Friday, April 30, 2004

Strange, but this debate over Doonesbury and the coffin photos brings to mind something that "Sopranos" creator David Chase has said: That his goal is to make people squirm, to make them uncomfortable. I think that's part of the media's job--to make people uncomfortable, to make them squirm, to make them feel sick if necessary. I don't mean shock for its own sake, but the shock of uncomfortable and painful realities that force us to challenge our assumptions.
Jonathan Potts

Off the Record
I mean no disrespect to The Times, but what discriminating citizen can really afford to rely on only one source of news? And can't all discriminating readers contextualize what their newspapers (or television stations or radio hosts or Web logs) tell them?
· Paper of Record? No Way, No Reason, No Thanks
[Link Poached from ]
· See Also Newspapers, especially, have a duty to show all aspects of a war, its ugly side as well as its public policy side
· See Also Critic: I know journos who want to write real press criticism

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Arthur Sulzberger of the New York Times: We had a truly horrible year at the New York Times last year. ... "The scariest thing of all of last year for me... wasn't Jayson Blair.... The scariest part was that the people we lied about didn't bother to call because they just assumed that's the way newspapers worked. That's scary.
As Jeff Jarvis says: Amen and amen again

Burned by the Sunburnt Country of My Exile: Everything is Costed Nothing is Valued
ME and my big mouth… A reader has taken me to task for the items that appeared last month calling new Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore a crypto-communist.
· Hillary's Clover Moore challenge
· See Also Humans are herd animals. When we see other people trading up to better homes, we have an almost irresistible urge to join them
· See Also How much is Google worth? [Link Poached from ]

Monday, April 26, 2004

A crimson thread links Marcel Caux to Linda Baulch. It's a thread that hangs heavily with fame and with folly, with bright hopes and sorrowful endings. It's part of Australia's collective sentiment, deep in the heart's core. It's called Anzac...

ANZAC Memories
GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

· Away in far Gallipolli: As Ferguson points out to describe one of the great military disasters as 'dirty' is an absurd reduction [ via Barista ]
[ courtesy of Google: Tears for war tales; Societies reaffirm their collective sentiments from time to time, and Australians reaffirm theirs every Anzac Day]
· See Also Full Coverage: ANZAC
· See Also A top-secret Anzac Day visit: It's a small risk I take . . . Mr Howard with Australian troops during the Anzac Day dawn service at Baghdad
· See Also Pat Tillman, K.I.A. U.S. Army Ranger and Ex-NFL Player Pat Tillman Killed in Afghanistan
· See Also Are we feeling comfortable yet? Through the Wire: Their torment is carried out by our Government, in our names

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Vanunu said of Mossad and Shin Bet, which he accused of cruel, barbaric treatment... You didn't succeed to break me, you didn't succeed to make me crazy. I am a symbol of the will of freedom, that you cannot break the human spirit.

The Secret of the B-29
Barry Siegel of the Los Angeles Times spent eight months unraveling the story of a 50-year-old court case that "provides a fundamental basis for much of the Bush administration's response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, including the USA Patriot Act and the handling of terrorist suspects. The case, involving the families of three men who died in an B-29 plane crash and the ability of the government to withhold information about the accident, created a legal privilege
· that has enabled federal agencies to conceal conduct, withhold documents and block troublesome civil litigation, including suits by whistle-blowers and possible victims of discrimination [link first seen at Scoop]
· See Also Siegel used declassified Air Force records and court documents for the story

Friday, April 23, 2004

Hard core irony of window dressing? An exclusive Sydney club (not far away from Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia) had a security policy that scanned law-abiding citizens with metal detectors but let "heavies" and bikies enter unchecked because of fears of violence.

It's hard to know what is more disturbing... The road and river map is not dead; iraq is free; the referendum is now good; and, as orwell might have added, war is peace... Revelation (9:14-15) maintains that four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of men... Madness Explained...

Putting Our Ideas up for Destiny
A small number of citizens whose ideas are regarded as exceptional, brilliant, and world changing. The bulk of our citizens accept the world as something they cannot change - and yet if only they knew the power of that idea about the world!
We are all born into the world as travellers on the (river) of life, down through the ages, none of us with absolute certainty about the (river) we are on, nor any (river) for that matter, except certainties we choose ourselves. As citizens of the world we've been given a free ticket to create it any way we want...

