Our mission

Are you that special person who - weary from trudging the endless superhighways - just longs to camp next to a glorious oasis of the mind? Do you desire to explore new frontiers, splash in shared ideas, fill your belly with the refreshing fruits of inspiration, and bask in the gentle rays of fond reflection?

Well, you can fuck right off. This, my friends, is not that place. This place is... The ShadowLands.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

New theme song

The ShadowLands' old theme song has served us well and has helped to define the space that the ShadowLands takes in cyberspace.

However, this week we are proud to introduce the new theme song to take us into a new era. Enjoy.

The great nation of Kenya

June 1 is Madaraka Day, commemorating the day that Kenya attained internal self-rule in 1963. Independence from British imperialism has led to economic prosperity, security, peace and greatly improved health and education in this African nation.

No, but seriously folks, the Kenyan government recently unveiled Vision 2030 which has the ambitious mission statement to make Kenya not be a shit-hole any more. Appropriately enough, to an optometrist, Vision 2030 is most likely to suggest some kind of astigmatism.

Thanks to their stellar long-distance running athletes, more people are becoming familiar with the Kenyan national anthem.

June 1 is...

...the day in 1869 when 23-year-old Napoleon IV was killed and ritually dis-embowelled by zulus. Napoleon Eugene was the last of the Bonaparte dynasty, though let's face it, someone called Eugene was always going to struggle to live up to the family name.

... the anniversary of the death of Adolph's sister, Paula Hitler in 1960. Perhaps because of her uncanny likeness to her brother, she never married or had children.

...the National Day Against Homophobia in Canada. Pierre Trudeau, who repealed anti-gay clauses from the Criminal code of Canada once said that "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.” Fair enough too - just so long as we don't all have to mince around like great steaming quinces.

Create your own cartoon strip...

since I cant be bothered.

Friday, May 30, 2008

What the Butler Saw: Part II


The butler of a prominent Australian continues this electrifying expose, exclusively for The ShadowLands.





Dear Diary,

I bid adieu to *Kelvin and his working family on that brisk autumn afternoon, with a spring in my step and the distinct smell of winter in the air. But it was more than winter, much, much more - it was the promise of a brand new day.

I knew that this was the opportunity of a lifetime and that I must move quickly. First, was the visit to Lowes menswear to purchase five tuxedoes and matching white gloves. Next, the trip to the kebab van to tell Mehmet the news. He took it as badly as I expected, exploding into obscenities, and propelling a fountain of Black and Gold garlic sauce in my direction.

In avoiding the white spray of foul-smelling goo, I very nearly ran into a ladder holding up the nearby service station proprietor who, hedging against possible fuel price rises, was adding 9 cents a litre to the price on the indicator board.

I was to be at the mansion at sunrise the next morning, and I could barely contain my excitement. I walked away into the dying afternoon light, knowing I could never be back.

To be continued...


* All names changed to protect the privacy of the very, very senior Australian official-and his working family.

On this day...

...in 1279 BC Rameses II became pharaoh and ruled Egypt for 66 years. Spookily, this is nearly almost exactly as long as prominent Egyptologist, Philip Adams has been writing columns for The Australian. Coincidence? Perhaps... A recent microscopic inspection of the Ramster's mummy revealed he may have been a fanta pants. His mummified remains bare a striking resemblance to Molly Meldrum.

Martin Frobisher sailed from England to Canada on this day in 1578 to mine what he thought was gold, instead bringing tons of pretty worthless iron pyrites back to England.

Roman Bishop Alois Hudal was born on this day in 1885. Hudal helped to establish a way for nazis to escape trial at the end of WWII. He is remembered as the “brown bishop”, presumably on account of being a shit.

Samuel Pepys made the last entry in his racy diary today in 1669. Pepys recorded that he had a stone the size of a tennis ball removed from his bladder. The stone was removed without anaesthetic from an incision between the scrotum and the anus and assisted by a tool that had been inserted into the bladder through the penis. He held a celebration of the anniversary of the operation every year.

The world's first hippie, Sir Francis Younghusband was born on this day in 1863. After invading Tibet, Younghusband wrote a number of new age books in which he extolled the virtues of nature, free love and cosmic rays. Tragically, he died in 1942, well before the invention of tin-foil hats.

Fixing Kevin

Kevin Rudd is noted for his head prefect style of speech.

Problem? No problem.

Don't leave me this way

On this day in 1871, the anarcho-socialist Paris commune fell after two months of chaotic government. The movement inspired Karl Marx who described it as “the prototype for a revolutionary government of the future” which is a bit like having a witness to the Hindenburg disaster describe hydrogen balloons as the prototype for aeronautical engineering.

Thousands of surviving communards were transported to New Caledonia which explains why, to this day, New Caledonians undergoing IQ tests are allowed three back-ups.

One of the revolutionary measures of the communards was the adoption of the French Republican Calendar which had a number of drawbacks including being unusable in overseas territories, and an incomprehensible system for leap years.

Thanks to Marx, the Paris communards will be remembered for providing the blue-print for failed nations, as well as the name of a deplorable 80s pop group. Oh, the humanity.

On May 30

19-year–old Joan of Arc burned at the stake in 1431. The technical reason for her execution was a biblical clothing law forbidding cross-dressing. She was tried by John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford who is also remembered for commissioning illuminated manuscripts. A later trial reversed the conviction, vindicating those who felt that the initial verdict seemed a bit harsh.

King Henry VIII married a lady in waiting to his first two wives, Jane Seymour. Seymour was betrothed to King Henry VIII the day after Anne Boleyn was beheaded and married 10 days later - so, no more waiting.

