24 June, 2016

The hypocrisy of Brexit

I have to say it’s rather amusing to see Britain resentful of being told what to do by other countries. It seems they’re nostalgic for the days of when there was one rule for Britain and another for everyone else.

Let’s take just one, extremely selective example…

Britain: You there, Australia! Launch a doomed invasion of a country you have no quarrel with as part of our sorting out some personal differences between royal cousins.
Australia: Right you are, guv!

Europe: Britain, be a good chap and take some refugees fleeing conflicts that ultimately arose from a bunch of arbitrary lines you drew on the world over the last century, won’t you?
Britain: How dare you sir? Do you know who I am? I don’t have to be treated like this. I said Good day!

19 June, 2016

The Best of the Best-Ofs: Paul McCartney
(revised and updated)

For someone so prolific, Paul McCartney has released very few compilations, averaging less than one per decade. Pure McCartney is only the fourth – far less than contemporaries such as Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Elton John and even John Lennon, who was only given ten years for a solo career and spent five of those in semi-retirement.

And of these four compilations, the new release is the only one to include his entire post-Beatles career. Here, I will compare it to the others from a previous post in this occasional series.

Pure McCartney - 2016
Firstly, the title is perfect. Shying away from a hits or best-of per-se, the sleeve notes and promotional material state that the album was compiled “with nothing else in mind other than having something fun to listen to.” All the hits you’d expect are here and the remainder of the 4-disc set is evidently made up of Paul’s personal favourites from what I believe the young’uns these days call “deep cuts.” Of these album tracks, many are finally getting the recognition they deserve such as Arrow Through Me and Don’t Let It Bring You Down, while others have already enjoyed a recent resurgence such as Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five and… um… Temporary Secretary.

As you might expect, it does lean a little heavily on the most recent album New but apart from that, it covers pretty much all phases of Paul’s career equally. About time too! Only two regular albums are not represented here; Driving Rain, which is understandable given the painful phase of Paul’s life that it represented, and more oddly, Flowers in the Dirt. Perhaps this is because the latter is being given a deluxe reissue later this year.

There will be minor quibbles. For instance, I think The Song We Were Singing would have made a perfect opening track, and I don’t think anyone would have minded if Bip Bop and Press were bumped for, say, London Town and C’mon People, but did I change the face of 20th century music? No, I did not. This does contain the only CD release of Hope for the Future. It also includes the 2015 remix of Say Say Say, which features more Michael Jackson vocals than the original. It might have been nice to include some other recent non-album singles like Vanilla Sky and (I Want To) Come Home but again, these are minor quibbles.

Despite jumping several decades in places, the sequencing works well providing good flow and contrast across some very different songs. New masters of the tracks are used where available but unfortunately the tracks from Memory Almost Full (ironically, the McCartney album in most dire need of a remaster) are still “brickwalled.”

Predictably, the more reasonably priced 2-disc version preferences the radio songs more but still has an excellent overview of McCartney’s work.

For: Career-spanning, personal, only album release of Hope for the Future
Against: 4-disc version is expensive
Band on the Run from Pure McCartney

Wings Greatest – 1978
Does exactly what it says on the cover. Wings only made one more album after Wings Greatest, the excellent but hit-free Back to the Egg so it can still be considered the definitive Wings collection. It does stretch the definition just a little by including two tracks originally credited to Paul & Linda McCartney, but no-one could possibly begrudge that. It includes five non-album singles but for reasons of space, leaves out Listen to What the Man Said. Wings Greatest was the only album until Pure McCartney to contain the full version of Junior’s Farm.

For: Succinct
Against: These days, represents a comparatively short phase of McCartney’s career.
Band on the Run from Wings Greatet

All the Best – 1987
Originally released as a double-LP All the Best contains nine tracks that were also released on Wings Greatest and add the hits from the 80s. It includes the first album releases of C Moon, We All Stand Together and Goodnight Tonight, although the latter was not included on the single CD. Contains one new song, Once Upon a Long Ago.

The US version of All the Best had a slightly different tracklisting, and includes the live version of Coming Up, (which was the A-side of the single in the US) rather than the album version.