· Artist Robert Bosler: Beneath us is the oldest land in the world [ via ]
· See Also Keelty driven to brink of resigning
· See Also Vanunu: traitor or prisoner of conscience?
· See Also Killing Us Softly: Weblog coverage of families of American war victims in Iraq?
· See Also Oil-for-Terror? Oil-for-Food scandal: The corruption in this deal appears to have been one of the biggest in U.N. history
· See Also This is nothing short of the scariest article i've read in exile: 7 new Elite Russian Scientists Mysteriously Being Murdered

Thursday, April 22, 2004

The Farmer allows walkers to cross the paddock for free, but the bull charges!!!
[In this extraordinary time, first we had Man Bites Dog to Death--headline, Sydney Morning Herald, April 11; & today We Know We Left Those Scissors Somewhere... ]

Much Ado About Something: South Treasures Meet North
Three things succeed on the internet: shopping, as perfected by Amazon; searching, as perfected by Google; and blogging as perfected by thousands of creative fingers and linkers...
In keeping with the egalitarian nature of blogs, via David Tiley of Barista fame is encouraging everyone to share small, but beautiful blogging treasures....
For my part, I suggested
[Lakatoi by James Cumes:
Cross-cultural observations and reflections by a former Australian Ambassador and High Commissioner, Dr James Cumes. James born and bred in Brissie is now based in Vienna where he devotes his time to charities, writing and leading Victory over Want]
[ (Southern Cross) Words;]
(Southern Cross) Words by Gregory Altreuter :: Cross-cultural observations and reflections by a former New Yorker on Sydney Australia, including philosophical musings, art, music, literature raves, political obtuseness, and anything else that comes to mind on the differences between life directed by the Pole Star and living beneath the Southern Cross.

· See Also The rise of Weblogging has been a cold shower for the complacent mass communication industries [Link Poached from Webdiary: Blogjam5]
· See Also Jeremy Zawodny on creative linking [link first seen at ]
· See Also P23;S5 MEmedia Dragon
· See Also Metadata librarian becoming cool: Was it due to Harriet Klausner, retired librarian and #1 Amazon book reviewer?

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

David Tiley is standing in for Tim Dunlop for the next four weeks. He is a writer, script editor, teacher and occasional director who works in film and multimedia, particularly on documentaries, and has done his bit as an arts bureaucrat. His blog Barista tries to find humour in a deadly serious world... Nevermind the substantiated accussation of MEdia Dragon being the prince of the link...

NEXT TIME DON’T BLOG SO CLOSE: Faherty has a dirty, dirty, suggestion
Juile Faherty writes an article in today's New York Times about BloggerCon II. The article focuses on the business potential of blogs and advertising again rises to the number one position for revenue generation.
There is too much emphasis on advertising and blogs. I realize that Adwords and BlogAds have created the possibility of instant micropublishing. I realize that when mainstream media reports on our corner of the world that they are going to report from their perspective - newspapers and magazines create content and then sell advertising. I also realize that people are finding success and that makes a good story.

· ConBloggerII [ courtesy of A Penny For...]
· See Also Sadly, the last thing most bloggers (and not just guys) think about is their feet
· See Also The Zen of Blogging
· See Also Blogrunner

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Lords of Bakersfield, an in-depth investigative series that exposed public and private corruption in its community over several decades. The paper carefully considered the many ethical issues involved in reporting and editing the series, insulated the newsroom from any real or perceived conflict of interest raised in reporting on the activities of former staff and members of the current publisher’s family, and withstood efforts by the local district attorney to discredit the series following publication...

Preventing the Next (Sydney) Scandal ...
Powerful gay men. Vulnerable teen-age boys. Murder. For years, some prominent local men who led secret lives were rumored to be protected. Whispers surrounding another important man's death prompt the question:
· Is there really a conspiracy??? [ courtesy of Payne Awards for Ethics Honor 2004 Winners]
· See Also Abusing Secrets: The no-right-to-know White House
· See Also The Cost of Doing Business' Sierra magazine's Marilyn Berlin Snell breaks the story of how Denver-based Echo Bay Mines secretly paid upwards of $2 million in protection money to al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in the Philippines
· See Also Amerikan ABC News: 'Blood Money, report on Echo Bay Mines
· See Also $4.5 Billion For Mercenaries In Iraq: NY Times has an extensive report on the scope, costs and problems of the military's use of mercenaries in Iraq