Voltaire who died on this day in 1788 would have gotten on fine with many present day luvvies thanks to being a jew hatin' athiest. It turns out he never actually said "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," - the only thing of note he is remembered for.

Wolfgang Mozart wrote to his father the year of Voltaire's death, "The arch-scoundrel Voltaire has finally kicked the bucket...." Couldn’t have put it better myself, Wolfie.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's a sign
















Hey, I made a sign.

Jive talking, with Anne and Eva

Anne Summers, leading feminist, Gizoogled. Word.

Eva Cox in the club.

Moore to have sheep: gossip website

REUTERS: Expectant parent, Michael Moore is having a sheep - at least according to Hollywood's celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.

Quoting "sources close to Michael Moore", Hilton's website announced today it can "reveal exclusively" a full grown sheep is on the way for the Academy Award-winning film-maker.

A guessing game began a week ago when the New York City plonker walked into a farmyard nursery at a local fun-fair.

"I'm not saying," Moore told reporters.

Hilton was not so shy. "The dickhead swallowed a sheep," the blogger revealed.

Rudd Calls for New Committee

REUTERS: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today called for nominees who would like to join the No Worries, Don’t Even Mention It Committee.

“Following the success of the national apology, I am calling for a range of celebrity nominees who would like to get involved in the next step in the process, and that is responding by saying something like, ‘no worries, don’t even mention it’,” Mr Rudd announced in Canberra today.

“One of the things we could also have is a ‘No Worries, Don’t Even Mention it Day,’ and we will need a hard-working committee of people who have nothing better to do,” Mr Rudd continued. “Saying we were sorry has left a void in gesture politics that clearly needs to be filled. The type of people I encourage to apply include Marty Rhone and that fat kid who used to be on the toilet paper commercials.

“I also think it is not too early for us to foreshadow the creation next year, of the ‘No, No, We Really Are Sorry, Committee’”.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Exclusive: What the Butler Saw Part I

The ShadowLands is delighted to introduce a new segment by the butler of a prominent Australian. Unfortunately, due to a confidentiality agreement, we are unable to identify the employer of this butler, so all names have been changed.
Dear Diary,
I was surprised at first to get the call asking me to apply for this job, and even more surprised when the taxi took me down the long driveway of a mansion in Deakin. I met with the employer, *Kelvin, on a brisk autumn afternoon, with the weak Canberra sun glimmering through the weakening yellow leaves.

Further to my surprise, after a 30 minute discussion in which I admitted I had little experience in the world of butlering, Kelvin offered me the job and showed me around the 40-room Georgian revival style mansion, which is located in 4 and a half acres of landscaped grounds. Kelvin's family were as nice as anyone you could meet - as Kelvin said - the type of working family that you might meet in any Australian suburb.

Kelvin showed me to my quarters. At first I was taken aback by the cramped, windowless conditions under the stairs, but the room appears to be clean, and the six-figure salary package could not be ignored. While normally I would take a long time deliberating over such a major decision, I took one look at Kelvin and told him I would be delighted to accept the position. Licking his bottom lip, Kelvin said he was equally delighted to welcome me to start as soon as possible.

If it seemed I acted in haste, all the while my heart was beating fast about the prospect of telling Mehmet where he could stick his job in the kebab van. Could life get any better?


To be continued...

* all names changed to protect privacy of individuals involved


Health and beauty tips with Margo's Maid

Hold your breath when passing through metal detectors at airports, or security scanners at department stores. This will help you to avoid harmful rays, while significantly decreasing the chance of the alarm being activated.

May 29

In 1167 at the battle of Monte Porzio, a Roman army was defeated on this day by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel. Following the battle, large numbers of surviving Roman soldiers are presumed to have nearly died of embarrassment explaining this to their fathers.

John Penry published treasonous tracts and gave his four daughters the ridiculous names of Deliverance, Comfort, Safety and Sure-Hope. These days we call people who do this, “celebrities". Sadly, for protestant martyr Penry, he was hanged on this day in 1593.

Today is the birthday of Jodie Foster's most famous admirer, John Hinckley Jr.

Boris Yeltsin became President of Russia on this day in 1990. Yeltsin once told an audience in Stockholm that Bjorn Borg's face reminded him of meatballs. He was the the first leader in Russian and Soviet history to die quietly in retirement, having overseen a peaceful transition to his successor. He was also the first Russian leader to have his body preserved before he died.

Ideas bargain

A ridiculous kerfuffle has broken out about the $1.9 million 2020 Summit amongst those who understand the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

In my opinion, and more importantly - in the opinion of many of Australia's top celebrities - this was money well spent. In particular, spending only $11,000 to bury the ideas will be celebrated by future generations as an absolute bargain.

Happy Independence Days to...

Armenia and Azerbaijan

Debate still rages whether Azerbaijan is a real nation or in fact a place put on wikipedia by some freaks who wanted to enter the Eurovision Song Contest.

Armenia has a population of around 3 million people, with an estimated 8 million Armenians choosing to live somewhere else. Can 8 million Armenians be wrong?

On this day

...in 1936 Alan Turing submitted "On Computable Numbers" for publication, a seminal work about mathematics and computing. Turing pioneered computing and quite possibly saved the world with his work in breaking German codes during WWII. He was eventually jailed for his homosexuality, forced to take female hormones to suppress his libido, and eventually ate an apple laced with cyanide. If only I were making this up.

...in 2003, Rev Peter Hollingworth was forced to resign as Governor General of Australia for failing to look as hang-dog as Sir William Deane.

...it is the anniversary of the birthday of Australia's only Nobel Laureate for Literature, grumpy old Queen, Patrick White. The Nobel Prize had a major impact on booksales with thousands of unfortunate schoolchildren thence being forced to read his novels against their will. Like Kevin Rudd, he had occasional infatuations with Australian actresses.

