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Weekend talk thread – May 27-29

The weekend is only hours away so it’s time to slip into a fresh open thread.

To help keep you away from the lawnmower here’s a few tidbits.

Behind the scenes at Al Jazeera English

How to spot a psychopath

Should video games be defined using film or literary terms?

A look at Australia from The EconomistNo Worries

Take it easy this weekend.

Update: A forceful response to the ABC Religion and Ethics Editor Scott Stephens’ article on the Drum regarding child abuse in the Catholic Church.

125
  • 1
    twobob
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/liberal-senator-attacks-leftist-abc-coverage-20110526-1f62z.html

    According to eric abetz the number of complaints the ABC receives is an indication of how the ABC treats a political party. From that it can be concluded that I must complain more about the way the ABC treats the Greens.

    Don’t worry eric I will now ensure that the ABC receives plenty of complaints about bias. I encourage others to do the same.

  • 2
    jules
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    What do you reckon about the video game thing Jeremy?

    Video games are more like graphic novels than any other form of art imo, and really only one of them actually made it as a great work of literature.

  • 3
    Nutsnbolts
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    66 year-old ‘Tractor Dave’ and his 1937 Co-op tractor are about to embark on a 9.300 mile fund-raising trip. The funds are for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee and Food Resource Bank.

    For those unfamiliar with Co-op tractors, they were built and sold in the 1930s by the Canadian Farm Bureau, also known as the Cockshutts! (Is this some sort of early feminist revenge on males?)

    Cockshutt and Co-op tractors originated in Canada and were later produced by the Oliver company. Tractors were painted green for Oliver and Red & Cream for Cockshutt. Co-op tractors were mostly painted in Orange.

    I think this man deserves our support.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2011/05/man_on_a_mission_tractor_dave.html

  • 4
    jules
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I know Jeremy didn’t write the post, but the questions re what sort of art games are reminds of this:

    “City 17 both horrifies and fascinates me, and there’s something powerful about that abandoned landscape (particularly Highway 17 and the road to White Forrest) that really strikes a chord with me. You wander through humanity’s twilight, where we’re on the way out but individuals are still hanging on, waiting their turn to disappear, without hope. It’s civilization as it becomes a ruin. It’s haunting and beautiful, and it still evokes strong feelings even though I am now completely aware of what’s coming next and know the levels well enough to see behind the curtain. It’s got a certain magic to it anyway.”

    Which he did write.

    here:

    http://www.restorerestartquit.com/?p=395

    I remember that post cos it inspired me to go back and play HL2 again. Video games are almost a new category. Not tv, not movies (cept perhaps the most linear ones) and not literature either, tho some may as well be.

  • 5
    jimminy14
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    That Guardian psychopathy article was fantastic. The comments are glorious too.

    Whenever I read an article about severe personality disorders, I automatically assume I have one and check myself against all the traits listed. It’s infuriating and seriously ruins a good day. Both the author of that article and a bunch of the comments state the same thing.

    This makes me happy.

  • 6
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Palin set for White House run

    Washington May 27, 2011

    SARAH Palin has reignited speculation that she is considering a 2012 White House bid with the release of a two-hour documentary version of her book in which she is compared to Joan of Arc.

    You know how sometimes a little bit of sick comes up, but not totally, and you have that yucky burning sick taste at the back of your throat? I had that just now.

  • 7
    jules
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    There is a transcript of an interview with Jon Ronson on NPR radio here:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=136462824

    This isn’t a new idea tho.

    There’s also this, which I don’t quite agree with, but anyway:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/smith05242011.html

  • 8
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m a borderline psychopath. That’s interesting.

    “Promiscuous sexual behaviour” as an indicator of psychopathology bothers me. It seems to be anchored in a ’50s morality, but it doesn’t indicate anything but a certain free-spiritedness in the modern age.

    Also: the Hare PCL-R is only properly applicable to prisoner populations. Juvenile delinquency, revocation of conditional release, and criminal versatility will only show up in the “failed” psychopaths who (a) engage in criminal behaviour, and (b) get caught.

