Monday, March 29, 2010

No one reads this either

Major scandal: At last week's state election, a Labor politician got in trouble because some volunteers were handing out How To Vote cards at polling booths upon which were written something like:

Put Your

  • Blah
  • Blah
  • Blah
Authorised by Labor party candidate, Michael Blogs.

And everyone is up in arms and legs. Can I get this straight, please?
Yes, they didn't have red t-shirts on, like Labor party commies, but light blue ones like Straighty One-Eighty Family First bible-bashers.
Yes, the card did say 'Family First' on it, quite prominently. But who are we protecting here?
People who can't read?
In that case, how could our disenfranchised and duped illiterate brothers and sisters read anything on the card? Let alone the crucial words "Family First"?
So the people who are getting duped by these dodgy How To Votes, can read? Is that right? What's the problem then?
Oh. They don't want to read. Not too much anyway. Just enough to get that time-wasting, three-yearly chore out of the way without feeling like someone's going to force them to hold hands with a homosexual person.
Democracy: in, out, back to three more years of reading the sports section first and recycling everything else (you know, the sections where the people in ties don't have backdrops stippled in sponsors' logos). Let me put it another way: did you know that literally millions of people get killed fighting for dreaming about the possibility of having the opportunity to get handed a How To Vote card?

One that doesn't look like this.

And you're moaning because some prankster handed you a fakey and you didn't read it properly and wasted your vote? If you care enough to complain about voting for the wrong guy and looking stupid, then it follows that you would probably care enough about the whole process to take more of an interest and actually read what's put under your nose to, you know, avoid looking stupid.
But I'm obviously wrong there.


  1. Yeah, people are lazy and disinterested, but it's still dodgy and unethical.

    Maybe next time they could come up with a different strategy. Like a how not to vote for family first card. Only the "not" text is printed really, really tiny.

  2. 327 - I know, I know. This is all coming from someone who is actually in favour of clear expression and the democratic process, but still, this does tickle me a bit. I mean, it was written right there!
    I think it should be encouraged:
    "Governing this country is our LABOUR of love.
    Liberal Party." (note the correct, Australian spelling)
    "Our policies are very LIBERAL"
    "We want you in LABOUR! Every ten months."
    Family First
    Or AbortSA for that matter.

  3. There's enough information on how to vote in the week leading up to the actual day, so I don't see the point in those how to vote leaflets being thrust towards every adult coming their way. I simply don't take them. I know who I'm voting for and just walk on in empty handed.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32