Monday, April 19, 2004

She gave him a gift that would be useful for the rest of his life...
I didn't care how God wanted to work, I wanted a result. In his better moments since Jenny died three months ago, when his grief is less overwhelming and he can contemplate just what it is he really believes, Cain has had to deal with what theologians know as "the problem of evil": either God is loving and just, but not powerful enough to prevent evil; or God has the power, but does not love us enough to stop bad things happening.
Cain, who turned 50 last month, does not believe in a God who manipulates all that happens in the world. He describes life as "risky", and accepts that the creaturely life humans live is finite. But Jenny's death hurts and he daily confronts feelings of abandonment...

Beyond Good And Evil: There is a contradiction about God!

Ten years ago the world watched as one of history’s greatest crimes unfolded.
The tiny African state of Rwanda became a slaughterhouse when the majority Hutu rampaged against their Tutsi neighbours. In 100 frenzied days, an estimated 800,000 people were murdered. The international community stood by and did nothing as Rwanda joined the list of 20th century genocides…

· Bosnia, Cambodia, the Holocaust, Armenia [ via Tribute to Des Horne, much-loved Four Corners editor]
· See Also Murdoch: Well look at the power of radio, look at your power, you’ve got more power than I have at the moment. Jones: Oh cut it out... Media Watch: Everybody loves it until they're on it - and then they sometimes hate it

Building is a little like war. Once you get in it, you have to go all the way...
Architect James Polshek

Fatal Errors: Rotten to the Corps
It is clear that the Australian intelligence community is unable to identify reality in a timely manner or convey its significance to the Government
· No sweeping of the matters under the carpet [ via Sunday ]
· See Also Shadow Defence Minister, Senator Chris Evans
· See Also Soldiers And Fortune: Who's calling the shots in Iraq? And who pays his salary? (By Barry Lando, a former CBS producer of 60 Minutes)
· See Also Anti-Bush Sentiment Busts Out All Over: & it's not just the usual suspects taking shots. The fire is coming from feature film, theatre and TV

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Why do they do it, these whistleblowers? Why do they dare speak out? Whether in the private or public sector, often they lose their livelihoods, and the strain can damage their health, end their closest relationships and smash their friendships. Almost always they are smeared, threatened and put under intolerable psychological pressure... The balance of power is so stacked against the ethical individual that unless citizens do something to redress it, we'll run out of whistleblowers. We'll miss them when they're gone.

Axe Labor's Mates Boards: Brogden's committment to honesty blows Carr's out of the water
The NSW Opposition has promised to abolish more than 20 statutory boards including Landcom and Sydney Water, in an effort to save up to $5 million a year in directors' fees paid to Labor Mates.
· Pork O Barrel: The truth hurts... especially deep inside SusSex Street

The political practice of dipping into the public trough to finance projects that benefit only a single legislator is so firmly established that most people yawn when they see the words pork-barrel spending. Yet every so often a project comes along with such a grotesquely negative cost-benefit ratio that even the most cynical citizen snaps awake...
· See Also Pork, Sweet and Sour [ courtesy of Personally I think they've got it all arse-backwards. The real issue is not how do you stop idiots and lunatics from voting, but how do you stop them from running for government... ]
· See Also Wife Refuses To Disclose Tax Info: Kerry claimed a wealthy candidate must release returns to prove he pays a fair share in a tax system that isn't fair and lets the super-rich get off

To what extent might (bloggers) contribute to the spread of disinformation, and to tyrannies of misinformed majorities?
Rebecca MacKinnon

BloggerCon: On the lowered barrier of entry...
Jay Rosen is moderating a discussion at BloggerCon on Saturday of the questions, What is Journalism And What Can Weblogs Do About It? I am reading through his background essay and the associated comments to get a feel for what it will be like.
Right up front, Jay hits me over the head with insight in making sure that journalism is not defined as a profession, but an act...
Dave Winer: I think the best journalists around today are bloggers, not professionals, and I'm not saying that to be argumentative, I really believe it, and could and would debate it, except this is not the topic of this session.

· My advice to bloggers seeking traffic is to entirely ignore anything said by bubble-blowers [Link Poached from all you need are kisses to start a makeout party]
· See Also Michele Catalano Of A Small Victory Gives Up Political Blogging
· See Also Virtual Opinion
· See Also Fascinating article on domain names: Get Out of My Namespace
· See Also The perils of NexGen Librarian

Saturday, April 17, 2004

As seen somewhere on the Mittel Earth Web:Just can't be stopped from blogging, no matter how little financial reward they find in it...
This blog complies with a paperwork reduction act...

