It’s not exactly a huge surprise that the banks are gouging us all blind with ATM fees, but the figure of $600m has outraged everybody in the media today. And that figure will certainly make me think twice before using a non-bank ATM. Although I still will, because I’ll be at a pub, and the idea of paying $1.50 to get more cash will seem like a small price to pay next to the amount I’m about to dump on the pokies.
Freelance writing for SMH.com.au, The Glebe, Cleo, SundayLife and elsewhere
Today’s Australia Day, when everyone sings Advance Australia Fair incessantly. (The version on the tennis during the Hall of Fame induction was particularly painful.) It’s commonly known that there is an obscure second verse. But did you know that the original song had five verses, many of them even more excruciating than the anthem we suffer through today? For instance, “Her sons in fair Australia’s land / Still keep a British soul?”
Who’ll be Australian Of The Year? On second thoughts, who cares? Just get those annoying dignitaries off-stage and let us enjoy our day off in peace. Dominic Knight winces at the embarrassing excesses of patriotism that are trotted out on Australia Day.
You would be forgiven for not realising it, but last Sunday was the inaugural A Mate For Head Of State Day. The republican movement stuttered into life with a bold new message to try and ignite popular interest in dumping the Queen for “a mate”, that is, one of us. The new slogan is certainly a powerful argument for change – to a better slogan. A less awkwardly lame slogan. Preferably one that doesn’t rhyme.
All truly great horror-movie villains never really die. Characters who’ve terrorised us for decades like Freddy Kreuger from the Nightmare On Elm Street series, hockey-mask Jason from Friday the 13th series and Deuce Bigalow from the Male Gigolo series always rise from their grave in the last frame, threatening us with the prospect of yet another sequel. So too with the greatest villain of our time, Osama Bin Laden, who has just released another video from the undisclosed location that everyone except the US Army knows is Pakistan.
It isn’t said often enough, but Damir Dokic is a genius. In the vast pantheon of crazy fathers from Joe Jackson to Richard Williams, there is no-one to hold a candle to him for sheer lunacy. And while Jelena struggles for form, Damir’s latest outburst shows he’s absolutely on top of his game.
There should be a special circle of hell reserved for the guys who flog American Express credit cards. They are without doubt the most infuriating people working in Australia today, with the exception of everyone involved with Australian Idol.Read More »A column about Amex touts
I can’t remember ever watching a more enjoyable sporting event than last Wednesday’s win by the Socceroos. I think the main reason it was so very, very good was because we weren’t expecting to win. A sporting victory is always sweeter when it isn’t expected. That’s why the Premiership wins by the Swans and Tigers were so intensely satisfying, as both clubs put aside decades of disappointment to finally taste success. I’m still waiting for the AFL to uncover some evidence, or hear some appeal, that’ll mean the Swans aren’t actually premiers – it’s almost surreal.Read More »A column about the Socceroos
I was sitting with friends at the pub last week, celebrating someone’s 30th birthday with a few quiet, contemplative ales. But just as I was queuing at the bar, somebody drew a gun. Fortunately, though, was made out of pink plastic, and attached to a video game machine, Time Crisis III. It’s a fantastic game, actually – it lets you arbitrarily shoot a lot of terrorists dead, while accidentally slaying a few civilians along the waay. John Howard would like it.Read More »A column about being cool