Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a meta-man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
I wish, I wish he'd go away...
- opening verse of 'Are We Not Meta-Men?'
after Devo and with apologies to Hughes Mearns.
Mearns' 1899 poem "Antigonish" was originally part of a play called The Psyco-ed. It's a great title. One that suits well the meta-madness of this last week in the land of the chosen (i.e. not-rejected) whom Prime Minister Tony Abbott now refers to as (also this last week) TEAM AUSTRALIA.
So, BuzzWord of the Week : metadata
And associated with that, the problematic, generally unfamilar, BuzzPrefix of the Week : meta-
The government has indicated it plans to formalise the collection and storage of our internet metadata. But they have struggled to demonstrate to the public that even they, the law makers, understand what they are referring to when they refer to metadata.
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott :
'Let's be clear', he begins. Then he suggests a metaphor 4 metadata :
PM_ABC.RN (6 August 2014) :
TONY ABBOTT: "Let's be clear what this so-called metadata is. It's not the content of the letter: it's what's on the envelope, if I might use a metaphor that I think most Australians would understand. It's not what you're doing on the internet: it's the sites you're visiting. It's not the content: it's just where you've been, so to speak."
But, holes soon appear in this explanation, too.
FIAPCE meta-mice infiltrate envelope metadata metaphor
Flushed with the skill and wisdom of his promotion of amendments to the 18C Free Speech legislation, George 'People do have a right to be bigots' Brandis decides that he will have a crack at it.
After all, he's already well-rehearsed this topic at a Parliamentary Committee appearance :
Fearless, he now riffs metadator live on SKY News :
click the images to view these clips
Some background for our international readers : George Brandis is not some rarely-heard inarticulate back-bencher. He is the Attourney General for Australia, the first law officer of the Crown in right of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Of the Crown, indeed, by his preference. Brandis was appointed a Senior Counsel of the Supreme Court of Queensland in November 2006. In June 2013 the original title of Queen's Counsel was restored by the Queensland Government and Brandis was one of 70 (out of 74) Queensland SCs that chose to become QCs. (Wikipedia)
Only partly off topic : how much is a QC/SC paid for their advocacy skills?
QC/SC: 1,000.00 per hourFor our sins, George Brandis is also the Minister for the Arts.
QC/SC: 8,000.00 per day
Lawyers and Legal Services Australia :Solicitor and Barrister Prices
Eventually, that naughty but clever Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications, is sent in to clean up the mata-mess.
AM_ABC.RN (8 August 2014) :
MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: "Well, you do accept there was a lot of confusion over the last couple of days?"
MALCOLM TURNBULL: "Well, look, let's, let's... I'll leave you to talk about the last couple of days. My concern is simply to be crystal clear about what we're talking about. I think one of the difficulties with a term like metadata is that it can mean different things to different people. And so you have to be very clear about what we're talking about."
Over to you again, James Joyce :
"Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse." (Ulysses, Ch 9)
And, from the world of Golden Oldie Frames between Inside-ers and Outside-ers, beween notions of content and context, here's another metablast fave from TEAM FIAPCE (-1978-) :
collection : National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...