Fear the Reaper

Mary Noonan writes: Re. “HIV is increasing — but the Grim Reaper ad wouldn’t help” (yesterday). Who said shock tactics don’t work? I think “fear” is one of advertisers’ main tools myself (think graphic photos on ciggie  boxes). When something’s presented in a serious manner with undertones of caution, funnily enough I don’t get defensive and think, “That won’t happen to me”. Why would I think, “She’ll be right, even though I’m indulging in that behavior, nothing untoward will happen to me ’cause I’m bullet-proof”? That just doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

There was a pretend ad on AIDS awareness on The Gruen Transfer last week. The information presented plus the slightly scary delivery made me sit up and take notice. The powers that be could do worse than run that ad. It wasn’t Grim Reaper, but it was grim.

Coalition doesn’t have a monopoly on word association

Ian Franklin writes: Re. “Redefining the refugee ” (yesterday). Expertise in redefining words and association with “bad names” is not unique to the current government. Remember Julia Gillard’s “misogyny” speech in Parliament?

Say something often enough, loudly enough and forcefully enough, and many, many people will follow.

Religion and politics are very similar in many ways. I can hear the sheep still bleating.

Kim Lockwood writes: Re. “Bolt: Walkleys license the Left’s barbarians.” (yesterday). Bolt “detests and mistrusts” journalists handing prizes to journalists, as happens with the Walkley Awards. (It wasn’t always that way. Bill Walkley handed them out himself in the early days.)

So Bolt must detest and distrust not only those involved in the Melbourne Press Club’s Quill Awards, but also — surely it can’t be so! — those involved in News Corp’s own backslapping event, for which the Sun King is in the country. It’s not only journalists handing prizes to journalists, but News Corp journalists handing prizes to News Corp journalists. Still, if Bolt wins one that’d make it all right, wouldn’t it?

Roxon just letting off steam

Robyn Godbehere Tully writes: Re. “Roxon revises history in whinge about intelligence committee” (Thursday). Nicola Roxon only did what Latham and Richardson have done so handsomely for years, the only difference being that maybe Latham and Richardson got paid to lambaste Labor, whereas Roxon was just letting off steam. What is your opinion? You can’t stop people from saying what they think — it’s only concerning if it leads to defamation.

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Peter Fray
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