What is Art? Henson’s photos – Art or Porn?

Take a pile of junk and hang it on the wall of an art gallery and it becomes art. If, instead, you put it in a skip and transport it to the local dump it is rubbish.

From what I can gather that is the essential difference between the two. Now I could say modestly that I don’t know much about art but I know what I like. Actually, I have studied art and have some familiarity with the subject even though I am far from being an expert.

I wish that artists would not be so keen to shock in order to get publicity. It degrades them. Henson’s photos of that prepubescent girl do not deserve any more respect than porn sites on the web. Surely it is the result rather than the supposed intention of the artiste that should be considered.

I find that empty frames with the title “Nothingness” leave me with the feeling that I have been conned. Anyone can do nothing. It’s no particular achievement.

It bothers me that laundry bills by Picasso could achieve high prices. It bothers me that art depends on who did it rather than whether it is any good. Just because something is by Picasso does that necessarily mean that it has to be good?

Sadly, the truth behind this art business is Business with a capital B. An empty canvas attributed to Picasso will fetch more money than a delightful painting by a nobody. That’s how Art imitates Life.


The Prime Minister does not walk on water after all

Yesterday, Kevin Rudd suffered his first electoral kick up the proverbial when the Nationals won the Gippsland by-election in a truly ROBUST manner.

Let’s sum up what Rudd has done so far in the seven months since he became Prime Minister. He apologised to the aborigines. That’s ok since it’s pretty meaningless anyway.

He insulted the Jews and the Muslims by his mishandling of the 2020 summit.

He insulted the Japanese by leaving them off the VIP list of neighbours to be visited.

He insulted his own public service for being lazy. Great move for a diplomat, isn’t it?

He is going to get rid of all nuclear weapons. Now that should help the economy!

He is going to save the world from global warming or is it climate change now? He is going to tax all of us if we use energy even though our contribution to the alleged climate change is negligible.

He is going to unite all of our South-East Asian neighbours with us as the leader of course. By the way, he has again insulted another of our Asian neighbours and fourth most important trading partner, South Korea, by not visiting it on this latest trip he’s about to take.

He is into travelling though and he collects lots of Frequent Flyer points.

He has set up lots of investigations into food prices and petrol prices. He then announced that he can’t do any more about them. Well done, Kevin!

So how were things last year when John Howard was in charge? Australia was doing well economically. Confidence was high and the atmosphere was optimistic.

Came the Rudd. Petrol prices skyrocketed, the stock market crashed, the U.S subprime problems became our problems. I’m not claiming that Rudd is responsible for these problems but he has shown himself to be the wrong man for the moment. If we are to apply Thomas Carlyle’s Great Man theory, which is that a great man is one who comes at the right time as Churchill did in 1939, then Rudd ain’t the man.

Instead of doing a New Deal, Rudd aggravated the problems by saying that things were bad. This was to get him off the hook, of course. He is not the sort of person to cop the blame for anything he does wrong. Was this supposed to make us and the economic pundits feel better? Well, it didn’t. Rudd’s tax cuts are now meaningless since interest rates and other hikes have eroded them. Wait until the carbon emissions scheme comes into effect and then we’ll be in even deeper trouble.

Former Prime Minister, John Howard did say that interest rates will always be higher under Labor and he was right.

No doubt we’ll be in for another summit of bright ideas. I can think of one right now and it’s a robust one. Say good night to the folks, Kevin.

An auspicious day for a parent!

Today is indeed a special day because my son has mentioned me in his blog. (lol)

Joshua has written a book on parenting, not that I seriously expect him to dedicate the book to his own parents. Reminds me of my favourite author, P.G. Wodehouse’s dedication to his step-daughter, Leonora, “without whose sympathy and encouragement this book would have been finished in half the time.” Now that’s what I call a dedication!

Kevin Rudd’s robust revolution.