Who told the Japs? Pt III

During the darkest days of WWII, someone was leaking Australia's military secrets to the enemy. ShadowLands contributor stackja1945 continues where he left off. Excerpts from David Horner, Breaking the Codes.

... Yet John Burton still wanted ‘open diplomacy’. The USA mistrusted the Labor Party in general and Evatt in particular.Later we read:

Shedden to BurtonLetter, CANBERRA, 7 April 1948TOP SECRET AND PERSONALCONTROL OF DOCUMENTS RECEIVED FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM GOVERNMENTSir Percy Sillitoe, Head of M.I.5 of the War Office, recently came to Australia on the direction of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to acquaint the Prime Minister with information, which had come to the knowledge of the United Kingdom Authorities, that a copy of United Kingdom Post-Hostilities Planning Paper PHP(45)6(0) Final - Security in the Western Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic, had come into the possession of the U.S.S.R.

It was alleged that the copy had been obtained from an agent in Australia.2. As the Defence Department was the recipient of this document, the matter was referred to me initially for investigation and report on the system of control, circulation, and custody of secret United Kingdom Staff and Planning Papers in the Defence Department, and on the reliability of officers who handle these documents.

This has been done, and an examination of our records shows: -(i) That none of the copies of this document are missing.(ii) That it was circulated to the three Service Members of the Joint Planning Committee and the Secretary to the Committee.(iii) That it was also furnished to Mr. Milner, who was apparently the External Affairs Representative on the Post Hostilities Planning Committee at the time, in accordance with a request of 6th November 1945 from him (copy attached).Mr. Milner had the document from 15th November 1945 to 19th February 1946, and a copy of United Kingdom Paper PHP(45)15(0) Final - Security of India and the Indian Ocean - was forwarded to him at the same time.

Mr. Milner later obtained Paper PHP(45)6(0) again, and had it from 6th March 1946 to 28th March 1946.3. Dr. Evatt suggested, at a Conference with the Prime Minister this morning, that I should communicate the above to you in order that you could look into the matter in so far as your Department is concerned, and submit a report to your Minister. I also enclose Copy No. 109 of Paper PHP(45)6(0) Final, and shall be glad if you will return it in due course.[1][1] Burton sent an interim reply on 9 April asking 'what has occurred recently to raise the matter of a leakage which took place some years ago? In what form did the leakage take place?'.[AA : A6691, AS3/1, SECTION 6] Horner, Breaking the Codes excerpt

The full story can never be told. With the culture then existing in External Affairs in the period 1943-1945 and with later events in External Affairs regarding security in 1945-1946, we are left with more speculation.

So who told the Japs? We can only speculate that it was someone in External Affairs who was recruited by Victor Zaitsev who then passed the information to Walter Clayton who forwarded it to Moscow.

to be continued.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Whassup?

Site of the day is this 'n. Just enter the name of a website to have the language translated into jive talk, like thissy here.

UPDATE: Kevin's jive apology fo' y'all right here.

UPDATE II: the Man from Snowy River, gangsta stylin'

UPDATE III: Michelle Grattan. Word. Mo' stuff.

UPDATE IV: We is down with feminism 101

Here it is...

the new ShadowLands' theme song. Hope you like it.

Morals for the every day with Bob Ellis

Margo’s Maid is delighted to introduce the ShadowLands' new special correspondent on morals, Mr Bob Ellis!!! Take it away, Bob.


Don’t you hate deodorant - that cancer giving emulsion that erases your essence? And what about those people who would prefer to keep their distance, moving as far away from you on the couch as they can? And don’t you despise the rhetorical device of repetition that brings a Churchillian air to things that are actually very, very mundane?

I think there's a kind of writer who is a citizen writer, and Dickens was one. That's the kind of man I like to think I'm striving to be.

Tim Blair is nothing like Charles Dickens, and he still has a job. Tim Blair said durum wheat was durham wheat, and he still has a job. Tim Blair said he thought the fireman guy would win Big Brother and he still has a job. I am glad he has a job, but this kind of loose talk will destroy him professionally if I have anything to do with it. Tim Blair is no citizen writer. He displays a distinct lack of citizenry. I am getting to hate Tim Blair.

Mobile phones? Don’t get me started about mobile phones. I use one, but they kill us all eventually. What about those BiC 4-ink color retractable pens that can write in blue, black, red or green simply by flicking the latch at the top? If you are not careful, they will flick you on the thumb, see if I am wrong.

Or do you disagree?

Today in...

Today in 927, King Tomislav of Croatia was decisively beaten in the Battle of the Bosnian Highlands by Simeon I of Bulgaria. Started over a dubious line call in a tennis match, the conflict was known in the Balkans as the "war to end all wars".

Peter Stuyvesant was inaugurated as Governor of New Amsterdam (later named New York) in 1647. He is remembered for razing people's houses, ordering the public torture of a Quaker, and jail for anyone harbouring Quakers. To this day, his name remains synonymous with glamour.

Happy 60th birthday to Dutch civil servant Wubbo de Boer, current President of the European Union body, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. Mr de Boer is reportedly no relation to Louis the Fly, or Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

Today is the 101st anniversary of the birth of pioneering environmental alarmist, Rachel Carson. Debate continues to rage about whether her book Silent Spring indirectly led to the deaths of millions of people in the third world from malaria, or merely hundreds of thousands. Carson's legacy is carried on to this day by environmentalists urging us to switch to ethanol.

Happy 190th birthday to suffragette, Amelia Bloomer. Ms Bloomer had a major impact on American culture.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hi from 1.618

Legendary commenter, helicopter pilot and good sort, 1.618 sent us a photo all the way from NZ. Thanks 1.618.

