The Australian Housing Crisis 2009

After highlighting concerns over housing shortages and affordability on recent threads I was contacted and asked if I could post the following for discussion.  The person would like to remain anonymous, however, they did feel that ‘many of the caring and intelligent people who visit ‘Blogocrats’, not my words, would offer honest feedback and put forward potential solutions.

Here are the key facts from ‘Issues in Society’: Continue reading

Monday Monday

Hello, good afternoon and welcome..

To our beginning of the working week thread. This is the place where we can share our excitement or anticipation of what this week may hold and/or reflect upon the weekend that has passed.

Or indeed, just ramble on about whatever you like…

Someone had the poor taste to bring up Khamal Kamahl on another thread. Kamahl, for the benefit of our younger viewers, is this Malaysian born Sri Lankan bloke who became famous in the 70’s for a song about an elephant naturally enough called “The Elephant Song”.

He’s also famous for constantly whining “why are people so unkind?” without realising that perhaps it had something to do with his crap singing.

Anyway, I’m sure youse of got much more important things to talk about…

Bloghomie Spells The End of Blogs

(or Bring back the biff) writes Tony of South Yarra…

Part of the appeal of visiting blogs, particularly political ones that lean in a certain ideological direction, is the opportunity to crush another’s precious values and ideals under the weight of your own powerful arguments, proving your righteousness in the process.

Political discourse is by nature combative, and political blogs are the outlet to which many e-savvy citizens turn in order to robustly argue the issues of the day, leaving weaker opponents languishing in the trail of their debating brilliance.

As tense and adversarial as blog-debating may be, it can at the same time be a surprisingly pleasant experience – even dangerously so, if you’re not careful.

Occasionally, you will come across that most lethal of all blog residents: the nice-guy or -gal. This is someone who, if you drop your guard for just a moment, will unfailingly seek to impress you.

A deceptively respectful opponent, who sneakily refuses to resort to personal attacks, and frustratingly insists on articulating arguments in a logical and coherent manner, this is an opponent to be feared.

They are everything you wish your online identity pretended to be, but isn’t: smart, sensible, logical, funny, and disarmingly friendly.

It will take all of your wit and guile to resist being drawn in by them. In fact, in another place, at another time, you might even have been convinced they were your friend.

Regular online contact with this individual is perilous, because it continually reinforces the false feeling of friendship, until the friendship seems almost real. It is at this point when you are likely to exhibit behavioural changes.

You see, it is not natural to want to hurt your friends – even those of the imaginary online variety – and, contrary to your previous pattern, you won’t.

There have been countless documented instances already where once-fierce no-holds-barred online competitors have refrained from challenging – on even the most trivial point of contention – merely to avoid conflict with some new-found cyber-buddy.

A newly discovered phenomenon, thought to be a rare strain of Stockholm Syndrome known as Bloghomie, and described as ‘an unnatural geniality between blog antagonists, often at the expense of intellectual honesty and flame wars,’ could be responsible.

Already diagnosed at a multitude of sites across the internet, Bloghomie is being blamed for the silencing of dissent on many blogs.

Many lively websites – some once fondly referred to as bloodhouses – are sadly little more than chat-rooms now – places to exchange knitting patterns and film reviews. Nice to stop by and visit, to be sure, but completely devoid of the nastiness that was once their reason to exist.

It’s time to take a stand, citizens of cyber-space. Al Gore didn’t invent the internet so all this friendliness and pleasant behaviour could bring it crashing down around him. This has got to stop.

Bring back the biff, people, or prepare to watch as our once-mighty conflict-fuelled weblogs are fatally starved of oppositional oxygen and life-giving food-fights, all in the name of net-neutralising niceness.

Save our blogs. Let’s get ugly again.


Flick Crit: The Combination

Promised review of David Field’s film The Combination now out:

The Combination: Testosterone Rules

After all the conflict at the opening sessions in Sydney, only one other person was in the St Kilda cinema at lunchtime on Saturday to see The Combination. A pity, because this is an Aussie film with attitude. It’s a good story, competently told. Actor and now director, David Field’s first effort is tight and straightforward.


This is the opportunity to discuss multiculturalism, race, drugs, crime, violence, youth and even love.


A few people have pointed out that they’d like to contain discussions about economics and the state of the economy rather than have a whole series of threads – sensory overload I think a few have called it.

After considerable thought ( it’s not my original idea)  what I’d like to introduce is a series of weekly threads (one per week) in order to discuss a wide variety of concerns and opinions on the state of our economy and what needs to be done to address the problems as well as explore opportunities. Continue reading