You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dark Satanic Mills

Letter to the Editor, The Courier Mail, in response to One employee's loss is another employee's gain

Dr Gruen's contempt for the ordinary worker comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the "enterprising" nature of unfettered free market capitalism.

The glorification of employer rights at the expense of workers reduces the employee to a disempowered victim "churned" into the unemployment queues as the boss sees fit.

A job is not a favour graciously dispensed from the hand of a benevolent management as a sign of the company's largesse like some form of corporate welfare.

The work that an employee does should be essential to the efficient operation of any organisation, otherwise, according to Dr Gruen's own logic, it will succumb to the inexorable law of the free market and fail.

What Dr Gruen proposes is a race to the bottom, where employees are regarded as chattel, relying solely on the good feelings of their boss for their livelihood, and exploited and disposed of on a whim.

Such retrograde attitudes have already been tried in the dark satanic mills of yesteryear, where workers were plentiful,life was cheap and
the ancestors of Dr Gruen's dystopian ideology gorged themselves on the sorrow and misery of thousands of innocents in the pursuit of "profit".

The real propaganda, the real spin, comes from tired old ideologues like Dr Gruen and their outdated policies of despair.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Crazy Frog PM fashion faux pas

The Prime Ministerial personage pontificates proudly, resplendant in his sartorial elegance, like a dwarfish thief in a giant's cloak. Note the pants, and the carefully orchestrated balance of faun and buff, in perfect concert with the chrome-dome topping kevlar, this year's fashion masterpiece.

and note the uncanny similarity to the crazy frog

Monday, July 25, 2005

D. A. Carson on The Emerging Church

The current online issue of Modern Reformation covers the Emerging Church phenom.

Read in full what D. A. Carson has to say about it. Here's an excerpt:

At the heart of the Emergent Church movement—or as some of its leaders prefer to call it, the “conversation”—lies the conviction that changes in the culture signal that a new church is “emerging.” Christian leaders must therefore adapt to this emerging church. Those who fail to do so are blind to the cultural accretions that hide the gospel behind forms of thought and modes of expression that no longer communicate with the new generation, the emerging generation.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

iPod Shuffle food sculpture

A picture tells a thousand words...the WINNER! ipod banana and spaghetti

Revenge of the Mullet

Amongst all the wranglings and legal goings-on with Schapelle Corby, and amidst the controversy over her bogan heritage, finally the ABC has come to the party and used the dreaded M-word to identify Corby's ostentatious new legal adviser, HOTMAN PARIS.

Still there was support for the latest theory from the heavily mulleted new player in the Corby legal team, Hotman Paris Hutapea, making his first courtroom appearance for Schapelle Corby, he backs the claim that there's a new mystery witness who'd come forward if only Australia's government allowed him. And he says he's spoken to the man.

Ah, to be an ABC journo and throw mullets around heedlessly. Next, we'll here the confessions of the mystery witness wearing an "Achy Breaky Big Mistakey", the new evidence from the mystery witness sporting a "Kentucky waterfall" and the mystery owner of "Business at the front, party at the back" will reveal the truth of Schapelle's innocence. Billy-Ray Virus, look out.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Miss (Juris)Prudence

Got dragged along by the spouse to see Miss Congeniality II: Armed and Fabulous a few weeks ago. Enjoyable at the time but forgettable since - apart from one curious detail: the jurisprudential undertones of Sandra Bullock's acting oeuvre. Her character is named Gracie Hart, while her offsider (added to the film, no doubt, to keep up the US Screen Actors Guild's quotas of "Screeching In-Your-Face African-American Women") is named Sam Fuller. And yes, they do engage in their own Hart-Fuller debate throughout the film.

This is not Ms Bullock's first excursion into the murky waters of jurisprudence. In Two Weeks' Notice, her character was named "Lucy Kelson". Clearly the "Lucy" was an attempt to regain the lost cachet of While You Were Sleeping, but "Kels[e]n"? Sandra did play a lawyer, so maybe one of the scriptwriters was having fun. "Norm is, like, so, you know, totally NORM, like, whatoever, omigod omigod OMIGOD".

Thursday, July 14, 2005


UPDATE: Instead of dating Leia Organa, Ben Affleck has ended up marrying her sister, Jenniff.

Seems Carrie dropped him once she realised she was mistaken in thinking he was the legendary Obi-Wan Affleck...

