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Tatts is for tough guys

Queensland’s ultimate “boys club” – Tattersalls – is under the gun for once again voting to prevent women taking full membership. The PC police are out in force decrying the move as a backward step in the anti-discrimination movement. How dare they keep women out of a men’s club. How dare they indeed. I’m all for it. A better question is “why shouldn’t men be allowed to have an exclusive club?” The feminist led push for Orwellian “equal” rights (in the Animal Farm sense – some being more equal than others) has gone far enough. Look through Beattie’s cabinet and you’ll see a Minister for Women but no ministry for men. I understand that historically women have been held back on the basis of gender – but based on the male/female ratio in universities this has been thoroughly eradicated with women set to hold their own in the future – the fact that the aging population of corporate executives are predominantly male is just the last vestige of a bygone era. The aging gentry may have some inherent bias towards male candidates but that will soon die out. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks – and later generations have been thorgoughly whelped and weaned on the doctrine of gender equality.
Men have the same rights to associate with who they choose (ie men only) as women do. Why would Sarina Russo and co want to be part of Tattersalls if they so thoroughly oppose the patriachy – there are plenty of other networking opportunities for business women – and there are plenty of specifically female business networking groups. In fact there’s a “businesswoman of the year” award – imagine the outcry if there was a businessman of the year award that was gender exclusive. Men and women are different. No one is foolish enough to suggest otherwise. We have different wiring, different social requirements, and often a very different outlook on life. Boys will, and should, be boys – and require a space to do it in in much the same way that women on university campuses require their “women’s space.” Why should Tattersalls pander to the outrage of a select group of angry women still fighting as if it’s 1969. There are plenty of places for those without a y-chromosone to vent their spleens – they can join a women’s only gym life Fernwood and lift weights until they look like this if that makes them feel better… In the meantime Tattersalls should just work at being less appealing to the fairer sex. Reintroducing spitoons to the bar area would be a start – having toilets without a seat would be another winner – any other suggestions are welcome.

Stay tuned for my blogged “Christmas letter of doom” in the next few days. If you’re anything like me you love reading pages and pages of other people’s “achievements” at this time of year…

Let them eat cake…

While this title refers vaguely to the fact that I had cake to celebrate my birthday at work today (complete with tiara). It’s more to do with the original misquotation of Mary Antoinette.

“Let them eat cake” has been quoted throughout time as fundamental evidence that the elite ruling class is out of touch with the masses. Mary Antoinette was supposedly confronted with the news that her people had no bread to eat – and she infamously replied “qu’ils mangent de la brioche” – wikipedia claims that this quote is in fact a misrepresentation as she was only 10 and living in her native Austria at the time it was documented and was not born when the incident was said to have occurred. Although the quote is not accurate – it represents the disparity between the ruling class of France and its people – a disparity that eventually led to her execution during the French Revolution.

Australia’s politicians and intellectual elite are at the cusp of creating a similar chasm between themselves and those they rule (or us plebs). Fortunately John Howard is the ultimate bridge builder (according to Kevin Rudd he’s built a bridge too far…). I recently subscribed to Crikey – the elite’s trashy gossip magazine. In fact founder Stephen Mayne was at the centre of the Walkley controversy a couple of weeks ago when News Ltd’s political editor Glenn Milne drunkenly attacked him, pushing him off the stage. Through Crikey I’ve discovered a number of blogs where Australia’s “intellectual types” hang out and discuss why the country is going down hill. Left-wing secular humanists (and I think the left wing is tautological at that point) are the most annoying breed of snobs I’ve ever come across. I wish they would die. Or at least stop trying to inflict the rest of the world with their skewed view of logic and reason. Rudd has been simultaneously hailed as an intellectual hero while being shouted down as a man who dares to suggest religion should have some bearing on politics. They can’t have their cake and eat it too.

