Social Observation Archive

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 […]

Whingeing That Their Choices Have Consequences

Recent research apparently shows if you don’t contribute to superannuation, you have less superannuation. The way this bombshell has been reported is an absurd example of the unwillingness of the self-absorbed to accept that their choices may involve trade-offs. It is also an example of the unthinking way journalists writing in what used to be […]

Getting Service Culture Horribly Wrong

There are times when you walk into a hotel and you like the feel they’ve gone for. When it’s obvious the designer and hotelier have got together and worked something out. Spent a fortune on fitout and on extras; built an atmosphere and set an emotional tone that makes a stay memorable. And then you […]

A Curmudgeon and The Creativity of Limits

A mate mentioned the other day that his internal response  to many of my posts was: You’re probably right, but for God’s sake, go get laid. Apart from the fact that as a critique it is probably true of most men in their forties, he has a point. When I started this blog I considered […]

Revolutionaries Become What They Hated

The flood of the revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy. The chains of tormented mankind are made out of red tape - Kafka

Yup, The Green Fixation Has Gone Too Far

It’s not news that the words ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ have been so grossly abused and misused that they have lost all meaning. Other than implying some sort of generalised moral goodness. But when sales copy in the world of sex toys comes to be dominated by concern for the environment, then you know something […]

Taking My Rants On Tour

Local magazine Ciao has been kind enough to ask me to rant at their readers. See here how writing about the failures of feminism has kept me away from muttering on street corners from Balmain to Newtown.

Non-News: Twitter A Wank, Leans Left

Thirty words at most. Less if you allow for hashtags or mentions. Made for snide, silly, smug, and on occasion, outrageously funny. Generally though, apart from the “alert-type” tweet with link attached to a longer piece, the vast majority of residents in Twitter-ville are the sort of people who would stand naked at their window, […]

Four-letter Feminism

“Hey slut!” “I hate her. She’s a c**t.” No, not the street talk of ganged-up urban teens. Thirty-something women at a social event. Upper middle class, aspirational, social-climbing even. The century-long linguistic fight the Left has fought against reality – you know, the one that uses everything from de Saussure to Foucault, Baudrillard to Critical […]

Discretion, Honour and Social Media

Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and just plain writing all place real tension in my social and professional life. As someone who serves senior private and public sector clients there is a real conflict between my interest in policy and productivity issues and the confidentiality I feel is a central part of my relationship with them. There […]

Chuggers Offer Their Hand, Take Social Capital

Chuggers – charity muggers – have exploded across our footpaths these last few years. Not literally, though on occasion had that happened it would have elicited cheers from a harried sidewalk population. This is an especial issue for those of us in the inner city, where the combination of backpackers, greenies and the muso underclass […]

The Real Future Eaters

The developed world’s extended post-war adolescence is drawing to a close. Too bad it’s too late. Adolescence is marked by black and white thinking, a tendency to blame others for one’s own failures or for unmotivated events, overweening self obsession and moral idealism. It is also marked by continuing dependency, and being faced by choices […]