Saturday Salon

An open thread where, at your weekend leisure, you can discuss anything you like.

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89 comments on “Saturday Salon
  1. tigtog says:

    Oh, can it be?


  2. Shaun says:

    Don’t look at me. I’m just waiting to see who got here third.

  3. tigtog says:

    Oh while we’re waiting for a third: a tale of two story slants.


    Sperm made from human bone marrow

    Scientists say they have successfully made immature sperm cells from human bone marrow samples.

    If these can be grown into fully developed sperm, which the researchers hope to do within five years, they may be useful in fertility treatments.

    Daily Mail:

    Scientists grow sperm from bone marrow

    A transplant technique has been devised that could effectively remove men from the process of creating life.

  4. Shaun says:

    Well you are third now. And I’m fourth and seemingly irrelevant if I was to read the Daily Mail.

  5. Cliff says:

    Great news… we are one step closer to the day when all men can get vasectomies, have sex purely for pleasure without fear of unwanted accidents, and when, if a man and a woman change their mind and decide to have children, or another child, they don’t have to reverse the vasectomy but simply have to extract some of the man’s bone marrow (which may be as painful as a vasectomy though, I dunno).

    …. that would be the FHM slant, of course 🙂

    Who cares really? It’s not like producing sperm is the only useful thing men do. Well, most men, that is.

  6. patrickg rocks for this recommendation of the Fujifilm Finepix S5600 as a next-step-up from my original low-end digital camera.

    I just bought mine this week, and I’m very happy so far. Thanks for the advice, patrickg. Many photos soon appearing on flickr.

  7. Kim says:

    Seventh! 🙂

  8. I hope you’re drunk Kim, or you don’t even have my excuse for posting at this hour.

  9. Cortexvortex says:

    Isn’t it amazing that if the situation was different and that scientists had declared that we may be able to produce children without female involvement there would be a widespread cry of misogyny and a call to cut funding, but since it’s only men’s involvement, men just meekly say nothing.

    Men have very little rights over our own fertility and it looks like there could be less

  10. Zarquon says:

    Big Boys Race Our Young Girls But Violet Generally Wins

    It’s not a code of conduct, it’s a code of resist.

  11. tigtog says:

    Of course, if Cortexvortex had bothered to read the Daily Mail link he would have discovered that there is actually a widespread cry of “unnatural tampering” and a call to cut funding.

    There are many possibilities with this technology (when it is mature, which is years and possibly decades away yet) and only one of them is that women will use the technique to combine their DNA without male involvement. Seeing as how natural reproduction is vastly more simple and efficient in the overwhelming majority of cases, a few people accessing this complicated technology for various reasons will never replace the work of the reproductive proletariat now, will it?

  12. Laura says:

    What’s the best kind of lemon tree?

  13. I helped a friend record some live music videos with my new camera on Thursday night.

    There’s a great, positive song called “I Had To Grow Up Before I Grew Down”, and the “Dylan Hoedown (I’m Just Chillin’ Like Bob Dylan)”.

  14. tigtog says:

    Laura, Don Burke has much advice! My Mum and Dad have a fabulous lemon tree that’s nearly 50 years old and still fruiting like mad. They’ll be here this arvo, and I’ll ask what variety it is.

  15. Pavlov's Cat says:

    that we may be able to produce children without female involvement there would be a widespread cry of misogyny and a call to cut funding

    What do you mean, “we”, white man?

  16. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Oh, so it’s the money?

  17. Jacinta says:

    I have a Meyer lemon tree. It produces alot of juicy fruit. It gets grey water and not much attention. I live in Brisbane, so frost is not an issue here.

  18. Katz says:

    Do mature sperm refuse to go swimming until an hour after they’ve eaten?

  19. Enemy Combatant says:

    “Do mature sperm refuse to go swimming until an hour after they’ve eaten?”

    That’s a very existential question, Katz.
    Upon emancipation, my understanding is; first they rumble the cervix. Next, they sprint competitively through a muco-poly-saccaride strait. Then life’s either lovingly or lustfully launched torpedoes locate and surround the ovum. First flagellant in becomes best dressed, XX-rated and zygotic. In another of nature’s profligate reproductive strategies, hundreds of thousands of unsuccessful spermatozoic aspirants are sloughed aside, or perhaps self-slough, to die like undetonated kamikazis in a cruel, yet fertile sea. No bang, just lots of little whimpers.

    Enough to give a bloke the Marrow Bone Jelly Roll Blues.

  20. Brian says:

    The chances of you having become you are very small. Just think of all the other people you might have been!

  21. Zoe says:

    A Eureka or a Meyer, Laura.

    And you must make Dorian wee on it, I’m afraid.

  22. Pavlov's Cat says:

    And every other man who comes to the house. See, there you go, guys, there’s something you are indispensable for.

  23. j_p_z says:

    (Wallace Stevens)

    Home from Guatemala, back at the Waldorf.
    This arrival in the wild country of the soul,
    All approaches gone, being completely there,

    Where the wild poem is a substitute
    For the woman one loves, or ought to love,
    One wild rhapsody a fake for another.

    You touch the hotel the way you touch moonlight
    Or sunlight, and you hum, and the orchestra
    Hums, and you say: “The world in a verse,

    A generation sealed, men remoter than mountains,
    Women invisible in music and motion and color.”
    After that alien, point-blank, green and actual Guatemala.

