The Null Device

2004/6/4

An article from Helen Irving, associate professor of law at the University of Sydney, on why Australia's tradition is secular, not Christian, and all the Bushite culture-war bullshit coming out of the Liberal Party about Australia's religious foundations (including the "National Day of Thanksgiving" that has just been declared) and Australian law being based on the Ten Commandments) is just that. (via bizza)

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2004/6/3

The Bush Game is a very well done propaganda piece for the John Kerry campaign in the form of a fashionably pixelated Flash game, referencing 1980s kid culture that's the height of ironic retro hipness with the Generation X/Y crowd. It's a politically-incorrect arcade beat-em-up game, in which hip retro characters such as Mr. T, Hulk Hogan, and He-Man, along with the likes of Mike Moore, Jessica Lynch, and, of course, Democratic Party heroes like John Kerry and Howard Dean, battle evil hordes of porcine crony-capitalists and end-of-level bosses (the entire Bush Cabinet, as well as the likes of Paris Hilton and Janet Jackson's robo-breast). Along the way it shows presentations about Bush's depredations of social security funds, redistribution of wealth to the ultra-rich, and collusion with the likes of Enron, in a fairly easy-to-grasp way -- and then claims that the Democrats will fix everything if they get elected. (via everyone, it seems)

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Groups from as far away as America are offering to help reunite a refugee with a cat that kept him company. Aladdin Sisalem's only companion during his 10-month stay at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island was a stray cat he named Honey. Then Sisalem's protection visa was granted and he was shipped to Australia, though the cat remained behind. Offers of financial assistance to fly the cat to Australia have since poured into the office of the Australian Democrats (remember them? Perhaps this is just what they need for a cat-led recovery.)

(There is an Age article there, but they've now instituted one of those annoying registration systems, and I can't be arsed doing it, so I'll just link to Beth's blog. Who do they think they are; the New York Times or someone?)

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Little by little, classic Australian indie/art-house films are making their way onto the DVD format. The most recent example is The Cars That Ate Paris, Peter Weir's 1974 rural gothic exploration of Australian car culture and country-town conservatism. This film has now come out as a double feature with another Weir film, The Plumber, which is supposedly a psychological horror story or somesuch, though I haven't seen it yet.

And another eagerly anticipated title is slated for release on DVD later this year: Dogs In Space, Richard Lowenstein's semi-fictional look at the Melbourne post-punk "little band" scene in the late 1970s, which will come with more than an hour of extra features. (There was apparently a DVD of it in the UK and/or US a while ago, though the quality was reportedly very poor, as if it had been transferred from VHS tape.)

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