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Old 08-01-2016, 06:25 AM   #436
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I'm surprised there's no comment here yet about Sonia Kruger again having a terrible opinion.

She really needs to learn to just not.
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:49 AM   #437
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I'm surprised there's no comment here yet about Sonia Kruger again having a terrible opinion.

She really needs to learn to just not.
Well, I don't know if I'm up for commenting everytime someone says something fucked. This could be a side effect of me not participating in social media (beyond a nominal, rarely exercised account on FB that allows me to view certain work related pages).

I may comment when it's the prime minister, because that carries some residual gravitas (or ought), not to mention potential policy consequences. Sonia Kruger means nothing to me. Nothing.

Also, I suspect what you really mean is 'her media team really need to learn to just not', but they won't, because it, whatever it is, presumably is helping to build her personal brand and more puff pieces in the Woman's Weekly await about her struggles to bring up darling little (insert baby name in back seat here) on a mere (insert insane daytime-tv presenter salary here).
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:59 AM   #438
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I'm surprised there's no comment here yet about Sonia Kruger again having a terrible opinion.

She really needs to learn to just not.
I was going to say she's filling the position of well known media figure who is also indirectly a crypto-fascist. A bit of hyperbole, yes, but you can just imagine she's a darling of Australian white supremacists now.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:31 AM   #439
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She's got the look anyhow.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:38 AM   #440
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Also, I suspect what you really mean is 'her media team really need to learn to just not', but they won't, because it, whatever it is, presumably is helping to build her personal brand and more puff pieces in the Woman's Weekly await about her struggles to bring up darling little (insert baby name in back seat here) on a mere (insert insane daytime-tv presenter salary here).
I'd love to be in on that meeting where somebody says "well, Sonia's profile isn't bad, mums wiping their kids' arses before they go to school all know who she is and she's had a few good puff pieces published about her lately, but you know what she really needs? Some serious racism and homophobia. That'll pack 'em in!"

Problem is, it's probably true, the last sentence anyway.

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I was going to say she's filling the position of well known media figure who is also indirectly a crypto-fascist. A bit of hyperbole, yes, but you can just imagine she's a darling of Australian white supremacists now.
One Nation voters keep getting more empowered by commercial telly.

Speaking of which, HEY WESTERN AUSTRALIA, FUCK YOU.

Second state to produce Senate results, and what do you know, they give us a One Nation MP. Thank god they also sent 4 ALP and 2 Green to Canberra, but how fucking repugnant. The One Nation lead candidate is even a crook with pending charges - but if they render him ineligible, the position simply passes to the next on the party list.

At least Tassie fell short of electing a One Nation MP by 141 votes.

I'm a bit worried what NSW is going to spit out for its last couple of seats... fucker Leyonhjelm may be re-elected, or worse we could get the bloody CDP (Fred Nile's mob).
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 08-01-2016, 07:45 AM   #441
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Sonia's profile isn't bad, but it could be worse, right? Let's do that.

My thoughts, such as they are, on all these events here, in America, elsewhere, a little more nuanced than some others perhaps. Right now, all the sort of stuff Bernie Sanders was campaigning about, all the sort of stuff that got Jeremy Corbyn into the British Labour leadership chair, all the slow rolling disasters that are the EU, all of it is unresolved business. The far right is having a field day, but this is a battle for the souls and minds and hearts of people everywhere. If the centre left, or whatever passes for it, cannot offer something compelling, there will be more Trumps, there will be more Nigel Farages, there will be more Le Pens and Hansons and Wilders. This is business that will not go away.

You want my honest opinion? We're lucky One Nation is as bad as it gets, so far, in parliament at least. Because what passes for the centre left here is lacklustre at best, and we are cruising on fumes of residual luck.

The point is not that, in the best of all possible worlds, racists are suddenly going to magically become not-racists, or any such nonsense; but that this stuff is bubbling up in most virulent and damaging form amid a climate of (heavily media-massaged) widespread fear and uncertainty. And forty years and counting into an era where even the proverbial drover's dog can see that the machinery of state responds little, if at all, to popular concerns. It's a heady stew, to be sure!

So yeah, whatever, Sonia Kruger, useful idiot, take a bow.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:58 AM   #442
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The next year or so could be interesting in any event, because I don't consider that we have a government in any meaningful sense. Lame duck prime minister, ostensible double dissolution trigger likely to remain just as dead as day-old horseshit, remaining policy agenda (insert underpants gnomes here?)...
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:35 AM   #443
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Sonia's profile isn't bad, but it could be worse, right? Let's do that.

