Sunday, October 21, 2012

We have moved to This is Australia. Today.

This blog has moved to This is Australia. Today.

Archives will stay here, but I will not be updating cartoons here as they go up (for just cartoons and other related nonsense,  hit up tumblr).

Please point your RSS in that direction and don't hate me for abandoning the Dicks. You can also join the FB page and get all the updates, including my new posts for Margaret Gee's Media Round, and politics/satire related links.

I needed something that wouldn't push as many people away with its name, and which could be open to regular text posts on the events (always coupled with cartoons and satire).

I have always loved the name, from day 1, and have loved posting here. But it wasn't always everyone's cup of tea and I know it's often been hard for me when emailing it to people (and for some work filters).

Please join me there.

Thanks for being a dickhead with me.

- Wes



thisisaustraliatoday.wordpress.com
sketchfrenzy.tumblr.com

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rise of the Fifth Estate by Greg Jericho: Comic book review


Okay... I am now mostly posting at This is Australia. Today. The main reason for the change is due to having to create a new blog for a uni project, however I also felt like it was time to have a blog with a slightly more palatable title. 

I will still post cartoons here however all of these, and more content overall, will be posted there.

So please direct your browsers in that general direction. A newsletter option is available too!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

On the edge of your seat


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

9/10 experts recommend


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Up the wolves


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

GOLD GOLD GOLD


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Julia and the Uncanny ALP-Men

It's alright, she's "good with swords".

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One in the back, one in the front

Certainly is a curious way to encourage job security.

Apologies for the lack of updates for the last little while, completely unlike me. But in the past week and a bit I have moved house, had four wisdom teeth removed and completed a uni video assignment.... I've been a bit busy.

Here's the video, if you're interested (a collaboration with Fergus Ryan):

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The blurst of times


I did the above just before the announcement of the Oakshott bill passing. So in the interests of balance:



Friday, June 22, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Papers please


I was thinking maybe I was going to far with this when I finished the inking, before moving onto doing the colouring. And then I realised all I had really done was add the flaming torches.

And plus, everyone knows Scott Morrison eats babies.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Credibility Street



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Run Abbott Run


Generally you try and make something like this not look as craven as it is, if you want it to work.

This reminds me of primary school kids running away to avoid lunch with the smelly kid.

I mean, you could make it look more principled, but you'd probably want to avoid running with your arms flailing, pushing people out of the way to leave the House of Reps just so you can discard a vote for a motion from one of your own members.

 

Also, ALSO, I have some instructional illustrations at Geordie Guy's fantastic site www.bannedinoz.com (or "Grazing Giraffes on Parliament Lawns") that highlights the idiocy of net censorship. Do check it out. It's good people.

Monday, May 21, 2012

ThomsonPoll

I felt pretty sick watching my tweet stream today as Thomson gave his speech.
Every now and then the cut and thrust and the incessant negativity gets to me. If anything, this whole affair says a lot of horrible things about everyone involved. HSU, Kathy Jackson, the Opposition, the Government, the commentators looking for an easy narrative in the morass, us all looking on looking for the cheap laugh to continue…
Eurgh.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The bills are coming in


Though I have no sympathy for Brooks, it must be odd to sit there knowing that as each day passes more and more evidence is coming down that damns you. And every bit of it is broadcast internationally, given in front of a tv crew and the cross-examination is coming from the very people you've tarred and feathered in YOUR papers (and not always without merit)...

I can just imagine sitting by the window in your house, knowing the knock will come at the door, and it's definitely going to come - the only question is when, and how much information will be on the table, before the knock comes.

The knock just came.

Poll to poll


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mastersurplus


I'm not usually a fan of Chris Uhlmann, but this interview with Hockey is probably the most decisive put-down of the "look we don't have a plan, but it's going to be THE BEST" technique Hockey and Abbott seem to favour at the moment. 

Funnily enough, I think the last time I drew Hockey was back in late 2010, and it was on pretty much exactly the same technique back then.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Imma' let you finish, Slipper


Clive Palmer, you magnificent gift to humour.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

You can't fire me!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

iBernardi

This is probably one you'll need to enlarge:


If you, for some reason that is between you and your rapidly receding sanity, would like to download the new Cory Bernardi app, is a real thing and it is here!

