CommenTree

Uneducated, but can google at least.

Archive for December 2008

Egad, the bogans… again

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From this story about the Lord Mayor wanting bogans to stay away from the city on New Years Eve, and the associated comments:

bogan

nonbogan

*sigh*

It seems that the term “bogan” is becoming quite liberal. It’s hard to not be a little confused as to who is being targetted when somebody drops the b-word. Despite this story not being about how people are being labelled, I do feel a little compelled to paste in a quote for the ages. Something that could quite possibly be up there with “ask not what your country can do for you… etc”

… bogan it up at home

Robert Doyle
Lord Mayor of Melbourne

Eloquent.

In the spirit of equality, the comments have largely descended into elitism and classism. On one hand, you have your despicable bogan, beer-swilling types, who are clearly out to ruin everyone else’s night by means of violence. On the other hand you have the despicable toffy, chardonnay-swilling types who are clearly out to ruin everyone else’s night with policing.

Squint hard enough, and you just might be able to tell these groups apart.

I’ve noticed, however, that over time the definition of a bogan has become quite broad, and difficult to pin down. Due to my straddling of the line by enjoying both wine and motorsport, I’m often called a bogan and a wanker from both sides of these groups. And also a “see you next Tuesday” by a certain bloke on Hutt Street as I walk to work each morning.

And I’m guilty of it too; applying the term liberally without considering the true definition.

I’ve said before that I’ve been a bit snobby, derisively regarding a group of polo shirted knobs as they crash their way up to the bar. Despite their spiky hair and faux designer sunglasses, I’ll snort in their direction before cowardly muttering “bogans” into my whisky.

I guess the comment of the day goes to this one, who managed to sneak in around the swear filter when it was dosing and drooling on its keyboard.

wheresthefilter

So, it seems that “bogan” is simply a term for those people who don’t behave like we do. Or… if you’re not a loud extrovert who lacks a sense of decorum, you’re branded a wanker.

What have I achieved with this piece? Not much, clearly. As this above comment says (quoting the band TISM) In this country, you’re either a bogan or a wanker, unless you try to keep a foot out of both those parties, in which case you’re both.

Written by Andy

December 30, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Mean means testing screwing the “poor”

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With the amount of money that breeders get in this country, it’s kinda difficult to not feel a little perturbed. However, after you spend half an hour walking around a supermarket, listening to the gripes, grizzles, questions, tantrums and general disobedience you get this nice little inner glow as you begin to understand what it’s really about. The Government’s baby bonus isn’t there for plasma screens, and nor is it for obstetricians or pediatricians. Nope.

It’s compensation for emotional damages and distress.

This week marks the introduction of means testing for the Federal Government’s baby bonus. This means that those families who have a household income of $150,000 are not eligible for the $5,000 one-off payment per sprog. Whilst this story talks about the confusion surrounding the 1 January deadline, comments seem to revolve around the merits of having a baby bonus at all.

strawman

Weirdest Straw Man of the Week Award goes to this little nugget. Stay-at-home Mum’s are all gambling drunks? Heaven forbid that stay-at-home-Mums (or Dads) get a little bit of help. With housing affordability at all time lows, rents going up (apparently), and inflation still running a little high, I guess those people who elect to actually spend time raising their children instead of hurling them into child care don’t need the help, huh?

robinhoodcommie

Wait, wait, wait. “Steal from the rich and give to the poor”? You mean that noble rogue of a begone era Robin Hood, the Prince of Thieves, wasn’t actually a fighter against injustice and tyranny, and he was actually a scumbag pinko commie? All this time, Cary Elwes, Kevin Costner and Disney have been lying to me. Bastards.

150knotenough

A hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year isn’t a “high income earner”? How about that… I’m curious to know what Marie considers a “relatively small mortgage” too. Curious about Marie’s life of destitution, I did some quick calculations and a budget. It’s a very rough budget, though, so I won’t draw any conclusions here. I also couldn’t be stuffed chasing up quotes on home and contents insurance premiums and the like so I made some rough assumptions.

Okay, let’s assume that Marie is living in Australia’s premier city, Sydney. According to this place, the median house price in Sydney is roughly $560,000. Let’s also assume that she and her partner whacked up a fair deposit, as she sounds like the kind of fastidious and smart saver that budgets down to the final pennies in order to keep buying the two-minute noodles.

Let’s also bump her wage down to a mere $150,000 per year, just because we’re feeling mean. Using an HR method of calculation which is to take the annual wage, times it by 313 and then divide by 12 (don’t ask me, it’s not my formula) gives us a pre-tax figure of $5,750. After taxing at the highest rate of 45 cents on the dollar, we’re left with a paltry $3,162.94 per fortnight.

