Tag Archives: rant

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Words I hate that should never be used in any form of media…

I need to write this so that I can move on. If I had a therapist I’m sure they’d tell me this.

There are two words, well, three actually, but two phrases, that make my blood boil, my eyes bleed, my ears steam, and my hands beat furiously against whatever surface is nearby.

The first is a radio bugbear of mine. It’s a totally unnecessary, superfluous, tautologous, heap of annoying annoyingness. You know. It is horrible. It is completely redundant. You know. I’m listening to you talk, and if I know what you’re talking about there’s probably no reason to be talking. You know. From football players, to coaches, to chefs, to reporters, the “you know” rate, when you notice it, can be up to four or five a minute.

But that pales in comparison to my reality TV bugbear, the idea that as soon as you enter into a competition, with prize money, because you’re essentially a show pony, you are on a meaningful “journey”… the idea that you then must refer to your journey at every opportunity as a journey, while having the narrator talk about your journey, and the hosts asking you about your journey, is putting your audience through a journey. A journey of hackneyed, and cliched, writing of the highest order. Please stop. That is all. You know.

Pre-emptive strike

Sometimes when I’m driving home I feel like one of the vehicles involved unwittingly in a game of Frogger. I wonder if the cars in the classic arcade game were theoretically able to see the pedestrian frog?

There is one particular stretch of road just outside my office – at the bottom of Flinders Street – that is particularly bad. Flinders Street is dotted with gazetted pedestrian crossings – and yet they are widely ignored. Pedestrians cross without paying any heed to oncoming traffic.

What really gets me isn’t the jaywalking. It’s the pre-emptive pedestrians – the ones who start stepping onto the road as you approach in your car.

Defensive driving means assuming that every other road user is an idiot. I operate under that principle. Whenever I see a pedestrian start their perambulations I hesitate – like a rabbit in the headlights – only I’m driving. I’m the one posing the threat.

The thought of pedestrians blindly wandering in front of my pristine purple excel fills me with dread. A pedestrian would no doubt do more damage to my car than a kangaroo

So, next time you start crossing the road as a car approaches – even if you are completely aware the car is approaching – stop, and think of the children.

On cricket

There have been a whole lot of posts around the internet about the predicament facing the Australian Cricket Team. Australia’s pre-eminent cultural institution. I have, until now, resisted throwing in my two cents. 

Much has been made over the departure of past heroes. The Gilchrists, Warnes, McGraths and now Haydens of this world are irreplacable. What makes me sad is that Australia has arguably the strongest domestic competition worldwide with imports kept to a minimum (they’re pretty much non existant – unlike county cricket in England) and young players being developed through government funded programs.

We really should be doing better at bringing young players into the national fold. Michael Hussey should have been in the national team years before the selectors got the balls to pick him. Same goes for Phil Jacques. Brad Hodge must surely feel like the unluckiest man in Australian cricket. Simon Katich has done what few have managed to do and resurrected his career from selector induced oblivion. 

Australia is blooding players too late. Debutants are often aged over 30 (eg 36 going on 37 year old spinner Bryce McGain) and longevity isn’t a possibility. Longevity and tenure has also been a problem. Half of these players retiring now are players I’ve watched my entire cricket watching life. The selectors need to be a little bold and courageous. Tenure needs to be an attitude of the past. Domestic players need to feel like they’ve got a real chance of breaking into the test team on the basis of performance. Underperforming veterans should be axed. We can’t afford to be sentimental about selections – any more than we are when voting for politicians. If there’s a better option there they need to be in the team.  

Michael Clarke’s decision to forego the big bucks in India to have some rest and focus on his international career is laudable. It’s a pattern that needs to be established on a wider level. Australian cricket will not survive at a test and 50 overs level if IPL dollars are the holy grail for up and coming cricketers.

Ricky Ponting is a terrible captain, but a terrific batsmen. This presents a terrible problem. How do you remove the captaincy mantle without slapping him in the face and having some effect on his batting.

That’s the batting side of things covered – our bowlers are in dire straits. They can not take a wicket. The lower echelons seem incapable of doing any better. We’ve seen about 6 no name players make inauspicious debuts this season. Who’d ever heard of Bollinger, Siddle or Hilfenhaus before they got a crack? And don’t get me started on spinners. How can there be such a scarcity of bowlers in the ranks? The quest for the perfect one day all rounder because of England’s ashes triumph on the back of Andy Flintoff has filtered down to the state level. Other than those players who made their test debuts this year can anyone name a bowler at state level? Didn’t think so.  How is Nathan Bracken, rated the world’s best one day player because of his economy rate, not suitable for a test berth? 

I also blame 20/20 cricket for the downfall.  But that’s another post for another time. End of rant.

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Life in the Tropics


“Life in the Tropics” is our tagline for tourism and relocation promotion here in the ‘ville. It’s one of those suitably generic lines that is meant to be partly aspirational and partly functional. I don’t like it. I do like life in the tropics. We have water, sunshine and temperate winters. And air conditioning. Suffer in your jocks Melbournians (literally).

