The internet troll is a fearsome creature. It is not unlike a werewolf in that it will go about its day as an ordinary human being, indistinguishable from the rest of us – but when it sits down at its computer or smartphone and enters the dark web of social media, it is transformed into a monster. I come across these from time to time … Continue reading Internet trolls vs an unfair God
At the start of last year, I made a commitment to donate as much as I drank. Now, in the interests of accountability and transparency, I’ll show you how I matched every cent spent on alcohol this year with donations to charity. Continue reading Two thousand bucks on booze
After Movember came Dressember, and suddenly it’s January 2018 and I’m in a pair of shorts. I won’t pretend that I have any new appreciation for pants, that it was somehow difficult to wear only dresses – all day, every day – for 31 days. It isn’t like the 40-Hour Famine, where you get a taste of what it means to go without. It isn’t … Continue reading Dressember reflections
I first discovered that the Melbourne Cup was a Big Deal when my kindergarten class ran our own sweepstakes. There was no money involved, of course, and I don’t recall watching the race, but every 5 and 6 year old in the class drew a small piece of paper from a Danish cookie tin. Thus were we each assigned a horse. Being a very rational … Continue reading A Big Deal? Melbourne Cup memories, millennials and Michelle Payne
I stumbled upon an interesting website this week. In the wake of the failed plebiscite and planned postal vote on same-sex marriage, there’s so much noise around the issue that it really wasn’t hard to run into The Equality Campaign. Titled Having a conversation about marriage equality, this particular page struck me because it was so, well, familiar. “[R]eal life conversations are incredibly powerful. They’re what … Continue reading Converse and convert
I’m halfway through my commitment to match my charitable giving with my alcohol spending.
See how much I’ve paid for booze so far. And see which charities are going to be better off for it! Continue reading Half-time: the benefits of alcohol
The other day after work, I was flowing with the peak hour crowd down Anzac Parade, when I witnessed something awful.
An Aboriginal man was heckling and shoving an East Asian man. The Indigenous guy was yelling obscenities and things like “Go back to where you came from!” to the suited up Asian guy, who was trying, literally, to shake him off. That was Awkward thing Number 1.
People just watched. And did nothing. That was Awkward thing Number 2.
By people, I mean mainly Asian people. The University of New South Wales appears to be predominantly Asian, even the law faculty – a contrast with the College of Law at my own alma mater. That was Awkward thing Number 3.
And I did nothing because, frankly, I’m both Asian and female. I actually thought I might get hit. That was Awkward thing Number 4.
It made me think about how Australia is not the place I thought it was when I was little. Continue reading Australia: Not the place I thought you were
I love the word internauta. The English translation is “internet user” – an accurate but boring term. The Spanish word, typically, is more wonderfully evocative, pairing well with the idea of the internet as a whole new universe; we as users navigate cyberspace. Internauta suggests an element of the intrepid, of exploring new and dangerous territory. Indeed, the internet is fraught with danger – with … Continue reading We the Internauts
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
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