Football Hero

Tim posted this a while back. I’ve been meaning to use it as a YouTube Tuesday video ever since. It’s brilliant. Check it.

A night at the football

We went to the Fury game last night. And despite what Joel says about football there is something thrilling about a tight, low scoring game that isn’t really decided until the final whistle.

And there’s something beautiful about a player who knows the rules gazumping a pack of whingers who don’t…

Robbie Fowler is a class player. Tim was going to post this video too – I don’t think he has yet…

You say potato cannon, I say potaser cannon

This is probably highly irresponsible. But stun guns aren’t readily available in Australia so I feel safe reposting it. Plus it’s available on Make Magazine’s YouTube channel. A stun gun triggered potato cannon. Brilliant. Science at its best. This one is basically for Tim. I reckon we should make a couple next year Tim, what say you?

Alternatively, we could put together a potato gatling gun.

The Links Effect

Are you missing my daily links posts? Me too. It means posting links requires heaps more effort on my part. But there’s so much good stuff out there.

Izaac* has been fighting the good fight – collating suggestions for a response to atheist university students who are postering campuses around Sydney.

Ben came out of the hip-hop closet and let us all know about his history as an MC in a hip-hop posse.

There’s a pretty interesting discussion happening as a follow up to my abortion post over at the Fountainside.

Simone* has pointed her readers to another blog (Jean in all honesty) which is discussing the use of childcare for Christian parents. I refrained from commenting there because I’m a guy, and not a parent, but Simone’s husband Andrew* has put up a post where us guys can feel comfortable chiming in.

CafeDave is a little blog about cafes and marketing – so you can see why I’d like it – Dave posted his responses to the Jesus All About Life campaign as reported by Steve Kryger’s (very helpful) Communicate Jesus and discussed by a pack of raving atheists on mumbrella – atheists who can’t seem to distinguish the activities of churches from “tax payer funded activities” simply because churches receive certain tax exemptions. Churches are not for profit community organisations – no not for profit community organisations pay tax, and plenty of them (my employer included) advertise.

Recent new reader/first time commenter Drew has a blog. It’s worth reading. I particularly like his insights into the use of a blog as a tool for getting things done – including getting things off one’s mind. I read quite a few of his posts last night while watching NCIS.

Ali has a biting insiders view on what’s wrong with legal writing – I must agree, having started a law degree and been told that it’s all about plain writing and then sitting through hours of lectures, reading case notes and hearing lawyers talk, I can completely understand the sentiment behind the quote she shared.

Tim* had a go at me for giving up fast food. I should have a go at him for giving up grammar. But he makes some interesting points.

Dan* used his gloriously designed blog to reflect on a recent lecture on Christian ethics and the reconciliation debtate in two parts.

Byron Smith – whose name sounds suspcisciously like Bryson Smith – has posted a really helpful reflection on parenting that covers one of those little topics I’m toying with as future post fodder – the idea that indoctrinating your child is abusive. It’s not. As a Christian it’s the most loving thing you can do for your child.

I’m thinking about writing quite a few pieces on parenting – and this is not any kind of announcement – but I’m also struck by Queensland’s new surrogacy laws. On one hand they open up great possibilities for offering to formally adopt children from those considering an abortion, and on the other, they turn “parenting” into a right and privelige for everybody – rather than a responsibility and natural outcome of being part of the archetypal family unit. I’m not a fan of that part, but it’s not enough of an objection for me to not be a fan of the whole thing. My inner pragmatist realises that gay couples – particularly women – can have children whenever they want already, and this is, on the whole, designed to protect their child, and the biological father.

And for those of you wondering which of my posts from the last few days I’d bother reading if I were you it would be these:

* Denotes people I know in the real world…

NB: The photo at the stop is completely unrelated to the post, it was just text heavy and I hadn’t posted it before. It’s from Lucinda. You should go there. I would have put up a photo of a can of Lynx, if I had one.

That is all.

