Saturday Salon

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

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70 comments on “Saturday Salon
  1. Mark says:

    How is MsFits these days?

  2. haiku says:

    No idea. I don’t really have anything to say, but too good an opportunity to be first. My life is otherwise full of seconds.

  3. Mark says:

    In the pistols at dawn sense?

  4. Pavlov's Cat says:

    I was thinking more the factory outlet sense.

  5. tigtog says:

    Or the ticking away sense?

  6. Shaun says:

    Or not quite up for first grade?

  7. Anna Winter says:

    I was thinking the extra mudcake sense…

  8. Cliff says:

    *insert witty remark*

  9. nasking says:

    We hoped for some peace
    but the towns water runs dry again
    the men sharpen swords

  10. … Our altars are cleansed,
    The knives of ritual sharp,
    Our virgins nervous …

  11. haiku says:

    Your witty remarks
    are all much better than mine
    and I have Honours …

  12. steve says:

    First, a banana induced inflation spiral from a cyclone last year,

    Second, a ….. from drought this year.

  13. observa says:

    Cho Seung-Hui was really just another David Hicks makes good, but unlike Hicks father, at least Cho’s grandfather understood that,10117,21594774-401,00.html?from=public_rss
    Or was Cho just the quintessential barking mad marxist railing at all the perceived injustices of the world? Can the Che Guevera fans feel the same empathy for a Cho as they feel for a Hicks one wonders.

  14. Obby, you’re just quintessentially barking.

    As for Cho, the only interesting detail from your linked article is that – maybe – he showed a few autistic traits as a kid. No, that’s not interesting at all, because when word of that gets around, there’ll no doubt be a few people warning their brats off having anything to do with the weird quiet kid down the road, just in case.

    Empathy doesn’t come into it in the Hicks case, old son – that’s a canard of your own devising. I wouldn’t piss on Hicks if he were on fire, I wouldn’t want him sitting next to me on a train and he’s pretty bloody stupid. Nonetheless there are certain basic standards of fair treatment for everyone that have to be observed if we’re going to profess that we’re a society that lives under the rule of law.

  15. observa says:

    It’s OK to declare a Cho barking mad and lock him away for community safety but not detain a Hicks, caught in incriminating circumstances the same way, or apparently a known AIDS poofter infecting others with AIDS, via the Gaydar website, when it is known by health authorities. The left are totally selective human rights wankers.

  16. And into moderation you go, before this thread gets any more inflamed.

  17. Alex says:

    I demand more posts from Phil.

    Also, I’ve never been much of a patriot, however that all changed when I watched this inspiring videoclip.

  18. philip travers says:

    I guess Alex is being serious.The National Gaurds are not the regular Army by a long shot,and their attitudes may not include some of what the singer has sung.I find it pitiful that it generally is the poorer sections of the American male community who end up as soldiers.And the American soldier may in fact,really be the good patriotic Americans,and lets hope the singer gets up Cheney and the private contractors,which may even be killing the red white and blue!?

  19. FunkyCheese says:

    um, so mark, what is the ‘pistols at dawn’ sense of being full of seconds? have been trying to work it out since the wee hours, and i don’t get it.

  20. Phil says:

    In todays good news, the Catholic Church has abolished limbo and decided to save all the dead babies – past, present and future.

    Glad to know they’re thinking of the children……….oh……sorry…..I didn’t mean……..oh, never mind.

    THE Vatican has determined that limbo does not exist, opening the gates of heaven to babies who die unbaptised, a member of a high-level theological commission.

    “The many factors that we have considered … give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptised infants who die will be saved,” says a document published by the US magazine Origins with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI.

    The medieval concept of limbo as a place where unbaptised infants spend eternity but without communion with God seems to reflect an “unduly restrictive view of salvation,” the document says.
    The thought that stillborn babies, for example, would be relegated to a kind of no-man’s-land in the afterlife tormented generations of Catholic families.

    The idea of limbo – from the Latin for “edge” – was meant to address the paradox that unbaptised babies could not go to heaven because their original sin had not been expunged, but nor should they go to purgatory or hell.

    In 1984, when Benedict headed the Vatican’s doctrinal enforcement body as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he said he was “personally” in favour of scrapping the 13th-century notion, which he termed a mere “hypothesis.”

    You think? At this rate I’m thinking that in 500 years we’ll see heaven and hell abolished.