I wish Prime Minister Rudd would buy a thesaurus. I am so utterly sick of hearing the word “robust” which was done to death during the election and now is being adopted by other politicians as well, including his deputy, Julia Gillard. Hearing it makes me feel as if every nerve in my body has been zapped. Rudd has robust discussions, robust arguments, robust investigations, robust breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Good old Peter Mark Roget offers several alternatives for Rudd’s favourite adjective. Among them are “stout”, “sturdy”, “hardy”, “rugged”, “burly”, “brawny”, “muscular,”, not to mention, “Herculean” and “Titanic” These descriptions don’t spring readily to mind when one thinks of Kevin Rudd, do they? Unless one is referring to his ego, that is.

Our Prime Minister is probably using robust to mean vigorous and lively, as in “we had a lively discussion.” That implies, of course, that there were two parties involved in the discussion, exchanging views and making suggestions to the other. A dialogue, in other words.

Now that’s very unlikely.

I doubt that there has ever been a genuinely ROBUST discussion on both sides since Rudd is known to be a control freak who brooks no opposition. So perhaps “robust” is being used in a novel Rudd connotation. “I told them what I thought. I told them what to do. They saluted and said “Aye aye sir!” and the robust discussion was over.”

Give us a break please. And while you are at it do not mention “the bottom line” ever again either. Enough already…

Leave the aborigines alone

When it comes to problems in the aboriginal community of Australia, the government is always wrong. It is wrong when it allows an aboriginal organisation to look after its own people. It is wrong when it intervenes in aboriginal communities when small children have been sexually molested by their own families and friends. It is wrong when it wants to educate young aboriginals so that they can find jobs instead of being on the dole. It is wrong when it brings doctors and nurses into an aboriginal community and tells the locals that children should have their health problems seen to.

Anything that the government of Australia tries to do is regarded by the aborigines as disrespecting their culture. Education, health, trying to stem alcohol and drug addiction, protecting children from abuse- that’s apparently being disrespectful.

This is all very discouraging to a government which has poured billions of dollars and man hours into the problem. The aborigines wanted an apology. Well, they got it. So has anything improved? Not one bit, because what the aborigines are asking for is more money so that they can look after themselves. When you consider how bad they were when their own organisation failed to do this and instead filled its own coffers, you do have to wonder whether it isn’t time that we told the aborigines some home truths.

The truth is this. It’s time that the aborigines followed jobs on offer. Jobs don’t follow people. People go to jobs. If there are no jobs in their own areas they should be prepared to move to where they can earn a living. As long as people are paid not to work, then work will not be an attractive option. As long as aborigines allow themselves to depend on welfare they will have no real autonomy and without autonomy there cannot be self-respect.

It is now one year since the government took the brave step of intervening in the abuse of little children. As I write, aborigines are holding protest marches against the intervention.

So here’s my apology. Sorry we tried to help.

Capolingua does the AMA no favours

I believe that doctors are their own worst enemies. These are the people who were called leeches in the old days and in my opinion nothing much has changed. Whenever the government suggests a way to make health care available to more patients, the AMA protests. Under the management of Rosanna Capolingua whom I have criticised many times before, the AMA wants to restrict primary health care to GP’s.

Nurse Practitioners who are perfectly able to administer injections, take Blood Pressure readings and change dressings and who indeed do that in hospitals, would be dangerous to patients, according to Capolingua. So where does the danger lie? Easy answer. If nurse practitioners and other ancillary medicos performed these duties, then GP’s would be hit in the pocket nerve. That is the only real danger. Most of the duties of a GP are to perform activities that a nurse or physio etc could perform. Very rarely do they have to do much more in their surgeries. Let’s face it, they are always complaining that they don’t have the time to do more.

Nobody has suggested that GP’s should be replaced. What we all want is for the pressure to be taken off GP’s so that we can get access to medical care cheaper and faster. Should there be a problem, then the GP can still be consulted.

Why shouldn’t an optometrist who discovers a problem in a patient’s eyes not be able to refer that patient to a specialist? After all, that’s all a GP would do and why not save on double dipping?

