1864 Denmark. ABC, SBS and Coen Brothers.

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A hair-raising selfie around 1942 in Rotterdam

The Australian Broadcasting Commission or better known as ABC together with SBS are under threat by our Government. We all know they are obsessed by selling and privatising everything that’s not bolted to the floor. We know that since electricity was considered a saleable commodity and privatised, costs have blown out. Paying the electricity bill for many people is now a nightmare and fear driven. Many switch off power unable to afford it. Yet, we all use the same electricity coming down from all those poles and wires. The advice lately is for consumers to ‘negotiate’ the best deal with the myriad of companies that are re-selling electricity. The mind boggles. It is possible to save hundreds of dollars by doing that. How ridiculous a proposal that is! Are we supposed to ring around to get a good deal? What next? Negotiate our water, garbage disposal. Have you ever tried contacting an AGL or other electricity provider? You get a call centre from Shri-Lanka!

I can’t think of a single utility that the Governments has sold that actually brought better and cheaper services. The holy grail of ‘let the markets decide all’ works marvellously for shareholders and big end of town, but not for the consumers. Aged care, hospitals, education, post services, un-employment services, child-care, you name it. All are now inferior in their service delivery. Australia has one of the most unequal education systems in the world. The copying of England’s private school method has proven to have had disastrous consequences. Our education system is called a ‘A national calamity’.

https://www.theeducatoronline.com/au/breaking-news/a-national-calamity-australia-2nd-most-unequal-education-system-in-the-world–report/257471

The people of Australia at present own ABC and SBS radio and TV and are the last of the Mohicans that give pleasure to millions, and it is free from commercialisation. True, SBS does have advertising but it also provides all those programs available on Smart TVs and ‘On Demand’. This is what we now look forward to. However, our present ‘Market and US’ copying driven Government is getting increasingly stroppy with the ABC, which is seen by the present Liberal Government as biased and critical. Both the Chairman and Managing Director have been sacked. The fear now is that the position will be filled with Pro- Government stooges. Funding is being cut and all is set to sell the ABC and get the Murdoch’s News Media with Bolt and Alan Jones.

But, as I started this piece. SBS ‘On Demand’ has give us many evenings of great TV watching. We have seen 4 episodes of the 8 series of a marvellous TV series named; 1864 Denmark War.

https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/program/1864-denmarks-war

What I like about most of the Scandinavian series is the naturalness of their actors. They  look like normal people. None of that made up perfect looking actors so often featured on English/American speaking TV drama series. The American Coen brothers have made another movie. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6412452/

I can’t wait to see it. They are one of our most favourite film makers. One of their previous movie, ‘No country for old men’ is superb. But, on TV the foreign mainly Scandic series are my favourite with English subtitles. It’s so much better than studying power bills.

 

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25 Responses to “1864 Denmark. ABC, SBS and Coen Brothers.”

  1. janesmudgeegarden Says:

    Gerard, how amazing, you could have written that for me, right down to the Coen Brothers. I think I’ve seen most of their movies and enjoyed them all. As a state primary school teacher for 30 years, and totally committed to a fair public school education, your comments about private schools also resonate.
    I have to admit though, as a recent joiner of Netflix, I have been watching ‘Outlander’ from the beginning (having never watched it before) and I can’t seem to stop watching. I must say, those wild Scots seemed to have excellent teeth in 1750!!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. rangewriter Says:

    This: I can’t think of a single utility that the Governments has sold that actually brought better and cheaper services. The holy grail of ‘let the markets decide all’ works marvellously for shareholders and big end of town, but not for the consumers. I want to shout to all the silly Trump followers in America who are convinced that the government is ripping them off and that privatizing everything from health care to mail delivery will MAGA. 😦

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I believe that the system of forever lowering taxes and selling off utilities will terminally bankrupt countries in the grip of blatant bloated capitalism. Social democracies as practiced in Scandinavia seem to last better. I am no expert but a good measure of countries wellbeing is their rate of crime and incarcerations.
      But sometimes there is a surprise! In the Australian State of Victoria the government is planning to follow the Finnish example of giving all parents of a newborn baby a basket of goodies. The basket itself is a small bed.
      Have a look.
      https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22751415

      Liked by 3 people

  3. shoreacres Says:

    Interesting that you mention The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. One of my Texas blog friends who now divides his time between Texas and Santa Fe tried out for a part as an extra in the film, and made the cut. I didn’t realize the film had been released. I’ll have to ask him if he made it into the film or landed on the cutting room floor. If he made it, I’ll let you know and you can look for him.

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I hope your friend will feature in that movie. Please, let us know, Linda.
      It reminds us of a time our late daughter Susanna introduced us to filmmaker, Oliver Stone. He went to see his own movie in a local cinema that our daughter had been part of in promoting in Sydney, Australia.
      It was a long time ago, but still a nice memory.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. freefall852 Says:

    Absolutely correct, Gerard..and I have just penned a piece that I hope will go up on the AIMN later tonight or tomorrow..it is up on my blog now..https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/the-corrupt-cat-of-capitalism/ This banking Royal Commission has spilled the beans on the lot of them!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      A very good piece, Freefall 852. I always wondered why Australia had so many bank branches. Walking around Amsterdam I had trouble finding any bank.
      The bank charges to the dearly departed dead people are amazing. What bank service would I still get after I am gone? Will I be offered a juicy loan on a nice apartment or a discounted rate at the cremation oven? Perhaps a discounted final icy embrace in a massage parlour?

      Liked by 4 people

      • freefall852 Says:

        What I am thinking of is whether these “untouchable / too big to fail” corporations can survive the public outrage..after all, for all their seeming hugeness, in the end they are only as secure as the public’s intention to use them…..or lose them!

