Sunday, April 22, 2012

A pot pourri of Monday treats ...

(Above: $139 worth of repairs! No expense spared, and by golly that Alan Joyce knows how to cut corners and contain costs. At last peace of mind for weary travellers, thanks to the SMH - no click, it's a screen cap).

And speaking of Alan Joyce and Qantas, who'd have thought he'd have the capacity for stating the bleeding obvious in the Daily Terror, in End holding pattern and land this baby.

As for dazzling Bazza O'Farrell's proposal that people in Canberra wanting to catch a plane to Sydney will in future settle for a VFT, Joyce is a cold water man, and when it comes to pressure on peak slots for domestic traffic, he's a glass of water man:

With a quarter of Qantas's departures leaving from Sydney, there is no escaping the consequences of bottlenecks at our main airport hub.

It isn't simply about Kingsford Smith being "full", like a glass of water. It's about the pressure at busy times of day growing: more time wasted on the tarmac, longer taxi queues, more aircraft circling.

Will dazzling Bazza listen, or will he maintain the proud standards of NSW Labor when it comes to infrastructure?

... we agree with the report's verdict that by around 2030 a new airport in the Sydney region will be needed.
We also agree that Badgerys Creek remains the best site. Since the late 1980s, this land has been reserved for a new airport.

Whistling in the dark Mr. Joyce. Let them eat cake, and catch VFTs or taxis from woop woop.

Meanwhile, the antics of slippery Slipper are all the go, and is it any wonder that the slavering, slobbering Paul Sheehan slips into rhetorical overdrive in Gillard treading water as ALP continues its slippery slide?

He (Slipper) is taking the Gillard government down a slippery slope to a level of illegitimacy I have not seen before in my years of covering politics. Not even the Whitlam government, and the constitutional coup in 1975 engineered by a reckless Malcolm Fraser, matched the impression of illegitimacy that now hangs over this government.

Suddenly we're in a constitutional crisis worse than 1975?

Sheesh. That's the problem with Sheehan. He's an hysteric, an overblown motor-mouth, a nervous nelly, and you can suddenly see why he got into so much trouble over magic water. When he gets a run on, it's worse than a trot to an outback dunny.

Shouldn't he just settle down, take an aspirin and have a good long lie down? In the end, the Slipper affair is really just an excuse for Sheehan to run through the standard litany of complaints about the current Federal government, but wouldn't it be simpler for Fairfax to bring in Tony Abbott or perhaps "Poodle" Pyne to write the columns? Employing a ghost writer seems a little ... well unseemly ...

But I suppose the pollies might find it hard to follow the Sheehan tactic, which is reminiscent of Mother Grundy standing in the town square clucking and scratching.

First there's an extended quote from a text message, and then this pious bit of poncery: "Oh indeed. Unguarded private texts make for queasy reading ..."

Indeed, almost as queasy, verging on the nauseous as reading Sheehan in full righteous flight.

Where was he the eighteen years the slippery Slipper was representing the Liberal party? You remember. Back in 2010 when the slippery Slipper was still on-side, and Abbott defends Slipper's travel.

That's when news that Slipper preferred to catch taxis at around $290 a trip so he could catch flights to Canberra through Sydney rather than flying from Sunshine Coast airport, clocking up more than $6,000 in 15 days in July and early August 2009.

Lordy, lordy, and all he was doing was carrying out dazzling Bazza's preferred solution to Sydney's second airport needs. Yes, who needs to worry about a second Sydney airport when the punters can just catch taxis from Newcastle or Canberra ...

A pox on all their houses.

There's much more fun to be had reading Rudd's latest game of Chinese whispers: join Weibo.

The former chairman is seeking to re-establish his revolutionary credentials with the Chinese people:

''Lao Lu, the Chinese people support you to start another coup d'etat and bring down that old woman.''

Oh yes Lao Lu, the Chinese people love you. How about starting a coup d'etat and bringing down the Communist overlords?

Meanwhile, there was another statement of the bleeding obvious on view this morning in Stilgherrian's Blockbuster trial for a movie and TV industry in decline.

The pond usually supports the film industry via the local DVD store - how long they'll last is another question - but last night we decided to celebrate by watching a video given to us on a USB drive. Oh that Apple TV, it's just too tempting ...

The victory we were belatedly celebrating?

The High Court sending the major studios packing in relation to iiNet, and the proposal that ISPs act as de facto digital coppers, persecuting and prosecuting their clients on behalf of the major studios, as a way of the major studios avoiding the nasty publicity associated with taking individuals to court for breaches of copyright.

Anyway, as Stilgherrian points out, the real problem isn't the piracy, it's the business model, and the delusional way that the majors go about the business of protecting their domain - with lawyers and with sledgehammers and with territorial restrictions, all in the name of outrageous pricing, when as your local video store will tell you, the price for a back catalogue disc - or even a new catalogue disc on a happy hour or slack Tuesday - is no more than a couple of bucks, or a buckeroo.

That's the price pressure introduced by the intertubes, at a time when the majors should have been re-thinking their distribution models to arrive at on line delivery, with the example of the music industry right before them. Instead, like book publishers and retailers in general, they stuck their heads in the hardly normal sand.

The propaganda emanating from the studios has been as poorly written as a piece of Paul Sheehan hysteria. The notion that piracy is affecting the Australian film industry is the worst example. The federal and state governments largely fund Australian feature films and high end television, and the product is expected to make a loss ...

They talk about the industry being in decline, but that's because they only count themselves. As a totality, people probably spend more on entertainment than they ever have done.

It's like Myer and David Jones and Harvey Norman whinging about the decline of retail. No, retail overall is doing just fine. The bit that's failing is them -- the people doing things the same old way and not adapting to the change.

Sharpen up or ship out majors. It's the capitalist way.

That's why the pond would never pay for a Fairfax product - let alone a News Ltd one. Pay for a foaming Paul Sheehan on an otherwise pleasant Monday morning? Does it come with bonus free eye gouging?

And likely enough, after enduring four years of scandal, ineptitude and leadership challenges, why voting out Tony Abbott - unless jolly Joe Hockey or big Mal arranges it earlier - in four or five years time will be yet another enduring joy of the parliamentary system infested by rogues and knaves that we know and love ...

(Below: but we download bears all the time, there's nothing wrong with bears).

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