Bob Ellis has been for forty years reviewing films and for forty-one years writing plays, films, novels and essays on the performing arts. In this, his seventieth year, he finds himself drawn to continue these midnight habits, and set down some of his conclusions on these art forms. A further section of this blog, As I Please, named after Orwell’s column in the 1940s, will explore some larger questions of life, and reprint some articles refused publication elsewhere.

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  1. Totally dismayed again whilst reading the local print this morning.A former Labour voter owns three dogs included in the ten most dangerous breeds, angry over Labours dog policy.Voted Liberal!!!? These are the sort of votes that have put us in this situation.The dogs have been unmuzzled and unleashed.Never ends well.

  2. Hi Bob…. Just wondered if you’d had a look at the LNP education policy…… It makes a few statements about the curriculum which are hilarious misses. I’ve had a bit of a look

    Page 15 of the LNP Education Policy says:

    “Under Labor, the curriculum has become politicised, the current curriculum suggests that our students are best served learning about the day-to-day activities of trade unions and the history of the Australian Labor Party. for example: the curriculum contains two references to trade unions, four references to progressive ideas and associated movements, and the only Prime Minister to be explicitly referenced is John Curtin.”

    You can download the entire curriculum from here

    Quoting directly from page 41:
    “studying Australia’s path to Federation through an examination of key
    people (for example Henry Parkes, Edmund Barton, George Reid, John

    Pretty sure Edmund Barton was a Prime Minister. Pretty sure he was the first one actually. George Reid…. Prime Minister.

    Curtin is indeed mentioned in the topic of “explaining the significance of the fall of Singapore (1942) in the changes in Australia’s military alliances and use of troops during World War II, using a range of sources (for example accounts of prisoners of war, commanders such as General Gordon Bennett, politicians such as
    Prime Minister John Curtin, and Japanese and British sources”

    As for the “day to day activities of trade unions”, trade unions are mentioned twice in the curriculum, under the topic “outlining the growth of trade unions as a response to the impacts of the Industrial Revolution” and “identifying the groups who opposed conscription (for example trade unionists, Irish Catholics) and the grounds for their objections” - Hardly “Day to day activity”

    “Progressive ideas” are indeed mentioned four times:
    Firstly under a topic: “Progressive ideas and movements (1750 – 1918) The emergence and nature of key ideas in the period, with a particular focus on ONE of the following: capitalism, socialism, egalitarianism, nationalism, imperialism”

    The other 3 times are: in the introduction to the above topic, the depth study summary of the above topic and finally, in the irrelevant context of “progressive movements towards Australia from Asia”.

    If you type “Progressive” in to the search bar, you get 4 results…… If you type “Prime Minister” in you get one…. Curtin….. If you type “Trade Union” in, you get 4.

    It’s pretty clear that the length of ‘critical analysis’ in creating this policy went only so far as downloading the curriculum, typing a few words in to the search bar and then finding this ‘bias’ without even studying it enough to recognise the references to some of our most important Prime Ministers.

    If this is a basis for reform, the word “Christian” appears 10 times…. religious indoctrination will need to be looked at too.

  3. Bob!

    Seriously need you to get out there and spread the word about these polling numbers. Can’t a man with such a high profile as yours find someone somewhere or some television station to air your analysis of the polling shambles!!! I am sick to death of the bullshit!!!

    Kind Regards.

    Love your blog.

  4. Bob,
    I have just created a chart showing the costs of mad damn abbott’s apprentice ship loans scheme for buying young peoples votes. I’m going to send a workable copy to the Ruddster, Chris Bowen, tony look-ah, joe donkey and probably a few talkback turkeys to see if someone has any sensible answers to some important questions.
    I would like to send you a copy to your email.



  5. Arthur Calvert-Smith


    I want to write you an email. Is there a way of contacting you aside from the webpage?

  6. Bob dont use Google

  7. Bob, it’s not Nuigini; its Niugini. Try Googling Niugini Nius.

  8. Malcolm Kukura


    Cannot get my comment for the April primates poem to load - the message says its a duplicate but it isn;t visible?

  9. There seems to be some difficulty posting poems today

  10. Dear Bob,
    If you read this, I’ve something to add to the sentiments above re: the blog (not the global warming guy who seems to have wandered in from the next set). I’m a Lismore High graduate, too, so you should listen.
    It seems you’ve really taken a shine to blogging as a means of publishing some of your prodigious and engaging miscellany. As I observed around a year ago or more(after viewing the old page), you are probably the best natural independent blogger in the English-speaking world. And by that I mean simply in terms of revenue-potential.
    You need a website administrator who understands internet-advertising, Google-optimisation and many of the nuances which I’m sure allow much less popular bloggers to stream much more revenue. I’m not saying you have to get rid of your current sponsors, but you could be selling books (not just your own) through Amazon, getting revenue from subscriptions to publications you endorse, traffic-sharing with other quality bloggers, etc. A proper internet guy (not this guy) can make a lot of this automatic, and shouldn’t have to bother you with any of it.
    There aren’t many bloggers out there with ‘productive insomnia’ who can write fifteen lines and have thirty comments follow up so quickly that the next people stop reading them all and just go down your earlier posts. Few writers can eloquently express ideas as concisely as Bob Ellis, and (ironically perhaps?) that’s really the best thing a blogger can be.
    So, that’s it I guess. Love the blog, obviously.
    Any questions feel free to email, here to help.

