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

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wild about Hari

Now this is bad: Emmerich does Dornick.

We originally announced last summer that Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy was headed to the big screen. After bouncing around between multiple production companies, the master of disaster, Roland Emmerich, and Columbia Pictures won an auction Thursday for the screen and development rights to Foundation. Best known for his disaster blockbusters (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and the forthcoming 2012), Emmerich will be using Foundation as a directorial vehicle - this time on a galactic scale. Emmerich and Columbia won the rights over others like Alex Proyas and Warner Brothers.

Foundation is an epic saga spanning hundreds of years where humanity finds itself scattered throughout the galaxy under the oppressive rule of the Galactic Empire. Originally published in serial format as five separate short stories beginning in 1942, Foundation tells the story of a group of scientists, the Psychohistorians, who are doing all they can to preserve knowledge as the colonies around them steadily regress. The study of psychohistory equates every possible outcome of a large society into readable, predictable mathematics, allowing its practitioners to accurately predict long-term events. Through this insight, a discovery with disastrous consequences is made and a plan is set in motion to avert it.

Although Columbia did acquire the rights to the trilogy, there's been no word yet on whether Foundation will be a single film venture, or if the entire Foundation trilogy will eventually make its way to the big screen. We're expecting Sony to test the waters and see how this first film does before they greenlight any sequels, given the size of the production. Whatever the case, Emmerich seems to be the perfect fit. However, I am weary of the difficulty to adapt Asimov's saga. With such lengths of time and a plot reliant on long-term, plodding effects, can Emmerich make it exciting while still being faithful to the source material?

- Brandon Lee Tenney, " Roland Emmerich Directing Asimov's Foundation Trilogy" (16 January 2009)

You don't need a pocket-calculatron covered with psychohistorical equations to predict another Bicentennial Man/ I, Robot- style galactic-scale frak-up coming to the box office with this. The mention in passing of "the oppressive rule of the Galactic Empire" shows someone completely missed the point... Others, too, foresee looming disaster:

"... My prediction is that the story will be dumbed down to Galactic Empire vs The Mule (an evil mutant rendered in CGI like Gollum), and the Foundation will be a secret defence force set up many years ago by Salvor Hardin that will swing into action using its awesome Psi powers. No need to mention Psychohistory, and certainly no role for Hober Mallow. ..."

To dull the pain (and, hopefully, to avert particularly egregious disasters on the principle that "whatever you foresee, will not come to pass"), I propose we gain some solace by predicting what scenes Roland Emmerich will graft onto Asimov's original story: eg...

* Nobody listens when Hari Seldon tries to warn the people of Trantor about the giant tidal wave that is about to destroy the First Empire. A sneering redneck Mayor mocks Seldon in a whiny voice. Later, audience cheers as said Mayor drowns in a spectacular sea of lava from the ice asteroid's impact while Seldon's infant son is rocketed away from the dying planet.

* Limmar Ponyets defeats Bel Riose by planting a sonic grenade in the exhaust pipe of the Imperial Fleet's flagship. Ponyets then escapes by holding his breath and free-falling down to the nearest planet, out-racing the growing fireball from the spectacular explosion.

* Hober Mallow shorts out the droid armies of the Korellian Republic using a computer virus program written by a wisecracking genius kid from the ghetto. The droids then explode spectacularly.

* Han Pritcher takes spectacular and bloody revenge on the Baroness - the ruthless, whip-cracking dominatrix who commands the Second Foundation's elite Death Skull marines - for killing his family and burning his farm to the ground.

* The Mule (Michael Clarke Duncan, with Ron Perlman playing his second head and Billy Crystal providing voice talent for his mutilated third head) spectacularly strangles his admirals one by one, using his prehensile scorpion-tail, as they fail to re-capture Arkady Darrell. Little do they realise that our spunky heroine is hiding inside an exhaust shaft, where they will never find her.

* Salvor Hardin punches out a Martian invader.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Take my water/ Take my land/ Just don't touch my/ Free broadband

Am typing this sitting in a McDonald's cafe. Macca's restaurants used to give you water (with ice, in a paper cup) for free, on request. Now, however, they charge $1.65 a cup. On the other hand, you can have broadband wireless Internet for free as long as you stay here. (Notionally there is a 50-MB limit, but if you run out, you just log out for a few minutes and then log in again and your slate is wiped clean.)

Free Internet, but charged for water. I don't want to sound ungrateful, since I guess one can always make up a water deficit from a tap in the park for free, whereas Internet usage is invariably user-pays elsewhere (eg, Zarraffa's cafes give you 15 minutes with each cuppa, but then charges for additional). But it seems incongruous.

Ironically, I would say the abolition of free safe water on demand has made me spend less at the temple of the pale orange clown than I otherwise would have. Firstly, because there's no way I'm paying $1.65 for ordinary H2O, even with ice, when I have water bottles in the car. Secondly, a sense of resentment that Macca's has instituted this penny-pinching change - it's not as if giving away free water was sending them bankrupt, and the amount of money I've spent at McDonaldses in my lifetime would be well into four figures now. Broadband is an indulgence for adults - nice, but dispensable. Hydration is a non-negotiable for children. And thirdly, the effort of packing up one's kit and escorting one or more children out to the car to drink for free from the water bottles is so substantial that it doesn't seem worth the effort to come back into the restaurant again once they're quenched. (Particularly since such effort is such a hurdle that one puts off rehydrating the children until later in the session than one would if the task was less effort). So I end up staying for a shorter time, and therefore spending less. Maybe this was an anti-obesity measure instituted by Mayor McCheese.

Ideally, of course, every cafe or food court would have a washbasin with a liquid soap dispenser and some paper towels right there in its main eating area, so that children can rehydrate - and rinse their food-sticky fingers - without having to go to the bathrooms and touch toilet door handles on the way. So far, however, only Nando's Grilled Chicken has this. Don't the toy stores and newsagents, at least, have an interest in pushing for this? Is a drinking fountain near the eating area - at the very least - asking too much?

