The pandemic engenders two kinds of responses, which are usually separate, tho it is possible to bring them together: the response to the health crisis, and the reaction to the economic disaster. In a convenient phrase: life or livelihood.
The PM’s speech today, 30 March, attempted to be presidential (in a good sense – showing leadership with inspiration) as well as indicating good economic management, but it wasn’t well written, the tone was uneven, and there were mistakes of various kinds. It soon descended into hair-splitting financial details.
Tho I think the country generally is doing pretty well on the ‘life’ front, it’s clear – as it always has been – that the PM is still more of a Treasurer than a President. More a manager than a leader.
I thought this piece by John Barker on leadership (in Australia) was too good for Facebook. In fact, it should be widely republished.
We have been particularly poorly served by those who presume to be “leaders”. Which would lead one to wonder what we need, want or expect of this function.
Perhaps, two centuries ago, we needed somebody to help us muster courage and articulate a vision of possibilities in an unknown country. But then we just had profiteers and convicts.
Today, we have an educated and continuously informed society that doesn’t need a PM to be a proxy for their reasoning or emotions by offering his thoughts and prayers on their behalf. We don’t need a PM whose words are carefully crafted to “play to their base” in selected electorates in order to eke out a slender majority so that they can impose their idiosyncratic beliefs on us all.
The reality is that although a select few believe that they will be relieved of their mortal coil by the Rapture, the agnostic majority know that we are stuck here, with our children and grandchildren. There is no Planet B, there is no Country B and there is no longer an unexplored frontier in this wide brown and blackened land.
We scarcely need a “leader” – we probably never did. We just need a good “manager” of the “common-wealth” – to continuously review our position and direction with regard to our “sustainability”.
The notion of a “modern manager” would be useful, but alas! Our corporate leaders view themselves as “celebrities”, but are shown to have silver tongues and feet of clay- a self-serving “fourth sector”, distinct from customers, staff and shareholders, more focused on bonuses and golden handshakes after their brief tenure.
Similarly, our political leaders, many of whom become unaccountably wealthy while on relatively modest public salaries, using their tenure as a step towards “soft” corporate roles, undoubtedly trading the knowledge garnered from their privileged public positions.
No – we don’t need “leaders” like these. We just need good managers of the sustainability of the “common-wealth”, so that we aren’t an embarrassment to our grandchildren.
1800, 31 October 2019
Treat or Trick—that’s American foreign policy: give us what we want (world domination) or we’ll fuck you over.
I’m an Australian. We do not have a cultural tradition of observing Halloween. It is being imposed on us (mainly by commercial organisations taking yet another opportunity to try to sell us stuff we don’t need).
Treat or trick, in our streets, is a local version of global American imperialism.
Cinema is an industry. Its income depends on the number of people paying for films, which logically depends on their popularity. Which in turn depends on the extent to which it conforms to the expectations (of a film) of a large number of people. Their mores include things they really care about (sport, money, life and death, nationalism—perhaps in that order) and things they think they should be seen to care about because of political correctness (indigenous issues, feminism, animal welfare).
This year’s top Aussie film has had an exemplary ride. It did very well at the box office, making far more millions than any other in 2019 … until the scandal hit the media. Never having thought about it, people were shocked to discover that horsemeat is being used for pet food. Not only that, people were actually killing the horses first.
The film will still finish first, but now rather ignominiously. I expect there will be demonstrations on AACTA awards night, and that people will say disparaging (or defensive) things about the racing industry in their speeches.
Footnote. What is done to racehorses during their working lives is far worse than what happens to them in the minutes before their deaths.
Pentecost is significant because our current PM identifies as ‘pentecostal’.
The festival (as Shavuot) seems to start as a midsummer harvest festival, celebrating the wheat harvest in Israel (Exodus 34:22). But after 70 AD/CE it becomes the celebration of the giving of the Torah (to Moses, as the ‘Ten Commandments’, on Mount Sinai – long story – the Charlton Heston version has nice animation of God’s handwriting).
It metamorphosises again, when the Christians take it over, in Luke, in Acts ch. 2, when it becomes the celebration of the reception of the Holy Spirit (whatever that is) by the followers of Jesus with ‘a sound like the rush of a violent wind’ and the appearance of ‘tongues, as of fire’, when the members of the cult ‘began to speak in other languages’.
The Biblical text is quite explicit that what the devotees were saying was understandable in a number of languages – and there is a specific list of them.
That’s the few thousand years background to what Scomo does on Sundays, which is that, in the slightly adapted wording of Wikipedia, he accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour, and believes in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that enables a Christian to live a Spirit-filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing.
By definition it’s not insane, as there are millions of others who believe the same infantile nonsense, but it’s still pretty dotty.
Matthias was appointed as the new twelfth disciple to replace Judas Iscariot (the man who betrayed Jesus) after he hanged himself. I suppose the Corman parents knew that.
I find I’m quite sad after the departure of Malcolm Turnbull. I would never have voted for him, but I still thought he was a good bloke.
I seem to want not to occupy a position on not only politics, but also religion – and why not throw in spelling?
Most people are going to go on in the infantile state of believing in some kind of god, and also seem to be incapable of learning the difference between its and it’s.
While I am in no doubt about those two trivial matters – they seem to me to be of equivalent difficulty – I find that I have nfi about the conduct of politics.
So I have decided that as from today, I won’t comment publicly or privately on anyone’s PRS – politics, religion, or spelling.
I’ll do what Voltaire advises through his character Candide: cultiver son jardin. I’ll simply look after my own metaphorical garden. And that’s all.
I haven’t seen this comparison anywhere else, so I’ll present it here. We may have had a frequent change of leaders in this country, but there is at least one other country with a leader who is incompetent, perhaps criminal, maybe even insane, and there’s no legal way he can be taken down.
I’d rather be a citizen of this country.