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Showing posts from January, 2009

White Australian Pride

A few years ago, I actually gave serious consideration to getting a Southern Cross tattooed on my shoulder. Thank god I didn't. At the time I just thought of it as a cool design, a constellation I liked to look at. It didn't mean then what it does now. Now it means "Hi! I'm a racist thug. Kiss the flag or get bashed". It's the great Let's Not talk About It: that Australia is a racist country, and it getting worse. At Circular Quay on Australia Day the blogger witnessed crowds of drunken teenagers, draped in the Australian flag (isn't wearing the flag illegal?) yelling about the country being full and loving Australia or leaving it. There were police everywhere but none did anything to stop any of this although most of the offenders were clearly intoxicated and underage. Things got even worse over at Manly, where crowds went on a rampage , jumping on cars with "ethnic" occupants, smashing shop windows and generally acting like little shits. Bu

Five Years Later: An Anniversary Post

There's little to celebrate about me. I'm dull, pedantic and not much fun on long trips. But today, the Xander and Nico Pod marks a milestone few blogs reach (at least so far): our fifth anniversary. So forgive me if I crow a little. I've told the story of how we began in previous anniversary posts (see links on the left) but I've not much considered what came from this. No publishing deal, obviously. And I haven't met anyone interesting, although there was that stalker a few years ago, which was a brief if disconcerting thrill. But the blog has given me an outlet for what I've loved the most - evolving over time, through the personal, then the political, and on to photography, with lots of stops along the way to rant about whatever was irking me most at the time. I now look back at starting the blog as the beginning of my second life - after a traumatic 2003, it marked my return to the real world. (Not that it was much of a world - Howard was PM, Bush was the U


Have you ever sat down and considered what TV advertising is actually saying ? Recently I saw an ad for a well-known brand of shampoo, boasting that it contained the "smallest ever polymers to repair hair strands". What are these polymers, and why is their being small a good thing? When you go to get your car fixed, do you ask for the mechanic who is 140cm tall, because he'll be the best at repairing your car? Though it does sound like a great premise for a sitcom - the Littlest Mechanic in the Whole Wide World. If you steal the idea I want a producer's credit. ~~~~~ Reading a blog post furthering the argument that Ann Coulter is a man , based an analysis of her writings at Gender Guesser , I decided to test my own writings. I ran a few posts, from various times over the years, through the tool. The result? My writings tested, time and again, as MALE. In fact I never got a female reading - weak male was the "best" I could do. I have three theories as to why

Goodbye Friend

It's hard to believe that in a few short days, George W. Bush will be no more than a foot (in mouth) note of history. Like all outgoing presidents, he's determined to stake out his legacy. In his final press conference , Bush has described the regrets of his presidency, which include not finding WMDs in Iraq. Really? You're sorry that Saddam didn't have chemical, biological and nuclear weapons lying around? Makes me think that, as so often with The Onion, this isn't a joke. (Except to Bush). ~~~~~ Back in Sydney, from the "well, duh " files: publicans are reporting that the new alcohol lockdowns are causing an increase in violence . When people are turned out of hotels early, and/or refused entry when they may be perfectly acceptable by RSA laws just because of the time, they're not going to go straight home. All those people on the streets at once will cause trouble. Other ridiculous laws include only serving alcohol in disposable plastic cups (hello

Terror In Palestine

Oh, Israel. When the Red Cross is all but accusing you of War Crimes (the Red Cross ; we're not talking Amnesty International), then you're doing something pretty damn wrong - not that you, so far, appear to care. First a brief recap of the situation, as near as I can make out (sourced from Wikipedia - this is a blog post, not a Master's thesis). On 27 December, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, a series of bombings designed to bring down Hamas , the ruling party of Palestine. Israel claims it wants to limit civilian casualties; however, they have been bombing infrastructure such as schools, mosques and housing, claiming Hamas operatives are hiding in such places. Either way, on 3 January Israel launched the ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, and this is where things really start getting nasty. Israeli forces shelled a U.N. school in northern Gaza, killing more than forty civilians , many of them children. Israel claims Hamas was using the compound to fire shells on

New Year, Same Old Problems Issues

Aren't CityRail good sports? First day back at work for most people (though not for me - this little trooper worked through) and they announce a fare increase , along with the news that train crowding - or crush loading, a wonderfully apt term - is only going to get worse and there's nothing they can do about it. The Tokyo subway system carries 13 million people a day. CityRail can barely cope with one. Some are speculating whether Jett Travolta's life was put at risk through the Scientology beliefs of his parents, causing them to refuse treatment. I rather think the greatest danger for the children of celebrities is being in the Bahamas . There's been a mixed reaction to the mobile phone ban being implemented in some Sydney shops. Most people interviewed on TV last night were in favour, but one tradesman-type said "When your phone rings, you have to answer it, that's why you have a phone." Does he take the same attitude to public masturbation, I wonder?

Now That's Behind Us...

Economic woes aside, there's much to look forward to in 2009, starting with Obama's inauguaration. And in a happy coincidence, the Pod celebrates it's firth birthday on the same day. And then...okay, looking at the year ahead, there's not a hell of a lot to get excited about. But still, what are you looking forward to in 2009?