The only possible reason I could ever conceive of wishing I were Australian is so that I could say, "Courtney Barnett is a national treasure." I mean, otherwise, gross, the idea of being Australian. But good for them for being the country that gave the world Courtney Barnett. Here she is doing some songs for NPR.
Come Visit South Australia, Where We Will Chop You Up And Turn You Into Sausage For Our Demonic Feast
"Just thought you might enjoy this singularly creepy tourism ad for the Barossa Valley in South Australia," writes a correspondent from Down Under. "The Barossa is a famous wine-growing and foodie area, so I can understand why someone thought 'Be consumed' was a killer line. Unfortunately when it's paired with Nick Cave's 'Red Right Hand' and South Australia's reputation as the serial killer state… well. 'You know you're never coming back', indeed." I kind of like this, but I am also of the opinion that pretty much anywhere you go in Australia you have even odds of ending up as the filling for a meat pie, so I guess [...]
"What I want her to do is get rid of those bloody jackets. Every time she turns around you’ve got that strange horizontal crease, which means they’re cut too narrow in the hips. You’ve got a big arse, Julia. Just get on with it." —Feminist hero Germaine Greer speaks truth to power while discussing Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
"A snack maker in Australia has won approval to call its product 'Nuckin Futs' after authorities accepted the f-word was part of the country's vernacular."
"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."
Saturday morning, after picking up my kid from his art class, I was walking with him on East 11th Street, across from St. Mark's Church, when we came upon a boy, looked to be about ten years old, lying on the sidewalk. His eyes were closed, and though I could see him breathing, for a moment, I wondered whether something bad had happened—whether I would have to call 911, and whether my own kid was about to witness something much heavier than I would ever want for him to witness. Three guys walking in front of us had fanned out to step around around him, slowing to inspect the [...]
This is a brutal attack on the WSJ magazine-over something as seemingly simple as a profile of the fashion importer of Ugg boots. In the piece, the magazine goes "to great lengths to be as friendly as possible to Deckers"-Deckers being the company that shut down every company in Australia that also (and already) made ugg boots, a form of footwear that has existed for ages. Deckers registered the trademark in more than 100 countries and promptly began making their uggs in China. And now the WSJ is here to help you not be taken in by "counterfeit" uggs-so you can only purchase shoes made by the [...]
I don't think the guy who replaced Bon Scott needs to worry about his job, but there is something about this tribute to the late Bon Scott performed in his home country of Prison Island that delights me. Younger readers, to whom this will just be another example of one guy from the '70s covering the music of another guy from the '70s, may be less impressed, but they've got an entire world of emoji and Avicii records and Nickelodeon-themed quizzes out there dedicated to keeping them amused now, it's not going to kill them to let the old people have [...]
Good lord, Australia, stop pelting your Prime Minister with sandwiches. I mean, unless that's a sign of respect down there, which given everything we know about that country it probably is.
"A coroner on Friday opened Australia's fourth inquest into the most notorious and bitterly controversial legal drama in the nation's history: the 1980 death of a 9-week-old baby whose parents say was taken by a dingo from her tent in the Australian Outback." —Yes. 32 years later. Also this quote by the father is very upsetting! "Since the loss of Azaria I have had an abiding fear and paranoia about safety around dingoes. They send a shudder up my spine. It is a hell I have to endure." Gah! Well, sure. (Pictured: a dingo baby.)
"Australia's socialist PM under fire for failing to curtsey to the Queen (or bothering to wear a hat)"
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."
"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 [...]
Fast Company took a look recently at some offices of the 'future,' which, ha, who's going to work in offices in the future? Among others, they look at Macquarie, which is where Prison Island trading floor drones watch porn while their coworkers are doing live TV spots. One bit that is of interest is making plans that deal with the fact that, in offices, people don't actually work so much! (Hence: the existence of blogs!) The average complete workforce turnout is 50% of headcount. So they are underbuilding office plans now: "At Macquarie, 50% attendance translates to 85% occupancy in the new office." So, some day in [...]
A new one from 29th Street Publishing, the people who help bring you this amazing app: "The Lifted Brow is a fortnightly magazine, packed with the best contributions from both renowned and new writers and artists. The Lifted Brow was originally—and still is—a print literary/arts/culture magazine from Australia and the world. Although primarily a literary journal with a focus on longreads (essays and fiction at least 5,000 words in length, often pushing 10,000 words or more) as well as regular column contributions from a medley of voices, the Brow also publishes visual art, photography, comics, music, and whatever else [...]
To Prison Island, where spoilsport smartypants are trying to suck all the joy out of the only nonviolent activity to bring the natives pleasure: "A toxicologist has warned against frolicking in the smelly brown foam blanketing Sunshine Coast beaches as hidden dangers lurk within. University of Queensland Associate Professor Barry Noller said residents should steer clear of the foam whipped up by strong winds off the foreshore for fears it may be poisonous and containing pollutants, toxins and sewage." To which Australians [...]
"A BRIT was bitten 'down under' by a killer snake while answering a call of nature in the Aussie bush. The reptile sunk its fangs into Jackson Scott's testicle as he squatted in the dark. But when he begged best mate Roddy Andrews to suck the venom out, his pal REFUSED." The phrase "wedding tackle" is also used.
"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.
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 [...]