typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Archive for October 2007

How Rupert Murdoch’s “The Australian” rewrites political history…

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Just a brief post to point out something intriguing. Just reading an Australian election analysis by Possum Comitatus at New Matilda, which pointed out this amazing piece of Big Brotherly piece of ‘information correction’ by Dennis Shanahan – editor of The Australian – on July 10 this year.

Well, it may not have actually been on July 10. The ‘correction’ appears to have been made as it has become increasingly clear that The Oz’s insistence on a resurgence by an inspired and visionary John Howard is a load of piffle.

Check out the “Howard checks Rudd’s march” op ed that seems to have gone missing from the Oz archives:

But support for the Prime Minister has improved since he announced the commonwealth takeover of isolated Aboriginal communities and repeated his determination to “stay the course” in Iraq.

In the past week, Mr Howard has also linked his Government’s global defence policy with the attempted bombings in London and Glasgow and the subsequent police investigations in Australia.

According to the latest Newspoll surveys 61 per cent of voters agree with Mr Howard’s actions in the Northern Territory. Even a majority of Labor voters approve of the plan.

Which has been replaced by “Rudd relaxed about Howard’s poll comeback“:

But the political support for Labor remains solid and the party’s two-party-preferred advantage of 56 per cent to 44 per cent – based on preferences flows at the 2004 election – has not changed in the past three weeks. The opposition leader still holds a greater satisfaction rating, 60 per cent to Mr Howard’s 46 per cent, and Labor retains an election-winning lead.

Kind of like Miranda Devine pretending to have a soul in the hope of keeping her job in a somewhat less evil Australia.


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October 24, 2007 at 1:03 pm


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Further to yesterday’s post about LOL pols on Flickr, here are some LOLitical and mediacre bits i’ve put together for your amusement/ contempt. Grab a GIMP and get busy you space-monkeyz! (it’s actually kind of soothing…)



































































COALition can not haz cheezburger!!! The last one was of course assembled at the all-inspired icanhascheezburger which is still the best community to visit if you wish to make sense of the origins and memetasticicization of all things LOL.

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Written by typingisnotactivism

October 23, 2007 at 5:20 pm

Aussie Green Blog props LOL pols on Flickr (aka LOLiticians)

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…you get the idea. Check out the LOL POLS group on Flickr. Have a rofl or may a submishn. Currently is fun, but may evolve to status of therapy over next 5 weeks.

Thanks Greens – good tip! (Do check out the Greens blog by the way – is more down to earth than other parties’ staff-maintained MySpac pages).

COALition can not haz cheezburger!!! 

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 22, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Howard still anti-Reconciliation – the most telling minute of the debate.

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The Howard – Rudd debate on national tv just now revealed a couple of things. There are certainly a number of possible topics for discussion – commentator bias (hi Annabel Crabb), media ethics (hi Channel 9) – but here’s a suddenly crucial revelation which I expect shall be neglected by most political analysts in tomorrow’s papers. The same analysts and outlets as usual shall no doubt continue to lobby poisonously against reality.

Consider this – Howard’s final minute of summary and closure. As he talked about his proposed education revolution, one to overhaul and Gerard-Hendersonise the Aussie school history curriculum, he ever so briefly dropped his daks and waved red, white and blue-spangled genitalia at the national tv audience.

Well, not literally. But he did expose his dirty little reconciliation secret. For all the talk of his new attitude to Aboriginal Australians, his deeper understanding, his hope for real progress – he went straight back to the moment in 1997 when in front of the nation’s indigenous leaders, activists, academics, and citizenry, he categorically stonewalled the Reconciliation movement in this country. In talking tonight in that final moment, he insisted that without knowledge of where they’ve come from and the sacrifices made to make Australia what it is today, kids must know the great Australian story. Fair enough. “It’s not a story without blemish,” said Howard – his only acknowledgment that part of that story is a brutal, prolonged tale of systematic murder, abduction, relocation, separation and theft (more commonly referred to as ‘genocide’).

“Blemish”. Blemish? Blemish!!! A word commonly used to refer to displeasing aberration of the skin. the same word by which he specifically sought to emasculate the issue of Australian genocide in front of distinguished, committed, and affected hosts and guests a decade ago. Within the same hour as he spoke with feigned sincerity of his nation-propelling plan to include lip service within the preamble to the Constitution.

“It’s not a story without blemish”. It’s not a country without displeasing aberrations of the skin. It’s not a Prime Minister given to any kind of sincere respect or appreciation for the First People of this land, even as he proclaims his passive aggressive urge to consider acknowledging their existence if he is re-elected.


Thanks to Ninglun for the tip – check out the commentary on this little slice of history (although it could have been this evening) from 2min 50sec.

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October 21, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Film Review: Into the Wild

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The film project which Sean Penn has pulled together – Into The Wild – is a labor of love with preparation and background efforts reputed to have lasted over a decade. For the audience, the production staff, actors, and the real people whose stories make this film what it is, Into The Wild is – on many levels – a fittingly personal experience. However hard the film companies may try to promote it as a feelgood adventure flick, it certainly isn’t anything so readily categorized. It is likely the most astonishing piece of storytelling on which Sean Penn has yet worked behind-the-scenes.

Adapted by Penn from the Jon Krakauer book of the same name, Into The Wild is the true story of Christopher McCandless: a young man with all the seeming benefits of a wealthy family, solid education, and straight-A opportunities. But rather than the road so obvious, he embarks on a road rarely so sincerely travelled – donating his entire college fund to OxFam, destroying all his i.d., and disappearing into the still wild frontiers that live in the midst of, and beyond, American civilization.

