When Australian prime minister Tony Abbott paused on the lawn of Parliament House to engage a group of high school students in conversation, he may have been hoping to impress some future voters. However, the questions fired at him by the 14-year-olds - about asylum seekers, gay marriage and why he has appointed himself Minister for Women - seemed to take him aback (warning: camera is level with Abbott's crotch.) The students involved later participated in the March in March – a series of protests against current government policies which took place in 29 locations across Australia over three days. Despite over 100,000 turning out, the protests was little coverage by mainstream media – leading to criticism even from within the media’s own ranks.
As the twittersphere ridicules a White Man March in NYC, perhaps now is the time to watch Aamer Rahman, one half of the comedy tour Fear of a Brown Planet (with Nazeem Hussain), on the topic of Reverse Racism.
"I note here that the first Australia would have known about all this would have been Soviet nuclear strikes on US facilities at Pine Gap (near Alice Springs), Nurrungar (Woomera) and North West Cape (near Exmouth). We know that this was likely because Western spies for the Soviet Union in the late 1970s had given Moscow some insights into the significance of these intelligence and communications facilities for what it saw as US nuclear war-fighting strategy." -- former Australian deputy secretary of defence Paul Dibb talks about Able Archer, the 1983 NATO nuclear warfare exercise that the Soviet Union almost mistook for the real thing. [more inside]
The men of "King Kong: The Musical" perform "Big Spender" The song was performed at a performance of Twisted Broadway: Melbourne. Twisted Broadway is a charity fundraising organization based on New York’s ‘Broadway Backwards’, an annual charity every raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; Twisted Broadway will continue to raise money for research and developmental programs for people living with HIV/AIDS through Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. [more inside]
A film that inevitably leads to the buying of a Jeep. (Warning: potentially disturbing black comedy SLYT) [NSFW]
Computer Boy! (also available here): Abe Forsythe made the movie Computer Boy when he was just 18. It's a 50 min. spoof of The Matrix that was filmed in less than two weeks at actual Matrix shooting locations in Australia and cost just over $2000 to make.* It became a cult hit when it was released online in 2000 & was one of the first internet films to hit 500,000 views.* (wikipedia, imdb) [more inside]
Burke & Wills is a 1985 movie depicting the ill-fated 1860 expedition by Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills across the interior of Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria, a distance of 2000 miles. To date, it has never been released on DVD and is currently out of print. In 14 parts [140m]: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 [more inside]
A progressive Australian political advocacy group have produced a 2-minute advertisement showing their support of Marriage Equality Down Under. Warning: May pull heartstrings. [more inside]
[SLYT, 2:47, AUS] "So you're thinking about dealing some weed? Well, I'm Gavin Tanner, pretty much the best dealer there is. So, listen up, and I'll tell you how you can be an awesome dealer, too."
Blue-Tongue Films are an Australian collective of film makers. They’ve produced a couple of features including Animal Kingdom, for which Jacki Weaver has been nominated for this year's Best Supporting Actress Oscar. You can find a number of their shorts and other works on their Youtube Channel. [more inside]
For the past three years, 28-year-old Sydney man James West has been receiving personal emails about the Thanksgiving dinner of the Tran family of Somewhere, USA. This year, he decided he wanted an invite to dinner and started a YouTube channel about his quest to track down the Trans and obtain an invite to dinner. Fortunately, his mission has been successful, and West will be attending Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with the Trans in Florida.
rage is a weekend-only night-time music video show on Australia's ABC1 that started back in 1987. The presentation was minimal, with an intro, hours of music videos, and then the outro, no adverts, and a few variations from this no-frills format. The format remains largely unchanged to date, and you can check the archive of playlists (back to 1998) and see a mix of local talent and international hits, but one thing was missing: the videos. Enter the rage YouTube playlist generator. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
After suspending all asylum applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, the Australian Government has made a series of confronting youtube videos showing the dangers of the sea, and the arrest and detention of asylum seekers. [more inside]
listening grooving to ABC News in Australia, or 7 News, or Ten. And now, over to the UK for the BBC or Sky News. Don't listen to the others! They are false prophets!
Australia song - Adam Buxton of the Adam and Joe show gives musical tribute to the epically long Baz Luhrmann movie. [more inside]
Outback: Have a drink, mate? Have a fight mate? Have a taste of dust and sweat, mate? There's nothing else out here Wake in Fright Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 NFSW, including scenes of an actual kangaroo cull. [more inside]
Australian short film - I Love Sarah Jane 'Jimbo is 13. All he can think about is one girl, Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way - bullies, violence, chaos, zombies - nothing is going to stop him from finding a way into her world.' NSFW - swearing and gore. SLYT.
Garry McDonald, aka Norman Gunston, aka the "little aussie bleeder," may be well known out Australia way. For most Americans, however, Norman G remains far, far down under the radar. But he's the forefather of the UK's Ali G; he's Canadian Nardwuar thee Human Serviette's nerdier dad; he's America's Lazlo Toth (US) with a combover and a microphone; he's Jiminy Glick's Jack Sprat. Perhaps you saw Norman long ago in a segment on USA Network's Night Flight variety show. [bonus: many many youtubes of Night Flight segments, courtesy of this awesome website.] But I bet you didn't know he released a KIckaSS single (among others), jammed with Frank Zappa, and was at the right place and time to upstage a piece of Australian History. Not bad for someone whom Keith Moon dumped his drink on and called a "great pooftah." [more inside]
People vandalising Wikipedia is hardly a new thing but now even the office of the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is getting into the act. Website Wiki-Scanner (previously) has traced several edits to Wikipedia articles by the Prime Ministers staff, according to Australian newspaper The Courier Mail. And they aren't confined solely to the Wikipedia entry on the PM himself; there was even an act of vandalism on a martial-arts related entry, in which one of Howard's ministerial staffers wrote, “Poo bum dicky wee wee” on the page. Not good news on the eve of a federal election that the PM is largely expected to lose. Meanwhile, 'new media' is being put to good use at Opposition leader Kevin Rudd's website, Kevin07, where a recent blog entry compiles Youtube's 'best' political videos. Hours of fun for the whole family!
The Kaiten Memorial Museum on Otsushima Island, on the site of the original kaiten base. WWII Japanese suicide tactics included planes, boats, and suicide submarines. The submarine discovered recently near Sydney harbor was not such a craft, yet the pilots took their own lives rather than lead their pursuers to the I-class mother submarines nearby.
The Mysterious Geographical Explorations of Jasper Morello is a series of four gorgeous steampunk victorian silhouette animated shorts from Australia. The first link goes to a trailer for the films, all four full animations are available on a DVD via the official site (which is loads of fun to explore play around on), and the (Academy Award Nominated) first of the four shorts has been released on YouTube.