UPDATE 2: If you've seen Sarah Michelle Geller dressed as Arwen in her Fellowship of the Ring spoof with Jack Black (originally screened at the MTV music awards, now immortalised as a hidden "Easter egg" on the FotR DVD -- click on the ring at the bottom of the table of contents), you will have to agree she would make an excellent Leia.

ANOTHER THERE IS... Just when you thought the galaxy had been saved from the threat of the two-headed monster named Benifer, another rises, Glenn Close-like, to take its place: Ben Affleck has been romantically linked to none other than Carrie Fisher. The Imperial Senate will not sit still for this. Not only is Lei-O a whole sixteen earth-years older than The Enervator is, but she is secretly pledged to another (we know not yet whom, but every male child born between 1965 and 1973 is a contender). Someone needs to tell the Nerffleckherder ASAP: "Your sister she is! Date her not!"

News is, by the way, that Lucas has decided not to make the promised final trilogy of the Star Wars saga (the post-Endor sequels) after all. Which is probably just as well, since the actors from Episodes IV, V and VI are getting too old now to play anything but a brief "Admiral McCoy" cameo. (Plus Harrison Ford is into, y'know, serious acting these days, and doesn't want to be filmed anywhere except the White House these days. Hey, don't blame Lucas and his scripts, Ha-Fo: no one forced you at blasterpoint to ham it up in Empire and Jedi.) My nominees for their replacements are: Tobey Maguire as Luke, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Leia, Dennis Quaid as Solo, Will Smith as Lando (with Snoop Doggy Dog a close second after his role in Starsky and Hutch). Man, that would rock.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


"Uh, young people of Springfield, as your mayor I'd like to welcome you to our annual funny book convention. And thank you for pumping almost three hundred dollars into the local economy". [waves to crowd] "Your youthful high spirits have imparted a glow into this old warhorse, you might say I feel like Radiation Man."

Jimbo: "That's 'Radioative Man', jerk !"

"I, uh, stand corrected."

- "Diamond Joe" Quimby, Mayor of Springfield, in The Simpsons

"Star Wars tickets are snapped up at warp speed [sic]" -- The Scotsman (26 April 2005)

STAR Wars fans awaiting the final film in George Lucas’s mammoth series received more good news today after it was announced a TV series is planned. [...] But Mr Lucas has revealed that plans are afoot for a live-action television series focusing on events between Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars [A New Hope]. The film-maker didn’t give away any details of the plot, other than to suggest that it may involve some characters from the original trilogy. And there’s a bonus for any fantasy-lovers - Lucas also hopes to launch a television spin-off of dwarf classic Willow.

- "Delight for Star Wars fans as Lucas announces TV series", The Scotsman (26 April 2005)

Ah, that beloved film genre -- the dwarf classic. "Judge me by my size, would you?!"

"Relativist Sith"

Rmmmm, of Master Benedict's "dictatorship of reletavism," the source have I located:

ANAKIN: The Jedi use their power for good.

PALPATINE: Good is a point of view, Anakin. And the Jedi point of view is not the only valid one. The Dark Lords of the Sith believe in security and justice also, yet they are considered by the Jedi to be...

ANAKIN:... evil.

PALPATINE:... from a Jedi's point of view. The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power. The difference between the two is the Sith are not afraid of the dark side of the Force. That is why they are more powerful.

And later...

ANAKIN: I should have known the Jedi were plotting to take over...

OBI-WAN: From the Sith!!! Anakin, Chancellor Palpatine is evil.

ANAKIN: From the Jedi point of view! From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.

Of course, that also raises the possibility that the "dictatorship of virtue" talk is an attempt at misdirection from a secret identity.

-- Posted by Julian Sanchez 25 April 2005

"You fundoes are ignorant, fearful people, and what's more, you vilify and stereotype whole religious groups!"

"Why vilification is such a blight: Fear and ignorance drive those opposing the vilification laws, writes Helen Skoze", Melbourne Age (23 June 2005)

Tom Lehrer's already covered this ground, forty years ago...

"There are some people in this world who are intolerant of others... and I HATE PEOPLE LIKE THAT!"

Maybe that could go on Victoria's licence plates as the state slogan.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

How to know when you've been attending a Presbyterian church too long

UPDATE 2: I meant this (below) as a parody, but for the pure milk of Calvinist humour, which is not that far off, see the real thing here.

24. Even though you consider television a prohibited graven image, and do reject, despise and ab[h]ominate Big Brother for its shameless sex, nudity, mixed bathing,and Sabbath-breaking... you couldn't not vote for a contestant named Geneva.


