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30 December 2003

William Shakespeare's postmodern Piglet

Ethan finds his sunglasses clash with the Iambic Pentameter

This evening I checked out the postmodern film adaptation of Hamlet, set in NYC in the year 2000. This visually stunning effort stars Ethan Hawke in the title role, and also features Bill Murray, Leiv Schriebler, Diane Venora, Julia Styles and Kyle McLachlan.

What did I think of it? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. It usually takes me two viewings to make my mind up, as I find some of Shakespeare's text impenetrable at a first hearing.

I'll give you some initial impressions though. First, it's an extraordinary looking film. The modern urban setting and 21st century technologies are used to terrific narrative effect, particularly the scene where Hamlet uses his amateur film viewing to expose Claudius' plotting. The weaving of the modern setting into Shakespeare's centuries-old text is achieved more effectively than in Baz Luhrmann's messy Romeo and Juliet.

The supporting cast is impressive: Murray restrains his usual tired smirking to deliver an effective and witty portrayal of Polonius. Styles makes a convincing Ophelia. Sam Shepard registered strongly as dad's ghost in a sizzling scene with Hawke. Kyle McLauchlan is suitably slimy as Claudius. Venora - a fine actress - has little to do in her usual "harried waif" role.

Unfortunately, Ethan Hawke is a snooze in the lead role. Though I'm not sure if this is because of him or the role itself. Hamlet - both as character and movie - is burdened with lengthy monologues: something I've never enjoyed in Shakespeare. His text works for me best in the interplay of dialogues, whereas the monologues are something I find both impenetrable and tedious. Hamlet's internal tortured whining made me wish the self-absorbed prick would just shut the fuck up and die already.

The musical score was a problem also: effective at first, it became intrusive and distracting.

So where does this fascinating schitzoid film stand in relation to other "postmodern" Shakespeare adaptations? For me, the judgement is affected by the source material, rather than the movie itself: Hamlet, as a story, simply isn't as interesting as Ian McKellan's Richard III or as emotionally touching as Romeo and Juliet. Yet, as a motion picture production, I found it superior to Luhrmann's movie, and almost as good as Richard. It looks and sounds great, with intelligent direction and a fine cast.

The problem, ultimately, is that Hamlet just isn't anywhere near as much fun as the other two. I think I've worked out the problem: when I see Hamlet enter a scene, it feels like I'm watching Kurt Cobain.

29 December 2003

Quote of the day

I don't get mad, I get stabby.

- Fat Tony, The Simpsons


Been busy on the Christmas break. Or lazy, depending on how you look at it. Pretty much been watching DVDs, eating and drinking. I am likely to continue this sort of activity for a few days.

What the.....

With thanks to Sasha, here is the home page of the Australian Union of Students.

It has some material.

The following is a list of targets for bombings. We emphasise again that this is only in the event of an undemocratic government being illegally set up:

  • The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade (including the spectators) - a homemade nuclear device would be desirable, but is not essential as conventional homemade explosives will do the trick.
  • Trades and Labor Council buildings.
  • Federal Law Courts.
  • Homosexual nightclubs, and nightclubs where illegal drugs are sold.
  • Sex shops.
  • Drug injecting rooms and needle exchange rooms.
  • Offices of homosexual, anti-genetic engineering, anti- genetically modified food or animal liberation pressure groups.
  • Lecture theatres where a lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies, Sociology or Womens Studies is in progress.
  • Labor Party and Green Party electorate offices, and those of Catholic politicians.
  • Labor Party conferences and branch meetings.
  • Maritime Union picket lines.
  • People taking part in protests against duck shooting.
  • Television and radio transmission towers in cities.
  • Internet service providers that block access to this site.

I'd naturally assume it's a hoax page, except it's not funny or smart enough.

It is a hoax though...right?

