Dear The Internet,
With the ARIAs just around the corner excitement about the Australian music industry generally has shot feverishly up to “lukewarm” – a level of tepid passion that will reach its climax on Sunday at the biz’s night of nights, when the nation’s brightest musical stars come out to shine on digital television.
Since the ARIAs are financially supported an industry who’ve mainly survived the lsat few years by trading promo CDs for packets of ramen, the 2013 budget has been necessarily tight – but fortunately they’ve gotten some actual Australian dollars via the support of government and industry in the creation of a handful of exciting new awards which will be making their debut this weekend.
The Spotify Award for Greatest Online Royalty Earnings
In a celebration of the New Musical Income Model, in which old-economy things like “records” and “touring” are considered loss leaders for the lucrative possibilities of “exposure” and “buzz”, this award will eventually be given to first Australian artist to receive a three-figure royalty cheque from streaming services. The $60 prize voucher is expected to accumulate each year until that threshold is reached, meaning that the eventual winner will take home an estimated $6,000.
The Department of Immigration Award for [Redacted]
When asked who was nominated for this mysterious new award, immigration minister Scott Morrison angrily insisted that the nominations were an operational matter and therefore classified.… Read more
My fellow Internet Australians,
It’s a great honour to be given the opportunity to write this guest column for Time Out, to give some balance to the left-wing media’s insidious socialist manifesto. In fact, just the other day I saw some television programme that was attempting to push an aggressive pro-voting platform without giving any sort of equal acknowledgement of the opposing perspective. I’m sick of these partisan zealots hijacking the public airwaves to push their own narrow agenda, and it’s certainly the last time I ever watch The Voice.
Thus I welcome this chance to expand on some of the comments I made to the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London earlier this week, explaining that global warming fears are exaggerated, and the scientists have no business influencing politics. There are those who have criticised my authority to pontificate on the science of climate change after admitting that I’ve read a single book on the subject – Nigel Lawson’s An Appeal to Reason: a Cool Look at Global Warming.
Some have complained that his logic is faulty and he doesn’t understand statistics. Others have pointed out that he’s a former Thatcher minister with a history of deliberately misrepresenting the data on climate change.… Read more
Dear the Internet,
Despite the whiny complaints of people who bemoan the incursions into Australian culture by commercial American traditions, the fact is that Halloween is becoming more of, as the young people say, A Thing.
However, one tradition that has yet to get its chipped and bloodied claws into the Australian culture is that of television shows prepping their Very Special Halloween Episode. In the US it’s mandated by Federal law that every program must have an episode in which at least one character must either develop vampire fangs, spend a night in a haunted house, or survive a zombie uprising (except for The Walking Dead, whose Halloween episode involved all of the living and undead characters enjoying a friendly BBQ).
Because of the fine print of our deal with the US regarding international broadcast content, from 2014 every single Australian television programme will be required to have between one and six Halloween episodes per year. And we’ve seen some of the guidelines that have been issued for a range of Australian series’, outlining what will be happening this time next October. Set your TiVO now to enjoy these “small scream” highlights!*
*Also acceptable: must-scream TV.
The dead return to Ramsay Street, with the beloved likes of Helen Daniels, Madge Bishop and Stingray Timmins rising from their unquiet graves to wreak a terrible posthumous revenge on Erinsborough.… Read more
Dear The Internet,
With the news that your immigration minister Scott Morrison has issued an edict that the term “asylum seeker” be stricken from all official departmental communications and replaced with “illegal maritime arrival”, commentators have been making the unfair comparison between the Abbott government and the “newspeak” adopted by the dystopian ministries of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Such hyperbole is obviously ridiculous, since a) creating a standard term of reference for all staff will help streamline the dissemination of policy in a clear and accessible manner, and b) we have always been at war with Eastasia.
It’s only one of a raft of new terms and with that in mind, we contacted the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and communications minister Malcolm Turnbull graciously faxed us a copy of the government’s forthcoming official glossary.
