And we’ll all be awarding gold medals to doctors and scientists will we?

Here’s the latest from the dizzying heights of Olympia.
John Coates calls for more Government funding for the (elite) sports, despite his organisation sitting on $100 million.

OK Mr. Coates – let’s beggar the Government by pouring all our cash into sports. What happens to the kids who aren’t sports mad? What happens when there’s no funding for the Arts, Academic, Medical, or Scientific endeavour? What happens when we see our once-proud achievements in these fields denigrated to the trash can of history?

We, and you, sir, will be sitting on our hands wondering where all this county’s pride has gone – the pride we have for the developments Australia has delivered in those fields.

You may not have noticed, but Australia has played a pivotal role in the recent Mars “Curiosity” landing; and the role we played during the Moon Landings in the 60s and 70s.

What lasting improvements to mankind has sporting prowess given us?

More money for sport? More like throwing good money after bad.

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“…and you’ll never suit the bush.”

Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain, Tasmania Pic by Martin Goodman

Congratulations this week must go to Channel Seven for its re-working of the tired, biased, old “Whingeing Pommy” story. Since coming to Australia in 1955 I’ve heard this from so many people, and in so many forms in, and out of, the media, that I never cease to be amazed that it still gets an airing.

There are countless immigrants from Britain who have left the comfort of their birthplace to come to Australia (and Canada perhaps) to enjoy life in a new land – and I do mean enjoy. The Britain these complainers leave is very different from Australia, and I thank Heaven for that. You only have to look at the conditions there as a contrast the the conditions in which we Australians revel.

We used to see people moan on and on about how Australia wasn’t as good as Britain – the food, the climate, the people – but I remember my Father being pleasantly surprised when he was welcomed as a new employee. That, he said, would never happen in Britain – he’d be ignored for a while before anyone else deigned to speak to him.

I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather live. I’ve been educated, fed much more nutritionally that had been in Britain (they still had after-war rationing when we left) and shown all the wonderful diversity of this “rich brown land”.

Don’t like Australia? Well leave, as I can only echo the words of “Banjo” Paterson, “The bush will never suit you, and you’ll never suit the bush”.

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“South Pacific” Remastered.

It’s not often that a performance leaves me with a sense of disappointment that it has to come to an end, but that’s the way I felt last night after seeing The Metropolitan Musical Theatre Company’s production of “South Pacific” at the Arts Theatre last night.

I came to this in relative ignorance, never having seen the 1958 film of Rogers and Hammersteins’s musical or a stage production, nor did I know the story line.

A professional production in every way, the cast were eminently fitted to their roles with the magnificent voice of John Greene as Emile De Becque really making the audience “sit up and take notice”, as soon as he began the show-stopping “Some Enchanted Evening”.

Emma Gordon-Smith as Nellie Forbush was memorable, as she showed she could dance as well as sing, all the while keeping up that wonderful Arkansas accent, even through “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair” and “I’m In Love With A Wonderful Guy”.

Bloody Mary, as portrayed by Carolyn Mesecke, was delightfully devious, with a voice that soared in “Bali Hai” and “Happy Talk”; her deviousness only matched by Angus Smith’s Luther Billis. A better pair of schemers it would be hard to find!

Celeste Barone as Liat, and Angus Birdseye as Lt. Cable played their love scenes with a beautiful sense of tenderness, especially during “Younger Than Springtime”.

Emile De Becque’s daughters were delightful, and the rest of the cast carried the story along well, with a minimal set that complements the production.

Director, Greg Hart, shows a light touch, which is necessary for the story; Musical Director, Trish Spence, and Choreographer, Carmel Vistoli, also show real competence in handling this much-loved musical.

It’s not easy writing a critique that will do justice to a complicated production like this, but “South Pacific” shows that “The Met” can do more than do justice to a well known musical, and I look forward to seeing “Copacabana” in October, and “Brigadoon” next May.

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Jesus Wept! At the Keith Hospital?

“A MAN who died outside Keith Hospital after refusing to pay to be admitted suffered severe septic shock and multiple organ failure.
Health Minister John Hill has told State Parliament the 72-year-old man was provided with a prescription for medication before leaving the hospital.

