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NBA, Racism and Jeremy Clarkson

Those of us who read Orwell’s 1984 with a libertarian ethos will always have the greatest concerns about the notion of any thought being a crime but in the last few days we have seen some of the most egregious examples of the notion of the thought police being both real and crushing the face of humanity under the jackboot  of political correctness.

The first example that  I will touch on only briefly was that of  the  owner of a NBA franchise making a genuinely racist remark that was overheard, recorded and then broadcast on social media, as a consequence he has been stripped of his franchise, and “fined” millions of dollars. All of this has been loudly applauded on social media but I can’t help thinking that those who have been cheering so loudly may soon  rue the day when  it became a social crime to say something “offensive”. The reaction has been a rather horrible example of mob rule and the negative potential  of social and mass  media.

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The next item in this litany of political correctness gone mad has been the bullying of Jeremy Clarkson for what can only be described as a slip of the tongue. Like Jezza I learned the eneny meany mineie mo rhyme in its original form where one caught the “nigger” by his toe and I also read the Noddy books as a child which had “golliwogs” as the the primary  naughty toys.  Such things learnt in childhood are the very last thing to go for the senile and for the the still cognitively functional such notions and well learned rhymes do not lend themselves to change without a great deal of conscious thought.  Thus I have no trouble believing that what Clarkson said while trying to deliver his spiel was genuinely unintended and even if it had been intentional I don’t believe that there was any “racist intent” here. None the less the scions of political correctness have leaped upon this off air faux pas with a great deal of malice and spite. Anyone would think that Clarkson was a Kiddie fiddler from the amount of rancour vindictiveness expressed on social media when ion fact he is just a middle aged petrol head who has a good line in witty chat about cars.

By all means lets get upset at deliberate and blatant racism but the quest for linguistic purity that  we are seeing in our age of social media is utterly obscene and if only the loudest voices calling for Clarkson’s sacking would think for just a minute they might just realise that what they are calling for will not make the tiniest bit of difference to the sum total of racism on the planet. All it will do is restrict free speech and honest discourse.

Cheers Comrades

Ah the sixties...

Ah the sixties…

Tesla Roadster, failed court action, a fat bloke, a test track, and the folly of a carbon tax pork barrel

I am among those who are totally under-whelmed by the plug in electric car entirely for one simple reason their range and recharge times because until they can be re charged as quickly and effortlessly as an ordinary car can be refuelled there is no way at all that they can be a viable form of transport for anyone except the most obsessive Global warming tragic or Eco-wanker. With this in mind I am delighted to see that Top Gear have once again won the case brought by Tesla about the less than flattering test of their roadster that saw it grind to a halt after a paltry 55 miles around the track.

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This case is , to me a great example of a victory of truth (even the massaged truth of a tongue in cheek television program)over a manufacturers’ attempts to spin the irrefutable facts about their product, heck any one would think that the management of Tesla motors were the same mob who have been working for the Greens and the ALP trying to convince the Australian people about the efficacy of the Carbon tax…
Because like the Tesla Roadster Labor’s  Carbon Tax promises a great deal but its performance is going to disappoint, it will prove to be a market failure. The irony that Gillard and co are claiming passing the enabling legislation is one of her government’s successes should go down as a supreme example of delusional thinking. Like the way that the Labor crew think that their compensation package for said Carbon Tax is going to buy them votes. While many will cheer as they get their chance to dip into the pork barrel of compensation I very much doubt that a significant number of those recipients of government Largess are going to decide to vote for Labor as a result.


I did try to write a post this morning that was not about the vices of our current government but sadly I have failed and I just hope that our dear readers will forgive the  weakness of my resolve here..

Cheers and sincere apologies once again Comrades


Have a Stiggy day folks!

