Archive for the ‘fail’ Category

Turns out doctors can be pigs too … who knew?

In fail, feminism, health, medicine on December 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm

So Saturday morning morning was weird. Was helping out at a CPD seminar the MJA ran. Ninety doctors in one room — mix of ages, mix of genders, mix of ethnicities.

I’ve never been one to put doctors on a pedestal, even more so since working with them, even though I respect their brains and work ethic. My dad’s experience as a young man taught him, and me, that doctors are fallible just like you and me.¬†And yet … And yet.

Turns out a room full of doctors who think they’re not being overheard can be as mean, condescending and brutally porcine as any other group.

Saturday’s proceedings started out with a presenter who decided that calling the woman who was handing around the microphone “the dancing girl” was acceptable.

In the course of his presentation he had reason to show on the big screen a photo of an obese man sitting in a plastic chair on a beach while two bikini-clad babes clowned around trying to pull him to his feet. “They’re not going to enjoy the view when they finally do get him up.” Apparently the audience found that hilarious.

That was the moment when I, the only obese non-doctor in the room, realised that I was feeling unsafe in what was essentially my workplace, and decided to sit out the rest of the presentation in the lobby.

The next speaker was talking about sleep apnoea and COPD (overlap syndrome).

Enter a photo of an index patient — an obese man in his late 50s, unshaven, on oxygen … “Can someone tell me something about this patient?” asks the presenter.

“He’s a blue bloater”, a doctor yells back. “Yes indeed” says the presenter.

Much hilarity ensues.

Every profession has its internal shorthand, God knows journos are no exception. And ‘blue bloater’ and ‘pink puffer’ are short descriptors of certain types of patient. I don’t care. It was appalling. Particularly to the only pink puffer in the room.

I guess it just came as a shock to find doctors, particularly GPs, being so … High school …

Disappointing. And yet, sadly unsurprising.

Fairfax ditches the subs … and the experience, and the wisdom, and the facts and the quality

In fail, media, oxygen thieves on October 18, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I’ve gotta say my mind is somewhat blown about Fairfax ditching subeditors and photographers from their regional papers. Leaving aside the fact that professional news photographers are the heart of a newspaper, ffs … let’s just talk about the consequences of eliminating subs from the process.

Look, journos care about three things, getting the news quickly (preferably first), writing it up so it makes basic sense, and making the deadline. Journos, in general, don’t give a good goddamn about grammar or spelling. We care about making a snappy intro, getting it all the right order, making the point, and moving it down the chain.

Sometimes, because we have to do it quickly, we might type 2 instead of 3, or him instead of her, or god knows, then instead of than. Especially if we’re filing from a poxy mobile device.

Subs have saved my arse than I care to remember. Literally, saved my arse. Spelling, tenses, bloody apostrophes, and yes, FACTS. They check facts. Who knew? They don’t just take the journo’s word for it, though we usually wish they would. THEY CHECK SHIT TO MAKE SURE IT’S RIGHT.

But that’s not the only consequence of sacking all the subs. Subs are usually the older, more experienced, relatively wise heads in the newsroom. Lose the subs and the collective age of a newsroom drops about 20-30 years. Not to mention the IQ.

This is a STUPID decision for any company that cares about the quality of its product. It’s a great decision if you want to save money, of course and that’s basically all that matters today if you climb any higher up a news publisher’s ladder than editor.

Dumb, stupid, fucked-up decision.

Please fellas, your sausages are not my breakfast cup of tea

In fail on October 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm


I have no objection to the Lycra Mafia taking over the streets of my bayside suburb.

(That’s a lie. I have many, many objections to them, but let’s assume for the moment that I don’t mind their presence.)

I find their clothing ridiculous, their on-road behaviour arrogant, and their obsession laughable. But I’m happy to let all that slide, to let bygones be bygones, to let pedalling fools cycle on.

But there is one thing I will not cop.

I will not tolerate being visually assaulted over my breakfast, chaps. I won’t.

