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When ‘Get Krack!n’ took a crack at itself

  • Blog, SMH

Get Krack!n was already the funniest show on Australian television before Wednesday night’s finale tore its own premise to pieces. The Kates, McCartney and McLennan, have always targeted themselves as unsparingly as their genre, in the tradition of the two Larrys – Sanders and David – while adding an acidic feminist humour all their own. They even score consistent laughs from their chyron jokes, awkward overlay and irritatingly cheerful production music.

But the decision to get real-life Indigenous actor mates Nakkiah Lui (Black Comedy) and Miranda Tapsell (The Sapphires) to guest-host the final episode, playing upon their public images as an outspoken activist who appears on Q&A and an endearing, popular rom-com specialist respectively, enabled a commentary on race that took Get Krack!n well beyond its usual evisceration of morning television.

I’m planning to sleep through NYE

  • Blog, SMH

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.

Questions for the Sandpaper Three

  • Blog, SMH

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.

A message to visiting expats: shhh

  • Blog, SMH

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.

Have we been wrong about Canberra all these years? Nah

  • ABC, Blog
What if Canberra became fabulous and the rest of the country didn't notice? What if the negative impressions formed when we were forced to meet our local MPs during that mandatory Year 6 visit to Parliament were wrong?

If Trump can be president, why shouldn’t Tom Hanks be next?

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.

Read More »If Trump can be president, why shouldn’t Tom Hanks be next?

2016 might be ending, but we can expect worse in 2017

  • Blog, SMH

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.

Read More »2016 might be ending, but we can expect worse in 2017

Remembering Harold Murray Knight

Portrait of Sir Harold Knight by Bill Leak (1990), RBA collection

Portrait of Sir Harold Knight KBE DSC by Bill Leak (1990). From the RBA collection. Source: RBA site.

A remembrance shared at his memorial service – Friday 26 June 2015 at St Andrew’s Cathedral.

A Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire enters an official state function after a Knight of the Garter, but before a Knight Bachelor. He may attend special services in the order’s official chapel, St Paul’s Cathedral, and display a red circlet saying “For God And The Empire” around his coat of arms.

Bill Gates, Placido Domingo, Rudy Giuliani, Sultan Abdullah bin Khallifa of Zanzibar, Bono and Billy Graham are all KBEs, and so was the late Sir Harold Murray Knight.

But I am here today to talk not of KBEs, DSCs, or even the RBA. I am here to remember a man who proudly bore a different title – Grandpa. I somehow can’t call him anything else even at the age of 38.Read More »Remembering Harold Murray Knight

I’m disorganised. Pity me

In Year Seven, I went to a high school where I didn’t know a soul, so had to make a name for myself from scratch. I was like Rabbit, Eminem’s character in 8 Mile when he first goes to the rhyme battles, only instead of baseball caps and baggy jeans, everyone was wearing a tie and what Scott Morrison would call an ill-fitting suit.

I’m proud to say that it took me just a few weeks to establish the identity that stayed with me until the end of the year. I was the Kid With The Messy Desk.

I was also the Kid Who Looked Ridiculous While Singing In The Choir Because He Opened His Mouth Too Widely, as some kind older kids were delighted to tell me, but the Messy Desk brand proved to be the enduring one.Read More »I’m disorganised. Pity me