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A historian looks to the future. It's not pretty

Posted Yesterday into Politics by John Birmingham

From a rather chilling little essay by Tobias Stone at Medium...

It will come in ways we can’t see coming, and will spin out of control so fast people won’t be able to stop it. Historians will look back and make sense of it all and wonder how we could all have been so naïve. How could I sit in a nice café in London, writing this, without wanting to run away. How could people read it and make sarcastic and dismissive comments about how pro-Remain people should stop whining, and how we shouldn’t blame everything on Brexit. Others will read this and sneer at me for saying America is in great shape, that Trump is a possible future Hitler (and yes,Godwin’s Law. But my comparison is to another narcissistic, charismatic leader fanning flames of hatred until things spiral out of control). It’s easy to jump to conclusions that oppose pessimistic predictions based on the weight of history and learning. Trump won against the other Republicans in debates by countering their claims by calling them names and dismissing them. It’s an easy route but the wrong one.

Ignoring and mocking the experts , as people are doing around Brexit and Trump’s campaign, is no different to ignoring a doctor who tells you to stop smoking, and then finding later you’ve developed incurable cancer. A little thing leads to an unstoppable destruction that could have been prevented if you’d listened and thought a bit. But people smoke, and people die from it. That is the way of the human.

So I feel it’s all inevitable. I don’t know what it will be, but we are entering a bad phase. It will be unpleasant for those living through it, maybe even will unravel into being hellish and beyond imagination. Humans will come out the other side, recover, and move on. The human race will be fine, changed, maybe better. But for those at the sharp end?—?for the thousands of Turkish teachers who just got fired, for the Turkish journalists and lawyers in prison, for the Russian dissidents in gulags, for people lying wounded in French hospitals after terrorist attacks, for those yet to fall, this will be their Somme.

26 Responses to ‘A historian looks to the future. It's not pretty’

Surtac asserts...

Posted Yesterday
Yep. Scary indeed. Never fails to amaze me how most people simply won't look around them at the wider world or think beyond the end of their nose.

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sibeen asserts...

Posted Yesterday
The link to the full article: https://medium.com/@theonlytoby/history-tells-us-what-will-happen-next-with-brexit-trump-a3fefd154714#.exkkqzqjd

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted Yesterday
Oh, wait . . . someone in the media is predicting doom and gloom again for America? Well, I suppose they have to get their hits somehow.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted Yesterday
Actually, they're more concerned with Europe. You guys are a sideshow.

Murphy_of_Missouri is gonna tell you...

Posted Yesterday
Ah, you got me, boss. I didn't read the entire article. Maybe because it reads like so many other similar articles I've read over the past forty years on any given part of the planet.

Halwes would have you know...

Posted Yesterday
Off topic. A royal commission into youth justice in the NT is only the tip of the iceberg with heavy emphasis on the word ice. Our police are punishers. Everybody knows.

Halwes mutters...

Posted 4 minutes ago
Enjoyed the book club last night. I think I will give Paradise Lost a big miss though. I miss Ms Hardy when she's not there. I do like intelligent women with a social conscience. The position that you had would have allowed you to check out her legs all night too. Ripped off! Probably for the best though.

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Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted Yesterday
Uh, I call bullshit on the European Union preventing war. I believe the institution which should have been identified is NATO, and perhaps heavy American subsidies in general with an emphasis on defense in particular. NATO was formed in 1949 and Brexit won't put an end to NATO anymore than France leaving NATO did. Meanwhile, Great Britain didn't join the European Union until the 1970s. So I guess I'm missing this academic's point on how Brexit is going to lead to World War III when France's departure from NATO in 1966 did not cause any such thing. Near total European Unity is a flash in the pan in terms of historical longevity and the continent has been divided and fragmented for most of recorded history, save the Romans I suppose. If anything, efforts at unification seem to lead to more wars in Europe, not less, but what do I know? Based on historical trends we are due for another wave of destruction? Perhaps the most dangerous thing any amateur or professional academic can do is point to the history books and go, "This happens every twenty years so it is going to happen again tonight." Case in point? Presidential candidates and sitting Presidents in this country had a habit of getting bumped off or surviving the attempt on a regular basis. JFK, his brother Bobby, a near miss with Reagan, and I'm sure I'm missing a few. So it stands to reason that someone might take a shot at Clinton. Nope. Bush? Nope. Obama. Nope again. Maybe I didn't take a logic class but I'm missing the logic of the point he is trying to make. Other than the usual gloom and doom, we're fucked for this reason, sort of thing that can be readily found in the slushpile of any given Hollywood script shop these days.

