The Minister for Home Affairs

Content note: This piece includes graphic discussion of suicide and reference to abuse

Just as I said I wouldn’t, I forgot them, and their stories got tangled up with all the other distant horrors. In May, last year, two young refugees under Australian care set themselves on fire. Omid Masoumali, an 23 year old held in indefinite detention on Nauru, doused his body in petrol and burnt himself alive. Three days later Hodan Yasin, a 21 year old Somali woman, also set herself alight. Unlike Masoumali, she survived; with burns covering seventy per cent of her body. She lost several fingers in the blaze.

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Satan Disendorses Trump

LUCIFER, Prince of Darkness and Emperor Apostate of hell, has officially disendorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Jeronimo Trump.

“His actions comments are beyond the pale,” announced Satan, a key backer of the Reagan and Bush administrations. “On behalf of all of the legions of the damned, I’m cutting all ties to the Trump campaign. I may be the cloven-footed embodiment of evil, but being assosiciated with this blabbering fascist is starting to hurt my brand.”

Lucifer claimed that his stunning denouncement was inspired by Trump’s recent rise in the polls. “We put him up as a bit of a joke, but we never expected it to go this far. He’s facing over a dozen unresolved rape allegations, including from his ex-wife, and is still on the brink of becoming president? How can I support him when  I myself am a father? How could I look the abstract concept of lies in the eyes?”

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Beyond Bluewashing

Content Note: The following piece contains reference to mental illness and suicide

A fortnight ago, the Weekend Australian published a profile of Jeff Kennett so glowing you’d be forgiven for thinking he wrote it himself. The obsequious puff-piece gushed about the resigning chair of Beyondblue, citing the “indefatigable can-do spirit hard-wired in his soul” and painting him as a maverick saviour of the anguished and bereft.

The anguished and bereft might beg to differ. While there’s no doubt Beyondblue has done internationally groundbreaking work to destigmatise and alleviate mental illness in Australia, this is largely in spite, not because, of the organisation’s public face. As Kennett steps down after sixteen years with the charity, it’s only fair that we acknowledge his generous advocacy. But let’s also not forget the tireless work he’s done throughout his career to champion forces that contribute to and exacerbate mental illness on a mass scale.

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Brexual Feelings

It is closing time in the gardens of the West.
Cyril Connolly

Yesterday’s news from Britain has bought the world to its knees. Europe’s most powerful institution has lost a crucial pillar and the hopes and dreams of millions dangle on the brink. It’s difficult to guess what brought us to this place – the path behind is tangled and dim, the path ahead is subsumed in darkness. As we stumble, blind, into the thicket of history, the only thing that’s certain is the stark reality of this uncanny severance – Harry Styles is leaving One Direction.

Things simply cannot go on as they were. Who would want to see Louis, Liam, and Niall in concert, a hair-gelled triumvirate of pure dead weight? 1D is finished. And, to add insult to injury, the United Kingdom is leaving the EU.

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PM says policies don’t target millennials: also hurt elderly, children, the unborn

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Halifax Rameses Turnbull has struck out at claims that his policies unfairly disadvantage millennials, arguing that they unfairly disadvantage all generations other than his own.

“Of course our policies aren’t some kind of attack on young people,” the PM announced to a press conference held in his negatively-geared harbourside hedge maze, “We’re committed to reducing living standards for all non-key demographics.”
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The Good Emperor

Thank goodness we finally have a Prime Minister who respects our intelligence.

Just two months into the Pax Malcolma and the onioniverous antics of our erstwhile overlord seem a lifetime ago. I can barely even remember that time Tony Abbott said baby seals deserved to be clubbed. Or tried to legalise witch-burning on the grounds it would benefit small business. Or went to the NATO summit wearing nothing but a novelty Australian flag bucket hat because Barnaby Joyce dared him too.

That dark age is behind us and Australia now is in a safe pair of hands. Safe, supple, strong hands. Dry, warm, well-manicured hands. Hands that probably couldn’t strangle a man to death, but could pay an assassin to do it for them, but wouldn’t because they’re too gentlemanly. Continue reading “The Good Emperor”

Close the Pod Bay Doors, Siri

A few weeks ago a bunch of reports claimed that for the first time ever, a computer passed the Turing Test. What followed was a half-hearted flash flood of apocalyptic histrionics about Skynet and cybercrime. (By the way, since when does stapling “cyber” to the start of any old noun suddenly make it a real word that adult humans are supposed to say? I must have missed that extremely unimaginative meeting.) But I’m afraid all you prospective Blade Runners have to go back to your singularity subreddits empty handed.  Most of those articles are wrong for at least two reasons. Firstly, the computer program didn’t actually pass the original criteria of the test, or even the watered down version of the test that everybody is saying it passed, and kind of cheated by only imitating a 13 year old child speaking a second language. Secondly, the articles neglect to mention that the Turing Test is monumentally stupid.

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