        Liked by 4 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Perhaps, business as usual. The public’s outrage will be spent on avocadoes on toast. I used to think that Australians would revolt about the refugees on Manus and Nauru. Bricks would be thrown. Universities would be seething with discontent, professors would line the streets. But… nothing much. How do those politicians get where they are?
        Still, keep on the good words, Freefall. Very impressive, and spot on.
        Look forward to AIM publishing your piece.

        Liked by 4 people

      • freefall852 Says:

        Ah, Gerard…of course, you are right to say that the age of the thrown brick is past…It is with regret we have to acknowledge that no longer do the youth of today find delight in the sudden yet soft flare of a well directed Molotov Cocktail…and how many, I have to ask, know the skill in putting a spin on a heaved house brick?…a skill I am sure learned and perfected by Warnie with his ” The Shane Warne Special ‘Slider’ “…and his legedry “Gatting ball”..
        No…sad to say this younger generation vents its outrage with a sharp-punched : “As IF..LOL!!”…or a : ” YOU WOULD LMAO!! ” followed by a selected emoji…no..a sad lack of healthy exercise I’d warrant!

        Liked by 3 people

  5. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    I to like Cohen Brother’s movies. We watched The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. I liked it a lot. It is quite dark at times, and silly at other times. I cried, I laughed, and there were some important messages. In 6 separate stories they did a great job of showing us what life must’ve been like in The Old West. 🙂 And I loved the singing/music in it! 🙂

    That photo is so sweet! 🙂 Is that your brother with you?

    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You have seen the movie already? That is amazing. In Australia?

      Their movies are inclined to be heavy and pessimistic about humanity but gives welcome relief by their fondness of the absurd. It is the Coen Brothers artistry that overcomes all. One leaves the cinema with an enlightened heart that, despite the cruelty and mayhem, gives us softer elements showing hope and courage. We mustn’t give up is perhaps its main message.

      We can’t wait to see it.

      On the photo, I am the more anxious one on the right with my brother Frank who died last year in Holland.
      I just love the dress my mother was wearing. She was very beautiful.
      Hugs,,,Gerard

      Liked by 3 people

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        Yes, I saw it.
        No, I don’t live in Australia.
        Hopefully you will get to see the movie soon. It is worth a watch! 🙂

        It is a very sweet photo. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        Oh, we saw the movie on Netflix.

        Liked by 4 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, Carolyn.
        My memory is fading but you have rekindled it with mentioning Netflix.

        A critique of the movie mentioned that the Coen brothers were not shy in embracing the modern way of distribution of their latest film through Netflix.

        We have Netflix on our TV but have yet to master the skill in negotiating all those buttons.
        So far we stick with ‘SBS ‘On Demand’. This has given us a smorgasbord of mainly Scandinavian movies.
        We settle down deep into our couch and as soon as we see a snow covered forest we will be in for a good evening.
        Hugs,Gerard

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Government ownership can have its problems, but in theory, it is dedicated to serving the public. Capitalism is all about maximizing profit. It’s goal is to make the owners as wealthy as possible as quickly as possible. All too often, the public, the workers, the products, the environment and even the companies are screwed. Good post, Gerard. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, you are right, Curt. But, I am beginning to wonder if that capitalism system has now been superseded.

      China presents a puzzle. They too seem to have been able, and with astonishing speed, to lift hundreds of millions out of starvation into reasonable level of wellbeing. Yet, no capitalism.

      Looking at the thousands of Chinese tourists wandering around the cities in Australia I don’t get the impression they are repressed or suffering. They laugh, shout and take selfies the same as us, the grateful recipients of a democracy. But, as in America, our system too is showing signs of wilting. There us a tension in the air. Climate change is being ignored and things are hotting up. The poor get poorer.
      Are we at crossroads?

      Liked by 4 people

      • freefall852 Says:

        If I may butt into the conversation here and say I agree with both of you..and as for the “China Syndrome” we are seeing at the moment..I would say that China’s ;”One belt one road” sounds like a brilliant idea..an operation that would benefit the country food producers as much or more that the city techos’…and the countries of the Pacific Islands would benefit with having a direct route to the European markets through the China road..and THAT may just be why we are seeing so much opposition from “other super-powers” and their yapping little dogs.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        I think China has opened up to encouraging entrepreneurs, Gerard, which may be the one good thing capitalism has going for it, that and competition when it happens. The increasing gap between the super rich and everyone else is bound to have major consequences. The question is only one of time, I think. –Curt

        Liked by 4 people

  7. freefall852 Says:

    As frequent watchers ourselves these days of “Nordic Noir” genre films..I have to say that I am amazed at the frequency and volume of serial killers there in Scandinavia!..and I thought Midsomer Murders held the record for the disposing of corpses!
    Mind you, those Frenchies know how to dish it out too when it comes to a bit of the old ultra ‘V’ and those coppers on the hunt..But it is getting so dark sometimes there in the midnight Sun that i think I will have to go back to watching re-runs of good old Father Brown to bring some balance back into my life!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, very true, Jo.
      We go back to Bonanza for respite from Nordic gore and grizzle.
      If things are really grim, there is Pick a Box with Bob and Dolly.

      Liked by 2 people

      • freefall852 Says:

        Ah!..Bob and Dolly Dyer!..almost forgot about them..and Jack Davies on Coles $64 thousand dollar question (I think that was what it was called..)
        There is that yarn about Jack Davies and his risque humour..in that one lady contestant, on answering the winning question for the grand prize was given a final complimentary question by Jack…:
        “I have here the cheque, ready to hand it over to you madam if you can tell me what you said to your husband on the day he carried you over the thresh-hold on the day of your wedding!”
        To which the lady worrying replied..:
        “Oh, Jack…that’s a hard one. . .”
        “GIVE THE LADY THE MONEY!”…he cried..

        Liked by 4 people

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