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

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fashion Nazis

UPDATE: "Danish-Norwegian artist Nina Maria Kleivan dressed her baby as various 20th-century dictators. Left, Adolf Hitler, top right, Mao Zedong, bottom right, Idi Amin." - National Post [Canada] (16 March 2010)

"Anne Geddes Starting To Lose It"- The Onion, Issue 37.25 (25 July 2001)

"Fashion chain Zara withdraws swastika handbag"- "Oddly Enough", Reuters (21 September 2007)

Spanish fashion chain Zara has withdrawn a handbag from its stores after a customer in Britain complained swastikas were embroidered on it. Zara, owned by the world's second largest fashion retailer Inditex, said it did not know the 39 pound ($78) handbag had green swastikas on its corners. The bags were made by a supplier in India and inspired by commonly used Hindu symbols, which include the swastika. The original design approved by Zara did not have swastikas on it, Inditex said. "After the return of one bag we decided to withdraw the whole range," said a spokesman for Inditex, which has more than 3,330 stores in 66 countries.

Zara pulled the bags after 19-year-old Rachel Hatton told Britain's Daily Mail she asked for a refund when she spotted swastikas on her bag. "The shop assistants were quite shocked as well to find out this symbol was on there," she told BBC radio. A British anti-fascism group said the bags were an attempt to legitimize fascism and the Daily Star tabloid newspaper ran a picture of Adolf Hitler next to its story headlined, "Fury over Nazi Fashion Bags."

The swastika is an ancient religious symbol for Hindus and Buddhists, and has represented the sun, strength and good luck to many groups around the world. Since its adoption by the Nazi Party in 1920, people in the West have associated the swastika with Nazi dictator Hitler.

UPDATE: Thank you, come again!

INDIA'S small Jewish community is up in arms over a new line of Indian home furnishings which includes a bedspread named "NAZI" and uses the swastika in its promotional brochures.The furnishings dealer says the word "NAZI" stands for New Arrival Zone of India, but local Jewish leaders say the name rings of [sic] Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic regime.[...] The NAZI-named bedspread is being sold at stores in India's financial capital Mumbai.The new product is promoted with a brochure that displays two red swastikas against a black background.The brochure reads "Bed and Beyond presents the NAZI collection" with the expanded form of the word written in a very small font. The cover has a picture of two red cushions and a red bedspread. "The name has nothing to do with Hitler," said the dealer, Kapil Kumar Todi, denying he had chosen the name for free publicity. "It's just an abbreviation."But Indian Jews – only about 5000 remain after most migrated to Israel and the West over the years – say they are outraged by the gimmick.[...] Holocaust awareness in India is limited and Hitler is regarded by many as just another historical figure. [...]

- Krittivas Mukherjee (Reuters), "Bed and Beyond presents 'NAZI' collection," Herald Sun (30 September 2007)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Das Siebensjahreitschgesetz; Or, Pauli-Wahl - nuts

'In a few years, no doubt, marriage licenses will be sold like dog licenses, good for a period of twelve months, with no law against changing dogs or keeping more than one animal at a time.' - Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932), Foreword.

Yet another "Gabriel[l][e] vs conservative politicians" news item for this week. When, oh when, will right-of-centre political parties learn that it's a bad idea to endorse twice-divorced 50-something redheads who subsequently come out with embarrassing public pronouncements, who pose for kitschy photos, who engage in tasteless media stunts, and whose names contain the letters P, A, U, L and I...?

A conservative German politician has proposed making marriage contracts expire after seven years, with the option to renew for those not feeling the proverbial itch. "I propose that marriages lapse after seven years," Gabriele Pauli told reporters in Munich, the capital of the largely Catholic southern state of Bavaria. "This would mean that one will only commit for a fixed period and will actively have to renew your [sic] vows if you still want to continue."

Ms Pauli, 50, has been divorced twice. The proposal is part of her manifesto as she prepares to contest the leadership of Bavaria's governing party, the ultra-conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), next week. The CSU is the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the leadership is being vacated by a strategic ally of the chancellor, Edmund Stoiber, who has also been premier of Bavaria for more than a decade. Mr Stoiber in January agreed to step down at the end of September after a party rebellion led by Ms Pauli. Shortly afterward he announced his decision, Ms Pauli caused a stir by posing for magazine pictures as a dominatrix wearing long latex gloves. - AFP, "Politician proposes seven-year limit on marriages," Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News (20 September 2007)

For those who aren't au fait with Germanic politics, the Bavarian CSU is roughly the German equivalent of the Queensland National Party (down to having its own version of the failed " Joh For PM" campaign). So this would be like, say, Fiona Simpson supporting no-fault divorce (as an alternative to judicially amputating a finger or two from the at-fault spouse).

