The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

The Commercialisation of Childhood

Another triumph for de-regulated free-market capitalism. A must view for all those who believe that the pinnacle of human existence is an economy based on consumerism.

Consuming Kids: The Commercialisation Of Childhood

With virtually no government oversight or public outcry, the multi-billion dollar youth marketing industry in America has been able to use the latest advances in psychology, anthropology and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world.

The irony is that moral crusaders like Tony Abbott support this very industry which is warping the psychological well-being of our children in ways that undermine the very values they desire to instill. Or maybe they’re just hypocrites.

Powerful and scary stuff. And you thought teachers were to blame!

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Filed under: Big Picture, Economics, Education, Media,

How to defeat Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer will speak at the Sydney Writers Festival tonight. Here’s a handy tip for those reactionary commentators, bloggers and letter-writers: anything she has to say about Australia is automatically dismissible and lacking in all credibility because she doesn’t actually live here. QED.

Oh, and she also likes younger men! Take that Germaine!

Filed under: Australian values, History, Humour, Media, Politics

Jennifer Marohasy does irony, again

“The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.”

“I would suggest that this job is not made any easier by activist-journalists who deliberately set out to deceive…”

“The hoax is really just more misinformation from those who distrust science and is illustrative of the increasing blurring of the line between advocacy and science journalism.”

Jennifer Marohasy » Magazine Duped by anti-GM Activist – A Case of More of the Same

Oh, Jennifer, the irony!

Filed under: Environment, Humour, Media, , , ,

Germaine Greer and tall poppy parochialism

You couldn’t help but notice that Germaine Greer is in Australia promoting her latest provocative essay on the significance of rage in the social dysfunction of many indigenous men in many aboriginal communities.

Rather than engage with her argument that white Australia has failed to recognise a significant contributive cause to the poor state of aboriginal communities and that progress will be difficult until we deal with it, the MSM and our finest journalists choose to dodge the issue by pushing the conservative ‘individual responsibility’ line and defending Howard’s Intervention.

In her Age op-ed today Tracee Hutchison is critical of Greer, not for what she is saying, but because she doesn’t live here anymore so therefore she shouldn’t comment on life in ‘the colonies’.

Greer grew up here, has friends and family here, regularly returns here and no doubt reads widely about events in Australia using the same sources as does Tracee in her comfortable suburban residence so who’s to say she isn’t well-informed, even if you don’t agree with her?

Parochial piffle passed off as journalism worthy of the editorial pages! More like thinking man’s Bolt. Bolt-lite for the intellectual reader.

Like her or loathe her, one thing we can be sure of – Greer will be the subject of future historical consideration of Australian intellectual and political culture. The same can’t be said of Hutchison’s ‘journalism’.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Indigenous, Media, ,

Nelson to tackle tackling Climate Change

Bruce Petty - The AgeBrendan Nelson is buoyed by a ‘stunning’ result in which two conservative candidates defeated a Labor candidate to retain a seat held by the National Party for the last 40 years. The MSM are convinced that the defeat sends a message to the federal Rudd government, although no-one is entirely clear exactly what that message is. Apparently the electorate is unhappy about the cost of living and reckon that Rudd needs to do something about global oil prices, the rorting of grocery prices by our supermarket duopoly, the tax on alcopops, and falling share prices as the sub-prime shake-down continues. Or something.

Nelson is convinced the electorate is responding to the price of petrol and his plan to cut the fuel excise by 5c a litre. Now he is warning: “I suspect there’s a high probability that we won’t support what the Government chooses to do.”

Never mind that the Garnaut draaft report won’t be released until Friday and the Government won’t outline its options until July 16. Never mind that one of the reasons the Howard government was dumped from office was its climate change denialism and the electorate’s desire to do something done about it. Nelson is, to be fair, not a denialist – he wants to tackle climate change too. Just as long as we don’t have to actually do anything about it and it doesn’t cost us anything. Well apart from using a few government-subsidised energy efficient light bulbs, and maybe some minor carbon trading scheme for those able to make some money out of it.

Good luck with that one, Brendan. There’s nothing like re-fighting the last war as a strategy for winning the next one.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Environment, Media, Politics, , ,

Bolt explained

Changa’s Boots, at the new Possum Box offers insight into why Andrew Bolt and his ilk do what they do:

[The Right]…“know that by playing to their base in very well-crafted ways, they can shift the very definition of what the middle is. By introducing radicalism into the public discourse (and taking initial heat for it), whatever used to be radical within this context becomes moderate by comparison.”

Australian attack bloggers and the Overton Window « The Possum Box

And here I was wondering whether an otherwise intelligent, educated person (I’m giving Bolt the benefit of doubt), pouring out a relentless excrescence of dishonest and disingenuous drivel for the purpose of cultivating ignorance, prejudice, intolerance and misinformation could have some qualms about his fundamental lack of moral, intellectual and ethical integrity.

Oh wait…

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Filed under: Big Picture, Blogging, Howardians, Ideology, Media, Pseudoscience, Wingnuttery, , ,

Melbourne Zookeeper impregnates Elephant!

The Age

At least that seems to be the case according to the caption accompanying this photo and story at The Age online today.

Dokkoon the Asian elephant trumpets her approval at being two months pregnant to Melbourne Zoo handler Dave McKelson.

Well done Dave. One question — did you need a stepladder?

Will the offspring be the next Elephant Man?