    • PS. I forgot to mention, just for example, in info above it talks about films, essays and plays, but the actual blog has recently been largely about party-politics. Which is great, but … blogs should also be able to be viewed by topic.

      • Perhaps a background showing the writer at his desk with book-shelves around him, titles visible, smoking cigar in the ashtray, a liquor cabinet, and a view of the beach through the window.

    • I doubt that he does read it Michael, but i think you are on the wrong track anyway. I do web design with 14 years experience and I can see his blog is well represented in google. Google-optimisation is a bit of a scam these days. False claims are made about it all the time. For Bob to be more popular I think he would have to change his approach, and I don’t think that is what this blog is about, or that it is going to happen. However, this is a wordpress blog and there will be plug-ins available for better google presence which will be easy to install, if they are not already.
      As a web designer I think the site just needs a spruce up, some visual appeal. A background picture of the northern beaches for example. I don’t think Bob is a bland greeny-grey person, its just that he doesn’t care what the site looks like, doesn’t even “see” it. And he won’t want others interfering in it either.
      This page could have some pictures of the man, some details of his glittering career, etc. Some over-blown claims to genius and so on. Testimonials from famous literati, a list of the people he went to Uni with, a batting average maybe.
      There could be categories, and there should be an ‘As I Please’ section.
      And yet, as you say, it is mostly about party-politics :)

  11. There is a strange and deafening silence regarding the little-known fact behind climate change.
    As a child I rejoiced in the wonderful kids hymn “all things bright and beautiful”, unfortunately we have not been informed of the little-known fact about titanium dioxide polluting the planet and killing Phytoplankton by the billions.
    This tiny element in the food chain provides the food for fish and then by extension the rest of humanity. So what?
    But here’s the rub!
    Mother Nature in its wisdom has assigned the reprocessing of carbon dioxide by these tiny little creatures. They would have coped with all the carbon dioxide admitted on the planet as part of their raison d’etre.
    Unfortunately we have been lead to believe that we are the cause of climate change, by our rapacious consumption of fossil fuels. This is not entirely true, for incomplete information leads to some erroneous conclusions.
    All the while, some salient pieces of information escape our attention.
    However should we worry for the poor Phytoplankton, when we have not paid attention to the fact that we are busily poisoning our children and ourselves by the addition of titanium dioxide to our food.
    The American Cancer Society has recently indicated that titanium dioxide is one of five most carcinogenic substances on this planet.
    Little wonder when one closely examines this and its enormous similarity to asbestos.

    • we lost sight of the argument by pressing global warming.just pollution itself carried the meesage before….the original argument of pollution carried we’re are lost in the debate on warming

      • That’s significant. Since the eighties and earlier the major political players have been in a sort of DT’s over ecology and the Greens and Labor’s refusal to move out of the nineteenth century as far as ecology and the economics of it is concerned.
        In SA, The wise owls of the ALP right in SA decided on a repeat of the 2004 disaster with Steven Fielding. Result, Farrell booted out on the preferences FF garnered from the ALP.

    • That would have be one of the worst arguments against man induced climate change I have ever read.

      Titanium dioxide is found in mineral sands as rutile. Thats right rob Watson wants you to believe a portion of sand on the beach is made up of deadly deadly TiO2.

      Look around the room you are in, everything made of white plastic contains TiO2. The white piece of paper, more TiO2. The white paint on the wall, more TiO2. Not to mention all the Titanium in your phone and computer.

  12. Bob,
    Somethings are worthwhile. This blog is one of them. Ban the trolls and sock puppets, they are an infestation. Same with those types who want to use this forum as a personal chat room. They are not worthy either.
    There are many things that need to be said, and said with style, about politics, about theatre, about movies about anything and everything.
    Do not hesitate to rid yourself of these pests. Piss them off. They have no respect.
    Do not give in to them.

  13. Wasn’t Bob Katter black enough or politically correct enough for the Andrew Bolt slow hand-clappers of Sydney?

  14. Dear Bob,

    If ever you were in Brisbane on the last Monday of the month this side of Xmas you could do a talk for the Qld Skeptics about anything.

    Free beer and chips.

  15. allthumbs, sometimes the little L looks like an I and visa like an O

  16. I can’t seem to get a comment through any particular reason?

  17. Homepage - trackback on January 24, 2012 at 5:26 am
  18. bob, spend one less hour writing…..use that time to navigate your way around your OWN site.
    Jeeeeeeeez man!

  19. Here Bob!
    Well done!
    You’ve finally found it!

    Now, about my question…….

  20. Bob, where in God’s name are you???
    Do you look at the pages of your own blog?
    Hell’s Bell’s man!

  21. Bob, just a question.
    Do you have an email address where one can contact you outside this forum?


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