W is for Worday (4)

August 31, 2010

Some of this one arrived in my inbox a couple of weeks ago, the rest was posted, at around the same time, by Sharon on CathPews:

Humour for Lexicons
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a 3-yr-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.
The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months.
A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles , U.C.L.A.
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
A will is a dead giveaway.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.
A chicken crossing the road = poultry in motion.
You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish.
If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft & I’ll show you A-flat miner.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
A grenade that fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
A calendar’s days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted: ‘Taint yours, and ‘taint mine.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When you’ve seen one shopping centre, you’ve seen the mall.
When she saw her first strands of grey hair, she thought she’d dye.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture: A jab well done

Strum that thang

August 27, 2010

Speaking of music. I saw this on today’s Crikey and apparently the muso is from Botswana. You gotta love this guitar playing especially with the disinterested dude in the background. Sooo laid back:

F is for Wryday (23)

August 26, 2010

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.

An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position.

As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, “Relatives of yours?”

“Yep,” the wife replied, “in-laws.”

A brave man?

August 25, 2010

Dennis Atkins is a journo I’ve only seen occasionally on The Insiders and, besides seeming to be very laid back when confronted by the louder egos of an Andrew Bolt or a Piers Akerman or a David Marr or even an Annabel Crabb he hasn’t made a huge impression. But he must be a brave man.

In The Punch this week he’s attempted to come up with the 25 all time great side one vinyl record releases. He got one great big tick from me for having Dylan as his number one and as I read through the list I could see where he was come from and really liked his selection. As I thought about it some more, I wondered if room could have been made for a Beatles song or even something from Elvis, but he got so many right that I’m happy to repeat it here just for the record:

Quality vinyl: the top 25 side one track ones of all time

It’s possible no-one under 25 will get this article. But the joy of side one, track one is one of my life’s great pleasures. It’s a hangover from the days of 12-inch vinyl when there were five or six songs on each side of a long playing record.

There’s plenty of these musical gems but here are my Top 25 starting with the indisputable heavyweight track one side one of the world: Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone, recorded and released (on the LP Highway 61 Revisited) in 1965.

As US music genius Greil Marcus said in the best (and probably only) book written about a single song: “When drummer Bobby Gregg brought his stick down for the opening noise of the six-minute single, the sound – a kind of announcement, then a void of silence, then a rising fanfare, then the song – fixed a moment when all those caught up in modern music found themselves engaged in a running battle for a prize no one bothered to name: the greatest record ever made, perhaps the greatest record that ever would be made.”

Marcus kind of liked the song. But it covered all the bases for a great track one side one (now just T1S1): it grabs your attention, it puts you in a place and time, it opens the door on a revelation and it tells you about the space the rest of the record will occupy. Listen to it and try to disagree.

I really couldn’t find a decent YouTube version so here is the original sound file:

Here’s the rest (the rules include that each artist can only have one song – although if someone is a solo artist and in a band, they can have more), in no set in stone order:

Read the rest of this entry »

Where to now?

August 23, 2010

Many in the commentariate, in the blogshere and around the proverbial office water cooler are asking ‘Where to now?’ in terms of the weekend’s events.

But minority governments are not that unusual in the world, or indeed, in Australia. Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia have all had recent experience of minority governments and the heavens didn’t fall in.

My instinct is that Julia Gillard is the best placed to form a government, but things could change by the day (if not by the hour!).

The Poll Bludger (on Crikey) has a different view:

One imagines the independents’ most pressing concern would be the deep conservatism of the electorates; however, Labor has in its hand the prospect of Labor-Greens Senate majority that would complicate any Coalition claim to offer the greater stability. If a minority Coalition government eventuated – and this intuitively seems the most likely outcome – it would presumably be keep to set up some double dissolution triggers with an eye to another election about 18 months down the track

One thing you really sensed about this election was that people were really sick of it — a pox on all their houses, as it were — and a double-dissolution trigger would have to be really compelling to overcome that cynicism even in 18 months which, admittedly, is a long time in politics.

Meanwhile, if anyone is qualified to comment on how the role of a minor party can change when they get some real power, it’s Natasha Stott Despoja. Some extracts from The heat will be on in the Green house:

The Greens have achieved unprecedented success in this election. They will have nine Senate seats from July next year and have won their first House of Representatives seat in a federal election.

No other minor party has achieved this …

… Potentially, this result is thrilling for progressive politics and for those who believe in multiparty democracy. But many voters – including those who voted Green – are wondering if the Greens are ready for power or just for protest …

… Crossbench senators have to get their hands dirty with the nitty-gritty of legislating, committee work, meetings, negotiations and compromise (although not on values).

It is an exciting opportunity and, judging by the look on Brown’s face, one that he’s been waiting a long time for.

Despite attempts by some shock jocks to spook voters about the Greens’ policies (closing down zoos or reintroducing death taxes), it is more likely the Greens – with Senator Nick Xenophon – will provide an important check on executive power.

Given the workload and resources, it may not always be easy being Green in the next Parliament.

In short? Interesting times …

That’s NOT the way you do it

August 23, 2010

OK, now that I’ve broken the, albeit tenuous, ‘no politics’ resolve of this blog last Friday I may as well have a post about sport.

Although it sees the world of AFL football from a not untypical ‘Victoria and the rest’ perspective, Real Footy is my first on-line port of call for AFL news.

I was amused by this story this morning:

The caption for the first photo reads: Adelaide forward Kurt Tippett spoils Collingwood defender Nathan Brown at the MCG on Saturday night. While the caption for the second identical pic reads: Nathan Brown spoils Crows forward Kurt Tippett.

I wonder if it will get picked up and, if so, how long it will be before it is changed.

F is for Wryday (22)

August 19, 2010

Even though Australia is nearing the end of a very close-fought election campaign and even though I’ve followed it closely, I’ve resisted posting anything directly related to the campaign here.

But I have succomed to temptation … in a Wryday sort of way.

On the ABC’s Gruen Nation recently the topic was the art of making a good candidate ad for an election and this gem was the earliest example they could find:

As amusing as this is — don’t you just love his son? — Mr Sampson has an excuse. He was an innovator in a new form of political advertising. But what of ‘Bay-zeel’ (Basil) Marceaux, running for Governor of Tennessee?

Basil may have been nervous or he may even have had a little ‘dutch courage’ to get him through but, bad as this is, it’s not a one-off. What are you thinking Baz?!

Faith, signs and wonders

August 17, 2010

In a relatively small string, worth reading in its entirety, on CA about faith started by ‘Jerome’, his namesake ‘Jerome345’ comes up with this gem:

The remarkable thing about Charles is that he always felt that he had no “vocation” as such, no specific call from God. He simply did what was presented to him by life; helped those in need whom he encountered; prayed for those who were in his life. His fellow “little brother” (and founder of the order) Rene Voillaume spoke of Brother Charles’ notion that “God does not guide us in the abstract, or in some vague way…[but] God reveals himself in the most personal circumstances of life…[in our] ‘living’ now.”

“Faith” is not so much about ascribing to abstract ideas about the nature of the numinal world, but about living life confident that phenomenal reality is grounded in a greater reality that has purpose and meaning. Faith is not so much a search for meaning or certainty; but a prodigal dedication to living with the uncertainty and the seeming meaninglessness of our world.

I really liked the quote, especially the last paragraph although I’m tempted to modify ‘… in a greater reality that has purpose and meaning’ to ‘… in a greater reality that has purpose and meaning and love.’

When I read this kind of thing about faith it makes ‘sense’ (for want of a better word) to me. It’s not about ‘signs and wonders’, it’s about what’s in front of me. How do I ‘ground’ my ‘reality’ in a ‘greater reality’ that has purpose, meaning and love.

On the issue of ‘signs and wonders’ though, this has often come up on Catholica with discussions about miracles or, more recently, Mary’s virginity (see Does it Matter?, for example).

My faith is not proven because of the historicity of Jesus’ birth and death, it is demonstrated by the life of Jesus; not by his birth or death but by his life.

F is for Wryday (21)

August 13, 2010

Although I’m not one to give Murdoch media a free plug, this sign, from a series called World’s Strangest Signs, gave a moment’s amusement on a Friday.

Only in America — a follow up

August 6, 2010

A follow up to yesterday’s story on the ‘Ground Zero’ community centre in the NCR:

Ground Zero mosque: Catholics have seen this before
by Suzanne Morse on Aug. 05, 2010

A few years ago, I visited an exhibit on Catholics in New York put on by the Museum of the City of New York. It was a fascinating look at Catholic culture in an urban setting and the ethnic communities that were shaped by it, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. For a person with two Italian Catholic grandparents and one Irish Catholic grandmother, it was interesting to understand how far we’ve come.

I was jolted to see the opening elements of the exhibit include accounts of the burning of an Ursuline convent in Charlestown, Mass., in 1834 by Yankee Protestant laborers paired with writings by American inventor Samuel F.B. Morse, who was, among other things, a leader in anti-Catholic attitudes in the 19th century. I wasn’t surprised to see Morse’s anti-Catholic virulence on display — I became aware of it a long time ago and that’s a part of my heritage, too (I am indirectly related to Morse through my father). Still, it was a reminder that, not so very long ago, it was Catholics who were considered a threat to the American way of life.

You can read about the events and context that led to the Ursuline Convent riots at the massmoments.org Web site.

All of this has come to mind recently because of the ginned up controversy around the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” which is, in fact, a proposal to expand the Cordoba House community center, which has been operating in the Lower Manhattan area for several decades. Elements on the Right have twisted the proposed expansion of the center, a few blocks away from the Ground Zero site, into a larger threat of “invasion” from Muslims. This is not restricted to just New York. Similar efforts to stop mosques from being constructed here in Boston and in other parts of the country have taken place, usually with opponents invoking fears of terrorism and shadowy ties to terrorist groups.

One of the most vocal opponents has been former Speaker of the House and Catholic convert Newt Gingrich, who recently announced that he would fight any effort to impose sharia law in the United States, despite the fact that it would be impossible for sharia law to have any validity under our First Amendment.

I wonder, though, if Gingrich would be so sanguine about these efforts to demonize Muslims if his family’s heritage included the kinds of struggles that most Catholics experienced when first coming to this country? When it comes to promoting the key American value of religious tolerance, Gingrich seems to be acting in the tradition of those 19th century Protestant “Know Nothings,” who sought to use faith to provoke fear and division, and not in the Catholic tradition of Pope John Paul II, for instance, who worked hard to promote interfaith understanding.