Category Archives: Grumpy Old Lady Stuff

The naughty Age website

‘The Hungry Beast’ on ABC1 ( I suppose we’ll have to start using those numbers now that there’s ABC1, ABC 2 and ABC 3) had its last episode last week.  I gave up after about five minutes of the first show thinking that I really must be getting very old, but a couple of weeks later I persevered and found it interesting but variable.  A bit of a curate’s egg, so to speak.

But one small segment they had discussed the difference between the online sites for newspapers and the actual newspaper itself. You can see it here.  They argue that otherwise respectable news sites ensure that their page displays words that are likely to be turned up in a search for sex online.  And you know- they’re right! I was looking at today’s Age website – and now let’s face it, the Age is not renowned for its lascivious coverage. But even the dowdy old Age website has two uses of the word “sexy”, one “topless”, and a “bra” on today’s site.

I’d be pretty willing to bet that there’s similar words every single day.

The Resident Judge Reckons 8/11/09

that newspapers are increasingly being used as an outlet for the activities of lobbying firms.  It’s just “he said/she said” being mouthed by ventriloquist politicians, ‘spokesmen’ and ‘independent’ commentators.

The Age yesterday had a register of the climate-change lobbying companies- easily found yesterday;  I couldn’t find it on the site today- I had to find it through the Centre for Public Integrity which then had a link to it through the Sydney Morning Herald.   The PDF file showing the large companies, the lobbying companies who contract to them, and the lobbyists and their policitical connections can be found at

http://www.smh.com.au/pdf/climatechange_lobbyingregister.pdf

The advisers and staffers, on both sides,  are coming out to play.  And we’ll uroll our newspapers in the morning and think that we’re reading “news”.

Meanwhile, Rupert and Little Johnny are whipping themselves up into a frenzy.  A plague on all their houses.

The Resident Judge reckons 4/10/09

…that the clutch bag, which is supposed to be all the rage for Fashions on the Field is another way of ensuring that women remain decorative and useless.  As if the hobbling high heels are not enough, now we have to shuffle along,  clutch bag in hand or wedged tightly under the arm.   How is one to hold a drink, hold on to one’s hat, nibble on a canape etc. with just one hand?  Not really my problem and not high on the world’s priorities but frustrating and demeaning nonetheless

Uncivil ugliness

Saturday’s Age had a feature about the rising anxiety over the State Government’s proposal to move the city’s urban limits out further, and the opposing anxiety over high-density living and local amenity.  It pointed out a number of inner-city sites that had been left vacant for many years where high-density development could add to the city’s housing stock without moving further into semi-rural areas.

One of the aerial shots accompanying the article showed a large expanse of land near North Melbourne station that has lain vacant since Solomon Lew purchased it 17 years ago.  What struck me was the huge FCUK sign draped across the deserted factory building on the site.  Unfortunately the Age online article doesn’t show the photograph, but you can see the building I am talking about  here. You might also want to consider the vacuous, clinical approach that the advertisers have taken in this “project”.

I also don’t want to post the picture here because I find it crass and offensive.  I’m well aware of the smarty-pants, smirking, superior marketing decision behind the choice of the FCUK brand.  But why shouldn‘t people find it offensive?  Why should an obscenity suggested on a  billboard impose itself so insistently and aggressively onto the public consciousness?  The brand proprietors can take the high moral ground and protest that the word in itself is not obscene, but these four letters have not been chosen randomly: they know full well that the cognitive pathways of a population literate in English will automatically read the word differently.

This is swaggering, arrogant visual pollution, and I resent having it forced upon me.