Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

June 7, 2009

Unresearched things currently passing through my brain (welcome to the internet)

Filed under: cricket,news of the day,political sniping — lexifab @ 12:21 am

Whilst Simon and I wait for the cricket to start on the telly, and in a desperate attempt to reignite something vaguely resembling a blogging habit – without resorting to a “new” medium from which in any case my outdated mobile communications appliance is ineligible to participate (i.e. Twitter) – here is a feeble list of stuff that’s been on my mind this week:

Cricket – On the eve of the 20-20 World Cup, Roy’s been kicked off the Australian cricket team (again) for getting boozed up while watching the State of Origin. Sigh. That will have been his last chance comprehensively blown; my guess is that he’s gone for all money now. I’m still going to watch the series and barrack for the Aussies, but his absence will leave a bitter taste. Compensating a little for that disappointment, however, has been the hilarious news that the English hosts have been beaten in the opening match by the non-Test-playing Dutch team…

Politics – Senator John Faulkner has replaced Joel Fitzgibbon as Defence Minister following the latter’s inevitable resignation. It’s been increasingly apparent as this month has rolled on that Mr Fitzgibbon’s biggest problem was not his poor relationship with senior officials in his own department, nor the probably-undeliverable Defence White Paper, but that he was half-arsed about declaring his financial interests. As someone who was up until midnight yesterday working on the household accounts, I have a certain sympathy. But really, how hard is it as a Federal Minister to recognise that accepting free stuff and not transparently keeping your big-shot corporate CEO brother at arm’s length from your Cabinet colleagues is asking for trouble? I understand that he’s been heard to blame his misfortune on “judases” within his own Ministerial Office, but that just begs the question of how far someone who cultivated such loyal and trustworthy working relationships expected to get in politics. If there’s one thing that’s likely, though, it’s that we won’t see Faulkner, the remorseless inquisitor of a thousand merciless Senate Estimates hearings, buggering up his declarations of financial interests.

(Yes, I know Australian politics are a bit dull and generally inconsequential, but there are so many elements of this affair and its precursor events that fascinate me, from the Opposition’s attempts to turn this into the sort of scandal that’s picking British Parliament apart, to the allegations of Chinese spy scandals, to the unfortunate suspension of Faulkner’s crusade to improve government accountability under ironic circumstances, and so on. It’s good stuff if you’re paying attention).

First cricket update – The cricket’s about to start. I may liveblog it just to keep myself awake (bloody live matches from the other side of the world).

Dead celebrities named David Part 1 – Poor David Carradine, eh? I liked his work, particularly in the act of shabby genius that was the original Death Race 2000, but it’s sad that when I heard about the manner of his passing, all I could think of was my favourite quote from one of my favourite episodes of The X-Files, “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”:

  • Bruckman: ‘There are worse ways to go, but I can’t think of a more undignified one than autoerotic asphyxiation.’

Dead celebrities named David Part 2 – Author David Eddings also died this week. Eddings was notable for writing one of my favourite fantasy novel series of my youth – The Belgariad – which he then immediately went on to undermine by writing a sequel five-novel series with the same characters resolving more or less exactly the same problem in pretty much the same way. That would have worked for me, if he hadn’t waited until I was nearly 18 to start writing them. By that time I’d started to learn to recognise when my affections were being cashed in on. Didn’t stop me buying them, of course, but I knew I was being taken for a substandard ride. My only other recollection was having an argument with Herr Fellows back in high school in which I asserted (with some justice though somewhat dubious authority, since at the time I had not read The Lord of the Rings all the way through) that Eddings had a better ear for character voice than Tolkien. I probably wouldn’t attempt to make a similar argument these days, though His Former Clamness should feel free to propose alternative topics of debate.

Final cricket update – Two Australian wickets have fallen in the first over without any runs coming off the bat. This shite would not have stood if Andrew Symonds had been playing, is all I’m saying.


  1. You know, I can’t remember ever arguing about Eddings vs. Tolkien with you, though I have distinct memories of doing so with Androo at uni. Re-reading LOTR out loud to Elena at the moment, am struck by the lumpy undigested nature of it all, not the homogeneous processed text of the modern-day fantasy novel. Camped on Weathertop, Aragorn spends several pages telling the story of Beren and Luthien, thickly larded with characters and places that will never be mentioned in the novel again…

    Comment by His Former Clamness — June 16, 2009 @ 11:53 am

  2. Autoerotic asphyxiation… shouldn’t be a hanging offence.

    Comment by polly — June 16, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

  3. Agh! Ouch!

    Comment by Lexifab — June 16, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  4. I can’t wait until Joey is old enough to sit still long enough to have LOTR read to him, but I suspect I will be doing it “Princess Bride”-style, with all the boring, pointless bits summarily excised. Rereading it himself in later years he may well be surprised to discover the existence of a character named Tom Bombadil, for example, or the startling quantities of elven poetry.

    Comment by lexifab — June 17, 2009 @ 12:31 am

  5. You know, I’ve made the joke about wanting to see Tom Cruise play Tom Bombadil in the film version so many times that when I read those bits I *hear* the voice, and I *see* the face… it was a dreadful missed opportunity, IMHO…

    The boring pointless bit that has struck me the most is the detailed geographical description of the walk from Weathertop to the Troll Cave, which I had entirely forgotten about and takes about five pages. It is the sort of thing you would come up with in Nanowrimo if you were completely at a loss for ideas and just wanted to make your quota for the day. “The intrepid adventurers walked northeast until they reached a…” (rolls on random topography table) “…range of low hills covered with pine trees. Shortly afterwards they came to a… (rolls) “…babbling brook, which they followed until..” (rolls) “…the path narrowed into a deep defile…”

    Comment by His Former Clamness — June 18, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

  6. Having played enough LotRO to get a decent feel for the geography, I’m now actually kind of curious to go back and read them just for that (often painfully) detailed geographical description. But I’m kind of a masochist that way, sometimes.

    Comment by lexifab — June 19, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

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