For: Great artwork, Only album release of Once Upon a Long Ago
Against: CD version drops three tracks.
Band on the Run from All the Best

Wingspan – 2001
Released alongside the television documentary and book of the same name, Wingspan is sensibly divided into two themed discs, Hits and History. The collection does employ a rather curious definition of Wings’ career. While it’s fair enough to include pre-Wings tracks from McCartney and Ram, it also covers part of Paul’s post-Wings careers, but suddenly stops in 1984.
On the Hits side, it’s all the usual suspects – ten tracks previously included on Wings Greatest and fourteen that had been on All the Best. The History side delves deeper and does a good job of being a true best-of, including underrated tracks like Heart of the Country, Take It Away and Rockestra Theme. It also includes an early demo of Bip Bop/Hey Diddle, which was previously unreleased and should have remained so. Where available, radio edits included which may be interesting for completists but does an injustice to a beautiful song like Waterfalls, and wasn’t Junior’s Farm already short enough? Again, Coming Up is replaced with the live version on the US version. The smarter thing to do would have been to include it on the History disc, since the live version has never been available on CD outside the US.

For: Comprehensive, separate Hits and History discs, remastered.
Against: Edited versions, weird time period.
Band on the Run from Wingspan

If you had to choose one, choose...
Pure McCartney, 2-disc version. Go for the 4-disc if you want. Wingspan goes into more detail between 1970 and 1984 but Pure McCartney is just that – the first collection including live albums that doesn’t sell half his career short.

See also,

The Greatest - 1998
Japan-only release that is interesting for including My Brave Face and Hope of Deliverance, but bloody expensive. For collectors only. 

Never Stop Doing What You Love – 2005
This collection was issued as part of a sponsorship deal with and investment company. Although never commercially released, it has been available online from certain sellers. It’s mostly a predictable collection of hits, but also includes Put It There, The World Tonight and Calico Skies.

18 June, 2016

Thinking of linking

What I've been reading recently...

Solving homelessness should be a priority for government

Political correctness gone right-wing

The art dealer offended by books: Businessman who wants to close a quaint store in his Melbourne street because of the 'visual impact' on the area

Melbourne mother angry girl can't wear pants as part of school uniform

Malcolm Turnbull will lose if he doesn't win back the Liberal base

Private training provider Careers Australia to pay back $44m to Government, consumer watchdog says

Election 2016: Sophie Mirabella suspects Liberal HQ leaking against her in fight for Indi

This Man Was Deported From Australia Despite Living And Working Here For Twenty Years

How Australia stood up to minister's 'illiterate migrants' comments

Labor NBN raids: Prime Minister deflects Labor accusations over AFP's election campaign investigation

Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce faces the reality of climate change - some people just have to learn the hard way.

'Ungovernable'? No, Australia changes leaders because they lose their nerve

Turnbull looking for fireworks in long election campaign

Election 2016: Labor has George Christensen and Peter Dutton in its sights

'Growth and jobs': the numbers that debunk a company tax cut

Vulgar, racist Facebook rants return to haunt Midland Liberal candidate Daniel Parasiliti

Silly silly Woy Woy has week spot for king of the absurd

Australia: A town called Woy Woy

Great Barrier Reef stays on UN watch list

Great Barrier Reef doomed but our dome will save us

It's time to ask, 'Could Trump happen here?'

World's widest web? Flood-hit spiders find higher ground

David Koch quits government role on air, tells Fiona Nash to 'get a backbone'

Why is the CFA fighting the UFU?

Victorian firefighters dispute: The burning questions

Pay dispute pits Victoria's volunteer firefighters against professionals

Federal election 2016: Shock poll result for Kelly O'Dwyer. Is Higgins the 'Indi of 2016'?

View from the Street: Mathias Cormann pledges to stop the journalists

Federal election 2016: Mystery deepens over Parakeelia as Cormann ducks question

Election 2016: Barnaby Joyce tells constituent to 'piss off' during heated pub exchange

Tony Abbott's office floated sending Australian troops into Ukraine conflict, defence expert claims

New research: Abbott and Turnbull the worst economic managers since Menzies

The best economic plan: live in a marginal seat

Public servants told it's Armidale or find new jobs

Election 2016: Where do the parties stand on animal welfare?

Bill Shorten’s surprising victory in Leaders’ debate - um, surprising to whom?

