The fact that marriage isn't yet equal in Australia is saddening, depressing and annoying. But, given John Howard's 2004 anti-equal-marriage amendment to federal marriage law and the fact that the Constitution explicitly reserves marriage to the federal government, the High Court made the right decision. For the Australian Capital Territory's Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act … Continue reading High Court did the best it could on same-sex marriage
How should we judge someone's words? By intent, by effect, or what? How much does unintended offence matter? Also, LILY ALLEN and TWERKING and EATING IRISH BABIES. I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only … Continue reading Did globalisation kill satire? And is that for the best?
Anne Treasure has written an excellent piece on the impact of digitisation and globalisation on the publishing industry. The piece is global in scope, and works well in the context of UK and US publishers and writers. The picture is more complicated in Australia, where the global shift creates an additional problem. Traditionally books by … Continue reading Globalisation and the death of literary Australiana
THINGS MIGRANTS SAY IN POLITE CONVERSATION (WHICH ARE TRUE): "Hello, new friend-of-friend. [if person notes ethnicity in conversation] Yes, I do like it here, thank you. Yes, I’m intending to stay here. Yup, the weather is great and the people are friendly. No, haha, fair, I’m probably still gonna support my home country team against … Continue reading Locals are from Earth; migrants are from Venus, Mars, Alpha Centauri, wherever
In the lead-up to the 2010 UK general election, many civil libertarians of my acquaintance (not solely Screaming Loony Privatise The Army Libertarians, but people of all economic stripes who believe that broadly, trials are a good thing and torture is a bad thing) were suggesting that for all a putative Tory government's likely failings, … Continue reading The importance of framing
The simple fact of the matter is that capitalist democracy, for all its crippling limitations, has been immeasurably less oppressive and a lot more democratic than any communist regime, whatever the latter's achievements in economic, social and other fields. - notorious communist Ralph Miliband. Hat tip to @durrant_james on the Twitters.
So Dan Nolan was wondering how much beer it would take to kill you. It turns out the answer (LD50) is 42.5 cans in an hour, or 61 cans in a 24-hour day for a normal drinker, or 96.5 cans in a 24-hour day for a heavy drinker who hasn't yet developed serious liver damage. … Continue reading How To Calibrate A Booze Up So You’re Halfway Likely To Die