Apparently the app is designed to look like a coffee table, so you and your friends can listen to Cory's latest inspiring brain fart over non-halal anti-pasto!

Why anyone would want an app to keep up to date with the blog posts, media appearances and idle thoughts of any sitting politician, let alone Cory Bernardi, is puzzling to me.

BUT NOW YOU CAN, in the comfort of your own coffee table hand.

By the way, I have a new tumblr! You should totally follow it.

It has a whole bunch of non-political cartoons too, including this one:



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good Friday Triple Play!

Ordered by potential offensiveness...




And this one may not be the for easily offended...



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The House of BOF


Monday, April 2, 2012

Well, they really need a good shuffling

(Click to enlarge)
Nearer my god, to thee....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

News Corp Guide to Corporate Oversight


  1. Complete denial
  2. Attack
  3. Qualified admission (aka "the rogue reporter")
  4. Pay-out
  5. Deep apology (aka "the humblest day of [your] life")
  6. Qualified denial
  7. Join Twitter
  8. Repeat

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The odd couple

(Click to enlarge)

This cartoon is the other one based on Clive Palmer's "Chariots of the Greens" theories that I promised last night. 

I actually really like to think of Clive and Assange together, members of the White Hair Gang in Gitmo. Both eccentric gadabouts with nothing to lose.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Derp Throat

(Click to enlarge - with apologies to the Simpsons)

The Greens would have got away with it too, if it wasn't for that pesky Clive Palmer and that annoying dog of his.

I have another cartoon on the Palmer mysteries, but it's currently in submission somewhere. If it doesn't go up there, there will be more here tomorrow (and probably if it is, too).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Somebody please think about the bananas


(Click to enlarge)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Great Wedgies in Political History


I'm actually reading through the inquiry's findings today for uni, so this isn't really my considered response. I've only read second hand analysis, and I'm guessing the majority of what we will get will be biased against the inquiry.

What I can say, at least at this stage of my understanding, is that if a 15 000 hit per annum blog is to be affected by the New Media Council's powers then this blog, on some measures, would be affected. On this year's stats thus far, almost definitely.

That probably means nothing. At least unless Chris Uhlmann decides he wants a retraction of my parody of his interview style, and I decide I don't believe it should be taken down....

In any case, I will probably post something when I've read the inquiry and have a better understanding of it, but it's all food for thought at this point.


Monday, February 27, 2012

You must have exactly this many faces to ride this ALP


Wow. What a day for politics. The faceless men and the two faced man both handed a serve. Apparently the ALP, on some kind of ableist nonsense, will only allow people with exactly one face to be a part of the modern party.

If we can't have the faceless or the two-faced, what will happen to the Labor core? I kid, I kid.

By the way, I am also now writing more general opinion and vaguely more journalistic (but generally not political) blog posts over at the group blog Noun Collective. We have four writers in four different countries (Australia, Japan, the Philippines and Canada) writing on a wide variety of topics - from Japanese website design, to cooking salted duck egg salad, to Euro Zone Death Stars, to Foxconn... you should drop on by (and RSS us)!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

He'll be back.


Really, what a masterful work of political subterfuge. Who looks like the inconsiderate, unfeeling one, yet again? Of course, it might not make a difference in the caucus vote, but wow.

UPDATE: If you want a #Kevenge t-shirt, with the above Kevin Terminator, they're available here:

http://www.zazzle.com.au/kevenge_tshirt-235390207890672864

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Modern Political Interview - a Chris Uhlmann pro forma


Interviewer: Welcome to 7.30, I’m Chris Uhlmann. 

It’s been a tough year in politics for Labor, with in-fighting and leadership intrigue distracting from the real work of reform the government has hoped to push through to regain some favour in the electorate.


With me to discuss the year ahead is the Minister for Bicycles and Pea Hen farming, Steven 
Archer.


Politician: Thanks for having me on the program, Chris.


Interviewer: It hasn’t been an easy year for the Labor party has it?


Politician: Well, the Gillard Government is willing to put in the hard yards to make sure our big-picture reforms pass through Parliament and are making a difference in people’s lives.


Interviewer: But isn’t the leadership battle distracting people from the policy you’re actually pushing through? 


Politician: The Prime Minister has my full support, and will be the Prime Minister Labor takes to the next election.


Interviewer: But that isn’t true is it? There are all kinds of rumblings in the party room about a putsch by Mr Rudd, aren’t there?


