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.
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.
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.)