Reasons why No Award has dietary requirements



We hate freedom

We hate you

We really want to upset youstolen from

When Stephanie consumes something on the forbidden list, she turns purple, blows up to the size of a blimp, and then explodes
Hunger really is better than airport food

There are a lot of problems with the meat industry and associated animal products, and Australia’s industrial agricultural complex

Well, it saves us from mindless snacking…

Lactose intolerance is no small matter

We’re boycotting Catholic-approved foods

Sharks have a list of forbidden foods

Penguins have a list of forbidden foodstotally stolen from

Cephalopods have a list of forbidden foods

Because yer mum

To make life more complicated

We just really enjoy having long conversations with waitstaff

Buddhism says one must consider every creature but also it’s their own fault for doing something to come back as a cow

Explosive diarrhoea

i saw linkspam kissing santa claus

Remote area unemployed face punishment for ‘passive welfare behaviour’. That title is basically nonsense but what the article really says is that unemployed in the country (most likely indigenous people) will be forced to work harder for benefits, in areas where work may be more difficult to come by. Awesome. Great job, Australia. You’re the best.

Need to do some art at your computer right now? SPIROGRAPH.

Obviously No Award has feelings about climate change. No Award also has feelings about Greenpeace, and they’re not amazing: Greenpeace apologises for Peru stunt that may’ve harmed Nazca Lines. A Greenpeace protest was poorly thought out, resulting in potential damage of an archaeological thingy that’s 2000 years old.

Christian Leaders Strip-Searched Over Political Prayer Vigil.  Liz has been watching Love Makes A Way, a multi-religious (but mostly Christian) movement that protests against our asylum seeker policy by praying in politicians’ electoral offices and getting arrested a lot.  (As a general rule, Liz does not approve of prayer as public performance, but this is one of those times where an exception is made.)

This week, the protesters were not only arrested, but strip searched, denied access to legal advice, and had their Bibles confiscated.  The strip search and denial of legal rights happens a lot in Australia, and I don’t want to seem like I’m particularly up in arms because it’s happening to middle class white people, but it was … surprising and unexpected.  And confiscating the Bibles is another degree of bizarre all together.

Anyway, Liz supports Love Makes A Way, and also hopes that this has a side effect of drawing attention to problems with treatment of prisoners in general.  (Also, Liz has been known to say snarky things about Pentecostals, prosperity gospels and hypocrisy, and would do well to remember that a couple of Pentecostal leaders were arrested this week.)

Stella Young passed away on the weekend. She was loud and honest and an amazing advocate for people with disabilities, especially young ones. She told some incredibly graphic sex jokes. Here is a list of great things and articles both about her and by her.

No Award encourages you to spotlight writers at The Butter.

SFF: The next new wave of science fiction will be Chinese (yesssss); Move over HP Lovecraft, fantasy writers of colour are coming through (yessssss).

At the Conversation, Lonely over Christmas: a snapshot of social isolation in the suburbs.

Road rage committed by horse-drawn carriages in Melbourne (No Award is against horse drawn carriages).

Gift guides for hairy-legged, bra-burning misandrists:

Rebel Girls Holigay Gift Guide 2014

The Feminist Killjoy Gift Guide

The Ultimate Misandrist Holiday Gift Guide

A Spinster’s Holiday Gift Guide: What To Buy For The Woman Who Loves Solitude (Liz draws the line at The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, which is interesting, and also the only pop history on the subject in the English language, but is also not very good.  Sorry.) (Steph says, don’t be sorry. It’s a terrible book that I would have thrown across the train but I was in a carriage of the Beijing subway at the time on my way to work, so that seemed like a bad idea)

Therapy for Asian Australians: A guide



This was meant to be a joke but somehow it became genuine. An actual guide! Go forth and find therapists, Azns of Australia. Medicare will pay for it, so at least your parents won’t worry about the expense.

