Sunday, October 24, 2004

Regeneration Through Violence

Just came across a book by Richard Slotkin - Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860 which has been referred as a significant influence on Joss Whedon's philisophy. I've never heard of it before, but after doing some reading it makes perfect sense. The book explores the premise that particular stories of expansion and exploration (like those of the Amerian west and Australia's colonisation) re-interpret the violent and brutal facts of history in herioc fairytales. This has particular resonance to the story of Firefly, but also in Buffy.

I've been watching Joss' increasing political activity over the last few weeks with interest. While it seems that he has always been politically minded, he has finally been pushed into public action by the current Bush government. "When I go to Europe, I just want to wear a T-shirt with a picture of Bush and the words: 'I'm sorry'."

Also worth reading is this brilliant article on Joss's politics, Firefly and how the politics are reflected in this work.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Jon Stewart

Have I mentioned that I love Jon Stewart of The Daily Show? Well, actually I just love the whole Daily Show. It's simplyone of the best programs on TV, anywhere.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when the most insightful analysisof the US Presidential race (in fact just politics in general) comesfrom a supposedly "fake" news program. Least my daily dose of Jon and crewremind me that the US media isn't ENTIRELY devoid of intelligence (outsideof PBS, at least.)

One really interesting thing is Jon's appearence on Bush mouthpieceBill O'Reilly's show on Faux News. O'Reilly maintained that Jon's audience of 'stoned slakers' were a danger to the presidential election. It's interesting to see that in fact The Daily Show'saudience is much better educated, more affluent and moreinformed about the election than viewers of O'Reilly's show.

Looking forward to my Daily Moment of Zen.

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Three More Years

Of "Honest" John Howard. I'm just thrilled to bits.. no, really. (HTML needsa 'sarcasm' tag.)

The writing was on the wall pretty early, and it already looks like Laboris going to go backwards in the House of Reps, which is specially bad afterthe resounding defeat last time. Primary vote is less than 40%.

It's very obvious that the Libs have run a masterful campaign, and Labora pretty lacklustre one. It was very unlikely that they were going to gain the13 odd seats needed for Government, and that has borne out today. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. The Liberals have a much better'brains trust' running their party. Better campaign advisors, betterresearchers, and honestly, better politicians. It's very clear if you watchquestion time that the Libs are all over Labor.

The only positive to come out of this is that the Greens have increasedtheir vote to over 7%, mostly at the expense of the Democrats.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Compass

I've always found the ABC's Compass program to be very intersting. Last Sunday's show was definately one of it's best. The program interviewed the leaders of the five main parties (Liberal, Labour, Nationals, Greens and Democrats) about their beliefs and ideals.

There are a few things that really stick out in my mind. Democrats leader Bartlett was very evasive... maybe he's just not comfortable talking about these issues. Howard was the perfect politician we expect him to be. Never really committed to anything. Latham and Bob Brown seemed to have a distinct idealistic streak, and their ideals seem to be somewhat aligned with mine.. Though Brown did say that he's not exactly a Humanist.

Of all of them, it was Nationals leader Anderson who I found the most interesting / worrysome. This guy is really a Christian Fundamentalist. He's fit right into G W Bush's Republican Party. Mind you, Howard isn't too far from Anderson : "[I] regard the Judaeo-Christian influence on Australia as the single greatest influence for good in the Australian community".

A full transcript of the program is available here.