Saturday, April 10, 2004

My annual anti-Phillip Adams rant

Unlike another high-profile Oz blogger (whose wisdoms I make it a policy never to refer to) going at Phillip Adams - or at least going at him other than very occasionally - lacks any sense of sport for me, at all. The guy is just so self-evidently a monstrous fuckwit that . . . well, what else really needs to be said?

Checking my archives*, I realised that it was just over a year ago that I last mentioned the name of the eternal sophomore so giving me leave, as it were, to now have a fresh spray.

And what an auspicious day to do so, to, with this piece that veers seamlessly from 1972 to the present day. I think that Geoff Honnor does I pretty good job on this front, overall, but I don't feel he does justice to the Wacky Science aspect of the story.

If Adams is to be believed, one of Australia's hitherto most-esteemed scientists, Sir Macfarlane Burnet, was madder than Doc Evatt on a bad day.

Burnet was apparently unenthusiastic about wind energy, but not in that spoiling-my-sea-change-view kinda way, or anything even close. Instead: "If you had enough windmills to make a significant contribution, they'd chew up the winds - and there's no way of calculating the environmental risks."

Ditto for Sir Nutbag on tidal power: "The Earth's oceans and the moon form a locked system. Take power from the oceans and you'd bring the moon closer and closer to the Earth. A few inches at the beginning, adding up to miles. Do you want the moon to crash on us?"

For whatever reason, Burnet apparently regarded solar power as exempt from this zero-sum closed system. Thus, a large solar panel in the Nullarbor would capture sufficient energy to run the entire planet, but without "chewing up" too much of the sun; with such "chewing up" presumably triggering the aggrieved sun to make a gradual cosmic beeline towards the earth, in search of its purloined rays. But this is not, I repeat NOT a risk of solar power, according to Burnet.

So sleep tight tonight, kiddies out there with solar hot water systems on their roofs. The Easter Bunny/Bilby will be swinging by, on time and on target. And yes, sometimes there's a cost, a consequence of too much "chewing up" of stuff, but don't let that worry your fat little faces tomorrow morning - I know I won't!

* Grrr! I can't find the piece (or in fact any of my old stuff) on Blogspot's archives - nor on the Google cache. For posterity (maybe), I copy it here:

{{{{ Friday, March 28, 2003
What's in this for me?

Coinciding nicely with fourteen years olds taking to street en masse to protest the Iraq war, eternal sophomore Phillip Adams (see my Sunday March 9 post), flogged the same cause in print on the same day, and also seemingly allowed his hormones to impair his judgement in the process.

Or at least, this is the kindest way I can find to describe Adams's badly-misfired, ostensibly-rhetorical question: "What's in it for us?" (re Australian military Iraq involvement).

There's no URL for his Op Ed piece in The Australian 26 March 2003, but a few of today's letter writers can be viewed having a go at Adams.

In the manner of an inexperienced cross-examiner, Adams obviously presumes to know the answer as he asks the question. Apart from the dubious "us" he refers to (is Adams talking about all his fellow Australians worth $50m+, or just the (much smaller) gang who have accrued their mega-wealth principally by milking the "public teat", as one of today's letter writers put it), there is an ugly, neo-Shylock-ian sting (self-inflicted, of course) in the question's tail. If Adams doesn't mean to be talking about money here, what else is on his bargaining table- Australia's buying a sort of protection from Al Qaeda, by not joining the allies in Iraq? How grotesquely mercantilist does this man go?

For those interested in the life and mediocrity of Phillip Adams, there's no biography yet available (which is a bit strange for an Australian with 30+ years in the media/cultural industries under his belt). In terms of Adams and the "public teat", there's some useful information in Anne Coombs "Adland" William Heinemann 1990, pb. As "Adland" is not indexed, Adams-hunters may want to go straight to pp 34-35, 51-56, and 86-92.

Apart from having long had the self-serving knack of convincing governments of all persuasions to funnel money into things worthily vague ("Life. Be in it" and the "Commission for the Future" being just two examples of Adams's taste for expensive, expansive - and commissionable - projects), Adams emerges as a quite shameless political powerbroker in the 80s, one of an ilk now most associated with Sydney shock jocks. And, despite all his pseudo-left bleatings, Adams' most distinguished contribution of all to Australian life and industry may well end up being the generous terms he negotiated for an exit from an ad agency that he then co-owned (and that he had originally been made an equity partner of, almost as soon as he walked into the already-established outfit). The mother of all severance packages and money for jam - nice precedent Adams set almost two decades ago, for generations of spivs to come.

Finally, in the best Adams tradition, of haute jingoism mixed with "there'sgotta be a bob in this for me", I' like to offer my readers a new national anthem (or at least the start thereof):

Australians all, let us re-voice -
What' in this shit for us?
With brickies and bosses all in cahoots
Our home is girt by loot
Our land abounds in ad campaigns
Of duty, balloons and tack
In history's amnesia, let's ask who's gonna please ya
Advance Australia Back

P.S. Not actually sure where the "bob" will be in this for me. I'd feel like a bastard taking royalties from school assemblies etc singing this. Perhaps if, on the strength of these inspiring lyrics, "we" established a taxpayer-funded "Commission for the Past", and I was made its foundation chairperson.

- Paul Watson 4:02 PM }}}}}}

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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