Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Monday, January 28, 2008

OzRant: Happy Straya Day...

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

Imagine my shock when I got up this morning, had a tinkle, gulped down the cold coffee on my desk, and opened the RantPlate in order to commence the daily musings. Thus far, you would have been forgiven for putting on a silly German accent and saying Alle ist in ordnung - if that's the phrase I'm looking for.

Then I did espy the fact that my machine has formed its daily opinion in a fashion that can only be described as erroneous. It seemed to think that the Strayan market had rocketed another 5%.

The Poet Burns once remarked that things gang aft agly, but generally speaking I find it best to eschew the wisdom of philosophers of your Scotch Poet variety. I did not at first assume that  the RantScripts had let me down, but on closer inspection it certainly seemed that to the extent that things had gang, they had done so agly.

It was the All Ords number that made me twig (it's still before 7 a.m., so I didn't waste a lot of brain power on it... plus I've been eating a lot of fish, so the porridge in my skull is in top form).  5886-quelques... hmm, I thought... that smells a lot like last Friday's number.

And sure enough, when I checked it appeared that the RantPlate had been populated with Friday's numbers. I expected Andy McDowell to hove into view at any second.

Rummy, thunk I. I opened my rather clever list of things that go "bing" in the night (preparing the quotidian numbers so that I don't have to), and saw that all had gone off with nary a hitch.

Hmmm... clearly the fish is not having as salutary an effect on the brain as I had previously thought, I thought. What in blazes has led to this pass? I decided to check the contents of the internets tubes; Yahoo said the same thing as my RantSheets. Two great minds, thinking alike - as they are wont to do.

Then I heard a loud click - but it wasn't helpful. Minuit (our French kitten - 'Midnight') had knocked a pen onto the floor.

But then - perhaps having now benefited from the salutary effects of the roasted brown bean on the Transom brain - it hit me. Today is the holiday for Straya day.

Nothing against Straya (except for a deep-seated hatred of the vermin that compose its government - the same feeling as I have for every government except Somalia's ). But on what basis does one shut down financial markets several days after the actual holiday? In any case the holiday marks the changing the set of parasites feeding on the polity - domestic leeches instead of foreign... terrific. Hardly a thing to celebrate - a rise in taxes from 5% of GDP in 1900, to 28% today - with unfunded pension liabilities requiring tax rate hikes in the future. Brilliant - celebrate that.

I mean sure, let checkout girls and Tax Office glorified clerks have a day off simply because the fated day falls on a weekend. The idea is that you're celebrating the event, not simply accruing an entitlement to sloth; there is enough sloth already.