  1. Your therapist will be white. This is okay. They can still be of use to you.
  2. When they say ‘magical thinking’, what they mean is, that thing where your mum tells you not to say a thing out loud, because the spirit of that thing will come for you. Do not believe the therapist when they say you have to stop not saying it (but you can say it in your head. That’s okay. Name that thing) (But don’t say it out loud, come on, you don’t want the spirit of that thing to find you).
  3. Therapists almost always practice in old houses. They are probably haunted, but white ghosts can’t hurt you. Do not be afraid. The ghost will take the therapist and any other clients well before they get to you.
  4. They won’t force you to make eye contact. That’s totally a myth. If they do, find a new therapist.from angry little girls (an excellent comic)
  5. You are not the only Asian Australian with a therapist. I promise. There’s me, at least.
  6. The things that make you specifically your ethnicity are not the problem. You don’t have to become more Australian (“Australian”) to deal with your very real problems.
  7. Your parents will say: are you telling this person our private family issues? (Yes) But they’re private family issues. (Yes) Are you sick? (Your answer may vary) Does anyone you know see you? (Doesn’t matter) What do you mean, your friends know you go to therapy? (My friends know I go to therapy) Do they know there’s something wrong? (They’re my friends, Ma, Ba!)
  8. You may be struck with how some treatments seem like cultural appropriation, particularly around mindfulness and meditation. Yep.
  9. Your therapist might suggest more independence from your family. Feel free to think about the concepts suggested, but remember that you’re Azn and your therapist is not necessarily culturally appropriate.
  10. You will have to explain the following things: family context; family structure; extended family structure; your interdependence on your family; what being Asian means.

    what happens when we fail to function (thanks, haw par villa, for a lifetime of fear)

    what happens when we fail to function (thanks, haw par villa, for a lifetime of fear)

  11. Specifically on mindfulness: you will probably learn how to do this. I find mindfulness helpful. But I sit less with my emotions, because identifying individual emotions is hard, and more with paying attention to my surroundings.
  12. On emotions: I have been known to literally start conversations with ‘I need to tell you a thing and I need you not to react.’ This is probably more Chinese hyphen specific, but that’s because emotions are hard and I’ve definitely grown up not expected to share them. My therapist thinks this is because I’m hiding from my emotions, but in my context you can receive comfort without sharing specifics. Other East Asians may find a familiarity in this.
  14. You might need meds. You might not. Either is fine.
  15. Your parents will come around. No, seriously.
  16. Your ancestors, too.
  17. I have found the following articles helpful at various points of time in therapy: Culturally competent treatments for Asian Americans: The relevance of mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies, Hall et al, American Psychological Association, 2011; Challenging Stereotypes: culture psychology and the Asian self, Radio National, 2010.

No Award’s official gift guide

There’s a post going around Tumblr at the moment, about how hard it is to buy for people who don’t have obsessions.  AND IT’S TRUE.  It was a good day for Liz when her mother got sucked into Game of Thrones — the DVDs should keep us going for a few Christmases yet.

Well, No Award is here to help.  What follows is a list of things we already own and think are great, or that we’d appreciate finding under a tree and think others would too, and maybe even a few things we couldn’t care less about, but seem like they might be hypothetically appealing to others.  All prices are in Australian dollars.

We aren’t into dividing gifts by gender (sorry, Tony Abbott OH WAIT NO WE’RE NOT), but the alcohol probably isn’t appropriate for all ages, so we’re dividing the diverse and complex human race into two categories:

Tiny People Who Are Still Developing Cognitive and Motor Skills

Blahaj.  “Soft toy, shark” says the IKEA website.  And yes, that’s true, but Blahaj is SO MUCH MORE.  It’s the ideal gift for a child small enough to be HILARIOUSLY ADORABLE while walking around with a stuffed shark of approximately equal size, but it also makes the perfect housewarming gift for … well, anyone.  Get one.  Get six.  $24.99 at IKEA. (Steph notes: Blahaj’s predecessor, Klapparhaj, was only 19.99 and I am OUTRAGED at this inflation. Also note that my house contains both Blahaj and Klapparhaj)

Six plush sharks sit around a boardroom meeting table at Ikea.  They're discussing serious shark business.


Also, IKEA has a pretty great range of toys in general, including soft dolls that aren’t white.  Or golliwogs.

If you’d rather something more geographically appropriate, you may also buy a shark from your local capital city aquarium (please note: No Award doesn’t necessarily endorse aquariums, but we do patronise their shops).

Shark – Air Swimmer.

A helium balloon in the shape of a shark.


