This comment today on this post at Mumbrella (not yet approved, I hope it is), comment following:

I’m really waiting for an explanation as to why Australia Network needed its own “Canberra bureau” (from reading Tweets today AN’s Canberra bureau was cut) unless of course it was another example of Mark Scott using the Australia Network funding to subsidise things that weren’t remotely related to the Australia Network proper.

As anyone who has ever watched the Australia Network itself, I can tell you that all their day time bulletins (from 3am TST) are from ABC 24 News with the exception of the 2:30 (Thai time) Australia Network News Bulletin which comes out of a Melbourne studio.

I’m gutted that Australia Network has been cut, but there needs to be a serious parliamentary, or bigger enquiry as to how the $20m odd a year from DFAT was used to subsidise correspondents and bureaus which actually weren’t all that related to the service at all, except for maybe the odd rare report.

Mark Scott scammed the funding to cross subsidise ABC’s general foreign coverage, and now the cost has been paid.

You can well argue that in the end Australia Network was an ideological cut, but using what 30-50% maybe even more of that money to subsidise services not related where it could have…lets see, not spent that money that way and shown Government that our voice in Australia could be far more affordable should be on the gravestone of Mark Scott.

Which reminds me as a parting comment on something Malcolm Turnbull once said on Mark Scott: he claimed that Scott says that ABC New 24 can’t go into Asia due to “rights issues” which is dubious at best. Given how many ABC News 24 programs appear on the network now. At a rough guess 8-10 hours worth a day, maybe more when you include the showing of the chat programs, and there then repeats (Lateline, The Business, The World etc etc…) And then maybe every 2 in 3 programs in between times is ABC content anyway.

“Rights issues” was always a bs argument.

I’m probably being polite there.

The count of “good” (and by that I mean reasonable fair and decent) foreign correspondents sacked by the ABC today is beyond a fucking joke.

The thing is, most of those folks were rarely if at all exclusive to Australia Network vs the ABC (and it’s various programs and channels) exclusively.

They SHOULD NEVER have been employed exclusively by the DFAT funded Australia Network contract.

EVER IN A BLIND FUCKING FIT.

Sure, Australia Network could have justified a correspondent to cover say remote Pacific Islands, Kirabit, Nauru, Tavalu and places like that. But it never has.

Instead the ABC used the money to cover main ABC network correspondents across SE Asia, India and places like that.

When I’m next back to Australia, I’m going to write to all and sundry and demand an enquiry.

As per what I wrote on Mumbrella above, you could have funded Australia Network for 50%, maybe 75% even less. $5m-$10m a year may have even been sellable.

Instead the ABC, headed by Mark Scott took that money and pumped it into people who were not primarily based around the network.

It’s not just a national disgrace, it’s a scam. No other two ways about it.

As I walked down the street from one of my 3 local 7-Elevens tonight I was nearly hit by a car.

This car came probably in under 1m away from me.

I never flinched once nor cared. I’m in Thailand. It was way close, but it was never going to hit me.thai bike

And if one thing Thailand has taught me is that caring less is freedom.

For those interested in the car story: it’s just usual here. Bikes often get closer as you’re walking up and down a street.

In Australia, I’d go completely and utterly spare. Every. Single. Time.

But somehow this wonderful country called Thailand has taught me not to care. To not get stressed. To not unduly worry.

Yes, Thailand has a horrible track record with road deaths, but likewise no one is going to run into you as you walk up the street.

I’ll walk up my street again tonight, and I won’t give a shit about being hit because I know that an average Thai on a bike, or in a car, doesn’t want to hit me.

And this conquers a lot of anxiety I ever had.

rik myallA man who inspired a generation of kids with your comedy.

 

I’ve been accused by quite a few people of running away from my problems.

I’m not, as opposed to saying fuck it all and lets live somewhere where I can be happy and content.

I would never have thought about moving to Chiang Mai accept this bloke I know, who’s maybe a bit crazier than I am, but none the less a good bloke (and he worked out the sale of The Blog Herald for me) David Krug suggested Chiang Mai as a destination.

I’m happy he did.

I love this town. I really do. I’m content here. I’m comfortable. And the only bad thing is it’s near on impossible to get a permanent stay here visa.

And yet some people suggest that I’ve run away.

I’ve not run away from anything. You can’t runaway from nothing after all :)

My relationship with Kellie came to an end and so be it: still love the girl, and will always be there for her, but let me say this (please don’t be upset Kel that I’m saying this publicly) I encouraged her to get back with her husband, which she has and is still doing. She’s quite possibly my sole mate, and the only person I’ve ever met in my life who is kinda like me.