Off the Beaten Path: The Speech Nobody Heard
We lost forty years in the refrigerator of the Cold War, [which resulted in] the postponement of urgently needed reforms," he said. "The fall of communism did not assure the triumph of social justice.
The global economy, like Morava River, is there. It is not going to move; the question is how not to drown in it.

· Terra Nostra: (KISS Keep It Strong and Spanish) [ courtesy of The Cold War Book Nobody Read: tip of the iceberg of frozen memories]
· See Also Mexican author Carlos Fuentes
· Myth and Reality for Immigrants in New York and Amsterdam [link first seen at Szirine Magazine]

Since you left me at eight I have always been lonely
· I'll be damned, You're a poet. Welcome to hell

Friday, April 16, 2004

According to thoughtful Alan of Southerly Buster fame, X is unthinkable is not an especially new strategy in politics or in war-making. May God have mercy on our souls...

A National ID Card Wouldn't Make Us Safer
As a security technologist, I regularly encounter people who say the United States should adopt a national ID card. How could such a program not make us more secure, they ask?
The suggestion, when it's made by a thoughtful civic-minded person like Nicholas Kristof (Star-Tribune, March 18), often takes on a tone that is regretful and ambivalent: Yes, indeed, the card would be a minor invasion of our privacy, and undoubtedly it would add to the growing list of interruptions and delays we encounter every day; but we live in dangerous times, we live in a new world ... .

· It all sounds so reasonable, but there's a lot to disagree with in such an attitude [ via Bruce Schneier is security guru: national ID card doesn't even belong on a scale]
· See Also SENATORS COLLINS, LIEBERMAN ASK Agency to Explain Why It Requested Sensitive Data From Airlines
· See Also Come on in, the water's fine: Why the temperature doesn't hold water [ via RoadToSurfdom]
· See Also Welcome to the inaugural (Virgin) issue of Econ Journal Watch: [Link Poached from Coming Soon; According to Jason]
· See Also Cyborg Democracy: Future Hi - Celebrating the Rebirth of Psychedelic Futurism; Agents of the Culture

You'll pull that drainplug from the wish fountain because I do not happen to be a 'Somebody' I am Nobody...

Know-How Dragon: 10 Rules for Corporate Blogs and Wikis
Time capsule of conventional wisdom...
Recognizing that this is an emerging area, here are 10 rules for using blogs and wikis to achieve your branding goals. Brands are about trust, and authenticity is the foundation of trust. Blogs should be written as if close friends were sharing observations over a Czech beer.
Note: In addition, there is a link to an excellent presentation (pdf, 52 pages and all free),

· 1. Be authentic [Link Poached from]
· See Also Gopher: Back in 1992, when yahoo was something cowboys yelled and ebay was just pig Latin... · See Also Sneak Peeks at Tomorrow's Office
· See Also Boing Boing add Technorati support
· See Also Lawish Hall-Of-Fame 2004: 60 Sites in 60 Minutes

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Partisan Hacks: Few chances left to restore public service integrity
We no longer have a public service prepared to force the government to take decisions with the facts before them. We no longer have a government or a public service we can trust
· Intelligence chiefs second guessing what the government wanted to hear [ courtesy of Webdiary]
· See Also Nothing short of disgraceful was how the lawyer appointed by the army to investigate the serious grievances of Lieutenant-Colonel Lance Collins described the defence establishment's treatment of the senior intelligence officer in his damning report
· See Also TIFI Ministerial Advisers: retired public servant Hugh Hodges
· See Also Is it any wonder the Iraqis are resisting?
· See Also Spy agencies need a shake-up from top down
· See Also No trust: Telstra chief quits

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

At a time when the words grub and charlatan seem to be synonymous for politician Nelson Mandela, like Vaclav Havel, stands as a reminder that being political can be both honourable and ennobling. Twenty-eight years in prison. Strength and quiet determination in the face of oppression and humiliation. He is a colossus of courage and integrity in an age of political pygmies... The beauty and power of the speeches lie in the unmatched moral authority with which he speaks, rather than memorable aphorisms and sharp one liners...
Bruce Elder SMH 9 to 11 April 2004 reviewing HIS OWN WORDS by Nelson Mandela