There are plenty of bad things that come along with the good. When I moved here an ex-Townsvillian friend from Brisbane warned me of several of them. Lets just call her Donna. That’s her real name. She told me that if the crocodiles, stingers, tropical diseases, cyclones, or sunshine didn’t kill me – I’d probably die due to lack of water. She said “it never rains in Townsville”…

For two many years Townsville was known as Brownsville. See what I did there. Two instead of too. I did that on purpose. Townsville started receiving pretty regular rain, and looking green all round, for a couple of years before the rest of the world caught on. Townsville is actually nice. And we have secured water supply. More than four times the size of Sydney Harbour.

What we no longer have is the 300 days of sunshine we claim in our marketing material. There is no way that’s true. Well, it might be, depending on your definition of “sunshine”… I think it rained on about 90 days in my first full year here. And it has rained pretty regularly since.

But I digress. I can put up with that sort of hyperbolic description of tropical life from a jaded ex-resident trying to scare me. But when the same sort of thing comes from a Channel Ten reporter bundling all of those together in the name of “news” I get upset. It creates work for me for one, and number two – it’s shoddy reporting.

So reporters of the world – you can’t have it both ways. Townsville can’t be “brownsville” on one hand and a flooding tropical metropolis on the other.

I don’t even know why I wrote this post. But it was cathartic.

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ATP: Equal pay for equal work

ATP in that heading stands for Another Tennis Post – there’ve been a few of them, and given the amount of tennis we’re currently watching there’ll no doubt be more. 

We’ve just watched Dokic go down fighting against Safina. It was a hard fought game – but in all honesty pretty boring to watch. Here’s the thing. I don’t like watching women’s tennis. And I’m sick to death of the special treatment they get and their cries for equal pay.

I’m not against the idea of women getting paid the same amount as men – in any sport. What I am against is the preferential treatment of women in tennis. Why should we have to wait until after 10.00pm to see arguably the best player ever to play the game? Why are the women’s games played first? They’re boring, they don’t play with the same power and precision as the men and their serves are a good 40km slower. Sure, there’s the eye candy factor, and the Aussie “home girl hero” factor tonight – but at the end of the day I’d rather watch the men first and then the women (at the end of the day). 

Here’s the rub – women want equal prizemoney in the grandslams – and yet they play much fewer sets – a woman winning the tournament in straight sets throughout her fixtures will play 14 sets – a man winning in straight sets will play 21. If a woman is forced to play the maximum number of sets available she’ll play 21, a man 35.

A set generally takes somewhere between 20 minutes and an hour to play – if you take the average of 40 minutes and the middle ground for number of sets played throughout the tournament a male champion is likely to play about 18 hours of tennis. This is pretty conservative. Because in theory as games get tougher and closer throughout the tournament they last longer. You can realistically expect a mix of three, four and five set games. A woman champion playing seven games is, using the same methodology, likely to play about 11 hours of tennis. 

I’d say pay rates are pretty fair – especially given pay loading for having to play at less desirable times. You could argue that having the men’s games earlier would rate better and create more television revenues for the game. On that basis this quest for equality is actually robbing the coffers and there’s no business case for increasing women’s prize money.

I hate airlines

I just booked flights for the return leg of our Christmas holidays with Virgin Blue. Their stupid booking system screwed me out of $50. If you search for tickets for 2 passengers and they’ve only got one flight available at the cheap rate of $89 they’ll return a search result requiring you to pay $150 for both. That’s extortion. So I went to make simultaneous bookings at $89*. Much more reasonable. Things were looking good. I managed to complete booking one at the $89 level (plus booking fee and baggage so $100 in total). Then when I went to complete the second booking at the $89 dollar level it told me someone else (me obviously) had booked that seat. Retards. What happened to the contract principle of offer and acceptance. I had to book again at $150. Plus extra costs for baggage and credit card fees. I hate airlines. At least I didn’t pay $300 plus taxes. Stupid VirginBlue – I hope their media monitoring services pick up this rant and they act accordingly. But they’ll probably cancel my flight.

End of rant.

*without baggage, credit card fees and optional carbon offsets… oh and the fee you can pay for the legroom available in an emergency exit row.