It’s the beginning of a two-year journey of utterly unpredictable adventure, and although the story is astounding it is not in the detail of the plot that this story’s magic lies. The plot, like the perfectly ordered structure of this film, is just a vehicle. Not by accident, the story is full of vehicles. Whether they’re mobile or stationary – worlds are moving within them as surely as they are taking part in this world. Reinventing himself as Alexander Supertramp McCandless rides the edge of chaos; crucially the clear structure of Into The Wild lets both audience and filmmakers right inside the characters – into the detail of their stories, into their insights, fears, conflicts, and most importantly their transformations.

More than the tale of a twenty-something boy with eyes as big as the sky and burning questions similarly fed and answered by a swag of literary heavyweights, making his way from Dakota to Mexico, from fringe-dweller commune to snowy solitude – it is transformation that drives the movie and pulls us deeper inside its sometimes harsh embrace.

There is a deliberate naivety in the movie’s beginning. There is an understatedness that lies somewhere between the feeling of documentary and an awareness that the actors are acting, without quite being either. There is almost a feeling of a rawness that has been overdone.

The role that this early approach plays in the total effect of the film is undeniable. Penn and his cast initially play with us; there is room to play back. There is the kind of light and easy idealism one might expect from an adventurer who has just burnt his last pocketful of dollar bills. This is as much to put as in the moment as it is to leave us unprepared, no doubt in much the same way true adventurers are.

Ultimately the film blossoms and explodes in unexpected directions. As a viewer, I found myself asking questions of the character and his development which would soon be more than answered. Insights from McCandless’ sister throughout play a large part in enriching our understanding of who he was but, in a manner so atypical of American cinema, we are never bludgeoned into a viewpoint, understanding or conclusion. As with the first news reports surrounding the discovery of McCandless’ body one cold Alaskan day and, later, the critical response to his story as retold by Krakauer, there will be mixed responses to his story in film.

And that is a beautiful thing. If anything, in that achievement Penn and his obviously committed cast have brought a truth to the screen which is too frequently lacking.

The style in which we are fluidly immersed in tales of greatness, the literature of Leo Tolstoy, Jack London, and others carried by McCandless, stories no doubt restored by people who became part of his journey and were in turn transformed by the short time they had with him, his back-story, and the internal dialogue building inside as he discovers that beauty and horror live much closer to each other than we let ourselves believe; this style is essential to the film’s impact, its multilayered texture, and it seamless richness.

The soundtrack, worked on largely by Eddie Vedder, plays no small part in helping this film work its seemingly easygoing magic. Hard Sun has to be the song of the year but more importantly the musical feel is organic, subtle, and happy to be taken or left. There is no sonic cheapening of the moment with obvious emotional or responsive cues. The story is so beautifully told that Vedder only has to add to what is already a great accomplishment, rather than accomplish what hasn’t been done. Similarly the cinematography is subtly stunning but never overbearing. While the camera captures and conveys zen-like moments of motion and stillness, its ultimate achievement is delivering an almost objective truth that allows the viewer to respond in their own personal way.

In an age of bombastic film anthems, mega-million-dollar actors, far-out plot twists and massive special effects capture but do not ultimately satisfy ‘the consumer’ – for that is the target of many such productions – Into The Wild feels like a film that will endure as a classic of both American and global cinema for years to come, in much the same way that films such as To Kill A Mockingbird, The Deer Hunter, and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest have before it.

It is a film of characters, not actors. It could not be that way were it not for an accomplished, credible, and adventurously selected cast. Special mention should be made of the additional layers of intrigue added to the movie by cameos of characters from McCandless’ actual journey, and Emile Hirsch who plays McCandless/ Supertramp. Given that Supertramp went through periods of starvation in his great Alaskan solitude, Hirsch actually lost over 40 pounds – apparently getting down to 115 pound, or a near-anorexic 51 kilos for the role. To mention any more would mean to mention all.

Apparently this film has been rated ‘R’ in the U.S. for reasons of language and nudity. This is preposterous and hopefully it will not be similarly misrepresented in Australia.

There are harsh realities in this movie, but there is nothing lascivious or gratuitous. It is a wonder that people of all ages can be exposed at any time to the consumer-porn which McCandless was in part railing against, yet be denied the near-unique wonderment of this film until they are of an age where they themselves are already going through personal dilemmas similar to McCandless, or are too far gone in the land of suits and C.V.s to wake up as he so forcefully seemed to.

Into the Wild is a richly beautiful, well-humoured and at times literally stunning piece of cinema. It has the feel of a film certain to still be delivering unexpected gems of insight on a third or fourth sitting. And although it necessarily invalidates this review to say so, it is a beautifully told tale as much experiential as it is transformative. However it moves you, Into the Wild will surely move you.

Although thoroughly different – not just in that it is a story which has already happened – it has the capacity to move audiences as profoundly as recent European films like Pan’s Labyrinth, Dancer in the Dark, and Children Of Men. Their preference for a very real and chaotic mixture of light and dark over Hollywood sensationalism is perhaps the most immediately apparent thread that binds such a group of works.

Into The Wild has an aura of ‘essential viewing’ which I think has become incredibly rare in Western film. It is a breathtaking achievement.

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Written by typingisnotactivism

October 20, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Stephen Colbert (coal Bear) to run for President!!!

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Why? Well, in his own words, “it’s clear that the voters are desperate for a white, male, middle-aged, Jesus-trumpeting alternative.”

Good luck Stephen – go hard. And take comfort from our experience in Australia, where a candidate satirising the right-wing incumbent is proving consistently and reassuringly popular. I know that it must have come as a blow when The Convenientest Truth missed both the Oscar and the Nobel prizes but hey – the Presidency? As third prizes go, that’s better than what you picked up in the egg-and-spoon race for ‘special children’ at home economics day. You remember.