But what child-or-grown-adult doesn’t need a lifesize, remote-controlled, helium shark? Currently on sale for $39.99, but also currently out of stock.  The company does other animals, but none as cool as sharks, let alone squids or penguins, so what’s the point?

Crystal Growing Kit.  No lie, Liz would have murdered for this when she was small.  $16.95 at Australian Geographic.  (Australian Geographic is full of cool and interesting science-related gifts, and although some have pink packaging, it doesn’t seem to be strongly gendered.)

Any of these awesome ‘teaching story’ picture books by Ambelin Kwaymulina, which have a focus on telling indigenous stories about how to live in the world. Suitable for all the sproglets in your life. ($16.95)

Shark vs Train by Chris Barton. We here at No Award haven’t read this sproglet book, but it seems relevant to our interests.

Larger People Who Have The Motor Skills Down But Are Still, You Know, Growing And Learning Every Day, But More Importantly, Can Legally Be Given Alcohol

Photograph of a bottle of Kraken Rum (with octopus on label) against a white background.

“Put the beast in your belly.”

Bonus points if the alcohol is cephalopod themed.

Stephanie is a big believer in hot toddies; Liz is a big believer in cephalopods.  So we both rate Kraken Rum pretty highly.  Also, it’s actually good, if you’re into dark spiced rum.  Which we are.  Please enjoy your cephalopod-themed alcohol responsibly.  About $50 per 700mL bottle.

DVD box set: The Gods of Wheat Street.  

DVD cover: a good looking Aboriginal man in his forties gazes into the distance; an Aboriginal woman of about the same age stands behind him, smiling.  She's his mum's ghost.

Now, Liz has a confession to make.  Remember how she managed to blog about every single terrible episode of Secrets & Lies?  Well, she followed that with the clever and charming Gods of Wheat Street, but it was so good, she had too many feels to encapsulate them into a post.

And that’s terrible, because Gods not only represents a rare Australian foray into the magical realism genre, but it does so with a majority Indigenous cast.  The blurb:

Odin Freeburn, head of the family, is being pulled in all directions as he tries to keep his family together. Odin has one brother in jail, another brother is in love with the daughter of the family enemy and his wife has run away to the city leaving him to raise their two daughters.

To complicate matters, his employer has just died, his sister-in-law is in love with him and the spirit of his mother Eden has come back on a mission to protect the important destiny of the Freeburn family line.

And, really, that’s about it, but what more do you need?  Family drama, a ghost, some criminal shenanigans.  It’s well-written and funny, and also heartbreaking, and also Electra is one of my favourite female characters ever.  Also Shari Sebbens wears this amazing dress with an avocado pattern.  I can’t tell you how much I want an avocado dress.  Currently on sale for $19.99 at the ABC Shop!

Liz and her mum both recommend Janet King, another recent ABC drama ($24.98 at JB Hi-Fi).  It’s a thriller/mystery about a Crown Prosecutor who comes back from maternity leave and plunges straight into a conspiracy that reaches the very top of NSW politics.  (And it’s NSW politics — frankly anything seems plausible.)  Some material may be triggery for people who have issues around sexual abuse, child abuse and the judicial system.

Pretty much anything from the First Shop on the Moon would make an amazing gift.  The ideal gift for the civil disobedience penguin in your life.  But enough about Stephanie.

For the well-dressed cyclist in your life, Captain Robbo’s Adventure Pants ($90) or anything from Tread & Pedals. Adventure Pants are handprinted by Captain Robbo, super comfortable, and stress tested by Stephanie when she was doored by a car on Hampden Road to definitely help save your knees. Comes in cephalopod patterns. Tread & Pedals are based in Melbourne and are upcycled bicycle parts jewellery and clocks and things. Awesome cufflinks from chains, bracelets made of spokes (Steph owns three of the latter and loves them).

Nothing promises a festive holiday season like a bit of paranoia!  How about Australia Under Surveillance by Frank Moorehouse and Dirty Secrets: Our Asio Files by Meredith Brugman? (Both $32.99 at Readings.)  Liz just finished reading the latter, and although it got repetitive towards the end, it’s full of interesting, horrifying and occasionally funny stories about ASIO shenanigans and Australia’s dubious attitude to civil liberties during the Cold War.