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Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted Yesterday
As for the Black Death, says the guy who suffered through six graduate school hours of it, I can very easily imagine what it must have been like because the primary sources on the matter are quite vivid. I suggest that perhaps part of the problem is that this guy's imagination is not nearly as strong as he thinks it is. Or maybe seeing a bunch of charred corpses during one of those wars a few decades back might have aided my imagination a notch. Anyway, sorry to be irritable about this article.

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GhostSwirv is gonna tell you...

Posted Yesterday
Maybe Toby's just read a faded copy of Tom Clancy's RED STORM RISING?

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Nocturnalist is gonna tell you...

Posted Yesterday
How does it go? Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Those who do learn from history are condemned to watch helplessly while everyone else repeats it.

Murphy_of_Missouri mutters...

Posted 24 hours ago
Well, it never repeats per se. It simply finds an original permutation. Besides, humans in general and historians in particular love to take messy, complex concepts and simplify them into something they think they can control with routine predictability. That said, historians in reality are not akin to the ones depicted in Asimov's universe.

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted Yesterday
Yes well, that’s a rather bleak and fkn depressing ensemble of letters. Europe in the Toilet hey, well given I think there might well be a purge internally at the current rate, if it stayed non nuke it might be good. If it were not for the fact that I fear Millions would be killed, I do wonder on that basis if it could venture south…some cleansing there is warranted. And then I think that the Dairy industry would be chuffed, at least with EU in war they would cease almost supplying the Chinks with their heavily subsidised products, we could in turn bend the Chinese over on that score. But wait, if the US was to abstain from supporting the EU in a slug fest with Russia, that leaves them strong still in the PAC Rim. But with red head muppet features at the helm. China might well go for the shoals. Could you form a coalition of the brave from the ASEAN fkn retards….not sure, but as a collective on the high seas, a ASEAN coalition would stand a better chance against the PLAN than the ex NATO groups of the EU against the Russian bear. Both are bloody, both will create massive economic upheaval, but housing prices might come down a weee bit. Good read though, fkn depressing but

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted 24 hours ago
Great! ASEAN just voted to resolve their issues in a dignified and non military manner ( code for take it up the keester by China). Tell me Murph, could Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei and maybe Vietnam get their collective shit together and with some Skippy help, STAND TOO and maybe, just maybe win a fight if req. OH...JASDF might want a piece of that action too. How far East will we have to divert all the shipping trade etc when the south China sea turns RED in more fkn ways than one I fear!

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DaveC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 24 hours ago
I read a great book years ago about the Bosnian war by a journo who lived through it, Slavenka Drakulic. There was one paragraph in her book which stayed with me, and it resonates with this article. 'War is not a single act, it is a state of facts and minds, a head-spinning spiral of events and gradual process of realisation. And even if my father had attempted to explain, it wouldn't have been any help to me now, because it seems that everyone has to learn this truth alone.' Nothing's inevitable, even the status quo.

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DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted 22 hours ago
I'm a fair bit with Murph on this, with a very healthy seasoning of George Friedman in "The next 100 years". Yes I know he's seen as a bit of a nut-job, But his thesis in that book draws on a mix of a few big things that are largely inevitable - the main one being the demographic-led depopulation of Russia. And some 'lessons from history' which I agree Murph can be spurious, but the one about the cycles of union/fragmentation of China is potentially instructive. We are already seeing his prediction for the behaviour of Russia resulting from population decline, expansion (real or imagined) of NATO and the loss of buffer territory between it and the west, come true. As he puts it - St Petersburg was about 1000 miles away from NATO in 1989, now it is less than 100 miles away. Russia's response as stated in his book, seems underway already. "Russia's grand strategy involves the creation of deep buffers along the northern European plain, while it divides and manipulates its neighbours, creating a new regional balance of power in Europe. What Russia cannot tolerate are tight borders without buffer zones, and its neighbours united against it" He concludes the passage thus: "This is why Russia's future actions will appear to be aggressive but will actually be defensive." He predicts conflict between US/Russia/China. But not in a groundhog day kind of way. "The conflict will not be a repeat of the cold war, anymore than WWI was a repeat of the Napoleonic wars..." In the same spirit, I just point out that a peaceful Europe is an exception rather than a rule. The 20th century peace is correlated with EU/NATO but I'm not sure where causation sits - probably the slaughter of the first half of it. Similarly, if peace doesn't last, it may be correlated with brexit (or Trump, or Putin, or me for that matter) but it may not be the cause of it. What I will assert though, is that who governs does matter in the moment - no-one will convince me that if the cliffhanger 1960 US presidential election had have gone the other way that Nixon would have stopped crazyman Curtis LeMay from killing us all. I reckon THAT is an alt-history novel in the writing...