But hang on a minute. A fork in the road? Capitalized? So that it’s A Fork in the Road? You jammy bastard Coal Bear!? You’ve already pilfered the Australian campaign!

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October 19, 2007 at 12:40 am

Coming soon: Sean Penn & PETA….

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That’s right – it’s all been a bit dire and heavy here lately, what with Johnny Howard’s master plan grinding into effect and huge chunks of biodiversity literally due to be flushed down the toilet. BLAAAAARGH!!!!!!

So just letting you know – if you’re interested, of course – to check back in here in the next day or so.

You’ll find a review of the brand spanking new film Into The Wild. Personally, I don’t much care for hype like “oooh, Oscars” – BUT, as a way to easily convey meaning, this is an Oscar+ movie. Really mindblowing film of rich depth, insight atypical of American cinema, and a durability likely to ensure its status as a future classic. Do come back and read more Friday.

Also coming up – an interview with Dan Mathews, Vice President of PETA and author of the freshly released (and compulsively readable) Committed: a rabble-rouser’s memoir. For animal-lovers, activists, queens, readers, writers, popstars, supporters & all people easily pissed by perspectives that don’t fit their world view there’ll be plenty of juicy goodness in the 40-minute transcript when it goes online by early next week.

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October 18, 2007 at 6:31 pm

Australian Election 2007 – already primed for a USA 2000 outcome?

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  • 200 000 voters “missing”
  • 143 000 voters “scrubbed” from the electoral roll
  • 18% of young adults now blocked from voting
  • public verification of rolls also now blocked.

Johnny Fingers - caught by Gary Ramage

On the day that Prime Minister John Howard finally called the election, political lobby group GetUp called foul. Check out Voting is the Best Revenge, but also consider this:

The Orwellian “Electoral Integrity Act” was pushed through by the Howardocracy last year, ensuring that an historically significant share of Aussies will miss out in 2007.

No new enrolments after 8 pm yesterday – Wednesday October 17th – a full 7 days shorter than last time. Previously, close to half a million people enrolled in this period – almost 80 000 being new enrolments. While it seemed that a similar number would miss that chance this time, there has been an additional blowout.

GetUp also have figures showing that in the last few months, 143 000 Australians have been removed from the electoral rolls. If you are one of them, you’re only going to find out on election day – when you don’t get to vote.

But that’s your own fault, surely? Well, no. According to yesterday’s media release – 4 hours before the first closure of the rolls:

the AEC has revealed only hours before the roll closes that it has actually unenrolled 143,000 Australians in recent months, many of whom are not aware of it, despite many having made efforts to correct their enrolment.

In addition to this figure, and although there may be some overlap the lack of transparency now in effect makes it almost impossible to tell, the Bulletin reported on Monday that the rolls are at least 200 000 voters short of the numbers that would be expected in line with Australia’s growing population.

That’s a lot: about 1.5% of the current roll, or enough to generate over two typically sized electoral divisions (the average enrolment per electoral division was 90,246 as of September 30).

Peter Garrett spruiking paper samples for Gunns' potential retail clientsIn August, credible polling found that over 80 per cent of Australians were still unaware of any of these electoral changes. The AEC’s (Australian Electoral Commission) own research has shown that 18 per cent of eligible 18 to 25-year-olds – still close to the 400 000 people admitted by Coalition Minister of State, Gary Nairn – aren’t enrolled to vote. It’s odd, given that their $12.5 million ad spend equated Aussie democracy with grabbing a sausage. What? This didn’t inspire you to register?

These major changes – including the newly snuck-in more frequent “scrubbing” of the roll – were considered by a Senate Committee a few years ago but vigorously opposed by the AEC’s leadership at the time. Since then a changing of the guard has seen a reversal of some previously key positions held by the electoral watchdog.

For example, this link is no longer active. Before it was removed it featured this statement:

Printed copies of the electoral roll for public inspection and public sale are printed at least once during the first two years of the life of the Parliament.

The relevant page on the new AEC website, however, now states that

The roll is not available for sale in any format.

This change was legislated by Howard in 2004. Based on trends in Australian politics, this new level of diminished transparency creates, at the absolute least, an… ‘enhanced possibility in the perception of procedural risk’.

Undeniably, the Howard leadership has modelled both Party politics and national policy on the model assembled under Ronald Reagan and turbo-charged under George W Bush. There are significant differences, obviously, but super-bureaucracy as a barrier between politicians and public, fear campaigns, nationalism, religion as a political mascot – these are significant and common elements of both national governments.

It’s often said that in a democracy you get the government you deserve. Without the benefit of an accountable Senate, many Aussies now look likely to miss out on the vote they deserve.

And it is a concern when any leader – but particularly an admirer of GWB’s – goes to an election where, by their very actions, transparency is diminished, independence of supervision has been questioned, and opportunities for enrolment are at their most restricted in Australian history.

More importantly, what can Australians now do to curtail the risk of major democratic disenfranchisement come election day?



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October 18, 2007 at 10:01 am

an election date with John Howard – hawt!!

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Mmmmm yummy!! A good man is hard to find, so look no further girls and ladyboys. We’ve got a real hawtee for you today. Unfortunately the ad is a couple of years old but all the changes have been for the better. Less hair on the head for tangle-free thinking, more hair on the eyebrows for being taken really srsly internationally, and the invasion fetish may seem a bit subdued lately but only because he’s realized there are plenty of countries that can be invaded right here at home. . . and think of the fuel savings! Ready your Australia Card, he’s coming aboard…

Capture some carbon with Johnny Big Oil today – he’ll warm your globe, right after he’s inserted his vapid preamble given your future generations some lip service. Mmmmmmm, lip service.