Take a Deep Breath: Just follow the kold blood or smart money
As the old summary of Leftist thought says: I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand...or I love democracy. I just cannot stand the totally stupid questions totally stupid people keep asking...
In the era of glasnost and perestroika, Nader accepted an invitation from Gorbachev to energise the Soviet consumer. And the US crusader took Jones to Moscow with him. Gorbachev’s theory? That without a culture of consumer complaint – as refined and intensified by Nader and his "raiders" – you’d never get Soviet enterprises off their fat arses.
· Living in a Washington boarding house and using the payphone in the hall, he took on many a global Goliath and, again and again, beat them hands down
· See Also For Ralph Nader, but Not for President
· See Also Russia: A Normal Country
· See Also Questions To Answer On Iraq...

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Meet the real Dr Strangelove
Had Edward Teller, the father of the H-bomb, trusted the Russians the cold war might have ended sooner
· H Bomb
· See Also Terrorism is a feature of the post-cold-war landscape: international relations are no longer defined by the titanic confrontation between two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union

Laws, Sausage, and Multimedia
The adage goes, There are two things that no one really wants to see how they're made: laws and sausages. Any reporter who's ever covered the manglings and wranglings over legislative/regulatory language knows how difficult it can be to convey the implications of nuanced -- but crucial -- changes in wording to a general audience. So bravo to Jennifer Lee of the New York Times, and the Times' multimedia team, for adding a brilliant slide show to Lee's story: White House Downplayed the Risks of Mercury in Proposed Rules, Scientists Say.
· Furthermore, it has been hypothesized that there is an association between methylmercury exposure and increased risk of coronary disease...
· See Also In 1950 only 86 cities in the world had a population over one million. Today there are 400, and by 2015, there will be more than 550. No one knows if that kind of growth will be biologically or politically sustainable

That's what happens to exiles; they are scattered to the four winds and then find it extremely difficult to get back together again.
Isabel Allende

My Surreal Vienna: Do I dare to disturb real pages in BERLIN, NY, AMSTERDAM?
On July 7, 1980, I became the enemy of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and was sentenced to life imprisonment. On July 8, a part of my parents died. On Radio Free Europe they listened to my obituary, five years after their daughter Aga had died. It turned their world inside out. My parents believed I was dead for over forty hours. They were the longest hours in my Mamka's life. When my cousin Tibo eventually informed them, that according to the latest reports on Radio Free Europe, I was alive, Mamka just cried.
On July 8, I stood before the mirror as if I were another person from the one I had been the previous morning. I experienced a rude awakening from the outside world, a dark liquid world.

· Real and surreal: Any survivor has more to say than all the historians combined about what happened [ via Szirine]
· See Also Beyond Cold (War) River [ courtesy of Amazon ]
· See Also How to write a blog-buster
· See Also In Amerika

That's what happens to exiles; they are scattered to the four winds and then find it extremely difficult to get back together again.
Isabel Allende

My Surreal Vienna: Do I dare to disturb real pages in BERLIN, NY, AMSTERDAM?
On July 7, 1980, I became the enemy of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and was sentenced to life imprisonment. On July 8, a part of my parents died. On Radio Free Europe they listened to my obituary, five years after their daughter Aga had died. It turned their world inside out. My parents believed I was dead for over forty hours. They were the longest hours in my Mamka's life. When my cousin Tibo eventually informed them, that according to the latest reports on Radio Free Europe, I was alive, Mamka just cried.
On July 8, I stood before the mirror as if I were another person from the one I had been the previous morning. I experienced a rude awakening from the outside world, a dark liquid world.

· Real and surreal: Any survivor has more to say than all the historians combined about what happened [ via Szirine]
· See Also Beyond Cold (War) River [ courtesy of Amazon ]
· See Also How to write a blog-buster
· See Also In Amerika

Peace on Earth and goodwill to all men (and women). Meanwhile most people simply don't have the patience to wade through 3 hours of testimony put to paper. One newish right wing blogger gathered the most salient quotations from Condi Rice's testimony for you to peruse: What should have made Condi hysterical, she deemed historical...???

