The social media election – Ep1

If the politicians are going to do some
electioneering in the social domain, it’s only fair that we cast judgment on their strategies (or lack thereof).

The potential for awkwardness, hilarity and/or humiliation is very high. And that’s just within this blog.


Channel 7 reporter Alex Hart uncovered a certain level of awkwardness in political videos previously reserved for Rudd’s off-the-record rants or Tony Abbott’s minutes of silence.

Enjoy it – or, at least, watch it.

What’s wrong with it?

Bernadette wants to be cool. Her first barrier to having us believe this is her first name. She’s your aunty who wants to be your best friend despite forgetting all your birthdays and re-gifting you some crap from CopperArt. She then describes your particularly non-rockstar lifestyle in ho-hum suburbia, punctuated only by realisation your dreams are unattainable (cue Liberal three-word slogans).

Also, she says ‘LOLCATS’ out loud.

Bernadette is big L Liberal with tragically small production values, broadcasting from a world of macro-suede, friends called Suzie and dreams of making a difference beyond her weekly bookstall down the arcade.



Despite the fact it was posted on his party’s Facebook page one week ago, Fred Nile’s Australian Christian Democratic Party gained considerably more attention today when it was spread more widely on twitter.

Before long, Fred’s post – nothing new for a group who likes to target the homosexual lobby’s ‘Equality’ slogan – was being compared to racist discrimination

What’s wrong with it?

Nile’s team pushes a very conservative Christianity agenda using techniques as old and tired as I imagine his average supporter is. The decision to focus on divisive issues and approach them with bitterness means that his efforts online will never resonate widely. Indeed, In the context of social media context where messages need to be truncated, Fred’s approach replaces any complexity or nuance with cheap, often offensive one-liners.

I think that the result of his approach will be to narrow his appeal – even while his posts may get enormous reach within social networks.

This is an example of a post everyone feels safe to retweet without fear of people thinking you endorse the views.

Let me know of you see any good or sensationally bad examples of social media campaigning in the next five weeks. Such a shame it’s not eighteen months like in the US.

Best Questions asked of Mr Abbott on #AskTony

When Tony Abbott made himself available via Twitter this afternoon to answer questions, the social network let loose like a classroom left alone with a casual teacher.

That’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable but real questions were few and far between.

I, for one, support the idea of such real accessibility. Let’s hope we see more of it from our politicians – because as long as it’s a rarity, it’s only good for entertainment value….

@kinnasurprise “What is love?” #asktony

@BiancaSteman why do you have to be so mean #asktony

@GeorgeBludger: does my black hole look big in this? #asktony

@benpobjie: Why so grumpy, Grumpybum? #askTony

@HelenRazer: Have You Ever Seen The Rain? #asktony

@albericie: When will you accept our invitation to do an interview on #lateline? #asktony

@Chriswhitewrite How many roads must a man walk down? @TonyAbbottMHR #AskTony

@Chrys_Stevenson Are you a folder or a scruncher?#toiletpaperquestion #asktony

@Gwillotine: #asktony How’s Malcom?

@ana_au_: Do you really want to hurt me? #asktony

@AndyofSuburbia Butter or Margarine? #asktony

@maevegobash: Which douchebag staffer told you that doing an #AskTony thing on twitter would make you seem hip and approachable?

@RupertMurdochPRHow @TonyAbbottMHR is it possible for Australia to have the “worst prime minister ever” and yet you are less popular than her? #AskTony

And this piece of platinum Twitter as Mr Abbott signed off…
@RobJamesBoN My planet needs me. RT @TonyAbbottMHR: Sorry. I have to go now but thanks to everyone who responded #asktony

Best signs from Sydney’s Coal Seam Gas protest

Most people’s signs at this event were clearly provided to them and featured the amusing NO GAS slogan, held aloft as if it were a personal accomplishment.

But as I wandered through the crowd I noticed a few original ideas, soni decided to snap them.

Impressively, I think, the obvious FRACK OFF was nowhere to be seen.




Best and Worst of John Farnham’s Hair

The first ever concert I went to was to see John Farnham at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. I was twelve. It was the Age of Reason Tour and what I learned most from that night was that the more you call your audience "mongrels" the more they love you.

Plus, I learned that my dad was my hero. Sitting through Touch of Paradise, Two Strong Hearts and all those other great songs Johnny didn’t write was the most sacrificial thing my father ever did for me and as my music tastes changed over time I have come to admire his sacrifice more and more.

