Weeknotes #223

in weeknotes

  • I apologise for beginning with the weather but it already feels like we’re past the pleasant part of spring and are barrelling headlong into the oppressive humidity of summer. I keep hoping for a break but I worry that’s unlikely.

  • As sad as it might be to say, the highlight of the week was reading through Justice Michael Lee’s judgment in Lehrmann v Network Ten Pty Ltd [2024] FCA 369. This is a defamation case where former political advisor Bruce Lehrmann sued an Australian television channel and one of its reporters over a story they ran in 2021 claiming that Lehrmann had raped a colleague late at night in Parliament House in 2019. Justice Lee found that the story was defamatory in the sense that it damaged Lehrmann’s reputation to be called a rapist but that Network Ten and the reporter made out a truth defence successfully. That is to say, on the balance of probabilities, it’s true that Lehrmann raped his colleague. This feels to me like the justice system operating at its best. I hadn’t followed the story closely but my impression is that this is a scandal that has divided people into two camps and Australian society will benefit from a disinterested third party coming in and making a set of nuanced findings.

  • Matt Lakeman wrote another in his series of travel notes, this time on El Salvador:

    Like all educated middle-class Americans, my core understanding of urban crime comes from The Wire

  • The programming project I was working on was side-tracked by a bug being filed in my TOML-parsing library, Tomlin. I hadn’t been handling nested arrays of tables correctly. After a bit of time refamiliarising myself with the library, I made the fix.

  • Emma and John ate up the famous segment from the British comedy panel show, Would I Lie to You? (Wikipedia), where comedian James Acaster claims a young boy is his sworn enemy (YouTube). I don’t think the kids really appreciate the absurdity that is at the heart of Acaster’s comedic persona but they can enjoy the obvious humour in a cranky man being cranky and I’m nevertheless proud.

  • I finally finished the movie Constantine. I still haven’t written my review on Letterboxd but I can’t sum it up better than producer Akiva Goldsman apparently did saying the film is a ‘sequel to the Constantine movie you never saw’. I can’t find a source for that quote outside of Danny Boyd’s video essay but that nails it. Goldsman was a producer on the film so presumably saw it as a positive but it’s the reason the movie doesn’t work from my perspective.

  • Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department. I was surprised she was (relatively speaking) so quick to release a follow-up to Midnights and that surprise is warranted. In his weeknotes, Brandon wrote down what I was thinking:

    I’m in agreement with the reviews calling out the bland sameness from song to song—perhaps Jack Antonoff has finally exhausted his creative run and needs to take some time off too. Double albums are tricky.

  • Given how meh I thought the album was, I don’t think it’s right to link to The Tortured Poets Department. Instead, how about System of a Down’s ‘Aerials’ (Apple Music)? I saw a video on YouTube of someone playing the guitar riff and listened to the song for perhaps the first time in 15 years or so.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net