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DaveC ducks in to say...

Posted 21 hours ago
Agree about the relevance of leadership. No escaping Captain's calls. The novel 'Ressurection Day' was a half decent already history about a hot Cuban missile crisis. Spoiler (LeMay's arse-holeyness is turned up to 11 in this tale).

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DaveC would have you know...

Posted 21 hours ago
I meant alt history. Damn you spell chucker!

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DarrenBloomfield reckons...

Posted 21 hours ago
hey thanks - I'll have a read,

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slippy is gonna tell you...

Posted 16 hours ago
I think the point is not the prediction (which he doesn't really make), but whether you are prepared to recognise the signs that indicate the pattern and do something about it. That shirky guy on twitter was right: the likes of Trump's and Pauline's and Jaqui's supporters want a racist welfare state (its just 'us and them' thinking in the end - when its clear that has never worked on any analysis whether economic, political, or ethical). We've seen it before [Godwin]. The New Yorker article buried in this article is pretty damn good: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/america-tyranny-donald-trump.html

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Charles Taylor is gonna tell you...

Posted 12 hours ago
I think we are seeing the end of Democracy, it's beginning to allow the uneducated to run the world. Sturgeon in Scotland, Brexit, Trump and the slow rise of the right wing in Europe,

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Rhino asserts...

Posted 5 hours ago

I'd like to introduce my newest app for sale ... "The Chicken Little Panty Unbuncher". When your little panties get twisted and bunch up in your arse and cause you to run around screaming, "The sky is falling, Trump is Hitler, People that disagree with me are RACISSSSTTTTSSSSS".

Overpopulation was going to cause famine.

Global Cooling was going to cause mass extinction.

Ronald Reagan was going to cause nuclear war.

The problem with Europe is you've got too many arrogant twats stuffed into an area that wouldn't qualify for a good Sunday drive in Oz or the US. They are governed by petty, elite bureaucrats that keep doling out the goodies in an unsustainable fashion to keep the filthy masses from expressing their true natures; an historical legacy of trying to kill everyone that isn't in their tribe. The EU is the Harrison Bergeron of markets. Impose restrictions here to level the playing field. Impose restrictions there to make things fair. And when the market naturally corrects itself, impose more edicts to try and tamp that down.

I'm not a Trump supporter. But the mental gymnastics it takes to turn him into Hitler makes me laugh. The historical parallels just aren't there. Period.

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DaveC reckons...

Posted 4 hours ago
One thing which upsets the apple cart of forecasting Great Power conflicts, distinct from five thousand years of historical precedent, are nuclear weapons. Less rational leadership could increase the likelihood of their use. But we've had occasional dumbasses in power over the last seventy years, so who knows? In addition to the Chicken Little app, Rhino, are you developing an 'I can't believe you think this is an invasion Putin un-puckerer? ' app? The Olympics are coming, so I was just wondering.

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DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted 2 hours ago
Trump isn't Hitler, if anything he's a pale imitation of Greg Stillson. And he'd totally use a kid as a human shield I reckon,...

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Therbs reckons...

Posted 1 hour ago
That's what I like about history, it doesn't really repeat. Sure, you can track causes and fault lines but those don't replicate. There may be some similarities in events or trends but those don't necessarily lead to similar events. Brexit, Trump and people like Hanson in Oz are indicative of people giving "up yours" messages to those they feel have screwed them over. Trump, if he does become president will be a similar level of scary as George W, but not as dim witted. He has yet to put on the table any coherent policies. Brain fart rhetoric designed to point fingers and promise better times during vote-gathering election mode are a long way from legislation being presented to Congress. In the meantime there's amusement to be had in his cack handed comments, as well as concern.