  • 9
    Sancho
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Blog me, my darlings.

    So far my RSS feed only has Grog’s Gamut, so please tell me what else is good to read.

  • 10
    bis
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I would like to question the claim of this visiting UN representative that ‘The Malaysian Solution’ isn’t kosher on the grounds of that Malaysia isn’t a signatory to the UN conventions regarding refugees and torture.
    Countries such as China are Saudi Arabia signatories to the torture convention and that great paradigm of human rights, Iran, is a noted signatory to the refugee convention. All this would seem to indicate that being a signatory to a UN convention is altogether meaningless.
    It is the actual record of the country in question that is the only true measure, and Malaysia’s is undoubtedly dubious when compared to Australia, but surely much better when compared to the aforementioned signatories.
    It has always been a hobby horse of mine that the UN should stick it’s original purpose: being a diplomatic forum for great powers, and refrain from world governance by meaningless conventions.
    I remember hearing the UN World Government model as being like mixing ice-cream and dog faeces:the resulting mixture will taste more of the latter rather than the former. And so it is with the UN: mixing democratically elected governments with dictatorial ones will ensure the resulting forum takes on the hue of the latter rather than the former.

  • 11
    RobJ
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Should video games be defined using film or literary terms?

    First I admit I haven’t read the link but I can’t see why new classifications can’t be developed for the newer media rather than try and shoehorn them into some other category of art.

    and really only one of them actually made it as a great work of literature.

    Which one Jules?

    I’m a low-brow type of guy, I’m not thick I just like some plebby stuff, I’m a product of my environment during my formative years, my favourite art form is video games I’m not ashamed to admit, followed by music but my love of music stems from my punk rock roots.

  • 12
    Ruprecht
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    One for the Victorians:

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/ministers-error-sinks-equality-law-change-20110526-1f6b6.html

    Governemnt Minister somehow manages to get locked out of a vote on the Equal Opportunity Act amendments, and the amendments fail.

  • 13
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    “Atlas Shrugged, Part 1″ The fillum of the doorstop …

    Budget: 20 million.
    Domestic Gross after 1 month: 4.6 million.
    Currently showing on a whopping 32 screens across the whole US of A.
    Chance of recouping budget: F**k all.
    Chance of Part II happening: Pissing myself.

    http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=atlasshrugged.htm

  • 14
    RobJ
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed that Guardian article on psychopaths.. Cheers dave.

  • 15
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    bis@10
    As we tend to accept only scientifically tested theories here at PP, I propose you conduct an experiment to ensure your ice-cream/Barker’s Egg analogy is a worthy one. I have a German Shepherd pup with extremely healthy bowels, should you need a supply. You can buy your own ice-cream.

  • 16
    Alan Shore
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Bis, the issue around whether a country is a signatory to the Convention or not has to do with the principle of “non-refoulement” enshrined in Article 33:

    Prohibition of expulsion or return ("refoulement")

    1. No Contracting State shall expel or return ("refouler") a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

    As contracting parties to the Convention signatory states agree to not “refouler” asylum seekers or refugees. Obviously, non-contracting States are not bound by the Articles of the Contention and therefore make no such commitment or guarantee.

  • 17
    Sancho
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Ross @13
    http://www.cracked.com/video_18272_if-atlas-shrugged-trailer-was-honest.html

  • 18
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Sancho@17

    “Trains? Really? Trains??” … Loved it, ta.

  • 19
    jules
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Daniel @ 6, promiscuous sexual behaviour can be as you describe – just representative a certain free spiritedness, or it can be essentially jacking off with a series of different warm bodies.

    I’ve known a few genuine psychopaths over the years. They are dangerous people. Even the most petty of things can be a nightmare when a genuine psycho is involved. Give them any real power and look out.

    But I think that sort of behaviour is also a spectrum. Look at Ronson:

    “If I’m being honest, it didn’t cross my mind to become some kind of great crime fighter, philanthropically dedicated to making society a safer place. Instead, I made a mental list of all the people who over the years had crossed me and wondered which of them I might be able to expose as having psychopathic character traits.”