When I’m at my favourite Sunday morning caff, sitting down to a plate of sausages and eggs, I don’t want to see your sausages and eggs. Do you get me? Do you ken where I’m coming from, fellas?

You’re wearing lycra. It outlines your genitalia. Hugs them, even. Makes them standout like … well, like balls on a dog, frankly. And you sit there with your legs akimbo, slurping on your hazelnut soy milk low-fat latte and picking at your spinach and ricotta muffin, with your todger pointing at me, or worse, standing tall while I gag on my mushrooms.

Have some courtesy, for fuck sake. Stop for a coffee, by all means. But FFS pull on a pair of tracky daks or a pair of NORMAL shorts over the top of your cods-cuddlers, because, damn it, I have a right to eat my breakfast without being subjected to a full frontal penile onslaught.

And ladies, you’re not innocent in all this. You could be a bit more discreet with your lycra-clad cameltoes, to be honest. I’m not averse to a lady bit, you know that, but not lady bits I don’t know, and not over breakfast in a public place.

I don’t think I’m asking too much, do you?

Ta very much

Why @7Sport’s tennis coverage needs to grow up

In fail, feminism, media, sport on January 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm
Todd Woodbridge ... honorary vagina

Todd Woodbridge … honorary vagina

It’s hard to think of an Australian sports event that gets wider international coverage than the Australian Open tennis. You only need to spend half an hour listening to AO Radio to realise that. They’re hearing from listeners around the globe.

The Boxing Day Test might come close, i suppose, but that’s only because two-thirds of India are betting on every ball.

Otherwise it’s hard to think of any others with such a broad appeal worldwide.

It would be great if Seven could show some real commitment and sophistication in their coverage.

Let’s start, for instance, with their attitude to women.

As far as I can work out there are only three women involved in Seven’s commentary team. Rennae Stubbs is courtside and post-match interviews. But only on women’s games. Brit Sam Smith is in the box, but only for women’s games. And only as a sidekick to Todd Woodbridge or Hamish McLachlan.

And what’s with the Brit? Are there no competent Australians around? No doubt Liz Smylie and her cohorts are off earning real money with the American networks. UPDATE: Liz Smylie is earning very few bucks, I suspect, with ABC Grandstand.

And there’s Johanna Griggs who has been doing the voiceovers, mostly saying “not too far away”. Until last night she’s been heard and not seen, which is a shame as she’s a proven on-camera talent and makes a nice change from Bruce McAvaney’s increasingly quirky presence. Special.

Seven, if a woman can umpire a men’s match on centre court in a Grand Slam event, why can’t a woman commentate on it? It’s the same sport, just with uglier outfits and bigger serves. C’mon.

It’s not just the commentary box team that is telling, however. Look at the big guns commentating on the men’s matches for Seven. McAvaney, Fitzgerald, Roger Rasheed, Newcombe and of course, the big money, Jim Courier. Where’s the big spend on the women’s team, Seven? Where’s Evert or Navratilova, or Shriver, or Austin or Smylie or whoever?

Jim Courier stepped on court for a women’s match last night. Of course it was only to tell us that we only had to sit through one more set of women’s tennis before the real stuff started with the upcoming men’s match.

Seven brings in the execrable Henri Leconte every time a French player steps on court. Oh, wait. Every time a French man steps on court. Alize Cornet is going around against Sharapova this morning without the benefit of Leconte’s buffoonery. Actually, thanks for that.

Then there’s Seven’s scheduling. Yesterday, for example, there were three seeded women playing, including the fourth seed and HUGELY popular Li Na, in a cracking three-setter, but Seven chose to focus on a men’s doubles match featuring two young Aussies Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, It wasn’t until there was a delay in that match that they switched to Li Na.

There’s interest in Australian players and then there’s stubborn parochialism that sacrifices good tennis for the sake of a bit of pointless flag-waving. We missed Azarenka the other night, because you thought we wanted to watch Gael Monfils (+ Leconte) and some young American neville called Sock. Earlier in the week we got to watch Aussie neville Josh Thompson while the defending champion Novak Djokovic was going around on another court.