23 December 2003

Winning the war on terror

Christopher Hitchens, pointing out what should be obvious to many:

I think that Osama Bin Laden made the greatest conceivable error by demolishing the World Trade Center and thereby retarding the cause of jihad to an incalculable extent, so I think that his followers have repeated the mistake in Indonesia, Turkey, and perhaps above all in Saudi Arabia. Three years ago, sympathizers of al-Qaida controlled the government of Afghanistan, heavily influenced the ruling circle in Saudi Arabia, and were in a good position to take over the Pakistani state from within. They were also being sought out for meetings by the regime in Baghdad. Now they have lost Afghanistan, are being hunted in Saudi Arabia, are being killed in the rat holes of Iraq, and stand little if any chance of seizing power in Islamabad. Their charismatic leader is almost certainly dead or at least incapacitated: Even the pretense that "communiqués" are coming from him has practically dried up.


Col. Qaddafi, though, has lived to rue the mistake he made with Pan Am. He started the grinding of an inexorable machine, beginning with the deceptively modest processes of Scottish law, and he now stands before the world as a gibbering and whimpering psycho, forced to pay blood money and to beg for leniency. The latest development is the best of all: In a sort of reverse of the pre-emptive strike, he has agreed to disclose and destroy all his stocks of unlawful weaponry.

The hawks are quite plainly right to say that this sudden tribute by vice to virtue is a direct consequence of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Richard Neville insanity watch

Richard Neville is so stark-raving bonkers you wonder if his entire skull cavity was at some point sucked dry and used as a refuge for an army of head lice.

The Crazed One has posted a new item at his site, a specially "annotated" version of a piece written on the Iraq war by Rupert Murdoch.

Raging against the Bush/Murdoch/Zionist New World Order, Neville rants that;

  • There is no free press in Iraq
  • The horrible Americans have dismantled Saddam's wonderful social infrastructure (curiously, he then says they are actually rebuilding that infrastructure, but it is being done by "corrupt corporations linked to the White House")
  • Iraq's poverty was the result of sanctions...nothing to do with Saddam
  • Living standards are improving, but are improving "less fast" than those horrid "US shareholders"
  • Saddam NEVER GASSED THE KURDS [I swear to God, I am not making this up]
  • The "real" casualty figures are being suppressed by the Dubya/Murdoch cabal

He concludes

The war was fought and won in the interests of the people of Iraq West and the cause of peace power, profit and the enrichment of those already rich.

I wonder that if Neville had been around during WWII, would he have either supported, or had quiet sympathy for, Nazi Germany. After all, they were the champions of Neville's pet loves: Heidegger-ish "authentic existence" gibberish over horrible meaningless modernity, "culture" over liberty, social engineering over capitalism, love of Mother Nature, gun control, animal liberation, and most of all, standing up to those power-hungry, imperialist Zionists.

Richard Neville is a psychopath.

22 December 2003

An old friend writes in

I was delighted today to receive an e-mail from "Osama Bin Laden" at IP

30 years old and still no girlfriend?

clean the world - kill a jew a day.

Good to hear from you sir. Hope you are having fun, running like a little girl from the Americans.

21 December 2003

The festival of freaks goes on

The aus.politics crowd prove that IQ can diminish at an exponential rate for eternity:

First, we have Dubya Fake-Moon-Visit Election conspiracies.

Then, someone claims that the Americans must have attacked Saddam with nerve gas for him to have surrendered so weakly.

Proof that Americans are "fucking retards".

And last but not least, Jewish brainwashing world-domination conspiracies.

Another crackpot ozblogger

Check out this raving headcase.

18 December 2003

A bad time for Dick

I've been keen to see Richard Neville's reaction to Saddam's capture, and as expected, he's gone berzerk;

The three hit men from the West

Hooray Hooray, the Frankensteins of the West have finally captured the monster of their own creation, the monster that has cost so much to the people of Iraq, and who, even as a forlorn trophy, will incite more bloodshed. Saddam’s extinguishment will brighten the lights of Christmas trees in Washington and Westminster, despite the plumes of pillage, terror & war swirling through the world as the season of merriment approaches. Kill, torture, rip-off, humiliate – this is one of the themes of Christianity 2003, as the three leading liars of the Coalition, George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard sink into the delusional torpor of their fundamentalist Christian pud, appropriately laced with pieces of silver.