The zinger that won the debate for Bill Shorten

Private vocational courses cost taxpayers seven times as much as TAFE, analysis finds

AFP release report into who leaked top secret report on Iraq War to Andrew Bolt

Why Trump’s fake publicist act matters: It proves he’s exactly the weirdo and liar we all suspected he was

Trump's Team: The Bigoted, Unhinged Conspiracy Theorists Benefiting From Donald Trump's Campaign

John Oliver buys and forgives $15 million of debt

Talk grows of replacing Trump at GOP convention

Brock Turner's statement blames sexual assault on Stanford ‘party culture’

Why Conservatives Should Just Say ‘No’ to Trump - The most hilariously wrong way of accidently being right

Democrats Can’t Unite Unless Wasserman Schultz Goes!

Pugilist-poet Ali's race legacy still packs a punch

College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed

July 4th Flotilla 2016 on Bayou St. John to crown Chewbacchus leaders

Five things people should stop saying about Bernie Sanders

Our Worst Presidents Came In With A Lot Of Experience

Donald Trump Picked the Wrong News Editor to F*ck With

Brock Turner and Cory Batey, two college athletes who raped unconscious women, show how race and privilege affect sentences

Donald Trump wanted Moammar Gaddafi’s money

The Concert Across America to end gun violence

[name redacted] was taken off a terrorist watch list, but keeping him on it wouldn't have stopped him from buying guns

Seth Meyers Just Banned Donald Trump From Appearing On His Show – It’s Absolutely Amazing

Orlando shooting: thoughts and prayers from hypocrites do nothing to help

Filmmaker Ken Burns Delivers Blistering Takedown Of Donald Trump At Stanford

Orlando shooting brings hate to its natural conclusion

Pet Alliance to Shelter Victims Pets

McCain: Obama is 'directly responsible' for Orlando attack - Go home, John. It's over.

A history of America doing nothing in response to mass shootings

An Open Letter to [name redacted] from a Survivor of the Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Hillary Clinton Is About to Clean Donald Trump’s Clock

I Am An AR-15 Owner And I’ve Had Enough

Top GOP Consultant Unleashes Epic #NeverTrump Tweetstorm

Boston's Sidewalks Are Covered In Secret Poems

Bob Geldof and Nigel Farage face off in Brexit boat battle down London's River Thames

Jo Cox MP dead after shooting attack

The mood is ugly, and an MP is dead

Associating elbowgate with violence against women is an insult to victims

((( How Twitter Is Teaming Up to Mess With the Nazis )))

In South Sudan, It’s Hard to Tell the Soldiers From the Criminals

Women guitar makers scratched from Gibson history

Moby: ‘There were bags of drugs, I was having sex with a stranger’

9 Things Guitarists Hate…

Ingenious: this is how you correct the audience when they're clapping on the wrong beat

Mastertapes: Paul McCartney

Former Wings guitarist and Northern Ireland music legend Henry McCullough has died

Paul McCartney Talks Summer Tour, New 'Pure McCartney' Comp

Mandatory Fun: “Weird Al” Preps Career-Spanning “Squeeze Box”

Star Wars Hologram Vinyl

Morley Safer, veteran '60 Minutes' newsman, dies at 84

Duncan Storrar: 'A line has been crossed' by media, say community leaders

Owen Jones: Journalist walks out of Sky News show after hosts 'downplay' homophobia of Orlando shooting

No holding back from networks on Rogerson but Alan Jones lies low

Whatever happened to the Sandman?

Capaldi wants classic ‘Doctor Who’ companion back: ‘Susan’s story wasn’t finished’

Ferris Bueller’s missing soundtrack: Why we shouldn’t mourn what we never had

REVEALED: There really was a creepy fifth housemate lurking in cult British TV show The Young Ones

Time for Twitter to grow up

How Yahoo derailed Tumblr

Photos: Nodes Behaving Badly (when FTTN placement goes wrong)

China: (not) talking about a revolution

Mental Health:
6 Signs You’re Actually An Outgoing Introvert, Because Yes, Those Exist - Finally I have a definition

Late sleepers are tired of being discriminated against. And science has their back.

What Does a Dog See in a Mirror?