  24. mick says:

    23rd. Michael Jordan’s magic number or a Jim Carey movie…

  25. Robert says:

    Because there’s nothing better than a tipsy singalong, the last ten on my random playlist:

    1. Arctic Monkeys, “Mardy Bum”
    2. Cheap Trick, “Mighty Wings”
    3. The Go-Betweens, “Streets of Your Town”
    4. Ween, “Voodoo Lady” (live)
    5. Ray LaMontagne, “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley cover, live)
    6. Belle & Sebastian, “I’m a Cuckoo”
    7. Ben Folds & WASO, “Steven’s Last Night in Town” (live)
    8. Counting Crows, “Mr Jones” (live acoustic)
    9. Stray Cats, “Rockabilly Blues”
    10. Dresden Dolls, “Girl Anachronism”

  26. nasking says:

    Albums for the night…not what you’d find in your average CD store…in fact all downloaded from the ever reliable EMusic:

    Butterfly Explosion: Turn the Sky
    Deerhunter: Cryptograms
    Deus: Pocker Revolution
    Malcolm Middleton: A Brighter Beat
    Fennesz: Venice
    Ghost: Lama Rabi Rabi
    Ms. John Soda: No P or D
    The Books: Thought of Food
    Efterklang: Under Giant Trees
    Final Fantasy: He Poos Clouds
    Panda Bear: Person Pitch
    Grant Lee Phillips: Strangelet
    The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse

    5 at a time on random…some Italian vino & it’s bliss time.

    Belle & Sebastian are good choice Robert. Enjoy.

  27. tigtog says:

    Mum and Dad’s tree is, they think, a Eureka.

    And it’s not quite 50 years old – it will be 50 in 2012. A few years ago they had to lop off a couple of diseased boughs, but up until then they never had any trouble with it. It has recovered from the lopping to continue to fruit prolifically.

    They’re in the Lower Blue Mountains, so it’s cool weather tolerant.

  28. Anthony says:

    “Do mature sperm refuse to go swimming until an hour after they’ve eaten?”

    Thank god enemy combatant repeated the question. On first reading I thought Katz asked “Do mature sperm refuse to go swimming until an hour after they’re eaten”

  29. Bernice says:

    Best lemon tree? – one that doesn’t die in my experience. & if you’re planting in clay – the best lemon tree would be the one that grew the lemons you’re going to be buying from your local greengrocer. (Disclaimer – Bernice has had little success growing lemons & bears an unnatural grudge against anything vaguely citrusy)

  30. Ken Scott says:

    My lemon tree is one rapacious, fecund, imperialist bastard. Actually it’s some sort of weird twin, having inserted itself into the tree next to it and which used to be a mandarine but it has now killed it and colonised its root system. The tree has seen off vines, woodroses, and all manner of pests and stinkbugs. It has killed lantana. It has killed a sheoak and uses its dry wood branches as a prop. The lemon tree carries dangerous weapons in the form of 10cm long spikes and has attacked me with them when I tried to prune it.

    The tree relentlessly produces lemons all year round, taking a brief break from childbirth for about a month. The lemons are the size of small rockmelons. I have tried lemon butter, lemons with everything, taking lemons to work, giving them to the neighbours but the tree always wins and always manages to shed a few dozen spares to rot into the ground.

    Perhaps it is because my cat, the late Mousie (who died aged 21 in 1995) lies buried beneath the tree. The cat was a selfish, imperious bitch who never gave a sucker an even break. She was also unforgiving and jealous and if I so much as I paid too much attention to visitors she would wait until I was asleep and sink a claw into my leg as payback.

    The tree has some very similar traits. Spooky.

  31. Lang Mack says:

    I’m not sure that this is the right discussion to put this on here, I may send a message to the “Boss’ to thank you all for the support you gave me when I posted a dilemma I have not resolved, however not for one moment did I expect to get the kindness and support I received , the funny thing was, we were on the subject of taking one’s life, and I put a position of a possible reason and understanding,and I put a point of view, just as a comment, and I was humbled by the goodwill that was offered to me and also mentioned later, so , may I say that you people have more compassion and are more principled than to the casual glance would indicate. Especially for me, as I only found you recently, well, I live in the bush and books and Sat.SMH were/are my and now the internet, this Blog, whole new world.. So thank you.

  32. wpd says:

    I was wrong.

    The ‘power of the purse’ wasn’t enough. Bishop’s ‘merit pay’ for teachers putsch is in the dustbin.

    Not even one state was prepared to host a ‘trial’ / ‘pilot’.

    I wonder why?

    Comments wanted.

  33. Brian says:

    Bernice, I think lemon trees need well-drained soil. When we first came here in Ashgrove in Brisvegas in 1981 I dug a huge wide hole in the clay and planted the lemon tree my wife had always lusted after. Well it died, of course, because it was like planting it in a bowl of water back in the days when it rained.

    wpd, it’s got me stumped why the states turned down ‘merit’ pay for teachers. Maybe it dawned on them that only a few mad ideologues were actually in favour of it, that in itself it would do nothing to improve the quality of teaching in the classroom and that it was likely to upset a lot of teachers.

  34. Lang Mack says:

    WPD, common sense prevailed.

  35. Laura says:

    Thanks all for lemon tree wisdom. I like the sound of the Eureka. Not sure about this weeing on it business though. Why does it have to be man’s wee?

  36. Zoe says:

    Very hard to squat on a lemon tree, Laura.

  37. The Devil Drink says:

    I don’t know about Melbourne lemon trees, Laura, but Sydney ones attract stinkbugs, which provide a powerful deterrent to urination of any gender.
    Of course if you provide your male guests with enough hot coffee and cold alcoholic beverages, and point ’em in the direction of your tree, you should see it well-watered and droughtproofed, no problems, insects or no insects.
    Some years you get orb spiders, which eat the stinkbugs. Big fuckers, like brown hairy hanging clenched fists in the air, but at least they don’t smell.
    Ken Scott, the cat-under-the-tree tradition is an unspoken one of many Australian generations. I suspect a bit of suburban archaeology would unearth many feline bones underneath lemon trees.

