The Dog's Tits
Sasha Castel

Tim Blair
Damian Penny
Gareth Parker
James Randi
Eject Eject Eject!!!
Bizzare Science

Premium core
The Last Decent Frog
Little Tiny Wit
Ranting Aaron
Silent Running
Catallaxy Files
Little Green Footballs
Daniel Pipes
Scott of The Eye
Sage Advice
White Rose

Girls, Girlz, Grrrlz
Hawk Girl
Jane Galt
Kathy Kinsley
Rachel Lucas
A Small Victory
Angie Schultz
Virginia Postrel

Beautifully Wicked
Bitchin' Monaro Guide
Drivel Warehouse
Little Tiny Lies
port Israel
Capitalist Chicks
Evil Godless Swine
Professor Bunyip
The Rottweiler
Right Wing News
Frozen Montreal
Mean Mr. Mustard

Le Québécois Libre
Hot Buttered Death
Vigilant TV
Juan Gato

Bleedin' Brain
Kim Du Toit

Aussies Up Your Arse
Angry Anderson
After Grog Blog
Ken Parish
Amax Weblog
John Quiggin

Dickheads Galore

Victor Zammit
Dick Neville
The Daily Saddam
George Monbiot
Jew Killers United
I Love Osama
The Guardian
Screeching Dweebs
Noam Chomsky
John Gotti Fanzine
Green Left Weekly
The Independent


Live Whacking Permalink Archive
click "Live Whacking" button for the latest entries

13 August 2003

Quote of the day

What is a dog? A loud, stupid shitting machine. Nobody needs that.

- Ken Layne

Self-defence in Old Blighty

David Carr at Samizdata looks at the historical erosion of self-defence in the UK.

Niall Cook and the Chewbacca defence

There was a classic episode of South Park, where a Johnny Cochranesque lawyer, faced with the impossible task of defending his client, mounts the 'Chewbacca defence', which took the form of....

- "these are the facts of the case"
- "but this is Chewbacca"
- "this Chewbacca argument does not make sense"
- "it does not make sense"
- "if it does not make sense, you must acquit"

Niall Cook's grumbling defences of the ABC (over the space of three painfully laboured posts) has taken the Chewbacca road. When confronted with a viewpoint asking why someone should be compelled to pay for a broadcasting service they don't watch, Niall rants about every issue other than this. Among them...

- commercial broadcasters are crap
- the ABC and SBS are really, really popular so they deserve the money
- public broadcasters are just as vulnerable to the market as everyone else, so their survival proves their costs are justified

All of which of course (apart from being wrong) completely avoid the issue.

Well it seems he realises he's run out of room to argue, so finally (after even more waffle), Niall mounts his justification for using taxpayer money for the ABC, and it's every bit as shallow as I expected:

All the choking & spluttering under the sun doesn't remove from the fact that broadcast media depends upon popularity of its programming for survival.

And in three posts, you still haven't shown how public broadcasters can be vulnerable to ratings when they are already getting the tax dollars of people who are not watching them.

There isn't a broadcaster which wants to be seen to be programming content which is unpopular.

Which doesn't change the fact that they are unpopular.

At least I made the effort to provide hard data on the ratings of SBS, which is more than Tex does in his pathetic attempts to discredit my arguments.

You've already provided it. In your bizarre attempt to show SBS's popularity, your link actually showed that outside of the World Cup coverage, it could only grab a 5.5% audience. Naturally, Niall blusters that 5.5% is one hell of an impressive audience, because - you know - it's higher than nothing.

I could have looked a lot further for definitive examples, but I figured the first two links on a quick Google would prove the point, which they do.

They prove a point all right, but it wasn't the one you were thinking of.

Of course, Tex makes no attempt to clarify his claims, simply tries to bluster his way ahead. 16% of 19 million is 3.04 million. That's a shitload of people in anyones language.

