It turns out that the fuddy-duddies were right. Even though they're not always the most practical, paper books are magical.
Canberra gets a lot of bad press. Some of it is deserved, but less that you might think. Being the capital of Australia, it suffers the same curse which afflicts Washington DC and Brasilia; namely that it is an invented settlement which has been located for reasons of politcs rather than practicality. In the case… Continue reading Canberra
Sometimes I drink instant coffee at work. I joke that I do it because sometimes I need to hurt myself in order to feel something. The truth is really that I just like coffee. It's tough to live in Melbourne and not have strong views on espresso style coffee. I mean, I like it, and… Continue reading 14 April 2019, Canberra
In this election season I have been forced to conclude that Clive Palmer's electoral office are trying to sabotage him. I mean, look at that poster. Looks like it's been put together by the year nine work experience kid. Awful Photoshopping, lurid colours, typography that could only be worsened by the addition of WinDings. It's… Continue reading 7 April 2019, Union road, Surrey Hills, Victoria
Most churches in Australia give off a strong air of swimming against the tide. The buildings are spic and span, gardens watered and mantels dusted by a committee of keen parishioners. But the demographics are inescapable. There are no young people. There are twee little poems posted on the bathroom wall about not leaving the… Continue reading 6 April 2019, Surrey Hills Uniting Church, Victoria
In these peri-Brexit days, the imperial tide is pretty far from the shore. But you still come across a few pieces of flotsam, washed up and left stranded in an ocean of transnational sameness. The stern Victorian aesthetic is a bit out of place in a country that prides itself on being egalitarian and easy-going,… Continue reading 5 April 2019, Camberwell, Victoria
If it's old world charm you're after, or you simply fancy yourself as being a little bit posh, I highly recommend drinking in hotel bars. To be clear, I'm not referring to the tragically grim bars found in 3-star hotels around the world, filled with dusty bottles of Johnny Walker Red Label. I'm talking about… Continue reading Drinking in hotel bars is to be commended
The general consensus seems to be that self-driving cars are inevitable, that the barriers are technical rather than epistemologicical. I suspect that the widespread use of self-driving cars may mark the end of an era of post-war culture and society. A self-driving car that requires no human operators will undoubtedly be safer, more reliable, and… Continue reading Driverless vehicles
The coming of the internet age is killing a lot of things – terrestrial TV, record shops, irony. Most are unmourned, replaced by something more accessible or simply better. But I contend that as yet there is no serious replacement for the analogue pleasure of the postcard. I grew up in an age where international… Continue reading Postcards are to be commended
I am not a water person. My parents will attest to this: decades of swimming lessons, panic at being forced to jump in the deep end and the humiliation of school swimming sports have all left their scars on my psyche.