Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next four years

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  • Ian Dalziel,

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    The Age of Aquarius…
    Trump bans all travel into the USA from the Trappist 1 system!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

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    Dimensional irregularities detected
    Potential escalation and proliferation of transuranic elements!!
    Life exists, so medium atomic weight elements Sapphire and Steel have been assigned!


    …or is it Lady Penelope and Parker?


    pic source

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    The Indian cricket team suffered a dramatic seven wicket batting collapse on day two of the first test in Pune, the worst such slump in its history. From the relative safety of 3/94, India lost seven wickets for eleven runs to be all out for 105. Left arm off-spinner Steve O’Keefe took 6 wickets in 24 deliveries on the way to career best figures of 6/35.

    The match has also attracted attention for a pair of unusual medical stoppages. Digestive discomfort forced Australian opener Matt Renshaw into a rare retirement before K.L. Rahul’s stomach problems caused a delay in the Indian innings, prompting commentators to inaugurate the "curse of the opening batsman".

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    By way of postscript, Australia has won the first test by 333 runs and ended India's 19-match unbeaten run.

    India suffered a second consecutive seven wicket collapse to be all out for 107; man of the match Steve O'Keefe returned 6/35 in each innings to end with figures of 12/70.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Ross Douthat writes:

    For some time now it has felt as though God or the muse of History or some mischief-making demiurge has been placing thumbs upon the scales of Western politics, with an eye toward achieving the most disruptive and unlikely seeming outcomes.

    From the shock of Brexit through the rise of Donald Trump (and I would go further back and include Pope Benedict’s resignation and Pope Francis’s ascent), events have seemed scripted to confound the experts, and whatever stars have needed to align for crazy things to happen have moved smartly into the required position.

    On a different note, the campaign theme Labour probably won’t be using:

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Anthropocene alert!!
    Amitav Ghosh has a really interesting viewpoint.
    I just finished his short treatise The Great Derangement: Climate change and the unthinkable - I probably need to read it again to fully digest the content, sobering stuff.
    He mentions a prescient warning from the Burmese statesman U Thant in 1971:

    "As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: 'With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas', or, 'They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them'."

    It's also a cauldron of other ideas about partitioning in literature, language, empire, Carbon economics, town planning, history and the Anglosphere (Five Eyes members), a bracing dip! ...and only 160 odd pages plus notes

    But don't just take my word for it:

    "On very rare occasions, a writer marshals such searing insight and storytelling skill that even a well-trodden subject is blown wide open. New connections are made, new futures appear. Ghosh is that kind of writer, and this is that kind of book."
    - Naomi Klein

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • WH, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Thanks for that link – I have a slightly irrational susceptibility to U Thant quotes.

    With all their genius and all their skill they ran out of foresight

    Respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality.

    I understand that a sequel is being released in July.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Comedian Peter Serafinowicz takes Trump's own words, and reads them in a slightly more camp style.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to ,

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    ⠀ ⠀

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

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    Let’s keep him away from the new one.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to WH,

    Let’s keep him away from the new one.

    He's 'working tables' in New Regent Street these days...
    ...saw him haranguing some tourists there just the other day.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,


    Back when Sunday public speakers were a thing in Sydney Domain's version of Hyde Park corner, Webster was the undisputed king. When he appeared with his distinctive yellow ladder crowds would desert the freethinkers and the Bible Ladies for some real entertainment.

    Everything the Wizard knows about public speaking he learned back then from Webster. Before he fetched up in Christchurch, even before his first official wizarding gig as Grand Alf Wizard of Aus for the University of NSW, the Wizard would occasionally do a guest spot on Webster's ladder while the maestro went among the crowd browbeating holdouts into purchasing the single-sheet 'newspaper' from which he made his living.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • WH, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

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    While I'm firmly against wizards and the like I hope he's going well on a personal level. I understand he's a holder of the QSM.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to WH,

    ...a holder of the QSM.

    Quidditch Senior Master?
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I didn’t take to the Harry Potter series but do remember seeing T-Bag, The Craft and Charmed on TV.

    I also found this classic episode of the Smurfs and have been trying to find a plausible way to mention the immolation scene from The Ninth Gate, which I take to be metaphor or a warning of some kind (NSFW).

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    The ABC and The Conversation report that a group of witches are participating in a mass spell against Donald Trump. There’s a short video of one of the ceremonies at the Independent.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to WH,

    a group of witches are participating in a mass spell against Donald Trump.

    He already has the Eye of Newt!
    send him to Coven Tree...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    send him to Coven Tree…

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • WH, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Oops - I just missed the edit deadline.

    It's a strange moment and some very unusual decisions are being made.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to WH,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Trump's latest travel ban has been blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    The Atlantic's Peter Beinart has an article about religion and politics after the culture wars here. He writes:

    The alt-right is ultra-conservatism for a more secular age. Its leaders like Christendom, an old-fashioned word for the West. But they’re suspicious of Christianity itself, because it crosses boundaries of blood and soil. As a college student, the alt-right leader Richard Spencer was deeply influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, who famously hated Christianity. Radix, the journal Spencer founded, publishes articles with titles like “Why I Am a Pagan.”

    Radix is a white nationalist publication you might prefer to simply avoid.

    Alright, that's probably just about enough.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

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    Deliberate, or serendipitous?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to John Farrell,

    I saw that too, and smirked, ... and then wondered.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

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