CommenTree

Uneducated, but can google at least.

Who isn’t a battler?

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Reality TV has dredged up all sorts of things. That is not to be yet another random bash at all things that promote mediocrity and grant fledgling flash in pans their 15 minutes of fame before vomiting them back out onto the footpath of obscurity. But in future decades, we will look upon with this era with curiosity as we struggle to comprehend how this whole thing could possibly have been called a “social experiment”, when it was just plain voyeurism. Reality TV was and is a cultural phenomenon which revolutionised television and turned legions of people to the internet in disgust.

Many people actually benefitted from Reality TV, going on to forge careers. Shannon Noll and Ryan Fitzgerald spring immediately to mind. Also the six-foot-tall-eight-year-old James Matheson who decided to quit hosting Australian Idol to play in his band… which he plugged briefly before the door hit his arse.

But the greatest of them all would have to have been from the UK Big Brother. Jade Goody is quite possibly the champagne example out of all contestants, having never really disappeared from the spotlight like most Big Brother participants. It was all getting quite gratuitous up until her diagnosis of Cervical Cancer and her subsequent death. The media, who had constantly demonised her after she made some alleged racist remarks on “Celebrity” Big Brother, suddenly turned quicker than milk in front of a space heater.

Her passing was noted in the Australian media, but it wasn’t until our friendly overseas grandfather Michael Parkinson remarked that she wasn’t all that tops, and that she was “all that’s paltry and wretched about Britain”.

Curious about the context in which he was speaking, I looked elsewhere for the piece, and all I found was this. Meh. Nothing special, I don’t think.

However, in the comments I found this little nugget.

goody

It appears that Australians are crossing the globe to spout their opinions… and their fucking colloquialisms. “Battler”. If I start hearing British politicians start using this term, I will begin to weep as that will mean that our vote-buying technique would have infected another part of the world. I take some solace, though, in knowing that British politicians are slimier than anything we can create and have far better ways of appealing to Joe Ballot.

But I take issue with the term “battler”. Even lowly old wikipedia notes that self-inflicted hardship can even be cause for being termed a “battler”.

Who, in this world, cannot be called a battler? Even if we not use John Howard’s broad and all-encompassing, almost fetishist definition:

… the battler is somebody who finds in life that they have to work hard for everything they get… normally you then look at it in terms of somebody who’s not earning a huge income but somebody who is trying to better themselves, and I’ve always been attracted to people who try to better themselves.

Ooh baby, better yourself… ooh yeah.

Alright, I can understand the hard working people who live off the land, pushing Australia’s trademark industry of cattle and sheep are battlers. I can also understand that there are even some white-collar roles which have middle-manager Steve returning home after an 18 hour shift to play with his 2 year old daughter, Purdie, before passing out in bed, his final thought of the day deducing exactly how he’s going to simply keep the lights on in his two bed unit.

How is Jade Goody a “battler”? Struggle against cervical cancer? Okay, sure. That puts her in the same league as Delta Goodrem who had her own gig with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cancer, Hodgkins lymphoma. The only difference is… well… the survival rate. And other medical stuff.

Is Delta a battler now? Or does death, a battler make? Or is it because Goody has a family?

I’m of the impression that having sprog does not make you a battler. In fact, the more I see the word “battler”, the more I hate it further. It is a word used automatically to define someone’s plight in the world as just. Does the young sales rep who bought a four bedroom house and popped a BMW M3 in the garage and has suddenly found himself to be living from pay day to pay day a “battler”? Fuck no. How about the property developer who bought up vast chunks of land to build hollow quality shacks (in order to house people – thereby providing a “public service”), only to find that the faeces-filled property water balloon burst in his face?

Fuck no.

But they are battlers, at least according to some media outlets. Hell, even former Prime Minister John Howard was labelled a “battler” by George W Bush. For some reason…

It’s a throwaway term, designed to appeal to the hearts of people who cannot see the intent behind the words. Politicians don’t care about your plight, and you didn’t care for Goody’s. Only in death and cancer do you empathise with her. Before that, you wouldn’t have given a shit. Stop pretending otherwise.

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Written by Andy

April 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

It’s all in your head

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There’s this persisting idea that Australia’s current rough spot isn’t in fact caused by global economic factors and the fact that China is suffering what could be the world’s worst hangover after the Olympics, but by thinking bad thoughts.

Take today’s news that BHP are fobbing off two thousand odd workers.

secret

That’s right. I guess all previous economic disasters were simply a manifestation of glumness? Those bread lines shouldn’t have existed, huh?

snprelief1a

Chin up, boys. Your kids are starving, but that’s all in your heads.