It’s not good enough, Seven. It’s not good enough from a tennis fan’s point of view. It’s not good enough from a woman’s point of view.

Wake up and smell the 21st century, FFS.

Apparently, this is how we are now

In cartoons, fail, oxygen thieves, politics on July 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm


Kevin Rudd, where is your compassion? Hidden under your ego and hunger for power, I see.

In fail, politics, religion on July 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

Kevin Rudd’s new refugee policy is an outrage.

I would love to know what this current crop of power-hungry leaders thinks is the difference between the 15,000 or so asylum seekers arriving by boat now, and the 200,000 or so Vietnamese boat people who came our way in the 70s and 80s.

I can tell you the only difference I see. The asylum seekers wanting our help now are Muslims. That’s it.

This new policy is racist, xenophobic, lazy, fearful, half-arsed, cruel, morally bankrupt and has been delivered with such a look of Rudd glee that it makes me sick looking at the footage.

It’s racist not just because of the Muslims it plans to ship to PNG, but because of the way we are treating our nearest neighbours.

PNG is desperate for our money and our approval. We are about to ship Muslims to a nation with a violent brand of Christianity at the forefront of its culture. We are about to ship men, women and children to a place that does not want them, despises their religion, if they even understand it at all, and has zero resources to deal with them.

The sight of PNG officials standing quietly behind Rudd on Friday, acquiescing to the proposition that the likelihood of being shipped to their country was so horrendous and appalling that it will stop people trying to flee Afghanistan … it made me sick to my guts.

And I’m sorry, but people suffering in Afghanistan and Iran know nothing about PNG and even if they did, their reality is that ANYWHERE IS BETTER THAN HERE … so any belief that this policy will magically stop them coming is utterly delusional.

The tragedy of this is that the bogan, Alan Jones-listening, disinterested, bigoted, unwashed majority out there will love this. LOVE IT.

Labor’s been wanting to win back the western Sydneys of Australia — well, here it is. Rooty Hill’s going to adore this policy. Nice and hard line, nil impact for them, maintains their world view that all Muslims are evil and must be avoided, and keeps Australia for Australians. Pass the kebab, mate.

The current state of Australian politics is completely horrifying to me.

On the right we have a religious fanatic who will say and do anything to be Prime Minister of this country.

On the slightly less right we have a religious fanatic who will say and do anything to be Prime Minister of this country.

We have good people sitting on the sidelines having been knifed, forced to quit, or being kept silent and actionless by some weird internal pact about party loyalty or loss of ambition or something — Malcolm Turnbull, Penny Wong, I’m looking at you.

On the sidelines we have a far left party lead by a charisma-less Robert Redford impersonator in the invidious position of following in the footsteps of a man with an overload of charisma and a cult following.

Then there’s the Australian Democrats who are … what? More to the point, where?

And that leaves Bob Katter’s rabble and Clive Palmer’s insanity.

I don’t like where we’re heading, people. We’re heading for American territory. Galvanised, hateful debate. Every politician spouting fear and sliding to the right. Old timers who you would never have voted for now looking like moderate compassionate statesmen, looked on with nostalgia. Malcolm Fraser, I’m looking at you.


Facebook completely misses the point

In fail, media, oxygen thieves on June 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm

So, you will have noticed the campaign on Twitter (and elsewhere I’m sure) in which giant corporations have had it pointed out to them that their advertising is appearing on Facebook pages that contain hateful content, notably rape, violence, misogyny, etc.

The companies have been urged to remove their advertising dollars from Facebook until such time as Facebook removes such content.

It’s been a very successful campaign. Many companies have indeed stopped advertising with Facebook.

And now, the ultimate success, Facebook has changed their policies.

Oh wait, what? Oh dear.

Yes, dear readers, not for the first time, Facebook’s tin ear has struck again.

