Much ado

Earlier this week a mysterious object was left in a bus shelter in the middle of Hobart. There was a fair bit of scurrying around and excitement until eventually it was confirmed that it was all much ado about about nothing (after all, it is Shakespeare Week) and everyone went back to getting on with their lives. I was going to draw some sort of parallel with election campaigns, but you can probably do that for yourself. Only a week and a bit to go!

The Hobart Mercury, 9 August 2010

Five fingers of fury

We can now safely say that in a fight between a inflamed pancreas and a diseased gallbladder, the pancreas will totally kick the gallbladder’s, er, arse. Mark Latham has successfully distracted Australia from being distracted by Kevin Rudd and taken the mantle of Australia’s Angriest Ex-Leader. Say what you like about the bloke (he would about you), I’ll be watching 60 Minutes this week for the first time in years.

The Australian 13 August 2010

It’ll never catch on

If you’re reading this, then you most likely think the Coalition’s rather low tech broadband plan involving a pair of scissors is pretty crap. I make this assumption simply on the grounds that you are currently using the internet, which is probably quite presumptuous of me, so sorry. Perhaps you are perfectly happy with whatever megagigawebabits you’re getting right now and can’t imagine what you could possibly do with 100 megabits per second, much less a gigabit.

I remember being pretty bloody excited about my 100 megabyte hard drive back in the nineties. I now have a terabyte drive in my computer and it’s getting a bit chokkas. While it falls somewhat short of being a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, the answer to the question “what could we possibly do with all that bandwidth?” is “heaps of cool stuff” and I’m quite looking forward to finding out.

The Australian 11 August 2010


The Sunday Telegraph 8 August 2010

Right, this is the last cartoon involving Kevin Rudd’s gallbladder. Unless I get really stuck. Or it’s funny. Alright, it probably isn’t the last cartoon involving Kevin’s gallbladder, but my intentions are good. You can take that as an election promise if you like.

There’s been a lot said about how the Return Of Kevin is going to be a big distraction from Julia’s campaign, but not a lot said about how that might actually be a good thing. Back when Julia decided Kevin had to go, there was a definite implication that Things Were Going To Be Different and the government was going to get Back On Track and if that had in any way actually occurred, I think we’d all be very pleased.

Sadly, the only thing that really seemed to change was an intensification of the politically expedient dumping of anything that the focus testing said wasn’t pleasing the good burghers in the marginal electorates, which you can safely say was the reason the government was in trouble in the first place. So, if the tracks were in fact leading the government directly towards a first term defeat by Tony Bloody Abbott Of All People For God’s Sake, then well done, Julia.*

This is what makes me think that maybe the whole soap opera thing might not hurt in the long run. Due to modern election campaigns being run by risk-averse poll-driven spin-doctoring spivs who if I had my way would be all lined up against the wall (preferably one Built during the Education Revolution) and shot right through their iPhones**, most voters have sensibly abandoned all hope of hearing any sensible policy pronouncements on, well, anything, and are following the election campaign, if at all, entirely for entertainment value.

Now for sheer soap-style  entertainment, the ALP have totally pwned the Coalition. You’d think the man to watch would be Tony Abbott with Barnaby Joyce as comic relief and Malcolm Turnbull as the evil plotter, but Malcolm’s playing the sort of straight bat you can only learn on the playing fields of Sydney Grammar, Barnaby’s been sent somewhere that the NBN’s never going to go even if it does get finished and Tony’s stuck grimly to the script which is very short and written entirely in bullet points involving stopping things happening.

As we’ve all become used to voting off the least interesting contestant in our post Big Brother society, dragging the man Julia stabbed in the back from his hospital bed, sans bile duct, with the odd excruciatingly awkward encounter where they try to pretend they don’t fervently wish the other would spontaneously combust so they could dance around their crackling corpse roasting marshmallows and singing “ding dong the witch/warlock is dead” is absolute soap opera gold and neatly distracts the punters from the absence of anything resembling a palatable vision for the future of the country from either dire proposition, so when the audience gets its say on the 21st, they may just decide to vote the less entertaining roommate out.***

*Yes, I am aware that I’m using a lot of capital letters today in the classic Slightly Mental Letter To The Editor fashion, but polls show that the marginals are really Responding To Capital Letters at the moment, so Suck It Up.

**Okay, perhaps I am Slightly Mental.

***Very Long Sentences are also A Bad Sign.****

****As are footnotes.*****

*****I’ll stop now.