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44 responses to “Saturday Salon”

  1. kuke

    Double-climate fail with Obama admitting defeat on climate: Democrats Call Off Climate Bill Effort and Australia’s Gillard Is Under Fire for Reneging on Climate Control Pledges

    Meanwhile Laurie Oakes hammers Australian politics: Gillard ushers in the era of farce

  2. hannah's dad

    ALP 54: COALition 46 Nielsen poll.

    Hawks and Saints ….a draw.

  3. Helen

    A question for the more party-political savvy here: If you publish a letter to a local paper in another electorate with commentary designed to sway voting intentions, during a political campaign, is it considered ethically necessary to disclose if you’re an active party member or other functionary? Just wondering.
    (Wondering, also, why they bother – we’re the second safest seat in Victoria or something like that)

  4. Helen

    Should have read, election campaign, not political campaign!

  5. akn

    Thanks Adrian on ‘Open Elction Thread’ for drawing attention to:

    The federal government has censored approximately 90 per cent of a secret document outlining its controversial plans to snoop on Australians’ web surfing, obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws, out of fear the document could cause “premature unnecessary debate”.

    What an Orwellian concept is “premature unnecessary debate”.

  6. Tyro Rex
  7. Pavlov's Cat

    Last I read about Pauline she was moving permanently to the UK and shaking the dust of Australia off her feet. Maybe the UK decided it was being swamped by Australians and declined to have her.

  8. mbahnisch

    @DrCat, actually, the Cameron government’s restrictions on non-EU immigration have made it significantly harder for Australian citizens to go and reside in the UK.

  9. Pavlov's Cat

    Yes, I remember reading about that. Hanson’s mother was born in Ireland IIRC — I wonder if that makes it easier or harder. Back when she was a political force of sorts (God it’s something like 13-14 years ago) I often wondered how she’d react if forced to read the history of the way that colonial Australia fretted itself into a coma about the way that Australia was being swamped by the Irish.

  10. Mark

    Yes, I’m not sure whether her being born in Ireland makes a difference. But I think she’s in for a shock if she believes England is some sort of monocultural nation.

  11. pablo

    akn and ‘premature unnecessary debate’ could equally apply to the non-release of the Murray Darling Comission report on the future direction of the MDB, widely believed to call for further restrictions on irrigation entitlements. I suggest that the acronym ‘pud’ be applied to anything our virile democracy finds just too difficult to contemplate when it comes to exercising a vote.

  12. Andrew Reynolds

    She was probably entitled to an Irish passport through her mother – but may have had to officially renounce that entitlement (per s. 44(i) of the Constitution) on going into Federal Parliament.

  13. Me

    Some subtlety over at Unca Rupert’s News in the Travel Section:

    “Is travel abduction worth it?
    Air steward ‘threatened jihad’ on airline
    Fear of foreign pilots over Aussie skies
    Parasailing donkey’s mental state unclear
    Aussie woman tells of plane flight terror”

    Be very afraid of foreigners on boats and planes!

  14. mbahnisch

    @Andrew, that’s what I was thinking.

  15. Paul Burns

    No. you don’rt have to publish your political affiliations. (In country towns they’re usually known or discernable if you are a regular letter writer.) In the case you cite, readers would not be able to tell. But I get the impression saome letter writers e-mail their stuff to as many local papers as possible, probably out of frustration that their jewels of political philosophy can’t get publahed in the metropolitan dailies.

  16. faustusnotes

    I can’t see recruiting hanson as a step forward for the libs – that horse has well and truly bolted. I also don’t think focussing on immigration will work if they don’t have any other policies. Many people in Australia may be anti-immigration etc., but that doesn’t mean they don’t know a one-trick pony when they see it.

    It’s very different when you’re the incumbent and you can coast in on your record and a bit of xenophobia, to when everyone knows you can’t run the country, and are asking people to vote for you on the basis of your hatred of foreigners only.

  17. sg

    I’d like to add, apropos of nothing, that this week has been a hard week for me. Particularly Friday. Specifically:

    a) 6 of my students (20% of the class!) copied their assignments egregiously, in the “borrow my mates file and print it out unchanged” manner. 2 of those students may be getting their scholarship revoked and being sent home to explain to their parents exactly why they deserve to continue breathing; the other 4 are looking like getting 0 for the assignment and possibly the course. My inbox has been peppered with desperate pleading 19 year olds. This culminated in a meeting with the academic office yesterday to decide who to execute.

    b) Last night I had my first ever amateur kickboxing fight on a beach, against a pimp. He won, and now I’m limping about with a very sore rib, wishing I’d spent at least 1 minute of the last year of my life learning how to defend against knee attacks from a taller man.