Politician: As I said, the Prime Minister has my full support, and will be the Prime Minister Labor takes to the next election. I’d actually prefer to talk about the policies we’ve pushed through the parliament. In particular the Better Bicycle Agreement -


Interviewer: Well, yes, let’s talk about the Better Bicycle Agreement. Isn’t it true that the BBA wasn’t actually fully costed before it went through Parliament, and will more than likely mean the government won’t get to surplus in the 2012/2013 budget, as promised by the Prime Minister?


Politician: The Better Bicycle Agreement is actually an important piece of policy that will change the way Australians bicycle. It will mean more cyclists are riding Australian bicycles - keeping the Australian bicycle industry solving, meaning more jobs for low-skilled workers stay on Australian soil, and a greener future as more cyclists take to the streets on Australian bicycles. The policy has been costed for the 2012/2013 budget.


Interviewer: But it won’t actually be implemented until 2018, will it?


Politician: The Better Bicycle Agreement will be implemented in 2018, which is well within deadline for big ticket policy like this -


Interviewer: But not within the deadline of your original promise for the policy -


Politician: If you’ll let me answer the question you’ve asked me  - it is well within deadline for big ticket policy like this and will mean that the policy can be paid for by the time it’s live.


Interviewer: But not when you said it would be live. And not when the Opposition has said they would implement it by if they were in government. 


Politician: With all due respect, my learned friends on the Opposition are wrong on this matter. 


Interviewer: But not as wrong as you were to make the promise -


Politician: With all due respect -


Interviewer: How can the Australian people have faith that this government will ever follow through? I put it to you that not only have you let the Australian people down, you’ve let down your family and your parents - you’ve actually done nothing of consequence since childhood. 


Politician: As I was saying, with all due respect, I disagree.


Interviewer: What do you think the Shadow Minister for Bicycles and Pea Hen Farming would have done if he had had the opportunity to live the last 45 years of your life? I put it to you that he would be on a much higher salary, have a more attractive wife and would likely have a happier disposition in general.


Politician: As I just said, I disagree. The Gillard Government has a proud record of reform, and the Better Bicycle Agreement is just another example of the way we are future proofing Australia and making a better life for residents and industry. As a member of the Government, I am proud of our achievements, and will continue to serve the Australian people and the people in the great seat of Joondallywatson for as long as they will have me. It’s an honour and a privilege to represent them.


Interviewer: But that doesn’t really answer the question, does it? Do you think the Shadow Minister would have a larger penis?


Politician: Well, as I said, I disagree. I’m not hear to talk about the length of girth of the penis of any member of the Opposition, I’m here to talk about the Better Bicycle Agreement and the proud reforming tradition of the Labor party. With both the Better Bicycle Agreement -


Interviewer: A policy you had no mandate to deliver.


Politician: It has always been the intention of this government to implement the Better Bicycle Agreement. And this was something that was made clear at the time of the election, and in the previous term.


Interviewer: But isn’t that just sleight of hand? Isn’t this just another broken promise?


Politician: I -


Interviewer: Isn’t this the Government once again betraying the will of the electorate? Cradling it’s head in good faith, then clumsily popping out the eyeballs with your thumbs and attempting to fornicate with the vacant eye sockets using a flaccid, ineffectual phallus that doesn’t have the support of the Australian people? Isn’t that’s what’s really happening here?


Politician: ...


Interviewer: Answer the question.


Politician: As I said, it has always been the intention of this government to implement the Better Bicycle Agreement.


Interviewer: Well, unfortunately that’s all the time we have today, so we’ll have to talk about this again at some point in the future. Thanks so much for your time Minister.


Politician: Thanks Chris, it’s always a pleasure.


Interviewer: Hmm.. Interesting times for the Labor Party. 


Next up, political spin: how it’s killing our democracy. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

From the bottom of my heart/mines


A very special early Valentine's. Small government, but big love.

If you haven't actually seen Gina's wonderful ode to resources, mining and small government, please do yourself a favour.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Budget surplus poker

All this talk of who has the bigger surplus makes me think of this...

Monday, January 30, 2012

On the "riot" that never was and will not die.

Call me a spoilsport, but I don't think the question of whether Tony Hodges, or Kim Sattler, or both, reportedly leaked the location of the PM and Abbott at the Lobby, a scant 50m from the Tent Embassy's 40th Anniversary celebrations, is actually that important.

