Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (ANAO Audit Report No.12 2010–11; Commonwealth of Australia, 2010; ISBN  0642811563)

When Labor spun open its home insulation subsidy in 2009, a thousand insulation dingoes all across the country started fighting to get their muzzles under the spigot.

When the first one phoned, I explained that I already had grey insulating powder in the crawlspace. When their tradesman came, he found I had too much grey insulating powder to qualify for the subsidy. Continue reading

Poor Pluto

of_mice_and_menOF MICE AND MEN

Steinbeck, John (Covici Friede, 1937, ISBN (reprint) 9780749717100)

The educational films they showed us in middle school seemed all at least twenty-years old. On flickering projector film, scientists in brown suits took us on a tour of the body’s respiratory system while sanitised hipsters with pompadours showed us how to resist peer pressure. Crew-cutted schoolboys discovered the power of lunchroom manners while other sons and daughters of white hegemony learned how quiet helps at school. Deep-voiced fabulists sold us a version of the American legislative process with no pharmaceutical or energy lobbyists. Other narrators, whose measured delivery somehow conveyed the vastness of space, described the then nine planets of the solar system as the viewpoint swept out towards poor Pluto (of late expelled from the League of Planets for conduct unbefitting a solar planet). Continue reading

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