The 9pm Get Some Goddam Perspective

TV screenshot of Julie Bishop, Tony Abbott, George Brandis

For nearly two weeks now, Australians have been more afraid of the fear of the risk of terror that ever before. We’re going to war, and the defence minister is an idiot. But don’t worry about why an event on the other side of the world is suddenly a threat here. We’re going to go butt chugging.

What does any of this mean? Who knows.

But we do hear how terrorism alert rankings serve no purpose beyond encouraging a burst of panic and how we won the war on Thai chilli sauce, as well as the evacuation of the Westfield Burwood shopping centre and how that did not relate to any contemporary issue.

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Updated: Christopher Pyne clearly says the C-word? Nope

[Update Friday 16 May 2014, 1115 AEST: Having read the spectrogram analysis by “Fully (sic)”, the language blog at Crikey, I withdraw pretty much everything I’ve said in this post. I did indeed hear the word I thought I heard, but only after having read a headline that told me that’s that I was going to hear. I forget the name for that psychological phenomenon — is it “priming”? — but I know it’s a thing. Anyone listening to the audio files here would have been subject to the same phenomenon.]

Today in the Australian Parliament, Christopher Maurice Pyne MP, Member for Sturt, Minister for Education and Leader of the House, said a word which he says was “grub”. I call Christopher Pyne a liar.

The sentence said across the chamber to Opposition leader Bill Shorten (or maybe someone else) was, quite clearly [to me], “You’re such a cunt.” Listen for yourself.

Play

I will be discussing the phonetics of “grub” versus “cunt” in the next episode of The 9pm Edict. Read the analysis at “Fully (sic)”.

I’m happy to respond to your comments on this stuff, but I’ll be busy recording my podcast sleeping and covering a conference in San Jose before finishing my podcast production, and won’t respond until that’s all finished. Be warned, however, that I’ll simply delete comments that are nothing more that party-political trolling. Keep it to the discussion of phonetics, appropriate language for parliament and suchlike. My website, my rules.

What I will say, however, is that I don’t really care what Pyne said. In the heat of the moment we’ve all said things we later regret. Sometimes, for some people, that might involve swearing. What concerns me is the character of a man who simply lies in the face of the evidence, rather than taking responsibility for his own words and actions. That’s just low.

Christopher Maurice Pyne, you truly are a grub. No, the other word.

There will doubtless be questions about the authenticity of this recording, so I’ll spell out precisely what you’re listening to here.

This audio file is the result of going to a ninemsn news story, since removed, at the URL http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/pyne-calls-shorten-c-bomb-in-parliament/x78q4ru in the web browser Safari for OS X, and using Audio Hijack Pro to extract the audio of the video as it streamed and saving it into a 16-bit 44.1kHz AIFF audio file. I imported that file into Reaper, a digital audio workstation, trimmed the ends to fit, and saved it as an intermediate AIFF file with the same settings.

I then processed that file by normalising it (which means adjusting the volume so that the loudest sound in the file is set to the maximum audio level possible), creating another intermediate file, and then compressing it to an MP3 file with a variable bit rate of 128kbps at 21,050Hz.

[Update 16 May 2014: Edited to reflect the fact that I’ve put the podcast production back a day.]

The 9pm Edict #8

The 9pm EdictGoogle takes on China. Internet heavies and clueful people rip into Australia’s mandatory censorship plan. And Senator Conroy says he will release the NBN report… in May.

Here is episode 8 of The 9pm Edict.

You can listen to this episode below. But if you want them all, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

Play

For more information about tonight’s rant, you can check out my story for Crikey about Refused Classification, the Facebook sacking of Chelsea Taylor, a Google News search for Google versus China and Tony Abbott’s victory speech.

And here’s the story about the National Broadband Network report which I didn’t cover.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

The 9pm Edict #1

The 9pm Edict

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present for your edification and amusement, episode 1 of The 9pm Edict.

“Peter Garrett resists calls for his resignation. #nocleanfeed monomaniacs get up my nose. And some strongly-worded stuff about the Premier of NSW and Sydney’s public transport,” it begins. Kinda.

Yes, this is my new podcast project. Tonight is the first of 20 episodes, to be posted every Monday and Wednesday night for the next 10 weeks.

You can listen to this episode below. But if you want them all, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.

Play

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission.]

iYomu: too late to beat Facebook?

iYomu logo

iYomu, that “social networking for grown ups” site I wrote about, officially launched today — with US$1M in prize money up for grabs. And I’ve just written an article for Crikey explaining why I don’t think it’ll fly. I also reckon Facebook will win out over MySpace.

My argument in the Crikey article is that the key to success on the Internet is massive, uncontrolled growth. That means attracting a lot of users fast — and then selling out to someone like Rupert Murdoch before it all implodes. The problem is, the very nature of iYomu works against that rapid growth.

Continue reading “iYomu: too late to beat Facebook?”