Post 124: Merry … Nazis?

We went to the local Carols in the Park last night.

About half way in, the organisers did a little educational Q&A for the kids, which produced this classic exchange:

Carols Host (holding a small crucifix) to Kids:  Now kids, what would you call this?

Kid One: Two sticks

Kid Two: A sword

Carols Host: Well … we call it a cross. Now … what sort of person do you think would give someone a cross for Christmas?

Kid Three: The Nazis?

Merry Christmas!


Post 123: The tradesman’s entrance

Let’s talk about how freelancers can get you into publications where the staff are unreceptive to your advances.

Bottom line, I ain’t gunna do it. As I have discussed before, I see my role as a freelancer as being to add value to publications I contribute to. For me, value does not mean covering vendors that do not rate the attention of staff.

And if you do pitch this stuff to me, at least have your story straight.

I had a call last week from a PR with a “this vendor was acquired and is now thriving as a quasi-independent division” type story. It was pretty damn mild so I asked where she thought I would place the story. She named a magazine that does not have a news section and is famous for not covering vendors at all, ever. Then she suggested a national daily newspaper that does not run stories like this at all, ever.

There are times when the tradesman’s entrance is probably useful. Case studies come to mind as one way in. But if the story doesn’t fly through the front door, it won’t make it in through the back.

Post 122: A desperate old man clinging to power

The election is now yesterday’s fish and chip wrappers and the Ruddbot has gone to Bali.

But I feel it is worth noting the washup of the coalition loss, especially in light of John Howard’s demise and humiliation.

I say humiliation because, for all of his achievements, he has gone out a loser and a confirmed liar of the highest order.

Here’s why.

I’m sure we all remember the “I’ll serve as long as the Liberal Party wants me to serve” line that he trotted out for years when asked about the leadership.

Well, if accounts of the Alexander Downer speech to the Press Gallery annual dinner are to believed, the Liberal Party asked him to step aside in 2006 but he ignored the calls because  they were made too rudely!

Then came the APEC “putsch” where he was told it was time to go, and graciously decided that he would … two years into the future.

Lie upon lie.

Some say that Howard did this because he saw the writing on the wall for the government and was therefore courageous in  insisting he clean up his own mess rather than let the blame for a loss rest on Costello’s shoulders.


He was a desperate  old man clinging to power. And only the old was new, if you see what I mean.