  21. Bernice says:

    As usual, am the last to know, but I was intrigued by a little fact in Alan Ramsay’s main article in the Sat SMH. In his discussion about the manner in which the War in Terror is being waged, & the recent remarks by the British High Commissioner, Alan slipped in the intriguer that the Darwin to Alice rail line was built by KBR Inc, who it appears, are a subsidiary of Halliburton. How very interesting. So does that ribbon of steel have a strategic role after all? & what would that be? Anyone?

  22. Mark says:

    um, so mark, what is the ‘pistols at dawn’ sense of being full of seconds? have been trying to work it out since the wee hours, and i don’t get it.

    In a duel, both parties retain another to act as second.

  23. steve says:

    interesting tale here

  24. Christine Keeler says:

    Poor old Obby can’t help himself: Cho=Hicks=AIDS=poofters.

    I’m guessing he’s off his medication.

  25. Now, now. Please play fair Ms K – obby’s not free to respond right now.

  26. Jeremy Dixon says:

    Got something serious to say here about the right to strike and all that. The sooner this point battles its way inot the public arena the less nasty for all concerned, so, ahem:

    “The fact is that strikes don’t win labour conditions, sabotage wins labour conditions. It was sabotage that won the ‘right to strike’ as away of doing business less harmful for the employer.

    Sabotage ranges all the way between its basic version “bad work for bad pay”, (a sabot is a clog, sabotage clogs the works) also known as ca’canny….from there all the way to destruction of property.

    Shearers unionism was built on “Bryant and May” a popular brand of matches. And in the dry outback the squatters learned to fear Bryant and May more than any number of strikes.

    In their arrogance the boss class has forgotten this. Rudd is not a union man so he probably never knew. Ken Davidson tried to remind them in his article for the Age a few days ago; he was hampered by the convention that one must not speak the s word. But his drift was clear.

    The left is now called upon to have the guts to openly speak of sabotage; and how it will become the new industrial action if the right to strike is suppressed.”

  27. Christine Keeler says:

    My apologies Gummo. I’ve sent myself to the sin bin, ’cause sinning is such great fun.

  28. I can’t believe they abolished limbo!
    That’s 700 years worth of Dante rendered obselete in a single brushstroke.
    Thanks for nothing Catholic Church.

  29. Christine Keeler says:

    This limbo thing is a bit of conundrum. Does it mean that all those unbaptised souls always went to heaven, or is there now to be some sort of celestial refugee crisis at the pearly gates?

    And hang on a bit: If unbaptised infants get a free pass, then what’s the point of baptism in the first place? Is there some sort of expiry date on the period of grace, and if so what is it?

    So many questions, so few theologians.

  30. Link says:

    Phil, Pope John Paul cancelled ‘Hell’, (apparently), not that I take too much notice of Pontif ications.

  31. Antonio says:

    UQ Alumni booksale is on for the next few days. Quality (for humanities at least) is down on the previous sale. I think the book dealers pretty much ransacked the place before anyone got in there – which really pisses me off.

    One really disturbing thing I noticed was the complete absence of materials on India. In fact, the only item in an Indian language was a bilingual Qur’an in Bengali.

    I know it might be a leap but I seriously think Australia is asleep at the wheel when it comes to India.

  32. Katz says:

    Weren’t all righteous folk who weren’t properly baptised once deemed to be denizens of Limbo?

    Limbo wasn’t just some sort of cosmological creche.

    Now I guess there’ll also be many embryos in heaven.

    Heaven’s beginning to look a lot like the bar scene from Star Wars.

  33. Here we go. That didn’t take long. And so the hysteria continues.

  34. Phil says:

    In other news and brought on in the spirit of theological solidarity, Islamists have decided to open their heaven to non-virgins.

    Theologians based in Mecca have determined that the idea of 72 virgins has had it’s day, and have opened the gates of heaven to non-virgins

    “The many factors that we have considered … give serious theological grounds for hope that non-virgins will be allowed,â€? says a document published by the Iranian magazine Islamist Weekly with the approval of Ayatholla Ali Kahemi.

    The medieval concept of 72 virgins with whom devout Islamic Jihadists spend eternity reflect an “unduly restrictive view of salvation,â€? the document says.

    And in what is obviously cascading series of theological events, Evangelical Christians have decided that no one gets left behind when…………

  35. Enemy Combatant says:

    St Peter stands behind his dais on Pearly Gates duty. Nearby, an archangel languidly stretches his wings.

    Gabriel: Say Pete, get a load of all the juve queue-jumpers.