  38. Tim says:

    So the conversation revolves around sperm and wee. How human. We can’t get over these things from childhood through to adulthood. But it is Saturday, so i’ll say happy Cambodian New Year!

  39. j_p_z says:

    Well here’s a question. What do people think were the 10 best (or greatest, if you prefer) albums of the 90s? The only ones you aren’t allowed to pick are “OK Computer” and “Nevermind” (both too obvious). And you can only pick 10; no ties and no cheating. For purposes of convenience, we’ll say that the 90s were 1990 – 2000, although from the POV of a musical “aesthetic,” personally I think the 90s probably really started around 1987-88 with Sinead O’Connor, the Pixies, and Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation,” and they probably ended sometime around 1997-98. (you can use that “decade” too, if you feel like it, but specify). Does Morcheeba really belong to the 90s? Hmm, interesting question. (I’d say “Who Can You Trust?” is a 90s work, but maybe “Big Calm” isn’t.)

    Fire at will.

  40. Fiasco da Gama says:

    That is an interesting question, JPZ.
    Soundgarden’s Superunknown.
    Beck’s Mellow Gold.
    Massive Attack’s Protection.
    Pulp’s Different Class.
    Custard’s Wahooti Fandango and Wisenheimer.
    That’s five, gimme another couple of hours to recalibrate my 1990s navigation equipment—the flux capacitator on my DeLorean’s playing up.

  41. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Why does it have to be man’s wee?


    (Sperm, wee, and hormones. Classy.)

    Lang Mack, lots and lots of luck to you. It’s lovely that blogging has been a good thing for you. You should think about starting your own — it’s very therapeutic!

    Ken Scott, that was one of the most wonderful comments I’ve ever seen. My mum got a monster sweet-pea crop out of the late Monty in the spring of 1963, so I’m sure Mousie did the lemon tree proud.

  42. jo says:

    TDD – you’re right – stinkbugs are a pain. I use gardening gloves to pull them off – and either put them in a jar of water – for some reason they can’t fly out – or into a plastic bag and into the bin.

    from the NSW Dept Ag. site

    Spined citrus bug (9 KB image), Biprorulus bibax, feeds on the fruits of citrus trees, especially lemons and mandarins, in coastal, north and central western New South Wales. Fruits may fall or spoil, with internal drying out and browning of affected segments. The adult is green, about 20 mm long, with a sharp black spine at each side. The immature bugs are marked with black, green and orange in the earliest stages and mainly green in the later stages. Spined citrus bug has been recorded only on citrus.

  43. professor rat says:

    Beardless youths piss, then come in their lovers mouths.
    Real men shit in them.

  44. jo says:

    more on the spiny citrus bug….

    Although native to Australia, SCB only emerged as a major citrus pest in the late 1980s.

    SCB eggs are parasitised by at least 12 wasp species.

    Predators of SCB nymphs and adults include: • spiders • predatory bugs • praying mantids • assassin bug (Pristhesancus plagipenis). Ants and lacewing larvae consume significant numbers of SCB eggs.

  45. Fiasco da Gama says:

    The other five, counting Custard’s two albums as one,:
    Beastie Boys, Ill Communication
    Alanis Morisette Jagged Little Pill (I’ll swear blind I never liked it either)
    Elastica, Elastica
    Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Very Necessary,
    Last and very importantly, Public Enemy, Fear of a Black Planet,
    and most importantly, outside the ten album limit, this TISM song in rhyming couplets.

  46. Adam Gall says:

    Belle & Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister
    Nas – Illmatic
    Auteurs – New Wave (or a couple of others maybe)
    Suede – Dog Man Star
    Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible

    These spring to mind for at least the top 50 somewhere. Many more I’m sure. For what it’s worth, Pulp and Nirvana might both be on my list as well.

  47. nasking says:

    Here goes j_p_z…10 from the 90s I play repeatedly & think most innovative…&/or downright alternative for their time:

    My Bloody Valentine: Loveless
    DJ Shadow: Endtroducing
    Sigur Rós: �gætis Byrjun
    Pavement: Wowee Zowee
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor: F#A#∞
    Red House Painters: Down Colorful Hill
    Mogwai: Young Team
    Palace Music: Viva Last Blues
    Sebadoh: Bakesale
    Massive Attack: Protection

    My fave EP of the 90s: The Verve:S/T (w/ the dreamy “Endless Life” and “Feel”)

  48. Stephen Hill says:

    Top 10 Albums of the 90s

    Jeff Buckley – Grace
    Mercury Rev – Deserters Songs
    Grant Lee Buffalo – Mighty Joe Moon
    Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    Living Colour – Stain
    Kim Salmon and the Surrealists – You Got to Let Me Do My Own Thing
    Radiohead – The Bends (yes I’m cheating)
    Blackeyed Susans – Mouth to Mouth
    The Black Crowes – Amorica
    Beth Orton – Central Reservation
    Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Henry’s Dream

    Oops I’ve done the Nigel Tufnell and taken it to 11.

  49. Zarquon says:

    Top 10 albums of the ’90s

    Clouds: Penny Century
    Jackson Code: Strange Cargo
    Aimee Mann: I’m With Stupid
    Deborah Conway: Bitch Epic
    Single Gun Theory: Flow, River Of My Soul
    Clouds: Futura
    Died Pretty: Doughboy Hollow
    My Friend The Chocolate Cake: My Friend The Chocolate Cake
    Splendid: Have You Got A Name For It
    Dead Can Dance: Aion

  50. Adam Gall says:

    I think my comment got eaten.

