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Thursday, October 22, 2009

ENTIAT: “The King who sucked lemons had method to his madness; rawing the secret: ‘Don’t cook your greens!’,” so says a scurvyless Payton L. Inkletter

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

22nd October 2009:

Thursday: I arose late in the day to a back room not humming, in fact permeated with an eerie silence: the power cut of this morning forcing the rare situation of not having the computer on, for it has run 24/7 for almost every day of the last 10 years. Being a flaky system, it did not want to start, but persistently rebooting and jumping into and out of the bios without actually changing settings caused it eventually to fire up – thank heavens – sparing me resort to more drastic measures.

It put the fear of Gates into me enough, however, to immediately do a Paragon system backup, followed by a backup of 25 Mb or so of my latest documents onto my thumbdrive, which Baby Inkletter gave me early this year.

As the daylight was almost over, I set off to walk to Umple Dais’ place to check his mail box and see that things were intact, before walking back to The Dear Leader’s house to water plants, feed the cat, and clear the mail. I’ve only one more day of the bliss of freedom from the beasts, and it has been a form of heaven, fleeting though it has been.

So I got nothing done in the back yard weeding wise before it was time to chow down with tuck tuck during My Beloved and The 7.30 Report. My billions of daily readers will have long ago realised that I am a creature of Aunty, our ABC, the greatest entertainment and current affairs institution Australia has left and has ever had; also, it is probably the only hope for the maintainenance of cohesiveness for our nation, even though it will have to fulfil this work through a minority of the population who are its regular viewers; but in this minority are thinkers, movers, and shakers; doubtless there will be many who think I’m attributing far too much influence to Aunty.

If my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think I’ve ever actually identified what ‘My Beloved’ is, preferring instead the mischievousness of its possible reference to my better half; this much I’ll divulge in the interests of diminishing crypticity: it might refer to a regular program on Aunty between 7.00 and 7.30 in the evenings, except for a mad experiment some decades ago – by some fool in a high place, who apparently was later hung, drawn, and quartered by a mob of Aunty’s regular viewers – with an earlier timeslot (I assume this was a nationwide experiment; it may, however, have been just for Western Australia).

May anyone who tampers with the health of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (I preferred the name ‘Commission’ in the good old days) live in interesting times...; may your testicles wither or your breasts reach your knees, may your teeth fall out, may your hair disappear, may your humour leave you, may your name be acid rain…

The More O’Kerry (O’Brien) Volume: Any time the venerable Kezza, Mistah O’Brien to you, interviews the Prime Minister, it’s a big thing, for he’s a busy and powerful person – Ruddy, I mean – but oh what a bore! Kevin Rudd needs to have a twin, one behind the scenes improving our nation with his leadership, the other doing the media circus, with the naturalness and danger of a Paul Keating or a Bob Hawke or a John Gorton; anyway, thankfully we had Clarke and Dawe to look forward to at half hours’ end.

I caught Catalyst, and then hit the writing for a little while, before sitting down for Q&A, which I don’t think was helped by that buffoon John Elliott, even though his presence contributed considerable levity. Before I knew it it was Lateline time: The Tick(y Fullerton) Check Mark: yes I’ve used the analogy before, that the sun rose a second time today, but I have to use it again, for Ms Fullerton radiated, her golden hair billowing like clouds of promise out and down upon her shoulders, her blouse the same fetching black and white striped number she had on when I made a pictorial for The Abecedarian Project back in early September, with its patchwork patterning making for a captivating outfit; I admire her very subtle effect make-up, with nothing overdone, and her only jewellery tonight was a pair of tiny earrings: see what I’m carrying on about here.

She had a wonderful interview with Sir Harold Evans, the 81 year old Editor at Large of The Week magazine, and he has recently had published his memoir, ‘My Paper Chase’. I endured a sustained low level of stress during this meeting of young and old journalists due my fear that Sir Harold might die during the interview, but the old fellow must be made of rugged material, for he is married to a woman about 25 years his junior, Tina Brown. Perhaps my consternation was fuelled by the inch and a half of sumptuous cleavage Ms Fullerton had on show, for as delightful as that was, I had no desire to see the old boy cark it on screen, especially for two reasons: he is one of the few living people who saw the introduction of Gutenberg’s press, and regardless of what else he’s like, he was sacked as Editor of the Times by Rupert Murdoch, which achievement has earned my admiration.

Regarding the cleavage: let me be conservative and note that it was fine to be so mildly revealingly attired for such a restful, fun even, interview as tonight’s, but that it would not be advisable for an interlocution where some bastard had to be forced to spill some contrabandestine beans, such as a politician or a smarmy business person; women in this early era of humankind’s recent emergence from the cave still have to push water uphill to be taken seriously, and revealed cleavage doesn’t assist in this noble endeavour: rather it tends to their objectification, especially – of course – by men; neither do bare arms, nor severe chest hugging tops, nor glaring make-up; I consider tonight’s interview comparable to an evening wear night at the theatre, while many to most Lateline, Lateline Business, and The 7.30 Report interlocutions are more the power-dressing business meeting event types.

Sir Harold gave a rollicking account of his views about all things newspapers, the electronic media, and the internet; Ms Fullerton clearly enjoyed every moment of this interview, and I both don’t blame her and am happy she got the opportunity to be the ABC journo who got this one; it was a delight to vicariously enjoy Sir Harold through her.

I was spellbound as Sir Harold waxed lyrical, as an 81 year old mind you, about how wonderful and rapid research tool he finds the search-engine-accessed internet is; I and millions of others couldn’t agree with him more, but more power to him for embracing it so wholeheartedly as a fellow of his vintage.

Good on him for calling spades spades, as with ‘My days as an editor I used to say, "Why are these bastards lying to me?" I mean, the point about a press - it has to be alert’; ‘I think the terrible Mao Tse Tung, who some idiot has been praising according to what I've just heard on your show…’; and ‘…we are in danger of losing, especially when idiots in various newspaper ownership start cutting editorial, we lose the real reporting, the day-to-day reporting but also the investigative journalism.’ Straight talking beats political correctness any day.

Good on him for decrying beauracratic excess in the BBC: ‘I do think the BBC's expansionism and the gross bureaucracy in the BBC - you know, I think they have got 60 people earning more than £800,000 a year. That is ridiculous’; and that esteemed institution’s lowering of standards: ‘I also think it was a terrible mistake myself for the BBC to get ratings mad, so lowering standards to get a mass audience was a mistake. To the extent they have done that – they haven't done it entirely – to the extent they have done that, that's been a big mistake.’ Hear, hear!; (Auditory focus, auditory focus!)

I liked his natural if restrained – lest he fall off his perch – laughs, and I haven’t seen Ms Fullerton smile so much in an interview for ages, and thankfully the old gentleman did get to the end of the chat still alive, even if he had me wondering a few times whether he’d suddenly expired upright.

I wrote and researched the entire night until well after dawn. I received a reply from artist genius Charles Bragg senior to my initial email to him, his email address kindly given to me by his son, Charles (Chick) Lynn Bragg, also a brilliant artist.


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