Spent Hogmanay watching the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the ABC, and enjoying the precision drill and good bagpipes. I especially liked the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland, all of whom looked like my friend Harry. It quite took me back to the days when they used get the US Marines over to throw entire rifles with fixed bayonets at each other - and catch them.
Thankfully the Top Secret Drum Corps came on after the Australian Defence Force band, whose performance was humiliating to a degree for which even I was not prepared. If it turns up on YouTube in a decent clip, I'll add it, because it has to be seen/heard to be believed.
In 2011 Australia's regimental military bands faced the chop in what was supposed to save the forces $20 billion in 10 years. However, if you watch the Australian Defence Force band's performance, you - like me - will find yourself wondering why the entire military band budget can't be cut, preferably immediately, so that you never have to watch this kind of thing again. (Man, the Norwegians absolutely rolled all over us.)
Why not re-train some of them to catch rifles with fixed bayonets? Especially that grinning dude who tried to sing 'Highway to Hell' ...
Update: The ghastly performance certainly puts this recent announcement in perspective.
Further Update: And we can't say we weren't warned, as far back as August.
Double Update: See QED for more post-plum-pudding surliness.