All quiet…

Simone hasn’t posted since Monday. Stuss has posted just once this week, while Ben has posted just once today. Izaac has posted twice. Tim and Ben (Bathgates.net) once. The usually reliable Craig has posted only nine times this week. The man known around these parts as “The Moff” (I saw somewhere that someone called him that to some consternation) – has posted four times.

Amy and Tim are off to a promising start with six posts since Monday. Ali, who I missed out in the last little round up post, has posted three times this week…

Maybe the threat of traffic induced by this post and all the other bored desk jockeys out there will cause these people to update their blogs soon…

And the rest of you… what are we procrastinators to do?

Commenting would be a start. Lets talk.

Introducing…

Well, Tim and Amy have a blog. Excellent.

They’ve both had those live journal things for a while – but reading someone’s journal seems so voyeuristic – and Amy informed my of its existence on the down low – so I haven’t given it the kudos it deserves.

I went to school with both of them, and they got married. Those two points are only tangentially related – I had nothing to do with them getting married, or with them going to school together. But that is what happened.

Tim is also responsible for my incredibly diligent work ethic – he scored me the ultimate university job clerking at a law firm. We job shared for a few years. Actually, longer than a few years – we used to reciprocally help each other with delivery runs (he delivered newspapers, me pamphlets)… ahh, nostalgia.

Anyway, now you can get to know them too – courtesy of their blog. So far it’s just Amy. But it bears Tim’s name, so he may be tempted out of the laboratory at some point.

Amy is also the Amy who comments here heaps – and who disagrees with me the fiercest  when I mention things like the environment. So it’s guaranteed to be worth reading.

On the blacklist

I’m on a blacklist. The Education Queensland blacklist no less. Apparently…

Tim says:

“Just thought i’d let you know your site has been blocked by eq hierachy. Congratulations on making it to the level of facebook and my blog… the question is now what am i gonna do when i should be working…. hmmmm i wonder if stick cricket can be tracked”

Was it something I said?

Now I know a little of what all those nasty sites will feel once the clean feed begins in earnest.

My advice for Tim – and for others in the same boat – is just subscribe to my blog using Google Reader – no school in its right mind will block google. You may have to rename the feed.

Facebook is blocked at my work too – but I get my friend’s status updates via RSS.

Untitled

Tim “I blog once a month, and I vote” Canavan obviously has no patience and ignored the time frame I gave for resurrecting this blog. His comment served as a prompter though – and I do plan to provide some new and interesting content in my inimitable style (although you’re welcome to try copying it Tim). I’m still toying with some ideas. I’d like to actually provide a rationale for reading my blog – not just have it as a forum for my rants and raves.

I probably won’t be as verbose as Mr Canavan, nor will I explore the serious theological issues he discusses – although, again, that is something under consideration – but probably in another context or forum.

I have spent a bit of time reading blogs recently and have decided I most appreciate those that offer actual advice, “how tos” and the like… especially food and coffee blogs – so some new posts will have that flavour. If you have any suggestions for topics I can throw my “investigative journalism” skills at let me know and I’ll probably do it.

