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.

things people thought it was appropriate to say about the tattoos of No Award

girls with tattoos are so trashy

especially on their lower backs

not a tattoo of no award

oh YOU have a tramp stamp?

you seem so nice

what will your boss say

you’ll never get a proper job again (liz’s boss at the time had two tattoos and a nose ring btw)

why’d you get a dead Roman lady on your back?

what do you mean it’s a feminist tattoo?

what will your children say?

what will your future husband say?

because you want to be more of a bogan?

but why brand it on your body? why not put it on a t-shirt so you can see the message but take it off and it’s not permanent?

oh wow, do you read chinese?

did you join a gang?

art shows australia deserves

An entire building inspired by Lee Lin Chin and her fashions


Portraits of Larry Emdur circa The Price is Right

Kamahl, illustrated with quotes from his songs

Red Hot Rhonda Burchmore and the Channel 9 Dancers; this would be an interactive exhibition in order to properly appreciate her legs

The Gladiators; called ‘Gladiator Ready: the journey of a nation’, and paired with a special mini-exhibition devoted to referee Mike Whitney and Who Dares Wins

David and Margaret. Actual David and Margaret, in chairs, reviewing movies for ever and ever

Play School; includes an ode to Noni Hazlehurst’s potty mouth, and speculation on the absence of Diddle the Cat.

Trams of Australia

Erotic Art inspired by Australian cop shows of the 90s, especially if that art includes Wildside and Water Rats

Gold Logie Award winners in horror movies

Saving Australia: Day Wear of Australian Lifesavers

Failed Christmas Decorations That Narrowly Ate Loved Ones: inspiration from back issues of The Australian’s Women’s Weekly and Better Homes and Gardens

full grown lesbian FAUNS by friends of no award JP and NW

margaret pomeranz and lee lin chin: full grown lesbian FAUNS

Tomorrow When the War: racist art of Australia edited to be less racist and/or feature giant Australian fauna

Waiting Game: lots of different clocks illustrating how late trains in Australia are.

with thanks to Hayley Inch for inspiring and “assisting”

Linkspam don’t get around much anymore

The big-eyed children: the extraordinary story of an epic art fraud

In which a person, male, attaches himself to a more-talented person, female, and treats her badly while claiming both credit for her work and the associated rewards.  This is interesting, not for the intrinsic quality of the art — which is, um, debatable — but for the satisfaction of Margaret Keane’s eventual triumph.

(Bonus!  The comments featuring guys going, “Name one occasion on which a man has taken credit for a woman’s work,” and getting dozens of verifiable cases in response.  Note: this does not make reading the comments in any way worthwhile.)

Architecture for Bikes (in pictures)

Here at No Award we adore cosplay, especially cosplay appropriate to Australia’s climates, and so this photographic project by Klaus Pichler of Australian cosplayers in their homes is just EXCELLENT.

Stephanie has a lot of feelings about ‘authenticity’ and racist and classist devaluation and revaluation of work, and you should definitely read Crafted nostalgia: The romanticisation of a handmade economy by Cher Tan at Kill Your Darlings.

When production reaches a saturation point, the desire to pursue ‘authenticity’ is rehashed to the point of becoming the norm. But in the developed world, is the quest for an ever-changing authenticity evidence of the romanticisation of having less?

Yes. Perfect.

SECRET BOOKS: Melbourne’s hidden libraries. Stephanie, being the unrepentant urban hipster that she is, wants to create a library in the vestibule of her apartment building (which is a refurbed factory in Fitzroy).

The impact of David and Margaret on Australia’s film industry: Pomeranz and Stratton: a critical loss for the Australian film industry.

Stephanie is also pretty chuffed about this: Proposal to curb car traffic in Brunswick Street in favour of pedestrians. High density in Fitzroy. No cars on Brunswick Street! The no bikes thing is fine as well, cos bikes can use Napier street. Yes, thank you. Recently Stephanie took the opportunity to submit to the City of Yarra Local Traffic Management Survey. You better believe she had some things to say about the lack of bike parking and bike lanes in certain areas.

Yay for the internet: Melbourne hotel cancels ‘pick-up artist’ seminar amid outrage over choking technique. PICK UP ARTISTS. If you are a pick up artist, you can leave No Award. Thanks.

Man climbs onto whale carcass as feeding sharks circle off West Australian coast.

