Down the Mall: The delusion that is political correctness

Our old mate and all-round good bloke Besso loves lobbing the occasional bit of oddity our way. Here’s his latest, and I suspect this is true.

“There's an annual contest at Bond University, Australia, calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term. This year's chosen term was "political correctness".

The winning student wrote: "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of dung by the clean end."

Perplexing headline

DTM is still intrigued by one of yesterday’s Addy on-line headlines: Police say statistics still rising.

Yeah, it’s hard to keep those pesky statistics in check.

But it reminds us of one of the great quotes which bubbled to the surface during the anti-tobacco debate by US author – and ultimately, cancer victim – Fletcher Knebel:  “Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.”

Tough biscuits 

Here are a couple of more unusual things we found out about Anzac Day this week.

According to one source, those Anzac biscuits we love to scoff because they’re malty, and crunchy and well, just all-round good, weren’t all that good at the start. They were as traditionally as tough as old bricks and were known by soldiers as "Anzac tiles".

And did you know that if history had taken its planned path, yesterday would not have been Anzac Day, but “Australasian Corps Day”? Doesn’t have the same snap to it, does it?

The original force assembled to go to Turkey was formally known as the Australasian Corps. Then (as now) the Kiwis rankled at the term and demanded it be known as the Australian And New Zealand Army Corps.

Australia thought that was about as digestible as a battlefield biscuit and officially reduced it to ANZAC.

Name has ring to it

Actually, ANZAC left a lot of folk out.

The Corps also included officers and troops from Great Britain, India, and Anglo-Ceylon.

With just a little effort, we have decided that ANZAC should have been BAZINGA.

Writing on the wall

If only we’d listened!

The Melbourne Argus of May 6, 1926, reported on negotiations for better wages and conditions for Bendigo’s tram workers, and it seems life wasn’t all that easy for some, who said they worked up to 

14 hours without a break or a meal for the sum of £4 ($8) a week.

But it was the winds of change which were giving our local trammies the jim jams.

Duplication of time-honoured tram services by new-fangled motor-bus services had reduced profitability and passenger numbers to such an extent that some services were “losing two-pence a mile”.

Mr Webb, the deputy president of the Arbitration Court, remarked it was “madness for municipalities to allow motor-bus competition to affect tramway services."

A lot of Bendigo folk feel the same almost a century later.

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