Stephanie’s books to recommend are Transport for Suburbia by Paul Mees ($95), on the problems of public transport in suburban areas (note: Stephanie hasn’t read this and desperately wants to); and The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine ($35), a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses set in the Jazz Age (and one of NPR’s books of 2014).

Did you just laugh mirthlessly at the idea of being able to afford two new release books in Australia?  Liz wishes to point out that Kobo does gift vouchers.  (Liz personally prefers Kobo devices over other ereaders as they will support DRM-free ebooks in a range of formats, unlike certain other readers, Kindle.)

(Amazon also do gift cards.  Sometimes you have to compromise your principles in order to get that ebook you were chasing for less than $30.)

Or, for value for money and some excellent Australian SF, how about a subscription to Twelfth Planet Press?

Does the nerd in your life have their Continuum membership yet?  Because that would make a great gift!  Provided that your nerd lives in Melbourne or has the means to get here, or else that you’re also paying for transport and accommodation.  Otherwise, I guess buying them a membership would be a bit mean.

A gift that transcends borders (as well as time and space) is Australian audio SF drama/comedy Night Terrors, a sort of Australian remix of Doctor Who, but with more female characters, puns, and a Harold Holt joke in the second episode that made Liz hit pause and frantically text Stephanie.

Back in the book department, Liz and Steph both enjoyed/are enjoying Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie ($19.99 at Readings), despite the fact that even a book about a culture without gender manages to have an entitled male-bodied douchebag stealing oxygen.  If you don’t have anything nice to say about Seivarden, come and sit by us.  But also buy it for the intellectual space opera fan in your life.

Gifts For People You Don’t Really Want To Give Gifts To

Maybe you drew the tedious sister-in-law in the family Kris Kringle.  (Disclaimer: Liz’s sister-in-law is great.)  Maybe you’ve pulled your boss in the office Secret Santa.  Maybe you’re just a troll.  Here’s some suggestions!

- Remember, in year seven, we converted tea towels into plastic bag holders?  That.  Remember to wash the tea towel first!  (Or not.)

- Soap on a rope

- A tea towel converted into a plastic bag holder … filled with soap on a rope

- An Iggy Azalea CD

- A TARDIS-shaped tea infuser.  This is for when you’re trolling Captain Picard.  Obviously.

- Bacon-flavoured vodka.

No Award takes no responsibility for any family or office feuds that may arise out of these gifts.  Do not give bacon-flavoured vodka to vegans.  In very few workplaces is it acceptable or appropriate to give a sex toy to a colleague.

it’s starting to look a lot like linkspam

Here at No Award, we embrace and promote conscious consumption (and Steph is always willing to talk about it because that’s her job and she loves it). In The Bottom Line: Patagonia, North Face, and the Myth of Green Consumerism, you can have a read about winter sporting wear Patagonia’s business practice of minimising consumer purchasing as part of an overall strategy to make our society less disposable. BASICALLY THE BEST. It might not work as a strategy right now, but it’s pretty great.

Victorian Labor wins election by stealing the Greens’ strategy; also swears about Australian media and Lolstralia doesn’t blink.

This Idiot Senator Wore A High-Vis Mining Vest In Parliament And Got Torn To Bits By Everybody.  This is old, but totally worth it.

It is worth noting at this point that Macdonald, who is both Australia’s longest-standing current Senator and a fully-grown man, is perfectly happy to stand in a chamber of Parliament and loudly advertise that he is literally sponsored by a corporation.

The terrible psychological consequences of our border policy for the naval personnel who implement it.

New Atheism, Old Empire – examining the way New Atheism just coincidentally overlaps with fascism and imperialism.  Warning for violent language in the quotes.

Tansy Rayner Roberts asks, Does Sex Make Science Fiction Soft?  A look at SF’s traditional wariness of romance, the division between “soft” and “hard” SF, sexism and intersectionality, and there’s also a reading list which might even inspire Liz to try once again to read romance.

It’s an inter-network battle to the death as newsreaders take up arms in … are Hunger Games comparisons considered tasteless in the wake of ABC cuts?  The important thing is that No Award is Team Lee Lin Chin.