It’s a relationship I actually regret losing…unlike the nut cases prior.

I’ve had a seriously colourful relationship past (before Kellie I would note…I have ZERO negative to say about her,) including a full blown psycho who thought that sending out IVO’s daily was fun. That relationship cost me soooo many friends it wasn’t funny. For the record my name was on them: it wasn’t my idea, I was just supporting my partner.

But I need to accept the blame.

My ex-wife left me after telling me one day that she’d like to donate to the IVF programme then several months later running off with the husband of the woman she was donating her eggs to.

Shit I can’t make up: I’m seriously not that creative.

But so it is.

The next time you, and anyone thinks that I’m in Thailand running away please don’t: I’m here because I gave up the pursuit of wealth in an attempt to be content and happy, and this place makes me happy.

I’m content, not stressed (every day people nearly run me over and I don’t care, in Melbourne I’d be seriously upset.)

If it works out I don’t know. And yes the heat earlier this week got to me. But tell me seriously if you’re single: why not give a shot to something that may make you happy?

PS: Given I’m 15 months away from middle age…. ;)

It has been reported in the news today that the Australian Government is going to get rid of The Australian Network in next weeks budget.

I actually don’t believe that they should… and yes, those who know me may find that surprising.

The contract under the Gillard Government was a joke; Sky News won it fair and square but Gillard decided to award it to the ABC anyway. Why they even opened it to a submission process I’m not sure, and today the validity of the ABC being awarded a 10 year contract is dubious at best.

But that’s beyond the point of why The Australia Network should exist.

I joke…actually regularly, about how the “soft diplomacy” of The Australia Network involves confusing several billion people in Asia with Giggle and Hoot…and worse still Q&A..

But here’s the thing: Australia Network is so ubiquitous in Asia now that I’ve never stayed anywhere in South East Asia that doesn’t have it on TV.

And that includes a really shitty hotel in Kuala Lumpur that literally only had 4 channels: one of them was The Australia Network.

With the exception of Al Jazerra English, which has been in most places I’ve stayed (but not all) Australia Network pretty much now dominates English language programming across Asia…at the least for tourists…but I also believe it comes in the Asian equivalents of a “basic cable package” as well.

The tl;dr version is that nearly everyone in South East Asia who has some form of pay TV has Australian Network.

Oh, and if you’ve never left Australia: you can walk around the worst slum in Bangkok and see each house with a pay tv dish.

I’m not going to pretend to understand the subtleties of “soft diplomacy” but I do have a degree that includes Marketing: The Australia Network must, at some level promote Australia in the region.

Like Aunty at home it offers a variety of kids programs during the day (around school leave/ home times) which must be received well by Children. Its news (particularly the 2:30pm Thai time report) actually informs about what’s going on in the region.

And lets not forget that for 8 cents a day (actually given inflation a lot more now) that Australians pay for the ABC and given South East Asia is where most Australian tourists visit (ironically more so than home now) shouldn’t Australian’s also have access to taxpayer funded content away from home?

$270m roughly over 10 years or $27m a year isn’t a lot of money to broadcast Australian TV shows and culture across Asia.

It really isn’t.

I don’t believe for a minute that hundreds of millions of people in Asia are tuning in, but I do believe that there are enough people watching it to make it worth a relatively small investment to take Australia into Asia.

Just remember Abbott Government: The Australia Network is more dominant in the region than ANY OTHER COUNTRY SPECIFIC CHANNEL in the region and what sort of message does it send to Asia that Australia isn’t strong enough to spend sweet fuck all in the perspective of the budget to continue spreading its mostly good programming to a region that wants to like us…but might not as much if they’re denied a window into who we are as a people and a nation.

Anzac Day 2014

April 25, 2014 — 1 Comment

anzac day 2014

Australia takes her pen in hand,
To write a line to you,
To let you fellows understand,
How proud we are of you.

From shearing shed and cattle run,
From Broome to Hobsons Bay,
Each native-born Australian son,
Stands straighter up today.

The man who used to “hump his drum”,
On far-out Queensland runs,
Is fighting side by side with some
Tasmanian farmer’s sons.

The fisher-boys dropped sail and oar
To grimly stand the test,
Along that storm-swept Turkish shore,
With miners from the west.

The old state jealousies of yore
Are dead as Pharaoh’s sow,
We’re not State children any more
We’re all Australians now!

Our six-starred flag that used to fly,
Half-shyly to the breeze,
Unknown where older nations ply
Their trade on foreign seas,

Flies out to meet the morning blue
With Vict’ry at the prow;
For that’s the flag the Sydney flew,
The wide seas know it now!