    Some of my list might be:

    Suede – Dog Man Star
    Belle & Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister
    Auteurs – New Wave
    NaS – Illmatic
    Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
    Wilco – Being There

    MBV and The Bends are good choices too.

  51. Stephen Hill says:

    Oops, Yankee Foxtrot was recorded in 2001, I guess I could pick “Mermaid Avenue” (with Billy Bragg) as a worthy replacement – though it seems it will be the noughties when Wilco really got their wings. “Kicking Television” what a live album, and finally Wilco are touring Oz, yippee.

    Or I could go for Portishead’s “Dummy”, I recall this album monopolising my CD player for a while. And what about Polly Harvey awfully unlucky to be overlooked.

  52. Fiasco da Gama says:

    Wankers, the lot of you.
    Next you’ll be saying you never rocked out in headphone-style to Faith No More’s Epic on the radio (and I know that’s technically 1980s, released early 1990, but I call the Pixies Principle).
    I’ll add New Kids On The Block’s Step By Step, in a direct challenge to you pretentious fuckers. And let the Mother Of All Battles be joined.

  53. j_p_z says:

    Fiasco — is “Epic” the one that goes “Yoouuuu want it awlll, but you cain’t haaave it”? That was fun. I think they also did the song that goes “WE CARE A LOT!!” which always really made me laff. I used to have some friends who were sorta friends with the folks in FNM, but I never exploited the connection to find out more about them.

    The 90s fascinate me, from a purely personal point of view, because I paid very little attention to mainstream culture during the 80s, back when I was a surly youth, and don’t pay much attention now; but in the 90s I sort of found myself in a kind of spiritual sympathy with what the kids’ culture was doing, in spite of being a few years older than they were, so I paid more attention back then. Also, it was kind of a weird, troubling time for a lot of people (well I guess every era is, right?), at least in NY and LA where I spent most of the decade, and the music of the time reflected that with intelligence and wit for the most part, I thought. So my list is more sort of a portrait of how I perceived the decade, which was in a rather thin-skinned and mildly paranoid mode, more than a skilled critical appreciation…

    Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual
    A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
    Dinosaur Jr. – Green Mind
    Sonic Youth – Dirty
    Royal Trux – Thank You
    Basehead – Play With Toys
    Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See
    Sonic Youth – Washing Machine
    PM Dawn – Of the Heart, Of the Soul, and Of the Cross
    Hole – Celebrity Skin

    Zarquon — I liked the citation of the Clouds record, though I never heard of it. But are you aware of who Penny Century is?

    Fiasco — I think “Fear of a Black Planet” is actually among the worst of Public Enemy’s work; you’re far better off digging “Nation of Millions” and the original mix of “Fight the Power” — two other records that kinda helped invent the 90s aesthetic in my view, esp. Fight the Power.

  54. j_p_z says:

    Hmm, seems like my last comment was vaporized. I don’t think it’s in moderation, cos no little banner appeared; seems like maybe it just got nuked. Oh well.

    I’ll skip the little mini-phenomenology of the 90s, which went to explaining why my own list is so unoriginal. This is not a critically adept list, just a list of some things that caught the attention of a person who normally pays very little attention to mainstream culture, simply because they seemed to reflect the zeitgeist. A little portrait of the decade in sound, from my perspective.

    Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual
    Sonic Youth – Dirty
    A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
    Dinosaur Jr. – Green Mind
    Tori Amos – Boys for Pele
    Basehead – Play With Toys
    Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magic
    Sonic Youth – Washing Machine
    Royal Trux – Thank You
    Hole – Celebrity Skin

    The critical consensus in the hip-hop world seems to be that Biggie was this amazing genius, but I’ve tried to listen to him, and I can’t hear how that’s so. Maybe someone can explain it? True, he’s very honest about the facts of his life and world, but that’s merely being accurate. I’ve never been able to hear any particular artistic brilliance in it. Anybody know better than me?

  55. says:

    A modern dilemma/readership poll:
    You meet a cute smart boy/girl at a friend’s gig. You flirt all night and walk out together after some considerable conversation, only to have a few minutes of passionate embrace before he/she dives into a cab, moving onto the next venue. He/she quickly taps in his/her number before the cab races off after another quick pash. However, when saving the number you accidentally push the RED button and the number disappears.

    Do you:
    a) track down her number by arduously making contact with the 4 or 5 necessary friends of friends
    b) ignore it – plenty more where that came from
    c) get in a cab straight away and follow him/her to the next venue

  56. Another Kim says: mentioned being in San Diego, do give a tell.

    Would like to give you a bit of a welcome. Don’t know if you’ve been here ever before, so I’d like to show you my hometown.

  57. Amanda says:

    Top Ten 90s of today:

    Emmylou Harris Wrecking Ball
    Steve Earle Train A Comin
    Pictures and Paintings Charlie Rich
    Johnny Cash American Recordings
    Dwight Yoakam This Time
    Tom Russell The Man from God Knows Where
    Bob Dylan Time out of Mind
    Bruce Springsteen The Ghost of Tom Joad
    Hell among the Yearlings Gillian Welch
    Son Volt Trace

  58. Shaun says:

    I’d think to thank the LP commentor who had the lamb kofta recipe on their blog (alas I can’t remember the comentor’s monicker nor blog). It did inspire last’s nights dinner which turned out quite well when I found a recipe elsewhere.

