There are way too many right-wing, big-mouthed columnists in the media, who reinterpret the news so as to influence your understanding of world events.
So meet the 7pm Grump. A left-wing, big-mouthed columnist, who sees the news from the other side. He’s the voice of reason, in a right-wing world of opinion and finger-pointing. And he’s easy on the eye too, even if he does say so himself. Which he does, regularly. Including right now. I wrote this introduction.
Headline reads: Relief for homeowners as interest rates kept on hold
Headline should read: RBA says: Generation Y in for a spanking
Houses are overpriced in this country, and the government has no reason to change that. Australia’s retiring baby-boomers are banking on the fact that you’ll buy their rotting three-bedroom dive for $900K, so they can retire in a manner to which they’ve been accustomed to most of their lives. You know, what with the free tertiary education and healthcare that the following generations have had to pay for. Keeping house prices inflated saves the government half the nightmare of providing for an ageing and deteriorating population. It’s why the real estate market is run by crims and pretty much remains unregulated or investigated. God forbid the RBA raise interest rates and there is some downward pressure on house prices, bringing a reality check to the overheated real estate market. It’s not like the IMF has suggested rate rises are necessary in Australia for this very reason. Oh wait, they did. And don’t get me started on the legislation that allows the negative gearing of existing properties. How does that help create new dwellings? When did homes become an investment opportunity, above somewhere to raise a family?
The reality is, if you are not a baby-boomer and you own a house in this country, you’ve sunk yourself into more debt, than this guy has eaten yellow snow. I say bring on interest rate rises, more mortgage foreclosures, and a real estate revolution.
Headline reads: Coal seam damage to water inevitable
Headline should read: Mining industry says: You never know, we might create mutant ninja turtles!
The coal seam gas industry in Australia is a step below the real estate industry. According to NSW Liberal Senator, Bill Heffernan, CSG mining operates under ‘cowboy legislation’. Sure, it’ll be worth about $100 billion to Australia over the next 20 years, and that’s great for the economy, or so the industry newsletters tell me. But lots of respected scientists and industry leaders believe the extraction process (not just fracking, which is dodgy in its own right) raises more questions than the mining companies have answers for. Consider this: when the former CEO of Woodside (one of Australia’s biggest resource companies) Don Voelte retired, he was asked what his greatest triumph was. His answer? “I think one of the greatest things I will have achieved is not taking my company into coalbed methane”. That’s the head of a mining company, not some crazy hippy or emotional farmer threatening to chain himself to the gate of his own property.
If the mining industry admits that coal seam gas extraction impacts on aquifers, you should be asking, “What’s being leaked into that water… and where is it going?” Let’s hope, to a New York sewer, to create the next generation of super-heroes.
Headline should read: Sorry Ms Nixon, we’re not worthy
Somehow, in just a couple of years, one of the greatest public servants Australia has ever seen has gone from a beacon of inspiring and incorruptible justice, to scapegoat for a natural disaster (or ‘Act of God’, for the believers among you) and positioned alongside the crims she spent her life fighting. On Black Saturday, Victoria’s then Chief of Police, Christine Nixon, was in charge of the emergency response to the disaster that claimed 173 lives. That night, she left her post and went out for dinner for just over an hour, with friends. Probably not the brightest move, as a Royal Commission found, and she herself admitted in hindsight. But some in the media used this fact, and any other petty complaints they could muster, to destroy Christine Nixon’s career and discredit her life’s work. Not only that, when it was announced Nixon’s memoirs would be released, the Herald Sun actually ran the headline, “Hand Back Book Cash”. Apparently they’d managed to find a survivor of Black Saturday willing to demand Nixon donate the proceeds of her book to… well survivors of Black Saturday.
The real truth at the heart of this story is that allowing the media to portray Christine Nixon as somehow responsible for Black Saturday is despicable, and proof that we as a society simply don't deserve leaders of her calibre. Keep going like this, and we’ll end up with leaders like this guy instead.
Headline reads: Death knell sounded for needles
Headline should read: Aussie scientist cooler than the modern equivalent of the Fonz
An Australian scientist has developed a way to administer vaccines with something called a ‘nano-patch’, which is a buttload more effective, and less painful, than using a needle. It’ll reduce needle-stick injuries and increase both the practical-effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of vaccines, which is good news for our African friends who need vaccines, and are suffering an AIDS epidemic. Seriously, they should give Professor Mark Kendall, the developer of this new technology, the $15 million he needs, plus an extra $2 million, just for being a generally rad dude.
The sad reality is, given how our scientists have been treated in the past year, with everything from shock jocks undermining and misrepresenting their research, to federal funding cuts, and even death threats, I’m sure it won’t be long until Mark is accused of trying to make it even easier for junkies to get their fix. He’ll end up having to leave Australia and start a band in Siberia with this guy.
Headline reads: Gay marriages to count in Census
Headline should read: Modern Census despite gay-hating government
When I have to get out of bed on a Saturday morning every three years, and travel down to the local primary school, and cast a vote for who will govern my country, I’ve already got reason to be in a bad mood. But when I’m faced with the handful of eligible politicians I can cast my vote for, it’s safe to say, it takes a lot more than a sausage in bread to make me feel the warmth of democracy in this country. The fact is, the two major parties, which you probably voted for, are pillars of homophobia and discrimination. They protect the sacred act of marriage from those heathen gay folk, who like disco too much. While the rest of us God-fearing, or at least ‘straight’, honest Australians, can get married and divorced and married and divorced as much as we like. This all comes back to that ageing population I mentioned earlier. You see, while younger generations of Australians tend to be cool with homosexuals, many of the older generations, of whom there are a lot, aren’t. So do the math. If you’re headed into a neck-and-neck election race, are you going to risk losing votes from Beryl and Kevin, just so Emma and Jane can get hitched? No. You’re a politician. You’re going to do whatever it takes to get what you want (need I mention house prices and coal seam gas mining again?). So the government does nothing to modernise the law and grant basic civil rights to gay couples, and as a result indirectly supports the hatred of a minority. What are these homophobes so scared of? As Rufus Wainwright questioned, "Do you really think you go to hell for having loved?"
The truth is, the major flaws of fundamental gays (and by that, I mean your particularly camp kind) consist of making straight guys look like bad dancers, and arguing passionately in a nasal voice, with anyone who will listen, that Lady Gaga is a credible recording artist. If only the flaws of fundamental Christians were so innocent.
The opinions expressed in The 7PM Side Project blog do not necessarily reflect those of The 7PM Project or the Ten Network.