So, using a regular bank’s mortgage calculator, the (rough) fortnightly payment on a $525,000 mortgage with interest rates at 8.5%, at 30 years looks like this:

homeloan

Okay, no doubt that with a wage like Marie’s, she needs a car befitting someone of her standing. Let’s give her a BMW 320 Exec. You know, something humble and unpretentious. Let’s assume she managed to eke out a deposit like the responsible person she is, but because she’s working from pay to pay, they’ve extended the car loan out for as long as they can, ie five years. Also, let’s assume a car loan interest rate a little higher than usual. Fortnightly payments come out looking like this.

carloan

But, she’s got internet as well (obviously, unless she’s irresponsibly posting comments from work, which doesn’t sound like the thing Marie would do). Internode offers 5 gig of downloads at $40 per month. Her car needs to be run as well, as she probably works on top of a hill. That means the car would drink like it’s an eighteen year old at their first “last drinks” call.

So, with a few other assumptions, her monthly budget might look a little like this (assuming two pays per month).

budget

Like I said before, I’ve taken quite a number of liberties here, so I won’t formulate a conclusion here. This budget is missing minor things like… food. But that might come out of the left over $200 each fortnight. Also… figures are for illustrative purposes only, blah, blah, blah.

… alright, maybe a little conclusion… I wish my household was earning a figure “not representative of a high income”

Written by Andy

December 29, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Let’s fly, Magda

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Today, I’ve decided to pick out the highest ranked story on news.com.au and peruse through the general consensus of what could possibly be one of the most banal of topics. Usually in the number one ranking spot is a story referring to breasts, Ralph or FHM magazine spreads, Stephanie Rice or possibly a combination of all three of those topics. Surprise me sideways, but if the hottest topic (at the time) was a piece on how television personality and one-time round Jetstar girl Magda Szubanski has revealed how she plans on reducing her size.

Considering how she carved out her own little niche as the resident fatty, fatty boom-bah in a number of television shows, I think it takes a lot of guts (ahem) to stand up and announce to the world that you’re planning on reducing what has been your meal ticket for a number of years.

I am often heartened, if a little bemused, that whenever someone decides to seize life by the horns, that those who have trodden the path before them tend to stand up and beat their chest in support. It tends to shit me no end when they look at something like this and say, “yeah, I know how it feels. I’ve been there before”. Number one offender this past year would’ve been local breakfast radio announcer and dentist drill Amber Petty whose life experience has known queues of abusive boyfriends (which made her an expert on domestic violence), as well as a relative dying of cancer (which vomitously made her an expert on consoling a lady who was actually dying of cancer).

But in this case, it’s the formerly obese running to champion Magda.

jennycraig2

It’s remarkable that we get so poetic and philosophical about our own achievements, but most quick to spout our opinion on the crapness of the latest Australian Idol winner.

jennycraig1

Yes. There’s no point in putting the cart before horse, is there? Never mind the little victories that probably come from losing weight. First victory (i’d imagine) would be to admit that your health is severely suffering and that you’ve got to proactively look at controlling your weight, before you leave your children motherless and without anyone to fetch McDonalds. But bugger that, eh?

jennycraig

Oh, how frightfully insightful and witty. But have you seen those Jetstar adverts?

jetstar-magda jetstar-gen

The secret to losing weight, as I’m sure most people will tell you, is a daily dose of exercise. This can include walking, running, skipping rope, getting a root, or even… star jumps – something that both Magda and this girl are performing in these ads.

And you want to her to stop making those ads? Whose side are you on?

Written by Andy

December 24, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Television

The filter. Again.

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Like many others, I oppose the Government’s plans for ISP filtering of our beloved internet. Like many others, I wrote to the Senator Stephen Conroy to outline my opposition, such is the democratic nature of this country; don’t like something, write a letter. Like many others (probably) I got a reply.

Many would think that for me to simply accept the response would be naive. I can assure you that I’m not going to go all turncoat and start heralding the ISP filter as a wonderful friend, and should be embraced like a sweet child dressed in a cuddly bear costume. No. ISP filtering sucks and I think the Government are better off focussing their attention on other matters. Like an internet that isn’t powered by rats in a squeaky wheel.

Today was yet another day that the filter came into focus, and the masses got itself into a frenzy over our pending Chinafication, and the potential impact upon our burgeoning piracy industry.

isp-filter

isp-filter1

Ah yes. I can just see the award-winning photos of young “Sebastyen” as he stands alone in front a column of Telstra vans – an act of defiance in the face of an inflexible and unforgiving Australian Communist Party and their iron fisted control over our internet.

