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Open thread – Australia Day edition

Welcome to another week and another open thread. Australia Day is upon us, which pretty much signals the end of the silly season for most of us. Every man and his dog seem to be using Australia Day as an excuse to push whatever barrow of theirs can be tied to our national day, which provides ample opportunity for their opponents to loudly condemn them.

What do you make of the annual debates that surround Australia Day? Thoughts on the flag, anthem, the symbolism of the date are all welcome.

Personally, the Hottest 100 has been a big part of celebrating Australia Day in our household, but this year’s leaking of the winner, along with the new schedule that’ll see it finish at 8:30pm instead of 6 has taken the shine off a bit. How will you all be celebrating?

25
  • 1
    confessions
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that News Ltd appears to be the only media outlet that hasn’t picked up on the Greens press release about the internet blackout tomorrow and Conroy’s Fundie Filter. Fairfax, the ABC, even Ch 7 all ran with a story about the net filter. But news.com.au and The Australian silent. Guess news isn’t really news unless it accords with your outlet’s political priorities.

  • 2
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Confessions, did you see Senator Fielding’s response to the Greens’ action?

    no gr8 loss with the Greens website fading to black. http://bit.ly/5z6btS

    Nice to see he’s treating the issue seriously.

  • 3
    caf
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    The later start to the Hottest 100 makes things a bit easier on the Sandgropers, though.

  • 4
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I was under the impression that the Hottest 100, like most Triple J programming, was on delay to SA/NT and WA? They’re making a big deal over the fact that it’s live across the country this year.

  • 5
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    From the episode that aired on ABC2 last Friday (which I only just got around to watching), Stephen Colbert points out the contradictions in conservative criticism of Obama.

  • 6
    confessions
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Dave: Typical Fielding response really. Roll on 30 June 2011 when he becomes just another former senator.

  • 7
    confessions
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    A NYT article about Charles Johnson’s supposed change of mind. Reading it, and his blog post from last year it seems to me like he didn’t change his mind so much as no longer wants to be associated with the haters and woe-is-me whingers so common on the Right.

  • 8
    John
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Anthony Watts crusade to document every weather station in America has ended in failure.

  • 9
    tammois
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that rabid nationalism and patriotism are unproductive engagements with the country, and all too often lead to exclusion of anyone who doesn’t fit the majority view of what it is to be ‘Australian’. Particularly since multiculturalism became the so-called ‘m’ word under Howard, discourses around diversity have narrowed, or even been neglected entirely in the national narrative, especially when it’s draped in flags or jingoism. Benedict Anderson gave us the the very helpful concept of ‘imagined communities’, but too much of contemporary representations of what it is to be Australian leave little room for significant segments of the population to imagine themselves into our national imaginary.

    Does anyone else think that the dramatic increase in use of social media in the past year has actually created a more public foment about the issues with nationalism and patriotism? Those of us who used to quietly deplore racists in flags in the company of our friends and families at home now have the capacity to have a much bigger and more public conversation on Twitter, Facebook and the like – I wonder what effect, if any, this is having on the perceived increase of such behaviour?

    By the way, I won’t be eating lamb today.

  • 10
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    tammois, I’d love to see the lamb marketers extolling the wonder of a nice lamb kofta, satay or perhaps even tandoori dish. The danger in relying on social media, like blogs, is that you can end up getting communities with little or no overlap believing that their views are the only ones with any currency.

  • 11
    tammois
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Dave – I totally agree on both points. In fact, I was reflecting on Poh’s claim that salt and pepper squid is Australia’s national dish, & thought, hey, that’s not such a bad idea… It’s pervasive – in every pub, Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek restaurants, etc. It crosses culture and class – the punters love a bit of fried calamari, add aoili and you’ve got the fooderati on board as well. I’m still thinking of doing a blog post on this obsession with ‘Australia’s national dish’ & the Kekovich ads.

    On the social media, it’s that echo chamber effect, right? But it’s interesting how much more amplified the pro & anti-nationalist commentary seems this year – louder but not necessarily any more productive perhaps, nor really talking to each other, just shouting from either side of an impenetrable wall.

  • 12
    twobob
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I have enjoyed the inquiry going on in Britain with regard to the legality of the Iraq invasion.
    I also wonder if honest john sleeps well at night when stories like this http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/27/2801990.htm keep popping up.

    I would dearly love to see bush blair and howard front a war crimes trial and I am certain that the bastards are squirming in their seats with every story that even suggests that the war was illegal.

  • 13
    twobob
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    George Monbiot has launched a website – http://www.arrestblair.org – whose purpose is to raise money as a reward for people attempting a peaceful citizen’s arrest of the former prime minister of Britain.
    There is a good story about why here
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/25/bounty-blair-war-criminal-chilcot

    I would be a great thing if some tech savy Australian did a similar thing for our honest john.

  • 14
    confessions
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Of course this was entirely predicted when Abbot took over leadership:

    But Abbott’s subtler points about how best to prevent opposition to high immigration were lost in a manufactured hubbub over racism. Those are chickens from 2001 and afterward coming home to roost. The Coalition spent so long demonizing asylum seekers and politicizing border security while in Government that its bad faith on immigration issues is automatically assumed.

