News That’s Fit To Punt – 19/Mar/2014

Scandal-A-Day Government

Arthur Sinodinos has been forced to step down from his cabinet role thanks to having his name linked in the ICAC surrounding more of Morbid Obeidity. Turns out Eddie Obeid was making ‘political contributions’ (read: Bribes) to the Liberals as well as to strategically placed Labor Party people. In that sense Eddie Obeid was colour-blind. This reminds us of Kakuei Tanaka and his penchant for bribing everybody who was running for office, regardless of party, affiliation or faction  because “in the end they’re all people and people need a little help sometimes.”

While Sinodinos has not been accused of a crime, what’s become clear is that the company for which he was a director, Australian Water Holdings, was charging Sydney Water money, and then was using that money to make political contributions to the Liberal Party, where Sinodinos was also treasurer. This has meant that although circuitous, the tax payer was making contributions to the Liberal Party. What’s breathtaking is the massive conflict of interest of being the both the company director for Australian Water Holdings and being the Liberal Party treasurer at the same time. One can only guess at the sums of money involved but you can be assured it wasn’t exactly nickels and dimes because Sydney Water wanted to know why they were being charged these special fees and all their attempts to find out hit a brick wall. We can be pretty sure it was much more than the sum Craig Thomson racked up with hookers on the HSU credit card.

What Other People Are Saying

Walk-Off-HBP sent me this link about the people who marched the other day.

If Tony Abbott hadn’t cut the ribbon on the floodgates of senseless ridicule in Australian politics, maybe my sign could be considered distasteful. If the Liberal party had renounced rather than adopted mockery in Australian politics, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this right now.

In the garbage dump you’re trying to help turn Australian politics into, I obviously feel it was appropriate to call the Prime Minister a dickhead. I can’t speak for everyone who dislikes the Prime Minister, but I think he needs to know how strongly that sentiment is felt. You can’t just sell off parcels of our country without being told you’re a dickhead. You can’t dredge our reefs, chop down our world heritage listed forests and kill our animals without being told you’re a dickhead. You can’t abolish our important scientific and social institutions, oppress minorities or defund education, health and welfare without being told you’re a dickhead.

I think it’s fair to call him a dickhead. I hope that it sticks, and that for the rest of his life, Tony Abbott is known as Tony Abbott the Dickhead PM. I hope people who meet his daughters say “Oh, your dad is the famous dickhead!”, and I hope his Wikipedia page ends up with an entire chapter dedicated to the dickhead aptronym. I hope it stains his life in such a way that it makes every Australian politician worry about what they’ll be called.

I thought it was worth sharing just to say, “so you thought I was being mean yesterday!”

Clusterfuck Of Doxa

I have to say I don’t really know Lena Dunham and her work. From what I understand, she makes TV shows about young women having a devil of a time in the dating scene. As such it surprises me none that she wants to come out swinging on behalf of Dylan Farrow who dredged up her old accusations against Woody Allen. Lena Dunham says she’s nauseated by Woody Allen. I’d normally walk by these kinds of puff pieces but it caught my attention that Dunham makes an explicit demarcation between the man and his art.

“In the latest Woody Allen debate I’m decidedly pro-Dylan Farrow and decidedly disgusted with Woody Allen’s behavior. But for me, when people go through his work and comb through it for references to child molestation, that’s not the f*cking point.”

“I’m not gonna indict the work … I think that you can decide that you don’t want to support the work of somebody who has molested a child. That’s a completely appropriate choice. But going through it and saying, ‘Look, he’s told us in 57 ways that he rapes kids.’ That’s not the thing. The thing is to look at the actual evidence that exists in the world, which I think strongly suggests that Woody Allen is in the wrong. But for me the point is not to go through his one-act plays looking for references to child molestation. Because I’m not comfortable living in a world where art is part of how we convict people of crimes.””

Now, that’s the right conclusion to come to at the end there. It’s interesting she gets there because she’s a public person creating works that are out in the public sphere; so presumably this is laying down a line to protect herself from being seen through the prism of her won work – even though she created exactly such a space where Lena Dunham actor and creator are all rolled up in her show. It seems more than a little self-serving to be arguing that line.

Be that as it may, a free kick at the venerable director still is a cheap shot. The man took a polygraph at the time of the accusations and came out clean. Something Mia Farrow refused to do when asked if she was coaching her kid to accuse Woody Allen. Colour me unimpressed when it comes to this business of Dylan Farrow’s open letter. But I’m always surprised at the people who “yes but” me with “we have to believe the victims” or “but she really believes it, so there must be some basis in reality”. I have to say this kind of cavalier attitude towards facts that have already been verified just as vexing as Dunham’s nausea from the man himself.  If you’re going to throw out polygraphs because they can be unreliable, what good reason is there to hold on to the testimony of somebody who might have been coached as an infant to believe what she says she believes?

Anyway. I figure it’s worth grumbling about. I understand people not liking Woody Allen as a result of all this; I’d have to say I wouldn’t want to particularly meet the man. I just don’t see how you can be pro-Dylan Farrow given the reports. Oh, and by the way I thought Cate Blanchett handled all this really well by not talking about it, when asked about it.

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Filed under Cinema, Film, General, Movies

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