Given Ms Pauli's rather disconcerting resemblance in certain respects to Helen Buday in Alexandra's Project, dissolving her marriages every seven years might come as something of a relief to the menschvolk of Germany.

PS (1): India Knight gives her views on the proposed Pauli-ine Privilege.

Not as clums[ii] or random as...

"Finally the lightsabre comes to the Wii"

Players will wield the Jedi weapon of choice using Nintendo's motion-sensitive 'Wiimote' controller
By Rhys Blakely

Times Online (Wednesday 19 September 2007)

A new weapon will soon join Nintendo's armoury: a lightsabre. Internet gaming sites across the web today cheered news of a new Star Wars game for the hit Wii console in which players will wield the Jedi weapon of choice using Nintendo's motion sensitive "Wiimote" controller...

[From the Journal of the Whiiiills]

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Crossing Jordan on the Yarra

"A new body established by the [Victorian] State Government will address family-friendly employment practices and issues... Jill Hennessy will become the inaugural chairwoman of the State Government's Working Families Council..."
- David Wilson, " Council to help workers get a life," Melbourne Age (25 August 2007).
Calm down, Crossing Jordan fans - not that Jill Hennessy. This one's a Victorian barristrix (and a former ALP State President, as it happens. Gosh, what a lucky coincidence that she happened to be the best-suited applicant for the job in an open selection process!). The ALP's already had one J. Cavanagh and he was quite enough.

Such disappointment as has not been seen since Iraqis learned it was a different J. Garner whom Dubya was appointing as his prefect plenipotentiary to reign over them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nation-al reunification, or, alternative history

According to the IMDB, Gareth "Roj Blake" Thomas and Tom "Fourth Doctor" Baker:

"... always wanted to do a cross-over between Doctor Who and Blake's 7 but this was vetoed by producers of both series. Indeed, the invasion from Andromeda at the end of the second season was originally going to be [an] invasion by Doctor Who's Daleks, also created by Terry Nation."
Oh, what might have been. Two of the most awesome Late Seventies Curly Perms seen on TV, after that of Ron on Alexander Bunyip's Billabong, together on screen at last... Terry's children, returning home again for a Tom vs Thomas crossover...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Not from "The Onion"

"Concerns over cage-fighting approval"

ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) [Sat 15 Sept 2007]

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is concerned the Western
Australian Government has approved an event in Perth next month that
will see competitors fight in a cage.

The Government's Professional Combat Sports Commission has issued a
permit to the promoters of the King of the Cage mixed martial arts contest.

The commission's executive officer Darren von Bergheim believes
granting the permit will allow the event to be staged in a way that
ensures the participants' safety.

Permit conditions include that contestants have medical clearance,
and that a medical practitioner is on hand at all times.

But the AMA's president in WA, Geoff Dobb, says any event which
encourages participants to beat their opponents senseless should not
be condoned.

"Cage fighting is really a naked demonstration of violence, and I
think there is no place for an exhibition such as this in the 21st
century," he said.

You need less money, more common sense

On the other hand, not all Liberal Leader/ Gabriel interactions are so cordial. In this case, orange cordial. ...Twelve?!

Now, if you need a break from British tabloids fretting about Maddie, you can turn to Australian tabloids fretting about Maddi:

Greg Stolz, "Maddison Gabriel causes fashion storm", Brisbane Courier-Mail (Friday 14 September 2007)

The 12-year-old girl chosen as the face of a Gold Coast fashion event
says she fits into women's clothes, so she should be allowed to model them.

O-kayyy... That's a novel interpretation of "theology of the body": that it can't be wrong if you're physically capable of doing it.

This is no so much Thomistic as Emma Tom-istic reasoning ("I've personally some really cool people who engage in X, so how can X possibly be wrong?") .
Prime Minister John Howard has led a chorus of criticism of the choice of Maddison Gabriel, who turns 13 on Sunday, as the face of the inaugural Gold Coast Fashion Week.
"Just because something may not be technically illegal, doesn't mean it's morally right", Mr Howard grimaced . "I, urr, make no apologies, Kerry, for having stood steadfastly by that principle throughout my political career."

The Hillcrest Christian College Year 8 student told Channel Seven that she was the right model for the job.
What's the bet that school bans Harry Potter books?

UPDATE: Okay - thirteen now. Now that it's been established that making light of child abuse won't disqualify you from political leadership (at least if you're not Alexander Downer), maybe Peter Hollingworth could re-apply for the GG-ship now?

UPDATE 2: "Model's mum seeks apology from PM", Melbourne Age (Sunday 16 September 2007)

Seeking an apology from John Howard. Now there's a productive use of one's vocal cords.