    Nevertheless, that’s a practical example of a point that some of us have made about Abbott’s low “undecided” figures in polling: when people think they have a good idea of what you stand for, it’s pretty hard to break out of that stereotype, and all the harder if you’re careless enough to honestly answer questions. Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, who both have daughters, may well have the same views on the same topic, but it’s a non-issue for them because they don’t carry such enormous, and self-imposed, baggage on such matters.

    It really doesn’t matter what he says now, people remember the head kicker from the Howard years with some of the nastiest, personally abusive attacks made against peers and colleagues. It really is time for the embittered Howard dinosaurs to move on from politics.

  • 15
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Hmm interesting comment by Bolt on Paywall:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/how_to_kill_your_traffic/

    Me thinks he is worried what might happen to his “One Million Hits a month”

  • 16
    DeanL
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I’d like to ask Tony Abbott:

    Over the years, how many “gifts” has he stolen from the daughters of others?

    Or, does our virile, budgy smuggling Opposition leader believe he was entitled to those gifts and did he only take them only on his birthdays?

    Just asking.

    I do have an 11 year old daughter and I’d prefer that she held on to her “gift” as long as she wants to but, I agree with Abbott, I certainly wouldn’t want her giving it away to any delinquent catholic school boy with a warped sense of entitlement.

  • 17
    confessions
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    If I had a daughter I’d prefer that she considered love, compassion and companionship as more worthy gifts to someone than sex.

  • 18
    ShaunHC
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    With regards to what Tony Abbott said, Geroge Brandis had this to say as he attacked Julia Gillard:

    “You see, I think that most parents, in fact, all – any parent I can think of would agree with what Tony Abbott said”

    Now I would like to go on record as stating that I have 2 daughters, and when they reach the age of consent, what they choose to do sexually is none of my business. So ALL parents? I think he meant all parents of his generation who are of a socially conservative mindest. Would that qualification make it clearer?

  • 19
    monkeywrench
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I posted in another thread that Andrew Bolt seemed uncomfortable with his readership, as occasional glimpses seem to suggest, as per his attempts to turn his winged monkeys on to opera.
    Well, the Bolt Effect can be relied on to produce a suitable counter-example of whatever Bolt wants you to believe. Here’s Bolt’s highbrow holiday reading list with a request for reader’s suggestions. Have a read of the replies.

  • 20
    confessions
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    monkeywrench @ 19: Wow. Just…wow!

    :lol:

  • 21
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    mw @ 19 : oh dear. The movie version of “i served the King of England” was on SBS the other night. If the book was like the movie then Andy has really gone up the garden path.

    Funny how none of the comments have listed the readers responses. I am awaiting for someone to say they only read Andy’s blog because it is the only truth.

  • 22
    confessions
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    A politically divided Securities and Exchange Commission voted on Wednesday to make clear when companies must provide information to investors about the business risks associated with climate change.

    The commission, in a 3 to 2 vote, decided to require that companies disclose in their public filings the impact of climate change on their businesses -- from new regulations or legislation they may face domestically or abroad to potential changes in economic trends or physical risks to a company.

    Schapiro said companies already must disclose anything that can have a significant effect on their bottom lines.

    This will make things a whole lot more interesting! IIRC there was something similar happening here, but in the courts?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/27/AR2010012704502.html

  • 23
    RobJ
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I can’t remember Andrew Bolt complaining when coalition forces wisely decided to pay insurgents in Iraq to come on side, now the coalition has finally realised that they need to extend this smart policy to Afghanistan Bolt is blowing a gasket.

    Oh that’s right, Andrew Bolt naively believes that it was the troop surge alone that helped quell the violence in Iraq and paying insurgents had nothing to do with it. LOL- He’s not much for military strategy, I guess he thinks the allies are prepared to tough it out FOREVER in Afghanistan, ah well, I guess it’s not his life on the line, i guess he’s out of touch with reality.

  • 24
    RobJ
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Well as you can imagine, there are plenty of stupid comments following Bolt’s latest anti-Rudd rant, here’s an example:

    Kevin Rudd should be arrested by the military and put on trial for treason, as should Quentin Bryce for not sacking him the instant he announced this travesty. The entire Labor front bench should follow, and a double-dissolution election should be called with this issue front-and-centre.

    Wow! Bolt really does have a following of fringe lunatics. I’d be utterly ashamed if I were him, that my column appealed to such morons.

  • 25
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    LOL.

    I was wondering what the wingnuts would think about that when I heard of it.

    I think it’s funny that those who are biggest on blowing the fsck out of brown people for the greater good of the US’s convenience “Western Security”, are also those who worship at the alter of the Free Market and the infallibility of money.

    Surely, if everything has a price, then Freedom must as well? Why not a market for Peace?

    It seems that killing Muslims is far more important than the usual bleatings about the ineffability of the unrestrained marketplace.

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