Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two books I won't buy (and one I have)

It should be obvious by now that the internment without trial at Guantanamo Bay of David Hicks and the appalling conditions in which he was kept were a shame and a blot on the western legal system.

Terrorism boy should have been tried by a civilian court and done twenty years in a civilian prison.

You have to wonder about a process that takes a man that volunteered to fight for one of the most odious movements on earth, undergoes high-level training in various aspects of terrorism, sends hateful anti-Semitic letters back home to his dad and still manages to make him a hero in the eyes of some.

Oh and Dave has declined to answer any questions about his book or do any interviews (as far as I'm aware).

Sorry Dave old stick - no money for you.

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And talking about self-serving, self justifying memoirs, in the blue corner we have one Howard, John Winston.

As I have observed elsewhere, the idea that I (or indeed, anybody else) would shell out our hard-earned on a book penned by a man that could bore for his country is, to put it mildly, laughable.

Why publishers continue to think there's any money to be made from this sort of guff is beyond me (cf The Costello Memoirs), However, for those keen on knowing the general gist of Lazarus Rising, here's a brief summary as wot I have gleaned from the extracts published thus far.

Howard: "You're a cunt, Costello."

Costello: "No, you're a cunt."

Howard: "No, you're a cunt."

Costello: "No, you're a cunt."

Scintillating stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.
 
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And finally, it is therefore with a degree of relief we come to a book that I can thoroughly recommend.

For those not in the know, Triple R is a community based Melbourne radio station that has managed to stay on air for 30 years, thus preventing at least two generations of Melbourne listeners from going STARK RAVING MAD from the shit the commercials and Triple J have pumped out for our amusement.

The great thing about Radio City is that the author, Mark Philips, has avoided the temptation to provide a sanitised version. All the hatred, back-biting, factionalism and general brouhaha that goes on in any volunteer-based organisation is presented in all its blood-spattered glory.

And it's also a cracking read.

Well, that's all for this week. Join me next Wednesday when I ask the question; which author would win in the "Gage 'o' flamin death" - George Orwell or Leo Tolstoy?

19 comments:

Puss In Boots said...

I like Triple J. Except when they play Girltalk. Or Sam Simmons is on. Or any DJ is talking. Or when they play Aussie hip hop. Ok, maybe I don't like them as much as I think I do.

They're better than the commercial stations, though!

Alex said...

I've not done enough reading on Hicks to express an informed opinion; however, my base thoughts are these:

If it's alleged that he committed crimes (or helped to commit crimes, or knowingly assisted those committing crimes) against people in Afghanistan or elsewhere, he should stand trial for said crimes.

On the other hand, I don't think that belonging to an odious movement, undergoing training, fighting against an invading military force and being a deluded, bigoted, insufferable dick-biscuit should be criminal acts.

And speaking of deluded, bigoted, insufferable dick-biscuits; the one thing I took away from Monday's interview was how much Howard seems to think that Howard was the best thing to happen to this country, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude or something.

Not sure what a "Gage 'o' flamin death" is, but I'm looking forward to it, nonetheless.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

You should try streaming Triple R, Puss.

Alex, belonging to a proscribed terrorist organisation (viz Al-Qaeda), undertaking military training with said organisation and taking pot-shots against Indian troops are all criminal activities.

Which means he should have been tried in Australia, in my opinion.

squib said...

Howard. Oh yuck!

I was supposed to have a story read on that station but then no one told me when it was on and then no one could tell me if it had been on

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Was this part of the Overland poetry comp, Squib?

squib said...

No. It was a story

Alex said...

Ramon, while I do agree that shooting at someone you're not at war with should be a gaolable offence, I'm not a huge fan of laws that more or less boil down to guilt by association (No matter who the group is). And I think he should've been tried under laws that were applicable to the time and place where the acts took place (So, not Australian law. Though the case could have very well been heard here).

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

He wasn't associating with them, Alex.

He was doing military training with them.

There is a difference.

wari lasi said...

Alex, have you read any of the shit he went on with? He's quite an indefensible, and dangerous, moron.

Nevertheless, even dangerous morons have a right to a fair, and speedy, trail. Justice delayed etc ...

wari lasi said...

trail? ha ha. The Guantanamo Trail, it takes 5 years to walk.

I meant trial, I think.

Alex said...

And training is not the same as field operations, Ramon. Now, if a prosecutor could somehow use that training to nail him directly to the funding, planning or execution of specific terrorist activity, I would be delighted.

Wari, I would never try to defend the character of the prick. Just arguing on principle.

wari lasi said...

Ok then Alex. This is a funny site. Everyone argues over principles, the girls don't read girly mags and the boys don't read boys' mags. What a bunch of puritans we are.

Lewd Bob said...

Perhaps we're just not Average Australians.

Melba said...

I think my problem with the Hicks thing was he was left in Guantanamo without trial for way too long. You have to admit, it was way too long. You can't have it both ways; you either support innocent before proven guilty or the right to a fair trial or you don't.

wari lasi said...

True Melba, that's inarguable.

It's similar to what we do with refugees, asylum seekers, boat people etc. I know there are difficulties with identification, but taking two years to say, "Sorry, No. Fuck off back to where you came from" is bullshit.

As is taking 5 years to say, "We've finally decided you're a terrorist. Fuck off back to where you came from."

Justice delayed etc ....

Alex said...

Even the amount of time that some people spend in remand is unreasonable, in my opinion.

Melba said...

And as for this furphy that some people consider Hicks a hero, what bullshit. I don't think anyone does but some people think he was treated unjustly. As was Mamdouh Habib.

eat my shorts said...

I don't know if Tony Blair's autobiography would have been on your list, Ramon but over here in the UK, it has been pipped at the advance post market by the autobiography of a fictional meerkat.

eat my shorts said...

*advanced sales market post

(Blaming that one on Wordsworth.)