There’s precious little fun in politics these days. When our elected representatives are not slagging off at each other, they’re reciting lifeless slogans scripted by media advisers. Humour, for the most part, doesn’t get a look in. It’s too risky. Better to stay slavishly on message, even if it bores the pants off the punters.
So congratulations to Julia Gillard for having the guts to enjoy a bit of a laugh by joining in a radio station spoof about the end of the world.
The prime minister’s YouTube address - “My dear remaining fellow Australians , the end of the world is coming” - revealed a comic talent she usually keeps well hidden.
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Twenty years after his death, Clairvius Narcisse, a zombie from Haiti, stood staring down at his own tombstone.
The inscription was faded and barely legible. Narcisse was showing his grave to Harvard-trained Canadian anthropologist and ethno-botanist, Wade Davis, whose key interest is the relationship between psychoactive plants and humans.
On April 30, 1962, Narcisse, then aged about 40, had presented at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles, Haiti. He was spitting blood and was running a fever. Three days later, he died. The day after that, he was buried under a heavy concrete slab.
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The Queensland Reds are into the Super XV Rugby final - the first Australian team to make the final since NSW lost to the Crusaders in 2008.
The Brisbane-based team will now meet the Christchurch-based Canterbury Crusaders, in what will surely be billed as the battle of the two cities which nature attacked, or some such.
Speaking to friends on the weekend, both in person and on social media, a disturbing trend emerged. People who normally support other teams, like the NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies, were actually cheering for the Reds. Former Puncher and current news.com.au editor Paul Colgan was just one such turncoat.
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In the heady days of the 2007 election campaign the Australian people were given a promise. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Health Minister Nicola Roxon said if public hospitals did not get their act together by mid-2009 the Commonwealth would take control of 750 hospitals nation-wide from state governments. With June 2009 approaching, it appears state hospitals aren’t looking much better. A lot of them are looking worse, and this may force to the Government to face up to what was a disingenuous election promise because everybody knows this was never going to happen.
Between babies being miscarried in toilets and doctors being forced to pay for their own supplies, the NSW hospital system only needs some kind of zombie virus to complete the entire set of next week’s episode of 20 to 1: World’s Greatest PR Disasters. In fact the NSW Health Minister John Della Bosca might welcome the zombie plague as the ravenous hordes would be likely to reduce the number of patients on elective surgery waiting lists.
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