    Obviously he’s not a psycho ( or is … psychopathic enough to anticipate we’d expect this sort of empathy and self reflection from a “normal” human perhap?) cos he’s exhibiting enough self reflection to acknowledge his own behaviour … but his first tendency was what? What happened essentially, to him?

    Well this:

    “Over the three-day course in Wales, my scepticism drained away entirely and I became a Hare devotee. I think the other sceptics felt the same. He was very convincing. I felt like a different person, a hardliner, not confused or out of my depth as I had been when I’d been hanging around with Tony in Broadmoor. Instead, I was contemptuous of those naive people who allowed themselves to be taken in by slick-tongued psychopaths.”

    And what was the outcome?

    “I was attaining a new power, like a secret weapon.”

    Thats a pretty profound thing, cos he seems to be showing a relationship between power and a tendency to exhibit allegedly psychopathic behaviour. Sure it seems obvious that power attracts psychos, but I’m thinking along the lines of psychopathy attracting people who gain power. More along the lines of what Orwell said … power corrupts.

    Interesting that Hare made the connection between a faulty amygdala (well a faulty relationship between it and other brain functions) – and a failure of the fear of consequences and psychopathic behaviour because one thing power does is remove you from the consequences of your acts. The more power you have the harder it is to bring you to “justice”.

    Apart from that, its kind of obvious that any article like this will be loaded with assumptions and misunderstandings.

  • 20
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    How to spot a psychopath?

    Easy. Go work for the music industry. They’re the ones in charge. (Speaking from past experience).

  • 21
    jules
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Just reread that bit where Ronson describes the course on identifying “genuine” psychopaths and been struck by how similar Hare’s weekend/3 day training course is to a weekend of cult brainwashing or a weekend of self help seminars (is there any difference?)

  • 22
    Sancho
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    What Ronson describes happens with any sort of training. With psychiatry, you learn to pick up on behavioural cues and patterns and fit them into a pathological framework.

    It’s exciting, but as everyone realises even from that article, we all have features of mental illness, so common sense and judgement comes into it by default and you don’t go around seeing psychopaths everywhere.

    That said, many of us would have had smoother relationship histories if we were taken aside in highschool and taught to recognise personality disorders. :-P

  • 23
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Sancho (and everyone else): Get some bOING bOING in ‘ya. Civil liberties, writing, tech, craft, subculture, the occasional unicorn, and looking at bananas. It’ll make you a better person.

  • 24
    bis
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Mr Shore,
    You again impressive with your knowledge of legal minutiae. Sadly though it is completely irrelevant to the broad point posited within my post.
    Given that some of the world’s grossest violators of human rights are signatories to all these well intentioned UN conventions and representatives of said violators regularly sit upon UN committees pertaining to human rights, it suggests that the UN is quite possibly the last institution to be lecturing a country like Australia on the issue.
    Whether Malaysia is a signatory to these ultimately meaningless conventions, I feel is irrelevant. We should look at Malaysia’s record for ourselves, and the likely consequences thereof.
    The law is but a means to an end, Mr Shore, it is not the end itself. I think a lot of lawyers, being to close to the minutiae forget this.

    Monkeywrench, very droll. I would be interested to know your general opinion regarding the posited point.

  • 25
    Sancho
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Good one Daniel. Great info mix.

  • 26
    Nutsnbolts
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Habib has been given his passport back and ASIO admits he is not a security threat.

    Last month, previously secret US documents were released by WikiLeaks confirming that Mr Habib had been detained “under extreme duress in Egypt” (ie tortured), undermining claims by the Australian government that it did not know Mr Habib was taken to Egypt under the CIA’s so-called rendition program.

    Lying complicitious bastards.

  • 27
    jules
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    RobJ @ 11. I’m not much of a graphic novel person. Tho I’ve read a few when the opportunity has arisen. So I’m no expert on comics, or on literature for that matter.

