Entries Tagged as 'The Media'

Ms Fits: It’s Only Canberra…

…the number one urban experience in Australia?

A while back we mentioned that Lonely Planet had sent a team to Canberra to film an episode of ‘Bluelist Australia’. It screened a few weeks ago and Johnboy posted it up on YouTube and RiotACT, not bothering to conceal his seething rage at presenter, Marieke (Ms Fits) Hardy’s, many apparent shortcomings. Scroll down to the bottom if you’d like to see the show.

Surprisingly, Canberra’s ‘urban experience’ was voted number one in the country. If the other contenders are towns like Goulburn and Boorowa that might make sense but, anyway… woohoo!

Big winners from the editing process were The Cashews, largely Alison Procter, who took the lion’s share of the show. The Rat Patrol also featured prominently, although having to do a staged advert for local dining spots took some of the gloss off.

Big losers were Dahahoo who missed out entirely despite co-ordinating the whole visit and appearing briefly in the promo spot. They do get a little postscript, however, in the form of a mention in an email, apparently written by Ms Hardy after the shoot, which mysteriously and anonymously appeared in my inbox one day.

1. What to do when told you’ll be getting onstage with a seven-piece ska band and playing tambourine to a song you’ve never heard before in your life:
a) Smile. Be brave (in an attractive fashion)
b) Remind yourself it’s ‘only Canberra’
c) Privately practice keeping time by banging your palm against your leg
d) Duck outside and SMS others in a mild state of panic.

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Battle of the Morning Tea Shows

The last few years have seen a shake up in the weekday morning programming of Australia’s commercial television stations, much of it to do with the rise of the Seven Network whose Sunrise has toppled Nine’s Today Show in the 6-9am ratings.

There was the demise of Bert Newton on Ten, whose droll campy sexual innuendo was apparently better suited to afternoon game shows. He was replaced by Kim and David in a show that is a breath of fresh air for stay at home types like me. Sure you have to wade through the same crappy infomercials and cooking segments, but they regularly have on interesting guests from all sides of the political spectrum, there is a healthy lack of vapidity, and there is skepticism and an openness to alternative viewpoints that, on Australian tv, is as rare as a French steak.

Bert was knocked off by the Packer family pet, Kerri-Anne Kennely, who denigrates all blondes by pretending to be dumber than the calculating old pro she really is. According to Wikipedia, Mornings with KAK ‘has been a constant ratings winner for its timeslot’. Until Monday that was, when Seven’s newcomer to the scene, called… The Morning Show, beat both KAK and DAK on their first outing in the slot, and out-rated Nine’s Today Show.

No doubt The Morning Show’s figures will drop after the novelty wears off, in my mind largely because of the lurid sets which are the next most shocking thing on tv since the London Logo Fiasco.

Anyway, below, for your entertainment, I have been sent (by the lovely Bunny, who should be working), or found, and even uploaded myself some clips from the above mentioned shows. This first one, from Channel Seven’s Sunrise, perhaps explains the pre-eminence of Seven at present, ie. The Chaser. Scroll down for further classics.

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Predators and Prey

Last night, Channel Nine’s late news broadcast a piece titled ‘Battle in Kruger’, an eight minute African safari saga involving lions, buffalo and a crocodile. I thought it was an amazing bit of footage… two months ago, when I stumbled across it upon the good ship Internet. A slow news day obviously, and an increasingly common method of filling it, a fine bedfellow of advertorial methinks. I wish I had the job of finding stuff on the net for TV to broadcast.

If you haven’t seen it already, you can view it below, and it is worth viewing if you like life and death battles between beasts of the veld. It’s interesting, not only because it’s really more ‘nature documentary’ than ‘news’, or because it belies the apparent myth that herd creatures will happily run off, ignoring the fate of their weaker cousins falling prey, but also because all manner of heroic metaphors can be woven through its narrative.

Be the lions Islamic terrorists, the calf Iraq, the buffalo herd the good ol’ US of A? Is the calf Paris Hilton, the tourists the papparazzi, the buffalo a ‘herd’ of loyal fans and the crocodile a ludicrous attempt at allegorical humour by an ageing blogger of modest talent?

Personally I prefer to think of the calf as a poor little worker, the lions as the Liberal Party, the crocodile as the business council, and the herd of buffalo as the labour movement, struggling to unite and gain the strength to defy those who would pick them off one by one. Just a flight of fancy really.

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How Green is my Utility Company?

