Posts Tagged ‘dinosaurs’
In theory, the individuals we elect to represent us at a political level should be the cream of the crop.
Lamentably, somebody forgot to inform the Newman government of this fact.
What we currently have governing Queensland is a collection of Christmas geese, turkeys and those wind-up toy monkeys that clap cymbals together.
As 2012 draws to a conclusion, voters in Queensland seem to be realising that the goose has been overcooked, the turkey is a touch on the dry side and that the toy monkey is just a cheap, annoying novelty.
Following its landslide victory in the March election, the Liberal National Party held 78 seats in Parliament and took a stranglehold on politics in the Sunshine State.
After only eight months with Campbell Newman at the helm, things have gone decidedly pear-shaped.
Former ministers David Gibson and Bruce Flegg fell on their swords in controversial circumstances, while the stench of nepotism surrounding the appointment of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Minister Ros Bates’ 25-year-old son to a senior AO8 public service job is nothing short of rancid.
When you throw Health Minister Lawrence Springborg’s apparent reluctance to admit that he – not the health boards – is ultimately responsible for health delivery in Queensland into the mix, it’s hard not to feel short-changed as a voter.
Things don’t get any better as you move up the LNP food chain.
The Premier rules the roost with a seemingly dictatorial attitude to democracy and has demonstrated his predilection to move swiftly against those who question the state of affairs.
Any lingering doubt about the internal dissent towards party decisions should have dissipated after Member for Condamine Ray Hopper defected to Katter’s Australian Party, and Carl Judge and Alex Dawson were read the riot act before being given no option but to exit stage right.
Even mining magnate-cum-conspiracy theorist Clive Palmer – a man who has poured some serious money into the LNP coffers – has spoken out about the apparent turmoil, swapping his life membership for rumours of starting a political party of his own.
Titanic II jokes aside, the rats seem to be deserting the political disaster that is the Newman government.
If the current rate of attrition continues, the 78 seats the LNP held in March will be whittled away to about 64 by the 2015 election.
Queensland deserves a better level of governance than it is currently enduring.
You and I deserve better from the people we elect to represent us.
Is it conceivable that our state’s political saviour could materialise in the form of an eccentric billionaire with a penchant for dinosaurs and blueprints for a big ship?
The children of today are screwed. I was writing another piece for today, but I realised it was shit and going nowhere at about the exact time I was hit by a wave of laziness; the notes I had scribbled were scrunched up and thrown across the room, and I plonked myself on the lounge, flicking casually through the channels with no destination in mind. Amidst the soap operas, news programs and advertisements, I came across a children’s cartoon. I have no idea what it was called, but it appeared to be a terrible amalgamation of poor animation, talking dogs and painfully cheerful theme music. Was this really the best we could come up with in the 21st century to entertain kiddies? What the hell happened to the awesome cartoons of the 80s and early 90s?
Feeling lazy and overcome with nostalgia, and with Heather’s article on The B(itch)Log earlier this week still fresh in my mind, I decided to take a stand against the fucked up children’s entertainment of 2012. How am I going to do it? Easy. I’m going to regress twenty or so years and reintroduce the world to my four favourite cartoons of the 80s. Given that I’ve got intellectual maturity of a 9-year-old, it’s not going to be that difficult.
Eric Wimp was just a normal boy who lived at 29 Acacia Road until he indulged in the tropical delight, at which stage he transformed into a nutritious vigilante, intent on keeping the world safe from the evil schemes of corny supervillans. With an outfit that would make Batman reassess what it meant to wear a cowl, Bananaman got around by flying, albeit with a technique reminiscent of a swimming stroke. When the Australian Banana Growers’ Council was working on its marketing strategy, it should have looked no further than the quiet British schoolboy: he’s the poster child for potassium.
His greatest achievement? Wearing banana skins as boots and never slipping on them.
The British know comedy, and in the 80s, they were all over cartoons like a fat kid on a cheesecake. Aided by his nerdy hamster offsider Penfold, Danger Mouse was the James Bond of the rodent world, complete with flying car and an eye patch. How could you not love a Mickey Mouse 007 wannabe whose arch-nemesis was an obese toad with emphysema called Baron Silas Greenback?
The biggest question to come out of the series pertained to the preferred garb of the furry secret agent: did Danger Mouse wear pants?