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"And the spoils go to those with fewest fucks to give".

Posted Friday into Politics by John Birmingham

This piece explainging "how trolls took the wheel of the clown car of modern politics", and which I found via Mike Carlton is a brilliant distraction as civilisation burns down around our heads.

So here we are at the Convention, where howling psychopath Donald Trump has just been confirmed as the presidential nominee, to the horror of half of the party and every remaining moderate conservative in America as well as the 15,000 members of the international press who flocked to see the circus in realtime. Milo is loving every second of it. He lost no time climbing on the back of the clown car of the billionaire demagogue who, with ghoulishly oedipal glee, he calls ‘Daddy.’

Read it all.

34 Responses to ‘"And the spoils go to those with fewest fucks to give".’

JBtoo has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
Sharp, succinct, scary.

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dweeze mutters...

Posted Friday
Scary indeed. Nicely written - terms like "unscrupulous whorebaggery" make me chuckle a lot...and then cry becuase they are so accurate.

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Surtac mumbles...

Posted Friday
A wonderful piece. I first became aware of Laurie Penny via a guest post on (of course) Warren Ellis' blog around about the time of the 2011 London Riots and have followed her writings asiduously since. She's always worth reading.

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DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
"There is a dustbin fire behind the blank eyes of his human suit" Best description of this Arseclown I've ever read.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted Friday
And now for something completely different ... We'll send a conservative to the DNC and have them pontificate about the evil there.

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted Friday
I think Fox News will be doing that and they will be sending more than one.

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NeoMorph ducks in to say...

Posted Friday
John Birmingham is just hoping that Hilary wins the Presidency so that his Axis of Time series will go from Science Fiction to Science Fact(ish). I wonder how long it will take for them to name a ship the USS Hillary Clinton?

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted Friday
Well according to JB, not long at all.

Murphy_of_Missouri puts forth...

Posted Friday
Remember. In that universe the third term president of the U.S. is dead by 2021.

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Dave W asserts...

Posted Friday
It seems that Hunter has a worthy successor.

Rhino mumbles...

Posted Saturday
She couldn't carry Hunter's drool bucket. A throwback reference to him and calling people names ... meh. Yeah, it was pretty prose. Pretty, but empty. More like a college kid trying to emulate the Master by dropping some acid and hitting the keyboard. Hunter dragged this kind of thing, kicking and screaming, out of the shadows. The masses didn't know that it existed. Today, our self-styled princes and princesses abase themselves on the altar of YouTube, leaked sex tapes, Twitter, ad nauseum, They revel in the shocking of the masses and the masses eat it up with a spoon and ask for seconds. This isn't the pure, undiluted power grubbing of Johnson or Nixon ... nope. This is evil and power grubbing as slapstick. Both sides.

damian would have you know...

Posted Saturday
Only because HST would have had nothing to do with guys like Milo or Roosh - he'd have talked openly about pulling their livers out through their mouths, but he wouldn't have dealt with them personally.

damian mumbles...

Posted Saturday
Of course when I say "deal with", I'm talking about personal interaction and not taking suitable measures in the execution of robust policy settings. Roosh in particular, he may have lured to Aspen and buried under rocks somewhere up above the snow line.

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DarrenBloomfield asserts...

Posted Friday
Its you vs the creators of the Simpsons on this isn't it?

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Lulu puts forth...

Posted Friday
Trump: "We are going to build a border wall to stop immigrants" Trudeau: "So are we"

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
Nice.
USA seems to have a system that selects for sociopathy. I accept that wasn't the intent. I wonder what was the intent? What is it that this process is designed to achieve? Commonality of porpoise, uniting behind the anointed, spur donors?

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DaveC ducks in to say...

Posted Friday
Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.... do not have personalities, they have haircuts. Ugly ones. And we have fallen through the looking glass in which they see themselves reflected as small gods. Brilliant. And so very, very scary.

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ShaneAlpha has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
Haven't the Mexicans figured out the a wall will not only keep them out but will also keep the Americans in...with Donald Trump...Forever!

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
That piece reminded me - must read more Laurie Penny

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted Friday
We can only hope that one of the Vice-Presidents is worth a shit and that the primary candidate's term of office is very brief. For the security agencies reading this post and wondering, I might direct you to this historical example. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zachary_Taylor#Death

DarrenBloomfield swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
I'm with you Murph.

