I’m going to take an early Christmas break from blogging. I was going to keep going right up till the end of next week, but something happened yesterday.
I reached the “I don’t give a stuff” point.
Actually this point had probably been reached a week or so ago, but I soldiered on, feeling that I should end out the year properly.
But “meh” overtook me.
I realised this when yesterday in The Australian, they kept up their recent anti-wind farm barrow-pushing by giving space to ex-TV Chef Peter Russell-Clarke. So idiotic was this piece that it had an ex-TV chef who can’t even get a gig on Masterchef as a “celebrity” judge telling us of wind farms:
It's an absolutely unique and magnificent area, and to attempt to put one of these things in the ground is bloody ludicrous, apart from the fact that the f..king things don't work," he said. "They are inefficient. They are ugly."
The man who led campaigns for local eggs and dairy produce questions the health effects of wind turbines, while proposing nuclear power as a possible alternative.
"They once said asbestos wasn't bad for you and smoking wasn't bad," he said. "Now they are finding, in fact, that's not true.
"The rest of the world is for nuclear power, and there is no doubt as we increase our population we will need more water, more food, more power, more everything. If nuclear is the way, then let's do it."
Yep “they don’t work” – guess we can leave that assertion unchallenged eh? And it takes a good leap to link asbestos and cigarette smoking to wind power, but Russell-Clarke was up to the challenge. (Good as well that he’s up on the whole medical research aspect and knows they are “finding” that smoking and asbestos is bad).
But I saw that piece and thought, “Oh hell, seriously why bother, the fish are in the barrel and I can’t be stuffed shooting”.
Similarly, yesterday they had that doyen of the Twitter world Geoff Elliot (also their media editor – which I assume means something special, but given just about every single person who works at The Oz is an “editor’ of some kind, you can never be sure) tell us that not only can you be sued for writing something defamatory on the internet including Twitter (I know, shocked I was, shocked!), but that:
if you persistently send messages or continue to try to make contact with someone who does not want to have contact with you, your behaviour could be considered stalking.
Stalking on the internet of course can be very serious if as in the example Elliott gives you have someone stealing your identity and is verifiably stalking you through persistent emails. But on Twitter? Boy, Geoff, if only there was a way I could stop someone reading my Tweets and pestering me. Oh wait, in Elliott’s own paper, in the section of which he is editor, Sally Jackson gives him a handy tip:
Just as most of us would hang up on a hectoring phone call or walk away from someone abusing us in the street, users don't have to tolerate what they feel to be hateful communication on Twitter.
Fortunately, as mentioned here before, Twitter has a pretty good boundary-setting tool: the block function. Blocking prevents another user from following you, sending you an @reply or @mention, or putting your account on any of their lists, although your tweets are still visible on your public profile page. It means that while you might still catch glimpses of Mr or Ms Blocked, fuming in the distance, they can't get close to you.
Did Elliott even read Jackson’s piece?
The other point of course is that an email is private, and so someone flooding your email inbox with stalking letters is not only bloody annoying, it feels a violation of your private space. Twitter on the other hand is public – a person can only send you a private message if you choose to follow them. And if you are really worried you can always lock you Twitter account so only your followers can see you Tweets, otherwise your Tweets are public – there for all to read – those who like you and those who don’t.
But even this didn’t get me out of the “meh-zone”.
Then there was the US unemployment figures, which had their unemployment increasing to 9.8 per cent, and resulted in this very scary graph from the great people of Calculated Risk:
If the graph is anything to go by, it means it will be around 2 years before the unemployment rate gets anywhere near where it was when the GFC hit. To show how scary this is, just think of this – in March 2007, both US and Australia had an unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent:
But you know, the stimulus didn’t work, we should have let interest rates do more of the lifting etc etc….
The next Australian unemployment figures come out on Thursday, and I do feel a desire to stick around to blog about them – especially as the interest rate decision came out today in which the Governor’s statement seemed to suggest they’re happy with the way things are now, and should be for a while.
But you know. Who can be bothered writing about that? (Answer, right at this moment, not I)
What really tipped me over the edge was yesterday the wikileaks revelation that Kevin Rudd had suggested rather unsurprisingly to Hillary Clinton that in dealing with China, the US needed to be "preparing to deploy force if everything goes wrong".
Personally I can’t imagine the US doing anything else if they’re in the “everything goes wrong” period – and also I like that Rudd is actually suggesting to the US that force should be the last resort – a new concept to them I’m sure.
But then Julie Bishop came out and for some totally inane reason wanted Julia Gillard to confirm publicly if this was the Government's view.
Seriously do people in the Liberal Party let this person go near sharp knives? Do they let her use scissors without proper adult supervision? What idiocy. Yeah Julie, it really would be a good thing for the Prime Minister of Australia to publicly comment on the use of force against China. She then according to Malcolm Farnsworth said the she:
“has always assumed that everything a person in public life says could become public... should be restrained at all times...”
My God, I can hear them laughing all the way from Beijing. Does she think we have forgotten her wonderful passport forging comments?
TIM LESTER: But aren't there consequences at not doing anything, and isn’t that the problem – if we don’t do anything aren't we effectively putting our imprimatur on the theft of Australian identity?
JULIE BISHOP: Not at all. You would reprimand, you would chastise, you would ask them not to do it again. But it would be naive to think that Israel is the only country in the world that has used forged passports, including Australian passports for security operations. ….
TIM LESTER: What we do?
JULIE BISHOP. Yes.
Yes, she is the model of discretion (though I guess she does prove that she says the same publicly as she does privately).
But even that didn’t get me banging away on the keyboard.
When you are tired of mocking Julie Bishop, well, sir, you are tired of life – or at lest the political-blogging part of it.
And so this is it for the year. It has been a long year, A bloody long year.
I’m so tired I can’t even be bothered doing a greatest hits.
Oh, bugger it yes I can:
- Here was one of the first articles of mine to get linked – a piece on who had been hurt most by living in the Federer era.
- Just to prove that, yes I am a nerd from way back, here’s my Top 5 Asterix Books.
- During the Winter Olympics I wrote a piece on Dale Begg-Smith. It got around 150 hits – easily my record at the time.
- Remember the Great Health Debate? Of course you don’t. It was going to decide the election. I decided to not bother with the answers and instead had a look at the questions (it was an approach I quickly warmed to).
- Yeah that BER spending was a total waste, wasn’t it – I mean surely the ANAO Report and the Orgill Report showed that. Err no, actually.
- Got a spare 30 minutes? You’re a James Joyce fan? You also love politics? Excellent read on my friend as I do Question Time Ulysses-style.
- Am I ever wrong? Hell no! Take this post wherein I write after the spill: “I’m locking in an increased majority”. Oh.Kay.
- A couple people read this one.
- The second post I did after my name was revealed was about Greg Hunt. It is most notable because Greg Hunt left a comment – a comment with some very interesting observations about the media’s actions…
- My first Friday Night Relaxer looked at some great adverts. These are the most fun to write, and I generally think about them all week.
- The hardest post I wrote all year was about my cat Scamper. The reaction of so many people telling their own stories of loved pets was wonderful.
Thanks to everyone who has come along to the blog this year and especially those who have left some comments. I know I don’t respond to all the comments – but I certainly read them and consider the points made.
In February of this year when I got to my 400th post I wrote:
By the start of 2009, I was getting probably only around 25 individual hits a day; now it’s closer to 100 (and thanks to a couple links from Crikey, recently it is nearer to 150)
Now thanks to some more links and the odd Twitter link or twenty, there are now around 1000-1300 readers a day of this blog (depending on the day – usually when Parliament sits the number goes higher). I realise in the grand scheme this is not much, but it sure as hell makes me feel appreciated, and I hope you’ll come back in early January when I will be a tad more refreshed and ready to get stuck in the the inanity, the idiocy and the complete disregard for logic that infects so much of our political and media discourse.
Hope you all have a great Christmas and a safe holiday. See you in the 2011.
Grog (or Grogs, or even Greg as I am sometimes known)