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How Fairfax is destroying the property market to save itself

July 11, 2017
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Domain: A great website if you need a break from all the property market analysis

“Sydney’s housing market finally had an increase of buyer activity,” wrote the Fairfax Media property commentator Dr Andrew Wilson in his latest Monday morning auction wrap. “Although the local market has typically eased into winter, it nonetheless continues to defy predictions of a significant decline in activity.” Read more…


S-Town: a jumble of hipster talking points with a great closing song

April 20, 2017


Like every other educated urban professional on Earth, I recently binge-listened to S-Town. Like everyone, I was astonished by the twist at the end of episode two, and like everyone I greedily hoovered up the whole thing in a weekend. Then, like everyone, I proceeded to recommend S-Town to everyone else I knew. It was a major cultural event for people who attend weekend farmers markets. Read more…

John Johnsonson’s Guide To Catching The Train

April 11, 2017


The scene of 562 million hours of torture per day

On the train home last night, I watched a 45-year-old man eat a Filet-O-Fish meal with headphones on, while standing in the doorway in peak hour. Everyone else had to squeeze around him to get through the part of the doorway he wasn’t blocking, and the entire carriage stank of deep-fried fart. Through the silence, you could make out the unmistakable jangle of one of U2’s three most recent albums being played on another person’s headphones. Jesus Christ, I thought, how did this person get to adulthood without knowing how to catch public transport? Did he pay money for that music? And for god’s sake, why couldn’t he wait for dinner? It was 6.21pm. Read more…

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
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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
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“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…