Rudd is an interesting character. It’s two working weeks since he took the reigns of the Labor party. The opinion polls spiked – as they always do with a new leader (in an interesting aside – it seems a political takeover sends value up, while a when a company takeover occurs the buyer’s share price often drops…), but most political scholars (with bias towards the government) suggest this will stabilise and Rudd will need to do more to actually win the election. The battlegrounds for the next election are in the process of being drawn – Labor will use IR and the environment as their trumps while the government will stick to the flashpoint issues of defining “Australian” and promoting their economic strength. Fortunately for Labor Rudd is a very smart man. Just like Kim Beazley. Unfortunately for Labor, early indications are that Rudd’s intelligence rubs the electorate the wrong way. Rudd has used his first fortnight in the job to position the party philosophically without revealing any major political differences to the previous leadership.

The key to success in Australian politics is engaging the fairly large, educated, middle class with political philosophy that they don’t necessarily care about. Labor needs to pick “wedge” issues that will polarise the populace giving them a majority chunk of voters. The Howard Government has perfected this method. IR and the environment have the potential to do this – but the Howard Government’s issues may be the biggest ace in the pack. Immigration, Australian history, racism and tolerance – they’re all big, divisive issues. To have any chance of winning the next election, and for Rudd to keep his head (in a less literal way than the French royals), Labor and the left needs to realise that a lot of their political postulating isn’t hitting home with the electorate at all. They’re stuck in a philosophical battle while the Liberals are scoring points by applying things where it matters most to the modern Aussie – their sense of “self” and their wallets.

The Pylon Challenge

The next wikipedia challenge topic has been set – and expanded. Please do your best to find random topics 6 degrees of separation from Pylons.

The expanded challenge is to use a similie finishing with “like a pylon” in ordinary conversation once in the next week. Your efforts should be recorded in the comments section below.

Joe Blogs

I don’t really have anything significant to blog about today. Or in fact ever. But I need to write a post to draw your attention to the fact that Mr Joseph Y Wee has entered the “blogosphere” with style. I am sure Joe’s blog will be a worthy read. Here’s what he has to say about the site:

“Fundamentally this blog will be about the things that I enjoy. Cruelty to animals, George W Bush, and economic imperialism. I will occasionally dabble in other interesting topics such as decoupage and other arts and crafts.”

Please hesitate to make your way over to Joe’s site. I’m sure you’ll be mildly appalled.

In other news, Kevin Rudd was in Townsville yesterday, and in fact, in our office. His hair is very grey. Almost white.

We went Christmas light viewing last night. Christmas light viewing is up there in my top ten list of the least appealing things about Christmas. That’s a pretty big call given that there are lots of things about Christmas that don’t necessarily appeal to me.

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Attack of the clones

Finally. The opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I can finally play God. I have a terrible illness. An illness that leads me to believe that I’m half man, half shark – now, thanks to the wonders of therapeutic cloning, I’ll be able to grow the shark fin I’ve always imagined gracing my back. Surely therapeutic cloning stretches to include therapy for “mental” illness – in fact the line probably extends much further – you have a bit of a cold at the moment sir, no problem, here’s a new lung – buy now and we’ll throw in an extra kidney for free. The real concern I have as a result of the passing of the bill is an economic concern. Legalised organ harvesting will kill the black market organ trade. Organ harvesting is big business in the South American slums. Those economies rely on the export dollars generated by criminals and spent in local communities – it’s the ma and pa operators who are going to cop this on the chin – but at least they’ll be able to go out and get themselves a new chin if the blow is too heavy.
Medical tourism is the next predicted boom market – if Australia becomes a one stop shop for vital organs we’ll be right at the heart* of this emerging market. The gall** of those people who complain about this revolutionary new legislation. Their shortsightedness is astounding. We will be at the forefront with our willingness to travel into ethical grey areas. I hear Amsterdam has the drug travel market cornered – why not legalise drugs and turn Nimbin into a tourism hub. Why stop at pot – we could be top spot (I only chose those words because they’re all anagrams of the letters T, O, P, and S) for crystal methamphetamine (ice, ice baby…) , then our middle class users could kill all their organ functionality and invest their left over cash into new organs. The possibilities are endless. What a Pandora’s box our wonderful polititians have opened. Realms upon realms of possibilities (or for the paper users among us – reams upon reams – again the possibilities are almost endless – limited only by the number of pieces of paper).