And it's still a small minority, and that the remaining 16 million is a lot bigger...a vast majority in fact. I couldn't find the Fairfax article with the 16% 2001 figure, but I just found another which paints an even worse picture for your beloved ABC: that the 15% audience share in 2002 was it's best ever performance. That's some popular network you got there.

On step forward, two back, eh Tex? The ABC is not immune to market forces. It must function in the same broadcast marketplace that commercial entities operate in.

Except it gets public money, regardless of bad ratings, which the commercial entities do not. The ABC gets Joe Bloggs' tax money, whether or not Joe Bloggs is watching it. It is not reliant on revenue derived from the market. Commercial broadcasters rely on revenue from advertisers hoping to sell products to their audience, and this is influenced by ratings. Which part of this don't you understand?

Yes, that's right, you pay for the ABC just like I do. $0.08/day or whatever it is now. So what? You pay for national highways, collins class submarines and pollies perks.....I don't see you screaming about those aspects of public spending.

Highways should be privatised, the Collins submarines are already universally regarded as lemons, and politicians should be paid a higher salary but have their superannuation and retirement perks slashed. By the way Niall, I noticed you're changing the subject again.

Oh, would you like to define "unpopular" and "terrible ratings", Tex, or would you just like to make a bland statement expecting all & sundry to believe you?

Well, here's the point in table form:

% of taxpayers funding the ABC 100%
% of taxpayers watching the ABC 16%
% of taxpayers funding SBS 100%
% of taxpayers watching SBS 5.5%

Niall - clearly not living in the real world with the rest of us - thinks 16% and 5.5% are healthy figures next to 100%.

Anyway, after obfuscating and talking about every issue other than why my money should be used to fund the ABC, he finally presents his big point:

The justification for the ABC's funding comes as a part of your citizenship of Australia.

Ye gods, he actually wrote that. You'll notice he's now ditched the argument that the ABC exists because we all love it, or that it serves some grand purpose. Now it's because we are morally obligated to fund this wonderful institution. And why? He seems to have two reasons: 1) because we are funding it already, 2) So a minority of Australians can enjoy their own entertainment preferences without having to pay the real cost of them. Wonderful.

It's part & parcel of living here, working here and paying tax here for the National Broadcaster and all the other services the Government provides. If you don't like it, then immigrate to someplace where you're allowed to opt out of different portions of society because you don't like it. You'll be looking around for somewhere to go for a long, long time.

In other words: you should fund the ABC because I like it and it's better than the crap you like. My tastes are better than yours. So what if I can't justify spending your money on it? You are going to have to pay for it whether you like it or not. How dare you complain about the way your money is being spent. Go move somewhere else if you don't like it!

How quickly the pretensions to cultural nobility fade away. In the end, you're left with some good old fashioned bludging.

Ross Gittens: capitalism-fearing wussbag

Capitalism gives us choices. Ross Gittens thinks this is really, really scary.

I particularly liked this stunning observation:

But though some choice is obviously better than none, I think choice isn't all it's cracked up to be. In fact, I'm starting to think choice is one of the great cons of consumer capitalism. It's supposed to be a benefit to consumers, but more often it's a benefit to business.

My god, businesses exist for their own benefit?????

Attention stupid people: if consumer choice confuses or scares you, then don't choose. Don't shop. Move to Cuba. You'll lose nothing. Nobody is forcing you to engage in this frightening practice known as shopping.

Then, we have my vote for The Most Stupid Thing Anyone Has Written in 2003:

For a start, consumers often find the choices they're presented with quite confusing. You're being asked to compare an apple with an orange.

Yikes!! Who has ever been able to cope with the trauma of picking between an apple and an orange?

Psychologists tell us our brains are simply not capable of making rational choices between more than two options with differing features.

What the fuck?

It's not really possible to judge, so people divide between them pretty much 50/50.

This explains why Apple have a 50% share of the home computer market. Except they don't.

in their pursuit of higher sales and profits, businesses often use choice to manipulate their customers.

