Rodent love:

Matthew Powell writes: Re. “Proof positive that K-Rudd does give a rat’s” (yesterday, item 14). Re. Piers Kelly’s observations on David Marr’s piece in the latest Quarterly Essay. Wordsmiths with a contemporary cinematic interest would’ve immediately recognised the term “rat f-ck”. It features prominently in a key scene in that towering piece of celluloid, Aliens (1987).

Having been stranded on a mining planet crawling with the eponymous nasties, a bunch of Colonial Marines (with Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) at the helm) and sundry other hangers-on have just discovered that the company man (boo, hiss), Burke (Paul Reiser), was going to infect Ripley and a child (played by who cares) with a couple of spare proto-Alien face-huggers that had been discovered in large test tubes in the mining colony laboratory.

To mask his crime, Burke would then kill the remaining Marines by turning off their hyper-sleep chambers. What a cad! Having his nefarious plans discovered and being justifiably upset, Ripley et al debate what to do with Burke.  Being a practical kind of chap, one of the Marines, Hudson (Bill Paxton), announces eloquently, “I say we grease this rat f-ck sonofabitch.”

In this context, the use of the term “rat” obviously encompasses Burke’s sneakiness, whilst the addition of “f-ck” adds just the right combination of profanity, indignation and emphasis.

In fact, Hudson’s ability to provide a quotable quote at an opportune moment makes Aliens mandatory viewing for those with a love of the English idiom.

Come to think of it, Crikey readers could do a lot worse than sprinting to their local DVD store and hiring the Alien quadrilogy for viewing in accordance with the Daily Proposition.


Les Shannon writes: Re. “If Rudd can’t win this debate, he doesn’t deserve to be PM” (yesterday, item 9).  Bernard Keane thinks that if Rudd cannot win the RSPT debate then he will be tossed out and we will be rid of him. Did I just re-invest 150 hard earned dollaroos to read that bit of pap? And Rudd is to be replaced with what? Tony Abbott?

Maybe it’s time to skull a bottle of blue label I have had in my floor safe for 20 years and if that does not do me in — stop taking the heart meds I was given after my bypass last December. Please do better — if I want to read a lot of odd stuff I will look to the Oz.

John Shailer writes: Kevin Rudd has repeatedly said that he was imposing his ill-conceived RSPT on the miners to give all Australians a greater share of the income from our natural resources.

With his latest $4,000,000,000 infrastructure bribe to voters in WA and Queensland to come from the tax, apparently it is only for Australians in states where he has been wiped out in the latest opinion polls. Too bad about the rest of Australia!

The SBS and the World Cup:

Jane McMillan, Manager, Corporate Communications, SBS Strategy and Communications, writes:  Re. “SBS TV dumbs down the World Cup” (yesterday, item 17). The SBS Insider hasn’t been looking at the World Cup schedule very hard. Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever is a lead-in (8.30pm) to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Show (9pm) fronted by Les Murray on SBS ONE on Friday night.

Les and Craig Foster will also front a half hour intro show before each match on SBS ONE throughout the World Cup. There will be highlights and repeats throughout the tournament on SBS TWO. Les Murray is the face of football in Australia and is a much loved and valued member of the SBS team.

So we don’t miss him while he is in South Africa we have placed a cardboard cut-out of him at the front desk of SBS’s Sydney Headquarters.


Ian Holland, Group Programme Director MRN, writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 7). Apparently there was some reference to in your publication recently.

MRN does not own this site. It is owned by our former CEO Angela Clark or a company of hers. Our only remaining on line activity is via our 2GB, 2CH, MTR and Rugby League Live web sites.

Refugees in Leonora:

John Bostock writes: Re. “Why Leonora? ‘There are a range of considerations’, apparently” (yesterday, item 3). I cannot believe that Rudd could be so stupid as he is regarding the refugees.

All this would have been unnecessary if he had used the goodwill shown towards him after the Apology speech and done one on refugees. He could have explained to the Australia people the tiny proportion of the immigration figure that they take up.

By showing some leadership, he could have led Australians to be more tolerant and neutralised the whole issue for the foreseeable future.

He has himself to blame.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey