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by Michael Talbot-... on August 2, 2012 - 12:38pm
Marilyn: The so-called smuggler low life are just other refugees  and it is not people smuggling.
It has recently been found that the people smuggler low life are "children" (in Old English, adolescents) persuaded to crew the boats.
Oh, you mean the king pins, Marilyn?  Most of whom are profiteers charging above the equivalent air fares.  Who collect derelict boats, long abandoned but still afloat or half-afloat at various moorings, boats that cost them nothing, overcrowd them, and send them into the ocean, pointed at the horizon.
Sorry, most of them are not in Australia.  The person you have in mind may be, but most are not.
If you think otherwise, don't just tweet Webdiary, make your case here.
by Marilyn Shepherd on July 27, 2012 - 8:21pm
The so-called smuggler low life are just other refugees  and it is not people smuggling.
by Richard Tonkin on July 23, 2012 - 10:16pm

A friend of mine who spent much time their as an activist is writing ups a report, Michael, hopefully any day now.

As for the future of Webdiary.. sure things are slow but nobody's throwing in the towel.   

by Michael Talbot-... on July 23, 2012 - 2:47pm

How about a report?  I was left far behind the main mob, in a little town on the way to Roxby Downs.  Called Adelaide.

Oh, and is Webdiary finished?  It can't continue with one post every week or so, each required to wait days for the moderator's attention.  Is it finished?  Has anything of Margo's dream survived?

If it's failed, if the model doesn't work, somebody please say so, and shut down the site.


by Mick English on July 22, 2012 - 8:38pm

Hi folks, I hope you can assist me with  a bit of local Canberra history. I'm seeking more information about the Bruce Hall incident in the 1960s. Can anybody remember the date?  It's embarrasing to admit, but I was there and I can't even remember which year it was.


by Richard Tonkin on July 10, 2012 - 3:35pm

Here's an excellent piece by Adelaide Uni Law Lecturer Peter Burton.


As the protest camp at Lizard's Revenge is erected and the hundreds of citizens converge, we would do well to recall this event and the words of Judge Anderson. Certainly, the right to free speech and political protest is a basic human right and a hallmark of a functioning democracy. Political protest is also an important part of ensuring the accountability of those in power....

Their agenda is quite public, which is more than could be said for the private sector interests they are protesting. We might also question why the police are deploying over 200 personnel to "manage" a peaceful protest and what violence police have instigated during similar events in the recent past.

 Some of the Melbourne  folk should be arriving in Roxby tonight.  Remember, media-folk, it's the Early Journo who gets the Walkely!

by Solomon Wakeling on July 7, 2012 - 11:39am

My first published work "Infernal paradise: how city design determines lifestyle" actually appeared on the SMH website because of Margo, less (it seems to me) because the SMH decided to publish it than because Margo decided to assist me to 'hack' the site. I was told it would be published on the newly independent Webdiary but before that happened on August 22nd, lo and behold, there it was.

I was twenty-one, just about to turn twenty-two, and very soon to launch headlong into a psychotic episode. Alas, nobody really knows how intimately Webdiary has been connected to my mental health. Sometimes in bad ways: how it played into my paranoia and sense of being watched by sinister forces, my guilt and frustrations played out publically, the never-ending feeling that my mistakes would be open to all to examine, the loss of control of what I could publish and couldn't; sometimes in good ways: I read and reviewed Tolstoy's "Resurrection" for webdiary in a little notebook in a psych ward. I sent the link to film critic Roger Ebert recently who told me it was extremely well-written and readable and that he was impressed.

 I feel a little nostalgia for the banter between myself and the late Malcolm B. Duncan reading over "Infernal paradise". There are things here I'm going to want to remember; there are things here that a lot of people tried to tell me, over a long period, which never got through to me

Hi Margo.

by Jack Robertson on July 7, 2012 - 11:25am


Happy Birthday Webdiary. Lord, who'd have ever thunk it!? (Christ, puberty next - and you all thought her first twelve years were unruly...!?)
How great it is to see her hanging in there.  Max kudos to those still flying the flag. Bravo, and thank you - all that deathless prose will endure in the archives...for better and worse. (That muffled sound you faintly hear is Beelzebub Blair sobbing quietly in his padded media-mansion...you know, I find I'm occasionally missing his never-dull missives, too. In an Oscar Wilde worse thing kind of way. Time and place and all that, MK: do forgive. Have to admit it's been pleasing watching the Murdoch bullies get some of their own back at last, over there in the UK. America is finally falling out of love with the thuggish old prick, too. Ah, Australia, eh: always behind the media times...toll the bells, News is over, dead, gone, at least as a monolithic anti-democratic sledgehammer. Good riddance. And how feeble crumbling bullies always turn out be.)
Mr David bloody Davis Esquire, how very splendid and lovely to see you going on being mercurial. I have missed your singular brand of repartee, mate. Suis generics, old friend - rock on 4eva.


And dear Margo. Hiya mate. Long time no...etc. I often wonder how you're getting on, am very glad to hear you've got your mojo fizzing again. The palliative care career fits beautifully, somehow, eh: I'm working in aged and disability care myself these days. Less of the big picture, save the world Sisyphean angst, I guess, more doing what little goods you can, day to day...feels less complicated, huh. 

Still thinking global, though: you were always mIles ahead of your peers, Margo, and there's satisfaction there. (What a petty dismal irrelevant farce The Main Game has become!), and...well, I do still pick up a pen occasionally...narcissistic ambition dies hard - shit, one of these days I WILL get around to finishing a novel. In between wiping bums and massaging feet. (At least I'm spared having to wade through Andrew Bolt's prose these days...)

It was a very fine time, Webdiarists, remembered here-abouts at least with great love and affectation and respect. So...Bravo again to you who keep it going. It's heartening.

Drop me a line any time you're in Sydney, MK - you too DD - if you fancy stoking the old fires a bit (though with circumspection and restraint!). My numbers etc are all the same.

Much love to all

Jack Robertson

by Justin Obodie on July 6, 2012 - 8:19pm

12 years, that would make Weird Dairy a dragon, a metal dragon to be precise.

The future of WD?

Think bandwidth - in all it's (dialectical) creativity, innocence and honesty.


i Happy birthday fellow dragon


by David Davis on July 4, 2012 - 8:18pm

As Webdiary moves headlong toward her adolescence I'm reminded how incorigible she was as a two year old. Incorrigible and at the same time adorable as so many two year olds are. There has indeed been a love/hate relationship and it's hard to deny being mercurial when the evidence was there in the delivery room at the hospital when Webdiary was born!  I was there praising and scolding the baby and its mother!

When I look back at my comments, I cringe at the dated Sav Blanc reference.  It is so hackneyed these days, much like Chardonnay was in an earlier time.  It is the old cycle of Australians doing things to death and then getting sick of them.  I don't cringe at the rest of it though. 

Webdiary was remarkable and it is much easier to see that from the distance time has afforded. The concept was bold and fresh.

At the risk of diverting, not for the first time, into grandiosity, I am thinking of Webdiary and the announcement today that the "God particle", the Higgs boson, has been found. Billions of dollars and a cool gadget deep beneath Switzerland have allowed scientists to to announce this extraordinary discovery.  It is exciting but I was struck by what one scientist who has worked on this for decades said. He made the point that this is not the answer to everything.  He said it is like reaching the top of a mountain and looking at the view ahead. If you are in Switzerland you reach the top of one mountain and the vista ahead is one of endless further peaks and valleys.  There is no one mountain, the whole country is mountains.  Switzerland is life.

I actually think Webdiary is on a similar peak right now.  She is in the middle of the alps with many peaks and valleys behind and many ahead.  It is a peak because recent events in the media landscape vindicate the Webdiary vision.  It is a fundamental peak like Higgs boson though.  A truth has been confirmed. The vision has been confirmed but the challenges lie ahead.  What comes next?

It could be that in fact Webdiary is Heidi.  She has been to Frankfurt, was terribly homesick and has now come home to the alps.  A headstrong young alpine girl who has seen how the other half lives but prefers her homeland.

A true sequel to Heidi was never written. I would like to think one for Webdiary would be.  It is time though to pause and breathe that fresh mountain air. Who cares about Frankfurt when you're up here?  Heidi is wondering at the vista and waiting to see who will join in writing her future.  What a truly remarkable young woman she may become.  What a privilege it would be to see her blossom. 

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