How The Wrong Verb Meant The Texas GOP Called Most Texans Gay

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

15 May, 2016

Thinking of linking

This week I have been mostly reading...

Australians crave change. But this election won't deliver it

Q&A recap: Audience member delivers an early campaign reminder to all politicians

‘Jobs and growth’ and deja vu: reprising a failed American experiment

Malcolm Turnbull named in Panama Papers

How Bunnings turns the screws on customers

Dutton calls medical evacuation a 'racket.'

Vengeful micro parties go after Barnaby Joyce's scalp

Farmer was deeply depressed when he killed environmental officer, court hears

George Christensen tries to put pressure on Labor over Syrian refugee settlement

The reason why Malcolm Turnbull opted for such a long campaign is because he has to build his campaign team from scratch

Coalition corruption: They are not even embarrassed about it

Why the amount of tax Duncan Storrar pays doesn't actually matter

How negative gearing replaced the great Australian dream and distorted the economy

Preference deals are driven by pure politics

Donald Trump Announces Debt Plan That Would Collapse Entire Global Economy

A Hacker Put Marco Rubio Porn Memes on Two Billboards in Alabama

Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private

Why does New Orleans have more murders than similar cities? Experts search for answers

'70s High School Art Project Mistakenly Valued At $50K On 'Antiques Roadshow'

Reconciling with president-elect Duterte

Roger Waters on why his fellow musicians are terrified to speak out against Israel 

Turkey could cut off Islamic State’s supply lines. So why doesn’t it?

Online threats are not free speech

Literary magazine Meanjin may close after losing Australia Council funding

Literary magazine Meanjin to have funding cut

The ‘Australian’ Tried To Go After Duncan From #QandA And It’s Backfiring Spectacularly

Malcolm Turnbull and the Panama Papers. It just doesn't seem fair
It’s Not About Duncan

Is everybody happy now?

Why Movie Stars Still Exist Despite Their Lack of Box Office Appeal

Facebook's news saga reminds us humans are biased by design - Preferencing credible sources is not political bias, mmmkay?

Millennials have allies in the emerging grey vote

Six Divisive Regional Slang Terms Likely To Result In An Australian Civil War

Conversations in contrast

Remo Belli, Who Developed Synthetic Drumhead and Changed Music, Dies at 88

The poignant story of Jimmie Nicol: The guy who replaced Ringo Star and lived as a Beatle for two weeks

Bowie in Melbourne, 1987

Why I Deleted Your Band's Promo Email

Global sea-level expert John Church made to walk the plank by CSIRO - The barbarians are at the gate, and they're not waving ISIS flags. 

From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Tuyu the buffalo, the future of protein is not meat

A generation of artists were wiped out by Aids and we barely talk about it

Winona Ryder's turning point

Humour and satire:
Which idiot?

Clickbait of the week:
6 Signs You’re An Outgoing Introvert, Because Yes, Those Exist - closest thing to me I've found

I got stupid on me and I need to wipe if off on you:
Cash can’t beat genetics in class - starts off by comparing Labor tax policy to Hitler (seriously!) and finishes by suggesting academic achievement is decided by genetics. 

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

13 May, 2016

How to sell newspapers

In case you needed further evidence that The Hun is more a political propaganda outlet than a news organisation, today’s new low should leave you in no doubt.

The News Ltd stable has launched a crusade this week against the suburban father who dared to question the government’s tax policy on live television. What made it even worse was that it was on the ABC, which News Corp considers unfair competition.

The Murdoch media has been the loudest to complain about how hard it is for them to make a dollar in the digital age. It’s a fair point, which is why it’s so odd that they would turn again someone like Duncan Storrar.

I am no businessman, and I’m not much of a demographer either, but it seems to me that a lot more people like Mr Storrar would buy and read the Herald Sun than people like Innes Willox, Kelly O’Dwyer or Rupert Murdoch. That’s simple law-of-averages stuff really. There are more Duncans out there than Ruperts.

So why denigrate your main market? Well, the wealthy know there are more poor people than rich people, so they need to convince enough of the poor that the rich are on their side and it’s the really poor who are holding them back. Sounds nonsensical? Yes it does. But why else would the most powerful media outlet in the country, which is already overtly campaigning for the sitting government, sic their editors onto a disabled father?