30 Years of Hating Alison Ashley

On many levels Hating Alison Ashley is a farce of character. Erica Yurken is rude, self-centred and intoxicatingly megalomaniacal. Her delusions of grandeur are completely at odds with her life at Barringa East Primary School – a school of such disrepute that Erica laments its sole mention in the local newspaper, which occurred when a classroom burned down prompting the headline ‘Arson Suspected at Barringa East Primary’. In Erica’s Barringa East we see shades of Porpoise Spit, the depression-inducing town from the classic Australian film Muriel’s Wedding.

(a) I can’t believe Hating Alison Ashley is 30 years old; (b) that means it was already eight years old when I first read it, yet it felt totally fresh to my childhood eyes; (c) let’s pretend the movie — which transplanted the story to a high school and featured my nemesis Delta Goodrem in the title role — never happened; (d) I didn’t know that Robin Klein has suffered a stroke and can no longer speak or write — that’s very sad; (e) with details like Erica’s mother being a proud welfare cheat, I wonder how modern kids perceive this book?

Seymour Skinner asks himself,

The Best of Mike Bowers’ Brick Senate – Senate rules limit photography.  So The Guardian makes do with Lego.  Obviously.

ratbags + figjams of australia: banjo paterson


lovingly inspired by the beautiful delights at the toast, and cos the fame went to our heads following OZTEN, stephanie and hayley are proud to bring you a series: ratbags and figjams of australia. in this first instalment, we bring you the epic battle between literary giants banjo paterson and henry lawson.   National	Archives of Australia A6180 5/2/85/5

australia: hey banjo we need a new poem to reflect burgeoning Australian values
bpattz: here i wrote a thing about horse thieves
australia: that’s
that’s not really what we meant
bpattz: why
what’s more Australian than horse thieves
bpattz: I KNOW

henry lawson: fuck you, banjo
fuck you and your romanticised pastoral poetry landscapes
i’m gonna write about union strikes you unaustralian sheepsballs

bpattz: hey lawson
who’s published by his mother and is poor as shit
lawson: …
bpattz: oh that’s right you’re deaf, bugger i’m going to have to telegram this

henry lawson: what kind of a nickname is ‘banjo’ anyway
if he was a real literary giant he would have gone with an instrument of class and grace
like ‘euphonium’
bpattz: hey hey what’s the postie left for me today

henry lawson - la trobe australian manuscripts collectionwho the fuck is ‘euphonium lawson’?

bpattz: what why is lawson australia’s greatest short story writer what the fuck have you guys never even read clancy?

the bulletin: congratulations on the critical success of the drover’s wife, henry
lawson: thank you. i’m glad the public has embraced a realistic vision of rural australia even if it is super depressing
bpattz: hey hey who just made a squillion pre-federation dollars writing a bunch of jaunty songs about how ace bush australia is?
lawson: oh god
bpattz: have you city boys even ever seen a billabong?

bpattz: okay okay i’ve got it i know what i can write about next
it’s WAR.

bpattz: wait now that i’m a war correspondent and a captain i’m gonna write about war and HORSES

lawson: so turns out having bad publishing deals means you end up an alcoholic and serving gaol terms for being unable to pay child maintenance
bpattz: hey hey lawson you know what you should do?
sing one of your songs
you mean there’s none?
shame *whistles waltzing matilda*

lawson: dies, 1922, aged 55
bpattz: who’s a jolly fucking jumbuck now

australia: to honour henry lawson, one of our finest writers, let us put him on the $10 note
australia: …actually now that we have plastic money let’s put banjo on the $10
ghost bpattz: ahaha, go hang on a hoist

Greg! The Link Spam!!

Can you have a garden in New Zealand?  The entire existence of Reddit is justified with one post and its amazing comments.

Remembering Heartbreak High — ABC + ’90s nostalgia + Aussie teen drama = a No Award approved post!

According to Australian Screen curator, Tammy Burnstock, Heartbreak High was based on a stage play written by Robert Barrett, first published in 1988, which was adapted into the successful film The Heartbreak Kid (1993), starring Alex Dimitriades and Claudia Karvan. The 1993 film set out to be diverse and capture the ‘melting-pot’ Australia that, at the time, wasn’t being portrayed in shows like Neighbours or Home and Away. According to producer Ben Gannon (who would go on to become executive producer of Heartbreak High): “The Heartbreak Kid was presenting a world that we didn’t think was widely known outside of Australia; a multi-racial, urban, more ‘gritty’ high school. Up until Heartbreak, we didn’t feel that had ever been properly represented on film or television.”

