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Sunday, March 29, 2009

ELMSWOOD: When I hear Phillip Adams argue the case for atheism, I am torn between wanting to analyse his reasons, and cuddle him: Payton L. Inkletter

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

29th March 2009:

Sunday: The chalky chameleon ‘woke’ me about half one to let me know The Babies had called in and wanted to see me, but I had already heard a car door close in my light dozing state. It was a treat to see them; they had been on a shopping safari to the Malaga Markets, looking for an aquarium, and had apparently, according to Missus InklesIhatecrocodiles, bought some crocodile meat; I haven’t the heart to tell them what it really is they are paying a high price to buy…

After their about one hour visit I returned to the cot, and got myself up before five for a tinkle, and decided to try to stay up, despite being primally tired. I woke up gradually in front of The Box, watching a recording of Tuesday night’s Foreign Correspondent, the story being Stephen McDonell’s The Big Smoke’. (Well done by the way, Mark Corcoran, for keeping his utterance of ‘Foreign Correspondent’ in the singular for I think now two weeks in a row!) McDonell did a good job with this one, and I feel for the millions of Chinese struggling to find work from the rural areas. And on the face of it, that fellow, ‘GeneralZhang Quanshou, is helping a lot of young country folk look for jobs, and eat with a roof over their heads until they get one, so good on him; and yes he gets a portion of their earnings, but then something has to be exchanged in most human situations. McDonell sure holds his own when speaking in the Chinese tongue with the locals.

Mum phoned a little later, and we caught up on the latest happenings and non-happenings. Niece Elizabeth is back from Vietnam, and niece Marie hasn’t had her baby yet, perhaps 8 days overdue now!

I delivered vittles to Pa pree, then shot outside for a half hour frenzy in the failing light (the end of daylight saving has put things back into the ‘genuine’ perspective), fertilizing and whatnot, before My Beloved. I watched the first story, ‘Mind Power’, on Sixty Minutes, by Liz Hayes, and how wonderful and hope inspiring that was! This one benefit of computers alone should silence the luddites I occasionally have the tedium to endure with their lamenting of computers’ ruination of society. I must have fallen asleep for a fair while, because I have no recollection of the next story, and woke up to see part of Liam Bartlett’s story ‘The Pirate Coast’, and this was because I was battling with sleep still. However, this gives me the chance to comment further on Bartlett’s story last week ‘Killer at the Wheel’. I have since read his two page spread (pages 22-23) in last week’s W.A. Sunday Times on the same subject. Bartlett continues to remind us, if any such was needed, that what he has in good looks he certainly doesn’t match in intellect, or put another way, while his lamp is fairly bright, there are much brighter lamps on many a street corner; Sixty Minutes has in him more of a poster boy than a deep well.

He pontificates in the article against fools like our Western Australian driver Benjamin Butler whose drunk driving killed baby Gracie Moorby, who he says should be charged with murder, allying himself with Kathleen Rice of Nassau County New York. I have written some days back that I have no problem with making the penalty match the consequences of drunken driving, but it is just stupid to call these tragedies ‘murder’. Bartlett doesn’t realise it, but he further makes a fool of himself when in that article he says ‘Yes, a lot of readers of this column will recall at some stage, getting behind the wheel of a car, knowing they have probably had too many drinks. I’ve done it myself.’ Applying the ‘call it murder’ logic he champions in this very article, he should, on that admission, be charged with attempted murder, which charge is very seriously viewed by the legal system.

Bear with me: to injure someone while driving under the influence, using Bartlett’s logic, is one form of attempted murder, while to drive from A to B under the influence without injuring anyone is still attempted murder. The former, again by Bartlett’s logic, would be similar to taking a gun and aiming it at someone, firing, and hitting them, not in self or anyone else’s defence; the latter would be to do the same but miss; both of these are attempted murder. And it doesn’t take a great mind to realise that there is no relevant similarity between the gun examples and the driving examples. Murder sensibly requires intent Liam. But I’ve long noticed Liam Bartlett won’t be remembered for intellectual brilliance. Years ago when he was a morning DJ on, was it ABC Radio’s 6WF?, he lambasted a local council for being so careless as to prune trees completely out of the proper cycle of flowering, growth, and so on. The bull at a gate didn’t realise that the jacaranda trees to which his spray was referring have a totally different flowering and leafing cycle to most other locally grown trees, and the council had in fact pruned them at the ideal time.

While pulling up Sixty Minute’s web pages just a while ago, I have had the displeasure of battling with a terribly intrusive advert called ‘DKNYMEN’ offering a free sample, and which floats stubbornly in front of the ninemsn.com.au domain pages, with the ‘X’ button cleverly hard to find away from the body of the advert. When the ‘X’ was clicked the advert doesn’t go away, it instead shrinks and becomes translucent in the top right corner. Whoever okayed it, may you live in interesting times, and may your financial fortunes wane. May visitors leave your site never to return. I will do my utmost not to ever click on such adverts. The TV channels don’t seem to have learnt anything from their mistreatment and taking for granted of their audiences all these decades on ordinary television. If Nine went down, would the world end? No. Ten? No. Seven? No. Don’t mistreat us. You are privileged if a person visits your page out of the trillions; don’t treat us like monkeys.

I revived, and caught most of George Negus Dateline on SBS, a program I’ve not seen for ages. I would like to have caught the beginning, for it appeared that on the lead story ‘The Last Bite?’ by Nick Lazaredes, it appears that Chinese scientists claim they can lick malaria across the entire world using an extract from a herb called the Artemisinin plant. Well, wouldn’t that be a boon if it could happen soon, like yesterday!

I did some watering outside under lights, then charged back in to watch ‘The Atheists’ on Compass on good old Aunty. Of course that hoary old hard case Richard Dawkins got a mention or three, but so did a few others, including the cuddliest best mannered atheist in the world, Phillip Adams. These folk all had interesting things to say, but nothing at all convincing to my mind. Not one of them has anything profound to offer to the subject of the nature of reality. If they do, they would offer it on a program like this, surely. I hope to eventually offer my profound analysis of the subject in The Dawkins Deduction, if ever I can find the time to write it. By profound I mean going to the deep foundations of the atheists’ arguments, the theists’ arguments, and testing them rigorously against some of the ‘must sensibly be’ aspects of the nature of reality.

Poor Janny was most tired by now, and so I helped get her off to bed, with her big day of being penetrated with a terrible long (stop it! really, you people…) spinal needle coming tomorrow, and she understandably is not looking forward to it. I took some time tackling some health issues before writing this entry, dual posting it, and then mustering up the photons to go for a walk.

Which I did manage on this slightly windy night. It was cool due to the wind, and so a lot more pleasant. My word the piggies who visit the park behind Dewsons’ on Sundays were very messy today! By the time I got back my energy levels were very low, and I could not muster the wherewithal to write any more. A hot mug of skim milk and a read of the paper it was then, before taking my life in between the low thread counts about five o’clock and surrendering consciousness beside the rapacious reptile.


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