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Kings Cross: now just a memory for tired old ravers in their 40s

February 11, 2016
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Vibrant nightlife mercilessly shut down by the government

It was 7am and I was staring down a midweek hangover when, like many people do at that time, I checked Facebook on my iPhone. There, posted by a failed electronic musician I used to hang out with before he moved to Berlin in the early 2000s, was Matt Barrie’s incendiary internet rant complaining about the Sydney lock-out laws. Read more…

10 Fucked Up Things About Australian History

January 26, 2016
Joe Banks

Australia pays homage to a founding father by naming an important monument after him

I recently did something that not many Australians do. I read about Australian history. I had no particular reason for doing this. Perhaps it was the fact that I’m old, and need to remain vigilant in the quest to be boring. Perhaps I got sick of not knowing the answer when foreigners asked why our capital was so far away from things and terrible. Perhaps someone stuck a book on the subject in my hand and I didn’t realise what was happening until I’d put down my sixth.

Read more…

Barangaroo: a lovely park for people who have been in prison for the last 36 years

January 19, 2016

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Guangzhou, one of the main inspirations behind Barangaroo Reserve

The Uber driver was only trying to be friendly.

“Did you see the chicken place?” he asked as he whisked me from Barangaroo Reserve towards home.

“Chicken place?” I replied, wondering if I had missed some kind of petting farm within Sydney’s most talked about public park. “What chicken place?”

“It’s a pop-up restaurant. Does fried chicken. All different kinds. You can get creole, southern, Mexicana – ”

I told the man I had not seen any such thing – nor indeed any restaurant – in the 10 minutes or so that I’d spent walking the length of the harbourfront reserve, north to south. And that was too bad. Because take the hipsterfied junk food away, and Barangaroo Reserve is a wasteland with all the enchantment of the nature strip out the front of Norwest Business Park, Baulkham Hills. Read more…

That’s not a film: Kate Winslet headlines Australia’s second worst movie ever

January 7, 2016
dressmaker image

“Why are we doing this movie?” “Shut up, I’m acting.”

About a minute into the new Australian movie “The Dressmaker”, Kate Winslet steps off a 1950s bus in a small country town, lights a cigarette and says to nobody, in a broad Australian drawl, “I’m back, ya bastards”. At an open-air screening of the film I recently attended with about 400 people, nobody laughed. Read more…

John Johnsonson’s Top Ten Celebrity Fucktard Moments Of 2015

January 1, 2016

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“Don’t tell anyone, but I’m an objectionable cretin.”

Like most Australians, I heard the news at an Australia Day barbecue. Tony Abbott had given his first knighthood to 94-year-old racist Prince Philip. Rather than recoil in horror, I shut my eyes briefly to savour the warm, deep calm descending over my body. This year, I knew just 26 days into it, was going to be wonderful. Read more…

SPOILER ALERT: “The Force Awakens” Is A Little Bit Shit, And Here Are Seven Reasons Why

December 30, 2015

One of the new characters in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Okay, okay, the new Star Wars movie is good. In parts, it’s very good. But is it “highest grossing movie of all time, even though it’s only been out for two weeks” good? I don’t think so. It’s certainly not on a par with the original three, nowhere near it. And yes, I’m including the last 20 minutes of Return of the Jedi.

I get that it’s a relief that new director J.J. Abrams delivered something not utterly dreadful, but that’s not the same as making a masterpiece.  Read more…

Sorry, The Left, but Donald Trump’s spectacular rise is your fault

August 9, 2015
Your next president

Ladies and gentlemen, your next president!

Sorry, The Left, but Donald Trump’s spectacular rise is your fault, and the sooner you realise it the better. It was you who started the word policing apology culture that Trump is now smashing. Read more…