"Kelly is a dominant figure in the popular perception of Australian colonial history with quite disparate opinions being voiced. On one hand he is viewed as a common criminal given to cattle rustling and armed conflict with the police, while on the other he is viewed as an Irish freedom fighter standing up to the oppressive British authorities. On either side of the debate his image is generally taken as representing an anti-establishment position." —Roger Byard, professor of pathology at the University of Adelaide, discusses a study in which he found that Australians who have tattoos of legendary Prison Island bandit Ned Kelly "are more likely to die as [...]
Slut-shaming, Australian PSA style! Prison Island's new PSAs against teen sexting relies entirely on convincing teen girls that they'll be ashamed for sending someone "intimate" pictures of themselves. Because of course society's totally innate values of guys being cads and girls being gossips are A-okay and just the way things are.
"If he's a ratbag, he's one of our ratbags. He's done the crimes and he's paid for the crimes. This is quite an inhumane punishment, far beyond the treatment he deserves." —Stephen Kenny, attorney for Clifford Tucker, objects to Australia's decision to deport Tucker to Britain "over a series of crimes, including attempted murder." (Tucker, 47, moved with his family to Prison Island when he was 6, but never claimed citizenship.) The irony of Australia sending its own miscreants to Knifecrime Island aside, consider this statement from Tucker in mitigation of his offenses: "I'm not a career criminal, I haven't committed any crimes since 1999 other than a minor [...]
I had no idea things were so dire in Australia, but—actually, you know what? Prison Island is EXACTLY the kind of place where you'd expect millionaires to take nocturnal dumps in front of local restaurants. Still, thanks to the folks at NMA for bringing this to our attention.
"It used to be thought of as a black spot on the family, but now it's become trendy to have a convict in the past." -Tasmanian tourism spokeswoman Mel Percival discusses the Australian island's new travel promotion, which they are referring to as 'convictourism.' "Intended for Australians and Europeans with convict ancestors, as well as the odd tourist from around the world, convictourism will allow visitors to 'follow the convict trail and trace their ancestors back in time.'" There is also a good story about a convict who disguised himself as a kangaroo in an attempt to escape the brutal conditions that are now being celebrated with a package [...]
The place where Bret Easton Ellis came to talk about his new novel Imperial Bedrooms could best be described as Bret Easton Ellisian. It is a rock club on Sydney's Oxford Street, called the Oxford Art Factory, that looks and feels like it was modeled on a party from the film version of Less Than Zero. It's split into two rooms divided by a huge floor to ceiling window of sound-proof glass. One room houses DJs and a giant wall given over to a rotation of street artists who paint it over every few months. The other room is the band room, with a stage and tiers. There's a popcorn [...]
Some amazing news from Prison Island which will have disgruntled Hillary supporters wishing we lived in a parliamentary democracy: Less than three years after he led his Labor party out of the political wilderness, Kevin Rudd has been replaced as Prime Minister of Australia by his deputy, Julia Gillard. While Rudd's ouster is more a case of internal politics in a Labor party that always liked him much less than the voters did, Gillard is still the first woman to hold the office, and in macho Australia, that's kind of a big deal.
"We're a nation of innovators and we find innovative solutions to our challenges. This is just a classic example." —Tim Moore, managing director of Australia's Northwest Carbon, touts a plan "to kill all the wild camels that roam the outback as part of its contribution to fighting global warming. The 1.2 million camels, considered pests by farmers and conservationists, each produce a methane equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide a year."
Well, the Rapture didn't happen, but this did: "'Evil' drunk birds are falling from the sky in Darwin." Yes.
Photo by RaeA, from Flickr.
Prison Island opposition leader Tony Abbott is currently embroiled in the delightfully Australian named "shitgate" controversy, which concerns remarks he made when discussing the death of a soldier. "Sometimes shit happens, doesn't it," asked Abbott, and while many seem willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, the whole episode has inspired a fascinating linguistic debate: "Australians use the phrase in two quite different ways, and the clue to whether what Mr Abbott said in Afghanistan was disrespectful or not lies in the modulation of his voice. Did he say ‘shit happens’, meaning ‘get over it, suck it up, spilt milk’? Or did he say ‘shit [...]
A six-year-old Australian girl has been banned from her school bus for five days, after facing bullying over her hijab. In response to being teased by a boy on the bus, she pulled down his pants. Her school is 40 miles from her house, so she'll have a nice week to sit at home and think about how life isn't fair while her bully goes to school. In other news, Australia has a word for pulling down people's pants in retribution: it is "dacking." Now you know.
After weeks of negotiations, Prison Island has a government: "Prime Minister Julia Gillard's center-left Labor Party will form a minority government to rule Australia for a second three-year term, after two independent lawmakers joined her coalition Tuesday in the interest of stable government."
"The first lesson is not to always believe your Navman and to have a look at a decent road map before you leave travelling to somewhere you've never been. And the second one is to never travel on the dirt roads in the west of NSW or western Queensland, particularly after heavy rainfall and when there's clear signs saying the roads are closed." -An Australian policeman creates a teachable moment from the story of a family of four who spent four days trapped in the mud after ignoring road closure signs in favor of the advice of their GPS.
Your lead of the day comes from Prison Island, where the government of New South Wales has pledged to spend approximately $125 million (American) to renovate a distinguished structure which has become dangerous through neglect: "Sydney's iconic Opera House is well known for beautiful singing, less so for the agonised screams of hapless visitors."
Good lord, Prison Island, what next? "TO PUT it bluntly, we're all f—ed. It might be therapeutic to let off a stream of expletives if your team is getting flogged or if you hit your finger with a hammer, but it can also be illegal. And under laws set to be introduced to State Parliament this week, Victoria Police will get permanent powers to slap potty-mouthed perpetrators with on-the-spot fines of up to $240 for using language deemed to be indecent, disorderly, offensive or threatening."
To Prison Island, where an Australian rules football player was recently removed from the field "'because his hair was too dangerous' and might have poked another player in the eye." Nathan Van Someren was sent off during the third quarter after an umpire decided that his gelled mohawk represented too much of a threat to other players.
Travelers to Australia need to declare the porn they're bringing into the country to customs agents. The Prison Island government is actually asking you to declare illegal porn, but as you can imagine, there has been some confusion: "According to the Australian Sex Party spokesman Robbie Swan, one case involved a couple on their honeymoon, who thought they had to declare naked iPhone pictures of themselves after reading the incoming passenger card. They were made to display a nude photo of themselves in a line with all these other people; they were so embarrassed." Nobody tell Brett Favre!
A drunken Australian, having been ejected from a pub in Broome, Western Australia, for being intoxicated by even the heroic standards of Prison Island, decided to visit the local crocodile park, where he scaled the fence and attempted to ride a giant saltwater crocodile named Fatso. Fatso, however, was reluctant to be ridden, and took a chunk out of the man's leg. Deciding on reflection that it might not be the most propitious occasion for an excursion atop a crocodile, the fellow returned to the pub from which he had been cast out, "with bits of bark hanging off him and flesh gouged out of his limbs." He was [...]