23 June 2007

saturday night and I ain't got nobody

Well that's not quite right, I do have Mrs VVB. Who, sensible lass, is in the lounge room with the fire. Yes, good folks, it's wicked cold here in the leafy western suburbs (if you want to know our temperature, look to Amberley, not Brisbane).

And I do have this little blog. Seeing as what it's been wicked cold and somewhat damp today, I've been mainly at the computer. We're putting in for an award so I've been drafting massive amounts of bureaucratese all day. The back of the task is broken, the next step is just to get the rest of the details down and then the interesting bit: turning it into a style of English so seductive it will reel the judges right in. Nothing like this style, then.

It's quite dispiriting in a way, this misuse of English. The bureaucratic or corporatespeak styles drain so much of the meaning right out of whatever it is being discussed. There's no sense of the imperative of taking some action, of the fulfillment of achieving objectives (and, of course, goals), or (in some of the examples I'll be citing) the excitement and passion that sits meekly below the bureaucratic surface. I could probably go back to it but it's sucked the actual joy of the project plumb outta me.

I've got a photocopied extract from Don Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart at work, in which he talks about his experience of dealing with the public service during the Keating years. Of course Watson is also a fervent advocate for plain writing.

The letters to the Ed in today's Curious Snail, by a good proportion, support the general thrust of Howard's intervention on Aboriginal child abuse but nail him on the timing. The Snail is no red rag, no pusillanimous Fairfax scandal sheet, it's a good solid Murdoch contribution to the forces of good and right, so the general tone of the letters should be seen as telling. Greater numbers of Aussies are waking up to the subterfuge that's been perpetrated for the last 11 years. Relaxed and comfortable was a ruse. While you've been relaxed and comfortable, I've stealing your rights, your heritage, your country. And look: when I went to grab a URL link for the Snail, I find
this. QE fucking D, as they say.

Would a Rudd government be much better? It's not a strong front bench (think back to 1983 - when Hawke came to power, my old man said "this is the best Liberal government we've ever had." Mind you, dad was a bit of a fellow traveller, if you follow me.

It'd be easy to see Rudd mesmerised by the seductiveness of power, if not the trappings (surely he'd return Kirribilli to its previous purpose). The reality of government and the grubby accommodations you have to make would come pretty quickly. If he could keep himself from lying to the country for a couple of years, though, we'd be away ahead. It's not too much to ask, surely?

I had the Business Review Weekly lying around somewhere and was going to comment on some inane story in there about how the insurance companies were able to pay out on all the claims from the recent storms down south. Good - that must mean their actuaries have been on the money, so to speak. Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

Ahh bugger it. Time we weren't here. It's raining softly outside, the water tank people have absconded with our deposit, damn damn damn. There's surely something dead under the house from the increasingly obvious smell...may have to actually crawl under there tomorrow to see what it is.

In the meantime, have a pciture of the paternal grandfather. Not sure when this one dates from. Confectioner, jeweller, a few other things as well. Made and lost a couple of fortunes. I only met him once, I was about 4 or 5, we have a picture of that day and I can still remember it, a tiny flat on the edge of Kings Cross.

Pretty natty dresser, eh?

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