As much as that would reek of awesomeness, I do feel compelled to refer to the response I received over my concerns, particularly the FAQ which outlines the model they plan on using.

The Government’s approach will be informed by the filtering technologies adopted in countries such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Canada where ISP filtering, predominantly of child pornography, has been successfully introduced without affecting internet performance to a noticeable level.

Holy crap! You mean that there are other places that are currently using this bastard child of the commies? Heck. Let me look again. Nope, no China. Further Googling found that the system, named Cleanfeed, has been operating in the UK since 2004 and the last time I checked, that country was still a fully functioning democracy. Nope. No China there, either.

Just disregard that bit that outlines the UK’s corruption rank…

The email I received also attached this pdf, which can offer further clarification. Okay, now I’ll repeat that I’m not going to be cheering this proposal on, now that my apparent fear that this country is turning red are assuaged. Heck no. Like many others, I would be far more happier that the government not use taxpayer money to be providing a service that concerned parents should be actively doing themselves anyway.

With the recent Government stimulus package of $1,000, parents would be able to afford a Nintendo Wii ($399), a couple games ($200), a few controllers ($210) as well as a copy of a depravity filter. Provided they buy within Australia, that money can also go to our local retailers too! You see? We can actually make our parents be parents, whilst helping the economy that sorely needs our ravenous and demented consumerism, and all without impacting on those of us who haven’t yet known the “joy” of sacrificing our life to another being. Genius.

2012-net-nanny-parental-controls-box

China in a box…

Written by Andy

December 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Chinafication

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Myth the point

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Global warming. It’s a serious issue. If you buy into it, the world is going to be flooded, or buried in sand or something. I forget which way its going now. If you don’t buy into it, then the world is going to be awash with government officials stealing your money, controlling your minds and punching your dog. Probably.

Today’s report on how 2008 was a hot and wild year is making the two camps bubble out from beneath their bog and yell at each other, while still clamping their hands over their ears to drown out the other children.

But I’m not here to dispute the existence of Global Warming. When rifling through the arguments I stumbled across this little nugget.

tax

Taxes, huh? How terrible. And I guess these taxes go into the giant money bin that prevous Prime Ministers and Governments have previously utilised as their own personal swimming pool, hedonistically rubbing $100 notes all over their bodies?

bin-dive

No? Maybe it goes to big businesses who might have the sheer audacity to develop products that people will buy? Maybe they’ll make a plush little robot toy that smokes pot and waddles up to each tree in your yard and gives it a great big hug?

Because we all know that we don’t ever see any of our taxes back, do we?

I think I’ve outlined before how I love conspiracy theorists with the same love I usually reserve for dysentry or my neighbour’s affection for the new Britney CD. I don’t think I’ve expanded enough on it, though.

You see, we live in a world of dreamers. Some use their dreams to achieve great things and cement their place in history. You know, Gandhi and the like. Others use their dreams to conjure up ideas as to why their life sucks and how it’s always “the man” keeping them down. People in a position of power must be looked upon cynically and everything they do has some kind of self-serving ulterior motive. They’d probably accuse Gandhi of using his prominence in non-violent protest as a means of promoting his book and new range of Nerf-armour.

Of course, for me to suggest that our leaders are simply morons, and are simply following where the loudest voters are would have me howled down as some kind of naive, doe-eyed little squirrel who will one day wander gaily out in front of the SUV call “life” and be squished under its large, unforgiving tyres of “reality”. Oh no, our leaders aren’t stupid. They’re shrewd, cunning foxes who will stab us all in the back before flying away in their giant, black, airborne nuclear bunkers right before they drop the Big One on us slaves.

But then again… without the slaves… who will pay them the taxes… ?

Written by Andy

December 18, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Rowe, Rowe, Rowe you’re boned…

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I had always been curious about where the media term “boning” came from. It turns out it came from Eddie McGuire, if you believe today’s report on how TV presenter Jessica Rowe hasn’t been fired, but “made Freelance”. So, she’s basically done all the network rounds, like the town handle she is.

From the story:

Rowe was humiliated in 2006 when her then Channel 9 boss Eddie McGuire was indiscreet about plans to “bone” her.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who looks at this remark, and remembers from a few years ago that to “Bone” something was to have intercourse with it. So the image that particular statement conjures will probably haunt me for a few nights, causing me to wake up in a cold sweat, screaming.

