At midnight on December 31, as 2018 ticks over to 2019 and revellers’ cheers erupt across the eastern seaboard, I fully expect to be fast asleep.
Couples will kiss, singles will hug awkwardly, and Auld Lang Syne will be sung despite nobody knowing what an “auld lang syne” is. The air will be crackling with good cheer and, shortly afterwards, thick smoke from the fireworks. And I plan not be conscious for any of it.
This year has featured some spectacularly poor decisions. Peter Dutton’s leadership challenge, Justin Milne’s mutually assured dismissal and the Central Coast Mariners’ Usain Bolt misadventure were all epic pieces of incompetence.
But none holds a candle to Australia’s two best cricketers and a gormless newbie getting busted ball-tampering. After years of scandals about picked seams and sticky sweets, our tactical geniuses thought it’d be bonza to use sandpaper in front of multiple high-definition cameras.
At Christmas time, Santa isn't the only one circumnavigating the globe to deliver joy. At this time of year, it feels like the entire million Australians who live overseas fly home for beach time, family time, and frenzied catch-ups with those of us lucky enough still to be deemed their friends.
I love seeing my expat mates – they’re lovely, clever, entertaining people who are doing terribly well in NYC or Singapore or Kalamazoo or wherever is lucky enough to have them. But as our globetrotting pals regale us once more with their tales of their glamorous existence exhibiting avant garde paintings in Shoreditch or collaborating with the UN in Geneva or saving lives in rural Myanmar, I have one small request.
Today, the High Court is hearing arguments about the same-sex marriage plebisurveythingummy, which, in the opinion of constitutional guru George Williams, is likely to be struck down. But while the silks slug it out, what better time to look at the arguments that have been playing out in the public space?
The curious thing about the No campaign is that the arguments advanced rarely have much to do with the central question of whether two people of the same sex should be allowed to enter a secular marriage.
So let’s take a look at some of the things the No campaign has been talking about instead of the question being posed in the ABS one-question questionnaire — “should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”Read More »The five worst arguments for voting ‘No’
Whether you consider yourself one of “Trump’s Aussie Mates” like Mark Latham, or view the President-elect as one of the Four Businessmen of the Apocalypse, one thing cannot be denied about Donald J. Trump. Of all the candidates who ran in the US election, he was undoubtedly the most entertaining.
Hillary Clinton was predictable, safe and samey, a policy wonk who probably spends her holidays devouring briefing papers by the pool. Whereas Donald Trump spent his career slapping his name on gaudy buildings, and firing people on television. If the voters had been looking for traditional qualifications like experience, it would have been as easy as choosing between Trump University and Harvard.
But they weren’t. They were looking for something to shake up the status quo and add some entertainment to the dreariness of politics. When Trump speaks, policy challenges seems simple, and victory seems inevitable. Many Americans knew and liked him, so they gave him a shot.
David Bowie. Alan Rickman. Prince. Muhammad Ali. Leonard Cohen. Sharon Jones. George Michael. Carrie Fisher. The list of the icons that we’ve lost this year reads like a morbid update of We Didn’t Start the Fire.
At times, the deaths have come so rapidly that we haven’t had time to process one before being slugged by another. In January, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glenn Frey within eight days. And just since Christmas, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and then her mother Debbie Reynolds.
We talk of 2016 as a particularly awful year. It’s as though a temporal supervillain is stalking our most beloved celebrities. Artist Chris Barker has been compiling images of this year’s losses into a 2016 remix of the Sgt Pepper’s cover – he’s now run out of room.
I love cafés. I love proper espresso coffee, idle chatting while I sip it, and those little cakes that are just small enough to let me pretend that they’re not unhealthy.
I like my water served sparkling, my toast with ‘smashed avo’, and I like using my local café as a ‘coffice’ even though that’s the worst portmanteau word besides ‘webinar’.
Yes, I’m an inner-city, lattè-sipping, walking stereotype, so when I recently visited Paris I made sure I visited as many of them as humanly possible.Read More »Visiting the world’s oldest café