Monday, March 08, 2021

I don't understand

An Australian television news blog publishes a post with a poorly written and incomplete headline. How did that happen, one wonders. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Staying apart keeps us together

Whilst it's unusual to write a review of a book that you haven't finished reading, this is an example of a history book that speaks to the present day, and the current world situation. Richard J Evans is a prolific historian, specializing in Nazi Germany. Published in 2020, his latest work, The Hitler Conspiracies: The Third Reich and the Paranoid Imagination, deconstructs and debunks conspiracy theories involving Hitler and the Nazis: that the Jews had a secret plot to undermine civilization, as outlined in the Protocols of Zion, that Germany lost the First World War because it was "stabbed in the back" by socialists and Jews in 1918, that the Nazis burned down the Reichstag in February 1933 in order to seize power, Rudolf Hess's 1941 flight to the UK to offer the British a peace deal was sanctioned by Hitler, and that Hitler escaped the bunker in 1945 and fled to South America. 

One way to counter conspiracy theories is with sober, factual analysis. The author offers this book for "our own troubled times." It was published before the start of the Covid pandemic, but plenty of conspiracy theories have arisen surrounding it, circulated rapidly by alternative news outlets and social media, perhaps adding to the general sense of fear and uncertainty that presently pervades the world. For this reason, this type of book is needed more than ever.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Sleeping on the job?

Since the opposition Liberal Party has no realistic chance of winning the Western Australia state election in March, extravagant election promises like this are a mere formality. I know of Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, but have no idea who this McGown chap is. Perhaps this post was written when the author was about to retire for the night. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Cabin fever

To keep up the spirits of my reader during this third Coronavirus lockdown in the People's Republic of Victoria, I have repurposed Australian country singer Chad Morgan's 1969 single, In the Nuthouse, as a humorous lockdown song. Think of Victoria as a metaphorical "nuthouse", and the home as a "little padded cell." Enjoy. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Bottom of my to do list

I don't go out of the way to watch Brad Pitt movies. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was released in 2007, but I only got around to watching it recently on Netflix. 
My knowledge of the Western outlaw Jesse James and his criminal exploits is sketchy at best. I remember that the American documentary series In Search Of..., hosted by Leonard Nimoy, and a Sunday afternoon staple on Australian television for many years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, did an episode about his death. Cher sung a song about him in 1989. He may have been mentioned in passing when I studied American history at university. 

Most notably, in an episode of The Brady Bunch, Bobby Brady went through a phase of being obsessed with him, seeing the error of his ways after his father arranges for him to meet the author of a book who wrote an account of James killing his father when he was a child, and then has a nightmare in which James shoots and kills the entire Brady family. 

Bobby awakes from the dream a changed boy, and another Brady family crisis is averted within 30 minutes of running time.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Turn off the lights on your way out

As Donald Trump prepares to leave the office of President of the United States, he is no doubt working on his farewell address. One of only three one-term Presidents in the last forty years, it will be interesting to see what he comes up with.

This is Jimmy Carter's farewell address, given almost forty years ago to the day, but still timely in some respects in the present day. Somehow I doubt that Trump's address will be as measured and statesmanly as Carter's.