This need for multiculturalism translated into the Hartley High inner city school setting; Heartbreak High not only offered seven seasons of diverse casting, but also explored racial tensions within the school setting. The pilot episode centered on character Rivers (Scott Major) repeatedly goading new student Jack Tran (Tai Nguyen), resulting in an after-school brawl.

The Guardian‘s series on Australian anthems is always good, but Liz is particularly keen on Clem Bastow’s remembrance of “! (The Song Formerly Known As)” by Regurgitator, an electro-punk tribute to the glories of staying home.  It’s been Liz’s personal theme song since she first heard it on Triple J, and gets more relevant to her life every year.

We at No Award have little to contribute to the subject of Ferguson and the murder of Michael Brown, being Australian and not black.  We would mostly like to see our fellow Aussies being less smug about that “never happening hear”.  Guys, Australian cops have a long history of killing black children, and also black adults.  The only difference is, they’re less heavily armed over here, so they have to arrest you first.

But Larissa Behrendt says it better than we can: Indigenous Australia knows the cynicism exposed by Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson.

Watching the events in Ferguson unfold raises similar questions about Australia’s own legal system. The parallel is immediately drawn with the failure to secure a conviction in the case of 36-year-old Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee, who died in a Palm Island lockup over 10 years ago.

Mulrunji was picked up for singing “Who let the dogs out” at a police officer, Chris Hurley, who drove past him in the street. He was charged with public nuisance. He had been in police custody for only an hour when he died. An autopsy revealed four broken ribs, which had ruptured his liver and spleen.

Hurley was indicted for assault and manslaughter but acquitted in 2007. He is the only person ever charged over a death in custody of an Aboriginal person in Australia.

The Ferguson issue this week had Liz, at least, asking some questions about the grand jury, ie, WTF?  Luckily, The Conversation is here to outline the history of the grand jury and why they’re not that great a concept:  Only in America: why Australia is right not to have grand juries.

Mood whiplash:

One for Sleepy Hollow fans: what are Henry’s ethical obligations to Frank Irving as an attorney?  

Henry also has a significant conflict of interest with Irving, as Henry’s goal is to bring about the Apocalypse under the direction of Moloch, which goes against Irving’s interests.

Liz works in the legal industry, so she thinks about this sort of thing a lot.

Disability or Superpower?  Deaf identity in YA

Keighery is hearing, and had major qualms about writing a deaf protagonist. ‘The more I researched deaf experience, particularly the politics, the more worried I became. At times, it seemed an impossible task to represent such complexity. But I discussed these terrors with people whose opinions I respect. My sister told me it was good and correct that I felt fear, since it showed a healthy respect for the topic I was going to tackle.

(This strikes Liz as being good advice for any author writing about a culture or identity they have not lived for themselves.)


all my life i’ve been waiting for this linkspam to arrive

See the cultural cringe on a national scale, as embodied by Tourism Australia: Indian celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor labels Australia’s multicultural gourmet tourism strategy ‘not very smart.’ It’s interesting that he says:

“This probably is a time when you can start creating things which you call your own, things which for the next 20 to 50 years you say, ‘This is Australian.’

“Here you are losing a chance and you’re spending so much money and you say that nothing is ours.”

In Australia we have the cultural cringe, the idea that we have no culture or that Australian culture is all bush and damper and diggers and jillaroos. How can we define culture? Is an emphasis on multicultural cuisine a culture?

City of Casey councillor proposes motion to ban LGBTI promotion. Awkward. Then another City of Casey councillor came out.

In embarrassing Auspol shenanigans: What ‘democracy’ means in China is not what Australia’s Abbott thinks, wherein Abbott doesn’t understand what Xi says and we are all hiding our faces behind our hands; George Christensen uses Vegemite to suggest halal products are funding terrorism and sharia; another thing about G20 and Tone’s speech; Clive has implied Jacqui Lambie infiltrated PUP to blow it up? Following, Jacqui Lambie has quit PUP.

