Going Wolf Creek on the hipsters again

I reckon Benno Rice was right when he tweeted that this card is definitely for me. Consider this little sequence from Twitter early this morning.

Leslie Nassar had just tweeted that he’d had a dream where Channel Seven’s Sunrise program was “throwing One Direction celebretweens at super-fat versions of TV chefs carrying butterfly nets”.

I responded thusly (here with some minor improvements to the flow):

In the last dream I recall, the hipster wouldn’t shut up so I slowly sawed off both his hands at the wrist with a knife.

At first he thought I was joking, but as the blade worked through the tendons he realised in terror that I was serious. Blood everywhere.

I threw his hands onto the floor in front of where he was sitting against the wall and left him there, whimpering. His friend went quiet.

And then I woke up. Pulse racing. Sweating. Breath gasping. I couldn’t go to sleep after that, so I made coffee and read the news.

Why am I telling you this? Well, a week from today I’ll be flying to Perth to… to… [gulp] to speak at #DigitalMe. Yes. Speak. That’s it.

I would like to have a dream with butterfly nets. I think butterfly nets would be quite lovely fun.

I think I will make a coffee now. And read the news.

The title of this post comes from a subsequent tweet by the Snarky Platypus. “Are you going Wolf Creek on hipsters again?” He makes it sound like a bad thing…

Incidentally, if you do a Google Images search for the text “I don’t get nearly enough credit for managing to not be a violent psychopath” you will discover moist, sticky muffins and a dwarf-eating hippo. You’re welcome.

PayPal’s incompetent compliance arsehattery

You really have to wonder about PayPal. Every day they seamlessly process a squillion pissy little transactions from countless innumerate trailer-trash. Nice work. Then they ruin their reputation with Kafkaesque requests and oddly incompetent “service”. Like now.

“We need your help resolving an issue with your PayPal account,” they emailed me on 9 May. “We need a little more information regarding your organisation, since your PayPal account is registered as a charity or non-profit.” Huh?

As Gary Stark tweeted just now, “You, a non-profit? While that might not be your intention, it’s probably just about right.” That’s true enough. But I’m certainly not a charity or non-profit, I’m certainly not tax-exempt, and I’ve never claimed to be. I’m not even an “organisation”. And have never claimed to be.

By “a little more information” PayPal means photo ID, another document showing my address, a bank statement linking me to my bank account, confirmation that I’m not not a “politically exposed person”, and “organisation and payment information”, whatever that might be. But I’ve been travelling for the last fortnight and I’m not carrying all this stuff.

They’re also asking for one item I’m going to have trouble with. Proof of my tax-exempt status. For no such thing exists. As Leslie Nassar tweeted, “If you can’t prove you’re not who you’re not saying you aren’t, then no Internet Money for you.”

Back on 10 May I emailed service@paypal.com.au to ask why all this was happening. I told them that I’m an individual doing business as a sole trader, and have never claimed to be anything different. I received no response. Typical. My PayPal account is now “limited”. Which means frozen.

This morning I’ve contacted PayPal’s compliance team by both email and fax.

You are asking me to prove my tax-exempt charitable or non-profit status. Why? I am not tax-exempt, non-profit or charitable, and have never claimed to be. Never. An email to service@paypal.com.au on this matter dated 10 May went unanswered. Why? Your demand for proof of tax-exempt status does not include the option “But I am not!” Why? I do expect written answers to these “Why?” questions.

I’ll let you know what happens next. Meanwhile, do feel free to vent your own frustration at PayPal in the comments. I daresay I’m not alone here.

Telstra closes blog, loses friends

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Australia’s biggest telco closed down their corporate blog nowwearetalking without warning yesterday — and deleted all the content. While I can understand they want to put the often-controversial forum behind them, I think the move was a mistake.

I’ve already written about this for Crikey, Telstra consigns nowwearetalking to the memory hole. It seems odd to kill NWAT just as it was changing for the better – even more so given there’s no replacement. There’s comments from Stephen Collins and Fake Stephen Conroy, as well as Telstra’s official spokesperson Craig Middleton. It’s free to read. Off you go.

But I’d also like to publish the full interviews I did for that story. So here they are.

Continue reading “Telstra closes blog, loses friends”

Special Melon Pepperoni Edition now online!

Screenshot of Andrew Bolt as Cnut of the Week

Episode 41 of Stilgherrian Live is now online for your viewing pleasure — although of course the live chat is a vital part of the experience and you really ought to be watching it live.

The clear winner of “Cnut of the Week” was Andrew Bolt (pictured) with 79% of the vote, for his continuing denialism regarding climate change and for failing to understand that the debate about Internet censorship has moved well past calling everyone a pedophile. His comment on Thursday night’s Q&A drew particular ire.

Well, I think a lot of people are getting very worried about something that hasn’t actually been decided or rolled out. I think it’s incredible and it’s not as if there’s only one right at stake, which is the right to masturbate over photos of children being raped. I mean, that’s not the only right at stake here. There’s another right, and that’s the right to protect children, and I think it all comes down to how does it actually work in practice. And if it does, indeed, do what some of these people are getting hyper about, you know, slow internet speeds by 87 per cent or stop people from looking at legitimate political sites, I’m sure I would bet my bottom dollar that Steve won’t approve it.

We had many fine nominations, but those that made the shortlist were overwhelmed by Bolt’s cnutery. The Leslie Nassar / Fake Stephen Conroy / Telstra debacle received 12% of the votes, then Senator Stephen Conroy on 7% and the German police on a mere 1% for their raid on the Wikileaks volunteer.

The question has been raised: Should Stilgherrian Live move to Friday nights permanently? Whaddyareckon?

First interview with Fake Stephen Conroy

Screenshot from Stilgherrian Live episode 40

Episode 40 of Stilgherrian Live is now online for your viewing pleasure, including the very first interview with Fake Stephen Conroy aka Leslie Nassar.

Nassar, a Telstra employee, outed himself as FSC on Tuesday. Given that Senator Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, oversees telcos like Telstra, this created some complications. He now appears to be over the worst of what sounded like anger Tuesday night.

The phone conversation with Leslie Nassar is just over 12 minutes into the program.

Of course we also had “Cnut of the Week”…

Continue reading “First interview with Fake Stephen Conroy”