UPDATE (2011_11_21): The $1.65-a-cup charge for water seems not to apply to all Macca's outlets. Most I've been in lately seem to be happy to give free water if you request it when you make a paying order, or if the counter staff can remember you having recently made a paying order. Perhaps charging money only applies if they think you haven't made any other purchase. Given how often I've observed people waltz in to make use of McDonalds' toilets, then waltz out again without buying anything, I think it's justified to have some policy to stop the free riders. However, on the couple of occasions where we were charged $1.65 a cup, we had made a purchase (in double figures, too). In fact, I think my offspring had proferred an emptied soft drink cup to be refilled, thereby putting proof of purchase beyond dispute.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pay money, take choice

"After all, in whose hands would the Australian people prefer to leave their Constitutional fate: the author of the J-curve and the L-A-W tax cuts [Paul Keating], who had the previous week revealed an intention to jail journalists for revealing inconvenient Government secrets; or the man the Australian public [sic] had christened 'Honest John,' and whose decency has been a shining light through all the pitfalls of public life?"
- Tony Abbott, The Minimal Monarchy, And Why It Still Makes Sense for Australia (Wakefield Press, 1995), p 13.

Very well, then: let the Diogenes-es of the Liberal Party hear from this honest man:

'Asked about the level of support for the Greens, which he calls a passing phase in his book, Howard calibrated his view in a significant way. He noted that in some inner city electorates, voting Green could become institutionalised through Greens-voting families passing the habit down through generations - in the same way voting Labor or Liberal was a family thing a generation or so ago.

'And while he didn't say as much, he suggested one way to institutionalise the Greens vote would be for Liberals to allocate preferences to the new party in a bid to oust Labor MPs in soft left inner city electorates - as when the Liberals gave the Greens preferences in the federal seat of Melbourne, which led to the election of Adam Bandt. Howard pointed out that if a Greens politician was elected instead of a Labor candidate it would have the same outcome: one less number for the non-Labor side in Parliament...'
- Dennis Atkins, "It may benefit Libs to heed Howard's advice," The Courier-Mail (28 October 2010), p 11.

(The same outcome? I'd dispute that. Three important differences between a result of "80 Labor MHRs, 70 Coalition" and "65 Labor MHRs, 15 Greens and 70 Coalition", even if a Green/Coalition coalition is unthinkable: (a) Parliamentary logic. The Coalition might be able to defeat Labor on specific issues by peeling away the Greens, especially on "transparency" matters: see Tasmania since 1989. By contrast, they won't dent a solid absolute majority of Labor MPs. (b) Electoral logic. There will be Labor MPs who are nervous about Greens defeating them on Liberal preferences, and vice versa. Sows the dragon's teeth of discord on the left side of politics: compare the Liberals and Nationals in Queensland. (c) Moral ambit claims. "We won more Reps seats than any other grouping - 5 more seats than Labor and a whopping 55 more seats than the Greens" sounds very impressive if you don't analyse it too closely, and if there's another hung Parliament with a combined Liberal/National plurality - the Liberals will almost never, of course, be that largest single party on their own - this trope, repeated endlessly by Murdoch journalists, can be used to make a Greens/ Labor alliance seem illegitimate and anti-democratic.)

'The former prime minister, John Howard, has urged the Liberal Party to avoid doing preference deals with the Greens, even if it puts the Coalition at a tactical disadvantage. Speaking at the National Press Club yesterday to promote his autobiography, Lazarus Rising, Mr Howard said ultimately the Coalition had nothing to gain by helping the Greens take seats from Labor. This was because the Greens would always support Labor and their agenda was more extreme. ''I think my side of politics has got to be very careful about giving preferences to the Greens. In my view the Greens are worse than Labor,'' Mr Howard said. ''The Greens are fundamentally anti-free enterprise. They have terrible foreign policy attitudes and they have a lot of social policy attitudes that a lot of Labor people would find abhorrent.''...'

- Phillip Coorey, "Don't give preferences to the Greens, says Howard", Brisbane Times (28 October 2010).

Okay. Can someone please tell me, yes or no: Does JoHo think the Liberals should preference the Greens ahead of Labor, or does he not?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"The shooting of The Hobbit will begin in February..." - no, nothing to do with the Pill, Third Rite Reconciliation, or tariff protections (thankfully)

"Yiss, thut uzz how we got over-stoffed. I unushully iggrid to take jist one ixtra kimera-min, bit thin huz brither turned ip too ind knocked on my door, ind thin huz brither dud too, ind huz brither, ind huz brither, ind so on untul we hid twilve pipple there and I couldn't rilly till inny uv thim to jist git lost ind go away."

The shooting of The Hobbit will begin in February with Sir Peter Jackson in the director's chair. Director Peter Jackson launched a fresh broadside at actors' unions Wednesday, as Hollywood executives and the New Zealand government continued talks on keeping "The Hobbit" in the country. Jackson said he was "incredibly angry" at the NZ Equity actors' union for launching industrial action which threatened his $500 million project without properly consulting its members. The Oscar-winning director also disputed NZ Equity's assertion that it called for an international boycott of "The Hobbit" last month after he refused to negotiate with it on minimum conditions for actors on the set. Jackson said the union called the ban, which has since been lifted, before contacting him about its concerns. [...]

- "Unions held gun to my head: Hobbit's Jackson" (27 October 2010)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This'll hard be

"Lesson I: The second person pronoun, whether singular or plural, whether the subject or the object of the verb, is 'you', not 'y'all y'all..."

Oh, wait. Wrong Georgia. Okay, then, maybe this will work.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yes, that's what the voters want these days - politicians who are 100% on-message and predictable (see: 2010 federal election, results of)

The Queensland Opposition Leader has sacked a policy adviser and reprimanded several others for jokingly proposing that teachers should be issued with Tasers. John-Paul Langbroek says he is angry at the staff members for creating a joke policy proposing that Tasers be used as form of behaviour management in schools. He says it was in extremely poor taste.
"It's conduct that does not accord with the high standards that I expect from my office," he said. "I've got a history in my family of a father who's a retired teacher, a mother who's a retired library aid and of course it's not anything the LNP would seriously consider as a policy for behaviour management in schools. I think it's very disappointing that sometimes in an office situation people can lose sight of the main game and in this case clearly that's been done. It's not to the standards that I expect and that's why action has been taken and will be taken."
- "LNP staffer sacked over joke Taser-for-teachers policy", ABC News (26 September 2010)