    Peter: Yeah Gabe, things havn’t been the same up here since Benny sprung ’em all simultaneous from that low security Limbo joint. None of ’em got ID and they all want platinum soyvis. Abortees are demandin’ full-term privileges and all the goddamn blastocysts wanna float near the boss’s right hand.

    Gabriel: Yo, Big P, that Benny sure is a piece o’ woik.

  36. Christine Keeler says:

    And so the hysteria continues.

    Oh. Your. God. Did anybody notice that Cho wore GLASSES?

    And EC, this limbo thing is obviously all part of the zeigeist. Sri Lankans come to Australia for a Green Card, and the great lumpenunbaptised go straight to god.

    And what happened to all those poor buggers who mortally sinned by eating meat on Friday before that went the way of vinyl records?

  37. anthony says:

    I used to go to Limbo Nightclub on William Street for the Thursdays $5 all you can drink hour of straight vodka and I can assure you it wasn’t pleasant (and not all because of my cycle shorts)

    BTW Well done to the priest on the SBS news for explaining it all without breaking out into laughter.

  38. Mark says:

    UQ Alumni booksale is on for the next few days. Quality (for humanities at least) is down on the previous sale. I think the book dealers pretty much ransacked the place before anyone got in there – which really pisses me off.

    I’ve been going since the late 80s, Antonio, the book dealers always do ransack the place but they get the less interesting stuff – because they have an eye for what will sell (having said that, it’s always sad to see books you could have had for $2 marked up to $30 in Archives the next week). But the quality is always variable – it depends very much on what people have donated and what they’ve culled from the library stacks. But, yeah, though I got some interesting curios (including a Thomist critique of Weber!) it wasn’t flash on first inspection this year. There were some pretty spiffy things around at the sale before last.

    Speaking of books, anyone notice Jed Bartlet kept Foucault on his Oval Office bookshelf?

  39. Rob says:

    Lifeline’s bookfair is on this weekend in Canberra.

    Which reminds me, I must get to it.

  40. Hmmm. Looks like Good King Rupert is prepared to sanction a change of Government this year.

  41. pre-dawn leftist says:


    I thought Howard was screwed – I guess this confirms it.


  42. Christine Keeler says:

    JHo gives him the OK to buy anything not nailed down and this is the thanks he gets. Oh the ingratitude.

  43. pablo says:

    Paul (neo-con) Wolfowitz, the architect of shock and awe in Baghdad has run into a spot of bother at the World Bank by trying to get his current girlfriend onto a higher payroll. Australia is represented on the 24 member board of governors to this strange body, always headed by a US citizen. These guvnors are currently deciding Wolfie’s fate but I’ve not seen anything from the rodent or Lord Downer on wicked influence peddling….

  44. Jeremy Dixon, answer this:

    If you put the red steet through my pub, who will pay for your wheelchair?

  45. Red steer, even. Time to put my hand in my pocket & buy a new keyboard… jamming keys.. *grrrr*

  46. genevieve says:

    Limbo has been gone since about 1985. Or maybe even earlier than that. Old, old news.

  47. Christine Keeler says:

    Theologians based in Mecca have determined that the idea of 72 virgins has had it’s day, and have opened the gates of heaven to non-virgins

    “The many factors that we have considered … give serious theological grounds for hope that non-virgins will be allowed,â€?

    I’m a bit suspicious about this. While I can hardly claim to be knowledgeable on the issue, that ‘theological grounds for hope’ sounds pretty slippery to me. Reads more like one of those ‘with our reformed accounts management structure in place we hope to see improved growth in the next quarter’ statements you see from companies about to go belly-up.

  48. Christine Keeler says:

    Oh hang on, more theological confusion. According to the Westboro Baptist Church “God Hates The World”

    Apparently they’ll be picketing the Virginia Tech funerals because the dead bought their fate upon themselves by not being Christian. Oh, and they’re now in hell

  49. I know this probably belongs on the Virgina Tech/creative writing thread, but Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin), who PC has written about (very thoughtfully) wrt the massacre has an exceptionally insightful piece on the whole thing here. Highly recommended.

  50. I’ve sometimes considered the possibility of starting a religious cult based on the premise that God is actually malevolent and that we’ll all spend eternity in Hell, with various degrees of eternal torment. Those who were kindest to others during their lives would be tormented most, those who were cruel would get to torment them and in turn be tormented by even crueller bastards.

    My cult’s central teaching would be that as this life is the only chance we get to be decent human beings before we’re all tossed into the inferno, we might as well make the most of it. Seems old Fred’s got half the idea. Now I’ll need to come up with something else!

