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Andrew Bolt

Jul 8, 2009

Point missed

Andrew Bolt is apparently puzzled by the

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Andrew Bolt is apparently puzzled by the sex ledger at sea incident being a “scandal”:

THE navy is shocked – shocked! – that healthy young men cooped up on its ships look at the healthy young women by their side and want to, er, rock their boats.

No, it’s shocked that certain male crewmembers had so little respect for female crewmembers that they could reduce them to “targets” in a betting competition. It’s hardly professional behaviour.

Missing this point entirely, Andrew continues with a series of irrelevant questions:

How many of these women actually slept with the bounty hunters?

None, I’d bet. In which case, why all this fuss?

Or is the answer “plenty”? And then we must ask: why haven’t those women been sent home, too?

Um, because having sex isn’t the offence here? The problem was the lack of professionalism and respect inherent in the ledger idea.

And –

Doesn’t this just confirm what rugby league star Matthew Johns found after the ABC outed him as a beast for having had group sex with a willing fan – that a woman’s yes no longer means yes?

What? What?

Seriously, what is it with social conservatives and an inability to understand the very basic notion of consent?

As for –

The navy hasn’t even said whether the sailors’ bets were paid out.

You have got to be kidding.

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30 comments

30 thoughts on “Point missed

  1. RobJ

    “Robj, that has to be one of the weakest ‘debunk the debunker’ debunkings I’ve ever read. Go back to your bunk and spank your (brass) monkey before I keelhaul you.”

    Hey, I’m happy to have my debunking of a debunk debunked but I’d appreciate it if you were more specific. I only learned the brass monkey was a cannonball holder recently. I suppose point three gives an alternative explanation, one which can be quantified even 😉 OK, I just read The Pav’s post and concede that the brass monkey story is probably bullshit. and that I am a crap debunker. 🙁

    My debunking career was rather short.

  2. twobob

    Self recommendation is no recommendation robj. Calling yourself a kind person and in the same post calling me names is a little inconsistent don’t you think?
    By not reading and responding to comments you show all how closed your mind actually is. And this suits me as you have little to offer those who post here other than foul language which again indicates to all how limited your vocabulary and asinine little mind are.

  3. monkeywrench

    Robj, that has to be one of the weakest ‘debunk the debunker’ debunkings I’ve ever read. Go back to your bunk and spank your (brass) monkey before I keelhaul you.

  4. RobJ

    You might be right Gavin, I haven’t got a clue I just didn’t think much of the debunking I listed.

  5. Myths and distortions - Pure Poison

    […] our own commenters discuss the origins of the hapless “brass monkey”, it seems appropriate to drop in a plug for – and invite discussion of – last week’s episode […]

  6. The Pav

    For all those who read Bertus’ comment regarding brass monekys

    “Which reminds me of an old Royal Navy tale concerning the expression “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”.

    Back in the 1700s and 1800s cannonballs were stored on navy ships in a mound, called a brass monkey, on the deck. The cannonballs were made of brass and in the extreme cold found in many seas, the poorly made brass had a nasty propensity to change shape somewhat, making the mound unstable. when it was very cold cannonballs would start falling off the mound, hence the saying”

    This is an old explanation & is totally false. I don’t know the origin of the saying but it isn’t this. Common sense alone would dictate this

    Shot was kept in wooden racks called shot garlands.A few rounds were kept handy in action (ready use ammunition) but most was below.
    Why would the working areas of the ship be cluttered up with round shot
    Safety considerations alone would ensure shot was well secured
    Why waste a valuable metal on such a menial task.
    Shot is heavy so it would be stored low for stability
    Iron rusts so it was kept away from the weather

  7. RobJ

    I’d read your post and respond to it twobob, if you weren’t an idiot. I’m a kind person so I’ll advise you not to waste your time addressing posts to me, I will be ignoring you, I’ve read enough to realise you’re an idiot, worse an idiot who has no respect for women..

