Txt is now officially a word, symbol of everything wrong with Gen Y - 10 ThingsIt's nice that everyone turned out to see the Pope's last Sunday session yesterday, in which Benedict XVI explained that God totally wanted him to do a whole lot more "prayer and meditation". Which is spectacularly generous timing from God, who might have otherwise asked His earthly representative to, for example, address the accusations that a whole bunch of priests are being blackmailed about their involvement in an underground gay sex network in Vatican City and have been using church money to hush it up, or take responsibility for dealing with the fact that Keith O'Brien, the UK's most senior Cardinal in the Church, is under investigation for committing "inappropriate acts" with young priests for more than three decades. He moves in mysterious and conveniently-responsibility-dodging ways, does ol' Godsy.
Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah is offering "so much tickets, backstage and cash you wont know what to do" for anyone who can identify the dickheads that lit magnesium flares during sets by Metallica and Bring Me The Horizon at yesterday's festival in Sydney. A girl has been confirmed to have been injured, reportedly with burns to her arm, when the flare was set off during Metallica's set - a move that should make all festival queues a whole lot slower as resentful security look through every single bag for contraband maritime equipment. Thanks a bunch, you morons.
So, either anonymous UK guerrilla artist Banksy was arrested for vandalism and has had his identity revealed - that being of 39 year old Paul William Horner of Bristol - or the whole thing was a big ol' hoax and art prank. Death and Taxes have a mini-timeline of events, from the supposed arrest to the reveal as a troll, which just leaves us confused and uncertain: and hey, isn't that the entire point of art?
Thank you, Classifications Board, for saving Australia from the terrifying spectacle of men, y'know, doing it. I Want Your Love was going to be screening for queer film festivals in Sydney and Melbourne (events which, typically, get blanket exemptions from classification) but luckily the acclaimed film by former documentarian Travis Mathews has been banned by our nation's censors because ewwww, and also because the sorts of people that would attend a queer film festival are obviously going to faint dead away if there's any non-hetereosexual action on the screen. Incidentally, Mathew's doco In Their Room Berlin was also refused permission to screen at last year's Mardi Gras film festival. Here's the trailer for I Want Your Love - you may want to prepare your smelling salts and fainting couch, just in case.
Oscars, Shmoshcars - everyone knows that the Golden Raspberries are the only awards that truly matter and this year the big winner was Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 which took out seven awards including Worst Picture. Star Kristin Stewart took Worst Actress (an honour she won for both Twlight and Snow White & the Huntsman), with a cardboard cut out accepting on her behalf, while the only non-Twilight-related victories were for frequent Razzie winner Adam Sandler (Worst Actor and Worst Screenplay for That's My Boy) and Rihanna (Worst Supporting Actress for Battleship). Well deserved, everyone.
Things in Syria are still going less-than-awesomely, with millions fleeing the escalating civil war between the military loyal to president and civil liberties non-fan Bashar al-Assad and the insurgent Islamist rebel forces. And the US and UK are a bit worried that Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons might fall into the wrong hands, and theref… hold on, Syria has stockpiles of chemical weapons? And what sort of "wrong hands" are we talking about here, given that the Syrian government are totally fine with opening fire on their own citizenry? Anyway, apparently there are plans for air strikes against the bases containing the stockpiles if things get more unstable, lest terrorists get their mitts on the stash. Call us negative Nellies if you want, but seriously? Assad has chemical weapons and the rest of the world was cool with it?
European election roundup: Cyprus have swung violently to the right with the election of Nicos Anastasiades in the hopes of staving off complete bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Italians are at the polls right now making a fun political decision between more savage economic austerity in an attempt to right the country's Eurozone-threatening level of debt, or a fantasy of free money and good times with former prime minister, crazy person and convicted fraud Silvio Berlusconi. And it's looking likely that it's going to be some form of the latter with Italy's convoluted voting system predicted to deliver an unstable coalition government which is predicted to plunge Europe into another giddy economic maelstrom. And in a magnificently appropriate protest three protesters from the Ukrainian feminist group Femen attempted to disrupt Berlusconi's voting by getting their tops off - since we know that nothing is more guaranteed to get Silvio's attention. Sadly for ol' lech, it appears that there was no bunga-bunga to be had this day.
The Oxford English Dictionary's online version just got a little more awesome for Scrabble players and terrible for the culture as a whole with the addition of "txt", "tweetable" and "cruft", all of which are now proud additions to our language. Gen Y, we blame you.
Sorry, IT professionals: the one perk of your otherwise hideous-sounding job appears to be on the wane. Yahoo have followed Google in deciding that their employees should actually come in to work rather than working remotely from home. CEO Marissa Mayer has decreed that yep, Yahoo staffers will have to wear pants every day as of June, with head of Human Resources Jackie Reses explaining "Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. Also, at least do your dressing gown up, you pig." This now leaves freelance journalists as the final bastion of e-commuters - and as it happens, this very column is being written from a hotel room in Brisbane. What am I wearing? Beloved readers, I leave that up to your filthy, filthy imagination.
And finally, because why the hell not, have a real-life re-enactment of the opening credits of the Simpsons. Frankly, they're not that adorable as humans. Except that Bleeding Gums Murphy one looks pretty cool. It's an ad for Sky TV ad from the UK, and should end any dreams of a live-action series way before they begin.
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