    And while we are on the subject:

    Faith No More – Angel Dust
    Rollins Band – Weight
    Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger
    Alice in Chains – Dirt
    Screaming Tress- Sweet Oblivion
    Sonny Sharrock – Ask the Ages
    Red Devils – King King
    Rage Against the Machine
    Sugar – Copper Blue
    AC/DC – Live 😉

  59. j_p_z says:

    oooh, yeah, forgot about Copper Blue! Also, how could I forget PJ Harvey, my daemonically-possessed 90s rock and roll crush? Eheu, fugaces labuntur Annie…

    Another Kim — Cool, I’d love to see SD with an expert guide. Been out there before, but I usually stick just to downtown and Coronado. I thought you were in Orange County, though — do you still live in SD proper? Anyway, it’s a bit up in the air, but I’m aiming to be there in mid-to-late May if things go well, so when my plans get clearer let’s talk and figure something out.

  60. Laura says:

    I can’t be bothered sorting out ten, but I would perhaps include

    The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin

    Bona Drag, Morrissey

    Pulp, This Is Hardcore : better album than Different Class though there are more exquisite songs on the latter

    Bjork, Debut

    Fugees, the Score

    and Doolittle counts as a 1990s album with me. Yeah, I know.

    Most typical album of the 1990s: Deep Forest.

  61. BearCave says:

    David Uren, Economics correspondent from The Australian newspaper reports on the latest ABS jobless statistics

    His summary analysis: “The number of looking for work fell below half a million to 488,700, the lowest number since December 1989, according figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    Prime Minister John Howard described the fall in the number of unemployed as “the greatest human dividend of all”.

    Employers are increasingly finding their full-time workers from part-time workers. The number of part time jobs has been steady at 2.9 million since August 2005, while there have been about 300,000 full-time jobs created since then.”

    According to ABC-TV ‘Insiders’, the two major parties are divided on how these figures were arrived at, with Employment Minister Joe Hockey on Channel Seven’s ‘Sunrise’ disputing Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd’s claims that it’s the result of $55 billion entering, then flowing through the Australian economy through the Resources (Mining) Boom.

    Mr. Hockey’s counter-claim is that the number one jobs growth has been in construction industries, followed by accomodation, cafes and restaurants.

    The political position being argued by John Howard and his minister Joe Hockey is clear.

    Calling employment the “the greatest human dividend of all” acknowledges everybody in the economy as a stakeholder in prosperity, but only in a very “generic sense” (that is to say: suitable for broad range of publics – usable or suitable in a variety of contexts)

    (Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved).

    However, the most excellent article written about Industrial Relations this week did not adhere to partisan positioning. It is “Mind-Shift required to change workplace culture” by Paul Gollan and is published in The Weekend Australian Financial Review (14-15 April 2007).

    His argument is that it is imperative that employers shift their IR focus from legal compliance to better performance.

    I would add that this should also be the Howard Government’s imperative.

    For this reason, Joe Hockey should release “all detail” relating to Australian Workplace Agreements in order to be the subject of review, “not just the good news data”.

  62. anthony says:

    I’d think to thank the LP commentor who had the lamb kofta

    I checked but I did lamb kefta – bloody spellcheck

    Beck – Odelay
    Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole
    Sonic Youth – Dirty
    Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power
    John Spencer Blues Explosion – Orange
    Pizzicato 5 – Big Hits and Jet Lags
    Massive Attack – Protection
    Bjork – Debut
    Johnny Cash – American Recordings
    Cake – Fashion Nugget

    Re: Lemon tree folks, you might want to consider Lemonade Trees, thems good eatin’ as they say.

  63. Brian says:

    BearCave I don’t have it in front of me, but the BRW has a snippet that says people who are insecure about their jobs take more sickies than people who feel secure. About 10 against 6 as I recall.

    Paul Kelly on Insiders suggested that ‘jobs’ is going to be a major campaign theme, to counter ALP on WorkChoices and climate change, I presume.

  64. BearCave says:

    Ed from The Sunday Mail in Brisbane questions whether federal opposition leader Kevin Rudd has a Public Relations problem if he continues his Friday Morning appearance on Channel Seven’s ‘Sunrise’ program:

    Ed claims:

    “The prime ministership of Australia is a serious business. Morning television is not. And it has become apparent that Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd cannot aspire to one while being a regular on the other.

    What might have been appropriate when he was Opposition foreign affairs spokesman, seizing every bit of exposure he could, is no longer appropriate now he is Opposition Leader and must relate to all Australians.

    The prime minister – or the aspirant – must be able to converse with all Australians in all forums but a certain gravitas and dignity come with the highest elected office in the land.

    Prime Minister John Howard is a master of spreading himself across the media, but Mr Rudd is in danger of being portrayed as a television puppet”

    Also according to Ed, due to Mr.Rudd’s association and with Sunrise, combined with an alleged misuse of Anzac Day ceremony by Sunrise:

    “The squeaky-clean image (Rudd) has so assiduously cultivated is tarnished and a critical electorate will be more willing to look for fault. It is no less than he demanded during the AWB crisis.”

    However, Ed may need to be reminded that Morning Television was once significantly more “serious” when Channel Nine’s ‘Today’ Show operated unchallenged.

    Morning Television’s challenge of being the poor cousin of Breakfast Radio is not dissimilar to the challenge of State Opposition Leaders being almost invisible compared with the visibility of State Premiers.

    Both Sunrise and Kevin Rudd have “successfully challenged the formula” of relating to their publics.

    So it is interesting to note how some of our newspaper editors insist on imposing old fashioned and dated opinions on how Public Relations should work.

    Equally interesting is noting that Joe Hockey has also stayed with Sunrise, despite the obvious facts that (i) he has been promoted to the position of Employment Minister and (ii) John Howard’s “human dividend” rhetoric is directly tied to the issue of debating the economics of jobs and relating to the general public.

