Sam at Balena with a Clipboard

In their answer to A celebrity had his assistant call to schedule a date with me. Should I be offended?, Sam Murray details their rather agreeable experience of having their one-time Celebrity Fuck Buddy (CFB) arrange dates through an assistant. After all, the CFB was hardly to be trusted to arrange dates on his own.

In comments, Sam added that they found the prospect of arranging logistics pretty hot themselves:

Haha. I like planning weirdly enough. Making reservations is like a blood sport for me. Party of 7 at 8pm at balena on Saturday night? Consider it done. Coordinating hotel reservations with flight times with restaurants with tours with car rentals? I am getting aroused just thinking about it. Lol.


I’m sorry to say, Sam, but the paparazzi have been leaking footage of you with your CFB (celebrity fuck buddy). Only fair you should know:

In this cartoon, the role of the CFB is being played by Tom Selleck. Or Eric Braeden. Since I can’t actually draw, I need all the visual cues I can get.

What does ταχθῆναι mean in Attic Greek? Is it ταχος+τίθημι?

Yes, reverse engineering the present tense from the aorist passive takes some practice. Learn the major verb classes so you can recognise the tense endings.

The present tense here is τάσσω, “to place, to order”.

If New Testament has κρεμάμενος “hanged” referring to Jesus, why has the word been rendered as σταυρωθείς, “crucified”?

Well, both do indeed occur in the New Testament. “Crucify” σταυρόω is the usual verb, but Galatians 3:13 uses ὅτι γέγραπται Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὁ κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου “for it is written: cursed is he who hangs from a pole.”

Galatians 3:13 uses hangs from a pole to refer to Jesus, but in fact it is quoting Deuteronomy 21:23: you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. Deuteronomy is referring to death by hanging from a pole. Acts 5:30 also uses that expression to refer to the crucifixion, and the commentaries explain it as an allusion to the same source.

Greek Orthodox hymns generalise this quotation to refer to the crucifixion, on both Holy Thursday and Good Friday: see Επί ξύλου κρεμάμενοι όλοι μας. But translating crucifixion on a cross into hanging on a tree is hardly rare in different cultures. I’m pretty sure it shows up in Old English, though I’m not finding the source on Google.

How does Australian culture compare with European culture?

Some astonishingly good answers, particularly Ben Kelley and Melodie Neal.

To a European, we are clearly New World, and closer to the US than to Europe, as others have explained. Melbourne is more European (and it has gotten even more European since the 90s, with the promotion of foodie culture and laneway restaurants in the CBD); but that doesn’t make it very European.

We are still a long way from anywhere, and relatively isolated geopolitically if not commercially. Our cityscapes are still spread out and very suburban compared to Europe. We still have a dearth of engaged citizenry and public intellectuals; which is why Waleed Aly is too good for us (and I’m happy he’s gotten himself a commercial infotainment forum). White Australians have an acute dearth of history. Traditional Anglo-Australian (“Aussie”) culture is somewhat on the wane, which is not really a positive development, and likely more a victim of globalisation than of us ethnics.

OTOH: we are not weighed down by history, just like the US isn’t. We still pay some lipservice to egalitarianism; class is emerging (popular derision of “bogans”), but it’s nowhere near as entrenched as it has been in at least some of Europe. We are a placid, confident place to live, though not as placid or confident as we used to be. We are no longer a cultural wasteland. Clive James, bless him, was part of a mass exodus of intellectuals to Britain in the ’60s; he’s recently admitted that they were too stupid to recognise that there was a cultural upsurge happening just as they left, from the new European migrants.

Yes, the majority narrative of why multiculturalism is a good thing stops after “um… cuisine”. And there are clear and pressing problems ongoing with our indigenous community, with the xenophobic mistreatment of asylum seekers, and with the twin problems of the failure to integrate Lebanese Australians better, and the stoking of islamophobia that takes that as a pretext.

On aggregate, I’ll still say, our rendering of multiculturalism has translated into a somewhat less rooted, yet open and resilient society. So far.