In fact, I'd go as far as saying that no one outside of the Canberra Press Gallery actually does. As the first week of Parliament gets closer and closer to sitting, the children, having clocked all the x-box games, watched all the movies and annoyed the family dog into a state of perpetual anxiety, are desperately clamouring to see their friends back at school. This media-adviser intrigue is the red cordial that could fill their week until next Monday, and they are NOT. LETTING. GO. OF. THE. FUCKING. CUP.

Whether it's a story on Sattler's "long history of activism"a potential AFP investigation, the lack of charges for an AFP investigation, the potential for a no confidence vote, Wilkie's backing of the no confidence vote (I think this may actually have more to do with a certain other issue, y'know, but that's just me)... we will hear about this issue until we care about it as much as we're being told we should.

So here's the trajectory of a single day (today) - we get multiple versions from yesterday about Kim Sattler's involvement with Tony Hodges (who has already been stood down), the Opposition moots that the AFP could charge Hodges with a criminal act, the AFP says "sorry guys, no dice," the Opposition suggests the AFP is toothless and potentially incompetent and calls for an enquiry (and potential for charges of incitement), the AFP reminds everyone that they will still investigate crowd involvement and potential criminal acts, the Opposition suggests they will call for a no-confidence vote in the first sitting week of parliament, Wilkie says, "aye, fucking right", and... SCENE.

This story is everything that is wrong about the interplay between politicians and the media. Throughout the day the Opposition have, I'm sure with the absolute knowledge that nothing would come of it, kept the media fire consistently fed with a talking point every one to two hours. And the press have eagerly turned the crank on the media release machine, because it's copy. Easy copy. Copy that reads like it has real spice - and requires no background investigation at all.

Even the editorial copy is a long slow yawn - Michelle Grattan must be glad when she can bang out an opinion piece that seems different and new but wraps so easily around the same lack of credibility trope she's been following since late 2010, and I'm sure that the Australian has a pro-forma for the "sorry day for our nation" editorial.

Where are the stories actually investigating the claims of "violent riot" used to justify the reaction?
Was there any actual violence? Why aren't we hearing about specific events, if this is the justification used? I'm sure if any were known by the journalists reporting the events, we would be hearing about it.

Instead we have this:



This video was linked to by Leigh Sales on twitter, with commentary:


Sadly, while the footage is possibly the best we have of the events, and has great insight into what went on inside the Lobby, it's not sparse, clear scripting. It's loaded with hyperbole, and smacks of what Lindsay Tanner calls "linguistic inflation" in Sideshow. We can't just take in the events, we have to be reminded that they were "trapped" and "rescued" from an "angry, raging mob".

There is the potential for good investigative journalism in following the actual events that are driving these stories, beyond what happened inside the Lobby, beyond the discussions of the PM's staffers; about the people who are being described as an "angry mob", without question. Where is the story about Menzies House's campaign to close down the tent embassy - an organisation with clear ties to sitting Coalition MPs? While Abbott's initial remarks were distorted and taken out of context to drive this event (by the very media organisations now happily picking over the carcass), this campaign is exactly what the remarks were interpreted to mean on the day.

Protests often involve shouting, chanting, and if a politician flees rather than addressing the crowd, a negative response. I don't think we're seeing much more than that in the footage we have to go off of currently. A little bit of shouting in a democracy on a contentious issue should not a scary thing be.  I see a group of people holding the line, and a policy force trying to break it. This is pretty standard protest footage.

Perhaps aptly,  the angry mob we see most actively held back from the PM's car in the channel 9 footage is the press.


Monday, January 23, 2012

On self-aware awareness


Awareness, like engagement, has become quite devoid of meaning in this golden age of marketing spin and social media experts. Rather than being about education, consciousness and action, more often than not is now more about who is signifying their "awareness" than actually helping to spread a message.

Perhaps the most common subject we are reminded to increase our awareness of is breast cancer. Not cancer in general, but specifically breast cancer.

Pink bottles, pink chocolate, pink washing powder, pink eggs - are all there to contribute to the awareness of breast cancer and involve consumers. And all of which, in reality contribute an incredibly small amount of the purchaser's money toward breast cancer research, but remind us that our brands care enough to contribute an infinitesimal, tax deductable amount of their profits to our wellbeing.

