The Dog's Tits
Sasha Castel

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

Premium core
The Daily James
The Last Decent Frog
Bloody Wogs
Little Tiny Wit
Hi-Fi Writer
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

Le Québécois Libre
Hot Buttered Death
Vigilant TV
Juan Gato

Bleedin' Brain
Kim Du Toit

Up Your Arse
Paul Bickford
Angry Anderson
After Grog Blog
Ken Parish
Amax Weblog
John Quiggin
Steve Edwards

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

17 September 2003

More of the agonizing pain that is Ross Gittens' life

Chief Economics Wussy at the Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittens, is moaning again about the abundance of choice and freedom capitalism produces.

In his latest word-bilge, Gittens fawns over some godawful "the world is going to hell" book written by Labor party muppet Lindsay Tanner.

After more than a decade of A-grade economic performance and rising prosperity, the question a lot of people are asking is: if we're so rich, why aren't we happy? Tanner's answer is that developments in the modern world - not just economic reforms, but changing technology and our move to more liberated, individualistic lives - are causing our relationships to break down.

Gittens - of course - cites no evidence for this.

Humans are social beings. Our lives have meaning essentially in the context of our relationships with other human beings. So relationships are central to the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole.

Gittens' powers of sociological insight are a thing of wonder.

Tanner says information technology is changing the way we relate to each other more dramatically than we realise. On the face of it, mobile phones and internet emails greatly increase our contact with friends and relations. That may be a plus - but there are also negatives.

"My mobile phone might help me stay in touch, but it also interrupts face-to-face conversation and personal interaction," Tanner says. "Mobile phones can seriously detract from the quality - and quantity - of time we spend with our children."

So? Turn the fucking thing off, you dickhead.

Here comes the obligatory whinge about customer service:

Then there's the advent of telephone call centres, the great "efficiency" I think has done most to depersonalise (that is, damage) relationships between big businesses and their customers.

Yes, it means someone will be able to take your call when you phone them. What a horrible development.

He goes on to state the revelatory point that free markets are a result of individualism and libertarianism. You know, unlike all those collectivist free markets we've heard so much about.

And he comes his grand moan:

Freedom for the individual is fine - up to a point. That point is reached when the pursuit of individualism starts to erode the relationships that provide our emotional sustenance. It's reached when noble sentiments about individual freedom degenerate into the mindless pursuit of materialism.

"mindless pursuit of materialism" - ie. buying a nice home, a car, the yearly holiday, Xmas presents for your family, and building up retirement savings. Things which will provide for your future and the future of your family. As a capitalist-fearing wussy, one shudders at the thought. You greedy bastards all of you. You should be unemployed at home, reading Heidegger to your kids and teaching them about an "authentic existence".

It's worth noting too, that the grossly obese Gittens' idea of "mindless materialism" doesn't inlcude gorging himself with donuts.

Tanner argues that by now, our crowded lives are gradually shredding our relationships with each other.

"We've built a society in which we have less time for our children, less interaction with our neighbours, less involvement in the community, and less participation in collective activities,"

Which I guess explains the continued popularity of this, this, this, this and this.

It's taken the economic rationalists years to twig that the free market system depends on an elaborate network of community relationships and social trust in order to function properly.

No, Mr. Economics Writer, the free market system depends on people being able to spend their money on what they want, without twats like you telling them what they should be spending it on.

So rampant individualism is undermining the very economic system that champions the interests of the individual. Without an underpinning of social inclusion and economic co-operation, a market system first becomes a lot more costly to run (because you can't trust anyone) and ultimately descends into gangster capitalism.

And we've already seen what Gittens means by "gangster capitalism": the nightmare of people being able to choose between different products. Let's recap what Gittens said a few weeks ago, when he wrote one of the biggest howlers in the history of australian journalism;

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

Those vicious "gangster" capitalists, mercilessly inflicting different fruits upon us.