20 Tony Abbott quotes, an amazing spreadsheet.

Eating multiculturalism by Cher Tan, at Peril Mag (a favourite of Steph’s), on what multiculturalism means in Australia (and another favourite of Steph’s the idea that Australia is multicultural because we love food whilst hating everything else).

What’s Love Got To Do With It?  The excellent Carly Findlay confronts the popular and dangerous idea that chronic illness — particularly autoimmune disease — is caused by self-hatred.  Liz has multiple autoimmune diseases AND a massive ego.  Take that, dodgy unscience!

Marine paleontology down at Beaumaris Beach! Field trip to Stephanie’s work, yay!steph and the abc

How to take down a Woman of Colour with one word, on tokenism and parochialism. By Ruby Hamad.

Trams are back in fashion. About politics and imagination.

A very important article by Friend of No Award Genevieve Valentine: 10 period pieces to cheat Eng Lit 205: British Lit on TV. RELEVANT.

CUTS TO OUR ABC AND SBS. MUCH OUTRAGE (legit). Track the twitter tag, people went to rallies, Sydney sang the Play School theme.

play school? more like YES GIMME


, ,

Hi No Award. Steph, in conjunction with No Award contributor Ash, want you to listen to some things this morning. We’re not saying it’s important that Play School have some influence on your life as an Australian, but as children we loved it, and as an adult Steph adores Jay Laga’aia.

Prepare to clutch your shirt in joy at the Play School theme

The saddest song ever: Benita sings 5 Little Ducks, which worries Ash:

Five Little Ducks (no video, sorry)

Barbara sings about the creepiest cat:

Noni sings Five Grey Elephants; Stephanie wants to be a puppeteer (age 4)

The Ning Nang Nong is a lot creepier than Steph remembers (stand by for another post on this important ecological feature)

Galumphing Frogs (children all over Australia sing about the noise frogs make when you step on them)

Noni reads Go the Fuck to Sleep

Not a song, but very important. Noni, beloved of many members of Gen Y (and Team No Award) due to her years on Play School, a and well-known potty-mouth, was commissioned by Text Publishing to do a reading of this classic, and it’s so perfect. Her face still brings comfort and the knowledge that something amazing is about to happen.

And to round us out, the GREATEST THING EVER: Simon and Noni and Humpty and Max and Morris in Humpty Dumpty the Opera. Steph doesn’t remember this at all, unlike the other pieces, but prepare to want to watch it twice.

sounds like a linkspam

Because Cory Bernardi is a dickwad: Putting a woman in a headlock sometimes justified, Cory Bernardi ACTUAL GOVERNMENT MINISTER tells domestic violence inquiry.

Juries can be influenced by where defendants sit in a courtroom, Australian study reveals.

The sobering reality of actual black nerd problems, over at Black Nerd Problems, discusses violence against black men, cosplay, and perception. It is unusually US-centric for No Award, but we’re all about perception and intersections and this one time a brown male friend of Steph’s was stopped in the Perth CBD by coppers because he was running with bags (they held laptops, and he missed his bus). We still laughingly refer to that as the time B was stopped for running while brown, but the laughter is mostly to stop the anger.

Stuff about the G20: Junkee implies Obama is unimpressed dad vis Australia and climate change; G20 sounds like one of those terrible meetings where everyone wants to talk about one thing but the chair is the one person who keeps ignoring that one issue (that’s us, and it’s about climate change). No Award hates those meetings.

Here’s more: Australia left to cringe once more at a leader’s awkward moment.  The article is self-explanatory, but we at No Award would like to take a moment to question the policy of international bonding via koalas.  Did you know that 80% of koalas have chlamydia?  This causes urinary tract infections, which makes their practice of pissing on any human unwise enough to hold one even grosser.  And they’re high all the time on eucalyptus leaves.  Is that really a message President Obama wants to send the world?  What is the political subtext of handing foreign leaders koalas?  How has nobody declared war over this yet?

Finally, over at the Guardian (of course), local activist, feminist and columnist Van Badham (of course!) lists 10 things we learned at the G20, from the importance of sunscreen to which bra you should wear while protesting climate change.

