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Saturday, September 13, 2003

TO THE GUY OVER THE ROAD LOUDLY POWER-WASHING HIS DRIVEWAY: Stop giving me dirty looks, I'll play Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr.'s duet of "That Old Wheel" with my front door open as many times as I like, thank you.
FUNNY OF THE DAY: Damn good thing I filed my immigration papers before they implemented this idea.
R.I.P., JOHNNY: Sad, but not unexpected, news this morning that Johnny Cash passed away. Like a lot of people, I guess, Cash was my first introduction to proper American country music, listening to a greatest hits album tooling around Washington with hangovers in a convertible singing along to "Sunday Morning Coming Down". In the years since, I've acquired a bunch of his other albums, from the scratchy old "Live Broadcast" to the dark "American IV".

And you can bet they're all getting a workout today.

Friday, September 12, 2003

RON JEREMY DEMOLITIONS: This is one of the funniest spam subject lines I've seen in a while, though I think Sam & Caz are missing some of the great commercial/fun-at-parties potential of this offer, especially in renovations-obsessed Oz.
BY THE WAY, why is everyone acting like the new Osama tapes are genuine, when they only show him walking around some rocks while an audio track of his tape (he is not seen speaking) plays? Voices are the easiest thing to fake, so why is everybody credulous of what is very likely some old terrorist b-roll?
MEANWHILE, THE SYDNEY MORNING-HERALD is, of course, not above playing the equivalency game, sticking the two stories "We will never give up, says Bush" and "And taped bin Laden promises the same" next to one another on their website -- because, you know, Bush, bin Laden, they're just a coupla guys who've got a beef with each other, and God forbid we be seen to be taking a side...

Thursday, September 11, 2003

PURPLE AMERICAN FURY: If you're looking for something to read today, you could do a lot worse than Morrow pere's essay for Time two years ago, The Case For Rage and Retribution.
MORAL EQUIVALENCE WATCH! Well, we're two years down the track since September 11; I won't even bother trying to come up with some sort of reflection on the topic except to say that I am absolutely appalled at the bad taste and moral equivalence of this New York Times editorial, "The Other Sept. 11".

You see, we may be pissed off about what happened two years ago, the Times will have us know but, hey, we're all guilty:
Death came from the skies. A building — a symbol of the nation — collapsed in flames in an act of terror that would lead to the deaths of 3,000 people. It was Sept. 11.

But the year was 1973, the building Chile's White House, La Moneda, and the event a coup staged by Gen. Augusto Pinochet...

In the United States, Sept. 11 will forever be a day to remember our victims of terrorism. Yet our nation's hands have not always been clean, and it is important to recall Chile's Sept. 11, too.
There you have, in a nutshell, the entire Times-y mentality on the topic of September 11: No matter what happens to the United States, don't dare call it anything as simplistic as plain old evil, and by all means, trot out as much implied Rube Goldberg logic to suggest that America had it coming.

Utterly disgraceful.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

BAD NEWS FROM THE MID-EAST, with Islamist psychopaths killing at least ten in a pair of suicide bombings in Israel. One of the bombs went off at a bus stop crowded with soldiers; the other in a café on a street crowded with restaurants and shops.

Before anyone starts rambling on about the "cycle of violence", imagine a trendy street in your hometown, and then imagine if every time you went there for dinner or drinks, you had a reasonable chance of getting blown up by someone who hates you for what you are. Then think about what you would expect your government to do about it, and the sort of courage it takes for Israelis to maintain the only vibrant civil society in an otherwise socially fetid part of the world.
ANYONE WHO'S SPENT SOME TIME IN AUSTRALIA knows that the best way to fire up an Aussie on a project is to tell him he hasn't a hope in hell of completing it. Thus, in an attempt to fire up Philip Adams and his lot, who have clearly been phoning it in lately, John Howard has declared victory in the kultcha wars:
The Prime Minister, John Howard, has effectively declared victory in the so-called culture wars over the past treatment of Aborigines, saying that "people no longer ask me for an apology".

He also believes more recognition should be given to the role of white settlers in the development of Australia and its culture.

However, Mr Howard stressed yesterday, in a debate in his government's partyroom, that special recognition should be reserved for traditional indigenous land-owners.

In making the remarks, Mr Howard issued a provocative, yet probably sincere, message to his predecessor, Paul Keating: "It has been more than seven years. I hope you get over it soon."
Expect furious shrieking from Marxo Kingston, Teary Dunlop, et al within hours!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

MOVING WITHOUT MOVING: Sasha Castel writes to let me know her blog can be reached here, which is the same place it always was, just with a different address. Kind of like the Post Office insisting that the house on the corner is officially on the perpendicular side street instead of the big, main road.

Drop in, and adjust links accordingly.

And for what it's worth, my favorite late-night drunk food has always been Papaya King hot dogs when I'm back in New York, or eggs at El Tipico in Washington's Adams-Morgan. I'm not sure if I've ever been trashed enough to have one of these "pie floaters" Sasha refers to, but it sounds awfully dirty - does one give or receive such an item?
CARR-MUNISM! Because pitting the peasantry against the bourgeoisie has historically had such great results, New South Wales is considering retooling the way passengers pay for rides on the local, decrepit bus and train system:
The blueprint to fix NSW's transport network targets Sydney's better-off commuters by proposing to strip away heavy fare subsidies which, it argues, favour them...

Poorer travellers bought more single-fare tickets, so "ending the heavy discounting of the periodical and multi-trip tickets" could improve equity.
Ah, right. So I guess I shouldn't have paid any less today for buying a three-liter jug of milk instead of a one-liter jug. Hey, I probably shoulda paid more! After all, with all those big freelance writer dollars pouring in, I can afford it!

But wait a second...aren't we supposed to be all green and car-hating and singing a re-written cover version of the Ramones hit ("I Wanna Sign Kyoto!") in Bob Carr's NSW?
But the [author of the proposed changes] believes commuters will not rush to their cars if fares rise - and says Sydney commuters enjoy relatively cheap fares by world standards.
If anyone needs me, I'll just be over here, eating cake.

Monday, September 08, 2003

APOLOGIES FOR THE LIGHT POSTING, (and shuddup all you "suuuuuure it'll be daily" skeptics) -- a client hit me Thursday with a ton of work that needs doing by tonight.

Waxing wroth by the Morrow to resume on the morrow, so to speak.

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