1. Child sexual abuse
The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse continues to amaze, this time with the horrific abuse in the Diocese of Ballarat. At the same time we find that the Catholic Church will continue to use the so-called Ellis defence, whereby it can’t be sued for compensation because it does not technically exist as a legal entity.
There is also a call, and a petition, to bring back Cardinal Pell to explain his role to the Commission.
Tony Abbott thinks he done good. That was in 2013.
2. Abbott says “no” to Rohingya refugees
Or more specifically, “Nope, nope, nope!”
According to Abbott, no asylum seeker should get on a boat anywhere in the world.
- “I’m sorry. If you want to start a new life, you come through the front door, not through the back door.
“Don’t think that getting on a leaky boat at the behest of a people smuggler is going to do you or your family any good.
“We are not going to do anything that will encourage people to get on boats. If we do the slightest thing to encourage people to get on the boats, this problem will get worse, not better.”
If there is no front door, and in this case there isn’t, then tough!
I heard Richard Marles spend a lot of time avoiding being specific about what Labor would do, except “help”. Meanwhile Labor’s left faction pushes for ban on asylum seeker boat turnbacks.
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
This week my wife and I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s quite surprising how long the wham-bam action can go on without any dialogue and still be interesting. The film is too unrealistic to engage the emotions to any great degree, but it creeps up on you, mostly through the character of Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron).
- Mad Max: Fury Road is a paradox. A completely overblown, absurd masterpiece of a paradox, but one that balances two seemingly irreconcilables and fuses them astonishingly successfully. On the one hand its an utterly mindless action romp with scant dialogue, a simple plot, lashings of violence, and spectacular vehicles that make for very big explosions. Yet beneath that is a cunning and penetrating commentary on patriarchal (not male per se) violence and feminist struggle.
- Hence rather than MMFR being open to feminist interpretation, it itself is a $150m commentary on feminism, by way of ultra violence, the best guitarist ever, and audacious nonsense. Do go for a showing: it will be the best film you’ve seen this year.
Also, an interesting reaction from a foetal amputee.
I’ll be away and out of internet range for the weekend until Monday afternoon. My wife and I are visiting my sister and brother-in-law at Dulacca, population 88, 380 km NW of Brisbane. Hence it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before I’m back posting.
5. State of Origin
This year is the first since 2005 that I will not be posting separately on the State of Origin football. The effort/reward equation just doesn’t stack up.
Queensland lost Daly Cherry-Evans early, but go into the match with three crocks, Justin Hodges with a sore foot, Greg Inglis with a virus and Billy Slater with a gammy shoulder.
As usual, I’m expecting NSW to win – too big, too fast and too much skill, and our blokes are getting old. As usual also, anything could happen – could be close or could blow out either way.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.