Capitalism and Freedom by John Butler of the John Butler Trio Part III

The ShadowLands is delighted to present Part III of Capitalism and Freedom by our reporter on economic theory, John Butler who is one-third of the John Butler Trio...

The two chief enemies of the free society or free enterprise are intellectuals on the one hand and businessmen on the other, for opposite reasons. Every intellectual believes in freedom for himself, but he’s opposed to freedom for others.…

He thinks there ought to be a central planning board that will establish social priorities. The businessmen are just the opposite—every businessman is in favor of freedom for everybody else, but when it comes to himself that’s a different question. He’s always the special case. He ought to get special privileges from the government, a tariff, this, that, and the other thing.

The argument has always been made that the trouble with capitalism is that it’s materialistic, while collectivism can afford to pay attention to the nonmaterial. But the experience has been the opposite. There are no societies that have emphasized the purely material requisites of well-being as much as the collectivist…it is in the free societies that there has been a far greater development of the nonmaterial, spiritual, artistic aspects of well-being.I don’t think that a revolutionary, once-and-for-all approach [to achieving political liberty] will succeed.

to be continued...

Blair gives rude finger to ShadowLands

Jealous internet guy, Tim Blair has sent a clear message to ShadowLands' readers through sitemeter.

ShadowLands spokes-thing Margo's Maid said that by linking to the ShadowLands on Sunday he caused a spike in visits to the leading weblog that clearly resembles a "rude finger" on the zionist-controlled bar graph.

"Blair likes to come across as a 'nice guy' by giving his commenters' websites a leg up, but the graph clearly demonstrates the message Blair would appear to be sending the loyal readers of the ShadowLands," the maid concluded.

UPDATE: There now appear to be six fingers - the clear implication being that we are some kind of inbreds.

Happy National Sorry Day

Today, Australia celebrates its sorriness - but international expressions of sorriness are always welcome . The ShadowLands will resile from no-one as one of the sorriest sites of all sorridom.

Wot happened...

Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin officially named the guillotine on this day in 1814. Dr Guillotin did not invent the guillotine, but proposed its invention as a more humane method of execution. Likewise, Thomas Crapper did not actually invent the machine he is remembered for, but did much to promote it.

Today is the 60th birthday of musician Stevie Nicks. Ms Nicks' rehabilitation from drug abuse co-incided with a recession in Colombia in 1999.

Sir Sidney Smith who died on this day in 1840 was the British admiral of whom Napoleon said, "That man made me miss my destiny" – a phrase recently reprised by Bob Ellis.

Another birthday girl is the first American woman in outer space, Sally Ride. Apart from a few difficulties with reverse parking, her expeditions on the Challenger Space Shuttles were hailed as major successes.

New blogs challenge ShadowLands

The ShadowLands' hard won status as world's fastest growing blog is now under severe threat from Blair comment Hall of Famers, paco and kae. True denizens of the ShadowLands will refuse to check these sites out.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Test your inner nerd

Readers of The ShadowLands are invited to take part in a special test. Readers of Blair's new site can try this test, while those who read both, but only go to Blair's site because they are curious can go here.

(A big shout out to Chico and Mercedes at Altria Marketing! I'll have the results to you real soon!)

UPDATE: Results just in show that readers of the ShadowLands are up to 40 per cent less nerdy than visitors to other sites. ShadowLands spokesthing Margo's Maid was not surprised by the result.

"ShadowLands was born of the dispossessed and has bubbled up from the darkest recesses of the internet. The results just confirm what we already knew - that ShadowLands readers are hip individuals with a charismatic edge. In short, we have just the kind of reader who is likely to convince others to take up tobacco products. As a result of this information, we have been able to put together an artist's impression of the average ShadowLands reader."

Link shame: Blair caves in

Frightened internet guy, Tim Blair (pictured left) has caved in to a massive backlash from The ShadowLands and its devoted readers by linking to the leading "weblog".

ShadowLands spokes-thing, Margo's Maid said Blair was probably just trying to avoid a "flame war".

"A flame-war is where you complain about someone behind their back on the internet - but because it is on the internet, it's much cooler than regular bitching," the Maid explained. "As Blair himself admitted, the ShadowLands is pretty 'hardcore', and he clearly did not want to mess with the darkside."

According to The Lancet, leading weblog, the ShadowLands has a readership of "anything up to a million".

ShadowLands oughtta be congratulated

The ShadowLands is delighted to unveil its new slogan. I hope you like it.

May 25

Croatian/Austrian writer, Paula von Preradovic died on this day in 1951. Little is known about her work due to a predilection for writing in these strange foreign languages. Her Croatian poetry has been derided in some quarters because of how easy it is to rhyme when everything ends in ic.

May 25 1606 is remembered as the day that St Charles Garnier was baptised in Paris. He spent much of his life as a missionary among the Hurons in Canada. After his arrival was followed by a drought-ending rainfall, the Hurons nicknamed him "Al Gore".

Happy 24th birthday to former Miss World Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir. One look at the Unnur Birna, and it is not so hard to see why Earth continues to take all before it in the Miss Universe competition.

On this day in 2001, 32-year-old Erik Weihenmayer of Boulder, Colorado became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mt Everest. The United States Guide Dog Society later made an undisclosed payout to Erik when it admitted it should have provided him with a regular labrador, rather than a Himalayan sheep dog.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Major challenges facing women today – by leading woman celebrity, Germaine Greer!!!

When it comes to tackling the major issues facing women today, The ShadowLands is as concerned as the next guy. As such, we are delighted to introduce Germaine Greer as the new ShadowLands reporter on women's issues!
by leading celebrity, Germaine Greer

Firstly, I would like to pay homage to the Micronesian and Polynesian peoples, who have graciously allowed us to lay the Internet cable across their sea-lands to make the “Internet” possible.