Keep these terms in mind in all communications going forward, including your personal correspondence. Remember: ASIO and therefore the CIA will be taking notes, and you really don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of them.
Seriously. You really, really don’t.
|Former Term||New Official Term|
|Asylum seeker||Illegal maritime arrival|
|Australia (in context of Federal Constitution)||Australia|
|Australia (in context of dinkum fair-go mateship)||‘Straya|
|Australia (in context of human rights obligations)||Papua New Guinea|
|Love||Penis-in-vagina intercourse conducted exclusively in the marital bed|
|Homosexual woman||Lady bachelor|
|Single mother||Careless slattern|
|Student||Mr/Mrs Fancy who thinks they’re so big with all their la-di-dah book-learnin’|
|International student||University funding|
|Medicare||Financial sickness/injury incentive|
|Unemployed person||Domestic terrorist|
|Increased Federal borrowing limit (Labor)||Economic disaster|
|Increased Federal borrowing limit (Coalition)||Prudent fiscal strategy|
|Climate change||Positive temperature growth|
|Environmental scientist||Pervert voodoo priestess|
|National park||Future mine|
|Marine sanctuary||Future mine|
|Lower socio-economic area||Future second airport flightpath|
|Press (non-Murdoch)||Mewling naysayers|
|Press (Murdoch)||Clarion call of truth|
|Area ravaged by bushfire||Economic combustion opportunity zone|
Written by Andrew P Street
Art by Robert Polmear… Read more
Dear The Internet,
The question remains, though: in Roxon’s legislative opinion, does Glen Coco REALLY go?
On Wednesday night our former attorney general Nicola Roxon delivered the John Button address in Melbourne, and immediately made headlines for declaring that Kevin Rudd, former PM and Labor leader, is a bastard that deserved what he got both in terms of his replacement by Julia Gillard and his kicking by the electorate in the recent federal election. And she makes a solid case – describing his “disorganisation and lack of strategy”, his “vicious tongue [and] temper” and lamenting “how terribly he treated some brilliant staff and public servants. Good people were burnt through like wildfire.”
And that has unsurprisingly captured the public attention, but it would have been even more revelatory had she delivered her first draft – which she revised after legal advice.
However, thanks to the good people at the Australian Defence Signals Directorate (slogan: “Handing your data to the US secret service since 1947”) we have accessed her original Google Doc, along with her holiday snaps, iTunes purchase history and a lot of great recipes – and, in the interests of the public good, we’ve reprinted edited highlights below.
Among Roxon’s accusations against Rudd are claims that he:
- Always parked in her spot
- Ended arguments over policy by insisting that Roxon was “the attorney-general of Shut Up Land”
- Exploded a puppy using only the power of his mind
- Put recyclables into the red general refuse bin, and refused to change the toner on the photocopier – despite being shown how on no less than four occasions.
Dear The Internet,
If there’s one thing that we can all agree on in these social media-savvy times, it’s that everyone has the unfettered right to access our private information. And not just commercial entities like Facebook, who want to let us know about about over-40s dating and weight loss secrets, or ASIO who are enthusiastic about informing the US secret service about who you’re emailing. This whimsical curiosity also extends to our potential employers who want to get a better idea of the real you, right down to intrusive questions about your medical history.
Fairfax earlier reported on the application form for Chevron, an energy and mining company who are extremely interested in whether or not their applicants are sufficiently fertile. In fact, they’d like to know if you – or your partner – have had any stillbirths, abortions, or any offspring with birth defects – and with good reason. After all, they expect a certain level of photogeneity when sending out PR shots of company picnics, and there’s a reason there’s no date on the Chevron calendar marked “Bring Your Freakish Monster Spawn to Work Day”.
Now, you might inexplicably feel that maybe the ins and outs of your partner’s reproductive history is not, in fact, any fucking business of your employer, much less your potential employer.… Read more
Dear the Internet,
Your Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been in Indonesia assuring president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that he is “fair dinkum about doing what we can to help Indonesia in every way” in terms of their sovereignty, which is Abbott-speak for “protect our northern oceanic borders for us and we’ll continue to ignore your human rights atrocities in Papua New Guinea.”