He presented with stomach pains but was not admitted as an emergency patient.

Mr Hill said the man was initially diagnosed by a GP in a clinic at the hospital as suffering an acute bowel obstruction, which was deemed to be “low risk”.”
(From “Advertisernow“)

Oh, he “refused to pay” did he? Well that’s what the Minister and the Hospital are telling us. What if the poor devil DIDN’T HAVE $400?
Never mind the “medication” they say they gave him. I wonder what that was?

Is there no-one in this State, attached to the Health Services or not, who has SOME compassion for the lower income levels of our society?

And why is “an acute bowel obstruction” deemed as “low risk”? I’m damned sure that if I had an acute bowel obstruction, I wouldn’t think it was a “low risk”!

It seems to me that all the protestations of innocence by the Keith Hospital staff, and the Minister, Mr. Hill, is only an orchestrated cover-up of what really happened; and patient was denied life-saving treatment for a lousy $400.

But never mind, we can still spend $400 MILLION on a sports ground that will only serve to increase the prestige of those who run the AFL.

Words (almost) fail me.

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High Court upholds decision against former James Hardie directors

High Court upholds decision against former James Hardie directors.

This a re-post from Catherine Zengerer’s interview with Matt Peacock.

We should also remember Tony Abbott’s comment that Bernie Banton was “faking it”.


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Anzac Day (2)

I’ve just found out, through a Military web Site, that my Father may have been in the Royal Engineers.

“Curiouser and curiouser,” thought Alice…

If anyone sees this and knows anything about it, I’d be grateful for any information.

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Anzac Day

Another Anzac Day is here, and another march through the city. Old soldiers and their regimental chums march past, reminding us that, despite appearing as “poor old blokes” these men – and women – achieved and suffered things in their youth that we can only wonder and shudder at.

My Father was a Captain in the King’s Royal Rifles Regiment, and my Step-father served in the Welch Regiment. Is that why I feel somehow less than they? Because I have never served in the Military?

I wonder…

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Ave Margaret Whitlam

Wonderful – not even the death of Margaret Whitlam could prevent Tony Abbott from making more cheap, snide remarks about the Labor Government.
If that is the only way Mr. Abbott can think, perhaps it’s time he was removed from the Leadership of the Liberal Party. Then, perhaps, they might stand a chance of being viewed as a viable alternative to the current Government.
On a similar note, is there any chance that Mr. Pine could, just possibly, cease his appallingly bad acting in the Chamber, and stop stealing his quotes from those in history who were far more eloquent than he.
The so-called debates that now rage in the Chamber are nothing less that school yard bullying and name-calling. Will we ever see a return to reasoned debate?
I just realised what I said – reasoned? Not from our present representatives, I think.

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While watching television the other night – don’t ask me what the program was, I haven’t a clue – it suddenly struck me that, as the nurse tending Einstein as he died couldn’t speak German, we don’t know what his last words were.
What if they were something like, “I got it wrong!”
Just wondering…

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Advertising Is Necessary. But…


Isn't he just lovely?

As you know, I’m not one to complain. Much. But last night we watched Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” on Channel Seven (@yahoo7 I think that’s the Twitter address).
Good movie, and I just love the Cheshire Cat – always loved the Cheshire Cat, ever since I read the story as a “little lad”.

 My complaint is, that around 9 o’clock during the film, Channel Seven started to slot advertising in the following style: 5 minutes of film, followed by 4-5 minutes of advertising! And yes, I DO count Station Promo’s as advertising – they’re advertising their own programs after all; and who the hell wants to see “My Kitchen Rules” five nights a week, except, perhaps, the people who are responsible for filling in the time slots? After about an hour of this, advertising breaks were shown a little less often, but still intrusive.

Perhaps somebody at Seven could think about showing quality programs – “Rome” for example – at a reasonable hour, not at half past midnight on a Sunday morning. There are many quality programs available, without clogging the airwaves with tripe like, MKR, or any of the other “Reality” (a contradiction in terms, surely) programs.


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