    But Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons was the only comic to make Time’s list of 100 great English novels.

    Its an awesome story too. Brilliantly told. Best superhero comic ever.

    I’m sure there are others that are good, but it came out in ’86 and its just … deep. The most thought inspiring comic I’ve ever read.

  • 28
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    The video game article is great (spoiler: its conclusion is “games are games, not other things, even if they borrow the conventions sometimes.”).

    If you found that interesting, have a look at the Extra Credits videos on the Escapist website. It’s mostly about game design from a designer’s point of veiw, and there are a couple of really interesting episodes about narrative, characterisation and storytelling in games. One particularly good episode includes a discussion of the storytelling in Missile Command, which really made me look at games in a whole new light.

  • 29
    John Reidy
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Note to hear about “Atlas Shrugged” tanking, I remember reading a couple of months ago, however the movie was part of a conservative resurgence etc, etc.

    The comparison with computer games and graphic novels is a good one.

    If I remember correctly the graphic novel closest to literature would be “The Watchmen” by Alan Moore – which dates from the ’80s.

  • 30
    Nutsnbolts
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Sin City is an excellent film made based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller. Perhaps graphic novels can trace their heritage go back to Blake and Bunyan.

  • 31
    bis
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the question of video games being art, I would suggest the the viewing of the introduction of WW2 submarine sim Silent Hunter 4 in which contains a particularly moving recital of John Milton’s ‘On Time” (1645).Check it out.

  • 32
    jules
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Daniel @ 28 – I checked out that video on Missile Command. That was brilliantly done.

    Gives me a new appreciation for it. (That game came came out when I was about 12 or 13).

  • 33
    jules
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Sancho @ 22. re Training – I know, but brainwashing is just a form of training.

    And Ronson isn’t a psychiatrist with the associated years of schooling and practice and everything you said. To me it seems like he’s describing a sense of being let into a secret society. Not literally, but psychiatry is exclusive. Only psychiatrists do it and probably only they understand it once they have had some practical experience. He’s peaked behind the curtain and learned the power to judge. And been converted from scepticism about that method in the process.

    So its not just “training”.

    Training involves learning something that you know works. He is being convinced as well. (IMO anyway.)

  • 34
    Nutsnbolts
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Can I give an unashamed plug for a new album by a great musician and all-round good Pacific guy – Dave Bridie.

    It is ‘Strange Birds in Paradise’ and is a celebration of the varied cultures and heritage of West Papua.

    http://www.waterfrontrecords.com/product/77793

    This is the soundtrack to the film of the same name by Charlie Hill-Smith, with music by David Bridie & Arnold Ap, sung by Hein Arumisore, Donny Roem, Kelly Kwalik and Jacob Rumbiak.

    It’s due out in two weeks.

    Support your local musos!

  • 35
    bis
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the UN representative and The Economist article: there’s nothing quite like being lecture by foreigners from afar.

  • 36
    Nutsnbolts
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Forget graphic novels, how about philosophy comics?

    http://books.google.com/books?id=_hIWb6Z8mX0C

  • 37
    Alan Shore
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Mr Bis, I’m pleased that you’re impressed by my knowledge of “legal minutiae”. What you consider to be minutiae I consider to be relevant facts. An opinion is worthless if it is not based in fact.

    The reason why a county’s status in relation to the Refugee Convention is relevant is because, as I noted, Article 33 enshrines the principle of non-refoulement. The starting point for any “deal” relating to asylum seekers should rightly be whether the country with which we’d like to make said deal is a signatory to the Convention. Why? Because Australia’s primary obligation, and one we’ve given effect to through the Migration Act, is to ensure that we do not directly or indirectly return a refugee to “the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened…”

    You are correct to note that in some cases whether a country has signed a UN instrument or not is largely irrelevant. You are also correct to note that in addition to Convention status we should also look at a country’s record. That is why I and many others have grave misgivings about “The Malaysian Solution”. Malaysia has a history of treating asylum seekers as illegal immigrants, detaining and in some cases deporting them. Being a non-signatory to the Convention means we can have little confidence that Malaysia will not refouler refugees which is grounds for deep concern and reason why “this visiting UN representative” claims “‘The Malaysian Solution’ isn’t kosher”.