1. You want to bring formal heresy charges against Tim Allen because he's played selfish yuppies named "Scott Calvin" and "Michael Cromwell". (Wasn't there a Swiss Reformer named "Desiderius Lightyear"? Maybe "Buzz" is the non-Latinicised original of "Bucer"…) That's religious vilification, sir!

[Update: The heretic Allen completes his arc of anti-Protestantism by playing a "Luther Krank" in his latest oeuvre. Can't he at least partially atone by getting hitched on-screen to an attractive Calvin?]

2. You believe that the Roman Catholic Church reads far too much into Matthew 16:18-19 - yea, far more than the text thereof can rightly warrant. For, far from establishing an infallible Papacy, it is plain to even the most unlettered reader that, when He said "upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it", Jesus was simply identifying the Antichrist as Bill Gates.

3. You ban Cold Chisel because you're certain than in at least one of their singles you can distinctly hear Barnesey singing "Good Bahá'í"…

4. You think Amy Grant's been a bit theologically dodgy - not because she got divorced in 1998, or because she went commercial in 1991 - but because in 1982 she espoused semi-Pelagianism by releasing "I Have Decided".

5. You don't eat yoghurt because that's tantamount to worshipping Krishna.

6. Every Microsoft Word document you print has the text aligned to the left-hand margin, just so it isn't justified by Works.

7. You formally charge R.F [you know who you are, R.F! - ed] with error - yea, with gross heresy - specifically, that of the Sabellians or Modalists - because in prayer she addresses the Triune God as "youse".

8. You formally charge J.M [you know who you are, J.M! - ed] with falling into the error of Docetism - because when asked "Have YOU accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?" she replies "Umm, yeah, Jesus… He was, um, like, a man who, um, lived two thousand years ago…"

9. You're not letting your kids go to any Wiggles concerts until they replace "Dorothy the Dinosaur" with "Theodore the Leviathan".

10. You get very angry about subliminal messages hidden in popular music - not just the backmasking in Stairway To Heaven, but the fact that The Lion Sleeps Tonight contains thinly-concealed Pentecostal propaganda for "the Wimber Way".

11. After an initial misunderstanding, you walk out of Election fifteen minutes into the movie once it becomes apparent Matthew Broderick ain't about to start preaching the most sweet and godly doctrine thereof.

12. You were actually relieved to find out that the Beatles' Let It Be is about marijuana.

13. Since the Uniting Church in Australia is led by a Moderator and their magazine is called "Journey", you think the Presbyterians should be led by an Immoderator (whose office is to rouse the congregation with three-hour sermons denouncing Popery) and their magazine should be named "Staying Put" (or, for the WezPrez, "Reversing At 60 Miles Per Hour").

14. Your two most fundamental articles of theology are (a) support for the death penalty, so that murderers, thieves, rapists and Sabbath-breakers will suffer just punishment on account of their own free and voluntary choices; and (b) belief in double predestination, not only of the elect, but of the damned also.

15. You decide that under your planned Christian Reconstructionist regime, the city of Darwin will be renamed "Bob Jones"… and that the whole cast of Will & Grace will be put to death for promoting homosexuality, except for Debra Messing because she played Mary Magdalene in Jesus: The Miniseries.

16. Out of sheer habit, you always refer to hypnotist Barry St James as "Barry James" and the capital of Minnesota as "Paul, Minnesota".

17. Unlike all other fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation, you like "Wesley Crusher" - what a great name!

18. You believe the Anglican Church to be an apostate harlot daughter of its Roman mother, governed by corrupted bishops… You also believe that the King James Version (KJV) is the only accurate and reliable translation of Holy Writ in the English language.

19. You bring a lawsuit for slander against the (engineering or computing) firm you work for, because in the company newsletter they describe you as "charismatic" and say you're "quite an enthusiast" who's "advancing through the corporate hierarchy".

20. You cancel your policy with your insurance company because their thinking is so infected by Arminianism that they won't count deliberate damage by vandals as an "Act of God".

21. When someone asks "Do you know any of the St Kilda Demons?", you answer: "Only some of them - so far I've named Ashgaggerroth, Zordunakulon, and Hamoshphitophel as operating in or around that particular suburb…"

22. You publicly question the much-touted Calvinist orthodoxy of Dr Graeme Goldsworthy himself, because he keeps rejecting your written demands that he officially change his name to "Graeme OnlytheslainLambsworthy".