Hey, Jean-Claude... this was obviously a joke, okay? No normal person out there in marginal-seat land really, actually thought this was a real actual, LNP policy. We're not idiots. We realised full well  that it was meant as some light amusement, like Bill Hayden's "drover's dog" comment, or NaSto Despo's "Men Of Senate" calendar, or Joh Bjelke-Petersen telling the media he was going to award himself a knighthood, or... oh, never mind.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I did not know till now that the usages of Sulva were so common among you

A SEX-starved businessman was so hung up on his ex-girlfriend after she dumped him that he paid $18,000 to recreate her as a life-sized sex doll. The 50-year-old man put together a collection of photos of his ex and told Italian adult toymaker Diego Bortolin: "I want it just like her but with bigger boobs," Italy's Il Messaggero newspaper said. Mr Bortolin, who hasn't named the man, creates extremely realistic sex dolls at the factory behind his shop, named "Temptations" in English, in Treviso, Italy. "She was a smiling blonde girl but he wanted bigger boobs and a curvier backside," Mr Bortolin said. "Our normal dolls are very realistic and everything works just like the real thing. Mr Bortolin said he usually charges around $US 5000 for the dolls, but that this particular project was more expensive "because we had to replicate everything, right down to the shape of her nails and teeth." The doll weighs 58 kg and is about 1.6m tall. Mr Bortolin said the doll is fully flexible and can take on any movement or position a human can. "She is now the perfect girlfriend as far as I can see," Mr Bortolin said.

- " Man replaces ex-girlfriend with custom-made sex doll" (2 September 2010)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This blog has on occasion made mock of Mungo MacCallum in these his declining years, but occasionally he has seen his predictions come true. Admittedly, not in 1992, when he wrote in the Weekend Australian Magazine just before the Tasmanian election that the State's Hare-Clark electoral system ("also known as the 'Hare-Brained System'.... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Brilliant! Never heard that one before!) was certain to deliver a hung parliament.

But back in the day, at the height of his powers, Mungo was indeed a journalistic force to be reckoned with, for in 1977 he managed to predict the result of an election one-third of a century later:

"... Win, lose or draw (a very real possibility which must be causing the incoming Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowen, the odd sleepless night)..."
- "Malcolm's Last Joke," Nation Review, 1-7 December 1977), repub as Chapter 21 in Mungo on the Zoo Plane: Elections 1972-77 (UQ Press, 1979), p 196.

As did John Howard's former chief of staff, Grahame Morris, back in the now-expunged era of the Latham Ascendancy:
"There is every chance after the election the Prime Minister will have to wake up every morning worrying about what Bob Katter had for breakfast."
- Glenn Milne, Hamstrung by the minors," The Australian (6 September 2004).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Heaven's gate" - always a good omen (so to speak) for an ambitious film producer

Okay, well, the much-trumpeted (so to speak) Paradise Lost film doesn't seem to be happening after all (surely not copyright claims? I knew the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act had a long reach, but even so...). However, all hope do not abandon. For in lieu thereof, there is another: Lucifer: The Movie, to be directed by conservative activist Ray Griggs. Preview clip at YouTube here.

My verdict: The CGI's brilliant. Depicting heaven as Pandora-meets-Lothlórien, as an Edenic forest-island floating in the clouds, is inspired (so to speak). Establishing Michael and Lucifer as besties who later become deadly enemies during the War In Heaven does not come entirely out of left field (even as a mortal bound by linear time, I foresee the line "You were like a brother to me!" being uttered at some point *) but it can certainly make the characters resonate if done properly. The dialogue could do with some trimming, and please, not Warwick Capper/ David Lee Roth as the soon-to-befallen archangel. But this is a promising start, and hopefully the hairstyling budget can match the CGI budget on the final cut.

* And then, when Lucifer is kicked out of heaven, he - hmmm.... - falls into a pit of molten lava, and emerges looking all burned and hideous, with his skin stripped off. Something like the attached artwork by Ong Chew Peng, which I have christened (so to speak) "Eric Bana arm-wrestles a flayed Malcolm Heather."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

I wonder if you can

"... proletarians [were]... subjects of governments founded on the inequity of power, ... individuals who were inevitably exploited by and exploiters of others, because they had consented to be elements in the State-Machine...

"... The Odonian society called itself anarchistic, he [Atro] said, but they were in fact mere primitive populists whose social order functioned without apparent government because there were so few of them and because they had no neighbor states. When their property was threatened by an aggressive rival, they would either wake up to reality or be wiped out...."
- Ursula Le Guin in 1974 (The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, pp 109, 203).
"... But we cannot have free and open dissemination of information and literature unless the use of written material continues to be controlled by those who write it or own legitimate right in it. We urge our government and our courts to allow no corporation to circumvent copyright law or dictate the terms of that control."
- Ursula Le Guin in 2010 (Petition Concerning the Google Book Settlement).

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

"Iran unveils human-like robot"

Iran, huh.... So's that mean that, when the nukes start flying like maybugs, an android woman will say "God told us to do it, Gaius"?

IRAN has developed a new human-like walking robot to be used in "sensitive jobs", a government newspaper reported.

Soorena-2, named after an ancient Persian warrior, was unveiled by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is 1.45 metres (4.7 feet) tall and weighs 45 kilograms (99 pounds), the report said.

"Walking slowly like human beings with regular arm and leg movements are among its characteristics,'' it said.

"Such robots are designed and developed to be used in sensitive and difficult jobs on behalf of a person or as help.''

The report did not elaborate on the robot's capabilities.

Iran has pursued a number of scientific projects in recent years such as cloning, stem cell research and satellite technology while it has come under increasing international pressure over its controversial nuclear programme.
- "Iran unveils human-like robot", AFP (4 July 2010)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

I read the news today - oh, boy

FAMILY First Senator Steve Fielding was accused of base politics yesterday after he claimed the Government's paid maternity leave scheme would encourage late-term abortions by drug addicts and welfare cheats seeking to rort the system... Senator Fielding claimed women would get the benefit even if they had an abortion. "Drug addicts and welfare cheats can get themselves pregnant and then after 20 weeks have an abortion and still pocket the Government's cash," he told the Senate. "There may be mums out there who want to cheat the system in a horrific way."

