Filed under death

Bork, bork, bork

One rarely gets the opportunity to read a really scathing obituary. Even the most disliked public figures are generally afforded some kind of respect in death – perhaps described as flawed but brilliant, or having achieved great things before losing their way. No such luck for Robert Bork, the former US Solicitor-General who Reagan tried, unsuccessfully, to put on the Supreme Court. The New Yorker has dipped deep into the well of schadenfreude to come up with this one:

Robert Bork, who died Wednesday, was an unrepentant reactionary who was on the wrong side of every major legal controversy of the twentieth century. The fifty-eight senators who voted against Bork for confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1987 honored themselves, and the Constitution. In the subsequent quarter-century, Bork devoted himself to proving that his critics were right about him all along.


In 1973, Nixon directed Elliot Richardson, the Attorney General, to fire Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor. Richardson refused and resigned in protest, as did his deputy William Ruckelshaus. Bork, the third-ranking official in the Justice Department, had no such scruples and thus served as executioner in the Saturday Night Massacre, to his enduring shame.

Read the full article at the New Yorker website.

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Available now in the Buggery Boutique

Margaret Thatcher is not dead yet, but surely it can’t be long. While you wait, why not purchase one of these high quality commemorative garments from the Buggery Boutique on RedBubble?

Remember, 100% of the proceeds will be used to buy celebratory beers to mark the Iron Lady’s interment into her final rusting place.

Just click the links to buy.

Version 1 (‘Dead’):

Version 2 (three for the price of one!):

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Silence of the Mice

Yesterday I was on TV. Researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall institute in Melbourne made a significant breakthrough on HIV, and the media needed someone to be the voice of positive people. In my PLWHA Victoria role, this duty falls to me.

It’s not often that the Australian news media take this much interest in HIV issues at all, and when they do it’s typically bad news, so it was refreshing to see this much interest in a ‘good news’ story. The fact that the news release had the words ‘HIV’ and ‘cure’ in it probably helped (the last time the commercial TV news became interested in HIV science, that news release had the ‘C’ word in it too, so I’m seeing a pattern; from now on all my news releases will have ‘HIV cure’ in the headline).

So I scrubbed up, borrowed a clean shirt (thanks Nathan), and choofed off to WEHI to do my bit for the cause. Here’s the resulting ABC TV News item. Read on over the page for the horrifying truth.

(The Channel 10 version is also available, on YouTube, if you’re really keen.)

Continue reading

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Everybody hurts: TAC at 20

It’s 20 years tonight since the first shock TV advertisements by Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission were aired. Visitors from overseas are often surprised at the brutality of these adverts, which have been credited with a 50% reduction of the Victorian road toll over the last two decades.

This montage will be screened tonight at 8:30pm on all free-to-air channels in Victoria. It’s quite graphic in parts but gives an indication of the types of campaigns that have been run.

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Victorian government publishes list of towns that won’t be there next year

…or something like that.

There are 52 towns in Victoria which are at high risk for the 2009-10 fire season, according to a list issued by the state government today. Here is a map (click to enlarge) showing the towns listed:


The Victorian Government says the nominated centres will be its priorities for developing township protection plans.

“The work that we’ve been doing over recent months has identified a number of areas … 52 towns, which for a variety of reasons are more at risk or more vulnerable to fire, should it occur in the next fire season,” Mr Brumby said.

“These could be towns that are built in the middle of bushland, they could be towns that are on the coast that have a huge holiday population and only one road in, and one road out.”

“We’ve got a fire season coming up, that on all the evidence we’ve got… is going to be worse than the one we’ve just experienced.” — ABC

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Bushfire tweets

A selection of my Twitter messages about the Victorian bushfires as they unfolded. Continue reading

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Heath Ledger dead?

Sky News is reporting that Australian actor Heath Ledger has been found dead in an apartment in New York.

Didn’t see that one coming.


I heard last night that Paul had died. Long-time visitors to this website will remember Paul de Koning as my partner in life, love and crime back in the days when this site was called The House of Love.


Paul and I had a brief, spectacular and ultimately doomed love affair about a decade ago, in an age when we lived on the edge and stared death in the face, when we lived for today and assumed that tomorrow would take us up in its cold embrace and deliver us to somewhere dark and cold…

Our relationship ended dramatically and badly, of course, and it’s been a long time since we were close. We reconciled our differences a long time ago, but it’s hard to convert the riotous energy that marked our time together into the sedate friendship of ex-husbands. So for the last few years we’ve seen each other occasionally, exchanged emails now and then, but otherwise gone on with our separate lives, changed of course by the experience of loving and losing each other, perhaps damaged by it too.


Paul gave me a great deal in our short time together. He had an extraordinary capacity to accept me as I am (or was) — not a straightforward undertaking in those days — to celebrate me and us, to love and trust and fuck with spirit, energy and abandon, and to care. He was a truly special man, imperfect in many ways — sometimes bitter, often troubled — but with a old soul of pure gold.

Not many months after we broke up, Paul was diagnosed with adult myeloid leukemia. His survival with this aggressive cancer (as well as HIV) for so many years is a testament to his strength and tenacity.
Happy trails, old friend.