It is not yet known why the man chose to board the carcass.

And the follow up: Mum thinks I’m an idiot.

Notes on the Exotic, by Andrea Lee at the New Yorker.

And some people who spoke about Gough at his funeral: Cate Blanchett, who gave a killer, lovely leftie speech and made Tone a bit awks; Noel Pearson, talking about discrimination.

If there were no Racial Discrimination Act that would have been the end of it. Land rights would have been dead, there would never have been a Mabo case in 1992, there would have been no Native Title Act under Prime Minister Keating in 1993.

Without this old man the land and human rights of our people would never have seen the light of day.

There would never have been Mabo and its importance to the history of Australia would have been lost without the Whitlam program.

Only those who have known discrimination truly know its evil.

Only those who have never experienced prejudice can discount the importance of the Racial Discrimination Act.

This old man was one of those rare people who never suffered discrimination but understood the importance of protection from its malice.


australian movies that would have been improved by the inclusion of vampire Claudia Black

Queen of the Damned was filmed in Melbourne; 3000 Melbourne goths (and Canberran goths) were bussed out to Werribee to film the concert scene; the vampire bar was a derelict bar in Docklands built specially for the purpose. So hilarious. So amazing.

Claudia Black is in the movie for about 2 minutes. So much opportunity lost. So much amazingness.

Australian movies that would have been improved by the inclusion of vampire Claudia Black:

Claudia as Pandora in Queen of the Damned

Queen of the Damned (2002)

Pandora, about whom Anne Rice has written an entire book (AND WHO ACTUALLY SURVIVES THE ORIGINAL BOOK), appears earlier and more frequently. When Akasha turns up in the vampire house with lots of open doorways to the outside, she lets Vampire Matthew Newton go first and as a result doesn’t die, and we all rejoice because Vampire Matthew Newton is a dickhead. VCB helps Jesse through the change and continues to mentor her, with her eternal lesbian relationship with Lena Olin. Her BFF through time, Marius, leaves to go torment the Eighth Doctor. Bruce Spence hangs out.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Miranda wants to become a vampire because she loves Vampire Claudia Black so much. VCB is less enamoured of Miranda; instead, takes her back to the school. Sets all the girls free from the tyranny of early twentieth century Australia. The girls create a vampire collective in the school and kill all the men.


Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Fran is a great dancer, cos her awesome Auntie Vampire Claudia Black has taken the time and patience to really inspire her, unlike her jerkface dad. At no point does Mr Bill Hunter convince Scott to dance with Liz instead of Fran, and they go to the Pan Pacs. In the interim, Auntie VCB teaches Scott to be more respectful and Fran to be more fierce. When Charm Leachman cuts the music, Auntie VCB puts the music back and then eats Charm Leachman.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

Vampire Claudia Black prevents the really racist bits from happening, because she eats Bill Hunter and whisks Cynthia away to have an excellent, fufilling life not filled with racial stereotypes. In the absence of Bill Hunter, VCB saves Guy Pearce from the homophobes, eats them. She and Cynthia do the makeup for the drag show, because VCB loves the desert lights. Everybody goes back to Sydney and has a grand old time.


Muriel’s Wedding (1994)

Vampire Claudia Black kills Bill Hunter; makes sure his assets make their way to his family; Muriel still marries that dude and it all ends the same way because it’s a movie about dreams and failure and oneself, and some things remain true about Australia.

The Wiggles Movie (1997)

Nobody makes any ridiculous messes and she teaches Dorothy the Dinosaur to stop being so fucking culturally appropriative.

Wolf Creek (2005)

Vampire Claudia Break eats John Jarratt; fixes the car; torches the camp. She takes the rottweiler and they keep killing gross white Australian men together.

The Sapphires (2012)

Vampire Claudia Black gets rid of that white dude; she supports the Sapphires in getting to Vietnam and everything is all good. The US release DVD cover isn’t white-washed and focused on the non-Indigenous Australian person.


Bonus Australian TV

Vampire Claudia Black reads books to Little Ted on Play School. Her favourite co-presenters are Noni, Benita, and Jay Laga’aia, because she’s hot and she recognises awesomeness and hotness.

Special mention to the show that never existed but always will in our hearts, The Claudia Black Hotness and Variety Hour; and to Stargate SG1, which Claudia Black breathed life into for an extra two seasons through the power of her hotness.