September 2011

Just a few weeks ago we asked for our Friday dilemma whether it’s okay for couples to snog in the park. But yesterday The NT News reported that a couple of Darwinians are taking the whole PDA thing a little too far.

Was a nice balmy day in Darwin. Picture: Michael Franchi

“City office workers watched in disbelief yesterday as a couple went for it on the balcony of a Darwin apartment,” the story reported. Luckily (?) The NT News had a camera there to capture it for all of us and spread it around the Internet. They even took a video which they’ve laid some Bold and the Beautiful¬-esque music over.

The couple are seen dancing and. . . um, well they certainly, erm well, um, ended up doing one saucy foxtrot. In broad daylight. So this brings us to this week’s Friday dilemma. Doing it in public: yes/no?

Latest 2 of 86 comments

  • Utopia Boy says:

    05:41pm | 02/10/11

    Sex in public can be a real thrill, but as described in the comments, the idea of getting caught but not really wanting to is where the thrill is. It’s the thought of doing something naughty (but harmless). The two in the news article were putting on a show. Some… Read more »

  • Austin 3:16 says:

    02:00pm | 02/10/11

    Hey Tim - you’re probably not aware of this, but generally speaking grown men have more self control than a baby. And I’d rather see a brief flash of a breast, than listen to a hungry baby scream any day. Read more »


Sometimes it’s all too easy to dismiss the significance of public protests.

I'm just. So. Angry! Pic: Damian Shaw

Like so many others, I scoffed contemptuously at the truck convoy that rolled into Canberra last month, with its very clear statement of anger against… something? I know it had something vaguely to do with the carbon tax, but that message got lost somewhere amidst all the frothing at the mouth, and the placards warning us that the United Nations is secretly plotting to take over the world.

Of course, it’s easy for me, as a young, commie, pinko elitist to have a go at a bunch of hard-working truckies, so in the interests of balance it’s worth acknowledging that many of the rallies attended by people who share similar ideological dispositions to me are often no better.

Latest 2 of 162 comments

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    06:50am | 22/10/12

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  • Ruben says:

    08:46pm | 10/10/11

    This is seriously insulting to the rest of the educated population. For someone in your position to be making gross generalizations and stereotyping (the most basic cognitive fallacy) pretty much instantly diminished any credibility you might have initially held. Also, would love to know how you justify being a commie… Read more »


Meat Loaf is one loose unit. That’s why anything could happen when the headline act for the pre-game entertainment at tomorrow’s AFL Grand Final between Collingwood and Geelong lets rip with a medley of his biggest hits. Five songs in twelve minutes will be some feat for a singer whose tracks are often “epic” in running time.

I will do anything for footy. Even that. Photo: Fox Sports

Fingers crossed the whole show is a catastrophe because, let’s face it, the only reason anybody watches the grand final “entertainment” is to see one spectacular disaster. Good, bad or ugly, the “Bat Out of Hell” will be flat-out trying to upstage the biggest horror show involving song, dance and choreography ever seen at a major sporting event.

The worst in history is Angry Anderson and the Batmobile. I remembered this atrocity after coming across a great article by leading sports blogger The Mad Chatter.

Latest 2 of 32 comments

  • Arthur Bastard says:

    12:51am | 01/10/11

    A humble plea to all footy administrators: Just give us the footy. Please. That’s all we came for. And cut out all the sponsors and speeches and rubbish at the end as well. Just give the boys their trophy and let them celebrate. It’s all so bloody Primary School Athletics… Read more »

  • Fiona says:

    10:01pm | 30/09/11

    Just like at the NRL grand final, hey? Read more »


There aren’t many television shows worth watching but I would urge everybody to go out and buy the five season DVD box set of the American drama Friday Night Lights. This critically acclaimed and largely unwatched program is ostensibly about the tribulations of a high school gridiron team in the fictitious Texan town of Dillon.