    Clearly, this “dog’s breakfast criticism” of Kevin Rudd is being cooked up using pots and kettles.

    …From Justin

  65. Graham Bell says:

    That business of Rudd and the dawn service is the second serious tactical blunder for the Coalition in a week and the sixth in a month. The backlash is actually helping Rudd. And the credibility of the news media is falling over it.

  66. BearCave says:

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that our newspaper editors, or at least those from the News Limited group, are lobbying for the Kevin Rudd/Joe Hockey Friday Morning segment on Channel Seven’s ‘Sunrise’ to be given the axe.

    Ed from The Australian today writes:

    “Mr Rudd’s continued close association with Sunrise yields more questions than benefit for the new Labor leader. Is Mr Rudd travelling with the program in a parliamentary, party political or personal capacity? Seven owner Kerry Stokes, has reportedly raised earlier doubts about Mr Rudd’s continued involvement with the program. Mr Stokes has a well-known personal interest in preserving the dignity of Australian war heroes”.

    Perhaps, but Mr Stokes also has a business interest in not forgetting what made Sunrise a success in the first place. Sunrise is a challenger of formula, not a conformist to formula. Mr Stokes will certainly choose to compromise the Sunrise brand by succumbing to the desperate peer pressure being displayed by certain mainstream media cohorts.

    [Moderator: the rest of BearCave’s comment can be found in this post at his blog from which he cut and pasted this text. Excessively long comments break the flow of discussion – please don’t do this!]

  67. Phil says:

    I really think Mr. Rudd should cease his appearances on Sunrise … he risks becoming too associated with sunrise and all those mindless gossip columnists and radio presenters …

  68. Adam Gall says:

    j_p_z, on the question of Biggie, it’s partly a matter of him commercially resurrecting the East Coast as much as his talent as an MC. He also didn’t live long enough to make any truly terrible records, although at least a third of Life After Death is bad. My recommendation would be ‘Ready to Die’, which is only behind NaS and the first Wu-Tang record for that East Coast revival sound. It is also a very vulgar record (even by hip hop standards) but Biggie is reflective and intelligent enough to make most of it work, and his flow is best on these tracks as compared to anything that has been released since.

  69. Pavlov's Cat says:

    he risks becoming too associated with sunrise and all those mindless gossip columnists and radio presenters …

    I don’t much like it either, Phil, but ‘all those mindless gossip columnists and radio presenters’ and the people who read and listen to them have been helping to keep Howard in office for eleven years. One of my sisters, a nurse and a regular watcher of Sunrise, is talking about voting Labor for the first time in her life. Maybe Rudd knows something we don’t.

  70. Amanda says:

    Rudd and Hockey have agreed to discontinue the segment.

    Which is inevitable but unfortunate. It was more of a liability for Hockey because he was constrained in being the attack dog in that context. Whereas Rudd could just sit back and be Alternative PM like, Hockey was being pressured to stick the boot in. Which was a bad look. Of course the jealousy of other media outlets/pundits and News vs Seven rivalry was making it a liability for Rudd too.

    Sunrise was the best thing that happened to Rudd and party of the reason he has the poll numbers he has and, more importantly, alot of the reason those numbers are holding up even after everything that has been thrown at him. The media elite who dismissed the show couldn’t see it — but Rudd had already created a public image for himself. He was as well or maybe better known to Sunrise watchers than Lateline watchers (not that the two are always mutually exclusive). The pundit class had no idea it was even happening — which accounts for alot of the hostility and belittling. Politically, he got his message out cleanly and to the widest audience. Masterstroke.

    For people horrified at the idea that people who don’t exclusively watch Deutsche Welle on SBS in the mornings actually vote — suck it up.

  71. Zarquon says:

    For people horrified at the idea that people who don’t exclusively watch Deutsche Welle on SBS in the mornings actually vote — suck it up.

    Rudd & Gillard for Eurovision!!

  72. Amanda says:

    Heh. Kevin and Joe did record a duet one year. Jules got drafted to appear with Abbott on Today in a lame rip off of the Rudd/Hockey segment — on the same day, at the same time. I watched it a few times but it was pretty painful. I wonder if they’ll junk that too.

  73. John Greenfield says:

    Pavlov’s Cat

    I think you will find the reason Howard has been in power for 11 years is that the ALP became the Australian Luvvies Party. Its new base tend not to be the most percpetive social and political analysts. They are wont to come out with doozies such as this:

    I don’t much like it either, Phil, but ‘all those mindless gossip columnists and radio presenters’ and the people who read and listen to them have been helping to keep Howard in office for eleven years

  74. BearCave says:

    News that both Kevin Rudd and Joe Hockey have ended their weekly spot with Sunrise (as distinct from Channel Seven ending the arrangment) means that I should retract the following statement:

    “Mr Stokes will certainly choose to compromise the Sunrise brand by succumbing to the desperate peer pressure
    being displayed by certain mainstream media cohorts”.

    Given the joint decision by Rudd and Hockey to resign, this statement does assume too much that such a decision would be made at the decision-making level of Kerry Stokes, when it’s now clear there are at least other factors that have contributed to the outcome that nonetheless has compromised the ability of Sunrise to challenge, rather than adhere to set programming formula.

    The Australian reports:

    “They have decided it is no longer possible to continue as regular weekly guests on Sunrise, they point to their long standing friendship and their senior positions they now hold in opposing parties,” (Mel) Doyle said.

    Co-host David Koch thanked both men for their time on the show.

    “They both thanked Sunrise viewers for the opportunity allowing them to speak candidly every week, we at Sunrise understand their position. “Politics can sometimes can be a pretty nasty game and it was never the intention of the segment to get bogged down in that.”

