with “it can be delightful”.

    It sure is.

    Sorry, people. I’ll stop boring you all now.

  20. sg

    excellent Terangeree! This season may be too hot to move in, but it’s a great party atmosphere isn’t it!

  21. Fran Barlow

    I was listening to the BBC this afternoon, and once again, the panel of guests came to th topic of the Afghan occupation. As is always the case, they refused or “overlooked” the policy elephant in the room. To their credit, it wasn’t easy.

    They were discussing the challenges of setting a date for withdrawal. The argument went back and forth this apparently insoluble dilemma. If you set a date, you give a signal to your enemies about when to resume insurgency, and of course, the government starts having to negotiate with the enemy it can’t defeat. On the other hand, you can sell a surge better to your domestic population. Not setting a date is unpopular. Gosh, whatever can one do?

    I find it impossible to believe that the BBC, and every other news channel I’ve ever heard could overlook the obvious policy option “we’re not doing any good so let’s get the hell out of here quick smart” especially when about 2/3 of the populace of the occupying powers have tho0ught of it. They are lecturing us because they claim to be smarter than the rest of us.

    So the complete absence of discussion of this option — even to reject it — can only be explained in one of two ways.

    1. It’s a conspiracy — a kind of D-Notice thing
    2. It’s an official policy that this will never be discussed by any guest on any program.

    I would love to know which of these it is, or if the people in charge of news programs and all their guests really are that think, how this has happened regardless of which country’s English news service one listens to.

    Clues anyone?

    PS: It proves conclusively that having a free press is no impediment to ensuring that states can silence discussion on stuff their boss lcasses want silenced.

  22. Fran Barlow


    tho0ught [thought]

    and all their guests really are that think [thick]

  23. Fran Barlow

    Finally, someone comes out to tell it like it is on how tough things are at the top and what Tony Abbott can do to cut the chatter and introduce real reform.

    Contrary to popular belief, as this video shows, he’s not against boat people at all.

  24. salient

    Great paper on the race IQ differential. Some choice quotes:

    “Studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) find a correlation of brain size with IQ of about 0.40. Larger brains contain more neurons and synapses and process information faster. Race differences in brain size are present at birth. By adulthood, East Asians average 1 cubic inch more cranial capacity than Whites who average 5 cubic inches more than Blacks.

    Race differences in IQ remain following adoption by White middle class parents. East Asians grow to average higher IQs than Whites while Blacks score lower. The Minnesota Trans-Racial Adoption Study followed children to age 17 and found race differences were even greater than at age 7: White children, 106; Mixed-Race children, 99; and Black children, 89.

    IQ Scores of Blacks and Whites Regress toward the Averages of Their Race. Parents pass on only some exceptional genes to offspring so parents with very high IQs tend to have more average children. Black and White children with parents of IQ 115 move to different averages–Blacks toward 85 and Whites to 100.” http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/04/26/9530.aspx?page=2

    The study of inequality in the social sciences will remain unsatisfactory until we once again acknowledge the objective and concrete differences that set each race apart.

  25. Jacques de Molay

    “Creationists hijack lessons and teach schoolkids man and dinosaurs walked together”

    PRIMARY school students are being taught that man and dinosaurs walked the Earth together and that there is fossil evidence to prove it.

    Fundamentalist Christians are hijacking Religious Instruction (RI) classes in Queensland despite education experts saying Creationism and attempts to convert children to Christianity have no place in state schools.

    Students have been told Noah collected dinosaur eggs to bring on the Ark, and Adam and Eve were not eaten by dinosaurs because they were under a protective spell.


    Seriously what do they put in the water up in Queensland?

  26. Fran Barlow
  27. Fran Barlow

    Get up’s Latest Ad … the wit and wisdom of Tony Abbott

  28. Casey

    This morning, and not that I encouraged her, my little roly poly shredding machine got hold of my Alannah Hill lace top, not that I gave it to her, and ripped it to pieces. When she tried to eat it, I stopped her. She is, after all, on a diet.


  29. paul walter

    The good thing about that Fran, “wit and wisdom”, means I’ve no need to get there, its an empty carton.

  30. Helen

    Casey, it’s not the first time Alannah Hill has come out with shit like this. She’s a disgrace.

  31. Paul Burns

    J de M @ 25,
    I didn’t realise Creationists believed God was a witch.

  32. Fran Barlow

    And just underline how tragically wrongheaded those who backed the mining thugs over RSPT were:

    Australia Has Record Trade Surplus on China Coal, Iron Demand

    Australia’s trade surplus unexpectedly reached a record in June as Chinese demand spurred exports of coal and iron ore, while imports stagnated amid a slowdown in domestic spending.

    The data highlight Australia’s so-called two-speed economy, with domestic demand subdued even as the natural resources industry surges on sales by miners such as BHP Billiton Ltd. The acceleration in exports may put pressure on inflation as policy makers determine whether to extend their pause in raising rates.

  33. Fran Barlow

    It seems to me that if the ALP wanted to reframe the election campaign around their acheivements as a government, they could do worse than adapt this classic moment from the Life of Brian.

    What have the Romans Ever Done for us>

  34. Fran Barlow

    This somewhat pessimistic 18-page PDF from Garnaut is worth a read.

    Climate Change, China Booms &
    Australia’s Governance Struggle in a Changing World

    I wonder how many of the contenders for power this year would dare respond to it?

  35. Fran Barlow

    I was watching Michael Clayton (the movie) and it struck me that the evil corporate lawyer played by Tilda Swinton looked a lot like Julia Gillard.

    Coincidence? Almost certainly, but spooky all the same. Check out the film clip at the link above.