A sober and sensible Brendan Fevola at Wednesday's charity lunch. Photo: Brendan Edwards

It is in reality a show about life itself, and the good and bad judgments which people make while growing up and as adults, and the ramifications those decisions have on their lives and the lives of others.

The star of the show is the intense but big-hearted Eric Taylor, the coach of the Dillon Panthers, whose determination to win is tempered by his compassion for the young men under his charge.

Latest 2 of 58 comments

  • Estelle says:

    07:16pm | 03/10/11

    I hope am AFL team picks up Fevola.  Carlton should but they probably wont, to my utter disappointment.  carlton wont win a Final without him on board.  Carlton must accept some responsibility for the person he became and should give him a last chance to redeem himself..  best wishes Fev!!! Read more »

  • adele pace says:

    02:41pm | 02/10/11

    Agree that there is disparate treatment of footy players and stars, including celebrity commentators and officials, however they are all boofheads. Jason Akermanis was kicked out because of the views he articulated. Fev may not be the brightest, however despite always having spoken down to Fev on the Footy Show,… Read more »


It’s good to be big. But being big doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing good things. 

Is big. But not always good. Photo:

Think what people mean when they refer to Big Pharma, Big Liquor, Big Tobacco, the big supermarkets - and talk about the big banks.

Brace yourselves - we’re entering the age of Big Social.

Latest 2 of 35 comments

  • Mattie says:

    09:43am | 17/10/11

    Time to face the music armed with this great ifnomriaton. Read more »

  • marley says:

    09:17am | 01/10/11

    @Sony B. Goode - you don’t actually understand what a straw man is, do you? And by the way, the leftists like success just as much as rightists.  They just have different measurements of success. Read more »


Emmanuel Jal was around seven years old when he was recruited as a soldier for the Sudanese Liberation Army. He’s now become a hit musician. But how did he get from one to the other? He explained his story to The Punch.

Emmanuel Jal in Sydney in 2009. Picture: Renee Nowytarger

Can you describe for us how you were recruited to the Sudanese Liberation Army, and how you felt at the time?

I was 7 years old and I had been sent to a refugee camp in Ethiopia by my father to receive schooling and to leave the war behind. Whilst I was at the camp, under the UN’s nose SPLA commanders were rallying the children and young people together.

Latest 2 of 55 comments

  • stephen says:

    01:15pm | 01/10/11

    Hip-hop and rap is not music ; it’s an excuse for the nervous and vacant to appear busy, and at the same time, wear tatoos and drug-manufacturing t-shirts, whilst crapping on about societ’ys inclusiveness. Read more »

  • Joe says:

    09:57am | 01/10/11

    I hardly think someone becoming a hip hop artist is success.  And I hope this is not held out to the Somali children in Australia as an ideal of success.  It would be good to see examples of doctors, lawyers, accountants, business people, teachers, nurses etc, etc than a hip… Read more »


On very rare occasions, having an incompetent rabble on the Treasury benches can be a blessing in disguise.

Put your hand up if you're confused history? Photo:Herald Sun

Those of you with long memories will recall that in the early days of the Rudd Government, the then Education Minister Julia Gillard promised that by 2011, Australia would have a national curriculum for Maths, Science, English and History.

Shortly thereafter it became obvious they weren’t going to make it and so the deadline was pushed back to 2012, then to 2013 and now it seems we’ll be lucky to see it before 2014.

Latest 2 of 143 comments

  • HeatherG says:

    11:00am | 06/10/11

    Yes. I have always found it quite ironic that many people who call themselves atheists will use the Moses story to claim slavery in Egypt. While many parts of the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures can be used as a primary source historically, they can only do so because they have substantiation from… Read more »

  • HeatherG says:

    10:42am | 06/10/11

    acrotel, a friend of mine went to China 2 years ago as an English teacher. The economy is flourishing (mostly because of their communapitalist economy); the human rights abuses are appalling. Read more »


The week started with a kerfuffle about pokie machines and footy – something that’s likely to flare up again as the Ultimate Footy Weekend cranks up. Women got the go-ahead to fight on the frontlines and Andrew Bolt lost his court case. Here on The Punch, Geoff Lemon poked fun at Australia’s standing in the world, Lucy produced some really detailed reportage from the Upper Hunter about coal seam gas, the Angry Cripple filled us in about a system that denies people basic justice and Emma Jane sparked a fire with her column on absent dads.