UPDATE 2: A National/ Liberal united front, as supermodel Kristy Hinze agrees with Howard:

"I think that's awful," Hinze said. "Gee, I was a baby at 15 when I started, but 12? That's taking it to a whole new level. I don't care what she looks like... It is an adults['] world and adult products she is selling ... that is quite sick actually."

Good to see the House of Hinze still upholding its family tradition of staunchly opposing all attempts to commodify or cheapen the Gold Coast.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What, ALL of his wives?!

'"Who played the father in the movie Kramer versus Kramer?" That's one of the 50 questions Japanese men could face in a "daddy exam," meant to raise awareness about fatherhood in a country where men tend to work long hours and leave their wives in charge of childcare and household chores...'

- " Daddy exam quizzes men on potties, parenting," Reuters "Oddly Enough" (14 September 2007)

"Banks must try different methods of suckering in the impressionable... Eg, send them emails beginning with 'Honourable Sir!'..."

"Nigerian banks must stop using attractive women to persuade customers to open accounts, Senate President David Mark was quoted as saying in Thursday's newspapers..."

- Reuters, "Hey, big boy! Any interest?" (14 September 2007)

Still on the side of the angels

(1) Heckler to Sir Robert Menzies in Williamstown, Victoria (1954): "I wouldn't vote for you, even if you were the Archangel Gabriel!"

Menzies: "Even if I were the Archangel Gabriel, madam, I'm afraid you would not be in my constituency."


(2) "The federal Labor Party has called on the Prime Minister to disendorse Jesus Diaz's [Liberal] candidacy for the federal seat of Chifley because of [his immigration licence] suspension."

"Liberals stand by candidate over migration agent," ABC News (6
September 2007) []

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

While playing "Sister Christian" on HIS tapes, with HIS music, in the order HE liked the songs

"An alleged drug kingpin was captured in his underwear Monday, hiding in a bush outside a house in western Colombia, government officials said in Bogota..."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Michael Leunig, call your [O]ffice

Yep. Israel. 'Coz, like, that's exactly where you'd choose to live if you wanted to form a six-member neo-Nazi cell group... ie, a country where the majority of the populace are five million Jews, many of them Holocaust survivors; whose young folk all do military service and carry their Uzis with them on the bus and to the cafe; and who are constantly alert for terrorist attacks. Brilliant strategy by the master race there...

"Israeli cops bust 'neo-Nazi' cell" ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Monday 10 September 2007 Immigrants from the former Soviet Union formed a neo-Nazi cell in Israel that assaulted religious Jews and foreign workers and daubed swastikas in synagogues, police say. A photograph of six young men raising their arms in a Nazi salute was featured on the front page of the Jewish state's most popular newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth. "Unbelievable", a headline read. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said eight suspects were arrested in all. At a court hearing, they denied involvement in any neo-Nazi activity. He said none of the suspects was born to a Jewish mother, the Orthodox definition of a Jew, but qualified for citizenship in Israel under civil law because each had at least one Jewish grandparent. "The cell members adopted Hitler's ideology and created their own unique language which includes music, video clips, insignia, graffiti, and tattoos all depicting Nazi ideology," a police statement said. "Members of the group would document attacks in which they beat innocent and helpless people who belonged to different minorities," the statement said. Foreign workers, homosexuals, Orthodox Jews and drug addicts were the main victims in attacks in the Tel Aviv area over the past year. Cell members also painted swastikas in several synagogues, along with "Death to the Jews" - with misspellings in Hebrew - on a building near one of the houses of worship, the statement said. Police said the group had "strong ties and connections to other neo-Nazi cells active in Germany and elsewhere overseas". Mr Rosenfeld said the suspects would be charged with "causing bodily harm to individuals and sabotage to synagogues". Amos Hermon, an official in the Jewish Agency, a quasi-governmental group in Israel that helps organise immigration, said neo-Nazism in the Jewish state was a "minor phenomenon". He said it was likely the alleged cell members were suffering from "immigration shock" and vented their frustrations by expressing "some of the most hurtful sentiments towards the Jewish people" and emulating behaviour they may have witnessed in the former Soviet Union. - Reuters

Thursday, September 06, 2007

... And also for starring in "American Psycho" and "Batman Begins"

"Truth stranger than fiction as Polish author jailed"

ABC News (Thursday 6 September 2007)

Polish author Krystian Bala has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of a businessman after he published a novel which contained details of a similar killing. The body of the businessman was found near the Polish city of Wroclaw seven years ago. Prosecutors say Bala had humiliated, tortured, starved and later killed his victim, who had a love affair with the writer's wife. Bala told authorities that he had taken details of the case from press reports and made up other aspects of the story. (BBC)