Word from the Dark Side – dodgy gold, art memory-holed, FTX foretold and pretty uni girls left out in the cold

Active Heart by Noriko Sakae, 1988. It was the theme song to Gunbuster, an animated series which pioneered ‘boob bounce’.

While some are throwing oil over works of art by dead white men, a gallery in Western Australia has found that a simpler path to decolonization is to keep these pieces safely hidden from public view:

It owns priceless pieces of art by the likes of Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, Norman Lindsay, Tom Roberts and even Lucien Freud, as well as one of Australia’s most recognisable masterpieces, Frederick McCubbin’s Down on His Luck.

But if you were hoping to see any of these renowned treasures at the Art Gallery of Western Australia for much of the past two years, you’d have been disappointed.

Most of them haven’t been on display at all . . .

Historical collections curator at the gallery Melissa Harpley said she felt a keen responsibility to look at the gallery’s role in society in the contemporary context of Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and climate change.

The next step will be to claim that the bad juju emanating from villainous works in storage is causing actual harm to whatever the trendy nomenclature for blacks is by then, thus they ought to be ceremonially taken out and burned.

Still among the Sandgropers, I once thought that the best possible way to own physical gold without keeping it in your own custody would be to do so through the Perth Mint. It’s state-owned, high security and had a sterling reputation. They also did gold-backed crypto, which again I thought ought to be as legit as you could get with such things. And they sell commemorative coins etc.

Read More

Friday Finance – it really wasn’t financial advice

At the end of my irregular Friday Finance posts, I always add the disclaimer:

  • This article provides general information. It does not take into account your personal circumstances and is not intended to influence readers’ financial decisions. Get your own, professional advice.

I started doing this formally and consistently after the Old Country passed a law banning influencers from promoting any financial products and services.

I didn’t seriously think a tiny blog on the other side of the world spruiking the benefits of index funds would attract the Eye of Sauron, but why risk it?

You’ll see this sort of disclaimer all over the place and it is usually there as a legal fig leaf.


You really must do your own research and get your own personal advice. Recent events should have driven that point home rather painfully for those who got caught out.

The collapse of FTX was so dramatic and absurd that within hours people were debating who ought to play the slovenly t-shirt guy when it becomes a Netflix series. I would watch it. Here’s a small taste of the madness (click through to see the full thread):

Read More

Still alive

I said that I wouldn’t post on the you-know-what anymore and I haven’t for a year or so, but it’s time to make some concluding remarks.

It’s now been about three years since the Dawn of the Coof and about two years since the first people started receiving shots for it.

Half the people online were screeching that those who didn’t get the shots would end up dead of Coofitis. The other half were screeching that anyone who did get the shots would be dead of side effects.

Seriously, Red thought Blue would all be through and Blue thought Red would all be dead. People seriously predicted this was going to solve the West’s Cold Civil War by wiping out the other side, though I could elicit specific numbers from few because they backed off when challenged, but then they’d return to the frontline trenches of ‘they will all die’ as soon as my shelling question bombardment ended. Motte and bailey is largely a psychological tactic rather than a rhetoric one; it allows people to hold a more exciting view than the facts allow.

The overall result still isn’t clear except that most of us somehow survived it all.

Read More

Word from the Dark Side – Blue Moon, no Canada soon, is China inopportune and a raincoat loon

Blue Moon Revisited (a song for Elvis) by the Cowboy Junkies (1990), riffing off the Elvis version, originally written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934

Canadian federal government reveals plan to bring in 500,000 immigrants per year by 2025

That’s about 1.3% of Canada’s current population per year.

China’s war on COVID-19 spurs expat exodus, but lockdowns are only part of the story

Like the Beeb, the ABC has lately been publishing a lot of Five Eyes press releases, particulary on China. However, I’m a little more inclined to believe this one because (a) I know about a dozen people who’ve lived in China over the last decade and all but a couple confirm this, and (b) because they manage to provide some figures:

Official figures show the number of foreigners in Shanghai decreased from 208,000 in 2010, to around 163,000 in 2020.

The downturn was even starker in Beijing, where the number of foreign residents declined by 40 per cent over the same period.

However, since 2020, those numbers are thought to have dropped even more dramatically.

Excellent thread. Too few understand this is what happened everywhere, which means we’ll do the same tail-chasing next time round:

Read More

Her Maj

2006. Source

I was sadder than I expected to be when the Queen died.

I didn’t expect to feel anything at all, but there it was.

The relationship between public and monarch is different to our connection with politicians. Modern royals are mostly involved in meet-and-greets, openings, carefully worded motherhood statements from time to time and lots of waving and just being around.

Hence, back when Australia was having the republic referendum in 1999, monarchists pointed out that many more of us had actually seen Her Maj than had seen a sitting prime minister. I never set eyes on the Queen myself but that was my fault; her motorcade once passed down the main road near my house but I chose not to go and have a perv.

I did but see her passing by

And yet I love her til I die

Couplet quoted for the Queen by Bob Menzies, former Prime Minister

In the 1960s, Her Maj paraded down the very street where I lived in Africa. There’s a small plaque there saying so. She once held my mate’s Boomer mum when she was a baby back in the smoldering remains of war-torn Europe, on one of her meet-and-greets following WWII.

Read More