As the leading celebrity, Germaine Greer, many people ask me about the major issues facing women around the world. There is nothing quite so dis-empowering for women than to have poor television reception. This is especially so for Channel 4, which can go all fuzzy, just when you're enjoying seeing the downy hairs on the shoulders of the young boys on Big Brother as the hidden cameras pan slowly across them.

Giving us poor television reception seems to me to be the one major area of oppression that needs to be addressed and is clearly an attempt by the patriarchy to make me forget about those long days when the young boys' semen would flow like tap water. More about this in my upcoming tome, Women Not Receiving.

Another major problem oppressing women these days are the ridiculously expensive face creams that promise the world and don't make a jot of difference. And children on scooters? Don't get me started – those young boys need a good spanking... to be continued

Who told the Japs? Pt II

Loyal ShadowLands contributor stackja1945 has previously commenced a (serious) post about the leaking of information during WWII to the Japanese. Here is Pt II:

Excerpts from David Horner, Breaking the Codes.

On 1 February 1943 the U.S. Army’s Signal Intelligence Service, a forerunner of the National Security Agency, began a small, very secret program, later codenamed VENONA. The original object of the VENONA program was to examine, and possibly exploit, encrypted Soviet diplomatic communications.Victor Zaitsev 16 March 1943 came from USSR his identity only known later otherwise his travel may not have been allowed. Walter Clayton came from NZ in 1943, Clayton did not have a passport.From 1943 to 1945 Russia was Australia's wartime ally.

There is speculation that Zaitsev recruited an agent in the Australian Government. Herbert V. Evatt and his staff saw the reports that later reached Japan. About 50 percent, of the 1943 GRU USSR Army Intelligence from Washington to Moscow and Moscow to Washington messages, were read but none from any other year. In Australia Herbert V. Evatt was contemptuous of security. And John Burton’s attitude is hard to fathom. Particularly as Burton was advised concealed microphone

Deschamps to BurtonCablegram 59 MOSCOW, 20 March 1947, 5.45 p.m.

TOP SECRET To be deciphered only under instructions from the Secretary.PERSONAL for Burton.Reference your Top Secret memorandum P1 46/11/7/5 of 29th November, 1946.Search by expert has revealed a microphone behind the skirting board in the Minister's office and there is reason to suspect the existence of others and the possibility that the whole of the legation may be wired. The search is continuing and nothing is being disturbed until the installation has been located, when, with your approval, it is proposed to remove the whole apparatus. Your instructions are urgently awaited. Please treat the matter with the greatest reserve as other establishments here are also affected and we are in consequence not altogether free agents. The utmost secrecy is being maintained here. [1]1 Burton himself drafted a reply in his own hand on his copy of the cable. It read: 'Your 59. By all means remove apparatus. Utmost security must be maintained but you should immediately communicate warn personally Heads of Missions of NZ, UK and USA. We are meanwhile considering how protest should be made. Assume NZ Head of Mission is aware of discovery'. He subsequently crossed out that part of the second sentence from 'but' to 'USA'.[SFU : EVATT PAPERS: CABLES-MOSCOW-1943-49]

Scared Blair refuses link

Frightened Internet guy, Tim Blair (pictured, left) has refused to add a link to The ShadowLands at his new blog.

ShadowLands spokes-thing, Margo's Maid said that Blair probably can see the writing on the wall.

"Blair knows that the Internet is running out of space," the Maid said. "He understands that some tough decisions will have to be made, and his blog will be discontinued in favour of this one if he offers too many favours.

"In conclusion - bawk, bawk, bawk."

Happy Eritrean National Day

Today is the National Day of the great nation of Eritrea. Here are a few things you may not have known about Eritrea:

* Eritrea has a successful domestic film industry, with ticket sales from films produced by government and independent studios typically covering the production costs. This model was ruled out in Australia by leading celebrities at the 2020 conference.

* Eritrean haute cuisine looks a lot like freshly issued tapeworm, topped with yoghurt.

* Eritrea is the most expensive place in the world to buy fuel.

* Eritrea has overtaken North Korea at the bottom of the world press freedom index. Reporters who criticise the honourable President Isais Afewerki wind up in jail and succumb to various illnesses. I prefer to think of Eritrea as being top of the index for prudent media control, and Afewerki has never put a foot wrong as far as I'm concerned.

* The United States is considering placing Eritrea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

* Please stand for the Eritrean National Anthem.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Don't kiss Green-peacers

Look out for Green-peacers with whale on their breath. You've been warned.

What happened to oral Bob?

Bob Ellis once told Timbo Blair that he would destroy him professionally, which is kinda ironic, since Ellis appears not to have posted anything for a while now. Is Ellis yet another piece of roadkill on the Timbonator's superhighway? It's starting to look like it.

George Clinton might run for office says Chelsea

REUTERS: Chelsea Clinton has refused to rule out the possibility of the lead singer of Funkadelic, George Clinton running for President one day.

Asked in an interview with People magazine whether the musician would ever consider running for office, the ex-president's daughter said: "I don't know."

"If you asked me this before (January's Democratic nominating contest in) Iowa, I would have said: 'No way. He is too out there'. But he is the logical next person in line after I have my run."

New York Senator and former first lady Hillary Clinton is currently battling for the Democratic presidential nomination. An early setback motivated the only child of the political power couple to get involved.

Obama message story - correction

REUTERS: Reuters would like to apologise for a news story headed "Obama message to air on Al Jazeera". Reuters acknowledges the story should have referred to Presidential candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton - not Senator Barack Obama.