Cars, Oh how we can love them and how they can vex us at the same time, I’m happy to report that a new set of wheels now sits in the garage here at Chez Hall and since the transmission was fixed it is an entirely different and far nicer one to drive than it was on Monday when, Augusto first delivered it. I must say that I am so very pleased that Peter Roberts Honda from Toowoomba have been so efficient at sorting out the problem with the car. As I said to Gus in response to his copious and sincere apologies about the problem, its not there being no problems that matters when you buy a car (although that is most desirable) but the way that any problems are addressed once they become  evident that really matters .  Top marks to Peter Roberts Honda on this 😉

While we are on the subject of cars I could not fail to notice that a Judge in the UK has thrown out the major part of the case that Tesla motors is running against Top Gear:

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I have already poisoned the minds of my children so that they sneer and jeer when ever they see a Prius but I will be balancing that by explaining that our new chariot weighs in at just a little over 1100kg and uses around 7.8 litres of petrol for each 100km of travel which is pretty good in by any measure, it is a good example of what I have been saying here at the Sandpit for ages , namely that light weight and good aerodynamics, coupled with optimum use of interior space can make a petrol or diesel car  a far better proposition than an overweight hybrid or battery electric machine and with a 55 litre  tank you can bet that we will be travelling somewhat  further than 55 miles between fills.

Cheers indeed Comrades


Top Gear Australia, Gone! and hopefully soon forgotten!

I used to be a big fan of Top Gear, when it was on SBS, but since it was poached by channel 9 I have watched the show less and less despite the fact that it is on high rotation for repeat showings. As fro “Top Gear Australia” it was always something of an embarrassment and I for one will be glad that it has been consigned to the scrapheap of very bad motoring ideas:

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The show was just too bloody derivative of the original right down to having hosts who were meant to precisely copy the characteristics of May, Clarkson and Hammond. It was a disaster form the start that was so obviously trying to milk every last drop of viewer support from the franchise.

It will not be missed Comrades

Stig vs Stag

Are other petrol heads as disappointed with the way that Channel Nine has stuffed up Top Gear since they gurzumped SBS  for the Aussie rights to the show? the ads are more intrusive and well, there are more of them than before. On top of that they keep insisting that the episodes that they are showing are “new” when they have all been shown before on SBS. Frankly I can’t stand to watch it much these days. Getting the DVD’s is a better option.

I do however enjoy a good piss take and you can’t go past these two ads making the show a template for some clever marketing.

Very funny Comrades

The Stig named

There are times when even an old bloke like me can feel like a kid who has just been told that there is NO Santa. Today is such a day because what should I find when cruising around the news but the identity of the Stig…

The cult surrounding the character has grown because he is routinely introduced on the show with a humorous reference to his alleged non-human faculties. Introductions include ’Some say his voice can only be heard by cats’, and ’Some say one of his eyes is a testicle’.

The cult surrounding the character has grown because he is routinely introduced on the show with a humorous reference to his alleged non-human faculties. Introductions include ’Some say his voice can only be heard by cats’, and ’Some say one of his eyes is a testicle’.

Fortunately as a long time science fiction fan I have developed a Zen like ability to suspend all belief in objective reality and to entirely submerge myself into the reality on the screen.

If you are unable to do this and if your knowing  the name of Stig will forever ruin your enjoyment of Top Gear, then please for the love of all that is holy do not look over the fold because if you do your life will never be the same again .

Tears  Comrades, tears



Top Gear bad boys

One of the things that I really like about Top Gear is the irreverence of it’s presenters and the fact that they love taking the piss out of the seriousness with which some people take some social issues. Now there is no doubt that smoking tobacco is both foolish and very bad for your health. But the brouhaha that has erupted in the wake of Jeremy Clarkson and James May lighting-up “Porsche branded pipes” in segment of the show suggests to me that the political correctness crowd have absolutely no sense of humour.

jeremy clarkson

Lawbreaker: Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson flouted the smoking ban and heaped more embarrassment on the increasingly under-fire BBC

james may

James May lights up the pipe which was filled with a herbal honey mixture and not tobacco – but Richard Hammond, who recently quit smoking chose not to light up

Daily Mail

Without even seeing the segment you can tell two things, firstly that no tobacco products were ignited and secondly the gentlemen in question were taking the piss out of brand marketing, not encouraging anyone to take up smoking.

This is the sort of marketing that the likes of Harley Davidson has so cleverly exploited and other auto-makers dream about.
“Iain Se7en” tee shirts anyone?
Cheers Comrades

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