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October 18, 2007 at 9:47 am

Guest pulp media spray from Dr. Thomas Moore, Tasmanian oceanographer.

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Barns wrong on Whish-Wilson

In his October 15th column, Greg Barns, spouts about “well-informed
opinion”, “gross misinformation”, “political agendas”, and “self
interest” in the mill debate.

Mr. Barns’ fallacious spray targets Tamar Valley vigneron, UTAS
Economics and Finance lecturer, and Surfrider Foundation Australia
(SFA) – Northern Tasmania President, Peter Whish-Wilson.

For nearly two years Peter and his team of Surfriders have engaged
all parties, scrutinized the documentation, done research into
oceanography and economics, and participated in good faith with both
the (failed) state and (limited) federal assessment processes – all
in a volunteer capacity and at a high personal cost.

Thanks to Peter’s efforts SFA has facilitated overseas meetings for
Tasmanian Parliamentarians with Chilean wine industry representatives
who claim they HAVE experienced significant negative economic impacts
due to the proximity of pulp mills (check Hansard next time Greg) and
Peter HAS travelled overseas to visit pulp mill regions.

Peter does own a small Tamar Valley vineyard, which he works with his
own two hands to create gold-medal winning wine. Amongst all the
influential protagonists in this State-rending controversy – Gunns,
Gay, Lennon Labor, the State Libs, the CFMEU, Turnbull, Garrett,
Howard, Rudd, etc. – it is absurd to accuse Peter of being biased due
to “self interest”.

As a member of SFA I will continue to proudly stand shoulder to
shoulder with Peter in our efforts to inform the public of the
potential threat to our wild coastline and the dangerous game
currently being played with our marine environment by both state and
federal politicians – hiding behind their spin and finger pointing as
they plod along towards the electoral finish-line.

Just in case Mr. Barns decides to make further simpleminded
speculation about others let me state clearly for the record – I, and
millions of Australians across this nation, have a “self interest” in
our bays, beaches, and coastal waters that support a healthy marine
environment, sustainable industries, public amenity, and our health.

Dr. Thomas Moore
Lauderdale, Tasmania

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October 16, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Gagging on John’s election…

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Election campaigns tend to be very polarizing but the next six weeks can be bearable if we introduce one simple measure. It’s not really my idea – I’m stealing it from Oscar-winning Nobel laureate Al Gore by amending the idea of carbon neutral to create the Bullshit Neutral Election.

My plan is that every paper, TV and radio station and, most importantly every political party, should be made responsible for balancing its budget of bullshit between now and November 24. A strictly domestic system, this means they can’t fudge their figures by purchasing credibility credits from New Zealand or Albuquerque. And it should hopefully mean all the bastards tell the truth at least half the time.

An “Our cuddliest Prime Minister” advertorial must be balanced by “George Bush – we’re soaking in it”. Whenever Peter Garrett says “we support turning high conservation value forests into chips then paper”, Julia Gillard has to pipe up “because you’re too big a pu$$y to insist that climate change and deforestation are related”. Every time Peter Costello says, “I stand on my economic record” Bill Heffernan will have to say “that’s effing bull$#!! Peter, you stand on anyone making less than six figures”.

In the final week of the campaign, media outlets and the political party with the highest unbalanced emissions of bullshit will have a simple choice – turn all their resources, assets and internal files over to those with the lowest emissions of bullshit – or, less awkwardly, disembowel themselves in a public forum.

This way we all win.

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October 16, 2007 at 10:24 am

Tassie logger blogs on, but WTF??

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This will be of most interest to people following the Tasmanian pulp mill issue which many people believe is heading towards being the next Eureka Stockade.

This chunk of… um…. well-considered logic? industry-endorsed bull$#!& ? waffling oddness? comes from the newborn pro-logging blog Forests Now Tasmania. Should really be Clearfell Now Tasmania, shouldn’t it? Or Clearfell Tasmania Now?

There’s so much wrong in here on so many levels… but why spoil the fun by pointing it out in detail.

See for yourself:

When the mill is built, Tasmania will be into the economic sunshine at last, joining pulp mill driven economies like Bolivia and Vietnam. I, for one, can’t wait.

There will be more anti-mill rallies in Tasmania and on the Tamar, but so what. The pathetic Green resistance will soon collapse as their supporters realise which side their bread is buttered on. Any more of their poncing around and we’ll have another rally for us workers. Makes a good day out on full pay I reckon.

Garrett has promised to make big changes to the Commonwealth’s environment laws that were used to approve the project and, our insiders tell us this must mean, slacken them to buggery to encourage more forestry related activity.

As is now the fashion, Garrett seems to want to include a “climate change trigger”, hopefully that links directly to increasing logging activity. So far he’s been silent on the future of MIS investments and subsidy levels but, if he has any sense (and that’s so far pretty debatable) he’ll increase both to the max!

So hard not to use italics and bold all over this thing, but it pretty much speaks for itself. Basically, if you’re opposed to the mill take heart. Once you get through the pollies that owe favours and the rich cronies that live or die by their lawyers, this is what you’re up against. My prediction is that the whole thing’s a shutdown by November ’08.

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October 15, 2007 at 6:00 pm

$500 to mock Little Johnny – what’s the catch?

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MEDIA RELEASE – October 14 2007
From: “Don’t Look Gallery”
Subject: Tell Little Johnny where 2go, win $500! (or donate some extra $$$ to the prize pool and make the competition scarily well-cashed-up!)