    As to Iran being a signatory to the Convention, while I’m no defender, we should be careful not to fall into the trap of gross oversimplifications. Following Iran’s ratification of the Convention in 1976 and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 the country instituted an “open door” policy towards Afghan refugees.

    …refugee status was granted to incoming Afghans on a prima facie basis. It has been estimated that Iranian state expenditure subsidising education, health services, transport, fuel and basic goods for approximately two million Afghans in Iran peaked at $US10 million per day. It was as a result of domestic economic and social concerns in the 1990s that refugee policy towards Afghans shifted to emphasise repatriation.

    In 2003, the government of Iran signed a revised Tripartite Agreement with the government of Afghanistan and UNHCR to facilitate the voluntary return of Afghans by March 2005. Between 2002 and 2004, over three quarters of a million Afghans returned from Iran with the voluntary repatriation operation. In late 2004, it was estimated that a little over one million documented Afghans remained in Iran.

    I hope my providing you with the above information does not offend you too much.

  • 38
    bis
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr Shore,
    My dear chap, why should your provision of information offend me?
    Whilst I’m willing to take every piece of information you have provides as given, it still does not invalidate the broad point contained in my previous post. That being, you can point to as many articles in as many international conventions as you like, the fact will remain that are not worth pinch sh!t if the vast bulk of signatories pay mere lip service thereto, as is the case today. Even a country as driven by the rule of law as Australia seeks to worm its way out of such obligations, imagine what less democratic countries would be doing. Thus my skepticism about this UN representative’s claims about the importance of being a signatory to any UN exercise in the warm inner glow being anything other than laughable.
    As for your reference to Iran, is this the same Iran we are currently receiving boatloads of would-be refugees from? Ah, yes, another country embracing the humanitarian spirit of another meaningless UN convention.

  • 39
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I have to admit, bis, that I view some of the UN’s activities with a jaundiced eye. But if one dumps the UN conventions on torture and human rights because some UN signatories are poor practitioners, then I believe your country had better show a clean record in attention to such things, before one starts to carp.
    So far, in this glorious century, we have had the Land of the Free, under its most Conservative government for many years, not only ignore UN conventions, but engage in practical torture and the sponsorship of torture by proxy. There is overwhelming evidence attesting to participation in these practices by the UK and Australia.
    I feel it hypocritical to condemn the UN, when one’s own government (and its allies) wink at UN conventions to which they are signatories.
    It is a source of particular shame ( or should be) that the current Labor Government has become so obsessed with pandering to the Right in this country that they should take such a harsh line, not only on refugees, but on participation in the torture of suspects in the laughable “War on Terror”, many of whom have been proved to be innocent of any involvement in terrorist activity.
    So, in short, I agree the UN is a flawed model….but compared to what? Our glorious Tory Democracy of Oz? If you think this country is an exemplar, then perhaps today’s news about our tax dollars funding cluster-bomb makers and nuclear arms is palatable to you….

  • 40
    Phil M
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was hilarious in today’s news.

    The claim has forced Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to defended his anti-smoking credentials, saying: “No one buys influence with the Liberal Party.”

    http://www.news.com.au/business/breaking-news/coalition-mum-on-tobacco-donations/story-e6frfkur-1226064192081

    That’s right! No one buys influence with the Liberal Party……except for the tobacco companies…………& well maybe the miners……..& maybe just the fossil fuel sector. But that’s it I swear!

  • 41
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Phil M @40
    brilliant, and he says it with a straight face, too. Mind you, there seems to be considerable criticism of the Liberal fag-haggery, even in The Oz. Jack the Insider gave them a serve for it today.