So much to tell you…

Following a two week hiatus you’d expect there’d be a bunch of interesting stories for me to tell you. This would be an incorrect assumption. Sure, I went to a couple of weddings and saw Gomez live (they were amazing). I visited exciting places like Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and Mount Tambourine. I spent hours in a hospital car park waiting to pick up the groom from one of the aforementioned weddings following emergency eye surgery two days before he was due to marry Robyn’s sister Justina. I picked new towels, sheets and bed linen as part of preparation for my own married life (and wasn’t that fun). I learned all about weddings – for instance – I learned that the colour of an invitation should indicate what colour to wear, or not to wear to a wedding (the colour of the invite should match the bridesmaid’s dresses and also indicate the general theming of the wedding). I tried, without success thus far, to find somewhere to hold an “intimate” wedding reception following a larger inclusive ceremony and afternoon tea, and negotiated the nightmare of family politics surrounding weddings (I can now empathise with the captain of the Titanic who was no doubt doing his best to miss a bunch of minor icebergs when he ran into the big one that scuppered the ship). Plus there were a series of traumatic events in the news cycle while I was away that I felt compelled to blog about – however I couldn’t actually be bothered to respond to those compulsions. So will now mention them in passing – Andrew Johns retired as the best half back I’ve ever seen (given that my league watching career spanned exactly the length of his career that’s not too surprising). Anyone who tries to compare the incomparable skills of Mr Johns with Alfie Langer, Ricky Stuart or any other number seven who played in that period has rocks in their heads (even Geoff Toovey wasn’t as good – he sadly had no kicking game). Incidentally, Manly are still undefeated and sit atop the ladder, Manchester United won 7-1 against Roma in the Champions League and made the FA Cup final in the same week while still leading the Premier League by 3 points with only a few rounds to go (including one against Chelsea – which barring a diabolical turn of events and dramatic chance in goal difference it probably won’t matter if they lose they should still take the title) – so all in all it’s good to be me right now

The ANZAC day media fiasco played itself out in the media – but I’d like to point out that Vietnam is in fact no Gallipoli – and April 25 has very little to do with the Vietnam conflict. Why wasn’t the fuss made about that? I’m glad the real issue – Rudd’s Channel 7 favouritism was brought to the fore and promptly dealt with. A school shooting in the US made further mockery of the right to bear/bare arms (why anyone would want paws or hair free arms is beyond me). The idea that the American populace to be able to take part in a citizen’s militia to repel invaders has been a little diluted to the point where students can open fire on their peers. Gun reform is an easy campaign issue for the Democrats now so we’ll see what Joe’s blog has to say on that issue in the near future. Speaking of blogs philnsmiz has finally been updated – and should be again shortly, while Scooter’s blog still languishes back on the first of January where it promised so much but has since delivered so little. Tim’s has been also been updated.

So all in all, I am in need of a holiday. And I’m back at work today.

Wrestling for power

There are a number of high profile elections happening at the moment – with the Australian Federal Election on the horizon, the election of US Presidential candidates (note – not the election of the US President – that’s not until 2008) in full swing and the New South Wales state elections entering the penultimate stage with voting due any time now – nobody really seems into the whole thing, I guess that’s what happens when an election features two candidates nobody really wants to vote for.

I’ve mentioned the fact that I enjoy professional wrestling before, I’m not entirely sure who’s to blame for this, but living with Tim has done nothing to cure me of this affliction – but it seems wrestling has entered into the realm of politics.
The Sydney Morning Herald has produced a multimedia pre-vote analysis of the impending NSW election treating ballot day as a drawn out bout in the squared circle of the wrestling ring.

Japanese pro wrestler Masano Murakawa (pictured left) is set to contest a no holds barred* campaign to become the governor of Iwate. The masked wrestler has been serving the local assembly for several years and will keep his face covered if elected.

Smackdown’s luchadore** Rey Mysterio (pictured below) – a lifelong ambassador for the Detroit 619 Area Code is said to be weighing up his political options.***

Funnily enough while being a wrestling internet geek in some spare time (while I should have been asleep) the other night – I discovered that Shaun Morley – aka Val Venis – is a political animal promoting the concept of “freetarianism” which, from what I can gather, is the belief that there should be no laws whatsoever.

* Originally a wrestling term
** Mexican category of wrestler, famed for being masked until loosing a “mask vs mask” match against another luchadore…
*** By me for comedic purposes…

Oh, and guess what, the jury is in – Krispy Kremes are bad for you… who’d have thunk it.

EDIT: And now, by popular demand in a triumph of amateur photoshop and/or through the hard work of Australia’s political paparazzi (they’re out there – just ask Latham)… I give you… K-Rudd, the masked wrestler:

Season’s Greetings…

Summer, Autumn and Winter say hi. Spring is going through a rough stage of cantankerous adolescence and refuses to contribute to this letter. That joke was bad enough to stay in.

