Well readhead: the politics-free zone
With the whole nation absorbed in post-election intrigue, I’m declaring today’s reading list a politics-free zone. But before I do, I’d like to nominate my favourite ‘what the?’ moment from the coverage of the election campaign.
I rule out going with Mark Latham’s transformation into a ‘journalist’ because it’s far too obvious. An in-depth analysis of the size of Julia Gillard’s earlobes is a hot contender but also too predictable, given the fun cartoonists have been having with that issue for years.
A front page profile of Rhys Muldoon certainly caught my fancy, complete with its ‘Underbelly’ style photo, implying that the ‘Playschool’ actor had some sinister inside influence in Canberra. But to my taste, nothing topped this rolled-gold quote in a revealing profile of Kevin Rudd:
“He just sat there eating the chips off my plate, chip after chip,” says one senior business figure who dined with Rudd when he was Opposition leader. “It was a bit strange.”
The only thing missing in that grab is the word ‘un-Australian’. After the revelation that Kevin Rudd was a snivelling chip filcher, what more was left to damn the man? A neighbour to accuse him of riding a girl’s bike? A former classmate to declare ‘Ink pink, Kevin stinks’?
For those of you who’ve had a gutful of Moving Australia Forward and Standing Up for Real Action, today’s list is for you:
1. Do nice people finish last? Or first? The Wall Street Journal explores what happens to ‘nice’ people when they move into positions of power.
2. Recall a favourite photo of yourself as a kid. Now pose identically. Welcome to ‘Young Me , Old Me’ (My friend George says I have to give him credit for finding this. I also have to mention that he’s jaw-droppingly handsome.)
3. A simply brilliant New Yorker article by Atul Gawande asking what medicine should do when it can’t save your life.
4. Christopher Hitchens has written a stunning article for Vanity Fair about his cancer: ‘In whatever kind of race life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist.’ It’s some of his best work yet.
5. The rather surreal twitter stream of rapper Kanye West has been matched to New Yorker cartoons
6. The memo that could have stopped one of the classic TV comedies of all time being made (via @nadine_lee on twitter)
7. For my fellow word nerds, an article on copy editing at The New Yorker
8. “I’m like a drumstick made of shame” – check out these hungover owls (via @rfidler on twitter)
9. Tony Martin has been wreaking havoc as Andrew Denton at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival
10. Louise has set herself the mission to photograph one Sydney suburb a week for an entire year. Check out the wonderful photographic blog she’s created.
- Leigh Sales anchors Lateline on ABC1 and is on twitter @leighsales
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