Weasel words and elections

21/09/2005

I finally decided to upgrade my old trusty Koss UR-20 el cheapo headphones for something a bit more expensive—although still ultra cheap for audiophile standards: Sennheiser PX 100. They seem to be one of the best cheap headsets and they are very comfortable. I will throw away the Sony earbuds and use my Yepp with the Sennheiser.

Almost simultaneously I bought a couple of nice CD in ‘Music without frontiers’, order which is my favourite music shop in Hobart. I was looking for another Piazzolla CD but this time live. Stephan did not have any live concerts—I think I will have to order The Laussane concert, although see this page for corrections on the names of tracks—but he had The rough dancer and the cyclical night -Tango apasionado. This album is good, but not of the same stature as Tango Zero or La Camorra. If you like Jorge Luis Borges’s writings, as I do, you may be interested in this Borgessian connection with Piazzolla.

Cover of Nois 4’s Gente

The other CD I bought was Nóis 4’s Gente (the BBC has a review and Daniella Thompson has another one). This recording is a nice exploration of Brasilian music including classics and new songs by Nóis 4. My favourite track is still ‘Influência do Jackson’, although this is the type of album that grows in me with each time that I listen to it, so I expect that the ‘favourite track title’ will keep changing hands.

When reading the newspaper and driving around this little island, thumb one comes across many times with ‘best practice’ (mostly in the news) and ‘Save X’ or ‘No to Y’ (mostly in bumber stickers). They come often enough to become worn down clichés.

Best practice does not necessarily mean ‘good practice’. As an example, noun
until not long ago corporal punishment was considered best practice from a pedagogical point of view. Now it is neither considered best nor good, but an abhorrent practice. When used in environmental discussion, best practice is a catch all phrase (normally used by government) that really means we think it is good, it is done in other places and nobody has complained too much about it.

Have you ever wondered how come that there are so many things that need to be ‘saved’? Saved from what or from who? No is a very interesting word, because it means opposition and negation and it does not propose anything. If I say NO to something it seems that I do not need to be pro anything. I have met quite a few people in the environmental discussion in Tasmania that oppose forestry activity not necessarily because of the environmental effects—which are much more marked in agriculture, for example—but because is conducted by big corporations (as oppossed to many farmers). When asked ‘How would you provide all the goods and services without corporations?’ they produce very weak responses, because they have not thought the issue through, because they are against X rather than pro Y.

And going back to past elections and weasels

I have to acknowledge that I voted for Mark Latham in the 2004 federal election. In spite of Latham’s lack of coherence and a pathetic forest policy, I could not bring myself to stomach the Liberals’ policies towards refugees. As it should be clear to the reader by now, Labor and Latham had their bottoms kicked.

Back to almost the present, last week the ABC broadcasted Andrew Denton’s ‘Enough Rope’ program, after a short lived legal battle with News Limited. In the interview Latham showed to be a real psycho: he was accusing almost everybody else of acting like, mmh, Mark Latham. As Matthew 7:3 said ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?’ or—if you are a King James person—‘And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?’ or—to add a Spanish touch—‘viendo la paja en el ojo ajeno pero no la viga en el propio’.

He showed complete disregard for his party colleagues, particularly Kim Beazley, the current leader of the opposition. What I find disturbing is not that he despises politicians (don’t we all do?) but that knowing the status of the party, the moral quality of his colleagues and the lack of conviction in their policies he still decided to present himself as potential prime minister material supported by that kind of people. Note to self: do not ever forget the level of stupidity reigning in the Labor party.

Filed in language, politics

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