It’s the kind of stupid thinking that believes that depression is merely “the blues”

But, you know, feel free to stick your fingers in your ears instead of preparing for the worst. Why be prudent when you can be in denial?

Interesting idea about how China is intentionally fucking us, though. I mean, we know that their history of treating people isn’t all that good, but I’m pretty sure that after they’ve put on the biggest show the earth has ever seen as a means of showing their national might, intentionally circulating that they’re not all in that great a shape probably isn’t on the Chinese government’s agenda.

It’s like the guy who walks around, talking himself up, only to quickly turn on the waterworks just so people don’t pick on him.

Written by Andy

January 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Economy, Politics

Tagged with , , , , ,

Videogames in murder conspiracy… apparently.

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It’s an amazing leap of logic whenever something terrible happens and a videogame is somewhere in breathing distance of the event. Take, for instance, the story today on how an Ohio teenager shot his parents because they took away Halo 3 from his sweaty, grimy hands.

And the comments all seem to jump to the same conclusion.

vg

… despite the fact that not once in the story is it outlined that the videogame itself actually influenced his behaviour to make his react in such a way. The only thing that comes close is the line from the judge:

In sentencing Petric today, Judge James Burge said his obsession with Halo 3 may have warped his sense of reality…

Much in the same way that any kind of obsession warps your sense of reality. Like those who think that collecting wisps of dust that blow beneath their couch is somehow a healthy hobby.

Looking further afield than this news.com.au story, it is found that the defence tried to somehow prove that the kid’s videogame addiction made him less responsible for planning the event.

During the trial, deputy prosecuting attorney Anthony Cillo described Petric as a cold, calculating killer who plotted to murder his parents, Mark and Susan Petric, and make it appear to be a murder-suicide by putting the gun in his father’s hand.

I’m pretty sure Halo doesn’t give you the option to do that. I’d imagine that the act of blowing away aliens would be a little less visceral if you had to go around hiding the evidence of your presence at the scene every time you performed the deed.

Written by Andy

January 13, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Posted in Videogames

Tagged with , ,

Party off

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This is getting tiresome. Whenever there’s some kind of public disturbance that requires the police to attend a site, and the morons occupying said site decide to ramp up their disturbing, it’s always the fault of the guys on the other side of the thin blue line. Like today, for instance, where a kid advertises his party on myspace and then stands bemused when only the stirred up silt that had been lying dormant on the bottom of society’s septic tank decides to turn up.

But I think people are starting to catch onto the whole “smash fings and blaym polise” shebang. But there’s always one that seems to just be daft.

party1

Ah yes. As others have pointed out, this is a stupid argument. It’s like trying to refute that global warming exists by claiming that the person asserting their argument is a bumface. He’s the kind of empty vessel that asserts that people should be doing more “partying” and “relaxing” even though people often avoid “partying” because those places are often populated by loud, obnoxious light-sponges like Mike of Canberra. And, as others point out, the cops turned up because the shin-dig wasn’t peaceful.

party

Yes, damn them! They’ve got no respect! They deserve tear gas in the face! Because that’s the respectful way us respectful people deal with things.

tear-gas

Respectfully yours, Stimpy of Brisbane

Even though the story doesn’t specifically outline that the hosts were providing alcohol to the partyers (but it is inferred from the drunken antics of these people), I felt I could only side with this one.

party2

It seemed pretty cut and dry to me, until I discovered that it’s not actually an offense to supply minors with alcohol in a private residence. So there you go. Crazy Victorians.

wtf1

Huh?

Oh yeah, that’s right. I forgot. The world is undergoing major change in where power is going to be usurped by violent binge-drinking teenagers. Cower in fear as they roll through your neighbourhood, throwing up on your rhododendrons and shrieking at high pitches. Their squeals are not vapid attempts at gaining attention, but are actually a siren song designed to control your brain, preventing you from doing anything to fight them except shake your fist while calling your local talkback radio station. Those devious little shits.

Or, maybe they’re referring to the cops who were, perish the thought, doing their jobs.

Written by Andy

January 9, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Rant on rants

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This is a small departure from usual business, only because it was a slow news day, I feel. I’m more than aware of the hypocrisy of me hating on people who hate stuff, but somehow I think… I don’t care.

Pinched from this story…

hawkins

Call it tall-poppy-syndrome. Call it whatever you want. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with people? I’ve seen this kinda shit a few times over the past month, where people out there try to get something happening for themselves and they are immediately shot down.

Like when Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw decided to fulfill his dreams of being Charlie Brooker and shoot a pilot for a show about his interests (Game Damage), people jumped onto him the first moment that his grizzled face leapt from the screen. Suddenly everyone out there was an expert on what television shows should be like, and knew exactly what would rate highly.