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Rack off lefty scum

The title of this ‘ere little post is stolen from perhaps my favourite piece of Junior Liberal’s propaganda – perhaps only marginally beating Liberals: We put the fun into funding cuts. The current batch of Liberal slogans ala “go for growth” are a little to obscure, obtuse and obviously written by geriatrics for me to get excited – but (segue) one thing that is sure to get me excited, one thing that’s sure to raise my ire, is the nu-left trendy hippy intellectually self-congratulatory latte pinko lefties. That’s right – the kind of people who when they hear that I – due to the AEC’s stringent and altogether too rigorous attempts to cut the yoof out of the polls and restrict the chances of messy electoral change – am not voting at this election and respond by saying “good, we don’t want your conservative vote anyway” – they’re the one’s who really raise my hackles. Let me tell you a thing or two about these self absorbed commies who go running around with their commercially mass-produced Che Guevara t-shirts extolling the evils of economic rationalism while enjoying their imported South American coffee, French art house films and hydroponic cones… they trumpet idealism and moral superiority, call on the government to end poverty, global corruption and anything resembling “the machine”, “the man”, or “globalisation”… What really gets me is their hypocrisy – their complete inability or lack of desire to put their money where their mouth is. And I mean that literally. Sure be a hippy, smoke your dope, call for a removal of inhibiting laws, the woman’s right to choose to terminate her unborn child’s life, make dope legal, build injection rooms, feed the hungry, water the trees, save the whales…protest against globalisation, protest against free trade, protest against war. But don’t ever let your personal convictions get in the way of your pleasure and comfort. These wacko lefties claim to be all about social justice but the ideologues aren’t prepared to reach into their own pockets (except through taxes) to support anything except the “save a panda” foundation which is just marginally trendy enough to score kudos with their stoned John Butler loving friends. Climate Change and saving whales are in vogue with those of the environmentally superior – but they’re bandwagon jumping, cause loving anti-establishment fiends who’d support the extermination of a people group if the government was against it and decry it as fascism when the government endorses it. Ok – that was pure hyperbole and exaggeration. My point is this – before you, my lefty friends go decrying me and my “conservative Christian” friends who happen to be generally supportive of public morality being maintained in the guise of “law and order” – as callous, unfeeling bigots, be prepared to defend the fact that while you spend your money on Hare Krishna “smile” stickers for your combi or whatever it is you drive these days, and sign your name to whatever Greenpeace petition is thrust in front of your face, us “conservatives” are out practicing the theories of a freemarket economy and donating to worthy charities designed to bring people out of poverty. For ever barb you chardonnay swillers throw at Hillsong for counselling young, pregnant women against having abortions, they’re donating real money to causes like getting people off the street and into jobs. You whinging dole bludging “arts graduate” wannabees are much too busy fighting for intellectual causes to actually address the physical reality.

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Re: RE

Mmm, minimalism is the new black. I was tossing up using the word antidisestablishmentarianism in today’s heading – and it would have been in context too.

I noticed Dan posted some stuff on the RE debate the other day. Matt spends his time posting on Sweden’s dominance of the Ice Hockey world and his lack of success with getting attractive girls to talk to (or marry) him. What’s wrong with all the attractive girls out there?

There’s been a lot of stuff in the newspapers lately talking about a proposal to open up Religious Education in schools to any group who wish to be involved. The move is being driven by a group of secular humanists with heavily chipped shoulders. First of all, before I rant about why it’s such a stupid argument to be having, I’d like to ask the humanists why they don’t care about the opinions and emotional security of all the Christians they attack with their tolerant and open stance? Then I’d like to ask them what hurt they’ve experienced at the hands of genuine Christians. If you’re smart enough to kick up a stink like they are – you’re smart enough to do some research into the teachings of Christianity – any problems they have are more likely to be with the religious institution than with Christianity itself. They took another step in their battle to strike Christianity with the recent moves to remove Gideons bibles from hospitals because they might carry diseases or something. I think that pretty much sums up their position – they believe Christianity is a disease of the mind.

Now. My rant about why Christian education should be taught in schools begins here. Constitutionally Australia has no official religion (I think it’s article 16, but I’m pulling that out of nowhere so chances are I’m actually wrong – I could look it up but I can’t be bothered). The Westminster political system is built on the philosophy of the separation of powers (the people who make laws shouldn’t be the ones to enforce them because this would invariably lead to corruption). So our government is divided into the legislative, the judicial and the executive arms (the parliament, the court, the Queen (Governer General)). Because the under riding theory is that power ultimately corrupts the more separations we can create the better – so we have the upper and lower houses and federal, state, and local governments. Historically the church played a major, some would say overbearing, role in politics. This caused problems where one church group would try to kill another church group (like the Crusades or inquisitions or the protestant reformation or the current feud between the Bappos and Pressies). Political movers and shakers decided the church should be stripped of its influential position within the decision making process. In a democracy this makes sense – one interest group or belief system can’t philosophically force their will on another (unless they’re the majority). I’m all for the separation of powers and I’m all for the separation of church and state. What I’m not for is the rewriting of Australia’s history on a postmodern whim. If their argument was simply that public schools shouldn’t be using public funding to turn children into Christians that might have some merit. But it’s not. It’s stupid. Christianity, regardless of its veracity, plays a huge role in shaping our culture. It deserves a place in the educational spectrum (or curriculum) on that basis alone. One of the first things you’re taught when you study law – and I know this because I listened in first year – is that our legal system is based on a Judea-Christian model. Both our major political parties have historical ties to the church. Christian men and women played a huge part in bringing our society to the point its at today and these secular humanists want to spit on that legacy. The only reason they can legitimately take the stance they are today is because of the system they operate in – because it was created by Christians. Try going to a system based on Sharia law and see how far your secular humanism gets you. Some people are stupid.