November 11, 2019

Lest We Remember

In early March 1919, demonstrations in Cairo, mainly by students, initiated an outburst of anti-British rioting, which within a few days spread through all the lower provinces and extended to upper Egypt. The situation was exacerbated by the local civil service's declaration of a general strike and the rapid suspension of railway and telegraph services. In the absence of a large British force in Egypt, elements of the Australian and ANZAC Mounted Divisions, then awaiting embarkation to Australia, were instructed to restore order. Within a month of the uprising order had been restored and principal political agitators imprisoned. The flexibility and mobility of the ANZAC forces involved were principal factors in the suppression of the rioting.
At the Australian War Memorial web page for the Egyptian Uprising 1919, "Category: Riot"

See also the collection items: an improvised cricket bat from Egypt in 1919, which for some reason they keep in the Western Front gallery, and the diary of an Australian CO - I wonder what all the references to military courts involving men with Arabic names were about.

October 14, 2019


Outsiders are supposed to be good because they bring the perspective of, well, outsiders. Before he worked in the Office of the White House Counsel, Shomik Dutta was pressing his street cred to the fundraising arm of the Obama campaign. His pitch? “You need someone who really understands the mid-Atlantic—the less established donors, the real-estate-developer folks.” That’s what passes for heterodoxy in these quarters.

October 12, 2019


Niceness is the blank grin on the face of the psychopath: it is the public enactment of all the forms of love and kindness without the troublesome burden of loving anyone or treating people with kindness.

September 27, 2019


Actually, while we're here, let's enjoy the imprecise creepiness of this sign from the foyer.


I think my desk calendar is taking the piss.

August 29, 2019


Just now watching "The Commuter", from the Philip K. Dick anthology series Electric Dreams, I am amused to note that the creepy "perfect" town of Macon Heights is portrayed by Poundbury, the famously real-life Dickian exemplar of the dangers of confusing utopian simulacra with a better life.
Poundbury, in the outskirts of Dorchester is a toytown for Prince Charles. Here his architectural views have been given reign. It is an ‘unashamedly traditional’, low, zoning-free faux Georgiania, of car-less dream alleys and not-too-high towers, a market-town fantasia... The paths are gravel for appearances’ sake, for the sake of the picture: that gravel spreads and is a nightmare for pushchairs does not matter.

Many of the 25-year-old exteriors of Poundbury have been constructed with fake bricked-up windows, emulations of the real avoidance-mechanism dating from the 1696 Window Tax.

In Poundbury, strict rules disallow illuminated signs, or clothes-driers, aerials, metres, air extractors, ventilation openings, dustbins, solar cells being visible from the street. And yet here are unwindows, a facile and putrid kitsch homage to a devastating, unsanitary and hated repressive measure, that condemned people to unventilated darkness, is a tasteful detail.

Here, the bad picturesque lives, or is at least undead.

from Skewing the Picture, by China Mieville.

August 23, 2019


In breaking news, Australian breakfast television host David Koch is still fucking alive.

July 17, 2019

Name the Bats

I never realised Palin did SNL. H/t Mr Perrin

July 13, 2019

Man is the warmest plasticine to hide...

Ohmigod why have I not seen this before.

May 17, 2019

Vale Bodgie

It's unsurprising our media are choosing to focus on the Tiananmen Square thing and a fair amount of content provider wank about his "common touch", rather than his orchestrating a wage freeze during an economic boom, privatising everything that wasn't nailed down, deregulating everything else, generally selling out ALP policy and the party base while cozying up to the moneyed elite, marching in lockstep with US imperialism, and providing the inspiration for Blairism. But as you're supposed to say something nice at such times, let's celebrate his legacy as being that he has forced the bilious commissars of Newscorps, and Coalition scumbags themselves, to say something nice about a Labor politician the day before an election; that must feel like swallowing an echidna tail-first. And then we can go and cozily ignore Hawke's contribution to getting us to precisely where we are now, when we give government tomorrow to the charisma free Hawke clone who is the best we can hope for these days.

May 07, 2019


Well, this seems fairly comprehensive...

April 14, 2019


I gotta say I'm loving this more than usually clueless outbreak of spineless content providers for advertising platforms imagining they belong to a profession.