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

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shameful ethnic and social-class stereotyping in Howard's Australia

You Know You're REALLY Politically Correct When...
#19. … you absolutely despise John Howard, darl, because you're deeply committed to opposing to all forms of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination, and that boring little Methodist midget isn't.

( 23 September 2003)

"... No doubt the same good Australians a week or so later were celebrating our national day with 'mates' over a lamb-laden BBQ and a game of backyard cricket fuelled by a Cold Chisel CD...."

- Tom Cranitch, " Nationalist zealots stealing Australia Day" 8(2) Eureka Street (24 January 2008),

Monday, April 21, 2008

More fighting monks

Armenians: "Those who actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects for the ordinance of Baptism!" Greeks: "Sez you! But rather, not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one or both believing parents, are to be baptized!" Armenians: "Right! That doth it! Have at thee, heretic!"

The monkomachy at the shrine continueth...

A scuffle broke out at the traditional site of Jesus's burial on Sunday, when Greek Orthodox and Armenian believers, who fiercely protect their hold over sections of the shrine, traded blows.
Police said a fight broke out after Armenian worshippers yanked a Greek Orthodox cleric away from a tomb in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.
A spokesman said he did know the precise cause of the scuffle. Fights are not uncommon among the representatives of Christian sects who jealously guard their rights to parts of the centuries-old church.
"There is always tension there between the different sides," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. "That's why police were on scene ahead of time to prevent any arguments or disturbances from breaking out."
No injuries were reported but two Armenians were briefly detained.
Worshippers had gathered at the church in the Old City for Orthodox Palm Sunday, when eastern churches celebrate Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey. Western churches celebrated Palm Sunday and Easter last month.
About 100 Armenians gathered at a Jerusalem police station to protest the detention of the two men but were later dispersed.

- Reuters, " Christians brawl inside Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre" (21 April 2008)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The hand... controls me!

A "happy-go-lucky" man who killed himself with a shotgun died in the same manner and using the same method as the man from whom he received a transplanted heart over a decade earlier. Sonny Graham was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the throat in his backyard shed last Tuesday, US media reports....
        Mr Graham, 69, never met Terry Cottle, who fatally shot himself 13 years ago, but took the heart of the 33-year-old South Carolina man in an organ transplant operation when on the verge of congestive heart failure. Mr Graham contacted widow Cheryl Cottle a year later expressing his gratitude. They continued their correspondence before meeting in person and eventually falling in love.
        The couple married in 2004 and moved to the US state of Georgia with the six children they had from previous marriages.  In a 2006 interview with a local newspaper, Mr Graham said he felt an instant and unusual attachment when he met his donor's widow. "I felt like I had known her for years," Mr Graham was quoted by The Island Packet as saying. "I couldn't keep my eyes off her — I just stared"...
- Erin Tennant, "Man's mystery suicide mirrors that of organ donor", NineMSN News (9 April 2008)
Orlac, call your office.

"YOUR Empire?!"; or, Shouldn't they be settling this by lightsabre instead?

"Lucas takes Star Wars fight to UK court"

Wednesday 9 April 2008, 05:55 AEST

A judge in a wig and gown gazed down on a Stormtrooper costume and
nine masks from the Star Wars films at London's High Court at the
start of a high-profile copyright case.

George Lucas, creator of the blockbuster intergalactic sagas, and his
billion-dollar merchandising arm are suing Andrew Ainsworth, a
small-scale prop designer who sells replicas of the film characters
from his south-west London studio.

Lucasfilm and related parties have already won a 2006 court case
against Ainsworth in California, where the judge awarded the firm
$US20 million ($A21.63 million) in damages, and they are now seeking
to have a similar ruling enforced in Britain.

According to a short summary of the case provided by Ainsworth's
lawyers, he argues that the copyright on the items in the courtroom
has expired, and even if it has not, that he owns it, and not Lucas.

