Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Baffled by Andy Muirhead's motivations

Former ABC host Andy Muirhead has been found guilty of accessing child pornography. Obviously there is, and will continue to be, a lot of condemnation of this guy, much of it entirely justified. It goes without saying that what he has admitted to doing is deeply revolting and wrong on so many levels.

Still, you've got to feel sorry for him, too. His defence lawyer said "his fall from grace had been significant and it was unlikely Muirhead would ever work in his chosen industry again".

That's certainly true. And he will probably find getting any kind of professional work difficult. This conviction will haunt him for the rest of his days -- and not just work-wise. Anyone who knows him now or is yet to meet him will be aware of the case and it will colour their judgement of him.

I find the whole thing baffling in a couple of ways. There's the general incomprehension of wondering how anyone could become compelled to view this material, and so much of it. That's the first thing.

Everybody knows that viewing child porn is a criminal offence, and that if you do it you'll eventually be caught. So why do such people keep going, and not seek help?

There's another mystery: Why would someone in such a high profile position do it? Muirhead must have known that his getting caught would garner a lot of publicity, which would be sure to increase his humiliation.

Not sure if he had any training as a journalist, since he was a presenter who started his media career by doing comedy, of all things. But he was working for the bloody ABC for years! He had to have accumulated some media nous, and be more aware than most of legal issues, etc.

So why did he do what he did? I can only suspect that he had some kind of strange Freudian desire to spectacularly ruin his own career and personal life. As to the genesis of that, I have no idea whatsoever ...

UPDATE: I've closed comments because I can't really see what else can be added to this discussion. (Also, one person getting increasingly abusive.)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Regarding shark attacks, government says we're responsible (for once)

The reasoning behind government policies can be quite fascinating, and it's often inconsistent. Take the reaction to the recent alarming increase in shark attacks off Western Australian beaches. The Department of Fisheries has produced an internal report that says beach-goers should realize the risks and "take responsibility" for their own behaviour.

This is of course a completely reasonable position. Yet when it comes to so many other aspects of modern life, the government line is that people are not responsible for their actions and need to be protected from the consequences of them.

Take smoking, for instance. Billions have been poured into crippling the tobacco industry, with assaults from several angles. (I know lefties will say this is different, since nicotine is addictive. But that's crap. You can choose to give up the durries. Just takes some willpower, that's all.)

Then there's crime. The concept of personal responsibility is clearly a quaint and eccentric notion to many of our lawmakers. How many times have you read of some murdering scumbag getting off with just a slap on the wrist because he was "depressed"?

Would be great if this "you're on your own so get your s--t together" attitude were applied a bit more widely, I reckon. Hell, we might even start to see a few social ills decreasing in their severity, then!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why is Simon Sheikh quitting GetUp!?

Simon Sheikh quitting GetUp! seems kinda weird to me. I mean, he only started the organization a few years ago -- it really is his baby -- and it's been going gangbusters pretty much the whole time.

Of course it's possible that he'll just be having a hiatus -- a road trip to recharge the batteries. If that's the case then this post is completely irrelevant.

But if this official blog update is any guide it seems like his resignation may well be permanent.

Obviously he's been burning the candle at both ends, as evidenced by his well-publicized collapse on Q and A. Still, he got back on the bike very soon after that and was his usual energetic self. So it doesn't seem like he's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. 

His handing over the reigns to a successor is reminiscent of countless political resignations, in which the pollie in question says: "I'm leaving to spend time with my family." You know that's total BS in the vast majority of cases. Your typical pollie is hooked on the power his profession delivers as if it were crack cocaine. Even if he's got cute little sprogs back home pining for their daddy, you just know he'd much rather be crackin' skulls in Canberra.

Sheikh didn't wield that kind of power, but he certainly had a lot of influence. So why has he quit so soon?

Maybe he realized that the influence of GetUp! has peaked, and that it's all downhill from here? (I think that Bob Brown might have come to a similar conclusion about the Greens, actually. And that had a lot to do with his decision to find other ways to be sanctimonious, annoying and obstructive.)

Or maybe there's some other reason for Sheikh's resignation, such as a vicious power struggle behind the scenes? Who knows ...

In any case I just don't buy the official line. And I reckon other reasons for it may well emerge sooner or later. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

James Holmes vs Anders Behring Breivik

Interesting how different groups react when some arsehole kills a whole bunch of people. Firstly, there's the issue of gun control. Those for and against confidently reel off their well rehearsed arguments.

Then there's the question of what caused the attack. Some on the Right are blaming movie violence for the Aurora shooting. Predictably, many lefties are saying: don't be stupid! You can't hold artists responsible for the actions of a madman!