Doctors are one of the most money-grubbing trade unions around. I have been to many social events where the doctors congregate and bemoan the high cost of medical insurance. Do they discuss the latest treatments? Do they even talk about health in general? No way. It’s all about money and control by the government.

There was a time when doctors were respected but those days are truly gone. Doctors are in business and they want to make sure that the government gives in to their demands. So that’s why they elect militant heads like Capolingua.

My view is that if doctors want to behave like any other trade union then they should be treated as such. The government should do the best that it can to provide good health care to all its citizens. And in the absence of sufficient doctors then other health professionals should be employed to make up for the deficiency.

I believe that the doctors’ agenda is to prevent more doctors being trained or imported. There’s a lot to be said for the English system.

Robert Farmer’s appropriate sentence

Sometimes the judges get it right. I have been waiting with some interest for this verdict.

Briefly the case was as follows. The quote is from News.com.au

THE man who brutally bashed Sydney teenager Lauren Huxley has been jailed for at least 20 years.

Robert Black Farmer, 39, was found guilty last month in the NSW Supreme Court of attempting to murder Ms Huxley at her Northmead home in November 2005.

Then 18, the marketing student was bashed with a pair of metal fibrocutters and left for dead in a pool of petrol before Farmer set the house alight.

Ms Huxley suffered permanent brain damage and required extensive surgery as a result of the attack, including a facial reconstruction and repairs to her shattered skull.

This time it was Justice Peter Hall who decided to empathise with the victim instead of the defendant. There is a perception in the community that criminals get off very lightly which makes us cynical about the Law.

Another decision made today of which I also approve wholeheartedly is that of Chief Justice Paul de Jersey. It concerned the rape by 9 Aboriginal males of a ten year old Aboriginal girl. The original Judge, one Sarah Bradley, had given a non-custodial sentence to the rapists. Every Australian, apart from Bradley and the nine rapists, was outraged by her judgement.

After an appeal by the Queensland Attorney-General, the case was reviewed and de Jersey sentenced three men and two youths to jail.

The following is also from News.com.au

In today’s judgment, the state’s Chief Justice Paul de Jersey said Judge Bradley’s original sentence was so inadequate it amounted to a “miscarriage of justice”.

This is not the first time that I have approved of the Chief Justice’s verdict. We had personal experience when a legal firm was negligent in doing searches for our business and even admitted culpability. Unfortunately we had a weak barrister who has now become a judge. (dear me…) Anyhow, de Jersey, who presided over our case, was amazing and took control of it. He blasted the large firm of solicitors for not behaving properly and seemed quite disgusted by our effete barrister. Queensland’s Chief Justice was kind and very considerate to us and I have been a fan of his ever since.

Therese Rein goes beige

The media has been following Prime Minister Rudd’s trip to Japan and we have been treated to several photo pixes of his little woman. Gone are the flamboyant imitations of an ambulatory Christmas tree that was the marque of Mrs Rudd.

She has mercifully discovered the delights of beige and grey in her wardrobe. I would like to think that she decided to accept good advice from image makers, but I suspect she abandoned her flamenco fiasco under protest.

Not that anyone would describe her as being elegant now but at least she doesn’t shriek “I’m a Las Vegas neon sign!” any more. The style of her clothes is still pretty unflattering for her shape, but at least she is trying. When she ditches her cinched tops and does something about that hair she may be closer to looking like a Prime Minister’s wife.

As for her husband, I wish he would stop making silly gestures. It was fine to lean down to talk to the child in Japan, but to see him on his knee before her was just too submissive.

I don’t think that is the last faux pas from him. We have seen him salute President Bush in a nonchalant Laughing Cavalier manner. We have seen him rub his hands together when he didn’t know what to do with himself and now he gets down in a marriage proposal position to a kindergarten age Japanese girl.

The Japanese place great value on gestures. So what was Kevin Rudd thinking? Lord knows…Someone should ask the Lord when he comes home tomorrow.