August 9th, 2003

Dark Tower

You've Gotta be Fucking Kidding

Well, here's my 'contribution' to a "national debate"...

Our esteemed Prime Minister, who is up there with George W Bush for introducing extremist policies on the back of lies and innuendo, has just said we should be talking about reintroducing capital punishment. Of course, he says he doesn't personally support it, but thinks we should listen to people who do.


I'm not even saying that's a bad thing to say, but from John Howard, the results of it could be horrifying.

OK, here's my quick summary.
  • The actual use of the death penalty is an emotional and religious issue. Some people think it should be used, and they may have good reason -- or at least reasons you are unable to dissuade them of with legal argument. Likewise, some people think it entirely inappropriate in any situation, for equally emotive reasons. Fair enough, on both sides.
  • It does not dissuade against crime. The stats I have heard are against it, and I believe it only adds to an outlaw mentality that actually encourages desperate behaviour at the edges of society. Considering the people about whom we are having this debate welcome martyrdom, it seems particularly counter-intuitive (Amrozi is appealing his sentence -- but of course he is. No martyr should look too eager to slip into the noose).
  • The law is simply not good enough to determine guilt, to a degree where death is an appropriate sentence. That is a hard fact -- we need a system of justice that we can depend on, but what we have is one that is just about good enough for policing crime, but no better. Innocent people have been sentenced to death in the past, and there continue to be cases on Death Row in the US where extra evidence shows that the trial was not conducted in a rigorous enough fashion to determine guilt. Considering the racial profile of Death Row, there is evidence US law is being used as a cover for prejudices that can no longer be spoken aloud.

These are issues that America has become increasingly aware of over the past years, and various of its states have started suspending the use of the death penalty, which is good news. That is something the conservatives don't want to see, and I find it entirely consistent that John Howard wants to ally us, not only with the US, but the most extreme side of its own political battles.

(CCd to the SMH, albeit in more polite and succinct terms)
Dark Tower

(no subject)

I'm not sure this is a good idea or not, but here's another article from yesterday's Herald.

My connection? The slain were the immediate family of my brother's wife. I met all concerned at the wedding, and was at the funeral, where Sef gave the most moving eulogy for his parents and sister. That was before he was incarcerated on suspicion of their murder.

Can the law provide justice? I hope so, because I believe it's pretty much all we have. My brother and his family have my great admiration for their strength, and I hope they get the answers they want. In the meantime, I hope they and my beautiful nephews have a great life outside all that pain and sadness.
Dark Tower

(no subject)

Went to town, saw Dark Blue -- thought it was pretty good, possibly because I have seen very few cop movies, though the ending was silly -- and bought some comics.

They all seemed... short. I buy very few comics because they are very expensive and nothing really appeals to me out of the American lot these days (should buy a collection of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, because the movie is apparently bad -- yes, even with Peta Wilson). The two that have remained in my standing order both turned up today. One was the final issue of Fray, which I could see the potential of, but it has been too long since the previous issue. Clever(ish), but anti-climatic. The other was Dork Tower. John Kovalic is a very talented cartoonist, but there is just not enough per issue, and the filler at the back is more miss than hit.

There was also an OzComics magazine, which looks pretty good, and will hopefully last longer than the previous attempt! I could go on about Aussie comics, but not here and now. Certainly the Fray affect is a major disadvantage of the field, but there is some good stuff happening. The Crumpleton Experiments, Diabla and Finch!, particularly. But will I just lose interest, like I did with (the otherwise fine) Tales of Stranggore?

Well, I guess I went on about them a bit.

So while I'm here, I'll take issue with something in the back of Dork Tower where the Three Geeks do a humourous(?) review of recent superhero movies. One of said geeks says "I've been a huge fan of [Jennifer Connelly] since her debut in [The Rocketeer]".

What da fuck...? Phenomena, Labyrinth... Great movies! (also Once Upon a Time in America, which I really want to watch some time).

(I do agree that the only reason to see Spider-man seems to be Kirsten Dunst in the rain, but that's only from watching the shorts...)