Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tom Cruise could do that job!

Steph slipped a video into her Blog and it has ruined my last 24 hours. This is revenge – watch at your peril Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom

It was sent to me by my son who sometimes has too much time on his hands.

The weather is just fabulous here at the moment and to celebrate this I took some photos from the Terrace of the Wien skyline. Where is the Katzenschutznet? I hear you ask. The answer is – still there – but I took these photos from the second Terrace which is netless – which means that we cannot leave the door open or Sissi would bound off into the distance.

You will be pleased to learn that the remaining tree on the Terrace (the first one died within a month) is still alive despite the ferocious attacks rendered on an almost daily basis by Sissi. It does not look well but in a mangled, scraggly way it is a picture of courage and tenacity.

It’s hard to describe – its looks like something that has been trapped in an elevator for three hours with Sarah Palin while she reads excerpts from her autobiography. I have provided a photo. I cannot imagine it surviving winter but will encourage it as much as I can from in front of the fire.

Merisi has suggested that I may have bought Horse meat at the Fleischerei. This makes sense – it certainly looks like it could be Horse meat (not that I am an expert). The cats are eating it. I have refrained thus far from asking them if they actually like Horse meat as I may be greeted with a resounding Nay (Groan!)

There are many things I don’t understand in this funny old world.

One that intrigues me is that Rupert Murdoch is cross with Google for what he says is ‘theft’ of the content of his newspapers. Rupert is developing a plan to make people pay for online content and is thinking of cutting off Google (which it is possible to do) from aggregating his content.

This makes sense – except that no sane person is going to pay for content unless there are really, really good reasons. For example, the Wall Street Journal has a model whereby subscribers pay for content – and the Journal is the ONLY newspaper in the world for which this model works.

Now if we accept that Rupert is a smart man – and he has made a lot of money by developing some of the very worst newspapers and TV stations in the world – what is his plan? Does he know something that no one else does? Is there a master tweak that can be made to the Internet that will suddenly have people clamouring to throw money at Rupert so that they can read the excruciatingly gruesome sludge that he turns out on a daily basis?

Or does he just not understand the Internet and that newspapers are doomed?

People apparently pay to watch the FOX news channel. I have trouble with this concept but it is apparently true. But then it’s not news – it’s entertainment. 70% of the content is opinion by far right wing commentators such as Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Greta van Susteren and others. The ‘news’ itself is just a collection of dross such as car chases, drug-crazed celebrities, politicians with their pants down, two-headed goats and endless attacks on the Obama administration.

But you can understand people paying for it if they are of that particular persuasion. It panders to the Loony Right and tells them exactly what they want to hear. But these are people who believe in Creationism, have been abducted by aliens at least once, hate the government and just know that H1N1 vaccine is a means by which the Marxists in the White House can implant computer chips into their bodies.

This is not the audience for online content. Most of them – if they can read at all – will never do so online – and if they ever did will certainly never pay for it.

I am really keen to know what Rupert’s plan is. If anyone out there knows – please tell me.

Another thing I don’t understand is that Tom Cruise is coming to Salzburg and “hotel managers have promised him a private prayer room when he comes to the province this week. Sepp Schellhorn, head manager of the Hotel Seehof in Goldegg, Salzburg, said he would go as far as setting up a prayer room for the devout Scientologist to make his star guest happy”.

I’m guessing Sepp doesn’t know much about Scientology. Who does he think Tom would pray to? Is there a Head Thetan?

Not that I would deny Tom the right to do whatever he wants with his time, energy and money. His beliefs (if he actually holds them) are no crazier than those of many other people.

Being a cynic I sometimes think that Tom is a Scientologist because the more you pay the higher you can climb up the ladder to whatever it is at the top. I mean – do you think Tom would mess about with a bunch of Scientologists if he could be – say – the Archbishop of Canterbury by making a really sizable donation.

And by the way, I have seen the Archbishop of Canterbury being interviewed by Richard Dawkins – and believe me – Tom could do that job - and would great in the really cool hat.


  1. Oh Lord, so much I could comment on here - the weather, horse meat (I have eaten it in France, it's lovely!), Richard Dawkins (my hero!) but I shall confine myself to thanking you for some nice pictures of the Vienna panorama!

  2. Thanks for the Nom Nom song. It finally got the Philosophers Song out of my head!