Thursday, February 15, 2007

More journalists behaving badly

Very badly this time.

Possibly Australia’s most blatant, egregious breach of privacy since the p-word took mass hold a decade or so ago aired on Seven’s “Today Tonight” this evening.

On camera, and with no apparent editorial qualms or caveats, a (barely) pixellated female talking head, described as a former employee of the Gold Coast Centrelink office, referred in detail to Schapelle Corby as a customer of her office, one week before Corby's Bali holiday gone wrong began.

Even without the current general privacy push, this entails a serious offence committed by a Centrelink employee (current or former). If the former employee – who should be easily identifiable – does not get a hefty, exemplary jail sentence, it will be a travesty. Joining her in the clink should be several bodies from “Today Tonight”: those who solicited, produced, and aired this abject disgrace.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Dangerous but co-operative

Sorry for my slackness in posting as of late. The bad news is that it’s set to continue on indefinitely, but the good news is that I’ve got – shock, horror – a job.

The above headline caught my eye this morning, as a neat truism for Xer men. It actually refers to David Hicks, as an omnibus justification for his continued lex nullius detention (which, after five years is now an act of torture, per se). Unpacking the three-word phrase vis a vis Hicks yields insights too many and too black to elaborate on. Tellingly, “dangerous but co-operative” (“/dangerous but cooperative”) was a Google singularity until this morning, with this charming thought being the sole antecedent use of the DBC phrase:

"A hungry female is dangerous but cooperative and in need of men to survive".

Continuing on from some recent posts, as well as the “dangerous but co-operative” theme, I’ve been thinking a lot about depression. It seems to me to be an economic dysfunction at least as much as a mental illness/dysfunction.

Depression, in economic terms, is a condition of extreme risk illiquidity. Akin to a run on a bank, depression mandates impossibly heavy withdrawals on one’s deposits of mental security – that is to say, past positive-outcome risk. Making any fresh deposits (= taking risks) in this mental micro-economy is of course abhorrent, leaving oneself stuck: waiting indefinitely outside the closed doors of the mindset/bank of security, angrily waving one’s mental pass-book in the air, and hoping that even a trickle of comfort might be released from within.

This condition of extreme risk illiquidity seems to me to be a strongly generational phenomenon. Going against this is a mention in today’s AFR which seems to argue that the wholesale risk-emburdening of individuals is more universal, at least in the US:

“Among the most influential books of 2006 was [Jacob] Hacker’s The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement, and How You Can Fight Back. His fundamental argument is that security is that basis for economic opportunity”*.

Stuff economic opportunity, I say (albeit it’s a peculiarly American thing, anyway). Security is a much more basic and important human need than that.

* Tony Walker, “Underpaid and poor in the USA” AFR 9 February 2007

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?