My mornings are strictly regimented affairs. I must rise by 6:15am, shower, shave, shit (no shampoo ‘cos there’s not enough hair left to bother with) – not necessarily in that order – eat some toast, drink a cuppa, fleetingly peruse the e-mail then saddle up for another day in the fun factory by 7:15am. Time is clearly at a premium, so catching up on the news isn’t possible.
Where I’m working currently the word ‘internet’ is apparently synonymous with ‘bludging’ which means we have extremely limited access to only those links deemed necessary by a management which is completely divorced from reality in a modern workplace. This means if I want to read the news at lunch, I either go out & buy a rag, or suffer with a crippled version of the Courier Mail or Melbourne Age online. I’m geeky at heart, but penurious by wallet, so when I wanted to explore mobile computing, I opted to explore HP’s Ipaq range. Ebay has a remarkable range of five year old devices for very little money, so I chose a Compaq Ipaq 3850. It’s a toy and I’m still learning that it’s capable of much more than music, sync’ing with Outlook and playing movies. Recently I discovered an application called AvantGo, which allows me to use the Ipaq like an RSS reader, downloading selected portions of daily papers (or indeed, any website, RSS link or otherwise) so I can read the news of the day at my leisure, electronically, over a sandwich.
I noted an op-ed by Tony Abbott in today’s Oz, headed up "Wise words of a prime gibberer". That title and the fact that Tony Abbott had written the text had me sold on downloading it, and other opinions, to the toy. I wasn’t disappointed from an entertainment perspective. Actually, entertainment is a cruel way to describe my impressions from reading Abbott’s piece. It’s a pathetically transparent literal hay-maker from a man who is clearly frustrated in opposition, looking for any avenue by which to exorcise that frustration.
Tony Abbott would have to be the last person on the opposition benches to call verbal diarrhoea against an opponent. The man who overtly and publicly insulted an icon of the asbestos debate, publicly abused his then opposition shadow during the election campaign, makes overt claims about his own sense of propriety and sense of place in the leadership stoush post-election…..in fact, I’ve seen Tony Abbott pretty accurately described in this manner:
Tony is great for politics as he’s a walking time bomb of right wing quasi religious weirdness waiting to explode at inopportune moments.
Great for political entertainment, but certainly not for his political colleagues. This op-ed goes to the heart of the man’s problems. Rampant jealousy. Despite attending the best schools, holding three tertiary degrees and being a Rhodes scholar, Tony Abbott seems to hold some kind of angst against life in general and people like Rudd in particular because he sees them as higher achievers than he is, or might be. The truth of the matter is that Abbott has likely reached the top of his personal Mazlow’s triangle, knows it and doesn’t like it. His choices are poor, his timing less than impeccable and mouth more often than not engaged when his mind is in neutral. Here’s a fascinating insight from an ABC Sunday Profile program in 2005. When asked by host, Monica Attard if he’d ever voted Labor, Abbott conceded that he had:
If you must know Monica, I voted Labor in the 1988 New South Wales State Election. I was one of the very few people in the Upper North Shore of Sydney who did and I did so because I thought Barry Unsworth was the best deal Premier that New South Wales had ever had. It was the fact that he was incorrigibly resistant to fashion, a tough-minded but basically a decent bloke, whatever mistakes he might have made and whatever failings he might have had as a politician, you could never have accused him of being politically correct in the slightest and I guess I knew that my vote wasn’t going to damage Nick Greiner’s prospects, so I thought for all sorts of sentimental reasons Barry could have it.
He voted for the man most like himself. Politically incorrect, tough-minded but basically a decent bloke, but a dyed-in-the-wool loser none the less. More to the point, he voted against his better ideological judgement.
I could really go to town on Abbott’s op-ed piece, but frankly, doing so would be a complete waste of my time and bandwidth. It speaks volumes on its own. It’s schoolyard stuff. Genuine, baseless, ‘Hey, four-eyes!’ criticism which cries out ‘Look at me!’, but attracting only ribald derision. Sure, Rudd is verbose, but he carries it off. Read through any of Abbott’s doorstops and you’ll find a man who rambles just as much, but without the sly adjectival influences. One sounds like he knows what he’s on about, the other sounds like he’d like to know.
Bullshit rules the world, Tony. You’re either good at delivering it, or you’re not, and frankly old son, you’re outta your league.
Oh, by the way, if you’re a little geeky and find your days hurried from the get go, try using technology to make it a little more the way you like it, as I have. I can recommend it.