Dinosaurs. Lasers. Aliens riding said dinosaurs. This concludes the lesson on why Dino-Riders was such an awesome cartoon. Hell, it was that amazing, it made kids want to learn about palaeontology; there was a time circa 1990 that I could spell the names of most dinosaurs, including Ankylosaurus, Diplodocus and Quetzalcoatlus.
Calling this detective bumbling is like calling Kim Jong-il misunderstood. As dumb as he was, you have to respect a guy with rocket-powered roller skates and rotor blades built into his hat.
Inspector Gadget was the pioneer of the cyborg anti-discrimination movement, and taught us to love our fellow man, regardless of whether they were black, white or had telescopic extremities.
Important safety tip: do not go out wearing a trench coat and ask women if they’d like to see your Gadget Periscope.
Go-Go Gadget Nostalgia!
Damn. If I could go back to 1989 knowing what I know now, my goal of world domination would be a lot easier to achieve. And I’d be able to appoint Bananaman as the Vice President of Kick-Ass Superhero Costumes. And ride an angry Pachycephalosaurus*, adorned with armour and lasers, instead of catching the bus.
* Author’s note: best dinosaur name of all time.
Another day, another attempt by Christians to push their ideologies on the general masses. Nothing new there, right? I’m surprised I’ve managed to make it almost a full week without vociferating about a religiously themed topic that’s pissed me off in the news. What makes the story different this time, however, is that Creationism is being taught in public schools, and students are being fed scientifically inaccurate, absurd explanations to justify the theory. Worse still, the information is being primarily provided to the students by volunteers with no formal teaching qualifications or experience – just an ingrained belief that Christianity has all the answers, even if the answers are about as credible as the existence of the Easter Bunny. Have you ever wondered why carbon dating puts dinosaurs on Earth so long before any form of humans? If you listen to Tim McKenzie, one of the Religious Instruction (RI) teachers interviewed for the story, it is because the great flood must have “skewed” the data. Are you fucking serious Tim?
PhD researcher Cathy Byrne found in a NSW-based survey that scripture teachers tended to discourage questioning, emphasised submission to authority and excluded different beliefs. She said 70 per cent of scripture teachers thought children should be taught the Bible as historical fact.
When looking from a scientific perspective, the Bible could hardly be classed as an historical text, given that it is open to incredible individual interpretation, and the validity of some of the information contained therein – such as the whole able-to-rise-from-the-dead concept – is somewhat dubious at best. But I will get to the feasibility of zombies shortly. A fact is something “that is known or proved to be true”, not something that is believed to be true by a specific group. That being the case, for these individuals to assert that the Bible provides historical fact and should be used in schools as an historical text is incredibly condescending and narrow-minded – is it the Christian way or the highway?
One of the facts apparently taught to the students was that Adam and Eve were not eaten by dinosaurs because they were under a protective spell, which seems about on par for Christians from a perspective of rationality, considering that their faith is based on the premise that Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified. One would have to suppose that if the concept of a zombie makes sense to these people, then the notion that dinosaurs could be held at bay by some sort of Hogwarts-type incantation seems perfectly reasonable. According to the The Courier-Mail article, when one Year 5 student was told that all humans had descended from Adam and Eve, she questioned how this was possible, given the scientific acceptance of DNA. The teacher – and yes, I have used substantial creative licence with that description – responded to this by stating that “DNA wasn’t invented then” and essentially dismissed what was a genuine, very valid question. This riposte affirms the position that if you question any aspect of a religion you are automatically labelled as trouble and a non-believer. That sort of approach isn’t that conducive to encouraging individual thought or tolerance, is it? Why the hell is it being allowed in our public schools?
Is it time to forego any form of religiously themed learning in our public schools, if for no other reason but then to ensure that the inquisitive, malleable minds of these children are filled with actual scientific fact, and not the unsubstantiated, nonsensical beliefs of self-appointed (and undoubtedly intransigent) instructors? If RI is to continue, how does one decide on what is taught? All religions have differences in their beliefs – be they small or immense – and the very unyielding nature of religion ensures that any faith that differs is seen as wrong. How is the point of difference to be worked around? Why not replace the RI with learning to encourage free thinking, as well as respect for other cultures and philosophies, and leave the pontifical teachings to the home of the individual parents and to their place of worship?
Why do I get the feeling that David Barker has had a stint as a purveyor of religious instruction at some stage?