ActewAGL, Canberra’s uber-utility, provider of water, gas, electricity and internet services, is currently running an advertisement for air-conditioners, which it also sells. Have you seen it? There are cartoon cave people alternately shivering or sweltering in their cave, while outside all the weather of hell breaks loose including a comet falling to earth. With the installation of an ActewAGL approved air-conditioner, their little cave becomes a climate-controlled paradise.

Can you smell the irony? Can you detect the ‘disconnect’ (please excuse the use of a fashionable word)? We are made to ration water for domestic use. There are even concerns that not enough water will be available for electricity generation. There is a connection between our current water woes and global warming. Global warming is being generated, in part, by electricity generation. And the part-government owned company responsible for ensuring adequate water supplies in the future is flogging off air-conditioners, which are surely one of the most fiendish means of squandering electricity ever invented.

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It’s not like us to gloat, but in the case of the sacking of Alan Jones from his editorial spot on the Today Show on Nine, the resistance has failed, the barricades have been flung back and a hardcore coup de gloat is in erratic joyful progress down Jubilation Avenue.

For 20 years Jones has cast his squinty eyebeam across Australia’s political landscape, occasionally standing up for the little man, habitually standing up for the highest bidder, and bullying the governments of the day with his awesome audience reach and Kekovichian mannerisms.

Diminished to a regional broadcaster, Jones still holds sway with the Sydney market, but his national pulpit was the keystone of his mighty arch of arch might. May the rest of the edifice crumble.

If Only…

Insatiable Banalities could inspire such outrage. From BMA’s ‘You Pissed Me Off’ column. I wonder who they’re talking about?

To certain laddies who dj on a community radio station, did you realise that you’re not funny/interesting/entertaining or even right? Plainly you’re downright offensive!!! It is not just the perfuse swearing or the pugnacious denigration of women that occurs during these idiots half-hour, but the sheer ignorance of these characters. Get this once and Get this Now: Henry Rollins is not ‘Almost Metal’. His work with Black Flag was seminal and ‘Hardcore Punk’ (do you know that term – no it doesn’t fit in an emo context). So please, please, please try and learn about the music you supposedly love before you speak or methinks you might feel the wrath of a bored and chronically underchallenged Public Servant upon your rather youthful and flabby buttocks. Yes, if you haven’t worked it out by now YOU’VE PISSED ME OFF

Lonely Canberra

A few weeks ago travel guide, The Lonely Planet, visited town to film an episode of ‘Bluelist Australia’, an ‘alternative’ tv travel show. Their itinerary included a couple of gigs (The Cashews doing a guerilla show and Dahahoo’s CD launch), a bike ride with the Rat Patrol and a visit to the Gorman House Markets.

Word has it the episode will screen on SBS on Wednesday 6th June at 8pm and it’s just possible they could include a few pictures from the Backyard Backanalia in it, a release form having popped into my inbox a little while ago for that purpose. Not being all that familiar with contracts, I have to say I found it rather amusing. I quote:

Owner hereby grants Lonely Planet Television (“Producer”) and their respective parents, successors, licensees and assigns, the right, but not the obligation, to incorporate the Film Footage/Video Footage & soundtrack/Still Photograph described above (the “Property”) in any manner The Producer sees fit in the Producer”s film or video production presently entitled “BlueList Australia” (the “Production”), and to use and authorize others to use the Property as so incorporated in the Production in the distribution, sale, licensing, marketing, advertising, promotion, exhibition and other exploitation of the Production in all markets and media (whether now known or hereafter developed), throughout the universe, in perpetuity. In full consideration of all rights granted herein, Producer agrees to pay to Owner, and Owner agrees to accept, a license fee of ZERO DOLLARS.

I don’t know. Should I push for a 50% increase in my fee?

Whatever Happened To…

Are you missing out on the important news? Are you, for instance, unaware that a new DVD rental store has opened in Nowra? Or that beach use has dropped by 50% in the Shoalhaven? Are you interested in a ground floor investment in a new regional telco? Or do you miss Johnboy’s editorial largesse on RiotACT, hanker for more of his pithy observations, or simply wonder what sort of rag he’s writing for now? If it looks a bit drab, give him a chance. He only started on Monday.

Update: Johnboy revs up.

60 Minutes Plumbs New Depths

Channel Nine’s ’60 Minutes’, which has exemplified the demise of television as a medium of anything but fluff, snuff, soft-porn and sordid commercial interests, was in typically shameless form last night, screening an interview with David Hick’s wife and children.

