CommenTree

Uneducated, but can google at least.

Too sexy to read

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With the spread of news across the internet, you’d think that outlets would try to best take advantage of the medium and wring out the benefits of new technology. Instead, what we’re given is more imaginative ways to place page three girls around the place.

Anything for the clicks, I guess.

Take the story of the lady who was laid off from prominent New York corporation (and therefore ultimately a legit front for a Bond-esque villain), Citibank. To ingest the headline on its own, you could draw the typical conclusions and spend the next day exclaiming to your workmates about how ridiculous this world is, and how evil companies will do anything to lay off people to make themselves feel better.

Within the story hides a small, but important, detail.

“The purported reasons for plaintiff’s termination included that she failed to meet the required new account opening quotas, in addition to the credulity-straining assertion that her clothing choices were ‘inappropriate’,” the suit said.

The section highlighted in italics would be a reason for anyone to be fired, and not just the hotties. The part I bolded indicates that these are the claims made by the poor stunner, and are the things that should be debated.

This is a detail missed by many in the comments. Of course there are the “phwoar, why would you fire that piece of work? I’d love it if she worked for me” comments, but they are as inane as they are ironic.

I mean, why would you leap to the defense of a woman who was allegedly a victim of her appearance… by commenting on her appearance?

I love how people take one instance of possible discrimination and then extrapolate it out to the point where it is the symptom of a massive societal problem. Man comments on woman, and it’s ultimately a sign that it’s a man’s world and that there’d be no wars with women in charge. Woman comments on man, and it’s a sign that women have surpassed their equal rights, are treating men as servants and that if men were in charge, the wars would be over by now.

Or, you can just take this for what it is: a single story does not phenomenon make.

I think this one pretty much beats me to the punch.

Two sides to every story. However, I sincerely doubt that Citibank will come forward and state, categorically, that this lady was “too hot”

However, the fact that story links to a site which has 20-odd, semi glam shots of this lady, model poses and all, does set off my cynic alarm. Will we be seeing photos of this one appearing in FHM or similar soon?

How many hits did Village Voice get from this story from people who were at work? Did they all click on those photos of her bending over, or crossing her legs in that sultry way?

Do you think people got distracted?

Written by Andy

June 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

For whom the road tolls (probably an ongoing series…)

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The road toll has always been a strange feature on the news landscape. Everyone likes to weigh in on the problems with driving on the roads, claiming that Government inaction is the leading cause for most fatalities, with the other thing being “revenue raising”, as though that is some kind of justified argument. Of course, such stories always give the reader the sense that because they are still alive, that they are the beacon of enlightenment and should therefore be listened to.

Recently there was a horrific crash down south of my home town. A young woman was killed and another driver seriously injured.

The original story of the crash is here, and it allowed the below comments.

First cab of the rank is this one.

Funnily enough, “Revenue Raising” has only been raised twice in this particular comments section. I’m guessing that speed hasn’t been revealed as a factor behind this horrible event. Or Hoons. The veil mentioned must refer to the following Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure document, titled “South Australian Road Safety Strategy 2003-2010.

In there, key strategies involve:

• Construction, upgrading and maintenance of our road systems to improve road conditions
• Legislation, education and enforcement to improve road user behaviour
• Improvements in vehicle design to aid drivers and protect occupants

The fact that the strategy outlines “legislation, education and enforcement” as a key point makes me argue that there’s a veil at all about hitting people’s hip pockets. However, when it’s coupled with the other points, the argument that it’s solely about getting money does seem a bit flimsy. Because this story outlines that two crashes happened at this spot only screams coincidence.

I would liken road maintenance in this state to trying to plug holes in a sinking ship with your fingers. Fix one spot, and you can be sure something bad will happen in another.

The housing boom has indeed increased development, and therefore traffic, to this part of the city. I don’t dispute that. However, I would argue that nothing has been done about the roads. The overtaking lanes, for one, being a major help when it comes to encouraging traffic flows. I understand that this accident occurred near one of these lanes, however I’m not going to jump to outrageous conclusions as a result of a single piece of evidence.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc, anyone?

Um, they had? Link to story? Anything to back it up? I don’t believe any details have been released on the driver’s blood-alcohol level. I guess this is one that the moderators of AdelaideNow need to answer, seeing as their Terms and Conditions outline that they won’t publish anything that is blatantly false…

The fact is, no one can make any assertions on this crash until more is known. Such questions are, how fast was each car travelling, and how much alcohol was in the Celica driver’s system? Until this is answered, then nothing should be said.

Written by Andy

June 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Roads

Tagged with , ,

Shotgun Fame

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The week in news has been a barrel of events, what with swine flu, people double dipping into stimuli and the Chaser conducting their own investigation into the group sex scandal. But the top event, according to news.com.au has been the girl who has been lovingly labelled “Clare the Bogan”.