It's been a meaty week at The Punch. Pic: Lyndon Mechielsen

Kevin Rudd made an embarrassing Freudian slip, another group of nerds stirred some controversy in Adelaide, the benefits of bitching were made clear and Ben McKelvey labelled a Jimmy Barnes endorsement a working class sham. I reported on an Australian “oath of loyalty”, the PM turned 50 and got a dog that Tory explained just isn’t a dog.

We’ll have an open thread devoted to the footy this weekend as well. I’t's Friday! Happy long weekend (if you’ve got one)!

Latest 2 of 130 comments

  • Ray says:

    05:12pm | 30/09/11

    It is strange that the author makes no mention of the current parliamentary inquiry into the carbon tax bills, which if passed will result in enormous structural change. Perhaps this is due to his poor understanding of the implications of the passage of those bills. If so, he is not… Read more »

  • Elphaba says:

    04:47pm | 30/09/11

    Gawd, you 18 year olds and your Parkway Drive, they’re f*cking CRAP! lol Read more »


Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit, a weekly column on shenanigans of all kinds. Today we look at Tim Mathieson’s 50th birthday present to Prime Minister Julia Gillard. A Cavoodle.

Couldn't eat a whole one… Pic: Herald Sun

Hybrid vigour? I call bullshit. These designer dogs are just mongrels with a ludicrous price tag. Keep your bullshit special-purpose cross breed, your genetically manipulated bundle of non-shedding joy.

Keep your Labradoodles and Shegroodles, your Foxyhuahuas and Afghanitas, your Bullalutes.

Latest 2 of 193 comments

  • Shannon says:

    08:33am | 06/10/12

    A dog is a dog. It shouldn’t matter if it’s designer, pure bred, rescued or pink with purple poka dots!!! If you love him and he loves you-than who really gives a shit? I’ve had a German Shepard X ridgeback, and he was beautiful. He lived untill the age of… Read more »

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    01:17pm | 02/10/12

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It’s easy to defend free speech when you support a speaker’s views. It’s harder when you oppose them. Now, after the ruling in the Bolt case, free speech champions – even those who dislike and disagree with Andrew Bolt – should be speaking out.

They line up, to the right and to the left, the self-appointed arbiters of political and societal fashion, the media commentariat. From their pulp pulpits they lay down how we ordinary Australians should think. Their words today are the gospels of tomorrow, regurgitated in dozens of accents and emphases throughout workplaces, bars and coffee shops as well and re-broadcast by phone, email and Twitter.

The best known is Alan Jones, motor mouth of the airwaves, syndicated nationally on commercial radio, hard-core conservative. But there are a dozen or two others, in newspapers and on radio and TV, of various political shades. Most of the time, the harsh pronouncements wash us by, grating and irritating in equal measure on either side of public debate. But occasionally they hit the mark, roughly on target: a surge of public opinion forces focused governments to respond to what appears to be the will of the people. 

Latest 2 of 498 comments

  • marley says:

    12:31pm | 01/10/11

    How has the decision reduced free speech?  Well, first, there’s the matter of the actual law.  I do not believe that merely offending an individual or a group of persons should be sufficient to bring you into court.  Yet that’s what the law says.  We’re not talking incitement to violence… Read more »

  • Kipling says:

    09:31am | 01/10/11

    I cannot decide if the chattering mob who insist this is nothing to do with poorly researched facts published by Bolt, The Herald and The Times are simply ignorant or being blatantly disengenous. Given there have been questions also asked about reading the complete summary of findings or, in fact,… Read more »


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