Categories: Uncategorized

As tumbleweeds continue to blow through this here blog as a result of multiple projects elsewhere, I thought I’d throw up links to the last four DUFCs which I missed.

Down Under Feminists Carnival
DUFC #58, hosted by wom*news (UQ wom*n’s collective)
DUFC #59, hosted by Rebecca of Opinions @
DUFC #60, hosted by Kim of News with Nipples
DUFC #61, hosted by hosted by Eddy at Maybe it means nothing

Submissions to DUFC must be posts of feminist interest by writers from Australia, New Zealand (and, I’m assuming, wherever feminists lurk in the rest of the Pacific downunder) that were published in the relevant month.

The next edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival is planned for 5 July, 2013, hosted by Mary at Hoyden About Town. Submissions to mary-carnival [at] puzzling [dot] org for those who can’t access the blogcarnival submissions form here. The Carnival homepage is linked to the image above.

This makes me sad. Noni Hazlehurst was a regular morning companion when our daughter was little – our favourite Play School presenter. She always seemed like a good sort, intelligent, not ditzy like the people on Hi-5. I know she has to move on; I don’t want to typecast her as a children’s presenter forever or anything like that. I’m sad because a loved and trusted actor is lending her wit and warmth and credibility to a play which simply recycles every tired cliche in the wingnut climate denial playbook.

I guess it’s futile to complain about trolling in the context of theatre. Theatre is ipso facto trolling; that’s its job, to present ideas in a dramatic way to get people talking over their pinot noir at interval – I get it, that’s why it’s called drama. But this seems more trollish than most.

Here’s Hazlehurst in her own words:

Hazlehurst says she’s tired of the “playground politics” that surrounds the climate-change debate, which is one of the reasons why she chose the role of the fast-thinking, plain-talking Cassell in The Heretic.

So, what are these “playground politics”? Is it the way in which the ABC and Fairfax are continually encouraging climate scientists and climate change deniers to share the sandbox equally, as if their claims have equal weight? The way in which rightwing columnists jeer like eight-year-olds at the scientific community with epithets like “warmenist”? What?

“In the increasingly divisive political climate, she [Cassell] doesn’t lie down but stands up for what she believes, which are the scientific facts,” Hazlehurst says. She admires the play’s refusal to paint issues — or people — in black and white.

Oh, really. So the playwright, Bean, is merely refusing to paint issues or people in black and white? Let’s have a look. The hero, Diane Cassell, is a “feisty” university lecturer who is suffering harassment at work – Just like Galileo! – because she has discovered that sea levels aren’t rising and she refuses to recant. (A martyr!) She “stares down death threats”, even though recent events have shown that it’s the climate scientists who are more likely to cop the death threats.

She also drives a gas-guzzling Jaguar XJ8 and proclaims that “Green” is the new religion for our “narcissistic” age…”You’re a denier, right?” asks one character…”I’m agnostic on anthropogenic global warming,” Cassell retorts, “but if you can prove to me there’s a God I’ll become a nun quicker than you can say ‘lesbian convent orgy’.

O Hilarious.

Cassell’s daughter is an anorexic who appears to have no intellectual credibility, and the student Ben, an environmentalist, is “smart but loopy”. The Wikipedia synopsis, above, shows that all or nearly all of the climate change-supporting characters are given disordered behaviour to perform to show what flakes they are compared to the “objective” Cassell. Oh, and of course, Cassell’s boss, Kevin, is out to suppress Diane’s findings (Galileo!) because he’s trying to get a research grant…

The characters may not be “black and white”, but it seems the climate change deniers are portrayed in more attractive colours, and green is portrayed as silly, irrational, wrong. Scientific facts my arse; the description of this play reads like a game of Global Warming Sceptic Bingo. I’m sure you could fill in most of the squares just with this review and the Wikipedia entry.

I find it particularly telling that the playwright, Richard Bean, has to invent an organisation to send death threats to Diane – the “Sacred Earth Militia” – whereas if he’d been describing the real world, of course, climate change scientists are being threatened by real people. And there are no shortage of organisations devoted to climate change denial.

The fact that Andrew Bolt thinks this play is “turning a climate sceptic from a pariah to a hero” should be enough to trip your bullshit detector. “Maybe we should book out the theatre,” he writes. that’s not exactly an inducement to go – imagine a theatre packed with Bolta’s commenters. How does an icon like Hazlehurst end up in such company? Where is the Noni who defended Cate Blanchett when she was pilloried because of her carbon ad?

I look in vain in that article I first linked to to find a coherent story in Hazlehurst’s response to the play. Let’s try again.

“Cassell is not a saint but has strengths and weaknesses [and] all of the characters have a lot in common. What’s at the heart of the play is the way that the connectedness between humans is all we have,” Hazlehurst says.

