23. Renovations.

‘Just like a bear is helpless but to behave like a bear, a murderer is helpless but to behave like a murderer. I have no doubt that if we changed variables in these people’s past (their childhood, their influences, their parents, the media the were exposed to, or even their DNA) they would be radically different people, perhaps even the best among us. Conversely, if you were to alter variables in your own past, you could be become indistinguishable from those you deplore the most. In some sense, everyone else is an alternate version of you. If you had the experiences and the biology of another, you would literally be them.’
Sashin, in his blog, Sashinexists

1. For a few weeks we have the restaurant with us while renovations are being made. That, and big crowds, gave the place an almost carnival atmosphere today.

Ray took this photo last Monday. Thanks, Ray.

2. Mr B was critical of the ABC’s response to the raid on them by the Australian Federal Police. He pointed out that their current affairs programs (The Drum and Insiders, so far) had not one person on their panels taking a contrary view. And anyway, if the ABC wants to disagree with the AFP’s actions they can issue a press statement like everyone else. To use their flagship programs to unabashedly spruik their case is a strong conflict of interest.

Mr B said that media organisations do what they can to get the viewer’s eyeballs. Weasil-like, they hide their nefarious practices under the banner of Freedom of Speech. Under that banner they get away with photoshopping lies, cruel hounding and breaches of privacy from the paparazzi, unnecessary snapshots not in the public interest (remember Kevin Rudd eating his earwax?), publishing leaked private correspondence that is no one’s business but the sender’s and the recipient’s (eg. Israel Folau), and their never-ending search for the ‘gotcha’ moment that has eradicated any chance of getting straight talk from our politicians.

The media are a disgrace. For a long time they have repeatedly violated the trust we give them and the ethics expected of them, and now they stand like innocent souls, indignant that they could be questioned.

Ho hum.

That’s Mr B’s take on the matter, anyway. Your dear scribe thinks Mr B is wrong, because what the ABC tells me indicates he’s wrong.

3. Question: do you win your point when you purposly yell so loudly the other person can’t speak?

Uncle Pete . .  . Belligerent Pete was up to his old tricks again.

4. Passer-by Mikayla got up onto the Ladder of Knowledge and spoke about Art and its expression. She held the crowd until it was dusk and time to pack up. Even then she kept gabbing with a couple of listeners. Good work, Mikayla!


5. Other topics discussed:
– Steve Maxwell explored the claim that the Angus Taylor (now Energy Minister) set up an account in the tax haven Caymans for an $80m water buyback.

– Ray spoke directly acrosss from the new restaurant’s seated patrons. Therefore, not only did those lucky souls get to consume their food and drink, they also had the opportunity to learn about God’s boundless and merciful love, and the hell awaiting them if they don’t accept it.

– We lose our appetite when we are sick. Why can’t the science boffins understand what’s going on in that instance, and replicate that effect with a pill, to help people lose weight?

– One passer-by had a lot to say, but her laryngitis had other plans. It was very funny. Her sk8ter boi companion answered Mr B’s question when no one else could. For that he deserves a medal. Unfortunately, Sk8ter boi will  have to forge that medal himself, but he can rest assured that it is well deserved.
What was the question only Sk8ter boi could answer to Mr B’s satisfaction? “Why does no drug addicted thief return the money they stole after they are free of their addiction?” (Sk8ter boi answered the question by supplying one (close enough) example in which it did happen.)

– The mindfulness gurus suggest we live in the present. “But should we?”, asked Mr B. “Why is it wrong to lose ourselves reminiscing about the past and pondering the future, and thinking about ideas, instead of being in the present and focusing on what’s around us?”, Mr B wanted to know. “If we’re surrounded by boring old grass and trees, we’re stuffed. There is only so much ‘That is a leaf; gosh, look at its structure‘ we can take.”
Mr B said he’d much rather listen to the radio while he’s washing the dishes than waste his time observing the soapy water sloshing about his hands.
Sometimes he is not quite with it, that Mr B.

6. In our Unusual Critter Series we feature the East Asian raccoon dog, which is not a raccoon. This particular specimen says our Facebook pageis subversive. It’s about time someone noticed.