A column about Grand Theft Auto

A few weeks ago, the Office of Film and Literature Classification took the extreme step of refusing the classification of a videogame, forcing it to be withdrawn from sale. And not just any videogame – they banned Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a best-seller which is widely viewed as the greatest game ever made, with the possible exception of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Continue Reading →

A column about pokies

This newspaper has recently reported on the decline of the live music scene in the Inner West. Dwindling crowds and increased council regulation have made it hard for local venues to survive. This is a blow not only to the area’s residents, but also to the entire Australian music scene, because the Inner West has always fostered new talent. Strange as it may seem, Woollahra and Bellevue Hill haven’t made quite as distinguished a contribution to the history of Australian music. Continue Reading →

A column about Big Brother

This year’s Big Brother housemates have become infamous for not wearing clothes much. But as The Glebe recently reported, housemate Tim has been wearing a Newtown Jets t-shirt. Channel 10 refused to say whether Tim lived locally when The Glebe’s reporter called, but because I know him personally, I can reveal that he is indeed is a proud Chippendale resident. It’ll soon become obvious, anyway – he’ll no doubt make guest appearances at every RSL bingo night in the area. Continue Reading →

A column about Twenty20

Last Monday’s 20-over international between Australia and South Africa, the first to be held in this country, was nothing short of magnificent. The largest-ever cricket crowd at the Gabba was thrilled by the batting pyrotechnics, and so were the punters in the pub I watched it in. The excitement level was so high that, for the first time ever, the bar staff actually turned down the crappy dance music so we could hear the commentary. Continue Reading →

A little Asiavision could do a lot of healing

The credit for today’s united Europe should go, above all, to the Eurovision Song Contest. Just a decade after World War II, it brought the people of that continent together to celebrate their belief in love, hope and appalling pop songs.

French and German alike put aside their differences on that historic first Eurovision night in 1956.

When they voted for the Swiss entrant, Refrain, ahead of the morbid Belgian runner-up, The Drowned People of the River Seine, they were really voting for a brighter future. And once the power of music had joined the people of Europe, today’s all-encompassing European Union was but a small step away. Continue Reading →