You know what else people who buy newspapers like? Intellectual and moral consistency. So if you’re going to dedicate the front page to being all sanctimonious about one man’s criminal record, don’t plug an interview with a notorious gangland figure, referred to by his son’s first name, on the same damn page! That just makes you look stupid.
That would be notorious gangland murderer Carl Williams, whose drug trafficking father George died recently.


10 May, 2016

Thinking of linking

What I've been reading lately...

It's on us: The real world consequences of our politics

Writers and publishers voice opposition to new copyright proposals

Australia Post's $9 pick-up service enough to make me go postal

Refugee fighting for life in Nauru hospital after setting herself alight

Infographic: the size of Australia’s government

Peter Dutton hit a low today

Budget 2016: Winners and losers

Budget 2016: Tony Abbott's 'zombies' add billions to Malcolm Turnbull's first budget

Federal budget 2016: The more you look at it, the better it gets

Why The Government’s New Internship Program For Young People Is A Terrible Idea

Don't be cynical: Malcolm Turnbull defends new 'slave trade' internships

Scott Morrison's budget is unusual – but not for the reason he thinks it is

Abbott (still) says the darndest things!

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has been saved, but George Brandis can still refuse to give up his metadata - Hypocrisy, thy IP address is...

Cuts force online archive Trove to stop adding to collection - Philistines! 

Windsor: ‘I have never owned or sold a coalmine to anyone’

Bronwyn Bishop gives final speech as MP, blaming Tony Abbott for downfall

Dutton risked safety of asylum seeker sent to PNG for abortion, court finds

Liberal Rising Star Copied His Tough Family History From A Fake US Congressman

Q&A recap: questions about trickle-down economics open the floodgates

An alternative to offshore detention

Australia’s Oldest Man, Who Knitted Jumpers For Penguins, Has Died At 110

Ormond College woodman kept the fires burning

The single best joke told by every president, from Obama to Washington

Trickle-Down Economics Has Ruined the Kansas Economy

Republicans in uncharted territory

Republicans Burn Their Voter Registration Cards After Trump Becomes Likely Nominee

City provides sinkhole driving map for motorists; translation requested

Sinkhole de Mayo party on Canal St: When life hands you sinkholes, make margaritas

Watch Republicans Come To Grips With Accepting Donald Trump

President Obama: The TPP would let America, not China, lead the way on global trade

Hillary Clinton turns her attention to Donald Trump

Few stand in Trump’s way as he piles up the Four-Pinocchio whoppers

Trump's New Finance Chair Led a Bank That Made Millions Off Taxpayer Bailouts

Tory child abuse whistleblower: 'Margaret Thatcher knew all about underage sex ring among ministers'

Imam accused of being an ‘Isis supporter’ demands apology from David Cameron

Italian court rules food theft 'not a crime' if hungry - This is the difference between law and justice

Millennials for Martial Law - Those who don't learn from history...

Save The Children video shows what life would be like if British refugees were fleeing a UK civil war

Paul McCartney Meets Women Who Inspired Beatles' 'Blackbird' - I'm not sure about this. It's only recently that he's begun describing Blackbird this way.

Pink Floyd to reissue catalogue on vinyl

Everything wrong with the new Ghostbusters trailer that justifies the hate for it

ABC Radio staff told to put people with 'difficult' accents on air

'Priceless' Mamamia internship sold at a charity auction for $10,000

Logies 2016: Waleed Aly and Noni Hazlehurst ride a glacier into the 21st century

The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile - this is just wrong

Study reveals ‘global sleep crisis’ is threat to our health

Hanging With Al Jaffee, MAD Magazine's 95-Year-Old Journeyman Cartoonist

Why wind turbines have three blades

The train goes up, the train goes down: a simple new way to store energy

Flying boats or flying dreams: Could futuristic seaplanes revolutionise air travel?

Perception is its own reality when you’re eating

A 10-Year-Old Hacked Instagram - And Facebook paid him a bounty for it.

Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th

Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously. 

No, Apple Music is not deleting tracks off your hard drive — unless you tell it to

Feinstein-Burr: The Bill That Bans Your Browser

Bono Called Out Christian Musicians For a Lack of Honesty. He Didn’t Go Far Enough.

