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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

UMPLE DAIS: “How did Missus Inkletter’s baby brother come to be fufty years of age?” a puzzled Payton L. Inkletter asks, checking her latest wrinkles.

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

09th September 2009:

Wednesday: I was aproned up and working studiously in the kitchen, for a man’s work is never done, when the delinquents arrived from yet another gallivant. The bonnie Beretta had gone to the Dianella spinning group at Menora this morning, and I rose when she arrived back in the early afternoon, only to have her dutifully leave soon after to take The Dear Leader somewhere.

It wasn’t long after they got back that Baby Inkletter arrived for some dressmaking requests and fittings of the material girl, who again left with The Dear Leader not long after lobbing home, to visit Umple Dais, her brother, who turned fifty today, to deliver cake, gifts, frankincense, and myrrh. While they were doing this, Reeve Chocson called in ‘briefly’, but we were soon engaged in a debate with Baby Inkletter, who pulled me up over the mildest of subterfuges she overheard me telling Reeve, one that I would have engaged him in if more folk were present when he had arrived, regarding a planned bee hive raiding at his place soon. Some chocolate went west during the discussion, and the young one was not at all moved by our protestations and defences; the young have such zeal for impractical and impossible idealism; I was young once and remember my own stances, so many of which I’ve come 180 degrees around upon today; give The Baby twenty years, and I’d be very surprised if her particular idealism of this day’s particular focus will have survived.

And how kind of Reeve to drop off another bottle of his ‘death is preferable to disease’ herbal hooch blaster juice, for my continued consumption. He stayed much longer than he should have, for he had still much to attend to before this day was over, but it was enjoyable to spend the bit of time with him that he did spare. I did a few jobs for Baby Inkletter on the computer before she left, and what with this, that, and the other, including finishing, finally, the marathon kitchen clean up for my harassed honey, it was dark.

We three, after the little one had left, settled in for the fun line up on Aunty, until I took The Dear Leader home after half nine. But I am getting ahead of myself, for The 7.30 Report revealed yet again that Mr O’Brien is still absent: The More O’Kerry (O’Brien) Volume: I’ve about decided it’s time to contact the Federal Police to report my suspicions that Ali Moore and Leigh Sales have taken Kerry O’Brien out, probably giving the actual job to Rafael Epstein, given his Agent 007 credentials. The Ali Moore or Less: looking more beautiful than a woman has a right to, Ms Moore lit up the screen in a toppingly dark blue rolled collared jacket, with an excellently contrasting white modesty panel, ‘softly’ tight hair pulled back and behind, leaving her trademark understated make-up beautiful face to radiate gently out to the doting male audience, and doubtless to the occasional Leswegian, an unadorned and minimalist décolletage completing the vision. Match that Kerry O’Brien! The story tonight that ruffled me a bit was Kirsten Murray’s report on the examination launched by Defence Personnel Minister Greg Combet, into possibly increasing the combat roles of women. I’m not in favour of it.

The New Inventors, Spicks and Specks, and The Librarians were the usual gems that they always are, by which time I was ready to retreat to do some computer work, after returning the hoariest one as mentioned earlier. In no time it was time for Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: What a restorative the sight of Ms Sales was this evening! From the glow in her hair, styled well, to her subtle effect make-up, to her pastel shaded blue-green (if these eyes of mine were informing me correctly) chiffon long sleeved blouse, to her camisole and unadorned décolletage, what more could we ask? Well, to nitpick, just one thing: a small piece, even tacked on, of darker contrasting material on the front of the camisole, perhaps extending to the edges of the collar folds of the outer blouse at the breast line; this would have worked better against her very white skin, while keeping the near invisibility of the camisole beneath the blouse. Nevertheless, all in all, she looked femininely svelte.

Tonight’s interview by Ms Sales had me quite fixated, for when a politician of the more odious class is on, anything can happen. Before I give my analysis, I should remark that it is so easy for us armchair critics to give our ten cents’ worth, when we have never conducted a live interview with anyone, let alone with practiced skunks of the political persuasion; I take my hat off to the skills of the ABC journalists and anchors for the, in general, excellent job they pull off, tackling all and sundry, in politics, business, medicine, science, literature, you name it, and providing we the viewers with much to think about and be informed by, as well as entertainment. The fact that they commit botch ups occasionally is not at all remarkable: they are human after all, like the rest of us; except they are on display, in spotlights where angels fear to tread.

And so to that interview: The (Christopher) Pyne O Cleen (Anti) Septic Assessment: Having been forewarned from the outset that Ms Sales would be interviewing Christopher Pyne, Opposition Spokesman for Education, later in the program, I ducked into the kitchen and swallowed a Pramin and an Acimax; doubtless Ms Sales had taken a couple of Maxalons herself. Good on Ms Sales for keeping the Shadow Minister out of his comfort zone for so much of the time during this discussion on the primary schools infrastructure component of the Government’s economic stimulus spending. She has not been so good at doing this with Pyne’s colleague Joe Hockey, but to be fair, it would be harder to put the pressure on in-studio than on screen, as Pyne was for this one; repeatedly Ms Sales pulled Mr Pyne up, legitimately, to keep him on track, and to show up some of his spurious and hypocritical claims. As an aside, I’m still coming to grips with the claims of some unkind people who point out that Mr Pyne can kill cockroaches within ten paces of his screen presence, and a hundred when he’s in person. Putting that aside aside, Mr Pyne looked his usual immaculately groomed self, given that he considers himself future Prime Minister of Australia material, God help us all.

I think it is a very important role of Oppositions to examine how Governments spend money and manage the nation, and keep them on their toes, and out of their macro-level comfort zones; I am happy Mr Pyne is trying to do this, and shining the light on the current school infrastructure spending to identify any waste; however, the stench of hypocrisy from this yet to be classified mammal rose beyond his legendary personal stench of self righteousness throughout this interview, and this appeared certainly not to be lost on Ms Sales.

Mr Pyne said ‘…the public get really riled about Governments that waste their hard earned taxes. There is no responsibility greater for a Government than making sure that taxpayers’ money is not wasted.’ (Listen to him here - he must have taken speed! - it's only 52 seconds long.) I remind you Mr Pyne that the Howard Government – of which you were a member – on the strength of your motherhood statement – wasted a lot of money, much of it on self promotion, much of it on purely political pursuits; for but one example, do you remember the tens upon tens of millions of dollars spent advertising the Workchoices legislation, later ditched? I don’t like Governments of any colour wasting money, but all the recent Federal Governments in Australia of both persuasions have been equally guilty of such excesses. I don’t think this fact is lost on as many citizens as Mr Pyne pretended tonight it is, to his side’s favour. He said ‘(the Labor Government) …spending like drunken sailors … in order to essentially buy the election…’ Good god man! Exactly which Government are you talking about?: both in fact; all in fact.

Mr Pyne really flagged his feeble-minded credentials when he said ‘The government will own every interest rate rise between now and the federal election.’ Good on Ms Sales for telling him that his argument was ‘a little disingenuous’, reminding him that interest rates are at emergency settings and that ‘it is inevitable that they are going to rise’. The fool barged on and said that ‘the Government says that they are at emergency levels and that it’s inevitable that they would rise, and of course they would say that…’; so does the Reserve Bank, so do the history books.

Not satisfied that he had spewed enough hypocrisy around, Mr Pyne complained that everything Kevin Rudd does is about politics; wow mate, you’re right there, but your implied point that Turnbull and Howard are and were different is stomach turning. Now the near coup de grâce was delivered by Ms Sales towards the end, when she pluckily said ‘Julia Gillard once called you “a mincing poodle”’, and it was theatre to watch the magnificent self control from the pelvis up of Mr Pyne, who didn’t even give away a Tom Cruise Mission Impossible cheek flinch, but I’d bet tomorrow night’s dinner that his butt cheeks flinched. (It's worth listening to his reaction; it's only 28 seconds long.) Personally, I am upset at how unkind that remark of Ms Gillard's is toward poodles! I think our Deputy Prime Minister was as close as nearmost to spot on.

It’s so nice to know that if Christopher Pyne was the minister (on his own say so), everything would be perfectly managed. Thank you Ms Sales for a great interview, so illuminating of the mediocre and archetypical nature of the beast. (Warning to those who don’t ever want Christopher Pyne to be Prime Minister one day, but think his mediocrity will prevent that happening: ambition is the more powerful factor; look at John Winston Howard.)

Letterman’s interview with Tony Blair showed how popular he appears to be with the American people, if the audience was representative.

I worked at the computer most of the night, getting emails and various jobs done, plus some writing. Dawn was past history when I finally got to bed, courageously slipping in beside the smoking Beretta.


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