The School of Athens

The School of Athens
The School of Athens by Raphael (click on picture to view short documentary from Columbia University)

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Ah Malcolm, you coulda been a contender

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, 2016 Federal Election.


Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition have turned to kicking the rusty old asylum seeker can hard and early in this campaign.


 

Makes one wonder why the Coalition think it's necessary to do this when every poll shows the Coalition is perceived by the electorate to be superior at 'protecting our borders' than the ALP. This is already factored into the electorate's mindset



 Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that this is now a distant memory.






Ah Malcolm I suggest you will be haunted forever by these sage words of John Greenleaf Whittier: "For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these 'it might have been'"

Too lofty?

How about this more earthy quote from "On The Waterfront"




"I coulda had class, I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it."

You can watch Malcolm's lament on YouTube here:

Monday, 16 May 2016

Double disillusionment

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, Federal Election 2016.

The Australian electorate is suffering from double disillusionment.

First, it put its faith in Tony Abbott at the 2013 election, 





Only to be almost immediately gripped by buyer's remorse.




It was then offered a replacement model by the Coalition free of charge,






Who, at first, excited the electorate,



But it wasn't long before this replacement model was seen to be a lemon too.




Tired of being quoted "Caveat Emptor" (let the buyer beware) by the Coalition after complaining about the poor service it has received, is it any wonder the electorate is seriously considering purchasing this untried model from the outfit that had let them down so badly before?



Maybe this time.........?




Saturday, 2 April 2016

It's goodnight from him

Fellow citizens,

Often, too often recently, I hear myself saying "Bugger!", when hearing of the passing of someone who made the world a better and happier place.
 

I feel that again quite profoundly with the news of the death of Ronnie Corbett.

An elderly Groucho Marx once said the most moving compliment he ever received was from a woman who, recognising who he was, quietly came up to him, touched him gently on the arm, and said, "Please don't die. Just keep on living."

Many of us around the world would have liked to have said the same to Ronnie Corbett.

Please enjoy his sheer genius in this "Mastermind" sketch with Ronnie Barker here



Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Déjà vu all over again for Malcolm

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, March 2016.

The Australian public want to like Malcolm Turnbull, they really do, and they really want him to succeed, they really and truly do. But unfortunately, Malcolm just hasn't lived up to the public's expectations.

Both as Opposition Leader and as Prime Minister, the one word that the public will use to describe him is - disappointing.

Have a look at this fine work from my psephological colleague Dr. Kevin Bonham from the University of Tasmania.

He has tracked the net satisfaction ratings (as measured by Newspoll) for Malcolm Turnbull when he was Opposition Leader and now as Prime Minister. [Net satisfaction = percentage of public satisfied with a leader's performance minus the percentage who are dissatisfied]

The similarities in how quickly Malcolm has fallen from the public's favour are quite eerie. Crucially, the figures for his time as Opposition Leader pre-date the farce that was Godwin Grech and Oz-Car.

As Kevin Bonham observed: "The patterns of Turnbull's Newspoll netsat over time since becoming leader are quite similar to when he was Opposition Leader - in fact, this time around he's taken two weeks less to go below zero".

Malcolm just doesn't live up to his promise.




"Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results."

 

Monday, 28 March 2016

Political blues for the boys

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, March 2016.

These five people pictured below have all faced political rejection.

Three of them handled it with grace, dignity and class; two of them.....well, much less so.

There appears to be a pattern, but I just can't place my chromosomic finger on it.






Friday, 4 March 2016

Nowhere man

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, March 2016.

"He's a real nowhere man. Sitting in his nowhere land. Making all his nowhere plans for nobody."



Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The day the music died

Fellow citizens,

Today's post is personally the most difficult one that I've written.

It's about one of the worst afternoons of my life. It occurred 35 years ago, on December 9, 1980.

I had just arrived home from Maroubra Beach, after having all day joyfully body surfed about 250 waves (I was 16 then, when you can do pretty much anything you like for as long as you like).


As I entered the family room of our home, the TV was on Channel Ten Sydney and a newsflash announcement interrupted the program being broadcast.

Gordon Elliot came on the air:


He announced: "In news just in from New York City, former Beatle John Lennon, was shot........."

I immediately hoped that the next words he said would not be: And killed.

He then said ".....and killed."

My heart sank. I sat there stunned. The joy of the bodysurfing afternoon turned into a deep despair. I was unable to move for what seemed like ten years.

Why was I so deeply affected?

Because John Lennon was a symbol of great hope for me and hearing that he was killed shattered those hopes in one dramatic afternoon.

John Lennon used his music and high profile position to try to correct what he saw as the ills of the world. He stood up against injustice and paid a very heavy personal price for it. The love of his life, Yoko Ono, was relentlessly pilloried in the media and by the public, which no doubt deeply hurt him.

Nevertheless, he continued to support the causes in which he believed. He also knew the risks that entailed, once saying, as best as I can recall:

 "I don't want to be seen as serious, because all the serious people like Gandhi and the Kennedys and Martin Luther King got shot. I don't want to be shot, I want to live a full long life with Yoko. So we are humorous. Who are we? We're Laurel and Hardy, that's John and Yoko."


John Lennon wrote many brilliant songs as part of the Beatles, though those songs are always attributed as Lennon-McCartney creations.

So I thought as a tribute to him, I'd highlight a collection of his best contributions as a solo artist.

His standout song - Imagine 1971

And a range of others:










Blog Archive

Our home

Our home
Earthrise over the moon (click on picture to view film)

The pale blue dot

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The virgo super cluster of galaxies

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Universe

Universe