Don’t Look Gallery presents Short, Sharp and Funny!

Create a short film making fun of John Howard, put it up on YouTube
and be in the running for $500!

Don’t Look Gallery wants to see the back of Little Johnny and thinks
that Australia’s arts community is in a great position to put the boot
in. To be eligible for the prize money, make a short movie (between 30
seconds and 5 minutes) poking fun at Australia’s worst Prime Minister,
pop it up on YouTube, and then get the website address listed on five
other websites (to show that you’re getting the message out).
Send an email to dontlookgallery[at]gmail.com with the above info by
November 17 and you could win $500 and take an active role in showing
Mr. Mean&Tricky the door!

Please email this to anyone/everyone who might be interested (put it
on lists, your myspace/facebook whatever) and help get the word

This competition will be judged by the Director of Don’t Look
Gallery, Greg Shapley.

Australian Department of Immigration – Kevin Andrews clarifies position on human rights

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videos like this remind me why i made a whole category of “too good not to”

So glad this vid got pointed out to me. Creator, Dan Ilic, has a bunch of creatively deviated sproutlings just here.

<a href=”https://typingisnotactivism.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/australian-department-of-immigration-kevin-andrews-clarifies-position-on-human-rights/”><img src=”http://tinyurl.com/23828h&#8221; border=”0″/> <strong>Scoopit!</strong></a>

Forget terrorism – fear democracy. . .

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It’s a simple message. Any media-savvy Australian will understand: a Kevin Rudd led Labor government is an even greater threat to Australian bus stops than Islamic evildoers.

How do we infer this? Because the voice in the scarey anti-Labor ad is a full semi-octave lower than the voice in the scarey “if you see something, send the AFP round to your co-worker’s house” ad.

Wow. That’s scarey. They didn’t even mention that Julia Gillard’s a woman but I’m really convinced I don’t want her driving Australia. It is hard to know which to be more convinced by: manic depressive anti-democracy advertising or Mal Brough’s concern for Aborigines, Kevin Andrew’s concern for refugees, Malcolm Turnbull’s concern for the environment, Peter Costello’s concerns about climate change, or John Howard’s newfound concern for refugees, Aborigines, the environment and climate change.

Either way, this election I too shall be scared into voting for more of the same. And then I shall go skiing in Hell.

thank the lord that Penny Stephens took this photo. David Vincent is my new hero.

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October 12, 2007 at 10:52 am

wwworldwide John Howard caption contest!!!

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John Howard’s beloved Liberal Party had their website hacked by some freedom-loving web ninjas. EXCELLENT!!! The story’s here in Rupert’s always-aptly-titled News Limited, who have of course censored the ‘lewd’ message.

I’m guessing that John Howard says:

“I like to suck dick”. It would be cooler if it said “I like to suck dicks this big”, or “I once stuck my fist this far up a refugee,” or, best of all “I don’t care if a bloke sucks dicks this big, he and his partner should still have the same legal standing as everybody else”.



There are so many possible messages that would fit here. Please make your suggestions in the comments section and I promise to do something amazing with the best ones in the lead-up to our federal election.


Written by typingisnotactivism

October 10, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Bennelong Time (since I was ahead in the polls)

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John Howard and his lead balloon – a deadly Ledly, um… ‘tribute’ . . ? . . . ! skewering from Cyrius01 on YouTube. Very rock, very funny, very replayable loud for housemates and co-workers.

I love that under ‘interests & hobbies’ Cyrius says he’s into “preventing Armageddon-believing Christians from creating self-fulfilling prophecies and ruining the planet.”

The dude is definitely onto something. I’d say ‘kudos’ but that’s been MurdochSpaced, so I’ll just say siiiiiick!

Spotted at the always worthwhile Homepage Daily


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October 10, 2007 at 2:02 am

Joint anti-pulp-mill campaign targetting ANZ bank to launch Wednesday

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A co-ordinated national campaign takes aim at the ANZ bank.

WFCA (Women For Change Alliance) and TAP (Tasmanians Against the Pulpmill) will be launching their joint campaign targeting the ANZ as Gunns’ bankers and potential financiers of the proposed pulp mill, on Wednesday October 10.

Danielle Ecuyer, director of WFCA and resident of Bondi (Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate) is in Tasmania at the invitation of TAP to launch a joint “ANZ Sign the Letter” Campaign directed at ANZ’s Mike Smith.

“Huge numbers of signatures are pouring in”, said Danielle Ecuyer. “Banks like ANZ are at risk of severely damaging their reputation and losing market share, which takes years to establish”.

“I would warn any other bank that seeks to finance the mill that they too will be subjected to a similar campaign”, she said.

TAP spokesperson Bob McMahon said: “Once ANZ realizes what a risky and unsustainable business this pulp mill is they will decline to be involved in financing it. With that as a judgement why would any other bank touch the project?”

“As a community group TAP aims to put the risk back into risk capital.”

The campaign will be officially launched in City Park near the Albert Hall at 1.00pm tomorrow, Wednesday October 10th, 2007.

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October 9, 2007 at 11:53 pm

Australian racism, Al Jazeera, and Tatooine…

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I was writing this to draw attention to the fact that Australian Minister for Belittling Foreign Brown People has made the news on the other side of the world. Al Jazeera has just run this story which is more than fair – just like our refugees should be, eh, eh? ‘Fair’, get it? – as in Advance Australia Fair, fairly sure youse aren’t welcome and fair skinned.

Thankfully, the reporter points out for the rest of the world the little flaw in Andrews’ argument – the one about how cutting down on refugees from wars in Africa isn’t a racist thing, it’s just because black people are criminals. Anyway – surprise – it is racism.

