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Things script-writers have taught me – Ep 2

That all is not lost in the redemption of psychopathic killers. It appears that they suddenly develop empathy at the very moment they are ending your life by strangling, poisoning or gutting you like a fish. They show this empathy by hugging you, and soothing you with ‘ssshhh’s’ or quiet, kind words, as you die as a result of their ministrations.

Case in point : Just about every serial killer I have seen on tv recently. But, if you want a specific example, the killer in The Returned (French version)


Things script-writers have taught me – Ep 1

It has been a while, hasn’t it. Sorry bout that…what can I say, I’ve been busy. I can imagine quite a few of my friends laughing heartily at the moment. 🙂 Anyway, I’m back now, with a new resolve to bore the crap out of you on a more regular basis.

I thought to ease myself back in I might do a series on things that I have learned from script-writers. Some context…my older brother and I get together one night every weekend for a night of eating junk, talking bollocks and catching up on a bit of tele. Now, we both consider ourselves erudite fellows and, as a result, often find ourselves chuckling (read “yelling at the tele”) at the laziness of script-writers. But, on reflection, given that I lecture at Murdoch University, I thought it might be better if I turned these episode into learning experiences, with appropriate illustrations from current TV series…so here goes.

Things script-writers have taught me – Ep 1

Always communicate any plans to over-come the bad guys telepathically because, no matter where or under what circumstances you do it, if you talk about your plans with anyone else, the bad guys (or one of their minions) will just happen to be in a position to overhear them.

However if you happen to be the bad guy, talk about your plans as often and as loudly as you wish. No-one will ever overhear you, and even if they do, they will conveniently be killed before they can pass them on to anyone who can do anything about it.

Case in point : Just about every episode of Salem.

Merry Christmas!

Hi “Insert your name here”, once again my laziness has overtaken me and I am reduced to wishing my most amazing of friends a Merry Christmas via my blog. But please take this as a personal greeting from me to you…and, come a bit closer so I can whisper, remember that you are more special that anyone else that reads my blog. 🙂

Seriously, I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and a fantastic 2014! And thank you all for your love, best wishes and support through what has been a really tough year.

Love and best wishes


What a bunch of assho……charming individuals. :-)

Merry Christmas, all you folks taking care of children or the elderly. Your help is, well, not actually appreciated that much at all apparently.

“While the national affairs rollercoaster roared around the fate of Holden and amplified everyone’s feelings on an imminent post-industrial Australia, the Coalition set about unloading two pre-Christmas nasties – it proceeded to withdraw and redirect funds set aside for wage increases for childcare workers and aged care workers. Merry Christmas folks.

The development this week followed an earlier decision to get rid of the low-income superannuation contribution scheme, which provided a concession for workers on $37,000 a year or less. Despite the imperative of finding budget cuts to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability, the Coalition has retained the generous superannuation tax concessions for high-income workers, including of course, for politicians, some of whom are still on the rolled-gold pre-2004 parliamentary super scheme.

The practical effect of the policy shift is that Australia’s lowest paid workers will be punished for saving for their retirement – which presumably makes them more likely to end up having to rely on the pension. Quite apart from the obvious inequity, it’s poor policy. The roiling news cycle largely swallowed that one too – it pretty much sank without trace.”

F*&king stupidity – an update. :-)

I just thought I’d update you on the latest f*&king stupidity from the US about ObamaCare…cos I know you are all interested. 🙂 I’m thinking that after you read this you might think stupidity is not the right word.

Since yesterday, I have learned that the US version of our Medicare is a joint state and federally-funded programme called Medicaid and it is only for the lowest income earners…and I mean low. A woman who earned more that $1200 a month wasn’t eligible, for example. That’s $14,400 a year, to save you doing the maths. 🙂 And ObamaCare doesn’t kick in until a higher income level, so there is a whole group of people who don’t fit into either system….in fact about 8 million apparently. So, to cover this gap, the federal government has said they’ll fully fund an increase to the Medicaid programme for 3 years and, after that, the states will take on an increased share of the extra costs, building up to a maximum of 10% by 2020. So just to clarify, Medicaid is jointly funded by the state and federal governments of America, and the expansion of the programme will be fully funded by the federal government for 3 years and funded 90% by them after that.

Now, here are a few point from a report done by the American Academy of Family Physicians….

1) If all 50 states implemented the Medicaid expansion, it would cover an additional 21.6 million of the 41.2 million currently uninsured adults (or 52%).

2)The additional cost of implementing the Medicaid expansion is estimated to be only a 2.8 percent increase from what states would have spent between 2014 and 2022 without the health reform law.

2.8% increase in costs to give healthcare cover to an additional 21.6 million people…sounds a no-brainer right?

Wrong!!!! 26 states have indicated they will not sign up for the increased funding…anyone care to guess which party is in government in each of these states?

Good on you, Maryland!

A while ago I wrote to the Governor of Maryland, in the US, congratulating him on repealing the death penalty in that state. I received a reply from him the other day and this was the central paragraph of it…

“In 2008, the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, led by former United States Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti, found that the administration of the death penalty clearly showed racial bias and that no administrative fixes could end the racial disparities.  In addition, it reported that the cost to taxpayers of pursuing a capital case is three times as much as the costs of pursuing a non-death penalty homicide conviction.  Lastly, the Commission determined that the risk of executing an innocent person was extremely high and that the statistics did not prove that the death penalty was a deterrent.  The death penalty did not make us stronger or more secure as a people. Nor did the death penalty make our laws more effective or more just. Capital punishment was expensive, and it did not work.”

Every time you think that the US has gone mad, they do something like this, which, to me, is amazing. And I’m not talking so much about the decision as the rationale behind it. Looking at it from a purely technical perspective, it is a really well thought out argument that covers bases for just about any stakeholder. It doesn’t make you safer, it’s not fair, it’s expensive, it’s not guaranteed to get the right person and it can’t be fixed…there is something in this for everyone, just about.

I know you may think I’ve gone crazy bothering to blog about something like this, but, in a world where sound debate and argument is sadly lacking, you need to appreciate the good ones when they come along. 🙂

Not going down without a fight! :-)

I have to share a story a friend of mine told me about her mother’s recent visit to hospital with you because I think it is the funniest and most heartwarming story I have heard in ages. The reason behind the hospital visit is not at all funny and I hope my friend’s mum has made a full recovery. Oh, and I should also express my sympathies for the staff having to deal with, what must have been, a tough situation. But it’s still funny! 🙂 Names have been changed to protect the not-so innocent.

This was the P.S. to an email my friend sent:

“P.S. The hospital rang me Saturday morning to tell me to get in there- Dorothy had been a really bad girl during the night- had a nightmare that a team of assassins were going to kill her if she didn’t make a break for it- an unsuspecting nurse woke her to see if she was ok (she immediately assumed he was one of the bad guys) punched him and tried to do a runner- apparently it took three nurses to restrain her because she was not going down without a fight- that’s my girl- she’s 86 in April but she’s a feisty little thing.”

I hope I have that amount of spunk when I’m 86! 🙂

On another note, some of you may have been aware that years ago I wrote a book. It was never published and has since languished on my computer getting sporadic editings. Well, I have decided to post it here as a serial as I edit it. It’s called ‘Sharing a Desk with Elvis’, so keep an eye out for those posts if you are interested. And any constructive comments, I’ll emphasise constructive for some of you, you know who you are, are most welcome. First instalment coming to a blog near you soon. 🙂