    So today I have a quite strong sense of relief, now that all those troubles are out of the way, and I fully intend to cruise through next week! This afternoon I’m going to drink beer and watch a mad kazak doctor beat my partner at table tennis.

  18. sg

    goddamn wordpress! Sorry everyone, those “faustusnotes” comments are by me, sg.

  19. tigtog

    sg/faustusnotes, just realised I can edit the name field so that you do actually look like you. Have done so for this instance.

  20. Paul Burns

    Yje other day i watched the DVD of the Tv adaptation of Marcus Clarke’s For the Term of His Natural Life.
    It brought to mind something that has been puzzling me about the book for quite a few years, when it perchance crosses my mind.
    Clearly, the TV version is adapted from what is presumably the authorative Penguin Classics version.
    However, some years before that I remember reading an A & R Australian Classics version of the book which did not have the happy ending of both the TV series and the Penguin Classics version. In the A & R version, Sylvia Frere and Rufus Dawes die in each others arms at the bottom of a cliff somewhere as the waves crash on the rocks. Is my memory playing tricks with me, or are there two versions of Clarke’s book. And, if so, which is the version preferred by Clarke?
    Perhaps some of the Aust. Lit. experts on LP could clear this up for me. It would be much appreciated.

  21. Pavlov's Cat

    Paul B, there are two versions of Clarke’s, in neither of which Sylvia survives, plus further changes made in various screen adaptations. Like a lot of 19thC fiction, that novel was first published in serial form in a magazine, in this case over two years. Now read on, from the Oxford Companion to Australian Literature:


    His Natural Life [note original title] was first published in the Australian Journal 1870-1872 and revised for first publication in book form in 1874; the alternative title, For the Term of His Natural Life, was first used in an 1882 edition of the revised version.

    … [in the 1874 revised version] when Sylvia and Dawes escape from Norfolk Island, the ship is hit by a cyclone and they are drowned at the moment when Sylvia’s memory returns and she and Dawes have been reunited. In the serial version of the novel, which is almost twice as long, the ending is different: Sylvia (called Dora) is drowned, but Dawes and Dora’s daughter, Dorcas, both survive to prosper on the mainland and return to England. Some of the dramatic film and television adaptations preserve the lives of Dawes and Sylvia.

    Got all that?

    I don’t know which Clarke preferred; it’s not always safe to assume a later version was a writer’s preference. There could easily have been pressure on him from publishers, for example, particularly, for practical/material reasons, especially pressure to make it shorter for publication as a book.

    I’m assuming that your A&R Australian Classics edition is notthe original serial version (first published in book form in 1970 and edited by Stephen Murray-Smith), but the 1874 revised version.

  22. sg

    and that, Paul, is why you shouldn’t read books!

  23. Patricia WA

    Pauline! Thanks for the Memory!

    ‘Hanson is as Hanson does’
    Do you recall who Hanson was?
    Red head, leader of One Nation,
    And how her ‘assassination’
    Was wrought by Abbott’s dirty tricks,
    Acting for ‘Honest Politics!’
    How his career was furthered,
    She imprisoned, tho’ not ‘murdered.’

    Now he could be our next P. M.
    But surely seeing her again
    Brings back memories of how he lied,
    And how when challenged he replied,
    Look, lying on the ABC
    Cannot be called dishonesty.
    It would have been quite different,
    If I had lied in Parliament!

    Since those days his capacity
    For cunning and mendacity
    Has oft been proven loud and clear.
    Yet still now when we daily hear
    The Abbott claim that others lie,
    Blind to the mote in his own eye,
    Some smile as if it were a game
    Not cause for his or national shame.

  24. Kaboomski


    I am still of the opinion I posted back then that she will run for a seat, the $’s from the AEC will be too irresistable.

  25. Terangeree

    Paul, see if you can track down a copy of the 1927-ish silent movie of For The Term of His Natural LIfe.

    “Me” @ 13, I’d be more worried about encountering a mad parasailing donkey, myself. Hopefully my return flight next weekend won’t encounter any.

  26. sg

    Hey Terangeree, how are you enjoying Japan? Seen any fireworks? They should be everywhere this weekend, well worth visiting a hanabi festival. And are you enjoying the heat?

  27. Terangeree

    Hi sg.

    I’m in Okayama tonight. Haven’t seen any hanabi, but saw a lot of yukatas this afternoon in Hiroshima.