Higher Beings: Rankings of the 29 most influential sites in the blogosphere
In the past, I have ranked blogs based on their Alexa(ndra) mortal ranking system. However, Alexa isn't a perfect tool and it also is unable to evaluate certain types of websites, which makes it less than ideal way of establishing a blogger pecking order.
· Therein lies another exquisite irony: When you're blogging, it's important to be reminded that you don't have all the answers [link first seen at Right Wing News] [Links Poached from Alexa ; Technorati; Daypop; Blogstreet; Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem ; Google ; Amazon ]

Amerikan and Antipodian Webdiary attract a legion of fans and perhaps a larger legion of enemies. They are one of those love-it-or-hate-it diaries. Plenty of pollies would like to see them silenced...
· See Also What To Do When Your Friends E-mail Lies To You: FactCzech & smell a rat
· War Websites: Webdiary
· See Also Now 44, Steven Patrick Morrissey: Life's full of tricky snakes and ladders. I decided earlier that I would revolve through the 40th door somewhere else other than England
· See Also All those long, difficult nights of pondering your place in this world are a thing of the past
· See Also Web Designs
· See Also People Search: Famous People [link with dubious results ASK Jeeves: But don’t get him wrong; there is a dragon the bloggers like to laugh at most (smile)]

Monday, April 12, 2004

Artmakers typically assemble funding from a variety of sources, creating a money tree which, like a delicate house of cards, can collapse if one of the key components is missing...

Grave New World
A lot of people are funny: they think there’s more money in science than in art, and they are right. It’s absolutely true. The catch is that what drives us is not our rational brain but our whole human arsenal of emotions and thought. And our only way of understanding that is through the arts.
· Atwood: Art Explains/Inspires Science [link first seen at Boston Phoenix 04/01/04]

Mary Magdalene was a prostitute who gave up her life of sin to follow Jesus. That's been the view of the Catholic Church for most of the past 2000 years. But some people believe Mary Magdalene actually played a much more significant role in the life of Jesus, as his wife, the mother of his child and the most important of his disciples. They believe the truth was suppressed by church leaders. There is a theory the truth about Mary was kept alive by a secret society known as the Priory of Sion, whose members included some of the greatest artists and thinkers of Western civilisation, including Leonardo Da Vinci.
· The Da Vinci code: Believer or not, let's just read along

Blood Diversity: Tracing the Deadly Path of the Ranking on Blogstreet: 1184 / 143768: AM I RICH YET? HOW ABOUT NOW?

One diversity for the price of two
An elite that is unwilling to make judgements about why any one cultural practice is better than another, to set universal standards about what role individuals should be expected to play across society, and to promote a distinct set of values that a society should agree upon, finds a useful tool in multiculturalism. This is why it has been so well-suited to Western societies in the past few decades, increasingly disorientated by the erosion of cultural and political certainties. Clearly, the official promotion of multicultural policy has not provided any solution to this disorientation - indeed, by actively encouraging expressions of difference and divisions between communities, it may well have fuelled the process of fragmentation
· Facing up to the M-word: Spike 1 [ courtesy of Spiked 2]

Sunday, April 11, 2004

As with Hitler in Mein Kampf, you have to believe that these people will actually do what they say they will do...

Tears in Iraq
There's no preparation. Hundreds of thousands of people seem to just step out on the highway. They are Shiites, walking from Baghdad to Karbala - 100 kilometres. Streaming towards the holy city, they'll converge with others from all corners of Iraq.
· Saddam Hussein murdered tens of thousands for daring to practise this holy rite [ via special collection at the Sydney Morning Herald Iraq: Ghost of Scary Third World War]
· See Also Paul McGeough: the bravest Observer in the World
· See Also Nephew of Navajo Nation vice president killed in Iraq

Friday, April 09, 2004

The Irony of the (Iron Curtain) Cross(ing:) 'Die, Die, Die, Until I Live:' Does not Christ see death as his servant when he likens his own death to that of the seed that falls into the ground?

Stories about sins and harvests are nearly always written through a subjective eye ... Who is going to hell in a handbag and who is going to be escorted to heaven by the heavenly hosts?
MEdia Dragon might be watchdogging sin, but the most politically zealot police force on earth knows little how many sins, gnarly attitudes, selfish choices and unkind thoughts MEdia Dragon has allowed into this blog...
Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent... Easter take us safely into the places of darkness which we fear, into the suffering...
Did God approve of drowning of my two mates on 7 July 1980 and keeping their graves in Austria away from their families for 24 years? Is this the law of the Iron Curtain harvest? Seeds must die before they can produce freedom...