Andrews claims there are higher crime rates in areas where African refugees are settled. But this is based on anecdotal evidence only. Crime statistics show there is no increase at all.

With an election due before the end of the year, some critics believe the Australian government is using this issue to win votes.

Paul Power from Refugee Council Australia says the government of John Howard is trying “to drive a wedge between Australians who are supportive of a refugee programme and Australians who either don’t understand or are against a refugee programme”.

The majority of people supportive of African refugees are likely to vote for the opposition Labor party.

“I’ll be voting for the opposition and all my boys will be voting for the opposition as well, Marin Dhuol, a Sudanese Australian, says.

Labor has admitted it agrees that the number of African refugees should be cut, but says it has been puzzled at “new rhetoric” from Andrews.

And again with the f#%$ing Labor Party pussing out (apart from the Queensland Premier who, thankfully, called a bigot a bigot)?! Funny that Labor women seem the only Party members with any real balls. What’s with the federal tactic? Is there a certainty that Australians are so stupid and immoral that we can’t possibly handle going to an election where we have to decide on any more issues than Industrial Relations and Whales? Gimme a break. . . Then again. . . . This is the country that kept voting for John Howard. Something about the government you deserve?

Oh yeah, the point of interest is the picture of Kevin Andrews accompanying the Al Jazeera piece. I finally realized what subliminal horrors Andrews triggers every time I see his head, and I’m sure it has to be several times worse for refugees seeking sanctuary from any of the wars that Australia has been supporting over the last 6 years.

Holy f&%$ it’s horrible!! Aaack!!. . . . . . . . . . . .Where have I seen a mouth like that before?

well that’s close… but I’m thinking “nasty“.

EEYEWW. Too nasty. Back it right up.

Yeah, that’s getting closer…. not quite there yet. What does Kevin Andrews remind me of?

That mouth…. it’s…… !! ….. Of Course!


Am I right or am I right?









It’s like he’s standing next to a mirror. The main difference is that this conversation is never gonna happen:

“Excuse me Mr Andrews”

“Yes, ubergeek”

Pleeease sell me some spit?”

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 9, 2007 at 2:11 am

Tasmanian Gunns speak out in today’s Mercury

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In a very thoughtfully written article in today’s Hobart Mercury, Nick Clark describes an intriguing brief encounter. He met the Gunn family at the weekend’s pulp mill protest and captured some of their anger over what they believe John Gay – head of Gunns and managing director appointed by their father/ husband/ grandad – has done to their family’s name. It’s a worthwhile read, but the best bit is in the accompanying forum. The following online comment was submitted by Sarah Gunn – now I’m not certain if she’s actually a Gunn or somebody going with an online moniker… ‘she’ might even be a guy… but I love this short burst of writing and I’m assuming it’s from a real Gunn:

the naming rights to gunns ltd remained when the family sold its controlling share in the 1980s. the goodwill value of the name may allow the company to get away with more damage than they should. eg how gunns ltd got a woodchip licence in the first place, for which the federal court found minister for resources erred in law, 1994. some members of the public may have thought the company was still controlled by the family. thank you to the mercury for making the situation clear. i have sent submissions against this mill in the past. i am pround of my family heritage, and i use paper, so what! they are building a pulp mill with my name on it! but seriously, best practice is not wood sourced under RFAs, because of the high proportion that gets chipped. in eden nsw 87% of logs go to woodchips, tasmania it is more like 90%. in upper northeast nsw 18% to pulplogs, it should be no higher than this anywhere. value adding means logs go to timber not pulp.

– Sarah Gunn 08/10/2007

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 8, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Financing for the pulp mill

with 4 comments

Just a quick instalment, mainly because the picture of Robin Gray waving goodbye to Tasmania’s future and hello to a fat Christless bonus done fired up mah blood.

“heh heh heh heh heeeeeeeeh. You are all my bitches now….”

Statements of the obvious aside, the skew-eyed extra from Home & Away has declared that financing the mill without ANZ shan’t be a problem. Obviously Gunns will have a somewhat better time of it should ANZ come to the party, so there’s every reason to maintain the rage on that front. Similarly, Poyry Forest Industries and indeed any and all divisions of Poyry are to be watched in any manner possible by anybody able to. With their long term relationships as Gunns’ main consultant and an advisor to the federal forests ministry they are a mover and shaker with plenty of motivation and access to make major scale funding happen from abroad.

But perhaps most telling is the development pointed out by Mike Bolan. Gray’s son, Ben Gray, is indeed tapped into major private equity group Texas Pacific. They hold several billion dollars and are more than capable of leveraging more. They have already partnered in the failed bid for QANTAS, and taken a sniff of Coles. There is extended footage here of Ben Gray talking with Janet Alberici – he looks disconcertingly like a bidgenned Kevin Rudd.

Also of interest is the name Newbridge, as this group was founded by Texas Pacific and has one of its global offices in Melbourne.

With approximately $3 billion in capital under management, Newbridge pursues
acquisitions of significant stakes and control investments – often together with local partners – and seeks to play a significant role in the development and implementation of strategies aimed at maximizing shareholder value.

Well, if you don’t quite crack it with an under-valued airline, a big fat high interest loan to a company often associated with claims of legislative domination and a relo on the board might seem like a pretty sweet deal – especially when there’s the option to seize masses of land and forest plantations all over Tasmania – if not Australia – should they welch on the deal.

Mike, I know you’re out there – I’d love to host any more detailed theories you have on where they’re hiding their cash-filled piggies.

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 7, 2007 at 6:31 pm

Breaking Pulp Mill news – Liberal candidate for Lyons quits Party, Greens closer to legal action.