23. You wasted thousands of dollars on a crash-hot new personal computer because you misinterpreted the salesman's promise about how it was "good for burning CDs really quickly."

24. You have Matthew 5:22-based objections to the For Dummies how-to books.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Karla and Karma

Canada -- being a far more civilised, humane and progressive society than the barbarians to its south, 38 of whose 50 States still employ capital punishment -- abolished the death penalty 29 years ago. Partly as a result of this, Karla Homolka, a.k.a Karla Teale -- who helped her husband Paul Bernardo rape and kill at least three young girls, including Karla's own sister [1] -- has just walked free, at the relatively young age of 35, after serving 12 years in jail. Bernardo is "unlikely" to ever be released, which is reassuring. (Of course they can't say "absolutely positively will never be released", since only a Sith thinks in absolutes).

But as often happens, the nuttiness of one form of political correctness is cancelled out by another. While Canada is too progressive, humane and compassionate to execute Karla for her crimes, it is also too progressive, humane and compassionate to stop her -- even while in imprisoned -- from acquiring a new boyfriend. -- Who's doing time for murdering his own ex. What odds, then, that history may repeat?

Not that I'm endorsing such an outcome, of course; I remain personally opposed, as an article of faith, to all forms of murder. I'm just saying, certain outcomes are foreseeable.

Another alternative is that Karla may leave Canada to make a new life somewhere else. So memorise that face, just in case she chooses Australia.

[1] To be fair, Karla only intended to drug her sister so Paul could have sex with her unawares; the death was an accident.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Labor swaps the soapbox for a pulpit

These letters are reproduced from The Australian's Letter page today (Thursday & July 2005), in case it disappears offline and into archives forever.

Labor swaps the soapbox for a pulpit
07 July 2005

"LABOR'S God Squad" (6/7) really takes the cake for sheer effrontery. The prospect of Labor smarming round the newly noticed churchgoing voter is an exercise in classical amnesia.

It was the Whitlam-appointed Lionel Murphy who introduced the Family Law Act, where de facto is equated with marriage.

The socially destructive Human Rights Bills, the Sex Discrimination Act and Equal Opportunity Bills were high-sounding disguises for the removal of the moral and social values of Christianity – create poverty by encouraging single parenthood and then appoint counsellors to bypass church teachings to form a whole new welfare underclass.

It will require dissimulation on a gigantic scale to re-write this history. However, I am sure it is not beyond Labor's PR skills to do just that. I advise churchgoers to invest in a good supply of long spoons and many, many grains of salt.
Rosemary de Meyrick
Benalla, Vic

KEVIN Rudd is quoted as saying "On those so-called 'life' isues, the Labor Party, like the Liberals, has a conscience vote for individual MPs".

Of course, all policital parties make similar claims. The obvious, and worrying, corollary to that statement is that, on all other matters before the parliaments of Australia, the members do not necessarily vote according their conscience. This is a matter of serious concern for all thinking voters.
L. Allen Warren
Mansfield, Qld

Costello and Carr should remember that politicians who grandstand at religious gatherings appear to ooze genuine insincerity.
Clive Troy
Beecroft, NSW

Frozen Triplet Survives 13yrs at -235 degrees C

After 13 years as twins, now they're triplets

A HEALTHY baby girl has been born in California after spending 13 years as an embryo frozen at -235C.

In a remarkable twist to an already remarkable case, Laina Beasley is a triplet because she was conceived at the same time, by the same parents, as her two 13-year-old siblings.


In the 1990s, Ms Beasley discovered that her doctor - Ricardo Asch, at the University of California, Irvine - had taken eggs and embryos from patients without their knowledge and implanted them in other women or given them to research.

The clinic was shut down and Dr Asch was indicted, although he avoided prosecution by leaving the country. The Beasleys managed to save eight of the 12 embryos they knew about; they were told that some had been sent to the East Coast of the US for experiments.

The Beasleys, strict Christians, planned to use all their embryos to produce children. "There has never been any question in my mind. The embryos were frozen at the two-cell stage and that was still life," Ms Beasley told the Chronicle.

"To this day, we still don't know what happened to those (missing) embryos. It took a lot of years and a lot of counselling to accept that."


