Festival of Chariots

Ratha Yatra, Brisbane style

When I saw the headline in the local paper, I thought we must have done something rather well if we’d achieved such an exalted status.   But no, nothing to do with us.   Just an annual event that’s been running for about 5,000 years or so.   And even for the past 5 years in Brissie, I find.

It’s a celebration within Hinduism which has caught on in many cities around the world, possibly because of the Beatles’ early fascination with Krishna, and a jolly good thing it has, in my ‘umble opinion.   You can look it up in Wiki, or on this local site.

Unlike many other religions, which are so often associated the screaming of dire imprecations and much frothing at the mouth, Hinduism likes to look on the sunny side of the street, so notice that everyone is smiling broadly, and entering into the spirit of the thing.   Which seems magically to make pulling a four-ton chariot a pleasant task.   Good on ’em!   Here’s the article in the Brisbane Times which caught my eye.

Boadicea is in Japan for a while, but she’ll be back soon.   I hope.

Steve Smith must be sacked

. . . and never allowed to play for Australia again

The cheek of the man!

He’s blatantly guilty of pre-planned ball-tampering and yet he says he won’t resign.   How dare he be so arrogant?   He must be immediately removed by CA from the captaincy and from the team.   Forever!

Australia has always prided itself on not cheating – that’s a reputation that will take years to re-establish.   On any home ground, Smith will be booed off, I’m sure.

I’m also inclined to the view that the “leadership group”, whoever they are, should also be banned from playing in their country’s colours ever again, whatever that does to our chances of winning international matches.   Actually, they’re not all that hot at the moment and there are plenty of young (and not so young) state cricketers ready to take their place.

On behalf of Australian Cricket, I apologise for the deplorable behaviour of our National Cricket Team and its ex-captain.


Less or Fewer?

. . . actually, I couldn’t care fewer 😉


Most Charioteers have at least one favourite grammatical rule, even if they’re not fully paid-up grammar tragics like Janus or me.

It’s not one of my personal bêtes noires, but I am aware that the rules governing the use of less and fewer are dear to the hearts of one or two of our company, and when the occasion arises I’m usually happy to grin, nod sagely and let them get on with it.

But I was fascinated to discover this article, which I reckon is a gem of its type.   Perhaps you’ll think so too. 😎

Australia has finally gone bonkers

. . . well Turnbull has, at least

By Prime Ministerial edict, from today no Government Minister (of either gender) may engage in sexual relations (of any type) with any member of his/her departmental staff (of whatever persuasion – LBGTWXYZ etc) at pain of being removed from his/her Ministry.

Please note that we are not talking about minors here (that has been legally verboten for decades) or disadvantaged or disabled staff (which is equally a no-no).

We are, apparently, most concerned about hierarchical ‘duty of care’, which quite reasonably worries that the boss might use job sanctions to pressurise the junior.

But between fully consenting – nay, enthusiastic – adults of sound mind with no positive or negative sanctions involved, it’s anachronistic, invasive bullying of the worst kind.

Presumably Australia is now aspiring to become the fourth Islamic Reich – “ve have vays of making you celibate!”

Or something.  😎

Status Update

The Chariot has now moved past a bit miffed, and is approaching really rather pissed off.

As a result, our security status has been raised to keep a weather eye open; chariots have been refitted with military-grade scythes, and the censor has been released from protective custody.   Any post or comment which offers – however subtly – support for the cult of murderous medieval misfits will be immediately dematerialised.

No adverse postings are anticipated, but better safe than sorry.

A view from Down-Under

OK, in common with several other Charioteers, I no longer have a vote in the UK – my citizenship counts for naught, except taxes.

And agreed, I am a long way away from the action – but I have read extensively on the subject and Boadicea remains close to the debate, as one would expect from a Doctor of Economic History from the LSE.

I have been impressed by the standard of debate on the Chariot, which has been streets ahead of the scare tactics and downright lies promulgated by many senior UK functionaries who really should know better.

But –

There is a limit to the applicability and validity of too much analysis – one can easily lose sight of the big picture by searching too assiduously for the devils in the detail.

So here is the summary of my conclusions –

Everyone should vote to leave the EU, because a vote to remain betrays the individual as either corrupt (cherchez l’argent) or terminally stupid.

I’ll get my hat.

Pragmatic Modern Politics

The Chariot seems recently to have become obsessed with the politics of failure.   The UK, the EUSSR, the slimmed-down USSR and the USA (which should be discreetly sectioned for its own safety) are all failing or already failed, yet they are an almost inevitable topic of debate on these pages.   Thanks for some cuddly canine relief, Araminta.

Now I realise that many of you have been blinkered by your local media, but please broaden your horizons a smidgen.   The only region of the globe that is currently a rapidly growing economic powerhouse is the Asia-Pacific.   China may be taking a slight breather right now, but it’s a big bugger and getting bigger and better all the time.   Have you looked at India recently?   Getting ready to overtake China in most KPIs India is – goodness gracious me!

Indonesia has begun to drag itself up by its bootstraps, and as a result is on the verge of joining the big-boy’s club.   Many smaller nations in the region are also doing their best to achieve economic take-off while they watch, possibly with a sprinkling of schadenfreude, the old failures in the West bickering about nothing and doing less.

Where stands Australia in all this?

Very comfortably, thank you.  We survived the GFC better than any other nation, we have a wealth of goods and services for sale (at sensible prices) and we’ve lately developed the knack of being the guy who sets up and brings to fruition several very large, very popular trade agreements.

We don’t try to bully other nations – we can’t, they’re bigger than us – we’ve stopped lecturing them about how they should become more Western and are making it clear that we now see ourselves as Asian-Pacific folks.

We have a foreign minister with the ability to take the UN by the scruff of the neck and make it do things in days rather than years.   And she does it with a smile that has even elected dictators wriggling with delight.   Julie Bishop, for the temporarily bewildered.   I shan’t post a piccie lest you guys have instant conniptions.

OK, Austrayia has its problems, we’re not perfect.   But we’re not far off, and we look forwards, not back.   Have a squiz at some Aussie media and see for yourselves.

Le mot juste? Possibly not!

I am well aware that our troop of Charioteers have many languages between them, some with great fluency.   I am, in comparison, a mere amateur in this game, but I love to dabble and, on occasion, play the pedant.

As an aside, before I get really stuck in, how’s your Indonesian?   Mine is very limited, but I was recently reminded that if an English-speaking person says “I am sorry”, it sounds almost exactly the same as an Indonesian-speaker saying “Ayam sore”.   Which can lead to all sorts of amusing outcomes, because – as I’m sure most of you know – it means “Chicken afternoon”.  Almost, but not quite, Chicken Tonight – remember that? Continue reading “Le mot juste? Possibly not!”