Long gone are the days when journalists, copywriters and sub-editors needed to know anything about grammatical construction of the English language. Having subjects and verbs in agreement would be a good start.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Education, Media, , ,

Bolt’s Laws of Climate Change

1. Unusually warm weather does not prove global warming.

2. Unusually cold weather disproves global warming.

ABC OnlineWeather does not drive climate. Repeat three times daily until inflammation subsides. If symptoms persist, see a doctor.

Filed under: Ass Hattery, Environment, Media, Nonsense, , ,

A weekend of binge thinking sidelines opposition

If bringing out Lord ‘Dolly’ Downer to characterise the 2020 Summit as a revival of a politically-correct Keating-esque leftist elitist love-in is any measure, then the Summit has been a great success. Detractors continue to deride the 2020 Summit as being all spin without substance — a sycophantic gathering of hand-picked mates (Bill Heffernan?) to reflect and affirm the Government’s agenda. But as Michelle Grattan offered this morning, even if it was only a piece of political theatre, the 2020 Summit is a master stroke which has completely sidelined the Opposition.

I dare say the forth-coming polls will reflect a popular sentiment at odds with the increasingly jaded and cynical MSM commentariat. Rudd has won the affections of an overwhelming majority of voters who appreciate that he has at least had a go at popular inclusion. Compare and contrast with the Howardian ‘relaxed and comfortable’ vision for the Nation. Just absorb yourself in consumer self-interest and we’ll take care of everything else. No need to worry your pretty little head about complicated issues like invading Iraq while bribing its putative dictator to buy our wheat, or torture, or a dozen other things we’ll tell to you be afraid of.

Rudd has identified tax reform as one of the issues that the Federal Government will respond to by the end of the year. If he is able to follow through on this alone, Rudd’s conquering  of Coalition heartland will be secure. If you add to that the prospect of reforming State and Federal bureaucracies to streamline the cost of doing business and more effectively deliver services, then a Republic will simply be the icing on the cake.

Rudd has truly achieved something unique in Australian history — a weekend of binge thinking. May there be many more.

Vote 1 Christopher Pyne for PM in 2020.

Filed under: Big Picture, Economics, Media, Politics, ,

2020 Summit – the real story

The 2020 Summit is upon us as 1000 of the ‘best and brightest’ gather in Canberra to brainstorm a vision for Australia in 2020. It has been the subject of much hysterical cynicism from the MSM — always looking for an angle and invariably missing the story — the same tired old hacks who spent all of 2007 opining that Howard was unbeatable and that Rudd would never win.

The real story was that the electorate wanted a different style and direction of government and Howard wasn’t it. There are too many issues facing Australian society that Howard simply ignored or treated with cynical tokenism — issues that the invisible hand of the market couldn’t fix.

The conservatives and much of the MSM are still in denial. In 30 months time, the electorate will realise how shallow and ineffectual Rudd really is and then they’ll coming running back for a real government and business as usual. Yeah, right.

You’d expect it from a dolt like Bolt and his ‘1000 of Rudd’s Mates’, but Misha Schubert in The Age today shows us how clever she is with her ‘scoop’ accusing Rudd of stealing his childcare vision from Tony Blair and calling it his own in Rudd’s 2020 hindsight.

So fvcking what?! He wasn’t claiming it as his Own Original Idea. More pertinently, is it a good idea, or not? Worthy of discussion or what? Pathetic. I’m not aware of a proviso that any ideas being brought to the Summit must be entirely original. I’m sure any 2020 participant asked what their idea for the Summit is would begin, “Well, my idea is …” How many truly original ideas do any of us have? It’s so not the point. But it makes for a ‘clever’ story. The MSM commentariat are willing the 2020 Summit to fail and are busily positioning themselves to say ‘I told you so’.

What the hell is wrong with having a workshop for the vision of the whole nation? You can’t have ideas unless they’re already implemented? Give us a break. You have to start somewhere. Every corporate and government entity in Australia has been doing this very kind of thing for decades. ‘Where do you see this company/department in 5 years time, 10 years time?’ ‘What are the obstacles that might prevent this from happening.’ ‘What are the opportunities?’ ‘What would need to happen/change?’ Standard strategic planning stuff – mission statement, objectives, priorities. It works. So why not for a nation? We don’t elect a government of experts. We elect a government to represent us. And this one, by having a ‘talkfest’, is willing to listen. This doesn’t sit easily with authoritarian Howardians. It’s much more Australian to be a knocker and suspicious of anyone who might be an intellectual or has differing ideas. Fancy having the gall to speak Mandarin to the Chinese! He must be up himself.

The dogs may bark and the cynics carp, but the 2020 Summit will be productive, if for no other reason than it is tapping the electorate’s desire for a narrative. A narrative that isn’t about narrow self-interest and fear — a narrative for a better, more inclusive future.

His detractors underestimate Rudd — they always have. In these early days, all evidence indicates that he is hard-working and ruthlessy efficient and methodical, so there is little reason to doubt that he will also be quietly very effective. Sure, there will be policy and political failures along the way, but have no doubt that Rudd will inexorably reshape Australia towards the narrative visions given voice by the 2020 Summit. That’s what the concervatives are really worried about. If Rudd is even partially successful in making progress toward that vision, the conservatives will still not be electable by 2020. They think they do, but they just don’t get it.

Filed under: Australian values, Big Picture, Howardians, Media, Politics, Society, ,

The Dog’s Bollocks

What they say

The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

This is the person who tried to analyse Hayek. This is actually a person who needs a shrink. – JC

Shut up slim. You’re an idiot.
Just you stay honest and keep that thinking cap on. – GMB

Insightful perspectives on politics and discussion of matters epistemological? I’m sold! - Bruce

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