The Christmas letter is traditionally a soul destroying exercise. Be it an update on the illnesses of a particularly insufferable suffering hypochondriac relative. Or the celebratory tones of conceited parents pompously proclaiming their darling scion’s achievements while adopting a sufficiently Australian air of “self deprecation” with regards to their own personal achievements for the purposes of humour – or to somehow make their ravings more palatable to the average apathetic reader… I have no such qualms. I’m good – and you all know it. So here’s a graphic retelling of my year to date – referring where possible to events not recorded in the archives of this blog.

With a degree of symmetry and some synergy – my year ended where it began – in Townsville. Well, technically I wasn’t in Townsville until the 20th of January when I made the trek North in pursuit of work experience. Those who know the back story realise I had other motives when making the trip north. The less said about that chapter of this year the better – but this story like all classic Disney tales has a happy ending. Spending three weeks in the newsrooms of Townsville’s finest broadcast media outlets (WIN and 4TO take a bow) was enough to give me a taste for life in the tropics (the employment opportunities in Brisbane for underperforming journalism graduates also had me searching for jobs in a more regional millieu – I like the word millieu and will therefore use it…).

Upon my return to Brisbane I bid a fond farewell to my abode in Lorimer Terrace – the Lorimer House of Fun dissolved (some would say that the fun truly left when the original fellow occupants entered wedlock, parental domiciles and fled the country due to “visa” complications only to return at a later date and resume occupancy – but what would those naysayers know). I returned to my parent’s place of residence in ensuing weeks as I secured employment in the North and said my fond farewells to life in the state’s capital.

This brings us to March and my relocation to Townsville had immediate ramifications for the city with the significant change in air pressure caused by my arrival resulting in the onslaught wraught by Tropical Cyclone Larry. Sometime this year I realised the professional value of a good anecdote – and my “baptism by cyclone” – where I was truly “thrown in the deep end” and kept my “head above water” became a favourite tale at networking functions.

In June I adopted a small stingray named Max who had an inherrent distrust of khaki – he was released when he failed to come to terms with my love for footlong chicken fillet subs (on parmesan oregano with thousand island dressing, barbeque sauce and a smattering of sweet chilli – add salad “to taste” for the perfect Subway experience).

In July I was subpoened to appear at the trial of Saddam Hussein – my evidence was eventually striken/struck/smote from the records as my complete ignorance of the Iraqi judicial process was revealed. Some suggested this occured when I tried to offer Saddam’s body guard wheat for weapons – an action completely against national protocol. The subtle change in nuance was lost on me.

August saw a lengthy debate on the correct spelling of the word ‘ey’ when used as punctuation – and the different inflections/variations required when using ey in a variety of sentences. A valuable learning experience for all those relocating to regional Queensland. And in real life my stunning record of 22.75 years of being romantically unattached (at least mutually) came to an end.

In September I virtually climbed Mount Everest – In summ(it)ing up… I stopped to rescue several others who were struggling with backpacks loaded with spam and other novelty kitchen equipment provided on loan by an Australian snowboarding champion.

October and November were notable only for the discovery of the “cat poo coffee” and my attempt to radioactively assassinate several ex-employees of the Kremlin. I’ve always stood by my belief that sushi is bad for your health.

In December I conducted extensive experiments into the effects of Christmas chocolate, steak and alcohol on the waistline/weightline. I hypothesised that there would only be a moderate effect and was wrong to the tune of about 5000 grams. Which leads me to my decision to take up a gym membership today. On the first business day of the new year. Just in time for the “new year’s resolution specials.”

