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Showing posts from July, 2006

Big Brother: Take The Money and Run

Well, Channel 10 must be thrilled with themselves; their hard programming work has paid off to give them the Big Brother result they always wanted.

In the end it came down to Camilla and Jamie. Camilla was the sentimental favourite to win, but after all, the main group of people who vote for Big Brother are teenage girls. Who also happen to be the target audience...

At the start of tonight's eviction show, the tally of votes was split 50/50 ("Only 300 votes in it!" parrotted Gretel) between Jamie and Camilla. And as we caught up with the former housemates and reflected on this year's show, there was of course footage of both the housemates...heavily wighted in favour of Jamie. We saw Jamie's tearful reunion with Katie, met Jamie's lovely family, and saw almost nothing of Camilla.

And as the broadcast went on, the voting tally began to slide heavily in favour of one housemate...Jamie, in fact, for of course he won.

Am I implying that the producers...rigged the out…

Let's Celebrate

Last night Channel 10 news reported on a study of 2500 Australian women about their fascination with celebrities. Apparently 66% of women discuss celebrities at least once a week; the percentage of women who discuss politics in a week is only 6%. Favourite celebrities were ranked - Nicole Kidman was No.1 for the women, Johnny Depp was No.1 amongst male stars - and it even looked at the effects celebrities have on peoples' lifestyles: since Angelina Jolie adopted a baby from Ethiopia, applications to adopt Ethiopian children have reportedly doubled.

Where did the cult of celebrity come from? There's always been famous people. But it's only in recent years that celebrities have become fascinating for their own sake. I bet Judy Garland was never the subject of a magazine spread merely for taking a holiday. Visit any newsstand today though and the shelves are packed with magazines solely about the famous; the exploits of stars are presented on evening news bulletins as though i…

True Democracy For The Middle East

Well, US Secretary of State Condileeza Rice has arrived in the Middle East for talks aimed at negotiating a ceasefire, and to announce humanitarian aid. All well and good. Dr Rice has also said that the long term solution lies in "peaceful and democratic society" in the Middle East.

Ah, peace and democracy! They go so well together, like strawberries and cream, Paris Hilton and scandal, blogger and opinionated know-it-all. Though Israel is a democracy, and so was Lebanon last time I checked. The problem is, of course, that free voting means that people are free to vote for Hezbollah, or conversely Likud.

Nonetheless "democracy" is the current US one-size-fits all solution to the problems of the world. The US is determined to impose a democratic society upon the people of Iraq, whether they like it or not. (Which provides an interesting contrast to the previous US policy of supporting the overthrow of democratically elected governments, such as in Chile in 1973, but n…

Why Not Me?

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I'd like to know, just who do you have to sleep with to get a mention in Crikey's Blogwatch? Every day, there's a list of posts that have caught the Crikey people's eye, be they insightful, irreverent or humorous...but I've not been featured even once! What do I have to do? I am willing to sacrifice my personal integrity to get on the Blogwatch. They have my number (I'm a subscriber) so I'm waiting for their call.

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I think I know from good blogs. I've been running the Pod here for nearly three years, and I know that this isn't a good blog. Nonetheless, I surf random blogs, a lot:


(I've been looking for an excuse to throw this in a post), so here are my tips on what makes a good blog - regardless of subject matter.


Put a description of your blog at the top of the sidebar.

It is true that most people find it easier to read dark text on a light background (not a white background though...if you look carefully you'll see this blog has the pal…

Most Thought Out Post Ever

It's nothing new for Simpsons fans to lament how the show has gone downhill in recent years (I first said so here more than two years ago) so I won't revisit that argument. Nor is it original to marvel at how The Simpsons has shaped society - there's been hundreds of books, articles, academic papers and studies - so no need to add my two cents on this either.

But when the Simpsons is good, it's very very good. In fact, it soars far and above almost all other pop culture. Therefore, I'd like to present my list of personal Best Episodes Ever. They may not tally with the preceived wisdom, but these are the ones I'd take with me to...well, anywhere. (Links where provided are to the SNPP capsules for each episode, if available)

#FABF10 Co-Dependents Day
"Sleep well, my drunken angel"
A thin premise, perhaps - Homer and Marge on a bender. But it works. The scene where they attend the cinema is priceless; and there's no Big Message here, just fast-flowing ga…

Flag Burning City: Troops Out Now!

I don't have Pay TV, which is unfortunate as I spend so much time reclining slack-jawed in front of the idiot box. Luckily, a friend who does have Foxtel records The Daily Show with Jon Stewart onto DVD for me in weekly doses so I can stay in touch with some of my favourite political satire.

