Posts by TracyMac

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  • Hard News: Kitchen Hacks,

    For relatively low-tech but great coffee-grinding, a hand grinder is the bee's knees. I have this one: http://shop.coffeesupreme.com.au/collections/accessories/products/hario-ceramic-coffee-mill-skerton

    And for getting off jar lids, use the manky old stainless can opener in the kitchen drawer - one leg has the bottle-opener notch and is perfect for cracking the seal by slightly levering one section of the rim. Most notch-type bottle-openers (as opposed to the ring-style ones) will work for jars.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media3: We have much to discuss,

    One of the more disgusting examples I've seen of child porn was a drawing. A very representational, albeit 19th Century, drawing. Hiding behind "it's just a cartoon!" isn't quite good enough. (It's very much a hot-button for me.)

    It's a tough one, but my feeling is that if the figure is missing secondary sexual characteristics - breasts, adult-shaped penis, etc - then it's pretty damn questionable about what "age" the character is supposed to be. In manga, there are characters that look like kids in terms of their faces, but they have (often enormous) breasts, penises, whatever. Fine. Non-human creatures (Smurfs, whatever), fine. Pics of Homer screwing Lisa, not so fine.

    That said, I am not one of the people demanding that the newspaper censor the cartoon. I think it was vile and inappropriate for a mainstream newspaper, and more suited to the kind of rags our supposed "neo-nazis" read, but it's up to the readership to express their distaste.

    In fact, bringing this kind of thing into the light of day is good. It's very much exposing the synergy of racism and classism in the way that the anti-benefit types tend to think. No hiding behind any pretence that it's entirely about "fiscal responsibility". Sure, I'm sure some people genuinely are not engaged in any race issue when they bitch about beneficiaries, but I can just about guarantee they are the minority.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A Golden Age for the Arts?,

    Yeah, not that convinced by the "suffering = great art" trope. Sure, some great artists can produce great works in great adversity, but not that much actually when you're right in the middle of it - you generally need supplies and (paying) audiences.

    For every Chatterton, you have a John Donne. Bach and Handel never lacked wealth and patronage, etc etc etc. The Beatles and the Stones made their millions pretty quickly once they hit the big time.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day,

    Was never a great fan of vinyl - fragile and quality seriously degraded after a bit of normal use. I certainly never managed to keep my albums in archival quality.

    So in Wellington, never related to the Slow Boat live, and with Real Groovy closed, frankly I found it to be a bit of a music shop wasteland. There's Rough Peel too, but that never had anything I was looking for.

    Off to Amplifier for Tahuna Breaks' latest. And can Amplifier do up a mobile interface or app, and allow FLAC downloads? (I always loved them for their high-quality non-DRMed offerings in any case).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Treasure at the End of…,

    I personally feel that the biggest achievement for queer rights, once the sodomy canard was out the way, was the change to the Human Rights Act in 1993. A huge fight, but with an early win when the armed forces said they would not seek exemption to the terms of the act, thus making gays in the military a non-event.

    And majorly sticking one up (so to speak) the police commissioner at the time, who was allowing his religious views to influence policy for the organisation.

    Marriage is great for those who want it, and we are no longer 2nd class citizens in that respect. But we are all protected by the Human Rights Act - let's not forget that achievement that laid the foundation for today.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Really seeing more of…,

    Not to get all earnest about language (and not that I think the article needs correction, but I would like to note that the campaign is using the terms "people/talent with disability" to identify the group.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Thatcher,

    If I ever manage to write a book about this endless, endless goddamned interleftiegument from which I can apparently never escape, it will be called: Identity Politics Ruined the Left! How These Dudes Know What's Really Important And The Rest of Us Should Just Shut Up.

    Put me down for a signed copy.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Violence in the streets,

    There are plenty of problems with the police. There are corrupt cops and useless cops. There is is definitely a fortress mentality with some. There are plenty of celebrated examples of miscarriage of justice. That's why not having a death penalty is a good thing.

    But there are between 40-70 murders per annum in NZ, and the police "resolution rate" typically hovers around 90%. So with that in mind, a handful of "false positives" (as awful as they are) should be seen in perspective against the hundreds of instances of murderers brought to justice in the 40 years since Arthur Allan Thomas!

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Violence in the streets, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Dude, I am not going to compromise my job, but let's just say that cops investigating a violent death - especially one of this nature - are nowhere near as bloody stupid as you seem to think they are.

    I think it's best summarised as "been there, done that". And there are a multitude of other inquiries being carried out that are well beyond the scope of that paltry list you've managed to toss off the top of your head.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Golden…,

    "Roots-reo-dub" - I like it. And the track is awesome.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 572 posts Report Reply

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