For a more serious summary of my year continue reading the following paragraphs…

The Townsville adventure continues with my enjoyment and satisfaction with the decision to move north still trending upward on the great graph of life. Work is challenging, satisfying (at least for the stomach), and gives me free reign to play with words and write puns. Basically it’s my ideal job. The home front is also enjoyable – the change/holiday dichotomy/equilibrium/paradox holds true. Having fled the chaos of a house full of 5 (including me) argumentative males (including me) I find much relief in my new domestically blissful house of just 3 (including me) not so argumentative males. Church is also good – moving from a large, established church with working programs and teaching in place across age groups to a growing church in a state of constant flux due to the incredible population turnover that seems to be heading in the right strategic direction with a strong focus on bible teaching has been a mixed blessing. I’m enjoying the highs and lows that come from being part of the early stages of something dynamic while sharing the frustrations of having sporadic attendance dependent on uni timetables and the population change associated with hosting Australia’s largest military barracks. On the personal front, Robyn has been a joy to me – and I take back any criticism I ever levelled at mushy headed boyfriends in my past. I do miss my family, friends and life in Brisbane (particularly the soccer team – my regular weekly indoor fix is a poor substitute for the joy of romping around the grassy fields of Brisbane’s Baptist League) – but have enjoyed meeting a host of new people in Townsville (and reaquainting myself with the particularly outstandingly robust Mr Canavan who always feels like partying).

QED

The return of the Biff

Matthew Johns’ alter ego Reg Reagan has been calling for the return of “the Biff” for a few years now, and it seems people are starting to listen. Tim posted his opinion on violence in sport in his blog a little while ago – I figured I’d get in on the action following Willie Mason’s one week suspension and $5000 fine for his one punch knock out of British Prop Stuart Fielden.

While Tim argued for violence in sport to be reduced to more civilised levels – I’m going to argue in the other direction. Sport is played for the benefit of the fans. Fans, as demonstrated by many years of blood sport attendance, love a bit of biff. That’s why State of Origin used to be so much fun. There was a good chance someone was going to be clocked on the noggin in a good old fashioned donnybrook.

That’s why the Tri Nations – despite Nathan Fien’s grannygate efforts – have been the most exciting international Rugby League series in years. And it’s why Rugby Union is a game full of pansies… (that ought to get some comments). AFL goes the closest to condoning a bit of fisticuffs of any of the major codes – with punches allowed provided you’re holding onto your opponents jersey.

The National Hockey League – Canada’s premiere sporting brand (Ice Hockey – nb the NHL also involves teams from the US – but its origins are Canadian) – has started a campaign to decrease their game’s violent image – cracking down on the legalised biffs that used to happen on the rink. The NHL is perhaps the most brutally violent sporting competition (ruling out boxing and other dedicated bloodsports). And this is why…

That punch resulted in a career ending injury for the victim and a long running series of law suits. However, there have been lengthier sentences handed out for other incidents like these:

There are all sorts of interesting legal ramifications for the assaults that occur under the guise of a sporting contest – Les Boyd (a former League star) was sued by walking outhouse, Darryl Brohman following an elbow to the head that left him with a broken jaw.

Traditionally considered a game for fairies – Football (or soccer as it’s known in only 2 countries – America and Australia) has had its fair share of on field violence

with Scottish firebrand Duncan Ferguson, who may be on his way to the A League, serving jail time for a headbutt. Irish psycho Roy Keane was sued for intentionally breaking an opponents leg following the publication of his autobiography. And my personal favourite was this incident featuring Eric Cantona. I’ve put this video up before I think, but I like it so much I’ll post it again.

And now for some real news…

Here’s an update on some actual things that are going on in my life in Townsville…

Work – work is great. The people I work with are fun. My role is interesting and challenging. I get cool perks (reef fishing trips, a regular pay cheque, and stuff like that). You can read my press releases here.

Home – home is good. Tim is fun. He’s about to go to PNG for a month though so Dave will have to provide me with all my home based entertainment. Are you up to that Dave? Bring on the pranks I say.