* Pun intended
** and again

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Everybody’s changing

Sometimes there’s a real synergy between a number of different topics that fits nicely under the one blog heading. In a brief synopsis today’s blog will feature a mention of my trip to Brisbane, the Labor Leadership change, the Ashes, and whatever else occurs to me in the course of penning – or typing – this entry. Oh, and I recently became the proud owner of Liberia.

I’ll start with the known knowns – and move towards the known unknowns, ignoring completely the unknown unknowns.

I spent a few days in Brisbane last week. That was weird. It was a work trip and I was doing all sorts of official things demonstrating my competency and learning lots about tourism in the process. I’ll start the account from the beginning, which is, as we know courtesy of Rodgers and Hammerstein, a very good place to start.

I flew into Brisbane on Wednesday night, having spent most of the plane trip playing “eye spy” with the inquisitive six year old seated across the aisle I was ready to collect my bags and make a mad dash to the front of the taxi queue when suddenly there was a loud bang (well more a muffled whrrrr sound) and the lights went out. The baggage carousel shuddered to a stop and I was stranded waiting for my rather large, brown, antique suitcase to appear. It did. I got a cab. It drove me to my parents house. I disembarked (got out). I had dinner (cold steak). Wrote some of my sermon (which I will be preaching at church up here this Sunday night). And went to bed. I’m now tired of the blow by blow account – no doubt you are too.

Thursday was a day filled with meetings – well there were two – I met with our two PR companies who are largely responsible for sourcing the travel journalists I host in the region – and thus largely responsible for my free steak tally. It pays to be nice to the people who provide you with free steak so I duly told them what a wonderful job they were doing sourcing (and saucing) my free steaks. We established the parameters of our working relationship for the next year (with a steak quota now firmly entrenched in their contractual obligations) and moved on. Thursday was also my pseudo birthday – the day my family arbitrarily sets aside to endow me with gifts. So we celebrated in splendid fashion with noodles, waffles, and friends.

I also used my time in Brisbane to walk past the new State Library and its infamous balls of steel – which I’ll admit to finding mildly aesthetically appealing, while also admiring the skyscrapers which have been added to the CBD’s skyline since I left in March. I didn’t get to check out GoMA but I’ll save that for my next trip south. I did however, manage to visit JB Hifi, where I spent way too much of my hard earned wage purchasing a number of CDs I’ve been unable to locate in Townsville to date. Gotye, Bob Evans, and a few other JJJ favourites including Keane have now taken their rightful place in my CD collection. Keane segues nicely into my next topic – the lyrics from their song “Everybody’s changing” are quite apt when considering the Rudd takeover of the Australian Labor party.

So little time
Try to understand that I’m
Trying to make a move to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody’s changing
And I don’t feel the same


Queensland’s second most famous Dr Death, Kevin Rudd, managed to wrest control of the party from the grasp of Kim Beazley, taking a caucus majority of 49-39 and “uniting” the party room behind his partnership with Julia Gillard. The more things change, the more they stay the same – Rudd’s Labor party will face the same challenges the Beazley party faced. He still needs to convince the public that he’s not too academic for the top job – with criticism of his extensive vocabulary already airing. I like Rudd – and he’s got a solid base of experience and expertise behind him. Solid enough to convince me that he’d be a suitable Prime Minister – I’m just not sure I prefer him to Howard or Costello. They all look like politicians to me.

It strikes me that 10 months out from an election is not an ideal time to be changing leadership – it also strikes me that with Labor polling ahead of the government this change was fairly unnecessary. Although I’m not sure anyone really wants Beazley to be prime minister – it’s more a case of public sentiment turning against Howard following the IR laws. I’m yet to be convinced the IR laws are a bad thing – but equally – I’m yet to be convinced they’re a good thing. There have been a number of issues that just haven’t registered with me as anything more than standard bureucratic incompetence – the AWB scandal, Children overboard – and in fact anything that has gone wrong in the last 10 years – seem to me to be the cost of the democratic process and not a compelling reason for governmental change. My biggest issues are with things like health, education and water – which all seem to be state government babies.

By the time you read this post Australia’s fate in the second Ashes test will be well and truly sealed, I’m predicting a win for the Aussies – and have been a believer all day.