Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Alice Springs (book review)

June 17, 2013

Alice Springs
Eleanor Hogan
NewSouth Publishing 2012
A book review by Danny Yee © 2013
Written by an outsider who lived and worked there for six years, Alice Springs captures something of the strangeness of a city which is far more foreign to most Australians than Auckland or London or San Francisco. It consists of largely independent stories that mix travel writing and reportage, loosely structured around the seasonal cycle of the year and focusing on Alice Spring’s social geography and its indigenous Aboriginal population.

It is drug and crime and health problems that most often make the news here, and those are central to Hogan’s account too. Her experience left her “fairly disenchanted with left-wing politics, particularly its current capacity to deliver to Aboriginal people”; her stories highlight the complexities of the problems and the absence of any easy solutions. (She is up front about her own position, as a middle-aged white woman working for an Indigenous policy organisation, and always makes her own connection to her subject material clear, but she refrains from inflicting details of her life on us.)….


Misogyny in Australia? Shurely shome mishtake

October 10, 2012

Awesome.  This is how you tear an arsehole a new arsehole

Yet more Australian kitsch…

January 6, 2012

Night Before Christmas in Aussie land

‘Twas the night before Christmas; there wasn’t a sound.
Not a possum was stirring; no-one was around.
We’d left on the table some tucker and beer,
Hoping that Santa Claus soon would be here;

We children were snuggled up safe in our beds,
While dreams of pavlova danced ’round in our heads;
And Mum in her nightie, and Dad in his shorts,
Had just settled down to watch TV sports.

When outside the house a mad ruckus arose;
Loud squeaking and banging woke us from our doze.
We ran to the screen door, peeked cautiously out,
snuck onto the deck, then let out a shout.

Guess what had woken us up from our snooze,
But a rusty old Ute pulled by eight mighty ‘roos.
The cheerful man driving was giggling with glee,
And we both knew at once who this plump bloke must be.

Now, I’m telling the truth it’s all dinki-di,
Those eight kangaroos fairly soared through the sky.
Santa leaned out the window to pull at the reins,
And encouraged the ‘roos, by calling their names.

‘Now, Kylie! Now, Kirsty! Now, Shazza and Shane!
On Kipper! On, Skipper! On, Bazza and Wayne!
Park up on that water tank. Grab a quick drink,
I’ll scoot down the gum tree. Be back in a wink!’

So up to the tank those eight kangaroos flew,
With the Ute full of toys, and Santa Claus too.
He slid down the gum tree and jumped to the ground,
Then in through the window he sprang with a bound.

He had bright sunburned cheeks and a milky white beard.
A jolly old joker was how he appeared.
He wore red stubby shorts and old thongs on his feet,
And a hat of deep crimson as shade from the heat.

His eyes – bright as opals – Oh! How they twinkled!
And, like a goanna, his skin was quite wrinkled!
His shirt was stretched over a round bulging belly
Which shook when he moved, like a plate full of jelly.

A fat stack of prezzies he flung from his back,
And he looked like a swaggie unfastening his pack.
He spoke not a word, but bent down on one knee,
To position our goodies beneath the yule tree.

Surfboard and footy-ball shapes for us two.
And for Dad, tongs to use on the new barbeque.
A mysterious package he left for our Mum,
Then he turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;

He strolled out on deck and his ‘roos came on cue;
Flung his sack in the back and prepared to shoot through.
He bellowed out loud as they swooped past the gates-

MERRY CHRISTMASto all, and goodonya,MATES!’

Multiculturalism – letter and cartoon

February 23, 2011

This was in yesterday’s Australian newspaper letters page.

The Muslim families I know are delighted and grateful to be in Australia, and are bringing up their children to be ideal citizens. They are courteous and hospitable and they value education. They are not likely to be involved in drunken brawls outside hotels in the early hours of the morning. So, yes, perhaps they do not fit in all that well with some aspects of so-called “mainstream” Australia.
Elizabeth Bleby, Unley, SA

And the cartoon: Bill Leak, from today’s New Matilda mailout:

Isn’t it Anthemic?

February 11, 2011

Jeff Kennett, former Vic premier, wants to swap “Advance Australia Fair” for “I am Australian”. Which I don’t think I’ve ever heard (of). Lyrics seem unobjectionable enough.