My thoughts, such as they are, on all these events here, in America, elsewhere, a little more nuanced than some others perhaps. Right now, all the sort of stuff Bernie Sanders was campaigning about, all the sort of stuff that got Jeremy Corbyn into the British Labour leadership chair, all the slow rolling disasters that are the EU, all of it is unresolved business. The far right is having a field day, but this is a battle for the souls and minds and hearts of people everywhere. If the centre left, or whatever passes for it, cannot offer something compelling, there will be more Trumps, there will be more Nigel Farages, there will be more Le Pens and Hansons and Wilders. This is business that will not go away.

You want my honest opinion? We're lucky One Nation is as bad as it gets, so far, in parliament at least. Because what passes for the centre left here is lacklustre at best, and we are cruising on fumes of residual luck.

The point is not that, in the best of all possible worlds, racists are suddenly going to magically become not-racists, or any such nonsense; but that this stuff is bubbling up in most virulent and damaging form amid a climate of (heavily media-massaged) widespread fear and uncertainty. And forty years and counting into an era where even the proverbial drover's dog can see that the machinery of state responds little, if at all, to popular concerns. It's a heady stew, to be sure!

So yeah, whatever, Sonia Kruger, useful idiot, take a bow.
Good thoughts.

What I find genuinely surprising in the Australian context is the prevalence of such strongly-held fear and loathing. It makes more sense overseas, where economies really are struggling and where the supposed liberal peace of the nineties has gone up in smoke. Australia? By almost any measure we have got it extraordinarily good - I need not list the examples for the crowd we've got here, you guys know the theme as well as I do.

The media has obviously played a role, especially as struggle and terror from overseas are more quickly and more graphically broadcast than ever before (the rate of terrorist attacks is actually down on the twentieth century, but of course back then a newspaper or nightly bulletin had more limited space, footage was not as good, and it arrived slower). But it's too simple an explanation, I think. Many of the reasons people cite for their fear and uncertainty are local, not international, even if international events get overlaid onto some prejudices.

I also really hate the line some people throw around about "we just need a good war". Bullshit. The narrative that after a war a society is more open to progressive change doesn't really hold up. From an Australian perspective, WWI and its aftermath simply gave us the Great Depression. WWII may have led to Australia's boldest experiment, as Stuart Macintyre called the Curtin/Chifley era reforms, but the ALP lost an essential referendum and then an election, leading to the longest conservative government in our history. These two supposed examples of the politically purifying values of war actually resulted in calamity for the left and its base.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic. If the left wants to remain relevant, I think it needs to prosecute two major themes. First is addressing the power (real or perceived) of major multinational corporations. There won't be much trust in the system until a government takes a serious stand against tax loopholes and the like, so that there is an effective counter to the narrative that politicians are legislating for companies rather than people. Second is meaningful environmental/climate policy with a positive vision for the future; not one that says "we're all fucked unless we do X, Y, Z" but one that says "we're going to have a nice, green country for centuries to come with X, Y, Z; one you will enjoy living in, one with exciting new jobs for your kids that will leave you stunned by how far we've come". The obsession on the green left (note lower case) with sharing gloomy data may provide stimulation for the base to redouble its activism but it doesn't offer a platform and if anything it scares off the general public. Fucking tailor your message for your market, people.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 08-01-2016, 09:55 AM   #444
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Good thoughts.

What I find genuinely surprising in the Australian context is the prevalence of such strongly-held fear and loathing. It makes more sense overseas, where economies really are struggling and where the supposed liberal peace of the nineties has gone up in smoke. Australia? By almost any measure we have got it extraordinarily good - I need not list the examples for the crowd we've got here, you guys know the theme as well as I do.
I think you can thank the internet and the world of cultural memes for that. Australia is relatively quiet, but just as the progressives or centrists or leftists get their talking points from a global pool, so do the hard right. You can draw a straight line between what's going on in Europe and what Andrew Bolt, Pauline Hanson et al pick up on their radars. Them or a thousand and one nobodies on Facebook.

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The media has obviously played a role, especially as struggle and terror from overseas are more quickly and more graphically broadcast than ever before (the rate of terrorist attacks is actually down on the twentieth century, but of course back then a newspaper or nightly bulletin had more limited space, footage was not as good, and it arrived slower). But it's too simple an explanation, I think. Many of the reasons people cite for their fear and uncertainty are local, not international, even if international events get overlaid onto some prejudices.
Yes, yes they are local, ultimately. All the rest is yeast, or whatever.

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I also really hate the line some people throw around about "we just need a good war". Bullshit. The narrative that after a war a society is more open to progressive change doesn't really hold up. From an Australian perspective, WWI and its aftermath simply gave us the Great Depression. WWII may have led to Australia's boldest experiment, as Stuart Macintyre called the Curtin/Chifley era reforms, but the ALP lost an essential referendum and then an election, leading to the longest conservative government in our history. These two supposed examples of the politically purifying values of war actually resulted in calamity for the left and its base.
Wars are unpredictable beasts by their nature. The first world war was essentially the precondition for the second world war. Globally (not merely talking of Australia) the reconstruction years of the fifties and sixties may have been a high-water mark in some places for a form of social democracy - one I still wish to defend with my vote, however grimly - but it was also the era of the Red menace and the crushing of any real left inside the political mainstream.