As Johnny Farnham gears up for yet another tour – this one features a performance of the entire Whispering Jack album – I find myself contemplating my teenage love of Farnsey once again…

Now, if I’m not mistaken, no other part of John Farnham’s appearance has always captured his enthusiasm, his stage persona, and made him so darn likeable, than his hair.

But, as these pictures show, his hair hasn’t always been Playing To Win, if you know what I mean.

The Denis Walter look. So young, Such Agro eyebrows.(1968)

1974 brought Johnny a new optimism, a new tailored look, and the head of a neatly brushed badger.

Farnsey at his best – windswept and wearing what appears to be lippy. Does anyone actually know why Jack was whispering? (1986)

Flamboyant Rock God! He looked as if could have been in Def Leppard, when actually he was singing about flamingoes. (1988)

Ha! What a felon! This hair is akin to a tufty guinea pig – given a quick perm. Ace! (1990)

This is Johnny in Jesus Christ Superstar (1992) I hope he’s playing Jesus because if not, his hair looks stolen from Goldie Hawn.

Business on top, poodle at the sides and who knows what’s happening at the back. (1995)

What’s this? Why sport the hair of an author? Especially an unpublished one. (1998)

In 2003, he reached his follicular peak. THE ASLAN.

Heinous! It’s an albino Gary Who hairstyle in a jacket that looks more like Tinman from Wizard of Oz than the Age of Grease’n (2005).

Let’s be honest. This is the hair of an old bloke on the pokies at your local RSL. (2009)

2011 – Uhoh, Dye job. It’s Barry Gibb meets Donald Trump. Let’s hope the new tour doesn’t sacrifice any more of his self esteem than this photo must have.

John Farnham

So, to see the hair up close.. who’s coming with me and my dad to the next concert!!??

Related links
Tour info – | Official website
John Farnham is 62 and not out | Herald Sun
Farnsey Is Back… For The Last Time! | Defamer Australia

Why was I not told about Battle Hamsters?

Kids toys have always been best when inspired by LSD or scary animals or both.

Think about it – Voltron, Hungry,Hungry Hippos, Mouse Trap, The Game of Life  (They were Catholics weren’t they, those reproducing pegs?)

And today I discovered what rodent-related joy the kids of today are being delivered.

Battle Hamsters!

The limited edition Ninja Hamster range - with armour on, obviously

It gave me one of those moments where I wished my nine-month-old was seven and I could get into kids toys all over again.

It’s some kind of bizarro Japanese-made pet that doesn’t need feeding but does attack at will. Looks like you put them in a ring – Imagine the ad voiceover: “Just like a cock-fight kids!” “Aww yeah dad, awesome!” – and you let them go each other, hamster on hamster, to the death. Am I missing anything? Is this not the coolest thing since Ulysses?

Check the video…

Note: These are not to be confused with the less violent and therefore less enjoyable range of Hamsters toys with the names;


Num Nums indeed

I was glad to learn these kids can still be tricked out.

Just add Zhu Zhu Rockstar punk hair implants!

rockstar hamster hair

Make me a kid again now

Facebook delivers best reviews of ‘Farmer Needs A Wife’

Here are my favourite comments from the Channel 9 Facebook page tonight which rather foolishly suggested;

“It’s impossible not to love Farmer Wants a Wife. Shall we spread the Word?”

The commenting viewers chose to spread hilarious vitriol instead…

Robert Frederick Brewer impossible aye? well guess what. I can’t stand it and wont watch it. So there you go. Not impossible.

Leigh Fletcher I’d rather watch My Kitchen Rules

Jeff Gehrig I’m with you. Yet another example of 9 ignoring what the audience wants.

Warren Leadbeatter Ha! I’m not watching that shit either!

Nathan Retzlaff some of the sheilas look like the cows in the paddock

Rebecca March I am watching it for the first time, it’s so awkward!

Shannon Butler Should be called “The viewers need a life” .

For the record, I didn’t watch it as I am rather into My Kitchen Rules – at least I was until the unveiled ‘Group 2’ tonight, doubling the contestants and halving my commitment – but if the Farmer show appeals to you, go check out if only to count the clichés.


And Channel 9 people, leaving your facebook page open for anyone to post on your wall is, evidently, an invitation for anyone to air their grievances on a popular and seemingly unmoderated public billboard – rarely a good branding exercise.

But a satisfying read, nonetheless.

%d bloggers like this: