Social Observation Archive

The indoctrination factories may be less effective than we fear

Indoctrination from school scolds – and the overweening hypocrisy of the gender, racial and other narratives they push – are creating spontaneous, if cynical, teenage conservatives.

We don’t need right-wing comedy

Be clear: comedy can be about politics, but the moment it is for politics rather than for humour, the comedy dies.

Tattoo Taste

If a tattoo design isn't something you'd consider good enough to put on your living room wall, the question is, why would you put it on your body? In a permanent way? Do people even ask themselves that question?

Layers of Promotion

I pay to watch cricket that is used to sell the products in the advertisements that appear in between overs; and between innings I pay to watch music artists singing a song they want me to buy, while promoting fatty chicken that Cricket Australia and the music artists are paid to promote.

Food Porn and Obesity

The proliferation of TV cooking shows, food travel diaries, competitive chef-ing, food documentaries and reality cook-offs poses questions beyond the relative cost of TV production. Throw in food blogs and tiresome café conversations about diets, nutrition and weight loss and it is clear the most unhealthy aspect of modern food is the way it is corroding our culture, not our digestive tracts.

The Many Faces of Opera

The music lover, opera buff, the poseur, the self-deluder, the bunny and the critic all respond differently to a performance.

Some Hobbies Are More Equal Than Others

When the current Federal government spends $740 million on arts and culture each year, you'd think those painters and sculptors and dramaturgs and video masturbators would be reasonably happy. That doesn't even include State and Local government cash. But no. And their Greens protectors want more.

Other People’s Money

We have a recurring lungful of union corruption (HSU, AWU), the disinterment of Roozendal-Macdonald-Obeid deals, Mr Tinkler’s largesse with his creditors’ cash, union misuse of superannuation control,  unfunded Federal dental, NDIS, pension, and Gonski schemes, and an array of bureaucratic taxes and social policies that blithely assume away their impact on businesses and consumers (child […]

FFS – The Flight From Substance

A social media flash highlights the badge-wearing do-nothingness of our political class. The Good and Just have fled from substance in an unprecedented way over the past 30 years. My only guess is that when they engage with reality, with what actually works, it causes such cognitive dissonance they have to run.

There Truly Is No Shame

OK, there isn’t much to say, but I’ll say it. It’s a very odd world where a convicted rapist and known wife-beater with a drug problem, who is renowned for blowing $300m on just about nothing, can be seen to be a drawcard for small and medium business people who want to expand their businesses. […]

Decay of the Fashionable Left

Nothing explains the decay of the fashionable left better than this. Juvenile, permanently oppositional, trashing every truly radical, liberating change for the better from the past 500 years, medievalist at heart. I hesitate to use the terms Left and Right anymore – alignments and beliefs have clearly changed. Cassandra Wilkinson talks about free and unfree, […]

Ergas’ Analysis Shows Up The Dilettantes

Henry Ergas  nails, with forensic thoroughness, the nonsense that passes for regulation review at the Federal level. In truth, it’s a nonsense at all levels of government, but the Feds are the paradigm case under the current government. The way in which he does it – seriously, looking to the long term –  calls to […]

Play The Bully Card, Then Bully

Ahhh, yes, it’s always the Centre-Right that teeters on the edge of incivility and the resort to threat and violence, isn’t it? When you define as bullying  the attempt to hold  accountable  a politician in power, because bullying is bad, especially of a woman, and then resort to it in the same tweet, it kinda […]

Basket Weavers Bow Out

A bizarre generational divide has emerged while I’ve been working the streets for the current local council elections. When you’re handing out for a centre-right party in the Sydney’s Inner West, you expect abuse. When I started a few years ago, old timers told me to take tissues to deal with the spit. The young […]

Beware Bullying

Our social and media treatment of bullying needs an urgent examination. Nothing says that more than the fact that I feel I need to tread carefully and express myself with caveats and qualifications.  And that’s not because of current celebrity travails and defamation laws. The bullying bandwagon is definitely short of space; from MP speeches […]