His comments were rejected by fellow Senators as sad and pathetic. The Government said only parents of stillborn babies would be eligible. "A stillbirth is required to be certified by a medical professional," [Health Minister Jenny] Macklin's office confirmed. ... Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said Senator Fielding was the most minor pawn in the Parliament who had base political motives. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young accused him of "dirt politics," and Greens leader Bob Brown said he was "almost irrelevant."...
- Ben Packham, "Senator Steve Fielding scorned over abortion jibe," Herald Sun (17 June 2010)
A woman has been sentenced to 10 years' jail for prostituting her 12-year-old daughter to raise cash, in part with the stated aim of buying two new Commodore cars. The Tasmanian woman, who cannot be identified, pleaded guilty to a series of charges associated with helping to prostitute her daughter, initially at a hotel and then a private house...
- Matthew Denholm, "Mother jailed for prostituting daughter, 12, for cars," The Australian (14 May 2010)

A Victorian father has been jailed for 13 years after prostituting his own teenage daughter to his truckie mates. The man, 58, was also sentenced for molesting the girl himself, the Age reports...
- "Man jailed after prostituting daughter," NineMSN News (8 June 2010).

A Gold Coast woman who prostituted her own daughter has had her jail term increased. Earlier this year, the woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was sentenced in the District Court at Southport to six years' imprisonment. She had pleaded guilty to more than 60 offences relating to her 12-year-old daughter. The woman's trial heard that on one occasion she told one of her daughter's clients that he could do whatever he wanted...
- "Increased sentence for mother who prostituted daughter," ABC News (1 August 2008).

A MOTHER has been charged with sending her 16-year-old daughter to work as a prostitute at a brothel in Sydney's eastern suburbs. The Wollongong District Court was told yesterday the schoolgirl was taken by her mother to Liaisons Executive Retreat, a brothel in the eastern inner-city suburb of Edgecliff, and was made to work there for two weeks...
- Sallie Don, "Mother 'sent daughter to work in brothel'," The Australian (28 July 2010)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Well, of course there won't be any...

... if you introduce yourself with "Hi, it's me... Poindexter! ":

THERE is no room for romance on board the cozy confines of the International Space Station, a NASA space shuttle commander said when asked what would happen if astronauts had sex in space.

"We are a group of professionals," said Space Shuttle Discovery commander Alan Poindexter during a visit to Tokyo, after a reporter asked about the consequences if astronauts boldly went where probably no others have been.

"We treat each other with respect and we have a great working relationship. Personal relationships are not... an issue," said a serious-faced Cdr Poindexter. "We don't have them and we won't."

Cdr Poindexter and his six crew members, including the first Japanese mother in space Naoko Yamazaki, were in Tokyo to talk about their two-week resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The April voyage broke new ground by putting four women in orbit for the first time, with three female crew members joining one woman already on the station.

Sex in space may appear out of bounds, but astronauts have been known to succumb to earthly passions.

In 2007 former NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak allegedly wore adult diapers when driving hundreds of kilometres across the United States without bathroom breaks to confront a suspected rival in a romance with a fellow astronaut.
- "No space for sex in space, says shuttle commander Alan Poindexter", AFP (28 June 2010)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finally... a reason for the enormous pendant on gold chain

Geoff Shearer, "Real estate agents use hypnosis to seal property deals", The Courier -Mail (10 June 2010), p 15.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Abrams tanks

Okay, so JJ Abrams and Damien Lindelof have renounced the Tower (thereby leaving Anton Yelchin as the sole link between Star Trek and Stephen King's Iliad of Gilead). But is there another producer/ director with the courage to do his dinh's will? Aha! Another there is! And it is... huh? Ron Howard?

Be careful what you wish for, perhaps. A cameo as his twinner, Arnie; Arthur "the Eld" Eldarelli; and "you have crossed the White and I, Chachi son of Chachi, consign you to the Black, maggot."

But aye, dear gods, not Tom Hanks as Roland...

UPDATE (1): Having now seen the first 11 minutes of Toy Story 3, I owe Mr Hanks a semi-apology. Seems to me that if you gotta see six-shooters versus laser beams on a train track crossing a vast desert, he's your go-to guy.

UPDATE (2): Although a second Hamm connection would have been too much Toy Story.

UPDATE (3): Javier Bardem, then. Sounding good. Especially appropriate for a knightly warrior named Roland to be played by someone born in Spain, even after it turned out that Chretien n'avait pas droit after all. And there's this...

... Another smallholder rose - Bucky Javier. He had bright little blue eyes in a small head that seemed to slope back from his goateed chin. "What if we left for awhile?" he asked. "What if we took our children and went back west? All the way to the west branch of the Big River, mayhap?" - Wolves of the Calla, Chapter 1.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dust gets in your spell-checker

The previously-observed, already-high degree of Stephen King/ Phillip Pullman convergence [*] has grown even higher of late. King writes about "The Good Man" and "the Man Jesus", so... what does Pullman title his latest novel? The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. I've not seen such shameless pilfering since Peter Jackson directed The Menacing Shadow of the Past (2001), Always Two Towers, There Are - No More, No Less (2002) and The Revenge of the King (2003), stealing from George Lucas the idea of having a respected Scandinavian actor speak the line "What does your heart tell you?" with a straight face. Having said that, ever since Doctor Who Season 2, Pullman has been much more sinned against than sinning in the pilfering department, so surely he's entitled to do likewise unto others and thus restore the cosmic balance.

Intriguingly, something about Pullman's Bultmannish new Anne-Rice-channels-Joseph-Smith pastiche seems to cloud the minds of the proof-readers:

'Like many atheists, the novelist Philip Pullman has emphatic and complicated religious beliefs. Pullman used His Dark Materials, his masterpiece trilogy, to deliver a savage beating to the Catholic Church (the thinly disguised "Magesterium" [sic] in the novels)...'
- David Plotz, "The Gospel According to Philip: Philip Pullman tries to repair the most sacred story ever written," Slate (2 May 2010).

... But unfortunately those dumb fundoes in Harry-Potter-burning flyover country won't appreciate Pullman's literary genius, because their too alliterate. Maybe Slate better install Firefox spell-checker in time for installment #627 of its "How Dumb Is Sarah Palin?!" series.