Reuters apologises unreservedly for any confusion that may have been caused by the error.

New Obama message to air on Al Jazeera

REUTERS: The Arab-language television station, al-Jazeera, has broadcast a message said to be from Obama, in which he calls for Muslims to stand against the United States.

The Bush administration believes the tape to almost certainly be genuine and officials say the message heralds a "burgeoning alliance of terror".

The US was put on orange alert - the second highest - last week because of threats coming from multiple sources which have strong links to Obama.

"All those who co-operate with the Americans are hostile to Islam," said the voice on the video, which was broadcast alongside a photograph of Obama. “We call on you to stand up against George W Bush.”

Al Jazeera have refused to say how they obtained the tape.

PETA questions Biodiversity Day Success

REUTERS: International Biodiversity Day has been claimed an outstanding success by a spokesman for leading unelected international governmental body, the United Nations.

"We are extremely pleased by the results from the day, not least because all UN employees had the day off and got to watch Dr Phil and Judge Judy," said the spokesman. "This clip from Youtube demonstrates that the message is definitely getting through."

However, a spokeswoman for leading animal welfare body, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has slammed the UN.

"I appreciated the day off, however, on returning to work, we were horrified to learn that the UN has been taking International Biodiversity Day too far. Had we known that the day would have involved dolphins being eaten by orcas, we definitely would not have leant our support, and we will not be supporting the day next year."

Million people march to ShadowLands

REUTERS: Up to a million people are now flocking to the leading "weblog" ShadowLands thanks to a rich mix of news, educational material, and leading opinion from leading celebrities.

The sitemeter thingie clicked over to 24 late last night, meaning that literally dozens of people had officially visited the site since the meter was installed. It is understood that when it reaches 40, scores of people will have visited the leading site.

However, an upcoming study by leading impartial journal, The Lancet is understood to suggest that the actual numbers of visits could be anything up to one million.

"A doorknock survey of Margo's Maid's place and a neighbour has been extrapolated to suggest the real number could be up to a million," a Lancet spokesman explained. "If the neighbour had bothered to check it out like he said he would, the figure would have been much higher.

"Sitemeter is renowned for its unreliability because the media is controlled by Jews. All you have to do is jumble up the letters and you get 'Semite (ret.)' - it's a dead giveaway," concluded the leading spokesman.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This'll teach 'em

What the hell?

Celebrating our diversity, by celebrity columnist, Cate Blanchett

Margo's Maid is extremely proud to introduce leading celebrity, Ms Cate Blanchett to the ShadowLands. Ms Blanchett was selected from a stellar field of celebrities, including Martin Grelis from the Easy Off Bam commercials, to become The ShadowLands' new celebrity Environmental reporter. Take it away, Cate!!!

By Cate Blanchett (leading celebrity)

What are you doing at work? Today is World Biodiversity Day, a UN sanctioned international holiday. Think I’m kidding? Think again! As the leading celebrity, Cate Blanchett, I have come to know more than most about having days off and telling others what to do, which is why I am so into World Biodiversity Day.

Since today is a holiday, that means you have the time to do something about harmful monodiversity happening in your environment. Here are a few modest suggestions for World Biodiversity Day.

1. During the year, collect as many different types of ant that you can find and keep them in an ant farm. On World Biodiversity Day, release them into a harmful monodiverse ants nest. Great fun and good for the environment.

2. As part of your next film contract, demand that the film studio purchase large numbers of caged chickens – various breeds - to be released amongst harmful mono-diverse flocks of flamingoes.

3. Next time you see an ice-breaker preparing for a voyage to Antarctica, introduce some kittens to the lower decks, for "accidental" release into penguin colonies. Now how’s that for thinking global and acting local!

4. Buy or capture equal numbers of budgerigars and flying foxes, to be released into each others’ environments.

5. Purchase old and unwanted zoo animals for release into herds of bison.

There are so many things you can do. Happy World Biodiversity Day!

Births, deaths, whatever

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of failed ophthalmologist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sir Arthur is famous as the man to popularise the phrase, “no shit Sherlock” which was the refrain in his best-selling novel, The Easy Cases of Whitechapel Lane.

Today also marks the death day of Italian historian Durastante Natalucci in 1772. A controversial figure amongst contemporary Australian historians, Mr Natalucci is best remembered for scrupulously sourcing his facts.

Unrest breaks out over GPI

REUTERS: International unrest has broken out following the release of the controversial Global Peace Index. In just one incident reported overnight, an argument about the Index turned ugly when Estonians and Latvians got it on in a series of stoushes. In a decisive end to the argument, it is understood that the Estonians had their asses kicked.

Meanwhile, celebrations have broken out in Papua New Guinea following their ranking, which puts them ahead of the United States of America. In a note left in a letterbox outside the home of the Prime Minister's Chief Security Guard's compound, the Prime Minister declared a national holiday, leading to a number of unconfirmed deaths from celebratory gunfire.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Real world over-rated

Damn, is there anything you can't do online?

Bhutan beats Australia

Australia has been beaten into 27th place on the Global Peace Index by Bhutan. I find this result somewhat upsetting - those smug Bhutanese better not come near me, if they know what's good for them.

This index looks like a useful guide to countries you could easily invade if you had a mind to.

Sombre reflections

Today is a day of reflection - the day when we remember the anniversary of the death of Chile’s greatest national hero, Arturo Prat. He was killed in 1879 at the Naval Battle of Iquique after jumping on board the Peruvian armored monitor Huascar.

A first class commander, his name became a rallying cry for Chilean forces, and Captain Prat is still considered a hero by residents of the width-challenged nation. Captain Prat was survived by his wife and three little Prats.