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Goddam it’ll be nice when John Gay finally announces that

“All we’ve tried to do is give this state the best possible chance it has for a bright future but due to the persistent sabotage and whining of boutique lefty interest groups – like Bob Brown, Christine Milne, the AMA, green NGOs, Terry Martin, Warwick Raverty, Peter Whish-Wilson, Sue Neales, Matthew Denholm, Geoffrey Cousins, pretty much the entire Tamar Valley, Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate, traders on the global pulp futures market, the ANZ bank, seals, penguins, eagles, and the atmosphere – it is a very sad day for me and at least 17 other Australians as I announce that we shall not be bringing the next step in the evolution of biodiversity, which is of course dioxins and pulped old growth, to Tasmania. You poor sad fools. I’m going to go home and cry now. Paul, get me some f&%#ing tissues.”

But until then the incident-rich war of attrition continues. Ben Quin, Federal Liberal candidate for the marginal seat of Lyons – which adjoins the pulp mill district of Bass – has just announced his resignation from the Party.

Mr Quin said it was now impossible for many people to distinguish between state and federal responsibility.

“With federal approvals now granted, there is no effective way for the majority to express their opposition,” he said.

“This has become political bullying and represents a fundamental failure of democracy in Tasmania.

“I will not stand as a Liberal candidate in support of such circumstances.”

Crucially close to an edge-of-the-seat election the Liberals have responded the only way they can – with a bitchy bout of sulkery:

“Having supported Mr Quin for the past two years as the candidate for Lyons and also at the 2004 election, it is regrettable that he has this close to an election taken the decision to walk away from his commitment to the party and his many supporters.”

Tossers. Speaking of flippant insults, I was feeling somewhat guilty about finally emptying my pockets of any crumbs of hope that Peter Garrett might suddenly emerge from a phone box wearing a cape made of organic hemp with a huge green ‘S’ on his chest. But then he further clarified his position.

Mr Garrett argued yesterday that the tracts of old-growth forest that will supply the mill were already earmarked for logging under the Regional Forest Agreement.

“One of the policy goals for using the existing forest identified for that purpose is to add value to it.

“I prefer to see value added — so long as the environment is properly protected — rather than seeing woodchips sailing out to sea,” he said.

Now, disgusting as it is people do throw around Hitler and Stalin analogies like so much confetti at a wedding (between all levels of government and a select group of well-subsidised private interests). I hate this trend as it generally discredits thoroughly justified anger and revulsion. So without specifying a context, let me just say that this comment from Garrett makes me think of a situation where somebody might endorse killing a person and melting down their gold fillings as the far better course of action than simply killing them. The viable option of protecting life where it exists seems preferable to all scenarios apparently on offer, yet all those with responsibility to proclaim as much seem far too scared to do so.

Meanwhile, the guaranteed legal and protest challenges are firming on at least two fronts. Financially agile tourism portal entrepeneur Graeme Woods of Wotif credibility has thrown his hat in the ring, promising a multi-faceted campaign involving Investors for the Future of Tasmania,

“There will be campaigns at all levels, at grassroots levels, at legal levels, and a few others, so it’s far from over this whole debate.”

And to support this position, in addition to all other levels of opposition and challenge now being voiced, the Greens are drawing closer to lodging a formal legal challenge on the basis of Malcolm Turnbull’s conditional approval being legally inoperable within the ambit of the EPBC Act by which he is reluctantly empowered. Bob Brown explains,

“My reading of Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act section 132 (indicates) the minister has not acted within the law,“ Senator Brown said.

“We will have our barristers look at that and they are as we speak,” he said.

“We warned before he made the approval he should act within the law.”

To reclaim a phrase used by knob-headed Liberal supporters wringing their hands in excitement over the possibility that Tony Abbott might challenge Peter Costello for leadership supremacy – Game On.

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 6, 2007 at 2:46 pm

No escape for Turnbull yet – pulp mill opposition loud and heading global.

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I have somehow confused Alan Ramsey at the Sydney Morning Herald with somebody else. His article on the pulp mill decision took me so by surprise in its detail and point of view that I ran around googling to see if he was the narrow-minded bigot I had thought he was. I ended up finding an interesting reference in this piece which identifies Ramsey as the Australian writer earliest off the mark in suggesting that America’s Middle East policies and unconditional support for Israel may have been the main factors behind the 9-11 attacks on America. So I’m taking him off the Gerard Henderson-Miranda Devine-Tony Abbott list and once again considering him to be a commentator of merit.

Asides aside, Ramsey’s article today – describing how Malcolm Turnbull has condemned Tasmania for at least the next fifty years – is an utterly cracking read with particularly excellent reportage of recent interviews with well-resourced activist Geoffrey Cousins.

“Because if that mill does pollute the environment, it’ll be decades if not hundreds of years before anyone can correct it. And for Malcolm to say, ‘Well, if it pollutes, we’ll close the mill down’, which is what he said, I mean, that is ludicrous. You tell me anywhere in the world where a multi-billion dollar project has been closed down by a government. It doesn’t happen. What you’ve got to do is make sure all the environmental standards have been met before it’s approved, not some time after.”

Lateline’s Tony Jones: “Let me put to you what Richard Flanagan had to say about the influence of Gunns on ordinary Tasmanians. ‘The woodchipper’s greed not only destroys their natural heritage, but distorts their Parliament, deforms their policy and poisons their society.’ Do you buy that far into his argument?”