    As for the heat. 35 Celsius at 7am is a bit much, isn’t it? Where’s the Queensland-style evening thunderstorm to cool things down?

  28. Terangeree

    … and will be seeing the fireworks in Tokyo next weekend, anyway. Discovered yesterday that Ponyo really lives in a bowl in a sake shop.

  29. Fran Barlow

    I love the whimsy of Nick Clegg, acting UK PM, accidentally calling the Iraq War “the illegal invasion of Iraq”.

    2010 … when the truth is embarrassing and accidental.

    Context rules …

    On a totally separate note of whimsy, I am longsighted. Sometimes in fun I say “farsighted”. Anyhoo … I received a piece of junk mail from some real estate agent called Lyn Seehusen or something, and I assumed it was a glossy from Julia Gillard — the same part (wrong side) similar face shape and colour hair … context rules again …

    The real estate agent obviously thought it would be a good idea to attach jelly beans in a small pack. Later I went out to the car and saw two kids of about ten collecting them all from people’s letter boxes and dumping the leaflets in otto bins … context rules again and even more …

  30. j_p_z

    This is so magnificently insane, it really has to be seen to be believed.


    (h/t AoSHQ)

    I always sort of half-wondered what the dream-life of leftists must look like. Now I’m shuddering from too much information; as they say — some things, once seen, can’t be un-seen.

  31. tigtog

    japers, the mud-wrestling scene at least seemed an accurate metaphor for presidential campaigning!

  32. Helen

    The dream-life of leftists??

  33. sg

    Terangeree, did you get to sample bars in hiroshima? Hiroshima bars are the best in the world. The Yukata festival is pretty good too.

    My partner lived for 6 months in a 50+ year old tin apartment with no air conditioning and a toilet with no flush in Hiroshima. The heat in summer was horrific, and when I stayed there in August I would go to the nearby internet cafe during the middle of the day just to escape it. And there’s no escape at night either, it’s just hot continuously until September.

  34. Terangeree

    SG, the bars will have to wait ’til later, but I suspect they’re not as good as the bars in Kyoto where extraordinary things seem to happen to me (like finding myself drinking ’til sunrise with the cousin of a U.S. President).

    I actually went to Hiroshima this trip to see if I could get a couple of screws for my “new” (but really very old) Leica. Although I couldn’t find a camera shop, I managed to find a beautiful young tennis coach in a coffee shop.

    You’re somewhere on Kyushu, aren’t you? I have a couple of days free, I could pop over and meet you for a drink — after going to see Ponyo’s town again today, that is.

  35. Terangeree
  36. Paul Burns

    Thanks, PC. Much appreciated.
    Sounds like the TV serial is a total rewrite.

    sg @ 22,
    I know books rot the brain, imperil one’s immortal soul and cause one to doubt the existence of God and look kindly upon Karl Marx. That’s why I like ’em.

  37. sg

    they clearly rot the brain, Paul, and you’re the evidence. No-one who ever tried reading Capital ever looked fondly on Karl Marx!!!!

  38. Paul Burns

    sg @ 37,
    Indeed. But I started with The Communist Manifesto, and that was written for dummies. 🙂

  39. sg

    Is there a comic-book version?

  40. Paul Burns

    I’ve never seen one but I think there very well could be.
    There is a book called Karl Marx for Dummies, which, unfortunately, I didn’t discover until my third attempt at Das Kapital. Personally I prefer Engel’s Condition of the English Working Class. And I still haven’t ever finished Das Kapital. In the end I resorted to a book that discussed his philosophy of history in great detail, the name of which escapes me.
    Nor for that matter have I ever got right through Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Tried that 3 times too, so far.

  41. sg

    wow, you really don’t want to retain your intellectual faculties at all do you? Reading original sources? Whatever next!! Victorian chick lit? Surely cage-fighting is better on the grey matter…

    I think I read some quotes from that Engels book in A.N.Lee’s “The Victorians.” The quote was hilarious, an interview with a poor londoner who was sharing a single room with four other families and said something like “it was worse before, we had a fifth family camped in the middle of the room but now we’ve at least got some space to stand up.” That quote took on new resonance for me when I moved to London and saw the way a lot of migrants were living.

  42. Paul Burns

    Victorian chick lit? Examples please. I’m fascinated.

  43. Helen
  44. Paul Burns

    Thanks, Helen. seen that in the bookshops, I think. There was another one on boys, taught them how to put up tents and make campfires, apparently. Haven’t read that one either.