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Brown Couch swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Saturday
If you ignore it, it will go away.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted Monday
“If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange—meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil.” And if we are talking trump, orange is an understatement! I can just see him or Milo calling his mates droogs as they go out for a bit of the old ultraviolence :) Gives me the shivers that piece. But the USofA will do what the rest of the western world has done. Divide itself right down the middle with the right coming out with a slim majority. Broken model . . . or is that a working model? I can never decide. Either way it is the decimation of the middle that has landed us here.

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GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted Monday
My wife, who I will kindly designate as GODDESS EARTH-MOTHER, for the purposes of CheeseBurgerynessness, (she's too feisty to be Mrs Ghosty) and I are off to the USA later this fiscal year. We will be Halloweening in NYC before heading ways south onto DC during ELECTION HUNTING SEASON and are both starting to lose our shiny eyeball glintyness of whoa, we're going on a cool holiday to a mood more becoming of what the hell were we thinking and can we still cash in our tickets! Does anyone have any advice on how to survive the impending opening of the HELLMOUNT that the eastern seaboard of the US seems to be precariously teetering on?

FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted Monday
Apparently entree isn't entree sized - its much bigger and could feed two. Wholefoods also might be a good idea if you can find them. Stay away from tv and social media and the kerfuffle will seem like it doesn't exist. Pay attention to ground animals - if they are all running in a certain direction follow them at speed. That's all i got.

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted Monday
If needs be Canada is to the north. Montreal's a pretty cool place and Toronto has some good pubs. Although it'd be a bit brisk up there early November. Mebbe Mexico, the Baja peninsula.

NBlob mutters...

Posted Monday
Americans breakfast & BBQ far better than us. I happily lived on 2 meals a day there. Intercity trains rock, underground metros are excellent, all other public transport should be disregarded. Relative to Au cabs are cheap, 2 arses make them viable for much intercity type movement. Town cars and courtesy coaches are also excellent options. A nice fella at the arrival lounge with a sign saying "Mr Ghost", a van and a winning smile after a 18 hour flight is a beautiful thing. But the cities are massive. NYC and its Burroughs, cling ons, bedroom suburbs etcetera is fully 10 times the size of Melbourne.

NBlob asserts...

Posted Monday
Tipping: default to anyone who does something for you gets a couple of bucks. Waiter & barman %15. Guy who takes your bags to hotel room $5. It's shit, but it's how their kids eat & they don't know any other way.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted Monday
Americans are generally as generous as Arabs, more courteous than Brits, far more Gullible than Danes and as patriotic as the French -I think with more reason. They love a laugh and will frequently insist on offering you hospitality above & beyond. You can slag off their NFL, Hockey, ball, Basketball or NASCAR team and they'll usually accept it as good natured ribbing. Imply that the USA may be a touch intervention-happy (Chile, Granada, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq & the Stan oh my.) and you may cross a line. That old thing about "don't talk about money, religion or politics" may be an astute option, at least until you've assured yourself your new friend isn't armed.

Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted Yesterday
All of us are armed.

Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday
Yeah, being armed has advantages.

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted Yesterday
Its great how you can go into a bar in the U.S. ask a couple of dumb questions about the ball game which is being shown and all of a sudden become involved in a beery sports fest. Sometimes you need to repeat yourself given how the Strayan accent can confuse people.

Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Yesterday
Therbs, any accent in this country confuses people here. Even the American accents have that effect.

GhostSwirv mumbles...

Posted Yesterday
Golly gee, shucks you guys - thanks a bunch. This is way more useful intel than I anticipated. Suddenly feeling much more prepared, although there was that little reference by RHINO and MURPH to the extra arms thingy ... given that Little 'Man o' Steal' Johnny Howard was George WubbleU's Deputy Dawg do we have to lock n' load and open carry - or can we just strangers in a strange land?

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BALLS After Dark.55 Entreduce Yourself

Posted Friday into Music by beeso

The Doc and Beeso review the new DJ Shadow, wondering if the Doc's high school knob twiddling really gives him the insight needed for the new album, before Beeso can't make up his mind (again!) about Band of Skulls. We also talk about the slowly growing #BallsPodcastMixtape where we are collecting our favourite songs of the year. Then we agree on Doc's classic from The Stalkers. You can also hear the albums for this week and next on The Balls Podcast Playlist.