"Hence the defendants are counter-claiming in respect of unauthorised
making and issue, distribution and sale of toys and costumes which
are copies of the disputed items."

Michael Bloch, lawyer for Lucasfilm Ltd, opened proceedings by
arguing that the design for the Stormtroopers and other key
characters from the films were well advanced by the time Ainsworth
was asked to produce the costumes in 1976.

"By the time Mr Ainsworth was brought in to make the Stormtrooper
helmet, the look to be created had been worked on by a large number
of people for perhaps more than a year," he said.

The designs "were pretty well fixed in 1975 and they involve the
initial idea of George Lucas worked on then by Ralph McQuarrie and
others". McQuarrie was the conceptual artist and design consultant
for the original Star Wars trilogy.

At stake are the rights to merchandise worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Total merchandising revenue since the first Star Wars movie in 1977
is estimated at around $US12 billion ($A12.98 billion), and total box
office takings from the six movies is about $US4 billion ($A4.33 billion).

As well as the full Stormtrooper costume, masks of characters
including a TIE fighter pilot and Tusken Raider were arranged on the
front bench of the court room.

Ainsworth sells his replicas of the Stormtrooper helmet and armour,
as well the masks for an array of other key characters, from
Shepperton Design Studios.

The full set of armour normally retails at 995 pounds ($A2,137),
although the company does not supply US customers.

Lucas' side is expected to argue that Ainsworth was working for the
studio under an implied contract, whereas the prop designer counters
that "no written contract was entered into and Andrew Ainsworth was
not employed by Lucasfilm".

There may also be legal debate over whether the uniforms were
industrial design or works of art, which could affect the length of
copyright protection.

The case, expected to last for 10 days, continues.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Of the sauce of the goose, neither shall you eat, for it is an abomination

'Were [the ex-Catholic convert to Protestantism] as convinced of the value of his new life as he claims, would he feel so driven to try to play down the old?'

-  Fr Paul Stenhouse, "Catholicism -  The Untried Faith," Annals Australia (April 1990), p 11.

'... at the Easter Vigil at St Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI baptized and received into the Catholic Church Magdi Allam, an Egyptian-born author and critic of Islamic fundamentalism... [W]hen the pope personally baptizes a Muslim man who is a famous public critic of Islam and does so on international television, well, it seems pretty obvious that the Holy Father is giving radical Islam one in the eye. But then Reuters reports that Cardinal Re tells an Italian newspaper, "Conversion is a private matter, a personal thing, and we hope that the baptism will not be interpreted negatively by Islam." A private matter? When it takes place at the Easter Vigil at St Peter's Basilica and on international television? Good luck with that one, Eminence. Not surprisingly, the conversion of Mr Allam was big news in the Italian press, and the Vatican certainly foresaw this result... Now, if the [P]ope wants to send a message to bin Laden and his ilk that he will not be intimidated by their threats and that he will preach the Gospel in season and out, including to Muslims, then well and good. That's a message of which I heartily approve. But the Vatican should be straightforward about it....'

- Robert T Miller, " Re: A Muslim Converts", First Things (26 March 2008)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Con i bogani dello Parco Bossli, è forte la Forza, si?

"... police received reports of an infrared laser light being shone from the Bossley Park area at a plane believed to have been travelling from Cairns to Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport. The Virgin Blue plane landed without incident and no one was injured. Last Friday six passenger planes were targeted, forcing the aircraft to alter their flight paths and delay their landings into Sydney. The planes had to changed their flight paths into Sydney after pilots were targeted in a co-ordinated attack by four green lasers..."

- Daniel Emerson, " Sydney plane zapped with laser," Sydney Morning Herald
(Wednesday 2 April 2008)

Hrrrrmmmm... Green lasers, says the Herald Sydney Morning? Curious and disturbing this puzzle is. If red lasers they had employed, then Sith they would have revealed themselves to be, hrrrrmmmm, yes.