>The truth hurts

>When the hurricane struck the Gulf and the floodwaters rose and tore through New Orleans, plunging its remaining population into a carnival of misery, it did not turn the region into a Third World country – as it has been disparagingly implied in the media – it revealed one. It revealed the disaster within the disaster: grueling poverty rose to the surface like a bruise to our skin.

These are the words of Danny Glover, the actor and activist. He sums up what many don’t want to say. That criticising China and India for leaving the countryside behind in the race for wealth has been happening in the States too. That having the highest GDP per capita, the world’s largest economy doesn’t mean they are universally rich but sparingly so. The great capitalist experiment has left so much behind in its wake to crown the Walmarts, Gates and Buffetts.

I fear though, that his words will be lost in the media driven heartache stories of “they have lost everything” and the real story of “they had nothing” will be buried beneath the political blame game, the psuedo patriotism of Bush and the media, nicely intercuts with diversary stories of insurance fraud and murder.

Little will come of this as long as politics seeks to divide race and wealth against each other and the pork barrel continues to curn. Little is to be gained by fighting through the media. Ground-roots movements to get a better deal are needed. Bravery and stamina from weary people are called for.

>Where’s the crime here?

Kate Moss. A famous model takes cocaine with her boyfriend. Her friend took a picture and sold it to the newspapers. What Kate does, doesnt get girls taking coke, brings attention for the brands and allows them to look good even when they turn a blind eye to the drugs at the after show parties anyway. After all, as they know, its part of the territory. The newspapers are full of drunks and sleaze-merchants but I guess every scavenger gets their fill. Kate needs to drop the loser boyfriend and then kick the shit out of her so-called friend. It’s a media frenzy out of nothing, trashing someone’s life on a slow news week. But I guess there’s no honour amongst journalists.


>hey guys
just a quickie. its 3am on sunday night and i can’t sleep due to getting up at 3pm. the weekend has been the usual mad korean nights of friends and hard drinking. today has really been a struggle.
arrived fine on friday, met up with scott and sarah, went to nev’s restaurant till 4am. drank with scott till 6am. went to bed, got up and arrived at the hilton by 11.30am for the AFL finals until 4am sunday, met some great girls, escorted a drunk one home, gave her my shoes and spent the final hours with the group in a transvestite bar with a live cabaret act. today nothing, but tomorrow some work.

>Nice one son

>great stufff or stiff. gets a cocaine problem, doesnt play for 1 year, we sell him for $20million to real madrid, doesnt play for 1 year due to injury; first game back….own goal and sent off. nice one woodgate. but he’s a quality defender and i wish him well.

>What it’s all about ??


For our part, we English cannot help feel affronted that we have so often been walloped at sport by a former colony which has better weather, better food and a better lifestyle.

For Australia, doing well at sport is a way of sticking one to the Poms, or as the Australian author Thomas Keneally put it, “a way out of our obscurity and cultural ignominy”.

The last sentence is something I have talked about with my good mate Luke in Melbourne. Does Australia have a fully-developed culture which truly identifies them as Australians beyond accents and a lifestyle brought on by environment. This, of course goes to the heart of what is culture. We disagreed then and maybe would do still now. But that doesn’t affect mates once the next round is bought.

>So who the hell are Australia?

After winning the rugby world cup final 2 years ago, England won the Ashes yesterday. I haven’t really followed cricket for many years but this summer has been classic, as tense a sporting occasion as you’ll find. And to sustain it for seven weeks to bring it to the final day justfies the length of a stupidly long game. England won the series 2-1 but outplayed the Austrlans consistently and should have had 3-1.

The celebrations in Traflagar Sq were a touch over the top but why not? The boys did themselves and the nation proud for seven weeks and then 17 hours in the bar afterwards.

After talent, the central contracts for me are the lynch. There seemed such spirit and belief in the team. Each man played for each other, a quiet steely determination resonated and while we all sat behind our hands, the boys went out there and won in style. Credit to Australia and especially their two great bowlers Warne and McGrath but all empires fall and the summer sun will be welcomed next year over English cricket.