Friday, June 8, 2012

False idolatry

I read with amusement that two of Australia's Olympic swimming hopefuls are apparently in hotter than normal water over their posting of a Facebook picture showing them posing with some guns in America.

OK, a few points here.  Let's get the simple ones out of the way first for people with simple minds who can't quite cope with anything more complex.

For starters, guns are NOT evil.  They are an inanimate object.  Deal with this.

Secondly, the guns in question are no doubt perfectly legal where the picture was taken.  Different parts of the world have different laws.  Deal with this too.  Would the bunny hugger brigade be similarly outraged if the people in question had their photo taken in Utah in front of a polygamist family?  Or eating a meat product that can't be legally imported into Australia?  Take your moral high horse somewhere else.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the whole furore is utter crap.  Regardless of what people would like to think, these people are NOT role models - they're just people, who happen to able to swim very well.  That doesn't make them upstanding examples of anything other than sporting achievement.

Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh were two of Australia's most legendary cricketers of all time.  Both are bascially complete pricks, something which has been proven more than once.  Idolising them doesn't change that.  The local Melbourne community constantly battles with the conundrum of worshipping AFL players who, that aside, often behave like complete cunts - because the people involved are basically thug arseholes who just happen to be able to play a peculiar code of ball game (I won't dignify it by calling it football) well.

Do I like the two swimmers in question?  I've honestly never really heard of Kenrick Monk.  His parent(s) want slapping for the pretentious name, but that's my only feeling on the subject.

Nick D'Arcy, my inbuilt dislike for people with pretentious names aside, is apparently a bit of an arsehole, although I do hold a certain sneaking prejudice against the second place combatant for apparently not only being a cream puff, but also a sore loser too.  (I have no idea if Simon Cowley was right or wrong in the dispute in question, and to be honest it's not relevant to the argument - either way he got a kicking.  If he was right, he might want to learn to pull his head in in the face of superior force.  If he was wrong - he can hand his man card in at the door on the way out.)

Ultimately, sports people are people good at sports, regardless of what virtues we'd like to invest them with.  That's a construct of our own making, and for every Kieran Perkins, there's a Grant Hackett.  Any invention of idolatry is of our making, not theirs.

We have the choice of picking sportsmen who either excel at sport, or picking nice people.  Very occasionally, someone like Ian Healy comes along who can do both.  These people are the exception.  The rest of the time, the choice is often winning medals or giving a charming concession speech.  Pick one.  Any disappointment resulting is far more a reflection on our shallow minded expectations of idealism than anything else.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Great, so it looks like Flame has managed to subvert the digital signature system used for MS updates, with the result that it now has a backdoor delivery system to the majority of PCs on the planet.

Personally, I'd get KB2718704 installed ASAP and hope that the update itself doesn't get man-in-the-middled.