Mother duck and ducklings waddle through school halls in Michigan

Why is ‘w’ pronounced ‘double u’ rather than ‘double v’?

The least boring photo on my camera roll:

01 May, 2016

Thinking of linking

This week, I have been mostly reading....

Public service's lolly underground protests against treatment of Gillian Triggs

Budget 2016: Tim Pallas rides high while Scott Morrison dithers

Punitive, immoral and now illegal: the verdict on Manus Island

Turnbull’s negative gearing circus rolls on

Far from being silenced, the conservative voice is amplified and disproportionately powerful - "There’s a vast difference between being a victim of discrimination and the reality of fewer people agreeing with you than you’re used to."

The Project's Waleed Aly is in no mood to attend Malcolm Turnbull's negative gearing party

Penetrating insight into John Howard's sex life - you're welcome!

What are the submarines really protecting: Australia or federal seats?

Nauru refugee sets himself on fire in protest, man in critical condition, Peter Dutton says

Nauru refugee who set himself on fire dies in Brisbane hospital

An open letter from Jackie French (AM) in response to the Productivity Commission’s Report on Australia’s intellectual property arrangements

13 Times Australia Was Able To “Live Within Our Means” (Buzzfeed warning)

Goldman Sachs Admits It Defrauded Investors, Receives $5 Billion Fine — But Will Pay Much Less Than That

Spreading hate has backfired on right-wing media: How Fox News unwittingly destroyed the Republican Party

Andrew Bacevich and America’s Long Misguided War to Control the Greater Middle East

Garry Kasparov: Donald Trump And His Enablers Are Killing Democracy

9/11 report: Obama administration 'set to release' secret 28 pages 

Guy's Po-Boys open again after getting clobbered by truck

Pseudoscience in the Witness Box, The FBI faked an entire field of forensic science.

The West Wing's Allison Janney gives White House press briefing ahead of Correspondents Dinner

Government 'phenomenally complacent' over VW scandal, say MPs

How the Sun's 'truth' about Hillsborough unravelled

London without old people is just a factory floor, with no past and no future - The capital is a cruel city for the elderly if they are not in the moneyed 1%.

Patrick Stewart sketch: what has the ECHR ever done for us?

Hillsborough inquests: Jury reaches decision on unlawful killing question

Sir Bernard Ingham: The disgraceful letter Margaret Thatcher's aide sent to Hillsborough campaigners

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry respond to Obamas' Invictus Games challenge

10 High Street stores of 1976 that have disappeared

An Israeli Brewery Recreated a 2,000-Year-Old Beer

How being banned can be a blessing

Prince Recognized That ‘if There Ain’t No Justice, Then There Ain’t No Peace’

RECORD COLLECTOR: David Bowie’s Never Let Me Down album from 1987

Miles Ahead and the Wilful Explosion of the Biopic

How 'ugly' comments remind women of the beauty tax we owe to be in public

60 Minutes’ Beirut saga is unlikely to inspire would-be journalists
You know you're stuffed when even the Oz can't defend your ethics. But Planet Janet is wrong - it's not the final severance of 60 Minutes from what it once was. That happened years ago. This just made it impossible to ignore.

The irrelevant face of CNN: What’s behind the empty gravitas of Wolf Blitzer?

Why the Original Darth Vader Is Now ‘Persona Non Grata’ at Star Wars Events

60 Minutes wanted reporter Tara Brown to be ‘involved at critical moments’ of child snatch

When men talk about feminism on television - Nobody books Latham hoping for reason and perspective. The book him hoping for a shitstorm that people will talk about later.

Screen overlay malware on the rise as bot scum battle for dominance

Bodyhackers are all around you, they’re called women

T-shirts with Myra Hindley on them? Modern art has forgotten how to care

A no-strings basic income? If it works for the royal family, it can work for us all

On Forgiveness


Clickbait of the week:
Only in Louisiana! The doughnut po-boy

I got stupid on me and now I'm wiping it off on you:
18 Reasons You Should Ditch Your Bra For A Bralette - Is it part of Buzzfeed's style guide to write about yourself in the second person?

The least boring photo on my camera roll: