Archives: June 2005

(For now, anyway):

Heard in a workplace a few days ago.

Me: I didn’t see last Saturday’s overtime in my payslip. Is it supposed to go in the next one, or do you reckon I should ask about it?

Smug Workmate who Sneers at Union Members and Boasts of her Individual Workplace Agreement Based on Her Superior Skills: Well, I wouldn’t have a clue. I don’t get paid overtime.

Yes, that’s right: Smug Workmate WSATMABOHIWABOHSS worked for free on a Saturday.

And they think unions are stupid.

Pardon me.

As you can also tell from the above, work has been full-on, so I haven’t been blogging. Back soon.

21 Jun 2005, Comments (0)

You can’t make this stuff up

Author: Helen

Spotted by an eagle eye at a LAN Downunder.

Jayant Patel starting a Quick-E-Mart?

(Here’s the council minutes)

Oh OK, it’s Quick Mart, but near enough.

And OK, he only left Australia last April. Perhaps he knew his days were numbered and was, y’know, going on little business trips to set up a little business for himself.

Who needs the Quick E Mart?
The floors are sticky mart
Let’s hurl a bricky mart,
Who needs the Quick E Mart?… Iiiiii dooooooo

…Dear God, what’s in that squishee?….

15 Jun 2005, Comments (0)

Happy Bloomsday

Author: Helen


For all of us who gave up, drubbing our lips in frustration years ago, here it is!

Ulysses for Dummies!!

(Via Boynton, naturally.)

13 Jun 2005, Comments (0)

Part of the Problem? (Guest post)

Author: Helen

My first guest post on the Cast Iron Balcony.

Ben Scambary is a doctoral student at the Centre of Aboriginal Policy Research at ANU. He’s working on a longer article for publication.

A note on comments: People commenting here have been plagued by a “Questionable Content” error. the only cure I have been able to find is to cut out ellipses “…”. But there other causes I haven’t been able to figure out yet.


Part of the Problem?

John Cleary has ìno difficulty with the right of indigenous [sic] Australians to own their own landî, however his glib critique of the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976, and Land Councils fails to recognize the immense historical difficulties in attaining such ownership in the NT. Indeed he also fails to recognize the efforts of NT Land Councils in promoting of economic development through an array of innovative land management programs, and agreements with resource developers; activities undertaken in the absence of adequate funding from the Federal Government. He also fails to recognize the extensive linkages between Land Councils, the Northern Territory government, and local government structures in pursuing economic development on Aboriginal Land.

Clearyís alarming lack of understanding of the functions of the Act highlights the peril of ëmainstreamingí. He talks of poor education, poor governance structures, welfare dependency, alcohol abuse, high mortality rates, and lack of services in relation to Tiwi Island communities. Under the ALRA, NT Land Councils do not have a charter in any of these areas, and are largely powerless to seek redress. The poor outcomes he highlights are already the responsibility of State and Federal Governments, who have historically abrogated their responsibilities in the provision of basic services to remote Indigenous communities.

The research that Cleary preempts in relation to funding for Indigenous service delivery has already been undertaken. John Taylor and Owen Stanleyís recent work in relation to Port Keats has highlighted the gross under funding of services in remote NT communities, and has exploded the myth that current funding levels are adequate. The research also indicated that there is a looming crisis of disadvantage with increasing Indigenous population, decreasing regional economies, and simply a lack of government services and resources to address the issues in remote Australia.

Cleary criticizes the role of ìhighly paid non-indigenous [sic] managersî, but fails to declare that he is the outgoing CEO of the Tiwi Island Regional Authority, which might place him firmly within that category. Having held such a position he should know that the introduction of ëmainstreamingí and the imminent amendment of the ALRA will not rectify the problems of ëlayers of governanceí and the administration of remote Indigenous people from ëcity officesí. Rather these will be exacerbated. Similarly he should be aware that his off-the-cuff reforms will never be attained until the Federal Government lifts its veil of ignorance on Indigenous issues and starts to properly resource service delivery in remote Australia.

9 Jun 2005, Comments (0)

More ratbags with horses

Author: Helen

This is a dead-set public service.

I read Andrew Bolt’s online forum, so you don’t have to!

No, that’s not entirely accurate. I have read Bolt’s forum and while it was a good laugh once or twice, I don’t have that much time to waste.

One of its features is the number of crawling, sycophantic posts from various Bolt supporters. You know the kind of thing, they all read like “…… publishing facts rather than …fictitious rhetoric he is used to reading. … Keep up the great work. Adam.” And stuff along those lines.

But my eye fell on an especially prostrate post from a young gel obviously smitten by Andrew (Must do something about that eye-falling-out-on-things problem sometime.)

From: Riding

Comment: Good Evening, Have you thought about changing the name from your Forum to the Andrew Bolt Soapbox? It’s everybody’s chance at 15 lines of infamy. Anyway, to climb up there for my own self…I was thinking about how the the left got riled after the last election over the Australian majority choosing low interest rates over more foreign aid, mandatory detention of illegal immigrants over open borders to refugees and disincentives for dole bludgers to stay out of work over easing the poverty of the long-term unemployed. I couldn’t help thinking that we don’t have Howard’s Australia, but Australia’s Howard. It seems like the whole world has changed since I wrote to you a while ago when I was on the Student Union. Now I’m out of the leftist echo-room, which it absolutely is, and thinking of what the next step would be if the progressive left changes ever came to pass and it’s making more sense to be a bit conservative. But I still think that reading your work is like watching Muralidaran bowl his doosra. It’s a very unique spin and love it or hate it, it’s a mind-boggling pleasure and you can’t look away. I’d be very interested in knowing if you’ve turned your hand to poetry at any point. Be well .

