October 26, 2004


Attention, loyal Margonauts! The next phase will shortly commence. Behold the latest transmission from Cult Commander Hamish:

Dear supporters of Margo Kingston’s Not Happy John! website,

Firstly, thankyou for your patience. Burnout is a serious issue for activists, and we have all needed a bit of a break in order to come back fighting.

No Thappy John has been running for six months or so, and they’re already exhausted. I blame the Jews.

This Friday Margo is regrouping with the NHJ! team and we are preparing for the next phase of the website and the “Defending Our Democracy” project. Note that “Defending Our Democracy” is the subtitle of Margo’s book, and has always had a much broader relevance than merely, “Not Happy John!”

It’s as though he’s interpreting scripture.

At this time we are negotiating with an ISP for our new site and figuring out the details of the design. Our central goals are to build a genuine alternative media, to compete with the increasingly sycophantic mainstream, and to abet a mass movement to support, defend and if possible extend our great democratic traditions and institutions.

They are frustrated with the way things are, hungry for change, confident of the potential for human perfection, eager to believe in a single truth, able to envision an unprecedented society, and ready for action!

An Australian version of moveon.org is a central project. Right now this website is in the height of the US election, and in that context it is a very interesting look. Check it out.

Moveon.org claims more than two million participants, was founded by a couple of millionaires, and is financed by a billionaire. Not Happy John is run by these lazy people, who in the crucial last week of the Australian election campaign managed to post only four items. Good luck convincing investors about the depth of your commitment, babies.

The new site will have improved features of interactivity, where visitors can blog their own comments and have dialogue. In the tradition of Webdiary and NHJ! these blogs will be moderated and edited, fairly and professionally, which we feel is one of the keys to Webdiary’s success.

Success? What freakin' success? Who’s the Prime Minister these days?

All comments will be deemed valid, but it will not be a free-for-all of poor spelling and grammar ...

Great Leader will not be pleased.

We are going to need your help. For offers of any type of assistance, ideas and possible links that you do not wish to be published, email us at defendingourdemocracy@yahoo.com.au.

What an odd request. Well, since you ask, I do not wish this link to be published. Or this one. (PS: Please don’t publish this link either. Thank you.)

Regards, in love and hope,
Hamish Alcorn.

End transmission. Put on your Nike sneakers. Prepare for the comet.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 26, 2004 04:39 AM

I thought Margo was taking a month off. It's been barely 2 weeks. Are her math skills on the same level as her spelling ang grammar?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 26, 2004 at 04:45 AM

Jeez, I must channeling Margo! "ang"! I meant "and". Away, vile spirits!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 26, 2004 at 04:46 AM

Awwww, Hamish Alcorn: Margo's bruvver. Here he is (scroll down about a quarter of the way) warmly recommending Chomsky. I guess some things do run in families.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at October 26, 2004 at 05:19 AM

Nice red eye in Mr. Loewenstein's picture. These folks must be too cool for modern photo editing techniques as well as proofreading.

Posted by: Anne at October 26, 2004 at 05:41 AM

Hamish's bio states a preference for "libidinal bolognovism." He's turned on by bologna?

Posted by: DWAYNE from KANSAS at October 26, 2004 at 06:40 AM

I thought they were New Balance sneakers, not Nikes...

Nope, you're right. Nikes.

Posted by: Kimberly at October 26, 2004 at 06:55 AM

I was happy to waste that time Googling to verify the sneaker brand - that's time better spent than reading the nothappyjohn site.

While I'm at it, does anyone else think "nothappyjohn.com" would serve more suitably as the URL for a site for unhappy customers of prostitutes? Like a Better Business Bureau, but with gonorrhea.

Posted by: Kimberly at October 26, 2004 at 06:57 AM

So they're gonna do another version of the DemocraticUnderground or Air America? Oughtta accomplish nothing while keeping 'em off the streets for awhile.

Posted by: ras at October 26, 2004 at 08:06 AM

Burnout is a serious issue for activists

Especially when they blow themselves up on school buses.