    Public Relations can also be a nasty game.

    Which is why I reassert everything else I’ve said in my previous post:

    A “media elite” of News Limited newspaper editors have certainly lobbied to “reduce contexts of political debate” and impose a one-size-fits-all “Canberra-centric, serious approach context” that puts them more in control of democratic debate, despite the risk they place themselves “out of touch with the wider Australian public”.

    Their sectional-interest motives are very much to the detriment of “ordinary folk” and their engagement in political debate.

    Fortunately, there are still alternative media sources that deliver snapshots of what ordinary Australians are thinking that News Limited editors have little or no influence over, limiting the “media elite ideology” that can be imposed.

    …From Justin

    (Moderator: edited to fix broken lines from cut and pasting this text from another source. If you must do that (must you, really?), please have the courtesy the edit the linebreaks so that the text flows for ease of reading)

  75. Leinad says:

    [Obligatory Julia and Tony innuendo goes here]…eh? eh? KnowwhatImean?

  76. BearCave says:

    Errr……..sorry about that, Miss 🙂

  77. BearCave says:

    It’s not just a sectional-interest “media elite” attempting to have this “Sunriseâ€? context of political debate removed from our TV screens, much to the detriment of “ordinary folk” – the Sunrise demographic.

    Also in The Australian, Glenn Milne reveals that Joe Hockey’s role on the Sunrise program is being challenged by his own party:

    “The internal bitterness over Hockey’s Sunrise performance emphasises other colleagues’ doubts about him: whether he has what it takes to convince the electorate at the end of this year”.

    However, what Mr. Hockey’s colleagues would be much more shy to emphasise is Joe Hockey’s potential to enjoy the benefit of “The Arnold Schwarzenegger Factor”.

    No, I’m not suggesting that Hockey and Schwarzenegger look or present alike – especially when you consider Schwarzenegger’s image as “The Terminator” in contrast to Hockey’s intended image as “The Care Bear” of low unemployment 🙂

    Rather, I’m suggesting on Sunrise, Joe Hockey was in a unique position to learn from last year’s mid-term US election.

    As actually written by Ed from The Australian on 14 November 2006:

    “As the US election result shows, the race is on for the centre. California’s republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, provides the stand-out example of political survival through reinvention. He ditched unpopular policies and captured the centre, and with it almost 80 per cent of the vote.â€?

    This is mind, Joe Hockey is wise to dismiss a (slight) misreading of the situation written by The Australian’s Glen Milne:

    “On Sunrise on Friday it was time for Joe to go grizzly. Unfortunately for the Prime Minister and the Government generally, he went cuddly.”

    Actually, a more appropriate use of metaphor is that for Hockey, “Grizzly” represents the need to position argument, but “Cuddly” represents the balance to ensure capturing the centre, just like Schwarzenegger did.

    So, now Joe Hockey knows who to think about the next time these words are leaked to the press:

    “Every Friday it’s just a free kick for Rudd. Joe’s always wanted to be Big Happy Joe. Well, that’s not enough.”

    However, it might be more than enough for Joe Hockey himself.

  78. tigtog says:

    BearCave, you often make interesting points, but your comments tend to run for much longer than the recommended three or so paragraphs that helps keep debate trundling along.

    Repeated long long long posts from one commenter does tend to stifle the discussion, I’m afraid. Perhaps just the meatiest chunks in future rather than the gravy as well?

  79. BearCave says:

    I must correct Miss/Mr Moderator for the mistake she/he made by editing the above post about Joe Hockey from view this afternoon.

    The Moderator no doubt had reason to believe that I had made an “excessively long comment which breaks the flow of discussion.”

    One problem with this claim is that my comments actually caused a number of responses about the same issue.

    Still, I do agree with this comment from Michael E. Gerber’s small business book ‘The E-Myth’ :

    “As Theodore Levitt says in his stunning book, Marketing for Business Growth, “Discretion is the enemy of order, standardisation, and quality.â€?â€? [1]

    For this reason, I reposted the Joe Hockey content using the Online Opinion “standard” of 350 words to a comment (still too long for LP’s standards?)

    Another problem with the Moderator’s complaint is that she/he got tough on me for making mistakes, then made the mistake of claiming my full article was published on my blog.

    Not true – For design and layout reasons, not all my LP posts appear on my blog and the link provided by the Moderator is certainly inaccurate. This demonstrates “we’re all able to make mistakesâ€? and I challenge the reader to judge me in this context.

    Especially when you consider that despite criticism over the length of my writing, ABC Radio’s PM tonight made this Sunrise issue “the lead storyâ€? and the newspapers will no doubt devote “extra spaceâ€? to the issue tomorrow morning.

    Tigtog writes:

    “Perhaps just the meatiest chunks in future rather than the gravy as well?â€?

    If I didn’t repost the Joe Hockey article, my views could be wrongly perceived as Labor Party Spin Doctoring.

    I define myself as “non-left labourite as I strive to be “a third partyâ€? in my own special branded way

    …From Justin

    [1] Gerber, Michael E. The E-Myth. 1995 Harper-Collins. Pages 125-128.

  80. tigtog says:

    I cop to editing the incorrect comment regarding the post on your blog. I got a bit confused between the several long comments. My apologies.

    Especially when you consider that despite criticism over the length of my writing, ABC Radio’s PM tonight made this Sunrise issue “the lead storyâ€? and the newspapers will no doubt devote “extra spaceâ€? to the issue tomorrow morning.

    Never said it wasn’t a topical story at the top of the immediate media cycle. Never said you don’t make good points, because you do.