In other words: companies like to sell goods and services to customers. We can see why Gittens' economic skills are held in such high regards at the Fairfax empire. But wait, Ross reveals another shocking secret of the capitalist cabal:

A real estate salesperson, for instance, will often show you cheaper but nastier properties before they take you to the ones they think you'll like. Why? They are softening you up to pay a higher price.

Maximising the price of an asset they are trying to sell? Is there no end to the horror?

The phone companies' arrays of mobile phone "plans" are horrendously complicated and hard to compare.

Most people who buy mobile phones seem to manage it just fine, fatso.

Being able to choose gives customers the illusion of being in control. Against that, however, customers often find multi-faceted choices frustrating. No matter which way they jump, they're left with a sneaking suspicion they jumped the wrong way.

Amazing guy, he's figured out people can't afford everything they'd like.

I have a theory that so much choice is making us greedy. We rush from one thing to the next, trying to fit in as much as we can, while never getting to do all we'd hoped.

And then we wonder why we're feeling stressed and not particularly satisfied.

Part of the secret to a happy life may be less choice, not more.

Has Gittens been reading a bunch of Hugh Mackay and Richard Neville articles recently? He certainly shares their solipsistic pathetic insecurities and predictions of spiritual doom: I'm old and miserable, so the world is going to hell...... The existential ennui is crushing my spirit...... I see Pepsi where there should be Panda Bears, mobile phones where there should be leather-bound books...... Oh cruel world! If only we were more like North Korea, Sudan and Cuba, we wouldn't have all this horrible choice destroying the authenticity of our humanity.

And this arseclown is one of Australia's most respected economic commentators.

Tim Blair is gay!!

Tim is all excited about the Mini-Cooper he just grabbed, presumably to collect some fruit baskets or something.

So much for driving big manly vehicles.


If makers of alternative energy-source cars want to be taken seriously, why do they make their cars so hideously UGLY?

Sweet jesus, if you're smart enough to come up with a clean engine technology that actually works, can designing even an average-looking body be so difficult?

(via Darth)

The Paradise of Guantanamo Bay jail


Russian Mothers Plead for Sons to Stay in Guantanamo

The mothers of the eight Russians held with other prisoners from Afghanistan at the US military base at Guantanamo Bay have begged Washington not to extradite their sons to answer terror charges in Russia, fearing that conditions in their jails and judicial system are even worse than those at Camp Delta.

"In Guantanamo they treat him humanely and the conditions are fine," Amina Khasanova, the mother of Andrei Bakhitov, told the newspaper Gazeta. "I am terribly scared for my son in a Russian prison or court system."

She said her son wrote to her that conditions were so good in Camp Delta in Cuba that "there is no health resort in Russia that can compare".


Shameless grab for web traffic

Excuse me while I attract some google searches.......

Holly Valance pussy
Ann Coulter is a brainless cunt
Tim Blair is a nazi
John Howard racist fuck
Katherine Heigl tits
Avril Lavigne's ass
Kurt Cobain autopsy photos

Thank you for your time.


MC News
AMA Superbikes
Motorcycle News
Perth Bikes
Oz Trikes
World Superbikes

Holly Valance
Eliza Dushku
Katherine Heigl
Michelle Williams
Kate Winslet
Kristin Kreuk

Dark Horizons
Roger Ebert

FrontPage Mag
The Smoking Gun
Straight Dope
Against Nature
Australian Skeptics
Shooters Party
Currency Converter

Assorted Gubshite
Draggin Jeans
Really Cute Chess Geek
Pure rancour
Brunching Shuttlecocks
The Onion
Omega Chess

Coopers Ale

Hahn Ice
Crown Lager
Carlton Draught
Tooheys New
James Squire

Barrett Rifles
Smith & Wesson
Ruger Firearms

Support Brave Multinationals!!!