Archive for April 1, 2003

April Fool! SBS Tonight featured

April 1, 2003

April Fool!

SBS Tonight featured an episode of the Cutting Edge which was seemingly a paranoid investigation of the role the CIA played in recruiting Stanley Kubrik to fake the moon landing.

Donald Rumsfield, Henry Kissinger, Buzz Aldrin and many other high profile figures were featured in the documentary, along with a few lesser known “CIA officials”. The traditional photographic debunking of the moon photos was present, along with a conspiracy theory involving Kubrik and Rumsfeld.

Now to those who take an interest in conspiracy theories, this is hardly new. Freaks have been claiming the moon landing was faked for decades. What made this one unique was seeing Rumsfeld and Kissinger apparently detailing their own involvements (without naming any names).

At first I thought that the producers had just cut and pasted speeches from the big names around the main narrative, but then it just got more ridiculous. The documentary claimed that the US sent 100,000 troops into South East Asia to hunt down the actors that starrred in the fake film. The troops failed in their mission, but the actors were later “disappeared” by the CIA.

Just as I was wondering how SBS could screen such a load of drivel, the documentary ended. During the credits, Jackie Chan-style outtakes of Rumsfeld and Kissinger giggling like little girls at the scripts they were reading from, along with the actors who played the lesser parts fluffing their lines, lifted the ruse.

SBS 1 – Yobbo 0. Unfortunately the equaliser isn’t likely to come any time soon, since I can only SBS clearly 1 night in 7 where I live, so I don’t bother tuning in much.

In other April Fools hi-jinks,. I received the following E-mail from an unnamed blogger.

Subject: Leftists Condemn Fascist Saddam Hussein!

Message Body: April Fool!

The Last Legitimate Bigotry Asian

April 1, 2003

The Last Legitimate Bigotry

Asian female drivers would face restrictions under a radical proposal to prevent people dying on WA roads.

Research by the University of WA’s Injury Prevention Centre shows a restriction on driving by asian female drivers could save between 15 and 31 lives or serious injuries a year.

nd bigoted to you? That’s because it is. Of course it’s made up, because only a white supremist,misogynist, Wilson Tuckey worshipping right-wing fanatic like me would ever purport rubbish like this.

Of course, if it is young people that you are discriminating against, it’s completely different.

P-PLATE drivers would face a night curfew under a radical proposal to prevent young people dying on WA roads.

Research by the University of WA’s Injury Prevention Centre shows a restriction on night driving by P-plate drivers could save between 15 and 31 lives or serious injuries a year.

t all probationary drivers are young, but the vast majority of them are. This is no different than banning people who speak Arabic as their first language from immigrating to Australia. Of course, not all Arabic speakers are actual Arabs, but you get the idea.

The whole concept of probationary licences is one of the biggest shams ever constructed. Back in my day, the only real restrictions were a maximum speed of 80km/h on any road, and a lower BAC limit of 0.02% instead of 0.05.

If anyone has ever been overtaken by a fucking road train on Albany Highway because you can’t legally drive faster than 80km/h, then you would realise, as I do, how stupid and counterproductive these limits are.

A lower maximum speed on long-haul trips also contributes significantly to driver fatigue – something much more dangerous than either speed or alcohol. P-plate fdriving restrictions turn a 3 hour trip into a 4 hour trip, and is probably more mentally draining due to being overtaken 250 times.

At least I only had to be a member of the driving underclass for 1 year. It is my understanding that the new crop have to endure it for 2 years.

Of course the argument can be made that many P-Platers aren’t very experienced drivers and are more likely to be involved in an accident after dark. The article quotes:

30 per cent of probationary drivers’ fatal accidents occurred at night, compared to 21 per cent for adult drivers.

me of my favourite road statistic: “x% of crashes occur within 5kms of home!”. Well duh. It makes sense that if home is where every driving expedition starts and ends, the vast majority of your driving will occur in a certain range of your house.

Likewise, young drivers are much more likely to drive between the hours of 10pm-6am.

  • Less people under 20 have jobs that would preclude them from driving around at 3am.
  • Young people socialise after hours a lot more than the married with kids set do
  • Young people frequent places that are open until 3am more than the general population does.

What this really comes down to, is that being a probationary driver doesn’t mean you are a bad driver. If you score perfectly in both the written and practical parts of the driving examination, you are still given a probationary licence!. If Michael Schumaker retired and emigrated to WA, he would be required to hold a probationary licence for 2 years, unable to legally exceed 80km/h.

These sort of ridiculous generalisations are a fundamental problem with road safety think-tanks. More deaths occur on country roads than city roads, leading to the belief that country people don’t drive as well due to the lack of “qualified” driver trainers.

Don’t worry about the fact that most country kids have been driving for 10 years before they get a licence. Hell, some of my best friends were driving articulated machinery before most city kids had learned long division.

The reason for road deaths in the country is simple – the roads are terrible, poorly maintained, mostly single carriageway. Road trains compete with holidaymakers and commuters on strips where you are required to compete with oncoming traffic to overtake. I personally knew 4 people who have been killed in head-on collisions with trucks on country roads. Each of them would still be alive today if Albany Highway was a dual carriageway.

So to the do-gooders at UWA I’d like to say – Fuck You. I’ll propose a challenge: A 17 year old country P-Plate driver of my choosing, against one of you enlightened beings. Obstacle cource provided by the RAC. Loser gets 10 years driving probation, doubling of their car insurance premiums, and a night curfew want to restrict bad drivers – here’s an idea. Identify them.

The Yobbo Centre for Traffic Study Recommends:

Everyone has to re-take their licence test and will be graded empirically. Top 10% of drivers get no restrictions on speed, German style. Next 30% get standard road rules afforded to them. The bottom 10% are banned altogether and sent back to driver retraining, and the remainder are your probationary drivers. Happy Now?

Of course not. Merit based system – bad. Discrimination – good!