Tragically, exactly 15 years later, German physicist, August Kundt also passed away. In 1866, he developed a valuable method for the investigation of aerial waves within pipes with an experimental apparatus called a Kundt's tube. Wiki does not record whether he was survived by a wife or any little children.

A question for readers: who do you think led a more valuable life? The brave Chilean Prat or the brilliant German Kundt?

Who told the Japs?

stackja1945 is the first reader/Blair refugee to rise to my challenge to post at the ShadowLands. Turns out stackja's interest is history, and has offered the following excerpts from DM Horner's "Inside the War Cabinet". Thanks stackja:

D. M. Horner, Inside the War Cabinet

In October and November 1944 evidence was starting to mount from Allied radio intercept organisations that information in the Australian Military Forces Weekly Intelligence Review which had a wide distribution, was reaching Tokyo.

So far Blamey had tried to obtain action merely by stating, without evidence, that it was a matter of grave national security. He had no wish to explain the source of his information, nor widen the circle of people who might be aware of the leakage. However, to gain the action he considered necessary, he decided to enlist the help of Sir Frederick Shedden, and on 2 January 1945 explained the problem to the influential Secretary of the War Cabinet. Shedden recommended that Blamey write a more detailed letter to the Acting Minister for the Army, 'in view of the fact that he is the Minister primarily concerned with action to correct the leakages, if they are occurring on a Ministerial level or in another Department'.10 [Shedden to Blamey] This was a key sentence, because it indicates that the problem was not just a matter of information being obtained by the Chinese liaison officer, but that it was from a more serious source. It also explains Blamey's strong reaction to the Postmaster-General's Department consulting with the Department of External Affairs.

Blamey's letter to Senator Fraser, of 6 January 1945, must be seen in the light of this preceding correspondence. It read as follows: 15 [Blamey letter 3DRL 6643, 2/59]

As you know, the Allied Intelligence Organisation is now world wide and operates through many various channels, some of which are so secret that as little as possible in regard to them is set out on paper. One of its functions is to counter, as far as possible, the collection of Intelligence by the enemy. In the course of this service it has been definitely proved that there are leakages of information from Australia which have their origin apparently in Canberra.


We'll have to do it again some time

The Hawaii Climate Change Conference apparently ran into some bad luck. Oh well, there's always next year.

(Pictured: Shadowlands celebrity columnist, Professor Tim Flannery arriving at the conference to a warm welcome.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Part II, by celebrity columnist, Professor Tim Flannery





Margo's Maid is proud to present the latest correspondence from celebrity columnist, Professor Tim Flannery. Take it away, Professor...



That will be 50 grand in unmarked bills, if that's all right with you.

Thanks
Flannery
UPDATE: Well okay. $20,000 will do. Cheque is okay.
Flannery

The End Part I, by celebrity columnist, Professor Tim Flannery


The Maid is extremely proud to welcome yet another celebrity columnist to the Shadowlands, former Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery

The End

by Professor Tim Flannery

Century 10, Quatrain 72 In the year 1999 and seven monthsThe Great King of Terror will come from the sky,He will bring back to life the great king of the Mongols.Before and after Mars [the God of war] reigns happily.

Century 2, Quatrain 46 After a great misery for mankind an even greater approaches.The great cycle of the centuries is renewed:It will rain blood, milk, famine, war and disease.In the sky will be seen a fire, dragging a tail of sparks.

Century 9, Quatrain 83 The Sun in 20 degrees Taurus [May 1-10, 2000?]There will be a great earthquake; the great theater full up will be ruined.Darkness and trouble in the air, on the sky and land,When the infidel calls upon God and the Saints.

Century 1, Quatrain 16 Saturn joined with (Scorpio) transiting toward Sagittarius,At its highest ascendant,Pest, Famine, Death through military hand,The century as well as the Age approaches its renewal.

Century 6, Quatrain 97 The sky will burn at forty-five degrees latitude,Fire approaches the great new city [New York City lies between 40-45 degrees]Immediately a huge, scattered flame leaps upWhen they want to have verification from the Normans [French]. To be continued...


On this day

On this day in 1896, the six ton chandelier of the Palais Garnier (Grand Opera House) in Paris, fell on the crowd resulting in the death of one and the injury of many others.

This incident inspired the novel, The Phantom of the Opera. In a precautionary move, the day following the tragedy, the French surrendered to the Germans.

Nelson surges

Australian opposition leader, Dr Brendan Nelson has surged to a 12 per cent approval rating, up from 9 per cent only a few weeks ago, and now well into double figures.

This is a 33.3 per cent increase in popularity in only a few weeks, making his popularity the fastest growing of any Australian politician. In many respects, he reminds me of (three second pause) - The Shaadowlaandss.

Nelson's popularity rating is now on par with the alleged percentage of people who believe Joan of Arc was Noah's wife, as well as being firmly in the top 3 choices, just behind "uncommitted" and "Kevin Rudd".

Babes for truth

Sorry, but words fail

Monday, May 19, 2008

My sweet Lord

One of these people is a religious freak, and the other is the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Can you tell which one?

Capitalism and Freedom by John Butler of the John Butler Trio (continued)


by John Butler of the John Butler Trio

Seriously, hippies are so full of shit. The fact is, so long as effective freedom of exchange is maintained, the central feature of the market organisation of economic activity is that it prevents one person from interfering with another in respect of most of his activities.

The consumer is protected from coercion by the seller because of the presence of other sellers with whom he can deal. The seller is protected from coercion by the consumer because of other consumers to whom he can sell. The employee is protected from coercion by the employer because of other employers for whom he can work, and so on. And the market does this impersonally and without centralized authority.

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. The existence of a free market does not of course eliminate the need for government. What the market does is to reduce greatly the range of issues that must be decided through political means.