I imagine American liberals must be feeling the way we do here in Australia - frustrated, disillusioned and exhausted by our governments. However, at least there's a huge network in America of satirists, humourists and activists to make it all that bit less oppresive. We don't have that in Australia; there simply isn't a large enough population base. Something that's only of interest to, say, 5% of American adults still has a potential audience of about 10 million people. In Australia the numbers are tiny. (This is also why each sucessive series of Australian Idol gets worse and worse - the talent pool here is exhausted).

There's more hope online. There are many great blogs o…

Mad About...Everything!

One of my favourite TV shows lately is Grumpy Old Women. Far more so than with the grumpy men, I find myself nodding and laughing at (almost) everything they say. Now, I have taken some steam here from my elders for describing myself as old. I am old enough to realise that because those people are older, they're much smarter than me, so I'll acknowledge that they're right. However, I'd like to submit myself as an honorary Grumpy Old Woman. There's a long, long list of things in the modern world which, quite frankly, tick me off (you only need look through the archives to see that!) Anyway, stand back please, I'm going to have a grump.

Last night the GOW were complaining about shopping. It's a frequent sore point for me. I've already complained about loyalty cards and other forms of shopping insanity. A major gripe for anyone has to be shop assistants. Paricularly when one emerges from the changing room and they say, "How did you go?"
How did I g…

Thanks For Nothing!

Well do you want the good news or the bad news? The good news is it was my birthday on the weekend and I had a great time! Also it was the 3rd anniversary of Xander coming home, so Boof and Funky gave him a big cardboard box to play with and he was just delighted. (There was a wooden DVD case inside the box for me, but I think the box was the main part of that present). Anyway we went out to a few clubs and generally carried on like eighteen year olds, instead of just people acting like they have eighteen year old brains.

The bad news is that none of you sent me a card! Every week I slave for minutes over these posts for you to read, and not so much as a card. So I'll be ringing you all up at home to lay guilt trips on you over next few days. Next year you will each remember to send me a card.

What A Wonderful World

I sometimes wonder what it's like for those born after about 1985, who cannot remember what life was like before the War On Terror (imagine going through high school without being able to call in a fake bomb threat on the morning of an exam!)* Have the grown up knowing enormous fear, or do they not pay attention to world events at all?

North Korea has launched at least seven missiles (so far). The North Koreans haven't said why they've conducted these tests, but I think it's for the same reason that 19 year old guys drive their cars at 150km/h: they have their toys and want to see just what they can do. John Howard has condemned the launches as "provocative". I really don't think Pyongyang's top brass take Howard's advice into consideration before they make a move...so you see Johnny, this is how it feels when people don't listen to you!

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Also, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon (though apparently not her partner Tim …

Dumb, Or Maybe Just Happy?

Well, I'm not afraid to go after the big targets. So today I'm taking on the awesome power of the scriptwriters of the beloved long-running soap Neighbours.

A few weeks ago a plotline featured a character selling pirated DVDs. In order to apprehend this master criminal, four police went to Ramsey St in a squad car with the sirens and lights blazing. As the villian wasn't at home, the cops then raced off in order to arrest him in the middle of his own wedding.

And yet...a character who has: blown up a plane, killing three people; put a bomb in his sister's car; trapped his father in a cave; put his brother in a coma; and possibly murdered an innocent by-stander, is able to wander around the street where he and his victims lived, with neither the police nor anyone else, not even Ramsey St's own Nancy Drew, Toadie, apparently looking for him!

I almost don't have the heart to make fun of this sort of thing. It has all the challenge of hunting farmyard animals with ass…

Homes, Places We've Grown, All Of Us Are Done For

Couldn't let today go past without posting on the day's biggest story (no, not this one. There's been more than enough said about that already). What we should be concerned about it that the Earth is due for a near miss with an asteroid today at 5:25am GMT - that's 3:25pm AEST. The asteroid will apparently pass within 432 308km of the Earth - the astronomical equivalent of brushing past us.

I just hope the scientists have their calculations right. The consequences of a collision are pretty unimaginable. For the best idea (and for so many other reasons) I enthusiastically refer you to Bill Bryson's A Short History Of Nearly Everything. In the chapter "Bang!" Mr Bryson describes the likely effects of a 2km wide asteroid hitting the Earth. After explaining the unfortunate fate of the immediate blast zone, Bryson goes on to say:

"But that's just the initial shock wave. No-one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than it wou…