So, where’s their show about stuff? Awww, no money? Stiff shit. You think those three guys in Game Damage had a budget of Top Gear or something? Also, you do realise what a pilot is, don’t you?

Networks use pilots to discover whether an entertaining concept can be successfully realized.

And now we have what could be a sinister case of the bitchies in Jess, letting fly at Jennifer Hawkins due to a lack of talent or skills, or something.

So… what, Jess? You’re obviously so talented that you’re posting on a news website at 3.11pm, ie during business hours. What, are there no more cancer vaccines to discover today, so you decided to apply your intelligence and talent to hang shit on someone else? Or maybe you’re posting from a small village in Malawi, you’ve just finished providing fresh, clean water to the people so that they’re healthy for Madonna’s next visit and you thought you’d chime in with your dead-on profile of former Miss Universe? Woo. Way to pick those challenging targets, eh?

I think that getting wound up at a story about celebrities on news.com.au, is kinda like being annoyed that your car needs petrol. In order to poison a populace, you need something to pump into them.

Written by Andy

January 7, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Posted in Whinge

What’s your game, Mr Atkinson?

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I am more than aware that dealing with a Government agency is not without its quirks and trials. In the case of the South Australian Attorney-General’s office, it is more like a demented game.

Considering that I am not residing in the seat of Croydon, I can understand why my concerns to Michael Atkinson would largely be met with a snort, and a guffaw before they print out my email and use it to wipe their bott-bott, however when it comes to an issue which covers the entire nation of Australia – the issue of an R18+ classification for video games – I believe that the Attorney should be accountable to a little more than just his seventeen square kilometre of safe Labor voters.

I first wrote to the Attorney-General’s office in March 2008 following this story, outlining my disappointment in his lack of support for an R18+ classification. My concerns revolved around how limitations of the current system actually allow games that were classified for over 18’s in other markets would be released in Australia under the lesser MA15+ tag. During the entirety of 2008, this occurred with the release of Fallout 3 (there was a global version which replaced “Morphine” with “Med-X”, which was rated for 18’s in Europe, Britain and New Zealand), Dead Space and the PC release of Grand Theft Auto 4 (which was unedited).

I also mistakenly asserted that people would be inclined to import the unedited games from overseas, thereby robbing local retailers of money. This turned out to be false, as I soon discovered that games that are refused classification in Australia can be seized by customs. I am not the type of person who does not acknowledge their mistakes.

I received the following response from the Attorney-General’s office:

Thank you for your email to the Attorney-General about the classification of R rated games.

Please provide us with your full name and postal address so the Attorney can correspond with you.

Kind regards,
Administration
Attorney-General’s office

Excellent. The ball had started rolling. I provided them with a contact name and address, but not without outlining my confusion as to why the Attorney couldn’t correspond over email. As he was discussing and affecting the area of technology, his office was showing an awkward hesitancy to embrace it. In this day and age of document scanning and .pdf’s I thought it would be nothing to simply flick me something in reply.

Time passed. It was May and I hadn’t heard anything. Curious to know the progress of my concern, I sent them another email to follow up. In reply, I received this:

Thank you for your email to the Attorney-General about the classification of R rated games.

Please provide us with your full name and postal address so the Attorney can correspond with you.

Kind regards,
Administration
Attorney-General’s office

Understanding that they receive many emails, I provided them with these details again, although I made a point of acknowledging that I’d already provided them.

As the year progresses through to October 2008, much happens. Fallout 3 is refused classification, and Australian Gamer publishes a response from the Attorney General that was sent through to one of his detractors. It is a fair and even handed response that definitely makes you consider his point of view.

In one section of that letter, he cites a report conducted by Bond University, “Interactive Australia 2007” which finds a number of things, including that “62% of Australians in these gaming households say the classification of a game has no influence on their buying decision.”

Later on in the year, the Attorney also featured on a segment of ABC2’s Good Game, which I cannot find right now, due to my internet being shaped.

When probed on a report which found that 90% of Australians support an R18+ classification, the Attorney refutes the finding, asserting that the report was conducted by vested interests, and by those who stand to profit from such a classification.

However, the report he refutes was performed by Bond University – the same institute that he champions in the letter published on the Australian Gamer website. Key findings summary can be found here and the research area of Interactive Entertainment Australia Association website is here

Disappointed in the lack of official response outside of “where do you live again?” from the Attorney’s office, I turned my attention to my local state member, Tom Koutsantonis MP, hoping that my vote counted for something. I figured that having a brief chat to the Attorney’s neighbour couldn’t hurt.

