June 26, 2013

Video games and rape culture: why dildo swords aren’t a joke.

Trigger warning: sexual violence


What have I learned today? That rape culture is alive and well in the gaming community.

An upcoming video game, Saints Row 4 (SR4), was refused classification by the Australian Classification Board. Everyone lost their shit about the nanny state – and how nothing had really changed with the introduction of the R18+ classification for games at the start of this year – even before any specifics about the why were released. But it was clear that one of the reasons was sexual violence – something that I can’t recall anyone in the classification . . . → :: Read More ::

August 1, 2011

Katter’s Australian Party registration held up due to objection.

The following email exchange is between the BKoP team and Katter’s Australian Party.



Katter’s Australian Party was recently mentioned in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. GN 24, Wednesday, 22 June 2011.

The Country Alliance Party was also mentioned in this edition. The Country Alliance Party have since been officially registered by the AEC with confirmation expected in Wednesday 3rd August’s edition of the Commonwealth Gazette, however Katter’s Australian Party has not.

Does this mean that there were objections lodged against the party, and if so, what were the nature of the objections? How will the Party . . . → :: Read More ::

May 6, 2011

Papow! An observation on political inability.

In an increasingly partisan and fact-devoid media landscape, it’s easy to focus on whose team is scoring political points instead of what’s actually getting done by the government. Unless you are truly engaged, it’s difficult at best to stay up to date on what the major players are doing. Even if you are engaged, it’s almost impossible to know what the minors and micros are keeping themselves busy with. So it was with only some surprise to me that the most recent registration to the Australia Electoral Commission was a complete unknown, the . . . → :: Read More ::

February 1, 2011
Second languages to get boost under National Curriculum Leave a comment
October 27, 2010

Australian Astroturfing Inc.

Astroturfing denotes political, advertising, or public relations campaigns that are formally planned by an organization, but are disguised as spontaneous, popular “grassroots” behavior. The term refers to AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.”

It’s a clever play on words, but why am I bringing it up in the first place? Let me refer you to the latest blog post of Liberal Senator for South Australia, Cory Bernardi. For those of you not wanting to read the Senator’s contribution to the national discourse, allow me to sum it up for . . . → :: Read More ::

October 20, 2010

If extremists are anything to go by, moderates must be horrible

Today, we start a new, semi-regular (by which I mean entirely arbitrarily timed) piece, dissecting the derp of Australia’s finest ‘journalists’ when there’s just too much to encapsulate in a snarky headline.

Surprisingly, the subject of the inaugural Dissection post is not Andrew Bolt. As excellent as his latest example of non-partisan even-handedness is, the presence of a photo that apparently (entirely by accident, I’m sure) shows Julia Gillard throwing off a Nazi salute means there’s not much point going indepth, since it’s a great big Godwin. I will say in passing that it’s odd for someone to be . . . → :: Read More ::

October 18, 2010

We have laws for a reason (hint: it’s not “ignoring them”)

You may have heard there are some Australian soldiers facing charges for manslaughter. Odds are that if you have, thanks to the excellent state of Australian journalism, you’ve heard how appalling it is, a betrayal of their trust, even – in the words of our fine, entirely non-Machiavellian Opposition leader – that they’ve been “stabbed in the back” by the government.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn, right?

The general nature of the case is that children were killed during a firefight in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan province, and three commandos are facing . . . → :: Read More ::

October 16, 2010

But it’s true that they said it

In the wake of the hilarious post-election “journalism” and what is seemingly becoming an ever more unashamedly partisan press platform, I’ve decided that if there’s one thing in particular that’s going to motivate me, that’s having some goddamned truth in journalism, even if it means I have to write it myself.

There have been some absolutely incredible and some downright disingenuous claims made by our representatives in parliament in recent weeks. Those claims in and of themselves are nothing out of the ordinary, but the problem is much greater than that and it lies with . . . → :: Read More ::

September 7, 2010

A re-elected government, and the talking points that flow

So, we finally know who’s going to be running the show until the next election. And we’ve already seen the start of the Coalition’s talking points in response to their loss – but more on that later.

When Bob Katter appeared alone to declare his support for the Coalition, there was likely a moment of delight on the conservative camp before they realised what one of the three amigos appearing alone likely meant. Having spent 17 days talking about voting as a bloc, the most obvious reason for Bob Katter to be speaking alone was that he was also . . . → :: Read More ::

September 4, 2010

Nothing surprising has happened, so why are people surprised?