How has this unsatisfactory state of our relationships come about? Through neglect. Tanner says that, since the industrial revolution, it's the material aspects of human relationships - economics, in other words - that have dominated politics in the developed countries.

Noooooooo!!....really? A stunning development that, given that since the industrial revolution, people have actually gained the ability to vote and earn money. I guess Gittens and Tanner prefer the love and hugs you only get with feudalism.

Governments and political parties have largely ignored relationship issues, perhaps assuming they're the responsibility of priests and psychologists.

Or perhaps they assumed these were private matters for individuals and families and that, just maybe, politicians should keep their bloody noses out of it.

And then we've had the attitude that we don't want governments engaging in "social engineering". What's apparent now, however, is that - whether they think about it or not - government policies do affect relationships.

Great. Ross wants some good old government micro-management of our private lives. We can have Brian Harradine, Natasha Stott-Despoja, Martin Ferguson and Bob Katter determining our relationships. Gee, does this sound like fun to you?

Tanner argues that, just as major cabinet decisions are required to be accompanied by formal assessments of their likely implications for the budget and for the environment, so they should be accompanied by assessments of their implications for our relationships.

Yes, and the answer to those implications is for the government to do a lot less of everything. That's not the way for Tanner and Gittens though. They want a Ministry of Cuddles.

It would be no magic solution, obviously. But at least it might help move our politicians to a higher level of enlightenment

'Enlightenment', of course, meaning bigger government.

Motorcycling beats space travel

More people dream of riding a motorcycle than going in to space according to a recent survey conducted for the BBC.

The pole asked 20,000 people the one thing they most wanted to do before they died and more of them said they wanted to ride a motorcycle than go in to space, climb Mount Everest, or… visit Disney World.

See? This is what I've been telling you people all along.

Tyson vs. Foreman: the great fight that never was

Mike Tyson
Older, fatter & slower, but still packing a punch that could kill elephants: George Foreman in the 90's

A fascinating piece over at East Side Boxing about the reasons a Mike Tyson vs. George Foreman bout never eventuated back in 1990.

Could the jolly old fat bald guy, 15 years past his prime really have been a match for the seemingly invincible Iron Mike? Most laughed at the idea. Everyone it seems, except Tyson himself.

Goodman stated that Tyson said Foreman was much better than people thought, and was a dangerous fight for any of the top heavyweights. Goodman proceeded to explain how Tyson was calling Foreman a big con man, and explained that the grandpop act was just a front. He said Tyson saw Foreman as trying to set up the boxing world into thinking he was a pushover, knowing that he really wasn't. Tyson said Foreman was a wolf in sheep's clothing. Goodman continued to say that after seeing Tyson's response to King trying to push him into a fight with Foreman, he had no doubt that Tyson had fear of Foreman.


It is absolutely a fact that Mike Tyson was afraid to fight 41-year-old George Foreman--the same Foreman who Evander Holyfield would fight and beat in April of 1991. I have not a doubt that had Foreman and Tyson fought anytime between 1990 and 1997 that Foreman would have knocked Tyson out inside of three rounds. Tyson just has nothing to beat Foreman with; his edge in hand speed would have been a non-factor. He can't beat him by backing away, and he would have gotten his head handed to him if he brought the fight to Foreman. In addition, Foreman was bigger, stronger, tougher and hit harder. Not to mention the fact that Foreman had a better chin and no fear or doubt, unlike Tyson, who was full of fear and self-doubt.


I haven't a morsel of a doubt that Tyson just doesn't match up with Foreman, and he knows it. If Tyson of 1990 was afraid of an old Foreman, think how petrified he would of been of a prime Foreman, the one who stared down both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali in 1973 and 1974.

I kinda agree. Foreman in his prime would have destroyed Tyson within two rounds. I disagree that the older George would have finished off Iron Mike so easily, though my money would still be on the old man. His sheer size, concrete chin and savage hitting power would get Tyson in the end. What a shame we never saw this.


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

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

Assorted Gubshite
East Side Boxing
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!!!