One of the troubles of our time is that we are all, I think, precocious as personalities and backward as characters.
W.H. Auden, letter to Louise Bogan, May 18, 1942

Down through the ages, the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus has been celebrated in writing, music, art and sculpture. Today...

The passion of Christ at Easter: Torah, Bible and Koran: Passover, Alas, not by me
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

One of the greatest gifts the internet might yet prove to bequeath Humanity is a realistic shot at fisking into permanent oblivion the sacrilegious trinity of Yahweh, Allah and God, an anti-Artistic Celebrity Triple Act which has stunk up the concrete human world for several Millennia now, proving along the way to be the most hateful, destructive, divisive and sub-human fictional triptych ever written by the hand of some genius guy (or, like I said, chick).
Is anyone else at Webdiary - or in the blogosphere for that matter - as bored as I am with constantly trying to have the ‘last word’ in these endless tit-for-tat cyber-battles? Trying to ‘out-ironise’ each new level of knowing irony?.
Art can’t be art without the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief on the medium’s intrinsic terms, so if your medium happens to be writing, the internet now makes art impossible, evidently. One single cyber-heckler can prick the bubble for every potential reader on the planet. One cynic can destroy a million idealists.
· Ironically, I suppose I’ll find out soon enough [ via Webdiary: Fisking Fatigue]
· See Also God is a 2-1 on chance, a favourite
· See Also A life lived for business purposes

Thursday, April 08, 2004

From Sydney to Siberia, from Quebec to Prague, there is one sporting obsession that unifies the entire human race: America-bashing...

Front Line Europe
Who remembers the plot to blow up Strasbourg Cathedral's Christmas Market in 2000? Or the arrests and further weapons finds which followed the discovery of deadly ricin in London in 2003? What about the 2002 arrests of four Moroccans alleged to be planning cyanide terror attacks on the US embassy in Milan?
Only when the worst happens, as in Madrid on March 11, does the horrific realisation that there are people in our midst determined to slaughter thousands of innocents surface.

· Innocent [Link Poached from Ma Mate Google (Gabriella suggested the origin of my mate: Good Girl became Google)]
· See Also Chemical attack on London foiled
· See Also New, EU-influenced tax-collection system takes maiden voyage
· See Also Shoddy grammar is a thing up with which (Czech) parliament will not put
· See Also Deals were handled a bit differently in the mid-1980s, when Husak worked as a lawyer for the Czechoslovak State Bank and also as a collaborator with the StB, the communist secret police

Hey, Blogjam4 did you know that a Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother? It is sometimes not made clear to readers of MEdia Dragon that this chorible (sic) literary blogger is literally closer to Barbara Bush than George ever could be.
Someone please tell me, on which page of the rule book does it say that you can't write a novel, have a life, and keep a weblog, all at the same time?
Whiskey River via Fait accompli

Barbara Imrichova: Literary Affair with the woman who was married to one President, and gave birth to the current President
As a religious practice, blogging acquired the same status as begging. Many theories have been offered to explain the phenomenon. It has been interpreted as a beating out of evil spirits, as beautification, and even - erroneously - as buffoonery...
And, as the Blog brewed, those who read before
The blog-inn bawled: Unbolt then the Door!
You note how little love while blogs remain unread
And, once dead, their brave blogging be no more!

· Indeed, once dead, their brave blogging be no more [link first seen at Boyton]
· See Also Ripe for Young coverage: Honor of Being (How Appealing) Appalling
· See Also New, fresh and alternative ways to encourage and enhance storytelling from different perspectives

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Tall bloggers get married sooner, get promoted quicker, and earn higher wages. Short bloggers are unlucky in politics and in love... Humour matters...

The Way Bad Book That Sold Millions
A newspaper editor had an idea. In 1966, appalled by the best sellers of Jacqueline Susann and others, he challenged his colleagues at Newsday, where he was a distinguished editor and writer, to perpetrate a book so mindlessly crass it could not fail. 'There will be an unremitting emphasis on sex. Also, true excellence in writing will be quickly blue-penciled into oblivion'.
· The book went on to sell millions of copies, crack the New York Times bestseller list and earn its authors $1.25 million [ via Seattle Weekly 03/31/04 ]
· See Also No Cold River Book Left Behind
· See Also How America's Literary Culture Has Changed
· See Also Leipzig Is For Booklovers

Monday, April 05, 2004

Danish philosopher Sóren Kierkegaard, patron of Media Dragon, called it the root of all evil. A culture frantic to entertain, divert, and inform cannot drown out boredom. It’s still a part of our condition...