The great advantage of the market is that it permits wide diversity. It is, in political terms, a system of proportional representation. Each man can vote, as it were, for the color of tie he wants and get it; he does not have to see what color-the majority wants and then, if he is in the minority, submit. It is this feature of the market that we refer to when we say that the market provides economic freedom.

To be continued...

"Cool" "website"

Hey, check "this" out!

C'mon and photobomb

First there was vogueing but look out for the latest sensation - photobombing.

Speaking of Madonna, isn't she just the chameleon? It's remarkable to look at her videos over the years and see how she has moved seamlessly from "young trollop" to "middle-aged trollop" and now "old trollop".

Product of the Day

I don't partake, myself, but I do know that the marketing department of British American Tobacco are the kinds of people you can trust. Anyhow...

Have a go, ya mugs

Having started from nothing, and now probably having a few readers, (3 second pause) The Shaaadowlands is arguably Australia's fastest growing weblog.

Margo's Maid is offering loyal readers the chance to guest post with a view to developing the site as a group blog. Casual readers can go and get stuffed. No, seriously, all contributions are welcome, but it will help if you are a celebrity.

Email the maid at tagor53@hotmail.com

Exclusive: Cate's weight loss secrets

Well done to Cate Blanchett for showing up other Australian mothers up for being fat and lazy.

The Shadowlands is proud to reveal her weight loss secrets.

Happy birthday, Mr Pot

May 19 is the anniversary of the untimely 1935 death of TE Lawrence "of Arabia". If Lawrence were alive today, he would be a truly remarkable 120 years of age and would be terribly frail. To be truthful, it is probably best for him that he is gone.

Judging by his dashing and masculine appearance, many contempories swore he was not gay, and was simply too busy to get married. Recent biographers have found some truth to the idea that he was indeed very busy chasing young Arab boys. Another dead give away was the sweeping orchestral music that followed him around.

Lawrence is also known to have paid for a good whipping. Tragically, fellow Englander, Peter Roebuck was born many years too late, and has been forced to eke out a living as a moral crusader at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Spookily, also turning 60 on May 19, is S& M soundtrack songstress Grace Jones.

May 19 is also the birthday of dear departed Cambodian leader, Pol Pot. Mr Pot is credited with leading a socialist experiment that largely confirmed the results of previous attempts.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Obscure popular culture pt 1

Gone but not forgotten, Precious Pupp.

Internet a disgrace

A prominent bishop has hit out at a peurile and disgusting video he found on the Internet.

Anglican Bishop Brian Hemmingsworth said he had been researching the scriptures in his study when his wife walked in on him exactly when he happened across the disgusting video featuring blondes in bikinis dancing with meat.

"If this is where the information superhighway is leading us, then we are on the road to ruin. Pending further study, there is a possibility that the internet may need to be closed down," the Reverend concluded.

Up yours, Professor

Some loser claims that the tobacco industry is funding advertising on the Internet.

So what if they are, Professor? In my experience, the people who control the marketing budgets of Altria/Philip Morris , British American Tobacco and the China National Tobacco Co are some of the finest citizens you would ever meet.

And didn't you know that smoking saves money? Didn't you know that it's good for you? Sounds like it's time to wake up and smell the baccy, Professor.

So are the days of our lives

Try this ace game. Just use your mouse to alter the path of the falling sands to create cool patterns. No rules, just like the (three second pause) Shaadooohlaaands.

Celebrate good times, come on

Happy International Museum Day.

To celebrate this auspicious occasion, Phillip Adams and Michelle Grattan are offering free entry for one day only.

Don't miss out - any other day of the year, and they have to pay upwards of 120 bucks for half an hour.

Say it properly

The proper way to say Shadowlands is (three second pause) Shaadooh-laaands. Thankyou for complying with this modest request.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Capitalism and Freedom - Guest post by John Butler of the John Butler Trio


From time to time, The Shadowlands will present to you the best opinion available from celebrity guest contributors. Today, it's, John Butler of the John Butler Trio. Take it away John Butler of the John Butler Trio:


Capitalism and Freedom


by John Butler of the John Butler Trio


As John Butler, lead singer of the John Butler Trio, a lot of people take me for some kind of hippie. But while it might be true that "life's not about whose better", let me tell you, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to look into the rheumy eyes of the retards who attend my concerts knowing who has the most coin.

It is widely believed that politics and economics are separate and largely unconnected; that individual freedom is a political problem and material welfare an economic problem; and that any kind of political arrangements can be combined with any kind of economic arrangements.

However, there is an intimate connection between economics and politics, that only certain arrangements are possible and that, in particular, a society which is socialist cannot also be democratic, in the sense of guaranteeing individual freedom. Economic arrangements play a dual role in the promotion of a free society. On the one hand, freedom in economic arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end in itself. In the second place, economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.

The first of these roles of economic freedom needs special emphasis because intellectuals in particular have a strong bias against regarding this aspect of freedom as important. They tend to express contempt for what they regard as material aspects of life, and to regard their own pursuit of allegedly higher values as on a different plane of significance and as deserving of special attention...

To be continued



Tribute to Rachel

With the 5 and a half-year anniversary of the tragic death of Rachel Corrie fast approaching, now is a time for sombre reflection if not, cashing in on it with fringe theatre productions.

Rachel believed that everyone, regardless of race, sex or religion, has a right to explode in public places or indeed, to be run over by a bulldozer if they so choose. Here's to you, Rachel...

Pucker up

So Kevin likes to eat earwax and Cate likes to drink wee. Suddenly it all makes sense. Maybe they are the only people on earth willing to give each other a kiss.

So...

...are you one of those people who likes to have a good time, or are you another kind?