  8. Matthew of Canberra

    To me, this seems pretty straightforward: I would not want to be trying to run that ship after this nonsense came to light. From the point of view of individual men or women involved, nyeah – stuff happens. I don’t think anyone was exploited, or has any right to a grudge beyond the usual young-person-angst. But the overall impact of a distinct group of identifiable sailors having that sort of “angle” on another would be disastrous for my confidence in the ability of the team to function at its best. The quickest and most effective way to resolve the problem (and send a very clear message) would be to split up and relocate one group or the other – and it’s pretty clear which group started it.

    The cost and irritation to the navy of having to do this isn’t insignificant. Apparently they took the problem seriously, and hats off to them. There’s a certain reality to recruiting a large number of young men and women, taking them far from home and giving them responsibilities – and that’s the risk of frat-house behavior. But a battleship isn’t the appropriate place for that, it’s not “schoolies”, and the only response the navy has at its disposal is discipline.

    Hearing some of the stories that have come from the US army about the treatment of women by male colleagues, I’m pleased that the navy took this decision. My impression is that our military is professional and upstanding, and moves like this will help to keep it that way (and will help them recruit the best and brightest).

    As for certain columnists who insist on claiming this is about natural male urges – just remember they pay their bills by clicks and eyeballs. Writing sensible, reasoned, fact-based columns is a very inefficient use of their time. That’s the way the media’s headed, I’m afraid.

  9. twobob

    Your so cool and mature robJ it makes me wonder if you ever were young and foolish.
    Humanity in my experience is not like you at all, many of us are a little less perfect than you, especially when we are young. Did I feel the need to brag about my sexual conquests? No, but I did discuss some of them with my mates. Am I comfortable with my masculinity? Yes thanks for asking. And would my wife be happy with me taking and placing bets on sleeping with other women? What an ignorant comment, were these men married?
    And thanks rob I am glad you found my comments funny.

  10. GavinM

    Hello Rob

    I’ve done a little bit of internet trawling — what do you think of this theory ?

    Apparently, according to a couple of sites I found, the first recorded use of the term “brass-monkey” was in a book called Before the Mast written in 1857, the quote was “freeze the tail off a brass monkey”.

    Also, according to the same sites the Cunard Line – (established around 1840) – house flag is a ‘gold lion rampant on a red field’ and is nick-named the brass monkey.

    Given the sort of language that sailors of the day used, do you think it could be possible that the term “freeze the balls off a brass monkey” was derived from the expression in the book and originally was referring to the Cunard flag ?

  11. RobJ

    The Brass monkey was not the cannon balls, rather a plinth that cannon balls would be stored on? Apparently, they roll off when it’s very cold????

    I’m reading the US debunking of the myth on Wiki, I reckon i’m halfway to debunking the debunker, here goes:

    1.The Oxford English Dictionary does not record the term “monkey” or “brass monkey” being used in this way.

    I suppose there’s lot’s of stuff missing from the Oxford Dictionary, especially slang terms.

    2.The purported method of storage of cannonballs (“round shot”) is simply false. Shot was not stored on deck continuously on the off-chance that the ship might go into battle. Indeed, decks were kept as clear as possible.

    Deck, on a ship simply means floor, they would have been stored near the cannon, everthing on a ship is on deck unless it’s nailed to the bulk head.

    3.Furthermore, such a method of storage would result in shot rolling around on deck and causing a hazard in high seas. Shot was stored on the gun or spar decks, in shot racks—longitudinal wooden planks with holes bored into them, known as shot garlands in the Royal Navy, into which round shot were inserted for ready use by the gun crew.

    The whole purpose of the brass monkey was to stop the cannon balls rolling around.

    4.Shot was not left exposed to the elements where it could rust. Such rust could lead to the ball not flying true or jamming in the barrel and exploding the gun. Indeed, gunners would attempt to remove as many imperfections as possible from the surfaces of balls.

    I agree but they’re still stored on the ship, near the cannon I’m guessing, that’s the way it appeared on HMS Victory which anyone can go and have a look at.

