Tuesday, 19 July 2011

In protest of 'Ban the Burqa Day' protest

Simon and Judy Lovejoy, organisers of 'Ban "Ban the Burqa Day" Day' protest.

A nationwide counter-protest group donned ski masks and balaclavas yesterday to convey their opposition to the Facebook instigated 'Ban the Burqa Day' protest.

Simon and Judy Lovejoy say they felt compelled to organise 'Ban "Ban the Burqa Day" Day' after hearing of the original anti-burqa protest.

"Like the majority of Australians, we embrace diversity and are appalled by racism and bigotry in all its forms," said Ms Lovejoy.

"Covering our faces today is our way of showing solidarity with burqa-wearing citizens and letting anti-burqa protesters know they won't be tolerated," added Mr Lovejoy.

"That sort of palaver is just un-Australian and the only way to stamp it out is by doing something completely un-un-Australian," he said.

The group estimates the number of participants to have been "about nine".

"It was hard to tell, since the other mob were all wearing masks too... then on top of that we saw some women wearing actual burqas so we're not sure whose side they were on," said Ms Lovejoy.

"It was all a bit confusing."

Supporters of the cause are urged to visit myspace.com/banbantheburqadayday.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Big tobacco finds font loophole in plain pack laws

Cigarette Symbol Equals Smiley Face, the new brand name for the former Winfield Blue.
Tobacco giants today revealed plans to change product brand names to a series of symbols to continue marketing appealing messages to smokers.

Under the government's proposed plain packaging legislation, all logos will be removed and tobacco companies must print their brand name in a specific font.

The prescribed font, Vapidia (deemed to be suitably bland and unappealing), contains a selection of special characters ripe for exploitation by cigarette marketers. Among the available symbols are a cigarette icon, smiley face, heart shape, eye and thumbs up.

British American Tobacco's Australian chief executive Dave Raven says this is the only avenue remaining for brands to compete in the marketplace.

"We have every right to promote our brand identity and by changing the brand names, we're able to utilize that small space beneath the gangrenous eyeball or whatever, to communicate some of the positive, more affirming aspects of nicotine consumption," he said.

"Benson & Hedges will become Eye Heart Cigarette; Winfield Blue becomes Cigarette Equals Happy. It's an innovative way to facilitate differentiation for consumers and falls entirely within the letter of the law."

Health Minister Nicola Roxon says the Vapidia font is not yet locked in and several typefaces are currently under consideration, adding, "we're not ruling out Comic Sans."

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Planking cheats: a disgrace to the sport

Bogus plankers use green screen technology to fake recumbent achievements.
Veteran plankers say some newcomers are making a mockery of the sport by digitally manipulating photographs to garner undue recognition.

Founding member of Planking Australia, Gary Androli said the subversive practice is counter to the fundamental spirit of planking.

"It's only a minority that's doing this but it still has an impact on how plankers are judged by the wider community and we need to stamp it out right away," he said.

"They use green screens and Photoshops [sic] and stuff. I don't want to go into the technical details too much, in case it gives more people [spurious] ideas. But they make it look like they're planking in dangerous environments. In my own personal view, you haven't earned respect for planking at the mouth of an active volcano unless you've [legitimately] planked at the mouth of an active volcano."

Guy and Annie (not their real names), the ersatz plankers pictured, refused to comment, other than to provide us with pseudonyms.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

7 storey planking record: falls short by 7 storeys

Tributes flood in as the planking community mourns the tragic loss of one of its heroes.
A Haverbrook man plunged more than 30 metres to his death today, whilst attempting to plank from a seventh floor balcony. The craze – which involves lying on things – has seen extraordinary growth in popularity in the last 12 months.

Police say the man cannot be identified at this time, due to his face being "all smashed up".

His devotion to the lifestyle was irrefutable, according to a close colleague, who described him as "an absolute planker".

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Feminist mag cuts men from Situation Room photo

Situation Room photograph as it appeared in feminist magazine, Ms.andrist, with all men expunged.
More telling than any headline amidst the recent maelstrom of media, was the White House Situation Room image, showing President Obama and key national security officials watching a brief on Osama bin Laden's killing. In the June issue of ultra-radical, hardcore feminist magazine Ms.andrist, however, the photo is reproduced with all attending males photoshopped out (original shown below).

Original Situation Room photograph. Credit: AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza.
In keeping with the publication’s policy of not printing images of men due to “society’s ingrained culture of phalloppression”, only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason, director of counterterrorism remain.

According to Ms.andrist editor, Esther Beard, “all news organisations report a particular version of the truth and this practice naturally extends to the selection and presentation of images. Female politicians are routinely cropped from newspaper photos of significant events; beauty magazines retouch images of women beyond recognition to appeal to some grotesque male ideal. We aim to go part way to addressing the balance.”

“No doubt you’ll embellish this interview with some element of spin to align with your employer’s agenda,” she added with a distinctly militant tone.