Wars are bad news. Also, war against who? Huh? Who? Who is supposed to be the big bad here? China? Russia? Barely on the radar (of the general public at least). It's all ISIS this and ISIS that. ISIS is a failed state within the territory of an Iraq that was dismantled by a US coalition for loot and plunder. Syria is in chaos in part due to a disastrous drought beginning 2011 or so, and has fallen partly into the orbit of that same clusterfuck.

War on George W. Bush, that I could get on board with. Life in solitary.


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Anyway, I'm getting off topic. If the left wants to remain relevant, I think it needs to prosecute two major themes. First is addressing the power (real or perceived) of major multinational corporations. There won't be much trust in the system until a government takes a serious stand against tax loopholes and the like, so that there is an effective counter to the narrative that politicians are legislating for companies rather than people. Second is meaningful environmental/climate policy with a positive vision for the future; not one that says "we're all fucked unless we do X, Y, Z" but one that says "we're going to have a nice, green country for centuries to come with X, Y, Z; one you will enjoy living in, one with exciting new jobs for your kids that will leave you stunned by how far we've come". The obsession on the green left (note lower case) with sharing gloomy data may provide stimulation for the base to redouble its activism but it doesn't offer a platform and if anything it scares off the general public. Fucking tailor your message for your market, people.
Agreed on most of that. The hard green left especially should not be let near any sharp toys; they are millenarists, and even if justified in part by present data, represent no way forward. There is a place for Jeremiah; but not on the government benches, I fear.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:30 AM   #445
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Thoughts on census criticism?
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:31 AM   #446
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What census criticism? Come on mate, some context.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:06 AM   #447
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Thoughts on census criticism?
The usual boring hyper-privacy advocates seem to have found a louder megaphone.

Or maybe it's just that I'm a historian who's looking at this census through a lens of "fuck me I wish we had this sort of data for 1853" and there are legitimate concerns. But I love a good form to fill out. Give me all the forms. I'll probably get some nice beer to properly enjoy census evening.

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I think you can thank the internet and the world of cultural memes for that. Australia is relatively quiet, but just as the progressives or centrists or leftists get their talking points from a global pool, so do the hard right. You can draw a straight line between what's going on in Europe and what Andrew Bolt, Pauline Hanson et al pick up on their radars. Them or a thousand and one nobodies on Facebook.
Yep. With the scope of global communications now and the ubiquity of so many of the cultural touchstones we take for granted, it's very easy to equate what is happening in somewhere on the other side of the world with your own backyard. It's true of everyone. It's just a shame we have a dull media that fails to provide any sense of proportion, but that sort of thing doesn't shift units or boost ratings. Not to drag this wildly off topic, but it's why a public broadcaster is so essential to a democracy. It's rather horrifying when you realise how much investigative journalism or critical analysis would simply never happen if the only criterion were a commercial imperative.

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Wars are unpredictable beasts by their nature. The first world war was essentially the precondition for the second world war. Globally (not merely talking of Australia) the reconstruction years of the fifties and sixties may have been a high-water mark in some places for a form of social democracy - one I still wish to defend with my vote, however grimly - but it was also the era of the Red menace and the crushing of any real left inside the political mainstream.
It's interesting how much we associate the period from 1945 to the mid-seventies with a kind of international social democratic consensus when in Australia it was not really that at all. Oh, sure, we were protectionist, we followed some international trends, and we lived in the legacy of the Curtin/Chifley years with a conservative government not as severely over-run by (to twist a current phrase) people who wanted to destroy the joint. But the fifties in Australia was a very conservative and bleak time culturally where the far left was systematically pushed out of any mainstream political narrative and any person who rocked the boat attracted more negative attention than they should have reasonably had to tolerate.

It's funny, though - many people who want to peddle this myth of a post-WWII golden age are the same people who also view Whitlam as representing a sudden and dramatic rupture with a stiflingly conformist era. You can't have both!
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 08-02-2016, 11:54 PM   #448
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Last time we had a census - I guess it was last time, feels longer - my elderly then-neighbour got me to read her all the questions and she'd answer them and I'd fill them out, cause she was intimidated by forms. I got a glass of port out of it. I hate port, but it was a nice gesture.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:01 AM   #449
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Port is a drink of the gods and I just lost respect for you.

...well, except for that shit that comes in fifty-bajillion litre casks that sad old winos drink. Vile.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 08-03-2016, 03:40 AM   #450
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It's just too sickly sweet for my liking.
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