Sunday, July 11, 2004

One down, 1,011 to go!

From the Department of Freeing-Refugees-Makes-First-Ruddock-And-Now-Vanstone-Cry:

Honey the cat has been re-united with Aladdin, the human being with rights!

The Age reports that, following "an extraordinary fund-raising campaign and a 4300-kilometre journey, Honey was reunited with Mr Sisalem at the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service's Spotswood animal shelter... For 10 months, Aladdin Sisalem's only friend on Manus Island was Honey the cat. As the island's sole detainee spent his days at the computer, appealing to the world to support his quest for asylum, Honey would sit beside him on the table. As he typed, she would put her paw on the computer keyboard. She was, he says, a companion he could talk to freely, and a reminder that "there was still something very good in life" -- hence, presumably, constituting a real thorn in the side of the authorities, and reason enough for them to attempt to "force... [Aladdin] to leave Honey behind when he was granted a protection visa last month..."

Which he was. But now they're re-united. So all's well that ends well... well, almost.

According to the Department of We-Will-Decide-Who-Comes-To-This-Country-And-The-Manner-In-Which-They-Come, as of 23 June 2004, that leaves 1,011 prisoners in Australia's concentration camps for refugees.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Do They Owe Us An Appearance On Status Anxiety?

Huh. ABC Television. Status Anxiety. 10:13pm (or thereabouts). Sunday, 4 July, 2004. There I am, watching Alain de Botton waxing lyrical -- or, alternatively, clarifying our values in an ultimate way -- thinking 'But Alain, don't you think I could be doing something more useful with my time?' when fuck me, who should the Advanced Hair Studio's resident philosopher be quizzing on The Good Life than Gee Vaucher & Penny Rimbaud, looking for all the world like aging hippies, tending their goats and organic tomatoes. Weirder still, moments before the camera revealed an English country idyll (scene of our threesome's philosophical musings) I was thinking to myself 'Huh, wouldn't it be funny if de Botton were to interview some, like, real bohemians; and if that house were actually home to what-once-was-Crass-but now-knows-better...

Crass are remembered (according to their distributor anyway) as the most notorious agit−propsters of the 70s and 80s, for being founders of the Stonehenge festival, to having questions raised in Parliament regarding their various pranks, including a spoof tape of a telephone conversation between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, to their instigation of the 'Stop The City' marches, and many many more activities. They are also remembered for being the leading protagonists of the genre know known as anarcho−punk, for being the first band to make their records available at little more than cost price, and to print a "Pay No More Than..." price on their record sleeves to stop fans being ripped off... and er, for many years ago making me turn down my stereo rather quickly lest my Good Catholic mother hear the sheer unadulterated blasphemy that is Asylum.

Now, add to that list, two former members' new-found status as TV Personalities.

Ah well.

Anyway, I doubt that savage reviews will in any way deter de Botton from continuing to philosophise, either in print or on screen, but if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, perhaps Alain might consider taking advantage of both his brains and his baldness -- all at the same time! -- on even later late-night television.


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Of all the options I checked out, Reduced Status Anxiety Studio was by far the most professional and successful anxiety replacement organization in the world. Their specialised and patented procedures can give you a totally natural-looking full life - just look at mine!"


"Yeah yeah".