But let's not single out the Kinsley Report to pick on. Even The Australian itself has succumbed to Spectres munching on the brain cells, as the Millar told his tale:

'... Uncannily, in his new book Pullman seems to have been at work on the specific charges laid against the Vatican hierarchy. One wonders if Geoffrey Robinson [sic], the Australian human rights barrister preparing the case for Hitchens and Dawkins, will be able to put it any better than the speech Pullman scripted for "Good Man" Jesus, arguing against the establishment of a church in his name: "Any priest who wants to indulge his secret appetites, his greed, his lust, his cruelty, will find himself like a wolf in a field of lambs where the shepherd is bound and gagged and blinded... and his little victims will cry to heaven for pity, and their tears will wet his hands, and he'll wipe them on his robe and press them together piously and cast his eyes upwards".'
- Bruce Millar, "Double take," The Weekend Australian (1-2 May 2010), Review pp 4-5.

Great quote, by the way. It seems that Pullman - after so zealously thwacking the stuffing out of Inter-Testamental Judaism in His Dark Materials - has lately realised that this "Christianity" thingumajig offers a much more topical, and therefore more appealing, target for his neo-Voltairean pen. (We await with keen interest the Great Questioner's forthcoming The Charlatan and Impostor Muhammad Exposed and Refuted, due in late 2013 or early 2014, dependent on publishing schedules.) So Pullman is now zeroing in on one of Christianity's chief weaknesses, as previously noted by Nietzsche and Marx: that the Sermon on the Mount constitutes unilateral disarmament by the exploited, ordering them to turn the other cheek to their exploiters rather than resisting them. Vide GK Chesterton's Jake Halket, the radical trade union leader who confronts Father Brown in "The Ghost of Gideon Wise" (1926):
[Someone] had uttered some casual and conventional phrase about "Heaven forbid" something or other, and this was quite enough to set Jake off with a torrent of profanity. "'Heaven forbid'! and that's about all it bally well does do," he said. "Heaven never does anything but forbid this, that and the other; forbids us to strike, and forbids us to fight, and forbids us to shoot the damned usurers and blood-suckers where they sit. Why doesn't Heaven forbid them something for a bit? Why don't the damned priests and parsons stand up and tell the truth about those brutes for a change?..."
The word "Christian" appears, I think, exactly twice in the Dark Materials trilogy and there are no references to Jesus at all that I remember. Many of PP's Christian critics have viewed this as an implicit admission by him that Jesus won't fit into his imaginary universe, and that this is a flaw in his theology. Yet this seems too easy. How hard would it have been for one of the rebel Angels to tell Will or Lyra something like:"There was another angel, two thousand years ago, whom the Authority loved dearly, even like his own son. Yet when this angel sought to intercede and plead for mercy on the humans' behalf, the Authority had him tortured to death on a cross. And then promoted Metatron as regent in his place." Bang! Then at one blow, you've made Pullman's God even nastier and more malevolent than the Christian God. (You've made him, in fact, into the Arian/ Jehovah's Witness God). Pullman would have deflected the "But what about a merciful, humble Jesus?" counter-argument using a variant of Rita Brock's and Brian McLaren's " cosmic child abuse" interpretation. So Pullman could have: why didn't he? Was he saving his ammunition for this book instead?

[*] King and Pullman have similar views about organised religion: ".... God o' the Cross was just another religion which taught that love and murder were inextricably bound together... in the end, God always drank blood" ("The Little Sisters of Eluria"). Interestingly, though, while they agree that three centuries ago Everything Changed, they disagree strongly on whether the Enlightenment/ Scientific Revolution was a Good Thing. Pullman sees it as the start of humankind's war of liberation against its angelic oppressors, and the dawn of the "Republic of Heaven", while King labels it "The Age of Poisoned Thought." - ouch.

Robots and Jedi

Sell on Michael eBay!

'[US] FEDERAL regulators should address the "casino environment" on Wall Street where computerised high-frequency trading can trigger market-shaking turmoil, a US senator says. Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd pointed to the new phenomena of automatic programs - trading robots - buying and selling stock in nanoseconds as a possible cause of last week's meltdown that was felt around the world....'

- AFP, " The 'robots' that could ruin Wall Street" (10 May 2010)

Help us, Obeid/ Whan/ Kenneally! You're our only hope!

'Army reservist Christian Emmery, who turned 20 several weeks ago, is standing as Labor's candidate for the southern and far-western NSW seat of Farrer, a safe Liberal seat held by frontbencher Sussan Ley. Mr Emmery said he was single, lived with his dad in Albury and worked at the local Coles. The self-confessed Metallica fan is active on Facebook, where he lists his religious view as "Jedi"....'
- "Labor's Jedi knight Christian Emmery wants your vote," Daily Telegraph (9 May 2010).

UPDATE: And from the land of Lucas and Hamill... "Only a master of evil, D'Ath!" (Yes, that is exactly how it's pronounced in Australian). - The Senate will not sit still for this...

... while agreeing to an NYT interview that gets posted on the - what's that phrase? - "World Wide Web." Yep, that'll work

'Min Liu, a 21-year-old liberal arts student [Do conservative arts students exist? - ed] at the New School in New York City, got a FaceBook account at 17 and chronicled her college life in detail, from rooftop drinks with friends to dancing at a downtown club. Recently, though, she has had second thoughts. Concerned about her career prospects, she asked a friend to take down a photograph of her drinking and wearing a tight dress. When the woman overseeing her internship asked to join her FaceBook circle, Ms Liu agreed, but limited access to her FaceBook page. "I want people to take me seriously," she said. The conventional wisdom suggests that everyone under 30 is comfortable revealing every facet of their lives online, from their favorite pizza to most frequent sexual partners. But many members of the tell-all generation are rethinking what it means to live out loud....'
- Laura M Holson, "Tell-All Generation Learns to Keep Things Offline," New York Times (9 May 2010), p A-1.

Walt's and my Tilda

'If one were casting a Hollywood film about Australian politics (an unlikely project), it would be hard to go past Philip Seymour Hoffman for the part of Kevin Rudd. (Don't you love these games?) Tony Abbott would be harder, but I think I'd go for William H Macy. George Clooney might be credibly disguised as Malcolm Turnbull and Tilda Swinton would be a natural for Julia Gillard...'- Evan Williams, The Weekend Australian (24-25 April 2010), Review p 19.
Oh, yeah, Swinton as Gillard is a no-brainer (see photo). Throughout Lion, Witch & Wardrobe I kept waiting Jadis the White Witch to start expounding on school rankings and the repeal of WorkChoices, and expecting the line " I have no children of my own" to be discreetly dropped from Anne Peacock's script.