So, when news came up that she might be being woo-ed to join the ranks of television personalities, there were the usual question marks.

why

Unbelievable indeed.

WIth the advent of reality television, the media has immediately jumped aboard to cash in on everybody else’s 15 minutes of fame. Sure, Andy Warhol might have incredibly right, however he did not disclose whom should benefit from the fame. The immediate assumption that people make is that when they become famous, they will be the beneficiaries. However, what has happened is that the media has quickly managed pluck unsuspecting wannabes from the tree of obscurity and juicing their 15 minutes out before discarding the husk into the bin.

So, the media is responsible, surely? Nope, they know what people like to see.

The problem is you. And it’s me. We are collectively responsible for the rise of the vapid non-personality that everyone else likes to see fall from grace. We click on their stories, we tune into their appearances and we comment on their “lack of talent” as though we’re the fucking experts. And when we see them waving what appears to be $100, could it be because we actually want to be in their shoes?

news $100

Photo from news.com.au

Yes. I want money for thirty seconds of “work”. All it costs is a little dignity and everlasting ridicule.

Whilst I can hate this kind of placing Josie Everybody on the pedestal for all to survey, I mostly hate that by even outlining my distaste for it, writing a blog post about it, providing links to it, and splattering my post tags with her name, label and catchphrase, I am in fact – even if somewhat ironically – cultivating and nurturing the phenomena, like everybody else.

I should be ashamed of ourselves.

Written by Andy

May 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Michael lashes out

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Considering that any traffic this site gets relates to a fictional character that managed to capture the imagination of news.com.au readers, I think it would be remiss to mention another character that has cropped up. However, I am not sure whether he is taking the piss. In fact, the tone of his comments suggest quite the opposite. He seems deadly serious, which is scary in itself.

His main discussion revolves around property. It seems that every single news story that revolves around houses is a buy signal to him. Or some story about the economy, regardless of the type of news it is, it’s yet another factor that favours buying property. I am referring to Michael of Sydney.

In the beginning it seemed that we should all marvel at his business acumen. When the Reserve Bank slashed rates, Michael jumped quickly up to the podium to thank the academy for providing him with this great reward for his tireless work.

RBA slash rates

Early in 2009, when things started to turn a little less peachy, it did not phase Michael in the slightest. Just like the true Aussie battler he is, a stiff upper lip in the face of adversity was maintained. And with such humility, too…

2009 write off

That link also has a clueless and sarcastic tirade by Yours Truly. You see, I’m just not smart enough to get into property like the good capitalist men of steel like Michael of Sydney.

The year progresses and things continue to look shaky. The stiff upper lip of Michael begins to tremble just a little, I feel.

home buyer doubts

Retards, eh? Of course, in any business there are always the corporate rivals that must be smitten into dust like the insubordinates they are. I mean, we all know that the property mogul’s natural enemy is the evil, twisted and ultimately carefree debt-free “Renter”. Through their insidious use of the evil practise of “saving” and their laughable fear of the holy “Equity”, they will bring society into disarray, one two-minute-noodle cup at a time. However, I’m pretty sure that even Republicans don’t stoop to the level to be claiming their adversary as having a disability.

But the recent news where the ABS announces a decrease in the price of property is met with some skepticism.

ABS

Much has been discussed about “housing affordability”, especially on news.com.au. What Michael describes here is the mortgage stress o’ meter which denotes that anything greater than 30% of a household income is simply far too much for the Battler family to withstand. I’m not exactly sure what the median house price was in 1970, but I’m pretty sure that in Sydney today it is roughly $500k-ish.

Let’s say that you borrow $500,000 at the RBA rate of 3% (even though I’m sure they don’t scatter about money for Bob Punter to buy bricks) for 30 years. A simple loan calculator vomits out this:

500k

$2,000 a month, eh? So, an individual would need to be earning roughly $6,000 a month (after tax) for it to be on the threshold of “mortgage stress”? Roughly $72,000 (very roughly) a year? I’m pretty sure that an IT Consultant isn’t the average Sydney vocation, especially when “lowly” Software Engineers are fetching around $51,000.

I think Michael assumes that the two people in the house want to work full time for their entire lives, kicking their kids off to child care so that Shazza and Sebastyen’s Bonanza Play Pen can rear their sprog to be good, functional and drunk members of society.

But “property doubles every ten years” is an interesting thing. It’s up there with “property never goes down” or “people always need a place to live”. On the surface, these claims seem to be fairly basic and in some cases fundamentally true. However, I’m not concerned with the validity of the claims as I’m sure that people with far better understanding of economics would be better to analyse these than me. What concerns me more is how widespread these claims go, and how often they are repeated. I am also concerned at how property moguls often denigrate those outside their circles.

