gadfly August 14, 2021
It seems there’s very little that humanity cannot achieve when we put our mind to it. In the past 100 years we’ve landed on the moon, created a global information superhighway, and crossbred poodles with every animal we could get our hands on. Our greatest achievement yet, however, may be the dedication we have shown to destroying our planet.
gadfly August 7, 2021
It’s remarkably hard to get banned from YouTube. The platform hosts more than 500 hours of fresh videos a minute. That’s more content than even the most dedicated teenager in Sydney fighting lockdown boredom can watch in a lifetime. Almost all of that video – 720,000 hours’ worth a day – is of children unboxing toys or biting each other. The remainder is video of Alan Jones being sceptical about vaccines on Sky News.
gadfly July 31, 2021
We in Australia love gold more than a Saudi prince’s interior decorator. We’re the gold standard in botched vaccine rollouts and the gold standard in failing to suppress the Delta variant. Fortunately, we’re also the gold standard in women’s swimming at the Olympics, and the gold standard in enthusiastic coaches humping barrier walls.
gadfly July 24, 2021
There is a moment in Alan Moore’s seminal comic book series, Watchmen, when the genius mastermind controlling the world from the shadows reveals that the only thing that can bring humanity together is fear of something new. We are bound most tightly when we are bound by a hatred of the unknown. To that end, he engineers the conclusion of the Cold War by manufacturing evidence of an alien invasion, persuading the proverbial superpowers to unite against a new foe, which doesn’t actually exist.
gadfly July 17, 2021
We don’t have great conspiracy theories here in Australia. Not compared with Americans, whose conspiracy theories are fantastic in their sheer creativity: an air force base in Nevada is secretly a UFO hangar, the CIA had president John F. Kennedy killed by weaponising grassy knolls, the moon-landing was filmed by Stanley Kubrick on a soundstage, and something metallurgically implausible involving jet fuels and steel beams and 9/11.
gadfly July 10, 2021
Joining the Liberal Party has always been an ideologically driven decision. It is a pledge to uphold the values outlined by Robert Menzies in 1944: traditionalism against the march of modernity, minimising government intervention in the ability of the individual to generate wealth, and a commitment to harassing the daylights out of women while calling yourself things like “big swinging dicks”. It isn’t just a commitment to the party of John Howard, Malcolm Fraser, Harold Holt and Robert Menzies; it's also a commitment to the party of Andrew Laming, Christian Porter, Craig Kelly and Eric Abetz.
gadfly July 3, 2021
For a politician to get noticed these days, they have to be spectacularly bad at their job. On this principle, the Coalition has produced some of the mightiest figures in Australian political history, characters who will be studied for generations to come, so future leaders can learn just how bad it can get.
gadfly June 26, 2021
Australians have been hankering for a leadership spill for a while now. The memory of the last one is so distant we’ve forgotten what that potent mix of adrenalin and disappointment feels like. Nary a week goes by without someone with a Canberra mailing address shouting about an imminent leadership spill on social media, trying to goad Josh Frydenberg into taking a stab at his boss. That bait has not yet been nibbled, but it has clearly put ideas into the head of Australia’s favourite philanderer. Just a quick spill later and Barnaby Joyce is once again deputy prime minister.
gadfly June 19, 2021
A test of one’s commitment to free speech isn’t fighting for the speech you like but the speech you don’t like. It is inevitable that censorship encroaches from the latter to the former. Never has that maxim been tested more, though, than in the case of Friendlyjordies v the State of New South Wales.
gadfly June 12, 2021
Electing a political representative is neither a power lightly given nor one that should be casually accepted. Yet too often the personal indulgences of politicians are overlooked. A combination of apathy and lethargy seemingly dictates our lack of response to such leadership failures. As such, it is understandable so few politicians even bother pretending to care for the needs of their electorate. Every now and then though, a politician remembers their duty. Driven by a sense of purpose, or perhaps a deep-seated respect for public office, they stand up and make the moral choice: they trawl through the tweets of ABC journalists to see what they’ve liked or retweeted.
gadfly June 5, 2021
Remember that sound you heard on Wednesday, the one the seismologists registered, which startled flocks of birds into flight and shattered spectacles and wine glasses? That was Melbourne. That was five million people cursing aloud when they were told that lockdown would be extended for another week.