    5.The physics do not stand up to scrutiny. All of the balls would contract equally, and the contraction of both balls and plate over the range of temperatures involved would not be particularly large. The effect claimed possibly could be reproduced under laboratory conditions with objects engineered to a high precision for this purpose, but it is unlikely it would ever have occurred in real life aboard a warship.

    I’m sure that brass (what the brass monkey is made of) has a different expansion coefficient than iron (what the cannon balls are made out of). I’m not sure, I know, this is bimetal strips absolutley depend on this fact.

    Think of a tray, a couple of feet square, with a raised edge so you can stack canon balls on, what would happen to a stack of (iron) cannon balls if this (brass) tray contracted…. at a faster rate. now, if iron contracts faster than brass then the myth is truly debunked, I wont argue with it.

  12. monkeywrench

    Bertus @ 11
    Sorry to shiver your timbers but your “brass monkey” story is a Furphy.
    The Royal Navy never used brass for cannonballs, only iron. The usage of the term “brass monkey” began in the 19thC and was more likely to be ” freeze the tail off a brass monkey” and easily adapted by coarser minds; ships never stored cannonballs in stacks on the deck; etc. etc. . Nice story though.

  13. RobJ

    “I wonder what Bolt’s attitude would be if the culprits were, say, school teachers or ”

    Good question, though he never seems to have anything to say about some priests and their abhorrent paedophillic acts.

  14. RobJ

    “Fair dinkum don’t you blokes have balls? ”

    Yeah, I do, I’ve never felt the need to keep a score and brag about it to my mates. In fact in my experience those that brag and keep score are prone to exagerrate.

    “Did you never do such a thing when you were young?”

    No, I was happy to get laid, I felt no need to brag about it. How about you?

    “Grow some testosterone”

    Hmmm, I don’t have to act like a stud to be comfortable with my masculinity. How about you?

    “I bet your wives will love it.”

    Sure, she’d love it if I turned into an immature sexist prick, just in case twobob, that was a sarcastic remark. Would your wife be happy with you talking about and placing bets on sleeping with other women?

    “Sorry that last comment should probably have read boyfriends will love it.”

    You’re so funny. Like a clown 😉

    Oh BTW GavinM summed it up beautifully, I agree with his post 100%

  15. Pica

    OMG – it just get worse and worse at Boltsworld, breathtaking …

    {Name-calling removed – Toby}

  16. joe2

    Andrew just isn’t trying hard enough. How come there is no baby elephant or a promiscuous green reference in this incomplete piece of misunderstanding?

  17. Sisyphis

    As soon as Andy publishes his usual raft (as provided to all sailors overboard) of persuasive graphs I’ll be a fully signed up convert to his proposition.

    (Not that Andy has ever propositioned anybody.)

    What Andy should be really outraged by is the navy jettisoning its time honoured values of ‘rum, buggery and the lash’.

  18. Speaking of Twittering the Uighur protests « Chasing My Own Tail

    […] It’s like the intertubes are actually giving me all the information I need, instead of just links to Andrew fucking Bolt and […]

  19. Toaf

    From what I’ve heard about this, the Navy reckons that this is unacceptable conduct for well-trained professionals. And fair enough, I reckon. If you want to be respected as a professional in any line of work then you have to conduct yourself like one. I wonder what Bolt’s attitude would be if the culprits were, say, school teachers or union bosses.

  20. bertus

    Which reminds me of an old Royal Navy tale concerning the expression “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”.

    Back in the 1700s and 1800s cannonballs were stored on navy ships in a mound, called a brass monkey, on the deck. The cannonballs were made of brass and in the extreme cold found in many seas, the poorly made brass had a nasty propensity to change shape somewhat, making the mound unstable. when it was very cold cannonballs would start falling off the mound, hence the saying.

    However there was another reference which gave the saying it’s ribald undertone. The lucky folks who got to work the brass monkey and lever cannonballs off it to be used by the rest of the crew, were usually very young and agile boys, often in their mid-teens or younger, and they were also known as “brass monkeys”.

