The Dumbest Question Ever

Wednesday, 28 September 2005
Australians are notorious for looking for the "Australian connection" in anything. Bill Bryson has supposited that this is because the rest of the world doesn't pay attention to us, so we have to pay attention to ourselves. But it does reach ridiculous proportions. For example, a news bulletin will never report on any disaster that takes place overseas without reporting whether there were or weren't any Australians involved. Ditto when any overseas celebrity dies (such as, Don Adams a.k.a Maxwell Smart, may he R.I.P.), the media never fail to mention any trips they made to Australia, work they may have done here, etc.

Well, this morning on the Today show, the all-time level of credulity was reached.
Richard Wilkins, whom I've never much cared for, was interviewing the director Cameron Crowe, discussing the release of his new film. Crowe mentioned the fact that Almost Famous did better box office in Australia than in any other country.
Wilkins said to Crowe: "I understand you met Russell Crowe recently. Do you feel a connection with him, because of your shared surname?"
(I am not making this up. If you follow the Wilkins link above, you can watch the video of the interview).

Cameron's response was masterful (or perhaps condescending. In fact, I'm pumping for the latter). If it was me, I'd have found the phone book, shown Wilkins the list of all the people with the surname Crowe, asked "Am I supposed to feel a connection with all of these people, you goit?!?", tossed the book at Wilkins' head, and stormed out. But Cameron just smiled and said "We're secretly brothers!", as if Wilkins' didn't deserve to be derided for being a pillock.

Okay, it's fine for the Australian media to look for some connection when reporting stories. But that was the most ludicrously convoluted piece of shameful blather I've ever seen. Especially since we are now pointing out that technically Russell Crowe
isn't really Australian
at all.

Another Day, Another Dollar...

Monday, 26 September 2005

Which is pretty much all I'm left with from my pay packet after taxes, bills and bus fares.

But I shouldn't complain too much about my job. After all, today there's a reflexologist coming in to the office, and I can enjoy a reflexology appointment, not only that I don't have to pay for, but I'm actually getting paid whilst I receive it. How many people can say that? I'd rather it was a neck massage though, I've been having alot of problems with my neck and back lately (oh, the perils of age!)

It was just a sedate weekend, I met Boof and Funky in town and we planned to go to the markets, but once we got there we were too tired to bother looking. They asked me did I want to go to dinner that night, but I couldn't really afford it, as I'd splurged on the Red Dwarf series one DVD, finally! I do like the later series better, but I decided to start at the beginning and collect the whole set. Other than watching that, and a lot of football, it wasn't a weekend to write much about, so I won't.

Boof, Funky, Geoff and the other guy are going to Queensland for ten days. This lead me to the horrible realisation that they won't be here for the NRL Grand Final. This made me...well, not cry, but certainly I was on the verge. We always watch the Grand Final together! I feel like an adult daughter who's always enjoyed going home for Christmas, only to discover that this year, her parents are going to Europe. (Of course, this wouldn't apply in my family. Apart from anything else, the only reason my parents would be travelling somewhere together is if they were travelling to the World Ex-Spouse Bickering Championships).

Mark Latham, You Bloody Idiot!

Friday, 16 September 2005
Before I start this post, let me just say I'm on the record here as having been a staunch Latham supporter in the past.

Latham, mid-2004

That's all over now. Shall we proceed...

Well, Mark Latham, former leader of the Federal Labor party who resigned in January,
four months after losing the election, has published his diaries, basically spewing
venom at Labor, the Liberals, the Federal Press Gallery, and everyone else. Normally for
a story like this, I'd have links so you could read all this yourselves, but I must say,
this has been one of the hardest stories to
Google that I've ever done. Links are broken or missing (for example, the official Pariliament house website's link titled "Member for Werriwa gives you this), and where active, are often to subscription-only newspaper services.

Now, I haven't read the book yet. No one has; it isn't released until Wednesday, and
excerpts have been tightly controlled. But I have read his From The Suburbs, and
you can find my review in my
December archive on the 14th (sorry, no post permalinks) and I wonder if the diaries will have such a turgid style. But I did see the Enough Rope interview last night, and I think that all that needs to be said is there. It's being re-broadcast next Monday at 9:30pm; also there's apparently going to be a transcript on the website, as soon as Legal gives the all-clear (News Limited apparently tried to block the screening last night as they hold exclusive serialisation rights to the diaries over the weekend).

So I'll let you make your own judgements on that. My remarks at this stage (and this will make sense if you've read or seen the interview) is, "Mark, your family is not the entire could easily have made a statment after the tsunami. And yes, you have driven people away from Labor. If you hate them so much, why are you still a member?"

Hasn't someone aged?

Latham, September 2005.

Celebrating The Chaser

Thursday, 15 September 2005
On the Chaser forum, there's a thread for people to suggest their own items for the newsbar. Here, in no particular order, is a selection of my favourites (in order to get the full experience, may I humbly suggest you turn your head sideways and scroll down the page to read them):

Unfunny Chaser headline lifted from The Onion

Channel 9 defies Ptolemy, Copernicus: Declares Eddie centre of universe

Australian Idol Reject Finalist leaves with dignity

Andrew Bolt fired for objective journalism, goes quietly.

Kerry O'Brien nails politician with absurd hypothetical

Mid-morning news presenter listens to guest, asks unprepared question

Lateline interview finishes without 'running out of time'

Sensitive new age male student secretly downloads Paris Hilton sex video

Glen Robbins: ‘I am ready to win a gold Logie’

Viewer still confused over Mick Molloy’s digs at Steve Vizard on The Late Show

Bob Ellis predicts Kim Beazley victory, still not joking

Irony of phrase 'Two Party Preferred' not lost on National Party

British TV show spoilt by viewer constantly guessing where he had seen actors before

Elderly bus passenger walks through entire bus, to exit from front door

Teenager finds pornography oddly less tempting after 18th birthday

Stupid email question writer told to 'just bloody Google it'

Apathy Society apparently 'not worth joining'

Roller shoes' market share stumbles, falls, breaks wrist

Radiohead to release feel-good hit of the summer

Thom Yorke announced as Gillette’s new face, wrists.

Woman gets Foxtel Digital Sky News UK just to understand Dead Ringers jokes

Dead Ringers fan points out you don't really get Mad TV's jokes either

Australian Idol contender feels urge to rearrange classic for no reason

Olivia Newton John releases new album: Fund My Retirement Please

Womyn looking for a real myn's myn.

Nico’s cow-orkers do not go out of their way to make her life more difficult

(Okay, I made the last one up myself)

Howard's Telstra Moment

Thursday, 8 September 2005
As you are probably aware, if you're reading this in Australia, the main political story in the news at the moment is Telstra; the government wants to sell its remaining 51% share in the company, but are having problems, because the new board of directors, headed by Sol Trulijo, are basically coming out and saying that the telco is up a long creek with no paddle, riddled with problems. Apparently John Howard, our honourable PM, has been aware of these issues since August 11, but it's only now being revealed.

So last night, I switched on
The 7:30 Report, expecting that there would be an interview with lil' Johnnie. And there was. But at first, the screen was frozen on the show's logo, and a voiceover came on saying, "We wish to advise that we are having transmission difficulties, we will resume the program as soon as possible." Then there were muted noises and muffled talking in the background...and then clear as a bell, you could hear John Howard's distinctive whiny voice saying "Well, you can't blame this on Telstra...(laughs), we won't blame Telstra for this!" It was immediately followed by the voiceover guy again, saying, "As you can tell, we're having transmission difficulties..." then that was cut straight to the show, host Kerry O'Brien introducing himself, apologising for the delay, and then leading into the filed story on the Telstra problems, the the interview with Howard. From the manner in which the interview was conducted, I doubt that either of them were aware of Howard's earlier comments being transmitted.

You probably can't believe what you're reading; I know I couldn't believe what I was hearing. How did that get on the air? Isn't there a delay to prevent that kind of thing? For instance, alot of people are unaware that an audience member ran onto the stage during the Big Brother final; it was cut out of the transmission. I'm left with one me paranoid...but the ABC is often accused of left wing bias. Maybe...Howard's remarks were broadcast on purpose to get him in trouble. Anyway, I was fully expecting the story to be all over the media this morning, but I listened to
NewsRadio and watched the bulletins on both the Today Show and Seven Sunrise (the things I do for you people - David Koch in the morning is almost too much for me to stand) but not a peep. I'm wondering...Cotard
if you were watching you may be able to answer this...whether it was only seen in the Eastern states, and cut from later broadcasts in the west, or did everyone hear the goof?

Spring, Where A Young Man's Fancy Turns Lightly To Thoughts Of The Cricket

Thursday, 1 September 2005
I'm sure it won't come as much of a surprise to any of you that I'm not a cricket fan. The Irish tend not to be fans of the sport. But as I see it, cricket has little to recommend it. At least if you hate the football, it's over in two hours. Cricket can go on for five days and at the end, there still can be no winner. People have tried to enlighten me as to cricket's supposed charms, but with little success. I have a friend who is, in all other respects, a sensible and highly intelligent man, but is nonetheless enthusiastic about cricket, who spent a patient two hours last summer attempting to explain the cricket to me whilst some test or other was on. Sadly, I was paying very little attention to what he said, because all the time he was talking, all I could do was stare at the TV and think, "Darren Lehman's got bosoms!" (I must grow up. There's a TV commercial for a door sales company that runs regularly around here, and I get the giggles every time the announcer gets to the part about "lock, knobs and knockers").


Anyway, to cheer everyone up, here's Xander:

As I'm sure you all know, there are certain things you cannot do in life. You cannot carry on a sensible conversation in a nightclub; you cannot make a waiter notice you before he or she is absolutely ready; and you cannot make a cat look at the camera if he doesn't want to. Especially not Xander, who knows what I'm trying to do whenever I get the camera out, and tears about the house in all directions to make capturing his image as difficult as possible.
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