"As soon as he (Dr Katz) took the catheter out, I put my hand over my lower abdomen and said, 'Welcome home'," Ms Beasley said. "They had been in this cold place for so long. Now it was over. Whether God took them to heaven or they became babies, it was OK. I had waited so long to get to that point. It was finally full closure."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Retain the Bible's Authority in Church

by Archbishop Peter Jensen

Modern spirituality invents its own standards and rituals, but the Bible stands as an authority over all traditions.

Throughout history human beings have been incurably religious. Religion has continued and even flourished under atheistic regimes such as those imposed by Marxism. Despite the secular mood of our day, religion has not disappeared, it has surfaced again often under the guise of ‘spirituality’.

Contemporary spirituality retains its popularity and it is so often undemanding. It is more interested in whether spirituality meets a felt need rather than the truth. We can invent our own rituals and standards of behaviour. In particular, it does not require corporate disciplines such as going to church.


I was really pleased to find this little article. I have been looking for some more material to rebut the seemingly endless approvals of what I see as a very self-indulgent spirituality that i observe coming through in certain church movements - known as the "emerging church".

They have the following qualities (if they may be called such):

1. They are pragmatic - it it works, do it, if it doesn't, junk it. This is the same kind of basis for making decisions about how to do church as the specious US -style super evangelism that they decry loudly and longly.

2. They are eclectic - (almost) anything goes - with lip-service to the "cultural condition" of the church-goer but really more a hunger for embracing whatever takes their fancy without restraint - all mudled together in a melange of post-nothingness.

3. They are innovative - which I mean to describe beliving what they do is good because it is new, not creating the new beacuse it is good. This also takes into account an unfettered embrace of technology. Hear, o Alternative Worshippers, the words of Rick Deckard,

"Replicants are like any other machine. They're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, it's not my problem."

Technology is not a neutral medium - it is the message. Flashy light, flashy values. They have created the Las Vegas of worship - all style, no substance - except for the initiated few.

Costello addresses Hillsong congregation

This is part of a transcript from the ABC's LATELINE program. report Tony Jonesinterviewing The Federal treasurer, Peter Costello.

TONY JONES: Tell me, though: does the spirit move you when you're there or is this just, for you, another political speech in front of an admittedly very enthusiastic crowd?

PETER COSTELLO: No, I find it very uplifting personally to join in the service, the music and the message. It lifts me. I said that tonight - it lifts me, and I hope it lifts everybody else in the auditorium and, judging from their reaction, it does. You've got to bear in mind that people were actually queuing to get into the Superdome tonight, and I would say predominantly young people enjoying music and hearing a preacher preaching mainly from the Bible. That's a good thing in my book.


It's a good thing in my book too. Where are all the disaffected youths, struggling to find their way in the mainstream churches that stifle their spirituality and creativity? At the Hillsong Conference getting "lifted" of course.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Politicians court the Hillsong crowd

PETER COSTELLO: And as you go back to your communities and your churches, to your neighbourhoods, to your workplaces, and as you live in community with fellow Christians, with your family, I hope that you find the strength of God in your lives, because this is the strength of a society and this will be the strength of our nation. More...

What we need now is a Politician State of Origin, where the boys and girls from Canberra slip on the coloured strip and go thumping each other for the sake of God, country and votes. I can see it now - a risky high tackle by Costello on Kevin Rudd. A neat pass to Howard, the nuggety little half-back from NSW. And a king hit from that big Perth prop, Beazley. What a game!

(not another) theological worldview quiz

From the world of Sven (care of Duncan Maceod's blog). Quizzes are fun but cannot always tell the whole picture of a person's attitudes, values and beliefs. Caveat aside, drumroll, please...

My score? Why Reformed Evangelical, of course! Say it Three times! YAY!

You scored as Reformed Evangelical. You are a Reformed Evangelical. You take the Bible very seriously because it is God's Word. You most likely hold to TULIP and are sceptical about the possibilities of universal atonement or resistible grace. The most important thing the Church can do is make sure people hear how they can go to heaven when they die.

Reformed Evangelical


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan






Roman Catholic




Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Costello makes pilgrimage to Hillsong conference

More than 20 politicians will take to the stage at the Hillsong Church's annual conference in Sydney this week.

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello was among 30,000 people who gathered in Sydney's Olympic Superdome last night for the opening of the conference.

Mr Costello received a thunderous reception when he addressed the crowd.

"Well, the theme of this year's conference is strength and we at the Australian Government level think about that a lot," he said.

"How do we make our industry strong, our economy strong? How do we make our schools strong, and how do we make our public strong, and where does the strength of a nation come from?"