We salute Richard 'Harry' Harris and Craig Challen, both jointly named 2019 Australian of the Year for their heroic efforts in saving 12 boys from a flooded cave in Thailand. A wonderful achievement as were the efforts of other candidates. Overall a record number of gongs were dispersed, which raises the question of why not give one to all Australians. In many cases now, a disproportionate number of AOs – from ‘Thanks we noticed you’ to the relatively rare AC, whose numbers are also proliferating.
Click here for a full list.
Leunig’s (future) award winning cartoon in the weekend Age said it all. Six categories. ‘Award winning Australian’ (pompous male git), ‘Award winning journalist’ (pleased but humble female), ‘Award winning artist’ (pleased bloke with facial hair), ‘Award winning wine’ (man sniffing pleased open bottle), ‘Award winning vacuum cleaner’ (pleased looking device) and ‘Just a Simple Duck’, the only genuinely modest being in Leunig’s collection.
Much gloom in the weekend press. China and Russia are pulling ahead of the mighty USA in the race for better weapons. China’s leaders are not planning democracy but tighter Soviet-style control. Practicing by ‘disappearing’ Chinese-Australian journo who is said to be an Australian spy. President Trump outfoxed over ‘Wall or Steel structure’ by Dems in the US House of Reps. Brexit baffles everyone, but looking more and more like a clusterf**k.
In Oz, house prices plunging and share prices may soon be crashing. Power blackouts and serious fires bedevil Australia’s record heat, demonstrating the foolish behaviour of governments who demolish coal fired power stations and ignore the obvious value of modern nuclear stations. Bill Shorten looks increasingly like getting his chance to ruin Australian economy. Liberal members of Parliament dropping out like flies, led by the redoubtable Kelly O’Dwyer who ruined the retirement of elderly Australians and gave Mr Shorten moral right to ‘tax ‘em til the pips squeak’. Aussie superstar tennis player Ash Barty put out of tennis contest and big award went to Naomi Osaka, a wonderful winner but (gulp!) from Japan. Petra Kvitova played brilliantly and said she hoped to be back next year.
Read on here for more about Osaka.
Other sport, Aussie cricket team, boosted by several young’uns, flogged Sri Lanka, a result that cheers the heart of Henry the sports nut, who was nevertheless sorry for the boys from the jewel of the Indian Ocean. In wimmin’s cricket the Brisbane Heat beat Sydney Sixers in the exciting sport of WBBL. Tennis today sees revamped, scary Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovac, the numbers 2 and 1 in the hierarchy of male tennis gods. Should be one for the ages. [Actually a boring massacre by Mr Djokovac who is learning Aussie slang, to his great credit.]
Fiona Prior takes a fascinated peek at director Sorrentino’s biopic 'Loro', a film about the life of past Prime Minister of Italy, billionaire media magnate Silvio Berlusconi. More here.
Image of the week - World's No 1 female tennis star