Daily Archives: November 16, 2007

My English Teachers 5: Bill Maidment (revisited)

See my earlier entry where I mention a problem with the Quadrant site. This is now fixed, and “Men Without Borders” by Neil McDonald is back online.

It was Maidment’s ability to analyse every nuance of an individual passage of literature, elucidating the rhythm, symbolism and allusions, then to place it in the context of the work as a whole—all the while keeping us aware of the period when it was written—that was of special value to us all as film critics and teachers. In addition, there was his deep understanding of imagery, traditional emblems, heraldry and associations with the paintings of the period of the work being examined. Unlike many contemporary critics, Maidment was particularly good at defining a genre, exploring precisely how it related to other literary forms…

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Posted by on November 16, 2007 in English studies, inspiration, my English teachers, reminiscences, Teachers Who Change Lives


Our incomparable unemployment figures

Quite literally incomparable, as I argued a month ago: Interrogating the unemployment figures.

I return to this chicanery again after beginning Shelley Gare’s The Triumph of the Airheads (2006), reviewed there in Quadrant, John Howard’s favourite magazine. I agree with 60-70% of what Gare presents; there are issues where I think she has been a bit airheaded herself, but others — the majority — where she is spot on. One such issue is the unemployment statistics.

As for the unemployment figure…, it’s worth noting that, statistically speaking, you are counted as employed if you have worked for an hour or more in the week for pay, profit, commission or pay in kind. Or you have worked for an hour or more, even without pay, on a family farm or in a family business. [Officially, an unemployed person is someone over fifteen years of age, who has not worked at all in the week counted, has actively looked for work in the previous four weeks and is available to start work.]

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Posted by on November 16, 2007 in Australia and Australian, industrial relations, John Howard, Political