  • 42
    bis
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Monkeywrench,
    I agree all the way. We should either withdraw from the UN convention or accept the consequences of being a signatory, not like the current arrangement of paying lipservice thereto. All your examples merely highlight my point that the UN should pull its head in and get back to being what was intended to be: a multilateral diplomatic forum for world powers.
    Regarding your reference to cluster and nuclear munitions, I believe it to be a burdensome fact of life that war and the horrors thereof are an unwanted necessary. When that burden comes I would rather we face it with all weapons at our disposal.

  • 43
    mathewm1
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Jules, whilst Watchmen is a great graphic novel and rightly holds a place on Time’s list of 100 great English novels, it’s not the only graphic novel to be classified as great literature. Art Spiegelman’s MAUS is the only graphic novel to my knowledge that has won a Pulitzer Prize. I found it to be an excellent and very thought provoking read.

  • 44
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, the impetus for innovation seems to be coming from the renewable sector only. The coal and nuclear lobbies talk incessantly about fantasy situations involving “clean coal” technology and “safe, cheap nuclear”…but we don’t see any progress from them. That’s because they are content to rely on lackadaisical governments of the ilk of Labor and the Coalition keeping them well bedded in subsidies.
    I have a strong suspicion that world progress is going to leave this stupid country behind.

  • 45
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    bis @42
    It’s a curious philosophical position to rationalise cluster bombs “just in case war is visited on us.” I presume you regard the thousands of innocent victims of these horrid weapons as useful test-cases to make sure the residents of South Yarra are well protected. I’d like to spread some of those little bomblets across the electorates of Kooyong or Higgins. Prat.

  • 46
    Phil M
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    MW@41

    “Mind you, there seems to be considerable criticism of the Liberal fag-haggery, even in The Oz”

    Another product which requires hazardous warnings.

  • 47
    ShaunHC
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Daniel Bond:

    “Promiscuous sexual behaviour” as an indicator of psychopathology bothers me. It seems to be anchored in a ’50s morality, but it doesn’t indicate anything but a certain free-spiritedness in the modern age.

    While in theory anything that goes on between consenting adults is fine, in practise promiscuity is socially unacceptable to the vast majority of people.

    I agree that it shouldn’t be on a checklist for psychopathy but that is the way it is. You step outside social norms you can be branded because of this. Such is the society we live in. Even being a night owl now is a disorder – delayed phase sleep disorder. You have to fit the norm or you are wrong.

    Even in situations where behaviour is entirely legal, it can go into the “unwritten rules” category and be labelled abberant.

  • 48
    jules
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    On the weekly open thread Nutsandbolts mentioned some issues some people have with the Obama administaration/presidency.

    Here’s something to add to the list:

    “May 26, 2011

    WASHINGTON – The House today passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains a dangerous provision that authorizes a worldwide war against terrorism suspects and against nations suspected of supporting them. The bill includes several additional troubling provisions, including one that would needlessly delay the implementation of the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and another blocking all federal criminal trials of suspected terrorists who are not U.S. citizens. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly opposes the authorization for worldwide war and many other provisions in the bill.”

    http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights-national-security-religion-belief-reproductive-freedom/house-passes-bill-authorizing-wor

  • 49
    Cuppa
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Looks like Shaun Carney of ‘The Age” has noticed it too – the ABC’s default phrase used to intro political stories since Labor took office: The Federal Opposition says …

    The top three stories on the Tuesday morning bulletins on ABC radio this week, for example, hinged on the federal opposition attacking the government, which it does every day.

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/tables-turned-the-media-face-tough-questioning-20110527-1f8dj.html

    If I had a dollar for each time I’ve heard that phrase on Their ABC in the past two or three years I could’ve retired by now …

  • 50
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I have to admit … I didn’t know anything about this. Just listening to NPR’s “On The Media” and they’re interviewing one Sherry Ricchiardi about the state of press freedoms in iraq. It’s not pretty.

    http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2011/05/27/02

    So … who’s heard anything about street protests that are happening in iraq right now? And who’s heard anything about brutal suppression that maliki’s been employing to put them down? Who’s heard about what’s happening to journalists who try to report on it?

    I don’t know what to make of it. It’s the first I’ve heard of it.

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