Comments:

rowe

This week’s “not reading the story” award goes to this jumble of words. I’ve read and re-read this story a couple times, and found that at no point does it discuss Rowe’s severance package. I even looked elsewhere for other discussions of this event, and still found no mention of money.

rowe2

I guess Matt of Brissie has never pursued greener pastures. He’s probably been holed up in his current job as filing boy for a small time staple company and has absolutely no desire to move on for more money. He’s so hardcore loyal that not even half a million dollars can woo him away from his beloved filing cabinets. Good for you, Matt of Brissie, you indifferent space-filler.

Heaven forbid the woman do something, you know, beneficial to her career.

But a lot of comments seem to go down this path.

rowe3

I’ve spoken before about how the movie Ratatouille mentions how critics enjoy a certain, enjoyable position. They risk very little, but can still have a definite sway in how things work. However, when it comes to discussing something as subjective as the merits of a television personality, I think critics can bugger right off.

Seriously, Nicole Jane of Sydney. If you’re such an expert on these things, why is it that we don’t see your mug up on the screen, beaming an enormous fake smile to us in the morning over our cup of coffee? Would you risk putting your visage and name out there for everyone to criticise, honing in on every single tiny nuance and needling it until your bosses finally walk up to you and told you to go get “intercoursed”?

However, we do live in an era where celebrities have the longevity of a singular piece of Kleenex toilet paper and they are treated with about as much affection. Gone are the days where the giant fake smiles we see shining at us were coached into the people over lengthy periods of time, instead being replaced by face-du-jour and the latest reality show dropout.

“Boning” seems far preferable compared to what current television is doing to audiences Australia wide.

Oh, and I never saw Jessica Rowe on television. Ever.

rowepic

Network harlot goes on the prowl for new “freelance work”

Written by Andy

December 15, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Television

Tagged with , , ,

A story about Kevin

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It would be remiss of me as someone who comments about comments on news.com.au to not mention a lovely chap who contributes to many a discussion. His story is really quite involving. He is part of the upper crust club, residing in one of Australia’s most affluent suburbs. He is married, has a son and runs a successful business. I am, of course, referring to Kevin of Double Bay.

His is the story of a troll who became a celebrity in the news.com.au lunchbox.

Kevin of Double Bay has recently been quite forthcoming on some details in his life. He is quite the well-grounded family man, but he gained his notoriety as a hoity-toity, snobby, cantankerous council-harasser who campaigned mercilessly to have people of lower standing banned from his suburb. A cause noteworthy by its sheer incredulity.

What he has revealed from his comments is:

    – He thinks people with visible tattoos are of low standing
    – Equal only to people with piercings in places other than ears
    – Private school education is mandatory if you want to live in his investment property
    – He has a son named Winston
    – He has a wife named Prudence
    – … who has a hand-selected European tennis coach named Andre

His normal contributions to discussion involves polarising the argument and going to extremes of the equation to formulate a conclusion. You know, the typical journalistic method used by 60 Minutes.

kevindb

kevindb2

You see? Take one small thing and blow it right out of proportion. It’s designed to outrage, and outrage it does… constantly. And Hilariously. I, like many who read the comments areas of news.com.au, absolutely love the contributions of Kevin. They prove to be entertaining, and the fallout is often bemusingly firey – as laughable as Kevin’s contributions on their own. It’s like the people don’t actually realise that he’s taking the piss. Or is he?

The story of Kevin of Double Bay is not a happy one, though. However, he maintains a stiff upper lip through times that would drive others batshit insane. Take for instance the time when tennis coaching had to be cancelled.

kevindb3

Tragic. Equipment problems? Oh dear. But it’s not something that his wife, Prudence, is taking lying down. Or is she?

kevindb4

Tennis camp? Oh, tell me isn’t so! I watch on like a home-ridden mother, salivating over Days of Our Lives

kevindb5

Look out, Kevin! Things aren’t right in your Double Bay mansion!

But I admire Kevin’s blind trust in his wife. It’s the kind of unconditional love enjoyed by only the most affectionate and understanding of people. And dogs.

I will try to watch the Kevin of Double Bay story unfold.

(I feel I must offer some applause for the person behind Kevin of Double Bay. They have created a very compelling character who seems to so consistently offend, even with his notoriety on those news.com.au pages. People just don’t seem to realise that Kevin is simply doing the time-old Australian tradition of taking the piss, no matter how much of a caricature he is. Oh well. Kevin of Double Bay, I salute you!)

Written by Andy

December 14, 2008 at 10:22 am

Posted in Characters

Tagged with , , , , ,