That’s a lovely sentiment, but I don’t see what it has to do with the fact that it’s clearly denialist pabulum, straight up. The least harm it can do is simply to reinforce the prejudices of a mostly well-off and conservative audience.
DISCLAIMER: For those who will want to jump in with “writing about a play I haven’t seen”: No, I won’t be seeing The Heretic, because I can’t afford MTC tickets at the moment. I’m responding to the ideas put forward in the quoted article, as well as other reviews online, some of which I’ve linked. The overwhelming evidence of these is that The Heretic presents climate change denial in a favourable light and that the tropes described above are in evidence. If you have seen the play, you’re welcome to put forward any evidence that this isn’t so.

On Thursday, Liberal senator David Johnston (WA) was on PM giving his hearty approval of budget cuts to Defence.

“It’s time we stopped allocating so much of taxpayers’ money to the military and started spending a bit more on the kind of infrastructure that would make our society worth defending. The transition to renewable energy and combating climate change is our most pressing challenge right now, not invasion by some unnamed menace or joining the latest Boy’s Own Adventure dreamed up by the US.”

Ha ha, did you believe that? I joke, of course! He actually complained quite a lot and said it was “a slap in the face for Defence”. Then he said

…(A)t a time when Australia’s maritime security – as we all know with the boat people scenario, and as we all know with oil and gas exports, coal exports and minerals exports – is utterly dependent upon maritime security.


You’re saying that if we processed asylum seeker claims with refugees living in the community, instead of adopting ever more bizarre and expensive offshore “solutions”, and stopped selling dirty brown coal to China, and didn’t sell uranium to India, we wouldn’t need to spend so much on Defence as well?


13 Nov 2011, Comments (3)


Author: Helen

[by tigtog]

Just a temporary post to check things. If you’ve just come over to check things out following a mailing list request, could you please briefly note in comments whether the domain URL did what it was supposed to (showed you the homepage) or whether it sent you to an older post instead?

No, I can’t imagine why I would have had that as my earworm for the last couple of days, can you?

The Cast Iron Balcony is undergoing renovation. Although cast iron is likely to figure prominently in the future, the old lace in the header has been biffed off the Balcony and taken away in a skip to restore a nice old Victorian somewhere else. At the moment I’m using the generic template – think of it as one of those house renovations where all the studs and frames are exposed for a while with a tarp hastily tied around some bits of it.

The old look was just getting a bit beige for me. Any cast iron lacework images featuring colour and rust would be greatly appreciated if anyone has any. I’ll be doing the redesign when I get around to it – and as anyone who knows Australian amateur renovators would know, that could be a while!

4 Sep 2009, Comments (2)

Friday Earworm: Pete Murray

Author: Helen

The boychild introduced me to this singer. I’d heard of Neil Murray, but not Pete Murray.

I can’t work out whether this one is my favourite, or this:

I love the way the rhythm section flies in the chorus.

That natural voice, sitting pretty in the natural range, with a bit of breath, no meslisma and pyrotechnics: Idols please note.

8 Aug 2009, Comments (9)

My Pink Half of the Drainpipe

Author: Helen

Just for the sheer hell of it.

This is about SETTING BOUNDARIES. People, take from this what you will.

One of the scary things about getting older is watching other people, who used to be younger and groovier than yourself, age and settle into the sclerotic patterns of unexamined privilege and rightwing attitudes.

In the 90s, as a thirtysomething, I used to listen admiringly to Helen vocalising volubly on 3-RRR Triple J with Mikey Robins. You might have noticed I have a weakness for people who write hilarious, OTT rants full of subordinate clauses, tangents, abstruse words and the occasional runon sentence – Twisty and Tiger Beatdown, Elizabeth Farrelly sometimes. That’s a clumsy attempt to describe what I liked about Helen on the radio. As a thirtysomething in the 90s, I heard her as the voice of younger and hipper people, as well.

So who took away that Helen and replaced her with Christina Hoff Sommers?

I respect Helen’s childfree status – but she doesn’t, it seems, respect others. And all that boilerplate anti-Greens shit? “Hippies”/naive/”ancient-grains”/”patchouli” – it’s a wonder there’s no reference to hemp or volvos there, but you get the incredibly original and edgy jokey references that have never been made before, don’t you?

And the idea that she once voted Green because she was perimenopausal, and therefore unable to make a rational decision, is really special. Of course, that could be taken to mean that childfree women are equally unfit for Parliament because they’re all stark raving bonkers once they reach the median age for the MPs there. That just explains why no-one should employ a woman over forty to do anything, anywhere. Good one Helen! Seems there’s really no life stage in which we can expect to share in the democratic process!

Seems the spirit of backlash antifeminism has claimed another writing soul. And it seems in the MSM as it is today, that kind of writing is well rewarded. The punters love it – so maybe Razer has just made a rational decision, despite the dreaded perimenopause. It’s sad for us fans, though.

First time I’ve ever been scolded for not being sweary enough in an internet discussion thread, I think. And here I was thinking that the standards at ALR would be so lofty.

I do bristle at the idea that asshat is a mere euphemism, though. Although mild, I love it for its evocation of the location of the subject’s head relative to his arse.

(More etymology of asshat here.)