Casting other State and Federal politicians in Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming History of the Australian-Speaking Peoples should be straightforward. Obviously, you'd cast Danny de Vito as John Howard. I mean - obviously. For Brendan Nelson, either Billy Bob with his Mr Woodcock 'do or else whoever played the President in X-Men 2. Likewise Callum Keith Rennie as Anthony Albanese; Liev Schreiber as Teevee Goneboy; Tom "Forrest Gump" Hanks as Chris Pyne; Seth Rogen as Barnaby Joyce; Eric Bana as Laurence Springborg; Humphrey Bogart as Rob Borbidge; Lance Henriksen as Bob Carr; Ian McKellen as Bob Hawke (sorry, David Field and Richard Roxburgh); Greedy Smith as Paul Keating; Gina Riley as Anna Bligh; Antonia Kidman as Paula Wriedt; Jake Gyllenhaal as Cameron Dick. No obvious matches, unfortunately, for Australia's own "Charisma" Carpenter.

But... the rest of the Evan's casting? Macy as Abbott, while Daniel Craig still draws breath? And how could anyone could go past the world's second most famous Kevin as Rudd himself?

PS: No, not Sandra Bullock as Sarah Palin. Wendy Hughes.

PPS: Robert Duvall as François Mitterrand.

PPPS: Wm H Macy can still get a slot... as David Laws.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Deep cleavages in the societal compact

The text of this editorial is worth reproducing in full, partly to spare readers from opening a page with graphics that are definitely NSFW, but also because it's not every election that one sees John Locke quoted to defend topless "Page Three" photos against a renewed Clare Short-style ban:

SIXTEEN Page 3 Girls in all their glory represent the very image of freedom in this country. But if Labour or the Lib Dems win the election, this could be the last time they are allowed to pose together. MPs Harriet Harman and Lynne Featherstone will move swiftly to change the law and ban Page 3 forever. Our national treasures - who even enjoy the Royal seal of approval from our future King Prince Charles - will be no more. And at a stroke the very liberties that put the Great into Great Britain will be torn asunder. The radical ideas of the 17th-century philosopher John Locke helped shape our freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights and, later, America's Constitution. Lib Dem frontbencher Featherstone was cheered by women's rights activists when she declared she would "love to take on Page 3". But our Poppy said: "The basis of Lockean thought is his theory of the Contract of Government, under which all political power is a trust for the benefit of the people. His thinking underpins our ideas of national identity and society. Please don't let those who seek to ban our beauty win. Vote to save Page 3!"

- "Save these girls from dole queue", The Sun (6 May 2010).

(In classic Murdoch tabloid style, every sentence was a separate paragraph in the original. No, don't click the link to check. Take my word for it.)

(No, I found it by clicking on a headline titled "Keep These Girls Off the Dole Queue" in the "UK Elections" section of Google News. Why, what did you think?!!)

One suspects that, uncoached, "Poppy" would be more likely to free-associate "Hobbes" with "Miranda" than "Thomas", and "Locke" with the Smoke Monster, but still... If we can't rely on Prince Charles as our Supreme Arbiter of acceptable standards of sexual propriety for British women, who else is left?

PS: This is not, in fact, the only result that Google gives for "laws of england bare breast", although it doubtless gets more traffic than Sir William's Commentaries these days.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


One is Cameron's political fantasy... The other is a largely CGI sci-fi movie that has nothing to do with Anglo-Australian conservative parties.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grand harmonic convergence...

... of two separate blog posts:

'... According to the unsworn declaration, Bombshell says, "I do NOT have a swastika tattoo on me."..."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

When the watch says, "It's Time..."

RIP Lady Sonia (or Sonia Lady) McMahon... you knew there would be a superhero angle on her death, though, didn't you...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Mungo, mungamus, mungant

"It was left to a more literate conservative, Sydney Kings School headmaster Tim Hawkes..."

Take that, stupid illiterate conservatives!

"... to point that just 39 of the 237 content areas in the [national schools] curriculum contained any reference to Aboriginals [sic]..."

- Mungo MacCallum, "When a problem comes along, you must whip it; whip it good," 16(10) The Northern Rivers Echo (18 March 2010), p 16.

Do go on, Mungo, keep us informed whether these illiterate, hangover-from-the-1950s conservatives also complained about the Curriculum's coverage of Negroes [sic], Jewesses [sic], and Asiatics [sic] too.

UPDATE: Some free counsel for literate conservatives out there. If your blurb introduces you as "Director of [the? Boris and Natasha, call office] Melbourne-based Education Standards Institute", you don't want any genitive mutilation in your very first sentence:

"There’s nothing new in the Australian Education Union’s campaign against the Liberal Party and it’s attack on Tony Abbott...."

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Moreover, if Star Wars had been made...

... by this George Lucas - if Mayhew, Mark/Luke, and John had joined forces with the other Fisher and Cushing - then the Marvel (1977) graphic novel of A New Hope, the one with Obi-Wan Kenobi on the cover, [1] would not have Luke (extracanonically) channelling Luther. [2]

It might also have been drawn by someone who had actually seen the movie... [3]



[1] Of course, had you asked a newsagent in 1977 for a copy of "the graphic novel of A New Hope, the one with Obi-Wan Kenobi on the cover," she or he would have looked at you blankly until you translated this into "the comic of Star Wars, the one with Ben Kenobi on the cover."

[2] C/f both Luther Coy "Luke" Perry and Luther "Luke Skyywalker" [sic] Campbell.

