There is an oft-used technique in thriller films – after what seems like a shattering climax there is an almost pastoral passage in which your blood pressure drops back down and your pulse rate returns to normal only to be forced back up again as a new climactic event bursts across the screen. Clint Eastwood in Play Misty for Me is probably the best example of the phenomena.
Friends have been busily giving the blog further examples of dumb/erroneous statements by conservatives which have been sadly (sorry that’s a joke which doesn’t remotely qualify as irony) exposed as nonsense.
The most frequent example cited was The Australian’s pontifical Paul Kelly who greeted Julia Gillard’s announcement of a Royal Commission into child abuse as “a serial exercise in populist policies and policy ignorance” saying the exercise was also “a moral crusade (aimed at) systematic dismantling of the Catholic Church.” “If only” would cry the victims of 2000 years of persecution and abuse cry from their graves, torture chambers and auto da fes.
One of the quickest way for advancement in conservative parties is to perfect the sneering and/or smearing put down when someone on the other side comes up with a new and different policy.
In Australia the greatest recent example is then Treasurer, Scott Morrison, saying “It’s nothing more than a populist whinge” in response to a call for a Royal Commission into the banks.
Why do we remember and commemorate wars but not epidemics? The blog asked that in its last post focussing on the differences between commemorating Australia’s WWI dead and those many more who died in the world flu epidemic immediately after the war.
Yet in one of those serendipitous events the blog came across some significant work on just how prevalent epidemics have been in history, how they have been forgotten and some lessons for today.
Australia is gearing up for its last hurrah of World War One commemoration with a fair amount of emphasis on how ‘we’ won the war with the decisive breakthroughs in the lead up to November 11.
The Canadians and the Brits think the same, as the blog has remarked before, but there’s lots of credit to go around and at least News Corp won’t be detracting from our glory by echoing Keith Murdoch’s condemnation of Monash.
Given the state of politics in the USA, the UK and Australia it would be easy to think that it had become partisan beyond repair.
Indeed, given also the extent of the influence of various fundamentalist Christians and other fundamentalist ideologues it might even by judged as Manichean with the good and/or evil being determined by who is speaking when and about what.
While all Australians are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the release of the Ruddock report on freedom of religion, and for information about our Pentecostal PM’s plan to protect freedom of religion, here’s a little quiz for blog readers.
What have the following got in common: Ovid, Erasmus, Copernicus, Montesquieu, Spinoza, David Hume, Sartre, Milton, Lawrence, Zola, Kepler and Gide?
One of the great benefits of being retired is the fact that you need never attend a corporate team-building exercise again. The other – if you are an employee – is not having to be subjected to various personality testing tools such as Myers-Briggs.
The blog’s old firm had regular – well annual anyway – team building exercises which doubled as strategy and training sessions. Like most such efforts they were held off-site and usually employed some form of facilitator – chosen by the management team and not the blog – and dinners and socialising at nights.
Crisis management is not that hard – just ask children in a UK school – as the blog discovered reading an article by Lucy Kellaway a former Financial Times management editor (a post she described as FT bullshit correspondent). Kellaway left full time journalism to become a teacher and founder of an organisation which encouraged business boys and girls to turn to teaching as a second late career life.
What about sovereign risk? was a question asked of a guest speaker at a lunch the blog recently attended. What about sovereign risk indeed the blog muttered under its breath.
On the tram on the way home after the lunch the blog, however, got to thinking about what other glib defences PR advisors would use to characterise policies powerful interests opposed; what might get the powerful interests agitated in the future if a change of government occurred; and, what framing the advisors would recommend in such situations.