Church – Church continues to be great also. My grade 12 boys – Dave and Isaac – are a pleasure to spend time with. Even if they’re wimpy and nerdy (I hope you’re reading this boys). Dave is Donna’s little brother, that creates a whole lot of issues as I’m sure you can imagine. Donna is a rarity in that both my Townsville and Brisbane readers know her. I should write about those sorts of people more often. I had a funny experience where I saw old photos of Laura Kennedy in a church photo album the other day… and I was talking to one of Kendra and Geir’s school friends the other day… that was an interesting conversation. I’m writing a series of studies on 1 Peter for our young adults bible study group. That’s been good fun. When I get some sort of web hosting space I’ll upload them and some other stuff I’ve been writing. I’m not sure why anyone would actually want to read them, but just in case… I led the singing again last week. I have never ever claimed to be able to sing – except for a little while in Maclean before my voice broke. I’m aware that most of the time I can hold a tune – but I think that’s largely due to the amount of practice I do in my car. I’m one of those freaks you see singing at traffic lights.

Soccer – Our mixed indoor team is on fire at the moment – the new season started a couple of weeks ago and we’re currently undefeated. The girls we get to play for us are better than most guys on the other teams (particularly our American import, Kasie, who’s better than all the guys on our team). We won 10 or 11 – 2 last night. I lost count. It’s good fun, but I miss the MPC outdoor team.

I think that’s all the important areas of my life covered – except the girls part that Serge asked me to talk about – but I’m not sure that’s the kind of thing it’s wise to be posting on the Internet – or anywhere for that matter.

I’m heading down to Brisbane for Maddie’s coming of age celebrations this weekend- that’s right my second littlest sister is becomming an adult on the 9th of June. I arrive on Thursday night – start booking times in my busy social calendar now.

A Panda walked into a bar…

It strikes me that it’s been a while since I actually wrote anything substantial (ie of substance) on this blog. I’m not sure that this trend will be broken in this post – but I am trying to think of something serious and important to write about.

You may notice, if you’re bored enough to go to Tim’s blog (and bored enough to read it when you get there), that he’s posted some form of response to my diatribe on hippies the other day. You may also notice in the comments on that there’s a comment there from a guy who looks like he’s stepped off the set of a Star Wars movie. That is Scooter. For the benefit of my Brisbane readers – he’s related to the Poysers. For the benefit of my blog readers – he’s related to MIP. For the benefit of people who have no idea what I’m talking about – MIP is a Poyser, and Scooter is a cousin of said family. Anyway – Scooter also now has a blog.

On Thursday night at 12am I got on a 68 foot boat to go fishing. I was accompanying I Fish – Channel Ten’s very popular fishing show. In short… I caught one fish, and didn’t get sea sick, so the trip was considered a success. I also didn’t manage to catch any sleep. I can’t take a photo of the sleep I didn’t catch, but I will be able to upload a picture of my fish sometime next week. When I got home from fishing I smelled like I’d been fishing, and I was very tired. When I say home, I mean when I got back to work. I had an afternoon appointment with a marketing salesperson from the Financial Review. She gave me an umbrella. It is yellow and white. It was almost worth going to work for. Have you noticed that when you write short sentences it immeadietly sounds more childlike? Or maybe I’m using less erudite words. I am still tired.

Last night I went to my first Youth Surge event. Somehow I always managed to be busy when Youth Surges were on in Brisbane. I’m happy to report that it wasn’t bad. It was in fact good. We had a youth group leaders training session this morning which was also good. I’ve been doing some thinking about how youth groups work over the last few weeks – and when I’m in a less tired state I’ll share my thoughts on youth group via my blog.

Tim and I dined at Sizzler this afternoon and I’d like to make a point about the importance of grammar, and particularly punctuation, based on my experiences. I ordered the special of the day – rib eye and prawn skewers. I was looking forward to my nice juicy steak with a side of prawns… It turns out I should have looked more closely at the sign, because I was shocked when the waitress delivered my sizzling prawn skewers with some meat coloured vegetables on the skewer and no juicy steak on the plate. I think they should have more clearly deliniated words on the menu board. Only the Grammar Nazi, and Scooter, would have picked up on that subtle distinction. It’s like that old joke about the panda who walked into a bar.