Within the first week, I received a response asking for clarification on the issue and some instruction on how to best get the response from the Attorney. After indicating that I’d already tried their methods, they promised to follow it up with the Attorney and that I would hopefully hear something from them soon.

Weeks passed, and again I heard nothing. Growing tired of the constant shunning, I emailed my local member again. They replied, outlining their disappointment in the Attorney’s office, as they had spoken with a number of people there, hoping to obtain a reply for me.

So it seems that the Attorney-General isn’t concerned with the plight of his fellow Labor members, either.

They then suggested I again write an email, but this time to their office so that Tom could raise the issue in person with the Attorney. I obliged, outlining the oddity in the Attorney citing one report, but shunning another. I also note the Attorney’s concern that an R18+ classification would potentially allow for even more disturbed content to hit local shelves, but I cite the Classification Board database which shows that since 1994, only 66 titles were refused classification in Australia. I understand that not every game available is submitted to the Classification Board, however I recall that anything which reaches our retail stores, and is therefore in reach of the kiddlies, must be classified in order to be legally sold.

That email was sent on 4 December 2008.

And again, I have heard nothing, despite my constant queries. I understand that I’ve only given them one month, and that Christmas time is probably when they shut up doors and nick-off for a break. However, I’ve been patient enough, I feel.

So what is it, Mr Atkinson? Do we believe Bond University or not? If so, then Australia is against you. If not, then your letter published on Australian Gamer is bunk.

Splitting hairs over GTMO detainees

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I’m not many things. For me to become something that people can pigeonhole, it means that I have to be declared as such by some kind of authority. As my last post indicates, I am both a wanker, a bogan and a female genital. But today, I am outlining that I am not a lawyer. Despite my inlawyerness, I still seem to know the difference between a detainee and a convicted criminal.

detainee

convict

It would seem that many people are incapable of making this distinction, if judging by the comments on this story regarding Australia possibly accepting detainees from the “Guantanamo Bay detention center” (their spelling, not mine).

gtmo

That’d be a nice statement if these people were actually found guilty of acts of terrorism, and not… you know… detainees. Detail notwithstanding, I think it’s probably also worth pointing out a little statement that was made in the story by our acting Prime Minister, Julia Gillard:

For anyone to be accepted they would have to meet Australia’s strict legal requirement and go through normal rigorous assessment processes.

That means that anyone coming through customs would be evaluated like any other person seeking to come into Australia. In fact, according to the GTMO wikipedia article, many have actually been cleared for release but cannot find a country that will accept them. How would that feel, huh? Being snaffled up, put in orange pyjamas, held for a year or so and then told to leave, only to find that home (or another country) doesn’t want you because of your orange PJ’s?

Even though you’re not a terrorist. Or even whatever this guy thinks are detained at the camp?

gtmo2

War criminals? Holy god. Oh wait. No. Sorry. We’ve buggered up the definition again.

Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: “Wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including… wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial, …taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

Just a small thing. I also think people need to have undergone a trial to be declared a war criminal.

As for the Centrelink thing he mentions, well he may well be right, depending on if the two-year waiting period gets waived on grounds of being a refugee or something. But that would be up to, gasp, Australia’s usual screening and approval process. So, how are GTMO detainees different from anyone else seeking a life in Australia?

Of course, the irony of Australia possibly not wanting convicts isn’t lost on some.

irony

Yeah. Hilarious. Except for the minor difference, you know, they’re not convicts.

I’m kinda aware that I might be splitting hairs a little. But, it’s a pretty big wig of bad hair when it comes down to defining the difference between a criminal and a not-criminal. This display from the comments section is the kind of moron mentality that would sooner gather the pitchforks and torches and wander down to the nearest house to burn down without first checking they had the right address.

I guess the fact that I’ve taken the time to stop and do a simple search to object the audible grunts and whistles coming from the herd of braying imbeciles makes me a bleeding-heart, terrorist-supporting, tree-hugging, whale-saving dipshit. Oh well, let them think whatever they like.

I’d rather be a hair-splitting dipshit than someone who skewers the wrong man with his pitchfork. That would be murder, if I were found guilty by a fair trial.

*Late addition*
adf

How dare them people so unfairly judge us with broad, sweeping generalisations without any kind of justification! They’re all non-human, I tells ya! Every last one of them!!

I guess them referring to all of us as infidels is far worse than being branded as a non-human…

Although, he is a former ADF member. I don’t know whether I should be worried that his kind make it into our defense forces, or whether I should be heartened that he left. I sincerely hope it’s because of the ADF’s own screening process…

Written by Andy

January 2, 2009 at 2:34 pm