Next week we review the new sparkly favourite thing by The Avalanches and also Yung's new record as well as the CLASSIC Pornland album In the Nude.

2 Responses to ‘BALLS After Dark.55 Entreduce Yourself’

Therbs asserts...

Posted Friday
Avalanches? No! Anything associated with DJ Dexter, even though he no longer is with them, gets the big brush off.

dweeze reckons...

Posted Friday
I had to use BrushOff in my ears after listening to new Avalanches muck. How disappointing that a once fine band took 15 years to produce insipid pop goo.

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Scrivener on the iPad. Finally

Posted Thursday into Writing by John Birmingham

It's here on iOS. At last. The crack cocaine of writer apps. It's US$20. Thirty down here in vegemiteland. And cheap at twice the price. As soon as it dropped yesterday, I started hitting refresh on the app store, waiting for the file to propagate. Bought it the very second it appeared.

If you're searching the app store, beware. There are many bullshit imitators with strikingly similar names.

But like the Highlander, there can be only one Scivener. And if you click this link you go right there.

I spent a few hours playing with it last night. It seems to be a rock solid 1.0 build. Not as full featured as the dektop app, natch, but still massively overpowered compared to a word processor. I'll do a full write up later this week but for now I am impressed. It's not just shovelware. The developer has spent a long time reimagining the user experience for mobile. It has that most desirable of all traits in the world of engineering: elegance.

I am excite.

9 Responses to ‘Scrivener on the iPad. Finally’

DarrenBloomfield has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
I read this on wired. http://www.wired.com/2016/07/scrivener-ios-means-can-write-zombie-novel-anywhere/ Is it possible there's more of a quid in making tools for writers than there is in writing?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted Thursday
I know a space lizard who thinks so.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted Thursday
does that mean if I want to be a writer I can just buy it and not a copy of 'how to be a writer'?

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted Thursday
hmmm. Barnes. NOPE. I'm fkn living proof of that!

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Veruca Babydoll swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Thursday
Do you not like Ulysses App, John?

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
Good reason to pick-up the keyboard for this iPad Pro this weekend. Been needing an excuse.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted Friday
I got my first big delivery of Bezos Bucks coming in a couple of days. Finding it really hard to imagine my immediate future without a fully tricked out iPad Pro in it.

Rhino mutters...

Posted Friday
It is sweet. I got the whole enchilada. Need to pick-up the pen and keyboard now.

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Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Friday
+++There are many bullshit imitators with strikingly similar names. But like the Highlander, there can be only one Scivener. +++ Hee!

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He's baaaack

Posted Wednesday into Writing by John Birmingham

15 Responses to ‘He's baaaack’

ntwinter asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Ah Slim - welcome back in all your uncouth glory :) Looking forward to this SO much.

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Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
He is so unlikable...yet I like his appearances in the story!

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted Wednesday
yeah, not to shabby, bout bloody time I might add. Its funny, but Slim Jim is the only Character that I do not like and really cannot emotionally attach to in ANY FKN WAY. Really fkn crawls up my nose. I would have had the mthr fkr capped a long fkn time ago.

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jason reckons...

Posted Wednesday
Slim Jim makes me feel ashamed and jealous at the same time. I assume this is a character flaw on my part.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
Jimbo provides a focus for character hate. He's such an arsehole you expect a rival or victim to slot him at any stage.

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted Wednesday
lol..true, its FKN VISCERAL!

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Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Wednesday
Love to see the darkness and cynicism of a character who expects the worst of anyone else, therefore is willing to do the worst first.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted Wednesday
Rat cunning has its roguish appeal.
How else would one explain Greybeard.

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Don Bagert ducks in to say...

Posted Thursday
And that "fancy French restaurant" is in France - Paris to be exact, right? :)

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted Thursday
It's like you're looking over my shoulder as I write.

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Springfield Fats mumbles...