Have you ever noticed that when you write lol it looks like a man with his arms in the air? I’m not going to write much on what I think about people who write “lol” when they’re not actually laughing out loud. I should point out that with inverted commas it looks like the little man has just moved his arms there. So now I’d like to present you with a series of excercises based on the lol man.

_o_
| |

( \o/ )
( || )

“lol”
_/ \_

( \o/ )
( /\ )
_o_
‘ || ‘

I guess by series I meant one star jump. You have no idea how much time I wasted figuring that out. There’s a whole range of artwork out there created using letters – it’s called ASCII art – very, very, nerdy stuff.

What’s hip about hippies?

Today’s post comes courtesy of me. I’m allowed to that once in a while, it is my blog afterall. Today I’d like to write about hippies. There’s very little right about hippies (that’s a little bit of political humour for those out there not clever enough to pick it up). Some hippies are ok. I’m all for peace (most of the time), harmony (but I’d actually prefer social melody. Harmony suggests different people managing to be different while appearing to sing to the same tune. So by extension social melody must be everyone doing the same thing which I think is a much higher goal. Provided everyone does what I think is the right thing. Let me rephrase that so it sounds less arrogant… Provided everyone does what God thinks is the right thing… I’m not sure that seems less arrogant actually, I’m not claiming that my will is perfectly equal to God’s. Could this be the longest bracketed statement ever to grace the pages of my blog? Who knows.), tranquility, and protecting the environment. But I have some questions about the whole green movement.
1. Who decides which green causes should be fought for and protected – why save the whales and eat lentils – surely lentils should be protected.
2. How can hippies justify protecting trees while smoking (burning) grass (marijuana)?
3. Why do they fight big battles (ozone protection) while ignoring, or contributing to, smaller problems (bad body odour)?

I guess my stance on hippies makes me anti-green, and in an amazing coincidence it turns out my car is anti-green in colour. I created a colour completely devoid of green, and full of blue and red in paintshop, and I came up with a colour alarming similar to my mauve excel.

What really gets me is the skewed priorities hippies have towards their particular cause. Sure whales are nice, big, friendly animals – but what about the thousands of starving Japanese children who’d benefit from eating the whales brought in by all the whale-harpooning daddies out there. Think of the children. It does seem to me that the green movement has a fairly warped sense of important issues. Some may argue that there are thousands of issues out there and it’s great to have people concerned for all of them, everyone needs representation. Which would be fine if the green voice wasn’t so loud. Once upon a time, when I was a poor uni student (read that how you will – I did mean that I lacked financial stability but I make no claims to greatness as a student) I was walking on my merry way to uni when I was accosted by a well meaning hippy type who wanted me to consider supporting an obscure wild life protection group. I understand that this girl was doing her job, which is a pretty crappy job, and was probably being paid by commission. But her suggestion that I change from sponsoring a compassion child to sponsoring a panda because it was “national change charities day” proves once and for all that hippies are stupid.

This diatribe was encouraged by an article in the opinion pages of today’s Sydney Morning Herald. The article looks at the quality of life in Australia – analysing whether things are actually any better with the strong growth in the Australian economy. Apparently some things are good. Some things are bad, including an increasing tendency for families to break down (or up – funny that two opposite words mean the same thing – I guess the keyword is break. You could probably even say break sideways and people would still understand). But this isn’t the biggest issue our culture has to deal with. I guess I’d agree with that (I’d probably say the underlying issues of human selfishness and greed were bigger problems – and the issue underlying those issues is sin). There are plenty of other issues out there that could be at least as difficult as a family break up. Child abuse, murders, an alarming suicide rate… there’s plenty of problems in our society that an increase in cashflow doesn’t seem to be solving. But no. Apparently our biggest problems are land clearing, extinct bird species, salinity and greenhouse gas emissions… and that my friends is why I hate hippies.

In other non-hippy news… Tim started a blog today – its title is a delightful pun on his name. I must say I’m flattered by all the people who are starting blogs just because I have.