11 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Never mind 2020. Here is something important.

    The Canberra Times the other day told us My Fair Lady is coming in August:

    “In town to promote the show was director Stuart Maunder, legend of … … He said that My Fair Lady… …was one of the few occasions when an adaption was better than the original, in this case George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play Pygmalion. ‘My Fair Lady transformed Pygmalion and gave it the ending it should have; when Higgins admits he has learnt something from this girl. It’s a great moment in theatre’.â€?

    Oh dear. It is one of theatre’s most unedifying moments.

    Higgins already says in the final scene of Pygmalion: “I have learnt something from your idiotic notions: I confess that humbly and gratefully.” Heaven knows what alleged legend Maunder thinks Higgins additionally learns in MFL.

    In MFL Eliza goes back to being Higgins’s door mat. In Pygmalion she marries Freddy who will be her door mat while she supports them both with a flower shop. Shaw’s fundamental lesson – namely that the proles, if raised up, will become independent, progressive, supportive citizens, not part of the parasite upper class – has failed to make its mark on Maunder’s mundane mind.

    Sadly, he is far from the first to miss the point of the play. Right from the beginning people wanted to change Shaw’s ending – because Freddy is a drip. People want the attractive girl to go to the clever professor. Her brains and his bullying count for nothing.

    GBS was scathing: “…lazy dependence on the ready-makes and reach-me-downs of the ragshop in which Romance keeps its stock of ‘happy endings’ to misfit all stories.� Why, he asks, would Eliza prefer to pick up Higgins’s slippers when Freddy will pick up hers?

    The whole episode is an embarrassment to the theatre and here is a director endorsing it.

    GBS’s lengthy essay – in effect the sequel to the play – is at
    http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=6390&pageno=86 .

  2. The 2020 was an invitation from this government for you and me to participate in the future of the nation, beyond the vote, beyond the ballot box. This is true democracy in the deepest sense of the word

  3. Dear friends;

    A significantly expanded and updated version of a paper of mine has been published on Znet and Leftwrites. (nb: it has doubled in size since its previous incarnation)

    Issues covered range from tax, health, education, welfare, aged care, the housing crisis, and including an expanded social wage…

    I tried posting the paper on the ‘GetUp’ participatory forum (meant to coincide with the 2020 summit) in the Economics section…

    For reasons unknown to me, the paper was never published.

    I hope, though, to spur some discussion regardless.

    Znet and Leftwrites allow for reader comments – and your input would be appreciated.

    I welcome you all to read and comment on the paper. The article can be found at the URLs below:





    Again – feel free to comment here, at Leftwrites or at Znet.

    And feel free to reproduce the article elsewhere -and please let the author know if you do:


    Finally, if you consider yourself as being broadly part of the Left, you are welcome to join the ‘Australian Broad Left Network’ – an egroup for news and debate on the broad Australian Left:


    Take care, and all the best.


    Tristan Ewins

  4. Nonsense. Democracy is an attempt at keeping governments focused on the public good rather than narrow sectional interests. Where it fails to do that (as it often does) then it should be modified. Where it leads to leadership that misunderstands what the public good entails then it should be used to correct them or replace them.

  5. Marvellous how people want to appropriate the word democracy to suit their normative agenda. Rule by the people is what it means. Nothing “should” about it. And it’s rule, not leadership.

  6. Not sure if anyone else has seen this, but the three major presidential candidates appeared on WWE’s Monday Night Raw this week:


    For those not in the know, “Hill-Rod” is a reference to Roddy “Hot Rod” Piper, Obama’s line is adapted from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s catchphrase and “Mcainiacs” is derived from “Hulkamaniacs”, the followers of Hulk Hogan.

    It seems that it’s becoming chic to be able to reference pro wrestling even at the higher echelons these days, between this and Ric Flair being mentioned on the floor of Congress last week.

  7. It isn’t available online sadly but the letters section of the latest New Scientist has a letter claiming that methane and carbon dioxide released from coal beds during open-cut coal mining has greater global warming impact than the carbon dioxide released when the coal is burnt.

    If that claim is correct, it means carbon sequestration for coal-fired power plants, which I’ve previously advocated, probably can’t solve the problem of GHG emissions from coal use.

    Of course, underground coal mines can capture and burn the methane released during mining.

    On the other hand there’s also the issue of carbon dioxide emissions from the actual mining and from transporting the coal.

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