Adventures in satellite navigation

Your GPS tells you the road to the winery is the other side of a farm gate across a dirt road. Instinct tells you the other side of the gate is a sheep paddock.

Local elections form guide: People’s Republic of Marrickville

Tomorrow is local government elections day across New South Wales and in my little organic tofu patch deep within the latte belt, we’re not spoiled for choice. For the first time in history, or something, the Liberal party is running candidates. If they poll anything like I expect, it’ll be the last time, too. They…

I keep adding things to the list, so here’s the list

People who think the phrase ‘as a mother…’ lends moral authority to anything that comes after Media outlets that invite non-scientists to ‘have your say’ on topics of scientific debate People who say ‘…[person] that…’ or ‘…[non-person] who…’ (I’m looking at you, Tyra Banks) Inbox Zero zealots who are so pleased with their efforts to…

Newsflash: lefty novelist-academic is elitist wanker

At his closing address for the 2010 Sydney Writers’ Festival, Peter Carey said a lot of laudable things about the importance of reading and the value of good teachers. But underlying his speech was a severe, elitist disdain for ordinary people who, one guesses, do not read Peter Carey novels. The cult of book readers…

Retail fail: why men hate clothes shopping

Marketers often say that men find shopping for clothes frustrating and alienating. It’s almost as though the entire process was designed for women, if you believe the stereotypes. Some very clever online businesses have sprung up based on this premise, making it easier for men to find clothes they want without having to go through…

Is the anti-censorship campaign doomed?

Just about everyone I know thinks the government’s plan to legislate mandatory internet filtering is a really bad idea. This could lead me to believe the majority of Australians are as passionate about internet censorship as me and my friends. But then I remember that most of my friends are university educated, left-leaning types who…

Slightly faster broadband

Minister for Broadband Stephen Conroy yesterday delivered the exciting news that the government’s planned $4.7 billion broadband network would deliver speeds “up to 100 times faster than what is currently available”. Sounds great! It will achieve this by running fibre-optic connections to the telecommunications pillar mushrooms on street corners then using VDSL (very fast digital…

To Lenny Ann Low, SMH reviewer

I am fed up with you following me around and reviewing everywhere I go. Every time you write up a venue, for weeks afterwards ordinary decent people can’t get a table or a drink for all the throngs of rubbernecking pleb Herald readers trying to be cool. Piss off and ruin someone else’s life, or…

Inner-city dilemmas

Having wasted a month interviewing countless freaks, weirdos, persons of dubious financial solvency, persons of dubious hygiene and the occasional very nice person (who, inevitably, would turn the place down), I resolved last week to give up on finding a flatmate for my beloved Newtown terrace and to get a place on my own where…

Transcendental, man

Had a total Koyaanisqatsi moment this evening on the way home waiting to cross King St from the station and watching a 747 bumble towards the runway passing the dark grey clouds seared red along the underside by the setting sun. It didn’t hurt that I was actually listening to the Naqoyqatsi soundtrack at the…

But is it art?

Funny what you can get away with being a contemporary artist. For instance, here’s what one critic had to say about the Rosemary Laing exhibition at the MCA: Each ensuing photograph takes the visitor deeper into an imagination determined to dislocate any convenient reading of normality with powerful symbolism. I thought a more accurate description…