(No Award notes that it believes in koala conservation and not destroying koala habitats.  They should be left to flourish and be disgusting in peace.)

The dude on Today wore the same suit for a year and is now talking about sexism and how he’s judged on his performance and his lady cohosts aren’t.  It’s a small thing in many ways, but a good example of a white dude using his white dude privilege for good.

Steph doesn’t want to sound judgy, but there’s a Buddhist school in Daylesford and everyone interviewed in regards to the school has a name that isn’t traditionally associated with Buddhism. Although here at No Award we respect the right of people of all ethnicities to do all things, we have a healthy suspicion of white people co-opting Asian things.

(Someone recently described Daylesford to Liz as the natural habitat of middle-aged, upper middle-class white hippies.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that!  It’s just not a demographic known for being thoughtful about its appropriative practices.)

SPEAKING OF, it was The Colour Run in Melbourne on Sunday, an event which is both cultural appropriation of the actual religious festival of Holi, and also not at all a charity, not even a little bit and wow do they want you to know it:

The Swisse Color Run is a commercial event, which chooses to support charities. As a for-profit event we are proud to give back to the local community, something we do not have to do, but we choose to do.

What copyeditor allowed ‘choose’ to feature in two sentences in a row? A copyeditor who was overruled, that’s who.

The Color Run is neither a charity nor a non-profit organization. The Color Run is a “for profit” event management company and our number one goal is to produce high quality events.


Family Court Chief Justice calls for a rethink on how High Court handles cases involving transgender children.

Basically, a trans kid in Australia who wants to transition needs to have their case examined by a panel of experts, and then the Family Court has the final say.  Liz has transcribed a lot of these cases, and while it’s not an adversarial process, and the judges are generally quite sensitive to these children’s needs and gender identities, it’s still a load of stress that can probably be avoided.  So well done Bryant CJ for pointing out that the court probably doesn’t need to be involved at all.

Fear and Loathing in (the) Land Down Under

There are fault lines in Australia that we know have always run through its sociopolitical crust that can’t be suppressed. A history of shameful, despicable seasons: the White Australia policy, the Stolen Generations, equating Aborigines with flora and fauna, the Children Overboard scandal, the Cronulla Riots, the horrific treatment of “queue-jumping” asylum seekers that gets worse. “Go back to where you came from!” you hear some shriek like harpies. “This is ’Straya, not Muslimania!”

A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names

We at No Award have watched the unfolding of the Winterfox/Requires Hate/Benjanun Sriduangkaew saga with interest, having been aware of that individual and her, uh, works, for some time. (Liz was a lurker in the 50 Books POC debacle, and found herself frequently agreeing with RH’s reviews while also avoiding them because RH’s abusive language was a major anxiety trigger; Stephanie has been known to nope out of situations involving RH, despite also frequently agreeing with RH’s reviews) This detailed post outlines both RH’s behaviour under various pseudonyms and her more recent actions under the Benjanun Sriduangkaew persona, and offers stark proof that RH particularly targeted fellow women of colour for abuse.  (Screencaps include racist, transphobic and abusive language.)

Who Killed the Cup Day Billy Cart Derby? Steph has friends who live on this street and used to make falafel to sell, and is having a lot of feelings about the Melbourneness of this article and the importance of this bit:

When asked if there is a moral to the story, one organiser simply said: “Get more things like this happening. Don’t rely on other people to produce an event. Do one yourself. There could be thousands of ***** street derbies, it could be an underground movement. If people are that keen to follow it then start more. All you need is four wheels, a piece of wood and a plank and you’re off.

For sale: W Class Tram

Liz and Steph gave serious considering to buying this before we eventually concluded it would be impractical to move, store and restore.  But if you’re wondering what to get the social justice blogger/infrastructure nerd in your life for Christmas…

In No Award news, Stephanie accidentally wrote a really popular parody on the internet with Hayley Inch (OZTEN: Pride and Prejudice for Aussies), and Liz announced she’s editing an anthology (Companion Piece: women celebrate the humans, aliens and tin dogs of Doctor Who).  And Liz and Stephanie are BOTH appearing in FableCroft’s Cranky Ladies of History, an anthology of short fiction about historical women with no time for nonsense.


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