  51. Christine Keeler says:

    There’ll be a whole lotta smiting going on, Gummo.

  52. And this would be a significant change, Christine?

  53. Buffy says:

    Hey, where does a person who spends her every waking moment fighting evil bastard vampires fit into this?

  54. Shaun says:

    Lobby Loyde has died. A musician that deserved as much credit as Billy Thorpe for the hallowed sound of Oz rock.

  55. The Devil Drink says:

    Heaven’s beginning to look a lot like the bar scene from Star Wars

    I prefer the bar scene from Casablanca, Katz, though when I can I hang out with Marlene in the bar from Morocco.

  56. Gummo, perhaps lots of “smiting” going on in your cult, as Christine says, however my preference would be for a cult which involves me in lots of “begatting”.

  57. Nah Steve – it would obviously be a bad thing to beget too many people – just more victims for our vicious, cruel deity to torment through eternity.

    Contraception, therefore, would be mandatory. Chastity however, wouldn’t. Quite the reverse in fact.

    Oh and sending people off to their eternal torment would be a bit of a no-no too. That oughtto keep the smiting within acceptable limits.

  58. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Gee, Curtin on TV HOW GOOD WAS THAT!!!!! What a change from all the slime (yes Frank Zappa was great also, yesterday). Fukking great casting, McInnes, Noni! Oh gawd, how satisfying. Even the talking to camera worked. And it was all chicks’ work, including the casting. Only Bob Menzies was a dud but it’s minor niggle.

  59. Kim says:

    Yep, pretty spiffy.

  60. Christine Keeler says:

    Aw, strewth it was bloody orright, although you’ve got to wonder about that Menzies cove. And don’t forget to remove yer ‘ats when entering the blog.

  61. Kim says:

    Hmm, hats have to be removed in the Diary Room too!

    I’ve put up a Curtin thread:

  62. BearCave says:

    “Censorship rules in Russia have reached their most restrictive since
    the break-up of the Soviet Union.�

    It was only yesterday afternoon that I watched two of three episodes of an old documentary series about Joseph Stalin, ruler of Russia for thirty years when Russia and neighbouring countries formed the “communist” Soviet Union.

    In summary, Stalin rose to dictating power by combining rapid Industrialization and enforced Collectivization of agriculture, which impacted on most of the country’s population (80% of Russia’s population in the 1920s were peasants).

    These efforts, combined with the Soviet alliance with Western nations in defeating Germany during the Second World War, helped Russia become a world super-power, but it also lead to suppression of press freedoms and the imposition of death penalties against “enemies of the state”, both real and imaginary (state-imposed deaths reached tens of millions in number).

    The concept of Communism had the intellectual support of one George – namely George Bernard Shaw, who met Stalin in the 1930s and dismissed reports of famine and state-imposed exploitation as “falsehoods”. He instead focused his criticism on the democratic system of England, which he believed worked against the interests of the working class.

    The same concept was also met with the intellectual criticism of another George – namely George Orwell, a social democrat who believed that collectivism is not inherently democratic and that Soviet Communism had evolved into something quite autocratic – namely Stalinism. Effectively, his belief was that the consequence of liberating one system is that it imposes another.

    The Soviet Union was broken up in 1991 following the collapse of Communism, but this report in The Age today demonstrates the very long-term legacy left by Stalin’s rule, and the Cold War between world super-powers that followed:

    The article reports about President Putin’s new rule over freedom of speech and media access in Russia, measures “intended to protect the public”. In particular, radio news is required to be 50% positive, even if 50% of the day’s stories have no reason to be positive.

    Andrew Kramer reports for the New York Times from Moscow:

  63. BearCave says:

    Here’s that Andrew Kramer link, one more time, reporting from Moscow. I think it ought to work properly this time:

  64. BearCave says:

  65. mick says:

    Anyone got any tips for doing a job interview via Skype? I have one in a few hours…

  66. BearCave says:

    Wow, news just in that Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first post-communist president has died. A coincidence that I’ve written with a rather sudden interest over the last 48 hours in the history and evolution of Russia, and the impact it’s had on their media scene.

    No doubt I’ll be learning more now because of these circumstances.

    By the way, the article mentioned in my post above is titled:

    ‘50% good’ rule is bad news for Russian radio

    Written by Andrew Kramer from the New York Times, republished on Monday (23 April) in The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

    You can read the article online.

    …From Justin

  67. Christine Keeler says:

    The State Government has been urged to crack down on pubs that repeatedly sell alcohol to drunk customers


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