[3] That's not snark... at least, it's not merely snark. When the Brothers Hildebrandt were commissioned to paint the SW:ANH movie poster - a change from these telempathic twins' usual shtick of bronzed dragons, buff elves, etc for gaudy covers of fantasy novels written by blokes named Terry - they hadn't actually seen the film either (this was pre-Internet, remember, and even largely pre-VCRs) and had only some still photos to work from. Hence the iconic 1977 poster of Luke wielding a cross-shaped lightsabre (Krull meets Braveheart), his muscled chest popping out of his tunic, Leia hanging off his leg (ahem), and Darth Vader looking like a robot dog in the background. Still, better than a green Vader who looks more like Bug from The Micronauts... The Hildebrandts may have produced a different sort of poster if commissioned by The Other George Lucas.

PS: In 1979, I read in a primary-school English textbook (American, printed in one of those exotic-sounding seats of publishing houses like Engelwood Cliffs) a story about two modern Amish kids going to a State Fair. Being barely-assimilated Pennsylvania Dutch, they referred to their parents as Moeder and... Vader. Huh? I thought, THIS is a Star Wars spinoff?! (not wholly implausible - these were every bloody where in 1979), but then I checked the publication date (1960s), and eventually deduced that Vader, like German Vatter, is cognate with English "Father". Boy, thinks 1979 me, what a funny coincidence! The Dutch word for "Father" is spelled like the name of "Darth Vader", whose name obviously symbolises something quite different - "Dark Invader." (I was among those who subscribed to the "Vader is really an alien overlord, with an oozy green head under his helmet" theory).

PPS: Then, in early 1983, just as fandom everywhere were buzzing with speculation about how Revenge - err, Wrath - err, Return of the Jedi might be resolved, I read somewhere (StarLog, maybe? Like I keep saying, this was pre-Internet) the perfect theory. It was set out at length, and this is my paraphrase of what I remember of it, though over 27 years I would not rule out the possibility that some of my own speculations have gotten enmeshed with it. I can't find it on the Web but I think it's too good to slip down the memory hole that awaits all paper-based fanfixes from pre-1998. I would claim at most only some claim of the credit.

Okay, goes like this:

Obi-Wan's and Leia's passing reference to the Clone Wars was not, as we all assumed back then, just another piece of Lucasian colour thrown into the dialogue - like "the Spice Mines of Kessel" or "wrestle a Gundark" - to give a Nivenish depth to his imagined galaxy. Rather, there had in fact been Clone Wars before the rise of the Empire; these might possibly have been important to the back story (- ya think?!); and they might have involved clones. Like the name says. (How long was the Hundred Years War again?)

Vader was not Luke's original father, but an evil clone that Senator Palpatine secretly made from the modified DNA of Anakin, a good man who was the greatest Jedi warrior and star pilot ever known. (Post-prequels, you could embellish this by having Anakin defeat Jango Fett - the template for the original clone troopers - and thus convince Palpatine that Jango was only the second-greatest warrior in the galaxy after all).

Palpatine got himself elected President of the Galactic Republic (refer Alan Dean Foster) and then declared himself Emperor and used the evil Vader clone to defeat all Jedi who resisted. When Skywalker père found out that Palpatine had misused his genetic stock in this fashion, he came out of retirement, left his new wife and baby son Luke in hiding with his brother Owen on Tatooine, clipped on his lightsabre again, joined the nascent Rebellion, and tried to kill his own clone (is that suicide, or filicide?). But Vader killed Anakin, by feigning sympathy to the Rebellion to trick him into lowering his guard (Vader would have all of Anakin's memories up to the time of cloning).

Which means it was true in a very real sense that, as Obi-Wan told Luke, "He [Vader] betrayed and murdered your father."

But also that it was true in a very real sense that, as Vader told Luke: "No, Luke. I am your father."

So that, at the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke manages to overpower and disarm Vader, and has him at his mercy. But he realises that the clone, even though corrupted, is still an exact copy of his father and "there is still good in him". So Luke spares Vader's life, and thus escapes ensnaring by the Dark Side. Palpatine mocks him and brings on the Force-lightning, but Vader rises up ("Respect for human life is not a weakness!") and turns against his own dark master. Cue Ewoks drumming on helmets, etc.

Okay, it's elegant, and has an "aha" moment as good as Éowyn telling the Nazgûl Witch-King "I am no man". (Which was a nice Wagnerian allusion - we know how much JRR loved those - but it did (a) depend on the old "Here's an ancient prophesy that a seer once uttered out of the blue, which doesn't relate to the rest of the plot but solves this particular dramatic tension quite nicely"; and (b) sit uneasily with Tolkien's frequent old-school use of "Men" throughout The Lord of the Rings as a synecdoche for "humans"/ "homo sapiens" in general... ("The Age of the Elves has passed! The Age of Man begins! Wait, sorry, Éowyn, the Age of Woman won't be for another 5,217 years after that.")

It also elegantly explains who "The Other" is (it's obvious that "Hey, guess what, it's Leia and she's Luke's sister, not that she actually does anything" was pulled out of Lucas' ass some time around September or October 1982 - you can't tell me otherwise he wouldn't have cleared his throat in 1979-80 and said "Uh... Leigh? Lawrence? This smouldering kiss that Leia gives Luke in Empire, Scene 10... Can we, uh, make that a hug...") AND also why Yoda was coy about explaining The Other's identity to Obi-Wan (maybe Kenobi didn't realise Vader had been cloned from Anakin; maybe Palpatine kept it top secret, but Yoda sensed it and guessed, which was why he wanted Luke to be ready for the dilemma it would present... Luke may have the fighting strength to kill Vader, but not the emotional cojones to be a virtual patricide).

But all that will now have to wait until Star Wars gets re-imagined, and that usually takes about two decades since the last original episode aired. So, 2025...

Monday, March 22, 2010

''Jesse James, it was a fact, He stabbed Sandra in the back, By sneakin' round with some be-tattooed hussy...''

One really needs to click on the link to see and appreciate this gal's tatts.

Sara Nathan, ''Sandra Bullock pulls out of The Blind Side premiere in UK as tattoo model claims she had affair with Oscar winner's husband Jesse James,'' Daily Mail [UK] (18 March 2010)

Sandra Bullock as a lass, was in Demolition Man
But as she grew up, her roles became more choosy
Told her agent, "Be selective - I can play a tough gal detective,
Or even rom-com heroines named Lucy."

