Guest Post: Dr. Faustus – Abide with Me

The Energy Security Board (ESB) is a member of the alphabet constellation of Australian electricity regulators and managers with their hands on the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The ESB is tasked to report annually to government on the health of the NEM and ‘progress’ against the objectives of the Strategic Energy Plan.  The Strategic Energy Plan grew out of the Finkel Review and was adopted in January 2020 by the COAG council of energy ministers. It sets out a vision for the future of the NEM, “framed through six desired outcomes”:

  • affordable energy and satisfied customers
  • secure gas and electricity system
  • reliable and low emissions energy
  • effective development of open and competitive markets
  • efficient and timely investment in networks
  • strong but agile governance

Serious energy wonks can (and should) read the details of the Outcomes and Objectives laid out in Table 1, that Continue reading “Guest Post: Dr. Faustus – Abide with Me”

Mater’s Musings #59: And they still can’t drink ‘til 18

No. Sadly, it’s not a meme.

It was bad enough when some of the twisted ideologues that I’ve seen fulfilling the roles of either Principal and/or Teacher, were merely ‘influencing’ my children.
That they now have the ability to ‘bypass’ my authority (and responsibility) to determine what is best for my children, is horrifying.
Just think about the types of people that are now infesting that vocation.

Rabz’ Radio Show Rocktober 2022: Psychedelia

This is my favourite musical genre. As various R&B purveyors in the sixties got a bit older, they started experimenting with illicit substances other than amphetamines, such as THC, LSD, mescaline and psilocybin.

Consequently, the music became far more complex (and occasionally extremely self-indulgent) and was meant to reflect an alternate consciousness, if getting totally off your face on the aforementioned substances could be dignified with such a term. See for example, the difference in musical style between Help and Rubber Soul, recorded after the Beatles had recently experienced Mary Jane (courtesy of one Bob Dylan) and LSD. Syd Barrett, the founder of and key initial figure in Pink Floyd was a salutary example of what happens when too much LSD is barely enough.    

The Psychedelic style has remained a musical staple since the late sixties, nonetheless. The definitive (for me) record of 1967’s (northern) “Summer of Love” was the Monterey Pop Festival, so gloriously essayed in the D A Pennebaker film – although the standout performance is by Otis Redding, who was most certainly not a purveyor of Psychedelia. Various movies of the time also sought to explore the “altered consciousness” concept, including “The Trip” and “Vanishing Point”, not to mention “Easy Rider”.

Some of my favourite examples of the genre post the sixties include Naz Nomad and the Nightmares and the Dukes of Stratosphear (the Damned and XTC respectively). Primal Scream also mined the genre with their 1997 epic, “Vanishing Point” (named after the film), which included an awesome homage to Syd Barrett, “Burning Wheel”.

The other wonderful thing about Psychedelia is the fashion style and the instruments. Stoves, suede Chelsea boots, paisley shirts, mop top haircuts, granny glasses, suede fringed or Levi’s jackets, mellotrons and twelve string guitars (hello, Rickenbackers).  

Some other bands and artists that have dabbled in the genre include:

The Byrds


Jefferson Airplane

The Dandy Warhols

The Church

Barely scratching the surface. No doubt there are many artists, bands and songs that will be posted by Cats this evening. Now again, comes the hard part – picking two intro songs. Let’s have some local flavour:

The Church (1981)

The Moffs (1984)

Enjoy, Cats!

Weekend Reading #6

Ahmari and Schmitz argue that Trump is still the One at Compact.

Katya Sedgwick looks at Russia’s Western Face at The American Conservative.

Pedro Gonzalez on the contradictions facing Giorgia Meloni at Chronicles.

Patrick Deneen never pulls his punches. Over at The PostLiberal Order he argues that the great awokening is the poisoned fruit of liberalism.

Is it done, Yuri? Big Serge thinks the War in Ukraine has only just began.

Sam Kriss at The Lamp looks at a new translation of Gilgamesh and reflects on the shadow of death.

Finally, Erwin Wolff at The European Conservative discusses the unsolved theft of Van Eyck’s “Just Judges”.

Weather telling a climate tale

The hurricane season in the United States goes from June to November. Prior to Hurricane Ian, the season had been “remarkably quiet.” Strange business when climate change is roaring about causing havoc to human populations; and goodness knows how our cousins the animals are faring. Dying out, like polar bears, I would guess.

Hurricane Ian was at category 4 when it hit the Florida coast. That’s powerful among hurricanes, which are measured on a scale of one to five. Undoubtedly climate change is reasserting itself, as true believers in anthropogenic global warming knew it would.

Counting Ian, the ten most powerful hurricanes to hit the US coastline, according to one source I found, started in 1893 with a category 4 hurricane, The Cheniere Caminada, which hit Louisiana. I don’t know, but maybe a powerful hurricane or two hit in the centuries before? Be that as it may, five out of the ten identified occurred before 1970 and five afterwards. The deadliest by far was the Galveston hurricane of 1900. Eight thousand people died.

Where does this leave us? Well, if you choose to believe in statistics, evidence and facts, it’s hard to show that climate change has had any effect at all on the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. For example, a comprehensive recent study by Italian scientists led by Gianluca Alimonti, from the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and the University of Milan, found no evidence that extreme weather events, including flooding, droughts and hurricanes, were increasing in their frequency or intensity. This, of course, more or less echoes Shellenberger, Koonin, Lomborg among others.

Still, statistics, evidence and facts are one thing, feelings another. And, feelings must be respected. Most of the mainstream news media and many progressive politicians and commentators know instinctively, primevally, gut-wrenchingly, spiritually even, what the dire wages of burning fossil fuels looks like when they see it. Amen to that.