Posted Thursday
I can't remember now whether Slim Jim was in with the quiet room gang or not now, but he's always struck me as the kind of person/character that, while he would cut his own throat to get a good deal going, he's going to be reliable when it comes to the 'good guys' winning and help where he can. Just out of curiosity JB, how much harder do you find it to write characters who are meant to be unlikeable, but are good guys/heroes in the story? I'm thinking of Dave mostly as I read Protocol, but having just finished the latest season of Rake it's front of mind from that as well.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted Thursday
It's not harder writing them, Fats. The danger is enjoying it too much.

Timbo mumbles...

Posted Thursday
As far as I recall, Davidson was an unwitting pawn of the QR. Maybe he and the Kohlhammer will have sex, since the Hammer made him famous.

Don Bagert is gonna tell you...

Posted Saturday
JB, your comment reminds me of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, which was originally printed in the UK in the weekly periodical The Guardian. Lewis abruptly ended the very popular series abruptly in one final letter, later stating that it had become too hard to write the horrific demon Screwtape week after week (there were 31 letters in all).

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Sudragon puts forth...

Posted Friday
The trick, I've been told, is not to giggle maniacally as you write them, hunched over the keyboard at 3 in the morning.

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As a busy mum, I like my racism simple

Posted July 19 by beeso

Sonia Kruger dips her toes into geopolitics and terrorism, who knew she was an expert on that as well as hosting breakfast TV and of course, being a mum.

At Blunty

23 Responses to ‘As a busy mum, I like my racism simple’

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted July 19
I see you're going for the steak knives today. Almost 100 comments by 9.30.
So many scared people lashing out. Why are they so scared? Being scared means the beardy nutters have won.

dweeze is gonna tell you...

Posted July 19
As a mother, I'm scared of all the things that I cannot understand. As a mother, I'm scared for the future of my kds. As a mother< I will lash out at anything that upsets the future of my kids or that I do not understand. As a mother, I will say and do no end of stupid htings, because, well, I'M

dweeze reckons...

Posted July 19
...A FUCKING MOTHER, you motherfuckers. No other living being is as righteous as a scaredy mother... Oh yeh - good work stirring the muntery Mr B. I can almost taste the bile.

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HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted July 19
Thats a point of view, and wanting something changed does not constitute fear! not for that matter that the other bearded muppets have won.

damian reckons...

Posted July 19
The cool kids call it "wanting something changed" now do they?

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted July 19
mmm nope, not sure thats what the cool kids call it. but what about this. I would like the intake to be based upon statistics. Based on the percentages of a profile that offend, we exclude. Now, based on that am I racist, or am I utilising likelihood values and I guess you might also factor in consequence to get ya risky rating, then having arrived at the magical number ( not sure what that is) we decide whom to let in and whom to not.

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted July 19
But what is the motivation behind "wanting something changed"?

Moz of Yarramulla would have you know...

Posted Thursday
Yeah, to be charitable I'm going to assume that by "a profile that offend" you mean in the criminal sense rather than the "oh my dearie me" sense that was the subject of the article. Unfortunately there is no possibility of doing that, our close relationships with the US and UK do not permit it. If we barred war criminals from our shores we'd lose those valuable visits from Blair and Bush the Lessor after their convictions for war crimes (obviously they don't recognise that universal jurisprudence applies to them as well as their victims, especially when it's some know-nothing hellhole like Malaysia asserting it). That general principle unfortunately applies across the board - leave Australia to fight the good fight defending your homeland from invasion and it's best you're Israeli or another in a very a short list of approved allies, nothing will help you if you're from Iraq, Afghanistan or Chile. Likewise, if you're a refugee convicted of homosexuality you're going to find yourself blocked from Australia, but if you're found to have defrauded thousands of people of millions of dollars... Australia will be thrilled to welcome President Trump. In civilised countries evaluations are done independently for each applicant, they don't collectively punish whole groups for the actions of a few.

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted July 19
As regards Ms. Pauline. At least Aborigines and Asians must be enjoying the breather from being blamed for everything.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted July 19
Actually I might suggest its. if you come from the sand box or anywhere near it you are fkn banned from entering this joint for the next 5 years. Then I would toss in to that as well, if you are a terrorist " to use a book term" you will be buried in pig skin, and given a last meal of pigs feet, hell maybe we will stitch ya lips together with pigs twin too. Did I mention anything about race? nope, but I just offended a heap of people based on their religion didn't I, but only when it comes to getting buried, so they are dead, does it really matter. And If its based on them having been convicted of a terrorist act, then they forgo all rights inn my view. BUT NO, to answer the question that I think Sonya botched up. WE DO NOYT DO THAT. I would look at volumes and from where from a risk view, but not stop them.

HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted July 19
And now I must go, as I need to make sure the new facility has both male and female Prayer rooms aand a nursing mothers room as well. Sorry Dads, as you are male you do not get a DADAS room,

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 19
Havock, unless human anatomy is different around your way, the adjective *nursing* is not one which can apply to fathers.

Halwes puts forth...

Posted July 20
http://www.lettertobaghdadi.com/14/english-v14.pdf Have a read Havock. I think Islam needs a reformation, god forbid that I'd agree with Toned Abs. There are plenty of good people that follow this religion. Personally I think all organised religion is dangerous crap but I accept that many people need something to believe in.

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted July 20
What happened to the so called jihadists to cause them to act like this.? Why do they hate us. It could be time for some introspection on our side. I've travelled widely in these countries. The kids over there have rocks to play with and not much else. Why are these countries so financially disadvantaged and why is corruption so rife? Could our lust for oil and money have something to do with it.? We freely trade with rulers that kill their own people with impunity and ignore the impact that we have. Let's ask if some of this could just be our fault?

Therbs mutters...

Posted July 20
Its simple Hav, part of the screening should include questions like: What steps are there in field stripping an AK47? What are the major components of an IED? How many RPG's would you get for US$1000? How many virgins await a martyr in paradise? What is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's fave pokemon? if they get any of these right, they don't get in.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted July 19
The only reason channel 9 had that comment on air was so they could get clicks (and to sell advertising). I can imagine content is tightly controlled on those shows despite the fact they are on every day for a large chunk of time. We all know bigots and/or racists are out there and they seem to get a lot of air time - technically its free speech. But makes for great tv. Also technically, the producers of that show ran with it knowing full well what was going to be said - another faux interview/discussion by numpties. "Hey Sonia, we all know how you feel about te muslims. We need someone to go on air and argue against them as a job lot - Pauline is all sewn up in contracts with channel seven at the moment". Adding nothing but whipping up both sides into a frenzy of accusations. All they needed was a schooey in hand to slosh around on stage to increase their credibility - but i guess it was before 12 so that wouldn't really be appropriate. It's like Ms Hanson - she represents how much of the population? yet what is her chunk of air time?

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jason reckons...

Posted July 19
Discussed this with a colleague this morning. How exactly do we ban Muslims even if we wanted to. Terrorists of any ilk can enter Australia on a tourist visa. Muslims, Christians, Atheists etc. do not carry a brand on their skin to identify them. We can disguise our religion simply by denying it and in some cases a small change to our clothes and personal grooming. What we really need to do is address the genuine fear some people have, respect their opinion and debate the issue intelligently. The name calling thing didn't work in kindergarten and I don't think it will work now.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted July 19
Exactly. And the fearful bigots totally overlook the fact that most (not all, but most) of the radicalised nutjobs in this country were born here, they didn't turn up by boat or came on a refugee visa. How are we supposed to build a wall to keep out natural born Australian citizens who want to commit terrorist acts on our soil?

Moz of Yarramulla reckons...

Posted Thursday
> do not carry a brand on their skin to identify them Genius! All we need to do is make people wear an identifying mark so the rest of us know who to be scared of. Luckily most religions already have well-known logos, so we just need to apply them. Light the fire, citizens, it's time to bring back the traditional sense of the term "branding".

Moz of Yarramulla reckons...

Posted Thursday
> do not carry a brand on their skin to identify them Genius! All we need to do is make people wear an identifying mark so the rest of us know who to be scared of. Luckily most religions already have well-known logos, so we just need to apply them. Light the fire, citizens, it's time to bring back the traditional sense of the term "branding".

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 19
Complexity. Nuance. Doubt.
Anyone certain is ignorant, selling something or high. Or a combination of the above

Dave W puts forth...

Posted July 20
That's some scary truth right there. Makes it even worse to be able to identify two sides to a problem and try to work out the right choice.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 20
I need a hug because I'm scared of angry scared mums. Ban anyone claiming to be part of any religion might be one solution because religions are scary with their eternal damnations, reincarnation as sea urchins, spirits in volcanos, multi armed gods, Frisbees on roofs and scary pasta monsters.

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