The never ending flow of information that they are required to purchase. The never ending seminars they must attend. Venerated “experts”. Black and white answers. People thinking that they’re better than the “have-nots”. Idioms that are accepted truths repeated over and over again in a chant-like manner… property doubles every 10 years… rent money is dead money… property always goes up…

Property investment… it’s a cult. Seriously.

Written by Andy

May 9, 2009 at 12:39 am

AdelaideNow’s Stance on Journalism Content

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I was going over the local rag’s website today, and noted briefly that they were seeking the public’s help with finding content for their site.

ifucit

Nothing outrageous there. It’s something that seems to be happening all over the world as news outlets seek to become more human and in touch with their readership. However, my surprise came from the same banner a few seconds after this was displayed.

\an

Okay, I get the whole “SMS” thing and how it’s supposed to read “If you see it”. However, I can’t get “I Fuck It” out of my head. I also can’t help but also think that this is news.com.au’s mission statement when it comes to journalistic integrity.

Editor (addressing a throng of drooling journalists before they hit the pavement): Alright guys! We’ve got a whole bunch o’ shit happening out there! We need to gather the facts! Then what are you going to do to the facts?

Journalists (chorus): I Fuck It!

Editor: What are you going to do to fair and balanced journalism?

Journalists: I Fuck It!

Alright, I think I’ve had enough fun what that…

Written by Andy

April 25, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Rudd is a four letter word

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Quite a day in the news. When Minister’s aren’t resigning over the fact that they are merely human… repeatedly merely human, the Prime Minister comes forward with a startlingly fresh idea. Honesty.

Yep, it seems that Australia isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and all the magic of The Secret isn’t going to help us out, either. And with such harsh times bearing down on us like a runaway locomotive upon a fragile bunny, the people rally behind our honourable and honest leader.

bad-rudd

Yeah. He hasn’t said one positive word. Totally.

There’s that fucking Secret method of approaching economics again. Yes, I can understand that sentiment plays a rather large role with the demand side of the equation, but I think that people don’t study these kinds of things at university year upon year just to walk out the other side with the conclusion that spend = good. Heaven forbid that things as academic as job prospects, debt serviceability, and job market strength might have an impact upon households’ willingness to buy four cent shite at vastly inflated (but discount at the retailer) prices.

And I’m not an economist by any stretch of the imagination.

economy2

I think he might be talking about the $900 vote-bribe that’s coming to all Australians who paid tax last year. Or maybe the Christmas bonus that was handed out to (gag) “Working Families”, and pensioners.

Even as a childless non-pensioner, I can see the rationale behind plying the populace with free cash. That’s not to say I agree with it. However, isn’t slagging off these orgies of cash on the basis that they were giving much of it to those who didn’t pay tax, is to also suggest that maybe the other “much” part of it was also given out to those who actually… well… did…?

It’s heartening to know that even during times of decline, where we could end up feasting upon cans of dog food as we huddle beneath the underpass, there will always be an armchair there, where we can sit and be experts.

Written by Andy

April 21, 2009 at 12:10 am

Firey comments

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The stand out story of last week would have been the explosion that happened on a boat carrying a bunch of asylum seekers. This all harks back to 2001 when the Tampa wasn’t allowed to come ashore, due to it carrying people of the same nature. Then it seemed that every single week following that (and the 9-11 attacks) had another story of a band of asylum seekers, or as they became known, “queue jumpers”.

A “Queue Jumper” is something that everybody hates. You’ve been waiting in line for so long to have the chemist check out your headache pills, when some dipshit with a severed arm rushes in front of you, desperate for help. He’s so desperate, you can see the marks from where he has tried to cut off his own leg in order to get more attention. You turn your nose up at Stumpy and tell him to get to the back of the line. Others in the line snort in derision, and even people who have almost left the chemist also turn and heap scorn on the poor fellow – even though they don’t even need to be in the queue and are happy with their lot in life.

So, people who come to Australia on boats are automatically treated with extreme cynicism, no matter how severed their limbs are.

News later in the week shows that, unsurprisingly (if you remember back in 2001 when asylum seekers seemed to be washing up on our shore with the regularity of waves), more boats could be on their way.

It’s the comments that astound me, though.

wtf2

What the fuck?

So many things wrong with this statement that it’s simply not worth picking apart. I’ll just assume that it’s the kind of wrong-headed song that bleated out by the ever-growing army of wankers who think that walling up our borders to anything that falls outside whitey is the best friggin idea in the world, mayte.

Considering this comment’s flagrant disregard to the value of human life – any human life – it makes this next comment seem a little macabre.

wtf

I dunno if this was simply an aloof, off-the-cuff remark, or whether it was in reference to those thirty odd people who suffered severe burns after the previous explosion. Either way, it seems to be in poor taste. Have was descended so far as primitive savages that we turn to cannibalistic jokes? It’s dark humour, even for me.

This also seems to highlight that news.com.au’s comments moderator could use a better whacking stick.

Written by Andy

April 19, 2009 at 1:47 pm