In the last week, the general perception of Australia’s latest season of So You Think You Can Govern has shifted. In the aftermath of the election, despite a hung parliament, most commentators seemed to consider an Abbott government to be a foregone conclusion. In the last few days, that has changed, with Gillard now the hot favourite to get a majority. What I’m struggling to understand is why there’s been such a dramatic turnaround – not in the likelihood of Gillard forming government, but in people’s perception of such. Nothing has changed in the last week. Nothing has come . . . → :: Read More ::

August 22, 2010

Looking backwards / moving forwards

There are a couple of key things to take away from last night. 1) It’s obvious that Kerry O’Brien absolutely loathes Antony Green, and 2) I’m only marginally more cynical about the Australian voting public than was reflected in last night’s count.

I got a lot more right than I did wrong, so let’s tally up the results, even though there are still a few seats being counted and I’m sure the Independents and the Greens’ Adam Bandt are going to be getting a shitload of phone calls today.

ACT Canberra Labor retain. =====> Correct.

Fraser Labor . . . → ::

August 20, 2010

David’s predictions for the 2010 Federal election

What an insipid and uninspiring campaign from both the major parties. There have been some great ads, press releases, gaffes and comments from the minors and the micros, but when all is said and done, come tomorrow night, we’ll know who’ll be wearing the pants in parliament for the next almost-3 years

So here is why I lay out my predictions, not endorsements, for tomorrow’s 2010 federal election, seat by seat, state by state. Disclaimer: I could will be wildly and hilariously wrong.

ACT Canberra Labor retain.

Fraser Labor retain.

NSW Banks Labor retain.

Barton Labor retain.

Bennelong Liberal . . . → ::

July 28, 2010

Bursting the Greens-Labor coalition narrative.

We hear a lot about this shady deal, this bothersome, undemocratic, cynical whitewash, this usurpation of voters’ rights, etc… largely from members of the Coalition, ironically. Despite the group voting tickets and how-to-vote cards not being formulated as candidate nominations are yet to close, let’s actually get some facts on what the deal actually consisted of.

To sum it up, it’s pretty much the exact same deal the Greens do with Labor every election. Labor promises to give their second preference, and thus any overquota overflow, to the Greens on their Senate group voting ticket. The Greens . . . → :: Read More ::

July 26, 2010

Your apathy makes Australian politics pathetic.

YOU are the problem with Australian politics. You and your friends. Hell, maybe even your family too. It’s not the Liberal Party’s fault for being so obsessively xenophobic and scaremongering – their approach has been proven to work. It’s not the Labor Party’s fault for being slightly more tolerable than the Liberal Party by offering almost the exact same policies – their approach has been proven to work. It’s not even the media’s fault for failing to provide critical and objective analysis of all the parties running for the various State and Federal elections. It’s YOUR fault, and here . . . → :: Read More ::

July 22, 2010

Issue Watch: The internet filter, and why it’s practically a non-issue

Labor’s proposed Mandatory Internet Filter has made a lot of enemies for the party, particularly as a policy that seemed to be more something one would expect of the Howard-era socially conservative Coalition. The potential for the expanded filter, as currently proposed, to be abused is of great concern to almost anyone interested in civil rights. But it didn’t start out quite so bad for Labor, who took to the 2007 election a proposal to block child pornography. Techies were concerned about the potential for a filter to be detrimental to network performance, but the general populace didn’t pay . . . → :: Read More ::

July 20, 2010

Attracting young voters? Social media fail

In the last year, before the beginning of the official campaign, parties from across the political spectrum have been attempting to tap into the youth voter demographic, primarily through social media. It must be said that I say ‘primarily’ because this youth voter has not seen anything outside social media, and if it exists, I haven’t seen it (which given I go searching for this stuff, means it’s been a failure). Some parties are just throwing things in a social media-ish direction and hoping something will stick.

Some parties have had more success than others. . . . → :: Read More ::

July 9, 2010

The Race to The Bottom, and why it might be a good thing

For quite a while now, progressives across the country – along with the tiny handful of actual journalists left – have been commenting on the ‘race to the bottom’ between Labor and the Coalition. From refugees and censorship through to how fast to bend over for the big mining companies, Labor has been mounting an unashamed invasion of the Coalition’s traditional territory.

Some hoped that Gillard taking the helm would mark a change in this respect. Most were sorely disappointed.

It shouldn’t be terribly surprising that not much changed. The simple – and arguably unfortunate – truth is that . . . → :: Read More ::