Monday, September 25, 2006

The US-Australia alliance

The Foreign Editor of The Australian, Greg Sheridan has a podcast at the Sydney Institute in which he describes the Bush-Howard relationship in some detail. Readers who have an interest in understanding what goes on Down Under should follow the link and listen in.


Blogger 2164th said...

Check your link Wretchard.

9/25/2006 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


Thanks for spotting the error. Have fixed the link.

9/25/2006 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Unfortunately I do not have audio on my work computer, so I can't listen right now, but I do have a question for Wretchard:

Just how homogeneous is Australian society? Is the Hollywood vision of the big, tough, but affable anglo saxon male the real norm? What I have read of Australian military exploits as well as the image presented by popular celebrities such as Paul Hogan and Steve Irwin seem to match that image very closely.

A friend had a building erected by a troop made up largely of Australians. They worked like demons, ignoring even thunderstorms until the electricity on the metal roof literally got too strong to let them hold their tools. Their common objective seemed to be make enough money to go back home "with a stake" and open their own business. Damned impressive folks.

But is this kind of image how Aussies view themselves and what they aspire to?

9/25/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...


With all due respect, these podcasts are a waste of time. I don't listen to them and I suspect many of your other readers don't listen to them either. When I come to your website, I'm looking for the written word.

9/25/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...


With a little less respect: speak for yourself. There are plenty of us who appreciate brief pointers to interesting material, whether audio or text.

If it doesn't work for you, just go on to the next thing.

9/25/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I, too, find the podcasts to be too time-consuming to bother with. I can read several things in the time it takes to download, futz around with, and then listen to a podcast. Also, for me, the written word sticks better than the listened-to word.

I listened to a couple of Glenn Reynolds when he first started doing them, and as far as I can see, the only good thing about them is the person doing the talking doesn't have to worry about transcribing them afterwords, so it's probably easier from that point of view.

But as an audience, I just hardly ever bother.

9/25/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Podcasts have disadvantages. Their advantage is that they can be accessed in the background, like radio while you're driving or jogging. The only really riveting podcasts are ones in which a bunch of guys are debating something. Like the Steyn, Reynolds, Bay Blogweek in Review which I heard last. The other advantage of podcasts, but only from the author's point of view is that you can just leave the mike going and post it up without expending further effort.

9/25/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

After having actually accessed the link let me say that I am very pleased that it is done in the form of a download rather than playing it in real time. That way, Nahncee, rather that listening instead of reading you can do both, skim through something, while listening, use it in lieu of radio on long car trips, etc.

Unfortunately, the long download time at dial-up speeds makes it a bit impractical here at home, so I will do it at work.

I have not been much impressed with audio over the web to date. For example, listening to distant radio stations via the internet I find to be both compeletly fascinating and utterly useless. The link-up issues often would seem to require that I enlist the aid of one of the telemetry guys at the Cape and once hooked up the results typically are less than great. I did manage to dial into a Australian radio station website once. They were discussing milk price supports or some such. It was rather like decoding a message from another star system and discovering that it was the instructions for assembling a lawnmower.

In any case Wretchard, providing such links certainly does not detract in any way from the fine "product" you provide, and does not seem to take much of you valuable time, so please continue to do so.

9/25/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I like Sheridan's written editorials in The Australian. He wrote something that sounds very similar to what this lecture is about last week. Did the speech say anything new that he hasn't already written?

Another thing about written is that you can scoop it up and post it around hither and yon so other people can also see it. I suppose you can with podcasts, too, but I'm not that advanced of a techie person.

9/25/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger The probligo said...

I haven't listened to the pod-cast.

What is going to be interesting in the US - Aus relationship over the next five or so years will be the "progress" of JH's reward for the Iraq contribution - y'know... that freebie trade thingie that GW gave him. Initial indications are that it will pretty much turn out to be the one way lane everyone except JH thought it would.

When the Aus electorate finds out the true worth of that freebie, I think that the ALP will be in for a long stay in power, provided that they can find a leader. Any leader.

RWE, do not judge all Aussies by the image of Steve Irwin - he was one out of the box; absolutely, amazingly unique. There are some amazing people in Australia who you will never see on tv. I met one in Mossman (QLD) at an aborigine village. If I had another lifetime I might learn half of his knowledge of bushcraft, bush medicine and survival.

Australia has a very "cosmopolitan" society. I think that means it is like a jigsaw which has lots of different bits that don't fit together too well. There are some bits of the Australia jigsaw that some of the more visible pieces (the white anglos for example) wish were lost on a permanent basis - like Tasmania, Lebbo's and the Aborigines.

For a truer picture of Australia, rent or go see a film called "Rabbit Proof Fence". Highly recommended, and a true story as well.

Oh, and as a Kiwi I must confess that Aussies are regarded pretty much as the "try-hards". Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes we beat them at their own games - ah, sweet!

9/26/2006 06:48:00 PM  

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