The irony is that many of those same people were the ones pointing the finger at John Howard, Keith Windschuttle and other conservative figure because they were cited in Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik's manifesto.

Well, whatever caused the terrible actions of these two men, I think there's a big difference between them. James Holmes seems to be barking mad; completely out of touch with reality. But Breivik was cold and calculating and committed his atrocities for political reasons. In other words he was sane but evil.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Alexia Wellbelove of HSI blames shark attacks on sheep trade

Amazing how the deep green mindset will seek to blame eeevil humanity for all that's bad and wrong in the world. Take the fantastically named Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International, who believes that the recent spate of shark attacks in West Australian waters may well have been due to the live sheep trade:

ALEXIA WELLBELOVE: It seems to us that the connection in Western Australia to the live export vessels that carry sheep and the increased rate of shark attacks was a sort of uncanny coincidence really.

So we started looking into this further and we found that in many cases within a few days of live export vessels docking into Fremantle or leaving Fremantle there was a shark attack.

See, her theory is that when dead sheep are thrown overboard, the really big noahs come closer to the shore, increasing the probability they'll attack surfers and swimmers. 

She's drawing a very long bow to start with. But it's even longer given that she cites (and therefore presumably possesses) no hard evidence that sheep carcasses have been thrown overboard near the coast in recent weeks.

Seems like a pretty wacky, unscientific theory to me. I'll bet she's a warmist, too. (Hmm. Maybe she's been using computer modelling to support her thesis?)

That ol' chestnut "correlation does not necessarily imply causation" should be remembered here. And this trade has been going on for decades, while the rate of shark attacks has only skyrocketed in recent years.

In any case, there are already countless animals in the water that sharks feed on. They're called fish. So how can the presence of some deceased herbivores make any difference to their hunger levels?

Then there's the issue of their culinary tastes ... It seems Ms Wellbelove believes that the newly peckish great whites are getting a taste for mammalian meat. Do people taste like sheep, I wonder? Sadly, Jeff Dahmer is dead, so we'll never know for sure.

Hell, you may as well link these shark attacks to the drownings of all those asylum seekers recently. But of course your typical deep green lefty would never do that. They want to stop the live sheep trade with the same intensity that they want to preserve the trade in live humans. 

Lovely people, aren't they? More concerned about the rights of sharks -- both literal and metaphorical -- then they are about the rights of humans.

Not exactly humane after all ...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dumb Drunk and Racist crew sneer at the bogan caste

Watched Dumb Drunk and Racist again last night. One thing that is consistently annoying about it is its simplistic, didactic, patronizing tone. But then it is on their ABC. They all have that born to rule attitude there, and they just can't help themselves.

As with so many shows on the national broadcaster, it's kinda like Play School for adults. Actually, the whole concept of taking four Indians on a tightly stage managed tour of Australia and asking them to describe their reactions at various points is like a hugely expensive and prolonged game of show and tell.

DDR is relentlessly PC, drearily predictable, and utterly obvious. You can always see exactly what the production team are trying to achieve with their cynical manipulations of their Indian participants.

For example, when Joe Hildebrand takes his guests -- all from a country in which the cow is sacred -- to a cattle sale, he confesses to being nervous about what their reaction might be. Nervous about what, I wonder? That they might not be appalled by the scene as hoped?

And when a show is made entirely by middle class urbanites there is sure to some mockery of the rural working class. So part of last night's episode involved trying to define and locate some bogans (accurately described by one of the guests as a caste in itself). The exercize involved getting one of the Indians to dress up in classic bogan garb including "wife beater", thongs, and stubbies.

Will they feature such a mocking take on members of the "sneering hipster" caste? I suspect such parodies are considered off-limits, since that would alienate the audience. No matter. To anyone not a member of this ridiculous demographic, the whole production is an unconscious self-parody anyway. 

But back to the show's perception of bogans: No doubt many latte slurping wankers watching approvingly were rolling their eyes when one of the designated bogans said that he "dropped out of school to drink and become a tradesman". Ironic, since they themselves would've dropped out of the work force to get stoned and become "artists" and academics.

They should remember that bogans such as this bloke skilfully build and maintain much of the infrastructure they take for granted, as well as generating the wealth that funds their stupid, pointless, self-indulgent lifestyles. 

You'd think that being self-described lefties and champions of the underdog, they might take the bogans' side on occasion -- or at least be less condemnatory of them. But they are too mean-spirited to manage even that. What a revolting pack of parasitic snobs they are.