Selective media


Petri dishes are often used to make agar plates, made up of nutrient materials, for microbiology studies. Agar plates may be formulated as either permissive (or undefined), with the intent of allowing the growth of whatever organisms are present; or restrictive or selective (or defined), with the intent of only allowing growth a particular subset of those organisms. Defined media can be precisely tailored to select organisms with specific properties.

Recently been having some work done in garden. A Bobcat with a wicked looking “Ripper” attachment (“Rip through tough, hard-packed, and frozen material with the powerful force of the ripper attachment. The single-point tooth design delivers optimum penetration through tough soil, frozen ground, and root systems with rugged force.”) has been turning over the ground, while soon a shitload of manure will arrive and be spread over and into the now loosened soil. Then the landscape will be ready for, receptive to, the planting of new trees which would have had no chance of surviving in the original growth medium of the garden. And the new medium will be permissive, ready for a diversity of trees and shrubs and flowers.
Looks like Tony Abbott has issued his merry men (and Julie) “Ripper” attachments for their political bobcats. Rippers designed to rip through tough social fabric, the roots of political networks, and frozen progressive beliefs with rugged force, their single-minded obsession providing optimum penetration. Rip – science destroyed; rip – chaplains in public schools; rip – Medicare co-payments; rip – bring back British honours; rip – high university fees; rip – 6 months with no support for unemployed youth; rip – increase GST; rip – create a right wing curriculum; rip – no minimum wage; rip – decimate tax office; rip – ban all protest; rip – smash public service; rip – remove oversight and regulation of white collar crime; rip – promote monarchy; rip – destroy all parliamentary conventions; rip – remove laws against discrimination and racism; rip – destroy public broadcasting. And so on – feel free to add others.

They have been working away (with the help of the media) since 7 September, turning over Australian society, creating a medium in which to plant their ideology. Adding a shitload of horse manure from the American Tea Party. Producing a selective medium precisely tailored for one ideology – defined as the Randian Hayekian Friedmanite neoconservative laissez-faire unregulated nineteenth century dog-eat-dog world of 21st century America. Ideology which could not have flourished in the old unripped Australia. No other ideology, philosophy, ideas, views, will be able to grow in this restrictive medium. No power source except corporate power will be permitted to flourish.

Welcome to Australia’s neoliberal garden.

RIP Australia.

Old currency


What else can possibly be said about the worst Australian Budget in history that wasn’t said by Abbott’s smirk as Hockey screwed the students; his comment that they were going to undo everything the Australian Labor Party had ever done in government; and Hockey’s comment that they were going to get government out of people’s lives (given that the government is, or should be, the people, this translates as “getting people out of their own lives”)? Well, possibly this:
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Some of the people


The Tea Partyish “Liberal” Party of Australia politicians and spin doctors have realised that the voters are now irrelevant in a western democracy. You only have to satisfy some of the people all of time:
1. Media owners, especially R Murdoch.
2. Mining magnates, especially Gina, Twiggy and Clive
3. Right wing think tanks IPA and CIS.
4. American multinational corporation CEOs
5. Media shock jocks
6. Heads of IMF and World Bank

Perhaps a sum total of 50 people, 100 tops?

The other 23 million people in Australia are now irrelevant all of the time.

The Labor Party seems to have reached the same conclusion.

As have political parties in America, UK, France, Germany…

Roaring mouse


Every so often an idea comes to one with a blinding flash of the kind that makes you want to say to Saul Tarsus “call that a blinding flash, THIS is a blinding flash”. And so it was today.

You see today our glorious leader announced that Australia is to buy JSF, purchase some 5000 of the new F35 fighter jets. Maybe it was 500. Or 58 rising to 100. Whatever, $12 billion worth for the first lot.
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Play up play up


The last football match I went to, forty years ago, was Coventry Reserves playing Preston North End Reserves (starring an ancient Nobby Styles) in 1974. I say this to demonstrate my lack of interest in football as a spectator sport rather than for any historic interest (other than the aforesaid young Nobby) in that game itself.

Oh, I have watched on tv the odd cup and grand final since then, read an occasional analytical piece on, say, “the future of rugby league” – I always aim to be able to hold my end up for two minutes in a discussion on any subject, part of being civilised. But no more than 2 minutes on sport.
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All those photos of psychopathic morons proudly showing the bleeding bodies of lions, giraffes, bears, wolves, elephants they have blasted with high-powered penis substitutes? Guess they think we will be envious of their prowess.

Makes good people not envious but sick to their stomachs seeing these vicious fools posed with their killing machines with foot triumphantly on top of the body of their victims. Makes them determined perhaps to try to stop this evil.
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Monkey magic


We all know the nature of monkey is irrepressible, right?

And the nature of the lion is to hunt, of the vulture to pick up the leftovers, of the hyena to scavenge the scraps.

Regular readers know that I don’t have “a deep burning hatred” for the neo-conservative scum (oops, sorry) now infesting the Australian corridors of power. No, not at all. Liberal and National Party politicians, and the right-wing think tank vermin (again, “oopsy”) that advise them, simply can’t help being what they are. When they demand the scrapping of the minimum wage, want additional payments to see the doctor, talk nonsense about natural CO2 and demand scrapping of a price on carbon, refuse legal advice to refugees, rewrite school curricula, dump spoil on Barrier Reef, remove limits on hate speech, sell public assets, remove financial and environmental regulations, invade other countries, clear-fell heritage forests, and so on, this just reflects their nature.
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Catweazle Abbott


“Age appears to be best in four things – old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read” – Francis Bacon

Francis, having died some 300 years before it was invented, forgot to add “Old tv programs to watch” but otherwise he pretty much has this old age thing covered eh?
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The moving finger


The last three blog posts have been examples of my writing where the words just flow on to the screen (ha, nearly said “page”, old-fashioned, eh?).

Richard Sheridan said “You write with ease to show your breeding, but easy writing’s vile hard reading”. Well, I see what you mean RB, but on this blog the reverse is true I think. Posts that I struggle with, feel I have a duty to write, must contribute to some debate, keep Watermelon in the forefront of public conversation, I suspect are a struggle for you, dear reader, to read.
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Arrows of desire


Watching Australian politics since the election of the Abbott government has been like watching one of those comedy routines, Benny Hill perhaps, or The Goodies, where the film is run backwards and the comedians are seen jerkily and rapidly moving back into the landscape, finally disappearing backwards over a hill.

Tony Abbott and his clown troupe running the clock backwards has astonished not just Australian citizens who had thought they were living in the 21st century, but civilised people everywhere who had thought we were too.
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