Andrew replies: I grew out of poetry -or it spat me out – before I turned 20, although some publisher wrote to me only a couple of weeks ago to threaten me with republishing one of my pieces. The only poetry I now read for pleasure is the work of the Tang dynasty poets, such as Wang Wei.

Well, wang something, anyway.

Don’t you love the “be well”?

Now who have we heard of who is a keen equestrienne, used to be one of the editors of Farrago, and thinks Andrew Bolt is a bit of all right? or is someone out there having a lend?

OK, then I’ll begin.

See the horsies.
See the pretty, pretty horsies!


The pretty horsies have come to town to protest against no more cows in the Alpine national park.
See the cattle farmer.
The cattle farmer pays $5.50 a head per season to have cattle in the national park.
That is very, very cheap.
The cattle farmer is very sad that now he will have to pay what the other farmers pay.

See the Greenie.
The Greenie says cows damage the environ-ment in the national park.
Naughty, naughty Greenie!
Greenie is killing the Man from Snowy River!!
Do you know who the Man from Snowy River was, children?
The MFSR was a man who rode a horsie.
He rode a horsie very, very fast.
He didn’t actually have any cows.
The cattle farmers say if we don’t have cows in the alps any more, no one will ever ride a horsie very, very fast.

See the bog.
See the alpine bog.
Bogs are boring! Who cares about bogs?
See the hoofprints in the alpine bog.
The alpine bog used to be like a big sponge.
A sponge just like the one you have in the bath!
Water ran through the sponge down to the rivers.
Pretty, fresh river!
See the river.
The river is full of silt.
The alpine bog is all com-pac-ted with hoof prints.

See the scientist.
Boring scientist!
He’s not cute, he doesn’t ride a horse, and he doesn’t wear a drizabone!
See the scientist waving independent studies showing that Alpine Grazing doesnÌt reduce Blazing and in fact it is degrading the environ-ment!
Well, who would ever want to make a movie about someone like that?

See the cele-bri-ty.
See the celebrity join the protesters with their pretty horsies.
That’s funny, other celebrities get laughed at when they join protesters!
And usually the pretty horsies would be stomping on the protesters.
Squish, squish, squish!
Repeat after me, children:
Celebrity in anti nuclear protest, bad.
Celebrity in protest against national park, good.

See the office worker.
See the office worker looking at all the pretty horsies.
He wishes he could afford a pretty horse like that!
The office worker doesn’t know his taxes are helping to support the pretty horsies.
That’s because the cows only cost $5.50.
Per head per season.
And his taxes pay for cleaning up after them.

4 Jun 2005, Comments (0)

The Music meme

Author: Helen

A gentle reader gently complains…
please blog something soon. I don’t care what, just anything. I visit your site
almost daily and that image of John Howard in underpants is getting too
much to bear!

Yes, it’s getting to me too. The music meme was handed to me by the Daily Flute


Total volume of music on your computer:

Only 20.2 Mb or so. Sad, isn’t it?

The last album you purchased was:

Purchased for me: Beck, Guero. A little bloody bottler! Favourite song: Girl

Purchased by me: Nick Cave, Abbatoir Blues / Lyre of Orpheus double album. Bloggers I read were all raving about it, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I had to buy it, anyway, for Breathless.

Song playing right now

R.E.M, Leaving New York. I love iTunes – I can buy a CD for my nephew for Christmas and put it on my iTunes before I wrap it. Excellent! This album isn’t up to some of their other stuff, but I don’t mind it at all.

Seven songs youíve been listening to a lot recently, from several genres:

*Beck, Girl (of course)

*The Cox Family, I am Weary, from the O Brother, Where art Thou soundtrack. I’ve been doing it on the gee-tar with my young daughter on lead vocal, me on lower harmony. Well, that’s the theory, but I can’t sell her on the idea of actual music practice. She’s all, “But we already did it twice!”
*Mrs Wainwright, Oh Louie my Louie. A local artist. A B-side of a 4 track EP. The picture above is a still from their video.

*Cornershop, Lessons learned from Rocky I to Rocky III, from the Handcream for a Generation album. This is an old one, but I keep on coming back to it. It’s the quintesentially perfect pop song. I’m a special sucker for anything with ‘ooh, ooh” backing vocals.

*Jah Wobble, Becoming more like God from the Invaders of the Heart album. Also old. I got a Jah Wobble craving recently because of having listened to him in the 80s. This stuff is more recent – less dubby, more World-y (or Bollywoody), but that’s OK. He’s an old hippy, but good anyway. I’m a sucker for up-front bass lines.

*Greenday, Boulevarde of Broken Dreams. I can explain… really. It’s that gee-tar thing again. It’s such an archetypal Teen Angst song, I thought it could do with a new version featuring untidy rooms and parents.

*The seventh song will be any of several songs by Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Gram Parsons or similar.

That should show you we are nothing if not eclectic. We may only have 20.2 Mb but our itunes contain multitudes.

And all of these will change at any given moment.

Passing the baton to…

I really can’t think of anyone in the (Australian) blogosphere who hasn’t got this already. I’m an incorrigible breaker of chain letters. So sue me.