Now, breast cancer (along with lung cancer) is the most common cause of cancer-related death in Australia, and one in nine women under the age of 85 will be diagnosed with it at some stage in their lives, but pink-washing is shameless; like green-washing it allows a company to make a token donation or gesture and then posture disproportionately about its contribution. Holly Hutchinson actually covered the discrepancies between profit and donation in a Drum piece on "think pink profiteers" in October.

But I am being unfair on our corporate friends (corporations are, of course, people now), because individuals are just as guilty of pink-washing; consciously or unconsciously.

In October 2011, a sea of pink washed into my Facebook News Stream as people changed their profile photos pink to support awareness of breast cancer, an initiative by CUA Bank, which had pledged to donate $1 for each changed picture. The total donation was capped at $15,000, which is completely fair and sensible, as an open ended promotion such as this could potentially bankrupt a company if a cap isn't set.

The donation itself was an admirable thing - and the pink tactic a clever one to engage people in the donation (and also, of course, let them know who was behind the chivalry) -
but the sea of pink didn’t stop; long after the cap had been reached, people were still turning their profile pictures pink, most not grasping the fact (or bothering to check) CUA that had actually met their quota. You can, in fact, still click through to the Pink my Profile link on the CUA Facebook page and join in on the fun.
Which is not a problem in and of itself. But what does it really do? The first 15 000 people held the bank to their donation, the others? Well realistically they were only increasing their social capital.

Sound petty? On face value, sure.

Who am I to tell you you’re being mercenary for showing your support?

But take away supporting the donation and what does the pink profile actually signify? Nothing but “I’m a good person, look at me being good.” It’s a back-slapping extravaganza with no actual benefit to cancer research, survivors or families.

Perhaps a further step along this path are the semi-regular “women’s only” Facebook status updates. The standard format is a message sent amongst women on facebook (women only, this is apparently important), with some instructions about posting an obtuse status update that follows a specific format. In the past this has been about bra colours, shoe sizes, where women keep their purses at home, and most recently, birth dates translated into fake plans for international trips (strangely not in-keeping with the gendered, vaguely sexual themes of previous years). The exact origin of this trend is unknown, but the idea is that it sparks interest among the clueless male friends of the status poster, involves women in the game and supposedly, under the guise of an in-joke, spreads awareness of breast cancer.

It’s all very clever (at least to the extent that any particularly successful chain-letter is), but at what stage does it actually make people more aware of breast cancer? How does an in-joke efficiently and persuasively disseminate information about self-examination to the women who spread the joke with a knowing wink, or encourage donation? Even if this information is included in the initial chain-status instructions, the setup and the play around the in-joke actually takes away from the seriousness of the issue.

Awareness is about more than being reminded that something exists. A sea of pink statuses, or in-joke statuses for women only, don’t do anything to increase people’s awareness of the issue or about general prevention - in fact they actually actively promote disengagement and apathy with the key issue they are meant to be promoting awareness of.

It also plays into the stereotype of social media as a tool for time wasting and narcissism. Social media can be a powerful platform when it engages people in real world change, but if the "awareness" remains in the domain of the virtual it has no real benefit.

The best way to spread awareness on the issue of cancer is to give people information about actual prevention, and avenues to donate. There are many good resources on how to self-examine for both testicular and breast cancer (two of the most common, virulent and easily discoverable cancers that affect young people) online, so do the right thing - tweet them, post them on your facebook, and check yourself.
And once you’ve done that, take a few dollars, maybe just two, and put it in a Cancer Council collection tin at your local supermarket. Hell, buy a few raffle tickets from Kids with Cancer (they have great prizes, you might even win).

And after you’ve done it, congratulate yourself. You’ve just done a lot more than change your status pink, or tell us where you keep your purse.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My prediction for 2012


Oh, and the bloggers will be commenting on the commentary. Myself included. Turtles all the way down.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nod politely at the moon.

werewolf
This wasn't meant to be a Friday 13th cartoon, I actually drew most of it yesterday. But here it is! Topical and shit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Book of Awkward

jesus

I like to think of Jesus appearing to people throughout history, overwhelming them with piety, all the while just looking for a hug.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Importance of Good Grammar

Good grammar
Another little non-topical apolitical cartoon for the political off-season.