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Facebook has over ten million user accounts in Australia – it has a presence in the lives and lounge rooms and bedrooms of Australian adults and children as substantial as that of traditional media such as television and newspapers. “Yet it is clear that Facebook is less responsive to Australian police, regulators and law than traditional media outlets. Many parents, teachers and even police around Australia have told us of their concerns that it is difficult to find a person to speak to at Facebook, and often difficult to get objectionable material taken down speedily. Our consultations lead us to the view that the community expects more. “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that social media outlets like Facebook have undergone explosive growth in user numbers but have not yet adopted the standards of corporate social responsibility which longer-established media and communications companies meet – based on such indicators as the number of employees who are dedicated to engaging with law enforcement agencies or ensuring that content does not breach laws governing defamation and other matters.

The guy in the video says this is now a Facebook world, and the big pyramid with money at the top and people at the bottom has been turned on its head. Well I don’t really think it has, because this is the first major event I’ve seen our lot [his friends] involved with. And in the end they’re still lobbying the same governments to do the same things they would have 20 years ago. The only difference is people hear about it quicker because of social networks.

A few weeks ago, I downloaded a job-lot of kiddies’ songs from Amazon to keep my babies amused.  Uncle Larry unearthed rather an incongruous gem among them – Spike JonesDer Fuehrer’s Face.  Despite the initial WTF, and my kids’ indifference to the track, I find myself unable to get this particular – and most brilliantly mocking – verse out of my head:

Is we not the supermen?
Aryan pure supermen?
Ja we is the supermen
Super duper supermen!

It’s a version of the Oliver Wallace song from Disney’s 1943 Donald Duck anti-Nazi (or perhaps anti-Nutzi) short, which I post here for your enjoyment:

At university, I was blessed with a range of extraordinary and inspirational tutors.  One of my favourites was Professor Patrick McGuinness, who encouraged – perhaps since he’s also a poet – nonlinear thinking, making of connections, and explorations.  I was particularly struck and moved by his analysis of Mallarme’s Pour Un Tombeau D’Anatole – “210 sheets of pencilled notes towards a poem about the death of [his son] Anatole”.  He subsequently translated the work.  In 2002, a section of McGuinness’ translation was published in the LRB, along with brief notes.  Having recently becoming a parent (with “Anatole” on the baby-naming shortlist…), I wanted to re-read it.  It still shatters, moves, uplifts me, because of rather than despite its broken form, and I encourage you to read it.