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Showing posts from October, 2006

Prahran: Vote Clem... the Movie

Like him or not, Clem Newton-Blog is full of creative campaigning energy. This time he's heading to cyberspace to get his message heard. "Vote Clem... the movie" might not be quite as controversial as the works of the Werribee Kings, but it shows that the internet can be a local force as well as a global one.

Kudos ought to go to Newton-Brown and his campaign team for putting together the video in the first place. As for the content, it's a mixed bag.

Newton-Brown seems to have an absurdly illogical position on car parking. Setting aside the objection that it's a local issue rather than a state issue, N-B wants to have his cake, and eat it too. To start with, he makes clear that there should be no metered parking on or around Chapel Street. He then goes on to say that the car park at Cato Street, adjacent to Chapel Street, should be demolished and a public square put in its place. In other words, N-B wants to both reduce the supply and the price of a scarce …

Prahran: Green Games

The local Greens have launched their campaign website, and it makes their upper house intentions clear. Sue For Parliament is not some highly legalistic method of entering the hallowed halls of Spring Street, but is instead the party's site for the Southen Metropolitan candidate, Sue Pennicuik. Local Prahran candidate Justin Walker is also featured on the site, complete with the seemingly obligatory blog.

It's no surprise that the Legislative Council is where the Greens are focussing their energies. The new multi-member electorates mean that the party is in with a realistic chance of winning up to four seats, and with it the balance of power. Although the polls may vary on just how high their vote will be (Galaxy had them on 7%, AC Neilson on 13%) the reality is that this election is likely to be a watershed for the watermelons.

It will be interesting to see how the major parties respond.

The ALP need to tread carefully. The two parties are in competition for the left-of-cen…

A tale of two cities

Forget different demographics, Melbourne's two daily newspapers seem to be operating in different universes.

Over at the People's Republic of News Limited:

Poll reveals Labor backlash
EXCLUSIVE
Ellen Whinnett, state politics reporter

October 24, 2006 12:00am

THE Bracks Government is facing a voter backlash and could lose up to 16 seats, an exclusive Herald Sun poll shows.

Almost 60 per cent of those polled believe the Government is out of touch while half say Labor does not deserve to win the November 25 state election.

The poll shows voters deserting Labor in droves, with a swing of almost 6 per cent against the party.

Whilst over in the far more Bracks-friendly Commonwealth of Fairfax, it's a very different story:

Liberals face crushing loss at poll
Paul Austin
October 24, 2006

THE Victorian Liberals are in danger of a crushing defeat at next month's election, with the latest ACNielsen/ Age Poll showing Premier Steve Bracks on track for a landslide victory.

But the poll, conduct…

North Korea: Time to start talking

I've been a little quiet of late on the topic of Korea, although I've been thinking about it a lot. Last night I was listening to a couple of veteran North Asia watchers, and it crystalised my thoughts on the current reality:

The US's attempts at isolating North Korea have failed at preventing the development of nuclear capability. South Korea's sunshine policy of engagement has failed at containing North Korea. But the actions of each actor has undermined the actions of the other, so both isolation and engagement has been half-hearted. So where do we go from here?

My hunch is there's only one way to go, and it isn't reflected in popular opinion about the subject. In record time the UN Security Council raced toward further isolation, creating a resolution that would freeze out the North Koreans even more than the absurdity of their own Juche policy does. If it wasn't for the reluctance of the Chinese, the resolution would be even harsher. Some of the r…

Review: Hephzibah

It may have been eight years after the film was made, but I've cracked it for a film review in the Australian Jewish News (Melbourne and Sydney editions!). The film is an interesting one, and certainly worth seeing if you have a curiousity for what makes a great mind tick:

Tribute to a woman ahead of her time

Film review: HEPHZIBAH
Reviewed by Ari Sharp

THE great Yehudi Menuhin occupies a revered place in the Jewish imagination: he was a fantastically-talented virtuoso violinist, as strong in character as he was in creative ability.

Less well known, however, is his sister Hephzibah. Hephzibah Menuhin is the subject of Curtis Levy’s documentary of the same name.

Originally produced and released by SBS Independent in 1998, the film is being re-released now in the hope of finding a new audience. Since Hephzibah, Levy has gone on to be the cinematographer of Phillip Noyce’s Rabbit Proof Fence, and also directed the controversial documentary, The President Versus David Hicks.

It is fitting…

Small (minded) Britain?

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The past few weeks I've been getting into the comic brilliance that is Little Britain (and you thought the scarce posting was due to work and uni commitments...). Without doubt, the content is funny, but the more I watch it, the more I see a nasty, almost xenophobic streak running through the portrayal of the characters. In fairness, I've only watched the first series, so things might be different with the recent stuff, but I doubt it.

Here's my take on it. Little Britain is a show for middle class, tertiary educated BBC-watchers (and their Australian counterparts) which takes the piss out of everyone else: the old, the decrepid, the gay, the disabled, the working class, the transvestite, the fat, the Scottish. In other words, it's cultural insiders laughing at (most definitely not with) cultural outsiders.

The dozen or so regular characters represent the subconscious prejudices of a mildly insecure audience. None of the characters represent the sort of people who m…