Friday, July 30, 2010

iPhone therefore iAm ? #2

Today the iPhone 4 was released in Australia. For my opinions on such displays of human covetousness please read my post of July 12, 2008. The queues were surprising considering the iPhone 4 apparently has reception ‘issues’ and doesn’t work as it says on the box. I think I’ll stick to my iPhone 3g for a while longer, until the issues are resolved (and I am out of contract). I’ll let the early adopters throw away perfectly good existing 3g iPhones and fork out massive termination fees for their breaking their contracts all so they can be the first (among thousands) to own the latest (partially defective) status symbol*.

*Written whilst shaking head in despair at the gullibility of the human race and its innate weakness in the face of rampant and strategic, manipulative, cynical marketing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

In this year's Australian budget $625 million was allocated for the environment. A noble course, and what you might think is a fair amount of money, until you look at the money allotted to sport - $1.2 billion. I am disgusted. Even for a country obsessed with sport (sport being, in my humble opinion, a pointless exercise to keep the unimaginative occupied) there is something manifestly and abhorrently wrong about this. As much as I like many aspects of this country, there is still a lot wrong with the attitude here. On reflection though, I imagine this type of governmental funding disparity is unique to Australia.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

The Australia Day national holiday this year falls on a Tuesday, tomorrow in fact. A good opportunity for many to take a long weekend by having Monday off as annual leave. Not me though. I made the effort and went in to the office. In fact it’s a good day to do it. The trains are almost deserted and the whole city seems to be in a holiday mood.

As I write these words thousands of generation Y kids will be excitedly preparing their Aussie flags ready for wrapping around themselves tomorrow, making sure they have plenty of VB in the drinks fridge and using facebook to plan where to go to be loud, drunk and annoying with their friends.

I’m best off staying at home tomorrow I think… Luckily I have neither a large Australian flag or a desire to be insincerly patriotic in public.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The end of the world... Again

So December 21, 2012 is the end of the world according to Mayan legend. Actually the Mayan calender says no such thing, it is just that 2012 is simply the end of the cycle and after that it merely starts up again. My point is that any excuse is jumped upon these days for a good 'end of the world' panic. It must be something particularly deeply embedded the human psyche as it's been going on for centuries, leaving poor, confused and possibly disappointed believers still alive time after time. For example I was reading Samuel Pepys diary last night and came across an interesting entry, part of which quoted below:

25 November 1662

"Great talk among people how some of the Fanatics do say that the end of the world is at hand, and that next Tuesday is to be the day."

Obviously it wasn't as Pepys went on to write many more years worth of diary entries detailing his life (and the fact you are reading this blog) attests to the inaccuracy of the Restoration London doomsayers.

So why does this odd 'end of the world' phenomenon exist in so many societies? In my opinion it stems form a deep seated human insecurity about loss. Early man had little control over his world. Over time his power increased and his control has now become almost supreme (poorly managed, but supreme) yet still that archaic, instinctual fear of the dark remains, the only difference is now he just makes money out of it.

See you at the movies...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Victoria Stops...

Today is Aussie Rules Football Grand Final day. The whole of the 'footy' season has led inexorably to this point, the final clash between the two best teams of the year. Now I am totally and utterly unimpressed by any sport, especially the seemingly pointless running after a ball on some grass (either playing, as I was sadistically forced to by gorilla like P.E. teachers, at school, or watching it live or on the TV). However, I understand this actually makes me an aberration to the average Australian. The concept of a male who is not into sport is beyond many of them, and for the rest I defy categorisation.

Grand Final day is always on a Saturday and it is always interesting to be out and about in the afternoon (the game starts mid afternoon). Everywhere is deserted, it's like Christmas Day on Mars, there is not a soul about. It's a different story in the morning before the game of course, supermarket and alcohol retailers are awash with party goers and throwers stocking up on slabs of beer and meat for the inevitable BBQ's.

This afternoon I visited Bunnings (major hardware chain) which is normally packed with people buying home improvement paraphernalia and has checkout queues snaking for miles, but this afternoon, I swear I saw tumbleweed rolling down the bathroom fittings isle. The normally harassed staff members were huddled in groups looking forlorn and slightly confused by the lack of custom.

Back home the street were empty, the usual kids on bikes, the dog walkers, the cars driving past were all missing from the scene, it was weird and slightly unnerving, OK so it may have something to do with the fact it was freezing cold and intermittently pouring with rain, but undoubtedly the game is the main reason for the uncanny quietude.

So Grand Final day is a possibly one of the most important dates on any Victorian's calendar (except for me of course) and along with Melbourne Cup day 'the horse race that stops a nation' (which I have talked about elsewhere on this blog) it will grind the state to a virtual halt. Personally I prefer Melbourne Cup day as it's on a Tuesday and everyone in Melbourne gets a holiday, whether they plan to watch the race or not, now that's a sports mad attitude for you...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Disappointed" Not!

So the major share holders have held a panic meeting to decide upon what action to take in response to the federal government’s descision to separate Telstra’s wholesale and retail divisions, effectively reducing the monopoly of Australia’s incumbant telecommunicatios provider. It makes me laugh to see these scared monopolizers running about like headless chickens desperately trying to salvage their portfolios and keep the country shackled to an outdated and expensive buisness model. I can almost hear the CEOs bemoaning to each other the possibility they may have to reconsider the purchase of their new BMWs, and the fact it may be difficult to justify that planned third overseas holiday this year, whilst outwardly stating they are selflessly acting on behalf of the shareholders. They would prefer to keep the country paying through the nose for basic services than compromise their ivory tower positions and allow decent competition. Such is capitalism I guess.

So regardless of the federal government’s real intentions behind the decision, I congratulate them on their attempt to slay the spoilt, petulent dragon and level the competitive playing field. I’m just glad I don’t hold any BMW shares.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I feel like a sellout. After my vitriolic post last year about the Apple iPhone I have about faced and bought one, in fact I am writing this post on it. I still have the same opionion of the iPhone and its users, it was however the best smart phone and the best deal for me at the time. I do though have an abiding fear I may become cool and groovy by owning it...

Sent from my iPhone