Failure to Challenge Critical Conditions
The failure to challenge is a fundamental flaw in US arts journalism. The tone in US arts coverage is uniformly respectful, uninquiring, inherently supportive. And how did this happen? Because there are few cities with multiple critical voices. This monopoly places an unhealthy burden on critics. If theirs is to be the only voice to pronounce on a new show or the fate of an institution, they are obliged to wear a mantle of responsibility that is antithetical to good journalism. A critic is licensed to get it wrong from time to time. Restrict that license and the reviews grow safe and solemn. An era of incorporation fostered a pontifical tone in American arts criticism.
· Why American Arts Journalism Is So Bad [ courtesy of La Scena Musicale 04/01/04 ]
· See Also Celebrating Boredom: We try our best to avoid it, but boredom has its benefits

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Born-again superstar
Everyone's looking for meaning but no one expected Jesus to be such a lightning rod for it. Mel's film, like The Da Vinci Code, has tapped into a wellspring of religious curiosity. That there is a crisis of meaning in Western societies is not new - expressed by individuals dissatisfied with Me-Me-Media Dragon consumerism, in desperate need for something higher in which to believe, that might give shape and direction to their lives.
· The original Greek meaning of "passion" is suffering

Solomon Burke: It seems hard sometimes to say to someone don't make that mistake because I'm speaking now from pain, I'm speaking now from tears, I'm speaking from suffering, from joy, from love. Before I could only speak of what the future could be.
The only way to come up from low is to think high:
· See Also That's what life is really about: up and down, in and out, over and under, night and day, dark and light, all right

Blog Me Tender Lauren: We're living in the age of the greatest dispersal
Australia's first wave of postwar immigrants find it tough finding love in a new land.
Go ahead and denounce the soullessness of planned communities and condo villages and exurban developments. But it's way out there, amid the new towns and barely charted byways, that the American dream is most largely lived.

· Migrant Love: extraordinary social revolution
· Cyberspace: Searching for love is big business
· See Also Amerikan Dream
· See Also Women bosses are more caring and sharing - it's official. But only if there's no queen bee
· Zha Zha: Boomers are intent on re-making their roles as grandparents ...

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Kelley's stories needed this disclaimer: Based on a true story
Joel Achenbach says of former USA Today reporter Jack Kelley: It appears that, like a good screenwriter, Kelley took a real tragedy and adapted it into something more dramatic, more heart-wrenching, with sharper pieces of shrapnel impaling softer body parts. His articles should have carried an italic notation: Based on a true story.
· Reality

Jubilant residents dragged the charred corpses of four foreigners -- one a woman, at least one an American -- through the streets Wednesday and hanged them from the bridge spanning the Euphrates River. Five American troops died in a roadside bombing nearby.
· Euphrates River: scene of some of the worst violence on both sides of the conflict

Revenge, the settling of scores, a turf war - or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Death takes many forms in a gangster war.
Fear probably motivated crime patriarch Lewis Moran's killers - fear that he would strike back in revenge for the deaths of his son Jason and stepson Mark, and the murder of his old mate Graham Kinniburgh.

· Yarra River

Friday, April 02, 2004

Changing landscape of the Google News

My Brilliant Search Engines Spotlight on Google and Search Engines in Newsweek
Little Engines That Can - Even Google can't think of everything. A host of start-ups are working to fill niches and capitalize on the search boom
· All Eyes on Google
· See Also Giddy Over Going Public
· See Also Talk Transcript: Steven Levy Talked About Google and the Search Wars

Thursday, April 01, 2004

A team from the Czech Republic won this year’s Pooh-sticks championship
The race involves dropping a stick into the river and seeing how long it takes to get to the finish line. One reason to love my childhood memories of Czechoslovakia ... you wouldn't get a childhood filled with ghost and folkloric stories or anything this silly or cute anywhere else in the world.
· Pooh-sticks gold
· Lucrative Publishing Contract: Book deal for a baby dragon hoax author. I created the hoax in order to attract potential readers
· See Also Sex stimulates the brain and makes people more intelligent