Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Case of the Red-Headed Dwarfs, part 29

The court had to be cleared owing to the roars of ribald laughter which greeted the appearance in the witness-box of the twelve red-bearded dwarfs all in a heap. Their names were read out amid growing uproar. The names appeared to be: Sophus Barkayo-Tong, Amaninter Axling, Farjole Merrybody, Guttergorm Guttergormpton, Badly Oronparser, Churm Rincewind, Cleveland Zackhouse, Molonay Tubilderborst, Edeledel Edel, Scorpion de Rooftrouser, Listenis Younghaupt, Frums Gillygottle.
Cocklecarrot: Are these genuine names?
A Dwarf; No, m'worship.
Cocklecarrot: Then what's your name?
Dwarf: Bogus, m'ludship.
Cocklecarrot: No, your real name.
Dwarf: My real name is Bogus, your excellency.
(At this point the court had to be cleared)

Age bin - War crimes

It is reported in connection with the trial of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan that no Australian soldier has ever been convicted of killing a civilian or a prisoner.

This is quite believable; after all, even when Australia passed a law to punish second world war crimes we restricted its operations to parts of the world where no Australian soldiers had fought. It is, nonetheless, a stain on the nation's character that we have never been prepared to open our eyes to the obvious fact that Australian soldiers are not in comparison with the military of other countries uniquely angelic. In every war we have fought up to the present day some Australian soldiers have on occasion raped and plundered; in most of our wars we have been regarded by our allies as particularly prone to kill our prisoners. In every war to date those Australians who committed war crimes have been shielded by the Anzac myth. If the War Memorial were to institute a gallery showing Diggers beating up wogs in Cairo, machinegunning lifeboats, and conducting pogroms in Palestinian villages (all incidents recorded in our histories) there might be more public recognition that sending men to war is a terrible responsibility not so much because Australians may die as that Australians may kill.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Case of the Red-Headed Dwarfs, part 28

'The time of this court is valuable,' said Cocklecarrot, as four of the dwarfs carried in a large canvas cake, opened it, and released an actress who began a slow dance in the well of the court.
'Valuable to whom?' queried a dwarf.
'To the public,' replied Cockle¬carrot.
'The public,' answered the dwarf, 'would far rather have all this foolery than the usual dull nonsense of cross-examinations and long speeches. See how they are all laughing.'
And, indeed, the packed court was shaking with laughter.
'Take that actress away,' shouted Cocklecarrot, and the girl flinched back in mock alarm. And at that moment paper snow fell from the ceiling, and a dwarf cried, 'Ah, do not turn our little sister out without a roof to her mouth. Have mercy, daddy.'
Cocklecarrot laid his head in his hands and groaned audibly.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No shit, Sherlock?

Furthermore, there was a plot hole in Inception. The hero said it was possible to bury a memory at a lower dream level so that the person whose dream it was would wake up believing it, and he knew because he'd done it. But he hadn't. What he'd done was altered something at the dream level and made the person believe it at that dream level, which is the equivalent of winning an argument on the conscious level - nothing like crossing levels.

Oh, so that was a strain on your credibility?

Not only that, it was a straight steal from an episode of Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
Which I see has been noticed before....

I preferred Dark City.

Deception

Saw Inception last night. Disappointing on a number of levels. That was the trouble: it had a number of levels, and it was shallow on every one of them.

About the only justifiable complaint, mind, being that there were no real special effect zingers that weren't in the trailer. Everything else could have been predicted.

It was complicated without being complex.

You had dreams within dreams, and every single dream was a version of an inferior James Bond movie. There was almost no dreamstuff, even by Hollywood standards - the only thing out of place was one instance of a freight train coming down the street against the traffic. As to the mysteries of the unconscious, nothing; Freud lived in vain. One mildly discreditable repressed secret, but no monsters from the id, no dimly seen forms in the corner of your eye, no distractions from what was basically a caper movie. I should have gone to the anime festival.

Prominent indigenes

Looking up the Council, for the Order of Australia (the one that does the awards) I see that the NT representative is one Tba Tba. Good, I say, an islander, it's about time that there was indigenous representation..... and I then google him or her to to discover their sex for the gender breakdown table...

To Be Announced. It was the saying it twice that threw me.

Idiot.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Admission against interest

I predicted, I see, that the final votes would fall for Abbott; not so. Which probably means that they'll hold out till July, when the case is altered. Interesting times.

The Case of the Red-Headed Dwarfs, part 27

'The present position,' said Mr. Justice Cocklecarrot, 'would appear to be this: A body of twelve red-bearded dwarfs, in its capacity as a firm of rocking-horse makers, is bringing an action against itself, in its capacity as a hydraulic laundry, alleging that a twill covering for the tail of a rocking-horse was destroyed by the said laundry. But the position is complicated by the fact that the horse in question has no tail. It is, therefore, difficult to see how any case arises. Nor is the matter clarified by regrettable horseplay.'
A Dwarf: Rocking-horseplay, I submit, your reverence.
Cocklecarrot: You will kindly address me properly or not at all.
Dwarf: Not at all what?
Cocklecarrot: What do you mean, 'what'?
Dwarf: No. What do you mean, 'what'?
Cocklecarrot: What I said was - oh, go to the devil!

Irish

OK, there's a movie in this one.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Case of the Red-Headed Dwarfs, part 26

An attempt was made to resume this case on the next day, but since the twelve red-bearded dwarfs are both plaintiffs and defendants, Cocklecarrot was rather at a loss as to how to proceed. He had, however, discovered a precedent in volume XV fn of Blitherstone, the case of a Miss Frack, who brought an action for libel against herself. Miss Frack was a novelist who, to obtain publicity, wrote a novel under the pen-name of Miles Euston, in which she said that Miss Frack, one of the characters, was a thief and a forger. She was awarded damages against herself, and was in the papers for three days, which sent her sales bounding up.
Matters were complicated, however, by the dwarfs entering a plea of Cujusmodo. Nobody had ever heard of this plea, until one of the counsel unearthed it in the third year of the reign of Henry II. There the matter rests at present.

Age bin - Fossils

As Peter Costello points out, in a hung parliament the power of every single parliamentarian goes up. One further consequence of this is that we are likely to see an unusual rigidity in party nominations. Any member who got knocked out in the next round of preselections would have every possible motive to do a Craig Langdon and walk out in a huff, and party leaders will heavy all concerned to make sure that doesn't happen. If you were thinking of challenging a sitting member next time round, forget it.

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