Pinch yourself and hit send

One my favourite simple pleasures in life is rediscovering songs from the 90s – and in particular, the one-hit wonders. My most recent nostalgia hit is Pinch Me by the Barenaked Ladies. Remember them? Yeah!

Ten years ago to the day, I posted this brief status update to Facebook (in the third person – I guess that’s how we did it back in the olden days).

Intriguing! So … what was my youth all about again? Continue reading Pinch yourself and hit send

Freeing the Beast

If I could use my eyebrows the way Emma Watson does, everyone would know where they stand with me. Lumiere and even Cogsworth watched those eyebrows. The Beast dared to hope because of those eyebrows. Only good ol’ Gaston didn’t get that Emma was using those arches to give him the finger.

But where Lion for me was all about Dev Patel’s hair, the latest live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast got me thinking not so much about Emma Watson’s eyebrows, but about the nature of freedom and slavery. Continue reading Freeing the Beast

The problem with American

Last week, on my flight from New York back to Sydney, I binge watched Season 1 of The Newsroom. It’s a series created by Aaron Sorkin, the guy behind The West Wing, with Jeff Daniels playing Will McAvoy, an anchorman on cable news.

In the opening scene of the series pilot, Will is on a panel with a Democrat and a Republican at a university, when a student asks the panel: “What makes America the greatest country in the world?”

The question triggers an epic and rousing outburst from Will, who dresses down both major political parties and rails about why America is no longer the greatest country on earth.

“But it could be”, he then says in softer tones.

That first season of The Newsroom aired in 2012, before Donald Trump ever campaigned for president, promising to “make America great again”.

Coincidence? I doubt it. Continue reading The problem with American

My love-hate relationship with reality TV and the concept of marriage

Commercial TV is an evil genius. I don’t watch much of it these days, but somehow I got suckered into Married At First Sight. It’s just, y’know, I’m making dinner and my housemate likes to unwind in front of the box. So there I am, innocently frying my fish when she begins hooting with laughter. So I get drawn away from the stove (I am a walking fire hazard) and find it’s that show the boys were talking about the other day. The one I made fun of them about.

When they refer to the battle for the watercooler, this is exactly what they’re on about. Commercial TV has perfected the art of balancing the ridiculous and the relatable, the beautiful and the ugly, attraction and revulsion, to create programs like this. Shows you love to hate on and hate yourself for loving. Shows you can’t help but talk about.

Like I’m doing right now, on the night of Valentine’s Day, incidentally. Continue reading My love-hate relationship with reality TV and the concept of marriage

The Eurovision you know and love

The Eurovision you know and love.

The song was perfect. The dress was perfect. The hype was perfect.

Okay, so in hindsight we were never going to win the thing. But for a long moment there they really made us believe it was possible.

And the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 is … a Korean-born Australian? One who would have celebrated not with champagne but with a glass of lemonade?

It was too good to be true. For all the logic that Eurovision famously doesn’t follow, this perhaps would not have been in the spirit of Europe – not the Europe of the twenty-first century … Continue reading The Eurovision you know and love