Because, instead of changing their CONTENT policy — i.e., banning or refusing to host such hateful content — they have changed their ADVERTISING policy.

So please, continue to hate women, continue to incite violence against women, yes, please do, continue to post pictures, comments and promotions that objectify, disrespect, sexualise and humiliate women. But now, companies will have more control over whether their ads will appear on those pages. Isn’t that great?

No, Facebook, it’s not. You have missed the point. Sadly, this is nothing new for you. Your desperate drive for reach and revenue has once again caused you to take the path of least resistance, the path of least consequence to you.

You have once again failed to take responsibility for your content.

I look forward to the day when we all just grow up and get over you, I really do.

Don’t mention ze var

In fail, great photos, history on June 29, 2013 at 8:01 am


Gutted, frankly

In fail, history, media, politics on June 26, 2013 at 11:11 pm


Kevin Rudd is a feckless son of a bitch. He can spend three years white-anting and poisoning and plotting and scheming and throwing others under the bus. And as I sit here he’s giving his first speech as Rudd Redux and actually has the temerity to talk ethics and honour and purity of purpose.

He stands there praising Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, two people he has made it his singleminded focus to bring down via leaks, and toxicity and slander and second-hand skullduggery, and he does it without even a blink or a wink or a cheeky half-knowing grin.

I’ve disagreed with Julia Gillard on some things. I’m vehemently opposed to her immigration policy. I believe her anti-gay marriage stance is a cynical position taken to keep the conservatives and the Christian lobby onside. I don’t for one moment believe it’s her actual stance.

But I voted for Bob Hawke’s ALP when he backflipped on uranium mining and screwed me over with tertiary fees. I voted for Keato’s ALP even though he was a slimy bugger. I voted for Kim Beazley’s ALP for fuck’s sake. I voted for Rudd’s ALP the first time around because the man knows how to campaign and he said all the right things.

And I voted for Julia Gillard’s ALP in 2010 despite a deep feeling that the she had come to the job the wrong way.

And now they’re asking for me to vote for Rudd’s ALP again.

An ALP gutted of its some of its best and brightest. Swan, Combet, Conroy, Emerson, and, of course, Gillard herself. All because they cannot stomach working for Rudd again. Augurs well, doesn’t it.

(You’ll notice I don’t care much what Peter Garrett does. The man’s a windsock who could have been leader of the Greens right now, with an enormously important job to do, soul intact, if he’d just had the spine to resist the lure of the Big Party.)

I don’t think I can do it, comrades. I don’t think I can.

I’m glad Albo is staying on. I’m glad Swanny will fight in September. I want to know what Plibersek, Macklin, Smith and Tony Bourke are doing. I want to know what their thoughts are and how comfortable they are.

I’m delighted Penny Wong is now leader of the Senate, though it was disconcerting to see her marching in lock-step behind Rudd this evening post-Caucus. Ultimately, she is wasted in the Senate, but I hope she has a place on the front bench.

Kevin Rudd blubbed like a sook when he got knifed. Julia Gillard was solid and strong and remarkably good-humoured and composed. I think that says everything about the two personalities, and the two motivations at work with these people.

I would have taken Julia’s strength and negotiating skills and Parliamentary performance any day over Rudd’s smarm and pseudo-trendy teenager speak. Zip off, indeed.

I don’t particularly want to vote Green. Not in the House of Reps at least. Senate, sure.

But right now I feel like my ALP is a sham. A hollowed out sham, allowing the whims of a bored media pack and the egos of its leading lights to dictate terms in a soap opera, not a government.

As for Julia Gillard, she has my admiration, and my deepest sympathy. She’s been cool, strong, gracious, smart, determined and FUCKING SUCCESSFUL.

She deserved better. So did we.

Bill Shorten is a treacherous arse

In fail, oxygen thieves, politics on June 26, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Et tu, Dickhead?

Seriously, is there anything more pathetic than a politician eating his own words.


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