They were ignored, largely forgotten. In all the hand-wringing, all the furore about David Hicks, how often did you hear about his family. About Bonnie and Terry, the little kids he left behind.

In all the 60 Minutes-induced ‘furore’ about this family, does anyone mention that it was the US Government, with our own Government’s complicity, that kept Hicks away from his children for five unnecessary and unnecessarily cruel years?

Hicks was no doubt watching on tv as his children were depicted, standing a ‘safe distance’ from his place of confinement, discussing their feelings for their father.

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RiotACT Loses Head

Subtitled: the May Massacre

Bad things come in three’s they say, and every linen cupboard, they also say, has a silverfish lining. In confirming his departure from The RiotACT and Canberra, John Griffiths expressed (a version of) the latter in his very brief and humble parting message (perhaps a better effort is in the works), observing that ‘you can”t have regrowth without a burnoff.’

Griffiths’ imminent departure to the South Coast joins Bill Arnett’s resignation from the Merry Muse and Gaz’s announcement that The Greenroom (from below, here and here) is closing in August in quite a week of ‘burn-off’.

How the other members of the RiotACT team will fill the gap remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt Griffiths’ absence will leave a mighty big ‘un. Tis the hour of the pinch hitter.

Few people can have laboured so hard at a project, for so long, for so little financial reward, and it is a shame that the audience and influence that the site has earned couldn’t be commercialised sufficiently in time to retain his services.

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Another Good Reason to be a Musician?

The morning news (Today: Nine 6am) delivered a startling incongruity with, firstly, reports that a football player I’ve never heard of has been abusing substances. Karl Stefanovic, the thinking woman’s blow-up sex doll, batted down Sara O’Hare’s barely formed thought that recreational drugs will hardly enhance a football player’s performance and got her to agree that sports stars have a responsibility to be a good role model.

Meanwhile Nicole Kidman’s latest, Keith Urban, is in Australia and the show is devoted, in part, to promoting his tour and convincing us all that Urban is, to quote Karl, ‘such a nice guy’. There is frank discussion of Urban’s recent stint in rehab but not so much as a whiff of criticism of the behaviour that led him there.

What is going on here? Should musicians (and artists and actors) feel a bit miffed that no-one expects them to uphold the same standard of behaviour as brutish footy thugs? Are they so insignificant? Or should they simply be grateful that everyone understands that creativity and being whacked out on drugs go hand in hand?

The Morning News

Good Morning America (4.30am, Nine)

(updated in real time)

Manhunt. Images of a bloke mugging a 101 year old woman. Crime against oldies is on the rise! ‘Old people are going to have to learn to look after themselves’ says Fatuous Front Man #1 (FFM1). An expert has some tips including giving granny a personal alarm, but he advises the oldies not to use one unless they’re sure it won’t make their attacker angry?

Next, with dramatic footage again, a modern day Jonah wannabee gets whacked by a right whale, breaking a leg, then has to endure a nine hour trip to a three and a half hour operation in the Dominican Republic during which they cut his leg bone with a hack saw and pound in a metal rod with a sledge hammer… and he was awake the whole time. Hehe. FFM3’s hint? Don’t get too close to whales.

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Storm in a C-Cup

Relating to this article (Canberra Times Possibly in the Poo: Media Watch Takes Interest), The Australian Press Council has got back to me. Here is their reply:

The Council has received your letter of 7 February in which you raise a concern with material published in the Canberra [Times, presumably].

For your information, a copy of the Council”s principles and practices can be found on the Council”s website. Therein are set out the standards of journalistic ethics that the Council upholds and the procedures it uses to deal with complaints alleging breaches of those standards.

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Canberra Times Possibly in the Poo: Media Watch Takes Interest.


Hello Jack,

I wish to forward to you my complaint against the Canberra Times. I have attached a copy of an article, titled ‘Load of Old Hooey’ from the February edition of ‘The Public Sector Informant’, a monthly insert which was printed on Monday 5th Feb, 2007.

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Government Health Warnings Leaked

Having laid waste the world of the happy smoker, it was only a matter of time before the nannies in the various health authrocities turned their awful gaze on fat people. With talk of a fatty-food tax driving the debate, the agenda is clear. Fat people are either to give up fatty food or face poverty. Except for rich fat people, who will just have to give up one of their Lamborghinis..

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