Cousins: “Well, look, Richard has a much greater knowledge of these things than I do. I finished reading that article and found it so compelling that I contacted the magazine and said, ‘How do I get in touch with this bloke?’ I didn’t know him, I knew his novels. And I spoke to him and said, ‘I’ve got to do something.’ I mean, I’m not somebody who runs around protesting in the streets normally, but it was such a compelling piece of writing that I said, ‘I don’t know how I can help, but whatever I can do, I want to try.’ “

A speech by Cousins’ inspiration – Richard Flanagan – to the Foreign Correspondents’ Association at the American Press Club is also reported today. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 6, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Fitting tribute to our elected visionaries

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You know, this pulp mill farce really does my head in. I think back to around February, the Labor party was really firing up. They seemed to have been overtaken by principles, values, and a righteous determination to set things right.

But now I’m even thinking of putting them behind the Liberals on election day – because the Liberals fuck the environment, they’ll sell out all values that impede profitability – not actual profits, or the existence of profits, but the vastness of profits is the thing to which they slavishly subordinate all other values. But that’s what Liberal Parties do. The Labor party is meant to have some kind of interest, if not in common sense or future generations, then at least in the will of the people. Instead the Labor party has provided no opposition, they haven’t even provided a ‘keeping the bastards honest’ kind of function.

So although the Liberals have maintained their values – none – and delivered for the people what the people expect of the Liberals – nothing – the Labor party didn’t even send their B Team for the big day. Instead, they sent the kid who should have been carrying the oranges to play the All Blacks and made a killing at the TAB.

Which means that even though the Liberals are the ones to have enabled this farce and signed off on the death warrant, the bastards who haven’t done a single thing to challenge, oppose, or stop them are in fact the bigger bastards of the day.

And that’s bizarro.

Written by typingisnotactivism

October 6, 2007 at 12:12 am

Pulp Mill Decision: can Peter Garrett get any Tamar?

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Malcolm Turnbull denies the fact that as Federal Environment Minister, he has both sufficient mandate and resources to step in where state forestry mismanagement threatens national commitments and international obligations on biodiversity and species protection. As a result he has come out with what is likely the most heavily publicised recommendation ever on how best to run a big tube full of crap into an ocean.

This somehow makes the mill assessment complete and above board? I think that Geoffrey Cousins has spoken best to this new flag of the mill-mill-milly-mill crew:

EMMA ALBERICI: Well, he says the conditions are based on the management of effluent, and also on the protection of wildlife.

GEOFFREY COUSINS: Well, they’re based on the two issues that he decided to look at, namely, the marine environment and migratory species, not all wildlife at all. And when the Chief Scientist says that this mill will meet world’s best practice, he means in respect of that particular issue, because he didn’t look at all of the other issues, I’m not being critical of him, he wasn’t permitted to do so. That wasn’t his brief.

Now, Malcolm Turnbull’s job is to protect the environment. He was critical of the Tasmanian Government himself, for closing down that broader public hearing process, and yet he chose not to reinstate it.

I have held out from completely giving up on Peter Garrett but I can’t stand his tinny words any longer. You can’t be the shadow minister for environment and climate change in the party which is supposedly going to drag Australia back out of this 1950s attitude to the environment, and speak platitudes about how you’ve done your best to keep this process credible but now it’s time to really sit on your hands. It’s an utter load of crap.

Obviously his hands are tied by narrowminded politicking going on outside his office door, but even as environmental shadow he has failed to do his job. The general public aren’t aware that the Howard government has quite possibly legislated away the significance of both the Wielangta and Nathan Dam cases. In unison, these two decisions clarify major untested aspects of the EPBC Act, and give the federal minister the responsibility to assess indirect impacts of an action or development (like what might a pulp mill do to forest that isn’t so much growing next to it, but getting logged because of it) and the power to step in where a state isn’t managing forestry in a manner representative of international law – as has already been the case in Tasmania.

Sure that sounds a bit complicated, but at the heart of that information is a simple fact: the Howard government and its environment ministers have been systematically eliminating environmental provisions found to create protection and responsibility by courts. Worse than just ignoring other laws and agreements, this goes to the fundamental collapse of democracy which occurs when the separation of powers is corrupted. Have we heard about this?

The Labor Party is instead hooked into a two-pronged approach which is basically:

appearing united we win, appearing divided – especially on issues relating to Tasmanian logging and one very narrow section of the CFMEU’s national platform – we lose.


as long as we’re only clearly different to the Liberal Party on a couple of select issues of broad public concern, we’ll win

Um, here’s an idea

a 10% lead plus common sense plus taking a popular stand plus showing some cojones makes for a bigger, better, surer win than pussing out in the last 2 months of the campaign to save Australia from itself.

So although Garrett a few weeks ago may have made a briefly outstanding promise to have the mill assessed for greenhouse emissions, he was quickly compelled (by ‘senior management’ no doubt) to clarify that perception.

So he’s screwed. He is unsupported within the Federal Party, and he is more or less trotted out like an over-qualified but otherwise discount Bono whenever meetings with the public or cool issues needing a supposedly progressive Labor approach are being discussed. . . in front of cameras.

It’s confusing – because the fact that he wants to have the mill’s fatal carbon load assessed is a good thing, and we really should support him for it, because his biggest battle isn’t against Turnbull or Howard, it’s against the Labor Party. But here’s the stupid thing – even with Labor and Garrett supporters, both are losing support by the hour over the lack of concern for the environment, due process, their own credibility, their lack of opposition to the Howardocrats, their lack of representation for the greater good on this resoundingly obvious issue, and their utter inability to stand for a principle – even one that will prove particularly popular come election day.


GetUp have thrown up a cool page here so you can read the L-party ghouls’ statements on just how big their balls are and make your own comments, which will hopefully get sent to the lame-o-crats’ in-trays.