But Miss Bullock with her men, she'd get burnt again 'n' again
Her problem was, she wasn't very fussy
Jesse James, it was a fact, he stabbed Sandra in the back
By sneakin' round with some be-tattooed hussy


Oh, Jesse had a hide to go cheatin' on his bride
And she ought to Bullock-whip this damn impostor
That dirty little coward! while his wife was with Ron Howard,
Emotively acceptin' of her Oscar...

Now Jesse he was bold, cut right from the K-Fed mould
And clearly was a dodgy stupid donkey
But Miss Bullock she was smitten, and (as all the tabs have written)
Thanked the gods at least he weren't Matthew McConaughey

Though Sandra Jesse trusted, came the day that he got busted
And at last she was aware of Jesse's sin
He'd betrayed her indiscreetly - so she whispered, smiling sweetly,
That "I'm gonna put a needle through your skin"


Oh, Jesse had a hide to go cheatin' on his bride
And she ought to Bullock-whip this damn impostor
That dirty little coward! while his wife was with Ron Howard,
Emotively acceptin' of her Oscar...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Another Hart-Fuller debate; or, [N]orm is [N]orm?

Either some poor academic's Jurisprudence I exam paper leaked into the In-World's reality, or else I have been mistaken and "Norm" is not a first name as such but a title that one adopts upon assuming an office, like "Pharoah" for ancient Egyptian kings, "Caesar" for Roman Emperors, and "Anna" or "Kate" for female Labor politicians (depending on whether born before or after 2 December 1972).

"PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd is at the centre of a fierce debate over whether parents of bullying victims should confront the mums and dads of their child's tormentor. ... Queensland Association of State School Principals president Norm Hart said he agreed with most of Mr Rudd's comments but urged parents to be sure they had the full story before contacting another student's family. ... Queensland Secondary Principals Association president Norm Fuller said he understood what Mr Rudd was saying, but he also held concerns some parents may react violently to the intensely emotional issue...."

- "Experts slam Kevin Rudd's advice on bullying," Courier-Mail (4 March 2010)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Strictly evidence-based

'... I am trying to call attention to the elephant in the room that everybody is too polite - or too devout - to notice: religion, and specifically the devaluing effect that religion has on human life. I don't mean devaluing the life of others (though it can do that too), but devaluing one's own life. Religion teaches the dangerous nonsense that death is not the end. If death is final, a rational agent can be expected to value his life highly and be reluctant to risk it. This makes the world a safer place, just as a plane is safer if its hijacker wants to survive. At the other extreme, if a significant number of people convince themselves, or are convinced by their priests, that a martyr's death is equivalent to pressing the hyperspace button and zooming through a wormhole to another universe, it can make the world a very dangerous place. Especially if they also believe that that other universe is a paradisical escape from the tribulations of the real world. Top it off with sincerely believed, if ludicrous and degrading to women, sexual promises, and is it any wonder that naive and frustrated young men are clamouring to be selected for suicide missions? There is no doubt that the afterlife-obsessed suicidal brain really is a weapon of immense power and danger.... To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used...'

- Richard Dawkins (Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, University of Oxford), "Religion's misguided missiles: Promise a young man that death is not the end and he will willingly cause disaster," The Guardian (Saturday 15 September 2001)

'The gunman who went on a deadly shooting spree at a Finnish high school overnight posted a video clip on the video-sharing site YouTube that signalled his intentions. The video, entitled "Jokela High School Massacre - 11/7/2007," was posted within the past two weeks under the pseudonym "Sturmgeist89", who identified himself as Pekka-Eric Auvinen, 18... In his profile posted alongside his YouTube videos, the teen describes himself as an "cynical existentialist, antihuman humanist." "I am prepared to fight and die for my cause. I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see [as] unfit, disgraces of the human race and failures of natural selection," he wrote... In another video, he sports a tee-shirt with the text "Humanity is Overrated."... "I don't want to be part of this ... society," he wrote, criticising "corrupted governments" and the "rule of idiocracy [sic {sic}]." "I am ready to die for a cause I know is right, just and true ... I will rather fight and die than live a long and unhappy life"...'

- AFP, "YouTube gunman kills eight at school," ABC News (8 November 2007)


"... Of course, it is not unusual for homicidal maniacs to cite great writers when seeking to justify their crimes. The Chicago spree-killers Leopold and Loeb (the models for Hitchcock’s 1948 film, Rope) claimed Friedrich Nietzsche as their muse, as did the Moors murderer Ian Brady. Other deranged misfits have nominated Albert Camus, Jean Genet and André Gide. But it may take a keener intellect than was possessed by Harris, Klebold or Auvinen to negotiate such a reading list. The basics of evolution are much more accessible and are taught in every high school, so it should not be surprising that Darwin seems to be emerging as the inspiration for the more dim-witted schoolboy sociopath..."

- Dennis Sewell, "Charles Darwin and the children of the evolution: The naturalist outraged the church, prompting a bitter debate that still sets creationists against evolutionists. Now a sinister link has emerged between his work and the recent spate of high-school killings by crazed, nihilistic teenagers," The Sunday Times (8 November 2009)


Now that's cosmically bad timing for a boast of this sort:
"Something you will never see: an atheist boarding a plane with a bomb strapped to him, waving a copy of On The Origin Of Species, before he blows himself up in a violent attempt to further his cause. So says David Nicholls, the head of the Atheist Foundation of Australia..."

- Jacqueline Maley, "Atheism's true believers gather," Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 2010).

Monday, January 11, 2010

If CS Lewis had converted to a religion other than Anglicanism…

Everyone wants to claim CS Lewis - from Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, though Southern Baptists (apparently Wheaton College has a shrine to the master on its grounds), to Mormons. But what if he had actually converted...?

Baptist: The Wise Man (Or King)'s Nephew

Brethren: The Last Battle (Of This Particular Dispensation)

Eastern Orthodox: The Ornately Bejewelled Silver, Gold, Diamond And Lapis Lazuli Chair... So Beautiful... How Could It Possibly Be Evil?

Lutheran: The Voyage (Not Being A Pilgrimage or Any Other Specie of Good Work) Of The Dawn Treader

Presbyterian: Junior Vice-President Caspian

Roman Catholic: In The First Place, Treating Of The Lion; In The Second Place, Treating Of The Witch; And In The Third Place, Treating Of The Wardrobe

Uniting/ Unitarian: The Horse and The Companion Human Accompanying Her or Him