Waterloo is often said to have been won on the playing fields of Eton, a line attributed to the Duke of Wellington that he almost certainly never uttered. He did say, however, it would be impossible to record an entirely accurate chronology of his "nearest-run thing", as a publisher begged him to do, because any such effort would be as hopeless an undertaking as that confronting a social chronicler who set out to record the minute-by-minute history of a ball in which whirling revellers constantly changed partners and spirited dalliances unfolded unseen in darker corners. In this the Iron Duke was clearly in error, as the past 202 years have brought have brought countless re-tellings of the great battle, many of them very accurate indeed -- even when the author's chief objective has been to produce a bodice ripper in the empire-gown style.
Still, Wellington can still serve a purpose in providing metaphors that capture the essence of the great offensives of our day and age. Take the weightlifter pictured above, for example, who has just shattered four records and "made history", to quote the New Zealand Herald, by hoisting a combined total of 268kg -- a rather impressive 19kg better than silver medallist Iuniarra Sipaia of Samoa. After five paragraphs of adulatory prose, we learn
Hubbard's selection was a considered a pioneering moment in sport for the LBGT community. Further ground could yet be broken, with tonight's performance in Melbourne expected to go a long way to securing Hubbard's place in the team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year.
Ms Hubbard, who now calls herself Laurel, first competed under her birth name, Gavin, until re-assigning her gender some three decades later. That might strike some as unfair, but not the International Olympic Committee, which has determined that any competitor who transitions "from male to female must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 [nanomoles per litre] for at least 12 months prior to her first competition".
So bet on Ms Hubbard to be the short-odds favourite when she represents her country next year, as seems likely. And if she does go on to take the gold two things will need be kept in mind.
First, if you think Ms Hubbard enjoys a significant advantage in having spent her formative years flush with the hormones that produce masculine musculature, do not under any circumstances disclose which brand of beer you favour, as that may prompt a boycott by those who, while they may or may not not have switched genders, most certainly have elevated a screeching bitchiness to the prime and most obvious component of their characters.
And second, drive from your mind another of the Duke's aphorisms, one for which there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever about its provenance.
"Being born in a stable does not make one a horse."
Full details of Ms Hubbard's great victory on the front lines of the gender revolution can be read in full via the link below.
-- roger franklin
It is a good thing to treat anonymous sources with some suspicion, but as this informant claims to write from deep within the fetid bowels of the ABC, let us apply the same standards that the national broadcaster bring to stories about, say, the eagerness of the RAN to torture boat people. Our mole writes:
I'm told that the protesters ejected from Q&A on Monday night ruined a classic set-up. The plan was for Latoya Rule to be called on for a question and the deal was that she would talk about her brother's death in custody and no mention that he was inside charged with trespass, assault and rape.
Supposedly the plan went astray when she jumped the gun and started screaming about Bill Leak being a racist.
It would be nice to think that a reputable, taxpayer-funded show would not stoop to such a confected scene. But this is Q&A we're talking about. To watch Monday's luvvies in action, follow the link below.
Fairfax columnist Andrew P. Street might or might not be a homosexual, but let us hope he is. As Gore Vidal is reputed to have said of cocaine-snorting, boy-bothering political fixer and disbarred Mob lawyer Roy Cohn, being gay was "the nicest thing about him." Inversion, in Street's case, would certainly merit greater acclaim than his disdain for consistency when addressing the topic of religion.
To save readers the distress of visiting the Age's now ultra-girly-themed site and boosting its web traffic, which only encourages the further debasement of a once-sane and decent news organisation, here is what Street has to say about the Coopers beer company. By way of background, know the Adelaide-based brewer was associated with a video-clipped and widely propagated debate about gay marriage between two Liberal MPs, Tim Wilson and Andrew Hastie, the former for and latter ag'in. Here is what Street has to say about Coopers, Christianity and the righteousness of hip dudes in spurning the company's suds:
There was a massive social media backlash about Coopers' involvement in sponsoring a religious organisation to make an explicitly political point, including slews of one star reviews on Coopers' Facebook page amid promises from lifelong Coopers drinkers that this was the final time they'd let a Pale Ale pass their lips. The Old Bar in Melbourne announced they'd stop stocking the beer. And Coopers realised very quickly that they'd made a terrible mistake.
Now remember that this was a debate, not some ranting, one-sided sermon about the scourge of sodomy or the shame of four (ed: or more) hairy legs (ed: and hairless ones, too) entwined on the same mattress. Had that been the case, Coopers would have richly warranted condemnation and boycott. Telling people who they may and may not rub up against is never within any brewer's purview, despite their products encouraging much of that activity over past centuries and longer. Abetting the civil exchange of differing views on a matter of public interest is, however, very much a public service. What Cooper's has done differs not at all in spirit from the good works of, say, the Lowy Institute, underwritten by the Westfield fortune, which does exactly the same thing on other topics. Likewise the Myer Foundation.
But let us not focus on Street's refusal or inability to present both sides of the story. After all, he does work for Fairfax where, as even the ABC's Media Watch has been obliged to note, over-promoted boy editors believe it their duty NOT to report Islam-related stories that go against the progressive meme. Far more interesting, although distressingly characteristic of Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood's unsupervised sandboxes, is Street's telling inconsistency. A Christian organisation's fair and evenly weighted debate is beyond the pale. But concerns about Islam's hip-and-shoulder jostling into the mainstream of Australian life and supermarket shelves are entirely groundless. Indeed, they are held only by "hysterical and ignorant people", according to Street.
Government backbencher Cory Bernardi's been going through the submissions to his very, very necessary inquiry into food labelling, which is definitely a matter of grave urgency and certainly not just a chance for him and the government to further besmirch Muslims by implying that Halal labelling look (sic) is concealing something sinister, that's for darn sure!
Why, it's about ALL food labelling - Kosher, organic, everything! Although yes, admittedly almost all of the submissions have been about Halal food, largely written by people who don't know what they're talking about. But this is an important opportunity to give hysterical and ignorant people a voice!
Islam good. Christianity bad. Got it?
Meanwhile members of the Cooper family donate to a Christian group, while the company -- hang on, why didn't Street mention this? -- supports Islamic proselytising by forking out for its halal certificate, as per the certificate reproduced atop this post.
Street's column can be read at the link below. Coopers products are available at all half-decent bottleshops. Readers unhappy with the gay left's determination to silence all opinions but its own might wish to consider picking up a slab or two.
-- roger franklin