We can see how Richard is still seen as an "intellectual" by the Radio National crowd. Cue some typically Neville-ish non-sequiters:

Is the General Bonkers? Does Satan wear a Turban?

Can you catch a falling bathtub? Or carry moonbeams home in your penis?

Later, Richard tells of his remarkable discovery: bullets can hurt people.

Take this cute little stocking filler from Texas, an intelligent bullet, which penetrates steel and concrete, yet does not exit from a human torso. Instead, it “effectively explodes inside the body, ravaging tissue in all directions, creating untreatable wounds”.

Amazing stuff. Bullets you say? I think I saw them once on Zionist American TV.

Maybe I'm being too critical of Dick. He finally asks an important question;

Why Am I Wasting My Breath?

Which he answers by wasting more breath;

In the intelligence industry, the WMD claims were widely regarded as bogus, even by Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, as revealed in the John Pilger documentary, Breaking the Silence.

Ah, such an authoritative source. He also quotes those notable indepedent thinkers and

Oh, get a load of this;

Opposing the invasion was not about tolerating for the crimes of Saddam. It was about protecting the lives of Iraqis, about upholding the language of truth.

Protecting the lives of Iraqis? By keeping Saddam in power? A humanitarian strategy worthy of an Obergruppenfuhrer.

And to finish, Crazy Dick offers us this.

No matter how you look at it – the US army doesn’t – it adds up to a lot of blood. More blood than ever filled the swimming pools of Saddam Hussein.

Quite right, all that blood never made it to Saddam's swimming pools, he preferred to keep it in mass graves.

Loser alert

The mullets at aren't too happy about Saddam being captured either.

Let's start with election conspiracies:

Lets hope that there isnt a re-election in his scopes now because of this. im sure Georgie Bushie certainly has one in his sights now. :-\.

I don't think they can have an election on the leader's whim in the US of A... unlike Australia.

and "Bush is terrified"-isms:

I don't think the White House will be too happy with the tropps who captured him then kept him alive. Would have been far more convenient for him to be dead.

That can be arranged... inevitable IMHO, lots of people don't want to hear the truth from Saddam. Or rather, they don't want US to hear the truth from Saddam.

'Crushing dissent' whinging:

Considering the US totally control all the media in Iraq at the mo' so we aren't gonna' hear anything they don't orchestrate!

Some complaining about the americans not firing any bullets in Saddam's capture: WAS unusually disciplined... usually they fire off 10000 rounds of ammo and shoot several people passing by...

Some bizarre ranting about Reagan and Hollywood:

the Rambo sequels were partly funded by the Reagan govt's
policy of subsidising patriotic output by the entertainment industry. Saddam
was partly funded by the Reagan gov't policy of subsidising everyone who was
perceived as keeping their enemies busy.

Rambo always won. Rambo was subsidised by the US government. Ergo, since
Saddam was also subsidised by the US government, he would also always win.

Yeah, I reckon he should've shot it out, too...

..and of course, an "americans are cowards" rant:

600 troops required to go collect a 66 year old man hiding in a hole in a farmhouse.... how brave of them... and how disappointing it must have been for those 600 soldiers who joined up so they could play with guns and never got to fire a single round at their arch nemesis... they're probably feeling like they should have just stayed home and waited a couple of weeks for the Playstation game to be released.

A collection of great minds here folks.

America is the greatest force for good on this planet

This should piss off a lot of wankers: Dennis Prager's list of truth. Some of my favourite excerpts:

America is the greatest force for good on the planet.....If it were up to the U.N. or the EU, or the editorial boards of most major American newspapers, Saddam would still be happily making palaces for himself and torture dungeons for his people.

No Muslim or Arab country lifted a finger to help the Iraqi people. [Why would they? There are no Jews to be killed there]

Not everyone is happy about Saddam's capture. Palestinians, for example, are weeping. Saddam was their hero. Iraqis were forced to march with his posters, but Palestinians did so voluntarily. Many on the Left are also not particularly happy. Saddam's capture is a victory for American force and for George W. Bush, and the Left hates both more than it hates Saddam.

Most of the Left does not hate evil; hatred of evil is primarily found on the Right.

The reason the president is shaping history is that he has as strong a set of beliefs -- in America's moral mission and in Judeo-Christian religious values -- as those he is fighting. Those who hold bad beliefs can only be defeated by those have equally strong good beliefs.

Via LGF.

Another list of Tex Truth

1: The USA saved the world from communism.

2: Every problem in the middle-east is the fault of muslims.

3: Pumpkin is shit.

4: Law & Order is the best one-hour show in the history of TV.

5: American beer is shit.

6: Only fried potatos are edible, all other potato permutations are unacceptable.

7: Intellectuals who supported any socialist regime are no better than nazi sympathisers.

8: People who vote for Bob Brown are losers.

9: Americans are better at making movies than any other nation.

10: Guns are fun. More people should buy guns and go hunting.

11: Public transport sucks. You ever noticed how public transport advocates never use it themselves? Trains and buses are mobile, taxpayer-funded urinals, nothing more. There's a reason people buy cars. You can go where you want, when you want, and don't have to sit next to stinky freaks.

Tex rules the world

Hey, I scored myself some Soviet property! Woo!!

I always knew my communist sympathies would pay off.

16 December 2003

A good 'un

Here's a superb Canberra-based blogger I only recently come across. Go say hello to Alan E. Brain's big brain.

Off the planet

If you haven't done so, go see what those interesting folks at aus.politics are saying about Saddam's capture. It's a kaleidoscope of mental illness.

Let's kill Castro

Steve H. gives us plenty of good reasons why this filthy murdering bastard should get an American bullet in his head.

Loving Saddam

An evil, mass murdering bastard has been captured. Good news you'd think. Well, not to the readers ofThe Age, who are throwing a fit:

The US has occupied Iraq for 8 months, searching high and low, and it has taken that long to find Saddam when he's been right under their noses all the time. What hope is there of finding Bin Laden? Very little.

Isn't it interesting? We all know what Saddam did, but the Coalition of the Willing insist that it's oh-so important that he be given a free, open and fair trial. Meanwhile, we still don't really know what David Hicks and the 600-odd detainees in Guantanamo have done, but there's no such trial planned for them. And as for John Howard, he seems happy to try despots according to our definition of fair, while trying our nationals according to the despots' definition.

Has anyone actually considered the fact that the Americans are good liars? Has anyone actually thought that just maybe this isn't the "real" saddam? I mean it might just be possible that this guy (assumingly a body double, one of at least 10 that saddam has)could have been paid or more likley bullied into pretending to be saddaam, so that good old Bush, can have a gloat at how "wonderful" he and his country are, just a short while before there election campaign. Very convinient dont you think? What's next he will find Osama Bin Laden in the New Year?
The picture of that guy "saddam" being checked by Medical officers, some how didn't look quite right to me. Something which says that it is not THE saddam. I mean if you think about it, why after Iraq was invaded would Saddam in his right mind, remembering how "powerful" he was in his country be stupid enough to stay in that country, knowing darn well that the yanks would be staying there until they "found" him? Is he really that stupid? I don't think so.

Doubts: I do not believe it is him.
At 66 yrs old and having spent 8 months living in exteme difficult condition, Only few white hairs on his head and ?????. Maybe this is made in USA. Saddam Hussein has may substitutes because CIA and others have been trying to kill him for many years.
Have a look at our Johny at 64 and Bush at 55 and compare them with this guy at 66. You've got to be joking.

Its incredible how this is already being used for political gain by leaders who weren't actually there themselves.

I wonder why there's no front page pictures of Donald Rumsfeld having lunch with a smiling Hussein next to the pictures of his capture? Would make a nice contrast. Maybe at the trial Saddam can tell the world where he got his weapons, money and power from.

Complicity in a crime is also a crime therefore those who aided and abetted Saddam Hussein in acquiring lethal micro-organisms & chemical weapons precursors should also be arraigned. There is zero chance that we will see Rumsfeld, Bush snr, Thatcher et al in court. Once again it is the victors' law that pertains.

My favourite bit is the post from "Hitfa Ugay":

It's funny isn't it, a man once boasted to be an ally of the US is now debased and humiliated by the same nation that armed him and encouraged him to war with Iran, the same nation that supplied him with the chemical weapons that he used against kurds, the same nation that supervised while all this took place and made sure that it was never an issue AT THE TIME these events were materialising, WHY? because saddam was someone the US needed and used, the US couldn't care less what happened to the people of IRAQ, if this is the case then why is it out there spending billions of dollars in trying to fulfil it's empirilistic ideals when it has literary 10s of millions of it's own citizens living in poverty. This is the same nation that dropped a NUCLEAR bomb on Nagazaki and Hiroshima and never once apologized and to this day the nuking of these cities is seen as a triumph. This is the same nation that encouraged riots and revolts against legitimately elected governments, this is the name nation that rather not remember Vietnam and never mention the millions of innocent vietnamese, men, women, children, elderly, disabled that were butchered, raped, and pulverised by the early definitions of US carpet bombs. The same nation that removed one governing body in Afghanistan and it's placed installed a puppet government that consists of war lords that are known for their barbarism and violating young boys, it matters not one bit to them as long as the pipeline project in Afghanistan goes ahead.
And history repeats itself, sooner or later, they will strike against Syria, Iran and the rest of the nations will follow while Israel instigates then withdraws and watches in celebration and with a smirk on it's face.
Here I quote Sharon who had the audacity to come out and speak against saddam and terrorism while the world has finally acknowledged the barbarism of one tyrant they're yet to see and even hear about the barbarism of Sharon the butcher.
"Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it." - Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

Nice people these lefty loons........

13 December 2003

Quote of the day

Everyone needs to just shut up, get in the kitchen and bake me some pie

- Cantinera

Amusing showbiz quotation for the day

It's now almost ridiculous to think Aguilera was seen as the poor man's Britney, especially when Aguilera breaks into a spine-tingling cover version of Etta James' At Last. You can't imagine Spears could even name an Etta James song, let alone sing one.

- The Herald Sun

Toy Run

I went on the annual Canberra Toy Run today, where local motorcyclists do a parade ride in the city and dump a huge pile of toys in the city mall, which are collected by the Salvation Army and distributed to needy kiddies for Xmas. They also collect cash donations for the Smith Family.

This morning, around 500+ bikes met at the entrance of Old Parliament house for a 10am start. I'm hoping the noise created much disturbance for the wastes of oxygen at the Aborignal tent embassy (when, oh when will this ugly shitheap be bulldozed?).

We then did a parade ride to Woden and doubled back to the city, where we rode our bikes right into the centre of the mall, much to the surprise of morning shoppers.

We had to endure the painful, waffling drawl of one of the worst MC's I've ever seen, though Senator Kate Lundy gave a nice, short speech, graciously praising former Liberal Senator Margaret Reid, who had attended the Toy Run in previous years. Senator Gary Humphries was there too.

Much fun was had, and for a great cause.


Blogging been slow lately. It looks like I've been accepted into a job I've been pushing for over the last year. Hence mucho work to do before the transfer happens, resulting in less bloggery. Looks like I'm near finished most of it, which should mean more regular posting in the future.

The snowglobe

Thanks to Steve in L.A. for this amusing little link.

Stop Iraqi liberation!

Niall Cook didn't much like my post on Iraq:

Really good at the polemic rhetoric is Tex.

This coming from the guy who said that Israel was planning the genocide of Palestinians and remarked that a psychotic killer was pretty much your "average american".

In a long, idiotic screed typical of the sociopathic left, he ignores every single improvement in Iraq, and gives us a list of gibbering, whinging observations, of the variety War Is Nasty and Some People Are Still Unemployed.

If Iraq is free, why are the yanks still there? More to the point, why are a myriad of other nations troops there? When will they leave?

I guess Niall doesn't want the Americans to help rebuild the country. This is typical leftythink: if the Americans do leave, they'll be accused of abandoning the Iraqis, if they stay, they're Evil Occupiers.

I don't know of any other civilised nation on the face of this planet which allows its citizens to keep AK-47's for personal protection.

I guess Niall has never heard of Switzerland. What does Niall want the Americans to do about this: go in and shoot them?

Saddam isn't imprisoning people without trial, the US-led coalition forces are.

Uh, yes he actually wrote that. Some lovely moral equivalency going on here.

Very few internationals are free to come and go into and out of Iraq without US-led coalition permission. Ironically less than were permitted under Saddam.

Actually, most people can come and go, provided they're not crossing the border to shoot Americans. I guess this distinction doesn't count.

Then there's some more blather, finished by this:

The list of shortfalls, economic and social failings can go on as long or longer than any supposed list of US successes in Iraq.

The "supposed" list of US successes includes:

  • Reopened courts and an independent judiciary
  • Reopened universities and schools, which - lest we forget - no longer have to live under the eye of Baath party control
  • All hospitals and most clinics reopened (and equipped with drugs and medical supplies that lovely Saddam never bought because he needed the money for himself). Oh, and millions of vaccinations to kids.
  • Teachers now earning at least a dozen times their pre-war salary
  • And how's this for a "supposed" success: ...a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals. They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.
  • Then there's the free press, the lack of mass slaughter by Saddam's goons.

Niall fails to address every one of these points, and all the others. Oh, and he's horrified a country with no history of democracy hasn't managed to become one in a matter of months.

So, despite having liberated every aspect of Iraqi society from a genocidal regime, the stunning success of reconstruction projects in such a short time, the saving of thousands of lives per year from Saddam's mass murder and neglect, the American invasion was a "humanitarian disaster"

Yet, at the end of his drool, Niall offers this observation:

Undoubtedly, Iraq without Saddam has to be better than Iraq with Saddam

Niall needs to lay off his bong for a while.

Let's see if I've got this right: the war was a humanitarian disaster, but Iraq is better off anyway? Why does he say this? It seems in the face of overwhelming evidence of the liberation of Iraq, he needs to justify his pathological hatred of Americans somehow, and he tries it with this convoluted reasoning:

Remember, Iraq pre-invasion was an Iraq created by US-backed embargos and US-promoted trade sanctions. Why? Well, I suppose the second largest oil reserves on the planet have bugger all to do with the situation.

Well Niall, I guess the mass-murdering bastard using his oil money to build palaces and fund his military, instead of spending it on food and medicine had nothing to do with it either eh??

But then, there's money to be made in Iraq, isn't there. Only if you're on the American's good books though. Only if you followed along on their coat-tails in the hope of picking up some reconstruction crumbs which might fall from the post-invasion dinner table, or intended chasing that legendary animal, the Free Trade Agreement. If you objected to preemptive, aggressive, militaristic invasion of a sovereign nation, and you voiced that objection in the global community forum, well I'm sorry to're fucked.

Gotta love double standards: making money off Iraq reconstruction is evil if you're the USA, but how dare they deny those noble anti-war nations the chance to do the same.

The removal or not of Hussein never was the argument. The argument was the means by which that removal was achieved and in a civilised world, a world that runs by the rule of law, pre-emptive, aggressive, military invasion of sovereign nations on proven trumped up excuses for closely guarded and undisclosed purposes, is unacceptable.

So, Niall has admitted Iraq is better off without Saddam - thanks to the coalition invasion, but he's more worried about the "sovereignty" of an unelected genocidal dictator than the liberty of Iraqi civilians. Freedom from tyranny is less important than American motives. Reconstruction of Iraq is good, provided only the anti-war nations make money off it.

Welcome to the mind of Niall Cook: where ideological strutting beats reality every time.

9 December


Dave at Israelly Cool has caught out anti-semite ozblogger Michael Talismann plagiarising from the charming website Jewish Tribal Review.

Mickey has been pestering Dave's comments section for a while now, reciting one Jew-hating rant after the other. It's hardly a surprise the nutty git does his "research" at a website that publishes witty cartoons like this one: "Jew Klux Klan". Hohoho. Or this one: Jewish Santa (the one that steals toys from kids).

On their main page, there's lots of great links to essays/articles & sites dealing with holocaust denial & trivialisation , "the Jews are controlling everything" conspiracy theories, Jewish racism, Jewish infestation of the media and showbiz, and pretty much how everything on earth is the fault of Jews.

Mike's not an anti-semite of course. He's just a impartial thinker bravely taking on ZOG and their worldwide network of big-nosed lackeys.

Nice fella.

Yobbo vs. The Flying Kangaroo

Yobbo really doesn't like QANTAS.

8 December 2003


Finally checked out the DVD of this movie in big-screen, surround-sound glory. Given my complete lack of interest in classical music, opera or biopics, I approached this three-hour movie with some trepidation.

I needn't have worried. This was top-shelf cinema.

The key to its success is the interesting narrative method: Mozart is almost a supporting character, the story is told by Antonio Salieri, Court Composer to the Austrian Emperor, driven mad my his hatred of Mozart and guilt over his death.

The cast are absolute knockouts: F. Murray Abraham a deserved Oscar winner for his turn as Salieri. Tom Hulce pulls off the role of the impish musical maestro with great aplomb, and even the bit-part actors are uniformly excellent: a pre-kiddy-diddling Jeffrey Jones as Emperor Joseph II, a breakthrough performance by Elizabeth Berridge as Mozart's wife Constance (where in God's name has this actress been since?), and a large ensemble too numerous to mention.

The Prague locations are remarkable (I loved director Milos Foreman's comment: "because of communist inefficiency, Prague was still in the 18th century"), the cinematography superb, and the music soars.

Amadeus is the rarest of beasts: an Oscar-winning movie that really did deserve to be called "Best Picture".

Festival of fools

The village idiots at the Green Left Weekly have a new edition out. Amongst the latest bunch of gems are:

A glowing portrait of violence-loving crackpot Che Guevara.

A display of horror at the growing nightmare of market forces in Vietnam. The left love poor people, except when it comes to them wanting to vote, earn money or generally make their lives better.

A visiting nut-job from the USA tells us to close down all prisons. No really.

Apparently, terrorist-apologist Tariq Ali is coming to Australia to speak. How wonderful.

The USA is evil because it's a homophobic hell-hole. Odd that they'd complain about this, considering their unabashed admiration for Castro's gay-murdering paradise.

More unspeakably godawful commie poetry:

Mutual Obligation

It's somewhere between
the obscene and unclean
but John Howard is my inspiration.

You work for the dole.
You mortgage your soul,
and he calls that liberation.

Actually, I think he calls it 'working for the dole'.

Get off your fat arse,
do a job that's first class.
Yes, work is your obligation.

If I'm paying you, it bloody is, yes.

You have to say, “Nay,
I don't want any pay.”
It's part of building the nation.

Well, if you don't want to work, don't ask for other people to give you money. Sounds simple to me.

Fair pay will not last
it's a thing of the past,
what you need is incentivation.


No dude, what you need is to get a job and earn money. You can buy a thesaurus with it.

Fair pay so it seems
is a thing of our dreams,
all you need is incentivation.


If you've got kids galore
and you're terribly poor
then work is your obligation.

Is Fuhrer Howard suggesting that parents have a moral obligation to look after their own children? Can concentration camps be far around the corner?

3 December 2003


Hey, aren't things in Iraq supposed to be getting worse?

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...nearly all of Iraq’s 400 courts are functioning.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...on Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts—exceeding the pre-war average.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1, by October 1, Coalition forces had rehabbed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than their target.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...the Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq’s children.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals. They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...we have restored over three-quarters of pre-war telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Iraq (has) a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...satellite dishes are legal.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... there is no Ministry of Information.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...there are more than 170 newspapers.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... foreign journalists and everyone else are free to come and go.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...a nation that had not one single element—legislative, judicial or executive-- of a representative government, does.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...Shia religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...the Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of (a) strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...Uday and Queasy are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to his zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games...murdering critics.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...millions of longsuffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...Saddam is gone.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1... Iraq is free.

This is maybe half the list. Go read the rest and remind me again why invading Iraq was a humanitarian disaster.

Not that this will prevent the leftist "peace" crowd from wishing Saddam was still in power. Coz they really really care about innocent people man.....


Moral equivalency galore over at, in Kareem M. Kamel's sickening justification for Palestinian suicide bombings:

In this regard, one must note that Israel’s military strategy had always been to export fear into neighboring countries, and the Israeli military always made sure that the battleground for any Arab-Israeli conflict would be outside the borders of Israel. This was exemplified by the Arab-Israeli wars of 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982, all of which took place on Arab territory. On the other hand, all the military operations during the Intifada took place within the borders of Israel, with many Palestinian bombings and guerilla operations taking place inside Israeli towns, cities and settlements.

Nice huh? The Arabs start wars of extermiantion against Israel, then complain the Jews fight back against them on "Arab territory". The peace-loving arabs then conduct their "military operations" by targeting civilains, then claim they are only doing what the horrible Jewboys have done.

Nice people.

Also, be sure not to miss their fabulously delusional "Islamic Viewpoint" Q&A page.

Or their views on homosexuality:

the punishment here is the burning of both homosexuals (the actor and acted upon) or stoning them with rocks till death because Allah Most High stoned the people of Lot after demolishing their village.

This gives "compassionate conservatism" a whole new meaning.

Essential reading for the day

Damian Penny's brilliant mini-screed on Islamic hatred:

If Israel leaves the West Bank and Gaza, the Arabs will complain that Palestinian "refugees" haven't been allowed to return to Israel. If Israel, heaven forbid, decided to let these "refugees" return, they will complain about the "economic inequality" between the Arabs and the Jews. If the Jews gave all their money, property and power to the Palestinians, the complaint will be that the "legacy of oppression" makes it impossible for Palestinians to share a country with Israelis. And if the Jews were ethnically cleansed from the area altogether, they'll complain that the rest of the world is still "controlled" by them.

Barring military conquest and "de-Nazification" of the Middle East, this pathological hatred will not end until every Jew in the world - not just Israel, but the world - is slaughtered. And when the Jews can't be blamed anymore, they'll turn on Westerners. Then the Christians. Then the Sufis. Then the Shi'ites. And so on. (Why do I write about the Jews so often? Because eventually their persecutors, regardless of how much we try to appease them today, will come for the rest of us.)

Make sure to read the report that precedes this piece. Frightening.

The joys of farm subsidies

John Humphreys at site argues that not only are they economically foolish, they're bad for the environment.

(Warning: The ALS still seems to be using a webserver they found in a public toilet somewhere, so you may need to try the link more than once to get it to load)

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