    So when it was very cold, there were two different types of brass monkey which were having their balls frozen orf, y’see.

    Needless to say, the young boys also had other uses, in those long lazy interludes between fighting…

    So the Navy has a long tradition of this sort of thing, but I’d hesitate to call it an honourable tradition….

  21. dam buster of Preston

    I can’t wait for the ledger episode on Channel 9’s hit drama Sea Patrol…. How much for a gold logie winner?

  22. GavinM

    I’m amazed at Bolt and from what I can tell, the majority of posters on his thread — they seem to have somehow skipped completely the real reason these guys are being sent home and somehow focused on it being purely for having sex — do they not comprehend what they read or hear ?

    As I said in the earlier post on this topic, the problem I think here is that it is a moral and potentially an efficiency and morale issue. A warship requires discipline, respect and trust amongst its crew to run efficiently and I can’t see how there could be too much respect amongst the male sailors taking part in this betting game for their female counterparts. Along with that, I reckon it wouldn’t be too long before the secret got out on board….A ship at sea is, afterall, a very small and close-knit community…and that would then see the end of any trust that the women would have for their male shipmates — hence no respect and trust amongst the crew, which would almost inevitably lead to a collapse of morale, efficiency and discipline.

    Having said that, I don’t think it’s a major scandal either – 4 members out of a crew of about 220 is hardly indicative of an epidemic within the Navy, just 4 rather silly and probably immature sailors.

    As an aside, given that the Navy has a no-fraternisation rule for it’s male and female personnel, perhaps if it seriously doesn’t want those personnel to engage in sexual relations with each other, it should think twice about sending shiploads of 18 – 30-something year old men and women to sea together for months at a time.

  23. twobob

    Sorry that last comment should probably have read boyfriends will love it.

  24. twobob

    Fair dinkum what a crock.
    {We are not going to publish any speculation about the incident involving Andrew Johns – Toby}
    And when one young sailer nudges another and says something like ‘I bet I can get that woman into the sack’ and then another young man asks ‘how much’ and the first replies n dollars, you toffs think its a a crime?
    Fair dinkum don’t you blokes have balls? Did you never do such a thing when you were young? Grow some testosterone, I bet your wives will love it.

  25. RobJ

    “Doubt it, since I’ve got no problem with them having extra-marital (gasp) sex on the ships at all.”

    Yeah? But what if they used contraception!!! 😉

  26. Jeremy Sear

    “I’m sure Cardinal Pell would agree”

    Doubt it, since I’ve got no problem with them having extra-marital (gasp) sex on the ships at all. You appear to have missed the point too.

  27. Pig Head Sucker

    Absolutely Jeremy. I’m sure Cardinal Pell would agree, although he might not demonstrate your level or moral rectitude. The ledger incident sounds to me like a plot for an episode of some disgracefully licentious sitcom like Happy Days.

  28. confessions

    The navy hasn’t even said whether the sailors’ bets were paid out.

    Obviously according to Bolt that is the real scandal in all of this.

    Such as shame that the ‘lads will be lads’ excuse of old continues aplenty at News ltd – The Punch Blokesworld had one of their writers publish something similar yesterday.

  29. RobJ

    “Doesn’t this just confirm what rugby league star Matthew Johns found after the ABC outed him as a beast for having had group sex with a willing fan – that a woman’s yes no longer means yes?”

    My oh my, some people can’t get their heads around the most simple of concepts. (wha’s the code for the rolleyes emoricon?)

  30. RobJ

    “Um, because having sex isn’t the offence here? The problem was the lack of professionalism and respect inherent in the ledger idea.”

    Exactly – I expect discipline from those who may wage war in my name, those people who are in charge of very very expensive pieces of lethal fighting equipment that they use to wage war with. Fact is these guys have shown a lack of dicsipline, I don’t care that they are at sea 24/7 for weeks on end, they’re there by choice, they weren’t conscripted.

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