And heck, you might see yourself as being a pretty dinkum sort of a cobber – but are you sufficiently dinkum to contribute in a proactively bonza manner in this brave new Abbottscape?
Fortunately, with the help of senior advisors to the Departments of Immigration and Foreign Affairs & Trade (and not Science, obviously, since we don’t have one of those anymore), we have constructed this quiz to establish quickly and definitively whether you are a patriot or a traitor.
Incidentally, this will also form the basis of our citizenship test just as soon as the new Senate takes power in 2014 (after Palmer United senators add the necessary extra questions like “Australia was specifically founded to be mined, the industry for which should therefore never be taxed or subject to environmental regulation: agree, strongly agree, violently agree, threateningly agree”).… Read more
Dear The Internet,
Sure, summer is coming, but can you feel that chill in the air? If you concentrate, you can sense an unfamiliar coolness blowing through Brunswick, through Coburg, through the last enclaves of Collingwood. It’s a breeze as yet, but there’s a sense that a storm is coming.
It might be nothing but seasonal fluctuations, or migratory rental patterns gently pushing populations further out – like global warming forcing mountain goats to higher altitudes – but perhaps we are looking at the beginning of a mass extinction. It may not happen this season, it may not happen next, but I fear that we are witnessing the Death of the Australian Hipster.
While at a pertinent pub on the weekend I was shocked to notice the sudden upsurge in clean-shaven faces. Maybe 20% of the male clientele had checked shirts, and the number of dames in floral print dresses could be counted on one hand.
And sure, anecdote is not data: but there are some clear external signs that the species are on the wane. The Harvest Festival was cancelled last week due to slow ticket sales – meaning that people are inexplicably unwilling to drop money to see Neutral Milk Hotel.… Read more
Dear the Internet,
We’re pretty darn excited about the news that the folks behind Breaking Bad are spinning off a show focussing on Bob Odenkirk’s shady lawyer Saul Goodman, not least because a) it’s more Breaking Bad, and b) it opens the way for an entire slate of them! We’ve only got a couple of weeks left (and dear god, the way it ended this week… holy hell…) but fret not, Badlings, because we’ve got all the details on five more shows that will help ease the pain after the final credits roll: remember their names!
“Ms White, AM I UNDER DETENTION? AM I UNDER DETENTION?”
Pitch: Charlies Angels on speed – literally!
Synopsis: Jesse Pinkman calls back Saul’s “disappearer” about arranging a brand new life under an entirely new identity – and becomes a private investigator, because what better crimefighter could there be than an ex-criminal? Flanked by three spunky dames with a nose for trouble, a taste for adventure and a crippling addiction to amphetamines, he’s making and breaking the law all over again. Also, cooking meth. He’s totally doing that.
Pitch: The Facts of Life, but with a higher body count
Synopsis: With Walt out of the picture, his long-suffering wife Skyler gives up the car wash to take over his old job – teaching chemistry at JP Wynne High School.… Read more
When you can no longer be friends with someone on Facebook, but don’t want to be one who cuts ties, there can be a third, wonderful way…
Dear The Internet,
The English language is the largest of all of the human word-things – partially because of its playful versatility, partially because we just gank words from other languages whenever we fancy it, and partially because of the Oxford English Dictionary’s new policy of getting headlines by officially adding any word that gets used more than twice in The New York Times.
And yet there are still vast tundras of human experience as yet unmapped by intrepid lexicographers, which is why I so often find myself forced into creating my own words. Like an infant trying to build a cathedral by bashing bits of Lego together, I struggle, cry and often end up wetting myself – but dammit, I shall never waver in my passionate commitment to making our rich and supple language be heaps more awesomer.
With that in mind, English Language, I present the following:
UNFIENDING (verb): Passive social media exorcism; the liberating experience of discovering you’ve been unfriended by someone about whom you were feeling ambiguous.