WolfmanOz at the Movies #38

Knights of the Round Table

The fantasy genre has probably become the dominant genre of movies of the 21st century. Whether it be prehistoric dinosaurs running amok, Marvel super heroes saving the universe, the world of Harry Potter, the never-ending Star Wars franchise, or even films based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkein, fantasy rules supreme at the cinema box-office now.

This prevalence of fantasy today may be a need for audiences to try and connect with something outside their usual mundane world in which religion now plays a lesser part in most people lives; or maybe I’m reading too much into it !

Yet despite their commercial success, I find these fantasy films of today somewhat soulless, as if the incessant need to include as much CGI as possible has drained the life and imagination from them.

But I have a favourite amongst the genre and yes it harks back to yesteryear i.e. over 40 years ago with the 1981 release of John Boorman’s Excalibur; a splendid retelling of the the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, based loosely on the 15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory.

After his success with Deliverance released in 1972, Boorman followed up with 2 disastrous films with the pretentious science-fiction fantasy Zardoz and the awful sequel to The Exorcist, Exorcist II: The Heretic.

With a relatively small-budget Boorman shot the film entirely in Ireland whilst also helped launch the film acting careers of Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart and Gabriel Byrne who all had notable supporting roles in the film.

Unlike most versions of the tale, the film starts with the story of Uther Pendragon and how Arthur come into being. Arthur himself is played by Nigel Terry who does a sterling job in playing him from his teenage years to his end as an aged king.

For me what make the film so striking is the terrific performance of Nicol Williamson as Merlin. Here is no aged and insipid wizard but a rousing and strong character that is witty and perceptive who helps to drive the narrative along.

In addition to Williamson there’s also Helen Mirren as Morgana Le Fay (Arthur’s step-sister). Interestingly Boorman cast the two knowing that they were not on friendly terms to say the least.

The film acts as an allegory of the cycle of birth, life, decay and restoration and as Boorman was to remark “The film has to do with mythical truth, not historical truth”. The Christian symbolism revolves around the search for the Holy Grail, perhaps most strongly in the imagery of Perceval finally achieving the Grail quest.

In addition to the striking cinematography, the film significantly uses the music of Siegfried’s Death & Funeral March from Richard Wagner’s Gotterdammerung.

Today the film still stands as one the most imaginative and entertaining fantasy films ever made which truly does justice to its legendary source.

Also, another fantasy favourite of mine is 1963’s Jason And The Argonauts, which features the wonderful work of stop-motion animation master Ray Harryhausen.


Definition of far-right in 2022

In the wake of Giorgia Meloni’s fantastic win in Italy yesterday, the MSM have gone into overdrive, screeching and screaming how Meloni is “far-right”.  So I thought to myself, what do the left and their mouthpieces mean when they smear someone as “far-right”? Well, I have come up with the following.  The definition of “far-right” in 2022 is….

  1. A person who believes there are only two genders – male and female.
  2. A person who believes a woman is an adult, human female.
  3. A person who believes a man is an adult, human male.
  4. A person who believes you cannot change your biological sex.
  5. A person who believes a woman cannot have a penis.
  6. A person who believes someone is not assigned sex at birth.
  7. A person who believes biological males should not compete against biological females.
  8. A person who believes transgender women are not women.
  9. A person who believes transgender men are not men.
  10. A person who believes males prisoners should not be imprisoned in female prisons.
  11. A person who believes children should not be mutilated into the cult of gender ideology.
  12. A person who believes children should not be sexualised by exposure to sexual perverts and exhibitionists such as drag queens.
  13. A person who believes that it is parents, and not the state, who are the best custodians and decision makers for their children.
  14. A person who believes carbon emission are not destroying the planet.
  15. A person who believes in fossil fuels.
  16. A person who believes in nuclear energy.
  17. A person who believes renewables such as wind and solar are unreliable and will never provide base load energy.
  18. A person who believes in lifting humanity out of poverty, not confining them to poverty.
  19. A person who believes in free speech.
  20. A person who believes in small limited government.
  21. A person who wants government to stay out of their lives.
  22. A person who believes in fiscal responsibility.
  23. A person who believes in individual liberty.
  24. A person who believes in religious freedom.
  25. A person who believes in the significant role small and medium sized businesses should play in a country’s economy.
  26. A person who believes in legal but limited immigration.
  27. A person who does not believe in open borders.
  28. A person who believes countries must have strong borders.
  29. A person who believes in the nation state.
  30. A person who believes in patriotism.
  31. A person who believes men are not evil.
  32. A person who believes white people are not evil.
  33. A person who believes that what is important in a fellow human is the content of their character, not the colour of their skin.
  34. A person who believes the West has been an enlightening presence in the world.
  35. A person who believes western history is not one long horror story.
  36. A person who believes in a strong military.
  37. A person who believes in free fair markets.
  38. A person who believes in Western Civilisation.
  39. A person who believes in the Judaic Christian tradition, a tradition which underpins the West.
  40. A person who believes in the primary role of the family in any society.
  41. A person who believes that marriage is between a biological man and a biological woman.

I don’t think the above points are particularly reactionary. Please feel free to add to the above list. In the meantime I have a confession to make, I believe in ALL the above. So, since the MSM, the left, various progressive scum like the two I confronted on Oxford Street the other day, academia, entertainment and numerous others, insist on smearing and labelling you, me and others as “far-right”, all because we believe in some or all of the above, then we need to come out of the closet, we need to stand up and we need to be proud. To paraphrase Kramer from one of my favourite Seinfeld episodes….

“Oh, it be so everybody, I’m far-right, I’m proud and I’m loving every minute of it”.