Posted by: Jonny at October 26, 2004 at 08:21 AM

Tell you what, Tim, if Australia really wants an "Australian version of moveon.org," why don't you just take ours. (I understand many of their supporters are planning on emigrating after November 2nd, so there should be plenty of moonba^H^H^H^H^H^H staff available.)

Put 'em somewhere in the middle of the outback with a 28K dialup connection. We'd all benefit.

Posted by: Old Grouch at October 26, 2004 at 09:50 AM

So did they have to pay for their castrations out-of-pocket, or did the Australian health care system pick up the tab?

Posted by: Donnah at October 26, 2004 at 09:52 AM

Reading about those jesters of journalism over at "Hot Nappy John" always makes my day. So a few layabouts with a second rate website are now 'activists', and are 'burntout'ha!

So, they are still fighting for democracy? Not the sort of of democracy we have just had though the democracy where everyone agrees with their agendas.

Posted by: nic at October 26, 2004 at 10:45 AM

So finally an Australian 'lefty' admits that they get their ideas from US groups like moveon.

Along with their methods and even most of the words they write. Slavish blind followers. Poodles.

Do they want to be the moveon sherrifs downunder?

Posted by: Bruce at October 26, 2004 at 11:26 AM

Antony Loewenstein reckons “it's not always easy being an Australian trapped in a universalist's body, especially when you've got a penchant for dissent.”

Would someone tell me precisely what he means by this? A literal reading suggests that while his bodily form may very well give the impression that he’s a debonair Citizen of the Universe (universalist), deep down inside he’s an unwashed provincial like the rest of us (Australian). Surely he wants to say the opposite?

Do you think “penchant for dissent” is supposed to rhyme, like “Dressed for Success”?

Antony “enjoys challenging the status quo,” quiet walks in the countryside, and compulsive masturbating.

Posted by: Sex Workers for Islam at October 26, 2004 at 12:00 PM

Bruce — Nah, they'll settle for being gauleiters or block commissars down under...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 26, 2004 at 01:39 PM

Angie Schulz's link above to the rantings of Hamish Acorn includes this little gem:

"Noam Chomsky, who I've been telling Margo for years she should expose herself to..."

Too funny for words. Many an aspiring comedian could do worse than trawl the NHJ! site for comedy gold.

Posted by: Hanyu at October 26, 2004 at 01:50 PM

Apparently Kerry O'Brien repeated the '380 missing tons of RDX' verbatim, as leaked from Democrat headquarters to NYT who dutifully printed it. Now it is looking like another Jayson Blair-style fraud.

When will Australian mainstream media journos show a bit of independence, rather than just parroting their US Democrat masters? The same folly, merely parroting US Democrat material, could be said to have brought down Mark Latham.

Come on, ABC. The general public are not the fools you take us for!

Posted by: Bruce at October 26, 2004 at 07:14 PM

OMG...one of your best eviscerations ever.

Posted by: matt at October 27, 2004 at 01:26 AM
we are preparing for the next phase of the website and the “Defending Our Democracy” project.

But Australian democracy is dead! Margo itself said (on Media Watch, no less) that the re-election of the Howard government would be the end of democracy in Australia.

Posted by: Clem Snide at October 27, 2004 at 02:05 AM

Re: "thankyou," in “Firstly, thankyou for your patience”

Dear Defending Our Democracy people,

And has THIS announcement been “edited, fairly and professionally,” so as not to “a free-for-all of poor spelling”?

Looks like “not.”

Posted by: m at October 27, 2004 at 05:26 AM

Should we send them lots and lots and lots of "possible links that [we] do not wish to be published"?

That would be fun.

(What is a "possible link"?)

Posted by: m at October 27, 2004 at 05:29 AM

Don't knock being a Margonaut until you've been one. I have. I ordered my Nike sneakers from eBay but they are too small and now I have blisters. I'm in Switzerland right now but I would certainly be meeting up with the rest of the team on Friday if I could. The issues raised in Margo's book are bigger than John Howard. They always were and always will be. That is why I personally objected to the cover and the title (as recorded in my chapter)

Posted by: Harry Heidelberg at October 29, 2004 at 04:54 AM