The mettle that a race can show
Is proved with shot and steel,
And now we know what nations know
And feel what nations feel.

The honoured graves beneath the crest
Of Gaba Tepe hill,
May hold our bravest and our best,
But we have brave men still.

With all our petty quarrels done,
Dissensions overthrown,
We have, through what you boys have done,
A history of our own.

Our old world diff’rences are dead,
Like weeds beneath the plough,
For English, Scotch, and Irish-bred,
They’re all Australians now!

So now we’ll toast the Third Brigade,
That led Australia’s van,
For never shall their glory fade
In minds Australian.

Fight on, fight on, unflinchingly,
Till right and justice reign.
Fight on, fight on, till Victory
Shall send you home again.

And with Australia’s flag shall fly
A spray of wattle bough,
To symbolise our unity,
We’re all Australians now.

Banjo Patterson.

Lest We Forget.

wowmSadly this may be a regular daily post.

My ex-wife stripped all contact with my son away from me in the Family Court of Australia; and before you ask I couldn’t afford to contend it, her main witness had me constantly in court spending a shit ton of money on defending myself against her. I spent roughly $80k in lawyers in one year!

Amongst her evidence was statement from herself and her child shrink that me allowing Declan to play World of Warcraft was child abuse and caused him bad dreams.

The TL;DR version is WOW is bad, apparently.

But after recently being berated by my mother, she allowed some actual contact, and that included playing Minecraft and WOW with Dec online.

Until tonight.

I pointed out the irony while thanking my ex-wife tonight for letting me play WOW with him…and I will say that it’s a lot of fun. Hey Dec *waves*

And she responded by:

bitch

 

 

So tomorrow if and when I’m no longer allowed to play WOW with Declan I say this: it wasn’t me Dec, it was your mum.

There’s nothing wrong with playing WOW, it’s no different to me playing Dragon Warriors (similar to Dungeon and Dragons) when I was your age.

2312 posts to go.

elephant

So I have a new gig, I’m a staff writer for Social News Daily. It was officially announced Monday US time (31/3.)

Post here.

It was a beyond lovely post and I promise I had nothing to do with it…well except edit it after it went up after Andy Beard pointed out to me on Twitter: b5media was founded in 2005, not 2004 as per the original post (note to self: I’m getting old and forgetting dates :) )

I’m also somewhat stoked that a good guy like Andy Beard not only remembers me, but remembers my past better than I do.

I’ve had a proverbial shit ton of positive feedback about the new gig across social media, including people who I haven’t had much to do with in years (some going back to TechCrunch time) that have gone out of their way to like, congratulate or other forms of social media recognition.

It’s humbling. It really is that after all these years people still can find value in me writing, and giving my opinion.

Those who know me, or have followed me through some pretty dark years know some of the story post divorce to this point. Roller coaster kind of comes close.

I’m not going to rehash it all again…because if one thing about the response to this new gig tells me is that where perhaps at times that while I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself, others still did, and do.

It’s my 13th year in blogging, and I’m in my 10th year this year of doing it for a living. I’ve been what I guess some would call extremely well off, and I’ve also had periods where I was buggered if I knew how to pay the next bill. Because life is never boring there were I think six periods over all :)

Over the last 18+ months I’ve tried to rebuild myself, and part of that has been with 4aus.com..sure, not exactly nail biting tech posts (or revenue), but I’ve built it to the stage it has paid the bills, and oddly it gives most readers joy, often daily, when they find free stuff. There’s nothing nicer when a reader emails me to say they loved a sample they obtained via the site..and in one case a $20,000 holiday abroad. The site helped me rebuild daily discipline in writing (8 posts minimum a day week day (I aim for 10), and sometimes it’s not as easy as it seems when you can’t find 4 or 5 freebies to post.)

I’m not giving up 4aus.com (it pays my bills), but having joined Social News Daily others now have an expectation that I write and deliver, and from this week I aim to continue to crawl back to someone I use to be. I hope to be someone who can make headlines again and break stories.

Since starting at SND I’ve already had an amazing impact in writing about the potential new Armenian Genocide in Syria, (with an insane 11,000 social shares and counting, on the first post, another 6k on the follow ups and still counting) and although someone said to me on Facebook today that I’m being employed to write click bait: it may be true to some extent but even if once a month I can drive traffic by helping promote an amazingly worthy cause like #SaveKessab, I can and will go to bed at night sleeping better for it.

PS

Hi world, I think I might be back! :)

Protesters.

Protesters.

you’re home early.