Tuesday, April 22, 2003

OLD, GIFTED AND BLACK: Just saw on Drudge that Nina Simone has died at age 70, which is a real shame. We're big fans of hers around the house; I've left instructions with Claire that when I die, I am to be wheeled out of Surly Jack's Discount Funeral Caravan and Bait Shop to the strains of Simone singing, "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" - a trifecta of irony that should put the "fun" back in "funeral."
IF YOU'VE BEEN WONDERING WHERE I'VE BEEN LATELY, I've been working on a new essay-blog site, DuckSeason. Pithy posts will resume here shortly, while longer rants will live over there.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

SO CLAIRE JUST GOT BACK FROM SYDNEY'S SECOND-GREATEST WINE STORE where she was buying a bottle of champers for our first wedding anniversary, which is Saturday. (The first anniversary, as it happens, is the "paper" anniversary; anyone wishing to give the folding kind can via the Make a Donation button to the right). Not sure what to buy, she asked for some guidance in selecting a bottle of bubbly. When a helpful clerk said, "well, all our French champagne is over here," she cut him off and said, "no, I'm looking for something Australian; we're boycotting the French in our house."

His response was simply priceless: "That's great. You know, I've never forgiven them for what they did to the Rainbow Warrior."

But it gets better.

"Oh, it's not because of that," Claire replied. "It's because of the war."

"You mean you're...pro-war?" the clerk said, stunned.

"No, we're simply anti-Saddam Hussein," answered Claire, who then was wise enough to cut off the debate by telling the clerk, "but you know, even though we probably disagree on just about everything in the world, we can still be united by a love of wine and a hatred of the French!"

And really, when it comes down to it, is there anything more to life?

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

STEPHEN DEN BESTE suggests that Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf has a lot to offer potential employers, now that regime change has forced him to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Amongst Mohammed's qualifications are
— Total and unquestioning dedication to the cult of his employer
— Able to deliver even the most blatant lie with a totally straight face
— Completely impervious to criticism and ridicule
— No apparent shame defending absurd claims during press conferences
— A facility for particularly clever epithets and curses against his opponents
Of course being a computer geek, Den Beste thinks an ideal new job would be to shill for Apple. Instead, I reckon Mohammed could find work as Monty Burns' new assistant, should Waylon Smithers ever decide to retire to a private retreat with his, um, life partner.

That Smithers better watch his ass. So to speak.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

I WAS GOING TO POST today about the relentless whininess coming out of Tim Dunlop's site lately - and who can blame him, forced as he is to cry into already weak American beer as the war comes to a quick conclusion without massive, protestable casualties on either side - but Gareth Parker beat me to it.

Christ, I feel sorry for Mrs. Dunlop. Can you imagine domestic life around Casa del Dunlop?

"Tim, honey, did you mow the lawn?"

"How can I mow the lawn when truth is the first casualty of war, and there won't be another Leunig cartoon for four days?"

"Um, OK, can you watch the kids while I run to the store?"

"Well, I guess, but it will only make me wonder how many baby milk factories have been blown up by the CIA that we haven't heard about..."
But don't feel too bad, Tim. Ever since Bubba left the White House, the patch of grass off the Rock Creek Parkway where that nut always stood with the "IMPEACH CLINTON" sign is now free for you to take over with Bush-hating placards of your own.

Monday, April 07, 2003

JUST ASKING: If so many American soldiers live in poverty, and Saddam Hussein's palaces are gaudy pleasure-domes, how come the Left won't support the war as an exercise in economic revolution?

No war but class war, indeed.
SARS IS ON THE MARCH. It's a good thing the Europeans have found a cure.
BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 8 — A U.S. Air Force warplane dropped four enormous bombs Monday on a residential neighborhood where “extremely reliable” intelligence information indicated that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his two sons were staying, senior administration officials told NBC News. The sources would not rule out the possibility that Saddam could have moved before the planes struck, but they said it was highly likely that he and his sons were dead if they were still there when the bombs hit.
High drama developed today when two Greenpeace protesters managed to climb from speeding rubber dinghies and clamp themselves to the bow and stern of HMAS Sydney, stopping it leaving the harbour after being farewelled by Prime Minister John Howard.

A high-speed rubber dinghy managed to act as a decoy to police boats while another dinghy pulled alongside the bows of the frigate as it cruised towards the heads.

One of the protesters, dressed in climbing gear, managed to attach some form of clamp to the side of the warship and rappel himself up.
You know, I've called anti-war protesters idiots before, but this is ridiculous.

Especially since the war is, for all intents and purposes, over. So much so that the barista at my local cappucino joint has taken off his "No War!" button.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

MOVING RIGHT ALONG: Just woke up, turned on the TV, and heard that the noose is tightening around Baghdad - apparently, the airport has just fallen.
MEANWHILE, AUSSIE TIM MATE is still having serious blogger problems. But never fear! Fresh installments of the wit and wisdom of Mr. Blair are being served up at Blogs of War.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

OUR MATE, SADDAM! So yesterday's "Books Not Bombs" march for Saddam in Sydney was a lot more peaceful than last week's, which degenerated into an orgy of screaming and chair-flinging that had to be busted up by the cops. (Sounds a lot like the last family reunion I went to...) However, all was not quiet; the Stars-and-Stripes got torched, and even the Herald, which is normally highly circumspect about reporting the misdeeds of those who, shall we say, need a compass to say their bedtime prayers, notes:
Police made 10 arrests by late afternoon, although none related to crowd behaviour at the gathering. One naked woman who was not a protester was charged with obscene exposure, and a 15-year-old youth who was identified from police video footage faces charges related to burning papers at last week's march.

A further eight youths were charged after a breakaway group of about 50, chanting in Arabic, ran amok in Darling Harbour and then doubled back to the city.

This is being generous. The TV footage I saw on Channel Ten showed large numbers of Arab-looking high school kids in the crowd, mostly young toughs, and reportedly, they got into a scuffle with at least one media crew. (The ironies of a naked woman protesting against modernizing a culture with a hatred of naked women, and of protesters beating up the people who would help get their message, are too delicious and/or invigorating to contemplate). Even more, when confronted with a camera. one group of these kids started yelling sentiments along the lines of "We're all Arab mates!" and "Saddam's our mate, and we Arabs stick together!"

Stupidity like this just underlines the destructive nature of ethnic separatism in free socities. And the blowback from this explicit endorsement of the enemy is going to be tremendous, especially after last year's epidemic of gang rapes in western Sydney by Lebanese teens. For all the worries that Muslim "leaders" here have about anti-Islamic and anti-Arab prejudice, they sure don't seem to be doing a lot to stop their fellow hyphenated Australians (hyphenated by choice, it should be noted) from giving the so-called "majority culture" reason to be suspicious, to say the least.
RIDICULOUS BLOGGER PROBLEMS: It only very occasionally lets me post a damn thing anymore. Anyone else having this trouble? In the meantime, check out DuckSeason, a brand-new group essay-blog with which I'm involved and which will play home to some of my lengthier ramblings...