SMH blog 2006-8

I had a newsy blog on the Sydney Morning Herald website between 2006 and 2008.

A Crashing bore on Oscar night

crash.jpgWhy do Oscar-nominated films have to be so serious nowadays? This year’s slate of nominees is one of the most dreadfully earnest in a long time. Good Night and Good Luck, Munich and Capote are all dead-serious historical dramas, while Brokeback Mountain was a political statement that reimagined the great American cowboy stereotype in light of the controversial observation that some men happen to be homosexual.

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John Howard’s Perfect Ten

john_howard_smile.jpgEveryone’s reminiscing about John Howard’s ten glorious years of dominating Australian politics. Well, everyone except unions, students, refugees, Muslims, inner-city intellectuals, non-home owners, the National Party and other fringe groups that no-one cares about. So get yourself relaxed and comfortable as we look back at ten of the Man of Steel’s greatest achievements.

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Misery guts

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Wow. 62% of Australian men are overweight or obese, and 45% of women. Of course, if breakfast radio-style gender stereotypes hold, the true figure is significantly higher for men and significantly lower for women.
But overall, this depressing figure seems about right. And it is depressing, which is why I take issue with the SMH article‘s suggestion that we’re also getting “merrier”. I’m sorry, who exactly is happy about being a lardarse? What the survey found is that we’re drinking more – drinking to excess is 18%. But that doesn’t mean we’re “merry”. It probably means we’re getting pissed to numb the pain.

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Sex lives on videotape

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I would have thought this would be obvious, but here’s a cautionary tale for you all. Do not film yourself having sex. And do not allow anyone else to film you having sex. The rule applies particularly strongly if you’re a celebrity. But if you aren’t, the discovery of the tape could lead to you becoming the next Paris Hilton overnight.

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Trial by daytime TV

Episode_9am.jpgI’m not sure whether hell exists. But if it does, I know exactly what Satan and his dark minions make you do: watch daytime television.
Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that “hell is other people”. But if he’d wanted to be specific, he would surely have named the two nobodies who front Ten’s dull-as-dishwater new morning show, 9am.

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Another day, another dog whistle

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Nice work with those comments about Muslims, Prime Minister. Just the thing we need to hear from our Prime Minister after Cronulla, the cartoons, and everything else. (Sure, the comments were old, but the refusal to dilute them isn’t.)
The man who feared Australia being “swamped by Asians” in the 1980s has decided to pick on another ethnic group as part of his tireless campaign to appeal to middle Australia’s uglier side – the bedrock of his support for ten years. Although it does seem fitting that the comments were made in a book celebrating his highly successful decade of minority-bashing.

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If Dick Cheney likes hunting, it must be wrong…

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Hunting is barbaric. Pure and simple. It is an ugly relic of a departed empire, and has no place in modern society, like the practice of feeding Christians to the lions. (Although given the Christian right’s actions at the moment over abortion, the lion-feed option is sometimes tempting.) And as for the accident – well, Cheney’s fellow hunter deserves minimal sympathy. Occupational – or perhaps recreational – hazard.
But I do feel enormous sympathy for the poor quail.

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