    However, in general comments should not be longer than the screen window, or at least that no commentor should have more than one comment per thread that is any longer than that. Other readers will find it dispiriting to have to keep on paging down just to get through a single comment.

    If I didn’t repost the Joe Hockey article, my views could be wrongly perceived as Labor Party Spin Doctoring.

    You have your own blog. Expand the theme there and if anyone calls you a spin-doctor, point to the counterevidence published there. It doesn’t all need to be here.

    Further correspondence regarding this via email, please.

  81. Graham Bell says:

    Pavlov’s Cat, Phil, Amanda and BearCave:

    The Ministry of Truth and Information just couldn’t handle the concept overload of having Kevin Rudd and Joe Hockey discussing and debating amicably, assertively and rationally on nation-wide TV.

    It might spread …. and the mugs out there would start thinking for themselves. Can’t have that! Next thing you know the mugs will want real democracy too. Joe and Kevin just had to go and that’s that.

    So it’s back to “normality'[wtf?] for Australia. Gladiatorial brawls, dead-wrong idiots screaming at each other, government by fake opinion polls and all the rest of the dreary bullsh*t. Pity. For a while there, Joe and Kevin looked like they might have dragged Australian politics into the modern world.

  82. BearCave says:

    Graham, have a listen to Radio National’s current book-reading of George Orwell’s classic “1984”.

    Not because such fantasy translates into modern-day reality, but because I believe Orwell’s story can be interpreted as a timeless study of the average person’s concept of hope and satisfaction, their power relationships and the behaviour of people, both individually and collective. It is one of my favourite stories.

    Graham writes:

    “So it’s back to “normality’[wtf?] for Australia. Gladiatorial brawls, dead-wrong idiots screaming at each other, government by fake opinion polls and all the rest of the dreary bullsh*t.”.

    Add to that John Howard’s poor treatment of his “moderate” MPs, something that doesn’t seem to get mentioned much.

    To promote Joe Hockey to being Employment Minister, then to deny Hockey his big chance to “recapture the centre” of the IR debate, I believe, demonstrates that Howard is now a poor judge of the moment.

    By not being more supportive of Hockey’s fine balancing act of “competition against” and “cooperation with” Kevin Rudd, Howard has sacrificed Hockey’s self-interest in being re-elected in order to drag Hockey into the uncomfortable collective position of launching “a dog’s breakfast critical attack” against Rudd.

    Silly, silly stuff, Mr. Howard.

    …From Justin

  83. Another Kim says:


    when and if you plan to be in this very best of places,just tell a couple of weeks in advance.

    Think “Rosalita” when you have a good idea of SD & where you’d stay and it’s still true.

  84. Graham Bell says:

    Another Kim:
    Don’t know why but imagined you were somewhere up near the Great Lakes, just down the road fron Lake Wobegone perhaps 🙂

    Yeah – agree about “1984”. In similar vein, try Solzhenitsin’s “One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich” and Lu Xun’s novella “The True Story Of Ah Q”. Hope and optimism …. even to the last.

    You are right too about Howard’s mistreatment of true Liberals. No way will the gutless claque from the Ministry Of Propaganda dare write or broadcast anything about that.

  85. Another Kim says:

    Graham, I am a beach baby. I’ve never been to that part of the country that you speak of. 🙂

  86. Another Kim says:

    Great. Now I’ve blown my cover and probably prejudiced a ton of folks against me.

    So, I’m a guy who lives in NYC from now on.

    Wait, someone else has that MO.

    OK. I’m still my great non-alias.

  87. FDB says:

    Jason Soon loses patience with fellow-travellers:

    You’re a representative of the LDP and as well as its Treasurer and here you are insulting me over your monomania on my property so let me say this- I want nothing more to do with the LDP and this year’s subscription fee was my last. I want to be cancelled off your membership roll and all my financial details erased. Your stupid party of hoons can go fuck itself.
    Your shooters and assorted speedsters can have the party to yourselves – I don’t intend to vote for it and support it or give it anymore publicity. I will dissuade other people from supporting it too as long as it is filled to the brim with gun nuts such as you.

  88. Graham Bell says:

    Another Kim:
    No need to worry, your secret is perfectly safe with the tiny little handful of Larvatus Prodeo participants way over here on the other side of the planet 😀

    If j-p-z does happen to hop on The Dog and pop over for the weekend 🙂 say “hello” from all of us here. Anyone with his irony and wit, his strange taste in music and who comes from Brooklyn can’t be all that bad ….. so hope you do get a chance to meet and chat sometime.


    Strange news just in from Australia 18 days after April Fool’s Day: Howard has made a deal with Bush for Australia to detain Cuban and Haitian illegal immigrants in exchange for the US detaining SriLankan and Burmese illegal immigrants currently held by Australian authorities. I kid you not!!!! And no! Borat had nothing to do with it. I’m sure neither Pres. Pelosi nor Pres. Schwarznegger would have touched a loony deal like that.

  89. Enemy Combatant says:

    “Strange news just in from Australia 18 days after April Fool’s Day: Howard has made a deal with Bush for Australia to detain Cuban and Haitian illegal immigrants in exchange for the US detaining SriLankan and Burmese illegal immigrants currently held by Australian authorities.”

    Yes, it is strange news, Graham. Trading global human misery like offshore options. All in a days work for the leaders of The Free World.

    “Tell ya what Ah’ll do, John Boy. You take these Mayans and ‘Spics off mah radar; Ah’ll take those Slopes and Ragheads off yours, election cummin’ up ‘n’ all. Whaddya say, mite?”

    “Sure, George, anything you do is ok by me. We’re in this war against terrorism together, Mister President.”

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